Tag Archives: mourning

Thought For The Day 01/13/15

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When His Answer Is No  

Post 1403

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God's finger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A friend shared that she sometimes wishes the year began with February. You see, for her, January brings memories she wishes she could forget, including being diagnosed with Cancer and her father-in-law passing away from a sudden and unexpected heart attack. And as I thought about her words, I also realized that I sometimes associate January with heartbreak, as well. My mom passed away in January… more than 2 decades ago. So did a very close friend that my husband grew up with. And despite the fact that we prayed and prayed that our loved ones would be spared and healed, God’s answer was NO! To this day, we do not understand why it had to be this way. But perhaps we are thinking with the mind and heart of a human, which is why we do not understand His why’s and wherefore’s now! In fact, perhaps we will never understand His reasons while we live! But I am OK with that, because I am just as certain that we will understand one day, and that it will be the day we meet those we love but have lost, once more.

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

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

Author Unknown

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 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

John 14:1-4 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/11/14

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God And Lawn Care

Thought 1279

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gal-bryant-park-911-jpg

Bryant Park’s 2,753 Empty Chairs in 2010

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+grass+at+the+world+trade+center&qpvt=picture+of+grass+at+the+world+trade+center&FORM=IGRE#a

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Today marks the 13th anniversary of what was the greatest act of terrorism on American soil…. the al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a third failed one aimed at the heart of our nation’s capital and seat of government. And those of you who know me, know how intimately my life was tied to these events. Not only did I spend most of my adult life living in the Big Apple, but I worked in midtown Manhattan for many years and my commute brought me past the west side, and within blocks of the twin towers, on a daily basis. And while I lived in South Carolina in 2001, I was, in fact, in New York on September 11th, attending my beloved mother-in-law’s funeral. Now you all also know that Dan and I lost both family as well as friends that day, in those attacks! But as many as we lost, many more were saved because we were attending Margaret’s funeral that morning!

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September 11th, 2001. A day that will live in infamy? Most certainly. A day we should never forget? Absolutely! However, that said, I can no longer “Sit Shiva”, watching ad nauseam, replay after replay of the events of that day, which seems to be the focus of both the news media as well as documentary film makers, every time the anniversary of that day rolls around. No, I have told my husband as much. You see, he can not take his eyes away from the coverage, just as I can not bear to see it. So he knows that if I excuse myself, and go into another room, it’s not because he has bad breath or I am upset with him, in any way. And it is this reason why I am choosing to end my memorial right now, and instead, I will share with you an email I received yesterday from a dear friend (in fact, a life long friend of my husband), who is also a retired N.Y.C. Fire Captain and who spent more minutes, hours, days and weeks, searching for the living and mourning the dead, from that day, than any one person should ever have to in their life!

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By choosing to laugh and revel rather than mourn, I am paying the highest honor possible to those who were not so fortunate 13 years ago. You see, I am telling the world that you may threaten our spirit, but you will never defeat it! And in my joy and laughter, I can not help but be reminded of what is promised to and what awaits those who believe, when our time among the living is done! So today, I want to share with you a conversation between GOD, St. FRANCIS and St. CATHERINE. I know that you will smile as you read it ….. because as stupid as it may sound, what is discussed here is exactly what we all do!

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GOD to St. FRANCIS:
Frank, …  you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet?  What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago?   I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

St. FRANCIS:
It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD:
Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. FRANCIS:
Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

GOD:
The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. FRANCIS:
Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it-sometimes twice a week.

GOD:
They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

St. FRANCIS:
Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

GOD:
They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it? 

St. FRANCIS:
No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD:
Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. FRANCIS:
Yes, Sir.

GOD:
These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. FRANCIS:
You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it. 

GOD:
What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

St. FRANCIS:
You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

GOD:
No!? What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St. FRANCIS:
After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves. 

GOD:
And where do they get this mulch?

St. FRANCIS:
They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

GOD:
Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. CATHERINE:
“Dumb and Dumber”, Lord. It’s a story about….

GOD:
Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

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So often, the most powerful catalyst for positive growth and change lies in the one place we least expect to find it. Adversity! And amazingly, we will discover that overcoming adversity forces us to not just take stock of our lives, but to also be reminded of all of God’s blessings that are too oft forgotten during those times of happiness, joy and triumph! So as you remember that day 13 years ago, think about not only what you’ve gained from living through that moment in history, but also what could not be taken from you. And then LAUGH! Laugh with abandon! Laugh with joy in your heart! Laugh with the knowledge that no matter what, they can’t take that freedom away from us! Not then!! Not today!!! Not tomorrow!!!! Not EVER!!!!!

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“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 05/20/14

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The Grim Reaper

Post 1164

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grim-reaper

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When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”  

Erma Bombeck

http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/category/Life+And+Death

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It is impossible to even consider life and especially, life everlasting without thinking about its opposite…..Death. Or perhaps more appropriately, the entity that we have come to think of as “The Angel of Death”, or even “The Angel of Dark and Light”! Yes, people have chosen to view Death in physical terms and while this personification of death as “The Grim Reaper” has existed for only the last 600 years, in reality, it was given form, in a way, as far back as the pages of ancient Hebrew, Catholic and Islamic texts. There are those who view this character as the one who carries out God’s wrath over the wicked. But even when we think about perhaps the strongest evidence of Death from a Biblical perspective, which presents this dark presence in Exodus 12, in describing the deaths of the first born of the house of Egypt happening in a way that none can ever forget!

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“And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you. And you shall observe this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons for ever…”

Exodus 12:22-24 KJV

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Notice how the Bible actually references this entity as simply “Destroyer”. And it is this that remains the commonly used term throughout the tome, whether looking at the texts from their Aramaic or Greek origins! But no matter how you choose to think about or describe Death, the fact of the matter is, that to a human mind which is in perpetual need of proof in order to believe, anything that presents to us as a part of the great unknown, is also something to be feared or dreaded, no matter the degree we have tried to reconcile ourselves to the things we hold as absolute, such as what will happen to us when our living is no more! Simply stated, we fear the unknown and death is the unknown, therefore, we fear death, even though it is also one thing we know to be an absolute by-product of our living!

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The thing is, that we fear death presumes that we have a reason for doing so. And the only reason I can think of is that we have sins for which we have not made our atonement. So if we die in our sins, then yes, death would, indeed, be a grim reaper coming for us. But for those who embrace the Christian philosophy, you must know that those sins have been blotted out by the death of the Son, whose sacrifice was our payment in full, for a lifetime of living….presuming you accept and believe that this is so! And while it’s coming may not be without some mortal pain, depending on what it is that will claim our final breath among the living, death can not hurt us, any more than undressing at night and putting on pajamas and falling asleep between our crisp, clean sheets, hurts us. And even better, we will not be going alone, because we have been promised that He will guide us there to make sure our arrival is assured. John 14:3 NIV, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

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Death is both the inevitable and natural process of life and the answer as to how it will come knocking will be ours to know in His time, rather than ours, assuming we do not live those lives in a way that invites its inevitability sooner than later. But like it or not, it is something we will deal with when it comes, and not a single moment sooner. So instead of fearing that which we can not control, why not focus our beings on that which we can control. Let us live life fully in the present and live it with not just a zest, but a compassion, as well. Let us show Him that we will be prepared to come to Him in His time with no regrets for the part of life’s journey that we make, that is within our capacity to control! LIVE every moment. LAUGH every day. LOVE beyond words. These three things are within our power to give to ourselves, so take them, and run, and LIVE, for all you are worth, because Death may show its face to you, unexpectedly!

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Live Laugh Love 10

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“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV)

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 04/07/14

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The Crimson Cord

Post 1121

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http://www.artfire.com/

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Love is the thread that binds us.

Author Unknown

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

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I wrote the original version of this post on the car trip home from the funeral of my brother-in-law a little more than two years ago. I first posted it here on 04/07/12. And except for a few brief words of update, it is exactly as I first penned it!

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Bill was the love of my sister’s life and the joy he gave her was beyond measure. But I know he is proud of the life my sister has carved out for herself following his tragic and sudden passing. You see, we know that no matter what joy or sorrow comes her way in the years ahead, He will be there…. a comforting presence…. reminding her that everything will always be all right!

Mandy

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The days are running together as if the hand  of God has somehow  gathered together the hours into some miraculous circle where time has no beginning nor ending. I was asked to speak but somehow the time was no more. The line of friends who needed to say words of comfort seemed miles long and the second hand of the clocked sped around the dial with what seemed like supersonic speed.

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I had needed to jot down my thoughts because I was afraid I would be overcome and begin to cry. I placed my carefully chosen words in his pocket…. hidden between the folds of his handkerchief. It somehow seemed appropriate that he carry them with him always.

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I had wanted to speak of a crimson cord binding all of our hearts together. I had wanted to speak of the fact the it was not blood that colored it red but the life force of many hearts and of the love each of us felt for each other. I had wanted to tell everyone that the emptiness would be filled…. eventually…. by the happy memories we each had of the time we spent together with him.

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I would always remember his smile the day, more that 28 years ago now, when I asked him if he was really prepared to marry my sister! Obviously, he was because they had a loving and wonderful marriage that had endured so much. And then I began to think of the special moments they shared. The day he kissed his new bride in the garden at the library. The day he walked his daughter Brynn, down the aisle. The day he was introduced to his brand new grandson Kayden by his son George. Vacations in Aruba with Diane and Gene. Watching the Phillies with Melissa, Brynn and Sean. Riding his “Hog”. Getting a tattoo. Keeping a multinational corporation on the straight and narrow as Director of Information Technology. And so many more that to record them all would require a ream of paper!

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Whatever it is that we best remember of Bill will fill that emptiness little by little until the hurt is gone and only those happy times linger in out hearts. And this is all that measures the worth of a person. The length of that crimson cord and lives whose hearts were bound together, forever, by its strength.

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I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:2-4 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/29/14

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It Is As It Must Be…

Post 1049

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

Charles Sanders Peirce

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

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Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 24:1-5 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/19/13

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Death Comes Unexpectedly!

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Heaven

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

Author Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revelation 20:11-15 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For the Day 05/22/13

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Broken Hearts, Shattered Lives

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broken-hearts

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“I don’t know why they call it heartbreak. It feels like every other part of my body is broken too. ”

Missy Altijd

http://www.soundoflife.net/broken-heart-quotes/

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Once again we as a country and world are united by what seems to be the bonds of a heartbreak that is all too frequent, these days. We finally move beyond two tragedies that come from the hand of man just a little over a month ago, but now, inexplicably, we are faced with the tragedy that seems to come from the hand of God! Yes, the same God who we see as the hope and salvation of our world. And we ask, once more, the question whose answer proves to be as elusive as ever! You see, for every “WHY?” we ask, we are apt to be told, “WHY NOT?” And so we lose hope and we despair and we cry out the same words the Son cried out to the heavens from his dying on Calvary. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27, 46 KJV). You see, in that single moment, Christ’s humanness came to bear, just as ours does every day. With one HUGE difference. Christ knew His purpose and what His death would do to change the world. We often have fewer, if any, expectations that things will change!

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We remain mired in the despondency that our tunnel vision seems to afford us. Our vision is blinded by the sorrows and the trials that deliver them into our laps. All we view are the cruel and brutal parts of life, that seem to come at us like a snowball rolling downhill, fast and furiously gaining size and speed, until the moment we know that it will overtake and crush us…if not our very lives, then at least our spirit. And it can be then that those who do not have the resources of a supportive network insulating them, can fall under despondency’s spell, convinced that it will never get better. And so, for a brief, terrible moment, they lose their way. But it will get better! It always does! It is promised to us by ancient words, divinely inspired, all. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).

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Now, these words do not necessarily mean that he offers us the easy way out! Instead, He gives us hope or, as the Bible puts it, “confident expectation”, which is His assurance that we will gain the strength we need to meet, head on, those trials, and yet not be defeated by them! And before any one of you asks, NO! This is not a promise that we will not suffer the pain, or even agony, that the trials deliver. What it promises is that He will not permit the pain to destroy our spirits. It simply means that God ultimately will not allow those hardships to put us to shame or to confound us. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV). So take heart, all you who think His answer is “NO”! It is not a “NO”. It is simply, “NOT NOW”!

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FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE TORNADO THAT BROUGHT SO MANY YOUNG BEFORE THE GATES OF HEAVEN BEFORE THEIR TIME…

Friar Jeffrie Wallace

(written 05/20/13)

https://www.facebook.com/friar.j.l.wallace?fref=ts

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jesus holding a child

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REQUIESCANT IN PACE….
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Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace.
Agimus tibi gratias, omnipotence Deus, pro universis beneficiis tuis, qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.                
(Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.
We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, Who livest and reignest forever. And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.)
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Lord God, source and destiny of our lives,
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In Your loving providence You gave us these children to grow in wisdom, age, and grace. Now You have called them to Yourself. We grieve over the loss of ones so young and struggle to understand Your purpose. Draw them to Yourself and give them full stature in Christ.

May they stand with all the angels and saints, who know Your love and praise Your saving will

 

To You, O Lord, we humbly entrust this children, so precious in Your sight.

 

Take them into Your arms and welcome them into paradise, where there will be no sorrow, no weeping nor pain, but the fullness of peace and joy with Your Son and the Holy Spirit

 

Amen

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“…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)

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