It is all about the journey….

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

Windows of Heaven

windows of heavenOn Monday evening it was my turn to teach our family night. I wondered what aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ would be the most meaningful for our family. I thought about the many things He taught, his example and the stories that make these things real, yet nothing stuck out to me. Then ever so quietly I felt that I should teach about tithing.

In Malachi Chapter 3 we read…

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may bemeat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

As the Lord commanded the children of Israel to pay their tithing, He offered them countless blessings for doing so. I have always looked at these blessings and wondered how they are truly manifested in my life.

I asked our little family why they choose to pay tithing (1/10 of our increase). Their answers were as follows:

  • It is a commandment
  • Habit
  • It is an important principle of the Gospel
  • To be worthy to receive the blessings that are promised

As I thought about everything that has taken place in our lives over the past couple of years, my reasons have changed as much as our lives. I have come to the place in my heart that I pay tithing out of gratitude for all that He has given us. I know that everything we have received has come from His goodness. I know that without this we would be lost.

The blessings have been innumerable in our lives. I had often thought that the ‘windows of heaven’ was more money, in that I was very short-sighted. As we talked, I learned that blessings that have come from our windows have been deeper than money. We have become so close as a family, it is a relationship that I cherish beyond everything else. My knowledge of the Love of God has grown…He has never left us alone. I have found deeper strength…a strength I never knew I had. I have found courage to face the ‘lions’ that threaten to take me down. I have found faith to take the next step into the darkness, especially on a path that leads me somewhere new.

The blessings that have poured out have been incredible and very personal. He has done just as He promised, for the ‘devourer’ has been rebuked time and time again. We have been taught what is most important and to always trust in Him. These are blessings that will last longer than any possession. For that we are blessed beyond measure.

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I Am His

I Am HisI read a scripture a few days ago that has penetrated my heart and brought a deeper knowledge of the love Jesus Christ has for me…

“Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine.” (Mosiah 26:18)

…they are mine….

As I read that verse, I thought about the husband and children I have been blessed with. They are mine and I love them with such a profound love that grows daily.

I thought about how that translates into the love my Savior has for me. He blesses my life daily through the power of His life, gospel and Atonement.

As I have struggled with growth for the past couple of years, it is evident how much He has been involved in feeding me the daily bread I have required. There have been days that He has had to lift my chin and feed me by hand. There have been days that He has left a little bit here and a little bit there for me to find and replenish my heart. There have been days that He has allowed me to share what I have to feed another.

I am astounded often times that I am that important to Him, and yet it makes sense. He bought me for a price…and He knows I am worth everything He gave for me. It is up to me to remember this, because as He said,

“I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:16)

I have always loved this scripture. I has shown me that I am His…He is there to lift me, strengthen me, guide me and comfort me when I am faced with the challenges that this life throws at me. Every time I have been faced with something that felt too heavy to bear, He has lifted me….I just needed to look for Him.

On days that seem eternal, heavy and overwhelming, I will remember….

I am His.

Then I will overcome.

Daviding My Goliaths

The StoneThe story of David and Goliath is one of the most inspiring stories in the Bible. One day in Switzerland many years ago my heart was overwhelmed with the many tasks that faced me. I was in a foreign country, learning a new language, teaching people about Jesus Christ and I had little or no access to my family. It was all very big.

As I turned to the scriptures for study, comfort and guidance, I was led to this story….

And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. (Sources say he was over 9 feet tall)

And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.

And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.

And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.

And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. (1 Samuel 17:4-9)

For forty days this Philistine challenged the armies of Israel. I am sure it felt like an eternity as they shrunk in fear before this terrifying opponent.

After forty days came one, who was not supposed to be able to fight this giant, let alone win. David came to the camp to bring food for his brothers. When he heard the challenge he was angry that one would come and challenge the armies of his God. He volunteered to be the one to fight the giant.

Going before the king he was told that he would not be able to defeat this man, because he was too young and he was not proven in battle. Yet David was inspired by a past, a past that had given him strength and success:

Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. (1 Samuel 17:36-37)

He carefully chose the weapons he had proven in his battles….his staff, five smooth stones chosen carefully from the brook, his sling and, most importantly, his faith in the living God. He faced the giant with faith, confidence and courage.

And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

And the Philistine said to David, come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.

And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. (1 Samuel 17:43-49)

David then victoriously took the giant’s head. The underdog had won the fight.

The Goliaths I have faced, that we all face in life look a lot different from a 9 foot behemoth, yet they are no less daunting. They seem to hand selected for us to face.

I am learning that the best way to David my Goliaths is to do what he did….look back to see how Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have shown me skills and strengths that I need. I must select my personal weapons that I have proven to give me the abilities I need to win. I need to seek and accept Their help.

I have found great strength in my life as I have relied on the Living God to give me what I need. I have been terrified beyond capacity on many occasions, and He has stepped in and steadied my heart. I have been shown there are truly times when I don’t know what to do, where to find the answers I seek and He is there.

Finding Strength

Today I am staring down the barrel of two projects that need to be done. I am not quite sure how to start either one of them…file000147507546

As I wait for the creative lightning to strike, I try to sort through the thoughts running around in my mind. One of the projects is centered around developing a talk about the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. The other is a paper about finding strength. I feel as though I have a vortex in my mind mixing the two up and creating little hybrids. (more…)

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