Tag Archives: death

Thought For The Day 10/24/14

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It’s God’s Will…????

Thought 1322

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Burning Candles

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+it’s+god’s+will&qpvt=picture+of+it%27s+God%27s+will+&FORM=IGRE#a

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While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.

Leonardo da Vinci
(1452-1519)
Italian anatomist, botanist, scientist, mathematician, architect, engineer, inventor, painter, sculptor, musician and writer

https://www.englishclub.com/ref/esl/Quotes/Death/While_I_thought_that_I_was_learning_how_to_live_I_have_been_learning_how_to_die._2626.htm

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I recently attended funeral services for the parent of a friend. I did not plan on staying long but I wanted the family, most of whom I do not know well, to know how sorry I was for their loss. I waited in line to greet the next of kin, as well as my friend, when I heard someone say a phrase that grates on my very being, like fingernails across a blackboard. “I know just how you feel but it was God’s will!” Now it’s not that I don’t believe with all my heart that God’s plan for all of mankind is not only pre-ordained but seldom revealed to us until the moment it is fulfilled , but I wonder why people seem to think that this phrase will lend comfort to people whom we are seeing at their most fragile and vulnerable state.

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I know that people are generally uncomfortable when sharing a death experience despite the undeniable fact that death is probably the only absolute thing we can ever expect in our lives. Our sole purpose from the moment we first draw breath is to live until we die…whether that is seconds, minutes, hours, days or years. And while we certainly hope it is the latter, we are not privy to God’s will as to what his plan is for our lives and when we will be called home to be with him. And while we most certainly have lost loved ones ourselves, we do NOT have any idea how others are handling the grief of their loss.

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Now the woman who said those words was an attractive and well spoken middle-aged woman who seemed to be oblivious to the fact that the moment those words passed her lips, the entire being of the family changed, as if some unseen wound  had been somehow scratched open to hemorrhage. My heart ached for them and the pain they were obviously feeling anew. I wish I knew who this woman
was because there is much that should be shared to help her through what was probably the result of her being uncomfortable with the concept of death.

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So here are some things many years of Hospice nursing and dealing with the grief of families who have suffered the death of a loved one have taught me, and are well worth remembering as you stumble your way through your condolences:

  1. Do not offer advice or ever attempt to liken someone elses grief to your own past experiences. Every person’s grief is unique and often the things that comforted you in your loss may not help another.
  2. Say, “I’m sorry for your loss”. It is often the simplest phrase that says the most!
  3. It’s OK to hold a hand of offer a hug. Just these physical acts let someone know you are concerned and care.
  4. It’s OK to remember a time you and the person who has died once shared and relate this to the family. Family members want to talk about the person who has died and sharing this type of
    anecdote can often lighten the mood, if even for a moment.
  5. Ask what you can do to help and then follow through with your offer. Family members receive a great deal of support in the immediate hours and days following the death so plan a visit in a week or so. This is the time when loneliness can be most acutely felt.

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He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:4  ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/13/14

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This Is The Word Of The Lord

 Sunday April 13th, 2014

Post #1127

 

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

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stmatthewevangelistsm

http://biblica.frih.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/stmatthewevangelistsm.jpg

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Matthew, the Apostle

Author of today’s Gospel

St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle while sitting in the tax collectors place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.

His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopa as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.

St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the personof Jesus, our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the Messianic Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of St. John the Baptist, “Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Actsof the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=84#content-page

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The Palms

Matthew 21:1-11 NIV

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

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Today’s Gospel Reading 

Matthew 26:14-30 NIV

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

The Last Supper

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

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Our Second Reading

Isaiah 50:4-7 NIV

 

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious; I have not turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/14/14

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Heavens Gate

 

Post 1096

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Heavens-Gate

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A man’s dying is more the survivors’ affair than his own.  

Thomas Mann, “The Magic Mountain”

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

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There comes a time when all of us must face something that can be so painful to bear, it feels to us like our very heart has been snatched away, as if by some thief in the night. We look around, helpless, confused, not knowing which way it is we must turn. We ask of each other if there is something….anything….that we can do to change the current course of events, and when we realize the answer is NO, we are left feeling impotent and empty and sad. And when this confusion involves the life threatening illness of special people in our lives, it can be nearly impossible to accept that there are simply some things that happen that are completely beyond our capacity to fix and make better. Indeed, it is as instinctive for us to want to make it all better for those we love, as it is for us to draw breath. But like most things that come into our lives, the time we share with those we love so much is finite. And while in our lifetime, those milliseconds shared feel like an eternity, in the general course of what it is that measures time in the universe, the same experience is but a drop in the bucket.

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Even for those of us who have devoted, what seems like a lifetime, of years working with people who are terminally ill, when the chicken comes home to roost, so to speak, all those years and years of education and training and saying just the right thing at the right time, seems to fly right out the window. And then we, like anyone else, stumble and stammer and cry our way through the same exact heart-break and grief the rest of the world experiences. I know. Having been there several times, myself, knowing what my head tells me and then feeling what it is that my heart feels, makes for a decision as fraught with confusion and angst as the one that necessitated King Solomon to judge and decree that the only solution for the two women each laying claim to the newborn babe, would be to cut the baby in half and give half of the child to each woman (1Kings 3: 16-28)! And just as it was that the true and rightful mother turned to King Solomon and renounced her claim to the child, so it is that we must renounce our claim to manage the life force of the one we love, and turn the matter back to the true Father….the only one who is in control of the true destiny of all of mankind. It is when we are able to do this that we really set free the spirit of those we love to seek out the path that they must follow. And sometimes that path leads to the light. And sometimes it doesn’t. But the course is no longer ours to determine. And this is as it should be!

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Swan Song

written by: Amanda Pierce Bruscella

 

I lie in wait as gentle lips caress my feverish brow,

And lend their comfort to my soul that all is calm for now.

But I will trust my Lord and King with all that is within,

That He will keep me safe from harm as day time light grows dim.

And should my waking be no more, of that I will not fear

As I draw closely once again to one I love so dear,

Who seeks to wrap me in His arms and carry me to my home

He shares His glory with my soul while I sit by His throne.

So fear not, all who love me so, with hands clasped to my breast,

Because I know our time is borrowed and time flies by so fast!

 

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What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/11/14

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The Neverending Story

Post 1063

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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 last week 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 Wednesday 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, 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 offered by a minister I do not know but who shared a wonderful poem called “The Dash”. It moved me so much that I had to find it that very moment and bookmark it in my phone so that I would always have it at hand for inspiration! It spoke volumes about what the person who had passed away had given and it offered some thoughts to what it is we all might want to aspire to!
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THE DASH
by
Linda Ellis
  

I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all was the Dash between those years.

For that Dash represents all the time that she spent alive on Earth,

And now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash,

What matter is how we live and love and how we spend our Dash.

So think about this long and hard; Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real

And always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your Dash?

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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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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/29/14

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It Is As It Must Be…

Post 1049

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If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery.  He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does.  In place of this we have death. 

Charles Sanders Peirce

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The other day I was hunting through my purse for my keys which always seem to become lost in the bottomless pit that is my pocketbook. Finding my keys there is my job and mine alone these days. Once, if I asked Dan to get them, he’d take one look inside, perhaps even put his hand in and gingerly feel around, only to give me his exasperated look as he would carry my purse over to me to do the honors. And today, now that I think about it, he doesn’t even bother anymore with the attempt at searching…..he simply smiles that smile that says to me that a bout of dysentery would be preferable to actually putting his hand into my pocketbook, and he simply thrusts my bag into my outstretched arms! (Ahhhhhh, ain’t love grand?) Anyway, getting to the point here….is that the other day I actually found my keys by grabbing a fist full of little plastic cards that seem to challenge my keys as the rightful residents deserving of a place on my key ring.
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Now at last count, I have about 17 of these little cards verses 4 keys that are attached to my key ring. Each and every one heralds me as a member of the club. I have cards for supermarkets, appliance stores, home improvement stores, business stores and restaurants all vying for top billing on my key ring! Each and every one announces to the cashier as I check out, that I am a member of the club!
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I am a member of another club too. It is a club whose membership I joined the moment I drew my first breath. Now while you may be thinking that I’m referring to the club of Christianity, I am not, although I am proudly a member of that one too. But unlike the other one I’m thinking about, the Christianity Club is not one that allows for an automatic membership to every mortal being. The Christianity Club is one where you seek membership only after accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. And the acceptance of your application to that one rests with God the Father, alone. No, the club I’m referring to is a club that is each and every human being’s birthright. And when you reach my age, it is a club of constant goodbyes, and sometimes a sadness so profound that it wants to swallow you up. It is the club of grown adult children bidding farewell to the ones who created the being that we are, raised us, instilling the values by which we live, educated us, clothed us and fed us, nourishing both our bodies and by introducing us to faith, our spirits, as well.
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Within the last couple of weeks, I have had 4 friends lose a parent. The latest to suffer this loss was my best friend from High School. I remember marveling at her dad, his accomplishments and finding him a very fascinating person as I was growing up. And since the two of us were joined at the hip back then, I spent nearly as much time at her house as I did my own! His death was expected although the actual occurrence still rendered emotions of bewilderment and shock and a profound sadness. Some of these losses other friends suffered, were unexpected.  But all have united us as charter members of a club none wish was our singular honor! Yesterday, Dan and I witnessed “the Homecoming” of the wife of one of Dan’s closest golfing buddies. The service was a wonderful tribute, to a special woman, whose life, in all reality, had passed away earlier in her illness as she lost the ability to play golf and travel, something she dearly loved to do!
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 It is as it must be. This is something that each member of the Baby Boomer generation will be joining, like it or not, in the years to come. It is a club that I joined on January 31st, 1990 when my mother, Elaine Stafford Pierce, passed away! I was not quite ready to join but it was not within my power to delay my investiture. Our earthly time is finite and in the cessation of a heart beat, my mother was gone, and I was a member!
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From the moment we draw that first breath there is only one absolute for our lives. And that absolute is that our days are enrolled on some heavenly calendar we are not privy to and that is when we realize that the sole purpose for our lives is that we will, one day, be leaving those who love us so dearly here on earth.
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If we knew the time we each had, would we live our lives differently? Perhaps some would. But I believe that most of us would choose to seize the life force we are blessed with, and run with it. I believe each of us would want to live our lives to the fullest. I believe, however, we most probably would seek out an even more personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. I hope we would, because it is only through Him that our place is reserved and awaiting us in our next destination…..Heaven. And this too, is as it must be!

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Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 24:1-5 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/28/13

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Me Thinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much!

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macbeth1 (1)

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“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Desmond Tutu

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

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Ever wonder about the phrase, “Me Thinks Thou Doth Protest Too Much? I know I have, and I have often felt its draw when I see people who sometimes wear their false faces in church. Now, to return to the original, some of you know that Shakespeare wrote the phrase…..sort of. The actual quote was spoken by Hamlet’s mother, Queen Gertrude, and the exact phrase was, “The lady doth Protest too much, methinks.”As is human nature. we have altered the words to better suit us, but have we altered the intent? Do we understand exactly what Shakespeare meant!

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In Shakespeare’s day, protest meant to “vow” or to “Declare solemnly”. However, today we have altered the meaning, and thus the intent, of this phrase. We recognize that when someone protests too vigorously, the intent is never received well. Instead, we are apt to suspect that the person saying  the thing is not being entirely truthful. And it is this that seems to somehow weave a thread of “untruth”when someone speaks exceedingly passionately, and at times, even with a hint of disdain or prejudice, when affirming that their beliefs are the one, true source of God’s word!  And I really have to ask why it is that people disparage what others believe?

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Unfortunately, those who are the first, and often the loudest voices of protest, are the least secure, in the strength of their own faith…..and life, for that matter! They speak in an attempt to lower others to the same level on which they live, because the idea that another might just be correct, is an unbearable thing to live with. But we can battle people like this, by becoming secure in our own strengths. But unfortunately, not all of those whose self-image is destroyed are that strong to be able to dismiss those slings and arrows. And those are the people who become so lost that they make choices from which there is no return!

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Interestingly, the Bible says more than a few things about people who belittle others. In fact, the Bible at times attributes this sin to Satan! Look at Roman’s 15:1-5 ESV, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

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Today we view people who attack and demean as bullies. And while I agree with Michael J. Fox, who has said that despite all the horrible things that someone can do, our dignity can never be taken away from us unless we allow it, It is still so hard to remain strong when standing in a thunderstorm of “hatespeak” and degradation from the mouths and minds of another. So what tools do we use to equip ourselves and our children?

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We must teach the social-emotional skills that can prevent and stop most bullying and harassment. Not only will we grow within, but we will grow without, by building healthy relationships. There are ways to set boundaries and become empowered when dealing with those who seek to demean!

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There is a website that offered a list of some proactive steps everyone (not just children) can take in defusing a potentially volatile situation with someone who chooses to hurt us. The site is: http://www.kidpower.org/library/article/bullying-questions-answers/

  • Use awareness to notice a problem situation and move out of reach. Leave! Go to a place where you feel safe, and recharge your batteries.
  • Tell someone to stop. Be proactive. Speak up. Telling someone to stop may not make them stop but it may make them think!
  • Ask to join the discussion or conversation in a friendly, confident way. If you speak first, you will often discover that you will never speak last and in a defensive way!
  • Find another person to interact with. Bullies are often few in number but with voices that make it seem like a thousand! Not everyone bullies and demeans!
  • Be willing to go to someone for help….whether it is the law, a superior or a teacher. And if you feel like you are being ignored, be persistent! You matter and are important and as such, you DESERVE to be and feel safe…..ALWAYS!

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And if you need some more strength, turn to some empowering scriptures to nourish your spirit! Here’s a wonderful scripture of support! 1 John 4:1 ESV, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Or how about this verse from James 2:1-5 ESV, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?” And here is my favorite! Galatians 5:22-23 ESV, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

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Finally, I want you to remember this quote written by A.A. Milne, but spoken by Christopher Robin to his ever faithful but ever the timid friend, Winnie-the-Pooh. “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” (A) And if you remember these things, and remember that  “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you” (B), you can and will overcome all those who would seek to demean you and your life and your faith!

(A) http://thinkexist.com/quotation/promise-me-you-ll-always-remember-you-re-braver/357150.html

(B) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footprints_in_the_Sand

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But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

1 Peter 3:15 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/26/13

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Keep Your Fork

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holding a fork

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Always remember your present situation is not your final destination…The best is yet to come.

Author Unknown

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

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Dan and I have some friends that we met through the internet. In fact, we became connected with them and some others through an internet Chat Room, as surprising as that may seem. And over the years, we have all gotten together on a fairly regular basis! For a few years, Dan and I even organized a get-together for 40 or so of our group, right here in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), where we live.

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There was one couple we met, as part of this group, that we remain tied to even today, and not for the reason you might think. You see, one of our four-legged children, our dog Skittles, was adopted from them after their Cock-a-poo female escaped from the yard and had a tryst with a neighborhood Labrador Retriever “Lothario”! And while we do not see this couple very often, I think of them and I thank them for this gift, every time I look into those dark eyes that follow me everywhere I go!

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Dan and I received rather sad news this week about our friend. Although he and his wife are about 10 years younger than we are, he was a heavy smoker from his teen age years, and this addiction finally caught up with him. They received the news on Wednesday…..stage 4 Lung Cancer. And while there are comfort measures that can be employed, there are no further curative measures available.

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I suppose they were, perhaps prepared for this news, but to share it with their children, both very young, and older, was all that was left to be done…..except, that is, to spend quality time together as a family, which will be both poignant and bittersweet, I suppose. But there is another thing that our friends have going for them. They have a deep and abiding faith in God and the power of prayer.

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They know as absolutely as I do that prayer can right wrongs and create miracles out of despair. But they also know sometimes His answer is not what man hopes for and if that happens, they know something else that is wonderful! You see, they know that if you trust and put your life in His hands, whether you get the miracle or not, that the best is still, yet to come. And it is this thought that brought me back to some words I have shared in the past, but are worth reading over and over. The author who put them to paper may be unknown, but the true creator of their message, is not!

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Keep Your Fork

Author Unknown

There was once a young woman, stricken with cancer who was endeavoring to put her affairs in order. She asked her pastor to stop by to visit so that she could make sure he knew exactly what her wishes were for her funeral service. She had carefully and meticulously selected the music she wished played and the Bible verses she wanted included. Her wishes all documented, the pastor was about to leave when she stopped him.

“I have one more wish and it’s the most important one. I want you to make sure that I am buried with a fork in my hand!”

Now the pastor didn’t quite know what to make of this curious request and stood for a moment in silence. Suddenly a radiance came over the young woman as she endeavored to explain her wish.

“My grandmother told me a story that I have continued to pass along to others during my life. We always attended many events and potluck suppers and once we were done eating our entrée, someone would lean over and whisper to us, ‘Keep your Fork’. This was always my favorite part because I knew something wonderful was coming next….like chocolate cake, or deep dish apple pie. Such wonderful things and all full of substance and love. So when people pass by me in my casket, I want them to know that I’ve kept my fork. I want them to know that the best is yet to come!”

The young woman had many mourners and each and every one, with the exception of her immediate family could not stop talking about the fork that was in her hand. And the entire time, the pastor just stood there and smiled a knowing smile. Soon it was time for him to address those gathered and he told them about the conversation they had shared before the young woman died. The pastor told them that from the moment of hearing this story he could not stop thinking about that fork and that he doubted that they would ever forget the story or the fork either….and now, neither will you! Every time you reach down to pick up your fork, may you be reminded in this simple but profound way, that the best is yet to come!

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And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:9-13 KJV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry