It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life — when he has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But circumstances are not always pleasant. How do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a million miles away?

The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting him when tempted, surrendering while suffering, and loving him when he seems distant.

Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk. In your friendship with God, you won’t always feel close to him.
Philip Yancey has wisely noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.”

That’s when worship gets difficult.

To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of seeming separation — times when it seems as if he has abandoned or forgotten you. God feels a million miles away. St. John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness, doubt, and estrangement from God as “the dark night of the soul.” Henri Nouwen called them “the ministry of absence.” A. W. Tozer called them “the ministry of the night.” Others refer to “the winter of the heart.”

Besides Jesus, David probably had the closest friendship with God of anyone. God took pleasure in calling him “a man after my own heart” (see 1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22).

Yet David frequently complained of God’s apparent absence:

  • “Lord, why are you standing aloof and far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?”(Psalm 10:1).
  • “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?”(Psalm 22:1).
  • “Why have you abandoned me?” (Psalm 43:2).

Of course, God hadn’t really left David, and he doesn’t leave you. He has promised repeatedly, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

You can ALWAYS count on God!

Tammy and I are here for you! Email us with your prayer requests.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Heaven changes everything about how you live today. If you’re headed to Heaven, then that reality should impact how you live here on earth.

Your value system changes!!!

Instead of living for the here and now, you’ll live for eternity. You can also live knowing your future is secure. No matter what happens on earth, you’ll spend an eternity with God in the most amazing place you’ve ever been.

So how do you live if you know your eternal destination is Heaven?

  • Don’t be distracted by temptation. “Dear brothers, you are only visitors here. Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls” (1 Peter 2:11). You can be distracted by lots of things — both good and bad. Stay focused on what’s of eternal significance. Delay gratification, even though everything in society tries to get you to do just the opposite. Stay focused on what’s ahead.
  • Don’t be discouraged by trouble.
    The Bible says, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:18). When you live in light of eternity, trouble just doesn’t bother you as much anymore. You know troubles won’t last forever, so you simply don’t give up.
  • Focus your energy on what will last.
    “Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here” (Colossians 3:2). Fulfill the purposes of God in your life. Live a life of worship. Build relationships with God’s people. Invest your time in becoming more like Jesus through serving.  Tell people about Jesus. Those things last forever!

You were made for Heaven. If you’ve made Jesus the Leader of your life, you’ll spend eternity there. Let that truth sink in for a moment.

Then, let it change your life.

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

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

One of our biggest worries tends to be about our ability to provide for our needs.

But it shouldn’t be!

The Bible says, “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

What a joyful promise for those who know Christ!

God doesn’t promise to meet all our greeds. He doesn’t promise a Rolls Royce or a mansion. God is not a genie in a bottle, but he does promise to meet all of our needs.

Most of us don’t really get this, so we don’t pray for it. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 84:11: “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right”.

Make note of these three words: no good thing.

When our kids were growing up, Tammy and I wanted to give them good things. We wouldn’t withhold anything good from them. We might withhold something bad from them — something that will harm them or something that will cause them to be stunted in their spiritual, physical, or emotional growth. But we were not going to withhold anything good from them.

If we want to do that as parents, how much more does a Heavenly Father who’s perfect want to do likewise?

God solved your biggest problem when he came to Earth and died for you. If he is willing to do that, don’t you think he cares about the other issues you’re dealing with?

Absolutely. He cares about your finances. He cares about your health. He cares about your career. He cares about YOU!

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

We are grateful for YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Tammy and I want to wish EVERY Father a Happy Father’s Day!!! Don’t miss our services today! I wrote a “Happy Father’s Day” letter to the Lord and wanted to share it with you this Sunday morning!

Dear Father God:

What a day!? A day to remember who has taught me, guided me and instilled wisdom in me my entire life. You have promised countless times that you love me. You have promised countless times that you will never leave me. You even went so far as to show me how much you love me by sending your only Son.

I hope one day to be a quarter of the Father to our Kids that you’ve been to me. I hope that when our kids need something, I’m there for them as you have been for me. I hope that when our kids have questions, that I’m there for them as you have been for me. I hope that when they are going through good times or bad that I will be there for them, just as you have always been there for me.

So I end this letter by thanking you for being my Father and by writing that I have been VERY blessed by being one of your children!

Furthermore, I want to thank you for your undivided attention for me by treating me as your only child when I’m talking, even though you have countless children!

Happy Father’s Day!

Love your son,
Dickie

Join Tammy and me this morning for a GREAT WORSHIP SERVICE!

WE LOVE YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Proverbs 19:2 says, “Impatience will get you into trouble”. It’s frustrating when you’re in a hurry and God isn’t. God is never in a hurry! The Bible says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day to God. One of the most useless things to try to do is to speed up God. When we try to take matters into our own hands and help God out, we get in trouble.

When you get a dream from God and make the decision to go for it but then are forced into God’s waiting room, you start trying to figure out ways of doing God’s dream on your own.

But the Bible says to trust God’s timing: “Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him to act…Don’t fret and worry — it only leads to harm” (Psalm 37:7-8).

Resting can be an act of faith. It means you’re waiting on God. When Jesus and the disciples were in a boat that was caught in a big storm, Jesus just kept sleeping through all the ruckus while the disciples freaked out. When they woke him up to ask, “Why are you sleeping?!” he responded, “Do you think God is going to let the boat sink with me in it?” By sleeping through the storm, Jesus was saying that we can trust God even in the middle of a storm.

When we get into a storm, we tend to lie awake all night and fret about it. But that means we’re not really living by faith. We can’t get any sleep because we struggle trusting God to work it out. God says, “Don’t worry- Remember that I’m always with you, and you can trust my timing.”

Worry only makes you miserable. So let’s ask God to help us stop worrying and start trusting God to work in you and through YOU while you are in a delay on the way to your dream.

TOMORROW IS FATHERS DAY! DADS- LET’S GET OUR FAMILY IN CHURCH TOMORROW! THE MESSAGE IS ONE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO HEAR!

Email Tammy and me with any prayer requests.

God bless you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

When we go through difficulties in life, the first thing we often try to do is blame somebody else. But it doesn’t matter where your problem came from — God still has a purpose for it in your life. Even when you do stupid things, God can use it. Even when other people hurt you intentionally, he can use it. Even when the Devil plans bad things for your life, God can bring good out of it.

God’s purpose is greater than your problems and your pain. He has a plan! You need to look past the temporary pain and look instead at the long-term benefit in your life.

Romans 5:3-4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that…they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady”.

What’s the purpose of your problems and difficulty? God wants you to learn something.Every storm is a school. Every trial is a teacher. Every experience is an education. Every difficulty is for your development.

Most of us are slow learners. If you don’t learn something, God will bring it up again in your life. It will come back, because God is more interested in your character than he is in your comfort. He is more interested in seeing you become more like Christ than he is in making things easy for you.

Maybe you are facing a major difficulty right now. It may be an illness or guilt or a financial problem or strain in a relationship. Does God have a word for you while you’re going through your difficulty? Absolutely. God is saying to you, “Don’t give up. Grow up.” Fulfill the purpose of your difficulty — becoming more and more the person he created you to be.

“This small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

TAMMY AND I ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU TONIGHT AT 7PM FOR FRIDAY NIGHT CHURCH! KIDS PROGRAMMING TOO!

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

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

When we experience setbacks, our most common response is our worst response: We want to withdraw, to build a wall around ourselves, to push people away.

But that’s the last thing we should do.

When setbacks leave your faith weak, you need other people to trust God for you. You need a church family to help support you.

When Job lost his family, finances, and health, it was a devastating setback—just as it would have been for anyone.

But here’s what one of Job’s friends told him: “Don’t let your anger and the pain you endured make you sneer at God…Others have praised God for what he has done, so join with them” (Job 36:18, 24).

That’s great advice. When you’re in the midst of troubles, don’t get bitter. Join with others who can pray with you, worship with you, and support you.Where do you find that kind of support?

First, join with others for worship at a local church. Worshiping with other people will give you a new perspective on your setbacks.

Second, get involved in a Life Group. You need a group of 10 to 12 people where you can not only study the Bible, but you can also share your pain and pray with others.

You won’t find a comeback on your own. You need God’s people to build you up and help you focus on God.

It’s a huge step toward your comeback. Just ask Paul. He wrote this about the support of other Christians as he sat in a Roman prison: “Because you are praying for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ is helping me, I know this trouble will bring my freedom” (Philippians 1:19).
With the support and prayers of God’s people, your setback is only temporary. Your best days are ahead!

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES TOMORROW AT 7PM!!

Email Tammy and me with your prayer requests WE LOVE YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Hurry creates worry. Matthew 6:34 says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own”.

There are two days you should never worry about: yesterday and tomorrow!

You can’t live in the past. You can’t live in the future. You can only live today.

Why should you only live one day at a time? First, when you worry about tomorrow’s problems, you miss the blessings of today. Second, you cannot solve tomorrow’s problems with today’s power. When tomorrow arrives, God will give you the power, perspective, grace, and wisdom you need.

The Bible does not say, “Give us this day our WEEKLY bread.” It says, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).
God wants you to depend on him one day at a time. He will provide everything you need. You will lack nothing.
It’s okay to plan for tomorrow. Just don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow. Trust God for each day as it comes.

Email Tammy and me with your prayer requests- We are lifting you up to the Lord this morning!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

You have just enough time to do whatever God has called you to do in life. Every one of us has 168 hours every single week. Your ability to do what God has called you to do depends upon how you use those hours.

You can invest them in what will last forever, or you can waste them. It’s really your choice.

Most of the decisions you make in life are not a choice between good and bad. It’s more a matter of what’s best for you. It’s about what God designed you to do.

The Bible talks about this is 1 Corinthians 10:23: “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’ – but not everything is constructive”.

Some things are morally neutral. To make a good decision, you need to go to a higher standard and ask, “Will what I’m about to do make me a better person? That’s called the improvement test.

That’s why I’m so glad you’re partnering with Bethlehem Church. Your generosity passes the improvement test – with flying colors!

The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sow generously will also reap generously” (NIV). God is using you to sow his Word into the lives of people literally all around the world…Thank you for your gifts and your support!

Thanks a choice you will never regret!

We can’t wait to see you this morning!

Pastor Dickie & Tammy

Americans are more stressed than ever. A 2017 American Psychological Association “Stress in America Survey” showed that those polled were more stressed about the country’s future than at any time in the survey’s 10-year history.

And our stress is deadly. As of June 2018, suicide rates in the US are up 30 percent since 1999.

If we’ve ever needed God’s stress-free guarantee, it’s today.

The Bible shares God’s guarantee if Philippians 4:7, where it say, “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand”.

This isn’t a stress guarantee from a doctor. It’s not a guarantee from a pharmaceutical company. It’s so much better! It’s a guarantee from the Creator of the universe.

Wouldn’t you like to have your thoughts be quiet and your heart at rest as you trust in Jesus?

Imagine you’re in a situation where you have no logical reason to be at peace – but you are. Sounds pretty good right? That’s God’s guarantee. That’s God’s promise.

There are more than 5,000 promises in the Bible, and every one of the has a premise. Every promise has a premise. There is a premise behind God’s stress guarantee too. The verse from Philippians 4 begins with “if you do this.” It is possible to “Experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”

Stress doesn’t have to win. Anxiety doesn’t need to control you.

There is hope!

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES TOMORROW! WOW! IT IS GOING TO HELP YOU! INVITE A FRIEND TO COME WITH YOU!

If Tammy and I can pray for you, email us with your requests and click below to give online – God is blessing our church in tremendous ways!

See you in the morning!

Pastor Dickie & Tammy