Wednesday, August 17, 2016

One Hundred Fold

In June I read an article from the July Ensign called "Like the Widow of Zarephath: the Miracle of Fast Offerings" that was a spiritual experience for me (note to self: these thoughts are written on page 115 of pink study journal). Money is tight here in our home and has been for a long time. What can I do to help Corey as he provides for us? What can I do to be a good steward over what the Lord provides us with? One answer came from this article in a quote by Marion G. Romney, this is an amazing promise from an apostle:

"I am a firm believer that you cannot give to the church and to the building up of the kingdom of God and be any poorer financially... A person could not give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return. That has been my experience. If members of the church would double their fast offering contributions, the spirituality in the church would double. We need to keep that in mind and be liberal in our contributions."

Pretty amazing ~ The spirituality of the church would double!" I think that would not only help us to have no poor among us (which Pres Uchtdorf says is one of the two things that allowed Enoch to build Zion) but would also help us be more of one heart and one mind.

More insights from that article ~ page 34:
"We knew it would be a sacrifice for our family to increase our fast offerings, but we considered President Romney's teaching and promise carefully. As a family, we had been blessed abundantly and we felt a strong desire to increase our fast offerings. Within the first three months of giving a more generous fast offering, we began to see many blessings. --- During financial difficulties, giving a generous fast offering and helping the needy can be difficult, particularly when we are, like the widow of Zarephath, among the needy (our family is a little bit, mostly cause of the debt we are in partly because of our sacrifices to get M0vie M0uth going) Giving a generous fast offering, no matter the amount, requires faith int eh Lord and His promise to care for us. The lord fulfills his promises. The more we are willing to share, the more we are blessed."

"Don't give just for the benefit of the poor, but give for your own welfare. Give enough so that you can give yourself into the kingdom of God through consecrating of your means and your time." - Pres Marion G. Romney, Ensign July '82 p. 4

Another quote that I listened to on a morning walk on 7/9/16 by Elder L. Tom Perry "Called to Serve" April 1991 Gen Conf: "It is impossible to stay even with the Lord. The more you attempt to give to Him, the more he blesses your lives, yea, even one hundred fold."
I'm going to try and sacrifice more and give more to the Lord and his church, with the hope and knowledge that his promises are sure, that we can trust in Him, and that He will provide for all our needs, even one hundred fold.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Calling Down Miracles

My husband's business is in need of a miracle again. We've been here before, and are still alive and the business still up and running, so I do have confidence that we will be delivered. But when these crises come up again and again, the natural tendency is to panic, so we have to fight that emotion. It makes me wonder what we need to learn or if there is anything we can do to move past this trial. It seems to be the same trial over and over again - need more funding. On Monday he told me that they had a board meeting where his fears from the past few weeks was realized: none of the major shareholders are going to invest anymore. The company doesn't have money to make it through July. So, how will it end? He feels abandoned. Yesterday he came home briefly before having to take our oldest to band, and said "I'm a broken man. Will you pray for a miracle?" I called my prayer warriors (Nicole, Rachael, Mom) and they are praying too. How do we ask for miracles? Then last night Corey shared an article that his dad shared with him: Our Claim on Grace ~ we really liked this story:

A few years ago a friend of mine named Dan went out for a late night run around 11:00 p.m. on a little used path out from his home in New Mexico. Suddenly, there were several wild dogs that attacked him from nowhere, and began to bite him viciously! Being a strong man, he fought them off, but over time, it became apparent that their intent was to kill, and they were succeeding! 
The dogs bit him ferociously and forced him to the ground! There was no one around to help. He began to plead, “Father, please help me! Help me get away from these dogs! I have kept the Word of Wisdom from my youth!” Almost instantly, the dogs stopped biting him, and instead began to lick the blood, which was all over him. During this little reprieve, he started to crawl towards civilization as the dogs were licking him. Amazingly, at that late hour, a man came down the path, and saw his plight. He was able to rescue Dan and save his life. 

Because of his lifelong adherence to the Word of Wisdom, Dan had the amplified faith he needed at that moment to ask the Lord for a miracle. It’s significant that the more obedient we are, the more confidence we have to ask the Lord for miraculous intervention and Grace. 

In the Bible Dictionary it states that, “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but TO SECURE for ourselves and for others BLESSINGS THAT ARE MADE CONDITIONAL ON OUR ASKING for them.” The Lord wants us to ask for blessings, In fact, he has asked us to ask. What are you not asking for that he wants to give you? What is your obedience level? Can you claim miracles with it?

So, that is our challenge to ourselves for now, to have more power in our prayers as we ask for the blessing and miracle that the company needs. And we're trying to work to make our faith amplified and unshaken, that we have confidence that He hears us, is aware, and will grant us the miracle we seek and ask for.

The end of the Grace article says:

What is your claim on Grace? Obedience gives us personal power that we can draw from as we need help. Even if it is simply, “I have been faithful since I repented.” OR, “I did what you asked me to do!” Obedience is powerful!

The Lord has said, “For if you keep my commandments …you shall receive grace for grace.” (D&C 93:20) So could this mean that as we GIVE GRACE (Sacrifice, service, obedience to commandments, etc.), we are empowered to RECEIVE GRACE in return? Look deep into your life and think about the sacrifices and Grace you have yielded: Tithing? Word of Wisdom? Chastity? Sabbath day? Family History? Love and service? Could you use any ONE of these to save your life as Dan did? Obedience is very freeing. It enables us to “look in the eyes of God” with confidence instead of trepidation. It increases our spiritual ability, and gives us added strength in our prayers to ask for and receive miracles. Do you have the power to claim the grace that God wants you to receive? Look deep at your sacrifices and muster your faith. I bet you do!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Be The Rock

I listened to a conference talk today on my way to the store, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Elder Richard J. Maynes October 2013 talk titled "The Strength to Endure". Some of the things he said that I loved (for my own reference, this is also written on page 109 of my pink study journal)

As we face trials, it is important to remember that the spiritual strength we develop will help us successfully endure all the challenges we face in life. (Which is why it's so important to read the scriptures daily - to develop spiritual strength)

So I can tell that Corey is really struggling and has heavy burdens. I don't know what I can do to help except pray for him. We must press forward in Christ - 2 Nephi 31:20

"Our ability to endure to the end in righteousness will be in direct proportion to the strength of our testimony and the depth of our conversion"

We can't get in shape to play basket ball by watching basketball games on tv - and we cannot keep our testimonies in shape just by watching general conference. We need to study, learn and apply the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then DO our very best to live them.

We face challenges everyday, we must work on spiritual stamina every day.

As we develop spiritual stamina, falst traditions of the world and our personal daily challenges will have little negative impact on our mood, attitude, happiness, and ability to endure in righteousness.

"This is what the gospel give us - not immunity from death and problems, but victory over them." - Anthony W. Ivins.

"You must become the rock the river cannot wash away."

No matter what life throws at us with problems and wonder and worry, we can choose happiness - it is a choice we must make daily. I need to be a rock that the problems of life can't push around!

Mosiah 24:14 - I the Lord God do visit my people in their afflictions.

Mosiah 24:!5 - And now it came to pass that the burdens which we laid upon (Corey) and his (family) were made light, yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could brea up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully adn with patience to allt he will of the Lord.

That's probably the biggest miracle - to submit to trials with a good attitude, cheerfully even! - that's probably the biggest miracle of all.

2 Tim 1:8 - be thou parktaker of the afflictionf of the gospel according to the power of God.

2 Tim 2:3 - Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Be the rock the river cannot wash away. Don't let bad behavior of kids or the difficulty of life's circumstances (money) make me have bad behavior. I must be gentle and patient and teach by example.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Worry or Trust?

Today I re-read chapter 8 of Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts. It is a pretty awesome chapter. This time as I read it, my mind was filtering it through the lens of the 2016 Presidential Election. Part of me has been uselessly yet actively campaigning (via facebook) against Donald Trump (I don't think anyone in my circle of influence likes him at all anyway), and I've been sharing things I read that tell how terrible he would be as President. And then he leads in the polls and wins more delegates and I begin to wonder and worry.
Right now a lot of my worry is about the election.  ~ "Worry is the facade of taking action when prayer really is." -pg. 143. And I have been praying, but I can tell that, in my heart, I have yet to truly turn the fate of America over to the Lord, and I still fear and worry of what the future holds. But if I know that God is good and if I trust Him and know that he is in control, why should I fear? Going to quote lines from this chapter that I underlined today:

"What if I opened the clenched hands wide to receive all that is?" p. 145

"If I believe, then I must let go and trust. ... What is saving belief it if isn't the radical dare to wholly trust?" p. 146

"True saving faith is a faith that gives thanks, a faith that sees God, a faith that deeply trusts. John 6:29 'This is the work/service that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]' That is my daily work, the work God asks of me? To trust the Son,... to trust in now. And trust is that: work. The work of trusting love. Stress and anxiety seem easier. Easier to let the mind run wild with the worry than to exercise discipline, to reign her in, slip the blinders on and train her to walk steady in certain assurance, not spooked by the specters looming ahead. Are stress and worry evidences of a soul too lazy, too undisciplined, to keep gaze fixed on God?" - pg 147

"Perhaps the opposite of faith is not doubt, Perhaps the opposite of faith is fear. ... If I don't emotionally belive, practically belive, in the goodness of God, am I a believer? Don't believers have to believe? Don't they have to trust the Savior? Yes, for salvation from sins, but this too: the salvation from fear." - p. 148

"True, certainly ... there may be underlying issues that warrant medication. I have filled prescriptions. This has been right. All anxiety is not spiritual. And yet I know and haltingly confess: Much of the worry in my own life has been a failure to believe. A wariness to thank and trust the love hand of God. ... The fear is suffocating, terrorizing, and I want the remedy, and it is trust. Trust is everything. If fear keeps our lives small, does a life that receives all of God in this moment grow large too?  ... This is His will, thanks the only thing He asks to be done in everything and always and only because He knows what precedes the miracle. " - p. 149

"Every time fear freezes and worry writhes, every time I surrender ot stress, aren't I advertising the unreliability of God? That I really don't believe?" p. 151

"The Israelites covenanted with God to be a people who remember with thanks." - p. 152

"Gratitude truly is the foremost quality of a believing disciple precisely because gratitude is what births trust... the true belief" - p. 153

"Romans 8:32 - 'He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for as all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?' If God didn't withhold from us His very own Son, will he withhold anything we need? If trust must be earned, hasn't God unequivocally earned our trust? How will he not also graciously give us all things He deems best and right? He's already given the incomprehensible." - p. 154

"All gratitude is ultimately gratitude for Christ. We can count on God. 'how will he not also...?' We can give thank in everything because there's a good God leading, working all things into good. It is safe to trust!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

An Appeal to Heaven

I like to think myself a history buff. Maybe I have seen this flag but it never registered. This is Washington's Crusiers Naval Flag:
This flag was used by George Washington on his own personal navy of six schooners which he outfitted at his own expense in the fall of 1775. Ever the diplomat, Washington choose the New England Pine Tree motif as a symbol of unity and solidarity between the northern and southern colonies. It was later modified and adopted by the Massachusetts Navy. The Sons of Liberty would rally under a large tree, in Boston Massachusetts, which came to be known as "The Liberty Tree". This tree became a symbol of American independence. Knowing they were up against a great military power they believed they were sustained by still a greater power, thus their "APPEAL TO HEAVEN". So I learned about this flag today from a friend that shared this article on facebook and I loved it (pasted the article below) Which flag do I rally under?
That article says believers will be under one of the two flags, either angry and ready to retaliate, or on our knees praying to God to fight our battles. I'll be under the Appeal to Heaven flag, praying and appealing everyday to God to help our nation. We are in his hands. Daniel 4:17~
the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Hoping and praying he will give it to someone who is not among the basest this year. We'll see. Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.  I trust thee God. Help thou my lack of trust!

Charisma News article:
"Arise and awaken church for the future of your nation rests within your hands!" Those were the words I heard in my spirit as I prayed this morning. At the same time I saw a large, brass balance scale and I heard, "Can you not weigh out truth and judge what is righteous? Let the remnant arise for their voice is needed in this very hour."
Our nation has entered into a pivotal election year. What takes place now carries consequences greater than most realize. Decisions made this year will tip the scales for decades to come. The stakes are indeed high. The church has the authority to shift the balance but only if the remnant will arise, awaken and raise their voice. Pray for God's wisdom to discern what is true and the strength to stand with what is righteous!
As I meditated on what I heard in prayer, I saw two flags being waved over the different sides of the scale—one white, the other yellow. There were two sets of believers split beneath each banner. One set was angry and demanded retaliation, the other was on their knees calling upon heaven.
I knew both of the these flags as I have seen them increasingly more as I have traveled the nation. They come from America's history and have resurfaced in recent years. They are flown from homes, placed on cars, printed on T-shirts and even hung within churches. Both embody a patriotism that harkens back to the early days of revolution, yet they communicate two different messages.
The first flag is the Liberty Tree flag. In 1775, George Washington commissioned several ships for what would become America's first naval fleet. These ships flew as their colors a white flag with a green pine tree at its center and the words "Appeal to Heaven" written beneath. Much has been written about this flag by authors like Dutch Sheets and Jennifer LeClaire. It has become the banner for a modern day prayer movement that is crying out for national awakening.
In its inception the flag was a call to arms. By choosing the Liberty Tree flag, Washington was invoking the thoughts of John Locke who wrote that when "people, or any single man, is deprived of their right ... and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven." This flag was flown in an act of defiance and reliance. Defiance in the face of an oppressive government, but also in reliance upon God to grant victory to the cause.
The second flag is known as the Gadsden flag. This bright yellow flag has at its center a coiled rattle snake and the words "Don't Tread On Me" written across the bottom. In the years leading up to the revolution the rattlesnake had become a symbol of the American colonies. In 1775, Col. Christopher Gadsden chose to use that symbol on a flag to be the standard for the flagship of his fleet. The message was clear, mess with us and I will strike back with deadly force. The Gadsden flag is a threat of retaliation.
Though both flags originate from the same point in history, their appeal is in opposite directions. The Liberty Flag appeals upward in reliance upon God, while the Gadsden Flag makes its appeal inward towards self-defense.
America is a very divided house—the most I've seen in my lifetime. Multitudes are rallying beneath different flags. Right now there are banners being waved that call for political revolution. It truly is alarming to see millions of American's championing socialism. Opposite that, there are banners being waved in defiance over the last eight years. Voters are angry and want change. One thing is certain, the status quo's days are numbered and change is coming. America desperately needs to hear the chorus of righteousness and truth from the church. We must choose to stand beneath the banner that appeals to heaven for reformation. If we will unite there, we shift the balance!
I would invite you to consider what or who you are championing at this moment and more importantly why you have chosen that position. Is it in retaliation to a perceived wrong? Is it the emotion of anger that has driven you to take up your cause? Yes, there is plenty to be upset and concerned about. However we as a people of faith must position ourselves differently. We do not retaliate, we  rely.
Make no mistake, the battle ahead is great, but our God is greater! Don't lose hope or accept that America's demise is a forgone conclusion. I refuse to give up on America because America is its people. Millions of people. God has not written our nation off and neither can we. Washington knew that his Navy was no match against the military might of England's fleet. However he also believed that if the cause was righteous, the Lord would grant victory. Therefore he made his appeal to heaven and relied upon the Supreme Judge to bring justice. He chose to rely, not retaliate.
When we retaliate, we take the fight into our hands and remove it from the Lord's hands. My friend, there is a better position to fight from! The psalmist wrote, "O God to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth. Rise up, O Judge of the earth; render to the proud what they deserve ... But the Lord is my defense, and my God is the rock of my refuge" (Ps. 94:1-2, 22).
Reliance upon God is the only road that leads to true reformation. That requires a faith only the true church can possess. Therefore let the remnant arise up and properly position itself for the battle ahead.
Position yourself in prayer. I fear for a man or woman that would make decisions, cast votes, initiate a campaign or champion a cause that wasn't initiated from a place of prayer. Are you praying about your vote? Are you also praying for the candidate? At the same time are you looking for a leader that knows how to call upon God? No, we are not looking for a pastor, yet we need a leader who is humble enough to know they must appeal to heaven as well.
Position yourself on principle. How else shall we judge truth and side with righteousness? Our principles are the foundations upon which we stand. We must never waver on them. Never settle on what the world claims can win, stand with what you know to be right regardless the cost. When we sacrifice our principles to do what in the moment seems to be expedient, we lose.
Last, refuse to position yourself alongside the prideful and profane. We must reject the voices that seek to intimidate, destroy and divide others. Those who bully and bluster their way to the top lack the character and principles to lead. The way a man campaigns will be no different from the way he will lead. This "Don't Tread On Me" attitude will only lead to rebellion and ruin. Jesus said, "A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. Similarly a family splintered by feuding will fall apart" (Mark 3:24-25, NLT).
Now is the time to appeal to Heaven! Let the church awaken! Our united voice is needed at this hour and we can shift the balance this year if we will weigh out truth and judge what is righteous and stand accordingly.
Daniel K. Norris is an evangelist who worked alongside Steve Hill bringing the message of revival and repentance to the nations. Together, they co-hosted a broadcast called "From the Frontlines." Norris also hosts the Collision Youth Conference that is broadcast all over the world. He can be contacted

The Liberty Flag

another article

Monday, February 8, 2016

For Our Country

(John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson seek inspiration as they work to create the Declaration of Independence. Sculpted by Stan Watts, source)

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage, we humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will.

Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning and pure manners.

Save us from violence, discord and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.

Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought out of many kindreds and tongues.

Endue with the spirit of wisdom those whom in Thy name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be peace and justice at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth.

In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail.

All of which we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

"What Can Language Do Against The Truth of What I Saw"

From the Milwaulkee Sentinel Dec 30, 1975
And at the end of this article, referencing Bernard Nathanson, here is a short film he made titled "The Silent Scream" about abortion. Makes me weep for the world and fear for the judgements of God that must come upon us if we support such wickedness. Come, Lord Jesus, Come.
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