Monthly Archives: June 2009

Isolation and Escape

Standard

“Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her…”
—Genesis 16:6 (ESV)

The three responses found on the left side of the slippery slope are called the escape responses. People tend to use these responses when they are more interested in avoiding a conflict than resolving it. This attitude is common within the church, because many Christians believe that all conflict is wrong or dangerous.

Thinking that Christians should always agree, or fearing that conflict will inevitably damage relationships, these people usually do one of three things to escape from conflict.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 23.

Food for Thought

The other day, I saw a man working on a computer in our office. In passing, I made a comment about the machine working just fine on Friday, to which he replied, “Well, it was shut down this morning and just flashing ‘error messages.’ I’m trying to isolate the problem now.”

By isolating, he meant patiently and methodically troubleshooting one thing at a time until he found the culprit. Of course in this sense, isolating the parts of the computer was an important and necessary step; but only a temporary condition. Once the faulty component was identified and repaired, it would then have to rejoin the rest to make the machine whole again and function as designed.

If only human relationships were so easy to repair. We often don’t see the ‘error messages.’ Yet, there may be some principles we can apply. The machine only functions if all the components have access to each other. One part disengaged, or in isolation, causes the machine to function improperly; sometimes altogether.

From a relationship perspective, we might think of the escape responses as isolation or disengagement. There can be no real relationship when one disengages or isolates oneself longer than necessary to identify and repair the problem. The implications are far and wide. If relationships fail, so do the families and communities. If families and communities fail, society fails.

Let’s use times of disengagement or isolation to pray and reflect on how we might ‘glorify God’ or ‘get the log out’ of our own eye; then return to relationship where others will have access to us. Otherwise, we might lose our footing and slip too far off the slippery slope.

—Randy E. Williams, Median, OH (Copyright 2009)

~~wow, another one that hits home with me, I tend to isolate when I’m getting depressed or going through a tough patch. This last patch has been goin on for 18 months. Far too long. I long to get out and interact again. Someday soon.

Advertisements

Musings on….Nehemiah’s Prayer

Standard

4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned.

7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.

8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples,

 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’

 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand.

 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”

~~

I saw so many parallels with this prayer, I love the way He prayed: telling God how wonderful He is, confessing his sin and reminding God of His faithful promises to His own people.

~Blessings, Kristina

Psalm 121…My Help Comes From the Lord

Standard

121:1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Heart

Standard

 

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21

As we have seen, an idol is any desire that has grown into a consuming demand that rules our hearts; it is something we think we must have to be happy, fulfilled, or secure. To put it another way, it is something we love, fear, or trust.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 109.

Food for Thought

This one’s really all about you.

Keep your eyes on your own paper. Do you remember hearing that in school, maybe right before or during a test? Sometimes it was a little hard, huh? But the teacher wanted you to do your own work and as we grow older, we see the benefit of that perspective. Or do we?

Take a discussion of idols, for instance. We could think through that for a moment, but more than likely, the overriding urge would be to consider what someone else idolizes. Yes, well, we all know that Rebecca…or You know, I’m convinced that James

Keep your eyes on your own heart. What is it that is consuming you? What is the thing that you’re convinced will make you happy? What is it you are looking for to bring you the security you crave.                                                           Look deep within yourself, spend some time on your knees, and ask Christ to reveal those people, places or things you love, fear, or trust more than Him.

For a detailed treatment of this topic of heart idols, see the article “Getting to the Heart of Conflict” on the Peacemaker Ministries website.

Wow, this hits home, because I often think I love my boy more that Christ and wonder if God will ‘punish’ me for loving Jesse more.

I know God is not like that, but in my frail human mind I think about it.

Perfection also comes to mind. I’m secure when I know my chores are done, my guys are fed, errands run and day is done. But am I really? Isn’t chasing after the perfect house redundant? I mean, it just gets dirty again, the guys are continually hungry and food and supplies run out. God is the same, He is close and stable.

What or who do you love more?

Musings on… Psalm 46:10 ~ My Favorite Verse

Standard
46:10
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

(8685) eyhl) ykn) (8799)-yK (8799) W(dW (8798) WPrh
. ur)B eWr) eywGB eWr)

 

Cease Striving:

  1. to sink, relax, sink down, let drop, be disheartened
    1. (Qal)
      1. to sink down
      2. to sink, drop
      3. to sink, relax, abate
      4. to relax, withdraw
    2. (Niphal) idle (participle)
    3. (Piel) to let drop
    4. (Hiphil)
      1. to let drop, abandon, relax, refrain, forsake
      2. to let go
      3. to refrain, let alone
      4. to be quiet
    5. (Hithpael) to show oneself slack

 

 

 

 Translated Words
  KJV (46) – abated, 1; alone, 4; cease, 1; fail, 4; faint, 2; feeble, 6; forsake, 2; go, 4; idle, 3; misc, 9; slack, 3; stay, 3; weaken, 4;NAS (50) – abandon, 1; alone, 2; become, 1; become helpless, 1; cease, 2; collapses, 1; courage, 1; discouraged, 2; discouraging, 1; drawn, 1; dropped, 2; fail, 5; fall limp, 2; feeble, 1; forsake, 1; hang limp, 2; lazy, 3; leave, 1; let, 2; let go, 1; let her alone, 1; let him alone, 1; let him go, 1; let it go, 1; let me alone, 1; let us alone, 1; limp, 1; loosens, 1; lose courage, 1; lost, 1; put off, 1; relax, 2; slack, 2; subsided, 1; wait, 1;

Know: to know

  1. (Qal)
    1. to know 1a
  2. to know, learn to know 1a
  3. to perceive 1a
  4. to perceive and see, find out and discern 1a
  5. to discriminate, distinguish 1a
  6. to know by experience 1a
  7. to recognise, admit, acknowledge, confess 1a
  8. to consider
    1. to know, be acquainted with
    2. to know (a person carnally)
    3. to know how, be skilful in
    4. to have knowledge, be wise
  9. (Niphal)
    1. to be made known, be or become known, be revealed
    2. to make oneself known
    3. to be perceived
    4. to be instructed
  10. (Piel) to cause to know
  11. (Poal) to cause to know
  12. (Pual)
    1. to be known
    2. known, one known, acquaintance (participle)
  13. (Hiphil) to make known, declare
  14. (Hophal) to be made known
  15. (Hithpael) to make oneself known, reveal oneself

Exalted:

to rise, rise up, be high, be lofty, be exalted

  1. (Qal)
    1. to be high, be set on high
    2. to be raised, be uplifted, be exalted
    3. to be lifted, rise
  2. (Polel)
    1. to raise or rear (children), cause to grow up
    2. to lift up, raise, exalt
    3. to exalt, extol
  3. (Polal) to be lifted up
  4. (Hiphil)
    1. to raise, lift, lift up, take up, set up, erect, exalt, set on high
    2. to lift up (and take away), remove
    3. to lift off and present, contribute, offer, contribute
  5. (Hophal) to be taken off, be abolished
  6. (Hithpolel) to exalt oneself, magnify oneself
  7. (Qal) to be rotten, be wormy

Nations:

nation, people

  1. nation, people
    1. usually of non-Hebrew people
    2. of descendants of Abraham
    3. of Israel
  2. of swarm of locusts, other animals (fig.) n pr m
  3. Goyim? = “nations”

Earth:

land, earth

  1. earth
    1. whole earth (as opposed to a part)
    2. earth (as opposed to heaven)
    3. earth (inhabitants)
  2. land
    1. country, territory
    2. district, region
    3. tribal territory
    4. piece of ground
    5. land of Canaan, Israel
    6. inhabitants of land
    7. Sheol, land without return, (under) world
    8. city (-state)
  3. ground, surface of the earth
    1. ground
    2. soil
  4. (in phrases)
    1. people of the land
    2. space or distance of country (in measurements of distance)
    3. level or plain country
    4. land of the living
    5. end(s) of the earth
  5. (almost wholly late in usage)
    1. lands, countries 1e
  6. often in contrast to Canaan

Blessings, K-Woman

 

Is There Someone You’re Trying To Change?

Standard

Whenever you are trying to show someone his fault, remember that there are limits to what you can accomplish. You can raise concerns, suggest solutions, and encourage reasonable thinking, but you cannot force change

God may use you as a spokesperson to bring certain issues to the attention of another person, but only God can penetrate the other person’s heart and bring about repentance. Paul clearly describes this division of labor in 2 Timothy 2:24-26: “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (emphasis added).

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 182.

Food for Thought

Is there someone you’re trying to change? Here’s some biblical counsel: Stop! You may want to take a moment to write these words down on a note card and tape it to your mirror so that you see it every morning:

MY JOB: To speak the truth in love
GOD’S JOB: To change people

Our sense of what’s “workable” or “practical” may be our biggest enemy in biblical peacemaking. God doesn’t call us to be peacemakers in a given situation because it “works” (though often it does–even in ways we can never imagine); God calls us to be peacemakers so that people can see Christ in us.

So next time you’re in a conflict and in thinking about peacemaking you find yourself tempted to say, “Well, that’ll never work in this case!”, remember the difference between God’s job description and your own.

I see me doing this with my hubby and my son….do you?