Monthly Archives: July 2012

Thought For The Day 07/31/12

Standard

My Cup Runneth Over

___

http://realpowermaxingoutongodslove.com/Cup-runs-over.jpg

___

The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. 

Author Unknown

http://quotegarden.com/perseverance.html

___

Tomorrow is a milestone day for me. If I were a Television show, I would be the subject of news interviews and partying and all manner of celebratory gestures. And if it were years whose same number I count, tomorrow would be referred to as my QUINCENTENARY! Now put on your thinking caps and see if you can remember what that word means! Give up? Well tomorrow, assuming that I live through today, which is never a certainty for any of us, by the way, I will be sharing with you my 500th post. And I began to think about all that I have learned between post 1 and today’s, post 499th. What have all of these words and days given to me since the very beginning, on a chilly late March day of what feels sometimes like a million days ago?

___

I have met the most extraordinary collection of people from all walks of life. They have been all colors and shapes and sizes and live on nearly every continent of the world! Some of these meetings were merely chance encounters through a friend of a friend. Others were deliberate and singular individuals that I chose to become a part of my intimate circle of friends. Some I have never met face to face but feel as if I have. Others I have seen enough to be able to describe the varied hues of color they have in their eyes. All different and yet all have become my life coaches, teachers, mentors and supporters as I make my journey of self discovery in terms of my faith. After all, it is from that huge number of friendships I have cultivated, I have learned something very special and unique about both myself and the world in which I live. I have witnessed love on a scale I never thought was possible. I have witnessed generosity of spirit of epic proportions. I have seen the spread of kindness from one simple and humble act take root and flourish into an amazing garden of brightly hued colors of joy as varied as are the shades of green painted by God’s own hand upon His canvas…..the world. I have also seen some of the seemier sides of man and his baser nature so upfront and personal that I found my very breath sucked from my lungs! And yet even that served me well because it was through those less savory experiences that my appreciation for the rest were allowed to blossom and take form and come fully to life.

___

And am I allowing my writing to become too big a part of my life? Am I allowing it to crowd out other perhaps more important things I should be undertaking? Well as of now, I am still able to answer that question with a resounding NO! Perhaps the day will come when I find that I have nothing left within my heart that is worthy of sharing with you all. I hope not and I do not believe it will happen. But it might! And I hope that will not just be the day that God whispers once again in my ear that I am ready for the next step on my journey, but also when you all return the favor to me and tell me that it is time. I promise you that I will listen and I will not be hurt. I think I might be able to recognize all of the signs first hand but sometimes we are just too close to see things clearly. I believe you all care enough about me to be willing to take a chance and be just as honest with me as I endeavor to be with you all, each and every day! But until that day comes, expect a new post every day. I do not know what they might be but I hope they continue to carry us all on another adventure as we journey along MandysPath together!

___

Today the one person who is still with me that not just started my journey on life’s road as a human being but who also taught me the basic fundamentals of language and writing, is celebrating a milestone event. So I ask each of you to join me as I wish the very first man in my life a HAPPY 85th BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I love you very much!

~

___

Happy Birthday Celebration!

http://youtu.be/-hyJsoPosCE

___

“This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Advertisements

Thought For The Day 07/30/12

Standard

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

___

___

I see great things in baseball.  It’s our game – the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us. 

Walt Whitman

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

___

A Reminiscence!

___

Peering at the sky late last Saturday afternoon I was certain my prayers were going to be either unanswered or answered with a big NO! The day was dark and dank and dreary from the moment I managed to pry my eyes open and it remained so throughout the hours leading up to the opening pitch. We were to be joined by friends at a Myrtle Beach Pelican Baseball Game honoring the men and women volunteers of the Horry County Guardian ad Litem program. And just when the oppressive humidity made us wonder if it was possible for the air to hold any more moisture, it didn’t! The heavens opened and the ensuing downpour flooded roads all up and down the Grand Strand.

___

The same thing happened a couple of years ago at exactly the same time of the summer, when we were to celebrate my dad’s birthday with him throwing out the first pitch of the game. That night, after waiting out storms for 3 hours, the game was called off. And we were certain the same was in store for us this time. And I said a little prayer. Not for me. But for the children and grandchildren of all these hard-working volunteers as well as some lucky foster kids who would be attending. Dan and I have been blessed to see other baseball games in our lives but for some attending Saturday, this might just be their only chance.

___

We drove to the stadium with windshield wipers operating at warp speed trying to keep up with Mother Nature’s assault. And suddenly, a glimpse of golden-colored sky peeked at me from the west. And then another, and another. My prayer was being answered as winds died down and beating rain settled down to a mere sprinkle. We took umbrellas out of the car with us but never had to open them. Because as soon as we picked up our tickets at Will Call, the rain stopped completely. By the time we found our seats, the clouds had parted and amber sunlight suddenly bathed a baseball field with its warming glow. And by game time the assault was but a whisper of a memory as little ones and their families enjoyed buckets of popped corn, hot dogs, sodas, and other treats too numerous to mention.

___

Once again my God had listened to my prayer and given me His answer. And it wasn’t a prayer to see a baseball game. It was a prayer to share a wonderful experience with people who so selflessly give of their time to children whose lives are always stormy. It was a prayer that a child might just experience the wonder of catching a foul ball. It was a prayer to hear the ripple of laughter and see tiny faces awash with delight at the sight in front of them. And although I knew I might just be faced with the possibility of discovering that His answer would be no, I hoped it would not be. And it wasn’t!  And all was right with the world once more!

___

 

___

Dan with Splash, the Myrtle Beach Pelican mascot!

___
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.
Ecclesiastes 2: 24
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/29/12

Standard

The Whirling Dervish!

___

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Whriling_dervishes,_Rumi_Fest_2007.jpg

___

If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is
probably clenched. 

Terri Guillemets

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

___

OK, I admit it. My family is more like the Simpsons than the Cleavers in “Leave It To Beaver”. I am hard pressed to go through the day wearing my pearls as I bake Apple Pies and scrub the floor on my hands and knees! I wish I could get down on my hands and knees to clean in the first place, having sacrificed that job long ago to two miracles of miracles…..the Wonder Mop and the Swiffer. We have a messy house complete with messy bedrooms and a messy (very) garage. We have our share of Crab and Powanna, both weed grasses, that have invaded our beautiful Centipede lawn in the yard. And I have a whirling dervish of a 30 month old boy who is trying his hardest to become the next Picasso, preferring cake icing and food products in place of pastels, as his medium of choice on walls and tabletops in lieu of canvas! And I would have it no other way! Ever!

___

I used the term whirling dervish for a reason. Think for a moment about what a whirling dervish is. Did you know that it is, in fact, a ceremony performed by the Mevlevi Religious order in Turkey who perform a dance of spinning in hopes of achieving spiritual ecstasy?  When they whirl, they re-enact a turning towards the truth, during which the follower is transported through four levels….he symbolically grows through love, deserts his ego, finds the truth and arrives at the “Perfect”. And while it is indeed, a sacred religious act, it has become very much a draw for tourists who visit that part of the world! While gaining tremendous momentum at the outer reaches of the body, the whirling dervish remains calm and grounded at the core, thus achieving that perfect understanding which they seek. And isn’t this, in many ways, much like the effect faith renders on those of us who follow other pathways to God? Even though we live lives that are often spinning out of control in many aspects, maintaining a core of faith that a belief in God provides to us, keeps our very being grounded when everything else in our world is not! We can not stop our whirling dervish world from spinning all around us. But we can harness its forces if we remember that we too can find our “Perfect” place by embracing God and keeping Him always at our very core. If we choose that for our lives, we will always know that He is in our heart, in our mind and in our soul! And what could be more “Perfect” than that?

___

 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.

1 Corinthians 14: 15 NIV

___

6 But say ye in your hearts, O Lord, we must worship thee. 7 For mine angel is with you, and I myself caring for your souls.

Letter of Jeremiah 1: 6-7 KJV with Apocrypha 

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/28/12

Standard

Women Of Faith

___

Joan of Arc

http://0.tqn.com/d/womenshistory/1/0/y/l/2/Joan-of-Arc-19th-century.jpg

___

The tyrant dies and his rule ends, the martyr dies and his rule begins.

Soren Kierkegaard

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

___

I saw a post not long ago on Facebook from a female acquaintance who was encountering objection within her own family unit about her decision to preach God’s word. Now admittedly, her family were staunch Pentecostalists. However, I still found myself flabbergasted, to say the least, that there is still this type of bias discrimination to be found in this, the 21st century. Now perhaps I would have been less surprised if this woman lived in the Middle East where women are viewed as second class citizens to this day. But then I began to remember something else. Not long ago, a man was criticizing me for a stand I made in a very controversial situation, even going so far as to tell me that I should have consulted with him or my husband first, as they most certainly would have known best what I should be saying and doing. Now anyone that has read my posts here for the last year and a half knows perfectly well that I answer only to me and my own moral compass for what I say and do, nor have I ever deferred to any male for choosing the path I will follow as relates to my faith and how I express it. My husband is well aware of this. As a matter of fact, that is something he especially admires about my character. Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky as I am.

___

Throughout history women have been martyred for refusing to renounce, indeed choosing to espouse, their Christian beliefs. Feliciitatis, a Roman woman was beheaded with the same sword that slew her 3 youngest sons. Blandina was placed on a board with others as food for wild animals but her prayers prevented her death. Tortured publicly a second time, she finally died by sword. Denisa was beheaded at 16. Cecilia was scalded and then beheaded. Felicitas and Perpetua were stripped and put in with a wild bull before being beheaded. And, of course, one of the most famous female Christian martyrs, Joan of Arc, was burned at the stake after actually being found innocent during a trial. She cited martyred Saints Catharine and Margaret as her inspiration for her mission. Even in the last 30 years, Christian women have been, and continued to be, martyred for their faith. Remember the four Roman Catholic nuns, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford and Dorothy Kazel, who journeyed to war-torn El Salvador to help the poor and who, in March 1980, were kidnapped, raped and murdered by a Salvadoran Death Squad? Another modern-day Missionary, Gracia Burnham who, with her husband, was kidnapped in the Philippines, was made to suffer horrendous indignities at the hands of her Muslim abductors, and while she did not die, her husband did during attempts to free them on June 7th, 2002.

___

History is rife with stories of women who have held fast to their faith and who have dared to not just share His word with others but who openly and aggressively share and minister in His name. And as long as we, the people who inhabit such a very tiny piece of this universe, continue in refusing to recognize not just the value of other faiths but the value of all who express those beliefs as well, men and women will continue to suffer for the faith they hold, both within and without. And so to my friend who was made to feel as if her God filled heart was somehow unworthy because she was female, I say, you go girl! Preach! Praise Him with every fiber of your being! Because your reward for doing this will be great, even if it does not happen in this life but instead, happens in the next!

 ___

 Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford and Dorothy Kazel

http://morallowground.com/2010/12/02/on-this-day-1980-american-nuns-kidnapped-raped-murdered-by-american-trained-salvadoran-death-squad/martyrs/


31 What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but  gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God,  who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Romans 8: 31-35 ESV

___
8 Where through all the people went that were defended with thy hand, seeing thy marvellous strange wonders. 9 For they went at large like horses, and leaped like lambs, praising thee, O Lord, who hadst delivered them.
Wisdom 19: 8-9 KJV with Apocrypha
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/27/12

Standard

There Is A Lesson To Be Learned 

Everywhere We Look!

___

http://www.idanews.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/03_28_geese_1.jpg

___

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work,
a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

Vince Lombardi

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

___

There is a lesson to be learned from everything we experience in life. Sometimes the lesson is a most profound one. Other times it is just a little reminder of something we already knew. Sometimes those lessons come from an improbable source and sometimes not. But all are a part of what creates the very best person we can possibly become and for those of faith, who understand that all in our lives is other directed by a power greater than that of man, this is an especially poignant and special moment we savor every day. Take a lesson I learned yesterday about geese! I read this lesson in Godvine (http://www.godvine.com/register/) which is an internet post I subscribe to and which provides uplifting articles and videos aimed at making us feel just plain good. But when we remember the world in which we live, taking one single feel good moment out of the 1,400 minutes we experience every day is well worth it, don’t you agree? And for me, when I read something that I find unusually compelling, I usually want to discover what I can about the source of the wisdom I just shared. Here is what I discovered about the person who originally wrote the piece that appeared in Godvine yesterday.

___

A secondary school administrator and former science teacher from Baltimore, Dr Robert McNeish, had spent many years observing the activities of Geese. He observed their social interactions and behaviors and discovered the remarkable capacity with which they bond together and unite, not just as a mated pair but also as a team whose very survival is co dependent one with the other. In 1972, coincidentally the year I graduated from high school, he wrote an article in which he described these observances. He entitled this article “Lessons From the Geese“! And as I read his words, I began to understand that Geese seem to have so much more going for them than we, a so-called higher life form, often can lay claim to. So read here today some of Dr McNeish’s observations and as you read, discover if there is a life lesson contained that might just serve you well in your life, not just today, but every day!

___

We live in an area where geese are very common.

We see them coming in the Fall and leaving early Spring.

Their migration is an awesome sight.

There is an interdependence in the way geese function.

~

FACT:

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

LESSON:

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. A shared vision and sense of purpose create synergy, making the going a little easier for all.

~

FACT:

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the bird immediately in front.

LESSON:

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those we see who are headed where we want to go.

~

FACT:

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

LESSON:

It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership — people, as with geese, are interdependent upon one another.

~

FACT:

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON:

Positive encouragement is a strong motivator. We need to make sure our “honking” from behind is empowering, and not something less helpful.

~

FACT:

When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation to follow him or her down to help and protect their fallen companion. They stay with him/her until he is either able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own with another formation or catch up with their flock.

LESSON:

If we have as much sense as the geese, we will learn to stand by each other as we are achieving our goals.

___

1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 For he saith , I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold , now is the accepted time; behold , now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 KJV

~

13 For if thou hadst walked in the way of God, thou shouldst have dwelled in peace for ever. 14 Learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding; that thou mayest know also where is length of days, and life, where is the light of the eyes, and peace.  

Baruch 3: 13-14 KJV with Apocrypha

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/26/12

Standard

The Apocrypha

___

The Apocrypha, Lutheran Edition

http://cyberbrethren.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/bible_300yrold_apocrypha-1.jpg

___

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and
clouds and stars.

Author unknown

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

___

How many of you reading this have ever heard of the Apocrypha? Well, the word Apocrypha literally means things that are hidden. They often refer to what is sometimes spoken of as the “hidden books of the Bible“. Some of these books are considered to be “Canonical”, or texts that were, at one time, a part of the Bible but which were, for reasons that seemed appropriate at the time, omitted from officially sanctioned versions that were disseminated. Others are referred to as “Deuterocanonical” which means that they were books of a biblical nature and were interspersed within the existing texts of the Catholic version of the Bible but generally omitted from inclusion in the Protestant versions of the Bible.

___

When the Bible was being translated into Latin, some texts were omitted because while the information they contained could be found in the Greek testaments of the day, there was no supporting version to be found within Hebrew texts. And while most did receive approval for inclusion, it was during the Protestant reformation that they were rejected again since it was believed they were lacking divine authority! Despite the ruling of the Council of Trent which did declare them to be divine, only the books, Tobias, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Baruch, and Maccabees, remain in the Catholic Bible. First Esdras, Second Esdras, Epistle of Jeremiah, Susanna, Bel (and the Dragon), Prayer of Manasseh, Prayer of Azariah, and Laodiceans have not been included. Nearly all the Apocrypha  are Old Testament scripture except for Laodiceans, which was considered to be part of the Epistles of Paul!

___

Suffice it to say that the debate over whether the Books of the Apocrypha should be considered as God’s inspired word is as heated today as it was during the Reformation. However, as an aide in understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity, and filling in certain theological and historical facts that remain in question as the result of the huge gap of somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 years between the ending of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament,  a basic understanding of the Apocrypha might just be worth exploring. Just let your fingers do some walking on the keyboard of your computer and enter Apocrypha into your search engine for more information into these lost testimonies from established as well as some lesser known Biblical figures!

___
The Book of Bel (and the Dragon)
~
23 And in that same place there was a great dragon, which they of Babylon worshipped. 24 And the king said unto Daniel, Wilt thou also say that this is of brass? lo, he liveth, he eateth and drinketh; thou canst not say that he is no living god: therefore worship him. 25 Then said Daniel unto the king, I will worship the Lord my God: for he is the living God. 26 But give me leave, O king, and I shall slay this dragon without sword or staff. The king said, I give thee leave. 27 Then Daniel took pitch, and fat, and hair, and did seethe them together, and made lumps thereof: this he put in the dragon’s mouth, and so the dragon burst in sunder: and Daniel said, Lo, these are the gods ye worship.  
~
Bel 1: 23-27
King James Version with Apocrypha
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/25/12

Standard

Never Alone

___

http://lifeontherock.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/faith.jpg

___

Hope is FAITH holding out its hand in the dark.

George Iles

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

___

Yesterday I was asking my friends on Facebook to keep a young woman in their prayers. She is 30 something, married, with beautiful children, and she is entering the fight of her life. You see, she has a fairly nasty form of Cancer and was undergoing a lengthy 5 hour surgery which is the first step in a very long road ahead of her, in doing battle against this, her personal demon. And, the response I received from my request for prayers was phenomenal! From around the globe, people are rallying and asking God’s blessing for this woman and her family. As a matter of fact, she was lucky enough to see some of those wishes personally, before being taken to the OR. And I was reminded in the vast outpouring of support from people that know her only as Mandy’s Facebook friend, that no one on this earth is ever alone. Not really! As long as we have what I lovingly think of as the 3 F’s…..FAITH, FAMILY, and FRIENDS, we are all lifted and supported by a vast network of people, many of whom will always be a stranger to us!

___

Notice that I started my 3 F’s with the big one, the one word that eclipses all the others……FAITH? And it occurred to me that I did this naturally and without forethought or intention. FAITH, after all, is the tie that serves to bind the 3 F’s together and is the thing that should always come first in our lives! Now don’t think for a single moment that I don’t love my family with every fiber of my being. I would give up my very life for every one of them without a second thought. And yet, I still hold FAITH first. It was FAITH that made me a person almost 58 years ago. It was FAITH that gave my heart the capacity to love in the first place. It is FAITH that has gifted me with the other 2 F’s in my life. It is FAITH that carries me through all the troubles I face every day. And it will be by FAITH that I draw my last breath, secure in the knowledge of what awaits me when my earthly life is no more.

___

But knowing and feeling the truth of FAITH is only half of the equation. The other piece is being ready, willing and able to seize that FAITH with both hands and hold onto it. Belief and FAITH, while both essentials of living a life that honors God, are not really the same thing. Belief can happen when we must act in the moment. We often do not have time to wait for the certainty of a situation to sink in and so we seize the moment and believe it is possible. Remember when Peter walked on the water? He did not think about it, he just did it! That is what Belief offers to us. However, it is FAITH that gives our Belief its power and strength! FAITH is what makes us certain in the things that Belief teaches to us! I Believe that my friend will do well because it is my FAITH that makes me so certain of this! What does your FAITH give to you?

___

Heb 11:1 (KJV) ~ Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:1 (NIV) ~ Now FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (NEB) ~ FAITH… makes us certain of realities we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (Mof) ~ Now FAITH means that we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (Wey) ~ Now FAITH is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.

___
“Never Alone”
Performed by Lady Antebellum
Featuring: Jim Brickman
Songwriters: Sarah Buxton, Victoria Lynn Shaw, Gary Scott Burr
~
May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when it’s time to go home
May you always have plenty
Your glass never empty
Know in your belly
You’re never alone
~
May your tears come from laughing
You find friends worth having
With every year passing
They mean more than gold
May you win but stay humble
Smile more than grumble
And know when you stumble
You’re never alone
~
Never alone
Never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
~
Well, I have to be honest
As much as I want it
I’m not gonna promise the cold winds won’t blow
So when hard times have found you
And your fear surround you
Wrap my love around you
You’re never alone
~
Never alone
Never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
~
May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when it’s time to go home
And when hard times have found you
And your fear surround you
Wrap my love around you
You’re never alone
~
Never alone
Never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry