Thought For The Day 02/17/15

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The Price Of Betrayal

Post 1439

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bag of silver

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=9ivic8&s=5

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But men are so full of greed today, they’ll sell anything for a little piece of money.

Little Richard

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

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Was it premeditated or a crime of passion and of circumstance? That is a question we all ask when we read news accounts about acts of violence that claim the life of an innocent (and sometimes not so innocent) victim in this, the 21st century. But who has ever thought of THE BETRAYER in the same light? Of course, I am referring to Judas Iscariot, and his detestable act of treachery against the Son of God!

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To view his act as merely a momentary break in reality might make what he did somehow less reprehensible. However, since we know that the death of the “Son of Man” was predicted centuries before by the prophets of old, does it not reason that, just as the Son of God came into this world for the sole purpose of meeting His end on a cross on Calvary, does it not stand to reason that Judas Iscariot was born for the sole purpose of perpetrating this act of betrayal?

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Acts 2:23 ESV reminds us all that none of what transpired during those days, was unknown by the Father. “…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” Yes it was no accident that Judas became a part of Christ’s inner circle, despite the fact that he was never a true believer! This fact was related in John 6:64 ESV when Christ says to those at His side, “But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)” And John 6:71 ESV identifies the one Christ referred to as a devil, “He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.”

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Even during the accounts of the last supper, when Christ tells the assembled that he would be both denied and betrayed, it was only Judas who referred to him as Rabbi and not Lord, as they all answered in unison, “Surely not I…”. Also it is no surprise that Judas was greedy and would be apt to be swayed at the thought of receiving a reward of silver for his treason. He was, after all, the “treasurer” of the disciples, and critical of the cost of the perfumes used to anoint Jesus. “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the money-bag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” which we read in John 12:6 ESV.

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When one worships a golden (or silver) idol, it is generally the lure of all things monetary that dictates the actions we take as we live our lives. It is a fact as absolute today as it has been throughout recorded history. It is likely that in Judas’ mind, joining the group following Jesus would further his own ambitious plans for a life of wealth and position. And since Satan loves selfishness and greed, it is easy to understand how Judas fell victim to the spell of one who would delight in the undoing of someone as powerful as God’s very son!

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Scholars who have more wisdom in their little finger than I do in my entire body, have toiled diligently to answer the question posed in the title of this piece, and have not reached a consensus. And in truth, I doubt the reasons for the fall of Judas into the abyss will ever be fully understood. However, there are enough things that we do know, which should serve as a wake up call to man that it is, more often than not, our misplaced desire for fame and fortune that steers a course straight toward our downfall! Is it worth losing your soul because of avarice or selfishness?

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but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Luke 22:48 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/16/15

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The Chaos He Delights In

Post 1438

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chaos

http://ecosocialismcanada.blogspot.com/2011/05/secret-life-of-chaos.html

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“He’s the only stable thing in the swirling chaos.”

Beth Revis

“A Million Suns”
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/491161-he-s-the-only-stable-thing-in-the-swirling-chaos

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I don’t know about you all, but it seems that for me and my house, we exist amid a world of chaos. It is not what I would choose for any of us, if I had the capacity to do so, but I also understand that this is inherently what comes with being a part of the human race.

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We live, vulnerable to the pressures of one who not just delights in that chaos, but grows stronger, as if it is chaos that provides the nourishment he needs to sustain his existence here on earth. And make no mistake, he is as real as is the poverty we see in our inner cities, the breakdown of the family dynamic we see in the clash of brother against brother and the partisanship we see that tries to fracture our governments!

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Yes, Satan does all he can to insinuate himself between each heart and all that heart holds sacred and he enlists the help of many to accomplish the deed! A fellow blogger, Nancy Salazar (a former Missionary, and founder of the New Harvest Christian Fellowship), once wrote a post in which Satan speaks to his minions about how to gain victory over Christians. The instructions he gives are worth remembering, so that we do not fall victim his spell.

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12 THINGS SATAN DOES TO GET VICTORY OVER CHRISTIANS

Satan said to a convention of Demons, “As long as Christians stay close to God, we have no power over them. So here are 12 things you can do to get victory over Christians.”

1) Keep them busy with non essentials.

2) Tempt them to overspend and go into debt.

3) Make them work long hours to maintain empty life styles.

4) Discourage them from spending family time together, for when their homes disintegrate there is no refuge from work.

5) Over stimulate their minds with television and computers, so they can’t hear God speaking to them.

6) Fill their coffee tables and night stands with newspapers and magazines so they have no time to read the Bible.

7) Flood their mailboxes with sweepstakes promotions and get rich quick schemes to keep them chasing material things.

8) Put glamour models on TV and on magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances. That way they will be dissatisfied with themselves and dissatisfied with their mates.

9) Make sure couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy so they will be tempted to look elsewhere.

10) Make Santa and the Easter bunny bigger than Jesus to divert them from remembering the real meaning of the holiday.

11) Involve them in good causes so they won’t have time for eternal ones.

12) Make them self-satisfied. Keep them busy working in their own strength so they’ll never know the joy of God’s power working through them.

(http://loveyourspouse.org/2011/05/15/12-things-satan-does-to-get-victory-over-christians/)

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Yes, Satan thrives on chaos because chaos fractures our resolve to live by what is right. And when we break, Satan burrows into the tiny cracks that develop, infecting our soul like an invading micro-organism finds entry into our cells, infecting our body. And it is when we are vulnerable that we find ourselves falling victim to the lies of one who wants to possess the part of us that rightfully belongs to only two; ourselves and God.

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Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
 
1 Peter 5:8 NLT

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mandy and melissa

Happy Birthday to my sister Melissa! Once again, you’re only one year younger than I am! LOL! Have a wonderful day!

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/15/15

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Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Transfiguration Sunday

Post #1437

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bible-reading

 

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Transfiguration Sunday

In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on Mount Tabor is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus himself as the connecting point, acting as the bridge between heaven and earth and celebrates the revelation of Christ’s divine glory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfiguration_of_Jesus

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 A Prayer For Today  

February 15th, 2015

Majestic Glory,
Heart of God:


on mountaintops crowned with mist and in museums filled with wonder;in tents pitched by singing brooks and in theaters filled with laughing children; in this sacred space as well as all our ordinary neighborhoods where we live, you are with us, hearing us, answering us, and we do not lose heart.

Holy Beloved,
Face of God:

we glance at you out of the corners of our souls, and see grace surrounding us; we look at you conversing with the poor and the rejected, and see our family; we watch you as you come to us, to touch us, to heal us, and to give us back to God. And we will not lose heart.

Holy Spirit,
Ear of God:


when our lips cannot shape words, you speak them for us; when we can only sigh our deepest needs, you gather them up and offer them to God; when our hopes are scattered on the ground, you pick them up and give them back to us. And we dare not lose heart.

God in Community, Holy in One, we lift our voices, as well as our hearts, as we pray as Jesus teaches us,

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://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/2015/02/liturgy-wcommunion-for-february-15-2015.html

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Author of Today’s Gospel Reading

St Mark the Apostle

st__mark_the_evangelist_by_lordshadowblade-d62zolm

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

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

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

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

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Our Old Testament Reading

Daniel 7: 9-14 NIV

“As I looked,

“thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

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Our Gospel Reading

Mark 9: 1-10 NIV

And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”

The Transfiguration

After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

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Christian-Music1

Hymn For Today

Jesus On The Mountain Peak

 Text: Brian Wren
Music: Theodore A. Beck
Performed by: “LutheranWarbler”

 1 Jesus on the mountain peak
Stands alone in glory blazing;
Let us, if we dare to speak,
Join the saints and angels praising.
Alleluia!

2 Trembling at his feet we saw
Moses and Elijah speaking.
All the prophets and the law
Shout through them their joyful greeting:
Alleluia!

3 Swift the cloud of glory came:
God proclaiming in its thunder
Jesus as his Son by name!
Nations, cry aloud in wonder,
Alleluia!

4 This is God’s beloved Son!
Law and prophets sing before Him;
First and Last and only One.
Let creation now adore him!
Alleluia

 

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/14/15

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Number 10! 

Post 1436

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ten commandments

http://beta.photobucket.com/images/ten%20commandments/

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“Whatever worldly thing we may covet – zealously striving to obtain and then retain – never seems to bring an end to our desires. Covetousness, envy, jealousy, and greed always escalate into a vicious spiral, as we seek greater and greater gratification but find less and less contentment. . . . Striving to acquire the things of the world not only does not bring lasting happiness and peace, but it drives us to seek more. When “all we’ve ever wanted” is grounded in the temporal trappings of this world, it is never enough!”

Brent Top

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

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It would have been easier for me to write about love since today, Valentine’s Day, is a time when we focus on the things that tie our hearts to that of another. And then I saw something and I said the words that changed what I knew I would write today. They were words that I wished I could have taken back the moment they left my lips. In a single thoughtless utterance, I committed a sin that has been an absolute since the moment Moses carried the Ten Commandments down from Mt Sinai! The fact that it is also a sin that perhaps 95% of the human race has probably committed at one time or another, brought me little comfort! You see, I desired something that I had seen and I was very vocal about how much I would love for it to be mine! Dare I say the word? I “coveted”!

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The tug at my heart was immediate because, the very moment the words left my mouth, the vision of a tiny face we all know from a wonderful story about how a miserly man learns some hard lessons from the Ghosts, came instantly to mind. And it was not the “Bah-Humbug” of Ebenezer that I recalled, but the wide-eyed wonder of the wee Cratchit children the moment they spied the tiny goose that would fill not just their tiny tummy’s but their spirit, as well. You see, they knew something I had forgotten…. they knew gratitude for what they had. They were grateful despite having only the barest of life’s necessities, whereas I, who live a comfortable, middle-class life, wanted not just that which I did not need, but something that, in hind sight, I really had no use for! “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17 ESV.

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The fact that it is the very last of God’s commands does not diminish its importance. In fact, we all know that in life, it is usually the best that is saved for last, and so I must wonder if He chose this place on the tablets to discuss the sin of COVETING, because He knew that this last one would be the hardest for the heart of man to remember! But remember we must, because we are told that its sin has the capacity to keep us from collecting our Heavenly reward when our earthly lives are over! (1 Corinthians 6:10, “…nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”) It is perhaps His only command that looks to our heart….not by forbidding the act, but by forbidding the desire to commit the act!

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So how do we correct this very human flaw of our nature as human beings? By remembering that because we are human, not committing the sin is more than we can manage on our own. However, what we can manage is not continuing the sin once we have realized our error! We can look to Him and His Spirit, to empower us in our efforts as we try to live the lives we must, that follow His laws. It is the reward we received from the sacrifice His Son made, which reconciles us to God and allows us to overcome our human faults by relying on His spirit rather than our own strengths!

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Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13: 5-6 NKJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/13/15

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When People Talk….

Post 1435

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deeper-conversation

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Each generation of the church in each setting has the responsibility of communicating the gospel in understandable terms, considering the language and thought-forms of that setting. 

Francis Schaeffer

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

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We spend entirely too little time really talking to one another these days, and that is, indeed, a sad commentary on the times in which we live. All too often, we either ASSUME or we PRESUME to know what the other person will say, so we simply skip the dialog that might unite us both, in learning  from each other! And even when we do talk, we do so like a “bobble-head”. Our mouths seem to go at warp speed, but then we have only half an ear tuned into the conversation anyway…. ESPECIALLY when that conversation turns to our beliefs in God and the essentials that comprise the things about faith that we hold to be absolute. And while it is good to have strong convictions, when it comes to something as potentially unifying as well as divisive as faith can be for many, it is only possible to grow when we allow for the fact that there is ALWAYS something to learn about it when we talk to others and share our “take on the matter”. You see, when people talk…..AND LISTEN…..great things can happen!

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Who has ever heard this particular Bible verse? Well, if you’ve read my posts for very long, I’ve cited it on more than one occasion! “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”  Proverbs 15:13 NIV. But have you ever really thought about why it holds such significance to me? Well, it’s because when you are lighthearted and your heart is merry, you can’t help but approach everyone you meet in everything you do, in a positive manner. And when you have joy within, somehow people just seem to want to lean in and listen, if only to understand what has transformed you and led you to this point in life! And suddenly, those cold feet we get, which is often the sole reason we don’t open up, in the first place, disappear and suddenly, the prospects of sharing becomes less frightening and uncomfortable! Indeed, the old adage is true….practice really does make perfect! Suddenly, you find that it is much easier to engage in a conversation about things that might just be potentially difficult, such as is often the case when it comes to matters of faith. 

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Just one caveat to sharing things with others. Do your homework first! If you are choosing to discuss something technical, do a quick scan of a reference book or on the internet, to make sure the things you are bringing to the table really have merit and make sense, otherwise others may not take your suggestions seriously the next time you want to interact. If you are talking about baking a cake but don’t know that a cup is 8 oz, no one will want to eat the cake you make. It just won’t taste good! The same holds true for matters of faith.

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Now this does not mean that we all will be expert in all things we discuss. The good Lord knows I’m not, nor do I try to be! But what I try to do is learn myself, the same time I’m sharing with you! If you or I were all experts, there would be little need for us to talk in the first place, don’t you think? Just consider the opinion you are conveying, then try to bone up to make sure you can defend it adequately, should the need arise! Then have at it, and open up! Just make sure it is a dialogue you engage in, not a monologue!  2 Timothy 2:15 NIV, says “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” But Jesus also says in Matthew 11:15 KJV, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” You see, really hearing requires a conscious effort otherwise we are merely listening, not hearing and definitely not learning!

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So go ahead and take a “leap of faith” about your faith! Share your heart’s desires about the things that matter to you and you might just help someone who was on the fence, decide to want to learn just a little more about your take on things. Who knows….. you might just be God’s catalyst, without even knowing that you are! Yes, indeed, when people talk….. AND LISTEN….. great things can….. and DO….. happen! EVERY DAY!

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 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19 NET

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

The Church is Responsible for This

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Quote to me all you want about what the Bible says about this issue…. words written by man inspired by God. In my view God does not make mistakes. And by crying out against this issue, you are affirming just that! There is room in faith for all who earnestly seek Him. And if Christ could refuse no one who came to hear His message and Him, how can we feel, say or act differently?

Candice Czubernat

photo

by Candice Czubernat

I hold the church personally responsible for any LGBTQ person who walks away from God and Christianity. Every week, I get emails from individuals all across the country who are full of desire to be a part of a church. They want to go on the church-wide mission trip, join the choir, serve in the youth group and attend a small group. These are people who long to serve God, connect with other Christians and be a part of a wider community.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Here’s the heartbreaking part: they write me because the church won’t let them do those things and they don’t know what to do.

Their church has found out they are LGBTQ and because of this are no longer welcome to join in these church activities they long to be a part of. The worst are the emails I get are from young…

View original post 2,784 more words

Thought For The Day 02/12/15

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Small Mindedness

Post 1433

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close minded

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_YRvl5fLZQvc/TGO_QiFNbTI/AAAAAAAAAUQ/La3STUa1u_Q/s1600/close+minded.jpg

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Some people need to open their small minds instead of their big mouths.

Author Unknown

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

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How often do we observe the actions of people and ask ourselves how is it possible that, in this day and age, there can exist such an attitude of small-minded entitlement? These people speak and behave as if theirs is not just the only correct but perhaps even the only morally acceptable standard there is! And then suddenly, before you even realize that it has happened, we begin to doubt something as absolute as perhaps even the very fabric of our faith. Such is the power the opinion of the small-minded person can wield, unless we ourselves feel confident enough to persevere on our own path and by our own convictions! James 1:4 NIV says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

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We are all like the fertile loam in any carefully tended field. Our aim is to produce a copious bounty of a product that will either nourish our bodies, such as fruit and vegetables which are so important for our physical health, or nourish our senses through the glorious beauty that springs from plants and flowers! We do not doubt the ability of our field to grow these wonders because we have taken care to fertilize the ground so that our crop can flourish. Isaiah 55:10 NIV supports this. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater…” Then suddenly, without any warning, a bird flying over the land drops the seeds of a weed onto the land, and before we know it, the weeds spring forth, choking out the things we have so carefully cultivated!

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Man has yet to lose the selfish gene that is part of the spiraling code of DNA that God has endowed. Well, perhaps not selfish, but most definitely egocentric. The thing is that when we think only about how actions and even thoughts impact on only us, we fail to grow and flourish in the same way we hope those painfully and carefully tended crops will. It takes the blending of the opinions of the many that produce the most glorious results….whether we are talking about gardens or our families and our communities. Isaiah 58:11 NLT sums it up, “The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” When we consider only the good of the one rather than the many, we will fail as farmers and as human beings in the eyes of God! But eagerly hold fast to the things he has given and make room for a better way of thinking….His way of thinking! And make room for the glorious blooms that will await you in your relationships, and in your garden that is life!

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry