Nov. 23, 2020

Pastor Jesse Bradley on The Book of Haggai – “Hope and Rebuilding”

This week, Mark is delighted to welcome Pastor Jesse Bradley to the podcast. After graduating from Dartmouth College, Jesse went on to become a professional soccer goalkeeper in Zimbabwe, Aberdeen, and Minnesota, before a life threatening illness ended his career. With his Master's Degree in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, Jesse is now the Pastor at Grace Community Church in Washington State, and, recently, his brilliant sermon series on the Book of Jonah caught Mark’s attention and admiration. The passage he has chosen to discuss is one of which Mark was previously unaware, The Book of Haggai.

Their conversation begins with Jesse describing his faith journey and his illness, before summarizing the passage and why it is of consequence to him. Relating the themes of hope and rebuilding within the passage to the situation through which the world has moved in 2020, Jesse stresses the need for strength to achieve success in the ‘new normal’, the importance of a God-centered life, the greatest need in America these days, and God’s ability to help rebuild lives. He and Mark also discuss the notions of taking a step of faith, God working through us, the greatest gift a parent can give a child, and Jesse’s perspective on the physical church in 2020. As is the tradition for this podcast, it concludes with the lessons our esteemed guest has learned about humankind. As Jesse rightly points out, this passage’s prophet is considered minor solely for the length of the books, definitely not for the power of his words – a fact that is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt in today’s rich and rewarding discussion.

Episode Highlights:

· Jesse’s faith journey · His life threatening illness · Jesse’s summary of the passage and why it is consequential to him · Strength and success in the ‘new normal’ · A me-centered life compared with a God-centered life · The greatest need in America right now · Rebuilding lives · Taking a step of faith · God working through us · What Jesse has learned about the physical church in 2020 · The greatest gift a parent can give a child · The lessons that Jesse has learned about humankind


“Sometimes your passion isn’t where your greatest gifts are.”

“I never thought I’d be a pastor.”

“When my world was truly rocked, that’s where I found, first finding Jesus and then also finding an identity and a security that I’d never had before.”

“There was a foundation that began, that ends up being like a rock instead of sand.”

“It’s like you have a source of love and joy and peace that you never had before.”

“We’ve had six months of rubble.”

“We’re not just going to return to what it was like in 2019. We can’t put new wine in old wine skins.”

“Success isn’t going to be rebuilding the past.”

“The later glory will be the greater glory.”

“It’s easy to drift into selfishness.”

“Laws don’t change hearts.”

“God can rebuild any life.”

“I think the home is the place that has to be vibrant. The home is the hub right now.”

“When all of God’s people are filled with God’s presence and it’s everywhere they go, 24/7, now you’ve got a church that’s alive.”

“When somebody truly knows the living God, it’s like a fountain that can’t be stopped.”

“Don’t miss God’s grace. Don’t miss the God of the Bible.”

“We need each other far more than we realize.”

“We need unity. We need that now.”

“We need peace right now.”

Book of Haggai -


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