Wed, 23 Jan (Mark 3:2)‏

23 Jan Wed, 23 Jan (Mark 3:2)‏

…so that they might accuse him. Mark 3:2

Devotion* (snippets): “Jesus claimed the authority to do what God alone can do: forgive sins. [They] hoped to gather enough evidence to accuse him. Every time I put myself, my comfort, my ideas, my excuses before obedience, I am no longer a disciple; I have put myself in the place of judging the worth of His teaching and examples.”

Pat’s tidbits: I gave a two hour talk at church last night: “Hearing God’s Call & Ministries”. Why should we help with a ministry? Because God said so (Mark 16:15), and we will be blessed for our obedience! According to 1 Cor 3:6-9, God says we are his “coworkers” in ministry. We plant and water, but God makes it grow. In other words, we should not take credit or blame for the growth of our ministry work. As a loose analogy, weekend church time is the pregame meal (communion) and game plan (sermon)…our ministries during the week are game time. Ministries can be as informal as praying for intentions at every stoplight (Jane Hauffe) and saying “God bless you” everytime someone sneezes near you (Joel Cain), helping out with a formal ministry at your church (greeter, reader, usher, choir, etc), or helping out with a regional or national level ministry (retreat programs, Right to Life, etc). How do we make time for ministry in our busy lives (let go/let God, Matt 6:25-34)? Mark Foster reminded me that finding time for a ministry is like trying to fit a certain amount of big rocks, pebbles and sand into a jar. These certain amounts will only fit when you first put in the big rocks (God stuff, family, friends), then the pebbles (job, etc), and then the sand (hobbies, etc)! The theme song for ministry could be “Here I am Lord” by Dan Schutte (google the lyrics)…”I will go, Lord!”

LIFE Devotions blog comments*: Please consider adding blog “comments” to this devotion “post” regarding the ministries that you support.

LIFE Prayers blog*: Let us strive to integrate daily prayer into our lives…”prayer changes things”!

Through Christ Our Lord,
Phil 4:13

* Living Faith devotional: Welcome God into your day by reading Living Faith each morning (~1 min) before work. Order at
* Faith Sharing: Consider sharing your faith inspirations with our group (e-mail and/or blog). Consider forwarding this devotion to your friends/family. If they desire, I will add them to the distro list. Let’s joyfully live out the Good News and gladly spread it to those around us (Mark 16:15)!
* Daily Bible readings: Today’s readings are found at (also linked in LIFE Devotions blog header).
* LIFE Devotions blog: Please sign up to comment on a devotion, click this link to sign up: LIFE Devotions blog.
* LIFE Prayers blog: Please sign up to add/update a prayer request, click this link to sign up: LIFE Prayers blog. For auto posting notification, click this link: prayers notify. The header of the LIFE Devotions blog has a link for the LIFE Prayers blog.
* Sr. Francelle’s Faith blog: If you want to see her wonderful weekly faith application messages, click this link to sign up: Sr. Francelle’s Faith blog. For auto posting notification email, click this link: Sr. Francelle notify.


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  • Jean
    Posted at 11:07 PM, 26 January 2008 Reply

    The Oswald quote which Tom Albrecht emailed reminds me of another quote I read in a friend’s Christmas letter: “God’s call to holiness is not a call to be good but a call to be His.” I think this is Paul’s point in his letter to the Romans: the law was given by God to give mankind awareness of his imperfection not because He expected men to attain perfection through it. Often we strive to climb the ladder of holiness out of a motivation other than love (duty, to obtain a reward, to escape punishment, etc.) but God wills that our motivation be higher: love. When divine love (the Holy Spirit) manifests itself through us, we can be used by God in His battlings and our egos do not enter into the equation. We can be at peace in simply answering God’s call to manifest divine love (no easy undertaking, to be sure!) because we’ve been reassured that Jesus has already overcome the world.(Jn 16:33).

  • Pat Castle
    Posted at 10:00 PM, 26 January 2008 Reply

    Jean Noon and Joe Hourigan added great comments about ministry to the 23 Jan devotion post (on blog), reflected in Ephesians 2:8-10. Also regarding ministry, Tom Albrecht e-mailed me this comment from the Oswald Chambers devotion (18 Jan): “Beware of anything that competes with loyalty to Jesus Christ. The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him. The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him. We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battlings. Are we being more devoted to service than to Jesus Christ?”

  • Jean
    Posted at 10:04 PM, 25 January 2008 Reply

    I think Mother Teresa’s words epitomize Ephesians 2:8-10:“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” It is important to delineate between faith, actions, and love. Mother Teresa’s simple path was: silence, prayer, faith, love, service, peace. It is my faith that, if properly formed, leads me to love my neighbor and enemy (see Jesus in each one) which then prompts the work of my ministries (be Jesus to each one). If my service is not motivated by a selfless love then it is not a fruit of true faith and gives me reason to boast (be full of myself); ministry motivated by selfless love is always powered by divine love and gives others reason to praise God (Matt 5:16). In the end, it is the selfless (not ego-driven) love which motivates our ministry that glorifies God.

  • Pat Castle
    Posted at 5:10 PM, 25 January 2008 Reply

    I recommend reading the note from the editor in the front cover of the Living Faith devotional. He shared a quote from Blessed Mother Teresa with her perspective on Christian service (ministries): “Make your work Christ’s love in action. However beautiful the work is, be detached from it, even ready to give it up. The work is not yours. The talents God has given you are not yours; they have been given to you for your use, for the glory of God.”

  • Joseph Hourigan
    Posted at 7:11 PM, 24 January 2008 Reply

    I couldn’t agree more Patrick (and Mark). As life goes, we tend to busy, and often we do things out of habit daily(some good, some not). If we don’t stop and realize that we need to have a plan (spiritual, physical, financial, etc.) in order to be productive, the next thing you know, a week, month, year, or years go by and we realize we’ve been doing the same old things. Thank you for bringing this to the forefront of our minds. I shall use your inspiration, and challenge myself and others to be constantly changing and growing…to make the big rocks the priorities, and to move toward Christ, and His immeasurable love and mercy. We have been given the gift of faith, and how wrong it is to not be willing to share the gift with others. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the light of the world, and we MUST let that Light shine brightly for others to see, and not hide it under a bushel basket (i.e. just go to church once a week and think we’re being good/faithful Catholics/Christians). Our purpose in this life must be to Know, Love, and to Serve Christ, all of these go together, and are each critical to attaining everlasting peace and joy. It’s not enough to just BELIEVE, we must ACT! Jesus was willing to be nailed to the Cross (action) out of love for ALL of us…what are we willing to do in return? Each of us has been called by name…