Living Well Here & Now

Like most of the folks I know, spend my days with, and meet along the way, I've been wondering how to live well, how to live in peace and be a cultivator of peace, in the midst of the tension of these days.

And while there are a lot of questions and ideas that have arisen, I'd like to share a few resources that I think might prove to be helpful in forming us, our postures and practices.

The Life, Teaching & Work Of Jesus
This may seem a bit of a no-brainer, but I think it's important to take a proactive approach here. As we all know, there are more streams of information about the world and how we should live in it than we could ever navigate. Add to that the growing trend in echo chamber information consumption, and it's safe to say we could easily find ourselves unwittingly formed by ideologies that look nothing like the life we've been called into by Jesus. As such, I propose that we give time and space each day, throughout the day to allow Jesus' life, words and acts to form our thinking and doing [about God and God's posture towards all of humanity, about ourselves, about our neighbors, about our enemies, about our life in the neighborhood and networks we inhabit, about our work, about our view of and use of resources, about our life ambitions, etc.].

Start reading Matthew's account of the life, teaching and work of Jesus.
Start reading Mark's account of the life, teaching and work of Jesus.
Start reading Luke's account of the life, teaching and work of Jesus.
Start reading John's account of the life, teaching and work of jesus.

[These are the four gospels, a term which means good news, found in the New Testament of the Bible.]

The Anatomy Of Peace: Resolving The Heart Of Conflict
What if conflicts at home, conflicts at work, and conflicts in the world stem from the same root cause? And what if individually and collectively we systematically misunderstand that cause, and unwittingly perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve? Through an intriguing story of parents struggling with their troubled children and with their own personal problems, "The Anatomy of Peace" shows how to get past the preconceived ideas and self-justifying reactions that keep us from seeing the world clearly and dealing with it effectively. Yusuf al-Falah, an Arab, and Avi Rozen, a Jew, each lost his father at the hands of the other's ethnic cousins. As the story unfolds, we discover how they came together, how they help warring parents and children to come together, and how we too can find our way out of the struggles that weigh us down. The choice between peace and war lies within us. As one of the characters says, "A solution to the inner war solves the outer war as well." This book offers more than hope -- it shows how we can prevent the conflicts that cause so much pain in our lives and in the world.

Forgiveness & Power In The Age Of Atrocity: Servant Leadership As A Way Of Life
In a fresh rendering of the role of leaders as healers, Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity considers love and power in the midst of personal, political, and social upheaval. Unexpected atrocity coexists alongside the quiet subtleties of mercy, and people and nations currently encounter a world in which not even the certainties of existence remain even as grace can sometimes arise under the most difficult circumstances. Ultimately, Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity is a book about the alienation and intimacy at war within us all. Shann Ferch, Professor of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University,  speaks to categorical human transgressions in the hope that readers will be compelled to examine their own prejudices and engage the moral responsibility to evoke in their own personal life, work life, and larger national communities a more humane and life-giving coexistence. In addition to a primary focus on servant leadership, the book addresses three interwoven aspects of social responsibility: 1) the nature of personal responsibility 2) the nature of privilege and the conscious and unconscious violence against humanity often harbored in a blindly privileged stance, and 3) the encounter with forgiveness and forgiveness-asking grounded in a personal and collective obligation to the well-being of humanity.

Kaleo Church