Tag Archives: wisdom

Thought For The Day 01/26/15

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Our House… Is A Very Fine House!

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Old Tennent

Old Tennent Presbyterian Church was the church I attended when my children were young.
Old Tennent was used as a field hospital during the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778.
234 years later, the blood of wounded Continental Army troops can be found on the church’s wooden pews!

I was ordained as a Presbyterian Deacon here in 1993.

http://www.wdgordon.com/history/gordon20.htm

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“When every hope is gone, ‘when helpers fail and comforts flee,’ I find that help arrives somehow, from I know not where. Supplication, worship, prayer are no superstition; they are acts more real than the acts of eating, drinking, sitting or walking. It is no exaggeration to say that they alone are real, all else is unreal.”  

Mahatma Gandhi
The Story of My Experiments With Truth

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

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When I was a little girl, there were some rules that went hand-in-hand with visiting God’s house on Sundays! We were always well scrubbed and polished and wearing our finest attire, complete with hats and our Sunday white gloves. My mother had as many pill-box hats as Jacqueline Kennedy and looked even more beautiful wearing them, her head held high, when we entered the huge sanctuary doors. My dad sported his best suit. It was one that was a bit different that the ones he taught school in every day, and his Sunday shirt collars always had just the perfect amount of starch so that they could slice a cake into paper-thin slivers, should the need arise. And we were not out of the ordinary in those days, because every family treated their church with the same reverence and respect. There was even a book published in 1882 entitled, American Etiquette and Rules of Politeness, which went so far as to say as much in the following statement:

“The congregation who builds a church, build it and continue to regard it as the house of God. It is, then, a place where the greatest deference, respect and reverence are due.”

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The debate over this very topic rages on even today, and there are more that a few voices who loudly chastise those who dare to enter through those massive oaken doors wearing anything less that what has been designated as one’s “Sunday best” for the last 200 years! The problem is that it is sometimes mindsets like these that are rooted in the absolutes that was life in the days of yester-year, that cause us to forget that life is not the same for any of us today as it was 50 or 100 or 1000 years ago! What is becoming increasingly apparent is that it is this thinking and these attitudes that are responsible for the dwindling numbers of bright and shining faces sitting in the pews of church sanctuaries every Sunday!

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Times change as they must! No one reading this would ever hope to return to the days when polio crippled little ones for life and the common cold would kill, more often than not. So if we realize the importance of changing out thoughts about these things, why is it so difficult for us to expand our mind a bit and accept that God doesn’t care what church you show up to or what attire you are wearing when you do, just as long as you show up somewhere, wearing something (hopefully)? All He asks is that we all take some time out of our busy lives to pay him homage!

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I talk to people every day through social media. I post poems and pictures and stories and prayers and things that I hope might just bring you just a bit closer to the Almighty with each item that I share. I do this on my social media page, MandysPath. Is this any less a kind on ministry because I do it at all hours of the day, and night, and in all manner of attire, from business casual to pajamas? Does this mean that I have no respect for my God? Of course not! It means that I am comfortable enough with my faith to understand the God only cares about what He sees in my heart and not on my back!

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Jesus did not send away the poor and the ragged who sought Him out for his counsel and blessings. Think about one of His miracles of healing. Now today we know that Leprosy is not that dreaded disease that caused people to be banished into caves. However, 2000 years ago, there was perhaps no malady more feared. But Christ did not allow this to deter him from laying hands upon the man with Leprosy, and making him clean. Read the accounting of this miracle. When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Matthew 8:1-4 NIV.

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Interestingly, it is likely this act that was responsible for Christ sharing his message in the days that would follow in what would be constituted as lonely places….. places that were out-of-the-way. You see, Jesus told the man to remain quiet and tell only the priest, but instead, the man proclaimed the miracle everywhere and Jesus was not able to enter the town. But despite the need to share God’s word in the open air, where there were no protections from the elements, still, they came!

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When we seek to share His word with others, it is the message that matters and our willingness to want to learn from that message that matters. It is what we wear as the attire of our character that matters. It is the content of our hearts and not the content of our closets that matters. It is the robe of our faith that we wear openly and unashamedly that matters. It is that we take the time to do it that matters, not when and where and how and what we look like as we do it!

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Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Ecclesiastes 5:1 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/24/15

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O P E N — Walk Ins Welcome!

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Open-Walk-Ins-Welcome-Neon-Sign-Custom-Neon-Signs-37-20

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“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”

R Talloni

http://rtalloni.hubpages.com/hub/Truth-Quotes-Everyone-is-entitled-to-their-own-opinion-but-not-their-own-facts

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I live in what is often fondly referred to as the Bible Belt. As I was driving the other day on a highway very near my house, the truth of my first sentence really hit home. You see, I suddenly realized that I was driving along a road with the most churches I had ever seen in my entire life…and at 60 years young, I have done my fair share of driving along country roads!

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Now I noticed that along the first 15 or so miles of this road, I actually lost count of the number of churches I passed, once I got beyond 12. And aside from looking to see whether they were Baptist, Methodist or another faith, the other thing that I made it a point to do was to check out all of those catchy signs complete with slogans meant to pique your interest and draw you inside, that are in the front yards of nearly every country (and not so country) church in America.

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Now most of these signs were your average “welcome to our church family” type of signs, but there was one that I particularly noticed because the words on it were the same ones I read on the windows of hair salons and other businesses these days. You see, in the need to generate increased revenue, many businesses, especially those with a personalized type of service, want you to know that they want YOU as a customer and that they will do everything they can to make you a happy, happy consumer! Yes, the sign in front of this church said “Walk-ins Welcome”!

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Now I was so surprised to see it that I even forgot to notice what the church name or denomination was but, once I finished laughing, I actually began to think about what the pastor meant when he posted it. Why was it that this particular sign struck me as being hilariously funny, when reading the same words in front of a business would not have been funny at all? Is it possible that I actually might find humor in the implied reference that any ole’ Tom, Dick or Harry was welcomed here and their presence be just as valued as would a King or a Saint? Well, shame on me for even contemplating such an insensitive thing…. even in a moment of jest!

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How sad it is, that instead of welcoming everybody with open arms, we find that we are all too often inclined to question not just their right to be there, but their motives for being there, as well. What I did, in a single thought, was to somehow need to raise or lower my standards to accommodate another, instead of looking at the situation in such a way, that it becomes my personal responsibility to raise the other person up, no matter how they got there, or what it was that drew them to come there, in the first place! And behaving and thinking this way is anything but Christian! You see, in that brief moment, I forgot that everybody was welcome to come and listen to Christ as he shared God’s message. And just as He ministered to everyone alike, so should we all seek to reach out today and draw people in and share the words of faith that dwell within our hearts! Romans 15:7 NRSV says, “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

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In addition to all that I write here and as the Administrator or a number of faith-based social media pages, I also advocate for children who so often remain voiceless in society. So how is it that I would remove the very same right from someone, anyone, who was seeking to be enlightened by God’s voice?
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Remember when the disciples tried to keep the little children from coming up to Christ when he was preaching? Did Jesus Christ not chastise them, reminding them that it is everybody’s right to come and know Him and to receive His word and grace? Matthew 19:14 NIV, “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw a picture of Jesus welcoming the multitudes to His gathering, especially children, and as they entered and drew near, they all passed his shingle, hung on a nearby tree, that proclaimed, “WALK-IN’S WELCOME”!

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There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/23/15

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Seeing Beyond (The Blue) Horizon

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Horizon

Photo taken by Daniel Bruscella, III with his iPhone

While on vacation in 2012 in FL

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“Suppose I was to tell you that it’s just beauty that’s calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell which lures me, the need of freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on—-in quest of the secret which is hidden over there—-beyond the horizon?” 

Eugene O’Neill  

Beyond the Horizon

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1715894-beyond-the-horizon-a-play-in-three-acts

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Taking that “leap of faith” toward the promise of the things that lie beyond where the eyes can see. Never an easy thing for a man or a woman to do! And certainly not easy when that which is  sought is an intangible such as a promise of life everlasting! So how does the heart, mind and soul know when the moment is right for the seeker to take that leap of faith to God?

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I once read that faith, while rooted in the unknown, really moves and grows from the unknown into the known  because being reborn allows each of us to see from the heart and not just the eyes! Pretty profound thought, don’t you think? Faith allows us to see the promise that is God’s kingdom, and allows us to move beyond the realities that living mortal lives plants within our hearts.  Our hearts hold so many earthly things such as anger and bitterness and, (dare I even say it) hatred. In fact, most people really never see into the depths of their own hearts, because the heart can be such a deceptive visionary. We are even told as much in Jeremiah, 17:9 ESV, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Yes, the heart often seeks to deceive us into believing that all is right with the way we live our lives in the world. And if we really don’t know ourselves and all that we are capable of, how then, can we learn to trust others? Well, as we spend time in shared experiences, we grow together with all of those other mortals who share in our lives! So why not with God?

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Yes, just as we grow to trust others, so has God shared with us enough knowledge about him through His revelations so that any of us can enter into the same meaningful relationship with him that we have with the rest of our friends and families who dwell on earth with us. However the moment we are struck by this often happens when we least expect it, and only when our mind is ready to consider the things He seeks to share. But for us to understand and grow with Him, we must be willing to learn what it is He deems we should know.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV reaffirms this, even as it reminds us of the amazing fact that it is by His mouth to the mind of man, that His scripture was given life, in the first place! “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

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A man by the name of Smith Wigglesworth (and yes, I laughed when I read his name too!) was a British evangelist who brought his voice to the burgeoning movement of Pentacostalism. Anyway, Smith made a promise to God that he would not go to bed at night until he had delivered to Him a new believer. It was a promise he kept until he passed away on March 12, 1947. But it is a quote attributed to him that I find so compelling as I think about taking that leap of faith to faith!  “Fear looks; faith jumps. Faith never fails to obtain its object. If I leave you as I found you, I am not God’s channel. I am not here to entertain you, but to get you to the place where you can laugh at the impossible.” (1) And just as Smith sought to bring people to the edge where they might glimpse (and laugh) at the impossible, so do I encourage you to envision all that He promises lies just beyond the horizon! I may be a simple person who is but a novice in believing myself, but I speak with the knowledge of one who leapt and has seen, that the things that are to be seen, when we take that leap, are wondrous, indeed!

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(1) http://hopefaithprayer.com/faith/faith-quotes/

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BEYOND THE BLUE HORIZON

(a feel-good song for the ages)

Written by Robin/Harling/Whiting
Performed by Lou Christie
From his 1970 “Magnetic South”  album

Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me

I see the new horizon
My life has only begun
Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun

Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me

I see the new horizon
My life has only begun
Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun

Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me

I see the new horizon
My life has only begun
Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun

Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun

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We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/22/15

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I Have A Dream 

(And So Should You!)

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=picture+of+dreaming&qpvt=picture+of+dreaming&FORM=IGRE#

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“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1618365-i-have-a-dream-writings-and-speeches-that-changed-the-world

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I wrote this post with the face of a visionary in my mind’s eye, and an echo of his famous speech replaying over and over in my mind’s ear. You see, I too, have a dream… AND, so should you!

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I have a dream, and so should you, of a world where we all can live in peace and true brotherhood. I have a dream, and so should you, where we will be as respectful of our differences as we are about the things that unite us. I have a dream, and so should you, where little girls and little boys will grow so that each knows the true value of the unique creation they are. I have a dream, and so should you, where the first thing we see of one another is that we are greeting a fellow human being instead of a black or white or Christian or Muslim human being. I have a dream, and so should you, where we will look to lift each other up and build lives together instead of tearing down those same lives because they are somehow different. I have a dream, and so should you, where we will all seek and find the tether to faith and spirit that moves each heart. I have a dream, and so should you, where we will live these words as an integral part of our character: love, kindness, respect, generosity, benevolence, compassion, tenderness, mercy, grace and brotherhood. And I have a dream, and so should you, of a day when the spiritual awakening of every heart is not a subjective experience but a divine revelation that serves to heal and enlighten all of mankind!

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Yes, I have a dream, and so should you! It is the same dream for mankind that is endowed to man by the hand of the Almighty. It is a dream of a world where we are united as one people under God, indivisible and all living in liberty, knowing only justice! And while we must embrace our faith just as the words of Hebrews 11:1 NIV tells us,Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” , we must also live by God’s guide found in Romans 14:19 NIV,Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

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Yes, I have a dream, and so should you. Together let us all dream about a world where it will be the right of everyone, no matter their country of birth or the culture they were born into, to dare to dream about a future where the promises of tomorrow eclipse anything envisioned yesterday!

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We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/19/15

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Balancing The Scales!

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balance

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“Life is a balanced system of learning and evolution. Whether pleasure or pain; every situation in your life serves a purpose. It is up to us to recognize what that purpose could be.”

Steve Maraboli

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

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As hard as it is for mankind to live lives that are not just good, but obedient to God’s command, trying to figure out exactly what constitutes His command, is even more difficult! After all, we are seldom provided with affirmation from Him that our choices and actions meet with His approval. Unless, that is, we choose to blindly trust in what we are told are His directions for living our lives! However, most of these directions were given to us by men who lived several thousand years before technology and modern conveniences were even a twinkle in someone’s eye! How then, are we to be certain what it is we must do to balance the scales of human behavior? How can we live our lives, in a way that not just honors Him in the way a loving and obedient child honors his parent, but also tells Him we are deserving of the trust He has in us, as well? By reading what His handbook tells us, and then applying and using that information with hearts and minds that have borne witness to all the miracles that have transpired in the years since creation!
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One of His directives is found in Deuteronomy 11 : 13-15 NIV says, “So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve him will all your heart and with all your soul – then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.” So how do we understand and interpret this verse?
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Try thinking about the scales that balance good and bad behaviors a little differently. We tend to view those scales much like the picture above… exactly like the scales of justice that adorn nearly every courthouse in the western world. We envision a see-saw where, for every sin we commit, we must do some good, to guarantee that one side does not outweigh the other, causing it to come crashing to the ground. Instead, try thinking of a framework that is constructed more like a box, where all our behaviors, both good and bad, rest… co-mingled one with the other.
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The space within this type of framework has the capacity to hold an infinite amount of all of our behaviors, both good and bad, but it’s structure allows for those behaviors to be re-arranged, commensurate with our ever evolving life experiences. This framework even allows us to reach in and pluck out and discard an act for which we have sought our forgiveness. And still, the box remains as deep and wide and as perfectly shaped as we need for it to be over the course of our lifetime. Proverbs 8:17 NLT says, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” This is what His love and trust in us gifts us with the moment we look to Him and choose to bring Him into every fiber of our being!
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Yes, He forgives us but He expects that, by our earnest atonement, we will learn from those mistakes and insulate ourselves from re-offending. This means we must always be willing to seek Him out and meet Him halfway as we make our journey along life’s path. However, it is never a distance that is beyond each of us to manage because all we need do is close our eyes, reach out to Him, and but ask! Revelation 5:9 ESV says, “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…”

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“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Psalm 37:23-24 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/14/15

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign…

(Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind. 
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?)

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When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

Jonathan Swift

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

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The signs that guide our way. They are everywhere in our life. From mammoth billboards that advertise everything from businesses to behaviors, to the street name on nearly every corner or crossroad we come to, to guidance from our leaders and administrators, the signs that light our way are everywhere. Now they are erected for us with the sole purpose of keeping us traveling or behaving the way someone, usually a stranger, thinks we should be, as we live our lives. And since we tend to see these signs as absolute and proof positive in their correctness, we all too often fail to follow our own inner voice and common sense that should direct our actions and behaviors. So, like Lemmings, we follow those signs blindly, often to the edge of the precipice, and sometimes to our doom! How do we know which signs we should follow and how do we know they are correct?

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While following the signs God sends are perhaps ones we should trust blindly, it is rare when we should do the same for the signs man gives us. I say rare because there may be times when we should trust man. Did you know that on August 23, 1864, Abraham Lincoln wrote a resolution on a piece of paper which he folded and asked his cabinet to endorse with their signatures without reading? They did so, committing themselves blindly to whatever he had resolved! And like the trust his cabinet had for their commander and chief, when those we love guide us and we know that they have only our best interests at heart, we usually feel comfortable that where they are leading us is for our own good. This is the way that trust should exist between life partners or a parent and child. Usually! You see, no matter how much you trust someone, I firmly believe our own inner voice should always trump what we are being told. If it feels wrong to us then it probably is not right for our lives!  And while the Bible tells us in Psalm 118:8 ESV to trust God rather than man, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”, He too, expects that we will apply the free will which He has given to us, as we follow life’s signs. Romans 14:15 NASB says, “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.”

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God may give man some specific signs, or even miracles, to guide us when it is necessary. Just think about the star that guided the believers to a stable that held His newly born son! Matthew 2:9 NIV reads, “After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.” But even then, God expected the Wise Men to use their wisdom and common sense as they decided which path was the best one to take to reach Bethlehem! Yes, we should trust that He will open the door and make all things possible for us and the lives we lead. And we must remember that our own will might just cause our choices to be biased in a way that might be dangerous to us. But we are also each responsible for praying and thinking and talking to those we trust, about the choices He gives to us. Never forget that the ones we grab a hold of as we make our life’s journey, are also choices with consequences we must live with for a lifetime!

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“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Luke 21: 25-28 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/10/15

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What Really Matters! 

Post 1400

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Self Esteem

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We are all primary numbers divisible only by ourselves.

Jean Guitton

http://www.quotegarden.com/

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You have to love how quickly we find ourselves becoming the new “Flavor of the Month”! For example, say something impactful or stirring or insightful and suddenly, you find that everyone is your new best friend. Now there may be absolutely nothing else that is different about you. You think the same, you look the same, you dress the same, you do the same work, you sing the same song….. but just one little thing changes you forever in the mind of someone else. And the same follows for those “oopsies” we are responsible for, as well. In the blink of an eye, a seemingly innocent remark might just find you stranded, all alone, as if on some deserted island, friends scurrying away in the opposite direction, with the skid marks of their escape the only sign there ever was a connection. Why do we tend to judge the worth of another using such shallow criteria? Actually, now that I think about it, why are we even judging the worth of another at all? Is it any wonder that our young people suffer horribly from what they perceive is the terminal illness of having low self-esteem?

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Now while some believe that our self-esteem is born within the experiences we share with the ones that mean the most to us, I sometimes wonder if that is really true. I do know that a negative statement made to us by a loved one can linger a lifetime in our memories but we have the positive feedback too that sometimes washes away the sting. However, a thoughtless word from an acquaintance, or even a stranger, can create a hurt that can not be forgiven or forgotten because we often have no capacity to work our anger through via a vocal exchange. I remember clearly an insult shouted out a car window by a complete stranger to me when I was waiting for a bus on the corner when I lived in Staten Island. The person, a complete stranger, yelled at me, and called me a big fat pig. Now I was in college then and I really wasn’t very big at the time….. unless you consider 155 lbs big (considering that today, the average American woman is 5’4″, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs between 140-150 lbs, with a dress size of 12-14). But I was hurt to my very core and I was sobbing hysterically as the bus stopped to pick me up. I never spoke a word of that exchange to a single person, until today, although I vividly remember the pain the encounter caused me!

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It wasn’t until recently that I really understood that believing that our self-worth comes from the feedback we get from others is a HUGE problem. The thing is, if we try to constantly seek the approval of others that matter in determining how we see ourselves, we will be trapped in a cycle of never living up to the things we are truly capable of achieving….like a hamster running on a wheel, we will find ourselves walking around in circles instead of heading forward in our lives. We must not live our lives through others, but instead, grow the fortitude from within, that will allow us live our lives for ourselves! We each are the perfect creation of the our creator, God. And as His child, it is only what HE thinks of us and what WE think of us that matters!

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Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:12-14 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/07/15

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Let Go… Let God!

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let go let God 2

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/let%20go%20let%20god

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   “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”

Thomas Jefferson

1762-1826

http://thinkexist.com/quotes/thomas_jefferson/

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What do we do when the urge to cry “Uncle” becomes an all-consuming need? Can we manage to hang onto the end of our rope for a single second longer? Well congratulations and welcome to the human race! You see, whether you are Queen Elizabeth II or Pope Francis himself, we all have days that seem so desperate, it’s as if even the sunshine has been wiped from the heavens! And despite our knowing what God’s promises to us are, our thoughts will often remain clouded with doubts and questions. And I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have to wonder if those doubts are placed there by the devil himself. After all, he delights in creating chaos and misery for mankind in the hopes that we will lose our capacity to remain faithful to God! The thing is that we must never for a single moment think we are alone. God makes no distinctions between a Queen, a Pope or a housewife who lives in South Carolina. It doesn’t matter whether our trial is the result of our own poor choices or something that is beyond our capacity to control. Isaiah 58:11 NLT says, “The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”

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It is during these moments that we must turn not away from, but toward Him and to others in our lives who remain steadfastly by our sides through the good and the bad times! We are reminded  in Galatians 6:2 NKJV that we must, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” And should the mantle remain too heavy for even shared strength of our combined fortitude to shoulder, then we have reached the moment when we must turn it over to God himself. Remember always the phrase, “Let go… Let God!” Bring your pain and suffering to Him. Trust Him!  Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV reminds us to always… “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your path straight.”

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My brother-in-law is a pilot. He never gets into a plane without first checking over every single inch of the aircraft. He reviews weather reports continually. He leaves nothing to chance because he knows that even a tiny slip can have disastrous consequences! And a tiny slip, when it is contrary to His word, can have the same consequences for us. Our feelings, no matter how well thought out they may be, are not always right. But when we turn those doubts or questions over to Him, and trust in His counsel to us, we can triumph over anything! Yes, “Let Go… Let God”!

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Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you..

Psalms 9:10 NIV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 01/06/15

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I’m Sorry!

Post 1396

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forgiveness

https://mandyspath.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/forgivenessapril.jpg

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When you realize you have made a mistake, make amends immediately. It’s easier to eat crow while it’s still warm.

Dan Heist
http://www.quotesnsayings.com/sorry/

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I have written perhaps 50 posts over the years about saying hurtful things to another. Well, after one such post, I received a comment from a friend that reminded me of a moral imperative that should be our response always when we hurt another…. whether the hurt was intentional or unintentional! Here is what he wrote. “I too have fallen into this ‘sin trap’ on more than one occasion…. but to make amends, to apologize to the injured parties, THAT takes another lesson: Humility… one we can all learn better from these days.”

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The words “I’m sorry” are tiny ones but we often say them all too freely and for the wrong reason. The word sorry loses its magic when you use it that way, especially when it is said in apology for your having committed the same mistake over and over. Sorry loses its power unless and until we choose to not just rectify the mistake, but to make changes to our hearts that guarantees the mistake will not be repeated. And this requires our discovering our inner capacity for “humility”!

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How many of us have sat ourselves down and really thought about humility, especially as it relates to God’s command? I know that I probably have, on occasion but on occasion is not enough! If we are both willful and prideful, we are not likely to be willing to submit our wills to the things that are God’s command to us! He says as much in Micah 6:8 when we are told of what He asks of us! “What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Certainly we can not enter His kingdom! Matthew 18:3-4 reminds us of this! “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” And we need to humble ourselves if we are to ever be forgiven. It is both needed by the one we wronged just as it is needed by us as part of our repentance! It says as much in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin…”

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Trials are part of life. That we must face them is an inescapable absolute for man. We become vulnerable in our weakness that pride bestows on us when we think we know all of the answers here on earth, and even, at times, what we need to do to get into heaven. None of us like weakness and vulnerability which is why we seem to struggle so when the time comes to admit we are sorry for something we have done. But to do so with a willing heart will not just repair the potholes we often cause along the journey we undertake with others here on earth, but it also helps us to pave the way to Him and to His mansion on high! “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” Esther 12:27.

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Now just in case you just happen to think it’s too late, too difficult or even impossible to make amends, I want to share the following story with you. I’m sure most of you (here in the states, at least), remember a series of commercials aired by the insurance giant Liberty Mutual. I think of them as a “Pay It Forward” series of feel good acts! Well, that same company has also spearheaded a program entitled “The Responsibility Project”.  This project tells stories about how people say “I’m SORRY” and make amends…. sometimes even teaching a valuable lesson to others in the process. And while you may not always agree with the methods employed, remember that an old saying is not always true: Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. You see, when someone is hurt, opening our heart, mouth and acting to make amends…. to do SOMETHING…. is NEVER the wrong move to make!

http://responsibility-project.libertymutual.com/blog/suspending-the-team

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He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

Psalms 25:9 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2015 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 12/31/14

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Goodbye To The Old
Hello To The New

Post 1390

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goodbye-2014-welcome-2015-1-1024x827

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“Your  success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you  shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

Helen  Keller

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_newyears.html

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December 31st….. the one day of the year that most people find themselves thinking about the life they lived during previous 365 days and how the moments of that year have impacted both that life and the world in which we all live, as well! And I can only speak for myself, but I feel certain that we, as a civilized world might just come to see 2014 as a “year that will live in infamy”. It seems that the bad events that occurred in 2014 seem to far outweigh the positive experiences during the same time frame….. almost as if we, as a society, are morally devolving rather than evolving. Yes, it seems as if we the people are failing to live lives that seek to create better world for humankind! And I wonder whether one reason for this downturn is that man is falling away from his faith and from God!

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The faith of the human race is scrutinized in the book of Revelations, in particular the Laodicean Church, and describes a faith and a people so consumed by the rights of people that they seems to forget that for Christians, it is the word that truly matters, as man seeks to be guided to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. And in describing the parable of the sower in His teachings, Jesus seeks to describe the hearts and souls of people by talking about what happens to seeds that are being sown.

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The seeds that fall and failed to germinate, and were, instead, eaten, sounds just like the man who ignores God’s word and instead lives and dies by his sin. 

The seeds which fall on stone but did germinate only to wither and die in the heat of day, describes man who hears the word and changes but only until the next trial comes along which then finds them turning their back on faith, once more!

  The seeds that fall in thorns and were choked as they grew, talks of a man who hears and heeds the word but is waylaid by the material things man comes to idolize!

The last three groups of seeds are the ones that find the rich earth and take root and flourish. And while their productivity might vary, it is these seeds that spring forth from fertile ground that talks of people who are not just spirit filled, but who use that spirit to share with others the fruitfulness and bounty that is to be found in His message.

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So now that the time is here to rehash the life we have lived during the last year, will you seek to make, and keep, some New Year resolutions that will make the world of 2015 that we all share, a better place for you, your family, your community, your world and your God?

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A Prayer For Strength and Wisdom In The New Year

Written by
Edgar A. Guest

Grant me the strength from day to day
To bear what burdens come my way.
Grant me throughout this bright New Year
More to endure and less to fear.
Help me live that I may be
From spite and petty malice free.

Let me not bitterly complain
When cherished hopes of mine prove vain,
Or spoil with deeds of hate and rage
Some fair tomorrow’s spotless page.
Lord, as the days shall come and go
In courage let me stronger grow.

Lord, as the New Year dawns today
Help me to put my faults away.
Let me be big in little things;
Grant me the joy which friendship brings.
Keep me from selfishness and spite;
Let me be wise in what is right.

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye.
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.

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May 2015 be a year when we all stand tall, take the hand of our brother and sister, and remember that it is not the world that shapes humankind, but humankind that shapes the world! Happy New Year to each and every one of you!

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I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness  and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19 RSV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry