Monthly Archives: December 2014

Thought For The Day 12/24/14

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Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

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dore--nativity-scene-todd-l-thomas

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Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.

Norman Vincent Peale

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

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There can be no words that I can write today that weave their magic quite the same way the Bible does, when it comes to describing the birth of the Christ Child. This is especially true when those words are shared using the beautifully melodic lilt of the King James Version of the passages! So sit back, and read the story the way it was intended to be read, and paint a masterpiece in your mind of this miracle and gift that was given to mankind!

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Luke 2:1-20

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

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A beautiful song entitled “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, was originally written in Latin text sometime during the 12th century. The authors of both the music and lyrics is unknown. However, it is thought that the melody was of French origin and was added to the text a hundred years after they were first penned. We do know that the Latin text was translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851. The version I share with you today was performed by my friend, singer songwriter Michael Fawcett.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel  

O come, Thou Day-Spring
Come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
 
Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/23/14

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Dear God,

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dear god2

https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/v/1462173_10201035973292748_509823645_n.jpg?oh=ea660e27ea28b0af07ee7936354a8bfa&oe=52B7FDA6

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‘Thank you’ is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.

Alice Walker

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

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It’s been just over a year since I shared a picture on my social media site that garnered many, many comments as well as likes from friends (and even strangers). The picture I am referring to appears above, and I share it again with and for you, for a reason. You see, I think that we forget just how easy it is to say “Thank You”. But it seems like something we really might just want to effort, especially given the season that is upon us!

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Now, whether you are saying “Thank You” to someone you love (like your spouse, child or a friend), or someone you don’t even know well (like the person who rang up your purchases at the store), the process is exactly the same.  But did you know it as easy to say “Thank You” to God as it is to say it to those friends,  neighbors? In fact, it may even be easier, since God already knows you, and what you need as well as the things you are grateful for!

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So in an effort to share with you exactly how easy it really is, I decided that rather than write some pearls of my own, I would share some “Thank You” pearls from others!

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The things that are worthy of that gratitude to God are as numerous as there are stars in the heavens. However there is one commonality that connects each expression…. and that is that they are brief and succinct! But really, isn’t that what any heartfelt prayer or loving expression to another is anyway?

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dear god4

http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4650729242167331&pid=1.7

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Dear God,

Thank you for being love. I now realize that when I am loving, I am you. When I am full of fear, hatred, or anger, then I am pushing you away with both arms. If I open those arms and expose my heart, then you are always there to give me the love I need.

Love Always,

Your son,

Kozo Hattori

http://everydaygurus.com/2013/08/04/thank-you-letter-to-god/

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dear god5

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Dear Jesus,

God, i know i never wrote to you for so long. But i know that you’re the only one that can help me. Thank you.

i love you. britt

http://ourletterstogod.tumblr.com/

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dear-god 5

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Dear God,

I just want to thank you for all of your goodness and faithfulness to me and my family. This has been a great year. In spite of all my lows and failures, I know that your blessings and goodness for me outweighs them all. Besides, I know and believe that you’re doing all these for my good. I pray that we’ll continue to keep grounded and rooted in You and Your word. I know that there are better and best days for me ahead and I thank You, Almighty Father. Please help me with all the challenges I’m now facing with my relationships, future, and every area of my life. I surrender to You, Lord. I trust in You.

In Your Most Mighty Name, Amen.

http://ourletterstogod.tumblr.com/

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dear god

http://www.beliefnet.com/~/media/15E987C3C17348F18E353B7623898479.ashx?w=400&h=300&bg=00000000&f=png

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Every single image and letter I shared was as the writer penned it. Each one was simple, to the point and most importantly, from the heart! So if all of these people can manage to thank the Almighty for their blessings, why can’t the rest of us? All we need do is close our eyes, bow our heads, open our hearts and say three words. That’s it! No more is really necessary. You see, He knows what is inside of our hearts, and all that we need, even before we know it ourselves. So what are those magic 3 words? “THANK YOU GOD”! And I suspect that this is something each of us can manage at least once every day!

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We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.”

2 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/22/14

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Becoming Reborn!

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 rebirth_cycle2

http://www.dreamingheart.com/images/rebirth_cycle2.jpg

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“It is good to feel lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where Home is. You know that a place that feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.”

Erika Harris

http://izquotes.com/quote/289529

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Did you know it was possible to be reborn? I’m not talking about our original birth….the one which we celebrate yearly as we complete another revolution around the sun. I’m talking about spiritual rebirth!

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We enter this world an innocent and live and grow into the purpose we are given for our lives at the time we emerge from our mother’s bodies! But that is not the only nor the final purpose we are afforded in the course of that yearly solar revolution that we make. The difference between one who is merely content to remain on the sidelines of life, and one who understands that the possibilities that are offered to us by the Almighty are as varied as there are stars in the heavens, is a gift offered to us freely but it is not free to have! The gift must be chosen by surrendering control to Him!

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In reality, the choice is both the easiest and hardest thing a human can manage. You see, we must abandon our own sense of self-entitlement, self-righteousness and pride! But eventually, the realization will wash over us that there is but one, and one alone, to whom we owe an explanation for the content of our human character and the life we have chosen to live!

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Pleasing people in the misguided notion that this is the only way we will be accepted, earns us no points with God. You see, it is easy to fool the human capacity to judge our worth. But it is not so with God! Every wart and foible is known to Him… especially those failings that we sometimes don’t even recognize are a part of us!

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Choosing to take within us and forever hold close in our hearts, a belief in God is our true Father extends to us a new family to hold close. A family that is bonded by a love greater than the mortal love that we know as sons, daughters, sisters and brothers. For we are reborn into the arms and into the love one can only feel and know as a child of God! And that is the greatest love story there can ever be!

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“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3-8 NKJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/21/14

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Sunday, December 21st, 2014

The Fourth Sunday in Advent

Post #1380

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Advent 4th week

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+the+fourth+candle+of+advent&id=076FB09F69F95E7E32F693D659A8DF53CDCD4EF4&FORM=IQFRBA

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 A Prayer For Today  

December 21st, 2014

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,

On this last Sunday of Advent, we quietly reflect on the mystery of the miracle that will soon be revealed to man in a stable in Bethlehem.

We are in awe and wonder, at how your Son entered our world and came to be with us. We pause to receive the gift you have given us and ask that Your Spirit will make our lives and our hearts ready to receive this most blessed gift you have chosen to bestow.

We pray that You give us the power to understand the hope we feel as we await His time. Help us to understand what the birth and subsequent death of the Christ Child promises us. Let us pray today, that we become Your devoted servants, and that we might be instruments in sharing the love You bestow with both our families and all we meet during the coming days.

Through Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever more.

Amen.  

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Author of Today’s Gospel Reading

St Luke the Apostle

The holy Evangelist Luke was born in the Syrian city of Antioch. His parents were not members of the Hebrew race; and the very name “Luke” bears witness to this in part, for it is an abbreviated form of the Latin name “Lucanus.” Furthermore, in one passage in his Epistle to the Colossians, the holy Apostle Paul makes a clear distinction between Luke and those “who are of the circumcision,” that is, the Jews (Col 4:10-15). In his own writings, however, Luke shows a thorough knowledge of the Law of Moses and the customs of the Jewish people. Hence, we may conclude that Luke had already adopted the Jewish religion before his conversion to Christ. Moreover, in his native land, which was renowned for the flourishing state of the arts and sciences, Luke had developed his intellect with various scholarly studies. From the Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians, we learn also that Luke had studied medicine (Col 4:14). Tradition also informs us that he was a painter. He undoubtedly received an excellent education in general, for the quality of the Greek language in his writings is far more pure and correct than that of the other New Testament writers.

When rumor of the miracles and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ spread from Galilee throughout Syria and the entire surrounding region, Luke journeyed from Antioch to Galilee, where the Lord Jesus Christ had begun to sow the seeds of His saving teaching. These seeds found good soil for themselves in the heart of Luke, and bore much fruit. The holy Luke was soon found worthy of a place in the company of the Seventy Apostles and, after receiving traveling instructions from the Lord and the power to work miracles, he went “before the face” of the Lord Jesus Christ, preaching the imminence of the kingdom of God and preparing His way.

http://stlukesoc.org/about-us/life-of-st-luke/

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Our Old Testament Reading

2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16 NAB

When King David was settled in his palace, and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the LORD is with you.” But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in?’

“It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock  to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”

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Our New Testament Reading

Luke 1: 26-30 NAB

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 

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4th candle of Advent

We Light The Candle Of  Love….

Each Sunday, we light candles in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world.  The flames symbolize our longing, our desire, our hope, and our love. We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death. 

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, the last purple candle is lit. This candle symbolizes love. In humility, The Love Candle acknowledges that we have received atonement for our sins because He first loved us.

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Song For Today

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”

 Lyrics by Noël Regney
Music by Gloria Shayne Baker
Performed by  Carrie Underwood

This song was written in October, 1962, by the couple who were then married, and was intended as a plea for peace during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

 

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.”

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.”

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
“Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child, shivers in the cold;
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.”

Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light.”

“Bring us Light!”

 

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/20/14

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Appreciating The Simple Things

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appreciatethesimplethingsb

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Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.

Frank A Clark

http://www.iwise.com/9U7Zo

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I once saw a picture that shared the following inspiration: “In my life, I’ve figured out the secret for happiness. Appreciation for what you’ve got, whether it’s a little or a lot!” The “Author” is unknown but the sentiment must not be lost on any of us. You see, this one quote should give us all pause to think about the things we are blessed to have. I know I have thought about them because of it, but even more importantly, I have been forced to consider whether I am giving those blessings their due respect and reverence! And it was then that I realized that I had never before put pen to paper (or computer keyboard), to document for all the world to know, exactly what my blessings are.

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Now, I wondered, briefly, if it really was necessary for me to reveal the intimate details in such a public forum. But then I realized that my honesty might just compel you to really think about your blessings as well, and that it might just be the impetus you need to honestly document for posterity’s sake (and your own), you own blessings, as well! So here goes!!!

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I am exceedingly grateful for a spouse who has seen me at both my best and my worst, but who still loves me regardless of the challenges I present! Now I am not a “box of chocolates”, but then again, neither is he. But it is our devotion because of and in spite of all of these things that has allowed our love to endure! We laugh…. a LOT! And for every thing we have in common, we are also allowed the freedom to do things apart from one another. And if you were to ask me what the secret is to sustaining a happy marriage, I would have to say that these are at least a few of the essentials that create the magic!

I am exceedingly grateful for having been blessed with two fine children. For every single moment of their lives, INCLUDING the challenging teen-aged years when we said a daily prayer that we would, one day, witness the successful completion of High School, I have been proud of their kind hearts, their generous spirits, and their unwavering love and devotion to each other, and Dan and me. They always knew that we were their champions and that we would always love them, even if we didn’t always like them! And they reciprocated, in kind!

I am exceedingly grateful for having had parents who made sure that I would have the tools I would need to have a happy life always. They showed me, by example, what I would need to be to be successful and happy and they taught me to know the difference between right and wrong and to always remember that hearts, once broken, are often difficult to repair. 

I am exceedingly grateful for having a place to lay my head at night, shelter from the storms, food and drink to stave off hunger and the capacity to keep myself clothed. This did not happen by chance. It is part of the greater picture that included having the opportunity of working in a field that I loved, and of  learning what was needed to excel in the workplace, and to prepare for the future when my working days would be over.

I am exceedingly grateful that I am relatively healthy and that most of my “parts” work just fine…..albeit with a little help from both science and man’s ingenuity, such as the filter that is inside me that keeps blood clots from going to my lungs, for the plates and screws that hold some of my bones together and for the eye glasses that enable me to see the smile on my grandson’s face. 

I am exceedingly grateful that I am able to pay my blessings forward as a Guardian ad Litem and advocate for children who have been the victims of abuse and neglect in my community. I am grateful that I have the chance to make a difference for those who are too young, weak or powerless to speak for themselves. 

I am exceedingly grateful I have been able to witness a new generation come into the world. In Landon, and in every baby that is born, exists the promise that God is giving us a new chance to get things right! And who knows….perhaps it will be my grandson who cures Cancer, or brokers a lasting peace in the Middle East!

I am exceedingly grateful that I managed to find my way back to God. Perhaps I should have begun my list with this blessing, but it seems a bit more appropriate to end my list with Him. You see, just as He is the foundation of support for all of the blessings that appear above this last (but not least) one, He is the very foundation for my life and without my being able to turn to Him every day, all of the rest of the things listed here, really wouldn’t matter anyway! Yes, since He is my first, my last, my everything (gee…..sound familiar?), it is really due to Him and His benevolence that all of the rest of these things exist for me to begin with!

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There are so many more things I could list. Having great doctors. Not having any car accidents this last year. Having the cup of coffee that is warming my hands right this second! Not having to use a cane to walk these days. Having my husband survive several serious surgeries over the last two years (and optimistically facing the prospects of a couple of more in 2015). Yes, there are so many things. But the point of this exercise is that we must really CHOOSE to think about our blessings….. every single day. Did you know that actually writing your blessings down for a single week can increase your happiness for a month?

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All too often we take those blessings for granted. The problem with that is that we might just not be able to recall what they are when we need them the most. That is why I encourage you all to take a moment and sit down and list your blessings. Simply writing them down and then saying them out loud, will increase their power and afford you a greater appreciation for exactly what it is that they bring to your life. And it will give you a greater appreciation for exactly how many gifts God delivers to our lives every day. And on this nearing celebration of the birth of His Son, isn’t about time we remember to thank Him?

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“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

Colossians 1:16-18

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/19/14

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I Do Believe!

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Christmas with family

http://www.allthingschristmas.com/traditions/christmas-family.html

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God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ!

By Wilda English

http://www.cathye.com/xmas/xmasquotes.htm

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 I DO BELIEVE that the Christmas season is more than just a time for the spreading of good cheer.  I DO BELIEVE that the Christmas season is more than just a time for exchanging gifts.  I DO BELIEVE that the Christmas season is more than just a time for enjoying those tasty “delectables” that we save especially for this time of the year. I DO BELIEVE that the Christmas season is a time for the very special magic that comes from celebrating the love that is family.  I DO BELIEVE that the Christmas season is a time when we, as members of an earthly family, whatever that means to each of us, are inexplicably tied to the miracle of the family of the Christ child.  I DO BELIEVE that the Christmas season is a time when, as we exchange our gifts with those we love, that we remember God’s greatest gift to human kind!  I DO BELIEVE that the Christmas season is a time of LOVE! And  I DO BELIEVE that it is this Christmas LOVE that we carry forth and share with others throughout the year, that has the capacity to work its very own miracle on each and every heart, each and every single day, all year through! I DO BELIEVE!

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Mary and Joseph

http://www.printeryhouse.org/ProdPage.asp?prod=C3174

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I DO BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS, I BELIEVE IN LOVE

Whenever I hear a Christmas song I wanna get up and sing
Wherever there’s love I sing along and find some bells to ring
Wherever there’s angels up above
Wherever there’s Christmas trees
There’s gonna be peace and hope and love and wonderful memories
There’ll be laughter there’ll be song we’ll o caroling all night long
Believing in Christmas makes it magic can’t you see

It’s better to give than to receive
Blessings for you and me
Staying up late on Christmas eve
Will there be presents for me
There’ll be laughter there’ll be song we’ll go caroling all night long
Believing in Christmas makes it magic can’t you see

I do believe in Christmas
I believe in love
As sure as there is santa ringing sleigh bells up above
We do believe in harmony and family and good cheer
Throughout the year

Whenever there’s hope in the air
Whenever we light the tree
Whenever there’s love in our prayers
That’s Christmas time for me
Whenever I hear a Christmas song I wanna get up and sing
Whenever there’s love I sing along and find some bells to ring
There’ll be laughter there’ll be song we’ll go caroling all night long
Believeing in Christmas makes it magic can’t you see
For you and me

I do believe in Christmas
I believe in love
As sure as there is santa ringing sleigh bells up above
We do believe in harmony and family and good cheer
Throughout the year
(Throughout the year)

I do believe in Christmas
I believe in love
As sure as there is santa ringing sleigh bells up above
We do believe in harmony and family and good cheer
(Good cheer)
We do believe in Christmas
Throughout the year

http://youtu.be/p5YMZbvuosk
You Tube clip from the movie, “The Search For Santa Paws”, that includes this song!

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‘I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior – yes the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem!’

Luke 2:10 -11 TLB

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/18/14

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Accountability

Post 1377

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ACCOUNTABILITY-quote

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+accountability&id=B3D1A5434A6EDF820F24C5F163182CFE281DD3F2&FORM=IQFRBA#a

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“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the law-breaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

Ronald Reagan

http://www.wow4u.com/accountable-quotes/index.html

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How many of us know the definition of the word accountability? I know we all have heard the word and we may have used it in our dealings with another whose shortcomings are being scrutinized! But how many of us think about being accountable for our own actions as we live our lives?

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My need to ask this question was prompted by the decision made a couple of years ago by a professional sports team to allow a team member to be on the sidelines just a week after a purposeful decision he made to drive drunk resulted in a fiery crash that claimed the life of a fellow teammate. Now I realize that this action was taken, in part, due to words the mother of the victim has offered in support of this young man who was her son’s best friend, and who will need to forever live with the memory of the consequences of the action he took. However, I must wonder if the message this action, on the part of this football team franchise, sends to the world, is really the message we want both the world, and our youngsters who look to these athletes as role models, to see!

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Accountability is a checks and balances system that is put in place to protect us from harming both other people as well as ourselves! And being accountable, while allowing us to be supportive of the positive actions we, or another, accomplish in life, also provides for censure as well as consequences when the things we do break the laws of either man or God! The problem is that when we allow someone to “skate” in terms of the consequences we choose to impose for a wrongdoing, especially when the unthinkable occurs, we are enabling them to miss out on the part that says we must truly atone for the harm we have caused another. And while it may be a bit easier to reconcile this type of response to an act of malfeasance in the secular world, it is not quite as easy when it comes to matters of faith!

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We all must understand that every action we make and take as we live our lives, causes us to be responsible and answerable to God. We are told as much over and over in God’s little handbook of life….the Bible! Galatians 6: 1-2 NIV, says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” And James 15:16 NIV adds, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

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It is easy to stand erect when those who should be outraged by the sin we have committed stand by and support us. It is much a more difficult task to accomplish when we do not have another to lean upon. But to stand and admit our culpability for the things we have done is a must if we are ever to go on and seek true forgiveness….a forgiveness which we need if we are going to continue to look ourselves in the mirror every day. Now I am not seeking to judge with these words I write today. Only one is given that absolute power, and it is not any who dwells in human form. In fact, we are all forgiven already for our sins if we accept that Christ lived and died to give us that gift! But knowing we are forgiven by God, and to be able to forgive and live with ourselves, are two entirely different things. And unless and until we elect to hold ourselves accountable for the actions we take, will we ever, really, be able to forgive ourselves?

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By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames..”

1 Corinthians 3: 10-15 NIV

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Mandy 2014

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