Saturday, December 3, 2011

God's Presence At Berean!

We have enjoyed many wonderful blessings from the Lord in the past three months at Berean! On Wednesday night we have been going through an amazing book by Chuck Bentley The Root of Riches. The blessing that this book has been to our mid-week church family has been tremendous. Anyone who may wish to increase their income in these tough economic times or who is wanting to have another job to supplement their income should definitely read this book. Bentley's book will clarify many important biblical issues for you and will give you a proper perspective on money, wealth, and the pursuit of happiness. Many people do not have a biblical understanding of these important subjects. This book challenges the reader with this provocative question, "What if everything you think about money is wrong?" Read the book and you will find that much of the teaching on money today is warped with the world's wisdom rather than the wisdom that is from the Lord.

Our attendance at our mid-week service has exploded! Our morning Bible study has also been such a blessing to all who have been coming. The spirit in our church has been the best it has been in years. I am so grateful to the Lord for His presence and blessing among us. These have been days of joy and encouragement from the presence of the Lord. Peter, the apostle, talks about such days as these in Acts 3:19, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."

When there is unity and love in the family of God it makes all the difference in the world. We have been enjoying such blessings these past months and Pastor Stewart and myself have been very excited about the things we see happening and developing in our church family.

The recent visit of our friends from Brazil was a breath of fresh air from Heaven! We have been so blessed to have such wonderful friends as these dear brothers as well as our wonderful friends from England and Wales. I cannot praise the Lord enough for all that He has done through the years through His servants who have come among us. Dr. Edgar Andrews, Pastors Vernon Higham and Dewi Higham just to name a few of those choice servants of the Lord whose ministry among us has been so powerful and compelling.

We look forward to having Chuck Bentley coming this year to minister to our flock as well. May all of us as Bereans give our Lord praise for the wonderful things He is doing in our midst. When He is present there are certainly times of refreshing that gently stirs within our hearts.

God bless you all,
Pastor Robert L. Dickie

Friday, October 28, 2011

Guests from Brazil arriving November 13th!!

I am very excited to have several guests visiting with us from Brazil this November. We had two wonderful brothers from Brasilia last June and now two more are coming over in a couple of weeks. Please keep this date open and plan to attend. The connection we have had with the church in Brazil has been very exciting. God is blessing and I give Him praise and adoration for blessing our church and bringing us a fresh vision and purpose to our flock. Praise His name. Yours in Christ, Pastor

Thursday, July 28, 2011

George Washington on choosing your friends

“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation, for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.” George Washington

The Bible reminds us that bad company corrupts good morals. When people choose to associate with people of questionable ethics, character, and morality it will be a short while until they themselves lose their ability to be objective and discerning of good character and integrity. The pernicious influence of ungodly friedships slowly erodes the foundations of good judgement. Choose your friends wisely. Be a lover of good men. Better to walk alone than be corrupted by those whose values reflect the flesh rather than the Spirit. This is wise counsel for all of our youth who are heading to the university this fall.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Carnal Christian

"Many who regularly occupy church pews, fill church rolls, and are intellectually acquainted with the facts of the gospel never strike one blow for Christ. They seem to be at peace with his enemies. They have no quarrel with sin and, apart from a few sentimental expressions about Christ, there is no biblical evidence that they have experienced anything of the power of the gospel in their lives. Yet in spite of the evidence against them, they consider themselves to be just what their teachers teach them -- that they are 'Carnal Christians'. And as carnal Christians they believe they will go to heaven, though perhaps not first-class, and with few rewards."

This is a quote by Earnest Reisinger a Reformed Baptist. His comments ring true for far too many today who claim to be the followers of Christ. Those who belong to the Lord will have real and abiding fruit to give evidence of the Spirit's work in their lives.

If a person is content to be a carnal, lukewarm, indifferent Christian he may find in the day of judgement that he is no Christian at all.

I have known professing Christians who were masters of deception and manipulation. They could lie without conscience, deceive without blinking an eye, were able to quote Scripture to suit their purposes, and could put on the robes of an angel.

The Church of Jesus Christ should not be surprised that there are those in her midst that have such powers to mislead. Satan himself can transform himself into an angel of light.

What the church needs today is for wise and godly leaders who have wisdom to see through the phoniness of false prophets and wolves in sheep's clothing.

Dear Berean family beware of the carnal Christian!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dear Berean Family,
I want to encourage all of you to look forward to this summer with a great deal of expectation that if we all walk with God, live in the Spirit, and die to self daily that we will experience a great time of blessing and revival from the Lord. Over the years I have stressed to all of you who have sat under my ministry to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and to put off the flesh. The sign of a spiritual Christian is one who is filled with the Spirit and who lives a life of humility, godliness, kindness, patience, and meekness. I am apalled when I see professing Christians living careless lives, gossiping, complaining, backbiting, and displaying the attitudes that are unbecoming of a child of God. This is not what we have stressed at Berean over the years. I exhort our congregation to seek the Lord in holy worship and humble prayer so that we might enjoy precious times of fellowship and blessing from the Lord. God bless you all as you seek the Lord daily. My prayers are with you all. Yours in Christ, Pastor Dickie

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Pray For Us" Hebrews 13:18

Prayer is a part of the Christian life and the walk of faith. We pray as a natural response to grace in our soul. Just as a child born begins to breathe a person who is born again from on high will instinctively begin to commune and pray to God. It is a fact of our spiritual life. But many Christians have gone through times of doubt, despair, and cynicism. When a father told Ravi Zacharias that he was sinking into despair because he had prayed that his parents would live long enough to see their grandchildren, that his marriage would be successful, that his children would come to know the Lord, and when none of these things came to pass he sunk into despair and wondered if it was worth it at all to pray. He said he was turning away from God. But Ravi Zacharias said, “Turning away from God to what?” What do people turn to if they abandon the Lord? God does not always answer our prayers as we want. And we must not forget that we live in a fallen world that contains much heart ache and pain. Knowing that God is on the throne should be a comfort to us no matter what we face or experience in life.

Evangelist D.L. Moody recalled his visit to Scotland and asking some little school children what it meant to pray. Here is his story: “D. L. Moody making a visit to Scotland in the 1800's and opening one of his talks at a local grade school with the rhetorical question, What is prayer? To his amazement, hundreds of children's hands went up. So he decided to call on a lad near the front, who promptly stood up and said, "Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, in the name of Christ, by the help of his Spirit, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies." This is the answer to question #78 in the Westminster Catechism. To this Moody responded by saying, "Be thankful, son, that you were born in Scotland."

What should you pray for in your pastors, elders, and deacons today?

1. That they might be filled with the Holy Spirit.
2. That they might be kept from the evil one.
3. That they might know God and the power of His indwelling.
4. That they might walk with God.
5. That they might be faithful in His Word.
6. That they might be broken and humble before the Lord.
7. That they might know the will of God for their lives and that they would know that all things work together for good to them that love God and who are called according to His purpose.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Special Announcement!!

Dear Berean Family,

I am writing this letter as your Pastor to inform you of the change that will be taking place during our PM Service. I really feel the Lord has laid this upon my heart, and I am extremely excited about the implementation of it. We decided to move forward with this change after much prayer and discussion with the leadership of our church.

The change I am referring to will begin on Sunday, March 13th. On this day, instead of coming together for worship in the sanctuary for the second service, we will be breaking into smaller groups for Bible study. My prayer is this will create more participation and cultivate more fellowship within our body. I will be selecting topics and materials to coordinate the discipleship and education of our flock. With each group sharing in the same discussions, this will add to the spiritual development of our church.

The Discipleship Group will be meeting in the chapel during the second service. This group consists of those who are between the ages of 19-35. Pastor Eric Stewart will be heading up this group along with deacons Dave Purdy, Neal Ruffner and Rick Wagner. For anyone that falls into this group, if you have any questions, please contact one of these men.

The Ambassadors will be meeting in the sanctuary for their Bible study. There is quite a broad age range for this group; 36-59. Deacon Matt Zimmerman will be leading this group along with Chris Pittenturf and Paul Britz.

The Senior Saints will be meeting in the fellowship hall for their time together. Elder Norm Walworth and Elder Mark Paul will be leading this group.

Please be very prayerful about this change. I think this is a much needed change in our efforts to help knit us together as the body of Christ. All three groups will begin by going through the study “What is Reformed Theology?” by R.C. Sproul. This is a very in- depth look into the great reformed faith that we love and cherish.

The class will begin at noon and end at 1 pm each Sunday. There will be a welcome, prayer, a half hour video, discussion and question period. I am very excited about this and invite all of you to join me in prayer and that the Lord will encourage many who now leave after the first service to stay and grow in the Lord together.

Please keep me in your prayers as I minister in Brazil. I will hold all of you before the throne of grace daily. God bless you and I will see you in a week.

Sincerely, In Christ,

Pastor Robert L. Dickie

Friday, February 25, 2011

Saving Faith Leads To Holy Living!

Here is a quote from one of the old saints on holy living. Few people today practice walking with God and trusting Christ to deliver them from sin.

"Saving faith, always has a sanctifying and comforting influence. The true believer does not divide righteousness from sanctification, nor pardon from purity. The believer comes to Christ for the forgiveness of sins for the right purpose; and that is, that being freed from the guilt of sin; he may be freed from the dominion of it. Knowing that there is forgiveness with God that He might be feared, he does not believe in remission of sin so that he may indulge himself in the continuance of sin. No, no; the blood of Christ, that purges the conscience from the guilt of sin, also purges the conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. They that come to Christ in a scriptural way come to Him for righteousness, that they may have him also for sanctification; otherwise, the man does not really desire the favor and enjoyment of God, or to be in friendship with Him who is a holy God. The true believer trusts Christ to make him holy as well as happy, and hence draws virtue from Him for killing sin, and quickening him in the way of duty. The faith that can never keep you from sin will never keep you out of Hell; and the faith that cannot carry you to your duty will not carry you to heaven. Justifying faith is a sanctifying grace. It is true, as it sanctifies it does not justify; but that faith that justifies does also sanctify. The sun that enlightens has heat with it; but is is not the heat of the sun that enlightens, but the light thereof; so the faith that justifies has love and sanctification with it; but it is not the love and sanctification that justify, but faith as it trusts Christ."

Here are some warnings for all of us to consider:

1. It is the devil's trick to fool us with a sense of security because we can talk theologically and know the language of the saints. This is no true sign of grace.
2. Some professing believers can fool themselves and others with pious speech while living scandalously in secret.
3. The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the Spirit's presence.
4. Where there is a deep love for Christ there will also be a deep love for the brethren and a sincere desire to humbly walk with God.
5. C. H. Spurgeon once said, "The prayerless soul is a Christless soul." Beware of having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The End Does Not Justify The Means

As we move into the New Year we need to remind ourselves in all of our dealings with others that the end does not justify the means. This is a pragmatic view of life. Christians must always be controlled by the Holy Spirit and be committed to keeping the laws of God and the teachings of Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans that we should never do evil in order that good may come of it (Romans 3:8). It is flawed thinking to conclude that we can do something that is either dishonest or unbiblical and then try to justify it on the basis that something good might come from our questionable actions.

As we live out the principles of our faith we must be sure that whatever we are doing we can do it with a clear conscience and that in the day of judgment we will not be ashamed. I urge all of my Berean family and friends to remember that we seek not the approval of man but the approval and favor of God. The peace of God is the result of faithful obedience to His Word. Here are several exhortations to follow:

1. Always tell the truth!

2. Do not tell half truths as if they are the whole truth. (This is a form of deception and lying)

3. Be committed to obedient and holy living.

4. Make sure that you are not being deceptive with others and then explaining your actions away by using he end justifies the means argument.

5. Live your life with the Judgment Seat of Christ always before you. (We are going to answer to God!)

6. Allow the Holy Spirit to search your lives. Be tender before the Lord and allow His eye to search every corner of your hearts.

7. Remember that every hidden and secret sin will come to light one day.