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

Posts Tagged ‘priorities’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Several days ago I received an email from a person who was looking for a new church and considering visiting New Hope. Her primary concern was how we dressed at New Hope. I assured her we dress casual but have a few who still dress semi-formal on Sundays. I thought it might be appropriate if I spelled out some things she should look for when checking out churches (more important than the dress code). Here is the checklist I gave her. How would you evaluate New Hope based on these:

  • Does the worship draw you into a closer walk with God?
  • Does the church membership have a broad mix of demographics (age, race, socio-economics, etc)?
  • Does the message challenge you to go beyond your present limits in faith?
  • Does the church use relevant methods to communicate?
  • Do you feel “life” in the church or has it felt like a funeral home visit?
  • Is there a focus on children’s ministries (an essential for reaching young adults)?
  • Does the church talk about Jesus as our only hope?
  • Does the church emphasize the Bible as the Word of God?

These are things that should be evident to anyone visiting for the first time. We may not be the best at these things, but they should be a measuring gauge for us in being the church Jesus called us to be.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Servants of God need to learn to focus upon Him. We must daily seek God’s face. A man came upon three boys playing in the snow. He came up to them and asked, “Would you like to try a race and the winner wins a dollar?”

The boys said, “Yes,” and the man told them the race would be different. He said, “I will go to the other side of the field, and when I give you the signal, you start to run. The one whose footsteps are straightest in the snow will be the winner.”

So the race started, and the first boy watched his feet to make sure he was running as straight as possible. The second lad did the same. He watched his feet. The third boy, however, did something different. He ran with his eyes steadfastly fixed on the man at the other side of the field, and he won! Because he had kept his eyes on the goal ahead of him, his footsteps were straight in the snow, and he won the dollar.

Let’s concentrate on God and keep our eyes fixed on Him. He’s the only one who knows where we’re going.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Do you know why animal trainers carry a stool or a chair when they get into a cage of lions? They have a whip, of course, and a pistol at their sides, but have you ever wondered about that stool? Well, to the lion tamer the stool is the most important piece of equipment. When the lion tamer holds the seat of the stool and thrusts the stool’s legs at the lion, the lion focuses on all four legs at once. And, in the attempt to focus on all four, a kind of paralysis overwhelms the animal; it becomes weak and disabled because its attention is fragmented.

Jesus told us to “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.” If we will concentrate on that one thing, all the other things will fall into place in our lives.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

A guy named Bob received a free ticket to the Superbowl from his company. About halfway through the first quarter, Bob noticed a better seat 10 rows off the field right on the 50 yard line. He decided to take a chance and made his way through the stadium and around the security guards to the empty seat.

As he sat down, he asked the gentleman sitting next to him, “Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?” The man replied, “No.”

Now, very excited to be in such a great seat for the game, Bob again inquired of the man next to him, “This is incredible! Who in their right mind would have a seat like this at the Superbowl and not use it?” The man replied, “Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Superbowl we haven’t been to together since we got married in 1967.”

“Well, that’s really sad,” said Bob, “but still, couldn’t you find someone to take the seat? A relative or a close friend?”

“No,” the man replied, “they’re all at the funeral.”

I talked with a young man this week who told me the reason he didn’t go to church was because someone sent him an unsigned note from his old church saying that he should better control his children. So he quit going, blaming the church for being judgmental. I asked him how he was going to help change that situation from outside. We sometimes get our priorities backwards.

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The story is told of Sherlock Holmes and Watson who were camping in the forest. They had gone to bed and were lying beneath the night sky. Holmes said, “Watson, look up. What do you see?”

“I see thousands of stars.”

“And what does that mean to you?” Holmes asked.

“I suppose it means that of all the planets in the universe, we are truly fortunate to be here on Earth. We are small in God’s eyes, but should struggle every day to be worthy of our blessings. In a meteorological sense, it means we’ll have a sunny day tomorrow. What does it mean to you, Holmes?”

“My dear Watson, it means someone has stolen our tent!”

Some people get so caught up in the minor things in life that they miss the major thing. What is the major thing for you right now?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Family Values

What would you do for $111,000? Back in 1993 Houston Oilers football player David Williams missed a big game and was docked that amount. What was the big deal? His wife had given birth to their first son, Scot, and David stayed with her through the whole experience. His coach objected and critics said the team should have sent a jet to pick him up for the big game, but Williams thought it was important to stay by his wife.

If David Williams continues to demonstrate this kind of commitment to his family, then Scot too is likely to see the importance of right priorities. In my years of ministry, I have seen many situations when men put their jobs before their children, only to see them rebel against the faith later.

I remember one evening after dinner I was sitting in front of the TV with my young daughter on my lap. I announced that I had to go back to the church for a meeting and she asked why. I told her that I was a pastor and people in the church had to work, and if I wanted to meet with them I needed to go in the evening. In disgust she replied, “I wish you weren’t a preacher!”

That night challenged me. From then on I made every effort to spend more evening time with my family.

God said, “You shall teach these words diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:7).

Would you sacrifice $111,000 for your family?

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   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

I start a two-week vacation in one week.  My schedule is crazy next week, so I had to put my nose to the grindstone this week to get prepared for my two-week absence.  Its amazing how much work can get done when we’re under pressure.  Someone said that the most productive work day of the year is the last day before vacation.

Why do we allow so many other non-essentials to take up our time, but when we’re forced to action, the priorities rule?  Perhaps its a discipline issue.  Here are some suggestions for getting the priorities done:

1) Determine what your priorities are.  What has to be done today, what can wait until tomorrow, and what can really wait until next week, and then work on them in that order.

2) Delegate what someone else can do.  You need to do what only you can do, and ask for help in areas where others can help.

3) Don’t allow non-priorities like a phone call or email to side-track you from your priorities.  Return those calls and emails when they fit your schedule, not the other way around.

4) Don’t become bogged down by the process.  Some of us are good leaders but bad managers.  The task ahead looks overwhelming so we don’t know where to start.  Solicit help on the how-to if that’s your problem.  Some people excel at the process.

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