Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Things Centered in Christ; Appreciation and Testimony

In our Old Testament Sunday School lesson on Sunday I read a message from the manual that all things in the scriptures are Christ-centered.  My reminder that our homes, lives, and families should also be was a prompting from the Spirit for me to share.  As we go about our daily lives and tasks are we living that way?  Perhaps it's 'easy' to forget but it's vital to our salvation as well as peace and happiness in this life.  There is no other way.

In my studies I came across this beautiful message of Gratitude; Appreciation and Testimony, from Elder Neal A. Maxwell, in response to his call to the Twelve on April 6, 1974.  I found it to be a powerful personal reminder to me and for us all.

May we reflect, during this special Easter season, on all the things we have to be grateful for.  Most are not 'things' but rather gifts of the Spirit and the blessings of membership in His church.  May we be witnesses of Him is my prayer.


Brothers and sisters, my verbal moment is not for sermons but for appreciation, not for doctrine but for testimony.

Appreciation for the Lord’s call through President Kimball.

Appreciation for your sustaining vote which was not vindication but an invitation—an invitation for me to be and to do better.

Appreciation for humble parents who both told and showed me that the gospel and Church are true.

Appreciation for a splendid woman, Colleen, a wife for all seasons, who has made our home a haven.

Appreciation for a missionary son in Germany and three daughters and a son-in-law in whose behalf, as a father, I deeply wish to succeed and whose vote to sustain me must count double in the days that lie ahead.

Appreciation to President Kimball for his example not only as a bold prophet but for his and Sister 
Kimball’s tireless practicing of “pure religion, undefiled.” (James 1:27.) The President’s greatness is the kind which is not conscious of itself. He truly desires not our adulation but our affirmation by how we live.

Appreciation for the tender tutoring of President Harold B. Lee.

Appreciation for Presidents Tanner and Romney and Benson and the Twelve, whom I hope to assist, and each of whose lives reflects divine design that prepared them for their appointed place, for God is never surprised.

Appreciation to all the General Authorities who travel so tirelessly to teach us all, leaving their families without complaint. This reality was summarized well by the wit that was also wisdom of Richard L. Evans; who, one day on the way to another plane and another weekend of conferences, said gently, “Have you ever gotten homesick on the way to the airport?”

Appreciation to the members of the Church who have helped me in the Tremonton, Ogden, and Reno regions, and to my sweet colleagues, the Regional Representatives of the Twelve, especially those whom the Lord has raised up in other nations of the world.

Appreciation to the devoted colleagues and students in the Church Educational System in 50 countries who number one-third million.

Endless appreciation to Jesus Christ for his atonement, realizing that included in the awful arithmetic of that atonement are my sins, and for the eloquence of his example, and for the witness he has given me which I have happily borne in about 35 countries, for when one sees life and people through the lens of His gospel, then one can see forever.

Endless appreciation to my Father in heaven whose blessings depend upon our obedience, but whose ratio of blessings to obedience makes him a generous God!

I know the celestial criteria measure service, not status; the use of our talents, not the relative size of our talent inventories. I know that Church membership is not passive security but continuing opportunity.

Finally I testify that what a wise man wrote is true: “If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.” Having so chosen, may God bless us all to move the kingdom along, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

From WHENCE Cometh our HOPE?

On this Easter Week - may we each take the time to reflect on this crowing event of all mortality; the overcoming of ALL things by our beloved Savior Jesus Christ.  
It is what matters MOST!  
And, in the end, the ONLY thing that really matters.

“If you have not chosen the kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.”

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Welcome, "Balm to My Soul"

It's always nice to get new members on here.  
Today we welcome Elizabeth of '"Balm to My Soul".
You've gotta see her beautiful photos!  

Thank you all for your love and support over the years. We've tried to make this a site where all could mingle and connect and help one another.   Please continue to read and comment on the blogs of others.  They are listed on the right side of the page - part way down.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PLEASE vote for Catherine!

Please vote for Catherine.  (See yesterday's post)

If you answer a question on the site - you get a double-vote daily!

Thank you for your support to this sweet soul.  She needs our love and support!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

PLEASE Vote for Catherine Armstrong!!! Mobility VAN

Precious Catherine
My daughter is serving as a missionary in North Carolina and has recently been working with a dear family whose daughter was born with spin-bifida and is in need of an accessible van to help her get around.

I don't often ask for favors - but am asking for one now.  

Catherine Armstrong has applied to 'win' a vehicle - but needs our daily votes until the middle of May.  It's a simple thing each of us can do and could change her life (double votes for answering a simple question).

Will you consider reading about Catherine, her challenges, and yet her dogged determination to succeed and to become a teacher?  She's quite the marvel a precious soul.

She has served many, many others and has opened the way for others with disabilities to also succeed.

If you'd PLEASE VOTE for CATHERINE and…pass this along - it would be GREATLY appreciated!  We can help someone in need to be able to do things that she can't do without transportation.


Monday, April 7, 2014

No Greater Joy than to Hear that My Children Walk in Truth

In 3 John 1:4 we read:  "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

Any righteous parent could testify of the truth of this statement.  They could also tell you of the pain and sorrow and suffering when their children stray from the path.

But, today, mine is a message of gratitude and joy for the times when our children do choose right.  We are to feel and express our deepest thanks to the Lord when this is the case.

This morning I received a personal email from my daughter who is serving a mission in the Virginia, Chesapeake mission and currently in North Carolina.  I won't share that personal message but it was one of gratitude for home and family and for the sanctuary that mothers in the home can provide for their children.  We sacrificed MUCH for me to be able to be home with my children.  As a student and follower of Prophetic counsel I felt strongly that that was what I was to do and…I did so in faith.

It wasn't easy to do so as a single-parent, and we had to live without many of the basic things that most around us had.  There were plenty of tears and heartache for us all - and….maybe mostly for me as their mother who wasn't able to 'provide' all the things, opportunities, experiences, and even basics that I wished to.  But, our choice was to put God first, no matter what,  and then trust in Him to help us along the way. And, He did.

Now, as a beloved missionary daughter, and after many miracles that helped her to be able to serve, I can see that all the sacrifices were worth it and all that we had to do without - will or is being made up to us.

My testimony is that if we will always put the Lord first, He will provide the way.  He will give us guidance as to what we are to do personally and specifically in our unique situations.  If that requires sacrifices on our part to do so - we will be blessed.  After all, haven't we been told 'sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven."

What we may see as a sacrifice could indeed be our greatest blessing; to strengthen us and to help us to trust in Him and not in anything or anyone else.

Anyway, I'll share my daughter's sweet blog post of today for any who may want to read.  We can all do so much online to help one another.  These inspired technologies can be used for great good and….I encourage all to do so.  --  Sister Amber in Virginia

Our little family blog

Friday, April 4, 2014

Beautiful new CD; Hymns by Garth Smith

As you may know, I'm very selective in what I'll post on here for those wanting to advertise.  In fact, I removed most of my ads a few months back as I felt they detracted from our purpose.

But, once-in-a-while someone comes along and I feel compelled/prompted to share their message. New LDS artist/pianist Garth Smith is one of those.

From Oceanside, California, Garth just released his first CD "Sacred Hymns".  It's a  compilation of 10 original arrangements on the piano, of familiar and favorite hymns; one being a 'Missionary Medley'.

I've been listening to them for the past two days and they have soothed my soul.  They are uplifting and inspiring and can enhance our Sabbath Worship, Daily driving, and Temple trips.  

For me, they have calmed me during a time of great challenge.  We've recently moved into a difficult circumstance, the car broke down, and…we're having some health crisis.  :)  So, these arranged hymns have been a welcome relief and blessing.

I'm selective in my music choices and hymns are often my first choice anyway.  I'm grateful that Garth asked me to review his CD and…with confidence I can recommend his exquisite arrangements. I hope that you will consider purchasing and adding them to your own personal library of uplifting music.

You can purchase at Garth Smith Music and there read his Bio, Blog, and listen to samples or Follow Him on Facebook.

My thought is that if we can support these great causes and products - we can all contribute to making the world a better place.  By helping one another in the work of goodness, all lives are blessed!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

One of My Favorite Stories - Touching Message!

This is one of my favorite stories of all time.  We can make the way better for one another or....more difficult.

Let us choose the path that lifts and blesses others'.  We each have unique struggles and challenges.  Thoughtful acts of kindness, in word or deed, can bless those who suffer, often, through no fault of their own.

Watch and share this touching message!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Stop Bullying - Important Message for all!

This is a recently released Church Video regarding treatment of others. 

 It's a good watch for all, particularly youth, and springboard for family discussion.  

We encourage all to watch and share!

Friday, March 21, 2014

General Women's Meeting - Plan to Attend!

This is a monumental occasion.  We hope that ALL of you will plan to attend or to watch on tv or online!!!  We're VERY blessed to be able to gather together to learn how to strengthen our homes and families through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spiritual Gifts and How We Can Increase Them to Bless Others'

One of the greatest blessings in my life has been 'spiritual gifts' from the Lord.  We are all born with at least one and…are then able to increase that number as well as strengthen whatever we've been given.

Our gifts can bring us personal joy and happiness as we use them in selfless service to others'.  It's a win-win either way.

Recently, as as I've worked hard on them, I've been able to use my gifts more poignantly is service to my own and extended family and to my fellow beings.  As I've done so the Lord has given me new insights and ways to help.  It's brought me great joy to be an instrument in the hands of God.

A friend reminded me awhile back that "The BEST thing we can do is to keep ourselves in Harmony with the Lord so that we can be a conduit."

As I've pondered this statement (that now is on a post it in my planner with several other favorite messages) I've come to understand even more deeply how each of us can bless one another for good by our own personal righteousness.  As we seek to be more pure and holy, obedient and submissive to God, we are blessed, strengthened and in-tune to His will.  The affects of that are that we are then able to say and do things that help others - because we're in tune with truth.

The opposite is also true and those who say that their lives are their own and they can do whatever they want - are wrong.  We affect one another.  And, we were all placed on this planet at this time for a reason.  Nothing is ever by chance.  We are here to see if we'll help one another and use all our gifts for His purposes - and not our own.

Thank you to all of you who are striving to do good.  It blesses my life to read and hear about humble people who are sincerely trying to raise their families in truth and righteousness as they serve the Lord and strive to keep all of His commandments.

What a great blessing to know these things.  I am eternally grateful for truths.  They bless my life daily and …..I've often had to work hard to attain to them but it's been worth every struggle and every 'overcoming'.

Read more about Spiritual Gifts