Live Blog on Addictions

Tara and I are both in Philadelphia for the CCEF conference, and she’s “live blogging” the pre-conference training today. Addictions can be at the center of all kinds of marital, family, and church conflicts, so it’s a relevant topic to peacemaking.

Tara’s quite a fast typer, so it’s pretty much like being there. Surprisingly so. And it’s quite edifying, too. We both have a high degree of respect for these CCEF guys. I invite you to follow along (or read it later) yourself:

Pre-Conference Session on Addictions/CrossRoads Curriculum

UPDATE: She’s started a new post on David Powlison’s “What is Biblical Counseling” this afternoon. See link below.

Pre-Conference Session on “What is Biblical Counseling?”

Romantically Stubborn

I’ve been wondering lately why we tend to romanticize stubborness. Take this for example:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Edith Macefield, the owner of this house, died on Sunday at the age of 86.  She refused to sell her home to the construction company that was developing the property around her, and the above picture was the result.

The people in her neighborhood admired her, as did the rest of the nation when the story broke last year.  I have to admit, there’s something cool about a little old lady standing up to the machine of  “progress.” If Edith had a memorial (she explicitly said she didn’t want one) people would be standing at the pulpit, smiling and reminiscing about her stubborn streak.

The reality is much more sobering though.  I was just thinking that stubborn people (myself included) are often skilled at destroying relationships, wasting money, and being pains in the you-know-what, all in the name of pride.

Is that really something to romanticize?

“But my people would not listen to me;
       Israel would not submit to me.

 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts
       to follow their own devices.”

                                    Psalm 81:11-12

“The Israelites are stubborn,
       like a stubborn heifer.
       How then can the LORD pasture them
       like lambs in a meadow?”

                                     Hosea 4:16 

 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.”

                                   Romans 2:5

Artisans of Peace

The Peacemaker: French EditionWe are pleased to announce that Ken Sande’s flagship book on peacemaking, The Peacemaker, is now available in French: L’Artisan de Paix: Un Guide Biblique Pour La Gestion Des Conflits Personnels. It is available for $13.95 in our online bookstore.

Now I don’t know French at all, but isn’t “artisan of peace” an expressive way to say peacemaker? When I think of artisan, I think of someone who has worked hard to hone a craft through many years of practice. And they create something wonderful and beautiful to behold. Their labors result in something precious.

It’s a nice challenge for all of us in how we think of peacemaking. Being a peacemaker may take hard work and much practice, but the results–reconciled relationships–are beautiful and precious both to those involved and those who look on with interest.

So let’s all be artisans of peace! 

Teens as Peacemakers

I sat down with Ken Sande this week to discuss his new book, The Peacemaker Student Edition: Handling Conflict without Fighting Back or Running Away. Peacemaker Ministries has been trying to develop materials for teens for a long time, and so we’re pleased to finally have such a quality resource available for this oft-overlooked demographic.

The Peacemaker Student EditionI think that I often have too low of an expectation of teenagers. I went into the conversation thinking that this book would simply help teenagers learn to stay out of conflicts. While that’s a good thing, being a peacemaker means more than just avoiding conflicts yourself. It also means helping your brothers and sisters live in peace together (like the loyal yokefellow in Philippians 4:3). And teens are capable of doing this, perhaps to a much greater extent that I was ready to give them credit for. Ken vividly demonstrated this with a story of Jay, a teenager who built a reputation as a peacemaker in his school–so much that he was often late to class because he was helping his peers resolve their conflicts!

Listen to the whole interview and get the whole story. (MP3 download)

The Peacemaker Student Edition is specifically written in a way that teens can easily grasp and relate to.  For a taste of the writing style in this book, take a look at the sample  of Chapter 1 (and Table of Contents) that’s also available online.

We’re excited by the availability of this book, and pray that it would be a blessing to many teens, parents, youth pastors, and young adults. If you are interested in getting a copy for yourself or your church, visit our online bookstore or call us at 800-711-7118.

Remember the Grand Truths

A good reminder from John Piper on Desiring God’s blog, and hopefully an indirect consequence of this here blog:

“It is essential to say the grand old truths again and again. There is ample evidence in the Bible that they are quickly forgotten.

Remember, there are different kinds of forgetting.

One is that great truths are gone out of the mind never to return. The other is that they are gone out of the mind for a season (a day, a year) while we languish in discouragement and sin.

Don’t follow Israel here:

‘And the people of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side.’ (Judges 8:34)

Rather, submit to Peter:
‘I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder…. This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder.’ (2 Peter 1:12-13; 3:1)”

Blog Til You Drop

There was an article in the NY Times over the weekend about the health hazards of blogging. Obviously, as a relatively new blogger, I was keenly interested in the inherent dangers of this new role of mine (and for my colleagues’ sake as well).

I had to chuckle at the tale of one overworked blogger, whose blogging habits are exacting quite a toll on his body:

He says he sleeps about five hours a night and often does not have time to eat proper meals. But he does stay fueled – by regularly consuming a protein supplement mixed into coffee.

Protein supplement in your coffee?!? What’s up with that? Thankfully, I’m nowhere near that point. Molly, Jeromy, and Jerry, are you guys OK?

So with a sigh of relief, I’ll plan to continue to contribute to this blog without undue fear of long-term harm.