Tag Archives: spirit

Conflict Free Zone?

Another April article? Well, she is a special giraffe, but…

Last time we visited April the Giraffe, we talked about “watchful living.” As I noted, fans were growing impatient and dissatisfied with all the waiting. Since then, the number of “the dissatisfied” increased significantly.

Negative comments are pouring in from those who are upset that they are getting charged to know the gender of the baby. Also, people who paid for early warning alerts at the birth are complaining. Add those comments to the impatient people and the conspiracy folks who say the whole thing is a publicity scam, and viola…conflict!

The problem? The site says it is a “conflict free zone!” Silly giraffe, those don’t exist; at least not where humans are involved.

“Conflict free” zones on the Internet are a bit utopian and naïve. When people post with anonymity, their best side doesn’t exactly come out. Even a simple giraffe birth has caused conflict.

So here’s a question: how about the church? Does it have an example to offer? After all, it is made up of people. Are churches “conflict free zones?” Not if people are involved!

Nevertheless, we strive for something greater in the church. But if we rely on human nature, we will never achieve it. True freedom from conflict is in the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control.

There are hundreds of verses that teach us to rid conflict from among us. Why hundreds? Because our fleshly desires put self ahead of others. The battle is to overcome those thoughts. Resolving conflict is, as Jesus put it, a blessing to “the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

So…“conflict free” giraffes? Maybe. “Conflict free” church? Definitely! But only when His people submit to the Spirit of Truth!

Amputee Gets Brain Transplant?

Brain transplant? Seriously? Well, not quite yet. But a recent story about an amazing development through Johns Hopkins got me thinking about it. 26-year-old, Sgt. Brendan Marrocco, made history by having the first successful double arm transplant in history! Sgt. Marrocco’s arms and legs had been blown off in a roadside bomb in Iraq. Incredibly, he is now making history with real, human arms from an anonymous donor who had offered his body for use upon his death.

Attaching the donor’s arms to a new body was very complicated! The bones were attached, then the muscles, the tendons, the blood vessels, arteries and veins. But that isn’t enough. The body is smart – too smart. It recognizes that those arms don’t belong to it. In order to prevent the body from attacking the new appendages with anti-bodies, they introduced a sneaky solution. They took bone marrow cells from the donor’s spine and injected them into Marrocco, fooling his body into thinking the arms were his!

As difficult as that surgery is, God’s children face far more difficult transplants. First, God promises to give “a new heart and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26). Then comes a real challenge, a transplanted mind! It is for those who turn away from a life dedicated to sin, amputate the old mind, and adopt a new life dedicated to righteousness. Paul writes that “we have the mind of Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:16).

Was Paul proposing something like a brain transplant? Is it possible to replace my thoughts with Christ’s so drastically that His mind is in my head? Something along these lines happens when a believer submits in baptism to His death, burial, and resurrection. The problem? From day one, the old, sinful self, starts rejecting the “Christ-mind.” The solution? Inject some of him daily: His words, His life, & His teaching. Grow in such a way that your body thinks His mind is yours. You will be even more thrilled with the result than Marrocco is with his new arms!