Friday, December 18, 2015

Feel Good Doctors - Guest Post by Bill Davis

There is a story about an older man who went to get his annual physical. His personal physician said he was the perfect specimen of good health and his heart was like the heart of a young athlete. A few days later, this man had a massive heart attack and had to have emergency heart surgery. As he was recuperating from the surgery, his surgeon said he was lucky to be alive because his blood pressure was so high and his cholesterol was so elevated that his arteries have to be almost blocked. When he went back to his personal physician he asked him why he had not told him the truth; he might have died. The doctor told him that he didn’t want him to worry. He always tells his patients how great their health is. Seems this physician wants all his patients to have a good experience at his office and wants them to leave feeling good about themselves.

Are any of our churches like that? Are we like that? How often do we not share the truth with others because we don’t want to make them uncomfortable or unhappy? We often hide behind tolerance or not judging.

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV); “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Good works will not earn our way into Heaven but others certainly judge us by our works.

Bill Davis lives in Anderson County, SC, where he speaks at churches and encourages evangelism and discipleship efforts across the region. He is the author of “The Revelation of Jesus.”

Monday, December 14, 2015

How to Have An Easy Revival

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Revelation 2:4-5

Why have so many churches lost the spiritual passion they once had? That was the subject of a lively conversation I had last week with an experienced pastor. He recalled days gone by when churches were filled with people who sang enthusiastically, studied the Bible intently, donated generously and shared their faith with confidence. Now, he lamented, it seems that churches have a lot more empty seats, hardly anyone actually sings, few people carry a Bible (even an electronic one) and tithers have become an endangered species. As we discussed the challenges churches face, we agreed that the root of the problem seems to be with the lack of personal spirituality.

In our current culture, people have become so busy they no longer take time to read the Bible and pray, which greatly impacts the depth of their devotion to God. Likewise, people have become so focused on having the latest gadgets, the newest cars and the most fabulous vacations that they no longer feel they can afford to tithe. Many young adults have borrowed so much money in order to secure an education; tithing seems like a financial impossibility. All of this impacts the church more than most people realize.

A church is only as strong as its individual members, so when the individual members struggle spiritually, so does the church as a whole. When individual members no longer study the Bible on their own, know how to engage in worship or give of their time, talent and treasure, the church as an organization can no longer accomplish its mission as effectively as it once did.

The good news is that churches can be revived fairly simply. All it takes is individual members once again accepting responsibility for their own spiritual disciplines. Imagine it each of us began to have a daily time of Bible reading and prayer like our grandparent’s generation! Imagine if each of actually denied our wants and took up our cross daily and lived for Christ, volunteering our time and giving of our financial resources! Some may say it is unrealistic to expect everyone to do this. What if only 1/3 of the members of each church did this? I believe revival would come to such a church in a matter of months. Revival would come without the church having to start any new programs, build any new buildings or hire any new staff members. It would come as a result of the hearts of individual members being revived.

As 2015 draws to a close, perhaps it is time for us to focus on reviving the church by experiencing personal spiritual revival ourselves. Let us pray together toward that end.


Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Playing the God Card

Over the years I have heard people justify many different behaviors by saying God told them to do it.  When someone says this, they are playing the God card. Once the God card is played, it is very difficult to have any meaningful conversation about the behavior because if we do not agree with whatever the other person claims God said, then we are going against God.

If someone says God told them to bake cookies for a next door neighbor as a way to demonstrate God's love to them, we need not be overly concerned if they have actually heard from God or not. After all, cookies are fairly harmless, so if it was only the person's emotions that wanted to make the cookies and not a real word from God, it may not make much of a difference.

But people often play the God card for much bigger things than just baking cookies for the neighbors. I will never forget the conversation I had with two men who attended a church I was once the pastor of. The first claimed God had told him to leave his wife and marry another woman. But he had a problem because that other woman was already in an adulterous relationship with a different man. And that other man also claimed God wanted him to leave his wife and marry the adulterous women. The two men were in conflict over which of them could get divorced first and win the hand of the adulterous women. Talk about a weird love triangle! 

Though I do not claim to speak for God, I highly doubt God wanted two marriages to break up so that two men would be free to argue over a third woman. I have always thought those men were led by lust, not by the Lord. But once they declared that "God told him" to do this, they no longer needed to listen to a mere pastor's advice. After all, who was I as their pastor to tell them something different than what God has said?

In situations like this I always remind people that God speaks by His Spirit through the Bible, circumstances, prayer and the church. Notice that the Bible is first, because it is the plumb line through which the other methods are measured. I do not know if there is a specific verse in the Bible that deals with baking cookies for a neighbor, but I do know several that talk about lusting after another man's wife. God will never lead us to contradict His Word.

God also speaks through circumstances. If we are having to kick a door open through deceit, manipulation or coercion, then it is clearly NOT a door God has opened. Since the Bible is our plumb line, God never opens a door that goes against what the Bible has already said.

God also speaks through prayer. As we pray through the scriptures and look at the circumstances God has put us in, proper behavior presents itself. God will not tell us in our prayers to do something contrary to His Word.

Rarely does God speak to only one person about things He plans to do. There is only one Spirit and that Spirit normally speaks to several of His children. If we think God wants us to do something, we should seek counsel from other mature Christians to see if God is telling them the same thing. That is why it is important to be active in a local church, so we can benefit from the godly wisdom of others in times of uncertainty. If we find that we are the only one God is speaking to about something, that most likely means that the timing is not yet right for us to proceed and we must wait until He also speaks to others about the same thing before moving forward.

In the end, if we do conclude that God has actually spoken to us about doing a certain thing, then we really must act upon that leading. However, we must remember that the prophets of old often paid a high price for obeying what God said. Why would we expect it to be any different for us? Far too often I hear people say that God told them to do a certain thing, but then when that thing gets hard, they bail. They apparently thought God only wanted them to obey when it was easy, though that goes against the whole narrative of scripture. We should be careful about playing the God card, but when we do, we should follow through with it, even if it costs us dearly.


Dr. Terry W. Dorsett is a church planter and author who has lived in New England since 1993 starting churches and discipling new believers. He is a happy husband, proud father and grandfather, thankful cancer survivor, and more convinced than ever that New England is ripe for spiritual revival. Check out Dr. Dorsett's books at this link:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Books Make Great Christmas Gifts

As we approach the Christmas season, instead of buying our loved ones another trinket that will sit on a shelf unused, we should consider buying them Christian books that can change their lives. While bookstores are full of books by authors who have great marketing plans, perhaps we might consider books by lesser known authors who have shown their ability to connect biblical teaching with daily living. Not only do such books make great gifts, but because they are from lessor known authors, it is unlikely that our loved ones already have copies. Consider the books below while doing your Christmas shopping. They can be ordered in print form or digitally.

Teaming Up: Using Our Spiritual Gifts Effectively   Available in both print and Kindle versions.
Easy to read and full of practical examples for how to use our spiritual gifts to strengthen the church.

The Heavenly Mundane: Daily Devotions from Ordinary Experiences                            
Available in both print and Kindle editions
Daily devotional that shows how God often reveals Himself in the mundane things of life. Many of the stories are examples of God's mission work in New England.

Breaking Free from the Spirit of Offense 
Available in both print and Kindle editions
We are living in a time when it seems that everyone is offended by everything. Perhaps it is time to break free. This short book reveals how.

Malachi: Finding Hope in the Midst of Adiversity - Print Edition

Malachi: Finding Hope in the Midst of Adversity - Kindle Edition

Though many people think of Malachi as a book about judgment, this practical Bible study reveals the thread of hope that runs through it and how that thread of hope can change our lives.

Touching the Footprints of Jesus - Print Edition

Touching the Footprints of Jesus - Kindle Edition

This devotional guide is based on a trip the author took to the Holy Land. Each daily reading reveals another caveat for how an experience in the Holy Land can enhance one's walk with Christ.

Fun collection of puzzles and games that are great for children and for the young at heart.

Bible Brain Teasers: Fun Adventures Through the Bible - Print Edition

Bible Brain Teasers: Fun Adventures Through the Bible - Ebook Edition

Friday, December 4, 2015

To Find Happiness, Stop Looking . . .

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord and he will lift you up.

Many people are chasing happiness in life. They move from friendship to friendship, romantic relationship to romantic relationship, job to job, church to church, city to city, even career to career, in the hopes of finding that ever elusive thing called happiness. Sometimes they find it for a while, but then something happens and that sense of happiness goes away. We have all experienced it.

It seems that the more we chase happiness, the less we find it. A new scientific study has confirmed that when Americans make the pursuit of happiness their goal, “That sets up Americans for a lifetime of letdowns” (Time magazine, October 12, 2015, page 28). In the study, researchers found that those who look for happiness in success or possessions are rarely satisfied. Even if they do find some level of satisfaction, it never lasts. Those who tend to be the happiest are those who find happiness outside of possessions or careers. They find it in calm relaxing moments with family and friends. They find it in savoring happy memories. They find it in enjoying what they have instead of always grasping for something more. They find it in having realistic expectations.

For many people, happiness is found in our faith. Quiet times of prayer and meditating on scripture bring calmness to our lives, which increases our level of happiness. Spending time with others who value spirituality while sharing a meal increases our level of happiness. Volunteering in our community with a group of friends is also a huge factor in helping people find happiness in life. Simply focusing on our relationship with God, instead of our busy schedules and overloaded calenders, can go a long way in raising our level of happiness. In fact, the more we focus on our relationship with the Lord, the more we find that other things in life either no longer matter, or happen anyway without all the stress of trying to achieve them. God has a way of working things out for us, when we focus on Him. Perhaps the best way to find happiness is to stop looking for it at all and just focus on loving and serving the Lord, which often forms within us a sense of well being that is far greater than some momentary happiness that dissolves like vapor.


Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at: