…AND NOW I WILL PREACH….

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Wonderful sermon!

Friar Jeff's Quiet Spot

FJ 6

“The plain man is the basic clod
From which we grow the demigod;
And in the average man is curled
The hero stuff that rules the world.” —SAM W. FOSS, The Man from the Crowd

Take a look around you…YOU ARE UNIQUE!

There is NO ONE like you!

No one else on Earth has the same features, love capability (for we all are given a DIFFERENT SHARE of that!)

THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A SECOND….God made YOU an INDIVIDUAL…not some cookie cutter pre-fab! Oh sure, He gave you arms, legs, torso…a HEAD (yes, I will get to that in a second)

But in ALL THE WIDE WORLD, YOU are the ONLY ONE OF YOUR KIND!

He gave you a head to THINK with…so, why is it I see so many people NOT using THEIR BRAINS?!?!?

Do you not know of what He went through just to give you His love?…

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Thought For The Day 02/23/15

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The Master Healer

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5healing hands

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-spiritual-energy-reiki-image12571664

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When praying for healing, ask great things of God and expect great things from God. But let us seek for that healing that really matters, the healing of the heart, enabling us to trust God simply, face God honestly, and live triumphantly.

Arlo F. Newell

http://www.creatingnewworlds.org/healing.cfm

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I decided today, to think about healing and He who controls all things related to healing. Now this was not just a purely inspired idea for using as I write my thoughts today. In fact, it is a matter that seems to consume a tremendous amount of my waking moments these days. And it’s not solely due to the fact that with each passing minute of every day, my knees seem to creak just a little more. You see, once more our family is being challenged anew by an insidious foe…the big “C”! For us, the big “C” is in a couple of places… Bladder, Skin, and one that is quite rare. Yes, the biggie is the one that has grown in a tiny tube that connects the Pancreas to the digestive tract.

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For almost 15 years now, the big “C” is an enemy that we have been fighting as a family. But just when we thought we had it licked, it seems another rears its ugly head. Then the realization hits…. we have been given a wake up call reminder that it is not we who controls any of the events that occur as we live each day of our lives! So once again, the surgery to eradicate a new demon has been done, and now the waiting begins for the laboratory report that will again dictate the events that will likely consume our lives with treatment regimens during which we will hold our breath wondering if the doctor will see the enemy once more at the gates!

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The name of this devil, are words that we can probably write and describe blindfolded, by now. “Invasive Adenocarcinoma of the Ampulla of Vater”, which has a better prognosis than other like tumors which invade the Pancreas or Bile Duct. But still…. to get to the cure requires a 10+ hour long surgery which must be survived first. In our case it was more like a 12+ hour surgery which WAS survived. But now comes the hardest part of all. Now we wait and hope and yes… pray… that the complications from a surgery that rearranged so much “internal plumbing” will not set in and that there is no cancer that will be found in the lymph glands harvested with the primary tumor.

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We are a family of fighters. We will never concede victory to a disease entity and so we trust the skill and hands of the experts as they guide us through the treatment process. We also know that much of the future for the days ahead, either with or without this devil who has insinuated himself in our lives, will be with another expert who will stay by our side, walking hand in hand with us, at all times. God! And, should our step falter along the way, He will carry us until we regain, once more, our footing and the strength we need to continue the journey!

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Remember always the words offered by John the Baptist during the years that the Son of God preached to the multitudes, “…Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (from John 1:29 NIV). Now, just for a moment, I want you to think about the power and might of one who has the capacity to heal the world! Throughout the Gospels we read of the miracles performed by His hand, for all manner of maladies! And the simple fact of the matter is that no affliction, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, is a match for His might. That is why we know, for certain, that we can turn our hearts to Him as we walk this path once more. And while our journey is not one that brings us to the valley of the shadow of death, still it is a comfort to our hearts and a balm for our souls, knowing that we need not fear whatever consequence comes our way! John 16:33 NIV says it best, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:14-16, ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/22/15

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

First Sunday Of Lent

Post #1444

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bible-reading

 

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Lent

In Christian teachings, this time is traditionally described as lasting 40 days which, according to the Gospels, commemorates the time Jesus spent before beginning his public ministry. The purpose for us is to prepare us through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.

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 A Prayer For Today  

February 22nd, 2015

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this Lenten time to gather in thought and prayer to honor you and to remember the life of your son, Jesus Christ.

Deepen our capacity to pray and to come to You during our times of both trial and triumph. Teach us so that we may better understand ourselves, to be reconciled one with the other and with you. Make that love one of profound joyfulness. Make our hearts and faith as simple and honest as the faith of a child, and help us to strengthen our faith so as to make it above temptation and so that it may be renewed by grace.

Father, we lift our voices, as well as our hearts, as we pray the prayer that your son Jesus taught us to pray, saying:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.  

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Author of Today’s Gospel Reading

St Mark the Apostle

st__mark_the_evangelist_by_lordshadowblade-d62zolm

http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2013/115/a/e/st__mark_the_evangelist_by_lordshadowblade-d62zolm.jpg

The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother’s house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there.

St. Mark was associated with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (who was Mark’s cousin) on their missionary journey through the island of Cyprus. Later he accompanied St. Barnabas alone. We know also that he was in Rome with St. Peter and St. Paul. Tradition ascribes to him the founding of the Church in Alexandria.

St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, probably in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D.; he wrote it in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel. In this way the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. His feast day is April 25. He is the patron saint of notaries.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=305

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Our Old Testament Reading

Genesis 9: 8-15 ESV

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth.

I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 

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Our Gospel Reading

Mark 1: 12-15 ESV
The Temptation of Jesus

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And the angels were ministering to him.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kind=gdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

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Christian-Music1

Hymn For Today

Be Still And Know That I Am God

 The author and composer of this meditative/chant
style hymn based on Psalm 46:10 are unknown.
Harmony by Stephen Dean

Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God.

I am the Lord that healeth me,
I am the Lord that healeth me,
I am the Lord that healeth me,
I am the Lord that healeth me.

In thee O Lord, I put my trust,
In thee O Lord, I put my trust,
In thee O Lord, I put my trust,
In thee O Lord, I put my trust.

http://youtu.be/dtflAXHh-jk

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/21/15

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The Difference Between 2 Little 4 Letter Words!

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kindness quote

_http://www.google.com/search?q=quote+pictures+about+kindness&hl=en&rlz=1C1EODB_enUS516US521&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=e80kUYWIFovS9AT_oIGYBA&ved=0CDsQsAQ&biw=1241&bih=567__

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.  

Mark Twain

http://www.quotegarden.com/kindness.html

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I mentioned to a friend how much I wished that people would be more kind. Not just do kind things, but actually BE more kind! Now his response to me was to share about 30 picture quotes on his social media site talking about kindness and what it really means. This one act brought a huge smile to my face, at a time when I really needed to smile, because his gift to me was much more than simply being nice. I smiled because what he did showed me that my friend cared enough about me to do something he knew would make me feel better. He showed me someone who has beating within, a truly kind heart! And that is not as common in today’s world as we would probably like to believe. You see, it is easy being nice but being nice is not necessarily being kind!

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The difference between the two, as I see it, is the difference between liking and loving! You see, being nice often says to another I am doing the things I do because I want you to like me. I am doing what it is I am doing because I want my act to be seen and recognized by others. Kindness, on the other hand, is doing something for another, sometimes without them even knowing it. Kindness never cares what others think about what is being done, and it is this selfless doing that is reflected in both one’s intentions and as well as their actions! Even someone who is cruel can manage to be nice once in a while. But kindness is an instinctive compassion that dwells within the heart. A person can be taught to be nice. It is a lesson we all work to instill in our children almost from the moment they are born. But genuine kindness is selfless and innate. It is a love instilled by a hand more powerful than that of man. No Bible verse says it more beautifully than this one from Romans 12:9-10 (NLT), “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”

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Elizabeth of the Trinity, an early 20th century Carmelite nun, and who was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 25, 1984, was a prolific writer of prayers, and is credited with the following quotation: “There is no wood like that of the Cross for lighting the fire of love in the soul.” And it is exactly this same wood….the wood of the cross… that ignites within each heart the capacity to be a truly kind person. Anybody can be nice. It takes the finger of God for a heart to fill and spill over with kindness!

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

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Mandyspath Copyright 2011-2015

Thought For The Day 02/20/15

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Cause And Effect 

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wheat2

http://www.freefoto.com/preview/07-45-6/Wheat

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You REAP what You SOW: Life is like a boomerang. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.

Grant M. Bright

http://quotationsbook.com/quote/34304/

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Your deeds, good or bad, will repay you in kind. And while we might sometimes wish that was not the case, if history has taught us any lesson worth remembering, it is the one we find in Hosea 6:7 NASB, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

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Just ask any farmer or rancher anywhere in the world and they will probably eagerly show you the evidence of these words by the quality of the product they produce. And I am sure you will admit that, given your druthers, you would most likely prefer to ingest foods that have been tenderly nurtured and cared for as they matured. Not a single one of you would jump up and say, “I’ll take the inferior food over there!” No, given a choice, we would choose only the crops and protein sources that were given the best feeds and fertilizers, because we know that these are the foods that will provide us with the biggest bang, nutritionally speaking, for our buck! So why is it we are not as particular about our lives? Why are we so often content to sit back and do nothing when we bear witness to people who treat others with less regard than a farmer, or a rancher or even a back yard gardener, treats the things they are cultivating?

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How many of you have ever heard of the “Law of Cause and Effect”? Basically, it refers to the fact that everything that happens in the universe is the direct result of something that happened just prior. The implication is that all that occurs in the universe is no more than a chain of events following one after another according to the law of cause and effect, just like a row of dominos will topple simply by nudging the first over! Well the same thing applies to our behavior. The events that follow an action will weaken or strengthen the likelihood it will occur again, which is why someone who has a history of abusing another is not likely to stop the behavior unless something occurs to intervene and prevent the activity from occurring!

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Now this philosophical musing of casualties is simply a fancier way of saying, “You Reap What You Sow”…..a fact of life for man that has existed since time immemorial! Take the Garden. Adam and Eve were created and perfect and had all they could want….save one thing. The fruit of the forbidden tree. So now “cause” comes knocking in the guise of Satan who tempts and through guile, talks Eve into committing the one thing that God had forbidden. And what was the “effect”? They became separated from God, which showed in their actions and their attitude. Adam and Eve knew that they were naked. Their perspective and the way they viewed everything in their world changed! They were ashamed and hid their bodies with fig leaves and themselves from God. Genesis 3:7-8 NIV, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

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The Bible is rife with examples of the “Law of Cause and Effect”, or “You Reap What You Sow”, but you get the picture, I think. The thing is that there is a way to intervene and prevent the inevitable weakening of our characters which can be the result of allowing the laws to go unchecked! YOU! ME! ALL OF US! We are the solution to changing the fall of the dominos by refusing to sit by and do nothing. Every positive act and action we accomplish changes the outcome of the world. You see, just one random act of kindness leads to another and another and another. Perhaps you will never see the scope of power of the one thing you did. But make no mistake! It mattered! Perhaps not to many, but I can guarantee you that it mattered to one. So then try for a second to imagine what you might be able to accomplish if you actually made this type of thing your focus. Can you find it within to do one act of kindness every day? You will be amazed at the rewards you will sow!

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“But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors..”

Hosea 10:13 NIV

 

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/19/15

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A Bucket List For Faith

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Bucket List

http://sogyeltobgyel.blogspot.com/2011/04/before-kicking-bucket.html

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The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss, but that it is too low and we reach it.

Michelangelo

http://mslistologist.com/2010/04/57-quotes-that-will-inspire-you/

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A few years ago, a movie was released that forever changed a common phrase we have all used musingly, at one time or another, when discussing the culmination of a life well lived…..”kicking the bucket”! For any of you who may not be familiar with the famous movie that starred Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, “The Bucket List”, released in 2007, is a comedy that follows two terminally ill men as they embark on a road trip with a list of zany and wonderful things they want to do/see/accomplish before they die! And since then, people everywhere have jumped on the “bucket list” bandwagon, compiling their dream “to do’s” for every time frame imaginable….. a bucket list for week, for the month, for the year, etc. Even corporations have joined in with a business model “bucket list” for employees to aspire to!  So today, I want us to think about creating a “bucket list” for our life of faith!

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Now I know that I am not the first to suggest a “bucket list” for faith. In fact, many churches complied such a list for congregants who participated in the “Year of Faith” a couple of years ago, which was an effort by the Roman Catholic Church (and adopted by many Protestant denominations, as well), of sharing the Gospel in an effort at adopting “New Evangelization” or the proclaiming of faith and the son of God to all people. Now history shows that many Roman Catholics have traditionally viewed this type of activity as an effort more suited to Protestant religions! So it is probably easy to understand how establishing a bucket list for this purpose, would facilitate the goals this movement is trying to effect. You see, sitting down and writing a list of the things that are the most meaningful as we explore what it is we hope to realize from embarking on the journey that brings us closer in terms of our personal relationship with God, helps each of us to discover just what our goals are. It allows us to decide what the things are that will be the most valuable to us in understanding the dynamics of our faith, and it also provides us a way to remember all of the things we hope to accomplish even as it acts as a catalyst to inspire us to do even more!

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So what do we want to include on our “bucket list”? Well, there are a few standards that should begin every “bucket list” of faith, such as:

  1. Remember to offer a prayer of thanks at least once each day to God for all of the blessings he has bestowed! And even if it seems as if there is nothing in your life to be thankful for, then simply thank Him for the fact that you woke this morning to a brand new day where you can begin again the process of discovering His wonders!  2 Timothy 1:3 (NLT), “… I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.”
  2.  Make it a point to read one Bible verse every day. If you have trouble understanding what is being told in a particular version, such as the King James Version, there are many versions that have translated the texts into a format that is more easily understood. And you need not buy a copy. Simply enter http://bible.cc/ and the “Online Parallel Bible” will come up. Next, type in any book of the bible, and simply start with chapter 1, verse 1, and you will find the verse in nearly every translation right there, in front of your eyes. Psalm 119:105 (ESV), “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
  3. Become a volunteer in your community so that you live and breathe Christ’s teaching to “Love Thy Neighbor”. What you give to help others and make your community a better place for everyone, will be returned to you many fold! 1 John 3:18 (ESV), “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
  4. Visit a church or a cathedral that holds a place in history. Look around at the walls and the floor, and sit in a pew that has held thousands upon thousands of the faithful throughout history. Think about the master artist that created the unique and exquisite stained glass windows. Look at the baptismal font and envision the life of the untold numbers of babies who became part of God’s family on that very spot. Remember as you see, smell and touch the wonders of the history of the building, that a church is more than the structure. It is the people, all believers united together, one with the other under God! Acts 20:28 (NIV), “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with.”

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There are a thousand of other things I can think of to include in my personal “bucket list”, but just as our faith and beliefs are somewhat subjective, so are the things we might choose to do in an effort at bringing us closer to the Almighty. But let that be my challenge to you today! Make a list of your own. It needn’t be long, nor must it include everything one might hope to discover, right off the bat. Let your list grow and grow, even as you grow closer to the Almighty, with each thing that you do. Let His love for you act as your compass as you seek to discover all that you can about not just God, but your own heart, as well!

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The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 (NIV)

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/18/15

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Living Apart Together

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wedding-rings

http://www.relationstips.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-wedding-ring/

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‘It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.’

Friedrich Nietzsche

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/marriage

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There is something so profoundly comforting knowing that the man I love is sitting just 6 feet away from me watching a universally known sports channel on TV while I am sitting here, “netbook” afire with my bursting thoughts. You see, just the simple fact that we are sharing a common space even without saying a word, is building a comforting memory that he is here, at my side, just as he has been every second since we were married nearly 38 years ago. That we can share a word or a tender caress at any given moment, somehow serves to strengthen bond of love that unites us so that the times that are not quite so idyllic will not sever it! Which makes me wonder about the dynamic of the relationship of those who have adopted the “LAT” way of life!

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“LAT”, which stands for “Living Apart Together”, is an increasingly popular lifestyle for some couples. According to The New York Times, a drifting away from the nuclear, traditional marriage model almost makes sense, given the changes that have occurred within the family dynamic over the last 50 years. Most families are two income households and often work schedules which interfere with what was once a traditional life at home. Separate work and social lives seems to foster an increasing independence within relationships, which is leading couples to choose either residing in separate homes, but near one another, or to live in the same home, but each maintaining an independent living space within the home.

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A union of two hearts sealed by God’s blessing, is a serious and sacred undertaking, which is why we are told in Matthew 19:6 NIV, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” It is through the little connections that happen within the relationship….the little everyday acts of closeness….which acts as the glue which holds a relationship together through the roller coaster ride that is life! Still, God hates a division of a couple even more. He says in Malachi 2:16 NIV, “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.”

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I suppose that there may be times when, had they lived under the same roof, couples who practice “LAT” would have been divorced. Yes, perhaps we need to look beyond convention, and acknowledge that whatever works and makes a couple happy, is what is the best scenario for them, since each relationship is unique. Still, I have to wonder….. have we actually lost sight of the interpersonal dynamic of two hearts, vibrant and alive, rooted in the rich soil of faith, as we embark on life’s journey, holding hands….. when we choose when it is convenient for the one rather that convenient for both?

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“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Romans 13:8 NIV

 

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry