How Relationships Work – Workshop 3/24/15

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By , March 24, 2015 12:24 pm
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Today we sang “You Are For Me” by Kelanie Gloekler and “Power In The Blood” by Fernando Ortega.

Kathy led us in a workshop by answering questions that we had emailed her during the week.  She addressed handling offenses with unbelievers, living in victory with unresolved or repeated conflict in a family, differentiating between a boundary and a wall, how to love people who don’t seem to like us, how to stay more in the spirit, what it means if we are taking an offense for a third person, how our forgiving others is evidence that God has forgiven us, and what it means to turn the other cheek.  Kathy also took questions from the floor and we all benefitted from the conversation.

How Relationships Work: Negotiating Differences, Part 2- 03/17/15

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By , March 18, 2015 2:45 pm
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We praised God singing “God of the Impossible” by Sara Reeves and “Just As I Am” by Travis Cottrell.

Kathy reviewed last weeks lesson about reconciling relationships and the importance of forgiveness.

We continued learning about negotiating differences, especially in regards to long standing relationships that are not reconciled.  She talked about the fact that out of our hollow places of pain can flow rivers of living water and guarding against the devastating affects of bitterness.

Blessed

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By , March 15, 2015 1:24 pm
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Please join us for the remaining sessions of our series “How Relationships Work.” We will meet these Tuesdays: March 17th and 24th, April 7th and 14th. Class times are 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.–or follow online anytime!

 

 

 

BLESSED

 

I will bless you…so that you will be a blessing.

 

Genesis 12:2 NRS

 

It was another gray March day, the sky threatening yet more rain. Only an occasional glimpse of sunshine had graced us these last 2 weeks here in the supposedly sunny South. My internal climate mimicked the external one. I wasn’t exactly gray inside, just lacking a bit of joy.

 

I dreaded my afternoon chore: catching up on my bills and putting my finances in order. That’s one of those tasks that I push to the bottom of the list repeatedly until the point when late notices threaten to arrive. I finished them all until I had to stamp the bills. We only had 2 in the entire house; they weren’t nearly enough for my stack of envelopes.

 

A glance at the clock told me that five o’clock was fast approaching. If I hurried, I might be able to get my bills in today’s post. To my irritation, I didn’t make it to the nearest post office before it closed, so I had to fight rush-hour traffic and head to the larger USPS downtown. I pushed through the afternoon rush hour traffic to get there.

 

I arrived and stepped into a long line of customers. I pulled out my smart phone to check messages when I heard a strange sound. It was something between a scream and a cry. My eyes followed the sound and landed on a boy sitting in what I can best describe as a large baby walker. He was pitching his head back and yelling at the top of his lungs. He seemed too old to be in a stroller; his sprawling limbs told me that he was disabled. His mom was the picture of patience as she bent down to quiet him. I noticed a Cross on the front of her t-shirt as she turned my way.

 

My mind immediately went to what the Bible teaches about blessings. I’ve been learning that we have the capacity to receive every spiritual blessing from God. (Ephesians 1:3) It immediately brightened my day to realize that I could impart a blessing to this precious family out of the overflow of God’s blessings to me. I put my phone down and under my breath began to speak blessings over the boy, his mom, and his sister. What love and mercy sprang up inside as I began to tap into the greatness of the Father’s love for them!

 

My blessing session was interrupted by the attendant who was ready to sell me my stamps. It made me smile to realize that my primary purpose for being there was not to complete this transaction and my little project for the day. How wonderful that my Sovereign Lord gave me this special Kingdom assignment. His plans for me were so much more satisfying that what I had in mind for myself that afternoon!

 

As I walked back to the car, the little boy zoomed right past me in his walker. When his mom came running after him I got a glimpse of the back of her shirt this time. It announced in a cheerful font and bright colors the message of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Now it was my turn to be blessed! I blurted out without thinking, “Lady, you’ve got on the perfect shirt!” She turned to me with a smile and said, “Yes ma’am, I do.”

 

This busy mom was clearly accustomed to questions about her son. She introduced me to 5-year-old Mason and shared his story with me. Her face blazed with passion as she told me how the doctors predicted he would never survive when he was born at 24 weeks gestation. “They said he would be a vegetable if he lived, but look at him. And God is not finished with him yet!” It wasn’t hard to see that her joy surpassed all the world has brought her way and it was contagious.

 

It was all I could do to get to the car before dissolving in tears. I prayed, “Forgive me, Father, for my selfishness and ingratitude earlier today. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see this stunning example of what it looks like to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. I want the same thing I saw on that woman–a joy that comes from deep down inside and that can only come from You.” I believe God will give me that same joy even in my most difficult circumstances. In fact I’m overjoyed now as I remember that He is not finished with me yet!

How Relationships Work: Negotiating Differences – 3/10/15

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By , March 11, 2015 3:09 pm
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This week we sang “Jesus Paid It All” by Kristian Stanfill and “Live Your Love” by the Katinas.

Kathy began with a review, reminding us that God’s ministry to us and for us is reconciliation.  He reconciled us to Himself through Jesus and now calls us to reconcile with others.  A heart that is for reconciliation has experienced God’s grace and forgiveness for itself, is wise and wily in response to others, desires connection, and is open to newness in relationship.

This week’s lesson focused on negotiating differences in relationships.  We looked at what God’s word says about handling offenses, whether we have sinned or have been sinned against.  We learned how to stay within Biblical boundaries when negotiating differences by 1) going to our brother in private with the goal of reconciliation, 2) going quickly but choosing our time wisely, 3) keeping our comments current,  4) not judging or accusing, 5) admitting and taking responsibility for our wrongs, and 6) speaking the truth in love.

Kathy reminded us that God is the secure foundation for all of our other relationships.

How Relationships Work: Reconciling Differences-03/03/15

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By , March 5, 2015 1:21 pm
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Today we began with praising God singing: “Christ Be All Aroud Me” by Michael W. Smith & “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone” by Chris Tomlin.

Kathy continued our series on relationships with a review of  what are some stumbling blocks to Godly relationships and then began teaching about the process of reconciliation.

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