Monday, February 24, 2014

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Proverbs  22:6
 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Joshua 24:15
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

photo from Bing images

These are the scriptures that we used in our ward (congregational) conference.  It was a very nice meeting. I very much enjoyed our Bishop's remarks. He encouraged us to make time to teach and train our children, to read scripture with them, to pray with them and never forget to do these important things. He also offered us advice as how to take advantage of those "teaching moments." He suggested that they come rather quickly but if we listen to the spirit we would be guided as to what to say and how to teach our children when the moments arise. He suggested that we need to instill into the children wisdom and understanding of basic Christian living. Help them understand why we pray, why we go to church etc.

Our stake president ( a regional leader over several congregations) also spoke. He invited us to make our homes a learning place, a safe place for those who dwell. No matter where you are, you can improve the home and everyone in that home has a duty to help in that effort. Whether it be the good and faithful family, or the home on the verge of collapse, the single parent home, empty nesters, blended families, newly married, or those waiting to begin a family; making home a safe place should be a top priority along with teaching the gospel of Christ.  

We were urged to make our homes a place of security where everyone feels loved and accepted. We were encouraged to become close to each other. We were encouraged to show love one for another. Our wonderful stake president talked of some of the practices in our home. The question he posed to us..."Is this practice sustainable for the future of our family?"  He talked about such things as abuse, quarreling among siblings, backbiting, spousal intolerance, and the media that we bring into our homes (just to name a few). Are these things sustainable for the future of our families? He also talked about making changes  in the way we do things in our homes so that we have sustainable practices in our home things such as; family prayer, scripture study, working together, good wholesome movies and other media. He urged us to be connected with our family members in real ways.  I wrote a blog post about this very thing. I invited people to Unplug from all the devices and become a present parent. As we as a society become more and more dependent upon the electronic world it is even more important to plug into our families and their needs. 

As the music director for the children I was able to speak with the children about how they could serve the Lord in their own homes. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear the children sing such wonderful songs of the church. The children had some wonderful ideas we had a great time with that.  Later in in discussion with the children I was impressed by the honesty of some of them. We were discussing good vs bad choices. Some scenarios were created for the children, then the question was asked "What would you do in this situation?" and of course all the children knew what the "right" answer was. But from where I was sitting (close by to a group of 10 year old boys) I overheard, "I know that's the right thing to do, but I would probably choose to do..."  I brought it to the attention of the group leader and we were able to discuss knowing the right answer and what really happens. We were able to encourage them to try and make the "right choices" even when sometimes we would rather make a different choice. We were able to take that time to teach in that moment just as the Bishop had directed us to do. It came fast and could have been easily lost.

In the quest for eternal life, there is but one important thing. Choose to put the kingdom of God first in your life. It is hard with so many things pulling at us. This is why daily discipleship is so important. It keeps the important things at the forefront of the mind.  My you find joy and peace in your daily walk with Christ.

PS here is a link to that post I wrote

Life less hurried/ UNPLUG


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thoughts on discipleship

I am a disciple of Christ, although I did not live on the earth at the same time that he did, I can walk in his ways.

What is a disciple?  What does being a disciple mean for me? Why choose this path? What do I hope to gain from this experience?

                                                                ... Bannister - Edward Mitchell Bannister Woman Walking down Path Painting

First we have to define discipleship. As taken from

di·ci·ple [dih-sahy-puhl]  
1. Religion .
a. one of the 12 personal followers of Christ.
b. one of the 70 followers sent forth by Christ. Luke 10:1.
c. any other professed follower of Christ in His lifetime.
2. any follower of Christ.
3. ( initial capital letter ) a member of the Disciples of Christ.
4. a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; follower: a disciple of Freud. 
verb (used with object), dis·ci·pled, dis·ci·pling.
5. Archaic. to convert into a disciple.
6. Obsolete . to teach; train.
A Christian disciple is a lifelong learner, or student studying in the ways of Christ; choosing to walk a path that leads to eternal life with him.
Being a disciple means that I choose a different life than that which is popular in society. It means that I choose the better way, even when that way seems a bit hard and goes against popular belief. It means that I make choices that others may not understand. Being a disciple means that I follow that piece of my heart that belongs to Jesus Christ; for he has given me the breath of life.

Why choose this path? Why choose to shy away from popular culture? Why choose that which would seem to be restrictive? I choose this because I see the hope that it gives to those who have and are walking the path. I choose this because it gives me a bright hope for the future. This is the only path gets me to where I ultimately want to be which is; eternal life in the kingdom of God.
Being a disciple of Christ gives me a real purpose. It gives me direction. It gives me what I need to have real success. It gives me hope when I feel hopeless. It gives me true comfort and peace. I truly can feel the peace that only he can give. As he says in the scriptures: John 14:27 King James Version (KJV)
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

This passage of scripture speaks to my inner heart. I have felt that peace that only he can give. I choose to live my life in a manner that allows me to feel these feelings often. I choose to feel it now as well as in the eternities. It is my desire. I am not afraid to speak of Christ, I have a desire to share with people my discipleship, and to help them in their own quest for discipleship. I am a learner, I am a student of the Master teacher the one who gives me life; Jesus Christ.
I am a God in training.  I will become as he is. This path is not always easy and I will struggle to understand some of the obstacles in my way. I will get tired and feel defeated at times. It is part of the training, pushing me to be more than I ever imagined. I will be his servant, and student.  I will watch and learn. I will help and serve while here upon earth. I look forward to the day when I meet him face to face and he shall say  "well done, thou good and faithful servant"  




This blog is designed as a place of encouragement and devotion. It is a journal of my journey with Christ. There will be days of disappointment and grief as well as some of joy and triumph. I hope you will come and fill your soul often with the words and thoughts expressed here. I hope that it will open up your mind and soul to the joy that can abound in good works.