Archive for March, 2011



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

If your sense of self worth is based on anything other than God’s approval, you won’t serve with the right motives. True servants accept jobs that insecure people consider “beneath them”. Remember Jesus washing the feet of His disciples? Washing dirty feet of guests was one of the most demeaning jobs in that day.

Insecure people always worry about how they appear. They hide their weaknesses beneath layers of protective pride. The more insecure you are the more you need people to serve you, and the more you work for their acceptance. Psychologist Henry Nouwen says, “In order to be of service to others we have to die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value by the yardstick of others…thus we become free to be compassionate.”

True servants don’t need to cover their walls with plaques or trophies or lofty titles. If anybody had a chance to “name-drop” it was James the half-brother of Jesus. Consider those credentials: growing up with Jesus as your brother! Yet he simply referred to himself as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1).

Let’s not worry about what others think of us. Let’s just, “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Every week churches and organizations have to improvise at the last minute because volunteers didn’t prepare, show up, or even call to say they weren’t coming. Its not fair to the people they are ministering to, and its not fair to those who must step in at the last minute unprepared. I remember a young couple who stopped attending our church years ago because they seemed to get recruited for some fill-in ministry every weekend.

Its God’s design that in the church everyone finds an area of ministry and stays faithful. That makes a strong church. But, it seems the larger the church, the more people sit back and expect someone else to do everything for them.

Jesus taught the parable of the talents to emphasize this truth. He said, referring to the servant who failed to use his one talent: “Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents” (Matthew 25:28 NIV). Fail to use what you’ve been given and you’ll lose it. Use what you’ve got and God will increase it. Down here on earth we’re practicing. Like athletes, we’re training for our big day. Paul said, “They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes…You’re after one that’s gold eternally” (1 Corinthians 9:25). So, practice well.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Years ago I was the youth director of the Waterloo Church of Christ. Anita and I lived in an old farmhouse just out of town. One fall evening we had a youth event with a wiener roast and hayride and invited young people from other churches, as well. At one point a male leader from another church came to me and asked, “Do you have a restroom?” What a ridiculous question, but  thought I’d work that a little bit.

There was an old outhouse still sitting in the backyard that was no longer in use. The farmer sometimes used this while he was working the fields. He had an old worn out pair of bib overalls thrown in there in case he might need them.

So, I replied to the young man, “Sure,” and pointed to the outhouse. His head kind of dropped and he headed off for the outhouse. I said, “Knock on the door first because I think someone might be in there.”

Then I watched as he walked to the outhouse and knocked on the door. With no answer, he opened the door and stepped inside. He looked at the bib overalls laying on the floor and tried to figure out what had just happened. When he turned around to look at me, he found me doubled over in laughter. What do you think might have been going through his head?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

If you’re reading this first thing Sunday morning, make sure you turned your clock forward and don’t be late for church. This weekend we got a little deep because we talked about our hearts…prices that we must pay to have the resurrection power working in our lives. Those who are willing to pay the price of Silence, Separation, and Study will discover the power of God at work in their lives. But, what a price! We literally have to get outside of our selfishness to seek God to this end. Are we up for it? What are your follow-up comments on this weekend’s service?



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Don’t forget to reset your clocks Sunday morning so you won’t be late for church.

One cold winter night in Epworth, England, the church bell began to ring. People ran ino the dark night and saw that a house was on fire. A crowd gathered and began to fight the fire. Samuel and Susanna had escaped the flames along with six of their children, but no one could find Johnny.

Realizing the worst, Samuel headed back toward the inferno. Town’s people held him back from certain death. The crowd stood there helplessly watching the house burn.

“Look,” someone shouted. A face appeared in an upstairs window. Little Johnny had awakened and come to the window. He could not escape through the house because of the flames.

Then two men came out of the crowd. One climbed upon the shoulders of the other. The flames were intense. Their clothes began to smoke, but the little boy was pulled through the high window by the arms of the living ladder. The little boy saved that night was none other than John Wesley, who shook England with a great revival and founded the Methodist Church. Years later he wrote, “That night I was plucked as a brand from the burning.”

Together let’s build a ladder with our lives to save the little John Wesleys for tomorrow. Paul advised, “Present your bodies as living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1). What’s one way you could do that?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

When George W. Bush was President, he made a surprise visit to serve Thanksgiving Day dinner to soldiers deployed to Iraq during the heat of that war. One reporter covering the story thought that some might save their meal as a souvenir, explaining, “Its not often that anyone is served by the President.”

Wait a minute, I thought elected officials were public servants. It is their job to serve their people. Yet, we rarely think of what they do as serving us. So, should one act of service been one of the biggest new items of the day?

Remember the words of Jesus: “Those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you. Whoever of you desires to be first shall be servant of all. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 1042-45). Let’s find someone to serve today.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

A noncommissioned officer in the American Revolution was overseeing the construction of a lean-to military building. It was cold and miserable, and he was barking orders to the soldiers under his command, trying to get them to raise a heavy wooden beam.

As the men struggled in vain to lift the beam into place, a man who was passing by stopped to ask the one in charge why he wasn’t helping the men. With all the pomp of an emperor, the soldier responded, “Sir, I am a Corporal!”

“You are, are you?” replied the passerby, “I was not aware of that.” Then taking off his hat and bowing, he said, “I beg your pardon, Corporal.” Then the stranger walked over and strained with the soldiers to left the heavy beam. After the job was finished, he turned and said, “Mr. Corporal, when you have another such job, and have not enough men, send for your Commander-in-Chief, and I will come and help you a second time.”

The Corporal was stunned and speechless. The person speaking to him was General Washington himself!

Jesus said, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). Think about what this means to you today.