Sunday, March 30, 2014

Is there a place for Christ in your life?

Jesus invites us in the scriptures to "come, follow me" We are invited to walk with Jesus and learn from him. We are invited to learn from his words as we walk daily with him.

Walking daily with Christ, what does that mean for you? Does it include prayer, devotion, scripture study and your time and attention? For far to many it means read a verse or two of scriptures, and make sure to check in with a prayer at the end of the day. It is something that we have put on our "to do list". It is something that is a part of our routine along with everything else in life. The trouble is that this is not quite what Jesus had in mind for us.

When our attitude is "I have said my prayer, I read in the scriptures today, I checked in with Jesus"  We are really missing out on what the Savior has to say. It too often looks something like this; Jesus is walking down the path with some of his disciples and everyday we jog by and say to him things like, "hey, I read about Daniel and the lions den today, good thing you saved him from those hungry lions."  The next day it is like, "Hey Jesus, today I read about Job, I am glad you gave him strength to keep going when things got rough. Speaking of thing getting rough, I got to get going on my way, it's going to be a busy, rough day today." This goes on every day, we are jogging by, checking in and telling Jesus what we did and what we read. Then one day, we come to a crossroad, Jesus and his disciples take a turn, We holler down the path at him, "Hey Jesus, today I read about your birth, such a great story" The next day we look down that path he went down and can't really see him but tell the person going down that path "Hey, when you see Jesus tell him......" 

Walking daily with Christ is more than just Checking in every day. It is more than just talking at him as we pass by him. It is taking the time to walk with him, talk with him, spend time observing and learning his ways. It is being on that path with him. It is being aware. It is being engaged with him. 

There is a big difference between making time for Christ in our lives, and taking time to let Christ into our lives.

This is illustrated in the Bible with the story of two sisters, Martha and Mary.
Luke 10:38-42  KJV

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

In these short simple verses a great lesson is learned. Martha was busy, she thought she was serving the Lord well. She had great desires to serve him. She would sit and listen to him; just as soon as she got done with all the other things she had going on. She was working hard, she asked for help from her sister to get the work done so that she could make the time to squeeze in a short visit with Christ while he was there. Mary on the other hand, was taking time with Christ while he was there with them. See the difference? 

There is a song that is popular among many Christians. 

He Walks With Me (In The Garden)"

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The son of God discloses.

And he walks with me and he talks with me
And he tells me I am his own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

He speaks and the sound of his voice is so sweet
The birds hush their singing
And the melody that he gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And he walks with me and he talks with me
And he tells me I am his own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.

I'd stay in the garden with him
Though the night around me is falling
But He bids me go through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling...

In this beautiful song it talks about taking the time to go to the garden and be with Christ. This is what a disciple does. A true disciple of Christ does not schedule in time for Jesus. A true disciple takes the time and allows themselves to be taught at the feet of the master.

My prayer for each of you today is that you will take a moment to re-evaluate where you are in your discipleship walk with Christ. If you can only take a moment today with Christ, then do that; But put it into your sights to walk, talk, and tarry a while with Christ tomorrow, and the day after that and so on.  

Monday, March 24, 2014


I finished my cookbook!  It is available as an E-book on Amazon. 
Thanks to all my readers here at She walks with Christ and at life less hurried. Because of all of you, I have had to courage to reach out and begin writing books. I have some other books in the works that will be of  special interest to my readers here at She walks with Christ. Be on the lookout for them in the near future. But for now I am very excited for my very first book ever written by me. I never dreamed when I started blogging that I would be a book author too.

Quick breads made easy from A-Z: with over 30 recipes for every season

If you don't have a kindle or other e-reader you should seriously think about it. Just about a year ago I got a kindle and I love it! It has been worth the investment. I enjoy having a library right at my fingertips. The only trouble is I do not have enough time to read all the books I have downloaded.  Amazon also has kindle apps available for your PC or smartphone.

Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light,
Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9", HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers

Kindle for Android

Please note that the above links are affiliate links. By clicking it you are allowing me to refer you to Amazon to purchase products. This blessing allows me to continue the work here at She walks with Christ. You can read the full disclosure by clicking privacy policy at the top right of this blog.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Character is taught in the home.

Train up a child in the way he should go. It begins in the home with you and your example.  Here is an excerpt from a magazine article by Gordon B Hinkley.  Although it was written many years ago, much of it is still relevant today. 

"A better tomorrow begins with the training of a better generation. This places upon parents the responsibility to do a more effective work in the rearing of children. The home is the cradle of virtue, the place where character is formed and habits are established.....
You know that your children will read. They will read books and they will read magazines and newspapers. Cultivate within them a taste for the best. While they are very young, read to them the great stories which have become immortal because of the virtues they teach. Expose them to good books. Let there be a corner somewhere in your house, be it ever so small, where they will see at least a few books of the kind upon which great minds have been nourished.

Let there be good magazines about the house, those which are produced by the Church and by others, which will stimulate their thoughts to ennobling concepts. Let them read a good family newspaper that they may know what is going on in the world without being exposed to the debasing advertising and writing so widely found. When there is a good show in town, go to the theater as a family. Your very patronage will give encouragement to those who wish to produce this type of entertainment. And use that most remarkable of all tools of communication, television, to enrich their lives. There is so much that is good, but it requires selectivity........

 Let there be music in the home. If you have teenagers who have their own recordings, you will be prone to describe the sound as something other than music. Let them hear something better occasionally. Expose them to it. It will speak for itself. More of appreciation will come than you may think. It may not be spoken, but it will be felt, and its influence will become increasingly manifest as the years pass."

-Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, November 1975, p. 38

Our children are being bombarded with every evil thing. It is coming to them from so many places, they are exposed to evil just about everywhere in life.  The home is one of the last safe havens in this world, but I fear that many homes are being overcome with the evil that so easily surrounds us. This does not have to be, our homes can and should be a safe place for our family. It should be a place where children and parents can be exposed to the good things that are not readily found in society. Our homes could, and should be a soft place for the family to fall, a place far away from the cares of the world.

Our home should be a place of beauty, a place where the spirit of Christ abounds. I make this a part of my daily prayer, asking often for the spirit of Christ to always abide in my home. It is important to have goodness in the home so that the children will be able to observe and model the beauty of things around them. Children will not know the beauty of honesty, or integrity if it is not modeled in the home. If they never read a good book with heroes and characters that exemplify these traits they will believe in the so called heroes found in todays books and movies. Who is your child's hero? Find out, ask these things, If their hero is less than desirable, help them to find a new hero.

Expose your children to the good things in life. It will begin to infiltrate their hearts and minds. Make good books, music and media a part of your everyday life. We keep Christian music on the radio in the car we tune into K-Love, it can be found in most states. Take your children to church. Expose them to the sights and sounds of worship. It makes me sad when I see a family where Grandma goes to church, but takes no one else with her. I would urge you to express your love of the Savior to your children. Let them know that he is your role model. Become a disciple of Christ and a good example to your family. Teach them and show them how to value goodness, honesty, virtue, modesty and so on. Teach them to be beautiful inside and out. 

Blessing to you and your family as you strive to stand for a higher cause.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Juggling too many things?

Women in particular suffer from the anxiety that comes from juggling too many things in life. We suffer from an irrational fear that if we stop juggling all the things (even for a moment) that we have lost and we are a failure. We get this fear that says "If I stop juggling, life will come crashing down on me, Therefore I cannot stop."

I am here to tell you a different story.  I stopped juggling for a moment and the world did not stop. Things went on without me juggling them.   I was weary I was tired. There were some big things I was being asked to add into my life and I didn't know how I would add them to the mix.  I had to stop. I had take a look at my life and take stock of what was of most importance  I found that I was juggling things that were no longer relevant. There were things that were thrown to me long ago and I kept juggling them even when no longer needed.

 It was very liberating to just STOP and let it all fall out. I was able to look at each thing and evaluate its importance in my life.   Now I am just juggling a few things. I have taken back my life.  Life is full of purpose now. I am juggling the important things and finding the strength and energy to do it.

DO YOU SUFFER, WORRYING EVERYDAY THAT YOU CANNOT KEEP ALL THE THINGS IN THE AIR?   If so, LET IT GO!!!!   Put down all those things you are juggling. Sometimes you will find that you are juggling three different versions of the same thing.  Many items can be combined. When you get down to it, you may have been juggling twenty different items and you can cut it all down to three or four items which are a lot easier to handle. You do not have to be and do everything. But there are some important things that should be part of your life. Find those important things and let the rest go, it makes for a happier, less weary you.

 Photos courtesy  of Bing images

Monday, March 10, 2014

Christan living in a highly sexulized world

I hope that it is not just me, but have you noticed that the message that sex sells has gone into every part of life and it is aimed at a younger and younger age.  I am overwhelmed at the challenge of keeping my kids modest and virtuous while living in such a world. It is everywhere.

Clothing styles send mixed messages. I have become frankly disgusted at recent clothing styles. Even clothes for baby and toddler are "suggestive and provocative". We have people who think that a two year old girls with "sexy" written in big letters on their chest or butt is acceptable, not in my worldHave you tried to find decent underwear for a young girl? At the beginning of the school year I went to buy underwear and there was nothing to be found for my two girls age 4 and 6. There was an abundance of really skimpy undergarments (even black lacy little things and thongs)Why would a little girl of this age need lacy thong underwear?  All this was at a big box store during the back to school sales. I couldn't believe my eyes. Then I finally found some briefs that might fit but  they had such vulgar pictures and sayings on them. We continued to look until we found something that was more appropriate. I could not believe that they would market such things to the young kids and their parents, and by the way I was not the only one. There was another mother at that same store that was struggling like I was. She finally gave in and purchased the least offensive underwear for her girl.

It is everywhere. Our young people are bombarded with it. Here in Utah where I live, a mother took it into her own hands. She was in the mall with her young son and was disgusted at a clothing display in the front window of a store. She went in and asked the manager to remove the display. When they refused, she bought up the supply of offending clothing so that it could not be displayed. You can read an article about it by clicking the link below.

It is not just in the clothing styles it is in the toys marketed to our children. In a recent article from Huffington post  I was surprised but not shocked to see what is happening I knew it, but this article really spoke to me.  It was interesting to see the pictures of how classic toys (dolls in particular, and it is more than Barbie) are modeling what is happening in society. Toys have changed with the attitude and behaviors of society.  Our society is ever changing and with new technology it is even more prevalent then ever.

What do we do when the average age that a child is exposed to pornography is 8 years old? The kids are exposed to it way before they are ready to understand it.  I just recently read a disturbing blog post on the Matt Walsh blog about our children in the school system. In some parts of the country there is a little book that is required reading for 4th grade (9-10 year old) students. This book is all about exploring sexuality. It is a cartoon book that explains to children about their sexual body. It endorses and teaches children how to explore their body and how to masturbate, along with how to put on a condom etc. I will warn you it is not easy to write this nor to read about such books. There are some real disturbing things about it, some may turn their heads at it and not wish to read, but I think it is important to start a discussion.  

What do we do as Christians? How do we fight this evil that is all around us? How do we raise moral children in a very immoral world? Speak up. Speak with those around us. Make your voice heard. Let people know that this is not acceptable. Just this week I had a friend who spoke up on Facebook about a movie that they were planning to watch in her daughters junior high class. It only took a few concerned parents to call the school and the movie was not shown.  These things are out there constantly around us but, you and your children do not have to sit idly by and endure it. Many are becoming immune or have given up the fight against pornography and such because of its overwhelming presence in our society. We often feel like we are battling a huge Goliath of a problem.   

 We have to continue to fight. We have to fight for our own virtue and that of our children. Immorality, highly sexual behavior, pornography these things we are seeing all around us are considered vice (an older word that we do not use anymore). Vice is defined as evil, immoral, or degrading practice or habit. Virtue on the other hand is the polar opposite. We have to know one  exists to fully know the other. In order to become virtuous we have to be aware of vice. We cannot ignore that it is there. But we have to beware that we do not become too familiar with it.  Alexander Pope in and essay on man writes so beautifully a warning on this.  

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) An Essay on Man, 1733-1734
Epistle II, line 217

Here is an article that explains this so well.
Vice is a monster

Our society has come to embrace these evil things. The trouble is that many of us are well on the way to embracing it ourselves . Like the mother cited above who gave up the fight to buy decent underwear and bought the least offensive of the bunch, It was a pain for me to make the efforts to go to a different store but I wanted to set the example for my children. I hope will last a while. I was in discussion with my neighbor about my girls wanting to take dance lessons. They very much want to participate in dance, but it seems that there are no dance troops in our neighborhood that are decent and that I want my children to participate in. My neighbor says she has had her girls in local dance troops and before her girls even begin lessons she makes the leaders very aware that her girls will be wearing modest outfits. They haven't had too much trouble. It is just a part of family life. They have been taught what is acceptable and what is not. She did have one daughter that had to quit a dance troop when she stood up and said "I will not do that move". There was discussion between the girls about the dance move, Several of the girls said  they were uncomfortable with the move, yet they gave in. She was the only one that refused.

Sometimes I wish that we could wrap up our children in bubble wrap and keep them safe. we cannot do that. These things will come into our lives. They are there but we can limit the exposure so it is not so familiar to them.  We can fill their lives and brains with the good things. We can encourage those around us to be good. We can get involved with our schools. We can write to the tv stations and radio stations expressing our concern. We need to speak up.  We can, and will be heard if enough people speak up. We have forgotten, we have become complacent in the fight against evil.  We have begun to embrace it. We have to speak up, and/ or refuse to participate.

We need to take control. We need to have the courage to stand up and teach the children to do the same. It begins with you and me. We have to start a discussion long before we ever thought possible.  Gone are the days of having "the birds and bees talk" when the children begin to reach puberty.  It is not enough to talk about it once. We have to let the children know where we stand from a very early age and we have to stand firm.  We have to talk with them often about the rules, but most of all we need to give them the skills to navigate these things. We cannot go about being snow plow parents clearing the way for them.  Our children will be exposed to evil, but what they do when exposed to evil is very telling of the principles they have been taught.

Take the opportunities around you to teach the children what you believe. I know one mother who took time to talk with her kids recently during the super bowl when there were some commercials that were not appropriate came on. It was a good opportunity for her and her family.
I think we would be wise as parents and leaders to talk about modesty in a manner more than just clothing  rules and behavior rules. I think it is good to establish clear boundaries of what is acceptable in the way of clothing and behavior, but then to follow that up with a discussion of why we have those rules and how it protects us. It is important for our young people to understand the why behind the rules. They are more likely to keep the rules if they know why they are expected to keep them. 

Above all. Teach the children to love the Lord. Teach them to have a desire to serve him. When the desire to be modest comes from within themselves and not from rules imposed by others it is much more easily enforced.   In church this week the speaker made a great point. She said "We do not need to teach the children to know both good and evil, but to know good from evil."  We were warned in the bible about this. Jesus taught this in  Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.  Be carful that you are not holding to the things of the world which are really of no worth. Teach correct principles and the children will govern themselves.  I have to thank my parents for their efforts in teaching me this way. My siblings and I turned out pretty good because my father worked hard to instill in us a testimony of Christ and a desire to be good, in turn we governed ourselves pretty well, needing only a few course corrections along the way.


As an added note.
Opening a discussion on this kind of a topic can be very hard. It is not always easy to begin especially if this kind of thing is not a regular part of your family life. One thing that may be of use is to institute a safety bubble. The safety bubble is a place that your child can go to and be able to discuss anything and ask any question without fear and anxiety. In this place your child can be free to discuss anything on their mind and get it out in the open air inside this bubble. All the child needs to do is say. "I want to ask you something or talk with you inside the bubble."  You then find a place where you can be alone and let them talk.

There are some absolute rules to the bubble. Your only job as the parent is to listen and try understand the concern, not to lecture, or judge. What was said during these conversations absolutely stays within in the bubble.. It is not to be let out, not to be discussed in your office or elsewhere like your book group. The bubble can be anywhere, but be sure that is a trusted environment.  This is the place where you can find out the heart and mind of your child. The information collected in the bubble may be very enlightening to you as a parent to what is really going on in the life of your child. It can then be used to guide and direct the child to finding answers. Please do not misuse the bubble to get the child to admit to doing something or for other reasons like this. It can lead to damage in a relationship. This is a trust thing and is meant to help families stand strong and to foster understanding.      

There is a book written by Napoleon Hill Called  "Outwitting the Devil"   It talks about how the Devil gets us in his grasp and is a good warning for us today. It has some great ideas for how we can win the battle. I have included links below for a paper version or a 5 CD set.

The above link is an affiliate link. By clicking I am refering you to Amazon to buy the book. If you  buy from them they will send me a small portion of that sale this helps bless us to be able to continue work here at She walks with Christ. You can read the full disclosure by clicking the privacy policy tab at the top of the page.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

For who can find a virtous woman Proverbs 31

This post has been a while coming. It was when I read a commentary on proverbs 31 that I got inspired as to what this post is to be. This commentary was very enlightening to me. It goes into so much details about the history and lifestyles lived by the people of that time. I also has some real practical advice on how to live this out in our own  modern lives. It is worth taking the time to study. Middletown bible church On proverbs 31

During my study I kept being drawn to one particular part of the commentary.

"The last part of Proverbs 31, beginning with verse 10, consists of 22 verses. Each verse begins with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet (in proper order).  The same alphabetical pattern is found in some of the Psalms and may have been used as an aid in memorizing Scripture. The most well-known alphabetical Psalm is Psalm 119 where there are 22 alphabetical sections of eight verses each.  In the Hebrew text of Proverbs 31, each verse is also clearly divided into two parts (for example, in verse 10---Part 1:  Who can find a virtuous woman?   Part 2:  For her price is far above rubies).  This same two-part format is found in all of these verses. The only exception might be verse 15 which seems to be divided into three parts."

The eyes of my understanding were opened and I understood this passage of scripture as it was written. This is the advice given to king Lemuel by his mother. She in essence said to him, go and be a good leader. Find yourself a good and godly wife to help you rule. I would suppose that the son had asked "how will I know when I have found a good and virtuous woman, or how can I recognize her?"  I can see a loving mother saying; Go and observe, see how they act, how they treat those around them, (in essence by their fruits you shall know them). Then she gave him the ABC's (if you will) of finding a good a faithful wife to stand by his side and rule with him. She gave him a list of characteristics to look for in finding a wife and helpmeet.

In todays society it would look something like this..........
I am looking for a person who is:
Agreeable and kind
Beautiful inside and out, full of
Charity and love
Doing good always
an Example of righteousness
Full of Grace and truth
Godlike, bringing
Hope to those around her......... and so on to the letter Z

 Again from this commentary "Proverbs 31 Woman" shines as a bright beacon in this wonderful Old Testament book of precepts and warnings. Today as we see women of all ages following dubious role models, we are refreshed to find a timeless example of virtue, responsibility and good sense.  Here, in this lovely picture of womanhood, is a woman who embodies the qualities which every believing woman should strive for in her personal life and appearance, in her family life, and in her daily duties.

To often as we study this passage of scripture we take it to mean that for us to be a true Godly woman must possess each and every one of these traits. That we must master all these areas of  life to perfection. We begin to create this character in our mind, this Super woman. We take it and put it into our worldly perspective and have an attitude of "keeping up with the Jones. We begin to think that the proverbs 31 woman is the one who can cook, clean, sew, and budget with perfection while teaching her kids to recite scripture and behave perfectly and so on.

We start to compare ourselves to other believers. We begin to think that we are not good enough. We begin to lose hope that we can ever become this superwoman as described in the scriptures. But is this really so?  I would suggest that it is not about who can sew the best, who can cook, care for and keep the best house while reciting scripture. Yet this is what we believe this is a trap that has been set by the father of all lies, Satan. He would have us believe that this is an impossible task. There  may be out there good Christian women out there who have fallen into this trap of belief. There are many  good women who have given up hope and who have come to resent this passage of scripture because it has been put upon them that they have to be all of those things described within and do it with a willing heart and so on until perfection.

I would say to everyone who has become overwhelmed with the responsibility of  becoming a proverbs 31 woman and especially to those who have come to resent this scripture passage and have a huge ball of negative energy towards it and are tired of trying to keep up with others. My message today is to LET THAT NEGATIVE ENERGY GO.  LET GO OF THAT INNER VOICE ALL THE THOUGHTS OF I AM NOT GOOD OR SMART  ENOUGH. BREAK FREE FROM THE COMPARISON TRAP WE HAVE GOTTEN INTO. BLOW OUT THE NEUROPATHWAYS THAT TELL YOUR BRAIN I CAN'T BE THAT WOMAN WHY BOTHER TRYING . I WOULD SAY TO YOU, CREATE SOME NEW THOUGHTS ON WHAT IT IS TO BE A GODLY WOMAN.

Notice I did not say do not study this passage of scripture anymore. Throw it out because it is bad. I said beware of the emotions that arise because of the message that many take from it. Let go of the negative emotions associated with something that is to be used for our good. Now, to create some new connections in the brain, some new ways to engage with this scripture. May I suggest a better way to approach the proverbs 31 woman.

The very first advice the mother gave to her son was to find a Virtuous woman, a God-loving disciple. A virtuous woman is one who loves the lord and puts him first in her life. She is a true disciple of Christ. There is a saying "You get what you think about most often" If we put virtue and honor right at the top of our thoughts and the tip of our tongues, we are thinking about God and how to be like God and doing it often. I would suggest that we would be wise to take and "let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly" (see Doctrine and Covenants 121:45-46)  In other words if we let goodness, good values, morals, and standards be our guide, if we put God right on the top of our list at the forefront of our minds we are becoming that virtuous woman.

The proverbs 31 woman can be summed up in these simple words.


May this be the thought and direction that you might take in bettering your life. Do the best with the gifts that God has given you. Each of us has been given unique gifts and talents to be used to the benefit of those around us. Use those things he has blessed you with to bless the lives of others. May we all work together in creating a better world for those around us. This is my prayer for each of you today.

I have been a long time studying and praying as how to approach this subject. Some of my inspiration came from a book that I read recently. It is great little historical novel inspired by real life events. It profiles the life of Elisabeth Bunyan, second wife of John Bunyan who was a writer and preacher in 1650's England during the restoration of the Monarchy. It is a tale of courage and strength of this woman through the trials she faced. I was intrigued by the way the author went into the mind of this woman as her values and virtue were being compromised. It is a great example of what it means to be a virtuous woman and what the thought process should look like and what it feels like to be a woman of virtue.

You can obtain a copy of this great book  The preachers bride by Jody Hedland simply by clicking the links below.

<The links above are affiliate links simply meaning that by clicking on them you are allowing me to refer to you Amazon to buy the book. If you buy the book from Amazon I get a little portion of that sale to help support the work here at disciple walk. You can  see the full disclosure by clicking "privacy policy" at the top of the blog.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How does the disciple learn from the master?

There is a process, or pattern that is followed during the course of discipleship. As you continue to read ask yourself  this question, "Where do I find myself?"

Please be aware, this post is to be used as a tool to help you on your journey. As everyone is at a different point in the journey, do not let it define, limit or discourage you. Let it be a light and encouragement to you on your journey. Let it spark new life and light on your quest to get to emulate, know, and learn from the master, Jesus Christ.

1.  The beginning of a true Discipleship begins with Observation and desire. We feel that there is more out there. We see something in those who are living the disciple life. We watch them and see who they are. They become an example to us. We see they have that something that we want, yet we may not know really what it is. We feel a desire to know more and have that "something" in our lives. We sense a spark inside that tells us there is a better way. We begin to ask questions and seeking the answers which leads us to the second step.

2. Learning, understanding, awareness, seeking out answers. We begin to question what is real?  What is my place in this earth?  Is there more to life, than what we can see?  We seek out these answers and so many others. We are moving towards the path. We begin to get answers, we are finding truth. It begins to move us. The spark that we felt is beginning to smolder and maybe even burn a little.  We understand that a change has to take place. We begin to feel the heart of faith. It may be pounding inside of us, but what comes next tends to stop people; that little six letter word..... change. This can be one of the hardest things on the planet, especially when we have such ingrained habits. For some this is a gigantic hurdle and yet for others it is the next logical step because the spark has caught and the fire is started.

3. Doing, moving, growing, changing. Much of our time is spent in this portion. This is where the real training takes place. This is the part where we do those daily things and learn the daily fundamentals. This is where we "show up". this is where lives change. This is where character grows. This is where we "become". This is where Faith and good works come into play. We believe, therefore we do.
See James 2:14-26

Unfortunately this is the part of it that is hard. This is where so many lose the spark and the fire that was started. We forget that we had a desire to be close to him and build his kingdom. That spark begins to fade. We get distracted and we tend to put other things before God.  In the sermon on the mount Jesus Christ himself  warned us in Matthew 6:33  to "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."  There are many things that keep us from doing that which we know it right. There are so many things going on in world that often we forget to show up  (we don't go to church, pray, read his words, or even think of him for days on end). Or maybe we show up and do these things but with no real intent for gaining anything from it, in other words we sit back and do not engage in the training.  To be a disciple you have to first show up, and then engage in the process.  Showing up is a good start, but fully engaging in the process is vital. 

There are many that think they are engaged, but in truth these are people who put things like praying, reading the scriptures, going to church etc. on the daily "To do" list. These things are just items to do that are mixed in with all the other daily activities.  There are many who are just going through the motions taking no thought as to why.  Many of our young people are finding themselves in this place. They are going through the actions with no basis for understanding of why they are doing and it's importance in their life. In my last post I wrote about our Bishop encouraging us to teach our children to understand the basics and why we do them. Magic happens when you show up work hard and understand (at least in part) why you are doing it.

It is often hard to keep going at something when you do not understand why or you get no satisfaction from doing it. I am reminded of a time this lesson that was taught to me by a simple story........ A man sent out an ad in the local paper desiring to hire many people to come and work for him. He offered them a high daily wage. He got many eager responses and hired them all. The work was simple; dig a hole. All morning long they dug this hole, then in the afternoon the instructions were to fill the hole back in. Then the man instructed that they should come back  again tomorrow. The next day, only a portion of them showed back up. They went to work and the same thing happened, dig a hole, fill it back in. Some began to complain. It was work, and they were grateful as there was not much work otherwise, but there was no satisfaction in digging a hole and filling it back in.  This pattern of dig a hole, fill it back in continued on for many days.  Each day fewer and fewer people were showing up daily until one day just one man showed up for work.  That day he was given a large sum of money and asked to become a personal assistant to the man who had hired him. He had been trustworthy to do all that had been asked of him.

Why do I share this little story? It is like our discipleship. We often show up, do the work, yet we do not find any fulfillment or understanding in it.  Praying and reading the scriptures, attending church it becomes a lot like this story, dig a hole and fill it in. We are often tempted to quit and give up the fight. Often this happens just as the master is ready to take us under his wing and begin a true apprenticeship under his direction.  He is watching and will teach us as we are ready to learn line upon line precept upon precept.  (see Issiah 28:10) .

One of my favorite examples of this process that I am explaining comes from the movie Karate kid, a popular movie in the 80's. Daniel is a young man who is being bullied by other boys who know karate. He has a desire to learn karate. Mr. Miyagi agrees to teach him karate. Daniel shows up to begin his karate training and Mr. Miyagi puts him to work waxing the cars, painting the fence, refinishing the deck,  and paining the house. All this work being done day after day while Mr. Miyagi  is off "doing his thing". Daniel can no longer stand it, he came to learn karate and he feels that Mr. Miyagi  is not teaching him. He also feels Mr. Miyagi is just using him to get all the repairs made on his home.

They have a confrontation in which Daniel comes apart. He lets the old master know that he can find someone else to do this work. He is upset, to the breaking point. It is at this point of the movie  that Mr. Miyagi shows Daniel that he has been preparing him to learn. Daniel is now ready to be taught by the master.

Here is a link to that portion of the movie.  The picture is not super great, but it is the best edited version that I found. (taking out the swearing parts)

 Karate kid begins to understand.

Often we have to revisit steps one and two.  We have to re-evaluate why we believe. We have to rekindle the desires.  If you find your fire going out and your faith beginning to dim, re-evaluate. You are not alone.  Pray for understanding. Dig in your heels and get to work. Do those things that are asked of you. It will come. You will begin to gain enlightenment and move on to the next step.  

3A.  Conscious level give yourself up to the Lord, Your will, not mine be done.  This is where the daily fundamentals begin to have meaning. We begin to feast upon the words of Christ. We are doing more than just reading the words of Christ, we begin living them.  This is where you sit up and pay attention during church meetings. This is where you have more than just a small desire to believe, this is where you give yourself to training with the master. This is where we go and do "all that he has asked" not just what is convenient. It is where we have a real commitment to him. We have a wiliness to learn and a willingness to change. This is where we begin to become out of the world and it's snares. This is where the spirit can sanctify us and cleanse us. It is where we prepare to live in the eternities with Christ.

It is hard work and it takes a commitment on many levels. It means making the right choices all the time, not part time. It is becoming totally honest (no more white lies) etc. It is hard, and you have to often ask yourself What would Jesus Do then doing it. It means consciously choosing the right every single time. As time goes on you find yourself asking what is the right way less and less, the choices become easier and more automatic. You continue to work hard and more and more your will is swallowed up into his, then one day you find yourself totally in the realm of step 4.

4. Unconscious level being Christ like in all we do; it is who we are inside and out. We do it without thinking. The words have sunk so deep in our hearts it is a part of us. We have become like the master. In this place there is no room for darkness. In this place you don't have to question the right thing to do. It just comes naturally without question. You are full of virtue. You have put of the "natural man" you have overcome the lusts and desires of the flesh. The things of the world have no hold on you.

A small example from my own life. A number of years ago I was in a little fender bender. A car hit me and to the surprise of my passenger, I jumped out of the car and went to see if the person who hit me was ok. Then I asked about the passengers of his car. My own passenger on the other hand was so taken back by my reaction.  She said to me "I can't believe you went to see if they were ok, I would have checked my car to see the damage first. The other people would have been last on my list" It was at this time that I realized that my car may be damaged. I had no thought about my car, I just was focused on making sure everyone was ok. It was just natural. Someone might have be hurt and that was all that mattered. It was no other thought but to think about the other person. It was a part of me.  In this small way I had "become" like Christ. I am still working on it. Everyday I have challenges to meet. But I am following in his ways as he has said in Luke 9:23  anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me"

My desire for this blog is not to boast of myself. It is not about where I am on the path. It is about all of you out there, my readers and friends. It is about teaching others what it means to "Come unto Christ and pick up that cross". It is about helping those who are struggling. It is about teaching and learning.

I hope that if you have felt something; if your heart of faith is pounding inside of you, take note. Ask "what next?" the Lord will answer you. He will show you the way. I hope you will have the courage to make those changes as inspired by the spirit.

My blessing I sent to all of you,
Happy momma