Sacred Sundays

Sacred Sundays – Come Into My House

I have to say, I feel a bond of sisterhood with Lydia.  I have for some time now.  She is one of the certain women mentioned in the scriptures.   She can be found in three verses of Acts 16.

14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

She intrigues me.  How does one become a seller of purple?  I like to imagine that she gathered and sold lavender.  But, purple..is lavender rich enough, rare enough?  Maybe she smashed grapes to stain fabric a deep dark purple.  Was she the head of her household?   Was she the spiritual leader?  It seems to me she might have been.

She inspires me.  I too want to be a certain women who worships God.  I hope to be found as one who attends to the things which were spoken of Paul.  I want to say to the the Lord’s servants “come into my house, and abide there.”  I pray my heart and those of my household are opened.  That we can be led by and comforted by the Spirit.

I think she and I would have been good friends.  She would have joined me in this challenge to read all the scriptural references about Jesus.  Together, we would have noted Jesus’ council in 3 Nephi 12: 1 “…Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants;…”   We would have made plans to listen to general conference and to engage our families in the experience.  To invite the apostles to come into my house. We would have celebrated and listened attentively as Elder Russel M. Nelson retold his experience with the scripture challenge and his council…

When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with that same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours.  When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him – when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw his power into your life – you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.

Yup I like Lydia.  She is my soul sister.  So what is a seller of purple.     I started a Google search, but then thought otherwise.  I want to let my mind and heart imagine for awhile longer.

Sacred Sundays

Sacred Sundays – Becoming Certain

I am continuing to read every scripture reference to Jesus.  This morning, I read about the Resurrection in Matthew 28: 1-8 (Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10).

But I am taking a DETOUR…of sorts…to talk about becoming certain.  About growing a testimony.

Today, my two sons were asked to read a scripture (Dustin) and to give a talk (Clayton) in Primary.   I could not be more proud of their willingness to prepare and how well they performed.

This was Dustin’s first time to read a scripture without help.  He read Moroni 10:5

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Following Dustin’s scripture, I helped Clayton give his first talk.  (He was a little quiet, but he did so well.)  Here is what he said:

Do you have a testimony?  Having a testimony means you know something is true.

IMG_0955
As he listed the steps we grew this flower.

Gaining a testimony is a lot like growing a plant.

We go to church.

We choose the right.

We say our prayers and listen to the Holy Ghost.

And we share our testimony with others.

(Mom?…what are you doing?)

I am thankful I have a testimony of my Heavenly Father and Jesus.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

I love those two boys!  I am so thankful my Heavenly Father has trusted me with the privilege of being their mom.  They have special spirits.  Do they like going to church?…NO!…Did one of them cry and argue with me through the entire closing prayer?  YES!  But man they sure do have some strong little testimonies of the big things…the important things.  They help my testimony grow in so many ways

While we were preparing for his talk.  I asked Clayton about some of the things he believes.  For most of the things listed he nodded yes and for some he asked what it was (Note to self:  There are still some principles I need to teach my boys)  But when I asked him about praying to his Heavenly Father…a smile spread across his sweet little face that melted my heart.  And as he nodded, we both knew that he knew…That he was certain…That he has a testimony that his Heavenly Father hears and answers his prayers.

And sweet Dustin…who is still wanting to hang on to make-believe (and I hope he does for as long as he can) …when I asked him what his scripture was about, he said,  “Well if you ask if dragons are real, the Holy Ghost will tell you no…Because that is the truth”    🙂  

I have heard parents say they appreciate primary talks because it helps their children develop speaking abilities.  In my opinion it is about so much more than that.  It is about becoming certain…about asking what we know, what we believe, and what we still have questions about.  These little primary talks are so powerful!

END DETOUR:  I did not get to watch yesterday, but I sure am thankful I was able to watch the General Women’s Session of LDS General Conference after church today.  I am especially touched by Sister Linda Burton’s talk. She speaks of certain women.   The very women I am reading about about right now.  The certain woman I hope I am on the road to becoming.

 

Sacred Sundays

Sacred Sundays – Let Him Be

I am continuing with the challenge to read all the scriptural references to Jesus…at a snail’s pace…but continuing.

This weekend I have been pondering Matthew 20:17-28.  In particular, I am considering the counsel given in verses 26 and 27.   Jesus said,

26 … but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

Letting someone minister to me or serve me is a real struggle.   I do not want them to think less of me or to be burdened.   And, I kind of have the attitude that I can take care of myself.   But then reality sets in…

Like the time I was 6 months pregnant and broke my ankle.  I cannot even begin to list all the people who helped me at work and at home.  I experienced an overwhelming outpouring of love and concern from family, friends and neighbors.IMG_0081

Or the time my best friends helped me write my National Board papers in the final hours. And then did the same thing when I reapplied 10 years later.  They are the same friends who drove 2 days to attend my wedding and ended up helping me prepare for it in the final hours.  (Yes, there is a final hours trend that I need to study further.)

 Laura, Me, and Sheri

Or the many times and ways my husband…who works hard all day, every day…takes care of our family when I most need him to do so. (He does not deserve the grief I give him from time to time.)

These people …I love them.  They are certainly great in my eyes and chief among my favorite people.

But, there  is the One who has been there in every moment.  He is the greatest and chief among men.  In ways I do not fully understand, He has ministered to and served me even when I was not always willing to let Him.  He is my Savior and I am thankful He…

 … came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.   Matthew 20:28

My prayer for us this week is that we will all “let Him be” in our lives.

Have a great week.

Sacred Sundays

Sacred Sundays

I have started a challenge to study all I can about Jesus.   Perhaps you would like to join me.?.?.   All you do is read and ponder every reference to Jesus found in the topical guide of your scriptures. I suspect most of my posts on Sundays will relate to this study…but I could be wrong.

This week I have been pondering the ways in which Satan tempted the Savior.   (Matthew 4: 1 – 11).  If I had to summarize I would say he used three tactics… Fear…Power…and Doubt.   I suspect we are all tempted to some degree or another in each of these three ways, but there is that one.  The one temptation that is the greatest.

For me it is fear.   Fear of going without. Fear of not measuring up.   Fear of losing.  Fear of getting hurt.   When I am not mindful of this weakness, I set so many limits on myself and others.

If I look closely at my week, I see hints of that fear.   Fear of being judged for my lack of mathematical understanding.   Fear of not measuring up to my job title.  And the farm?  Well, in all my love for this farm life, there is a whole list of “what ifs” that are directly tied to my fears.

And so as I read in Matthew I took notice.  I noticed that with each instance of temptation Jesus answers with scripture.   “It is written…”     I want to be follow Jesus.  Therefore, I will read and study and I will head into this new week with renewed courage and increased determination to seek the good…for, it is written:

Matthew 6

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Have a great week My Friends!