Last Day to Get the Women’s Study at 2010 Price

Women's StudyStarting tomorrow, the Women’s Study will go up to $149 from the current $79 price. If you’ve been looking at getting it for your church, today is a great day to buy it!

At our website you can review the details on this study (including video clips, Study Guide excerpts, downloadable materials, and more) and place your order (or if you’d prefer to order it over the phone, you can call our toll-free number: 800-711-7118) .

You are worse than you think

A short post from RW Glenn on dealing with criticism as a pastor. Reminds me a lot of the article from my own pastor, Alfred Poirier, called “The Cross and Criticism.” (Both men appear to be Jack Miller fans, too!) It’s good counsel for all of us, even if we aren’t pastors…

One of the occupational hazards of pastoral ministry is that you are often the subject of people’s destructive criticism, gossip, slander, misrepresentation, foolish inferences, ignorant speculations, and the like. And any pastor who’s being honest with himself – even a hard-nosed guy like me – will admit that the hurtful things people say are just that – hurtful. They hurt.

How do you heal the hurt? How do you prevent the hurt from festering, from becoming a root of bitterness toward your enemies?

The answer is to remember this: you are far worse than your enemies make you out to be! They don’t know the half of it.

Now they may not be correct or truthful in what they are saying about you, but you (and your spouse) could tell them things about yourself that would make their mouths hang open in shock and disbelief. You could tell them things about yourself that would make their petty criticisms pale in comparison. After all, what is wrong with you is so wrong, that it took the one perfect person who ever lived to die for you and suffer God’s wrath for you.

Now I know that this may not seem all that encouraging – in fact, you might think that it would only make matters worse. You’re already wounded. Why pour salt into the wound?

And let me say that it would be very discouraging if you stopped with bringing to mind what a mess you are. So don’t stop short. Go farther. Go all the way to the cross and realize that even though you are far worse than your enemies think you are, Jesus went to the cross willingly. He was not reluctant to die for you: “No one takes my life away from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:18)! Even though you are a million times worse than any of your enemies know, Jesus does know, and he loves you anyway. The cross proves it.

The late Jack Miller used to put it this way: “Cheer up! You’re worse than you think.” In a strange way, this does put a smile on my face. As bad as people may think I am, I’m worse than they think, even worse than I think, but Jesus knows me fully and loves me so much that he went to the cross in my place.

HT: Challies

Loving our enemies while we have the opportunity

From John Piper at the Desiring God blog:

I have heard preachers say, the only thing we do on this earth that we won’t do in the age to come, is witness to unbelievers…  But there is another now-or-never.Jesus said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). He clearly loved his enemies: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). And God loved his: “While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10).

But in the age to come there will be no enemies to love. They will have all become friends (Luke 16:9), or they will have been cast into outer darkness (Matthew 8:12). Neither we, nor Christ, nor God the Father, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the angels will love our enemies any more…

Today is the day God has appointed to love our enemies. Either we will do it in this life, or we will never do it. But Jesus commands it to be done. It is a revelation of his glory in this world. Loving our enemies is one of the good deeds people see and give glory to God (Matthew 5:16). It is an echo of his cross (Ephesians 4:32). This is the only world where this demonstration of God’s glory can happen.

The Key to Living with a Painful Situation

Although we can be sure that God is always working for our good and the good of others, even through trials and suffering, we will not always know exactly what that good is. In many cases his ultimate purposes will not be evident for a long time. And in some situations his ways and objectives are simply too profound for us to comprehend, at least until we see God face to face (see Romans 11:33-36). This should not diminish our confidence in him or our willingness to obey him, however. As Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.”

This passage provides the key to dealing faithfully with painful and unjust situations. God may not tell us everything we want to know about the painful events of life, but he has already told us all we need to know. Therefore, instead of wasting time and energy trying to figure out things that are beyond our comprehension, we need to turn our attention to the promises and instructions that God has revealed to us through Scripture. The Bible tells us that God is both sovereign and good, so we can be sure that whatever he has brought into our lives can be used to glorify him, to benefit others, and to help us to grow.

Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 64-64

Food for Thought

Are you living with a painful situation? Is there a situation in your life that you just don’t understand why it has transpired in the way it has?

As you trust God with the “secret things,” first remember all he has already done for you through Christ. Then focus your attention on obeying his revealed will, and you will experience greater peace within yourself (Psalm 131; Isaiah 26:3) and serve him more effectively as a peacemaker (Proverbs 3:5-7).

Binding together those cut apart

“Christians in community must again show the world, not merely family values, but the bond of the love of Christ. Increasingly the ordered fellowship of the church becomes the sign of grace for the warring factions of a disordered world. Only as the church binds together those whom selfishness and hate have cut apart will its message be heard and its ministry of hope to the friendless be received.”

—Edmund P. Clowney, The Church

Keep Your Eyes on Your Own Heart

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21

As we have seen, an idol is any desire that has grown into a consuming demand that rules our hearts; it is something we think we must have to be happy, fulfilled, or secure. To put it another way, it is something we love, fear, or trust.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 109

Food for Thought

This one’s really all about you.

Keep your eyes on your own paper. Do you remember hearing that in school, maybe right before or during a test? Sometimes it was a little hard, huh? But the teacher wanted you to do your own work and as we grow older, we see the benefit of that perspective. Or do we?

Take a discussion of idols, for instance. We could think through that for a moment, but more than likely, the overriding urge would be to consider what someone else idolizes. Yes, well, we all know that Rebecca…or You know, I’m convinced that James

Keep your eyes on your own heart. What is it that is consuming you? What is the thing that you’re convinced will make you happy? What is it you are looking for to bring you the security you crave. Look deep within yourself, spend some time on your knees, and ask Christ to reveal those people, places or things you love, fear, or trust more than Him.

For a detailed treatment of this topic of heart idols, see the article “Getting to the Heart of Conflict” on the Peacemaker Ministries website.

Order by July 1st and Get Lowest Price on Women’s Study!

Are you looking for a women’s study that digs deep into Scripture, yet it won’t leave you feeling weighed down with rules and to-do’s?

Then please join the women studying the Peacemaking Church Women’s Study. You’ll be encouraged. You’ll be challenged. And most of all, you’ll see how the gospel is your hope in all of life, particularly in your relationships.

 

Peacemaking Church Women’s Study Teaser from Peacemaker Ministries on Vimeo.

Here is just a sample of what women are saying about this study:

“I would recommend this series to every church, every parachurch organization, and every woman! This series will not simply encourage women in deeper study of God’s word, but will create an environment of building godly relationships.”

“I took this study with me to preview and have been tremendously blessed! Thank you so much for your willingness to be so open and honest with people. Several times I thought “Wow, I thought I was the only one who thought like that or who reached points that low.” It is such a help to sisters in Christ when someone is willing to really “put themselves out there” and share such personal emotions. It really shows all women that none of us can do anything at all without Christ, but with Him, the seemingly impossible can happen.”

“I had the first session yesterday here and we LOVED it — I can’t begin to tell you how fruitful the discussion was. I’d love to just sit with you and describe the conversations. We are all so enthusiastic about continuing. Pray for us–that this passion wouldn’t die, that we would see God’s faithfulness in meeting our hearts’ cries, and that we would continually run to the cross together. Can’t tell you how blessed we are and thankful for your work on this!”

Starting July 1st, the price of the Women’s Study will be increasing. Until then, you can still get your hands on this gem of a study for the 2010 price of $79.

At our website you can review the details on this study (including video clips, Study Guide excerpts, downloadable materials, and more) and place your order (or if you’d prefer to order it over the phone, you can call our toll-free number: 800-711-7118) .

New Lesson Available for Free Online!

Peacemaker University Logo

We’re excited to announce that the first lesson of the study The Leadership Opportunity is now available for free to study online at Peacemaker University!

To get to the lesson for free just go here.

If you’re interested, you can view the trailer for the study:

The Leadership Opportunity from Peacemaker Ministries on Vimeo.

Bringing Hope Through the Gospel

When someone has disappointed or offended us, our natural tendency often is to come at them with “the law,” lecturing them about what they have done wrong and what they should now do to make things right. This approach generally makes people defensive and reluctant to admit their wrongs, which makes a conflict worse.

But there is a better way to approach others about their failures. Instead of coming at them with the law, we can bring them the gospel. In other words, rather than dwelling on what people should do or have failed to do, we can learn to focus primarily on what God has done and is doing for them through Christ.

Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) pp. 162-163, 165.

 

Food for Thought

Do you tend to be a “law-speaker” or “grace-speaker”?

Many times it is difficult to consistently weave the gospel into our conversations with others until the gospel is first woven deeply into our own hearts. Many of us are by nature “law-speakers”–we bring judgment much more easily than we bring grace. If that is you, pray that God would give you a major heart change, to make the gospel central to everything you think, say and do. Pray that God will open your eyes more fully to the glory of what Christ has done for you. Learn to delight in reading about, meditating on, and rejoicing in Jesus’ completed work on the cross. When your soul, your thoughts, and your conversation are saturated with the gospel, it will overflow into other areas of your life, bringing hope and encouragement to others.

Latest Edition of Reconciled

Reconciled Cover Page The latest edition of our bi-monthly publication is now available for download online. I’ve included the table of contents and download link below:

Contents – Creative Churches, Ethiopia, and Peacemaking Education Online

  • Churches Find New Ways to Impact Using REC
  • Peacemaking in Ethiopia
  • New Resources… Online and Off
  • Peacemaker University
  • Event Schedule
  • Connect Online

Download Reconciled