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Friday, June 17, 2016

What’s In You?

What's in you blog postWhat’s in you determines your future! Who you are drives what you do!

This principle is found all through the pages of the Bible. It’s very clearly seen in the story of Moses and the twelve spies of the Promised Land.

The ten men Moses had sent to explore the land—the ones who incited rebellion against the Lord with their bad report— were struck dead with a plague before the Lord. Of the twelve who had explored the land, only Joshua and Caleb remained alive. — Numbers 14:36-38 (NIV)

When it came time to enter the Promised Land, Moses sent twelve spies in to check it out and bring back a report. These twelve leaders didn’t realize that this was the biggest spiritual test of their lives. How they handled this moment would determine their future. God was watching!

When these men returned, their true character and spiritual condition was revealed. Instead of showing an enthusiastic spirit of faith and readiness to enter Canaan, ten of the men were negative and resistant. Their mouths revealed what was in their hearts. Not only did they express personal doubt and fear, they spread it around and infected the majority of Israelites with the same attitude. The result was a missed opportunity, and ultimately death in the wilderness. Joshua and Caleb were the only positive ones in the group. Of the twelve, they were the only ones to eventually make it into Canaan.

A key phrase in this passage is “… Of the twelve … Only Joshua and Caleb remained alive.” Only two of twelve leaders made it! 83% didn’t! What a statistic! It should sober us all. Only 17% of Israel’s twelve main leaders made it into the Promised Land! At the end of their most important leadership test, only Joshua and  Caleb were left.

It’s incredibly important to “remain.” There are so many people who “die out” on the spiritual journey. When you look up and look around, they’re gone. Something “killed” them along the way. They still may be breathing, working and doing, but their God-designed purpose, potential and promise has been forfeited by ugly, unaddressed attitudes inside them.

What destroys people? It could be a hurt or offense they hold on to, resentment and anger they refuse to release, an infatuation with the world’s culture, pleasures and and things they will not turn their back on, an attitude of pride they continually failed to deal with. The list could go on and on.

What destroyed the 10 spies was not the unprovoked anger of God, it was the consequence of their own attitudes and actions. God’s response was simply that, a response to their persistent bad attitudes and actions. They destroyed themselves.

Attitudes have consequences. Attitudes birth behavior. It’s always what’s in us that propels us forward positively, or destroys us prematurely!

What’s in you? Ask God to help you address all the stuff within that’s hindering His plan for your life!

Pastor Dale

Monday, May 2, 2016

Be An Encourager!

This past week I had the honor of traveling to both Barcelona and Málaga, Spain to conduct pastors’ training sessions. Other than pastoring our church, there’s no work that’s more fulfilling to me than helping pastors! Spending time investing in church leaders who are giving their lives serving, teaching, and encouraging others is rewarding. Sometimes the encouragers need encouraging! In fact, all of us need to be encouraged, and we all need to be encouragers to others.

Giving encouragement isn’t a complicated activity. It’s simply speaking hope, affirmation and inspiration to someone. It’s a conscious decision to lift someone’s spirit, to let them know that they matter, and to remind them to stay in the game.

Discouragement is a terrible thing. Not only does it make us miserable, it’s also the reason many good things are never attempted or completed. It robs potential and reduces vision. Lack of encouragement has likely held more people back and kept more people down than practically any other emotional weight. Think about all the incredible work that could and would be done if people stayed encouraged. Think about all the times a word of encouragement would keep someone going when they’re tempted to quit.

Encouragement is something you can do. You can become an encourager to others. And it’s worth it! When you lift someone else’s spirit, you lift your own spirit! When you inspire another person, you are inspired! When you cheer someone on, you’re cheered on yourself.

Be an encourager. Find someone who’s ready to quit and spur them on. Write a note to someone who’s disappointed about a failure and tell them that their failure isn’t final. Speak a word of hope to someone who’s hopeless and watch them come to life again!

Be an encourager!

Pastor Dale

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thank You!

As a child I learned two “magic” phrases; “Please!” and “Thank you!” They’re called “magic” because of the amazing impact they have on others. When authentically used in conversations, and consistently (and sincerely) used in relationships, they become an incredible life lubricant. They make all of our interactions better.

Maybe it’s the “old school” training in me, but it seems that these words are being used less and less in our culture. Recently I mentioned to my wife how seldom I hear “thank you” after a store purchase. In fact, I can only recall one incident in the last couple of months where a business owner or retail employee actually said “thank you” after a transaction! More often than not, I’m the one saying “thank you.”

The lack of spoken appreciation is a symptom of a deeper issue — the lack of heart appreciation. What we say or fail to say is an indication of what’s present or not present in the heart. If the heart is unappreciative, self-consumed, and steeped in an attitude of entitlement, our words, or lack thereof, will reflect the same.

I regularly watch as people receive blessings, benefits, opportunities, platforms, and privileges, and then act disrespectfully or dismissively toward those who provided them. Ingratitude seems to be “trending!”

Paul, the apostle, warned about this. When writing to Timothy he commented on the increasing lack of gratitude in the world as we head toward the end of time as we know it:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, UNGRATEFUL, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good …  – 2 Timothy 3:1-3 (NIV) (emphasis mine)

Among all the disturbing trends that come with the “last days,” Paul identified a lack of thanksgiving! As we march toward the last of the last days, one of the spreading spiritual diseases is ingratitude. It will dominate world culture.

But it doesn’t have to dominate your culture! You can guard against it. You can overcome it. You can be different! How? The three “C’s”:

  • Count your blessings.

Stop and think about all the good things in your life. Stop cataloging what you don’t have and begin counting what you do have!

  • Consider the sources.

Think about the sources of your blessings, benefits, opportunities, platforms and privileges. Who is the supplier? Who has helped you get to where you are today? Who has sacrificed and assisted you in your journey? Obviously, the primary Source is God! Put Him first on your gratitude list! Then think about all the others who have contributed to the good in your life. Move beyond the “what” of your blessings to “who” is behind your blessings!

  • Communicate your appreciation.

Thanks is not thanks until it’s given! Who do you need to say “thank you” to? Who do you need to express appreciation for? Notice the “say” and “express!” Don’t just think it, do it. Start with God! Tell Him “Thank you!” And tell some others too!

Go against the grain of the world and say “Thanks!”

Pastor Dale

Monday, November 2, 2015


Life is filled with choices. Everyday, from start to finish, you’re choosing. It’s one of your main activities. Consciously and unconsciously, your heart and mind are constantly sorting through options, coming to conclusions, and making choices. Some decisions are simple and inconsequential–a blue shirt today, a tan shirt tomorrow–no big deal.

Other choices matter a lot. It never ceases to amaze me how carelessly and unwisely some folks go about their decision-making processes. A feeling, a conversation with someone, an impulse, a frustration, a restlessness, an exciting thought, an attraction to someone or something, a presumed “word from God,”–I’ve heard all of these as reasons for major life decisions that, in reality were not always well-considered, well-advised or properly guided.

One of the ways the devil detours and sometimes derails people is by toying with their decisions. Our spiritual enemy understands something we need to better understand. The truth is, one unwise decision can result in a lot of wasted time, treasure and talents, and on some occasions, significant heartache and unnecessary pain. Our unwise choices not only impact us, they usually impact others also.

The Bible reminds us of the importance of being careful and wise with our life choices:

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. — Ephesians 5:15-17 (NLT)
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!  Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.  — Ephesians 5:15-17 (Msg)

When making important decisions, here’s some good advice, Be WISE:

W = Want God’s will above all.  Realize that God’s desire for you may be different from what you want for yourself. His will is what’s best. Happiness and fulfillment are not found in you getting your will, but in surrendering your will to His. Genuinely want what God wants for your life!

I = Inquire.  Ask God for wisdom. Ask mature, wise, godly people for guidance and advice.  Ask yourself tough questions about what’s driving and motivating you. Inquire with an open heart and mind, rather than with your decision already made. Remember, your own heart and feelings will deceive you. Ask honestly and humbly, putting your emotions aside. God answers honest, humble people who sincerely seek His wisdom and will.

S = Slow down.  Wait for true confirmations. Don’t act without them. Don’t invent your own confirmations. Don’t simply look for signs that affirm what you want to do. When you do this you’re the loser for it. Want true confirmation, even if it’s different from what you may want the answer to be. Give God time to show you His will. Look for His fingerprints, listen for His whisperings and heed the wise counsel He provides you.

E = Engage your present duties and responsibilities.  Remember, the grass always looks greener with someone else, somewhere else, doing something else. Your emotions can, and likely will paint romantic, fantastical images of some imagined change you’re considering. The truth is, whoever you are now, where you are now, is what you’ll be anywhere with anyone. A change of circumstances never changes a person’s character. Be engaged and faithful with what God has given you today. God guides the faithful!

Even with the best of intentions and efforts, at times you’re still going to miss the mark in your decisions. What do you do when this happens? Admit it! Don’t justify or rationalize an unwise or bad decision, own it. Do what you can to fix it. Learn from it and move forward, asking God to redeem it. When you live this way you’ll experience God’s grace in your failure.  You’ll also gain greater wisdom for your future!

Got decisions to make?  Be WISE!

Pastor Dale

Friday, March 22, 2013

Easter Celebrations

At Church of the Redeemer we’re preparing for a wonderful Easter week celebration and we want you to be a part. Make plans to join us as we remember Jesus’ life and death, and celebrate His resurrection!

Our Easter week schedule is below, along with campus information and directions. I look forward to seeing you!

Pastor Dale


Friday, March 29

Gaithersburg Campus at noon.

Frederick Campus at 7:00 p.m.





  • Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 30 at 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 31 at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 Noon, and 3:00 p.m.

Invite your family and friends to The Thorn using our easy online EVITE!

Get your FREE TICKETS HERE. Your ticket is important to ensure sufficient seating at each performance.



March 31 at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Invite your family and friends to Day 3 using our easy EVITE!



Set aside time this Easter weekend to worship with God’s people. Let Jesus know how grateful you are to Him for what He did for you!


Thursday, January 5, 2012


What’s your capacity for responsibility?

The capacity to carry and execute responsibility is a valued quality. It’s something that’s rare. It’s the capacity to faithfully steward duties and privileges assigned in an honorable and effective way. Responsible people take their jobs and assignments seriously. They put their whole heart into the things they’re given to handle or do, and treat what belongs to another with great care, conscientiousness, honor and respect, as though it was their own.

The capacity to handle responsibility is one of the marks of maturity. It’s a sign that people are ready for more. Responsible people not only get bigger opportunities, they also receive bigger blessings. They’re promotable, bless-able, usable and desirable to have on a team, in a company or serving in an organization.

One of the key questions asked by employers, supervisors, teachers, coaches, pastors and leaders is “How can I wisely choose people to employ, promote or entrust with responsibility?”

Jesus gave us the answer to this question.  He taught us what to look for in people who have capacity for responsibility. Here is His wisdom:

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much … — Luke 16:10 (NIV)

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones … — Luke 16:10 (NLT)

Jesus said the real test for someone’s capacity for greater responsibility is how they handle little things. This seems counterintuitive. It would seem that, if you want to give someone bigger responsibilities you would evaluate how they handle really big things.

Jesus said no. The greatest insight we get for how someone will handle big things is to watch how they handle little things — the smaller responsibilities they’ve been given.

This is a key principle for determining the capacity of people for increased work responsibility, Kingdom and ministry responsibility, or organizational responsibility. A lot of pain and problems would be avoided if we took time to observe faithfulness in little things before we appointed, promoted or employed people.

What makes you promotable, bless-able, usable and desirable as a team member? Capacity for responsibility. How is this measured? It’s seen in what you do with what you’ve already been given. It’s seen in how you handle the little things — the little duties, the little attitudes, the little jobs that are behind the scenes, the little things that are easy to avoid or ignore. Little is big with God!

Want to be promotable? Always be faithful in the little things and you’ll be prepared for bigger things!

Pastor Dale

Monday, October 10, 2011


Time flies!” Life is a fast-paced event. The older I get the more it seems that years pass like months, months like days, days like hours, hours like minutes, and minutes like seconds.

What makes it worse is the speed at which we live life. With the convenience, and often the curse of mobile technology, we’re always on. Email, text messages, phone calls (yes, some people actually use their phones for phone calls!), follow us everywhere. Turning off and tuning out our devices seems like a cardinal sin. We’re addicted! If you don’t believe it, just do a little people-watching. Folks are technologically tethered. We call it “being connected.” But strangely, and ironically, the “connected” way of life often disconnects us from the people around us, and even from ourselves. All of this “noise” frequently drowns out the still, small voice of God in our hearts.

The demands, busyness and “connectedness” of life take a toll on us; physically, mentally, emotionally and most significantly, spiritually. Our bodies and minds out-pace our spirits. To be healthy and strong, we must purposely slow down, embrace spiritual pauses, and give ourselves time to reflect and refuel; spirit, soul and body.

God reminds us of this need to slow down, to quiet down –– to take time and remember who He is and what life in Him is all about:

“Be still and know that I am God …” ––  Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

The Hebrew term for be still” means to get alone; to withdraw; to relax; to cease and desist from striving; to let go.” You get the point. God is saying, “Withdraw from your busyness and give Me some time and space to work in your spirit. Relax in My presence and know who I am. Disconnect from all distractions and reconnect with Me!”

Plan wise disconnections in your life, and then make the right connections for greater health and strength!

Pastor Dale

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What’s In Your Hands?

Have you ever been asked to watch over something that belonged to someone else? Maybe you were asked to check on a friend’s home or take care of their pet while they were on vacation. Perhaps you were handed a valuable possession –– a wallet, purse or piece of jewelry –– to keep safe for someone for a period of time.

Although these situations require effort on our part, they also represent a kind of honor. It means that we’re considered to be responsible and trustworthy. It’s a statement of confidence in our character. The person who entrusted us with their valuables believes that we’ll conscientiously care for what belongs to them like it was our own. They’re demonstrating faith in our faithfulness. And it’s our duty to do our best to prove that their faith in our character is well placed.

It’s important for us to understand that God has placed certain “valuables” into our hands for safe keeping. He’s entrusted gifts, blessings, relationships and opportunities to our care. He’s given us assignments to fulfill, and work to do. One day we’ll stand before Him and give account for how we’ve handled what He handed us. Did we prove worthy of the confidence God placed in our character? Was His faith in us –– faith that we would be faithful –– was it well placed?

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to Timothy, challenging him to handle well all God had handed to him:

“Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care … ” –– 1 Timothy 6:20 (NLT)

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust … ” –– 1 Timothy 6:20 (NAS)

The Greek word Paul used for “guard” or “keep” means “to preserve and protect; to take good care of.” The term “entrusted” or “committed to thy trust” refers “to a deposit left to one’s charge; something consigned to one’s faithful keeping.”

God has placed many good things into your hands. Your marriage, your children, your job, your ministry work and service, your friendships…. What are you doing with them? Are you taking good care of them? Are you preserving and protecting them? Are you conscientiously and faithfully giving your best to all that God has entrusted to you?

Let’s make a fresh commitment to faithful living. Take good care of all that God has placed in your hands!

Pastor Dale

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Did You Say?

Sometimes the greatest breakthroughs and blessings in life come from the simplest changes. A positive change in an attitude, a tone of voice, a look, a perspective, or a habit can transform us and the environment around us.

This is certainly true when it comes to our words. What we say in the face of life circumstances makes a difference. When we choose to speak the right words the right way, we welcome God’s presence, peace and power into our world. And when He shows up, wonderful things happen!

We have a great example of this in the life of the Apostle Paul and his ministry helper, Silas. The story is found in Acts 16. In response to God’s call, Paul and Silas traveled to the Macedonian city of Philippi to share the Gospel. Almost immediately they encountered trouble. Their preaching led to mean-spirited opposition, malicious persecution and unjust incarceration. After being falsely accused, arrested and severely beaten by the authorities, Paul and Silas were placed in shackles and chains and thrown into the worst part of the Philippian prison.

From a natural perspective, this would have been a good time for a pity party. They were suffering horribly for doing God’s work. Most of us would have given into the temptation to grumble and complain about such unfair and painful circumstances. But Paul and Silas chose a different path. Take a look at their response to the situation and the amazing consequences that followed:

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! — Acts 16:25-26 (NLT)

Paul and Silas’ decision to pray and praise God instead of pout about their problems changed everything. With the right words, coming from right hearts, they welcomed God’s presence, peace and power into that dark prison cell. The result was not only a breakthrough, it was a “break out!”

What about you? What are you saying in the face of your challenging situations? Are you a worshiper or a whiner? Are you grateful or are you a grumbler?

Don’t let your circumstances or your spiritual adversary steal your prayer and praise. Follow the example of Paul and Silas — be a worshiper — and watch what God will do!

Pastor Dale

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Big Lesson From A Little Creature

Do you know someone who is lazy? Laziness is a fairly common ailment. If we’re honest, most of us struggle with this mood from time to time; some more than others. While occasional bouts of laziness are normal, a lifestyle of laziness can be very destructive.

There’s a great Bible passage that addresses laziness and its negative consequences. God used a little creature — the ant — to teach us a valuable character trait!

Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! Even though they have no prince, governor, or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. — Proverbs 6:6-11 (NLT)

Ants are very interesting insects. Scientific observation helps us understand why God highlighted this tiny specimen to teach us an important life truth.

John Silling, an entomologist at Perdue Universtiy wrote this about the ant:

Basically the ant’s entire life, which can range up to seven years, is spent working. They gather food, bring it back to the nest, and use it for day-to-day meals as well as to store for the winter. In addition, the amazing insects are adept horticulturists. Some species gather bits of grass or leaves and take them back to their nests. On this organic matter … used much like fertilizer, they place tiny mushroom spores and grow them for food …

God brought one of His creatures to center stage in Scripture and said, “Take a look at this little guy and learn a big lesson. Learn the value of hard work. Learn the value of being industrious and productive. Develop the same kind of character as the ant, and you’ll be blessed!”

Actually, if you really think about it, laziness is a waste and a curse. It’s not only an avoidance of responsibility, it’s poor stewardship of the resources and opportunities God gives us. A lazy person suffers. Whether it’s spiritual laziness, laziness in our relationships or laziness in our work assignments, the end result is never good.

F.O. Walsh wrote a humorous poem about the lazy life:

While other men paint, or water or weed, I’m curled up in a chair, with a good book to read. While other men shop, or shovel, or mow, I’m … watching some show. I offer my help, but my wife says, ‘Forget it. If you lend me a hand, I know I’ll regret it.’ And therein’s my secret, I’m very adept at only one thing, and that’s being inept!

God took a small insect and taught us a big truth. He reminded us of the rewards of a diligent, productive life. Take a look at another verse that reinforces the lesson:

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. — Proverbs 13:4 (NLT)

The puny ant preaches a powerful message. The next time you see one, be inspired!

Pastor Dale

Monday, May 24, 2010

Help Needed!

Do you need some help?

There are times when we try and lift certain things that are too heavy to lift alone.  In life we experience burdens and pressures that are too much for one person to carry. There are situations when our wisdom is not enough to solve a problem or resolve a conflict. Each of these circumstances point to the need for help.

The good news is, help is available. Take a look at what the psalmist said:

“But God is my helper … ” — Psalm 54:4

We cannot always count on people to help us, but we can count on God!

What are you facing today that is too heavy, too big, too complex, too complicated, too challenging, too painful or too scary to face alone? Take it to God and ask Him to help you. Put it in His hands and watch what our strong and mighty God can and will do for you!

Pastor Dale

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Real Battle

“Be careful — watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart.” 1 Peter 5:8 (LB)

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies–the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world. So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.” – Ephesians 6:11-13 (LB)

“I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds.” — 2 Corinthians 10:4 (LB)

Some people are very skeptical when it comes to talk about the devil. Such concepts of evil are viewed by many in our sophisticated, educated world as a remnant of more ignorant days long past. Belief in unseen spiritual forces of darkness is commonly relegated to the realm of the superstitious and silly.

It is interesting and extemely important to note that the Bible treats this topic very differently. It treats it seriously. The reality of an invisible but real world of darkness populated by destructive spiritual foes is presented to us in God’s Word as fact, not fiction or fantasy.

In Scripture, God repeatedly reminds us that, as believers in Jesus Christ, there are certain things we need to know about the reality of spiritual battle. Warning after warning is issued to us about the enemies of darkness we face. We would be wise to pay attention.

What does the Bible teach us about dealing with these evil forces?

The Bible teaches us that:

1.  We face a very real spiritual enemy.

We cannot prepare to fight these dark battles until and unless we accept this as true.

According to the Bible, there are actual, real forces of evil, directed by a head serpent, Satan, that must be contended with by believers.

2. There are real spiritual attacks.

The devil and his foes are not sitting back idly or passively. They are on the prowl. They are on the attack. They study their prey and strategically assault. Their attacks are subtle and personal. They deceptively seek to trap their targets, intentionally and patiently playing on their individual appetites and weaknesses.

3.  There are real spiritual casualties in this war.

The goal of our spiritual adversaries is to wound, kill and destroy people and relationships.

These evil forces of darkness are not satisfied until they wreak havoc on individual lives, families and friendships, and rob physical or emotional health from people. They are ruthless and determined.

Take a sober and careful look at the highway of life. You will discover that it is strewn with the casualties of this war. The devil would be thrilled to capture and count us in that number.

4.  There are real spiritual weapons given to us by God.

These weapons really work against our spiritual enemies. We are not defenseless. God has provided us with mighty spiritual weapons. These weapons are capable of completely stopping the missles of darkness propelled in our direction.

God has also provided us with the offensive firepower of His Word. He has duly authorized believers to put a stop to the activities of these evil forces by enforcing the decisive, eternal victory won through the death, burial, shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

5.  There is a real mistake we must avoid if this war is to be won

It is the mistake of engaging the wrong battles. We must remember who our real enemy is.

People are not our enemies! It takes a lot of maturity to finally figure this out.

Making our fights about people is our default, sinful, immature human tendency. All too often we fight with each other over hurts, misunderstandings, judgments, misjudgments, and all kinds of petty things. When we spend time and energies contending with each other, Satan sits back and smiles at his success in spiritually sidetracking and sabatoging us.

Only when we stop fighting with each other and focus our mutual efforts on fighting the real enemy will solid, lasting victory be ours. This takes a mature commitment — a decision to walk in love, grace and forgiveness with one another as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.

Spiritual battles are real! They are also winnable! Heed God’s warning! Know the real enemy! Use the right weapons! Live in the love of God! And then, stand firm in the authority of Jesus’ finished work on the Cross and declare victory!

Pastor Dale

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Changing Your Self-Talk

Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly carrying on a conversation with ourselves. Inside our heads and hearts there is ongoing communication.  Our spiritual and emotional health is determined by the content, tone and tenor or this dialogue.  This is sometimes referred to as “self-talk.”

Our self-talk can help us or hurt us.  When we speak the right things to ourselves we are strengthened and encouraged.  When our internal conversations are negative and demeaning, our spirit is deflated and demoralized.  We are weakened on the inside.

Many people continually barrage themselves with abusive, destructive self-talk.  Their worst enemy is their own words.  They are taken down by the things they say to themselves about themselves and about others.  They live defeated lives, not realizing that they are sabotaging the changes, victories and breakthroughs they long for by their own internal declarations and proclamations.

Let’s take a look at an example of this in the Bible.

The prophet Jeremiah lived during a very tough time in Judah’s history.  His pain over the spiritual condition of God’s people is recorded in the book of Lamentations.  He had lots of reasons to be discouraged and to give up hope as he observed the idolatry and wickedness of the nation.  But Jeremiah learned and practiced a spiritual principle that kept him going amidst the horrible and ugly circumstances around him.  Take a look at his words:

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:  Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;  it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.  — Lamentations 3:21-26

Please pay attention to the phrase. “I say to myself … “

How did Jeremiah make it through the tough times?  He monitored his self-talk.  He made a conscious decision to say the right things to himself.  Over and over again, Jeremiah declared to himself, “The Lord is my portion … “ He was careful about what he said to himself!

What about you?  Have you monitored your self-talk recently?  Are you carrying on conversations with yourself that are sabotaging your spiritual and emotional health?  Are you speaking God’s truth to yourself or are you trafficking in lies from your spiritual adversary?

Make a decision to change your self-talk.  Speak God’s truth to yourself and watch the difference it will make!

Pastor Dale

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mom, Dad and Ministry


Today my wife and I had the opportunity to spend some time with my parents.  Mom and dad have been involved in pastoral church ministry since the early 1950’s.  As we talked, I asked Dad what he personally considered to be some of the most rewarding things about ministry life.

As he reflected back over the years, I heard real joy in his voice as he reminisced about some of the people he had the privilege of leading to the Lord, some who have gone on to heaven and many others who continue to serve the Lord today.  He spoke of several of these folks by name, and with genuine affection.  I could sense the pleasure and satisfaction he felt in knowing that he had made and continues to make a difference with his life for the sake God’s Kingdom and people.

As I reflected on their 50+ years of pastoral life and experiences, I was reminded of some of the things I believe to be essential keys to effective ministry.  At the top of list is a love for people.  To have an effective ministry a person must possess a true love for people and for their welfare, now and eternally.  Mom and dad certainly demonstrate this kind of love.

Second, effective ministry is the result of a commitment to stick with it — living and serving with endurance and faithfulness.  Mom and dad, by their example, have proved that fruitfulness and fulfillment come with a lifetime of faithful service to God and others.

I am so very proud of my parents.  Through the tough and challenging times of ministry, as well as the joyous times, I have watched them live with integrity, passion, commitment and incredible love for the local church.  What an example they have set for me, and I honor them!

Pastor Dale