Be A ‘Peacemaker’ [v202]

DECEMBER 2015

Be A ‘Peacemaker’

A few days ago I was sent a promotional packet of Christmas greeting cards (that I could personalize for my business), and one of them had “Peace On Earth, Goodwill To All” on the cover.

This short phrase sums up for many the warm ‘feelings’ that are synonymous with Christmas—conveying an implicit hope, a spirit of generosity, and a kindly disposition toward others.

During this season, the trees are sparkling with lights, malls are playing Christmas songs, people are picking out the ‘perfect’ gifts for their loved ones, and everyone is trying to be a bit more ‘helpful’ to everybody else—there’s a good ‘spirit’ all about. For the most part, this is the “most wonderful time of the year.”

 

What do you think of when you hear this universal seasonal sentiment? Well, Webster’s defines it as: “A state of tranquillity or quiet; freedom from civil disturbance; a state or period of mutual concord between governments; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.”

Well, I also wondered what some ‘famous’ people thought about this phrase:

“Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe, by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes—goodwill among men and peace on earth.” [ Albert Einstein ]

“Peace is an attitude and a choice we make. For there ever to be peace on earth, peace must become a viable option for people to choose to work out their problems; peace must be the accepted and preferred option.” [ Robert Alan Silverstein ]

“Every year at this time, an important phrase marks the season: peace on earth and goodwill towards men. It’s so common we sometimes forget about what it really means—that we strive for a world without war, a society where we respect and help our neighbors, a place where we protect and uplift our most in need. This isn’t a phrase we should live by for one day or one month. It’s a set of values that must bond and motivate us every day.” [ Dennis Kucinich ]

Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas every day. [ Helen Rice ]

“I’m not looking for peace on earth through a political solution. Im a pastor. The Bible talks about three kinds of peace. There is peace with God. There’s the peace of God. And there’s peace with each other.” [ Rick Warren ]

 

Peace is one of the ‘hallmarks’ of Christmas. If we read the ‘clues’ from our culture, it becomes apparent what it thinks the “true meaning” of Christmas is—‘heartwarming’ movies, exchanging gifts, giving of ones time, and the celebration of generosity, benevolence, kindness, brotherhood, and family. All wonderful things!

According to this way of thinking, it’s a kind of “Hallmark” sentimentality. It portrays a world where there is no strife, no anger, no hatred, and no criticism—a world in which there is no ‘warfare’ in any of its forms.

Someone will robustly announce, “Peace on earth, good will toward all, and everyone around will smile and hug one another or pat each other on the backs showing their “good will” toward one another, and their desire for “peace” with each other.

 

The thing is, the phrase Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward All wasn’t invented by a greeting card company. It was part of the birth ‘announcement’ of the first ‘Christmas’, delivered by angels from Heaven to shepherds in the field watching over their sheep. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased’” [ Luke 2:14 ].

Sadly, this phrase has been taken out of its biblical ‘context’, and is perceived from a subjective ‘utopian’ perspective. Notice how the ‘popular’ verse changes to those with whom God is pleased” to “all”—and that’s not trivial.

 

Contrary to what the culture thinks, the TRUE meaning of Christmas is not ‘primarily’ about humans loving humans. It is about God loving man—and giving humanity the most amazing and spectacular ‘gift’ to anyone who chooses to ‘accept’ it!

“‘And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’” [ Matthew 1:21-23 ]

[ Note: “Jesus” is the Latin derivation of the Greek translation of His Hebrew name “Yeshua,” which means “the LORD is salvation,” “rescuer,” “deliverer” ].

 

This is a powerful statement about why Jesus Christ came. The passage describes that for all who accept this ‘babe’ in the manger as God’s unique Son and as their “Savior,” there shall be peace on earth for them WITH God, and there shall be good will toward them FROM God.

[ FYI: Having peace WITH God and the peace OF God is what I discussed in last month’s (November 2015) “Life’s Deep Thoughts”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/ ].

 

Of course, God desires peace among people, but this was not the primary message of the angelic host—it is that the ‘WAR’ IS OVER! The very source of the conflict between God and man (sin) has been ‘removed’ by Jesus—and it was in God’s ‘plan’ all along!

Centuries before Jesus was born, His birth was foreseen by the prophet Isaiah for what He was going to ‘accomplish’. Isaiah proclaimed: “For a Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of His ancestor David for all eternity. He will bring true justice and peace to all the nations of the world.” [ Isaiah 9:6-7 ].

While we all want there to be peace on earth and good will for all humanity, it misses the ‘point’ of Christmas and the message the angels were speaking of—it’s something of much greater importance. They were actually saying that Jesus would, “once for all,” deal with everyone’s sin problem—FORGIVING all past, present, and future sins! “‘You shall call his name Jesus,’ the angel Gabriel said to Joseph, ‘for He will save His people from their sins’” [ Matthew 1:21 ].

This is something to be REALLY ‘JOYOUS’ about!

 

So, after really understanding what an amazing ‘gift’ God has given us (peace WITH God, and the peace OF God), and that He is being “merciful to us in our wrongdoings, and remembering our sins no more,” what should a ‘believer’ do?

Well, Jesus tells us in one of His most ‘famous’ teachings, the “Sermon on the Mount” (also referred to as “The Beatitudes,” which are ‘sayings’ that speak of certain character qualities of the ‘ideal’ disciple, and how they will be “blessed” for ‘possessing’ and ‘implementing’ them).

Specifically, in the seventh Beatitude—the last of the ‘personal’ qualities—Jesus says: “God blesses those who are peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” [ Matthew 5:9 ].

 

Okay then, how does one be a “peacemaker”? Well, peacemaking ‘grows out of’ the previous three ‘grace’ Beatitudes of seeking “righteousness,” wanting to be “merciful,” and being “pure in heart” to do what is right. After realizing the ‘blessings’ for these ‘virtues’, a believer is ‘inspired’ to be used by God to help people attain peace.

Notice that Jesus does not say, “Blessed are the peacekeepers,” or “Blessed are the peace-lovers.” He said, “Blessed are the peacemakers”—and there’s a big difference between them!

 

“Peacekeepers” are those who avoid being confrontational, and try to keep ‘tensions’ from rising by guiding conversations away from subjects that might cause strife.

– Peacekeepers ‘run’ from a problem
– Peacekeepers pretend that a problem doesn’t exist
– Peacekeepers are afraid to talk about the issue, and prefer not to ‘rock the boat’
– Peacekeepers ‘sweep everything under the rug’
– Peacekeepers ‘grin and bear it’
– Peacekeepers procrastinate and shift responsibility
– Peacekeepers want everyone to speak well of them
– Peacekeepers prevent people from attacking each other by putting some kind of ‘barrier’ between them
– Peacekeepers prefer to ‘cover over’ problems
– Peacekeepers pretend that nothing is wrong
– Peacekeepers can endure fake peace for decades while the tension erodes their well-being
– Peacekeepers keep the status quo in order to keep the peace
– Peacekeepers ‘walk on eggshells’ to not upset anyone
– Peacekeepers don’t share how they really feel so they won’t start an argument
– Peacekeepers avoid conflict and apologize for things that they haven’t even done
– Peacekeepers always feel taken advantage of, and find their identity in not making ‘waves’
– Peacekeepers are experts at changing the subject, preventing arguments and misdirecting the conversation
– Peacekeepers ‘invented’ the “No Talk Rule”—keeping dysfunctional families in ‘abusive’ cycles
– Peacekeepers can cause churches to avoid questioning sinful conduct
– Peacekeepers do achieve a ‘pretend’ peace, but it’s momentary (This peace is outward, external and incapable of changing anyone’s heart or mind)

“Peacekeeping” is ‘cowardice’.

 

“Peace-lovers” might be considered an ‘extreme’ case of a “peacekeeper”—they are ‘pacifists’.

– Peace-lovers create a ‘false’ peace—they want “peace at any price.”
– Peace-lovers are never ‘disturbed’ by anything
– Peace-lovers promote appeasement, and are someone that always ‘gives in’
– Peace-lovers allow themselves to be a ‘doormat’
– Peace-lovers avoid hard decisions and settle for ‘artificial’ peace—which actually causes more conflict in the end
– Peace-lovers allow wrong attitudes and evil to continue unchallenged
– Peace-lovers will never confront or challenge another
– Peace-lovers ‘live and let live’
– Peace-lovers want to please everyone, and be liked by everybody, so they don’t take a ‘stand’ for anything, and therefore, they ‘fall’ for anything
– Peace-lovers just ‘hope’ the problem will go away

Peace sought in this manner will, most of the time, ultimately result in future conflicts, that are even worse than they were originally!

“Peace-loving” is ‘pollyanna’.

 

“Peacemakers” are those who desire to create ‘settlements’ between disputing parties.

– Peacemakers look for a point of agreement
– Peacemakers contend without being contentious
– Peacemakers disagree without being disagreeable
– Peacemakers confront without being abusive
– Peacemakers never seek “cheap peace” (unity at the expense of biblical teaching)
– Peacemakers strike a balance (without compromising truth and righteousness)
– Peacemakers ‘work’ for peace, even when it is unpopular and costly
– Peacemakers lovingly confront others
– Peacemakers look beyond the presenting conflict, wanting to know what is causing the conflict
– Peacemakers look for ways to achieve lasting friendship and harmony
– Peacemakers address issues of injustice and oppression
– Peacemakers call others to right behavior and attitudes
– Peacemakers are willing to have short-term disturbance and disruption
for true long-term peace
– Peacemakers actively initiate ‘action’ (even though sometimes personally sacrificial)
– Peacemakers allow tensions to surface and encourage them to be aired (even if it precipitates conflict)
– Peacemakers see a problem and immediately go to work to correct, reconcile and restore (They implement long-lasting solutions)

Though peacemakers are often accused of being unloving, judgmental, ‘trouble makers’, that are legalistic and intolerant, Jesus, the “Prince of Peace,” called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers,” and regularly ‘rebuked’ the scribes and Sadducees (‘important’ religious people in Jesus’ day), governmental officials, and even His disciples. Rather than avoid conflict, Jesus lovingly confronted people, but desired for them to repent and be redeemed.

Peacemakers ‘invite’ necessary conflict because they know there is no other pathway to increase the understanding between ‘warring’ people and groups, and create ‘authentic’ peace. Some have termed this “tough love”—that provides loving correction and restoration. Peacemakers are those who are willing to do whatever it takes to confront violence and wrongdoing, and to bring it under the ‘judgment’ of God.

“Peacemaking” is about ‘reconciliation’.

 

As I mentioned earlier, ‘reconciliation’ is what the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas is—Jesus came to this earth to reconcile humanity to God The Father. The apostle Paul called attention to this and added that it’s God desire, for those who have been reconciled to Him, to become ‘ambassadors’ of reconciliation to those around them:

All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” [ 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 ].

 

So, specifically how does one become an ‘ambassador’? Well, of course, one must be a ‘believer’—having made peace WITH God, and having the peace OF God ‘inside’ oneself.

Then, just like any ambassador, we are to be an official ‘representative’ for God—meaning that we are to reflect His official ‘position’ of how sinful humanity is reconciled to Him through His Son, Jesus.

