Tag Archives: regrets

Thought For The day 01/16/15

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That Lie You’re Living…  

Post 1406

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That Lie You're Living

http://awesomepictures.me/

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Never try to do anything that is outside of who you are. A forced smile is a sign of what feels wrong in your heart, so recognize it when it happens. Living a lie will reduce you to one.
 
Ashly Lorenzana

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Living a lie! Whether it is because we are choosing to remain closeted because of our own inner demons (which can range from fearing rejection because of sexual orientation all the way to the need of some people to act on what might be considered “unnatural” behaviors), living a lie defeats us and often renders us saddled with self loathing and guilt. And if there is any weapon that Satan enjoys using on the human race, it is GUILT! Not only can guilt make us feel dirty and unworthy, but it can also stand between us and our faith and seeing God’s love!

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The quote I included above is a prime example of living a lie. The woman quoted is someone with a brilliant mind. She is also a published author. It seems like her life must be easy, right? There can’t be any reason for her to live a lie, can there? The answer is YES! You see, Ashly is also a methamphetamine addict who supports her habit by prostituting herself…. all begun when she listed her self services on a famous buy and sell website, in the now defunct “Erotic Services” section. Prostitution was all she knew, after all, having modeled her behavior after her mother. And it was through notebooks she wrote that chronicled her life, that “Sex, Drugs & Being an Escort” was conceived and given life.  In fact, she has published a total of 6 books… one of which has been given a 5 star (perfect) review! And still, despite some success because of her talent outside of the bedroom, her life path has not altered one iota and she seems content with her choices. Now I have to respect that she is able to live with those choices so contentedly… but I doubt that the majority of people reading this could or would say the same thing!

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The Bible talks of two types of guilt. The first is what might be termed as “Godly”, because it is the guilt of someone whose heart understands the wrongness of the act. This guilt finds the sinner whose life is a lie, choosing repentance and seeking forgiveness for their transgression. It is the guilt talked about in 2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” This is the guilt whose stain is wiped clean by the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross, and this is how we mend this life of living a lie!

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The second guilt is more insidious. It is the guilt where our actions are condemned on all fronts by those who desire to torment us by holding our sins out for all to see! It is a guilt that erodes our sense of self. We feel ashamed and dirty and unworthy. And it robs us of our capacity to turn to faith and God. It is the same guilt that caused Adam and Eve to seek to clothe themselves in the garden. Genesis 3:7 NLT, “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” It is the guilt that is heaped upon us by the father of all lies…one who has opened the door of torment for the sole by intentionally trapping us in the mire of our own self loathing!

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The solution is an easy one but it is also a choice we must make. If we allow ourselves to be made victims of Satan, then victims it all we will ever be. We will never know the joy and love and peace that can be ours if we choose to live and act using our conscience and best judgement, and it is what we are promised if we but take that first step away from our life of lies! Isaiah 43: 25 ESV says it best. “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins.” Now if God can find a way to forgive us our transgressions, why can’t we?

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Remember the words that Jesus tells us, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/26/14

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Second Chances

Post 1355

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the-smell-after-rain

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People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished. But they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings.

David Millar

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

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We all have heard the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” and yet, isn’t it a wonderful thing that God gives us second chances each and every day?

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It’s not a coincidence that one of Jesus’ names is “Redeemer”! The very definition of redeem is “to clear by payment” and Jesus did that for us all…..in spades! All those sins I’ve accumulated in my life are wiped clean and every day is a new beginning. How wonderful a gift is that? So I think that each and every day, I’ll start by thanking God, and then just simply enjoy those second chances He’s blessed me with!

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I remember a special day a couple of years ago, when I was able to experience a second chance by enjoying a child’s birthday party with my grandson. No, it wasn’t  Landon’s birthday, but a party he was invited to. His little friend from daycare celebrated her 2nd birthday and I took Landon since his mommy was working. Can there be anything more magical that being able to witness a little child’s birthday celebration? It was so wonderful helping Landon participate in party games, sing “Happy Birthday” and enjoy the magic that is giving to another from your heart, without the expectation of getting back anything except the joy of fun and friendship and fellowship celebrated with others.

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Yes, God gives us all second chances, and third chances, and a million chances each and every day, and all we have to do is reach out and grab a hold of them with both hands. And while we celebrate our gift of second chances, perhaps it’s time we shared that gift with another.

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Isn’t there someone in our life deserving of a second chance by our forgiveness of a transgression perpetrated by them? Who do you want to forgive today? All you have to do is pick up the phone! All you have to do is write a letter! All you have to do is send an email! No matter how you choose, just DO IT! Paying those blessings of God’s second chances forward will change you forever and just might change the world!

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And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.

Genesis 45:3-15 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/14/14

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Mea Culpa

Post 1143

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(noun)

1. an acknowledgment of your error or guilt

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http://www.stargatefan.com/fandom/cards/images/Card48.jpg

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Forgiving is love’s toughest work, and love’s biggest risk.  If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator.  Forgiving seems almost unnatural.  Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do.  But forgiving is love’s power to break nature’s rule. 

Lewis B. Smedes 

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

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Everyday when we wake up and begin our morning routine, I doubt we look in the mirror as we wash our face and brush our teeth and think to ourselves, “Today I’m going to be a failure!” No, I think that whether we speak the words or not, we at least feel thankful that we are seeing the start of a brand new day, just as I am certain we look and take a deep breath and think about all of the new possibilities that await us this day. That is the miracle that we are gifted with each and every day when we awaken…..the opportunity to rewrite our story once more. As His word tells us in Lamentations 3:23 (NLT), Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

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Now that being said, we must not rest on our laurels and think that all that has passed, both the good as well as the bad, is a forgotten chapter in our lives. We are, after all, held accountable always for the things we have done as well as the things we have yet to do! And while we sometimes owe man an explanation for our actions, especially when those actions have broken man’s laws, more importantly, we are always held accountable to God and His expectations for the behaviors we engage in. And while we may not see the need to explain our actions to him during the course of each day we live, the time will come when we will be made to face those regrets in a court higher than that of man! And yet, those regrets can be put to bed, once and for all, by seeking forgiveness from the only one whose opinion on the situation really matters!

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Are there any hard and fast rules about asking for forgiveness? Well, just as when we ask forgiveness of man, simply saying you’re sorry does not absolve us of the thing we have done wrong or the sin we have committed. There is no resolution that is to be found in just the words. But add to those words a heart that means what the mouth is saying, and now the words have the power to not just resolve the issue by your accepting responsibility for the deed, but they also absolve you, or set you free, from the offending action. So take just a moment and ask yourself if there is anyone…. ANYONE today to whom you owe an apology and if there is, what is it you need to do to make things right?

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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/28/14

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What Will Your Epitaph Say?

Thought 1326

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http://www.123rf.com/photo_7551867_old-gravestones-and-tower-of-st-kevin-s-church-historic-glendalough-monastery.html

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People “died” all the time…. Parts of them died when they made the wrong kinds of decisions – decisions against life.  Sometimes they died bit by bit until finally they were just living corpses walking around.  If you were perceptive you could see it in their eyes; the fire had gone out… you always knew when you made a decision against life…. The door clicked and you were safe inside – safe and dead. 

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

http://www.quotegarden.com/misc1.html

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It seems to me like there are an awful lot of people who walk the earth for the sole purpose of breathing, and breathing alone! They do not live……. not really. They do not make it their purpose to LIVE WITH purpose. They do not have the heart to love. They do not have the mind to wonder. They do not have the desire to make the world a better place. Instead, all they do is take up space and use resources. They are so content to live in a perpetual state of apathy that to actually recognize that there is any other way to live is probably beyond their understanding! And I really have to wonder what they would truly think if they were given the opportunity of reading the words another writes about the life they led, after they are gone! Would they somehow wake up and discover all the wonders and mysteries of life that they missed out on? I think not! But I want to say, here and now, that a person passing through life lacking accomplishments and purpose is akin to life passing a person by without it acknowledging that they even existed!

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How hard is it for us to really change (and when I say change, I mean undergo a metamorphosis starting from the deepest recesses of our hearts, and then progressing, growing and blossoming outward…..undergoing an overall transformation to one who has, from someone who had not)? Are there things we need to really think about accomplishing so that we can say with certainty that we are ready to live life and not just breathe? Can we really reform? The Bible says we can. In fact it tell us so over and over in both the Old and New Testaments. In fact,  James 1:21 ISV says: Therefore, rid yourselves of everything impure and every expression of wickedness, and with a gentle spirit welcome the word planted in you that can save your souls.

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So think about stripping away the old and starting out fresh and new. It is this possibility that is promised to us by the Son of God! Then look to share yourself with others. Walking along side of those who have little in terms os material possessions makes us all appreciate even more just what blessings we do have. So instead of ignoring your fellow man, become a part of their lives. Live the “Golden Rule”….don’t just pay it lip service. Matthew 7:12 NIV reminds us,  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

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Next, open up your mind to seeing things differently. That does not mean you necessarily need to totally alter your own outlook completely. What it does ask is that we be willing to place both sides of every situation on the scales of justice, look at both sides carefully and then weigh them one against the other. You may just discover that another viewpoint trumps the one that was your personal mantra for so long! Isaiah 55:12 NIV reminds us,  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

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Yes, rewriting our lives is not just possible, it is essential. If we aren’t proactive, and willing to not just allow ourselves to change, but to eagerly foster and embrace change, we will quickly stagnate and die. Moreover, we will stagnate and die utterly unfulfilled and entirely alone. And I can not think of anything that dishonors the miracle of life that God has bestowed upon the human race more than that!

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Be good to your servant while I live, that I may obey your word. Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

Psalms 119:17-18 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/10/14

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The Hurt We Cause

Thought 1308

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http://media.photobucket.com/image/hurting/lush_falcon/hurting.jpg?o=19

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We have a choice every day – to act on yesterday’s good intentions or get an early start on tomorrow’s regrets.

Robert Brault

www.robertbrault.com

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I was forced to think about the dance of life the other night. Now life is like a beautiful waltz. Each step a delicately choreographed movement meant to perfectly compliment the person you are dancing with. Unfortunately I am a child of the “frug” and “watusi” and “mashed potato” era. Instead of a gentle and slow, arm in arm, symmetrical dance with my partner, my dance is more often than not, one of flailing arms and stomping feet, totally independent of my partner who stands just a few feet from me! And with the “herky jerky”, in my own little world movements, the unthinkable happens. I either bop someone upside the face or step on toes unprepared for the assault of my size 8 1/2 EE feet! Which actually might go far to explain how it is that I spend so much of my time tripping over those same feet and crashing to the ground, bruising not only my knees and hands, but my ego as well! Now when I am the only victim, it is easy to pick myself up, dust myself off, and continue along my way. However, when it is an innocent I bruise by my clumsiness, moving on is not quite as easy! So how exactly it is that we make amends to another we’ve bruised, whether the act was intentional or unintentional, is what I want to think about today!

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I spend more time than I probably should uttering the words, “I’m sorry”! I say it to my family. I say it to my friends. I even say it to strangers I bump in the store! Then I realized that when you really think about it, saying those words implies that the person you’ve hurt is somehow the loser in this innocent (or even when it’s not so innocent) action that occurred. Saying “I’m sorry” usually only succeeds in making the clumsy one feel better, not the one who suffers from our clumsiness!

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There was once a very sweet love story that was made into a movie that had as its catch phrase the line, “Love Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry”! And while I once thought the sentiment to be somewhat trite, if not inane and an outright untruth, time has altered my thinking on the matter, just a bit. Perhaps it is the sheer number of band aids I’ve had to apply to my own nicks over the last 50 (ah, er, ummmmm, ugh)…OK, 58 years of my life, that has given me time to really think about this. And I have come to two separate opinions on the matter.

  • Firstly, it is not just perfectly acceptable but it is also downright necessary that we offer our apologies to that stranger we’ve somehow hurt by our actions. These are people who do not know the content of our character because they do not know us, and so we must show them who we are by the way we respond to the hurt we’ve caused.
  • Secondly, (and this is the HUGE one), regarding those we either know intimately or at least well enough to really regret the hurts we’ve caused, we owe much more that the ubiquitous “I’m sorry”! What we owe them is to demonstrate by our actions that we are sorry!

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Dan has told me more than once during a squabble that if I was really sorry, I wouldn’t have done it in the first place. And he is absolutely right. We need to remember that the people we care about are just as fragile of heart as we ourselves are and this means we need to be careful and tread lightly when it comes to what we say and do. This does not mean we walk on eggs or aren’t completely honest. What it does mean is that we remember that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction and because we know the history and emotional hiccoughs of those closest to us, we really need to add to our mouth our very own tape delay. This is the thing television stations implement to allow them time to bleep out something that might be objectionable to some should it be aired publicly. If we could add the same thing to our own thoughts and deeds, we would most likely use a whole lot less band aids on the boo boo’s we cause others. But what then do we do when we haven’t been able to censor our actions and words and have hurt someone?

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Instead of saying I’m sorry, try showing them that you are sorry. (I hope that this blog might just be one thing that shows someone I hurt just the other night that I regret the hurt I caused them!) Be creative and think of unusual and even random acts that are positive affirmations of how much they mean to you. Share a picture or a post if they are “social media-philes” like I am. If it’s someone a little closer to home, try something as simple as a hug or a card or even a poem. While an “I’m sorry” bouquet of flowers is nice, your gesture needn’t cost anything at all except a little thought and perhaps some of your time. How about helping them with something they really enjoy. Just show up, roll up those sleeves and dig in! The key to it all is to remember that no matter how hard you try to show your regret, it won’t matter if you repeat the offense over and over again. It is being truly sorry for what happened that will give what you do its power and proof!

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“A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.”

Proverbs 14:33
World English Bible

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 08/25/14

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Chaos And Violence

Thought 1261

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http://alqatrah.net/en/edara/pic/violence.jpg

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And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace, until the gods are tired of blood and create a race that can understand. 

George Bernard Shaw

“Caesar and Cleopatra”

http://quotegarden.com/violence.html

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Violence in today’s society seems to be, as sad as it may be for me to admit and us all to hear, nearly as common as is the common cold! In my recollection, I can not remember the last time I did not read in the paper or see on the TV the names of innocent people who have been struck down by the violent actions of someone or many someone’s who are either very disturbed or driven by the misguided belief that what they do is right.

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There are none who are immune…. as witnessed by the recent brutal execution of a news reporter in Syria. Remember the days when the word “News” emblazoned on the front of flack jackets offered some small measure of protection? Well not these days! And while many times the reports of these acts contains but a single name, lately it seems to contain the names of multiple individuals who have been struck down. And more and more often, it seems that it is public places that are the scene of this violence. They are happening in places where we used to believe we were somehow insulated from such things touching our lives…. movies, schools, churches, athletic events, and even our workplace.

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We can no more prevent most of these tragedies from happening than we can crawl inside the head of the perpetrator of the violence to discover what it was that triggered the snap and subsequent eruption of such total senselessness. We can but remain vigilant and concerned for those whose lives touch our own. And this does not require that we become heroes in the sense that heroism is generally recognized. All it means is that we be kind and caring in our dealings with others. We must be our brother’s keeper.

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We’ve all heard the phrase captioned just below, but do we really understand how it came to be and what it means? Well, the phrase “my brother’s keeper” comes from Genesis. You all know the story of the death of one brother at the hand of the other. And after Cain murders Abel, God questions him  about his brother, asking “Where is Abel thy brother?” And Cain’s response are these words, “I  know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4.9 KJV).

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Cain’s response has since become not just one of the most famous phrases in the Bible but it also has also become synonymous with how it is we are expected to behave towards the others who share our world with us. Did you know, for example, that the word “keeper” comes from the Hebrew word “shaw-mar” which means caretaker or custodian? “Shaw-mar” means more that one who simply acts as a baby-sitter. It implies a much higher level of responsibility such as might be rendered by a parent or other trusted, nurturing figure. And indeed, that is what we must be!

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We must watch for those among us who are among the world’s downtrodden. We must tend to those who live in our communities. Do you have an elderly neighbor who lives alone? I know I do! Is there something we might do such as bring some fruit and a moment of our time to sit and have a cup of tea and make sure all is well? Or what about the child who seems to be crying for no reason that we can see on our street corner. Do we go to them and stop a minute and check to make sure that there is nothing seriously wrong? Or do we close our door and our hearts, to the plight of our brother? And even if we are reticent to act directly, have there been any other times when we see something that we know in our hearts, is just not right, but instead of reporting our fears to another agency such as the Police or Department of Social Services, we simply ignore the inner voice that is speaking to us? I must admit that I have been guilty of this myself. And yet, we ARE our brother’s keeper and if we do not act, who will?

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Is it not better to have been mistaken than it is to not have acted and have to live with a lifetime of regrets? I know I prefer the former choice because regrets become but a millstone around our necks and often affect not just our present happiness but can become barrier to enjoying our lifetime of tomorrows!

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There is a tribute to all those who step up and are willing to be a “my brother’s keeper”. A special thanks to Matt Maher for his great song “Hold Us Together” off of his CD Alive Again. I hope you are encouraged by this video, and that the words and music of this song are able to lift you to that special place of love, where you become a “my brother’s keeper”

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“Hold Us Together”

performed by Matt Maher

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“When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.”

Numbers 30:2 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

(applies to the parts of this blog that are my original thoughts)

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”