Sunday, March 27, 2016

Great News!

Today we celebrate the victory over every fall we've ever experienced, every sorrow we've ever known.  #ldsconf
image found on pinterest

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I am Here!

Today my feelings are reminding me of the story "Horton Hears a Who".

Yes, I am here!  I know it has been awhile since I have written.  Sorry!
By posting today I am putting myself at risk of being analyzed and I don't really want that, nor the attention my writing might bring. That is certainly not my purpose for writing.

My lack of posting has concerned some, so I decided I'd give in today and fulfill a request to let you know that I am here, and I am fine!  

One reason I hadn't written was because I didn't really know what I should say or how I should say it.  It's often the same ole thing.  By the time I click Publish I will probably wish I hadn't.  However, I will say it like it is today, not telling all, but enough to be honest and truthful.  

I wish I could say that I'm doing very well and living life to it's fullest. Instead, I'm embarrassed to say that I keep finding myself in a bit of a rut again and again.  I keep digging my way up and then I experience a land slide that takes me lower and I have to start again.  It's discouraging to say the least. The last few months have been more difficult than I expected (for various reasons).  Though they have not been the best of times, they have not been the worst of times either, so I am grateful for that.

I keep reminding myself that I am human and that difficult times will continue to "bless" my life, but I also keep wishing that I was perfect and could have magical powers to jump or fly over the crippling land slides and remain untouched.  Realizing that is the stuff fairy tales are made of and I am not living a fairy tale, I do recognize the better way.  I am a real human being with real human tendencies.  I will suffer pain, sorrow, loss, discouragement and confusion, and a myriad of other trials and afflictions because I am human.  I will experience them over and over again.  
But, I also know that I am a child of God and He has sent me here.  Not to fail nor to suffer constantly because of the conditions I'm surrounded with, but to find joy in my journey no matter how difficult it becomes.

At times I still struggle with the here and now part of life, and need to remind myself often of the eternal perspective.

A few weeks ago we studied the book of Job in our seminary class.  It was a tricky set of lessons because they reminded me so much of the circumstances in my past and how they could be likened to Job and his constant stream  (or flood) of trials and tribulations.   [previous post titled A Sunday Lesson]

Then we moved to lessons from Psalms, which I found very uplifting.  I even found this lovely arrangement for Psalms 23 - a musical message that lifts and lightened the soul.

We have recently begun Isaiah, where I've found difficulty in studying, but joy in the message.  The last lesson and the next few lessons remind me of the message I gave in Stake Conference several years ago -  I titled it  Thank You for Waiting!  I took a few minutes from my seminary study time to re-read that message and it was a much needed reminder.
I am so grateful for that opportunity to speak on that subject because it made me study it and find examples in my life that testify to the important doctrines and principles surrounding that theme.  It now stands as a witness and as encouragement to help me look forward and move forward - toward God - and to wait patiently.  It helps me know how to wait patiently and all that is required in that waiting.  It also speaks of the love I have for Terry and the good man that he was and the many ways he has helped me through life ..., and in many ways he is and will continue to help me through life.

Too many times I have read the book of Isaiah without truly studying it and in doing so I have missed the great message that is found within.  It testifies of Christ and His power to bless our lives.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear though not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
v13 - Fear not; I will help thee.

He has been there for us from the very beginning, He is with us now, and He will be with us for eternity if we let Him.

This has been a repeating theme throughout the Old Testament so far.  I haven't previously done much complete study of the OT, so I hadn't previously noticed that message so prevalent.  But it is there, often, testifying to us that the Lord is with us.  He tells us often - "I am with thee!"  "Surely I will be with thee!"  Others tell us "The Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."  "Be not afraid ... for the Lord thy God is with thee."  It is a plain and precious message to let us know that He loves us and will be there for us.

I know that the Lord is aware of me.  He knows me by name.  He knows my weaknesses and He will be my strength through all of my difficult moments.

I am grateful for this Easter holiday and the very reason for it.  What a beautiful reminder.

A few months ago I watched a movie that had a scene of a boy and girl running to find each other.  The girl hears the boy say "I am here"  a few times but she cannot see him.  Each time it was said with  a quiet calmness even though their surroundings were hectic and loud, even frightening.  I wondered to myself why they didn't make it sound like he was saying it with a breathless, even frustrated sound, because he was running and worried that they wouldn't see each other.  

Then I remembered that the Spirit speaks to us in quiet tones. The Lord says to us "I am here!" 
His voice calls out to us to calm us and reassure us that all will be well if we listen to Him and follow His voice.  It doesn't tell us that our hardships are over, but rather - He is here with us helping us through them.   When the world seems in turmoil around us, we just need to listen for the Lord's comforting words,  "Fear though not; for I am with thee .... I will help thee!"

from here