Monthly Archives: August 2013

Thought For The Day 08/24/13

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Why Ask Why? 

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why

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The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.

Thomas Berger

http://www.finestquotes.com/select_quote-category-Questions-page-0.htm

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Perhaps the single most difficult question we ask both ourselves as well as others is WHY! And yet we do it. Every day! And the usual reason is because we need to know answers to things. That need is a part of the healthy curiosity every human being has been endowed with by our creator. And none of us ever thinks about apologizing for asking either, because we know how important those answers are to our individual growth and development! But what happens when we ask WHY when thinking about faith?

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Now I don’t know about you, but my first impulse is to want to shut my mouth. After all, remember what happened to those from the house of Israel who questioned and rebelled when they were wandering in the wilderness? Remember how in their rebellion, they did not heed the counsel of Moses, and the unthinkable happened! Numbers 16:31-34 NIV, “As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”  But as I thought about asking WHY, I realized that it was not necessarily the asking of the question that was displeasing. it was the way the question was asked in the first place!

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God will do what He wills and that is something we really need to reconcile with. However, it is not the questioning that becomes the issue but rather, in asking the question, are we presuming to abrogate His authority? And this is the mistake that I see people making all too often. Heck, it’s a mistake I’ve made a time or two (or a thousand), come to think of it! So what are some of the reasons we question Him and why do we do it to begin with?

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As humans we are subject those emotional highs and lows that come with the stresses life hands us. And most of the time, if we can roll with the punches, we will come through the worst part of the assault relatively unscathed. But what happens if we become angry at our inability to control the circumstances? Yes, we become confused and when we are confused, we tend to go on the offensive and act aggressively and it is then that we start to question and ask WHY. The thing is, we are not really angry at nor are we really accusing God for failing to help us or to answer our questions. We are instead angry at ourselves, because we have confused what we want for our own lives with what it is He wants for us!

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Asking WHY is not a bad thing, as long as we do it for the right reason. He wants us to ask for wisdom. He tells us as much in James 1:5 NIV, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” And there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking Him questions when we are honestly seeking to become better Christians!

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“And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.…”


James 1:4-6 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/23/13

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Bent Out Of Shape?

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ridding_ourselves_of_anger_OM_Times

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Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.  

Michael McGriffy

http://quotationsbook.com/quote/46196/#sthash.c0uCHf4P.dpbs

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I don’t know about you but I am one person that seems to have emotions that operate on a hair-trigger. In other words, it doesn’t take much for me to get bent out of shape! It is perhaps my least redeeming quality and it certainly tests my relationships with those who are closest to me. But, if there is one thing that I know for certain, it is that when something is bent out of shape, it’s functionality becomes moot! Need an example? Well, how about thinking about a soup ladle!

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A soup ladle is perfectly designed for the function for which it is intended. But bend the scoop portion so that it sits at a at a 90 degree angle to the handle, and then dip it into the soup pot and see what happens! Yep…..you will be hard pressed to enjoy your delicious, homemade, cure-all for the common cold, bowl of Mother Nature’s Penicillin! Well, a human life is exactly the same way. When you become bent out of shape for one hour, you often ruin any hope you may have had for either a meaningful or profitable day! Then think about what might happen if you become bent out of shape for a week or a month. The possibilities are mind-boggling!

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Now becoming bent out of shape is not a new concept. In fact, the Bible is rife with stories about people whose weaknesses cause them to become bent out of shape. In fact, anger is nearly epidemic within its pages. Think Cain, Moses, King David, Jonah and the other prophets. Even Jesus and the Lord God Himself became angry a time or two. But just as all of these men of faith learned a lesson as a result of their anger, so it is what we learn from these emotions and how we grow from the experience, that really matters.

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Having trouble controlling those lips that have allowed a lie to escape? Well, remember the words written in James 3:1-5 ESV, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.” Did you strive to hurt someone because they did not act in a way you hoped they would? Think about what is taught in Ephesians 4:31-32 ESV, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

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Now I am the by no means the only one who has difficulty controlling their propensity to become bent out of shape. But the moment I do, I am reminded of the way anger changes my heart. In fact, I think this is God’s little nudge to remind me that my behavior is not pleasing to Him! That’s the great thing about faith and God’s promises to us. You see, even when I am not a very lovable person, He still loves me! And even more than that, He has blessed me with the tools of mind and heart to learn from those unlovable moments so that I might understand how to control those inevitable meltdowns that life and circumstance hands me.

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No, I am not immune from experiencing moments when my self-control takes a hike. But then I remember Proverbs 19:11 NIV, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense…” and I know that while I am merely a work in progress, I am, indeed, making progress!

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“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”


James 1:19-21 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/22/13

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Born To Worship The Rock

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born_to_worship_the_rock

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Where painting is weakest, namely, in the expression of the highest moral and spiritual ideas, there music is sublimely strong

Harriet Beecher Stowe

http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Music-Quotes/

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Ask the question “What is Christian Rock”, and you are bound to discover that, just as mainstream rock is comprised of many genre’s, so does the realm of Christian Rock contain a number of subsets, including southern rock, indie rock, punk rock, and even grunge, to list but a few. And while some are “in your face” with faith-based references, others are more “on the edge” of the subject with lyrics that tie life experiences of a faith filled heart as a way to nudge our b thoughts into a particular direction. But no matter how you envision the concept of what “Christian Rock” is, the bottom line is that it is a way to share the message of God’s promise of salvation to those who are looking for an alternative to traditional and historical musical styles of hymns “gone by”!

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Today’s musical introduction is one I had hoped we would be able to follow for years to come. However, it seems as if the group “SUPERCHICK” has other ideas. On August 11th, 2013, Superchick announced on their Facebook page that they were ending their collaboration. Yes, as it is with most things, the time had come to explore new horizons and concentrate on more personal pursuits. But while they existed, what a ride it was! From their debut in 1999 (as they performed at live events throughout the United States), to the discovery of their “sound” following their self-produced debut album in 2000 (which led to a record contract and their music being featured in movies including “Legally Blonde”), to an Emmy nomination in 2008 (in the category of “Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album” for their song “Rock What You Got”), they have touched the hearts of both Christian and mainstream music fans! However, the death of the band member Chase Lovelace in May of 2013 changed the dynamics of the group and a bit of the heart of the group died along with their drummer!

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This was the August announcement from Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/superchick).

To anyone who heard our music:

I’d like to say thank you. To the 20,000 people at Parachute in New Zealand, to the kids at the first Lifefest, to all the crowds who sang our lyrics back to us: thanks for helping us tour the world. It was a rare blessing you gave us. You sang our songs on YouTube, had our words tattooed on your bodies, included our songs in your summer soundtracks; you humbled us with your gift. You believed we were worth listening to and you made us velveteen rabbit real with your love.

Superchick is closing a chapter. The people you’ve seen on stage are taking a curtain bow. It’s time to go exploring again. Everyone has new stories to write: Tricia has another solo record coming out, Dave is touring with Audio Adrenaline, Melissa started Rosebuds East, Matt is busy being a realtor/songwriter/daddy daycare and I’ve got plenty of projects to finish up, including a ThumpMonks record years in the making.

There are 5 brand new Superchick songs we will release into the wild soon. When he first started chemo, our drummer Chase called me to say, “Don’t finish the record without me; I’m coming back in the fall.” We managed to get a couple studio sessions with him and some of Chase’s rhythmic creativity lives on in these songs. They are the last words in a sentence that was brought to a full stop by Chase’s passing. These new songs are dedicated to his fighting optimism. They are some of the best we’ve done and I hope they honor his memory.

But Superchick as a book is only done with the first chapter. It was a love letter to kids who had forgotten they were born to be world changers. Superchick was about an idea, not the people you saw on stage. When we started, I didn’t want there to be any band photography at all. The labels insisted that people wanted a face to go with the music. I wanted the album covers to be reflective so that when you picked it up, you would see your face. The lyrics are about you; they are your stories and the stories you will write. Superchick is about what is possible when you believe and the proof that it works is you.

And while you’ll not see the people you knew as Superchick together on stage again, there are still songs unfinished and words awaiting music. Perhaps someone reading this feels like she was born to wear the cape. Something will always push its way to the surface if we let it. Sometimes endings are new beginnings. It’s never over as long as you can find your courage and faith.

You made it possible for us to write this chapter. We set out to change the world and in the end, you changed ours.

With gratitude,

Max

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Superchick has had five songs reach No. 1 on music charts, and their song “Stand In The Rain” held the No. 1 spot for nine weeks on Christian Hit Radio chart in 2006/2007, and it is this song that I am sharing with you today!

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She never slows down.
She doesn’t know why but she knows that when she’s all alone, feels like it’s all coming down
She won’t turn around
The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down

[CHORUS]
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, what’s lost can be found
You stand in the rain

She won’t make a sound
Alone in this fight with herself and the fears whispering if she stands she’ll fall down
She wants to be found
The only way out is through everything she’s running from wants to give up and lie down.

[CHORUS]
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, what’s lost can be found
You stand in the rain

So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
Stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, what’s lost can be found

[CHORUS]
So stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it’s all crashing down
You stand through the pain
You won’t drown
And one day, what’s lost can be found
You stand in the rain

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To view the Superchick video, click the URL or the arrow on the embedded version.

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“Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.”


1 Chronicles 13:8 (NKJV)

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/21/13

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Intolerance

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Hate

This was found on Facebook page of a friend, Tuesday, 08/20/13

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Intolerance is the most socially acceptable form of egotism, for it permits us to assume superiority without personal boasting.

Sydney J. Harris 

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/intolerance.html

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in·tol·er·ance

  [in-tol-er-uhns]  

noun
1. lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, etc.
2. incapacity or indisposition to bear or endure: intolerance to heat.
3. abnormal sensitivity or allergy to a food, drug, etc.
4. an intolerant act.

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The letter in the picture above is true. However, the names were not changed to protect the innocent. There was no need because the person who wrote it is far from innocent nor did she bother to identify herself by name. But I doubt any of you are particularly surprised at this revelation anyway. After all, isn’t this typical? So many of those in this world who spew hatred and intolerance from the roof tops fail to take ownership of or to accept responsibility for having said such things, by identifying themselves! I suspect this is the same reason that criminals mask themselves during the commission of their illegal activity. After all, they know what they are doing is wrong, so they cloak themselves believing they will be insulated and protected in their anonymity. What other reason could there possibly be?

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Intolerance to others, whether it is intolerance of another’s faith, color, gender, sexual orientation or any of the myriad of things we find to dislike about someone else, seems to be perhaps the greatest sin committed by human beings these days! However, I have discovered something rather surprising about the relationship between intolerance and faith. As I was exploring Biblical references to intolerance, I was unable to find any reference where intolerance is actually deemed to be a sin. And while there are many things that are condemned as being sins, such as murder, lies, adultery, slander and the rest of those absolutes established by God when He gave His laws to man, intolerance isn’t included. So when we sit in judgement of another, we are merely reinforcing that which God has already determined to be appropriate actions and behavior for a being who is inherently sinful. Our sinfulness……the scarlet letter we have all been made to wear, the moment a bite of the forbidden fruit was taken.

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Now my take on faith tells me that whether or not I like the actions of another, because I am a sinner myself, it is not my place to cast the first stone. However, it is awfully easy to want to do that when one of God’s most precious and innocent gifts to man, our children, is being attacked. But because I know that Christ came to pave the way for my salvation, I can try to be tolerant even when others are not, and even if I question whether another deserves it.

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Whether another I encounter is intolerant and hateful and cruel, it is not my place to judge. It is merely my charge to offer insight into what I believe should be our collective moral compass for behavior. God asks that I find it within to separate the sin from the sinner, and while I can hate the sin, I should never hate the sinner. And no, that does not mean that I approve of either the sin or the sinner, but it does mean that I live my life according to what I know is His will for me, and that I share His will, by extension, with others, through my own example. This is something the Bible teaches us to do, as well, in Titus 2:7-8 ESV, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” 

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“My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become evil thinking judges?”

James 2:1-4 KJV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/20/13

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The Perfect Love

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Perfect-Love

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Since marriage is a spiritual relationship involving husband, wife, and God, prayer together keeps communication flowing among all three.

Dennis and Barbara Rainey

http://thisdaysthought.org/dennis-and-barbara-rainey-since-marriage-is-a-spiritual-relationship/

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Relationships that are forged with that someone special we envision spending a lifetime with, are perhaps the most complicated and difficult ones to cultivate. They are far more involved that your typical platonic friendship, where secrets can be kept from the other without damaging the integrity of the relationship. But not so when the nurturing a relationship where the bonds of true love are burgeoning. You see, we must be comfortable enough to bare those skeletons in our closets, because if there is one thing that every human carries with them, it is baggage! And if there is one thing that baggage carries, it is the inevitable hurt and resentment that can erode even the best dreams for a shared future with another.

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Just as the wise man built his house upon a rock, we must work toward establishing a rock solid foundation that is capable of supporting an intimate relationship for a lifetime. And to do this, we must bare all, and feel free enough to talk about those painful embarrassments. We must somehow reach, if not an understanding of these things, at least a capacity to put them into their proper place in the general scheme of this hoped for shared life!

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We are always to remember that it was God’s perfect love for us that gave us salvation’s promise through Christ. It is also this same perfect love that asks us to cast from us the fears that we will be rejected by Him for our sins. 1 John 4:12 NIV tells us, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” And since we model the love we share with our life’s partner after God’s perfect love for us, and if we have chosen well, we need not fear being rejected by the one we choose as our mate, when we bare our souls to them. According to the “Family Life Marriage Bible”, written by Dennis & Barbara Rainey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FamilyLife), just as God’s heart embraces this imperfect being that is man, so should the love we share with our partner speak these things to us, “I embrace you. I receive you. I accept you. I cherish you. And, yes, I forgive you” when those difficult days descend!

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A thank you to Nancy Salazar, author of the blog post on WordPress, “Love Your Spouse” (http://loveyourspouse.wordpress.com), for inspiring today’s “THOUGHT” and introducing me to the “Family Life Marriage Bible”!

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4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/19/13

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Why Are Millennials Leaving The Church?

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millennials-360

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Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but taking God at His work.

Faith Evans

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

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The other day I heard an intro to a segment on a national news station that made me sit up and take notice! You see, the segment was going to explore the reasons why Millennial’s are leaving the church. Now in case you don’t know what a Millennial is, don’t worry. I didn’t until I looked it up! Basically, Millennial’s are also known as Generation Y, or young adults today between the ages of 18 and 29. And it wasn’t until I knew WHO they were that I understood at least part of the discussion that took place.

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Well, of course I tuned in to the interview which sought to identify the reasons so many young people are abandoning faith, and one conclusion was identified that I can not argue with! The Millennial generation is most certainly, the most technologically savvy of any generation in history. Case in point, this generation has never lived in a time when the internet and the information highway did not exist. They have never seen or heard news disseminated any way other than in color, and projected into their living room in real-time! And because of a level of sophistication that was not only unheard of but unthinkable when I was that age, these young adults have markedly different attitudes, beliefs, and mores than any other generation in history.

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Now, the panel discussing this topic were polar opposites on matters of faith. And their explanations for why this was happening were just as varied. For example, Christian writer Rachel Held Evans saw faith today as being “… too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.” (a) And Atheist writer Hemant Mehta held that  “religion isn’t true” and that this generation is sophisticated enough to recognize a lie when they hear it! (b)

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Regardless of which view you gravitate toward, the bottom line is that most people believe that traditional religious organizations have not evolved with the times and since the answers to the questions those Millennials are asking about why religions practice faith the same way today as they did nearly a century ago are not forthcoming as quickly as this “me” group would like, they are deciding that the answer to “it’s our way or the highway” is to get moving on down the road!

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Now I hold strong beliefs about faith. And no, I do not practice my faith in the same traditional way that many of my generation do. However, that said, I also believe it is wrong to want to alter faith to either an extreme or a watered down version just to satisfy the whim of today’s young people.

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While we want to appeal to many tastes, there are still components of faith that can not be sanitized  or explained in a way that will satisfy those people who are prone to want to question everything they experience. Doing this changes one basic belief that people of faith hold as absolute. God doesn’t want us to tailor faith to meet our needs. God wants us to tailor our faith to serve Him! That is why we call our worship of Him faith, to begin with. And this does not necessarily mean attending services every Sunday. You see, Church and Faith is not a place. Church and Faith is a state of mind and a quality of being.

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(a)

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/27/why-millennials-are-leaving-the-church/comment-page-99/

(b)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/08/18/heres-the-cnn-segment-on-why-millennials-are-leaving-church/

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13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” 15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”

Isaiah 29:13-15 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/18/13

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The Word Of The Lord

Sunday August 18th, 2013

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Saint Luke (1)

“Saint Luke”

by James Tissot

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GOSPEL: Luke 12:49-56

49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?

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What Does Luke Mean?

Today’s reading is not one of Jesus’ messages meant to uplift the hearts those who are hearing it! It is not a message for the meek, because it is a warning to mankind that His coming was God’s plan to offer hope for the time when the world would be purged of sin. He shares that even as He would suffer through horrors at the hand of man, those sufferings would also be a baptism. Christ in his sufferings devoted himself to his Father’s honor, and consecrated himself a priest for evermore. And just as He is baptized by the Holy Spirit, so can we all who turn our hearts to Him, be redeemed and receive the promise of salvation.

Mandy

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Psalm 80:8-18

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. 9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. 11 It sent out its branches to the sea and its shoots to the River. 12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit. 13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

14 Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, 15 the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself. 16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your face! 17 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself! 18 Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name!

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry