Friday, January 27, 2017

Unite Don’t Fight {GIVE AWAY DAY}

 

Live Full; Walk Free - Unite Don't Fight

Earlier this month, I shared with you some steps I was taking to change up my quiet time each day.

Cindy Bultema‘s new Bible Study, Live Full; Walk Free has been a part of that change. I wanted to give you a sneak peek at Chapter 2 of Live Full Walk Free and give you an opportunity to win a copy of the Bible study plus the DVD teaching {see below}.

 

Unite Don’t Fight

 

Bullying stinks!

I don’t know about you, but when my kids are the ones being picked on, Mama feels all the feelings. I’m talking anger, hurt, and, in this particular case, bafflement, at who was doing the bullying and who didn’t step in to stop it.

My youngest daughter had a bit of a lisp, and some of the boys on the school bus were making of her. They would tease her, call her names, and mimic her talking with her lisp, of course exaggerating. Spit actually flew from their middle school mouths to my little girl’s face!

She came home in a puddle of humiliation.

I wanted to climb aboard the yellow bus like a mildly deranged mama bear and have a swipe or two at those hooligans, but of course, I restrained myself. (I aspire to be sanely involved with my children’s conflicts.) I prayed for grace, forgiveness, and wisdom, because the main instigator was the son of a friend. Yikes!

And my son was a witness to what had been happening to his sister.

“Sweetie, what did you do when those mean boys were picking on her?”

My usually reliable son averted his eyes and lowered his head.

“Nothing.”

Sweet Molasses! I wanted to jump out of my skin. But motherhood is all about gulping those deep breaths and praying those ‘Help me, now!’ prayers. “Nothing? You watched your sister get spit on and you did nothing? Help me understand.”

Before he could respond, I kept going (as moms do):

“Honey, we belong to the same family—we are Bultemas. We stick together. Family doesn’t stand by and do nothing when our sister or our brother needs help. Family members take care of each other.”

I was trying to teach my son about family, about unity and how to pursue it in our broken, hurting world.

The bus drama with my daughter sparked negative emotions in me, but it was also an opportunity to remember I am called to pursue unity, with bullies and moms of bullies, and with my siblings in Christ.

“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” I Corinthians 1:10

“Unity” is kind of a churchy word, but like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:10, it just means agreeing with one another, with no divisions, no conflict. (“Division” in ancient Greek has a connotation of ripping or tearing fabric, so literally Paul begged the church members in Corinth to not be ripped apart.)

But…drama and conflict come up all the time—can I get a witness?

It pops up with friends, kids, siblings, and between husbands and wives. It flares on the playground, the workplace, the big yellow school bus.

We can’t avoid conflict, but we do get to choose how to deal with it. Do we make the rip worse or do we do all we can to mend, to heal?

When he wrote his letter, Paul knew the local church in this Greek city was a hot mess of overblown drama and bitter contention. Four cliques had formed—Team Paul, Team Apollos, Team Cephas (or Peter), and Team Jesus, a group which boasted that they were above all the petty squabbling. Each was sure they were right and everyone else was wrong. (Sound familiar in our current culture?) Church members were even suing each other!

I love how Paul writes his letter with a pastor’s heart, using family language. No less than twenty times Paul addresses his “brothers and sisters,” his “adelphos” in Greek. His loving yet firm tone is one we might use if we were going out for coffee with a sibling or a friend who had lost their way. “Oh, friend…I love you, but this has got to stop.”

Let…“there be no divisions among you,” Paul writes.

No drama.

No he said/she said

No spitting on each other.

No hurting each other!

“…be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Build each other up.

Gently, patiently, kindly.

At peace.

Get up ev’rybody and sing!

Okay, so that last line is not technically in the verse, but this whole discussion of getting along in the family of God gives me a flashback to fourth grade. The roller rink, my Shaun Cassidy satin jacket and bell bottom jeans. And “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge:

“We are family

I got all sisters with me

We are family

Get up ev-rybody and sing!”

Great song, and even greater message.

By the way, the instigator in my girl’s bus drama? With his mom’s encouragement, he came over and apologized, giving my daughter a bookstore gift card he bought with his own money. Grace ruled, and harmony was restored.

Life delivers many reasons to be at odds with our sisters (and our brothers). Let’s look for ways to be at one with them, instead. Let’s also look for ways to be family to each other, to stand up for each other as dearly loved daughters and sons of a Good Father. Because family takes care of each other, always.

Lord, forgive us for believing the lies of the enemy that tear us apart as your own children. Help us be peacemakers, drama diffusers, and restorers in every way. Thank You that you designed us for unity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Cindy Bultema's live full; WALK FREE

Cindy’s latest Bible study, Live Full Walk Free: Set Apart in a Sin-Soaked World was released in December 2016 at Thomas Nelson. For a sneak peek of the DVD teaching that enhances chapter 2’s study watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4AfjzaDYxQ&t=156s. Visit Cindy on her blog to download a FREE sample chapter of Live Full Walk Free, along with a set of A-Z scripture cards: http://www.cindybultema.com/live-full-walk-free/.

 

Cindy would like to send a copy of Live Full; Walk Free plus the DVD teaching to one of my readers!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT below.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on February 1st,  so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US & Canadian readers only.}

 

*************The winner is Noelle who posted on 1/26/17 at 4:46 p.m. Congratulations, Noelle!******************

 

Lynn

Comments

  1. Jaime Boudreaux says:

    Great article….even greater message!

  2. I needed this today! Thanks for this article and the giveaway!

  3. Such a great reminder and words of wisdom! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Dori Sheese says:

    Shared on facebook – great message! I used to be made fun of in grade school and it was NO FUN!!

  5. Thanks for sharing, sweet friends. I’m so thankful that peace was restored in this relationship and they are friends today.

  6. Polly Schneider says:

    I loved your message. It was especially relevant to me as I am doing a Bible study on 1 Corinthians. Thanks for sharing.

    • Polly, don’t you love 1 Corinthians? It’s one of my favorite books of the Bible for sure. Such rich wisdom, especially for our culture today! May God continue to teach you new things about His love and grace as you study His Word. 🙂

  7. I love the language between Cindy and her son…it’s very familiar. And I LOVE the way you describe how mom feels ALL the feelings when your children are hurting…Umm, Yep!

    Thank you, Lynn for introducing us to yet another wonderful mom that we can all relate to! 🙂

  8. Shared on fb. Great article and thank you for giving us this opportunity to win this book study

  9. I can so relate to this article. Thank you what a blessing what a blessing I so needed this at this time.

  10. Corena Hall says:

    Thank you for this. Unfortunately a affluent “Christian school” did nothing to help intense humiliation suffered by my daughter because of the monetary support of the bullying children’s parents. I ask God to bless all involved in it daily because it has never been resolved. God is good always and bullying is more prevalent than we think even among adults, it’s a symptom of control. I am grateful to a God who has since allowed me to discern it and walk away praying for those who need deliverance.
    I think this study would be an eye opener if God wills me to win it. Thank you.

    • Oh Corena, I am so sorry to hear of the very challenging situation you and your daughter went through! I am grateful that your daughter has a mama like you who is willing to stand for truth and justice. May God continue to work in these circumstances, and shine His searchlight so the root is exposed. May He redeem this “mess” and use it somehow, someway for a “message” of His goodness. Praying for you and your daughter tonight. You are not alone.

  11. Delores McPherson says:

    Don’t we all need to hear this. Bullying doesn’t just happen on the school bus. Unfortunately, it also happens on the church pew. This article really makes me stop and think about how I respond to all the “bullies” that say we must worship only their way. This is a lesson for all of us to be sure we are not bullying/forcing others into our mold of what a Christian should be and that we are encouraging all our brothers and sisters in Christ to be all God created them to be even if it is different than what we pictured. Thank you so much for this timely reminder.

    • Delores, you are a wise woman. May all of us think about how we respond to the “bullies” in our lives, or heaven forbid, if we are the bullies! May God infuse us with fresh grace so we can see our circumstances from His Kingdom perspective!

  12. We definitely need to work on unity, especially after this divisive election fiasco. I need to learn to be a force for good and teach my children also.

  13. Great Article! Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  14. Shared on Facebook

  15. Tweeted

  16. Pinned to Pinterest to my Giveaway board

  17. Kelly LaBudde says:

    I pray that as I share this message to
    It changes any hearts that have hardened

  18. Kristi Stoutjesdyk says:

    I’m so ready to Live Full and Walk Free! I was bullied growing up and my greatest fear is that my children will be bullied. Thank you for the article and the Bible study!

  19. Cindia Quinones says:

    Great article that nurtures the mother and son relationship. Thank you.

  20. Marian Hindall says:

    Going to share on Facebook. Because I want others to read about bullying. My granddaughter has been bullied. I would love a copy of the book.

  21. Bullying stinks!
    Lord, forgive us for believing the lies of the enemy that tear us apart as your own children. Help us be peacemakers, drama diffusers, and restorers in every way. Thank You that you designed us for unity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
    Love that part,thank you! t.

  22. I am looking for away to draw closers to the Lord this year and this study sounds like just the motivator and guiding light.

  23. Thanks you for giving us this opportunity to win share on fb

  24. Shannon S says:

    I would love to win this…exactly an area I need to work on!

  25. The Apostle Paul and Sister Sledge in one post!! Now, that’s confetti worthy!! Thank you for this message of love, peace, and fellowship as only God can fulfill in and through us. Such a needed message. Thank you, Cindy!!

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