Pastor’s Blog

by Pastor Todd Bradbury

Beyond Labels: Homeless

One of the most difficult funerals that I’ve participated in was a funeral of a distant relative of mine. His name was Robert. Robert’s early life was full of promise and hope.  He was a bright young man and was within a semester or two of finishing college at Old Dominion University, but sadly Robert suffered from the debilitating disease of alcoholism. He battled that disease his entire life and it ended up wrecking his life.


Every Story is a Redemption Story


One of our Bethel Mileposts is “Every Story is a Redemption Story.” Redemption is one of my favorite words because nestled within this word there is another word, HOPE! Hope that God can take the brokenness and messiness of our past to create a future that is full of purpose and blessing. I’d like to invite you to make a special effort to be with us on Mother’s Day to hear one of the best redemption stories I’ve heard. It’s the story of a gentleman named Robert Day. Who is Robert Day?


One Decision Away

In his book “All In,” pastor and author Mark Batterson says, “You are only one decision away from a totally different life.” I’d like to expand on his quote and offer this, “You are only one decision away from a totally different life, AND


Making a Difference

For this month’s newsletter I’d like to introduce you to one of Bethel’s Preschool students, Braxton Kerns.  Braxton is five years old and he  recently organized a food drive for Charlotte’s Food Pantry. I asked his mother, Heather Kerns, “Why would a five year old organize a food drive?” She said this journey began a couple of years ago at Christmas.  Heather and her husband Tommy often share with their children the importance of helping others who are in need.  Heather and Tommy not only shared with their children about people in  need, they decided to do something to meet people’s needs.


What It Looks Like to Give Your Life Away

Have you ever heard Zeke Bookman play the piano? One of my fondest memories in my short time at Bethel was when my daughter and I visited Zeke at his home. As he was showing us around I noticed his piano and asked if he played.  He said yes and I asked if he could play something for us. He graciously agreed and I have to tell you I was blown away. It was like my  daughter and I were privileged to have a private concert by some sort of piano prodigy. It was wonderful. I asked Zeke if he would play for the church sometime and he’s been able to bless us on several occasions with his gift of music. Maybe you know Zeke through his music, but I wonder if you know the rest of his story?


“The Universe is Made of Stories, Not of Atoms”

“But, what of galaxies, and stars, the biosphere and atoms . . . . For story is all there is. The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”- Muriel Rukeyser.
There is a lot of truth in this quote by the poet Muriel Rukeyser. In the end, our lives are the culmination of our stories. I have a story to tell about my life, you have the story of your life, and we have a story to tell about our lives together as a community of faith. On April 30th, we will gather to celebrate the stories of our lives together.