Thought For The Day 12/25/14

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December 25th, 2014

Christmas Day

Post #1384

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Nativity

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 A Prayer For Today  

December 21st, 2014

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,

In this holy season of prayer and song and laughter, we praise you for the great wonders you have sent us: for shining star and angel’s song, for infant’s cry in lowly manger. We praise you for the Word made flesh in a little Child. We behold his glory, and are bathed in its radiance.

Be with us as we sing the ironies of Christmas, the incomprehensible comprehended, the poetry made hard fact, the helpless Babe who cracks the world asunder. We kneel before you shepherds, innkeepers, wisemen. Help us to rise bigger than we are.

Amen.  

http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=345

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Author of Today’s New Testament Reading

The Book of Titus

Who leads the church? The Apostle Paul, one of the most important leaders of early Christianity, understood very well that he was not the leader of the churches he founded; Jesus Christ was.

Paul knew that he would not be around forever. In the book of Titus, he instructs one of his young protegés on how to select church leaders. Paul details the qualities of a dynamic leader, warning that pastors, elders and deacons hold a tremendous responsibility in guiding their flocks in the true gospel. Paul believed it is vital that church leaders “walk the talk.”

He also warned against false teachers, probably Jewish Christians who were teaching circumcision and ritual purity. Paul fought these influences in Galatia and elsewhere as he struggled to keep the early church true to the gospel of faith in Christ, not keeping the Law.

The Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Titus, probably from Macedonia. Scholars date this Pastoral Epistle to around 64 A.D. Ironically, Paul laid down these guidelines for selecting and replacing church leaders just a few years before he was martyred by order of the Roman emperor Nero.

Titus, the subject of this letter, was a Greek Christian and young pastor whom Paul entrusted to oversee the churches in Crete. Because these instructions on faith and behavior are particularly relevant in an immoral, worldly society, they still apply to churches and Christians today.

http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentbooks/a/Book-Of-Titus.htm

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Our Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 62: 10-12 NIV

Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.

The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’” They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.

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Our New Testament Reading

Titus 3: 3-8 NIV

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

 

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We Light The Christ Candle….

In the season of Advent we have used the Advent wreath and its candles to help us get ready for this great celebration of the birth of Christ.

When we lit the first purple candle, we asked God to come and be our Good Shepherd.  God our Shepherd has come in Jesus Christ!

When we lit the second purple candle, we asked God to come and forgive our sins.  God has come in Jesus Christ to take our sins and die upon the cross so that we might be forgiven!

When we lit the third, pink candle, we felt joyful even in our longing for Christ to come.  Christ, who has been born in a manger, will come again in glory to wipe away every tear from our eyes!

When we lit the fourth candle, we remembered that Christ would come as a son — the son of Mary, the Son of David, and the Son of God!  This Son has been born!  He is Immanuel — God with us!

Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ, Jesus the Good Shepherd, Jesus who forgives our sins, Jesus who will come again, Jesus the son of Mary, the Son of David, and the very Son of God!

Today we light the 5th and last candle. It is white and is called the Christ Candle. We light this candle with great joy and celebration, because Christ is born in Bethlehem. God’s Son has come into the world to be our Savior! And He will come again in glory.

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Song For Today

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful”

O Come, All Ye Faithful” (originally written in Latin as Adeste Fideles) is a Christmas carol which has been attributed to various authors.

The English translation of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” by the English Catholic priest Frederick Oakeley, written in 1841, is widespread in most English speaking countries. The present harmonization is from the English Hymnal (1906).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Come,_All_ye_Faithful#cite_note-McKim-2


Performed by  Celtic Woman


Oh, come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him
Born the King of Angels:
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! He abhors not the Virgin’s womb:
Very God, Begotten, not created;
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
Glory to God
In the highest;
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Oh, come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

 

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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