Tag Archives: salvation

Thought For The Day 02/22/15

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

First Sunday Of Lent

Post #1444

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bible-reading

 

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Lent

In Christian teachings, this time is traditionally described as lasting 40 days which, according to the Gospels, commemorates the time Jesus spent before beginning his public ministry. The purpose for us is to prepare us through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, almsgiving, atonement and self-denial.

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 A Prayer For Today  

February 22nd, 2015

Our Gracious Heavenly Father,

We thank you for this Lenten time to gather in thought and prayer to honor you and to remember the life of your son, Jesus Christ.

Deepen our capacity to pray and to come to You during our times of both trial and triumph. Teach us so that we may better understand ourselves, to be reconciled one with the other and with you. Make that love one of profound joyfulness. Make our hearts and faith as simple and honest as the faith of a child, and help us to strengthen our faith so as to make it above temptation and so that it may be renewed by grace.

Father, we lift our voices, as well as our hearts, as we pray the prayer that your son Jesus taught us to pray, saying:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.  

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Author of Today’s Gospel Reading

St Mark the Apostle

st__mark_the_evangelist_by_lordshadowblade-d62zolm

The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother’s house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there.

St. Mark was associated with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (who was Mark’s cousin) on their missionary journey through the island of Cyprus. Later he accompanied St. Barnabas alone. We know also that he was in Rome with St. Peter and St. Paul. Tradition ascribes to him the founding of the Church in Alexandria.

St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, probably in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D.; he wrote it in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requested by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel. In this way the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles. His feast day is April 25. He is the patron saint of notaries.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=305

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Our Old Testament Reading

Genesis 9: 8-15 ESV

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth.

I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 

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Our Gospel Reading

Mark 1: 12-15 ESV
The Temptation of Jesus

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And the angels were ministering to him.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kind=gdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

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Christian-Music1

Hymn For Today

Be Still And Know That I Am God

 The author and composer of this meditative/chant
style hymn based on Psalm 46:10 are unknown.
Harmony by Stephen Dean

Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God,
Be still and know that I am God.

I am the Lord that healeth me,
I am the Lord that healeth me,
I am the Lord that healeth me,
I am the Lord that healeth me.

In thee O Lord, I put my trust,
In thee O Lord, I put my trust,
In thee O Lord, I put my trust,
In thee O Lord, I put my trust.

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

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 12/17/14

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Why Is The Law Not Always The Law?

Post  1376

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Moses with the 10 commamdments

Moses with the Ten Commandments by Rembrandt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn_079.jpg

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God  and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we  make ourselves what we want to be. Follow always that great law. Let the sky and  God be our limit and Eternity our measurement.

Marcus Garvey

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

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I am a person who is always curious about the rules of something. I think that is because of my “Obsessive Compulsive” side which seems to dictate to me that to operate in the most efficient manner, things need to be maintained in some type of order. And for me, that applies to my belongings, my daily routine and my faith. Now this may well be my way of compensating for the fact that I have a mind like a sieve, which is the bane of my very existence! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….one day if you fail to read one of my thoughts, it may be because Dan got mad about something and decided to drop me off in the backwoods somewhere, and I couldn’t find my way home! Now you are laughing….I know because I can hear you all the way here in South Carolina….but like it or not, it remains an undisputed fact that I am hopelessly forgetful! Which is why when it comes to some of those absolutes of my faith that I hold dear, I tend to be a bit of a stick in the mud about following most of the rules! Now I will be the first to admit that there are some things that most probably made more sense in days of yore…when they were first given to man. Nevertheless, there is a tremendous amount that can be learned about the way we life today, by remembering that there are absolutes about accepted and acceptable behavior for man that are exactly the same today as they were 5,000 years ago!

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Humankind had always needed the companionship of other humans. The fact that the survival of the species is dependant on procreation aside, man by his very nature was meant to interact and bond with others like him. However, man has always been of the mind that he, and only he, knows what is best for his life and, by association, what must be best for those around him. And, of course, when everyone thinks they know best, disputes are bound to happen until suddenly, violence erupts within the community. Which is why laws are needed to guarantee a state of harmony and détente. And this need is no different today than it was when Moses carried the tablets from the top of Mt Sinai. Yes, God wrote with His very finger, His expectations for man’s behavior, and it became law. And interestingly, those first laws have continued throughout the ages to set the tone for many of the laws that societies have adopted to assure the smooth running of their affairs, even today! We read in Deuteronomy 28:15, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee”, and indeed, breaking the laws of 21st Century man often results in the most dire of consequences just as breaking the laws given to Moses did when the children of Israel wandered, seeking the promised land!

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Now there are always the exceptions to the rule. For example, today I am preaching to you in my own way, through the words of this post, despite the fact that the Bible tells us that women are forbidden to speak in church!  Yes, it was the law of the time! All you need do is read I Corinthians 14:34-35 which was written by the Apostle Paul! “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”. This is an example of how the changing times has served to alter one absolute, just as society has altered the expectations we hold for both ourselves and our faith! I wonder how many of you were also aware that the festive trees which Christians decorate every December, are forbidden in the following Bible passage found in Jeremiah 10:2-5. “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” Another law whose time has come and gone, just as the turning calendar pages have served to herald the coming of a new age!

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There are some Fundamentalists out there who hold that there are no shades of “grey” when it comes to truth in the Bible. They hold that we must all accept every word as a literal interpretation of what we must do and how we must behave. However, that is the same thing as saying that we must allow someone to die of an infection that is easily managed with an antibiotic created during the last century because that was not the way it was done during the time of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob! And while I can understand their need for these absolutes, because I myself am a creature that looks to absolutes for my own life, I also hold that God has gifted man with the capacity to dream and to think and to work toward making the world a better place. And is that not the gift we have been given by living in this age of modern technology? If God wanted man’s life to be otherwise, wouldn’t He have taken measures to prevent initiative and curiosity, instead of gifting us with these strengths?

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“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass;
he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray,
believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

Mark 11:23-24 KJV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 11/19/14

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Our Senior Generation

Post 1149

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Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) Holds Health Care Town Hall With Senior Citizens

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A man’s age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Wartime Writings 1939-1944
translated from French by Norah Purcell

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

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Dan has finally reached the day that he is eligible for Medicare (yes, one of those so-called entitlements that we who have worked for years have actually funded by our contributions withheld from pay checks that always seemed just a tad too little in the first place for raising a family, paying bills and to somehow manage to tuck a little away for our future post working years). And since that magical calendar page turned, I found myself wondering whether our aging population (myself included) is really getting better (as the old adage implies) or are we simply getting older? And I guess the answer to that question must be, it’s simply a matter of whether you are a “glass half empty” or a “glass half full” kind of person!

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We all can sit and bemoan our lot in life if that is where our head directs our heart to aim for. Sounds a bit like Job 17:15 ESV, “Where then is my hope? Who will see my hope?”, don’t you think? The problem is that wallowing in self-pity never solved any dilemma, as far as I know. In fact, I find just the opposite to be true. The more we lament, the more things seem to grow and multiply, coming to the forefront of our list of regrets or circumstances which make us unhappy.  For example, when Dan and I argue, the ideal would be to keep the argument centered around the one particular thing that made one of us angry but instead, we begin to harp about things that have no bearing on the thing at hand and which really matter little, like always finding the gas tank empty when we’re going out and it’s raining, or having to go to the dryer to get that clean pair of socks instead of the underwear drawer where clean socks belong. And suddenly, the argument morphs into some insidious beast where the sins from the past 37 years seem to become fodder for the feed trough!

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Focusing on life’s negatives is a sure-fire road to unhappiness. It will cause you to miss opportunities and good times, neglect the problems that can be fixed and place mountains between you and those who are closest to you! In a nut shell, it puts our entire quality of life right in the toilet! The thing is that the glass is most likely never half empty. What you think is gone is really just sitting on the bottom just waiting for you to drink your fill. Think about a glass of chocolate milk, in all its chocolatey goodness. You drink your fill only to discover the thick layer of sweet residue of chocolate, somehow missed as you stirred, that is sitting on the bottom, as a final treat! Well the same principle applies when we persist approaching our faith with a “glass half full” attitude. James 1:12 ESV, describes our reward perfectly. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

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Yes, as we age, the realization that life is really getting shorter each year actually serves to enhance our appreciation for each second that we live! Because like chocolate milk, the sweetest things in life are the experiences we savor and enjoy during the days when we have not just the time to enjoy them, but the wisdom of age to fully appreciate them, as well!

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I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3: 16-19 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/23/14

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The Promise

Thought 1321

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the promise

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+live+for+today&qpvt=picture+of+Live+for+today&FORM=IGRE#a

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Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.

James Dean

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_dean.html

Live for your afterlife as if you will die tomorrow, and live for this life as if you will live forever.

saying (hadith) of Muhammad

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_James_Dean_say_dream_as_if_you’ll_live_forever_live_as_if_you’ll_die_today_or_tomorrow

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I find it rather amazing that we so often fail to appreciate the gift that we are given by God every time that we open our eyes to greet the new dawn. It is not an “in your face”, “I dare you not to appreciate” type of gift we are given. It is, instead, the hint of a promise that new beginnings are there just waiting for us to first see them and then to grasp them and hold them close to our heart, where all that is the best we have to offer dwells. Unfortunately, that is how it exists in an ideal world. Our reality is that the world in which we live finds us facing suspicion and doubt far more often, invading and infecting our lives with the same virulence as a Cancer invades and distorts healthy cells! However, there is one monumental difference between the two. We can almost never prevent the damage done to us by a Cancer cell run amok while the way we choose to awaken and begin our day is entirely within our control!

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We first need to apply the lessons we learned from the experiences we were blessed with yesterday. Those lessons are not in your face obvious but are probably a subtle whisper or gentle nudge addressing the concerns that were paramount at that moment. The waiting and hoping for answers is over and the solutions are winking at us hoping we will notice and act. The capacity to do that lies within us already. Ephesians 2:10 NIV says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. Once we have a foundation to work with, finding the strength to continue onto tomorrow comes next and it is what God promises to us. He tells us this in Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

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The promise of the things to come, asks of us that we be content to wait to greet these new beginnings. Now I don’t know about you, but for me, waiting is not easy. Having done our share of time in God’s waiting room had been the subject of jokes in our house. But wait we must because things that are the promise happen in God’s time, not man’s! The thing is that the times I became too anxious and failed to wait proved disastrous on so many levels. But always, without exception, when I chose patience to allow the gifts of God to come, He readily offered me the strength to somehow find within the patience. Psalm 27:14 King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” But always remember, whether we are waiting on Him, for Him, or with Him, waiting need not be passive. When God is leading, it’s always an adventure. And so, for today, we do what we must….. LIVE and WAIT! With Him, it’s always worth the wait.

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No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39 NLT

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 10/07/14

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How Sweet The Sound

Thought 1305

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amazing_grace8

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+amazing+grace&qpvt=picture+of+Amazing+Grace&FORM=IGRE#a

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The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

Anna Quindlen

http://www.quotegarden.com/self-discovery.html

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I remember spending a day with my dad and my grandson celebrating my Scottish heritage at the Scotland County Highland Games in Laurinberg, NC. And perhaps the thing that resonates most with me at events like this, must be the bagpipes and the beauty that is created by a very unbeautiful bag of wind! And listening to the music at this event brought back other memories….. memories of the times I’ve been mesmerized by the Pipers bidding farewell to a fallen comrade with one of the most recognizable hymns performed at our “leave-taking” celebrations.  Of course I am referring to the song “Amazing Grace”.  And yet do you really understand just exactly what it is that the words and music are really saying to us? What is God’s amazing grace?

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While “grace” can be used as either a noun or a verb, the definition that applies here is “the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings”. Unmerited! In other words, we are benefitting from God’s very own “escape clause”. He knew that man would never, on his own, be able to merit salvation. We lost that privilege by virtue of the very fact that we ARE human and as mortal man, we sin and fall short of God’s glory. There was nothing we could do on our own to earn entrance into Heaven, and not wanting us to spend an eternity in Hell, God gave us our “escape clause” by sending His son to pay our entrance fee. That does presume that we choose to accept this special gift of grace He bestows. Most people do not!  In Ephesians 2:8-10we are told,  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

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So when and if we ever make it to heaven, it is not by our hand. We as a race of beings were lost but it is because of His gift of Amazing Grace, we have had the scales removed from our eyes, and are given a clear view of the thing that awaits us if we but choose that for ourselves. Choice. Free will. You see, God also knew that we must be the ones who willingly choose to embrace and make use of His gift. The gift looses all of its power if we were to have it forced upon us. But the fact that it is our choice to accept it, transforms this from simply an offering and elevates it to something more precious and beautiful than any other treasure that can be had!

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Amazing Grace

John Newton (1725-1807)

Lyrics:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear, and Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear the hour I first believed.  

Through many dangers, toils and snares  I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.

 The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.  

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil, a life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun.  

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.

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Click the link to listen to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, accompanied by the Czech Film Orchestra playing “Amazing Grace”

Video includes scenes of Scotland.

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Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/07/14

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Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Post #1275

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bible-reading

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 A Prayer For Today  

Holy God, our world has been wracked by violence. Things seem to be falling apart, and all we can do sometimes is focus on our own lives, our own homes, our own community, and move forward. Help us to seek You, and to turn our focus away from ourselves and to see how we can be a difference in the world. Guide us in Your ways of love, justice and mercy, so that we might live the life You have set before us. Help us to trust in You, when things are falling apart, that You will help us move on, and You will always lead us into new life. In the name of Christ our Savior we pray.

Amen.

http://rev-o-lution.org/2014/08/29/worship-resources-for-september-7th-thirteenth-sunday-after-pentecost/

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Author of Today’s Reading

St Matthew the Apostle

St. Matthew, one of the twelve Apostles, is the author of the first Gospel. This has been the constant tradition of the Church and is confirmed by the Gospel itself. He was the son of Alpheus and was called to be an Apostle  while sitting in the tax collector’s place at Capernaum. Before his conversion he was a publican, i.e., a tax collector by profession. He is to be identified with the “Levi” of Mark and Luke.

His apostolic activity was at first restricted to the communities of Palestine. Nothing definite is known about his later life. There is a tradition that points to Ethiopia as his field of labor; other traditions mention of Parthia and Persia. It is uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom.

St. Matthew’s Gospel was written to fill a sorely felt want for his fellow countrymen, both believers and unbelievers. For the former, it served as a token of his regard and as an encouragement in the trial to come, especially the danger of falling back to Judaism; for the latter, it was designed to convince them that the Messiah had come in the person of Jesus, our Lord, in Whom all the promises of the messianic  Kingdom embracing all people had been fulfilled in a spiritual rather than in a carnal way: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” His Gospel, then, answered the question put by the disciples of  St. John the Baptist, “Are You He Who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Writing for his countrymen of Palestine, St. Matthew composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic, the “Hebrew tongue” mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Soon afterward, about the time of the persecution of Herod Agrippa I in 42 AD, he took his departure for other lands. Another tradition places the composition of his Gospel either between the time of this departure and the Council of Jerusalem, i.e., between 42 AD and 50 AD or even later. Definitely, however, the Gospel, depicting the Holy City with its altar and temple as still existing, and without any reference to the fulfillment of our Lord’s prophecy, shows that it was written before the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 AD, and this internal evidence confirms the early traditions.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=84

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Our 1st Reading

Ezekiel 33:7-9 NIV 

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.  When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

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Today’s Gospel Reading

Matthew 18:15-20 NIV

Dealing With Sin in the Church

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.  But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

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Hymn For Today

Before The Throne Of God Above

by Selah

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I am
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God!
With Christ my Savior and my God!

One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God!
With Christ my Savior and my God!


 

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Thanks Be To God!

Amen

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 09/05/14

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A Life Worth Saving

Thought 1273

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http://www.freefoto.com/preview/16-09-17/Rough-Sea?ffid=16-09-17

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The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.

Henry David Thoreau

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

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Are you living a life worth saving? Now before you start to think, what in the world is she talking about, I want to tell you a short story.

Once there was a teenage boy who had chosen to swim at an un-guarded beach and in waters where the rip currents raged because of an off shore storm. Suddenly he found himself dragged under and out to sea, caught in the wrath of a vicious rip current. Eyes closed and facing certain death, the boy suddenly found himself being pulled up to the water’s surface by powerful arms. Head above water, he gasped a much needed breath of air and then relaxed his struggle as he felt himself being towed to shore. Panting on the beach, the teen turned toward the stranger and gasping, managed to whisper thank you. The stranger, looking back into the relieved face, answered with two short sentences. “That’s all right kid. Just make sure your life was worth saving!”

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So many times we fail to remember the extent with which we are loved by God. We face so many perils in the world these days and often the only thing that comes to mind is either:

  • Becoming disheartened as we begin questioning how it is possible He can allow these things to happen to His children.
  • Wallowing in the self-pity of our own making that comes from our “woe is me” side.

We feel so sorry for ourselves and our lives that we neglect to see all the wonderful things we have been blessed with! And probably the greatest thing that we forget about is that He gave to us the greatest gift in the world. He gave us something that would have been unobtainable by man without His love and generosity. We forget His gift of righteousness and the cleansing of our souls from the stain of sin by the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ. I wrote just the other day, that while we might forget Him as we live our lives all wrapped up in ourselves, He has never forgotten us, which begs that I ask the same thing to you that the stranger said the teen that he saved from the ocean’s wrath. Are you living a life worth saving?

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..and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 08/26/14

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Amazing Grace

Thought 1262

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http://media.photobucket.com/image/gods%20grace/MsIndependent58/GodsGrace.jpg?o=18

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God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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

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We’ve all heard it. Many of us have been reduced to tears as the pipes share the mournful and yet soulful tune. And the lyrics…..it seems to me as if they had to have been written in the heavens by angels wings. If you thinkAmazing Grace is one of my very favorite hymns, you would be correct. But how many of you really know the history of the song?

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Amazing Grace is a Christian hymn published in 1779….just 3 years after the American colonies became a one nation, under God! The words were penned by an English poet and minister by the name of John Henry Newton (July 24, 1725 – December 21, 1807), and it was intended as a sermon about forgiveness and redemption. He shared that no matter the offense, the soul could be cleansed and delivered from despair by God’s mercy!

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Newton was raised without the benefit of religious training, and had a very unhappy family life, as well. In 1743, while on the way to visit some friends, Newton was captured and pressed into the naval service by the Royal Navy. He became a midshipman aboard HMS Harwich. During a brutal storm which nearly tore his ship apart, Newton cried out to God asking for his mercy, and thus began his conversion. He suffered 20 lashes in front of the entire crew after trying to desert but he remained and later transferred service to the Pegasus, a slave ship. A problem for the crew while aboard the vessel, he was forcibly removed and abandoned in Africa where he was enslaved by an African duchess, and abused horribly. He later likened his experience to that of the slaves he had himself brutalized at one time.

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He made it to freedom in 1748. Ordained in 1764 by the Church of England, he was the curate in Olney, Buckinghamshire. In later years, he became a strong supporter of the abolition of slavery. Intended as a sermon to be delivered New Years Day of 1773, Amazing Grace most probably was intoned by the congregation as it was not yet set to music. It remained a relatively unknown poem in England but became used extensively in the United States. In 1835, a tune named “New Brittain” was married to the lyrics, thus giving birth to the beautiful melody we know today! It is estimated that the song is performed in the neighborhood of 10 Million times annually!

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Amazing Grace Hymn

(complete version of the lyrics)

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures; He will my shield and portion be, As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun refuse to shine; But God, who called me here below, Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.

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Enjoy this performance by a wonderful 7-year-old Gospel singer, Rhema Marvanne

http://youtu.be/DDDlxmsciqY

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As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

Ephesians 4: 1-8 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”

Thought For The day 08/05/14

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Is There A Doctor In The House?

Thought 1241

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the healer

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+jesus+the+healer&qpvt=picture+of+Jesus+the+healer&FORM=IGRE#a

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If the guilt of sin is so great that nothing can satisfy it but the blood of Jesus; and the filth of sin is so great that nothing can fetch out the stain thereof but the blood of Jesus, how great, how heinous, how sinful must the evil of sin be.

William Throsby Bridges

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/if_the_guilt_of_sin_is_so_great_that_nothing_can/172374.html

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I am wondering what it is about the human heart that breeds such callousness as well as a disregard for the welfare of other human beings? Are humans truly masters of this world or is there a lesson to be learned by watching other life forms that share this planet with us?

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Life forms on planet Earth live by a “code”….a hierarchy that was created for one very specific purpose….to assure the continuation of the species. Now, survival of the fittest is actually vital because it guarantees the adequacy of food stores necessary to assure that the strongest of each type of animal will be able to continue to breed future generations. However there is one fundamental difference between human and other life forms. Animals lack the ability to comprehend the pettiness and maliciousness of cruelty, spite, heartache and hatred that is often seen in only the “fine print” on that “code”. Humans have been born with a soul and a conscience which should steer them onto an enlightened path where the “greater good” of the whole is paramount. At least, in an ideal world, this should be the goal of man. However, we do not live in an ideal world. Not by any stretch of the imagination!

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 All too often, we as humans exist with a sense on entitlement. We are prepared to utilize any and all manner of force in order to obtain the things that we believe we are entitled to. We do not act to preserve the survival of our species….but rather, we act to preserve the survival of only one person….ourselves. It was not always so. History paints us pictures of tremendous sacrifices, made so that another would be able to not only survive but to prosper. People looked out for each other and while criminal activities were not absent, the scope of this behavior was somehow less brutal.  How is it possible that we as a society have morphed into this class of people whose speech has become fluent in complaint and blame and somehow forgotten such things as please and thank you and I’m sorry?

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Once upon a time, parents taught their children that there were some absolutes in this world. Children were taught that there was no greater sin than showing disrespect to another person. Children were taught that to disagree was fine but that to do so in a way that demeans or humiliates was never acceptable and would never be tolerated. These lessons were generally taught by parents who partnered together in rearing youngsters. More often that not, families remained intact, united, and the values passed along were the same that had been handed down for hundreds…perhaps thousands of years. But if there is one thing that progress has taught us, it is that nothing remains the same. Once, people were born, grew up and died in the same community. Today we leave our hometowns and travel all over the world in search of a life that is somehow better.  But somehow, in  this process of betterment, we instead became worldly, and egocentric. We have morphed and become so full of ourselves that we color our every thought with just one word……ME!

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How do we begin to heal what seems to be the neglected, malnourished souls of our people? For my money, the ONLY hope any of us have is in Jesus Christ. A person without Jesus Christ in control of their life will never be totally happy. Money can’t make a person happy, an intact family can’t make a person happy, a good job can’t make a person happy. Only one thing can make people truly happy, and that is accepting Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. When we chase everything we can, hoping to find the answers, we are giving Satan the ammunition he needs to infect us and make us sick. And make no mistake….our world has been infected by a disease….the disease of sin! Don’t you think it’s time we looked for the right doctor to cure us?

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Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53: 4-5 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath”