Thursday, May 30, 2013

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume V, Issue XXV

Chicago Truth, Real Reform and Light

The 'other' weekly news magazine this week features the cover entitled Chicago Bull [click to read] with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel on the cover. Stating that the mayor is fighting crime and failing schools, the magazine asks: "So why are people mad at him." For one thing, it must be noted that the mayor had a hand in governing before he worked for the White House. Could it be that he's tilting at windmills of his own making? THYME often feels compelled to offer contrasting perspective. Chicago has known some great reformers and men of courage. Here is what that looks like:

It seems that two great myths impede human progress. First there is the myth that generations before us did not struggle with the things we struggle with today. Human nature hasn't changed in the thousands of years of history and the lessons of history show that great progress has often been made as noble persons have faced the challenge head on. The second myth, one so much promoted today, is that mankind is ever evolving to some higher level and if we just get the institutions [such as government] right, we're all living in utopia.

Both myths are dangerous because they ignore the ever present struggle of our nobler aspirations over our tendency toward depravity. It is a battle in which 'Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.' Honest history shows us this struggle. Dennis Prager writes that Every Generation is Tested by a Great Evil [click to read] and the story is in how we respond to that evil. The history of the great city of Chicago bears this out.

"It would appear that every generation confronts a major moral test. A great evil presents itself as a good, and the world that is not victimized by that evil is tested: Can it recognize the evil and confront it?The pattern is eerily and depressingly repetitive.

1. The evil takes hold.

2. The evil has myriad defenders even among otherwise decent people.

3. The evil is vanquished after destroying an uncountable number of lives.

4. After the evil is vanquished, there is virtually unanimous agreement that it was indeed evil."

Chicago's corruption is the stuff of legends, yet there has been great progress in the face of great tragedy. Chicago has known both Al Capone [click to read] and Frank Loesch [click to read], the man who brought him to justice.

"When I was a small boy, I attended church every Sunday at a big Gothic Presbyterian bastion in Chicago. The preaching was powerful and the music was great. But for me, the most awesome moment in the morning service was the offertory, when twelve solemn, frock-coated ushers marched in lock-step down the main aisle to receive the brass plates for collecting the offering. These men, so serious about their business of serving the Lord in this magnificent house of worship, were the business and professional leaders of Chicago.

One of the twelve ushers was a man named Frank Loesch. He was not a very imposing-looking man, but in Chicago he was a living legend, for he was the man who had stood up to Al Capone. In the prohibition years, Capone's rule was absolute. The local and state police and even the Federal Bureau of Investigation were afraid to oppose him. But single-handedly, Frank Loesch, as a Christian layman and without any government support, organized the Chicago Crime Commission, a group of citizens that was determined to take Mr. Capone to court and put him away. During the months that the Crime Commission met, Frank Loesch's life was in constant danger. There were threats on the lives of his family and friends. But he never wavered. Ultimately, he won the case against Capone and was the instrument for removing this blight from the city of Chicago. Frank Loesch had risked his life to live out God's call on his life.

Each Sunday at this point in the service, my father, a Chicago businessman himself, never failed to poke me and silently point to Frank Loesch with pride. Sometimes I'd catch a tear in my father's eye. For my dad, and for all of us, this was and is what authentic Christian living is all about." -- Bruce Larson

The Chicago River.

The story of Chicago includes the tragic Chicago Fire and the great revivals brought by a simple shoe salesman, D.L. Moody [click to read] who butchered the king's English but led many to the high calling of Faith. Chicago saw more than its share of corruption but it also saw great innovation as in the great World's Fair [click to read] and the architecture of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. She has survived Fire, sewage issues, corruption and financial collapse.

Chicago Skyline.

Preston Tucker's Unique Automobile was made in Chicago.

Not all of Chicago's stories have happy endings. Consider car maker Preston Tucker [click to read], who saw his innovative company squashed by a government attorney. Yet Detroit would do well to look to the innovation that was surpressed in the past as it looks to position itself for the future.

Inscription on the wall of Moody Bible Institute's Chicago Campus. The Institute, which trains Christian workers for service around the world, is part of the legacy of the great evangelist.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pipe Organ Illustrates Explaination of Trinity

One Rich Sound with Three Distinct Notes

The organist provided illustration for the sermon.

"Think of a C-chord. The C, E, and G notes are all distinct notes, but joined together as one chord the sound is richer and more dynamic than had the notes been played individually. The chords are all equally important in producing the rich sound, and the sound is lacking and thin if one of the notes is left out." -- All About Trinity Sunday [click to read].

The pipe organ adds richness to worship, but this Trinity Sunday, attending the Christening of my little granddaughter, we were treated to the use of its music as a sermon illustration. The doctrine of the Trinity has long troubled many Christians, and the priest explained that it is really the answer to the question: "How does G-d love us?" He explained that G-d's greatness is felt in contact with the distinct parts of that nature. G-d embraces mankind through Jesus, the Redeemer and the Spirit who indwells us.

The organist played a C-chord, then the individual notes, helping the listeners to wrap their minds around a mystery through illustration.

"Essentially the Trinity is the belief that G-d is one in essence (Greek ousia), but distinct in person (Greek hypostasis). Don't let the word "person" fool you. The Greek word for person means "that which stands on its own," or "individual reality," and does not mean the persons of the Trinity are three human persons. Therefore we believe that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are somehow distinct from one another (not divided though), yet completely united in will and essence. How can this be? Well, think of the sight of two eyes. The eyes are distinct, yet one and undivided in their sight." -- All About Trinity Sunday [click to read].

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thoughts for Memorial Day, 2013

Remembering Those Who Won Our Freedom...

Stained glass design of the Betsy Ross Flag in the sunrise by Xaver Wilhelmy. Rendering by Kristina Elaine Riley.

Memorial Day Photo Gallery

The Debt We Owe to the Defenders of Liberty

The World War II Memorial.

Vietnam Memorial
Vietnam Memorial...

Vietnam Memorial
...and a hero remembered.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume V, Issue XXIV

"Hear my cry, O G-d, attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." -- Psalm 61:1,2

In the aftermath of terrible tornadoes ripping through Texas and Oklahoma there come forth stories of great heroism and faith. Teachers in an elementary school devastated in Moore Oklahoma admitted to praying in school as they moved students to the safest place they could find. People who's worldly possessions lie splintered across the landscape give gratitude to G-d for spared loved ones. A tornado is a powerful force, not only to destroy, but to bring out what a person is made of. Person after person told reporters what their faith meant to them in the storm.

A tornado may strike in sixteen minutes, but it changes things forever for those who experience it. Houses can be rebuilt and refurnished, but the memories framed in family photos may never be recovered. One Oklahoma resident, cleaning debris from her own yard, realized that someone's soggy memories from miles away were part of the litter in her own yard. She started a Website on Facebook [click to read] for people to scan and post any photos they found and that act of kindness has already resulted in some happy recoveries.

Samaritan's Purse [click to read], founded by Billy Graham's son Franklin, has sent trained volunteers who help with physical needs such as cleanup and repair. Their training also allows them focus on emotional and spiritual healing. In the overwhelming destruction of these storms, Samaritan's Purse chaplains are bringing hope and caring to the victims.

A host of church response teams are on their way as well. Spirit FM Radio sponsor's G-d's Pit Crew [click to read], a team that collects essential supplies and trucks them in to devastated areas. The day they announced a trailer collection point for relief supplies it was practically filled with donations. They mentioned a collection point in Staunton; Victory Worship Center on Hammond Road (just off of Christian's Creek Road past the Coca-Cola Plant) [1.]. The site has two small trailers and already they have received a great deal of bottled water.

The volunteers manning the collection stations have listed essential supplies that people should bring. Bottled water is on everyone's list, as are basic toiletries and items such as hand sanitizer. Food that can be eaten directly from the package without heating or other preparation is requested as well. These initial deliveries will go into areas where utilities are disrupted and residents will most likely lack electricity and water.

Collection points will be receiving donations for the next few days. A more complete list of items needed may be found at Spirit FM's website or Here [click to read].

As we pray for those affected by the storms, let us pick up an extra item or two at the grocer's to travel with our prayers to Texas and Oklahoma.

Sky over Staunton as a storm rolls through.

Monday, May 20, 2013

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume V, Issue XXIII

When Beauty Obscures  Truth

The 'other' weekly news magazine this week features The Angelina Effect [click to read]. Lovely Angelina Jolie's surgery puts genetic testing in the spotlight, begging a discussion of  'The Halo Effect.'

How is it possible for a relatively obscure Senator from Illinois, who reporters themselves said of: "We know very little about him;" to rise to the greatest office in the land? Consider the confident appearance, the tailored suits and the general attractiveness the candidate projected. The election was a perfect demonstration of 'The Halo Effect.' Other than those voting for ideological reasons, it was quite clear that youth and virility were being packaged in the 'marketing of a candidate' to the uninformed and undecided.

Psychologist Edward Thorndike first studied the Halo Effect, or halo error, which is a cognitive bias in which one's judgments of a person’s character is influenced by one's overall impression of him or her. This has great implications in settings such as the courtroom and the classroom, where impartiality is essential. Nonetheless, research shows that people perceived as more attractive obtain better judgements in court and often are favored in the educational system. 

In his 1920 article “The Constant Error in Psychological Ratings,” [1.] Thorndike presented empirical evidence for his theory. Other psychologists created more elaborate studies in the Nineteen-seventies.

In a pre-media age, it is possible that the Halo Effect was not so ubiquitous. Without a 'national standard' imposed by media images, true beauty was a richer and more diverse pallate. Just as some men prefer blondes or brunettes (this writer is squarely in the brunette camp), beauty can be found in rich diversity if one follows his or her own inclinations without being 'taught' what society at large calls 'beautiful.'

To some extent, the ethnicization of fashion has been a positive influence in reversing a narrow standard of 'beauty,' yet recent reports of  the treatment received by a wounded veteran [2.] show that it is hard for people to overcome 'beauty bias.' The man, disfigured by an explosion, was often shunned by people in public, people who never had a chance to learn of the man's heroic service to his country.

My memory wanders back to an autumn in my youth. Some friends and I were hitchhiking to the Outer Banks of North Carolina when an older gentleman picked us up. He was the last lightkeeper of the Hatteras lighthouse and as we rode toward the coast he told us many fascinating stories. He had a severe facial wound of some sort, possibly a wartime injury, but we were too polite to pry. His bright eyes twinkled as he spun his tales! Finally he invited us to join him and travel on to the lighthouse. How I wish we had not felt the constraint of schedule or pre-planned itinerary. I've often remembered that day with lament, wondering what a holiday with this lovely gentleman would have held for us... but we were young, and the sight of Jockey Ridge had us eager to be on our own way.

My point in all this is that beauty has been dumbed-down, much to the detriment of society. I am often amazed to find that the people I find the most attractive do not think of themselves as so. I lament the demise of publications like 'The Sunday Sun Magazine' which featured the photography of A. Aubrey Bodine [3.] They have been replaced with thin tabloids, usually featuring some celebrity on the cover. How fascinating it was to look recently at Readers' Digest's listing of the 100 'Most Trusted' people in America. The top four were ACTORS! [4.], people who PRETEND to be other people! Buried in the middle were men and women of the stature of Billy Graham. The article spoke VOLUMES about America's preoccupation with appearance. Celebrity spokespersons have championed products, causes and campaigns. Congress once held hearings on the plight of farmers... addressed by actors who had PLAYED farm wives! [5.]

Loveliness is a wonderful thing. Beauty and truth are to be celebrated, but outward appearance cannot always be trusted as an indication of inward virtue.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Breaking Through the Clouds at Raven's Roost

Sunlight Illuminating the Mountains of Big Levels

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." -- Isaiah 9:2

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers' Day Pink Lady Slipper

Seen Along the Lake Trail at Miller School

The afternoon light illuminated a beautiful pink lady slipper.

Friday, May 10, 2013

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume V, Issue XXII

G-d's Word to Praying People

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." -- Isaiah 58

A special thank-you to Carl Tate for pointing out this scripture as we as a community prepare to participate in Spark 2013 [click to read]. As the 'other' weekly news magazine celebrates the 'Me' Generation's potential to become the next 'Greatest Generation' a number of great messages have been preached about dying to self and seeking to "decrease that G-d might increase." Indeed, men and women such as Jeremiah Lanphier, George Müller and Florence Nightengale began their journeys in prayer with a recognition of the heart of G-d.

This led them to minister to the pain of people around them. Then, realizing their own inadequacy, they redoubled their laboring in prayer.G-d met them and did amazing works through them.

Such is the hope that we should have as we begin a season of earnest prayer... that G-d will shine forth in the world, and that we will be open to His Spirit doing so.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jeremiah Lanphier's Journey of Prayer

How A Nation Was Turned to G-d and Restored

Jeremiah Lanphier discovered the power of prayer in his own life.

A Milestone Monday Feature

America found herself at a crossroads. Wild speculation and greed had built a house of cards. While a few became incredibly wealthy, the gap between haves and have-nots grew ever wider.   The economic crash had put 30,000 men out of work on the streets of New York City.  Churches languished as people explored Spiritism and other "new" ideas. We, of the Twenty-first Century, would find the condition of the culture strangely familiar.

Political corruption, shady dealings in business and a general moral decline were the norm.  "Atheism, agnosticism, apathy and indifference to God, to the church, and its message abounded on every hand. The decline was fourfold: social, moral, political and spiritual." -- Tom Shanklin

Then came the crash! Factories were shuttered. Banks failed and merchants were ruined. Thousands were destitute. Winkie Pratney, who chronicled the great revival, says: "A near socio-economic collapse jolted America away from her apathy into a national cry for spiritual reality." Chuck Balsamo presents a wonderful concise history of this revival in his book Make Me a Legend [click to read]. The story does not begin with a mighty move and thousands of conversions, rather it begins in a rather small way.

Jeremiah Lanphier was a middle-aged businessman caught in the crossroads. Having no children and no family, he was drawn to minister to the needs of those living in the dark slums of Hell's Kitchen. Leaving his business, he became a lay missionary with the North Dutch Church in Manhattan. Pouring his life into the lives of those he saw caught in hopelessness, he soon came to the end of his own strength. Physically and mentally exhausted, Lanphier discovered that just as the body needs food, the soul and spirit of a man need to be nourished in prayer.[1.]

Each day at midday, Lanphier would seek solace in the Church Consistory Building, where he would cry out to G-d for spiritual strength. He experienced G-d in a mighty way in these times and felt that others would benefit from prayer as well, especially the city's businessmen. He printed up and distributed 20,000 flyers advertising his first noontime prayer meeting, on September 23, 1857.

That day he prayed alone for thirty minutes before six others joined him. The next week there were twenty. The week after that forty people showed up. In time over 100 churches had noonday prayer meetings going throughout the city. G-d's powerful move was felt far beyond New York City. Newspaperman Horace Greeley wanted to get a count of the number of men  praying in New York so he sent a reporter out to the meetings. Racing around the city in a horse-drawn buggy, the reporter was only able to get to twelve meetings in the noon hour, but he counted 6,100 in attendance.

Spiritual awakening followed and Americans found strength in G-d for the turbulent days that followed. This Third Great Awakening not only revitalized the spirit of America's people, but led to missionary outreach around the world.  [2.]

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spark 2013 in Stuarts Draft, Virginia

A Concert of Prayer for Our Place and Time...


"In the mid 1700s, pastor and theologian Jonathan Edwards coined the term “concerts of prayer” to describe corporate gatherings of Christians for intercession and spiritual renewal. Regular prayer meetings at the time became a spark for the First Great Awakening in the United States.

Similarly, the Third Great Awakening was largely initiated and sustained through a movement of prayer. In 1857, Jeremiah Lanphier started a noon prayer meeting on Manhattan’s Fulton Street. The meeting quickly grew to several thousand business leaders and revival spread across the country, spawning some 2 million conversions and great works of social reform. Slavery was cut short in the United States through the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865 largely because of this awakening. The Salvation Army, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and other Christian movements found their birth during this period, and the mighty Student Volunteer Movement was launched which sent approximately 25,000 students to the mission field in the coming decades.

Such corporate gatherings for prayer and around-the-clock Prayer Watches have worked together through history to strengthen prayer ministry. The New York City “Concerts of Prayer” initiative, for example, combined their Concerts of Prayer with a Prayer Watch that united 35 churches in 1995. The combined effort continued and over the next five years, the murder rate in New York City dropped 70%, making it one of the safest cities in the country with over a million people" -- Concerts of Prayer [click to read].  
Henderson County Ministerial Association.

Spark 2013 [click to read] begins May 12, 2013 and continues through May 19, 2013.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume V, Issue XXI
"The true great works are rooted in love and born in prayer" -- Unknown

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." -- Galations 5:22,23

A Great Work... Ushering in the World to Come

Who among us has not at some point imagined themselves involved in some great work? We love the stories of triumph and bravery and wonder if it might be our lot to ever be part of such a tale? So-called 'Realism' raises a hand at this point and argues that most men live in obscurity and live lives that are insignificant. Yet the belief that significance is something to be desired presses the possibility of it being attained. Travelling to Bolivia last year, I sensed there were a thousand stories in search of a Hemingway.

I saw an amazing medical mission that grew out of one woman's loving heart. She herself survived breast cancer and when most people would have started savoring retirement, this soft-spoken RN was G-d's instrument to bring decent medical care to the poorest people in Santa Cruz and now Sucre. (Her SECOND clinic just opened in February)! Cindy Thacker is doing a great work, as are the comitted staff of Mission of Hope Bolivia. It was a priviledge to hear their stories and by our work there to contribute to them.[1.]

In a South American slum there is a man who creates orchestra instruments from trash! 'Landfill Harmonic' brings beautiful music to young people who would otherwise know only the sound of despair. [2.] Redemption! all the great stories tell of it. Is it a false hope?, or something that the great stories hold out to us because its realization could be nearer than we dare imagine?If we can imagine something, is it possible that that ability to imagine is rooted in sound reasons?

These are the stories the media rarely report to us. One hears so much about the dysfunction in our world... and it is real. Yet, quiet your heart. You will find amazing stories around you. You might even find yourself a part of one! Great works abound in our own back yard. How shall we find them... be still, watch and listen!

Watching Kristina Elaine Riley paint her latest mural depicting "Acts of Kindness Rooted in Love," it was clear that she was engaged in a great work. [3.] The painting she is completing with elementary and middle school children in the Farrier Court Community center carries a redemptive message. Indeed, it could be seen as an extension of her "Journey to Jesus," [4.] where she took ordinary children's photographs, often in places of great hardship, and painted them as princes and princesses of the New Heaven and the New Earth spoken of in Isaiah 60, Isaiah 61 [5.] and Revelation 21 [6.]

Audio Aredrenalin's "Kings and Queens" echos that message [7.] To love "the least of these" is to make kings and queens in G-d's Kingdom. Empowering children to be noble by rooting themselves in love... an unseen foundation upon which to build a noble edifice!

Hebrews 11 talks of Faith: "The evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen," and tells of Abraham, who wandered and lived all of his life in tents, longing for "that city who's architect and builder is G-d!" Those who share in the hope that Abraham had have a stake in the greatest of works... joining G-d in building His Kingdom!

Nehemiah engaged himself in a great work... rebuilding the walled city of Jerusalem. Just as he became a man of singular purpose, we too should consider the ruined state of our own culture and "arise and build!" A study of Nehemiah's life reveals that he didn't begin by sorting stones or drawing plans, he PRAYED. Scripture is clear that he began by seeking G-d and the mighty work sprang from that prayer [8.]

 In the Nineteenth Century, Evangelist George Müller was moved by the plight of unwanted children. He prayed. Without asking for a penny, he saw G-d provide the means to care for thousands of children and build fine homes for them to live in [9.]

In a world of chaos, we seek order, beauty and truth. These things will elude us if we do not seek the AUTHOR of order, beauty and truth. Great works do not just happen, they spring from the hand and mind of purposeful authorship. If purposeful authorship is evident in Creation, then it behooves us to seek to learn from the Author of purpose.

Pastor Chuck Balsamo of Destiny Fellowship in Stuarts Draft invites all who would to join in a time of Prayer, Fasting and Worship [click to read]. The purpose, not unlike Nehemiah's, is to seek G-d in a world where order, beauty and truth are all too rare.

My point in writing this is that G-d has a great work and the promise is clear. The murky uncertainty of our post-modern world is all too evident and threatens to obscure OUR view of that purpose. If we as a people will come away to seek His face, we will find ourselves in the very presence of G-d. Perhaps it is time to stop saturating ourselves in the news and MAKE news... led by the same fire that "turned the world upside down" in the First Century [10.]

That is key. This is not about growing bigger churches or merely creating a moral superiority, or economic prosperity, it is about unleashing the power of G-d's Holy Spirit to build G-d's Holy Kingdom! How does one describe the Kingdom of G-d and His promised presence there? It is like describing a mountain vista to a blind man. Where do you begin? Yet this is a picture that I as an artist feel compelled to paint! Mankind needs this vision. How does one begin to paint it?

Does one start by descriptions rooted in the scents of seasons... the smell of leaves and lavendar, the deep smell of Earth beneath the firs? One CAN deduce from what one CAN percieve that there is more unseen. That is the artist's mission. Just as a visual artist creates depth with line and shadow and aerial perspective, we can point to that which is beyond our ability to literally render.

Can we "see" the promise, pushing onward. and offer relationship with G-d Himself to a world of lonely and injured pilgrims? Can we join together as G-d seeks to rebuild lives and bring His Kingdom to Earth? Can we see that G-d is at work, purposefully authoring the promised Kingdom? In the combined sense of PEACE and PURPOSE found in communion with the Divine, might we have a part in ushering in the World to Come?