In Philippians 4:6-7 we find one of the most difficult passages 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 to do it: “Pray about everything…Thank him for all he has done.” 

Grateful prayer brings peace. God says that when you start to worry, stop to pray.

Parents understand the power of gratitude. 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.

The Bible urges us to be specific in our requests—and our praises. Instead of a simple “thank you for everything,” he wants us to tell him what we’re grateful for. When I say to my wife, “I’m so grateful for you”- I need to be specific about those things I am grateful for in Tammy.

God wants to hear the same things. So when you pray, tell God EXACTLY what you’re thankful for. Prayer is one of the most important ways we tell God “thank you.”

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 for an answer to our prayers, 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!

Tammy and I are praying for you today! Email us with any requests.

DON’T MISS FRIDAY NIGHT CHURCH TONIGHT! GOD HAS GIVEN ME A MESSAGE THAT IS GOING TO HELP YOU!

Tammy and I look forward to seeing you tonight!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

What happens to us when we forget God’s goodness?

When we forget God’s goodness, we start claiming credit for things God has done.

In Luke 12, Jesus tells a story of a rich man who had been very successful but didn’t give God any of the credit. This man thought he built his wealth all by himself. God says to him, “You fool. Tonight you’re going to die, and I’m going to give everything you’ve amassed to somebody else who will appreciate it and express their gratitude to me.”

That’s a sober warning!

Prideful ingratitude is the sin that got Satan kicked out of heaven, and it’s the source of all our sins. When we stop being grateful to God, we get into trouble: “Yes, [people] knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused” (Romans 1:21).

The problem with the self-made man is that he worships his maker. You may be thinking, Wait a minute; I built this business with my bare hands. But who gave you your hands? I thought up the business plan totally by myself. But who gave you your mind? I worked for where I got today by the sweat of my brow. But who gave you the ability to work so hard?

“What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why act as though you are so great, and as though you have accomplished something on your own?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Everything we have in life—the ability to see, the ability to hear, the ability to eat, our freedom, our thoughts—we owe to God.  We would not take our next breath if it weren’t for the goodness of God.  

Ingratitude is actually one of the roots of atheism; when we are ungrateful, we start dismissing or even denying what God has done. And that’s just a short step from denying that God even exists.

Yet the truth is we don’t even have to know a lot of the Bible to know a lot about God. All we have to do is walk outside. The Bible says it like this: “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God” (Romans 1:20).

When you start to doubt the goodness of God, just take a step outside your door and look around!

God has been GOOD to US! Email Tammy and me with any prayer requests- We are GRATEFUL for YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

I used to think that life was a series of hills and valleys. I thought we faced good times and bad times, and they didn’t intermix.

But that’s not how life works. There’s no time in your life when everything is good or everything is bad. No matter how good your life seems, you always have something to work on. No matter how bad life gets, you always have something to thank God for.

The Bible tells us, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Notice the Bible doesn’t tell us to thank God for everything. We’re told to thank God in everything.

There’s a big difference between the two. You don’t need to thank God for everything. You don’t have to thank God for cancer or someone’s death.

But you can be thankful for something at all times in your life. You can always find a blessing in your life to be grateful for.

In fact, God includes gratitude in the Bible’s classic text on overcoming stress in Philippians 4. When we’re stressed and worried about something in life, the Bible says to “ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart” (Philippians 4:6).

Grateful people are less stressed.

It’s hard to be stressed and grateful at the same time.

Gratitude gets your eyes off of yourself and gets them onto others. Instead of looking at what they don’t have, grateful people look at what they do have.

That choice always leads to less stress! Let’s choose Gratitude today!

Email Tammy and me with any prayer requests that you may have. God bless you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Gratitude is the world’s healthiest human emotion. It actually increases your immunity to sickness.

Plus, ungrateful people tend to be unhappy people. Nothing ever satisfies them. They never have enough. They are “when-and-then” people who think, “When such and such happens, then I’ll be happy.”

But the Bible gives us another way. First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this”.

Gratitude can change everything. For example, try this: If you’re feeling depressed, make a list of 50 things you can be grateful for. Your gratefulness will help shift your focus away from your problems and toward everything good God has done and is doing in your life.

We take much for granted. Develop the attitude of gratitude and watch your stress level go down—because there is always something to be grateful for!

As we approach summer, thank you for your support for the Ministries at Bethlehem Church! Summer is VERY BUSY AT OUR CHURCH! Camps, Mission Trips, Outreaches to our community- Your gifts help make all of this possible!

Click here to give online- We are better together!

Email Tammy and me with any prayer requests- We appreciate you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Life often brings you matters that are difficult to swallow, like a sickness, a job loss, or the death of a friend or family member. Those pills are bitter going down, and we often choke on them.

