Tag Archives: collective group

Thought For The Day 02/21/14

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Evangelism

Post 1074

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Evangelism

https://dbcmedia.org/sermons/images/86

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I am convinced, by the way, that friendships provide the most fertile soil for evangelism. When the reality of Christ is introduced into a relationship of love and trust that has already been established, the effect is powerful. And it seems that invariably, when someone becomes a true follower of Christ, that person’s first impulse is to want to find a friend and introduce that friend to Christ.
 
John MacArthur
Source: Twelve Ordinary Men

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I am always amazed when I read about the new efforts at “Evangelism”. Even the efforts of Pope Emeritus Benedict at encouraging an age whereby the fostering of love in the world is accomplished by what he refers as “The New Evangelization”, is anything but new! After all, was not the greatest of all evangelists the Son of God himself? Did Jesus not focus on the most important components of “Evangelization” by teaching the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith, and then courageously foster every time He spoke, a deeper understanding of its components and applications? And was not all of the ideas of faith that ended with Christ’s death not carried forth even further by the Apostles who continued living, loving and leading with both joy and the strength of conviction as the years progressed? “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52 NIVAnd while we may not have actually named the process itself for perhaps 1300 more years, that does not change the fact that what was, is, and always will be by the intent of the Christian heart in sharing our beliefs, an ongoing effort at “Evangelization”?

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Today the process by which we effort our “Evangelism” is vastly different that it was in its early days. While we may at times curse the technologies that the modern age has afforded man, the fact of the matter is that we can now reach the four corners of the globe in a nanosecond! My blog is one example of the miracle technology has gifted to us. For example, for one week in 2013, the chart below (part of the statistics WordPress maintains for me) shows you the scope of the countries my words have touched, and the number of people who have shared my thoughts. Pretty amazing for a housewife from South Carolina, don’t you think?

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Country Views
United States 106
Canada 18
United Kingdom 14
Germany 9
India 9
Indonesia 4
South Africa 4
Philippines 3
France 3
Australia 2
Lithuania 2
Spain 2
Singapore 1
Israel 1
Uruguay 1
United Arab Emirates 1
Sri Lanka 1
Italy 1
Malaysia 1
Peru 1
Finland 1
Thailand 1
Hong Kong 1
Latvia 1

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So now think about the lives that were touched by the mini-series that aired on “The HISTORY CHANNEL” last night, “THE BIBLE”! The celebrity “Twitter” accounts of many unlikely notables were abuzz with messages urging their followers to tune in, including Rapper P. Diddy; Glee TV star Jane Lynch; Singer Christine Aguilera; The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson; Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine; Reality notable Kate Gosselin and Shannon Tweed, wife of KISS star Gene Simmons! And while it is too early to check out the ratings numbers, polls taken were universally positive. I watched it with my father, and while there were a few liberties of poetic license, it was a remarkable undertaking which, when it is over, will have numbered 10 hours of historically accurate tales from the Bible and I suspect, will have a viewership of several hundred million people! Yes, “Evangelization” at it’s finest, and all because a devout Roman Catholic actress, Roma Downey, and her famed reality show producer husband, Mark Burnett, dared to dream of a way to bring history to life and share faith’s tale. And so the effort at using the tools of modern technology at fostering “Evangelization” continues!

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I am going to share with you some Bible verses that will focus on the words of Jesus and tell you some of the reasons He believed “Evangelization” was absolutely necessary. Read them and then remember that sharing God’s message to others is what is asked of all of us. So, if I can do what I do every day in writing my thoughts, what can each of you do?

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Matthew 9:37-38 

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

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Luke 19:10 

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

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Acts 1:8  

but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

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Matthew 28:19-20  

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

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2 Corinthians 6:2

for He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you”; behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation “

 
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“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
 
Colossians 4: 2-6 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/05/14

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Being Color Blind

Post 1057

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http://www.123rf.com/photo_6683615_diverse-group-of-preschool-5-year-old-children-playing-in-daycare-with-teacher.html

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One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings. 

Franklin Thomas

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

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I clearly remember the singular moment when I discovered an amazing phenomenon. It is something that transcends all cultures and countries and religions and sexes. Did you know that every single child born into the world is color blind? Now I’m betting there are some of you reading this and shaking your head and saying “NO WAY. Mandy’s lost her marbles!” Well, just to make this absolutely, positively clear…..this is not just my opinion. This is an absolute fact! Now I knew this truism already, but I decided to look up some supporting evidence for you doubting Thomas and Thomasina’s out there. While surfing the web, I happened upon a You Tube clip that supports this fact and, indeed, actually explains this phenomenon in clear and concise terms. It’s very short and well worth seeing, just in case you don’t believe me.

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Now should you need more proof, I invite you to go to any playground or better yet, visit a day care facility during a warm and sunny afternoon. You are apt to view running and chasing and throwing balls and sliding on slides and swinging on swings and climbing and laughing……much, much laughing. I promise you that you will be witnessing a pure and unadulterated joy for joy’s sake alone!

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You are just as apt to see 2 little boys (or girls) hugging one another as you would a boy AND a girl hugging. To these children, they are playing with their “bestest friends” in the whole wide world. They are not playing with their black friend or their white friend or their brown friend or their purple or green or Chartreuse colored friend. They are playing with their friend. In fact, there is not a single nerve or cell in the being of these little children that can even conceive the evil that is hate or bigotry. It is not until our children become exposed to darker and more sinister side of life, usually passed onto them like some evil and malignant tumor by the ignorance and intolerance of the adults in their life, that all of this amazing innocence of childhood changes.

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This fact was brought home to our family in a hard way nearly 2 years ago. You see, it was then that an important little one in my life lost his best friend. The fact that they are separated is through no fault of theirs. In all truth, what it is, is a sad commentary on the state of my community. I can tell you that everywhere I look here, despite living in the heart of Dixie, I am finding that interracial couples are more the norm than the exception.  But suddenly, surprisingly, bigotry rears its ugly head when we are least prepared to deal with it. And with its intolerance came the need to explain it all to a little guy who only knew that his “bestest friend” was gone from his life.

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Even though 2 years have passed, and I am no longer certain whether the memory of his “bestest friend” lingers in his heart or mind, the explanation will have to wait a few years more. You see, we do not know yet how to explain racism to a child whose eyes still do not see the differences in the color of a person’s skin. And all I can do is say a prayer that maybe…..just maybe…..the explanation won’t be needed at all by then!

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But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 3:25-29 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/12/13

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And So It Begins Where All Things Must…

Post # 1000

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Yellow-Brick-Road

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“For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”  

James Baldwi

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Since November 15th, 2013, I have rested on my laurels (so to speak), by sharing what I lovingly referred to as a “THROWBACK”. I wanted to share with you all the things and the ideas, of faith….and not of faith….that have brought me to this place in my life. You see, all of our life experiences, both the good, and perhaps even more, the bad, are what makes us who we are, and are what defines our place in our family, our community, our society…..and our congregations! But unfortunately, we do not always learn the lesson that the Almighty is trying to impart, by putting those trials and those learning experiences, in our way.

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Each and every one forces us to do one of 3 things. Either we vault ourselves over the hurdle, make our way around the hurdle, or we turn  back. But if we are wise, and if we heed the advice of God, in Isaiah 43: 18-19 NIV, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Yes, it is then we must follow those words made famous for all time by in the classic, “The Wizard of Oz”. We MUST always keep moving forward. But that sometimes means starting anew….and that isn’t always a bad thing to do. After all, as Glinda tells Dorothy who is desperately trying to find her way back home, “It’s always best to start at the beginning — and all you do is follow the Yellow Brick Road”.

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Interestingly, there is something worth remembering about the journey that Dorothy and her companions make on the Yellow Brick Road. The walk is not easy, nor is the quality of the road consistent. No, the road reflects the essence of the place through which it passes. For example, it is an easy stroll through the areas that are settled and peaceful. And while the journey may be long, it is not bumpy or full of pitfalls. But have you ever noticed that those times of complacency are also the times when we grow the least? And there is always danger in being complacent! We are reminded of that in 1 Corinthians 9:24 ESV, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

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Now, think about the Yellow Brick Road during the time when Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion! The road becomes dark and dirty. It has bricks missing and weeds and all manner of infestations threaten to overrun its pristine beauty! It is threatening and scary! But then consider something else. Generally, it is during the times when we face those mountainous obstacles that life, time and tide place in front of us, that we are forced to look within, and to discover how much inner strength and fortitude we have been blessed with. Of course, that is His gift to us all! We are reminded of this in 1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

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So, just as Dorothy did in the mind (and the heart, I suspect) of author L. Frank Baum , so must I begin at the beginning, once more. I do not know where this new journey will take me, but I do know that there is one who does! And you all are not just welcome to join me as I travel to new horizons, but you are also an essential part of that new journey. And with His help, perhaps we will reach out next goal…..attaining the next milestone of #2000!

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“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Matthew 6:25-29 ESV

 

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/01/13

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Who Are You Turning Your Back On?

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http://slodive.com/inspiration/pictures-of-a-cross/

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The twentieth century seems afflicted by a gigantic… power failure.  Powerlessness and the sense of powerlessness may be the environmental disease of the age. 

Russell Baker

New York Times, 1 May 1969

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

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I was sent an email yesterday and it was one I knew needed to be shared. I read it over…..once, twice, three times. And as I let the words wash over me I realized that they were ones I had read before. So I decided to enter a few of them into my WordPress search engine, and I discovered that I did know them quite well. In fact, they were part of a post I wrote in 2012. And it was then that I knew that I needed to share them with you all once again. So here is an encore posting of “Who Are You Turning Your Back On?”

Mandy

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Once upon a time there was a church in a middle class community. It was small but beautiful with the most beautiful stained glass windows imaginable and a marble baptismal font lined with a silver bowel. The adult choir wore crimson robes made of satin and embroidered with golden threads. A golden cross adorned the altar and engraved on its face were the initials I.N.R.I. which means “Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm” in Latin and translated into English means JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. No expense had been spared.

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It was a Sunday in early fall and worshippers were entering the sanctuary, dressed in their warmest Sunday best, well protected against the cooler temperatures. They were all greeted at the door by one of the church elders serving as an usher this day. Services were due to begin when an older man wearing a threadbare jacket  and scuffed shoes with no socks opened the door. You see, he had seen the sign in front of the building announcing a special musical presentation featuring both the adult and children’s choirs. He dearly loved hearing the melodic voices of youngsters singing their praises and he decided to enter and worship with the rest. Finding his way barred by the elder, he was told that this was a special occasion and that his presence might just be a distraction to the children and that he would therefore need to leave the building.

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Face crestfallen and shoulders hunched, he turned around and left the sanctuary without a word. However he decided to sit on the steps in front. Perhaps he would be able to hear just a bit of the service! Shivering against the cold, and hearing very little of the service, he had finally decided to leave and find some place warm when a young man suddenly appeared and sat down on the steps next to him. Glancing over, he noted that the young man had longish hair and his toes peeked from beneath his long outer garment which was tied by a cord around his waist. His sandals were worn and his feet were dusty as well!

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The young man greeted his companion on the stoop and asked the older man what he was doing there. The man replied that he had so wanted to hear the church service and listen to the beautiful music but that he had been prevented from entering the church. The young man looked deeply into the beaten face of his companion, he sighed deeply and turning to the older man, replied, “I know exactly how you feel, my friend. My name is Jesus and I’ve been trying to get inside this church for years!”

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So consider the next time you make a conscious decision to turn your back on your fellow man for any reason at all. Make sure you take a second to ponder just who it might be you are choosing to ignore. You may well not recognize the face of an angel or of Christ himself, should He decide to confront you. In fact, we know that the face of God is hidden from all except His Son. In John 6:46 CEBwe are told, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.” However, make no mistake whatsoever. The face of the Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ, will become crystal clear to us all come judgement day!

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God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.

Exodus 6:2-3 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/31/13

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like….

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joy-love-faith-hope-peace-christmas-card-william-martin

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“We have much to learn of the right keeping of Christmas. I do not think children now-a-days find the pleasure we found when we were young in preparing our simple little gifts and hiding these from one another. Now there is a surfeit of gifts, and a most unwise choice, and the children are not trained into the joy of giving. The hurry and bustle obscure the sacredness of the season.”

Elizabeth Channing

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/business/hancock/blog/2007/12/complaints_about_christmas_com.html

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I send an annual Christmas letter to family and friends every year. And it’s not because I am trying to make sure they all know all of the wonderful things that Landon is accomplishing…. although that’s  certainly part of it! No, I do it because as is they way of the world in this time that we live in, my near and dear are no longer near, but they are far, far away. The branches of my family tree alone span from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, and that doesn’t add into the mix, my list of friends that circumnavigate the globe! But writing that letter the weekend after Thanksgiving is my tradition. It signals the start of my family’s Christmas celebration, which is why I am always stunned to walk into my shopping mall during the middle part of September, only to find that Christmas merchandising has already begun. What has happened to Back to School shopping and preparing for some other holidays that fall in the fall, so to speak, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving?  Isn’t September just too soon?

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They’re just responding to demand is the pat answer that I am given when I ask merchants I deal with why this is. But the truth is that Christmas has lost its true meaning. Instead, Christmas and the $$$$$$ it generates for our economy has gained while the memories of the birth of a tiny baby in a stable 2000 years ago, has been relegated to the “nether regions” of our hearts and our minds!

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Now there are some who would say I’m a contributing partner to this by simply bringing it to our collective attentions and if I am, well my view is a resounding AMEN! You see, I am sick and tired of our spinning “Merry Christmas” into a politically correct “Happy Holidays”.

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Yes, I know not all of my brothers and sisters out there celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, which will be heralded 55 days from today, if I have added correctly (and yes, I used both fingers and toes). I always acknowledge and celebrate the specialness of the holidays of the faiths professed by all my friends, whether it is Hanukkah (for my Jewish friends), or Bodhi Day (for those Buddhists I know), or even the cultural time of Kwanzaa (established to unite and assist African-Americans connect with their African cultural and historical heritage, of which many of my friends partake). But for these friends, the holidays I have named are not a hugely significant holiday for the faith or culture they embrace.

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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are much more significant to the Jews. And Buddha Day, celebrated every May during the full moon is much more significant to Buddhists. However, for my faith…..CHRISTIANITY, Christmas which celebrates the birth of Christ the man, and Easter which celebrates the death of Christ the Savior, are the only two that are of such great significance, that every branch of Christianity holds them as sacrosanct. So forgive me when I become offended when people choose to water down the importance of this day into nothing more that a moneymaking opportunity. It is not. It is a holy time when all of us change for the better!

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The birth of that tiny baby was a pivotal turning point for history and humanity. Even when we write today’s date, we reference our year based on His birthday. And yes, I know the Gregorian calendar was used to modify the Julian Calendar based on Easter, not Christmas. But we still reference our years using Christ’s birth as a starting point to count years that existed before (B.C.) and after (A.D.). And while we have these things to reference when we think of the importance of Christmas, there is one other thing to consider. Christmas gifts to mankind a singular time of the year when even those whose hearts are as hard as a diamond suddenly find themselves filled with love and compassion and joy. And that alone signifies that this time is different from any other.

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The Pesach Seder may charge those around the table at Passover to answer a question, “why is this night different from all other nights?”. And now I charge you to ask and answer almost the same question, “why is this time of the year different from all other times?” If you know the answer, I ask that you remember this as you visit your local retail establishments, and refuse to allow yourself to be swept into the commercialism of the times and instead, allow your heart to be opened by the wonders and mysteries of these days that are just ahead!

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“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory..”

Colossians 1:25-27 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/13/13

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This Is The Word Of The Lord

 Sunday October 13th, 2013

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st_luke2

http://www.blurtit.com/var/question/q/q1/q15/q150/q1509/q150999_214942_st_luke2.jpg

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Luke the Evangelist, author of one of the four Gospels of Jesus Christ, was a Greco-Syrian who lived in the Greek city of Antioch, Syria. He is believed to have authored the “Gospel according to Luke” and the book of “Acts of the Apostles”.

He was a physician and a companion of Paul on some of his missionary journeys.  

Luke focused on the human love Christ held for all people, especially sinners and outcasts among the general population such as tax collectors, shepherds and lepers! Luke also holds a more profound place for women in his writings than did Matthew, Mark and John!

He was precise in his writings and in his descriptions of local customs and events, and he even listed the names of two centurions in Acts (Cornelius and Julius), which indicates he was an expert historical writer.

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Today’s Gospel Reading

Luke 17:11-19 NIV  

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

  

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

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What Does Luke Mean?

This story demonstrates Christ’s ability to not just break down barriers that exist but to also teach us why such a thing in inherent on each of us to do! Consider for a moment the two types of barriers that exist in this story.

Firstly, there was no more feared person than the one who suffered from the disease of leprosy. It was so common and severe among ancient peoples that God went so far as to give Moses specific instructions regarding how to deal with it should it arise. Although easily cured today, in Luke’s day it was easily spread through excretions and it disfigured the body horribly!

Secondly, the cultural barrier presented by the Samaritans was another issue of the day. Their very existence was considered to be beneath not just the Pharisees, but other ethnic Jews of the day.

The “moral” of this passage is that there is no impediment any one can suffer…not race or ethnicity or disease….that is a barrier to being included in this new movement (religion) that was being formed!

Mandy

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2 Kings 5:14-17 NIV

So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

“If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”

Amen.

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/12/13

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Oh “MercyMe”!

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christian-music

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Where painting is weakest, namely, in the expression of the highest moral and spiritual ideas, there music is sublimely strong.

Harriett Beecher Stowe

http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Music-Quotes/

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The Millard family were firmly entrenched as members of the football family of the Southern Methodist University community. In fact, some might say that the family itself stood in the middle of a field adjacent to the school and the architect began drawing the stadium plans with the 50 yard line placed where their shadow fell on the earth! And Bart Millard would likely have followed in his family’s  footsteps, had not an injury during a high School football game sidelined his plans! So what’s a boy to do? He chooses choir as an elective! And as was His plan for Bart’s life, the rest is history.

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Following the death of his father, Bart was asked to join the crew of a youth group worship band. But when the lead vocalist was unable to perform, Bart stepped in. Accompanied by Jim Bryson on the piano, the duo soon became a trio with the addition of guitarist Mike Scheuchzer, and MercyMe was born! The name was a gift from Bart’s grandmother who would exclaim to him, “Well mercy me, why don’t you get a real job?” The current members of this talented Christian Rock Band includes Bart Millard, Nathan Cochran, Michael John Scheuchzer, Robin Shaffer, James Bryson, Barry Graul.

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Their accolades are almost too many to list. The have been feted with 8 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards for Song of the Year, Artist of the Year and Group of the Year; they won Favorite Contemporary Inspirational Artist at the 2004 and 2010 American Music Awards; and they won 10 Billboard Magazine Decade (2000-2009) Awards, including number 1 for “Word of God Speak”, released in 2004. And it is this song I am featuring today! “Word of God Speak” can be found on their album entitled Spoken For.

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WORD OF GOD SPEAK

written by: Bart Millard and Peter C. Kipley

performed by: MercyMe

I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty

To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

I’m finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty

To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty

To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay

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To view the YouTube video of this song (with lyrics), performed by MercyMe, click the arrow in the embed screen.

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“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord..”

Colossians 3:16 KJV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/01/13

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“Get Back”

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Nine_Lashes_-_Escape

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Christians are to be good news before they share the good news. The music of the gospel must precede the words of the gospel and prepare the context in which there will be a hunger for those words. What is the music of the gospel? It is the beauty of the indwelling Christ in the everyday relationships of life.

Author Unknown

http://www.sermoncentral.com/illustrations/quotes-about-Christian-Music.asp

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This months introduction to an up-and-coming Christian band features a group of 5 talented young men who merged varied personalities and musical styles into a fresh and new brand of faith-based music! NINE LASHES has become a favorite of young adults who credit them with inspiring an appreciation for music that has been created within faith filled hearts, but which employs heart pounding rhythms, edgy melodies and lyrics meant to evoke passion and a desire to explore God’s promises!

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The creative force behind NINE LASHES consists of its members Jeremy Dunn (lead vocals), Adam “Tank” Jefferson (guitar), Jonathan David Jefferson (guitar), Jared “Gus” Lankford (bass guitar) and Noah “Cap’n” Terrell (drums). The group chose their name from the “cat o nine tails” used to whip Christ as he carried the cross to Calvary. The band references Isaiah 53:5 (But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed) as their reminder that the wounds Jesus suffered was for our restoration, and the name Nine Lashes reminds the band of those wounds.

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Surviving changes in members since their inception in 2006, it was their discovery by their current label, Tooth & Nail Records, that led them to #1 on the Christian Rock Charts in 2011 with their song  “ANTHEM OF THE LONELY”. However, that song is very much a “metal” influenced song and is probably not one many of you will relate to. However, their song “GET BACK” is less edgy and is one that I think most of you will enjoy, since it also comes from their debut album “World We View”, which also features “ANTHEM OF THE LONELY”.

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I hope that some younger followers out there who are just discovering faith and who are wondering if they are all alone with this inner fire, will be inspired by this song and discover that faith does not fit into a middle-aged, middle-income mold!

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 “GET BACK”

written by

Aaron Sprinkle, Trevor McNevan, Jeremy Dunn, Jared Lankford, Jonathan Jefferson, Thomas Terrell and Jerry Jefferson

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I guess you don’t believe now
you never want this
back turned and the wind is all you have
It’s all you neededYour alright, your alright now
you believe what you want to
gone some how, you’ve gone somehow
But im waiting for youGet back to where you once believed
Get back, get back
you want so bad to bury me
Get back, get back

A far cry from a picture perfect calm
or can you see it
A bright light from a distance leaves you dark
your never free here

Your alright, your alright now
you believe what you want to
gone some how, you’ve gone somehow
But im waiting for you

Get back to where you once believed
Get back, get back
you want so bad to bury me
Get back, get back

You never knew that’s what i had in mind, had in mind
I made way but you have run so far now 
whatever things that you just had to find, had to find
you’ll never see it but it kills you slowly

Oh its gonna kill you slowly(+2)

Get back to where you once believed
Get back, get back
you want so bad to bury me
Get back, get back

Get back to where you once believed
Get back, get back
you want so bad to bury me
Get back, get back

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To view, click the YouTube URL or view the embedded version by clicking the arrow.

~

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Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart

Ephesians 5:19 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/06/13

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Spirituality

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spirituality

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“The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.”

Henri J. M. Nouwen

http://www.squidoo.com/quotes-life

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How many have given much thought to SPIRITUALITY? Now before we go farther, I want to clarify exactly what I mean……and what I don’t mean. You see, I know there are many who see this word and their minds immediately begin to conjure up visions of long-lost relatives and of dreams of those who have passed on with some unfinished business for which they are seeking relief. And so they can move onto their final place of what I hope, is peace forever more, they return to tie up those loose ends which are their impediment to passing to and through the “light”!

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Now I know that while there are many within the faith-based community whose belief in such things is as sacrosanct as is their faith in the Almighty, it is not the mystical or esoteric to which I am referring. No, for me, SPIRITUALITY is the search for that which is sacred and worthy of veneration (or of holding the deepest respect or reverence for). And while there are some who would vehemently disagree with me, it is this single thing that, to my mind, ties the many faiths of the world together. After all, it is the eternal optimist in me that hopes that a loving God would redeem ALL living beings, and not just Christians!

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Yes, I know that this may not be a popular statement to make. I also know that many sharing this post, feel that it is only through an acceptance of Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, that we are promised Salvation, and since I am a Christian, that is where my allegiance is the most closely tied, as well. However, that being said, I do not see Satan lurking in the dark recesses of every faith that is non-Christian, either!

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Now I really hesitate to use the terms religion and SPIRITUALITY interchangeably since we all know that there are some people with a strong sense of SPIRITUALITY who are not religious and we also know that there can exist people who are deeply religious, who lack true SPIRITUALITY. Which is why not everyone holds that the two are linked as closely as I tend to link them.  You see, from my perspective, the two are linked far more intimately that we might think and if we can not find the both in everyone, it is either because they are somehow preventing its integration into their lives, or else the rest of us are not looking quite as closely as perhaps we should be, at the heart and mind of our brothers and sisters!

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Yes, I believe that true SPIRITUALITY involves trusting completely and absolutely with and in, the One who created us, whoever we believe that to be. For me, I abide by what I am told in the Bible. Look at Proverbs 3:5 ISV which tells us to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding.” This explains much in just a few words, why faith as we know it, is not bound by rules and it certainly is not attained by any human worthiness. No…..it is all about what God (the One I believe created me), offers to each of us. And I believe He offers a mutually beneficial relationship with each man, woman and child alive, that transcends even life, as we know it! And as someone that accepts and believes in that with my whole heart, it is also the thing that best defines SPIRITUALITY, as I understand  it to exist. How about you?  Does SPIRITUALITY mean something entirely different, to you?

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30 The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” 32 In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.

Deuteronomy 1:30-33 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/03/13

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Casting Stones

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paula deen

http://blacksnob.com/storage/paula%20deen.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1371739784797

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“When a man points a finger at someone else, he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.

Louis Nizer
My Life in Court

http://forum.quoteland.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/487195441/m/1981997786

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There are probably few of you who do not know who the woman is pictured above. Paula Deen was a single mother, poor and full of insecurities that very nearly kept her homebound, save for one thing. She had a fire that burned inside that told her that all things are possible when you search for and discover your divinely endowed talents. Some see that fire as bravery. Others call it the voice of God. But whatever description you choose, it was enough to move a mountain! And so rather than let herself continue on that downward spiral that those saddled with such obstacles often find is their lot in life, Paula Deen acted on this newly discovered bravery, and she made a life for herself and for her boys, and in doing so, carved out her very own niche in history. Until, that is, one fateful day recently, when that hard-fought success came tumbling down….like a house of cards. And all because she made a mistake!

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Was it a HUGE mistake? Well, it depends on your very own culture and race and beliefs! You see, she is accused of acting and speaking and thinking in a manner that can be considered to be racist against the African-American community! It is a mindset that, unfortunately, is all too prevalent in our world, especially the world of the “Old South”, which nurtured the Deen family. However, prejudice is an all-pervasive and learned mindset whose victims can be any and every person who is a tad bit different! Whether such attitudes color our thoughts and behaviors against a person because of their race, or whether it is directed at a group of people because they worship in a different way, or whether it is hurled at a slightly overweight child walking to the bus, there is nothing that erodes self esteem and feelings of worth more, than hate speech and thoughts that demean a fellow human being!

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That Paula Deen has paid a heavy price for this mistake, none can deny. Her endorsements and sources of financial backing are jumping ship faster that the speed of light! She has said she is terribly sorry for what some consider to be the unthinkable. I believe she is truly repentant, and I believe it is more than because of the monetary things now lost. I believe she knows in her heart what happened has diminished her in the minds of some and I believe Ms Deen prided herself as being a strong role model for many women, and especially single mothers, in our country. Unfortunately what I believe carries little weight in the global scheme of things. You see, still, there are many who long to pick up that stone, take aim, and fire it at her! Which makes me wonder how we can have possibly grown so little in our heart of hearts since that day 2000 years ago, when Christ wrote some words in the earth (the documentation of which appears below in the verses from John Chapter 8!

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Remember Christ’s lesson about not being quick to condemn when one is not blameless and tempering justice with mercy? They are lessons whose meaning are just as important today as they were then, which is why the lesson has endured in Christian thought….and even has found itself part of our vernacular today. How often have we each said the phrase, “Let the one who has never sinned cast the first stone”?

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Paula Deen asked for this on camera and the press blasted her for saying it. But it was her tears that spoke far more to me! And all I know is one, single, solitary thing! The person wielding that stone, most certainly WILL NOT be the sinner who is writing this post!

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8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more

John 8: 1-11 KJV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry