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Archive for January, 2009



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Can there be a mistake in the Bible? History records quite a mistake in an eighteenth century printing of the scripture. The command in the Gospel of John to sin no more had been printed as “sin on more.” This simple one-letter reversal obviously changed the entire meaning of the text and subsequently had to be revised and the wrongly worded Bibles pulled off the market.

In 1712 an Oxford edition of the Bible printed a chapter heading in the Gospel of Luke referring to a vineyard gardener as, “The Parable of the Vinegar.” And a gender mix-up in a 1923 version produced, “A man may not marry his grandmother’s wife.” These blunders make it appear that the Bible cannot be trusted. But I think its printers who cannot be trusted. God has never made a mistake.

What arguments have you recently heard about why the Bible is untrustworthy?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Tonight Show host Jay Leno did “man-on-the-street” interviews. One night back in 1999 he collared some young people to ask them questions about the Bible.

“Can you name one of the Ten Commandments?” he asked two college-age women. One replied, “Freedom of speech?” Mr. Leno said to the other, “Complete this sentence: Let he who is without sin….” Her response was, “have a good time?”

Mr. Leno then turned to a young man and asked, “Who, according to the Bible, was eaten by a whale?” The confident answer was, “Pinocchio.”

Are you laughing or crying? We live in a culture where the basics of Christianity are absent. What is the dumbest misunderstanding of scripture you’ve recently heard?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I have a spelling checker
I disk covered four my PC.
It plane lee marks four my revue
Miss steaks aye can knot see.

The words are spelled correctly, but they aren’t the right words to convey the message of the writer. It’s proof positive that if you’re looking to the wrong source for correctness, then you aren’t right.

It follows then, that its possible to trust the wrong source of information about finances, sex, or spiritual matters. It is wisdom to find the source that has real answers to life’s problems and stick to it. The Bible is always write.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Bible teacher Arthur Arnold shared that he was calling on a family in his church. Before leaving the house, he asked the family if they wanted him to read from the Bible to them. The lady of the house said to the young son, “Go bring the big book we read out of so much.” The boy returned with the Sears & Roebuck catalog!

The Bible was meant to be kept in a prominent place in our lives, and that doesn’t mean open on the coffee table. The prominent place is in our hearts. And we have to read it to know what it says.

What portion of the Bible have you been reading lately?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Three pastors got together for coffee one day and found all their churches had had bat-infestation problems. “I got so mad,” said the Baptist preacher, “I took a shotgun and fired at them. It made holes in the ceiling, but did nothing to the bats.”

“I tried trapping them alive,” said the Methodist preacher. “Then I drove 50 miles before releasing them, but they beat me back to the church.”

“I haven’t had any more problems,” said the Lutheran preacher.

“What did you do?” asked the others, amazed.

“I simply baptized and confirmed them,” he replied. “I haven’t seen them since.”

Although we smile as we read, we know why that story is so funny. I have seen countless times when a new face appeared at our church and the person immediately wanted to become a member and be baptized. People think that some quick initiation will make them an insider and all their problems go away. When the problems are still there next Sunday, they give up and never come back. They never understood that it was themselves that was supposed to change.

If you’re reading this, I’m glad that you understand. We need to be baptized, but for the right reason. What would you say is the right reason?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Yesterday morning we woke up to a cold house. That’s not just because it was -16 degrees outside, but because our furnace had shut down in the night. It was 56 degrees in the house. So time was of the essence. I scrambled to get dressed and began the troubleshooting list while Anita got the electric heaters and oven going. We have a gas log fireplace but we can’t run it higher than low without setting off the smoke alarm. 

Having lived in the house now since 1995 I have learned watching repairmen work on my furnace. So I had a mental checklist of things to check. I’m still not sure which one of the things I tried got it back online, but something worked and its working now.

I think its that way with Christianity. We learn what works here and there with life, and then we make a mental note. The next time something malfunctions in life, we go back and try that again. We can always call the repairman (Jesus), but He expects us to do what we can first. I keep my spiritual troubleshooting list handy because I never know when I’ll need it.




   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In 1980, Lee Atwater, a political campaign manager for Ronald Reagan, inflicted terrible pain with his words. His staff learned that an opposing congressional candidate from South Carolina, Tom Turnipseed, had once experienced severe depression and undergone electric shock therapy. When Atwater released the information to the press, it humiliated the candidate and cast doubt on his ability. In anguish, the man questioned Atwater’s campaign ethics. Atwater responded by saying that he had no intention of responding to a man “hooked up to a jumper cable.”

Ten years later, Atwater was afflicted with an incurable brain tumor. He was confined to bed, attached to machines and tubes and wires. Before he died, he a wrote the candidate a letter and asked to be forgiven. He saw how cruel and heartless his words had been.

In part, Atwater wrote: “My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The ’80s were about acquiring — acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn’t I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn’t I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don’t know who will lead us through the ’90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.”

In truth, you and I are the only ones who can make that change within us. Let’s do it.

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