Matthew 16:18 (“keep it real”)

22 Feb Matthew 16:18 (“keep it real”)

Let’s welcome God today with this Living In Faith Exchange (LIFE) Group devotion (archive, 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

You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church… Matthew 16:18 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “Jesus picked Peter [to be first Pope] for a reason. Peter was every bit as flawed as you or me. Could we have spent three years with Jesus, as close companion, a devoted disciple, and then, even after we were warned, publicly deny we ever knew him? Of course, we could. We are frail humans, and we will take every opportunity to save ourselves. Peter gives us hope. He embodies all our faults and all our dreams of saintliness. Despite, or perhaps because of, his humanness, Peter is chosen by Jesus to establish His church. He did not pick an elder in the Temple, an expert on the Torah, a Scribe or Pharisee. Instead, He picked a simple fisherman, someone who could easily mix among other ordinary people, someone who could speak about Jesus in ways everyday people might understand. It was the perfect choice.” by Paul Pennick

Pat nuggets: Today’s snippets remind us that God knows what it really means to be human, as our Creator and as Christ. By loving God and following Christ, we “keep it real” (Truth) amongst the perversions (twisted Truth) of the world. As a cadet in 1992, I was traveling across Nevada in route to Edwards AFB, CA for 6 weeks of high energy rocket fuel research. Traveling across Nevada makes barren eastern Colorado look like the Garden of Eden. Therefore, anything interesting catches your eye. From miles away I could see a billboard that was falling apart. As I got closer, I could see that something was spray painted on the billboard. When I was close enough to read it, in giant capital letters…”REAL MEN LOVE GOD”!

* Big high five to Mandy Tentinger for bringing 10 new friends to the LIFE Group last week, by simply using the “invite people to join” link on our Facebook Group page…using Facebook as Faithbook! Mandy said, “In my [invite] message, I explained that the LIFE Group has devotions, thoughts and prayers on the [ProLife] movement and asked if they would join us in our fight for the unborn souls who don’t get a “choice.” My brother and I are adopted. I have cousins who have struggled with trying to have children and were finally blessed with their miracles…but would have given anything to have just one baby, when so many women make a “choice” to get rid of a so-called “inconvenience”.”

Faith Challenges: Let’s generously share the LIFE Group by forwarding a devotion or using our Facebook Group “invite people to join” link.
* NEW: For Lenten almsgiving, consider sharing the Living Faith devotional (booklet) with 30 inmates for one year by mailing $25 to the “LF Foundation” at 1564 Fencorp Dr., Fenton, MO 63026-2942.
* NEW: Do our Lenten experiences really matter? Consider commenting on the Facebook Group page.

Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, 40 Days for Life, Vatican, 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!

Our Prayers: Those who pray together stay together, and close to God (footnotes). Peters family (JP). Prayer to end abortion.
* NEW: For Helene Couchon who is healing from a severe car accident…she said, “Here is where patience comes in and trusting in God. To just accept the situation you are in, and do the best you can. After all, it is in weakness that God shows His might.”
Feast Day: The Chair of St. Peter (first Pope)

Faith Quote: “Look at yourselves from “within.” Sin is against God (Ps 50:6), against your brothers and sisters, and against yourselves. Stand in front of Christ, only Son of the Father and Model for all brothers and sisters. He alone shows us what we must be in relation to the Father, to our neighbor, to society, in order to be at peace with ourselves.” John Paul II

Courage for our Lenten journey,
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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