Tag Archives: 10 Commandments

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 06/19/13

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The Ark of the Covenant 

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ark

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“The deepest depth of vulgarism is that of setting up money as the Ark of the Covenant”

Thomas Carlyle

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/ark_of_the_covenant/

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For reason’s I can’t explain, last night in my dreams I saw an image reminiscent of the one from the movie “The Ten Commandments” where the Jewish elders are carrying the bones of Joseph during the exodus from the Egypt…in all pomp and circumstance…drums echoing the reverence of every step. And when I woke, my mind could think of nothing but the Ark of the Covenant, hence the information I am sharing today. And before any asks, YES, I know that the two arks contained vastly different treasures (the first a man whose devotion to God was absolute and the second, the collection of God’s laws….just as treasured and just as absolute). Yet I am betting that the vessel which carried God’s laws (both sets) following Moses’ receipt of them on Sinai,  the Ark of the Covenant, was wielded with the same deference and reverence, during the wanderings of the chosen, prior to their crossing into the promised land….each step equally revered by the tempo drums marking the pace of each step! And to this day, the search for evidence of this second vessel remains the dream of both religious historians as well as archaeologists worldwide!

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Moses and Joshua bowing before the Ark, painting by James Jacques Joseph Tissot, c. 1900

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According to Exodus, the description for construction of the Ark was given to Moses from the mouth of God himself, just as the Law was etched by His finger on the smooth granite of the mountain. Carried by priests and accompanied by others with rams’ horns, it lead the way for the following nation (2000 cubits ahead of both the people as well as their defenders), and shrouded in mystery by a veil of animal skins and blue cloth. Made of shittim wood, the Ark was a masterpiece created by Bezelel and Oholiab. At 2 1/2 cubits long (52″) and 1 1/2 cubits breadth and width (31″) and plated by gold, it was carried by golden rods (staves) and was adorned by a pair of golden cherubim. (All of this can be found in Exodus 25, which follows in English and Hebrew translations.) Just imagine the beauty of such a thing!

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Its whereabouts were known until the reign of King Solomon, and its last known resting place lie in the temple in Jerusalem, until the temple’s destruction by the Babylonian army of King  Nebuchadnezzar. Details of the destruction make no mention of the discovery of this treasure and debate continues even today as to whether it was hidden by priests in the Dome of the Rock in the Temple Mount; by Solomon in a cave near the Dead Sea; or even, as claimed, held in the Church of Saint Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia, and guarded by  “Keeper of the Ark”. But what I do know is that, until the day we can state with definitive certainty that we have found it, the Ark of the Covenant, will remain the fodder of stories and lore, and even movies, as it has been throughout the ages, and the search will likely continue as long as man draws breath!

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Exodus Chapter 25 שְׁמוֹת

א  וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר. 1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:
ב  דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְיִקְחוּ-לִי תְּרוּמָה:  מֵאֵת כָּל-אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ, תִּקְחוּ אֶת-תְּרוּמָתִי. 2 ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, that they take for Me an offering; of every man whose heart maketh him willing ye shall take My offering.
ג  וְזֹאת, הַתְּרוּמָה, אֲשֶׁר תִּקְחוּ, מֵאִתָּם:  זָהָב וָכֶסֶף, וּנְחֹשֶׁת. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them: gold, and silver, and brass;
ד  וּתְכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי, וְשֵׁשׁ וְעִזִּים. 4 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair;
ה  וְעֹרֹת אֵילִם מְאָדָּמִים וְעֹרֹת תְּחָשִׁים, וַעֲצֵי שִׁטִּים. 5 and rams’ skins dyed red, and seal skins, and acacia-wood;
ו  שֶׁמֶן, לַמָּאֹר; בְּשָׂמִים לְשֶׁמֶן הַמִּשְׁחָה, וְלִקְטֹרֶת הַסַּמִּים. 6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense;
ז  אַבְנֵי-שֹׁהַם, וְאַבְנֵי מִלֻּאִים, לָאֵפֹד, וְלַחֹשֶׁן. 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate.
ח  וְעָשׂוּ לִי, מִקְדָּשׁ; וְשָׁכַנְתִּי, בְּתוֹכָם. 8 And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.
ט  כְּכֹל, אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מַרְאֶה אוֹתְךָ, אֵת תַּבְנִית הַמִּשְׁכָּן, וְאֵת תַּבְנִית כָּל-כֵּלָיו; וְכֵן, תַּעֲשׂוּ.  {ס} 9 According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the furniture thereof, even so shall ye make it. {S}
י  וְעָשׂוּ אֲרוֹן, עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים:  אַמָּתַיִם וָחֵצִי אָרְכּוֹ, וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי רָחְבּוֹ, וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי, קֹמָתוֹ. 10 And they shall make an ark of acacia-wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
יא  וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתוֹ זָהָב טָהוֹר, מִבַּיִת וּמִחוּץ תְּצַפֶּנּוּ; וְעָשִׂיתָ עָלָיו זֵר זָהָב, סָבִיב. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about.
יב  וְיָצַקְתָּ לּוֹ, אַרְבַּע טַבְּעֹת זָהָב, וְנָתַתָּה, עַל אַרְבַּע פַּעֲמֹתָיו; וּשְׁתֵּי טַבָּעֹת, עַל-צַלְעוֹ הָאֶחָת, וּשְׁתֵּי טַבָּעֹת, עַל-צַלְעוֹ הַשֵּׁנִית. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four feet thereof; and two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it.
יג  וְעָשִׂיתָ בַדֵּי, עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים; וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתָם, זָהָב. 13 And thou shalt make staves of acacia-wood, and overlay them with gold.
יד  וְהֵבֵאתָ אֶת-הַבַּדִּים בַּטַּבָּעֹת, עַל צַלְעֹת הָאָרֹן, לָשֵׂאת אֶת-הָאָרֹן, בָּהֶם. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings on the sides of the ark, wherewith to bear the ark.
טו  בְּטַבְּעֹת, הָאָרֹן, יִהְיוּ, הַבַּדִּים:  לֹא יָסֻרוּ, מִמֶּנּוּ. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.
טז  וְנָתַתָּ, אֶל-הָאָרֹן–אֵת, הָעֵדֻת, אֲשֶׁר אֶתֵּן, אֵלֶיךָ. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
יז  וְעָשִׂיתָ כַפֹּרֶת, זָהָב טָהוֹר:  אַמָּתַיִם וָחֵצִי אָרְכָּהּ, וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי רָחְבָּהּ. 17 And thou shalt make an ark-cover of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.
יח  וְעָשִׂיתָ שְׁנַיִם כְּרֻבִים, זָהָב; מִקְשָׁה תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם, מִשְּׁנֵי קְצוֹת הַכַּפֹּרֶת. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold; of beaten work shalt thou make them, at the two ends of the ark-cover.
יט  וַעֲשֵׂה כְּרוּב אֶחָד מִקָּצָה, מִזֶּה, וּכְרוּב-אֶחָד מִקָּצָה, מִזֶּה; מִן-הַכַּפֹּרֶת תַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת-הַכְּרֻבִים, עַל-שְׁנֵי קְצוֹתָיו. 19 And make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end; of one piece with the ark-cover shall ye make the cherubim of the two ends thereof.
כ  וְהָיוּ הַכְּרֻבִים פֹּרְשֵׂי כְנָפַיִם לְמַעְלָה, סֹכְכִים בְּכַנְפֵיהֶם עַל-הַכַּפֹּרֶת, וּפְנֵיהֶם, אִישׁ אֶל-אָחִיו; אֶל-הַכַּפֹּרֶת–יִהְיוּ, פְּנֵי הַכְּרֻבִים. 20 And the cherubim shall spread out their wings on high, screening the ark-cover with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the ark-cover shall the faces of the cherubim be.
כא  וְנָתַתָּ אֶת-הַכַּפֹּרֶת עַל-הָאָרֹן, מִלְמָעְלָה; וְאֶל-הָאָרֹן–תִּתֵּן אֶת-הָעֵדֻת, אֲשֶׁר אֶתֵּן אֵלֶיךָ. 21 And thou shalt put the ark-cover above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
כב  וְנוֹעַדְתִּי לְךָ, שָׁם, וְדִבַּרְתִּי אִתְּךָ מֵעַל הַכַּפֹּרֶת מִבֵּין שְׁנֵי הַכְּרֻבִים, אֲשֶׁר עַל-אֲרוֹן הָעֵדֻת–אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר אֲצַוֶּה אוֹתְךָ, אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.  {פ} 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will speak with thee from above the ark-cover, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. {P}
כג  וְעָשִׂיתָ שֻׁלְחָן, עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים:  אַמָּתַיִם אָרְכּוֹ וְאַמָּה רָחְבּוֹ, וְאַמָּה וָחֵצִי קֹמָתוֹ. 23 And thou shalt make a table of acacia-wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
כד  וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתוֹ, זָהָב טָהוֹר; וְעָשִׂיתָ לּוֹ זֵר זָהָב, סָבִיב. 24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about.
כה  וְעָשִׂיתָ לּוֹ מִסְגֶּרֶת טֹפַח, סָבִיב; וְעָשִׂיתָ זֵר-זָהָב לְמִסְגַּרְתּוֹ, סָבִיב. 25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of a handbreadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about.
כו  וְעָשִׂיתָ לּוֹ, אַרְבַּע טַבְּעֹת זָהָב; וְנָתַתָּ, אֶת-הַטַּבָּעֹת, עַל אַרְבַּע הַפֵּאֹת, אֲשֶׁר לְאַרְבַּע רַגְלָיו. 26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof.
כז  לְעֻמַּת, הַמִּסְגֶּרֶת, תִּהְיֶיןָ, הַטַּבָּעֹת–לְבָתִּים לְבַדִּים, לָשֵׂאת אֶת-הַשֻּׁלְחָן. 27 Close by the border shall the rings be, for places for the staves to bear the table.
כח  וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת-הַבַּדִּים עֲצֵי שִׁטִּים, וְצִפִּיתָ אֹתָם זָהָב; וְנִשָּׂא-בָם, אֶת-הַשֻּׁלְחָן. 28 And thou shalt make the staves of acacia-wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them.
כט  וְעָשִׂיתָ קְּעָרֹתָיו וְכַפֹּתָיו, וּקְשׂוֹתָיו וּמְנַקִּיֹּתָיו, אֲשֶׁר יֻסַּךְ, בָּהֵן; זָהָב טָהוֹר, תַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם. 29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and the pans thereof, and the jars thereof, and the bowls thereof, wherewith to pour out; of pure gold shalt thou make them.
ל  וְנָתַתָּ עַל-הַשֻּׁלְחָן לֶחֶם פָּנִים, לְפָנַי תָּמִיד.  {פ} 30 And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before Me alway. {P}
לא  וְעָשִׂיתָ מְנֹרַת, זָהָב טָהוֹר; מִקְשָׁה תֵּעָשֶׂה הַמְּנוֹרָה, יְרֵכָהּ וְקָנָהּ, גְּבִיעֶיהָ כַּפְתֹּרֶיהָ וּפְרָחֶיהָ, מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ. 31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made, even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knops, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it.
לב  וְשִׁשָּׁה קָנִים, יֹצְאִים מִצִּדֶּיהָ:  שְׁלֹשָׁה קְנֵי מְנֹרָה, מִצִּדָּהּ הָאֶחָד, וּשְׁלֹשָׁה קְנֵי מְנֹרָה, מִצִּדָּהּ הַשֵּׁנִי. 32 And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof: three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candle-stick out of the other side thereof;
לג  שְׁלֹשָׁה גְבִעִים מְשֻׁקָּדִים בַּקָּנֶה הָאֶחָד, כַּפְתֹּר וָפֶרַח, וּשְׁלֹשָׁה גְבִעִים מְשֻׁקָּדִים בַּקָּנֶה הָאֶחָד, כַּפְתֹּר וָפָרַח; כֵּן לְשֵׁשֶׁת הַקָּנִים, הַיֹּצְאִים מִן-הַמְּנֹרָה. 33 three cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three cups made like almond-blossoms in the other branch, a knop and a flower; so for the six branches going out of the candlestick.
לד  וּבַמְּנֹרָה, אַרְבָּעָה גְבִעִים:  מְשֻׁקָּדִים–כַּפְתֹּרֶיהָ, וּפְרָחֶיהָ. 34 And in the candlestick four cups made like almond-blossoms, the knops thereof, and the flowers thereof.
לה  וְכַפְתֹּר תַּחַת שְׁנֵי הַקָּנִים מִמֶּנָּה, וְכַפְתֹּר תַּחַת שְׁנֵי הַקָּנִים מִמֶּנָּה, וְכַפְתֹּר, תַּחַת-שְׁנֵי הַקָּנִים מִמֶּנָּה–לְשֵׁשֶׁת, הַקָּנִים, הַיֹּצְאִים, מִן-הַמְּנֹרָה. 35 And a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the candlestick.
לו  כַּפְתֹּרֵיהֶם וּקְנֹתָם, מִמֶּנָּה יִהְיוּ; כֻּלָּהּ מִקְשָׁה אַחַת, זָהָב טָהוֹר. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of one piece with it; the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold.
לז  וְעָשִׂיתָ אֶת-נֵרֹתֶיהָ, שִׁבְעָה; וְהֶעֱלָה, אֶת-נֵרֹתֶיהָ, וְהֵאִיר, עַל-עֵבֶר פָּנֶיהָ. 37 And thou shalt make the lamps thereof, seven; and they shall light the lamps thereof, to give light over against it.
לח  וּמַלְקָחֶיהָ וּמַחְתֹּתֶיהָ, זָהָב טָהוֹר. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
לט  כִּכָּר זָהָב טָהוֹר, יַעֲשֶׂה אֹתָהּ–אֵת כָּל-הַכֵּלִים, הָאֵלֶּה. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these vessels.
מ  וּרְאֵה, וַעֲשֵׂה:  בְּתַבְנִיתָם–אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה מָרְאֶה, בָּהָר.  {ס} 40 And see that thou make them after their pattern, which is being shown thee in the mount. {S}

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt0225.htm

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/14/13

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The 10th Commandment!

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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.

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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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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the essential services that you and I are taking for granted today, even as Winter weather is now descending. Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

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Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
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For information, visit
or

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/10/12

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What Defines A Family?

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My Family

Harold, Mandy, Dan (top)   Henry, Landon, Sabrina (bottom)

Thanksgiving Day, 2010

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My Family

Melissa & Danny

Christmas, 2009

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Ask the question, “What Defines A Family”, and you are apt to get nearly as many answers as there are stars in the sky! And this very question seems to be a front and center topic of debate right here in the United States as everyone from Presidential Candidates to the PTA adds their two cents to the “Family Values” pot! Now I am not going to debate any person’s definition or belief one way or the other. It is not my place to bring any personal feelings I may have on the subject to the table for discussion. But what I do have is the power to introduce observations and explore various examples as a means by looking at the subject through new eyes! And if I can get all of you to begin opening up and talking with one another about this very thing, exchanging ideas and thoughts together, then I have accomplished something huge, in my book!

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So, let’s begin again!  “What Defines A Family”?  Well we know what the moral majority views as a family unit. Think about the traditional view of a family unit when seeing things from their perspective. You know to what I refer. Think mother, father, and  children! But look at other cultures who view extended family members as an intrinsic part of the whole. Such a view is common in many Asian households that see the multigenerational families the norm rather than the exception. For years, Dan’s Uncle Joe, an unmarried bachelor lived together with Dan’s grandmother. Were they any less a family because this mature household did not contain the patter of little feet? They were just as much a family unit as any other because they shared household responsibilities as well as expenses and ownership of property. And any combination of monogamous partnerships which cohabit together, whether secured by the legally binding piece of paper that a marriage license affords, is also a family. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn come to mind as two committed loving partners who do not draw their unity from a legally binding contract of some sort, but rather, choose the companionship of the other for every waking moment of their lives and they have done so since 1983….almost 30 years! Finally, think about pro football player Michael Oher, a young African-American teen with no family to speak of (remember the movie “The Blind Side”?) who became a member of the Le Ann and Sean Tuohy family, after the Tuohy’s learned of his plight from their biological children attending the same school in Memphis, TN. This family took him into not just their home but their hearts, as well, when they formally adopted him a short time later.

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Families are not just born…..they are created. They don’t just pop-up out of nowhere…..they are nurtured into bloom. They come from the union of people of all shapes, sizes, ages, sexes, religions, ethnic origins and just about any other defining characteristic you can think of. There is, however, one singular defining characteristic that transcends all of the others as being the sole force behind every single one of these diverse family units. LOVE! I so love the word LOVE! It is the not just the capacity to feel its magic that defines humankind but it is also  is the one thing that is most definitive of Christs heart too (and by the way, there are many who view the relationship Christ had with his Disciples, as a family unit. They were, after all, just as nurturing and committed one to the other as any other we have discussed). After all, once again, I must point out what Jesus saw as the greatest of the commandments. Matthew 22: 36-40 says:  36) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37) Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38) This is the first and greatest commandment. 39)And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40)All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

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12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Exodus 20: 12 KJV

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31) Therefore now pray thou for us, because thou art a godly woman, and the Lord will send us rain to fill our cisterns, and we shall faint no more. 32) Then said Judith unto them, Hear me, and I will do a thing, which shall go throughout all generations to the children of our nation.

Judith 8: 31-32 KJV with Apocrypha

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/01/12

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“SE7EN”

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http://www.ict4us.com/mnemonics/en_palegas.htm

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As to the Seven Deadly Sins, I deplore Pride, Wrath, Lust, Envy and Greed.  Gluttony and Sloth I pretty much plan my day around. 

Robert Brault

 www.robertbrault.com

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I bet everyone out there have heard the phrase “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” but I am wondering how many have actually thought about this comparison of the sexes as it exists within the Christian family? And more specifically, as it relates to the issue of discord and sin!

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I guess I began to ponder this the other day what I happened to turn on the television and as I was surfing the programming guide, up popped the movie “SE7EN”. Now, this is a fictional story about a serial killer who commits his crimes following the order of “The Seven Deadly Sins”. (The currently recognized version of these sins are wrath (anger), greed, sloth (laziness), pride, lust, envy and gluttony!) Now either he choose his victims because their behavior epitomizes the sin, or else he forces them to become the sin, as in the man he forced to eat and drink until he becomes immensely huge and dies because of it.

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Now, the inspiration for the idea aside, it occurred to me to wonder just why it was these particular vices should lend themselves to being classified in the way they have been. They are, after all, not exactly big sins, or mortal sins, in that they really do not attack a principle that we hold as vital to human existence, such as the sin that is found in committing murder. Nor are they exactly little ones, or venial sins, such as the kind that might be found in the telling of that little white lie. Actually they may sort of toe the line of each side, depending on which one we choose to look at and under what circumstance they occur. But then I began to wonder if they were an entirely different breed of sin all together, and so I decided to look at each separately to see if I could discern exactly why they have been designated the way they have been. And I discovered something that surprised me. There exists a commonality among them all, despite the obvious differences they display when looking at the surface of each one.  Unlike most sin, those “SE7EN” deadly ones do something very unique. Each one engenders or gives rise to other sins and vices in our behavior. And just as they accomplish this, I discovered that depending on our sex, we are more predisposed to commit them differently.

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For MEN, the order of the offenses seems to be the following, according to researchers:

1. Lust

2. Gluttony

3. Laziness (Sloth)

4. Anger (Wrath)

5. Pride

6. Envy

7. Greed

For WOMEN, the order is much different, and, actually, makes perfect sense to me in that they seem to follow the tendencies toward the kinds weakness that I find within myself:

1. Pride

2. Envy

3. Anger (Wrath)

4. Lust

5. Gluttony

6. Greed

7. Laziness (Sloth)

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Now considering that these particular sins were first listed back in the 6th Century, AD by Gregory the Great, I find that their relevance to today’s man and woman a rather remarkable testament to the weakness which we as people seem to continue to display 1500 years farther along the timeline of human existence! And yet, in thinking about it, from the earliest days of Bible passages, God endeavors to reinforce to mankind that no sin is an acceptable one, in his eyes. Hence laws written by His hand in tablets so long ago, and reinforced again and again by different great men within the Bible! I guess we as human beings are VERY slow learners!

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As per King Solomon:

16 There are six things the LORD hates,    seven that are detestable to him:     17 haughty eyes,       a lying tongue,       hands that shed innocent blood,     18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,       feet that are quick to rush into evil,     19 a false witness who pours out lies       and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs 6: 16-19

(NIV)

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Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 02/16/12

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Those Shades Of Grey
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Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.
Austin O’Malley
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That “Little White Lie”!  It is something most of us are guilty of. How often has our response been to someone we love, when asked the question “Do I look fat in this?” to say something like, “You’ve never looked more beautiful!” More often than not, our response is to answer the question being asked of us in some shade of grey. Especially when we realize that to answer in black and white might just cause someone we love needless hurt or pain.  Therefore, we must consider the million dollar question for people of faith…. is there is ever a time for that “little white lie” in our life?
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Just ask most experts in the field of psychology and marriage counseling that question and you are apt to be told that the there are times when those shades of grey may actually decrease the amount of stress that is inevitable within the family dynamic.  However the time soon comes when we are forced to consider whether the thing we say in those shades is truly a harmless lie or a more serious lie. The issue at hand becomes so much more subjective at this point, often enlarging that grey area to the point where it is like slapping a band-aid on some hemorrhaging wound.
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Perhaps it is this reason that we, as people of faith, are asked not to tell lies. It is an imperative so profound that God, by His own hand, engraved it into stone. It is what He expects of us, especially for Christians, who are directed to live lives by Christ’s example. For it is only when people choose to embrace those things which are truths, can we ask of others to hear what we say and know that we speak the truth. We can go to sleep at night with a clear conscience knowing that we were truthful. And, perhaps as important, telling the truth reflects on our character as people, which is something most of us want to be good….as well we should. Because it is our character that follows our every step, every day in our lives and is certainly, something that is closely looked at by the others we encounter.
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Is this road easy? Absolutely not. It is very easy to be tempted and fall into the lap of sin. But it is also something we must work at. And it is very hard work! Life isn’t easy. People aren’t easy. And sometimes we just want to take the easy way out. But knowing what it is that is expected of us, and remembering what the rewards will be at the end of our journey through life, might just make our efforts in this direction a bit easier!

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 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

Luke 16:10 (NIV)

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A very Happy Birthday wish to my baby sister, Melissa. I hope it’s a great Birthday for you!

Mandy & Melissa
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Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC