Tag Archives: friends

Thought For The Day 10/21/14

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Faith And Friendship

Thought 1319

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A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably. 

William Penn

http://quotegarden.com/friendship.html

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I don’t know about you all, but friendships are extremely important to me. Like family, friends generally don’t stay in your life because of what they can get from you. In fact, they don’t even stay because of what they can give to you! They stay JUST BECAUSE! There is no rhyme nor reason that explains why friends are always there… as integral a part of our lives as are those we are related to! And in thinking about the whys and wherefores of friendships, suddenly, I began to have visions in my head of Imelda Marcos, and her infamous shoe collection, which in turn, made me think about my own closet and your closet, as well!
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Think about the shoe collection that holds a place of honor in your closet. Now I am not in any way a shoe fanatic and yet, if I were to hazard a guess, I would probably have to say that I have at least 25 different pairs of shoes there. And not two are the same. Some are broken in comfy ones I wear when I do yard work or go our fishing. Others are casual comfortable. They are the kind that are perfect for strolling the outlet shops or local mall. There are others that are perfect for exercise which are the ones that probably see the least amount of daylight on my feet, come to think of it. There are others that are summer wear and more that are my go-to cold weather wear and of course, there are the ones you wear on special, dress-up occasions! All different colors, shapes, functions, but all essential to our day-to-day living. Well, although I hate to say it out loud for fear that I might just have to begin ducking  some tomato chucking in my direction, but our collection of friends is exactly like our collection of shoes! None is exactly the same. They are not the same size or shape. They do not do or like the same things. Some work full-time, some are retired and work part-time and some are fully retired. Some like to travel, others like to golf. In fact, with few exceptions, there are few who share most of those interests that captivate my attention every day. And yet, they all are as important to my life as is my spouse and my children. And it is because of our differences that we all have so very much to give each other as we spend those precious moments together!
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Did you know that someone has suggested that we all need at least five types of friends? They actually broke the list down into the following descriptions:
  • A work friend.  People who completely understand what is involved in the career you’ve chosen. These people spend a tremendous amount of time with you and when there is a camaraderie present, the time away from home passes more quickly and a happy worker becomes a more productive worker, as well!
  • A friend such as a parent of a child in your class or a neighbor.  These are people who are as invested in the part of your life that involves common interests and property but may not be people you choose to be social with on a more intimate level.
  • A childhood friend.  These people share and help you to keep alive the history that was responsible for your formative development.
  • A good time fun pal. These people are the ones you are comfortable having fun or sharing a common leisure activity with such as your bowling buddy, a fellow quilter or a person from your book club.
  • A straight-shooting, “tell it like it is” friend. These friends are the ones who dare to point out both your strengths as well as your weaknesses! But these friends might just be your closest allies because if they were not, their honesty might just be hurtful, on some level.

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Now as much as I must agree with the list that has been compiled, there is one friendship that was omitted. It might just be the most important friendship of them all because it is a friendship born of pure love and devotion that captures the best of all of the others and combines them into a cohesive and perfect relationship. That is the love our Lord has for us all and we Him! Indeed, it is a love so very different from the others. You see, His love for us is unconditional while our human love is conditional, based on the state of our feelings and emotions as they exist from moment to moment. And just as the thermostat rises and falls as the seasons change, so can the love that man feels, which is why we find ourselves falling in and out of relationships continually our entire lives. Man constantly falls in and out of love. However, God’s love is not based on feelings or emotions. He loves us because HE IS LOVE, in its most perfect and ideal form! Not only is it the reason He created us in the first place in the Garden, but it is also the reason it was recreated and restored by a willing sacrifice made for us all with the gift of His son, Jesus Christ! And I don’t know about you, but this is, most definitely, the best and most enduring of any relationship I have ever experienced in my life!

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Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

1 John 4:8 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/04/14

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Where Does Kindness Begin?

Post 1179

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Kindness-Begins-With-Me

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If you’re alone, I’ll be your shadow.  If you want to cry, I’ll be your shoulder.  If you want a hug, I’ll be your pillow.  If you need to be happy, I’ll be your smile.  But anytime you need a friend, I’ll just be me. 

Author Unknown

http://www.quotegarden.com/best-friends.html

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I have been recently reminded of the value of true friends. You know the people I mean. They are the ones that know you so well that they already know the answers as to what secrets lie in the recesses of your heart. They already know the content of your character. They already know your strengths as well as your weaknesses. They know when it is enough to be silent and they know when to say the hard things that we do not want to hear! They lift us up when we are down and they temper our hyper moments with the soothing that only true friends know how to speak. When we are lucky enough to be joined by the promises of forever love to this best friend, we count ourselves blessed indeed. But when we have this best friend in our life because they choose to walk beside us, we are sharing something very rare. And yet, never for a single moment forget that to have this type of relationship with someone else, we must first be a true friend to the others in our lives!

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We live in times that challenge even the most noble and stalwart of individuals. Every temptation meant to weaken our fortitude is close at hand. It seems that Satan is drawing an increasing level of power from the hatred, bitterness and cruelty that seems to be so pervasive in today’s society. And then he delights in throwing all of this negativity in the path that we travel in hopes that we will somehow succumb to the temptation and trip and fall. The thing that Satan forgets is that most of us have 2 huge forces that we carry within as we travel along our way in life.

  1. Most people who live by right have an already existing, deep-seated, abiding faith in their hearts that is not likely to fall victim to Satan’s temptations.
  2. People seldom travel their pathway in life alone and on the off-chance that the journey begins alone, it is the friendships made along the way that make that journey so special and rewarding and increases the chances that it will be completed successfully, free and clear of the obstacles Satan places along the way!

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Yes, life’s journey is not easy. It was not meant to be because we seldom appreciate the specialness of things that come to us too easily. But never forget that we have already been given a roadmap for the journey we are to travel. God’s Holy Bible provides us with a compass, warnings and encouragement for planning the route we will take. And yet we also have the choice to make decisions on our own about how we navigate life’s detours all along the way.

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We will also encounter intersections as we travel and we will need to choose the turn we will make once we reach that crossroad.  It is the faith that we hold within our hearts that will help us to choose wisely. It will also be the wisdom we used in choosing those companions we want to join with us as we journey along the way. Choosing well increases the chance that we will arrive at our destination not just successfully, but whole, complete and fulfilled, as well. I know that so far I have chosen my friends wisely. But as I choose them, they also choose me! I can but hope and pray that I will be the same kind of friend to others that I ask for them to be for me.

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If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising  himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my  companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we  walked with the throng at the house of God.

Psalm 55:12-14 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/05/14

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Friendship

Post 1149
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In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. 
Albert Schweitzer
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How many times in our lives do we look at a total stranger and find a connection? It’s not anything we can explain, nor is it anything we ever have control over. It is what it is! It is miracle and a gift from the Almighty of the greatest kind! It is the spark that ignites the fire of what will become a friendship! And, perhaps….just perhaps….a true and everlasting bonding of two people.
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Now real, true friends and friendships do not happen every day and I must ask the question: how do we really know someone is a true friend?
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When you exchange wedding vows with your spouse, do you not promise to be there for the other during good times and bad times….for better or for worse? Well, a true friend is exactly the same. They are by your side when things become hard.
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They are devoted to the person that you are and they never try to change anything about you! And, perhaps, the most wonderful thing of all, they enrich the life we lead by their very presence within it!
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Some very wise people throughout history have addressed the issue of true friendships. While each touched on a slightly different aspect, there is a common thread that permeates each quote!
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1. Love and like yourself
Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot  be friends with anyone else in the world.
Eleanor  Roosevelt

 

2. Love and accept others as they are
A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future,  and accepts you just the way you are.
Unknown

 

3. Love and cherish the time you share
At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more  test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret  time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.
Barbara  Bush

 

4. Love the talks together
Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear  the answer.
Ed Cunningham

 

5. Love how friends bring out the best in us
Friendship is a treasured gift, and every time I talk with you I feel as  if I’m getting richer and richer.
Author Unknown

 

6. Love how friends instinctively work together
Make use of your friends by being of use to them.
Benjamin  Franklin

 

17. Love how friends keep our secrets
Confidence is the foundation of friendship. If we give it, we will  receive it.
Harry E. Humphrey

 

8. Love how friends will be honest with their advice
In giving advice, seek to help, not please, your  friend.
Solon

 

9. Love how our friends know just the right time to step in
Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a  time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into  their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all  over.
Gloria Naylor

 

10. Love how our friends rally around us during difficult times
True friendship isn’t about being there when it’s convenient; it’s about  being there when it’s not.
Author Unknown

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See the common denominator that runs throughout all of the quotes?

LOVE!

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 “This is my commandment, that you love one  another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay  down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master  is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my  Father I have made known to you.
John 15:12-15
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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

 

 

Thought For The Day 03/19/14

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Silver And Gold

 

Post 1102

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Old-friends-

http://www.inspirationfalls.com/old-friends-are-best/

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The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.

Elisabeth Foley

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

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There is something so comforting about those times when we reconnect with an old friend. Even though you may not have seem one another for years, when you meet up again, it is as if you were never parted! It’s a feeling that I liken to your softest, coziest pajamas and slippers. No matter how hard your day has been, when you arrive home, and rid yourself of the “trappings” of your business world, and then you slip into the cottony softness of your pajamas, suddenly the adult responsibilities seem to melt away, replaced with the warmth of hearth and home. It is a feeling that is somehow reminiscent of the carefree days of your childhood! And reconnecting with someone who “knew you when” somehow brings to you the comforting feeling of reliving the life you knew before all of the responsibilities of adulthood became the millstone around your neck! I guess that is why I like to think about faith and walking hand in hand with my Lord as I travel life’s road, exactly like spending time with an old friend.

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Like any good friend, we want to spend time with someone who is kind and trustworthy and loyal. Likewise, how often do you find yourself pulling away from that new acquaintance who chooses to try to force intimacy with you? Well, God is all of those good things we seek out in a friend….and more! But the most wonderful thing of all is that He seeks to be our friend first! You may not realize it, but I know, deep inside, that when we are drawn to faith and we feel compelled to want to understand and to learn all we can about it, it is because God has reached out His hand of friendship and has touched our heart! And choosing His friendship offer is easy, because it’s free for the taking! The question then becomes do you really want it and what will you be willing to give back to Him to have it?

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What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation — A toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, And I’ll do it together with his people.

(a

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Do these lines sound a bit familiar? Well, if they do it is probably not because you know the person who wrote them. (His name is Eugene Peterson. He is a poet, a college professor AND a pastor who hales from Canada and he wrote these words from inspiration he received from Psalm 116. As a matter of fact, I have shared that Psalm with you as today’s Bible passage which you will find at the end of this post!) But you probably know the person who said them while on tour, and just before performing ” Where the Streets Have No Name “. Yes, I am talking about Bono…singer, songwriter, and philanthropist to untold millions who have been the recipient of some measure of his generosity, over the years! He is also a friend to many, but even more importantly, he has chosen to accept the hand of friendship from my friend….and yours! And just as the Lord walks next to Bono and me every day, so will He travel by your side, if you let Him! And do you want to know something? His hand in mine is even better that my soft, comfy pajamas!

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(a   http://www.kevindhendricks.com/2002/10/28/what-can-i-give-back-to-god/

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Psalm 116 NIV

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.”

What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord— in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/13/14

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Friendships

 

Post 1093

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friendship-56v

http://ts2.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.608030939545010456&pid=1.7

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A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.

Douglas Pagels

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

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I discovered today, perhaps for the first time, and I’m saying this in all earnestness, what a real friend is. And that is something many of us may not really understand unless that kind of relationship happens to fall into our laps. What most of us think of as friends are probably more akin to the strongest bond of “acquaintance” that is possible to have with another person. These folks are the ones that telephone us, and pop over and have coffee and some light conversational time. But rarely is this someone we feel comfortable with the unburdening of our soul.

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Now, admittedly, time with them is something we cherish. Indeed, these people are the ones that help us travel through the minutes of our everyday times of angst. And then, suddenly, we meet that one in a million individual! You know the person I mean. It is as if their hearts have been touched by the very hand of God! They are the people who enter our lives on tiptoe and somehow manage to leave an imprint on our very soul the size of Mount Everest! We are witnessing the uniqueness of character of someone destined to become a person who changes the very essence of who we are for all time!

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Once in a great while this might just be someone we’ve never even seen face to face. And yet, they are the first ones that ask us not what we can do for them, but rather, they ask us what they can do for us! And they ask this of us before we even realize that there is something we need.

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They are the ones that come in to our homes when we feel sick and roll up their sleeves and pitch in straightening and offering coffee. They are the ones who somehow leap-frog ahead of those other acquaintances in our lives, and somehow, inexplicably, transform from being merely friends in our lives to being extended family members!

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Certainly we are not unique in finding such people and finding ties like these. There are a handful of stories in the Bible that tell of friendships like this. And I am not referring to the bonds forged by our Lord and Savior with the Apostles or any other devoted followers. I am thinking more about the bonds that existed between Ruth and Naomi, or the bonds between David and Jonathan. Now we know that there have been some who have speculated that these relationships were more than platonic and yet I do not believe these views in the least. Ruth and Naomi teach us how bonds born firstly of family ties somehow morph into a beautiful love story shared by mother and daughter-in-law. And the story of the special love shared by David and Jonathan was one that grew despite marriages of both men to women that seem to have been devoted mates.

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I searched through a myriad of search engines to see if I could find the author of the following poem. And though it has appeared in a multitude of sites, no where could I find the name of the author. And so I will share this as one of the “Author Unknown” treasures that somehow fell into my life just as that true friend has. And I dedicate it to those special people….those true friends…. who grace your lives today, tomorrow, and always! For my friend…………….

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Friendships!
 
As we walk our path of life,
We meet people every day.
Most are simply met by chance.
But, some are sent our way.
 
These become special friends
Whose bonds we can’t explain;
The ones who understand us
And share our joy and pain.
 
Their love contains no boundaries.
So, even we are apart.
Their presence enhances us
With a warmth felt in the heart.
 
This love becomes a passageway,
When even the miles disappear.
And so, these friends, God sends our way,
Remain forever near.

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“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

John 15:12-15 NKJV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/19/13

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Old Friends

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Old-friends-

http://www.inspirationfalls.com/old-friends-are-best/

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The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.

Elisabeth Foley

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

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There is something so comforting about those times when we reconnect with an old friend. Even though you may not have seem one another for years, when you meet up again, it is as if you were never parted! It’s a feeling that I liken to your softest, coziest pajamas and slippers. No matter how hard your day has been, when you arrive home, and rid yourself of the “trappings” of your business world, and then you slip into the cottony softness of your pajamas, suddenly the adult responsibilities seem to melt away, replaced with the warmth of hearth and home. It is a feeling that is somehow reminiscent of the carefree days of your childhood! And reconnecting with someone who “knew you when” somehow brings to you the comforting feeling of reliving the life you knew before all of the responsibilities of adulthood became the millstone around your neck! I guess that is why I like to think about faith and walking hand in hand with my Lord as I travel life’s road, exactly like spending time with an old friend.

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Like any good friend, we want to spend time with someone who is kind and trustworthy and loyal. Likewise, how often do you find yourself pulling away from that new acquaintance who chooses to try to force intimacy with you? Well, God is all of those good things we seek out in a friend….and more! But the most wonderful thing of all is that He seeks to be our friend first! You may not realize it, but I know, deep inside, that when we are drawn to faith and we feel compelled to want to understand and to learn all we can about it, it is because God has reached out His hand of friendship and has touched our heart! And choosing His friendship offer is easy, because it’s free for the taking! The question then becomes do you really want it and what will you be willing to give back to Him to have it?

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What can I give back to God for the blessings he’s poured out on me? I’ll lift high the cup of salvation — A toast to God! I’ll pray in the name of God; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, And I’ll do it together with his people. (1

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Do these lines sound a bit familiar? Well, if they do it is probably not because you know the person who wrote them. (His name is Eugene Peterson. He is a poet, a college professor AND a pastor who hales from Canada and he wrote these words from inspiration he received from Psalm 116. As a matter of fact, I have shared that Psalm with you as today’s Bible passage which you will find at the end of this post!) But you probably know the person who said them while on tour, and just before performing ” Where the Streets Have No Name “. Yes, I am talking about Bono…singer, songwriter, and philanthropist to untold millions who have been the recipient of some measure of his generosity, over the years! He is also a friend to many, but even more importantly, he has chosen to accept the hand of friendship from my friend….and yours! And just as the Lord walks next to Bono and me every day, so will He travel by your side, if you let Him! And do you want to know something? His hand in mine is even better that my soft, comfy pajamas!

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(1 http://www.kevindhendricks.com/2002/10/28/what-can-i-give-back-to-god/

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Psalm 116 NIV

1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”

5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.

8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord—
in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/09/13

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 Friendships…

For A Reason, A Season Or A Lifetime?

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seasons

http://www.sagittarianmind.com/2011/06/changing-of-seasons-what-are-transits.html

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PEOPLE COME INTO YOUR PATH FOR A REASON, A SEASON OR A LIFETIME.

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When you know which one it is, you will know what to do with that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a dificulty…

To provide you with guidance and support…

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually…

They may seem like they are a godsend, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die…

Sometimes they walk away…

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand….

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled…

Their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has now been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON.

Because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons.

Things you must build upon to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life…

Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime

Author Unknown

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Friends. People who choose to be a part of our lives! They are not bound to us by ties of genetic material. The are bound to us by invisible ties that they have created  with us…braided by the twists and turns and unpredictability of the life that we share.

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God has designed man to forge friendships with others like him. Our lives and our living is structured around sharing thoughts and feelings and even sharing our deepest secrets with another within the safety of absolute trust and without fear of judgement or betrayal. And while there are varying levels of the friendships we share with others, we are also designed so that some friendships morph into lasting relationships. Even the absolute and inviolate bond between each of us and our life partner started as a friendship that transformed from a deep and abiding like to a deep and abiding love!

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When our relationship with another is a bond that transcends earthly love, it is known as “agape”. And it is “agape” that Christ talks about in what is considered to be His farewell discourse. Found in John, chapter 15, we learn Christ’s explanation for the shared relationship between the Disciples and Himself. He reminds them, and us, of the importance of loving one another in the same manner as the love He shares with God the Father, and the love He in turn, shares with His followers. And it is in the following verse, that Christ alludes to His impending crucifixion, as He refers to the greatest love there can be between friends. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  John 15:13 ESV.

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Friendships may come more easily at times, and these are the relationships that are easy to sustain. But there are those friendships that do not come quite as easily. That does not mean that they are less important to us, only that they are different and that we must tend to them with more thought and care. But the more you give of yourself to nurture their growth, the stronger the ties become and the more likely it is that they will endure all of the trials that we all face as we walk hand in hand through life. “An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.” Proverbs 18:19 NLT. So learn the meaning …the true meaning of “agape”, and nourish your friendships with the same diligence you nourish your body every day!

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 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/27/12

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Bittersweet Days

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angel4

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May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Irish Blessing

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The days are much too short, as they always seem to be when the time to say goodbye draws near. But say goodbye we must, because that is the way of the world and of life. It is certainly the way of the human being who waits for the day death will call from the very first moment we draw air into tiny lungs. And while there is never a good time for saying those goodbyes, they are especially bittersweet during the holidays, when we all spend so much time in celebration, and when a time of sadness and of mourning seems so out-of-place. But all of the days of man are numbered, and those days are much too short, as they always seem to be, even when that goodbye is expected or even welcomed.

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Yesterday was such a time of mixed emotion for my family. We were mourning the loss of a family member…..my brother’s father-in-law, as a matter of fact. And it was time for me to speak. And even as I faced the assembly, the words and emotions were such a struggle. You see, the person we had lost suffered from end stage dementia, and it had been weeks and weeks since he had known his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. He had forgotten so many of the joyous things that had consumed his waking hours before being struck down by this insidious foe. He had forgotten his boat and fishing cronies and he had forgotten his 60th birthday when he was “Roasted” by some of his near and dear friends who knew him so well as a much younger man.

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What can you say during a such a time that would do his life justice? And then I remembered the place where he now dwells…..a heavenly home where there is no more pain or want or loneliness or despair….a place where each person is vibrant and safe and warm and alive. And then my mind envisioned him in a place where his fishing pole is always baited and the fish are always biting and I needed to smile, because I realized that he was not really home for the years he walked the earth. It was not until the moment that he was carried away on the wings of angels that he was delivered to his true home! Yes, I was smiling and as I spoke, those in the room smiled too!

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(Jesus’ words)

”Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

John 14:1-4 NIV

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During the up-coming days of a brand New Year, please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations. Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about!

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Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
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For information, visit
or

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The Robin Hood Relief Fund

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121212concert

“121212” The Concert For Sandy Relief

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Call 1-855-465- HELP (4357)

or visit

http://www.121212concert.org/

or

Twitter #121212concert

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/09/12

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A Permanent Solution

to a 

Temporary Problem

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Drew

“Drew”

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To  run away from trouble is a form of cowardice and, while it is true that the  suicide braves death, he does it not for some noble object but to escape some  ill.

Aristotle

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/suicide.html

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Our family recently witnessed another November’s passing without being able to share it with someone we loved very dearly. Andrew, Drew for short, is not here because for a brief moment that has become all of eternity, he lost his way! Above is a picture taken of him on the day of his prom in 1996.

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He was as much a part of our family as were our own God-given offspring. We joked frequently that Drew spent as much time, if not more, in our home as he did in his own. To this day his mother and I are friends on Facebook, the miles a barrier to more personal interaction, and we exchange news along with Christmas cards. I have shared with her the things Drew will never know…..the growing of her grandchildren (Drew’s nephews), one whose face is like looking in a mirror at the face of the little boy I had loved so much! And Drew will never know Landon, his nephew if not by birth, then by love! All because he chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem!

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Oh but there were some magic words we could say……but there are none. The thing is that most people who choose this end really do not want to die. What they want is to stop hurting! And whether or not you understand the pain they feel, it is and always will be profoundly significant to them….so all-consuming, in fact, that they feel that there is no other alternative left but to try to numb a heart that is hurting. And whether the choice they make is to employ either a temporary or a permanent anesthetic to do the numbing, it is the those who love them and are left behind to pick up the pieces, that really suffer from that fateful decision! Now Romans 8:28 NIV says 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, but I doubt any of us believe for a single moment that the permanent solution of suicide, serves His purpose for anyone’s life!

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At this time of the year when the rate of both despondency and suicide rises, remember that help is no more than a single step, a single prayer or a single friend away. Whether it be physical pain or emotional pain, the word of God can be a comfort for  those that truly seek a measure of comfort. Hebrews 2:18 says For  because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are  being tempted. And yes, while there can be comfort in His word, sometimes the time comes to employ some measures that are from the wisdom and mind of man.

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For those of you who are interested, I am sharing a list of some things that has been published by the Mayo Clinic, that we each can do to help! They are measures that everyone is capable of (and no, you do not need special training) until the time when professional help can be obtained. We are all capable of defusing a potentially life altering  situation. Who knows…..you might just find yourself the permanent solution to someone’s temporary problem!

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  • Encourage the person to seek treatment. Someone who is suicidal or has severe depression may not have the energy or motivation to find help. If your friend or loved one doesn’t want to consult a doctor or mental health provider, suggest finding help from a support group, crisis center, faith community, teacher or other trusted person. You can help by offering support and advice — but remember that it’s not your job to become a substitute for a mental health provider.
  • Offer to help the person take steps to get assistance and support. For example, you can research treatment options, make phone calls and review insurance benefit information, or even offer to go with the person to an appointment.
  • Encourage the person to communicate with you. Someone who’s suicidal may be tempted to bottle up feelings because he or she feels ashamed, guilty or embarrassed. Be supportive and understanding, and express your opinions without placing blame. Listen attentively and avoid interrupting.
  • Be respectful and acknowledge the person’s feelings. Don’t try to talk the person out of his or her feelings or express shock. Remember, even though someone who’s suicidal isn’t thinking logically, the emotions are real. Not respecting how the person feels can shut down communication.
  • Don’t be patronizing or judgmental. For example, don’t tell someone, “things could be worse” or “you have everything to live for.” Instead, ask questions such as, “What’s causing you to feel so bad?” “What would make you feel better?” or “How can I help?”
  • Never promise to keep someone’s suicidal feelings a secret. Be understanding, but explain that you may not be able to keep such a promise if you think the person’s life is in danger. At that point, you have to get help.
  • Offer reassurance that things will get better. When someone is suicidal, it seems as if nothing will make things better. Reassure the person that these feelings are temporary, and that with appropriate treatment, he or she will feel better about life again.
  • Encourage the person to avoid alcohol and drug use. Using drugs or alcohol may seem to ease the painful feelings, but ultimately it makes things worse — it can lead to reckless behavior or feeling more depressed. If the person can’t quit on his or her own, offer to help find treatment.
  • Remove potentially dangerous items from the person’s home, if possible. If you can, make sure the person doesn’t have items around that could be used to commit suicide — such as knives, razors, guns or drugs. If the person takes a medication that could be used for overdose, encourage him or her to have someone safeguard it and give it as prescribed.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/suicide/MH00058/NSECTIONGROUP=2

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It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it’s hurting the person who has it that matters and never for a moment think that someone who has expressed their despondency to you won’t act on the threat. That is a regret that has saddled me and my children every day for the last 17 years. So, just in case, why not jot down the link below for the IASP, and keep it in a special place in your address book or your smart phone! You never know when you may be called upon to save a life……perhaps even your own!

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International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

Need help? Don’t know where to turn?

For information on where to find the help you need click the link below and then click on the continent where you live!

http://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

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 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV

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During this most blessed season of the year, please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters  who continue to suffer from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following group. Your gift might just mean a family who has lost everything might just have something to smile about this Christmas!

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Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
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or

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/27/12

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God’s Greatest Gift

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We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly –

Sam Keen

“To Love and Be Loved”

http://sayingimages.com/love-quotes-best-images-with-quotes-about-love/

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Most people, if asked what God’s greatest gift to man was, would be apt to reply, His son, Jesus Christ. This is, after all, the time of the year when we who celebrate Christianity welcome Him into our hearts and into our lives in a very profound way as we prepare to celebrate His birthday. And for the most part, that answer would receive no argument from me. You see, God sent His son to earth to pave the way for our Salvation and we must admit that there is no single thing that can be more important to the state of our souls than this. He reaffirms this to us in Philippians 4:19 NIV, when we are reminded “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Yes, through Jesus birth and subsequent death, we are afforded His promise, which is affirmed in John 10:28 NIV says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” And then I read my email today which gave me a whole different perspective of the matter.

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The email I read reminded me of something else. It reminded me of the real reason he chose to send His son to earth in the first place, knowing full well what the ending of life would be for him. You see, the greatest gift the Lord has given to His people is not the promise of Salvation but it is, instead, the guarantee of His everlasting love for us all. Yes, He loved us then and continues to love us today, so much so that He sent His only begotten son, knowing full well His son would need to meet a horrible end on a cross. We know this to be true from reading Romans 5:8 NIV, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And in the way that mankind chooses to continue to love others to this day proves that. The Apostle Paul said as much in Corinthians when he reminds us that of all the great spiritual things a human being can do in a world that finds so many behaving in ways that are anything but spiritual, is to spend all the time we can exercising our hearts and sharing love which is “Christlike” in its capacity to care for and about others!

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This is the story that inspired this posting!

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LOVE

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It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderlygentleman in his 80’s arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.

He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him.

I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment morning, as he was in such a hurry.

The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health.

He told me thatshe had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late.

He replied that she no longer knewwho he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him,‘And you still go every morning, even though she doesn’t know who you are?’

He smiled as he patted my hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’

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True love…..”Christlike” love…..is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, and will ever be. The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. So as you gather close to those family members and friends who mean the most to you over the weeks to come, always remember that we are never more “Christlike” in our behaviors than when we demonstrate and share and live, God’s greatest gift of all…….LOVE!

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16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 NIV

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Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters as well as furry companions today who are suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. Give as much as you can, as often as you can to the following organizations or groups.

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The American Red Cross

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Text REDCROSS to 90999
or click
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Staten Island Gift Cards For Relief
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or
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The American Humane Association
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or by texting HUMANE to 80888

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry