Sunday, March 31, 2013

we don't have to.



"The message of Easter is not that Jesus is alive, it is so much more. The message of Easter is that Jesus has risen!"
-Colin Smith







"May we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not in the flush of comfortable times, but in deed and in courage and in faith. May we stand by Jesus Christ at all times and in all things, and in all places that we may be in, even until death, for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone."




Happy Easter everyone!

I think it's so important that we remember the meaning of the holiday.

If you can't do it on Christmas, at least do it on Easter. Because the Atonement is everything to you. At least it should be.

It's the reason we are saved.
The reason we will live again.
The reason families are forever...
The reason we can have joy.
The reason you are never alone.

You can do all that you can - and be all that you are - because of the Atonement.


And remember that because Jesus walked such a long path alone, we don't have to. 

He cries with you.
He rejoices with you.
He walks with you always.

And don't you forget it.


(and to finish, this quote just intrigues me...!!)


"According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history."
-Harvard Law Professor Dr. Simon Greenleaf



Have a lovely day and don't forget why we celebrate Easter!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

the miracle of forgiveness

This video was shared in my YWs lesson last week... I usually kinda shy away from the longer videos (silly me), so I hadn't seen it before! :)

Enjoy!




I think that the miracle of forgiveness is such an amazing thing. Albeit unintentionally, the young man in this video still took a lot away from Chris and his family. And the fact that Chris was so ready to forgive is such a cool thing.

So why is it so hard to forgive people for the little things? If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am a firm believer that most people are just trying to do what's right. And even if they don't always go about it the right way, at least not in your opinion, it's important to keep in mind that people are trying. 

I make so many mistakes in my life that cause me to beg for forgiveness. And if the Lord is willing to forgive me, why should I be slow to forgive the little things that others do?

I want to live a life filled with love for others. I never want to be one who holds grudges. I don't want to judge people because of things I hear about them. And I want to be the kind of person where if anyone said something negative about me, others wouldn't believe it.

I want people to think of me as the person who will love others for who they are and for what they are.

So how about we start being slower to judge, more rarely offended, and quicker to forgive.



----------


“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” 
-Mother Teresa




Sunday, March 17, 2013

courage



...Surviving is about courage and faith....


Sometimes it takes courage just to keep going.
Sometimes it's about doing the right thing.
Or sometimes you just have to have courage so that you can prove to yourself that you CAN do it.

I've been telling myself for forever that once I turned 16, I'd donate blood. Blood is so needed by so many people and well, I've got it to give.

But when the blood drive was announced at my school, I thought Oh man... I'm actually 16 now! It took me about a week just to get the courage to sign up. I seriously asked a dozen people what it was like, watched youtube videos, read what people thought on Yahoo Answers... (LOVE Yahoo Answers! Wouldn't have an A in Chemistry without it!)

Eventually, the day before the blood drive, I had a moment of courage and told my bff Sydney that if we didn't go sign up THIS SECOND, I wouldn't be able to do it.

I was so SO scared. Scared of passing out, that it would hurt for a year, that I wouldn't be able to play the region championship game we had that night, (we WON!! I still am an idiot for playing in that game. I was out of breath after 3 minutes. ha.) I was just SO freaked out for so many reasons. Most of them entirely impractical.

I just kept telling myself that it wasn't a big deal and it would go perfectly.

But you know what? Friday came and I donated blood. And it didn't go perfectly, but I still did it. (hehe... they had a hard time finding my vein so they had to go kinda deep or something like that, because it hurt really bad the whole time instead of just during the initial stick... but I still did it!!)

And I'm pretty proud if I do say so myself.

And now that I've done it once, I can do it next time easier. (Hoping beyond hope that it goes easier, less painful, and faster!) :)


Courage isn't something you're born with. At least I don't think so.

Courage isn't about wanting to go skydiving or bungee jumping.
Courage is about being scared out of your pants to go skydiving and still jumping out of the plane.

Courage is about pressing forward even if you are worried about the future.
It's about trusting in the Lord even if you want to scream and cry because you are so scared.

It's about doing His will even if it's hard for you to accept.

It's about initiative.

Doing what you have to do even if you dread the possible outcome.

It's when grief and pain are on the front porch and you open the door and deal with them head on.
Because you know they're not going to leave and putting things off doesn't get anyone anywhere.


We agreed to do hard things before we came here. We agreed to be tried and tested. And we were excited to prove ourselves.

I think trials ended up being harder to get through than we had originally imagined.
But they're still there.

And the courageous thing to do is to deal with them so that we can keep on keeping on.

And enduring to the end. That takes courage.






P.S. What things have YOU done that required courage??

Sunday, March 10, 2013

the strongest verb



I don't know if any of you have read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, but it's fabulous. I think it's the only book I've ever had to read in school that I thoroughly loved. I learned a lot about God and life by reading that book. I highly recommend it.
I found the following story on a website today... This story was told by Paulo Coelho, so it naturally caught my eye... enjoy.

----------

As soon as he arrived in Marrakesh, Morocco, a missionary decided he would stroll through the desert at the city’s boundary every morning. On his first stroll he noticed a man lying on the sand, caressing the ground with his hands and leaning his ears towards the earth.

“He is mad,” the missionary said to himself. But he saw the man every morning during his walks and after a month, intrigued by that strange behaviour, he decided to approach the stranger.

He knelt beside him and asked, in broken Arabic, “What are you doing?”

“I keep the desert company and offer solace for its loneliness and its tears.”

“I didn’t know the desert was capable of crying.”

“It cries every day, because it dreams of being useful to mankind and turning into a huge garden where people could cultivate flowers and tend sheep.”

“Well then, tell the desert it accomplishes its mission very well,” said the missionary. “Every time I walk here, I am able to understand the true dimension of the human being, as its open space allows me to see how small we are before God. When I look at its sands, I imagine the millions of people in the world who were born equal and am reminded that life isn’t always fair towards everyone. Its mountains help me meditate and as I see the sun rising on the horizon, my soul fills with joy and I feel closer to God.”

The missionary left the man and went back to his daily chores. To his surprise, he found him the next morning at the same place, in the same position.


“Did you tell the desert everything I told you?” he asked.

The man nodded.

“And even so it keeps crying?”

“I can hear each of its sobs,” answered the man, his head tilted towards the ground. “Now it is crying
because it spent thousands of years thinking it was completely useless and wasted all this time blaspheming God and its own destiny.”

“Well, then tell the desert that despite having a short lifespan, we human beings spend much of our days thinking we are useless. We rarely find the reason for our destiny and think God has been unfair to us. When a moment finally arrives in which we are shown the reason why we were born, we think it is too late to change and keep on suffering. And as the desert, we blame ourselves for the time we have wasted.”

“I am not sure the desert will bother to hear it,” said the man. “It is used to suffering and it can’t see things differently.”

“So then let us do what I always do when I feel people have lost faith. Let us pray.”
----------
It's only natural that a man someday wonder "what exactly am I here for??" I learned in health this week that most start their search for identity when they're a teenager. I thought this was kinda interesting, and I really sincerely hope that some of the teenagers I've met haven't found themselves yet, if you know what I mean. haha. (No one in particular!)
My point is, man's search for identity may begin as a teenager, but it takes many people a long, long time to really figure out who they are and what their purpose is. And whether or not it takes you a long time to find yourself doesn't really make a difference. Many people, like the desert, will regret their past and will wish they had come to their senses sooner. But that's the point of life.
Move on and rejoice in the knowledge of a better life ahead of you.
In English this year, we've written a couple papers where we were required to take out as many to be verbs as possible while making revisions. Yeah. Try taking every occurrence of be, being, been, am, are, is, were, etc... out of your paper. H.a.r.d.
My teacher explained that the be verb is the weakest verb in the human language. "It shows no action," she explained.
I suppose in a paper this is often true. It's probably better to use other verbs sometimes.
But the weakest verb? I think not.
Who you are, what you choose to be, what your purpose is, these all seem like very strong statements to me.
Be a faithful disciple. Be a doer of good. Be a peacemaker.
People always make mistakes and slip up. You will say things you will regret. You already have experienced this, and you will no doubt experience it again.
But when you think about someone you knew years back, it isn't the little things they said that you remember. You remember them for the kind of person they were. What they did with their life, and how they treated others.
So be a force for good in the world. Decide who you are and never look back. Keep moving forward and continue learning new things about yourself.
“Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?”
-Robert Browning

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