eNews @ Peacemaker Ministries – September 2008

 

eNews @ Peacemaker Ministries – September 2008

   
Monthly news and commentary on biblical peacemaking September 2008
In This Issue:• Building Real Relationships

• 2008 Conference is Here!

• Testimony of the Month

• Traffic Report on Route 5:9

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:
• Oct 11- Woodville TX – Peacemaker Seminar  • Oct 16-18- Cambridge, MA – Conflict Coaching and Mediation  • Oct 23-25- Pasadena, MD Conflict Coaching and Mediation
• Nov 2-4- Manhattan, KS – Peacemaker Seminar • Nov 7-8- Billings, MT – Conflict Coaching• Jan 24, 2009- Sparta, WI – Peacemaker Seminar• Mar 27-28, 2009- Akron, OH – Conflict CoachingMore information, registration, or complete listing of upcoming events

 

Building Real Relationships

by Ken Sande and Gary Friesen

For the first time in Mike’s memory, Peter would not be joining the family for their annual Easter dinner.

Mike and Peter were not just brothers; for as long as Mike could remember, they had been best friends. They both loved the Lord and were active in the same church. Yet Mike couldn’t break through his brother’s increasing bitterness toward him.

How had it come to this? For fifteen years they worked side by side in their father’s construction business. Mike handled administration and marketing, and Peter oversaw the work crews. They earned the same salary and enjoyed a rewarding working relationship with their father.

Their relationship had begun to change about eighteen months ago when their father unexpectedly died. As directed by their father’s will, Mike received the construction business, and Peter received the family’s vacation cabin. Their father’s other assets were split evenly between them.

Everything seemed fine for a while. The two brothers worked together to take care of the estate duties, selling their father’s house and sorting through his library. A few times Peter had expressed his concern to Mike about the difference in value between the successful business and the humble cabin, but Mike found the conversations uncomfortable and always managed to change the subject. Looking back, he could see that Peter had begun to grow distant.

Peter finally revealed his anger when Mike began to make changes in the construction business. From that point on, their ability to interact deteriorated rapidly. Now, several months later, they were communicating only through terse notes or third parties. Their wives, once close friends, barely spoke. Their children preferred to steer clear of each other rather than to deal with the awkwardness of their parents’ broken relationship. Both families still attended church, but it was apparent to everyone that they were estranged.

On a few occasions Mike had tried to talk to Peter, but it only made things worse. Peter seemed unable to respond without attacking Mike’s character, and he was apparently oblivious to his own selfishness and self-righteous anger. The men fell into a pattern of avoiding each other as much as possible.

So it had come to this–yesterday’s brief, impersonal email: “Mike, we have made other plans for Easter. Peter.”

____________________________

Conflict is by no means a new thing. We see it as far back as the Garden of Eden. One of the first conflicts ever–Adam and Eve versus God–had profound consequences. It threw our ancestors into ongoing patterns of conflict with one another. Worse yet, it separated them from the God with whom they had originally enjoyed an intimate, personal relationship.

Unfortunately, Adam’s failure is our failure. Because the whole human race was represented by Adam, his sin has ongoing effects. It is with us to this day, rearing its destructive head in our lives on a daily basis, from our first breath on this planet to our last. It’s in our blood, so to speak; we are sinners through and through. This is why conflict is inevitable, even among God’s people.

But God has not deserted us in our sin and conflict. Because of his love for us, he sent his Son to earth to deliver us from our sin and save us from its eternal consequences (John 3:16). By taking our sins to the cross, Jesus paid for them and reconciled us with our heavenly Father (1 Pet. 3:18). Through faith in Christ’s completed work, we will enjoy everlasting life with God in heaven, rather than face eternal separation from him in hell.

Jesus’ sacrifice also opened the way for us to handle problems on earth differently. By his grace, we can confess our sins and look to God for help in healing broken relationships. We can receive his power to change harmful attitudes and habits (1 John 1:9) and to live a life pleasing to him (Phil. 2:13). God’s grace also enables us to resolve conflicts in a way that glorifies him and preserves precious relationships. The more we rely on his grace, the more effective we can be in living for God’s glory as sinners who are also saints.

The hope this offers to those trapped in conflict is indescribable. Once we repent of our sins and confess them, our past sins become just that–past. God is a redeeming God who wants to forgive our sins and does so, wiping our slate clean. God delights in turning our ashes into beauty and our conflict into peace, and he is always able to help us change our ways so that we are swept up more and more into his wonderful plan for our lives (2 Pet. 1:3-4).

God wants his love for us to be reflected in our love for one another (John 13:34-35). Therefore, he wants us to resolve our conflicts with one another in a way that blesses those around us and strengthens our relationships (John 17:23). But he does not merely tell us that we should make peace with each other. He also graciously provides us with thorough instructions on how to resolve conflict. In addition to this, he promises to guide and enable us as we put these principles into practice.

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The previous article is based on an excerpt from a booklet in our Culture of Peace series, Biblical Peacemaking: Building Real Relationships. This booklet contains a summary of the basic principles of biblical peacemaking. If reading an entire book sounds overwhelming, this booklet is a great alternative to introduce people to the concepts found in Ken Sande’s book, The Peacemaker. You may order copies of this booklet for just $1.75 each through our online bookstore or by calling our resource department at 800-711-7118.

2008 Conference Is Here!

http://peacemaker.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ac2008-logo-sm.jpgThe week of the Peacemaker Conference is here and so most of our staff are either already in Orlando, on their way, or headed that way shortly. If you can’t make it, we invite you to follow along at Route 5:9, the Peacemaker Ministries blog. please keep an eye out there for videos, interviews, highlights, and summaries of what’s happening at this peacemaking event of the year. It should be a fabulous time of worship, learning, and fellowship, and we’ll do our best to tell you all about it.

(And by the way, if by chance you are in driving distance of Orlando, there’s still room at the conference. Just show up by Thursday evening and register on site. We’d love to have you there!)

Testimony of the Month

A recent visitor to the Peacemaker Ministries website wrote:

A thank you. About three years ago I completed the ‘Peacemaker’ individual program and used the information to bring healing to my broken relationship with my mother. Yesterday she was given three months to live, and I have the privilege of walking these final days with her. Truly loving others is our calling, and conflicts are a barrier Satan longs to use. Thank you for the material that transformed the barrier into a door for Jesus Christ. He has transformed my mom’s heart and life in the process, and I am praying for more fruit in her closing days. When time and finances permit, I will pursue the conciliator training, that I might be used of Him to bring healing to others in the midst of conflict. God’s richest blessings are prayed for you.

When the end of life comes, don’t we all want to be at peace in our relationships? What a gift that the Lord gave to this woman and her mother–enabling them to prepare to enter eternity with their relationship reconciled. Praise God!

Traffic Report on Route 5:9

Have you visited the Peacemaker Ministries blog—Route 5:9—recently? 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 conversations going on there, so be sure to stop by and check it out (especially since it’s conference week this week). Here are a couple of examples of recent topics:

 

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March 3, 2015