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The Little Things

The Little Things

APRIL 19, 2020 / BRADWESLEYBLOG / EDIT

When I was younger I used to take for granted the little things. Simple things like playing with the neighborhood kids or riding my bike in the yard. Eating three meals a day and having plenty of snacks in between was just common as breathing to me. Growing up you never think about how much life changes. But then it changes.


Today, I’m having these same thoughts about church. Growing up, most of us took church for granted. Church was the place that our parents or grandparents made us go. We would do or say almost anything to persuade them to let us stay at home. The last thing we wanted to do on a Sunday was listen to a choir sing 100 year old songs, or some man in a suit read from a book that we did not understand. We certainly didn’t want to get dressed up just so we could sit still for an hour and be quite. What we didn’t know then is just how much we would miss all of these things once they were taken away from us.


Today, most churches are virtually empty on the inside and out. Fear has gripped our world in such a way that now people are afraid to touch one another and the thought of being in any size crowd has paralyzed our nation. The government has deemed it inappropriate to gather with family and friends to praise and worship our God. The things we used to take for granted are no longer accessible to us.

The question that keeps rolling around in my mind is, how should I feel about our current situation? Should I live everyday in fear for my life and for the lives of my family? Should I lock us all in the house to make sure we don’t catch the latest bug traveling around the globe? Should I never let my children drive a car, or date, or get married, or try anything new out of fear they might make a mistake? To live this way is to live as if God is not in control.


In Psalm 56:4 David says “In God ( I will praise His Word), In God I will put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” In this season of fear and doubt, I believe it’s time to remember our true purpose on this Earth. If we are going to live like Jesus, and if we are going to be disciples who make disciples, then we first must cast out fear. In Philippians 1:21 the Apostle Paul proclaims, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” There was no amount of fear that would keep him from his mission. Paul knew that even in death there was nothing to be afraid of, because it was the gateway to life. He learned to make the most out of every situation, whether he was traveling spreading the gospel, or if he was locked in a jail ministering to the staff. Giving up when the road got hard was not an option.

So what do we do in these uncertain times? In Psalms 55:22 David says” Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” So do exactly what he says first, cast your burden on the Lord. Whether you feel anxiety, or you are in the middle of persecution for your beliefs, or you just don’t know what the right thing is to do, Cast your burden on The Lord. After you do that, be obedient to what He is telling you in the Spirit. How many times have you heard a Word from God only to ignore it and then regret it? Don’t let this be what defines this season of your life.


One thing that is for certain, is nothing on this Earth is certain. The same is not true about our God. Our God is Everlasting, Never Changing, Omni Present, and All Knowing. When life spirals out of control all around you, the key to stability is only found in God. He is the One is was, and is, and is to come. People will come and go in our lives, but God will always be there. The governments of this world are corrupt and will let you down, but God is an ever present help in our time of need.

This week, let’s all turn our 24/7 news channels off and let’s focus on the little things that we so often take for granted. You never know, this might be just the thing that rekindles your spirit for God.

In love ,


Pastor Brad

 

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Covid 19 and You

Covid 19 and You

APRIL 16, 2020 / BRADWESLEYBLOG / EDIT

Did you ever think we would be on a lock down in the United States? Sure, we’ve read about scenarios like this in books, and we think that this happens in other countries, but never in our homeland. Yet, here we are. The question is, what do we do now?


Well, the way I see it, we have a couple of choices. I want to explore those for just a bit. First, we can take this time to wallow in our fear. So often when we don’t understand something, we find all the worst case scenarios we can find and play them over and over again in our heads. For example, we are going to run out of food. Or, we are going to have to wait in long lines to get gas. Or, perhaps my favorite, we are going to run out of toilet paper. Oh no! The longer we dwell on worst case scenarios the more we let fear control our thoughts. Then we become withdrawn, skeptical, angry, and we tend to overreact to every little thing. Living this way is definitely not God’s best for us.


So, what is option number 2? This option is simple, give it all over to God. That fear that you woke up with this morning, give it to God. That anxiety that keeps you up at night, give it to God. The weight on your shoulders that you feel like you have to carry yourself, give it to God. In James 1:5 in the New Living Translation says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” So go ahead and ask Him anything you want right now.

I believe that God has a purpose and a plan during this Covid 19 pandemic. I believe for those who will humble themselves and seek He ways, God will bring you safely through this trial.


On the news on 4/15/2020, Governor Cuomo of New York, stated that God was not responsible for the downward trend in Covid 19 deaths. He proudly stated that the people were responsible. While Governor Cuomo is certainly entitled to his opinion, as Christians we know that if anything good happens in our lives, we don’t deserve any credit, it’s all by the grace of God. We may never change anyone’s opinion, but we should pray for God to change their hearts.

As you go about your day, please continue to pray for God to change lives, change hearts, and to heal our country.


Isaiah 53 verse 5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Healing is in God’s hands today. I pray that you go forth in peace and love and spread the message that only God has the power to heal.

Pastor Brad

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