Category Archives: Children

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 Dy 12/06/14

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The Miracle Of Parenthood 

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a Parent's Prayer

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=psalm+127%3a3&id=C039F7A972E80BB771D16BA080BA2C8FB173B9E2&FORM=IQFRBA#a

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Babies are always more trouble than you thought – and more wonderful.

Charles Osgood

http://izquotes.com/quote/289712

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My heart is bursting with joy! There are two couples that I know quite well who welcomes two little baby boys into their hearts and homes! And both of these miracles of life are growing like the precious flowers they are, under the loving care of their parents. Both od these little ones have just celebrated their 3rd birthdays, and having delivered a child during this blessed season myself, albeit 37 years ago this very day, I truly know the very special feeling that washes over someone as they hold this new life in their arms, especially when remembering another young mother and father who did just the very same thing more than 2000 years ago. But there is something that makes both of these babies miracles in their own right.

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Now the first baby, born November 30th, 2011, was not carried within his mother’s body but most certainly was carried within her heart. You see, this little baby was a miracle for a couple in their 30’s who needed to adopt because his mommy was a Breast Cancer survivor who would not be able to conceive or carry a baby within her own womb. Additionally, this couple considers that the fact that they were approved for the adoption of this child in the first place was most certainly a miracle. But their prayers were heard and answered!

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The second little baby boy, born on December 3rd, 2011, was conceived and carried for 9 months but only because his remarkable mommy came to terms with the fact that she had some issues relating to substance abuse. But she bravely took control of her life, and worked and worked to get and stay clean. She re-built her life, in the process meeting her own Prince Charming, and the rest is history. She and her husband are both also in their 30’s and they are celebrating not just this miracle of life that they created, but also the life of another little one that they were blessed to have just two years later!

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I am so very proud of both of these couples who, in overcoming tremendous adversities, have been blessed with the ultimate gift that God, the Father, can give to mankind. I know that the world and all its possibilities are there just waiting for these two little miracles. I know that these little boys will always have the love and devotion of parents whose love for them is as absolute as is the love that God has for them! These families have been truly blessed, just as I was in 1977! Yes, indeed, parenthood is a miracle!

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Happy 37th Birthday to my own December miracle, my daughter Sabrina Hilliard. Brie, you are my joy and your dad and I are so very proud of the wonderful woman you have become! We love you very much!

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Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.

Psalm 127: 1-4 NLT

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/13/14

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Heaven’s Very Special Child

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gods special child

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“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”

Helen Keller

http://www.ableplay.org/library/quotes-about-special-needs-children.html

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Heaven’s very special children are found under the umbrella of the huge grouping of special needs diagnoses. Whether a child has Dyslexia, or Down Syndrome, raising a special needs child can be a daunting and heartbreaking and yes, even an exhilarating experience for families. And how do I know this? Well, I did not have a child with birth defects nor any of the thousands of genetic or chromosomal abnormalities that so many families struggle to manage. But I did have a child who was bright, articulate, and could always spell words without benefit of a dictionary. But my child also had difficulties concentrating, was inattentive often leading me to swear that deafness was lurking somewhere, and seemed to be a perpetual motion  android unit masquerading as a human child.

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Yes, we managed to make it through graduation only by the grace of God and some school administrators that knew that to retain this brilliant mind another year would not serve anyone’s best interest. And so my own very special child graduated, grew up, and became an adult that is just as brilliant and articulate as anyone I have ever met (except for my other child, come to think of it)! In fact, my heaven’s special child has done exceedingly well in life, choosing a career which actually makes use of some the genetics (and the better parts of those, I might add), which my husband and I gifted through the miracle that is life.

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Our offspring was a challenge, albeit a wonderful and blessed challenge, but in hindsight, my child was a challenge that, were I have to face again, I would gladly grab a hold of with both hands. You see, I know that both of my children were lent to me by God for perhaps the first 20 years or so of their lives, to nurture and to raise and to teach and to love……and to let go into the world, where they both would make the world a far better place than it was before their entry. And it is my fervent hope that the very special children that God lends to other equally blessed families to nurture and love, do the very same thing. You see, in every blessed gift of life, is the promise that one day, there might be a cure for cancer, or even peace throughout the land. But even when that gift of life is a very special child…..a child who will never accomplish great things, still the great thing they give us is discovering the wonders of God’s love and mercy in the discovery that we can love absolutely that which is less than perfect. And isn’t that what God’s does for us all….we less than perfect people who are His children….anyway?

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In James 1:16-18 NIV, the words and the promises are shared with us all. “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.” And the promise in these words is that with all that He gives, he gives us, His very special children, He give us the hope that as we live lives that both honor His faith in us, we will also fulfill His plan for the world. And I am a firm believer that as imperfect as each of us is at heart, whether we are a special child or not, that He never makes mistakes and that we are as perfect, in our own, very human way, as He wants and needs us to be!

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Edna Massimilla is a woman whose poetry and gospel music have been widely published. She was also a mother of one of His very special children, who has chosen to repay her thankfulness for this gift, in a unique way. “I feel like I have gifts of writing, and I am going to use it for our Lord,” she says. This is what lead her to gift to the world with one of her most beautiful, and well known poems. “Heaven’s Very Special Child”, honors her daughter, born with Down Syndrome, who now is in Heaven.

Edna Massimilla is the widow of Rev. John A. Massimilla, and together, they served as the chaplains at Delaware’s Institution for Retarded Children.

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Enjoy a video of this beautiful poem, “Heaven’s Very Special Child”, by Edna Massimilla, brought to you by HOPELights. 

 

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God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:28 NIV

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06 07 14

Photo taken June 7th, 2014 as Dan and I celebrated our 39th anniversary!

Happy Birthday to the man who captured my heart the day we met… exactly 42 years ago today. After all, you are the one that God put on this earth just for me!

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/23/14

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Thank You God For Everything!

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https://mandyspath.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/gratitude1.jpg

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Thank You for the world so sweet,
Thank You for the food we eat,
Thank You for the birds that sing,
Thank You God for everything!

Thank You for each happy day,
For fun, for friends, for work, for play.
Thank You God for love and care,
At home, at school and everywhere!

Amen

Author Unknown

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The prayer above might just be one of the very first prayers we introduce to the children in our lives as we seek to share the wonders of faith with them. It is clean and pure and good, just as the lives of children are clean and pure and good. They have not yet become tarnished by life’s harsh realities which seems to somehow muddy all things wondrous once we pass the threshold into adulthood. But then some of us are given a miracle. We bear children and suddenly, we are witnessing life’s untarnished freshness through the eyes of those children (and grandchildren).

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I was thusly blessed some 4 1/2 years ago when a little red-headed ball of fire entered my life! God has blessed me with the opportunity of seeing life through Landon’s innocent eyes. However, I have come to realize something quite wonderful! Because I am transported back to a time of innocent wonder as I help Landon to live his life, it seems as if EVERYTHING that colors my world these days is vibrant and fresh. Yes, like the rest of the adults in my world, I am saddled with the grown up responsibilities we all share. I too must run my household. I too must pay my bills, sometimes without enough money to comfortably manage it. I too must deal with others around me who see things in shades of grey because they don’t have their own 4 1/2 year old wonder to paint life with bright, primary hues of color, like I do! But it is because I do that I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore. I am thankful to God for EVERYTHING that I have been given, both the wonderful things and those not so wonderful things.

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Do you honestly think that God allows us trials and tribulations without their being a divine purpose for them? After all, it is the trials that teach us to work hard and persevere to reach our goals. And it is the ability to successfully accomplish this that builds our character as not just people but people of faith. Did Jesus not reassure his Disciples that although they would be scattered and separated, they would never be alone, for God would always be with them? And God will be there just as absolutely for us when we need Him to be! Trials and tribulations come with both a purpose and a reward.

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Now that we have secured this promise from him, why not walk your path through life with a quicker step and a keener eye! Don’t just live your life. LIVE YOUR LIFE! Live life as a child lives life. Look at the miracle that is all of His creation. Let your senses revel in the beauty of everything that surrounds you. Today look for a rose-bush in bloom and inhale the delicate fragrance. Walk by the neighborhood pond and try skipping a stone. Wash your car and then make funny faces in the shiny glass of sparkling windows. Or don’t wash your car and draw a smiley face in the dusty surface of the trunk! Tonight take a walk at dusk and make a wish upon the first star (or planet) you spy! Yes, come down to earth at some point and pay the electric bill, but don’t stay grounded and sensible for too long. Life is too short and the time to live it is now!

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Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith   produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1: 2-4 NIV

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There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/06/14

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We Learn What We Live

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KIDSg4k3FINAL

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The young always have the same problem – how to rebel and conform at the same time.  They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another. 

Quentin Crisp

http://quotegarden.com/teenagers.html

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Never before in my lifetime has the speech of so many young people been peppered so liberally with the prolific use of 4 Letter words. From music to writings, to the conversations overheard in the local shopping mall food court, profanity has become as common place as are cell phones and the home PC! Now I do not know whether the goal of so many of the world’s youth is to shock or to simply rebel against the authority adulthood represents, but if that is the case, it is working! The language of today’s youth is capable of making a sailor blush! However, whatever the goal is, it does seem to be the mission of the youth of the world to shock and dare at every opportunity. It existed in my early teen years, AKA the “free love” generation. It was to be found in the 50’s era of swiveling, Elvis like, hips and teens emulating James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause”. Heavens, it was the goal of young people when men wore “Zoot Suits” and flappers bared knees. And no doubt, if we had the capacity of time travel, we probably would have found the same pinched faces and gritted teeth of adults bemoaning just what has happened to young people even 2000 years ago!

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Transitioning through the teen years and becoming an adult is no easy task. Faced with a world at war, and the starved faces of children staring back through pictures brought into every home by news media, can not help but create a negative effect on the world’s young men and women who are trying to figure out exactly what their role will be in life. They see members of the American Congress who will not budge an inch either way toward the bi-partisanship that is needed to unify not just our country, but the world, as well! They see religious factions acting in ways that are anything but religious as women and children seeking an education are mutilated and disfigured throughout the Middle East. How can we expect that our youth will grow into adulthood as individuals willing to change the world for good when the only example they see growing up is one of hatred, anger and apathy?

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For my money, the answer is simple. The buck stops here! It stops with all of the adults in the world! Children do not just happen. They do not emerge from the womb with a fully established sense of morals and values. Children are created by the example they see every second that they live. They require nurturing and love and all the advantages we can possible find within to give them. It became our responsibility and debt to them the moment they were conceived!

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Some of you might recall that I posted a picture not long ago on my “Heroes For Children” social media page for the Guardian ad Litem program here in SC, which pretty much sums it all up. I like to call it “If A Child Lives With…..”. I am sharing it with you today here in this blog. Read it carefully, memorize every sentence and store each word away in your heart where they will always be near at hand for you not just to remember, but to share with a child, every opportunity that you get. After all, do we not owe it to the children of the world to help them become responsible, caring and moral adults? Are they not our only hope for a world where our tomorrows are better that our yesterdays were?

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http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1794060782534.2081645.1570124990&type=3#!/pages/Wishing-Flowers-Breaths-of-Inspiration/245146755563518

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 “Only take care, and keep  your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and  lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to  your children and your children’s children…

Deuteronomy 4:9-10 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/28/14

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The Children’s Bible

(In A Nutshell)

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Children's Bible

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There is nothing more precious or funnier than the things kids say when they’re not trying to be precious or funny!

Amanda Bruscella

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The internet is a Godsend, in so many ways. It brings both, the wisdom of Solomon and of the ages, and the wisdom (and faith) of a child, right into our homes. And since we spent our Memorial Day holiday as a family, doing the things that families do during these rare but special times shared, I am posting some pearls that only the heart, mind and mouth of a child can be responsible for. I tucked this gem away for just an occasion like this!

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Many of these writings have been cited individually. In fact, if you enter the phrase “kids say the darndest things about faith” in your web browser, many of them will pop up! But when collected and joined together, as these were, and then offering them up as a Sunday School report, well, they become magical and take on a life of their own! And while there are some of you out there who might try to claim that these could never have been made up by children, my answer is this …..only a child could come up with answers as wonderfully innocent as some of these are!

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A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible. Here is what he wrote

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The Childrens Bible In A Nutshell

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In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, “The Lord thy God is one,” but I think He must be a lot older than that.

Anyway, God said, “Give me a light!” and someone did.

Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden … Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars.

Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable.

God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff.  Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore.

There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, ”As a matter of fact, I was.”)

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus . Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

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And, last but not least, an afterthought, the “pièce de résistance”. 

(As a reminder to you, Jeremiah, is also known as the “Weeping Prophet” and is considered a major prophet, who transcends our differing faiths. He is considered a prophet who is recognized by Judaism (in Hebrew his name is יִרְמְיָה), Islam (in Arabic his name is  إرميا or Irmiya) and Christianity!  Credited with authoring the books of Jeremiah, 1 Kings, 2 Kings and Lamentations, many scholars view Jeremiah as the one who redefined religion by insisting that there exists an individualized relationship between each person and God.)

Here is the song about Jeremiah.

“Jeremiah was a bullfrog, he was a good friend of mine, I never understood a  single word he said, but I helped him drink his wine!” 

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And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven..”

Matthew 18:3 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/24/13

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A Village 

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 You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it.  A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. 

Casare Pavese

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

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While many of us first heard the title of today’s post because it is the title of former First Lady and now Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, which was written in 1996, in fact, this is an ancient African proverb whose goal was to impart wisdom and truth. The intent was to tell everyone that no man (or woman or child, for that matter) is an island! The well-being of the one is dependent on the capacity of the whole to be supportive and nurturing. And yet, this seems to be something that is often lacking in today’s society! While we like to think we all are part of a collective that cares for and about each other, in fact, we are increasingly finding that this is seldom the case. We no more would leave our doors to our homes unlocked at night or when we are away than we would consider diving from the top of Niagara Falls to be a safe thing to do. Now some of this is due to the effects modern technology, and what this has brought to our doorstep. After all, we now hear about all of the horrors that assail humans only a nanosecond after they occur. We view our leaders with a jaundiced eye, wondering what their motivation is for what they say since history seems to prove that it is seldom the welfare of the collective community!

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Now perhaps I seem to be viewing the world with a jaundiced eye by what I am writing. Perhaps I seem to have lost hope for the community, the country and the world. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. You see, I know that the thing that will “un-harden” the hearts of men is not something mysterious or unknown. In fact it can be summed up in two words…..LOVE and FAITH! I join the two together because each is, in many way, co-dependent upon the other, and I like to think that despite all of the horrors we see today that, just as Anne Frank said so brilliantly in her diary, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

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It really does take a village and the individuals that live in that village. And like the saying goes, community, like charity, begins at home. But it doesn’t just happen. It takes not just seeing ourselves with a clear eye but looking clearly at the others who live in your community, as well. If you do not know how to be a friend and neighbor then you can’t possibly expect that others will treat you accordingly. So take a moment to think about just what being a friend and neighbor, indeed, a good member of society, entails. What should we do to help our village become a place where the good of the whole becomes at least as important as the good of the one?

  1. Respect the people who live near you. Not everyone works the same hours. Not everyone has young children. So think about all of these things and be conscientious about noises that might disturb your neighbors, such as vacuum cleaners, music, loud talk and barking dogs.
  2. Keep your home and yard presentable. Taking pride in the place you live shows others that you take pride in yourself and that you care.
  3. Welcome new neighbors with an introductory note or a friendly chat. Invite them over for an iced tea or offer to help them as they become acclimated to the community. Share with them things like information about recycling all their moving cartons and tell them the best way to get the newspaper or to the supermarket.
  4. Respect your neighbor’s privacy. Not everyone is open and gregarious. Many are quiet and subdued. Recognizing the differences between people paints you as a sensitive and caring person.
  5. Offer to collect mail, water plants and watch the pets while your neighbors are  away on a trip. Offer….don’t wait to be asked.
  6. Keeps the lines of communication open. Seek to share both good news as well as concerns over a cup of coffee or a light lunch.
  7. Throw a house party or open house once a year. And while you can wait for the holidays, why not make it a special event, in and of itself, by hosting that gathering during a month when there are no special holidays or celebrations! Don’t forget to include those that live alone or who are elderly and may need your help to attend!

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There is a reason that our founding fathers adopted the phrase believed to have been first coined by Aesop, “United we stand….Divided we fall”And yet, do we not read nearly the same thing in the Bible in  Mark 3:25, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”? It seems that throughout history, wise people recognized that it would take a village to raise a child, but somehow,  years of apathy and entitlement have caused us to forget the wisdom of these words. Let’s change this today! Let the buck (and apathy) stop with us!

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 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.   32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?   Even sinners love those who love them.   33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.   34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.   35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.   36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 

Luke 6:31-36 NIV

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