You know that problem you’d like to get rid of in your life?

That temptation, defect, fault, fear, worry, loneliness — whatever is in your life that messes you up? You’re never going to get rid of it on your own. If you could, you would, but you can’t, so you won’t. You’re only going to get well when you’re honest with God — and with other people.

You say, “I don’t want to do that. That makes me uncomfortable. Why should I do that?” Because it humbles you, and God gives grace to the humble.

It’s your pride that keeps you stuck.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up”.

God wired us so that we need each other. You were never meant to face your problems or your sins by yourself. We need each other. We have a longing for belonging. We’re to help each other out.

James 5:16 is one of the most important verses for your health and holiness as you get over your habits and hang-ups: “Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed”.

You’ve heard me say it before: Revealing your feeling is the beginning of healing. It’s based on James 5:16. The way you get well in life is by revealing your feeling. When somebody comes up to me and says, “Pastor Dickie, I’ve never told this to anybody,” I know that person is on the road to recovery, because when you share something for the first time, you’re opening the closet door where the boogeyman hides — but it turns out he’s not as big as you thought he was, and you breathe a sigh of relief. There is relief and healing in admitting and sharing. Why? Because the moment you do that, you humble yourself, and God gives grace to the humble.

This is the hardest step because it really hits your pride. You don’t mind telling God about your habit, but you’re not about to tell anybody else. Your stomach just starts churning even thinking about it.

If that’s the case, you’re going to be stuck in that sin the rest of your life because you’re never going to get well on your own. God has wired you in a way that you need other people to help you grow.

If all you want to do is be forgiven, tell God. But if you want to be healed, you’ve got to tell other people!

If you need prayer for ANYTHING in your life…email us.

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

We all want our lives to be better!

We pray…“God please CHANGE ME”!!

Although God could instantly transform us, he has chosen to develop us slowly.

Jesus was deliberate in developing his disciples, just as God allowed the Israelites to take over the Promised Land “little by little,” so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed. (Deuteronomy 7:22) He prefers to work in incremental steps in our lives.

Why does it take so long to change and grow up? There are several reasons:

  • We are slow learners. We often have to relearn a lesson forty or fifty times to really get it. The problems keep recurring, and we think, “Not again! I’ve already learned that!”—but God knows better. The history of Israel illustrates how quickly we forget the lessons God teaches us and how soon we revert to our old patterns of behavior. We need repeated exposure.
  • We have a lot to unlearn. Many people go to a counselor with a personal or relational problem that took years to develop and say, “I need you to fix me. I’ve got an hour.” They naïvely expect a quick solution to a long-standing, deep-rooted difficulty. Since most of our problems—and all of our bad habits—didn’t develop overnight, it’s unrealistic to expect them go away immediately. There is no pill, prayer, or principle that will instantly undo the damage of many years. It requires the hard work of removal and replacement. The Bible calls it “taking off the old self” and “putting on the new self.” (Romans 13:12; Ephesians 4:22-25; Col. 3:7-10, 14) While you were given a brand new nature at the moment of conversion, you still have old habits, patterns, and practices that need to be removed and replaced.
  • Growth is often painful and scary. There is no growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is no loss without pain. Every change involves a loss of some kind: You must let go of old ways in order to experience the new. We fear these losses, even if our old ways were self-defeating, because, like a worn out pair of shoes, they were at least comfortable and familiar.
  • Good habits take time to develop. Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits. You can’t claim to be kind unless you are habitually kind—you show kindness without even thinking about it. You can’t claim to have integrity unless it is your habit to always be honest. A husband who is faithful to his wife most of the time is not faithful at all! Your habits define your character.

There is only one way to develop the habits of Christ-like character: You must practice them—and that takes time!

There are no instant habits.

Paul urged Timothy, “Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15)

Tammy and I thank God for you…please let us know how we can pray for you…email us.

We love you!!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is just go take a nap. That’s because when you’re physically down, it’s hard to be emotionally and spiritually up. The legendary football (U.S.) coach Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” That’s true. It’s amazing how much better things look when you’re rested.

If you’re discouraged right now, it might not mean you have to make a change; it may simply be that you need some rest.

Farmers know that soil needs rest, so they rotate their crops and systematically leave a portion of their land fallow. They do this because land that has rested produces a greater harvest.

About one hundred years ago, a businessman named Frederick W. Taylor did a scientific study on the workplace and productivity. Do you know what his study proved? People will produce more if they have periodic breaks; and from that, he introduced the coffee break.

Resting is spiritual. The Bible says God “enjoys giving rest to those He loves” (Psalm 127:2). You may need to put that verse on your refrigerator. The Bible says it’s vain for you to rise up early and stay up late.

The Bible also says, “You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws” (Psalm 119:73). What are His laws for the body? Eat right, rest, get your sleep, exercise, and WORSHIP!!

Rest is so important, in fact, that God put it in the Ten Commandments. In essence, He said, “Every seventh day you are to rest.”

THIS IS A DAY TO WORSHIP! COME ON OUT TO BETHLEHEM TODAY! I KNOW THAT GOD HAS AN AMAZING WORD TO GIVE TO YOU!

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

What are the things you’re worried about?

The heat?

Your health?

Your bills?

Your kids?

Are you worried about the future?

The fact is there are lots of reasons to be afraid in today’s world. But God’s promise is that, even in your darkest valleys, he is walking beside you.

It’s interesting to note that there are 365 verses in the Bible that say, “Fear not.” God provided us with one “Fear not” message for every day of the year! Don’t you think God is saying, “Get the message. Don’t be afraid.”

It’s interesting that almost every time God talks to someone in the Bible, the first thing he says is, “Don’t be afraid!” 

Why? Because our hurts and hang-ups can often cause us to think that God is out to get us, that all he wants to do is condemn us and punish us. But that simply isn’t true. Jesus is the proof of that.

When we understand God’s grace and mercy, then we have no need to fear the future. God isn’t trying to get even with you. Jesus has taken the penalty for everything you’ve ever done wrong or will do wrong. He paid for it on the cross. So when a bad thing happens, you don’t have to think, “God’s getting even with me.” Instead, remember, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalms 23:4).

Our services tomorrow will be “OFF THE HOOK” – DO NOT MISS IT!

If you need prayer, email us.

Tammy and I love you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Why is it so important to keep our anger under control?  Because uncontrolled anger can become a habitual way of responding to life.

Pretty soon, your anger controls you instead of you controlling your anger!!

The Book of Proverbs is filled with practical steps on how to control your anger. Let me share three.  The easiest way to remember them is to remember a little phase that you may have learned as a child when you were taught to cross the street:  Stop, Look, Listen.

  1. Stop. Stop and think before you speak. I don’t know why it is, but angry words always seem to come easily.  I know some people who, when they get angry, are witty, sarcastic, quick!  But a sharp tongue is the quickest way to cut your throat.

Proverbs 14:17 says, “A quick tempered man does foolish things.” And Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath but harsh words stir up anger.” The starting point in dealing with anger is to stop and watch what you say.

  1. Look. Look at the situation from God’s point of view, not your point-of-view. That means be mature enough to overlook minor hurts, frustrations and insecurities.  If somebody insults you, criticizes you, or puts you down, be mature enough to say, “It’s not going to bother me.” Proverbs 12:16 says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience.  It is his glory to overlook an offense.”

Anger, like every other emotion, is caused by the way you see a situation. If you want to control your anger, one way to do it is to change your point-of-view.

  1. Listen. Listen to the needs and hurts of those people that you’re tempted to be angry against. Any angry person is just a hurting person.  They’re hurting inside, they’re frustrated. When you listen to their needs, it’s easier to respond and not get angry.

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  (James 1:19) If you do the first two, the third will come automatically.  If you are quick to listen and slow to speak, it is going to be automatic that you are slow to become angry.

God wants to help us with our emotions! If Tammy and I can pray for you, please let us know…email us. We love you!

Can’t wait to see you today at our Friday Night Church service at 7PM…our service is going to be INCREDIBLE!

See you tonight!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

When life seems to be falling apart, your most “spiritual” decision may be a surprise: Get alone with God, and wait.

The Bible tells us this in Lamentations 3:28, “When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The ‘worst’ is never the worst” (Lamentations 3:28).

Most of us don’t know how to “enter the silence.” We’re always anxious. We don’t like to wait on God because it stresses us out. We like to be in control.

What does it mean to wait on God? You sit down, close your mouth, and just listen to God. You may read your Bible. You may pray. But most all, you’re quiet in front of God.

Anxiety comes when we’re not “waiting for hope to appear,” as Jeremiah tells us. God wants to talk to us. He wants to give us the hope we crave. But we’re way too busy. All of our circuits are busy! When he calls, we’re on a different line.

If we want to listen to God and experience the hope he has for us, we have to get alone with him. We must “enter the silence” and be ready to hear him.

Jesus also said this in Matthew 6:6: “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace”.

Get honest with God, and your focus will shift from just seeing your problems — no matter how overwhelming they seem — to the grace of God.

Lamentations 3:25-26 says, “The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him, so it is best for us to wait in patience — to wait for him to save us”.

Before you go out and try to solve your problem on your own, let God save you. It’s like in those war movies when the enemy is marching toward the hero’s army — which is usually an inferior, ragtag group. The hero tells his men to wait until he gives the order to shoot. Then, at the last possible moment, he yells, “Shoot!” Firing at the right moment means success.

The same is true for us. No matter what obstacle you’re facing, you’ve got to wait for God’s timing. He’ll time your next move perfectly.

So wait and listen.

Tammy and I would LOVE to see you on Friday Night for our Friday Night Church service at 7PM! It is going to be so good!! Kids programming too!

If you have a prayer need, email us.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

We all have times of anxiety and stress…God wants to help you!!

The concept of waiting on God is a spiritual habit. It is the single greatest antidote to anxiety and tension. It’s a spiritual discipline that you must learn to do or you will be under stress your entire life.

This is what it means to wait on God: you sit down and shut up. Find a place to be quiet and sit still in silence. Don’t read anything. Don’t pray. Just take some deep breaths, sit before God and say, “God, I’m just going to wait on you.” It’s amazing what a calming ability this has on your heart and mind. “Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. …They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

God wants to talk to you. If you aren’t hearing him, it’s because you aren’t making time in your schedule to listen to him. You’re too busy on your phone, watching Netflix, playing video games or checking social media. You might be overworking.

If you want to hear God, you need to sit in silence. Turn off all the electronics and remove yourself from all the distractions. Find a comfortable place and sit there. Tell God you’re waiting to hear from him and then listen. Be quiet.

This is what Jesus told the disciples to do: “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace” (Matthew 6:6-7). That’s the power of a quiet time.

So here is my challenge to you: Every day for the next 3 days, I want you to spend 10 minutes in silence before God. Tell God you’re there to wait on him, and then just sit there. You can read a little bit and talk to God in prayer, but the majority of your time needs to be spent in silence before God. You’ll be amazed at the new strength you will find.

“The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him, so it is best for us to wait in patience – to wait for him to save us” (Lamentations 3:25-26). Wait in patience and wait for God to save you. When your world falls apart, you want to put it back together instantly, but that won’t happen. It didn’t fall apart instantly, and it’s going to take time to put things back together. But wait in patience, because God’s timing is perfect!

He is FOR YOU!

Let Tammy and I pray for you this Wednesday! Email us!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

If you’re discouraged because of God’s delay in answering your prayers, understand the delay is NOT a denial.

Just because the answer hasn’t come – YET – that doesn’t mean God isn’t going to answer or that he’s forgotten you or that he doesn’t care about you.

It simply means “not yet!”

Part of becoming spiritually mature is learning the difference between “no” and “not yet,” between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37)

God’s delay may be a test of your patience. Anybody can be patient once. And, most people can be patient twice. And, a lot of us can be patient three times. So God tests our patience over and over and over.

Why? So he can see how patient you are? No!

He does it so you can see how patient you are.

So you’ll know what’s inside you, and you’ll be able to know your level of commitment. God tests you so that you can know He is faithful, even if the answers you seek are delayed.

If you’re discouraged, turn it around by remembering God teaches you patience during delay. Ask him to transform your discouragement into patience!

We are agreeing with you in prayer today! Email us with your requests.

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

We live in a C R A Z Y world!  We need courage!

To live with Godly courage and stand up for Christ, you have to learn how to clarify your worldview — what you base your beliefs on. You also have to understand the non-Christian worldviews that compete for your devotion every day. Here are the four most popular anti-Christian worldviews:

Materialism: What matters most is money. Materialists measure their success by wealth, but you didn’t bring anything into the world, and you won’t take anything out of it. You were made for more than things. Luke 12:15 says, “Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions”. The greatest things in life aren’t things.

Hedonism: Whatever feels good is good. For hedonists, pleasure is their god. Their goal in life is to be comfortable and have fun. But happiness is not the goal in life; happiness is a by-product of living out your purpose. Holiness creates happiness. “Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the spirit” (Galatians 6:8).

Individualism: What I want comes first. America was built on rugged individualism, and today that has evolved into a culture of narcissism. But God didn’t create you to live for you. If you want to follow Jesus, you have to put aside your selfish ambition. Romans 2:8 says, “For those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger”. God opposes self-centeredness because God is love, and love is never selfish.

Communism: Government should control everything. God is not an anarchist; everything should be done in order. You need to understand: Politics is the religion of people who don’t know God. There is nothing wrong with politics, but it shouldn’t be your savior. “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). I’m to be a responsible citizen, but I do not owe government my life. My greater loyalty is to God and not to government.

What is the result of these worldviews? The crumbling of our culture, crisis in our schools, corruption in our businesses, chaos in our government, carnality in our churches, confusion in our families, and conflicts in our personal lives. Any time we don’t go by the owner’s manual, we’re the ones who get hurt. You see, we don’t really break God’s laws — they break us.

To counter these prevalent worldviews, God is calling Christians to stand up for his truth “against world opinion.” You can only do that when you have a solid foundation in God’s Word and the uncommon courage that comes from a relationship with him.

Tammy and I are praying for YOU! Email us. Praying you have a Marvelous Monday!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

To strengthen your faith, you must connect with God in worship. Worship is for God, but it also has benefits for you. Here are two of the biggest benefits of corporate worship: It renews your faith, and it restores your joy.

Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”.

How many times have you gotten up on a Sunday morning like today and said, “I am so tired. I really don’t have any energy to go to church,” but then you went to church and worshipped and afterward you were more encouraged? That happens because worship renews you. It strengthens you. It strengthens your faith!

You’re not going to get your strength renewed by watching golf on TV…That’s just going to make you lazier and lazier!

You get renewed by worshipping God with other believers!

The Bible says in Psalm 100:2, “Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy”.

Get up and come out and worship with us this morning at Bethlehem…We cannot WAIT to see you and we know the WORD that God has for you is going to be amazing!

See you this morning!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy