The Peacemaker Student EditionNew book for teens that provides a biblical framework for young people who want to handle conflict without fighting back or running away. $10.95 more info
|Upcoming Event Schedule:
• May 29-31, Sacramento, CA – Conflict Coaching and Mediation
• May 30-31 – Sacramento, CA – Reconciling Marital Conflict
• June 12-14 – Little Rock, AR – Conflict Coaching and Mediation
• June 12-14 – Little Rock, AR – Certification Training• July 31-Aug 2 – Riverside, CA – Conflict Coaching and Mediation • Aug 7-9 – Billings, MT – Teaching Peacemaking Cross-Culturally
• Pre-Conference Events
** September 23-25, 2008 – Conflict Coaching & Mediation
** September 23-25, 2008 – Reconciling Church Conflict** September 23-25, 2008 – Certification Training
** September 23-25, 2008 – Teaching Peacemaking Cross-Culturally
** September 24-25, 2008 – Reconciling Marital Conflict• Oct 16-18- Cambridge, MA – Conflict Coaching and Mediation
More information, registration, or complete listing of upcoming events
Getting the Log Out
The following excerpt is from the new book, The Peacemaker Student Edition: Handling Conflict without Fighting Back or Running Away by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson.
Olivia’s little brother was a mess, no doubt about it. Almost six years younger than his big sister, Zach could wipe out a room in minutes, splattering from corner to corner assorted action figures, remote-control vehicles, and sports equipment.
Olivia was mad that the family room was almost always littered with Zach’s stuff. She was tense and embarrassed about anyone coming over without lots of warning. But one day when Olivia hollered at Zach to pick up after himself, he just lifted a finger and pointed straight at his big sister’s bedroom.
If the family room sometimes looked like a trash can had been turned upside down, then Olivia’s room often seemed more like a garbage truck had backed up to the window and dumped its contents. The floor was covered with outfits she had tried on and decided not to wear. There were stacks of homework assignments half completed—and heaps of papers graded and handed back long ago. All of Olivia’s things were literally piled up.
Olivia had always reasoned that the clutter in her bedroom was her mess in her room—and she could just shut the door. It dawned on Olivia, though, that the state of her room annoyed the rest of her family at least as much as Zach’s untidiness did. And her own mess was often the biggest reason she couldn’t invite friends over to the house.
That weekend Olivia straightened up her room top to bottom. She made a list to stick on her mirror—five ways she was going to do better at keeping the house picked up. Four had to do with keeping her own things straightened up. The fifth was her plan to help teach Zach how to pick up after himself.
We are all quick to slam others for their faults when we ourselves have bigger failings. It’s what Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:3–5:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
That passage contains one of the most vivid images in the entire Bible. Jesus pictures a person with a log jutting from his eye—yet that same person is trying to delicately dab a speck of dust out of someone else’s eye. Blinded by his own big problem, the first guy is a hypocrite for trying to help another. He first needs to take care of his own fault.
Jesus doesn’t mean that our own sins are necessarily bigger or worse than those of others. But they are obvious. Right under our noses. Completely under our control. And they should be the first thing we examine and correct when conflict hits.
You might read Jesus’s words and jump to the conclusion that you should never get face-to-face with people to point out their failings. But if you read that passage carefully, you’ll realize it doesn’t tell you to always keep mum about others’ flaws. Instead, it warns us against correcting others too quickly or aiming our criticism in the wrong direction. Before we talk to others about their faults, we need to make sure we have owned up to ours. Once we take care of the plank in our own eye, then we are in good shape to get the speck out of someone else’s. If we have dealt with our contribution to a conflict, we can legitimately approach others about theirs.
As we try to see our own part of a problem, we often find we have two kinds of faults. One has to do with our inner thoughts and feelings, the other with our outward actions. First, we might have an overly sensitive attitude. Don’t get us wrong. Sensitivity is an awesome quality in both guys and girls. But here we are talking about being offended too easily by how people treat us. We need to get over that. Second, we may have contributed to the conflict through our own sinful behavior. What we have done or not done in a situation might have made a clash worse. We also need to learn to clean up those messes.
Solving an issue between us and someone else means addressing both kinds of problems. So (we need to) look hard at our own attitude issues … (and) put a stop to actions that jeopardize peace.
When we are stuck in a conflict, the last place we want to look—at our own faults—is actually the first place to start.
Used by permission of Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright 2008. All rights to this material are reserved. Materials are not to be distributed to other web locations for retrieval, published in other media, or mirrored at other sites without written permission from Baker Publishing Group.
New Peacemaking Resource for Teens!
We’ve been waiting for years, and there is finally a peacemaking resource specifically geared toward teens. Written by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson, The Peacemaker Student Edition uses the same sound scriptural approach as in The Peacemaker and provides teens a solid foundation for wisely handling the conflicts they face.
“When I started reading it, I felt this great relief. This was one area I was lost in—as to what God wants us to do and what we end up doing. When I had finished I felt peaceful knowing there is something to help me do the right thing about conflicts.” – Mandi, age 16
While written for teens, this book is also a must-have for parents, grandparents, and youth workers. It’s ideal for group study, since each chapter includes a set of thought-provoking discussion questions. For a closer look at the book, download Chapter 1 (with Table of Contents) or listen to a short interview with Ken Sande. You may order The Peacemaker Student Edition through our online bookstore or by calling 800-711-7118.
Certified Christian Conciliator Earns Master’s Degree in Biblical Conflict Resolution
Many of our Certified Christian Conciliators seek opportunities to increase their education and skills in peacemaking. One way of doing so is to enroll in a Master’s Degree Program in Biblical Conflict Resolution, such as the one offered by Birmingham Theological Seminary (BTS). BTS recently announced that Dave Edling, former Senior Ministry Consultant with Peacemaker Ministries, graduated on May 9, 2008, with a Master of Arts in Biblical Conflict Resolution. Dave is the seminary’s first graduate in this degree program, and was able to complete all course requirements from his home in Colorado. Congratulations, Dave! For more information on this degree program, visit the BTS website.
The Power of a Peacemaking Church: 2008 Peacemaker Conference
Teens aren’t the only ones who need to learn the principles of peacemaking—grown-ups do, too! So we invite you to come to the 2008 Peacemaker Conference and immerse yourself in an environment that is especially conducive to growing as a peacemaker. The 2008 Conference centers on the theme, “The Power of a Peacemaking Church.” Mark your calendar and join us in Orlando, Florida on September 25-27 for the peacemaking event of the year! And bring a group to save even more—for every four people you bring, the fifth is free!
Prices go up on July 1, so register soon to get the best rate.
Seeing the Sights on Route 5:9
Have you visited the Peacemaker Ministries blog—Route 5:9—recently? (Or has it visited you through the RSS feed?) Route 5:9 seeks to reflect on the journey of peacemaking—what it means to live out Matthew 5:9—”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” There are many interesting conversations going on there, so stop by and check it out. Here are a few recent headlines:
· The Masele Plant and Reconciliation
· Increase our Faith
· Discontentment: An Autobiography
· Worship and Unity