Breaking it Down: The Sermon on the Mount Part 6

By Jenna Walmer

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.  Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5: 38-48

As I have noted, the last few blog posts have been more difficult to discuss for varying reasons. However, we have finally reached loving your enemies and completed chapter 5!

This section is easier to fathom for the Brethren because we have grown with this teaching instilled in our mind. Although it may be hard to pray for those who hate you, we more naturally love everyone and reject the idea of “getting even” with someone. So when we are wronged we forgive others.

By telling us to not retaliate, we are kept from taking the law into our own hands. We overcome evil with good by praying and loving those who hate us. If you love the people who treat you unjustly, it truly shows that the Lord is the center of your life. Loving those who wrong us is capable through God’s unconditional love and his strength that is given to us. Also, he gives us humbleness and selflessness. He provides the courage and strength to show love to those who do not give it in return.

Think of the one person that came to mind during the Sermon of the Mount Part 4 post on anger. In this blog post, I addressed how anger means there is a broken relationship with God. It also applies when you do not love everyone, also addressed in that post. This time, think of the people who are directly vile to you, not just the ones who you don’t like just because they are unjust to others. All of the people you are called to love because THEY ARE PEOPLE, just like yourself. As we are told in multiple places in the Bible, love others as yourself and to everyone be kind. I also think they are song lyrics.

We are Dunker Punks. One of the main ideas is to radically love. If we start being just to others and enhance our loving capacity, how would that shape the world? Would the wars dwindle? Would the innocent civilians, men, women and children, dying around the world, decrease? Would more people start acting like us? Will we one day be able to stand hand in hand and sing Kumbaya? That last one is kind of a stretch, but that’s the gist of the idea, is it not?

We are called to love boldly: To step out in faith and show those who don’t believe, believe in and hope for peace and unconditional love. To advocate and work for those who are desperate for a safe place to live because of violence. Start a revolution in your area of loving everyone and maybe it will go worldwide.


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100

Want to contribute? Fill out a Dunker Punks profile, and/or email dunkerpunks2014@gmail.com.

Breaking it Down: The Sermon on the Mount Week 5

By Jenna Walmer

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5: 27-37

This passage is difficult to discuss without being married, having divorced, or any experience in that area. However, Jesus addresses important lessons in these passages about marriage and commitment.

Jesus tells us that adultery is sin, in actions and in thoughts. In the Old Testament, it merely stated that breaking your promise to your spouse was wrong.  However, Jesus says that the thought of it is wrong as well. To be faithful to your spouse requires honesty from the body and mind. Also, he suggests that if one has lustful thoughts, he should not have lustful actions too.  Acting out these sinful desires is detrimental to marriages, relationships with God, and to oneself. It gives one an excuse to sin rather than stopping sinning. Also, wrongful actions turn people away from God.

Jesus then addresses divorce. Today, there is approximately fifty percent divorce rate in America. Divorce was also a problem in Jesus’ era too. In the Old Testament, God created marriage for a life time commitment. Jesus said that divorce is not excusable unless there is sexual immorality, which implies an immoral lifestyle. However, when a partner has been unfaithful, one should make every attempt to forgive and restore the relationship. This can apply to typical relationships as well. Always look to for ways to restore relationships rather than excuses to disband it.

Jesus emphasizes the importance of being truthful. It is crucial to keep oaths and promises. It builds relationships and trust with your peers. However, don’t make promises half-heartedly. Also, Jesus told his disciples not to utilize oaths because their word alone should be good enough. Get in the habit of being truthful so you don’t have to add, “I promise” to the end of statements.

Through this passage, Jesus accentuates the importance of being truthful to people, so you can gain trust and enhance relationships. He warns against the harms of divorcing and being unfaithful.  The overlying theme of all of these passages is to build enough trust in your relationships so you don’t have to question faithfulness and consider divorce. In the upcoming weeks, try to improve your relationships by being honest to your peers.


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100

Want to contribute? Fill out a Dunker Punks profile, and/or email dunkerpunks2014@gmail.com.

Breaking it Down: The Sermon on the Mount Part 4

By Jenna Walmer

 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” – Matthew 5: 21-26

This passage about being angry towards another person is hard to swallow. As I digested this section of The Sermon on the Mount, I realized that so far in my readings, this may be what I struggle with the most.  You see, there are people that come along that are so mean, vile in their words and actions, which makes you think, can’t I just not love one person? We think, “I love everyone else. I show unconditional love, but this particular person is downright disrespectful.”

However, Jesus tells us to love everyone.  Anger, in this passage, refers to the bitterness that is shown toward someone.  This kind of anger is dangerous to society. It can cause emotional and mental stress, spiritual impairment, and even violence.  Anger gets in the way of loving our neighbors; therefore, we should avoid our angry thoughts and replace them with loving thoughts.

Clarence Jordan brings up a provocative point about this passage.  In his book, The Sermon on the Mount, he suggests, “If people convince themselves that the lives of others aren’t worth much, the inference is drawn that it does not matter particularly what happens to them.  They may be shot, they may be exploited or bombed, or they may be used as cannon fodder, and it’s perfectly all right.  Nations do it, of course, on the wholesale and not just one at a time. Thus, contempt, leads to a justification of murder and this makes one a murderer at heart.”  As Jordan proposes, when the value of a person is lost, ‘murder’ has essentially begun. Jesus enlightens us to the fact that it is not just enough to avoid murder, we must also avoid anger and contempt towards others as well.

Jesus also warns us that our attitude towards others reflects our relationship with God. If we love others, we love God.  If we hate others that means we probably show hatred towards God.  Broken relationships impede our relationship with God. That is why reconciling relationships is so crucial. By settling disputes in relationships, you become closer to God.

To deepen your spiritual life, start by reconciling unstable relationships instead of hiding from the problem.  Then, consciously rid your mind of angry thoughts.  Have you ever heard of the saying, “Kill people with kindness?”  Instead of ‘killing’ them, because we are pacifists, I would recommend that we start practicing kindness towards everyone, every single day. So go out into the world, and be a blessing of compassion to all of humanity.


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100

Want to contribute? Fill out a Dunker Punks profile, and/or email dunkerpunks2014@gmail.com.

Breaking it Down: The Sermon on the Mount Part 3

By Jenna Walmer

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you until heaven and earth, disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:17-20

Many people of Jesus’ time considered Jesus to be a lawbreaker.  He didn’t observe the Sabbath, he disregarded rules about fasting, and he went against traditions (Stories from Mark emphasize these trademarks).  Jesus was a rebel with a cause.  He broke the Sabbath so he could heal a sick person or feed a hungry person.  He disregarded the typical rules on fasting because it went against his own beliefs.  He felt as though there had to be the right purpose to fast; he wasn’t going to fast because everyone else was doing it or to impress others.  He lived a life that went against the norm, despite the societal consequences.

So if Jesus was considered a lawbreaker, why was he teaching the crowd about the Law? By the time Jesus was on earth, the Law was not being applied as God intended.  The original intent of the law was to help people live in peace with one another and with God. Instead of creating a more loving nature toward God, the Law invoked fear towards Him.  Clarence Jordan translated a section of Jesus’ teachings to, “my purpose is not to destroy them but to establish them.”  Jesus was trying to explain to the crowd what the purpose of the Law God had created was meant to do originally.

Jesus told the crowd that the original meaning of the Law was to get them to Love the Lord with “all their heart and with all their soul and with all their mind.” According to Clarence Jordan, “the purpose of the Law was not to enslave people but to lead freedom which only love can produce.” Since the people of that time were struggling with sin and hatred toward God, Jesus was teaching them to Love the Lord instead because that would lead them to freedom from their bondage, connection to Christ, and clear minds.

As Jesus declared, he did not abolish the law.  He just clarified what still applies and what principles behind the law are important. In the Old Testament, there were different types of laws that people were instructed to follow and Jesus was addressing in his speech about the Law.  First, ceremonial laws talked specific trends in worship which do not apply to today.  However, the principles such as to worship and loving God are still applicable. Another type of law was civil law, which were the daily living law.  Rules set during the time Deuteronomy and other similar books were written are not appropriate to today since the society has changed, however the principles are still the same. Finally, the moral law such as “You shall not murder” should be followed.

The Law is up to great interpretation, and Jesus was even a rule breaker.  However, there are some rules, such as not killing people that must be followed.  That’s why there was confusion when Jesus was preaching the Sermon on the Mount and he addressed these issues. Jesus concludes by suggesting that our righteousness will only come from what God does within us, being people centered on God, and going past obeying the law to embodying the principles within the law.


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100

Want to contribute? Fill out a Dunker Punks profile, and/or email dunkerpunks2014@gmail.com.

Breaking it Down: The Sermon on the Mount Part 2

By Jenna Walmer

“You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16

Imagine…a bowl of ice cream sitting in front of you: just a brown bowl with vanilla ice cream. This bowl looks pretty empty and insignificant; a lackluster colored bowl with an even less vibrant color of ice cream (I apologize for those of you who are adamant vanilla ice cream lovers).  But the majority of us crave ice cream of a specific flavor with toppings galore! I mean, it’s a part of our tradition to eat ice cream together that is flavorful!

In Jesus’ passage about the salt and the light, he creates a metaphor for Christians in relation to how they affect the world around them.  My comparison is similar, just in Brethren terms. If we as Christians, the “light of the world”, make no effort to enhance our earth and become too consumed with earthly possessions, we are worthless.  We are called to be people who move others in a positive manner.  We resemble the sprinkles, flavors, and other toppings that enhance ice cream, or in the Bible passage how the salt seasons the food.

Next, Jesus tells us we are the light of the world! What a great gift that was bestowed upon us. However, we are not to be timid with our faith and Jesus’ teachings. We are to be bold with our speech, step OUT of the crowd, show and share the light of Christ, foster our light and strengthen it, explain our beliefs to others, and embrace, not ignore, the needs of our brothers and sisters.  Clarence Jordan, writer of Sermon on the Mount and founder of Koinonia Farm, sums it up perfectly,

“the Christian community is God’s light which he has lit up with the glory of his own Song, and he has no intention of hiding it.  When we come into the fellowship, we become a part of that light.  While we can determine the intensity of it, we cannot escape the fact that we are part of the witness, for better or for worse.  When we decide to live by the Sermon on the Mount, follow Jesus wholeheartedly, and walk boldly with our Lord, we have married the idea, for better or for worse, that we are living the life that we are called to live, speaking the words He wants us to share, and acting according to Jesus’ teachings; there should be no hiding this burning flame.”

As we witness horrible events happening in our neighborhoods, nations, and world, we stop to think, where does the Christian body fit into these actions? What can I do to stop these injustices? How can I be bold? Someone at school is getting bullied, a colleague at work is downtrodden, or a tragedy in the next town over just occurred.  Maybe it is something happening in our nation or even worldwide that you are feeling nudged to lend a hand.  At this point in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is calling us to strengthen our faith and our portrayal of His unending love. Let your light shine a little brighter the next time something pulls at your heart strings.  Step out of your comfort zone to help a brother or sister out. The next time you eat ice cream, let it be a reminder of your strong, seasoned, and bright shining faith!


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100

Want to contribute? Fill out a Dunker Punks profile, and/or email dunkerpunks2014@gmail.com.

Breaking it Down: The Sermon on the Mount Part 1

By Jenna Walmer

Week 1: The Beatitudes

“Now Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down.  His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.  He said:  ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be show mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’”

The challenge was set for us… have you been living up to it? I know I haven’t been living up to the call fully.  I’ve been putting some time in here and there to delve into the Sermon on the Mount, but now I have decided to study the message in its entirety. Throughout the Sermon, Jesus asserted his feelings toward the law of his era. He also expresses the unimportance of money, authority, and status in the heavenly kingdom. Instead, being faithful to the Lord and having an obedient heart is what matters, which is why Jesus repudiates and challenges the leaders of the day.

In my current studies, Clarence Jordan has sparked my interest for many reasons, but one idea caught my eye during my readings: he based his theology on the Sermon on the Mount.  Clarence Jordan is the focal point for my year-round research project for a history class.  He has written a few books, and has also re-written a majority of the New Testament in terms of Georgia during the Civil Rights Era.  He even wrote a book titled, Sermon on the Mount, which details his perspective of the teachings.  Jordan started Koinonia Farm, an interracial community that began in 1942, survived the Civil Rights violence of the Ku Klux Klan, and is still alive today.  His radical ideas of having a common purse, challenging authority in peaceful ways, and living in community with anyone despite what the public thinks, always leaves me thinking about Dunker Punks.

In Jordan’s Sermon on the Mount, he transferred the last two verses of the Beatitudes to, “You are all God’s people when others call you names, and harass you and tell all kinds of false tales on you just because you follow me.  Be cheerful and good-humored, because your spiritual advantage is great. For that’s the way they treated men of conscience in the past.” Also, Blessed are the Peacemakers was translated to “Men of peace and good will are God’s people, for they will be known throughout the land of his children.” These two verses reflect the era that Jordan was living. Despite all the harassment the community was being dealt, he returned their hate with peace and continued to love his neighbors.

So what are the Beatitudes telling us to do?  This first section of the Sermon of the Mount starts us off with certain people shall be blessed and will receive such and such.  The first three verses even seem to contradict themselves! People who wouldn’t live by the Sermon on the Mount would think, why should the poor in spirit receive the kingdom in heaven?  To be precise, God’s teachings usually contradict what the world assumes, similar to when we love when others hate. These statements that contradict the world’s views exemplify how we are to serve others.

Next, we are to take the Beatitudes as a whole, not choose one or two to follow, but follow every one of them, because it is Christ’s description of how we are to be as followers. Since Christ wants us to build up our treasures in heaven, some of the verses show the contrast between kingdom values and worldly values; it portrays what is temporary versus what is eternal. The Beatitudes is the preamble to the Sermon of the Mount, so we should take it in one swallow, not in baby bites.

Also, the Beatitudes teach us how one qualifies, per say, to be in God’s kingdom.  It describes what we are to seek.  For example, we are NOT to seek earthly possessions, such as money, authority, and power.  However, seeking different ideas such as humility and righteous behaviors will reflect attitudes of Kingdom seekers.

Lastly, and the hardest of them all, Jesus wants us to rejoice when we are persecuted. Rejoice when we are mistreated?  This is beneficial because it takes us away from earthly rewards and strengthens our faith.  Our attitude to serve also grows!  Leaders and prophets in the Bible have been persecuted because of their beliefs; be strong in faith and people will notice.  If you are going unnoticed that is a sign of weak faith.

The Sermon of the Mount is a long passage to study deeply and to understand thoroughly, let alone memorize.  As I go through and read what Clarence Jordan has to say about the Sermon on the Mount and study it myself, I challenge you to do the same and understand it in your own terms.  Maybe rewrite it, or start memorizing it! Be bold in your faith and challenge yourself! You never know what you can to until you try.


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
 
Want to contribute? Fill out a Dunker Punks profile, and/or email dunkerpunks2014@gmail.com.

Save His People and Stop the Madness of The World!

By Jenna Walmer

“That is why I am suffering as I am.  Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.”

– 2 Timothy 1:12

“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.”

– John 7:7

“Save your people and bless your inheritance, be their shepherd and carry them forever.”

– Psalm 28:9

As I scrolled down my twitter feed Tuesday night looking for the latest news in the world, I noticed a particularly interesting article from the Church of the Brethren. On September 30th, a newsletter from the Church of the Brethren newsline was titled, “‘EYN Severely Damaged’ Nigerian Brethren Leader reports.” I usually do not open long articles late at night after an exhausting band practice, but this title moved me. I began reading the article and my eyes immediately went to the sentence (that happens to be bolded), “EYN… reports 3,038 members killed.” This striking information led me to look over the entire article before I went to bed.

As I read the article, my heart welled up with sorrow for our brothers and sisters like it always does when I hear new pieces of information about the terror in Nigeria. I usually do not keep up with current events in the world as intentionally as I should, but I do keep up-to-date with the news, general ideas of situations, and our nation’s problem solving techniques.

From the article last night, I learned about the amount of destruction that has occurred and how it has affected people more drastically recently. Almost 100,000 church members have been displaced from their communities and are now refugees. Over 2,000 EYN members’ houses have been burnt down. The most powerful fact mentioned in the article was, “these people cannot go to their farms, as those who attempt were killed or chased away.  Thousands of their children cannot go to school and that means the future of these children may be lost.”

Just imagine if we could not go to school or arrive at our workplace because of terrorists attacking our community.  What would our government do to them?  As a peace community we are called to love one another and act justly and mercifully to each other. So, how do we bring this to an end? How are we to comprehend the violence in the world?

In John 7:7 Jesus states, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.” Since we are followers of Jesus, and people, like the Boko Haram, hate Jesus, it is expected that many people will hate us as well. That is when we are called to trust in God’s protection over us and have faith despite the suffering we are going through.  We are to trust, believe, and be convinced, that God will provide, and he will protect us. But, it is also our job to help save His people. We all know that there are many believers all over the world being persecuted, but we all aren’t doing something about it. Spread the word. Send letters. Give money. Pray. Be an ambassador for peace.

As I laid in bed last night trying to fall asleep after I read the article, I debated what I was going to wear the next day. I was planning to dress up with my friend, since I did not have to go outside for band during the day.  After reading the article, I felt as though I needed to spread the word for peace more boldly. At National Youth Conference, I bought the “When Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies,’ I think he probably meant don’t kill them” shirt.  When I purchased the shirt I knew I wanted to wear it to school, but I also recognized the fact that it was a possibility that people would make harsh comments (In the past, I have been harshly ridiculed for my pacifistic beliefs).

My inspiration for my clothing choice came from the conclusion of the article: “My dear brothers and sister, what amounts of compensation or relief can anyone provide to comfort these communities? Maybe the most important questions should be when will this madness stop? What is Nigeria’s government doing to protect and save the lives of the remnant? And what are we doing as national and global members of Christ’s body? May God have mercy on us, the victims and the victors.”

Let’s all step out of our comfort zone to stop the madness in the world.

The article “EYN Severely Damaged” can be found at:

http://www.brethren.org/news/2014/newsline-special-eyn-is.html


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
 

Want to contribute? Fill out a Dunker Punks profile, and/or email dunkerpunks2014@gmail.com.

Promoting Our Faith, One Cookie at a Time

By Jenna Walmer

“Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” 

– 1 Corinthians 4:18-20

It has been said, “mean what you say and say what you do.” We have most likely heard something likethis phrase in our childhood. The question is, do we actually follow through with its meaning?  Do our actions match our speech and vice versa? Sometimes, I catch myself contradicting my actions and my speech, and I consciously fix it. But other times when I reflect on conversations, I realize how I could have changed what I said to mirror my true beliefs and actions. I see this in many of my peers as they are “shooting the breeze.” It happens to all of us; we overhear conversations when someone says one thing, and they turn around and say another. It is really annoying, is it not?  We all fall victim to it, and we all probably do it.  However, we are called to be truthful in our actions and speech.

Once we can overcome “shooting the breeze”, we can move into the next phase of life. Once we mature past this stage of insecurity, we discover who we truly are and what we believe. In this stage of life, we are asked to show our faith. God asks us to display our love for Him not only through our words but through our actions. In 1 Corinthians 4:20, Paul tells the people of Corinth that showing faith does not come through just our speech. During that era, many people would just talk a lot about their faith and what to do to be faithful to God. Does that sound familiar in today’s epoch too? However, we are told to show our faith through our actions as well.

In the Church of the Brethren, this is where our heavily beloved service aspect comes into play. Through service opportunities, we can show our love for humanity by helping one another. Also, during these work projects, we may have the opportunity to discuss differing opinions, giving us the opportunity to show our faith through speech and action. We can also illustrate our faith by sending letters to our leaders about current events that hit close to home. Other opportunities include peace runs and other events related to our peace heritage, helping at a homeless shelter, and any opportunity that allows you to act upon your individual faith-based beliefs.

Personally, the biggest concept that bothers me in the world is violence, so naturally I love peace. Maybe it’s because I’m Brethren, maybe because I’m called, only God knows. Anyways, the past two years for International Day of Peace, September 21st, has fallen on a weekend (last year it was a Saturday; this year it was a Sunday). Both years, my mom has happened to be in charge of desserts for marching band that weekend. So, I asked her last year to make cookies with peace signs on them and I made sure everyone in band knew it was International Day of Peace, whether they were Pro-Peace or Pro-War (many people in my band are looking to go into ROTC post high school; there are few people I know of who are peace lovers like myself). It was pretty funny that her turn for desserts fell on September 20th this year; so, for the second year in a row the marching band had cookies with a peace sign emblazoned on them. I guess that is my roundabout way of promoting peace in my small group of friends.

Recently, Dunker Punks has asked for your support in sending letters to officials about the kidnapping of the Nigerian girls. Whether it is doing something small like making cookies or sending a bunch of letters to officials about an incident that really makes you tick, we are all a part of this revolution and are called to make a difference in this world. Through our actions AND our speech, let us show our faith by starting something creative, unique, and personal today.


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast DistrictJenna Walmer is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100

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It is Time For Love in Action

By Jenna Walmer

“Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in LOVE.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.” Romans 12:9-16

Our society as a whole has developed a way to pretend to love each other.  Every day we see it, but do we do something about it?  We may even partake in this action, but do we notice it?  At some point in my life, I have even fallen into the trap of insincerity when it comes to radically loving others.  Walking through the halls at school and at work or down the streets at college, we witness people “being fake” with each other, as it was called in immature high school days.  Many people do it; we talk badly about others behind our friend’s backs for some reason or another.  I have seen it in teenagers all the way to adulthood.

But God calls us to a different type of love, a love that is pure and genuine.  As Jarrod McKenna addressed us at National Youth Conference, he touched on this different type of love, before challenging us to become Dunker Punks.  In Romans 12, Paul explains to the Romans how to sincerely love others.  Verses 9-10 state, “Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.”  In order to love another above ourselves, we need to concentrate deeply on our intents, taking time out of our schedule and providing our money for those in need.

Essentially, there are two reasons why people show love to others. The typical reasons, and people’s ulterior motive to love others, lead people to extrinsic rewards such as money and other rewards.  However, as Christians and humans who want to love others sincerely, we want to strive for no hidden messages when we love others.  Since we are creatures of peace-striving and enemy-loving, we do not want rewards.  We love people because they were created in God’s image, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they are unique.

This is why we are told today, and the Romans were told approximately 2000 years ago, to “live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16).  As Christians and seekers of an unconventional love, we are meant to love everyone from the financially unstable to the rich, from the young to the old, from the poor in spirit to the most pious of people, from black to white, and from male to female.  Paul states, “Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.”  He encourages the Romans to create diversity, and this should inspire us to do the same.

In this world where people hate others and create seclusion because of it, it is time for us, the Dunker Punk revolution and the Brethren faith, to step out against it.  It is time to start living in harmony with others and showing love to those in need of its power.  It is time to break down the barriers of race, religion,age,age, and status in order to create an accepting and diverse community.  It is time to be stop pretending to love and start being real with people.  It is time.


Jenna Walmer - Palmyra COB, Altantic Northeast District

Jenna is from Lancaster County and is currently in 12th grade. In school, she loves to research historical events. If she were to live in a specific time period, she would want to be a hippie and live in the 60s or 70s. Her favorite past times are swimming and playing her trombone. If you want to know more about her random life, follow her on twitter: @jaymarie2100
 

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