Monthly Archives: February 2014

Thought For The Day 02/28/14

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Our Co-Pilot

Post 1082

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gods-love34

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To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough

by Robert Burns

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast, O, what a panic is in your little breast! You need not start away so hasty With argumentative chatter! I would be loath to run and chase you, With murdering plough-staff.

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion Has broken Nature’s social union, And justifies that ill opinion Which makes thee startle At me, thy poor, earth born companion And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal; What then? Poor little beast, you must live! An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves Is a small request; I will get a blessing with what is left, And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin! Its feeble walls the winds are scattering! And nothing now, to build a new one, Of coarse grass green! And bleak December’s winds coming, Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted, And weary winter coming fast, And cozy here, beneath the blast, You thought to dwell, Till crash! the cruel plough passed Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble, Has cost you many a weary nibble! Now you are turned out, for all your trouble, Without house or holding, To endure the winter’s sleety dribble, And hoar-frost cold.

But little Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me! The present only touches you: But oh! I backward cast my eye, On prospects dreary! And forward, though I cannot see, I guess and fear!

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Be thankful that I did not share this bit of poetic genius in its original form. I tried reading it. I also have a fair to middling ability to interpret the written word and yet I had not one inkling what he was trying to impart! And, except for some friends of mine who still live in the land of Robert Burns, I doubt many of you would have any idea what he was seeking to say either! But Mandy, ever the pragmatist, knows that its message must indeed be profound or else this prose would not have survived these many years. And it is an extremely profound message! So here, in plain speak, is what I believe Robert Burns was telling us all…..never embark on any journey in life without having plans that allow for the unexpected happening!

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Seldom do we plan out our every move as we travel through our days. There are actions we perform as instinctively as we do breathing! Yes, we might have a general idea when we are young of just where it is we hope our journey on life’s road will take us. But we are still young and do not yet have a full understanding of how those “best laid plans” sometimes become swallowed up by life’s realities!

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Even something as clearly defined as how we think faith should be embraced and lived, seldom finds us arriving at our final destination without taking multiple detours along our way! That is the way it is with human beings. And as long as we find it within to be able to plan our journey with the understanding that seldom will we find things etched in stone, we will arrive where we hope to be as a mentally healthy, emotionally sound, and spiritually whole person. However, if we choose to be rigid about the journey and not allow our hearts to be led on the right path, we will find ourselves angry and bitter, as if we have allowed some emotional wound to fester!

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God understands this about man. He designed us to be this way. He wants us to choose the direction we want to travel but to realize that as we steer our  ship through the dangerous waters of life, we need Him to be our co-pilot. And if we willingly surrender total control of the journey to Him and allow Him to help us to navigate as we make that journey, we will arrive at that final destination as people deserving of sharing His mansion on high!

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Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.  The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
 
Galatians 3:6-9

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

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Thought For The Day 02/27/14

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Catching Dreams

Post 1081

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Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you. 

Marsha Norman

http://www.quotegarden.com/dreams.html

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I have always marveled at how the different faiths in the world somehow manage to be so very similar to one another despite often having such diverse tenets and creeds. And yet, when we look at the bigger picture, what we are actually seeing is some masterpiece akin to one painted by DaVinci or penned by Shakespeare or composed by Brahms. Each of these works pure artistic genius, each part of the beauty that is to be founds in the arts, and yet each so different that to be able to find a common thread is no easy task. Each different. Each the same!

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Thus it is with each of the world’s religions. Each religion capable of providing to each follower the answer to the mystery that their hearts seek, each religion profoundly different, one from the other, and yet, when combined together, each acting as an integral component in the formation of the masterpiece that is FAITH!

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I have in my home a cross. I also have several versions of the Bible. They are there because they are a reminder to me of the need to remember the word of God as it was given to mankind, and also the sacrifice made by Jesus which has paved the road for my place with the Father in heaven. They are my reminder that, as a Christian, it is my responsibility to take up the cross, spiritually, and live my life in accordance with the teachings that I have been given through His word. They are intended to direct my actions in a way that is pleasing to God. They tell me to grasp a hold of and nurture the wondrous and beautiful things that are part of my life, and to let go of the things that are the temptations that would try their hardest to undermine my faith. And I think that it is this reason that, in addition to the cross and the Bible, I also have a Dreamcatcher in my home! Sacrilege, you ask? Not when you read and understand the legend of the Dreamcatcher! Spirituality is everywhere if we but choose to find it and then discover how to see it and use it. It does not replace, but rather,  should be used as an adjunct to the other mysteries that we embrace as people of faith!

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The Legend Of The Dreamcatcher

Long ago when the word was young, an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred language. As he spoke, Iktomi the spider picked up the elder’s willow hoop which had feathers,horsehair, beads and offerings on it, and began to spin a web.

He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life; how we begin our lives as infants, move on through childhood and on to adulthood. Finally we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle. “But”, Iktomi said as he continued to spin his web, “in each time of life there are many forces; some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they’ll steer you in the wrong direction and may hurt you. So these forces can help, or can interfere with the harmony of Nature.” While the spider spoke, he continued to weave his web.

When Iktomi finished speaking, he gave the elder the web and said, “The web is a perfect circle with a hole in the center. Use the web to help your people reach their goals, making good use of their ideas, dreams and visions. If you believe in the great spirit, the web will catch your good ideas and the bad ones will go through the hole.” The elder passed on his vision to the people and now many Indian people hang a dream catcher above their bed to sift their dreams and visions. The good is captured in the web of life and carried with the people, but the evil in their dreams drops through the hole in the center of the web and is no longer a part of their lives. It’s said that the dream catcher holds the destiny of the future.

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In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.

Acts 2:17-20 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/26/14

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Happiness

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happiness-7steps

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We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that are among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thomas Jefferson

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_happiness2.html

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How many of us can answer this simple question: What is true happiness?

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Now I am famous for using the word subjective when describing things that are intensely personal. For example, for some, happiness might simply be a warm meal and a soft bed at night, while others might say the key to their happiness is knowing true love. And of course, for a Christian, true happiness might be found in accepting Christ as your personal Savior. Subjective? Certainly, because it is hard to assess a standard for happiness. However, what is easier to quantify is whether we are fulfilled and content with our lives!

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I have seen the effects lacking these two things can have on people within the inner circle of my family and friends. Often it leads to a despondency that and become all-consuming. And if there is anything that feeds Satan, it is despondency!

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So how is it we learn to be content with our lot in life? What drives us to want and want, when the things we want often fails to really satisfy our inner hunger? How do we tell the Devil we are not going to succumb to the misery that feeds him? We turn to the handbook God has given to us for the weapons to banish our despondency and fill our cup with the promises of joy and contentment that is His gift to us!

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10 Verses About Happiness and Joy 

(that you can swing back with)

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‘You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ – Acts 2:28

‘But rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.’ – Luke 10:20

‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned to joy.’ – John 16:20

‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace’ – Galatians 5:22

‘Our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.’ – Psalm 32:21

‘The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices; and with my song I will praise him.’ – Psalm 28:7

‘Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.’ – Psalm 105:3

‘Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation’ – Psalm 51:12

‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.’ – John 16:33

‘And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings and great joy, which shall be to all people.’ – Luke 2:10

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/25/14

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God’s Cake!

Post 1079

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3-tier-wedding-cake

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Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

Sir Winston Churchill

http://www.manifestyourpotential.com/life/game_of_life/life_is_a_journey_paths/quotes_about_lifes_journey_paths_inspirational.htm

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 The miracle that is social media puts people from opposite sides of the world in touch with one another and forges  a  connection just a real and palpable as it would be if we had grown up across the street one from the other, playing together as children. We may, in fact, think of these people as our best friends and consider the tie between us as one forged of iron, despite the fact that often we may have only a picture of a grainy and blurred image which is the vision which has been  painted in our mind of just how exactly it is that the other looks. And equally amazing, many times we embark on a journey and travel thousands upon thousands of miles just to be able to meet these intimate strangers who have become like family.
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Just as Social Media sites unite people, so does internet mail postings unite us in thought one with the other.  We forward and share postings that have, somehow, touched our hearts in some special or unique way. And many of the things we get as a forwarded email are a post that has circled the globe in millions upon millions of pieces of email sent to such a diverse collection of individuals that it is often impossible for us to even envision then as strangers….never mind as acquaintances or friends. But, amazingly, they are often people who share our tastes and passions and pursuits!  And then when we consider that sometimes that post may have originated years earlier but the moment it crosses our computer screen for the first time, it make just as significant an impact on us as it did with the very first person to ever receive its wisdom.
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This is one such post of which I refer. I have no idea how long it has journeyed the four corners of the earth, but today it graces your computer screen as you read my blog. And remember you are but a single one of perhaps millions of others who have been touched in some very special way, by its message!

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Sometimes we wonder,

‘What did I do to deserve this?’ or ‘Why did God have to do this to me?’

Here is a wonderful explanation!

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A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she’s failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away. Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, “Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.”

“Here, have some cooking oil,” her Mother offers.

“Yuck,” said her daughter.

“How about a couple raw eggs?”

“Gross, Mom!”

“Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?”

“Mom, those are all yucky!”

To which the mother replies, “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!”

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful! God is crazy about you. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

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And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/24/14

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Knowing Ourselves

Post 1078

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fertile

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_ebMyGTBi3A/TZUXZSsfhzI/AAAAAAAAABc/hMhjCmsFW-g/s1600/IMG_1050.JPG

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By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Benjamin Franklin

http://www.searchquotes.com/quotes/about/Defense/

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Who of you hasn’t heard the phrase, “THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE”? It is an adage that has been used describe many things throughout the ages. From profit building business plans to board, video and computer games to military battle strategies, careful preparation and planning is essential for the success of almost every endeavor we undertake. Now I can not be certain, but as far as I can determine, the only thing it hasn’t been used as a strategy for, is bringing the human heart closer to God. But it should be! You see, I can’t think of anything more worthy of our meticulous attentions than planning our living in a way that guarantees we will be worthy of spending eternity with our Heavenly Father! And there is no tool more essential for warding off life’s temptations and sin that aggressively seeking out the weapons that a strong belief system arms us with! Faith is, after all, a virtue and like any virtue, it can be made stronger or weaker.

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So what can we use to make our faith grow? Matthew 17:20 NIV says, He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” So look within to the place where your faith dwells and if you find the merest speck there, even if that speck is as tiny as a mustard seed, then begin the process to nurture it into full bloom.

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Just as a seed planted in fertile soil bursts forth with life, so will we if we make it a point to surround ourselves with the fertile soil of others who share our beliefs and who act toward others in ways that are pleasing to God! They need not be devout observers but they must have hearts full of “goodness and mercy”!  Next, make sure that you feed and water the mustard seed of faith you hold within by learning what you can about God and His promises. Reading his word provides the nutrients you need for your faith to begin its emergence. Water your faith  by doing the things we are taught to do such as pray and trusting in the fact that God will give to you the tools you need so that your faith intersects with His faithfulness always. And lastly, no seed can reach high into the sky without the sun’s beckoning rays to provide the warmth and light that is to be found within the spirit of God’s only begotten Son and which manifests itself in the simple acts of kindness and generosity which we apply to all of our interactions with others in our life! I think of that as our personal ministry whereby we “walk the walk” and not just “talk the talk”!

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I once read a learning series called “Five Things God Uses To Grow Our Faith” (http://www.fivethingsgoduses.com/). There was a paragraph there that asked us to think about what it would be like to have perfect faith, by challenging us to think about how different our outlook would be if we KNEW God was always with us. Would we react differently to life’s twists and turns if we knew with certainty that God’s hand controlled everything and was guiding all that we do, whether or not we understood the reasoning for the thing, toward the side of good? I certainly would!

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And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Romans 10:15-17 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/23/14

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This Is The Word Of The Lord

 Sunday February 23rd, 2014

Post #1077

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St.Matthew

http://stmatthewsvoorheesville.net/images/St.Matthew.jpg

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Levi (Matthew) was born and raised a Jew by his father Alphaeus at his home in Capernaum. He was trained to collect taxes in the form of personal dues or customs on goods. As such he gained knowledge of languages (particularly Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew), and calculation. Inasmuch as his work was in the service of the Roman government, and in view of the abuses and corruption to which the system led, tax collectors were the object of widespread hatred. His post was at Capernaum where he collected from those crossing the Sea of Galilee, as well as those traveling the Mediterranean-Damascus Road, which ran along the shore.

Jesus called Matthew from his tax booth and feasted at his house, indicating that Matthew was a man of some wealth. Matthew followed Jesus for the rest of his ministry and was with the disciples after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

According to Papias, Matthew made a collection of Jesus’ sayings in Hebrew. He traditionally is held to be the author of the first of the Gospels.

The Feast of St. Matthew is September 21st. The symbols of St. Matthew are the sword, the means of his martyrdom, and the money bag, for his work as a tax collector.

http://www.stmatthewsrichmond.org/about_us/biography_st_matthew

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Today’s Gospel Reading 

Matthew 5:38-48 NIV

Eye for Eye

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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What Does Matthew Mean?

 

This part of what is best known as “The Sermon On The Mount” includes the absolutes which are Christ’s reinterpretation of God’s laws. He is explaining to everyone what true righteousness really is! He speaks of these things as the freedom to not just love others but to serve others, regardless of what our preconceived notions of their character might be…or even if they, too, love and honor God…or not! He teaches that we will receive rewards beyond measure and they are not because of what God says, but instead, because of WHO God is!

You see, up till now, the law taught a somewhat different message. Up till now, it was tradition to love your neighbor and to hate your enemy. But Christ was, instead, urging that we love our neighbor and pray for and forgive those who are not our neighbor. It reminds us that justice for actions rests not in the hand’s of man, but rather, in the hands of the Father! It is He who causes the sun to rise, and the rains to fall, on both the just and the unjust . However, understanding this, Jesus is not teaching man to be passive but is urging all to find another way to confront that which we perceive as being an injustice.

 

Mandy

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Our Second Reading

1 Corinthians 3:16-23 NIV

 

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

A Lonely Boy In The Freezing Cold Without A Jacket. Watch People’s Reaction.

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I hope this makes you think……

A Dose A Day

You don’t have to speak the language to understand. One commenter said it best “Life is short. Never miss an opportunity to perfect your own humanity.  Love is simple.  In fact it is all that we truly have.  It binds us.  It makes us who we are.  It is not the coat that keeps us warm, it is love.  Give what you can.  Do what you must. Be more human.”

The world is still filled with unsung heroes. My faith in humanity restored.

Video taken from http://www.lifebuzz.com/freezing-boy/

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