Friday, July 31, 2015

PEACE


I am having a Friday like its Monday. It’s weird how we place certain values on days, events, even our dog’s names. Now most of us at some point in our work a day world live for Friday, some people only animate at 0030 Friday morning and through the subsequent weekend. And then like a vampire, sink into deep despair, at the end, moving Zombie like through the week until its FRIDAY. Oh, I thought we were talking about me, but enough about me.

Seriously, it’s been a wild and wacky week. So much is info coming out of the news reports; and papers and around the water cooler. (We actually have one in my office, but no one hangs around it though) On Tuesday I awoke with my semi-annual Sinus issue that tends to take away my hearing, or taste in my mouth or at least fill my head with pressure like a balloon. I try to ignore these seemingly minor ailments and push through. But I had to take one for the team and call out sick. I hate doing that but it happens. But I took this as a “teaching moment”. I asked the Universe, what does this mean when have these small things, and they feel like big things?   The answer or question to me was: “What is your Priority”. Or rather, who is on First in your life? Why are you working so hard, so long and for what purpose? Another question/answer was “Who are you serving?” Is it your boss or is it me?

I was flummoxed to say the least, but I pondered the answers. I say with my lips and hopefully my full heart that I am serving my Heavenly Father, that all I am and who I will be is for Him. But do my actions prove it?  My boss is out of the office for a few months, and she left an entire agenda. The office was to function as if she was here, and every detail would be met, as if she was here. But she is a hard taskmaster, and somewhere during the third week, we (the staff and I) had a breakdown in communications. There is a paper backlog a month long, all of us at some point have been working way too much overtime (I don’t care what Donald Trump says about overtime). I realized that I have become like those sitcom’s where the husband is always working late and the wife is always eating dinner by herself. What is suffering is time with family, time with God, rest and health. (And don’t get me started about the overdue laundry). I lost a crown on a tooth during dinner, and I panicked because I knew I would have to take a sick day to get it fixed. (My Dentist takes Friday’s off to be with her family). And that’s when I had to shut it down. Who am I serving?     

It Is Well With My Soul Lyrics

When peace, like a river, attended my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
it is well, with my soul,
it is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
it is well, with my soul,
it is well, it is well, with my soul.

 I need a revival, peace like a river to help me get my heart and head straight on. It’s new music Friday Y’all. I found some good Old time gospel from a New School group, the “ Berklee Gospel & Roots Choir”. Go look them up, they are solid. Also a new to me home girl named Lauren Daigle. She is from my home state of La.,and a true child of God.  She has a beautiful voice and a tremendous testimony of the gospel in her life. I love her music. So have a good Friday and enjoy the concert


Berklee Gospel & Roots Choir - Full Concert - 07/28/13 - Newport, RI (OF..





Saturday, July 4, 2015

We Hold these Truth's to Be Self Evident,,,,,


Psalm 33:12:Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,    the people he chose for his inheritance.

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

2 Corinthians 3:16-17

16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

John 8:32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”



Condoleezza Rice & Jenny Oaks Baker

Monday, June 8, 2015

Do Right-Monday

Happy Monday everyone!!! Wow that weekend got up and left in a hurry didn’t it? My favorite day of the weekend is Sunday, because I have the opportunity to gather with many of my friends and worship. I love these moments because even when we leave the chapel we are still friends and family to one another. And then Monday comes, with another work day; another exercise in self restraint and good behavior. I have to say that work is the experiment that probably has many false positives when it comes to determining if a group of people, with little in common, and from various backgrounds and beliefs, can gather in an organized fashion? Can they occupy a space together and strive for the same goals with causing each other bodily harm?  It can be done, and it continues to be done, but it isn't easy. I sometimes wish that in my office we could just leave the “personal, knarly stuff” at home. I know that we do bring our own “lunch” daily, but if we can’t share our hearts in a peaceable manner and then receive the kindness offered, then we need to eat our lunch in the cafeteria.  Do you understand this frame of reference, like the Rock says “Do you smell what I am cooking?” HA HA.
So today I was drawn into a one sided argument with my boss, who seems to be under a lot of stress lately. Most of the time when I notice that she is not in a good mood; I only communicate by email, and try to avoid eye contact or any sudden moves. I failed today, and obviously said something that “ticked her off”. Maybe it was the joke that fell flat, or it could have been the flippant way I said it. Nonetheless, my boss had a terrible meltdown, which really wasn’t pretty. So I asked her what I had done to offend her, and she then dredged up a laundry list of past sins, many of which I asked forgiveness for and was granted absolution. I told her that I did not feel at all spiteful or mean against her, and in her current condition, I have really tried to be helpful. Ok, she is a drama queen, and I did not feel angry with her, only sorry that she was under such duress. She would not accept my apology, so I went back to my office and tried not to think bad thoughts. So my good friend Oprah sent a really nice message to help cheer me up. Seriously, Oprah and I are like this; long distance BFF’S.  This was a really thoughtful piece featuring the late Dr Maya Angelou, called “Just do Right”. It reminded me of a primary song called “Do what is right”.  




Dr Angelou was a wise woman, She is totally right, I know that I have the responsibility to be the better man (so to speak) These words from Nephi really put things in perspective for me.
2 Nephi 4:27-30  
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
 28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
 29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
 30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

Words to live by, and also to set the tone for the rest of week. Regardless of what else may happen,I hope I can Be the Change I wish to see in the world or at least my office.

 Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Do what is Right

Friday, June 5, 2015

FRIDAY: GOING VIRAL

adam & eve....Golly Bard
A Few Things for Friday 
A photo of a young Marine praying with his bride-to-be quickly went viral after it was posted on Facebook by the wedding photographer.
I am always surprised at what goes “viral’ on social medial these days. I doesn’t take much really, most of the time it is of something “cute” like puppies or babies and the other spectrum tends to show the worst of human behavior.
I saw this picture out of the “corner of my eye” last week. The caption at the time was “Look what his Marine did.” So I ignored it, and it came back again and further elaborated on what “that Marine did”. Was it the prayer or the marriage that "went viral"?
U.S. Marine Cpl. Caleb Earwood wanted to pray with his bride Maggie before their ceremony in Asheville, North Carolina, on Saturday. So with the help of their family and wedding photographer Dwayne Schmidt, Caleb was guided to the cabin where Maggie was getting ready for the service, where the couple joined hands around a corner so as not to break tradition and see each other before the altar.

I was filled with the Spirit of the occasion that prompted this new husband to pray with his bride. What a great way to prepare both of their hearts to walk out on their journey together and it’s going to be one that will challenge them, and shape them and rock them to the core. But what a great symbol of unity it is to pray together. The Savior promises that “where two are gathered in my name; there will I be also”.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a man and woman have the opportunity to marry in the Temple for our time that is reckoned here on earth and to be sealed/joined together in a covenant relationship in eternity as a family with God and his Son Jesus Christ. When bride and groom meet at the alter, they have walked there together, there is no more veil, no surprises, only the fullness of that moment that will lead them on their journey together. I believe that true marriage, between a man and woman is gonna go viral real soon. 

Sing a long Friday
So I want to end this week by sharing my testimony in a song, thankfully not sung by me. At times I will post "Open Mike" and share some really great new to me music. Here is a song I love by a
Christian music artist named Yolanda Adams, and it is appropriately called "Yeah".
Here are the words and I think they tie in with going "Viral"




 "Can I be committed?", is the question in my head
All the issues in my life keep holdin' me back
Can I live up to the standard? Seems so hard to do
But then You tell me, "Take my hand", You'll help me make it through

You ask me, "Child, do you love me?"
And I say, "Yeah yeah yeah"
"But will you just give up everything?
Follow me", "Yeah yeah yeah"

We talk periodically, what should be everyday
Can imagine how it would be if I let You lead the way
No broken hearts, less scars, less roads that never have an end
So I'll throw away my pride let down my guard, Lord hear I am

You ask me, "Child, do you love me?
And I say, "Yeah yeah yeah"
(And then you say)
"But will you just give up everything?
Follow me", "Yeah yeah yeah"

When I just stop and think of all that you've done for me
How can I say anything but yeah yeah yeah?
(Yeah yeah yeah)


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HERE'S MUD IN YOUR EYE

Jesus healing a blind man
So, have you ever had this happen? I woke up this morning refreshed, from a really good sleep, so good that I almost missed the alarm, well I did miss it by 30 minutes. I love it when I am able to fall asleep and then wake up uninterrupted, it is a rare thing. So I woke up, and I noticed that there was something in my left eye. I couldn't see too clearly, so of course I rubbed it. I check it out in the bathroom mirror and the eye is naturally red and upset from me rubbing it. But there seems to be something “floating” over the surface of my eyeball that I “see” from the inside out. (I know this sounds like an episode from Alice in Wonderland). Why, it’s a “Floater”!! And my brothers and sisters, this is a real medical term; floater. I checked out Wikipedia to find out what a “floater” is and what is really going on. I don’t know about you, but this is not my first experience with a floater. It does eventually disappear, and not for the reason you think. This is what causes the “float”: Age.
Floaters are deposits of various size, shape, consistency, refractive index, and motility within the eye's vitreous humor, which is normally transparent. At a young age, the vitreous is transparent, but as one ages, imperfections gradually develop. The common type of floater, which is present in most people’s eyes, is due to degenerative changes of the vitreous humor
It can be caused by damage, maybe too vigorous “eye rubbing”, I have allergies and the pollen is super thick this year….. I digress. It is caused by age.
Causes: There are various causes for the appearance of floaters, of which the most common are described here. Simply stated, any damage to the eye that causes material to enter the vitreous humor can result in floaters.Floaters can be a sign of retinal detachment or a retinal tear but in most cases (98% according to the National Health Service it is simply age related or due to natural change in the vitreous humor.
So, sometimes I might accidentally “punch myself in the eye” when I sleep; It could happen. Did I mention that I have allergies?  
Treatment: While surgeries do exist to correct for severe cases of floaters, there are no medications (including eye drops) that can correct for this vitreous deterioration. Floaters are often caused by the normal aging process and will usually disappear as the brain learns to ignore them.
So, after I determined that it was a true “float thingy”, I put some “allergy” drops in my eyes, and I took an allergy pill and put a warm compress in my eyes. The float thingy is still there but my brain is “learning” to ignore it and that takes anywhere from 24 hours to a couple of days. (I think the pill and the drops worked too.)
Of course, this reminded me of my Sunday school lesson this past Sunday. In John chapter 9 Jesus heals a blind man by using “spit” as an active agent. On this occasion, he spits into some clay on the ground, makes some “mud cakes” and puts them on the eyes of the blind man, and directs him to wash three times in a pool. Now this was sort of what I did, only with drops and a hot compress.
I love this lesson because Jesus seems to be portrayed as a country doctor, using various folk cures to heal people. But with one exception, he actually cures the illness and affects a whole person healing.

So why did Jesus use spit to heal the blind man?    John 9 Living Bible (TLB)As he was walking along, he saw a man blind from birth.“Master,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?”“Neither,” Jesus answered “But to demonstrate the power of God. All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. But while I am still here in the world, I give it my light.”Then he spat on the ground and made mud from the spittle and smoothed the mud over the blind man’s eyes, and told him, “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam” (the word Siloam means “Sent”). So the man went where he was sent and washed and came back seeing!

So why did Jesus use spit and mud? I found some info from an ancient medical book (online) that describe several techniques used during Jesus time to “cure blindness”. One remedy was that if you happened to “awake” into blindness, you were to immediately “spit” into your hands and rub it into your eyes vigorously. As the first morning spit after the fast had some powers. 
The next remedy was that a person experiencing blindness, after they had washed their feet in the evening, dip their finger in the dust infused wash water and place it on their eyes three times. Wow!! So Jesus has a tendency to “come” to a person where they are in their faith. What type of faith did this Blind Man have? In his day, there were no rights for disabled persons. He was a beggar, maybe kicked out of his home, living on the streets. He seemed to have found a place to beg in front of the Temple and maybe during his days, he may have heard talk of Jesus. But Jesus came to him. According to the scriptures, he simply “came” to him, and having compassion on him, offered his assistance. He seemed to use the prevailing practice of the day because I am sure this Blind Man was acquainted with the treatment. Jesus did not take him out of his comfort zone to minister to him. 
 As you read this story, there is a progression, much like investigating a new church or a new religion.  Do missionary’s come to visit and sit down to eat with you? Do they invite you to share in learning about a “new” life? Are you invited to make a drastic and joyful change in your life through baptism? Will your heart and mind find illumination through the Holy Spirit?  
I really love this record and I find that the more I learn about the “truth” of the Saviors mission the more my heart opens to love Him more.