Sometimes we need God to shake up our lives.

It’s particularly true when we find ourselves locked up in prisons of our own making, like a habit we can’t escape or a pain in our past that’s keeping us from God’s best or fear that keeps us from taking an important step in life.

If that’s where you find yourself today, you may not be behind physical bars, but you might as well be. God always wants you to live in freedom, so God sends an earthquake.

God did this for the apostle Paul. In Acts 16, Paul was in a real, physical prison. And he needed a miracle to get out of it—so that’s what God gave him.

The Bible says, “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” (Acts 16:26). As the walls came down, Paul walked out of prison.

Sometimes God must also shake your foundations to set you free. You’ll lose a job. A treasured relationship will end. A health crisis will arrive. That’s when you start re-examining what you believe about yourself, about others, and about God.

Maybe you’re in the midst of one of these situations right now. You’re tempted to think that God has forgotten you or that he is upset with you.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes God sends an earthquake into your life because he loves you, not because he is angry with you.

God uses earthquakes to shake us up—and then to set us free.

So try this: Instead of letting an earthquake in your life create distance between you and God, let it start a time of reflection.

Ask God, “What prison can this earthquake free me from?”

And then watch the walls come down.

If you’re tired of being in prison and you want to walk through the door to freedom, you can pray a simple prayer of belief today. Just say, “Lord, I bring you the things that have imprisoned me, things I’ve been ashamed of, regrets, resentments, and worries. I don’t want to live that way anymore. I want to live a life of freedom. Today, I want to walk through the door of freedom—your Son, Jesus Christ. As much as I know how, I want to follow you. I ask you to come into my life and fill me with your love and your Spirit. Push all the fear out. Push all the pain out. Fill me with a new sense of hope. I don’t want to live in prison anymore. I want to walk through the doors of opportunity that you have planned for me. I’m asking you today to save me and to accept me into your family. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email Tammy and me and let us know about it.  We would like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Click here to give online- God is WORKING MIRACLES through our church- Thank You for your gifts!

We are looking for High School Summer Interns to serve at Crowder’s Ridge Camp! This internship provides a unique opportunity for high school students to serve and be developed as leaders. The internship is a service program developed especially for high schools students. Interns will serve groups here at Crowders Ridge and receive leadership lessons and discipleship from our staff.

This summer, Crowder’s Ridge is opening two weeks for Bethlehem High school students only! Each of these weeks, we need 4 male interns and 6 female interns. If you are interested, fill out our registration form ASAP!

Our two weeks are:

Week 1: July 22-29th

Week 2: July 29th – August 4th

Want to serve both? Let us know on your registration form. We will see how many sign up and let you know!

Now… GO REGISTER! Click the link below!

>>>High School – CR Camp Intern Form <<<

Setbacks will come your way. You can’t avoid them. You may lose a job, a relationship, or your health. And when you do, you start to fear.

But you don’t have to stay afraid. Here are two important steps you need to take to break free from fear: 

  1. Remember how much God loves you.He will never stop loving you. He won’t love you any more or any less. His love is unconditional and eternal. The Bible says, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them . . . There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:16, 18).

When you invite God into the front door of your life, fear goes out the back door. Love and fear can’t stay together. In real love, there is no fear.

God is perfect love, and he drives out all fear. The more you get to know God, the less you’ll be afraid.

  1. Remember that God’s plan is good.God doesn’t have bad plans for you. That doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen to you. But the Bible tells us in Romans 8:28, “We know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into his plans”.

    The Bible says “all that happens” fits into God’s good plan—not just the good stuff. He can and will bring good out of anything.

When Jesus died on the cross, God brought tremendous good out of the bad. Anyone can bring good out of good. God specializes in bringing good out of bad.

Both of those truths revolve around this one: You must choose faith over fear. When you’re experiencing a setback, trusting that God loves you and has a plan for you isn’t easy, but it’s the only path forward.

If you’re tired of being in prison and you want to walk through the door to freedom, you can pray a simple prayer of belief today. Just say, “Lord, I bring you the things that have imprisoned me, things I’ve been ashamed of, regrets, resentments, and worries. I don’t want to live that way anymore. I want to live a life of freedom. Today, I want to walk through the door of freedom—your Son, Jesus Christ. As much as I know how, I want to follow you. I ask you to come into my life and fill me with your love and your Spirit. Push all the fear out. Push all the pain out. Fill me with a new sense of hope. I don’t want to live in prison anymore. I want to walk through the doors of opportunity that you have planned for me. I’m asking you today to save me and to accept me into your family. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email Tammy and me and let us know about it. We would like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

Have a Great Monday!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Click here to give online and support the INCREDIBLE Work that God is doing at our church!

What do you do with the feelings that come from disappointment in a relationship? You can’t stuff them away; they are just going to pop out somewhere else. You need to trust God and tell him all your problems because he is your protection.

Tell him you are angry or disappointed, or that you feel nothing. In those times when you feel nothing, when you feel like you’ve lost the love, go to God and tell him that — then trust him. Hebrews 10:23 teaches us, “We can trust God to do what he promised.”

Love is a feeling, but it is also an action. And when you lose the feeling to love someone, move forward with the action of loving them and that will help you reclaim your feelings of love. Is this hypocritical? No, it’s being human. We all lose the feeling to love at some time. It usually happens when we decide to live with a problem instead of talking it out or openly facing it.

Start by telling God your feelings about the problem. From there, he can begin to give you the strength to talk to your loved one about it. As you do this, God will begin to restore your feeling of love for that person. He does what Lamentations 5:21 says, “Turn us around and bring us back to you again! That is our only hope! Give us back the joys we used to have!”.

That is my prayer for you. Whether you are a husband or a wife who needs to let go of a disappointment or misunderstanding — or if you need to accept the differences you have with a close friend — I pray that God will begin to bring back your joy. But it’s a process, and it begins when you decide to trust God and tell him your feelings.

We are talking about “Breaking Free” today at Bethlehem- We ALL need help in this area-Come Worship with Us!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Thanks for your gifts- Click here to give online- We thank God for our faithfulness!

I want you to think of somebody who irritates you — maybe somebody you’ve got a strained relationship with or who just rubs you the wrong way. I have two questions for you: One, do you pray for that person? Or do you just complain and grumble and nag and nitpick? If you prayed more, you’d have a lot less to grumble, complain, nag, and nitpick about. It’s your choice!!

Does nagging work? No. Does prayer work? Yes.

So why do you do more of the thing that doesn’t work than the one that does?

Paul says in Philippians 1:4, “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy”.

Paul didn’t just pray for people in his life. He prayed with joy!

Positive praying is more effective than positive thinking. All the positive thinking in the world isn’t going to change your husband or your wife or your child or your friend or your situation. Positive thinking can change you, but it won’t change somebody else. But positive prayer can make a difference in someone else.

Do you want to know the quickest way to change a bad relationship to a good one? Start praying for the other person! It will change you, and it can change the other person.

Paul even told us how to pray for others: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11).

From these verses, we can learn to pray for the people in our lives in four ways:

Pray that they will grow in love: “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.”

Pray that they will make wise choices: “… so that you may be able to discern what is best …”

Pray that they will live with integrity: “… and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ …”

Pray that they will become like Jesus: “… filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.”

Pray these for yourself and anyone else in your life, and watch how God turns around the relationship you thought was hopeless. Nothing is impossible with God!

I AM SERIOUS.- DO NOT MISS SERVICE TOMORROW!! You will walk out stronger than you were when you walked in!

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Thank you for your gifts! God is blessing our churches ministry in our community and you can give safely and securely online by clicking here. Thank You!

It’s easy to talk about relationships when everything is going great, but what do you do when things are headed in the wrong direction? How do you turn around a relationship?

One of our greatest frustrations is when we don’t see things the way someone else sees them. Differences can be a cause of great delight at times, but they can also cause a lot of agony.

You need to realize that God has made you different and then thank him for your differences.

From the very beginning of the Bible, God created us differently, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Men and women are different physically, but also in the way we work, think, shop, even watch TV – we do everything differently. And we should rejoice in those differences.

If two people agree on everything, one of them isn’t necessary in that relationship. The fact is that God has put you in a relationship – be it marriage or a good friendship – where you probably look at life differently from each other or have different backgrounds. Because of that, you each bring things to the relationship that could not be there otherwise.

God made you different so you can complement each other, complete each other, and strengthen each other.

The Bible says “Accept one another then just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). When you accept each other for your differences, it not only helps your relationship, it brings praise to God. Why? Because you’re accepting the fact that God made you different so you can learn from each other and grow in relationship to each other.

That’s the starting point for turning your relationships around – thank God for your differences!!

DO NOT MISS SERVICES TONIGHT AT 7PM!! No matter if you are single, married, divorced, separated, or struggling in a relationship- This WILL help YOU!

If you need prayer, let Tammy and me know- email us.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Thank you for your faithfulness to give! Click here to give safely and securely- We thank God for you!

If there is any high and low that is greater than any other, it is the high and low of relationships. You can experience the high of joy and the low of disappointment sometimes within minutes of each other.

When you find yourself struggling with each other’s faults, go to God with your disappointments.

Disappointments come into relationships because none of us are perfect. We have an idealized view of love, relationships, and marriage, and when reality doesn’t match up to this picture it leaves us disappointed.

We will never have the perfect wedding or the perfect marriage or the perfect family because we are imperfect, sinful people. The idea that two imperfect, sinful people can come together and have a perfect relationship is unrealistic. You need to adjust your expectations.

One of the reasons we are often disappointed in our relationships is because we’re asking another human being to meet needs that only God can meet. Another human being can’t promise you that they will always be with you or that they won’t fail you. Only God can meet those promises. He tells us in his Word, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

When we get to heaven, there will be no more disappointment or pain. Until then, you can choose to keep loving. As 1 Corinthians 13:7 says, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance”.

Do not miss our services this weekend- We are going to look at beginning our New Series: “Breaking Free” – Do not miss this service! Invite someone to come with YOU!

Your gifts are changing lives! Click here to give online safely and securely- God bless you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

If Tammy and I can be praying for you, please let us know. Email us.

If you want to connect with someone, you’ve got to be willing to take the first step.

This often takes courage. Why? Because it’s fear that disconnects human beings. When we’re full of fear and anxiety, we don’t get close to each other. In fact, we back off. We’re afraid of being rejected, manipulated, vulnerable, hurt, used. All of these fears cause us to be disconnected in life.

This fear is as old as mankind. When Adam and Eve sinned and God came looking for Adam, Adam said, “I was afraid, and I hid.” People have been hiding ever since!!

We’re afraid, so we hide. We hide our true selves. We don’t let people know what we’re really like, because if we do and they don’t like us, we face rejection. And so we pretend.

Fear does three terrible things to relationships:

  1. Fear makes us defensive. When people point out weaknesses, we retaliate and defend ourselves.
  2. Fear keeps us distant. We don’t let people get close to us. We withdraw. We hide our emotions.
  3. Fear makes us demanding. The more insecure we are, the more we try to control things. We try to have the last word in a relationship. We try to dominate.

So where do you get the courage to take the first step to connect with someone and go into a deeper level of intimacy?

You get it from God’s Spirit in your life. The Bible says, “For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7).

How do you know when you’re filled with God’s Spirit? You’re more courageous in your relationships. You love people. You enjoy being with them. You’re not afraid of them, because God’s Spirit is in your life.

The Bible says “God is love” and “Love casts out all fear.” The more of God you have in your life, the less fear you’re going to have in your life!

If Tammy and I can pray for you and your family, please email us.

Thank you for your gifts to Bethlehem- God is doing INCREDIBLE things through your generosity! Lives are being changed because of your faithfulness-Thank You! Click here to give safely and securely online.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

What an INCREDIBLE Easter at Bethlehem!

We had INCREDIBLE attendance and so many guests and baptisms—Thank you for your support and prayers- God is DOING GREAT THINGS!!

Enjoy this beautiful day and invite someone to come with you next weekend as we begin a new series called “Breaking Free”. We want to help you rise above the things that want to drag you down! 

Tammy and I are SO grateful for you and your family and we are praying that God will shine His Light on you today!

God bless you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Jesus’ death and resurrection make us acceptable to God.

Would you be surprised to know that most people do not accept themselves? I’ve been a pastor now for over 30 years and I’ve talked to thousands of people, and I’ve found that most people really don’t like themselves inside. They wish they were different. They wish they looked different. They wish they acted different.

We don’t accept ourselves and so we spend our lives trying to find acceptance among other people; but even more important than being accepted by other people is being accepted by God. That’s a problem. Why? Because God is perfect and you’re not. And neither am I.

God lives in a perfect place called heaven, so God has a problem. How does he get imperfect people into a perfect place where he is perfect? (Because, obviously, if he allowed imperfect people in a perfect place it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.) God has to come up with a plan for imperfect people to be able to live in a perfect place.

God’s plan is what I call “The Great Exchange.”

The Bible says, “God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us!” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

I don’t know how to make it any clearer than to say it like this: You’re never going to be good enough to get into heaven because it’s perfect and you stopped being perfect a long time ago. It is Christ’s goodness in you that makes you acceptable. 

You’re not perfect, but he is. So God says, “We’ll do an exchange here. Jesus will take your sins and you get my goodness in your life.” That’s quite a deal!

Come celebrate with us TODAY!

We have 5 Services for you to choose from!

 8:30 at our North Campus

 9:30 & 11 at our South Campus

8:45 & 10:15 at our West Campus

Thank you for your gifts! Click here to give online safely and securely! We thank God for you!

He Has Risen!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy