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

Archive for July, 2011

30
Jul

TIME CAPSULE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

A few days ago some workmen removed a hundred-year old time capsule entombed in the limestone wall of the DeKalb County Courthouse. In that box were items placed there 100 years ago when the courthouse was first constructed. I was interested in the find since my great grandfather, Isaac M. Diehl, was one of the County Commissioners at the time.

They are getting ready to replace the time capsule with items of today to be sealed for the next 100 years. There will be business cards, papers, and even a CD from a Christian singing group. But no Bible. So, one of the area pastors purchased a new NIV Bible and went to the courthouse for approval to have it included.  Someone at the courthouse thought that since this was the 21st century maybe it would be more appropriate to include a copy of the Koran.

So, the pastor contacted me for approval to have the DeKalb County Ministerial Association (I’m currently the President) endorse having the NIV Bible included, thinking that might have more clout than just one pastor. Obviously, he got our vote. Great idea.

What do you think about including a copy of the Koran?

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29
Jul

TEACHABILITY

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

On my desk I have this small ceramic statue of a little man with a tiny black moustache carrying a cane, wearing baggy pants, clumsy oversized shoes and a derby hat. You know his name. In fact, Charlie Chaplin was the most famous person on the planet in the 1920s. Born into poverty, he worked on stage to support himself and by age 17 he was a veteran performer. Then in 1928 he did something unheard of: at age 29 he signed the entertainment industry’s first million dollar contract!

But Chaplin was successful not just because he had talent and drive – he was also teachable. He kept learning and perfecting his gift. Even when he was at the height of his popularity, the highest paid performer in the world didn’t rest on his laurels. No, he said, “When I watch one of my pictures I pay attention to what the audience doesn’t laugh at. If several audiences don’t laugh at a stunt I tear it apart and try to discover what’s wrong. On the other hand, if I hear laughter I hadn’t expected, I ask myself why that particular thing rang the bell with the audience.”

If when Charlie Chaplin became famous he’d exchanged teachability for arrogance, he’d likely be forgotten. But he didn’t. Instead he rememeberd the basics and always kept learning. Eventually he co-founded United Artists, a company that’s still in business today.

The Hebrew writer told us, “You need someone to teach you…basic things” (Hebrews 5:12 NLT). What has the Lord taught you recently?

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28
Jul

UNDELIGHTFUL

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Our daughter and her family from Nashville, Tennessee are spending the week with us. Our 7-year old granddaughter is always pushing the envelope to see what she can get away with with grandma and grandpa. Tuesday evening Anita was watering her plants, with Lauren watching her. Anita was adding a little Miracle-Gro Plant Food to the water and had a carefully measured amount sitting in a measuring cup.

Lauren noticed the blue plant food and thought it was blue sprinkles used for cookies or cake decoration, so when grandma wasn’t looking she grabbed a pinch full and put it in her mouth. It didn’t take long for her to ask, “What is that?” and took off for the bathroom.

I asked her later how that tasted, and she replied, “Salty, disgusting, and undelightful.” We’re still waiting to see if she’ll go through a growth spurt.

27
Jul

PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE

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The other night Anita and I watched a movie on TV entitled The Adjustment Bureau. The plot unfolded around this small group of elite people who devised a Matrix-like intricate system to lead people down a path they had devised for them. People were not allowed to deviate from the plan prescribed by the Chairman. We could not help but see a hidden reference to God and His plan for us in that plot. However, the key player in the film found a way to deviate from the Chairman’s path, just as we often find a way to deviate from God’s plan for ourselves.

Just as a river winds through the countryside because it follows the path of least resistance, so do our lives become crooked when we keep deviating from God’s perfect plan for us by taking the easy way. The more we take short cuts and compromise godly values for bad behavior, the more turns in our life’s path.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Daniel set an example for all of us. Daniel 1:8 records, “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself.” That’s another good verse to place on your refrigerator.

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26
Jul

THE SUNDEW

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In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the “sundew”. It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance on it. Although its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent-looking plant then feeds on its victim.

Satan doesn’t tempt us with ugly, painful things. He tempts us with lovely, exciting things and then springs his trap. Ugly and painful are the results of his snare. I lived long enough in a sinful lifestyle that I know the devastation the deceitful trap came bring. I know what being trapped feels like.

Paul said, “Your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Keep your eyes open for the trap today.

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25
Jul

THE HORSE TRADER

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There is a Jewish legend about a rabbi who went on a journey with his servant named Jacob. Their cart was drawn by a lively horse of which the rabbi was very fond. When they came to a roadside inn, the rabbi went in to rest, leaving his horse in Jacob’s care. In the meantime, a horse trader passed by and, seeing Jacob, soon made friends with him. He plied him with drink and Jacob soon was so intoxicated it was easy for the horse trader to induce him to sell him the horse for a song.

Although drunk, Jacob was frightened by what he had done. What would the rabbi say when he came out of the inn? An idea occurred to him. He placed himself between the empty shafts of the cart and started to chew hay. When the rabbi came out, he was struck speechless by what he saw. “What’s the meaning of this?” he stammered. “Where’s the horse?”

“The horse? That’s me!” replied Jacob, and he uttered a loud whinny. “What on earth are you doing?” murmured the rabbi. “Have you gone out of your mind?” “Don’t be angry with me, Rabbi,” pleaded his servant, Jacob. “Years ago a great misfortune happened to me. I was a young man then, a little wild and foolish, and, may God forgive me, I sinned with a woman. So to punish me, God turned me into a horse – your horse. For twenty long years you have been my master, Rabbi, little suspecting who I really was. Well, it seems my punishment is over. I’m again a man, praise God!”

When the Rabbi heard Jacob’s story he was amazed. However, there was the practical difficulty of how he could continue his journey without a horse, so he went into the market place to buy one. Suddenly, he stood face to face with his old horse. It was munching a wisp of hay at the horse trader’s. Going up to it with a frown, the rabbi whispered in its ear, “For goodness sake, Jacob! Again, so soon!”

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23
Jul

SUPERSTITION

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I once carried a rabbit’s foot in my pocket until it fell apart. I believed it would bring me good luck. People often have superstitions based upon nothing.

When Babe Ruth ran in from the outfield, he always stepped on second base just for luck. Willie Mays kicked it for the same reason. Manager Leo Durocher rode in the back seat of the team bus to break a losing streak. Other baseball superstitions include never changing bats after two strikes, not changing uniforms during a winning streak, tapping the plate three times with the bat, and not stepping on the foul line.

Lefty O’Doul, a pitcher for the Yankees in the 1920s, said, “It’s not that if I stepped on the foul line it would really lose the game, but why take a chance?” The statement itself reveals that Lefty had a belief down in his heart.

A line from a song on the old Hee Haw TV show said, “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all…”

Do you have a superstition that you follow? Why do you do that?

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