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Peace, Simplicity, Jesus

Jul 25 2011

There is a significant Amish community up here in northern Maine.  I have not spoken with any of them much, but the little we have spoken, I can see that they are very pleasant and devout people.  In fact, they seem more evangelical in their beliefs than I had previously been told. 

Although I don't know any Amish well, I have read a bit about them, and am impressed with a few things.  Like Quakers, the Brethren, and the Mennonites, they are what is often referred to as a 'Peace Church'.  That means that they believe in non violent means of handling conflict.  That seems to line up accurately with the New Testament.  Furthermore, I'm impressed with these churches' commitment to simplicity of life. 

I'm not sure that I could start traveling to shows in a horse and buggy, but I favor and strive to live by the principle of simplicity.  I know how to use my cell phone only as a phone, and nothing else.  Most of my CDs are bought at the Salvation Army, and my cars both have 200,000 miles on them.  I'm not a cheapskate, but I'd rather spend my money advancing the Kingdom of God and blessing my loved ones.

In my last blog I wrote about my church background, and how much I love our church in Bridgton.  If I were to describe my heart, though, I'd say I have an Evangelical Quaker heart.  (There really is such a group... look them up here:  http://www.evangelicalfriends.org/  )  I believe Jesus' teaching of loving our enemies is more important than any nationalistic goals. (I also believe there is wisdom in the just war philosophy that Christians have subscribed to for centuries, and that most wars aren't just according to this document.)   I believe Jesus' teaching about caring for the poor is more important than fulfilling some elusive American dream.  I believe simplicity of life should be sought after, not avoided.  and at the same time, I also believe that Jesus - and only Jesus - defeated death on the cross, and He is the way to heaven. 

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The presentation was fun and encouraging... The gospel message was clear and encouraging. I purchased your book and just finished it. Your scope is broad and again encouraging. May God continue to bless your ministry. I will encourage others to read your book. -Parishioner of a local church

"Hey, I just wanted to say that was a great message in chapel today! It touched something:) thanks for doing it!" -High School Student  

"We are so grateful that you brought your amazing ministry back to our church this year... The Gospel message you bring applies to all!  It is such a positive, valuable work that you do."  -Coordinator of Christian Ed. UCC Church

"There's no questioning it. This is powerful stuff. It's extremely touching at times, never less than entertaining, and I see a lot of sincere love for Jesus in you guys."  -Dwight Lilies, song writer

The Lord has given you a wonderful window through which to present the Gospel!   - Field Director of Alliance Missions to Paraguay

"What a wonderful ministry to both children and adults.  In past years it has been a struggle to arrange programing that would hold the attention of all ages, but also challenge each heart with God's gift of Salvation.  Thank you for sharing your ministry."  -Sunday School Sup't.

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