On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘peace’

Advent is a season of peace. | by Linda Brendle

AdventPeacePublished in the Rains County Leader on December 8, 2015:

Last week I wrote about Advent, the season celebrated by the Christian church that includes the four Sundays preceding Christmas. On the first Sunday, the Candle of Hope is lit. The second Sunday is celebrated with the Candle of Peace. (more…)

Bible Verses for Caregivers – Peace versus Disorder | by Linda Brendle

Disorder versus peace


On Mom’s 90th birthday, we had a party for her at Southridge Village where she was living. Two of her three remaining sisters, Grace and Fay, were there. Grace and Mom both had Alzheimer’s, so getting a decent photo was a bit like trying to hold corks underwater. Finally, Fay moved to the middle of the group, and with characteristic good humor and calm, she took control and brought order to the chaos.

Paul said that God is a God of peace and not disorder. He was speaking of the confusing worship services that occurred in the church at Corinth when everyone wanted to preach or prophesy or speak in tongues all at the same time. However, I believe we can apply the same principle to our lives in general. When our lives are full of disorder and confusion, if we will make room of God in our midst, He will bring order to the chaos.

NOTE: If you would like to see the photo blog of Mom’s birthday party, CLICK HERE.




winding road Cover 25 percentA LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available now in ebook format at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords // Google Play


Review: Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians by John Paul Lederach



About the Book:

What if reconciliation is central to the biblical message? And what if Christians, who have been missing the mark for millennia, are awakening to the gospel of peace? International mediator and Mennonite John Paul Lederach offers guidance for Christians seeking guidance in Scripture and personal applications of reconciliation. Originally published as The Journey Toward Reconciliation and based on Lederach’s work in twenty-five countries across five continents, this revised and updated book tells dramatic stories of what works—and what doesn’t—in resolving and transforming conflicts. A section of resources for congregations and small groups offers litanies, discussion questions, resource lists, and practical ideas for peacemaking in everyday life.

“Lynne and I feel deeply called to the work of peacemaking these days. We know it is very near to the heart of the One we serve. No one’s writings have helped us more than John Paul Lederach’s.”—Bill Hybels, co-founder and senior pastor, Willow Creek Community Church

Buy Link: Amazon

My Review:

After describing the horrifying evening when he was informed that his daughter was the target of a kidnapping plot aimed at undermining his peace building efforts in Costa Rica, John Paul Lederach wrote the following paragraph:

I can no longer take John 3:16 as a short formula for salvation. I can only understand it as a foundational principle of reconciliation. It is an ethic based on willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of an enemy. It is an ethic undergirded by and made possible only through the immeasurable love and grace of God.

This statement is pivotal to Lederach’s approach to conflict resolution which involves approaching your enemy in the hope of understanding him and finding common ground rather than attempting to force him into accepting your point of view.

When my son, Christian Piatt, first recommended this book to me, I told him it would probably be over my head. I’m a lazy intellectual, and I have to keep reference sources close at hand when reading a lot of what he reads, as well as some of what he writes. He assured me that Reconcile was written in a narrative style that makes it an enjoyable as well as an educational read. He was right. Lederach’s stories draw the reader into the personal lives of his own family and of those he has met in his ministry of reconciliation while also teaching how to find the truth, justice, mercy, and peace that are so lacking in our conflicted world.

I was further concerned that, since Lederach’s work is global in scope, his insights would have little practical application for a small-world person like me. While I am aware of the chaos that makes up the nightly news, and I attempt to vote and live in a responsible manner, my primary focus is geared more toward the people whose lives touch mine on a more personal level, both here in small town America and on the Internet where my life intersects with others through my writings and theirs. However, the path to conflict transformation outlined in Reconcile is applicable to individuals, churches, and workplace environments as well as an international setting.

Christian recently posted an interview with the author on his blog. Following is his last question and Lederach’s answer.

If you had one dream for the impact this book would have, what would it be?

That it provokes reflection and meaningful conversation that leads to taking a risk, maybe a small step, toward building better, more healthy relationships in and through the many conflicts life affords us.

This book is an interesting read but not an easy one. It’s not one to be scanned and put back on the shelf. Instead, it is a text to return to often, to meditate over, to share in a group study. If enough of us read, understand, and live these truths, perhaps Lederach’s dream will come true.

About the Author

John Paul Lederach has worked in international reconciliation for more than thirty years. He has developed training in conflict transformation and provided direct mediation and support services for reconciliation efforts in some of the most violently conflicted regions across five continents.
Lederach has consulted with the highest-level government officials and national opposition movements in war-torn settings like Nicaragua, Somalia, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Nepal, and the Philippines.

As professor of international peacebuilding and director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Lederach is the founding director of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

He is the author of twenty-two books and manuals and numerous academic articles and monographs on peace education, conflict transformation, and mediation training. Lederach’s books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and he is in international demand as a lecturer, consultant, and mediation trainer.

Daddy’s Legacy of Love and Peace | Linda Brendle

Today is the first anniversary of Daddy’s death, so I’m rerunning the first post I published on this blog on July 20th last year. I miss you, Daddy.

Daddy was a simple man. I don’t mean that he wasn’t smart. Quite the opposite. He was valedictorian of his high school graduating class, and he was great at helping me with my homework. He could figure out how to fix or build anything. When he worked for the Post Office, he could quote the manual verbatim and knew where every Texas town was located, no matter how small. But his needs and wants were simple, and he sometimes didn’t understand the complexities of the modern world. He didn’t leave behind a collection of awards and trophies or a big estate, but he left behind a legacy of peace and love that will live for a long time. (more…)

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