Archive for the ‘Margins’ Category

August 31st, 2009

Family Spats: Resolving Conflict

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

Families that resolve conflict together stay together.

If the devil came to you for counsel on how to destroy families, what would your advice entail? Perhaps you would recommend the weapon of mass destruction, unforgiveness. Unforgiveness poisons harmony and erodes trust. Unforgiveness perpetuates suspicion and fertilizes bitterness.

As a result of living in a fallen world among fallen people, conflict is inevitable. In other words, motion causes friction. It is not a matter of “if” conflict will happen, but a matter of “when” conflict will occur. Conflict is a natural part of life on a broken planet. Conflict is the normal confetti of living in a fallen world.

Every relationship at some point will hit the wall of conflict. As my pastor, Dr. David Fleming says, “Every wall of conflict has a door which leads to conflict resolution, meaningful conversation, and intimacy.” Unfortunately, we often react to the wall of conflict by withdrawing or attacking. Instead of patiently pursuing the door of conflict resolution, we take a short cut and forfeit the potential on the other side of the wall of conflict.

What if we were willing to risk the pursuit? What if we were willing to allow God to navigate us through the process of locating the door positioned at every wall of conflict? What if we decided to resolve conflict together as a family? Could it be that revival would come to the home through the doorway of conflict resolution?

Forgiveness unlocks the door!

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor
(This devotional was originally posted in ’07 or ’08. I’m taking a break from writing for a season of personal renewal.)
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Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 1:00 am
Category Busyness, Family, Margins, Time.
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October 6th, 2008

Space Invaders (1)

“Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.'” Ex 18:17-18 (NIV)

You are structured for the results you are getting.

How’s life? Are you stressed out? Are you overextended, over-scheduled, or overwhelmed? Are you getting enough rest at night? Are you still tired the next day? Do you feel that you have too many plates spinning? As you assess your current reality, what is God showing you about your life?

The truth is that you are simply getting the results that your life is currently structured for. The way you have chosen to live and the way you have chosen to allocate your time has determined your current reality. Moses slipped right into a harmful lifestyle because his life was structured for results he was getting. The way he was doing life and the way he was fulfilling his role as leader of the nation of Israel produced the results he was getting.

Jethro was willing to get involved! Moses was willing to allow Jethro into his life at a proximity for objectivity. Moses was also willing to allow Jethro to speak into his life. Jethro spoke these words to Moses with clarity, “What you are doing is not good.”

Let’s begin there. As you take a close look at your life, what do you sense a “Jethro” in your life would say about your current reality? Would that person acknowledge that what you are doing is not good?

Be still before the Lord for a few moments and ask God to help you uncover your current reality. You may even want to ask God to show you a Jethro that you can invite into close proximity to express objectively concerning your current reality.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Executive Pastor

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, October 6th, 2008 at 1:01 am
Category Family, Margins, Stewardship.
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