Malcolm Tyree

A collection of thoughts on things that matter

Archive for the month “March, 2015”

A Taste of Things to Come: a Wedding

(John 2:11)

When you’ve gone to church for a long time, or you’ve read through the Bible repeatedly, it is easy to miss “the first time” something happens. We miss it because we are really familiar with the story. It seems we are so familiar with the story that we focus on the end and not the beginning. 



picture of actors

Members of New Life Bile Fellowship reenacting what the wedding crlebration could have looked like



As Jesus turns some 120 gallons of water into wine, we marvel at the fact that he did the miracle, but we can lose perspective easily, after all what is water into wine compared to the cross?

Did you catch it? 120 gallons! I’m not a wine drinker, I’m pretty much a tee-totaler in my lifestyle, but 120 gallons seems like a lot of wine to me. How many people were at this party? How much longer would it be lasting? Did Jesus really need to make that much more wine or was he just showing off for his mom and these first disciples?

I realize that it sounds heretical to say Jesus may have been “showing off.” The whole testimony of Jesus is that he was “sinless” and showing off seems a bit like pride and that is one of those “seven deadly sins,” right?

It is quite possible that Jesus was showing off, in a good way. After all, looking at his miracles, they’re supernatural. Isn’t that in and of itself showing off?

What if Jesus was showing off so that his disciples and family members, and even those low servants, who knew what had happened, could get a taste of things to come?

Imagine if Jesus is showing off because he gets excited about weddings? He is a single guy, betrothed (we know this because we know the full story) and preparing for his wedding day. Imagine if his participation in the celebration is his way of saying, “just wait, there’s more to come!”

We tend to see Jesus as uptight and unemotional. Allow your imagination to fill out the picture of who Jesus really was/is. Imagine Jesus excited about weddings, grieving at funerals, and enjoying parades. Could it be in each of these, he is helping us get a taste of things to come?

On an application side, if Jesus gets invested in these things, shouldn’t we? Maybe that is what he meant when he later tells the crowd that he has come to give life to the fullest (John 10:10). Let your marriage show off God’s power. May your funeral be a testimony of your commitment to Jesus. Throw a parade celebrating a better day to come! If we live this way, we live as appetizers, giving others a taste of things to come. And maybe, we will be reminded of what it was like to experience Jesus for the first time.

Conflict – Trust Building: why tension can improve trust

In his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Patrick Lencioni identifies conflict as being essential to great team work.  The problem is many of us see conflict as a bad thing, but when we’ve proven we can trust each other, conflict is something that helps us build each other up.

Instead of conflict being about tearing each other down, we need to see how conflict sharpens us.  When someone disagrees with one of your ideas or plans, remember they are not saying they don’t like you.  Instead they see a short coming in your plan or a flaw in your idea.  More often than not, they’re wanting what’s best, just like you are.

If you are slow to engage in conflict, choose to trust.  Trust that the person will receive the critique with a teachable spirit.

If you are on the receiving end of conflict, choose to trust.  Trust that the person you are in relationship with is working for your good.

The Hebrew Proverb captures this best:

As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
(Proverbs 27:17)

Conflict – Overcoming the Appeaser: why conflict is good

Winston Churchill was one of the more amazing personalities during the 20th Century.  His leadership for Great Britain and the world still inspires many today.  Before Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940, England along with most of Europe failed to deal with Nazi Germany properly.  For many in leadership, the Great War, World War I, was still fresh on their minds, concluding just short 21 years before the invasion of Poland.  Seeking to avoid the war, world leaders sought to appease Adolf Hitler.  As a result the world was drug into a second world war.

Out of that experience and many others, Churchill’s words ring true:

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

In too many instances, we allow the crocodiles of life to stay too close, instead of eliminating them.  To deal with a croc requires conflict.

What keeps you from dealing with the crocodiles of your life? 

Remember, crocodiles left around have a tendency to come back and eat you.

Conflict – Seeking Revenge or Forgiveness: An attempt to make things right

N.T. Wright has said: “If confrontation has to happen, as it often does, it must always be with forgiveness in mind, never revenge.”

Why do you think it is so difficult to seek forgiveness in a confrontation?

Why is it so easy to seek revenge?

What rules can you apply to relational conflict that will make forgiveness more likely than revenge, when all is said and done?

Here are 6 rules I’ve suggested when it comes to conflict:

 1. Respect your the other

2. Practice the proper time & place concept of a fight

3. Use a time-out to cool down so you don’t cross the line

4. Don’t get caught up in the past or use names

5. Stick to the real issue

6. Be willing to lose

Few of us actually enjoy conflict, even fewer of us work to resolve issues and find forgiveness for the wrongs in our life. More often than not, when we engage in conflict, we are hoping to be proved right. After all vengeance is our attempt to make things right by our own power.

We see time and time again that vengeance might feel good in the moment but it often destroys not only the most immediate relationship, but many others along the way. Forgiveness on the other hand restores relationships.

Saying, “I’m sorry,” has a way of making things right that vengeance can’t even fathom.

Conflict – It’s Inevitable: Choose Your Sides Carefully

It happens in every household: “Mom! Dad! He won’t stop!”  Something has happened with the kids, a conflict has emerged, and now one or the other is calling in support for their side.  It drives parents crazy but it happens again and again.

The scary thing is it doesn’t stop with kids!  As adults it is less likely someone is going to call for mom or dad (less likely doesn’t mean never), but it doesn’t stop someone from bringing a “friend” into a conflict to support their side.  Sometimes a person can even be drawn in to the conflict unwittingly.

Here a quick word of advice about conflict – choose your sides carefully.

Odds are, after the conflict is over, you will find yourself in relationship with both sides.  Try to avoid making that an awkward place to be.

How do you avoid being drawn into a conflict?

What secrets do you have to keeping a relationship with both sides of a conflict?

Post Navigation