Friday, April 8, 2016



      I believe that everything in our lives has been handed down from the throne room of the Almighty to teach us and make us see him in a new light. The problem is we do not always see that. Sometimes we get so focused on what is going wrong, or what just happened, that we do not allow that little experience to permeate our mind, and cause a semblance of change, or step closer to God. This happened to me a while ago, when I ventured to the mall to replace my wife's crackediPhone 4s.
     It all started as a random idea to get my wife a new phone. My little boy and I strolled into the Sprint store, while my wife was shopping, and asked if they had the new iPhone 6. After a little bit of talking they told me that she and I both were due for an upgrade. Me being the techy geek that I am, I got hyped up! It took the sprint people a meager 5 minutes to set up her phone. However, it took two and a half hours to get my phone converted over. Needless-to-say, I was done with Sprint and the mall for that matter. After leaving the store we went to the church, due to the fact that it was Wednesday night, and I was to preach that evening. When I got out of the car, people began to come to me and say, "did you get my text?" "Hey man I called you like five times!" It was at the moment I realized, my phone never made a connection. I had been disconnected from the "world."
    I was born in the early 1980's, and I lived through the times that a cell phone went from just an idea, to being just for the rich, to being for everyone. I was a ninth grader in high school when I owned my first cell phone. My parents bought me the awesome, indestructible, epic, Nokia "brick phone!" From that moment on I never ceded to be connected (except outages and dead spots). 
   I was unable to make it to the Sprint store for a complete day. I didn't realize the struggle of life feeling disconnected. The thoughts of something happening at home without being able to be reached blew my mind. The idea of not being there, for one of the people that God has blessed me to be their Pastor, if they needed me, absolutely drove me crazy and stressed me out.  As soon as I was able, I went back to Sprint and got my phone fixed. It took literally just a few minutes to activate the phone and make it work!
   As I left the Sprint store and walked through the mall, my phone dinged and rung as I received messages, voice mails, and emails. I noticed that the anxiety of being disconnected was now gone! Gone were the thoughts plaguing my mind like King Saul on a Judean night. It was at that moment that the Lord hit me with this realization, a life Disconnected from God.
  Many people live life after salvation disconnected from God.  As I owned the phone,  I could carry it around, look at it, use Wifi to get some apps, yet I wasn't able to enjoy the full capacity of its abilities. This is what half-in-Christianity is all about. They have a salvation experience, but they’re not connected! They can access a limited amount of power and presence, but do not have the ability to feel the full potential of Gods power.

Acts 1:8

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

       Power is an issue with all Christians. Power to overcome situation. Power to fight sin. Power to deal with stress. Often times do you feel it is hard to get out of bed in the morning, because you just don't have the strength to deal with what is facing you? There is good news, the power that you need, you possess, you just need to get connected into it.  According to Acts 1:8, the power comes when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. When you received Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. The misconception is that we feel that we need to pray for power, yet power is not our possession, it its the possession of God. The Holy Spirit, in his Godship, possesses the power to help us in every situation. This is when our connectivity comes into play. When a person uses a hair dryer, they must first plug it into a power source to make it work. This is the same idea, we need to be connected to who has the power.

 Ephesians 3:20

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” 

         The Bible declares that he "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask othink. (Eph. 3:20)" Where is he? He "worketh in us." The power that we need in life is in us! We do not possess it, rather we plug into it. Have you plugged into the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? Have you connected to him, or has your signal been lost because of something that causes interference? You may be sitting there today with an "I need strength attitude," lets not pray for power, lets activate the Holy Spirits presence in your situation.        

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A.D.D. Christianity

A.D.D. Christianity

      I was once told a very cheesy joke by a friend. He asked, how many how many A.D.D. people does it take to screw in a lightbulb? As I opened my mouth to reply, he burst out with the statement, "wanna ride bikes!" I chuckled, one because it was cheesy, and two because I didn't want him to realize that I didn't get it. It was not until I found out what the true definition of A.D.D. was that I found more hummer in the statement. Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) can be described a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. People that experience this disorder have a hard time staying focused on tasks set before them and often become easily distracted. This disorder was officially recognized in the 1960, but it wasn't until the mid 1980's that was more widely prescribed as a diagnosis. Over time people have adopted this to be their excuse for why they cannot stay on task or pay attention to simple instruction. It is my belief that we may use this definition and understanding to identify most Christians within the generation we live in.

     It has been my experience in dealing first hand with the church of this generation, that we are experiencing a rapid rise in what I am calling the A.D.D. Christian.  This is not the person that has the serious problem that has to take medicine for it, or the person who has a hard time paying attention in the churches learning environment. This person is that person that is easily distracted in their Christian walk, which hinders them from doing the minimal tasks placed upon them. Really it is not a problem of being distracted its a problem of importance. What is more important? What is preferred? If I was to sit down a bowl of broccoli and a bowl of Ice Cream beside most kids, and asked them to choose which one they would prefer first, it is no doubt that Ice Cream would win out. It would be the choice of the day because it is simply more pleasurable. This is the theory of Christians today, making impulsive choices that are dictated souly on what is more pleasurable or what we deem more important.

    Lack of importance on Bible reading, prayer, and church attendance, are issues that are my main concern, because it produces anemic Christians and leaves an anemic church. Things like faithfulness to the ministry, advancement of the Great Commission, Stealing the Glory of God and haphazard leadership are serious issues that are all formulated by A.D.D. Christianity. With a lack of prayer and Bible reading there is no growth in a persons Christianity simply because their is no communication with God and a lack of communication produces a lack of relationship. Tell me how your marriage would turn out if you came home from work sat down on the couch and never spoke to your spouse? It would be a train wreck! This is true about your relationship with Christ! To solve this issue one simply needs to communicate with him again.

   Church attendance is a whole issue on it own. No other generation has ever seen people who held faithful church attendance in such a low esteem. This has been proven by geeky polester and pastoral statisticians, both of which I am not, in many blogs an websites, you may look this information up for yourself or trust me. The Bible encourages the Church (Body of Believers) not to forsake the assembling of itself. However, we are seeing Christians do it regularly in Churches all over the U.S. The question is why? Most people want to blame the Church for these problems, and in some cases they may be correct, yet I find it more to be a problem of a Christian that has an Attention problems. They live their lives with a unique view of fulfilling their own desires. It's understandable to have the occasional miss of church for sickness, or planned vacation. Yet missing the institution that God placed in existence to help you and your family for: ballgames, working out, catching up on work, birthday parties, etc. is not conducive with Christian growth. Faithfulness is the key to growth. If I want to loose weight (which I am told by my wife and Doctors I need to) would it be okay for me to eat healthy every other week, and work out every other month? I think we agree this is a ridiculous way to attempt to loose weight. I would need to be consistent, and faithful to the regiment set before me. How does a person expect to make gains in their Christian life picking and choosing when they are going to go to church, which is the weight-room of your soul.

     The questions then should be posed, are you an A.D.D. Christian? Are you focus on everything in your own "world" without holding God in the position he needs to be? Are you reading your Bible? Are you Praying? How is your Church Attendance?  What are you forsaking the assembly for? Are you making gains in your Christian Walk? I personally do not want to be the man I used to be, I want to make gains everyday, and for me to achieve this I need to remain focus and "press toward the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus."

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Measurement of Faith

"The Measurement of Faith"

As I sit in great anticipation of yet another Thanksgiving meal, my mind drifts to the thought of another piece of pie and if I have another hole in my belt to facilitate all this eating I have done this week. This thought led me to the realization that I could stand to loose a few inches around the waist. The measurement of my waist has greatly increased since I graduated high school and married! These measurements have become an obsession in the mind of people in our generation. Honestly our society is filled with measurements. 
My brother-in-law and I found my Saga Genesis a few days ago and as we where playing I began to look at my parents home. It is virtually unchanged! I noticed out of the corner of my eyes some marks on the door frame, similar to the ones in the picture above. Each mark representing the height of either my sister, brother, or I as we grew throughout our early life. I remember the moment when I finally surpassed my brother in height. I was so excited to say, "I am taller then you are!"  Our measurements can be so exciting or, as in the first case, depressing, but without these measurements we would never know the level of change that took place in our lives.
What if we could measure our faith? What if it was possible to show a tangible measurement of our faith? How would we measure up? Would it be exciting like when I surpassed my brother in height, or would it be depressing, like every time I step on the scale (before kicking them across the floor!) 
In reality our faith is measurable. It is measured, by the measuring tape eyes of others! The saved and the unsaved alike examine our lives very critically to see how we are going to react to life's circumstances. How can we reach heights of faith that others can look up to?
Let's take a moment to examine the structure of a tree. We can all see the visible growth of tree. Who hasn't walked to the base of some giant tree and thought, "man, that's tall!" We need to realize something about that tree, before it could ever reach the heights that it has reached it had to first reach a greater volume of depth! When a seed is planted, it first takes root before it pops through the ground. As the roots penetrate the ground further and further, collecting a vast amounts of minerals and nutrients, it can then begin to show proof of its growth at the surface.
So if our faith is the visible part of our spiritual tree, then what is the roots? It's this Pastor's belief that the roots of our spiritual tree is our "Trust in God". Without the foundation of trust we can never reach the heights of our faith. We often take these two words and make them one meaning but that cannot be. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines faith as: strong belief or trust in someone or something. Trust is in the definition of Faith. They work together, they are not the same. Trust is defined as: the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. Faith is reliant on trust by definition, and by definition trust is reliant on a person, or God.
By increasing our trust in God we increase the level of faith that we exhibit to others. The Bible has much to say about both of these to words, let's take a look of one of my favorite set of verses concerning Trust.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all they ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." The problem of having limited faith is usually equivocated by limiting our trust in the Lord, through leaning on our own understanding. This indicates that we are not living a GOD-reliant life, but rather we are living a SELF-reliant life! If we are self-reliant then we will not allow God to direct our path. How do we become more God-reliant in our lives? 
To increase or faith, God often has to shake us at our very foundation. He has to pull the hedge back a little and allow us to be tempted and tried. You see everything that we go through here on earth is for a purpose. The bible says in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." We need to understand that we are called into these temptations and trials to ultimately fulfill His purpose. This brings us to the question, "what is His purpose for this trial I am going through?" Paul explains it in the very next verse. Romans 8:29 says, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." We are to be more like Him! 
The more that we learn to trust the Lord the more that we become like Him! By being more like Him our faith is increased. When our faith is increased we will be able to say to the spiritual mountains that stand in our path, "be thou removed,"  and they will be removed. We also will become the "firstborn among many brethren." Remember when we spoke about those people that examine our lives? If we trust God to the point that it exhibits our faith in God to accomplish our needs, then those people will also trust in the Lord and plant the seed of faith in their own lives. 
Let's get out a personal spiritual tape measure. How does our faith measure up? Do we trust God? Can others see God through us? Our desire should not be to stand tall for ourselves but it should be to stand tall for the Lord!

Pastor Corey C. Bradley

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The BIBLE: From "Reading" to "Understanding"

I often get the question, "how do I improve my Christian life?" My response is always simple, "Prayer and reading the Bible." The responses I receive vary, from "always" to "nope." Most generally these conversations exist between a teenager and I, but I have often found that this is true, for the most part, with all Christians. We all feel a need to be better in our Christianity, and should, otherwise, we may be so far from God we think we are perfect. You see, to become better in your Christian life it takes an increase in "communication" with God. That is you talking to Him and Him talking to you. Prayer is our way of talking to Him, and the cell phone is His way of talking to us! NOW, how many times has that happened. The Bible is His way of communication to us, we don't have prophets anymore to speak God's Word to us, we have, "that which is perfect," the Bible. It is His communication tool, not reading it is like hearing the phone ring, and letting the voice mail get it. The person on the other line didn't want to talk to a machine, they wanted to talk to you. GOD WANTS TO TALK TO YOU!
The statement then is given, "I don't understand that book!" This I understand, it is hard to read something that you can't understand. However, understanding can be gained by using tools that God has equipped us with. I want to briefly explain some tools, that will help us in three areas: 1.Our Understanding, 2.Our Relationship with God, 3. Application to Our lives.

               OUR TOOL'S:

  1. Communication: Prayer is not only the place where we talk to God about forgiveness, help, and thanksgiving. It's also the place where we can make a petition for understanding. We have the great ability through prayer to talk to the author of the book. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God."  He wrote the book, why not ask Him to help you understand it. It's kind-of like having the ability to ask William Shakespeare why he allowed Romeo and Juliet to die. You would be asking to gain understanding, why not ask God.
  2. Examination: The next step to go from just reading the Bible to understanding the Bible is examination. It is very dangerous for the Christian to take a piece of text out of context. In examining our text, we are less likely to make this mistake. Before taking a piece of scripture and making it a doctrine to live by or thinking God is trying to tell you to do something, we need to consider the following things to get the most out of our Bible study.  
  • History- Ask yourself: What was going on during this time period? What was the culture like? Who is the Author writing to? These questions can give you a greater understanding of the text you're reading.  
  • Word Usage- Words can be misunderstood, we often forget that we have resources to help us with these miss understandings.  Noah Websters wrote a book called a dictionary! Crazy, right?If a word is hard for you to understand, never be afraid to look it up. Also, the Bible was written in Hebrew (old testament) and Greek (new testament). By knowing this, we can go back to the original language and gain a greater understanding of the word which will, in return, give us a greater understanding of the verse.
  • Proof Text- The Bible is the best Commentary for the Bible. Sometimes, by finding verse that is similar to what you are reading can give you more in the way of understanding.
  • GOOGLE-Enough Said!

      3. Meditation: This is a word that often is miss understood by people. They believe that they need to set in a floor, on a piece of carpet, saying, "OOOOOOMMM!!!" This is not the case, what I am speaking of today is, contemplating, reflecting, thinking about what you have just read. When I tell people this, usually their next statement is, "I can't remember what I just read." This is a problem that can easily be solved by one of two things. You can slow down in the speed at which you are reading, or you can read less at one time. I suggest the ladder. Remember reading your Bible is not like reading a textbook or a novel. Your reading it for an entirely different reason. Your reading the Bible to gain a greater understanding of God, his purpose, his plan, and to get help in your life. Slow down, and see what God has for your life, in reading His word.  When you finish your text, don't just start in on the next task for the day. THINK about it. Ask yourself some questions like: How does this apply to my life? What does God want me to remember about this?

I hope by reading this you will have found that the Bible is your best friend in life and that it will help you through whatever you may come across in your life. It is not a book written to confuse you but to help you. Remember we don't live in the stone ages, we can go from reading the Bible to understanding the Bible by using the tools God has given us access to, and hey, remember your pastor is always there to help you!
    Resources That Can Help:

Pastor Corey C. Bradley