Posts Tagged ‘heaven’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

During the Cold War, I was serving in the US Army in Augsburg, Germany. I lived off base and had to take a commuter bus into downtown Augsburg, walk three blocks to the train station, and there catch the strassenbahn (streetcar) to Flak Kaserne, where I worked, six days a week. I learned to speak just enough German to tell conductors and drivers where I was going. I had to wear my olive drab Army Fatigues and combat boots and stood out like a sore thumb. Although English was a second language to most Germans, no one let on that they could speak it. I passed old veterans with limbs missing who looked very unfriendly toward me. I felt like I didn’t fit in. I felt like an outsider and that I was not really welcome. I felt like my presence there was a necessary evil to the citizens. I wanted to go home.

But, that’s the way it is in this world for me. I live here and work here, but I really don’t belong in this place. The older I get, the more I don’t like this world and what it offers. There are too many problems. People get offended too easily. People hold grudges. Everything breaks down in this world.

I want to go home where there is more security and no one gets sick and dies. I want the peace that heaven offers. This world is not my home, I’m just passing through. You see, my citizenship is in heaven, and I long to go home.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Scott Kerman is an author of a book that describes 50 ways to sneak into concerts and sporting events. And he has thoroughly researched his topic by claiming to have attended 300 sporting events or concerts, including 25 World Series baseball games. And he did so without paying a penny.

Scott’s gate-crashing raises all sorts of ethical questions. But I think the topic of his book raises another question. Is it possible to somehow sneak into heaven? Can the gates of heaven be crashed?

I think Jesus answered that for us in John 14:6, when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus, who paid the price by shedding His blood on the cross, is the Ticket. It requires personal faith in Christ.

Blom wrote in an old hymn:

He the pearly gates will open
So that I may enter in,
For He purchased my redemption
And forgave me all my sin.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

One of the roles I am called on to fulfill is helping people deal with end-of-life issues. And that’s a difficult place to be in. As a Christian who believes in the supernatural, and who has seen many miracles of healing in people’s lives, how do we accept defeat when death finally comes?

And yet, on the other hand, we are expected to believe that there is a heaven and a Savior waiting to receive us into Father’s House. Do we prolong life or do we eagerly anticipate its end? When doctors say that a person’s condition is ‘terminal’ (incurable and ending in imminent death) do we rejoice or fall into hopelessness, or something in between?

An ethics question that we’ll be hearing more about in coming days will be about helping people pass from this life to the next. Is it really life if a life-support machine is necessary to keep body organs functioning. When (and how) does a loving family ‘pull the plug’ on a loved one? These are questions that physicians and ministers, and families, are asking. And we each need a signed living will down in writing someplace.

Psalm 23:6 sums it up well for a believer: “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” I win if I stay, and I win if I leave.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

One morning a couple of cowpunchers went out on the range to bring in a wild steer from the mountains. They took along with them one of those shaggy little gray donkeys – a burro. Now a big three-year old steer that’s been running loose in the timber is a tough customer to handle. Nevertheless, these cowboys had a technique for handling this steer. They got a rope on the steer and then they tied him neck and neck, right up close, to the burro and let them go.

At first, the burro had a bad time. The steer threw him all over the place. He banged him against trees, rocks, and into bushes. Time after time they both went down. But there was one great difference between the burro and the steer. The burro had an idea. He wanted to go home. And no matter how often the steer threw him, every time the burro got to his feet he took a step nearer the corral. This went on and on. After about a week, the burro showed up at the corral. He had with him the tamest and sorriest-looking steer you ever saw.

As a Christian, you’ve been tied neck and neck with Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit. You can’t get away. And the more you try, the more the Spirit pulls you back on track. By the time God gets you where He finally wants you, you’ll be broken of your stubborn pride…and home!

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Yesterday Anita and I attended the funeral of an old friend, Rev. Jimmie Olinske. Pastor Olinske used to pastor in Ray, Indiana, right on the Indiana/Michigan border, and then in Marion, Indiana. He once told me there were three spellings for the European surname ‘Olinske’. Germans/Autrians spell it -ski, Russians spell it -sky, and Polish spell it -ske. Pastor Jim was Polish and he loved to tell Pollack jokes. As a matter of fact, he loved to tell any kind of joke. He just made life fun. As we passed the casket to pay our final respects, my wife commented, “Good-bye, my jolly friend”. He was always jolly.

Now, the Bible is silent on whether there is laughter and fun in heaven. Most of what we read about heaven is pretty serious stuff. But laughter and fun are a quality of the soul, and the soul is distinct from the body. Since Pastor Jim’s soul is in heaven with Jesus, I’m convinced there will be laughter in heaven with Pastor Jim there.

What do you think about it? Do you think there will be laughter in heaven? Why or why not?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The story is told of the missionary couple returning to the States after years of overseas service. As fortune would have it, they were sailing on the same ship on which President Teddy Roosevelt was returning. The President had just completed another of his big-game expeditions.

The missionary couple watched as people clamored to see the President and to welcome him home, but there was no such welcome for them. Despondent, the husband said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip, and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us.”

That night the man grew angrier and said to his wife, “I can’t take this. God is not treating us fairly!”

She replied, “Tell God about it in prayer,” and he did. He went into the bedroom to pray, and a short time later he came out of the bedroom with his spirit obviously lifted.

“Dear, what happened?” she inquired.

He replied, “The Lord settled it with me. I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, the Lord simply said, ‘But you are not home yet’!”

When this missionary really gets “home”, he will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Just remember, you’re not home yet.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Anita and I decided we wanted our honeymoon to be a trip to Canada. Her car was newer than mine, so we took hers and drove off. She let me determine the route, so off we went toward Detroit, Michigan. As we neared Detroit, it was already later than we planned, so we decided to spend our honeymoon night in a motel. We stopped at a convenient one and were told there was no room in the Inn. We stopped at several more and were told there was a special flower celebration on and we probably would have to drive another 100 miles to find a motel room.

It was midnight by then and we decided to head back the other direction and keep looking (worst case scenario was we had a bed waiting for us back in Indiana). We stopped every now and then and got the same closed door. Finally, about 2:00 AM, in Angola, we found a vacancy sign and spent the night.

I learned a valuable lesson about calling ahead for a reservation. That is somewhat similar to gaining admission into heaven. You may have a plan in your head that you’re going there, but no reservation. No one gets into heaven without a reservation. Jesus came to this earth to help us call for a reservation. Better make that call before its too late.

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