Friday, May 26, 2017

KINDNESS: i will not be made useless....i will gather myself around my faith

I have heard prayers where a person will thank the Lord for his “loving kindness” and mercy toward us. What is that? What is kindness anyway? I was talking to a friend of mine recently, and I told her about a “meeting” (for want of better words) that I had attended, where the featured speaker proceeded to “ball us out” concerning being kind to each other and also to the people we find ourselves in service to. Now in this particular context, I thought “Wow, she really had to go there, isn’t it a given, under these circumstances, that one would be kind, would summon all of the love and caring that we typically reserved for God, and shower it upon his people? 

It was telling, and I realized that King Benjamin spoke a wise prophecy, that when we are in the service of our fellow man, we are only in the service of our God. Service is love, and kindness comes along because of the “sacrifice” that was made to manifest this love/service. But here is a catch-22, sometimes the very brother or sister we are intent on serving/loving simply refuses our kindness. They take the stand of “self sufficiency, or worse, you are not the person they want serving them. (Pride) Or maybe there is one who has a need, but has a personality so off putting, that you find yourself literally wading through thistles and thorns just to get to them. Now here is a principle, kindness begets kindness. It is a pay it forward kind of thing. So I thought about Elder Russell M Nelson’s talk concerning how in “these days” men’s (and women’s’) hearts will fail them. And he should know a thing or two about heart failure because he is a heart surgeon

What happens when our heart fail? But I would like to say, how does a heart fail? It literally stops beating!! To be the true servant of God that we want to be, our heart is for the Lord. We are men and women after God’s own heart. So I guess that if a man’s heart fails, then he probably never knew the Father anyway. Or worse, he has transgressed or turned away from God, and is still pretending to be a part of the “group”.  
So today I had my first “test” of kindness, which by the way involves several principals of humility, submission and obedience. We don’t pick those we serve, they pick us. I was heading in to my office today, late; more often than not these days. What excuse could I use today? A car flipped on the local lanes of the beltway and just as I was meandering by, a fireman walked out in front of my car and proceeded to close the lane, What?! True story. So as I was walking into the building, (I work at a hospital). I saw a lady who is a member of my ward, getting out of her car at the valet parking booth. She is frequent flyer here; she is a transplant patient, waiting for an organ. In the meantime she has to come often for procedures that help to sustain her life. She has grown so frail these days, but still mean as a pistol. I saw her and immediately I thought “Oh no, there is Sister….. Maybe if I walk slowly behind her she will not see me. I felt a “nudge”, reminding me of why I should help her. But you know I felt for a moment like Ananias, a disciple of Jesus, who had been terrorized by Paul/formerly known as Saul. You see, Saul was public enemy #1 to the fledgling church of Jesus Christ. He literally killed Christians, dragged them out of their homes and stoned them. The Lord commanded Ananias to go where Saul was holed up, desperate and blind after being thrown from his horse, after having a “come to Jesus moment”. The Lord told Ananias to go to a street called “Strait”, and he would find Paul there and he was to pray over him, and heal him of his blindness, and then baptizes him!!! No pressure.  
 Now this Sister wasn’t that bad, but depending on what end you were facing, she could be quite formidable and just plain mean. So I had a tiny argument with that little voice that was defending her case to me. We don’t choose who we serve, they choose us. So I repented and walked up to her and said “Hello in a voice that even the deafest person could not hear. She was so glad to see me, and I asked her if I could walk with her, she said “I really need an arm to hold on too”. So we walked like that to where she had to go.  She really appreciated it and so did I.

Her life, my life, your life, we are all intertwined; like some sad country western song:
 I lost my mamma, my dog, my husband. I just got a run in my last pair of panty hose, dang it.
Sometimes we look for superheroes to save us, maybe Wonder Woman or King Arthur to pull that magic sword out of the stony parts of our hearts and souls. But at the end of the day, it is just you and me, each of us just as broken as the other one. This is the way to heaven.

Today is sing along Friday, we are in the throes of a 3fer, Monday is Memorial Day, maybe we can call it : Kindness to others Day, as if we need a day. Sing along......  

Jewel - Hands - Lyrics

If I could tell the world just one thing
it would be that we're all ok
and not to worry because worry is wasteful
and useless in times like these
I will not be made useless
I won't be idled with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
for light does the darkness most fear

My hands are small, I know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

Poverty stole your golden shoes
but it didn't steal your laughter
and heartache came to visit me
but I knew it wasn't ever after

We will fight, not out of spite
For someone must stand up for what's right
Cause where there's a man who has no voice
There ours shall go singing

In the end only kindness matters
in the end only kindness matters

I will get down on my knees and I will pray
I will get down on my knees and I will pray
I will get down on my knees and I will pray

We are God's eyes God's hands God's mind
We are God's eyes God's hands God's heart
We are God's eyes God's hands God's eyes God's hands
We are God's hands God's hands We are God's hands

Thursday, May 11, 2017



A sweet friend asked me to speak of my 'testimony of the Book of Mormon". True to the  title of my blog "The Journal of Lost Things", I realized that I had not verbally bore this testimony in quite a long time, even though I read it often and teach it much. I was surprised at what literally "poured out of ". I am so happy that deep inside of me, the Lord is fighting for me, and helping me to remember what is most important, at least in my life.

I feel like, that my testimony of the Book of Mormon really stood out to me was when I found myself at times,  quoting many of the verses in context, while speaking with some of my “church going” neighbors, friends and family members who were not of our faith .And I wasn’t ashamed to do it. Now this may not sound like much, but I do and have frequently quoted scripture from the Bible to various people, in the context of either teaching or bearing my testimony.  But there have been many times when my neighbors would dispute the validity and truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and also the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I had to represent!!
When I was investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS; Jenny Provance was my “super” Missionary. Her mission was to literally prepare me for baptism. She proceeded (with firmness) to review the Book of Mormon with me, and helped me understand what I struggled to know, even though my testimony was fledgling .She helped me to focus on knowing that the Book of Mormon is the true testament of Jesus Christ, and in turn I came to know also that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration of the gospel of Christ. Needless to say it was overwhelming.
My testimony was further strengthened when I was called as a teacher, first in Primary, in which I learned so much from the children, who really taught me the book of Mormon. And now for the past 3 years I have been teaching Gospel Doctrine. Last year, I had the opportunity to “teach” the book of Mormon for the first time, and I prayed to know how approach the book, and then how to apply it in the best way for the class to learn. It was so intimidating, because I still felt like a “newbie” and I worried that I could not possibly teach this book to those who had been in the Church their entire lives. I thought that they would surely call me out as a phony. This scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 45:13-14 helped me to know what the will of the Lord is toward those who earnestly seek to “know” how to apply the truth’s of the Book of Mormon in their lives. 13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. 14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful
 I realized that I needed to continue to build up my testimony of the book of Mormon, lesson by lesson. And I was impressed to know that if I would just read the chapters for the lesson, literally the Holy Spirit would “open my mind” and soften my heart so that I could become teachable. In response, my class would feel the Spirit as we were all being taught.  I am continuing to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon; I can honestly say that I love this book; it is so much more a powerful testament than we give it credit for. I am slowly realizing what a gift it is to us from a Loving Savior, who provided it as an integral means to our salvation. Think about the enormity of that statement. The book of Mormon is the light that we literally shine to the world. It kind of puts every little aspect of our humanness into perspective 

And I say these things, in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ!!!!!!!!!

TobyMac - Move (Keep Walkin') (Live)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

My Portion (Ps 73)

If Raven has come visiting you it can mean any number of things. Most powerful of all is the synchronicity that Raven assures you is pending. He is a master of bending and folding time and space so that you are exactly in the right moment at the right time. As a messenger you are reminded that those around you are reflecting back at you the things you most have to learn about yourself.Know that when Raven appears that magic is imminent. Raven is about rebirth, recovery, renewal recycling and certainly reflection and healing. He signifies moving through transitions smoothly by casting light into the darkness.
1 Kings 17:1-16
 Elijah the Tishbite, the word of the Lord came unto him saying: Get thee hence, and turn eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan. And it shall be that thou shall drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. And he went and did according unto the word of the Lord; for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith that is before Jordan.
And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening and he drank of the brook.   

And the rest of the story goes that the brook dried up, and the Lord directed Elijah to Zarephath, to a suicidal widow who was considering the dire state of her existence, but was moved to compassion to help Elijah She not only fed him but befriended him, and in effect nursed him back to health. There are two stories here; the first is the ravens bringing Elijah food and drink, which is totally out of character for that species. A raven is known for being a voracious scavenger, eater and selfish at that. A raven would not make a good “carrier pigeon, because it would not typically return to the one who sent it, case in point Noah.
Noah sent out a swallow, a dove and a raven. The first two came back, but the raven did not. So I imagine that the Lord had to “re-teach” the ravens, and change their hearts so that they would have compassion on Elijah, and they would share of their hard earned scavenge, maybe even giving him the choicest morsels. So the brook dried up; and notice that the definition of the name of the brook Cherith means “a cutting, a separation”. Sometimes the word “cutting” refers to “cutting a new covenant”.

After my husband died, I went around my house, looking through his things, to see if he may have left a note, or scribble or something that would lead me to him. But my husband was not a writer; he was though a prolific story teller, a BS spreader and the like. He was a Welshman, moody and sentimental, given to weepy expressions of love and caring. He would leave messages on my phone, by singing songs he made up. (I still have 2 on my office answering machine.) The only thing I found was a couple of dollars in two new wallets that I gave him. (Which he never used), I looked in his Scriptures, and where most people scribbled, he did not, so even though he read his scripture, most of the pages are pristine. No love letters, no messages on scraps of paper. But what he did do was to always make a point, when talking to our friends and neighbors, to tell these people how much he loved me, how much I meant to him, what a wonderful wife I was. (Unknown to me), so I have found that at my lowest points, that when I really need to hear someone “say something to me”, in kind words, a neighbor will come and tell me these things. We have a neighbor who is a “curmudgeon”. He is this weird, little old guy (lol) who was a gear head like my husband. And they would compete with each other to wee who had the most tools, special tools and tools hard to find. He didn’t talk much and to this day I don’t know his name, but on Christmas he knocked on my door, and gave me a beautiful flower arrangement. He told me how much he missed my husband. So a “raven” brought a crust of bread to my door.

Last year, I prayed to be able to “put things into perspective”, that my grief would not overwhelm me, that I could just not remember the hard parts. There are a lot of hard parts, and just like any “random request” like that, with no stipulations, everything is relative, and so the “the place of forgetting” is forged. My days go fast, like hours, my weeks run like days. I hold on tight to every moment that is important to me so that I can at least be “present”. I have misplaced a lot of stuff, and I have re-bought things at least twice.  The absence of love leaves a void; the absence of touch leaves a soul to become stunted in its growth.

In this story, I am “the widow” of Germantown. Not suicidal, but blessed with an abundant spirit of love and compassion. The one thing that really sustained me after the funeral was my friends and neighbors really looking out for me. People would bring me meals, groceries, money, etc. I would come home from work and find care packages, and luckily for me the squirrels did not run off with them. (There is a special kind of squirrel/rodent that lives in my “hood”. They are trained even to open packages from the mail man). People would come and take care of me and I have made some really loyal friends now. I suppose that any friend who can manage you when you are a blithering idiot (which I was at times) is a keeper. Let's give the Lord a praise.

The Lord is my portion:

Friday, May 5, 2017

FIX IT FRIDAY: unstuck

Image result for you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - Christopher Robin to Pooh

Have you ever wondered how “Pooh bear” got his head wedged in that honey pot? I mean, when I was a kid, my brother and I loved all of the “Winnie the Pooh” adventures; kids don’t know what they’re missing these days. Secretly I wished that  Christopher Robin as my brother. He was so cool and wise beyond his ears. One reason why “Pooh” was always getting his head stuck, was that he was a greedy little “honey” bear. He would eat and eat and then try to waddle off and climb thru the Bunny’s small door, or he would get stuck in a beehive tree, or worse he would just stick his too big head into the opening of a “too small” jar. But here is the annoying thing about Pooh, he never really learned from those episodes of “stuckness”. He forgot as soon as another honey pot came into play. He didn’t have a “plan”, to either avoid getting stuck, or how to get unstuck.  

It occurred to me that getting stuck is like a record skipping at the same place, a loop if you will. I have been stuck for a minute, and I totally ignored it. I seemed to just let it pass as if trying to get unstuck and moving forward was not very important. But it wasn’t until I found myself with one foot wedged in the past and surprisingly my other foot stuck in the present. It’s been a pretty painful situation and it has come to a head, I had to shoot up a flare for help from my Heavenly Father. Jesus is on it, right away. I realize as I am trying to unstuck myself, that this situation sometimes comes about because of pride, of laziness, and of “Holding on to the safe place of the past, It doesn’t fit anymore and like old clothes, it needs to be passed down, there is a pressing need for us to let go.” I am letting go of the past and asking for help. Stronger is just around the corner…. I have been walking on water, sort of like Peter, but this is not a miraculous thing, it is more like Nephi, being led by the spirit not knowing where I am going. But I do know, and that place is like a beacon shining before me, and I am almost there.

The best place that we can live, is in the love of the Father and his son Jesus Christ. I feel that love, I am that love      

U2 Bono & The Edge Perform 'Stuck In a Moment' on David Letterman

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