Monthly Archives: May 2014

Thought For The Day 05/31/14

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The Ties That Bind

Post 1175

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Slide1

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Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die, so, let us all be thankful.

Buddhist Quote

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/let_us_rise_up_and_be_thankful-for_if_we_didn-t/199980.html

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Don’t you just find it interesting when the moment the truth of something seems to just jump up at you? Especially when the wisdom of it is undeniable, like something that seems to transcend even the ages? These are the times when we realize there is no escaping the fact that EVERYTHING is connected! Consider that the creation of our world occurred as a divinely wrought web of power, and I dare you to think that we as humans are merely a coincidence of matter molded into the beings we now see when we look in the mirror. That we exist at all is because of an intricately woven co-existence. Remove plant life and all animals cease to exist. Remove all animal life, and humans would cease to exist….at least in the way our biology is programmed in terms of both our physiology as well as our emotions. And finally, remove the essential elements of air and water, and ALL life ceases to exist! Which is why I am amazed that we can not find it within our humanity not to see the connectedness that exists in FAITH, as a whole dynamic!

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All religions want the same thing:      

1) To find peace in our time.   2) To create joy in living.   3) To be thankful.  

And since, in reality, we all communicate with the same God, simply given a different title and worship form, the fact that conflicts continue to exist over this basic fundamental is astounding. I don’t care which one you choose to examine, but just look at what the tenets hold to be absolute: Be filled with the spirit and go forth and share the message with others! So why create a world of conflict, when we can sow peace? Why continue through your days with anger in your heart when to be filled with the song of joy is a much sweeter one to sing? Why bemoan your lot in life when to share a thankful heart feels so good? Why see only darkness in others when to see in light shows an entirely new visage of their face?

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Sound familiar? It should, because they are things shared with man by far greater minds than mine! You see, these things incorporate lessons preached by three of the greatest minds of faith that have ever existed. The first is our Lord and the message He preached in what we have come to know as “The Sermon on the Mount”:

Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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The second is the prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226), and is also called the “Peace Prayer”. The prayer has many of the biblical truths of what it means to be a Christian, especially to seek to give to others, and by so doing, to receive the blessings of the Almighty, in return.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith; 
where there is despair, hope; 
where there is darkness, light; 
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; 
to be understood as to understand; 
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive; 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen

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The third, was a variation of the St Francis prayer, offered by Mother Theresa during her address to the United Nations on October 26th, 1985, on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. She asked that all of the nations recite it together in the hope that God would grant the assemblage peace and, through them, the world! Here is “Mother Theresa’s “Prayer For Peace”:

Make us worthy Lord to serve our fellow men throughout the world, who live and die in poverty and hunger.
Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread and by our understanding love give peace and joy.

Lord, make me a channel of thy peace.
That where there is hatred I may bring love,
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness,
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony,
That where there is error I may bring truth,
That where there is doubt I may bring faith,
That where there is despair I may bring hope,
That where there are shadows I may bring light,
That where there is sadness I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted,
To understand than to be understood,
To love than to be loved.
For it is by forgetting self that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven, it is by dying that one awakens to eternal life.
Amen 
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Three great minds. One united vision. Almost 2000 years separating the three. So, when will we hear the message? And even more importantly, WILL we hear the message? My lifetime? Yours? Our children’s? Before we see to it that we self destruct, and annihilate all traces of our humanity?

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I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 KJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/30/14

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A Human Becoming

Post 1174

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sperm_egg

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I am not a human being; I am a human becoming.  

Author Unknown

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

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I often have said (to myself, anyway), “Woe to the person who might want to climb into my head and invade my mind!” You see, I am known to have my share of dark thoughts, hidden away from the prying noses of many. I know you may think just the opposite to be true, because most of you know me solely because of what I share here. And while I have been known to venture down a dark path now and again, it generally ends up spinning itself into a fable much like Aesop’s, complete with an up-beat and faith filled lesson, given at the end, for you to ruminate over. The thing is that my all too human side is often the ever-present albatross slung round my neck, in so much of my life.

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  • I worry,  even though I know these words:

    Matthew 6:34 KJV, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

  • I am often frightened, even though I know these words:

    Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

  • I am sometimes poor in spirit, even though I know these words:

    Matthew 5:3 KJV, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

  • I hate sometimes, even though I know these words:

    1 John 4;20 ESV, If anyone says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

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I am human, and just like everyone else, I often hide the things that I do not want others to see…..and I hide it very well! So do you. So does everyone! Because I do not want you to think less of me because of my humanness! And then I remember my Lord and Savior, the human. And suddenly I can breathe once more. Because indeed, He was a human. Yes, Jesus was born sinless, as was Adam before the forbidden fruit. But unlike Adam who lost himself, Jesus did not. But that does not mean he remained ALWAYS both God and Man, in one. If He had, how would He have been able to really understand and sympathize with the very people He was sent to touch? Of course, the answer is, He couldn’t have!

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Christ lived and breathed and ate and talked and fought and yes, wept all too human tears during His lifetime. You see, He walked and talked and did everything else within the limitations of the human body that He was given. And even after suffering and dying and being resurrected, He remained a man….albeit, a changed man from the days before His sacrifice was made….but still, a man. Which is why we see his ascension into heaven to sit at the right hand of His Father, as so exalted! You see, once He ascended, He became God once more! And yet, it is the time when He was man that makes the journey He made as He walked the earth so special, and one which we all can readily identify with! And I am so glad, because it teaches me that, in my very humanness, I too can look forward to the promise that I will one day dwell there, along side of Him! But for now, I still worry, I am still scared, I still hate sometimes and I am sometimes poor in spirit. Because I, too, am human. But one day……………………………

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Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/29/14

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WARNING

Post 1173

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http://www.clevelandwomen.com/images/redhat/sueellen.jpg

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WARNING

When I am an old woman I shall wear PURPLE

With a RED HAT which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired

And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

And run my stick along the public railings

And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens .

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear PURPLE!

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I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it…. People think pleasing God is all God cares about.  But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. 

Alice Walker

 The Color Purple, 1982

http://quotegarden.com/wise-words.html

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I am rapidly approaching the years when I really should be wearing purple with a red hat. And to be honest, it probably would suit me very well. I was born to be a carefree bundle of mischievousness! In fact, I have come to the conclusion that I have spent too many years living in a “congregation” of normal folk.

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I worked every day at living and breathing and existing in what transpires for a “normal” existence. Since everybody defines normal a little differently, I guess what might constitute normal for me is not the same thing for everybody else out there! In reality, my normal was a very boring existence! I only saw my life in terms of how it related to, and fit in with, the lives of everybody else around me! I did not try to inspire others to be a bit more carefree or adventurous, because I had no idea how to be carefree or adventurous, myself!

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I modeled my existence after the way I saw my parents and my grandparents live their lives. And while there is nothing wrong with living that way, I have to wonder at just what I might possibly have been missing by not picking flowers in other people’s gardens or walking around in the rain in my slippers! Now, today, I am forced to think about just exactly why we don’t try to discover our wild side a little more. After all, we probably all knew exactly that part of ourselves when we were teenagers, don’t you think? And don’t let me hear any of you say, “I am a Christian. I am above living vicariously!” Nonsense! Even people of faith need to let their hair down every now and then!

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We live in a world and in a time where we have more choices than we possibly know what to do with! And sometimes changing up some of those things we have treated as absolutes for so very long, will open up for us a whole new world of possibilities! And while the Bible is pretty clear regarding what man’s purpose should be, especially in terms of keeping his commandments as well as honoring him with our lives and deeds, I can’t help but think that he would like us to accomplish this with not just a joyful heart, but with a song in out soul, as well! Is that not why we sing joyfully to him? We are told in Psalm 149:3 (NIV), Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp.

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I like to think that my God is a God who would smile down at me when I decide to walk barefoot in the grass singing at the top of my lungs in a purple dress with a red sun hat on my head. Somehow, I can just hear Him saying to me, “Way to go Mandy, my good and faithful servant! You are choosing to live your life praising me and all of my creations!” And do you want to know something else? I will never pass a field of flowers again without thinking about Him and thanking Him, and remembering all the blessings He is showering me with as He paints some of those flowers the most vivid colors of purple and red!

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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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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/28/14

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The Children’s Bible

(In A Nutshell)

Post 1171

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Children's Bible

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There is nothing more precious or funnier than the things kids say when they’re not trying to be precious or funny!

Amanda Bruscella

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The internet is a Godsend, in so many ways. It brings both, the wisdom of Solomon and of the ages, and the wisdom (and faith) of a child, right into our homes. And since we spent our Memorial Day holiday as a family, doing the things that families do during these rare but special times shared, I am posting some pearls that only the heart, mind and mouth of a child can be responsible for. I tucked this gem away for just an occasion like this!

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Many of these writings have been cited individually. In fact, if you enter the phrase “kids say the darndest things about faith” in your web browser, many of them will pop up! But when collected and joined together, as these were, and then offering them up as a Sunday School report, well, they become magical and take on a life of their own! And while there are some of you out there who might try to claim that these could never have been made up by children, my answer is this …..only a child could come up with answers as wonderfully innocent as some of these are!

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A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. Here is what he wrote

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The Childrens Bible In A Nutshell

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In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, “The Lord thy God is one,” but I think He must be a lot older than that.

Anyway, God said, “Give me a light!” and someone did.

Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden … Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff.  Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.

There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, ”As a matter of fact, I was.”)

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus . Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

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And, last but not least, an afterthought, the “pièce de résistance”. 

(As a reminder to you, Jeremiah, is also known as the “Weeping Prophet” and is considered a major prophet, who transcends our differing faiths. He is considered a prophet who is recognized by Judaism (in Hebrew his name is יִרְמְיָה), Islam (in Arabic his name is  إرميا or Irmiya) and Christianity!  Credited with authoring the books of Jeremiah, 1 Kings, 2 Kings and Lamentations, many scholars view Jeremiah as the one who redefined religion by insisting that there exists an individualized relationship between each person and God.)

Here is the song about Jeremiah.

“Jeremiah was a bullfrog, he was a good friend of mine, I never understood a  single word he said, but I helped him drink his wine!” 

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And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven..”

Matthew 18:3 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/27/14

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Music Is A Hug For All Who Are Touched By It

Post 1170

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christian-music

 

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Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast,
To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
I’ve read, that things inanimate have mov’d,
And, as with living Souls, have been inform’d,
By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound.
What then am I? Am I more senseless grown
Than Trees, or Flint? O force of constant Woe!
‘Tis not in Harmony to calm my Griefs.
Anselmo sleeps, and is at Peace; last Night
The silent Tomb receiv’d the good Old King;
He and his Sorrows now are safely lodg’d
Within its cold, but hospitable Bosom.
Why am not I at Peace?

 William Congreve

 The Mourning Bride, 1697

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Today is a day I need a hug. I do not need the world. I do not need riches. I do not need gifts. I need the comfort that a hug will give me. A hug, after all, is a balm for the very soul, don’t you agree?!?!?!?

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What is it about hugs that make us feel so much better? Well, I know that it’s not a physical or sexual human response like the way we feel when we kiss. Rather, it is, plain and simply, the closeness that is afforded by a human connection. It is a reminder of a time in our lives most do not even remember, when the cares of the world did not weigh us down. It is a time when our needs were as basic as being clean and warm and sated. It is a soothing cuddle that encompasses our very soul, soothing our angst just as surely as our mother’s embrace assuaged the fears of the tiny baby we once were. And probably most importantly, a hug opens our hearts to not just life’s possibilities but love’s possibilities, as well!

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So, my friends, since I need one and I can not reach out to you bodily to share a hug with you, I offer to you a spiritual hug. I offer it by my words. And I offer it by reminding you that through our faith, there is a spiritual hug that we all have been given by another, who paid a dear price for the loving embrace He has given to us. And since just 2 days ago, we celebrated the Sixth Sunday of Easter, I thought what better way to reach out to you all that by sharing a wonderful song by a young and very gifted Christian musician, Wess Morgan, who learned the hard way, just exactly what the value of a hug really is.

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Singer, recording artist, pastor, and director Wess Morgan took the long and hard road in finding his calling in life. The son of Pastors Joseph and Yolanda Morgan, Morgan spent his childhood traveling and singing gospel with his parents and his siblings. At the young age of ten, though, he began using drugs and drinking, which led to several jail sentences and a whole lot of time in recovery centers before he finally emerged from his cycle of substance abuse. Helping others who had taken the same unfortunate path became Morgan’s mission in life and he eventually established the Repre Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on drug and alcohol prevention and recovery. He also founded Bowtie World Music, a music and film production company. Morgan’s debut album, “Look at Me Now”, was released in 2007, and was quickly embraced by the Christian and gospel communities, allowing him to tour and promote his foundation and mission. A second album, “Under an Open Heaven”, appeared in 2010.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4289510/bio

“You Paid It All” was a new single that Wess Morgan released on Good Friday (March 29th, 2013), and although it is not part of a larger musical collection released as an album, it is widely available as an MP3 download for purchase.

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“YOU PAID IT ALL”

by Wes Morgan

(Verse 1)
Unselfishly died on Calvary
Oh how you gave your life for me
Bruise, scorn, crown your head with thorn, no greater love before , fore me
Nails in your hands, nails in your feet, pierced in his side could barely breathe,
Could a came down, but yet you remain
Standing in all of the price you paid

(Pre-Chorus)
I never knew of a love so true
You gave your life and still I hurt you
Lost so many times, crucify you again, but I repent
Forgive me for my sins

(Chorus)
You paid it all , up on the cross
You bled and died, cause I was lost
So here I am, surrendering all
Lord hear my cry, on my knees I fall
You paid it all , all , you paid it all , you paid it all , all , all you paid it all .

(Verse 2)
I realized I’m no good (oooooh) and no money I can pay
An exchange for the blood, you shared, shared for my sins (shared for my sins, yeah)
So I surrender my heart, my life ,by all, as a living sacrifice Lord I give up everything that’s not pleasing in your sight, so I can have everlasting life

(Pre-Chorus)
I never knew of a love so true
You gave your life and still I hurt you
Lost so many times, crucify you again, but I repent
Forgive me for my sins

(Chorus)
You paid it all , up on the cross
You bled and died, cause I was lost
So here I am, surrendering all
Lord hear my cry, on my knees I fall
You paid it all , all , you paid it all , you paid it all , all , all you paid it all .

(Bridge)
You gave up your image, you sacrifice, so that this ol’ born can have everlasting life
You gave up your glory, so I can have my story
And I want to tell you Lord (ohh ohh)

You paid it all up on the cross, you bleed and died (ooooh ohh)

(Chorus)
You paid it all , up on the cross
You bled and died, cause I was lost
So here I am, surrendering all
Lord hear my cry, on my knees I fall
You paid it all , all , you paid it all , you paid it all , all , all you paid it all .

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I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 

1 John 5:13-15 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/26/14

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The Gospel Of The Son

Post 1169

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Jesus (1)

 http://redalertpolitics.com/files/2013/05/Jesus.jpg

 

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The name of Jesus is the one lever that lifts the world. 

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com/jesus-christ.html

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I don’t know about you, but when I write, my thoughts seem to somehow reproduce in my head based on something I have just posted. It is almost as if I am having some mitosis or cell division (as what happens to the fertilized egg) of thought! Yes indeed! I am a new parent! A blog I had once shared has given birth to an offspring! You see, as I was thinking and looking about the years Jesus traveled and preached, I began to wonder if there were common themes that he shared with his followers. Is there somehow, a summary of the things Jesus preached during those three short years where he actively traveled and shared his Father’s message?

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Well, if ever there was a unifying theme in his messages, it had to have been LOVE, first and foremost. In fact, when he was asked which of his Father’s commandments was the most important one, was not his answer, LOVE (Matthew 22:37)? Not only did he reinforce the need to always LOVE God with every fiber of your being, but he also commanded all to LOVE their neighbor. Jesus did not say LOVE only those who are loveable. He taught that even those who hurt us are deserving of our compassion, forgiveness and our LOVE! It is not just our responsibility but, in reality, has been given to us as a moral imperative that we care for and help always, those who are least deserving of that compassion. And even more that this, we must do it selflessly and without expectation of getting something back for our efforts!

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PRAYER is perhaps the one thing that cemented his communion with God and he spoke of it often. Moreover, Jesus prayed. Often! We read again and again of the times Jesus retreated from everyone to pray. And when Jesus prayed it was not a simple distracted closing of the eyes and rote reciting of entreaties. Jesus prayed with heartfelt supplication, communing with his Father in a way that demonstrated the depth of his love. Jesus prayed based on a truthful understanding of God and what He had revealed to his heart. He knew that not all PRAYER would be answered. Remember the Garden at Gethsemane? Did Jesus not ask in PRAYER three times that God grant him an easier journey? One thing I find interesting is that only one of his Disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, just as John the Baptist had done for his followers (Luke 11:1). And the PRAYER that he gave them is the one every Christian church shares, even today!

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 The Lord’s Prayer”

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say,

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Give us day by day our daily bread.

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:2-4 KJV

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Another theme that permeated nearly all of his teaching was FORGIVENESS (Matthew 18:21-22)! Now we know that the capacity to forgive those who sin against us was a HUGE reason Jesus was hated by the Pharisees. It was a belief of the day that only God could forgive the sinner and so the thinking of some of the more conservative Jewish sects, was to condemn this man who claimed that he had the authority to forgive the sin of another! And yet we know, even today, the righteousness that is FORGIVENESS! Man is as imperfect a creature as any living thing God placed on the Earth. We have the capacity for independent thought as well as action. The problem is that we are NOT infallible. We ALL sin! Now I don’t know about you, but I can not even comprehend living in a time and place where those who share my life, and who would be the most impacted by my error, would choose to hold those mistakes against me forever! But, blessedly, Jesus made it understood that even as our Father forgives us our sins, so it is necessary that we share that blessing by forgiving another who asks for FORGIVENESS from us!

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How many people out there take a quick glance at another person and quickly jump to conclusions, acting sometimes not just as judge, but juror, as well? But just as being able to forgive others allows us to also receive forgiveness when we need it, so does this reinforce one absolute. Except for Christ himself, no one is, or ever was, for that matter, without sin! And it is that fact alone that should be enough to keep us from ever taking a position of JUDGEMENT (John 7:24) on another. I will never cast a stone for fear it might just shatter the glass walls of my own house. And while I may not agree with the stand another chooses to take on certain social, as well as ethical, issues that permeate society today, it is not my lot to pass JUDGEMENT nor is it my place to sentence any other. Jesus not just had the capacity for mercy but he lived his conviction as well. Even in his agony as he was dying on the cross, he asked for God’s mercy on those who tortured him. Jesus also knew that, in the end, the final JUDGEMENT for the actions and lives we all live, will be made by the one who reigns supreme!

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WEALTH, or our lack of it, is perhaps the biggest thing to ever have impacted the lives of human beings!  If there ever was anything that man has created that has the capacity to alter not just the judgement of, but the actions as well, of most people, it is money! And yet it is an inescapable sin of living in the world. Well even Jesus recognized the idol that WEALTH seems to create in the heart of man. He never said it was a sin to have money but he did teach that having money can sometimes cause people to become so focused on their pile of gold, and in making that pile grow, that they fail to remember the things that really matter in life. We are a member of the human race for such an infinitesimally tiny part of what is time, that Jesus wants us to remain focused on loving and serving God. After all, when we are gone, we will not be taking that money with us. When he was sitting with his Disciples, did Jesus not value the gift of money the poor widow (Mark 12:41-44) who had nothing, sacrificed, over the many coins given by the wealthy? So why not make sure we give what we can of our WEALTH to benefit those who desperately need it?

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We find so many people in today’s world that must announce to the world their righteousness lest there be some out there who doubt it. But what people like this are really showing to others is HYPOCRISY! Why do so many act one way in public only to transform into some perverse doppelgänger in private? Once again, some of the Jewish religious leaders during the time of Christ’s teachings comes to mind (Matthew 23). They gave all appearance of being devout by loudly praying to God and maintaining strict adherence to Hebrew law. But could their hearts hold up to the scrutiny of God’s all-knowing eye? Our faith is born within each heart and grows with tender nurturing and care. It is more the kind things we do as well as the way we treat our fellow man that will be most pleasing to God and Jesus reinforces this even as he asks for our honest assessment of the motives for how we live our lives of faith!

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Jesus’s ministry was for a short time and there were times when his preaching focused on preparing the Disciples for a world in which his physical presence would no longer be with them. Some of these things came as no surprise to many of them since most believed with all of their hearts that he was, indeed, the Messiah promised by the early Hebrew prophets. Andrew knew almost from the first day as he went to his brother crying out that he had found the Messiah. For others, the news was known much more slowly. After all, Jesus was not the king or mighty warrior many believed would be the bringer of all salvation. However even more than the Messiah, Jesus began to reveal the very nature of his birth. He referred often to God as his Father but as he traveled, the close bond he shared with God became more and more evident. Indeed it became clear that while fully human, Jesus was also GOD, THE SON. He performed more than 30 miracles that are recounted in the Gospels including his virgin birth (Matthew 1), turning water into wine (John 2), healings of the infirmed, walking on water (Matthew 14), feeding of the multitudes (Matthew 15) and lastly, his own resurrection and ascension (Acts 1). While GOD, THE SON had all of these gifts, there remained one very important difference. He remained totally under the will of God, the Father.

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Perhaps the greatest of Christ’s unspoken messages to mankind was in teaching that simply by believing, God will live within each of our hearts and be with us as we struggle with the daunting task of living lives worthy of the trust he has placed so firmly on our shoulders. It follows then, that our SAVIOR, Jesus Christ, is the pathway that will lead each of us to his Father’s house on high, when our earthly lives are done! This was, after all, the reason our SAVIOR was sent to earth in the first place. It was the reason Joseph protected and cared for his espoused wife during her confinement and journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2). It was the reason the Magi chose to avoid King Herod and return to their homes a different way after witnessing that the Christ Child had arrived (Matthew 2:12). It was the reason Mary and Joseph and the child fled to safety in Egypt (Matthew 2: 13 – 23). It was the reason that Mary fled Nazareth to the home of her brother, when Jesus was 4 years old, and when an illness began claiming lives in her homeland. All sought to protect the child they knew would guide the hearts of man on a pathway to salvation. They may not have known the extent of what God the Father would ask of Christ, but as the child grew in stature, so did he grow in the spirit of communion with his Father. And while the Disciples did come to the true knowing of him as SAVIOR, he was not as forthcoming with the masses, often admonishing those he healed to show the miracle but to say not how it happened. To what end? If he announced his role as SAVIOR, would they somehow assume he was something he was not? Or was he, by his omissions, allowing people to learn at a pace they would be able to understand? Ask one scholar and you will get one answer. Ask another, and the answer will be totally different. However, all are in agreement that Jesus was and always will be, the greatest teacher ever to walk the face of planet Earth and that to seek to gain a better understanding of the life he lead and the messages he preached will provide rewards to each of us, more precious than gold!

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We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The day 05/25/14

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This Is The Word Of The Lord

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Post #1169

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bible-reading

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A Prayer For May 25th, 2014

 Sixth Sunday of Easter

God our redeemer,

You have delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of your Son: grant, that as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy.

Through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  

Amen.

http://www.layanglicana.org/blog/2014/05/19/intercessions-for-sixth-sunday-of-easter-25-may-2014/

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Author of Today’s Reading

St John the Apostle

It is God who calls; human beings answer. The vocation of John and his brother James is stated very simply in the Gospels, along with that of Peter and his brother Andrew: Jesus called them; they followed. The absoluteness of their response is indicated by the account. James and John “were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:21b-22).

For the three former fishermen—Peter, James and John—that faith was to be rewarded by a special friendship with Jesus. They alone were privileged to be present at the Transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemane. But John’s friendship was even more special. Tradition assigns to him the Fourth Gospel, although most modern Scripture scholars think it unlikely that the apostle and the evangelist are the same person.

John’s own Gospel refers to him as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2), the one who reclined next to Jesus at the Last Supper, and the one to whom he gave the exquisite honor, as he stood beneath the cross, of caring for his mother. “Woman, behold your son…. Behold, your mother” (John 19:26b, 27b).

Because of the depth of his Gospel, John is usually thought of as the eagle of theology, soaring in high regions that other writers did not enter. But the ever-frank Gospels reveal some very human traits. Jesus gave James and John the nickname, “sons of thunder.”

http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1242

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Today’s Gospel Reading

John 14:15-21 NIV

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

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Reading 2

1 Peter 3:15-18 NIV

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry