Matthew 1:1 (family acceptance, Bible, “Merry Christmas”)

17 Dec Matthew 1:1 (family acceptance, Bible, “Merry Christmas”)

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

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Matthew 1:1

Living Faith snippets: “Jesus embraced humanity. Mysteriously, the word became flesh and accepted all that came with it, out of love. What about my family tree and all its baggage? Sometimes I find myself wanting to run from it, excising all of that messiness that courses through my veins. I can’t do that, though. Sure, I’m not fated to anything. I can be transformed, I can take a different turn in the road. But total rejection? Not possible. It’s all part of who I am. With God’s help I can discern, move forward and even accept. Out of love-I can accept. Jesus, teach me through my own family tree.” by Amy Welborn

LIFE Group nuggets:
* I noticed this AF slogan yesterday, “Anytime/Anywhere.” Sounds like a slogan for our awesome God! Also, here are snippets from an article (link) that compliments Tracy’s video (below): “So far, ten of the billboards have been erected in Ohio…that say “I miss hearing you say Merry Christmas” and “It’s OK to say Merry Christmas.” Both billboards are signed “Jesus.””
* Tracy Humphreys shared this upbeat and humorous 4 min music video (link) about saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.”
* Chad Livingston shared this challenging thought from Rob Bell. “First, the scripture always bends towards the oppressed and the marginalized. Beginning in the Torah—take care of the widow, the orphan, the stranger among you. And it continues, no room in the inn, they follow Jesus because they are hungry. The story always goes towards the underside of the Empire. I think it is sometimes hard for the American church to understand the Bible because we are the Empire. We are the ones in power, the ones with wealth. There are six billion people in the world, three billion live on less than $2 dollars a day, 800 million people will not eat today, and 300 million in Africa alone do not have drinking water. We are the upper, upper, rich elite. So we have to first ask the question—how can we take all this wealth and give it away? All the technology and beautiful parts of capitalism and bless the world and the poor—or else we’re in deep trouble.” (full interview link)
God sightings: Share ways we have encountered God in our lives (miracles!).
* Kathy Castle shared: “Joe was born on September 25, 1966 after a miscarriage. The dr. told me I would never have children, which of course makes the rest of you all miracles! BIG SMILE.”

* “The Bible: God may cause a portion of Scripture to jump off the page for you while you’re reading it. He may make you aware of how it applies to your life right then and use it to lead you in a particular way. The Bible is…the standard by which you should check everything else you think God may be saying to you. Be sure to keep the context and original intent of Scripture passages in mind.” author unknown

Jesus’ Christmas list: This is how we give Jesus a Christmas (birthday) gift…”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, faith, hope, love) with those lacking in “daily bread” and love. Who is in dire need of our Christmas gifts?

* NEW: Last week an Academy officer was rightfully given a medal of courage for keeping an injured motorist alive until the medics arrived. Perhaps someday we will courageously love a mother who is considering an abortion (listening, resources, praying, etc)…keeping the baby alive until the Holy Spirit is able to penetrate the mother’s heart (metanoia) and save the baby’s life.
* Let’s pray for courage to communicate the ProLife message through Christ to those around us (John 14:6)…rebuilding a Culture of Life (Matt 5:16).

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, Kathy Ayers brain surgery, Mike Castle (Rachelle/Isaac, eye infection), Jason Peters (health of son JP), Carolyn McKissack (Bailee with Crohn’s)
* NEW: Joe Levisky (medical issues), Rob Ouellette (Bob, Joanne)

Faith Quote: Stephanie Spader shared. “Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.” by Mother Teresa

Through Christ for ProLife,
Phil 4:13

* Today’s Bible readings at Reflection on readings at
* 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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