Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Teens are at the beach or partying at friends’ houses. Families are travelling in the car or at the mall escaping the heat. But who might have time to help the homeless receive water and nourishment preventing dehydration and untimely deaths?
“O Lord, through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2
But we give praise to God! This past weekend, Christ who lives in the homeless received rescue from unlikely heroes; many CHILDREN (photos), their moms and dads made life a little better for hot, thirsty and starving homeless people, 70,000 + in Southern California and beyond. It was an outpouring of love in our city streets, under bridges and in parks ranging from central Ventura to Chinatown and downtown Los Angeles.
“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
Enjoy the pictures from the weekend!
Here is the end of summer schedule to join up serving the homeless with the Servants of the Father of Mercy . . .
1. Wednesday/Thursday, August 26/27, 5:30pm, seal fresh Noah’s Bagels in 1 quart zipper bags. (Ventura)
2. Friday, August 28, 9:30am, make sack snack lunches for the homeless. (Ventura)
3. Friday, August 28, 6pm to 9pm, 8th annual Servants of the Father of Mercy anniversary picnic celebration, Youth & Family Night! (Ventura)
4. Saturday, August 29, 8:30am, StreetReach, delivery to the homeless food, water, clothing, rosaries and more. (Ventura/Los Angeles)
5. Every Sunday, 2pm to 4pm, homeless planning meeting, lunch and prayer. (Ventura)
Join us soon and gain some graces to go direct to heaven!_______________
Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
Monday, July 20, 2015
How many close friends do you have?
Well, it turns out, Americans' lists of close friends has shrunk down to two, reduced from three soul mates 25 years ago, a new study suggests.
But how much floor space do you live in?
The National Association of Home Builders reports that the median size for a new single family home in 2003 was about 2,070 square feet. Family size has decreased almost 25 percent over the past 30 years; however the size of new houses has increased about 50 percent, to slightly more than 2,300 square feet today, up from 1,500 square feet in the 1990s.
It turns out that quite possibly all signs point to the fact that Americans have egregiously evolved over the past 20 years of the technology revolution. In spite of Facebook and Twitter we have less focus on friends and more emphasis on space, materialism and collecting things.
In Matthew 6:19, Jesus said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”
1 Timothy 6:7 also speaks, “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”
Come, store up treasures in heaven! The next Servants of the Father of Mercy homeless deliveries of food, water, clothing, rosaries and supplies to the 70,000 + homeless living in Southern California is . . .
Friday, July 24th, 9:30am, Ventura, make lunch bags
Saturday, July 25th, 8:30am, Ventura, StreetReach
Saturday, July 25th, 11:00am, Los Angeles, StreetReach_______________
Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Matthew 19 and Luke 18 the disciples asked in their summer of disappointment, "who then can be saved." It was the summer that Jesus basically said every human being is on the road to hell because even our hearts present us a murderers and thieves and adulterers before God. Jesus condemned 100% of us! So why do we judge others when we are all condemned anyways?
Paul tells the same story as Jesus in Romans 7 - 9. The law exists for only one reason - to condemn everyone. There is no other purpose to the law - even Jesus became sin who knew no sin. If you live on this earth, you will violate laws - Jesus, God himself knows that he violated laws while he was here.
But Paul encourages us by saying the 100% condemnation is so that all may be 100% condemned to also receive mercy from God.
In the end we should not point out other people's sins - there is no "ultimate" sin. Bishop Sheen spoke at a prison in the 1960s and said "the only difference between you and me is that you got caught."
Ultimately, this life is a test of each person's mercy. How merciful can you be to the next guy? That will determine who goes to heaven.
Jesus verified this test in the parable of the wicked servant - here a guy (who represents all of us) was forgiven a BIG debt and shown much mercy but goes out and condemns the little guy for a small $5 debt.
This is difficult to understand, but James in Chapter 2 calls it the law of mercy, the law of "freedom."
In the end you don't wind up in hell just because of sin - you go there because of sin AND being unmerciful. However merciful sinners go to heaven, we call them saints.
Jesus verifies this when he said, "Blessed are the merciful, they shall receive mercy!"
Don't ever judge others Jesus tells us - he means that - just be merciful._______________
Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
On this feast day of St. Benedict, we send prayers and blessings to all the Servants of the Father of Mercy trying in their hearts to follow the Holy Rule of St. Benedict on our team and to all our brothers and sisters doing the same, Prince of Peace Abbey and those named Benedict!
CHAPTER III OF THE HOLY RULE OF ST. BENEDICTThe Instruments of Good Works
1. In the first place to love the Lord God with the whole heart, the whole soul, the whole strength. Then, one's neighbor as one's self (Mt 22:37-39; Mk 12:30-31; Lk 10:27).
2. Not to kill.
3. Not to commit adultery.
4. Not to steal.
5. Not to covet (Rom 13:9).
6. Not to bear false witness (Mt 19:18; Mk 10:19; Lk 18:20).
7. To honor all men (1 Pt 2:17).
8. And what one would not have done to himself, not to do to another (Tob 4:16; Mt 7:12; Lk 6:31).
9. To deny one's self in order to follow Christ (Mt 16:24; Lk 9:23).
10. To chastise the body (1 Cor 9:27).
11. Not to seek after pleasures.
12. To love fasting.
13. To relieve the poor.
14. To clothe the naked.
15. To visit the sick (Mt 25:36).
16. To bury the dead.
17. To visit the prisoner.
18. To help in trouble.
19. To console the sorrowing.
20. To hold one's self detached from worldly ways.
21. To prefer nothing to the love of Christ.
22. Not to give way to anger.
23. Not to foster a desire for revenge.
24. Not to entertain deceit in the heart.
25. Not to make a false peace.
26. Not to forsake charity.
27. Not to swear, lest perchance one swear falsely.
28. To speak the truth with heart and tongue.
29. Not to return evil for evil (1 Thes 5:15; 1 Pt 3:9).
30. To do no injury and even patiently to bear the injury done us.
31. To love one's enemies (Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27).
32. Not to curse them that curse us, but rather to bless them.
33. To bear persecution for justice sake (Mt 5:10).
34. Not to be proud.
35. Not to be given too much wine (Ti 1:7; 1 Tm 3:3).
36. Not to be an overeater.
37. Not to be slothful (Rom 12:11).
38. Not to be a murmurer.
39. Not to be a critic.
40. To put one's trust in God.
41. To refer what good one sees in himself, not to self, but to God. But as to any evil in himself, let him be convinced that it is his own and charge it to himself.
42. To fear the Day of Judgment.
43. To be in dread of hell.
44. To desire eternal life with all spiritual longing.
45. To keep death before one's eyes daily.
46. To keep a constant watch over the actions of our life.
47. To hold as certain that God sees us everything we do everywhere.
48. To dash at once to Christ with the evil thoughts which rise in one's heart, and disclose them to one’s spiritual director.
49. To guard one's tongue against bad and wicked speech.
50. Not to love much speaking.
51. Not to speak useless words and such as to rob conversation and provoke laughter that distracts. Not to love much boisterous laughter.
52. To listen willingly to holy reading.
53. To apply one's self often to personal prayer.
54. To confess one's past sins to God daily in prayer with sighs and tears, and to amend them for the future.
55. Not to fulfill the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16).
56. To hate one's own will.
57. To obey the commands of the Servant Leader in all things, even though he himself (which Heaven forbid) act otherwise.
58. Not to desire to be called holy before one is; but to be holy first, that one may be truly so called.
59. To fulfill daily the commandments of God by works.
60. To love chastity.
61. To hate no one.
62. Not to be jealous; not to entertain envy.
63. Not to love strife.
64. Not to love pride.
65. To honor the aged.
66. To love the younger.
76. To pray for one's enemies in the love of Christ.
77. To make peace with an adversary before the setting of the sun.
78. And never to despair of God's mercy._______________
Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrotherGaryJoseph
Sunday, July 5, 2015
"In America today, for some reason, we have both Catholic and Protestant mainstream “majority-type sinners,” (divorce, remarriage, living together, liars, cheaters, etc..) who apparently do not see the log that is in their own eye. All the while they hate off-the-path “minority-type sinners” – individuals who are struggling with a very unique brand of addictions, sins, problems, weaknesses and issues (gays, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc.). “Majority-type sinners” seem to be concerned about removing the spec from others’ eyes while ignoring their own contradictions and brokenness. Jesus, undeniably, condemns religious hypocritical behavior of this sort and frequently speaks out against it in the Gospels." Cf. Matthew 23 From "Proof of the Afterlife", 2010, Mercy Books, Bro. Gary Joseph, Founder, Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
What would Jesus say about same-sex marriage?
By Randall Balmer
Amid all of the overheated rhetoric surrounding the Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriages across the nation, evangelicals have alternated between defiance and a kind of martyrdom.."It's time to be a light in these dark times," Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, said. Franklin Graham declared that the court was "endorsing sin" and that God's "decisions are not subject to review or revision by any man-made court."
Echoing many other conservatives, Graham went on to say that churches and others who oppose same-sex marriage would be subject to discrimination and persecution. A Fox commentator declared that gay rights now trump religious liberty. And R. Albert Mohler of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary warned that "the majority in this decision has placed every religious institution in legal jeopardy if that institution intends to uphold its theological convictions limiting marriage to the union of a man and a woman."Evangelicals like to present their position as biblical and therefore immutable. They want us to believe that they have never before adjusted to shifting public sentiments on sexuality and marriage. That is not so.
Divorce — and especially divorce and remarriage — was once such an issue, an issue about which evangelicals would brook no compromise. But evangelicals eventually reconfigured their preaching and adapted just fine to changing historical circumstances.
When I was growing up within the evangelical subculture in the 1960s, divorce was roundly condemned by evangelicals. Jesus, after all, was pretty clear on the issue. "And I say to you," he told the Pharisees, "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery."Anyone who was divorced was ostracized in evangelical circles. In some congregations, membership was rescinded, and at the very least the divorcee felt marginalized. Any evangelical leader who divorced his spouse could expect to look for a different job.
Evangelical culture began to change in the mid-to-late 1970s, when the divorce rate among evangelicals approached that of the larger population. Some studies even suggested that the divorce rate among evangelicals was higher than average, although that claim was a trifle misleading since evangelicals were more likely to marry in the first place.
The ringing denunciations of divorce emanating from evangelical pulpits abated. No one outright supported divorce, but it became less and less of an issue as pastors found it more and more difficult to judge individuals within their own congregations — or their own families.
Forced to acknowledge the reality of divorce close to home, pastors responded with compassion rather than condemnation; the words of Jesus were treated as an ideal rather than a mandate. Megachurches provided support groups for divorcees and then, later, those groups functioned for many as the evangelical equivalent of singles clubs.Not long ago I surveyed the pages of Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism and a bellwether of evangelical sentiments. Condemnations of divorce, which had been a regular feature in the 1970s, ceased almost entirely after 1980.
More telling, the "family values" movement, which took off in 1980, largely ignored this once crucial subject. Jerry Falwell and other conservative preachers attacked abortion, feminism and homosexuality, but they rarely mentioned divorce.What happened? In a word (or two words): Ronald Reagan. When leaders of the religious right decided to embrace Reagan as their political messiah, they had to swallow hard.
Not only was Reagan divorced, he was divorced and remarried, a clear violation of biblical teaching. As governor of California, moreover, Reagan signed the nation's first no-fault divorce law in 1969. Having cast their lot with Reagan in the 1980 election, evangelical denunciations of divorce all but disappeared.If evangelicals can alter their attitudes toward divorce, they can do likewise with homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Indeed, views may soften as LGBT evangelicals come out of the closet and, like divorcees, make their communities confront their existence.
Censure is much easier to pull off in the abstract than face to face. Time and again throughout his ministry, Jesus dealt with people one on one, and demonstrated the principle that love always trumps law, that acceptance is superior to condemnation. That is the radical — and transformative — power of the gospel.Franklin Graham, Al Mohler and other evangelical leaders claim to articulate biblical principles relating to sexuality and marriage. If so, they should start with divorce; Jesus was much clearer on that issue than he was about homosexuality, about which he said nothing whatsoever.
If, however, they truly seek to be biblical in the much broader sense of following Jesus, I invite them to exercise the Christian ethic of love unstintingly. Should they require a proof text, allow me to suggest Matthew 7:1, from the Sermon on the Mount: "Judge not, that you be not judged.”_______________
Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
Friday, July 3, 2015
PSALM 41"Blessed is he who considers the poor!
The Lord delivers him in the day of trouble;
"The Lord protects him and keeps him alive;
he is called blessed in the land;
the Lord will not give him up to the will of his enemies.
"The Lord sustains him on his sickbed;
in his illness he is healed of all his infirmities."
Join the Servants of the Father of Mercy team today delivering food, water, clothing, shoes, socks, soaps and more to the 70,000 + homeless in So Cal! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - request an application . . .________________________________
SALMO 41"Feliz quien atiende al desvalido,
el Señor lo salvará en el día adverso.
"El Señor lo protegerá,
le hará vivir feliz en esta tierra
y no lo dejará a merced del enemigo.
"El Señor lo conforta en el lecho del dolor,
le devuelve la salud si está postrado."
Thursday, July 2, 2015
For human life to form out of the early universe, Paul Davies, a well-known physicist, astronomer and author calculates the odds at less than 1 chance in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. That is the equivalent of one person winning over a thousand consecutive mega-million dollar lottery jackpots after purchasing only a single ticket for each. Photo - The Sombrero Galaxy