Tag Archives: faith

Thought For The Day 02/23/15

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The Master Healer

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5healing hands

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-spiritual-energy-reiki-image12571664

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When praying for healing, ask great things of God and expect great things from God. But let us seek for that healing that really matters, the healing of the heart, enabling us to trust God simply, face God honestly, and live triumphantly.

Arlo F. Newell

http://www.creatingnewworlds.org/healing.cfm

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I decided today, to think about healing and He who controls all things related to healing. Now this was not just a purely inspired idea for using as I write my thoughts today. In fact, it is a matter that seems to consume a tremendous amount of my waking moments these days. And it’s not solely due to the fact that with each passing minute of every day, my knees seem to creak just a little more. You see, once more our family is being challenged anew by an insidious foe…the big “C”! For us, the big “C” is in a couple of places… Bladder, Skin, and one that is quite rare. Yes, the biggie is the one that has grown in a tiny tube that connects the Pancreas to the digestive tract.

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For almost 15 years now, the big “C” is an enemy that we have been fighting as a family. But just when we thought we had it licked, it seems another rears its ugly head. Then the realization hits…. we have been given a wake up call reminder that it is not we who controls any of the events that occur as we live each day of our lives! So once again, the surgery to eradicate a new demon has been done, and now the waiting begins for the laboratory report that will again dictate the events that will likely consume our lives with treatment regimens during which we will hold our breath wondering if the doctor will see the enemy once more at the gates!

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The name of this devil, are words that we can probably write and describe blindfolded, by now. “Invasive Adenocarcinoma of the Ampulla of Vater”, which has a better prognosis than other like tumors which invade the Pancreas or Bile Duct. But still…. to get to the cure requires a 10+ hour long surgery which must be survived first. In our case it was more like a 12+ hour surgery which WAS survived. But now comes the hardest part of all. Now we wait and hope and yes… pray… that the complications from a surgery that rearranged so much “internal plumbing” will not set in and that there is no cancer that will be found in the lymph glands harvested with the primary tumor.

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We are a family of fighters. We will never concede victory to a disease entity and so we trust the skill and hands of the experts as they guide us through the treatment process. We also know that much of the future for the days ahead, either with or without this devil who has insinuated himself in our lives, will be with another expert who will stay by our side, walking hand in hand with us, at all times. God! And, should our step falter along the way, He will carry us until we regain, once more, our footing and the strength we need to continue the journey!

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Remember always the words offered by John the Baptist during the years that the Son of God preached to the multitudes, “…Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (from John 1:29 NIV). Now, just for a moment, I want you to think about the power and might of one who has the capacity to heal the world! Throughout the Gospels we read of the miracles performed by His hand, for all manner of maladies! And the simple fact of the matter is that no affliction, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, is a match for His might. That is why we know, for certain, that we can turn our hearts to Him as we walk this path once more. And while our journey is not one that brings us to the valley of the shadow of death, still it is a comfort to our hearts and a balm for our souls, knowing that we need not fear whatever consequence comes our way! John 16:33 NIV says it best, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:14-16, ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/20/15

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Cause And Effect 

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wheat2

http://www.freefoto.com/preview/07-45-6/Wheat

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You REAP what You SOW: Life is like a boomerang. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later, with astounding accuracy.

Grant M. Bright

http://quotationsbook.com/quote/34304/

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Your deeds, good or bad, will repay you in kind. And while we might sometimes wish that was not the case, if history has taught us any lesson worth remembering, it is the one we find in Hosea 6:7 NASB, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

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Just ask any farmer or rancher anywhere in the world and they will probably eagerly show you the evidence of these words by the quality of the product they produce. And I am sure you will admit that, given your druthers, you would most likely prefer to ingest foods that have been tenderly nurtured and cared for as they matured. Not a single one of you would jump up and say, “I’ll take the inferior food over there!” No, given a choice, we would choose only the crops and protein sources that were given the best feeds and fertilizers, because we know that these are the foods that will provide us with the biggest bang, nutritionally speaking, for our buck! So why is it we are not as particular about our lives? Why are we so often content to sit back and do nothing when we bear witness to people who treat others with less regard than a farmer, or a rancher or even a back yard gardener, treats the things they are cultivating?

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How many of you have ever heard of the “Law of Cause and Effect”? Basically, it refers to the fact that everything that happens in the universe is the direct result of something that happened just prior. The implication is that all that occurs in the universe is no more than a chain of events following one after another according to the law of cause and effect, just like a row of dominos will topple simply by nudging the first over! Well the same thing applies to our behavior. The events that follow an action will weaken or strengthen the likelihood it will occur again, which is why someone who has a history of abusing another is not likely to stop the behavior unless something occurs to intervene and prevent the activity from occurring!

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Now this philosophical musing of casualties is simply a fancier way of saying, “You Reap What You Sow”…..a fact of life for man that has existed since time immemorial! Take the Garden. Adam and Eve were created and perfect and had all they could want….save one thing. The fruit of the forbidden tree. So now “cause” comes knocking in the guise of Satan who tempts and through guile, talks Eve into committing the one thing that God had forbidden. And what was the “effect”? They became separated from God, which showed in their actions and their attitude. Adam and Eve knew that they were naked. Their perspective and the way they viewed everything in their world changed! They were ashamed and hid their bodies with fig leaves and themselves from God. Genesis 3:7-8 NIV, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

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The Bible is rife with examples of the “Law of Cause and Effect”, or “You Reap What You Sow”, but you get the picture, I think. The thing is that there is a way to intervene and prevent the inevitable weakening of our characters which can be the result of allowing the laws to go unchecked! YOU! ME! ALL OF US! We are the solution to changing the fall of the dominos by refusing to sit by and do nothing. Every positive act and action we accomplish changes the outcome of the world. You see, just one random act of kindness leads to another and another and another. Perhaps you will never see the scope of power of the one thing you did. But make no mistake! It mattered! Perhaps not to many, but I can guarantee you that it mattered to one. So then try for a second to imagine what you might be able to accomplish if you actually made this type of thing your focus. Can you find it within to do one act of kindness every day? You will be amazed at the rewards you will sow!

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“But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors..”

Hosea 10:13 NIV

 

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/19/15

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A Bucket List For Faith

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Bucket List

http://sogyeltobgyel.blogspot.com/2011/04/before-kicking-bucket.html

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The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss, but that it is too low and we reach it.

Michelangelo

http://mslistologist.com/2010/04/57-quotes-that-will-inspire-you/

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A few years ago, a movie was released that forever changed a common phrase we have all used musingly, at one time or another, when discussing the culmination of a life well lived…..”kicking the bucket”! For any of you who may not be familiar with the famous movie that starred Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, “The Bucket List”, released in 2007, is a comedy that follows two terminally ill men as they embark on a road trip with a list of zany and wonderful things they want to do/see/accomplish before they die! And since then, people everywhere have jumped on the “bucket list” bandwagon, compiling their dream “to do’s” for every time frame imaginable….. a bucket list for week, for the month, for the year, etc. Even corporations have joined in with a business model “bucket list” for employees to aspire to!  So today, I want us to think about creating a “bucket list” for our life of faith!

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Now I know that I am not the first to suggest a “bucket list” for faith. In fact, many churches complied such a list for congregants who participated in the “Year of Faith” a couple of years ago, which was an effort by the Roman Catholic Church (and adopted by many Protestant denominations, as well), of sharing the Gospel in an effort at adopting “New Evangelization” or the proclaiming of faith and the son of God to all people. Now history shows that many Roman Catholics have traditionally viewed this type of activity as an effort more suited to Protestant religions! So it is probably easy to understand how establishing a bucket list for this purpose, would facilitate the goals this movement is trying to effect. You see, sitting down and writing a list of the things that are the most meaningful as we explore what it is we hope to realize from embarking on the journey that brings us closer in terms of our personal relationship with God, helps each of us to discover just what our goals are. It allows us to decide what the things are that will be the most valuable to us in understanding the dynamics of our faith, and it also provides us a way to remember all of the things we hope to accomplish even as it acts as a catalyst to inspire us to do even more!

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So what do we want to include on our “bucket list”? Well, there are a few standards that should begin every “bucket list” of faith, such as:

  1. Remember to offer a prayer of thanks at least once each day to God for all of the blessings he has bestowed! And even if it seems as if there is nothing in your life to be thankful for, then simply thank Him for the fact that you woke this morning to a brand new day where you can begin again the process of discovering His wonders!  2 Timothy 1:3 (NLT), “… I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.”
  2.  Make it a point to read one Bible verse every day. If you have trouble understanding what is being told in a particular version, such as the King James Version, there are many versions that have translated the texts into a format that is more easily understood. And you need not buy a copy. Simply enter http://bible.cc/ and the “Online Parallel Bible” will come up. Next, type in any book of the bible, and simply start with chapter 1, verse 1, and you will find the verse in nearly every translation right there, in front of your eyes. Psalm 119:105 (ESV), “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
  3. Become a volunteer in your community so that you live and breathe Christ’s teaching to “Love Thy Neighbor”. What you give to help others and make your community a better place for everyone, will be returned to you many fold! 1 John 3:18 (ESV), “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
  4. Visit a church or a cathedral that holds a place in history. Look around at the walls and the floor, and sit in a pew that has held thousands upon thousands of the faithful throughout history. Think about the master artist that created the unique and exquisite stained glass windows. Look at the baptismal font and envision the life of the untold numbers of babies who became part of God’s family on that very spot. Remember as you see, smell and touch the wonders of the history of the building, that a church is more than the structure. It is the people, all believers united together, one with the other under God! Acts 20:28 (NIV), “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with.”

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There are a thousand of other things I can think of to include in my personal “bucket list”, but just as our faith and beliefs are somewhat subjective, so are the things we might choose to do in an effort at bringing us closer to the Almighty. But let that be my challenge to you today! Make a list of your own. It needn’t be long, nor must it include everything one might hope to discover, right off the bat. Let your list grow and grow, even as you grow closer to the Almighty, with each thing that you do. Let His love for you act as your compass as you seek to discover all that you can about not just God, but your own heart, as well!

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The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 (NIV)

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/07/15

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I Know Why I Believe!

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whydoyoubelieve_zps8098d3ff

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

Dwight L. Moody

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

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

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

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

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Earth:

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

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Man:

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

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Laws of Nature:

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

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Jesus:

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 15:13 KJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/06/15

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The Face Of God

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Great Smokeys Natl Park

Photo taken in the Great Smokey National Park

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

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

C.S. Lewis

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 20:29 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/05/15

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How Do You Catch Bees?
Honey Or Vinegar

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couple arguing

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

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

 Louis de Bernières 

“Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”

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

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

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MARRIAGE

Author Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Malachi 2:14-15 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/04/15

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Sticks And Stones

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“If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God’s goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens–even if some days it doesn’t seem so. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be.”

Jeffrey R. Holland

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/158936.Jeffrey_R_Holland

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I hear the hurt in the voices of people all the time. I read it in their writings on posts on social media sites and in their emails. And I see it in the pinched and careworn faces with worry lines deeply etched. The incidence of health issues such as Hypertension and Heart Disease is rampant and claiming younger and younger victims. And those who know and hold God within are being hurt at an alarming rate. And why? Because we live in a time where all too many people live without any trace of faith or a respect for the Almighty in their hearts! In fact, they don’t even care because they are happily living vicariously through their personal relationship with the devil! They lack the capacity to understand that the time they walk upon Mother Earth is but one stage that man is destined to pass through and that there is a time and place where the soul will dwell when the shell that contains it is used up!

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These people are ones who shout their rebellion from the highest mountain top. Loud, and aggressive, they are emboldened by the fear their intimidation generates. And given the instant access that is the norm today through worldwide media outlets, these people receive their 10 minutes of fame….a reward for actions that, in their own mind, justifies what they say and do! Exactly what it is that they do is of little concern. It is the fact that they are of the misguided belief that they gain only when they take power from someone else. Erode self-confidence? Sure! Tell someone they are worthless? Why not! Yes, the abuse continues and you know as well as I do that if a person keeps up an assault long enough, the one being attacked becomes mired in self-doubt as the words of their tormentor echo in their head.

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There is generally little we can do to anticipate an attack of physical violence since, as history shows, the sheer randomness employed by the perpetrator often defies prediction. However, we can do something when we are mentally or spiritually abused. We can refuse to allow ourselves to be made victims! We can stand tall and refuse to allow the words of another to demean our sense of self because we know that we live a life that honors God and He will always be there for us. He tells us as much in the Bible. Isaiah 54:15-17 ESV says, “If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

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Always remember that no one, no matter how relentlessly determined they might be, can force anyone to believe anything that they don’t want to believe, unless they are already teetering on the precipice of self-doubt. But you don’t have to be. Arming yourself with faith provides you with the tools to strengthen your resolve by aligning you with what is right in God’s eyes! Romans 8:28 NIV, reminds us that He will remain at our side and help us if we acknowledge our love and devotion to Him. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And as determined as some might be to want to carry you to HELL with them, by standing strong in faith and living according to His word, you are more likely to find that you can carry yet others….even more people….to HEAVEN with you!

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“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

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Five years ago today, a little redheaded bundle of joy was placed in my arms, and from that moment, my life was forever changed. Thank you my Booboo for reminding me that there is nothing more important for mankind’s future than the little ones we love and nurture and teach and hold closely today!

Happy 5th Birthday Landon John Hilliard!

Landon 020410

Landon 02/04/10

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Landon 01/14/15

Landon 01 2015

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry