Thought For The Day 09/28/13

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Me Thinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much!

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macbeth1 (1)

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“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Desmond Tutu

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

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Ever wonder about the phrase, “Me Thinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much? I know I have, and I have often felt its draw when I see people who sometimes wear their false faces in church. Now, to return to the original, some of you know that Shakespeare wrote the phrase…..sort of. The actual quote was spoken by Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude, and the exact phrase was, “The lady doth Protest too much, methinks.”As is human nature. we have altered the words to better suit us, but have we altered the intent? Do we understand exactly what Shakespeare meant!

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In Shakespeare’s day, protest meant to “vow” or to “Declare solemnly”. However, today we have altered the meaning, and thus the intent, of this phrase. We recognize that when someone protests too vigorously, the intent is never received well. Instead, we are apt to suspect that the person saying  the thing is not being entirely truthful. And it is this that seems to somehow weave a thread of “untruth”when someone speaks exceedingly passionately, and at times, even with a hint of disdain or prejudice, when affirming that their beliefs are the one, true source of God’s word!  And I really have to ask why it is that people disparage what others believe?

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Unfortunately, those who are the first, and often the loudest voices of protest, are the least secure, in the strength of their own faith…..and life, for that matter! They speak in an attempt to lower others to the same level on which they live, because the idea that another might just be correct, is an unbearable thing to live with. But we can battle people like this, by becoming secure in our own strengths. But unfortunately, not all of those whose self-image is destroyed are that strong to be able to dismiss those slings and arrows. And those are the people who become so lost that they make choices from which there is no return!

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Interestingly, the Bible says more than a few things about people who belittle others. In fact, the Bible at times attributes this sin to Satan! Look at Roman’s 15:1-5 ESV, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

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Today we view people who attack and demean as bullies. And while I agree with Michael J. Fox, who has said that despite all the horrible things that someone can do, our dignity can never be taken away from us unless we allow it, It is still so hard to remain strong when standing in a thunderstorm of “hatespeak” and degradation from the mouths and minds of another. So what tools do we use to equip ourselves and our children?

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We must teach the social-emotional skills that can prevent and stop most bullying and harassment. Not only will we grow within, but we will grow without, by building healthy relationships. There are ways to set boundaries and become empowered when dealing with those who seek to demean!

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There is a website that offered a list of some proactive steps everyone (not just children) can take in defusing a potentially volatile situation with someone who chooses to hurt us. The site is: http://www.kidpower.org/library/article/bullying-questions-answers/

  • Use awareness to notice a problem situation and move out of reach. Leave! Go to a place where you feel safe, and recharge your batteries.
  • Tell someone to stop. Be proactive. Speak up. Telling someone to stop may not make them stop but it may make them think!
  • Ask to join the discussion or conversation in a friendly, confident way. If you speak first, you will often discover that you will never speak last and in a defensive way!
  • Find another person to interact with. Bullies are often few in number but with voices that make it seem like a thousand! Not everyone bullies and demeans!
  • Be willing to go to someone for help….whether it is the law, a superior or a teacher. And if you feel like you are being ignored, be persistent! You matter and are important and as such, you DESERVE to be and feel safe…..ALWAYS!

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And if you need some more strength, turn to some empowering scriptures to nourish your spirit! Here’s a wonderful scripture of support! 1 John 4:1 ESV, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Or how about this verse from James 2:1-5 ESV, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” And here is my favorite! Galatians 5:22-23 ESV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

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Finally, I want you to remember this quote written by A.A. Milne, but spoken by Christopher Robin to his ever faithful but ever the timid friend, Winnie-the-Pooh. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” (A) And if you remember these things, and remember that  “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you” (B), you can and will overcome all those who would seek to demean you and your life and your faith!

(A) http://thinkexist.com/quotation/promise-me-you-ll-always-remember-you-re-braver/357150.html

(B) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footprints_in_the_Sand

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But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

1 Peter 3:15 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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