Saturday, May 7, 2016

One Before the Other

We've heard the famous quote Faith precedes the miracle. We must believe that God is all powerful and ABLE to provide the miracle in our lives, and we must believe that He WANTS to bless us with those righteous desires of our hearts. The scriptures say that miracles have ceased because the world in general lacks the faith necessary for miracles to happen. It is so true in this day and age. The world population can't be bothered to make the effort to establish a real relationship with God. If He really exists, He should show himself! The effort is too hard. It would require sacrifice and 'ain't nobody got time for dat!', right?  Who has time to read scriptures and keep the commandments and go to church? It's a YOLO mentality out there in which people don't want to be told what to do. No way!! What kind of holier-than-thou person do we think we are if we attempt to share (push) our beliefs with others. People are offended by the very word "religion". It equates to something like organized cult, bigotry, intolerance, and it's old fashioned.
In today's society, most tend to lean towards causes instead of churches, self instead of society. Unfortunately, the "I can do whatever I please" mentality is a dangerous one. It's dangerous because instead of bringing us together in unity, it separates us, from each other as well as from God.
Going back to the subject of faith preceding the miracle, What does that kind of faith look like? If you change the noun "faith" into "faithfulness", it actually deepens the meaning. It not only suggests a belief in something, but a behaviour that stems from your belief. Have you heard the saying "Love is a verb, not a noun"? Well, the same thing can be said of faith. If you have that seed of faith, you cultivate it by demonstrating that faith through compliance to that which is required of you. But why? Why should I show my faith in some unknown God that seems to have disappeared long ago, if He ever was around in the first place? The answer?
God will never push himself onto anyone. He will gently invite and He anxiously awaits to bless those that do come to Him.  Jesus Christ invited people saying, "Come follow me" and "Behold, I stand at the door and knock". It's up to you to make an effort to build that relationship with Him.
Have you ever needed to be blessed and cried out for help? I not only believe that faith precedes the miracle, but that gratitude precedes the blessing. We must be grateful for what he have, and that spirit of gratitude will, like a magnet, draw more blessings to us. It makes sense that grateful people would be rewarded more than ungrateful, selfish people.
The decline of society's morals and values seem to be parallel to the same level in which we have pushed God out of our lives and communities.
If you are now asking which decline I'm talking about, look at what was shocking 20, 30, 40 years ago compared to what shocks us today? I don't need to list all of them. Moral decline. Immorality. Indecency. Dishonesty. Vulgarity. Disrespect. Disregard. We have embraced the new societal norms. They have become the new standard. But just because something is popular, doesn't make it accurate.
I'm sure there are many that won't even read this entire article. They will think it's just more blah blah hoopla about miracles and God, spouted by some believer. Yes, I am a believer. I believe in a God that is surely grieved by some of the choices we make, but I'm also a believer in goodness and truth and miracles and a Higher Power who is aware of us, from whom we can have true joy, and have true hope, even in the midst of hard times. Miracles do happen in individuals' lives everyday. More can happen.
Life is a gift. Life is a journey. We're all on our own journey, traveling at different speeds and taking different roads. While on this journey, we can choose to make it on our own, or we can be directed by the Maker of the Map and He who waits for us at the end of this long crazy trip called mortality.

God or Big Bang?

The Big Bang. Here's the kindergarten explanation, because it fits my level of comprehension of it all...

The theory states that the Universe began 13 + Billion years ago as a single point. So it wasn't big and probably not much bang either. My question is this:  Why does there have to be a science vs religion argument about this? You either believe in God and the creation or you believe that the Universe created itself from this singular point, although unknown as to how, and began expanding from there.

The way I see it, we don't have to believe in one or the other. If you believe in God, then you probably believe that He is all powerful and all knowing. He is the Supreme Being. So isn't it likely that He is the greatest scientist with the greatest  scientific mind and understanding that is infinitely beyond our capacity to understand or imagine. In Genesis, God said "Let there be light and there was light." Why do some doubt that yes, it was actually God that created the "Big Bang" and from there expanded, organized, and created this wonderful, glorious Universe? It makes perfect sense to me. God is also the Greatest artist, inventor, physicist, scientist, astronomer, Geneticist, and Biologist, Geologist, Botanist, Organizer, CEO, etc. etc.

Why do we doubt? Why do we insist on putting limits on He who is the Greatest of All? Is it because we can't comprehend that there is a Being, a Divine Being, in charge out there that we can't find, see, or fully understand His majesty? We are infants in our understanding of His power and capability. His ways are higher than our ways. There are brilliant men in this world. There have been throughout history, and some can't believe in the existence of God because there is no proof. What if instead of the old adage "Seeing is believing", we change it to "Believing is seeing". Seeing, not with our physical eyes, but with the eyes of our understanding...our faith that grows and expands until it is a knowledge. If we are willing, we can allow our minds and hearts to be taught by a Higher, Perfect Source of all knowledge.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Have I Done Any Good? The No-Guilt Version.

1. Have I done any good in the world today? That depends upon who you ask? I think I've done quite alright, folded laundry all night, and I'm thinking of sleeping at last. Tis noble, I know, to have a clean house, just in case The Prophet stops by, but only she who has children will know what I mean when I tell you "I promise I try" ...So wake up and look at your list. You've got 2 ward sisters in need. And your husband is gone, visit teaching at 1, and a Presidency Meeting at 6! 2. Have I done any good in the world today? Well, I managed to feed the cat. I prayed for patience and pow'r, took a 2 minute shower and Sunday's lesson prep just began. I hope that I make it, I just want a break. One more meeting and I'm going to explode! If I miss self-reliance, will I be non-compliant? Dear Bishop, just please let me know. So wake-up and and look at your list, you've got 2 ward sisters in need, and your husband's neglected, it's not what's expected..and a presidency meeting at 6! 3. Have I done any good in the world today? Have I helped anyone in need? I'm sure doing my best, I know life is a test. I'm on a journey and hope to succeed. I'll look out for you. Please look out for me. We all need some help on our way. Only Jesus was perfect. The rest of us...not. And if you fall on your face, it's ok. But get up...and do all you can. There's still two more things on the list. Tell your loved ones you love them. Tell God that you trust Him. Oh...and a presidency meeting at 6.

Your Reflection And You

The person you see when see your reflection is a beautiful being of potential perfection. You aren't here by chance..nope! That's a deception. You were born as a baby, but you might not remember. It could have been Summer or Spring or September. You were toothless and chubby, mostly sleepy...but oh so cuddly. You started out small, but that didn't last long, no not long at all, because something happened, and you started to grow, and you grew and you grew into the you we all know. You've got a brain in your head and fingers and toes. You see with your eyes and smell with your nose. Your hair may be brownish or reddish or pink and you may have a dimple on the side of your cheek. No matter your eye color, or where you might stay, you're just right, yes you are, and we love you that way. And the best thing of all is that you can be what you choose .. a teacher, a scientist, or invent flying shoes. So every time you see your reflection, smile and wave to the person you see, because you'll be together for awhile, maybe, yes, even possibly, a thousand one weeks! Just one more thing that I wanted to say, always be kind to others each day. They may not be exactly like you, and they may not want to invent flying shoes, but inside where it matters, yes, deep in our hearts, we all are the same and that's where love starts.

Caged Butterfly

To you, I am a butterfly, with not a care in the world. I flutter about letting you believe that I'm happy and that all is well... But the truth you don't see, is me down on my knees, praying and begging for it just to be done. Inside my mind are scary thoughts, closing in on me like predators, growling at their prey, and no matter what I do, I can't make them go away. No matter what the outside voices tell me, "You've got it pretty good" and "It'll be okay", it's the ones in my head that are shouting that I'm a failure, unworthy of love, and that I've let people down! I try to ignore them, but they've got my attention. Don't tell me to 'get over it', or to 'let it go'. I just want to be invisible and stop pretending to be ok. I try to live up to expectations, and play the role that I'm intended to play... I'll be the funny one. The one that everyone loves to be around. But what happens when little Ms. Sunshine gets mad? What happens when Pollyanna has a meltdown? Who's there to lift her? "She'll bounce back. She'll be okay!" The future is blocked by a dark cloud of hopelessness that rains down daggers of fear and insecurity. Somebody help me!! No! Just leave me alone!! I don't know how to tell you what it is that I need! I don't even know how to cope with the small things, and my inner hurts are bleeding to death, while I watch the world keep spinning around me. I'm right here, but I feel like I'm watching from another place; a spectator of myself. I'm on the outside looking in and nobody sees me. The me that you see is the me I wish I was, but I'm not, so I'll go on wearing that smiling mask, unwilling to interrupt the status quo. I'll continue being that butterfly, stuck in my own invisible cage. ~Marissa Chapman Dedicated to all of those butterflies that understand.