Tag Archives: doubt

Thought For The Day 09/27/14

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Are We (Am I) Self Absorbed?

Thought 1295

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self absorbed

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+being+self+absorbed&qpvt=picture+of+being+self+absorbed&FORM=IGRE#a

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Before my accident I was a little too… selfish and self-absorbed and for me, to now be at the place where I can kinda give back and inspire people. I’m blessed. I’m really blessed.

Rick Allen

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self-absorbed

adj:     preoccupied with one’s own
thoughts, emotions, life, etc.

synonym:     self-involved,
egocentric, egoistic, egotistical,
self-centred

(limited to or caring only
about yourself and your own needs)

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A friend challenged me a while ago to look at the things I write in my “Thought For The Day” section because of their concern that at times my writings seemed self-absorbed. Now my first reaction was to feel surprise that this would be the perception I was generating and then my second thought was to really look back at my writings with more than my heart and mind’s eye, so to speak!

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I guess any time we discuss of issues of faith, there is a somewhat self-centered slant to the notion of just exactly what faith means. Faith is a very personal matter. What I define as faith for me may differ tremendously from what your definition is. Some see faith as being opposed to reason while others view faith as merely a positive assumption as a result of logical reasoning. I see faith as reality which is beyond the range of what many would see as normal experience and understanding.

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The things I write every day are simply my  view of how the spirituality that God ignited within my being is changing the way I conduct my life every day. Now I try to share a message with you that challenges you to think about what I am saying as it applies to your own life too. I try not to be too “in your face” about that message. I’d rather nudge you with an idea and then hope that it ignites something within you to change one tiny way in which you live. Some times that nudge may be a bit harder than at other times, and sometimes I might just fall flat on my backside as I poke you. But either way, my hope is that you reach the end of my story thinking about my words and hopefully, my message! And to quote Katherine Graham, “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun? ” And I also would add, how could anything be more impactful and important?

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Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2: 106 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

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Thought For The day 07/01/14

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Natural Events That Defy Understanding!

Post 1206

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hailstorm

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Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_nature.html

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Throughout recorded Biblical history, many significant events were either heralded by or guided by forces of nature or weather events which defy explanation. For example, think about the seventh plague of Egypt as described in Exodus 9:18-19 NIV; Therefore, at this time tomorrow I will send the worst hailstorm that has ever fallen on Egypt, from the day it was founded till now. Give an order now to bring your livestock and everything you have in the field to a place of shelter, because the hail will fall on every person and animal that has not been brought in and is still out in the field, and they will die.” And of course, consider the miracle of the Star of Bethlehem that guided the Magi to the Christ Child, a told in Matthew 2:1-2 NIV, After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

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Yes, we generally accept all of these events as miraculous even though, when we consider the before, during and after of the time line for what occurred, it is often the sum of the whole that is miraculous. However, given that we are experiencing such global weather turbulence in recent years, including a tornado a short distance from my home not long ago and a hurricane that destroyed so much of what I remember from the Jersey shore, and since there are few redeeming qualities in so many tragedies at the hand of Mother Nature, that are unfolding before our very eyes, I really have to wonder if there is more to the prophecies of the ending times and their relationship to the tragedies we are bearing witness to, these days. Are these things due to some force beyond scientific understanding?

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I had a friend share a very interesting article about a year ago that delves into just this very thing in more detail. It is entitled, “Climate Change, Extreme Weather and Bible End Time Prophecy” (http://seekingtruth.co.uk/weather.htm). Now I doubt that I have the expertise to really dissect either the premise or the conclusions that have been drawn by the people who wrote this piece, which is why I will leave it to you to read the article and decide for yourself. However, I do feel strongly we who are all too human and all too fallible, spend more time worrying about things that we have no control over, than we really should!

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Remember what happened when one couple decided to delve into some things that were God’s business, thinking that they could better control the circumstances of their living than He could? And what was the result? That couple (whose names were Adam and Eve, by the way) thought they would get both pleasure as well as wisdom from eating the forbidden fruit, but in the end, they got neither. Their lives were ruined because of their sin. And lest we think that because the debt for their sin has been paid for us by Christ’s sacrifice, so that now we can afford to be reckless or are free to behave with abandon,…..well think again! We no more know the mind of God, than a gnat knows the mind of man! Which is why we must choose to turn over to Him all of the fear and worry that we may feel, at all of the things Mother Nature chooses to hurl in our direction! After all, we are told in Revelations 3:10 NIV, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” Which is all the reassurance I need, thank you very much!!!!

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“And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

Matthew 24:39-41 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

 

Thought For The Day 06/30/14

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Faith Through The Storms…

Post 1206

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+faith+through+the+storms

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There is much in the world to make us afraid.  There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid. 

Frederick W. Cropp

 http://quotegarden.com/fear.html

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When trials come knocking, our very first impulse is not to open that door up. But I always have held, occasionally with a little nudge from friends who shall remain anonymous, (like Pastor Brian, Rev Michael and last but not least, Friar Jeff…LOL) that it is better to face the enemy, stare him down and charge ahead even with an incomplete understanding of all the “whys” and “wherefores”, than to not know what he might just be doing behind your back. I seem to totally relate to the adage, “Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer”! And this doesn’t just apply to the enemies with a corporeal form but also applies to those unseen ones, the ones that plague us with all of those fears and doubts, that seem to lay just underneath our conscious selves! We all have them at one time or another. They are the landmines along life’s path that you know come right from Satan’s belly, with no intent other than trying to undermine the faith that rests in our hearts and in our souls!

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The tension is so thick around here you can cut it with a knife. Everyone is working on the last nerve they can manage to summon up. That is what Satan seems to delight in when medical concerns invade a household. It is what the Bruscella-Hilliard families are facing even as we speak. And yet it is not in our natures to surrender. Yes, we occasionally host the obligatory “Pity Party”, as I have done more than once lately. That is also part of what is the natural response of so many of us. But no more stages of grief for me! Today, I pull my big girl panties up and get back to work. I do what is in my nature to do. I work out my plan of attack. I begin gathering my resources together, including, first and foremost, my faith and my connections with all of those who serve to support and nurture that faith within me. Then secondly, I gather the resources together that are more tangible, like my community resources, physicians and case managers, and I get to work.

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Even Jesus was not insulated from facing storms in his life. Remember when Jesus and the Disciples, having just finished speaking to the people, decided to cross the sea to the opposite shore to rest for the night? They were in the middle of the journey just as the storm hits! It was a terrifyingly brutal assault, not all that uncommon on the Sea of Galilee, because of its location near Mt. Hermon and the mountain’s unpredictable weather patterns! Both Matthew and Luke recall the events using nearly identical words, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25 and Luke 8:24). It was clear that they feared for their mortal lives. Of course, Jesus’ response was, “Why are you so afraid?”, and “Do you still have no faith?”What they learned (and what I am constantly re-discovering, it seems) is that God does not guarantee that any of us will experience calm seas and smooth sailing as we live our lives. What He does give to us is the strength to face those trials and then He gives us the resources, both within and without, to do what we can to overcome them. Yes, I did always know what the answer was. I just needed a little nudge to remember it! Have a little Faith!

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“They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’”

Mark 4:41 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

 

Thought For The Day 06/19/14

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A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem

Post 1194

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http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2013085-overview

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Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the way out, not outside on the way in. 

George Bernard Shaw

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

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I have seen the effects of seeking a permanent solution to what is, in reality, a temporary problem, firsthand. A boy who spent nearly as much time in my home as he did in his own because of his close friendship with my children, took his own life as a teenager. I suffered guilt in addition to sorrow for a very long time, wondering if there was not something I should have seen or done which could have prevented not only this tragedy but the resultant heartache suffered by his family (both blood as well as friends). It took me many years to realize that there was nothing about this that I could have prevented. And owning up to that one statement does NOT make me feel any relief! What it does is make me wonder what kind of pain and suffering would drive any person to the brink of the abyss. What could possibly cause a person to feel such despondency that they could find no other way to escape their pain and hurt?

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Suicide: Read This First“, was written by Martha Ainsworth and can be read in its entirety by clicking on the following link: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/. She is not a therapist nor is she a counselor, What she is, is someone who has walked in the shoes of those who feel driven to this state. Her article is well worth reading in its entirety and I hope that you do so. It is geared to someone who is at the brink. It is intended to give hope and to keep someone alive just one more minute. And if that one minute leads to a second and a third and a fourth, perhaps the person feeling so helpless will be given the strength to step back and to seek the help that is available out there, if they but ask!

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I am sharing one section, in particular, that I think is a MUST read. I hope you agree with me. I hope you are given some insight into a problem that is currently the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. And I hope you will never feel as I did so many years ago because, in all honesty, remembering that day causes me as much pain today, as it did then. Suicide knows no age, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or nationality. It is, in fact, a totally preventable world-wide epidemic if we but think about it and talk about it. It’s time to face the problem head on!

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 “5 Things To Think About”

  1. You need to hear that people do get through this — even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this information gives you some sense of hope.
  2. Give yourself some distance. Say to yourself, “I will wait 24 hours before I do anything.” Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions are two different things – just because you feel like killing yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it right this minute. Put some distance between your suicidal feelings and suicidal action. Even if it’s just 24 hours.  You have already done it for 5 minutes, just by reading this page.  You can do it for another 5 minutes by continuing to read this page. Keep going, and realize that while you still feel suicidal, you are not, at this moment, acting on it.  That is very encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you.
  3. People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead.
  4. Some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings, either because they are frightened, or angry; they may actually increase your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad reactions are about their fears, not about you.But there are people out there who can be with you in this horrible time, and will not judge you, or argue with you, or send you to a hospital, or try to talk you out of how badly you feel. They will simply care for you. Find one of them. Now. Use your 24 hours, or your week, and tell someone what’s going on with you. It is okay to ask for help. Try:
    • Send an anonymous e-mail to The Samaritans (jo@samaritans.org)
    • Call the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255  (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY)
    • (In Australia, call Lifeline Australia at telephone:  13 11 14
    • Teenagers, call Covenant House Nine Line, 1-800-999-9999
    • Look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line
    • Call a psychotherapist
    • Carefully choose a friend or a minister or rabbi, someone who is likely to listen

    But don’t give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are, releases an awful lot of the pressure, and it might be just the additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.

  5. Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. Therapy is a really good idea. So are the various self-help groups available both in your community and on the Internet.

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A Prayer

written by Rowland Jide Macaulay

Today, I pray, Lord, bind the spirit of suicide in our community; we ask you Lord to meet those thinking of taking their own lives because of pressure of sexuality; show each one your love through your words and the people around them; surprise us Lord.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen

Call someone; let them know that you care and love them dearly.

a note from Rowland

I agree to re-publication of this message/prayer. Too often the mental health and well-being of LGBT people (is) ignored. I am swamp(ed) with many young people in despair of their lives…especially those in Africa and of African descent (who have access to House of Rainbow and myself). They are worried about “coming out”, how to reconcile with being gay/lesbian, and (the effect on) their faith and family. The height of desperation is mind-blowing… to the point many have told me they are thinking of suicide as an option.

(Rowland Jide Macaulay, LLB, MTh, FACT is a Christian Theologian, openly gay, a dynamic and an inspirational speaker, poet, pastor and preacher, Human Rights Consultant, the author of “Poetry Inspired” published in the UK 2001, founder/Project Director of House Of Rainbow Fellowship Worldwide, holds a degree in law and MA Practical Theology.)

You may e-mail Rowland at the following: church@houseofrainbow.org

You may follow Rowland’s writings at the following: http://revrowlandjidemacaulay.blogspot.com/

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For I am already being poured out like a drink offering,  and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight,   I have finished the race,   I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me   the crown of righteousness,   which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4: 6-8 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/02/14

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Truth And Consequences

Post 1177

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What is tolerance?  It is the consequence of humanity.  We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature. 

Voltaire

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

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My life as I came to understand and know it to exist, it turned topsy-turvy not so very long ago. And one might think that because of it, I would be a changed person today. And, in fact, I am…..but not because of the reason some might think. You see, to understand these events, we need to travel farther back in time. 3 years ago, infact!

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It was March, 2011 when I knew. You see, I underwent a revelation when God re-entered my heart and my life. Now I did not look for this to happen nor did not ask for this to happen. And it most certainly did not happen with a bang. In fact, it happened with something akin to a whisper! Nevertheless, it did, and I became affiliated with a group to help me as I sought to find my way along what was a new road winding through this new chapter in my life.

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I began writing about matters of faith, opening my heart to the world and the result is what you are reading today!  I also began counseling others who sought out my help. In fact, for a time, I even developed an internet radio show which was building in popularity. But not content to allow this new-found gift to stagnate, I began working in other areas of community outreach services, and in the process, discovered that all of these were areas where I could not just live and grow with my newly discovered faith, but where I would, in sharing some of myself with others, be able to help them along their way in the world, as well. But much as so many good things sometimes come to an end, so did some of the things I had felt led to accomplish! AND, in the process, I found myself thrown into the middle of what just might be one of the biggest flaws of human nature that has been permitted by God as part of his gift of “Free Will” to everyone. I found myself being judged by man and, in the process, was also found guilty of certain things.

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Have you ever wondered why human beings are so fond of judging people? Well, I am no expert, but to my mind, it is something that each and every one of us is guilty of doing at some point in our lives. I KNOW that I have been guilty of this very thing, myself! And yes, even though I tell myself over and over that it is not my place to criticize or judge others when suddenly, someone I know well (or even not so well), seems to do something so inane, ridiculous or horrible, that I simply can’t help myself. And before I can stop myself, I find that I am voicing my opinion about the matter…. sometimes to any and all who are within earshot.

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Sound a bit familiar???? Yes, I am fully aware that, in reality, I only owe an explanation for how I choose to live my own life, to a select few such as my family and my Maker. But there it is, for all the world to witness. There I am, judging another where it is neither my right nor is it my responsibility, to do so! What is it about judgment that makes it so hard for us to let go of? Suddenly, it hit me like a thunderbolt! We judge others because, somewhere deep inside, we are somehow in conflict with He who created us!

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I believe we all look to judge as a way of controlling our lives. By passing judgements on others, we are giving ourselves the power of self-determination. We seek to control the world in such a way that every act that takes place is the direct result of the human part of us seeking to become a god over our own little piece of the universe! In doing this, we are somehow establishing our very own, very human value system. We feed our egos thinking that only we know what is best for us! What we forget is that we are not effecting change in our world. Not really. Reality is and always has been, God’s domain. It is His purview! He set up every circumstance that transpires in every second of every day that we live. And ALL serves His purpose for our life.

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I do not know why He chose this route for my life. But I am very fond of the saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window”! I am discovering that all that has happened serves His purpose for who He needs for me to become. Yes, to quote the title of a post I shared just a few days ago, here I am….. “A HUMAN BECOMING!” And He most certainly has opened that window for me and my life, because I continue on, hopefully making a difference, albeit in a slightly different way, but in a way that is very much Mandy. Those hurdles I must vault has only served to enhance my faith and my ability to turn my cares over into His hands. And while I know that I am all too human and most likely will not ever be free of the very human need to judge others, I also know that having “walked a mile in another’s moccasins” has taught me to be more compassionate and loving and perhaps more understanding, as well.

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When something occurs that causes me to want to don those robes of judge and jury, I hope I will stop, and think, and then carefully weigh what my next step will be. Perhaps I will even remember the wise words my mother repeated to me over and over as I was growing up: “Mandy, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” And with His help, I pray that my actions will never again include acting as judge, jury and executioner!

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“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/21/14

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Life’s Bumpy Road

Post 1165

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road_potholes

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Were all born with the same size soul, everyone is born good. It’s choices along the bumpy road of life that changes us.

Author Unknown

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

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It seems as if I am still waiting. And waiting…… And waiting….. For what you wonder? I’m still waiting to experience a day where the road I travel doesn’t find me dodging a pot hole (or a few thousand potholes) as I live.

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Every day starts out just about perfectly. Waking from a good nights sleep and feeling refreshed in the promise that I have been given a second chance at getting things in my life right, I start my day with the mundane tasks of walking the dogs and getting the newspaper. Juice poured, breakfast made, the newspaper completes our “rise and shine” ritual. But what happens when, for reasons unknown, the paper isn’t in the driveway? I don’t get flustered particularly easily (OK, maybe I do but I am working on it), but the other day, when our paper was missing, I absolutely didn’t know what to do with myself.

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Now Dan took this little pothole in stride….he had played golf the morning before and hadn’t read that paper yet so he simply adapted, and picked up the previous day’s edition and caught up with world events. For Dan, the pothole was maybe 6″ across…a mere bump in the road! For me, the little pothole seemed to morph into a 6′ sinkhole. I paced and my morning coffee which usually results in a feeling of pure bliss somehow transformed into pure vinegar and caused acid reflux!

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Dan and I shared exactly the same day….with the same pothole….and yet his emotional coping allowed him to continue on down the road, while my coping mechanism resulted in just the opposite…..a flat tire! Yes,  none of us are in control and that the hand that guides our collective destiny is God’s, but I am someone for whom structure usually is important in my life. It is the way life makes the most sense to me. Dan, on the other hand, is a “go with the flow” kind of guy.

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There is no right or wrong here…..just what does and doesn’t work for each of us. The same principle applies to our faith. You see, Dan, having had the structure of education by religious, now prefers to see his faith in a broader and less regimented observance. He knows he is a good person who leads a good life as a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is content, happy and at peace with God, and this works for him. But for me, growing up as a Methodist and then raising my children as Presbyterians, gave me a certain religious perspective and structure, but as an adult, my need to worship, and the way I do so, has changed.

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A few years ago, I spent every moment of every day dodging “potholes” in my spiritual life. Despite my trying my hardest to keep to the “rules” set up by organized religions, I still slipped up! And the harder I tried, the bigger those spiritual potholes became and I began to doubt not just the depth of my faith, but also my worthiness in attaining the ends to my means…..SALVATION! So my search became another 360* turn in the road.

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Since I prefer the peace and introspection worship in my own home affords, I have chosen to join others in worship either on-line or on my television, cup of coffee in hand. Choosing to minister where I can guide, sustain and nurture the faith of others seems to be what I am seeking now, and I think is what will work the best for me. Which just goes to prove something very fundamental to our communion with God! A church is not a place always found within the confines of four walls. A church is a place found within every heart!

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Now if I can just keep those pesky potholes from giving me a flat tire………………

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And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works,so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2: 6-10 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

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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