Saturday, August 23, 2014

Help us flood social media with the message of Christ.






On  August 23rd, another worldwide event is beginning here with #calledtoshare. We need your help to spread the good news of Jesus Christ! We invite you to share a picture of yourself with a photo of Jesus Christ on your Facebook profile and any social media outlet of choice. Include your testimony of why you follow Him... and use the hashtag #ifollowhim.

Example: #ifollowhim because I find happiness and peace as I walk in His footsteps.


Invite your friends of all Christian faiths to join us in this worldwide event. Jesus Christ is the essence of everything we do.



Friday, August 15, 2014

Stand tall through it all

It is a time to stand tall and strong against the evils that surround us. I wrote a post two years ago entitled Drowning in a gray world.   It is even more important today than it was two years ago.  I am afraid that too many of my Christian sisters are being lulled into the things of this world. Too many have not firmly set their sights upon the things of God and kept themselves there.  Many of us have been so beaten down we have given up and forgotten the fight. Many of our homes are in danger of becoming a "spiritual slum" a place where God cannot dwell. Most often it begins with the entertainment that we allow into our lives and our homes. Far too many of our sisters an brothers are beginning to frequent the "slums" of the world through the media that comes into the home in the form of internet, television and books we are reading. For many of us our attitudes are changing with the world. Sinful attitudes and disrespect for our God and his laws is becoming commonplace in many homes which have typically been the last frontier of goodness.






What can you and I do?  First, be aware of what is coming into your home. Take a good and honest look at what is coming into your home. Take a close look at the things you entertain yourself with. It may be surprising. As we began to call out sin on the television we were surprised at how much had crept in and how our attitudes had changes us and we were seemingly unaware of how far it had really gone.  Dr. Phil has often said "You can't change what you don't acknowledge." So my advice, see where attitudes are changing and create your home as a stronghold of the Gospel of Christ once again. Second, Make changes and institute new rules if needed.  Let those around you know that you stand in Christ. Let your actions show that you are living by God's laws. Tell your children what is acceptable and what is not. Let them know that God's laws are your laws. Teach them to love the Lord and obey his word while doing the same in your own life. Third, create a pocket of goodness around you.  Keep your home as a good and safe place in this world. Seek out the goodness in your neighborhood, invite others to join you. Find those who want to join with you and gather together do good and stand up for the right. Together we can stand firm where alone, we can get swept away.  It is the only way for us to "overcome" the world. 



Ezra Taft Benson put it so well......

"God takes the slums out of people who then take themselves out of the slums
The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”

We can overcome the world. We can take ourselves out of the slums of sin. It is possible through Jesus Christ.


P.S. I am working on a post about those who overcome through Christ. There is so much that is promised to those who would live and abide in his law, and those who overcome the things of this world.  It is such exciting stuff. The promised blessings and the hope that comes through a belief in Christ makes is much easier to stand strong.  Be on the lookout for that post in the near future. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First responses are not always the best response


 

Life is not always about what happens to us, but how we respond to the situations around us. Sometimes it begins with making a different choice other than what our "first response" would dictate.
I recently read an article from hands free momma's blog which helped me to remember that I am not alone it all this.

http://www.handsfreemama.com/2014/05/09/today-i-lived-and-you-did-too/#more-5603


Here are a few thoughts that come out of my book "Goodbye surviving, Hello thriving"  I hope to have it available early fall.  
 
Life has been a journey. It has taken me to places that I never imagined. But I have had to learn new skills and habits along the way. I also have had to break some of those habits that have not served me well. I have had to learn  some "new responses" to situations.
"I remember one Sunday morning when my young daughter who was about four years old came into the bathroom while I was getting ready for church. She told me. "Mom you and I, we look so beautiful in our dresses; let's dance! " The old, worried, stressed out me would have pushed that aside and say, "Not now honey, I don't have the time we are going to be late."  I was learning the power of those little moments. I swept up my daughter and took ten or fifteen seconds out of my life to whisk her about the bathroom in a magical dance. In those few seconds we were both swept up into a fantasy land,  a magical moment that could have easily been lost. The dance only lasted a few moments, but the feelings lasted most of the day, and the memory will last a lifetime."   
 

 


Adaption and learning new strategies and habits

We become what we repeatedly do. Steven covey (7 habits of highly effective teens)

"Sometimes, I get the feeling that we're just a bunch of habits. The gestures we repeat over and over, they're just our need to be recognized. Without them, we'd be unidentifiable. We have to reinvent ourselves every minute.” Nicole Krauss

"It has been said that we are nothing more than our behaviors repeated throughout  our entire life. We are made up of daily life choices. We are also talking of daily habits, especially the ones that seem like they are not a choice anymore because they come so easily, and we do not consciously realize that we are making a choice because it is just habit. Some daily habits serve us well, but far too many of us have habits and strategies for getting us through life that really do not serve us well. We all have a habit of insisting on keeping up these broken strategies that really do not work. Why?  Because they are habits, and habits have a history of being too hard to break. Let me share with you an example from my own life.  

I had found myself in a bad habit of yelling at my children. The trouble  was that the children were beginning to model that same behavior. I found myself hating the fact that they were yelling at one another. We were getting to be a very loud family. I found myself wondering what it was going to be like once they all reached the teenage years. The thought of three very loud, yelling teenagers was frightening. We found ourselves yelling at each other to a point that everyone was yelling and nobody was  listening to anybody. Everyone was getting louder and louder to be heard over the other yellers.  It was out of control. I could only see it getting worse and worse, with no end in sight

It was my middle child who was the catalyst for change. She began holding her hands over her ears for large parts of the day. She is very sensitive to words, and yelling was over the top for her. She couldn't stand it anymore. I would notice her in the midst of the yelling with her hands over her ears.  Then I noticed that she would just tune out anything and everything going on in the house for large parts of the day. She was not happy in life.  She was spending way too much time with her hands over her ears or just plain tuned out to life. I knew it was not healthy for a 5 year old to be like this, I just didn't know what to do about it.  

One day I came to this daughter to give her a compliment on something that she had done well, and out of habit her hands went over her ears and her eyes closed. I was not angry at all, and I was not yelling, but she had gotten into the habit, she was ready for me to start yelling because most of the time it was that way.  I stood there in shock. What had we come too?  I felt like a monster, my child was hiding from me, and all I wanted to do was to tell her that I loved her and that she had done a good job.  My heart was about to break. I slowly took her hands off her ears, I whispered to her, "please open your eyes, I want to talk to you."  She shook her head  to tell me no.  I began to feel angry at her response toward me, but more angry with myself. The feelings I had were so strong, but the sadness coming from her was even stronger. I shut my mouth and waited.  She finally opened her eyes, but wouldn't look at me. When I finally  reached under her chin and held her head up, she looked at me with such sadness in her huge blue eyes, I was pierced to the soul.  "Why did you cover your ears when you saw me coming?" I asked,--- " I thought you were going to yell at me like you always do." was her reply, "I do not like the yelling and everyone keeps on yelling all the time, it never stops."  Oh my heart ached, I vowed that moment that we were going to change that habit.

How? What needed to happen for us to change? I called a family meeting right away. I announced that there was a new family rule. No yelling. I was going to start and set the example. We had to break this habit and replace it with another. "Yelling is not communicating" became our key phrase. The other was, "We do not communicate by yelling".  When we found ourselves yelling the new habit was this.... We were to stop, take a deep breath, and repeat one of those two phrases before continuing on with what we wanted to say in a nice, calm voice.

It was hard work. I would get about three words into my yelling rant and then have to stop, take a deep breath, repeat the phrase, then speak softly and kindly. It seemed like I was repeating these phrases five thousand times a day. It was exhausting at times.  About the third day, I was ready to give in, I had tried, but it was such hard work. I felt like it was constantly on my mind and a constant battle I didn't know I would ever win. I felt like I didn't have time to stop, and repeat the phrase so many times a day, but my little blue eyed girl caught my attention again. I noticed that she was not spending so much of her time tuned out to life with her hands over her ears. I also noticed that the sparkle was coming back to her eyes. She was doing better, and we were beginning to see results in the rest of us too. So we continued on the journey.

It was nearly six months into the journey when I realized that I had made it until noon without having to repeat the words; "yelling is not how we communicate".  I was overjoyed. We had come so far. It was no longer a constant, conscious, nearly overwhelming effort.  It was becoming a new habit not to yell. It made those long days in the beginning worth it. "
 
My hope and prayer is that we will find a desire to be better, to do better, to be a little slower in responding becoming aware that there may be something better than that "first initial response".   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Teach children of their heritage

The month of July is wonderful time here in Utah. With our Independence Day celebrations, and then our state celebration of the Mormon pioneers settling in Utah, it opens up the door for conversations about our heritage.  


Why is it important for to teach children about their heritage, and what things should you be sure to teach them?


1.  It is important for our children to know of the past and the things that brought about their freedom in this country. They must know of the brave souls that fought for our liberty. They must know of the struggles that this country went through as a new and struggling nation of God loving people who desired freedom to worship and live.  They must know about the Constitution of the United States of America. You must help them to understand the constitution, what it is, what it stands for, and what it means for them going forward.  You must do it, the public school system may cover it for just a brief moment, but it is watered down and sugar coated until it has lost much of what it is. The school system cannot make up for you sharing your own experience and love for this country. Teach your children to honor the flag and other symbols of our freedom, for it is a rock upon which they must stand.  Teach them the pledge of Allegiance. Teach them the star spangled banner.  Teach them about the land of the free. Teach them to be brave. Teach them to honor the freedoms they have and to stand in liberty.



A great read on the history of our country is Seven Miracles That Saved America: Why They Matter and Why We Should Have Hope


2.  Our children should know about their Grandparents, Great Grandparents and so on. It is important for them. I have found great strength through knowing my grandparents. My Grandma turned 94 this year. She is one of those people I have looked to for inspiration over the years.  In fact, one of my very first blog posts was all about her.  Our extended families can give us clues to our life. We can learn from their mistakes and we can gain wisdom and strength from their life experiences.  Make it an experience for your children by sharing the stories of their close ancestors.  My mother in-law is a great story-teller.  She has shared many stories about my Husband and his family. She makes it fun for us all to learn about our relatives.

3. Most of all teach them of their Spiritual heritage. We are all Children of God. Teach your children of that God who created them. Teach them to love the scriptures.  Our evening time for the past several months has been spent in telling the stories of the scriptures. My young children are begging to know more. Every night it is, "just one more Bible story!" They are hungry for the word of God.  I have had to step up my studies of the scriptures just to keep up with them. It is a wonderful thing to see their eyes light up as I tell them stories of the great prophets, and tell them about the miracles that came about through faith in the Lord.

It was just a few generations ago that most people read the scriptures and family Bibles were cherished treasures, but it is a tradition that has gone away in many parts of the country. It is time to bring it back.

It is a time to take a good look to at the word of God especially the book of revelation as we are upon the doorstep of the things John saw concerning the world as it comes very close to the time when Christ shall come again. Just take a look around, you will see that the signs of His coming are all around us. 

May you and your family find hope for the future as you turn to the past.

Blessings,
Happy Momma

Monday, July 21, 2014

recognizing the answers

Do you ever struggle to recognize the answers to your prayers? You are not alone! Many have struggled with this.

Sometimes prayers are answered in large ways, but more often it is that little thought, or that simple little thing someone does. When we take time to recognize those small things, and give God thanks, we tend to find more of them and we see the hand of God has been in our lives. Let me share some examples with you so you can see what I mean.


Mary is struggling with finances and is in need of a bit of extra this week. The gas tank is on empty and the pantry seems a bit bare. She prays for relief. The next day, a friend offers to take her to lunch. The day after that, she finds a forgotten $20 bill.  Have her prayers been answered? Many may say it is just coincidence, but I say yes, her prayers were answered in a very real way. She was taken care of when she was needing it. God said yes, and provided for her in her time of need.

In my own life, when finances have gotten a little tight God has provided. Sometimes it has been in the form of a friend needing help with a job and asking my husband to assist them. For myself, it has been daycare jobs for family or friends that paid enough to cover some of the basics and it seemed that the payments always showed up just at the right time. 


Another example is that of Amy who is struggling with the pressures of her job and family life. She is feeling overwhelmed by it all. She is feeling hopeless and in despair. All of a sudden there is a phone call from a friend who just happened to call and say "hello" This is an answer to prayer.

Susie is struggling with her son. He has some behavior issues that cause Susie to be at the "end of her rope" She has been praying for help knowing what to do. She has struggled through many days with her son and his behavior, nothing seems to be working. She is learning patience, but it is growing thin. The struggles continue, then one day while talking with a friend the answer seems to come in a small and simple way. This friend is struggling with her own child, although their troubles and issues seem to be so different, Suzie's mind is awakened to something that might just work. She begins to feel a small glimmer of hope in this "new thought". 

Sometimes we get those "thoughts".  Do not discount them, often they are overlooked answers to prayers. Explore those little thoughts and see what comes of them. See if God is saying, "flap your wings and fly."  Sometimes it is only when we look back and realize that it all started with that one little thought that we  can see our prayers were answered.






There is a song that helps me to remember that while I do not always know what God has in store, he can see the big picture. This is especially helpful to remember when dark clouds are near and I cannot see more than just a few steps. 


Click here to listen on you tube


Blessings by Laura Story



We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we have faith to believe

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise




My Prayer for you today; May God bless you in your struggles. May you find that your prayers are answered and that He has always had a hand in your life.
 
Happy Momma

Monday, July 14, 2014

What do you seek?

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul- We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. (Article of faith #13 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)


Part of this comes from Philippians 4:8-9
8. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
9.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

How I love these words of inspiration.  Practice being good and God will be with you. What a great promise given to us.

Seek after the good things. There are so many good things out there, yet often they are overshadowed by the "Other things" The biggest challenge is keeping our eye on the main goal. One of the Devils greatest tools is distraction. He gets us to forget what it is that we really desire.


 
 
 
How can we keep from being distracted and caught in the Devils trap?  We can seek after the "good things" in life. By seeking out good music, books, friends, and so on we are surrounding ourselves with constant reminders of what we are striving for, constant reminders that we are choosing the things of the Kingdom of God thus keeping the Devil from permanently distracting us.   
 
Choose to surround yourself with goodness. Choose righteousness. Choose God.  Teach your children the same. 
 
God bless you all on your journey,
 
Happy Momma   
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Governed and guided by God

 
This spring I had the opportunity to read a great book from the  heart of faith series called The Preacher's Bride .  It is a historical fiction book that takes place in 1650's England. It was interesting reading as the author Jody Hedlund takes you on a journey into the life of a young puritan woman as she deals with a trial of her faith and of her faithfulness to the church and it's teachings. I was so intrigued as the story takes the form of her inner thoughts. As the story weaves along you are drawn in as she is feeling torn by her desires but in the end her faith keeps her well grounded. It got me thinking about my own life. One of the parts that made me think was a passage where she is talking with her husband who is a preacher. They were talking about how they choose to live their lives differently than others at that time because they chose to be governed by God and his rules and laws. It got me thinking about my own life and how I choose to live my life of faith.     


Governed can be defined  as; to have a predominating influence. What are the predominating influences in your life?  Are the scriptures, prayer, fasting,  and the other things of God the largest influence over your life, or are there too many other things that distract you from letting God's word direct your path? Do you live by faith, or does fear enter in all to often.  2 Timothy 1:7-8  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;



Do we heed the words of Timothy? In verse 13 he says Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou has heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  Do we hold on tight to the words of God? Are they in our hearts and minds constantly? Do Christ's words have an influence on us and the way we live?  At this time in the worlds history we must be holding tight to the words of God, if not we will be swept up into a world that will not be governed by anything or anybody, a world that only gives itself to carnal desires, a place where lawlessness rules and everybody is serving their own selfish desires.

Those who live with faithful hearts are called to build up the Kingdom of God. They are called to live by the rules of God as taught in the bible and other scriptures to walk uprightly before him, to be governed and guided by faith and to be a light to the world. We are to called to teach others that there is a better way. We cannot shy away from that calling. We must stand firm in our faith and in our actions. We cannot be caught up in the worldly things. We must make the choice to govern ourselves according to the knowledge and faith within us.



May you find joy and happiness in serving the Lord, Jesus Christ. May you find the courage to stick with and stand up for your beliefs and your right live according to faith. 



Below is an Amazon link to the book referenced above.


                                                                  
                                                         The Preacher's Bride


  Please note the above link is an affiliate link. This simply means that if you purchase items through the above link I get a small portion of that sale which helps support the work here at disciple walk. You can read the full disclosure by clicking the privacy policy tab at the top of the blog.  
 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Being torn between popular culture and your faith




We are living in a time that was forseen by many of the prophets. I believe that we are at the doorstep of those things which John saw in the book of revelations. Isaiah prophesied of this time also. It is a time when evil has been poured out among all the earth. The Devil is gathering his army and preparing to give battle to the saints. It is a time when those of faith will be tested to their limits.


One thing that is happening is that many faithful are being torn between keeping themselves faithful in standing for all things good; and loving and caring for those closest to them who may be choosing the popular things of the world. Pornography, immorality, and vulgarity, is the way of life for many around us. With the rising numbers of people engaging in pornography and practicing same sex relationships, it is becoming increasingly harder to stand for the truth. Our young people are growing up in a society that is so accepting of sin (especially sexual sin). It is starting to be normal and natural for young people to engage in these sexual sins with no knowledge of it's true identity as sin.

We are becoming a  place like unto Sodom and Gomorrah in the bible (see the book of Genesis) two cities that were destroyed by God because they were so abounding in sexual sin. I would suppose that the children growing up in those cities were also lulled away by the Devil into thinking that sexual sins and perversions were of no consequence and a normal part of life. God very much warned in clear language to the Israelites in Leviticus chapter 18.  In verses 22-24 it says Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall nay woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things...


It is a hard thing for those who would walk in the spirit of Christ to see so many around them accept and normalize sexual sin. I myself have wrestled with the fact that some of my friends and family who should "know better" being lulled by Satan into thinking that these things are ok for them and their families.  In Galations 5:16-17 it talks about the wrestle between the spirit and the lusts of the flesh and how they cannot co-exist. This I say then, walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.  
  

I read a wonderful article about protecting our children from the evils of pornography. It talked about some things you can do to protect and teach your children. The one action point that caught my attention: call out pornography when you see it. At first I thought, "why would I call attention to that very thing that I want them to avoid, won't that make them more curious and make them want to go to it?" Then my eyes were opened up to it.  They cannot fight something they do not see or know (an imaginary enemy). By calling out immodesty and pornography that we see on the TV or billboards, we are making them aware that THIS IS SIN. They will begin to recognize it as sin for themselves. It is very empowering practice and habit. My children now understand what I am talking about. They recognize sin when they see it. We have started calling out all kinds of sin we see on television. It is amazing. We are severely limiting our exposure to TV because of it.

Watch TV for a moment and begin to call out all the sin you see.  Lying, deceiving, backbiting, disrespectful behaviors, murder, stealing, and the list goes on. About 10 minutes of TV and you won't know what is going on in the show because you are stopping every 20 seconds to call out a sin you see. Things have changed TV today is very different then the time when episodes of Lassie or Andy Griffith show were the main things we watched, where society itself upheld Christian values and taught it to the children. Of course society is very different now, TV and our culture in general teaches the ways of Satan, but God's laws still stand and SIN WILL ALWAYS BE SIN. We have to be aware and teach our children that so many of the things around us that are accepted by others are sin and are not acceptable to us or our God. 

I leave you with the words from 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

We must be the ones to teach our children the dangers of the lion when the world would teach them that it is just a harmless playful kitty cat. If this means that you have to stand alone and go against society, so be it. It will all be worth it in the end when you will hear those blessed words "well done thou good and faithful servant!"







P.S. I have included links to two of the most interesting books that I have read lately that have opened my eyes to the severity of the situation. They both have increased my faith, and my resolve to do good. They have deepened my desire to serve God and help others to be strengthened in their own faith.
They are well worth the time to read and study.



The Cleansing of America

Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success


The above links are affiliate links.  You can read the full disclosure by clicking the "privacy policy" at the top right hand corner of my blog.
 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

meekness is not weakness

 
 
 
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth. Matthew 5:5 
 
 
 
 
 
When I looked up the definition of meek or meekness I was surprised to see that nearly every definition was written in a manner that conjures up thoughts of cowardice, weakness and even laziness. I knew that this was not quite right. I am smart enough to know that this is not what the Lord would have for us. I knew that I needed to do some deeper study and get some new thoughts about what meekness really is.  
 
A bit of insight and awakening happened when I was looking at the Miriam Webster dictionary under the word meek and came up with a list of related words and near antonyms for meek. 


Related Words acquiescent, compliant, deferential, resigned, submissive, unaggressive, unassertive, yielding; cowering, cringing, shrinking; ingenuous, naive (or naïve), plain, simple, unaffected; bashful, diffident, introverted, mousy (or mousey), overmodest, passive, quiet, reserved, retiring, sheepish, shy, subdued, timid, unobtrusive; aw-shucks, self-deprecating, self-deprecatory, self-effacing

I read that list of words related to meek and thought to myself, "nobody really aspires to be those things, and many of them do not sound very God-like, Why would God ask me to be these things?"  I then read on to the next part the near antonyms (or opposite) of the word meek. The thought crossed my mind, "If you are not meek, then you must be these other things that are the opposite of meek."  
 



 Where is your heart in this list? Do you find yourself  within the space of those antonym words?  It is eye opening isn't it? 

In first Timothy 6:10 we are warned that the love of money is the root of all evil. Take a look again at the list of near antonyms for meekness, do they not sound like the effects of a world obsessed with money and power for themselves?  Now the next little part is enlightening.  1 Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12: fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called...... 

In 1 Corinthians chapter 1 Paul speaks to the saints at Corinth. He talks about how the wise, mighty, and noble are not always the ones called to his work. Verses 27 tells us who is called; But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.

God has chosen those that would be defined as weak to confound the mighty. He has chosen the meek  But are the meek really all that weak?  

Who are the meek?

One of the popular definitions of meek is tame. Many living in this world would say that being tame is not a great quality to have (along with many of the other qualities of a meek person), but let us look deeper. Let us take a look at the Clydesdale horses they are big and very powerful creatures. They are wonderful horses that can do great work. But, if they are not tamed and trained well, they cannot be the good work horses they are known for. It is the same with us. If we are not tame in our ways, we are not truly God's.  If our hearts and souls do not belong to God, we are of no good use to him in his kingdom.

Meekness is actually a very powerful character trait that you would be wise to pursue once you understand what it really is. It has been a journey as I have worked to truly understand meekness as the Lord sees it.  I finally came to Wikepedia, it had a definition that made sense. It opened up my mind to what real meekness is.  Meekness is the opposite of the natural man who gives into every whim and desire of the body. A man or woman that is meek is strong because his or her desires are under well under control (tame) and therefore he or she is in control of the body and mind and has overcome many of the wiles of the devil. Meekness is the ability to control our thoughts, and actions. Meekness is a strong internal attitude towards pure goodness and a love that is often shows itself as gentleness on the outside.

Because it is hard to describe and it shows itself as gentleness on the outside meekness has been labeled and defined as something very different than what it really is. It has been said that meekness is one of the hardest words to define and to translate from one language to another. Through my studies I can see why that it so. Meekness comes very close to the heart of God. Once pursued, it changes our hearts to be more like his. This change of heart is something that cannot be explained very well.  Meekness is a trait that can only be developed  and truly understood by those who choose to truly follow Christ.

 Meekness is not valued at all in any form in our modern world, in fact it is just the opposite, those who would show meekness would be defined by the world as weak. It is too bad that the world would give us that silly list of words that are near to the word meek and tell us that meekness is truly a weakness of character. True meekness is a strong character strength, it in fact is not weak at all, a person who is truly meek has worked hard to align his or her heart to God. The meek person has overcome the Devil and is very highly prized in God's kingdom. To be meek is to find strength in God and his ways. This is where I want to be. This is where I strive to be.  


For your continued study on this topic I have included some links below that may be of insight and understanding

The fruit of the spirit: meekness

Meekness a dimension of true discipleship

meekness; God's cure






 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Comfortable in your sins?

This is an excerpt from Jeffery R. Holland entitled "The cost--and blessings--of Discipleship."  It was given in April 5, 2014 at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints



It is as the Lord Himself lamented to the prophet Isaiah:
“[These] children … will not hear the law of the Lord:
“[They] say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
“Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”   (Isaiah 30:9-11)
 
Sadly enough, my young friends, it is a characteristic of our age that if people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much, comfortable gods, smooth gods who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row it, gods who pat us on the head, make us giggle, then tell us to run along and pick marigolds. Talk about man creating God in his own image! Sometimes—and this seems the greatest irony of all—these folks invoke the name of Jesus as one who was this kind of “comfortable” God. Really? He who said not only should we not break commandments, but we should not even think about breaking them. And if we do think about breaking them, we have already broken them in our heart. Does that sound like “comfortable” doctrine, easy on the ear and popular down at the village love-in?........... Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. A long history of inspired voices, including those you will hear in this conference and the voice you just heard in the person of President Thomas S. Monson, point you toward the path of Christian discipleship. It is a strait path, and it is a narrow path without a great deal of latitude at some points, but it can be thrillingly and successfully traveled, “with … steadfastness in Christ, … a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.”  In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

pure in heart

Matthew 5:8  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God


Who are the pure in heart?  The pure in heart are those who have had their hearts and souls cleansed by the word of God. They are free from impurities within their souls, they have motives and desires that move them towards Christ.






 
When we come unto Christ and begin to have hope and a belief in him it changes us. We begin to have new desires and motives that change who we are, what we do, and why we do it. It changes our thought process. Our minds become constantly focused on him and his words. It is an amazing transformation that happens as we become more like him and our thoughts and lives are directed to his words and work.



Read the following scriptures and note the highlighted portions.

1 John 3:1-3
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.


 Romans 10: 4-11  Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


 



To be pure in heart it begins with a hope and belief that the words of Christ are true. Hope then fuels the fire of desire. This desire prompts changes inside of us that often are hard to express especially to those who find no value in these things. 

The world (Satan) would have you hope for, desire, and find value in riches, fame, fortune, praises for your efforts etc. God would have you desire and hope for eternal life with him, and to find value in laying up treasures in heaven.  Those who are focused on the worldly treasures with desires only to get gain for themselves and not the good of others often do not understand and mock those who are building and gathering the heavenly treasures.

Pay no mind to those people who would mock you, for God will take care of them. Keep yourself focused on the goal,  keep yourself strong amidst afflictions it will be well worth the efforts.   In the meantime............

 

Fuel your life with good books. Fill your life with the sounds of worshipful music. Surround yourself with Goodness. Read the words of Christ. Love the words of Christ.  Live the words of Christ 



Do these things and you are well on your way to being pure in heart. Your motives and desires will become closely in line with him.  You will be happy and joyful as you lay the foundation for a wonderful future with Christ.


Blessings to you as you journey toward Christ,

Happy momma








Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Today I choose........

 


We do not choose what happens to us, but we get to choose how we react to those things that happen around us.

Today, right now, I am making a choice.......

I choose to feel JOY instead of pain and sadness.
 
I choose FAITH to dispel any fear that I may encounter
 
I choose to feel HOPE when it is easy to feel despair
 
I choose HEALING  because I can't endure any more hurt.
 
I choose to be CERTAIN instead of doubtful
 
I choose to stand STABLE even on rocky ground
 
I choose to be GRATEFUL for it fills my soul with goodness and drowns out self pity.
 
I choose LOVE
 
I choose LIFE
 
I CHOOSE CHRIST

 
 
 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Have you determined to follow Jesus?

In Church the question was asked of us, Have you made up your mind? have you determined within yourself to live righteously no matter what?





I would ask the same of you today. The time has come to decide which side you are on. You can no longer be part the world and part of the Lord's kingdom. The gap is becoming too wide.

Living a righteous life in this world is hard. You will have to go against the mainstream society. You will have to choose to do differently than those around you. It may not always easy and you may have to stand alone. But when living like Christ becomes important enough to you. You will find a way to do it no matter the consequences.



 
 
The time has come to stand for truth and righteousness. God does not want our excuses, he wants us to be valiant men and women to stand for him, and with him in these last days.
 
 
  
Please come back often to find encouragement and practical advice as to how to follow Christ and live the disciple life.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The seemingly impossible call to "be ye therefore perfect"


The call to be perfect found in Matthew 5:48 has come to a boiling point for many. Thoughts of perfection and our lack of ability to do so has caused so much despair and hopelessness. It is overwhelming.  We live in a society that puts such stress and pressure on us to be perfect.  Just look around you, it comes at us from all directions. The idea of being perfect in everything has overwhelmed our homes, our schools, our churches, it is everywhere. The quest to be perfect in every possible aspect has nearly overtaken us. Combine the TV, magazines, and movies ideal of perfect with social media like Facebook, twitter, and Pinterst it has all come together in a  "perfect storm."  (no pun intended.) I recently wrote about The comparison trap that comes with social media. It seems so easy to overly compare ourselves, and pour fuel on this fire.



We are all feeling the effects. Parents are so overwhelmed by keeping up with the other parents and making sure that their children have the opportunity to be the most perfect of all the children. Our young people are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the pressure on them to be that perfect child. Those in the teenage years are having trouble finding their way through this raging storm (as if teenage years weren't hard enough), I feel bad for them. Families are being ripped apart by this storm.

The trouble is an attitude is growing in ourselves and our children. We have been overburdened with the thoughts of perfection to a breaking point. Mention the words perfection or perfect, and it is like a swear word. You mention being perfect and some people want to throw you under a bus. People have become crazy in their pursuit of the unobtainable worldly perfection. A side effect of this crazy ride is that it is causing a shift in peoples perception.

Here are a few thoughts and quotes that I have seen floating about social media lately (This is just a sampling of things that I have seen and the attitude that is beginning to prevail)

1."Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it"
2. "They say no one is perfect, then they say that practice makes perfect, I wish they would make up their minds"
3. "nobody is perfect, I am nobody so therefore I am perfect."
4."perfection is not what the heart is aiming for"
5.  "shooting for perfection is like shooting in the dark". 

These quotes and thoughts of "I can't be perfect" have lead to an attitude of "I am fine the way I am, I will find solace in being imperfect " 

6. "Imperfect is the next perfect"
7. "I am perfectly imperfect"
8. "Imperfection is really two words  I'm perfection"

Take a moment and think about the above quotes. How do they make you feel?  Do you see yourself in them? Do you find your attitude shifting? Satan is very sneaky. He has infiltrated to the very core. Do you see how he is keeping us from the Goal of being like Jesus?  The problem is that these attitudes and perceptions of perfect can overtake and distract us to the point that it keeps us from even being willing to try to become like our Savior Jesus Christ because perfect is just too overwhelming.  

It has been said that The pursuit of perfection often impedes improvement.



 If we are striving for worldly perfection that is very true. We often find ourselves so wrapped up in the pursuit of worldly perfection, and showing our perfection for the world to see.  We can find that we have been blinded as to perfection in the Saviors eyes. Perfection according to the world, and the Saviors perfection are different; yet somehow we let them become one and the same. Let me explain further.

An understanding and enlightenment comes when we begin to define the word perfect. To often we use the word perfect as an adjective; entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings.  The Lord is using the word perfect as a verb which has an entirely different meaning; to bring to completion; finish. to make fully skilled, to bring nearer to perfection.   


Perfection is an ideal that helps in removing, not demeaning imperfections. Tasneem Hameed

The Scripture "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" comes from the Sermon on the mount. In Matthew chapter 5  Jesus begins this beautiful sermon. The chapter ends with the command to be perfect. In the next chapter he continues on and he gives some advice about how to do this. The first thing he says in chapter 6, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them; otherwise you will have no reward of your father in heaven." He was warning about becoming preoccupied with the world and their view of perfection. Being perfect in Christ is not about putting ourselves out there for everyone to see. It is NOT about being perfect on the outside, but perfect on the inside. God sees our inside, he sees what we are becoming we need to trust his work within our souls.

Often times the world can't see the inner beauty of someone who is growing and developing in Christ. I would like to compare this process to that of a growing apple. We are all growing and just as an apple, we begin by growing from a little bud to a blossom.  The blossoms are beautiful but they have not grown to be a fully developed fruit. It is a process for the blossom to change from flower to a full grown fruit. During the sermon on the mount Jesus was teaching the people this process. These people were  blossoms, he was teaching them how to grow to be full grown fruit. We are also in this process, many of us are just beginning to blossom.  He is changing us from a blossom to a full grown apple. This process is not appealing to the world.  Take a look below at this group of photos that chronicle the journey of an apple blossom to a fully ripe fruit.




                                             http://www.geochembio.com/IMG/apple-fruit-development.jpg


When we see ourselves changing from the blossom into the small and somewhat ugly fruits as seen in photos B, C, and D; we begin to wonder what is happening. We begin to doubt the hand of God, sometimes we believe that God is changing us into something strange and unsightly. We often lose understanding of where we are going and what is happening. We have to grow and change, we can't be a blossom forever. We are not meant to be a blossom, we are meant to be an apple. This is the process and it is an essential part of life. It is the only way for us to be like Christ and our Father in heaven.



We are called to be perfect, to be changed and become a new creature in Christ. It is a wonderful thing once you get past the world and its views on perfection. Can you feel it? Have you caught the vision yet?  Do you have a desire to grow into something more? Do you have a passion or even a small desire for Christ's perfection?  If you have the smallest desire for it, let it grow within you until it fills you.

Jesus continues on with the Sermon on the mount giving all kinds of advice and sharing with the people the skills, attributes, and virtues they should develop to be more like he and his Father.  If you have not read it lately I would suggest taking the time to read it.

Christ lays out to the people the path that they are to take from here on out. He gives them many skills and tools that they can use along the way. Over the next few weeks and months I will be exploring some of the skills, character traits, and virtues that God lays out for us in the scriptures. I will be writing about them along with practical advice for those who are willing to embark on this path.





Please come back and visit often. As always I welcome your comments, thoughts and advice. We can all learn from each other. 







Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Has Christ consumed you heart and mind?

I have been reading a wonderful book Anchored: Pressing On by Pressing Into the Savior. It is an easy to read book about a young woman's true conversion to Christ.  Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book.




 




She writes in a way that really spoke to my heart. I would encourage you to pick it up and read it. It is worth reading.  





Anchored: Pressing On by Pressing Into the Savior



PS. I wrote this post of my own accord simply because I really liked the book.

The above links are affiliate links. This just means that I am referring you to Amazon to purchase the book. If you buy through Amazon you are supporting my work here, but more importantly you are helping a young woman (Teresa Blondo) share her conversion story and helping to spread the word of the Lord.