Tag Archives: friends

Thought For The Day 11/08/12

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Whither Thou Goest…..

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The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation.  It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through eternity. 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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

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Dedicated to the O’Donnel Family

 Declan, Siobhan and Neive

est 11/07/12

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It occurred to me just yesterday how close I have become to the spouses (and companions) of Dan’s lifelong friends. In fact, I am probably closer to some of them than I am to those I counted as my near and dear “BFF’s” from my own High School years! Now, to be perfectly frank, this is no ordinary group of friends we are talking about. They are, in some cases, people Dan knew from his neighborhood in Staten Island. All of the homes where Dan lived were built around 1954 and the appeal of the relatively “country” setting of Staten Island back then, lured hundreds of families from other boroughs, to Dongan Hills, Dan’s neighborhood, as each hoped to provide their children with a better life. Anyway, Dan went through Elementary School with some of them and High School with most of them, as well! We visit, attend special occasions with them and socialize on a fairly regular basis. In fact, one of them who lives very near us in South Carolina, traveled all the way to Staten Island, unbeknownst to us, just so he could attend Dan’s mother’s funeral services, which ended up becoming a blessing in disguise since the events of 9/11/o1, the day of her funeral, prevented us from being able to fly our daughter back to South Carolina to attend her college classes. This wonderful man drove her all the way back home for us……..just because it was what we needed. And that really sums up completely, our relationship with each of these people. Our friends. We are there for each other JUST BECAUSE it is His plan for our lives!

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I met my husband a hundred miles away from where I grew up and that is where I stayed once we discovered we loved each other and we knew we would marry. I planted my roots along side of him, and I never looked to return back home, except to visit my family there. You see my life was now forever rewritten as part of a partnership with the man I loved and that meant that even if Dan moved to China, then China would become my home, as well! Sounds a bit like Ruth and Naomi, doesn’t it? Yes, their story is entirely unique and totally different from mine, and yet, the ties that bound Ruth and Naomi’s hearts together are no different from those ties that bound Dan’s and mine! Because they are the ties forged of love and there are no ties that are stronger or more enduring than those that create a family! Our family. We are there for each other, JUST BECAUSE it is His plan for our lives!

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That is the thing about family (and close friends). They are lives that become entwined with ours by devotion and by love, and often by choice! No two families look exactly alike. They may be the traditional parent/child household. Others may be families where the parents are of the same-sex raising children together. Still others may be families where grandparents rear grandchildren as part of the family dynamic. And others are created by choice, born of people whose hearts yearn to include children and who make that happen, even where there are no blood ties. All perfect families. Family! All there and ALWAYS there for each other, JUST BECAUSE it is His plan for our lives!

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And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

Ruth 1:16 KJV

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Whither thou goest I will go; Wither thou lodgest there will I lodge; Your people shall be my people now, Where thou goest I will go.

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Entreat me not to leave you or return again to my father’s home, for the God that watches over all has commanded me to stay.

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Whither thou goest I will go; Wither thou lodgest there will I lodge; Your people shall be my people now, Where thou goest I will go.

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And where thou diest there will I die, and with your people be laid to rest; For I know the God that abides with you will ever with me be.

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Whither thou goest I will go; Wither thou lodgest there will I lodge; Your people shall be my people now, Where thou goest I will go.

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Thy people shall be my people now, Where thou goest I will go!

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http://youtu.be/XpLGVRfaR14

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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.

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The American Red Cross

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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

Thought For The Day 10/21/12

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Faith and Friendships

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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, 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! And yet they are so very different. His love for us is unconditional while ours 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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8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 10/12/12

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Tickling Your Religious Fancy

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Humor is a reminder that no matter how high the throne one sits on, one sits on one’s bottom.

Taki

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

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It has been awhile since I took a moment to tickle everyone’s fancy here, and since I have a special young friend who is recovering in the hospital from some surgery, I thought what better way to speed her recovery along than to share a laugh. Now I share my blog with her nearly every day and although I don’t want her to open up an incision by laughing, I would like to hear that she managed a smile today! So for my special friend (and you know exactly who you are) here are some “Ha Ha’s” to make you smile and just remember…..they are stories that you can tell in church! Cross my heart!

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The Inexperienced Preacher

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An inexperienced preacher was to hold a graveside burial service at a pauper’s cemetery for an indigent man with no family or friends. Not knowing where the cemetery was, (and it being an era before those navigational systems many people have in their cars) he made several wrong turns and got lost.

