Archive for June, 2012



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The City of New York has been in the news lately for its proposal to ban large sugary drinks. What difference does it make to the city government how much sugar, salt, or junk food its citizens eat?

A new government regulation requires US food makers to list the amount of “trans fat” on the labels of most food products purchased in stores. Trans fat, which has been linked to heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity, is something most people should limit or avoid altogether. What difference does it make?

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that Americans could save up to $1.8 billion in medical costs if they reduce their consumption of trans fats. Now, money gives us a reason to consider change. If we are moving toward government health care, then all tax-payers should be concerned about everyone’s else’s unhealthy eating habits. Why should disciplined healthy people pay for undisciplined people’s bad choices? Do we really want to go there?

Here comes that “if” word. Jesus said, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (John 13:17).

What do you think? Should the government get involved in what we eat and drink?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In the latter 1970s I served our Fellowship of CMI in various churches. I was an interim pastor at several churches around the state, from Angola to St. Paul in south central Indiana. I was usually called in to a church that had just been through a split or crisis and tried to bring stability.

One of those churches was in Garrett, Indiana. The church, which had an attendance of about 50 at the time, was located in an old building (a former lodge or grange building, I believe) on the south edge of Garrett. Our two children, Jenny and Nathan, were young at the time. This old building needed a lot of repair and updating, but it did serve the purpose. These were days of revival in northeast Indiana, and we saw many people come to Christ in those services.

This building had one restroom for both men and women, and the porcelain toilet had seen its better days. Below the water level it was stained badly. Our kids still refer to that church as “the church with the dirty potty”. They don’t remember much else about it, but that they do remember.

Sometimes its the little things that stick in our minds. Are there little things you could change that would make your light a little brighter?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The owner of a Denver restaurant reported, “I first tried to sell buffalo tongue as an hors d’oeuvre at $1.75 and had no takers. So I priced it at $6.75, set a limit of two to a customer, and sold out every night.”

Why are people so desirable of expensive or limited things? Why do we think that because something costs more it has a greater value? The above true example shows us that people do think that way.

But, if we make salvation a free gift, does it lose its value? Why is it people think we must somehow “earn” that salvation by doing some work or disciplining our behavior?

The truth is, salvation isn’t free at all. Jesus paid the hefty bill himself by shedding His blood on the cross. Its free to us, but it cost Him dearly. That’s why we change our lives…to live for Him who died for us.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The Gospel of John tells us that Nicodemus “came to Jesus by night” (John 3:2). Why do you suppose he came by night? Some reasons suggested have been:

  • The Pharisee was embarrassed or ashamed that he, one of the ruling class, was curious about Jesus.
  • It was cooler at night.
  • There were fewer distractions at night.
  • Evening was when work responsibilities were over.

We really don’t know the reason Nicodemus came to see Jesus by night, but John seemed to make a big deal out of that. When he later referred to Nicodemus he said, “he who came to Jesus by night,” as if that would identify him (Acts 7:50 & 19:39).

Whatever Nicodemus’s reason at the time, I think we can draw from the story that Nicodemus was living in darkness and came to see He wh0 was “the light of the world” (John 8:12).

Those of us who are in darkness today can surely see the light if we seek Jesus.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Have you ever yearned for the good old days when things were simpler and seemed brighter? Remember what the Preacher declared in Ecclesiastes 7:10: “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better then these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions“.

Why is it not wise to ask that?

  • Because those days are by-gone days; there are no current opportunities in them.
  • Because these are the days God has placed us in and have opportunities in them.
  • Because there is no fortune in looking backwards.
  • Because those days only look better when we remove the problems that have since been solved.
  • Because everything only seems to look clearer in the rear-view mirror.

Yesterday is the memory of those who lived yesterday. Tomorrow is the possibility of those who live today. These can be the good days if we make them such.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Many years ago, when I was rather new in the ministry, we had a man in our church who was very outspoken. By that I don’t mean he was influential, but that he just spoke his opinions right out in the church service whenever he disagreed. And he tended to be cranky.

One Sunday I preached a really good sermon from the Old Testament. I thought there were some really good insights. When I shook his hand at the door afterwards, he said with disgust, “We would see Jesus!”, quoting from John 12:21. That hurt.

When I got home I was still murmuring about why he had to be so critical. And the Lord spoke to my spirit, “This was Me speaking, if you will receive it.” From that point on I have always tried to find some way to speak Jesus and the cross in every sermon I preach. God sometimes uses messengers we personally don’t like to hear from, just as a test for us.

Have you ever had God speak to you through a person you really didn’t want to hear it from?




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Stumpy and his wife Martha went to the state fair every year and every year when Stumpy saw the antique bi-plane he would say, “Martha, I’d like to ride in that airplane.” Martha always replied, “I know, Stumpy, but that airplane ride costs 10 dollars, and 10 dollars is 10 dollars.”

One year Stumpy and Martha went to the fair and Stumpy said, “Martha, I’m 81 years old. If I don’t ride that airplane I might never get another chance.” Martha replied, “Stumpy, that airplane ride costs 10 dollars, and 10 dollars is 10 dollars.”

The pilot overheard them and said, “Folks, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say one word, I won’t charge you; but if you say one word it’s 10 dollars.”

Stumpy and Martha agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives, but not a word was heard. He did all his tricks over again, but still not a word.

When they landed, the pilot turned to Stumpy and said, “By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn’t.”

Stumpy replied, “Well, I was gonna say something when Martha fell out, but 10 dollars is 10 dollars.”

Your dollars are God’s dollars.

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