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Showing posts from December, 2011

Resolutions - the "To Do" List for the first week of January

So the Christmas decorations are starting to come down and the world’s attention is turning to the celebration of the new year. With New Years people frequently turn their attention to the Harbour Bridge, Big Ben or Times Square.


I really do have to ask, why? I looked it up and found more than 20 different “New Year” type celebration’s throughout the whole year from varying cultures and countries.

At least, the central message of Christmas is the initiation of a new order, a new kingdom in the world: the kingdom of God characterized by peace but also by justice.

I think the largest part of the New Year’s celebration the process of making resolutions.

New Year’s resolutions: to make them or not to make them? That is the question. The dilemma of this annual ritual, is more or less, the process of remembering the glories and follies of hope. Perhaps it is more effective to think of the New Year is a moment of looking forward, of imagining things anew, of committing ourselves to a gran…

Book of Mormon Study - 2 Nephi 4

Lehi counsels and blesses his posterity—He dies and is buried—Nephi glories in the goodness of God—Nephi puts his trust in the Lord forever. About 588–570 B.C.


I love this chapter. It makes Nephi so real to me. He saw angels and had visions- but he had frustrations and disappointments. He was hard on himself. I can relate to that.

But I love that he doesn’t let negative feelings drag him down. He turns to God because he trusts him.

This is what I’ve learned: God’s word lifts the pure in heart, yet annoys the wicked. God’s word reminds them of truths they already know, yet refuse to agonize. I’ve come to the conclusion that anger is a sin. It leads us away from God. Sin is a state of mind – a state that keeps us from feeling God’s love. Anger is a waste of time and energy.

Don’t get me wrong, I still can get plenty mad. However, I am practicing keeping anger at bay. I am practicing letting go and trusting God more.

I call this chapter Nephi's joy prayer- because that's what …

Book of Mormon Study - 2 Nephi 3

Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses, who would deliver Israel; and of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. About 588–570 B.C.


Short and sweet today:

A couple of things struck me today.  First, in vs,. 12, that the Bible and the book of Mormon work together to "confound false doctrine and to lay down contentions, and establish peace."  In vs. 17 I am reminded that there is power in studying and using the scriptures.  And finally, in vs. 19 "the words which are expedient in [God's] wisdom" are the words recorded in the scriptures.  That means that every word has meaning and has been chosen carefully to give us the most bang for the buck, so to speak.
The second thought was this: "And out of weakness he shall be made strong."

Sometimes I feel pretty weak. It's comforting to know that if I strive to be obedient that through the Atonement I can be made strong in my weakness.

That&#…

Book of Mormon Study - 2 Nephi 2

Redemption comes through the Holy Messiah—Freedom of choice (agency) is essential to existence and progression—Adam fell that men might be—Men are free to choose liberty and eternal life. About 588–570B.C.


What an amazing chapter! Spiritual and temporal death, the Atonement, agency, The Fall, mortal probation and more! This is SO my FAVORITE subject. Ask anyone who really knows me. I obsess over The Plan!

What amazes me even more is the answers that I find to my everyday life questions here in the Book of Mormon.

For the past couple of years I have struggled with “letting go” of my son. He is rude. He hurts others for pleasure. He is angry. He lives to tease and to make his younger sisters scream.

I pray earnestly to find the answer; a way to help bring the peace into the home; a way to bring my son back to the Savior.

So many answers are found in this powerful chapter.

vs. 2 I read this as if I were the parent talking to my youngest child: "And now, Lilli...behold in your chil…

Book of Morman Study 2 Nephi 1

Lehi prophesies of a land of liberty—His seed will be scattered and smitten if they reject the Holy One of Israel—He exhorts his sons to put on the armor of righteousness. About 588–570 B.C.

As Nephi brings his family to this new promised land (the Americas), he wanted them to understand, we must understand, that there is a law associated with living in this great land. The law is this: Because it is a land of promise, when one accepts the blessing of living in such a land, one must agree to live by the rules of that land (rules made by God, not by man). It is a Land of PROMISE... You accept living on it with a promise... God says, "I promise you things and you promise Me things." America becomes a covenant land!

Vs. 6 - The Lord has let Lehi know that, "I direct and control, largely, who comes and inherits this land."

Vs. 7 - Consecrated = especially set aside or dedicated for sacred purposes

"You never need to fear losing your freedom, for you will always …

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 22

Israel will be scattered upon all the face of the earth—The Gentiles will nurse and nourish Israel with the gospel in the last days—Israel will be gathered and saved, and the wicked will burn as stubble—The kingdom of the devil will be destroyed, and Satan will be bound. About 588–570 B.C.


1 Nephi 22 is Nephi’s commentary on the words of Isaiah found in 1 Nephi 20–21.

OK- this is why I totally love Nephi. Don’t feel bad, none of Nephi’s brothers understood him and they had lived only about 100 years after Isaiah! They had to come and ask what the heck Isaiah is talking about.

Nephi responds with what sounds almost Spock-ish (logically speaking) with a 'well, it appears that...' and goes on to explain the last two chapters in simple terms that they (and many others) get. Love him!

vs. 1 he reminds us that God always provides a way to understand that which is revealed.

vs. 2 he reminds us that we need to seek the Spirit because all things are made known through the Spirit.

vs…

Salad Days 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, and 269

Sunday, December 18, I had a salad with salad greens, leftover chicken, and honey mustard dressing.
Monday, December 19, I had spinach, feta, and honey mustard dressing to go with my Cranberry Chicken.
Tuesday, December 20, I went out to McGraff's Seafood restaurant because we were Christmas shopping.  This was my salad with my grilled salmon dinner.
Wednesday, December 21, I was still busy with Christmas projects.  I got a Chef's salad from the grocery store.  I did need to pick off all the cheese.
Thursday, December 22, we had this salad with dinner.  It was fairly basic, but yummy.
Friday, December 23, I had a taco salad with lunch.
Saturday, December 24, we had this lovely green salad with our Christmas Chili.
It's a good thing because this was breakfast.  LOL.  Don't worry.  All wheat and milk free.
Sunday, December 25, this was the salad we had with our ham and potatoes dinner.
Today, December 26, I made this salad for dinner.  I used salad greens, tomatoes, olives, artic…

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 21

The Messiah will be a light to the Gentiles and will free the prisoners—Israel will be gathered with power in the last days—Kings will be their nursing fathers—Compare Isaiah 49. About 588–570 B.C.


Isaiah is hard to understand for so many. I believe that many get frustrated because they know that we are supposed to study his words, for they are great, but it's difficult to understand, what with desolate places, kids on shoulders, and nursing fathers.

I think that's why I love Nephi so much. He glories in plainness. President John Taylor once said, "It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it."

Truth be known, I think Isaiah actually does that. I think it is us that complicates the lessons. He was brilliant. He is the most quoted Old Testament prophet. Even the Savior Himself quoted Isaiah and said that we should study and understand his words. His propheci…

Christmas Moments

We have a tradition of putting all of the presents for one person into one box.  We didn't have large enough boxes this year, so most people got two.  Lillian opened her first box and pulled out a fancy new Sunday dress.  She didn't say anything and tossed it aside grabbed the next dress - a lovely black and white striped dress that reminds me of Wednesday on the Adams Family.  " I love it!" she screamed.  So much for fancy Sunday dress. 

Hannah got Loves potion lotion.  "Lilli, if I put this on and you smell me you will fall in love with me."  "Eww! I don't want to do that.  you're my sister!"

Lilli opened her present from McKay and flew off the couch creaming ":Barbie!  I got a Barbie."  It was a little "wind-out-of the-sails" moment though.  It was only Barbie clothes.  But it did remind me of when McKay got a Barbie horse and carriage when she was about the same age.  We got pictures of her going nuts.  sadly, no …

The Best Gift I have Ever Been Given

To my friends:


Today, the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, I wanted to share a few of my thoughts regarding the Savior and what makes up 90% of me. I know I’ve shared it before, but I can’t help myself. How can I help from singing, baring testimony of the most important thing in my life?

This is what I have come to understand: God lives and loves us. I have been occasionally blessed with a small fraction of His love for each of you, my family and friends. These experiences have blessed me with greater knowledge of what love truly is and that He is concerned for each of us, individually and collectively.

I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that what he did in scarcely more than three decades of mortal life was not just chance. He chose to do what he did. He is no ordinary man. He is my Teacher, my Exemplar, and my friend. I believe that through Him there is life, life eternal. I believe that He brought the gospel of Salvation to the World and the World unde…

Book of Mormon Study - Conference Talk

Today I read the Conference Talk by elder LeGrand R. Curtis entitled Redemption.  This talk touched my heart.

He started his talk by reminding us of the many names we know the Savior by and how those names remind us all of the role the Redeemer plays in our lives.

The end of the talk gave example after example of tose who have experienced the power of the redemption.  My heart and mind turned to my loved ones that currently choose to reject the Lord and the love He extends to them.

It was a very humbling 30 minutes.

What conference Talk did you read?

Losing Chad...

To my recollection, my mom lost everyone of her children at one point or another throughout all the years that we all lived at home.  However, I think the child that was lost the most was my sister Anna.  She was left at the church countless times.  She was left at home.  She was even lost at the park on multiple occasions.  On time that sticks out in my mind was summer day of concerts at the park.  My mom made me (a teen) go to the police station to collect her.  She wasn't wearing matching shoes and she told the policeman that her name was Anna-Banana and that her mom's name was mom.  She was perfectly content sitting on the bench, feet swinging merrily, eating treats from a brown paper bag when I went to collect her.

I seem to have inherited the lose-your-kid gene from my mom.  The kid I lose the most is Chad... although, many of the times he's been lost is because he chooses to hide.  More than once he's been left alone at home.  Once, when he was about 9 months ol…

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...

We didn't really make treats this year.  However, I got Hannah to make chocolate dipped Oreos and these stinking cute chocolate covered cherry mice.


Ok... the pictures don't do them justice.  But they were cute in person.  Trust me!

Surviving Santa

I still don't understand this whole Santa gets all the credit for Christmas present glory.  Seriously!  I'm pretty sure Mrs. Claus does most of the work.

This year I haven't really felt the Christmas spirit like I have in Christmas' past.  Perhaps it was the busy schedule.  Maybe it was the lack of caroling this year... the first year in 21 years that we didn't go caroling.  Perhaps it was because we didn't really make Christmas treats this year. or that my annual Christmas book (aka letter) wasn't done until the 23rd.

Maybe it was the crabby teen grumping because the rest of us wanted to listen to Christmas music and that he was "forced" to spend the day with his family.  It's not like I gave him any assignments, for heaven sake.  Maybe it was the the argument with the same teen that there is no way we could know that Jesus birth was a miracle.  Babies are born everyday.  "For all we know Mary lied about who the father of the baby was.&q…

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 20

The Lord reveals his purposes to Israel—Israel has been chosen in the furnace of affliction and is to go forth from Babylon—Compare Isaiah 48. About 588–570 B.C.


I decided to read first today.... before I went back out to my Christmas Bat Cave to finish off Christmas projects.  This way I can avoid the lack of posting, or even worse, the lack of reading due to fatigue.  :)
In an effort to "liken" the words of Isiah I mark the following in 1 Nephi 20:

vs. 1 waters of Judah  = waters of baptism


vs. 4 thy neck is an iron sinew =  you are stiff-necked or proud

vs. 10  furnace of affliction = tests or trials

vs. 14, 20  Babylon = the world, wickedness

vs. 18  righteousness as the waves of the sea = continual or everlasting righteousness


I really am a little distracted these past couple of days. 

"No rest for the wicked."  LOL.

The last verse really hit me: The wicked have no peace. LOL!

That's something I've known- but to hear the Lord say it it seemed to s…

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 19

Nephi makes plates of ore and records the history of his people—The God of Israel will come six hundred years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem—Nephi tells of His sufferings and crucifixion—The Jews will be despised and scattered until the latter days, when they will return unto the Lord. About 588–570 B.C.



First, I did read yesterday... it was just at O' dark thirty.  Trying to be the real Santa is exhausting!
What a great chapter filled with faith, obedience, record keeping (Scriptures), prophets, prophecies, protection from the Lord, the Savior, the house of Israel...Wow- who knew you could squeeze so many things onto a small chapter!  Amazing!


But - the thing that struck me were actually the first words of the chapter: And it came to pass that the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did.  It goes right back to "I will go and do..."  I want this kind of attitude and reaction to what god asks of me.


Simple. The Lord asks and you do it.


You just do it when it comes to reading the…

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 18

The ship is finished—The births of Jacob and Joseph are mentioned—The company embarks for the promised land—The sons of Ishmael and their wives join in revelry and rebellion—Nephi is bound, and the ship is driven back by a terrible tempest—Nephi is freed, and by his prayer the storm ceases—The people arrive in the promised land. About 591–589 B.C.


This will be a short one-

I love how this chapter shows the symbiotic relationship between Nephi and the Lord.

The story of the voyage to the promised land can also be seen as a metaphor (symbol) for our earth life. For example, many people, such as Nephi’s brethren in 1 Nephi 18:9, concentrate on earthly interests and forget God and their dependence on His power.

In verse 10 Nephi speaks to his brothers and tries to help them change there behavior. It reminds me of the light of Christ or our conscience that pricks our hearts to alert us to the need to change direction.

The storm and the non-working compass remind me of how sin binds us an…

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 17

Nephi is commanded to build a ship—His brethren oppose him—He exhorts them by recounting the history of God’s dealings with Israel—Nephi is filled with the power of God—His brethren are forbidden to touch him, lest they wither as a dried reed. About 592–591 B.C.

We have very little of their story in the wilderness. But the first two verses always get me! The women gave birth to kids in the wilderness, ate raw meat, and were strong like men.

Wow.

I won't complain anymore that my epidural wore off in the middle of labor, that I eat frozen ice cream, and am strong like my 8 year old.

Verse 3 is one of the "And thus we see" verses. I love them because they get to the bottom line: and thus we see that when people keep the commandments they are blessed. I can think of countless times when God has nourished, strengthened and provided for me and for my family. Although I must admit that I don’t always see His hand while in the midst of the trial. I am a work in progress. 

This …

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 16

The wicked take the truth to be hard—Lehi’s sons marry the daughters of Ishmael—The Liahona guides their course in the wilderness—Messages from the Lord are written on the Liahona from time to time—Ishmael dies; his family murmurs because of afflictions. About 600–592 B.C.


Nephi’s brothers take the truth of this dream to be hard. Apparently, they don t like where they see themselves in the dream.

One of my favorite lines in the scriptures is in verse 2: "wherefore the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth the to the very center."

Isn't that the truth even these days?

If we were to put this into today’s terms it might go something like this:

“I speak to you today according to the truth in a language not familiar to me. Nevertheless, I trust you will understand these words and take heed.

You really need to get your act together! From what I can see, a good many of you are floundering. You sleep too much; you spend way too much time on this thing you call Fac…

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 15

Lehi’s seed are to receive the gospel from the Gentiles in the latter days—The gathering of Israel is likened unto an olive tree whose natural branches will be grafted in again—Nephi interprets the vision of the tree of life and speaks of the justice of God in dividing the wicked from the righteous. About 600–592 B.C.


Finally!  It's taken me all day to get blogger to allow me to post today.

This chapter has too many things for me to focus on.  Here are a few of my crazy thoughts.

Verse 3- Nephi inquired of the Lord and received clarification. The reason his brothers were disputing (which men often when they try to clarify on their own) is because their hearts were hardened and they didn't turn to the Lord for answers.  The truth is there are just somethings that cannot be understood unless we study, ponder and ASK!  Only through the help of the Spirit we begin to see that god has for us to see.  It's not that God doesn't want us to think for ourselves- but there are ce…

Book of Mormon Study - Conference Talk

Today I read the talk, "It is Better to Look Up" by Elder Carl B. Cook.

I was impressed.

He quoted Pres. Monson, "It is better to look up!"

It is so true.  It reminds me of "choose to soar with the eagle instead of scratch with the turkeys."

I work hard at redirecting my focus.  I want to be known as a "glass full girl" not a "glass half empty" person.

"Believe in God; believe that he is...; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth."

I love how Elder Cook reminded me that following the prophet is a great way to start looking up.  No one has a better attitude than Pres. Monson.  He is the perfect example of "optimism, wisdom, and love for others."

If only I could develop his attributes.

If I wasn't trying to do better at looking up, I'd be all depressed at my lack of a "can do" attitude.

What talk did you read?

Primary Gems

Today I could barely get out of bed.  Every piece of me aches.  Working through Friday and Saturday has taken every ounce of energy I have.  I almost didnt' have time to eat or to drink water all day both days.  Friday started with breakfast for both seminary classes, moving the sound shell at the HS, driving kids around, and spending 7 hours outside on a cold foggy hill setting up and running the Stake Live Nativity.  Saturday I worked at the HS for 5.5 hours working on the set for Cinderella and then went to the Stake center to work on the Live Nativity and to take it all down for 6.5 hours.  I was exhausted and my feet hurt to walk on them.

It hurt to sit in Sacrament Meeting.  At least Janica Duncan and her sister helped make me smile.  Actually, it was my husband's "blonde" moment that got the smile. 

He leaned over, "They look like twins."

"They are twins."

"That explains a lot."

Turns out that they confused him a bit.  He had hel…

Salad Days 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, and 260

Saturday, December 10, I enjoyed a simple salad of greens, tomatoes, and feta cheese.  I'm finding simple is good... mostly because it's easier and I'm too tired to chop more stuff.
Sunday, December 11, I had the same simple salad... except I also added tuna.  Very tasty.
Monday, December 12, I enjoyed salad greens, tomatoes, and turkey bits.  I also tried a new salad dressing Mango.  Yummy!!!!
Tuesday, December 13, I enjoyed a salad with tortilla chips, salad greens, feta cheese, and salsa.  It was good.
Wednesday, December 14, I had an Italian salad with greens, tomatoes, olives, pepperoni, and everything free Ranch.
At dinner I had a Chinese Chicken salad.  It was a nice change.  I really should branch out more.
Thursday, December 15, I enjoyed a fruit salad from Safeway.  I'm just looking to mix things up a bit.
Friday, December 16, was a crazy day.  I only had time for a salad of spinach and Mango dressing.  It was a long day.  What can I say.Saturday, December 17 was al…

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 14

An angel tells Nephi of the blessings and cursings to fall upon the Gentiles—There are only two churches: the Church of the Lamb of God and the church of the devil—The Saints of God in all nations are persecuted by the great and abominable church—The Apostle John will write concerning the end of the world. About 600–592 B.C.


Love, love , LOVE verse 1- if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks-

I have a lot of stumbling blocks. This is one of the greatest miracles of the Atonement: Not only has a provided the way for me, but He has promised to clear the way too IF I listen to and follow Him. This blessing is for everyone I know! I think that is so exciting!

I also love verse 7 when it talks about a marvelous work and knowing that I am a part of that- something a angel from heaven told Nephi two thousand years ago.

Verse 14: We are few but we …

Book of Mormon Study - 1 Nephi 13

Nephi sees in vision the church of the devil set up among the Gentiles, the discovery and colonizing of America, the loss of many plain and precious parts of the Bible, the resultant state of Gentile apostasy, the restoration of the gospel, the coming forth of latter-day scripture, and the building up of Zion. About 600–592 B.C.


This chapter was full prophecy, scriptures, apostasy, restoration and so forth.

Nephi’s vision continues in chapter 13 with a prophecy about what will happen on the American continent after Nephi’s seed is destroyed. Notice how detailed and accurate this prophecy is. Notice also how much Nephi knew about the future of his people on the promised land before they even left the area around the Red Sea.

The part that sticks out to me in this chapter is how much is dedicated to the scriptures. That speaks to the importance of the ancient records. I love the Book of Mormon. I love the Bible. I love how they work together to teach truth.

1 Ne 13:20-34 - Gentiles stum…

Splat

My day didn't get much calmer.

Today was the first of two nights of the Live Nativity put on by our stake at the Stake Center in West Salem.  This year has been a  wild ride.  Lights have been lost.  Lights weren't up.  I only had 2 hours to put 1000's of lights in trees and bushes.  I needed to string extension cords and somehow get power all over the parking lot.

I was heading up the hill to the Stake Center when I saw the next weird event in my day unfolding before my eyes.

A beautiful hawk was sitting on the side of the road.  It spread it's wings and took flight.

"NO!"

There was nothing I could do.  Slowing down didn't even help.

Splat!

I was facing the poor thing, spread eagle across my windshield.

I heard it bounce along the top of my car.

 I couldn't stop.  There was line of cars behind me.

A huge smear impaired my vision. 

I pulled into the parking lot.

"Could my day get any weirder?" I screamed as I ran across the parking lot to …

Busted

My son is in the middle of a rebellious streak at the moment.  We often find ourselves choosing our battles.  At this point, fighting a 16 year old over putting on a seat belt is not on the top of the list.... not when you'd rather get the kid to class.  Today was no exception.

Things were complicated a little because we had played musical cars in the morning.  McKay needed to go to work; John needed to go to work but also needed to go to North Salem after his work to get a Spider Box for the Live Nativity I was responsible for lighting tonight; I needed to cart kids and equipment around. At any rate, I wasn't really sure where my wallet ended up.

We hopped in the car; Me - without a wallet, and Chad - without a seat belt, and headed to the high school.

Chad was in a crabby mood.  He got up late, even after I had tried for an hour to get him to move.   He couldn't find his shoes.  He yelled at the rest of us for moving his choir music and then found it in the car where he…