The Sunday Message

Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is. – Mahatma Gandhi

Last week I wrote about the sudden resignation of the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy. It was reported that Speaker Paul Ryan asked him to resign.

Some people believe it was a prayer that cost Father Conroy his job.

Here is the prayer:

As legislation on taxes continues to be debated this week and next, may all Members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success while others continue to struggle. May their [the Members’] efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.

An aide for Speaker Paul Ryan contends a prayer was not the reason for the dismissal, although the New York Times reports that Father Conroy said that the speaker told him, “Padre, you just got to stay out of politics.”

The good news is that Father Conroy is back!

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The Sunday Message

When religion and politics ride in the same cart, the whirlwind follows. – Frank Herbert

A story that received a little attention in media caught my attention this week. It was about Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, the U.S. House Chaplain.

The New York Times reported it this way:

The chaplain of the House said on Thursday that he was blindsided when Speaker Paul D. Ryan asked him to resign two weeks ago, a request that he complied with but was never given a reason for.

The sudden resignation of the chaplain, the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, shocked members of both parties. He had served in the role since he was nominated in 2011 by Speaker John A. Boehner, a fellow Catholic. In an interview, Father Conroy was categorical: His departure was not voluntary.
“I was asked to resign, that is clear,” Father Conroy said. As for why, he added, “that is unclear.”

Some people believe it was a prayer that cost Father Conroy his job. A prayer!

Here is the prayer:

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The Sunday Message

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:5-6 (NIV)

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. -1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)

You may have heard the story of Joe Kennedy, a Washington state high school football coach who took a knee on the 50-yard line and prayed after football games.

According to several articles including this one from Fox News, a federal court has ruled that violated the U.S. Constitution and Kennedy lost his job as an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in 2015 after the school district suspended him for his post-game prayers.

Kennedy sued and accused the school of violating his free speech. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the district’s suspension was justified.

If you have followed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals very much then you probably know their rulings are overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court often.

We’ll see if Kennedy appeals to the highest court or not.

I’m somewhat torn on this issue. I think Kennedy has a right to pray as long as he is not forcing his players to participate. But then, he is the coach and may unknowingly exert influence on his players to participate.

When I played high school football, we recited “The Lord’s Prayer” before each game. I doubt that is allowed these days.

In fact, in looking back there are a lot of things we don’t allow any more. That does not mean we are better off…


The Sunday Message

Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I am not a great prayer warrior like some folks I know, but I do pray. I sometimes find myself praying when I need something.

For example just the other day a drain in my home was clogged. I worked on it with my plunger and it was not draining. I thought I might have to call a plumber. I tried one more thing and just as I was about to do it, I said a prayer out loud – something like, “Lord, please help me fix this drain.”

I plunged it one more time and the sucking sound of the water draining made me smile and I quickly thanked God that it was working.

That’s just one example of the many times that I feel God helped me with my small problems.

God can help you – so start praying today and thanking God for your blessings. Ask him to help you with your problems or just to help you with the stress in your daily life. Start each day thanking God for giving you another wonderful day!

Have a great week!


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The Sunday Message

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people…1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)

It’s kind of weird, but every so often when I wake up in the morning a name pops into my mind, and I get the urge to pray for them. It could be a family member or friend or someone or some group that has suffered a tragedy.

I believe it’s God’s little way of prompting me to pray for others. I like that. I try to be obedient.

You should try it!

The other day a friend’s name came to mind who is a pastor of a church in another state. So I prayed for him and his wife. Little did I know that he and his wife were facing some difficult times in their church.

I have written a 1,200-word commentary about the situation, but I decided to hold off on publishing my thoughts on the matter for the time-being.

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (NIV)

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The Sunday Message

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

It’s pretty normal when there’s a tragedy to say or maybe even post on Twitter or Facebook that our “thoughts and prayers” are with (or go out to) those affected.

I’m guilty of saying and writing it. I’m guilty of asking God to comfort those in the situation.

That’s what Christians do. It’s what we believe.

That does not mean that is all that should be done.

After the mass shooting in California this week, the New York Daily News posted a message on their front page that stated, “God Isn’t Fixing This.” See it HERE.

I don’t think they know the power of my God.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut posted the following message on Twitter after the shooting in California:

Your “thoughts” should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your “prayers” should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.

Murphy represents Connecticut where the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred in Newtown, Connecticut. That’s where 20 children and 6 adult staff members were killed. Although that mass shooting happened in 2012, I still find it hard to believe that someone would kill children. I find it hard to believe that someone could walk into a room and start shooting people – people that they don’t even know.

That evil hatred and killing breaks my heart.

Murphy is partially right in his Twitter statement. We should all come together to take steps (whatever they might be) to stop the carnage.

But Murphy is partially wrong about our prayers being “for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.”

We should always pray. We all fall short on the Christianity scale so we should pray to be better Christians. We should pray that our country finds a way to stop the senseless killings and that we respect life more.

We need more prayer.

Our religious leaders from all faiths should take a day to do nothing but pray for our country. We should open the churches across the nation for people to stop in and pray for our country. Every church during their services should devote time to pray for our country. There’s evil lurking in every corner. Prayer can help.

I prayed for those affected by the San Bernardino shooting. I prayed for those affected by the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado. I prayed for our President and Congress. I pray for our first responders. I pray for our military.

The truth is I don’t pray as much as I should.

We need a prayer revival all across the fruited plains. God can fix this…

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The Sunday Message

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18 (NIV)

Your job today is to take a moment to say a prayer for the folks in Paris, France. Please pray for the leaders in France as well as the first responders and those who are working to protect the citizens in France. #PrayersForParis

We should also be praying for our leaders – like our President – and those who protect us here in the USA. I don’t think there are too many people who can fathom how much a toll it takes on our leaders who protect us and keep us safe.

May God bless them all.

The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. – Proverbs 15:29 (NIV)

> #PrayersForParis <