Rest assured that God is up to something good in your life even if you can’t see it. God is actively working to bring good out of whatever happens in your life. To hold on to hope in the midst of tough times, you’ll need to grab a hold of this truth.

The Bible says it this way: “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).

The Bible isn’t saying that every event in your life will be good. You and I both know that’s just not true. But it does say that when you put your whole life together, every piece of it works together for good. It’s like making a cake. You may not like the taste of each ingredient, but when it’s all put together, you can’t keep your hands off of it. God wants to bake an amazingly tasty cake with your life, and he wants to use even the distasteful and bitter elements to do it.

God also doesn’t say that everything works together “like we want it to” or that every story will have a happy ending. The reality is not every business decision will make you a million dollars. Not every couple that gets married will live happily ever after. Not every child will become captain of the football team.

Instead, the verse reminds us that we can have absolute confidence that the Master Designer of the universe causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God. (By the way, this promise is for “those who love God,” not for people who don’t know God yet.)

Hope isn’t the same as optimism. It isn’t the belief that something bad will turn out well. It’s the absolute confidence that every part of your life ultimately makes sense regardless of how it turns out this side of eternity.

From our vantage point, life looks like a mess at times. But God’s view from Heaven isn’t the same as ours.

You can’t even imagine the good that God has in store for your future. In Jeremiah 29:11b God says, “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future”.

Your future is in God’s hands — and there’s no better place for it to be!

Do not miss our services today! Tammy and I love you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The only thing in all of creation that worries is a human being. Plants don’t worry. Animals don’t worry. Only human beings act as if we don’t have a heavenly Father. When you worry about your finances, you’re basically saying, “I think God is a liar. I don’t really think he will meet my needs.” But God will, if you meet the conditions.

When I was a kid, I’d go to my dad and say, “Dad, I need some food.” Not once when I was growing up did I ever wonder, “Where is he going to get it?” It’s kind of an unwritten rule about money: Dads and moms get food, and kids eat it. Kids should not wonder, “Where are my parents going to get this money?” I never worried about it.

Worry is really a form of atheism. Every time you worry, you’re basically saying, “I don’t believe there’s a God who is going to take care of me.” If you’re a Christian and you worry, you’re acting like an orphan. You’re acting like you don’t have a heavenly Father who has already promised over and over again in Scripture, “I will meet your needs if you will obey me and do what I tell you to do.” Trust forces you to live by faith.

Worry is a warning light. Every time we worry about our finances, it’s a warning that we doubt God loves us and will take care of us. We always get into trouble when we doubt God’s love. Always.

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”.

As long as you love anything more than God, that thing is going to be a source of anxiety. There was one thing meant for first place in your life, and it’s not your family. Anything you put first in your life besides God will create anxiety, because that thing can always be lost.

Your bank account is not your security, no matter how big it gets. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”.

Put your hope in God, because he will assume responsibility for your needs if you’ll just trust Him!

Tammy and I love you! We are praying for you! Email us with any prayer requests and THANK YOU for your faithfulness to give to BC!

Can’t wait to worship tomorrow!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

There is always a cost to kindness. It inevitably causes you to sacrifice time, money, energy, reputation, privacy, or something. There was a cost for the Good Samaritan, too.

In Luke 10:34-35, it says, “Then [the Good Samaritan] put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here’”.

This guy did all he could to take care of a total stranger. First, he administered first aid at the scene of the crime. He put him on his donkey — which, by the way, means that he walked — and then took him to a motel. The Good Samaritan cared for him through the night and then paid the bill. This guy did whatever it took to show kindness.

What did he gain from it? Nothing. He didn’t even know the guy! But that’s what kindness is — when you do something for somebody without expecting anything back. So why be kind? Why show kindness when you know you won’t get anything in return?

When I did a study of that question, I read a lot of verses on kindness in the Bible, and I made a list of the many, many reasons why the Bible says we should be kind.

Here are a few of the reasons:

  • God has been kind — extravagantly kind — to you.
  • Kindness is an act of worship.
  • Kindness honors God.
  • Kindness brings you joy.

Finally, God blesses kindness: “If you feed those who are hungry and take care of the needs of those who are troubled, then your light will shine in the darkness…The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs in dry land…You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry” (Isaiah 58:10-11).

God says that when you assume responsibility for the needs of hurting people around you, he will also meet your needs. What a deal! And God always keeps his promises.

DON’T MISS OUR SERVICES TONIGHT! FRIDAY NIGHT CHURCH AT 7PM! KIDS PROGRAMMING TOO!

Email Tammy and me with your prayer requests.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Mercy is one of the greatest attributes of God. And He expects to demonstrate mercy to others.

Demonstrating mercy begins with seeing the need, sympathizing with others’ pain, and taking action. The Good Samaritan modeled all of that behavior when he reached out to care for the injured man. But there’s a critical fourth step to showing mercy that he also demonstrated.

You have to spend whatever it takes.

There’s always a cost to kindness and a sacrifice in service. Showing mercy usually requires a sacrifice of time, energy, money, or even your reputation. For example, the Samaritan took the injured man to a hotel. He likely had to walk a great distance, because he put the man on his donkey. He took care of him through the night, he provided for his needs, and then he even paid the bill — all at his own personal expense. He didn’t just call the authorities. He did all he could to help. And what did he have to gain from his service? Nothing. He just did it out of love. And that’s the kind of service and ministry God wants from us.

Mercy will cost you, too. It’ll cost you time, money, or potentially relationships. Mercy that doesn’t cost much isn’t worth much.

But God promises that when you help hurting people by giving what you have, he will bless you in return. The Bible says, “Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring” (Isaiah 58:10-11).

In other words, whatever cost you pay to demonstrate mercy, it’ll be worth it.

You can count on that.

Your gifts are CHANGING OUR WORLD!! Thank you so much! God wants us to do so much more!

Email Tammy and me with any prayer requests- we thank God for YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Anytime you thank someone, you honor that person. For example, if I say to my wife, “Tammy, I’m so grateful for that great dinner you made,” I just honored my wife. When I say to her mom, “I want to thank you for having Tammy so I could marry her,” I am honoring her mom. When I say to someone, “Thank you for opening the door for me” or “Thank you for coming to the service,” I am honoring that person. An expression of gratitude is a way of honoring another person.

The Bible says this is also true about God: “Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me” (Psalm 50:23). When you sacrifice by giving thanks, you are sacrificing your time. It takes time to think of things to be grateful for.

My wife enjoys hearing me say, “Thank you” for the things she does for me. But if that’s all I ever did, she’d begin to wonder, “Does he really love me, or does he just love me for the things I do for him?” At some point, I have to start moving to a higher level of thanksgiving, which is not just thanking my wife for what she does but thanking her for who she is. That’s a deeper, more mature kind of thanksgiving.

If the only time your kids thanked you was when you gave them their allowance, you’d begin to wonder, “Do they love me, or do they just love the money?”

If all you do is thank God for letting you get this job or for giving you this food or for all the things he does for you, it’s worth asking yourself, “Do I really love God, or do I just love the things that God does for me?”

We must learn to thank God not just for what he does but who he is: “God, thank you that your wisdom is greater than mine. Thank you that you know what will make me happy more than I do. Thank you that you’re consistent when I’m inconsistent. Thank you for your love and your mercy, and that you’re always fair. Thank you that even when I don’t understand something, you have my best interest at heart.”

The kind of gratitude that goes beyond “Thank you, God, for our food” to “Thank you, God, for who you are” honors God, and it gives you deeper spiritual roots!

Tammy and I are grateful for you! Email us with your prayer requests- We are very thankful for you and we pray for God’s richest blessings on your life!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

I don’t know where you are today. You may be far away from God. Maybe you haven’t been to church in years, or maybe you’ve just been distant for a month or two. Maybe you’ve had one of those weeks where you thought, “I really don’t feel God’s presence in my life.” And yet we all long to be close to God.

How do you get back to him?

This is the pathway back to spiritual transformation—the three things you need to do to get back to God.

  1. Get fed up with your life.

Nothing is going to happen in your life until you get dissatisfied with the way you are, until you can say, “I don’t like this. I’m tired of being stressed out all the time. I’m tired of being frustrated all the time. I’m tired of being overworked all the time. I’m tired of feeling distant from God.”

Why does God let you get to this point? Because he loves you just the way you are, but he loves you too much to let you stay that way. He will not let you waste your life.

God tells us in Jeremiah 29:13, “When you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed” (The Message).

  • Own up to your sin.

Isaiah 59:2 says, “The trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God. Because of sin he has turned his face away from you”.

Have you ever prayed and felt like God was a million miles away or like there was this wall between you and God?

Where does that come from? Your sins have separated you from God. But if you feel far from God, guess who moved? God has always been there. He loves you unconditionally, and he’s waiting for you to own up to your sin so you can have a right relationship with him again.

  • Give up control.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”.

True transformation happens when your heart moves from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. Are you there yet?

That transformation doesn’t happen overnight. God is going to work on you your entire life. But to start the process, you have to make a decision to repent and, “in view of God’s mercy, to offer your [body] as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1).

God desires to be close to you and he promises that when we seriously seek him, we will not be disappointed!

Thank you for your gifts to BC! Click here to give online- We are Better Together!

Email Tammy and me with any requests that you have- We are praying for you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy