Unity

Many hands together: group of people joining handsI like this word in many different contexts. I like it when my wife and I are in unity (this contrasts with when we have extremely different ideas about an issue). I also like it when my family is in unity. Unity doesn’t mean we always agree, but I do think it means we are always agreeable. It is not always easy for sure, but I think unity means that I’m keeping my eye on the big picture. I see unity as agreement on the big picture items. Unity is defined as: “the state of being one; the parts of a whole; oneness of mind; harmony and agreement”.

This word jumped out of a Psalm of David – a song of assents and it reminded me of what a beautiful concept unity can be. Check this out…

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life for evermore. (Psalm 133:1-3 NIV)

Unity is sometimes very difficult to achieve because I or the other person want our way. Unity can only be achieved when we are all working for the greater good of any team that we are part of. I believe every group I’m part of needs a mission. I didn’t say that they need a mission statement, although I think it’s an excellent idea. A mission statement is simply our mission in writing. In my family, we seek to honor God in our choices and decisions every day. It’s not written down anywhere, but we know it and try to live it out. At Southern Hills Christian Church where my family and I serve, the mission is: Disciples who make disciples.  At Metro West Realty, our team of REALTORS rally around a mission of: EXCELLENCE. Always.  I know that there are other organizations that I am part of that are on mission. If we get “off mission” then the tensions begin quickly.

Unity is an incredible concept and can be very fulfilling to be part of. If there is to be unity, then I can’t always have everything “my way or the highway”. I must seek common ground underneath the mission.  I have been part of organizations where there was no unity and it can be frustrating. When unity disappears, dysfunction comes on the scene. There are so many instances where the Lord has “sanded my rough edges off” and helped me see the big picture. I need to remember that any organization that I’m part of is only as strong as the unity of all its members.  I do believe that everyone needs a big picture view even in the trenches of debate and discussion.  I love the last line of this passage: ”for there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life for evermore”.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Praying For Peace

 

Pretty girl praying.Elderly man prayingI see peace as a “state mutual harmony, and a state of serenity and tranquility”. This is a word that means different things to a lot of different people. I love having peace in my life, buy sometimes peace is not quiet or boring. Sometimes “mutual harmony” is a bit loud and even a struggle. I used to connect peace with quiet and I still do sometimes. Peace is much deeper than silence. Peace is a matter of my spiritual heart condition. When my heart is at peace, I am trusting the Lord with whatever is getting me anxious.

David was evidently heading to the Temple when He wrote this Psalm. David is a warrior and has fought many bloody battles and has seen much bloodshed. In the midst of this assent to worship he is asking the people to join him in prayer. Check this out…

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    ‘May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
    and security within your citadels.’
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your prosperity. (Psalm 122:6-9 NIV)

I need to be a prayer warrior for peace. I can pray for peace for my family, my community, my state, my country & the world. Praying for peace and seeking to be peaceful are two different things. I believe that the Lord loves peace. I believe He restores my soul and nourishes my heart during peace. During times of struggle and angst, He does some of His best work building me. I feel like I’ve grown more in times of suffering and struggle for sure than in times of peace. During struggle and hardship, I found myself clinging to Him – holding on as tight as possible. I learned through struggle and suffering that He doesn’t leave me. He is always there. At times during the struggle, it felt as if He had left, but He had not. My feelings are fickle and I’ve learned that when the Lord says He is with me, then I can count on that. It may not “feel” like He is with me; but He sure is!

I love the greeting that Paul ends his second letter to the church as Thessalonica with. Check this out…

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (1 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV)

Pressing On!

Dwayne