Friday, January 22, 2016

The Ancients




Bending her limbs towards the ground

The old tree sighed.

Only two remained and she

Was badly misshapen.

A cold wind

And age

Had dismember the other branches

Gophers gnawed at the gnarled old roots

But still

She had managed one last small harvest

Can I try again?

One more year?

Do I have the strength?

Sixty seven years

My tree and I

But we had the sweetest apples.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

global warming

 






                                  There’s a cabin in the woods
With a snowman standing guard
Watching over sledding children
In the run.

And the bells are ringing wildly
From the little country church
Frigid air is crackling loudly
Oh what fun!
If this isn’t what you’re seeing
If the weather’s turning  warm
Come out west because its snowing
Where’s the sun?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who Needs Me?

 
 










My sister told me earlier this month that she was the compassionate service leader in her church congregation now and asked what she was supposed to do? I told her she had to make a quilt for every new baby that was born into the congregation. She said, “I quit!”
Of course I was kidding her. I happen to love to make quilts and give them to people for love and comfort.
One woman I know kept asking what she had to do to get one of my quilts. I said, “Have
A baby.” As a fifty year old with two teenagers that was not in her plans. Then on Christmas Eve her dear husband had a stroke and I gave her a quilt for comfort.
There are many things people do to show love and comfort to others. The Senior Center has a project Linus group to make quilts for kids in need. Our quilt guild made quilts for every family who lost a home in our town in 2000. Our women’s organization made quilts for a children’s hospital. Girl troops have made teddy bears for the police to hand out to children who have had a trauma in their lives.Anotherwoman asks groups to tie  fleece blankets to give teens as the age out of foster care.
            We take meals to people who are sick, treats and visits to those who are lonely, rides to appointments, clean homes when people are moving or too ill. There are many ways we can give some compassionate service to those around us.
            In her book Disciples, Chieko N. Okazaki quotes Power comes from love. Achievement and ability come from love. We can try to do it on our own or we can really achieve with the Savior--- by accepting his love and by being willing to love others in return.
Pg 9      In a face Book post this week Common Consent Blog writer Christian Harrison writes,
Top of Form
 This week has been a very hard one for me and many of my friends. I’ve spent many hours on the phone with friends comforting them and being comforted in return. I’ve sat with friends who ache, and we’ve wept together. And while this week has been…  extra-ordinary …we have — each one of us — at one time or another, asked what the poet asks: “Where can I turn for peace?”

Bottom of Form
Where Can I Turn for Peace?
LDS HYMNEL
Emma Lou Thayne wrote what would become hymn 129  in our Hymnbook in 1971, upon the unexpected death of her daughter
Where can I turn for peace?    Where is my solace
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart, Searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows,
Where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand?
He, only One.
He answers privately,    Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind,
Love without end.

Christian Harrison continues,
“Of course the answer to the question, “Where can I turn for peace” is “The Prince of Peace”. But as well cemented as that idea is, in our culture… we can’t help but recognize that it’s a very abstract idea. Beyond reaching out to Him Who Listens through prayer, what is there?
President Hinckley urged us to “get on [our] knees and pray, then [to] get on [our] feet and work”.
Faith, after all, without work, is dead [James 2].
So what is the work of peace? What does finding our own peace look like?
While I have no doubt that there is more than one path to peace, I would like to share with you my own. I find peace, when peace can be found, at the intersection of charity and grace.”
            With the turmoil surrounding us in our world right now, many are searching for peace, comfort, love and safety. Many of us are afraid to help the refugees in Europe. We are aching for the citizens of Paris. What can we do? Where is our Compassionate Service?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Come Out of the Dark

-->
 







My husband and I are now in our third year of retirement. The other day he said that he always thought that retirement would be fun- being able to do the things he never had time for before. But with age also comes less energy and more health problems even for those like him, who have made a conscious effort to stay in good health. He has been thinking that, as he has been blessed throughout his life with many good things, that he should find ways to give back to humanity in his retirement. To be of service to those in need.
In the October Ensign magazine 2015 we read
Finish With Your Torch Still Lit - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“In ancient Greece, runners competed in a relay race called a lampadedromia. In the race, runners held a torch in their hand and passed it on to the next runner until the final member of the team crossed the finish line.
The prize wasn’t awarded to the team that ran fastest—it was awarded to the first team to reach the finish line with its torch still lit.
There is a profound lesson here, one taught by prophets ancient and modern: while it is important to start the race, it is even more important that we finish with our torch still lit.
Finishing Our Own Race
How many times have we started something and not finished? Diets? Exercise programs? Commitments to read the scriptures daily? Decisions to be better disciples of Jesus Christ?
How often do we make resolutions in January and pursue them with red-hot determination for a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months only to find that by October, the flame of our commitment is little more than cold ash?
We have good intentions; we start strong; we want to be our best self. But in the end we leave our resolutions shredded, discarded, and forgotten.
It’s human nature to stumble, fail, and sometimes want to drop out of the race. But as disciples of Jesus Christ, we have committed not only to begin the race but also to finish it—and finish it with our torch still burning brightly. The Savior promised His disciples, “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”  (Matthew 24:13).
The Light That Never Dies
Sometimes after stumbling, failing, or even giving up, we get discouraged and believe our light has gone out and our race is lost. But I testify that the Light of Christ cannot be extinguished. It shines in the darkest night and will relight our hearts if only we incline our hearts to Him (see 1 Kings 8: 58 .
No matter how often or how far we fall, the Light of Christ ever burns brightly. And even in the deepest night, if we but step toward Him, His light will consume the shadows and reignite our souls.
This race of discipleship is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. And it makes little difference how fast we go. In fact, the only way we can lose the race is by finally giving in or giving up.
As long as we continue to rise up and move toward our Savior, we win the race with our torches burning brightly.
Last Sunday we sang, “The Lord is My Light” by James Nicholson. In the second  verse-
“2. The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise,
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.
Then how can I ever in darkness remain?

I’ve been following a blog about a missionary who left his mission for various reasons. It made me sad, but even though discouraged, his light has not gone out. He is still holding onto his torch.
What can we do to keep our torches lit?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Joyful Sound

-->
 









My sister and I have been challenging ourselves and others to do something new each month. This month I chose singing a song each morning and each night. I don’t sing well so I sit at my computer and sing along with one of the CD’s I have put on ITunes. My choice depends on the mood I am in. Some mornings I am boisterous and happy as I sing along with Donna Fargo. In the evening I often close with a favorite hymn. My problem  is people who see what I am singing start worrying about what is going on in my life. It is true that we have been having some challenges in our lives for the last few months. But the songs fit my mood and are favorites I’m revisiting from past years.

In Psalms 96:1 we read,
"O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth."

"sing before the Lord, all ye righteous of the earth.''
Sing to O Lord All. The Earth. Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.…

Psalm 13:6
"I will sing the LORD's praise, for he has been good to me.”

Some days it is hard to sing. When I see reports on the news about people killing police, People eradicating Christians, tsunamis and earthquakes wiping out whole villages. I get depressed.
Psalm 33:3
"Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy."

God wants us to be happy. Even through our trials we can find joy and
Peaceful moments

How do you find peace and joy in your trials? Helping others? Enjoying your surroundings?
I sing. It feels good.

Monday, August 17, 2015

How can I Help?



A sad thing happened in our family at the end of last month. A dear friend had a massive stroke and died. She was my husband’s niece, just a few years younger than he is. But to me, she and her husband were friends. They came to visit with us while we lived in D.C. and we enjoyed seeing the sights with them and laughing at their unique senses of humor. I’m going to miss her. With all my heart I wish I could have been there to comfort her husband. But what can you say or do from so far away.
I have been nursing my husband the last few weeks as he tries to recover from some bug. I don’t do as well as he did when I had my knee replaced, but he is very loving and appreciative.

I have heard somewhere that you love those you serve.
If we are going to learn to love as the Savior did we should take as many opportunities to serve others.
I have really appreciated friends and family who are willing to drive us to appointments and pick things up at the store. I wouldn’t have been able to care for him as well if they hadn’t been so willing. I love them dearly.

One of the sweetest and most powerful moments of Christ’s ministry was when He washed the feet of His disciples. “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded (John 13: 4-5.)
As the Savior introduced this ordinance, the disciples may have been overwhelmed that their Lord and Master knelt before them and performed so meek a service. Jesus then explained the lessons He wanted them and all of us to learn:
“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you”  (John 13:14-15)

 “The Savior is our supreme example of the power of humility and submissiveness. After all, His submitting His will to the Father brought about the greatest, and even the most powerful, event in all of history. Perhaps some of the most sacred words in all the scriptures are simply, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22:42)
“As disciples of Jesus, we always seek to be like Him. ‘Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike,’ said Elder Ulisses Soares of the Seventy. Without it we won’t be able to develop other important virtues. Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.”  As we work to develop this attribute, we will find that “humbly submitting our will to the Father brings us the empowerment of God—the power of humility. It is the power to meet life’s adversities, the power of peace, the power of hope, the power of a heart throbbing with a love for and testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, even the power of redemption.” *Ensign Magazine August 2015

How can having humility help us love as the Savior did?
Who are you going to help today?
I remember when I was a young wife and mother thinking a couple of times a week, “Who can I surprise
Today? Then I called someone I knew and asked if I could take her children for the morning, or what would you like for dinner? I was never turned down. It was fun.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cynthia G.'s words


Better than Chocolate
The mountains rose from the desert floor
Reaching towards the clear blue sky,
Colorful balloons raced quietly, dodging
Pending rain clouds.
Mornings were flying time
Rain came at noon
On a good day.
I love the freedom of flying,
Bouncing, turning, floating.
A family of ducks and their friends the geese
Floated down the river.
Happy days