Thought For The Day 12/06/12

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The Journey

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http://carijean.hubpages.com/hub/The-Nativity-Story-The-Movie#slide2240582

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Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and
the universe.

Anatole France

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

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Imagine something for a moment. You have just found out that a child would be arriving into the world and this announcement comes from your spouse, with whom you’ve never had intercourse. What would you think and do? Well most people would most likely be heading for the hills, skid marks the only trace remaining that their existence had ever been! However, we know that Joseph, when faced with this news, chose to remain with the woman he loved, much to the shock and probable taunts of the people back home. It could not have been an easy decision but there was never any other choice in his mind, and the young couple did, indeed, marry. This most likely occurred during late spring or early summer, somewhere around 7 BC. (We have a rudimentary understanding of the date because we have more evidence regarding the reign of Caesar Augustus and knowledge of when the decree was issued in 8 BC that all families would be numbered to make taxation an easier process for the Roman Empire. We also know that in the kingdom of Herod, this edict took place about a year later because of dissent among the Israeli population about being included in this accounting.)

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It was not necessary that Mary make the journey but she was hoping for a visit with Elizabeth, a relative and did not want to chance giving birth while Joseph was away! The shortest way south toward Jerusalem was decided upon. The journey, which would take them through treacherous regions, would not be an easy one, but they depart, from the hills of Nazareth, in Galilee and were most likely a part of a caravan which would afford some increased protection during the journey. The very poor would have needed to walk, which would have been unthinkable for a pregnant woman back then and while we really do not have evidence of this fact, it was likely that Mary made the journey atop a donkey. Normally it would take about four days to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. However, fearing the possibility of a miscarriage, Joseph would have insisted on a slower journey and it likely took a week or more.

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Their journey took them past mountains which was an easy way to identify landmarks during the trip. They passed Mt. Gilboa, and Mt. Sartaba, which overlooked the Jordan valley and they probably stopped in Jericho along the way. They traveled through storms and under sunny skies and the heat of the day and it is certain that the journey was both exhausting as well as a worrisome one given Mary’s advanced pregnancy. The group would have certainly stopped to celebrate the Sabbath which was fortunate as it allowed this young woman an opportunity for a much deserved respite!

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The journey would have taken them past Dothan, where Joseph (of the coat of many colors) was sold into slavery, past the Samarian city of Shomrom-Sebaste, where Jacob’s well is located, (the place where Jesus will meet a Samaritan woman and promise her eternal life), and Bethel, where Jacob dreamt of the ladder carrying the angels up and down, to and from heaven. Their arrival in Jerusalem was a cause to celebrate as they would finally see Elizabeth, Zacharias, and their baby who would grow and become John the Baptist, and they would also be able to sleep somewhere other than the ground! As Jerusalem lay only 10 miles from Bethlehem, their journey was nearly over.

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This last leg of the journey was the most arduous of any days so far as Mary’s labor was beginning and daylight was waning when they finally arrive in Bethlehem, in the land of Judea. However, even though Joseph sought to spend the night with relatives, and at other places of lodging, all of the rooms were taken. Finally, they are told that the stable area had been cleared of animals to make room for the travelers. Although it was carved out of the side of rock, it was shelter, dry, fairly warm and it was likely that draped cloths afforded the young couple some privacy. And, as it was told in Luke 2:6 NIV, “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born…”

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“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

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Sabrina Owner's Meeting 001

35 years ago today I presented the world with a beautiful baby girl. She is my delight and I am so very proud of the woman she has become! The night she was born, I held her in my arms and watched the snow falling outside my window. Never before had snow looked so glorious to me!

Happy Birthday
Sabrina Bruscella Hilliard!

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During this most blessed season of the year, please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who continue to suffer from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

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The American Red Cross

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

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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