Monthly Archives: January 2015

Thought For The Day 01/31/15

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The Blessings Of Our Little Ones

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Landon 01 2015

Landon John

January 2015

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The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.

Pablo Casals

http://www.searchquotes.com/Children/quotes/about/Miracles/

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I have been recently reminded, in a tremendously profound way because of my work with abused and neglected children as a Guardian ad Litem, AND my work with a wee one even more precious to me than all the gold in Ft. Knox… my grandson Landon, just how precious a gift our little ones are to the human race. And in thinking about grandchildren, aren’t they our second chance at seeing all the wonders the world has to offer… for the first time… when we finally have the time to appreciate it? But in the process of this rediscovery, I have also had my eyes opened as to just how underappreciated the value of a child’s life has been over the last few centuries. And even today, when we have supposedly evolved in a more socially responsible and spiritual way, we are still bearing witness to a time when too many adults not only deprive these little blessings God has given to us, of not just a childhood, but, in some cases, their very life as well.

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Luke 18: 15-17 ESV should serve to remind us as to their value. Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And Jesus looked and viewed the lives of these little ones, not on man’s terms. No, he saw the value of their lives and hearts on a much higher plane than adults who have allowed their own willful aims and desires to come above their need to act in a way that honors God and the responsibility He demands that we provide to those innocent little blessings.

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Notice that Jesus did not tell His disciples to wash grimy and faces and grass stained clothes before allowing children to come to Him. Instead, He welcomed them complete with frogs in pockets, runny noses and teddy bears clutched in tiny arms. You see, Jesus knew that it is the pristine nature of a child’s heart, that makes them ready for God’s Kingdom, not the pristine cleanliness of their clothes. And Jesus wanted man to understand that to attain the same end, that man would need to sometimes understand the context of the lesson given in 1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

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It is not the daily responsibilities of adulthood that need to be put behind us. Instead it is the selfishness and pettiness of our immature selves we must put behind us and in its place, put in front of us the awe and wonder and curiosity of the heart of those innocent children! It is that we truly see God as a Father in terms of one who loves, protects, provides for, instructs and corrects us so that we become, as His children, better people. And isn’t love like this the greatest love of all?

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The Greatest Love of All

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

 Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

 I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

 I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

 And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

Vocals: Whitney Houston
Written by:  Michael Masser and Linda Creed
(Linda Creed was recovering from breast cancer when she wrote the song.)

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Elaine Stafford Pierce

November 12, 1928 – January 31, 1990

You left this world 25 years ago today, but not a day passes that I do not think of you. Every time I read this poem I think of you. You had the greatest “DASH” of anyone I every knew!

​The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

​I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
​the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

​So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

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This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

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Thought For The Day 01/30/15

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The Gifts That Matter

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present

http://wallpaperstock.net/present_wallpapers_16482_1600x1200.jpg

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You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. 
Kahlil Gibran
“The Prophet”
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I wrote a post that included the list of gifts that don’t cost a dime almost a year ago, after reading an email copy of Godvine, a spirit filled publication that I still subscribe to today. Now Godvine is well known for offering  perhaps 5 sappy videos that required a box of tissues in hand to watch, which, by the way, is right up my alley. They also ended the  email then with a print story of some kind. And, like the videos, they were meant to impart an important lesson of faith in a way that compels your rapt attention to the message being shared. And, once again this is something I like so much because the style is so reflective of my own when I write my posts and thoughts every day. I have referred to these Godvine posts a number of times in the past because they never fail to leave me feeling just a bit more blessed and a lot more thankful each time I read them.
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The Godvine story that appeared back then made such an impact on me that I never forgot its wisdom. I looked at it and immediately fell in love with the ideas contained in the article, “8 Gifts That Don’t Cost A Dime”. But in typical Mandy fashion, I began to think up a few of my own that I think would be the perfect gift to present to your loved one on any occasion, but especially now, since Valentine’s Day will be here in just about 2 weeks. And it is especially appropriate today, since being fiscally frugal has become the norm these days, rather than the exception! So, for those of you that did not see this article, I am sharing Godvine’s gift list and will follow up with a few of my own!
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 8 Gifts That Don’t Cost a Dime

(Godvine)

 1. THE GIFT OF LISTENING… But you must REALLY listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2. THE GIFT OF AFFECTION… Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

3. THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER… Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

4. THE GIFT OF A WRITTEN NOTE… It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

5. THE GIFT OF A COMPLIMENT… A simple and sincere, You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

6. THE GIFT OF A FAVOR… Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

7. THE GIFT OF SOLITUDE… There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

8. THE GIFT OF A CHEERFUL DISPOSITION… The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really, it’s not that hard to say, Hello or Thank You.

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8 Gifts That Don’t Cost Much….If Anything!

(Mandy)

1. THE GIFT OF YOUR TIME… Today we live such busy lives that we all too often forget that it is our life partner that will still be here with us when our days end and when our working years are over. Don’t let that become a time when we discover, sadly, that we have somehow, drifted apart.

2. THE GIFT OF MEMORIES CREATED… Don’t put off making wonderful memories with your loved ones. Entice your partner to join you in the kitchen and make an ice cream sundae for each other. Or sit and listen to some favorite music and sing along at the top of your lungs….. TOGETHER!

3. HIDE LITTLE LOVE NOTES AROUND THE HOUSE… Tape a note or card to the bathroom mirror or hide one in the refrigerator or put it under that first steaming cup of morning coffee or tea. It doesn’t matter where you decide to put it, just as long as it’s an unexpected surprise for the one you love, to start their day!

4. SURPRISE YOUR PARTNER WITH AN UNEXPECTED LUNCH… Clearing this with the boss first usually helps, but arrive, picnic basket in hand, with fruit and cheese and crackers or some other treat you both enjoy. You needn’t dine in a 4 star restaurant to make a lasting memory!

5. PLAN A SURPRISE GET TOGETHER WITH FRIENDS FOR NO REASON AT ALL… We all enjoy the time we spend together with our friends but all too often, we reserve these hosting duties for special occasions. Why not make Tuesday night your special occasion?

6.  GATHER THOSE PHOTOS THAT ACCUMULATE AND BUY A DOLLAR STORE ALBUM OR FRAME… We are all guilty of storing so many special memories in a drawer. Why not dig them out, organize them and put them in your living room where you can share them with others.

7. TAKE A RIDE IN THE CAR… Just take your partner’s hand, say we’re going out together, and just drive. No cell phones, no music, no children, no distractions, no destination. Just drive….at least 30 minutes round trip….and talk! The fresh air and time spent holding hands in the car, might just evoke memories of a time of courtship, and can be so therapeutic to a relationship.

8. PRAY TOGETHER… Make sure to set apart at least one time each day, to pray together. Hold hands, close your eyes and bow your heads and thank God for all the blessings he has bestowed upon you as a family. It needn’t be long but it must be heartfelt! Sharing the intimacy of prayer as a family cements the values so carefully cultivated and assures that the one who has provided for those blessings is not forgotten!

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Let’s all try to give at least one of these gifts every day,  to someone whose life touches our own. I know it is often easy to overlook the seemingly simple things in these complex times in which we live. But while we might just be tempted to brush off the significance of the gift, make no mistake. That effort has the potential to make a  life altering difference to the recipient of your special gift!

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“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/29/15

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Let Go And Say Hello To An Old Friend! 

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letting-go

https://mandyspath.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/letting-go1.jpg

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Letting go has never been easy. But holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.

Author Unknown

http://www.quotesarelife.com/sayings/love-quotes/767/moving-on-quotes.html

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Not long ago I talked about “Let Go, Let God” and I wanted to expand on that thought a bit. And in doing so, I am drawn to remember the nightclub fire that took place in Brazil just over 2 years ago, and which killed almost 240 people, and severely injured nearly 100 more… the majority of them students from one school. Now, as terrible as the loss of life was, today I am thinking more in terms of the survivors.
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Now if you are a person of true faith, you know in your heart that the time of pain and agony suffered by the lost is at an end. You know they are now held in the love and safety of the arms of the Almighty. Yes, that may be small comfort today for those they leave behind and who are just beginning to mourn their loved ones and a life forever changed by the absence of those they love. But it is the physical, mental and emotional lives of the survivors, many of whom have suffered horrible burns, who will bear forever more, a physical reminder of the day that they can never be rid of! They are the ones who look into the mirror at a body changed by scars and wounds and even, perhaps, a lifetime of physical pain! And once they pass beyond the stages of anger, denial, bargaining, and depression, it will likely be harder to reach the point of acceptance because to do so means looking in that mirror one last time and saying goodbye forever to the person they once were and saying hello to a stranger they have yet to really know and understand!
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If the stages I mentioned seem vaguely familiar it is because they are the very same stages those who are dying must pass through, and for that matter, those the dying leave behind, as well. However, the difference is that, while life is changed for all of these people, those who bear the scars of a “disfigurement”, especially when it comes upon them suddenly and unexpectedly, must learn to like and love themselves all over again! And when we are used to a particular appearance and body image, being forever changed is a “life altering” experience.
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Such “life altering” experiences can refer to any major change of self such as an amputation or a mastectomy or even a paralysis due to accident or illness. And that is one that I can wholly commiserate with, having suffered from a paralysis as the result of a neurological disease, myself. Yes, I have recovered, through hard work and medication and therapy, although I will never feel my legs again. But it was the looks and preconceived notions I elicited from others, especially strangers, that drove me to want to hide myself away from the prying eyes that seemed somehow compelled to stare at me.
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I was incredibly lucky. I had a loving and devoted support system who continued to validate my worth, especially during the times when I could not see it myself. But not everyone is as lucky as I was and these are the ones that must turn to another support system to help them rediscover their worth! I once read in a mentoring publication the following: God makes each one of us with an ability; society creates the “dis”. So often, society seems to need to apply a “dis” label to someone in the misguided belief that this will automatically make them both know and acknowledge what “caste” they belong to. But, rather than somehow diminishing the one it was aimed toward, labels only diminish the one casting the aspersions in the first place. Fortunately for man, God sees no such distinction nor did his son, Jesus Christ.
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There are two phrases that came from the mouth of Christ himself when men wanted to stone the adulteress, which have endured the test of time. Both “let him who is without sin, cast the first stone” (John 8:7) and “go, and sin no more” (John 8:11) have found their way into common usage, which reminds us that we are all created equally in His eyes, whether scarred somehow, in body or mind. And if the Bible can tell us about our worth as often as it does (from Psalm 139:13-14 ESV, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” to Luke 17:3-4 ESV  “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”), why do we not see it for ourselves? We need only turn God’s faith in us inward and regain the faith and love we must have within ourselves! And when we are changed on the outside, there is one thing that never changes…our heart and our soul. And it is these two things, after all, that are the measure of a person! And when we bid the old physical us goodbye, we really are saying hello to an old friend!
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Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Psalm 24:3-5 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/28/15

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Making A Joyful Noise To The Lord!

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Music

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“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.”

Ronald Reagan 

http://www.famousquotes123.com/songs-quotes.html

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Writing today’s post was a no-brainer when I happened upon an editorial response in a news publication that was referring about the travesty that has been introduced into our worship services by including (dare I even write the words?) the heathen style of worship music made commonplace by today’s Christian rock bands. And suddenly I was transported in mind to the 1984 movie “Footloose” and to the infamous scene where Kevin Bacon’s character addresses the town council meeting in an attempt to change the local ordinance banning the rite of passage for High School students everywhere, the Senior Prom. But it was his use of Biblical passages to support his view that made the greatest impact in his address to these people. And, as we know, he fails to change the law, but he does succeed in opening some eyes to thinking about the possibilities that there is a time and a place for all things. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 KJV “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
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Why is it that the more life and times change, the more they stay the same? Why do some people not see that this form of praise is still praise and worship in the eyes of the Almighty? When so many young people are turning away from Him, why do some seek to drive still others away? And especially over an opinion about a medium that has celebrated every milestone and event in human life for thousands upon thousands of years? The notes of songs resonate with the magic of life. When you are experiencing the depths of despair, the magic can lift you up and help you to overcome your anguish! And even our moments of happiness can be transported to moments of sheer bliss through music!
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Almost 3500 years ago, a fair-haired shepherd boy lived and dreamed and wrote what might just be the greatest collection of songs of praise ever compiled into one literary masterpiece. In fact, the works are described in a way in 1 Chronicles 13:8 NKJV, that resonates like a story of any conventional rock group of today. “Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.” And yet, by today’s standards, David’s tributes which range from moments of utter despair to the moments of the ecstasy of his greatest joys, might just raise a few eyebrows. And yet, should we be able to peer into a crystal ball and see our world in another thousand years, I have no doubt that some of our more successful contemporary rock musicians such as  DC Talk, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and Audio Adrenaline, might well be viewed in the very same light.
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Instead of seeking to tear down the heart, mind and soul of today’s young people, who are just now discovering and reveling in the magic and joy that faith gifts us with, why not try for a moment to see the world through a new set of eyes….young eyes. What you discover might just surprise you! What these young musicians are striving to do is to give new believers the tools, in a language that they can understand, to strengthen their walk along the new pathways that faith is leading them to! And isn’t this the very same thing that evangelist and song-leader George Bennard tried to do in 1912 when he wrote, “The Old Rugged Cross”, and when Leonard Cohen wrote “Hallelujah” in 1984! These songs, both songs of praise, resonate differently with everyone but they each evoke emotions that draw us even closer to the Almighty. And isn’t that what compelled David to begin writing his psalms of praise more that 3 millenia ago?
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The most famous and popular of all of the Psalms of David!

Psalm 23 KJV

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

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THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD

A Gospel version of the 23rd Psalm

performed by: Cissy Houston & Hezekiah Walker
Accompanied by: The Love Fellowship Crusade Choir

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/27/15

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“Ah, You Don’t Believe
We’re On The Eve Of Destruction…”

http://www.metrolyrics.com/eve-of-destruction-lyrics-barry-mcguire.html

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nuclear_power_01

http://izismile.com/2008/12/22/nuclear_explosions_88_photos.html#pic3

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The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.

J. Robert Oppenheimer

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

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It seems none of us can escape todays modern technology, and when those smart devices we have become addicted to decide to go toes up, we are thrust into a state of withdrawal akin to quitting smoking or drinking. Suddenly we find ourselves rushing out to get our fix at the nearest phone or big ticket item store. And that is how we found ourselves in the car today,  and how I suddenly found myself hearing in my mind, Barry McGuire’s song “The Eve of Destruction”. Suddenly, I was struck by the thought that even though this song was recorded and made popular in 1965, there are very few things about this song’s message that have changed in the 50 years since! Our fears about the unpredictability of both modern technology, AND man, especially when there seems to be a need to exert power and authority over others, above all else, seems to be the same today as it was in 1965. In fact, they’re the same fears man had in 1915 and 1776 and 1 BC!
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This is made crystal clear to me when I feel the same lump in my throat as I did when I was a kid going through the evacuation drill that required us to exit the school bus through the emergency doors and then to climb under the same bus and to, hopefully, some measure of safety against the threat the United States was facing as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis. My 21st century throat lumps have come in many disguises in recent years. From a breaking news alert about the North Korean government threatening to continue to test fire missiles, to the beheadings of innocent people who are captives in the hands of ISIS fighters,  to the kidnapping of hundreds of young people from schools and even entire villages in Africa, to the murder of cartoonists in France, indeed it seems as if the Barry McGuire song is true… even though his reference was the Far East and not the Middle East! Yes, “The eastern world it is explodin’, violence flarin’, bullets loadin’ “
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Now we probably would have heard and reacted to this news differently, if the countries (and people) involved were a country (and people) open to negotiations and a communal dialogue of sorts. In fact, it’s possible we would not have given the news more than an initial, gut wrenching reaction after which we would most likely have continued on with our busy lives. But history supports that we see the threat posed by the leaders of these nations (and people), in a different light, and I am given pause to wonder why it is that one person, or a nation of people, find it not just necessary, but almost a moral imperative, to act in a manner that elicits fear in others! But lets take this idea one step farther and consider something else. Even among the world’s many faiths, we are seeing a time of the breakdown of our communications one with the other. Are we, indeed, abandoning interfaith dialogue in the 21st century? Is it “The Eve of Destruction” for faith?
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Consider for a moment what the term “interfaith dialogue” means. When we seek a dialogue within our family dynamic, do we not embark on discussions with a goal of effecting constructive and positive interaction with those we love? Do we not hope to strengthen the bonds of both love and trust by being receptive to new thoughts and ideas introduced in a positive spirit? Well, it means exactly the same thing whether we are seeking to open up the lines of communication within the family, or between nations, or even between differing faiths. It does not seek to change the existing dynamic of belief but instead, seeks to open the mind to the possibilities that new ideas might somehow infuse into the current level of thought!
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I am a Christian! I say this fact loud and proud! You see, it is through my acceptance and belief that Christ died for me and my sins that directs my heart and shapes the tenets of faith that I hold dear and by which I live my life. And it is this belief, my Christian belief, that colors my personal portrait of God and of my faith. It is what gives my portrait its vibrancy and primary colors as I add all if the shapes and forms and brush strokes that come from my life experiences. But now I want you to think about how I add some dimension to my portrait. I add some new and different hues and shades of color that come from learning about and understanding other parts of faith such as God’s early directives to mankind involving the Hebrew peoples. Now suddenly, my portrait of faith becomes even more brightly colored and vibrant and alive. Next add some of the ideals and thoughts of the esoteric religions to the mix, and now my brush strokes capture the beauty that is to be found in light and shadows intermixed with all of the other colors. Add the unique components of all of the other faiths that live in the hearts of man, and what results in a masterpiece of breathtaking beauty that captures the best parts of our humanity!
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I am not asking any person reading this today to necessarily alter any part of what they hold to be true in their hearts. What I do ask is that we all try to see beyond the part of each of us that is skin deep. What I ask is that we ask our questions and be receptive to the answers those questions elicit because it is God’s wish that we grow to be complete people… physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually! What I ask is that we each try to consider the impact our actions have on others, and that we try to discover some way we might assuage those fears through interfaith and intercultural dialogue with others. What I ask is that we work collectively as a race of human beings to look to a world on the horizon of wonder and not a world on the eve of destruction!

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/26/15

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Our House… Is A Very Fine House!

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Old Tennent

Old Tennent Presbyterian Church was the church I attended when my children were young.
Old Tennent was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778.
234 years later, the blood of wounded Continental Army troops can be found on the church’s wooden pews!

I was ordained as a Presbyterian Deacon here in 1993.

http://www.wdgordon.com/history/gordon20.htm

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“When every hope is gone, ‘when helpers fail and comforts flee,’ I find that help arrives somehow, from I know not where. Supplication, worship, prayer are no superstition; they are acts more real than the acts of eating, drinking, sitting or walking. It is no exaggeration to say that they alone are real, all else is unreal.”  

Mahatma Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments With Truth

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/worship

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When I was a little girl, there were some rules that went hand-in-hand with visiting God’s house on Sundays! We were always well scrubbed and polished and wearing our finest attire, complete with hats and our Sunday white gloves. My mother had as many pill-box hats as Jacqueline Kennedy and looked even more beautiful wearing them, her head held high, when we entered the huge sanctuary doors. My dad sported his best suit. It was one that was a bit different that the ones he taught school in every day, and his Sunday shirt collars always had just the perfect amount of starch so that they could slice a cake into paper-thin slivers, should the need arise. And we were not out of the ordinary in those days, because every family treated their church with the same reverence and respect. There was even a book published in 1882 entitled, American Etiquette and Rules of Politeness, which went so far as to say as much in the following statement:

“The congregation who builds a church, build it and continue to regard it as the house of God. It is, then, a place where the greatest deference, respect and reverence are due.”

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The debate over this very topic rages on even today, and there are more that a few voices who loudly chastise those who dare to enter through those massive oaken doors wearing anything less that what has been designated as one’s “Sunday best” for the last 200 years! The problem is that it is sometimes mindsets like these that are rooted in the absolutes that was life in the days of yester-year, that cause us to forget that life is not the same for any of us today as it was 50 or 100 or 1000 years ago! What is becoming increasingly apparent is that it is this thinking and these attitudes that are responsible for the dwindling numbers of bright and shining faces sitting in the pews of church sanctuaries every Sunday!

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Times change as they must! No one reading this would ever hope to return to the days when polio crippled little ones for life and the common cold would kill, more often than not. So if we realize the importance of changing out thoughts about these things, why is it so difficult for us to expand our mind a bit and accept that God doesn’t care what church you show up to or what attire you are wearing when you do, just as long as you show up somewhere, wearing something (hopefully)? All He asks is that we all take some time out of our busy lives to pay him homage!

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I talk to people every day through social media. I post poems and pictures and stories and prayers and things that I hope might just bring you just a bit closer to the Almighty with each item that I share. I do this on my social media page, MandysPath. Is this any less a kind on ministry because I do it at all hours of the day, and night, and in all manner of attire, from business casual to pajamas? Does this mean that I have no respect for my God? Of course not! It means that I am comfortable enough with my faith to understand the God only cares about what He sees in my heart and not on my back!

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Jesus did not send away the poor and the ragged who sought Him out for his counsel and blessings. Think about one of His miracles of healing. Now today we know that Leprosy is not that dreaded disease that caused people to be banished into caves. However, 2000 years ago, there was perhaps no malady more feared. But Christ did not allow this to deter him from laying hands upon the man with Leprosy, and making him clean. Read the accounting of this miracle. When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Matthew 8:1-4 NIV.

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Interestingly, it is likely this act that was responsible for Christ sharing his message in the days that would follow in what would be constituted as lonely places….. places that were out-of-the-way. You see, Jesus told the man to remain quiet and tell only the priest, but instead, the man proclaimed the miracle everywhere and Jesus was not able to enter the town. But despite the need to share God’s word in the open air, where there were no protections from the elements, still, they came!

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When we seek to share His word with others, it is the message that matters and our willingness to want to learn from that message that matters. It is what we wear as the attire of our character that matters. It is the content of our hearts and not the content of our closets that matters. It is the robe of our faith that we wear openly and unashamedly that matters. It is that we take the time to do it that matters, not when and where and how and what we look like as we do it!

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Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Ecclesiastes 5:1 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/25/15

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Sunday, January 25th, 2015

The Third Sunday In Ordinary time

Post #1415

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bible-reading

 

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 A Prayer For Today  

January 25th, 2015

Gracious God, we pray that when we face challenges in life, we will not react to our circumstances in the flesh, but respond to our challenges in the Spirit. We pray that You will give us the grace and the strength to follow the example of Jesus, your Son, who always maintained a perfect attitude in every situation. We know that this is because Jesus prayed about everything and worried about nothing, never becoming defensive, discouraged, or depressed because we know the goal of Jesus was to please the You, rather than to achieve His own agenda. We pray that we will seek to attain a Christ-like attitude by asking You for strength and wisdom to appropriately respond to every situation so that ultimately it is You who is given the glory.

We ask these things in the name of your son, Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray saying:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.  

adapted from a prayer found on the following site: http://www.klangwesley.com/prayer-list-january-25-2015

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Author of Today’s Gospel Reading

St Mark the Apostle

st__mark_the_evangelist_by_lordshadowblade-d62zolm

The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother’s house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there.

St. Mark was associated with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (who was Mark’s cousin) on their missionary journey through the island of Cyprus. Later he accompanied St. Barnabas alone. We know also that he was in Rome with St. Peter and St. Paul. Tradition ascribes to him the founding of the Church in Alexandria.

St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, probably in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D.; he wrote it in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel. In this way the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. His feast day is April 25. He is the patron saint of notaries.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=305

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Our Old Testament Reading

Jonah 3: 1-10 NIV

Jonah Goes To Nineveh

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:

“By the decree of the king and his nobles:

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.

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Our Gospel Reading

Mark 1: 14-20 NIV

Jesus Announces the Good News

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

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Christian-Music1

Hymn For Today

I WANT TO WALK AS A CHILD OF THE LIGHT

Words and Lyrics written by Kathleen Thomerson (1934-)

I want to walk as a child of the light;
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world;
The star of my life is Jesus.

Refrain
In him there is no darkness at all;
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God;
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

I want to see the brightness of God;
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear Sun of righteousness, shine on my path,
And show me the way to the Father.

Refrain
In him there is no darkness at all;
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God;
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

I’m looking for the coming of Christ;
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
We shall know the joy of Jesus.

Refrain
In him there is no darkness at all;
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God;
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry