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Chaplain's Corner

Chaplain
Brother Jeff Bradshaw
Chaplains Corner September, 13, 2017
Storms of Life
But now, this is what the LORD says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:1-2)”
I’m sitting here in my backyard looking at the instant chaos created by Hurricane Irma.  Fortunately, our power is back on now and the house is unharmed.  We learned from an earlier hurricane that we needed a new style of shingle to keep our roof intact.  The new style held fine as advertised.  The backyard will eventually be fully restored and the small animals (squirrels and birds) are already returning.  The words above from Isaiah have been monumental in my training to handle both physical storms and personal storms of life.  The older we get the more we understand that we can’t avoid or run away from the storms of life.
In this short devotional, I just wanted to remind you of the best storm preparation plan for ALL types of storms.  I’ve tested these verses above for all types of both physical and personal storms.  As we look ahead to the next storm, for there will be another, what can we do to be best prepared?  Keep the following life giving truth in your heart at all times: 1) God created a people for Himself, a people of faith; 2) God provided a safety net for emergencies as He provided redemption for His people through His Son; 3) God knows His children by name like a good parent; 4) God promises that He will never leave us despite the world (lives) we created for ourselves; 5) God is greater than ANY circumstance (storm) we should ever face.
So has God made ALL the preparations necessary for us to survive ANY storm in this life?  Listen to these words from Peter “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God (John 6:68-69).”  What are we to do with God’s preparation (His truth) for our lives?  This storm has brought me into contact with many people I normally don’t take note of in the last few days.  We need to remember God’s purpose for us still being here.  “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen…(Isaiah 43:10)”



Chaplains Corner August 1, 2017

Being the Heart Beat of God: “You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Gal. 5:4-6)”

After many years I came to the realization that my drive to understand (and self approve) every action I took stood in the way of my lifelong function “to be the heart beat of God”. I sought all kinds of experiences both inside and outside of the church to feed my drive to understand with my mind a life that goes beyond my reasoning capabilities. All the while the greater drive that I was called to “express a faith in Christ that manifests His agape love” was placed in handcuffs. Unfortunately at times, even Scripture stood in the way as I misunderstood the words and actions of God. I find myself now taking cholesterol medicine to keep my aging heart healthy without a second thought. Since I know God cares also about my spiritual heart first, I’m finding it easier to take regularly His cholesterol medicine (His Word and Spirit) that is meant NOT to harm us but to remove the agents that want to rot out spiritual hearts.

Living to be “the heart beat of God” is a freeing experience and allows us both the grace and power to love God and people. Nowadays, I approach the Lord’s seemingly harsh words in Scripture such as “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8) or will he find oil in our jars (Matt. 25:1-13)” as NOT words of condemnation for believers but a reminder of our greatest call “to be the visible EKG of God’s presence!” These days the world is distracted by the fear of hearing the “tick, tick, tick” of terrorist’ bombs while God is still listening for His heart beat placed through faith in the Gospel within the hearts of His people. I choose every morning to be His heart beat without a second thought where ever that leads, smooth sailing or choppy waters…


Chaplains Corner July 5,2017

Can We See God?

“What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, 18 that you examine them every morning and test them every moment? 19 Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant (Job 7:17-19)?

I was at Lake Eola park the other morning and I came upon a man who was sleeping on a bench. We were handing out free water and it was obvious that he was homeless and could use this free gift of bottled water. Therefore, I woke him with the question “would you like a free bottle of water?” He said “yes” and I sat down next to him and began to talk with him about the Lord. He asked me the question “How do I see God?” I can’t tell you everything I said because when I have these conversations I never know what direction they will head and just trust that God is with me. When it is over, I’m satisfied in knowing that I went beyond what I’m comfortable with and let God into that space. The Bible describes the Holy Spirit as the Comforter and tells us that Jesus sent us the Comforter after He ascended into heaven because we would be uncomfortable with not seeing God again until Christ returns after He left us with His final Word.

I do remember sharing with the man on the bench that God is Spirit and sees us. Our God sends His help to us through various believers He places in our lives who have been given resources to help others and bring glory to our Father in Heaven. I spoke of the greatest blessing of the gift of life in Christ. After I was done speaking with this man, he re-committed his life to the Lord and we prayed for his heart and his well being. I shared a few other gifts with him before I left. How do we see God? A. Creation: Psalm 8:1 “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.” B. Salvation: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” C. Love: John 15:12 “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”


With God's Help We Fly Like Eagles

Picture of the Great American Eagle