Chocolate Quotes?

Have you ever eaten Dove chocolates? If you have, have you taken the time to read the quote on the inside of the wrapper? If you have never had one of these delicious chocolate candies, let me share a few of the motivational quotes with you.

Things have to fall apart for them to fall together.

Inhale the future, exhale the past.

Hug the sunlight.

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

There are many more of these beautiful quotations. You can find them on-line by Googling Dove Chocolate Quotes. So, what are you getting at Pastor, highlighting Dove Chocolate Promises in your letter to us? Well, let me tell you.

Recently, I have heard of some hurtful comments made by members of our church families. These may not have been meant to hurt anyone personally. Perhaps something was said out of concern. Maybe something was said to another person thinking a third person wouldn’t hear it. Was what was said meant to be said in jest?

Whatever the reason, someone’s feelings may have been compromised. Perhaps that person doesn’t feel they are welcome in church. Maybe that person doesn’t feel of any value to the church. Now, looking at it from the affected person’s viewpoint, perhaps they misunderstood what the other person was saying. Did the person hear something that wasn’t even related to him or her? Should the man or woman just let another’s comments roll off his or her back?

We, as a church, consider ourselves a family. We are a very large family when you compare us to most. Families have arguments, they don’t always agree, individual personalities, even in biological families, can be very unique. But, over all, families remain intact and love each other, no matter what.

In Acts 15:36–41, we read the sad story of a sharp disagreement between the apostle Paul and his close companion Barnabas. Barnabas wanted to take John Mark along on their next missionary journey, but Paul disagreed, because Mark had deserted them earlier (Acts 13:13). What made their disagreement so disheartening was the subsequent division that resulted. But the Bible’s purpose in revealing these sad realities is to instruct, not to discourage.

The last thing we should want, especially when people are leaving the church, is to initiate division. Those on both sides of an issue need to remember that most importantly, we are part of the body of Christ to be disciples and to make disciples.

Those that say they are not coming to church because of what one person said or did cannot let that one person keep them away. Stay away from that fellow Christian, if necessary, or, better yet, talk out your differences. If an apology is necessary, suck up your pride and apologize. As I say to the couples I am preparing to marry, there will always be conflict. The couple needs to confront the issue and decide whether to compromise, coexist, or concede. We, as church members, need to do the same. Both parties involved need to communicate and if they’re not comfortable talking just the two of them, invite one or two others to be with you.

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17(NIV)

 As your pastor, I know that not everyone is going to love me and I know that not all members of the body are going to love each other. That is human nature. But, that said, I hope we will live like Dove Chocolates and by what is said in James 4:1-12-

What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? You long for something you don’t have, so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask. You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings. You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy. Or do you suppose that scripture is meaningless? Doesn’t God long for our faithfulness in[a] the life he has given to us? But he gives us more grace. This is why it says, God stands against the proud, but favors the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Purify your hearts, you double-minded. Cry out in sorrow, mourn, and weep! Let your laughter become mourning and your joy become sadness. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Brothers and sisters, don’t say evil things about each other. Whoever insults or criticizes a brother or sister insults and criticizes the Law. If you find fault with the Law, you are not a doer of the Law but a judge over it. There is only one lawgiver and judge, and he is able to save and to destroy. But you who judge your neighbor, who are you?

 

Love in Christ,

Pastor Nancy

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