God Has Feelings.

This evening, I had just poured hot water over some Green Tea to sip as I wound down and read in preparation for a good night’s sleep. As I left my tea on my kitchen counter to cool, I decided to take the trash and recycling to the end of my driveway for the pickup in the morning. I left my kitchen, went into the garage, and opened the garage door leading to the driveway. Right as I opened my garage door, I turned around and noticed that I had not pushed my kitchen door all the way shut and my 87 pound Akita had gotten loose and RAN FOR IT.

She was gone! My dog never goes far – but she is very fast and she won’t let anyone catch her until she’s tired. Nevertheless, I felt like I needed to try.

I was really frustrated when my dog took off. I had other, more relaxing plans for the evening! I went inside to get a leash and flashlight and I felt something stirring inside me. I stopped for a moment and said, “God, is there something you’re trying to show me in this?”

Without hesitation I heard the Holy Spirit say back in my heart, “Yea. You’re just as stupid as your dog sometimes.” (I don’t think God will call everyone “stupid” — but He will speak in terms that you can understand; hence “stupid.”)

I’m just as stupid as my dog sometimes? …

My dog had to have it’s fun. It had to run away from what was “right” and there was nothing I could do about it. I’m just as stupid every time I fall into sin.

Furthermore, I know that the worst thing that I could do to get my dog to come back to me is to yell at it and tell it how bad she is. I love that dog, and I want her to COME to me. So when she finally did, I did not yell but I gave my dog a hug instead. That wasn’t just correct training – that was how I actually felt. I was thrilled to have my dog back. Jesus feels the same way when we decide to stop “being stupid.”


As I trekked through my neighborhood this evening I pondered what else God might be saying. I was reminded of the verse in Ephesians 4:30a, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.” I love the way TheMessage puts it:

Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

My Advice to Anyone Communicating Anything.

A little known fact about me: I love the study of communication! I actually have a minor in communication – well not technically, but I have the education required to have gotten a minor in communication. This post is written to everyone who has something to say to other people. Whether your medium is twitter, blogs, books, music, print material, images, videos, public speaking, broadcast, or WHATEVER — if you feel like you have something worth saying, this post is for you. In this post, when I refer to “message,” I’m talking about whatever it is that you have to say. It may be “why people should donate to your group” or “why we should buy your product.” For many of us, our “message” is the life changing message of Jesus, which is why this is so important to me.

Myth: As long as I get my valuable message “out there” (typed, posted, mailed, published, whatever), it doesn’t matter how excellent it is. The people who want to hear my message will find my message and will diligently work to understand it regardless of the excellence.

This is absolute bull – at least for our fast-paced consumeristic society. If you remember one thing in this post, remember this: DETAILS MATTER! Let me prove it.

Do you live by the above myth? I doubt it. In fact, I bet that several of you have already scrolled down to see how long this post actually is to decide if you want to keep reading (keep going, it could change your life). Consider this example: if you find two websites or books with the same information – but one looks janky and the other looks professional, which one will you choose? Obviously, you’ll choose the more professional looking one (even if the janky one has BETTER information or service, you’ll never know it). The truth is, in our society, we do judge a book by its cover. We just DO. You can deny it and fight it all you want – but it’s the truth and until you accept it your effectiveness as a communicator will be hindered. This “details matter” philosophy trickles down into everything. Let me give a few examples, only some of which are hypothetical:

To the musician: So you think you have an important message or feeling to share through the art of music? Great, but remember that your excellence matters. Your lyrics could very well be life-altering, but if you sing out of tune the whole time or have a lousy mix, I’m going to stop listening. I will never get to your message unless you package it with excellence. (This is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THING than singing worship to God; that’s not what I’m talking about).

To the wordsmith: If you can’t bother to proof-read your message to ensure that you’ve fixed blatant typos (“Your” welcome to attend . . . ), undefined acronyms, insensitive colloquialisms, and major spelling errors (“chruch”) — DON’T BOTHER SENDING IT. Your message may very well be important, but in our world, people aren’t going to read past your laziness. Of course we all make mistakes like a misplaced comma or something, but I’m surprised at how often I see an OBVIOUS mistake. Sometimes I want to say, “Did you even read what you wrote?” Author, if you don’t bother to read what you wrote – why should I?

I have a brilliant friend who had written a great message in a word processing program. When he posts in Facebook, however, the line returns get all screwed up and he can’t seem to get it right (not his fault). He expressed his frustration with this malfunction and one of his subscribers said, “Don’t worry about how the page is set up. If someone is truly interested in the message, the set up makes no difference.” I disagree. If you have an important message, do you only want those who are willing to “suffer through” your message to hear it? Or do you want to make your message so clear, precise, and captivating that anyone who reads the first paragraph stays interested? Kudos to my friend for caring about the details.

To the videographer/vlogger: I’m going to be honest about myself here, but I doubt I’m the only one who feels this way. When I click “play” to watch your video, the FIRST thing I look at is the length of the video. If its longer than 60 seconds, I’ll give you about 15 seconds to spark my interest before I stop watching. The exception is if I have a reason to be watching it.

Also, if you ever export your final video without watching what you’ve done to see how it communicates to you, you are being lazy. I’ve seen some horrendous transitions and some massive spelling errors that make me want to say to the creator, “Did you even watch what you did?” If you’re not willing to, why should I?

Concluding Thoughts
If you put together your message but do not even give consideration for your “audience’s” experience, stop wasting your time. Just because you “got your message out there” does not mean that anyone cares, or even that anyone will receive it. Face it – we are a shallow people who never get past the “cover” of a book without a judgment.

Should it be that way? No, of course not. But it is. That’s just reality, unfortunate as it is. Until you accept that, your communication will be hindered. With the massive influx of information, only the best presented will be looked at (we can’t read everything!)

Having a good message is only step one. Step two is “sending” your message. Do it with excellence. Be proud of the way you communicate. Try to eliminate errors. Do your best to make sure your message is easily understood (not confusing). Do not assume people are LOOKING to hear what you have to say, demonstrate to them why your message is important. In other words, take your message to your audience in a way that is easy for them to get and is attractive. If you spend 30 minutes putting your “message” together, you probably need to spend double that making sure it’s packaged effectively.

By the way, before this post went live I personally reviewed and edited it 11 times, not to mention having someone else review it. When I read what I wrote, I often saw an error or a better way to communicate my idea. When I changed something – I always reviewed it again until there were no more changes to be made. I wrote this in about an hour, but I spent at least two making sure it was excellent. I worked until I was proud of what I had done.

John Mayer Once Said, “I just keep . . .”


Although waiting can be one of the more difficult aspects of the Christian life, it is not wasted time. During periods of active waiting, the Lord may give us instruction or change our circumstances. He keeps us in step with Himself and prepares us for His answers. He uses delays to sift our motives and strengthen our faith. And when we choose to wait, God rewards us with blessings both large and unexpected.

-Unknown (to me) source

I don’t have much commentary on this one – I just thought it was great, never wanted to forget it, and thought you might enjoy it, too.

Getting Stuck in the Snow Sucks.

Three months ago I made the conscious decision to not replace my somewhat balding tires on my SUV. I knew I would make it through the winter, but it wouldn’t be ideal conditions.

Tonight I got stuck in the snow . . .
. . . while trying to pull someone else out of the snow.

I had a friend with an SUV who was able to pull both of us out. His tires were just as wide as mine, but there was far more traction. He pulled us both out NO PROBLEM.

As I drove away, I was kicking myself for not getting new tires three months ago. I was cutting corners, and totally regretted it.

That got me thinking – don’t we do the same thing with our spirituality?

It’s like when things start sucking in our life we’ll turn to God and spend time getting to know Him (reading the Bible, praying, etc.). But until then, we’ll ignore Him. Of course we don’t say that, but come on – we both know its true.

Wouldn’t it be smarter to maintain our spirits on a regular basis so that when person crisis hit, our spirits are ready to handle it? I wrote about how to do that here.

The Sabbath and Emmy Rossum!

Mondays are my day off. It’s my sabbath. It’s my time to recharge, detach, become renewed, and appreciate God. Most of us have this on Sundays – but for a pastor, Sunday is no sabbath.

So I came into Starbucks this afternoon for a few minutes – mostly just to do some online bill pay stuff and have a drink. It’s enjoyable here, you know. 😀

When I walked in I saw my friend David Foster. He’s one of the pastors at Dayspring Community Church here in Auburn. We spoke briefly, and then continued about our personal business. About four minutes later I saw an email from David Foster, sent three minutes earlier. It simply read, “Sup dawg?”

I looked at him and said, “Did you JUST email me?”

He smiled and said, “Yep.”

Naturally, I laughed.

But then he continued, “The real question is why are you checking your work email on a Monday? Come on man, detach.”


Thanks David.

Remember the Sabbath isn’t just about not working – its about what happens to us when we stop.

Resource(s) of the Day:
This is a spectacular book about the Sabbath. It really helped me.
This is a pretty cool song about the Sabbath… well, kind of. (Emmy Rossum, “Slow Me Down”).


I once heard a story about a pastor of a little back-woods church who preached a message about how EVIL all war was. (This is not a political story – so stop thinking that way). The pastor went on and on condemning military soldiers for being involved with war and killing others, etc. etc. In his congregation was a United States Army Captain, who was visiting and just finished leading a battle. The congregation expected the Captain to stand up and “correct” the pastor. In fact, the pastor expected the captain to stand up and correct him. But the captain never did. He remained sitting quietly in the church. Never objected.

After the service, the pastor greeted the Captain and asked, “I know how strongly you disagreed with what I preached today. I’m wondering why you didn’t stand up and say something?” The captain replied, “Because six years ago, when my wife was dying of cancer in the middle of the night, you came over and stayed bedside all night long.”

I just experienced a similar situation that proved the lesson from this story. How I wish I could share it with you! (I would be betraying confidence).

I have always believed it, and acted on it. But now I’ve seen it.

Some people will never trust or respect us until they know how much we care.

They’re never going to know how much we care until we show them. And prove it.

That takes time.

What President Obama Ruined

There’s a song written by Bruce Hornsby (who does a better version of it) and made famous by Tupac. Hornsby calls it “the way it is” and Tupac called it “Changes.” The song is all about racial tension claiming in the chorus, “That’s just the way it is. Some things are never gonna change.”

Yea. Obama ruined this song.

Word Up.

I just wanted to touch base with everyone about the past few days of my life. I’ve been in Indianapolis (still am) for a worship convention. It has been fantastic.

Just imagine, if you get several hundred worship leaders in a room and want to lead them in worship — you can expect the worship leaders are TOP NOTCH (although they wouldn’t need to be – I mean the worship leaders should be okay with a vocalist and a kazoo… if you’re too big to be led you’re too small to lead). They have a few worship leaders here that I’ve never heard of – Joel Auge (from Canada) and Mia Fieldes (from Hillsong). There was also the guys at Lakeview Church in Indy (Eric Cooper and Nathan LaGrange), and Ross Parsley and Jared Anderson from New Life Church in Colorado Springs. All of their ministries were top notch. Mia Fildes blew my socks off; her voice is spectacular. If you’re in my worship team you can expect to see some chord charts with her name at the top. 🙂

This is a worship conference by Integrity Media. Integrity is unique because they have.. integrity. They’re the only Chrisitan music supplier that’s not owned by a secular company. I’ve been told by several people that they aren’t out to “sell me stuff,” they want to “resource me.” That’s exactly how I’ve seen it as well. Another thing that sets them apart is that they don’t generate new worship “artists.” They aren’t a label that looks for the greatest band … they’re a label that searches for churches that have got “it” going on, and then network with them. I just love Integrity. (Attention Integrity Staff: if you send me free stuff, I’d be happy to write more blogs about how great you are… HA!!)

I’ve been greatly challenged at this conference. When I came down here I was more-or-less “vision-less.” I searched and prayed, but I couldn’t see where the worship in my church was going anymore. I seemed to have ran out of this leadership fuel about 2 weeks ago. But like I said, I’ve been greatly challenged.

I’ve been thinking about a lot of different things regarding worship at New Hope. Some of them weird and diverse. I’ve got so much to think and pray about.

I’m Sick…

Okay so once in awhile I’m allowed a good rant, aren’t I? This is my ranting blog… discussing things I’m really sick of.

I’m sick of people assuming I’m Republican simply because I’m a Christian. Granted, I tend to agree more with the Republican platform but being a Christian is not the reason.

I’m sick of people assuming I hate Liberals simply because I’m a Christian. No joke – I went up to a family at a restaurant a few weeks ago because the entire family looked really familiar, I thought I graduated high school with one of the children. They asked me where I worked and when I identified myself as a Pastor the father laughed and said, “What? Do we look like a left winged Liberals?” That’s just ridiculous.

I’m sick of the reality of what Bill Maher is referring to in his movie “Religolus” … “Religious people don’t know about Religion. … None of them could even name the Ten Commandments.” I’m quite disappointed that there weren’t people to legitimately answer Bill’s questions; its quite obvious that he still has no clue what Christianity is actually about. But evidently neither do most Christians.

I Am Ironman.

When I was little I wanted to be a superhero. I even filled a backpack with all the superhero essentials: rope (to swing from building to building), squirt guns, a mask, and a belt with cool crap on it. I wanted to be Batman, specifically. My best friend wanted to be Superman. Another one of my friends wanted to be Spiderman. Together – we would save the world. I doubt I’m the only one who wanted to be a superhero! Truth be told – most of us (especially the guys) wanted to be a superhero as well.

Recently it occurred to me that I am a superhero — I’m a Christian. Consider this:

Superheros help people — Christians are Christ’s ambassadors, and so therefore help people. Superheros save the day — Christians are working with the Guy who did. Superheros have superpowers to do amazing things — Christians have supernatural powers to heal (amongst other things), when they’re walking with Christ and lined up with the will of Christ. I mean to think about all the things that a Christian is supposed to do — all the responsibility God has placed in the hands of His Church — its incredible, and very similar to being a superhero! I AM IRONMAN!

Now don’t wet yourself – Jesus is the only one who really saves. I’m not trying to diminish His role – but I’m trying to help all of us remember how important OUR role is! God has given US the responsibility of being His ambassadors.

So many people (even most Christians) think that Christianity is boring. It’s about being a nice, clean, good (and boring) person. That’s ridiculous.

I remember just under 10 years ago I was at church camp. Pastor Matt Keller was giving an altar call for those that wanted to open their lives up completely to Christ and would say to God, “However You want to use me, I’m available.” I remember when Pastor Matt followed that up and said, “Be careful responding to this altar call – if you open your life up to be used by God, HE WILL USE IT!” I remember how seriously I devoted my entire being to Christ that night.

From that moment on weird crap started happening to me. I often feel like I’m living in a well scripted action movie. Its as if God is directing a movie called, “Adam Diehl — the Superhero.” I’m not swinging from building to building knocking out muggers, but the opportunities God has orchestrated into my life is absolutely amazing. I couldn’t have a more action packed life if I were Indiana Jones.

Many men spend their lives looking for action and adventure. You will never find more action and adventure than in the life that is completely devoted to Christ.