Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is Your Light Shining?

“Brightly beams our Father's mercy,
from his lighthouse evermore,
But to us, he gives the keeping
of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning,
send a gleam across the wave.
Some poor fainting, struggling, seaman,
you may rescue, you may save….

Trim your feeble lamps my brothers,
some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor,
in the darkness may be lost.

Let your lower lights be burning,
send a gleam across the wave,
Some poor fainting, struggling, seaman,
you may rescue, you may save.”

Let The Lower Lights Be Burning
Philip P. Bliss, 1871—

One of my friends on Face Book posted this last week. I liked it so I looked it up to see if there was a story behind it. It is a hymn written by Phillip Bliss a century ago. He wrote it because of a sermon he heard while he was living in Chicago.
A ship was trying to find the Cleveland harbor at night, in the middle of a storm. Seeing the lighthouse the captain called out, “Is this Cleveland?” When the lighthouse keeper affirmed that it was, the captain shouted,” Where are the lower lights?” “They have gone out..” the light keeper replied. “Can you make the harbor?” The captain shouted, “We must, or we will perish!”
Then he sailed the ship into the harbor, past the lighthouse and crashed into the rocks.
The lower lights talked about in the sermon are the lights below the lighthouse which define the shoreline; the lights from our windows that help vessels come into the harbor at night through the narrow channel.
“The preacher concluded his sermon saying, "Brothers and sisters, the Master will take care of the lighthouse. Let us keep the lower lights burning."

Do you shine a light for the world to see?

August gave us many opportunities to let our lights shine. First we had an earthquake, and then a hurricane blew through the area. Many people on the East Coast are without power and roads. Homes had to be evacuated. Businesses were lost. There have been many stories of people who helped their neighbors. One I enjoyed from New Hampshire or Vermont was of a family without electricity who had a disabled husband and father. A neighbor plugged in an extension cord from her own home to give electricity to her neighbor.

On another note, I’ve never been through a hurricane before. Not even an “almost” Tropical Storm.
I didn’t know how to prepare. We went to the grocery store to pick up some drinking water in case we lost our water in the apartment. The shelves were bare, empty. There was a watermelon though. Will that do in a pinch?

Our Bishop announced after we had the earthquake that he had been planning a “ Preparedness discussion in late September. Now we can discuss preparing for a hurricane also.

The county government scheduled a practice exercise to see if they were ready for a disaster. It was canceled so people could take care of the real thing. Now that we’ve tried it—how did we do?
Did you know that September is national Preparedness month
Are we prepared? Are our lower lights on? Do we know what we need to do better?
We have stored drinking water now, and batteries.
And the watermelon was delicious!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Holy Women

My husband bought me an I Phone for my birthday. I didn’t really need one but his phone needed replacing and I think he thought if I learned how to use one, he could get one later. Meanwhile he’d use my old phone. So far I can do the things I could do on my old cell phone plus play Spider Solitaire. Another advantage it has that my old one didn’t is that, I can download my scriptures and hymns. Picture me standing on the street corner singing a hymn! “I don’t think so!

Now that you know that I don’t understand my new phone, a funny thing happened.
We were out running some errands last Saturday and my phone was sitting on my lap. I wasn’t touching it. Randomly it started playing a video of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing, “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing.“ Was this a strange electrical impulse rushing through my phone or a message I should pay attention to?

This past week I went to the temple with a friend. Sitting in the Celestial room I was thinking about the message I wanted to give to you. In the silence I could hear a hymn in my mind, “Come thou Font of Every Blessing” (Robert Robinson)

Come, thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of thy redeeming love.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.

As I think back on my life, I am profoundly grateful for the many blessings I have received. I don’t think I am more deserving than others are but am grateful that my challenges in life were ones that I was able to meet. I look at pictures of the children in Somalia. Could I walk miles carrying my children to find them food? I couldn’t in the shape I’m in. I need to exercise more. I listen to the debates in congress. I’m ready to change parties. No I don’t approve of the other side either. What can I do about the politics of our state, and country. I always vote, I pray for our leaders to make the best decisions for our country. What else can I do to encourage our leaders?
Eliza R. Snow, second Relief society general president, taught:” Paul the Apostle anciently spoke of holy women. It is the duty of each one of us to be a holy woman. We shall have elevated aims, if we are holy women. We shall feel that we are called to perform important duties. No one is exempt from them.
I hope you will think this month, “How can we become Holy Women”