Thought For The Day 04/29/13

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“Joyful, Joyful”

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smile1

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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

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About Mandy Bruscella

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

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