Archive for July, 2010

26
Jul

ROCK OF AGES

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Rock of Ages

The old hymn ‘Rock of Ages’ was written by Augustus Montague Toplady in 1763 and first published in The Gospel Magazine in 1775. It has been a favorite hymn of the church ever since. Although rarely used in contemporary churches due to its music style, several contemporary artists have recorded it in a modern rendition, including Amy Grant. Its words have a power message:

Verse 1: “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood, From Thy riven side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.”

The Rock of Ages, of course, speaks of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Rock. His prayer is that we may hide ourselves in Him. The water and blood flowing from His side refer to what occurred on the cross when Jesus died to set us free. The double cure refers to the double bondage of sin in our lives, that of God’s wrath and our uncleanness. When Jesus died on the cross, He purchased a double cure that sets us free.

When Amy Grant recorded her version, the words were changed to “Be of sin the double cure, Cleanse me from its guilt and power.”

Do you prefer Toplady’s orginal wording or the new wording? There is a doctrinal difference.

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25
Jul

CHURCH POLITICS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This weekend we studied 3 John – Church Politics. John had his hands full in dealing with the leaders of the early church. Leading leaders is kind of like herding cats. Leaders don’t want to be led. Problems are inevitable. In the absence of a clearly respected leader, like John, everyone does what is right in his own eyes.

John dealt with this leadership problem in the way he taught: Love. He graciously endorsed the candidate he favored, and did it through a leader respected by all. He got the job done by hook or by crook.

How do you evaluate the service this weekend? Were we on target?

24
Jul

AMERICAN CULTURE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

On mission trips to third world countries, I’ve noticed another cultural difference on the highways. In these other countries driving is a free-for-all. In the Dominican Republic, for example, Japanese mini-buses weave in and out of traffic, a spotter literally hanging out the passenger side door to advise the driver in heavy traffic.

With all this congested traffic, mo-peds, bicycles and pedestrians, not to mention straying dogs and chickens, speeds rarely get above 45 mph, but the danger is constant with such conditions. John and Marge Gudmundsen once rolled their vehicle on an open, paved highway, when they hit a pothole. I’ve witnessed dead goats on the highway in Jordan and potholes 20-30 feet across in Nigeria.

If there’s one thing that sets us apart in America, its law and order. We stop (or nearly so) at stop signs, yield at yield signs, and (usually) don’t cut each other off in traffic. All our roads are striped and well maintained. We are a neat culture.

The one area where we’re not neat is in our philosophy of values. In an attempt to please everybody, we’ve removed all absolutes that might offend. So, the result is that the next generation has no realistic value system to adopt. And the next generation will be radically worse than the first. Let’s be praying for America’s values.

 

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23
Jul

EVOLVING CULTURE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’m reading an older (copyright 1966) college textbook entitled History of American Democracy. It is an American History book with an emphasis upon the culture, religion, thought, and early governmental styles in the colonies, and then States. The section I just completed was on the difference between early colonial city culture and that of European city culture.

I noted that one early European writer observed that in America people were more relaxed in their dress, language, and business than their European counterparts. And the next chapter noted that those who had moved into the frontier (away from the coastal cities) were even more relaxed in that culture. I think perhaps that’s why we Americans are the way we are today: anything goes as it relates to language, morals, and work ethic. We have evolved.

The book also noted another major difference: cleanliness. In European cities, people dumped their waste and garbage out the windows into the streets, where disease spread rapidly. In American cities, regular removal of such waste became a norm. As I have traveled into third world countries, I see that same pattern. We are a people of cleanliness and order.

I think that’s a God thing. What do you think about it?

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22
Jul

REUNION

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Monday was a family reunion day at our house. We met with our kids for lunch at Red Robin restaurant, then went to Picture People for a family photo with the grand-kids. After giving them a ride on the carousel, we drove back to our house and fixed a bonfire in the fire-pit.  When it was dark enough, Lauren chased lightning bugs (she says they don’t have as many in Tennessee), and Reuben went in to play with his toy cars again. Anita and I are worn out with all the excitement, but they’re all back home now.

Can you imagine what it will be like when we all get to heaven and get to experience the real Reunion? I’d like to ask my ancestors some questions about the family tree, and I’d really like to know what happened to some of my childhood friends and Army buddies.

However, I think we’ll be so caught up in being with Jesus that those other questions will just vanish away. Are you having a family reunion this summer? What are you most looking forward to about it?

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21
Jul

TWO KINDS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

There are two kinds of people when it comes to missions – those who need to share Christ and those who need to hear about Him.

The famous Brethren preacher H. A. Ironside used to tell the story about a meeting in which a missionary offering was taken. When the collection plate was handed to a wealthy man, he brushed it aside and said, “I do not believe in missions.”

“Then take something out,” said the usher, “This is for the heathen.”

If you can’t be a giver, you must be a taker…there are only two kinds.

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20
Jul

SERVING ATTITUDE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In his book, Its Not My Department, motivational speaker Peter Glen illustrates the value of learning to serve. He tells the story of a man named John Barrier, who went in to cash a $25 check at the U. S. Bank of Washington in Spokane. In his Ace Concrete Company baseball cap and dungarees, Barrier looked like an ordinary customer.

As he left the bank, he tried to drive his pickup truck out of the parking lot. The young man at the parking booth, however, told Barrier to cough up 60 cents, or he’d have to go back into the bank and get his parking ticket validated – proving he had done business at the bank.

Annoyed, Barrier backed up, parked his truck and went back into the bank to have the teller stamp his ticket. He couldn’t find the original teller, and the one he did find refused to validate it. She thought he was a dead beat.

This time, Barrier was really ticked off. “Give me the $ 1 million I keep here!” he snorted. “I’m taking it next door.”

Alarmed, the teller called a supervisor, who whispered to her that her customer was a multimillionaire real-estate developer. The bank apologized and quickly stamped his parking ticket – but it was too late. Barrier withdrew his money and took it to the new bank down the street. Because of its unserving nature, the bank was out $1,000,000.60.

What does that story say to you?

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