Friday, May 22, 2009

DO WE SEE THE 'GOD' SIDE?

This week I was impressed by the scripture in John 4:19.
"We love him, because he first loved us."

My pblessing talks about how I will love the Savior "because of His great love for [me]". I have often pondered over this statement and wondered how it all works. This week I was given a sweet insight to my may years of pondering.

I have a friend that no matter what I do, or the weaknesses I have, she loves me in spite of it all. (Ha, this should read, I have MANY friends who are like this! God keeps putting great examples in my life, to which I am not complaining!)

This past week I was overwhelmed with this particular friend's love and respect for me! So great was her loves effect on me that all I could think of was the scripture in John and the words from my pblessing. I love this friend a lot, but because she loved/s me first (meaning even when I may not deserve all her kindness/respect/love) when she loves me in spite of who I am, I find myself loving her completely/fully back. "We loved him, because he first loved us". I love her, because she first loved me. Now, I love this friend and if I could claim it, I would say, no, I am pretty sure I did love her "first":)--but I don't think that is what John is telling us. Even when there are many reasons to look at why not to love/show respect for a person, when someone still loves you in spite of it all, you can not help but love them back!

I texted this friend the scripture from John and thanked her for her love. Her text back to me was quite profound. She texted a thank you for "seeing the God side" of her.

I read the text over and over again. What a wise friend I have.

We all are children of God. We all have the potential to become as He is. And because we are his spirit children, we all have a deep "God side" to us/in us. We could choose to see the natural man, and always look for the things others are doing wrong. Ha, that is the easier way to live life because it seems to come so natural at times! (I speak for myself only.) It is very easy to be a fault finder, believe me I know this from experience. But what if we would see the "God" side of everyone, and and focus on that side instead? What would that do to our work environment? Or family surroundings, our school, our callings, our drives on the freeway/or rather the people that drive next to us on the freeway?! (I have to smile at that last thought. I can just see those of us with road rage--when someone cuts us off, we choose to see the God side in them--maybe the God side is "at least they didn't clip us while cutting us off"! :))ha ha.

My sweet friend's love for me proved she was seeing the God side in me, inspite of everything. And as as a result of HER love, I found myself wanting to be better and to step up to my eternal potential--step up with more determination to do what is right and to love others for who they are.



My friend texted me early Tues morning and since then I have come to see more "God" sides!

As I left the temple Tues, I noticed this white bus pull up and several "wiser in years" folks step off the bus. Most of them were already dressed in white.

I found myself feeling a profound love for the bus driver, whom I never saw and all of these seasoned brothers and sisters that were faithfully coming to the temple. And then my love was topped off as I noticed this particular set of temple goes. Did you notice them in the first picture?

One seasoned brother was pushing another seasoned brother up the walkway to the doors of the temple. What love! What a great God side to have. My heart was full!

On Wed I had to run to Home Depot for work and ran into a good friend. I met he an his wife when I was working overseeing the chaple in the temple two years ago. Every Saturday without fail I would notice this good couple come in. I marveled at their faithfulness to come on a Saturday night.

After Dec 07 I stopped working at the temple and did not have the opportunity to see this couple very much. But this last Christmas as I went to a fireside, here was this faithful couple. They shared with me their story of why they choose to go to the temple so faithfully. Their daughter - (to the right of me) has cancer and several other life altering inflictions in the body.


The Doctors many times have told them that their daughter would not live long. This sweet couple go to the temple every week for her. They have seen miracles come. And where the doctors said death would be near--her lungs, brain, and heart have kept on going, in spite of all the cancer and afflictions. This good couple will now travel to PA in the next week to have their daughter go through another risky surgery in the brain.

As I ask this Brother how he was doing he responded that the Bishop had prayed with he and his family, and they felt at peace. They will need to stay in PA for several months. I think of the family members that must stay behind... and the loving grandparents who will watch over the other kids while this faithful couple go to seek more relief for their bright eyed daughter. What an example they are to me!

It is amazing what pure love can do for someone, for family members...Christ-like love.

I have listened to Robert D Hales talk from General Conference about 5/6 times this week.
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=9469230bac7f0210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1

He teaches how to be provident providers in our temporal and spiritual dealings.

