Monthly Archives: June 2014

Thought For The Day 06/30/14

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Faith Through The Storms…

Post 1206

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+faith+through+the+storms

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There is much in the world to make us afraid.  There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid. 

Frederick W. Cropp

 http://quotegarden.com/fear.html

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When trials come knocking, our very first impulse is not to open that door up. But I always have held, occasionally with a little nudge from friends who shall remain anonymous, (like Pastor Brian, Rev Michael and last but not least, Friar Jeff…LOL) that it is better to face the enemy, stare him down and charge ahead even with an incomplete understanding of all the “whys” and “wherefores”, than to not know what he might just be doing behind your back. I seem to totally relate to the adage, “Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer”! And this doesn’t just apply to the enemies with a corporeal form but also applies to those unseen ones, the ones that plague us with all of those fears and doubts, that seem to lay just underneath our conscious selves! We all have them at one time or another. They are the landmines along life’s path that you know come right from Satan’s belly, with no intent other than trying to undermine the faith that rests in our hearts and in our souls!

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The tension is so thick around here you can cut it with a knife. Everyone is working on the last nerve they can manage to summon up. That is what Satan seems to delight in when medical concerns invade a household. It is what the Bruscella-Hilliard families are facing even as we speak. And yet it is not in our natures to surrender. Yes, we occasionally host the obligatory “Pity Party”, as I have done more than once lately. That is also part of what is the natural response of so many of us. But no more stages of grief for me! Today, I pull my big girl panties up and get back to work. I do what is in my nature to do. I work out my plan of attack. I begin gathering my resources together, including, first and foremost, my faith and my connections with all of those who serve to support and nurture that faith within me. Then secondly, I gather the resources together that are more tangible, like my community resources, physicians and case managers, and I get to work.

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Even Jesus was not insulated from facing storms in his life. Remember when Jesus and the Disciples, having just finished speaking to the people, decided to cross the sea to the opposite shore to rest for the night? They were in the middle of the journey just as the storm hits! It was a terrifyingly brutal assault, not all that uncommon on the Sea of Galilee, because of its location near Mt. Hermon and the mountain’s unpredictable weather patterns! Both Matthew and Luke recall the events using nearly identical words, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25 and Luke 8:24). It was clear that they feared for their mortal lives. Of course, Jesus’ response was, “Why are you so afraid?”, and “Do you still have no faith?”What they learned (and what I am constantly re-discovering, it seems) is that God does not guarantee that any of us will experience calm seas and smooth sailing as we live our lives. What He does give to us is the strength to face those trials and then He gives us the resources, both within and without, to do what we can to overcome them. Yes, I did always know what the answer was. I just needed a little nudge to remember it! Have a little Faith!

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“They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’”

Mark 4:41 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

 

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Thought For The Day 06/29/14

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This Is The Word Of The Lord

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Post #1204

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bible-reading

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 A Prayer For Today

St. Peter

O glorious Saint Peter, who, in return for thy strong and generous faith, thy profound and sincere humility, and they burning love, wast rewarded by Jesus Christ with singular privileges, and, in particular, with the leadership of the other Apostles and the primacy of the whole Church, of which thou wast made the foundations stone, do thou obtain for us the grace of a lively faith, that shall not fear to profess itself openly, in its entirety and in all of its manifestations, even to the shedding of blood, if occasion should demand it, and to sacrifice of life itself rather than surrender.

Obtain for us likewise, a sincere loyalty to our holy mother, the Church; grant that we may ever remain most closely and sincerely united to the Roman Pontiff, who is the heir of thy faith and of thy authority, the one, true, visible Head of the Catholic Church, that mystic ark outside of which there is no salvation.

Grant, moreover, that we may follow, in all humility and meekness, her teaching and her advice, and may be obedient to all her precepts, in order to be able here on earth to enjoy a peace that is sure and undisturbed, and to attain one day in heaven to everlasting happiness.

Amen.

http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayeroftheday/?select_date=2014-06-29

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Author of Today’s Reading

St Matthew the Apostle

St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle  while sitting in the tax collectors place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.

His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.

St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the messianic  Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of  St. John the Baptist, “Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=84

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Today’s Gospel Reading

Matthew 16:13-19 NIV

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.  And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

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Reading 2

Acts 12:1-11 NIV

Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison

It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/28/14

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And God Made The Heavens And The Earth…

Post 1204

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+the+heavens+and+the+earth&qpvt=picture+of+the+heavens+and+the+earth

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God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them. 

Author Unknown

http://www.searchquotes.com/quotation/God_gives_us_dreams_a_size_toobig_so_that_we_can_grow_in_them/439092/

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Last night was crystal clear and the stars in the sky positively glistened. Their brightness, color, and number seemed somehow different than I remembered and the thought occurred to me that I could not remember the last time I had really searched the heavens at night. Each glistening speck, so like our own sun, and yet so different. And as I looked, I could not help but wonder if some other world filled with life existed in the vastness of not only our own Milky Way but in the galaxies beyond. Perhaps, somewhere, billions and billions of light years away, some other life form was scanning the heavens too, and wondering exactly the same thing I was.

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It is incomprehensible to me that God would ever create a universe so vast and then choose only one small, relatively insignificant planet to seed with life. In fact, in Hebrews 1:2 KJV, (God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds….) the Bible tells us that He made the worlds, implying that other planets exist and are capable of sustaining life. There are also some who believe that other beings in God’s heavenly kingdom are watching closely to see the outcome in the battle being waged here on Earth between God and Satan.

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I am no philosopher nor am I an astronomer nor am I a great theologian. I am not privy to the mind of God nor His plans for planet Earth. The one thing I can state with certainty is that I am a witness to the ongoing battle between good and evil that faces all human beings in our world. But I am also a dreamer. I believe in God. I believe the greatness of His creations. And I am someone who will probably never look toward the night sky again without thinking about the possibility of other worlds formed by the hand of God and of other forms of life of His making!

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Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 2:1-4 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

 

Thought For The Day 06/27/14

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To Soften Rocks, Or Bend A Knotted Oak

Post 1203

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http://www.wallpapertime.com/wallpapers/color_of_music-1280×800.jpg

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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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I don’t know about you, but I just love to sing. Now when I was younger, I could carry a passably pleasing tune. Today, not so much, which is just fine because most of my singing is limited to times when I am around my family whose capacity to carry a tune rivals my own! And besides, probably 50% of my musical repertoire comes from the children’s television programming and movies geared to the under 5 age group, and since Landon is generally singing (or giving singing a good try) right along with me, in his eyes, I am a Memaw Diva! Music hath such charms, and to reinforce this point, EVERY single time some of his favorite shows come on, even if he is in another room, Landon comes bounding into the living room and starts rocking and grooving to the beat of these amazingly stimulating theme songs. And when I see the joy and happiness in his eyes, I am returned to the time when I could comfortably hold him for hours at a time in my arms and stop his tiny tears and lull him to sleep by softly singing songs to him…..which I did…..often and unashamedly!

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Think about something for a moment. Have you ever been able to feel anger or hatred or remorse or any of the dozen negative emotions that sometimes can hang around our necks like millstones, when you raise your voice up in song? Not even a negative word can be uttered when we are joyfully and whole heartedly raising our voices up as we listen to our favorite recording.

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Did you know that music’s charms are indeed healing? A pilot study is currently being undertaken based on an unusual phenomenon relating to Parkinson’s Disease. The study began when reports emerged that a man with severe Parkinson’s disease suddenly stopped having tremors when listening to the  Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra’s concerts! Music Therapy is being used more and more in treating Psychiatric disorders and music is incorporated into Holistic Therapies, as well!

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The learned authors who penned the Books of the Bible certainly recognized the importance that music plays both in the lives of man as well as in the worship and praising of our Lord and Savior. Did you know that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 1150 verses in the Bible that reference music in some way? Not all talk about singing per se.

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Some refer to the instruments used to make music such as the lyre, harp, trumpet and horn while others do, in fact, refer to hymns, songs, music, melodies and psalms that is the essence of music itself. And of course, as I am wont to do, I wonder that if those seeking to share to good news about God made so many references to just this fact, why is it that we, as a collective group, don’t spend much more of our time singing our hearts out? Perhaps if we did, don’t you think we would find a little less time to hate one another and a little more time to love our neighbor?

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Worried about whether you can carry a tune? Don’t be! God doesn’t care if the music we share is up to the standards of Placido Domingo. Just like Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) said in “Steel Magnolias”, “God don’t care which church you go to as long as you show up”, I have to think he thinks the same way about our singing His praises! Which is why I am sharing some of the wonderful bible verses that talk about music and singing!

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1 Chronicles 16:8-9
Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.


1 Chronicles 16:23
Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.


Psalms 9:11
Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.


Psalms 30:4
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.


Psalms 33:2-3
Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.  Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.


Psalms 47:6-7
Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.


Psalms 66:1
Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: 2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Psalms 67:4
O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah.

Psalms 68:4
Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

Psalms 68:32-33
Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:  To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.

Psalms 81:1
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Psalms 92:1-3
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

Psalms 95:1 -2
O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Psalms 96:1-2
O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.

Psalms 98:1
O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

Psalms 98:4-5
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.

Psalms 100:2
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Psalms 105:1-2
O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.

Psalms 135:3
Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.

Psalms 147:1
Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

 

Psalms 149:1
Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

Psalms 149:3
Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Psalms 149:5
Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

Isaiah 12:5
Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

Isaiah 42:10-11
Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.

Jeremiah 20:13
Sing unto the LORD, praise ye the LORD: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers.

Zephaniah 3:14
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.

Zechariah 2:10
Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.

Ephesians 5:18-21
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;  Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

James 5:13
Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

 

Thought For The Day 06/26/14

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Hellfire and Brimstone

Post 1201

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But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Revelation 21:8 NIV

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A recent viewing of the movie “Pollyanna” always seems to lead me to think about the “Hellfire and Brimstone” style of preaching that was so very common in days of yore. Who can ever forget the sermon in that movie that caused the church chandelier crystals to quiver and make a sound somewhere between a tinkle and a rattle, as Reverend Ford shouted at the congregation from his pulpit high above the pews, “Death comes unexpectedly”! It was readily apparent that Reverend Ford thought that the only way to get his flock to understand his message was by pontificating. This was the accepted style of the day, when church services lasted hours and left bottoms and backs stiff and sore from sitting so long in one attitude!

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Today, I often think that church is merely an obligatory destination on a Sunday for many who listen half asleep as the sermon is being given, then rise from comfortably padded pews, and after sharing a quick, perfunctory handshake with the minister,  leave skid marks as they rush out the doors,  in search of other activities they would much rather be engaged in on a Sunday afternoon! Is this because so many who preach have lost touch with their flock? How many people reading this share their Sunday with a minister whose preaching technique seems to be to frighten their congregation into believing they will encounter the devil just around the next corner they come to? And while that may well be the case, is it necessary to beat the congregation over the head with this message?

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I am left to wonder and ask a very important question. Do you believe that those who seek to sow fear into God’s message have ever really experienced the grace and love of the Almighty? Now I can only speak for myself, but that is why I have tried over these last months, not to pontificate in my writings. It is my goal to try to share the Gospel (and by the way, when you translate the word gospel from its Greek roots, it translates as “good news”), and my message of faith, in a positive and enlightening way. And while there is a time and a place for a serious message from our religious leaders, never forget to temper the fire and brimstone with the cooling and refreshing waters that lead us to salvation. After all, wasn’t it the joyous news of his Father’s message to mankind that Jesus told his Disciples to impart?

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I am reminded, in particular, of Acts 2: 25-28 NIV:   David said about him: “I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” And yes, this most probably is one of Pollyanna’s “Glad Texts” which she told Reverend Ford about in the movie, but it is definitely a text I can share with a joyful heart because I have experienced the grace and love of the Almighty!

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There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4: 18 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/25/14

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The Fur Menagerie

Post 1200

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Peewee

Misty

Skittles

Salem

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It is as if life had said, “I am going to send you into a world of cruelty. I shall make you sensitive to pain, fear, heat, cold, hunger and starvation. In this world of cruelty, I shall make you defenseless. In addition, I shall strike you dumb.” This is the kind of world that animals are born into.  

Grace Johnson

http://www.utahhumane.org/about-us/investigation/cruelty-quotations

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Along “MandysPath” you will find Mandy’s Fur Menagerie! Stop in and visit sometime….and while you’re at it, feel free to bring a can of Alpo, Lil’ Friskies or some clumping litter. When you visit me, know ahead of time that my house is dusty, that my furniture is spotted, as are my rugs. Yes, I am a fairly clean person. I vacuum sometimes 2x a day, dust constantly and damp mop my floors regularly. And I have 4 legged children who live here. (In fact, they pretty much tolerate Dan and me because they don’t have thumbs to open the food cans.) This is their home as much as it is ours. And if the truth was known, I’d have more like them, if I could (though after the trips we’ve needed to make to NY and to hospitals, we may be hard pressed to find Sabrina amenable to critter sitting considering it entails my 4, her 1 dog and a 4-year-old…. all at the same time!)

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All of my “wee furry bairns” (as well as Sabrina’s) are rescued. I am constantly amazed at people who can see an animal as without feelings and abuse them, starve them or abandon them to the elements. It makes me wonder just exactly how these same people treat other human beings in their lives. Are they kind and thoughtful to people just because they walk upright or are their hearts just as black towards humans as they are towards innocent creatures?

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Misty Cat, is a medium-haired Tabby, and is the grande dame of our home at 17, rescued from some abusive kids who were giving her liquor as a tiny kitten.  Pee-wee Dog is about 11, a long-haired Chihuahua, and was adopted from the Humane Society. Skittles Dog is 7, a “Heinz 57”, and was the product of an elopement from the yard by her mama. She was adopted by us to make sure she did not end up in a shelter. And finally, Salem Cat, is a Mackerel Tabby, about 5, and was rescued roaming around our development. He was half-starved but definitely not feral.

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Every one is different but each is special to us. When they look into my eyes I see the love they feel for me and I get that warm, fuzzy feeling every parent of a human child recognizes. It’s the way your heart jumps when your child wraps their arms around your neck and squeezes tight! Are these non speaking children of mine work? You bet! (I go through vacuum cleaners like there’s no tomorrow.) But, just as I cared for my children before they were able to care for themselves, all responsible pet owners must care for their pets, the same way. They have their pets neutered, shots given and yearly exams performed. Unfortunately, not all owners are responsible which is exactly why I have a menagerie of my own!

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Today I’m asking you all to remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi, who said, “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of pity and compassion, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”  Then I am asking you all to support your local animal welfare group. If you can, pick up a bag of food the next time you go shopping and deliver it to the shelter. Drop off a roll of paper towels, some bleach or old towels you are looking to throw out. They need all of these things and more. And if you can’t do any of this, just remember “Your Daily Click” to the “The Animal Rescue Site” http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=3. Every click you make provides food for a shelter animal! Such a little thing…. 1 click…. but with such impact! Do it today! And while you’re at it, if you are able, bring some love into your house and adopt one of God’s innocents!

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But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Job 12:7-10 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/24/14

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It Takes A Village

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 You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it.  A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. 

Casare Pavese

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

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While many of us first heard the title of today’s post because it also happens to be the title of former First Lady and former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, which was written in 1996, in fact, this phrase is an ancient African proverb. And as with all proverbs, its goal was to impart wisdom and truth. The intent was to tell everyone that no man (or woman or child, for that matter) is an island! The well-being of the one is dependent on the capacity of the whole to be supportive and nurturing. And yet, this seems to be something that is often lacking in today’s society!

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While we like to think we all are part of a collective that cares for and about each other, in fact, we are increasingly finding that this is seldom the case. We no more would leave our doors to our homes unlocked at night or when we are away than we would consider diving from the top of Niagara Falls to be safe thing to do. Now some of this is due to the effects modern technology, and what this has brought to our doorstep. After all, we now hear about all of the horrors that assail humans only a nanosecond after they occur. We view our leaders with a jaundiced eye, wondering what their motivation is for what they say since history seems to prove that it is seldom the welfare of the collective community!

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Perhaps I am viewing the world with a jaundiced eye by what I am writing, you ask? Perhaps I seem to have lost hope for the community, the country and the world, you wonder? In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. You see, I know that the thing that will “un-harden” the hearts of men is not something mysterious or unknown. In fact it can be summed up in two words…..LOVE and FAITH! I join the two together because each is, in so many ways
, co-dependent upon the other, and I like to think that despite all of the horrors we see today that, just as  Anne Frank said so brilliantly in her diary, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

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It really does take a village and the individuals that live in that village. And like the saying goes, community, like charity, begins at home. But it doesn’t just happen. It takes not just seeing ourselves with a clear eye but looking clearly at the others who live in your community, as well. If you do not know how to be a friend and neighbor then you can’t possibly expect that others will treat you accordingly. So take a moment to think about just what being a friend and neighbor, indeed, a good member of society, entails. What should we do to help our village become a place where the good of the whole becomes at least as important as the good of the one?

  1. Respect the people who live near you. Not everyone works the same hours. Not everyone has young children. So think about all of these things and be conscientious about noises that might disturb your neighbors, such as vacuum cleaners, music, loud talk and barking dogs.
  2. Keep your home and yard presentable. Taking pride in the place you live shows others that you take pride in yourself and that you care.
  3. Welcome new neighbors with an introductory note or a friendly chat. Invite them over for an iced tea or offer to help them as they become acclimated to the community. Share with them things like information about recycling all their moving cartons and tell them the best way to get the newspaper or to the supermarket.
  4. Respect your neighbor’s privacy. Not everyone is open and gregarious. Many are quiet and subdued. Recognizing the differences between people paints you as a sensitive and caring person.
  5. Offer to collect mail, water plants and watch the pets while your neighbors are  away on a trip. Offer….don’t wait to be asked.
  6. Keeps the lines of communication open. Seek to share both good news as well as concerns over a cup of coffee or a light lunch.
  7. Throw a house party or open house once a year. And while you can wait for the holidays, why not make it a special event, in and of itself, by hosting that gathering during a month when there are no special holidays or celebrations! Don’t forget to include those that live alone or who are elderly and may need your help to attend!

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There is a reason that our founding fathers adopted the phrase believed to have been first coined by, ! And yet, do we not read nearly the same thing in the Bible in  Mark 3:25,? It seems that throughout history, wise people recognized that it would take a village to raise a child, but somehow,  years of apathy and entitlement have caused us to forget the wisdom of these words. Let’s change this today! Let the buck (and apathy) stop with us!

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Do to others as you would have them do to you.   “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?   Even sinners love those who love them.   And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.   And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.   But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.   Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 

Luke 6:31-36 NIV

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Mandy 2014

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