Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Pondering about the Sutherland Springs Mass Shooting...

Today at the Ponder, we've added some items to the web page. We hope you come and visit:

November 07, 2017
Maybe there is a lesson in all this for us, as Christians...
Mike Lutz

There is a part of the Catholic mass called the General Intercession. It’s when prayers are requested for several special needs. After each subject, such as remember those who are sick, who have died, guidance for our church and political leader or peace in the Middle East, the congregation responds with “Lord hear our prayers” or something similar. Tragically I think most of us, me included, feel that once you pray everything is now in God’s hand. We walk out of church and go about blinded by the fact that we have prayed, and God alone will take care of everything. We fail to realize that God’s response to our prayers if for us to act. Maybe we pray for financial wealth. God may be telling us to get a better job, work a 2nd job or cut back on our expenditures. Money will not magically appear. We can’t sit home praying to win the lottery and expect God to buy the ticket for us. We must listen to what God has to say regarding our prayers. He does answer all of them and sometimes we may not like what he is telling us.

Yesterday, while attending mass at St. John the Baptist, during the General Intercession my response to a host of issues to include peace was “Lord hear our prayers” I had no idea that in a few hours a craze individual would enter a church in Sutherland, Texas and kill 26 people while they were also praying to God for peace on Earth. Christianity, thru out the world is under attack and all we’re doing is praying for peace. Why are Christians being murdered thru out the world? What are the perpetrators of these violent acts afraid of? Do they view us as easy targets, knowing we lack the will to fight back?

The Bible if full of passages telling us to love our enemy and to turn the other cheek when confronted with adversity. To be honest, I was trying to find a Bible passage to justify striking back at our enemies and I came upon Revelations 7-9, 7: Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8: but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9: And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

I’m not saying God has spoken to me and we should act like our enemies, but we need not to coward up in a ball of fear. If God himself, one day said he had enough and he waged war against Satan and threw him out of heaven maybe we need to start speaking out and tell those who want to harm us, we also had enough.

November 07, 2017
Fudge Statement on Shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas
Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH, 11th)

“My heart breaks for the victims and their families in Sutherland Springs, Texas. I pray for peace and healing for the congregation of First Baptist Church and the entire Sutherland Springs community. It has been two years since the massacre at Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston and a month after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Congress must do more than offer our thoughts and prayers.”

November 07, 2017
Faso Statement on Tragedy at First Baptist Church in Texas
John Faso, (R-NY, 19th)

Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) released the following statement on the tragic shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas.

Congressman Faso: "The senseless and horrific tragedy in Texas over the weekend is heartbreaking. I am hopeful that the ongoing investigation will lead to answers as to why this individual chose to destroy so many lives and families and we will learn what more can be done to help prevent such tragedies. My heart goes out to the victims and their families."

November 07, 2017
Dwight Evans (D PA, 2nd)

My heart is heavy and full of sadness for the families and friends of the victims in today's horrific massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas. As a Congress, it's our job to keep our nation safe and secure. We grieve with the people of Texas, and during our mourning we must stand with them to fight for and pass common sense gun reform. We cannot let another tragedy happen on our watch.

November 07, 2017
Esty Statement on Mass Shooting in Sutherland Springs
Elizabeth Esty (D-CT, 5th)

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) has released the following statement in response to the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the second mass shooting in the past five weeks. The killing, which happened just 35 days after a mass shooter fired on a country music concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more, is the fifth-deadliest in modern American history:

“Our hearts are broken once again with the news from Texas tonight. It’s become increasingly clear that we have two choices: accept this senseless carnage as the new normal in our society, or stand as Americans against the force of the corporate gun lobby to prevent future tragedies. I’m ready to work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who will help to end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. I hope that responsible gun owners throughout our country will join me to find a better way forward and keep families safe.”

Esty, who represents Newtown, Connecticut, is a vice chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

November 07, 2017
Texas Flags Lowered To Half-Staff In Honor Of the Lives Lost In Sutherland Springs
Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Governor Greg Abbott has ordered Texas flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff in honor of those lost in the horrific shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas today. Flags should remain at half-mast through Thursday, November 9, 2017.

"There are no words to describe the pure evil that we witnessed in Sutherland Springs today," said Governor Abbott. "Our hearts are heavy at the anguish in this small town, but in time of tragedy, we see the very best of Texas. May God comfort those who've lost a loved one, and may God heal the hurt in our communities."

November 07, 2017
AG Paxton Statement on Shooting in Sutherland Springs
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Attorney General Ken Paxton gave this statement after receiving news of today's shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas:

“The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with the people of Sutherland Springs as tragic reports come out of First Baptist Church. My office stands ready to assist local law enforcement as needed. Please join Angela and me as we pray for those impacted by this horrific shooting.”