Guest Post: Gregory Dickow on Healing and Prayer

We all know what it’s like to experience pain.
Whether it’s the physical pain of sickness or injury; the emotional pain of losing someone we love; the mental pain of anguish or anxiety or worry; the spiritual pain of losing our faith or being shipwrecked in our hope or being disappointed in a promise that doesn’t seem to be showing up in our lives; the pain of broken relationships … we have all experienced or are experiencing one of these pains today. Or you’ve witnessed this kind of pain in the lives of those that you come in contact with daily.

We live in a broken world and hurting world. But in all that pain and suffering:
God has an answer for every pain you’ve ever felt.
God has a solution, a remedy and a healing for every pain you’ve ever experienced! No one wants to keep hurting. Yet people try to deal with their suffering and pain without God’s help. We go to other sources, people and remedies, when it is God who wants to be our Healer, and only He that truly can.

He is Jehovah Rapha — the God who heals. He wants to be the One we look to. God says, “I am the Lord that heals you” (Exodus 15:26). This world is hurting. And when a person is hurting, they can hardly think of anything else. When we are hurting, we often bring pain to others.
The answer to your pain and hurting is to FIND the REMEDY in God’s TOUCH, in God’s HEALING, in what Jesus DID FOR YOU on The Cross.

He Himself bore our pain in His body and carried away our sicknesses and diseases. “By His stripes we were healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). He bore our pain and so He knows what it’s like to hurt. He felt every rejection you’ve ever felt. He felt every temptation you’ve ever felt. He felt every betrayal you’ve ever felt. And then He took your pain and mine and all of our pain combined and nailed it to the Cross. He was wounded for our transgressions, and by His stripes we were healed! Isn’t that amazing? We have a Savior that knows what you feel and experience.

He knows what it’s like to hurt.
He knows what it’s like to feel pain.
He knows what it’s like to be tempted.
He knows what it’s like to suffer.
He knows what it’s like to be betrayed.
He knows what it’s like to be despised and hated.
He knows what your pain feels like because He has felt it Himself.And He wants you to know that He took that pain and sorrow upon Himself. There’s no reason for you to BEAR IT when He HAS BORNE IT FOR YOU.

Now it’s time to feel what life is like beyond the pain.Are you ready to be healed and to be a healer?
Whenever you’re hurting, call on God.
Whenever you’re suffering, pray.
Whenever you feel down and out, ask for God’s help.
Whenever you feel defined by your past, let God redefine you.
Whenever you feel you’re going backwards, call on God to move ahead.
Whenever somebody has wronged you, forgive them.
Whenever somebody has hurt you, call on God to help you.
When you’ve caused hurt, call on God to heal you and those you’ve hurt.

David said, “I love the Lord because He hears my cry” in Psalm 116:1. One of the reasons why I love the Lord is because He hears me when I’m in pain. James 5:13 says “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” When you’re suffering, pray. When you feel pain, PRAY. Psalm 30:2:“O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.” God HEARS and He HEALS.God does not want you to settle for the pain that He has already paid for by nailing His Son to the Cross. He has borne it for you. He wants to heal you of it.

Part of the blessing of God is for HIM to heal you; and then use you to bring healing to others who are hurting still. God wants you to
GIVE UP YOUR PAIN TO GOD, and ASK HIM TO LET YOU IMPACT OTHERS, with HIS HEALING HAND. We can’t remove the burdens of this broken world in our own ability. We need the anointing of the Holy Spirit to heal the pain. You can live beyond the pain! Today, ask the Lord to heal you; and give you the power bring healing to the hurting around you.
Ask God to Help You Stop Hurting and Start Healing TODAY.

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From Modern-Day Psalms: “In Praise of Pastor’s Wife”

In Praise of Pastor’s Wife
Introduction

Now that I had gotten the words for the Pastor and Assistant Pastor, what about the Pastor’s wife? After all, besides my Mother (who’s best friend was a Pastor’s wife), the most Godly women I had ever known were Pastor’s wives. Plus, from our online businesses, we were always being asked if we had something for the Pastor’s wife.

For 16 years, after writing “Why, Pastor, Why,” I had never, not even once, been given anything that even resembled something to write for the Pastor’s wife. When I talked with my brother about this, he told me, “If God wants you to write it, He’ll give it to you.”

How great is God?
Remember, there is nothing He can’t do, and there’s nothing too hard for Him. Then, from “out of the blue,” totally out of nowhere, God began to give me the words for something to honor the Pastor’s wife. He started to give me the pieces of the puzzle.

There I was, so worried that I couldn’t write anything for the Pastor’s wife … I had no feeling to write anything for over 16 years … and, how great is God?
When He had finished, I had five pages of legal pad paper full of notes he gave me!
You don’t think God honors the Pastor’s wife?
He gives me two separate works to honor them!

One was “Letter to Pastor’s Wife,” also featured in this volume.
Here is the poem, written in praise of, and to honor, the Pastor’s wife.

In Praise of Pastor’s Wife

It seems every day, you’ve had to wear a different hat
And the last thing you’d want is a pat on the back
You’ve stood so tall, with Jesus and our Pastor both at your side
You have fulfilled every role, as friend, wife, mother, and bride
You and your husband are the models of one accord
And that’s just one of many reasons you are so loved and adored
Serving us as unto the Lord
You have given us more than we could ever deserve
You have been the most cherished role model of all
By showing us how best to answer God’s call
You have personally been there in good times, great times, and bad
You have been the mother many have wished for, or never had
You made a decision a long time ago
A decision to allow others around you to grow
The kindness and love you have shown
Is the best living example of the Word we have ever known
You have given your life to be a Pastor’s wife
The Pastor’s wife you chose to be
The image of the Bride of Christ
You’ll always be to me
What you mean to this church, and to each and every life
We are so thankful that you chose Jesus, and to be our Pastor’s wife
You just want to be a blessing, and, that you have been
If the Pastor, or us, had to choose, we’d both choose you again
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

In Praise of Pastors Wife“In Praise of Pastor’s Wife” is available as a special
Presentation Plaque-Personalized!
Only at Pastor Appreciation Gifts!

"In Praise of Pastor's Wife:" Just one of the Modern-Day Psalms available everywhere online!

“In Praise of Pastor’s Wife:” Just one of the Modern-Day Psalms available everywhere online!

 

From Modern-Day Psalms: “Letter to Assistant Pastor”

Letter to Assistant Pastor
Introduction

It had been several years since I had held the pen for
“Why, Pastor, Why.”

God had given me the idea for something just as significant for the Assistant Pastor, and I had kept the first words tucked away in a drawer. In the back of my mind, for years and years, I knew that, after writing “Why, Pastor, Why,” the natural next step would be to write something for the Assistant Pastor. I just didn’t get all of the words until sixteen years later. Yes, sixteen years. “Why, Pastor, Why” had kept us so busy, that I didn’t have the time, or inclination, to get back to something for the Assistant Pastor.

God gave me the words to “Letter to Assistant Pastor” in a variety of different locations, over those sixteen years, so I wrote the words on just as varied types of paper. I had some notes written on note cards, “sticky notes,” memo pads, and note pads. Yes, it took sixteen years to sit down and put them all together. Then, it was time.

What God gave me was not a poem, as with “Why, Pastor, Why.” I didn’t know “why” until the very end. The work to honor Assistant Pastors was not even a poem. It was a letter. I wrote the letter, written from the Pastor to the Assistant Pastor, and then … I got the ending. The ending that surprised even me! All these years, I just didn’t know. You’ll have to read the “Letter” to find out what I am talking about.

Haven’t we all known such wonderful Assistant Pastors? The words fit those I have been so blessed to have known. And, I hope those you have known.

In this volume, we have included the original “Letter to Assistant Pastor,” in its entirety, just as it was given to me, and then, we include the condensed version, in order to make it available as a plaque or print presentation.

Here’s a new quote God gave me, just for the Assistant Pastor:

“Jesus needs an Assistant Pastor. And, so does the Pastor.”

Letter to Assistant Pastor
Full Version

My Dear, Faithful, and Beloved Assistant Pastor:

For a long time now, you have knowingly, and willingly, stayed in the shadows, out of the spotlight. You have faithfully served me, while staying under my shadow. You have never complained about me getting “top billing.” In fact, you seemed to always take extra joy when I was exalted, when I was praised. Even for work that you had done. You always made sure that my name, not yours, was mentioned; that I got the credit.

You have worked all hours of the day and night to make sure that my goals were met. You would make sure that all of the congratulations, the reward, went to me. If you did not succeed, you would never mention my name in a negative way. You would take the blame. The only time my name was mentioned was to praise me for being with you every step of the way, for giving you encouragement to keep the faith. Your faith in me never faltered.

Even in despair, you would talk openly about how I was now helping you back up from failure, and how I was the one who would give you the help and encouragement to keep trying. You’ve wept, you’ve cried, wondering why I haven’t done more. Then, you realized that, many times, my plan was not to change the church-it was to change you.

You have made so many sacrifices of yourself, and your family, in order to serve me, and my family. I know that there were times you thought, “Let someone else clean it up, pick it up, get here 45 minutes before service, take the offering, give up days off, and give up family vacations for camp or conference.” But, you never said it.

Whatever trial you were going through, you never, ever, lost your faith in me. You were never afraid to come to me for help, or advice. And, even if, in your heart, you did not always agree with my suggestions, you always followed them. Sometimes, even blindly, always trusting that I had what was best for you in mind. You may have questioned, or not fully understood my judgment, but you never argued with my decisions.

Many times, I have asked you to speak for me, in my place. Many of those times, when you faithfully “stood in” for me, it was very difficult for you. I know that so many of those times when you stood behind the pulpit in my place, you were going through trials of your own. It took great courage and faith to deliver a message that you would find out, later, was really meant for you.

I know my shadow is large. But, even if you had to keep moving, your only desire was to make sure you stayed underneath it. I’ve known that, all along, some people have thought that you’ve stayed covered, even suffocated. Please know that you, and your dreams, haven’t been smothered. They’ve been covered. With prayer and protection.

When life was at its toughest, you’ve felt like that shadow had overtaken you. It had. It was my shadow. That’s why, when things were at their worst, you felt my presence so strongly. You felt that I was so near. It’s because I was.
I haven’t held you back.
I’ve held you up.

You’re right. You have been living in someone’s shadow, the whole time. My shadow.
Remember that you are not his assistant. You are my assistant.
You are not working for him.
You are working for me.

Thank you for your praise, your thanksgiving, your dedication, your faithfulness, your patience, and your life.

Signed, with eternal love,
Jesus

Modern-Day Psalms available everywhere online!

Modern-Day Psalms available everywhere online!

letter to assistant pastor

Letter to Assistant Pastor is available as a special
Presentation Plaque-Personalized!
Only at Pastor Appreciation Gifts!

True Reflections-Part Two: Jesus Revealed

In Part One, we discussed the true identity of Jesus:
He was the physical representation/manifestation of God.
How that, if God could cast a reflection in a mirror, what you would see is Jesus.

Hebrews 1:3 describes Jesus as not only being “the brightness of his (God’s) glory,” but follows this with the explanation that Jesus is also “the express image of his (God’s) person.”
The “express image” here means “an imprint,” such as a die cast, perfectly representing the original design.
The word “person,” as in Jesus being the exact image of his person, means “nature.” Therefore, Jesus perfectly represented the exact “nature” of God through His physical manifestation.

When I think of the “brightness of God’s glory,” I always think of the sun. The brightness of the sun, with its beams shining out from the center, providing light to everything which surrounds it. I write often of how we as Christians are supposed to be a “light” in and to a dark world, and the darker the world … the more our light shines… the more our light will be seen. I think now that the darker the surroundings … the farther the light reaches.

In this verse from Hebrews, we get the idea of Jesus shining forth brilliantly, in the full radiance of God’s glory, radiating the essential nature of God. Just as the rays of the sun could not exist apart from the sun … the sun would not exist without its rays … so, too, God and Jesus do not exist apart from the other … meaning that God the Father and God the Son are essentially one.

This is why, in the verse just before (Hebrews 1:2), the writer explains that God had appointed Jesus “heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” This relationship between God the Father and God the Son explains how Jesus could, while being the Son of God, could also be called “the Creator.” Verse 3 also plainly states that Jesus, as Creator, “upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

Paul would give almost exactly the same explanation in Colossians 1:14-19, which is such a great description of Jesus and His work: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God (How about that?) … For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible … all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Did you notice that Paul echoes the same fact that Jesus (from Hebrews 1:3) “upholds all things,” by saying here in Colossians 1:17, that “by him (in him) all things consist,” meaning that by Jesus, through Jesus, in Jesus, all things are held together, all things he made as Creator, he now preserves, He now keeps. The world will stop when He tells it to stop.

By the way, the next verse, Colossians 1:18, also states that Jesus “is the head of the body, the church.”

How does God feel about all this?
Next verse: “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell” (Colossians 1:19).
Philippians 2:9-11: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

We started with the verse in Hebrews, speaking of Jesus being “the brightness of God’s glory.”
Everything Jesus is, revolves around Him being this brightness, this “express image” of God’s glory.

The remarkable thing still is, that Jesus made the decision to come to earth, to take the form of a man, to become sin in our place … and die in our place. For us.

We close with these verses from earlier in the chapter we quoted above, from Philippians:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made (meaning “coming in”) in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion (appearance) as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

While, yet again, I began this writing with a totally different idea (to go with the “Part Two” title), God changed it during the first sentence. I’m glad He did. These verses mean so much to me. Jesus means so much to me. His Word means so much to me. The even more remarkable thing is … How much we mean to Him … We mean enough to Him, He loves us enough, to do what He did, and to keep doing what He does.

All for us.
What a Savior!

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Modern-Day Psalms

 

From Modern-Day Psalms: “Why, Pastor, Why”

Why, Pastor, Why
Introduction

 “The reason, Pastor, that you mean so much to me
Is that when I look at you
It’s Jesus that I see”

 “Why, Pastor, Why” is a poem specifically purposed to uplift and encourage Pastors. While it is written to show love and appreciation, it also answers the basic question every Pastor must address-both in times of joy and in those moments of despair and discouragement:

 “Why has God chosen me for this office?”

 During his Sunday night sermon, “Pastor Dan” used himself as an example to illustrate the awesome grace and mercy of God. He humbly acknowledged he did not know, nor could he understand, why God had reached down to save him, or why God had entrusted him with the anointed task of ministry.

 Later that night, as I pondered my Pastor’s “Why?” the Lord answered the question for me, giving me the poem, “Why, Pastor, Why.” He further revealed that His answer applied not only to Pastor Dan, but to all Pastors. Then, He directed me to reach all Pastors with this simple message. 

 “The office of Pastor is the highest office in the land.
For, the people choose the president. God chooses the Pastor.”

 Many times, I have heard the startling statistics of the number of Pastors who are leaving the ministry. We as Christians can forget how we were, before the Lord “called us out.” We forget how much He has done for us, and how many lives we have affected through our faith. How much greater the burden must be for these men and women who devote their lives to the Gospel. They must “keep on keeping on!” Not just for themselves, but for the lives they touch. The call is not just for them, but for their flock.

 I firmly believe that God wishes to give this message of encouragement to all pastors, and their congregations, world-wide.

 “The greatest gift God gives the local church is their Pastor.”

Why, Pastor, Why

As I see you standing there behind the pulpit
Reading from God’s Word
I think back to all those wonderful, blessed sermons
From you that I’ve heard
No, there’s no secret why God brought you out
Oh! The many times your joy has made me shout!
You see, Pastor, there was a reason that God saved your soul
Because He knew that serving Him with all your heart
Would be your life’s goal
You see, Pastor, there was a reason that it was you
That God chose
Not your good looks, perfect hair, and stylish clothes
No, Pastor, the reason that God reached down His hand
and saved you
Let there be no doubt!
The reason God chose you
Is because He knew
How you would turn out!
The reason, Pastor, that you mean so much to me
Is that when I look at you
It’s Jesus that I see
For in your footsteps I so gratefully trod
Because I know that in following you
I am following God
Why, Pastor, Why“Why Pastor, Why” From Pastor Appreciation Gifts!
Modern-Day Psalms“Why, Pastor, Why”
Just one of the Modern-Day Psalms available
at online booksellers everywhere!

Shared E-Mail Stories: “Young Boy’s Explanation of God”

This was written by an 8-year-old boy who lives in Chula Vista, CA. He wrote it for his third grade homework assignment, to “explain God.”

“One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.

God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears, unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.

God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad’s head asking for something they said you couldn’t have.

Atheists are people who don’t believe in God. I don’t think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren’t any who come to our church.

Jesus is God’s Son. He used to do all the hard work, like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn’t want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn’t know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said O.K.

His dad (God) appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn’t have to go out on the road anymore.
He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.

You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.

You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there’s anybody you want to make happy, it’s God!

Don’t skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn’t come out at the beach until noon anyway.

If you don’t believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can’t go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He’s around you when you’re scared, in the dark or when you can’t swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.

But you shouldn’t just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases.

And that’s why I believe in God.”

True Reflections: God Revealed

I can’t stress enough how important it is, to your Christian walk, to pray and to read your Bible-every day. The formula is still true:
Pray more
+ Study more
= Be More

It is amazing how much God reveals to you … if you will let Him.
It’s not just that He reveals a lot about me, as I read His Word, but He reveals Himself.

I always encourage those new to the faith to read the book of John. People still ask me which book in the Bible they should start reading. I always say to start with the book of John, as it is the one book which concentrates on the divinity of Jesus … reveals just Who Jesus is. It is so important to fully understand just Who Jesus is.
His Word and His Person.

It is interesting that the book of Genesis and the book of John open with the same three words:
“In the beginning.”
John wastes no time in establishing the divinity of Jesus, and the fact that Jesus is eternal: Always was … always will be …

A risen Jesus would later, in another book written by John, in the very first chapter of Revelation, say, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
John’s writing revealing the divinity of Jesus? Keep in mind that “the book of Revelation” is actually “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” or “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John.” In case we still didn’t get it, in the last chapter of the book which we usually just refer to as “Revelation” or “Revelations,” Jesus would say again, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

You just can’t know Jesus without reading His Word. Why?
Because, as John wasted no time explaining, Jesus is the very Word of God made into flesh/made into a man, which John stated clearly in John 1:14: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”
This was John’s way of explaining verse 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Both verses also explain how you cannot separate the Word of God from Jesus, as Jesus is the Word of God made flesh … “and the Word was God.”
This is why the more you read the Bible … any book in the Bible … the more Jesus is revealed …
The word “history” is just that … “His Story.”

Jesus had much to say about Himself in the book of John, perhaps none more telling than this statement, which Jesus said to Philip: “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Another disciple, Thomas, when first confronting the risen Jesus, would simply look at Jesus and say, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

There are so many other things which Jesus said, and did, to confirm His true identity.

Allow me to put it simply, to explain:
Jesus, simply, was God revealed in the flesh. God revealed in the form of a man. We can’t see God, as He is a spirit. We also can’t “see” the Holy Spirit … which is also Jesus … which is another explanation for another time.
So, in order to “see” God “in the flesh,” He came in the flesh … in the person of Jesus.

And, now, here is the “revelation” of Jesus which God gave to me, while I was reading His Word a few days ago. I hope this helps, and this is the main reason that God wanted me to share this with you. I wasn’t even thinking about “who Jesus is” at the time … I was just reading His Word … in fact, I was reading the book of Proverbs … when God revealed this to me:

To fully understand Who Jesus is … How He can be God in the flesh … think about this:
Just imagine, for a moment, that you could see God … that He wasn’t a Spirit, but, for a moment, He could be seen … If He could be seen … then, He, if He stood in front of a mirror … would have a reflection, right?

If this was possible … and you looked at God’s reflection in the mirror …
What you would see would be …
Jesus.

That’s the best explanation I can give of just Who Jesus is … and, the best explanation which God has ever revealed to me.

Hope this helps!

Blessings,
Richard.Vincent. Rose.
Modern-Day Psalms