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Thought For The Day 07/01/12

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Planting Your Garden

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Four Generations

Spring 2010

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There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

Mirabel Osler

http://quotegarden.com/gardens.html

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My dad lives with Dan and me, and having a multi-generational household, while challenging, has benefits beyond measure. Landon is very lucky to know and be able to interact with his Great-Grandfather which is something few children are able to lay claim to. The Bruscella-Hilliard families live in very close proximity and while we are no longer across the street, we remain in the same housing development. Because Landon has Early Intervention during the week, I pick him up from daycare and he comes here almost every day in the afternoon. Then we enjoy a family dinner all together, holding each others hands as we offer grace, our Amen’s followed by 3 squeezes of the hand we are holding. The reason is twofold. It first represents the Holy Trinity and secondly, means I LOVE YOU in our household! We kiss one another every single night before Sabrina (et al) heads home. Yes, sometimes we all grate on each other but the pros of a household like ours, far out-weighs the cons. You see, we are sowing the seeds of family and love in our house. The seeds I sow in my house might be different from the ones you plant in your own, but the burgeoning blooms that are found in a home where love exists (not only love of family but love of God, as well), are glorious indeed.

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My dad forwarded this email to me on Saturday and it is the perfect recipe for sowing your very own beautiful blooms. I hope you not just enjoy this little post, but perhaps try a few of these ideas yourself as you till your own gardens. Just imagine the beautiful colors and smells and tastes that might just burst forth in your own life!

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FOR THE GARDEN OF YOUR DAILY LIVING

First, you Come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses.

Then you:

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PLANT THREE ROWS OF PEAS

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1. Peace of mind

2. Peace of heart

3. Peace of soul

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PLANT FOUR ROWS OF SQUASH

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1. Squash gossip

2. Squash indifference

3. Squash grumbling

4. Squash selfishness

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PLANT FOUR ROWS OF LETTUCE

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1. Lettuce be faithful

2. Lettuce be kind

3. Lettuce be patient

4. Lettuce really love one another

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NO GARDEN IS COMPLETE WITHOUT TURNIPS

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1. Turnip for meetings

2. Turnip for church services

3. Turnip to help one another

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TO CONCLUDE OUR GARDEN YOU MUST HAVE THYME

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1. Thyme for God

2. Thyme for each other

3. Thyme for family

4. Thyme for friends

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WATER FREELY WITH PATIENCE AND CULTIVATE THE FRUIT OF THE VINE WITH LOVE!

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May your gardens teem with breathtaking beauty because of the care you gave each and every seedling. And just as you care for each one, so may you understand the correlation between the seeds you sow and the plants that grow within the fertile soil of God’s love. “Then Christ will live in you through faith. I also pray that love may be the ground into which you sink your roots and on which you have your foundation.”

Ephesians 3:17 (GODS WORD Translation)

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/16/12

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Dubito, Ergo Cogito, Ergo Sum

“I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am”

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Portrait by Frans Hals

1648

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Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith.

Author Unknown

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René Descartes who was born March 31st, 1596 and who died February 11th, 1650, was perhaps one of the most brilliant as well as enlightened men of his day, and a genius in not just philosophy but in mathematics and theology, as well. Know as the “Father of Modern Philosophy”, this devout Catholic sought to open the eyes of the world to embrace that science and scientific achievement could live and exist along side of faith, a stand staunchly resisted in his day. This is why many of his brilliant works were censured by the church. He tried, through his treatises “Meditations”, to prove the existence of God and held that since God could not err but man was capable of error, that was simply because man did not really understand all of what God’s plan was for our existence. I wonder then, that he did not alter the phrase which we associate most with him “Cogito Ergo Sum” aka “I Think Therefore I Am” (the complete text which appears in the title above) to “Credo Ergo Sum” which is “I Believe Therefore I Am“. I like this which seems to fall more within the lilting pattern of Descartes’ original, although with Latin, since ambiguity does not exist and “I Believe” might not mean a belief in God, perhaps we need to consider this alternative, “I Believe in God, Therefore I Am“, translated as “Crede Deum Ergo Sum“. (By the way, that small act, my friends, has given me a migraine as I struggled to remember back 40 years to my Latin classes in school.)

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My point is that René was a man of extraordinary faith and yet he is remembered more for his achievements in Philosophy, which even today, form the basis for most of the accepted thought in this specialty, rather than his achievements in theology. And I don’t know for certain, but considering the sheer amount of time and mental brainpower he dedicated to trying to prove the existence of God (or at least trying to get man to accept that both Science and Faith can be embraced without somehow undermining the importance of either one), it seems like his greatest genius lays in the realm of theology.

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Now whatever you choose to believe his greatest gifts were, for me, he was the one person that paved the way for much of what has made me the person I am. I have a scientific mind. As a nurse working in the field of healing, I had to see things in the shades of black and white that science lets those that heal others, borrow and run with. Conversely, as a person of faith, I embrace the philosophy that all serves His plan for us as we live on earth. We no more declare the absolutes for the life we lead than one can state with absolute certainty that man can breathe underwater unassisted! It is that simple and that complex. It is this piece that allowed me to work with those that are dying. As a member of the scientific community, I evaluated and altered treatments to keep the people I was caring for comfortable. If I could give them another day where they could feel the sun’s rays on their face, then I had done the medical part I needed to do. However, the curing part…..that’s another story. Yes, believe with all your heart that a cure is possible but understand that it will most likely not happen as a result of any overt act performed by the hand of man. Turn your fear and worry over to the one for whom all of these miracles rest. Believe, as I do, in the motto “Crede Deum Ergo Sum“, and trust in God that His plan for our lives is what is best for us. It is all that any of us can do, really!

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

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Copyright © 2011-2012 “MandysPath” Ministry

Thought For The Day 06/04/12

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Pharaoh’s Heart

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We all possess the thunder of pure fury and the calm breeze of tranquility.  If it wasn’t for tomorrow, how much would we get done today?  Whatever your purpose… embrace it completely.  Get lost in the clouds every now and then so you never lose sight of God’s wonder. 

Paul Vitale

http://quotegarden.com/purpose.html

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There are few people whose lives have been the subject of as much debate throughout the ages as the one who ruled Egypt as Pharaoh, during the time of Moses. Time and time again God provided His word to Ramses through Moses with regard to the Hebrew slaves who toiled relentlessly creating the wonders he charged them with building, honoring his reign. Time and time again, this arrogant and cruel man refused to hear God’s directive to let His people go out of bondage. Despite plagues of water transformed into blood, frogs, lice, flies, diseased cattle, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and the deaths of the Egyptian first-born, Pharaoh’s heart remained hard! Even after relenting and freeing them, he soon changed his mind, gathering his military forces together and pursuing the departing Hebrews even as they fled across the Red Sea. Of course, we all know what happened next when the hand of God caused the parted waters to close over the heads of the Egyptians, drowning many of Ramses finest warriors!

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How many people do you know even today who possess a stubborn streak that might just match that of Pharaoh? I know I can think of a few dozen without batting an eye! Why do you think that is? Today, we can not blame superstition that affected the minds of people living during the time of Pharaoh. And yet, just as it was then, one thing stands out in my mind as a HUGE cause of why there are so many who refuse to see the forest for the trees. PRIDE! Of all the vices of man, the most destructive might just be PRIDE which has the capacity to paralyze so much of the rational thought we all are capable of. All too often, it is this PRIDE that forces people away from the path that Christianity promises. Rather than uniting as a collective body of believers as the disciples did, we remain fragmented in the misguided belief that we know more that does our creator! And yet we are luckier than Pharaoh, in one aspect. Pharaoh’s fate is forever sealed whereas we have the opportunity of changing the way we see, act and believe. Now I don’t know about you, but I freely admit that I do not have all the answers to all of the questions that I am asked. So perhaps we might each put aside for a moment what we as individuals would like to see happen in our world, and begin to look collectively with a united vision to begin to effect changes as a group whose hearts know and believe in the Almighty. Is it possible for us to become united as one body just as the Apostles were, working toward a common vision for our world? Can we loose the chains that bind and harden our hearts, preventing us from making the world a better place for everyone? After all, are we not told that a threefold cord is not easily broken? Well then, just think about what a cord woven from the threads of many, many hearts and minds, united in faith, might just be able to accomplish if we but work together!

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9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:   10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.   11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?   12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 NIV

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Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath”

Thought For The Day 06/03/12

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God’s Gift Of Pets

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http://www.lollie.com/aawallpaper/priceless1024.jpg

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If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth.

Chief Seattle of the Suquamish Tribe

from a letter written to President Franklin Pierce

http://quotegarden.com/animals.html

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Today’s blog is a bit of a different post that my recent ones. Recently some dear friends of mine lost pets whom they loved very much and I think it’s time for another feel good post that I hope just might get some of you motivated to consider adding a pet to your household. And so this post I am dedicating with all the love I hold in my heart to my friends out there who pray for, advocate for, foster, nurture and place in loving homes some of God’s smallest blessings!

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I am the proud owner of pets. My home is always dusty with paw prints on the couch and table. I have enough spots on my carpets that should I decide on replacing them as often as I probably should, I could keep Shaw and Monsanto and a dozen more carpet manufacturers in business for the next 25 years…..or until I go toes up, whichever comes first. My moldings are scratched because my oldest cat would never learn to use a scratching post, preferring the molding that surrounds every single doorway in my home. I kill vacuums like most people go through paper towels and in thinking about them as well, I might just be a wealthy woman had I the foresight to invest in paper products 40 years ago! Yes, I am generally at the Vet every couple of months for one or another of my furry children, and I can state with some certainty that I am responsible for putting a few dozen children through college! I have been known to buy out the supermarket supply of a particular type of canned cat food which seems to be the only kind of soft food my finicky cats will eat! And I wouldn’t trade the stains, dust, hair, walks, money and work for all the tea in China! You see, I know exactly why God chose to gift the world with all of His small living beings. I see His wisdom in every lick, every nuzzle, every snuggle, every cat paw doughing me, every glance that comes my way from eyes that look at me with an indescribable love! I know His purpose! Pets are good not just for our physical being but our soul, as well!

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Did you know that scientists have actually done studies that prove the benefits of pet ownership? Well just incase you doubt, the following facts have been proven in studies performed on households where pets abound (and the study does not just single out dogs and cats, either)! Pets force an otherwise sedentary population to adopt a healthier lifestyle which includes the exercise walking or playing with a pet provides. Having pets actually raises those happiness endorphins we all produce, serotonin and dopamine which makes us relax and feel good as well! Those who live alone are likely to suffer less from feelings of loneliness when they have a pet to care for. And pets can often be the catalyst leading to forming new relationships with other pet lovers out there. The burly guy throwing a frisbee on the beach to his dog surrounded by admirers of both sexes comes to mind! And even those people who suffer from devastating diseases such as Cancer or Alzheimer’s can often find help with not just issues of pain but other symptoms of behavior and bodily responses to the stress illness produces, by having an animal companion! And who out there doesn’t remember the feel good pictures painted in our minds of the relationships between pets and children through media productions including shows such as “Lassie” and “Marley and Me”? Did you know that children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma, many also learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having pets?

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I have become very involved with not just animal rescue groups and fostering programs through social media, but have also become an active participant in “Rainbow Bridge” memorial programs which are increasing in popularity these days. I have discovered an entirely new world out there of others whose houses and furniture and door moldings look just like mine! There are literally thousands of people all over the world who work closely with Vets in easing the grief that happens when a beloved pet passes away! I, for one, am proud and humbled to be counted among that number today! I support the many programs that seek to educate others in the benefits of adopting not buying your life long companion. But never for a single moment forget that IT IS A LIFELONG commitment to own a pet….perhaps 10, 15, or 20 years with a horse, rabbit, dog or cat; as many as 30 years or more with a bird. Unless you can commit to devoting a substantial number of years feeding, caring for and loving your companion, it might be better to choose a hobby that does not require total devotion on your part, to provide you with the stimulus and pleasure all human beings need! However, I for one, choose to be a pet mommy. And I would not have it any other way!

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You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart. The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has its home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the coneys. You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night, when all the animals of the forest come creeping out. The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.

Psalm 104:14-21

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Copyright © 2012 “MandysPath”