Tag Archives: Christianity

Simplified Christmas


christmas tree

christmas tree (Photo credit: fsse8info)

 

With Beloved Hubby pushing himself so hard for the last couple months on a major project (fraught with problems and major issues), we didn’t have the time we normally do for all the Christmas activities in our regular Christmas routines.

 

Was that a problem?

 

I guess it could have been if I weren’t such an outstanding wife and married to “The Man Who Could Do No Wrong” (see earlier post). ¬†ūüôā

 

But we focused on the true meaning of Christmas and the essentials for a real, meaningful celebration of the birth of the Son of God.

 

Instead of participating with the frenzied throngs of holiday shoppers, which we had neither time nor inclination for this year, we concentrated on the loving project for our family that will bring them hours of enjoyment and sweet memories.

 

Keeping decorations to a minimum gave us a chance to savor and enjoy them in a new way, embracing the sweet simplicity of the spirit they brought into our home.

 

Rather than hours of spending time in separate activities and apart from each other, we chose a precious few shared experiences to thoroughly enjoy.

 

With record cold we fully enjoyed the blessings of home, hearth, and happiness.

 

Even Christmas Day was simplified – relaxing and enjoyable with our loved ones.

 

But most of all, we rejoiced in the blessings of the restored gospel, and the knowledge of what Christmas is really all about.

 

And, as I overheard Santa himself explaining to our two Elders (missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), who does Santa work for? ¬†Who is Santa’s boss?

 

Yep, you guessed it.

 

The real Santa works for God Himself. ¬†They are on the same team. ¬†The missionaries are on that team too. ¬†They all exist to share a loving Father in Heaven’s love with His children here on earth! ¬†And that’s not a bad mission, is it?

 

The simplicity of Christmas! ¬†ūüôā

 

 

Offense – Real and Imagined


True or false: A very wise man once said, ‚ÄúHe who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is usually a fool.‚ÄĚ

What? ¬†You don’t think he was wise?

This was said by Brigham Young.  Why would he say something so strange?

What is it that makes this statement strange? ¬†Is it that the “natural man” reaction in us is to take immediate offense and look for a way to retaliate as soon as possible?

Is this the best reaction to have?  If we stop and think about it, it might occur to us that this course of action is quite a destructive choice.  Destructive to he who gave offense.  Destructive to me.  Wow.  Destructive all the way around!  Does that really make any sense?

“But,” we may say, “what other course of action could there possibly be!”

As we might suggest to a child who has fought back when taking offense:

  • “You can go tell an adult.”
  • “Walk away.”
  • “Let it go.”
  • “Ignore it.”
  • “Kill him with kindness.”

What can you add to the list?

The point is, we do not HAVE to take offense! ¬†Perhaps this is a train of thought that has never occurred to us. ¬†We might never have even heard of such a thing. ¬†So let’s take a look at this¬†choice.

If we choose not to take offense ‚Äď whether offense was intended or not, we free ourselves from the destructive forces and open ourselves up to God‚Äôs healing influences.¬† Instead of feeling all hot and bothered, angry, and churned up inside we can experience feelings of comfort, forgiveness, and peace.¬† What a difference this makes in our lives!

I know it isn’t always easy to choose this type of action.  I also know that it is possible to choose this type of action.  And I know that it is so very worth choosing this type of behavior.

Try it yourself and see!¬† Let me know how it goes.¬† And remember that the harder it is, the harder we can pray to our loving Father in Heaven for His help and His mercy.¬† He delights in helping us choose to overcome this ‚Äúnatural man‚ÄĚ reaction.

 

Don’t Deny Yourself God’s Blessings!


A Quadruple Combination of the (scriptures) of...

A Quadruple Combination of the (scriptures) of – contains the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, all bound together. Ricardo630 07:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

The other day I was on my way to work and got thinking about my life and what things I should change.

 

As I contemplated, and then prayed about it, I began to realize that because I am complacent about where I am in life right now, moving along with the flow of life, reacting to what comes my way but not planning in advance much, there may be some things I am missing out on.

 

I definitely have many wonderful blessings in my life. ¬†I try to be a good person and do what is right. ¬†I live a thankful life, rejoicing in God‘s blessings and seeking to share with others. ¬†My deeply held spiritual and religious beliefs have brought me much joy in life, comfort and peace during trying times, and strength to keep trying even when I don’t always understand the reasons for why things happen the way they do.

 

When we keep a law, we reap the reward for keeping that law:

 

“There is a¬†alaw, irrevocably decreed in¬†bheaven¬†before the foundations of this world, upon which all¬†cblessings¬†are predicated‚ÄĒAnd when we obtain any¬†ablessing¬†from God, it is bybobedience¬†to that law upon which it is predicated.” ¬†Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.

 

The wonderful thing about this rule is that if you want a certain blessing, you obey the law it is connected to and you will have that blessing! ¬†The interesting thing about it is that if you don’t obey the law, you will not be able to have that blessing. ¬†The scriptures are replete with God’s laws and the blessings that come from obeying them. ¬†They include stories and examples of people who follow the rules and reap the blessings, and with people who trust in their own desires and reap the consequences of those actions. ¬†And we get to choose which path we will follow.

 

Back to my musings.  It occurred to me that because of my complacency I could well be missing out on some additional blessings Father in Heaven has in store for me.  I perhaps need to prepare myself in order to move forward in my life, further along the path He has waiting for me as soon as I am ready for it.  That is a very intriguing, somewhat exciting, and even a bit unnerving thought.

 

Yet, knowing that Heavenly Father always wants what is best for us, it is something I want to think more and pray more about, and discern what I need to change, or to do, to be ready for that next step in my life. ¬†I wouldn’t want to deny myself any of God’s blessings. ¬†I know He has amazing things in store for all of us! ¬†ūüôā

 

 

 

Powerful Testimony


Today was a very special day.  We went with our missionary, correction released missionary, to the Stake High Council for him to report back to them.  These are the leaders of the Stake, which consists of about 8 congregations.

They had asked him to share an experience from his mission that showed him the great love God has for His children. ¬†He explained about a woman who didn’t want to join the church at first. ¬†Then they taught her how to pray, and prayed with her. ¬†A couple days later she came to them and asked when she could be baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She had been introduced to her Father in Heaven, and had developed a relationship with Him. ¬†That was a wondrous thing for her, and something she wanted to build on. ¬†What a wonderful example of God’s love.

Then in Sacrament meeting he said that the 3 main things he learned on his mission are:

  1. That God is our loving Heavenly Father.
  2. We are all His children, and that makes each and every one of them very important, of infinite worth!
  3. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. ¬†And of all the names He is known by, Savior is this returned missionary‘s favorite, because that is exactly what Jesus does, he saves us.

He then bore powerful testimony that God lives, that He is there to guide us, and that we can feel the Savior near.  And if we cannot feel Him, we are invited to look at our lives and change what we need to so that we are able to feel Him near.  It was a powerful moment, the Spirit of God was very strong, and once again my feelings were so close to the surface.

He has developed a closeness with God that is almost palpable. ¬†And even better, there we were, listening to him and surrounded by almost our entire family. ¬†My feelings of love and joy were almost overwhelming. ¬†Oh, the goodness and mercy of God! ¬†ūüôā

 

19 Additional Hours


My missionary has now been released as a missionary.

But, you may say, he got home last night.  Why just released?

Well, sort of an answer to prayer.

His time is so short with us between finishing his mission and going off to college that we were disappointed. ¬†We, or at least I, didn’t pray for more time, but we certainly thought it would be nice.

It didn’t work out for him to visit with the Stake President last night as planned. ¬†No problem, we all realize that things come up, that others might have a more pressing need, etc. ¬†Not a big problem. ¬†It’ll happen today.

This morning was the groundbreaking for the Fort Collins temple.  So his release was pushed out a little further.  He hung around the house, going through his things, helping us with some chores, reaching out to family and friends, and running errands with his dad.

We had some nice chats, talked about his mission, talked over what needs to happen before he leaves for college, filled him in on what’s been happening around here the last 2 years.

It suddenly occurred to me that in a way this was like an answer to prayer.  By having his release postponed, we were able to spend more time with him, almost a full day, 19 additional hours.  Not a bad deal.  Heavenly Father gave us what we desired, even without our specifically asking for Him to.  What a loving and thoughtful Father!