Monthly Archives: April 2013

Thought For The Day 04/30/13

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“From This Moment”

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To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart – about a finger’s breadth – for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule.

Marnie Reed Crowell

http://quotegarden.com/marriage.html

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Faith and marriage. The two concepts are deeply intertwined. In fact, the melding is stronger and more complex than any other relationship we might share with another human being, and for more reasons that I can count. Think about this verse from Hosea 2:19 KJV, “And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.” Even though this verse talks of the bond uniting the human heart to God, can’t the same be said for human marriage? Yes, having a strong faith cements the bonds of a relationship by teaching the core values needed to sustain any relationship, such as selflessness and putting the welfare of the one we love above that of even ourselves? Or how about providing a strength of united purpose in overcoming all of the obstacles life throws in our path? Or how about helping us to realize our deepest desires and dreams by understanding that together, all things are possible? Well, no matter what you think faith brings to the table for marriage, the fact is that no marriage can survive the test of time without it. And since we are entering the most popular time of the year for cementing the bonds of love by marriage, I am re-sharing a portion of a post I wrote a year ago about a friend of mine who brought joy to the union of a couple through a magical song he wrote for their ceremony.

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I have been so very lucky to meet such a diverse collection of individuals during my 58 revolutions around the sun. Some have been people who shaped the very essence of what I consider to be my foundation of faith while others added their impact in more subtle ways. And the wonderful group of people I went through High School with are among this second group of individuals to which I refer. They challenged me to be the best I could be during that time in the life of a young person when peer pressure seems to nudge, if not outright define, the direction we decide to travel along life’s road. And while my teen years were not without the occasional pitfall, for the most part, I emerged a happier and more focused individual for having successfully navigated those days. And I suspect that the friends I made while sharing my passion of music way back when, were a big part of that. In fact, many of my fellow High School Bandmates and fellow Choristers are my friends even today, thanks to that Social Medial essential of the 21st century….Facebook!

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One of my friends is a professional musician as well as actor. And while I am still waiting, as is he, for that breakout role to land in his lap so that I can say I knew him when, I know that many of you who watch television shows filmed in the Big Apple have probably seen him on the small (and not so small these days) screen without realizing it. As the lead singer of an 80’s group, the Vogues, Michael Fawcett was a dead ringer for a member of the Gibb family. And even more than our love of music, Michael and I shared something else in common….we were both raised in solid, faith-based families. As a matter of fact, his dad was a minister. Anyway, there is another legacy that Michael has shared with us all and that is a talent for writing music. And with wedding season still in full swing, I wanted to share once again with you all, Michael’s wonderful wedding song, “From This Moment”. It was written and performed for the wedding of a friend but we are the lucky ones to have been given the gift of being able to see and hear this wonderful song again and again, through the magic of You Tube. Please enjoy the simple beauty of a very special song by someone I know I will one day be able to say, I knew him when……

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“FROM THIS MOMENT”

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Here we bow, true love confessing…

In the presence of those we hold dear…

Asking now for heaven’s blessing…

For wisdom to see us through the years…

In this holy place, by the Father’s grace and power…

You and I, in an instant become one…

A miracle by a kiss secured this hour…

A bond that’ll never be undone…

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Chorus:

From this moment we are a family, I pledge myself to thee, the rest of my life…

And I know heaven’s smiling on you and me… Binding us together, man and wife!

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Hand in hand our heart’s united…

We face tomorrow, our dreams now in view…

Golden bands and vows recited…

Reminders of all I promise you…

I will cherish you, I will honor you forever…

I’ll be here to share your joys and ease your pain…

And where you go, be it calm or stormy weather…

By your side I am home, here I’ll remain…

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Chorus:

From this moment we are a family, I pledge myself to thee, the rest of my life…

And I know Heaven’s smiling on you and me… Binding us together, man and wife!

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From this moment…

From this moment…

From this moment…

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To view Michael’s YouTube video, just click the link.

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Music, lyrics and vocals by Michael Fawcett

Copyright © 1997 Michael Fawcett

http://www.myspace.com/michaelfawcett

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2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

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Thought For The Day 04/29/13

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“Joyful, Joyful”

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“Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.”

Robert Schuller

http://www.joy4u.org/Quotes/JoyQuotes.htm

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Joyful praise to the Lord is likely the heartfelt desire of most Christians, whether or not you actively participate in an organized church. It is really a command, as evidenced by the Bible in Psalm 98:4 NLT, “Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!” But I sometimes think we need not sing joyfully in a church. In fact, we tend to forget that a church is not the place where the believer is, but rather, a church is the state of the mind, and the heart, of the believer. Today, joyful praise is accomplished in more places that a brick and mortar structure, and as part of a congregation of others who believe as we do. And I have to ask of you whether you believe this is a healthy evolution of faith for man?

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I do know that we need to consider those who remain loosely tied to the specific tenets that a particular denomination embraces. This disparate group of believers, such as those who unite in a non structured setting, are joined less by specific ideologies and more by the social dynamics of the group, and because of this, often there exists a much freer dialogue and information exchange of faith. It is this setting that draws more young and upwardly mobile members of society! And this is not just acceptable…..it is wonderful! You see, before this type of “church” became established, those same people drifted away from their faith instead of toward it!

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Yes, having someone with more than a rudimentary understanding of God’s teachings at the helm is always helpful to keep things on the factual “straight and narrow” according to the road map He has given….the Bible. But it is important to remember that Jesus and the disciples were about the most disparate group of believers that ever gathered together, and look at all they managed to accomplish! John 4:24 NIV says, “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the spirit and in truth.” Never forget that it is even the least one, if he has faith, that will be honored. The Pharisees were considered the most devout Jews of the day, but when they asked Jesus to rebuke His disciples when they went forth, loudly proclaiming the message of their master, in Luke 19:40 NIV, “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” So why is it that we sometimes seek to censure those who speak and share the faith of their heart in the church group of their choosing? “For wherever two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20 NIV)

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“Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee “

…is a poem written by Henry van Dyke in 1907 and which was set to the famous “Ode to Joy” melody

This is the performance from the movie “Sister Act 2”, performed by Lauren Hill and the rest of the cast.

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“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

Philippians 4:4 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/28/13

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Waxing Nostalgic

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“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.”

Haruki Murakami

“Kafka on the Shore”
http://goodreads.com/work/quotes/6191072

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I am waxing nostalgic today. It could be because, perhaps for the very first time, I was forced to face the realization, that our relationships with those we love are fleeting and finite. Yes, I knew it to be so….in my head, at least. I watched my grandparents age and pass away as well as my mother. But I had not thought about it in terms of Dan or myself, despite the fact that we have both battled our share of illnesses over the years. After all, aren’t we the same people who wore Nehru jackets, bell bottoms and love beads only yesterday? Yes, I am not blind. I see a face looking back at me from the mirror that looks vaguely like the one I see when I close my eyes….albeit a bit “fluffier” and “grayer”. But I never thought about my life in terms that find me rapidly approaching my twilight rather than my dawn. But when my love developed chest pains, and I thought a heart attack was at hand, that is the singular moment that I knew all bets were off that we still had 50 years of living left to do….together.

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James 4:14 NIV, reminds us about the brief time of man’s existence. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” And I supposed this is why we must “Carpe Diem” and run with it as fast as we can. We must see each dawn with a new eye and a renewed appreciation for all of the things we have, up till now, tended to take for granted. But never forget the caveat contained in 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV, “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything,”–but not everything is constructive.”

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Embrace those who matter, but embrace those who don’t, even more. And no, I am not thinking about the adage, keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. I am asking that we always remember that when the day of judgement  is at hand we will not be measured by what we have but by what we do. It’s not enough to be good at living. Instead, we must make our living, a living for good! Live, Laugh and Love with your near and dear and not so dear, because the gift of today’s joy may not be there for us as we turn the corner into tomorrow! It is something I will remember from this day forward as I banish the words “for worse” from my vocabulary. I vow that the days I share with the man I love will always be “for better”, from this day forward, whether it is for 1 day or 100,000 days!

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“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness.” 

2 Peter 3:17 KJV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/27/13

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Through The Eyes Of A Child

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through the eyes of a child

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“Usually children spend more time in the garden than anybody else. It is where they learn about the world, because they can be in it unsupervised, yet protected. Some gardeners will remember from their own earliest recollections that no one sees the garden as vividly, or cares about it as passionately, as the child who grows up in it.”

Carol Williams

http://changingthepresent.org/children_and_youth/quotes

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Some time before we become doddering old fools, we all must make it a point to go to a park, sit amid God’s wonder and beauty, and watch children playing, which is why I am doing that very thing, this very moment! Every thing a child does and says is, for the most part, done with a wonder, awe and innocence that most of us have long since forgotten! But I think it’s time to forget the cares that being an adult in society has served to saddle us with, and return to a time when watching the fluttering wings of a butterfly or the darting of a humming-bird from flower to flower, or the striking of a bat by a ball hurled at breakneck speed, made our hearts soar and our spirit fill with wonder. Let’s close our eyes, and be transported back to a day when a drippy sweet lick of an ice cream cone on our tongue, made us close our eyes and sigh, or the time when a buttercup held under the chin of a chum made us giggle as we would search closely to see the buttery yellow tint reflected back at us from skin moistened with perspiration! I remember well, the moment a gathered bouquet of dandelions, held tightly in the iron grip of my toddler,  brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye, and I reverently produced the finest crystal glass from my china cabinet to serve as a vase!

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We are too long without returning to those kinder, simpler and better days and it is high time we remember them again, if even for an hour, You see today is and must be a new dawn, a new day and a new life for us all. And, just as a child seizes each new adventure that comes their way, so must we must grab a hold and live life with the same wonder, awe and pure joy that a child does! Today I am! And God knows, we all need it! Just remember these words from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV, if you think that the time for such things might not be at hand! “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…” Let today be your season to remember!

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FEELING GOOD

performed by:
Michael Buble’

written by:
Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse
“The Roar Of The Greasepaint – The Smell Of The Crowd”
1964

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Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Reeds driftin’ on by
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
And I’m feeling good

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Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom on the tree
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
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Dragonfly out in the sun
You know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun
You know what I mean
Sleep in peace when the day is done
That’s what I mean
And this old world
Is a new world
And a bold world
For me
For me
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Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Yeah freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
Huh
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It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
And I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good
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Click the link to view the YouTube video of this song.

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“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

2 Peter 3:8 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/26/13

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Laughter

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laughter benefits

http://www.searchquotes.com/picture_quotes/Laughter/2/

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In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of Little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Khalil Gibran

“The Prophet”

Lebanese artist & poet in US  (1883 – 1931)

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/31761.html

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 Ask any person about what the attraction was between them and the one whose love has captured their heart for all times (hopefully), or what it is they like best about someone, friend or stranger alike, and you are likely to get this as your answer….”I just love their sense of humor”! Not their looks or their clothes or their car…but their ability to engage us with their mirth and a joyful and joy filled heart! I know it was the most important thing when I was dating, as I weighed the pros and cons in determining if this was “the” one I could see myself sharing the next 50 years with. Laughter is not just the force that brings strangers together but it is also the glue that builds the lifelong ties of family, along with love and faith.

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Did you know that the Hebrew scriptures record that God laughed? According to Louie Crew, professor emeritus of English at Rutgers University in Newark, the fact that God laughed was written no fewer than seven times on at least six occasions, and while it was generally an indignant and scornful laughter at those who are evil (2 Kings 19:21; Isaiah 37:22), or at those who were unrepentant sinners (Proverbs 1: 26), God also laughed at the folly of those who would plot to overthrow the just (Psalms 37:13), and He also laughed at the vanity of those early Kings who attempted to reign over man (Psalm 2:4). Anyway,  it was thinking about this that gave me pause to wonder if Jesus ever laughed during His days of preaching and teaching!

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Jesus was a master at all things, and his wit was not lost as the Bible talks of His days in the New Testament. Take a moment and think about the parables. Aren’t they almost a “tongue-in-cheek, inside humor” that confounded even the disciples? When the disciples asked Him why He employed this manner of teaching, he tells them (Matthew 13:11 and 13:13, NIV),  “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them….This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” And while this proves a wry humor  it also speaks that the readiness of the hearts of the people to understand His message was not yet at hand! Now consider Matthew 23:24 NIV, when he reminds people that all they can manage to glean from the “camel size amount of information they are given, is an understanding of his words which is the size of a gnat! “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” And then there is the practical joker who, at the wedding feast in Cana (told in John 2), when His earthly mother pressured Him to help when the wine ran out, and despite his reticence to comply with her urgings, transformed water into an exceedingly strong wine!

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In all of the years of watching Jesus depicted by man in art and cinema, it was not until the mini-series “The Bible” which aired earlier this year, that I remember seeing the character of Christ smiling! But I, for one, found that to be very endearing and special quality to affix to the Lord. You see, it humanized Him a bit. It made it easier to reconcile all that he suffered through AND accomplished as He walked the earth in the shell of a mortal being, knowing that the hard days were somehow tempered by joy and laughter that is, most certainly, a very human quality. It is these things that also say to me that there had to have been an easy camaraderie between Christ and His followers, when (in my mind at least), at the end of the day, in the private time they shared, that this group of hard-working men must have shared a laugh together, just as my family does every day!

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“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.”

Job 8:21 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/25/13

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Want To Build Your Portfolio?

For More About “Prophet Sharing”, Read This!

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Prophets

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/LX/ProphetsPerugino.jpg

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“Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/category/Prophet

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We all recognize the word profit. We know when our bottom line is bottoming out just as well as we do when we are reaping the rewards of our hard work. Ask most people about PROFIT SHARING and they can tell you immediately if they have it as a benefit from their employment, because if they do, then their financial future is sound, indeed. But how do we know about the soundness of faith? Well I can tell you that from almost the beginning of days as recorded in the Hebrew Bible, we have all been given the gift of PROPHET SHARING of another kind!

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Throughout the history of faith, there have been historical figures who have been clearly designated as Prophets, either because of explicit statements they made which became fulfilled at some later date through public or private revelation, or because they experienced a visionary experience without a previous history of prophesy! And there have been a lot! We have 27 letters in the English alphabet, and of those 27 letters, there have been prophets whose first names begin with every one except for 9 (C, F, K, R, V, W, X and Y)!

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Yes, there are many names we know right on the tip of our tongue, such as Abraham, Aaron, Moses, Noah, and even the Apostle Paul. But how many of you can tell me something about any of these people?

  • AGABUS: who lived in the 1st Century, and predicted a great famine during the reign of Emperor Claudius and most significantly, met Saul of Tarsus (later to become Paul) and told him he would be captured, and bound hand and foot should he continue his journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-12).
  • URIJAH: who echoed the words of Jeremiah as they revealed the sins of the people that would result in disaster and captivity at the hands of the Babylonian Army (Jeremiah 26: 20-23).
  • SHEMAIAH: who foretold and prevented King Rehoboam from war with Jeroboam, in an attempt to return the rebellious northern tribes to the fold, (1 Kings 12:22-24); and then telling of the punishment of Rehoboam by the Egyptians (2 Chronicles 12:5,7).
  • GAD: who was the prophet of King David, noted especially for bringing the 3 choices for punishment God told to him, to David when David sinned in taking a census of the people of Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 24: 11-13).

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Some time, “let your fingers do the walking (typing) through the yellow pages” of the internet and embark on a journey to expand your horizons….and your faith a bit….as you discover more about this type of PROPHET SHARING. Each new fact you imprint to mind and to heart will deepen your faith just a bit more. And just think about winning a game of Charades in the category of famous person male….3 syllables….1st syllable sounds like, man…..ahhhhhh…..MANAHEN, who, when filled with the Holy Spirit, laid hands on Saul and Barnabas, sending them onto what would become their first missionary journey (Acts 13:1)!

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“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

Amos 3:7 KJV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/24/13

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Time Flies!

***** 100 Years *****

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time-flies

http://www.charlieglickman.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/time-flies.gif

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What would you do if you knew you would live for 100 years? Would you change anything about the way you live? Would your choices such as the one you love, or your career be different? Would you change anything about how and what you believe in? I suspect that your answer would be the same as mine!

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I began to think about these things while listening to a video shared by Friar Jeff as it was playing on YouTube. In fact, it was that song that inspired this post! You see, I honestly would change very little about the things I have the capacity to directly control. Yes, I might eat healthier, lose weight or perhaps try to manage my finances better. But these are things that we can and should act on anyway. But the important things….the dynamics of life and love and faith….are all set in place by the Almighty…. and I believe that in this, we are merely along for the ride!

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The fruit of the spirit….things like kindness and compassion are already a part of our psyche, stamped on the billions of pieces of genetic material that comprise each heart and mind and soul from the moment life burst forth from the union of sperm and egg. You see, they are the result of the presence of the Holy Spirit, and they are not without purpose! And while we might be able to actively effect the degree with which we share these things as part of our interpersonal relationships, that they exist at all is divinely endowed. We are reminded that man’s hand plays no part in this when we read Galatians 5:22-23 ESV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

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Yes, let us seek to control the things that are of the flesh and live the concrete absolutes of life the best we can. But the important stuff, our humanity, we must cede control of, to Him, and trust that He will guide us to share our spiritual fruit with others in a way that serves His purpose for our lives! Whether we live 1 year or 100 years, live those years with all of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control we hold within!

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“100 Years”

written by:
John Ondrasik
“Five For Fighting”

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I’m 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
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I’m 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we’re on fire
Making our way back from Mars
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15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
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I’m 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I’m a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
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I’m 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I’m heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
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15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I’m all right with you
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15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
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Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We’re moving on…
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I’m 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
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15 there’s still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day’s a new day…
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15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

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click the YouTube link to hear this song

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“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6:38 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry