Monthly Archives: January 2012

Thought For The Day 01/31/12

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Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones….

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Sticks and stones May break my bones But words will never hurt me.

http://www.squidoo.com/sticks-and-stones

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The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another. 

James Matthew Barrie

http://www.quotegarden.com

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The Beatitudes

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Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV

  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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Isn’t it amazing that in essence, this beatitude is the same in many ways as the one I wrote about yesterday? Bullying is bullying is bullying, regardless of the reason and I think that is why Christ’s focus remains so fixed on this idea of persecution. Everywhere we look, bullying rears its ugly head. Now what I must wonder is just why it is that we, who often recognize its very existence, are content to allow it to continue, rather that speak up? Man continues to remain comfortable with complacency, often holding his tongue even when he understands that the seriousness of the message he has the capacity to share with the world, might be life altering for just one other!

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Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

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Yesterday’s blog talked about the bullying one of faith is apt to be subjected to because those with true faith are so very likely to feel such holy spirit driven joy and happiness of the heart that they can’t help but want to share that happiness with those around them. Today’s message tells us that we who know and hold God in our hearts can expect that some others may be vocal in their opposition to those things we hold so dear but that we have the rightness of our convictions to give us the armor cladding we need to withstand their barbs and attacks! And it is only when we choose to sit idly by and not act when we witness persecution, that nothing changes for anyone! Every verbal interaction and conversation we share with others, presents the potential to become a learning experience…..for all. Never forget that making a difference in the life of another has the potential to make a profound difference in our own! Change just one mind …… change the entire world! Just remember to don that suit of armor Christ has given to those of us who accept and believe!

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But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

1 Peter 3:16

New Living Translation

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 01/30/12

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Why Is Everyone Against Me?

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Woman Martyred

Henryk Siemiradzki artist (1843–1902)

found on Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dirce.jpg

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Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at. 

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com

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The Beatitudes

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Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV

  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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Bullying. Such a hated idea found contained within 8 little letters. We see it everywhere these days. Schools. Jobs. Athletic events. Street corners. Matters of faith. It often seems as if those people least able to defend themselves are being victimized…..and why? Because they look different? Because they act differently? Because they like different things? Because they believe and worship differently? We most certainly know those that are  consistently singled out because of their religious differences. We know of the Holocaust where Jews were persecuted by the Nazi regime. We know of the unrelenting violence between the Bosnians and Serbs in Sarajevo. We know of the persecution of Christians in fundamental Muslim countries, such as imprisoned Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, imprisoned for many months in Iran and who is again threatened with death unless he chooses to renounce his Christian faith and embrace Islam. But the one common thread that binds all of these incidents of religious persecution, rests within the message of the  8th Beatitude!

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Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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With this lesson, Christ is telling all that those who choose to allow their lives to be infected by selfishness, evil and all manner of immoral actions, that while they might think their lives will count for much, in reality, they will be sentenced to suffer spiritual death. But he is also telling those who embrace God and who choose to live lives filled with the holy spirit, that while they may suffer at the hands of some, and indeed, may appear to lose everything of importance in this life, that their determination to continue as examples of faithful followers of God’s laws, will reap an incredible reward in the next life, for indeed, God promises that death is but the doorway into the next life…..a place where none shall hurt or want or be afraid, ever again!

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17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.”

1 Peter 4: 17-19

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 01/29/12

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How Do We Get The Blessings Of Peace?

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by SarahM103

http://photobucket.com/images/peace/

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We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power.  Then will our world know the blessings of peace. 

William Ewart Gladstone

http://www.quotegarden.com

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The Beatitudes

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Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV

  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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As a child born in the 50’s and who was a teen in the 60’s, I know first hand the revolution that took place in our country by young people who protested an unpopular war in the name of peace. I was caught up in the movement, feeling, as did many of my peers, that we needed to be vocal with our concerns regarding the way the politics of the times were driving decisions that affected me, when I had no opportunity of voicing my opposition in the voting booth. And I watched people I cared about, caught up in a lottery that had the potential to seal their fate, again with no voice to oppose it. Thus was born a time of America’s youth, joined in a collective of peaceful protest. And I believed this was a true method in directing and guiding a culture into a time of peace. Now, faith played little in the direction I headed in seeking peace, which, all these years later, has given me pause to wonder just exactly what it was that Christ meant when he taught that the peacemakers would be called the children of God. Because, while my head and heart acknowledged the fact that all of human life came to be, by the very hand of God, why did he single out the peacemaker for this very unique place of honor?

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Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

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Every family, community, state and country have people who thrive on creating unrest and conflict. It seems as if few are immune to the detrimental consequences people like this can effect on everyone surrounding them. And while most are content to live by ignoring behaviors like this, there are a few who take up the cause and proactively, work to prevent contention, strife, and war. We see them every day. They either singly or in forming a collective with other like-minded people, use their influence to reconcile opposing parties. And I believe that the message being shared here is that no man is more like God than one who chooses this path….the path of peacemaking. Indeed, many protracted conflicts might well have been prevented if more people had chosen to employ peacemaking and kindness early in the dispute process, and well before hearts became hardened by the pain that often accompanies this division. However, peacemaking is an art and, much like a garden of delicate flowers, needs careful cultivation and nurturing to reach its full potential and beauty.  And yet, it remains God’s desire that it is an art we all learn and use…..often!

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And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

James 3:18

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 01/28/12

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What Do We Hold In Our Hearts?

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by bemibabi

http://photobucket.com/

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Man has made many machines, complex and cunning, but which of them indeed rivals the workings of his heart? 

Pablo Casals

http://www.quotegarden.com

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The Beatitudes

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Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV

  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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Of all things preached, no message can be more profound to us all than a lesson that is concerned with the heart of a person. And while the beating, blood circulating, physical muscle that is our heart, is so vital to the health of the human body, so is a heart that is loving and compassionate vital to the health of the human spirit. While many try to wash themselves clean on the outside, it is not enough if we are not cleaning the intentions we hold within our hearts as well.  Because we believe that no one is truly privy to the secret hopes, dreams and desires held within our heart, we might believe we are insulated from censure. And we are….from the censure of man. But we forget that God knows all of those secrets we try to hide (usually successfully) from the rest of the world.

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Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

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If mankind was not flawed by this weakness, forced upon our souls by the actions in the Garden, we would have had no need for the birth of a savior. Our hearts and souls would not have been stained by original sin, and so we would not have needed that substitutionary sacrifice that Christ’s crucifixion provided to us, which has afforded those who believe the opportunity of being washed clean of those sins. And so, it is what we are in the deep, private recesses of our lives, the recesses of our hearts, that is the thing Christ cares about most.

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Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit . . . For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Matthew 12:33-34

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 01/27/12

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Do You Show Mercy?

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http://jeffstockdale.com/2011/10/26/mercy/

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I am not a human being; I am a human becoming. 

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com

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The Beatitudes

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Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV

  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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mer·cy
(mûrs)

n. pl. mer·cies
1. Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one’s power; clemency.
2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy.
3. Something for which to be thankful; a blessing: It was a mercy that no one was hurt.
4. Alleviation of distress; relief: Taking in the refugees was an act of mercy.

Idiom:

at the mercy of

Without any protection against; helpless before: drifting in an open boat, at the mercy of the elements.
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Up till now, every lesson being taught by Christ using the Beatitudes was meant as a concept that man might adopt as a way of transforming his own essence and being into someone capable of embracing the Holy Spirit by living a life that is pleasing to God. But suddenly, now we are finding lessons being taught that urge us to transform the way we look at and behave toward others, rather than ourselves. It is only once we understand that the way we interact with our fellow man should be with compassion and love and mercy, that we can truly be filled with the Holy Spirit. And so Jesus began the lessons of man’s humanity to his fellow man.

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Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

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We all know people who have a genuinely kind heart, as if this gift was bestowed upon them as a product of conception. These are the ones for whom the lessons of compassion are practiced as instinctively and automatically as breathing comes to the rest of us. But the rest of us often need that reminding nudge to our conscious selves to behave in a kindly way. Now it is something that every human is capable of acting on thanks to the redemption graced upon the soul of people who believe because of the sacrifices made by Jesus. But man is still all too human. And if mercy is bestowed by one with self-seeking or prideful motives, then it is not what God intends for man to do. That is why all the previous lessons meant to transform our own spirits become so very important for they act as the foundation upon which these newest lessons rest!

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He saved us, not  on the basis of deeds which we  have done in  righteousness, but according  to His mercy, by the washing  of regeneration and  renewing by the Holy  Spirit,

Titus  3:5

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

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Thought For The Day 01/26/12

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How Hungry and Thirsty Are You?

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Camels drinking at an oasis

http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/ic24b/camels_drinking_at_an_oasis/

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Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.

Voltaire

http://www.quotegarden.com

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The Beatitudes

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Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV

  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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There are probably very few reading this that have really been truly hungry and thirsty. Now I’m not talking about the tummy rumbling we get when we smell our dinner cooking. You know, that little rumble which serves as that ever-present signal to us that we are ready to break bread with those we love! I am talking about a hunger so profound that we are nearly driven to our knees. I’m talking about a hunger so profound that we cry ourselves to sleep at night. We only have to look as far (and as near) as our 24 hour news stations to witness the faces of hunger like this. And so I must wonder why it is that Jesus chose this analogy for this, his 4th Beatitude, especially since her preached it to people 2 thousand years away from knowing the faces of millions of starving people throughout the world?

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Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled

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What we do know is that Jesus traveled all over the region with his message, including areas so arid that there, indeed, were people who knew the importance of food and water for their very survival. And so, in associating this basic fundamental human need, with a desire to direct the thinking of the people to understand that the longing that the soul has in its need to let God in, is a matter of life and death for the spirit as great as water and food are life and death for the body, this Beatitude was as clear and impactful a lesson as any he could preach. And even today, when most of us have adequate food and drink, if we do not know of God’s plan for we, His children, then we are no better off than someone who is perishing from hunger and thirst in the middle of the desert!  So the next time you have that little “rumbly in your tumbly”, as Winnie-The-Pooh is fond of saying, take a moment to nourish your spirit too!

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 “Listen to me you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;

Isaiah 51:1 NIV

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 01/25/12

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Is Being Meek and Mild Being Weak and Mild?

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God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart.

Izaak Walton

http://www.quotegarden.com

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http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/timid.html

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The Beatitudes

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Matthew 5: 3-12 KJV

  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

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Have you ever wondered what Jesus’ manner was in sharing his message with the world?  He certainly would not have gone to the people like gang-busters, because they would have fled as quickly as their feet could carry them. His manner was one of quiet and gentle persuasion. He compelled the thousands to lean in and join with him as he shared the message God intended for mankind to receive. We know that he was not lacking in conviction nor courage. With every word he uttered, we know he held fast to the conviction of his message. He shared with the world exactly what the qualities of a meek and humble man were by his very actions. And so it is that God directs us as we lead our lives, to be meek.

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 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

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It is the meek person who, by his very manner, has the power to compel others to listen, for they speak with quiet authority that only the strongest of spirit can manage. The meek are not impatient or pushy but always seem to be the ones that have the ability to nudge our conscious selves into effecting change before we even know exactly what has happened. The meek manage to live lives with fixed boundaries of faith that remain firmly in place until the time arrives when they choose to allow another to infringe…but only when it serves a greater good. And it is what God expects of us. He does not ask that we shout our convictions to the heavens. He asks that we show our faith with every good deed we do and every smile we bring to the face of another. He asks that we share with everyone the joy we feel by knowing and holding Him within our hearts!

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But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

1 Peter 3:4 KJV

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC