Archive for January, 2016

29
Jan

MY DREAM

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Do you know what I would love to do? I would love to get together for Sunday lunch after church with a small group of people just to fellowship and hang out together over a meal. I would also love to lead a small group of couples to mentor them on how to make marriage work happily ever after. And then, I would love to meet with a small group of men in our church to discuss what the Bible has to say about better leading our wives and children. It would also be a passion of mine to work with a small group of people who would like to study their family history and learn where they came from and the stories behind that. It would be great to have a small group of parents sit around and discuss the difficulties of raising kids in the 21st century. And I would love to work with a small group that studies end-time prophecy and how it relates to today. But how do I find time to do all that I want to do and still find time to care for my family and refresh myself?

I think the only answer to my question is that I have to reproduce myself. Instead of trying to be Superman and doing all I want to do, I need to release the people God has placed around me to do these small groups. My dream can be fulfilled only when many people step up to the plate to lead one of these groups…many groups. God has not only taught me many lessons about these practical aspects of life, but He’s also taught many of you.

In the next weeks, we’ll be talking more about how you can help to multiply yourself into others by leading or participating in a small group of fellow believers who are just like you and have the same interests as you. Possibly God has prepared you for such a time as this. Pray about it.

28
Jan

OPEN DOORS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Our old building, located next door to the Waterloo Elementary School, was a place of excitement for kids in the 1980s. We packed an old repainted school bus with kids and teenagers. Anita headed the children’s ministry, which we called the Kids’ Club, and directed a summer VBS-type program we called a Kids’ Rally every summer.

The bus, which was painted green in those days, was great advertisement as it traveled down the streets of Waterloo. Calvary Chapel of Waterloo (our name back then) was the place to be back then. And we had earned a good reputation in the community.

One day I received a phone call from the Elementary School principal, asking if I could come to see him for a minute. So, I walked over to his office. There he told me about an angry parent who would be there in an hour, and asked me to pray. So, I took authority and prayed my kind of prayer. Later, he called to thank me and report that God had answered my prayer wonderfully.

After that, he called me often to intercede for difficult students or parents. Jesus said, “I have set before you an open door that no man can shut“. Walk through your open doors and God will go with you.

 

27
Jan

SPIRITUAL RISKS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Years ago our church was located in the Head Start building at the corner of Washington and Maple streets in Waterloo. We worked hard to fill that building and minister to kids and teenagers. We added a second service on Sundays, but ran out of classroom space for adult groups (an important part of discipleship).

So, we rented the upstairs apartment across the street where we added three classrooms. Then we purchased the house next door and demolished it for parking. Next, we purchased a modular classroom from a church in Mexico, Indiana, and moved it in next door to the church, which made a great youth ministry hall. All those moves bought us some time as we continued to grow and dream of building a new facility.

During those trying times God spoke to my heart and told me not to look at the obstacles, but to do whatever it takes to keep reaching people. So, we kept taking risks and expanding. That’s the strategy of the Kingdom of God: Keep taking spiritual risks and expanding.

26
Jan

DEFENDING THE OPPRESSED

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

As I write this, I’m listening to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders push his plan for Democratic Socialism. I’m not a fan of socialism in any form, as it takes away personal responsibility and removes the incentive to work harder and take educated risks. However, he has some good points that are worth considering.

One of his gripes is the high cost of medicine in America. I totally agree. I have a prescription for a medicine that is very expensive. When I order that same medicine from a Canadian pharmacy, I can get the prescription filled for less than 1/3 the cost. These medicines ordered from Canada have been mailed from Canada, India, and England. There apparently is a global system out there that helps people internationally, but isn’t allowed to function in America. That sounds like a government controlled racket to me. And I’ve told my doctor so. I agree with Sanders on that.

I believe that it should be a passion for God’s people to reach out to the oppressed. God, who is the great deliverer and healer, must see the unjustified high cost of medicine for the underprivileged¬† as a sin. I think our government should fix this. That may be a socialistic view, but I think Jesus would agree.

 

 

25
Jan

ST. CLAIR’S DEFEAT

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I just finished reading Wabash 1791: St. Clair’s Defeat, by historian John Winkler. Its the true story of General St. Clair’s bold attempt to attack the Indian village at Kekionga (present Fort Wayne) to teach them a lesson for raiding settlements in lands the government claimed. I was interested because one of my direct ancestors on my mother’s side was wounded in that battle.

The army was comprised of 1,900 soldiers. militia, engineers, and artillerymen, along with a contingent of civilians, including women, who were employed to support the slow-moving army which had to cut its way through virgin forest all the way from modern day Cincinnati up to Fort Recovery, Ohio, where the Indians surprised them in a brutal attack 40 miles from Fort Wayne.

One of the Indian leaders of that attack was William Wells, who had been kidnapped years earlier in Kentucky by Indians as a boy. In a surprising twist, his brother, Capt. Samuel Wells, was with the Kentucky militia of the invading Army. The following year, the two met at a prisoner exchange, and Samuel convinced William Wells to return to Kentucky. He eventually became a scout for General Anthony Wayne.

That story reminds me of redemption and restoration. Even the fiercest sinner has a second chance to start over and make a difference.

22
Jan

SLOW STARTS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The first electric light was so dim that a candle was needed to see its socket. One of the first steamboats took 32 hours to chug its way from New York to Albany, a distance of 150 miles. Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first airplane flight lasted only 12 seconds. And the first automobiles traveled 2 to 4 miles per hour and broke down often. These were all slow starts that took a while to develop.

My first Sunday morning sermon lasted 12 minutes and I was out of information. My first attempt at sharing my faith led to some intense rejection. And our church only had 45 people (including kids) at our first Sunday service. We should never snub small beginnings. Everything starts small and grows if it is alive.

Are you off to a slow start? Don’t let a rough beginnning in your endeavor for the Lord get you down and cause you to quit. When you know you’re in God’s will and you’re obeying His call, stick with it.

21
Jan

IMAGINATION

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The other day I was watching my 4.5 year old granddaughter, Ruby, play with her toys. She was using her imagination and putting her toys through some interesting experiences. So, I talked with her about imagination and pretending. I’m not sure if she grasped what I was saying, but she knows how to imagine.

Dr. Martin Luther King knew how to imagine. In his famous “I have a dream” speech, he described his dream of racial equality. He imagined a world where people were judged by their character, not the color of their skin. At the time of the speech, his dream was only an imagination. But his dream is getting closer.

John Lennon imagined, in his hit song ‘Imagine’, where he imagined a world without religion dividing people. Mercy Me imagined what it will be like when believers get to heaven in their song ‘I Can Only Imagine’. And I use my imagination to dream of a church where every person sees ourselves as a brother or sister, caring for one another, and finding a place of service. I dream of a church that practices trusting God with their finances, and interceding for the hurting lives around them. I dream of a church that works together without recognizing denominational boundaries. I have a dream that I want to be more than imagination; I want it to be a reality.