Archive for December, 2015



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

When a person makes a decision to follow Jesus Christ, several things happen. One of those things is that we become baptized into the Body of Christ. That means we become integrally connected in the faith with one another. We become interdependent upon one another to hear the voice of God and to receive His blessings. God works in the midst of His people. He does His miracles in response to our actions and faith. You and I are the answer to someone else’s crisis.

In Acts 9 we read: “The Jews took counsel to kill [Paul]…And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket” (Acts 9:23-25). Other Christians risked their lives to rescue Paul. Someone had to hold the rope as Paul escaped. How many want to join me in some spiritual adventure that will deliver a brother or sister from Satan’s grasp? Let’s agree together to not watch the show around us, but to become actively involved in the deliverance of souls. And this adventure is more than a movie, this is real life. Hold onto the rope that delivers others.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In my ministry, I have officiated at many funeral and memorial services for 374 people. Some were believers, and some were not. Death visits people of all faiths and ages and income levels. Paul said death is the final enemy to be conquered.

When the great evangelist Dwight L. Moody was on his deathbed, family and friends gathered to say goodbye. Thinking that the end had come, they silently began to leave the room. Just then a stirring was heard. Turning, they found Moody’s eyes open and his mind apparently clear. Someone began to pray, but Moody interrupted, “Do not pray that I may live. I have seen Dwight and Irene [two grandchildren who had died]. I have seen the face of Jesus and I am satisfied. Earth is receding, heaven is opening. God is calling me. This is my coronation day!”

When Stephen was being stoned to death, he “gazed into heaven and saw…Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55). Live your life to the fullest, and then expect a great reward when we go ‘home’.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

There is a legend that many years ago the prince of Wales was visiting all the countries of the British Empire. In one country it was the custom for visiting royalty to pardon one prisoner. The prince visited a large prison in that land, and going from cell to cell he began to talk with the prisoners. He asked them why they had been imprisoned. Everyone started blaming circumstances and cursing the sentence that had been passed upon him, saying it was unjust.

Finally the prince came to a man who hung his head in shame. He admitted that he had committed the crime. He admitted that the sentence on him was just. Instantly the prince called for the guards. He’d found the prisoner he would pardon.

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you hanged on a tree. Him has God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance…and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:30-31).



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I heard the story of an Indian chief who was making a dugout from a log. A man came along and said, “Chief, you need to narrow the dugout,” so he did. Another said, “Chief, you need to cut down the stern,” so he did. A third said, “You need to alter its bow,” so he did.

When he finally launched the dugout, it capsized. He got another log and started over. Again he was offered advice. The Indian pointed to the dugout that wouldn’t float. “That is everyman’s boat over there,” he said. “This will be Chief’s boat.”

Everyone seems to have advice for how to run our lives, but we are the ones who have to live with it in the end. Choose wisely whose advice you will take.

We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

“Keep Christ in Christmas” is a rally cry that refers to people using the term Xmas instead of Christmas. Did you know that the letter X is the Greek letter that is used to spell ‘Ch’ in Christmas? The original Greek word looks like this: Χριστός. So, I have no problem abbreviating Christmas with an Xmas, because I know what it means. What I don’t like is going into a restaurant to purchase a gift card and all I can find is Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings on the card I give.

If others don’t want to identify with Christmas, that’s OK with me. Just don’t take away from me the desire to honor Christ on this Happy Holiday. Real Believers have a need to express their faith in Christ in substantial ways. After all, Christ’s birth is the Season we’re Greeting. From now on, I’ll pass over all gift cards that don’t help me express Merry Christmas to those I love. Speak up and wish others a Merry Christmas.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I don’t recall having any Christmas Eve traditions when I was a child. We might have wrapped a few gifts, but I can’t remember going to Christmas Eve services, or Christmas caroling, or watching Christmas movies, like we do today. There were no gifts under the tree, because Santa didn’t bring them until the middle of the night. My Dad was always a late Christmas tree shopper, because he would get quite a deal the day before Christmas, so maybe setting up the tree was our Christmas Eve tradition.

And, I believe there was a flurry of activity as gifts were exchanged between friends and family just before the big day. As a city of Butler mail carrier, the day before Christmas was one of Dad’s busiest days. There was no UPS or FedEx, so Dad worked late into the night delivering everyone’s Christmas cards and packages.

How did your family celebrate Christmas Eve? Share a memory you have.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Things happen in sequence. First this happens, then that. Jesus’s birth set off a chain reaction of events. Apparently the Magi (wise men) had seen a star in the sky that they identified with the birth of a new king of the Jews. There is nothing in biblical prophecy that would lead them to that conclusion, so they must have gotten this idea from secular or traditional sources. Could God be involved in the secular or traditional? The star prompted them to travel many miles over dangerous terrain to arrive in Jerusalem. They were seeking the proof of their expectations.

I’ve spent my lifetime trying to confirm my expectation. Because I believe, I press toward the confirmation. I keep seeking and keep finding. I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). Come join me in the journey.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:1-2).