Wednesday, July 30, 2008

21 Days: Covenant


I read the beautiful scenario of Jesus washing the disciples' feet prior to the last supper. Tonight I reread the account (John 13). By the end of the day I found that passage of scripture to be so tender and pure it almost made me cry.

The book (21 Days Closer To Christ
) challenged me to write down an experience where I felt the Savior minister to me. I recently did that here. And interestingly, that story also refers to the sacrament.

The book also challenged me to remember. Remember the sacrament, and its prayers. Remember Him always. Think before I act. Make every choice honor his name.

Here I failed woefully. But when I reminded myself, things changed. What I learned was if I fall so short when I'm actually focusing, intent, trying...imagine how I forget to remember when it's NOT my daily focus. What's more, it's often in the falling short that we discover how deeply, how often we NEED him. Remembering needs to be a daily challenge...EVERY day.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Forty Days and Forty Nights

I heard that there are over 40 Questions in the 5th chapter of Alma. (Which, by the way, has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember, because of the powerful use of imagery.) So I looked at the questions to see if I could focus on them one at a time, to ponder for a day — or even a week — at a time. I found a treasure trove.

At first I felt like they should be grouped together. But as I continued to ponder, I began to see how rich each individual question is; how leaving one out could mean I was missing out on some real and necessary insight. I also love the symbol-rich number forty. Forty years of the children of Israel marching in circles in the desert before they could get to the promised land. Forty days and forty nights that the Savior fasted at the beginning of his ministry. And Forty Questions in Alma.

So I'm spending a day at a time, pondering a question at a time, letting my thoughts spill out freely onto the page.

And at the same time I'm considering another unique challenge: The Maker's Diet. It's a 40-day regimen created by a messianic Jew (a Jew who accepts Christ) using all the wisdom contained in both the Old and New testaments regarding the care and feeding of our bodies. And of course I'm incorporating the Word of Wisdom as well. Because revelation didn't end when the Bible ended.

So the Maker's diet will be a little like a 40-day fast. And the 40 Questions will be my own personal journey out of bondage, to the promised land.

Anyone care to join me?

Monday, July 28, 2008

21 Days: Come

In Mark Chapter 1, disciples Simon and Andrew are casting their nets into the water when the Savior spots them on the shore. They are approached by Jesus with an invitation, "Come follow me." It says they straightway left their nets and followed him.

In her book 21 Days Closer To Christ
by Emily Freeman, she asks us to consider what is in our own nets; what hinders us from following Christ that we perhaps need to leave behind?These are my thoughts:

My net is full to the brim with parenting tasks, most of which may ultimately lead me to Christ by caring for my family. But when seen as mere tasks, they can also be a distraction. The same is true of blogging. I feel like my posts are (for the most-part) uplifting soul-searches. Some more than others. But I feel like there is a limit where blogging is no longer a wise use of my time. So I have on my net-list household tasks like cooking and cleaning, not because they aren't important, but because they compete for my time. Then there are bills and money issues. Even though we live essentially debt-free. And they nag and distract. My own discouragement is next, over weight problems, lack of motivation, and feelings of inadequacy that creep in. Then there are the challenges with the children: discipline, defiance, and disorder.

She then asks us to listen for quiet invitations from the Lord to come and see.
Some of mine from today are: Our Family Home Evening: Josh's lesson was great. We were all laughing, and enjoying each other. He asked us to fast for him to be outgoing and make good friends at EFY next week. I also recognized my invitation from Mary Ellen to speak about Scriptures at Sunstone as yet another invitation to come closer to Christ. I feel a need to rededicate myself and ramp up my diligence in preparation for that presentation. And of course my ponderings in Alma 5.