Friday, December 12, 2014

DID I SEE HIS HAND IN MY LIFE?


Reading Matthew 5 in a different light, I sometimes I read other versions of the scripture (other than the NKJV) and I am sure you do too. Sometimes it is good to read a "plainer" version of well loved scripture. "The Message" version of the new testament speaks in the casual Amercan vernacular I am used to. So I chose the first 7 "Beatitudes"....... but even though the language is casual, the message and the intent are no less powerful.

Matthew 5 The Message (MSG)
You’re blessed:1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One dearest to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
When I read this, it makes me want to count my blessings.

  Come thou Font of Every Blessing...Mumford & Sons 
You might pray and ponder, asking the questions: Did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children? I will do that Pres.Henry B Eyring
Did God send a message that was just for me, or just for you? This question was posed in class last evening. And we (students) had a opportunity to bear a testimony of recognizing the hand of God in our lives. This statement caused all of us to really ponder, and think about the details of the otherwise mundane days of our lives. What happened in the routine could be construed as the "hand of God" What happened this week only that can be compared to all of the all the  other weeks and months that I have lived. This week I received more phone calls than usual

  1.  A neighbor left an indeciperable message on my phone. So unrecognizable was any word she had spoken, I knew I had to call her back just to have her translate the message. My neighbor wanted to drop off a very large bag of potatoes, she had a surplus. Her church had given out bags of potatoe's to it's members. Why yes, I would love some potatoes, because as luck would have it I was on my way to the grocery store to buy some potatoes.    
  2. My fridge has been dying a slow death for well over a year now, and we have prayed for it and also for us that we would not succomb to food poisoning because of the declining temperatures inside. It was like global warming in a box. We could not afford to buy a new one, so my husband and I prayed for a solution. We humbled ourselves and asked for help.The S.O.S was out there and we waited and it seemed to me that Heavenly Father assured us that he was "on it" and there would be an answer soon. A month has gone by and two days ago, a wardmember called us to let us know that he had a refrigerator that we could have. Yes, and thank you so much, because the old one was in the thro's of death rattles. As we went to pick up the fridge and brought it home, we noted that it was a perfect fit. Wow, it was a one in a million chance that the fridge could fit in the niche in our small  home. Heavenly Father was definitely on the job.
  3. I got two phone calls from 2 friends. My phone seldom rings unless it's my husband or the ubiquitous wrong number.
  4. A long lost work friend sent me a picture of his newborn baby. What isn't lost on me is that these two friends, ( the potato friend and the work friend), were two people that I bravely gave a copy of the book of Mormon to.
  5. Today at work, we received our annual Christmas gift card. It will come in handy.       

O Remember, remember .....Pres Henry B Eyring

Happy Friday y'all, may our hearts ever be tuned to hear His voice

Friday, December 5, 2014

5 THINGS FOR FRIDAY............the christmas edition

It's coming on Christmas ya'll

So today is 5 things for Friday the Christmas edition.  I love Christmas in a love /hate kind of way, but nontheless I love it and I look forward to it every year. One of my favorite holiday traditions is to find new holiday themed music. But let's face it, if you've bought one holiday themed CD, you have the same songs on every one. That is why I am so thankful for the ability to make my own playlist's YOUTUBE style. It was hard to choose, but these 5 unconventional offerings are the best of.


RIVER/joni mitchell cover
  
I love this as it is sung by Joni Mitchell, but this group does a really good job too. I read where Ms Mitchell said this song really had nothing to do with Christmas



HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS by Michael Buble


I love Holly Jolly Christmas, especially if it is sung by Beryl Ives. But Michael Buble makes it swing. My favorite memory of this song is when my brother and I would watch "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and the kindly old snowman narrator would sing this song. ( I know I am a Geek)



CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE...shawn colvin 

This song reminds me of "A Charlie Brown Christmas".



MARY DID YOU KNOW/pentatonix


I love this song, it is so beautiful and spiritual


JUST BECAUSE
LET IT GO/sndtrack to FROZEN  Jimmy Fallon/Idina Menzel and the Roots




WALTON'S CHRISTMAS ( Another favorite Christmas program. For a short time in my life as child, we lived this simple life. )



MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Family Affair


R. any thoughts on the Ferguson situation?   I'd like to hear what you have to say.

A really good friend of mine sent this cryptic email to me. I decided to answer this question on my blog, and maybe others may want to chime in. Sometimes these incidents seem like one long train wreck and I have found myself unable to stop "looking at it". But this incident has culminated in a long series of unfortunate events in the world. There is a war on the children and a war on the Family and family values.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.Martin Luther King, Jr.
My thoughts; I believe that this is a full out, frontal assault with no holds barred on the Family. Yes the Family and not just the family of  Michael Brown who was killed, but also on my family and your family, and every person who is marching in protest and many others who are not.. Is it the “Man” who is making this war against the family? No, but unfortunately, it seems that the good intentions of anyone who works for the people, as in government, or as a public servant, can become an unwitting tool in this war. Every time a child, or a young person is killed before the age of 20, a generation that could have been is no more. As a matter of fact, more than one generation, but at least 2 or 3 generations of a family line that could have been, is not.  What about the officer who was just doing his job? What will become of him and his family? It would be unwise to think that this man and his family will not suffer some reproach. This man quit his job and will move away from a home that he and his family have established. Can this family survive? How many generations will be put on hold in his line?  
This generation will be called upon to defend the doctrine of the family as never before. If they don’t know the doctrine, they can’t defend it. Julie B Beck 
It seems like this conflict is about race and it is and is not, but the grand scheme of things is so much more. Last year my 22 year old nephew was gunned down in a strong arm robbery gone bad. The story wasn't clear, either he was defending himself or he was the perpatrator. But he was not killed by policemen, he was killed by young men the same age as he was and allegedly his friends. There is no ongoing investigation, no marches, no protests, nothing, except that a young man is dead who did not fulfil the purpose of what he came here to do. Who is to blame?          
 Matthew 24:11-13
Many false prophets (false ideologies; political correctness, etc) will arise and will mislead many.12"Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
 13"But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.…
 Maybe we should make signs and march for the family

But all these things are a beginning of birth-pains


Monday, September 29, 2014

LIFE HACK: MONDAY

If we try to live up to some ridiculous idea of perfection we totally miss grace, we completely miss grace. Grace is something we need to embrace; the Lord knows us, and He doesn’t want us to be like everyone else. He didn’t make us to be like everyone else. We’re all individuals and he needs us to do his work to build up Zion to strengthen and edify each other. We are all part of the same body but if the body is walking around with the knee thinking it’s supposed to be the nose or the head thinking it’s supposed to be the shoulder… You can’t do your job if you think you are supposed to be something else. Just find out who you are in the Lord and make your space in the Church
Tina Richardson
 President Uchtdorf mentioned this "trend" in his closing remarks during the Womens Conference this past Saturday.



What is a life hack? A “life hack” is a technique or idea that helps or prevents you. For example, putting your car keys in your leftover bag of lunch at work will prevent you from going home without your leftovers. 

"Obeying the commandments of God", can be a pretty intimidating statement for most people, even those who consider themselves devout. In the face of this statement a question arise's , "How do I do that? How do I know if I am doing it right?" What action can I take to make sure that remember to obey that commandment? (At least these are questions that I have asked and continue to ask so that I won't get it wrong).  Obedience doesn’t just happen, It is a learned response to an active stimulus, that over time evolves into an integral part of your overall behavior.  I am sure President Uchtdorf wanted to convey to most that "sacred things are not to be trifled with". But in my own puny opinion, I believe that the commandment(s) were designed as a guide to a more abundant life for those are committed to God. The "language" of the scriptures can be often difficult to understand and make sense of. So in deference to Nephi, in order to "liken" (language) the scriptures to ourselves, an evolving language has trended. As imperfect humans, we need "prompts"

A man asked Jesus "What is the greatest commandment". Jesus said "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, your might and your mind and your soul". And a second which is just as important, "Love one another, love your neighbor as I have loved you and on these two, hang all the other commandments". Now there is another word "hang", what does that mean? It means that when we consider and obey these two "great" commandments; they act as a prompt and motivation to obey all of the others. Jesus made it easy, as we seek out God, we seek him as we seek a friend, as one who cares for us. We respond to that love and in turn we want to please Him. How do we please God, it's like trying to find a gift for the person who has everything. We love Him by loving our neighbors, our families, the stranger begging for a dollar. We love him by making good choices, by being considerate of each other. Love is obedience and obedience is love. Do we need a "life hack" to remember to love, to be obedient? I think so, just until we realize that "easy" is not for everything, but being mindful is better.         

Friday, September 26, 2014

THE MOST INFLUENTIAL


Earlier this year Time magazine published it's "100 Most Influential People" issue. Beyonce' Knowles-Carter is on the cover . I don't know if she is number 1 or 100, I was curious as to what her sphere of  influence was; but then Oprah wasn't on that list.
I wanted to list a group of influential people in my life, but I tend to overanalyze  and I can't think of 100 people I have known. But I thought about my paternal grandmother Elizabeth.  She was very strict(to me) and she always had a "switch" in her purse which was often used judiciously (on me). Now those of you who don't know what a "switch" is , I suggest you look it up in the dictionary of Southern Idioms. Let's just say she was a strict disciplinarian. 
She was also a serial churchgoer and attended at least 3 on any given Sunday. And more often then not, I was her companion. A typical Sunday would start very early, we would all attend the early morning services at the local Church my mom and dad attended. Afterwards we would have lunch and then start out for the "country" church she loved. Getting there would require two cabs and a long walk down a country road. During all of this, I would ask her, "Are we there yet"? The country church was in a "shotgun" type of building that Louisiana is famous for, and with  no air conditioning. On the hottest days of summer all of the kids would sit in the back of the church, where the windows were opened .


Sister Julie B Beck courtesy of lds.org

My grandma was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Board, so on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, she wore either a white dress with white gloves and shoes, or she wore a navy blue dress with black shoes. Her role was to help people find their seats, or help moms with crying babies, or discretely remove small children who were in the throes of an uncontrollable  tantrum. As for me, I had the honor of sitting with her in the back, and of course the switch was there with us too.     

When I was in high school my grandmother had a stroke, she recovered but had to live in a nursing home. My dad would visit her at least 3-4 times a week and my brother and I would come . I don't remember having a lot of meaningful conversations with her. But I remember on one occasion I came to visit her, I was suffering from a broken heart. I wasn't talking to her because her speech and cognitive skills had deteriorated, so we just looked at each other. Then something happened, she spoke to me in a clear strong voice. She asked me why I was so sad and I told her. She gave me the best advice that only a loving grandma could give. Then we hugged and she told me that she loved me, she had never told me that before. Then she lapsed back into her incoherent babbling. Wow, what a gift, and I am thankful that I  was able to appreciate it then and even more now. I have often wondered what was the legacy that she left? What was her sphere of influence on me? Over the past few years I have been working on her Family History. The little bits and pieces of info I have found are hard won. I discovered that she was married to only one man, my Grandpa Will, but it seems they did not have a happy marriage. It was so unhappy that two of her sons changed their names in protest. She lived with her mother for a time;she was a share cropper, a domestic and other odd jobs. She raised 5 boys alone and they were fiercely loyal to her. Sort of like the "Sons of Katie Elder". I realize now that it was her strong testimony of faith that helped her to survive and live as long as she did. She never ceased to praise God, or testify of his good works in her life. She did her very best to instill this in me. The best thing she did for me was to teach me to read the Bible and then enjoy it. I feel like she is my guardian angel and I am forever grateful for her.   
Who is that "Most Influential" person in your life? Are you able to thank them. Here is some new music; an new take on an old song. It's called "Grandma's Hand's", originally sung by Bill Withers, but now by Tony Lucca.
  

This weekend all the "Sisters in Zion" of all ages will be gathered together for a wonderful time, to share a meal, to share thoughts and love. All ages will be represented and that is how it should be. See you all at the Womens Conference!!