Today Connie and I took the day off to "celebrate" our 44th anniversary. Nothing big or elaborate, but just time we can spend together. Over the years one would think you need to spend money, go on trips or vacations to feel like you have adequately celebrated. Now that money is in short supply and time is taken up running a business we know we just like being together.
We are usually together 24 hours a day, but even then time must be spent in developing a stronger bond and strengthening our marriage. Today is one of those days. We will find it difficult to "forget" our business and the problems we face, but diversion is a good thing.
We started out the day going on a walk and then just puttering and writing in this blog. It's been several years since I entered a blog post, but I am trying again. We will be going to see "Man of Steel" this afternoon and then out for an inexpensive meal. I will post later the results of this afternoons adventure.
The movie was "so-so". The same ol' Superman story with a little different twist. Then off we went to Sweet Tomatoes. All in all nothing spectacular, but just some good time with Connie where we didn't have to perform. No deadlines, just time to spend together. Even though our anniversary was the 12th, the 14th was a good and satisfying day.
I suppose many of us have read Moses 4:1 We have many thoughts and interpretations of this scripture, but it seems that we don’t really apply it in our daily spiritual and political thought.
Read it again:
”and I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.”
Now read another scripture closely related to this; Mosiah 3:19
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
The way I would interpret these passages is, unless man yields to the spirit and is totally submissive to the Lord Jesus Christ he is devilish. He may want what some call good, but if the least amount of force is used to get to the intended goal, this is the plan of the devil. We may have good intentions, but our methods are all important. We don’t believe that the ends justifies the means. God’s plan only includes righteous means to reach righteous goals. All of God’s children are precious in his sight. Christ died for all. But God’s plan is the only one that will work. All enemies of God will fail.
We can’t always make things “better”. We live here on the earth where it is intended, by God’s plan - put forth by Christ, that each of us must make decisions and endure the trials of life. He sacrificed his all for you and me. We can’t really understand how the whole plan works, but we must accept that our “natural man” instincts may be evil.
We want to help the poor, the sick and those who are less fortunate than we, but this must be done according to the plan of God. Any plan designed to take away the free agency of man is not the way God intended his plan to work. Our commitment to His children must come by putting off the natural man and submitting to His will.
Satan has many “agents” here on the earth. Most certainly they aren’t aware of the fact that their actions are leading mankind toward the plan of Satan. However, Satan is the “father of lies”. He knows how to manipulate, cajole, and persuade. He uses common sense and will promote the use of our “natural” inclinations. BEWARE of his methods. We know the plan put forth by Christ. We cannot deviate from it. We must be an ally of God and not his enemy. We must put off the natural man and yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit.
John Bradford, a champion of the Church of England, was imprisoned by the Catholic Church for his loyalty to the King and the Church of England. When the King died a Catholic queen was enthroned and the arrest was made. When he saw many of his fellow prisoners heading for the gallows he made his famous statement; “there but for the grace of God goes John Bradford”. He was eventually hanged.
A true belief that God has a hand in our lives and blesses us daily is sometimes conflicted by our belief in free agency. Do we really make our own proverbial “bed”? Is our life a result of who we are and the choices we’ve made or are we blessed immeasurably by our creator? How many of our blessings come because of our “works” and what blessings are a result of the “grace of God”? Am I more deserving of my many blessings than the guy who lost his job and has had a lot of “bad luck”?
I recall many years ago a plane crashed into a mall in the city where we live. There was a Vietnamese lady who was badly burned because of the crash. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Shortly after this incident she lost some members of her family due to other accidents. All were due to no fault of her own. Now could I say “there but for the grace of God, go I”?
We all should study Isaiah 55. This chapter contains the following verse:
8 ¶ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
Maybe the tragedies are blessings and the blessings are really only an earthly reality with no eternal value. Our lives are in the hands of God and it is up to Him how he will bless us. We are at His mercy. The works we perform on this earth are for His glory, not for our earthly blessing.
We believe we are saved by grace after all we can do. (2 Nephi 25:23) The only way we can partake of the atonement is to unselfishly glorify God. I certainly don’t mean with only words, but also with works. We then can be made “one with Christ”. We must be AT ONE with Christ in order to gain salvation and only Christ can do that.
Every day is filled with the pursuit of truth. To many the truth cannot be found. It seems that most believe that religious truth is a matter of interpretation and only applies to our particular circumstances. My truth is for me and your truth is for you. They may or may not be the same, but it serves my purpose just the same.
The apostle John gives us an account of the Savior’s response to Pilate when asked if he were a king.
37. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
38. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
It seems to me that Pilate wasn’t interested in the truth for as soon as he asked the question he turned and went out to the Jews to render his decision. Maybe the Savior answered this question or maybe he felt that Pilate was not really interested. Up until now we have no real answer.
Alvin R. Dyer once stated; “Religion, in the true Christian concept, depends upon revelation from God for its faith and teachings of truth.” If it hasn’t been revealed to man by God and hasn’t been proven by using the scientific method, then I believe our opinion is just as good as anybody else’s. We need to be aware that in many cases as we pursue truth each day it probably can’t be found. However, we can be confident that if science discovers a “truth” that is contrary to the revealed word of God, then it can’t be true.
Following the above statements; Can we find political “TRUTH”?
Early in the morning of November 23, 1963 my missionary companion and I entered the train station in Munich, Germany. That day was the day I was being transfered to a small village outside of Nuremberg, Germany called Stein. I spotted a newspaper vendor holding up a newspaper with the headlines KENNEDY ERMORDET. Much to our amazement Pres. Kennedy had been assassinated. What a strange feeling we had to be in Germany and our president was gunned down in the USA. Sadness filled the air as we and many of the German citizens tried to grasp what had just happened the day before. My understanding of the german language was very limited and being a missionary and isolated from much of the news of the day I was unable to get many of the details. This was hard, but I was in Germany to be a missionary and the outside world was far from my daily thoughts. I mentioned this tragedy in my journal, but it wasn’t the main topic. I learned most of the details of the assassination after returning home in 1966.
Stein is a beautiful German village and the home of the pencil manufacturer FABER-CASTELL. Again while I was there I wasn’t concerned with pencils. It was interesting to note that one of the most famous writing instrument manufacturers started here, but not much thought was given to “pencils”. Then this morning I read a commentary/column in the newspaper on pencils. My thoughts went back to this beautiful village and the great experiences I had there. However, today I am concerned with the state of the world. You might call it worry/concern for the business climate and how the government is making it more and more difficult to prosper in business. We must all consider the history of the USA and why it is the most prosperous country in the world. Our freedoms in all areas, including business, have allowed us to follow the plan of the Savior. To pursue dreams, work hard, fail, succeed, be happy, be sad, experience tragedy, experience joy are all necessary for our salvation. We don’t need a government to think for us and provide us with their version of “THE PLAN OF HAPPINESS”.
Go to the link below and read this article. It made me concerned of where we are headed.
Each year many of us celebrate the date we were born. It is a time to reflect on where we have come from, who we are now and what we will become. Our history is not only valuable to us, but certainly to our family and to those with whom we work and play.
Birthdays are often the beginning of a new phase in our lives such as driving and dating (age 16), baptism (age 8) and many others. Unfortunately it’s also a time for some to do things or to feel they can do many things that aren’t so beneficial. This is when we can be grateful for good homes where strong values are taught and practiced.
I am grateful for the birthdays of my grandchildren. It’s a time to think of them and reflect on their unique personality. It’s a time to ponder their lives and pray for their success and happiness.
Sunday our oldest grandchild, Madison, will turn 10. She is a beautiful girl inside and out. I made this video in her honor. It was a joy to pull out some of the pictures I have taken of her over the years I have known her. We love her.