Friday, May 22, 2009

Sermons from Barney Fife: Mayberry Meets the Outer Limits

The Virtual Pew
Presents
Sermons From Barney Fife


Today Barney has a pretty valuable lesson for all of us. Did you ever think life was a little more than strange? While Barney is speaking today about a long lost event in the history of Mayberry, there is still lessons we can learn. Life in reality sometimes seems pretty weird. In fact it is as if some alien life form from outer space is out there to ruin everything we have ever worked for. The sad things is, that even though we are all different, we all have different goals, it is almost as if the things out to get us will destroy us no matter what the specifics are regarding each of us.

I like to think there are three sources for these evil attacks; one is the outsiders also known as other people. There are people that sometimes think that just because they are into something, say, money and getting rich that we should all be in the same category. You know these types; they are often the Amway, or Multi Level Marketing People. Heck, it is almost as if you aren’t normal if you don’t want to make them rich, after all that is what they are about, more themselves than they really are making you rich. Of course it doesn’t end here; there are those that think that unless you live in poverty you ain’t like Jesus, they take the totally opposite end of the spectrum of the get rich crowd. Both parties fail to recognize, God made us different, it seems to be more about them than it does others. I’ll likely have a lot more about this in the future as I have run into both crowds a lot lately, or at least it seems that way.

The second source is us. Yep, look in the mirror and we can easily see the one who is responsible for our actions. We say yes, we say no. Yet so many times, even though we know the demons and monsters are out there, we make the decision to face them anyway. Often we find ourselves crying and praying over how the devil has tempted us to do something, when truth be known, it may have been our own actions, and/or the influence of our friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in the devil as you will see when I get to source number three. Now on this issue though, don’t you think we might be giving the devil credit when the truth is credit needs to go somewhere else?

The third source, as I alluded to above, is the devil. We should never forget we have an enemy who would destroy us. Not unlike the aliens in the War of the Worlds there is nothing good this enemy has for us. In fact, it is their desire to destroy us and only prayer and the resources given by God can help us. Now the crazy thing we have to be careful of is that sometimes God uses our actions and prayers to defeat this enemy, sometimes he uses the help of others. It is why we kinda have to be careful.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZVJoFl0LL8



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Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.comYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Sermons from Barney Fife:The Power of a Child

The Virtual Pew
Presents
Sermons From Barney Fife

Sometimes it’s easy to act like a grown man or woman, especially when it comes to standing up to or setting the example for children. After all, what harm can come to an adult when it comes to standing up to a child. Barney Fife understands this concept, there have been many times he has stood up to, taught, and been a man’s man to the kids of Mayberry, especially his best friend Andy Taylor’s son, Opie. Have you ever thought that you could set a strong example to a child? Have you ever thought there was no way a child could teach you anything? How about the ability to overpower a child with either physical prowess or even mental conditioning and knowledge?

There are all kinds of lessons to learn here, one though is that God constantly used children to prove his point. He even had young preachers, like Timothy, and a young lady, like Mary that made a difference. Then there was that little boy, about the age of Opie Taylor who took on this giant of a man like Goliath. Wouldn’t think we could think about those types of things from checking out Mayberry’s finest would you? Then again, would you?

Check out the following video featuring a sermon from the Pastor Deputy Barney Fife from Mayberry North Carolina. He has this wonderful way of teaching us. And just like many other great preachers, Ol’ Barn has been known to put himself in the middle of those lessons, even putting at times his life on the line to make a point.



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Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

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Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

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Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.comYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

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Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Sermons From Barney Fife: You've Got A Friend

The Virtual Pew
Presents
Sermons From Barney Fife

As I sit here in the Spring Season of Kansas, I have the television on in the background watching the tornado warnings we are under tonight. Looks like the storms are making a beeline towards my house. I hear the thunder getting closer and closer, and have parked the car in the garage as I hear we should be expecting hail between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball. Sometimes, no matter how much fun we have, we have to take life a little serious as there are signs all around us that life is sometimes complicated. Before I finished that last sentence, the tornado sirens started going off. Don’t freak, it is a regular thing in Kansas during this time of year. By the time this is done, I’ll have to go outside and see if I can see one of the funnel clouds making it this way.

This has been a good week for me, these devotions have been fun and I anticipate keeping them going for awhile, at least as long as I can find new videos that are appropriate. With all of this seriousness today I have to ask the question, do we ever plan for the future? Do we think beyond the moment or the day? Do we understand the concept that there is a time and a place for everything? While there is nothing wrong with having fun, we have to realize that there are times for seriousness. Barney Fife knew that although we don’t always realize it. Today’s clip is a clip that focuses on several things, including the need to stand up for friends. We often sit back and watch people close to us going through hurt, difficulty and the likes. We try to bring recognition to ourselves without understanding that we may hurt others in the process. That is unfortunate, Jesus loves us all, he don’t always focus on the law as much as he does the heart and we should show each other that same measure of love. Ol’ Barn knew there were times to get serious, we should to. There is a time to stand strong and speak up for those we love, no matter what the consequences. Watch the video and add your thoughts.

Just click on the video below to watch, if the video don’t appear, click on the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gvi2sBwSKE




Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Click here to visit Mosaic Wichita, the Church in Wichita Kansas where Mike is the pastor.

Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Click to visit Mary Jane Furches' new MySpace Page

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.comYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

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The Virtual Pew

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Mike Furches MySpace Blog

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Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

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To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sermons From Barney Fife: Nip It!

The Virtual Pew
Presents
Sermons From Barney Fife

Did you ever notice how religious people get so defensive when challenged with something different than what their orthodoxy teaches them? I have, heck, you don’t have to take a position just ask a question and then; BAM! Excuse the comment, but it is as if all hell breaks loose. Whatever happened to a good discussion where one person gives their view, and the other person listens. Then after all of that, you reciprocate, or take turns talking to each other, in a respectable, decent way. I have to wonder, what is it about a persons beliefs that causes them to either A) not even come close to listening to a counter view, or B) come off as presenting themselves as knowing it all and ultimately in their approach, show total disrespect to the person they are supposed to be engaging in conversation with. I can’t help but think, if people who know each other, present themselves as caring for each other, do this to each other, then what must our attitudes come across like to someone who doesn't know us? I think it is time we put the teachings of Jesus into action, L-O-V-E! That is right, we need to start showing love instead of just talking about it. Let us speak in truth, but let us also show love by our actions. Pastor Barney Fife from Mayberry has something to say about this action, he takes on an old time preacher approach and sings the sermon today, but it is one I hope people take hold of, listen to and apply. Here is the message from Pastor Fife, NIP IT!

Click on the video to see the sermon from Minster Fife. If the video doesn't appear, just click on the following link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=de_P2aUZJyA



Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Click here to visit Mosaic Wichita, the Church in Wichita Kansas where Mike is the pastor.

Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Click to visit Mary Jane Furches' new MySpace Page

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.comYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html

The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Mary Jane Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Blog

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group

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The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sermons from Barney Fife, In God’s Country

The Virtual Pew
Presents
Sermons From Barney Fife
To hear some Christians talk you would think that America was God’s chosen country. I have to admit, I have heard this from neo Nazi groups and white supremacist groups as well. I don’t know if everyone draws those comparisons or not, I certainly don’t think that is a position that Barney Fife took. I do believe though, that Barney like a lot of people, talked a lot about their country, the constitution, and the like, and in reality doesn't really know that much about what it says. We tend to act like our country and our faith are one in the same, but in reality, are they? Does your nation, no matter what nation you live in, have any guidelines that supersede the guidelines of your faith? What do you do when your faith and your nationalistic values are in conflict? What about ol’ Deputy Fife here in the video, does he get it, or are there other ways he reminds you of those who talk about God, Gun’s and Guts Made America? How much do we take for granted what others have said about the bridging of faith and politics? How much do we really know about what the Bible says, or for that matter, the beliefs of the founders of this country, or any country? Did Jesus talk about anything regarding bringing political change? Think about it and then share your thoughts.

To see the video, just click on it, if the video don’t appear, simply click on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBuPQgV8yBM



Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Click here to visit Mosaic Wichita, the Church in Wichita Kansas where Mike is the pastor.

Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Click to visit Mary Jane Furches' new MySpace Page

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.comYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html

The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Mary Jane Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Blog

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group

MySpace The Virtual Pew Group

The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Phone Number to Call During The HJ Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8853

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed -http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/thevirtualpew

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sermons from Barney Fife, Using Your Gifts In Leading


The Bible talks about how God has given each person a giftedness of some type. That’s right; each of us has something about us that is unique, and of value to others. One of the things we can learn from Barney Fife is not only his enthusiasm to teach the things he knows, but the reality that sometimes he may be doing things he is not gifted at. Having the desire to do something, to have something, doesn’t mean it is something we should be doing. Sometimes knowing when to pass on certain responsibilities is just as important as knowing when to do the things we are good at. Here are some questions for today; what is it that you have a passion for? Are there components of that passion that would be better if someone around you were to do those things? Are people willing to follow your leading? Is it possible that reoccurring mistakes might mean there is something about what you are doing that would be better for others to do?

Watch today’s clip; add in anything you can learn from the Barney Fife Sermon today.

To view the video, just click on it, if the video don’t appear, click on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLsg0EvZozI




Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Click here to visit Mosaic Wichita, the Church in Wichita Kansas where Mike is the pastor.

Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Click to visit Mary Jane Furches' new MySpace Page

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.comYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

http://www.furches.org/donations/index.html

The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Mary Jane Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Page

Mike Furches MySpace Blog

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News

MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group

MySpace The Virtual Pew Group

The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed

Phone Number to Call During The Virtual Pew Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8587

Phone Number to Call During The HJ Live Show, (Please never call prior to the start of the show) - (646) 716-8853

To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed -http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/thevirtualpew

To Subscribe to HJ Live Live Feed –http://www.blogtalkradio.com/feeds/hollywoodjesus

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sermons from Barney Fife, Are You Fit For Society?

Recently I did one of those Facebook quiz things. This one was about which Mayberry Character Are You. I wasn't too surprised when it showed up that I was Barney Fife, the lovable deputy who was a master in all things including the art of love and war.

Barney was an enduring character on The Andy Griffith Show. The Andy Griffith show is in my opinion one of the best shows ever. I loved it! Recently, I have been a little tired and needed some insperation for things to write and get people to think about. Thus; Sermons from Barney Fife. This is a feature I am going to enjoy doing. Hope you enjoy it, and get something out of it.

Some people think they have the right to interrogate others. Of course, this is seldom effective, not even for ol Barney Fife. There are lessons for all of us included in the video. Watch the video then share what you are thinkging. Are there any spiritual or life truths you can get out of this message from Barney Fife?

To see the video just click on it. If it don't appear, just click on the following link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sL9TunUh_bw



Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Click here to visit Mosaic Wichita, the Church in Wichita Kansas where Mike is the pastor.

Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages

Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.

Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.

Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.

Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.

Click to subscribe to my blog

Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.

Click to visit Mary Jane Furches' new MySpace Page

Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at mike@thevirtualpew.comYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

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Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Some Christians Are So Good At Hating! Dealing With Conflict In The Church!

I deal with hurting people. I love hurting people. I think Jesus appreciates that, unfortunately it seems like many in “the church” like to keep hurting by going behind the backs of their so called brothers and sisters and blasting away at each other. I know this as a pastor of an online ministry, a pastor of a local church, and more importantly as a human being.

I try to be honest, I try to maintain integrity, I try to be real, I can’t tell you how much it hurts when others blast away, seem to not care, break promises, or refuse to follow biblical concepts and guidelines. On the areas of conflict and disagreement, we have clear direction but why some don’t seem to care who says they love Jesus astounds and confuses me at times.

Over the years I have been far from perfect, but I continue to strive in the direction of the cross and ways of Jesus and not waiver. I realize when I do waiver off the path that God has his own wonderful and unique way of bringing me back onto the path, but that don’t change the hurt that is delivered at the hands of those who are commanded to love.

Recently I have been dealing with some struggles, I will admit, I am more sensitive than I sometimes let on. I was on line talking to a friend the other day and broke down crying as I realized the hurt I had regarding my son. Some recent things had happened that hurt me deeply, and after reviewing those things, decided to respond with tough love. In some ways, I hate the cliché “tough love” because so many use it, but have no idea what it really means.

Most people assume tough love implies that you are going to be tough on someone, what they don’t realize is that tough love is far tougher on the person giving it than the person receiving it. Let me be frank, I hurt, I hurt so deeply I can’t begin to describe the tears my wife and I have shed, yet you know what we do, we try to hide it, we say things are okay. I don’t think we are too unique in that, I think most people when hurting say things like that, I know why, because no matter who you are, or the situation you are in, people are rude, and think only of themselves, the last thing you want is a quick damning word that makes you hurt more, yet that is exactly what happens. As a follower of Jesus, it really hurts when those people who are supposed to love you, hurt you the most.

Now don’t get me wrong, none of this means you should never have conflict. Conflict is a part of growth, but how you deal with that conflict is a whole other issue. It amazes me at how people have to go to others and gossip, backbite, and hurt others.

In this process there is so much damage it is saddening. One person feels the need to tell someone else in confidence, and in return the person hearing realizes their need to listen, and the cycle goes round in round, and we have what we pretend to be presenting ourselves as a caring listening friend, when in reality we are engaging in gossip.

I have had several situations recently where episodes like this has come about, not just with me, but with others, but the hurt I and others have felt are real, and unnecessary.

For those who follow Jesus, and those who don’t the Bible is clear on this subject, and I would suggest that following those guidelines will help with relationships. First, if you have a problem with someone, if you think someone is saying something that is negative, or has any negative connotations; speak directly with the person before going and making public comment. There are exceptions; people in the work place or church, in some regards have obligations. A mental health worker for example has a responsibility to speak to supervisors if they feel harm may come about, a teacher has a responsibility to report if they suspect abuse, and a pastor or elder has the responsibility to share with other pastors and elders if they suspect the need, but it stops there. There has to be the understanding of personal and professional responsibility. But on one on one issues, and even in situations like the above mentioned there is the responsibility of going directly to the person.

Now this leaves another problem and that is the person listening to the complaints, the criticisms etc. You have the responsibility to not listen, in fact, your first response should be, “I am not going to listen to complaints about whosoever, if you have a complaint or want to bring up an issue, you should speak to them directly.” It is simple, if people were to practice this concept, we would quickly resolve the issue of backbiting. Let me make something clear from my own experience, if someone will backbite, or tear someone else down to you, they will to someone else about you. It isn’t worth it, take the high ground and tell them you won’t listen. I have actually walked away from conversations after the person kept speaking when I confronted them with this concept. They quickly got the point.

Now to my last point before going to an article that deals with this subject. This does not say we should never confront one another, even at times in a way that may seem harsh. In fact, it is often in the going to the person directly that confrontation will in fact take place. I can deal with that, I grew up in the streets. It is my experience that most people can deal better with what they know is coming directly at them, then they can with what they don’t know and comes at their back. In the old west, shooting someone in the back was called a “cowards way.” It is a part of the reason the cliché “getting stabbed in the back” is a negative connotation. For people who are called to serve Jesus, be a man or a woman, and if you have to give something to someone in a negative way, do it to their face, otherwise, another verse of scripture may apply, “keep your mouth shut!”

Now there is a teacher I appreciate, and the concept of this teaching is universally held by most theologians and Bible teachers. One of my favorite teachers is Dr. Charles Stanley. I am posting here the link to an article he did on this subject and I encourage you to read it, contemplate on it, and then do as Jesus commanded, go and sin no more.

The following is the link to the article. The article includes links, following the link is the article without the links. Click Here for the article.

How to Handle Personal Conflict
By Charles F. Stanley


Conflicts take many forms, from children shouting and punching on the playground to the most sophisticated international intrigue in times of war. Your "hot spot" for not getting along with others could be at home in your family or on the job with a co-worker whose personality isn't the best fit.

Whatever the case, you encounter various kinds of conflict in many areas of life, even as one who belongs to Christ. Some Christians mistakenly believe that since Jesus lives in and through them, guiding them with the Holy Spirit, that they will be able to avoid confrontations with others. Because God loves us so much and works continually to conform us to His image, Jesus does not prevent every argument from happening. Those He allows, He provides a way through them with grace.

He never intended for you to spend your energy seeking for ways to avoid all tension. That is impossible in this life. Jesus wants us to know what to be prepared for: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NIV).

Imagine this scene in a typical home. The sister works hard all day doing what her mother asked—scrubbing the tile floors, cleaning the windows, folding the laundry. Her brother, however, spends his Saturday out with friends instead of doing his chores. To make matters worse, when her brother does come home, he succeeds in tromping mud down the entrance hall and doesn't even help to wipe it up.

Then suddenly, she blows her top. She tells him how thoughtless he is, among other things, and does not stop until she's vented her frustration. A few minutes later, as she sees his dejected, surprised face, she feels horrible. Now it will take much talking and forgiving to work through their disagreement.
That is the way it is with conflict. When a difference is not resolved within a reasonable amount of time, and within the boundaries of scriptural principles, more pain is the result.

In his book "Christian Counseling," Gary Collins talks about why anger is a natural part of conflict.

When a person is rejected, "put down," humiliated, unjustly criticized, or otherwise threatened, anger is often aroused. Threats challenge our self-esteem and make us feel so vulnerable that anger and aggression become ways to fight back. Sometimes when we are threatened and made aware of our own imperfections we respond in anger toward those who fail to meet our expectations of them. This directs attention away from ourselves, hides the fact that we are hurt or threatened, and lets us feel better at someone else's expense.

According to one psychologist, hurt and anger almost always go together. "Seconds after the event which arouses the hurt feeling, another feeling skyrockets into awareness—anger." The anger comes so quickly and is so apparent that it is easy to miss the hurt which comes first.

So how do you defuse the emotional bomb once you sense the countdown has begun? The power of Jesus Christ is the answer (Philippians 4:13). He is the only one who can control your emotions and channel them in the right directions. It is also crucial to remember that anger is not intrinsically wrong (Matthew 21:12-17). Anger in response to sin and its ill effects is a form of righteous anger, but when it crosses the line into nursing a grudge, or retaliation, or mean-spirited vengeance, it is not honoring to God.

A key principle for handling anger is found in Ephesians 4:26-27: "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." Have you ever gone to bed at night with an argument unsettled? How did you feel the next morning? More than likely, the sensation of weight on your heart had grown, and you might have felt physically ill.

Your own health and well-being are not the only reasons for quick resolution; the deeper principle at work is one of avoiding bitterness. When a hurt is not addressed, it works its way down into your inmost parts. Bitterness is a lack of forgiveness multiplied many times over, taking root and spreading into every segment of life.

A typical argument may operate in this fashion. You hear the accusations start to fly. Everything within you wants to just "tell it like it is" and make the person be silent, even at the expense of future communication. But this time, you are prepared. You understand how the Bible puts disagreements into eternal perspective, and you let Jesus take control of the situation.

1) Don't be concerned about making yourself heard. Be a good listener first. You cannot hope to defuse the intensity of both sets of emotions until you can calmly listen to the other person's point of view (James 1:19-20).

This is the biblical principle of "counting to ten" before you speak. Of course, the Lord wants you to do far more than engage in an empty, mental exercise. He wants you to pray, think about what Scripture applies to the situation, and ask Him to demonstrate His love to the other person in spite of your confused and uptight feelings.

2) Be truthful, as much as is loving under the circumstances, and don't seek to avoid the heart of the matter. It is always better to deal with the issue directly, rather than sidestepping or burying it. Colossians 3:9 explains the reason why you should speak honestly: "Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices."

3) Speak in love with words that build up the other person. The classic problem most people experience is that the very moment when gracious words are most required is also the moment that kindness is the most difficult. Again, the grace of the Lord must operate through you, and you can prepare to let Him work in advance of an argument (Ephesians 4:29).

Norman Wright gives a picture of how Jesus demonstrated these qualities with difficult people in trying situations:

A basic characteristic of Jesus' approach was His compassion for others . . . His concern was to alleviate suffering and meet the needs of people.

When Jesus first met others, He accepted them as they were. In other words, He believed in them and what they would become. The characteristic of acceptance is seen in John 4, John 8, and Luke 19. When Jesus met the woman at the well, He accepted her as she was without judging her. He accepted the woman caught in adultery and Zacchaeus, the dishonest tax collector, as well.

Individuals were Jesus' top priority. He established this priority and gave them worth by putting their needs before the rules and regulations . . . He involved Himself in the lives of people who were considered the worst of sinners, and He met them where they had a need.

In any conflict, you should know that the outcome is not in your hands. You cannot force someone to listen or forgive or change. Only God can work in his or her heart, the same way that He works with you in patience and unconditional love (Philippians 2:13). You can only be responsible for yourself and your relationship with Christ.

In certain cases, you may be left with great hurts. You may be someone's emotional victim. God understands this pain, but He counsels you to let Him handle the offender (Romans 12:19).

Penelope Stokes shares a principle for facing such hurt in her book "Grace Under Pressure": "When we face a crisis of misunderstanding—no minor disagreement, but a major, life-shattering accusation—we are placed in a position to receive an abundant measure of the grace of God."

Whether you face conflict that redefines your spiritual existence or whether you deal with the routine disagreements of everyday living, the reality of Jesus' healing love is the same—and it belongs to you.

Some links to other recommended articles:

http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200502/200502_086_squabble.cfm

http://www.backtothebible.org/conflict-friend-or-foe.html

http://smallgroups.com/articles/2009/embraceconflictingroup.html

http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-matthew-18-15-17.htm

http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Bible/Conflict.htm


The following is a video on conflict, it can teach us a lot, just click on the video to watch, if the video don't appear, just click on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI8Lbk936mQ



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Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information

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