Archive for June, 2011



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I read about how people in North Africa catch monkeys. A hunter hollows out a gourd and makes a hole in its side just large enough for a monkey to insert his open hand. The gourd is then filled with nuts and tied to a tree.

The curious monkey is attracted by the smell of the nuts and reaches inside and grasps them. The hole in the gourd is too small, however, for the animal to withdraw his fist as long as it is tightly closed around the nuts. Because he refuses to release his prize, the unsuspecting monkey falls easy prey to his captor. Unwilling to relax his grasp, he actually traps himself.

So it is when Satan wants to entrap us. He will dangle something we desire in front of us. Once we grasp that thing, he then springs his trap. Because we refuse to let go of the thing, we are caught in our own trap and Satan can then lead us wherever he wishes.

The Apostle John said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Sixteen years ago Anita and I built a new house in a bean field. I remember after the first day of construction we drove back to look at it. The first step of construction was to excavate the side of the hill where the walk-out basement was to stand. Young Adam walked back the bulldozer track and stepped out into the mud, sinking to his knee. After the first day our future house was not very impressive.

When Zurubbabel was called by God to rebuild God’s Temple, one of the first things he did was lay a foundation. Then he built on top of the foundation, one stone on top of another. Many shortsighted citizens balked at those basic efforts and “despised the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10).

Don’t despise small beginnings. Every great project has a beginning. Only those with a clear vision can see the end result when its just beginning.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’m back in the office today following a week’s vacation. Anita and I spent the week catching up on some things around the house, took a day trip to Sauder’s Village in Archbald, Ohio, and visited a larger church in New Haven. Now, we’re rolling up our sleeves to get back to work.

Anita and I see our ministry together as a team. We pray for each other, encourage each other, and learn from each other. Last week we did something we’ve never done before: we read a book together. I process information from a book when I read aloud; she processes information better when she hears it read. So I read one chapter or more each day to her, and then we discussed it.

How do you and your spouse work together as a team?




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Ever thought you were destined to not be anyone special due to your humble beginnings? Remember that many great achievers began life in the poorest of homes, with little education and no advantages. Thomas Edison was a newsboy on trains. Andrew Carnegie started work at $4 a month. John D. Rockefeller at $6 a week. Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin. Charles Dickens was lame. Homer was blind.

What gave these great individuals the stamina to overcome severe setbacks and become successful? Each had an inner dream that lit a fire that could not be extinguished.

Find that inner dream and pursue it. You’ve got God on your side.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Is it possible to measure the consequences of someone’s actions? Dwight L. Moody recounted the following story:

“The parsonage at Epworth, England, caught fire one night, and all the residents were rescued except one son. The boy came to a window, and was brought safely to the ground by two farm-hands, one standing on the shoulder of the other. The boy was John Wesley.”

Can the consequences of that action be measured? How would this world have been different if Wesley had died in that fire? How many millions of Methodists today look back to John Wesley as the founder of their denomination? That might be a good measurement of the consequences of that one action centuries ago.

Only God can measure the consequences of your actions today. Make them count.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Dwight L. Moody told this true story:

“An obscure man preached one Sunday to a few persons in a Methodist chapel in the South of England. A boy of fifteen years of age was in the audience, driven into the chapel by a snowstorm. The man took as his text the words, ‘Look unto me and be ye saved,’ and as he stumbled along as best he could, the light of heaven flashed into that boy’s heart. He went out of the chapel saved, and soon became known as C. H. Spurgeon, the boy-preacher.”

Church history is filled with such accounts of conversion experiences that had humble beginnings. I often say, “Don’t despise humble beginnings.” Spurgeon went on to be one of the greatest evangelists of all time. Expect the Holy Spirit to use you to plant a seed in someone else’s life.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’m on vacation this week and spent the day yesterday mowing and doing lawn work. I didn’t have enough gas left for the next mowing, so I hooked up my trailer to my garden tractor, loaded up several plastic gas containers and headed for town. On the way, I was thinking about what to post on this blog today. I was out of ideas.

At the Shell station in Waterloo, I finished filling up my containers and was putting the caps back on them when I heard the guy on the other side of the pump stumble and fall. He was a businessman in a suit and tie, about 50. I think he tripped over the hose. He got up, holding his arm and saying, “Oh, my God! Oh, my God.” Sure enough, he broke his arm. They called the EMS. I really didn’t see it happen and couldn’t do more to help the poor guy, so I rode on back home. But I had something to pray about.

Sometimes the real prayer needs are right in front of us, totally unplanned. If God arranges for us to be there when a crisis occurs, we should expect that God has a plan for us.

Have you recently found yourself in the middle of someone else’s crisis? What did you do?

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