"Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins." James 5:20
- Confrontation, or conflict resolution, is a normal and necessary part of life. It's certainly not easy, but it's absolutely necessary if we are to help our brothers and sisters stay out of dangerous or potentially harmful situations. Think about it: if no one ever loved you enough to tell you the honest truth, what sort of person would any of us be? We are all flawed and frail. We all have blind spots, so part of the role of the body is to "turn us from the error of our way." 1 Samuel 25 provides a wonderful illustration of the right way to handle it. Abagail confronted David, and she did it in a way that kept him from a terrible problem. How? She led with honor and affirmation. Whenever we confront another, we begin with affirmation and signs of respect. Second, she came in humility. We don't come with anger or pride, but in humble awareness of our OWN sin. Only then can we confront another in ways that can be heard. Third, she spoke truth – not embellished or understated - but facts. Speak the truth in love. Finally, she did it under God's spiritual direction. She was convicted – led by God – to go to David. We're not called to confront everything, but we are called to go where God leads us – to be HIs instrument in the lives of others, thus we do so only when such a decision has been bathed in prayer. Agabail was aware that David was God's anointed King, so she set aside her own reservations and courageously said what needed to be said. She saved the day! As we face the inevitable conflicts in life, let's do so in ways that honor and glorify God.
- TURN THE TABLES: Before we start feeling too smug about #1, we also need to think of how to respond when we are sitting in David's chair. How do we tend to act when confronted by another? Defensive. Angry. No one likes to hear another state what they see as a problem in us. However, what do we know? We're flawed human beings. We have blind spots, so if someone has the courage to share something with us, we need to have the spiritual maturity to listen and discern God's hand in it. When David received Abagails' rebuke, his response was, "Praise God. Thank you for coming." To be sure, some people will confront us out of their anger or agenda, but even then – they may be speaking truth. Our task ALWAYS – even when we don't like the messenger – is to discern what God may be revealing. We need the personal humility to say, "Thank you for having the courage to speak into my life. I'm grateful."
- FACEBOOK LIVE WITH ME TONIGHT AT 7:00: Join me on Facebook tonight at 7:00 as I share some details on our congregational survey. I'll do a quick five-minute summary and then interact with you in real time as you share your thoughts and ask questions. We continue to want your input as we craft our vision for the coming years!
- WARM SPOTS IN THE POOL: As I swam laps in our neighborhood pool last week, it was pretty chilly. The water was about 77 degrees, but I still kept hitting these pockets of warm water. There were no children at the pool. It was lunchtime. They were all in school, but still – it was unsettling.
- SOUTHWEST PILOT: It was so encouraging to read the faith story about Tammie Jo Shults, the former Navy fighter pilot who successfully landed the crippled Southwest Airlines flight last week. She's been a children's ministry leader, middle school Sunday School teacher, and adult Bible study leader, all at First Baptist in Boerne, Texas. Quoted in the Dallas Morning News, Shults said her biggest goal through the emergency and subsequent media coverage "is that she can share her faith so it resonates and awakens people's eyes to how great a God we have."
- BARBARA BUSH: It was sad to see the end of Barbara Bush's earthly life, but it also afforded our country the opportunity to once again reflect on what made her a tremendous wife, mother, and First Lady. She was the picture of elegance and poise, always respectful, always dignified, and always ready with quick smile or quip. I love that her family called her The Enforcer. I love that she had a sharp wit and at times, a tart mouth. Per #1, she was not afraid to say what needed to be said. Thank you and God bless you, Barbara Bush. I'll see you in awhile.
- COFFEE ISSUES: I consider myself a fairly coordinated person, but lately it seems I cannot go more than two or three days without spilling coffee on my pants at some point. I kept trying to blame the cup, but after five or six times over the last few weeks, I think it's the guy holding the cup.
- Last Saturday, I had the great honor to officiate at the funeral for Kristin Todd, a 36-year-old wife, and mother of four-year-old Logan. (Teri Sanborn D'Amelio's sister). It was a fitting tribute to Kristin, a lion-hearted woman who loved and served others fiercely and beautifully. For me, the most moving part occurred after most had left the church to attend the reception. Mrs. Betty Allen, a longtime member of FPCO who lives at Westminster Towers, was sitting alone on a sofa in our lobby. Betty's husband, Bucky, died less than a year ago. I asked if she had attended the service. She said, "Oh yes, I did. Bucky and I taught Kristin Sunday School when she was three years old. She was such a delight - full of energy with a bright smile - and she always loved to sit in Bucky's lap. I was just sitting here imagining that she is doing that again right now." THAT is the beauty of Christ's church, a multi-generational body of servants committed to each other for that which is eternal.
- FLAWED PERSON: I hate it when I do dumb things. Today, as I was baptizing little Everton Kerby, I called his Dad by the wrong name – the whole time. I called him Chip. That's his brother. His name is Brian. Ug. Their extended family was all watching online.