Thought For The Day 07/31/13

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Our Struggles Make Us Stronger

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butterfly

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Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.

Oprah Winfrey

http://www.joyofquotes.com/strength_quotes.html

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I read a story on GodVine yesterday that challenged some beliefs that I have always held as being absolute to the way we, not only as human beings, but people who lead lives directed by a moral code, should behave. You see, I had always thought that, if it was within our power to do so, that we should always try our very best, to help others through their struggles in life. I always believed in my heart, that every person is blessed with certain talents or gifts that should be given away freely, when we see that another is struggling. And I still hold to this philosophy….for the most part. However, reading that story reminded me that there are, indeed, some times when doing the “BEST THING” for another might not be doing “SOME THING”! Sometimes, doing what is best is simply letting them know that they are not alone in their struggles and that you will be with them through it all!

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Being WITH us all, through all of our struggles, is exactly what our Heavenly Father gives to us, as well! Notice I said “BEING WITH” not “DOING FOR”? He does not come to earth in a lightning bolt, giving us the answers, when the hard times descend. And why not? After all, we who know our heavenly Father, also know that He is capable of doing this, don’t we? He doesn’t, because there is something He knows that we need! You see, if we are not given the hurdles that are part of life, how can we expect to develop the essential characteristics we need to grow and to become the best we can be?  It is through our struggles that we discover and nurture the components that form our character such as compassion, understanding, appreciation, patience, perseverance, fortitude, pride and yes, even joy!

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The story I am going to share about a newly created butterfly, reminded me that without the trials we overcome, we would be forever encased in a cocoon of our own (and Satan’s?) making! And should we actually emerge into the warmth of the sun, how would we ever really understand how to spread our wings and fly? We would be forever crippled, just as the butterfly in this story was!

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Our Struggles Make Us Stronger

Author Unknown

A man found a butterfly cocoon. He watched his cocoon for several days. One day a tiny opening appeared in the cocoon. He sat very still and watched as the butterfly struggled for several hours to force itself through the tiny hole of it’s cocoon. Then it seemed to stop making progress. It appeared to the man as if the butterfly had gone as far as it could, and could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly out of the cocoon.

He snipped the remaining bit of the cocoon with scissors, and the butterfly emerged effortlessly. There was something strange, however. The butterfly had a swollen body, and it’s wings were shriveled. The man watched closely, expecting that the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and deformed wings. It was never able to fly. 

Though the man acted in kindness, what he did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the small opening of the cocoon are God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready to fly once it has achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

http://click1.godvinemail.com/ViewMessage.do?m=gmtcwgnytw&r=kpsvhrpmtrpr&s=nfwryjqprwrqkpzthmcgcqjkfhhkwdqcyyz&a=view

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So never forget, my friends, that in every trial we face is a lesson that we will carry with us forever, which is just as God intended for each and every one of us! Yes, our struggles make us stronger by adding another layer to that character that defines us and helps us grow in body and in spirit, so that we become worthy of receiving the gift of salvation that He has promised us!

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1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea;
2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3 because of what my enemy is saying, because of the threats of the wicked; for they bring down suffering on me and assail me in their anger.

4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words, for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.

12 If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.

15 Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them.

16 As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.

20 My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.

22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days.

But as for me, I trust in you.

Psalm 55 NIV

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dad

Harold W Pierce

(Photo taken July 31st, 2010)

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Today the first man I ever loved is celebrating his birthday and it is this annual celebration that reminds me how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to be his daughter.

Happy 86th Birthday, Daddy! I love you with all my heart!

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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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