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!!




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SPEAKING FROM THE WHIRLWIND



Speaking from the whirlwind; Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I have been holding on tightly to this verse; as of late I have been "riding the wave" on the outer banks of God's whirlwind. But like Elijah I have stood in the presence of that voice with my face covered and my head bowed and listened:

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

He lives

Friday, July 25, 2014

THE CURE




Question's for the ages: 

What is the "cure" when the body is not injured? How is the "mind" healed of its many psychological hurts and scars?
What is the process by which a body/mind heals itself? 

When Jesus healed a person of a situation, he would say, "Your sins are forgiven", or "Go in peace." Even  when explaining or trying to explain this to nay sayers when a man on a cot was lowered into a room where he was teaching. He said to the man, "Your sins are forgiven, go in peace." There are layers to this train of speech, one was to verbally adhere to the Jewish law of not “working “ on the Sabbath and and the other was the phenomen of the body physically changing and repairing itself. So he asked them if it would be easier to say "Arise, take up thy bed, you are healed."

What is involved in the healing of a person. It is more than the body that is healed, the spirit is first healed and the body follows. I believe that the healing process starts with a "will" to live. 

Definition of HEAL
transitive verb
1a: to make sound or whole;heal a wound
b: to restore to health
2a: to cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome : mend healed
b: to patch up (a breach or division) heal a breach between friends
3: to restore to original purity or integrity ;healed of sin
intransitive verb
: to return to a sound state

My husband has been progressively healing from an undetermined "bug bite" (on the 4th of July no less), that escalated into an allergic reaction that manifested itself in massive swelling of his left leg. The doctors called it "cellulitis of undetermined  origin." It has been an interesting process this time around, because five years ago my husband was bit by a spider and he suffered the same symptoms. So you could say we were "prepared" in some degree for this unwelcome incident. He has been subject to massive dosing of antibiotics, blood thinners and pain killers. At the worst of it, his leg looked like the result of a vicious dog attack. We have experienced a definite stretching of our faith; but the Father in his grace and mercy has sent "messengers" in the form of really good friends to help soften the blow. A blessing for the sick yielded a promise of recovery and of job's not lost and going back to bear a testimony to co-workers; a bump in the road so to speak. I thought about that statement, a bump in the road. I can think of certain pot holes on well traveled roads that when I try my best to avoid them, my vechicle some how manages to literally crash into the hole, and the whole truck is jarred. We are shaken but not stirred into needless fear and anxiety.
We have surprised ourselves in this journey, by limiting any whining or asking "Why me, why this time?" Instead we were reminded of our purpose, for which we asked for, which was to tarry and be about our Fathers business in some form or fashion. My husband managed to give away two copies of the Book of Mormon and was rewarded by the testimony of 2 nurses, who had once investigated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. What happened? we asked, why did you leave? The answer was so human, they said that they felt forgotten. Both of them had investigated to the point of committing to Baptism, but their missionary's changed out, and they slipped through the crack. We invited them to come back and gave them a card. That's it, that is all we can do, a tiny breach had been closed and a healing process started.

     
COME THOU FOUNT....of every blessing  Mumford and Sons

Thursday, July 17, 2014

IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD.....and now you know it

So I just couldn't resist this scoop, the first blog to report the "End of the World"..... is in Siberia.
And you know what, I am not even going to quote any scripture, because you "know it". even the one about when we shall see Jesus as He really is, because "you know it". So now that we "know", maybe the Zombie Apocalypse will be cancelled. Lets Party

  R.E.M
Ямал - невероятная воронка Giant Hole in the ground - Yamal (Russia)
A helicopter flying over a region of Sibera referred to as the “end of the world,” recorded footage of a mysterious, giant crater in the middle of the ground estimated to be 260 feet in diameter.
At first, skeptical observers thought the images must be a fake. After all, it appears to be something out a summer science fiction blockbuster, with the giant hole appearing to descend infinitely below the surface.
But Russian officials confirmed the crater’s existence and say they are sending a team of experts to investigate the site located in an area known as the Yamal peninsula. Scientists from the Center for the Study of the Arctic and the Cryosphere Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences plan to take samples from around the scene.
So, what is responsible for the giant crater?
View photo
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A mysterious giant hole appeared in Siberia, and scientists are puzzled by how it formed
A mysterious giant hole appeared in Siberia, and scientists are puzzled by how it formed
"We can definitely say that it is not a meteorite. No details yet," a spokesperson from Russia’s Emergencies Ministry told the Siberian Times.
Experts say it’s probably not the result of a giant meteor crash or a sinkhole, even though Siberia was home to the famous Tunguska Explosion of 1908.
The leading theory is that the crater is actually a natural phenomenon known as a ‘pingo.’ A pingo, or hydrolaccolith, occurs when ice pushes up from underneath the ground. In this case, climate change may have caused the ice to melt, resulting in a crater where the earth-covered frost once stood. courtesy of Eric Pfeiffer on Twitter (@ericpfeiffer)
This was fun; what  is your favorite "End of the World" music? Of course we all like REM, but how about Prince's "Party Like it's 1999". Let me know what your "World's End Party and playlist would be". lighten up, it's just a party.