I implore Euodia and I implore
Syntyche to be of the same mind in
- Philippians 4:2
Today is observed in many countries as International
Conflict Resolution Day. Its purpose is to encourage people to
use mediation and arbitration rather than the legal system to
settle their differences. Because we as followers of Christ are
not immune to conflict, we need to learn how to resolve our
disagreements in ways that honor the Lord. It has been said that
"church fights are the worst fights," perhaps because
they break out among people who profess to believe in unity and
Many Christians have been so hurt by a fellow believer that
they walk away from the church and never return.
Euodia and Syntyche are mentioned by name in the Bible and
urged to resolve their differences: "Be of the same mind in the
Lord" (Phil.4:2). Instead of leaving them alone to settle their
dispute, Paul appealed to a trusted fellow worker to "help these
women who labored with me in the gospel" (v.3). In this same
context, Paul urged the Philippians to bring their requests to
God, noting that prayer brings the peace of God (v.7) and a sense
of His abiding presence (v.9).
Fractured relationships in a Christian community are a
community responsibility. In the midst of hurts and differences,
we can encourage, listen. and pray. - David McCasland
FORGIVENESS IS THE GLUE THAT REPAIRS BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS
ON SHOULDERS OF GIANTS
As I was with Moses so I will
be with you.
- Joshua 1:5
Giants hold a special place in our lore - both historical
and literary. From the real giant Goliath to the fictional giant
of Jack and the Beanstalk fame, we are fascinated by these
Sometimes we use the word giant to honor ordinary-size
people who have done extraordinary things. One example is the
17th-century physicist Sir Isaac Newton. A committed Christian,
he credited his success to other "giants" who had gone before.
"If I have seen a little further," he said, "it is by standing on
the shoulders of giants." Indeed, Newton became a giant on whose
shoulders later scientists stood - even as they used his
observations in the conquest of space flight.
When God commanded Joshua to lead the Israelites into the
Promised Land, Joshua certainly had a giant's shoulders to stand
on. He had watched Moses' leadership for 40 years, and now he
would put what he had learned into action.
Joshua had another advantage - his walk with God sustained
his life's mission. Therefore, he had both Moses' example and
God's promised presence as he led Israel.
Looking for help as you face the future? Look for a giant to
follow. And never underestimate the importance of your walk with
God. - Dennis Fisher
There is a destiny that makes us brothers: None goes his way
alone; All that we send into the lives of others, Comes back into
our own. - Markham
A GOOD EXAMPLE IS SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE WAY, GOES THE WAY, AND
SHOWS THE WAY.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL
Deuteronomy 11: 13-21
You shall teach [God's Word] to your children ...
when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way,
when you lie down, and when you rise up.
The "Sleeping Beauty Waltz," the "1812 Overture," and "The
Nutcracker Suite" were all part of the music of my childhood.
Sometimes a narrator told stories or - as in the case of Tubby
the Tuba and Peter and the Wolf - introduced my sisters and me to
the sounds of different instruments. In their desire to pass on
their love for music, my parents used this method as a teaching
tool. It worked! Weaving the classic tales with classical tunes
made a pow-houseerful impact on us.
When an adult wants to impart important information to a
child, it's often best related in a story because it is more
easily understood and enjoyed.
Telling children the stories in God's Word is especially
crucial because the Bible's enduring truth can shape character
and show consequences of actions (1 Cor.10:11). Tiny seeds of
faith can be cultivated in fertile soil and help children to see
how God has worked in the lives of His followers throughout
history. Bible stories also show how God is intimately involved
in our lives.
What we have seen God do for us and what He has done for His
people throughout history must be passed on to the next
generation (Dent.11: 1-21). Their future depends on it. Teach
your children well. - Cindy Hess Kasper
Tell me the story of Jesus. Write on my heart even word; Tell me
the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard.! - Crosby.
THE CHARACTER OF YOUR CHILDREN TOMORROW DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU PUT
INTO THEIR HEARTS TODAY.
Whoever loses his life for My sake
will find it.
- Matthew 16:25
After working for 40 years as a teacher, Jane Hanson
retired. She and her husband were looking forward to the arrival
of their first grandchild.
Retirement is that time of life when many people simply
relax, travel, or enjoy hobbies. But Jane heard about a ministry
to at-risk youth in a city near her home, and she knew she had to
get involved. "I realized there are kids just waiting, and I
could make a difference," she said. She began teaching English to
a young Liberian man who had been forced to flee his home country
because of civil war. Though he was in a safe environment, he
didn't understand the new language. Of this ministry opportunity,
Jane said with a smile, "I could just go shopping to stay busy,
but what fun would that be?"
Jane is making a difference. Perhaps she has learned a
little of what Jesus meant when He said, "Whoever desires to save
his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake
will find it" (Matt.16:25). Giving ourselves to the Lord through
helping others takes self-denial, yet one day Jesus will reward
that effort (v.27).
Let's follow Jane's example of love for God and others - no
matter what our stage of life may be. - Anne Cetas
Oh, let us be faithful to Jesus, The faith we confessed let's
renew, And ask Him this question each morning: "Lord, what will
You have me to do?" - Pangborn
WORK FOR THE LORD - HIS RETIREMENT PLAN IS OUT OF THIS WORLD.
HOW TO HELP THOSE WHO HURT
1 Cirinthians 13
Now abide faith, hope, love, these three
but the greatest of these is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:13
When I have asked suffering people, "Who helped you?" not
one person has mentioned a PhD from a prestigious seminary or a
famous philosopher. All of us have the same capacity to help
those who hurt.
No one can package or bottle the "appropriate" response to
suffering. If you go to the sufferers themselves, some will
recall a friend who cheerily helped distract them from their
illness. Others think such an approach insulting. Some want
honest straight forward talk: others find such discussion
There is no magic cure for a person in pain. Mainly, such a
person needs love, for love instinctively detects what is
needed. Jean Vanier who founded the L'Arche movement for the
developmentally disabled, says: "Wounded people who have been
broken by suffering and sickness ask for only one thing: a heart
that loves and commits itself to them, a heart full of hope for
Such a love may be painful for us. But real love, the
apostle Paul reminds us, "Bears all things. believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things" ( 1 Cor.13:7).
As is so often His pattern, God uses very ordinary people to
bring about His healing. Those who suffer don't need our
knowledge and wisdom, they need our love. - Philip Yancey
O brother man, fold to thy heart thy brother! Where pity dwells,
the peace of God is there; To worship rightly is to love each
other, Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer. - Whittier
THEY DO NOT TRULY LOVE WHO DO NOT SHOW THEIR LOVE - Shakespeare
WHO GOES THERE?
When he brings out his own sheep, he
goes before them; and the sheep follow him.
- John 10:4
Last fall my wife, Carolyn, and I were driving up a winding
mountain road near our home in Idaho when we came across a large
flock of sheep moving down the road toward us. A lone shepherd
with his dogs was in the vanguard, leading his flock out of
summer pasture into the lowlands and winter quarters.
We pulled to the side of the road and waited while the flock
swirled around us. We watched them until they were out of sight,
then I wondered: Do sheep fear change; movement, new places?
Like most older folks, I like the "fold" - the old, familiar
places. But all is shifting and changing these days; I'm being
led out, away from familiar surroundings and into a vast unknown.
What new limits will overtake me in the coming days? What
nameless fears will awaken? Jesus' words from John 10 come to
mind: "When he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them"
We may well be dismayed at what life has for us this year
and next, but our Shepherd knows the way we're taking. And He
goes before. He will not lead us down paths too dangerous or too
arduous where He cannot help us. He knows our limits. He knows
the way to green pasture and good water; all we have to do is
follow. - David Roper
Child of My love, fear not the unknown morrow, Dread not the new
demand life makes of thee; Thy ignorance doth hold no cause for
sorrow, Since what thou knowest not is known to Me. - Exley
OUR UNKNOWN FUTURE IS SECURE IN THE HANDS OF OUR ALL-KNOWING GOD.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless
things, and revive me in Your way.
- Psalm 119:37
New York Times article linked the increase of computer
storage with the decrease of data in the human mind. Our
electronic aids now remember phone numbers, driving directions,
and other information we used to learn by repeated use. In
schools, memorization and oral recitation are disappearing from
the curriculum. We have become, according to the "Times,"
"products of a culture that does not enforce the development of
Yet never have we as followers of Christ been in greater
need of hiding God's Word in our hearts (Ps.119:911). Scripture
memory is more than a helpful mental exercise. The goal is to
saturate our minds with God's truth so that our lives will
conform to His ways. The psalmist wrote: "Teach me, O LORD, the
way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end.... Turn
away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in
Your way" (Ps.119:33,37).
Why not begin committing Scripture to memory? Daily
consistency and review are keys to success. And just like
physical exercise, this spiritual discipline is enhanced when
done with a small group or with a friend.
Let's not forget to remember and follow the life-giving
wisdom of God's Word. - David McCasland
God's Word will change your life, If you will do your part, To
read, to study, and obey, And hide it in your heart. - Sper
LET THE BIBLE FILL YOUR MIND, RULE YOUR HEART, AND GUIDE YOUR
To be continued