A lot of people go through life living under condemnation and guilt, thinking it’s the voice of God. But it’s not. That’s the devil!

Conviction comes from God. Condemnation comes from the devil. The purpose of conviction is to correct something that’s out of whack in your life. The purpose of condemnation is just to put you down and make you feel miserable and guilty and ashamed. The motivation behind conviction is that God loves you and wants to help you be better. The motivation behind condemnation is that Satan hates you and wants to make you miserable. When God speaks to you about an area in your life for conviction, he’s very specific. Condemnation is general.

God will give you a specific area of your life where something is out of whack. Then, he gives you the solution. You confess it to God, and the feeling of conviction leaves instantly. Condemnation, on the other hand, goes on and on and on.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus”. God will never attack your value. If you hear a voice that says, “You’re hopeless! You’re worthless! You’re unlovable!” you can know that is not the voice of God.

Finally, you need to ask about your idea or impression, “Do I sense God’s peace about it?”
If you get an impression and it makes you feel pressured, overwhelmed, or confused, you need to question whether that impression is from God. Because God doesn’t want us to live under pressure. He wants us to sense his peace.

Satan wants to drive us compulsively. But God desires to draw us compassionately. Peter Lord used to say, “Ninety percent of what God says to us is encouragement.” Have you sensed God saying anything encouraging to you lately? Or is it all about pressure? God has some encouraging things to say to us.

There is a word for the pressure that comes into our lives that drives us away from God’s peace: worry. But Philippians 4:6-7 says, “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, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

These verses tell us that worry is never from God. It only creates pressure in our lives. Those verses also give us this incredible promise: Take your worry to God, and leave it there!

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES THIS FRIDAY NIGHT AT 7PM!

If you need prayer, email us with your requests.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The starting point for all happiness is shifting the focus away from yourself!

If all you think about is yourself, you’re going to be a pretty miserable person. If you truly want to be happy in life, you have to care about the needs of those around you.

Paul gives Timothy as an example of this in Philippians 2:20-21: “There is no one like Timothy for having a real interest in you; everyone else seems to be worrying about his own plans and not those of Jesus Christ”.

Most people are worrying about their own plans and aren’t looking out for the interests of others. Most people don’t get up in the morning and give their first thought to how someone else is doing. Most people are concerned with their own problems. And, that’s why most people are unhappy with their lives!

If you want to be one of those rare, unselfish people, you’ve got to change your focus. You have to shift your focus away from yourself to other people. That’s not something that comes naturally, so it’s something you have to learn to do.

I have to admit that it saddens me how many times I have missed the needs of people around me that I love because I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t taking an interest them. I hadn’t shifted the focus from me to the others in the room. Because I wasn’t looking out for their needs, I missed their needs. And that grieves me a lot.

Instead of grieving missed opportunities, be intentional about looking away from yourself and to the needs of others, where you’ll find happiness in serving God through serving others.

“Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2:4).

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me with your requests.

We look forward to seeing you this weekend at either our West, North, or South Campus…We love you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

You’ve heard this phrase over and over: “Forgive and forget.”

There’s only one problem with it: You can’t do it. It’s impossible! You really can’t forget a hurt in your life. In fact, you can’t even try to forget it. Because when you’re trying to forget, you are actually focusing on the very thing you want to forget.

Forgetting is not what God wants you to do. Instead, he wants you to trust him and see how he can bring good out of it. That’s more important than forgetting, because then you can thank God for the good that he brought out of it. You can’t thank God for things you forget.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

It doesn’t say that all things are good, because all things are not good. Cancer is not good. Disease is not good. Death is not good. Divorce is not good. War is not good. Rape and abuse are not good. There are a lot of things in life that are evil. Not everything that happens in this world is God’s will.

But God says he will work good out of the bad things in life if you will trust him. When you come to him and say, “God, I give you all the pieces of my life,” he will return peace for your pieces. He gives you peace in your heart that comes from knowing that even if you don’t understand the hurt in your life, you can still forgive, knowing that God will use that pain for good.

You don’t have to forget the wrong thing that someone did to you. You can’t do it even if you tried! But God says you don’t have to forget it. You just have to forgive and then see how he will bring good out of it.

Tammy and I are praying for YOU! Email us with your requests- WE LOVE YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

When we go through major disappointments in life, our natural reaction is to pull back and isolate ourselves. We want to handle it ourselves. We want to keep our losses and failures and mistakes and crises a secret. We want to withdraw. This is a terrible idea!

When you go through disappointment or crisis or loss is when you need your friends the most. You need to accept help from others. God doesn’t intend for you to handle all the pain and stress in your life by yourself. We were wired for each other. We need each other. We’re social beings. The first thing God said in the Garden of Eden is, “It’s not good for man to be alone.” We’re made to be in relationships.

Job 6:14 says, “When desperate people give up on God Almighty, their friends, at least, should stick with them”.

Trying to handle your trouble yourself will only make you more tired and stressed out. You need to get in a place where you can hear from God and get some HOPE!

Don’t miss our services this morning!  We will be excited to SEE YOU!

Let us know if you need prayer, email us.

Tammy and I are here for YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Twelve…

Here is the basics of what you need to know. The why comes after

  • What: Twelve – Nine Nights For Seniors
  • When: 2nd Wednesdays From September-May (See below for Schedule)
  • Time: 8:30p – 9:30p
  • Where: Bethlehem Church Student Center
  • Who: All 12th Grade Students
  • Cost: Free (light snacks provided)
  • Why: See Below
No cost to register
Registration guarantees you a book and a journal
Please register

Class of 2020, this year, we have set aside NINE nights between September and May for you.
This is for all seniors. Seniors that are a part of Bethlehem or seniors that you want to invite.

Why? Over the next few years, you will be making some of the most important decisions in your life. College, major, career, spouse, car, house… and on and on. We feel these are important to prepare for.

Many times it seems that the senior year is the and ending, a culmination. We don’t see it that way at all. The clock may be striking TWELVE on your high school career but rather than seeing the day as coming to an end, we celebrate the new dawn. The new day! Your entire life up until this point has been in preparation for the end of this year. We want to join you and your family during this final year to make sure your send-off is awesome.

How? We have put together a once a month get together for our seniors. From September through May, seniors from every school are invited to join us at the Bethlehem Church Student Center. We will be examining everything from your burden, your passion, your vision, and your mission. We will also talk about next steps for each of our seniors. How to remain plugged into their faith and the church! PLUS it will be that final year of connecting with other seniors that are preparing to take the same steps as them.

2019/2020 Schedule

  • September 11th – The Starting Line (Theme Night!: Favorite Team Jersey/Shirt)
  • October 9th – On The Road
  • November 13th – Burden
  • December 13th – Passion (Theme Night!: The Tropics! <- For all of you Winter haters)
  • January 8th – Vision
  • February 12th – Mission (Theme Night!: Graffiti Party)
  • March 11th – So Now What? (4 week Discipleship Journal begins)
  • April 8th – Plugged In
  • May 13th – Class of 2020 End of Year Celebration (Dinner, Games, Videos, and a special commissioning of the senior class)

Other important dates:

  • February 7th-9th – 180 Weekend. One last HUGE Weekend. Be a part of a 180 FIRST this year. Details coming soon
  • June 7th – Graduate Sunday (Seniors are recognized by a video recap of the year!)
  • Summer 2020 – Mission:NYC with Pastor Boto in Jackson Heights

God will not only use your gifts to fulfill your destiny, he’ll also use your limitations.

Let’s look at Esther. She had several big limitations that made her perfect for the role God wanted her to fulfill. She was an orphan adopted by Mordecai; she was a minority, a Jew living in a Persian country; and she was a single woman. A single woman in a male-dominated society had zero rights.

And God used all of these things, along with the gifts of her beauty, brains, and personality, to fulfill her destiny. Think about it … if she had been a married man, she wouldn’t have become queen. And if she hadn’t been a minority, she wouldn’t have cared about the Jews and what was going to happen to them.

So what am I saying? Sometimes what looks like a disaster in your life is part of a much bigger plan.

But you will never fulfill your destiny if you are having a pity party.

Esther could have just said, “If only I hadn’t been chosen, if only I wasn’t Jewish, if only I was like someone else.” A lot of people do that. They live their lives in resentment, always looking at people and saying, “Well it must be nice to be them.”

If you have that attitude you will never fulfill your destiny. You have to realize that the unpleasant obstacles in your life are often God-ordained opportunities to make a difference.

It’s hard to see that when you’re in pain.

You might be in a situation right now where everything is going wrong and you can’t figure it out. But God knows. Nothing in your life is accidental. The pleasures and pains, the opportunities and obstacles, God can use it all. There is nothing God cannot use for good in your life if you’ll give it to him.

PLEASE DO NOT MISS SERVICES THIS WEEKEND!!

Tonight at 7pm- Friday night church!  God has given me a Word that I CANNOT WAIT TO SHARE!

Let Tammy and me know how we can be praying for you…email us with your requests.

We will see you TONIGHT!

Pastor Dickie

There are many things that work to keep us from completing our life-missions. Over the years, I’ve debated whether the worst enemy is procrastination or discouragement. If Satan can’t get us to put off our life mission, then he’ll try to get us to quit altogether.

The apostle Paul teaches that we need to resist discouragement: “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up” (Galatians 6:9 NLT).

Do you ever get tired of doing what’s right? I think we all do. Sometimes it seems easier to do the wrong thing than the right thing.

When we’re discouraged, we become ineffective. When we’re discouraged, we work against our own faith.

Today, ask yourself these questions:

• How do I handle failure?
• When things don’t go my way, do I get grumpy?
• When things don’t go my way, do I get frustrated?
• When things don’t go my way, do I start complaining?
• Do I finish what I start?
• How would I rate on persistence?

If you’re discouraged, don’t give up without a fight. Nothing worthwhile ever happens without endurance and energy.

When an artist starts to create a sculpture, he has to keep chipping away. He doesn’t hit the chisel with the hammer once, and suddenly all the excess stone falls away revealing a beautiful masterpiece. He keeps hitting it and hitting it, chipping away at the stone.

And that’s true of life, too. Nothing really worthwhile ever comes easy in life. You keep hitting it and going after it, and little-by-little your life becomes a masterpiece of God’s grace.

The fact is, great people are really just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination. Great people don’t know how to quit!

Tammy and I are PRAYING FOR YOU! Email us your prayer requests.

DON’T FORGET FRIDAY NIGHT CHURCH TOMORROW AT 7PM- I CANNOT WAIT TO BRING THIS MESSAGE TO YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people don’t give up at the first sign of difficulty. They keep on keeping on. They are determined. They are diligent. They are persistent. They don’t know how to quit. You know how a little acorn becomes an oak tree? An oak tree is just an acorn that refused to give up.

I’m not that smart, but I do know one thing: It is always too soon to quit. You are never a failure until you quit, and it’s always too soon to quit. God uses tough times to test our persistence.

If you’re going through tough times right now, then this Scripture is for you: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).

God is more interested in what you’re becoming than in what’s happening to you. He often allows trials, troubles, tribulations, and problems in your life to teach you diligence, determination, and character. The problem you’re going through right now? It’s a test of your faithfulness. Will you continue to serve God even when life is tough?

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Please let us know how we can pray for you…Email us with your requests.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you” (Proverbs 29:25)

When we worry about what other people think, we let them control us. We waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what other people want us to be. Then, we waste a lot of time and energy trying to become like that rather than just being what God made us to be.

Worrying about what other people think is dangerous because we’re more likely to cave in to criticism. It means we don’t always do the right thing; instead, we do the thing that everybody wants us to do.

And we’re in danger of missing God’s best because we’re so worried about what other people what us to do that we can’t stop to think about what God wants us to do.

Fact #1: You cannot please everybody. Even God can’t please everybody. One person prays for it to rain; another prays for it to be sunny. In the Super Bowl, both teams are praying that they will win. Who is God going to answer? God can’t please everybody. Only a fool would try to do what even God can’t do. You can’t please everybody.

Fact #2: It’s not necessary to please everybody. There is a myth that says you must be loved and approved by everybody in order to be happy. That’s just not true. You don’t have to please everybody in order to be happy in life.

Fact #3: Rejection will not ruin your life. It hurts, sure. It’s not fun. It’s uncomfortable. But rejection will not ruin your life unless you let it.

Quit trying to please everybody! Remember that nobody can make you feel inferior unless you give them permission.

The Apostle Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) This means we can think like this: ‘God likes me, and I like me; if you don’t like me, then you’ve got a problem. If God likes me, who cares that everybody doesn’t approve of everything I do.’

Remember, nothing you ever do will make God love you less. Nothing you ever do will make God love you more. He loves you completely right now!!

PLEASE let us know how we can pray for YOU! Email Tammy and me with your requests.

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The biggest mistake people make when we’re overwhelmed is focusing on the problem.

We don’t look to God.

We put our eyes on the problem instead of God.

What are you focusing on right now? If you’re discouraged, your not focusing on God. You can’t be discouraged and focus on God at the same time. If you turn to God first, talk to him about your problem, and trust him to help you, God will respond: “The Lord says you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this vast army. The battle depends on God, not you” (2 Chronicles 20:15).

The reason why you’re so tired all the time is because you’re trying to fight battles that belong to God.

What are you supposed to do when you’re facing an overwhelming situation? Two words: “Stand strong.”

What does it mean to stand strong? It is a mental attitude. It’s an attitude of quiet confidence. You’re not getting ahead of God, but you’re not backing up, either. You’re going to stay put and watch God work. You’re going to stand strong.

One of the most important truths you have to learn in life is it is never God’s will for you to run from a difficult situation. If you do, he’s going to bring it up again. He wants you to learn that he is sufficient in every situation, and if you don’t learn it here, he’ll just provide the opportunity again.

What do you stand firm on? “Put your trust in the Lord your God, and you will stand your ground. Believe what his prophets tell you, and you will succeed” (2 Chronicles 20:20b GNT).

Do you want to be successful? Then stand on two things: the character of God and the Word of God!!

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

God bless you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy