The Peace Train-Harmony Challenge
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS
History shows us that the 1960s were a tumultuous and divisive decade marked by the civil rights movement, antiwar protests, and political assassinations. This difficult time inspired many song writers to produce songs about peace. Today, we are facing similar unrest and upheaval. Inspired by these old songs, I am inviting you to join me by taking part in my Peace Train – Harmony Challenge. Our world needs more peace and harmony. Help me make this challenge go viral!
Is peace possible? Is it possible for people to live in harmony? I hope so. That is why I am issuing this Peace Train – Harmony Challenge.
I believe that much of the unrest in our world today can be attributed to the nonstop bombardment of contentious, libelous, slanderous, hate-filled speech that is spewed forth daily on both social and mainstream media. Calumny is a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something. Most of the comments posted on social media today fit this description. Unfortunately, too many of us have made divisive posts ourselves.
Opposing countries and opposing political parties have always been using disparaging and contentious rhetoric. What bothers me more, however, is when Christians engage in this activity. Not only can we not have civil conversations about politics, but we can’t have them about religion either.
There was a time that these inflammatory diatribes were found in the rants between opposing religion’s ideologies. Over time, as Christianity fractured, these divisive attacks made their way into the debates between denominations. Now, sadly, it seems to be the norm even within each denomination as the hard right and hard left factions of each denomination can’t wait to tell the other side that they are going to hell. Has divisive hate speech and calumny become the norm of civilization? If so, then perhaps we are no longer civilized. This must STOP. You and I can help to bring about the change.
Jesus came into our world as the Prince of Peace. As a follower of Jesus, will you help me usher in a 30-day period of peace? Will you join in me in my challenge?
The following 60’s and 70’s songs inspired my thoughts today. The 1967 song One Tin Soldier by the group The Original Cast speaks directly to the topic of religious conflict. Here are some of the lyrics.
Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of Heaven
You can justify it in the end
There won’t be any trumpets blowin’
Come the judgement day
On the bloody mornin’ after
One tin soldier rides away
Songwriters: Dennis Earle Lambert / Brian Potter
One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
In 1967, the Youngbloods sang the song, Get Together, which included these lyrics:
Come on people now
Smile on your brother,
everybody get together,
Try to love one another
Songwriters: Chester Powers / Chester William Jr. Powers
Get Together lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group
In 1971, the music group, The New Seekers, gave us the hit song, We’d Like to Teach the World to Sing, which included these popular lyrics:
I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace throughout the land
Songwriters: William M Backer / Roger F. Cook / Roquel Davis / Roger Greenaway
I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
In that same year Cat Stevens gave us the song Peace Train. It included these lyrics:
Oh, I’ve been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Someday it’s going to come
Everyone jump upon the Peace Train
Songwriters: Yusuf Islam
Peace Train lyrics © BMG Rights Management
Racial tensions seem to be at a boiling point again in the United States, yet back in 1972 the group Three Dog Night popularized the song Black and White which had these lyrics:
The ink is black
The page is white
Together we learn to read and write
The child is black
The child is white
Together they grow to see the light
Songwriters: Earl Robinson / David Arkin
Black & White lyrics © Music Sales Corporation
In 1982 Ebony and Ivory was number-one single for Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Their song had these lyrics:
Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?
Songwriters: Paul Mccartney
Ebony and Ivory lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Condemning others who don’t sing your tune serves no purpose. Harmony does not occur when everyone sings the same note; no, it occurs when each person sings their own note in a beautifully sung melody. We don’t all have to agree, but there is no need to be disagreeable either.
Inspired by these songs, here is my challenge. For a period of 30 days, starting on July 15th and ending on August 15th will you commit to the following?
- You will not post any divisive words on social media.
- You will not speak words of division in any social gatherings or among friends.
- You will make an extra effort to share and post words that unite people together and bring peace.
- You will try to perform one act of random kindness each day.
- Simply stated, you will make no divisive comments for 30 days
Watch and share the challenge video
Satan is the father of division. Let’s deny him his satisfaction of watching us snipe at one another.
We can do this. Let’s tone down the heat. Let’s lead the way. Commit to passing this challenge along to others by emailing and posting the PEACE TRAIN – HARMONY CHALLENGE everywhere you can. Share this with local and national media outlets. Tell your friends and neighbors. Shout it from the mountain tops.
What might these 30 days of peace look like? Let’s all jump on board the peace train and find out.
Heavenly Father help me to never forget that your Son Jesus taught us, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Amen!
A bonus song for peace-Susan Boyle singing Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
Take just a moment to let me know that you are joining the challenge and keep me updated on your progress by commenting below.
- Choosing To Be Orphans - June 4, 2023
- Competing Voices - May 28, 2023
- Sharing His Kingship - May 21, 2023
I would like to share with your audience something my 6 year old granddaughter wrote this past Saturday. She was running her fingers across some guitar strings. As she was just sitting on the couch, she kept singing these words. “We are all on BIG heart, no matter what color of your skin or the color of your hair. We are all one BIG heart. You should be thankful and great full for what you have. We are all on BIG heart”. I asked her where did you hear that from? The answer I received, was a proud Grandfather moment. “I just hear d it in my head”. If we don’t think our children are listening and watching what we are doing. We gravely mistaken. Again thank you for the articles you share with us the “broken”.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!
Thank you Brian for putting out this awesome Challenge. I accept and will pray that God will help me keep it and spread it to as many person as I can. God continue to Bless you.
Brian: I accept the challenge. Thank you for stimulating this type of creativity. Regards!
Thank you for the challenge.
I will: 1) do my best to live up to the challenge and 2) spread word of this challenge to others.
I will take your challenge and work hard to share nothing but positivity & goodness for the 30 days that will with God’s grace become a wonderful habit!
Beautiful message. I will do my very best to accept your challenge! God bless!!
Welcome aboard the peace train!
Thank you for reminding us that we are called to be peacemakers. I will promise to do my best to not say, post, or write anything that attacks other people in the next 30 days and to listen to what others who think differently from me have to say. I can not pledge to not say anything divisive because the truth itself is often divisive. Thanks for your inspiration, Jim
Great idea. We all need to focus on peace and remove any obstacles in ourselves so we are the solution and not the problem. I pledge to do the 30 day challenge and hopefully by then it will be a norm and not a challenge anymore.
Welcome aboard the peace train!
Thanks for your post. The problem often happens because each side of an issue beleives they have truth on their side and they act without Christ-like love towards the person who beleives differently. This is especially true when it comes to religion. People fight each other to the bitter end all beleiving they are in sole posession of the truth. As Christians we cannot not even agree among ourselves when it comes to issues of truth. So I thought at least for 30 days we could agree to be civil and strive for peace. Thanks for you rinput. Your posts are always thought provoking.
Committed to your Peace & Harmony message. A choice I will make anew each day. With God at the Center we can all come together.
Praying for peace,
Michael T ?
Welcome aboard the peace train!
I’ll do my best, Brian!
Peace be with you, Brian, Let their be peace on Earth a peace that was ment to be…amen
Peace be with you.I follow you every week.thank you.
Welcome aboard the peace train!
Thank you for these weekly devotions. I will jump on the Peace Train & invite others!
Welcome on board!
Thank you for this beautifully heartfelt reflection on our world!
I try to live this but often fail, especially at seizing opportunities for random acts of kindness.
Your challenge is accepted and shared in email and on Facebook.
Don’t forget about “Love Train” by the O’Jays. I pray everyone gets on board and lets it ride!
Thanks for the reminder…How could I possibly forget the O’Jays and Love Train……lol
I shall take your challenge. I will post it on my facebook and see how many others will also take it.
I posted the challenge and got 16 responses so far. 10 have accepted the challenge, 4 have shared it and two have said they will try after the election on Nov 3. I guess they missed the point. You have been an inspiration for me for a couple years and I thank you. Divine Mercy works in many ways.