Matthew 4:21-22 (Advent Love Dare…)

30 Nov Matthew 4:21-22 (Advent Love Dare…)

Let’s welcome God today by reflecting on this short 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

He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed Him. Matthew 4:21-22 (full readings)

Living Faith snippets: “Movie stars, supermodels and talk show hosts…these are the people we often identify as charismatic. Before this contemporary meaning, charisma meant “a divinely conferred gift or power.” Jesus must have possessed a lot of charisma in both senses of the word. The apostles and many others found him so attractive that they left their homes and livelihoods to be his companion. They also observed God’s loving power in Jesus’ words and actions. Who would not want to be around such a person?” by David Nantais

Pat’s nuggets: Happy Advent…let’s prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ!
* From OBOB: “We celebrate the new Church year and Advent. Advent is similar to pregnancy, in that we carry, protect, and nurture Christ’s life within us. “Be on guard lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares” (Lk 21:34). Just as a mother’s smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs can have bad effects on her baby, so our sinful preoccupation with “worldly cares” can damage or even abort the new life of Advent. We should begin this [Church] year by going to Confession. By repenting, we remove things which stifle the growth of God’s life within us. We should also simplify our lives, freeing up more time to pray, read God’s word, evangelize, and share fellowship. We should be nourished and rested. TV, videos, and compulsive activities could very well smother our new life in God. Advent, like pregnancy, is a wonderful time as long as we carefully protect and nourish the new life within us.”
* Angi and me are preparing for the birth of Christ with “The Love Dare” book (from “Fireproof” movie). It has 40 dares with a few pages to set up each dare. We read it together at bed time, reflecting on the previous dare and setting up the next dare. The book is great pause/perspective for putting positive energy into marriage. We are enjoying the challenges, fruits, and laughs. Angi even double dog dared me last week! “When two people in a marriage are more concerned about getting the golden eggs (the benefits) than they are in preserving the relationship that makes them possible, they often become insensitive and inconsiderate, neglecting the little kindnesses and courtesies so important to a deep relationship. They begin to use control levers to manipulate each other, focus on their own needs, justify their own position, and look for evidence to show the wrongness of the other person. The love, the richness, the softness, and the spontaneity begin to deteriorate. The goose gets sicker day by day.” author unknown

Faith Challenges:
* NEW: Welcome to Chaplain Mike Carey! Let’s share the LIFE Group with others. Simply forward a devotion to friends/family with an invite and the archive link: Steve, Rich, or me will gladly add others to the email list and Facebook Group.
* NEW: For Advent (and always), let’s dare to love God and neighbor more than self…

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. 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: Articles highlighted on the Facebook Group page (Manhattan Declaration, etc).

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), Joe (brother Mike), Aaron Ferrie (special intention), Health care reform bill
* NEW: Angi/Pat Castle (Doug Hansens hip surgery Thurs)

Feast Day: St. Andrew (first evangelist)

Faith Quote: “Faith accompanied by good works is contagious and spreads light, for it makes God’s love visible and communicates it. Strive to make this lifestyle your own.” by John Paul II

Through Christ our Lord,
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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