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God With Us Blog

No one likes conflict, especially in the Church. Fighting seems so unbecoming of the disciple. Yet, healthy conflict should be expected, and even welcomed, in the Church. The reason why we should expect conflict is that the Church is filled with people who are not perfect and will, not might, sin. We should welcome conflict because it is the way that people are made aware of their sin and can repent of it. The Church should be a community of repentant sinners who eagerly admit their sin so that they can readily receive grace and mercy from one another and from Jesus. The Apostles Peter and Paul model healthy conflict for us. May we follow their example in our own day.

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Today, the Emmanuel family, along with many other fine people, committed Eugenia Victoria Sedwick to the loving care of God. Miss Vicki was 103 years old when she died. She lived a life that was characteristically hopeful, joyful, and peaceful. Take a listen to the sermon below (staring at the 20-minute mark) to hear why this was the case for Miss Vicki and how it can be true for you too.

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Solitude is the ground from which community grows. Whenever we pray alone, study, read, write, or simply spend quiet time away from the places where we interact with each other directly, we are potentially opened for a deeper intimacy with each other. It is a fallacy to think we grow closer to each other only when we talk, play, or work together. Much growth certainly occurs in such human interactions, but these interactions derive their fruit from solitude, because in solitude, our intimacy with each other is deepened. In solitude we discover each other in a way that physical presence makes difficult if not impossible. In solitude we know a bond with each other that does not depend on words, gestures, or actions, a bond much deeper than our own efforts can create. . . .

In solitude we become aware that we were together before we came together and that life is not a creation of our will but rather an obedient response to the reality of our being united. Whenever we enter into solitude, we witness to a love that transcends our interpersonal communications and proclaims that we love each other because we have been loved first (1 John 4:19). Solitude keeps us in touch with the sustaining love from which we draw strength.

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