Tag Archives: Circle of Life

Thought For The Day 02/11/15

Standard

It’s A Neverending Story

Post 1432

___

 The-Neverending-Story

___
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
___
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.
___
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.
___
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.
___
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!
___
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.
___

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

___

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

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Dy 12/06/14

Standard

The Miracle Of Parenthood 

   Post 1365   

___

a Parent's Prayer

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

___

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

Charles Osgood

http://izquotes.com/quote/289712

___

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

___

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

___

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

___

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

___

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

___

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

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

Psalm 127: 1-4 NLT

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/19/14

Standard

Our Senior Generation

Post 1149

___

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) Holds Health Care Town Hall With Senior Citizens

___

A man’s age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Wartime Writings 1939-1944
translated from French by Norah Purcell

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

___

Dan has finally reached the day that he is eligible for Medicare (yes, one of those so-called entitlements that we who have worked for years have actually funded by our contributions withheld from pay checks that always seemed just a tad too little in the first place for raising a family, paying bills and to somehow manage to tuck a little away for our future post working years). And since that magical calendar page turned, I found myself wondering whether our aging population (myself included) is really getting better (as the old adage implies) or are we simply getting older? And I guess the answer to that question must be, it’s simply a matter of whether you are a “glass half empty” or a “glass half full” kind of person!

___

We all can sit and bemoan our lot in life if that is where our head directs our heart to aim for. Sounds a bit like Job 17:15 ESV, “Where then is my hope? Who will see my hope?”, don’t you think? The problem is that wallowing in self-pity never solved any dilemma, as far as I know. In fact, I find just the opposite to be true. The more we lament, the more things seem to grow and multiply, coming to the forefront of our list of regrets or circumstances which make us unhappy.  For example, when Dan and I argue, the ideal would be to keep the argument centered around the one particular thing that made one of us angry but instead, we begin to harp about things that have no bearing on the thing at hand and which really matter little, like always finding the gas tank empty when we’re going out and it’s raining, or having to go to the dryer to get that clean pair of socks instead of the underwear drawer where clean socks belong. And suddenly, the argument morphs into some insidious beast where the sins from the past 37 years seem to become fodder for the feed trough!

___

Focusing on life’s negatives is a sure-fire road to unhappiness. It will cause you to miss opportunities and good times, neglect the problems that can be fixed and place mountains between you and those who are closest to you! In a nut shell, it puts our entire quality of life right in the toilet! The thing is that the glass is most likely never half empty. What you think is gone is really just sitting on the bottom just waiting for you to drink your fill. Think about a glass of chocolate milk, in all its chocolatey goodness. You drink your fill only to discover the thick layer of sweet residue of chocolate, somehow missed as you stirred, that is sitting on the bottom, as a final treat! Well the same principle applies when we persist approaching our faith with a “glass half full” attitude. James 1:12 ESV, describes our reward perfectly. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

___

Yes, as we age, the realization that life is really getting shorter each year actually serves to enhance our appreciation for each second that we live! Because like chocolate milk, the sweetest things in life are the experiences we savor and enjoy during the days when we have not just the time to enjoy them, but the wisdom of age to fully appreciate them, as well!

___

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3: 16-19 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/25/14

Standard

Seasons Change

(And So Do I!)

Thought 1293

___

FallHarvest

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+the+harvest&qs=n&form=QBIR&pq=picture+of+the+harvest&sc=4-22&sp=-1&sk=#a

___

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.

Meister Eckhart

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/30995.html

___

The days are moving quickly to a time of quiet and peaceful rest here in the Northern Hemisphere of our world. We see the signs outside our window with each glance we take. The air is becoming chilled in the early morning and at night and the green canopy on the trees begins to fade from vibrant green to hues of red, yellow and gold.  We wait on darkened street corners early in the morning clutching tiny hands waiting for new adventures to begin in school and we cheer our favorite teams to victory on the football field.

___

Our forefathers celebrated this time of the year… these days of harvest and reaping… as their just reward for all the hard work put forth during the summer making sure crops grew and flourished. And despite the fact that today, most of us get our food from the grocers, we still reap the bounty of all the hard work dedicated by men and woman in assuring that there will be no shortage during the long winter months. So it is appropriate… even necessary… that we still take a moment to sit down and give special thanks to the Lord for all the things we have been graced with in our lives. And of course, it comes as no surprise that we here in the Americas choose to celebrate Thanksgiving in the weeks that follow the autumn harvest!

___

Perhaps this would be a wonderful time to begin establishing some new family traditions in giving thanks that will carry through the next couple of months until Advent arrives. Is there just one unusual and unique thing you can think of to be thankful for? Perhaps you have sacrificed to get a bill paid off and you can thank God for the fortitude and discipline that it took to reach this goal. Or perhaps your little one is making wonderful progress in school worthy of giving thanks. It doesn’t matter what you give thanks for. What matters is establishing a routine whereby you think about your blessings and spend time in celebration of those accomplishments with the power that allowed them to happen in the first place.

___

Spiritual Fullness in Christ

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/13/14

Standard

The Living Message

Thought 1281

___

BA00846 

http://www.lrba.org/795868

___

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.

Neil Postman

“The Disappearance of Childhood” 1982

http://quotegarden.com/children.html

___

There is a seamy side of life that exists for some of the children in our world that most of us (thank God) never really witness during the course of our lifetimes. Yes, we know it is there because we read of its existence or see it up front and personal, on our 65″ television screen. The unthinkable happens to little ones every day and not just in some other neighborhood. We know that the self-defeating behaviors that living a life of poverty produces seems to infect and spread in adults entrusted with the welfare of children, but the unthinkable also happens in areas of affluence, as well. While poverty will often breed more poverty in future generations who do not know anything else (or any other life) because they have never learned any other way, then what explanation can there possibly be for the horrors that happen in my middle class community or the upper class communities of…. oh…. let’s say, a Beverly Hills, CA or a Kiawah Island, SC, where the cost of building a home could feed an entire town for months? We as a society, have become infected with a sickness that is metastasizing and turning our souls into some dark and malevolent thing. Indeed, we have become not just complacent but apathetic, as well!

___

My husband once said that as parents, we are entrusted with one responsibility to our children……. to keep them alive until they grow to adulthood! And while that might shock you, feeling that way actually makes some sense. We do, as adults, have a duty to provide for the basic welfare of our children. We must feed, clothe, provide shelter and educate youngsters as well as protect them from their own propensity for becoming involved in behaviors that will prove harmful to them. These things are considered to be so essential that their guarantee is protected by laws we have enacted, to assure that the welfare of little ones remains the primary focus in our society. However, there is a point where Dan and I part ways on our opinions of child rearing. You see, I believe if we stop right there, we are not producing children who will become the best they can possibly be. To create a generation who will grow to become caring and loving adults, we must take parenting one additional step and nurture and guide our children on a path that will, hopefully, implant within them a hunger to learn all that they can and a thirst to care not just about themselves, but others and the world, as well. After all, tomorrow’s parent is the child we raised today! And like it or not, this MUST include instilling the tenets of faith as part of the rest of the things we teach our little ones.

___

Showing faith by the way we live and then reinforcing those lessons by examples we teach our children needs to begin at a very young age and is an essential determining how our little ones view not just the world but their place in the world, as well. Our goal must be to guide them onto a path through life that is productive as well as principled! I once read that faith is like the wind! We know that the wind exists even if it does not have mass or color or taste or smell. Now while we might see the movement of the leaves on trees or the clouds in the sky or feel the sensation of a breeze on our bodies as the hair on our skin is rustled, still we can not see it! Faith is exactly the same way. Faith does not have mass or color or taste or smell either. Although we can see the tangible symbols of faith that exist in our world, such as crosses and churches and the Bible, faith is just as invisible to the eye as is the wind. However, what we do know is the feeling that faith provides to us. Once we open our eyes to God’s truths we will see faith in the way it touches our soul and brings joy to our hearts. And what a wonderful legacy we are sharing with the adults of tomorrow by teaching them of religion and God and faith, today!

___

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 08/15/14

Standard

Faith, Family, Friends

Thought 1252

___

faith-family-friends

___

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

Jane Howard

http://www.great-inspirational-quotes.com/family-quotes.html

___

wpid-2014-08-14-15.06.27.jpg.jpeg

Top: Harold, Mandy, Dan
Bottom: Henry, Landon, Sabrina
Thanksgiving 2010
~

Dan and Melissa 2013

Melissa & Danny
August 2013

___

FAMILY! Who has ever looked this word up? Well, family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matrilocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a husband, his wife, and children; also called nuclear family); and consanguineal (also called an extended family) in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent’s family.

___

Look at this definition and I wonder that any one of us would ever want to be a part of any union of a consanguineal nature. Sounds more like something that Bram Stoker would have written about, doesn’t it? And yet, it is these blood or consanguineal ties, that physically link every single living being, whether human or animal, to other like members of their species. And today, we take the definition of family one step further as we recognize that families have evolved beyond the traditional nuclear one to any group united and sharing domestic responsibilities within the home! But no matter how you define family, it was the concept of family that was recognized as being so important, that even God knew that for His son to walk the earth and to do what it was that He was destined to do for humanity, first He needed to be conceived, carried, delivered, nurtured and educated within the family dynamic!

___

The concept of family has always held tremendous significance throughout our history of faith. From the Garden of Eden where God directs Adam and Eve to “….Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28, to the time of Moses when God’s laws were given to man, and two of His commands (the seventh which protects the sanctity of marriage by prohibiting adultery, and the fifth which directs all humans to honor their parents) instructed about the importance of maintaining a cohesive and unified family dynamic.

___

Yes, our human family is the most important gift we, and society, for that matter, are given. But even more important than the physical family we are born into, is the spiritual family we are “born again” into! And yet there is one thing that ties both of these families together. LOVE! Love is the glue that unites the human family together as one, and it is love that defines our spiritual family, as well! John 13:34-35 NIV reminds us of this new command from God! “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

___

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named

Ephesians 3:14-15 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 07/18/14

Standard

Like A Fine Wine?

Thought 1223

___

http://www.best-face.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/The-Aging-Face1.jpg

___

Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour.  With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life. 

Charles Dickens

http://quotegarden.com/age.html

___

There is always something I have wondered about, never more than lately as I face the prospects in a few weeks of adding another revolution around the sun to my list of accomplishments! Do we really get wiser as we grow older? Now I know that I for one seem more scatter-brained these days. And I struggle to remember what I ate for breakfast unless it was something momentous, like Belgium Waffles made by the hand of my loving husband, which, by the way, the next time he makes them will be the FIRST time he made them! Yes, he and I often joke that I am becoming so forgetful that one day if he becomes annoyed at me over something or other, I am likely to find myself dropped off out in the back woods, and I won’t remember how to find my way home! Ahhhh, ain’t love grand?

___

For so many years, it was thought that much like our bodies, the brain declines with age. And yet, taking into account that there are some diseases more common to an aging population that can rob us of our cognition, studies actually have been conducted in the United Kingdom that prove that the opposite is really true!

___

Looking at tasks such as problem solving and language, the human animal performs better from middle age onward. Studies of job performance also support this claim. While response time for tasks were better among younger workers, for quality of product, older employees fared much higher! And researchers at the University of Michigan have found that despite life’s adversities, people actually are happier the older they become. With life experience we gain as we grow older, also comes wisdom and with wisdom comes happiness. It seems that even as we stumble (figuratively speaking) through the years, we somehow manage, in the process, to not just get better at living those years, but we better appreciate the rewards the experiences of those years yields! And there is one other thing to think about. The new thinking is that the human brain is not unlike the hard drive of a computer. It runs a bit slower as it ages simply because of the amount of data (both information as well as life experiences) it has stored in side of it.

___

And much like a fine wine AND the human brain, faith also becomes mellower, deeper and richer as we grow older. Yes, there are some for whom the cynicism of life also erodes the faith they hold in their hearts, but I believe the vast majority of people feel as I do. It is all of my life experiences that supports the fact that I am not the one who controls my destiny and I become not just comforted, but grateful as well, that God has taken the worry of my future from my hands.

___

As I get older, it is somehow easier to believe and act in accordance with those beliefs with a trusting heart, knowing that it is He that asks this of me. When most of us are younger, we are much more egocentric. The world and all of its delights revolves around us. But as we get older, it seems as if we are able to discover that it is we who choose to revolve around God and our faith in Him! Yes, we may feel discouraged at times. We are human, after all, with our all too human weaknesses. But it is through our lifelong experiences that we recognize that with the negatives comes the positives. And it is through this that we understand that it is God’s perfect love that can free us from our earthly and all too human fears!

___

“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”

Job 12:12 NIV

___

Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”