Thought For The Day 08/27/12


The World Is A Very Small Place 




News is history shot on the wing.

Gene Fowler




I am not a journalist in any sense of the word. I am merely one woman who began a rather extraordinary adventure 18 months ago and who has made a decision to share my heart and mind with you as I make this journey. Discovering faith when you thought it was lost is quite an amazing and rather humbling experience. It has become even more special since it has served to connect me to a group of very disparate people, all of whom I am now lucky enough to call friends. They are you all and the many people whose lives I touch through the social media site, Facebook. These friends hail from every continent except for Antarctica. and include at least one person from a country that has been in the news recently because of the internal political strife its people find themselves embroiled in. I hope that the person from Syria who has read my posts is OK. I have no way of knowing because I do not know more about them except that they have shared my thoughts. And it is to them that I have decided to share this essay that appeared on the Facebook page of Austin Tice, a law student and former US Marine, who had chosen to embed within Syria and to share his experiences with McClatchy, the Washington Post and other media outlets.  Austin’s Twitter and Facebook feed is now silent. Austin has not been heard from for the last week. He was sharing the journey God placed his feet upon with us all through his writings and we are all the better for having shared them. His family has allowed this last Facebook post shared by Austin on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm, to be published on editorial pages throughout the world. It is my fervent hope that he is safe and sound and to that end I am asking prayers from you all this day. In the mean time, here are Austin’s words!


Don’t Tell Me To Be Safe


Against my better judgment, I’m posting this on Facebook. Flame away.


People keep telling me to be safe as if that’s an option, keep asking me why I’m doing this crazy thing, keep asking what’s wrong with me for coming here. So listen.


Our granddads stormed Normandy and Iwo Jima and defeated global fascism. Neil Armstrong flew to the moon in a glorified trashcan, doing math on a clipboard as he went. Before there were roads, the pioneers put one foot in front of the other until they walked across the entire continent. Then a bunch of them went down to fight and die in Texas ’cause they thought it was the right thing to do.

Sometime between when our granddads licked the Nazis and when we started putting warnings on our coffee cups about the temperature of our beverage, America lost that pioneering spirit. We became a fat, weak, complacent, coddled, unambitious and cowardly nation. I went off to two wars with misguided notions of patriotism and found in both that the first priority was to never get killed, something we could have achieved from our living rooms in America with a lot less hassle. To protect careers and please the politicians, we weighed ourselves down with enough armor to break a man’s back, gorged on RipIts and ice cream, and believed our own press that we were doing something noble. Our granddads would have whipped us.


We kill ourselves every day with McDonald’s and alcohol and a thousand other drugs, but we’ve lost the sense that there actually are things out there worth dying for. We’ve given away our freedoms piecemeal to robber barons, but we’re too complacent to do much but criticize those few who try to point out the obvious. Americans have lost their sense of vision, mistaking asinine partisan squabbles for principles. When we do venture into space – the part of space we’ve gotten comfortable with, mind you – now we pay the Russians to give us a ride. That’s humiliating.


So that’s why I came here to Syria, and it’s why I like being here now, right now, right in the middle of a brutal and still uncertain civil war. Every person in this country fighting for their freedom wakes up every day and goes to sleep every night with the knowledge that death could visit them at any moment. They accept that reality as the price of freedom. They realize there are things worth fighting for, and instead of sitting around wringing their hands about it, or asking their lawyer to file an injunction about it, they’re out there just doing it.  They’re alive in a way that almost no Americans today even know how to be. They live with greater passion and dream with greater ambition because they are not afraid of death.


Neither were the pioneers. Neither were our granddads. Neither was Neil Armstrong. And neither am I.


No, I don’t have a death wish – I have a life wish. So I’m living, in a place, at a time and with a people where life means more than anywhere I’ve ever been – because every single day people here lay down their own for the sake of others. Coming here to Syria is the greatest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the greatest feeling of my life.


It is easy to live life safely. That is what most people choose for themselves. But living safely is not always what it is God wants for us. It was not what he asked of me. He asked for me to go out and share my heart with you. And I suspect this is the same thing he asked of Austin Tice. I have never regretted for a single moment this path I started, even when I have been subjected to the slings and arrows of others. I know, from reading these special words, that Austin has not regretted any part of the life he has been living either. Have we both been afraid of the things we might encounter on these journeys we have both set our feet upon? I know that I have been and I and betting Austin was, as well. But we did what it was we were compelled to do. And while I can not speak as to whether Austin considers his path to have been God driven, I can state with certainty that I believe it was, just as surely as mine has been for me. And for me, I must say thank you God!


11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 16:11 KJV


1) Then Judith began to sing this thanksgiving in all Israel, and all the people sang after her this song of praise. 2) And Judith said, Begin unto my God with timbrels, sing unto my Lord with cymbals: tune unto him a new psalm: exalt him, and call upon his name. 3) For God breaketh the battles: for among the camps in the midst of the people he hath delivered me out of the hands of them that persecuted me.

Judith 16: 1-3 KJVA


Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

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!

One response »

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