Making Peace/Moving On

Tonight we talked about forgiveness and how it frees us.  I can personally testify that harboring ill feelings is like a growing cancer.  It sickens you and saddens those around you.  You will find peace in forgiving others, or in taking the steps needed to resolve an issue.  Even if the other person is not responsive, you will be freed of the burden.

Once you have made peace with your past, you are free to become fully engaged in the present.  And when you become fully engaged in the present, you are then free to build a better future for yourself and your loved ones.

Colossians 3:3  Your old life is dead.  Your new life, which is your real life, even though invisible to spectators, is with Christ in God.  He is your Life.

Difficult People: The Dreamer

Our chat about different personality types continues, today, with a focus on The Dreamer.  Oh, how wonderful it is to dream and live in the “way beyond,” but this person has difficulty coming down out of the clouds to get something done!  Do you know The Dreamer?

The thing that makes The Dreamer difficult is that although his/her ideas are amazing and they can talk to you about one idea after another, most of the time they do not have the strategy portion thought out.  Now, for those of us who lean on the personality side of “git-r-dun” we really may feel like stringing this person up by their toes.  But, cut them some slack, because many times The Dreamer does not know how to manifest the dream in tangible ways.  This person can be a real challenge to deal with if you are trying to work with him/her on tasks or jobs that have a deadline.  The Dreamer wants to talk and we are frustratingly waiting at the starting gate looking at our watches!

Possible Coping Strategies:  Remember, most of the time this person is not trying to annoy us; that is not the motive.  A visionary–The Dreamer–just needs to connect/partner with a strategist.  It is important to help The Dreamer develop his/her gifts further; to help bring an action skeleton to the ideas.  If we can help him/her see that an idea will work and this is a way, then we can help them begin to think further in how to make the idea happen–stretch the thinking and build excitement.  This will cause The Dreamer to feel valuable.  Don’t let The Dreamer stay in the clouds; share God’s love by helping him/her grow and learn how to manifest a dream.

“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

The Room

17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was What Heaven Was Like. "I wowed ’em," he later told his father, Bruce. "It’s a killer. It’s the bomb. It’s the best thing I ever wrote." It also was the last.

Jesus is Alive | Connect2Christ ChurchBrian’s parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager’s locker at Teays Valley High School in Pickaway County. Brian had been dead only hours but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them, notes from classmates and teachers, his homework. Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen’s life. But it was only after Brian’s death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven.

It makes such an impact that people want to share it. "You feel like you are there." Mr. Moore said. Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend’s house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted. The Moores framed a copy of Brian’s essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it, “Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son’s vision of life after death. "I’m happy for Brian. I know he’s in heaven. I know I’ll see him again one day."

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in The Room. There were no distinguishing features, except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order.
These files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was

This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I Have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed At." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers." Others I couldn’t laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I Have Watched," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew that file represented. When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts

I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel with." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I began to weep sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes

No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then, as I wiped away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, and so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished"I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have Eternal life

Difficult People: The Erupter

People are all different and we need to learn how to appreciate one another.  That is easier said than done when dealing with personality types that are difficult.  Have you ever been around someone who erupts like a volcano when you least expect it?

This personality type is extremely unpredictable.  You find yourself thinking one way and this person reacting another.  In your mind, you play things over and over, because you cannot quite get a grasp on what made him or her snap.  If someone frequently erupts with extreme reactions, you can feel like you are walking on broken glass–you are guessing every step and every word.

Loving this personality type is a trick, but Christ in you can make it possible.  Remember, love never fails.  In this case, love needs to be direct.  If someone unpredictably erupts with you, the best thing to do is to get them into a private conversation; remove them from influencing others.  Then, listen to what is really bothering them.  Many times the erupter is simply over the top with the issues of life and it is a combination of many, many circumstances.  Let Christ in you be understanding, but tell the truth about how that action affects you and give them suggestions for ways of responding in the future.

“Don’t just pretend to love others.  Really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”  Romans 12:9-10

Difficult People: The Taker or User

We have been talking about how different personalities challenge our love walk each day.  Let’s get real and honest here.  You know the ones I’m talking about; the folks who press our buttons "just so" making it difficult to give them Jesus!  Some people use us; take advantage of us.  Jesus knows all about it; he took up the cross for the users and takers, too.  Now, he challenges us to do the same.  "If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine."  I guess that means sometimes our reactions have to be placed on the cross, so we can follow the agape path with Jesus, right?

Difficult Personality #2:  The Taker/User.  If we stop for a minute and think about it we know people who we feel use us; take advantage of us. This person is busy trying to gather everything for themselves.   For some reason, this personality feels if they do not take the things they need, even if it means using us, they will not be happy or will be in lack.   It takes placing great confidence in the love of God for us to avoid being a taker; we’re selfish.  Apart from Grace we can all fall short of living in God’s love.

Possible Coping Strategy:  Recognize what is motivating this personality type–fear.  We must offer love by setting boundaries.  There is nothing wrong with protecting your time and energy, as well as helping people remain accountable in loving you. If you don’t set boundaries, you risk an equally wrong mindset and become a martyr.  Many times people do not realize they are using us; be honest and help them by setting "love" boundaries.  Believe the best and stand the test!


Difficult People: The Tank

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he said, “You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money.  They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful.  They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.  They will be cruel and hate what is good.  They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.  They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.”  2 Timothy 3:1-5. Do you ever find yourself facing difficult people in your family, friends, neighborhood, and job?  I would add church to that list, but we all know no one in church work could be difficult, right? ha!

No matter where you go in life, you will find people who can push your “wrong” buttons and start you off toward the negative.  But, God tells us that His grace is available when we need it and that love never fails (Hebrews 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 13:8).   We are called to share the love of Christ.  What does that look like?  Over the next few weeks, I would like to chat about different personality types and some possible coping strategies that might help us.  As well, I would like to invite you to share positive things that have worked for you.

Difficult Personality # 1:  The Tank.  This person runs over the top of everyone in site.  Whether or not he/she means to do so, you feel run down and drained by this personality type.  It’s a control issue.

Possible Coping Strategy:  In my experience, drawing power swords with this personality is really futile.  I am trying to listen and pause before responding.  Some days I do that better than others; duct tape would be a good thing on those days.  Speaking the truth in love is important (Ephesians 4:15).  Choose to take a stand with the issues and things that are really important; learn to allow those things that are not important to slip through your emotional fingers. Pray for wisdom to know the difference.

Transformational Living

God calls us to be transformed by the renewing of our own minds; the way we think must change in order for us to be models of transformational living as followers of Christ (Romans 12:2).  We bear personal responsibility for our spiritual maturity; no one else can make the decision for us.

God’s Word and Spirit give us the power; the authority for eternal change.  Therefore, if we find ourselves stagnant in our call to discipleship, we have limited the power of grace (according to Spurgeon Grace is the Mother and Nurse of holiness and not the apologist for sin).  Sometimes we resist this Grace-nudging change because it means we need to turn away from certain mindsets and actions–sin; God wants to bring a greater revelation of his love for us by delivering us from the things that hold us back. But the process of change, in Christ, is painful.  Do you find yourself resisting the good things God desires to bring into your life that means change for you?  The battle for change takes place in your thought life first; it’s the enemy’s stomping ground.  What happens in your thoughts that tries to hinder the Spirit’s transformational work in you? 

The Peace of God

I have always felt that one of God’s greatest gifts is unconditional love. I call it the peace of God. Everyday God has shown me how greatly He loves me.  He has made me feel special and whole.  It humbles me to know no matter what I do, God’s love for me grows stronger everyday.

In the past year I have felt a strong conviction to serve God more than ever before. Through the peace of God, I am being shown what more I can do for God. I feel strongly that God has a further purpose for my life. I never thought I would be the one standing in the fire for God. I felt I was doing enough. God is showing me daily how he is using me and that he isn’t done yet. I have given my fears and anxiety over to God, and He has accepted them as His own.

I have prayed through the years for God to use me. I praise God for every moment and the endless blessings now and to come?  God has shared with me lessons of trust, faith and love that I am looking foward to sharing with people in my life. I am thankful for the peace of God working through me.

The Best You

We all desire to offer something worthwhile in life; a way to make a relevant contribution to the well-being of others.  In order to bring that valuable contribution and make powerful connections, it is necessary to know yourself; to offer the best you.


Missions is a way to love and serve others.  “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong.  Because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.”  George Washington Carver