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 worshiped 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 worshiping 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-  I know the WORD that God has for you is going to be amazing!

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, God is up to something good in your life even if you can’t see it. He 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 who gets married 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, if you don’t know God, you’re not given this promise. It’s for “those who love God.”)

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, our 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 29:11 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 his hands — and there’s no better place for it to be!!

Get on the phone, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and invite someone to come to Bethlehem with you tomorrow!!

Email Tammy and me with any of your prayer requests.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

What are the things you’re worried about? The economy? 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 with 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).

Tonight is a great night to meet with God! Come on out and invite a friend to Friday Night Church!!

If you need prayer, let Tammy and me know…email us with your requests.

Have a Fantastic Friday!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

“Why is life so hard?” Do you ever find yourself asking this question because you’re frustrated by circumstances in your life?

Frustration is the result of living in a world that is broken by sin. You can’t avoid suffering. There will be pain, and if you aren’t careful, that pain can lead to bitterness.

Bitterness is a poison that will eat you alive. It’s like a cancer to your heart. When you become bitter towards someone, you don’t hurt that person; you only hurt yourself.

It’s so easy to become envious and jealous of others when life doesn’t go the way we want it to. We begin to think, “It’s not fair. Why does that person have it so easy when life is so tough for me?”

It’s very easy to become resentful in a broken world. But envy and jealousy can quickly turn to bitterness, and bitterness will eat you up.

How do you keep from becoming bitter? You choose. There will be pain in your life. The question is, are you going to allow it to make you a better person or a bitter person? You can moan and groan and become bitter. Or you can stay sweet in a suffering world by remembering these four things:

  1. The Holy Spirit is praying for you. “[T]he Spirit himself speaks to God for us, and even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain.” (Romans 8:26)
  2. God uses everything for your good. “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). God is bigger than your enemies. He’s bigger than your critics. He’s bigger than your problems. And he’s working it all for good in your life.
  3. God wants you to succeed. “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” (Romans 8:31). God wants you to succeed in all those areas where you are failing. He’s pulling for you.
  4. God will give you what you need. “And since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32). God solved your biggest problem when he paid for all your sins, including the ones you haven’t done yet. If God cared enough to save you and give you the gift of eternal life, don’t you think he cares about the problems in your daily life? If it’s big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about. And if you pray about it, you won’t have to worry about it.

All of these things should remind you that GOD IS GOOD AND HE IS IN CONTROL!!!

Tammy and I are praying for YOU! Email us with your requests. 

Get ready for Friday Night Church tomorrow night at 7PM—It is going to be awesome!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The heart of real forgiveness is relinquishing your right to get even. The Bible says in Romans 12:19, “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it”.

You say, “If I give up my right to get even with somebody who’s hurt me, then that’s unfair.” You’re right! It is unfair. But whoever said forgiveness is fair? Was it fair for Jesus Christ to forgive everything you’ve ever done wrong and let you go free? No. We don’t want God to be fair to us, though. We want God to be gracious to us. We all want justice for everybody else and forgiveness for ourselves.

The truth is that life is not fair. And forgiveness is not fair. It’s called grace, and God has shown it to you. One day, God is going to have the last word. He’s going to settle the score. He’s going to right the wrong. Leave the justice part to God. You just concern yourself with forgiving so there can be peace in your heart and you can get on with your life.

If you don’t do this, you will fall into the trap of bitterness. Resentment and bitterness are worthless emotions. In fact, doctors tell us they are the unhealthiest emotions. They will eat you alive like cancer. All your resentment and bitterness toward people who have hurt you in the past isn’t going to change the past, and it certainly won’t change the future. All it can do is mess up today.

When you hold on to resentment, you allow people from your past to continue to hurt you today. And that’s not smart! The people in your past are past. They cannot continue to hurt you unless you choose to hold on to the hurt. Instead, let go of your need to get even or make things fair. Leave it up to God.

The Bible says, “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others” (Hebrews 12:15).

Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!! Tammy and I are praying for YOU!! Email us with any prayer requests.

I love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The Bible gives us some guidelines for what we should do when we are going through a season of loneliness. They are illustrated in the life of Paul in 2 Timothy 4, when he was in prison and awaiting his execution.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:16, “The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them”.

Paul, the greatest Christian next to Jesus, was on trial in Rome, and not one person stepped forward to defend him. Not one! He was absolutely by himself. Nobody stepped forward to say, “This is a good guy. He’s alright.” Yet Paul did not say, “Those jerks — after all that I’ve done for them all these years!” Instead, he said, “May it not be counted against them.” In other words, he was not going to let himself become bitter. Because bitterness always makes loneliness worse.

When you feel lonely, you need to minimize your hurt. You need to play it down and pray it up. Don’t rehearse it over and over in your mind. If you do, it just gets bigger and bigger and out of control. Refuse to become resentful, because bitterness will eat you up.

Bitterness and loneliness go together because they become a cycle. You become lonely. Then you start feeling bad about it and have a pity party. Then you become bitter. Your bitterness makes you even lonelier, which makes you more bitter. Soon, you’re a hardhearted, depressed person that nobody can get close to.

Nobody wants to be around a bitter person. Nobody wants to be around a cynic. Nobody wants to be around a person who is angry.

Your bitterness will only perpetuate your loneliness. That’s why, when you go through a season of loneliness, you have to minimize the hurt. Don’t build a wall around your life!

Tammy and I are praying for you today! Email us with any prayer requests-We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

I don’t know about you, but I admit there were a lot of things I could not say “no” to before the Holy Spirit came into my life. I wanted to say “no,” but I didn’t.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them, but we all have compulsions, habits, lusts, drives, desires, or attractions that make us feel like we have no choice but to do them. You just can’t help yourself. You just can’t say “no.”

But if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you can say “no.” Romans 8:9 says, “You are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all)”.
Yes, you will still have those desires. But the Holy Spirit will give you the power to say “no” to them; you do not have to satisfy those desires. This is the difference the Spirit of God makes in you. This is how God sets you free from your compulsions.

The worst kind of slave is being a slave to your own natural desires. Some people say, “Well, if it’s natural, why should I limit it?” A lot of things seem natural. It’s natural to be self-centered, but acting on that desire might not be good for your kids or your spouse.

Natural doesn’t mean it’s always good. I might have a natural desire to drive my car 100mph, but that doesn’t mean I should do it!

When I’ve accepted Christ into my life, I have the Holy Spirit to help power my decisions and say “no” to the natural and “yes” to the choices God would have me to make!

Tammy and I love you and we are praying for you! Email us with any requests you may have today!

Pastor Dickie & 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.

Your job is to submit to Him and humble yourself before Him, 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 with your requests.

Pastor Dickie & Tammy

As a pastor, I meet hurting people all the time. It is heartbreaking to see so many people going through so many challenges.

You can take two people, put them in the same difficult situation, and one of them is devastated by it while the other comes through it stronger.

How is that possible?

It’s possible because one of them is depending on the grace of God.

What relieves our hurt and helps us keep going when we’re in pain and we want to give up? God’s grace!!

Paul gives us a great example of this in 2 Corinthians. Three times he said, “Lord, take this pain out of my life,” and God didn’t do it. The Bible says God’s response was, “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When we pray for God’s help during a crisis, he will respond in one of two ways. He’ll either remove the pain, or he’ll give us the strength to deal with it.

We don’t tend to like the second option. We want God to instantly remove whatever pain we’re dealing with. Yet sometimes God leaves the pain for a purpose. He wants us to learn something. He can teach us much more through pain than through comfort.

When God’s grace meets you in the deepest, darkest places of your life, you realize that nothing — no problem, no crisis, no hurt — can devastate your life. You know that you can handle anything with God’s help.

But let’s face it. We don’t always handle our problems in a way that helps us to grow. Often we take it on ourselves. The Bible says that makes us bitter: “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others” (Hebrews 12:15).

The only antidote to whatever pain you’re dealing with is the grace of God.

To receive the grace of God, all you have to do is humble yourself, tell God you need his help, and receive his grace.

God may not take away the hurtful situation. But he can — and he will — walk with you through it!

Tammy and I are praying for YOU! Email us with your requests.

Come see us tomorrow  at one of our 3 campuses- God has a message for YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Change requires new thinking. In order to change, we must learn the truth and start making good choices, but we also must change the way we think.

The battle for sin starts in your mind, not in your behavior. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act. If you want to change the way you act, you start by changing the way you think. In addition, if you want to change the way you feel, you must start with changing the way you think.

For instance, I can say, “I need to love my kids more,” but that isn’t going to work. You can’t fight your way into a feeling. You must change the way you think about your kids, about your husband, about your wife, and that will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act. The Bible says, “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23).

Let me sum it up this way: You are not what you think you are. Rather, what you think, you are.

The battle to deal with those defects in your life that you don’t like starts in your mind. If you want to change anything in your behavior or anything in your emotions, start with your thoughts and your attitude.

The renewal of your mind is related to the word “repentance.”

Repentance has nothing to do with your behavior. It’s about learning to think differently. “Repent” simply means to make a mental U-turn. It’s something you do in your mind, not with your behavior. Changing the way you think will then affect your emotions and your behavior.

When I repent, I turn from guilt to forgiveness.

I turn from purposelessness to purpose in life. I turn from no hope to new hope. I turn from frustration to freedom. I turn from darkness to light!

That’s the kind of change I need to be able to change the rest of my life.

Tammy and I are praying for YOU! Email us with your requests.

Remember…Friday Night Church tonight!!!  7PM!!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy