The Big Diehl

{blog of adam}

31 Aug

I Want to Get Wasted.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God on 08-31-08

Recently I’ve been extremely busy. Now let me reiterate that … extremely busy. When I get stressed like that, I tend to do a hard shift to “Control Country” when it comes to my life and I get tunnel focus. Seriously – if it doesn’t help me accomplish something on my calendar or to-do list, I don’t do it. I’m not saying that’s good – I’m just saying that’s what I do. When this goes on for several days it gets to an unhealthy state… I start thinking things like… (I’m not even joking here…):

“I don’t have time to eat a meal — that’s time wasted.”

“I’ve needed to use the bathroom for 2 hours, but I can finish these three other things before I take that break. Urinating wouldn’t be the most productive use of my time – it’d be time wasted.”

“24 hours in a day – I’ll spend 8 at my office and 10 working at home. I can relax with the remaining 6 hours.”

Obviously with this pattern, it would be easy for me to have this “wasted time” mentality when it comes to my God time as well. But that’s the worst thing I could do. In the stressful times is when I need the God time the MOST.

So last Friday night God was dealing with me about this, and I just came to the conclusion that if my “God time” was wasted time, then I want to get wasted. I want to absolutely ruin and waste my life if that’s the case. All the stuff that’s “me” can be ruined and wasted if it means being closer to Jesus. I love Jesus.

Immediately after that moment, I started shouting out my prayer and promise to God. Then I began spontaneously singing it to a melody that I had actually written 8 months ago.

I want to be wasting my life seeking You. I won’t let anybody get in my way of reaching You. I want to be wasting my life finding You. And I won’t let the devil get my focus away from You.

It took me several hours figuring out how to use my new recording equipment, but I used this song to experiment with the features. I’m posting the whole deal… including a long and snazzy hip-hop keyboard solo and some very out-of-tune background vocals (sorry…). There’s some rough spots, but give me a break its the first thing I’ve ever done on my new equipment. Give it a listen, click here.

Lyrics and Recording are copyright Adam Diehl 2008…. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! :D

2 Comments »

25 Jul

The Great Treasure Hunt.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God on 07-25-08

Two years ago I talked about playing hide and seek with God. I want to add a little more emphasis on our need to take initiative and go find him. Proverbs 25:2 says,

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

I love this verse; I can’t think of a better sentence to describe our relationship with God. The contrast is totally killer. God likes to hide from us, he actually HIDES. He doesn’t hide so hard we can’t find him, but he hides enough that we have to search for him.

Gosh, I’m such an idiot sometimes. If I need guidance or direction from the Holy Spirit I will ask him for help, and then immediately crowd my life so full of distraction (usually more work) that I wouldn’t be able to hear God if he was standing in front of me with a bullhorn. I ask God for help, but I don’t listen for His voice and I immediately start worrying about it. It’s like I expect God to physically slap me on the back of the head and say, “ADAM, I WANT YOU TO …”

That’s such a disappointment! It’s God’s glory to hide. But its our glory to search for Him.

2 Comments »

02 Apr

‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple

Posted in Book of Acts Church, Devotional Blog, Finding God on 04-02-08

If you read about the early church in the Book of Acts, you will see a drastic difference between today’s Christianity and the church described in the Book of Acts. Extraordinary events today were ordinary for first century Christians: healing, dead being raised to life, hundreds coming to Christ every day, miracle after miracle after miracle. So I dug into the Book of Acts to answer this question, “What did the early Church do that Christians today are not doing?” This post is a part of a series of posts that aim to answer this question.

Let this video play while you are reading this post:

In 1864, Elder Joseph wrote this song, “Simple Gifts” while living in a Shaker Community:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

The concept of living simply is clearly rooted in the early church in the book of Acts. Check these references from Acts. The early church lived a simple life in order to help others. There are two areas where I think we are too complicated.

Firstly, our finances are too complicated. We have far more things than we have any use for. Do we really need extra vehicles? How many T.V.’s do we actually need? Now I’m not trying to shake a finger and claim that we should live in poverty. If you are financially blessed, be blessed, but remember that you are blessed to be a blessing.

Secondly, our minds are too complicated. We need to shut up and listen more. I wrote about that a couple years ago.

Spend a couple minutes meditating on the words of “Simple Gifts” and/or the scriptures listed behind the reference link above (feel free to check the contexts). Ask God how he may want you to live more simply in order to help the Church.

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24 Mar

Struggles.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God on 03-24-08

If you’re not struggling with sin, you’re probably not much of a Christian.

This statement popped in my head a couple weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about ever since. I have no idea where this quote came from or even if I thought it up myself, I can’t remember. When I first heard it, I immediately disagreed and began trying to disprove it because it didn’t make me feel good. It was, however, intriguing enough that I thought about it and considered what truth there might be to the statement. After thinking about it, I completely agree. This is a very true statement. Let me explain:

All have sinned, right? That means we all have a sinful nature. Those who have accepted Jesus also have a Godly nature. Paul talks about this battle of two natures in Romans 7:14-20. So considering this conflict of man, having sin in our lives is a given (unless certain parts of the Bible don’t apply to you :) ). So if you’re not struggling with sin, then you’re just living with it — you’re not much of a Christian. …ouch.

So, it’s good for Christians to be struggling with sin. Is it messy? Oh yes, its very messy. But messes aren’t bad – its sort of like poop.

Now this got me really thinking. Have you ever been in a church when there is an altar call for people who want to re-dedicate their lives to Christ? I’ve often seen very few people respond to these. I think a lot of people are thinking, “Oh, that’s not for me – I’m not that bad.” Or maybe a huge hunk of people are thinking, “Nope. I’m not struggling with a sin right now.” Well . . . they should read this blog post, I guess.

I’m not trying to change altar calls nor am I saying they’re bad — those altar calls for re-dedications often are targeted towards those who have been running away from God. But if healthy Christians are supposed to be struggling with sin, shouldn’t each of us respond to our own daily re-dedication altar calls in our hearts?

Reader, can I challenge you? Is your sin a struggle or merely an annoyance to you? Do you even recognize your sin or have you been like those in the Laodician church and ignore its existence entirely? I’m not necessarily asking you to respond to these questions in the comments below, but I do ask that you respond to these questions in prayer. Think about it.

5 Comments »

01 Feb

My Gray Hairs Are Gone. Seriously.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God, Stuff About Me. on 02-01-08

My second year of college was the busiest year of my life. I was a full time university student studying music (which meant a lot of practice time). I led and directed a midweek evangelistic children’s program at my church. I worked a significant amount empowering the worship teams and choirs to serve more effectively. I took Bible college courses in the evenings. I had never been so stressed in all my life. I actually wrote out my schedule to help me organize my time and realized that I had a grand total of something like 4 hours PER WEEK of non-committed time. That means for every week, I had a grand total of 4 hours to hang with friends, watch T.V., take showers, or just whatever I wanted to do. I was about that busy all four years of college, but my second year was the worst. It nearly killed me.

During that crazy busy time, I grew 3 gray hairs. I knew exactly what they were from: stress.

Yesterday when I was getting ready in the bathroom, I realized that my gray hairs were gone. (Don’t even start with the, “You’re going bald” crap. I’m not going bald – the gray hairs are gone). It was quite cool – I mean do I have less stress? Maybe. But more than that, I think I’m handling the high levels of mental stress much better now that I’m doing a better job at living a LIFE of renewal.

Now of course I’m not equating no gray hairs with good spirituality. That’s not the point. I’m talking about what the gray hairs represented in my life. Good spirituality will eliminate the “gray hairs” (ignored stress). “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” That means if we’re spending time with God, eagerly anticipating Him, our strength will be RENEWED. We’ve heard that scripture in Isiah a million times, but seldom do we live like it.

When crazy busy times come our way, I think we go into a “focus” mode and we only do the things that MUST be done — which ignores our time with God. That thinking is killing Christians! When we have more work to do than ever before, we should pray twice as much! God will make up the difference, he never lies: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”

2 Comments »

17 Jan

The Spiritual Microscope.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God on 01-17-08

The apostle Paul called himself the “worst of sinners.” I always wondered about that. I mean, this is the Apostle Paul! This is the guy that historically had the largest effect on Christianity, next to Jesus of course. If anyone has ever been CLOSE to God, its the Apostle Paul — yet he calls himself the WORST of sinners. Why?

I think back to 9th grade Biology class. One of my favorite things was working with a microscope in the labs. Maybe I’m a geek – but I still remember the time I looked at a celery cell. The microscope had three different lenses that increased in power. With the first lens, we could see a large group of the individual cells. When we turned up the power to the second lens, we could see three or four cells, and some of the stuff on the inside. When we turned up the power to the highest level, we could see the details of one individual cell. We could see the mitochondria, the lysosome, cell wall, everything (I didn’t even google that stuff, I still remember it!).

When we get close to God, its like we turn up the power on the spiritual microscope and we can see what we couldn’t see before. I think the closer we get to God, the more we see our own sin. This happens to me, but it also explains why the Apostle Paul called himself the WORST of sinners. It wasn’t that he sinned more than anyone else, it was that he could see better. It also indicates his humility.

Do you struggle with your sin? (That’s rhetorical!). My bet is that you say “yes, of course I struggle.” But please press further before simply passing this off as an irrelevant blog post:

Do you truly STRUGGLE with your sin or do you just feel bad about it?

That’s a really introspective question. Go ahead and think about it. No really – think about it. I’m going to wait.

.

.

.

I think most of the Christians in America, especially the Midwest region, just feel bad about their sin – they aren’t struggling – they are not OVERCOMERS. I think most Christians couldn’t make a list of the sins they are struggling with because they’re not struggling at all – they think they have everything under control but they don’t realize they have nothing. It’s not until they are close to God when they will see clearly through a higher powered lens in the spiritual microscope.

That is the description of the Church in Laodecia that is talked about in Revelation 3. The very nature of this sin is that you don’t realize there is even a problem… it’s a “slow and subtle fade” away from your relationship with Christ. It’s self-deception. I encourage you to ask God to show you if you fit into this “lukewarm Christianity” described in Revelation 3. I wrote more about it here.

7 Comments »

15 Jan

Christianity is a Crutch.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God on 01-15-08

I’ve heard the quote by Jessie Ventura (I think) that is supposed to be a slam on Christianity, “Religion is nothing but a crutch for the weak minded.”

Although I don’t agree with the “weak minded” bit, I think Jessie is right. That’s exactly what Christianity is. I can’t get to heaven on my own. I can’t live life successfully on my own. I can’t find God on my own. I need help – I need Jesus. I need a crutch.

Allen Hood took this to a more spiritual level when he said, “I want to know what its like to access power when I have no more.” That’s so good it could be a blog all its own:

I WANT TO KNOW WHAT ITS LIKE TO ACCESS POWER WHEN I HAVE NO MORE.

2 Comments »

14 Jan

Spiritual Fervor – What Spiritual Fervor?

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God, Stuff About Me. on 01-14-08

Never be lacking in zeal, but always keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. This is Romans 12:11.

I used to think that I had spiritual fervor, but in reality I had none. It’s not that I was attempting to fool anyone about my spiritual fervor: the only person I was fooling was MYSELF. I genuinely thought I had spiritual fervor.

The deal was that I wasn’t passionate for “the world” nor was I passionate for God. God would rather that I have no relationship with Him at all than for me to just be wishy washy like I was. Wishy washy makes God want to vomit, and it certainly won’t get me to heaven. I had the attitude that because I served God so much and since I’ve personally led hundreds through a sinner’s prayer, (and so on and so on), then I don’t need anything else — but I didn’t realize that I was wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I needed to CONTINUOUSLY RENEW my relationship with God — because when I’m truly plugged into The Power Source, I become rich, clothed, and my eyes become open. (Revelation 3:15-18, Adam Diehl Version).

Most of the people reading this right now probably fit into this category. You can’t talk about maintaining spiritual fervor because there is none to maintain . . . you think there is, but there’s not. Most of the people reading this right now just thought to themselves, “Oh, well that’s not me that’s someone else.” And that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

I plead with you – read Revelation 3:14-22. Then read it again, asking God to show you how and if you fit into the description of this Church.

2 Comments »

08 Jan

Another Great Thought.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God, Stuff About Me. on 01-08-08

“Do you really think God will reveal himself to you when you haven’t bothered to search for Him?”

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28 Dec

Airport Terminals.

Posted in Devotional Blog, Finding God, Stuff About Me. on 12-28-07

My previous post was about the need to live a life of a crescendo – never be lacking in zeal but always holding your spiritual fervor. If you’ve been a Christian longer than 7 days, you probably know that keeping your spiritual fervor is easier said than done. Today I want to present an idea of how to keep living with zeal and spiritual fervor for a lifetime.

Have you ever noticed that airport terminals have a lot of chairs? What are those chairs for? –they’re for waiting. I am on my way to a conference this morning and my flight was canceled. I was put to a later flight to the same city. So here I am — sitting in an airport terminal. In the chairs. Waiting.

***

If we want to live a life of continual zeal for God, we must live a life of consistent spiritual renewal. Oh, how I wish that God would have told us how to live a life of consistent spiritual renewal! Oh wait, he did. Check it out, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Is. 40:31). The NIV says that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” After looking up the original language, I think a great translation would be, “Those that earnestly seek after God will renew their strength.”

Do you want to maintain a high level of zeal and fervor for Christ your entire life? That’s the secret – seek Him. Wait for Him. Expect Him.

***

It’s really annoying to have to wait for this next flight. I’m waiting for my flight and I’m hoping and trusting it will depart timely. But after the waiting – I know I’m going to get on my flight. The Good Thing can only come after the wait — the hoping — the seeking.

3 Comments »