Interfaith Walk for Peace, and More

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, September 24, 2016

instrument-of-your-peace-dove

Interfaith Walk for Peace, and More

Today was the Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace. An event that I have been working on and hoping and praying for, for a bunch of weeks. Such a great response for the Interfaith Walk! All ages, strollers, someone in a wheelchair. Wonderful cross-section of the community in Morton Grove walking with us today.

As I went from one group of walkers to another, I heard bits of conversations—friendly, encouraging talk between diverse people. People from different places and from different faith traditions.

I heard many people today looking forward to another Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace next September! With a nearby suburb having a Peace Festival this weekend as well, I can envision a North Shore Peace Initiative—especially if many of us talked to friends about Interfaith Walks in other, neighboring suburbs of Chicago.

Just think. If people built bridges of peace, friendship and harmony. Just imagine. Less ignorance and misunderstanding. What a wonderful place the Chicago area could be.

Such an awesome start! Let’s keep the conversation going. Dear God, let it be so! Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers for peace, harmony, and an end to conflict and violence. Amen.

Peace.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

An Interview for Peace, and More

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, September 22, 2016

microphone-vintage

An Interview for Peace, and More

This afternoon, I had an interview. I was talking with several guys in a radio station control room. (WCGO-AM in Evanston.)

We all had earphones on, and were talking into large microphones. (All of that seemed a bit odd at first, but I got used to it.) The funny thing about this experience? It was just a conversation between me and two other guys.

The topic of the conversation was pointed towards peace, however. Yes, we went several other places, but that was the starting and the ending point of my interview. Peace. Yes, I did mention the Interfaith Gathering for Peace I had at St. Luke’s Church last night. (Just briefly.) However, I concentrated more on what is coming up this weekend.

I almost feel like a broken record, since I have talked about this and encouraged people to attend this for some weeks now. The Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace. In such a diverse and multi-cultural community as Morton Grove, this walk lifts up our diversity and is a way to express friendship and fellowship towards one another. Plus, we will try to learn more about each other by walking together. Visiting different houses of worship, faith and culture.

An interview for peace. Actually, for peace’s sake. Let us all pursue peace. #PursuePEACE. God willing, we all can try, one kind word at a time. One act of service at a time. One friendly smile at a time.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-ers

Preparing for International (Day of) Peace

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, September 20, 2016

dove-and-world-stylized

Preparing for International (Day of) Peace

Tomorrow is the day designated as the International Day of Peace. Not because I said so, but because the United Nations said so. All over the world.

Peace is fleeting. People hope for peace. Peace is hard to come by. People—sometimes—despair of peace. That was one hope the United Nations had when they first instituted the International Day of Peace in 2001. It has been happening every year since. And, tomorrow is the day.

I am currently involved in peace activities here in the Chicago area. Tomorrow—with it being the International Day of Peace—I will open the doors of my church, St. Luke’s Christian Community Church, from 7 to 8 pm. We are gathering for a time of Interfaith Meditation and Prayer on Peace. Everyone is welcome.

Yes, the Big Day. In fact, this peace activity has enlarged to a Peace Week. Much hoped for, much lauded. I will also be involved in a Morton Grove Interfaith Walk for Peace on Saturday morning, and I will speak on Peace to the Evanston Peace Festival on Sunday afternoon. Wonderful opportunities. Speaking of opportunities, I am going to be interviewed on WGCO radio on Wednesday afternoon, talking about PEACE.

Dear God, help me to pace myself, and get everything needful done in the next few days. And Lord, especially, may we all #PursuePEACE. Live peaceably. Love many.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Prayer, Grief and Peace for Loved Ones

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, September 14, 2016

peace-i-leave-with-you-cross

Prayer, Grief and Peace for Loved Ones

This is a blog on prayer, and matters of prayer.

I seldom do this, but I would appreciate prayer for an older relative’s family, in another state. A recent death of the senior. I haven’t seen any of the family for years, yet I feel the loss.

Reflecting on John 14:27, it says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

Jesus gives me peace. He offers me peace in troubled times, in grieving times. Plus, I can offer that peace to others. Yes, I can grieve. My friends and family can grieve. However, the Holy Spirit has promised to come alongside and comfort. Not as the world tries to distract, but real and genuine comfort and encouragement.

Gracious God, thank You for the peace and serenity that Jesus promised in this verse. Help me to bring some of that peace and comfort to my family. I pray that You hold all who loved my relative in Your everlasting arms of care and concern. Please encourage them even in the midst of their grief and sadness. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Peace on a Day of Remembrance

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, September 11 2016

peace-dove-earth

Peace on a Day of Remembrance

I read the last two verses of Psalm 120, feeling sad and disheartened. The psalmist seems disheartened, too. 120:6 – “Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.”

Yes, this is one of the psalms (or songs) which were historically said or used or read in the procession to the Temple in Jerusalem. However, these verses of scripture look to be positive towards peace. Even though peace may seem to be a really positive idea, he has dwelt among the hate-mongers too long.

I suspect the psalmist is jaded. Doubtful that any change—positive change—can come. What is to be done? 120:7 – “I am a person of peace, but when I speak, they are for war.”

This verse makes me really disheartened, as I said. At first glance, there is no hope, no positive side to be found. However, the psalmist could be at the end of his rope. So far gone, that he falls at the feet of God. He might realize he depends on God alone, if those surrounding him were persistently crying out for war.

Peace. Crying out for peace. Sometimes it seems that I am a lone voice crying out for peace. God, especially with the reminder of September 11th fresh in all of our minds, help me to be a catalyst for peace and reconciliation. Help us all to spread the words of peace, wholeness and harmony. So help me, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

God’s Word Brings Peace.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, September 8, 2016

god-brings-peace

God’s Word Brings Peace.

Psalm 119 is one of my favorite psalms. Hands down. I love so many things about it. First off, every one of its 176 verses mentions God’s word. Or, statutes, or God’s law. In a multitude of ways, this chapter of the Hebrew Scriptures acknowledges the awesomeness of God’s Word, the Bible.

I’d like to focus on one verse: Psalm 119:165. “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”

This verse comes at the tail end of the psalm. You’d think, after dozens and dozens of verses of description, of how amazing God’s Word is—but, no. The unknown author powers through to the end, extolling the wonders of the Bible.

Back to verse 165. This verse talks about peace. As in, shalom. Not only the cessation of conflict and war, not to mention violence. But, the harmony and wholeness of shalom. How the Bible—and the regular, intentional reading of it—provides peace.

Now, the author does not say, but I see this verse as talking about the inside attitude. The attitude of people who regularly read the Bible and study it.

I am sure the author knows about the various uncertain situations here in this world, because he uses descriptive language concerning the uneasy, unpleasant world in other verses.  I know the author wants to show that God’s Word can help overcome, no matter what the adversary, no matter how unpleasant the situation. Plus, in this particular verse, the author affirms that God’s Word brings peace. God’s Word helps the reader to maintain a firm footing, a firm grip on their road or their way. I don’t know about you, but I sure need that!

Let’s pray. Gracious God, thank You for all of the many varieties of help, encouragement and support we may find in God’s Word—the Bible. Especially, thank You for the certainty the author has in this verse: those who love Your Word will not stumble, and peace will come into their hearts. Not only passing peace, peace on the surface, but great peace. I need great peace right now. Thank You for this good promise. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Interfaith Banquet for Peace

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, September 6, 2016

peace-word-cloud-3

Interfaith Banquet for Peace

I gathered together with a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, interfaith group of people for a banquet on Sunday evening. The banquet was co-hosted by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and the Islamic Society of North America at a Chicago-area convention center. Such a fascinating group of people. The booths at the 53rd annual ISNA conference I was invited to seemed a beehive of activity, too.

One meaningful highlight of the banquet was the opportunity to hear Khizr and Gazala Khan, the parents of United States Army Captain Humayun Khan. (Capt. Khan was killed in 2004 during the Iraq War, a Purple Heart recipient buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.) After being catapulted to international fame from speaking at the Democratic National Convention some weeks ago, the Khans continue to be the measured, sincere representatives of their faith in God. They both brought that same message of faith, honor and love for their adopted country to those who attended the ISNA banquet on Sunday.

However, not all the speakers at the banquet had positive messages. A strong concern came from Dr. Christopher Bain, professor of social sciences at Duke University. He spoke on the motion of the widespread demonization of Islam (and of individual Muslims, in general) throughout the United States since 9/11, fifteen years ago. This negative message of “radical Muslims” has moved from the fringes of national discourse rapidly into mainstream thought and media perception, in less than fifteen years. This concerns me—and many people—very much.

Yes, there was a great gathering of a diverse group of people on Sunday night. Perhaps—together—we helped to build bridges. Even though there is growing division and animosity against “difference,” perhaps some friendly conversation and sharing a meal helped to build friendships. Perhaps.

God willing. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er