Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Please, Lay Down Your Swords

"Let us therefore follow after the things that make for peace . . ."  Romans 14:19

As we approach December 7, the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor (see My Greatest Tourist Experience Ever at lousisues.blogspot.com), I am reminded of the trauma of wars past.

It was announced Sunday (November 24, 2013) that a temporary agreement has been forged between several world powers and Iran over nuclear issues.  While some rejoice over this tiny incremental step toward world security and peace, others are negating it as too little or as a false commitment from Iran.

I say, still your voices and listen to the hope for lasting peace, however faint the possibility.  I wasn't alive during the "war to end all wars", but I have lived through the trauma of all wars -- cold or hot -- all conflicts, skirmishes ad nauseam beginning with World War II.

I call today on all nations, all religious creeds of the world to lay down your swords and take up the dove of peace.  This world is war weary to the depths.

However you state it -- war is hell or war sucks - war is greatly overrated.  It's time for us to quit begging God for peace and start working for that goal ourselves.  As the old saying goes, God helps those who help themselves.  Remember, psychologists tell us that power struggles cannot exist without at least two parties at odds.  One party cannot maintain the struggle alone.

Plus, it really is a better world in places where we all get along.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

May There Be Peace On Earth

Psalm 128:6  ". . . peace be upon Israel."

When you think about it, the world as a whole is a more peaceful place than it once was.  There is no more Ghengis Kahn, Alexander the Great, Holy Roman Empire trampling on the freedom of others.  The United Soviet Socialist Republic has disbanded.  The Berlin Wall is down.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are on the wane.

Now, if we can just get peace for Israel.  Wouldn't that be something great?  Peace for Israel would also mean peace for Palestinians . . . for Iranians . . . for the watching world.  Such a peace would be music to our ears.

Father, there are tentative quests for peace being cast about these days.  Please bless the efforts of all individuals involved.  Help them all to have genuine will to resolve the issues.

Please show them how to lay aside their own individual issues so that a genuine peace can be struck.

May there finally be peace on earth.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On Knowledge Learned

I Corinthians 8:1  ". . . Knowledge puffeth up . . . "

I'm constantly being surrounded by people who behave as though their extensive knowledge in one field gives them license to expound on and practice in other fields.  This is very prevalent in university circles.  For example, a professor who has a doctorate in reading concerns insists he/she should be allowed to teach psychology.  A person with a Bachelor's in business decides that gives her expertise in reading blueprints.  Yet, when we get realistic, we know that one area of knowledge does not really equate to another.

This is a problem many of us face when we accumulate a wealth of information in one field.  In our smugness about our learning in one concern, we tend to negate the value of knowledge in  another.  Just as I Corinthians 8:1 says, we tend to let a little knowledge "puff us up".

When I was earning my Journalism degree, we were not allowed to have a minor.  Our advisers wanted us to be well rounded individuals who had an introductory grounding in numerous fields.  We needed enough general knowledge to be able to report news stories on many subjects.  This was probably a good idea.  At the same time, we did not get a complete and thorough understanding of any field other than our own.  We became writing techs who had an entry level of knowledge into a number of bodies of knowledge.

My own ongoing battle with being puffed up is on high alert these days.  I get frustrated with individuals who are less informed than I, but who think they know more.  Yet, I find myself criticizing a resident lawn care individual for continuing to mow his yard five or six weeks after we all gratefully acknowledge the end of the growing season.  What exactly do I think my knowledge of journalism, social studies, psychology, religion, or business and economics have to do with how to tend grass?  Although I've had extensive experience cutting my own yard, it could be that someone who does lawn care for a living knows something I do not. 

The point here is that we can all learn from each other.  We can also learn both in and out of college classrooms.  We can get information from extensive reading, television, videos, DVDs, the internet and CD information.  We can even get it from good old-fashioned experience.

Should we not take care not to let our own knowledge, however learned, cause us to be all puffed up?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Let Your Light Shine

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify the Father which is in heaven."  Matthew 5:16

In psychology we talk about modeling -- serving as a model for how others should behave.  At least we show them how we hope they will act.

It's easy to see people in our lives with sufficient status that we expect others to act like them.  Pastor's and their wives, for instance, can serve as an example for young people, and occasionally adults.

There are those who say there is no greater compliment than imitation.  I've always found myself somewhat irritated when others copied me, but I guess I shouldn't feel that way.  Anymore, I'm so out of the visibility of people, I fail to recognize that others may be watching how I handle various situations.

The other morning I was carrying a load of dirty clothes down the stairs and stepped on my son's boots.  Because of my poor balance, my body flew in three or four directions before I finally caught the wall that stopped the fall, but caused a scrape.  In my fear, I let a couple of naughty little words fly from my mouth.  I'm sure I was pretty loud about it, too, because I was very scared.

What kind of an example was that for my neighbors?  I feel ashamed as I write this.

As God's representatives we should all be careful of our actions.  We never know who might see or hear and negate the worth of our beliefs because of one brief moment.  Such a thing might undermine months of work we've done presenting God's message.

I know I'll be more careful in the future to let my light shine for good instead of evil.  How about you?