Tag Archives: Love

Thought For The Day 02/23/15

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The Master Healer

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5healing hands

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-spiritual-energy-reiki-image12571664

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When praying for healing, ask great things of God and expect great things from God. But let us seek for that healing that really matters, the healing of the heart, enabling us to trust God simply, face God honestly, and live triumphantly.

Arlo F. Newell

http://www.creatingnewworlds.org/healing.cfm

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I decided today, to think about healing and He who controls all things related to healing. Now this was not just a purely inspired idea for using as I write my thoughts today. In fact, it is a matter that seems to consume a tremendous amount of my waking moments these days. And it’s not solely due to the fact that with each passing minute of every day, my knees seem to creak just a little more. You see, once more our family is being challenged anew by an insidious foe…the big “C”! For us, the big “C” is in a couple of places… Bladder, Skin, and one that is quite rare. Yes, the biggie is the one that has grown in a tiny tube that connects the Pancreas to the digestive tract.

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For almost 15 years now, the big “C” is an enemy that we have been fighting as a family. But just when we thought we had it licked, it seems another rears its ugly head. Then the realization hits…. we have been given a wake up call reminder that it is not we who controls any of the events that occur as we live each day of our lives! So once again, the surgery to eradicate a new demon has been done, and now the waiting begins for the laboratory report that will again dictate the events that will likely consume our lives with treatment regimens during which we will hold our breath wondering if the doctor will see the enemy once more at the gates!

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The name of this devil, are words that we can probably write and describe blindfolded, by now. “Invasive Adenocarcinoma of the Ampulla of Vater”, which has a better prognosis than other like tumors which invade the Pancreas or Bile Duct. But still…. to get to the cure requires a 10+ hour long surgery which must be survived first. In our case it was more like a 12+ hour surgery which WAS survived. But now comes the hardest part of all. Now we wait and hope and yes… pray… that the complications from a surgery that rearranged so much “internal plumbing” will not set in and that there is no cancer that will be found in the lymph glands harvested with the primary tumor.

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We are a family of fighters. We will never concede victory to a disease entity and so we trust the skill and hands of the experts as they guide us through the treatment process. We also know that much of the future for the days ahead, either with or without this devil who has insinuated himself in our lives, will be with another expert who will stay by our side, walking hand in hand with us, at all times. God! And, should our step falter along the way, He will carry us until we regain, once more, our footing and the strength we need to continue the journey!

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Remember always the words offered by John the Baptist during the years that the Son of God preached to the multitudes, “…Look the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (from John 1:29 NIV). Now, just for a moment, I want you to think about the power and might of one who has the capacity to heal the world! Throughout the Gospels we read of the miracles performed by His hand, for all manner of maladies! And the simple fact of the matter is that no affliction, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, is a match for His might. That is why we know, for certain, that we can turn our hearts to Him as we walk this path once more. And while our journey is not one that brings us to the valley of the shadow of death, still it is a comfort to our hearts and a balm for our souls, knowing that we need not fear whatever consequence comes our way! John 16:33 NIV says it best, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

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Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”

James 5:14-16, ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/18/15

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Living Apart Together

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wedding-rings

http://www.relationstips.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-wedding-ring/

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‘It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.’

Friedrich Nietzsche

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/marriage

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There is something so profoundly comforting knowing that the man I love is sitting just 6 feet away from me watching a universally known sports channel on TV while I am sitting here, “netbook” afire with my bursting thoughts. You see, just the simple fact that we are sharing a common space even without saying a word, is building a comforting memory that he is here, at my side, just as he has been every second since we were married nearly 38 years ago. That we can share a word or a tender caress at any given moment, somehow serves to strengthen bond of love that unites us so that the times that are not quite so idyllic will not sever it! Which makes me wonder about the dynamic of the relationship of those who have adopted the “LAT” way of life!

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“LAT”, which stands for “Living Apart Together”, is an increasingly popular lifestyle for some couples. According to The New York Times, a drifting away from the nuclear, traditional marriage model almost makes sense, given the changes that have occurred within the family dynamic over the last 50 years. Most families are two income households and often work schedules which interfere with what was once a traditional life at home. Separate work and social lives seems to foster an increasing independence within relationships, which is leading couples to choose either residing in separate homes, but near one another, or to live in the same home, but each maintaining an independent living space within the home.

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A union of two hearts sealed by God’s blessing, is a serious and sacred undertaking, which is why we are told in Matthew 19:6 NIV, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” It is through the little connections that happen within the relationship….the little everyday acts of closeness….which acts as the glue which holds a relationship together through the roller coaster ride that is life! Still, God hates a division of a couple even more. He says in Malachi 2:16 NIV, “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.”

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I suppose that there may be times when, had they lived under the same roof, couples who practice “LAT” would have been divorced. Yes, perhaps we need to look beyond convention, and acknowledge that whatever works and makes a couple happy, is what is the best scenario for them, since each relationship is unique. Still, I have to wonder….. have we actually lost sight of the interpersonal dynamic of two hearts, vibrant and alive, rooted in the rich soil of faith, as we embark on life’s journey, holding hands….. when we choose when it is convenient for the one rather that convenient for both?

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“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Romans 13:8 NIV

 

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/12/15

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Faith And Love!  

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faith hope love

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A Cry for Help

Once upon a time, there was an island where all the feelings lived: Happiness, Sadness, and all of the others, including Love.

One day it was announced to the feelings that the island would sink, so all repaired their boats and left.

Love was the only one who stayed. Love wanted to persevere until the last possible moment.

When the island was almost sinking, Love decided to ask for help.

Richness was passing by Love in a grand boat. Love said, “Richness, can you take me with you?” Richness answered, “No I can’t..There is a lot of gold and silver in my boat. There is no place for you here.”

Love decided to ask Vanity, who was also passing by in a beautiful vessel, “Vanity, please help me!” “I can’t help you Love. You are all wet and might damage my boat,” Vanity answered.

Sadness was close by so Love asked for help, “Sadness let me go with you.” “Oh…Love, I am so sad that I need to be by myself!”

Happiness passed by Love too, but she was so happy that she did not even hear when Love called her!

Suddenly, there was a voice, “Come Love, I will take you.” It was an elder. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that he even forgot to ask the elder her name.

When they arrived at dry land, the elder went her own way. Love, realizing how much he owed the elder, asked Knowledge, another elder, “Who helped me?”

“It was Time,” Knowledge answered.

“Time?” asked Love. “But why did Time help me?

Knowledge smiled with deep wisdom and answered, “Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is.

Author Unknown

http://bestquotesfb.blogspot.com/2011/12/island-of-feelings.html

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I was thinking about the relationship between our faith and our capacity to both love and to be loved. And the amazing thing is that the more I thought and the more I read, the closer tied, the two concepts seemed to be! In fact, they really are so close as to be inseparable, when we really think about it. Because to love and know that the love we offer to another will be accepted takes about as much faith as a human is capable of holding! It is also the greatest gift that was bestowed to mankind by our maker, because it is not just our human capacity to love one another that matters but it is that Divine Love which belongs to or is a part of God, possessing His Nature and composed of His Substance, which, when possessed by a human soul to a sufficient degree, makes us divine, as well, since it leads us to a pathway toward eternal life and everlasting happiness in His Kingdom on high.

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As I was digging up some information about the two, I happened upon the following website: http://hopefaithprayer.com/faith/love-and-faith/. God told “the Faith Mechanic” to write and how right He was! He beautifully describes to us what both Love and Faith do and how the two impact our lives!

What Love Does

John 3:16 NASB
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

God’s love gives to the world, so that they can have faith in Him.

When we operate in God’s love we give. Walking in God’s love is God’s motivation to change the world, to endure all obstacles, and to exhibit his will to the world.

I John 4:12 NASB
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

When we walk in God’s love the world sees Him in us. His love is exhibited in us.

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What Faith Does

I John 5:4 NASB
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith. (emphasis added)

Our faith overcomes the world, so that the love of God may abound.

When we operate in faith we are overcomers. Faith is God’s method of changing the world, to overcome all obstacles, and to enforce his will in the world.

I John 5:5 NASB
Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

When we walk in faith the world sees His authority in us. 

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When Love and Faith Work Together

I Corinthians 13:7-8 NASB
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails

God’s love in our hearts actually does the believing.

Ephesians 5:2 NASB
walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us….

Romans 5:5 NASB
..hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Love turns our hopes into faith.

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When Faith and Love Work Together

Jude 20 NASB
But you beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keeping yourselves in the love of God….

Faith only truly exists within the heart, while God’s love is active.

II Corinthians 5:7 NASB
 for we walk by faith, not by sight…

Galatians 5:6 NASB
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.

Our faith does the work of love’s desires.

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/27/14

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Those Three Little Words…

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i-love-you-3

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A bell is no bell ’til you ring it,
A song is no song ’til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay –
Love isn’t love
‘Til you give it away. 

Oscar Hammerstein

Sound of Music, “You Are Sixteen (Reprise)”

http://www.quotegarden.com/love-you.html

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Three little words. Sometimes we say them almost without thought. But what power those three little words wield! Those three little words have the power to make the unwanted feel wanted. Those three little words have the power to bring enemies together. Those three little words have the power to melt the ice from a heart long used to its solitary place in the universe. And those three little words can unite two souls into one, powerful new body.

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I LOVE YOU! Three little words that somehow validate our worth by measuring it in a concrete, format that, despite being indefinable on the surface, seems to be intuitively understood by every single human being that draws breath. And if we are loved, we must, indeed, be lovable…..right? I sometimes think it is love’s power that keeps the stars twinkling in the sky on a crisp winter’s night, just as surely as it lures the sun into its place in the heavens every day!

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LOVE. So formidable that when asked, the Apostle Paul responded in kind, writing the beautiful text found throughout 1 Corinthians 13. Look at verses 7-8 ESV“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” And then consider the greatest, and perhaps most well known of all the verses ever written by Paul! Verse 13 ISV: “Right now three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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Saying I LOVE YOU, is a HUGE affirmation that makes not only the one on the receiving end feel wonderful, but also transforms the heart of the one saying it! We walk more briskly and with a lighter step when we’ve shared the things held deeply inside, especially when we’ve chosen to open up, bare our soul, and share that feeling with another.  It gives reason and hope and comfort and strength and joy, when it seems as if, in all of the world, all of these things are somehow null and void.

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This is the time of the year given to us to re-write our story for posterity’s sake. It is the time to redefine what we want for ourselves and those we love. And we often choose these days as a springboard for starting down the path where our vices and bad behaviors no longer hold a place of strength in our lives. So while we are beginning this “house cleaning” of sorts, how about making it a point of choosing to say those three little words as often as we can? Can you say, “I will not allow a day go by without saying I LOVE YOU to those that matter to me the most (my spouse or your child or another who is important to you)!” And then try directing some of that same power we find in those words at a total stranger. You may not choose to speak them outwardly, but allow their importance to radiate from every pore. Trust me when I say that their implied meaning will touch the heart of every stranger you meet.

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Make this a year of change for the better for everyone. Let this change begin with each heart. And I will start by telling you that I LOVE each and every one of you, who have traveled this journey with me over the last (almost) four years! I LOVE YOU!!! And then pay this emotion forward to everyone you meet and know. Yes, let there be more love on the earth and let it begin with each of us!

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“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

Matthew 5:43-48 NRSV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/04/14

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 Rum Pum Pum Pum  

music_notes   Post 1363   music_notes

 

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little drummer boy

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+a+little+drummer+boy&qpvt=picture+of+a+little+drummer+boy&FORM=IGRE#a

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Our Story Teller:

Aaron’s heart was filled with joy and love. And he knew at last that the hate he had carried there was wrong. As ALL hatred will ever be wrong. For more powerful, more beautiful by far than all the eons of sadness and cruelty and desolation which had come before, was that one tiny, crystalline second of laughter. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/movie/The+Little+Drummer+Boy

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I like the idea of posting things light and fun and informative at this time of the year. It’s the all the little intangibles that create the wonderful magic of the Christmas holiday for me and everyone in my family. The idea for this post came from watching Landon grab his toy drum when he was but 20 months old, and he at once began banging on it and singing his very own words to the song that was being created in that one magical moment. Yes, I remember looking at him and thinking “The Little Drummer Boy”! And since I really did not know the history of the creation of what was originally known as “Carol of the Drum”, I thought that this would be the perfect forum to find out and then share it with you!

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This popular song was written by a classical music composer and teacher by the name of Katherine Kennicott Davis. She wrote it in 1941, but did you know that “The Little Drummer Boy” was recorded by the Trapp Family Singers? Yes, the “Sound of Music” Trapp Family! Since the composer was a teacher interested in composing music to be sung by a chorale or choir, she adapted a traditional Czech carol, adding the wonderful harmonies which blended so well with the rhythmic drum beat and melody! It was this combination that became so compelling to Maria and the rest of the Trapp family, and although the rendition that achieved the most success was recorded by the Harry Simeon Chorale, the Trapps also recorded several versions. The final one became their swan song, recorded in 1955 shortly before they retired from public performance.

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The lyrics tell the fictional story of a poor young boy who spies the star in the sky that shone over the place where the Christ child lay and follows the brilliant light all the way to Bethlehem. Reaching the stable at the same time the Magi do, they encourage the little boy to come forward and join them as they present their offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Hesitant at first because he has no gift to share with the child, he looks to Mary for her approval, and as she nods to him, he begins to play his drum for the baby. Even as he “… played my best for Him”, this tiny baby seemed to understand, and in gratitude, “He smiled at me”.

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It is a story of kindness and generosity of spirit and reminds us all that during this magical time of the year, there is worth and value in all people, whether big or small…rich or poor. It is a story that reminds us that there is no greater gift that one can share with another than the gift of a loving heart! We know that there is nothing more pleasing to God than that! Acts 20:35 NIV, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

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 “Carol of the Drum”

 

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

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Scenes from the original TV Classic The Little Drummer Boy.
Song performed by John Denver from his “Christmas In Concert” CD

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Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/06/14

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Self Love or Selfish Love

Thought 1334

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+self+love&view=detail&id=8A76B3CA504A749C687CFAE9454E86848B87E5EF&qpvt=picture+of+self+love

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In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.

Jane Haddam

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

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The air is finally crisp and cool where I live and as the dew laden grass of the morning chills toes still adorned by sandals, I am reminded that we are in a perpetual state of change, whether we are ready for it or not. That is life! Nowhere is it said more beautifully that in Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV, when we are told by King Solomon, to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. Whether we are asking the question “Why” or “How”, His answer remains unchanged. It serves my plans for man even though it may not serve man’s plans for man.

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I doubt that any of us would willingly accept responsibility for all the woes in the world although we are usually quick to accept the accolades for things that we are no more responsible for creating than we are for the glowing orb that rests nearly 93 million miles in the heavens and which greets our waking moments as it rises at dawn.

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Man is so egocentric. I am often overly self-centered in many ways, for that matter….a trait for which I must beg God’s forgiveness! Why do we live in a perpetual state of selfishness? That we are each so convinced that we, and only we, are the very center of the universe positively boggles the mind. Yes, behavior such as this is appropriate for toddlers whose capacity to think and reason is only in terms of how everything in the world relates to their life as they understand it to exist. They have not yet gained the capacity to understand or think in global concepts and to see the bigger picture as it relates to man’s relationship with his fellow man and to their mutual survival and existence! But since we know that the adult homo sapiens is not limited in this way, why then are there so many adults that fail to lose the “me, me, me” in their vocabulary in favor of the “you”, “they”, “we” and “our” words?

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The interesting thing though, about man’s self-centered egotism, is in its inherent relationship to the second of the greatest of His commandments to us. The first told in Mark 12:30 NIV is Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength is an absolute given to any person of faith. But the second from Mark 12:31 NIV reads, The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Think for a moment and consider that the command to love thy neighbor cannot be completed until and unless we first love ourselves! So therein lies a huge conundrum…. one which necessitates understanding the difference between what one might refer to as a divine self-love versus a selfish self-love!

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It is important to understand that so many of the great things man is able to accomplish in life come from the divinely endowed confidence that he is capable of doing the deed and then following through. Again another example of the good and beneficial side of the ego! It is as God planned it to be for the human race to live and grow and thrive. But weigh the consequences of too much ego and not enough compassion and altering our thoughts away from the “me” mindset to the “we” mindset, and then act accordingly as you go through your day! Always remember that the way we feel and act as well as the things we do impacts far more people that just ourselves and then temper your actions accordingly.

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Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.

John 7:16 NIV

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Mandy and Dan 01 18 2014

Dan and Mandy January, 2014

Many of you know that my husband has been struggling with serious health issues for several years now. Well today, we are back again at NYU Medical Center in New York City, having more biopsies taken.

Please keep Dan in your hearts, thoughts and prayers today and ask the Lord to guide the hands of the surgeons as they work to give us the good news we are praying for!

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/21/14

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Faith And Friendship

Thought 1319

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

William Penn

http://quotegarden.com/friendship.html

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

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

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

1 John 4:8 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/04/14

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The Most Paralyzing Emotion

Thought 1302

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being scared
http://s1.hubimg.com/u/3

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“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind”

William Shakespeare

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” 
Act 1, Scene 1

http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/quotes/shakespeare-love-quotes/

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Fear! It is perhaps the most paralyzing of all emotions known to man. And even though we embrace faith, even the most devout and faith filled heart can not escape the touch of fear’s cloying and cold fingers. And yes, I have read 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” And I even know Joshua 1:9 ESV, where it is written, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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Yes, He is there, but I am weak and all to human in my fears. And while I know I should be turning them over to Him for safekeeping, so I can get a good night’s sleep, there they remain, haunting my dreams and lurking just beyond every corner I turn and every bush I pass in my waking! So what do I do with this irrational and overwhelming weakness?

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Then it hit me. LOVE! It is perhaps the single strongest weapon we have to drive fear to its knees! You see, fear is merely a bully and a punisher. It strikes us and tears away the fabric of our faith by undermining our self esteem and our strength. But love is even a more powerful weapon than courage. And while it is our earthly love of others that gives us the will to fight, it is His perfect love that gives us the armor of protection which keeps us safe during the battle. And why not! God created everything for us and it is this realization that empowers us. He is the bedrock upon which the foundation of our lives is built and He will never fail us…..even during the times we fail Him! Just check out his assurance of that in 1 John 4:18 ESV, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love..”

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God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, “‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.

Acts:24-28 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/15/14

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Whither Thou Goest

Thought 1283

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RuthAndNaomi

Ruth protecting Naomi

painting by Sandy Freckleton Gagon

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Ruth+and+Naomi+Bible+Story&Form=IQFRDR#a

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Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. 

Jane Howard

http://quotegarden.com/family.html

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Have you ever wanted to be a part of something that was greater than yourself? Well for many of us that comes with becoming a part of a family. And while statistics indicate that in today’s world, all too many families find themselves unable to remain united, there are still the exceptions to the rule that make you just want to smile because you know you are bearing witness to something truly special and rare.

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Remaining married in today’s society is not as easy as it was in years gone by. In the mid 20th century, the roles of men and women within society were more clearly defined. Men’s work was one thing and women’s work quite another. And while both interacted well enough together to form a cohesive family dynamic, the expectations for individual behaviors remained fixed. Even personalities were defined almost from birth as evidenced by the toys that most parents bought for their children. Boys played with trucks and grew to be strong but silent partners. Women played with dolls and found their roles as nurturer and “rearer” of offspring fixed! However, times have changed and today, the distinction between the male and female roles in society have become much more blurred.

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We are just as apt to find women in the corporate boardroom as we are men employed as nurses and teachers! Both men and women also perform equally to the tasks within the family unit. My husband empties the dishwasher every single morning while I make coffee. He clears the table while I load the dishes into the dishwasher. It is much more a partnership that we witness in successful marriages of the 21st century. However, there have been equally strong examples of the blurring of roles throughout history and I am sure that in many ways, this is due to the strength of character that has been instilled within the very being of people who are willing to surrender some of their individuality to guarantee the success of the dynamic of the group. For some reason, the first names that come to my mind when I think about people who are willing to sacrifice one for the other are the names Ruth and Naomi.

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Naomi lived with her husband Elimelech and her 2 sons, Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem who moved to Moab as finding food became more and more difficult at home. And as happened frequently in times past, Naomi’s husband passed away leaving her to raise her boys. Both grew and as the years passed, they fell in love and both married Moabite women. And once again, death knocked on the family’s door, claiming both of Naomi’s sons. The only ones remaining were Naomi and her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi, not wanting to be selfish, released both women from their bonds of committment to her, forged when they married her sons, and encouraged each to return to the homes of their father’s. And while Orpah bade Naomi farewell, Ruth refused to leave. We all know the words by which the dynamic of these women is defined…”Whither thou goest…” Ruth 1:16-17 NIVBut Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

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Now together, Ruth and Naomi return to Bethlehem, united by the heart of family joined not by blood but by love, both willing to do what they must to preserve forever the bonds of the family dynamic. As it was harvest time in Bethlehem, and determined to do what she could to provide food in a land that was unknown to her, Ruth followed those servants who were gathering Barley in the fields, picking up the scraps that were left over. Her actions were noted by Boaz, the owner of the field, who was a relative of Naomi’s late husband. Boaz also had a personal relationship with God. Boaz told Ruth to glean Barley only in his fields and he invited her to quench her thirst as she needed to with his water. He also guaranteed her safety while she was there. When Ruth asked him why, he told her that he knew of her love of and sacrifice for Naomi, and told her that it was the will of the Lord that her kindness and sacrifice be rewarded! And of course, Boaz soon fell deeply in love with this remarkable woman with the kind and selfless heart, and they married.

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True love is indeed a rare thing, whose value exceeds any other treasure we might have. Expressed as an action and yet experienced as a feeling by the heart, true love, in reality continues to be something that defies a single label. It is a magical tapestry woven of so many individual threads, each one a different vibrant color and each equally special in the eyes of the Almighty. Perhaps we begin our tapestry by weaving a red thread for compassion. How about adding a gold one for empathy and perhaps a blue one for tolerance. A green one seems perfect for sacrifice and I can see a yellow one for determination. A violet thread might just become support and finally, a silver one shimmers beautifully as we weave endurance. Each thread a different hue. Each thread plain when seen lying individually on the table next to the loom. And yet when joined together by the Master weaver himself, the result is a tapestry of blinding beauty and immeasurable value.

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Yes, love and family is hard work and sadly, it is becoming increasingly rare in today’s disposable society, but we can make it grow again in the world. It is as we share all the love that we hold within our own hearts with others that we inspire others to want to do the same thing. And like a snow ball rolling down hill gathers not just speed but size, so can love if we make it our personal responsibility to be willing to sacrifice just the tiniest bit of “me” and create something special by adding it to the tiniest bit of “you”. Lets make a world in which we think of “us”, exactly as Ruth did all those years ago! How big do you think you can make your snowball?

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Perry Como sings “Whither Thou Goest”

“Whither Thou Goest” was written by Guy Singer in 1954, 60 years ago (as I well know since I was born that year). That same year Les Paul & Mary Ford released a very successful version of it. In years since, Leonard Cohen ended his concerts by singing the song, with all of his band members joining in on the vocals. This Perry Como rendition of the tune is from 1959, so it was still a relatively recent song at the time.

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If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; …

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath

Thought For The Day 08/02/14

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From This Moment, Our Hearts United

Thought 1238

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Ariana and Laramie

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“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.” 

Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/true-love

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Yesterday my niece married her best friend. Yes, Ariana Larsen married Laramie Sirokman. It is their picture you see just above! They are young but there is no mistaking their love and devotion to one another. But will it last a lifetime?  After all, we all know the statistics these days. (And their statistics are compounded all the more since Laramie is in the military and is currently stationed in another country!) However, my marriage has endured and I am often asked to explain the secret to the longevity of my own relationship with Dan. But how is it that we endured, even when the odds were against us way back then, too?

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My first inclination is to say that it has to be the four wonderful role models who were responsible for setting the example whereby we have patterned our own behaviors. But even the successful marriages of parents certainly does not guarantee the success of our own. In fact there is NO magic formula that will help to produce a long and happy relationship. No, we need, instead, to think outside of the box and ask a very different question. We are better served asking, what are the things that can divide us and break up the home?

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No one ever intends that their relationship go up in flames, but flame away they do….and all too often, these days. And whether or not they are a truly a Christian union is no more a guarantee of happiness and longevity, that any other ideal we might envision. You see, like it or not, a relationship is a careful blending of 2 very divergent and complex personalities, each one shaped by the unique life experiences that come from the unique family dynamic that bore and reared them!

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They say that what makes a relationship a Christian one is that we work together to restore the one thing that was lost by the two whose sin changed everything for mankind for thousands of years! Through our working to make ourselves the best we can be, we are striving to extend the intimacy of our co-joined hearts with God’s heart. And that is the single greatest component that keeps propelling us through the minefield of the things that seek to insinuate themselves between each of us and the one we have chosen as our life partner. Lack of trust, not carving out time in our busy schedules to share quality moments together, and being dishonest come to mind first to me. And for my money, these are all pieces of the infection that kill a relationship because they are more toxic to love than nearly anything else I can think of!

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Does being madly and passionately in love count? Perhaps. But only until the million other little things we cling to as days turn into months… then years… then decades together, kick in! So what is the secret? Perhaps it’s being madly, passionately in like, not love! And yet, from the moment we made promises to each other in front of our family, friends, and God, there would never be another for either of us…. at least while the other still drew breath. And for good or bad, it is that promise which is the tie that binds our hearts, today, just as it was that united them on June 7th, 1975! And for good or bad, it is that same promise which is the tie that will bind the hearts of Ariana and Laramie, for all the days of their lives, too, we pray!

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“From This Moment”

Music, lyrics and vocals by Michael Fawcett

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Here we bow, true love confessing…
In the presence of those we hold dear…
Asking now for heaven’s blessing…
For wisdom to see us through the years…
In this holy place, by the Father’s grace and power…
You and I, in an instant become one…
A miracle by a kiss secured this hour…
A bond that’ll never be undone… 

Chorus:

From this moment we are a family, I pledge myself to thee, the rest of my life…
And I know heaven’s smiling on you and me… Binding us together, man and wife!

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Hand in hand our heart’s united…
We face tomorrow, our dreams now in view…
Golden bands and vows recited…
Reminders of all I promise you…
I will cherish you, I will honor you forever…
I’ll be here to share your joys and ease your pain…
And where you go, be it calm or stormy weather…
By your side I am home, here I’ll remain… 

Chorus:

From this moment we are a family, I pledge myself to thee, the rest of my life…
And I know Heaven’s smiling on you and me… Binding us together, man and wife! 

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From this moment…
From this moment…
From this moment…

(to view the video, just click on the link below)

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Copyright © 1997 Michael Fawcett

http://www.myspace.com/michaelfawcett

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I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.

Hosea 2: 9 NLT

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And he took a wife, whose name was Susanna, the daughter of Chelcias, a very fair woman, and one that feared the Lord. Her parents also were righteous, and taught their daughter according to the law of Moses.

Susanna 1: 2-3 KJVA

 

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”