Acts 7:60 (countercultural forgiveness)

20 Apr Acts 7:60 (countercultural forgiveness)

Let’s welcome God today with this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (archive, Facebook), based on Living Faith. Prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers. James 1:22

[Stephen] fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Acts 7:60 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “Stephen demonstrates an extraordinary largeness of heart as he’s being stoned to death. So often we hear people who have been wronged remark that they can forgive but they can never forget. Yet Stephen begs God to not even remember what’s been done against him. This amazing embrace of absolute forgiveness is so countercultural. Loving God, please give us the largeness of heart to forgive as you do.” Sr. Chris Koellhoffer

Pat nuggets:
* Jean Noon shared, “During the Kairos prison retreat 5-11 April, we unraveled a prayer chain that circled the gym…there were many, many tears. The 36 women concluded their weekend with a first step: a sense of unconditional love, forgiveness, hope, and trust. At the beginning of the weekend the women were quite overcome with feelings of worthlessness, emptiness, brokenness, aloneness, and a deep sense of being unlovable. I was personally overwhelmed by the wisdom of so many of the women I met. One told me that she is grateful for her difficult cell-mate because she is teaching her patience. They know that they have choices in each moment: to be open to the lessons that they must/will ultimately learn…or to be closed/resistant, taking them that much longer to learn the lessons that they (and we all) will inevitably learn. Peace be with you! And forgiveness in each moment!”
* Stephanie Kemp shared, “There is so much wonderful ‘spiritual stuff’ available (including the LIFE Group Devotions).” The devotions are concisely written for busy people (snippets, nuggets, links). Thanks to all those who take a few minutes to consume each devotion and share it with others…a really high five!
* Need some Spiritual mojo? Check out this music video: Get Back Up by TobyMac.

Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding devotions or using the Facebook “invite people” link.
* NEW: How can our seemingly little choices have big impacts on our relationship with God? Consider sharing any faith comments on the Facebook page (“like” button?), to encourage many.

Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, Vatican, Priests for Life
* Reality of abortion (images), #1 cause of death (23% of pregnancies). Expose this unjust peace, setting unborn/parents free.
* NEW: Young People: God Challenges Us All To Be Better.

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together, and close to God (footnotes). Peters family (JP), Prayer to end abortion.
* NEW: Vicki Kerkvliet (hip pain), Pam McGushin (parent’s health), Jean Noon (God’s will for her Mom)

Faith Quote: “May you be leaven for the world, changing it from within, especially by the example of your lives.” John Paul II

Through Christ our Lord,
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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