Tag Archives: new beginnings

Thought For The Day 02/07/15

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I Know Why I Believe!

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whydoyoubelieve_zps8098d3ff

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  “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul.”

Dwight L. Moody

http://hopefaithprayer.com/faith/faith-quotes/

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Today I want to expand a bit on yesterday’s post, “Seeing the Face of God” and ask you this question: “Do you believe in God?” Now to examine this a bit more, I want to challenge you to think about some things you may never have considered up till now!

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Ask a roomful of people if they believe in God and you will probably get as many different answers as there are the number of people that are in that room! Some may not be certain but as intelligent people, they recognize that sometimes trying to answer “YES” or “NO” foist’s a personal belief onto another which is why they might choose to say that they respect the right of everyone to decide the matter for themselves! Then there are others who look to the majesty of the cosmos and say that we here are but a speck on the fabric of the universe and yet, we as a race, are determined to continue forward in life because faith propels us to do so! Others see God as an always existing entity who was, is, and always will be a force that is one we can turn to in good and bad times for succor and sustenance! And yet others hold that there must exist a force greater than that of man who set all things as we have come to know them in motion!

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I, for one, have always been a pragmatist. I look at things, try to dissect them, and then draw my conclusions based on my determinations…. which is so contrary to how I define faith (belief without proof) that I sometimes wonder how it is that I know so positively, that what it is that I believe, is true. And then I realized that the answers to God’s very existence lies in His design for our existence. For example, look at a few things that defy explanation but which are a part of the perfectly tuned symphony that is our little part of the universe!

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Earth:

The size and location of Earth is perfect. Earth is close enough to the sun so that a vast amount of its land mass is habitable. We can be kept  perfectly warm and cool, but not burn up nor freeze to death.  Our atmosphere holds just the perfect proportions of the gasses such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, that we need for sustaining all life… plant, animal, human. Our planet contains water for maintaining that atmosphere and our satellite is just the perfect distance away so that its gravitational pull keeps our oceans constantly circulating by tidal forces. Add to this the other million things scientific minds have learned about our planet and it is easy to think that it can not have happened by pure chance.

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Man:

Just consider the complex programming that comprises our DNA. There are 30 million nucleosomes in each human cell. So many are needed because the DNA strand wraps around each one only 1.65 times, in a twist containing 147 of its units, and the DNA molecule in a single chromosome can be up to 225 million units in length. (a) And every one of the billions of cells we have, acts like a microscopic computer for controlling the billions of things our bodies need to do to sustain our life! From being able to see the 7 million colors we can differentiate to a brain that can process a million messages a second, it is inconceivable that the symphony that is our bodies was an accident.

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Laws of Nature:

We walk upon the earth without fear we will fly off into space. The earth revolves around the sun in a predictable time frame of 1,461 days every 4 years. The moon revolves around the earth in 28 days. Our planet rotates once every 24 hours. Ice melts in the sunlight just as a hot cup of coffee cools even in that same light. These are ordered, reliable and absolute! Even scientists are baffled at the orderly way nature follows a detailed set of rules without any unpredictability. A Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, Richard Feynman, has said that the fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle! (b)

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Jesus:

There has been only one religious figure in all of history that has claimed to be equal to God. From Confucius to Moses, to Muhammad to Buddha, all were self-described prophets or teachers. The fact that Christ described himself as with attributes that have always be seen to rest only with God, such as the power of forgiveness, sets him apart from the others. While the rest asked followers to listen and apply the teachings of their words, Jesus asked people to follow HIM! John 14:6 NIV says, ‘Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. “’ We also read in John 8:12 NIV, ‘When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”’

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So, having read these four things I have shared, and understanding that there are perhaps dozens of additional arguments that could be given, I ask once more, “Do you believe in God?” I hope that if you were perhaps teetering between answering “YES” or “NO”, I may have at least given you a gentle nudge over to the “YES” side of the equation. And even if I haven’t, let me share just one more thing with you right now. Whether you believe in God matters less than you think because, GOD BELIEVES IN YOU. He LOVES you. He ACCEPTS you. And He will ALWAYS be there for YOU!

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(a) http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/science/25dna.html?_r=0

(b) Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist (New York: BasicBooks, 1998), 43

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Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 15:13 KJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

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Thought For The Day 02/06/15

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The Face Of God

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Great Smokeys Natl Park

Photo taken in the Great Smokey National Park

https://plus.google.com/photos/115701375126412820310/albums/5181180870153533857?banner=pwa&gpsrc=pwrd1#

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“When we see the face of God we shall know that we have always known it. He has been a party to, has made, sustained and moved moment by moment within, all our earthly experiences of innocent love.”

C.S. Lewis

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/when-we-see-the-face-of-god-we-shall-know-that-we/365620.html

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We have all heard the question time and time again. “How can I believe in God? I have never seen Him! I can not talk to Him! He has never come knocking on my door! So how can I know He is real?” And for a brief moment, I needed to think about just exactly how I would form my answer to this. How can I explain something my heart knows to be true? Then I remembered the tiny daughter of a friend who was born 3 months prematurely, weighing just about 1 & 1/2 pounds.

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I asked over and over for prayers for this little one whose diapers were smaller that a cell phone. And she fought and fought to live and grow. Fast forward 34 months… almost 3 years! Now I see a pictures her mommy has shared of a still tiny face, but with laughter dancing from tiny lips. And I know I am seeing the face of God! Then I glance to the window and I spy the Basil plant sitting on my sill, which began life as a single 6 inch tall plant with spindly but intact roots. I found it in the produce section of my local store, brought it home, planted it, and now it has grown so big it has been pruned back countless times and its fragrant leaves have seasoned gallons of my spaghetti sauce. And I know I am seeing the face of God! Then I look up at the sky, as blue as a Robin’s egg, with fluffy white clouds dancing and changing shape at the urging of a breeze none can see, but all know is there. And I know I am seeing the face of God! Then I look down at the ground where, amid the brown blades of grass, I see tiny green shoots magically springing forth, a promise of the changes to come. And I know I am seeing the face of God!

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The Bible tells us that we must accept by faith that God exists. That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” Psalm 19:1-4 ESV. Deep within us we intuitively know that there is something greater than we are and therefore there must also be something beyond this life and the world as we know it to exist. Choose to deny this all you want but even Albert Einstein agreed that the presence of one who eclipses life as we know it must exist and it is as obvious as looking around our world….and beyond into the heavens!

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God’s face and voice may not be among the things that I can view with my eyes or hear with my ears, but His spirit and love and promise is everywhere I look and in everything I hear, feel, taste, touch and smell. God is in the aroma of my first cup of coffee that wakes me in the morning, bringing a smile to my face, and magically transforming me from an ogre into a lady! God is in the smell of my husband’s pillow which ties him to me, evoking a tender and comforting feeling in my heart, even if he is 500 miles away from me. God is in the aroma of a product I use to clean my floors which always transports me back to a time of my childhood and the fun house of an amusement park I loved, who used the very same product 55 years ago! God is in the purring of my cat as he lays above my head at night, nuzzling my hair for 1o minutes before bounding across the bed, off to whatever mischief cats will find the darkness and quiet of a sleeping house. And God is even in the tug my heart feels every time I hear the bagpipes sing the mournful notes of “Amazing Grace”. And I think that if you have eyes to see, ears to hear, a nose to smell, a tongue to taste, skin to feel with and fingers to touch with, you HAVE seen the face of God too, because He is within each and every one of us!

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“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ ”

John 20:29 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/05/15

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How Do You Catch Bees?
Honey Or Vinegar

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couple arguing

http://www.todaysmodernfamily.com/index.php/4288

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“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

 Louis de Bernières 

“Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Captain_Corelli’s_Mandolin

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I remember my mother telling me that you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar, a fact that was reinforced once by a friend who told me about his approach in facing the hard things and the even harder people that come knocking on his door, every day. He referred to it as “The Feather Hammer” approach. You approach things from the good perspective, all the while slipping in the hard-core truth! And of course, his words reminded me of how much I, myself, hated being on the receiving end of the hellfire and brimstone approach! So I think the time is at hand where I must pay my penance for some of my more bombastic posts and share with you all a story that has been circling the globe for years now. It is a softer and gentler story that I share today! The origins of the tale are not clear, although it may have come from the East, as the reference to chopsticks alludes. However it is a reminder that sometimes the soft and gentle way is also the right way to compel someone to wake up, “smell the coffee”, and realize just what it is they risk by not appreciating and caring for and about the things that already exist in their life, but which have, over time, become but a shadow of what once was!

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MARRIAGE

Author Unknown

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, “I’ve got something to tell you.” She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. “I want a divorce.” I raised the topic calmly.

She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, “Why?”

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, “You are not a man!” That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into our bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. “No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce”, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, and cried out, “Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms”. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly, “Don’t tell our son about the divorce.” I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, “All my dresses have grown bigger.” I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, and that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, “Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.” To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, “I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.”

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind… I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, “Sorry, Jane. I do not want the divorce anymore.”

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. “Do you have a fever?” She said. I moved her hand off my head. “Sorry, Jane. I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.”

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The sales girl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from whatever negative reaction would come from our son, in case we followed through with the divorce. At least, in the eyes of our son, I’m a loving husband….

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I am reminded that it is usually those who are closest to us who are the first victims of our selfish behaviors.  We don’t just wake up one day no longer in love with our partner. It is neglect that happens day after day that erodes the very foundation of a relationship. When we view the world through eyes that only look rather than really seeing, suddenly it is those who should be the most important to us that somehow become invisible. Consequently, our relationship becomes but a shadow of what was once, the promise of a lifetime together. Indeed, if there is any absolute worth remembering always, it must be that we should always hold those we love above even ourselves!

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Life’s good times do not just happen. We MAKE them happen. We are the creators of the events in our life and therefore, it is we who are responsible for creating our own happiness. When we focus on the things that we think matter, such as money, power and possessions, we may believe we have the key to happiness. But things do no give us happiness. Only people and relationships can do that. And it is usually the little things….the small but sweet details, that are the most powerful force for binding hearts together! As part of the story above, I read the comment of someone who had also shared it, and this person’s comment was one I will never forget. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” So don’t!

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You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.

Malachi 2:14-15 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/04/15

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Sticks And Stones

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“If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God’s goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens–even if some days it doesn’t seem so. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be.”

Jeffrey R. Holland

http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/158936.Jeffrey_R_Holland

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I hear the hurt in the voices of people all the time. I read it in their writings on posts on social media sites and in their emails. And I see it in the pinched and careworn faces with worry lines deeply etched. The incidence of health issues such as Hypertension and Heart Disease is rampant and claiming younger and younger victims. And those who know and hold God within are being hurt at an alarming rate. And why? Because we live in a time where all too many people live without any trace of faith or a respect for the Almighty in their hearts! In fact, they don’t even care because they are happily living vicariously through their personal relationship with the devil! They lack the capacity to understand that the time they walk upon Mother Earth is but one stage that man is destined to pass through and that there is a time and place where the soul will dwell when the shell that contains it is used up!

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These people are ones who shout their rebellion from the highest mountain top. Loud, and aggressive, they are emboldened by the fear their intimidation generates. And given the instant access that is the norm today through worldwide media outlets, these people receive their 10 minutes of fame….a reward for actions that, in their own mind, justifies what they say and do! Exactly what it is that they do is of little concern. It is the fact that they are of the misguided belief that they gain only when they take power from someone else. Erode self-confidence? Sure! Tell someone they are worthless? Why not! Yes, the abuse continues and you know as well as I do that if a person keeps up an assault long enough, the one being attacked becomes mired in self-doubt as the words of their tormentor echo in their head.

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There is generally little we can do to anticipate an attack of physical violence since, as history shows, the sheer randomness employed by the perpetrator often defies prediction. However, we can do something when we are mentally or spiritually abused. We can refuse to allow ourselves to be made victims! We can stand tall and refuse to allow the words of another to demean our sense of self because we know that we live a life that honors God and He will always be there for us. He tells us as much in the Bible. Isaiah 54:15-17 ESV says, “If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

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Always remember that no one, no matter how relentlessly determined they might be, can force anyone to believe anything that they don’t want to believe, unless they are already teetering on the precipice of self-doubt. But you don’t have to be. Arming yourself with faith provides you with the tools to strengthen your resolve by aligning you with what is right in God’s eyes! Romans 8:28 NIV, reminds us that He will remain at our side and help us if we acknowledge our love and devotion to Him. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” And as determined as some might be to want to carry you to HELL with them, by standing strong in faith and living according to His word, you are more likely to find that you can carry yet others….even more people….to HEAVEN with you!

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“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

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Five years ago today, a little redheaded bundle of joy was placed in my arms, and from that moment, my life was forever changed. Thank you my Booboo for reminding me that there is nothing more important for mankind’s future than the little ones we love and nurture and teach and hold closely today!

Happy 5th Birthday Landon John Hilliard!

Landon 020410

Landon 02/04/10

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Landon 01/14/15

Landon 01 2015

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/03/15

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Be An Organ Donor

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Ezekiel-36-26

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“God thinks within geniuses, dreams within poets and sleeps with the rest of us”

Peter Antenberg

http://thinkexist.com/quotations/god/3.html

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Thank God (literally…..I have to thank God) for the inspiration he is planting in the minds of pastors and church groups who display such wonderful messages on church signs everywhere. They are so filled with inspiring and uplifting ideas and it is impossible not to feel compelled to share them with others. Now I do realize that not all of these signs are the result of inspired thought. In fact, I suspect that there may well be a “Church Signs for Dummies” book out there somewhere. But no matter the source of the inspiration, it is the fact that we are so drawn to the “feel good” messages they convey that matters, and that is why I found myself dictating into my phone yesterday the following words which I had read as I was driving not far from my home:

“BE AN ORGAN DONOR. GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS”

Suddenly the wheels began churning and I began to think about the very second I became an organ donor. When was the moment when the very beat of my heart somehow connected with His?

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When I was younger I was very involved in my church. I attended services regularly. I sang in the choir. I taught Sunday School. And when I married and had children, I determined that they would know God and so I had them baptized and I reared them in the church family . Yes, I thought I was happy because I believed that I held Him within my heart. Then, without warning, illness struck and somehow the power it wielded became so overwhelming that, instead of clinging to my God for the strength I needed to overcome my adversity, my faith seemed to fall by the wayside. It was in that singular moment, I realized that I was living a life that, while not exactly a lie, was more like a confused and misplaced idea of what faith really is. I knew that either I really didn’t know Him or else the time was not yet at hand when we would meet! But the interesting part of the tale is that I was content living the life I was living and since I really didn’t yet know any better, I didn’t miss not having faith in my life!

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Fast forward 13 years to the day I became an organ donor. It was March 25, 2011. That day I was on my laptop, which sits on our kitchen counter. I was caring for Landon who was just 13 months old and since he was not yet walking, nor did he crawl, I had him near me on a huge quilt on my living room floor, playing with his toys. He was occupied and so I used the time to go online to check my email and see if I had any notifications from my social media site. Really, it was a day no different that the previous 20,683 days I had lived through up to that moment. Then suddenly I felt a brush on my shoulder and at the exact same moment, I felt something move through me. And I knew! I don’t know how or why I knew, but it was at that moment that I knew I was being given a second chance. And since that moment, I have never looked back.

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Does any of this make any sense to you? Probably not…unless or until you experience the same thing. And I have no doubt but that if we all wait long enough and are still enough, He will come. And yes, there are some to whom He comes like a clap of thunder. However, from talking to people in the nearly two years since that day, I have discovered that He is more likely to come to us on tiptoe. Isn’t it ironic that His coming to us mirrors TS Eliot’s work, The Hollow Men which has made famous one particular line pertaining to what might just be the antithesis of finding the future that faith and God offers to us: This is the way the world ends: This is the way the world ends: This is the way the world ends: Not with a bang but a whimper.” Simply changing the words just a tad gives receiving that second chance real meaning: This is the way our lives begin: This is the way our lives begin: This is the way our lives begin: Not with a bang but a whisper.

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Finding your way to becoming a heart donor is really being reborn. We emerge from the womb of an ignorance that is usually of our own making, and we come alive in the realization that a relationship with God trumps anything and everything we once believed mattered. Finally the realization hits that all of our hopes and our dreams matter not if we don’t have the promise of eternal life that is being offered up to each of us, simply for the taking. And as our spirits join with His, the peace that descends is perfect and wonderful and we are given the certainty that comes with understanding, that this joy will last a lifetime….and beyond! Yes, this is the moment of knowing! At least it was MY moment of knowing, that He is inside my heart!

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But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

 

Thought For The Day 02/02/15

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Begin At The Beginning With Knee Mail

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knee mail

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“God shapes the world by prayer. The more prayer there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces of against evil …”

E.M. Bounds

http://www.christian-prayer-quotes.christian-attorney.net/

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Every day I read on social media sites, requests from both friends as well as strangers, that they would like to have a prayer said for them. The reasons for their requests are as varied as there are stars in the sky. You see, man’s needs are all-encompassing, never-ending and are as complex as the fragile life form we are! Now one amazing thing I am noticing is that is that I am not seeing these requests less and less but more and more, and often from people I would least expect to find wanting these prayers in the first place. And that was when I realized that God is winning! Yes, despite his best efforts at destroying mankind’s hopes and dreams through the turmoil he delights in creating, Satan is actually driving people toward faith and God, and not away from both! And what a wonderful thing to bear witness to, despite the fact that the heart of man still has a long way to go. But all beginnings must start with a single step, and that is what we now bear witness to, as more and more are reaching out to the unity and support that is to be found not just in online prayer groups, but in private communications with those who can give guidance in matters of faith, as well!

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If God had mortal form, we would probably come knocking and ask if we could sit and chat. That is certainly what we would do and how we would talk to any friend or family member whose counsel we value. But unfortunately, while we know where He lives, His door is not one we can see, which is why He gives us another option. It is an opportunity to reach Him that does not require we dial a phone or get in our car and drive, or even walk next door. We can seek him out at midnight or dawn or noontime or dusk. Whether we are on the top of a mountain or at the bottom of the sea, and whether we are sick or well, we can always find him by knocking on His door with our hearts and then asking him with our minds, if we can sit and chat for a little while! That is what prayer gives to us!

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Prayer is our chance to take a moment and chat. And I don’t mean to sound cavalier when I say it this way. Yes, we serve Him and owe Him reverence. But when we make prayer a chore rather than a chat, we sometimes become mired in the swamp our need is creating in our lives! While praying is not worship, it is still an essential component in living a life that contains faith! Also, just as we sit and chat with people when we want to get to know them a little better, so will prayer help us to know God better, and help us to better understand what His plan is for our life!

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We do not pray for God’s benefit, but for ours. You see, he already knows our need. But when we put the need into words, either by our mouth or our mind, we are able to think through what it is we really want for ourselves and the life we hope for. But, like behavior we witness in the actions of any spoiled child, even if we think what it is we ask is best for us, God has other ideas, which is why sometimes His answer is YES, sometimes it is NO and sometimes it is NOT NOW! Just as we know the importance of setting limits and boundaries for our children’s behaviors, this is how God does the same thing for us. How else would we know that we have earned and that we merit the gifts we ask for?

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I remember reading some things that are worth remembering about prayer and whether we are sincere in what we ask of Him. I don’t remember where I read them, but at the time they made such an impact on me that I copied them into a note on my phone, and I carry them with me always as a reminder of the differences between what I want and what I deserve and what I need!

  1. Anticipate that God wants to help you. Anything that you could ask Him for is infinitesimally small compared to what He has already given to you.
  2. Nothing God does is by accident. If things don’t go smoothly for you, your first reaction should be: “What’s going on? Why is God doing this? Why is He trying to get my attention?”
  3. If you are serious about a relationship with God, then you understand that God is always teaching you.
  4. To get our prayers answered, we have to be clear that what we are requesting is really the right thing and not just some momentary whim.
  5. Prayer is not an escape from personal effort or responsibility. It is a vehicle for us to refine our choices, and to realize that God is the source of all that we accomplish.

 

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I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ…

Philippians 1:3-5, 9-10 NASB

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/31/15

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The Blessings Of Our Little Ones

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Landon 01 2015

Landon John

January 2015

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The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.

Pablo Casals

http://www.searchquotes.com/Children/quotes/about/Miracles/

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I have been recently reminded, in a tremendously profound way because of my work with abused and neglected children as a Guardian ad Litem, AND my work with a wee one even more precious to me than all the gold in Ft. Knox… my grandson Landon, just how precious a gift our little ones are to the human race. And in thinking about grandchildren, aren’t they our second chance at seeing all the wonders the world has to offer… for the first time… when we finally have the time to appreciate it? But in the process of this rediscovery, I have also had my eyes opened as to just how underappreciated the value of a child’s life has been over the last few centuries. And even today, when we have supposedly evolved in a more socially responsible and spiritual way, we are still bearing witness to a time when too many adults not only deprive these little blessings God has given to us, of not just a childhood, but, in some cases, their very life as well.

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Luke 18: 15-17 ESV should serve to remind us as to their value. Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And Jesus looked and viewed the lives of these little ones, not on man’s terms. No, he saw the value of their lives and hearts on a much higher plane than adults who have allowed their own willful aims and desires to come above their need to act in a way that honors God and the responsibility He demands that we provide to those innocent little blessings.

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Notice that Jesus did not tell His disciples to wash grimy and faces and grass stained clothes before allowing children to come to Him. Instead, He welcomed them complete with frogs in pockets, runny noses and teddy bears clutched in tiny arms. You see, Jesus knew that it is the pristine nature of a child’s heart, that makes them ready for God’s Kingdom, not the pristine cleanliness of their clothes. And Jesus wanted man to understand that to attain the same end, that man would need to sometimes understand the context of the lesson given in 1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

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It is not the daily responsibilities of adulthood that need to be put behind us. Instead it is the selfishness and pettiness of our immature selves we must put behind us and in its place, put in front of us the awe and wonder and curiosity of the heart of those innocent children! It is that we truly see God as a Father in terms of one who loves, protects, provides for, instructs and corrects us so that we become, as His children, better people. And isn’t love like this the greatest love of all?

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The Greatest Love of All

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

 Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me

 I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

 I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

 And if, by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

Vocals: Whitney Houston
Written by:  Michael Masser and Linda Creed
(Linda Creed was recovering from breast cancer when she wrote the song.)

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Elaine Stafford Pierce

November 12, 1928 – January 31, 1990

You left this world 25 years ago today, but not a day passes that I do not think of you. Every time I read this poem I think of you. You had the greatest “DASH” of anyone I every knew!

​The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

​I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
​the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

​So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

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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.

1 John 4:9 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry