Saturday, February 16, 2008

15 February - Am I My Brother's Keeper?

I was going to complain about our Valentine's Dance but I decided not to ... oh, I still want to, but it's just not worth. I didn't get home until late, I was exhausted and I never even thought about this blog.

Yesterday's devotion really should be what we are about ... the Father's business. But I'm learning some interesting stuff. If we spend so much time worrying about our Father's business or our friends', families' or bosses' business, who is living our life?

Chambers had it right when he said that our lives must be devoted to building His Kingdom because once we have the truth, there is only one thing that can happen ... either we build or we tear down, but we must take action. Our action becomes the example for everyone around us. EVERYONE.

No pressure ;-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

14 February - The Discipline of Heeding

Read today's devotion and you will know exactly how I am feeling right now. I think I should just keep my mouth shut for a while ;-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

13 February - The Devotion of Hearing

Can you imagine the entire purpose of your life being a dedication to God? That's what Samuel's life was. Did that reality make it easier for him to hear the Lord when He call him?

I think the perception is that it did, but Samuel still had work to do. We all have work and that work is made easier if we listen, hear, and follow the instructions the first time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

12 February - Must I Listen?

So when was the last time you asked your kids to do something, and they just blew you off? Or your spouse? Or your employees? How did it feel?

Yeah, well, that's exactly how God feels when He gives us commandments. Chambers says there is no willful disobedience ... I know there is! I knew much of the time that I was doing the wrong thing. I know even more fully when I do the wrong things now. Yet, I did them and do them anyway.

That's painful to the Lord, but I think it's more hurtful when we don't listen because we cannot hear. We are just so busy with all the day to day, the routine, the idols (and sometime American Idols ;-), and we miss the subtleties of God's instructions for us. We miss the personal moments, meant only for us, that are lost forever because our hearing is poor.

I'm going to try harder to listen tomorrow ... how about you?

Monday, February 11, 2008

11 February - Is Your Hope in God Faint and Dying?

So I tried it ... I tried to imagine myself in the presence of God as I prayed. Ummm, it was not the most comfortable thing I've ever done ... no, actually it was THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE thing I have ever done.

The amazing thing was that my "problems" seemed incredibly insignificant and it wasn't even possible to focus on them for any length of time. All I wanted to do was focus on other people and other things outside of myself. Yet, because of my "condition," I couldn't stick around too long. My prayer was very short, but I hope they will get longer.

I anxious to see what it will be like to add my imagination with my thoughts about God's creations. I'll let you know how it goes ;-)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

10 February - Is Your Imagination of God Starved?

How have your prayers been lately? I couldn't help but think about how ineffective mine have been as of late, except when I get them out of myself. We have had a few families to pray for the past couple of weeks and when I was praying for them, my heart was full with peace and joy. Then I started praying on other things and was completely stupefied.

Well, let's be real, shall we? I started praying for myself, my small little self, and all the power went out of the effort. "One of the reasons of stultification in prayer is that there is no imagination, no power of putting ourselves deliberately before God." Yeah, do you know what stultification means. Man, when I read the definition, I just shook my head ... ya ready?
  1. To render useless or ineffectual; cripple.
  2. To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous.
  3. Law To allege or prove insane and so not legally responsible.
I can see how God could fit my prayers into each one of those definitions. I've been so worried about what is going on with work and school and my marriage and my family that I haven't been thinking about what I can do to build the kingdom of God on the Earth. Only when I went outside myself and forgot myself was I NOT useless, ridiculous or insane.

And as I read the quote from the devotional today again, I thought about using my imagination to put myself "deliberately before God," as if I were really at His feet praying. If I am that close to His presence, working hard mentally to stay off the "irresponsible" aspects of my life, then perhaps I can stay more focused on the useful, smart and amazing causes of the Lord. Granted, the Lord needs to hear my concerns, but not in the context of an idolatrous relationship with my problems, but one of surrendering those problems at the feet of God.

Hhmm, I'm looking forward to praying tonight ;-)

9 February - Are You Spritually Exhausted

Oops ... I forgot about yesterday ... I guess I was physically exhausted ;-)

Yesterday's message is an interesting way to look at service ... through us, others are nourished by God. And quite often they will suck you dry. Man, how many times have I complained of being thoroughly exhausted by an event or the whole of a calling? I really don't want to count!

But if I were focused on what the Lord will provide me through that service ... what He provides us when we are totally focused on Him ... then I would never be exhausted. Wait a minute ... could we forget the energy drinks, caffeine, and other things that are supposed to give us energy? Because all we apparently need is to be nourished by God through word and deed -- His word and deed, building His kingdom and establishing His righteousness.

I'm going to try that as soon as I can (right after I finish my Diet Pepsi ... argh!)

Friday, February 8, 2008

8 February - Instantaneous and Insistent Sanctification

I was intrigued by the concept of "narrowing of all our interests on earth," but I have to tell you about an article I read tonight.

"Why haven't we been told this before?"

Check it out ... there were a few points that I didn't agree with, but this man is getting a lot of the right concepts ... it's very interesting. We could have told him this a long time ago ;-)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

7 February - The Discipline of Dejection

I have a point of disagreement with today's devotion. Chambers seems to speak of prayer as only a method to learn about God, not to receive answers. I have to disagree. How can we learn of God and His plan for us if we do not ask and receive answers. However, we must not doubt the instruction and answers we receive from the Lord.

So that begs the question ... what have I been receiving in my prayers or as instruction from the prophets that has caused me to doubt the Lord by doubting myself? Thinking of the last calling I received ... I doubted all over the place. And what was the result? I really just ended up confused and frustrated, feeling very sorry for myself. But when I let go of the doubt in myself I was able to enjoy the confusion (oh, yeah, there was still confusion ;-). Everything came easier because I wasn't worried about what I couldn't do.

So what doubts do you have in the Lord's instruction or your confirmation in prayers are you holding on to?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

6 February - Are You Ready To Be Offered

So today I decided that if my role is to be the "file girl" then the that is my role. And guess what? I had a fabulous day! I found all sorts of things to do.

"Tell God you are ready to be offered, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be." As I read this devotion I thought of Alma and the seed of faith (Alma 32) ... it just needs a place to grow. So I wonder if it is the same with this concept? If I just say that I'm ready, will God help me be more?

** Side note: James boarded for his Eagle rank and ......... HE IS AN EAGLE SCOUT! Woohoo! **

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

5 February - Are You Ready To Be Offered?

I have been really struggling lately. Oh, I'm not sure struggling is the correct term. Wondering might be better. Wondering about my place in this world. Time is so short and getting shorter ... what am I doing with my life. And then I read today's message and realize that what I want to be doing doesn't really matter.

Now, I'm not saying that I don't have talents ... I'm definitely good at a few things ;-) and could be good at probably many things. But as I look at the lives that have been brought to the forefront in these past few days (Hinckley, Monson, Eyring, Uchtdorf to name a few), I think of men who did not think about all the things they were "good at" -- ever. I cannot imagine President Monson ever thinking "Man, I'm really good at story telling. That's what I'm going to be known for in my Church service -- parables and stories -- that's the ticket." Egad! That mind boggles with that concept, doesn't it?

"Are you ready to be not so much as a drop in a bucket - to be so hopelessly insignificant that you are never thought of again in connection with the life you served?" Am I ready for that? I don't know if I'm ready for that, but I truly believe that is the answer to my wondering. For example, I've been so concerned about my place at work -- why am I not being utilized for all the great things that I "bring to the table" -- but really, does any of that matter? Not in the context of true service (even service at work) because our lives must be lived not just for Jesus Christ but through Him, doing the things that He would have us do.

Monday, February 4, 2008

4 February - The Overmastering Majesty of Personal Power

Wow ... today is even more exciting than yesterday. Today, we learned about our new First Presidency ... I'm so excited by our new leaders. Read about them here.

I have been most busy with starting school, getting ready for the Valentine's Dance and finding out that we ARE going to be doing a service project in April ... AAAHHH!!!!

I hope to catch up tomorrow. I bet these devotionals are really interesting ;-)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

3 February - The Recognized Ban of Relationship

Super Bowl Sunday. What a great victory! That had to be the most exciting Super
Bowl ever.

Okay ... that means that I have not thought about the devotional at all. I'll talk about it tomorrow ... Go Giants!


Saturday, February 2, 2008

2 February - The Constraint of the Call

Forget the devotion today ... I think there may be a nugget or two in there, but it's not worth the effort of finding it right now.

Gordon B. Hinckley was laid to rest today ... well, his body was laid to rest anyway. He is busy, I'm quite sure, with the work of the kingdom on the other side of the veil with his sweet companion by his side. What must it be like?

I rarely cry at funerals ... actually never had. They have always seemed a joyous occasion to me. It used to be because I thought this life was so worthless, that at least we'd be done with this drudgery. Then, I learned about the Gospel and found that the joy was because of the knowledge of what was to come. The ability to understand where we came from, why we are here and where we are going it abundantly joyful and incredibly powerful.

There is much peace in that knowledge. There is also much peace in the life of a humble servant of God. Can we take a moment and reflect on a life of service and in a sense become greedy for that life? Can we make the object of our existence here, as short as it is in the grand scheme of things, the building up His kingdom on earth? We can ... really, we can ... Gordon B. Hinckley is just one example of one who did. I guess the question is really ... will we? Will you build His kingdom and establish His righteousness, or not?

Will you?

Friday, February 1, 2008

1 February - The Call of God

I cannot see the message in today’s devotion … I think there are some nuggets here, but Chambers did not have the blessing of the Restoration, so is missing some key points. Maybe I’m wrong. Let me know if you think so.

He says, “We are nowhere commissioned to preach salvation or sanctification …” What? While I agree with his statement a few sentences later … that Christ came to redeem the whole world, not just our puny selves … I find it incongruent to leave salvation and sanctification out of our preaching and teaching.

We have to teach all three ... redemption, salvation and sanctification. I also don't agree that God is annoyed with us ... oh, well, maybe he does get annoyed with us!

I'm confused.