Thursday, July 28, 2011

Church literature.

The dollar is so good, that I am re-visiting all my 'to-do' shopping lists with online stores.

What's a 'to-do' shopping list?  I basically selected what I want, and print the cart as a list of items to price watch.

Now I am faced with some choice.  I'm looking at, and simply cannot make up my mind.  I must know:  what are your recommendations?  What church literature have you found brilliantly awesome, deeply insightful, and really worth owning?

Here's what I'm looking at, at the moment:

God Wants a Powerful People (Sheri Dew)

The Fortunate Fall: Understanding the Blessings and Burdens of Adversity (Daniel K Judd)

The Continuous Atonement (Brad Wilcox)

How about study helps?  Thinking of the Old Testament in particular here ...

Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament (Dennis Leavitt)

The Hidden Christ: Beneath the Surface of the Old Testament (James L Ferrell)

Suggestions, please!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Time Out for Women - Choose to Become [review part 1]

A recap of the messages I heard and felt.

Making change happen = choosing it to happen.  It really does sound so obvious to say that:  to make something happen, we have to do something about it; ...and yet common sense isn't always our strong suit.
But Laurel Christensen went further than that.  She didn't just talk about having goals and getting them done.  Instead, the words potential and power were thrown around.

Laurel was the first presenter of the day.  Also the women in charge of TOFW.  Um, cool job.

Elder Todd Christofferson (a living Apostle), she said, said that Heavenly Father is a God with high expectations.  Good grief - has the bar been raised again?!  No.  The Creator of our minds and Father of our spirits knows each and every one of us so brilliantly well that He has always known our capabilities; our potential; our limitations.

Pause.  Let's flesh that out for a moment.  Our relationship with God is clearly a crucial element in having faith in the change we want to make.  Do we comprehend just how much of an all-knowing, all-loving figure God is in our lives?  And that He is literally our Father?

This brings to mind one of great John Bytheway talks (Whose Values Do You Value).  He once spoke to youth about their individual worth, the third of the then-seven Young Women values.  In relation to that topic (and referencing Stephen Covey's book Spiritual Roots of Human Relations), he looked to the book of Moses.  Look to the beginning of Moses chapter 1, to the verses that relate to the synopsis:  God reveals himself to Moses - Moses is transfigured - he is confronted by Satan.  Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain, and spoke to God face to face.  And, behold, thou art my son.  "Moses just learned [Bytheway said] from a very good source who he was."  Wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of main hands...I have a work for thee, Moses, my son.  Again, Moses is told who he is!  But wait for it ... and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten.  What does that mean?  Bytheway told the youth:  It means "Moses, you are my son, and you look like Jesus."  What a nice thing to say.  If you are reading the chapter, you will find that Moses is told who he is several times.  He is a son of God.  And we too can say: 'I'm a daughter of God', which is "the most wonderful title in the world", he says.

Bytheway then described how long our average family tree could be on paper. You start with yourself, then it splits into two for your parents, and then it splits again for their parents, etc.  If, he worked out, four generations is 100 years, if each line is 2 inches on the paper, then going back 7,000 years (which is 70 generations) means the pedigree chart would be 46.6 feet long.  That's 14.2 meters for us advanced people.  That's the pedigree of your family, your body.  But .... the pedigree chart for your spirit has only one line.  There's you, there's your Heavenly Father (the father of your spirit), and a fat line joining the two.  Is that empowering knowledge?  Leaves you in awe?  A direct, straight line, peoples; a direct line from God to you.

I slip that highly paraphrased illustration in here to emphasise the point that we should be feeling intimacy in our relationship with Him, in our prayers.  Who are you?  I'm a son of God.  I'm a daughter of God.  God, the Omnipotent, that all mighty and powerful figure in the clouds with what feels like an endless supply of lightning and thunder bolts (Fantasia the original, anyone?) is our Father in Heaven, who loves me, who knows me, who has - as Laurel quoted - high expectations of me.  Does it seem more real now, those expectations?  How about more realistic, more obtainable?

Laurel then went on to talk about her action plan in obtaining her goals.  Goals that would bring about good change; help her improve; become.  Lucky for me, the goals foremost in my mind at the moment are similar to Laurel's ('weight', she whispers).

The remainder of my review of Laurel's remarks to come ...

In the meantime,  go here and watch this.  And then do something with the feelings you feel.
Me, I've extended a challenge to myself : to have extra meaningful prayers this coming week, to primarily express gratitude, and to then write about it all in my journal.
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