For “Scripture Sunday:”
An Amazing Fact: The apostle Paul’s 35 years of travels took him through Turkey, Greece, Rome, and, of course, Israel and Palestine. Sometimes he journeyed by ship (he was shipwrecked three times!) and sometimes by foot. During his five missionary trips, he traveled a total of 13,000 miles.
When Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians, he told them plainly that if anyone tried to preach a different gospel to them, that person should be “accursed”—even if it was him or an angel. That was strong language, but Paul needed to get their attention. He had taught them salvation by faith in Christ alone, but someone had been teaching the Galatians something quite different, telling them they needed to do certain other things in order to be saved.
The gospel Paul had preached, he reminded them, was not something he had made up. No human taught or gave him the gospel. He says, “It came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” After Paul’s conversion, Jesus Himself revealed the gospel to him.
There is only one gospel. At its core are Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, which reconciles us to God through faith. Nothing we can do could ever earn the salvation that He gives to us as a free gift.”
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. - Galatians 1:8
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. - Galatians 1:11-12
“Jesus said, "Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the sons of God." Everyone agrees with the concept, but how can we practice peacemaking? Sometimes it seems like you can't get through a day without experiencing conflict with a family member, neighbor, co-worker or a stranger on the subway.
The book of Proverbs contains many practical steps of basic conflict resolution.
1. The most important step in dealing with conflict is to understand that when you are at peace with God it is easier to make peace with others.
Proverbs 16:7: "When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."
2. Once an argument begins it tends to escalate into anger and irrational behavior.
Proverbs 17:14: "The beginning of strife is like releasing water; Therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts."
3. Many times we emotionally respond to what someone is saying without hearing the entire story.
Proverbs 18:13: "He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him."
4. When dealing with conflicts between other people, listen to both sides before making any judgment.
Proverbs 18:17: "The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him."
5. Dealing with conflict in the early stages is much easier.
Proverbs 18:19: "A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle."
6. Responding in anger is like throwing gasoline on a fire.
Proverbs 17:9: "He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends."
Proverbs 19:11: "The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression."
7. Some issues aren't worth fighting over.
Proverbs 20:3: "It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel."
Proverbs 17:28: "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive."
8. Conflict is fanned by gossip.
Proverbs 16:28: "A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends."
Proverbs 17:9: "He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends."
9. Carefully and objectively examine your position before you enter into an argument.
Proverbs 25:8-10: "Do not go hastily to court; For what will you do in the end, When your neighbor has put you to shame? Debate your case with your neighbor, And do not disclose the secret to another; Lest he who hears it expose your shame, And your reputation be ruined."
Post these nine principles in a prominent place so that they are a constant reminder of how to conduct conflict resolution.
Before dealing with conflict first pray to God to help you see your part in causing the strife, ask for forgiveness for both you and the other person and seek peace with your Creator. Then you will have the inner strength to be a real peacemaker.” From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/life-lessons-nine-lessons-dealing-conflict/
Forward: The Power of Apology
“In conflicts, apologizing when you've done wrong can go a long way in making things better.
In my work I sometimes have to mediate when there are disagreements between people. Most conflicts get resolved person to person, but as we’ve all experienced, sometimes it takes a third party to help work out differences.
Sometimes matters escalate when people stand by their “integrity” and feel that they are “right” about the way they handled themselves in a conflict, when in fact they said or did things that were hurtful. This increases unpleasant feelings and can lead to bitterness and worse.
While we try to informally mediate and listen to sometimes voluminous conflicting accounts of incidents or issues, we wonder what the best path out of the conflict is. And how will it be possible for two or more people who occupy the same home live peaceably with one another? This includes relationships between those in the ministry and in the membership.
The shortest solution is often to apologize for your part in whatever the dispute is. It may be an oversimplification, but it’s one way to speed up a quick mending of fences. The longer an issue persists, the harder it is to get feelings straightened out.
But wait! Saying you’re sorry must be done properly to have its healing effect. Clumsy and patronizing apologies such as “I’m sorry you feel that way,” or “I’m sorry if I…” only drive the hurt deeper.
What really works is a sincere apology for whatever it is that we contribute to a dispute. It may even have a “heaping coals of fire effect” (Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. See All...) on those who may be against us and could even be “enemies.”
When apologizing, do the following:
1. Acknowledge specifically what you did to aggravate a situation. Don’t be vague, which has the other party guessing.
2. Take responsibility for the hurt or damage done. Make sure the other party knows that you recognize your role in the event.
3. Express sincere regret for the matter. “We should have never let it get to this point. Our relationship is more important than the dispute.”
4. Ask for forgiveness. This is not easy for us to do, but it’s an absolutely necessary part of the healing and effectiveness of apologizing.
5. Promise that it won’t happen again. Show the other party that you are repentant and are making a change in your character.
