Tag Archives: power

Thought For The Day 02/17/15

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The Price Of Betrayal

Post 1439

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bag of silver

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=9ivic8&s=5

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But men are so full of greed today, they’ll sell anything for a little piece of money.

Little Richard

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

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Was it premeditated or a crime of passion and of circumstance? That is a question we all ask when we read news accounts about acts of violence that claim the life of an innocent (and sometimes not so innocent) victim in this, the 21st century. But who has ever thought of THE BETRAYER in the same light? Of course, I am referring to Judas Iscariot, and his detestable act of treachery against the Son of God!

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To view his act as merely a momentary break in reality might make what he did somehow less reprehensible. However, since we know that the death of the “Son of Man” was predicted centuries before by the prophets of old, does it not reason that, just as the Son of God came into this world for the sole purpose of meeting His end on a cross on Calvary, does it not stand to reason that Judas Iscariot was born for the sole purpose of perpetrating this act of betrayal?

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Acts 2:23 ESV reminds us all that none of what transpired during those days, was unknown by the Father. “…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” Yes it was no accident that Judas became a part of Christ’s inner circle, despite the fact that he was never a true believer! This fact was related in John 6:64 ESV when Christ says to those at His side, “But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)” And John 6:71 ESV identifies the one Christ referred to as a devil, “He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.”

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Even during the accounts of the last supper, when Christ tells the assembled that he would be both denied and betrayed, it was only Judas who referred to him as Rabbi and not Lord, as they all answered in unison, “Surely not I…”. Also it is no surprise that Judas was greedy and would be apt to be swayed at the thought of receiving a reward of silver for his treason. He was, after all, the “treasurer” of the disciples, and critical of the cost of the perfumes used to anoint Jesus. “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the money-bag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” which we read in John 12:6 ESV.

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When one worships a golden (or silver) idol, it is generally the lure of all things monetary that dictates the actions we take as we live our lives. It is a fact as absolute today as it has been throughout recorded history. It is likely that in Judas’ mind, joining the group following Jesus would further his own ambitious plans for a life of wealth and position. And since Satan loves selfishness and greed, it is easy to understand how Judas fell victim to the spell of one who would delight in the undoing of someone as powerful as God’s very son!

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Scholars who have more wisdom in their little finger than I do in my entire body, have toiled diligently to answer the question posed in the title of this piece, and have not reached a consensus. And in truth, I doubt the reasons for the fall of Judas into the abyss will ever be fully understood. However, there are enough things that we do know, which should serve as a wake up call to man that it is, more often than not, our misplaced desire for fame and fortune that steers a course straight toward our downfall! Is it worth losing your soul because of avarice or selfishness?

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but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Luke 22:48 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 02/16/15

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The Chaos He Delights In

Post 1438

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chaos

http://ecosocialismcanada.blogspot.com/2011/05/secret-life-of-chaos.html

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“He’s the only stable thing in the swirling chaos.”

Beth Revis

“A Million Suns”
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/491161-he-s-the-only-stable-thing-in-the-swirling-chaos

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I don’t know about you all, but it seems that for me and my house, we exist amid a world of chaos. It is not what I would choose for any of us, if I had the capacity to do so, but I also understand that this is inherently what comes with being a part of the human race.

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We live, vulnerable to the pressures of one who not just delights in that chaos, but grows stronger, as if it is chaos that provides the nourishment he needs to sustain his existence here on earth. And make no mistake, he is as real as is the poverty we see in our inner cities, the breakdown of the family dynamic we see in the clash of brother against brother and the partisanship we see that tries to fracture our governments!

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Yes, Satan does all he can to insinuate himself between each heart and all that heart holds sacred and he enlists the help of many to accomplish the deed! A fellow blogger, Nancy Salazar (a former Missionary, and founder of the New Harvest Christian Fellowship), once wrote a post in which Satan speaks to his minions about how to gain victory over Christians. The instructions he gives are worth remembering, so that we do not fall victim his spell.

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12 THINGS SATAN DOES TO GET VICTORY OVER CHRISTIANS

Satan said to a convention of Demons, “As long as Christians stay close to God, we have no power over them. So here are 12 things you can do to get victory over Christians.”

1) Keep them busy with non essentials.

2) Tempt them to overspend and go into debt.

3) Make them work long hours to maintain empty life styles.

4) Discourage them from spending family time together, for when their homes disintegrate there is no refuge from work.

5) Over stimulate their minds with television and computers, so they can’t hear God speaking to them.

6) Fill their coffee tables and night stands with newspapers and magazines so they have no time to read the Bible.

7) Flood their mailboxes with sweepstakes promotions and get rich quick schemes to keep them chasing material things.

8) Put glamour models on TV and on magazine covers to keep them focused on outward appearances. That way they will be dissatisfied with themselves and dissatisfied with their mates.

9) Make sure couples are too exhausted for physical intimacy so they will be tempted to look elsewhere.

10) Make Santa and the Easter bunny bigger than Jesus to divert them from remembering the real meaning of the holiday.

11) Involve them in good causes so they won’t have time for eternal ones.

12) Make them self-satisfied. Keep them busy working in their own strength so they’ll never know the joy of God’s power working through them.

(http://loveyourspouse.org/2011/05/15/12-things-satan-does-to-get-victory-over-christians/)

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Yes, Satan thrives on chaos because chaos fractures our resolve to live by what is right. And when we break, Satan burrows into the tiny cracks that develop, infecting our soul like an invading micro-organism finds entry into our cells, infecting our body. And it is when we are vulnerable that we find ourselves falling victim to the lies of one who wants to possess the part of us that rightfully belongs to only two; ourselves and God.

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Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
 
1 Peter 5:8 NLT

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mandy and melissa

Happy Birthday to my sister Melissa! Once again, you’re only one year younger than I am! LOL! Have a wonderful day!

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/30/14

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Choices, Chances, Changes!

Post 1389

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3 Cs

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“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” 

Leo Tolstoy

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

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Christ had His parables which were a divinely inspired teaching tool. In other words, they were Christ’s A B C’s  for teaching, presented in the form of a short simple story intended to illustrate a moral or religious lesson. And inspired they were because the population at large, that was drawn to listen to the Master’s words, were a simple band of local farmers or merchants. In fact, in Christ’s time, more than 99% of the population was illiterate. So the parable became the perfect tool for allowing these people the opportunity of learning…..perhaps for the very first time in their lives!

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Even today, we follow the same A B C principles for teaching new information to people…. whether they are young to learning or simply older, but learning something new! And I have come to lovingly think of my posts as my personal A B C’s of life….. Always Be with Christ. Sharing those A B C’s, after all, is what I am finding myself being led to do. Then I recall a picture I saw on Facebook that talked about the 3 C’s of Life and I started to envision the journey I’ve been making using those guidelines instead, and I like the way the thoughts of those 3 C’s resonate with the changes that are taking place within my heart. You must make a CHOICE to take a CHANCE or your life will never CHANGE!

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Taking a CHANCE on God by choosing a road of faith should be easier that it sometimes seems to be, and I think that is because all too often, we don’t have an idea of the direction we think we want to journey before we begin our trip. Just like a car trip we are about to embark on, we must have at least an idea of where it is we want to head and we should have given a map at least a cursory glance as to our options for the route we want to take! Now a journey to find faith is not exactly the same thing and I am certainly not saying that we all must have made a decision that is set in stone to turn toward God right from the start. Rather, I think it means that we heed the little nudges we feel, that tell us that there is something missing in our lives that might just be fulfilled, by looking in God’s direction! Then we must leave our minds and our hearts open to the possibilities that seeking out or drawing closer to our faith might just afford us. After all, as one of the founding fathers of Orthodoxy once wrote, for man to fully understand God, the degree of our comprehension would be no greater than a single grain of sand, measured against the total of all of the other grains of sand on every single beach in the entire world!

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So begin what I hope will be the lifelong CHOICE to make a CHANGE and to walk a little nearer to God by simply taking a CHANCE with a single step in the direction you believe to be the right one, because while it is not impossible to make a u-turn should you find you have erred, the farther down the road you head, the more difficult it becomes to choose another option for your life! It is then that you may find yourself rationalizing that the wrong road is not just the correct one, but also that it is at least as good, if not better, than His way!

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I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

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

Thought For The Day 11/24/14

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What Do You Want Me To Do?

Post 1153

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what do you want from me 

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Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do.  Their actions will show you the truth, which will help you measure the true quality of your relationship in the long-term.

Quotes For Everyday Life

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quotes-for-Everyday-Life-/284199988277834

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Sometimes when you begin at the beginning to try to explain some absolute you are wrestling with, it often helps to begin by asking a question! And this was mine not so very long ago!

Question to myself: What is the very first thought that comes to mind when someone comes up to you, taps you on the shoulder, and says they need something from you?

Answer: Hmmmmmm!

Yes, it’s the very human part of me that must admit to you that my first thought is not always, “Let me grab my coat and I’ll be right with you!” No, usually my very first thought is,”Oh gee whiz….. I wonder what this is going to cost me!” That is because it is man’s baser side that colors so much of what happens during our interactions with others, with caution and even suspicion!

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Unfortunately, experience has taught us that we generally don’t get something for nothing and that doesn’t change whether the something sought is a concrete tangible or simply our time and attention. So isn’t it a breath of fresh air simply knowing that when God comes to us (and He does…..all the time, whether we realize it or not), we know ahead of time that He doesn’t NEED anything from us? After all, everything that exists is already His. But…… BUT….. He does ask and He does deserve much from us anyway! The thing is that whether we grant the things that He asks of us is entirely up to us.

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What He does ask is not subjective or obscure. He reinforces over and over what He hopes will be the choices we will make. Micah 6:8 NIV says: ‘And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’. Again in Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NIV, we are told, ‘And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?’  And, of course, the verse that is probably sums it all up the best comes to us from the New Testament. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

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The list of actions and behaviors He expects from us are clear, having been reinforced over and over throughout the texts of His handbook, the Bible. He asks that we respect, honor, love and serve Him. And yet, He does not NEED our respect, our honor, our love or our service. It is what He asks, which means it is fully within our own capacity to decide if we will give Him what He asks. But wait one second. Is what He expects really so very difficult for us to manage?

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As beings who spend so much time and attention to the way we interaction with others, are these not the exact same things we hope for and expect from everyone we touch as we live our lives? Are not the things He asks a part of common courtesy and decency that should be part of our lives? Respect for others, honoring them by our behaviors, loving them completely and sharing and serving with our whole being are the things that reinforce the best parts of man, and separate us from the other life forms that share our world. They are all a part of the LOVE that is contained within the human heart!

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“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
 
Psalm 50:14-15 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For the day 11/08/14

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More Fun Facts Of Faith

Rhoda

Post 1137

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Rhoda

http://media.avclub.com/images/428/428190/16×9/627.jpg?4850

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I think there’s a difference between ditzy and dumb. Dumb is just not knowing. Ditzy is having the courage to ask!

Jessica Simpson 

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/ditzy.html#DlHgGXd0zqlwtt3P.99

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One of my all time favorite television characters was Rhoda (Morgenstern), played by Valerie Harper. She was flashy, spunky, ditzy, slightly overweight (something that she perseverated about and which became a comedic counterbalance to the perky and perfect Mary (Richards), played by Mary Tyler Moore. And I wanted to enter Rhoda into my search engine to see how Ms. Harper’s health battle with Lung Cancer was doing. Well, lo and behold, who do I find as I am looking through the pages of names Rhoda? Another Rhoda and another fun fact of faith! (It never fails to amaze me how God directs my posts here!!!) You see, there was a teenaged girl named Rhoda who was also a bit of a “ditz” (just like the one from TV), who met quite an important man whose name was Peter.

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The time was likely between 60 and 70 AD.  Herod had already martyred James, and Peter was imprisoned, and was probably going to be next to die at the order of the tyrant. In fact, Herod’s intention was to bring Peter before the people for condemnation after Passover had been observed.

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Herod, determined to keep Peter under lock and key, chained him between two soldiers, and placed many others in and around the prison. However, God sent an angel who freed him from his chains, lead him outside, and then left him alone to make his way to safety. At first confused, Peter then decided to go to the large home of Mary (the mother of John Mark and one of the women who was a witness to Christ’s empty tomb), where he expected to find friends praying for him. You see, this was a place where many Christians could gather and worship and pray together!

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Upon reaching Mary’s home, Peter knocked on the door. Rhoda, who was Mary’s teenaged servant, went to the door and looked through the grille. Seeing Peter, Rhoda became so excited that she ran to her mistress, forgetting to let the escaped Peter come into the safety of the dwelling! She cried out that Peter was at the door, but the assemblage thought she was addled, insisting that Peter was in prison, protected by Herod’s soldiers! All the time she was insisting to the worshipers that Peter was there, he continued banging on the door. Finally Rhoda lead some of the group to the door, and Peter was finally able to gain admittance to the relative safety of Mary’s home (although after eating, and at his suggestion, the group divided and went their own way, thinking that Herod would be sending troops to hunt for and recapture him)!

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Now Herod, unable to understand how this escape could have happened, slew the guards who were responsible for keeping Peter prisoner. However, not long after, Herod dressed in his finery, sat on his throne and gave an impassioned speech, that some said was a speech of a god. Suddenly, God….the one true God….sent an angel to Herod who struck and killed him for his blasphemy!

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Now you understand why I referred to Rhoda as being a ditz. But then think about the rest who were in the room, who failed to believe her story about Peter. And when we really think about it, isn’t that one of man’s biggest faults? If our faith is not validated by positive proof, we often stray from the path the God is asking that we travel! But I ask that you remember doubting Thomas, and remember what Christ’s words were to him in John 20:29 NIV. “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Can you say you believe because of what your faith tells you is true, and not only what your eyes see, your nose smells, your skin touches and your ears hear?

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“Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.”

Acts 12:13-17 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/04/14

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Crying Out For Help

Thought 1240

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our-father

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=pictures+of+our+father+god+in+heaven&id=9172EC361887FBAFA10FD8BC711B8AFB73F57043&FORM=IQFRBA#a

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Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.

Diana Robinson

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

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As I opened my eyes yesterday, I was heralded with the vision of blue skies and white fluffy clouds and a blessed decrease in the dew point thanks to rain we received the previous evening. And while there is no escaping the heat in South Carolina in August, I found myself wanting to thank Him for the beautiful day I was witnessing. And like I am wont to do, one thought led to another, and soon I began ruminating about prayer…..how we pray, how often we pray and what it is we say when we pray! How many of you have you ever given any thought to just this very thing? Is there a set number of prayers we need to share with God to be assured that He has heard us? Indeed, is there a right and wrong way to pray to Him?

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Thinking about these questions I suddenly found myself envisioning a pad-lock and a key. And just as suddenly, I realized that prayer is the key and God is the lock! Now I do not mean to imply that we are somehow locked away from God, but rather, when we pray to Him, we are unlocking His heart and in doing that, we open into our very own hearts all of the possibilities afforded to us by the intimacy we establish with Him through our open and honest communication. Now I will be the first one to admit that doing this is not always an easy thing to accomplish. Anyone who has raised children and survived the teenage years can attest to that fact! We try to tell our young people that we will always there for them if they ever need someone to talk to. We try not to judge. We try to guide them to trusting us by our very actions every day. And we hope they are comforted in the knowledge that we, by those actions as well as our words, will follow through on those assurances, when and if they are ready to confide in us. Well, God is no different! He waits and watches over all of us knowing that we will come to Him when the time is right for each of us. And even when we do not ask for His counsel overtly, He always knows the questions that remain unasked as well as the secrets we hide within the recesses of our own hearts.

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While God knows what we think even before the words pass our lips, we must remember that the way we ask is probably just as important as why we ask. So often we bow our heads and go to God and become selfish in what we ask of and from Him. Life is not easy and so we often ask for those “tangibles” that have somehow eluded our grasp. And yet when our answer from Him does not come as soon as we would like or in the way we expect it to, we somehow lose faith thinking He has forsaken us. What we forget is that God is not a magic genie in a lamp granting wishes to us for the asking. Rather, He considers the intent we hold within as we come to Him. When we are angry or bitter or selfish or are in conflict with not just ourselves but with others, we are not likely to find that the key will be able to unlock His heart. But if we come to Him earnestly and humbly, asking for His guidance, He will always be there for us! “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6: 5-6 NIV)

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Our prayer need not be complicated. In fact, the only prayer we need is one that has already been given to us by one whose life here was sacrificed for us so that by our asking for His forgiveness of our transgressions, that forgiveness would be granted and our place secured by His side in the Kingdom of Heaven. Most of you already know the words. They have been taught to most Christians from early childhood. The words have not changed much over the two millenia since they were first taught. Jesus did not give them to us to be recited a specific number of times on a specific number of days. Rather, Jesus taught them as a means of asking for His Father’s help in a way that was God centered and not man centered. It tells God that we know He is the one who is in charge, that we admit fully that we, as human beings, have sinned, and it asks His help is trying to live a life avoiding the things that place us at risk for continuing to sin. So whenever you do not know what it is you need to pray, or how to say the words, by offering the Lord’s Prayer, I believe with all of my heart that God knows what your intent is!

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After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.

Amen

Matthew 6: 9-13 KJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/19/14

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A Permanent Solution To A Temporary Problem

Post 1194

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http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2013085-overview

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Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the way out, not outside on the way in. 

George Bernard Shaw

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

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I have seen the effects of seeking a permanent solution to what is, in reality, a temporary problem, firsthand. A boy who spent nearly as much time in my home as he did in his own because of his close friendship with my children, took his own life as a teenager. I suffered guilt in addition to sorrow for a very long time, wondering if there was not something I should have seen or done which could have prevented not only this tragedy but the resultant heartache suffered by his family (both blood as well as friends). It took me many years to realize that there was nothing about this that I could have prevented. And owning up to that one statement does NOT make me feel any relief! What it does is make me wonder what kind of pain and suffering would drive any person to the brink of the abyss. What could possibly cause a person to feel such despondency that they could find no other way to escape their pain and hurt?

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Suicide: Read This First“, was written by Martha Ainsworth and can be read in its entirety by clicking on the following link: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/. She is not a therapist nor is she a counselor, What she is, is someone who has walked in the shoes of those who feel driven to this state. Her article is well worth reading in its entirety and I hope that you do so. It is geared to someone who is at the brink. It is intended to give hope and to keep someone alive just one more minute. And if that one minute leads to a second and a third and a fourth, perhaps the person feeling so helpless will be given the strength to step back and to seek the help that is available out there, if they but ask!

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I am sharing one section, in particular, that I think is a MUST read. I hope you agree with me. I hope you are given some insight into a problem that is currently the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. And I hope you will never feel as I did so many years ago because, in all honesty, remembering that day causes me as much pain today, as it did then. Suicide knows no age, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or nationality. It is, in fact, a totally preventable world-wide epidemic if we but think about it and talk about it. It’s time to face the problem head on!

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 “5 Things To Think About”

  1. You need to hear that people do get through this — even people who feel as badly as you are feeling now. Statistically, there is a very good chance that you are going to live. I hope that this information gives you some sense of hope.
  2. Give yourself some distance. Say to yourself, “I will wait 24 hours before I do anything.” Or a week. Remember that feelings and actions are two different things – just because you feel like killing yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to actually do it right this minute. Put some distance between your suicidal feelings and suicidal action. Even if it’s just 24 hours.  You have already done it for 5 minutes, just by reading this page.  You can do it for another 5 minutes by continuing to read this page. Keep going, and realize that while you still feel suicidal, you are not, at this moment, acting on it.  That is very encouraging to me, and I hope it is to you.
  3. People often turn to suicide because they are seeking relief from pain. Remember that relief is a feeling. And you have to be alive to feel it. You will not feel the relief you so desperately seek, if you are dead.
  4. Some people will react badly to your suicidal feelings, either because they are frightened, or angry; they may actually increase your pain instead of helping you, despite their intentions, by saying or doing thoughtless things. You have to understand that their bad reactions are about their fears, not about you.But there are people out there who can be with you in this horrible time, and will not judge you, or argue with you, or send you to a hospital, or try to talk you out of how badly you feel. They will simply care for you. Find one of them. Now. Use your 24 hours, or your week, and tell someone what’s going on with you. It is okay to ask for help. Try:
    • Send an anonymous e-mail to The Samaritans (jo@samaritans.org)
    • Call the  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255  (TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY)
    • (In Australia, call Lifeline Australia at telephone:  13 11 14
    • Teenagers, call Covenant House Nine Line, 1-800-999-9999
    • Look in the front of your phone book for a crisis line
    • Call a psychotherapist
    • Carefully choose a friend or a minister or rabbi, someone who is likely to listen

    But don’t give yourself the additional burden of trying to deal with this alone. Just talking about how you got to where you are, releases an awful lot of the pressure, and it might be just the additional coping resource you need to regain your balance.

  5. Suicidal feelings are, in and of themselves, traumatic. After they subside, you need to continue caring for yourself. Therapy is a really good idea. So are the various self-help groups available both in your community and on the Internet.

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A Prayer

written by Rowland Jide Macaulay

Today, I pray, Lord, bind the spirit of suicide in our community; we ask you Lord to meet those thinking of taking their own lives because of pressure of sexuality; show each one your love through your words and the people around them; surprise us Lord.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen

Call someone; let them know that you care and love them dearly.

a note from Rowland

I agree to re-publication of this message/prayer. Too often the mental health and well-being of LGBT people (is) ignored. I am swamp(ed) with many young people in despair of their lives…especially those in Africa and of African descent (who have access to House of Rainbow and myself). They are worried about “coming out”, how to reconcile with being gay/lesbian, and (the effect on) their faith and family. The height of desperation is mind-blowing… to the point many have told me they are thinking of suicide as an option.

(Rowland Jide Macaulay, LLB, MTh, FACT is a Christian Theologian, openly gay, a dynamic and an inspirational speaker, poet, pastor and preacher, Human Rights Consultant, the author of “Poetry Inspired” published in the UK 2001, founder/Project Director of House Of Rainbow Fellowship Worldwide, holds a degree in law and MA Practical Theology.)

You may e-mail Rowland at the following: church@houseofrainbow.org

You may follow Rowland’s writings at the following: http://revrowlandjidemacaulay.blogspot.com/

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For I am already being poured out like a drink offering,  and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight,   I have finished the race,   I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me   the crown of righteousness,   which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4: 6-8 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/16/14

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Proverbs And The Wisdom Of Solomon 

Post 1191

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King Solomon

http://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/1-king_solomon.jpg

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God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.
Jewish Proverb

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Proverb

NOUN
1. a short well-known saying that expresses an obvious truth and often offers advice
[ 14th century. Via French < Latin proverbium “saying, saw” < verbum “word” ]
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Did you know that along with Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and some of Psalms (specifically, the Wisdom Psalms), the Book of Proverbs is part of what is considered to be the “wisdom literature” part of the Bible? If not, I am not surprised. I didn’t, although with a little thought, I most probably would have realized this fact. (I will readily admit that I am not always the brightest bulb on the tree!) And while all of the “Wisdom Books of the Bible” are well worth considering for all that they teach, for the purposes of this blog, I want to concentrate on the Book of Proverbs.

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Proverbs is noted for not just contrasting but comparing as well, wisdom (generally found to be seen as a wise person) with foolishness (or the fool). Wisdom is always demonstrated as being “worth all the hard work it takes to attain, and its merits are always dependent on faith in the Almighty”! Repeated over and over within the texts of Proverbs is the importance of sharing of this wisdom within the family unit, usually by passing it down from Father (or Mother) to Son (or Daughter)! One text in the Bible where wisdom is revealed as a woman who identifies herself as a divine companion, teaches against the folly of sex with an adulteress!

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As a book in the Old Testament, its Hebrew title is “Míshlê Shlomoh” or the “Proverbs of Solomon” which seems to be a reference to the fact that its principal author is most likely Solomon although there are also references to Agur and Lemuel, which may well have been symbolic names for Solomon. There can be none who doubt the wisdom of Solomon and in fact, people journeyed from all over the region to sit and bear witness to the lessons he shared.

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Who doesn’t know the story where King Solomon was approached by two women, each laying claim to the newborn babe. And his solution was to decree that the baby be cut in half and each woman given half of the child (1Kings 3: 16-28)! And just as he expected, the true and rightful mother turned to King Solomon and renounced her claim to the child, thus securing her right to the claim she had made! Wisdom, indeed! It is believed that somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 proverbs and over 1000 songs were written by or issued verbally from the mouth of this sage man!

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So whenever you feel caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, try reading some of Solomon’s wise words. Providentially, you might just find your solution within the pages of the place where you least expect to find the answers!

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The Wisdom of  Solomon

 from Proverbs 22:17 – 24:22

  • Don’t exploit the poor, because he is poor; and don’t crush the needy in court; for Yahweh will plead their case, and plunder the life of those who plunder them. 

  • Don’t befriend a hot-tempered man, and don’t associate with one who harbors anger: lest you learn his ways, and ensnare your soul.

  • Don’t you be one of those who strike hands, of those who are collateral for debts. If you don’t have means to pay, why should he take away your bed from under you?

  • Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve kings; he won’t serve obscure men.

  • When you sit to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before you; put a knife to your throat, if you are a man given to appetite. Don’t be desirous of his dainties, seeing they are deceitful food.

  • Don’t weary yourself to be rich. In your wisdom, show restraint. Why do you set your eyes on that which is not? For it certainly sprouts wings like an eagle and flies in the sky.

  • Don’t eat the food of him who has a stingy eye, and don’t crave his delicacies: for as he thinks about the cost, so he is. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. The morsel which you have eaten you shall vomit up, and lose your good words.

  • Don’t speak in the ears of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.

  • Don’t move the ancient boundary stone. Don’t encroach on the fields of the fatherless: for their Defender is strong. He will plead their case against you.

  • Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to the words of knowledge.

  • My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad, even mine: yes, my heart will rejoice, when your lips speak what is right.

  • Don’t let your heart envy sinners; but rather fear Yahweh all the day long. Indeed surely there is a future hope, and your hope will not be cut off.

  • Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path! Don’t be among ones drinking too much wine, or those who gorge themselves on meat: for the drunkard and the glutton shall become poor; and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

  • Listen to your father who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth, and don’t sell it: get wisdom, discipline, and understanding. The father of the righteous has great joy. Whoever fathers a wise child delights in him. Let your father and your mother be glad! Let her who bore you rejoice!

  • My son, give me your heart; and let your eyes keep in my ways. For a prostitute is a deep pit; and a wayward wife is a narrow well. Yes, she lies in wait like a robber, and increases the unfaithful among men.

  • Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who stay long at the wine; those who go to seek out mixed wine. Don’t look at the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly: In the end, it bites like a snake, and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will imagine confusing things. Yes, you will be as he who lies down in the midst of the sea, or as he who lies on top of the rigging: “They hit me, and I was not hurt; they beat me, and I don’t feel it! When will I wake up? I can do it again. I can find another.”

  • Don’t be envious of evil men. Neither desire to be with them: For their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about mischief.

  • Through wisdom a house is built; By understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all rare and beautiful treasure.

  • A wise man has great power; And a knowledgeable man increases strength; For by wise guidance you wage your war; And victory is in many advisors.

  • Wisdom is too high for a fool: He doesn’t open his mouth in the gate.

  • One who plots to do evil will be called a schemer. The schemes of folly are sin. The mocker is detested by men.

  • If you falter in the time of trouble, your strength is small.

  • Rescue those who are being led away to death! Indeed, hold back those who are staggering to the slaughter! If you say, “Behold, we didn’t know this;” Doesn’t he who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, doesn’t he know it? Shall he not render to every man according to his work?

  • My son, eat honey, for it is good; The droppings of the honeycomb, which are sweet to your taste: So you shall know wisdom to be to your soul; if you have found it, then there will be a reward, your hope will not be cut off.

  • Don’t lay in wait, wicked man, against the habitation of the righteous. Don’t destroy his resting-place: for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.

  • Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls. Don’t let your heart be glad when he is overthrown; Lest Yahweh see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

  • Don’t fret yourself because of evildoers; Neither be envious of the wicked: For there will be no reward to the evil man; and the lamp of the wicked shall be snuffed out.

  • My son, fear Yahweh and the king. Don’t join those who are rebellious: For their calamity will rise suddenly; The destruction from them both — who knows?

http://www.abetterhope.com/hope/sayings.html

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All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

Ecclesiastes 1:7-10 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/10/14

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The Breathtaking Moments Of Life

Post 1185

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take your breath away

 

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A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. 

Mother Teresa

http://quotegarden.com/love.html

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When thinking about those moments in life that leave us breathless, how can it not be LOVE that is first brought to mind? LOVE! A four letter word that no one would ever find the need of censuring from the lips of any who utter its message of all-encompassing endearments! LOVE builds families, communities and nations, binding hearts together so that in its unity, all manner of obstacles become nothing more than a pebble along life’s path!

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Now perhaps I have LOVE on the brain! I am feeling the joy of LOVE‘s perfect kiss in a relationship that has born it’s share of heartache over the years. From the lowest point that came from illness that threatened to snatch that LOVE from my grasp, to the highest, most euphoric joy that was born not once but twice, as together, Dan and I shared the miracle of new life’s first cry, for 39 years we have stood shoulder to shoulder, united together as a team. I know I am lucky but it is much more than luck that brought me to this place in life! It was the hand of divine intervention! How could it be anything but the miracle granted to me by God’s active involvement in my very human world?

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I do not believe in chance. Believing in chance pre-supposes no control, direction or purpose for the events that happen in our lives. I prefer, instead, to see as everything occurring for a specific purpose. I prefer believing that everything that happens does so for the betterment of not just me and my life, but for the human race, as well. We see this in the every day miracles we witness continually. And just because they can not be replicated by the scientific community does not invalidate or disprove their existence. After all, logic can not begin to explain the powerful and infinitely superior realm that is to be found in spirituality nor is it likely that God would even allow for the evidentiary proof of His existence, anyway!

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To serve the Lord God with gladness and appreciate the many gifts He has bestowed upon us, fulfills the very purpose of man’s existence. And our ability to live, function and thrive in the spiritual realm is just as firmly connected to our understanding of His word and then being able to connect the message to living our lives!

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God knew that man needed companionship to grow and thrive. He made it very clear from His earliest inspired word penned by unknown authors although usually attributed to Moses, that man was unhappy in the Garden despite having all that he could possibly want….ALMOST! You see, life alone without a “helpmeet” was a very lonely and unsatisfying existence for Adam, and, despite the later occurrences of betrayal by the consumption of the forbidden fruit and subsequent loss of grace, I have no doubt that the bond that was formed between these two was as strong as is the bond Dan and I share today! After all, both fulfill His purpose for the world as we each know it to exist! And what Adam and Eve began, continued throughout the texts of the Bible. It certainly worked for Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Boaz and Ruth, Elkanah and Hannah, David and Abigail, Hosea and Gomer, and King Xerxes and Esther! Yes indeed, LOVE, past, present and future, has the magical capacity to render the one experiencing its magic, breathless!

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Seasons Of Love 

Larson, Jonathan D

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes 
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear 
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes 
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It’s time now, to sing out
Though the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
(Oh, you got to, you got to remember the love)
Remember the love
(You know that life is a gift from up above)
Remember the love
(Share love, give love, spread love)
Measure in love
(Measure, measure your life in love)

Seasons of love
Seasons of love
(Measure your life, measure you life in love)

http://youtu.be/UvyHuse6buY

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 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:18 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”