Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, April 18, 2015


     “Why would they be putting in a nursery?” Stella Peterson kept asking her self, “Is their mom going to have another baby?” And the more she pondered the questions the more curious she became until she decided she needed to get to the bottom of this and took off for the Miller house. Before she could even get to the front door, Mindy came running at her screaming “HELP!! HELP!! HELP!!”

     “What's wrong, Mindy?” Stella asked as she was plowed into. “Its MOM” Mindy said, “She keeps siding with Cindy.” “Siding with Cindy?” Stella said, “What are you talking about?” “We're trying to divide up our stuff and MOM keeps siding with Cindy.” “And that's a problem?” Stella asked. “It is when she keeps letting her have all the neat stuff.” Mindy replied.

     “Like what?” Stella asked. “Like all the stuff that is actually mine.” Cindy answered running up to them. “And don't believe a word Mindy tells you.” “It is not yours!” Mindy said. “It is too.” Cindy answered back, “And Mom even agrees with me.” “That's because she likes you best.” Mindy snorted “Probably because you’re such a neat freak and take care of all your stuff.”

     “Well,” Cindy said, “If you would take care of your stuff, maybe you would have something to claim as your own.” “So, who's stuff is it?” Stella asked, “Is it yours, Mindy or is it Cindy's?” “Well, I use it sometimes.” Mindy started to say. “Only because yours is broke.” Cindy said cutting her off. “So what.” Mindy said, “I don't care.”

     “That's just the problem.” Cindy said, “You don't care. I tell you what. I have an idea. Why don't I just give you all my stuff.” “What”? Mindy and Stella said in unison. “What are you plotting?” Stella tacked on. “I just got to thinking.” Mindy said, “Stuff only crowds up my room, besides I don’t use most of the stuff, so I’ll just give it to you so we can live in peace.”

      “Oh no you don’t.” Mindy shouted “I insist.” Cindy said politely, “Besides, we need to get our old room cleaned out for Mom to make her nursery.” “There you go talking about a nursery again.” Stella said when she heard that, “Is your mom having a baby?”

      “No.” Cindy said, “Our mom is going into daycare.” “And to think Cindy thought Mom was going to have a baby.” Mindy tacked on. “You thought she was too.” Cindy said. “Did not.” Mindy added, “Did too.” Cindy snapped back. “You both did.” Stella injected, “And I guess I did too.”

     “By the way, Mindy,” Cindy said, “Mom said you need to go finish cleaning.” “What do you have left to clean, Cindy?” Stella asked, “Oh, I'm done.” Cindy said, “I'm heading to the park. Do you want to go with me?” “Sure.” Stella said and the Cindy and here took off running and skipping to the park. “Oh, no you don't!” Mindy hollered after them, “Get back here. I'm not going to let you get away that easy.”

      And Abimelech said, "Behold, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you." - Genesis 20:15 (ESV)

     Abraham had traveled to Gerar where he had caused problems for Abimelech. Once the problem was solved, Abimelech let Abraham stay. While there, Sarah gave birth to Isaac but now Abimelech comes back and another problem needs to be solved.

      At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army said to Abraham, "God is with you in all that you do. Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned." And Abraham said, "I will swear." When Abraham reproved Abimelech about a well of water that Abimelech's servants had seized, Abimelech said, "I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, and I have not heard of it until today." So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two men made a covenant. Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock apart. And Abimelech said to Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?" He said, "These seven ewe lambs you will take from my hand, that this may be a witness for me that I dug this well." Therefore that place was called Beersheba, because there both of them swore an oath. So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his army rose up and returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba and called there on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned many days in the land of the Philistines.
Genesis 21:22-34 (ESV)

     Like Cindy, Like Abraham, sometimes we need to take the initiative and make peace, we need to work to solve problems. To solve problems we should...
  • Use wisdom as Solomon did – 1 Kings 3:16-28 tells how he used wisdom to solve the problem of which of two women was a baby's true mother.
  • Work Together as the Apostles and Elders did - Acts 15:1-29 tells of a problem that revolved around rules that should be followed and how the Apostles and Elders got together to solve the problem.
  • Solve it quickly as Jesus taught – Matthew 5:23-26, part of the Sermon on The Mount, tells tells how we should solve problems quickly, before things get worse.
  • Be humble and think of others as better than self - Philippians 2:3 Don't be selfish; don't live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. (NLT)
  • Strive for peace - Romans 12:18 Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. (NLT)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • In what ways do you work toward peace?
  • In what ways do you stop peace from happening?

Saturday, April 4, 2015


     Mindy and Cindy Miller are identical twin sisters but only a few people can tell them apart at first glance. Stella Peterson thought she was one of them but when she bumped into them at the mall she got them all mixed up. “What are you doing at the mall?” one of the twins asked Stella. “My mom though she needed me to help her do some shopping.” Stella said, “But somehow I managed to lose her. This is suppose to be our meeting point if we got separated.”

     “Sounds about right.” Mindy said. “Our mom drug us down here to help her do some shopping as well.” “Yeah,” Cindy added, “She wanted us to help her get some stuff for the move.” “MOVE!” Stella gasped, “What in the world are you talking about?

     “We're moving.” Mindy said, “And if all goes well we will be moving by the end of next week.” “But you can't move.” Stella said, “You're my friends and I'll miss you and....” “Hold on, hold on.” Mindy interrupted, “We’re not moving, moving were just moving.” “What?” Stella asked with a confused look on her face, “That doesn't make sense.”

     “She means we're getting new bedrooms.” Cindy said. “So, You're not really moving, moving you're just moving.” Stella said. “I get it.” “Yeah,” Mindy added, “And mine is going to be in the attic, and hers is going to be in the basement.” “And its all her fault.” Cindy added. “It is not.” Mindy shot back, “It's your fault.”

     “Well, if you would keep your stuff picked up we probably wouldn’t have to move.” Cindy said. “Well, if you would quit throwing my stuff in the garbage.” Mindy continued. “Alright” Stella injected, “I didn't mean to start you two arguing, especially here in the mall.” “But it is her fault.” Mindy said. “No it's not.” Cindy countered, “It's yours because you're a slob.” “Can I help it that your such a neat freak.” Mindy said.

     “I am not a freak.” Cindy protested, “Besides, Mom and Dad are always telling us to keep our room clean, and to do our school work.” “But that’s too much work.” Mindy protested this time. Trying to keep this from becoming a big argument, Stella quickly asked, “So, what’s going to happen to the room you’re in now?”

     “Mom said she was going to turn it into a nursery.” Cindy said. “That's why we're here. She wants us to help her pick out some wallpaper, some decorations and some furniture.” “What is your mom going to do with a nursery?” Stella asked. “What do you think you do with a nursery.” Cindy snickered, “She going …..” “Oh no.” Mindy interrupted, “She can't be.” “MOM!” the twins hollered together and took off. “Does this mean what I think it means.” Stella said with her eyes growing as big as saucers.

      Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, "Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her." And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
Genesis 16:1-4,15 (ESV)

     God had promised Abraham a son but when Sarah wasn't getting pregnant, she devised a plan to have Hagar get pregnant for her, she did and now, many years later, after Sarah had her promised son, problems arose. Here is the story

     The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac. … And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac." And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, "Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring." So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, "Let me not look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Genesis 21:1-21 (ESV)

     In this story we can find a story of conflict between Sarah and Hagar and their sons. What does the Bible have to say about unnecessary conflict and the arguments that often pursue.
  • Proverbs 13:10 Pride only leads to arguments, but those who take advice are wise. (NCV) Can you see potential conflict in the story? How about between Mindy and Cindy?
  • James 4:1 Spells out another source of conflict when he says Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you. (NCV)
  • Acts 5:29 shows us another source - Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God, not human authority! (NCV)
To combat conflict and arguing or fighting remember the words of Solomon..
  • Proverbs 26:20 Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down. (HCSB)
  • Proverbs 17:14 To start a conflict is to release a flood; stop the dispute before it breaks out. (HCSB)
  • Proverbs 15:18 A hot-tempered man stirs up conflict, but a man slow to anger calms strife. (HCSB)
     Here's Something To Ponder
  • In what ways do you stir up conflict?
  • In what ways to you strive to keep conflict from turning into fighting?