Monthly Archives: August 2014

Thought For The Day 08/31/14

Standard

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Post #1268

___

bible-reading

___

 A Prayer For Today

Prayer of Brokenness/Confession


Loving Christ, we confess we have not followed Your ways. We have insisted our own way is the right way over others. We have placed tradition as more important than relationship. We have clung to our ways because it is too hard to change. We have failed to see the ones who have been hurt, or have dismissed them. Forgive us for our selfish ways, and call us into the ways of love, in which traditions deepen our relationships, and we work together to build up Your church, open to the ways that relationships with others encourage us to change and grow. Help us to be Your body, all different members but joined together.

In Your name we pray.

Amen.

http://rev-o-lution.org/2014/08/22/worship-resources-for-august-31-2014-twelfth-sunday-after-pentecost/

___

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 collector’s 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

___

Our 1st Reading

Ezekiel 43:1-7 CEV

Jeremiah’s Complaint

You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long.

But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

___

Today’s Gospel Reading

Matthew 16: 21-28 NIV

Jesus Predicts His Death

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

___

Hymn For Today

Breathe On Me Breath of God

Words: Edwin Hatch, (1835-1889)
Music: Trentham, Robert Jackson (1840-1914)

Breathe on me, breath of God: fill me with life anew, that as you love, so I may love and do what you would do.

Breathe on me, breath of God, until my heart is pure, until my will is one with yours to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God; fulfil my heart’s desire, until this broken part of me glows with your heavenly fire.

Breathe on me, breath of God; so shall I never die, but live with you the perfect life of your eternity.

Breathe on me breath of God

___


Thanks Be To God!

Amen

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Advertisements

Thought For The Day 08/30/14

Standard

Looking Inside The Heart

Thought 1267

___

looking inside the heart

___

It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.

Helen Keller

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/good_people.html

___

We are living on the brink right this very moment. And I am scared! No, I am not scared because I am worried for myself, but because I am worried for the lives and well-being of people everywhere whose eyes see only the outside of people rather than looking deeper and discovering what lies within each heart.

___

What is the result of this disease of the mind and heart called intolerance, that is as infectious to the well-being of man as was the Black Death that killed 1.5 million people in the mid 14th century? Well, intolerance proves to the many that a few are incapable of accepting individuality and other unique qualities that are the signature of every single human being ever created by the Almighty!

___

So now that we have identified the disease, what then is the end result of this infection? Well, intolerance of others breeds aggression. Aggression breeds anger. Anger breeds hatred. Hatred breeds violence. Violence breeds war. And war breeds even more intolerance! And I do not believe I am alone in praying that the human race can find a way to avoid that horrible three-letter word that has the potential to forever alter existence as we know it to be. But how? What can we do?

___

Well imagine what we might just discover if we were able to burrow our way into the heart and mind of others! I suspect we would discover that for every single thing that is different about us, we would find perhaps a million other things that are EXACTLY the same. And isn’t that alone enough of a reason to try, at all costs, to end the mindset of power-hungry leaders who seek only to enhance their own position within their countries by choosing to totally disregard the lives of the people whose welfare they were entrusted with protecting?

___

Now, please know that I do not, under any circumstances, seek to have any country employ violence if there is a possible diplomatic option available, because I know that sitting down and talking and even more importantly, LISTENING, can work miracles. It has done so in the past and I am certain that it will, in the future. But like so many in the international community, I can not see the face of another toddler with glazed eyes, gasping for breath, while a pile of others who have died lie in the same room just feet away.

___

Yes, God commands that we not kill. And yet, we find again and again in the Bible, evidence that lives were taken by His chosen people, as He commanded. But what this shows us that there is a difference between taking a life with malice in one’s heart, and following His call for bloodshed as payment for crimes. And death under these circumstances, while never wanted, is, at times, wholly warranted! It is this difference that He shares with us in Samuel 15: 1-3 NIV, which is an affirmation, of sorts, that while war is never a good thing, it is sometimes inevitable given the sinful nature that is man’s curse to bear! “Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them….” Still….what would we really see in the heart of others, if we but take a moment to really look?

___

There is a video that has circulated throughout the internet, that seeks to answer that very thing! It shares with us that we can never really know what is transpiring in the heart of another which is why we must always try to see the best in others, even if we doubt that the best even exists. But seeing through new eyes is only half the battle. Yes, we must see, but we must also live our convictions, and be an example to the world of what having a Christ filled heart can offer to humanity!

___

This wonderful video is entitled, “IF WE COULD SEE INSIDE OTHERS’ HEARTS”: LIFE, and you may view this video by either clicking the URL or by pressing the embed arrow on the screen below.

___

 

___

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 08/29/14

Standard

Selling Bibles & A Laugh

Thought 1266

___

derangedbiblesalesman

___

Nobody trips over mountains.  It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble.  Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain. 

Author Unknown

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/nobody_trips_over_mountains-it_is_the_small/12244.html

___

It’s time for another ha-ha posting. I know I need one, having suffered a foot injury which has slowed me down and put a perpetual frown on my face lately! And by what I am reading on social media links…. well…. I am most certainly NOT the only one in need of some laughter! And since I remembered Psalms 126:2 KJV, which reminds us, “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.”, I decided that today was perfect for another ha-ha post. However I do want to offer a caveat. I mean no disrespect to any of my readers who might have a speech impediment. You see I am somewhat challenged myself. But I also take every opportunity I can to laugh at my own disabilities. I hope you do the same! So join us as we laugh together today, and forget, for a minute, the challenges God has sent our way!

___

Selling Bibles

Author Unknown

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080502060947AAmGr2G

 

A pastor concluded that his church was getting into very serious financial troubles. While checking the church storeroom, he discovered several cartons of new Bibles that had never been opened and distributed. So at his Sunday sermon, he asked for three volunteers from the congregation who would be willing to sell the Bibles door-to-door for $10 each to raise the desperately needed money for the church.

Jack, Paul and Louie all raised their hands to volunteer for the task.The minister knew that Jack and Paul earned their living as salesmen and were likely capable of selling some Bibles. But he had serious doubts about Louie who was a local farmer, who had always kept to himself because he was embarrassed by his speech impediment. Poor Louie stuttered badly. But, not wanting to discourage Louie, the minister decided to let him try anyway.

He sent the three of them away with the back seat of their cars stacked with Bibles. He asked them to meet with him and report the results of their door-to-door selling efforts the following Sunday.

Anxious
to find out how successful they were, the minister immediately asked Jack, “Well, Jack, how did you make out selling our Bibles last week?” Proudly handing the reverend an envelope, Jack replied, “Using my sales prowess, I was able to sell 20 Bibles, and here’s the $200 I collected on behalf  of the church.” “Fine job, Jack!” The minister said, vigorously shaking his hand…”You are indeed a fine salesman and the church is indebted to you.”

Turning to Paul, “And Paul, how many Bibles did you sell for the church last week?” Paul, smiling and sticking out his chest, confidently replied, ‘I am a professional salesman. I sold 28 Bibles on behalf of the church, and here’s $280 I collected.’ The minister responded, “That’s absolutely splendid, Paul. You are truly a professional salesman and the church is indebted to you.” 

Apprehensively, the minister turned to Louie and said, “And Louie, did you manage to sell any Bibles last week?” Louie silently offered the minister a large envelope. The minister opened it and counted the contents. “What is this?” the minister exclaimed. “Louie, there’s $3200 in here! Are you suggesting that you sold 320 Bibles for the church, door to door, in just one week?” Louie just nodded.

“That’s impossible!” both Jack and Paul said in unison. “We are professional salesmen, yet you claim to have sold 10 times as many Bibles as we could.” “Yes, this does seem unlikely,” the minister agreed. “I think you’d better explain how you managed to accomplish this, Louie.”

Louie shrugged.. “I-I-I re-re-really do-do-don’t kn-kn-know f-f-f-for sh-sh-sh-sure,” he stammered. Impatiently, Peter interrupted. “For crying out loud, Louie, just tell us what you said to them when they answered the door!”

“A-a-a-all I-I-I s-s-said wa-wa-was,” Louis replied, “W-w-w-w-would y-y-y-you l-l-l-l-l-like t-t-to b-b-b-buy th-th-th-this B-B-B-B-Bible f-f-for t-t-ten b-b-b-bucks—o-o-o-or— wo-wo-would yo-you j-j-j-just l-like m-m-me t-t-to st-st-stand h-h-here and r-r-r-r-r-read it t-to y-y-you?”

___

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 08/28/14

Standard

Day To Night To Day Again!

Together… Making It A Better World

Thought 1263

___

http://www.petapixel.com/2011/08/15/incredible-photos-that-capture-day-turning-into-night/

___

It’s like this.  Father Time keeps pitching the years at us.  We swing and miss at a few.  We hit a few out of the park.  We try not to take any called strikes. 

Robert Brault

www.robertbrault.com

___

If there is one thing most of us find to be difficult to reconcile with, it really has to be the fact that, as much as we might like for it to be otherwise, we can not stop the revolutions around the sun that herald yet another birthday. And speaking from my own perspective as a middle-aged female living in a society the seems to dote on and idolize youth, I know that there are more times than I care to admit, where I can feel myself becoming lost in the avalanche that is the tendency to focus solely on those whose lives give us a glimpse of the promise of what our future will be.

___

So many of our young people will get right in our faces as they proclaim that we’ve had our chance to set the world we live in to rights and we have failed abysmally. They are also equally fast to proclaim to us that “we ain’t seen nothin yet” as they offer assurances that they will be able to fix the things we have been unable to repair ourselves, so far. And while I may be among the generation they stick up their noses to, it is my fervent hope and prayer that they will, indeed, succeed where we have not. But I offer a caveat to all of those who seem to be unable to wait for the day when the fight becomes theirs. Only promise what you can deliver and then deliver more than what it is you promise!

___

Pay close attention to the successes and failures of those of us that go before you. Build on the successes you see and pay close heed to the failures. Because everything we witness serves to provide for us the wherewithal to become not just successful but to thrive in days that will be fraught with the propensity for failure. Just because our hair is grey, our eyesight dimmed, our hearing sporadic, and our step slowed,  do not for a single minute underestimate the value of what we have shared up till now and will continue to share with the world until the moment we no longer draw breath.

___

In 1 Peter 5: 1-14, we are told, “So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

___

Now before you criticize me for quoting this scripture to drive home the point I am making, stop and really think about the words. We, an older generation, are being told that we must help you to temper the impulses to act rashly in your approach to what you do. We have been there done that and as such, know the perils of choosing to move forward without meticulous care and planning. And yes, the passage refers to matters of faith but does not life require our faith in the things we want to effect change in? Do we not hope that through the actions we undertake, that the things we do will be the best for all and, more importantly, make the world a better place for future generations?

___

He hath made  every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set  the world in their heart, so that no man can find out  the work that God maketh  from the beginning to the end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 KJVA

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

 

Thought For The Day 08/27/14

Standard

It’s A Small World After All!

Thought 1263

___

Austin Tice

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/08/13/austin-tice-two-years-later/

___

News is history shot on the wing.

Gene Fowler

Skyline

http://www#quotegarden#com/media#html

___

I am not a journalist in any sense of the word. I am merely one woman who began a rather extraordinary adventure in 2011  and who has made a decision to share my heart and mind with you as I make this journey. Discovering faith when you thought it was lost is quite an amazing and rather humbling experience. It has become even more special since it has served to connect me to a group of very disparate people, all of whom I am now lucky enough to call friends. They are you all and the many people whose lives I touch through a social media site I am active on.

___

These friends hail from every continent except for Antarctica. and include at least one person from a country that has been in the news recently because of the internal political strife its people find themselves embroiled in. I hope that the person from Syria who has read my posts is OK. I have no way of knowing because I do not know more about them except that they have shared my thoughts. And it is to them that I have decided to share this essay that appeared on the Facebook page of Austin Tice, a law student and former US Marine, who had chosen to embed within Syria and to share his experiences with McClatchy, the Washington Post and other media outlets.

___

Austin’s Twitter and Facebook feed are now silent. Austin has not been heard from for the last two years. He was sharing the journey God placed his feet upon with us all through his writings and we are all the better for having shared them. His family allowed the last Facebook post shared by Austin on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm, to be published on editorial pages throughout the world. Here it is…. in Austin’s words, why he had chosen to do what he could to bring life and trials of a people half way around the world from his home, to the rest of the world!

___

Don’t Tell Me To Be Safe

Against my better judgment, I’m posting this on Facebook. Flame away.

People keep telling me to be safe as if that’s an option, keep asking me why I’m doing this crazy thing, keep asking what’s wrong with me for coming here. So listen.

Our granddads stormed Normandy and Iwo Jima and defeated global fascism. Neil Armstrong flew to the moon in a glorified trashcan, doing math on a clipboard as he went. Before there were roads, the pioneers put one foot in front of the other until they walked across the entire continent. Then a bunch of them went down to fight and die in Texas ’cause they thought it was the right thing to do.

Sometime between when our granddads licked the Nazis and when we started putting warnings on our coffee cups about the temperature of our beverage, America lost that pioneering spirit. We became a fat, weak, complacent, coddled, unambitious and cowardly nation. I went off to two wars with misguided notions of patriotism and found in both that the first priority was to never get killed, something we could have achieved from our living rooms in America with a lot less hassle. To protect careers and please the politicians, we weighed ourselves down with enough armor to break a man’s back, gorged on RipIts and ice cream, and believed our own press that we were doing something noble. Our granddads would have whipped us.

We kill ourselves every day with McDonald’s and alcohol and a thousand other drugs, but we’ve lost the sense that there actually are things out there worth dying for. We’ve given away our freedoms piecemeal to robber barons, but we’re too complacent to do much but criticize those few who try to point out the obvious. Americans have lost their sense of vision, mistaking asinine partisan squabbles for principles. When we do venture into space – the part of space we’ve gotten comfortable with, mind you – now we pay the Russians to give us a ride. That’s humiliating.

So that’s why I came here to Syria, and it’s why I like being here now, right now, right in the middle of a brutal and still uncertain civil war. Every person in this country fighting for their freedom wakes up every day and goes to sleep every night with the knowledge that death could visit them at any moment. They accept that reality as the price of freedom. They realize there are things worth fighting for, and instead of sitting around wringing their hands about it, or asking their lawyer to file an injunction about it, they’re out there just doing it.  They’re alive in a way that almost no Americans today even know how to be. They live with greater passion and dream with greater ambition because they are not afraid of death.

Neither were the pioneers. Neither were our granddads. Neither was Neil Armstrong. And neither am I.

No, I don’t have a death wish – I have a life wish. So I’m living, in a place, at a time and with a people where life means more than anywhere I’ve ever been – because every single day people here lay down their own for the sake of others. Coming here to Syria is the greatest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the greatest feeling of my life.

___

In the two years since this was written, his parents, Debra and Marc Tice, have pled for information about their son and asked the United States Government to intervene…. all to no avail. But to mark the anniversary of his disappearance, McClatchy Newspapers has released two new documentary videos on Tice. Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor, said: “Each month that passes without news of Austin deepens our concern for his well-being. His family has endured unimaginable pain as a result of his captivity. They have our support in their determined efforts to gain his release.” And as a gift to us, his parents have released some words shared from their heart. Ideally, they will be read by the subject himself…. Austin Tice. But then again, we live in a less than ideal world. I have shared their thoughts below in the hopes that we all become just a bit more enlightened as to the consequences of actions by some…. made under the misguided belief, that it is the will of the Almighty…. Allah…. that endorses and condones these actions.

___

By Debra and Marc Tice

On Monday night, we celebrated the 33rd birthday of our son, Austin Tice. Together with those who know him best, we laughed about Austin’s childhood misadventures, reflected on his many accomplishments, and shared our fondest memories of the most devoted son, brother, uncle, and friend any of us could ever ask for.Today, we mark the second anniversary of Austin’s disappearance from somewhere outside Damascus, Syria. Austin was working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy, The Washington Post, CBS and other media when he was taken captive on Aug. 14, 2012.

Since that day, we have had no contact from Austin or his captors. We came together for Austin’s birthday on Monday still not knowing where he is or who is holding him. So for every funny story and happy memory, there were the myriad questions that have haunted us for the last 17,520 hours. What is Austin’s life like today? Is he safe? Is he eating enough? Is he alone? Can he see the sky? How does he pass the time? Does he know how many people are praying and working for his safe return? When will we once again be able to share not just the momentous occasions or once-in-a-lifetime events he has missed; but also the small daily moments – the everyday joys, challenges, blunders and blessings – that family is all about?

Our greatest hope is that these questions, and the prayers of Austin’s family, friends and supporters around the world, will soon be answered. Sadly, that happy day has yet to come. So we write today in the hopes that Austin will see these words, hear our voices, and receive three simple messages we wish to impart as he turns 33.

The first is that we love you and couldn’t be prouder of the man you are today. From your earliest days as an Eagle Scout, a top student, a terrific athlete, and a caring friend and neighbor, we knew you were a special kid. When you put your Georgetown Law education on hold to follow your journalistic dreams, we knew you were extraordinary. When you did so to help people in one of the most dangerous regions in the world, we knew you were one in a million.

___

It is easy to live life safely. That is what most people choose for themselves. But living safely is not always what it is God wants for us. It was not what he asked of me. He asked for me to go out and share my heart with you. And I suspect this is the same thing he asked of Austin Tice. I have never regretted for a single moment this path I started, even when I have been subjected to the slings and arrows of others. I know, from reading these special words that Austin wrote, he has not regretted any part of the life he has been living either. Have we both been afraid of the things we might encounter on these journeys we have both set our feet upon? I know that I have been and I and betting Austin was, as well. But we did what it was we were compelled to do. And while I can not speak as to whether Austin considers his path to have been God driven, I can state with certainty that I believe it was, just as surely as mine has been for me. And for me, I must say thank you God!

___

If you wish to watch the documentary on Tice, produced and released by McClatchy on the second anniversary of his disappearance, you may do so by clicking below.

___

Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 16:11 KJV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 08/26/14

Standard

 

Amazing Grace

Thought 1262

___

http://media.photobucket.com/image/gods%20grace/MsIndependent58/GodsGrace.jpg?o=18

___

God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

___

We’ve all heard it. Many of us have been reduced to tears as the pipes share the mournful and yet soulful tune. And the lyrics…..it seems to me as if they had to have been written in the heavens by angels wings. If you thinkAmazing Grace is one of my very favorite hymns, you would be correct. But how many of you really know the history of the song?

___

Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn published in 1779….just 3 years after the American colonies became a one nation, under God! The words were penned by an English poet and minister by the name of John Henry Newton (July 24, 1725 – December 21, 1807), and it was intended as a sermon about forgiveness and redemption. He shared that no matter the offense, the soul could be cleansed and delivered from despair by God’s mercy!

___

Newton was raised without the benefit of religious training, and had a very unhappy family life, as well. In 1743, while on the way to visit some friends, Newton was captured and pressed into the naval service by the Royal Navy. He became a midshipman aboard HMS Harwich. During a brutal storm which nearly tore his ship apart, Newton cried out to God asking for his mercy, and thus began his conversion. He suffered 20 lashes in front of the entire crew after trying to desert but he remained and later transferred service to the Pegasus, a slave ship. A problem for the crew while aboard the vessel, he was forcibly removed and abandoned in Africa where he was enslaved by an African duchess, and abused horribly. He later likened his experience to that of the slaves he had himself brutalized at one time.

___

He made it to freedom in 1748. Ordained in 1764 by the Church of England, he was the curate in Olney, Buckinghamshire. In later years, he became a strong supporter of the abolition of slavery. Intended as a sermon to be delivered New Years Day of 1773, Amazing Grace most probably was intoned by the congregation as it was not yet set to music. It remained a relatively unknown poem in England but became used extensively in the United States. In 1835, a tune named “New Brittain” was married to the lyrics, thus giving birth to the beautiful melody we know today! It is estimated that the song is performed in the neighborhood of 10 Million times annually!

___

Amazing Grace Hymn

(complete version of the lyrics)

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun refuse to shine; But God, who called me here below, Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.

___

Enjoy this performance by a wonderful 7-year-old Gospel singer, Rhema Marvanne

http://youtu.be/DDDlxmsciqY

___

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

Ephesians 4: 1-8 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 08/25/14

Standard

Chaos And Violence

Thought 1261

___

http://alqatrah.net/en/edara/pic/violence.jpg

___

And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace, until the gods are tired of blood and create a race that can understand. 

George Bernard Shaw

“Caesar and Cleopatra”

http://quotegarden.com/violence.html

___

Violence in today’s society seems to be, as sad as it may be for me to admit and us all to hear, nearly as common as is the common cold! In my recollection, I can not remember the last time I did not read in the paper or see on the TV the names of innocent people who have been struck down by the violent actions of someone or many someone’s who are either very disturbed or driven by the misguided belief that what they do is right.

___

There are none who are immune…. as witnessed by the recent brutal execution of a news reporter in Syria. Remember the days when the word “News” emblazoned on the front of flack jackets offered some small measure of protection? Well not these days! And while many times the reports of these acts contains but a single name, lately it seems to contain the names of multiple individuals who have been struck down. And more and more often, it seems that it is public places that are the scene of this violence. They are happening in places where we used to believe we were somehow insulated from such things touching our lives…. movies, schools, churches, athletic events, and even our workplace.

___

We can no more prevent most of these tragedies from happening than we can crawl inside the head of the perpetrator of the violence to discover what it was that triggered the snap and subsequent eruption of such total senselessness. We can but remain vigilant and concerned for those whose lives touch our own. And this does not require that we become heroes in the sense that heroism is generally recognized. All it means is that we be kind and caring in our dealings with others. We must be our brother’s keeper.

___

We’ve all heard the phrase captioned just below, but do we really understand how it came to be and what it means? Well, the phrase “my brother’s keeper” comes from Genesis. You all know the story of the death of one brother at the hand of the other. And after Cain murders Abel, God questions him  about his brother, asking “Where is Abel thy brother?” And Cain’s response are these words, “I  know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4.9 KJV).

___

Cain’s response has since become not just one of the most famous phrases in the Bible but it also has also become synonymous with how it is we are expected to behave towards the others who share our world with us. Did you know, for example, that the word “keeper” comes from the Hebrew word “shaw-mar” which means caretaker or custodian? “Shaw-mar” means more that one who simply acts as a baby-sitter. It implies a much higher level of responsibility such as might be rendered by a parent or other trusted, nurturing figure. And indeed, that is what we must be!

___

We must watch for those among us who are among the world’s downtrodden. We must tend to those who live in our communities. Do you have an elderly neighbor who lives alone? I know I do! Is there something we might do such as bring some fruit and a moment of our time to sit and have a cup of tea and make sure all is well? Or what about the child who seems to be crying for no reason that we can see on our street corner. Do we go to them and stop a minute and check to make sure that there is nothing seriously wrong? Or do we close our door and our hearts, to the plight of our brother? And even if we are reticent to act directly, have there been any other times when we see something that we know in our hearts, is just not right, but instead of reporting our fears to another agency such as the Police or Department of Social Services, we simply ignore the inner voice that is speaking to us? I must admit that I have been guilty of this myself. And yet, we ARE our brother’s keeper and if we do not act, who will?

___

Is it not better to have been mistaken than it is to not have acted and have to live with a lifetime of regrets? I know I prefer the former choice because regrets become but a millstone around our necks and often affect not just our present happiness but can become barrier to enjoying our lifetime of tomorrows!

___

There is a tribute to all those who step up and are willing to be a “my brother’s keeper”. A special thanks to Matt Maher for his great song “Hold Us Together” off of his CD Alive Again. I hope you are encouraged by this video, and that the words and music of this song are able to lift you to that special place of love, where you become a “my brother’s keeper”

___

“Hold Us Together”

performed by Matt Maher

___

“When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.”

Numbers 30:2 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

(applies to the parts of this blog that are my original thoughts)