Tag Archives: peace

An Amazing Opportunity!!!!

Hi Friends,

As you know, we are in Johannesburg, South Africa with my son Dave and his family. Dave and Jo teach at the international school of Johannesburg. Granddaughter Jenna graduates grade 12 this year and will be returning to Canada to study at Queens in Kingston.

This letter is about one of Jenna’s classmates and sports teammates, Noni   Dube .

Noni is an amazing young woman. At the end of grade 7, in her township school, Noni earned a scholarship to the International School of Johannesburg. Her courage, intelligence, enthusiasm and hard work, have now earned her a 4 yr. tuition scholarship to Trent University in Peterborough. For a foreign student to study in Canada, they must have the money up front to cover accommodation, food, return flight, books etc.  Noni lives in one of the “townships” of South Africa.  Although her single parent Mom, is hardworking, she could never amass that kind of money.

Noni wants to study overseas because she understands that an international education will empower her to help her people. Already she is part of a program to help young girls from her township stay in school. Obviously a top student, excellent athlete and team player, Noni is loved by everyone around her.

I believe that education is the first step to world peace.  As Mother Theresa so wisely said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.  This is our opportunity to share our abundant blessings through supporting Noni.

Noni’s teammates have opened a “Go Fund Me” site for Noni.

Please click Noni’s page  .  Read about Noni and her accomplishments. Please contribute to this beautiful young woman’s future. She needs your help, to help others.

 

 

How can we conquer hate?

Finally, I have a post to offer. I do apologize for the lack of regularity. I am working on one for Mother’s Day. My plan is to get back to once a week.  I send my concern and caring go out to any of you who are battling the rising water.  We had a few minutes of sun this morning, for which I am truly grateful. Blessings to you all. Janet

How Can We Conquer Hate?

On my birthday, I woke up grateful for my life. In response, I wrote the following little poem: Show me what I am God, The gifts that make me, me. Show me what I am God. My gifts all come from thee.

Lead me in your Grace, God; To share and bring great joy, To be your blessing for each day, To man and woman, girl and boy.

Since Sunday, my daily readings have encouraged me to repeat that little prayer poem, no matter what happens. One of those readings by Madeline L’Engle on the birth of Jesus offered me the following piece of wisdom: “Only the absurdity of love can break the bonds of hate.”

Putting these two together, I have decided that the best way to bring peace into our chaotic world is to fill our world so full of love that there is no longer any room for hate. What a wonderful goal. Of course, it means we must co-operate. We could never achieve such a goal alone. I offer the following prayer:

Loving and forgiving God, I offer my love to the world. Gather my love, and the love offered by others to surround and fill the leaders of this world.

Loving and creating God, I know it’s not too late. My dream is that you will use our gathered love to fill this troubled world so full of love that there is no room for hate. Amen

St. Paul tells us: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people…(Galatians 6:9-10)

Winter’s Last Gasp!

In Peterborough this morning, we woke to blowing snow, the ground once again wrapped in its wintry blanket. My mind went to my daughter and granddaughter on the highway to York University in Toronto, to her last hockey games of the season. I am grateful they have snow tires on the car and Connie has lots of experience with winter driving. I sent them a text. Take your time, I’m praying for you.

We thought spring had arrived. Although it’s been chilly, especially at night, the rains were waking up the world. The grass, once again, was gaining the green of new life. And now, this. I don’t want it. I trust it won’t last long.

I’ve been thinking about our world today. Up until last year, it felt as if our world had finally started on a journey toward peace and love. Oh yes, the war was producing refugees by the millions, but as human beings we were finally responding with love. Violence and hunger still prevailed, yet the world seemed to care. More people were sharing. It seemed as if the green of new life was finally springing forth in our troubled world.

And then fear began to rear its ugly head. We see isolationism and prejudice becoming national policy in some western countries. Is this fear’s last gasp in God’s beautiful world? God has given us the skills we need to teach love and harmony. We have experienced the joy of caring for one another. As Easter approaches we are reminded that nothing, not the worst we can do as human beings, can defeat God’s drive for new life.

This morning I am praying that we can open our hearts to God’s guidance so that we won’t hide our light under a bushel. God grant us the courage and the wisdom to use what we have learned on this journey towards peace. We have the skills. We can do it. God’s new life will not be defeated. Peace will come to our world.

Thought for the Day

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Practicing Peace Requires Patience

Two weeks ago, a young man followed me home in order to yell at me. His message: Driving under the speed limit on a city street in a residential neighborhood had inconvenienced him. I was not considerate of other people.

I don’t know how long he followed me driving under the speed limit but it couldn’t have been more than five minutes in total.  I apologized for his inconvenience and hurried my 13 year old granddaughter into the house and locked the door.

Her response was, “If he’s in that big a hurry, why did he take the time to follow you home and harass you.”

My thought was, “The speed limit is a maximum not a minimum. These streets are full of children. I’d rather not kill one of them.”

In this situation, Peace required patience on my part since the young man had left his patience behind.

When we’re praying for a world peace, we need to practice patience in our own lives. Whether we’re driving, standing in line, listening to others, on the job or at leisure, build an aura of peace in your life.

Pray for patience.  Practice patience.

Thought for the Day

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 See, smile, feel God’s peace with you today.

Peace Be With You!

This morning, I am mourning the deferral of a very special interview I had scheduled with Raheel Raza as part of my research for my next book, One More Step even though there is no deadline for its completion.

As I write this, my imagination speaks. “See God smile and hear God’s words: ‘Peace be with you. Writing this book is your ministry, yes, but first and foremost I call you to live well each moment of today. Enjoy this unexpected freedom as my precious gift.”

Changes in our plans are sometimes difficult. Today, receive with peace whatever task is added or taken away.  Whether your moments bring joy, sorrow, or confusion, hear and receive Jesus’ words to his disciples: “Peace be with you.” Speak them to yourself and to others, often.

 

Thought for the Day

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O God, help me rest in your peace today.

During this advent week of peace, let’s begin each day seeking God’s peace for our individual lives. To be a channel of God’s peace for others, we need to know at least a little of God’s peace for ourselves.

Each day, we wake with our minds full of all the things we must do, all the people we must worry about, all the problems that surround us as individuals and as part of the world. A little stress is good. A lot of stress can be debilitating.

Today, take a few moments to imagine handing over to Jesus, each task that lies ahead, each loved one about whom you are concerned. Pass them into God’s hands one at a time. Feel the weight on your shoulders lift just a little.  Let’s exhange our worries for God’s peace. We can trust if only for a few minutes or an hour. Each time the flood of worries, the chaos returns, stop, take a deep breath and hand them over in your imagination once again. Ask God to open you to God’s gift of peace.

Then keep your mind, heart, eyes open to see and receive the triggers of peace God has sent to you. Give thanks.

This is your goal for today, walk with this prayer “O God, help me rest in your peace today. Thank you.

Thought for the Day

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Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.

The second week of Advent begins today. Traditionally in the church, this is the week in which we focus on peace, peace in the world and peace within our individual lives. Today, my prayer is based on transformation of each one of us as individuals. Jesus refused the “devil’s offer” of using power to control the world. He chose to work with his presence, his love, his teaching. Today, I want to be God’s peaceful presence everywhere I go. Today I suggest that the goal of our words, our actions, our thoughts be based on being a channel of God’s Peace. This is our faith. I give thanks to God for coming to our world through individuals like you and me. Today I’ve used the words of that wonderful hymn:

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.

The United Church – I’m Glad I’m a Member

September 9 Day 11    #travel

Today started slowly. We were staying in Saskatoon for a second night, so why rush. The extra sleep was good. We spent most of the day visiting United Churches and promoting and selling Fireweed  and Dipping Your Toes. Sales were very good. The best part of the day were the wonderful warm welcomes we received at each church. I love our United Church. No matter where you go, if you stop at the United Church during office hours, you can depend upon being received with enthusiasm, and respect. Writing my books is pure joy. Selling them is much harder. Today everyone made it easy. The second thing I learned is that the United Church presence in Saskatoon is vigorous and faithful. The combined outreach to the community is quite amazing. If our congregations here have a lot of grey hair they are certainly not slowing down. There is lots of community outreach and mission and education happening in Saskatoon at least. It’s obvious that the hands and feet of Christ are very active.

By four most of the church offices were closed for the day and we were both tired. My chauffeur, although an enthusiastic teammate, found driving all day in a strange city exhausting. We decided to take a friends suggestion and go the Wanuskewan Native Spiritual Centre. We felt the Creator’s peace descend upon us as we drove down the long entrance laneway. It closed at 4:30 so we had only a few minutes to roam the grounds. We used that time to sit and walk in silence and soak in God’s presence. It truly is God’s sacred ground.

Wanuskewan Spiritual Centre - This bear looks out over all who enter.
Wanuskewan Spiritual Centre – This bear looks out over all who enter.

We returned to last night’s restaurant, Sardinian, for a second delicious meal. Now, we’ve collapsed in our hotel room. I’m not sure whether we will even go for a swim. I opened my computer and saw an email saying I had purchased an American Airlines flight out of Houston on September 18th for $600. That woke we up in a hurry. I called American Airlines. The agent I talked to was very helpful. That’s a phishing scheme she said. Don’t open it. Just delete it. I checked my credit card accounts to make sure I hadn’t been charged. I haven’t. I am certainly grateful for the airline agents help.

Making this journey with my heart open to God is wonderful. It is certainly keeping me focused on the good things in life. Have a good night’s sleep everyone. Talk to you again tomorrow night.

Being Canadian – a Privilege or a Responsibility?

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Every year on Canada Day, we gather family and friends to celebrate the birthday of our oldest grandchild, Vanessa. We laugh and talk, swim in their pool, eat too much, and enjoy the fireworks in the evening. It’s a peaceful time. We know we’re blessed with a wonderful family and in my mind, with being citizens of the best country in the world.

Always the horror, violence, war that comes through the news media seeps into my mind and reminds me that the peace of our Canadian nation is fragile. On June 19, our neighbours to the south were once again struck with the brutality that comes with festering hatred. A young man, just 21, is accused of sitting for an hour in that historic church in Charleston while the people prayed, then opening fire on the innocent people around him,. The story brings tears to my heart. Peace is built on love and acceptance, not hatred and violence.

We would like to think that such horror could not happen in our precious Canada, yet we know that racial prejudice lurks beneath the surface of our calm Canadian veneer. Stories of racial profiling by police, the disappearance of First Nations women, fear of Muslims and more fill our newspapers. More and more people seem to have access to guns, even here in Canada.

Canada Day is a time to make a renewed commitment to the love and acceptance of all people. To follow the “Way of Christ” is to love God and love one another. It is our calling to live and to teach that all people, regardless of race, gender, whatever differences, all people are God’s beloved children. If we fail to live and teach this basic value, the peace and joy of our great land will disintegrate. Living in love and peace is a privilege that entails responsibility.

A friend sent me the following link to an article written by Rev. Christy Thomas of Denton, Texas, in response to the African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting. The article discusses five factors that create hate. It’s worth taking the time to read it.

http://um-insight.net/perspectives/christy-thomas/five-factors-that-create/

 

“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”

(I John 3:11)

How Do I Bring Peace to This Troubled World?

Remembrance Day

Last month, I attended the Canadian International Biblical Story Tellers’ Festival. The Keynote speaker Cindy Mayhew shared both biblical and personal stories and brought us hope that this hurting, violent world can be transformed. Over the day and a half. she gave us the following:

Learn and tell Jesus’ stories of love, respect and forgiveness like the one about the woman caught in adultery.  “He who is without sin, cast the first stone,” Jesus said to those who were ready to judge and punish. And one after another they all went away. “Go and sin no more,” Jesus told the woman.

Learn and tell the stories from our history, stories of our mistakes and the damage we have caused. Stories of residential schools and children who were badly abused. Stories of mining companies that are exploiting third world countries. Bring the violence and the hate out into the light. Include the stories of those who have found healing and hope through God’s presence and action.

Learn and tell the stories of corporations and groups who have taken risks for goodness so that our environment is cared for, our people can find new life.

Learn and tell the stories of your parents and grandparents, stories of caring for your neighbour through building parks, starting food banks, sitting with a friend as she dies.

Learn and tell your own stories of God’s pushing you, or nudging you to call home and discovering your call was an answer to prayer. Learn and tell the stories of God’s action in this world today.

As you speak God’s story of love, you will truly make a difference. Your actions and words will help transform the world one person and one story at a time.  You will discover that you can sing the song, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,” because you are bringing peace to this world.

“Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4)