Archive for July, 2011



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

When I was attending Christian Training Center in 1972/73, one of the instructors was an old (his upper 70s) country preacher named Guy Walsh. Guy was an old-fashioned Pentecostal preacher who traveled around starting tent churches in small rural communities in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He was as hillbilly as they come. He would sing with his guitar way out of tune, and always had humorous and unique ways of wording things.

He was fun to listen to, but I came to that school with very serious intentions of systematic learning. There was no system with Guy Walsh teaching. No outlines, no plan, just off the cuff. I hated his classes. I saw it as a waste of my time and money.

After the summer break, I went back for the 1973-74 school year and he was back again. But, for some strange reason, I liked him now. I really began getting something great out of his ramblings. I still refer to some of the jumbled notes I took. What had changed? It was me. Over that summer break God had apparently done some developing in my heart. I began to appreciate the wealth of practical knowledge he brought.

Guy Walsh may not have been the most interesting teacher, but he was one of the most inspiring preachers to lay a foundation in my life.

Have you ever seen God change your heart toward someone? Share that story in your comment.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Remembering

Almeda Brown passed away Tuesday. Almeda was Roc Brown’s mother and she was a Christian and ready to go.

I first saw her when Roc and I were in school together. I lived in Butler and he lived with his parents on a farm on County Road 40 in Wilmington Township. We took driver’s training together and we always drove out to the house to pick Roc up in a brand new 1963 Chevrolet. His mother would wave him off.

Almeda and her late husband, Cecil, were active members of Calvary Temple in Fort Wayne. Cecil was a committed usher. He was always helping people find a seat and serving communion and offering bags. There was no better servant that Cecil Brown. When Roc and Carolyn began attending here, it didn’t take Roc long to step into his father’s shoes as an usher.

What will you remember about Almeda Brown?



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Tonight is our church’s Annual Business Meeting, a time when we meet as a Corporate Membership to review where we’ve been and select leadership for where we are going. Business meetings are not pleasant times in most churches.

I remember a couple of years ago I was asked to chair a business meeting for a church that was between pastors. A couple of older former members who had gone on to other churches showed up to voice their gripes. They raised questions that had nothing to do with the business of the church. They questioned my motives for even being there. I’m sure they were committed Christians who were headed for heaven, but they attempted to bring great confusion to that church body. It was one of the most stressful meetings I’ve ever attended, and this was a Church! I didn’t see such disrespect when I was a Union Steward.

Years later one of the elders from that church said that I saved the church that night. I’m not sure about that, but I learned that night that sometimes God’s people are our own worst enemy.

Why do you think it is that Christians get so opinionated and spiteful when the scripture tells us to live peacefully among all men?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I’m sure you would agree with me that Macy’s Department Stores are a great success. But did you know that the founder, R. H. Macy, failed at five different professions before he finally succeeded? Mr. Macy tried his hand as a whaler, retail clerk, gold-miner, stockbroker, and real estate broker, and failed at each of these professions. Like Thomas Edison trying to discover what filament burned brightest and longest in a light bulb, Mr. Macy failed his way to success.

What sustained Mr. Macy through failure after failure? Two things: purpose and persistence. That’s what separates those who achieve from those who merely dream!

Find someone who you consider successful and ask them how they got there. I’m sure you’ll find an interesting journey of failures along the way. That’s the way God keeps us humble when we’re finally blessed.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Several years ago I went to the hospital to visit a World War II vet who had just had open-heart surgery and was very well medicated. When he saw me he said, “Preacher! Untie me.” They had his hands tied to the sides of the bed because he kept trying to pull his tubes out. He asked, “Why do they do this to me?” I replied, “Probably because you won’t be good.” He leaned back on his pillow and smiled. He knew exactly why they did that to him.

He wanted me to help him break out of there like it was a prison. Because I knew him and his often flashbacks to combat with Japanese soldiers, I just joked with him a bit, and he received it. This man knows I love and respect him, so was open to my words to him, even if they were not what he wanted to hear.

If we want to minister to the tough cases, we have to earn the right to speak into their lives. Then, when the right crisis moment comes, we’re both ready. My assignment for you this week is this: Find someone who is cold to the things of God, and begin to develop a relationship with him/her. Buy them a soda or coffee or candy bar. Give them a compliment (women appreciate compliments on how they look, men like compliments on what they do). Ask them about their hobbies or children. Don’t bring God in until they’re ready. Just earn respect by caring about them. God will do the rest in due time.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This weekend I preached on Picturing Christianity using four different word pictures used in the Bible. These word pictures help us understand the abstract concept of ‘Christianity’ and what it should look like. Are you aware of another word picture in the Bible describing our faith? There are several others. Can you pick one out?



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Yesterday Anita and I attended the funeral of an old friend, Rev. Jimmie Olinske. Pastor Olinske used to pastor in Ray, Indiana, right on the Indiana/Michigan border, and then in Marion, Indiana. He once told me there were three spellings for the European surname ‘Olinske’. Germans/Autrians spell it -ski, Russians spell it -sky, and Polish spell it -ske. Pastor Jim was Polish and he loved to tell Pollack jokes. As a matter of fact, he loved to tell any kind of joke. He just made life fun. As we passed the casket to pay our final respects, my wife commented, “Good-bye, my jolly friend”. He was always jolly.

Now, the Bible is silent on whether there is laughter and fun in heaven. Most of what we read about heaven is pretty serious stuff. But laughter and fun are a quality of the soul, and the soul is distinct from the body. Since Pastor Jim’s soul is in heaven with Jesus, I’m convinced there will be laughter in heaven with Pastor Jim there.

What do you think about it? Do you think there will be laughter in heaven? Why or why not?

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