Posts Tagged ‘children’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Spiritual Gifts

Following up on his comment about spiritual gifts being partial revelation that will one day cease, the Apostle Paul illustrates: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Paul isn’t saying that spiritual gifts are childish, but that we can be childish (immature) with spiritual gifts. There comes a time when we need to stop chasing rabbits and go after the real target.

Although I am now in my mid-60s, I can still clearly remember my childhood attitudes. I can still remember thinking about hanging myself so others would then feel sorry for mistreating me. I remember carrying two big bricks up to my bedroom and vowing to build my biceps until I could whip the older bully next door. I can still remember planting nails against the neighbor man’s tires because he had made me mad. These were all immature attitudes that all children have to work through.

But now that I am an adult, I don’t think like that anymore. I have other, more mature (hopefully) ways  of dealing with conflict. So, I put away childish ways. So it is in the church. We don’t deal with irresponsible people like we did in the world (hurt them), but we love them into change. The world’s ways don’t work in the Kingdom of God; but Kingdom ways do work in the world.

So many churches act just like secular social clubs, electing popular friends to positions, jockeying for influence, giving toward my own ends, serving to be served. But God’s children should be above that. Paul is telling these Corinthian believers to grow up! Stop acting like immature children using spiritual gifts for your own benefit. Spiritual gifts are for the benefit of others in the Kingdom.

When was the last time you observed childish attitudes in the Lord’s church?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

News this morning included a report of a 6-year old girl being arrested and taken into custody in handcuffs because she was throwing a temper tantrum in the school Principal’s office, including throwing furniture that struck the Principal in the leg.

Now, they’ve enacted laws prohibiting corporal punishment (paddling) in schools because it teaches violent behavior. I wonder how this little girl learned to act out to get her own way? Was this modeled in the home; she surely didn’t learn it at school? Listeners were expressing outrage that the girl was taken out in handcuffs. What is the alternative?

How do you think that situation should have been handled? What would have happened to you if you acted out that way when you were in school? Are schools getting better at dealing with this behavior or worse? Who is responsible for the 6-year old girl’s behavior? I’m interested in your feedback.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

When our children were little, I led worship every week and Anita played piano every week. Our kids always sat in the second row, piano side, where Anita kept an eye on them during my preaching. On one particular Sunday, as I was wrapping up my sermon, little Nathan tugged on his Mom’s dress and said, “I gotta go to the bathroom.” She replied that service was just about over and he could wait just a few minutes.

He soon repeated a little more firmly that he really had to go. She was just as firm that he could wait just another moment. At that, he leaned forward and proceeded to vomit all over the pew in front of him (a nice padded seat).

There was a good lesson in that, as well. Its OK to make rules that teach people responsibility, but one-size-fits-all rules are sometimes out of touch with reality. This was one exception to the rule that we should have heeded.

Are there rules you are imposing on others that just might be too much for them at this point in their lives?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Cliff Barrows, one of the big three that made up the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, once told of the time his two young children did something wrong. Although they were gently warned, they repeated the offense and needed to be disciplined. Cliff’s tender heart was pained at the thought of having to punish the ones he loved. So, he called Bobbie and Bettie into his room, removed his belt and shirt, and with bare back he knelt by his bed. He told each child to whip him 10 times. Oh, how they cried! But the penalty had to be paid. The children sobbed as they lashed their daddy’s back. Then Cliff hugged and kissed them, and they prayed together. “It hurt,” he recalled, “but I never had to spank them again.”

That story illustrates what Paul meant when he wrote, “God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Have you ever paid the price for someone else’s wrong? Tell us about that.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Dr. James Dobson, founder and president of Focus on the Family, tells the following story about the difficulty of submission:

In the absence of parental leadership, some children become extremely obnoxious and defiant, especially in public places. Perhaps the best example was a 10-year old boy named Robert, who was a patient of my good friend, Dr. William Slonecker. Dr. Slonecker said his pediatric staff dreaded the days when Robert was scheduled for an office visit. He literally attacked the clinic, grabbing instruments and files and telephones. His passive mother could do little more than shake her head in bewilderment.

During one physical examination, Dr. Slonecker observed severe cavities in Robert’s teeth and knew that the boy must be referred to a local dentist. But who would be given the honor? A referral like Robert could mean the end of a professional friendship. Dr. Slonecker eventually decided to send him to an older dentist who reportedly understood children. The confrontation that followed now stands as one of the classic moments in the history of human conflict.

Robert arrived in the dental office, prepared for battle. “Get in the chair, young man,” said the doctor. “No chance!” replied the boy.

“Son, I told you to climb onto the chair, and that’s what I intend for you to do,” said the dentist. Robert stared at his opponent for a moment and then replied, “If you make me get in that chair, I will take off all my clothes.”

The dentist calmly said, “Son, take them off.” The boy forthwith removed his shirt, undershirt, shoes and socks, and then looked up in defiance.

“All right, son,” said the dentist. “Now get in the chair.” “You didn’t hear me, “sputterd Robert. “I said if you make me get on that chair, I will take off all my clothes.”

“Son, take them off,” replied the dentist. Robert proceeded to remove his pants and shorts, finally standing totally naked before the dentist and his assistant.

“Now, son, get in the chair,” said the doctor. Robert did as he was told, and sat cooperatively through the entire procedure. When the cavities were drilled and filled, he was instructed to step down from the chair.

“Give me my clothes now,” said the boy. “I’m sorry,” replied the dentist. “Tell your mother that we’re going to keep your clothes tonight. She can pick them up tomorrow.”

Can you comprehend the shock Robert’s mother received when the door to the waiting room opened, and there stood her pink son, as naked as the day he was born? The room was filled with patients, but Robert and his mom walked past them and into the hall. They went down the public elevator and into the parking lot, ignoring the snickers of onlookers.

The next day, Robert’s mother returned to retrieve his clothes, and asked to have a word with the dentist. However, she did not come to protest. These were her sentiments: “You don’t know how much I appreciate what happened here yesterday. You see, Robert has been blackmailing me about his clothes for years. Whenever we are in a public place, such as a grocery store, he makes unreasonable demands of me. If I don’t immediately buy him what he wants, he threatens to take off all his clothes. You are the first person who called his bluff, and the impact on Robert has been incredible.

What is your take on the dentist’s action? Was that a good or bad thing to do?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Monday was my day off and I was enjoying sitting in the family room listening to my 7-year old granddaughter and 3-year old grandson play together.They were apparently playing house and my granddaughter, Lauren, was taking the role of the dominate wife and Reuben was playing the role of the passive husband, ignoring her, just like the real thing.

Lauren said, “Now, Reuben, I know you don’t like buying me Christmas presents, and you really don’t like wrapping them, so why don’t you just not bother. Make it easy on yourself and just make it in tens and twenties.” Fortunately, I had the newspaper up over my face, because I just about lost it. I think those two kids have marriage down pretty well already.

What have you heard a kid saying recently?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Back in the middle 1980s our church was known as Calvary Chapel and we were worshiping in the brick building located between the Waterloo Elementary School and the Waterloo Library (now owned by Head Start). Our church was small and I served as the Jack-of-all-Trades in the maintenance end of things. This building, constructed in the early 1950s, had overhangs on both sides of the sanctuary which concealed long fluorescent tubes that reflected light off the ceiling.

One day one of those light tubes needed replaced. I got out the stepladder and crawled up there to replace it. While up there I discovered a Welch’s grape juice bottle cap that said, “Howdy’s Favorite Drink”, and a picture of Howdy Doody. Apparently some kid had thrown it up there decades earlier when his/her parents were preparing communion.

I kept that cap in my office as a reminder that our church is always about children. When the Head Start system purchased the old building and renovated it, I was asked to officiate at the official dedication of the new Head Start program. After I had finished speaking, I presented the Howdy Doody bottle cap to the Director of the Head Start program reminding her the building had always been about children. She was delighted.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever found?

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