His closing statement has stirred my soul. Elder Hales said, "I bear my special witness that through the Atonement He [Jesus Christ] has overcome all things."

I know this is a really duh moment for me, but my understanding of the atonement has broadened. Not only was the atonement an act that was preformed to give us a way to repent of our sins but "through" the Atonement Christ overcame everything. And has set the example for us... this means THROUGH His atonement, we too, CAN overcome all things!

Bishop help drive this point last night. He shared that the reason we have to take "time" to repent of our wrong choices is not to satisfy the "needs" of the atonement. The atonement needs no payment. It's grasp reaches the farthest/most lost/wondering sheep. What does need payment, is our souls!

Christ does not need us to suffer a specific amount of time as a payment for being able to use the atonement... rather, the time we spend repenting is for us. It is the time we NEED to cleanse our "infected" souls: an infection brought upon us because of our choice to sin. Repentance is for US, not to satisfy the atonement...

Beautiful truth Bishop! Deep.

So yes, as I read this blog, it is all for me, yet again! :) What power love can do. How amazing it is to choose to focus on the "God" side of someone, however difficult we may feel it is to do. And how wonderful to have the Atonement and repentance: TIME given to sanctify/reline our souls.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

ARIVAL OF MIA BELLA!

Nyk's water broke on Friday night and by 4 AM Saturday morning I was well on my way to WY to be with her. Who would have thought a package of 6 12 and 19 inches could bring so much joy and wonder!?! It was very sacred for me to be there with Nyk.

Lots of times it was just Nyk, myself and the baby. Beautiful moments to sit and ponder and then talk of the things with/of the spirit/gospel.
We were able to listen to an amazing talk by Matthew Cowley, "Miracles" for our church devotional. This is an amazing talk! It has taken a place on my favorites list! And what a perfect add to our Sabbath day with little Mia!

http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=135&tid=2

It was wonderful to be around such a pure innocent little girl. There is much hope for her future. Her pathway is bright! The gospel is on the earth! And she has parents that will teach her right from wrong and teach her about Jesus...!




It is a wonderful time to have a family! The truth is on the earth!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

video

These words are for anyone with a mother heart out there! But most of all, to those women in my life that I look up to and hold has great examples...Happy Mother's Day! A special thanks goes to my Mom, I sure do love you! Thank you for having the courage to get married and raise a family. Thank you for teaching me about Jesus Christ, praying, the temple, and how to have faith/see miracles. I hope to be more like you when I grow up. To my aunts, I love you. To my sisters and sister-in-laws, I am so glad we are connected by temple covenants! To Patti, Ali, Jenna and all the other wonderful friends that have come into my life, I love you also! To a Heavenly Mother, who I don't remember, but I know is there...I pray I can be worthy to give you a hug some day. Thank you Heavenly Father for all these role model women/mothers in my life!

God is so good! My heart is full.

Friday, May 8, 2009

THE WORLD IS FULL OF FISHERS

video
I was driving to work this week and noticed a hawk circling an area over and over again. *Note, if you are watching a bird fly make sure you pull off the road before you decide to go into park! Cars will be much happier with you if you do this first.

I found the place the hawk was circling. I jumped out of my car and walked over to hide my bright red shirt under the covering of the trees. 5-6 more circles this hawk made swooping right above this little area of water. Here is the picture of the Hawk, can you see it? If not, here is a zoom in on the picture... see it now?!

I wondered why this hawk would be circling so precisely--and then I looked into the water. TONS of fish were making their way through the murky water. (Do hawks eat big fish?! I don't know! It seemed crazy for this field hawk to try for such a large fish, but still the Hawk dangerously circled.) I moved little closer to the fish, and the hawk must have spotted my red shirt because it flew away.

I then had 10 mins to just study the movements of all the fish. The water level was quite low. Every movement the fish made, I was able to see it move or a result of its movement-muddy puff clouds appearing.

They are just carp--you may say. Dirty, bottom feeders, oily meat--they are only good for catching cat fish my Dad tells me... and yet I was intrigued by their movement.

This week my heart has been touched by the fishers of men the Lord has brought into my life/view sight. Just the other day, a women was on the side of the road with a busted tier. As I drove past, I noticed a cop in his undercover cop car, stop and help take over her load. I played with a nephew who had a cardboard outfit on representing "Buzz light year". His Dad had taken the time to make him such a stylish suit! This little boy looked at me and said, "To infinity and beyond! Choose the Right"! What great mother took the time to instill such a simple truth-choose the right!? (A "fisher" mom, that's who!)

I talked with another nephew, 12 years old, he told me sometimes he has bad thoughts that just pop into his head... but on this particular day, he had prayed in the morning to have a good day and asked for the Lord's help. He said, "Bryndi, you know what? Some of those bad thoughts popped in my head today, but I immediately thought of a scripture and they didn't stay any longer." Oh to the parents of that little fish!

I have witnessed the kindness of a mother and her children, allowing to sacrifice some of their Daddy time, so he [the Daddy] could go help his sister and brother-in-law finish a basement room that was in need of some TLC remodeling.

I was called just this morning by a friend who wanted to drop off a mango to me at work, because she saw it in a Mexican store and knew it was a favorite treat of mine.

I have seen a girl love her family member, even when this family member gave her a black eye.

I saw a temple full of 19 ward members on ward temple night--putting forth their faith to accomplish a goal set by their bishopric.

I have seen fasting for loved ones, great time spent in the kitchen cooking a yummy meal.

I have seen garbage cans brought to the garages of the owners when the trash has come by.

I have seen sisters crying/praying over those they visit/have charge for.

I have seen friends have faith to ask God for help.

I HAVE SEEN GREAT FISHERS among men!

Oh to the mothers and fathers that raise their children to God! Oh to the person who helps the stranded person on the side of the road. Oh to the deacon president who after hearing the messages at Priesthood...went out that very week and brought his "brothers" back to church. Oh to the uncle who helps a clogged toilet, oh to the friend who is always there to listen, oh to the worthy priesthood holders who are always willing to give a blessing, oh to the one who sits/stays by the side of a widow, oh to the mother that waits up until after midnight just to make sure her child made it safely home, oh to the one that wakes up at 6:00Am on a Saturdays just to help a friend learn how to run, oh to the Dad that takes care of the kids on the weekend mornings just so his wife can get a few more winks in, oh to the nurse that goes the extra mile to make sure her patient is as comfortable as possible, oh to the teacher that prepares a great less--even for just one, oh to the parents who pray for their addicted son, oh for the 80 year old man that still takes his wife lovingly by the hand.... What great fishers we have among us!!

We may feel like we are just fishers in the sea of life. Same old tasks, day in and day out, not feeling we can amount to become anything great. But like that circling hawk wanting to catch something much greater then itself (in size) we too can becoming something greater then we are right now! The Lord can make us fishers--among His men!!

THE DEVIL'S FAVORITE TOOL

There has been way too much going on this past few weeks. God has been so good and kind. He never gives up on us! Thank goodness.

I wanted this story to share with a girlfriend today, and Mom was kind enough to type it up from her Grandma's (my great-grandma) journal history. This is a story that until today, I didn't know know the full details. How thankful I am for ancestors who wrote down their moments from God in their lives. This was very tender to me to read. So true to life.

Mary Ethel Bean Andrew--taken from her publishing of "Through the Years".

---
One time I was called to go over to visit a Relief Society at Montello Branch on the west side of Great Salt Lake. I had to go over the Lucin Cutoff on a train.
On the way home I had a strange experience.

As we were crossing the lake, I noticed an old man with a long white beard watching me from the other end of the car. He reminded me of Lorenzo Snow, but his beard was longer than President Snow’s and he had piercing blue eyes.

Finally he got up and walked slowly down the aisle toward me. He asked, “May I sit down by you, Sister?”

I said, “Certainly,” and moved over. I had a funny feeling when he sat down by me and when he started talking to me I really had a funny feeling.

“I have been watching you since you got on the train,” he said, “and I have something that will help you the rest of your life.”

I looked at him, and for a moment I didn’t know whether to get angry with him or not. Then I answered, “Well, if you have anything that will help me the rest of my life, I’d appreciate it.”

He put his hand in his inside pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. He said, “This will help you as long as you live if you heed it. Remember it, and when you think of it, remember me. I want you to have it. I spend my time going around like this, greeting people that I think need this, and I give it to them.”

The train was nearing Ogden and I didn’t see him when he left the car. I didn’t even see him get up and go. When I rushed out to the platform and asked about him, no one had seen him get off this train. The paper he had given me had the following story. . .


THE DEVIL’S AUCTION

The devil at one time had an auction. His tools were getting old and worn and he thought he needed a lot of new ones and he decided to have an auction.

He gathered them all together and put them out—and there was jealousy, greed, hate and envy and all of those—and every one was labeled. And he called the people to come and bid on them.

After awhile, most of them had been bought, but there was one in the back that had never been put out. It was an old, disreputable looking thing but it was still a tool, and one of the buyers walked over and said, “Why isn’t this one on sale?”

And the devil said, “I will never part with that. There isn’t enough money in the world to buy that. It works when nothing else will. If I can only get the little wedge of that tool in a person’s consciousness, the rest is easy. I wouldn’t part with that for all the money in King Solomon’s mines.”

“I notice this hasn’t even a name on it. What’s the name of this tool?”

The devil said, “Discouragement.”

--------------------------------

I told that story in the Assembly Hall at the first general conference I had to speak in after I was called to the Relief Society General Board, and it had such an effect on Mary Grant Judd that she told it to her father, President Heber J. Grant. This was during the time that pres. Grant was ill; and many times after that, Mary told me, when her father was discouraged and down he’d call her to his bedside and say, ‘Mary, I want you to tell me Sister Andrew’s story once again.”

And she said, “Sister Andrew, you have no idea how that affected him. That seemed sometimes to be the only thing that cheered him up a bit when he got helpless and couldn’t do anything.”

Mary Ethel Bean Andrew
– Through the Years –

(Heber J. Grant came to Grampy's mission in Germany. Grampy shot this picture as the prophet departed.)

I shared this with a few friends tonight. One shared the truth that "discouragement is paralyzing". How true. For when we feel it, our faith is broken down and we let the doubt/fears/disbelief creep in. We loose trust and perspective. It is one of Satan's most powerful tools. A selfish being could/would not give up or sell his one favorite device... a device that if allowed to creep in could bring about other harmful D's--despair, depression, doom, disbelief, doubt, darkness, destruction, death(spiritual), disaster.

Thank goodness for the "light" of the gospel/Jesus Christ which brings the happy D's: dedication, direction, determination, discipline, diligence, deliverance, day-light, dawn--into our lives!

Great lesson for me.

THE LINE

Grammy always used to tell tell me about "The Line". It was a tool that she used in her life to help her discover when her mood/attitude was in a place where the spirit could be her constant companion.

Often when we are trying to live right, we know when we have offended the spirit.

Grammy always used to say there is a line in our life. If we dip below the line we are in the negative feelings--these feelings leave us void of having the constant companionship of the spirit. It's okay to dip below the line, we just need to recognize when we do and have a game plan for how to get back above the line.

Grammy was masterful with music and she combined, I think, three different songs to use as her "game plan". When she found herself below the line she would sing 30 secs of these songs and with in moments she would find herself back above the line.

When I find I am below the line I will sing a hymn, read the scriptures, pray, or try to serve. As soon as I do, I find that I have faith and the "Goliath" I am facing is bare-able/do-able. It is above the line when the spirit is our constant guide. I find answers to prayers. And hope.

Brytt used to teach people on the mission about the line. He would come and find families who had put a string up on their wall and had sticky notes reflecting when they felt the spirit above the line, and then other sticky notes marking when they didn't feel the spirit--these sticky notes were below the line.

So when we given into "negative" moments/thoughts/actions in our lives, we must recognize that the spirit can not dwell with us and we must quickly make the changes to get back above the line. I know there are so many more feelings/emotions that can go above or below the line. If we will keep our Father in Heaven close, we need not dwell or live our lives below the line! We can live in the positive! We can find hope. We can have faith!