Life is not a series of random, freak accidents.  Life is not totally unplanned.  Life is not without meaning. God knows what’s going on.  He’s weaving the fabric in your life, and a tapestry has light and dark threads — happy and sad times — to give richness and texture and color to your life.  Nothing can come into the life of a child of God without God’s permission.

Everything in your Life is Father-filtered. 

Don’t misunderstand.  I am not saying that everything that happens to you in life is God’s perfect will.  That’s just not true.  There are a lot of things that are not God’s will. If you go out and sin, that’s not God’s will.  If somebody sins against you, that’s not God’s perfect will.

But God does have a permissive will. If I go out and I overeat, I pay the consequences.  If I go out and wreck my body, I pay the consequences.  God does not cause evil and God does not cause suffering.  But He does allow them because they have a purpose.  God permits them and then He uses them.

God is an expert at bringing good out of bad.  He could have kept Paul out of prison in Philippi but instead He let Paul go to prison and the jailer became a believer as a result. God could have kept Jesus from the cross but He let Him go — His own Son — He let Him suffer and die.  Did He bring any good out of that?  I’d say He did!

God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections.

The things you wish were most removed from your life are often the very things that God is using to shape you and make you into the believer of character He wants you to be.  He wants to use that problem for good in your life.

There’s something more important than your pain.  It’s what you’re learning from that pain.

We learn that our God is in control!

Do not miss our services today! If Tammy and I can pray for you, email us.

Thank you for your giving to the Lord through Bethlehem Church! Click here to give online- We thank God for your faithfulness!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Hurt people hurt people. When someone hurts you, it’s because they’ve been hurt.

Often, when someone is rude, bitter, unkind, sarcastic, mean spirited, or arrogant, they are shouting with all of their behaviors, “I am in pain! I need massive doses of love! I do not feel secure!”

On the other hand, the person who feels deeply loved and deeply secure is generous and gracious to other people.

If we just want to get even with people, that’s fine. But it means we’re no better than they are. The Bible tells us to overcome evil with good. This means, we respond with love. It means we look past their words to their pain.

Here’s a myth that everybody’s been sold by modern psychology: When it comes to anger, there’s only a set amount you’ll get throughput your life. It’s like you’ve got a bucket for anger, and when the bucket gets full, you need to pour it out — and that will be cathartic.

The problem is, you don’t have a bucket of anger in your life…You have a factory! That factory can keep on producing and producing and producing. When you get rid of the anger, you’ll just produce more.

In fact, the more anger you throw out, the more it produces. Study after study has shown that aggression only creates more aggression. Angry outbursts lead to more anger, more often, until it becomes a habitual pattern in your life.

The answer is not just to throw it out. The answer is to let it go. “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).

Don’t miss our services tomorrow – I am absolutely certain that your life will be touched!

I am SO excited about what God is doing here at Bethlehem!  We need you!!  Please invest in the ministry here at Bethlehem—we have made it easy, safe, and secure.  You can click here to give…YOU are making a difference!!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Email Tammy and me with any requests you may have.  We are praying for YOU!

Every conflict that you go through in a relationship has an element of pride mixed into it. What is the middle letter of the word “pride”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “crime”? I. What’s the middle letter of the word “sin”? I.

We have an “I” problem! “I” want what “I” want and “I” want it now, and that causes all kinds of problems. In any relationship, never let pride be your guide, because pride is the root of every other sin.

The Bible says in Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves”.  Paul says that there are two conflict-creating kinds of pride. One of them is selfish ambition and the other is vain conceit. Selfish ambition says, “It’s all about me” and vain conceit means, “I’m always right.”

Selfish ambition causes all kinds of problems. James 3:16 says, “Where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” When you find confusion at your workplace, your church, your home, in your marriage, and even in the government, you can know that selfish ambition and jealousy are causing it.

Vain conceit is the attitude that you are always right. The Living Bible translation of Philippians 2:3 says, “Don’t live to make a good impression on others.” We do this in every area of our lives, but especially on social media. It’s a great temptation to make yourself look better on the internet than you are.

In Galatians, Paul lists about 17 effects of living with pride. He says when we live a self-centered life, it shows up in all kinds of ways. He starts off by saying things like self-indulgence shows up in sexual immorality and wild partying and getting drunk. You would expect those things.

But most of the things on the list are actually relational sins. Galatians 5:19-21 says, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear … quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy… Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God”.

If you want to be happy in your relationships, you’ve got to have harmony.

And if you’re going to have harmony, you’ve got to have humility.

DO NOT LET PRIDE BE YOUR GUIDE!!

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

We are praying for you today!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Thank you for your gifts to the Lord through Bethlehem Church! Click here to give online – God is doing GREAT THINGS!!

When things fall apart in your life, you will experience a lot of emotions that can hold you back, such as grief, anger, frustration and regret.

But the most damaging emotion of them all is fear.

Fear is the emotion that keeps you stuck in the past. Fear paralyzes you. Fear is the number one problem most people face — fear that they’re not going to make it, fear of the future, or fear of what other people think.

Jeremiah had a lot of reasons to be afraid. His job was to deliver a very unpopular message to his nation. He was so hated that he was tossed into a pit, and then his enemies threw rocks down on top of him. He recorded his cries to God in today’s verse. Jeremiah was afraid, and in his fear he turned to God; he called on God’s name.

If you are battling fear in your life today, God says the same thing to you that he said to Jeremiah: “Do not fear!”

God is in control and will get you through whatever you’re facing. He will get you out of the pit in his perfect timing. So ask God to relieve your fears.

There are three antidotes to fear:

  • Fill your life with the truth. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 KJV). The more you fill your mind with God’s Word, the more it will drive fear from your life.
  • Fill your life with love. “Perfect love casts out fear …” (1 John 4:18 NKJV). The more you get to know God, the more you will understand his unconditional love. As you understand his deep love for you, you will see that his perfect love drives away your fear.
  • Fill your life with faith. As you begin to trust God and his perfect love for you, you will begin to overcome your fears. Faith is God’s antidote to fear.

If you are afraid that your life has fallen apart and your best days are behind you, you’re wrong. God can always turn things around. He sent his son, Jesus Christ, to “seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).

No matter what you’re going through, no matter how bad your circumstances appear, turn from your fear and expect Jesus to restore your life.

I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU TOMORROW FOR…FRIDAY NIGHT CHURCH!

GOD HAS SOMETHING AMAZING IN STORE FOR YOU AT BETHLEHEM! 

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

See you tomorrow at 7pm!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The people of Bethlehem Church are generous!

Your participation in our annual Christmas Offering the past few years has touched numerous lives. It has supported local outreach organizations, brought life to new church campuses in our city, and it has brought the gospel to remote villages in far off lands. It is impossible to measure the deep and lasting impact you have made for the cause of Jesus in this world. Your generosity has truly made a difference!

We believe that this same generous spirit will only continue to grow as it reaches into new places and more lives over the years to come. Nearly a quarter of our church’s annual income goes outside our walls to reach people in our community and our nation and around the world. We expect to grow that amount. We also believe that for us to be successful in this desire, we need to have a healthy home to use for vital discipleship, equipping and worship. That is why this year, we will use what is generously given in our Christmas Offering to develop our facilities, updating and creating new spaces for ministry.

Our goal is to raise at least $150,000. $100,000 of that will go towards our reserve fund. The remaining $50,000 or more will go towards in-house improvements that our pastors have prayed over and prioritized for discipleship and ministry growth. A reserve fund may not sound all that exciting of thing to give to, but this fund is critical to giving us the financial cushion we need to be able to respond to local and global needs as they arise. A healthy reserve fund is what has allowed us to generously give towards victims of natural disasters and be there when a missionary finds he has a broken pump for a water well or is low on books for training local evangelists. The in-home improvements will offer more effective spaces for discipleship, equipping and worship to happen here at Bethlehem Church. We will work together in becoming more passionate in our love and service of Jesus.

We ask that you prayerfully consider participating in the 2018 Christmas Offering on December 21st, 23rd & 24th just as you have over the past several years.

Together, we will passionately follow Jesus as we set ourselves up for many more years of meeting practical needs and spreading the gospel of Christ to our community, our city and the world beyond.​​​​​​​

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Wise people are peacemakers, not troublemakers.

Wise people don’t carry a chip on their shoulder. They are not always looking for a fight, and they don’t intentionally antagonize other people.

The fact is, if you’re around anybody for any length of time, you figure out what irritates him or her, and you file that information in the back of your mind as a tool to use when you get in an argument. It’s a weapon of mass destruction!

When you get in an argument, and that person says something that hurts, offends, or slights you in any way, then you pull out the big gun. You push his hot button. And it works every time!

You know what the Bible calls that? Stupid!

You’re not getting any closer to the resolution. You’re not helping the relationship. In fact, you’re hurting it. It is not wise.

Proverbs 20:3 says this, “Any fool can start arguments; the honorable thing is to stay out of them”.

We all use tools, tricks of the trade, and skills in relationships that are actually counter productive. They’re hurtful, they’re harmful, and they don’t get you what you want out of relationships. In fact, they get you the exact opposite behavior. But when we lack wisdom, we use them anyway.

There are many of these tools, but here are just a few:

  1. Comparing. Never compare your wife, your husband, your kids, your boss, or anybody else, because everybody’s unique. Comparing antagonizes anger
  2. Condemning. When you start laying on the guilt in a relationship, all you’re going to do is get the exact opposite of what you expect. It doesn’t work. It’s foolish.
  3. Contradicting. William James, the famous psychologist said, “Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.” There’s some stuff you just need to overlook.

Proverbs 14:29 says, “A wise man controls his temper. He knows that anger causes mistakes”. Have you ever said or done anything stupid out of anger? Yes. Because when you get angry, your intelligence goes out the window.

Did you ever think about the fact that there is only one letter difference between “anger” and “danger”?

When you get angry, you are in dangerous territory.

You are about to hurt others — and yourself — with your own anger.

Do yourself a favor and GET IN CHURCH ON FRIDAY OR SUNDAY!!

There are some things that God wants to do in your life – And I believe He has a Word He wants to give to YOU that you DO NOT want to miss!

THANK you for your support of the ministries here…Click here to give safely and securely.

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

Have a Great Day!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Did you enjoy the snow?  And this is just December!

Can you believe that 2019 is almost here?

God did great things at Bethlehem Church in 2018!  Through your faithful gifts, we saw the feeding of hundreds of children in need, hundreds of needy folks got helped, and hundreds of first time guests this Christmas seeking hope and healing through Jesus Christ.

This is a great moment for you and your family to invest in the work of the Lord here at Bethlehem Church.  As you consider your end of year giving, think about what God has done this past year at BC.

Hundreds have chosen to follow Jesus.

Over the past 2 years, hundreds of people have been baptized at Bethlehem Church, and our community will never be the same.  Our church is making a difference in our community and there is still so much work to be done!!!

Hungry children in our community are being fed weekly.

Following Jesus’ command, we are ministering to needy children by providing a weekend’s worth of food to children at Woodhill Elementary School.  “Backpack Food Ministry” is a life changer for these kids!

We’re maximizing our kingdom potential.

Our prayer for 2019 is to serve our community with 100,000 hours of community service, to touch 5,000 needy people in our community and see 1,000 people come to faith in Christ.

We are better together!

Let’s also show our love and devotion to the gospel by giving to Christ this Christmas through Bethlehem Church.

Your gifts will help us as we are advancing the Gospel in Gaston County and throughout this world.

You can give online or through our Church App or you can bring it by our church office or mail it to 3100 Bethlehem Church Street, Gastonia, NC 28056.

Your gift must be postmarked, given online, brought by the office or dropped in the offering by December 31, 2018 to be deductible on your 2018 tax return.

God bless you and your family!

Pastor Dickie & Tammy

We all go through periods of loneliness.

Loneliness is so painful that people will try anything to relieve it. We medicate with drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, pornography, and other addictive behaviors. Loneliness can be especially dangerous to people in recovery.

So how do you deal with loneliness? How do you let go of it?

  1. Utilize your time well

Make the best of a bad situation. Resist the temptation to do nothing. If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. Make the most of what you’ve got. Loneliness tends to paralyze. Think of a creative way to take advantage of the situation.

While we should be careful not to medicate with busyness, it is important to be good stewards of the time we spend alone. We’re dangerous when we’re bored and we get discouraged when we aren’t using our time in a purposeful way.

  1. Minimize the hurt

Don’t ignore it, but don’t rehearse it either. Deal with your hurt in bold and honest ways, but find ways to shift your focus to helping and serving others.

Resentment is essentially the choice to hang onto what someone else took away from us. Forgiveness is letting them off the hook and cutting the strings they have on our emotional health.

  1. Recognize God’s presence

Where is God when you’re lonely? He’s right there with you. There is no place that you are that God is not. God is everywhere. You just need to open your eyes and see. Jesus said, “I will never leave you.” No matter where you go, God’s presence is with you. Open your eyes!

  1. Emphasize the needs of others

Focus outwardly, on other people. Get your eyes off of yourself. Quit having a pity party. Find others who are in pain and think of ways to help them.

Stop building walls and start building bridges. And I can’t think of a better time than during the Christmas season because there are a lot of lonely people at Christmas, and they’re hurting.

Love is the antidote to loneliness.

A lot of our loneliness is really a spiritual vacuum. When you invite Christ into your life and ask his Spirit to fill you, he puts his presence in you, a presence that will never, never leave you.

Please come and worship with us today at one of our 3 campuses…It will be a message you need to hear!

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Heart disease is a serious problem in the USA. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in four American deaths are from heart disease.

Yet, the truth is, spiritual heart disease may be far more problematic. The most important antidote for spiritual heart disease is giving. When we give, our hearts grow bigger.

The Bible contains more promises about giving and generosity than any other subject. Why? You’re never more like God than when you give. God gives. It’s what he does. He’s generous. All you have is a gift from God. You wouldn’t take your next breath if God didn’t give it to you.

Every time you choose to give generously rather than hoarding what you have, you get a bigger — and healthier — heart.

It is not a mistake that the word “miser” and “miserable” come from the same word. There are only two kinds of people in life: takers and givers.

The Bible says in Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper”. According to the Bible, the ultimate key to prosperity isn’t your brain, your guile, or even your relationships. The ultimate key to prosperity — the kind of prosperity that honors God — is giving unselfishly to others.

Ultimately, giving is about your past, present, and future relationship with God.

  • Past: You’re grateful for all God has done in your life.
  • Present: You keep your current priorities in place. Giving reminds you that God is first in your life.
  • Future: Your giving reminds you that God will take care of your future.

Being generous with what you have tells the world who matters most to you.

The Bible says, “It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ — the gospel you say you believe — and because you freely share with them and with all others” (2 Corinthians 9:13).

So eat right and exercise. Do whatever it takes to have a healthy heart. But don’t ignore your spiritual heart. The Bible tells us that all we do flows from our heart (Proverbs 4:23).

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES TONIGHT!!! 7PM- FRIDAY NIGHT CHURCH AND KIDS PROGRAMMING TOO!

If you have a prayer need, let Tammy and I know about it…email us.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

To live a fulfilled life, you have to live by God’s power!!

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power”.

Did you know God does not bless self-reliant people? He blesses people who are dependent upon him and surrendered to him.

God wants to use you, but you must live by His power. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think”.

God is able to do more than you can ever imagine. So how do you get God’s power in your life?

There are three ways.

  1. You get God’s power by praying.

When I don’t have any power in my life, it usually means that I am not praying! Prayer and power go together.

  1. You get God’s power by taking risks to obey God.

When you take a risk to do what God tells you to do—even when it’s hard or unpopular, even when it may cost you, even when it doesn’t make sense, even when nobody else is doing it—God will pour his power into your life.

  1. You get God’s power by not giving up.

Don’t give up! In order for God to grow your faith, He’s got to test it. When you’re going through difficulties and delays and dead ends and despair and discouragement, God is teaching you to trust him. Hang on my friend and God will bless you!

Tammy and I are praying for YOU! Email us.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy