Archive for March, 2012



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

While vacationing in Arizona we visited Al and Jo Fair, who reside there during the winter. We visited their winter church, Calvary Chapel of Black Canyon City. They called it a “Cowboy Church”, but that was more of the local culture than anything to do with the style of worship.

This church was about 1/2 mile off I-17 in a residential area. They had one Sunday service with about 100-125 in attendance. There was a mix of all ages and they had their youth lead the worship on that particular Sunday, led by the pastor’s young adult son. They did a good job and sang songs we sing here at New Hope.

The pastor was a teaching pastor and I enjoyed his expository message. They did have a fill-in-the-blank outline but was not easy to follow because he didn’t help us with the words in the blanks.

There was one thing interesting, though. After the young people did a 15-minute worship time, a lay person give a 5-minute ‘missions minute’, and the pastor gave three community-oriented announcements, they took a break, which amounted to a ten-minute intermission. People just casually chatted with each other for a period; people greeted new-comers and hugged each other. There was no back-ground music and no sound limit, but a lot of laughter and chatter. That surprised me at first, but I saw it had become a part of their culture.

An older gentleman, perhaps 70, sat in front of me. We chatted for a while and then he said, “This is my first time here.” I saw that as an opportunity to practice what I preach back home. I commented to him about what a nice church this was and I was excited to hear the pastor’s message. Afterwards I told him that I hoped he had found a new church home. Now I’m praying for Gary.



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

You wouldn’t believe the trouble Anita and I had getting back to Indiana from Arizona! Our flight left Phoenix on schedule, but we had a one hour layover in Dallas. Storms were so severe over Dallas that they closed the airport and were not receiving flights. They diverted us to Oklahoma City where we sat on the runway for two hours. Finally they reopened the Dallas airport and we were able to proceed to that airport.

By then our flight back to Fort Wayne had been cancelled due to the storms and they had to put us up overnight in a hotel. Due to a lightning strike in Dallas the equipment used to unload luggage was out of service and our checked baggage was not accessible. So we had to wash out our underwear in the sink. Five hours later we had to get up to catch another flight out to Fort Wayne.

Life is full of interesting twists and turns. Some are good, like the really nice Embassy Suites room with breakfast buffet the airport arranged for us; and some are bad, like the flight fiasco I just described. But we’ve learned to trust God in all things. What’s the latest fiasco you’ve experienced and what good thing came out of it?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Back in the early 1990s our church was located in a land-locked building behind the library in Waterloo. We were desperate for additional parking so we purchased the old run-down house next door and demolished it. The house had once been a parsonage for the church and the water and gas lines were connected. We had to dig up the connection to the water main to disconnect it. The ground between the street and sidewalk was loose down about four feet.

One Sunday night we had a guest family come to visit. It was early spring and the ground was soft. This visiting family found an off-street spot that was open, so they pulled in and promptly sunk in to the axles. They stayed for church, then we had to help pull them out. What a mess! We were all embarrassed about that problem, but they loved at our church so much they’ve been coming every since.

Next time you see Bill & Teresea Nelson, tell them you heard they were stuck in the mud.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Martin Neimoller, a Lutheran pastor in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, summed up eloquently the final result of not getting involved. “In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time, no one was left to speak up.”

Neimoller lived to know the full import of the words Edmund Burke wrote a hundred and fifty years earlier, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for enough good men to do nothing.”

The story of the Good Samaritan teaches us a powerful lesson about the need to get involved if we are to make a difference.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Everybody’s going Green these days. What is Green, anyway? Green is the color of nature. We want to preserve nature. Its even become a political issue. Big business has for two centuries destroyed the Green in this country to provide Green in their wallets. Now that third world countries are getting into the industrial revolution, we cry ‘foul’ and try to stop them from the same wasteful practices that America has used to build our financial empire.

Saint Patrick had little to do with American Green, but we seem to celebrate this day as the wearing of the green. There will be parades and celebrations including everything from green tea to green gravy. Yet few have any idea of who Saint Patrick really was or what he accomplished.

Living in a day when the Catholic Church was the only church, St. Patrick worked within the established system and converted an entire lost culture to Christianity. He did this to fulfill a vow he had taken to honor God with his life in repayment for the deliverance he received from the very people he was determined to reach.

Saint Patrick is one of my favorite heroes of the faith. When I wear green today, I will be remembering this great saint and attempt to walk in his footsteps.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In their book On My Honor I Will, Pennington and Bockmon recount the following story:

On July 28, 1990, the Associated Press ran the following story:

“Raymond Dunn, Jr., turned 16 Tuesday, but the profoundly retarded birthday boy feasted not on cake, to which he is allergic, but on the day’s greatest gift: the bland, brown infant formula that keeps him alive.

“Gerber Products Co., which stopped making the meat-based formula in 1985, resumed production two months ago after Raymond’s doctors said that he would die without it. Gerber employees volunteered to make a batch on their own time, and on June 26 the Dunns received a two-year supply free on charge.

“Gerber says, ‘Babies are our business,’ but Raymond is their business too,” said Carol Dunn, who spent five years trying to get the company to retool for a market of one. When Gerber decided to drop the product five years ago, Mrs. Dunn was unable to find or create any substitute that did not make Raymond sick. Frantic, she hunted down every can she could find, and Gerber kept passing along its own backlog. By July 1988, Gerber ran out of MBF, leaving Raymond with less than two years’ supply.

“Supported by the State Association for Retarded Children, Mrs. Dunn begged Gerber to make more MBF and began a mail campaign asking others to pressure the company. Finally, the company’s research director consented. Meanwhile, at Gerber, volunteers in the research division put their own projects on hold, hauled out old equipment, and devoted seven thousand square feet and several days of production space and time to Raymond’s supply of MBF. It arrived in Yankee Lake (NY) in time. The Dunns had about two dozen cans of the old formula, enough to last through the end of July.”

The authors concluded, “Why would a company and its employees go to so much trouble for a market of one? The obvious answer was that they cared – really cared. To skeptics that might counter with, ‘But they got a lot of good publicity out of it!’ we respond, ‘So? What’s wrong with getting credit for a good deed?'”

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Here are three quotes regarding business we should all remember:

“I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it day by day and dream of it by night…Thinking men know that work is the salvation of the race morally, physically, socially. Work does more than get us a living; it gets us life” (Inventor and automobile tycoon Henry Ford).

“Business! Mankind should have been my business. The common welfare…charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence should have been my business” (Jacob Marley, repentant ghost in Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol).

“I must be about my Father’s business” (Jesus to His parents in Luke 2:49).

Which will be your role model?

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