Tag Archives: Life Lessons

Thought For The Day 09/15/12

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Sharing The Faith

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What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance.  They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life.  And, most importantly, cookies. 

Rudolph Giuliani

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

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I was putting on my thinking cap yesterday trying to think back to the Bible stories that I liked the best or which made the greatest impact on my life when I was a child! (Yes, that wasn’t a brush fire you smelled but rather, the aroma of brain cells long frozen in place from lack of use finally tasting unfettered freedom, working to recall things long ago lost in the dusty recesses of my memory!) Anyway, I was trying to figure out if  any of the stories I loved might just become part of the legacy I share with my grandson as I seek to pass on an introduction to what faith means to me to a little guy whose view of the world is defined by cartoons like “Octonauts” and “Doc McStuffins” and “Imagination Movers” and “Mickey Mouse”. Is it possible to make “Daniel in then Lions Den” or “David and Goliath” or “Noah and the Ark” or “Moses Parting the Red Sea” become super heroes to a 31 month old? Of course, we are also dealing with a diverse view of faith in my family since Landon’s Dad is not a Christian and it is important to me to be sensitive to his feelings on the matter! But sometimes baby steps are the things that set our lives in motion and I think I will start with two to four stories. I want to make it fun so we will download some Bible coloring pages and we will talk as we color about the picture that is in front of us. And if that ignites a tiny spark, as I hope, no I am certain it will, perhaps we will have the beginnings of an amazing fire of faith and love and goodness within a little heart.

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Ok, so now begins the time I compile my list. You probably will have your own favorites which may be very different from mine. There are, after all thousands of stories about faith that are to be found within the 66 books, the 1,189 chapters and the 31,102 verses that are contained within the pages of the King James version of the Bible. However, for me it was important to pick those stories that were not frightening or too overwhelming for such a little guy but were also things he could relate to because of the characters or the nature of the tale. The idea, after all, is to ignite that spark not throw a bucket of water over the entire endeavor. So let me tell you the ones that won my vote as the four most impactful and positive Bible stories from my childhood!

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Noah and the Ark

Noah's Ark

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There is something so special about the magnitude of this story. Imagine finding that you and your family are the only followers of God in the world and then being commanded to make, with the simple tools of the time, a HUGE sea worthy craft! Would you believe if you were told that rain would fall and flood lands where it had rarely, if ever, rained before? Would you be willing to go out and gather together all of the animals that live in your world? Think about the bullying that takes place in your community just because someone is a little different and then picture the abuse that this family must have been subjected to during a time in the history of the world when superstitions most likely ran rampant and there were no rational facts known that would explain many of the events that took place in the world! Yes, there is much to learn about faith and trust and strength and patience and endurance to be learned from this story!

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Moses and the Red Sea     

Moses Crossing the Red Sea

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There can be no more exciting story than the tale of the baby who grew into one of the  greatest prophets known to man as well as author of some of the earliest books of the Bible. Imagine being born to a slave, being raised in a palace knowing the sister of Pharaoh as you mother, and then discovering the truth and finding yourself being exiled in the desert. Suddenly you find yourself speaking with God who directs you to return to Egypt and give Pharaoh an ultimatum…..free the Hebrew slaves or face God’s wrath! We know that following the deaths of the first-born of the house of Egypt, Pharaoh frees the Hebrews only to change his mind, amassing his armies to return the exiting masses back into the bonds of slavery. And chasing them all the way to the water’s edge, and sure that there is no where for the Hebrews to go but back into bondage, God works through Moses to part the waters of the Red Sea so that the fleeing multitude could escape and, of course, the seas returned, covering and killing the pursuing army! And while many more triumphs as well as tragedies befalls the people, we know that they do, indeed, find their promised land although Moses himself is permitted only the briefest of glimpses, having barred because of his sin against God!

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Joseph and his coat of many colors

    

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One of my favorite stories was about a coat of many colors given to Joseph, the favorite child in Jacob’s family who lived in Canaan. Joseph’s brothers resented the gifts and doting attentions that were bestowed upon him, thinking that the attention meant he would one day be named to head to household.  so together, the brothers plotted against Joseph, intent at first on killing him but then choosing to sell him to a group of passing traders. Upon arriving in Egypt he was enslaved, but continued to carry God within his heart and soon the hard-working Joseph was made the head of the household of his master. He was imprisoned on trumped-up charges because he spurned the advances of his master’s wife. And yet even in prison, Joseph becomes a leader of men and soon word of his deeds reaches Pharaoh. Famine spreading across the land, Pharaoh seeks Joseph’s counsel and entrusts him with planning a highly successful strategy for the country to avoid starvation.  Naturally, Joseph’s brothers travel to Egypt to buy food, unaware they are dealing with the young man they betrayed years before. He finally reveals his true identity and Jacob and the rest of the family are all given the best lands in Egypt.

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Daniel in the Lion’s Den        

Daniel in the Lions Den, Mezzotint by J. B. Pratt, with Hand Colouring

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The last one I think I will introduce to Landon is the tale “Daniel In The Lions’ Den”. This story has a song that I remember vividly learning in Sunday School and since my little guy loves music, this will be another way of teaching him this wonderful tale of the man who defied the laws of the land by continuing to pray to God. Found guilty for this defiance by King Darius, who was urged to reach this decision by the cajoling of some people in the kingdom, Daniel was entombed in a cave with fierce lions. Daniel’s faith was strong and indeed, his faith was rewarded.  God saved Daniel by shutting the lion’s mouths. Darius, seeing that the man he liked had survived the night, freed him and instead, entombed those who had turned him against his friend in the same cave. They did not have Daniel’s faith, and all met their ends!

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These are my select four tales. I have already printed up coloring pages and I will try to capture Landon’s drawing skills with my camera which might just become a picture in a future blog. I think this could be fun for us and it just might be something you want to undertake with the children in your own lives as well. And now that you know which stories I picked, I would love to hear about any favorites you might have and think I should share. I have others in my repertoire including the crucifixion and resurrection, but I think they may need to wait until a time when maturity will allow for a better understanding of what I want him to gain from the experience. However, please reply to this blog with your suggestions or you can email me at MandysPath2011@aol.com and I will make sure to check out what you all have to say!

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All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace  of your children.

Isaiah 54:13

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 07/27/12

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There Is A Lesson To Be Learned 

Everywhere We Look!

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http://www.idanews.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/03_28_geese_1.jpg

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Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work,
a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

Vince Lombardi

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

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There is a lesson to be learned from everything we experience in life. Sometimes the lesson is a most profound one. Other times it is just a little reminder of something we already knew. Sometimes those lessons come from an improbable source and sometimes not. But all are a part of what creates the very best person we can possibly become and for those of faith, who understand that all in our lives is other directed by a power greater than that of man, this is an especially poignant and special moment we savor every day. Take a lesson I learned yesterday about geese! I read this lesson in Godvine (http://www.godvine.com/register/) which is an internet post I subscribe to and which provides uplifting articles and videos aimed at making us feel just plain good. But when we remember the world in which we live, taking one single feel good moment out of the 1,400 minutes we experience every day is well worth it, don’t you agree? And for me, when I read something that I find unusually compelling, I usually want to discover what I can about the source of the wisdom I just shared. Here is what I discovered about the person who originally wrote the piece that appeared in Godvine yesterday.

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A secondary school administrator and former science teacher from Baltimore, Dr Robert McNeish, had spent many years observing the activities of Geese. He observed their social interactions and behaviors and discovered the remarkable capacity with which they bond together and unite, not just as a mated pair but also as a team whose very survival is co dependent one with the other. In 1972, coincidentally the year I graduated from high school, he wrote an article in which he described these observances. He entitled this article “Lessons From the Geese“! And as I read his words, I began to understand that Geese seem to have so much more going for them than we, a so-called higher life form, often can lay claim to. So read here today some of Dr McNeish’s observations and as you read, discover if there is a life lesson contained that might just serve you well in your life, not just today, but every day!

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We live in an area where geese are very common.

We see them coming in the Fall and leaving early Spring.

Their migration is an awesome sight.

There is an interdependence in the way geese function.

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FACT:

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

LESSON:

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. A shared vision and sense of purpose create synergy, making the going a little easier for all.

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FACT:

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the bird immediately in front.

LESSON:

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those we see who are headed where we want to go.

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FACT:

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.

LESSON:

It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership — people, as with geese, are interdependent upon one another.

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FACT:

The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON:

Positive encouragement is a strong motivator. We need to make sure our “honking” from behind is empowering, and not something less helpful.

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FACT:

When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation to follow him or her down to help and protect their fallen companion. They stay with him/her until he is either able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own with another formation or catch up with their flock.

LESSON:

If we have as much sense as the geese, we will learn to stand by each other as we are achieving our goals.

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1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 For he saith , I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold , now is the accepted time; behold , now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 KJV

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13 For if thou hadst walked in the way of God, thou shouldst have dwelled in peace for ever. 14 Learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding; that thou mayest know also where is length of days, and life, where is the light of the eyes, and peace.  

Baruch 3: 13-14 KJV with Apocrypha

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry