Tag Archives: Lent

Thought For The Day 02/15/13

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Spring Cleaning 

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SEP020660

http://www.jmfserviceselgin.co.uk/spring-cleaning.html

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Let this season of LENT remind us all that this life we have and the material possessions we hold are just being LENT to us. We’re all passersbyes. We’re not immigrants here. We’re all pilgrims on the road. We bring nothing when we die. But we can leave behind the love we’ve shared, the hope we have given and the goodness we’ve done.

Author Unknown

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Once more, the time of the year is at hand when we begin our traditional preparations for the changing of the seasons. As days lengthen and the sun shines brighter and warmer, we can almost smell the transition from winter to spring in the air all around us. Almost instinctively, we clean closets, we open windows, and we blow the stagnant mustiness of rooms sealed since the chill of fall’s days became the cold of winter nights! We welcome the freshening that the blue sky and fluffy white clouds promise us for the springtime days ahead. But how many of you have come to think about the period of Lent in exactly the same way? Well, you should, because Lent prepares God’s spiritual house for cleaning in preparation for the holiest of days in our Christian calendar… Easter!

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We live our lives in a time when we are witnessing the rebounding of abundance in the western nations. Yes, many third world countries continue to exist in impoverished circumstances, but it is the conscience attempt at sacrifice made by those who do not know want, that gives this spiritual spring cleaning we perform during Lent, its significance! It moves us once more into the mindset that we must pay our dues to reap the reward that Christ’s sacrifice gifted to mankind!

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Yes, the days of Lent, and the sacrifices we choose as we embark on our spiritual house cleaning during the weeks ahead, are our reminder that the blessings we are endowed with are really only ours to borrow….for the time we walk the earth. They are, in reality, “lent” to us! So remembering that, just how much are you willing to sacrifice in an attempt to draw closer to our Heavenly Father?  Jesus gave up His life! What will your sacrifice be?

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“Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.

Joel 2:12-13 ESV

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It is now February of 2013, more than 3 months since Superstorm Sandy struck on October 29, 2012, and yet there are still people living in Staten Island that remain without the essential services that you and I are taking for granted today, even as Winter weather is now descending. Please remember the millions of our brothers and sisters who continue to suffer from the effects of this horrific storm. Lives will continue be impacted for years to come. But you can help! Please consider sending a Gift Card to the organization listed below. Thousands of 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 04/03/12

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THE EMPTY EGG

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Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. 

S.D. Gordon

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

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Sometimes it takes just one story to make us look at the world and the people that share that world with us in a different way. Every single person created by Him was born for a purpose that serves what it is He has designed for our world as it exists every second. Perhaps the message he is sending to us by sharing these special people with us is simply to open our eyes to all the beautiful possibilities that exist if we but look deeply within not just others but within our own hearts, as well. Perhaps it is simply to expand what it is that comprises our humanity. Perhaps it is to teach each of us a lesson in humility. Whatever it is that He intends us to find within each story we hear or bear witness to, is a very personal one. The lesson He intends we leave with is meant for each of us to discover for ourselves. The story I am going to share today is one of those. It is a story of faith and resurrection. It is a true story (the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the people mentioned) and is another found tale that has circulated the world through the internet. It was written by Ida Mae Kempel (http://idakempel.com/) a free-lance writer from Alameda, California and first appeared in “Focus on the Family”, April, 1988.

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Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind. At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.

One day she called his parents and asked them to come in for a consultation. As the Forresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students.”

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.”

Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family, she thought. Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy. From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him.”I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered, “Wh-why that’s very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat.”

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them, “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?” “Yes, Miss Miller,” the children responded enthusiastically…..all except for Jeremy. He listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs.

In the first egg, Doris found a flower. “Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said. “When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here.” A small girl in the first row waved her arm. “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that’s new life, too.” Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine.”

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom, “My daddy helped me,” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty. Surely it must be Jeremy’s she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.

Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up. “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” Flustered, Doris replied, “But Jeremy, your egg is empty.” He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty, too.”

Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, “Do you know why the tomb was empty?” “Oh, yes,” Jeremy said, “Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up.”

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

1 Peter 1:3NIV

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day04/01/12

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The Triumphal Entry

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But from this earth, this grave, this dust, My God shall raise me up, I trust.

Walter Raleigh

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

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All four of the Gospels each detail the trip that Jesus made into Jerusalem two millenia ago. They are to be found in the following chapters and verses of the Gospels:

Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19.

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Jesus knew that his life’s journey was ending and that soon his sacrificial death would wash clean the stain of sin from all of mankind. His journey must have been difficult. He was still a man…..human flesh, after all! But the master plan was in place, having been ordained even before his birth. His disciples found the donkey in Bethphage, exactly where he had told them it would be. They placed their cloaks on it’s back and help Jesus to mount.

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His entry into Jerusalem was slow and humble and deliberate. It was the people gathered in the city for Passover that welcomed him throwing their cloaks and palm fronds to the ground. Shouting hosanna and blessed (Matthew 21:9), the welcoming crowds grew as a fire does when given fuel, fed by followers spreading the news that the one who had raised Lazarus from the dead had arrived. And it was the jealousy of the Pharisees compounded by their fear of Rome, that prompted their urging that he to control his followers. And the Lord’s answer was another lesson. Jesus associated the silencing of the people with an awakening voice of rock. Can you imagine the sound….deafening and mighty….of rocks….simple pieces of stone….crying out praises to the Almighty Father?

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 ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’

(Luke 19:39-40, ESV)

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The day 03/28/12

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Discipleship

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http://www.bing.com/images/

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But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
My God shall raise me up, I trust.

Walter Raleigh

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

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Now that the ending of the Lenten period is approaching and we are faced with remembering the last days of Jesus, we are also confronted with seeing, once more, the fallibility and human weaknesses of the men who were hand-picked by Him to aid in sharing his Father’s message with the world….the Disciples. And the very human part of me must ask that burning question that many of us have probably, at the very least, thought ourselves, even if we did not utter the very words. How is it possible that the Son of God, a man blessed with a wisdom not since matched by another, could have possibly selected the 12 followers that He did? Did He know what the future held? Did He see when looking at these 12, that He would not just be denied but would also be betrayed? Which then also bids us consider and ask the questions of what exactly is “Discipleship” and are we worthy of sharing God’s message today?

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 Perhaps we first need to look at the definition of what it is, exactly, that makes someone a disciple. A disciple, by definition, according to Bing Dictionary is:

disciple (n)
dis·ci·ple [ di sp’l ]

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1) follower of person or idea: somebody who believes in and follows the teachings of a leader, a philosophy, or a religion

2)original follower of Jesus Christ: in the Bible, one of the 12 original followers of Jesus Christ

Synonyms: follower, believer, supporter, devotee, partisan, adherent, student, pupil, scholar, learner

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It seems likely that the reason for choosing those He did was not for any particular talent or skill, although each most certainly did have their own unique talents. We know what the “occupations” were of only five or six of the 12 Disciples. Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John (the sons of Zebedee) where all fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. Simon was known as “the Zealot” which was likely considered to be his job. Of the remaining Disciples, the other James, Judas, Phillip, Thomas, Bartholomew (AKA Nathan), and Thaddeus (AKA Jude), I do not believe we know of any particular occupation. What we do know is that they were a fairly diverse collection of men, and certainly not entirely obedient, and it is because of their differences, that is seems likely Christ was sending a message to the world that any and all are welcome to hear His message and to become followers.

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Today “Discipleship” is just as difficult for each of us as it was for the 12 chosen. We are all very human and are apt to have the faith we share colored by the many life experiences we hold within our hearts. And just like Thomas, it is likely that we have doubted and perhaps even denied Him. And perhaps, like Judas Iscariot, we may have even betrayed the very fabric of our faith in God. But it is also the sacrifice made by Jesus all those years ago, that allows us to confess our doubts and denials and other sins, and have the stain of those sins washed away. Once again, we are able to become a human vessel of the Holy Spirit and, we are given the strength to overcome those daily trials that serve to try to undermine what it is we profess belief in.

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18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/18/12

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The Fourth Sunday of Lent

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Traditional Mother’s Day Cake

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/motheringsunday_1.shtml

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And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, and there find Him.  For He departed, and behold, He is here.  

St Augustine

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

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 The fourth Sunday in Lent is known by its Latin name, Lætare Sunday and was most likely named for a passage in Isaiah (Isaiah 66:10-11, which begins “Laetare, Jerusalem” (“Rejoice, O Jerusalem”). And like it’s counterpart during Advent, Gaudete Sunday, in many churches, on Lætare Sunday, the traditional purple garb or vestments for Roman Catholic priests or the altar flowers in Protestant churches, which are either absent or are much simpler, smaller displays, both of which are more in keeping with the sacrifices that are asked of us during the earlier weeks of the of the Lenten time of penance, are replaced with the brighter and more joyous hue of rose. And in many churches whose organs have been silent for the last few weeks, now trumpet their music once again. Sermons this day herald the joyousness of the day rather than the more sedate messages often shared during the earlier weeks of Lent. Some believe that the purpose of these changes is to encourage the congregation, especially the children, to persevere through the remainder of the period of sacrifice still required of us during the days ahead. But regardless of the reason, Lætare Sunday also heralds the time that we as Christians eagerly look forward to as the most reverential day that exists for us…..Easter, and reminds us that the time of celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior is near!

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As an interesting addendum to  Lætare Sunday, there is something I did not know until just the other day. In some parts of the world, primarily in the United Kingdom, the fourth Sunday of Lent is also known as Mother’s Day. Now this has nothing at all to do with the Mother’s Day we traditionally celebrate in May. Rather, it began many years ago when children left home to work as servants, often as early as age 10. Servants normally worked every day and were seldom permitted time off from their duties. However, on Mother’s Day, these children were given this day off to return home to visit their mother’s, and they would often stop along the road to pick wildflower bouquets as a gift. Even today, children in England give small tokens and hand-made cards to their mothers on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Also, it served another purpose in that it allowed each child, indeed, each person the opportunity of returning home to their “mother” church once a year instead of attending the parish nearest where they worked and this may well have been the primary motivating factor in establishing Mother’s Day!

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Since both Lætare Sunday and Mother’s Day make this day a special time of feasting with family, I chose this Bible verse to accompany today’s blog:

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Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

John 6: 10-12

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/17/12

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Jesus Christ Superstar

Part 2

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JCSuperstarFilmCover.jpg

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He changed sunset into sunrise.  

Clement of Alexandria

http://www.quotegarden.com/jesus-christ.html

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My post earlier in the week featuring the beautiful song,  “I Don’t Know How To Love Him”, sung by Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene in the rock musical “Jesus Christ Superstar”, was a HUGE hit with people and so I thought it would be fun to share another from that wonderful production.

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The 1973 film was part of my generation. I had just finished my freshman year of college during a time when idealism and social activism was still a wildly popular mission for the youth of America. And despite intense criticism by Christians at the time, this production was responsible for leading a huge number of young adults to either find or to rediscover faith. It brought the vision of Christ and his last days on earth, and made him and the story real and human and very identifiable to young men and women living then….me included. The critics must have agreed because the film did earn Golden Globe awards for Ted Neely who portrayed Jesus and Carl Anderson who played Judas Iscariot. And it was the relationship between Jesus and this Judas that was the focus of this production, after all!

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“SUPERSTAR”

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(Voice of Judas)

Every time I look at you
I don’t understand
Why you let the things you did
Get so out of hand
You’d have managed better
If you’d had it planned
Now why’d you choose such a backward time
And such a strange land?
If you’d come today
You could have reached the whole nation
Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication

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Don’t you get me wrong – Don’t you get me wrong
Don’t you get me wrong, now – Don’t you get me wrong
Don’t you get me wrong – Don’t you get me wrong
Don’t you get me wrong, now – Don’t you get me wrong
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Only want to know – Only want to know
Only want to know, now – Only want to know
Only want to know – Only want to know
Only want to know, now – I only want to know

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(Chorus)

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Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ – Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ – Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
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Tell me what you think
About your friends at the top
Now who d’you think besides yourself
Was the pick of the crop?
Buddha was he where it’s at?
Is he where you are?
Could Mohammed move a mountain
Or was that just PR?
Did you mean to die like that?
Was that a mistake or
Did you know your messy death
Would be a record breaker?
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Don’t you get me wrong – Don’t you get me wrong
Don’t you get me wrong – Don’t you get me wrong
Don’t you get me wrong – Don’t you get me wrong
Don’t you get me wrong – Don’t you get me wrong
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Only want to know – Only want to know
Only want to know – Only want to know
Only want to know – Only want to know
Only want to know – I only want to know

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(Chorus)

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Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ – Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ – Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
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Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ – Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ – Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are? 

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To view the You Tube video of this number, click the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AIRBpW1drE

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 23:When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.  24:”Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did. 

John 19: 23-24

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My heartfelt congratulations to my nephew and his beautiful bride, married 03/16/12. I was not there for your special day but my heart and my spirit were!

Mr. and Mrs. George Murphy

(Sgt George Murphy, USMC and Cpl Brittnye Hurt, USMC)

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 “3 Pearls of Wisdom” for a long and happy marriage:

1. Never go to bed mad.

2. Say “I Love You” every day.

3. End every discussion with the words, “Yes Dear!”

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC

Thought For The Day 03/12/12

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Jesus Christ Superstar

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Angelo_Bronzino_035.jpg

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Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom.

Author Unknown

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

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I am tired today. That may well be due to the changing of our clocks Saturday night. Did you know that studies show that it takes the human body 5 days to fully recover from each change we make of our clocks? Now I would imagine that it is easier to recover from gaining that hour every November than it is from losing the same hour once again every March! And since I am a creature that has never adapted very well to change, it probably comes as no surprise to you to discover that I am still dragging my behind and feeling a bit like I am hung over from some bender I went on Saturday night. So I plan on a treat of a musical interlude today by posting a video and its accompanying words. I think they will do far more to assuage your spirit today than would any words my tired brain might be able to come up with. So, listen and enjoy this treat for today from one of my favorite rock musicals of all times, “Jesus Christ Superstar”! And a very appropriate musical choice it is, given the time of the year it is in our Christian calendar, don’t you think?

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I Don’t Know How To Love Him

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Andrew Lloyd-Weber

&

Tim Rice

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(sung by Yvonne Elliman playing Mary Magdalene)

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Close your eyes, Close your eyes, and forget all about us tonight

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I don’t know how to love him
What to do, how to move him
I’ve been changed, yes really changed
In these past few days
When I’ve seen myself
I seem like someone else

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I don’t know how to take this
I don’t see why he moves me
He’s a man
He’s just a man
And I’ve had so many
Men before
In very many ways
He’s just one more

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Should I bring him down
Should I scream and shout
Should I speak of love
Let my feelings out?
I never thought I’d come to this
What’s it all about?

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Don’t you think it’s rather funny
I should be in this position?
I’m the one
Who’s always been
So calm so cool
No lover’s fool
Running every show
He scares me so

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I never thought I’d come to this
What’s it all about?

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Yet
If he said he loved me
I’d be lost
I’d be frightened
I couldn’t cope
Just couldn’t cope
I’d turn my head
I’d back away
I wouldn’t want to know
He scares me so

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I want him so

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I love him so

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To view the video from the 1973 movie, “Jesus Christ Superstar” click the link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZIWYBr6IKU&feature=youtu.be

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 Afterward [Jesus] journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.

Luke 8:1-3

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http://mandyspathministry-ulc.webs.com

Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath” Ministry-ULC