Monthly Archives: October 2012

Thought For The Day 10/31/12

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Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

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Seaside Heights, NJ

taken 10/30/12

http://brick.patch.com/users/patrick-john

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Whether the weather be fine,
Whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Whether the weather be hot,
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the whether,
Whether we like it or not

Author Unknown

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If you live anywhere in the Mid Atlantic to the Northeast Corridor of the United States, you have faced the Devil and stared him in the eye and most of you have survived to tell the tale. “Hurricane” Sandy, AKA “Frankinstorm”, AKA “Superstorm Sandy”, AKA “The Storm of the Century”, AKA “The Perfect Storm” has lashed 11 states so far and is taking aim at Canada via New England and the Great Lakes States. 1000 miles in diameter, there was no safety to be found on either land or sea, as the demise of the HMS Bounty replica ship, now resting forever more in the briny deep, can attest. And we knew she was coming. We knew for a number of yesterdays, in fact. And we prepared and we prayed, asking that God protect we, His children. And despite man’s best efforts at safeguarding life and limb, we were no match for this assault by Mother Nature.
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Today we look and seek for those who were not as fortunate as most of us. Even though her bluster has passed, Sandy’s tears are still trapping our family, our friends, our neighbors and our communities, necessitating perilous rescue efforts in areas where flooded inland rivers and tributaries miles from the coast, are still seeking out their victims. And yet, despite our best efforts today, we are still just beginning efforts to find and safeguard our people who have no lines of communication, and many no homes with which they can seek shelter. The devastation is widespread and we are still just beginning to discover the extent. And when all is said and done, I think it is likely that we will have borne witness to the greatest natural disaster in American history. And despite our inability to change the scenario, still, as a country built on the backs of those seeking freedom to worship, we continue to pray that God give to us the strength to unite as one nation, indivisible and move forward as a family and community and country.
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Tomorrow has yet to reveal itself but we know that we will continue on. It is how the human was made by the hand of our Heavenly Father. And still we will pray that God will grant us the strength to wake up once more, the wisdom to learn from the events that have occurred, and the courage to rewrite our future as we begin the daunting task of strategic planning for the next unimaginable event we will face! Yes, we will continue on! How can we not? It is how God made us!

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Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.

Psalm 107:28-30 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/30/12

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  “Que Sera, Sera…..What Will Be, Will Be”

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Faith enables persons to be persons because it lets God be God.

Carter Lindberg

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

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What will be will be. Sounds like a really easy and simple philosophy for moving through life, doesn’t it? Well, in fact, traveling through life is anything but easy and it is most certainly not simple! To be honest, I think it has been made that way deliberately by our Heavenly Father. You see, if life and living that life was easy for us, there would be no reason for us to ever choose to turn to Him when we are troubled. In fact, we would also have no reason to turn our lives over to Him as part of what I have come to know as our very necessary spiritual partnership with God. That is what I see as understanding what is His will for our lives, and then asking of Him help when we need it the most. But how often can we say with certainty that we really know what His will is for us?
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Now I am no religious scholar, but as I see it,  God’s will is manifested to man in two ways. The first “will of God” is His “sovereign will” which is His absolute control over all that happens in our world. In other words, there is nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. As King of kings and Lord of lords, God has no limitations, despite man’s constant desire to view himself as the center of the universe! In Proverbs 16:1-4 (NEV) this will is described far better than I can manage!  1) The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. 2) All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives. 3) Commit your works to the LORD, And your plans will be established. 4) The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. Now the second “will of God” might best be described as His will of command. This is the will that teaches us what it is His expectations are for the way we lead our lives. And unlike “sovereign will” which precludes our capacity to effect change in His will, His “will of command” is the thing that we can choose to obey or disobey. That is what is described in Romans 1:2 (NIV) where we are told, 2) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
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Seeking and searching! It seems to be what we as human beings do best! But think about those words and what they suggest. Seeking and searching in our contemporary language, suggests looking for something that is not there or can’t be seen. However, with faith, we know that there is nothing farther from the truth! Just look at Matthew 7:7 (NIV) 7) Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  Why then do we continue the unceasing drive to search and exactly what is it that we want to find? Do we really want to find and do God’s will or do we really want God to do OUR will?

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The Will of God

by Rebekah Nolt

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Remember. The Will of God will never take you…
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the hands of God cannot mold you.
Where the power of God cannot endow you.

The will of God will never take you…
Where the spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you.

The will of God will never take you…
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercy of God cannot sustain you,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The will of God will never take you…
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

http://www.squidoo.com/heartprints

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38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

John 6:38-40 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/29/12

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A Sow’s Ear Or A Silk Purse?

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A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower

 Inaugural Address

January 20, 1953

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What would your first thought be if you pulled into your church parking lot on a Sunday morning only to see a man in faded and baggy clothes rummaging through the dumpster  that houses garbage from the strip mall adjacent to the parking lot? Would you be shocked considering that your neighborhood is an upper middle-class one with $250,000.00 homes nearby? Would you become angry that your community was invaded from one of THOSE people? Would you shout your disapproval at the man? Would you call your local police department to send an officer to remove the miscreant? Or would you turn your head and pretend that you did not see what was right in front of your face? (All important questions worth thinking about!)

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Finally, choosing not to make a scene, you walk quickly, in the opposite direction of the man and through the church doors into the bright, clean and beautifully appointed sanctuary. You shake hands and greet your fellow parishioners as you make your way to your seat. The mumbling you hear from your friends who shield their mouths with their hands, echoes the thoughts that circulate through your own head about the stranger outside. You sit, close your eyes to pray when suddenly, the sanctuary is as quiet as a tomb. You open your eyes to find that same stranger slowly making his way down the aisle toward the altar. Now what do you do?

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A Sunday Stranger

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The parking lot filled rapidly on Sunday morning as members of the large church congregation filed into church. As usually happens in a church that size, each member had developed a certain comfort zone — a block of space within those four church walls that became theirs after the second or third sitting. It was as much a part of their church experience as the recliner was to the television at home.

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One morning a stranger stood at the edge of the parking lot near a dumpster. As families parked cars and piled out, they noticed him rummaging through the trash. “Oh no! I don’t believe it,” whispered a lady to her husband. “That’s all we need — a bunch of homeless people milling around here.”

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One worried little girl tugged on her dad’s sleeve. “But Daddy…”. Daddy was busy sizing up the bearded stranger, whose baggy, outdated trousers and faded flannel shirt had dusted too many park benches.

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“Don’t stare at him, honey,” he whispered, and hurried her inside. Soft music filled the high-ceilinged sanctuary as churchgoers settled into their usual spots. The choir sang an opening chorus, “In His presence there is comfort… in His presence there is peace…”.

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Sunlight suddenly flooded the center aisle. The double doors swung open and the homeless man, sloppy and stooped, headed toward the front.

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“Oh no, it’s him!” somebody muttered. “What does he think he’s doing, anyway?” snapped an incredulous usher.

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The stranger set his bagful of dumpster treasures on the very first pew, which had been upholstered in an expensive soft teal fabric just three months ago. The music stopped. And before anyone had a chance to react, he ambled up the stairs and stood behind the fine, hand-crafted oak podium, where he faced a wide-eyed congregation.

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The disheveled stranger spoke haltingly at first, in a low, clear voice. Unbuttoning and removing his top layer of clothing, he described Jesus, and the love He has for all people. “Jesus possesses a sensitivity and love that far surpasses what any of us deserves.” Stepping out of the baggy old trousers, the stranger went on to describe a forgiveness that is available to each and every one of us… without strings attached. Unconditionally He loves us. Unconditionally He gave his very life for us. Unconditionally and forever, we can have the peace and assurance that no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, or how badly we may have mistreated others or ourselves, there is hope. In Jesus, there is always hope. “You see, my friends, it is never too late to change,” the man continued. “He is the Author of change, and the Provider of forgiveness. He came to bring new meaning to ‘life’.” Men and women squirmed as reality hit them like an electrical current. The stranger tugged at his knotted gray beard, and removed it. “I’m here to tell you that we are loved with a Love far beyond human understanding, a Love that enables us to accept and love others in return.” Then tenderly he added, “Let’s pray together.”

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story found in the 10/28/12 copy of the newsletter@godvine.com

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That wise pastor, under the guise of a homeless “nobody”,  did not preach a sermon that day, but every person left with plenty to think about. Who was the poor one in the story? You see, despite having all of the resources they could ever want, it was always the members of this congregation who were poor. No, they were not poor monetarily but that is not the only kind poor in the world. Because what they were was poor in spirit!  They displayed all manner of the “deadly sins” by not just their actions but by their inactions, as well, including the sins of wrath, pride, envy, greed, sloth and gluttony. And while God sent His Son to earth for many reasons including healing physical poverty, that was  not the primary reason. As He traveled and healed and shared his Father’s message with people everywhere, He taught lessons intended to heal mankind of the spiritual poverty that they suffered from. And I don’t know about you, but I guess man must be a VERY slow learner, because spiritual poverty is just as pervasive in the world today, some 2000 years later!

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38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.

42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Luke 4:38-44 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For the Day 10/28/12

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How Do You Want Your Epitaph To Read?

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http://www.123rf.com/photo_7551867_old-gravestones-and-tower-of-st-kevin-s-church-historic-glendalough-monastery.html

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People “died” all the time…. Parts of them died when they made the wrong kinds of decisions – decisions against life.  Sometimes they died bit by bit until finally they were just living corpses walking around.  If you were perceptive you could see it in their eyes; the fire had gone out… you always knew when you made a decision against life…. The door clicked and you were safe inside – safe and dead. 

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

http://www.quotegarden.com/misc1.html

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It seems to me like there are an awful lot of people who walk the earth for the sole purpose of breathing, and breathing alone! They do not live…….not really. They do not make it their purpose to LIVE WITH purpose. They do not have the heart to love. They do not have the mind to wonder. They do not have the desire to make the world a better place. Instead, all they do is take up space and use resources. They are so content to live in a perpetual state of apathy that to actually recognize that there is any other way to live is probably beyond their understanding! And I really have to wonder what they would truly think if they were given the opportunity of reading the words another writes about the life they led, after they are gone! Would they somehow wake up and discover all the wonders and mysteries of life that they missed out on? I think not! But I want to say, here and now, that a person passing through life lacking accomplishments and purpose is akin to life passing a person by without it acknowledging that they even existed!

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How hard is it for us to really change (and when I say change, I mean undergo a metamorphosis starting from the deepest recesses of our hearts, and then progressing, growing and blossoming outward…..undergoing an overall transformation to one who has, from someone who had not)? Are there things we need to really think about accomplishing so that we can say with certainty that we are ready to live life and not just breathe? Can we really reform?

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The Bible says we can. In fact it tell us so over and over in both the Old and New Testaments.  James 1:21 (International Standard version) says: Therefore, rid yourselves of everything impure and every expression of wickedness, and with a gentle spirit welcome the word planted in you that can save your souls. So think about stripping away the old and starting out fresh and new. It is this possibility that is promised to us by the Son of God! Then look to share yourself with others. Walking along side of those who have little in terms os material possessions makes us all appreciate even more just what blessings we do have. So instead of ignoring your fellow man, become a part of their lives. Live the “Golden Rule”….don’t just pay it lip service. Matthew 7:12 NIV: So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Next, open up your mind to seeing things differently. That does not mean you necessarily need to totally alter your own outlook completely. What it does ask is that we be willing to place both sides of every situation on the scales of justice, look at both sides carefully and then weigh them one against the other. You may just discover that another viewpoint trumps the one that was your personal mantra for so long! Isaiah 55:12: You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

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Yes, rewriting our lives is not just possible, it is essential. If we aren’t proactive, and willing to not just allow ourselves to change, but to eagerly foster and embrace change, we will quickly stagnate and die. Moreover, we will stagnate and die utterly unfulfilled and entirely alone. And I can not think of anything that dishonors the miracle of life that God has bestowed upon the human race more than that!

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17) Be good to your servant while I live, that I may obey your word. 18) Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Psalms 119:17-18 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/27/12

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How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

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http://media.photobucket.com/image/broken%20heart/tuankietnhc/Broken_Heart.jpg?o=163

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When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness; instead keep your head up high and gaze into heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to
heal.

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com/teen-heart.html

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How can you mend a broken heart? What balm is there to apply to the battered and torn remnants of our lost hopes and our dashed dreams? I don’t know about you all but I would almost rather suffer a broken leg or arm than a fracture of that fragile organ that is somehow the single most vital organ to the survival of the human animal. Think about it. Our brain is probably the one organ that is the most connected to our thoughts and deeds but what happens to the functioning of the brain when suddenly the blood supply which is circulated by heart is interrupted? The brain will die just as absolutely when the heart ceases to beat as can our capacity to love another when promises are forgotten and lifetime plans smashed into a million pieces when the one person we have loved above all other humans suddenly rejects us or causes some other harm to our heart! And while the effects might not cause a cessation of bodily functions, it can cause anger, bitterness and hatred which all can destroy the soul! Now I am in no way a professional in grief counseling or anger management, but I can speak as one who has been there and gone on to live another day. It is in this way that I want to share some insights on things that might just help to heal that broken heart from a faith-based perspective.

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  • We are really promised in the Bible that He will never forsake us, especially in our times of need. It says in Psalms 34:18, NIV, The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. And so the first step should be to unburden your aching heart and speak of your hurt to Him! The simple sharing of that pain can be immensely therapeutic, even if you are not exactly given an answer that will ease the ache!He promises in Jeremiah 29:11 NIV, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  • It IS OK to cry. In fact, it is almost necessary as part of the process of healing. God created us with the capacity to cry because He knows that shedding tears often provides us with an immediate relief of the heaviness that our cares can weigh us down with. And since greater people that us have wept bitter tears, including Abraham (Genesis 23:2) and even Jesus (John 11:35), we are in good company, indeed! He tells us as much in Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
  • Talk. Yes, talk to God, but also try to find a corporeal someone with whom you are comfortable sharing you greatest fears and hurts. Surrounding yourself with supportive people allows you the chance to share your burdens. Job 10:1 NIV, “I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.
  • Become proactive in your recovery by concentrating on things that you enjoy and are good at. Whether you adopt a hobby or you take up walking or jogging, turning that pain into positive action can go far in healing the physical components of hurt! Philippians 4:8 NIV says it well! Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
  • Be willing to take that leap of faith I have talked so much about of late and dare to dream and even more importantly, dare to love again! Man was meant to stand and walk through this world with a help meet at his side. In fact, it became God’s plan for man when he saw his very first human, looked into his heart and found that Adam’s heart concealed the anguish of being alone! In Genesis 2:18 NIV we learn of God’s decision that none should walk the earth alone!The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
  • And lastly, be willing to forgive. Forgive the one that hurt you and caused such upheaval to your life. Then, and perhaps even more importantly, forgive yourself for those negative labels you have affixed to yourself. It is natural to place blame for what happened on your own shoulders. But stop! You are not unworthy or lacking in any way! Give yourself permission to let go of the past and start a new beginning in your life. Give yourself permission to live again! Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV promises us, Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

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How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

Robin Gibb & Barry Gibb

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I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do.
I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow.
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And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend a this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.
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I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, no one said a word about the sorrow.
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And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

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Click the link to view the YouTube video

http://youtu.be/LEw9PVt9g7g

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4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4 ESV

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Daniel Michael Bruscella, III

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On October 27, 1979 my husband and I welcomed a new life into the world. Red headed and with a fiery personality to match, my youngest child proved challenging and produced more than what would be considered the average number of gray hairs on the head of such a young woman. And I could not be prouder of or love more, the man that he has grown into.

Happy Birthday, to my darling son!

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/26/12

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When A Stranger Calls!

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http://www.123rf.com/photo_7682960_a-woman-talking-on-the-phone-frustrated-with-the-person-she-is-talking-to.html

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I like my new telephone, my computer works just fine, my calculator is perfect, but Lord, I miss my mind! 

Author Unknown

http://quotegarden.com/telephones.html

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What are some of the things that you do when your telephone rings? Well, if you’re like most people, me included, there is an entire list you probably employ to determine whether or not you will answer! For example, if it’s nearing election day, most people rely on the caller ID to see if the number is from Washington, DC or Columbia, SC. (I tend to try to avoid those calls like the plague!) You probably also look to see if it’s a toll-free number (or at least a number you are familiar with). Like most people, I am entered in the national “Do Not Call” registry but as you probably know, that does not stop the onslaught of telemarketers and the often strong armed tactics they employ hoping to lure you to their services. Those telemarketing calls are also verboten in many other homes! Then most look to see if the call is “Blocked” or “Private”. Now while there are many reasons for wanting to keep your identity a secret from someone you are dialing, if you are like me, you prefer to know who it is you are going to speak with, so no number equals leave me a message. Even someone I know whose number is unlisted is usually willing to leave a message telling me who they are and why they are calling! So many things we do overtly, in the blink of an eye, simply because we value our time and can choose who it is we wish to share that time with! But do we, in our insulated cocoon of self-imposed anonymity, overlook some important calls that we really must not miss when they are directed our way?

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Have you ever wondered if you would recognize and answer God’s call to you when it is made? For most of us, the answer to this is no! While there are some whose inner being burns brightly with the Holy Spirit, most of us are just not certain what God’s mission for us is. In fact, we seldom are certain enough of our own life plans, never mind having an awareness of what God’s designs are for our lives. Which is why He has given us a kind of two-way radio connection with Him through prayer. James 1:5 NIV says, 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. And if asking the question seems too hard or confusing, you need only close your eyes and say simply, Help me, guide me, teach me, change me, fill me!

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Another way to know we are paying attention to His call and what it is are His designs for our lives is to remember that He has already outlined His commands for man through His word! So if we are commanded to do something by the Scripture, there is no need to wonder if He really means what He is asking, because the answer is yes! And while we may not be content to blindly follow all that is outlined, we are given a clear understanding of what exactly are God’s standards for our behavior! Psalm 119:105 NIV says: 105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. He promises that He will be there with every step we take and that will be plain in either the confidence we feel that our choice is the right one or that niggling question that seems to pester our waking and sleeping when we doubt. These are the way He calls us sometimes without our even realizing the “phone ” is ringing so the question now becomes, will you take that leap of faith, be strong and courageous, and answer and act on His call to you, even if the number is unknown?

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5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/25/12

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Using Your Faith

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http://wearewhatwedo.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/volunteering.gif

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 “Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.”

Joni Erickson Tada

http://hopefaithprayer.com/faith/faith-quotes/

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I have heard a question asked over and over in the last year and a half from people in both the community and on social media. It is not just a question about why I have chosen the journey I am making but what I am doing with the calling I have been given. And the answer I feel best addresses the questions is this parody of the saying we all have heard before, “Elvis has left the building”! My answer is this:

“Faith Has Left The Building”

Not only do families by the thousands worship in alternate settings these days but they worship in different ways. Faith is being carried into soup kitchens, story times for kids in the library, cleaning up and caring for a local park, volunteering to become a voice for kids in the system by becoming a Guardian ad Litem, and a million other causes that look for motivated and dedicated individuals who want to act and not just pay lip service to the ills of the world! Even in organized church congregations and parishes worldwide, “Faith in Action” campaigns are transforming worship services into service projects in the community!

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Whatever the route you opt for, choose something to demonstrate your faith in God by working to inspire, empower and mobilize! By thinking about others and by raising awareness of needs, you not only foster unity with others but deepen your spiritual commitment to God by sharing His love in a concrete and tangible way. And after all, did not Christ ask of us that we sow the seeds of the Holy Spirit everywhere we go?

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10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/24/12

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Judging A Book By It’s Cover

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http://www.handbound.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Scrapbook-Album.gif

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Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of penetration.

Niccolo Machiavelli

http://quotegarden.com/appearance.html

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There are few things of more value to any person than the content of their character. And while there are many people who would deny it, most people work hard at establishing themselves as decent and caring people. The thing is that what might just take a lifetime to develop can be torn to shreds in a matter of moments by the erroneous labeling by another, even someone who is a perfect stranger. How many of you have seen a man with a swarthy complexion, dark eyes and a beard and simply assumed they must be from a Middle Eastern Country? Or how many have seen an extremely attractive and well endowed blond-haired and blue-eyed woman and labeled them as a “dumb blond” without even speaking a single word to them? Or how about assuming that the clean-cut attractive man wearing the business suit is someone who also has impeccable morals?

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There is a word used to describe this phenomenon. It is called Physiognomy (from the Greek. physis meaning “nature” and gnomon meaning “judge” or “interpreter”) which is the assessment of a person’s character or personality from his outer appearance, especially the face. In a nutshell, it means that if we judge by appearances and we see someone who is attractive in some way, they must also have good characters. And in contrast, someone who appears unattractive or different must then have questionable character.

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Illustration from a 19th century book about Physiognomy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physiognomy

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Now the thing is that we are not all programmed to be good all of the time. While you might view me in a particular light, my husband might just be able to provide a couple of eye-opening examples of me with horns and a pitchfork in hand! And like me, we are all capable of both good and behaviors at any time. Which just proves that we should never label the character of anyone we encounter unless we have gotten to know them intimately well. And even then, I would much rather err on the side of benevolence and always look for the good in them. You see I am someone who is hard pressed not to see gold, somewhere, in everything that glitters! And that may well be because I prefer to try to view my fellow man the way that God does!

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We might just believe that God judges man just as man judges man, but nothing is farther from the truth. We tend to think that God weighs each of us by what we do alone when, in fact, God sees far beyond the surface. He is able to discern our true natures because he sees inside our minds, our thoughts and our hearts. In fact, He says that man’s spirit is like a lamp which shows Him everything we hold, hidden, deeply within our hearts! Proverbs 20:27 NIV says, 27 The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being. Which just proves that man’s ways are not God’s ways nor are man’s values equal to the values God places on the lives of every one of His children! And I am, personally, content handing the mantle and scepter of judgement over into His capable hands!

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“You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, My decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with The Father, who sent Me.”

John 8:15-16 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/23/12

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God’s Promise

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Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.

James Dean

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_dean.html

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“Live for your afterlife as if you will die tomorrow, and live for this life as if you will live forever”.

saying (hadith) of Muhammad

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_James_Dean_say_dream_as_if_you’ll_live_forever_live_as_if_you’ll_die_today_or_tomorrow

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I find it rather amazing that we so often fail to appreciate the gift that we are given by God every time that we open our eyes to greet the new dawn. It is not an “in your face”, “I dare you not to appreciate” type of gift we are given. It is, instead, the hint of a promise that new beginnings are there just waiting for us to first see them and then to grasp them and hold them close to our heart, where all that is the best we have to offer dwells. Unfortunately, that is how it exists in an ideal world. Our reality is that the world in which we live finds us facing suspicion and doubt far more often, invading and infecting our lives with the same virulence as a Cancer invades and distorts healthy cells! However, there is one monumental difference between the two. We can almost never prevent the damage done to us by a Cancer cell run amok while the way we choose to awaken and begin our day is entirely within our control!

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We first need to apply the lessons we learned from the experiences we were blessed with yesterday. Those lessons are not in your face obvious but are probably a subtle whisper or gentle nudge addressing the concerns that were paramount at that moment. The waiting and hoping for answers is over and the solutions are winking at us hoping we will notice and act. The capacity to do that lies within us already. Ephesians 2:10 NIV says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Once we have a foundation to work with, finding the strength to continue onto tomorrow comes next and it is what God promises to us. He tells us this in Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV, “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.”

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The promise of the things to come, asks of us that we be content to wait to greet these new beginnings. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, waiting is not easy. Having done our share of time in God’s waiting room had been the subject of jokes in our house. But wait we must because things that are the promise happen in God’s time, not man’s! The thing is that the times I became too anxious and failed to wait proved disastrous on so many levels. But always, without exception, when I chose patience to allow the gifts of God to come, He readily offered me the strength to somehow find within the patience. Psalm 27:14 King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” But always remember, whether we are waiting on Him, for Him, or with Him, waiting need not passive. When God is leading, it’s always an adventure. With Him, it’s always worth the wait.

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37) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38)And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39) No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39 NLT

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/22/12

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What Goes Around Comes Around

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Love the earth and sun and animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others…
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.

Walt Whitman

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

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Every day of our lives presents us with choices. Some of those choices may be relatively inconsequential. The decision of what will grace the dinner table or whether today will be slacks and sweater casual or a skirt and blouse dressed down day are a couple of examples of these less earth shattering decisions that we all pour over every day. Then there are the choices we face that have the capacity to be life altering in their significance. For example, you become angry with your child and almost without thinking, slap their face so hard that their lip is split. And while I would hope that this is an extreme example, I think you all know what I am saying by using this particular illustration. Because just as the wise man built his house upon the rock, so do we need to constantly take a moment to think about our actions despite the fact that the heat of the moment might just tend to want to take over where common sense must prevail. Perhaps it is easier to think of this in terms of choosing which bridges we must cross and which ones we must gather the kindling for!
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Becoming a person of worth and living a life that you can be proud of is something that is very difficult for most of us. It is easy to be full of pride for another persons accomplishments but it is much harder to recognize the same positive attributes when they are attached to our own character. In other words, I can say without reservation that my daughter is an excellent mother while it is more difficult to think of myself in those very same terms. And yet I might want to be just as effusive with my negative assessments of the character of someone I dislike intensely but I will purposefully restrain myself from  making my negative feelings known because for me to share them might just cause the other person to be hurt and that diminishes me much more than it does them. A prime example of crossing the bridge but not roasting marshmallows on the embers of that same structure. However, when I have achieved a milestone decision for my life and it is one that I know will have a lifelong impact on me for the better, well then just hand me the lighter fluid and a match because I will never look back. That does not preclude me from remembering the experiences that were my past life, but it prevents me from being tempted to rethink my choice and the potential to derail the positives and progress I have introduced to my life. And it also is what compels me to want to pay those blessings that I have been gifted with forward as I live my life. And it was exactly this message I was given in after receiving an email from a friend yesterday and which I am going to share with you all right now.
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PAID IN FULL WITH ONE GLASS OF MILK
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One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of meal he asked for a drink of water! She thought he looked hungry so she brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?” You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.” He said …”Then I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
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As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit. Instead he found his faith and his spirit renewed just as his thirst had been assuaged.
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Many year’s later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city,         where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to      do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case. After a long struggle, the battle was won.
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Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge, and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words:
       
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Paid in full with one glass of milk.
Dr. Howard Kelly
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Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broadly, through the kindness of human hearts and the deeds of human hands.”

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There’s a saying which goes something like this: Bread cast on the water comes back to you. Pay your blessings forward every chance you get! The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love when you least expect it to. And even if you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place, and, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?

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4) There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5) There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6) God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

1 Corinthians 12;4-6 NLT

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry