Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Video

I recorded a brief Thanksgiving video to help families have a better focus to their Thanksgiving celebration.  Take a look.  If you like it, use it in your family celebration tomorrow and pass the word on facebook and Twitter!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Welcome Pastor Chad and Natalie

I would like to welcome pastor Chad and Natalie Winder to our church and community!  Yesterday our church overwhelmingly voted to call Chad to serve as our pastor of worship and small groups.

I am so excited about what I believe the Lord is going to do in and through our church in the years to come.  And I am thankful that He has called this family to help lead us to that place of fruitful ministry.

The Winders will be on the ground before the end August.  Pray for them as they search for a place to buy or rent.  Pray for them as they make the difficult transition from somewhere they have been serving for a number of years.  Pray for their children as they seek to get used to unfamiliar surroundings.

I want to say thank you to a number of people who made this happen.  First, of course, to the Lord for His leadership and guidance.  I believe He has led us step-by-step through this whole process.  Secondly, our worship pastor search team.  The team has done everything that was asked of them.  Our church is deeply indebted to them and their prayerful work.  Thank you to Ron Baughman, who has been leading our worship ministry for the past couple of years.  Ron has done a stellar job under sometimes difficult circumstances.  Ron has shown wisdom, leadership, faithfulness, and spiritual maturity in more ways than most of the church is aware.

Fourth, thank you to First Baptist Church.  There are few ministry positions as difficult to fill as that of worship pastor.  Music is such an emotional subject, and we all have our preferences.  We prayed to the Lord for unity, and we asked the church to come together in this search for God's man for this hour, and the church has done so in historic fashion.  I can't say I wasn't nervous at times through the process, but to stand in one of the offices and watch the ballots as they were counted and to see the overwhelmingly positive vote (99.1% with the official ballots, 99.2% if you include the unofficial absentee ballots) made me so thankful to be a part of the faith family of First Baptist Church of Heath.

If you would like to send a note of encouragement to pastor Chad, he can be contacted at

Pastor Noel

Friday, July 20, 2012

Why Does God Allow Tragedies?

Early this morning in Aurora, Colorado as hundreds of people gathered for the premier of a comic book movie, a man wearing a gas mask and dressed in black pulled out his weapons and proceeded to shoot over fifty people.  As of the writing of this post, thirteen people have been publicly confirmed killed.  

While this is not the only tragedy this week, it is the one that has the attention of America.  The nation is in a state of shock that something so senseless and so violent can happen and happen so often.  It makes us ask the hard questions:  Where is God in all of this?  Did God not know about this?  Could he not have stopped it?  Was there something about those people in that theater that can explain this? Of all the theaters and all of the movies playing last night and all of the ballgames and restaurants and malls and family gatherings... why did those particular people die?

Those are difficult questions.  They aren't bad questions, just difficult.  So here are few things we should know as we seek the answers:
  • This is not the first time these questions have been asked.  These are age old questions.  They have been asked before and unfortunately, they will be asked again.
  • This is not the time for hasty answers.  It is inevitable that some misguided people who have more words than wisdom will try to use this tragedy to promote their own agenda, political or otherwise.  That too is unfortunate.
  • The word of God speaks to this.  There are few questions the Bible does not answer if we will only be humble enough to listen and careful enough to study.
I had planned to wrap up our series on David this Sunday in our 10:45 worship service, but I believe the Lord is leading me to speak to this tragedy.  People have questions, good questions.  Thankfully the Bible has answers, good answers.  You have friends and family who will be asking questions.  Let us be prepared to honestly and humbly give a reason for the hope we have.

I hope you will join us this Sunday as we focus on the question, "Why does God allow Tragedies?"  This would be a good weekend to invite your friends and family to join you for this time of worship.

If you out of town and unable to attend Sunday, I plan to post a few comments on this next week at

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Power Outage

FBC Heath -- The 10:45 am worship service is a go tomorrow with or without electricity. Pass the word.

If no electricity then no connect groups or Sunday school.

Email if you know of any church members with special needs due to power outage. If any members need a cool place to spend the day due to medical concerns, my home is open (we have power). Call 740-877-4211 and leave a message.

If you can help with generators for tomorrow's service also call me.

Pastor Noel

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Five and a Half Ways to Recognize a Sluggard (and How to Know if it is You)

Read the article, "Five and a Half Ways to Recognize a Sluggard (and How to Know if it is You)" on my other blog site:

Monday, April 30, 2012

What is the Opposite of Depression?

Read the article "What is the Opposite of Depression" on my other blog site:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Illuminating The Darkness -- A Fresh and Effective Solution to Depression, Stress, and Anxiety

One of the most common struggles that lead people to ask pastors for help is depression.  It seems depression and the related problems of stress and anxiety have reached epidemic levels in our culture.  When people come to me as a pastor and share their stories of emotional pain, the question they are asking is this, “Does the Bible offer any real hope?”

Over the past years I have studied the Scriptures in search of the answer to that question.  The good news is… THERE IS HOPE!  The Bible gives a clear, positive, life-changing answer to this pain.  The answer is probably not what you expect. The answer is probably not something you’ve heard before.  And the answer is probably not anything like the strategies you may have tried in the past.  But the answer is true, and it is good, and it is effective.

I have shared this with many people through the years, and I have seen the truth of God’s Word do amazing things in their lives as they discovered the joy that replaces depression and the peace that replaces stress.  So, I decided to write these biblical insights down and publish a book.  That is how Illuminating The Darkness came to be.

The book came out about a month ago and I’ve been busy sending it out to family and friends.  Already I have been encouraged with how the Lord is using it both in the lives of those who have struggled with depression, stress, and anxiety and also those who just desire to know more of the Lord’s peace and joy.  So it is time to start getting the word out.  Unless you are local to where I live, the best way to purchase the book is through

Amazon is currently running my book as a part of a promotion they are doing, so the print edition is 10% off.  (I don’t know how long they will run this special.)  I have lowered the Kindle price to $4.99 for one week. (And if you are an Amazon Prime member you can get the Kindle edition for free.)

Soon I will release some blog posts that dig a little deeper into the contents of the book.  If you would like to follow the details you can follow me on twitter at @NoelDear or @KnowDepression.  I will be posting info here at and also at a new site I am developing  The book website is  You can also check out the facebook discussion site for the book.

Email me at with any questions related to the book or depression, stress, and anxiety.

Noel Dear


P.S.  Here is the back cover text of the book…

Are You Ready For A Change?

Every day there are new approaches and drugs to help people overcome the emotional pain of depression, stress, and anxiety. More people are being treated for these than ever before. So, one would presume emotional health and happiness would be at an all-time high. But you know that isn’t the case, not even close. In fact, the only thing that seems to be gaining prevalence faster than antidepressants is
depression itself!

Is there a way of escape? Is there a different approach from the failed strategies most often presented in self-help books and the doctor’s office? Is there hope for me? Can I live a life of real peace and joy?

Yes. Lasting joy and peace can be yours! 

This is no idle promise from some new-fangled philosophy or rediscovered ancient herb.  This truth has the authority of the Bible, the simplicity of fruit on a vine, and the track-record of many generations who have discovered the real source of mental and emotional health.

This is not another strategy to try, rather it is the genuine truth about why people suffer from depression, stress, and anxiety, and how those pains can be replaced with joy, peace, and patience.

The truths presented here are…

  • Easy to understand
  • Practical in their everyday application
  • Powerfully effective in both the short and long term 
  • Proven

This book is both a challenge to everything you have heard about the cause and cure of emotional distress, and a real offer of hope. Learn here what thousands of others have learned and, enjoy an enduring harvest of the fruit of real joy. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sunday Preview

I am really looking forward to worship tomorrow!  I have heard so many stories about decisions that have been made during these five weeks of revival at our church.  It is encouraging to see how the Lord still works in the lives of those who humble themselves before Him.

Tomorrow I will be preaching on the story of Jacob from Genesis 32.  This is one of the most unusual stories in the Bible.  After living a life with so many twists and turns that it could a modern soap opera to shame, Jacob finds himself alone in the wilderness, in the dark of night, when a shadowy figure approaches.  The next thing you know Jacob and the unknown figure are locked in a wrestling match that lasts hours.  Who is the shadowy figure?  If you don’t already know the story, it would be the very last person you would guess.  You can read Genesis 32 to find out or just wait until tomorrow.  Through this struggle, though, Jacob becomes a changed man.  That will be our focus tomorrow.  I cannot wait!

Special Singer

Also tomorrow we have a special singer sharing a mini concert in both the morning and evening services.  Stephanie Lambert comes to us from Lynchburg, Virginia where she regularly sings alongside Charles Billingsley at Thomas Road Baptist Church.  Stephanie has been singing for the Lord for many years at churches and events around the country such as the Jerry Falwell Old Time Gospel Hour and Mark Lowry’s National Christian Singing Competition.  In addition to her singing in both services, her husband, George Lambert will be preaching in the 6:00 p.m. service.

So I hope to see you tomorrow at 10:45 and 6:00.  It will be a good day.

New Book

On another note, about three weeks ago I published a book that I have been working on for some time.  I haven’t said much about it because my focus has been on other things in recent days, but next week I will begin to publicize the book and try to begin to get the word out.  It is titled, Illuminating The Darkness: A Fresh and Effective Solution to Depression,Stress, and Anxiety.  It gives a thoroughly biblical perspective to the mental and emotional struggles so many people face.  I will say much more about it in a blog post I will post on Monday but you can take a look at a few pages of the book by going to its page.  The cost of the book is $12.99 (8.99 for the Kindle book), but for FBC Heath people and for people in the Heath-Newark-Granville area I want to make the book available for as little as possible.  Therefore, books will be available tomorrow on the “Sermon CD Table” in the main foyer for $6.00.  Just pick up a book and use the envelope that is in it to put $6.00 in the box that is provided.

In Christ,
Pastor Noel

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Principle And The Path

There are many books I read once and enjoy. There are some books I read once and regret that I lost those hours out of my life. And then there are some books I read over and over again.  Yesterday I finished one of those books.  The Principle and the Path, by Andy Stanley, is one of those books that doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know, but it tells you in a way that grabs you by the collar and demands your attention.  Where we end up in life, in every aspect of life, is determined by the direction we have traveled.  Sounds simple, but how often do people end up in a bad place in life and then act surprised, when at the same time, everyone around them sees their predicament as the expected result of the direction they had been traveling.

We all think we are the exception to the rule. When it comes to our marriages, our kids, our money, our health, and our walk with the Lord, we think that somehow things will just work out for us. Even though most people’s neglect of those key areas of life end in destruction, it will be different for us.  Andy Stanley reminds us that this is an absurd way of thinking.  We are not the exception!

Our destination is not determined by our desire or our intentions.  Our destination in every area of life is determined by the day-by-day direction we have been heading for months and years.

Yesterday was the first day of my annual study retreat.  This is a time I get away and read, pray and write.  These are such refreshing times for me.  And I don’t think there could have been a better book to start the week. I recommend this short book to every father, mother, teen, ministry leader, influencer…
If you need a wake-up call, you will find it in this book!

Pastor Noel