When he eventually arrived an hour late, the hearse was nowhere in sight, the backhoe was next to the open hole, and the workmen were sitting under a tree eating lunch. The diligent young pastor went to the open grave and found the vault lid already in place. Feeling guilty because of his tardiness, he preached an impassioned and lengthy service, sending the deceased to the great beyond in style.

As he returned to his car, he overheard one of the workman say to the other, “I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years and I ain’t never seen anything like that.”

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http://www.swapmeetdave.com/Humor/Religious.htm

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The Atheist and the Bear

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An atheist was taking a walk through the woods. ‘What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!’, he said to himself.

As he continued walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes. Turning to look, he saw a 7 foot grizzly charging towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. Looking over his shoulder he saw that the bear was closing in on him. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster.

He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear raising his paw to take a swipe at him.

At that instant the atheist cried out: ‘Oh my God!…’

Time stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

It was then that a bright light shone upon the man and a voice came out of the sky saying:

‘You deny my existence for all of these years, teach others I don’t exist and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?’

The atheist looked directly into the light.

‘It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps, could you make the BEAR a Christian?’

‘Very well, ‘said the voice. The light went out, and the sounds of the forest resumed.

And then the bear lowered his paw, bowed his head and spoke: ‘Lord, bless this food which I am about to receive and for which I am truly thankful, Amen.’

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http://www.guy-sports.com/jokes/funny_religious_stories.htm

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Two Little Boys

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A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.

The parents were at their wit’s end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.

The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8-year-old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,’Where is God?’

The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’

At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.’

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http://gatewaytojesus.com/humorouschurchstories.html

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“There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Ecclesiastes 3:4

AND …

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

Proverbs 17:22

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/14/12

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The Wisdom of Friar Jeff!

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A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world. 

Leo Buscaglia

http://quotegarden.com/friendship.html

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I am going to be incapacitated for a bit because of yesterday’s surgery and so I have asked someone who is not just my very dear friend but my colleague as well, Friar Jeffrie L Wallace who lives in Scotland, if I might be able to share a few of his writings with you for the next few days. And “Thank You Jesus”, he has agreed. So sit back and read and enjoy these words from a man who truly lives one of the most God centered lives of almost anyone I can think of!

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FRIAR JEFFRIE’s PRAYER

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written 07/26/2012

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Lord,

Make me into a tree.

Make me into a tree, so that I can shelter Your Children under my branches, and shield them from the harsh light of the world. Give me leaves of green to cool them, and dapple them with Your Light.

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Father, make me into rain.

Make me into rain so that I can cool their souls and bring them nourishment from a parched, cracked and thankless world. Give me the moisture of your tears, to remind them of Your pain at seeing them like this.

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Make me into a seed.

Make me into a seed so that I may propagate and nourish them with the food for their souls, in a world starving for Your Love so that I may give them the Bread of Life and feed their spirit with Your Knowledge and forgiveness.

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Father, I beg you, Make me into sand.

Make me into sand so that I can shift under the feet of this world which treads on your Children. So that I can make Your enemies slip, and lose their footing and not come near those You have sent me to protect from the destruction of those opposed to your Love.

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Make me into a Stone.

Make me into a stone so that I do not feel the pain of Your Children. So that I can suffer the buffeting attacks of Armies who seek to break down those who stand for You.

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Lord, Make me into wind.

Make me into wind so that I may whisper into the ears of those who seek you. So that through any wall thrown up in this world to keep those You comfort will still hear your word.

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Make me into a river.

Make me into a river so that I may flow around those seeking protection. So that I can divide them from the ones who seek to drive them from you.

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Father, I cry unto you,Make me into a Ravine.

Make me a Ravine so deep and wide that no bridge built by the hands of those who tear down others may reach those You have placed under my care, protecting them from the arrows of hatred slung by Your enemies no matter how far they have shot them from.

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Heavenly Father, Make me into a song.

Make me into a note so pure and clear that it is heard around the world. Give my soul a melody that sounds as of Angels trumpets, a clarion of Your Love to all who hear it. Make the note so loud and pure, that even Your enemies will cover their ears and run to hide from it.

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Sweet Father, Make me an Embrace

Make me into an EMBRACE, Father. So that every time love is needed, every time someone needs comfort, every time love is felt, It shall be Your servant pouring out the love You have sent to them.

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Please Father, Make me what You will….

So that I may serve You, so that NOTHING this world can send will deter me. Send me to do Your bidding, so that should I depart this world, Your works through me will live on long after I am home with You……

Amen

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-Friar J.L. Wallace 26/July/2012

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9) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1: 9 NIV

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6) Then he took them both apart, and said unto them, Bless God, praise him, and magnify him, and praise him for the things which he hath done unto you in the sight of all that live. It is good to praise God, and exalt his name, and honourably to shew forth the works of God; therefore be not slack to praise him.

Tobit 12: 6 KJVA

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/25/12

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Never Alone

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http://lifeontherock.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/faith.jpg

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Hope is FAITH holding out its hand in the dark.

George Iles

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

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Yesterday I was asking my friends on Facebook to keep a young woman in their prayers. She is 30 something, married, with beautiful children, and she is entering the fight of her life. You see, she has a fairly nasty form of Cancer and was undergoing a lengthy 5 hour surgery which is the first step in a very long road ahead of her, in doing battle against this, her personal demon. And, the response I received from my request for prayers was phenomenal! From around the globe, people are rallying and asking God’s blessing for this woman and her family. As a matter of fact, she was lucky enough to see some of those wishes personally, before being taken to the OR. And I was reminded in the vast outpouring of support from people that know her only as Mandy’s Facebook friend, that no one on this earth is ever alone. Not really! As long as we have what I lovingly think of as the 3 F’s…..FAITH, FAMILY, and FRIENDS, we are all lifted and supported by a vast network of people, many of whom will always be a stranger to us!

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Notice that I started my 3 F’s with the big one, the one word that eclipses all the others……FAITH? And it occurred to me that I did this naturally and without forethought or intention. FAITH, after all, is the tie that serves to bind the 3 F’s together and is the thing that should always come first in our lives! Now don’t think for a single moment that I don’t love my family with every fiber of my being. I would give up my very life for every one of them without a second thought. And yet, I still hold FAITH first. It was FAITH that made me a person almost 58 years ago. It was FAITH that gave my heart the capacity to love in the first place. It is FAITH that has gifted me with the other 2 F’s in my life. It is FAITH that carries me through all the troubles I face every day. And it will be by FAITH that I draw my last breath, secure in the knowledge of what awaits me when my earthly life is no more.

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But knowing and feeling the truth of FAITH is only half of the equation. The other piece is being ready, willing and able to seize that FAITH with both hands and hold onto it. Belief and FAITH, while both essentials of living a life that honors God, are not really the same thing. Belief can happen when we must act in the moment. We often do not have time to wait for the certainty of a situation to sink in and so we seize the moment and believe it is possible. Remember when Peter walked on the water? He did not think about it, he just did it! That is what Belief offers to us. However, it is FAITH that gives our Belief its power and strength! FAITH is what makes us certain in the things that Belief teaches to us! I Believe that my friend will do well because it is my FAITH that makes me so certain of this! What does your FAITH give to you?

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Heb 11:1 (KJV) ~ Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:1 (NIV) ~ Now FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (NEB) ~ FAITH… makes us certain of realities we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (Mof) ~ Now FAITH means that we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (Wey) ~ Now FAITH is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.

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“Never Alone”
Performed by Lady Antebellum
Featuring: Jim Brickman
Songwriters: Sarah Buxton, Victoria Lynn Shaw, Gary Scott Burr
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May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when it’s time to go home
May you always have plenty
Your glass never empty
Know in your belly
You’re never alone
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May your tears come from laughing
You find friends worth having
With every year passing
They mean more than gold
May you win but stay humble
Smile more than grumble
And know when you stumble
You’re never alone
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Never alone
Never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
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Well, I have to be honest
As much as I want it
I’m not gonna promise the cold winds won’t blow
So when hard times have found you
And your fear surround you
Wrap my love around you
You’re never alone
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Never alone
Never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
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May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when it’s time to go home
And when hard times have found you
And your fear surround you
Wrap my love around you
You’re never alone
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Never alone
Never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you’re never alone
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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/21/12

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A God-Centric Life!

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 You know that saying, that when God closes a door he opens a window? Well, sometimes out of nowhere, He’ll do you one better and He’ll kick a whole wall down!

Glee, “Furt”

(season 2, episode 8, original airdate November 23, 2010)

written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Ian Brennan, spoken by the
character Burt Hummel

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If there is one thing that can be said about the human being is that from the moment we first draw breath, we exist in an ego-centric state. We are tiny masses of tissue in its various states and full of all of the possibilities that life can introduce to us as we grow. But grow first, we must, and the human being has no innate abilities ready to jump up and take charge unless someone, usually our mother, guarantees that for us, until the time we are grown enough to assume the daunting task of caring for ourselves independently. It is through tender nurturing, much patience and lessons taught by the one who rears us that we discover as a little one that we are not the entire universe and that, instead, we are part of the collective….a member first of a family dynamic and then a member of society. And it has finally occurred to us that the world does not revolve around us, but  instead, it is we who revolve around a central force that controls the world and life as we know it……GOD!

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The realization of this does not come easily to the very complex person that a human being is. I never forgot hearing in the movie “SHREK” that an Ogre is like an onion with many layers. And the same is true of people. As we grown we add layer upon layer to our character through every single life experience that comes our way. And once we reach adulthood, it is all of those layers that serves to arm us with the knowledge to live and grow and prosper, apart from those that reared us. But, it can also be all of those layers that serve to trip us up as we journey through life unless we have added those layers to a strong and supportive base foundation and that is where faith comes into the picture. Even though our every sense tells us as we view the world around us that nothing we see, smell, taste and touch is chance, we still must learn and know and trust that He allowed it for our use and enjoyment. It is only through having a solid core that faith in God provides to us that the layers we add from those life experiences are able to adhere and allow us to grow into the best person we can possibly be!

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A God-centric life does have some rules which helps us to keep the faith core of our being strong and they are worthy of remembering. I am sharing but a few that jump out at me right this moment, but I am certain you yourself will probably think up  few or even a few dozen more, if you sit and think about it for just a moment!

  1. God is the one that changes us, not we ourselves so take a moment every day if possible to share in the messages contained in His handbook….the Bible. If you read these posts every day, I have already done the work for you by including a verse of scripture to every blog I write. Just read them and think about what the words are speaking to you and you will find that He will take care of the rest by applying the meaning of the message to your foundation!
  2. Cultivate friendships with others who not only share your tastes and pursuits but who also share a faith in God. It matters less that their belief matches your own since there is much to faith that is subjective. However, people who know God and hold Him in their hearts will always be honest with you and always encourage you to be your very best!
  3. Know that there is something to be learned in every failure we encounter in life. We are human, after all, and we will make mistakes but it is in not allowing those failures to define you that you come out a better person for having experienced them. If you fall down, admit you made a mistake and then get up, ask forgiveness and continue on your journey.
  4. Understand that even as Rome was not built in a day, neither is faith. It takes a lifetime of reinforcing His message over and over that will see us to the gates of Heaven. Be patient. Be persistent. Be faithful!
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 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Luke 11: 9-10 ESV
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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/24/12

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It Takes A Village!

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 You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it.  A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. 

Casare Pavese

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

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While many of us first heard the title of today’s post because it is the title of former First Lady and now Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, which was written in 1996, in fact, this is an ancient African proverb whose goal was to impart wisdom and truth. The intent was to tell everyone that no man (or woman or child, for that matter) is an island! The well-being of the one is dependent on the capacity of the whole to be supportive and nurturing. And yet, this seems to be something that is often lacking in today’s society! While we like to think we all are part of a collective that cares for and about each other, in fact, we are increasingly finding that this is seldom the case. We no more would leave our doors to our homes unlocked at night or when we are away than we would consider diving from the top of Niagara Falls to be safe thing to do. Now some of this is due to the effects modern technology, and what this has brought to our doorstep. After all, we now hear about all of the horrors that assail humans only a nanosecond after they occur. We view our leaders with a jaundiced eye, wondering what their motivation is for what they say since history seems to prove that it is seldom the welfare of the collective community!

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Now perhaps I seem to be viewing the world with a jaundiced eye by what I am writing. Perhaps I seem to have lost hope for the community, the country and the world. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. You see, I know that the thing that will “un-harden” the hearts of men is not something mysterious or unknown. In fact it can be summed up in two words…..LOVE and FAITH! I join the two together because each is, in many way, co-dependent upon the other, and I like to think that despite all of the horrors we see today that, just as Anne Frank said so brilliantly in her diary, “I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

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It really does take a village and the individuals that live in that village. And like the saying goes, community, like charity, begins at home. But it doesn’t just happen. It takes not just seeing ourselves with a clear eye but looking clearly at the others who live in your community, as well. If you do not know how to be a friend and neighbor then you can’t possibly expect that others will treat you accordingly. So take a moment to think about just what being a friend and neighbor, indeed, a good member of society, entails. What should we do to help our village become a place where the good of the whole becomes at least as important as the good of the one?

