Friday, December 19, 2008

Making A Difference!

As we approach a new year I would like to exhort each of you to spread the gospel of Christ by your life and personal witness. Over the years I have often tried to reach people with the printed page. My suggestion is to pass out the booklet that I have written Authentic Christianity 101 published by Evangelical Press. This is a simple presentation of the gospel that both declares and defends the gospel by an exposition of John 3:16. I was always stirred by the deep love and faithfulness of my father-in-law Del Fehsenfeld. That dear man of God would witness and give out Christian literature everywhere he would go. Even up to the time of his death at the age of 93 he never slowed down in his desire to witness and see people come to faith in Christ. I keep a box of Christian books and materials in the trunk of my car so I have literature, tapes, and Cd's available when I have opportunities to witness for the Lord. Pass out this booklet with the prayer that those you give it to will come to faith in Christ.

You might also give out the book on What The Bible Teaches About Worship, and my new book Living For Jesus, (This book is published by Emmaus Road Press and can be ordered by contacting Berean Baptist Church). My desire in writing these books was to make a difference in our culture which is becoming more secular, worldly, and anti-Christian with every passing day. I trust that all of you at Berean will do your part in helping to stop the hemorrhaging of our spiritual heritage.

As this year comes to an end likes all be committed to making a difference. We can and should do all that we can to serve the Lord in the days that He has given us on this earth.

Pray for our pastors, elders, deacons, and leaders at Berean. It is my prayer and desire that the wind of heaven will descend on our church in a mighty effusion of power and blessing!

May God bless you all and use you to change lives and impact others for our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dickie

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Message Of Christmas

Text: Luke 2:1-14

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

These fourteen verses in Luke’s gospel give us the amazing and mysterious events that surrounded the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The life of Christ is an entire unit and cannot be chopped up into little pieces and bits and isolated from the rest of His life. Every event in His history as the God-man is unique and important. But there are several events in the tapestry of his life that stand out from the rest as the main essentials of His life on earth as the Messiah. Those events would include His:

1. Birth
2. Death
3. Resurrection
4. And Ascension into Heaven

These four events are a concise adumbration of the entire activity of Jesus Christ the God-man. In our text found in Luke’s gospel we have the story of the birth of Jesus. This is one of the most beloved passages that we have in the four gospels. It just would not seem like Christmas if we did not read this precious text and ponder its relevance for our lives today.

Let me give a brief overview of the passage and then come to our theme and outline. First, in verses 1-3 we read of the decree of Caesar Augustus that all of the known world (under the Roman Empire’s influence) should be taxed. The word decree is from the Greek word dogma. It meant something had to be done. The authority of the Roman Empire stood behind that decree or command from Caesar. Four hundred silent years have come and gone since Jehovah had last spoken to His people through His prophets. Malachi was the last prophetic voice heard by the Lord’s people. Earlier in Hebrew history Daniel had made a marvelous prophecy that pin-pointed the exact year and time that the Jewish nation could expect to see the arrival of their Messiah. This prophecy was known as Daniel’s 70 Weeks. Those devout believers, who understood their Scriptures, were expecting the arrival of Messiah in or around the very time that Jesus was actually born. Even though the godly scholars and believers among the Jews were expecting their Messiah they did not know the details of all that would surround this blessed event. Long before the decree of Caesar went forth that demanded all people to return to the city of their birth to be taxed a decree went out from the throne room of heaven mandating that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. The rise and domination of the Roman Empire was not a mere coincidence. The Roman Empire was ordained by God to be the instrument that would play a key role in the birth and the death of God’s own Son Jesus Christ.

Second, we see in verses 4-6 Joseph and Mary made their way to the city of David, Bethlehem, to be taxed. Galilee was in the North parts of Israel. Joseph was described as going up to Bethlehem because Bethlehem was at a higher elevation than Galilee. The journey to Bethlehem was about 60 or 70 miles by way the crow flies. Bethlehem is a prophetic city of importance. Micah 5:2 gave us this wonderful Messianic promise, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

In verse 7 we are told of the birth of Jesus in more vivid detail. Mary gave birth to her son in a barn or stall where cattle were kept and fed. There was no room for them in the inn. Joseph being a poor carpenter and not being any one of prominence was not given any help or assistance. Joseph had to find the best spot in the barn and stall that he could and then assisted his wife Mary in delivering the Christ child. The baby was wrapped in swaddling clothes, i.e. Dirty rags. This itself was fulfilling the ancient prophecy that Messiah would be of humble and lowly birth. How ominous is the statement that there was no room for them in the inn. Is there any room for Jesus in your:

1. Life
2. Heart
3. Home
4. Family
5. Plans
6. Hopes and aspirations
7. Personal and private lives
8. Public life?

Never forget that the baby in this manger was not just another man-child. This baby was the Creator of the ends of the earth. This was the One who gave the lion his roar, the leopard his spots, the elephant his trunk, the zebra his stripes, the robin his song, the flower its beauty and who made the sun, moon and the stars and hung all of the planets in space. This child was encapsulated Deity.

Third, in verses 8-9 we see in the nearby fields there were shepherds who were keeping watch over their sheep by night. Suddenly, out of nowhere appeared the angel of the Lord in the skies above these lowly shepherds. The blazing glory of Yahweh shined all around the angels and this caused a deep reverential fear to overcome these humble men.

In verses 10-12 the angels make a wonderful announcement to these lowly sheep herders. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” This was a gracious announcement. It was not the sound of alarm of impending doom. It was the joyful news to announce the arrival of God’s Christmas gift. “For unto you…” What precious words these are. The announcement was that there was good tidings of great joy that shall be to all people (Not just Jews, but people of all races, nations, languages, and ethnic backgrounds). The angelic announcement was very specific. It announced the birth of the Savior who was the promised Jewish Messiah. There were three key words in this angelic announcement.

1. Savior- the child born was to be a Savior for His people to deliver them from their guilt and sins.
2. Christ- the child born was to be the promised Messiah that all the Scriptures and prophets foretold.
3. Lord- the child born was not just a Savior, and promised Messiah but was also deity who would be the ruler of the nations of the earth.

The message also told these men that they would find the Christ child in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Finally, in verses 13-14, the angels burst out in the first Christmas carol and sing praises to the new born king.

This is a brief but good summary of the message of Christmas. I trust all of you will have a wonderful Christmas this year. You are all in our prayers and Mary and I, and Eric and Lori pray for our church family during this season.

We love you all!!! Have a merry Christmas!!

Yours in Christ, Pastor Bob

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Praying for you all to have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!!!

Let me take a moment to wish all of you a wonderful thanksgiving this year. We have much to be thankful for. Yes, many Americans are uncertain about the future because of the financial crisis and because of the sad election results that put into office as the president of the United States the most liberal, inexperienced man ever elected. A man who has supported partial birth abortion and seems to take sides with every thing that we as Christians would oppose and find morally appalling.

I came across this article today that I thought I would pass on to all of you. I trust it will be a blessing and a challenge to each of you. This article was written by Mark Alexander the editor of the Patriot Post on the Internet.

“In the aftermath of a momentous election, an election sure to change the course of our nation, it is tempting to despair. On this Thanksgiving, though, let us resist that powerful temptation and instead take stock of the blessings of liberty.

President Ronald Reagan often cited the Pilgrims who celebrated the first Thanksgiving as our forebears who charted the path of American freedom. He made frequent reference to John Winthrop's "shining city upon a hill."

As Reagan explained, "The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free."

Who were these "freedom men," and how did they eventually blaze the path of true liberty? They were Calvinist Protestants who rejected the institutional Church of England, believing that worshipping God must originate freely in the individual soul, without coercion. Suffering persecution and imprisonment in England for their beliefs, a group of these separatists fled to Holland in 1608. There, they found spiritual liberty in the midst of a disjointed economy that failed to provide adequate compensation for their labors, and a dissolute, degraded, corrupt culture that tempted their children to stray from faith.

Determined to protect their families from such spiritual and cultural dangers, the Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on 6 September 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. After an arduous journey, they dropped anchor off the coast of what is now Massachusetts.

On 11 December 1620, prior to disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the Mayflower Compact, America's original document of civil government. It was the first to introduce self-government, and the foundation on which the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were built. Governor William Bradford described the Compact as "a combination ... that when they came a shore they would use their owne libertie; for none had power to command them."
Upon landing, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service and quickly turned to building shelters. Under harrowing conditions, the colonists persisted through prayer and hard work, reaping a bountiful summer harvest. But their material prosperity soon evaporated, for the Pilgrims had erred in acquiescing to their European investors' demands for a financial arrangement holding all crops and property in common, in order to return an agreed-to half to their overseas backers.
By 1623, however, Plymouth Colony was near failure as a result of famine, blight and drought, as well as excessive taxation and what amounted to forced collectivization.

In desperation, the Pilgrims set a day for prayers of repentance; God answered, delivering a gentle rainfall by evening. Bradford's diary recounts how the colonists repented in action: "At length, after much debate of things, the Governor (with the advice of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves; in all other things to go in the general way as before. And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number."

Property ownership and families freely laboring on their own behalf replaced the "common store," but only after their ill-advised experiment with communism nearly wiped out the entire settlement.

In their simple representative government, born out of dedication to religious freedom, the Pilgrims replaced the rule of men -- with its arbitrary justice administered capriciously at the whim of rulers who favor some at the expense of others -- with the rule of law, treating individuals equally. Yet even these "freedom men" strayed under straits. So could we, if we revert to materialistic government reliance instead of grateful obedience to God. Sadly, we're a long way down that path already.

Closing his farewell address in 1989, Ronald Reagan asked, "And how stands the city on this winter night?" Contemplating our blessings of liberty this Thanksgiving, nearly 20 years after President Reagan left office and 20 generations past the Pilgrims' experience, how stands the city on our watch?”

God bless you all and have a great Thanksgiving!

Love, Pastor Dickie

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home from Portugal!

We had a wonderful trip to Lisbon, Portugal. The pastors conference went very well. There were around 70 pastors and people at the conference this year. Matt and Cheryl and Abraham went with Mary and me to the conference this year. We had the privilege of meeting friends and Christians in London, Paris, and in Lisbon. When we landed in Lisbon it was such a blessing to have 7 friends from Brasil meet us at the airport!

The purpose of the conference was to ignite faith and hope in the lives of these dear men of God as they labor for Christ in Portugal and around Europe. I trust that the Lord was with us and that He accomplished His sovereign will in our lives as we ministered to these dear brethren in the Lord. I have the strong belief that the Lord is going to fill the earth with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. This is a day when the church must be optimistic and hopeful of the coming of Christ in power upon His people and upon His church. Pessimism and defeatism will not enable the body of Christ to meet the challenges that face us in these perilous times. My prayer for all of you is that you will give yourselves to prayer and to active Christian living so that people may see Christ in you!
Please keep us in prayer as the next trip will be to preach in the African Pastor's conference in South Africa this January. God bless all of you. Yours in Christ, Pastor Dickie

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Living For Jesus

My new book Living For Jesus will soon be available at the church book store. You can order your copy from Diane smith on Sunday morning. My prayer is that this book will be a great aid to all who read it in enabling them to live for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The following lines are from the chapter on loving the Word of God. This will give you a brief sample of what this book is like. God bless you all as you live for our great King!

In his book The Wonders of the Word of God, evangelist Robert L. Sumner tells about a man who was severely injured in a terrible explosion. The man’s face was badly disfigured and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He had recently become a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read Braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in Braille. Much to his dis­may, however, he discovered that the explosion had also destroyed the nerve endings in his lips. But one day, as he brought one of the Braille pages to his lips, his tongue hap­pened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. In a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had read through the entire Bible four times.

My father-in-law, an old southern evangelist, Dr. Del Fehsenfeld, used to say:

Read the Bible through.
Pray the Bible in.
Live the Bible out.
Pass the Bible on.
And you’ll not have any trouble standing on your feet.”

That the Bible will have a powerful impact on our Christian lives and transform us by its amazing message is a fact that none can deny. I suggest that there can be no Christian living without hav­ing the Bible as a fundamental part of one’s worldview. Dr. D. James Kennedy records the impact that the Bible had on a man who was a professed and arrogant atheist.

Henry Stanley said that in the 1880’s, when he entered the interior of Africa, he was the most swaggering atheist in the world. In the depths of the jungles of central Africa he came upon David Livingston — a man so mild, so meek, and yet so firm and so definite in his purpose and desire to proclaim the gospel. Stanley lived in that man’s tent for months and listened to Livingston read from his little Bible day by day. As a result, the most swaggering atheist in the world was transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and was brought to the Savior.

There is a poem about the Bible that I have written on the inside cover of my personal Bible that I use when I preach. This poem encourages, inspires, and challenges me.

The Bible

Though the cover is worn, and pages are torn,
And places bear traces of tears,
Yet more precious than gold, is this book worn and old,
That can shatter and scatter my fears.
When I prayerfully look, in this precious old book,
As my eyes scan the pages I see,
Many tokens of love from the Father above,
Who is nearest and dearest to me.
This old book is my guide, ’tis a friend by my side,
It will lighten and brighten my way.
And each promise I find soothes and gladdens my mind.
As I read it and heed it today.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Living For Jesus

My new book Living For Jesus is now in print. I will be making it available to the members at Berean in the next couple of weeks. It will also be available at the major next month. It is my prayer that this book will be a spiritual blessing to all who read it.
My intention in writing this was to leave for my family, children and grandchildren a spiritual legacy that would impact their lives. I thought to myself that if I was gone what would I want my loved ones to know about my faith? With that in mind I wrote this book so that the things that matter most to me on a spiritual level would not be forgotten or lost. I trust that this book, which is intended to help ones develop a Christian worldview so they can live for Jesus, will be a great blessing to all who read it. Here are the chapter headings so you can review what the contents will be.
Part I: The Purpose of Christian Living

1. Following the Instructions — “The Creation Mandate”
2. Being a People of Destiny
3. Living for the Glory of God
4. Fearing the Lord
5. Loving the Word of God
6. Walking with God

Part II: The Practical Aspects of Christian Living

7. Using Our Time Wisely
8. Developing a Biblical View of Wealth
9. Nurturing a Biblical Self-image
10. Being a True Friend
11. Understanding the Biblical Purpose of Sex and Marriage
12. Becoming a Servant
13. Striving for Success
14. Building Character in the Christian Life
15. Making a Good First Impression
16. Proclaiming the Gospel of Christ

Part III: The Peace of Christian Living

17. Discovering the Peace of Romans 8:28
18. Living in the Spirit of Praise
19. Preparing for Death

Scripture References
God bless you all...and may you all live for Jesus!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How To Spend A Day With God!

Dear Berean Family, I read this article recently and found it to be of great help and encouragement in my relationship with the Lord. One of the goals of Christian living should be the development of our relationship with God. This article will encourage you in that endeavor. My prayer for all of you is to obey what Peter exhorted us in II Peter 3:18, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen." I trust this article will be a great blessing to all of you.

How to Spend the Day With God

adapted and updated from RICHARD BAXTER (1615-1691)

A holy life is inclined to be made easier when we know the usual sequence and method of our duties - with everything falling into its proper place. Therefore, I shall give some brief directions for spending the day in a holy manner.


Measure the time of your sleep appropriately so that you do not waste your precious morning hours sluggishly in your bed. Let the time of your sleep be matched to your health and labour and not to slothful pleasure.

First Thoughts

Let God have your first awaking thoughts; lift up your hearts to Him reverently and thankfully for the rest enjoyed the night before and cast yourself upon Him for the day which follows.
Familiarise yourself so consistently to this that your conscience may check you when common thoughts shall first intrude. Think of the mercy of a night's rest and of how many that have spent that night in Hell; how many in prison; how many in cold, hard lodgings; how many suffering from agonising pains and sickness, weary of their beds and of their lives.
Think of how many souls were that night called from their bodies terrifyingly to appear before God and think how quickly days and nights are rolling on! How speedily your last night and day will come! Observe that which is lacking in the preparedness of your soul for such a time and seek it without delay.


Let prayer by yourself alone (or with your partner) take place before the collective prayer of the family. If possible let it be first, before any work of the day.

Family Worship

Let family worship be performed consistently and at a time when it is most likely for the family to be free of interruptions.

Ultimate Purpose

Remember your ultimate purpose, and when you set yourself to your day's work or approach any activity in the world, let HOLINESS TO THE LORD be written upon your hearts in all that you do.
Do no activity which you cannot entitle God to, and truly say that he set you about it, and do nothing in the world for any other ultimate purpose than to please, glorify and enjoy Him. "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Diligence in Your Calling

Follow the tasks of your calling carefully and diligently. Thus:
(a) You will show that you are not sluggish and servants to your flesh (as those that cannot deny it ease), and you will further the putting to death of all the fleshly lusts and desires that are fed by ease and idleness. (b) You will keep out idle thoughts from your mind, that swarm in the minds of idle persons. (c) You will not lose precious time, something that idle persons are daily guilty of. (d) You will be in a way of obedience to God when the slothful are in constant sins of omission. (e) You may have more time to spend in holy duties if you follow your occupation diligently. Idle persons have no time for praying and reading because they lose time by loitering at their work. (f) You may expect God's blessing and comfortable provision for both yourself and your families. (g) it may also encourage the health of your body which will increase its competence for the service of your soul.

Temptations and Things That Corrupt

Be thoroughly acquainted with your temptations and the things that may corrupt you - and watch against them all day long. You should watch especially the most dangerous of the things that corrupt, and those temptations that either your company or business will unavoidably lay before you.
Watch against the master sins of unbelief: hypocrisy, selfishness, pride, flesh pleasing and the excessive love of earthly things. Take care against being drawn into earthly mindedness and excessive cares, or covetous designs for rising in the world, under the pretence of diligence in your calling.
If you are to trade or deal with others, be vigilant against selfishness and all that smacks of injustice or uncharitableness. In all your dealings with others, watch against the temptation of empty and idle talking. Watch also against those persons who would tempt you to anger. Maintain that modesty and cleanness of speech that the laws of purity require. If you converse with flatterers, be on your guard against swelling pride.
If you converse with those that despise and injure you, strengthen yourself against impatient, revengeful pride.
At first these things will be very difficult, while sin has any strength in you, but once you have grasped a continual awareness of the poisonous danger of any one of these sins, your heart will readily and easily avoid them.


When alone in your occupations, improve the time in practical and beneficial meditations. Meditate upon the infinite goodness and perfections of God; Christ and redemption; Heaven and how unworthy you are of going there and how you deserve eternal misery in Hell.

The Only Motive

Whatever you are doing, in company or alone, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Otherwise, it is unacceptable to God.

Redeeming The Time

Place a high value upon your time, be more careful of not losing it than you would of losing your money. Do not let worthless recreations, television, idle talk, unprofitable company, or sleep rob you of your precious time.
Be more careful to escape that person, action or course of life that would rob you of your time than you would be to escape thieves and robbers.
Make sure that you are not merely never idle, but rather that you are using your time in the most profitable way that you can and do not prefer a less profitable way before one of greater profit.

Eating and Drinking

Eat and drink with moderation and thankfulness for health, not for unprofitable pleasure. Never please your appetite in food or drink when it is prone to be detrimental to your health.
Remember the sin of Sodom: "Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food and abundance of idleness" - Ezekiel 16:49.
The Apostle Paul wept when he mentioned those "whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their minds on earthly things, being enemies to the cross of Christ" - Philippians 3:18-19. O then do not live according to the flesh lest you die (Romans 8:13).

Prevailing Sins

If any temptation prevails against you and you fall into any sins in addition to habitual failures, immediately lament it and confess it to God; repent quickly whatever the cost. It will certainly cost you more if you continue in sin and remain unrepentant.
Do not make light of your habitual failures, but confess them and daily strive against them, taking care not to aggravate them by unrepentance and contempt.


Remember every day the special duties of various relationships: whether as husbands, wives, children, masters, servants, pastors, people, magistrates, subjects.
Remember every relationship has its special duty and its advantage for the doing of some good. God requires your faithfulness in this matter as well as in any other duty.

Closing the Day

Before returning to sleep, it is wise and necessary to review the actions and mercies of the day past, so that you may be thankful for all the special mercies and humbled for all your sins.
This is necessary in order that you might renew your repentance as well as your resolve for obedience, and in order that you may examine yourself to see whether your soul grew better or worse, whether sin goes down and grace goes up and whether you are better prepared for suffering, death and eternity.
May these directions be engraven upon your mind and be made the daily practice of your life.
If sincerely adhered to, these will be conducive to the holiness, fruitfulness and quietness of your life and add to you a comfortable and peaceful death.

Friday, August 15, 2008

9 Reasons For Suffering

Last Sunday I brought a message on The Great Questions Of The Bible. The question that we considered dealt with the reasons that God allows His children to suffer. Since this is so relevant I thought it might be helpful to share some of this material with you. The 9 reasons that God allows His people to pass through times of sorrow and suffering can be found in my message at

1. Sorrows and sufferings make us like Christ.

a. Jesus was the man of sorrows.

b. When we suffer and are filled with sorrows, we are most like our Lord.

2. Sorrows and sufferings drive us to our knees in prayer.
a. It has been said, “When the barn is full, we don’t often
seek the Lord.”
b. Psalm 130:1, “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O

3. Sorrows and sufferings jolt us out of our indifference.
a. C. S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our joys, but
screams to us in our sorrows.”
b. The Psalmist said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I have kept thy word.” Psalm 119:67

4. Sorrows and sufferings teach us to die to self.
a. Dying to self is one of the great secrets of the Christian
b. Jesus explained the importance of dying to self when He
said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat
fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die,
it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24.

5. Sorrows and sufferings teach us to be broken before God.
a. Brokenness is similar to dying to self. When we are
broken like the alabaster box the fragrance of the
indwelling Christ flows out to touch the lives of those
around us.
b. Psalm 51:17, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a
broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
c. In her book Brokenness The Heart God Revives, Nancy
Demoss gives us the traits or marks of true brokenness.

1. Broken people are more conscious of their own
spiritual need than of anyone else’s.
2. Broken people are compassionate people.
3. Broken people have the kind of love that overlooks a
multitude of sins; they can forgive much because they
know how much they have been forgiven.
4. Broken people encourage, and lift up those that God
has placed in positions of authority, and they talk to
God in intercession, rather than gossiping about the
faults they see in others.
5. Broken people yield their rights and have a meek spirit.
6. Broken people are motivated to serve others and to be
sure other’s needs are met before their own.
7. Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make
others successful.
8. Broken people desire to promote others.
9. Broken people are eager for others to get the credit, and
they rejoice when others are lifted up.
10. Broken people are humbled by how much they have to
11. Broken people are not preoccupied with what others
think of them.
12. Broken people accept personal responsibility and can
acknowledge where they were wrong in a situation.
13. Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled, no
matter how wrong the other party may have been.
14. Broken people receive correction with a humble, open
15. Broken people give thanks in all things; they are quick
to forgive those who wrong them.

6. Sorrows and sufferings test our faith.
a. Jeremiah 12:5, “If thou hast run with the footmen, and they
have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with
horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst,
they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of
b. We must learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

7. Sorrows and sufferings reveal our character.
a. How we respond to sorrows and sufferings reveals the
spiritual depths of our souls.
b. Do we respond to trials and tragedies with Christ-like
grace and love, or do we react in the flesh with anger, self-
pity and resentment?

8. Sorrows and sufferings bring Christ near to our hearts.
a. This was seen in Daniel when the three Hebrew boys were
thrown into the fiery furnace and Jesus was seen to be in
the furnace with them.
b. Sorrows and sufferings bring the heart of God close to us.
Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a
broken heart, and saveth such as are of a contrite spirit.”

9. Sorrows and sufferings make God’s promises a blessing to us.
a. Isa. 41:10, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not
dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I
will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand
of my righteousness.”
b. John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto
you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
c. Deut. 33:27, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and
underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust
out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy
d. Nehemiah 8:10, “Then he said unto them, Go your way,
eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto
them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy
unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord
is your strength.”
e. Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy
and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hop,
through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Home from Wales!

The Team from Berean Baptist church that went with me to minister in Wales is home safe and filled with praise for what they saw the Lord doing among the Lord's people on the other side of the ocean. We had a wonderful trip. We saw many special things on our journey but it must be emphasized that the purpose of the trip was to minister and to serve not to sight see and have a holiday. Our Welsh hosts took very good care of us and we did in fact have opportunities to see many wonderful things and places. But the real joy of the trip was to spend time serving the Lord and being among the Lord's people.

I cannot say enough about the help and leadership that Eric Stewart is displaying in his young ministry. He has been such a blessing and an encouragement to me. He is growing in his faith and in his ability to serve. I am very pleased with the spirit and attitude of this young man of God. The entire Team did a splendid job serving and ministering to the people in Wales. I received many kind and appreciative comments from the folks over there. I prayed that we would be a blessing to them and it appears that that was indeed the case. If this be so I give the Lord all the glory for what He did through all of us while serving His people in that wonderful land.

As always, I was personally refreshed by the ministry and spiritual influence of Vernon and Dewi Higham. These are truly two of our Lord's choice servants. I ask all of our Berean members and friends to uphold them in your prayers as they serve and proclaim the gospel of grace to that place where God has placed them!

The conference at Pembroke, Wales was well attended. There were pastors from both England and Wales present. The singing was magnificent and it greatly encouraged me to see that our worship and praise could be so powerful without having to resort to the cheap music of the pop culture to make it relevant. God moved in our midst. I believe that the Lord Jesus was magnified by the wonderful preaching of Dewi Higham on the great gospel of grace and by Vernon Higham on the Law of Love. Vernon gave a wonderful exposition of the Ten Commandments that was such a blessing to all of us there. The fellowship was indeed sweet and it was such an encouragement to see how God is working amongst the dear flock at Tabernacle Church Cardiff.

I have returned home greatly encouraged and refreshed from being with the Lord's people. Please keep our students in the Emmaus Road Academy in prayer and continue to pray for the Tabernacle Church in Cardiff that God will use them to influence many thousands around England and Wales in the days and years to come. God bless you all. Love Pastor Dickie

Monday, July 14, 2008

Emmaus Road Academy going to Wales!

I am going to Wales to preach at a conference for two weeks with Dewi Higham. Traveling with me are some of the students from our academy. The students coming with me are Dan Kusky, Scott Schroeder, Brent Campau, Gene Lukonen, Andrew Felten, and Eric and Lori Stewart. Our desire is to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ to the people of Wales and England. I am very excited to have these students traveling with me to the conference this year.

One of the things I am trying to help these students realize is that the Lord is working today all over the earth to fill the world with the glory of His Son! Today, more than ever before, it is essential for Christians to have an eschatology of victory. I meet believers everywhere who have retreated and almost given up any hope of seeing a revival or outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We are truly living in days of unbelief and pessimism.

Jesus told us He would build His church and the gates of Hell would not prevail against Him. We are going to Wales to preach, pray, and to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ by our testimonies, preaching, and all that we do. Keep us in prayer! As we are away may the Lord bless all of you at Berean. God bless you all! Love in Christ, Pastor Dickie

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Have a great 4th of July!

This is a great nation. We have been blessed by the Lord with freedom and prosperity. This 4th of July I urge all of you to give thanks to the Lord for all of His blessings on our country. This time of year should cause all of us to pause and return praise to the One who has been so good to us. As a nation we should repent of any and all sins that may be grieving the Lord. Here are some things that we might take to the Lord in repentance:

1. Repent of our spiritual apathy.

2. Repent of our guilt as a nation for allowing abortion to kill so many innocent lives.

3. Repent of the moral pollution that we have allowed to fill the youth of this nation.

4. Repent that we have elected leaders who have no moral courage to do what is right no mater what the cost.

5. Repent that we have not sought the Lord for a national revival.

I love this country because of our religious liberty. Our forefathers came here to be able to worship God without government interference. We have the greatest government on earth. But it is important that we not take it for granted. To keep this nation great we must be a godly and holy people. May God bless each of you as you celebrate this holiday with your families.

Here are some quotes that should cause us all to think!

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville

America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Have a great holiday!
Pastor Dickie

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Visit to 'The Holocaust Memorial' in Detroit

This week I went with a group from our church to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Detroit. It was a very moving experience. We took a tour of the facility and had a wonderful guide who gave us a passionate and informative overview of the Holocaust that happened in Europe during WWII. I could not help but wonder how it is that people could be so cruel and inhumane to other people. We are shocked by the atrocities that Nazism perpetrated on the Jewish population of Europe.

Yet today there are atrocities and genocide being committed every day. Humanity is surely sick. It is my conviction that the precious gospel of Jesus Christ is the only true antidote to the moral ills of our world. When people are changed by the good news of Jesus Christ they are transformed from being selfish, arrogant, mean spirited, and potentially dangerous people to those who are lovers and worshippers of God.

What makes this change happen? It is the gospel of Christ. By the preaching of the gospel men are transformed and made holy. Our lives are turned around and we are given the desire to treat all men with kindness and dignity. This is the miracle of the New Birth. Jesus said, "Ye must be born again." I am greatly saddened by all of the terrible suffering that the Jewish people endured during the Holocaust. And I am saddened by all of the tragic suffering that so many people are facing today. The answer to all of this, however, is to proclaim the unsearchable riches of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ makes the difference in our lives. And Christ is the need for our country and for our world.

When I became a Christian the Lord taught me to love my enemies, treat all men with love and respect, to die to self, and to be like Christ in my dealings with my fellow man. The Gospel of Christ teaches us to walk with God, to be unselfish, to be generous, to be thoughtful, to be compassionate, to be approachable, and to be holy. This is the goal of Christian living. I pray for all of you to know the Lord and to be conformed into His image as you live your life in this fallen world.

God bless you all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

This Sunday is Father's Day. When Moses was leading the children of Israel through the wilderness he came to the Promised Land. Because of his own personal sins and failures the Lord did not permit Moses to enter into the Land of Promise. But He did allow Moses to help lay the ground work of their entry into the land. One of the things that Moses did was to remind the children of Israel of God's promises and of God's laws. In the Ten Commandments we read that we are to honor our fathers and our mothers. This is found in Deuteronomy 5:16. As we gather in church on this Sunday it is my prayer that we will all take time to thank God for His many blessings and gifts to us and that we will also take the time to thank our fathers for all that they have done for us as well.

Recently I read a wonderful book by Mark DeMoss on leadership principles. The book is called, The Little Red Book of Wisdom. This is a book that every Christian father, and leader should read. I was deeply touched by how tenderly Mark DeMoss spoke of his earthly father. Mr Arthur S. DeMoss died a number of years ago. After his death he left for the work of the Lord a large fortune that he had put into a foundation to ensure that the work of the Lord continued long after he had gone to heaven. Arthur DeMoss was a great man of God. His impact on his son Mark was very evident in this book written by his son Mark. In this book Mark DeMoss tells of three things his dad taught him that he never forgot and that changed his life forever. Here's what he learned from his dad:

1. Give to God the first hour of the day. Arthur S. DeMoss would spend the first hour of every day in his morning watch. He sought after God like a man seeking after some great treasure. His hunger for God made him come to the Lord every day to seek fresh manna from God.

2. Give to God the first day of the week. Arthur S. DeMoss set aside each Sunday to be a day of rest and worship. He made sure his family was in the house of the Lord each week. This was a lesson that Mark DeMoss never forgot. We do our families a great disservice if we neglect to take them to the Lord's house for worship each week.

3. Give to God the first dime of every dollar. Arthur S. DeMoss tithed on all that he made. To fail to tithe is to rob God and to lose many blessings that would have been yours if you had been obedient to God's command.

Arthur S. DeMoss was a man who loved God. May we each be those who love God as well and leave for our families a legacy of love, trust, example, and faithful Christian living so that those who come behind us will see our lives and be led to Christ.

I trust that you will all have a wonderful Father's Day this Sunday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Book Recommendation...

May I recommend a wonderful book by Charles Spurgeon? It is C. H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership. Every Christian who takes seriously the command to disciple the nations should read this book. There are keys to being a great leader that are often overlooked in many circles that discuss leadership. From a Christian perspective we must consider the things that matter most to God. This book will enable you to focus on these different aspects of leadership that are essential to being a truly great leader.

Here are some of the aspects of spiritual leadership that Spurgeon addresses:

1. Having a passion for prayer
2. Having a faith that endures
3. A committment to holiness
4. A heart for service
5. A love for the Lord and for His Word
6. A willingness to suffer
7. A passion for souls
8. The power of a single focus

Here are a few quotes from this book.

"The best spiritual leaders are those who are always learning. They're the ones who ask, How can I do this better? How can I have a greater impact? How can I inspire the people around me upward and onward in their Christian growth? How can I glorify God more?"

"If any of you should ask me for an epitome of the Christian religion, I should say it is in that one word--prayer."

On the subject of faith Spurgeon said, "Go in for great things, brethren, in the name of God; risk everything on His promise, and according to your faith shall it be done unto you."

On holiness Spurgeon said, "We are watched by a thousand eagle eyes; let us so act that we shall never need to care if all heaven, and earth, and hell, swelled the list of spectators. Our public position is a great gain if we are enabled to exhibit the fruits of the Spirit in our lives; take heed, brethren, that you throw not away the advantage."

I would encourge all of you to purchase this book and to devour its contents. It will be a great blessing and will transform your life and help you to become a better spiritual leader for the Kingdom of God in the days and the years to come. God bless you all,

Pastor Dickie

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Reading The Bible

I want to share with all of you my method of reading the Bible. There are many different ways that people may choose to read their Bibles. One method of reading the Bible is to simply begin in January and read right through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Another method of reading the Bible is to use the Bible reading program that was put together by Robert Murray McCheyne. McCheyne's Bible reading program can be found by googling this on line. The method I use, however, is one that I have found to be very helpful for my spiritual growth and development. Here's what I do each day. Let's suppose we are beginning on January 1st. I begin reading several chapters in the Old Testament at the book of Genesis. I will also read a 5 chapters from the Psalms each day. Next I will also read one chapter from Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the week. Each month I will have gone through the Psalms and Proverbs. When I finish the Psalms and Proverbs I begin again with them. I also begin reading on January 1st in the New Testament at Matthew's gospel. I read several chapters of the gospels each day. When I finish with Matthew I go to Mark, then Luke and finally the book of John. When I come to the end of John's gospel I will go back to Matthew and start once again. So you can see I am continually cycling through the four gospels. Next, on January 1st I also start reading Acts. Everyday I read several chapters in the New Testament. When I come to the end of the New testament I go back to Acts and start all over again. This program keeps me rotating through the Bible on a number of levels. I am continually going through the Old Testament, the Psalms and Proverbs, the four gospels, and the New Testament. Some days I may read more than others. On Sunday, the Lord's Day, I read quite a bit more.

This method is really a feast for me. It is like a smorgasbord of Bible reading. Every month I am going through the Psalms and Proverbs. And throughout the year I am going through the four gospels and the New Testament. The Old Testament takes longer to get through. But by this method I am constantly exposing my heart and mind to the precious Word of God. One should do whatever works best for you. I have found that this method has fed my heart and kept my life enriched in the Word.

My concern is that many people do not read the Bible on a regular basis. I will be finishing my next book entitled Living For Jesus. This book will have an entire chapter on the Word of God and the reasons why ones must immerse their heart and soul in its precious contents. As your pastor and friend I plead with all of you to read, read, read, the Word of God. Do not neglect this precious book. It is food for your soul. God bless you all. Love in Christ, Pastor Dickie

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This Sunday we will be baptising the next group of people who have come through our membership class. I would encourage all of you to be in attendance as this is a great encouragement to those who are coming to profess their faith in Christ. By being present it also blesses each of us and strengthens our faith. How good our Lord has been these last few years in adding to our flock many who have come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. John MacArthur of California gave these reasons why some people have refused to be baptised.
A person who claims to be a Christian and has not been baptized, fits into the following categories.

1. One, ignorance—that is, they’ve never been taught about baptism and that’s very possible in many, many places. From time to time, we have people baptized here who were converted years ago but never were taught the significance of baptism.

2. Secondly, pride is an issue. People who have allowed a long period of time to go since their conversion—they’ve named the name of Christ for a long time, they are involved with the church, they are known as Christian people, they have never been baptized—it’s a little bit embarrassing to acknowledge that failure and that disobedience for such a long time and so they’re not willing to humble themselves, admit they’ve been disobedient, and be baptized. So, it could be ignorance, it could be pride.

3. It could be indifference. There are plenty of people who just can’t be bothered—they can’t find a spot in their daytimer for it, it doesn’t fit into their schedule, it’s not a priority. They know it’s commanded in the Bible, but obedience isn’t the main thing with them—they have other priorities. That’s a sad situation—to be apathetic toward a specific command, to be indifferent toward a very direct command from our Lord, Himself, which brings honor to Him and blessing to the one who is obedient. But, there are people who are just indifferent—they just can’t get around to it, "I’ve been planning to do it, I’ve thought about it; it just doesn’t fit on the priority list."

4. And, then fourthly, could be the defiant people—those who basically aren’t baptized because they are just rebellious—they refuse to obey. Usually those kinds of people are sinning…they’re in a pattern of sin and it would just sort of elevate their hypocrisy if they were to have to come up and give a testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ and celebrate His wonderful redemption on their behalf. So, people who are defiant and rebellious and just won’t be baptized, generally are in a pattern of sinning.

5. Then, fifthly, it’s possible that you’re unregenerate—you’re just not a true Christian, you have no desire to make a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ because you don’t want to be identified with Him in a public way. You may come and you may like to kind of hang on the edges and on the fringes here, but you’re not about to take your public stand with Christ. Those are the only reasons I can think of. Either you’re ignorant, you’re too proud to humble yourself and be baptized, you’re apathetic and indifferent toward that matter of obedience, you’re defiant, or you’re not a believer. That puts the issue squarely where it belongs and it backs you, if you’ve never been baptized, sort of into a corner to sort that out. It could be a combination of several of those things in some cases, but you’re in there somewhere.
Come out to church tomorrow and support all those who are getting baptised! If any of you have not been baptised please let Heather know at the office and we will be pleased to arrange for you to make your profession of faith.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I trust that all of you had a wonderful Lord’s Day! Celebrating Mother’s Day is always a special occasion. You can hear our messages from today by going to our web site at I want to put a special tribute to mothers from Charles Swindoll on my blog. I trust that it will be a blessing to you.

Charles R. Swindoll
Insight for Living

If there's one attitude families are guilty of more than any other when it comes to mothers, it's presumption... taking them for granted... being nearly blind on occasion to the load moms carry. This was reinforced in my mind last week as I was thumbing through a row of crazy greeting cards at a local drugstore. Time and again the joke in the card drew its humor from this obvious attitude that pervades a household: Forget the housework, Mom. It's your day. Besides, you can always do double duty and catch up on Monday!

Like this one: On the front of the card was a beleaguered mother. Draped over her neck were three unmatched socks and at her feet was an enormous stack of unwashed clothes. On the stove was a hot skillet burning the food. A cold, stained coffee pot needed attention. The refrigerator door was ajar and milk had spilled in it. The dishes, naturally, looked like a homemade Eiffel Tower reaching out of the sink. Inside the card was scribbled: "Look, lady, nobody said it was gonna be a free ride!"

But my favorite was a great big card that looked like a third-grader had printed it. On it was a little boy with a dirty face and torn pants pulling a wagonload of toys. On the front it read: "Mom, I remember the little prayer you used to say for me every day . . ." and inside, "God help you if you do that again!"

Jimmy Dean, the country-western singer, does a number that always leaves me with a big knot in my throat. It's titled "I Owe You." In the song, a man is looking through his wallet and comes across a number of long-standing "I owe yous" to his mother . . . which he names one by one.

Borrowing that idea, I suggest you who have been guilty of presumption unfold some of your own "I owe yous" that are now yellow with age. Consider the priceless value of the one woman who made your life possible - your mother.

Think about her example, her support, her humor, her counsel, her humility, her hospitality, her insight, her patience, her sacrifices. Her faith. Her hope. Her love.

Old "honest Abe" was correct: "He is not poor who has had a godly mother." Indebted, but not poor.

Moms, on Mother's Day Sunday we rise up and call you blessed. But knowing you, you'll feel uneasy in the limelight. You'll probably look for a place to hide. True servants are like that.

If you don't watch it, you'll be planning lunch during the sermon. But that would be a waste of time. Especially since you're going to be taken out to eat (which will add to our indebtedness!). But in all honesty, it won't come anywhere near expressing our gratitude.

So, live it up on Sunday. It's all yours.

My advice? Shake up the family for a change. Order steak and lobster.

This week Pastor Eric and I will be heading to a pastor’s conference in California. Please keep us in your prayers. We will see you all next Sunday! God bless you. Love in Christ, Pastor Dickie

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dear Berean Family,

This Sunday we will continue our series of messages on the Great Questions Of The Bible. In the afternoon service we will continue our study in the book of Hebrews. If you wish to look ahead to the text please read Hebrews 3:1 and Isaiah 44:1-8.

I have ordered a wonderful book that I highly recommend all of you to read. The title is This Way To Godliness by Stuart Olyott. We have 25 copies coming to the Berean book store. Please read this and let me know how it impacts your life. This book is on developing a godly life that is pleasing to the Lord. Walking in godliness is something that we all should have a passion to do. Here is a test for each of you. What does it mean to be godly? Who is the godliest person ever mentioned in the Bible? Is godliness something we do or don't do? Or does it involve both of those things or neither of them?
One important aspect of developing a godly life is the importance of prayer. I read something recently from an interview that a minister had with the late Oswald J. Smith. Dr. Smith made some comments on his early morning prayer time that he referred to as his morning watch. Here are the comments:
"How were you led into your prayer life, Dr. Smith?"

"I was led to observe the morning watch very, very early in my life, soon after I was converted, and from that day to this, I have observed the morning watch. I have written all about this in my book, The Man God Uses. I meet God before I meet man. I spend the first hour alone with God, first of all, pouring over the pages of the Bible, and then walking back and forth, up and down the floor in my study, pouring out my heart in prayer. Iv'e done that 365 days of the year for over 50 years of my life now, and I intend to do it the rest of my life
Essential to our walk with God and developing a godly life is the habit of spending time with God in prayer. May the Lord enable all of us to develop our morning watch with the Lord Jesus! The book that Oswald J. Smith mentioned, The Man God Uses, was one of the books I read as a young ministerial student. It had a profound impact on my life as a new Christian. This book was one of the books that created in my heart a deep hungr for God. I can remember praying and longing to be a man of God, and also praying to be used by God to honor Him and to glorify His Son Jesus Christ. I would recommend that book as well for you to read.

God bless you all! Have a wonderful Lord's Day and a good week.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dickie

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This Sunday our message in the 10:00 service will continue with The Great Questions of The Bible series. The text for this week’s message is found in Matthew 20:32. Here in this passage Jesus asks two blind men who called out to Him, “What will ye that I shall do unto thee?” I would like to ask each of you to think about that. If you had the opportunity to ask the Lord for a request what would you ask of Him? Think about this carefully. How we would answer this question reveals a great deal about us. You can listen to my sermon on this text by going to our sermons on line at I trust that you will have a blessed Lord’s Day this week and that each of you will consider going to the Lord in prayer and giving Him your personal requests for you own soul and for the people that you care for and minister to.

God bless you all!

Pastor Dickie

Monday, April 7, 2008

Dear Berean Family,

I will be traveling this week to England to attend a board meeting for Evangelical Press. I leave Wednesday and will return the following Wednesday. Please keep me in prayer as I travel. Mary will be going with me and we will have the privilege of seeing Dewi and Mari Higham in London. While I am away I will keep you all in prayer. I am pleased that we have such wonderful deacons and elders who are so competent and spiritual to watch over the church. And of course I cannot say enough about Eric Stewart who has been such a help to me and a great assistant. Eric continues to develop and shows tremendous ability to step up to the challenges of a growing and hungry church. Keep Eric in prayer as I am away this week.

I am finishing up work on my next book on Christian living. I am praying that this book will be a blessing to all our church family and that it will enable our brothers and sisters to grow in the grace that is in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I will keep you posted on when this book will be available for you to read. I am hoping that it will be ready by June or July.

I leave you with the challenge of Colossians 3:1-16 one of my favorite passages in the New Testament.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 3:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Great is Thy Faithfulness!

"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him."

Our God is a great God whose Word is full of precious promises to those who have put their faith and trust in Him. Tomorrow’s message will be on the text in Lamentations chapter three that teaches us that God’s faithfulness and mercies are new every morning. It is my desire that all of you will be encouraged and blessed by the words of Jeremiah the prophet from this text. When we are going through difficult times in our lives it is wonderful to remember how gracious and kind our heavenly father is. Indeed, His faithfulness to each of us is truly great. Pray over this passage and come prepared to worship and to give God glory for all of His many blessings in your life.

I also want to share with the Berean family that my dear friend and fellow worker in the Gospel Pastor Jim Jones went home to be with his Savior on Friday. I am deeply moved to think that my dear friend is in the presence of Jesus today. O how blessed he is to have this wonderful inheritance in Christ! I smile when I think of his joys around the throne with all the redeemed in glory. May we each so live our lives so that when our time of promotion arrives we too, like Jim Jones, will have a triumphant home-going. God bless you all. I look forward to seeing in the Lord’s house tomorrow. Yours in Christ, Pastor Dickie

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dear Berean Family,

We have come through the Easter holiday and are swiftly heading towards summer. As I have contemplated our future as a church I have felt led to share with you the great need for all of us to live our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit. Especially we need to remember the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us with agape love. The Apostle Paul taught us the importance of agape love in our lives by giving us I Corinthians 13. This chapter is powerful in its challenge to our lives. Here is the text from I Corinthians 13:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 13:5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 13:6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

In this chapter Paul shares within the first five verses that without (agape) love all the things we may be trying to do for Christ mean nothing. For example if we 1. Speak in tongues. 2. Have the gift of prophecy. 3. Have the gift of faith to trust God for great things. 4. Give all your goods to feed the poor. 5. And give your body to be burned, but have not love it profits us nothing. Someone said this is 5-1 = 0. God’s math is not different from ours but His prospective certainly is. This equation means that if I have these 5 gifts mentioned above but lack love it equates to zero in the eyes of God. Let us not forget then the importance of true agape love that comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Please read this chapter and meditate on the qualities that Paul tells us are the signs and evidence of the Holy Spirit’s working in our lives.

If we fail to apply the teachings of this chapter to our personal lives and to our church family and how we interact with each other we are really not any different from the Corinthians. The Corinthian church was known for its strife, division, lack of love, judgmental attitude, and pride. May we not be modern day Corinthians. Rather, may we be Spirit filled Christians who display the love of Christ in our daily lives. God bless you all as you seek to live a life filled with the fragrance of the love of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tomorrow we will celebrate Easter together at Berean Baptist Church. I want to wish all of you a wonderful Lord's Day as we gather together. The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be stated too much. The following quote is from my sermon notes that I will be using tomorrow.

The resurrection is the crowning proof of the deity of Christ. It is this great doctrine that separates everything else from Christianity. We have often stated that if the resurrection had not taken place there would be no gospel. The importance of the resurrection can be stated by the following points:

1. The resurrection proves the deity of Christ
2. The resurrection assures us of acceptance with God
3. The resurrection is at the heart of the gospel
4. The resurrection is the very foundation that the gospel
stands upon

The Arrogance Of Unbelief

When we attempt to share our faith in the Deity of Christ and in His resurrection, we find that many people have a deep-seated bias and hatred towards the gospel. They often oppose the Christian faith without really considering the evidence for it. For example, if we asked some of these people questions such as, “Do you know why we believe the Bible to be true?” or “Do you know why the Bible alone is the Word God?” or “Do you know what the evidence is for the resurrection of Christ?”-- these people would, for the most part, have to answer “No.” And many times they display a rudeness, arrogance, and contempt for the Christian faith that is hard to explain, except that there is this deep-seated bias and prejudice against it. This reminds me of a story I once read about a lion in Africa who went around to all the other animals asking, “Who is the king of the jungle?” The story goes like this: A lion in Africa went up to the big, fat hippo and said, “Who is the king of the jungle?” and the big fat hippo replied, “You are of course!” And the lion went over to the giraffe and said, “Who is the king of the jungle?” and the giraffe replied and said, “You are, O mighty lion.” Then the lion went over to the baboons and said, “Do you know who the king of the jungle is?” and the baboons all stood still trembling in their tracks and said, “You are, O great one of the jungle.” And the lion went over to the big rhino and said, “Who is the king of the jungle?” and the rhino replied, “We all know that you are, O mighty lion!” And finally, the lion went over to a big elephant that was walking along the river where the trees and water meet, and the lion said to the elephant, “Who is the king of the jungle?” And the elephant reached down with his long trunk and wrapped it around the lion and picked him up and slammed the lion against one tree and then another. Then the elephant slammed the lion to the ground and dragged him all around in the dirt, and then picked him up again and slammed him back into the trees again. Then he threw the lion back down on the ground and slammed the lion up and down in the dirt. Finally, the elephant picked the lion up and threw him into the river. The lion came out of the river all wet, humbled, and very subdued. He shook off the water, got his bearings. and then said to the elephant, “Just because you don’t know the answer to the question doesn’t give you the right to act so immature!” I understand that for many people who are not Christians, there is arrogance in their unbelief. This arrogance is very hard to understand since they have not considered the evidence for the gospel of Jesus Christ. This arrogance is just biased unbelief.In our text this morning, we have the statement from the angel, “Why seek you the living among the dead?” In this account by Luke, the women came to the tomb of Jesus very early in the morning with spices that they had hoped to use to pour on the Lord’s body. When they arrived, they found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. As the women stood near the tomb very perplexed, two angels appeared to them and asked this great question, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” This is a very relevant question for everyone to ask themselves, as well. This is the question with two options. These two choices or options are open for all of us to choose.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I want to wish all the Berean family and friends a wonderful Easter holiday. This Friday we will meet at the church for our Good Friday Service. On Sunday morning we will have our 26th annual Sunrise Service at 7:30 AM at Crestwood Cemetery. Our Easter Services will be at our normal times. A special breakfast will be served at church at 8:15 AM. God bless all of you and never forget that the blessings we enjoy in life are because He lives!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Importance of Worship

As the Pastor of Berean Baptist Church I have the responsibility to watch over the flock who worship every week together with us. Along with Pastor Stewart and our other elders and deacons we pray that our church will be a spiritual haven on earth for those who walk with God. I am painfully aware, as your pastor, that there is a cultural war raging in our land. That war has many battle fields. One of these battlefields is within the local church. On the battle field of the church there is being fought a war over how we should worship our God. I have written a book entitled, “What The Bible Teaches About Worship.” This book was not written over night. It reflected years of study, prayer, contemplation, observation, and concern over the trends that I had seen develop within the Church of Jesus Christ. I pray that everyone at Berean will read this book and will try to follow the suggestions that I set forth there.

Today, I am putting an article by Elizabeth Eliot on our blog that describes the need to sing the great old hymns of our faith in our worship. Elizabeth Eliot was the wife of Jim Eliot who was martyred by the Auca Indians in Peru many years ago. Anything that you can read by Elizabeth Eliot is worth its weight in gold. I trust this article will be of encouragement to you.


Many of the churches my husband Lars and I visit on our travels seem to know nothing of the great old hymns that have instructed, comforted, and enriched the church for centuries. Hymns constitute a crucial part of worship, but not by any means the whole. In churches which use almost exclusively what are called "praise songs," that part of the service is usually referred to as "Worship," as though prayer, preaching, offering, and listening were something else. May I lodge a plea to those who use overhead projectors to make sure that some great hymns are displayed in addition to the praise songs? Hymns will get you through the night.
In January of 1956, when five women were waiting with bated breath to find out whether our husbands were dead or alive, I lay in bed in Nate Saint's home, my little daughter Valerie sick in a crib beside me. The hymn "How Firm a Foundation," with those magnificent words taken from Isaiah 43:1-2, sustained me, especially stanzas 2, 3, and 6, memorized when I was a child in our daily family prayer time:

"Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
"When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trials to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
"The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no, never, no, never forsake!"

Everywhere I go I try to point out what a tragic loss is the disappearance of these powerful aids to spiritual stamina. A true hymn has rhyme and meter, a logical progression from the first verse to the last, and I feel like jumping up and down and "hollering" to get my message across, but I try to keep it to merely begging and imploring folks to get their hands on a good hymnbook. Where to find them? they ask. Perhaps they are moldering in the church basement. More than likely they've long since been dumped - "Young folks don't like hymns," we're told. But of course they don't like them - they don't know them. Alas!

But help is on the way. In the USA Try 'Trinity Hymnal,' Great Commission Publications, 3640 Windsor Park Drive, Suite 100, Suwanee, GA 30174 (800-695-3387). May I suggest that you keep it with your Bible wherever you've arranged your quiet time?

Elisabeth Elliot

(I would simply say that every Christian should keep their hymnbook handy and use it every day in their personal devotion and worship to God. God bless you my dear Bereans!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This past weekend I was speaking in St. Louis, Missouri. On Sunday I took as my text Luke 13:1-5 and spoke on the subject of Repentance. There were approximately ten thousand people present and the Lord seemed to come down among us. Whatever results we received I will give all the glory to the Lord.

This Sunday at Berean Baptist in Grand Blanc, Eric Stewart will be preaching in our first service and Chris Smith will be speaking in the second service. I will be away speaking to a large Spanish group in Palm Springs, Ca. Your prayers and intercessions will be greatly appreciated. We will be giving out the booklet Authentic Christianity 101. This is a booklet that both defends and declares the gospel of God's sovereign grace.

Let us not forget that these days are the opportunities for all of us to shine for our Savior and God Jesus Christ the Lord. May we be faithful in exalting Him and proclaiming His gospel to the ends of the earth. I will be back in the pulpit at Berean on March 9th and we will be having communion on that Sunday as well.

God bless you all and may we remain faithful in the service of our King!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dewi Higham visiting!

This Sunday, February 17th, Dewi Higham will be with us for the second service at 12:00 P.M. Dewi is a great friend of our church. Dewi pastors the Tabernacle Church in Cardiff, Wales. Every time I hear him speak, my heart is always blessed. Plan to come and hear him share the precious Word of God.

I plan to speak on the subject of the New Birth out of John chapter 3. My great concern is that many people may be trying to live the Christian life while having never been born again. This message will be given during the first service at 10:00 A.M. I am praying that the Lord will speak to all of our hearts and reveal to each of us our need of Christ. My prayer every Sunday is this: "O Lord, in mercy, open the eyes of our souls that we might see our need of Jesus." God bless you all. As you get ready for the Lord's Day, read John 3:1-18.


Pastor Dickie

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Glorious High Throne

I am currently preaching and teaching through the book of Hebrews on Sunday afternoon. I highly recommend that you read Dr. Edgar Andrew’s book on Hebrews called A Glorious High Throne published by Evangelical Press.

The book of Hebrews shows us the superiority of Jesus over all the Old Testament types and shadows. It is my prayer that you will all come away from this study with a new and deeper appreciation for both the Word of God and for the Lord Jesus Christ. Each week as you come to church read the section in Dr. Andrew’s book that we will be looking at. This will help you prepare to hear and receive the Word more powerfully to your soul. My prayer is that this study will bless and impact all of us at Berean. James reminds us, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” This Sunday we will be looking at Hebrews 2:5-9. Focus your attention on two things here:

1. “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” What does this teach us about Ourselves and about Christ?

2. What did the author mean in verse 9 when he said, “…that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man?” Does this verse teach a universal atonement?

God bless you as you read and prepare for Sunday’s message.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Book That Changed History

By Jay Rogers

It is subversive literature. It has led to the overthrow of governments, sparked mass migrations across oceans, and more than once changed the course of history.

Governments - from the 16th-century English monarchy to the Communist Soviet Union - have gone to great lengths to restrict or even prevent its printing and distribution. Yet it has outlasted its enemies. It is the most popular book ever printed. No other has been translated into so many languages and few have had such impact on the development of those languages.

It is, of course, the Bible, portions of which have been translated into 1,946 of the 5000 languages of the world. This includes 318 languages into which the entire Bible has been translated. No other book even comes close to these numbers.

The collapse of Communism in Eastern and Central Europe has led to an unprecedented hunger for the Bible. In China, the lifting of restrictions by the government have led to the printing of 3 million copies of the Bible in Chinese. Bible publishers expect that Cuba will be one of the next strong fields of interest as that nation redefines its freedoms in the 1990s.

The interest of individuals in the Bible has often changed the course of history. Cultural historian David Hall of Harvard University argues that "the history of spirituality in Europe and America coincides closely with the printing of the Bible and its dissemination."

The work of a 14th century monk, John Wycliffe, did much to reform the political structure of England. He laid the foundation of reform of not only the Church but also the State. He resolved to introduce the common people to the New Testament by translating it into the vernacular of the Saxon peasants.

Before the 15th century, every Englishman who could read was able to question the teachings of the Catholic Church with regard to both civil and ecclesiastical government. Because of the perceived threat of Wycliffe's followers, the Lollards, who distributed and taught from English New Testaments, the Catholic Church banned translation of the Bible in 1408. The only copies that continued to exist in English were hand copies of the Wycliffe originals.

In the 1440s, Johannes Gutenburg began experimenting with novel, mysterious ways of approaching printing. Skilled in engraving and metal working, Gutenburg invented movable typeset and printed 200 copies of the Latin Bible. By the time Martin Luther was born in 1483, Germany had several large printing presses capable of printing hundreds of books at a time.

In 1521, William Tyndale, an Oxford scholar, began to translate the Bible into English. He did so because he was shocked to find that the people of England were so scripturally illiterate. Tyndale translated the entire Bible into English, printed copies of his version at Antwerp, and illegally smuggled the Bibles into England. In 1535, he was betrayed by a fellow Englishman and was burnt at the stake. His last words, reportedly, were "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!"

Consider that in 1525 in northern Germany, only 5 percent of the population was literate. Yet 150 years later in New England, 95 percent was literate. This great advance was the result of the Protestant Reformation which began to dominate the religious life of northern Europe. The basis of the Reformation was Martin Luther's teaching on the Priesthood Of All Believers: "Every Christian is a Priest before God and is capable of interpreting the Bible for himself with the aid of the Holy Spirit." Luther was also responsible for translating the entire Bible into the German language.

In turn, every Christian wanted to own a Bible and felt responsible to learn to read in order to more effectively commune with God. The result of this teaching brought on what some scholars believe to be the highest literacy rate of any society in the world: Puritan Massachusetts of the colonial period (1620-1775).

It may surprise some to know that the Puritans, although never a large group, have done more to influence the shape of government in the world than any other group of people in modern history. The Puritans were the architects of a new form of government - Christian self-government with union - which later became the basis for America's form of government. This was the end result of the Puritan's belief that the Bible holds principles that are applicable to every area of human life.

Today, there is a resurgence of interest in the Bible and reading the Scriptures in America. A 1990 Gallup poll found that 42 percent of Americans view the Bible as God's Word, up from 38 percent in 1978. Asked if they read the Bible daily, 17 percent of the people in the same survey said they did, versus 12 percent in 1978. In 1990, 21 percent of those polled said they belonged to a Bible study group, compared with 19 percent in 1978. Although not gigantic shifts, these results indicate that interest in the Bible in America is on the upswing.

The Book That Has Survived Its Enemies

The Bible, like no other book in history, has withstood vicious attacks from its enemies. Many have tried to ban it, burn it and outlaw it ... from the days of the Roman emperors to the present-day tyrant-dominated nations.

Sidney Collett, in All About the Bible, says, "Voltaire, the noted French infidel who died in 1778, said that in one hundred years from his time Christianity would be swept from existence and passed into history. But what has happened? Voltaire has passed into history, while the circulation of the Bible continues to increase in almost all parts of the world, carrying blessing wherever it goes.

"For example, the English Cathedral in Zanzibar (present-day Tanzania) is built on the site of the Old Slave Market, and its communion table stands on the very spot where the whipping post once stood! The world abounds with such instances ... As one has truly said, 'We might as well put our shoulder to the burning wheel of the sun, and try to stop it on its flaming course, as to attempt to stop the circulation of the Bible.' "

Concerning the boast of Voltaire on the extinction of Christianity and the Bible in 100 years, Geisler and Nix point out that "only 50 years after his death the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to produce stacks of Bibles." What an irony of history!

In 303 A.D., Diocletian issued an edict to destroy Christians and their sacred book: "an imperial letter was everywhere promulgated, ordering the razing of the churches to the ground and the destruction by fire of the scriptures, and proclaiming that those who held high positions would lose all civil rights, while those in households, if they persisted in their profession of Christianity, would be deprived of their liberty."

The historic irony of the above edict to destroy the Bible is that Constantine, the emperor following Diocletian, 25 years later commissioned Eusebius to prepare 50 copies of the scriptures at the expense of the government.

The Bible is unique in its survival. This does not prove that the Bible is true, but it does prove that it stands alone among books. A student seeking truth ought to consider a book that has the above qualifications.