Archive for November, 2008



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

We haven’t yet cleaned up the Thanksgiving leftovers and already its time to set up the Christmas Tree! Nathan carried it up from the basement for us yesterday (I’m still not supposed to lift much) and this morning I helped Anita put lights on the tree. When do you suppose they’ll start selling Christmas lights with a warranty?

NASA is using today’s technology to plan another trip to the moon, and we can’t manufacture Christmas tree lights that stay lit two years in a row! We replaced a burned out bulb with a new one and the light was so dim we had to replace it. Why can’t they standardize those lights so they all take the same bulb and socket? So frustrating.

I wonder if the Lord thinks the same things about us when he’s trying to develop us down here on earth. Do you think he gets frustrated? Do you think he wishes we came with a warranty? Just thinkin’ out loud.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The Bible tells each of us to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). But have you noticed that some churches are much more effective at actually reaching souls for Christ than others? There are reasons for this. Because spiritual birth was the same in Jesus’ day as it is today, we have to allow the Bible to teach us the pattern we should follow.

There is a classic story Jesus told that gives us this pattern. If we will follow the pattern, and not try to skip steps, we shall each be effective evangelists. The pattern has already been set for us. This weekend, I will share that story and then attempt to show where so many churches have gone wrong, so that we can follow the pattern the Lord has set. And we’ll also hear a contemporary story to show us how its done today. See you there.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Today is Black Friday, known as such because so many people do shopping that it is the first day of the year  that merchants go in the black. But, economists are telling us that the average Christmas shopper will spend about $200 less this year than in 2007.

A valuable side effect of this downtown in consumer purchases is that, if these stores don’t sell their stock by Christmas, they’ll be forced to mark those prices way down in January to liquidate their stock. That can be a real blessing to those of us who can delay shopping until then.

One money saving idea would be to buy and wrap an accessory to the real gift (such as a TV stand), and then go shopping together later for the new TV. Of course, we run the risk the TV you want will be all gone by then.

But, remember in this consumer-driven culture, that we are to be good stewards of what the Lord has placed in our care. Making your dollars stretch is good stewardship.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4). This and many other verses in the Bible make it clear that an attitude of gratitude is essential for drawing close to the Lord.

To consider what thankfulness is, let’s discuss what it is not. The opposite of thankfulness is the attitude that I deserve what I have, that somehow I have earned it and have a right to it. We all teach our children to say thank you when we give them a gift. What kind of ungrateful child would demand anything from the parent they love?

Yet, I know some Christians that actually think they have a “right” to God’s blessings. They totally believe they can demand something from their Father because of some promise they have discovered. What kind of gratitude is that?

This year, let’s be especially thankful because we know we don’t deserve anything from a holy God. That attitude let’s us draw near.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

One of the great scriptures that teach us the important role of Thanksgiving in the life of a believer is Psalm 107:22, which admonishes us to “Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.”

Now, just what does it mean to sacrifice a thank offering? It seems that thanksgiving should be a given, so what is the sacrifice here? I think the truth is that God expects His relationship with His people to be a two-way street. If we are truly thankful for what God has freely given to us, then God expects us to take action that shows we recognize what we have as a gift from Him, and freely pass it on to others. We actually begin to act like Christ would act.

One way to do that is to bring some groceries to stock our Compassion Cupboard tonight as we gather for our Thanksgiving service from 7-8:00 PM. Food traditionally represents God’s blessings in our lives, and to donate food is a way to partner with God in passing those blessings on to someone less blessed than we. Let’s follow the advice of the Psalmist by bringing some non-perishable food items tonight.

By the way, what other ways have you found to sacrifice a thank offering?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Today I was called out of the office to visit my Dad. It really wasn’t urgent, but he thought it was. On my way back through Butler, there was a fire in a house on Main Street that had US 6 shut down completely. Being raised in Butler, I knew my way around so I turned onto a side street to by-pass the blocked road.

Semi-trailers from both directions were traveling up and down those back streets, trying to find a detour around, but not knowing where they were going. It took a long time waiting for the semis to pass on those narrow back streets.

And I was reminded of how confusing it was before I came to Christ. I was lost in a lost world and didn’t know what turns to take. There were obstacles at every turn and no one to show me the way. Then I came to Christ, and learned that “narrow is the gate, and hard is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). God, help us to know where we’re going in life.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Casting Out Cancer

Today marks the four week period since my surgery and I’m doing well enough to report back to work tomorrow. My first speaking engagement is this Wednesday night when I’m preaching a Thanksgiving message. I hope you’ll make a special effort to make this one-hour time a part of your Thanksgiving holiday plans. I will be sharing some things to be thankful for that the economy cannot take from us.

This is my final entry in the Casting Out Cancer category of my blog. But, I can see that this blog has connected us in the body in a new way, and I think I may continue it. I might continue to develop a daily blog devotional idea to keep us connected.

I am claiming Isaiah 50:4: “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the Lord that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”

I will ask God to give me a word for the body of Christ every day. Would that be a waste of time? What do you think?

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