Monday, March 05, 2007

Making Connections

Great weekend~ Gracie had a playdate with my wonderful friends & their cutie patooty baby & I had a full day (well, I did squeeze 1 work related appointment in) to enjoy myself. Best bud Bob & I enjoyed a scrumptious lunch at Cooper's Hawk Brewery, followed by a movie in a theater~ Amazing Grace. What a great movie about William Wilburforce's quest to abolish the slave trave in Great Britain; one man's passion to change the world. As noted above, Amazing Grace. the movie, is the compelling story behind the song.

CLC services were awesome with a message- Connecting People: We're All About People~ I've tried to summarize typing nearly word for word plus a little of Pastor Jerry's outline. Check out the podcast if interested in the vocal version.
Even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other. Romans 12:5 GWT

Sin disconnects relationship. Dishonesty disconnects relationships: What this adds up to then is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Ephesians 4:25 MSG

That being said, we must speak the truth in love according to Proverbs 24:26: NCV An honest answer is as pleasing as a kiss on the lips. I like lip kisses...when my honesty is clothed with grace & love; it's like a kiss. Interesting spin, ja?

Resentment disconnects relationships. And don't sin by letting anger control you - don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 26-27 Hmmm...I've blogged about this scripture recently. Though I can't quote a specific source, I believe evidence exists indicating that harbored bitterness, anger & resentment, if unresolved, will begin to manifest via physical sickness. There's a reason the scripture says to deal with it immediately. Don't let it grow & fester, infecting you entirely..

Listen to this...Jesus esteemed relational unity ABOVE worship or service. Before you shout me down...look: So if you are about to place your gift on the altar and remember that someone is angry with you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. Make peace with that person, then come back and offer your gift to God. Matthew 5:23-24 CEV.

To stay connected, we must resolve conflict quickly. Unresolved issues lead to bitterness which disconnects relationships. Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. James 4:1-2 MSG
To effectively & quickly resolved conflict, PJ encouraged the following strategies or must haves:
  • Be filled with the spirit...Ephesians 5:18

  • Develop healthy confrontational skills

  • Learn how to make an effective apology: if I've offended you in any way...not gonna cut it...take responsibility: I am sorry I _______.

Offer forgiveness to others - there will be times we are in the clear but still need to extend grace & mercy to another; forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven us. Colossians 3:13 NLT ...make allowances for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Careless words disconnect relationships. Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 NLT

We need to learn verbal discipline in order to maintain healthy connections with others. And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgive you. Ephesians 4:30-32

And there was more....connecting demands extreme commitment & produces extreme results. Good stuff~ As iron sharpens iron, so does a friend sharpen another. Proverbs 27:17 We need one another, folks. That's sums it up.

I have some friends I'd really like to reconnect with & asking God to help me take the right course of action...searching my heart & asking God for direction. I know relationships change; people change. I am the world's worst at hanging on far too long & I struggle with letting go; undiscerning of when it's over. I guess the social lover in me wants to love & be loved by- not by everyone, but wants to retain those relationship of sustenance; those I hold dear. Anybody else struggle with changes in relationships & how do you handle it? How do you know when it's over when it comes to treasured friendships? One of my Xanga friends sharedthe noteful line of a Dutch song: "when are we two friends that haven't seen each other in a while, and when are we friends no longer?" Precisely my question.


Tom said...

Carmen: If I've offended you in any way, I'm sorry I _____. (just kidding) Good post!

Randy Beal said...

Good stuff Carm! Hope you ladiesd are doing goodd.