Monthly Archives: January 2013

Thought For The Day 01/24/13

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Walk-Ins Welcome

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walk-ins welcome

http://www.neonsignworld.com/RNS%20W%201-10.htm

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“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”

R Talloni

http://rtalloni.hubpages.com/hub/Truth-Quotes-Everyone-is-entitled-to-their-own-opinion-but-not-their-own-facts

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As I was driving yesterday to the third training session for becoming a South Carolina Guardian ad Litem, I suddenly realized that I had to be driving along a road with the most churches I had ever seen in my entire life….and at 58 years young, I have done my fair share of driving along country roads! Now I drive less than 25 miles along this road, but in that distance, I actually lost count of the number of churches I passed, once I got beyond 12. And aside from looking to see whether they were Baptist, Methodist or another faith (there is a reason they call the south the Bible belt, after all), the other thing that I made it a point to do was to check out all of those catchy signs complete with slogans meant to pique your interest and draw you inside, that are in the front yards of nearly every country (and not so country) church in America. Now most of these signs were your average “welcome to our church family” type of signs, but there was one that I particularly noticed because the words on it were the same ones I read on the windows of hair salons and other businesses these days. You see, given the state of the economy, businesses, especially those with a personalized type of service, want you to know that they want YOU as a customer and that they will do everything they can to make you a happy, happy consumer! Yes, the sign in front of this church said “Walk-ins Welcome”!

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Now I was so surprised to see it that I even forgot to notice what the church name or denomination was but, once I finished laughing, I actually began to think about what the pastor meant when he posted it. Why was it that this particular sign struck me as being hilariously funny, when reading the same words in front of a business would not have been funny at all? Is it possible that I actually might find humor in the implied reference that any ole’ Tom, Dick or Harry was welcomed here and their presence be just as valued as would a King or a Saint? Well, shame on me for even contemplating such an insensitive thing….even in a moment of jest!

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How sad it is, that instead of welcoming everybody with open arms, we find that we are all too often inclined to question not just their right to be there, but their motives for being there, as well. What I did, in a single thought, was to somehow need to raise or lower my standards to accommodate another, instead of looking at the situation in such a way, that it becomes my personal responsibility to raise the other person up, no matter how they got there, or what it was that drew them to come there, in the first place! And behaving and thinking this way is anything but Christian! You see, in that brief moment, I forgot that everybody was welcome to come and listen to Christ as he shared God’s message. And just as He ministered to everyone alike, so should we all seek to reach out today and draw people in and share the words of faith that dwell within our hearts! Romans 15:7 (NRSV) says, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

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I am seeking to train to advocate for children who so often remain voiceless in society, so how is it that I would remove the very same right from someone, anyone, who was seeking to be enlightened by God’s voice? Remember when the disciples tried to keep the little children from coming up to Christ when he was preaching? Did Jesus Christ not chastise them, reminding them that it is everybody’s right to come and know Him and to receive His word and grace? Matthew 19:14 (NIV), “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw a picture of Jesus welcoming the multitudes to His gathering, especially children, and as they entered and drew near, they all passed his shingle, hung on a nearby tree, that proclaimed, “WALK-IN’S WELCOME”!

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28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28 (NIV)

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Well, it is now 2013, and while it may be hard for you to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy back on October 29th, 2012, that remain without essential services that you and I are taking for granted today! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

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Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
~
For information, visit
or

___

Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

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Thought For The Day 01/23/13

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Seeing Beyond The Horizon

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Horizon

Photo taken by Daniel Bruscella, III with his iPhone

While on vacation in 2012 in FL

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“Suppose I was to tell you that it’s just beauty that’s calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell which lures me, the need of freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on—-in quest of the secret which is hidden over there—-beyond the horizon?” 

Eugene O’Neill  

Beyond the Horizon

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1715894-beyond-the-horizon-a-play-in-three-acts

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Taking that “leap of faith” toward the promise of the things that lie beyond where the eyes can see. Never an easy thing for a man or a woman to do! And certainly not easy when that which is  sought is an intangible such as a promise of life everlasting! So how does the heart, mind and soul know when the moment is right for the seeker to take that leap of faith to God?

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I once read that faith, while rooted in the unknown, really moves and grows from the unknown into the known  because being reborn allows each of us to see from the heart and not just the eyes! Pretty profound thought, don’t you think? Faith allows us to see the promise that is God’s kingdom, and allows us to move beyond the realities that living mortal lives plants within our hearts.  Our hearts hold so many earthly things such as anger and bitterness and, (dare I even say it) hatred. In fact, most people really never see into the depths of their own hearts, because the heart can be such a deceptive visionary. We are even told as much in Jeremiah, 17:9 ESV, “9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Yes, the heart often seeks to deceive us into believing that all is right with the way we live our lives in the world. And if we really don’t know ourselves and all that we are capable of, how then, can we learn to trust others? Well, as we spend time in shared experiences, we grow together with all of those other mortals who share in our lives! So why not with God?

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Yes, just as we grow to trust others, so has God shared with us enough knowledge about him through His revelations so that any of us can enter into the same meaningful relationship with him that we have with the rest of our friends and families who dwell on earth with us. However the moment we are struck by this often happens when we least expect it, and only when our mind is ready to consider the things He seeks to share. But for us to understand and grow with Him, we must be willing to learn what it is He deems we should know.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 reaffirms this, even as it reminds us of the amazing fact that it is by His mouth to the mind of man, that His scripture was given life, in the first place! “16) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17) that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

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A man by the name of Smith Wigglesworth (and yes, I laughed when I read his name too!) was a British evangelist who brought his voice to the burgeoning movement of Pentacostalism. Anyway, Smith made a promise to God that he would not go to bed at night until he had delivered to Him a new believer. It was a promise he kept until he passed away on March 12, 1947. But it is a quote attributed to him that I find so compelling as I think about taking that leap of faith to faith!  “Fear looks; faith jumps. Faith never fails to obtain its object. If I leave you as I found you, I am not God’s channel. I am not here to entertain you, but to get you to the place where you can laugh at the impossible.” (1) And just as Smith sought to bring people to the edge where they might glimpse (and laugh) at the impossible, so do I encourage you to envision all that He promises lies just beyond the horizon! I may be a simple person who is but a novice in believing myself, but I speak with the knowledge of one who leapt and has seen, that the things that are to be seen, when we take that leap, are wondrous, indeed!

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(1) http://hopefaithprayer.com/faith/faith-quotes/

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BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON

(a feel-good song for the ages)

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Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day…
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me…
I see a new horizon
My life has only begun…
Beyond the blue horizon

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Lies a rising sun…
Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day…
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me…
I see a new horizon
My life has only begun…

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Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun!
Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun!

Song performed by Michael Nesmith (yes, of the Monkees)

From his 1970 “Magnetic South”  album

http://youtu.be/Y_e1yMZLkII

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We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NIV

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Well, it is now 2013, and while it may be hard for you to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy back on October 29th, 2012, that remain without essential services that you and I are taking for granted today! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

___

Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
~
For information, visit
or

___

Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/22/13

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I Have A Dream, Too!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+dreaming&qpvt=picture+of+dreaming&FORM=IGRE#

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“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1618365-i-have-a-dream-writings-and-speeches-that-changed-the-world

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I wrote this post with a vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. in my mind’s eye, and an echo of his famous speech replaying over and over in my mind’s ear. You see, I too, have a dream!

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I have a dream of a world where we all can live in peace and true brotherhood. I have a dream where we will be as respectful of our differences as we are about the things that unite us. I have a dream where little girls and little boys will grow so that each knows the true value of the unique creation they are. I have a dream where the first thing we see of one another is that we are greeting a fellow human being instead of a black or white or Christian or Muslim human being. I have a dream where we will look to lift each other up and build lives together instead of tearing down those same lives because they are somehow different. I have a dream where we will all seek and find the tether to faith and spirit that moves each heart. I have a dream where we will live these words as an integral part of our character: love, kindness, respect, generosity, benevolence, compassion, tenderness, mercy, grace and brotherhood. And I have a dream of a day when the spiritual awakening of every heart is not a subjective experience but a divine revelation that serves to heal and enlighten all of mankind!

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Yes, I have a dream and it is the same dream for mankind that is endowed to man by the hand of the Almighty. It is a dream of a world where we are united as one people under God, indivisible and all living in liberty, knowing only justice! And while we must embrace our faith just as the words of Hebrews 11:1 tells us,Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” , we must also live by God’s guide found in Romans 14:19 NIV,Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

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Yes, I have a dream and so should you. Together let us all dream about a world where it will be the right of everyone, no matter their country of birth or the culture they were born into, to dare to dream about a future where the promises of tomorrow eclipse anything envisioned yesterday!

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We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NIV

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Well, it is now 2013, and while it may be hard for you to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy back on October 29th, 2012, that remain without essential services that you and I are taking for granted today! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

___

Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
~
For information, visit
or

___

Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/21/13

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The Waters That Save!

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Baptism-of-Christ

Francesco Albani’s 17th century Baptism of Christ

Depiction with the sky opening and the Holy Spirit descending as a dove.

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

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“The Church does not dispense the sacrament of baptism in order to acquire for herself an increase in membership but in order to consecrate a human being to God and to communicate to that person the divine gift of birth from God.”

Hans Urs von Balthasar

Unless You Become Like This Child

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

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The waters of our world. What a blessing and a miracle they are for mankind. It is their properties that both bear and sustain the miracle of life, and it is also their properties that gift to us a life with the promise of salvation!

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Did you know that there were three GREAT miracles in the Old Testament of water baptism of sorts, involving the seas of the earth? I’m referring to the miracle and salvation of Noah and his family during the great flood, the parting of the Red Sea by the hand of God to allow the Hebrew slaves safe escape from the pursuing Egyptian army, and the crossing of the river Jordan to enter the promised land where the Hebrew people would once again, be declared by God to be His! Yes, purification by water was God’s blessing and His gift of grace to we, His children. However, it was not until the miracles that happened as a result of the life of Jesus, that the gift would be given to all of those who proclaim a love for and belief in God’s only begotten son!

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It is through the miracle of Baptism that our sins die, are buried and we are resurrected just as He was, all because of Christ’s life-giving blood, which ran clear from the wound he suffered in his side from the Roman spear, as told in John 19: 34-35 NIV, “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.” Just as the one born without sin chose to be baptized in the waters of life, so did his blood run as water, proof of the melding of the two most significant events in Jesus’ life. And it is both of these occurrences which are necessary so that we may also be reborn, washed clean of the sin that is the dubious birthright of every human since the fruit of the tree of knowledge was consumed in the garden! However it is not the act that merits salvation because that is God’s gift of grace to us. It is, instead, an outward symbol of the love and faith that dwells in the heart of the believer and acts to tether the heart of man with the trinity…the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life., according to Romans 6:4 NIV.

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Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him saying,”I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to Me?” But Jesus answereing said to him,”Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Mathew 3:13 -17 NASB

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Well, it is now 2013, and while it may be hard for you to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy back on October 29th, 2012, that remain without essential services that you and I are taking for granted today! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

___

Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
~
For information, visit
or

___

Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/20/13

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Simply Hot Air Seeking An Outlet

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Hot air balloon2

http://www.lightstalking.com/hot-air-balloons

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After us they’ll fly in hot air balloons, coat  styles will change, perhaps they’ll discover a sixth sense and cultivate it, but  li…fe  will remain the same, a hard life full of secrets, but happy. And a thousand  years from now man will still be sighing, “Oh! Life is so hard!” and will still,  like now, be afraid of death and not want to die.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

http://quotes.dictionary.com/search/hot-air+balloon?page=1

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A response I made to a friend who commented on yesterday’s “Thought” has brought me to a tremendous revelation, and has led (or perhaps guided is a better word) to today’s post. In contemplating the seeming ease with which I seem to share with you every day, I must wonder if it is really spiritually driven or merely an excess of hot air needing venting? Do the things I share really make any difference in the lives of people in the world? I do not see evidence which would support the truth that it does…at least not in the here and now! And then suddenly I began to think about another whose gift of turning hot air into miracles, and to somehow create beauty and love in the world through words, forever changed the lives of billions of people. And as I pictured the masterpieces He painted with His words, I began to envision in my mind a hot air balloon. You see, collapsed on the ground, it is simply a messy jumble of colored cloth. Yes, it is brightly hued but it also lacks dimension. But add a little hot air, and suddenly, you have a colorful and vivid masterpiece which paints the sky with its amazing beauty!
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We face eyes everywhere we turn in the world. Sometimes those eyes are looking to us for answers. Sometimes they are questioning our motives. But since all of those eyes are waiting for a response from us, it is what we do with all of our hot air matters. Oh the power men wield from those words our hot air form. Words of strong leaders have to power to build nations just as words of faith have the power to build bridges to God! I once read somewhere that faith is the mysterious force that once it has entered our hearts, must exit from our mouths through words But once it does, it has the capacity to forever change the world and the lives of those who inhabit it. You see, faith gives words power and it is those powerful words which gives birth to hearts filled with new faith. Romans 10:17 ESV says,  “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
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Now there are many out there who know God and who hold a deep and abiding faith in their hearts. But, they also fail to share it with others, and the problem with this is that for faith to work its magic, it MUST be shared! Romans 10: 8-10 NIV reaffirms this imperative! “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. “
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So if you ever wonder at what exactly your hot air has the power to do, just remember the power the words of Jesus Christ had in changing the dynamic of the world forever. Let your faith shine through your words, but choose carefully the words you want the world to know about your faith, lest they be only hot air that shares nothing!
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“Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,”

2 Corinthians 4: 13 ESV

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Well, it is now 2013, and while it may be hard for you to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy back on October 29th, 2012, that remain without essential services that you and I are taking for granted today! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

___

Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
~
For information, visit
or

___

Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/19/13

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Faith…A Hospital For Sinners!

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Sinners

http://www.trippist.com/2006/07/

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“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.” 

Søren Kierkegaard

  The Journals of Kierkegaard

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

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I find it rather odd that so many people in the world continue to wear their blinders when it comes to matters of faith. So often these are the very same people who either choose not to see what is usually right in front of their nose, or else they fail to recognize the signs that proclaim that faith is there for everyone! Somehow, despite the explosive growth of Christianity worldwide, in terms of the numbers of not just denominations, but of places to worship, as well, and thanks to the ability to worship on-line via social media and televised worship, Christianity is growing and morphing into a very different presence that the one that most westernized peoples have become accustomed to. And this is an absolutely wonderful thing! You see, for the first time in recorded history, there is validation for the famous quotation attributed to a host of notables, from  Morton Kelsey to L.L. Nash to Abigale Van Buren (who just passed away at the age of 94, by the way), depending on the source you are checking. But the quote I am referring to really needs no famous name attached to it, because the words are powerful enough to stand on their own! “The Church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners.” Indeed, faith is now reaching, touching and out there for everyone to grab a hold of!
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Now while I say that we are given validation today by these words, this is not the first time their meaning has been taught to man. All we need do is remember a very important lesson that Jesus shared with His followers and which is recorded in Matthew 9:12-13 NIV, On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Don’t you just love it when we think we have found so much bang for our 21st century buck only to discover that it is really is a bang for the shekel (or whatever Roman currency existed for paying taxes 2000 years ago)! The bottom line is that we do not belong to a Church or practice a faith because we are good or holy, but rather because we are sinners. Mankind is flawed and weak, and needy and blessedly and humanly imperfect!
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The extent and scope of our sin does not mean a hill of beans if we are truly remorseful for having committed that sin, and if we come to Him to ask for His forgiveness and blessing! We all have the chance to be reborn or saved. But do not mistake this for being born again, which, to my mind, implies that we are incapable of sin which is certainly not anything that the human can lay claim to while they exist in corporeal form! Yes, I am reborn, and I am human and I sin! But the one thing that I know since I began my journey of faith in March of 2011, is that He knows my sin and forgives me anyway. And I know He offers me a place one day where the answers to all of the questions I have ever had will be just as clear and obvious as they have been cloudy and unanswerable here on earth! And when the scales are lifted from my eyes and knowing enters my heart, I might just have to slap myself on the head the moment the doubts and questions disappear, and say, “Good grief…..what could I possibly have been thinking?”

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Well, it is now 2013, and while it may be hard for you to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy back on October 29th, 2012, that remain without essential services that you and I are taking for granted today!

Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! 

Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can!

Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

___

Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
~
For information, visit
or

___

Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/18/13

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Balancing The Scales!

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scales of justice 6

created through

http://www.wpclipart.com/

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“Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be.”

Steve Maraboli

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

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As hard as it is for mankind to live lives that are not just good, but obedient to God’s command, trying to figure out exactly what constitutes His command, is even more difficult! After all, we are seldom provided with affirmation from Him that our choices and actions meet with His approval. Unless we choose to blindly trust in what we are told are His directions for living our lives, given to men who lived several thousand years before technology and modern conveniences were even a twinkle in someone’s eye, how are we to be certain what it is we must do to balance the scales of human behavior? How can we live our lives, in a way that not just honors Him in the way a loving and obedient child honors his parent, but also tells Him we are deserving of the trust He has in us, as well? Well His book tells us how in a thousand ways. One of those ways is found in Deuteronomy 11 : 13-15 NIV says, “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve him will all your heart and with all your soul – then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.”
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Try thinking about the scales that balance good and bad behaviors a little differently. We tend to view those scales much like the picture above…exactly like the scales of justice that adorn nearly every courthouse in the western world. We envision a see-saw where, for every sin we commit, we must do some good, to guarantee that one side does not outweigh the other, causing it to come crashing to the ground. Instead, try thinking of a framework that is constructed more like a box, where all our behaviors, both good and bad, rest…co-mingled one with the other. The space within this framework has the capacity to hold an infinite amount of all of our behaviors, both good and bad, but it’s structure allows for those behaviors to be re-arranged, commensurate with our ever evolving life experiences. This framework even allows us to reach in and pluck out and discard an act for which we have sought our forgiveness. And still, the box remains as deep and wide and as perfectly shaped as we need for it to be over the course of our lifetime. Proverbs 8:17 NLT says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” This is what His love and trust in us gifts us with the moment we look to Him and choose to bring Him into every fiber of our being!
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Yes, He forgives us but He expects that, by our earnest atonement, we will learn from those mistakes and insulate ourselves from re-offending. This means we must always be willing to seek Him out and meet Him halfway as we make our journey along life’s path. However, it is never a distance that is beyond each of us to manage because all we need do is close our eyes, reach out to Him, and but ask! Revelation 5:9 ESV says, “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…”

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“though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Psalm 37:24 NIV

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The first days of a brand New Year have passed, and while it may be hard to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy that remain without power! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of horrific event. Please consider sending a Gift Card to the following organization. A thousand cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

___

Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
~
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