Category Archives: Christian Music

Thought For The Day 12/28/14

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Fourth Day Of Christmas

Post #1387

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edward_burne_jones_the_star_of_bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones, ca. 1890.
This intensely saturated depiction of the Magi was the largest watercolor painted in the entire 19th Century.
Note the depiction of the Star of Bethlehem as a light held by an angel.

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 A Prayer For Today  

December 28th, 2014

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Help us do today the things that matter, not to waste the time we have.

The moments we have are precious, Lord. See that we count them dear. Fill us this day with your kindness, that we may be glad and rejoice all the days of our lives.

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.  

http://dailyprayer.us/daily_devotion.php?day=1946

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Author of Today’s Gospel Reading

St Matthew the Apostle

St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle  while sitting in the tax collector’s place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.

His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.

St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the messianic  Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of  St. John the Baptist, “Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=84

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Our First Reading

Romans 5: 1-11 NIV

Peace and Hope

 

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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Our Gospel Reading

 Matthew 2: 1-12 NIV

The Magi Visit the Messiah

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

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Hymn For Today

We Three Kings Of Orient Are”

 “We Three Kings of Orient Are” sung by Jennifer Avalon.
Both the lyrics and the music were written by John Henry Hopkins, Jr. circa 1857

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav’n replies

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/25/14

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December 25th, 2014

Christmas Day

Post #1384

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Nativity

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 A Prayer For Today  

December 21st, 2014

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,

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

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

Amen.  

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

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Author of Today’s New Testament Reading

The Book of Titus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Our Old Testament Reading

Isaiah 62: 10-12 NIV

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

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

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Our New Testament Reading

Titus 3: 3-8 NIV

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

 

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We Light The Christ Candle….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Song For Today

“Oh Come All Ye Faithful”

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

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

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


Performed by  Celtic Woman


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

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

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

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

 

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/24/14

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

Post 1383

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

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

Norman Vincent Peale

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

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

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Luke 2:1-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/04/14

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 Rum Pum Pum Pum  

music_notes   Post 1363   music_notes

 

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little drummer boy

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+a+little+drummer+boy&qpvt=picture+of+a+little+drummer+boy&FORM=IGRE#a

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Our Story Teller:

Aaron’s heart was filled with joy and love. And he knew at last that the hate he had carried there was wrong. As ALL hatred will ever be wrong. For more powerful, more beautiful by far than all the eons of sadness and cruelty and desolation which had come before, was that one tiny, crystalline second of laughter. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/movie/The+Little+Drummer+Boy

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I like the idea of posting things light and fun and informative at this time of the year. It’s the all the little intangibles that create the wonderful magic of the Christmas holiday for me and everyone in my family. The idea for this post came from watching Landon grab his toy drum when he was but 20 months old, and he at once began banging on it and singing his very own words to the song that was being created in that one magical moment. Yes, I remember looking at him and thinking “The Little Drummer Boy”! And since I really did not know the history of the creation of what was originally known as “Carol of the Drum”, I thought that this would be the perfect forum to find out and then share it with you!

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This popular song was written by a classical music composer and teacher by the name of Katherine Kennicott Davis. She wrote it in 1941, but did you know that “The Little Drummer Boy” was recorded by the Trapp Family Singers? Yes, the “Sound of Music” Trapp Family! Since the composer was a teacher interested in composing music to be sung by a chorale or choir, she adapted a traditional Czech carol, adding the wonderful harmonies which blended so well with the rhythmic drum beat and melody! It was this combination that became so compelling to Maria and the rest of the Trapp family, and although the rendition that achieved the most success was recorded by the Harry Simeon Chorale, the Trapps also recorded several versions. The final one became their swan song, recorded in 1955 shortly before they retired from public performance.

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The lyrics tell the fictional story of a poor young boy who spies the star in the sky that shone over the place where the Christ child lay and follows the brilliant light all the way to Bethlehem. Reaching the stable at the same time the Magi do, they encourage the little boy to come forward and join them as they present their offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Hesitant at first because he has no gift to share with the child, he looks to Mary for her approval, and as she nods to him, he begins to play his drum for the baby. Even as he “… played my best for Him”, this tiny baby seemed to understand, and in gratitude, “He smiled at me”.

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It is a story of kindness and generosity of spirit and reminds us all that during this magical time of the year, there is worth and value in all people, whether big or small…rich or poor. It is a story that reminds us that there is no greater gift that one can share with another than the gift of a loving heart! We know that there is nothing more pleasing to God than that! Acts 20:35 NIV, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

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 “Carol of the Drum”

 

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

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Scenes from the original TV Classic The Little Drummer Boy.
Song performed by John Denver from his “Christmas In Concert” CD

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Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/27/14

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Thanksgiving Day
November 27th, 2014

Post #1356

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give-thanks1

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture%20for%20giving%20thanks&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=picture%20for%20giving%20thanks&sc=0-16&sp=-1&sk=#a

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 A Prayer For Today 

O God of all Creation: You have cared for the earth, and have filled it with your riches. Abundance flows in your steppes, through the pastures and wilderness. You provide for our land, softening it with showers, bathing it in light, and blessing it with growth.

The hills sing with joy; the meadows are covered with flocks; the fields deck themselves with wheat; and together they glorify your name!

On this occasion of our Thanksgiving, we as a nation take rest from our labors to consider your many blessings. We thank you for our freedoms, and for the opportunity to contribute our skills, our attributes and our values toward the good of society.

We thank you for the mixture of our cultures, blending us into one people under God. Help us to be a light unto other nations, and to further the cause of freedom and justice all over the world.

We remember those who are less fortunate than we. We lift up in prayer the victims of poverty and racism, and all those who suffer from forms of political and economic oppression. Let the word that goes forth from our mouths speak of your peace, and let us proclaim our hope in Christ as Savior of all humankind.

We pray that you will bless all those who gather here, as we have come to experience your presence among us. Give us your guidance, O God, and empower us for your work. For we claim nothing for ourselves, but return all honor and glory unto you, and offer our thanks and praise.

Amen.

From “Prayers for God’s People”
Thomas P. Roberts, editor
http://www.godweb.org/thanksgivingprayers.htm

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Our Old Testament Reading

Psalm 111 NIV

Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever. He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness. He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise

 

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Our New Testament Reading

 1 Chronicles 29: 11-13 NIV 

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name

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Hymn For Today

“We Gather Together”

This song of praise was orig­in­al­ly writ­ten in 1597 to cel­e­brate a Dutch vic­to­ry. It ap­peared in Ne­der­landtsche Ge­denck­clanck, by Adri­an­us Va­ler­ius (Haar­lem, Hol­land: 1626) (Wilt heden nu treden).

Ar­ranged & trans­lat­ed from Dutch to La­tin by Ed­uard Krem­ser in Sechs Al­tnie­der­länd­ische Volks­lied­er (Leip­zig, Ger­many: 1877) Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by The­o­dore Bak­er, 1894.

1.
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;

He chastens and hastens His will to make known.
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

2.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,

Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, were at our side, all glory be Thine!

3.
We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,

And pray that Thou still our Defender will be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy Name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

 

Music Performed by:
Cedarmont Kids (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3)

 

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/16/14

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Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Post #1345

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bible-reading

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 A Prayer For Today  

November 16th, 2014
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desire known, and from whom no secrets are hid: inspire us with your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and show our love by caring for each other and for this beautiful earth that supports us and sustains us with life and air, food and water.  We are called to be co-creators with you…teach us what this really means as we share this wonderful gift that is our home.

Amen.  

http://knoxunitedvancouver.org/news/november-16-2014

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Author of Today’s Gospel Reading

St Matthew the Apostle

St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle  while sitting in the tax collector’s place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.

His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.

St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the messianic  Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of  St. John the Baptist, “Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=84

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Our Old Testament Reading

Proverbs 30: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31 

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

 

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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Our New Testament Reading

 Matthew 25: 14-30 NIV

The Parable of the Bags of Gold

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

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Hymn For Today

Morning Has Broken”

Words by English author Eleanor Farjeon and set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic tune known as “Bunessan”
Performed by Art Garfunkel and Diana Krall

Morning has broken
Like the first morning,
Black bird has spoken
Like the first bird.
Praise the singing!
Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing
Fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain’s new fall
Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dew fall
On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness
Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness
Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight!
Mine is the morning.
Born of the one light
Eden saw play!
Praise with elation,
Praise ev’ry morning,
God’s recreation
Of the new day!

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/26/14

Standard

 

Amazing Grace

Thought 1262

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http://media.photobucket.com/image/gods%20grace/MsIndependent58/GodsGrace.jpg?o=18

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God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

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We’ve all heard it. Many of us have been reduced to tears as the pipes share the mournful and yet soulful tune. And the lyrics…..it seems to me as if they had to have been written in the heavens by angels wings. If you thinkAmazing Grace is one of my very favorite hymns, you would be correct. But how many of you really know the history of the song?

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Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn published in 1779….just 3 years after the American colonies became a one nation, under God! The words were penned by an English poet and minister by the name of John Henry Newton (July 24, 1725 – December 21, 1807), and it was intended as a sermon about forgiveness and redemption. He shared that no matter the offense, the soul could be cleansed and delivered from despair by God’s mercy!

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Newton was raised without the benefit of religious training, and had a very unhappy family life, as well. In 1743, while on the way to visit some friends, Newton was captured and pressed into the naval service by the Royal Navy. He became a midshipman aboard HMS Harwich. During a brutal storm which nearly tore his ship apart, Newton cried out to God asking for his mercy, and thus began his conversion. He suffered 20 lashes in front of the entire crew after trying to desert but he remained and later transferred service to the Pegasus, a slave ship. A problem for the crew while aboard the vessel, he was forcibly removed and abandoned in Africa where he was enslaved by an African duchess, and abused horribly. He later likened his experience to that of the slaves he had himself brutalized at one time.

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He made it to freedom in 1748. Ordained in 1764 by the Church of England, he was the curate in Olney, Buckinghamshire. In later years, he became a strong supporter of the abolition of slavery. Intended as a sermon to be delivered New Years Day of 1773, Amazing Grace most probably was intoned by the congregation as it was not yet set to music. It remained a relatively unknown poem in England but became used extensively in the United States. In 1835, a tune named “New Brittain” was married to the lyrics, thus giving birth to the beautiful melody we know today! It is estimated that the song is performed in the neighborhood of 10 Million times annually!

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Amazing Grace Hymn

(complete version of the lyrics)

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun refuse to shine; But God, who called me here below, Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.

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Enjoy this performance by a wonderful 7-year-old Gospel singer, Rhema Marvanne

http://youtu.be/DDDlxmsciqY

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As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

Ephesians 4: 1-8 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”