Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thought For The Day 11/30/12

Standard

“Because Of Love”

___

http://photobucket.com/images/wild+horses/

___

  “Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower, and draws all good things toward you. Allow your love to nourish yourself as well as others. Do not strain after the needs of life. It is sufficient to be quietly alert and aware of them. In this way life proceeds more naturally and effortlessly. Life is here to Enjoy!”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/maharishi_mahesh_yogi/

___

This is the time of the year when the spirit of goodwill becomes positively infectious for most people. Just go out into the mall and look around. Even though the shoppers may appear weary, most are still cheerful and the hustle and bustle is a joy filled and not the least bit exhaustive! But once in a great while you will spy the one for whom a giving heart has become lost. They are usually easy to spy as the lines in their faces seem to have been etched there by the sculptor’s chisel! You look at them and you just know that for reasons that may defy explanation, they have lost the meaning of that universally loved phrase from Luke 2:14, King James 2000 Bible, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” which colors much of life with its vibrant and light filled hues during these weeks every year!

___

That is the message in a recent email I received from a friend. “Because of Love” has no identifiable author, but is a touching story of understanding the value of and appreciating the merits that are to be found in all living beings…..whether they make sense to you, or not! It is a Christmas tale of miracles, and should become an annual tradition in every home. Yes it is a message of generosity of spirit and the joy that is found in the simple things and might just become as beloved to you as “A Christmas Carol” has to many millions over the years!

___

“Because of Love”

~

A brother and sister had made their usual hurried, obligatory pre-Christmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine, which topped the hill behind the farm. Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the city hustle and bustle added more excitement to their lives, and called them away to a different life.

~

The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had taken their toll, and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder, but it gave them a reason to get up and a reason to live. They sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day’s end.

~

Believing their parents were sacrificing so much, and angry, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks “Why do you not at least dispose of  the ‘Old One’. She is no longer of use to you. It’s been years since you’ve had foals from her. You should cut corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse bring you anything but expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?”

~

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, ” Yes, I could use a pair of new boots.” But his arm slid defensively about the ‘Old One’s’ neck as he drew her near and with gentle caressing, he rubbed her gently behind her ears. He replied softly, “We keep her because of love. Nothing else, just love.”

~

Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley.

~

The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace of the love that filled their hearts?

~

So it was, that because of the unhappy leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the ‘Old One’.

~

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire’s fury. His wife, back from calling for help cradled him in her arms, and clinging to each other, wept at their loss.

~

By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together before the barn. They were speechless as they rose from the cold snow-covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now. The old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon his shoulders as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, “We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us gather strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved most precious gifts that have been taken from us.

~

And so, he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old and withered hand.

~

The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the steep snow. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they paused to rest, looking up to the top of the hill the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.

~

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

~

Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night-light, bedded down about the ‘Old One’ close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe.

~

At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new year’s crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the ‘Old One’ as she moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife.

~

Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years, tired from the climb, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift….because of love. Only because of love.

~

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy… And again the peace of love filled their hearts.

~

This is reported to be a true story!

___

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV

___

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

___

The American Red Cross

~
Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
or
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The American Humane Association
~
or by texting HUMANE to 80888

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/29/12

Standard

Some Observations…

___

___

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”

Jim Rohn

http://exploreforayear.com/clarity/45-inspiring-quotes-change

___

For those of you who have been following MandysPath since its inception are probably aware that my daily “Thought” began as a way to share with the world the transformation I felt the moment the Lord enter my heart and MandysPath was born. Over the months, MandysPath has continued to grow and thrive and prosper just as my faith has continued to grow and thrive and prosper. And that faith has brought me to the doorsteps of two organizations. The first, the Universal Life Church World Headquarters did not prove to be quite the right fit for me and I left, knowing full well that He would open that window for me, even though for the moment, the door seemed to be not just shut, but locked, as well. And, as is His way for man, and certainly His plan for me, that is exactly what happened. I joined the Pacific Life Church and have been given the support and freedom to share my message in whatever way works best for me. Indeed, I am certain it was all very much a part of His plan for my new journey of faith to be exactly this way, because it is with each new experience that we grow and learn about ourselves and God!

___

I share this bit of history with you to prepare you for what I now share. There is a matter that has come to my attention regarding the Universal Life Church World Headquarters. It has been reported through the news outlets including Paper Li via SB Wire (http://paper.li/f-1320257022?utm_source=subscription&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=paper_sub), as well as on the ULC Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Universal-Life-Church/147869338562220?fref=ts, that their President has elected to ordain a registered sex “Lifetime Offender”, which is someone guilty of repeated criminal conduct of a sexual nature. The man in question is from Pennsylvania. Now I do not condemn this man. In fact, I sincerely hope he has honestly sought forgiveness from God for what transpired. After all, that is what mankind was gifted with by the death of the one whose birth we are celebrating in less than a month. Now this being said, there are a number Universal Life Church World Headquarters sites that continue to list me both as an author and contributor to their news publications, and I continue to be listed as an officer on their non-profit business documentation with the Florida Secretary of State. I wish to state for the record that I am not now affiliated with them, nor have I been connected with them, in any capacity, since May 4th, 2012.

___

I respect the right of the ULC to ordain any person they choose. It is not my right nor responsibility to be the morality police for anyone. I hope that this man will use the gift and opportunity he has been given by the ULC to do good in a world that bears witness every day to unspeakable horrors. Only God knows what his motivation is. However, it behooves us to think about what this might mean for churches, in general. Never forget that in most states here in America, Clergy are designated as mandated reporters, the same as Doctors, Nurses and Teachers are. And while churches can, and should, play a substantial role in helping offenders return to society, rebuild relationships, overcome old behaviors, and deepen their faith commitment, care should always be taken by any organization to monitor and develop policies regarding the expectations for those who are identified as a potential threat to others. As such, it is imperative to establish a covenant with the individual so that they continue to remain accountable, just as the rest of us are, for their behaviors, both good and bad. It is my sincere hope that any group, whether business or church, who elects to bring someone into their “family”, becomes educated and informed and enacts whatever safety measures might be needed to protect not only themselves but the community at large who are the very ones who seek assistance, guidance and support from someone they trust. As such, don’t we owe it to them to be trustworthy and above reproach?

___

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Isaiah 1:18

___

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

___

The American Red Cross

~
Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
or
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The American Humane Association
~
or by texting HUMANE to 80888

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/28/12

Standard

My ABC’s of Faith

___

http://www.clker.com/clipart-4603.html

___

There are two types of men, those who are afraid to lose God, and those who are afraid that they might find Him…

Blaise Pascal

Philosopher and Scientist

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/apologetics/faith/why-believe-in-god/

___

I was picking up some toys around the house after my grandson had gone and I was marveling at how quickly he is growing and learning and becoming his very own person, complete with opinions, likes and a ton of a”chutzpah” that will serve him well as he grows. I sometimes wish I had a crystal ball so I could view the entirety of his life because I know that he will one day change the world. But for now we must begin with the basics as we teach and prepare him for the life he will live. We must start with our ABC’s. And it was this thought that inspired my post for today where I share my personal ABC’s of Faith with you. Sometimes it is the simplest thing that means the most to us as we travel along life’s pathways!

___

A = ASK

For God’s Help!

~

We are all human and as such, we sin and fall short of the way we should behave as Christians. The problem is that so many people do not accept that there are times in our lives when we can not do everything ourselves. The thing is, we don’t need to. We are never alone and all we need to do is to ask God for His guidance and His help with those problems that are weighing us down. And while it may not be easy because often those doubts sometimes cause us to lose faith in ourselves, His trust in us, His love for us and His desire that we attain that which is good for us, should serve to help us believe that He can and will help us if we but ASK! Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV) “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

___

B = BELIEVE

In The Almighty!

~

Believing that God exists is not always easy. In fact, 20% of the world’s population do not believe, which might just make us wonder what kind of God would allow so many to doubt? There are no easy answers to this except to say that many devout leaders in Christianity once doubted His existence. But inexplicably, once the moment that the realization of His truth washes over you and you move from transition to transcendence, it is indeed like a light bulb turning on in your heart. The realization is different for everyone. For me, the moment I knew was a gentle nudge while for others, believing happens only when they have taken a giant leap of faith. But in my heart I know that He is, was and always will be, and I find my proof for His existence in understanding that I exist as does the universe and therefore He must, as well! Yes, BELIEVE! Isaiah 43:10-11 (NIV), ” “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.

___

C = CONFESS

Your Sins!

~

Confession is a means of unburdening our hearts for the behaviors and actions that we instinctively know are wrong. And although many believe the way to truly atone is by selecting a priest or other member of the clergy to act as an intermediary, most Protestant denominations, of which I belong, believe that God hears every earnest confession made, whether it is done alone or in the presence of another. The thing is that confession alone is not the price we must pay to receive forgiveness. Fortunately for man, if they have accepted Christ into their hearts, all is forgiven already. Jesus Christ paid the price for us by his substitutionary death on our behalf! But the importance of confession lies in that it provides proof that we have assumed responsibility for the sin we have committed and that we view our sin the same way that God does! Which is why the as the old saying proclaims, to CONFESS really is good for the soul! 1 John 1:9 (ESV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

___

Perhaps the day will come to continue with D, E and F but for now, those first three letters really sum up my approach to faith and how I apply it in the way I live. And sometimes we can examine things to death before we realize that often it is the simplest of approaches that are not just the easiest to understand but also hold the most truth!

___

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:5 ESV

___

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

___

The American Red Cross

~
Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
or
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The American Humane Association
~
or by texting HUMANE to 80888

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/27/12

Standard

God’s Greatest Gift

___

___

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly –

Sam Keen

“To Love and Be Loved”

http://sayingimages.com/love-quotes-best-images-with-quotes-about-love/

___

Most people, if asked what God’s greatest gift to man was, would be apt to reply, His son, Jesus Christ. This is, after all, the time of the year when we who celebrate Christianity welcome Him into our hearts and into our lives in a very profound way as we prepare to celebrate His birthday. And for the most part, that answer would receive no argument from me. You see, God sent His son to earth to pave the way for our Salvation and we must admit that there is no single thing that can be more important to the state of our souls than this. He reaffirms this to us in Philippians 4:19 NIV, when we are reminded “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Yes, through Jesus birth and subsequent death, we are afforded His promise, which is affirmed in John 10:28 NIV says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” And then I read my email today which gave me a whole different perspective of the matter.

___

The email I read reminded me of something else. It reminded me of the real reason he chose to send His son to earth in the first place, knowing full well what the ending of life would be for him. You see, the greatest gift the Lord has given to His people is not the promise of Salvation but it is, instead, the guarantee of His everlasting love for us all. Yes, He loved us then and continues to love us today, so much so that He sent His only begotten son, knowing full well His son would need to meet a horrible end on a cross. We know this to be true from reading Romans 5:8 NIV, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And in the way that mankind chooses to continue to love others to this day proves that. The Apostle Paul said as much in Corinthians when he reminds us that of all the great spiritual things a human being can do in a world that finds so many behaving in ways that are anything but spiritual, is to spend all the time we can exercising our hearts and sharing love which is “Christlike” in its capacity to care for and about others!

___

This is the story that inspired this posting!

~

LOVE

~

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderlygentleman in his 80’s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.

He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.

I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health.

He told me thatshe had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knewwho he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him,‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’

___

True love…..”Christlike” love…..is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, and will ever be. The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. So as you gather close to those family members and friends who mean the most to you over the weeks to come, always remember that we are never more “Christlike” in our behaviors than when we demonstrate and share and live, God’s greatest gift of all…….LOVE!

___

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 NIV

___

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

___

The American Red Cross

~
Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
or
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The American Humane Association
~
or by texting HUMANE to 80888

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/26/12

Standard

With The Heart Of A Child

___

http://media.beta.photobucket.com/images/jesus%20with%20child

___

A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.

Author Unknown

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

___

There is a very famous Bible verse that comes from Paul. I Corinthians 13:11. reads, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child; I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” And while Paul was making an analogy about the church during the time of it’s very beginnings, there is much wisdom contained that can be applied to the lives we as Christians live today! After all, it is only as we grow and mature with age, and we put the impulsive behaviors of youth behind us, that we are able to more fully understand the lessons that Christ intended for man. Even now in 2012, the same messages that He shared with our ancestors during the time he walked the earth, are well worth remembering! Yes, we should and we must, lose our childish traits such as selfishness, ignorance, stubbornness, and the incapacity to understand the value of things. These are behaviors that, if maintained by the human adult, will limit the level of maturity that is needed for us to be able to become the independent managers of the parts of life that we need, to control, to prioritize and to manage our households, our communities and our countries in this big world in which we live! However, seeing the world with the awe and wonder and the inherent curiosity that is a part of childhood is something we really should not allow maturity to rob of us too quickly!

___

Children are PURE!

Yes, there are those who see all life born as depraved by the stain of original sin. But there is not a single newborn alive that has yet committed sin.  Yes, God reinforces this fact to us in Ezekiel 18:20, “The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son.” Which is why Jesus taught that the kingdom of Heaven belongs to people who are pure of heart, just like a little child!

~

Children are HUMBLE!

For children there is no one person in the world who is blessed with more greatness or wealth or strength or beauty than any other. All people are equally endowed with these things in the mind of a child. Being someone special is rarely, if ever, important to children. Instead all that matters is that they ARE! Jesus reminded the disciples of the same thing when they asked Him who was the greatest in Heaven. Mark 10:15, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

~

Children want to LEARN!

Children are always willing to see all the new possibilities that are available in life even as they absorb, like sponges, all of the information that the world has to offer. This is exactly why a child will ask the adults in their world a million questions…..things that may make no sense to us, such as “Why is are you tall and I’m not?” or “Why is grass green?”! However, as adults, we are often guilty of closing our minds to new possibilities. But God asks of us to listen and learn the lessons His Son shared with the world with every one of our senses, and He also asks us particularly, to open our minds and to see with our hearts! Romans 12:2 reminds us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

~

Children TRUST

Our little ones instinctively know that they are unable to do for themselves and so they trust that their parents will care for them and provide for their needs. So should we remember to trust that God has promised to care for us, as well. Yes, that may well be by allowing us the knowledge we need to care for ourselves, but it is also in understanding that He is always right by our sides as we do! Hebrews 13:5 reminds us,  “For he himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

___

Yes, some very mature and responsible life and faith decisions ask us to remember some very childlike behaviors and actions. So the next time you encounter a little one in your life, look at them…..REALLY LOOK….. and then ask yourself what things about them are worth remembering and applying to the life we live as an adult of faith!

___

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:1-4 ESV

___

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

___

The American Red Cross

~
Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
or
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The American Humane Association
~
or by texting HUMANE to 80888

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/25/12

Standard

God, What Do You Want From Me?

___

Two Trinities

by Murillo

___

Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do.  Their actions will show you the truth, which will help you measure the true quality of your relationship in the long-term.

Quotes For Everyday Life

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quotes-for-Everyday-Life-/284199988277834

___

Let me begin today’s blog by asking you all a question. What is the very first thought that comes to mind when someone comes up to you, taps you on the shoulder, and says they need something from you? Well, perhaps it’s the very human part of me that must admit to you that my first thought is not always, “Let me grab my coat and I’ll be right with you!” No, usually my very first thought is ,”Oh geez…..I wonder what this is going to cost me!” That is because it is man’s baser side that colors so much of what happens during our interactions with others, with caution and even suspicion! Experience has taught us that we generally don’t get something for nothing and that doesn’t change whether the something sought is a concrete tangible or simply our time and attention. So isn’t it a breath of fresh air simply knowing that when God comes to us (and He does…..all the time, whether we realize it or not), we know ahead of time that He doesn’t NEED anything from us? After all, everything that exists is already His. But……BUT….. He does ask and He does deserve much from us anyway! The thing is that whether we grant the things that He asks of us is entirely up to us.

___

What He does ask is not subjective or obscure. He reinforces over and over what He hopes will be the choices we will make. Micah 6:8 says: ‘And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’. Again in Deuteronomy 10:12-13, we are told, ‘And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?’  And, of course, the verse that is probably sums it all up the best comes to us from the New Testament. Mark 12:30“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

___

The list of actions and behaviors He expects from us are clear, having been reinforced over and over throughout the texts of His handbook…..the Bible. He asks that we respect, honor, love and serve Him. And yet, He does not NEED our respect, our honor, our love or our service. It is what He asks, which means it is fully within our own capacity to decide if we will give Him what He asks. But wait one second. Is what He expects really so very difficult for us to manage? As beings who spend so much time and attention to the way we interaction with others, are these not the exact same things we hope for and expect from everyone we touch as we live our lives? Are not the things He asks a part of common courtesy and decency that should be part of our lives? Respect for others, honoring them by our behaviors, loving them completely and sharing and serving with our whole being are the things that reinforce the best parts of man, and separate us from the other life forms that share our world. They are all a part of the LOVE that is contained within the human heart!

___

14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Psalm 50:14-15 NIV

___

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

___

The American Red Cross

~
Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
or
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The American Humane Association
~
or by texting HUMANE to 80888

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/24/12

Standard

T’is The Season!

___

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/galleries/TMG9666808/Christmas-shopping-The-best-dressed-festive-windows.html

___

“It’s choice, not chance, that determines your destiny.”

Jean Nidetch

Founder of Weight Watchers

http://suite101.com/article/inspirational-small-business-quotes-for-entrepreneur-motivation-a224262

___

Last year, I posted a blog based on an email I received from my college roommate. I found the piece again yesterday, and have decided to re-share it this year. I was never able to determine the original author of the piece because it caught on like a “house a fire” in 2011 and was reprinted by every one from bloggers to business owners to religious organizations to the average e-mailer. Now, I did do some minor editing of the original last year to make it a bit more politically correct. However, this year I am going to make a couple more changes because “MandysPath” now boasts a readership that spans every continent in the world (except for Antarctica…..besides research stations, there is probably no internet service there anyway….LOL), and while the original post was geared toward the American Christmas shopper, it is a message transcends the borders of the United States, and even faiths (welcome aboard all of you who shop for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa gifts)! So enjoy the following message once more and think about taking its meaning to heart as you begin your foray into the world of the mall this holiday season!

___

CHRISTMAS 2012

___

As the holidays approach, factories are kicking into high gear to provide consumers with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods made by machine…..merchandise that has been produced at the expense of many working class men and women and small hometown businesses. This year could and should be different. This year, we all can give the gift of genuine concern for our brothers and sisters in our very own communities. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, cheaper, mass-produced items, are better!

___

It’s time to think outside the box, everyone. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in festive paper? Everyone gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local  hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

___

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, locally owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates. Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down big bucks on a huge flat-screen television? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

___

There are a many owner-run restaurants, all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half-dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains. This is about supporting your home town businesses with their financial lives on the line as they struggle to keep their doors open!

___

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by a local neighborhood working guy?

___

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Wouldn’t she love the services of a local cleaning lady for a day? (I actually did this for my dad and stepmother one year, and it was a gift my stepmother raved about!)

___

If you are reading this, you probably have a computer that could use a tune-up, so why not find some young guy who is struggling to keep his repair business running?

___

OK, perhaps you were looking for something more personal. Local arts and crafts people spin their own wool and knit it into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. (I have a friend that has one of these businesses!)

___

Are you in charge of setting up a holiday party for your company? Just going out for a bite to eat as a family? Looking for something different to do on a weekend evening? Well, why not plan your holiday outings or dinners at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre on a Saturday night. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

___

Honestly, do you really need to buy another light set for the outside of the house? Instead, think about leaving the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice big tip.

___

You see, the holidays are no longer about draining consumer pockets so that mass manufacturers can line the pockets of their Chief Executive Officer! Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa is now about caring about each other and encouraging your local small businesses to keep plugging away to realize their dreams. And, when we care about the little guy, and we support our communities, the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. After all, this is the time of the year when we look to show those we love how much we care about each other, so why not begin some new traditions as you begin your gift planning this year? Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and of our communities!

___

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19 ESV

___

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

___

The American Red Cross

~
Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
or
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The American Humane Association
~
or by texting HUMANE to 80888

___

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry