Tag Archives: marriage

Thought For The Day 03/20/14

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Kindred Spirits

 

Post 1103

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kindred-spirits1

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Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.  

Barnett R. Brickner

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

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When you begin writing a blog, you instantly become a member of a brand new club where you are given the opportunity of meeting thousands and thousands of new colleagues and friends. It is something I am embracing with each comment to my posts I moderate and each new follower I am lucky enough to find that wants to subscribe to my postings every day. “Keziah28”, who publishes a blog here on wordpress (http://kezi.wordpress.com/) is one of those kindred spirits that are somehow other directed into our lives. Her blogs are wonderful, based on specific scripture passages that embrace the idea she is looking to impart for the particular post she is scripting. I discovered one of her gems which I just have to share with you all. The title says it all and although we really need to credit the Almighty for His inspired verses, Kezi is the genius who managed to combine their message into one cohesive group. I did include the bible verses quoted here from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) of the Bible!

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TEN BIBLICAL RULES FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE!

1.     Never bring up mistakes of the past.

 Jesus said:  Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you.

Luke 6:37

2.     Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?

Mark 8:36

     3.     Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.

Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry

Ephesians 4:26

4.     At least once a day, say something complimentary to your spouse.

Kind words are good medicine, but deceitful words can really hurt.

Proverbs 15:4

5.     Never meet without an affectionate welcome. 

Kiss me tenderly! Your love is better than wine,

Song of Solomon 1:2

6. “For richer or poorer”- rejoice in every moment that God has given you together.

A simple meal with love is better than a feast where there is hatred.

Proverbs 15:17

7.     If you have a choice between making yourself or your mate look good, choose your mate.

Do all you can for everyone who deserves your help

Proverbs 3:27

8.     If they’re breathing, your mate will eventually offend you. Learn to forgive.

So be careful what you do. Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry. Even if one of them mistreats you seven times in one day and says, “I am sorry,” you should still forgive that person

Luke 17:3-4

9.     Don’t use faith, the Bible or God as a hammer.

1God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!

John 3:17

10.     Let love be your guidepost.

Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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My dear friends, we must love each other. Love comes from God, and when we love each other, it shows that we have been given new life. We are now God’s children, and we know him. God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him.

1 John 4: 7-8 CEV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/08/14

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Confession & Secrets

Post 1090

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MarriageAct

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 The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.

Henny Youngman

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

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Just ask any couple who are in a committed relationship, whether husband and wife, or a domestic partnership, if they keep secrets from the other and you are apt to be very surprised at the answer you get. In nearly EVERY single relationship, secrets are held as closely within as is the blood that flows throughout the body! There…..I said it in an open forum. Despite vows taken that seal the love of two separate human beings into a relationship bound together for all times as witnessed before God as well as man, each spouse or partner is nearly ALWAYS guilty of not being truthful or forthcoming all the time.

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I know my husband better than any other human being on the planet, as he does me. I have kept secrets from him, in the past, that exploded in front of me with the impact of an atom bomb! Yet, even when witnessing the harm that this practice effected then, there are still things I keep from him today. I do it BECAUSE I know him as well as I do. I do it because that, for him to know, will cause him worry and concern. I do it because I DO know him so well, and I KNOW that to confess to him or even to simply tell him, would hurt him or cause him unnecessary  angst.

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I do not do it because I fear losing him. The vows we exchanged in 1975 are something else we hold dear and are as inviolate and absolute as are death and taxes! No, I do it to preserve not our union but the happiness we share within that union. Of course my admission to that fact now begs asking another question. Do I think he keeps things from me? ABSOLUTELY! And for the very same reasons! Is it right each of us to do this? That is a question only we can really answer.

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The relationship we each share with our partners is unique and special. There are some where the sharing of things like this cement even stronger bonds. There are some where it would not. Neither scenario is right nor is either wrong, as long as we remember that human  relationships are as different, one from the other, as there are stars in the heavens!

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Is there a place for the confession of those secrets we hold so close? Absolutely! There is one who knows everything that we hold within our hearts. There is no secret….nor sin….that escapes him! Even the things we deny the truth of to ourselves, or have ourselves convinced that they never even occurred in our lives, is known to him!

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In Matthew 10:26-28 ESV, we are told not to fear the secrets we hold, “… for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” And it is to Him that the confession of our secrets should be made. By our confession to Him, we are admitting that we are not just sorry for having committed the offense of omission with our partners, but that we also know we will receive the absolution of forgiveness and thus, our conscience will be purged of the things that plague it!  Yes, confession is good for the soul! But sometimes, so are secrets!

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For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV 

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/17/14

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Living Together

Or

Living Apart Together

Or

Living Together Apart

 

Post 1069

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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 golf 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 39 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 interfere in 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, but only when it is convenient?

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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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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/27/13

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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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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/10/13

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This Is The Word Of The Lord

 Sunday November 10th, 2013

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XOT362335

St. LUKE

portrait painted by:

GIOVANNI FRANCESCO BARBIERI

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Saint Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile in Antioch, Syria. He was a physician and it is believed that he may have also been a slave, as it was not uncommon in his day for slaves to be educated in medicine so the family would have a resident physician.

Luke became a close companion of Paul of Tarsus and accompanied him on his missionary journeys. It is very possible that Luke provided medical assistance to Paul when he had been beaten, stoned or nearly drowned while evangelizing to the Western Roman Empire.

Luke is the only Gentile to have written books in the Bible. He is the writer of the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles and his writings have been proven to be historically accurate.

In the third Gospel, Luke emphasizes Christ’s compassion for sinners and for those who suffer. One will also find in Luke’s account of the gospel, a strong emphasis on the role women played in Christ’s ministry.

Luke’s Christian ministry can be followed in the book of Acts. Up until the sixteenth chapter the story of Acts is written in third person, much like a historian recording facts. The voice of the narrator then changes to first person and scholars believe this is done at the time Luke first joined Paul at Troas in the year 51. The book of Acts switches back to third person and scholars believe that this reflects a period in time when Luke was not present during the events that are recorded.

It is believed that Luke lived a long life and died c. 74 in Greece. He was the first Christian physician and was venerated by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of physicians and surgeons. Saint Luke is also considered the patron saint of painters because according to tradition, he had painted images of Mary and of Jesus. This was later proven to be incorrect.

Saint Luke’s feast day is celebrated on October 18th. 

http://www.st-luke-medal.com/

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Today’s Gospel Reading

Luke 20:27-38 NIV 

The Resurrection and Marriage

Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

 

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What Does Luke Mean?

The Sadducees had hoped to trap Jesus when asking Him about the woman and her seven husbands. However, Christ corrects the earthly interpretation that the Sadducees made by speaking of the resurrection, and the life it gives which is far more that can be imagined by a mind that can grasp only concepts of life in earthly terms. Instead, those who are resurrected give up earthly tangibles such as marriage, discovering instead a like bond with the Father. What will be found will be wholly perfect and reality will be, that all that was, will be understood and forgiven. 

And even when the relationships we have on earth with a life partner is more than one, such as is the result of death, even then in heaven there will be no jealousy nor any rivalry between partners. Instead, it is then that many will discover, perhaps for the very first time, REAL LOVE, when their love is united in God! 

Mandy

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2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 and 3:1-5 NIV 

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,  encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

Amen

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/29/13

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And The Two Shall Be As None?

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Fighting_parents

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“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” 

Mahatma Gandhi

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

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It is amazing how what once tied two hearts together can somehow come loose from its mooring over the years. And there is nothing that can be so absolutely toxic and destructive to a relationship than fighting with the one person on the face of the earth who knows your deepest fears and anxieties and weaknesses. But that is exactly what happens every year to about 4 million people in the United States alone. Yes, in 2011, there were approximately 2 million divorce decrees entered through our judicial system! And I am struck by how, in the blink of an eye we can morph from “and the two shall be as one” to “and the two shall be as none”!

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When we meet the one who seems our perfect match, we begin building a relationship one with the other. We use our life experiences and add to them our hopes and dreams for the future, and what is begun is a framework for a life together. And over time, as we add layer upon layer of our shared joys, life experiences and successes, what should be formed is a structure so cohesive and strong, that nothing can tear it down. Just as a successful sports team can not win the championship without working as a team, so is marriage a team. And should you think this concept of teamwork is a new one…..well, think again. 1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV, describes exactly this concept and it was written by Paul the Apostle half way through the first century of our history!  “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

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Now while there is no magic formula we can ingest or apply that will repair all things domestic and make our union with another a successful union, ask most counselors, and they will say three little (actually not so little when you really think about them) words that are the key to successful relationships….whether they are a committed union or merely a friendship! COMMITMENT, COMMUNICATION and COMPASSION!

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  1. COMMITMENT is the part we promise when we exchange our vows in front of our family and friends. We promise that we will withstand the days when nothing goes right, or the month the roof leaks or the months when our bills exceed our income. And how? We work as a team and even if we can’t fix the things that go wrong, we will endure them as a united and committed couple, each leaning on the other for support!
  2. COMMUNICATION is the loosening up of our hearts so that we are able to share our answer with the one we love because we have allowed the question to be asked! We have listened carefully, thought about the words just as carefully, and examined and shared our heartfelt views without fear of being chastized! We will not allow our fears to cripple the lines of honest and heartfelt sharing….an absolute that needs to be carefully and tenderly nurtured.
  3. COMPASSION, the last, but certainly not least tool we need in sustaining our relationships, allows us the empathy to “walk a mile” in the moccasins of  those we care about. Relationships that are worth investing in are those where we realize that faults will abound because that is our human nature. And when we allow our hearts to forgive another for a wrong, whether intentional or unintentional, it is then that the hurt eases and the wound begins to heal. And it is not our partner we will heal by this gesture, but ourselves! 

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Think once more about the promises made to the one you love…whether last week, last month, last year or 50 years ago. Friends and family witnessed these promises made…“for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health”. Few people realize that these words are as telling as they are, but then start thinking about a lifetime of togetherness. You see, whether we admit it or not, at some point or another, we will, as life’s partners, be with and without money; we will be facing times of operations as aging bodies deteriorate, rather than the healthy life we were blessed with during our early years together; and we will all experience better but with an equal amount of worse thrown in to keep us humble! Yes, promises that speak volumes about how hard sharing hearth and home can be. But I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t miss this roller coaster ride for all the money in the world, as long as I get to ride it with the man God made just for me, at my side!

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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; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/27/13

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A Match Made Where?

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Gold-Wedding-Ring-Picture-HD-Wallpaper

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

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This is a reprint of a post I wrote nearly a year ago about marriage and I supposed I was drawn to it because I am performing a wedding in a few short weeks. And as much as I hope they really understand the journey they are embarking on, I have to wonder if they really do! They say they do. They are not teenagers, who think first with their hormones, secondly with their hearts and thirdly with their heads. And yet, as prepared as you think you are, the moment a serious challenge comes knocking at the door, is the bond strong enough to stand up to the challenge and overcome or will the first impulse be to cut and run? You see, no matter how you try to sugar coat the facts, marriage is hard work. Perhaps it is the hardest work any two people will ever engage in. And sometimes all we can do is turn it over to the Almighty, say a prayer and have faith that it will all work out! 

So here are a few of my own “Pearls” coupled with some practical thoughts worthy of consideration before you enter into what we hope will be a lifetime commitment with another!

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Several months ago, I wrote a blog which discussed the difficulties of being a Pastor. In that post, I revealed that, as surprising as it may be to hear, the divorce rate among Pastors is about the same as the American average for divorce among any group. And there was another surprising fact that I learned. The divorce rate among Christian families, in general, also follows the same trend. So I must wonder why it is, when a group of people we know holds as sacrosanct, such a reverence for God’s laws, and especially regarding the joining of two hearts, how it is that they fail so abysmally in the one area that has been held as sacred since the earliest days of the Bible.

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We know that times have changed and with those changes comes the emergence of women being entirely equal to men, unlike the days of yore, when the Bible proclaims things such as:

  • The husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.
  • As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives be to their own husbands in everything.
  • Wives are to respect their husbands.

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Now I am not an expert in the area of interpersonal relationships, except to be able to say that I have succeeded, despite the many obstacles hurled my way by the devil himself, in sustaining a relatively health marriage for the last 38 years! Were there days when I thought I might just have to shoot him? Absolutely! Do those days still occur? Oh, you bet! But do I continue to this day to see in my head and my heart, the same man who proved so captivating all those years ago when I was barely out of my teens? Without a shadow of a doubt! And while my husband and I are not perfect (not by any stretch of the imagination), we each subscribe to the belief that marriage is, indeed, a sacrament, and something to be nurtured and cherished as the years turn into decades! However, I do have a couple of “pearls” that I believe are necessary to embrace for any marriage or partnership, to succeed!

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  • Marriage can not succeed if the character of the two is wanting. But character that is Christ directed will be more likely to be successful!
  • Understand that when the intense physical attraction of those early days (or years) wanes, unless there is an emotional and spiritual component that is present, the marriage is less likely to survive a lifetime of years.
  • Realizing that the promises made in front of God as well as man are a lifetime committment and then keeping those promises every day is a sure-fire way to keep a marriage thriving through the decades.
  • The love within marriage should not just exist but it should thrive, as well. And that takes exercise. Just as we stagnate if we become forlorn and take to our beds, so will marriage soon wither if each partner fails to feed it and exercise it by simple acts of kindness and gratitude!
  • There is an undeniable beauty in the physical relationship of two people who truly love each other. However, with age comes the changes that time brings to bodies and minds. But treating your relationship as new every day, can keep the physical piece vibrant and alive. So think about trying to woo and court your spouse every day, even though you may have spent decades together!

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There is a group of verses in Colossians that actually sums things up perfectly! In fact, the beauty of the words from this book of the Bible, describes all manner of “For better or for worse” far more eloquently than I ever could! Colossians 3: 12-17: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.   Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

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Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

1 Peter 4:8 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry