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Outside the Box

Dear Friends,       Outside the Box I am here to share about making peace with Isis nonviolently. I came to this in my quiet time when I first heard of Isis. My response was, “I’m a pacifist so I prayed, “Lord, they are such bad people the only thing I know to do is get rid of them. Bomb them.” I suppose Jesus’ disciples, and many people today like me, might have had a similar response.
So I prayed, “Lord, I’m a pacifist. Show me Jesus’ way, there must be a better way.”Lo and behold I just happened to be reading pages in the book The Powers that Be where Walter Wink says “for every conflict there is a nonviolent answer” I prayed, “Lord, I don’t believe it, show me.” Then what came to me was we need first to understand what creates Isis support, why they hate us, what makes people join these terrorists, and to find a good solution. What if you went home tonight and your house looked like this?

(I pass out this picture of homes bombed by drones) And your family was killed by a US drone? Wo…
Hello Friends,                                                                             Sick with Chikunguya Virus   I told the doctor, “I am achy all over one day and then the next day I feel better. This has happened now for the last 4 days. I am worried that it might be Dengue, Malaria, or Yellow Fever.” “No, for sure it is neither of those. Don’t worry.  You have a virus called Chikunguya which has been in an epidemic here for the last year. Take these meds; if it persists after a month go to a clinic. You can do whatever you feel up to, no restrictions on what you can do.  “Where did you get those nice shoes?” The nurse asked as I sat up on the exam table. I answered, “Like all my clothes I bought them 2nd hand.” “Do you do this because of your religion?”  “Well, I guess you could say it that way. To live a simple life has been a part of the teaching in the Mennonite church. And I just prefer to live this way. It makes sense to me.” Here is the maid Shirley Marina in the good…
Hello Friends,                                                                             Sick with Chikunguya Virus   I told the doctor, “I am achy all over one day and then the next day I feel better. This has happened now for the last 4 days. I am worried that it might be Dengue, Malaria, or Yellow Fever.” “No, for sure it is neither of those. Don’t worry.  You have a virus called Chikunguya which has been in an epidemic here for the last year. Take these meds; if it persists after a month go to a clinic. You can do whatever you feel up to, no restrictions on what you can do. Up date 9/25 a week later, well I thought the above settled things, but it did not, I am still struggling with achy muscles and just feeling sick every other day. So I ask you to pray for restoration of my health. Fortunately I have been with a family who has been very supportive and helpful, rather than in a hotel which had been the plan. Despite it I have been doing 2-3 talks most days.  “Where did you ge…
Pray for Critical Colombia Peace Talks  Dear friends, Colombian Peace talks are in a very critical point right now. You can help by praying.  Here is where things stand: The FARC the largest guerrilla group declared a unilateral cease fire on July 20. That is very good. However the government refuses to do the same, Santos the President has said that if they do, the FARC will regroup and reinforce themselves as has happened in the past. Another issue: Santos says the guerrillas who have done atrocities should be imprisoned. FARC says, only if all others like the Colombian military and paramilitaries who have committed atrocities are also imprisoned. Probably the Colombian military is strongly pressuring Santos to keep them out of prison. Colombian peace talks in Havana Cuba They have agreed on some very important points. One is how to include the guerillas in the political process. The UN and other countries are getting involved to help broker an agreement. Santos says if we can’t work out…
Dear friends,                                                 More Verdugo H.S. Conversations  “I’m a Catholic. We believe we should be tolerant of all religions.” remarked one girl. One student upon entering the room said, “I can’t wait for your talk. A friend told me about it.” Here are Mary Ann and Donald Berry, friends who hosted and gave me rides to the school. Here is their yard which they converted to desert plants to save water because of the drought. Half the water in Pasadena is used for lawns. The orange flowers came into bloom while I was there. They grew some of the sweetest tangerines and oranges I ever ate on their two trees. They live very ecological and eat mostly organic.   Another girl posed the question “But why is there so much violence and evil in the world?” I replied with, “Well something that has been helpful to me recently is to understand that God gives us free will. We can choose to come back with anger when someone does something aggravating to us.  As you kno…
Hello friends,               A Jewish Prayer  Days pass and the years vanish and we walk sightless among miracles. Lord, fill our eyes with seeing and our minds with knowing. Let there be moments when your Presence, like lightning, illumines the darkness the in which we walk. Help us to see, wherever we gaze, that the bush burns, unconsumed. And we clay, touched by God, will reach out for holiness and exclaim in wonder, “How filled with awe is this place and we did not know it.” This is a Jewish prayer from the book “My Grandfather’s Blessing” by Rachel Remen
Here is my friend Pilar who read the above prayer to begin my sharing ¨Making peace with Isis Nonviolently.¨ It was in the Mennonite Brethren Church in Aguas Blanca one of the poorest
neighborhoods in Cali, Colombia. Most of the people come from the country side to escape the violence, the fighting, and war going on there. Pilar translates my letters into Spanish. Her push for me to come this year is a lot the reason I am here…

Less both sides Forget God Rules in this Election!

Dear friends,         Less both sides Forget God Rules in this Election!  “Sovereignty, God’s sovereignty, is one of the most difficult things for people of faith to live out in everyday routines. But we have no choice: God is Sovereign. God rules not only in our personal affairs but in the cosmos. Not only in our times and places of worship but in office buildings, political affairs, factories, universities, hospitals – yes, even behind the scenes in saloons and rock concerts. It’s a wild and extravagant notion, to besure. Butnothing in our Scriptures is attested to more frequently or emphatically.                                                                                                                                                                                   “Yet not much in our daily experience confirms it. Impersonal forces and arrogant egos compete for the last word in power. Most of us are knocked around much of the time by forces and wills that give no hint of God.…

"Alternativa al Lío en el que Estamos"

Querido amigo, "Alternativa al Lío en el que Estamos" 17/08/30
En la feria del condado de la Oficina, di folletos diciendo: "Hacer la paz con Isis sin violencia" y agregó "alternativa al desorden en el que estamos". El cambio de respuesta después de empezar a agregar este último fue muy alentador. En lugar de tomar el volante como de costumbre con cierta reticencia ", la gente a menudo respondió con" voy a leer que "," tienes razón, seguro que es un desastre "," gracias! ", Y así tomar el volante con mucho más entusiasmo . "
Por lo tanto he dado alrededor de 200 más que el año pasado por lo tanto un total de alrededor de 500 este año. Veo esto como una muestra esperanzada que la gente está buscando otra manera de responde a Isis. ¿Qué está proporcionando la iglesia? He añadido a veces "hemos estado haciendo lo mismo durante 15 años y esperar resultados diferentes. Algunos lo llaman este locura.
 Una señora respond…

“Alternative to the Mess we’re In”

Dear friend,   “Alternative to the Mess we’re In” 17/08/30 At the Bureau county Fair I gave out flyers saying, “Making peace with Isis Nonviolently” and added “alternative to the mess we’re in.” The change in response after I started to add the latter was a very heartening. Instead of taking the flyer as usual somewhat reluctantly, “people often responded with “I’ll read that”, “you’re right, It sure is a mess”, “thank you!,” and thus taking the flyer much more enthusiastically.”
Therefore I gave out about 200 more than last year therefore a total of about 500 this year. I see this as a hopeful sign people are looking for another way.  What is the church providing?  I added at times “we have been doing the same thing for 15 years and expect different results. Some call it Insanity.”
 One lady responded “I just read your flyer, you are a good writer, I will be thinking about it.”

 How is it going in the Police Dept.? I ask Jim Reed the Bureau County Sheriff.  Jim answered, “Very good ove…

Yo Tengo Razón y tú Eres un Idiota

Queridos amigos,     Yo Tengo Razón y tú Eres un Idiota         7/20/17 Esto están dicieno y pensando la izquierda y la derecha políticas los unos sobre otros en estos días. Por lo tanto, nos encontramos paralizados, atrapados en el estancamiento sin hablar entre sí. Hay una pared entre nosotros. El libro de James Haggan con este nombre trata de afrontar este dilema de frente y basa en las ideas de otros 22 pensadores, uno en cada capítulo. Entrevistas a la mayoría de ellos. Cada uno está profundamente preocupado por nuestra vida juntos. Entre ellos están el Papa Francisco, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dali Lama, Karen Armstrong y Noam Chomsky. Parte de la sabiduría que Haggan obtuvo de ellos son cosas como "en lugar de resaltar nuestras diferencias, deberíamos estar trabajando para encontrar un terreno común". "Necesitamos decir la verdad pero no castigar al otro y siempre teniendo en cuenta que el otro puede estar en lo correcto y que nosotros podríamos estar equivocados, ser abierto…

Yo Tengo Razón y tú Eres un Idiota

Queridos amigos,     Yo Tengo Razón y tú Eres un Idiota         7/20/17 Esto están dicieno y pensando la izquierda y la derecha políticas los unos sobre otros en estos días. Por lo tanto, nos encontramos paralizados, atrapados en el estancamiento sin hablar entre sí. Hay una pared entre nosotros. El libro de James Haggan con este nombre trata de afrontar este dilema de frente y basa en las ideas de otros 22 pensadores, uno en cada capítulo. Entrevistas a la mayoría de ellos. Cada uno está profundamente preocupado por nuestra vida juntos. Entre ellos están el Papa Francisco, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dali Lama, Karen Armstrong y Noam Chomsky. Parte de la sabiduría que Haggan obtuvo de ellos son cosas como "en lugar de resaltar nuestras diferencias, deberíamos estar trabajando para encontrar un terreno común". "Necesitamos decir la verdad pero no castigar al otro y siempre teniendo en cuenta que el otro puede estar en lo correcto y que nosotros podríamos estar equivocados, ser abierto…

I’m Right and You’re an Idiot

Dear Friends,    I’m Right and You’re an Idiot    7/20/17   The political left and right are saying and thinking this about each other these days. Thus we find ourselves paralyzed stuck in gridlock not talking to each other.  There’s a wall between us.
 James Haggan’s book by this name seeks to face this dilemma head on as he draws on the ideas of 22 others one in each chapter.  He interviews most of them. Each is very deeply concerned for our life together. They include Pope Francis, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dali Lama, Karen Armstrong, and Noam Chomsky.
Some of the wisdom Haggan reaped from them is things like “rather than highlighting our differences, we   should be working toward finding common ground.”  “We need to speak the truth but not to punish the other.” “We need to have respect for the other and always keeping in mind that the other might be right and we might be wrong, be open.”  “Self-righteous attitudes get in the way of good dialogue.” “To be persuasive we must appeal to peop…

Peace and forgiveness

​ ​Dear​ ​Friends,​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​Forgiveness​ ​and​ ​Peace!​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​​ ​6/9/17
​ ​“Who​ ​are​ ​you?”​ ​Asked​ ​my​ ​cousin​ ​Henry.​ ​“I​ ​am​ ​Jimmy,  the​ ​youngest​ ​of​ ​the​ ​six sons​ ​of​ ​Isaac​ ​and Meda​ ​Fitz.”   ​ ​Henry​ ​began,​ ​“When​ ​me​ ​and​ ​my​ ​first​ ​wife​ ​divorced,​ ​she  took​ ​about​ ​$7,000.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​no​ ​resentment​ ​toward​ ​her.  The​ ​same​ ​goes​ ​for​ ​the​ ​several​ ​people​ ​who​ ​stole​ ​money  or​ ​who​ ​didn’t​ ​pay​ ​me​ ​for​ ​my​ ​electrical​ ​work.​ ​I​ ​could​ ​talk  to​ ​them​ ​today​ ​without​ ​any​ ​hard​ ​feelings.  ​ ​ I​ ​responded,​ ​“That​ ​is​ ​wonderful.​ ​That​ ​is​ ​great​ ​to​ ​hear.  What​ ​a​ ​gift​ ​and​ ​a​ ​witness.” 
“What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​do,​ ​Jimmy?”​ ​​ ​Henry​ ​went​ ​on​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​me.​ ​“I  am​ ​working​ ​at​ ​peacemaking.​ ​I​ ​do​ ​talks​ ​on​ ​making​ ​peace  with​ ​ISIS​ ​nonviolently.”​ ​He​ ​responded.​ ​“But​ ​they​ ​are  awful,​ ​they​ ​would​ ​kill​ ​you.” 
​ ​I​ ​responded,​ ​“Wh…

Cargas una Pistola?

Queridos amigos,                                            Cargas una Pistola?


"¿Cargas una pistola? ¿No tienes miedo de que te puedan robar? ", Esto preguntó mi primo durante nuestra reunión familiar anual de 175 personas.

"Preferiría perder mi dinero que mi vida", respondí. Un amigo cercano respondió: "Jack Benny a menudo contaba esta broma: "Un sujeto me enfrentó una vez diciendo, su dinero o su vida... y yo le respondí, lo estoy pensando. "

Mi compañero de vivienda colombiano agregó: "Una broma colombiana en respuesta a eso es Toma mi vida porque el dinero lo necesito."

Otro primo añadió: "Si tienes un arma, puedes disparar a la persona equivocada".
"¿Eres un partidario de Trump?" Le pregunté a mi primo hermano. "Sí, él está haciendo muchas cosas buenas", respondió. Yo respondí: "Como seguidor de Jesús, no puedo apoyarlo por los bombardeos: está matando gente". Él respondió: "¿Cuántos ha matado?&…

Do You Carry a Hand Gun?


Dear Friends.             Do You Carry a Hand Gun?      6/8/17 “Do you carry a hand gun? Are you not afraid you might get robbed?” Half kidding asked my cousin at our 175- person annual family reunion. “I would rather lose my money than my life,” I responded. A friend nearby responded, “Jack Benny often told the joke, “A fellow once confronted me, your money or your life, I said, I’m thinking.” My Colombian temporary roommate added, “A Colombian joke in response to that is “I think I need my money; take my life.” Another cousin added, “If you have a gun you might shoot the wrong person.” “Are you a supporter of Trump?” I asked the first cousin. “Yes, He is doing many good things.” he answered. I responded, “As a follower of Jesus I can’t support him because of the bombing: he is killing people.” He responded, “How many has he killed?” “I don’ know. But one is too many. Let’s still be friends.” Thus ended our conversation. Here I am with my cousins at the 77th Markey reunion.


Join me in pray…

Ataque Mi corazon

Ataque Mi Corazon                                  12 de mayo de 2017
Hola amigo, ¿Cómo estás? Esto es para hacerte saber que en abril he tenido un ataque al corazón y me han puesto 3 “stents” en mis arterias en abril. Por esta razón he tenido que cancelar mis planes para ir a Colombia este año y también un curso sobre “construcción de la paz” que planeaba tomar.
Esta ha sido una verdadera sacudida para mi ya que mi identidad ha estado tan relacionada con la paz. Pero, gracias a Dios!,  no hubo ningún otro deterioro notable. Espero poder empezar a dar charlas sobre la paz aquí en los Estados Unidos  en el otoño y el próximo año regresar a Colombia.
Podría añadir que a finales de marzo y principios de abril, antes de ser consciente de la condición de mi corazón, dí un total de siete conferencias en St. Louis, Iowa y aquí en Evanston. Los trmas fueron en "Hacer las paces con ISIS sin violencia" y "Actualización sobre los acuerdos de paz en Colombia".
Una de las charlas má…