Category Archives: Bullying

Thought For The Day 10/22/13

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Taking Care With What We Share

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the world is a dangerous place

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQtlnuf2xSna6nw8rtalZosycS_mlRHEoi45iR4MTbW0yU-iWQZ

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Bullying is killing our kids. Being different is killing our kids and the kids who are bullying are dying inside. We have to save our kids whether they are bullied or they are bullying. They are all in pain.

Cat Cora

 http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/catcora442597.html#aPxD5mGcbIzsfDwv.99

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Facebook is having problems. Surprise, surprise! Apparently people from across the globe have been having problems not just commenting on threads but even liking other’s posts. And this “the sky is falling” event has even struck close to home. No, not me, but my 86-year-old father has been getting messages such as “An Error Has Occurred. Please Try Again Later”! And before I heard  complaints by the thousands today, I thought that perhaps someone had reported him….taking offense at something or other that he had said or shared. You see, like many of us these days (myself included, I might add), my dad speaks his mind and sometimes says things before thinking through the consequences. And once upon a time, this was not just common, but acceptable behavior. But welcome to the 21st century, where rumors are spread like wildfire through Facebook posts and behaviors recorded for all of posterity via YouTube!

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Yes, taking care with what we share has become a must these days, when it seems as if every thing we write, say or share has the capacity to remain “out there” in cyber space for all of eternity. And while most of us will never change the events of recorded history by what we say and do, we may well change the life of one person. Case in point…..the cyber bullying of the 12-year-old Florida girl who leaped to her death from a silo to escape the remorseless taunts of 2 fellow middle school girls. Now not just have phones and laptops been confiscated from dozens of students, but the mother of one of the alleged perpetrators was arrested, her own physical actions of abuse captured and viewed countless times via cyber space! And while there is much good that can come from this technological time of enlightenment, it seems as if there is more harm that is done every day.

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Those of faith should seek to lead our world in a battle to eradicate this escalating horror. But that means changing much of what we have come to accept as normal and acceptable actions and behaviors. Do we have the strength to close our laptops and turn off our cell phones for a few hours every day? I don’t know. I do know that I have tried to lessen the time I go on my cell phone during car trips. I am making a concentrated effort to spend more time talking to Dan and looking out the window at God’s miracles all around me! Am I successful? Not as much as I might like, but I also know that of all things worth having, sometimes it is the baby steps that we take at first that will give us the skills to scale the “Matterhorn”!

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We must lead by example and as we teach our children about faith, we must also teach things such as acceptance, tolerance, mutual respect and love for others. And hopefully, as they grow and mature in that faith, they will not only understand how to better relate to others whose opinions differ, but they will also have the tools of strength to help them battle any aggression or violence that they may find directed at them or another.

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If our actions are above reproach and we are sharing our hearts with those we care about, and they respect the person we are, it is likely they will model their behaviors after our own. And I am certain that this will meet with God’s approval! 1 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV, reminds us, “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” 

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Yes, living and faith-filled life is not just paying lip-service to faith. We can not say one thing and do another…..EVER! And it is this that we must convey to those who would look to us to teach them! And yes, sometimes that means we lead them to begin their own baby-steps even as we take our own!

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“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:25-37 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 09/28/13

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Me Thinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much!

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macbeth1 (1)

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“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Desmond Tutu

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

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Ever wonder about the phrase, “Me Thinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much? I know I have, and I have often felt its draw when I see people who sometimes wear their false faces in church. Now, to return to the original, some of you know that Shakespeare wrote the phrase…..sort of. The actual quote was spoken by Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude, and the exact phrase was, “The lady doth Protest too much, methinks.”As is human nature. we have altered the words to better suit us, but have we altered the intent? Do we understand exactly what Shakespeare meant!

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In Shakespeare’s day, protest meant to “vow” or to “Declare solemnly”. However, today we have altered the meaning, and thus the intent, of this phrase. We recognize that when someone protests too vigorously, the intent is never received well. Instead, we are apt to suspect that the person saying  the thing is not being entirely truthful. And it is this that seems to somehow weave a thread of “untruth”when someone speaks exceedingly passionately, and at times, even with a hint of disdain or prejudice, when affirming that their beliefs are the one, true source of God’s word!  And I really have to ask why it is that people disparage what others believe?

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Unfortunately, those who are the first, and often the loudest voices of protest, are the least secure, in the strength of their own faith…..and life, for that matter! They speak in an attempt to lower others to the same level on which they live, because the idea that another might just be correct, is an unbearable thing to live with. But we can battle people like this, by becoming secure in our own strengths. But unfortunately, not all of those whose self-image is destroyed are that strong to be able to dismiss those slings and arrows. And those are the people who become so lost that they make choices from which there is no return!

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Interestingly, the Bible says more than a few things about people who belittle others. In fact, the Bible at times attributes this sin to Satan! Look at Roman’s 15:1-5 ESV, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

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Today we view people who attack and demean as bullies. And while I agree with Michael J. Fox, who has said that despite all the horrible things that someone can do, our dignity can never be taken away from us unless we allow it, It is still so hard to remain strong when standing in a thunderstorm of “hatespeak” and degradation from the mouths and minds of another. So what tools do we use to equip ourselves and our children?

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We must teach the social-emotional skills that can prevent and stop most bullying and harassment. Not only will we grow within, but we will grow without, by building healthy relationships. There are ways to set boundaries and become empowered when dealing with those who seek to demean!

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There is a website that offered a list of some proactive steps everyone (not just children) can take in defusing a potentially volatile situation with someone who chooses to hurt us. The site is: http://www.kidpower.org/library/article/bullying-questions-answers/

  • Use awareness to notice a problem situation and move out of reach. Leave! Go to a place where you feel safe, and recharge your batteries.
  • Tell someone to stop. Be proactive. Speak up. Telling someone to stop may not make them stop but it may make them think!
  • Ask to join the discussion or conversation in a friendly, confident way. If you speak first, you will often discover that you will never speak last and in a defensive way!
  • Find another person to interact with. Bullies are often few in number but with voices that make it seem like a thousand! Not everyone bullies and demeans!
  • Be willing to go to someone for help….whether it is the law, a superior or a teacher. And if you feel like you are being ignored, be persistent! You matter and are important and as such, you DESERVE to be and feel safe…..ALWAYS!

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And if you need some more strength, turn to some empowering scriptures to nourish your spirit! Here’s a wonderful scripture of support! 1 John 4:1 ESV, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Or how about this verse from James 2:1-5 ESV, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” And here is my favorite! Galatians 5:22-23 ESV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

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Finally, I want you to remember this quote written by A.A. Milne, but spoken by Christopher Robin to his ever faithful but ever the timid friend, Winnie-the-Pooh. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” (A) And if you remember these things, and remember that  “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you” (B), you can and will overcome all those who would seek to demean you and your life and your faith!

(A) http://thinkexist.com/quotation/promise-me-you-ll-always-remember-you-re-braver/357150.html

(B) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footprints_in_the_Sand

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But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

1 Peter 3:15 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/12/13

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Compassionate Hearts

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http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c173/reelstuff/heartsTwoTwo.jpg

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Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.
Author Unknown

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Today I am lead to re-share a post I wrote nearly a year ago. It was about people who judge and those who are the victims of their judging! Some might call it bullying. But a rose by any other name is still a rose!

I had not been the victim of bullying behavior since I was in my middle twenties, and I was waiting for the bus on a major roadway in Staten Island, NY, where I lived. I saw an older model car approaching where I stood when, suddenly, a young man leaned out the window, he spat at me, and he screamed those words every person who is over-weight, fears will be said. He screamed at me, “You big fat pig”!

That single moment is as fresh in my mind as it was when it happened in the late 1970’s. I don’t think I was ever hurt as badly as I was that day. This young man didn’t know me. He didn’t know that I had recently given birth to my son. He didn’t know that I helped people as a nurse and that I worked hard to make a wonderful life for my family. He knew NOTHING about me except what he saw in that single moment.

People continue to hurt others today, even in this time of what might be considered a time of enlightenment. Yes, judging others and bullying has made headlines in our newspapers and appears on the “crawler” that loops over and over and the bottom of the television screen on our 24 hour news station. And sadly, it seems as if no one is immune.

Judgment by others strikes today through our social media sites. In fact, I was victimized today by someone who didn’t know me. She or he even pretended to be someone else in the email they sent to me today. Yes, I felt hurt by what they did, but I am made of much stronger stuff, these days. You see, I wear some pretty good armor and try as you might, you won’t diminish or erode that armor of faith one iota!

So here is a post I wrote once upon a time. Perhaps we can all say a prayer that I won’t ever have to write another.

Mandy

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Recent events that are happening in my life are reminding me that, while I prefer to see the good in people, there are still those in the world that are firmly convinced that their way is the only way. The thing is that acting under the guise of being Christians, these people seek to hurt others by damning them for behaviors or choices that do not quite fit their notions of how a Christian should act. And try as I might, I just can not seem to wrap my head around this. Why can we not all search within our hearts to find the light that is God’s grace that burn’s within every human heart? OK, in a nutshell, why can’t we lose our preconceived notions about what is right for another and simply see them with the same eyes as does our Heavenly Father?

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I am reminded of the story of two men in the Bible who were exceedingly unpopular fellows. Levi and Zacchaeus were both tax collectors, and viewed about the same way as we view the IRS on April 15th. Many people complained to Christ because He was friendly to them. Now His response to those critical of Levi was to offer perhaps what is one verse of the most sage advice that is to be found in the New Testament, Luke 5:31,-32 NIV: Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” And of course, similarly with Zacchaeus, the tongues began wagging when Jesus visited the home of this man. However, Zacchaeus told Christ that he believed in what the Lord was teaching, and Jesus accepted him into God’s family and described to them His purpose: Luke 19-10 NIV: For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

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Just as Jesus showed compassion and tolerance to others by His very actions, so are we given a choice to love and accept others despite behaviors that we might find objectionable. After all, it is each of us who will be called individually on Judgement Day, to give an accounting to God of our actions while we lived. And it is God and God alone who should be passing judgement on the way we lived our lives, not those Tom’s, Dick’s and Harry’s out there who delight in creating misery for so many!

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So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

Romans 14: 12-18

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/20/13

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True Beauty Is Seen With The Heart!

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Lizzie-Velasquez

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http://www.aboutlizzie.com/

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“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

Albert Ellis

September 27, 1913 – July 24, 2007

American Psychologist and Author

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/albert_ellis/

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Inner Beauty! We’ve all heard these words but do we know exactly what the words mean? And even more importantly, is it that Inner Beauty that we see when we look at another person? Probably not, if the only way we are looking at people is with the eyes alone and not the heart! But when we see others as our Father in Heaven tells us we should in 1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV, (“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight”), well then we really ARE seeing the most beautiful part of them. And when we do, we are also showing God the very best part of us…..our Inner Beauty!

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That is exactly what I see when I see a picture or look at a video of Lizzie Velasquez. But that is not what most people saw when they looked at her at one time. In fact, once an 8 second video of her was circulated through the internet and it was entitled, “The World’s Ugliest Woman”. (If you go on YouTube, you can still find that video today!) It was an interview that Lizzie did when she was only 11 years old about a medical condition she has that is so rare, it doesn’t even have a name! Now what was even worse was that the video went viral, with several million views and several hundred thousand of the ugliest, gut wrenching responses to the post, by black-hearted people who, I dare say, are not looking closely enough, or as often as they should be, into their own mirror! Lizzie read every single, hate-filled response, that was there. As is to be expected, she was torn to pieces almost beyond rational thought, and as she was trying to figure out how to exact her revenge, something happened. God spoke to her! And, while He didn’t used these exact words, the following was the gist of His message to Lizzie: “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”…..and now I’m giving you the chance to choose what road you want to take, so choose wisely!

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Well Lizzie chose, and her story is an amazing story of strength, determination…..and unwavering, absolute FAITH! She is a motivational speaker, an author, and a hero to many who live their lives as victims! And so today I am making available to you 2 videos of Lizzie. The first, immediately below, appeared in GodVine, and it is how I first came to know Lizzie and hear her story. To view it, you must click the URL below. It is 6 minutes long, but they will be the most inspiring 6 minutes you ever spent! The second video is embedded, and you simple need to click the arrow on the screen below to view it. It is 7 minutes long. I hope you see both but PLEASE, at least look at one of them. Once you do, your definition of the word BEAUTIFUL will be forever changed! I promise you that!

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“THE UGLIEST WOMAN ON THE INTERNET”

http://www.godvine.com/Girl-Voted-the-Ugliest-on-the-Internet-Gives-an-AMAZING-Godly-Speech-3653.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7-19-2013#.UelpG5T5m_8.email

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“WORLD’S UGLIEST WOMAN GETS REVENGE”

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“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

Matthew 23:27

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Hal

Happy 51st Birthday to my baby brother, Harold (Hal) Pierce!

Can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks! Then it’ll be me hugging you and not the bear!

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/17/13

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The Great Divide

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children of color

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“THESE YET TO BE UNITED STATES”

by Maya Angelou

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Tremors of your network
cause kings to disappear.
Your open mouth in anger
makes nations bow in fear.

Your bombs can change the seasons,
obliterate the spring.
What more do you long for ?
Why are you suffering ?

You control the human lives
in Rome and Timbuktu.
Lonely nomads wandering
owe Telstar to you.

Seas shift at your bidding,
your mushrooms fill the sky.
Why are you unhappy ?
Why do your children cry ?

They kneel alone in terror
with dread in every glance.
Their nights [“rights” ] are threatened daily
by a grim inheritance.

You dwell in whitened castles
with deep and poisoned moats
and cannot hear the curses
which fill your children’s throats.

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It is 2013. It is 150 years since the land that I love engaged in hostilities that pitted brother against brother over certain inalienable rights which our fore fathers guaranteed in language used to define our country. And yet, today, the battle over issue related to skin pigmentation continues to shout to the world, how little we here have not just learned, but also choose to hold within our hearts, in all these years. Yes, like it or not, and for right or wrong, depending on your personal perspective, faith and God’s directive to love one another, seems to be colored by color! When did we forget Luke 10:27, “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”? YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF!

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A Newsweek poll conducted in 2012, sums it up clearly in its headline, “A Newsweek Poll Shows Americans Still Divided Over Race”. (a) And while this poll looked at many differing issues related to race, including both politics and those same news-worthy events that most of us here have seen 24/7 in recent days, the bottom line seems to be that, while a war was fought and won, and rights and freedoms were extended to all individuals the live here, regardless of skin pigmentation, little has changed in all of these years. Simply look at the violence that occurred at Wal-Mart just 2 nights ago in California!

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Racism and bigotry is not an innate trait that man is born with. It is LEARNED! And this means that it starts with you and me…..ALL OF US, in the hospital delivery room! And ignoring the problem, or worse, NOT teaching tolerance to our little ones, does not make it disappear nor does it promote racial harmony. So how do we heal our nation’s widening racial divide and build those bridges among the races, and by extension, between faiths and cultures?

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We ride a perpetual “See-Saw” as we are charged with teaching children that we are all created equal. You see, we must do so but at the same time, we must prepare our children for the harsh reality that not everyone they will meet will hold this same belief! This is why we must teach each child that it is within their capacity to each become an agent for social change in our world! And yes, that means opening the gate, and bringing the issue of race to the table from an early age. Now if we listen closely enough, the question about this will come to us first. There will be that first moment when our children come to us, curious as to why this or that friend looks different.

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Friends, if we have difficulty with this conversation, know that the problem is ours, and ours alone! We will be guilty of fostering complacency and worse, intolerance! Perhaps this will make it clearer! Civil Rights is not simply an “African American” issue. Gender Equality is not simply a “woman’s” issue. Gay Rights is not only a “gay/lesbian” issue. Each and every one of these examples of intolerance is a blow to every one of us, where ever we live, who stand for five little words… “Liberty and Justice For All”

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(a) http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/04/08/a-newsweek-poll-show-americans-still-divided-over-race.html

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“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:36-40 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/9/13

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Change

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change

http://www.unc.edu/tlim/sakai_pilot_blog/w

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“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”

C Joy Bell C

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

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I have always been a fairly gifted storyteller. Even in High School, it was pretty clear that I was not going to be a strong a right hemisphere of the brain thinker. You only needed to see me for 30 seconds in Geometry class to know that! But left hemisphere thinking, complete with the speech and language components that are a part of this thinking, was always my strong suit. This is the reason why you have started following and, I hope, enjoying, my posts every day.

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The thing is that even when we identify some talent where we excel, we are always continually evolving! And I am not talking about evolution, as much as I am progression. After all, are we not the human part of God? Did He not create us in His image? Is not our very essence, one of His perfect love? And is it not an integral component that we have an innate need to grow, mature. spread our wings and FLY?

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It is God’s love that starts our feet on the road and it is our love of God that causes us to want grow into the best person we can be! But exactly how much difference can 2 1/2 years make? Well, you be the judge. And while you are at it, think about your own life. Think about where you were 2 1/2 years ago and then think about where you want to be 2 1/2 years from today! What is it that God will see when he looks into your heart and into your mind then? Will you be proud of the you…His perfect creation…that He sees then?

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Thought For The Day 03/25/11

(My First Post)

I like the idea of posting a thought for the day. Not only does it require us to spend some time in quiet contemplation but then encourages us to give our thoughts and feelings a voice. Somehow, even a few minutes of introspection does wonders for giving one a fresh perspective of the issue being questioned and can go far in turning confusion and inaction into a clear and definitive solution. Or perhaps it’s just God leaning over our shoulder and whispering the answer in our ear when we’re finally ready, willing and able to understand it!

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Thought For The Day 07/8/13

(Yesterday’s Post)

I know what the Bible tells me I must do when someone attacks me. In fact, the words that direct us to love our enemies are contained more than once within its pages. Luke 6: 27-29 NIV, says it the best I think! “But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which spitefully use you. And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your cloak forbid not to take your coat also.” But it seems to be more difficult with each passing day, to discover any redeeming value in some things that are an accepted part of faith in our world! For example, consider the Islamic faith….or more specifically, those who are the followers of extremist Islam! As we seek to understand why so much violence exists among those whose hearts embrace this extremist sect, consider exactly what it is the rest of us see, when we look at and read about this religion!

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Just yesterday morning, as I read my Sunday paper over my first cup of coffee, 2 separate articles jumped out at me in the “Across the Globe” section. The first, was about a bomb detonating near the popular Anarkali bazar in the Punjab province of Lahore, Pakistan. Scores of innocent men, women and (dear God help us) children, were killed or wounded. And while, as yet, there has been no claim of responsibility, it has been blamed on Islamic militant activities, which are pervasive in the region! The second article was even more heinous, and its victims were almost all, those who are our greatest blessings….our children. In Potiskim, Nigeria, a boarding school containing young students (some not yet teenagers), was attacked by Islamic militants. 29 students and 1 teacher were killed….some of them burned alive. And honestly, seeing these things is an everyday occurrence. Why is it that this behavior, which only serves to diminish the perception of Islam, in the eyes of the rest of the world, has become more the rule than the exception?

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While I was struggling to come up with an answer to this question….an answer that actually made sense to me….I suddenly realized something. It is not up to me to really understand why these things happen. What IS my role is to try to be a voice of reason and of calm and of peace and of forgiveness, in a world that sees all too little of these four things. And while I can not prevent the horrors that occur everywhere in the world, I can prevent them in my own heart, and by extension, in my own community. No, I can not stop violence from happening everywhere but I can work toward propagating peaceful coexistence between those of varying cultures and faiths who share my words every day. And while it certainly is not the answer to all of the world’s problems or the violence we are witnessing everyday, it will have to be enough…..for now!

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“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,”

Colossians 1:9-11 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/08/13

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Turning The Other Cheek

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fighting-cherubs (1)

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Father, give me the strength to endure inaccurate perceptions; The serenity in finding a peaceful mind; The forgiving spirit to turn the other cheek; The courage for demanding respect; And the wisdom on deciphering how to handle it.

Author Unknown

http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Turn_The_Other_Cheek/

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I know what the Bible tells me I must do when someone attacks me. In fact, the words that direct us to love our enemies are contained more than once within its pages. Luke 6: 27-29 NIV, says it the best I think! “But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which spitefully use you. And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your cloak forbid not to take your coat also.” But it seems to be more difficult with each passing day, to discover any redeeming value in some things that are an accepted part of faith in our world! For example, consider the Islamic faith….or more specifically, those who are the followers of extremist Islam! As we seek to understand why so much violence exists among those whose hearts embrace this extremist sect, consider exactly what it is the rest of us see, when we look at and read about this religion!

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Just yesterday morning, as I read my Sunday paper over my first cup of coffee, 2 separate articles jumped out at me in the “Across the Globe” section. The first, was about a bomb detonating near the popular Anarkali bazar in the Punjab province of Lahore, Pakistan. Scores of innocent men, women and (dear God help us) children, were killed or wounded. And while, as yet, there has been no claim of responsibility, it has been blamed on Islamic militant activities, which are pervasive in the region! The second article was even more heinous, and its victims were almost all, those who are our greatest blessings….our children. In Potiskim, Nigeria, a boarding school containing young students (some not yet teenagers), was attacked by Islamic militants. 29 students and 1 teacher were killed….some of them burned alive. And honestly, seeing these things is an everyday occurrence. Why is it that this behavior, which only serves to diminish the perception of Islam, in the eyes of the rest of the world, has become more the rule than the exception?

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While I was struggling to come up with an answer to this question….an answer that actually made sense to me….I suddenly realized something. It is not up to me to really understand why these things happen. What IS my role is to try to be a voice of reason and of calm and of peace and of forgiveness, in a world that sees all too little of these four things. And while I can not prevent the horrors that occur everywhere in the world, I can prevent them in my own heart, and by extension, in my own community. No, I can not stop violence from happening everywhere but I can work toward propagating peaceful coexistence between those of varying cultures and faiths who share my words every day. And while it certainly is not the answer to all of the world’s problems or the violence we are witnessing everyday, it will have to be enough…..for now!

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“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:2-7 NRSV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry