Archive for February, 2008


Hit the Bull’s Eye

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The news media was active in posting video of a Navy missile shooting down a malfunctioning Spy satellite while in orbit.  Can you imagine hitting a moving target like that from so far away?  That’s like hitting the proverbial needle in a hay stack with a thrown dart from a riding horse!  Wow!  How did they pull that off with one shot?

I think we’ve seen enough ‘smart bomb’ videos from the Iraq War that we understand the missile “homed in” on the target and kept readjusting its focus as it moved down its trajectory until it finally hit the bull’s eye and destroyed the failed satellite.  Staying on target and continuously readjusting its focus was the key to its success and hats off to the US Navy for pulling it off.

But we should also take our hats off to the Holy Spirit, sent on the mission to target our souls no matter how hard we try to hide.  On this deliverance mission, the Spirit of life keeps readjusting His efforts every time we take another step in a different direction.  He has been called “the Hound of Heaven” for His determination to seek out and and win over every heart.  Its wonderful to watch the Spirit’s unpredictable actions as He leads and convicts to bring each of us to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.  You can’t hide from this spiritual smart bomb because He never loses His focus!

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Unrealistic Expectations

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Another interesting observation from the Reveal survey was that new Christians seemed very satisfied with their church, but the longer a person attended their church, the more dissatisfied they became with the church.  Why would that be?

Perhaps its because when a new Christian starts attending the church, everything is new and challenging for them.  There are new things to learn and new activities and people to meet and try out.  Spiritual growth happens rapidly in the first years.  A person learns that the pastor will always feed them every time they come to church.  Someone will always meet a need in their lives.  But as they mature, people are not taught to feed themselves spiritually or seek God to find answers for themselves.  They keep expecting the church to do it all for them.  Thus, they soon become disillusioned with the pastor and the church.

Perhaps we should challenge new Christians with what they should expect from the church and not let them get this unrealistic expectation up front.  The church should be providing ministry opportunities, but it is the individual Christian’s responsibility to feed themselves and get into small groups even if they create their own.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I just finished listening to a CD with a couple of staff people from Willow Creek discussing a big survey project they did in 30 churches of various styles from across the country called ‘Reveal’. In the survey they designed questions that could measure spiritual development from a number of perspectives. The analyzed results will be available in book form this summer entitled Reveal. But, a couple of interesting observations came to light that I thought I’d share.

First, and not surprisingly, new converts are the most effective in sharing their faith with the lost, not seasoned veterans who know exactly how to do it. New converts had a passion that was transferable to their former friends, while more mature Christians seemed to lack that.

And, a second interesting observation was that in measuring a person’s satisfaction with their local church, the longer a person had been attending that church, the less satisfied they were. It was the new attenders that were very satisfied.  That can be a blow to a pastor’s ego.

Thirdly, neither age, gender, nor race had much bearing on the result of the survey, interestingly popping another myth.

I’ll look forward to reading more about these interesting findings when the book is released.

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