Tag Archives: poor in spirit

Thought For The Day 12/05/14

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 Herod… The Rest Of The Story 

   Post 1364   

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Herod-2

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=pictures%ee%80%81+of+%ee%80%80king+herod&qpvt=pcture+of+Kin+Herod&FORM=IGRE#a

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“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”

Thomas Jefferson

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

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I am always thirsting for more knowledge and a deeper understanding of historical characters who significantly impacted the birth, life and death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And there was one man that I wanted to learn more about since he had been anointed by Caesar himself as “King of the Jews”. Of course, I am talking about King Herod, a man who so coveted his position and title that when the soothsayers foretold of the coming birth of the Messiah, he sent the Magi to discover the location of the Christ Child, intending to slay this threat. Of course, we know that these three sage men, discovering the true nature of the child, betrayed their King, upon which time Herod ordered the massacre of all of the newborn male infants younger than two, in Bethlehem!

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Herod became King of Judea upon appointment by Rome in approximately 37 BC. Herod was of Middle Eastern (Arab) ancestry but was a practicing Jew. In fact he was considered a somewhat successful leader, having been responsible for the development of many extraordinary buildings, aqueducts and amphitheaters throughout his region of rule (today the area would include Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria). He was, in fact, labeled Herod the Great (Herodes Magnus). However, the term “the Great” is not particularly apt since he was considered to be a madman who murdered indiscriminately to achieve his goals.

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Interestingly, the only actual evidence for the infanticide he is accused of, lies within only a couple of verses in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 2:16-18 ESV says, Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

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Bethlehem of the day was really only a small village. There were most likely less than 1000 residents in total, of which male babies under the age of two would most likely have numbered no more than a handful. It may well be this which accounts for the lack of supporting evidence of this infanticide. However, what is known is that he failed abysmally at ridding the world of the one he perceived as his nemesis for the loyalty of the people, because, as we know, Joseph, Mary and Jesus avoided the executioner’s sword by fleeing to Egypt.

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It may well have been both ego as well as his possessive love for his wife, Mariamme, that was his ultimate undoing. Once during an assignment to Rome, and knowing full well that he was unpopular because he had sided with Marc Anthony against Caesar, he feared he would be killed. Unable to bear the thought that his wife might find love with another, Herod ordered that if he did not return, she was to be killed. Later he was convinced by his vicious sister that Mariamme was plotting against him and so he ordered her tried, and upon conviction, had her executed.

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Always searching for the love he had lost, he suffered much unhappiness during the later years of his life, most deservedly, as a matter of fact. He executed three of his sons and became polygamous! A ruthless tyrant who was not above using whatever measures might be necessary to guarantee his continued reign, it seems likely that the Biblical story in Matthew was, quite possible! And of course we also know that it was his namesake and heir, Herod Antipas, who was the one who condemned and ordered the execution of Christ. Yes, King Herod was the Patriarch of a legacy of political schemers!

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King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

Mark 6:14 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

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Thought For The Day 10/29/14

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What Do You See?

A Sow’s Ear or A Silk Purse?

Thought 1327

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A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower

 Inaugural Address

January 20, 1953

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What would your first thought be if you pulled into your church parking lot on a Sunday morning only to see a man in faded and baggy clothes rummaging through the dumpster  that houses garbage from the strip mall adjacent to the parking lot? Would you be shocked considering that your neighborhood is an upper middle-class one with $250,000.00 homes nearby? Would you become angry that your community was invaded from one of THOSE people? Would you shout your disapproval at the man? Would you call your local police department to send an officer to remove the miscreant? Or would you turn your head and pretend that you did not see what was right in front of your face? (All important questions worth thinking about!)

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Finally, choosing not to make a scene, you walk quickly, in the opposite direction of the man and through the church doors into the bright, clean and beautifully appointed sanctuary. You shake hands and greet your fellow parishioners as you make your way to your seat. The mumbling you hear from your friends who shield their mouths with their hands, echoes the thoughts that circulate through your own head about the stranger outside. You sit, close your eyes to pray when suddenly, the sanctuary is as quiet as a tomb. You open your eyes to find that same stranger slowly making his way down the aisle toward the altar. Now what do you do?

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A Sunday Stranger

The parking lot filled rapidly on Sunday morning as members of the large church congregation filed into church. As usually happens in a church that size, each member had developed a certain comfort zone — a block of space within those four church walls that became theirs after the second or third sitting. It was as much a part of their church experience as the recliner was to the television at home.

One morning a stranger stood at the edge of the parking lot near a dumpster. As families parked cars and piled out, they noticed him rummaging through the trash. “Oh no! I don’t believe it,” whispered a lady to her husband. “That’s all we need — a bunch of homeless people milling around here.”

One worried little girl tugged on her dad’s sleeve. “But Daddy…”. Daddy was busy sizing up the bearded stranger, whose baggy, outdated trousers and faded flannel shirt had dusted too many park benches.

“Don’t stare at him, honey,” he whispered, and hurried her inside. Soft music filled the high-ceilinged sanctuary as churchgoers settled into their usual spots. The choir sang an opening chorus, “In His presence there is comfort… in His presence there is peace…”.

Sunlight suddenly flooded the center aisle. The double doors swung open and the homeless man, sloppy and stooped, headed toward the front.

“Oh no, it’s him!” somebody muttered. “What does he think he’s doing, anyway?” snapped an incredulous usher.

The stranger set his bagful of dumpster treasures on the very first pew, which had been upholstered in an expensive soft teal fabric just three months ago. The music stopped. And before anyone had a chance to react, he ambled up the stairs and stood behind the fine, hand-crafted oak podium, where he faced a wide-eyed congregation.

The disheveled stranger spoke haltingly at first, in a low, clear voice. Unbuttoning and removing his top layer of clothing, he described Jesus, and the love He has for all people. “Jesus possesses a sensitivity and love that far surpasses what any of us deserves.” Stepping out of the baggy old trousers, the stranger went on to describe a forgiveness that is available to each and every one of us… without strings attached. Unconditionally He loves us. Unconditionally He gave his very life for us. Unconditionally and forever, we can have the peace and assurance that no matter who we are, where we’ve come from, or how badly we may have mistreated others or ourselves, there is hope. In Jesus, there is always hope. “You see, my friends, it is never too late to change,” the man continued. “He is the Author of change, and the Provider of forgiveness. He came to bring new meaning to ‘life’.” Men and women squirmed as reality hit them like an electrical current. The stranger tugged at his knotted gray beard, and removed it. “I’m here to tell you that we are loved with a Love far beyond human understanding, a Love that enables us to accept and love others in return.” Then tenderly he added, “Let’s pray together.”

story found in the 10/28/12 copy of the newsletter@godvine.com

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That wise pastor, under the guise of a homeless “nobody”,  did not preach a sermon that day, but every person left with plenty to think about. Who was the poor one in the story? You see, despite having all of the resources they could ever want, it was always the members of this congregation who were poor. No, they were not poor monetarily but that is not the only kind poor in the world. Because what they were was poor in spirit!  They displayed all manner of the “deadly sins” by not just their actions but by their inactions, as well, including the sins of wrath, pride, envy, greed, sloth and gluttony. And while God sent His Son to earth for many reasons including healing physical poverty, that was  not the primary reason. As He traveled and healed and shared his Father’s message with people everywhere, He taught lessons intended to heal mankind of the spiritual poverty that they suffered from. And I don’t know about you, but I guess man must be a VERY slow learner, because spiritual poverty is just as pervasive in the world today, some 2000 years later!

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Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.

At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.

At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Luke 4:38-44 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/02/14

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Truth And Consequences

Post 1177

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What is tolerance?  It is the consequence of humanity.  We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature. 

Voltaire

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

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My life as I came to understand and know it to exist, it turned topsy-turvy not so very long ago. And one might think that because of it, I would be a changed person today. And, in fact, I am…..but not because of the reason some might think. You see, to understand these events, we need to travel farther back in time. 3 years ago, infact!

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It was March, 2011 when I knew. You see, I underwent a revelation when God re-entered my heart and my life. Now I did not look for this to happen nor did not ask for this to happen. And it most certainly did not happen with a bang. In fact, it happened with something akin to a whisper! Nevertheless, it did, and I became affiliated with a group to help me as I sought to find my way along what was a new road winding through this new chapter in my life.

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I began writing about matters of faith, opening my heart to the world and the result is what you are reading today!  I also began counseling others who sought out my help. In fact, for a time, I even developed an internet radio show which was building in popularity. But not content to allow this new-found gift to stagnate, I began working in other areas of community outreach services, and in the process, discovered that all of these were areas where I could not just live and grow with my newly discovered faith, but where I would, in sharing some of myself with others, be able to help them along their way in the world, as well. But much as so many good things sometimes come to an end, so did some of the things I had felt led to accomplish! AND, in the process, I found myself thrown into the middle of what just might be one of the biggest flaws of human nature that has been permitted by God as part of his gift of “Free Will” to everyone. I found myself being judged by man and, in the process, was also found guilty of certain things.

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Have you ever wondered why human beings are so fond of judging people? Well, I am no expert, but to my mind, it is something that each and every one of us is guilty of doing at some point in our lives. I KNOW that I have been guilty of this very thing, myself! And yes, even though I tell myself over and over that it is not my place to criticize or judge others when suddenly, someone I know well (or even not so well), seems to do something so inane, ridiculous or horrible, that I simply can’t help myself. And before I can stop myself, I find that I am voicing my opinion about the matter…. sometimes to any and all who are within earshot.

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Sound a bit familiar???? Yes, I am fully aware that, in reality, I only owe an explanation for how I choose to live my own life, to a select few such as my family and my Maker. But there it is, for all the world to witness. There I am, judging another where it is neither my right nor is it my responsibility, to do so! What is it about judgment that makes it so hard for us to let go of? Suddenly, it hit me like a thunderbolt! We judge others because, somewhere deep inside, we are somehow in conflict with He who created us!

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I believe we all look to judge as a way of controlling our lives. By passing judgements on others, we are giving ourselves the power of self-determination. We seek to control the world in such a way that every act that takes place is the direct result of the human part of us seeking to become a god over our own little piece of the universe! In doing this, we are somehow establishing our very own, very human value system. We feed our egos thinking that only we know what is best for us! What we forget is that we are not effecting change in our world. Not really. Reality is and always has been, God’s domain. It is His purview! He set up every circumstance that transpires in every second of every day that we live. And ALL serves His purpose for our life.

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I do not know why He chose this route for my life. But I am very fond of the saying, “When God closes a door, He opens a window”! I am discovering that all that has happened serves His purpose for who He needs for me to become. Yes, to quote the title of a post I shared just a few days ago, here I am….. “A HUMAN BECOMING!” And He most certainly has opened that window for me and my life, because I continue on, hopefully making a difference, albeit in a slightly different way, but in a way that is very much Mandy. Those hurdles I must vault has only served to enhance my faith and my ability to turn my cares over into His hands. And while I know that I am all too human and most likely will not ever be free of the very human need to judge others, I also know that having “walked a mile in another’s moccasins” has taught me to be more compassionate and loving and perhaps more understanding, as well.

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When something occurs that causes me to want to don those robes of judge and jury, I hope I will stop, and think, and then carefully weigh what my next step will be. Perhaps I will even remember the wise words my mother repeated to me over and over as I was growing up: “Mandy, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” And with His help, I pray that my actions will never again include acting as judge, jury and executioner!

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“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:1-5 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 03/24/14

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He Who Speaks With Forked Tongue….

 

Post 1107

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http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Touch-of-Heaven-On-Earth/178487215567906

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A half truth is a whole lie.

Yiddish Proverb

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

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We know what the phrase “speaks with a forked tongue” means and yet do we know how it originally came to be used in the United States? We inherited this “pearl of wisdom” from our Native American cultures who long ago used it to describe those either within their own tribe or a neighboring tribe who had deliberately lied and, therefore, was no longer worthy of being trusted. It seems to have been adopted in speaking about Caucasian people as a result of the French employing a tactic in the late 1600’s, during the French and Indian War, when they invited the Iroquois to attend a Peace Conference only to capture and kill the Native Americans.

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Today we use the very same expression but now we are often implying either some sort of hypocritical behavior or otherwise acting in a duplicitous manner. And often, because we are not exactly telling an outright falsehood, we think it is acceptable to say one thing but mean something entirely different. We see this everywhere. Just look at our politicking political candidates. From listening to the vehemence that is often spewed about their opponent, you might just think the “other guy” was a spawn of Satan himself! But, we probably should not be surprised that our political system has somehow devolved to this level. Isn’t this what is predicted in the Bible? Are we not told that mankind will be reduced to uttering falsehoods where darkness will be called light and where evil becomes thought of as good and good thought of as evil?

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Those half-truths we speak are as common in today’s society as there are stars in the sky! And often, we have used these tactics ourselves so often that we can no longer discern what is truth and what is falsehood, even to ourselves! Do we really think before we speak to others? Are the words and ideas we share with others tinged with that subtle hint of grey? Are we somehow washing our thoughts the same way we wash a load of white laundry, in hot water and carelessly throwing that new ink black t-shirt in with the rest of the load?

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The forked tongue of man can be as deadly a weapon as is an atomic bomb! The one difference is that the destruction caused by the bomb is generally an eradication of all life forms within the area it is fired upon. Life under its assault ceases to exist as we know it. The death that can come by one speaking lies and half-truths is much more subtle. It is a death that results from the undermining of the very fabric of a person’s emotional makeup. It seeks to destroy not physical life but self-esteem. It breaks apart not the very ground we walk on but often the family unit and community that is our humanity. And it is often a death that we do not see coming until it is too late to negotiate a truce! Which leads me to wonder….in reality is the attack of the first worse that the attack of the second?

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So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell.  For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is subdued and has been subdued by humankind.  But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

James 3:5-8 NET

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 03/06/14

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The Treasure Inside The Package

Post 1088

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present-1

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The world is governed more by appearance than realities so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it. 
 
Daniel Webster
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How often do we stop dead in our tracks as we spy one of the beautiful people passing by us? Whether male or female, those whose external appearance seems to catch our eyes may or may not have just as much substance as they do fluff. And yet, it is exactly the fluff that draws our eyes to them as they pass us by! Now, what about those whose packaging may not be quite ideal? Do we give them the same attention that we do the first group? Do we bother to take the time to discover if they are more than just what we see? Do we seek out the inner beauty in everyone before we focus on the outer beauty?
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I am someone who fits more into the second grouping of people. I am middle-aged, with the seemingly ever-expanding waistline that accompanies many who share my years. The greying hair, masked by the miracle that is modern-day hair color, still seems to emerge as greying around my ears, despite my best efforts to banish it away! I am blind as a bat without my glasses and I walk with a limp, on legs still numb today from a disease I developed in 1998 which caused paralysis, for a time. I sometimes use a cane. I sometimes use a walker. I even sometimes use a wheelchair. I have a brace on my right lower leg. I sound a bit like the “Debbie Downer” character from Saturday Night Live, with vocalizations that sound a bit “whining”, even though that is seldom my intent, and is something I had to work on to overcome for my weekly radio show which aired on Blog Talk Radio a few years ago. Now knowing what you do about me from the way I have described myself, would you give me a second glance, if you were passing me on the street? Probably not!
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Several years ago I discovered a short story that takes the adage, “Never judge a book by its cover” as step farther. It is a story that proves that what we see seldom tells the whole story. And I share it as a reminder that all that glimmers is not gold, and sometimes gold exists in a less than sparkling package, if we but look carefully enough!
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PAID IN FULL 

(Author Unknown)
 
How many times do we miss God‘s blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
 
 
A young man was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.
 
 
As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had …purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box.
 
 
Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible. Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” and stormed out of the house, leaving the holy book.
 
 
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care things. When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart.
 
 
He began to search his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he read those words, a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words…PAID IN FULL.
 
found on the Facebook page of “My Life With God”

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“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 
 

1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/01/13

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Who Are You Turning Your Back On?

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http://slodive.com/inspiration/pictures-of-a-cross/

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The twentieth century seems afflicted by a gigantic… power failure.  Powerlessness and the sense of powerlessness may be the environmental disease of the age. 

Russell Baker

New York Times, 1 May 1969

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

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I was sent an email yesterday and it was one I knew needed to be shared. I read it over…..once, twice, three times. And as I let the words wash over me I realized that they were ones I had read before. So I decided to enter a few of them into my WordPress search engine, and I discovered that I did know them quite well. In fact, they were part of a post I wrote in 2012. And it was then that I knew that I needed to share them with you all once again. So here is an encore posting of “Who Are You Turning Your Back On?”

Mandy

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Once upon a time there was a church in a middle class community. It was small but beautiful with the most beautiful stained glass windows imaginable and a marble baptismal font lined with a silver bowel. The adult choir wore crimson robes made of satin and embroidered with golden threads. A golden cross adorned the altar and engraved on its face were the initials I.N.R.I. which means “Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm” in Latin and translated into English means JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. No expense had been spared.

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It was a Sunday in early fall and worshippers were entering the sanctuary, dressed in their warmest Sunday best, well protected against the cooler temperatures. They were all greeted at the door by one of the church elders serving as an usher this day. Services were due to begin when an older man wearing a threadbare jacket  and scuffed shoes with no socks opened the door. You see, he had seen the sign in front of the building announcing a special musical presentation featuring both the adult and children’s choirs. He dearly loved hearing the melodic voices of youngsters singing their praises and he decided to enter and worship with the rest. Finding his way barred by the elder, he was told that this was a special occasion and that his presence might just be a distraction to the children and that he would therefore need to leave the building.

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Face crestfallen and shoulders hunched, he turned around and left the sanctuary without a word. However he decided to sit on the steps in front. Perhaps he would be able to hear just a bit of the service! Shivering against the cold, and hearing very little of the service, he had finally decided to leave and find some place warm when a young man suddenly appeared and sat down on the steps next to him. Glancing over, he noted that the young man had longish hair and his toes peeked from beneath his long outer garment which was tied by a cord around his waist. His sandals were worn and his feet were dusty as well!

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The young man greeted his companion on the stoop and asked the older man what he was doing there. The man replied that he had so wanted to hear the church service and listen to the beautiful music but that he had been prevented from entering the church. The young man looked deeply into the beaten face of his companion, he sighed deeply and turning to the older man, replied, “I know exactly how you feel, my friend. My name is Jesus and I’ve been trying to get inside this church for years!”

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So consider the next time you make a conscious decision to turn your back on your fellow man for any reason at all. Make sure you take a second to ponder just who it might be you are choosing to ignore. You may well not recognize the face of an angel or of Christ himself, should He decide to confront you. In fact, we know that the face of God is hidden from all except His Son. In John 6:46 CEBwe are told, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.” However, make no mistake whatsoever. The face of the Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ, will become crystal clear to us all come judgement day!

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God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.

Exodus 6:2-3 NIV

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Copyright © 2011-2013 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/30/13

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Looking Inside The Heart

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looking inside the heart

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It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.

Helen Keller

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/good_people.html

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We are living on the brink right this very moment. And I am scared! No, I am not scared because I am worried for myself, but because I am worried for the lives and well-being of people everywhere whose eyes see only the outside of people rather than looking deeper and discovering what lies within each heart.

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What is the result of this disease of the mind and heart called intolerance, that is as infectious to the well-being of man as was the Black Death that killed 1.5 million people in the mid 14th century? Well, intolerance proves to the many that a few are incapable of accepting individuality and other unique qualities that are the signature of every single human being ever created by the Almighty!

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So now that we have identified the disease, what then is the end result of this infection? Well, intolerance of others breeds aggression. Aggression breeds anger. Anger breeds hatred. Hatred breeds violence. Violence breeds war. And war breeds even more intolerance! And I do not believe I am alone in praying that the human race can find a way to avoid that horrible three-letter word that has the potential to forever alter existence as we know it to be. But how? What can we do?

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Well imagine what we might just discover if we were able to burrow our way into the heart and mind of others! I suspect we would discover that for every single thing that is different about us, we would find perhaps a million other things that are EXACTLY the same. And isn’t that alone enough of a reason to try, at all costs, to end the mindset of power-hungry leaders who seek only to enhance their own position within their countries by choosing to totally disregard the lives of the people whose welfare they were entrusted with protecting?

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Now, please know that I do not, under any circumstances, seek to have any country employ violence if there is a possible diplomatic option available, because I know that sitting down and talking and even more importantly, LISTENING, can work miracles. It has done so in the past and I am certain that it will, in the future. But like so many in the international community, I can not see the face of another toddler with glazed eyes, gasping for breath, while a pile of others who have died lie in the same room just feet away.

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Yes, God commands that we not kill. And yet, we find again and again in the Bible, evidence that lives were taken by His chosen people, as He commanded. But what this shows us that there is a difference between taking a life with malice in one’s heart, and following His call for bloodshed as payment for crimes. And death under these circumstances, while never wanted, is, at times, wholly warranted! It is this difference that He shares with us in Samuel 15: 1-3 NIV, which is an affirmation, of sorts, that while war is never a good thing, it is sometimes inevitable given the sinful nature that is man’s curse to bear! “Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them….” Still….what would we really see in the heart of others, if we but take a moment to really look?

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There is a video that has circulated throughout the internet, that seeks to answer that very thing! It shares with us that we can never really know what is transpiring in the heart of another which is why we must always try to see the best in others, even if we doubt that the best even exists. But seeing through new eyes is only half the battle. Yes, we must see, but we must also live our convictions, and be an example to the world of what having a Christ filled heart can offer to humanity!

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This wonderful video is entitled, “IF WE COULD SEE INSIDE OTHERS’ HEARTS”: LIFE, and you may view this video by either clicking the URL or by pressing the embed arrow on the screen below.

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Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV

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