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    Bottling Civility: Talking Tough Topics with Your Church Family

    As iron sharpens iron,so a person sharpens his friend. Prov. 27:17 (NET) When I first posted this blog in 2017, I had no idea how much more polarization could impact our culture. So, I am posting an updated version in hopes that you and your church family can communicate in a God-honoring way. I have frequently found myself in conversations where I disagreed with members of my church family. To my surprise and theirs, even when presented with the same issue or topic, we have come to different conclusions. I believe the ingredients to talking respectfully with your church family are similar to the ones that foster civility in your…

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    Bottling Civility: Engaging Politely about Controversial Topics

    “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19 I wrote a series of blogs in 2017 on civility. As we enter the season of a new presidential race, civility is more needed than ever. So I will be re-posting them again over the next three months. May you and I be reminded how to engage with others in a God-glorifying way. How can we talk about controversial topics in a meaningful way? I’ve witnessed or been in on some contentious political discussions in the last several months. Some on Facebook have included profanity and name calling—and…

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    Cooling Down Discourse

    Whew–my mouth burns today after a survey of my facebook feed. I need a sip of something cool to drink after some of the heated rhetoric I took in. Social media sizzles with conflict these days. These conflicts overflow into relationships, families and churches. A pandemic, racial unrest, elections in the U.S., disrupted governments in other countries all turn up the heat in conversations. I have witnessed un-civil discourse among families, friends and members of the body of Christ. John 17 records Jesus’s prayer for all believers. In John 17:20-23, the Savior prays for the unity of all believers. Why? Because their unity testifies to the world that the Father…

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    World on Fire: When a Gunman Attacked in My Hometown

    Some days the world feels aflame. Saturday, August 3rd, 2019, the news gripped me. People fled out of a mall where I worked during college summers. Police surrounded the area less than one mile from my childhood home where I played hide and seek and marbles. Blood puddled at a store built where I used to trudge through the desert catching lizards and finding rocks. And the gunman—he hailed from the area where I now live. So, this terror feels more personal. And when I hear his actions flowed from racism and anti-immigrant anger, I shake my head at the lies and brokenness behind this horror. I can’t escape the…

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    Celebrating and Remembering our Freedom – July 3, 2019

    On July 4, in 1776 the delegates to the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. With that signing our country was born. Today we celebrate America’s birthday. What are we celebrating and why should we remember? At a time when civil discourse is no longer assumed and disruption of basic rights is prevalent and frequent, it is well to consider and reaffirm the primacy of religious freedom to American democracy and celebrate it. On June 25, 1988, another document was signed, the Williamsburg Charter to celebrate and reaffirm the First Amendment Religious Liberty clause and mark the 200th anniversary of Virginia’s call for the Bill of Rights. It was…

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    Bottling Civility: Talking Respectfully About Tough Topics

    This blog first appeared over a year ago. I find that I need the message it contains even more than when I first posted it: "Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19 How can we talk about controversial topics in a meaningful way? I’ve witnessed or been in on some contentious discussions in the last several months. Some on Facebook have included profanity and name calling—and this among believers. On the other hand, I have the privilege of participating with a small, but diverse group of believers in some mind-expanding discussions on potentially explosive topics. Our…

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    Civil Discourse: Community Flavor

    Have you looked at the comment section on any controversial topic on the internet lately? Some of the words there can burn the hair right off your head. How in the world can we have a polite conversation on a controversial topic with people in our community who think so differently than we do, who speak such fiery words? To put out that fire I have brewed a batch of civil discourse—community flavor. Let me share the ingredients with you. ·         Listen well. When you talk to someone in your community about a tough topic, you may know little about them. For a polite conversation to take place, you must…

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    Bottling Civility: Talking Tough Topics with Your Church Family

    As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend. Prov. 27:17 (NET) When I first posted this blog in 2017, I had no idea how much more polarization could impact our culture. So, I am posting an updated version in hopes that you and your church family can communicate in a God-honoring way. I have frequently found myself in conversations where I disagreed with members of my church family. To my surprise and theirs, even when presented with the same issue or topic, we have come to different conclusions. I believe the ingredients to talking respectfully with your church family are similar to the ones that foster civility in…