6. Make restitution or take concrete steps to make amends if possible.
Apologizing is both easy and hard. The steps above are quite straightforward. But having the will and courage to make yourself vulnerable to someone who may not accept your apology is another matter. The prime blocker to apologizing in the above manner is pride. That’s where positive Christian behavior and doing the right thing stalls. And persistent pride leads only to an escalation. God has called us to live in peace. The apostle Paul opened many of his epistles, “Grace and peace be to you.” Peace comes when we work for it, and constructive efforts such as a simple “I’m sorry,” supported by a sincere desire to live at peace and to keep it that way, make great strides toward that peace.
Is there someone you can apologize to sincerely today? It could take one more of the burdens of life off your shoulders as we walk our Christian journey.” From: http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/forward-power-apology/ By Victor Kubik
God's Purpose Is Not Thwarted
“When we began work on the current issue of The Good News , the cover story wasn't immediately settled. It was either going to be the horror of abortion, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that sanctioned the murder of unborn children, or it was going to be the broader subject of the great value of human life, considering the supreme purpose for which human beings exist. We went with the latter, being the more encompassing and uplifting story, but the abortion issue would remain an important theme in the issue.
I thought again about the wonder and obvious design of the creation all around us. And I was brought to ask anew: Is there not clearly a point to it all beyond just something to behold? Some have come to the bleak conclusion that life is ultimately meaningless—or, slightly less hopeless, that we create our own meaning. Yet the intricate interrelationships between created things throughout the world and the broader universe demonstrate that God has designed with purpose. Moreover, as we reflect on human history and life stories of individuals, including our own experiences, we can see great lessons taught and learned—with all too many spurned or forgotten. Still the story continues, and it is surely leading somewhere.
As Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister during World War II, eloquently stated, "He must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below." Thankfully, the Bible reveals that awesome purpose. It is transcendent and glorious beyond our wildest imaginings.
In the meantime, humanity at large gropes blindly—refusing to follow and believe the light of God's Word. I was appalled to see the news about U.S. President Barack Obama addressing Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. The first sitting president to do so, he was received with enthusiastic applause. "'Everybody sit down,' Obama said sheepishly. 'You're making me blush'" (WashingtonExaminer.com, April 26, 2013). And then there was this: "'I want you to know that you've also got a president who's going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way,' said Obama. 'Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you'" (WeeklyStandard.com, April 26).
The leader of the United States invoking God to bless the efforts of those who take the lives of His created children? Words fail.”
From: http://www.ucg.org/blog/gods-purpose-not-thwarted/ by Tom Robinson. (Thou shalt not kill)
The Church of God program on WGN TV this morning:
Sanctity of Life
“The tragedy of abortion continues unabated. Often regarded as a legal matter, it's really a spiritual one. Discover God's view.”
On This Day:
American Civil War ends, Jun 2, 1865:
“In an event that is generally regarded as marking the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. With Smith's surrender, the last Confederate army ceased to exist, bringing a formal end to the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.
The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate shore batteries under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. During 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort, and on April 13 U.S. Major Robert Anderson, commander of the Union garrison, surrendered. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to help quell the Southern "insurrection." Four long years later, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate dead.”
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Jun 2, 1953:
“On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II is formally crowned monarch of the United Kingdom in a lavish ceremony steeped in traditions that date back a millennium. A thousand dignitaries and guests attended the coronation at London's Westminster Abbey, and hundreds of millions listened on radio and for the first time watched the proceedings on live television. After the ceremony, millions of rain-drenched spectators cheered the 27-year-old queen and her husband, the 30-year-old duke of Edinburgh, as they passed along a five-mile procession route in a gilded horse-drawn carriage.”
My daughter didn’t have but a minute for our Saturday phone call, as she was packing up the last of their stuff from their house in West Columbia, TX to take to their lake house at Somerville. Their house is sold and closes on the 7th. My grandson graduated last Friday from the school at West Columbia, and is going to apply for the Air Force. Now they start their new life at the lake.
Ray and I have been wetting down the new gravel to try to make it settle, so I am not driving on it yet.
The Bible Study at the Willis Church of God was about Knowledge, Wisdom, and Character. It showed the example of how Lt. Colombo would ask a question to get the other person talking. Such as “ What do You Mean By That?”, as it is good to know why the other person is thinking the way they do. Then you can gently guide the dialogue into a more spiritually productive direction with additional questions.
As the pastor’s daughter is getting married today, his sermon was about “Becoming A Power Couple”. Not like Brad and Jolie, or the Clintons, but about Agape Love, Humility and Self-Sacrifice. Some examples in the Bible are Abraham and Sarah, and Boaz and Ruth. Interesting, even for those like me who no longer have a spouse.
Heavy rains came during the early morning, even knocking the power out for hours, so we won’t have to wet down the gravel today.