Monthly Archives: March 2012

Thought For The Day 03/24/12

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God’s cake…. 

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One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.

Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright

“Pavarotti, My Own Story”

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

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 The miracle that is social media puts people from opposite sides of the world in touch with one another and forges  a  connection just a real and palpable as it would be if we had grown up across the street one from the other, playing together as children. We may, in fact, think of these people as our best friends and consider the tie between us as one forged of iron, despite the fact that often we may have only a picture of a grainy and blurred image which is the vision which has been  painted in our mind of just how exactly it is that the other looks. And equally amazing, many times we embark on a journey and travel thousands upon thousands of miles just to be able to meet these intimate strangers who have become like family.
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Just as Social Media sites unite people, so does internet mail postings unite us in thought one with the other.  We forward and share postings that have, somehow, touched our hearts in some special or unique way. And many of the things we get as a forwarded email are a post that has circled the globe in millions upon millions of pieces of email sent to such a diverse collection of individuals that it is often impossible for us to even envision then as strangers….never mind as acquaintances or friends. But, amazingly, they are often people who share our tastes and passions and pursuits!  And then when we consider that sometimes that post may have originated years earlier but the moment it crosses our computer screen for the first time, it make just as significant an impact on us as it did with the very first person to ever receive its wisdom.
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This is one such post of which I refer. I have no idea how long it has journeyed the four corners of the earth, but today it graces your computer screen as you read my blog. And remember you are but a single one of perhaps millions of others who have been touched in some very special way, by its message!

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Sometimes we wonder,

‘What did I do to deserve this?’ or ‘Why did God have to do this to me?’

Here is a wonderful explanation!

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A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away. Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”

“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.

“Yuck,” said her daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?”

“Gross, Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mom, those are all yucky!”

To which the mother replies, “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!”

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God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful! God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

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All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/23/12

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Loss

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The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity. 

Seneca

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

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I am consumed today with such sadness! Last night I found out someone very dear to my family needed emergency surgery and lost the precious life she was carrying, in the process! She sounds fine today….vibrant and spunky and eager to be leaving the hospital where, we all must admit, that no one who ever wants to get better, should ever stay in for very long! (I say that in all earnestness since my vocation once upon a time was the medical profession, and I saw first hand how much faster people recovered once they were home, sleeping in their own bed and surrounded by the people that love them.) But I can’t help but wonder if her cheerfulness is a mask….a false face….. being worn to keep the others in her life that love her so dearly, from worrying needlessly.

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Now I must preface all I share by telling you that she was young….not quite 20, and living some distance away from her parents, her grandmother, who is my best friend and even her God mother….my daughter.We were all rather surprised when we heard her news only a few days ago that she was expecting.  This news was an even bigger surprise to me because I was there the moment she was born and cried her first cry. I was worried for this woman who will forever remain in my head as that baby I helped to bring into the world, all those years ago….and on my wedding anniversary, too! We wondered how she would manage the stressful days ahead of ever-expanding tummy and tiredness and somehow managing to create a home for one whose very life would rest in her hands for years to come. Had she thought about the sleepless nights and the worrying over where the money would come from for formula and diapers and clothes that seem to be needed in a bigger size every week? Had she thought about making sure this baby would be well-educated and grow into a well-rounded person? Was she prepared at all? Was the time right?

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Suddenly it dawned on me that there is almost never a perfect time for bringing a child into the world. Despite our best efforts, some landmine always explodes under our feet at the exact time we think all of our ducks are suddenly lined up in a row. We are knocked off our feet and sometimes we fall into that pile of what were once our best intentions. However we are a race of living beings whose primary claim to fame is that we are resilient. When we get knocked down, we bounce back up on our feet again. We adapt and we cope. And yes, we hope that we learn from our mistakes but that doesn’t mean we are exempt from making new ones in the next second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year or lifetime.

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But for now we mourn. For now we hope that the world did not just lost the next Einstein or Rembrandt or Shakespeare. For now we turn our hearts over to the one who lifts us and gives us the strength to continue on despite the fact that the message he just sent to us was “No”! We trust that this, too, is part of His master plan for this family and this young woman. And we trust that this will be a way to learn a bit more about the inner fortitude we are all blessed with and the courage that we all are armed with as we face each new day! Yes, we mourn today. But the sun will rise again tomorrow!

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1: “The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb He called me by name.”

Isaiah 49:1 (Living Bible)

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/22/12

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Kindred Spirits All Over The World!

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Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.  

Barnett R. Brickner

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

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When you begin writing a blog, you instantly become a member of a brand new club where you are given the opportunity of meeting thousands and thousands of new colleagues and friends. It is something I am embracing with each comment to my posts I moderate and each new follower I am lucky enough to find that want to subscribe to my postings every day. “Keziah28”, who publishes a blog here on wordpress (http://kezi.wordpress.com/) is one of those kindred spirits that are somehow other directed into our lives. Her blogs are wonderful, based on specific scripture passages that embrace the idea she is looking to impart for the particular post she is scripting. I discovered one of her gems which I just have to share with you all. The title says it all and although we really need to credit the Almighty for His inspired verses, Kezi is the genius who managed to combine their message into one cohesive group. I did include the bible verses quoted here from the Contemporary English Version of the Bible!

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TEN BIBLICAL RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE!

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1.     Never bring up mistakes of the past.

 37Jesus said:  Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.

Luke 6:37

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2.     Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

36What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?

Mark 8:36

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     3.     Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.

26Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry

Ephesians 4:26

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4.     At least once a day, say something complimentary to your spouse.

4Kind words are good medicine, but deceitful words can really hurt.

Proverbs 15:4

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5.     Never meet without an affectionate welcome. 

2Kiss me tenderly! Your love is better than wine,

Song of Solomon 1:2

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6. “For richer or poorer”- rejoice in every moment that God has given you together.

17A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred.

Proverbs 15:17

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7.     If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate.

27Do all you can for everyone who deserves your help

Proverbs 3:27

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8.     If they’re breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive.

3So be careful what you do. Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry. 4Even if one of them mistreats you seven times in one day and says, “I am sorry,” you should still forgive that person

Luke 17:3-4

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9.     Don’t use faith, the Bible or God as a hammer.

17God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!

John 3:17

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10.     Let love be your guidepost.

4Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or 5rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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7My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him. 8God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him.

1 John 4: 7-8 CEV

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/21/12

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Time Sails By!

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http://photos.igougo.com/pictures-photos-p375444-Ship_on_the_horizon.html

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Time stands still when no one understands
you and you don’t quite understand yourself.
Today didn’t have to be this way, tomorrow
is another day, another chance to make
things right..

Author Unknown

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 In the blink of an eye it will be the end of March and the first quarter of 2012 will be just a memory. How is it possible that 1/4 of 2012 has already rushed passed us all? And like many of you I am sure, I am wondering just what it has been that I have accomplished so far this year? Something? Anything? Or nothing!?!?!?!

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I always picture mankind divided into three separate categories. Category one includes those people who seem to instinctively know what it is they want to accomplish in life. Those are the people who seen to have a fixed list for what it is they want to accomplish, often decided and written down early on in their lives. For example: 1: Get an education (preferably an MBA and PhD) 2: Become a CEO by age 40. 3: Have a bank account that rivals Bill Gates! These people are the ones that dive right into most of their endeavors and are driven to reach their goals. And yet, I must wonder if they ever get any real pleasure or sense of satisfaction from what it is they do! I have many family members with this same drive and determination and I admire it very much. I can but hope that their lives are and will continue to be happy ones and that they fulfill that sense of accomplishment that drives them so as they seek to discover their place in this world! But category one isn’t me!

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The second category of people couldn’t be more different if their skin were pink with purple polka dots. They are the ones that sit back and are always looking out there, scanning the horizon for that next new and exciting experience to reveal itself to them. They most likely work just as hard as the first group and yet they are not content to see their lives fit into some perfect mold of what others think it should be. They are somewhat egocentric in their thinking and, I think, sometimes miss out on the finer things that are to be found in the more mundane things that are always a part of life. Are the people in this group so busy trying to continually re-invent themselves that they miss appreciating the things they have in the here and now? Category two isn’t me, either!

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Group three is, in my mind, the ideal group of people. They are some perfectly blended mixture of the first two I wrote about. They are the ones that seem to understand that it is important to be receptive to new opportunities and yet they weigh the pros and cons of the thing to determine whether altering their route will benefit them on a number of levels. This group understands that there are more than just themselves impacted by every decision that is made. Unless we live some cloistered experience (and I sincerely mean no disrespect to people of God who have chosen this as their personal path in serving Him), most of us have partners, children or parents who figure prominently in how we define our happiness and what it is we need to accomplish to bring joy to the collective family unit.

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I hope group three is the group I fit into. I like structure and discipline. The good Lord know that much about me. I feel like I might just find myself with my head spinning around and pea soup coming from my mouth, without that discipline there. But, I like to smell the flowers once in a while too. I like to go outside, and scan the horizon for those ships that seem like tiny ants marching along that place where sky meets water. I like to see the ship as it becomes larger and I am curious enough to want to discover just exactly what it is that ship is carrying. And if the cargo is something that will not just benefit me but will also fit in with the plans that the others I hold near and dear have for their lives too, and it is something that I want to explore and incorporate into the way I live…….well, so be it! It was this way for me in March, 2011, when I heard God whisper in my ear! And I haven’t looked behind since!

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And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a spirit”; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.”

Matthew 14: 25-27

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/20/12

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Og

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Og’s bed (engraving circa 1770 by Johann Balthazar Probst)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Og%2C_King_of_Bashan

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He is one of those giant figures, of whom there are very few in history, who lose their nationality in death. 

David Lloyd George

http://www.quotegarden.com/presidents-day.html

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A few weeks ago, I wrote of an obscure Biblical character with the longest name documented within its pages. If you remember, Maher-shalal-hash-baz was a son of the prophet Isaiah, and was intended as a prophetic name to provide a time frame for the invasion of Assyria that would serve to punish both Syria and Israel. Well I had an idea to try to discover the person with the shortest name.  Now if I am incorrect and any of you know a name shorter, please reply to this blog. I would love to know of someone with a name with only 1 letter and there may well be one….I am not a Biblical scholar, after all. But I think that name, also a person as equally obscure as Maher-shalal-hash-baz , would be Og!

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Introduced in the book of Numbers but continued in Deuteronomy 3: 1-11, we learn of a a man who was an Amorite and the king of Bashan. Now it is told that he lived from the time of Noah until his death at the hands of Moses and the Israelites during the battle of Edrei. As a matter of fact, Jewish folklore says he was actually aboard Noah’s ark during the flood with some versions saying he had his own compartment and others saying he rode atop the structure. It is also said that he was the last of the Rephaim or Giants who lived at the time. He was believed to be between 9 and 13 feet tall, based on the size of his bed which is detailed in the Bible. It is said that to kill the Israelites, he uprooted a mountain, intending to crush them in their camp, but God instructed Moses not to be afraid. Moses seized a spear 10 cubits long and although the size of a cubit was subjective, based on the length of the forearm, it must have been all that Moses could do to wield it. He stabbed Og in the ankle and it is said that God made Og’s teeth grow so long that they became imbedded in the mountain he held which then unleashed ants which swarmed into his mouth, killing him! The slaying of Og and his army must have been quite a coup for the Israelites since it is said he ruled over sixty gated, well-fortified cities and the booty from such a kingdom would have been tremendous.

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11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
   Og king of Bashan,
   and all the kings of Canaan—
12 and he gave their land as an inheritance,
   an inheritance to his people Israel.

Psalm 135: 11-12

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/19/12

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Changing the Road We Travel

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(c) Darrell Gulin/Photodisc Red/Getty Images

“Royalty Free” collection

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Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. 

Faith Baldwin

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

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If there is one thing that life has taught me, it’s that our paths are never certain and that we must become flexible enough to roll with the punches. Case in point….my desire to do Hospice Chaplaincy. Now as you all know, I was a Hospice Nurse for many years. And, as you also know from a blog I wrote just a few days ago, helping people through the process of death and dying is something I am fairly comfortable with where others may find that to be a much more difficult endeavor. And even though the Medical Director for the Hospice program I affiliated with really wants my involvement with the program, I haven’t received many referrals, despite me being honest with the administration that I would be willing to travel to the far ends of Horry County, if I were needed. And yet, they have not come and I actually realize now, having thought about it, what the reason may well be.

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I live in the “Bible Belt” of our country where churches line every back road with the same frequency that fast food venues line the entire length of Highway 95, from Maine to Florida! Most people here are as firmly attached to their own personal faith as well as their churches and ministers as they are to family members, and so it is natural, that IT is the place that they associate with having received the most spiritual comfort during their living years that they would naturally turn to during their dying ones. And this is a wonderful thing, and even better still, the way it should be for everyone! In the meantime, “Shepherd’s Care Hospice” knows that they can turn to me if I am needed. And that is also a wonderful thing. But, for me, it actually nudged me to consider some more options that have presented themselves to me.

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I am lucky to have multiple passions in life. Caring for the dying is one. And if I had to list one that is almost as high on my list of priorities, it would be children. That is why I chose “Fostering Hope”, the non-profit agency that provides to children entering Foster Care, a suitcase, clothing, shoes, personal care items, school essentials, etc., as one of my projects for the community outreach work I do. And that is what also prompted me to accept a place on the Board of Directors for “Heroes for Children”, which supports all the endeavors for the “Guardian ad Litem” program here. It seems as if children is the direction I am being led by Him to help. And this is also a wonderful thing!

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Sometimes we must make a change to effect a change. None of us stays the same throughout our lives. As we grow, not just in years, but in faith, as well, we often discover that what it is we were expecting from our service to others, takes a radical shift. And sometimes that requires us making a u-turn in the road we are traveling. The key here is to recognize this basic fact and to see when that change is needed, and then to have the courage to take that chance. Sometimes it might just remove us from our comfort zone. And that is often a good thing for our lives, because it might just be that new venture that re-ignites within us the passions that may have become somewhat stagnant within us. What it does is gives us another opportunity to re-write the story that is ours. And this, too, is a wonderful thing!

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19: O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20: Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ 22: Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, ‘Away with you!’ 23: He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.’

 Isaiah 30: 19-23 

(New International Version)

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/18/12

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The Fourth Sunday of Lent

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Traditional Mother’s Day Cake

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/motheringsunday_1.shtml

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And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him.  For He departed, and behold, He is here.  

St Augustine

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

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 The fourth Sunday in Lent is known by its Latin name, Lætare Sunday and was most likely named for a passage in Isaiah (Isaiah 66:10-11, which begins “Laetare, Jerusalem” (“Rejoice, O Jerusalem”). And like it’s counterpart during Advent, Gaudete Sunday, in many churches, on Lætare Sunday, the traditional purple garb or vestments for Roman Catholic priests or the altar flowers in Protestant churches, which are either absent or are much simpler, smaller displays, both of which are more in keeping with the sacrifices that are asked of us during the earlier weeks of the of the Lenten time of penance, are replaced with the brighter and more joyous hue of rose. And in many churches whose organs have been silent for the last few weeks, now trumpet their music once again. Sermons this day herald the joyousness of the day rather than the more sedate messages often shared during the earlier weeks of Lent. Some believe that the purpose of these changes is to encourage the congregation, especially the children, to persevere through the remainder of the period of sacrifice still required of us during the days ahead. But regardless of the reason, Lætare Sunday also heralds the time that we as Christians eagerly look forward to as the most reverential day that exists for us…..Easter, and reminds us that the time of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior is near!

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As an interesting addendum to  Lætare Sunday, there is something I did not know until just the other day. In some parts of the world, primarily in the United Kingdom, the fourth Sunday of Lent is also known as Mother’s Day. Now this has nothing at all to do with the Mother’s Day we traditionally celebrate in May. Rather, it began many years ago when children left home to work as servants, often as early as age 10. Servants normally worked every day and were seldom permitted time off from their duties. However, on Mother’s Day, these children were given this day off to return home to visit their mother’s, and they would often stop along the road to pick wildflower bouquets as a gift. Even today, children in England give small tokens and hand-made cards to their mothers on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Also, it served another purpose in that it allowed each child, indeed, each person the opportunity of returning home to their “mother” church once a year instead of attending the parish nearest where they worked and this may well have been the primary motivating factor in establishing Mother’s Day!

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Since both Lætare Sunday and Mother’s Day make this day a special time of feasting with family, I chose this Bible verse to accompany today’s blog:

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Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

John 6: 10-12

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC