Tag Archives: change

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 02/14/15

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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

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

Thought For The Day 02/11/15

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It’s A Neverending Story

Post 1432

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 The-Neverending-Story

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Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation.  For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. 
 
Albert Einstein
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I talked a while ago about being a member of the club that none of us wishes we had to belong to. But just as surely as the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, so is this membership a mandatory part of being a human being.
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I learned the other day, of another of my friends losing a loved one… her mother, in fact. And while the grieving process is such a very personal one and very different from person to person, I have walked in her shoes. I remember from a personal perspective, that when my mother passed away, 25 years ago, I actually felt like I was 1/2 of an orphan. And that thought was extremely surprising to me, as I mused about it later on. When I lived at home my mother and I were always embroiled in some dispute or other, almost never agreeing on anything through my teen and young adult years. But, it was also my mother that was the first one that I turned to share my joys as well as my sorrows, in the years following my marriage and when distance made our connection together a phone call rather than a walk from one room to the next.
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And then I realized that we were, in reality, a part of “The Neverending Story”. In case you don’t know, this is a story, first published in 1979 and made into a movie in 1984, about a bullied boy, whose mother had recently passed away and whose father was so engrossed in his own mourning that he neglects to recognize the pain his son is going through.  And it was when Bastian was running away from the bullies that he enters a magical book store, discovers the book “The Neverending Story”, and absconds with it. Seeking refuge in a closed off part of his school, he begins reading and is transported into another place and time, where he becomes enmeshed within the lives as well as the storyline of the characters contained within the book. Many tragedies occur but it is when Bastian actually realizes that it is he and his life force that is actually directing the course of the story, that he realizes the degree of control and power that he has to help not just his new friends in Fantasia, but his father, and himself, as well. And we find that one little boy has been given the opportunity to bring hope to the world in which he lives.
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My point is that everything in our lives is intermingled with every aspect of the lives of those we are close to and even with those whose encounters with us are but casual occurrences. “The Neverending Story” is the story of life. And every single movement we make and thought we have directs the course of our own journey as part of our very own never-ending story. It may be considered no more that a hiccough in the road of life for the universe when it presents as a sinkhole in our own. But each adds to the wisdom we are blessed with and adds one more layer to our character as a human being. And when we turn to God to help us along this journey that is our never-ending story, we can be certain that we are blessed with the resources to meet head on, all those challenges with the knowledge that we are not facing them alone!
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A funeral service I once attended was officiated by a minister I do not know, but who shared a wonderful poem that moved me to my very core! And every time I read or share it’s beauty, I am reminded that even in death, we each forever remain part of “The Neverending Story” of life.
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Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep 

by
Mary Elizabeth Frye
  

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/do-not-stand-by-my-grave-and-weep#ixzz3RHwmWbXl

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Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:54-57  NLT

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/10/15

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It’s A New Dawn
It’s A New Day
It’s A New Life

Post 1431

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sunrise

photograph by Barbara Read

http://webdesignledger.com/inspiration/33-beautiful-examples-of-sunrise-photography

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“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the daywho allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety. Finish every day and be done with it.You have done what you could.Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Collected Poems and Translations”

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/new-day

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I think once upon a time I wrote of the difference between the words FAITH and BELIEVE. If you recall, FAITH is what we have been given by God and it is what grows and propels us into choosing to act in ways that are God like. It is the acting component that really defines the verb, BELIEVEing! Yes, it is FAITH and its resulting action of BELIEF which are the first components of the virtues of Christianity talked about by St Paul, FAITH, HOPE and LOVE (charity). And despite the fact that Christ determined that the greatest of the three virtues, was the third, LOVE or charity, I really have to wonder if the second two would even be possible without the first! Think about Paul’s testimony in Hebrews 11:1 ISV, Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.  So, it would seem to support the facts that the growth of both Hope and Love would not really have been possible without the existing foundation of the first, Faith!

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Regardless of how it is you view their importance, what is not nor ever will be in dispute, is the fact that it is only through the special blending of all three of these virtues, that somehow creates the crazy good way a heart that knows them and a spirit that seeks to live by them, feels every day. Now I don’t know if the virtues are responsible for triggering those feel good endorphins that are released into our blood stream when we are happy or if the virtues themselves ARE the endorphins, but when we have FAITH, our eye can see beyond the jumbled up mess that life sometimes is, to a future filled with promises that HOPE gives to us. And it is that same faith that helps us to experience the special LOVE that we know and share with our nearest and dearest who join us on the roller coaster ride that is life. It is these same three that tell us over and over that with God, anything is possible! The gifts of the three, FAITH, HOPE and LOVE, opens our eyes to the reality that with God, every new dawn and new day brings us closer to that new life which is His promise for us all!

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“Feeling Good”

Written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse
for the 1965 musical
The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd”

Performed by Michael Bublé

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Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Reeds driftin’ on by
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom in the tree
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

Dragonfly out in the sun
You know what I mean, don’t you know
Butterflies all havin’ fun
You know what I mean
Sleep in peace when the day is done,
that’s what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me
For me

Stars when you shine
You know how I feel
Scent of the pine
You know how I feel
Yeah freedom is mine
And I know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
It’s a new life
For me

And I’m feeling good, I’m feeling good, I feel so good!

 

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…for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Ephesians 5:14 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/09/15

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“Que Sera, Sera”

Post 1430

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Que Sera Sera

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que sera, sera

(Spanish phrase)

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: whatever will be will be

Synonyns: whatever happens, whatever may happen

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: condemned, hopeless

Synonyns: bedeviled, bewitched, convicted, cursed, cut down, damned, dead duck, destroyed, done, done for, fated, fey, foreordained, ill-fated, ill-omened, in the cards, kiss of death, lost, luckless, menaced, overthrown, overwhelmed, predestined, reprobate, ruined, sentenced, star-crossed, sunk, suppressed, threatened, thrown down, undone, unfortunate, unredeemed, wrecked

Antonyms: hopeful, lucky

http://thesaurus.com/browse/que+sera+sera

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“The Waking”

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me, so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Theodore Roethke
“The Collected Poems” 

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/14197-the-collected-poems-of-theodore-roethke

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I remember as a child being mesmerized by the voice of Doris Day! Actually, everything about her was mesmerizing! Her looks, her manner, her acting skill and even her humanity when it came to causes, was fascinating to me and provided proof that no matter how fortunate you are, it is the qualities of your heart and what you give back to the rest of the world that matters. You see, even if the situation might seem hopeless, it need not make one feel hopeless or act hopelessly! And therein lies the proof that the words in the title of this post, made famous in a song written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, and which was introduced in the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock movie starring Miss Day, “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, are really pure bunk! It is NEVER what will be but rather, it is what we choose to make, that measures our lives.

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Now I am not so naive as to believe that we accomplish these things alone. Nor do I think that their outline is not already part of God’s plan for us. But the execution and incorporation of them as an integral part of the way we live our lives, is wholly and entirely up to us to implement. Just look at the above list of Synonyms for this phrase. I defy you to read them and think, ” Yep… these are attributes I want to embrace and adopt as a motto for living!” 1 Corinthians 3:8-10 NIV (UK) reminds us that it is our choices that reap our rewards in this life….AND in the next! “The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour. For we are fellow workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.”

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God sets the wheels of our lives in motion. In fact, He opens doors for us to walk through and they are doors that Satan can not shut in our faces! But the doors are many and the choice of which one to pass through is solely ours to make. He will be by our side as we choose but he is there only as our guide and perhaps even our moral compass. He does NOT dictate the choice for us but instead, relies on our using the attributes He has programmed each of us with, such as our capacity to think, decide and choose for ourselves! The consequences of those choices we will reap, whether we choose life or death, love or hate, darkness or light, sin or virtue! After all, do we not appreciate and embrace more fully when we get the things we want, especially if we also need them? God is the same way. Think about it this way…..would He WANT you, if you did not want Him? Here is a verse that reinforces this fact! 1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV, ” But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”

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But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

James 2:18 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/07/15

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I Know Why I Believe!

Post 1428

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whydoyoubelieve_zps8098d3ff

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  “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.”

Dwight L. Moody

http://hopefaithprayer.com/faith/faith-quotes/

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Today I want to expand a bit on yesterday’s post, “Seeing the Face of God” and ask you this question: “Do you believe in God?” Now to examine this a bit more, I want to challenge you to think about some things you may never have considered up till now!

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Ask a roomful of people if they believe in God and you will probably get as many different answers as there are the number of people that are in that room! Some may not be certain but as intelligent people, they recognize that sometimes trying to answer “YES” or “NO” foist’s a personal belief onto another which is why they might choose to say that they respect the right of everyone to decide the matter for themselves! Then there are others who look to the majesty of the cosmos and say that we here are but a speck on the fabric of the universe and yet, we as a race, are determined to continue forward in life because faith propels us to do so! Others see God as an always existing entity who was, is, and always will be a force that is one we can turn to in good and bad times for succor and sustenance! And yet others hold that there must exist a force greater than that of man who set all things as we have come to know them in motion!

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I, for one, have always been a pragmatist. I look at things, try to dissect them, and then draw my conclusions based on my determinations…. which is so contrary to how I define faith (belief without proof) that I sometimes wonder how it is that I know so positively, that what it is that I believe, is true. And then I realized that the answers to God’s very existence lies in His design for our existence. For example, look at a few things that defy explanation but which are a part of the perfectly tuned symphony that is our little part of the universe!

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Earth:

The size and location of Earth is perfect. Earth is close enough to the sun so that a vast amount of its land mass is habitable. We can be kept  perfectly warm and cool, but not burn up nor freeze to death.  Our atmosphere holds just the perfect proportions of the gasses such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, that we need for sustaining all life… plant, animal, human. Our planet contains water for maintaining that atmosphere and our satellite is just the perfect distance away so that its gravitational pull keeps our oceans constantly circulating by tidal forces. Add to this the other million things scientific minds have learned about our planet and it is easy to think that it can not have happened by pure chance.

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Man:

Just consider the complex programming that comprises our DNA. There are 30 million nucleosomes in each human cell. So many are needed because the DNA strand wraps around each one only 1.65 times, in a twist containing 147 of its units, and the DNA molecule in a single chromosome can be up to 225 million units in length. (a) And every one of the billions of cells we have, acts like a microscopic computer for controlling the billions of things our bodies need to do to sustain our life! From being able to see the 7 million colors we can differentiate to a brain that can process a million messages a second, it is inconceivable that the symphony that is our bodies was an accident.

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Laws of Nature:

We walk upon the earth without fear we will fly off into space. The earth revolves around the sun in a predictable time frame of 1,461 days every 4 years. The moon revolves around the earth in 28 days. Our planet rotates once every 24 hours. Ice melts in the sunlight just as a hot cup of coffee cools even in that same light. These are ordered, reliable and absolute! Even scientists are baffled at the orderly way nature follows a detailed set of rules without any unpredictability. A Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, Richard Feynman, has said that the fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle! (b)

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Jesus:

There has been only one religious figure in all of history that has claimed to be equal to God. From Confucius to Moses, to Muhammad to Buddha, all were self-described prophets or teachers. The fact that Christ described himself as with attributes that have always be seen to rest only with God, such as the power of forgiveness, sets him apart from the others. While the rest asked followers to listen and apply the teachings of their words, Jesus asked people to follow HIM! John 14:6 NIV says, ‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “’ We also read in John 8:12 NIV, ‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’

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So, having read these four things I have shared, and understanding that there are perhaps dozens of additional arguments that could be given, I ask once more, “Do you believe in God?” I hope that if you were perhaps teetering between answering “YES” or “NO”, I may have at least given you a gentle nudge over to the “YES” side of the equation. And even if I haven’t, let me share just one more thing with you right now. Whether you believe in God matters less than you think because, GOD BELIEVES IN YOU. He LOVES you. He ACCEPTS you. And He will ALWAYS be there for YOU!

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(a) http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/science/25dna.html?_r=0

(b) Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist (New York: BasicBooks, 1998), 43

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Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 15:13 KJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/06/15

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The Face Of God

Post 1427

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Great Smokeys Natl Park

Photo taken in the Great Smokey National Park

https://plus.google.com/photos/115701375126412820310/albums/5181180870153533857?banner=pwa&gpsrc=pwrd1#

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“When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. He has been a party to, has made, sustained and moved moment by moment within, all our earthly experiences of innocent love.”

C.S. Lewis

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/when-we-see-the-face-of-god-we-shall-know-that-we/365620.html

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We have all heard the question time and time again. “How can I believe in God? I have never seen Him! I can not talk to Him! He has never come knocking on my door! So how can I know He is real?” And for a brief moment, I needed to think about just exactly how I would form my answer to this. How can I explain something my heart knows to be true? Then I remembered the tiny daughter of a friend who was born 3 months prematurely, weighing just about 1 & 1/2 pounds.

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I asked over and over for prayers for this little one whose diapers were smaller that a cell phone. And she fought and fought to live and grow. Fast forward 34 months… almost 3 years! Now I see a pictures her mommy has shared of a still tiny face, but with laughter dancing from tiny lips. And I know I am seeing the face of God! Then I glance to the window and I spy the Basil plant sitting on my sill, which began life as a single 6 inch tall plant with spindly but intact roots. I found it in the produce section of my local store, brought it home, planted it, and now it has grown so big it has been pruned back countless times and its fragrant leaves have seasoned gallons of my spaghetti sauce. And I know I am seeing the face of God! Then I look up at the sky, as blue as a Robin’s egg, with fluffy white clouds dancing and changing shape at the urging of a breeze none can see, but all know is there. And I know I am seeing the face of God! Then I look down at the ground where, amid the brown blades of grass, I see tiny green shoots magically springing forth, a promise of the changes to come. And I know I am seeing the face of God!

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The Bible tells us that we must accept by faith that God exists. That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” Psalm 19:1-4 ESV. Deep within us we intuitively know that there is something greater than we are and therefore there must also be something beyond this life and the world as we know it to exist. Choose to deny this all you want but even Albert Einstein agreed that the presence of one who eclipses life as we know it must exist and it is as obvious as looking around our world….and beyond into the heavens!

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God’s face and voice may not be among the things that I can view with my eyes or hear with my ears, but His spirit and love and promise is everywhere I look and in everything I hear, feel, taste, touch and smell. God is in the aroma of my first cup of coffee that wakes me in the morning, bringing a smile to my face, and magically transforming me from an ogre into a lady! God is in the smell of my husband’s pillow which ties him to me, evoking a tender and comforting feeling in my heart, even if he is 500 miles away from me. God is in the aroma of a product I use to clean my floors which always transports me back to a time of my childhood and the fun house of an amusement park I loved, who used the very same product 55 years ago! God is in the purring of my cat as he lays above my head at night, nuzzling my hair for 1o minutes before bounding across the bed, off to whatever mischief cats will find the darkness and quiet of a sleeping house. And God is even in the tug my heart feels every time I hear the bagpipes sing the mournful notes of “Amazing Grace”. And I think that if you have eyes to see, ears to hear, a nose to smell, a tongue to taste, skin to feel with and fingers to touch with, you HAVE seen the face of God too, because He is within each and every one of us!

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“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ ”

John 20:29 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/05/15

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How Do You Catch Bees?
Honey Or Vinegar

Post 1426

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couple arguing

http://www.todaysmodernfamily.com/index.php/4288

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“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

 Louis de Bernières 

“Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Captain_Corelli’s_Mandolin

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I remember my mother telling me that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, a fact that was reinforced once by a friend who told me about his approach in facing the hard things and the even harder people that come knocking on his door, every day. He referred to it as “The Feather Hammer” approach. You approach things from the good perspective, all the while slipping in the hard-core truth! And of course, his words reminded me of how much I, myself, hated being on the receiving end of the hellfire and brimstone approach! So I think the time is at hand where I must pay my penance for some of my more bombastic posts and share with you all a story that has been circling the globe for years now. It is a softer and gentler story that I share today! The origins of the tale are not clear, although it may have come from the East, as the reference to chopsticks alludes. However it is a reminder that sometimes the soft and gentle way is also the right way to compel someone to wake up, “smell the coffee”, and realize just what it is they risk by not appreciating and caring for and about the things that already exist in their life, but which have, over time, become but a shadow of what once was!

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MARRIAGE

Author Unknown

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.” She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. “I want a divorce.” I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “Why?”

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “You are not a man!” That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. “No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce”, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, and cried out, “Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms”. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly, “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.” I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, “All my dresses have grown bigger.” I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, and that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.”

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, “Sorry, Jane. I do not want the divorce anymore.”

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. “Do you have a fever?” She said. I moved her hand off my head. “Sorry, Jane. I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.”

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The sales girl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from whatever negative reaction would come from our son, in case we followed through with the divorce. At least, in the eyes of our son, I’m a loving husband….

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I am reminded that it is usually those who are closest to us who are the first victims of our selfish behaviors.  We don’t just wake up one day no longer in love with our partner. It is neglect that happens day after day that erodes the very foundation of a relationship. When we view the world through eyes that only look rather than really seeing, suddenly it is those who should be the most important to us that somehow become invisible. Consequently, our relationship becomes but a shadow of what was once, the promise of a lifetime together. Indeed, if there is any absolute worth remembering always, it must be that we should always hold those we love above even ourselves!

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Life’s good times do not just happen. We MAKE them happen. We are the creators of the events in our life and therefore, it is we who are responsible for creating our own happiness. When we focus on the things that we think matter, such as money, power and possessions, we may believe we have the key to happiness. But things do no give us happiness. Only people and relationships can do that. And it is usually the little things….the small but sweet details, that are the most powerful force for binding hearts together! As part of the story above, I read the comment of someone who had also shared it, and this person’s comment was one I will never forget. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” So don’t!

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You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

Malachi 2:14-15 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry