28
Sep

OPEN DOORS

   Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

When I first surrendered my will to recognizing that God had called me to ministry, I thought God was calling Anita and I to assume pastoring of a new church plant in Bryan, Ohio. Spiritual leaders confirmed this was God’s leading. But the doors closed and that never materialized.

A year or two later Anita and I felt led to take a new church plant that was opening in Marion, Indiana (where Pastor Steve Houser is now). Again we had many confirmations from people in spiritual leadership. Again those doors closed. Rejection is always a big pill to swallow, but we both knew we had to wait on God.

Some time later the Church of Christ in Waterloo, where we had been serving all this time, went through a painful split, and the group that maintained possession of the building asked me to be their pastor. Pastoring a small church (45 people with kids) in a small town that just was divided by a split is not easy ministry, but we walked through the open door set before us and the rest is history.

When God closes one door, don’t pout and quit. Walk through the door God sets before you in His timing, forget about your pain, and quit griping. Open doors (even small ones) are a new beginning.

27
Sep

GRAFTED AND BLENDED

   Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

Malta oranges of India have an unusual origin. Growers start with a lime tree, whose dark, unimpressive branches bear a small sour fruit. A shoot of the lime is grafted into a branch of the orange tree. The fruit of the lime is changed by the blending. When the grafted branch matures, it bears a lime-green fruit that is one of the finest and juiciest oranges in the world.

Likewise, when we become Christians we are grafted into Jesus Christ, who is the Special Olive Tree. We begin bearing the fruits of righteousness instead of the sour fruits of sin. This new fruit of the Spirit is not produced by our own efforts any more than the orange tree strains to bear oranges. It comes naturally as Christ’s nature flows through us and blends with ours.

Paul taught us in Romans 11:17 (TLB): “You Gentiles who were branches from…a wild olive tree, were grafted in. So now you, too, receive…God’s rich nourishment of his own special olive tree.

23
Sep

LEADING THE BLIND

   Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

Oral Roberts told of a missionary doctor in a third-world clinic who removed cataracts from a blind man’s eyes and restored his sight. A few weeks later, the doctor was surprised to see 48 more blind men coming towards the clinic. Each one held onto a rope which was guided by the man who had recently gotten his sight back. He had led them on the rope 250 miles from one of the interior provinces to the doctor who was able to help nearly all of them get their sight back.

The first blind man came to the doctor, put his trust in him, and received his sight. He then went out to share his healing and to lead other blind men to the same doctor for help. Get the message?

Every day we are surrounded by people who are blinded by sin, without hope. Jesus, the Great Physician, has opened our blind eyes so that we can walk in His light and help lead other spiritually blind men and women to Christ so that they, too, can be healed.

Father, use me like that!

22
Sep

REDEEMED PART 2

   Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long;
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.

I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guards all my footsteps,
And gives me a song in the night.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.
-Fanny Crosby.

No one says it better.

21
Sep

REDEEMED

   Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

Redeemed how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever, I am.

Redeemed and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me does continually dwell.
-Fanny Crosby.

Sometimes I just need to be reminded.

20
Sep

DISCOVERING HER DESTINY

   Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

I have this magnetic device to help me make decisions. There is a ball bearing suspended from a hard wire attached to a frame attached to a base that has simple answers on it, like: Yes, No, Maybe, Ask your Mother, Definitely No, etc. There are magnets under each answer, so when the ball is set into motion it wobbles from one answer to another for quite a while before it finally settles on one specific answer. Its kind of like a Magic 8 Ball, and just as accurate.

I was playing that a bit last week with my 5-year kindergartner granddaughter, Ruby. She asked it a question and we set it in motion. The ball plays off one magnet after another, first this way, then that. It was at that point that Ruby reached up to stop the ball. I held her hand back and told her to wait. Her patience ran out and reached again. I had to hold her arms down to keep her from intercepting the delayed answer she longed for.

Isn’t that just like us Christians? We ask God for directions, and then we jump in and do what we want to do before God has a chance to confirm it. We’re just like Ruby, chomping at the bit to get in there and discover our own destiny instead of finding God’s destiny for us. Kids teach us great spiritual lessons if we’ll listen.

19
Sep

WHO LOST THE GAME?

   Posted by: pastordiehl   in Uncategorized

In his book The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni told the following story: “After a recent loss, a thirteen-year-old boy on my son’s soccer team said to me, ‘Well, I don’t feel like I lost.’ ‘Really?’ I asked him. ‘How do you figure?’

He proudly announced, ‘Well, I’m a forward, and we forwards did our part by scoring three goals. It’s really the defense that lost the game because they gave up too many goals. They’re the losers.’

I kindly pointed out to him how absurd his reasoning was, not only because there is only one score for the team, but because every player on the field plays defense, though perhaps on different parts of the field. Even a forward plays a role in preventing the other team from scoring by making it difficult for the opponent’s defense to organize an attack…The kid smiled and acknowledged the ridiculousness of his original remark.

The church only loses when we let it lose. Our attitude needs to be that we will not allow the Lord’s church be a loser. Everyone plays defense at times, and everyone plays offense at times. We win or we lose together, and I intend to win for the Lord’s glory.