Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blogging Western Yearly Meeting

I am going to try blogging the sessions of Western Yearly Meeting, beginning Thursday morning. You can follow my progress at ...In Which Bill Attends the 2008 Sessions of Western Yearly Meeting.

Bookmark it or add it to your feed, and give me a grade when I'm done.

pastor Bill

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Save the Planet - Eat Peanut Butter

I have always like peanut butter. It was one of my favorite things when I was little. My basic breakfast today is peanut butter on bread or toast, milk and a fruit.
I was happy when Consumer Reports reviewed peanut butter and recommended eating some regularly because of its nutritional and antioxidant content. Now, there is even better news. Peanut butter can be part of my program to save the environment.

According to "The PB&J Project"
Each time you have a plant-based lunch like a PB&J you'll reduce your carbon footprint by the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over an average animal-based lunch like a hamburger, a tuna sandwich, grilled cheese, or chicken nuggets. For dinner you save 2.8 pounds and for breakfast 2.0 pounds of emissions.

Eating peanut butter instead of animal-based food also saves land from deforestation and reduces the amount of water needed for food production. You can visit the website to find out more.

It may sound odd or silly because this involves thinking about our food consumption in different ways. But that is the secret to changing lives and changing the world - thinking about things in different ways.

pastor Bill

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Peacemaker

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

The Colt Single Action Army handgun was known as “the peacemaker.” A single action revolver holding six rounds, it was designed for the US government and adopted as the standard military service revolver. It became one of the guns most associated with the American West because of its use in Westerns on the big screen and on television. (It was also particularly good for spinning dramatically on the index finger.)

Peacemaking at the point of a gun or sword is nothing new in our world. From ancient times the strong ruler who establishes “peace” by conquest and force has been accepted as a political reality. Our world is full of “hostile parties” at war with each other and we have “peacekeepers” under the authority of the United Nations, NATO, our government and others trying to create peace.

And it becomes more and more obvious that we cannot force people to live in peace. Even God, the ultimate “strong ruler,” does not try to force peace on us.

But we are called to peacemakers. We cannot force peace, but we are to be actively bringing about peace. Paul writes: “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”(2 Cor. 5:19 NIV)

The peacemaker Jesus is talking about is the person who willingly comes between two contending parties in order to try to make peace. It is not for personal gain and does not involve the use of force or threat. Those who do this are called “children of God” because in their peacemaking they resemble God.

We become this kind of peacemaker by first identifying the “hostile parties” in our lives. Are there family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends or fellow believers who are in “hostile situations?” Are we ourselves “at war” on some level with someone around us?

When we identify where the battles are, we then need to find appropriate and loving ways to step onto the battlefield -- to put ourselves in the middle of the hostility. The goal is not to force a peace, but to seek an opening for peace. Stepping into the middle of a hostile situation runs counter to common sense and is not the usual way of doing things, but it is the way Jesus did it.

Meet Jesus, find peace.


(Picture and information on the Colt 45 are from Wikipedia )