Thought For The Day 07/08/13

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Turning The Other Cheek

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fighting-cherubs (1)

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Father, give me the strength to endure inaccurate perceptions; The serenity in finding a peaceful mind; The forgiving spirit to turn the other cheek; The courage for demanding respect; And the wisdom on deciphering how to handle it.

Author Unknown

http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Turn_The_Other_Cheek/

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I know what the Bible tells me I must do when someone attacks me. In fact, the words that direct us to love our enemies are contained more than once within its pages. Luke 6: 27-29 NIV, says it the best I think! “But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which spitefully use you. And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your cloak forbid not to take your coat also.” But it seems to be more difficult with each passing day, to discover any redeeming value in some things that are an accepted part of faith in our world! For example, consider the Islamic faith….or more specifically, those who are the followers of extremist Islam! As we seek to understand why so much violence exists among those whose hearts embrace this extremist sect, consider exactly what it is the rest of us see, when we look at and read about this religion!

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Just yesterday morning, as I read my Sunday paper over my first cup of coffee, 2 separate articles jumped out at me in the “Across the Globe” section. The first, was about a bomb detonating near the popular Anarkali bazar in the Punjab province of Lahore, Pakistan. Scores of innocent men, women and (dear God help us) children, were killed or wounded. And while, as yet, there has been no claim of responsibility, it has been blamed on Islamic militant activities, which are pervasive in the region! The second article was even more heinous, and its victims were almost all, those who are our greatest blessings….our children. In Potiskim, Nigeria, a boarding school containing young students (some not yet teenagers), was attacked by Islamic militants. 29 students and 1 teacher were killed….some of them burned alive. And honestly, seeing these things is an everyday occurrence. Why is it that this behavior, which only serves to diminish the perception of Islam, in the eyes of the rest of the world, has become more the rule than the exception?

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While I was struggling to come up with an answer to this question….an answer that actually made sense to me….I suddenly realized something. It is not up to me to really understand why these things happen. What IS my role is to try to be a voice of reason and of calm and of peace and of forgiveness, in a world that sees all too little of these four things. And while I can not prevent the horrors that occur everywhere in the world, I can prevent them in my own heart, and by extension, in my own community. No, I can not stop violence from happening everywhere but I can work toward propagating peaceful coexistence between those of varying cultures and faiths who share my words every day. And while it certainly is not the answer to all of the world’s problems or the violence we are witnessing everyday, it will have to be enough…..for now!

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“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:2-7 NRSV

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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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