Monday, February 16, 2009

Give Peace a Chance

Hey bloggers...I was looking through some files on the church computers to find Uganda pics to add to that slideshow (still looking for some from the Children's Home and the AIDS clinic, in case any of you from the team have any)...but in my search I found a few shots from our trip to Israel/Palestine some months ago that I hadn't seen...or if I had seen them, I had forgotten about them. Anyway, I came across this picture taken with a young Palestinian soldier in Bethlehem, just across the street from where most historians believe that Jesus was born.

The picture struck me as ironic and poignant for several reasons. First is the fact that this soldier is standing with a loaded rifle (where he probably stands every day), just a few feet away from where the Prince of Peace came into this world. Secondly, I was impressed with how jovial he was, and how agreeable to have his photograph taken with an American stranger. And third, what makes the photo especially significant to me is that I'm wearing a T-shirt that simply says "GOD IS LOVE".

All those elements together make this picture one of my favorites in an odd sort of way. On one level it communicates a certain sadness to see our smiling faces centered between two Palestinian flags, because I know how much pain and heartache there is in that region for both the Israelis and the Palestinians right now. I couldn't get the picture out of my mind, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Speaking of slideshows, check out all the new ones...it took me a long time to put them together (in between running around the house with Sofia, and watching about 500 episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants with her).

And all the other blogs are being updated, so I'd appreciate some interaction from you on some of them.

But back to the peace thing, let me leave you with this today for your own life...


If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18 - Amplified Bible)

26 comments:

Avatar said...

When I saw your post tonight I took this part out for here. All the slideshows are cool, but the titles you used for the CITN show...and the slideshow itself...oh, man...they exude the power of Jacob's spotted rods!

Anonymous said...

Believe & Create your reality

Consider this:

What you believe to be impossible will always be impossible to you...
If you want to remove the impossible change your beliefs!

(Positive thought of the day from Marty Dow)

Leesa said...

Bishop, Thank you for sharing all the fabulous slides! I am sure that took an enormous amount of time & effort just for us to partake of all the travels...so very wonderful...and appreciated! I loved the family pics! Its cool to get to share your familiy times as well as your global mandate. The slides of CITN are most dear to my heart! That is where my heart was joined to you and Pastor Debye (and our CITN family) and where defining moments in my life have occured! CITN is where LOVE lives! Love you! Leesa

Donald said...

Looking at all the pics made me remember just how much traveling you actually did last year.
But what impressed me the most was that there were more photos in the family slide show than in any of the other shows.
That tells me that we can travel all over the world, but the best part of the world is always going to be right there at home.

peacemaker said...

That is a great picture!

I wish I could be amazed at the irony but the whole scenario just looks "right" to me. Certain pictures seem to have a palpable energy and this is one of them. What I see as poignant is the fact there is a real sense of rapport and brotherhood between you that has been captured on film(so to speak) and frozen in time so the world can see the implications.

I believe your attitude of openness and along with the "God is Love" t-shirt were the mediators that preceded the actual happening replacing the learned lie of "enemies" with the truth of "friends".
You didn’t find and post that particular picture by accident.

Let Peace Begin With Me,
PM

Anonymous said...

The following is copied from a reply to an email from a friend. I was catching up after coming back from a visit to our son and wife and responded to this before looking at the blog. The whole thing really fits together and I really do believe the things that were said to my friend.


Yes I did mention Merton and feel that not only me but our whole CITN family
has been strongly influenced by his prayers. As a human he is a very strong
spiritualist who has an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. He was
also among the leaders who established the Monastery of the Holy Spirit here
in Conyers as a mission of the order he was part of. His prayers are still
energizing the atmosphere around us here and is part of the force that has
brought the strong voice of unity into our present time. Bishop Swilley is a
beneficiary of this energy mainly because he has asked for this type
anointing in earnest. Merton and Swilley are both humans from two different
paradigms of human relationship but have the common ground of bringing into
this reality those things that exist eternally. For Merton it was a tangible
revelation of eternal love for all of God's creation. He was an inclusionist
when inclusionism wasn't cool. For Swilley it is a tangible revelation of
eternal love that is resident within all of humanity for our Creator. Both
concepts are inseparable and are vital to the advancement of human
evolution. As more effective leaders of humanity catch the realness of this
and apply it to their own lives as well as the government of others ( this
is happening in real time as we speak) there will be a true manifestation of
peace on earth and humankind exercising good will toward each other. There
is strong evidence that the scientific community is working hard with great
success in numerous areas to bring about the peace that was promised at the
birth of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of that Christ is the eternal living God
Who is Love.

I do include you and your entire family in my prayers for blessing on all
that God has placed in my consciousness. I also understand that blessing is
strongly tied to giving and sometimes that makes us all rethink our original
work of being a blessing as well as becoming more cautious of those who say
they are blessing us. These things are human of course and are products from
many generations of abusive manipulation by the created against the created
as a result of believing the lie that humanity is under some kind of curse
from its Creator. There can be nothing further from truth than to say or
believe the saying that humankind is fallen from God's blessing of life. The
poetic renderings of the old testament that tells us of people who once had
long lifespan that increasingly became shorter until the span was less than
forty years is evidence in its self of generations progressively believing
the words of the created that we are cursed. In recent years many humans
have rejected the lie and behold, our lifespan is increasing. The scientific
community now shows evidence of a promise fulfilled that lifespan will
increase back to a phenomenal length. There will certainly be a need in
coming years for a new heaven and a new earth. This will happen and the old
one will not be destroyed by a curse from God as some have supposed but in
future millenniums it will be rebuilt as an edifice of glory by the created
for a tangible offering of praise to our Creator.

How did your email pull this out of me? You must be talking to the same God
that is real to me or something.

Have great fun with the grands and continue in great joy over your blessed...


Marty Dow is right on with his encouragement. I saw a bumpr sticker that said if you want to predict the future just do something to help create it.

I have seen the glory of ...

peacemaker said...

JB...
Beautiful reply to your friends email. Posting it in stanza form seems right because of the lyrical way in which you convey your thoughts.
Your wisdom always leaves me speechless.

I trust all is well with Matt and family up north?

Peace Always,
PM

P Nancy said...

Just like Avatar, I think the slideshows are cool, but the words for the titles you used are powerful!
And the picture of you in Israel...we speak to nations be open, we speak to nations, fall on your knees...we speak to nations, the kingdom is coming near to you, we speak to you ...BE FREE!! I love it! Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Just a thought; is there any other possibility of sending our message to the world other than by using streaminginfaith?

They do not have us in the top four!

If we do not have to patronize them, we shouldn't.

This message of the gospel of God's love needs to be the top priority for all people!

Please reconsider giving our support to streaminginfaith if there is an alternative.

Thank you

JB

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, Av...I even tweaked it a little since you wrote that...cool observation about Jacob's rods...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Amen, Anon@649...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Shout-out to NC...

I appreciate your words, Leesa...looking forward to being with you guys in a few days...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Shout-out to MS...

It doesn't surprise me that you would observe that, Donald...I know how much you love and enjoy your own family...and you're right...of all the cool people I've met and that I know, those people in those pics are my favorite in the world...and of all the amazing places I've seen and been to, the place where most of those pics are taken is the best place in the world, especially when they're all there together...thanks for knowing me so well...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Peacemaker, I was waiting for your response to the pic...I was thinking of you when I posted it...thanks...and thanks for being present on the other blogs...you always make a valuable contribution...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

P Nancy...I feel yur agreement with the vision...thanks!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

your agreement

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

First of all, it's about time you got back here, JB...I trust your visit went well, and that the happy couple are blessed...

How can I even respond to your words? I must ponder them in my heart...

Just glad you're back...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

I was referring to your first (unsigned) words...I thought that was you, and PM confirmed it...

As to the other comment about SF...I also don't know what to say to that...but thanks for the support...

You're in rare form today...

Brenda said...

Thanks for sharing with us, it lets me get to know you even better since I've only been here a short time. I feel like I have known you and Pastor Debye forever.

Peace is great and that's what I want in my latter years. i've had enough drama to last a life time.

Pastor Dennis said...

Love the slide shows....

It took me a long time to figure out that "everyone" meant even those I didn't agree with.......

Peace,
Dennis

Avatar said...

Nexus
Active
Facilitator
Habitation for the Presence of God
City Set on a Hill That Cannot Be Hidden...effective tweaks, Bishop...
and Green Pastures!
in an economic drought, that brings up thoughts of stored corn.

The new Israel slides...I don't have words...except to agree with Peacemaker and go back and capitalize "New".

On seeing the Jared pix in the family sequence, I can't help but think of Judah's "we're all gonna be here working in Dad's ministry." Looks good!

Wow, JB. I've read your post again and again and again.

Hola, Leesa! ?Como esta usted? I have no idea why that came out in Spanish!

Anonymous said...

I feel so "wordless"(not me) and out of the loop somehow today on this one. I have been taking it all in like a sponge,and maybe today that's what HE wanted me to do !


Peace,
Northern Light

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks for your words, everyone...

Thanks for just being here...

Anonymous said...

Give peace a chance...
Now, if one could get the U.S. Government to live by these words, the world could move one step closer to peace...

River said...

Bishop as unnerving as that picture could be it looks like that soldier was having a good day and looks like he enjoyed having his picture taken. soo cool.
Make the world a better place if/when you can.

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Yeah, the pic gives me a more tangible vision of the possibility of peace...

Great stuff, everyone...