  1. Respect the people who live near you. Not everyone works the same hours. Not everyone has young children. So think about all of these things and be conscientious about noises that might disturb your neighbors, such as vacuum cleaners, music, loud talk and barking dogs.
  2. Keep your home and yard presentable. Taking pride in the place you live shows others that you take pride in yourself and that you care.
  3. Welcome new neighbors with an introductory note or a friendly chat. Invite them over for an iced tea or offer to help them as they become acclimated to the community. Share with them things like information about recycling all their moving cartons and tell them the best way to get the newspaper or to the supermarket.
  4. Respect your neighbor’s privacy. Not everyone is open and gregarious. Many are quiet and subdued. Recognizing the differences between people paints you as a sensitive and caring person.
  5. Offer to collect mail, water plants and watch the pets while your neighbors are  away on a trip. Offer….don’t wait to be asked.
  6. Keeps the lines of communication open. Seek to share both good news as well as concerns over a cup of coffee or a light lunch.
  7. Throw a house party or open house once a year. And while you can wait for the holidays, why not make it a special event, in and of itself, by hosting that gathering during a month when there are no special holidays or celebrations! Don’t forget to include those that live alone or who are elderly and may need your help to attend!

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There is a reason that our founding fathers adopted the phrase believed to have been first coined by Aesop, “United we stand….Divided we fall”! And yet, do we not read nearly the same thing in the Bible in  Mark 3:25, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”? It seems that throughout history, wise people recognized that it would take a village to raise a child, but somehow,  years of apathy and entitlement have caused us to forget the wisdom of these words. Let’s change this today! Let the buck (and apathy) stop with us!

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 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.   32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?   Even sinners love those who love them.   33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.   34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.   35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.   36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 

Luke 6:31-36 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/14/12

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Frenimies?

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If it’s very painful for you to criticize your friends – you’re safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that’s the time to hold your tongue.

Alice Duer

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

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I posted this picture to my “MandysPath” Ministry Facebook page yesterday and I could not help but think about the word “Frenemy” even as I was contemplating the message the picture held. Now while you might just think the word “Frenemy” is a product of the 21st century tendency to create new words to explain the complex social issues of the day for which there is no existing definition, in fact, according to Wikipedia, this term was found to have been in use as early as 1953. But for those out there for whom it is being read for the first time, a “Frenemy” (AKA frienemy) is a portmanteau, which is a combination of two (or more) words into one new word. In this case, it is a combining of “friend” and “enemy” and has been explained as either one of two things. A “Frenemy” may be an enemy who, for reasons of their own, chooses to disguise their true motives and then insinuate themselves into your life disguised as a friend. Can we all say a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”? A “Frenemy” may also be someone who is truly a friend but is, in some way, a rival, such as occurs in the professional arena of entertainment. I am reminded of the relationship between Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie or even the wrestlers of the W.W.E. as a prime example of this type of relationship.

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My point here is that I have a really hard time accepting this type of behavior in anyone. For me, once you have been my friend, you now are and always will be, my friend. Once you have entered my good graces, it takes nothing less than a total betrayal to lose my friendship. And while there are some out there who groan at some of the things I put to print, I never “mix my metaphors” when it comes to the realities of how I live my life. With me, I am pretty open and honest. What you see is what you get and I find that I expect the same of the people I have chosen to become part of my intimate circle of friends. I do not insist that you always open your heart to me but if you choose to, do not present me with half-truths or evasions! And I guess I am not alone. The Bible has a lot to say about friendships and also provides some pretty honest assessments regarding things like false friends which is the term used to describe a “Frenemy” back then. Many of these quotes are from Proverbs. How about this one from Proverbs 16:28: “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” Or how about Proverbs 13:20: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Or how about one that’s not from Proverbs. Let’s try this one from 1 John 4:1: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

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Now I do not know about the rest of you, but that is why I always hold that we need to not just choose carefully the people we want to be part of our hearts, but that once we do, we need to cultivate and nurture and provide sustenance for our garden of friends. We take care of our gardens, carefully coaxing each bloom to not just life but beauty, as well. Don’t we owe those friends we cherish the same nurturing, devotion and tender and loving care?

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When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. 

African Proverb

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

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 06/05/12

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I Will Be The Same Friend That I Seek In Others!

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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. 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

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Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/05/12

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Friendship
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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. 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. 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

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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

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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

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4. Love the talks together 

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear  the answer.

Ed Cunningham

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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

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6. Love how friends instinctively work together

Make use of your friends by being of use to them.

Benjamin  Franklin

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17. Love how friends keep our secrets

Confidence is the foundation of friendship. If we give it, we will  receive it.

Harry E. Humphrey

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8. Love how friends will be honest with their advice

In giving advice, seek to help, not please, your  friend.

Solon

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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

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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 © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC