Monthly Archives: September 2012

Thought For The Day 09/30/12

Standard

Breaking Bread With Jesus

___

___

The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it. 
Author Unknown

___

What would you do if suddenly and without warning, you received a message that Jesus was coming to dinner? Would you immediately rush out and buy all kinds of wondrous and savory delights to offer Him? Would you rush “pell -mell” cleaning and polishing every surface in your house until they gleamed and you could see your reflection staring back at you from its surface? Think about it. How would you prioritize you “TO DO” list? Now think about this. As you are out and about, suddenly something falls in front of your face, blocking your journey. Would you simply walk around the obstacle, intent on continuing your journey, or would you stop and look and think about whether or nor you might just be able to act and make a change that not just makes your journey easier, but also makes the journey of others easier, as well? That is the question that is asked by the story I am going to relate. Used as material for sermons and published in many websites, “When Jesus Came To dinner” is eye-opening and will, most likely, touch your soul!

___

WHEN JESUS CAME TO DINNER

~

Ruth looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter one more time…

~
Dear Ruth,

I’m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.

Love Always,
Jesus

___

With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.”

She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Seven dollars and forty cents. “Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.” She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.

A loaf of french bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk…leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt satisfied as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?” Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

“Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it.”

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. “Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.”

“Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.” The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.

As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. “Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. “Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.” She handed the man her grocery bag.

“Thank you lady. Thank you very much!” “Yes, thank you!” It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.

“You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one.” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street . . .without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. “Thank you lady! Thank you very much!”

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. “That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.” She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

___

Dear Ruth,

It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always,
Jesus

~

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed!

___

jesus heart

___

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Matthew 25:37-40 NIV

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/29/12

Standard

Compassionate Hearts!

___

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c173/reelstuff/heartsTwoTwo.jpg

___

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are. 
Author Unknown

___

Recent events that are happening in my life are reminding me that, while I prefer to see the good in people, there are still those in the world that are firmly convinced that their way is the only way. The thing is that acting under the guise of being Christians, these people seek to hurt others by damning them for behaviors or choices that do not quite fit their notions of how a Christian should act. And try as I might, I just can not seem to wrap my head around this. Why can we not all search within our hearts to find the light that is God’s grace that burn’s within every human heart? OK, in a nutshell, why can’t we lose our preconceived notions about what is right for another and simply see them with the same eyes as does our Heavenly Father?

___

I am reminded of the story of two men in the Bible who were exceedingly unpopular fellows. Levi and Zacchaeus were both tax collectors, and viewed about the same way as we view the IRS on April 15th. Many people complained to Christ because He was friendly to them. Now His response to those critical of Levi was to offer perhaps what is one verse of the most sage advice that is to be found in the New Testament, Luke 5:31,-32 NIV:  31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And of course, similarly with Zacchaeus,  the tongues began wagging when Jesus visited the home of this man. However, Zacchaeus told Christ that he believed in what the Lord was teaching, and Jesus accepted him into God’s family and described to them His purpose: Luke 19-10 NIV: 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

___

Just as Jesus showed compassion and tolerance to others by His very actions, so are we given a choice to love and accept others despite behaviors that we might find objectionable. After all, it is each of us who will be called individually on Judgement Day, to give an accounting to God of our actions while we lived. And it is God and God alone who should be passing judgement on the way we lived our lives, not those Tom’s, Dick’s and Harry’s out there who delight in creating misery for so many!

___

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

Romans 14: 12-18

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 09/28/12

Standard

My Favorites!

___

http://escapetoreality.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/tim_tebow.jpg

___

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life in such a
manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice. 
Indian Saying

___

Did you know that there are more than 31,000 verses in the Bible? Actually, according to Wikipedia, there are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament. Now I am certain that if I were to ask you which one was number 1, you most likely would know the answer. We have seen lucky number one on billboards, and even painted on the face of a particular football player who is pictured above! But do you have any idea which ones might be second or third or fourth? Well if you enter it into your web browser, you can pull up many lists compiled by people using different tools, and even using different versions of the Bible. One person checked hits on a kindle which offers a free download of the English Standard Version. And yet another compiled a list based on a survey taken of people who were between the ages of 40 and 70 and who preferred reading the King James version. I guess the real answer lies in whom you ask. Yes, there may well be tools available to measure this but the bottom line is, verse preference is subjective. The verses that touch my heart may not be the same ones that touch yours. However, rest assured that the verses that hold a special place within your heart will most likely stay with you for your lifetime! So rather than try to narrow down this subjective list for you, I will just take a moment to share with you the ones that mean the most to me!

___

  • John 3:16 NIV    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
  • Genesis 1:1 NIV    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
  • Genesis 1:27 NIV   So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
  • Philippians 4:13 NIV  I can do all things do through him who strengthens me.
  • Psalm 100:5 KJV   For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
  • Matthew 6:34 ESV   Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

___

I challenge you all to give some thought as to which ones are your favorite verses from the Bible. Which verses are the ones that come to your mind when you are talking with God as you pray? Which ones give you comfort when you are troubled? Can you think of the one you might choose when you want to say thank you to God for a special blessing? No doubt your choices will be much different from mine are and that is as it should be. I believe we all take from His word the things that we need for what it is He asks of us. You may feel special about verses relating to children if you are a teacher. Perhaps healing verses resonate with you doctors, nurses or other medical professionals out there. Whatever ones they are, they certainly hold an honored place in your heart and will always be there when you need the comforting caress that only they can provide. And perhaps now you might just be inspired to think about expanding your horizons a bit and choose a new verse to memorize. How about blowing the dust off your Bible, closing your eyes, opening to a random book and then just put a finger somewhere on the page. Now open your eyes, and read the wondrous thing you have discovered. Now expand your horizons! Memorize the verse and add it to your list of favorites that you hold within your heart! Grow with and in God’s word!

___

 1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 23: 1-6 KJV

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/27/12

Standard

When God Works Miracles!

___

http://kittens.sytes.org/kitten38.jpg

___

Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.
Robert Brault

___

I find myself thinking frequently about all of the wonderful things that happen in the world for which we can offer no rational explanation for their having occurred. And naturally, my first thought is that it must happen because it is “other directed”. How often do the simplest of things somehow seem to magically transform us every day? We may want to doubt that they are the result of a higher power, but how many times do we search and search for a rational, logical explanation…..a human explanation, only to conclude that none exists? Just consider the bumblebee. It has a short and stubby body and the wispiest of wings. Those delicate wings really should not be able to support the bumblebee’s body mass long enough to lift it into the air, never mind propel it forward. And yet it does! The bee darts and sweeps from plant to plant and flower to flower, because it’s wings actually do not flap up and down like the wings of many other air-borne creatures. They actually propel the bee more like the arms of a swimmer doing the butterfly stroke, propels through the water…. by sweeping from front to back. And miraculously, this is enough to keep this tiny creature moving and flying as it completes the journey through life it is destined to make!

___

A couple of weeks ago, a story caught my eye on Godvine (http://www.godvine.com/). It is as equally improbable as is the tale of the bumblebee. And yet it is a true tale about a little kitten! Read it and think about the miraculous things that take place within its sentences, and then ask yourself that million dollar question….does God exist and does he perform miracles everyday?

___

The Pastor’s Cat

A man recently related this true story about the pastor of his church.

___

There was once a kitten that climbed up a tree in the backyard of a pastor. However, having reached the top, suddenly it seemed that the kitten was afraid to climb back down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk…he did everything he could think of but still, the kitty would not come down.

~

Now the tree was not sturdy enough to climb, and hands on his hips and surveying the situation, the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten. So that’s what he did, moving ahead very slowly, all the while checking his progress in the car’s rear view mirror. Silently calculating his progress, he thought that if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car just a hair’s breadth, suddenly…..SNAP……the rope broke! The tree went ‘BOING!’ and the kitten instantly sailed through the air and out of sight. The pastor felt absolutely terrible and spent the rest of the day walking all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. Everyone he asked responded no….nobody had seen a stray kitten. So the pastor said a short prayer, ‘Lord, I must commit this kitten to your keeping,’ and went on about his business.

~

A few days later the pastor was at the grocery store, and met one of his parishioners. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a very kind person, but also was a person that detested cats. Everyone knew it! Somewhat confused, the pastor just had to ask, ‘Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?’ She replied, ‘You won’t believe this,’ and then she proceeded to tell him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, ‘Well, if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.’ She told the pastor, ‘I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won’t believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her.’

___

Now was this something for which a logical explanation is to be found? Remember that this was, indeed, a true story. Was the outcome due to the action of man, or was it due to a higher power? I leave it to you to think about and decide. And on that note, all I can say to you all is one thing!

LESSON LEARNED!

Never underestimate the Power of God (and His unique sense of humor)!

___

You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.

Psalms 77:14 NLT

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/26/12

Standard

I Am A Christian!

___

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Thank-You-God-for/111565594632?sk=photos#!/pages/Thank-You-God-for/111565594632

___

Life is like a game of cards.  The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will. 

Jawaharlal Nehru

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

___

Once upon a time I discovered I didn’t like the person I was, quite so much. I knew that there was more for me ahead. So I chose to close one door and take a leap of faith through another. I looked deeply and rediscovered who I am. I am a Christian! In fact, I can’t imagine living my life any other way anymore! I might just go so far as to say that life without God in it, holds no meaning for me. He is the sustenance that feeds my very soul. And even more than that, knowing and accepting His son, Jesus Christ into my heart, was a choice I made and one that has proven to be as necessary to my life as is food, shelter and companionship. Come to think of it, it is MORE necessary than those things. I challenge you all to think about what life would be like without those basic necessities! In a nutshell, think about trying to drive your car if there were no gasoline in the tank (assuming you do not have one of the new fangled modern 21st century hybrids)! You would be no more successful than if you were to try to log onto the internet without electricity or a computer!

___

I am such a simple person and while I am headstrong about some things, the idea that I might have to plot my course through life without the perfect guiding hand that is the one that programs my actions every day, is an absolutely terrifying thought. I would be at the mercy of my baser instincts and I know that I would not like that person very much, nor would you either! However it is through my relationship with Him that I have learned about the things that matter in life, such as being faithful, giving, moral, kind, diligent and trustworthy. He has taught me that there is value in every human life and while I may not always like everyone, there is always something for me to discover about human nature and myself, as well, for knowing and having a diverse group of family members and friends who are an intimate part of my existence! And I consider each and every one of you who share my posts every day to be a part of that group. I would not be the person I am today without your unwavering support, trust, care and devotion and I wanted to say THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart!

___

I Am a Christian

by Carol Wimmer

~

When I say … “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’m saved”
I’m whispering, “I get lost!”
“That is why I chose this way”

When I say … “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride
I’m confessing that I stumble,
and need someone to be my guide

When I say … “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong,
I’m professing that I’m weak,
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say … “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success,
I’m admitting that I’ve failed,
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say … “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
my flaws are way too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

When I say … “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain
I have my share of heartaches
which is why I seek His Name

When I say … “I am a Christian”
I do not wish to judge
I have no authority,
I only know I’m loved!

http://carolwimmer.com/about

___

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20 ESV

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/25/12

Standard

And The Reward Goes To……..

___

___

“You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying. To do the best you can do everyday.”

Jason Mraz

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/winning

___

Have you ever wondered just exactly what the reward is that we get for being a Christian? Now I’m just betting that the first thing that popped into your head was, eternal life, am I right? The thing is I am an impatient person. I would like to reap some benefits right this very instant! But try as hard as I can, I’m not really seeing any rewards right now in my day to day life! Which then begs the question; for all that I am investing into my faith, is it really worth it? I don’t know about you, but I work hard to live a good life and when I really think about it, it really would be so much easier for me to sit back and let life rush ahead full tilt while I simply grab onto it’s coat tails, holding on for dear life! After all, won’t I be just as likely to see the light at the end of the tunnel?

___

God knows how often we all ask these questions and He also knows how important it is that we get the answers we seek. In fact, He speaks of these rewards over and over in the Scripture. In Ephesians 3:20 NIV, we are told, 20) “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” And indeed, most of those rewards are not going to be known to any of us in the here and now. You see, those promises are merely part of the whole package that He gives to us! Look out the window and see the beauty in the world. That is a reward! Listen with your ears at the sounds outside your open window. That is a reward! Feel the gentle touch of a baby’s hand on your cheek. That is a reward! Taste the chill of ice cream or a snow cone as the delicious sweetness melts on your tongue. That is a reward! Smell the aroma of fresh bread or a pie hot from the oven. That is a reward. Think about the way you feel in the pit of your stomach, when you catch sight of the person you love. That is a reward! You see, every single experience we savor and delight in, as we experience its magic through one of our senses, is a reward from God! They are those tangibles that we win in the here and now! And they are truly wonderful, each and every one of them. However, there is one thing that I can promise you all. As wonderful as His rewards are while we walk the earth, what awaits us as we transcend beyond our mortal world, will make those earthly delights pale by comparison!

___

“Standing On The Promises”

Alan Jackson

~

Verse 1:

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
~
Refrain:
Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.
~
Verse 2:
Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.
~
Refrain:
Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.
~
Click the link below to view Alan Jackson’s video

http://youtu.be/PJ9ZJPIDkis

___

29) He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30) Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31) but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/24/12

Standard

The Preacher’s Spouse

Clergy Families Of The 21st Century

___

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=6154144

___

“Every minister worthy of the name has to walk the line between prophetic vision and spiritual sustenance, between telling people the comforting things they want to hear and challenging them with the difficult things they need to hear. In Oxford, Daddy began to feel as though all the members wanted him to do was to marry them and bury them and stay away from their souls.”

Timothy B. Tyson

 “Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story”

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/ministers

___

One of my all time favorite movies was one that was released in 1947…..65 years ago, and before I was even a twinkle in my father’s eye. It starred Loretta Young, David Niven, and Cary Grant as Dudley, an angel sent to earth to help a Bishop who prayed for divine guidance to build a cathedral but instead, Dudley helps him to find his way back to his faith and back into the arms of his loving family. However, it is the character portrayed by Loretta Young, that I am thinking about with what I write today. In the movie, she plays the silently suffering wife who fears she has lost her husband, the Bishop, to a golden idol, one he zealously pursues at the expense of the things in his life that really matter. And I began to think how often it is that the spouse of those who minister God’s word are so often the forgotten piece of the puzzle that is the life of the person with whom we seek both time and counsel, at all hours of the day and night. Often acting the role that many single parents do, changing the hats they wear and the roles they perform with a speed that could rival Houdini’s speed at escape, if it were not for the self-sacrifice these spouses willing give, it would be impossible for the clergy member to function in his God-given role! And suddenly I began to wonder if the marriages of these couples survive the challenging life that they have chosen. Are marriage struggles as prevalent among this group of individuals as they are among mainstream marriages?

___

According to an LA Times article written in 1995 (1), the marriages of members of the clergy have about the same change of survival as does the marriage of the two people whose union they are blessing as they stand at the altar making their “to have and to hold” forever promises. Especially today, when the clergy role may be just as likely to find either a husband or a wife or a life partner fulfilling the supportive role within the family dynamic. One interesting footnote to the studies done finds that women clergy were more likely to have been divorced before they were ordained, while more male clergy became separated after taking the pulpit. Now there are differences within denominations as to their policies regarding divorced clergy and the roles they are permitted to perform, so there may be inherently fewer divorces among more fundamentalist faiths. However, it seems that, like most people in the world, members of the clergy put their pants on one leg at a time!

___

I write this to remind everyone that ministers are just as fallible as are the rest of the members of the human race. They have their warts and foibles and yes, some even wear their very own “Scarlet Letter” branded to their hearts. The one difference is that, unlike almost everyone else in the world, members of the clergy are expected to live exemplary lives and serve as role models for everyone else. Because of this, many will not seek help for their own personal, as well as interpersonal, struggles. Often there exists a degree of naivety regarding the demands that being a minister entails. However, just as it is with the rest of the population, those who willingly acknowledge their very human side, who accept criticism with grace, have a firm and realistic view of their egos, and finally, who have a high regard for the importance of interpersonal relationships, are more likely to not just have successful interpersonal relationships themselves but will also be a much more valuable member of society as a whole. So before you look for that halo above the head of your minister, take a long look in the mirror at yourself and then ask whether you hold unrealistic expectations for the person who seeks to share with you God’s plan for His people!

___

3) He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:6 NLT

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/23/12

Standard

The Wisdom To Change

___

___

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”

Paulo Coelho

“The Devil and Miss Prym”

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/62867-when-we-least-expect-it-life-sets-us-a-challenge

___

The lessons we learn from life sometimes come to us from an improbable source, when we least expect it. We know how very complicated is this human mind, body and spirit, that we carry around for the days we walk the earth. The smallest of challenges that come our way might just completely derail us on the journey we are undertaking. The important thing to remember is that, despite life’s best efforts to undermine us, we all have that inner “special something” that keeps propelling us forward. I call this sense of self. Others might call it our character. But whatever label you choose to affix to this gift, it is the thing that will help us to succeed in life, no matter what it is we are searching for. USUALLY! The thing is that there are times when we allow that fabric that comprises our sense of self to become eroded by others. And unless we reach deeply within to that place where our sense of self lives, insulated from most of the seemier things in life, we might just find ourselves becoming lost! And when that happens, although we can, and usually will, find our way back, the journey becomes exponentially harder. However when we are confident in ourselves, and in our capacity to succeed, then we are usually prepared to take that leap of faith that is often needed, to make the changes within that we need, to continue that journey forward and reach all of those new horizons that await us.

___

How much courage do you think it took Noah to listen to the things God was telling him and then to turn these words into the actions necessary to build an Ark? God’s plan was simple….He was going to cause it to rain…..to rain so much that the earth would be flooded. RAIN! This concept was especially difficult to comprehend by people since it had NEVER happened before! But Noah and his family believed and even more than that, they had the courage to hold true to their faith when every other person on earth, naysayers all, had lost theirs. And so, slowly but surely, board by board and peg by peg, day after day and month after month, and decades after decades the work at hand continued (not the 120 years some believe, by the way). I am certain the un-kindness from others in their land must have been terrible for Noah and his family to bear, and yet wielding faith as their armor against the barbs, they continued on. And, of course, we all know how this ends, the rainbow painted by God in the sky, His promise that He would never again, seek to punish humankind in this way!

___

There is a “Pearl of Wisdom” to be learned from everything that touches us. The thing is that all to often, we fail to recognize the things that are to be learned from the experience. The key is to firstly recognize that a lesson exists, secondly, to listen to the message it shares, and then thirdly, be able to take action and to apply the lesson to the life you live. And the same thing can be said whether the lesson we are learning is one that will nurture our faith, or nurture the life we lead. And while I believe that there is nothing greater for us than to nourish faith as it grows within, when you really think about it, both are important if we are to become a happy, healthy and productive person! And since I referred to Noah earlier, and to add a bit of levity to an otherwise somber message, I thought it might be fun to look at some “Pearls” that might just serve us well, all drawn from the leap of faith Noah and his family made, “way back when”!

___

A Little Wisdom From Noah’s Ark

Everything I need to know, I learned from Noah’s Ark

~

1) Don’t miss the boat.
2) Remember that we are all in the same boat.
3) Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4) Stay fit. When you’re 60 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
5) Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6) Build your future on high ground.
7) For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
8) Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
9) When you’re stressed, float awhile.
10) Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
11) No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.

~

http://www.bible4today.org/bible-bloopers/a-little-wisdom-from-noahs-ark/

___

A replica of Noah’s Ark which can be visited in Holland

http://www.pbase.com/paulthedane/image/78108238

___

6 After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”

Genesis 8:6-17 NIV

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/22/12

Standard

The Two Marys

___

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/18/the-gospel-of-jesus-wife-_n_1891325.html

___

Two Marys!  Both so beloved of Jesus, their names have evoked all manner of revered wonder among Christians throughout the ages.

Amanda Bruscella

___

Mary, Mother of God

http://www.olrl.org/webpics/glory4.jpg

___

We know  that the first Mary was the Mother of our Lord and Savior. She conceived her son miraculously through the Holy Spirit when she was already betrothed to Joseph. Despite the marriage not having been consummated, (the “home-taking” ceremony had not yet taken place), Joseph believed Mary’s story of her encounter with the angel Gabriel telling her she was the chosen one to bear the son of God. Accompanying Joseph to Bethlehem to be counted, as required by law to aid in tax assessments, her time arrived and Jesus was delivered of Mary in a stable, because there was no room at an inn. The tale of the birth of Jesus is perhaps the most revered and beautiful story contained within the texts of the Gospels!

___

Mary of Magdala

http://0.tqn.com/d/atheism/1/0/2/e/MagdaleneJesusFeetHair.jpg

___

The other Mary was Mary of Magdala. As Jesus traveled from village to village accompanied by his disciples, he not just spread the message of God but performed many healings and miracles, as well. According to Luke 8:2 NIV (and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out;and Mark 16:9 NIV (When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.) Harlots are talked about frequently in the Hebrew Bible, (interestingly, authored by men only), and while the title became somehow attached to Mary of Magdala, nowhere does it say she was actually a prostitute. She gained favor with Christ having been the one who washed his feet, drying them with her hair and applying a soothing balm to them, and thus began her following and burgeoning relationship with Jesus, the extent of which continues to be a hot topic of debate, even today. There is some controversy about how the other disciples reacted to this woman becoming a part of their inner circle, and whose confidences and opinions were given great consideration by Christ, but despite what may have been difficult days as she was dismissed by some of the assemblage, she continued in her devotion to her Master. Mary of Magdala is featured more prominently in the gospels at the time of the crucifixion, named as a witness of the three key events that occur at this time…. she witnessed the crucifixion, she was there at Christ’s burial, and she was present when His tomb was found to be empty.

___

In recent years, discoveries have taken place that threaten some long-held beliefs among both theologians and the many sects, orders and denominations that comprise Christianity in our world. Now I do not support any stand one way or the other regarding these discoveries at this time. I merely think that there is much about the life of Jesus as well as particulars of the days he shared the word of His Father with the world that are, as yet, unknown. And it may well be the discoveries that are happening at this time in history will fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of His earthly days. These discoveries include an apocryphal book, written in the 4th century, and which is referred to as the Gospel of Mary(1.). It was first discovered in 1896, but not released to the public until 1955. Now while it is not considered to be Canonical (conforming to orthodox or well-established rules) nor a Gospel (focused on recounting the teachings of Jesus during his life), it does provide to us a glimpse into Christianity that existed 1500 years ago! The second is referred to as the Gospel of Jesus Wife(2.). Also written in Coptic in the 4th century, translations of it contain words never seen before in any scripture…. “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’ ”.

___

Faith does not preclude us from wanting to understand all that we can regarding the things that we have been taught are sacrosanct. I know that learning is a huge part of the mind, heart and soul that was given to me and the rest of you, as well, by our Heavenly Father. It is, after all, how we become the very best person we can be and I know that being our best must also be something God wants for all of us, as well! If it were otherwise, would He then have endowed us with such a thirst to learn and a hunger to understand? I do not think so. You may or may not agree with me. In fact, you may be outraged with me for sharing these things with you today! Either way, that is fine, just as long as you are taking just a moment out of your day to consider, to learn about and think about all of these amazing possibilities!

___

___

Chapter 5

1) But they were grieved. They wept greatly, saying, How shall we go to the Gentiles and preach the gospel of the Kingdom of the Son of Man? If they did not spare Him, how will they spare us?

2) Then Mary stood up, greeted them all, and said to her brethren, Do not weep and do not grieve nor be irresolute, for His grace will be entirely with you and will protect you.

3) But rather, let us praise His greatness, for He has prepared us and made us into Men.

4) When Mary said this, she turned their hearts to the Good, and they began to discuss the words of the Savior.

5) Peter said to Mary, Sister we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of woman.

6) Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember which you know, but we do not, nor have we heard them.

7) Mary answered and said, What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you.

8) And she began to speak to them these words: I, she said, I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to Him, Lord I saw you today in a vision. He answered and said to me,

9) Blessed are you that you did not waver at the sight of Me. For where the mind is there is the treasure.

10) I said to Him, Lord, how does he who sees the vision see it, through the soul or through the spirit?

11) The Savior answered and said, He does not see through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind that is between the two that is what sees the vision and it is […]

The Gospel of Mary 5: 1-11

http://gnosis.org/library/marygosp.htm

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/21/12

Standard

Mandy’s Pearls of Wisdom

___

http://www.123rf.com/photo_10901550_pearls-and-gold-rings-in-black-jewelry-box-on-neutral-background.html

___

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.

George Bernard Shaw

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

___

I consider the posts I share with you every day as “Mandy’s Pearls of Wisdom”! Now that should not serve as an announcement that I am wise nor should you all think that I necessarily have all of the answers to those questions you might have related to faith. What I do try to accomplish every day is to share the changes that have been taking place within my own heart these last months with you, and if you just happen to read something that hits close to home for you and causes you to want to change your own behaviors in some way, well then I must thank you but I must also offer to you one caveat. Faith and the choices we make related to the things we feel about God, are incredibly personal. My choices and decisions may not work for you in exactly the same way, and that is just fine as long as what they are doing is urging you to ask not just the right questions but to also willingly seek out the answers to those questions, as well! But “caveat emptor”, which is Latin for “let the buyer beware”. Change is never easy!

___

A quick story if I may. There was once a man who started life as a slave, but who, with the freedom he attained, began a journey, first in Rome and then in Greece, teaching philosophy. His name was Epictetus and that name has become synonymous with the phrase “Pearls of Wisdom”. The first, and perhaps the most impactful, of his “Pearls” is the following: “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” I have had that “Pearl” handed to me “up front and personal” over the last 18 months. I have been told that my grasp of all things religious is woefully lacking and that I am a self-seeking opportunist who only desires attention and to promote myself. I believe nothing could be further from the truth but it supports the position that when you seek to change the things that everyone else has come to know and expect from you, be prepared for resistance among some people in your life, especially those who live far away and who may not be able to actually witness with their own eyes, the wonderful new person you are becoming! However, do not forget that while it is nice when others do understand and accept these efforts you are undertaking, the bottom line is this. Your transformations must please only two beings…..yourself and God!

___

Now another of the “Pearls” of Epictetus focuses on the fact that we choose how we will feel about 2 absolutes that are part of our lives….happiness and sadness. He describes our responses to both of these in the following ways:

  1. “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
  2. “I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”
  3. “It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.”

___

And just as Epictetus reinforces to us the degree with which we not just control but also how we view our lives in the way we approach the art of living, so does God share the things He expects of us through the reading of His very own “Pearls”. Found within the pages of His handbook, the Bible, God lets us know how He hopes we will answer some of those things we say to ourselves every day. And with His answers to those things, He is reinforcing to us the tremendous amount of faith that He has, that we are all capable of becoming the people He expects us to be!

___

God’s Pearls of Wisdom

~

You say: “It’s impossible” God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: “I’m too tired” God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: “Nobody really loves me” God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34)

You say: “I can’t go on” God says: My grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: “I can’t figure things out” God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: “I can’t do it” God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: “I’m not able” God says: I am able (2 Corinthians 9:8)

You say: “It’s not worth it” God says: It will be worth it (Romans 8:28)

You say: “I can’t forgive myself” God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: “I can’t manage” God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: “I’m afraid” God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7)

You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated” God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: “I’m not smart enough” God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: “I feel all alone” God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)

from newsletter@godvine.com 09/20/12

___

12 But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? 13 No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. 14 The deep says, “It is not in me”; the sea says, “It is not with me.” 15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver. 16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. 18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies. 19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold.

Job 28:12-19 NIV

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry