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.






Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lift


"Is there something on my back" Caitlin Connolly
Jesus heals the Whole Person

 Have you heard this story?  In the Bible, in Mark 4 Jesus is preaching the Word to some people in a town called Capernaum. Everyone wanted to be there, in that house to hear Jesus speak, to be healed by him, to touch him, to talk to him.

Mark 4: 3  Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They couldn't get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head and lowered the sick man on his stretcher, right down in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw how strongly they believed that he would help, Jesus said to the sick man, “Son, your sins are forgiven!”
Now the point of the story is that Jesus forgave this man of his sins, and then he got up and rolled up his bed and went home. But wait, Jesus also observed the faith of his four friends, in their determination at any cost to help their friend, to love their neighbor. I would say also that there was a blessing for those men. How long do you think that they had helped this man? Did they bathe him, dress him, and feed him? And what of his family?
What about this story, on Mormon Messages: "What if your neighbor asked you to take 20 minutes one night to help him? Would you do it? Most decent people would. But what if he asked you every night following, with no end in sight? Would you be willing to do it? … When would serving your neighbor feel more like servitude?”


That is the question a group of men had to ask themselves when they united to serve their neighbor Kathy, who suffers from the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis. For the past seven years they have lifted Kathy into bed at night. In doing so they have lifted her spirit, as well as their own.Kathy was diagnosed after 16 years of marriage. She assumed her husband would face the challenge with her. He decided he could not and filed for divorce. When her sons grew up, they had to come to her house every night and morning to help her in and out of bed. The work became too much for them to do alone.A group of 50 men—friends, neighbors, and church members—offered to help. Every night, two of them come to get the bedtime routine rolling. They pull off her slippers, adjust her pillows, charge her wheelchair, and place pills on the nightstand. Then they lift her into bed. At first, the men felt awkward about the procedure and burdened by the responsibility.“I felt sympathetic to the situation, but I felt like ‘You know, I’ve got other things I need to deal with,’” one explains.The group discussed how they could help Kathy without having to visit her every night. One of the men said that if the others didn’t want to help, he would do it himself if he had to. That caused a change in attitude among the group. Kathy’s heart has also been touched and changed as a result of the service.“I have seen an even greater compassion. It’s let me know that I’m not forgotten, that I’m still valued, not only to God, but I have worth to give other people in different ways,” she says.
What can you do for someone today? What is your story?
I love this "moment", it really hit the spot. I have been contemplating on how to say "Thank You" to everyone who has helped me and my husband.
 My husband has a chronic illness, and he has been "sick" for a year. At first we thought that after his first hospital stay, he would recover and be well and "return to his "life". But that was not the case, and God has other plans for him and us. The Apostle Peter said: 1 Peter 4:12-13    12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
13 But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
What a learning experience this has been and continues to be. We have learned that Heavenly Father really does love his children and just like earthly parents, who would go to the ends of the earth to help their children, and make them well; so does He. But the brilliant part is that He inspires us his children to love one another, and succor one another and be the angel we need at that moment. It is this love that we have for one another, that helps us to heal. My favorite part in this story is when one of the men says that when he works out at the gym, he does dead lifts, but he call's them "Kathy lifts". I see that this man is strengthening himself which is a wise thing to do, but it's great that he felt the motivation to be a "better self", in order to be more effective in serving Kathy.