Peace-Maker vs. Peace-Keeper

by Kim Warf

Boundaries, consequences, and rewards…order is kept through these three things but love should be the base principle interwoven through them.

I have personally been a peace-keeper through most of my life. A peace-keeper loves peace and will try to keep it at any cost. What a peace-keeper doesn’t realize is that continually giving in and not holding someone accountable will never resolve the disturbing condition that is interrupting their peace.

Painting by

Over the years, I am learning to be a peace-maker. A peace-maker will speak the truth in love and hold people accountable for their behavior. Usually, the person or people in question will not like this at all because for far too long the “control” was in their hands. However, holding people accountable for their behavior is the only way that things will change.

First, you must realize who you are. Are you a parent, a spouse, a business or church leader? If you are a parent, then rules are of absolute necessity with listed (enforced) consequences or rewards. The same goes for a business or church leader. People must know what is expected of them, what is appropriate, and what is not appropriate.

If you are a spouse, you are not a ruler over your mate. Remember the base principle needs to be love. When respect, kindness, and proper communication are missing; then boundaries must be drawn. Do not go off in a corner and pout, do not get in someone’s face and shout.

Clearly communicate how you feel and why. If it needs to be in letter form in order to not be interrupted; then do so. Speak the truth in love. If you are dealing with a mature Christian, then you can expect a humble apology and a conversation regarding how to make the relationship work. However, if you are dealing with an immature or controlling person, then you can expect silence, anger, or a litany of your faults.

Learning how to be a peace-maker is an important skill in life. It is not going to be easy; however, your home (business or church) and heart will be a happier place.

Kim Warf is the associate pastor, alongside her husband Paul of New Beginnings Church in Bangor, ME. She is also a Board Member of Women of the Word and has served as Conference Chairman of several WOW conferences in Maine. Paul and Kim have two grown daughters and a beautiful grand-daughter.

Greek Brain, Hebrew Brain: The Way Parables Worked

Jesus’s parables fit perfectly into a non-Western, Jewish culture that expressed itself through tangible metaphors. He was engaging in sophisticated theological teaching, but we miss it if we are looking for the deductive abstract arguments of the Greeks. Jesus often based his reasoning on experience rather than if-then logic. He did this in multiple ways:

Experience of the Natural World

Jesus frequently used observations about nature and daily life to shed light on spiritual realities. Sometimes he highlighted a lesson by pointing out what was obviously true: grapes don’t grow on thorn bushes. Likewise, people are known by their “fruit.” That seems pretty logical.

More often, however, Jesus used physical examples that have a surprising illogic about them to shed light on the mysterious ways of God…..

  • A speck of a mustard seed can grow into an enormous tree.
  • A blossom that wilts in a day is more gorgeously adorned than a king’s robe.

Tiny clues from creation give us a glimpse into God’s unfathomable ways.

In contrast, Western reasoning often attempts to systematize theology by reducing and affixing God’s thoughts onto a logical grid, flattening and straightening them so that they fit into predictable patterns.

Jesus’s parables, however, embraced the fact that our material world is multifaceted and complex. If God’s creation surprises and perplexes us, shouldn’t its Creator do so even more?

Click here to read the rest of this blog: How Jesus used the Experience of Human Behavior and the Experience of the Scriptures to make his point.

From Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus (Baker, 2018), p 96-100. This is from chapter 5, “Greek Brain: Hebrew Brain,” in the section called, “How the Bible Thinks.”

Lois Tverberg

Lois Tverberg holds a Ph.D in biology and was a college professor. While in a Bible study class she became interested in studying the Bible in it’s cultural context. Discovering the answers to head-scratching questions and sharing the “ah-hah” moments with others became a passion. She began learning Hebrew and Greek, studying in the land of Israel, and exploring recent scholarship on Jesus’ first-century Jewish world. Ultimately, she left a life in academia to devote herself full-time to teaching and writing on the topic, and now has been at it for almost twenty years. She has authored five books and also directs the En-Gedi Resource Center, an educational ministry. Lois is  also a speaker and has spoken at Women of the Word events in Connecticut and Wisconsin. 

Women of the Word is an inter-denominational, inter-generational, and inter-cultural ministry dedicated to transforming lives into the image of Jesus through growing disciples taught by God’s Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We honor our elders, learning from them as they mentor us. We value and strengthen the middle-aged. We seek to reach the millennials and younger generations to encourage and mentor them in the ways of the Lord. Our prayer is that we honor God together. We welcome men to join us at on our Amazing Israel Adventure trips. 

Seeking God

by Kim Warf

“God, are you real?”

Do you really want to know? If so, there must be moments of seeking and asking. God has been drawing you with whispers of love and with shouts of glorious displays of His creation.

A way has been made for the seeker yet the path is narrow. There are so many other paths that are well-lit, well-paved that seem easier to travel. The true path is not always comfortably trod; there are obstacles that test our carnal flesh. Yet, it ever beckons us forward.

This narrow path leads to a Door. It is not outwardly notable and shiny but worn and welcoming. A Light seems to escape from its tiny cracks and crevices… drawing one near.

You may approach; you know you are welcome. A thousand thoughts and fears try to stop you…but you are drawn by it’s comfort. The seeker extends a hand and knocks, all the while wondering, “Is this too good to be true?”.

With no hesitation, the Door swings open! Love which is Light; Light which is Love, one cannot tell the difference, pours out. All of the inward thoughts and intents exposed yet Love and Light infiltrates and washes every doubt, every sin away.

A transformation occurs; a new inner life, a new spirit is born from within. The seeker has found the answer and yet, the journey is just beginning.

Luke 11:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

John 10:9 “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”

John 1:12-13 “But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God.” All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.[a] 13 All those who believe this are reborn!—not a physical rebirth[b] resulting from human passion or plan—but from the will of God.

Kim Warf is the associate pastor, alongside her husband Paul of New Beginnings Church in Bangor, ME. She is also a Board Member of Women of the Word and has served as Conference Chairman of several WOW conferences in Maine. Paul and Kim have two grown daughters and a beautiful grand-daughter.