Mark 8:21 (don’t lose focus)

17 Feb Mark 8:21 (don’t lose focus)

Welcome God every morning before your work by taking ~5 min to read this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (, which has snippets from Living Faith. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Col. 3:17

[Jesus] said to them again, “Do you still not understand?” Mark 8:21

Living Faith snippets: “The disciples were obviously not very good at making lasting connections between Jesus’ words and actions. Their memories seemed to fade rather quickly. And so Jesus repeatedly asked them to make a more resolute effort to understand, to see, to hear and to “get the point.” by Fr. James Stephen Behrens, O.C.S.O.

Rich’s comments: Sometimes we can lose focus and forget about who we are as Christians and the lessons that Jesus has taught us. We often need gentle reminders. We are constantly reminded at Church of our baptism through water. There are many opportunities to go on spiritual retreats to be reinspired. I find it helpful to journal when I am praying and then to reread my journal when I am feeling disconnected from God. Lord, I am thankful that You are patient and forgiving. May I never lose focus on You. Amen.

Faith Challenge: Let’s challenge each other to joyfully live out the Good News. Suggestions?
* NEW: Hang a crucifix in a prominent place in your home as a gentle reminder of Christ’s presence in your life.

Culture War/ProLife News: LifeSiteNews, American Family Association, Priests for Life
* Let’s never forget the horrific reality of abortion (images).

Pro-Life Seminar snippets:
Four Part Strategy in Defending the Defenseless Unborn/Debating Pro-Abortionists (PA)
1. Agree with the good things that the PA says in their question to build rapport.
2. There are two parts to every PA’s question (social and ethical). Address the social part first and remember to address social things socially.
3. Shift to the ethical component of the PA’s question and address how we treat people (the unborn are people). Use the acronym SLED to help (SLED will be covered in Thursday’s devotion).
4. Use the anti-discrimination argument. Remember PA’s also believe that discrimination is wrong, but they refuse to realize that abortion is discrimination. Put words in their mouth if they are shy about it, “I believe you know that we don’t put ourselves above other humans, because of what they can’t do or the way they look.”

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together. Fasting ideas below.
* Let’s pray for courage to share ProLife Truth to those around us (John 14:6)…rebuilding a Culture of Life (Matt 5:16).
* Prayer to end abortion, chastity, peace, our enemies, our troops, depression/ despair, prisoners, ProLife politicians, lack of faith, illnesses/injuries, Bro Joe Castle (unresolved medical issue), Peters family (JP updates), Mark Nelson (Pat Barton cancer), Ann Schaefbauer (Ian Keisacker, recovering from brain surgery), Carol Nesbitt & John Lown (Dody Gustaf has inoperable cancer), Rob Ouellette (John & Mary, Alayna and their families), Pastor Don Bird (abused children), victims/families of Buffalo NY plane crash
* NEW: Kelley (mother, Margaret Hanneman – abdominal anurysm repair next Tues), Rob (Maureen – endoscopy today at 2:15; pray that she may be cured of her afflictions)

Faith Quote: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” by Saint Augustine

Through Christ Our Lord,
Romans 12:12

* Bible: Readings and reflections for today.
* 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, bitterness, being so critical, 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 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 invite others to join our LIFE Group…Rich or Pat will gladly add them to the devotions distribution list (Mark 16:15)!

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