Wednesday, August 25, 2004

John 4:17-19

"The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet."
John 4:17-19

This is an interesting exchange... when Jesus tells her about her life, instead of getting defensive and assuming that someone has been gossiping too much, this woman recognizes Jesus' knowledge of her life and that the knowledge came from God.  I think that, in itself, is amazing. :) ... It is hard to get some perspective about our lives, and be able to see from another person's point of view.  This woman was strong enough to avoid taking Jesus' comments as a criticism or an attack, and was able to accept the truth and recognize the Christ.  I wonder sometimes if I would be able to do the same... we often walk through this life with blinders of self-centeredness on, not seeing the effect that we have on others, and not really caring enough to take the blinders off.  In order to get past that, we have to learn to see things from other people's perspective... to put ourselves in their shoes, and think about what effect our words and actions will have on the people around us.  That way we can avoid harming others, while still attempting to accomplish our own goals.  Let's try to be more other-centered today, and recognize God's influence in our lives, through other people.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Helaman 6:3

"Nevertheless, the people of the church did have great joy because of the conversion of the Lamanites, yea, because of the church of God, which had been established among them. And they did fellowship one with another, and did rejoice one with another, and did have great joy."
Helaman 6:3

I like this scripture because it shows us that one of the paths to joy is our interaction with other people.  We can't withdraw from everyone and make it to Heaven as individual hermits... as enticing as that idea can be at times. :)  We share the gospel with other people because it makes them happy, but also because we have more people to commune with about the gospel. :)  Some of the best conversations of my life (and believe me, I have had some amazing ones) have been when I had the opportunity to talk about the church with my friends... while playing cards, or eating pizza, or whatever.  Today, let's partake of some of the abundant joy to be had... talk about the gospel, and fellowship with others.  No hermits today. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

1 Nephi 7:17-18

"But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren and I spake unto them again."
1 Nephi 7:17-18

I think it is interesting here that Nephi prays for one thing (that he would be able to burst the bands) and gets another (the bands are loosed).  To me, this shows that God doesn’t just hear the *words* of our prayers, but the thoughts and intentions behind them.  He sees the entire picture… even the subconscious connections.  And, thank goodness, he answers that prayer… the complete one, with all attached thoughts, desires, and intentions.  And then, of course, he includes his purposes… what do we need to learn?  What do we need spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally?  … I think it is astounding that God considers absolutely everything as he answers our prayers… I know, what should I expect from an omniscient being, but still… it just is overwhelming to think about.  I imagine ways to overcome the communication difficulties that we all have… Nancy Kress (a Science Fiction author) writes about this hologram program that some people in her books invented that shows all the subconscious connections when you verbalize something… so you can get closer to seeing the true meaning of anything.  We strain at these ideas, and God already has it all… it’s great.
It’s a good reason to make sure that our lives are in tune.  Because God has already invented everything that we think is cool… and the desires of our hearts can only be fulfilled through him… Earthly things are just SO pale and insubstantial in comparison.  (Which is NOT to say that we shouldn’t try to improve the Earth… just that we shouldn’t idealize it either.)

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