Luke 1:66 (wise people still seek and find Him!)

23 Dec Luke 1:66 (wise people still seek and find Him!)

Let’s welcome God 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

All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him [John the Baptist]. Luke 1:66 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “Like John the Baptist, we can prepare the way for the Lord. In these days before Christmas, as we prepare food and gifts, as we send cards and letters, as we travel or open our doors in welcome, we pour out love into our struggling world. The hand of the Lord is with us.” by Patricia Livingston

Pat’s nuggets: Wise men and women still seek…and find Him! Like Mother Mary, may we always choose life and Jesus…through Him, with Him, in Him. May the miracle of Christ-mas fuel our hopes for 2010…
* A question from Monday’s devotion nuggets: “I was wondering if you could clarify for us Protestants in the group what the Sacrament of Reconciliation is?” The Sacrament of Reconciliation is practiced by at least one Protestant denomination (Missouri Synod Lutheran)…and is rooted in John 20:21-23. Like the apostles, the priest/pastor facilitates real repentance and the receipt of God’s forgiveness/grace. My cadet sponsor, who remarried after her pastor husband passed away, said this Sacrament is a great part of the Catholic faith because “it gets the junk out.” Catholics also believe that forgiveness/grace are attained outside this Sacrament, but the Sacrament is a special tool/gift that helps facilitate real repentance with a genuine apology to God, valuable counsel to prevent recurrence, constructive penance for healing, and God’s gift of grace for strength. If you are really interested in this Sacramental gift/process, you could ask a local priest to take you through it. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like a spiritual Turkish bath (thorough cleansing)…great preparation for Christmas! Other questions or comments? More info here.

Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding a devotion to others or by using the “invite people to join” link on the Facebook Group. Steve, Rich, or Pat will gladly add others to the email list.
* NEW: As McDonalds is easily found, buy a few $10 McDonalds gift cards to have ready when you encounter homeless people. This is safer than cash. With a smile, wish them “Merry Christ-mas!”

Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, American Family Association, 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: Most of our ProLife news comes from LifeSiteNews…consider donating to their much needed fundraiser (even just $5).

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together. Fasting ideas in footnote below.
* Prayer to end abortion, abused children, chastity, peace, our enemies, our troops, depression/despair, prisoners, politicians, illnesses/injuries, jobs, natural disasters, refugees, addictions, persecuted believers, Peters family (JP, Rebekah), Shantelle Castle (special intention), Health care reform bill

Faith quotes: “Christ is the answer to our deepest expectations.” John Paul II

Merry Christ-mas!
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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