Guest Post: Gregory Dickow: “I Could Succeed if I Had the Right Surroundings”

Pastor Gregory Dickow shares from his series, “Fast From Wrong Thinking.”

This goes perfectly with our “Wealth Stored for the Righteous” series, and incorporates so many of the points we have made over the past few months, including the great statement that “It’s not what surrounds you, but it’s what’s inside you that causes success.”

I have featured lessons from Pastor Dickow in the past, and I strongly encourage you to subscribe to his “Fast From Wrong Thinking” series, as a great way to begin your day as a Bible study. I’ll include a direct link at the end:

Today we are fasting from the thought that says, “I could succeed if I had the right surroundings, the right people, or the right breaks.”

“If I just moved to a different city or had a better boss, or if someone gave me a chance, I would prosper,” they think. This way of thinking leads to blaming circumstances and other people for why things don’t get better.


1. It’s not what surrounds you, but it’s what’s inside you that causes success. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. For though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” Notice, Paul is saying that even when things go the opposite direction on the outside, something good can be happening on the inside. And what does God say we should do on the inside? Be renewed day by day. Be filled with the Word day by day—AND THE INSIDE WILL OVERTAKE THE OUTSIDE!

2. Success or failure is created by how you think. Never forget our foundational verse, which is in Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinks, so is he.” And Joshua 1:8 says, “. . . but you shall meditate on the Word of God day and night . . . and then you shall have good success.”

3. Understand the source of blessing. Psalm 1:1–3 says, “Blessed is the man that . . . meditates on the Word day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, whose leaf does not wither, who bears fruit in his season, and whatever he does, prospers!”

4. The root to true success is a prosperous soul. 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, EVEN AS your soul prospers.”

5. Remember Joseph, who was thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery. Genesis 39:2 says, “But the Lord was with Joseph, and so he became a successful man.” Notice: Even though his surroundings were terrible, JOSEPH STILL BECAME A SUCCESSFUL MAN. He had a bad home environment and bad breaks, and he was surrounded by bad people, and yet still succeeded, BECAUSE GOD WAS WITH HIM.

6. We affect our surroundings and create our breaks by the thoughts we think and the choices we make. Deuteronomy 30:15, 19 says, “I have set before you life and prosperity, or death and adversity . . . Choose life!”


It’s not what surrounds me that determines my success; it’s what’s inside me.

My success is created by how I think. I agree with God’s thoughts and meditate on God’s Word, day and night. Success follows me. I prosper in my soul. I fill my mind with the richness of God’s Word, and therefore it spills over into every area of my life.

I AM A SUCCESSFUL AND PROSPEROUS MAN OR WOMAN, because God is with me, in Jesus’ Name!

In God’s great love,
Gregory Dickow

 Click here to receive the “Fast From Wrong Thinking” Series




E-Mail Classic: “Perspectives”

First read this from the top down and then read it from the bottom  up! This is really neat!


Today was the absolute worst day ever.

And don’t try to convince me that

There is something good in every day.

Because, when you take a closer look

This world can be a pretty evil place.

Even if

Some goodness does shine through once in a while

Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.

And it’s not true that

It’s all in the mind and heart.


True happiness can be obtained

Only if one’s surroundings are good.

It’s not true that good exists

I’m sure you can agree that

The Reality


My Attitude

It’s all beyond my control.

And you will never in a million years hear me say that

Today was a good day.

Now read it from the bottom up.


Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 13

At some point, and now seems to be the time appointed, it’s time to think about “today’s economy” in light of this series. Or, maybe, in light of this series, to think about today’s economy.
The first thing we have to realize is that our employer, or our business, or “the State,” isn’t our provider.
God is our provider. Period. This won’t change.

We must face the facts. God is capable of supplying our every need. Period. I didn’t say our “wants.” I look at this statement, and, I’ll be honest … I know what I mean … I don’t mean that God is not capable of supplying our “wants” … but, how often have I written that if God gave us everything we thought we “wanted,” it would ruin us … And, worst of all, if God gave us everything we thought we wanted … it would ruin our relationship with Him. And, frankly, if we got everything “handed to us” that we wanted … it would ruin our relationship with a lot of people … and, not just friends and family. There! I had to include that!
Often, and I must say this, our “wants” seem to grow as God meeting our needs grows. The danger is this: Sometimes, the more our needs are met … the more “we get” … the less we may feel that we need God. Let’s let that one sink in. Is it true that the more we have, the more we want? Maybe another topic for another time, but necessary to at least mention here.

There have always been “bad times,” and there always will be. There have always been “good times,” and there always will be. Please keep these statements in proper context. There will always be people “with money.” There will always be people “in need.” This won’t change. I have learned that, no matter how bad the economy is … there are always people who have money, and lots of it. Am I equating success with money? For the point of the “present economy” and “need” I am using the term “money” in context. Let’s think about “success.” Throughout history, regardless of the “present economy,” there have always been people who were successful, and, yes, regardless of the “economy,” very successful.

What do you mean, “What am I talking about?” I answer that question with this question from recent history: During the Great Depression, and every “bad time” since, weren’t there people who were able to obtain incredible wealth? No, please understand I am not trying to downplay the severity of the times, only that, regardless of the times, or “present economy,” there were people getting extremely wealthy.

“Hey! Wait! Stop!”
“During those times, there were so many people who made money by immoral activities … even by breaking the law! What are you doing? Honoring them?!!!???”
Well … I hate to be the first one, if necessary, to break this news, but I must:
People making money by immoral means, or by breaking the law … didn’t start in recent history. As long as there have been people … which means humans … which means sinful man … which means …
“We ain’t grown.”

There will always be, and again this in context to the time we are living now, and history past, there will always be people who “do wrong.” Make money wrong. And, this “wrong” thinking/action directs their every move. Guess what? Their reward is only temporary … and, only for this world … ours is eternal, and for the World yet to come. While this is true, the point we’re trying to make is that regardless of the condition the world is in, God will still provide for His people. Period. That is, really, the only point I am trying to make. God will provide. Because: His provision depends upon Him, and not the world.
Does your provision depend upon Him … or the world?

We need to spend more time thinking about the Good News instead of the 6: 00 O’clock News.
(I think I just wrote that.)
I haven’t read the local newspaper in months. Not that it’s not a “good newspaper” (Did that phrase begin with good news …?”) … In fact, it’s a great newspaper. They have certainly been kind and gracious to me. And, I am most grateful for that. But, to the point, in relation to this writing: I decided, many, many, months ago, that I wouldn’t read the paper anymore … I couldn’t read the paper anymore … because (and this was the part of the paper I would always first gravitate to) they print a “police log,” and there were so many former students I knew, appearing in this part of the paper, that I finally just said, “I can’t read this anymore.” While this may have been even more of a reason for many to cherish this part of the paper … I just didn’t want to bring myself to the place of disappointment on so regular a basis, so I decided to just not read the paper at all …

Anyway, a few months ago, this was during “Summer Break,” I made a point to get the paper every day. After all, it was free, and available. (I think, “Man … Oh man … how often has that phrase, ‘free and available’ gotten us in trouble in the past …”) Anyway … this was a few months ago, when our country was in the throes of another “really bad economic time” cycle … I mean, it seemed like it was a really, really, bad time in this country … at least, that’s what I kept reading about … One day, I was reading the paper, and it seemed that every ad … at least every other ad in the paper carried a phrase like “during these hard times” or “during this bad economy,” and I’m serious, it seemed like every ad had something about our “bad economic times,” and due to this, there was a “price break” they were extending to their customers … I’m not making this up … it seemed like every ad had a negative about the economy …

That’s when I folded up the paper, and threw it on the table, exclaiming, “Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!” I was serious, because I knew it is true: “If I keep reading this (after all it’s the newspaper), I’ll start believing it …”

“Hey! What are you saying? We shouldn’t stay informed? We shouldn’t read the news?”
“Hey! What are you saying?”
(Maybe they are saying that if we don’t read the paper, we won’t have anything to do as we sit at lunch, or at home … we’d be forced to actually speak or interact with someone???)

Maybe this is what I am saying: The newspaper has its place. No doubt. Television news? As an old time radio guy (with television experience-and, I starting writing published articles in the local paper in the 6th grade), I’ll pass on that. Because that’s not the point. I still pick up the paper (it’s free), and I have an obligation to do so in my job capacity. I do scan the paper for pictures of students, being portrayed in a positive way.

This is the point: God is our provider. Period.
He won’t let us down. He can’t.
And, won’t.
He wants you to depend on Him.
And, if I can take a phrase (boy, that word “phrase” has come up a lot) from our present-day teens (or maybe teens from years ago?):

Now you know why I write so much about how important it is to spend time reading God’s Word.
As I read those newspaper ads to the point of memorizing them … I exclaimed, as I threw the paper across the room, “Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!”
Here it is:
As you read the Bible, especially read God’s Word every day, my prayer is that you will make
the same declaration, with the same shout:
“Man, if I keep reading this, I’ll start believing it!!!”

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Psalm 119

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 12

Well, here we are at Part Twelve of this series, and still, we can’t get away from how much God does for us every day. Every day. It begins with our eternal security of salvation, yet there is so much more. Every Day. Perhaps Psalms 68:19 says it best: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”

This is why it is so important to pray every day, and read God’s Word, every day. I also believe the absolute best way to start your day is with prayer and Bible study. God knows what’s ahead … but, you don’t. So … be prepared, by starting your day with the One who holds the future-including today’s events, yet to come. I love how so many of the Psalms begin with praise to God … just like our day should begin. As Paul would write, we should, “In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Regardless of what you are facing, Paul encourages us to do the exact same thing the Psalmist would do: Yes, let God know your requests, pray to Him, but always add “thanksgiving” to include what He has already done for you. Why? God knows, what better way to build your faith, by recognizing what He has already done for you? And, by reading His Word, every day, then, “every day” you are reminded of what God has done for others throughout history, and be reminded, “every day,” what God’s promises are for you.

David (and let’s not forget this is King David) would begin the hymn of Psalm 103 with “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Verse 1). Can you imagine how different the world would be if the leaders of the nations would begin their day, on their knees, beginning with words like “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Do we dare to imagine what our nation, and for our friends around the globe, what your nation would be like … if the leader of your nation began their day with “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name?”

Hey! This is an “election year!”
How different would things be … if … well … you get the idea …

Remember, friends, that it is perfectly fine to say “God bless,” even “God bless America,” just as long as you, just as in the Apostles’ day … just as long as you don’t mention the name of Jesus … I guess that’s another topic for another time. Ever considered the fact that, in the time of local or nation calamity or disaster … it is perfectly ok to say, even on Government grounds … even on School grounds … in case of disaster … it is perfectly ok to say things like “our thoughts and prayers are with …” I still remember, clearly, the “graffiti” I once saw scribbled on the wall of a trailer I was unloading: “In case of nuclear attack, the ban on school prayer will be lifted.”
Can you imagine a government leader … in the middle of great times, when things are going well … can you imagine a government leader beginning their speech with a prayer of thanksgiving to God, something like, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation?”

Remember that the nation of Israel was first when they put God first.
When they didn’t, they fell …
I think I have a new quote:
“To be first, put God first.”

Back to King David, and Psalm 103:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits … Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Verses 2-5).
How much better would our day be, if we started with praise to God … to let Him know that we haven’t forgotten “all his benefits?” If begin our day by focusing on what God has already done for us, how do you think God would feel about that? How do you think our day would go?

I know … I know … What about when things go wrong? And, the worst of all: When someone treats us wrong, does us wrong, or talks about us wrong? The next verse of Psalm 103 addresses this: “The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed” (Verse 6).
If we can just learn to place all things in God’s hands … and, yes, I’ll say it … especially if we place other people in His hands. Often, this is the hardest thing of all to do.

I especially like that David praises God, not only for what He has done, but he praises and thanks God for Who He is, addressing the very character of God: “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities” (Verses 8-10). Notice the first two characteristics mentioned are God’s mercy and grace, and reinforced in verses 11-12: “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Verses 11-12). Hard not to think that God removing our sins from us is at the top of the “benefits” list.

Then, as we wrote of last time, God is seen as the loving Father: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Verse 13).
Not only does God, as Creator, know us, but He knows our weaknesses: “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust” (Verse 14).
Yes, we are beneficiary of God’s grace and mercy, but let’s not forget that with benefits come responsibility: “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them” (Verses 17-18). Let us never forget that God is sovereign, and He is in control of everything that happens in our lives: “The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all … Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul” (Verses 19, 22).

So, in closing, allow me to write, and say, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”

Blessings to you, and your family
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
In Praise of Pastors Wife

November 1: International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Church

Next Sunday, November 1st, has been designated as “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.”

I can’t implore you strongly enough to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I urge you to include these men, women, and children, and their families and churches, as part of your daily prayers.
We must, every day, heed the words of Hebrews 13:3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

When we pray for those in prison for their faith, we must remember that the gospel came to us in letters written from jail.

Here’s a look at the facts, from The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:

“Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. An average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Source: Open Doors USA)
Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ. (Source: U.S. Department of State)
One of the worst countries in the world for the persecution of Christians is North Korea. With the exception of four official state-controlled churches in Pyongyang, Christians in North Korea face the risk of detention in the prison camps, severe torture and, in some cases, execution for practicing their religious beliefs. North Koreans suspected of having contact with South Korean or other foreign missionaries in China, and those caught in possession of a Bible, have been known to be executed. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
In 41 of the 50 worst nations for persecution, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic extremists. (Source: Open Doors).”

I’m going to share a couple of resources with you.
First, here is a video from “The Voice of the Martyrs” to promote this year’s International Prayer event. It is the true story of Pastor Pastor Suta. Please note that this is a true story, and parts of it are tough, but it will give a glimpse into just what our Christian Brothers and Sisters are facing, every day of their lives:

Next, here is a list of Scripture Verses, from “The Voice of the Martyrs,” entitled “Persecution in the Bible.” I put it in .pdf format, so you should be able to enlarge it, and print it for personal study:
Persecution in the Bible

Here’s the same list in .jpg format:

Persecution in the Bible
As we commit ourselves to pray, every day, for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ, to renew our goal and desire to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity,” let us also remember the words of Pastor Suta, from the video:
“When you pray for the persecuted, please remember to also pray for those who persecute.”


Now I Know Why “God Walks the Dark Hills”

Recently, we’ve been writing much about enjoying the blessings which God has bestowed upon us … right now. First, to recognize and realize just how much God loves us, and does for us … provides for us … every day.
Certainly, “The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psalm 126:3). I think one of the great things about our modern technology is the opportunity to listen to great gospel songs, from the great singers of the past, from our past.
The opportunity to hear-and see-The Happy Goodmans, for example, is a tremendous blessing. I find that if God’s hand is in the writing, and in the performing, the song truly becomes “timeless,” and, frankly, never loses its ability to minister to us. Never. Ever. Period.

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do here on our “social media” ministry, is share particular songs which have ministered to me, and blessed me, especially at the most difficult times of my life. Just like a list of Scripture verses, which we hold on to, grasp ahold of, during those difficult times, the same can be said for certain songs which came along at “just the right moment,” and often, God used to help “bring us out.”

Please understand that I am of the mindset that “inspired writing” did not end 2,000 years ago. Jesus is alive … right now. God is alive … right now … the Holy Spirit is alive … right now … And, fully capable of providing the words that will minister to us … right now … My point is that God still, today, provides writers with “living words” which are just that … alive with His Spirit, written to minister and help us along the way …

One of the titles of the Holy Spirit is “Comforter” or “Helper.” Right? The Names have the meaning of Someone who stands along beside us … helping us … guiding us … leading us …

For years, I’ve heard the song from Vestal Goodman, “God Walks the Dark Hills.” Sometimes we are so familiar with a song that we forget just what the words are. At first glance, that doesn’t seem like it makes sense. Yet, think about it. How about “Christmas” songs. We “know them by heart,” yet never really “look” at the words. Songs like “O Holy Night,” for example. What a powerful, powerful lyric. Just like “Joy to the World” and many others. If we took just the words, without the music … what a powerful testimony-and message-a “timeless” testimony and message …

Anyway, I’ve heard the song from Vestal Goodman, loved the song so much, and, just being totally honest, I think I just took the words for granted. Of course, God walks the dark hills. He is everywhere. He created the mountains, and His presence is always there “among them.” And, yes, we take comfort from just knowing that wherever we are … whatever dark mountain or valley we are facing … God is there …
But, as I listened to this song last night … after hearing it all these years … the true meaning “hit me.”
Why does God Walk the Dark Hills?

God walks the dark hills
Just to guide you and me.
God walks the dark hills
To guide my footsteps
God walks the dark hills
To show me the way
God walks the dark hills
‘Cause He loves you and me.

Here we see, in living words, the embodiment of what God, through the Holy Spirit, does for us … every day … and, especially during the darkest night … “Someone who stands along beside us … helping us … guiding us … leading us …” It’s all there, in black and white: Because God loves us, He stays with us, especially when we need His help the most.

This has to be one of the most “ministered to me” songs ever written. Written by Iris DeMent, made a standard by Vestal Goodman, how many, for so many years, have “reached out” and held onto the words of this song … I heard Vestal herself, when asked which song had ministered to her, personally, above all others, say it was this one. There is just something that happens, deep inside, when Vestal steps to the mic, and the first words are “God Walks the Dark Hills.” It was also one of my Mom’s favorite songs, for the same reasons it has ministered to so many across the generations. Allow me also to say that one of the greatest thrills I’ve ever had was the opportunity to see the Happy Goodmans in person, with Carol. Even though I had been a friend of Rusty Goodman’s, going back to my radio days, I had never seen Vestal, Howard, and Sam in concert.

Here is Vestal Goodman, The Happy Goodmans, with “God Walks the Dark Hills.”
I’m so blessed that now I know why He does.

God walks the dark hills
The ways, the by ways
He walks through the billows
Of life’s troubled sea
He walks through the cold dark night
The shadows of midnight
God walks the dark hills
Just to guide you and me
God walks the dark hills
To guide my footsteps
He walks everywhere
By night and by day
He walks in the silence
On down the highway
God walks the dark hills
To show me the way

God walks in the storm
The rain and the sunshine
He walks on the billows
On through glimmering light
Helps us walk up the mountain so high
Cross our rivers through valleys
God walks the dark hills
‘Cause He loves you and me.



Today’s Quote: “Winners”

“Everybody loves a winner … Until they start winning.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Read "Modern Day Psalms" from Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Read “Modern Day Psalms” from Richard. Vincent. Rose.