Nine months into the global pandemic of COVID-19, on September 28, 2020, Brian Dickison, Pastor of Gold Creek Church in Woodinville, WA, hosted and interviewed Ted Bradshaw, Founder of The Shepherd’s Fool Ministry, during the Sunday Worship service.
He asked for Ted’s perspective on finding peace during a time of anxiety and fear for many.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)
TB: I read the end of The Book, and we win!
Our God is Sovereign. Life and death are in His hands. I have surrendered my life to my Lord Christ. I’d like to say with Paul,
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
I can say the last part, but I fail to live up to the first part. I am a fallen, but redeemed man. As I have aged, I have come to realize the truth that Paul proclaimed.
Oh, wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7:24)
The answer is that our Savior shed His blood to cover my sins. Jesus is the life of Christ in me.
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me! (Job 19:25-27)
The second part of the answer is that early in the declaration of a pandemic, we claimed God’s Word:
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and [b]buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you. (Psalms 91:3-7)
On a material basis: the pestilence is not as serious as they initially gave us to believe. For those who are afflicted, the vast majority recover with no discoverable harm. The deaths occur among “those at risk – specifically among the aged with some other serious lung affliction.” We are discovering the death count has been inflated, in the state of Washington by 13%.
TB: I refer to the Word of the Lord!
Early in our walk with Jesus, Ruth and I were put in an anxious position, not knowing what the future held for us. Yet our faith in the Lord was firm. We knelt down and listed all our needs and gave them to our Almighty, loving Father. He carried us through in great peace, peace that the world cannot give.
It was not until months later we discovered that we were living out God’s word through Paul to the Philippians,
“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
TB: America! Wake up! You are racing away from God to a precipice of disaster!
You have driven the One True God and Jesus the Savior out of Government, out of our schools, out of the workplace, out of the media, out of entertainment.
We have slaughtered about 63,000,000 of our babies. America is worse than Stalin, who murdered 20,000,000 of his own people, than Hitler who murdered 6,000,000 Jews and ca. 4,000,000 other “unacceptables”, than Mao Zedong who murdered about 60,000,000 of his people.
We have codified in law the abomination of homosexuality. This has opened the door to persecution of faithful believers who, to honor God, will not participate in their celebrations.
Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. (Leviticus 18:22)
Hurricanes, school shootings, massive forest fires, earthquakes, financial reverses, homelessness, unemployment and pandemics are God’s warnings for America to repent and turn back to Christ.
God sent Prophets to the Chosen People of God in Old Testament times. Today we have the Scriptures to make us wise unto salvation. We have pastors to call us to pray together.
United prayer is more powerful then we can conceive. Unite with other believers to agree in prayer for a Holy Spirit revival that will turn America back from the brink of disaster. It is never too early and it may soon be too late to prevent America the most blessed nation in history from ending on the ash heap of history.
TB: My advice is the same as your Pastors have been adjuring you:
There is a story about a Jewish Rabbi who was training students. He said, “Never forget, repent the day before you die! The students were assiduously taking notes, when one looked up and asked, “Rabbi, we don’t know the day of our death!” The rabbi looked piercingly at the student under bushy eyebrows, “Therefore, repent every day!”
Know and communicate your desires for a funeral or a memorial, for the disposition of your remains. Prepare a will if you have not yet done so, and periodically update it.
Theodore Roosevelt, our nation’s 26th President, said, “What you are to be, you are now becoming.” You cannot count on your youthful metabolism to keep you fit forever. If you carry extra pounds into middle age it will wreak a long-term harm. If you let your muscles atrophy after youthful sports activities are over, you will pay a price in your latter years.
To sum up:
I pray that the Holy Spirit will anoint each person here for the ministry He has for you—that He will endow you with his fruit of the Spirit growing to maturity in your lives. And that each of you will come to the end of your days far more deeply in love with God the Father, Jesus your Savior and the Holy Spirit than you are this day.
To the glory of Christ, Amen.