30 Nov Isaiah 2:3 (Advent, Bella, ID)
Posted on Sunday 30 November, 2008
Welcome God every morning before your work
by taking ~5 min to read this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (life-devotions.blogspot.com
), which has snippets from Living Faith (livingfaith.com
). All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Come let us climb the Lord’s mountain…That He may instruct us in His ways, and we may walk in His paths. Isaiah 2:3
Living Faith snippets: “An eagerness for learning and a craving for wisdom [God] is portrayed in the hearts of these pilgrims. The image of changing all weapons of war into tools for service and peace is indeed uplifting. Let us reflect on ways we can take our sword-like qualities and change them into peacekeeping qualities. How would our living conditions improve if we could change all of our complaints to gratitude, our bitterness to compassion, our envy to affirmation, our indifference to love? How would our lives be transformed if all negativity would soften into encouragement and fear to trust? [We] already know the answer to these questions. Meditate on these truths.” by Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr
* Jesus’ Christmas (birthday) List
: Aaron Ferrie shared this great 2.5 min video on keeping Christ in Christmas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVqqj1v-ZBU
). Christmas is Jesus’ birthday party. This is how we give Jesus a birthday present…”whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25:40). The true meaning of Christmas is to share our gifts (time, talent, treasure) with those in dire need of “daily bread” and love…feed children (http://www.compassion.com/
), serve homeless, visit homebound & prisoners, write injured & deployed soldiers, help unemployed, help crisis pregnancies, etc (what else?
). For our adult & child family members who don’t need material gifts, consider giving them a nice hand written card with a gift certificate for spending time with you…presence (vs presents) is more valuable to relationships: lunch, sporting event, church/pray, hiking, fishing, etc (what else?
). Give the gift funds you saved (from presence vs presents) to the needy. Consider giving to the needy in the name of a family member (as a gift). Consider asking family members to donate your gifts (funds) to the needy. Consider pooling gift funds with immediate/extended family members and give to the needy…God’s work brings family closer together! Other ideas on how we can keep Christ in Advent/Christmas?
* Bella movie: Per Melissa McBride’s recent reminder/recommendation, we rented the ProLife movie “Bella” last week. This movie did a fantastic job of putting abortion in perspective by bringing two people together who were wrestling with the sanctity of life. One accidentally killed a little girl (~4 yrs old) with his car, which caused him huge suffering. He worked with a woman who was considering an abortion to kill her very little girl (a few wks past conception). He reached out with a loving friendship (made sacrifices) to help open her mind, heart, and soul to the sanctity of life and evil of abortion…thereby saving her daughter’s life (Bella) and replacing her own suffering with joy! The best indicators for real love are service and sacrifice.
Christian ID: How would unbelievers recognize a Christian in the world? By our love! Let’s share things we can do to glorify God and love neighbor.
(NEW) Pastor Don Bird shared: “Whenever I see Christian “ID”, I am reminded of Freud’s classifications of the id, ego, and superego. According to Freud, the id is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy that works to satisfy…those unconscious drives that help us survive and meet our own needs. Should not our faith, our Christianity, our spirituality, be so in-grained within us that it becomes the very thing that drives us? When our Christian ID takes over we respond differently, act differently, and pursue our needs and meet the needs of others differently. When we are troubled, we turn to prayer instead of worry. When we are angered, we turn to mercy instead of revenge. When we despair, we live in the hope of Jesus instead of wallowing in the mire of our own existence. When someone speaks poorly of us, we respond in silence instead of gossip. When we are confronted with hate, we respond in love. When our Christian ID becomes the driving energy in our lives, Jesus is shared in a real and evident way. May we continue to pray that our Freudian id does not drive us to meet our own needs and cause us to look selfishly at the world, but that our Christian ID leads us to be the hands, feet, and voice of Christ in our world today!” http://pastordonbird.blogspot.com/
Our Prayers: Prayer to End Abortion
, chastity, our enemies, our troops, natural disasters, depression/ despair, prisoners, ProLife politicians, loss of loved ones, lack of faith, illnesses/injuries, Joe Castle (medical concerns), Matt Kayser (family of Jesse Alne)*
NEW: Rob Ouellette (Jeff, Arleen, Ramona, Pat)
Faith quote: “If you only want to have more and more — if your idol is profit and pleasure — remember that one’s value is not measured by what one has, but by what one is!” Pope John Paul II
Through Christ for ProLife,
* Prayer: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, thereby changing us & helping others. Wayne Watson lyrics, “When God’s people pray, there is hope reborn, there is sin forgiven, and miracles you can’t explain await!” ‘If you pray that God will move a mountain and He doesn’t, assume Christ wants you to climb it instead & see Him.’
* Fasting: Let’s fast from things that takes our eyes off Jesus (selfishness, bitterness, being so critical, impatience, judgment, 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 lie as you wish’ Blessed Mother Teresa.
* Evangelization: Let’s make room for unbelievers (be a friend, make a friend, lead 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.
Let’s joyfully live out the Good News and gladly tell others about it (Mark 16:15)!
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