Archive for August, 2013

23
Aug

TWO TREES

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

This spring I transplanted two young trees into my backyard. The first was a maple tree and the second was an oak. Both were about 2-3 years old and came from identical pots. The trunk and leaves of the two trees have their own distinctives, but are in many ways similar. But it was the root system that was dramatically different.

The maple tree sent roots downward and outward, so that the roots were all over the pot, making it easy to transplant, because all the soil stayed attached to the root network. But, when I attempted to transplant the oak tree, there was one long taproot that went straight to the bottom of the pot and then snaked its way around the bottom. All the soil fell away, so I quickly had to cover the roots and soak the new soil with water. Both are growing nicely.

Are your faith roots shallow or are they deep? Shallow roots will not sustain us when the storms come. But deep roots won’t let go. Maple trees will uproot in a strong wind, but an oak will snap before its uprooted because of the depth of its roots. The longer I serve Him the deeper the roots go.

22
Aug

BECOMING A MEMBER

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

On September 7 & 8 we will begin another New Members Class at New Hope. These classes will last 6 weeks, meeting on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, whichever fits your schedule. Understanding what our church is all about is a requirement for being a member. Being a member is a requirement for any leadership role.

Local church membership is not taught in the Bible, but it is just common sense to limit decision-making to people who are committed to the local church. You must be at least 16 years of age to become a member of New Hope Christian Center. You can enroll in the New Members Class this coming weekend. And I hope you do just that, because I’ll be teaching the first lesson and will share my personal testimony of how I came to Christ.

 

21
Aug

NEW HOPE’S YOUTH VISION

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

New Hope is so blessed to have Matt Lehmann working with our volunteer youth ministry staff to develop a ministry plan for the teenagers in our church. We have decided to pursue two ministry goals at the same time. To do that we’ve got to expand our youth community to include every teenager in our church. No one left behind.

We want to develop a strong evangelism effort for Wednesday night. To do this we are busing in teenagers (along with grade school students) from Waterloo and Corunna and will focus on early spiritual development and seeing solid decisions for Christ.

At the same time we are developing a discipleship community of the more spiritually mature teenagers to help them target their youthful energies in productive ministry ways. This will mean they take more of a lead in the Wednesday night evangelism effort.

Pray for Matt as he leads these volunteer leaders, pray for the volunteers who are stepping out into adventurous territory, and pray for a revival among the teenagers God will send our way.

20
Aug

MISSION TRIPS

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Having Dr. Paul & Eileen Allyn with us this past weekend brought back a lot of memories. On my first visit to the Dominican Republic we swam in a large swimming pool on the campground that was heavily chlorinated. Out of the pool crawled a 1 1/2″ long bloodsucker, white as a sheet. On another trip we got cussed out (in Spanish) by a homeowner who was angry I was preaching on his front lawn. His wife was a Christian and had invited us, but he came home drunk. I learned to keep my cool.

Leading several teams of up to 20 people, I had some of those panic moments where I had to make quick decisions that could have left part of the team behind in airports. I remember when Wendell Bell lost his passport in Miami while we were boarding our plane, and when the airlines lost my luggage and I had to speak to a large group of pastors in a pair of Dr. Allyn’s surgical scrubs.

I remember seeing rats run along the rafters in my room and being awakened bright and early by a rooster’s crow just out my window. We nearly lost a bus load of people on one trip when the brakes failed on a steep mountain road. Thank God for a second bus who sideswiped (literally) the first bus to keep it from going over a 1,000 foot embankment. These are adventures I will cherish all my days. Anyone else up for an adventure?

19
Aug

CHEESEBURGER FESTIVAL

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Last week Anita and I were on vacation. We stayed at Saginaw, and drove around “the thumb” of Michigan twice. There is a small town on the Lake Huron coast called Caseville. We wanted to check out a couple of cabins that our friends Steve and Lana Bach rent out as we passed through town. To our surprise Caseville was having its annual festival, the Cheeseburger Festival. There were all types of “flea market” type tents sent up, and about twenty places all selling various cheesburgers, all vying for the town’s highest award. You can guess what we ate while there. Plus Anita bought a purse and we both purchased some new sun glasses.

At Caseville there is a pier that extends quite a ways out into the bay. Steve and Lana told us sunsets were beautiful off the end of that pier. So we stayed quite a while waiting to see the sunset. Finally a big rain cloud rolled in and blocked the view of the sunset, so we left disappointed.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, his disciples, along with about 500 others, were standing there gazing up into heaven. Two angels appeared and asked, “Why do you stand gazing up into heaven?” (Acts 1:11). There is work to do before His return, and we must get ‘er done.

17
Aug

COFFEE SWEETENER

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Friday night our family came over to celebrate my birthday. We ate outside on the deck, and then went inside for gift opening and a game together. Adam had a cup of coffee sitting on the coffee table and little 2-year old Ruby came and learned over it. She said, “Hot, hot!” Adam replied, “Yes, that’s hot, be careful”. She proceeded to blow on it a couple of times as she’s seen her mother do.

About the third blow she drooled a long slobber into the coffee cup. I’m sure she never understood what she did but it was the best laugh of the day for me.

And Jesus said to them, ‘Yea: have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings you have perfected praise’?” Kids teach us simple truths, like, blow on your own coffee cup.

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16
Aug

SPIRITUAL MAINTENANCE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Yesterday was a work day around the house. I mowed the lawn, overhauled the gas grill, staked a couple of new trees I planted, changed tubes in my garage fluorescent lights, cleaned out the cat box, sprayed weeds, vacuumed out both cars, and put up the Tiki torches on the deck to chase away mosquitoes. It was a work day and I scratched off quite a few things from theĀ  old honey-do list.

Things just don’t take care of themselves. Everything needs maintenance to keep going. Without some preventive care, nothing would keep functioning. Its like that with our spiritual lives, as well. If we don’t keep being refilled with God’s Spirit, we run out of the supply and dry up.

Although Anita and I spent a week of our vacation touring the “thumb” of Michigan, we also need to take care of business at home, as well. Be sure to take care of your spiritual maintenance, as well.