Then, since we are to be ‘promoters’ of God’s peace between each other, as best we can, we must exemplify Jesus’ teachings to permeate all of our actions—pursuing justice, wholeness, and harmony in all our relationships, and seeking reconciliation and restoration both when we wrong others and when they wrong us.

In addition to ardently pursuing the help of the Holy Spirit, when we realize that God has had mercy on us for our sins, we should be ‘inspired’ to gently correct and restore others who have done wrong. As we rejoice in the liberating forgiveness of God for ourselves, we should be empowered to go and forgive others in the same way.

 

The “Golden Result” is a corollary to the “Golden Rule,” (which calls us to do to others as we would have them do to us). The Golden Result says that “people will usually treat us as we treat them.” If we blame others for a problem, they will usually blame in return. But, if we say, “I was wrong,” it is amazing how often the response will be, “It was my fault, too.”

When we admit that our own sins are so serious that Jesus had to die for us, and remember that He has forgiven us for all our wrongs, we can let go of our illusion of self-righteousness and freely admit our failures. When we do this, we experience the wonderful ‘gift’ of God’s forgiveness—and in many cases, He will be pleased to use our confessions to help others see the ‘issues’ they have.

“I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace… Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” [ Ephesians 4:1-3; 31-32 ].

 

To help us with some of the ‘specifics’ of being an ambassador for God, I found a very succinct resource that does a great job of summarizing the three basic ways that people respond to conflict. It’s called the “The Slippery Slope”—an ‘infographic’ from “Peacemaker Ministries.”
[ http://peacemaker.net/project/slippery-slope/ ].

First there are “Escape Responses”: Denial, Flight, and Suicide. Secondly, there are “Attack Responses”: Assault, Litigation, and Murder. Finally, the “Peacemaking Responses” are: Overlook, Reconciliation, Negotiation, Mediation, Arbitration, and Accountability.

As the included explanation notes, the “escape responses” only postpone a proper solution to a problem, and “attack responses” usually damage relationships and make conflicts worse. Therefore, you should generally try first to deal with conflict personally and privately by using one of the first three “peacemaking responses” (overlooking, discussion, or negotiation). A four-step method of how to carry out these steps is:

– Trust God for the grace and ‘imitate’ Jesus’ methods to find the solution
– Take responsibility for your contribution to the conflict
– Gently restore the other person by lovingly helping them to take responsibility for their contribution to the conflict
– Be reconciled and offer each other genuine forgiveness (Will not dwell on the incident; Will not bring it up again/use it against the other; Will not talk to others about it; Will not let this hinder our future relationship)

Thinking personally about this, when I resort to an ‘escape’ response, I am generally focusing on “me.” I am looking for what is easy, convenient, or non-threatening for myself. When I use an ‘attack’ response, I am generally focusing on “you,” blaming you and expecting you to give in to solve the problem. When I use a ‘peacemaking’ response, my focus is on “us.” I am aware of everyone’s interests in the dispute—especially God’s—and I am working toward mutual responsibility in solving the problem.

So, instead of reacting to disputes in a confused, defensive, or angry manner, we all can learn to respond to conflict confidently and constructively. When handled properly, disagreements in diversity and personal preferences can stimulate productive dialogue, encourage creativity, promote helpful change, and generally make life more interesting. Therefore, although we should seek ‘unity’ in our relationships, we should not demand ‘uniformity’ (refer again to Ephesians 4:1-3 above).

 

Now, referring back to the 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 passage—after mentioning being an ambassador—it ends with “that we might become the righteousness of God.”

The psalmist tells us: “Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!” [ Psalm 85:10 ]. This means that peace might have to come through conflict. In other words, before people can experience ‘real’ peace they will have to struggle with their own sinfulness and selfishness.

It is important to remember that peace in the Bible is always based on justice and righteousness. The prophet Isaiah said of this: The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, His righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever [ Isaiah 32:16-17 ]. Where justice prevails and righteousness rules, there you will also have peace. But without those two virtues, lasting peace is not possible.

 

True peace is found in the presence of righteousness—a positive result of people submitting to righteousness of God. Unless we are willing to lay down our selfish attitudes and submit to the righteousness of God, we will never experience real and lasting peace ourselves—and then we won’t be able to be an ambassador for something we don’t ‘possess’! “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” [ Colossians 3:15 ].

Although nearly everyone longs for this kind of peace, it eludes most people. Genuine internal peace cannot be directly obtained through our own efforts; it is a gift that God gives only to those who believe in His Son, and obey His commandments (1 John 3:21-24). In other words, ‘internal’ peace is a ‘by-product’ of righteousness. “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil work will be there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” [ James 3:16-18 ].

 

In the Bible, “peacemakers” are described as being like farmers who are sowing seed for a harvest—which requires time and patience. But the outcome is ‘profitable’ and is referred to as “a harvest of righteousness.” This is meant to be ‘applied’ to the peace and justice for both individuals and society. It so happens there is a Hebrew concept for this termed “shalom.”

Shalom is a word that is a very large and all-encompassing word. The root meaning of shalom is “to be whole,” and describes a “state of being at ease.” In essence, it’s a desire for completeness, contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction, blessing, and well-being—for ‘prosperity’ on all levels. It promotes ‘internal’ peace in the hearts of individuals, and ‘external’ peace between peoples and nations.

As shalom suggests, the reality is that there will never be peace in the world until peace exists between nations. There will not be peace inside a nation unless peace resides in each community. There won’t be peace in our communities until there is peace in our families. There will not be peace in our families until peace dwells within each of us—and that won’t happen unless the “Prince of Peace” (Jesus) ‘reigns’ in our hearts.

This sentiment is summarized by the song, “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” which ends with: “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” [ Links to video presentations of this song are below ].

 

As the believer is an ambassador for the message that God wants to be at peace with everyone, the Bible says that God “blesses” those who are “peacemakers.” The seventh Beatitude continues by stating that “they will be called the children of God.”

When you call someone your ‘child’ it means that they not only carry on the family name, but you bear the family resemblance and reputation (those who show the ‘characteristics’ of their mother or father). Jesus is saying that as His followers become known as peacemakers, they will also be recognized as the “children of God”—who share His name and His mission. Godly peacemakers desire that they are being the image and likeness of Jesus!

 

So, every time you encounter a conflict, you will inevitably show what you really ‘think’ of God. If you want to show that you truly love Him “with all your heart and all your souls and all your mind (Matthew 22:37), then ask Him to guide you—especially when it is difficult to do so. This behavior honors God, and shows people that you are serious about being a faithful ‘ambassador’ for Him. When you focus on trusting, obeying, imitating, and acknowledging God throughout the process, you will be less inclined to ‘stumble’ and give in to your emotions—being more like Jesus.

Even though the ‘world’ says, “Look out for Number One,” when you display God’s love and not ‘hold onto’ your rights and try only to please yourself—responding to a conflict graciously, wisely, and with self-control—you set the ‘stage’ for effective peacemaking.

A real peacemaker derives joy from bringing peace to others, and when you have the same peaceable disposition of Jesus and ‘work’ for peace—doing what He would do—He calls you a “child of God,” a wonderful ‘accolade’ from Him!

 

Peacemaking is definitely more complex and involved than it first appears because it entails the way we live all of life. This produces peace both passively and actively: passively, because we are not a cause of disruption, and actively, because we create peace by drawing others to emulate our example and by them seeking for the tranquility and joy we have as a result.

Of course, being human, we must work to be continually ‘transformed’ ourselves, dissolving our own enmities and having peace be thoroughly established in our character. The ‘sanctification’ process transforms us into the likeness of Jesus, enabling us to break free from sinful habits and mature into peacemakers who reflect God’s reconciling love in the midst of conflict (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Colossians 3:12-15). It is a constant challenge to maintaining peace with God and others. The apostle Paul vividly describes his battle with it:

“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” [ Romans 7:18-19 ].

Peacemaking is a more encompassing term than it appears. Since it means “everything which makes for a man’s highest good,” it is another, more specific term for love. Loving under every circumstance is not easy, but possible, with God’s help!

 

Circling back to what the angels proclaimed about Jesus’ birth, notice that it says, “to those with whom God is pleased” (or “to those whom God favors,” or “on whom His favor rests”).

Peace on earth is ‘reserved’ for God’s people alone—those “on whom His favor rests.” Not everyone gets to have God’s peace. Only people who are “pleasing” to Him can receive His peace. So peace is from God, and it is for God’s people.

This may sound exclusive and narrow, because it is! The fact is, some people are excluded from God’s peace—and they are those people with whom He is not pleased.

But, ANYONE CAN RECEIVE His peace, by being ‘adopted’ into His family—if they just believe that Jesus, the “Prince of Peace,” came to this earth to RECONCILE them to God The Father by dying for ALL THEIR SINS.

Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me [ John 14:6 ]. There is NO OTHER WAY to peace WITH God!

 

Although a century has passed since Henry W. Longfellow struggled writing the lyrics to his now-famous song, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” we understand every word. Like so many this time of year, his ‘heart’ hurt with the despair, hatred, and the horrors of war his eyes saw daily. However, regardless of these things, there was something ‘unseen’ which nudged his writing:

And the bells are ringing… Peace On Earth…
Like a choir, they’re singing… Peace On Earth…
In my heart I hear them… Peace On Earth…

As if the angels who met the shepherds long ago were still singing, their message has carried through the ages. Longfellow was right. Tragedies constantly bombard our doorsteps, yet there is a ‘reverberation’ ringing through the air. If we listen with our ‘hearts’, and not judge with our eyes or our minds, we can hear it too.

Then rang the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead nor does He sleep… Peace on earth, Peace on earth… The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with Peace on Earth, goodwill to men.

 

With great compassion, God saw the condition of humanity and made ‘provision’ for it:

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him” [ John 3:16-17 ].

In other words, there is PEACE FOR ALL who believe in Jesus! “May the Lord of Peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all” [ 2 Thessalonians 3:16 ].

 

So, I hope that this helped you understand the ‘real’ Christmas message—that Jesus came to ‘RECONCILE’ humanity to God The Father—and I pray that you decide to make peace WITH God this Christmas! (A suggest prayer is below).

Through Jesus God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross [ Colossians 1:19-20 ].

 

Jesus came to earth for a ‘purpose’. For He Himself is our Peace. He has made us both one, and has broken down the hostile dividing wall between us [ Ephesians 2:14 ]. (Consider reading “The Purpose of Christmas” — shown below in the “Resources” area below).

Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid [ John 14:27 ]. (This verse is discussed in detail in last month’s post).

 

Peacemaking—helping people make peace WITH God, and showing them how to make peace with each other—is indeed a high ‘standard’ and a worthy desire, yielding a wonderful ‘reward’… God’s “blessings”!

I pray that you have ‘peace on earth’ with all the people in your life, and have ‘goodwill’ with God—becoming one of His “children”!

 

I VERY MUCH want to BE A ‘PEACEMAKER’—and I pray that you do, too!

 

[ How about making “peacemaking” your ONLY New Year’s resolution for next year! ].

 

[ Excerpts from: Michael Millican; Charles R. Swindoll; Rick Warren; Bruce Olson; Grady Scott; A.W. Pink; Robert W. Odom; David Legge; Ryan Dueck; Haddon Robinson; Martin Coates; Father George Morelli; Jill Jackson Miller ]

 

PRAYER FOR ‘RECONCILIATION’:
For those who have not already done so, this just might be the time for you to decide if you want to ‘settle’ your conflict with God, and be reconciled with Him—so you can have the “peace that passes all understanding” here on earth, and have the promise of eternal life with God in Heaven…forever!

So, if you would like to ‘give’ your life to Jesus, you can do it right now—right where you are. There’s no magical words to say, you just need to believe in your ‘heart’ that God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, is God in the flesh, rose from the dead, and is alive today—and when He died on the cross, He took your place as your substitute sacrifice for your sins. If you sincerely believe this, then admit you are a sinner, confess your sins, and that you will trust Jesus alone for your salvation, committing your life to His service.

You could say something like the following (in your own words if you would like):

Dear Lord Jesus,
I understand that I am a sinner, and I can’t save myself. I sincerely repent of my sins, and ask You for forgiveness and mercy. I believe that You died on the cross as my substitute, paying my sin debt in full so that I could receive Your forgiveness and have eternal life. I ask You to come into my life right now and become my personal Savior. From this day forward, I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to take control, and guide me be the kind of person you want me to be. Give me a ‘new beginning’, and help me to live for You. Amen.

If you said a prayer, CONGRATULATIONS—welcome to the ‘family of God! (Feel free to contact me if you would like some resources to help you along on your ‘journey’ with God).

 

RESOURCES:

—————-
The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
By: Ken Sande

Jesus said,“Blessed are the peacemakers.” But it often seems like conflict and disagreement are unavoidable. Serious, divisive conflict is everywhere—within families, in the church, and out in the world. And it can seem impossible to overcome its negative force in our lives. In The Peacemaker, Ken Sande presents a comprehensive and practical theology for conflict resolution designed to bring about not only a cease-fire but also unity and harmony. Sande takes readers beyond resolving conflicts to true, life-changing reconciliation with family members, coworkers, and fellow believers. Biblically based, The Peacemaker is full of godly wisdom and useful suggestions that are easily applied to any relationship needing reconciliation. Sande’s years of experience as an attorney and as president of Peacemaker Ministries will strengthen readers’ confidence as they stand in the gap as peacemakers.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Peacemaker-Biblical-Resolving-Personal/dp/0801064856

[ NOTE: Download first chapter for FREE:
http://peacemaker.net/project/the-peacemaker-chapter-one/ ]

—————-
Everybody Wins: The Chapman Guide to Solving Conflicts without Arguing
By: Gary Chapman

Every couple has disagreements. All too often, though, when we engage in arguments, our goal is not to resolve the conflict at hand, but rather, to win the fight. Unfortunately, when you win an argument, your spouse is the loser, and nobody wants to be or live with a loser. When you resolve a conflict, your spouse becomes your friend. Good marriages are based on friendship, not on winning arguments. Now, Gary Chapman provides couples with a simple blueprint for achieving win-win solutions to everyday conflicts and disagreements. By learning how to listen empathetically, respecting each other’s ideas and feelings, and understanding why particular issues are so important to their spouse, couples can find solutions that result not only in resolving the conflict at hand, but also leave both partners feeling loved, listened to, and appreciated.

http://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Wins-Chapman-Solving-Conflicts/dp/141430014X

—————-
Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict
By: Tara Klena Barthel & Judy Dabler

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”— Ephesians 4:3

Friends let you down. A romance turns sour. Children rebel. A church is divided. You feel like you don’t measure up. Is there really hope for living at peace?

Yes! Peacemaking Women offers a meaningful, lasting message to lead you out of conflict and into a state of peace where you can live as a representative of Christ to other women as well as to unbelievers. With personal stories and advice that is firmly rooted in Scripture, the authors guide you to peace with God, peaceful relationships with others, and genuine peace within.

Women have a strong desire for relational connections. Relationships between women can be especially enriching, but when conflict arises, they also can be especially damaging. Too many women approach conflict as if they were unbelievers with gossip, spiteful actions, bitterness, and even hatred. In Peacemaking Women, Tara Klena Barthel and Judy Dabler offer a meaningful, lasting message to lead women out of conflict to a state of peace where they can live as representatives of Christ to one another and well as unbelievers. With advice that is firmly rooted in Scripture, the authors bring sound, practical help for women who want to know what the Bible says about conflict resolution and how to achieve peace in their relationships with God, self, and others.

http://www.amazon.com/Peacemaking-Women-Biblical-Resolving-Conflict/dp/0801064953

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Resolving Everyday Conflict
By: Ken Sande & Kevin Johnson

Turn tumultuous relationships into tranquil ones

We all encounter conflict—whether it be with a coworker, family member, friend, or complete stranger. And yet we all desire harmony in our relationships. Resolving Everyday Conflict is a practical, biblical, and concise guide to peacemaking in everyday life.

With the proven advice in this book, authors Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson show you how to achieve not only a cease-fire but also unity and harmony. You’ll discover how to

– Understand where conflict originates
– Take a biblical view of conflict
– Own your role in a conflict
– Offer forgiveness and arrive at reasonable solutions

This biblical guidance will take you far beyond simply ending conflicts. Instead, true, life-changing reconciliation can take place in your relationships.

http://www.amazon.com/Resolving-Everyday-Conflict-Ken-Sande/dp/0801013860/

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Peacemaking for Families: A Biblical Guide to Managing Conflict in Your Home
By: Ken Sande & Tom Raabe

Where two or three are gathered, there’s a conflict waiting to happen. We long for a home that is a haven from a world riddled by conflict, but the reality for too many families — even Christian families — is different. For them the home is a place of skirmishes between family members, where personal desires collide and peace cannot be found. In Peacemaking for Families, Ken Sande and Tom Raabe show that family conflict is inevitable and normal, a legacy of our birth into sin. Using Scripture and stories from family life, the authors offer hope and help. Whether the issues involve husband and wife, parent and child, or siblings, your family can learn God’s principles for achieving peaceful resolutions to those conflicts we naturally fall into.

Basic conflict-resolution skills found in Scripture can help you change your home from a battle zone to a love nest. Distinguishing between positive and negative conflict resolution, Peacemaking for Families introduces the reader to valuable principles such as “The Peacemaker’s Pledge,” the “Seven A’s of Forgiveness,” and the “PAUSE Principle of Negotiation.” Real-life stories and case studies help the reader to acquire the skills needed to create a true “peacemaking family.”

http://www.amazon.com/Peacemaking-Families-Focus-Family-Sande/dp/1589970063

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Blessed Peacemakers: 365 Extraordinary People Who Changed the World
By: Kerry Walters

All of us yearn for a peaceable and just world, but some roll up their sleeves and set to work to make the dream real. Blessed Peacemakers celebrates 365 of them, one for each day of the year.

Their stories are richly diverse. They share a commitment to peace and justice, but the various contexts in which they work make each of their stories uniquely instructive. The peacemakers include women, men, and children from across the globe, spanning some twenty-five hundred years. Many are persons of faith, but some are totally secular. Some are well known, while others will be excitingly new. They are human rights and antiwar activists, scientists and artists, educators and scholars, songwriters and poets, film directors and authors, diplomats and economists, environmentalists and mystics, prophets and policymakers. Some are unlettered, but all are wise. A few died in the service of the dream. All sacrificed for it.

The world is a better place for the presence of blessed peacemakers. Their inspiring stories embolden readers to join them in nonviolent resistance to injustice and the creative pursuit of peace.

http://www.amazon.com/Blessed-Peacemakers-Extraordinary-People-Changed/dp/1608992489
(Click on “Look Inside” for the entire list of people)

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The Purpose of Christmas
By: Rick Warren

Hailed by The Economist as the “the most influential pastor in America,” and by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, the bestselling author of The Purpose Driven Life expounds on the profound origins of Christmas, describing it as an opportune time to welcome peace into our lives.

In his powerful yet compassionate voice, Pastor Rick Warren sounds the clarion call to “remember the reason for the season,” taking readers back in time to the most wonderful story of all—the birth of the baby Jesus. When he was just a small boy, young Rick asked his parents if they could celebrate Christmas with a birthday party for Jesus—and the tradition began that the Warrens have upheld for over fifty years. Now through stirring imagery and compelling personal insights, The Purpose of Christmas honors the significance and promise of this cherished holiday. Pastor Warren encourages readers to identify and confront what drains peace from their lives. Warren explains that the way to respond to these peace robbers is to learn how to surrender to God’s will and not feel defeated or discouraged when life does not go as planned. True peace of mind is found by having an unshakeable faith in God—knowing that His empowering Spirit will guide His children through life’s challenges.

Beautifully written, The Purpose of Christmas will stir readers to honor the true significance of Christmas and to nurture God’s gifts of love and peace in this world.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1416559000

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[P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what the Bible has to say about having peace with God, visit the following link:
http://TheSearchForMeaning.net/sfm_pres/sp_q12_d1_1of10.html

 

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v202) for DECEMBER 2015
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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THE P.E.A.C.E. PLAN

The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is an initiative begun by Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. Senior pastor Rick Warren’s stated intention in launching the P.E.A.C.E. (or PEACE) Plan is to involve every Christian and every church in every nation in the task of serving people in the areas of the greatest global needs. The tag-line is ‘Ordinary people empowered by God making a difference together wherever they are’. P.E.A.C.E. is an acronym for the stated methodology for achieving the plan: “Promote reconciliation – Equip servant leaders – Assist the poor – Care for the sick – Educate the next generation.”

An outline of the plan:
In launching the P.E.A.C.E. plan, Warren identified what he called the five Global Goliaths:
– Spiritual Emptiness
– Egocentric Leadership
– Extreme Poverty
– Pandemic Diseases
– Illiteracy and lack of education

Warren claims that these problems are so large that every attempt by the public and private sector has failed, and that the only organization big enough to take on these problems is the network of Christian churches around the world.

[ Wikipedia ]

————————

Local P.E.A.C.E. serves our community in a variety of ways, the military, elderly, the incarcerated, those wanting to leave the adult entertainment industry, homeless, children, partnering with the Orange County District Attorney’s office, local hospitals and schools and we work directly in neighborhoods bringing God’s word to our community in unique ways.

With the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan, it is our mission to mobilize ordinary people, empowered by God, to make a difference together wherever they are.

The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is our response to the five global giants that negatively affect our world: Spiritual emptiness, Self-serving Leadership, Poverty, Disease, and Illiteracy. We overcome each of these giants by Planting churches that promote reconciliation, Equipping servant leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.

There aren’t enough doctors, teachers, or missionaries to solve the world’s giant problems. But there’s an army of ordinary people, in the church, waiting to be mobilized to do something only the church can do; spread the hope of Jesus Christ.

The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is ordinary people, empowered by God, making a difference together wherever they are.

[ Saddleback Church ]

http://thepeaceplan.com

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WHAT CHRISTMAS IS ALL ABOUT

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field , keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” [ Luke 2:8-14 ]

[ Linus – “Charlie Brown Christmas” show ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA

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THE PATH OF A PEACEMAKER

Arguments, disagreements, disputes—whatever you want to call it, conflict is an unfortunate part of life. What is even more unfortunate, however, is when we allow those conflicts to overwhelm our relationships with our family, friends, co-workers and the people with whom we worship.

Peacemaker Ministries is committed to helping people heal, strengthen and transform relationships affected by conflict through the power of the Gospel. Together as Christians, we follow in the Lord’s footsteps as we walk the path of becoming a peacemaker.

THE PATH OF A PEACEMAKER
Once we become aware a conflict exists, we need to acknowledge it as well as its ability to damage the trust in the affected relationship. We also need to be able to articulate our perspective on the issue or issues at the heart of the conflict. Our path to achieving a peaceful relationship and becoming a peacemaker can then begin.

STEP ONE: ASCEND
We look up to God, remembering His grace and kindness toward us and His desires for us when it comes to dealing with conflict. We continually seek to honor and follow Him as we work to resolve that conflict and become a peacemaker.

STEP TWO: REFLECT
With sincere humility, we admit we may have missed something. We also consider and acknowledge the impact of our words and actions on the other person or people involved in the conflict. We make the deliberate decision to forgive the person or people with whom we are having that conflict, even if they created significant losses and grief in our live.

STEP THREE: CONNECT
We listen to the perspective of the other person and demonstrate understanding and compassion (without necessarily agreeing with him or her). We also seek ways to repair any damage to trust that may have occurred in this conflict through confession and acknowledgment. Working together, we propose and discuss potential solutions to the conflicts we have identified which take into consideration what’s important to everyone involved.

To learn more about the path to becoming a peacemaker or to begin to better walk the path in your own life, visit our online bookstore. The Peacemaker Ministries library is also an excellent resource for articles and information about conflict resolution for Christians.

Foundational Principles
The Bible provides us with a simple yet powerful system for resolving conflict. These principles are so simple that they can be used to resolve the most basic conflicts of daily life. But they are so powerful that they have been used to mediate and arbitrate bitter divorce and child custody actions, embezzlement situations, church divisions, multi-million dollar business disputes, malpractice lawsuits, and terrible sexual abuse cases.

To gain a basic understanding of this system for biblical peacemaking, we invite you to study the foundational principles that are briefly discussed in the topics below.

Getting to the Heart of Conflict: Conflict starts in the heart. Therefore, if we fail to address the heart in a conflict, then any solution will fall short of true reconciliation.

The Four G’s: The biblical system for resolving conflict is captured by “The Four G’s”: Glorify God, Get the log out of your own eye, Gently Restore, and Go and be reconciled.

The Slippery Slope: A visual tool for understanding the ways people tend to and ought to respond to conflict.

The Seven A’s of Confession: A guide to making a sincere and complete confession.

The PAUSE Principle: A biblical approach to negotiation.

The Four Promises of Forgiveness: A great way to remember what you are really saying (and committing to) when you say “I forgive you.”

The Peacemaker’s Pledge: Complete summary of biblical peacemaking, suitable for churches or organizations to commit to together.

Relational Commitments: A way for a church to make a mutual commitment to work together to pursue unity, maintain friendships, preserve marriages, and build relationships that reflect the love of Christ.

The Gospel of Peace Mirrored Through Peacemaking: A summary statement of how the gospel of Jesus Christ is at the core of biblical peacemaking.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15-17)

http://peacemaker.net/the-path-of-a-peacemaker/

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I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY
(“Peace On Earth, Goodwill To Men”)

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir they’re singing (Peace on Earth)
In my heart I hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir singing (Peace on Earth)
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep (Peace on Earth, peace on Earth)
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they’re ringing (Peace on Earth)
Like a choir they’re singing (Peace on Earth)
And with our hearts we’ll hear them
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they’re ringing? (Peace on Earth)
The life the angels singing (Peace on Earth)
Open up your heart and hear them (Peace on Earth)
Peace on earth, good will to men
Peace on earth, Peace on earth
Peace on earth, good will to men

[ Casting Crowns – “Peace On Earth” album ]

(Originally a poem titled “Christmas Bells” written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F756Mjxxrvc

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PEACE CORPS

As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service—at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country. When they return home, Volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences—and a global outlook—that enriches the lives of those around them.

Mission:
To promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

– To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women
– To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
– To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans

http://www.peacecorps.gov/

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LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH

Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.

[ Written by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fH2FekyDKdw

[ The Young People’s Chorus of New York City ]

—————-


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPH4LRASWbo

[ Vince Gill ]

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IMAGINE A WORLD

Imagine a world where nations never war.
Where no more weapons are fired any more.
Imagine a world where people do what’s right
And the rule of law is stronger than the rule of might.
Imagine a world where everyone has all they need.
Where kindness and compassion are taught instead of greed.
Imagine a better world…Imagine peace on earth!

Imagine a world where the global economy
is based on what’s best for all earth’s communities.
Where beauty and art and the media inspire
The best in all, and lift our spirits higher.
Imagine a world where science and technology
Serve only to bring out the best in humanity.
Imagine a better world…Imagine peace on earth!

Imagine a world where no child is left behind
Where children everywhere are free to educate their minds.
Imagine a world where tolerance and diversity
Are the golden rule that guides humanity.
Imagine a world where people don’t neglect
The beauty of the earth, and treat it with respect.
Imagine a better world…Imagine peace on earth!

[ Robert Alan Silverstein ]

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CHILDREN OF GOD

Praise to the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Our God and our King, to Him we will sing
In His great mercy, He has given us life
Now we can be called the children of God

Great is the Love that the Father has given us
He has delivered us
He has delivered us

Children of God, sing your song and rejoice
For the love that He has given us all
Children of God, by the blood of His Son
We have been redeemed and we can be called
Children of God
Children of God

A mystery is revealed to the universe
The Father above has proven His love
Now we are free from the judgment that we deserve
And so we are called the children of God

We are the saints
We are the children
We’ve been redeemed
We’ve been forgiven
We are the sons and daughters of our God

[ Third Day – “To Dad, With Love” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9RqVRBtjM4

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NO LONGER SLAVES

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mothers womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated
From our bondage
We’re the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God…

[ Bethel Music – “We Will Not Be Shaken” album ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TkUMJtK5k

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GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST

Handel’s Messiah, Chorus #17:
“Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdLqROQ_GD8

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IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold!
Peace on the earth, good will to men,
From heaven’s all gracious King!
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world;
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing.
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

[ Written by Edmund H. Sears – Performed by Josh Groban ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiSqct-Ei80

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PEACE

I have come from so far away
Down the road of my own mistakes
In the hope you could hear me pray
Oh Lord, keep me in your reach
How I longed through these wasted years
To outrun all the pain and fear
Turned to stone from my un-cried tears
And now it’s Your grace I seek

Love won’t compromise
It’s a gift, it’s a sacrifice
My soul renewed and my heart released
In You I’ll find my peace
Wondrous child of whom the angels sing
Know my joy, feel my suffering
Shining star make this love you bring
So bright that I may believe

That my way will not be lost
From now on ’til that river’s crossed
My soul renewed and my spirit free
In you I’ll find my peace
In You I’ll find my peace

[ Michael W. Smith – “The Spirit of Christmas” album (featuring Michael McDonald) ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm2T8Xqbt6A

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LEARN HOW TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS AND RESTORE RELATIONSHIPS

Learn how to resolve conflict and how to restore broken relationships with Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church. In this message, Pastor Rick talks about the seventh Beatitude—how God blesses peacemakers. Learn what the Bible says about the importance of conflict resolution and discover seven ways to restore broken relationships in your life.

7 Steps to Resolving Conflict:
1: Make the first move
Be reconciled to a person you have a conflict with before you give your ‘offering’ to God (it’s more important than going to church).

2: Ask God for wisdom
You can get the courage to overcome the fear of dealing with conflict by asking God for help—He will give you the right attitude

3: Start with what is my fault
Find something to confess—what’s going on inside you. We all have ‘blind spots’. Our ‘nature’ is to be self-centered and stubborn.

4: I listen for their hurt and perspective
Need to listen for the emotion behind the words
“Seek to understand before seeking to be understood” [ Chinese Proverb ]

5: Speak the truth tactfully
Be kind—foolish words hurt, and wise words heal. If you say something offensively, it will be received defensively. You are never persuasive when you are abrasive. You never get your point across by being ‘cross’. Truth said without love is resisted; true presented with love is received. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.

6: Fix the problem, not the blame
Attack the issue, not each other (you’re both on the same ‘team’). Blame is spelled “be lame.” Rid your relationship of “WMDs” (words of mass destruction). No threats, intimidation, labeling, or ‘psychologizing’.

7: Focus on reconciliation, not resolution
Reestablishing the relationship (bury the hatchet). You can disagree without being disagreeable. You can have unity without uniformity. We can walk ‘hand-in-hand’ together without seeing ‘eye-to-eye’. You can have reconciliation without resolution. If you focus on restoring the relationship, often times the ‘issue’ becomes insignificant.

[ Rick Warren ]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1udN6OShf4

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THE PEACE PRAYER

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

[ St. Francis of Assisi ]

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DEEP THOUGHT(s):

“It’s always more rewarding to resolve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship. You can have unity without uniformity; We can walk ‘hand-in-hand’ together without seeing ‘eye-to-eye’. You can disagree without being disagreeable. You can have reconciliation without resolution. If you focus on restoring the relationship, often times the ‘issue’ becomes insignificant.”
[ Rick Warren ]

“Conflict is found in every corner of our world, and violence is the habitual way of resolving our grievances and disputes. Even being ‘for’ or ‘against’ wars becomes just another confrontation. What we need most are not just peace lovers, who talk against all the violence, but peacemakers, who actually learn how to resolve our endless and inevitable human conflicts without recourse to such destructive methods. The practices of conflict resolution are urgently needed in both our personal and political battlegrounds and will be the only way to break the tragic cycle of violence. In this new order, those who show the skills, behaviors, disciplines, and courage of peacemaking will have the honor of being called ‘children of God.’”
[ Jim Wallis ]

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
[ Mahatma Gandhi ]

“It very often happens that if a man loves peace in the wrong way, he succeeds in making trouble and not peace. We may, for instance, allow a threatening and dangerous situation to develop and our defence is that for peace’s sake we do not want to take any action. There is many a person who thinks he is loving peace, when in fact he is piling up trouble for the future, because he refuses to face the situation and to take the action which the situation demands. The peace which the bible calls blessed does not come from the evasion of issues; it comes from facing them, dealing with them and conquering them. What this beatitude demands is not the passive acceptance of things because we are afraid of the trouble of doing anything about them, but the active facing of things and the making of peace even when the way to peace is through struggle.”
[ William Barclay ]

“Peacemakers release tension, they don’t intensify it. Peacemakers seek solutions and find no delight in arguments. Peacemakers calm the waters, they don’t trouble them. Peacemakers work hard to keep an offense from occurring. And if it has occurred, they strive for resolution. Peacemakers lower their voice rather than raise them. Peacemakers generate more light than heat. Blessed are such greathearted souls! We need more of them in the ranks of faith. We have more than enough fighters, more than enough who are ready to pounce.”
[ Charles R. Swindoll ]

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I hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
[ Matthew 5:9 ].

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

·.¸¸.·´¯`·.. ><((((‘>
><((((‘> ·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·..><((((‘> ·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.. ><((((‘>
·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·..><((((‘>
><((((‘> ·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸¸.><((((‘>

 

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