Monthly Archives: March 2012

Thought For The Day 03/31/12

Standard

And What A Ride It’s Been!

___

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+an+anniversary&view=detail&id=A24D4425B4486F146D4D3CDE0BBFDF561D58D052&first=0

___

An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow. 

Author Unknown

http://quotegarden.com/anniversary.html

___

This is where it is today:

Thought For The Day 03/31/12

Anniversary

It has been a year. Well, actually, it has been exactly 372 days and 375 posts later. And what a ride it has been. I have changed so much I do not know where to begin. I know my writings have evolved since the beginning as if the days have served to mellow their message, like time does a fine wine! I am less critical than I once was and though I still tend to be opinionated, I think more, speak less and wait to hear both sides. I listen. And that is new. My speech once liberally off-color and a bit tawdry or cheap is now more careful, most probably due as much to a little guy who parrots every word spoken by the adults around him as it is to that awakening. But I’ve also discovered that there are no coincidences in this world. Every single thing we experience in life is part of a bigger plan scripted by one who can lay claim to the knowledge of what it is tomorrow will deliver to us all. I am happy more often today and I am content although I am still driven to ask and discover and learn. I like me today, a lot more than I liked me a year ago. And I hope I am more likeable, in the process! It has been quite a roller coaster ride and I can’t wait to experience the same thrill with each loop I make as I continue to ride that coaster every day!

___

This is where it all started:

  Thought For The Day 03/25/11

Hello World

I like the idea of posting a thought for the day. Not only does it require us to spend some time in quiet contemplation but then encourages us to give our thoughts and feelings a voice. Somehow, even a few minutes of introspection does wonders for giving one a fresh perspective of the issue being questioned and can go far in turning confusion and inaction into a clear and definitive solution. Or perhaps it’s just God leaning over our shoulder and whispering the answer in our ear when we’re finally ready, willing and able to understand it!

___

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

2 Peter 1:2-4 ESV

___

http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/30/12

Standard

What Do Others See?

___

___

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.  

Douglas MacArthur

http://quotegarden.com/age.html

___

Our years of care are worn on our bodies like a badge of courage but it seems as if we spend our days all too often trying to erase those very same effects of time. We spend thousands of dollars on lotions and potions in an attempt to rejuvenate our bodies and turn back time. Women cover their faces with powders and foundations and learn from an early age to artfully apply eye makeup to not just enhance what it is we think we should look like but to mask those flaws that we somehow find ourselves embarrassed by. We purchase foundation garments that make it hard to draw breath and carefully select clothing styles to hide bumps and bulges, as if we really are successful in the attempt! And you men reading this, do not for a single moment think that all of this doesn’t apply to you too! My husband who, for the most part is pretty comfortable in his own skin, refuses to buy a shirt with horizontal stripes because he thinks they expand his girth! And why? What things are we missing in life as we try to hide the very human side of ourselves?

___

What if every grey hair really was a trophy of or success in seeing our children reach adulthood or perhaps living with a partner for 40 or 50 years? Have we considered that every wrinkle might just be the tiny scar of our victory over temptation? Or perhaps every sun freckle might just be heralding to the world the moments we spent working….whether in our job or at home? Are the pounds we are struggling with from the children we brought into the world? Why then do we struggle so with showing the world, proudly, the very unique and special people we have become throughout our lifetime of years? Are we really that unhappy with ourselves and our accomplishments that we struggle so to mask the very nature of the portrait time has painted of the being that is each of us?

___

I am less uncomfortable these days about the real me than I was a few years ago. That does not mean I don’t want to do things that will help me to live more comfortably. I find myself moaning and groaning as I struggle these days to rise from a chair on knees that have passed their expiration date. My doctors and I know that the day is rapidly coming when Mother Nature’s handiwork will be replaced by Dr. Leighton’s handiwork and whatever company it is that manufactures artificial joints. This, however is not vanity but a realistic attempt to continue to live a life that is one of quality….as well as quantity. And that is all I can hope for, really. In fact, it is what we all should hope for. What it is that I want is for people to see, when they really look at me, is that I am someone of quality. That it is my heart that is kind. That it is my brain that looks for the solutions to the problems that friends bring to me every day! That it is my will to effect all the positive changes I can possible manage in the world in which I live! When really thinking about it, what could be more worthy and right?

___

With my moans and groans that inspired this blog, I began thinking about the people who lived during the early years of the Bible and was wondering if time was as hard on them as it seems to be on our 21st century population. But except for Methuselah, I honestly could not remember how old some of the people who made such an impact in the Old Testament were. So, like any 21st century person, I began a search on my computer! Just in case you are curious too, here is a list of the 10 oldest historic figures from the Bible.

___

1. Methuselah – 969 years.   Genesis 5:27

~

2. Jared – 962 years.   Genesis 5:20

~

3. Noah – 950 years.   Genesis 9:29

~

4. Adam – 930 years.   Genesis 5:5

~

5. Seth – 912 years.   Genesis 5:8

~

6. Kenan – 910 years.   Genesis 5:14

~

7. Enosh – 905 years.   Genesis 5:11

~

8. Mahalalel – 895 years.   Genesis 5:17

~

9. Lamech – 777 years.   Genesis 5:31

~

10. ???????

Enoch lived 365 years. He was walking with God and then disappeared.Could he possibly still be living? Maybe taken away by God like Elijah but not noted? This is spoken of in Genesis 5:23 & 24

___

12 But the godly will flourish like palm trees
and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.
13 For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house.
They flourish in the courts of our God.
14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit;
they will remain vital and green.
15 They will declare, “The Lord is just!
He is my rock!
There is no evil in him!”

Psalm 92:12-15
New Living Translation (NLT)

___

http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/29/12

Standard

Anger

___

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+anger&view=detail&id=EE0C5FB0FCD1F098BF9D9E6078804F7063F700FB&first=0

___

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

from “Thoughtful Mind”

___

I do not think that there is a single person who would not agree with the statement I am about to write; of all of the emotions that the human heart is capable of holding, the most destructive and unhealthy one is anger. If there is anything to be learned from human history, it is that the emotion of anger is the single most life altering emotion man is capable of. Anger has toppled civilizations and torn apart the very fabric of man’s humanity to his fellow man. It destroys families and erodes love from relationships. It effects the destruction of self-esteem for millions and causes most people to lose their way as they travel the path that is life. And whether or not the emotion was born within our own heart or we are merely the innocent victim of another’s wrath, the damage that is done is exactly the same! And yet do we, without realizing it, make conscious choices in our everyday lives that fan those flames of anger, often re-igniting the fire even when time has allowed it to be reduced to a single, tiny ember?

___

The Bible speaks of two types of anger….RIGHTEOUS and UNRIGHTEOUS…. and even implies that one of the two is a more acceptable emotion. And while the cause of the first might it make that seem to be true, I think that either type causes the same damaging effects to our humanity as well as to that garment of skin and bone and internal organs we wear, that houses our very soul. Whether prompted by another or our own weaknesses, both types of anger makes us sad. Both types of anger causes us sleepless nights full of nightmares. Both types of anger changes our functioning during those waking hours.  Perhaps we lose our appetite not just for food but for everything that affords us any pleasure. Or perhaps we turn to something we find comforting like food, eating everything in sight (ahem…..me…..that’s me)!

___

 Yet with all our frailties and weaknesses, the human animal is lucky. Our gift of reason as well as free will, allows us to choose the behaviors we will share with others and allows us the opportunity of consciously curbing the destructive effects of anger. Most of us do not like the way we feel when we are angry which allows us to dissect and examine not just the cause of the emotion but to then to make a plan and take steps to improve the way we feel. Perhaps we just sit and think about the problem which can provide us with insights that will help to quench those flames that burn within. Or perhaps we seek out the sage advice of others, either family or friends or counselors, who are able to help us with the anger we feel. Whatever it is we choose, we are lucky that it is within our power, each of us, to change our behavior. The question then remains, are we able to see this and do something about it?

___

The  Righteous Anger

 The Passover  of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he  found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers  sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple,  with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and  overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these  things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

John 2:13-16

~

Unrighteous Anger

 but for Cain  and his offering he [the LORD] had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his  face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face  fallen?  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do  well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule  over it.” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain  rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:5-8

___

http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The day 03/28/12

Standard

Discipleship

___

http://www.bing.com/images/

___

But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.

Walter Raleigh

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

___

Now that the ending of the Lenten period is approaching and we are faced with remembering the last days of Jesus, we are also confronted with seeing, once more, the fallibility and human weaknesses of the men who were hand-picked by Him to aid in sharing his Father’s message with the world….the Disciples. And the very human part of me must ask that burning question that many of us have probably, at the very least, thought ourselves, even if we did not utter the very words. How is it possible that the Son of God, a man blessed with a wisdom not since matched by another, could have possibly selected the 12 followers that He did? Did He know what the future held? Did He see when looking at these 12, that He would not just be denied but would also be betrayed? Which then also bids us consider and ask the questions of what exactly is “Discipleship” and are we worthy of sharing God’s message today?

___

 Perhaps we first need to look at the definition of what it is, exactly, that makes someone a disciple. A disciple, by definition, according to Bing Dictionary is:

disciple (n)
dis·ci·ple [ di sp’l ]

~
1) follower of person or idea: somebody who believes in and follows the teachings of a leader, a philosophy, or a religion

2)original follower of Jesus Christ: in the Bible, one of the 12 original followers of Jesus Christ

Synonyms: follower, believer, supporter, devotee, partisan, adherent, student, pupil, scholar, learner

___

It seems likely that the reason for choosing those He did was not for any particular talent or skill, although each most certainly did have their own unique talents. We know what the “occupations” were of only five or six of the 12 Disciples. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John (the sons of Zebedee) where all fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. Simon was known as “the Zealot” which was likely considered to be his job. Of the remaining Disciples, the other James, Judas, Phillip, Thomas, Bartholomew (AKA Nathan), and Thaddeus (AKA Jude), I do not believe we know of any particular occupation. What we do know is that they were a fairly diverse collection of men, and certainly not entirely obedient, and it is because of their differences, that is seems likely Christ was sending a message to the world that any and all are welcome to hear His message and to become followers.

___

Today “Discipleship” is just as difficult for each of us as it was for the 12 chosen. We are all very human and are apt to have the faith we share colored by the many life experiences we hold within our hearts. And just like Thomas, it is likely that we have doubted and perhaps even denied Him. And perhaps, like Judas Iscariot, we may have even betrayed the very fabric of our faith in God. But it is also the sacrifice made by Jesus all those years ago, that allows us to confess our doubts and denials and other sins, and have the stain of those sins washed away. Once again, we are able to become a human vessel of the Holy Spirit and, we are given the strength to overcome those daily trials that serve to try to undermine what it is we profess belief in.

___

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

___

http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/27/12

Standard

Speaking With “Forked” Tongue

___

http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Touch-of-Heaven-On-Earth/178487215567906

___

A half truth is a whole lie.

Yiddish Proverb

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

___

We know what the phrase “speaks with a forked tongue” means and yet do we know how it originally came to be used in the United States? We inherited this “pearl of wisdom” from our Native American cultures who long ago used it to describe those either within their own tribe or a neighboring tribe who had deliberately lied and, therefore, was no longer worthy of being trusted. It seems to have been adopted in speaking about Caucasian people as a result of the French employing a tactic in the late 1600’s, during the French and Indian War, when they invited the Iroquois to attend a Peace Conference only to capture and kill the Native Americans.

___

Today we use the very same expression but now we are often implying either some sort of hypocritical behavior or otherwise acting in a duplicitous manner. And often, because we are not exactly telling an outright falsehood, we think it is acceptable to say one thing but mean something entirely different. We see this everywhere. Just look at our politicking Presidential candidates. From listening to the vehemence that is often spewed about their opponent, you might just think the “other guy” was a spawn of Satan himself! But, we probably should not be surprised that our political system has somehow devolved to this level. Isn’t this what is predicted in the Bible? Are we not told that mankind will be reduced to uttering falsehoods where darkness will be called light and where evil becomes thought of as good and good thought of as evil?

___

Those half-truths we speak are as common in today’s society as there are stars in the sky! And often, we have used these tactics ourselves so often that we can no longer discern what is truth and what is falsehood, even to ourselves! Do we really think before we speak to others? Are the words and ideas we share with others tinged with that subtle hint of grey? Are we somehow washing our thoughts the same way we wash a load of white laundry, in hot water and carelessly throwing that new ink black t-shirt in with the rest of the load?

___

The forked tongue of man can be as deadly a weapon as is an atomic bomb! The one difference is that the destruction caused by the bomb is generally an eradication of all life forms within the area it is fired upon. Life under its assault ceases to exist as we know it. The death that can come by one speaking lies and half-truths is much more subtle. It is a death that results from the undermining of the very fabric of a person’s emotional makeup. It seeks to destroy not physical life but self-esteem. It breaks apart not the very ground we walk on but often the family unit and community that is our humanity. And it is often a death that we do not see coming until it is too late to negotiate a truce! Which leads me to wonder….in reality is the attack of the first worse that the attack of the second?

___

5 So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell.  7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind.  8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:5-8 NET

___

http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/26/12

Standard

Regrets

___

http://wittenbergtrail.org/

___

We have a choice every day – to act on yesterday’s good intentions or get an early start on tomorrow’s regrets.

Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.

http://www.quotegarden.com/wise-words.html

___

There are regrets that always seem just a tad beyond our reach to make amends for during our everyday lives. The problem with this is that we often don’t give them much thought until it’s become too late for us to atone for them while we have the opportunity of doing so.

___

In working in Hospice care for so many years, I was often the one person people felt comfortable enough with the unburdening of their regrets to, now that the chance to atone had passed them by, rather than the loved ones they shared their everyday living with. And, yet despite the fact that it is those that are closest to us that seem to suffer the most from the behaviors we display or the actions we take each and every day, they are the ones we spend the least amount of time really talking to.  It is such a shame, because these are the ones deserving of the truth of what is in our hearts when the need to share this comes.

___

While the regrets we feel are somewhat subjective, based on many factors relating to the way we lived, there were several that I heard repeated over and over again. And because I hope that knowing just what the things are that we regret the most might cause you to live is a different way, I want to share with you what I have learned. Here is a list of what it is that seems to be the most common list of regrets people had….as they were related to me over the years.

___

  1. I did not live for myself. I did not act on my dreams. I did what it was others expected of me all the time!
  2. I was always working. I never took the time to stop, and look around, and experience the beauty that is to be found in the world.
  3. I was never honest (or honest enough) with others in my life and because of this I would become angry at those who were not at fault nor deserved my reaction.
  4. I lost the ties to my childhood, which was the thing that built my character, by not remaining friends with those whose role in my life was so very important then.
  5. I should have been happier more. I should have had fun more. I should have LIVED more!

___

Life is for living, not merely passing through. Life is for learning and growing and evolving. It is the time for us to decide the best person we can be and then finding the way to accomplish that while we have the opportunity of doing so. Seize the opportunity while you can and do not wait until it is too late to really live!

___

MY FATHER’S HOUSE

Bruce Springsteen

___

Last night I dreamed that I was a child 
Out where the pines grow wild and tall 
I was trying to make it home through the forest 
Before the darkness falls 

~
I heard the wind rustling through the trees 
And ghostly voices rose from the fields 
I ran with my heart pounding down that broken path 
With the devil snappin’ at my heels 
~
I broke through the trees, and there in the night 
My father’s house stood shining hard and bright 
The branches and brambles tore my clothes and scratched my arms 
But I ran till I fell, shaking in his arms 
~

acoustic interlude

~
I awoke and I imagined the hard things that pulled us apart 
Will never again, sir, tear us from each other’s hearts 
I got dressed, and to that house I did ride 
From out on the road, I could see its windows shining in light 
~
I walked up the steps and stood on the porch 
A woman I didn’t recognize came and spoke to me through a chained door 
I told her my story, and who I’d come for 
She said “I’m sorry, son, but no one by that name lives here anymore” 
~
My father’s house shines hard and bright 
It stands like a beacon calling me in the night 
Calling and calling, so cold and alone 
Shining `cross this dark highway where our sins lie unatoned

___

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/bruce+springsteen/my+fathers+house_20025148.html

___

To view a you tube video of this song, click the link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMIyXGmUR1w&feature=youtu.be

___

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:12

New American Standard Bible

___

http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/25/11

Standard

The Fifth Sunday of Lent

___

http://www.freedomfrommedom.com/wp3/

___

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.

Robert Flatt

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

___

The fifth Sunday in Lent is also known as Passion Sunday although that term is also applied to Palm Sunday, which is next week. It is this day that  marks the beginning of Passiontide, which is the traditional name given to the last two weeks of Lent which ends on Holy Saturday. It must be noted that in revising the Roman Missal in 1969, the Roman Catholic Church no longer uses this term. However, in many Anglican Church Services, such as the Church of England, Passiontide is observed as part of Common Worship. During Passiontide, the traditional Purple array continues until Holy Week, when it is replaced by Red! Passion Cantatas are often performed by church choirs during special performances, and speak of the days and hours before Christ’s crucifixion.

___

Many sermons focus this day on the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Now we know that Jesus had left Jerusalem before Lazarus’ death but upon hearing the news, he returned. Having already been entombed four days, Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha were sitting Shiva in their home. This ritual, which today lasts seven days, lasted thirty days in ancient times, and the rabbis had already certified that there was no trace of the soul remaining in Lazarus’ body. Decomposition of his body had begun. When the sisters saw Jesus, they rushed to him pouring out their grief and Jesus was so moved that he wept. He ordered the stone removed and when it was done, Jesus prayer to his Father in Heaven and then cried out “Lazarus, come out”!

___

Jesus persecution by officials was great during this time but it is likely that raising Lazarus from the dead was the catalyst that set in motion the determination by the officials in Jerusalem, that Christ needed to be put to death. And yet, the irony of the situation can not be lost on us. Just as Lazarus died and yet was raised by God, so we all are given the hope of eternal life that is promised to us by the sacrament of baptism. The miracle that took place of Lazarus’ raising, was the heralding to the world of all that Christ’s resurrection would give to mankind!

___

“Are you not aware that we who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Through baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life. If we have been united with him through likeness to his death, so shall we be through a like resurrection.”

(Romans 6:3-5)

___

http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC