1 Kings 8:12 (don’t be afraid of the dark)

08 Feb 1 Kings 8:12 (don’t be afraid of the dark)

Let’s welcome God today by reflecting on this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (website, Facebook), based on Living Faith. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:17

Then Solomon said, “The Lord intends to dwell in the dark cloud.” 1 Kings 8:12 (full readings)

Living Faith Snippets: “Living faith in the light is lovely. We join hands and marvel at the miracles and joy found in community ministries and in public celebrations of baptism, marriage and the Eucharist. But God also is there in the dark cloud, as Solomon noted when the ark of the covenant was brought to the new temple. Living faith in the darkness of crisis and struggle and uncertainty can be profound, for what we learn there moves us closer to the light.” by Melanie Rigney

Pat’s Nuggets: May the Peace of Christ be with the LIFE Group today and always!
* Today’s snippets about darkness reminded me of the song “Here I Am” by Tom Booth (listen/lyrics): “I am here in the midst of every trial. I am here in the face of despair. I am here when pardoning your brother. Here I am, I am here.”
* Pam Hourigan shared on our Facebook Group: “I have always taught my kids (including those in my girl scout troops, RE classes, etc) to keep your eyes open everywhere they go for those that look like they need to see the face of Christ…and then give them what they need, even if it is only a small way. Small ways add up, and you might just get an incredible friend in return…Some of the most interesting people I have met in my life were those I just took the time to listen to!”
* Thanks for sharing our LIFE Group with others…new members include Darin Berndt, Joe Hayes, Brian Christiansen, Catherine Jurgensen…welcome!

Faith Challenges:
* Let’s generously invite others to join the LIFE Group by forwarding a devotion or using our Facebook Group “invite people to join” link.
* NEW: To encourage others to reflect on the devotions, consider “liking”/commenting or sharing a “God-sighting” on our Facebook Group.

Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, 40 Days for Life, Vatican, American Family, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images), #1 cause of death in America (23% of pregnancies). Let’s courageously share ProLife Truth to create social tension for exposing abortion’s unjust peace, rebuilding a Culture of Life for setting the unborn (and parents) free!
* NEW: “Planned Parenthood’s counter commercial to the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad is glaringly missing mention of one crucial person. The unborn child does not exist for “pro-choicers”, nor do the large numbers of women hurt from making this often coerced and seriously uninformed and deadly “choice”.” Steve Jalsevac (article with PP counter ad)

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together…and closer to God. See prayer/fasting footnotes.
* Prayer to end abortion, Peters family (JP), Haitian earthquake victims
* NEW: Impacting some of the poorest counties in the US, the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation (SD) had an ice storm/blizzard that toppled thousands of power lines and caused water pipes to freeze/burst, article.
* NEW: “That by means of sincere search for the truth scholars and intellectuals may arrive at an understanding of the one true God. That the Church, aware of her own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim His Gospel to all peoples.” Pope Benedict

Feast Day (St. Jerome Emiliani): Patron saint of abandoned children and orphans.

Faith Quotes:
* “You will get to know God truly and personally only through prayer. What is needed is that you talk to God, and listen to God.” John Paul II
* “Let your heart be glad, always glad in the Lord, so to shine like stars in the darkness of the night.” Only This I Want by Dan Schutte

In God We Trust,
Phil 4:13

* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. ‘If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead.
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that take our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, pornography, bitterness, criticalness, impatience, gossip, excessive video games, etc) and take on things that fix our eyes on Jesus (selflessness, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, patience, understanding, caring, helping, listening).
* Defend the unborn: ‘Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to death; don’t stand back and let them die’ (Prov 24:11). ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you’ (Jer 1:5). ‘It is a great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish’ (Blessed Mother Teresa).
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead a friend to Christ) and perpetual re-evangelization of self and those near us, by way of daily prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of selfless love, mercy, and service (Matt 28:19).

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