Archive for May, 2016



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

If you didn’t hear the announcement this weekend, Todd Helmkamp starts today at New Hope as our new Youth Pastor. Todd was once the Cub Scout Master of the Pack we sponsor at the church, so some of these teens have already worked with him. Pastor Todd is home grown from our church, so he understands our culture. Todd has attended New Hope since his conversion, except for a few months when he and his wife, Bethany, helped Bethany’s father, Roger Dilley, start the church in Fort Wayne. He has led the Man Group (young men’s fellowship) for several years.

This is a new beginning for Todd and Bethany. And it is a new beginning for New Hope. I believe one of our responsibilities in the Lord’s church is to raise up leaders who will make disciples who will make disciples. Discipleship must be ongoing.

Pray for Todd today as he gets himself organized to rally these teens for the cause of Christ.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Several years ago Anita and I visited Washington, DC on a summer vacation. There is so much to see in the nation’s capitol, and we wanted to take in everything we could. One of the sites on my check list was the Vietnam Memorial Wall. This wall has etched in it the names of all servicemen and women who were killed in that conflict. It is very impressive.

As we walked passed this wall, I was overcome by the magnitude of the number of names: over 58,000. I looked up the name of a High School classmate of mine, and then another. I wondered how many of my friends from Basic Training might be on that wall. A sense of honor for the sacrifice they made rose up within me. I didn’t want to move on, but wanted to stay here and identify with those names.

Anita couldn’t understand what was going on inside my emotions that day. She wanted to move on to the next memorial site, but I didn’t want to disconnect. This was a moment of honor for these comrades.

On this Memorial Day, find a moment to think about someone you knew who paid the ultimate price in the cause of freedom. That’s how you can honor their memory. Who is it you are remembering?



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

John Molloy wrote a book called ‘Dress for Success’, wherein he encouraged people to dress for the part they wanted, not what they were. He contended that people will evaluate you based on what you appear to be, not what you really are. If you want a loan, dress like you have plenty of money. If you want an estimate on a car repair, dress like you have none. So, a person needs to look the part they want to be.

Wise King Solomon said, “One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth” (Proverbs 13:7).

Riches aren’t permanent, for we can take nothing with us. The riches that bring permanent value are the inner peace riches. That wealth can only come from God, because that is the only riches that can’t be lost when depression or destruction come our way. The world offers insecurity at best. God offers peace that can’t be taken away. Put your faith in God today.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

There’s nothing more painful than hearing someone you respect speak put-downs in your direction. I once was second guessed by an influential businessman in the church. He didn’t know what I knew and I couldn’t betray confidence to straighten him out. So I just had to take the criticism.

For the next week or so we’ll be looking at some of Solomon’s Proverbs. The Proverbs are written in Hebrew poetry. That’s poetry that doesn’t rhyme, but does have a rhythm and a twist of truth. For example: “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18).

Our words spoken carelessly may vent our pain, but they can create even more pain sent out from us. A wise person knows when to keep thoughts to themselves and bring healing to another. There are times I’ve wanted to blurt out, “Well, what did you expect?” “Stupid is as stupid does.” “How’s that working for you?” But wisdom says, “Bite your tongue and show mercy”.

Control your tongue today and focus on using it for healing.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Every year I comment on some young trees that I’ve transplanted. Often they die. There are seven young trees I’m working on right now: Three Burr Oaks, four unidentified Oaks, and two Hickory trees. And, they’re doing really great so far this year. One is only out of the ground about 2.5 inches, the hickories are really slow growing, and two of the Oaks have really shot up in height. I’m really pleased and keep them well watered and fertilized.

John told his friend Gaius, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4). I find that kind of joy when a native tree I’ve transplanted takes root and begins to thrive. And I find that same kind of joy when someone I’ve mentored for some time steps up and becomes a vital part of the church. I find that kind of joy when Steve Houser, Mike Albaugh, or Roger Dilley steps out into their own ministry, touching many more lives than I could touch. Its like a living tree stretching out in new growth.

What is it you are nourishing? What is it you are developing? What is it you are multiplying into the future? That should be the thing that gives you joy.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Last Sunday we witnessed three people making their testimony known by Christian water baptism: McKayla Royal, Frank Nester, and Amarra Nester. Baptism is a public demonstration of one’s identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. And it can take guts to get up in front of your peers and make that statement.

For centuries baptism was done in a Catholic Church by a Catholic priest. It was usually administered by sprinkling, and was usually done to infants only a few days old. Once baptized, you were “in the Kingdom of God” whether you believed or not. With the rise of the Reformation, there was an ‘anabaptist’ movement. ‘Anabaptist’ means ‘Re-baptized’. This Re-baptism among those who were formerly baptized into Catholicism was seen as an act of rebellion against the organized Catholic Church which saw itself as ‘The Kingdom Of God’ on earth.

Wars broke out all over Europe with kingdom rising against Kingdom because of this conflict. Kingdoms like Alsace and The Palatinate in what is now western Germany lost 1/3 of their population in these senseless wars. Displaced Anabaptists who had fled to other Kingdoms as refugees, were the first to immigrate to America, most as indentured slaves.

For these Christians, our ancestors, standing up for their faith by being baptized by immersion was a big deal. Maybe it should also be a big deal today. Have you been baptized since you’ve believed?



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The great botanist Luther Burbank once remarked, “Sin is a bad bargain”, and used this story to illustrate:

A young skylark was flying with his father. The heard the tinkle of a bell and dived down to investigate. They saw a man pushing a cart, announcing, “Earthworms for sale. Earthworms traded for feathers.” The young skylark loved worms, so in spite of his father’s warning that it was a bad bargain, he plucked out two feathers and got four juicy worms. He gobbled them down and soared back into the sky.

The next day the young skylark heard the same bell. Again he traded a few feathers for worms. Though his father disapproved, he began to do this every day. Then one day after he had traded his feathers for worms, he discovered what a bad bargain he’d been making, for he could no longer fly.

Sin seems to offer us something for nothing. And some people play around with sin, thinking they have found a good bargain. But, inevitably, there is a time when the full payment comes due. Thank God, there is a way to avoid the payment for sin. That is to repent of our sins and accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:23).