Monthly Archives: September 2011

Thought For The Day 09/30/11

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Daniel

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There is much in the world to make us
afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid.
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Frederick W. Cropp

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I’m sure many of us ask whether faith can really be our “Suit of Armor” that provides us with protection when times become hard. I know that the human part of me tends to relegate the faith part to the back instead of keeping it front and center when times are hard. And then I remember about Daniel….you know the man I am referring to….the one who was the victim of a plot to cause him to lose favor with the King Darius.

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Now because Daniel was found to be praying to God when King Darius had issued a decree that for one month, no one in the kingdom would be permitted to pray and pay homage to any other but their sovereign, he was entombed with lions overnight. Since King Darius liked and respected Daniel, and he felt guilty about the punishment he had ordered,  at first light he ran to the den and called out Daniel’s name. And of course, Daniel answered, alive because his faith was unwavering and thus he was rewarded by an angel sent by God who visited and closed the lion’s mouths so no harm would come to this good and faithful servant of the Lord.

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I’m sure that if I were faced with a trial like the one Daniel was faced with, I would be terrified. But it would be that I was fearful for my mortal life, and not my immortal soul. I have come to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and because of this, I know what I am destined for. Yes, I would be afraid for the life I would be leaving on earth. I would mourn not seeing my family and friends and my home. I would mourn missed birthdays, weddings and celebrations. But I also know the reward ahead of me, as I pass through  heaven’s gates. I will be blessed by sharing eternity with my Lord and Savior!

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Titus 1:1-3

1:  This letter is from Paul, a servant
owned by God, and a missionary of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to those God
has chosen for Himself. I am to teach them the truth that leads to God-like
living.
   2: This truth also gives hope of life that lasts forever. God promised this before the world began. He cannot lie.   3: 
He made this known at the right time through His Word. God, the One Who saves, told me I should preach it.

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

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Thought For The Day 09/29/11

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It’s All
Perception!

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What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight.

Joseph Joubert

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I was thinking about the boogeyman the other day. I know that’s an odd thing
to come to the mind of an adult, but when my son was very little, he became
obsessed with the idea of monsters in his closet. And it didn’t matter how much
I reassured him that there were no monsters. He was so fearful that bedtime
became a nightmare. Until I changed the players in the game.

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I spent one night reading to my children, as I tried to do as often as
possible, but instead of a fairy tale that might have some characters that were
frightening to young children, I selected only stories that were upbeat, happy
and presented positive images of people and life. And if I was able to paint a
picture in their minds that reinforced a message that they, too, could do
absolutely anything they wanted, as long as it was good, would not hurt
others and could have a positive impact in not only their lives but in the lives
of those around them, then I knew they would learn a lesson that would last a
lifetime…..and maybe, just maybe, get rid of the boogeyman.

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Well, it took a few more days of difficult bedtimes, me reading and sharing
happy thoughts and reassuring that the rustling they thought they heard was only
the wings of angels sent by God to watch over them, but before any of
us realized it, bedtime became a much happier time of day for our family, and
the boogeyman was no more.

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It all in how we choose to view the things in our lives that we
find troubling, and even frightening. If we turn our minds to the joyful message
that belief in our Lord promises us, we can transform that fear into positive
action and live a happy and fulfilling life. If, on the other hand, we keep our
minds mired in fear and a sense of hopelessness, we will find that the boogeyman
never leaves our closet! That is why God has chosen to frequently  spread words
of encouragement against fear throughout the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation,
God reminds us to “Fear not.”

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Be strong and of good courage, do not
fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with
you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 09/28/11

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Heaven Is Never Too Far

Author Unknown

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Her hair was up in a pony tail, her favorite dress tied with a bow. Today was Daddy’s Day at school, and she couldn’t wait to go.

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But her mommy tried to tell her, that she probably should stay home. Why the kids might not understand, If she went to school alone.

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But she was not afraid; she knew just what to say. What to tell her classmates of why he wasn’t there today.

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But still her mother worried, for her to face this day alone. And that was why once again, she tried to keep her daughter home.

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But the little girl went to school eager to tell them all. About a dad she never sees, a dad who never calls.

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There were daddies along the wall in back, for everyone to meet. Children squirming impatiently, anxious in their seats.

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One by one the teacher called a student from the class. To introduce their daddy, as seconds slowly passed.

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At last the teacher called her name, every child turned to stare. Each of them was searching, a man who wasn’t there.

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‘Where’s her daddy at?’ She heard a boy call out. ‘She probably doesn’t have one,’ another student dared to shout.

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And from somewhere near the back, she heard a daddy say, ‘Looks like another deadbeat dad, too busy to waste his day.’

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The words did not offend her, as she smiled up at her Mom. And looked back at her teacher, who told her to go on.

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And with hands behind her back, slowly she began to speak. And out from the mouth of a child, came words incredibly unique.

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‘My Daddy couldn’t be here, because he lives so far away. But I know he wishes he could be, since this is such a special day.

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And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know, all about my daddy, and how much he loves me so.

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He loved to tell me stories. He taught me to ride my bike. He surprised me with pink roses, and taught me to fly a kite.

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We used to share fudge sundaes, and ice cream in a cone. And though you cannot see him, I’m not standing here alone.

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‘Cause my daddy’s always with me, Even though we are apart I know because he told me, he’ll forever be in my heart’

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With that, her little hand reached up, And lay across her chest. Feeling her own heartbeat, beneath her favorite dress.

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And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads, her mother stood in tears. Proudly watching her daughter, who was wise beyond her years.

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For she stood up for the love of a man not in her life. Doing what was best for her, doing what was right.

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And when she dropped her hand back down, staring straight into the crowd. She finished with a voice so soft, but its message clear and loud.

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‘I love my daddy very much, he’s my shining star. And if he could, he’d be here, but heaven’s just too far.

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You see he is an American soldier and died just this past year, when a roadside bomb hit his convoy, and took him far from me.

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But sometimes when I close my eyes, it’s like he never went away.’ And then she closed her eyes, and saw him there that day.

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And to her mothers amazement, she witnessed with surprise. A room full of daddies and children, all starting to close their eyes.

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Who knows what they saw before them, who knows what they felt inside. Perhaps for merely a second, they saw him at her side.

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‘I know you’re with me Daddy,’ To the silence she called out. And what happened next made believers, of those once filled with doubt.

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Not one in that room could explain it, for each of their eyes had been closed. But there on the desk beside her, was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.

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And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, by the love of her shining star. And given the gift of believing, that heaven is never too far.

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Thought For The Day 09/27/11

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self-absorbed

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adj:     preoccupied with one’s own
thoughts, emotions, life, etc.

synonym:     self-involved,
egocentric, egoistic, egotistical,
self-centred

(limited to or caring only
about yourself and your own needs)

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A friend challenged me not so long ago to look at the things I write in my “Thought For The Day” section because of their concern that at times my writings seemed self-absorbed. Now my first reaction was to feel surprise that this would be the perception I was generating and then my second thought was to really look back at my writings with more than my heart and mind’s eye, so to speak!

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I guess any time we discuss of issues of faith, there is a somewhat self-centered slant to the notion of just exactly what faith means. Faith is a very personal matter. What I define as faith for me may differ tremendously from what your definition is. Some see faith as being opposed to reason while others view faith as merely a positive assumption as a result of logical reasoning. I see faith as reality which is beyond the range of what many would see as normal experience and understanding.

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The things I write every day are simply my  view of how the spirituality that God ignited within my being is changing the way I conduct my life every day. Now I try to share a message with you that challenges you to think about what I am saying as it applies to your own life too. I try not to be too “in your face” about that message. I’d rather nudge you with an idea and then hope that it ignites something within you to change one tiny way in which you live. Some times that nudge may be a bit harder than at other times, and sometimes I might just fall flat on my backside as I poke you. But either way, my hope is that you reach the end of my story thinking about my words and hopefully, my message! And to quote Katherine Graham, “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun? ” And I also would add, how could anything be more impactful and important?

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1:  So if there is any encouragement in
Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection
and sympathy,   2:  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same
love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3:  Do nothing from rivalry or
conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4:  Let
each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of
others. 5:  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

Philippians
2:1-5

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http/mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 09/26/11

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My Roller Coaster
Ride!

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You can have anything you want if you
want it desperately enough. You must want it with an exuberance that erupts
through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.

Sheila Graham

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When I was younger and active in the church where I worshipped, I felt as if I was riding a Merry-Go-Round. I liked the ride. The ride put a smile on my face. But the ride was not passionate, thrilling and one that would lead me to want to shout to the world that I had been on it. But suddenly in March, I listened to a still, quite voice that whispered in my ear. The message I was given was that there was more waiting for me in the world. The message told me to begin a journey on a special path. The message told me that as I walked, I would learn more and more about me. The message told me that I would learn more and more about the plan God had for my life. And just as suddenly, the faith in my heart was alive and vivid and purposeful. I knew that people who were struggling would look to me as I passed them during my journey and I knew that I would be compelled to stop each time, and offer my hand and help them if I was able. And suddenly, the picture painted in my mind was that of a Roller Coaster. I knew that my journey from that moment forward would be one of twists and turns. I knew there would be times where I would inch along slowly, going up hill, struggling to reach the summit. Then, just as suddenly, I would plummet and spiral downward….twisting and turning and heart pounding, reaching the end of one leg of the journey I was on. And then, just as suddenly, I would begin my ride again.

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Genuine and true faith is a roller coaster ride. Having a living relationship with God is one of constant twists and turns. Faith is never one of rainbows and happiness all of the time but neither is it one of oppression and struggle. We can not change the ride that is before us. What we can do is ask for God’s help in changing the rider…..us! And as we learn more, we understand that it is exactly this roller coaster ride of faith that will lead us to the final destination in our journey…at God’s side in the Kingdom of Heaven!

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28 And we know that God causes
everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called
according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8: 28

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 09/25/11

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The Seasons
Change!

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If the only prayer you said in your
whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.

Meister Eckhart

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The days are moving quickly to a time of quiet and peaceful rest
here in the Northern Hemisphere of our world. We see the signs outside our
window with each glance we take. The air is becoming chilled in the early
morning and at night and the green canopy on the trees begins to fade from
vibrant green to hues of red, yellow and gold.  We wait on darkened street
corners early in the morning clutching tiny hands waiting for new adventures to
begin in school and we cheer our favorite teams to victory on the football
field.

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Our history celebrated this time as days of harvest and reaping
our rewards for all the hard work we put forth during the summer making sure
crops grew and flourished, assuring adequate food through the long winter
months. And while the majority of people no longer look to harvest time as a
special time we still take this time of the year to sit down and give special
thanks to the Lord for all the things we have been graced with in our lives.

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Perhaps this would be a wonderful time to begin establishing some
new family traditions in giving thanks that will carry through the next couple
of months until Advent arrives. Is there just one unusual and unique thing you
can think of to be thankful for? Perhaps you have sacrificed to get a bill paid
off and you can thank God for the fortitude and discipline that it took to reach
this goal. Or perhaps your little one is making wonderful progress in school
worthy of giving thanks. It doesn’t matter what you give thanks for. What
matters is establishing a routine whereby you think about your blessings and
spend time in celebration of those accomplishments with the power that allowed
them to happen in the first place.

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Colossians
2:6-7

6: So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as
Lord, continue to live in him, 7: rooted and built up in him, strengthened in
the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with
thankfulness.

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 09/24/11

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Mind Over
Matter!

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Photo Courtesy of Friar Jeffrie Wallace

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How many times have we used that phrase in our everyday lives? You know, when you’re trying to get your kids to like cooked carrots and you tell them to try them. You know they’ll like them if they can just wrap their heads around the idea of a vegetable tasting good. Mind over matter!

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Even as adults we are faced with every day occurrences that we might just be able to embrace and enjoy if we can just get used to the idea of the concept of the thing. Like “Blue Grass” music for the “Classical” connoisseur. More mind over matter! Or how about a movie with your wife that is “girly” when you are a Mel Brooks fan? More mind over matter!

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Isn’t Faith the same thing in a way? Just look at the definition of the word. Faith is more than a set of principles. It is a way of loving and accepting a concept without having material evidence of the existence of the thing. And isn’t that just some more “mind over matter”?

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faith (fth) n.

  1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea,
    or thing.
  2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See
    Synonyms at belief, trust.
  3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one’s
    supporters.
  4. often Faith Christianity The theological virtue defined as secure belief in
    God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will.
  5. The body of dogma of a religion: the Muslim faith.
  6. A set of principles or beliefs.

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Just look at the example of doubting Thomas. Now the disciples came to Thomas and told him they had seen Jesus resurrected. But Thomas, ever the doubter, said that they were full of baloney. “Unless I see the mark of the nails on Jesus’ hands, and put my finger in the mark, I will not believe.” And of course, we know the end of that story…when Jesus appeared to Thomas and chided him and
said in John 20:29:

“Because you have seen me, you have
believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have
believed.”

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Another prime example of mind over matter. Always remember that the common sense of a thing does not always make that thing right or desirable!

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Common sense is not so common.

Voltaire

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Copyright © 2011 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC