Thought For The Day 05/26/13

Standard

Defending The Faith

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No defense

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“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

C.S. Lewis

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

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God may not need defending, but it seems more and more, that man does! Or, at least, people like me do! Why do so many people seem to have a need to fit everything within their existence into some ideal mold (or at least what they perceive as an ideal)?

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If someone’s body isn’t a perfect size or shape or color or if someone doesn’t have the same sexual preference or religious denomination or middle class income, people automatically scratch their heads and think, “What in the world is wrong with them?”! And I smile!!!! I can’t help myself!!!! The reason is that the song I share below is the very first thing that comes to my mine. And as I hum the melody, and I envision them living in the ticky, tacky box that their own narrow-mindedness entraps them in, I realize how much richer the existence is of those who manage to view things from outside the box!

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Just a bit of history about Little Boxes, which was written by Malvina Reynolds in 1962, and was a subsequent hit for a favorite singer of mine, and her friend, Pete Seeger, in 1963. The song was intended as a satirical take on the suburbia of my childhood, where the conformist mindset which included a little tract house on the edge of a Metropolis, was considered a person’s ticket to happiness! And considering what was known then, and perhaps even more importantly, what was not, this existence made us feel safe and protected and somehow insulated from the USSR, and Cuba, and China, and a million other cultures whose very differences of political ideology made us quiver…..and justifiably so, given the times. But times change and as they do, it is expected that people will change as will their hearts. It is the way He designed our existence to be, to make us happy. Then we discover someone who can’t or won’t change, preferring to remain in the comfort zone that has and always will be, their existence! And I have to ask why this particularly affects matters of faith?

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Religion of the 21st century seems to be caught up in dogma. Too many people profess belief in God, but know too little about who God is, or what He hopes for people! And while all faiths hold the same ideologies when it comes to good vs evil and peace and love, each attaches unique rituals for the expression of these core values and most of the time, refuse to part with the aggressive posturing that some, through their individual evolutionary history, have embraced. And it is this, more than any other thing (to my mind, at least) that refuses to allow each of us to be “free to be you and me”, to quote Marlo Thomas and her friends….at least to things they perceive as historically predetermined relating to faith, unlike other parts of life for which change is eagerly seized, such as technology. And in some ways, they are right!

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There are core values in Christianity, Judaism and even Islam, that are inviolate, such as God’s Commandments (yes, the Decalogue is also part of the Islamic Faith). However, the rightness of these remain as pure today as they were when they were given at the top of Sinai! That we seek to hold fast to these supports that they have transitioned through time with an intent that is not up for dispute or debate, for that matter. But through the ages, the fracturing of religion into differing denominations and sects, proves that the shifting of some things have not. But interestingly, it is those who remain fastly and absolutely aligned to the historical few original churches that seem to be the first to scream “Heretic!” at those who evolve! Well, all I can say is, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:27 (NIV).

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Things that are part of man’s control of his existence, are in a continual state of flux. Always have been and always will be! Things that are part of God’s domain and control really do not. Never have and never will! But it requires both sense as well as sensibility, to understand which part of this impacts our expression of the thing we call our faith system. Even the very inspired word, which originated from His mouth to the mind of the one recording it, has changed and been edited and altered and abridged over the millenia since they were first penned. And all because we presume to know better what does and does not matter, regarding His instructions to us. How is it we have become so presumptuous as to believe we know His will as it relates to His map for guiding us? And again, all I can say is, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.” Luke 20:46 (NIV). You think you know everything but you know almost nothing. Neither do I. The difference is, I realize I don’t while some of you do not!

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Little Boxes

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Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

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Click to view the YouTube video of “Little Boxes

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God is not human, that he should lie,
not a human being, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill?

Numbers 23:19 (NIV)

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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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