Archive for February, 2010

21
Feb

RACIAL PREJUDICE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Racial Prejudice is a hot potato topic that is real, but everyone is afraid to touch it lest we offend someone in the process. As I said in my message, the root of racial prejudice is the same as any kind of prejudice, and the church is sometimes a leader in this prejudice campaign, to our own detriment.

I’m interested in your take on this topic. Do you have an experience you could share or an opposing opinion? This is your platform to be heard and speak your mind. I want to know your thoughts. Please comment:

20
Feb

POWER OF INFLUENCE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I remember the date well: February 9, 1964. The Beatles were performing on The Ed Sullivan Show. My classmates had talked it up all week long. My parents could not understand why it was so important that I tuned in to this show, which meant they had to miss their regular show, nor could they understand what was so impressive about The Beatles.

I was captivated with each of the five songs they sang, as were the record 73,ooo,ooo viewers that night. I immediately decided to join my classmates in growing my hair longer, much to my conservative Dad’s frustration. I would have joined one of the garage bands springing up, but music was not my thing.

But America was learning an important lesson about the power of influence. Years later, I still seek that power of influence in my Christian walk. How can I motivate others to discover what I have learned? How can my life impact the life of others? How can my example challenge others to walk down the same path?

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses it flavor, how shall it be seasoned?” (Matthew 5:13).

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19
Feb

ONE ARM

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Seven year old Andy had to have his left arm amputated, and it wasn’t easy to adjust to the loss. When he returned to school, his teacher wanted his clasmates to understand how difficult the normal activities of life were for Andy. So one morning she told the other students to keep their left arm behind their back. That meant they all had to do everything with their right hand.

Little things like turning the pages of a book, writing neatly, and keeping the paper from slipping became difficult. Buttoning clothing took extra effort, and tying one’s shoes became impossible. Andy’s classmates discovered that the only way they could really understand his problem was to experience for themselves the difficulties he faced.

Because the Lord Jesus, God’s Son, became a man, He can identify with our trials and temptations. He understands the heartaches, pain, and difficulties we face. Since “He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). He knows what it’s like. Hang in there.

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18
Feb

LITTLE THINGS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Members of the upper level Brahman class in India never stoop to do any menial labor. So how shocked Shriman Naraarayan was when, spending time at Gandhi’s ashram (a spiritual retreat center for Hindus), he was assigned a task that he felt was beneath his dignity.

Having earned a doctorate from the London School of Economics, that young man had come to the ashram to seek guidance about his future. Unknown to him, everybody at the ashram was given some specific assignment, and Shriman’s was to clean toilets. Deeply offended, he went to Ghandi immediately and complained, “I hold a doctorate. I’m capable of doing great things. Why do you waste my time and talents on cleaning toilets?”

Gandhi responded, “I know of your capacity to do great things, but I have yet to discover your capacity to do little things.”

You may be highly qualified to serve our Lord Jesus in a significant way. Because of your training and gifts, you may have the potential to carry on great and effective spiritual service. But are you willing to humbly perform some menial task if He so assigns you? Would you be willing to clean another’s toilet or wash another’s feet? (John 13:14-15). That’s what discipleship is all about.

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17
Feb

BILL

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This is a true story. A college student named Bill was a new Christian. One Sunday he visited a church near campus. He walked in barefoot and was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The service had already started, so he walked down the aisle looking for a seat. Finding none, he sat down cross-legged on the floor – right in front of the pulpit!

The congregation became noticeably uneasy. Then, from the back of the church, an elderly deacon got up and with his cane slowly made his way to the front. Every eye followed him. As the old gentleman approached Bill, he dropped his cane and with great effort lowered himself and sat down beside him so the young man wouldn’t have to worship alone.

Paul wrote that Christ, being equal with God, set aside His reputation, and became obedient unto death – the ultimate act of humility. When we learn to think as Jesus thought, we see people through the same eyes as that godly deacon.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

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16
Feb

TRUE HUMILITY

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

We’re talking about humility this week. Author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada said it well: “We grab for humility and – poof – it disappears like stardust through our fingers.”

So how can we know when we are truly humble? We can’t. But when serving others becomes second nature to us, we are pursuing the ideal that Jesus set for us in Matthew 23. After pointing out that the scribes and Pharisees were always seeking power and position, He said, “He who humbles himself will be exalted” (v. 12).

Senator Mark Hatfield exemplified the spirit of service Jesus advocated. He attended a weekly Bible study at his church in Washington, DC, along with other politicians and professionals. As soon as the meetings ended, most rushed off to their jobs. But Senator Hatfield usually stayed to stack chairs – and he was the highest ranking official there!

Serving others; that’s what true humility is all about.

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15
Feb

STRINGS ATTACHED

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

John Newton, author of the now famous hymn Amazing Grace, also wrote the following poem about a kite:

“Were I but free, I’d take to flight,
And pierce the clouds beyond their sight,
But, ah! Like a poor pris’ner bound,
My string confines me near the ground.”

The poem continues and the kite finally does manage to free itsself, but instead of soaring higher in the sky, it crashes into the sea. The poem was entitled ‘The Kite: or Pride Must HaveĀ a Fall.’

The analogy calls me to reconsider some “strings” that make me feel constrained, like vows, promises, commitments, responsibilities. Although such things make me feel tied down, God uses them to hold me up. James said, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

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