Thought For The Day 06/26/12

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Hellfire And Brimstone!

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8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

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A recent viewing of the movie “Pollyanna” led me to think about the “Hellfire and Brimstone” style of preaching that was so very common in days of yore. Who can ever forget the sermon in that movie that caused the church chandelier crystals to quiver and make a sound somewhere between a tinkle and a rattle, as Reverend Ford shouted at the congregation from his pulpit high above the pews, “Death comes unexpectedly”! It was readily apparent that Reverend Ford thought that the only way to get his flock to understand his message was by pontificating. This was the accepted style of the day, when church services lasted hours and left bottoms and backs stiff and sore from sitting so long in one attitude!

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Today, I often think that church is merely an obligatory destination on a Sunday for many who listen half asleep as the sermon is being given, then rise from comfortably padded pews, and after sharing a quick, perfunctory handshake with the minister,  leave skid marks as they rush out the doors,  in search of other activities they would much rather be engaged in on a Sunday afternoon! Is this because so many who preach have lost touch with their flock? How many people reading this share their Sunday with a minister whose preaching technique seems to be to frighten their congregation into believing they will encounter the devil just around the next corner they come to? And while that may well be the case, is it necessary to beat the congregation over the head with this message?

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I am left to wonder and ask a very important question. Do you believe that those who seek to sow fear into God’s message have ever really experienced the grace and love of the Almighty? Now I can only speak for myself, but that is why I have tried over these last months, not to pontificate in my writings. It is my goal to try to share the Gospel (and by the way, when you translate the word gospel from its Greek roots, it translates as “good news”), and my message of faith, in a positive and enlightening way. And while there is a time and a place for a serious message from our religious leaders, never forget to temper the fire and brimstone with the cooling and refreshing waters that lead us to salvation. After all, wasn’t it the joyous news of his Father’s message to mankind that Jesus told his Disciples to impart? I am reminded, in particular, of Acts 2: 25-28:   25 David said about him: “I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” And yes, this most probably is one of Pollyanna’s “Glad Texts” which she told Reverend Ford about in the movie, but it is definitely a text I can share with a joyful heart because I have experienced the grace and love of the Almighty!

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18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4: 18 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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