In Philippians 4:6-7 we find one of the most difficult verses in the entire Bible to obey:“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace”.

It’s not easy to stop worrying about the often-scary, everyday parts of our lives, but God tells us how in the next part of the verse: “pray about everything…thank him for all he has done.”

Grateful prayer brings peace. God says, when you start to worry…start to pray!!

Parents understand the power of grateful prayers. Most parents wouldn’t appreciate their children always making requests without saying “thank you” for what they’ve already received.

God sees it the same way.

He wants us to ask him for what we need and want.

More than 20 times in the New Testament, we’re told to “ask” him. But he wants us to ask with gratefulness.

Thanking God in advance is a big step of faith.

The Bible says that when we have the faith to thank God ahead of time, miracles happen!

The more thankful we are, the more God works in our lives.

The Bible says that God inhabits the praise of his people.

He empowers and uses our thanksgiving as an instrument of power in our lives.

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

Invite someone to church with you this weekend!

God bless you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Life is tough. I realize that’s no surprise to you. You live with that truth every day. Some of us are going through emotional difficulties. Some of us are going through physical issues. Some of us are going through relational issues.

All of us are going through something.

Even one of the great heroes in all of the Bible — Paul, the apostle — went through tough times. The Bible says he was once so depressed he told God he was ready to die. He even asked God to kill him!

How did Paul get through that difficult time?

He plugged into Jesus’ Resurrection power!

Paul wrote, “But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

The Bible says Paul felt “crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure.” He got to the end of himself.

And that’s exactly where he needed to be.

There’s only one condition for God’s power in your life: humility.

You must admit you need it. God does not give his power to arrogant people. Humility tells the Lord, “You are God, and I’m not. You’re right, and I’m not. You have the power, and I don’t. You are wise, and I’m not. And I am powerless to change this situation, so I’m going to give it to you.”

The moment you do that, God brings the power of the Resurrection of Jesus into your situation.

God specializes in bringing back to life dead things. God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections.

What’s dead in your life? If God can raise a dead person, he can raise a dead marriage, a dead career, or a dead dream. God can do anything.

That’s the power of the Resurrection!

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

If you were to head out to Franklin Square today and ask people if they are going to Heaven or Hell, you’ll likely hear them say, “I hope I’ll go to Heaven.”

But hope just isn’t good enough. I pray that’s not your answer. Your eternal destiny is too important not to know for sure.

Only a fool would be unprepared for what we all know is inevitable: death. The most recent statistics show that mortality rates in the world are 100 percent!

You’re not guaranteed another minute on this planet, much less another hour. Don’t put off the most important choice you’ll ever make.

The Bible says in 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”.

That’s about as clear as you can get. If you have Jesus, you have life. If you don’t have Jesus, you do not have life. You have a choice!

You won’t go to Heaven because of someone else’s faith. You’ll never go to Hell because of someone else’s choice.

It’s your choice! You’ll decide where you’ll spend eternity.

This is why the Gospel is SO important. If Jesus hadn’t died and come back to life, we’d be hopeless. Nothing we do would matter. You wouldn’t have this choice.

The cross is the answer to our deepest problem — our separation from God.

The Bible says, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

God nailed everything that separated you from himself to the cross. But God won’t force you to make the most important decision of your life. It’s in your hands.

It’s time to choose.

If you want to make that decision to follow Jesus, please let Tammy and me know. We would like to celebrate your decision with you! Write us!

Invite someone to come to one of our services with you this weekend!!  Friday night at 7pm would be an awesome night for a guest to come be with us!

Make it a great day!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

God spoke the world into existence, and He spoke you into your mother’s womb. Even now, He can speak into the chaos of your life to bring it shape and form (Psalm 51:10).

This is a Genesis event, where God speaks into the void and the darkness of your life, creating for you a new beginning.

God can create something from nothing. He can take a heart that is broken, impure, or failed and turn it into a heart that is whole, pure, and purposeful. God wants to see you pure, so he takes an active role in creating your new heart and bringing order to the chaos of your life.

Our job is to submit to Him and be humble and ask for his help.

Tammy and I would love to see you this morning at Bethlehem!!  The service will be what YOU need to hear!

I do want to pray a prayer over you this beautiful Sunday morning…

“Lord, speak a Genesis moment into our hearts and into the circumstances of our lives. We acknowledge “everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:13).

Renew in us a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10), no longer anxious or controlled by events, circumstances, or feelings. Give us lives shaped by you and by your Spirit flowing through us.  In Jesus Name, Amen.”

If you need prayer, email us.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES TOMORROW! WE ARE TALKING ABOUT  “HANDLING DEPRESSION”- But I want to talk to you about something today that is VERY IMPORTANT – How to Handle Resentment.

If you hang on to resentment, it always hurts you more than anyone else. Resentment is self-destructive and counterproductive.

Resentment just makes no sense.

If any guy ever had a reason to be resentful, it was Job. He was a godly man, who had everything he wanted — wealth, fame, and a great family. One day he lost it all. Enemy nations killed all his livestock. All of his children were killed. He got a terrible disease. He literally lost everything he had. All he had left was a nagging wife. Then his friends came along and said, “Job, it’s all your fault.”

Though Job had every reason to be resentful, he tells us in the biblical book named after him that resentment is a bad idea. Job says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do” (Job 5:2).

Job was a wise man. He knew he didn’t have time to be resentful. He knew it was foolish, senseless, and illogical. If you think back through experiences in your own life, you’ll probably agree. We can do silly things when we’re caught up in resentment. We’ll say things like, “I’m going to get him!” Then we often do the ridiculous to make that happen.

When we give in to resentment, we act in self-destructive ways and hurt ourselves much more than those we’re holding grudges against.

For example, I remember one time watching the old comedy act, “The Three Stooges.” Mo kept hitting Curly on the chest. Curly said, “I’m going to get even with that guy. I’m going to stop him!” So he took a stick of dynamite and strapped it to his own chest. Then he said, “Next time he slaps me, it’s going to blow his hand off!!”

That’s what happens when we’re resentful — we do really dumb things to try to get even with people.

Worse yet, resentment isn’t helpful. It makes us miserable in the process. It never ends with us getting what we want.

So why do it?

Don’t hold on to your resentment.

Let it go. Forgive.

Let Tammy and me know if we can pray for you today …Email us!

Have a Super Saturday!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICE TONIGHT AT 7PM – WE WILL LOOK AT “DEFEATING DEPRESSION”.

If we want to recover from life’s hurts and pains, we must learn to be gentle. Matthew 5:5 says: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth“.

The Bible lists many benefits of meekness: The meek will be satisfied (Psalm 22:26); God will guide them (Psalm 25: 9); they will become wise (Proverbs 11: 2); they will rejoice (Isaiah 29:19).

There are many, many other benefits. The problem is that we misinterpret this term. We do not really know what meekness is. In fact, we often confuse it with another term that sounds like this: “meek” sounds like “weak”. No one wants to be weak, so nobody wants to be gentle.

But the truth is that meekness and weakness are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Meekness is not weakness at all. In fact, the Greek word for meekness literally means “force under control.”

Being meek is not being weak. It is used to describe a wild animal that has been domesticated. That animal still has all the strength it had when it was wild, but now its strength is under control. It is all the contained force for the use of the master.

God does not want you to be weak, but He does want you to be gentle.

The Bible teaches that it is one of the keys to reducing stress in your life.

Here is a simple definition of the word meek: Let yourself go, and let God do it.

That is the essence of meekness. It is surrendering, submitting and agreeing with what God wants to do in your life.

Remember this: Do not try to fix everything in your life and let God work.

I do not know a phrase that does more for your physical or emotional health than this phrase. If you start to practice it in your life, it will relieve stress and eliminate worry.

If we will quit trying to fix everything in your life and leave it to God, your anger will be quenched and your pain and resentment will begin to end.

Tammy and I cannot wait to see you tonight at 7PM – Email us with any prayer requests that you may have.

See you tonight!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

How do you let things go and leave it all to God?

First, you must make Jesus be the administrator of your life.

The problem is that we generally want to be the administrator of our own lives, so we argue and disagree with God. We believe that we know what is best.

The reason you are under a lot of stress is that you are constantly fighting with God in your mind: “I know God says to do this, but instead I want to do that!” 

Every morning, when you get up, you have to make a decision: Who will be in charge of your life? Who is going to have control, you or God? Who will make the decisions? You or God?  

Every day, moment by moment, you are making that decision. When you choose to become the administrator of your own life, it causes conflict, confusion and stress.

Jesus says in Matthew 16:24: “If you want to be my disciples, you have to forget to do your own will. They have to be willing to carry their cross and do what I tell them “.

This is what Christians tend to do: when we become believers in Christ, we give him the driver’s seat and then we immediately jump into the back seat and become drivers of the back seat.

We are constantly giving him “advice” such as, “No, turn here”. Stop. Wait. Faster! I want to go that way. I want to see that view.”

Your life does not look very beautiful when you try to lead with God at the same time!!

You just need to let God be God and invite Jesus to be the administrator of your life!

Tammy and I are here for YOU! Email us with any and all of your prayer requests.

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Anger confounds many people in our world today. We simply don’t know how to handle our anger like we have in the past. One of the Bible’s simplest yet most profound answers for our anger comes in Proverbs 29:11: “Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold it back”.

Think before you speak.

Delay is a tremendous remedy for anger. You don’t need to delay indefinitely. If you’ve got an issue you need to deal with, you need to do so. Anger delayed indefinitely becomes bitterness. That’s worse than anger. Anger isn’t always a sin. Bitterness is.

If you respond instantly, you tend to respond in anger. If you wait to talk about whatever conflict you’re dealing with, you’ll be more rational and reasonable when you do. The longer you hold your temper, the better your response will be. Give yourself time to think.

When conflict arises and you give yourself time to think, what should you think about? Consider these five questions:

T: Is it Truthful? Is what I’m about to say the truth?

H: Is it Helpful? Or will it simply harm the other person?

I: Is it Inspirational? Does it build up or does it tear down?

N: Is it Necessary? If it’s not necessary, why do I need to say it?

K: Is it Kind?

THINK before you speak.

Reflect before you react.

It’ll slow down your anger every time!

Tammy and I are praying for you this morning! Email us and let us know how we can lift you before the Father.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Do you show people grace?

It’s what God wants us to do, but it’s not always easy to do because we are so often focused on ourselves.

It’s easier sometimes to be selfish instead of gracious.

We see the slow checker in the grocery store line as a five-minute interruption to our day rather than somebody who might be struggling to keep his job, somebody who just got the worst news of his life a few minutes earlier.

We see the one in our family who’s struggling right now as a drain on us rather than seeing her hopelessness over a desperate situation. We see the person who cut us off on the freeway as the physical embodiment of Satan instead of just a jerk who is in need of God’s love!

We are all jerks in need of God’s love!

That’s why Jesus Christ came into this world. And to show people grace is to remember what God has done for us. The ultimate way God shows us grace is by forgiveness. And the ultimate way he asks us to show grace to other people is by forgiving them. 

Colossians 3:13 says, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others”.

People often ask me, “How can I find the strength to forgive? I don’t have it in me.” I don’t have it in me, either! The only way I’ve ever found the strength to forgive is remembering how much Jesus has forgiven me. When I remember that, then He gives me the strength and grace to forgive others.

Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross, was reminded by a friend of an especially cruel thing that somebody had done to her years before. Barton acted like she didn’t remember it, and the friend asked, “Don’t you remember?” Her famous reply was, “No, I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

What do you need to forget? If you don’t forgive, you’re not going to enjoy God’s vision for the rest of your life, because unforgiveness will keep you stuck in the past. You need to forgive for your sake, and then you need to get on with your life. Forgiveness is not saying that what somebody did was right or that there shouldn’t be consequences for what happened. It just means that you let go of your anger and hurt and give it to God so that you can move on with God’s purpose for your life.

When that seems impossible, when you feel like you can’t be gracious toward someone, just remember one thing: Jesus forgave you. Remembering the grace God has shown you will give you the strength to be gracious to and forgive others.

Tammy and I are praying for you this morning! Email us and let us know how we can lift you before the Father.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

CALLING ALL MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS!

Sunday afternoon, October 21, we are going to TAKE OVER George Pappas Liberty Lanes from 1:30pm – 3:30pm.  That’s right, 2 hours STRAIGHT of bowling til you can’t bowl any more! All you have to do is register using the form below and bring $8 cash with you to the bowling alley Sunday!  Remember, our time starts at 1:30, so you want to be there in plenty of time to get checked in.  This price includes shoe rental and bowling; if you want food from the awesome snack bar, be sure to bring a few extra dollars to purchase food (or , you know, play in the arcade or pool tables if that’s your thing!).  We will not be providing transportation for this trip, so be sure to arrange for transportation to and from Liberty Lanes.  Can’t wait to see you all there!

Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018

Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Place: George Pappas’ Liberty Lanes

2501 S York Rd, Gastonia, NC 28052

Cost: $8.00

REGISTER HERE: