Monthly Archives: April 2014

Thought For The Day 04/30/14

Standard

Mandy’s Mixed Nuts!

Post 1143

___

http://www.123rf.com/photo_13165419_varieties-of-nuts-peanuts-hazelnuts-chestnuts-walnuts–pistachio-and-others.html

___

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple.
But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. 

George Bernard Shaw

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

___

I was thinking about all of the blogs I have written since that very first post of mine published on March 25th, 2011, and I began to wonder whether any of them contained some of those profound one-liners like you see on those catchy church signs or bumper stickers. You know what I mean. I’m talking about things like the title of that 1945 movie starring Dennis Morgan and Raymond Massey, “God Is My Co-Pilot”. And so I decided to scan through the pages that have somehow become transformed from thought to idea to blog to see whether I could find a few gems to re-share with you. I was aiming for those one sentence pearls of wisdom and pretty much succeeded with a few exceptions, which I also included. Now there were many that I glossed over but these were a few that caught my eye as I was perusing all of those blogs! Included is a new one I created especially for today based on a snippet from a post of mine from just a couple of days ago. I decided to alternate my words with a few of my favorite of those bumper stickers we have all seen in front of us at the neighborhood stop light, and all of those all come from a web site I found called “Christian Bumper Stickers” (http://www.ruighaver.net/bumperstickers/christian.htm ).

___

“One Liners” Of Faith!

 

We forget to just enjoy….enjoy the fellowship of others, the beauty in the world and the sheer joy of play.
Mandy

America needs a Faith Lift!
Christian Bumper Sticker

Is the inner fever I feel really a burning from being struck by an issue of faith and God speaking to my soul or is it hot flashes?
Mandy

Forbidden Fruits create many Jams!
Christian Bumper Sticker

We wear our blinders and our N.I.M.B.Y. (not in my back yard) faces and choose to…ignore the anguish of a…human being.
Mandy

A house is not a home without me — God.
Christian Bumper Sticker

When did I become best friends with so many doctors? I can tell you if they’re married, how many kids they have and their office addresses are on my Christmas card list.
Mandy

Before Sunday football why not come to my house — God.
Christian Bumper Sticker

Now one thing I can state with certainty is that you never find/use “IT” without three basic fundamental steps:

a) searching for “IT  b) discovering how to use “IT  c) practicing “IT”.
Mandy

God loves you whether you like it or not!
Christian Bumper Sticker

Now my family is about as “White bread” as they come while Dan’s is pure “Semolina (Italian bread)”!
Mandy

Believe those who seek the Truth. Doubt those who find it!
Christian Bumper Sticker

 ….for clergy, conveying God’s word is not all “moon-light and canoes”….
Mandy

God’s last name is not dammit!
Christian Bumper Sticker

 …I told her (Sabrina, my daughter) that she would see him (our cat) again one day in heaven. Looking at me as if I had lost my mind, Sabrina replied back, “Yes, mommy but I’m only 5. I’m not going to see heaven for a very long time!”
Mandy

CAUTION! God At Work! Person In Progress!
Christian Bumper Sticker

Always remember that the common sense of a thing does not always make that thing right or desirable!
Mandy

For all you do, His blood’s for you!
Christian Bumper Sticker

I wish I had the pope on speed dial because if he managed to get me on the air, we would all be seeing a miracle in South Carolina…
Mandy

Don’t blame God for the things that people do.
Christian Bumper Sticker

(Aah) the music of the ice cream truck which drives every parent on the face of the earth crazy at the same time it causes the Pavlovian drooling response in children, begin its rounds throughout your neighborhood just as the sun winks below the horizon…
Mandy

CAUTION! Non-exposure to the Son will cause burning.
Christian Bumper Sticker

Now life is like a beautiful waltz…a delicately choreographed movement meant to perfectly compliment the person you are dancing with. Unfortunately I am a child of the “frug” and “watusi” and “mashed potato” era.
Mandy

Even Darwin KNOWS God created earth (now).
Christian Bumper Sticker

OK, my first thought was “if only you were my kid”! But my second thought was, what has happened to good old-fashioned common courtesy?
Mandy

The way I drive, I’ve gotta have Faith!
Christian Bumper Sticker

Faith is like a football team. While some players are Linebackers (Protestants) and others are Wide Receivers (Catholic), the goal is still to get the ball into the end zone (Heaven)!
Mandy

Don’t leave without life support!
Christian Bumper Sticker

On Judgement Day, will you pass through the “Pearly Gates” or will you be sent packing to a warmer climate for all eternity?
Mandy

___

God’s “One Liners”!

1 John 4:9-10
We love Him because He first loved us.

Psalm 34:19
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

 Proverbs 2:7
He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.

Psalm 5:12
For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

Psalm 9:9
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

Lamentations 3:25
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

Psalm 16:11
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The day 04/29/14

Standard

“Blessings”

Post 1143

___

blessings (1)

 

___

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. 

Thornton Wilder

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

___

 We are Christians! And with the acknowledgement of that comes another indisputable fact. We will all, at some time or another, face the stings and barbs of others who do not share our beliefs and who will work their hardest to undermine that which we hold to be the truth within our own hearts. This fact is an absolute!

___

Just as Jesus was persecuted, so will many who openly profess their belief in God be persecuted. And with that persecution comes  hurt and pain and sometimes even feelings of despondency. But never forget the special gift he gave to each of us by his promise of eternal life. And while the trials I face might just cause me to fear at time my mortal life as I understand it to be, never, ever, have I feared for my immortal soul!

___

The blog of a friend was where I was introduced to a very special song. And the story of the young artist who wrote it is just as special and unique.

___

Gifted artist Laura Story wrote the hit song, “Indescribable”, which was recorded by Chris Tomlin in 2004. However her trials at God’s hands were just beginning.

___

She married the next year, and began working in the music ministry at Perimeter Church in Atlanta. She won a Dove award for Inspirational Album in 2008, but the acclaim wasn’t without triumphing over tragedy. Her beloved husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006. And while her husband hasn’t been completely healed, she is very thankful for the blessings God did choose to bestow upon her family!

___

Her song, “Blessings”, is a reflection of the hopeful place that God led her family to. And it is my hope that you who might also be feeling hurt or pain now, will hear this beautiful song and finally be able to find that “silver lining” that has seemed to be missing in your life!

___

Blessings

by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Your love is way too much to give us lesser things.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your word is not enough.
All, the while, You hear each desperate plea.
And long that we’d have faith to believe.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?
When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win;
We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not,
this is not our home. It’s not our home.

Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of greater thirst that a world can’t satisfy?
And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights;
Are Your mercies in disguise?

___

Click below to view the You Tube video

http://youtu.be/4mmgV6mPvb0

___

“That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies”

Genesis 22:17 KJV

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/28/14

Standard

Waxing Nostalgic

Post 1142

___

Aging-Face1

___

“No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away.”

Haruki Murakami

“Kafka on the Shore”
http://goodreads.com/work/quotes/6191072

___

I am waxing nostalgic today. You see, it is the anniversary of the day exactly one year ago, that I was forced to face the realization, that our relationships with those we love are fleeting and finite. Yes, I knew it to be so….in my head, at least. I watched my grandparents age and pass away as well as my mother. But I had not thought about it in terms of Dan or myself, despite the fact that we have both battled our share of illnesses over the years. After all, aren’t we the same people who wore Nehru jackets, bell bottoms and love beads only yesterday?

___

Yes, I am not blind. I see a face looking back at me from the mirror that looks vaguely like the one I see when I close my eyes….albeit a bit “fluffier” and “grayer”. But I never thought about my life in terms that find me rapidly approaching my twilight rather than my dawn. But when my love developed chest pains, and I thought a heart attack was at hand, that is the singular moment that I knew all bets were off that we still had 50 years of living left to do….together.

___

James 4:14 NIV, reminds us about the brief time of man’s existence. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” And I supposed this is why we must “Carpe Diem” and run with it as fast as we can. We must see each dawn with a new eye and a renewed appreciation for all of the things we have, up till now, tended to take for granted. But never forget the caveat contained in 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV, “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything,”–but not everything is constructive.”

___

Embrace those who matter, but embrace those who don’t, even more. And no, I am not thinking about the adage, keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer. I am asking that we always remember that when the day of judgement  is at hand we will not be measured by what we have but by what we do. It’s not enough to be good at living. Instead, we must make our living, a living for good!

___

Live, Laugh and Love with your near and dear and not so dear, because the gift of today’s joy may not be there for us as we turn the corner into tomorrow! It is something I will remember from this day forward as I banish the words “for worse” from my vocabulary. I vow that the days I share with the man I love will always be “for better”, from this day forward, whether it is for 1 day or 100,000 days!

___

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness.” 

2 Peter 3:17 KJV

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The day 04/27/14

Standard

This Is The Word Of The Lord

April 27th, 2014

Post #1141

___

bible-reading

http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608015378931647252&pid=1.7

___

Author of Today’s Reading

St John the Apostle

St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He became the “beloved disciple” and the only one of the Twelve who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion. He stood faithfully at the cross when the Savior made him the guardian of His Mother. His later life was passed chiefly in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. He founded many churches in Asia Minor. He wrote the fourth Gospel, and three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is also attributed to him. Brought to Rome, tradition relates that he was by order of Emperor Dometian cast into a cauldron of boiling oil but came forth unhurt and was banished to the island of Pathmos for a year. He lived to an extreme old age, surviving all his fellow apostles, and died at Ephesus about the year 100.

St John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he had learned from his Divine Master, and which he constantly inculcated by word and example. The “beloved disciple” died at Ephesus, where a stately church was erected over his tomb. It was afterwards converted into a Mohammedan mosque. 

John is credited with the authorship of three epistles and one Gospel, although many scholars believe that the final editing of the Gospel was done by others shortly after his death. He is also supposed by many to be the author of the book of Revelation, also called the Apocalypse, although this identification is less certain.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=228

___

Today’s Gospel Reading

John 20:19-31 NJB

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you,’

and, aft er saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord,and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’

After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.

If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.

Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

So the other disciples said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord,’ but he answered, ‘Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’

Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you,’ he said.

Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.’

Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’

Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

There were many other signs that Jesus worked in the sight of the disciples, but they are not recorded in this book.

These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

___

What Does John Mean?

The sole purpose of these verses is the gift of faith in the realization that the Messiah is truly, the Son of God!

The disciples knew that Jesus was alive but this sudden appearance filled them with wonder and awe.  “Peace be with you!” This is not just an empty greeting. This is full Gospel. It is an absolution. The greeting is in keeping with the Greeter. The first thing He does is to forgive their sins and declare that all is well.

He then shows them the evidence of His death on the cross by revealing His wounds. Finally proof positive of His suffering and resurrection. 

Then He actually bestows the peace of the Father on each of them personally. He does it as a testament of the important office that is now entrusted to them. Additionally, He does it in front of other witnesses, as a means of validation!

Mandy 

___

Our Second Reading

 First Peter 1:3-9 NJB

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into a heritage that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away. It is reserved in heaven for you who are being kept safe by God’s power through faith until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the final point of time.

This is a great joy to you, even though for a short time yet you must bear all sorts of trials; so that the worth of your faith, more valuable than gold, which is perishable even if it has been tested by fire, may be proved — to your praise and honour when Jesus Christ  is revealed.

You have not seen him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described;

and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is, the salvation of your souls.

___


Thanks Be To God!

Amen

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 04/26/14

Standard

HINDSIGHT!

Post 1140 

___

http://themasterstable.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/hindsight-rear-view-future-past-road-mirror.jpg

___

Forgiving is love’s toughest work, and love’s biggest risk.  If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator.  Forgiving seems almost unnatural.  Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do.  But forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule.

Lewis B. Smedes

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

___

Why is it that hindsight can always provide us with those glimpses into a time of crystal clarity so sharp and clear and RIGHT that we find ourselves amazed that we could not see the correct route to take the first time around? And just why is it that during my reflections of my actions do I find myself coming face to face with not just the finger of God, but also the finger of the Satan, both of which feel like they are somehow dueling for possession of my very soul?

___

As I look to dissect and analyze and interpret my motives that led me to act as I did, was it really a mistake? Does God allow accidents to happen in our day-to-day decisions? Or are those “oops” moments really intended to teach us some profound lesson? What are the effects or the consequence of creeping determinism?

___

I remember once seeing a sticker plastered on the back bumper of a car that had just cut me off as I was driving in traffic in New York City. The bumper sticker said, “Christians Aren’t Perfect! But They Are Forgiven!” And therein lies the million dollar answer to the issue of hindsight!

___

We are human. We will make mistakes. It is the very human part that we might wish we did not have….but alas, that was not the plan during the time when the blueprint for man was being mapped by the Almighty! However, the even bigger piece is the word “FORGIVEN”, and it is thanks to Him that we have been gifted with this. After all, as Christians do we not seek to live our lives following the model given to us by Christ? And, was not that hope of forgiveness His gift to us by making the supreme sacrifice that He did?

___

Because of His sacrifice we each have been gifted with the hope for salvation, despite the fact that our mistakes might just make that hope seem to be unlikely option! But only when we confess our sins in all earnestness…..only then!

___

My God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I ask that you find it within to forgive me my transgression. I will learn and grow and become a better person from this, and I think, a better Christian, as well!

Amen

___

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8:26-27 ESV

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/25/14

Standard

Want To Build Your Portfolio?

For More About “Prophet Sharing”, Read This!

Post 1139

___

Prophets

http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/LX/ProphetsPerugino.jpg

___

“Men reject their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and honor those whom they have slain”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/category/Prophet

___

We all recognize the word profit. We know when our bottom line is bottoming out just as well as we do when we are reaping the rewards of our hard work. Ask most people about PROFIT SHARING and they can tell you immediately if they have it as a benefit from their employment, because if they do, then their financial future is sound, indeed. But how do we know about the soundness of faith? Well I can tell you that from almost the beginning of days as recorded in the Hebrew Bible, we have all been given the gift of PROPHET SHARING of another kind!

___

Throughout the history of faith, there have been historical figures who have been clearly designated as Prophets, either because of explicit statements they made which became fulfilled at some later date through public or private revelation, or because they experienced a visionary experience without a previous history of prophesy! And there have been a lot! We have 27 letters in the English alphabet, and of those 27 letters, there have been prophets whose first names begin with every one except for 9 (C, F, K, R, V, W, X and Y)!

___

Yes, there are many names we know right on the tip of our tongue, such as Abraham, Aaron, Moses, Noah, and even the Apostle Paul. But how many of you can tell me something about any of these people?

  • AGABUS: who lived in the 1st Century, and predicted a great famine during the reign of Emperor Claudius and most significantly, met Saul of Tarsus (later to become Paul) and told him he would be captured, and bound hand and foot should he continue his journey to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-12).
  • URIJAH: who echoed the words of Jeremiah as they revealed the sins of the people that would result in disaster and captivity at the hands of the Babylonian Army (Jeremiah 26: 20-23).
  • SHEMAIAH: who foretold and prevented King Rehoboam from war with Jeroboam, in an attempt to return the rebellious northern tribes to the fold, (1 Kings 12:22-24); and then telling of the punishment of Rehoboam by the Egyptians (2 Chronicles 12:5,7).
  • GAD: who was the prophet of King David, noted especially for bringing the 3 choices for punishment God told to him, to David when David sinned in taking a census of the people of Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 24: 11-13).

___

Some time, “let your fingers do the walking (typing) through the yellow pages” of the internet and embark on a journey to expand your horizons….and your faith a bit….as you discover more about this type of PROPHET SHARING. Each new fact you imprint to mind and to heart will deepen your faith just a bit more. And just think about winning a game of Charades in the category of famous person male….3 syllables….1st syllable sounds like, man….. ahhhhhh….. MANAHEN, who, when filled with the Holy Spirit, laid hands on Saul and Barnabas, sending them onto what would become their first missionary journey (Acts 13:1)!

___

“Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”

Amos 3:7 KJV

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/24/14

Standard

Doing What You Are Meant To Do

Post 1138

___

http://www.facebook.com/#!/backtowardslight

___

Every one of us has in him a continent of undiscovered character.  Blessed is he who acts the Columbus to his own soul. 

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com/self-discovery.html

___

I saw a post this morning which really struck a chord with me and has given me pause to wonder if, at last, I am doing what I was destined to do with my life? And, more importantly, am I doing with my life that which God is asking that I do?

___

This man whose story I saw today was the son of an Air Force General and an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer. He graduated from Pomona College with a B.S. degree and then became a Rhodes Scholar from Oxford University. He joined the U.S. Army at the prompting of his father.  After graduating from Officer Candidate School he graduated from both Army Airborne and Ranger training in  the top of each class.  He was selected for U. S. Army Special Forces Training but he decided instead to undergo pilot training where he earned his wings, and became a helicopter gun ship pilot, achieving the rank of Captain. After he was selected for promotion to Major and assigned to teach at West Point, he resigned his  commission from the Army to go into music and acting. To whom am I referring? This very famous person who found the need to rewrite his life is, none other, than Kris Kristofferson! And I just can’t help but wonder at the degree this change was other directed!

___

I, too, know all about rewriting a life. If you had asked me 15 years ago where I saw myself today I would never, in a million years, have said right here, in front of my computer, writing this blog and sharing my thoughts and my hearts desire with hundreds of people I have never laid eyes on before! I would have never said I would be doing an hour-long radio show every week about faith on an internet radio station. I would never have said I would be involved in community activism and working my hardest to help give children who are in the system in my community a voice! And then again, 15 years ago……was the time of the old Mandy!

___

I had earned my Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and had received additional certification in the nursing field. 15 years ago, I was working as a Certified Case Management Nurse for people who had suffered severe, life altering trauma. I was working every day in “The Big Apple” in the heart of Midtown Manhattan! I left home at 4:45 AM and returned home at 6:45 PM (on a good day)! I crammed life with my children into the few paltry hours that I had remaining! Quality time with my husband was a distant memory. Spending time with my parents was not in the cards!

___

Suddenly, God intervened! In the blink of an eye, life as I knew it ceased and Mandy was suddenly born anew…..thrust into a world I was not prepared for. No one expects illness to cause paralysis. No one expects to fall breaking bones so severely that surgery and a month-long hospitalization and rehab stay becomes necessary! No one expects to find themselves with wheels replacing legs! No one…. no HUMAN…. knew any of this would happen……… except for one! And He is, most assuredly, not human! The one that directed this calamity to befall me was GOD!

___

He led me along a path He knew I would need to travel. Slowly and after many, many months of painful and hard work, I was walking again. And that is my miracle! It did not happen suddenly and it is not always the way things are nor is it the way it might always be. The disease I have can exacerbate at any time. Tomorrow, I might just find myself back in that wheelchair! But for now, I am upright and alive. And I allowed the Almighty to enter my heart and let me know what it was He expected of me. And I listened! And here I am!

___

 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV

This is my birth verse! It fits perfectly with my life’s story, don’t you think?

If you are interested in seeing yours, visit the website below!

http://www.birthverse.com/

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/23/14

Standard

He Carries Me….. He Carries You!

Post 1137

___

___

Man is never alone.  Acknowledged or unacknowledged, that which dreams through him is always there to support him from within. 

Laurence van der Post

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

___

I can’t do it alone! NONE of us can! Man was not made to endure all the trials sent his way without that little something….that BIG something that having Faith and Believing in the Almighty provides to each of us!

___

Look at the relatively fragile creature that is the human being. We are a framework of calcium covered with the most delicate of tissues that there can possibly be. Our outer layer is so fragile that the prick of a pin can rupture it. Our skin covers fat and muscle and a million mile network of blood vessels and a billion mile network of nerve endings. Our intelligence is governed by a spongy mass only about 6 1/2 inches long (about 87 cubic inches in total) and which weighs only about 3 pounds. And yet this miracle of creation is what makes each of us the singularly unique creature that we are!

___

Interrupt or damage just one component of this unique being, like what happens when a single cell that can’t even be seen with the human eye mutates and morphs into a Cancer, and life as we have come to know it may just come to a standstill. Injure the fragile dermal covering by fire or other manner of harm and we find ourselves at risk from an invading horde of bacteria whose singular mission it is, is to destroy our life. Fracture the supporting framework in an accident and we might just find ourselves permanently unable to walk or function independently.

___

Yes, the human being is a perfect symphony created by the hand of the Almighty. But just one scratch of the record can cause that symphony to skip and stop playing in beautiful and melodic harmony. And sometimes that scratch happens where we can’t see it. Sometimes that scratch is one that mars our feelings and emotions. Sometimes that scratch results in fear and doubt and loss of purpose and will. And it is during these times which EVERY person experiences during their lifetime, that the loving and nurturing support that a belief in the Almighty provides to us. It is what serves to sustain us and help us along our journey of life when the trials we face make us wonder if we can take one more step. And while God’s purpose for his children can not keep the bad things from our doorstep, He always makes sure that we are not home alone when they come knocking.

___

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 ESV

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/22/14

Standard

Sacrifices Made

Post 1136

___

 

The Last Supper is a 15th century mural painting in Milan created by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Duke Ludovico Sforza and his duchess Beatrice d’Este

http://resources1.news.com.au/images/2011/04/22/1226043/263053-the-last-supper.jpg

___

For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice. No paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service. 

John Burroughs

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

___

I had an idea for today’s blog based, once again, upon an email I got from my dad just the other day, which described the way each of the Apostles met their final moments. And as I  began reviewing the list of names from the Email, suddenly I was struck by the fact that it included more than the twelve most of us have come to associate with being a part of the original group hand selected by Christ himself. And as usual, this propelled me into researching some interesting facts about this special group of men and what I discovered was that the statement, “Jesus had Twelve Disciples or Apostles” is not an entirely accurate one.

___

Perhaps leading the confusion as to who and how many there really were, is the fact that many have other names by which they are commonly known. For example Bartholomew was also known as Nathaniel and Peter was Simon Peter. Three names even pop up, such as Judas (AKA Thaddeus and Lebbaeus) versus Judas (Iscariot) and suddenly it begins to make perfect sense as to how it might just require the talents of a Biblical historian and a Playbill cast list to sort the matter out.

___

There were only twelve Apostles in the strictest sense. And while we have come to commonly use the word Disciple and Apostle interchangeably, in fact, those chosen few were considered to be Disciples while Christ lived and did not become Apostles until after His death and ascension into Heaven.  And even that bears explaining because, in fact, there were some who were called upon to spread Christ’s message throughout the world who remained only Disciples throughout their lifetimes since they were not among those few who were hand chosen by Christ.

___

Of those hand chosen twelve, one (Judas Iscariot) betrayed Jesus for 40 pieces of silver and afterward, was so distraught, that he hanged himself (Acts 1:18). This left eleven men who awaited the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem; their names are listed in Acts 1:13 and are as follows: Peter, James, John, and AndrewPhilip and ThomasBartholomew and MatthewJames the  son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. And we learn in Acts 1:26, that Matthias was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot, bringing the total number of apostles back to twelve. Then in Acts 14:14Barnabas and Paul are referred to as Apostles: “But  when the Apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes  and ran in among the multitude, crying out.” And then more confusion reigns when in Revelation 21:14, we see that there are yet more, 15 to be precise, men named as Apostles. As my friend and colleague Rev Michael Weissman might say, “Oy vey!”

___

Now as I was trying to validate the post I received about the cause of death for the Apostles, I discover that from a historical biblical perspective, apart from James, son of Zebedee (brother of John), and Judas Iscariot, the Bible, in fact, shares very little insight into how any of the disciples died. Even the demise of Judas Iscariot is in dispute. Acts 1:18 describes Judas being brought a field and falling headlong, bursting  asunder.

___

Now I am not a Rhodes scholar. In fact even trying to sort this much out today has given me a headache that might just measure a 10 on the Richter Scale. There are many who are much more scholarly than I am who might just be able to sort out the confusion so that it makes perfect sense to you. And if you are one or know of someone who is, please send me an email (mandyspath2011@aol.com) and I will make sure that I share it right here in the future. But, in the meantime, I will share with you the Email that started it all. Although there are no identifiers on the Email itself, it seems to have originated as part of a website that I have discovered and I will follow the post with the URL at the end should you want to do some more exploring yourself or contact them with questions you may have.

___

Matthew
Matthew suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia killed by a sword wound.

Mark
Mark died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

Luke
Luke was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

John
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. He was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only Apostle to die peacefully.

Simon Peter
He was crucified upside down on an X-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James
The leader of the church in Jerusalem was thrown over a 100 feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.

James (the Great)
Son of Zebedee, he was a strong leader of the church and was ultimately beheaded in Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew
Also known as Nathaniel, Bartholomew was a missionary in Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. He was martyred for preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew
He was crucified on an X-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to a cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.” He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he died.

Thomas
Thomas was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

Jude (Thaddeus)
He was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias
The Apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot was stoned and then beheaded.

Paul
Paul was tortured and then beheaded by Emperor Nero in Rome in 67 AD. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

http://www.gospelsatellite.org/Bible%20Facts%209.htm

___

Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Revelation 14: 13 NIV

___

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The day 04/21/14

Standard

Somewhere…. Over The Rainbow….

Post 1135

___

 

my-hearts-desire

___

Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier.  The way it actually works is the reverse.  You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. 

Margaret Young

http://quotegarden.com/happiness.html

___

Does the title of today’s post sound familiar to you at all? It might! You see, I borrowed the idea from the movie version of a beloved tale written many years ago! And while scholars today believe that “The Wizard of Oz” was penned by someone looking to describe metaphorically, the politics and even some people who lived in the 1890’s, (although this was always denied by the author, L. Frank Baum, who published his tale in 1900), I choose to believe that Baum’s purpose was less insidious. I believe he meant to teach us all a moral lesson that is one that we should cling to even today…. that searching and searching for what you think is happiness might only find you mired in the quicksand that IS life!

___

I believe we all carve out our happiness by the way we think and behave toward others. We….. ALL OF US….. search and search and search for something that is better than what we have. However, in the end, our true happiness is usually found in what we have rather than in what we don’t! And it is this thought that brings to mind another story I once had read to me in Sunday School. It was many years ago….. decades, in fact….. but the message was so powerful, I never forgot it!

___

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there lived a simple stone cutter. He was a very unhappy man who felt that life owed him a much happier existence. Well, one day, he saw from the street the beautiful house of a merchant who made much money importing goods.

Through the open window he saw that the home was beautifully appointed with many fine things! And he wished to himself to be the merchant…..and poof…..he suddenly found himself inside this house. He thought now I am happy because I have what I wished for.

Then one day as he was conducting business, he looked outside and saw a member of the royal family being carried by litter bearers on a velvet chaise through the streets. And the man thought, how wonderful it would be to live such a luxurious existence and so he made another wish…..and poof…..he became royalty!

Soon he found himself being carried under the blazing sun, and he became uncomfortably hot. Thinking to himself about the sun blazing far above and unaffected by any human on earth, he made another wish…..and poof…..he became the sun! And he blazed brightly over the land, withering crops and drying streams.

Suddenly a huge, black, storm cloud passed below, between him and the earth, blocking his rays. Seeing that the cloud was so powerful that it could block out the sun, he wished another wish!

Suddenly, as the cloud, he let loose torrents of rain flooding homes and businesses. And then the cloud stopped moving and began to be pushed in the opposite direction by the wind. And now the man knew what he must become and so he wished once more!

Now the wind blew and blew and blew everything away that lay in its path, when suddenly, it encountered an object it could not move. A huge granite boulder stood firmly, refusing to budge. Suddenly the man knew there was something even more powerful than wind! Once more he took a deep breath and wished his wish, and poof…..suddenly there he stood, tall and proud and heavier than anything else around! And the man believed all his dreams had come true!

Suddenly he heard a sound. The staccato resonated over and over, and suddenly the granite felt himself changing and transforming and he wondered what could possibly be strong enough to alter granite. He looked down below and saw what it was! It was a stone cutter!

___

Our happiness seldom lies in the realm of the unknown, which is why before you find yourself hopelessly overwhelmed in a pity party of your own making, look, listen and think about the life that presents itself to you everyday. Look at the little things that bring a smile to your face and a lightness to your step. And then offer a prayer of Thanksgiving for those little things because happiness is not defined by what we have. It is defined by who we are and by what we are able to do for others!

___

“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;”

Ecclesiastes 3:12 ESV

___

 

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry