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Illustration results for reconciliation

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RECONCILIATION: CHANCING ONE’S ARM

A. The oldest Christian site in Ireland is said to be St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. (Slide Of St Patrick’s)
1. It is a beautiful edifice, but it also has a interesting piece of history involving one of its doors– it is known as the "Door of Reconciliation."
2. There’s a rectangular hole hacked out of its center.
a. In 1492, two prominent Irish families, the Ormonds and Kildares, were in the midst of a bitter feud.
b. As the feud grew and turned into an all out fight, the Earl of Ormand was besieged by the Earl of Kildare.
c. The Earl of Ormand and his family and followers took refuge in the chapter house of St. Patrick’s cathedral and bolted themselves in.
3. However, as the siege wore on, the Earl of Kildare concluded the feuding was foolish.
a. Here were two families worshiping the same God, in the same church, living in the same country, trying to kill each other.
b. So Kildare called out to the Earl of Ormand and pledged that he would not seek revenge or indulge in villainy — he wanted the Ormands to come out and the feud to be over.
c. But the Earl of Ormand was convinced that it was a scheme full of treachery and refused to come out of the cathedral.
d. So Kildare grabbed his spear, chopped a hole in the door with it, and thrust his hand through.
4. There was a tense moment until his hand was grasped by another hand inside the church. The door was opened and the two men embraced, thus ending the family feud.

The Scottish have a saying, maybe you have heard it, "Chancing one’s arm." It came about from the incident at St. Patrick’s – it means to "take a chance" especially in reaching out to someone in reconciliation.

(From a sermon by Duane Smith, "The Work Of Reconciliation - Chancing One’s Arm" 7/26/2009)

 
Contributed By:
David Dykes
 
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There is a difference between reconciliation and forgiveness. In the cross, Jesus provided for the forgiveness of everyone. But not everyone will be reconciled with Him–because they won’t seek to be reconciled with Him. Dietrich Bonhoeffer forgave his Nazi guards, but he was never reconciled with them. The same is true for you. You can forgive anyone who hurts you, even if they don’t seek your reconciliation.

 
Contributed By:
Tim Smith
 
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ANGELS OF RECONCILIATION

With his life in disarray, Steven Lavaggi sat on his bedroom’s wooden floor, and began searching his Bible for answers. His wife had just left him to marry a writer for The Rolling Stone Magazine. Ten days later, Steven discovered his son was stricken with Juvenile Diabetes. Then he lost his graphic art business. 
Unemployed, abandoned, and worrying about his son, Lavaggi turned to God’s Word.

As Steven read, he skipped over the black letters, only wanting to read the words of Jesus. The Risen Christ emerged from the pages. Lavaggi gave his life to Jesus. 

As a new Christian, he clung to Psalm 91:11: "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."

Out of his brokenness, came a passion to create a message of hope. He discovered his passion was to minister through fine art. He moved to California, to influence the people who influence the world--Hollywood. He is doing just that.

The response to his work is overwhelming. Inspired by the Psalmist’s words he painted an angel. When a friend encouraged him to make the image three dimensional, he collaborated with a sculptor, and together they cast the angel. 



While speaking to a crowd of 3500 natives in Soweto, South Africa, Lavaggi held a 20" sculpture of a black angel above his head. When he did, the crowd erupted with enthusiasm. A man on the stage told him that just a few days before, a preacher had declared that God would soon send an international artist who would express the love of God to their culture by doing something like "painting Angels in black!" When Lavaggi heard this, he grabbed a 20" white angel, held it above his head and said, "these angels were created to be like brothers and sisters, even as we are supposed to be." Those sculptures became known as, "The Angels of Reconciliation."

Today, he is known as the artist of Hope. It propelled him into creating an incredible series of spirit-inspired paintings, sculptures, figurines, and prints. Steven’s message would not exist without his passion! Through his passion, today he is touching and changing the world fopr Jesus Christ.

 
Contributed By:
MELVIN NEWLAND
 
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LOVE LETTER IGNORED- COMMUNION MEDITATION

When Robert Browning came into her life, Elizabeth Barrett was a 39-year-old invalid. Daughter of a jealous & dominating father, her first 4 books of poetry had been published when she was just 12 years old. At 15 she injured her spine, & the resulting confinement in London affected her lungs, & she came to be regarded as a permanent invalid, doomed to spend her life in bed. But still she kept writing.

As time passed, the grief caused by the drowning of a brother, & her father’s refusal to allow any of his children to marry made her a recluse. Nearing 40, she seemed destined for a life of helplessness & gloom.

But the publication of one of her books brought about a correspondence with another poet, a man by the name of Robert Browning. He visited her, & then they wrote often to each other, with him encouraging her to try to get out of bed & make every effort to resume a normal life. But this met with strong resistance from her parents. And they resented Robert for even suggesting it.

They refused to allow him to visit her again, but the correspondence continued, & soon they were in love. Finally, more than a year later, she escaped the possessive vigilance of her father & they were secretly married. They immediately moved to Italy, & in that sunny climate it wasn’t long until she was strong & active once again.

Her parents disowned her, but she wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them & longed for a reconciliation. After 10 years of writing to them, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the letters she had ever sent. Not a one of them had been opened!

Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of English literature, it’s sad to know that they were never read by her parents. Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.

But no, they wouldn’t & they didn’t. We hear a story like that & we think, “Oh, what a pitiful story. What a pitiful thing for her parents to be like that.” You’re right. But let me ask you, “Is it poss...

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Contributed By:
Daryl Grimes
 
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DEMON-POSSESSED MAN

People had written him off a long time ago. He was just a crazy lunatic that no one wanted anything to do with. They kept their children away, they kept their wives away and they kept themselves away. He lived like a pig, his body odor was almost unbearable and to make matters worse he ran around with no clothes. The people just wanted to be rid of him and longed for the day when he would be gone so he would just be a bad memory. But today, some 2,000 years later we talk about him. We talk about the demon possessed man who met Jesus. We talk about Jesus’ power over the legion of demons that possessed him. We talk of him finding clothing and sitting at the feet of Jesus. We find him wanting to go with Jesus, wanting to be with Jesus wanting to spend time with the One who had set him free. Yet in Luke 8 we find Jesus telling him, “Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee.” Jesus told this brand new believer to go back home and be His ambassador—His minister of reconciliation! The Scripture says that this is what the man did, “…he went his way, and PUBLISHED throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.”

 
Contributed By:
Rick Stacy
 
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I am told that when President Bush was governor of Texas he had to deal with a lot of conflict. According to the sources I heard on the news one night in December (I tried to check this our with different sources and was unable to confirm it.) He came into office with a legislature that was in the opposite party. Early in his term he met with the opposition leader of the legislative branch with the hopes of building a cooperative coalition for the future.

The meeting was a failure. There was no trust and no agreement. There was plenty of conflict.

At the end of the session as Bush got up to leave he suddenly reached over and grabbed the opposition boss with both hands on his neck and gave him a big kiss on the cheek.

The man was completely stunned. He got red faced and stammered "What did you do THAT for!".

Bush said, "If I can’t get your cooperation and help, I’m at least going to get a kiss!"

The opposition leader broke up laughing and that was the beginning of friendship and the end of conflict.

 
Contributed By:
Frank Gallagher
 
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When the now-famous poet Elizabeth Barrett became the wife of Robert Browning, her parents disowned her because they disapproved of the marriage. Their daughter Elizabeth, however, wrote almost every week, telling them that she loved them and longed for a reconciliation. After 10 years, she received a huge box in the mail that contained all the notes she had sent. Not one had been opened! Although these "love letters" have now become a precious part of classical English literature, it’s really sad to think that they were never read by Elizabeth Barrett’s own parents. Had they looked at just one, the broken relationship with their daughter might have been healed.

All of us are alienated from God because of sin, but God has provided a way of reconciliation. In the Bible, He tells about it, and also expresses His earnest desire for fellowship with us.

 
Contributed By:
Rodney Buchanan
 
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Amy Biehl died a violent death in 1993. She was a 26-year-old Fulbright scholar who had gone to South Africa to help register black voters for their first free election. But even though she was seeking to help the people of South Africa, as she was driving one day, she was dragged out of her car, stabbed and beaten to death by a mob which was committed to violence in order to overthrow of the apartheid government. Soon afterward, Amy’s parents, Linda and Peter Biehl, quit their jobs and moved from their Orange County, California home to South Africa — not to seek revenge, but to start a foundation in Amy’s name. Today, two of her killers work for the foundation. They call Mrs. Biehl “Makhulu,” or grandmother, because of the way she treats them. She says, “Forgiving is looking at ourselves and saying, ‘I don’t want to go through life feeling hateful and revengeful, because that’s not going to do me any good.’ We took Amy’s lead. We did what we felt she would want.”

That is the picture of reconciliation. It not only forgives, it reaches out to restore. It pays back good for evil. It is following the heart and character of God, for the Bible says, “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the mi...

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Contributed By:
James Wilson
 
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With his life in disarray, Steven Lavaggi sat on his bedroom’s wooden floor, and began searching his Bible for answers. His wife had just left him to marry a writer for The Rolling Stone Magazine. Ten days later, Steven discovered his son was stricken with Juvenile Diabetes. As if coping with the personal crisis wasn’t enough, Lavaggi also lost his graphic art business.

Unemployed, abandoned, and worrying about his son, Lavaggi turned to God’s Word. As Steven read, he skipped over the black letters, only wanting to read the words of Jesus. The Risen Christ emerged from the pages. Lavaggi gave his life to Jesus.

As a new Christian, he clung to Psalms 91:11: "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways." Out of his brokenness, came a passion to create and message of hope. He left the lucrative world of graphic art to become a fine artist.

Since Steven’s passion is to minister through fine art, he moved to California, to influence the people who influence the world--Hollywood.

He is doing just that. The response to his work is overwhelming. Inspired by the Psalmist’s words he painted a 4’ X 5’ angel. When a friend encouraged him to make the image three dimensional, he collaborated with a sculptor, and together they cast the angel.

While speaking to a crowd of thirty-five hundred natives in Soweto, South Africa, Lavaggi held a 20" sculpture of a black angel above his head. When he did, the crowd erupted with enthusiasm. A man on the stage told him that just a few days before, a preacher had said, "One of the things we need is for international artists to express the love of God through art, perhaps even painting angels in black." When Lavaggi heard this, he grabbed a 20" white angel, held it above his head and said, "these angels were created to be like brothers and sisters, even as we are supposed to be." Later, as he reflected on the day, he decided to call the sculptures, "The Angels of Reconciliation."

His creation graces the cover of the Winter 2000 GROWING CHURCHES magazine and two 20" bronze statues are in the city of Lake Village, Arkansas symbolizing the hope of racial reconciliation in the deep South.

Steven’s message would not exist without his passion! His message is easy to see-it is in the light, but remember, his passion was born in the dark, on a wooden floor while he grieved the loss of his wife, his job and his son’s health. Through the struggle, he gained a passion, and today, he is changing the world.

 
Contributed By:
Todd Schäve
 
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True Confession and Repentance:
True confession is not the mere mental assent that we
have done wrong, for even a thief will admit he’s done
wrong in the bragging of his accomplishments. No,
confession means seeing and agreeing with God how our
sins have harmed us and others. It is pouring out our
shame and deep sorrow to the Lord over our misdeeds.
It is repenting of our evil ways, turning around and
doing what’s right and good, and it’s seeking
reconciliation with others and our God.

This is repentance the leads to life, whereas the
thief’s boasting leads only to further alienation
from God. As the Bible says, “Godly sorrow brings
repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no
regret, but worldly sorrow brings death”
(1Corinthians 7.10).

 
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