A PEACEMAKER’S PRAYER

Ken Sande's Help for Praying Like a Peacemaker Last week I was privileged to reconnect with my good friend and peacemaking mentor, Ken Sande. He spoke for the opening plenary session at a conference hosted by Ambassadors of Reconciliation. RW360, Ken's ministry championing a biblical approach to emotional intelligence, distributed copies of the following: A Peacemaker's Prayer (used by permission).   Oh Lord God, today I am called to be a peacemaker, but I am unfit for the task. By nature I am a peace-faker and a peace-breaker, so I myself need ...

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PEACE IN MARRIAGE

How Two Made One Stay One Jan and I recently observed our first anniversary. We celebrated the many ways God has been good to us—not the least of which is the unity we enjoy as husband and wife. How does a couple made one in marriage stay one over time? Consider these keys for maintaining marital harmony. One, make oneness a priority (Eph. 4:3). Gospel-shaped people do their best to preserve unity in relationships. Before Jan and I make any significant decision, we ask one another how it will impact our relationship’s oneness. We decide together. Two, ...

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THE PEACEMAKING CHURCH

An Update on a Book Long in Coming I submitted to Baker Publishing Group a proposal for writing a book way back at the end of 2014. Much to my delight they accepted and fixed a date for submission. Then the wheels came off with Nancy's cancer fight and my jaw surgeries. My editor graciously granted one delay after another. In September of last year, I finally turned in a draft manuscript. After Baker ran me through the editorial meat grinder (thankfully), I labored over a revision. It passed muster with the publisher in December 2017. Today I learned from ...

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LEADING FROM LOSS

When God Scripts a Different Plan As I suffered through the post-op discomfort of a fifth and final jaw reconstruction surgery in February, it dawned on me. God's designs for my last years as my church's lead pastor differed greatly from my deepest desires. Who longs for a stewardship of loss, suffering, and pain? Nobody in his right mind. Ernie Johnson didn't. A friend of mine sent me his video story suggesting we share a lot in common. He was right. See for yourself. https://youtu.be/osgKi9TLmuI For a more detailed version, watch here. My hope for ...

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AVOIDING ABORTIVE APOLOGIES

How NOT to Make Confession of Your Faults to Others https://youtu.be/cSuGyO1E8HE Magic Johnson and Isaiah Thomas, two NBA Hall of Famers, recently reconciled after a long-standing feud. Their dispute dated back to the late 1980s when the LA Lakers and Detroit Pistons played each other in two consecutive NBA finals. Johnson further admitted in a book co-authored with Larry Bird--another Hall of Famer who played for the Boston Celtics--that he helped keep Thomas off the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team. Who takes issue with a such a moving scene? What's the deal? On ...

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RESOLVING EVERYDAY CONFLICT

New Equipping Hour Class Starting January 7, 2018 This Sunday at Orlando Grace Church we begin this video curriculum study. Peacemaker Ministries describes it like this: We all have conflict. Think about the people you know. They may not be in the middle of a big blow up, but they certainly have tense conversations around the breakfast table or difficulties with an overbearing boss. Or more seriously, perhaps their marriage is on the verge of falling apart. Regardless, they are looking for answers. Resolving Everyday Conflict is an eight-lesson study that unpacks ...

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BLESSING & THE GOOD LIFE

How Peacemaking Commitments Make for the Good Life In The Grace of Giving,  Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil-minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor. "No, Peter," General Washington ...

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REVENGE & THE GOOD LIFE

How Peacemaking Commitments Make for the Good Life Marcus Aurelius once said that the best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury. The apostle Peter recommended something similar in 1 Peter 3:8-12. 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life     and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil  ...

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GOOD DAYS, GRACE DAYS

How Peacemaking Commitments Make for the Good Life How do you define "the good life?" According to one source reported by Psychology Today, happiness consists of four things: experiencing pleasure, avoiding negative experience, seeking self-development, or making contributions to others. The apostle Peter wrote a different prescription for loving life and seeing good days in 1 Pet. 3:8-12. 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the ...

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A STRATEGY FOR LOVING LIFE AND SEEING GOOD DAYS

How Peacemaking Commitments Make for the Good Life Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), the French philosopher warned: Let it not be imagined that the life of a good Christian must be a life of melancholy and gloominess; for he only resigns some pleasures to enjoy others infinitely better. The apostle Peter, writing to believers suffering severe persecution, would concur with that sentiment. Consider his words in 1 Pet. 3:8-12. 8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or ...

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