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A MESSAGE FROM GOD ON NEWTOWN
Sunday Sermon ^ | 12/16/2012 | Michael Wrenn

Posted on 12/16/2012 6:35:01 PM PST by evangmlw

Pastor gives fifteen minutes of insight to what is happening and why these things are happening in our society. ***** Warning ***** Fasten your seatbelt before viewing.


TOPICS: Current Events
KEYWORDS: god; guncontrol; murder; newtown; secondamendment; shootings

1 posted on 12/16/2012 6:35:12 PM PST by evangmlw
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To: evangmlw

God must have removed the video.....


2 posted on 12/16/2012 6:38:16 PM PST by Sporke (USS Iowa BB-61)
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To: evangmlw

Can you check the link and post as a comment.....I need some inspiration right now...THX


3 posted on 12/16/2012 6:43:39 PM PST by Lowell1775
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To: evangmlw

Hm, you need the link of the video, not the link to “uploads”... after all, I haven’t uploaded the video.


4 posted on 12/16/2012 6:43:59 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: evangmlw
While everyone is waiting they can read this excellent post from the Archdiocese of Washington blog.

Archdiocese of Washington

Given recent circumstances and events, having Gaudete (rejoice) Sunday is a bit inconvenient this year. And yet the Liturgical calendar transcends time and current contexts and summons us beyond the merely present to the eternal realities of God.

Nevertheless I must say that I changed my approach to this Sunday based on the current violence and murder in Connecticut. St. Paul’s second reading has moved to the forefront ahead of the Gospel and I would like to focus attention here. For St. Paul does not just say “rejoice,” he says how.

We tend in modern times to link our notions of happiness and inner well-being to external circumstances and happenstance. And thus happiness will be found when the things of this world are arranged in the way and quantity we like. If we just get enough money and creature comforts, we will be happy and have a better sense of mental well being.

And yet, it remains true that many can endure difficult external circumstances and yet remain inwardly content, happy and optimistic. Further, many who have much are still not content and are beset with great mental anguish, anxiety and unhappiness. Ultimately happiness is not about happenstance or circumstances, it is an inside job.

St. Paul says,

For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Phil 4:11-12)

Interesting, Paul wrote theses words, and the words of today’s Second reading from Jail. So its not a bunch of slogans.

In today’s second reading he tells us the “secret” to this contentedness, to joy and mental well-being whatever the circumstances. He gives a kind of five point plan, that, if we work it, will set the stage for a deeper, inner peace, a sense of mental well-being and contentedness not easily affected by external circumstances. Let’s review what St. Paul has to say as a kind of five-point plan. (I am indebted to Rev. Adrian Rogers for the alliterated list, though the substance is my own reflection).

Here is the text of St. Paul’s five point plan for better mental health. And then we look to each point.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your moderateness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:4-9)

Note that the final verse is not in today’s liturgical proclamation, but it seems well to include it in these reflections, so I do.

Step I. Rejoice in the Presence of the Lord - The text says, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your moderateness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Of supreme importance in the Christian life is to request, receive and cultivate the gift of the presence of the Lord. We are too easily turned inward and forgetful of God’s presence. To become more consciously and stably aware of God’s presence is to be filled with joy and peace.

As an aside, note that the text mentions joy, (χαίρω – Chairoo) but it also mentions moderateness. The Greek word here is ἐπιεικὲς (epieikes) which means to be gentle, mild, forbearing, fair, reasonable, or moderate. Epieíkeia relaxes unnecessary strictness in favor of gentleness whenever possible. Such an attitude is common when one is joyful and unafraid. By contrast, an unbending and unyielding attitude often bespeaks fear.

There are of course times to insist on precision and to not easily give way. But often there is room for some leeway and the assumption of good will. A serene mind and spirit which are the gift of the presence of God can often allow for some leeway and presume good will. There is an increasing ability to allow things to unfold rather than to control and manipulate conversations and outcomes and to win on every point.

But the central point is, as we become more aware of God’s presence and thus serene and less conflicted within, we no longer need to shout or win in every moment and on every point. We insist on what is true, but are able to express ourselves more moderately and serenely. We are able to stay in the conversation and are content to sow seeds rather than insist on reaping every harvest of victory.

Cultivating a joyful sense of the presence of God and the serenity and moderateness that are its fruits are a first step toward and sure sign of greater mental health and contentment.

Step II. Rely on the Power of the Lord – The text says – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition…present your requests to God.

There are very few things as destructive to our mental health as worry. Worry is like sand in a machine. It not only hinders the working of the machine, it damages it. But simply being told not to worry isn’t very helpful. In this case St. Paul is not simply saying “Don’t worry.”

Paul has already laid a groundwork for the diminishment of worry in telling us to cultivate a sense of the presence of God. Some years ago when I was a little boy, my Father left for the Vietnam war. For the year he was away, I spent many anxious nights worrying about a lot of things. But when my Father returned my fears went away. Daddy was home, everything is alright.

And for all of us, to the degree that we really experience that God is near, so many of our fear just go away. My own experience is that as my awareness of God’s presence has grown, my anxieties have significantly diminished.

Paul also says, that the power of God is only a prayer away. Here too, I and many can testify that God has a way of working things out. He may not always come when you want him, or handle things exactly as you want, but when I look back over my life, and I think things over, I can truly say that God has made a way for me. And whatever my struggles and disappointments, none of them has ever destroyed me. If anything, they strengthened me.

Whatever it is, take it to the Lord in prayer. And ponder deeply how he has delivered you in the past, made a way out of no way, and drew straight with crooked lines.

Let the Holy Spirit anoint your memory to make you aware of God’s saving power in your life and recall how God has delivered you. These memories give us serenity when we consider how prayer is both effective and an every present source of power.

Antidote - So much worry, which is a kind of mental illness just goes away to the degree that we experience God is both present and that his power is only one prayer away.

And here is the second step to greater mental health, knowing by experience that God can and that God will make a way.

Step III. Remember the Provision of the Lord - The text says, with thanksgiving,

Thanksgiving is a way of disciplining the mind to count our blessings. Why is this important? Because too easily we become negative. Every day ten trillion things go right, and about a half a dozen things go wrong. But what do we tend to focus on? You bet, the half a dozen things that go wrong. This is a form of mental illness that feeds our anxiety and comes from our fallen nature.

But gratitude disciplines our mind to count our blessings. As we do this, we begin to become men and women of hope, and of confidence. Why? Because what you feed grows. If you feed the negative it will grow. If you feed the positive it will grow. And the fact is, God richly blesses us everyday if we will but open our eyes to see it.

Step three is disciplining our fallen minds to see the wider reality of our rich blessings. This heals and gives us us great peace and serene minds.

Step IV. Rest in the Peace of the Lord - And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As we begin to undertake these steps our mental outlook and health improves. Gradually, serenity becomes a deeper and more stable reality for us. The text here says that this serenity will not only be present, it will “guard” or as some translations say “keep” our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. In other words as this serenity grows it screens out the negativity of this world and the demons of discouragement. Having this peace allows us to see the Lord, and seeing the Lord deepens that peace… and the cycle grows and continues!

It has been my experience that the profound anxiety and anger that beset my early years has not only gone away, but also the serenity I now increasingly enjoy makes all that anxiety unlikely to return. I am guarded and protected increasingly by the serenity God gives.

Step V. Reflect on the Plan of the Lord - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.

Maintenance plan – And as this serenity, this sense of well being, this mental health, comes to us, St. Paul finally advises a kind of maintenance plan wherein we intentionally and actively focus our thoughts and attention on what is Godly, true, good and beautiful.

What you feed grows - While it may be true that we need to stay up with the news of the world, be careful of too steady a diet of the 24/7 news cycle. They focus on the bad news, on what is controversial and adversarial. If it bleeds it leads. Too much of that and you’re unsettled before you know it. Limit your portions of this and focus on the greater, better and lasting things of God. Ponder his plan, his truth, his glory, his priorities.

And old song says, More about Jesus would I know, more of his saving mercy show, More of his saving fulness see, more of his love who died for me.

Yes, more about Jesus, less of this world. How can we expect to keep our mental health and serenity on a steady dose of insanity, stinking thinking, wrongful priorities, endless adversity, darkness, chaos and foolishness?

Do you want peace? Reflect on the plan of the Lord for you.

So then, here are some steps to better mental health. It all begins with the practice of the presence of the Lord, calling on his power and being grateful for his providence, savoring his peace which inevitably comes and turning our attention more to the things of God and less to the things of this world.

Here’s to good mental health for us all! In times like these we need to balance our sorrow with the capacity to rejoice in God’s ability to draw good even fro the worst of circumstances.



5 posted on 12/16/2012 7:02:29 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: evangmlw

 

Why again?  Some thoughts on this past week:

 
This has been a very tough week for all of us in this Country.  At both coasts of this land we have heard of senseless tragedies: Oregon and Connecticut. Two young men, deranged shooters, with apparently free access to firearms, chose to inflict chaos upon innocent bystanders.  While both incidents disturb us deeply, yesterday’s incident at a grade school with very young children is especially disturbing.  So many innocents lost and so near the Christmas season of hope and joy.  Words fail us but anger and revenge may overtake us distorting our own necessary clear thinking. 

There is a popular phrase often used in such cases:  “Guns don’t kill people – people kill people.”  Yes, a human being chooses to use the firearm for lethal purposes. Yes, a human being picks up and loads the gun.  But, if there is no gun, no one dies.  So, “Guns do kill people and people choose to use them.”

While the proper use of firearms for appropriate recreation is fine, there is a deeper sense that we need to address the anger and violence in society. The moral framework of religion and a supportive faith community as a regular part of our lives goes a long way towards creating an atmosphere of balance in one’s life.  It’s very hard to know where to begin but a faith-centered respect for human life must be a foundation upon which we stand. 

We have lost respect for human life in this culture and the shock affect of threats against the child in the womb cries out for justice. The great evil of abortion and its tentacles that have touched the mindset of so many throughout society are now bearing painful fruit. Is our legalization of abortion here the reason for this shooting?  Not directly of course but mall shootings and school shootings are a violence which we can see.  The violence of abortion we do not see but its results in the woman and in society are undeniable. Is there a painful lesson we are being taught? It may be good to reflect on this and words from a past Pope.

Our late Holy Father Pope Paul VI, a true voice in the wilderness of his time, still speaks to us 34 yrs after his death. His voice has been called prophetic by some and I do agree. The fallout from his watershed Encyclical, Humane Vitae, warned us of the growth of a pervasive mentality. Four things were named but I think most pertinent in the tragic events of this week, is the first of his list - Infidelity and moral decline.

Paul VI recognized the reality of a contraceptive mentality that would lead to "conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality." Only those with their head in the sand of denial would not admit that marriage, family life, violence, and disrespect for human life, along with a fight for individual free choice at the expense of the common good sound like prophecies fulfilled. We have today a clear "anti-child" policy that is affecting marriages and reproduction particularly in third world countries ruled by dictators who have no regard for their people.

Mental and spiritual health is hard to judge and psychology is not an exact science for we human beings are indeed complex. There is no absolute guarantee that such violence will suddenly stop.  But, I think we need to address the pervasive selfishness in society and a morality that is judged by what’s good for me rather than what’s right for the common good.  We can and must create a culture of life and stop with this pervasive violence in movies and media.  Yes, it does create a culture that violence sells and that in the end, violence is the solution.  Have you seen movie trailers recently?

So we begin with prayer, seeking divine guidance from our God who weeps with us but seems, to our puzzlement at times, to permit such free choice that creates such pain.  Was this senseless shooting God’s will?  Absolutely not! 

Christmas is still on the way.  The Savior came into a world of violence, greed, selfishness, disrespect to be a light shining in darkness.  He has shown us a better way – the higher moral plane which to choose.  God is with us in this time.

For the children:

O God, who know that our hearts
are weighed down by grief
at the death of these young children,
grant that, while we weep for them,
who have departed this life so soon,
we may have faith that they have gained
an eternal home in heaven.

(Roman Missal)
 
Fr. Tim

6 posted on 12/16/2012 7:15:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: evangmlw
Link to actual video.
7 posted on 12/16/2012 7:32:51 PM PST by SubMareener (Save us from Quarterly Freepathons! Become a MONTHLY DONOR!)
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To: evangmlw; a fool in paradise

God on Youtube wearing an ugly pink short sleeve shirt (I hate short sleeve shirts, forgive me Lord!) Who knew?!


8 posted on 12/16/2012 7:35:50 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Salvation
But, if there is no gun, no one dies. So, “Guns do kill people and people choose to use them.”

stupid....and stupid.

9 posted on 12/16/2012 7:38:53 PM PST by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: Salvation
But, if there is no gun, no one dies.

Yeah Fr Tim, that's the way it worked in Rwanda. Idiot!

10 posted on 12/16/2012 7:51:29 PM PST by xone
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To: Revolting cat!

thank you for the insult, I expect no less. they mocked my Master as well, even crucified Him, and His words to me indicated they will likewise hurl their insults at me if I dare to follow Him.


11 posted on 12/16/2012 8:04:14 PM PST by evangmlw
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To: evangmlw

Direct Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6p7wRF1oS0


12 posted on 12/16/2012 8:05:35 PM PST by evangmlw
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To: evangmlw

What insult? Take more care titling your Vanities, and less playing a Christian being fed to lions, OK?!


13 posted on 12/16/2012 8:06:57 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: ZinGirl

Are drugs illegal? Do people still get drugs? Are bombs illegal? Then why do they explode? How well did things go when we instituted prohibition against alcohol? Did people stop drinking? There is already a black market in the gun business. Outlawing guns, especially in this country will never stop people from getting them. It’s more apt to begin another Civil War, which perhaps might be God’s final judgment on America.


14 posted on 12/16/2012 8:10:31 PM PST by evangmlw
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation

I’m surprised the good Fr didn’t read the passage where Cain mowed down Abel with his Glock AK 47 semiautomatic assault rifle with cop killer bullets.


16 posted on 12/16/2012 8:18:27 PM PST by gitmo ( If your theology doesn't become your biography it's useless.)
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To: Revolting cat!

I have no fear of lions, my Master pulled their teeth on the cross. I’m not the average tip to through the tulips preacher who cowers when the lion roars. I generally slap him up side the head, grab him by the tail, and swing him around a few times. If he doesn’t run after that, I take his head off with the sword.


17 posted on 12/16/2012 8:20:02 PM PST by evangmlw
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To: gitmo

I do have a concealed carry, and am generally packing everywhere I go.


18 posted on 12/16/2012 8:21:15 PM PST by evangmlw
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To: evangmlw

Ah, so you’re the preacher hisself. You should have said something earlier. Good rant, I sat through the whole thing. Painfully, I must say, because you were preaching to the choir, saying everything that we already know. But I do understand that some things have to, must be articulated and it’s the preachers’ job to do it.


19 posted on 12/16/2012 8:25:37 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: Revolting cat!; evangmlw

Amen to that. Is this one of those times I should be glad there is no sound on this computer? A message from God? What did the guy say that was from God, and/or has not been said by others? Maybe there was something there? If so -- what?

20 posted on 12/16/2012 8:27:19 PM PST by BlueDragon (I sang Dixie as he died The people just walked on by as I cried...)
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To: Salvation

God is a sovereign God? Where was God when these children were being shot by the devil? Where was God in the election of this muslim scumbag to president. Where is God when the body bags come home? Where is God?


21 posted on 12/16/2012 8:52:30 PM PST by willowdean
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To: willowdean
I invite you to read this thread posted on FR

Where is God At Times Like These? A meditation in the wake of a violent atrocity [Prayer Ping]

22 posted on 12/16/2012 9:05:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: willowdean
God is a sovereign God? Where was God when these children were being shot by the devil? Where was God in the election of this muslim scumbag to president. Where is God when the body bags come home? Where is God?

At the End of Time, Jesus is going to separate the faithful from those who are not, and when he tells each group about being loving/kind (or the absence thereof) both groups ask, and I always read it with a sense of incredulity: "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?" -- He replies that when we did it to "the least of these" that we did it to him.

Then in First John there is a passage, painfully convicting, about those who lack love for the brother-they-have-seen not being able to have love for the God-which-is-unseen.

Perhaps a better question to ask, instead of 'Where is God?', is 'Where was I?'... or perhaps 'Where were you?'
It is certainly safer than accusing the Righteous Almighty of lying (He said he would never leave or forsake; Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5).

23 posted on 12/16/2012 9:59:50 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: willowdean
God is a sovereign God? Where was God when these children were being shot by the devil? Where was God in the election of this muslim scumbag to president. Where is God when the body bags come home? Where is God?

God is right there....however He is very busy taking care of the millions of his babies that Americans willingly and legally abort each year....He is almost as busy trying to figure out what to do with the same sex marriages that we have foisted on Him. He would have a lot more time for things that really need His consideration if He didn't have to spend time worrying about His son's birthday being disrespected and "holidayized". We can't expect Him to do all the important things if we keep forcing Him to continually run down to the police station and bail our sorry butts out of trouble.

24 posted on 12/16/2012 10:03:35 PM PST by terycarl
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To: evangmlw
what is your point? because that was my point, too.

i think you missed that. saying "without guns, no one dies" is stupid.

25 posted on 12/17/2012 4:24:10 AM PST by ZinGirl (kids in college....can't afford a tagline right now)
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To: willowdean

God resides and directs through His people. He is withdrawing from society as people reject Him and his way of life. People choose to either dance with God in freedom, wisdom, peace and love or to dance with evil and oppression, love of things, and hatred (the culture of death).

No in between....you are free to pick one or the other society. In recent years we have titled toward the culture of death. The Rap whore sub-culture, the homo movement and libertarianism had a lot to do with that. Immorality and evil is said to be “tolerant” freedom. Immediate gratification and anti-social behavior is named normal. They are the opposite of God’s design for society.

Christians don’t want to be tagged as “haters” so they have embraced the sexual dehumanization in a big way. And then there is evil’s foundation in our society: adultery and abortion. Evil just needs a door to get in so it can dance.
It’s unleased and doing the jig right now. God’s watching in even more horror than we can see. He sees it act out in all. Try to imagine what He is seeing within this society from His point of view.


26 posted on 12/17/2012 6:24:53 AM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: willowdean
Let's add a few...

Where was God when Cain slew Abel?
Where was God when the Flood destroyed all mankind except Noah and his family?
Where was God when the Isrealites slaughtered the tribes of Canann down to the last infant?
Where was God when Christ died on the cross?

Oh, wait...

My point is, when you answer the above questions, you will also answer your own questions. Perhaps not to your liking. C'est la vie. Cheer up, lad. God's where He was.

27 posted on 12/17/2012 12:57:37 PM PST by jboot (This isn't your father's America. Stay safe and keep your powder dry.)
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To: jboot

Where was He?


28 posted on 12/17/2012 7:34:34 PM PST by willowdean
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To: willowdean

Where He has always been and always will be, governing His creation according to His will. I don’t pretend to know His reasons for doing things, but He promises that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).


29 posted on 12/18/2012 4:25:59 AM PST by jboot (This isn't your father's America. Stay safe and keep your powder dry.)
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