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'Chances Are...'

The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted.

- Psalm 37:18

I may not have been the best baseball player on my team as a teenager, but I believe I played with everything I had. Why settle for a single when, with a little more effort and hustle, I could stretch it into a double, right? The risk of getting caught and called out was not as great as the risk of not playing with my whole heart.

This is the kind of life to which God calls us. Where our lives of faith are concerned, Jesus never suggests we play it safe. He never says, "Blessed are those who do the bare minimum, for surely that's enough." Living wholeheartedly in our faith in Jesus means taking chances to stretch ourselves into lives dedicated to prayer, the sacraments, our parishes and service to the world around us. It means taking chances to really spread the Good News of Jesus by how we live our lives.

Jesus, I love you with my whole heart.

- Steve Givens
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Ana | Posted on: 2019-07-12 17:46:56
Thank you Steve for your beautiful devotion.

I think that the reason why a lot of us play it safe and hold back in taking chances to really spread the Good News of Jesus, "The Word" is because the Lord has clearly revealed that we will be persecuted and we will be hated by all because of His name and by trying to live the Christian life.

"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves", Jesus wants us to be clever, alert and smart but "simple as doves" and Yes to live the Christian life spreading the Good News of Jesus, The Word. Jesus has said, "whoever endures to the end will be saved".

Dear Lord, please help us to love you with our "whole heart" and give us the strength and the courage to spread Your Good News filled with Your Holy Spirit within us. Amen.

God Bless our Living Faith Family.
Tillie | Posted on: 2019-07-12 14:12:16
It is interesting to see both Israel and Jacob are mentioned in today’s first reading! God has changed Jacob’s name to Israel back in Genesis 34:9-10...Why did God call him Jacob at this time?

Do I have a new name? 2 Corinthians 5:17, “
* From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer.
* Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
* The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

God called Jacob after his name was changed to Israel because he acted like the old Jacob and not like the new Israel!

I can relate...how often do I retreat back to my old self: I can do it myself, I don’t think I can do this, I am not sure I am up for this, this is too risky, I’m too busy, I don’t know them, this is embarrassing!

* Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
* Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me.”
* Colossians 1:27-29, “For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing His glory. So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.”

Salina | Posted on: 2019-07-12 13:27:16
Oooh, I hope you see this Ken. My mom and I travelled a lot when I was younger. She taught me the habit of carrying gift cards to pass out to the homeless. We always had at least 5 or more different ones so the people could easily find a McDonalds, Burger King...Kmart, Walmart. A few of those are easier to carry and keep safe for them. And it affords them the privilege of getting into air conditioning in the hot summers or heat in the cold winters.
One memory that soothes my heart is when my oldest was taking drivers ed. It was the worst of the summer heat here in Georgia. I picked him up and as we sat at a light there was man, obviously homeless, sitting on the corner in the blazing sun without even a baseball cap. My son is shy, so when I told him to get the Kmart card (Kmart was right across the street) out and go hand it to him he was reluctant to draw attention to himself at the intersection. I encouraged him and he did. The man looked at him, at the card, at him and....I still feel it....the man’s eyes and face. He thanked my son and smiled, but he also kept looking at me in the drivers seat and I could see him saying thank you over and over. That card bought him an afternoon out of the sun in the cool air without anyone telling him he was loitering besides buying him a ball cap, a cold drink maybe flip flops or some eats. But what it bought me was the lesson for my boys (my younger guy was in the car) and a lesson passed from generation to generation.
I did the same in Atlanta a few years ago for a whole week that my husband had a conference. I am grateful to God that he allowed me to do it.
God be with you Ken as you be “Christ” to this man and many others. May we all be Christ to someone today.
Vicky G | Posted on: 2019-07-12 11:33:24
Great idea. Praying for you Patricia
Kjc | Posted on:: 2019-07-12 12:15:23
The next 17 days are going to be a living hell for me. I'm praying to God that he gets me thru all this and not have a stroke or something, That he will give me the strength to do this. I have debts to pay, rent and etc. That's why I have to live this way.
I'm house sitting (where I usually clean ea. week) 2 dogs, 2 cats, clean the house,
be there for remodeling crew (kitchen) ea. day ,then drive home in morning to get my mail out of mail box, go back to house, take care of pets, then go to my regular cleaning job 5 afternoons per week, then go back to house, take care of pets, stops at a fast food place to get something to eat, get some sleep and then start the next day over , for 17 days and nights. sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. w/o the house sitting, I would never make it. but at the same time, at 74 yrs. old I'm just worn out anymore. I pray to God everyday 24/7 to help me, to bless me with financial aid so I can retire. I am asking my living faith family for their prayers that mean a lot to me. May God bless us all.
Paricia L. | Posted on: 2019-07-12 11:19:41
I am praying now that God gives you what you need. He knows exactly what that you need.
Brian D. | Posted on:: 2019-07-12 14:05:30
Brian, thank you for your prayers. it's hard doing these jobs with painful arthritis and copd. I pray and hope God helps me., God bless you.
patricia l. | Posted on:: 2019-07-12 14:20:27
On the drive to Roswell park we passed a man with a signature homeless and hungry. Drop Kathy at hospital and will park and wait until she has been seen. I felt bad for the guy decided to get food at store cans

that can be open by hand. I will now put food in my car when I go to Roswell park. Praying for all the people in the living faith family. Ken

Kjc | Posted on: 2019-07-12 10:41:14
Amen. :)
freeter | Posted on: 2019-07-12 10:20:21
Living Faith Family, I would like to thank you all for your words, prayers while I continue to trust God and his plans for my life.

Tim | Posted on: 2019-07-12 09:46:18
All week we have been challenged to do more, to bring, share his word with others.

Also, this Sunday’s Gospel (Good Samaritan) discuss how to treat others, our neighbors. The man who is questioning Jesus, ask who is my neighbor, then Jesus tells us the story of the Good Smararitian.

Where do you see ourselves in the story of the Good Samaritan.

Can we do more, change the way we treat or look at our neighbors.

Have a blessed Friday and weekend.

Continued prayers to our entire Living Faith Family.


Tim | Posted on: 2019-07-12 09:32:10
A very inspiring devotion, Steve.

I am guilty for playing it safe many times. And even when I stretch myself, I feel it can never be enough for all the Lord has done for me!

A Blessed day and prayers for all!
Sandy | Posted on: 2019-07-12 09:21:36
Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for today's Gospel. Thank you Lord for my faith ,my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father most of all for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory. Amen
Thank you Thank you Thank you
A sinner | Posted on: 2019-07-12 08:49:55
Beautiful! Amen. We've been called to be stewards of our times as we reach out to people around us. May God be glorified by our lives of stewardship as we proclaim it by the way we live our lives. Prayers and blessings to all of the Living Faith family. May God continue to watch over us. Amen.
JJC | Posted on: 2019-07-12 08:27:29
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