2452) This and That from Here and There

How Gentleness Can Calm Conflict, by Rick Warren, In his Daily Hope meditation, June 28, 2020 at:  http://www.pastorrick.com

     Here’s a common scenario: someone raises their voice against you, so you raise your voice in response.  Then they raise their voice higher, then you raise your voice higher.  And the situation keeps escalating.

     Let me give you a little tip that will save you a lot of heartache and conflict in your life:  When other people raise their voice, lower yours—in your marriage, in your parenting, in your friendships, and at work.  That’s called strength under control.

     The Bible says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV).

     Gentleness defuses conflict.  It de-escalates anger.

     When someone raises their voice in anger, instead of getting defensive, practice gentleness.  Let your gentle answer disarm the other person and diffuse the situation.


     The Christian faith is not just something to have ready when you die, but it is a promise and a hope that can affect and brighten all of life right now.  Dwight L. Moody once said “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven–but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.”  There’s a lot of truth in that, and it is in hearing that message that faith takes root and grows– in church, in Sunday School, in Bible studies, and in your own prayer and devotions.

John 10:10b  —  (Jesus said), “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”


     I am not familiar with Drew Holcomb, but I do know his song “Family” is a wonderful celebration of one of God’s greatest gifts.  Check it out:


Adapted from Vaneetha Rendall Risner, The Scars That Have Shaped Me:

     The old road often seems like it was more relaxing and easy to drive.  The new road can be bumpy and twisty, narrow with sharp curves.

     It’s a challenge to accept that the detour is now the new road.  I struggle with that reality daily as I experience new weakness and pain with post-polio. Sometimes it’s temporary, but often it’s permanent.  The loss becomes the new normal.  And I must adjust.

     God is guiding me on this new path.

     I realize that I cannot cling to the past.  I cannot get back on the old road and put everything back the way it was.  Some things will get better over time.  Some prayers will be miraculously answered.  Some dreams will come true.   But the old road is gone.

     And in my mind, it will often be remembered as better than it actually was.  The Israelites did that when they complained after they were delivered from slavery saying, “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.  But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at” (Numbers 11:5–6).

     The Israelites neglected to mention that even though they had food, they had been slaves.

     This new road that I am on, bumpy and twisty as it may be, is the path God has chosen for me.  I need to remember that God goes before me.  I need not fear for he knows what is up ahead.  As he has promised:

“I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).


     Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs (1600–1646) spoke about the futility of finding happiness in anything other than God: “That is just as if a man were hungry, and to satisfy his craving stomach he should gape and hold open his mouth to take in the wind, and then should think that the reason why he is not satisfied is because he has not got enough of the wind.  No, the reason is because the thing is not suitable to a craving stomach.”


Every temptation is an opportunity to say no to sin and yes to God.

I Corinthians 10:12-13  —  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall.  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,  he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.


     A cartoonist once pictured a crowd of grieving caterpillars carrying the corpse of a cocoon to its final resting place. The poor, distressed caterpillars, clad in black raiment, were weeping, and all the while the beautiful butterfly fluttered happily above the muck and the mire of Earth, forever freed from its earthly shell. Needless to say, that cartoonist had the average funeral in mind, and sought to convey the idea that when our loved ones pass, it is foolish to remember only the cocoon and concentrate our attention on the remains, while forgetting the bright butterfly.

Caterpillar / Butterfly Quote Magnet | Zazzle.com


Almighty God, we will come into contact today with many who that remain unconverted.  Save them, Father!  May this day be the day of their salvation.  We would most earnestly entreat that some word may drop into even the most careless hearts, and that you convert this day some that shall be earnest Christians in years to come.

Take hold of some that are especially set against you, bold in their sin, whole-hearted in their wickedness.  We pray that you convert them.  We lift this up as a prayer to be registered in heaven, and we mean to look for its answer.  Strike them down with the sense of their sin and lead them to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

–C. H. Spurgeon  (1834-1892)