Tag Archives: peace

How do we Stop the Violence?

Image Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

This is a question on most of our hearts right now, isn’t it?  So how do we stop the violence?

To stop the violence we have to stop being violent.  Please don’t  leave yet, hang in here with me and let me explain.

When we look at the violence in the world, both close to home and far away we see a huge overwhelming problem with what appears to be no solution.  As long as we look at gun violence in this way there will be no solution.  Violence begins and ends in the heart of each and every individual and peace really does begin with each of us as well.

So where do we begin?

  • We begin by putting down our guns.  How many people carry guns for “protection”?  I know the arguments for this, no one has to tell me.  But who will protect our friends, family and neighbors if out of fear we fire a weapon and kill an innocent person?  Or it falls into the hands of a curious child or angry teenager?
  • We must learn to start acting out of love instead of reacting out of fear.
  • We stop glorifying violence and war.
  • For Christians it’s time to get out the Bible and look at what it really says about violence.  Do you really want to see God through the eyes of fear as portrayed in the Old Testament or through the eyes of love as shown to us by the Master Teacher Jesus.   Perhaps it’s time to stop being “soldiers of the cross” and start living the life of love he came to show us.
  • Spiritual warfare isn’t really fought with guns, bombs, swords, etc.  It is fought in the hearts and minds of each of us as we struggle with who will control us — love or fear.
  • Start watching for the many ways violence creeps into our daily lives through media, contemporary culture and even our words.
  • Before you can change the world you have to change yourself.  Find that place of peace within yourself.  Start acting from that sill, calm center.  Watch as it changes the way you deal with the world.  Watch the ripples of change that begin from the change within you.
  • This is a time when we must be in prayer, but we must remember our thoughts and our lives are prayers every minute of every day.  This is how we “pray without ceasing”. Instead of praying to God to stop the violence and being overwhelmed that is does not stop, perhaps it is time to look at ourselves and what we are bringing into the world..

Oh I am not being naive here.  I know changing people is never easy, but we don’t have to change everyone.  The only one i have to change is me.  The only one you have to change is you.  It has to start somewhere.

May our prayer in these turbulent times be let peace begin with me.  Practice peace.  Live peace.  Be peace.  — And so it is.

 

Advertisements

So How Do We Resist?

Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins

In the early days of the Trump presidency I found myself beginning to get caught up in the “we have to resist” frenzy.  Living in a rather remote area and travel being difficult for us right now kept us from rushing off to participate in marches, rallies and other forms of “protest.”  So I participated in spirit.  I prayed, meditated and “held the high watch” for those who were out there as well as for our country as a whole.  But I have been uncomfortable with some of large public protests and the way they have been conducted.  I have watched with concern as protestors have been called thugs and accused of everything from inciting violence, to looting, to unprovoked attacks to being rude at town hall meetings.

I have been silent on the tragedy in Charlottesville because I just didn’t know what to say.  I also rarely comment on current events immediately.  I wait for guidance and if it comes then I say something.  Finally guidance came and I am now able to offer these words of hope and encouragement.

So how do we resist evil?

  1.  Choose our actions carefully and wisely.  Getting into a face to face showdown with heavily armed White Nationalists may not be the best thing to do.  Scripture tells us to “abstain from all appearance of evil.” 2Thessalonians 5:22  Most people have likely seen the President’s description of the events in Charlottesville.  That a group of “leftist thugs” attacked a group of “fine, upstanding citizens” who were peacefully protesting (with a permit to do so) the removal of a statue and the renaming of a park.  We do not get involved with anything that can degrade into or even be exaggerated or twisted into being improper, violent or evil.  I am not sure that physical on site protests have accomplished what people are trying to do and in many cases have been used as examples of the “evil intent” of the protestors.
  2. Maybe it time to rethink the word “resist.”  What if resistance isn’t fighting against but living for?  See my blog Fighting Against or Living For?”  
  3. Determine that the world will not change you, that you will not follow the anger and violence of the world but that you will follow Spirit, walk in the light and lead by example.  We can resist by refusing to hate.  We can resist by living in peace.  We can resist by loving.
  4. Create and repeat affirmations.  I am love.  I am peace.  I am creating a world that works for all.  When working with affirmations it is important to put them in positive words, not negative.  I will not, I am not, are not as powerful as I am statements.
  5. Live in the light and walk the path set before you.  People will notice.  Your example may make people think about their actions.  Your example may even change the world.

This is how we do it folks, by living the life of love, peace and light and refusing to be changed by the world around us.

 

Thought for Today

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

“Religion is meant to teach us true spiritual human character. It is meant for self-transformation. It is meant to transform anxiety into peace, arrogance into humility, envy into compassion, to awaken the pure soul in man and his love for the Source, which is God.”

—- Radhanath Swami
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/spiritual.html

Walking the Middle Path

Flowers along the road Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins
Flowers along the road
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

I walk the middle path.  It can be a lonely place to be.  It can be a dangerous and frightening place to be, caught between two extremes at war with each other with verbal, spiritual and even sometimes physical shots being fired by both sides.   But as a Christian who tries to follow the teachings and example of the Master Teacher it is where I am called to be, shining the light of God’s love.

So, what does walking the middle path mean for me?  Well, it means being a Christian.  It means not being an “Evangelical” or a “Progressive.”  It means not being a Democrat or a Republican.  It means not being  “conservative” or  “liberal.”  It means believing that being “pro-life” does not end with the birth of a child.  It means believing in protecting and caring for children once they are here. Protecting and respecting the lives of individuals with disabilities. Allowing and encouraging everyone to grace us with their gifts. And, finally, not playing God with end of life issues, either by extending life by artificial means or prematurely ending it.

Walking the middle path for me means believing that peace is not best achieved by war.  It means believing that frightened citizens arming themselves too often ends in tragedy.  It means seeing the Christ in everyone, no matter what they look like on the outside or where they came from.

The middle path demonstrates loving our neighbor, even when they seem unlovable (I struggle with this).  It means recognizing that we are all in this life to help and care for each other and that life is not meant to be a huge competition with winners and losers and no middle.  It means seeing justice not as vengeance or retribution, but rather doing what is right.

Do I always stay on the path Spirit has set out for me?  No.  I veer off course, first once direction, then another — right, left, forward, back and sometimes even up and down.  If you could trace my spiritual footsteps it would be a mess.  I allow myself to get pulled off course by fear, loneliness, old beliefs and anger.  But no matter how far off path I may get I always have to come back to my true center.  To that place where love, light, peace and justice exist.

And that friends is our calling.  To live in the world but not of it.  To rise above the hatred and confusion of our times.  To rest in God and to shine our light. There is no brighter candle in the world than the one who, through it all, is able to live a life of peace through faith. That candle is found in the middle path where Christ still walks.