Friday, September 19, 2008

Pastor Dale's New Blog

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Monday, September 15, 2008

New Believers!

One of the most exciting things about church life is seeing people come to faith in Jesus Christ.  This past weekend our focus was on the new birth and the changes that happen in a person's life when they open their lives to Jesus and make Him their personal Savior and Lord.

It was thrilling to see so many people make the decision to step across the line of faith and turn their lives over to Jesus.  It was an amazing weekend of spiritual harvest.

As I was reflecting on what God did in people's lives this weekend I thought about a very important passage in the gospel of Matthew.  Take a look at what Jesus said:

“Now here is the explanation of the story I told about the farmer sowing grain:  The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the Good News about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches the seed away from their hearts.  The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy.  But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word.  The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.  The good soil represents the hearts of those who truly accept God’s message and produce a huge harvest—thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.”  -- Matthew 13:18-23 (NLT)

Here are a couple of good reminders for us from this passage:
  • New believers need to be reminded that their decision to commit their life to Jesus Christ will certainly be challenged by the devil.  If you are a new believer, the best thing you can do is to quickly get connected with a Bible-teaching church and with other Christians who can help you start growing in your new walk with the Lord.  At our church we have a great 4 week study that will help you do both of these things.  It is called Basic Training.  Get signed up for it right away.  You will be glad you did.
  • All believers should be reminded that we have the privilege and responsibility to pray for and support those who are new in their faith.  We need to pray for their strength and for their protection from the traps and tricks of the evil one.  We need to pray for a great start and sustained commitment for them in their spiritual journey.
If you are a new believer in Jesus -- Hallelujah!  Get started on your pathway to spiritual growth.  If you have been a believer for a while, Hallelujah for you too!  Take up the role of a helper in prayer and encouragement for someone who has recently started their walk with Christ!

Pastor Dale

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Focus is an amazing thing.  Think about light.  Focused light has great power.  A laser beam is, in essence, a very focused, concentrated wavelength of light.  Because of its focus, the power of the light is magnified and intensified.

The same principle applies in the way we approach our lives.  An unfocused life is like diffused light.  There is a lot of waste and limited impact.  However, when we get focused, everything changes.  We begin to see results.  In fact, growth and improvement in any realm of life starts with focus.

Focus is something we have to fight to maintain.  It doesn't happen without attention, concentration and effort.  A broad band of light becomes laser light only when strict boundaries and discipline are enforced on it.

This is true for us as well.  The kind of focus that brings positive and powerful results requires discipline.  Staying focused on the right things is a lifelong, daily challenge and responsibility.  But when we enforce the discipline of focus on our work, our relationships, our walk with God or any other area of life, we can anticipate incredible and significant growth, progress and impact.

Let's discipline ourselves to live focused lives.

Pastor Dale

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Seasons

One of the signs that summer is over and a different season has started is the sight of school buses on the roads and school children making their way to class again.  While there is a bit of sadness that comes with the close of vacation time, there is also a sense of excitement and anticipation.

As we get ready for a new school year, and the new schedules and activities that start fresh each September, let me encourage you to make sure you are prioritizing your spiritual life and needs.  The only way to experience the fulness of God’s blessings in any area of life is to put Him first.  This certainly includes new seasons of life.

Here are a few good reminders for all of us as we exit summertime and head into fall:

  • Design time into your daily schedule for God.

  • Make church attendance a high priority.  Make the big decision that you and your family will be in church each weekend for worship and the study of God’s Word.

  • Maintain family times.  Establish a family meal together each evening, if at all possible.  Commit to a brief family devotional time before going to bed.  This continuity will do wonders for your communication and connection with one another.

  • Have faith!  Believe that this season is going to be a good season.  Believe that God has some wonderful things He is going to teach you, show you and do for you.  Anticipate with great excitement a new season of His blessings and favor.

Also, don’t miss this coming weekend at Church of the Redeemer.  We have planned a special weekend to help us all get ready for this new season.  I am excited about what God is going to do!

Pastor Dale

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On the Grow!

Steve, Christi and Elijah

Justin, Jessica and Jadyn

Terry and I received some wonderful news last month.  We are expecting two more grandchildren!  Both Steve and Christi and Justin and Jessica are expecting babies sometime early in 2009.

As you can imagine, we are all very excited.  We love our 2 grandchildren, Elijah and Jadyn dearly, and are looking forward to adding to the clan!  I suppose it is time to buy a couple of additional high chairs for the kitchen!

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

Monday, August 4, 2008

Remembering Dan Dickson

This past Sunday afternoon many in our church family had the opportunity to celebrate the life of Dan Dickson.  As Dan was preparing to come to our midweek service on Wednesday evening, he went to be with the Lord.  He was 53 years old and had been a part of our church for almost 21 years.

As I thought about Dan’s impact on my life and on our church family through the years, and listened to different folks sharing their memories of Dan, a single theme surfaced.  Dan was, at the core of his being, a true servant.

Dan Dickson was a man who supported the work of the church in the background, away from any limelight or glory.  Every weekend, during our services, you would find Dan working faithfully in our parking lot ministry.  He served on our facility support team, helping maintain our buildings and grounds.  He kept the trees on our church property properly pruned.  Dan didn’t miss a church service unless he was out of town or sick.  He was someone that could be counted on -- a true contributor of his time, treasure and talents.  Not only did Dan serve, he also encouraged others to serve.  By his words and example he challenged others to step out of the stands onto the field of servanthood.

With beautiful simplicity, Dan lived a selfless and profound life.  His service made a difference.  Dan, in his unique way, contributed to the advance of God’s Kingdom and the salvation of many folks through the years.  No doubt, when Dan took his final breath last Wednesday, I believe his first breath in heaven was accompanied by a “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

What a great lesson his life teaches us.

Thank you Dan for your faithful service over the years and for leaving a legacy that challenges us to humble, selfless and simple service for Jesus Christ.  Thank you Lord for the gift of Dan Dickson’s life.

Pastor Dale