Monthly Archives: February 2013

Thought For The Day 02/28/13

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 The Best Defense….

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defense-satellite-hmed-417p.grid-5x2

DEFENSE SATELLITE

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http://www.nbcnews.com/id/47287914/ns/technology_and_science-space/

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By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

http://www.searchquotes.com/quotes/about/Defense/

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Who of you hasn’t heard the phrase, “THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE”? It is an adage that has been used describe many things throughout the ages. From profit building business plans to board, video and computer games to military battle strategies, careful preparation and planning is essential for the success of almost every endeavor we undertake. Now I can not be certain, but as far as I can determine, the only thing it hasn’t been used as a strategy for, is bringing the human heart closer to God. But it should be! You see, I can’t think of anything more worthy of our meticulous attentions than planning our living in a way that guarantees we will be worthy of spending eternity with our Heavenly Father! And there is no tool more essential for warding off life’s temptations and sin that aggressively seeking out the weapons that a strong belief system arms us with! Faith is, after all, a virtue and like any virtue, it can be made stronger or weaker.

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So what can we use to make our faith grow? Matthew 17:20 NIV says, He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” So look within to the place where your faith dwells and if you find the merest speck there, even if that speck is as tiny as a mustard seed, then begin the process to nurture it into full bloom.

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Just as a seed planted in fertile soil bursts forth with life, so will we if we make it a point to surround ourselves with the fertile soil of others who share our beliefs and who act toward others in ways that are pleasing to God! They need not be devout observers but they must have hearts full of “goodness and mercy”!  Next, make sure that you feed and water the mustard seed of faith you hold within by learning what you can about God and His promises. Reading his word provides the nutrients you need for your faith to begin its emergence. Water your faith  by doing the things we are taught to do such as pray and trusting in the fact that God will give to you the tools you need so that your faith intersects with His faithfulness always. And lastly, no seed can reach high into the sky without the sun’s beckoning rays to provide the warmth and light that is to be found within the spirit of God’s only begotten Son and which manifests itself in the simple acts of kindness and generosity which we apply to all of our interactions with others in our life! I think of that as our personal ministry whereby we “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk”!

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I once read a learning series called “Five Things God Uses To Grow Our Faith” (http://www.fivethingsgoduses.com/). There was a paragraph there that asked us to think about what it would be like to have perfect faith, by challenging us to think about how different our outlook would be if we KNEW God was always with us. Would we react differently to life’s twists and turns if we knew with certainty that God’s hand controlled everything and was guiding all that we do, whether or not we understood the reasoning for the thing, toward the side of good? I certainly would!

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15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Romans 10:15-17 NIV

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. 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 02/27/13

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Where Do You Get Your Happiness From?

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happiness-7steps

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We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that are among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thomas Jefferson

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_happiness2.html

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How many of us can answer this simple question: What is true happiness? Now I am famous for using the word subjective when describing things that are intensely personal. For example, for some, happiness might simply be a warm meal and a soft bed at night, while others might say the key to their happiness is knowing true love. And of course, for a Christian, true happiness might be found in accepting Christ as your personal Savior. Subjective? Certainly, because it is hard to assess a standard for happiness. However, what is easier to quantify is whether we are fulfilled and content with our lives!

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I have seen the effects lacking these two things can have on people within the inner circle of my family and friends. Often it leads to a despondency that and become all consuming. And if there is anything that feeds Satan, it is despondency!
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So how is it we learn to be content with our lot in life? What drives us to want and want, when the things we want often fails to really satisfy our inner hunger? How do we tell the Devil we are not going to succumb to the misery that feeds him? We turn to the handbook God has given to us for the weapons to banish our despondency and fill our cup with the promises of joy and contentment that is His gift to us!

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10 Verses About Happiness and Joy that you can swing back with.

‘You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ – Acts 2:28

‘But rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.’ – Luke 10:20

‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy.’ – John 16:20

‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace’ – Galatians 5:22

‘Our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.’ – Psalm 32:21

‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song I will praise him.’ – Psalm 28:7

‘Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.’ – Psalm 105:3

‘Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation’ – Psalm 51:12

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.’ – John 16:33

‘And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings and great joy, which shall be to all people.’ – Luke 2:10

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. 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 02/26/13

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Do You Know Yourself?

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waiting-for-the-train-at-the-railway-station

http://www.123rf.com/photo_3194105_woman-waiting-for-the-train-at-the-railway-station.html

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Knowing yourself is not so much about introspection and interaction. To know yourself is to realize that you are more than the little self that has been given to you by your history — the pattern that others made — that your true self is, in truth, much larger and includes other people, other cultures, other species even. That life is less about being and more about inter-being. We come to know ourselves, then, through coming to know each other. And the deeper that knowledge, the richer and more creative t he world we build together

Danny Martin

http://www.finestquotes.com/select_quote-category-Knowing%20Yourself-page-0.htm

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There is a commercial airing here on US television (I do not know if it airs worldwide) for a dating service that has a line of dialog that goes something like this: How can you know who’s right for you until you know yourself? Now this is a paraphrase of the original, but it is a sentiment that offers some profound advice that is well worth remembering. You see, whether it is as you are searching for life’s companion, or you are searching to become closer to God, neither will be accomplished unless and until you first know your own heart and what it is you want from the thing you seek!

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Now most of us might think that this is easy. But, take a moment and think about the last time it took you what seemed like forever to make a decision about something in your life. Perhaps it was something as inane as what it was you wanted for dinner in a restaurant, or even making a choice about the clothes you are shopping for. Or how about that indecisiveness you feel as you are about to begin that big work project. Yes, each and every one of the choices we are faced with all force us to look inward and make some hard and fast decisions about what will make us both happy and feel fulfilled, at the same time! And yet, as well as we think our strengths and weaknesses are and what will ultimately make us happy, often, when forced to make a choice, we remain uncertain. I don’t know about you all, but there are many times that I feel like I have one of those “mini” me’s, one wearing a halo complete with harp, and the other, horns on head and pitchfork in hand, sitting one on each shoulder, and each one whispering loudly into my ear, vying for my attention so they can tell me why their way is the best way!

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Fortunately for man, it really is easier when it comes to matters of faith because it is the one area in our lives where we are driven by the emotions and feelings contained within the heart instead of inside our head. Faith affords us a profound insight into ourselves and it is easier to trust the things He is saying to us because He knows who and what we are meant to be in the first place! And when we can turn our face heavenward and say to Him, “You know me because you made me”, we have taken the first step in knowing exactly who we are and exactly what we want from life. Once we have this sorted out, the rest of the things we accomplish throughout our lives is merely the icing on the cake!

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There is a song that I remember learning as a child about trusting God and the promises He makes to us all as we seek to become closer with him. The words of the first verse goes something like this:

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

In case we have any questions about what He can do for us, His promises are given to us in many scripture passages from the Bible. I am sharing a few for you to read and remember. Allow them to boost you up during the times you find yourself doubting. And there is something else to consider. You may just find that taking them to heart might help you to get the rest of your life’s “ducks” in a row, as well!

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Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Matthew 11:28-29 NLT

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Philippians 4:19 NLT

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:37-39 NLT

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

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. 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.

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. 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 02/25/13

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The Time Of Singing Has Come…

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robin singing

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10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
11 for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13 ESV

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Song of Solomon. In my opinion, this is, perhaps, one of the most beautifully written volumes of a tale of love of any book in the Bible. And it is also perhaps one of the most obscure and, according to some experts, difficult of any of the books to really interpret and to understand. And I wonder if perhaps biblical scholars and historians are looking to uncover more meaning within the text than was the intent of the author in the first place. Why not simply appreciate the beauty of the language and words that tell a tale of a blossoming love between the one who loves us more than any mortal can love, and who will forever be in pursuit of us. Yes, the words say “Shulamite” instead of Mandy, and presumably Solomon, instead of God. However, it is a tale of more than a mortal love. It is a tale of a love which is unending and everlasting, and this is what I choose to see as I read the words. Naive and simplistic? Perhaps, but sometimes we can think things to death as we try to apply all sorts of noble and heroic interpretations of what it is we are reading! So I choose to see within these 117 verses, the shortest of any of the books of the Bible, a love story that transcends the ages. I see a love story between God and me….God and you….God and everyone!

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6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
all the wealth of one’s house for love,
it would be utterly scorned.”

Song of Solomon 8: 6-7 NIV

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. 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 02/24/13

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Choosing Your Sacrifice

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Lent

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God doesn’t want our pious or petty denials of self (be it food or creature comforts or whatever), he wants our hearts! Lent is not about fasting or self-denial; it’s about serious participation—here and now—in –=God’s divine forgiveness with all his people. It doesn’t change God, it changes us. It changes our heart.

The Rev. Kenneth Tanner

Pastor of Church of the Holy Redeemer in Rochester Hills, Michigan

http://klampert.com/2013/02/12/a-quote-on-lent/

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If you are a Christian, this journey that we begin 40 days before Easter (really 46 days if you count all of the Sunday’s) is likely not your first. It is a tradition so routine for some that there is no more meaning to the sacrifice that our faith encourages that we make. But do you know how it is that we have come to ask of these sacrifices, when it is not part of the scriptures that talk of the days before Christ’s crucifixion?

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Think about the early days of the church. This time in history was certainly not kind to those who practiced Christianity. It was accepted then that the people who desired to become Christian would study and pray for a time and because of the constant threat by Rome, it was an intense process which ended with a time of purification, after which, they would become baptized at Easter. In an effort at solidarity, others who were already Christian would use this time to recall their own commitment to their faith, and so they too, would pay penance and follow the example of sacrifice offered by Christ. Philippians 2:3-4 ESV, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

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This tradition of offering a sacrifice during Lent continues today, more than 2 millennia since that day on Calvary, especially among those who are Roman Catholic. However, even Protestant faiths recognize the significance of these days in their own history, and as such, many Protestant clergy encourage their followers to also consider offering a sacrifice, of some kind. But what will the sacrifice you are choosing be? What will help you to turn toward God this Lenten season? Does giving up that chocolate that calls your name work? Can you live without visiting your favorite barista, or coffee-house employee, for a latte? How about quitting smoking? Thinking about no Facebook (an addiction a friend gives up every year)? What will you choose? Ephesians 5:2 NIV, “And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

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A friend of mine shared something very interesting about the decision he is making this Lenten season. He has chosen not to give up but rather, to give more! “Friar Jeff’s Quiet Spot”,( http://warder5150.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/intake-or-outtake/) is an eye-opening twist on what might be considered sacrifice. But make no mistake, what he has chosen is, indeed, a sacrifice. You see, he is “giving up” of himself and “giving to” others and I have to think that the Almighty is pleased to find that one man is choosing to live a Christ-like life in this time, when mankind seems to be better known for living lives that are vicarious, self-indulgent, and anything but Christ-like! Romans 12:1 ESV, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. …”

Hebrews 12:1-29, ESV

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. 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 02/23/13

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Those Second Chances!

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second chance

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“I tell of hearts and souls and dances…
Butterflies and second chances;
Desperate ones and dreamers bound,
Seeking life from barren ground,
Who suffer on in earthly fate
The bitter pain of agony hate,
Might but they stop and here forgive
Would break the bonds to breathe and live
And find that God in goodness brings
A chance for change, the hope of wings
To rest in Him, and self to die
And so become a butterfly.”

Karen Kingsbury

“Oceans Apart”

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/second-chances

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It is a wonderful thing that our God is a giver of second chances. You see, through this roller coaster ride that is life, for every high we experience, there is a low right on its heels, which serves as a constant reminder to us that we are all too human and all too imperfect. The thing is that it is through our lows that we become truly humble, appreciating all the more, the second chances that await us right around the corner. And while modern-day Christians know that it was Christ’s death that has given us the second chance for life everlasting at the right hand of the Father, even before that time, God offered a hand and a second chance to others whose names might ring a bell.

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Think of the very human frailty of Jonah who resisted God’s command that he preach repentance to the people of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire. Now these people were known to be a wicked group and as fierce enemies of Israel, the thought of going there was too much for Jonah to bear. So what does he do? He goes to Joppa and books passage on a boat heading in the opposite direction of where God wanted him to go. But if there is one thing we can say with certainty, it’s that there is no escaping the will of the Father. And, as we know, God sent a big storm and a big fish to get Jonah’s attention and to teach him that there is no escaping God’s will for what it is that we must do in life! And so, after three days, Jonah repents saying, “But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!” (Jonah 9:9 ESV). So what does God do next? “And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.” (Jonah 9:10 ESV). Of course, we learn that Jonah travels to Nineveh. He is probably still a bit frightened but after the wake up call he was given, he does it anyway, and amazingly, the people listen to his words and take them to heart and they repent!

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Just as Jonah tried to exert his own will in defiance of the will of the Father, so do we all sometimes rage against the storms of life that God sends our way. And as hard as we might try to fix things by doing them our way, it generally does not solve the struggle we are facing. But just as Jonah learned, the hard way, when we repent and turn our storms of life over to Him, as well as our willful determination that we always know best, the help we need will be there for us. All He asks is that we are open and honest with Him and if we are, He will extend to us His protection and His mercy!

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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”

Matthew 7:21-23, ESV

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. 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 02/22/13

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The Master Healer

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healing hands

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-spiritual-energy-reiki-image12571664

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When praying for healing, ask great things of God and expect great things from God. But let us seek for that healing that really matters, the healing of the heart, enabling us to trust God simply, face God honestly, and live triumphantly.

Arlo F. Newell

http://www.creatingnewworlds.org/healing.cfm

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I decided today, to think about healing and He who controls all things related to healing. Now this was not just a purely inspired idea for using as I write my thoughts today. In fact, it is a matter that seems to consume a tremendous amount of my waking moments these days. And it’s not solely due to the fact that with each passing minute of every day, my knees seem to creak just a little more. You see, once more our family is being challenged anew by an insidious foe…the big “C”! For us, the big “C” is in the bladder.

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For almost 15 years now, the big “C” is an enemy that we have been fighting as a family. But just when we thought we had it licked by almost reaching the 5 year mark since a recurrence, suddenly, we have been given a wake up call reminder that it is not we who controls any of the events that occur as we live each day of our lives! So the waiting begins for the laboratory report that will again dictate the events that will likely consume our lives with treatment regimens and quarterly procedures during which we will hold our breath wondering if the doctor will see the enemy once more at the gates!

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The name of this devil, are words that we can probably write and describe blindfolded, by now. “Transitional Cell Carcinoma in Situ”! 50% of tumors with associated carcinoma in situ usually lead, eventually, to a radical procedure called a Cystectomy, where the entire organ is removed. We have already had a partial surgery of this kind! And 30% of people with this diagnosis risk dying from bladder cancer over 15 to 20 years.

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We are a family of fighters. We will never concede victory to a disease entity and so we trust the skill and hands of the experts as they guide us through the treatment process. We also know that much of the future for the days ahead, either with or without this devil who has insinuated himself in our lives, will be with another expert who will stay by our side, walking hand in hand with us, at all times. God! And, should our step falter along the way, He will carry us until we regain, once more, our footing and the strength we need to continue the journey!

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Remember always the words offered by John the Baptist during the years that the Son of God preached to the multitudes, “…Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (from John 1:29 NIV). Now, just for a moment, I want you to think about the power and might of one who has the capacity to heal the world! Throughout the Gospels we read of the miracles performed by His hand, for all manner of maladies! And the simple fact of the matter is that no affliction, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, is a match for His might. That is why we know, for certain, that we can turn our hearts to Him as we walk this path once more. And while our journey is not one that brings us to the valley of the shadow of death, still it is a comfort to our hearts and a balm for our souls, knowing that we need not fear whatever consequence comes our way! John 16:33 NIV says it best, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:14-16, ESV

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the basic necessities for living that you and I take for granted. 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