The time to start planting is NOW!!

I talk to people all the time who say, “One of these days, I’m going to…”

They’re going to serve more one of these days. Or when they retire. Or when they get a raise. They’re going to increase their giving one of these days.

“One of these days” is none of these days. You don’t wait for things to get better; you start planting now. Why? Because the sooner you plant, the longer you’re going to enjoy the harvest in your life.

But the harvest is not always going to come in your time. There’s always a delay between sowing and reaping. You plant in one season, and you harvest in another.

You have to be patient and not give up!

This is one of the principles that the Kingdom of God operates on. In Mark 4:26-28, Jesus says, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed spouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head”.

The results will come, but they will come slowly and as part of a process. And because it takes time, “Let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest” (Galatians 6:9).

Choose to forget about last year’s crop failure. Instead, start focusing on the long-term harvest in your life. You didn’t get the way you are financially overnight. You took years to mess things up, and it’s going to take a while to put things back together. There is a time of delay between sowing and reaping.

The Bible says in Psalm 126:5-6, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest”.

What need have you been grieving over? Maybe you’ve lost your job. Maybe you’ve lost your health. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one. Maybe you’ve lost your savings. Maybe you’ve lost half of your retirement in the last few years. Maybe you’ve lost your dream.

Mourning is okay; moaning is not. Instead of moaning, you need to plant a seed, because whatever you need more of, you need to give away.

Today is the day to plant a Seed!

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES TONIGHT AT 7PM!! FRIDAY NIGHT CHURCH ROCKS!

We are praying for you! Email Tammy and me. We love you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

A key step to becoming a satisfied person is to stop comparing yourself to others.

The problem is that comparing is the favorite indoor sport in the United States! We naturally do it all the time.

You go into someone’s house and the first thing you do is make comparisons: “I like that floor! Look at that curtain! Wow, what a television!

You pass in front of someone and you think: “I like how he combed his hair; mine looks terrible today.”

We are constantly comparing, and we get frustrated. We have to stop it! If we are going to learn to be content, we must stop comparing our life with that of others.

We must also learn to admire without having to acquire. You must learn to rejoice in the prosperity of other people without becoming jealous and envious and feel that you must also have it.

It’s not just a good idea to stop comparing; it is a commandment. Exodus 20:17 says: “Do not covet your neighbor’s house…or anything that belongs to him “.

Covet means the uncontrolled desire to acquire. It is such a big sin to avoid being included in the Ten Commandments. The word “covet” in Greek means “to grab or hold so tightly that your hands are tight; you cannot even let it go.”

God is not saying that you should never want something. That is not Christianity; that is Buddhism. The wishes are not bad. In fact, your desires come from God. But when a desire is not controlled, it becomes greed. When you want something that is not yours, that is bad. But a desire is not something negative.

Nothing can be achieved unless you want to do it. You can not become more like Christ without wanting to be more like Christ.

For example, you can not be a more loving person without wanting to be a more loving person. You can not be a more generous person without wishing to be a more generous person.

Let’s ask God to help us become CONTENT!!

We are praying for YOU! Email Tammy and me.

Don’t forget Friday Night Church TOMORROW AT 7PM!!

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17 that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”.

That’s the kind of God we serve. He gave us the world for our enjoyment! But here’s the problem: We’re so busy trying to get more that we don’t enjoy what we’ve got!

One of my favorite things to do is to read outside and watch the squirrels in our back yard. We sit out there in some old chairs that we have had for a while but it gives us great pleasure!

Would we have any more joy watching the squirrels if we were sitting on a $10,000 patio chair instead of a ratty chair from Target? No. It would not increase our joy one bit. In fact, there is an advantage to NOT having a $10,000 patio chair– It’s better to have a ratty chair in your backyard. Why? Because nobody steals it!

You need to ask yourself, “What am I not enjoying right now?” Most of us get into what I call “when and then” thinking — “When this happens, then I’ll be happy.”

“When I get a boyfriend, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get married, then I’ll be happy.” “When I have kids, then I’ll be happy.” “When my kids go off to school, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get married again, then I’ll be happy.”

You are as happy as you choose to be!!

Happiness is a choice! If you’re not happy now, you’re not going to be happy later. I could take you to some of the worst places in the world and show you two people living right next door to each other. One is miserable, and one is happy. Why? Happiness has nothing to do with your circumstances. It has everything to do with your attitude. If you’re not happy living on what you’re living on right now, I can guarantee you that you’re not going to be happy with any more. Because you’re always going to want a little bit more.

Happiness is a choice. Choose to enjoy what God has given you right now for your enjoyment!

Please let Tammy and I know how we can pray for you – Email us!

We love YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Life is not about things!!

You’ve got to maintain the right perspective about possessions, or you’ll be possessed by your possessions. You’ve got to realize none of it is going to last.

Jesus says in Luke 12:15, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because your true life is not made up of the things you own, no matter how rich you may be”.

Never judge your self-worth by your net worth. Never think your value is related to your valuables. Realize that the greatest things in life aren’t things. You didn’t bring anything into the world, and you’re not taking anything out of it. Life is not about acquisition or achievement. Life is about relationship and learning how to love God and other people.

The best way to remember that your life is not about things is to build your life on eternal priorities. Focus on what will last forever. Every possession is temporary, so don’t build your life on acquiring possessions. Only two things are going to last forever: the Word of God and people.

You’ve got a choice to make. The world is telling you that you’ve got to get more to be happier, more successful, more important, more valuable, and more secure. You’ve got to decide if you’re going to listen to Madison Avenue or the Master. Are you going to listen to culture or Christ? Are you going to listen to the world or the Word?

There was a famous millionaire who took her own life many years ago. At the funeral somebody said, “I don’t understand it. She had so much to live for.” I thought, “No. Sadly, she had so much to live on. She struggled to know what to truly live for.”

You may have a lot to live on, but do you have anything to live for? Do you have a relationship with God? The myth of the world is that you can have it all. The truth is that you can’t have it all. And more importantly, you don’t need it all to be happy. You’re as happy as you choose to be.

The secret of contentment is finding your security and your satisfaction not in what you have but in whose you are. You find it in Christ.

Psalm 17:15 says, “But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us. And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face-to-face.”  

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

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

In a culture that is absolutely obsessed with appearance and image, how in the world do you keep it real when it seems like everybody else is faking it?

How do you keep it real?

There’s only one way. You’ve got to care more about God’s approval than the approval of other people.

That’s the only way you’ll ever become a person of integrity. Because if you care about what God thinks, then you’re going to do the right thing.

If you care more about what other people think, you’re often going to do the wrong thing.

Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word”.

The only way you’re going to know what God approves of and what he thinks of you is by reading the Bible. You must stay in God’s Word! If you don’t, you won’t have the strength and the stamina to live with integrity.

If I don’t have a daily quiet time with God in the Word, if I miss it for even a few days, I notice it — everyone notices it — because I start getting cranky. If I don’t stay connected to God through his Word, I would not have any spiritual power to clearly explain the Word of God to you. I would not have the strength to live with faith.

Living with faith takes spiritual power, because what is right is often unpopular. You’re going to get tired trying to do the right thing and be real and keep the right motives, and you need to be equipped and refreshed.

You do that by reading and studying the Bible, God’s Word!!

Tammy and I are praying for you! Email us and PLEASE know that WE LOVE YOU!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

In Philippians 4:6-7 we find one of the most difficult verses 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 in the next part of the verse: “pray about everything…thank him for all he has done.”

Grateful prayer brings peace. God says, when you start to worry…start to pray!!

Parents understand the power of grateful prayers. 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.

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, 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.

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

Invite someone to church with you this weekend!

God bless you!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

Life is tough. I realize that’s no surprise to you. You live with that truth every day. Some of us are going through emotional difficulties. Some of us are going through physical issues. Some of us are going through relational issues.

All of us are going through something.

Even one of the great heroes in all of the Bible — Paul, the apostle — went through tough times. The Bible says he was once so depressed he told God he was ready to die. He even asked God to kill him!

How did Paul get through that difficult time?

He plugged into Jesus’ Resurrection power!

Paul wrote, “But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead” (1 Corinthians 1:9).

The Bible says Paul felt “crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure.” He got to the end of himself.

And that’s exactly where he needed to be.

There’s only one condition for God’s power in your life: humility.

You must admit you need it. God does not give his power to arrogant people. Humility tells the Lord, “You are God, and I’m not. You’re right, and I’m not. You have the power, and I don’t. You are wise, and I’m not. And I am powerless to change this situation, so I’m going to give it to you.”

The moment you do that, God brings the power of the Resurrection of Jesus into your situation.

God specializes in bringing back to life dead things. God loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections.

What’s dead in your life? If God can raise a dead person, he can raise a dead marriage, a dead career, or a dead dream. God can do anything.

That’s the power of the Resurrection!

If you need prayer, email Tammy and me.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

If you were to head out to Franklin Square today and ask people if they are going to Heaven or Hell, you’ll likely hear them say, “I hope I’ll go to Heaven.”

But hope just isn’t good enough. I pray that’s not your answer. Your eternal destiny is too important not to know for sure.

Only a fool would be unprepared for what we all know is inevitable: death. The most recent statistics show that mortality rates in the world are 100 percent!

You’re not guaranteed another minute on this planet, much less another hour. Don’t put off the most important choice you’ll ever make.

The Bible says in 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”.

That’s about as clear as you can get. If you have Jesus, you have life. If you don’t have Jesus, you do not have life. You have a choice!

You won’t go to Heaven because of someone else’s faith. You’ll never go to Hell because of someone else’s choice.

It’s your choice! You’ll decide where you’ll spend eternity.

This is why the Gospel is SO important. If Jesus hadn’t died and come back to life, we’d be hopeless. Nothing we do would matter. You wouldn’t have this choice.

The cross is the answer to our deepest problem — our separation from God.

The Bible says, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

God nailed everything that separated you from himself to the cross. But God won’t force you to make the most important decision of your life. It’s in your hands.

It’s time to choose.

If you want to make that decision to follow Jesus, please let Tammy and me know. We would like to celebrate your decision with you! Write us!

Invite someone to come to one of our services with you this weekend!!  Friday night at 7pm would be an awesome night for a guest to come be with us!

Make it a great day!

Pastor Dickie and 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.

Our job is to submit to Him and be humble 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.

Pastor Dickie and Tammy

DO NOT MISS OUR SERVICES TOMORROW! WE ARE TALKING ABOUT  “HANDLING DEPRESSION”- But I want to talk to you about something today that is VERY IMPORTANT – How to Handle Resentment.

If you hang on to resentment, it always hurts you more than anyone else. Resentment is self-destructive and counterproductive.

Resentment just makes no sense.

If any guy ever had a reason to be resentful, it was Job. He was a godly man, who had everything he wanted — wealth, fame, and a great family. One day he lost it all. Enemy nations killed all his livestock. All of his children were killed. He got a terrible disease. He literally lost everything he had. All he had left was a nagging wife. Then his friends came along and said, “Job, it’s all your fault.”

Though Job had every reason to be resentful, he tells us in the biblical book named after him that resentment is a bad idea. Job says, “To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do” (Job 5:2).

Job was a wise man. He knew he didn’t have time to be resentful. He knew it was foolish, senseless, and illogical. If you think back through experiences in your own life, you’ll probably agree. We can do silly things when we’re caught up in resentment. We’ll say things like, “I’m going to get him!” Then we often do the ridiculous to make that happen.

When we give in to resentment, we act in self-destructive ways and hurt ourselves much more than those we’re holding grudges against.

For example, I remember one time watching the old comedy act, “The Three Stooges.” Mo kept hitting Curly on the chest. Curly said, “I’m going to get even with that guy. I’m going to stop him!” So he took a stick of dynamite and strapped it to his own chest. Then he said, “Next time he slaps me, it’s going to blow his hand off!!”

That’s what happens when we’re resentful — we do really dumb things to try to get even with people.

Worse yet, resentment isn’t helpful. It makes us miserable in the process. It never ends with us getting what we want.

So why do it?

Don’t hold on to your resentment.

Let it go. Forgive.

Let Tammy and me know if we can pray for you today …Email us!

Have a Super Saturday!

Pastor Dickie and Tammy