Tag Archives: Heaven

Thought For The Day 09/19/13

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Death Comes Unexpectedly!

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Heaven

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“People so seldom say I love you, and then it’s either too late or love goes. So when I tell you I love you, it doesn’t mean I know you’ll never go, only that I wish you didn’t have to.”

Author Unknown

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/for/occasion/missing_you/

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I am re-sharing a post I wrote just this past spring to commemorate the first anniversary of the passing of my brother-in-law who died in 2012. It was a sudden and unexpected death and none of us were quite prepared to celebrate the life of this relatively young and active man. But that is the way of life! Death comes unexpectedly!

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Now I have learned that a friend of mine who lives “across the pond” has lost his brother, David Joseph Lawrence. David, who was born June 16th,1963 left this world on September 17th, 2013, at only 50 years of age. He was a son, a brother, a father, a grandfather and an uncle. And while I do not know whether or not this was a parting that had been prepared for or not (where goodbyes had already been shared), I believe that regardless of the circumstances that separate us, we are never really ready to lose those we love. But just as I share my thoughts and prayers with my friend Mark for the pain I am certain he and his family are feeling right now, I also know that our time apart from those we love is brief, because I know that what was lost will again be found in God’s Heavenly Kingdom!

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So here are the words I used to remember my brother-in-law, being shared again with you for a family who has lost a brother!

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Death comes unexpectedly for us all, I think. Even when we know…even when the symptoms are there and the doctors have said to begin to make whatever plans we must to say our goodbyes and put our affairs in order. But until that singular moment when God chooses to pull the plug on our living moments, we are boosted by the ever-present hope that the experts might just be wrong. We wonder if we pray just a bit harder or go to church just a bit more often, that the finality of death can be cheated, if even for a single moment. However, the reality of things are that we do not choose our coming nor our going. No, we are told as much in Psalm 121:8 NIV, “the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Just as we can no more make mountains where none existed before, so it is that the Lord chooses where the mountain will sit just as He chooses how long we will dwell in the land of the living.

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From the moment our life began, every thought, deed and plan for that life was known, written in fact in His record, “the book of life”. Now, I don’t know about you, but I believe that it is a record of all who are saved…all of those for whom Christ died and gifted salvation to. But whether this includes all living beings is doubtful, since the gift is not always embraced by man. Infants and children, certainly. Young adults perhaps. Adults….only when the answer has been YES to God! However, when the heart receives and accepts, it is then, and only at His choosing, that our entry is amended! You see, the moment it has been, is the moment he carries us to His home on high. We do not get to choose the when and the where and certainly not the how it will be. And yes, it will always be unexpected. But it will herald not an ending for any of us, but merely a beginning of a new chapter in His “book” for us all! “However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20 NIV.

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“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Revelation 20:11-15 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/12/13

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 Going Home

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cross with sky

http://samiesisters.com/can-u-relate/157-things-i-wish-someone-had-told-me-about-god-how-grace-works

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And  when the day arrives I’ll become the sky and I’ll become the sea and the sea  will come to kiss me for I am going home. Nothing can stop me  now.

 Trent  Reznor

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/going_home.html#E00QxpSKTxSwlmwR.99

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From man’s earliest days, to a time when the country of my birth was embroiled in a war involving brother against brother, and the fate of human beings held in the chains of bondage was to be decided, and through to present day, the realities of living have often been feared by man far more than the unknown of dying ever has been! Which should prove to those doubting Thomas and Thomasina’s out there, the strength we are gifted with, simply because of the breadth and depth of the faith we hold in our hearts. But go home, we must. It became our destiny the moment egg and sperm merged to create what would grow to become a new human being. Hebrews 9:27 ESV, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment..”

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Never has going home taken on meaning quite like it has in recent years, given the uncertainty of the world today. Yes, internal cultural disputes have existed since earliest man walked the earth and faced his nemesis in another of his kind whose agenda was unknown, and therefore, to be feared. But the disputes remained contained between enemies who shared common borders. Today, we are drawn into conflicts half a world away thanks to technologies that, if imprudently wielded, have the capacity to obliterate life as we know it to exist. And unless we somehow find the answer as to how we can reach every heart with the message that we are, indeed, exactly the same inside, I fear the future for our children and our children’s children! God knows this to be true! 1 Peter 3:4 ESV, “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

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Since we can not change every heart, we must change our own so that we are prepared for the time none can escape. And while we can not really make ourselves right with God since the shed blood of the sacrifice of Christ’s substitutionary death has already done that for us, what we must do is work to bring our heart, mind and soul and submit our very humanness over to His safekeeping so that we need not fear the uncertainty of our tomorrows. This free gift we are all given is not to be grouped into the adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”! This is one thing that is so good that we should be doing the old forehead slap saying, “How could I not have already known that this gift was mine for the taking?” Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV, “ For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

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“GOING HOME”

Lyrics by Antonin Dvorak

Performed by ♫ Sissel

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Going home, going home,
I’m a going home.
Quiet-like, some still day,
I’m just going home.

It’s not far, just close by,
Through an open door.
Work all done, care laid by,
Going to fear no more.

Mother’s there, expecting me,
Father’s waiting too.
Lots of folk gathered there,
All the friends I knew.

All the friends I knew

I’m going home

Nothing lost, all’s gain
No more fret nor pain
No more stumbling on the way
No more longing for the day
Going to roam no more

Morning star lights the way
Restless dream all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life has begun

There’s no break, there’s no end,
Just a living on.
Wide awake with a smile
Going on and on

Going home, going home
I’m jus’ going home
It’s not far, yes close by
Through an open door
I’m jus’ going home

Going home, going home

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Click the link to view the You Tube video featuring this song.

http://youtu.be/wdrAJpsCrrA

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“I even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.

Isaiah 43: 25-26 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/13/13

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When His Answer Is No

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God's finger

http://kenbirks.com/heaven/Page-5.html

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Sometimes  one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates  as significant an impression by remaining silent.
Dalai  Lama

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How many times have you prayed with all your might, hoping beyond hope that God would hear your prayer and answer you? Then one day passes…and another…and another, and still nothing! No answer…no hint…not even a glimmer that He ever heard your heartfelt plea! And you say to your self, “My minister says prayer is the answer. My minister says God hears all of our prayers, always! But He’s ignoring my prayer! Why don’t I matter to God? Is God even there?”

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As much as we might hope for clarity, sometimes understanding why God does what He does and gives us what he gives…or doesn’t give…is confusing, even for the most devout believer. And even though we are seldom given an answer within a time frame that meets with our approval and understanding, we also tend to forget that sometimes no answer, or even an answer that is no, is still an answer! These are the times we must be content by remembering the words in Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”

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In human love, we join with another and the union of the two as they become one, bears new fruit….life! But who is it that created the very first life? Who is it that designed the body we live in so that we have a heart that beats seemingly without our even causing it to happen? Who gave us a mind to think and hope and dream? And who endowed us with a spirit to believe? All of these things were envisioned and molded and given life by one whose hand greater than that of any man. Isaiah 44:24 NIV says “This is what the Lord says; your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself..” So then, why would we question the when, how or even if our prayers receive His attention? He knows what is best for us all and perhaps even more importantly, He know the things that are not good! And like any good parent guides the life and the decisions of their child, often without that child even realizing it, and usually without explanation for what it is we do, so does God do this for us. Just as we parents do not give a child all that they ask, so it is that God does not grant us all that we ask, as well!

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God provides us with the clarity of mind to be able to reason most of the answers we need in order to live day to day. The rest He gives us at a time of His choosing, not ours. And only when we have done what we must to make ourselves right with Him and to live a life that honors Him by our obeying His commands to us. According to James 4:3 NIV, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” Until we are ready, we are like a petulant child….unreasonable, peevish and contemptuous. A child who insists to mom that he or she does not have to look both ways before crossing the street! But, like any good parent, we stop that child from crossing because we understand the potential for harm to befall one who acts rashly! Just as we act on our foreknowledge of what is best for our child, so He knows what it is we need and what is best for us, even before the words of our prayer escapes our lips. Think and remember the words from Isaiah 65:24 NIV: “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”

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Dan Siani 1997

Dan Siani

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My husband and I lost a dear friend early Thursday morning. The “other Dan” was a year older than my husband Dan, and lived and grew up on the next block in Staten Island, New York. The “other Dan” and his brothers, Mike and Tony, were childhood companions of my husband. Whether it was stick ball in the school parking lot or softball played on the fields at the “Berry Houses”just a short walk from home, nothing was beyond them as kids. The “other Dan” developed a condition that affects the blood vessels of organs. He needed a liver transplant to survive but became too ill, too quickly to be operated on, had a donor organ been available. We prayed and prayed that he be spared and healed. And God’s answer was no. We do not understand why this is…..at least not now. Perhaps we will never understand while we live but I am just as certain that we will understand one day, and that it will be the day we meet our friend once more because I do know he will be there to greet us when our time on earth is at an end. For now, sleep well dear friend.

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We hold you close within our hearts,
And there you will remain,
To walk with us throughout our lives
Until we meet again.

Our friendship chain is broken now,
And nothing will be the same,
But as God calls us one by one,
The chain will link again

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 “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 ESV

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The first days of a brand New Year have passed, and while it may be hard to believe, there are still people living in the area devastated by Superstorm Sandy that remain without power! Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of horrific event. Please consider sending a Gift Card to the following organization. A thousand cards have been distributed since November but millions more are needed. Give as much as you can, as often as you can! 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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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 09/04/12

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Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella

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

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A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. 

George Moore

http://www.quotegarden.com/self-discovery.html

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We seem to be facing so many attacks in our lives these days. Some are by the hand of man while others are by the hand of God as witnessed by adverse weather phenomena such as drout, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. And I do not know whether they are, indeed, a harbinger or portent of things to come! Ask any number of religious scholars or even scientists their opinion and you will find an equal number who delight in trying to tell us, in all detail, the hows and the when! In fact, there are some who hold fast to the assertion that the ending of days is shown to us all by things that are being attributed to the Holy Roman Empire (aka the European Common Market), which fulfills the prophesy that has been given to man in Revelations.

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Now I am not so sophisticated as to be able to say with any certainty that what they believe is or is not just possible but true. I am not blessed with an in-depth understanding of Biblical history nor of the specifics that seem to act as indicators to some people. What I am is a simple person who knows and loves God and as such, I merely offer a caveat. It is, in my opinion, not the way of the Almighty to allow us foreknowledge of what he has planned for human kind. Mark 13:32 ESV says, But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. My feeling is that until the time comes for us to actually bear witness to the ending of times, we are better served by making ourselves ready to meet Him, and living and enjoying all the things that we have been given that not just bring us closer to Him, but make us happy, as well! And with this in mind, I’m planning another “Ha-Ha” post. Yes, I want us to think but I want us to do it with joy in our hearts!

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A little boy was overheard praying: “Lord, if you can’t make me a better boy, don’t worry about it. I’m having a real good time like I am.”

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A Sunday School teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?”
      Annie replied, “Because people are sleeping”

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Attending a wedding for the first time, my Granddaughter whispered to my Wife. ” ” Why is the bride dressed in white ? ” My Wife replied: “Because white is the color of happiness, today is the happiest day of her life. ” My Granddaughter thought about it for a moment then said ” So, why is the groom wearing black ? “

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An elderly woman died last month. Having never married or even dated, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions for her memorial service, she wrote : ” They wouldn’t take me out while I was alive, I don’t want them taking me out when I’m dead. “

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The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mic, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mic cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered,”If he gets loose, will he hurt us?”

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“This afternoon there will be a meeting in the south and north ends of the church. Children will be baptized at both ends.”

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“Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale.  It’s a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house.  Don’t forget your husbands.”

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A true story: the chairman of the Finance Committee declared the meeting could not be convened for lack of quorum. He asked one of the ministers present to lead in a prayer. Tired of the lengthy meeting, the minister intended to help the cause when he prayed: “Lord, we thank you for your Word that says, ‘where two or three are gathered in your name, they have a quorum. . .” The meeting was promptly convened with a full quorum!

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Rosemary’s sister and George’s aunt, Betty Clooney sings “Let A Smile Be Your Umbrella”. Enjoy this classic YouTube video!

http://youtu.be/QkpQUVdnCDA

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For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/03/12

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The Second Sunday of Lent

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http://www.jesuswalk.com/2peter/images/fra_angelico_transfiguration606x750.jpg

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He takes men out of time and makes them feel eternity. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

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The symbolism of the period continues on this, the second Sunday of Lent with a remembrance of the Transfiguration of the Lord! It is this day we look at the journey Jesus made with three of his apostles, Peter, James and John, to the “Mount of Transfiguration”. It is while there that he begins to shine, light beaming from his being, revealing the truth of who he is! Suddenly, he is joined by Moses and Elijah, the three conversing. And just as suddenly a voice is heard from the heavens which says “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

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This miracle was unique in that it was conferred directly upon the being of Christ himself, instead of being performed by Christ upon another. It was also witnessed by three of Jesus’ most trusted and beloved followers. This event is considered by some theologians as being the greatest of all miracles in that it acted to join the temporal that is humankind with the eternal, God the Father. And the bridge joining man on earth with God in heaven? Jesus Christ, himself. It is also one of the first introductions to man of heaven, by providing a glimpse of the glory awaiting all that choose to follow and embrace the teachings of the Son of God!

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2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. 4And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

5 Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6(He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

7Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

8Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.

11And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Mark 9:2-13 (NIV)

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 02/21/12

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

Charles Sanders Peirce

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

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He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 24:4 (NIV)

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC