Monthly Archives: July 2012

Thought For The Day 07/24/12

Standard

Meet Satan

___

Satan, illustration by Gustave Doré from John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/524816/Satan

___

You can never tell the sinner from the Christian.  They drink the same drinks and smoke the same cigars. 

Aimee Semple McPherson

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

___

Have you ever thought about what it might be like meeting Satan? Well, you probably already have and just didn’t know it. He’s very deceptive after all. He changes from moment to moment, sometimes wearing the mask of the face of those we know intimately well. But who is he exactly? Well in both Christianity as well as Judaism, he is portrayed as God’s opposite and adversary. In fact, his very name is the translation into English of the Hebrew word for adversary! And like a virus roams the earth and seeks a compatible host with which to attach itself and infect and make ill, so does Satan roam and search for those who are weak enough of spirit to allow him entrance and then to allow him to infect their very soul. Satan seeks to be a divisive force who cares not for the peace and harmony we all crave in our lives. Instead, he seeks at all turns to test God’s authority over the human race. In fact it was this very thing that caused his rebellion against God. Satan was created by God as a cherub, who, between the time of his creation and that of the first human being, believed himself an equal of the Almighty, and took his share of the angels with him in his insurrection. He was forever cast out of Heaven. We learn in Revelations that when Christ returns to reign again on Earth, Satan will be chained for a thousand years and then will be defeated for all time. And while there is continued debate as to his existence, just as faith makes God known to the heart of man, so does faith cement within us the existence of Satan, as well.

___

Jesus Christ & Satan

Compare the two and then decide which side you want to follow!

~

What is their purpose for existence? 

Jesus: Lead people to Salvation

Satan: Lead people to Iniquity

~

What method will be used?

Jesus: Telling people only Truth

Satan: Telling people only Lies

~

What is their motivation?

Jesus: Create a world that knows Love

Satan: Create a world that knows Hate

~

What will those who follow experience?

Jesus: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control

Satan: Hatred, Sorrow, Disharmony, Intolerance, Cruelty, Indecency, Treachery, Imperviousness, Rashness

~

What will following lead to?

Jesus: Life everlasting

Satan: Everlasting enslavement

___

This post was inspired by a You Tube video.

http://youtu.be/ZDqRheBu2cg

~

The video was created as a teaching tool for LifeChurch.tv’s “One Prayer” message series.

http://www.lifechurch.tv and http://www.oneprayer.com

___
“Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tablets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick;  therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”
Ezekiel 28: 13-19 (KJV)
___
Today I want to wish my beautiful daughter in law, Melissa Mora Bruscella, a very Happy Birthday. If I had hand chosen someone for my son, I could not have chosen more perfectly!
Melissa and Danny
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/23/12

Standard

And IT CAME TO PASS…..

___

http://www.scenicreflections.com/files/Reading_The_Bible_Wallpaper__yvt2.jpg

___

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society.  The optimist invents
the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. 

Gil Stern

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

___

And IT CAME TO PASS….. Have you ever thought about the sheer number of times these 5 words appear in the Bible?  The Mormon faith takes it on the chin all the time because of the number of times it is used in the text of that faith. Even Mark Twain commented about these 5 words in his semi-autobiographical book of travel entitled, “Roughing It”, which he published in 1872. This is the tongue-in-cheek paragraph he wrote in Chapter 16:

The author labored to give his words and phrases the quaint, old-fashioned sound
and structure of our King James’s translation of the Scriptures…. Whenever he
found his speech growing too modern — which was about every sentence or two —
he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as “exceeding sore,” “and it came to
pass,” etc., and made things satisfactory again. “And it came to pass” was his
pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet.

___

For those of us who read and follow God’s text in the Bible, we may or may not see those words. It all depends on the Bible you are using. For instance, those 5 words are not used in just that way in the New American Standard Bible at all. The same can not be said of the King James Bible! And seeing those 5 words included in KJV texts makes perfect sense to me because so much of what we read, especially those appearing in the Old Testament, are words given to us by the prophets, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Methuselah, Noah, Shem, Moses, Joshua and Jethro, to name but a handful. And so, as later men of faith bore witness to the visions that were given coming to pass, so was this passed on to us in the spoken or written accounts and these 5 words flourished!

___

If you read the King James Bible, you will find this phrase hundreds of times (some Biblical scholars say over 1500, others say just under 500), beginning in Genesis 4:3 – “And in process of time IT CAME TO PASS, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD” to Thessalonians 3:4 – “For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as IT CAME TO PASS, and ye know…” and finally transforming in Revelations 1:1 – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly COME TO PASS; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John…” where the things that are coming to pass are given to us as what is imminent to mankind!

___

I believe the fact that these words IT CAME TO PASS appear as often as they do is intended as a reminder that just as so much that was foretold has happened, we must not dismiss the things that the Bible tells us will happen, but have not yet occurred. They are meant to serve as a wake-up call to man that there is no time like to present to make things right between each heart and God, for just as surely as He sees the color of our skin and of our eyes, so does He know the character of our soul and the content of our hearts! And while it is my fervent hope that the ending of times will occur a thousand, nay, a hundred thousand  years from now, make no mistake. It WILL come! And even if we do not bear witness to the ending of times, our very time which we walk the earth will end. And I, for one, want to know that my ticket to pass through the pearly gates and to spend eternity with Him is stamped, APPROVED!

___
1: And IT CAME TO PASS in those days, that there went out  a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2: (And this taxing was first made  when Cyrenius was governor  of Syria.) 3: And all went  to be taxed , every one into his own city.4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being  great with child.6And so it was , that, while they were there, the days were accomplished  that she should be delivered . 7: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes , and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2: 1-7 KJV
___
A Birthday Wish!
Today my baby sister, 10 years younger that I am, celebrates her big day! Happy 40 something Birthday to Emma-Leigh Larsen. Even though the miles separate us, our hearts are forever joined by the “Crimson Cord”! I hope your day will be a FANTABULOUS one!
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/22/12

Standard

Remember!

___

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/century-16-shooting-aurora-cancels-showtimes_n_1689626.html

___

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun,
so must you know pain…. Accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have
always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields….

Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet, 1923

___

Remembering the thing that matters most when we are faced with a tragedy is never an easy thing. We are too often driven by the emotions of the moment when choosing our words or planning the actions we will take as a result of the horrors that were brought before our very eyes. We wonder how it is possible that one person can act with such callous indifference. We speak his name over and over, imprinting it into our brain so as to never forget the tragic events precipitated by one sick and tortured soul, as if we ever could! And we all too often forget! We forget that there are 70 individual lives as well as those of their families and intimate friends, that will be forever changed. And suddenly the number of directly and indirectly impacted people rises into at least a thousand lives that will never be the same. They will never sleep the same way. They will never view a movie exactly the same way. They will never enjoy the buttery taste of popcorn or Jujubees in exactly the same way they once did. All because one person became lost!

___

Now is not the time to point fingers and lay blame. Now is not the time to question laws and ask what needs to be changed. Now is not the time to think about one lost and tortured soul. Now is the time to rally around those 70 who were directly impacted and the thousand others indirectly affected but who will be the ones left to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, hopes and dreams. Now is the time to ask God’s mercy on the 12 thus far that have been called home to live with him forever more. For I have no doubt that is exactly where they dwell whether they truly knew Him or not. Now is the time to wrap those who were injured and who will forever bear the scars of that day in our arms and lift them up in prayer that they might one day be able to, if not forget, perhaps live for a single moment without reliving and remembering those moments. Now is the time to ask that strength be given to all of those who were less directly affected and yet will remain forever more the support system for those survivors as they struggle to continue on. And now begins the time to remember the family of the one responsible because they will never be thought of the same way by society ever again.

___

Remember Veronica Moser-Sullivan, the youngest at 6 who started swimming lessons just 3 days earlier. Remember Robb Scott who dived in front of his girlfriend and her brother to save them. Remember Alex Sullivan, the birthday boy and husband whose 1 year anniversary would have been today. Remember 27-year-old Micayla Medek, a spirit filled woman with a joyful heart. Remember John Larimer, a member of the United States Navy and a cryptologist. Remember Jessica Ghawi (known professionally as Jessica Redfield), an established sports blogger with dreams of becoming a sports broadcast journalist. Remember Gordon Cowden who was the oldest at 51. Remember Air Force Reservist, Jesse Childress. Remember Aurora resident Alexander J. Boik. Remember another former member of the Navy, who was planning on re-enlisting, Jonathan Blunk. Remember Rebecca Ann Wingo who worked in Customer Service. And lastly, remember Alexander C. Teves who received his Masters degree in Psychology just a few short weeks ago. They are the names of those who were enjoying an evening out with family or friends. They were all people who should be sharing their Sunday with those they love. They are the ones who should forever remain in our hearts and minds! And in our prayers! Remember!

___

  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 07/21/12

Standard

A God-Centric Life!

___

___

 You know that saying, that when God closes a door he opens a window? Well, sometimes out of nowhere, He’ll do you one better and He’ll kick a whole wall down!

Glee, “Furt”

(season 2, episode 8, original airdate November 23, 2010)

written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, spoken by the
character Burt Hummel

___

If there is one thing that can be said about the human being is that from the moment we first draw breath, we exist in an ego-centric state. We are tiny masses of tissue in its various states and full of all of the possibilities that life can introduce to us as we grow. But grow first, we must, and the human being has no innate abilities ready to jump up and take charge unless someone, usually our mother, guarantees that for us, until the time we are grown enough to assume the daunting task of caring for ourselves independently. It is through tender nurturing, much patience and lessons taught by the one who rears us that we discover as a little one that we are not the entire universe and that, instead, we are part of the collective….a member first of a family dynamic and then a member of society. And it has finally occurred to us that the world does not revolve around us, but  instead, it is we who revolve around a central force that controls the world and life as we know it……GOD!

___

The realization of this does not come easily to the very complex person that a human being is. I never forgot hearing in the movie “SHREK” that an Ogre is like an onion with many layers. And the same is true of people. As we grown we add layer upon layer to our character through every single life experience that comes our way. And once we reach adulthood, it is all of those layers that serves to arm us with the knowledge to live and grow and prosper, apart from those that reared us. But, it can also be all of those layers that serve to trip us up as we journey through life unless we have added those layers to a strong and supportive base foundation and that is where faith comes into the picture. Even though our every sense tells us as we view the world around us that nothing we see, smell, taste and touch is chance, we still must learn and know and trust that He allowed it for our use and enjoyment. It is only through having a solid core that faith in God provides to us that the layers we add from those life experiences are able to adhere and allow us to grow into the best person we can possibly be!

___

A God-centric life does have some rules which helps us to keep the faith core of our being strong and they are worthy of remembering. I am sharing but a few that jump out at me right this moment, but I am certain you yourself will probably think up  few or even a few dozen more, if you sit and think about it for just a moment!

  1. God is the one that changes us, not we ourselves so take a moment every day if possible to share in the messages contained in His handbook….the Bible. If you read these posts every day, I have already done the work for you by including a verse of scripture to every blog I write. Just read them and think about what the words are speaking to you and you will find that He will take care of the rest by applying the meaning of the message to your foundation!
  2. Cultivate friendships with others who not only share your tastes and pursuits but who also share a faith in God. It matters less that their belief matches your own since there is much to faith that is subjective. However, people who know God and hold Him in their hearts will always be honest with you and always encourage you to be your very best!
  3. Know that there is something to be learned in every failure we encounter in life. We are human, after all, and we will make mistakes but it is in not allowing those failures to define you that you come out a better person for having experienced them. If you fall down, admit you made a mistake and then get up, ask forgiveness and continue on your journey.
  4. Understand that even as Rome was not built in a day, neither is faith. It takes a lifetime of reinforcing His message over and over that will see us to the gates of Heaven. Be patient. Be persistent. Be faithful!
___
 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Luke 11: 9-10 ESV
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/20/12

Standard

The Miracle (and Nightmare) of Social Media

___

a portrait of

Jane Kelly Durham

02/22/64 ~ 07/03/12

_

portrait drawn by

Danielle N Calhoun

http://www.facebook.com/#!/LadySheaSmallWolf

___

There are times when, the elements being in unusual commotion, those who are
bent on daring enterprises, or agitated by great thoughts, whether of good or
evil, feel a mysterious sympathy with the tumult of nature, and are roused into
corresponding violence.  In the midst of thunder, lightning, and storm, many
tremendous deeds have been committed; men, self-possessed before, have given a
sudden loose to passions they could no longer control.  The demons of wrath and
despair have striven to emulate those who ride the whirlwind and direct the
storm; and man, lashed into madness with the roaring winds and boiling waters,
has become for the time as wild and merciless as the elements themselves. 

Charles Dickens

Barnaby Rudge

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

___

I marvel at the miracle that is Social Media and Facebook, in particular. It unites families separated sometimes by thousands of miles. It reunites old friends once thought lost to the years. It forges friendships with the unlikeliest of people sometimes a half a world apart. And it forever unites the hearts of all of these individuals, one with the other. But, with the miracle comes the nightmare that is Social media and Facebook, in particular. Friendships forged through common interests in something like animals or even faith sometimes turns into a nightmare when we discover that people who appear gentle and kind and caring on the surface suddenly morphing into some black-hearted soul bent on nothing more than the total annihilation of a person, or group of people, simply because they look, behave or believe differently. The resulting chaos diminishes self-esteem and erodes self-confidence until, finally, the victim of the assault is nothing more than a quivering, fear filled shell of a person who questions everything they once loved about their lives.

___

This has caused me lately to find myself, through my response to the behaviors of these people, suddenly bearing on my own shoulders, the mantle of one of the Seven Deadly Sins……

WRATH noun

~

1: strong vengeful anger or indignation
2: retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement

___

Now while I actually am disgusted that I have been compelled to feel this way by the actions of others, I am less upset at those upon whose head I unleashed my fury as I am at my own weakness in not being able to be more Christ-like in my dealings with them. They are, after all human beings who have been lead astray by Satan into falsely believing they act on the side of the angels by what they say and do! And it is Satan who has inflicted me with feeling such anger at their actions. That is because I am, just as they are, all too human. I am, as they are, displaying my all too human propensity toward weakness in the way I act and even in the depth of my faith. But, unlike them, I recognize this fallibility and weakness within myself and I am able to ask my Father to forgive my trespass. I am not as certain that those who have acted so badly have done the same. But, I can do something about that and so can you. We can ask God, as we offer Him our prayers today, that he enlighten the minds of those who wreak vengeance upon the heads of innocents and we can ask that He forgive them their trespass even as He forgives our own. AND, we can ask that He remain with and ease the hearts of those who have been so horribly abused and subjected to the evil actions of those individuals. And even though that is all we can do, it is surely enough in God’s eyes! It MUST be!

___
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:19-21 (KJV)
___
Today, 50 years ago, I shouted out the bedroom window of my grandparent’s house in Florida that I had a brother.
~
Happy 50th Birthday
~
to the best brother in the whole world!
~
~
I can’t decide if the bear is eating his hat or giving him a kiss!
___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/19/12

Standard

Three Blind Mice, 21st century

___

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/dec/24/christmas-christian-persecution

___

History is the open Bible:  we historians are not priests to expound it infallibly:  our function is to teach people to read it and to reflect upon it for themselves. 

George Macaulay Trevelyan

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

___

THREE BLIND MICE

~

Three blind mice

Three blind mice

 See how they run,

See how they run!

They all ran after

The farmer’s wife

She cut off their tails

With a carving knife

Did you ever see

Such a sight in your life

As three blind mice?

__

Did you know that there are some nursery rhymes that are rooted in history? The tale of the “Three Blind Mice” is one of those little known pieces of historical fact that fits the realm of “Interesting Facts of Faith”!

___

There can be few people alive that have never heard of King Henry VIII and his infamous eight wives. It was through his desire to enter into divorce from his first wife, Catherine of Aragon who had only been able to present to him a daughter as an heir, that forever changed the Roman Catholic Church in Great Britain and gave rise to the Protestant sect, The Church of England (Episcopalianism here in the United States). Henry’s daughter, Mary, although allowed to remain in court while Henry lived, maintained her ties to the strict Roman Catholic influence of her mother and her mother’s family in Spain. And when she ascended to the English throne as Queen Mary I, she quickly earned the moniker as “Bloody Mary” for her violent persecution of Protestants. The origin of the words to the Three Blind Mice rhyme are based in the history of this persecution of the English Protestants.

___

Queen Mary I entered into marriage with  King Philip of Spain, to form a union between Spain, the Netherlands and England. Together, the pair held massive estates in Europe through usurping them in an unsavory manner. The “Farmer’s Wife” in the song references Queen Mary I, and the Three Blind Mice refer to three estates and the three noblemen to whom they belonged. The noblemen were all Protestants and as such, were convicted of treason against the Queen. And although she did not blind them or have them dismembered, she did order they be burned at the stake, thus securing title to their holdings.

___

Throughout history, and especially today, millions of people of faith, Christian and non-Christian alike, have been both persecuted and martyred for refusing to renounce their faith when told to do so. In speaking only about Christianity for the purposes of this blog, it is believed that over 200 million people in over 80 countries are being persecuted right this very second! And yet, despite this, Christianity seems to grow the fastest in areas where persecution is the greatest. And this single fact speaks volumes as to the strength that seems to find its way into the heart of one who knows, follows and believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ. So remember how fortunate you are to be able to practice you faith freely and openly and when you say your prayers today, remember those who are not as lucky as we are!

___

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/18/12

Standard

Do We Get Wiser As We Get Older?

___

http://www.best-face.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/The-Aging-Face1.jpg

___

Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour.  With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life. 

Charles Dickens

http://quotegarden.com/age.html

___

There is always something I have wondered about, never more than lately as I face the prospects in a few weeks of adding another revolution around the sun to my list of accomplishments! Do we really get wiser as we grow older? Now I know that I for one seem more scatter-brained these days. And I struggle to remember what I ate for breakfast unless it was something momentous, like Belgium Waffles made by the hand of my loving husband, which, by the way, the next time he makes them will be the FIRST time he made them! Yes, he and I often joke that I am becoming so forgetful that one day if he becomes annoyed at me over something or other, I am likely to find myself dropped off out in the back woods, and I won’t remember how to find my way home! Ahhhh, ain’t love grand?

___

For so many years, it was thought that much like our bodies, the brain declines with age. And yet, taking into account that there are some diseases more common to an aging population that can rob us of our cognition, studies actually have been conducted in the United Kingdom that prove that the opposite is really true! Looking at tasks such as problem solving and language, the human animal performs better from middle age onward. Studies of job performance also support this claim. While response time for tasks were better among younger workers, for quality of product, older employees fared much higher! And researchers at the University of Michigan have found that despite life’s adversities, people actually are happier the older they become. With life experience we gain as we grow older, also comes wisdom and with wisdom comes happiness. It seems that even as we stumble (figuratively speaking) through the years, we somehow manage, in the process, to not just get better at living those years, but we better appreciate the rewards the experiences of those years yields!

___

And much like a fine wine, faith also becomes mellower, deeper and richer as we grow older. Yes, there are some for whom the cynicism of life also erodes the faith they hold in their hearts, but I believe the vast majority of people feel as I do. It is all of my life experiences that supports the fact that I am not the one who controls my destiny and I become not just comforted, but grateful as well, that God has taken the worry of my future from my hands. As I get older, it is somehow easier to believe and act in accordance with those beliefs with a trusting heart, knowing that it is He that asks this of me. When most of us are younger, we are much more egocentric. The world and all of its delights revolves around us. But as we get older, it seems as if we are able to discover that it is we who choose to revolve around God and our faith in Him! Yes, we may feel discouraged at times. We are human, after all, with our all too human weaknesses. But it is through our lifelong experiences that we recognize that with the negatives comes the positives. And it is through this that we understand that it is God’s perfect love that can free us from our earthly and all too human fears!

___

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

Job 12:12 NIV

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry