define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true); Pastor Ralph Diehl » 2011 » March

Archive for March, 2011

31
Mar

HOLES

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

All sin carries a price tag. Its consequences may range from minor to major, but the bill always comes due. Somebody always pays.

There is a story about a boy whose father pounded a nail in the barn door every time the boy did something wrong. Soon there were many nails in the door. Then one day the boy accepted Christ as Savior and began living for Him. To impress upon his son the wonder of being forgiven, the father took him to the barn and pulled out every nail from the door. “That is what it means to have all your sins forgiven,” he said. “They are gone forever.”

The boy was deeply impressed. Then looking at the door, he asked, “But father, how can I get rid of the holes?” “I’m sorry,” said the father, “but the holes will remain.”

When the disciples first met the resurrected Christ on Easter morning, He showed them His hands and feet, where they saw the scars. These scars will always be there because sin leaves holes behind.

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30
Mar

DEFECTIVE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I once had a recall notice for my automobile. There had been something discovered faulty and they did a massive recall by the dealers to replace a part. It wasn’t a major part or an expensive part, but they must have thought it was unsafe or they wouldn’t have recalled all those cars. The best brains in Detroit can design the perfect machine, but until someone runs it for a few hundred miles no one knows for sure.

Suppose God put this warning on the heart and soul of every person: “Because of a fatal attraction to sin and willful misuse, this item is defective. Failure to correct this problem will result in certain spiritual death.”

That is, in effect, what Jesus was saying when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). We need to turn ourselves in for the recall. Only Jesus can make us right again.

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28
Mar

CUANZA NORTE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Monday was my day off and I spent a little time reconstructing a distant relative’s family. As a genealogist, I have to follow any clues but cannot jump to conclusions without proof. I knew three facts about her: She was named Annie Moore, born in Brooke County, Virginia in 1825, and married William Henderson. Both are common names and hard to verify. One online source I found said she died in 1847 in Tebe, Cuanza Norte, Angola.

I figured that had to be an error, so I checked for a William Henderson in Arizona in the 1850 census (assuming there was a transcription error and ‘Angola’ actually should have been ‘Arizona’. No luck. So I googled “Cuanza Norte, Angola’ and was surprised to find there was such a place in Africa. World travel in 1847 was usually one way: “Go west, young man”. With the absence of records from Africa, I assumed I had hit a dead end.

Then I noticed that her next older brother, John Moore, was an ordained minister in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Although I’m using imagination here, I suspect William and Annie Henderson were missionaries to this primitive African nation, where she died. I find no record of her husband, either.

And that got me to thinking: We spend our lives on this spiritual journey. Some leave their mark and are remembered for their labors. Yet some make great sacrifices and are soon forgotten. Only treasures stored in heaven will last.

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27
Mar

A WILD GOOSE CHASE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This weekend we compared geese to Christians in ‘A Wild Goose Chase’. As geese connect together in a family, so should Christians. Over the years I have witnessed many people fall away from God when the cut their ties with the church. We need these family connections just as geese need their flock. What are your comments to the weekend service you attended?

26
Mar

JUNK

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

To orbit the planet Earth, it requires speeds of more than 4.5 miles per second. Travelling at that speed is a growing collection of space junk. Nuts, bolts, and other discarded debris from space flights are presenting a real hazard to future spacecraft. Their sheer speed makes the tiniest object strike with the impact of a bullet. During one of the shuttle missions, a speck of paint created a pit a quarter inch wide in a window of the craft.

One study revealed that there are 110,000 objects larger than 1 centimeter in orbit. Their combined weight is 4 million pounds! To avoid a space junk disaster, the US Space Command monitors orbiting debris for NASA, and the Space Station is constantly shifting positions to avoid passing junk.

Sinful choices create their own kind of junk – unintended consequences. When Achan stole and hid forbidden booty, it cost him his life (Joshua 7). After King David committed adultery and murder, family discord followed (2 Samuel 15-18).

Got any “junk” in your life? Sin’s consequences have a way of accumulating like plaque on an artery. Paul did say, “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). Time for some Spring cleaning.

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25
Mar

GETTING HOME

   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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24
Mar

THE CALL

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Rev. D. F. Ferguson, a senior pastor in Riverside, California, was an excellent preacher with a real understanding of Calvary and of grace. At a district conference of his denomination, a fellow pastor was testifying of how he had left a job as a successful attorney making a six-figure salary to follow the call of the Lord into the ministry.

Following him, another pastor stood and said, “I was making two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars a year in Kansas grain when I gave it all up to serve the Lord.”

After two more pastors followed this theme of what they had given up to follow Jesus, Ferguson could take no more. He jumped to his feet and ran to the front. He seized the microphone and in broken voice said, “When God called me into the ministry I was standing behind two mules plowin’ a field in Arkansas. It was 105+ degrees and I had on one tennis shoe and one of dad’s boots. I threw down the reins of them two mules and said, ‘God, I’m ready – anything beats this’, and I’ve been in the ministry ever since!”

The conference roared in laughter and came to a standing ovation. God has a unique way of calling each of us. Some sacrifice greatly in following Christ, but for many others, following Christ was nothing but a step up. Which was it for you: a step up or a step down?

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