One of the great fears we all face is the fear of the future. We fear for the futures of our families, our friends, our jobs, our communities — and everything in between.

It’s natural. We’re not in control. But that realization should drive us to trust God more deeply.

We might not be in control of our future, but God is. He created the whole universe. If he wanted to, the Lord could just snap it out of existence in a moment. Yet he is working his plan in history. He is moving history to a climax, a destiny. One day Jesus Christ will come back to Earth. Nothing will stop that. Just as he is working in history to move events toward that day, he will work in your life for a purpose, too — if you’ll let him.

The Bible says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28).

God’s Word doesn’t say that everything is good. It also doesn’t say that God causes everything. He doesn’t cause war. He doesn’t cause cancer. He doesn’t cause rape, abortion, abuse, or molestation. He doesn’t cause evil. We do that. God gives us the freedom to choose. Evil is the price of that freedom.

But the Bible does say that God causes everything to work together for good. He can take the dumb, evil, and bad decisions I’ve made in my life and use them for good if I’ll trust him. Romans 8:28 isn’t a promise for everyone, though. It’s for “those who love God.” It’s for those who trust God and say, “Here, Lord, you take all the broken pieces of my life and put them together.”

This is why when I read the headlines each day, I don’t worry. Sure, there are a lot of problems in the world today, but God is still in control. God is still moving history to a climax. And God is still moving his people toward his best for them. One day God will work everything out for his purpose.

Because God is in control, we can trust him with everything — including the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives!

BECAUSE OF 180 WEEKEND FOR OUR STUDENTS- THERE ARE NO SERVICES THIS FRIDAY NIGHT.

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES ON SUNDAY!

Thank you for your gifts to BC- We are so grateful for your faithfulness- God is using our church in supernatural ways! Click here to give online- THANK YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

If Tammy and I can pray for you, email us– We love you!

We will all be hurt in this life. Many times we’ll be hurt intentionally by what people say about us or what people do to us. In fact, any time we read the word “forgiveness” we instantly call to mind certain heartaches, hurts, and problems from our past. The memories are still fresh because we’ve been hurt very deeply.

Because of how deeply we’ve been hurt, it’s hard to consider forgiving the perpetrators. But the Bible gives us one very important reason we need to forgive.

We forgive others because God forgave us.

The Bible says in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”. Ponder how much God has forgiven you, and it’ll cause you to be more forgiving of those who have hurt you.

The opposite is also true. If you don’t feel forgiven, you’ll have a hard time forgiving others. If you typically have a tough time forgiving others, you may not truly feel forgiven yourself.

Think of it like this: God has completely wiped your sin slate clean because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. All of the things you deserve to be paid back for have been cleared away because God has forgiven you. Own that statement for yourself, and you’ll find it increasingly tough to hold a grudge against someone else.

Remember this: No matter what anyone does to you, you’ll never have to forgive any other person more than God has already forgiven you!

Tammy and I are praying for you today! Email us with any requests and THANK YOU for your gifts to Bethlehem Church! God is BLESSING our church- We are grateful for your faithful giving- God has a great vision for our church! Click here to give online safely and securely- We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Heart disease is a serious problem in the USA. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in four American deaths are from heart disease.

Yet, the truth is, spiritual heart disease may be far more problematic. The most important antidote for spiritual heart disease is giving. When we give, our hearts grow bigger.

The Bible contains more promises about giving and generosity than any other subject. Why? You’re never more like God than when you give. God gives. It’s what he does. He’s generous. All you have is a gift from God. You wouldn’t take your next breath if God didn’t give it to you.

Every time you choose to give generously rather than hoarding what you have, you get a bigger — and healthier — heart.

It is not a mistake that the word “miser” and “miserable” come from the same word. There are only two kinds of people in life: takers and givers.

The Bible says in Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper”. According to the Bible, the ultimate key to prosperity isn’t your brain, your guile, or even your relationships. The ultimate key to prosperity — the kind of prosperity that honors God — is giving unselfishly to others.

Ultimately, giving is about your past, present, and future relationship with God.

  • Past: You’re grateful for all God has done in your life.
  • Present: You keep your current priorities in place. Giving reminds you that God is first in your life.
  • Future: Your giving reminds you that God will take care of your future.

Being generous with what you have tells the world who matters most to you.

The Bible says, “It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ — the gospel you say you believe — and because you freely share with them and with all others” (2 Corinthians 9:13).

God has been good to us!!!!  We live in America, we have a roof over our head and running clean water, and with that, all of us are truly blessed by God!

With that said, Tammy and I want to invite you offer up to God this morning a verbal…“Thank You Lord for waking me up and blessing my life!” 

God has been good to us all!

When you give- it is a way to say…“Thank you” to God for His blessings in your life!

You can click here to give safely and securely online…Your gifts are making a difference!

If you have a prayer need, let Tammy and I know about it…email us.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Have you noticed how many angry people there are in our world?

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 impulsively, 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 today! Email us and let us know how we can intercede for you!

Your gifts are making a difference! Our church serves 7 days a week and we cannot do it without YOU! Click here to give online- Every gift counts and it honors God- THANK YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

It is time for you to admit it! You’re not God!!

You don’t have all the answers. You can’t do everything. If you’re struggling to find balance in your life, that one admission can transform everything.

The Bible says, “Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work” (Ecclesiastes 10:15).

You’re not the general manager of the universe. You can resign. The universe will not fall apart. God has it under control.

Often one of the reasons we do this to ourselves is that we try to please everyone. Learn this lesson today: You can’t please everyone. Even God can’t please everyone! One person wants it to rain. Someone else wants it to be sunny. Only a fool would try to do what even God can’t do.

When you deny your humanity and try to do it all, you’re robbing God of his glory. The Bible reminds us of this in 2 Corinthians 4:7: “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 

Paul reminds us that we’re human beings. We’re feeble and fragile. Jars of clay break easily. If you drop them, they shatter. Clay pots have to be handled appropriately and with care. If not, they’ll be destroyed.

But the good news is that through our feebleness, the power and glory of God shines through. Your humanity isn’t something to hide. Instead let’s celebrate the power of God working through our limitations.

So admit it: You’re human. Thank God for that!

Tammy and I are praying for YOU! Email us and let us know how we can be there for you.

Thank you for your gifts! God is doing AMAZING things in our Church and we are better together! Click here to give online safely and securely- THANK YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

GET UP AND GET IN CHURCH TODAY! WE CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU!

You need more power than just willpower in your life. You need God’s power in your life.

The “fruit of the Spirit” are the qualities that God puts in your life when the Holy Spirit lives through you. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

How does God produce the fruit in your life? Not by willpower. You don’t go out and say, “I’m going to be a more patient person!” That doesn’t work!!

The Holy Spirit has to grow it on the inside. You try to say, “I’m going to be more patient. I’m going to be more loving.” It’s like tying some oranges on an apple tree and calling it an orange tree. It doesn’t work that way. Fruit can only come from the inside — his Spirit living through you.

How does the Holy Spirit work in your life? The answer is gradually: “And the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When God wants to make a mushroom, he takes six hours. When God wants to make an oak tree, he takes 60 years. The question is: Do you want your life to be a mushroom or an oak tree?

You didn’t collect your hurts, habits, and hang-ups overnight. It took you a long time to get as messed up as you are! Someone approached me once and said, “Pastor Dickie, I need you to solve my marriage problem.” I said, “How long have you been married?” Fifteen years.How long have you had this problem?” Ten years.

And you want a five-second answer? It isn’t going to happen! You’ve got to peel that onion one layer at a time.

The Holy Spirit works within us to become gradually more and more like him. Your character is the sum total of your habits. Your responsibility is to develop new habits to change!!

Don’t Miss CHURCH tomorrow-It WILL help YOU!

Email Tammy and me with any prayer requests.

Thank you for your faithful giving to Bethlehem Church-God is doing GREAT THINGS! You can click here to give safely and securely online- We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

In Jesus’ most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, he explains the choices that help us heal from our hurts and hang-ups, and the habits that mess up our lives. The first Beatitude, Matthew 5:3, says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

What does it mean to be “poor in spirit”? Jesus is saying that nobody gets into Heaven who is full of pride. We get there by grace. To be poor in spirit, you must humbly admit you need help.

Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” You’ve got to face the truth about yourself and stop living in denial. We call this the reality choice.

But the truth is, we don’t like the truth. We love the truth about everybody else, but we don’t like the truth about ourselves. It feels a whole lot safer to avoid the truth about yourself because it is painful to face. The truth will set you free, but first it makes you miserable when you realize what needs changing in your life.

The good news is your habits and your hurts and your hang-ups can be healed. The bad news is it takes humility. You’ve got to humble yourself and swallow your pride. James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble”.

There are some facts that you need to admit about yourself if God’s going to bless your life, and the first one is this: You are broken.

We live in a broken world where nothing works perfectly. The economy doesn’t work perfectly, our relationships don’t work perfectly, and our bodies don’t work perfectly.

Everybody’s confused today. They don’t know what they’re supposed to be or what they’re supposed to do. We’ve confused attitudes, attractions, and addictions. Even our identities are confused.

Yet, all you have to be is yourself. But that includes the understanding you’re broken! And that’s OK, because once you make the choice to admit it, you’re on the path to humility, which leads to grace.

And God’s grace will cover your brokenness, hurts, habits, and hang-ups. That’s good news!

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES TODAY AT 7PM!! We have programming for kids too! Invite a friend to come with you…It will help YOU!

Your gifts are being used to change our World! THANK YOU! Click here to give safe and securely…God bless you!

Email Tammy and me with any prayer requests…we love you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Have you ever heard the old phrase, “If you want to soar with the eagles, you can’t run with the turkeys”?

If you’re going to be wise, you’ve got to get some wise people in your life.

You don’t need a lot of friends in life. You don’t need to be popular. You just need a few good friends who build you up, not tear you down, who are wise, not fools. If you hang around with fools, that’s what you become.

We always grow in community. You cannot grow to spiritual maturity by yourself. You could become a monk and move to the top of a mountain and spend your life in silence and reading books. You would grow in knowledge, but you wouldn’t grow in wisdom.

Why? Because wisdom is all about love.

Wisdom shows up primarily in relationships. That’s why a lot of people have educational degrees, but their marriages are falling apart. They’re educated, but they’re not wise.

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:20, “Spend time with the wise and you will become wise, but the friends of fools will suffer”.

If I stand on the edge of a stage, and I’m trying to pull you up while you’re trying to pull me down, which is easier to do? It’s always easier for somebody to pull you down than pull you up. People who pull you down are not your friends. Friends pull you up. Friends encourage you in your pursuit of godly wisdom by offering their own.

Do you have anybody in your life who is giving input for good on a regular basis?

Maybe your next step is to get in a Life Group?  Don’t miss our Life Group “Meet and Greet” this Sunday from 6pm to 7pm- Click here to view some of our Life Groups.

You need encouragement from others in your life if you want to be a wise person!

Please let Tammy and me know how we can pray for you- email us.

Praying you have a Terrific Thursday!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Thanks for your faithful giving to BC! Click here to give safely and securely.

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.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFTS! We are working hard serving our Community- Your gifts go a LONG WAY in helping those in need! Click here to give online!

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

 

Invite a friend with you this weekend!

You can learn a lot by looking at your past.

You’ve heard the saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” That’s true — but it’s only part of the story. You can’t heal the most pervasive, costly wounds in your life by focusing only on your past. To defeat those giants, you’ll have to look ahead.

Too often we try to find healing by looking in our rearview mirrors. When we do that, we’re more likely to crash than heal.

In Job 11, God tells us clearly how to get rid of painful memories and move on with our lives. He says, “Put your heart right, Job. Reach out to God…Then face the world again, firm and courageous. Then all your troubles will fade from your memory, like floods that are past and remembered no more” (Job 11:13, 15-16).

First, put your heart right. You do what’s right — no matter what the other person does. It’s always right to forgive those who’ve hurt you.

Second, reach out to God. Invite Jesus into every room in the house of your heart. Often, we’ve invited him into the front room (accepted Jesus as our Savior) — but not the bedroom, kitchen, or garage.

Third, face the world again. Don’t hide in a shell or withdraw so you don’t get hurt again. Move forward. Learn to live again.

Your past is not your future. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you’ve done it with, or how long you’ve done it. Throughout Scripture, God forgives murderers, adulterers, and slackers, and He uses them to do his work in the world.

You, too, have a great future ahead of you. Put your heart right, reach out to God, and face the world again.

And then let God do something incredible through you!

We care about YOU! If Tammy and I can be praying for you, please let us know. Email us!

Begin NOW inviting someone to church with you this weekend…What God has done for you, He wants to do for your friends!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Thank you for your gifts to the Work of God here at Bethlehem! We have made it safe, secure, and easy to give! Click here and you can give online…We could not do the ministry here at BC without your support!