Monday, January 23, 2012

Learn A New Language?

I have a confession to make: I only know just enough French to pretend that I know what I am talking about. Put me with someone who actually does speak the lingo, and I get exposed pretty dang quickly. Sure, I can get the gist of what someone says, I can tell you a short story involving what a cat is doing, and I can even sing you a song or two... but no, I don't actually speak it.

Je Te Plumerai!

By that same token, does it make sense to say that prayer is a language all of its own?

Sure, maybe you can speak a few words of it to fool someone else into thinking you know what you're doing... Sure, perhaps you can understand a few of the concepts you receive back through your communication with God... But can you speak it fluently? Can you really carry on that conversation with God?

I have realized with my experience of trying to learn French, that you get pretty frustrated rather quickly if you don't pick it up as quickly as you would like. It takes practice and a desire to make it happen, and often times quite simply it takes TIME. If it doesn't work the first time, that doesn't mean you should drop it and give up trying to learn it anymore than it makes sense to give up learning a new language at first.

Don't Give Up!
As we take little steps to draw nigh unto God, He will draw nigh unto us. As we grow in our understanding and ability to communicate through the sacred language of prayer, He will help us as we progress and grow in our fluency. Slowly but surely, we can expand our understanding of all things. As we visit with God more and more, we can all experience that spiritually fulfilling peace that comes with Prayer.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Two Different Things In Common

I had the opportunity to attend a good friend of mines funeral not too long ago. He served as a Deacon in his Primitive Baptist home church of 70+ years, served on the district Sunday school board, and most importantly was a family man and man of God in word, conversation, charity, spirit, faith, and purity.

It was the first time I have been to such a funeral.

As I sat in the far back, I reflected on the short time I have been blessed to have known such a wonderful man. He, like many others who have walked this earth, was just a person... but people are all we have in this world. Someone mentioned the word reflection in their words of comfort, and it made me think of the reflection pool at Temple Square in Utah.

My family and I visited it not so very long ago, and of course a small company of boys love to throw anything they possibly can into a pool of water, even if just to see the reflection shimmer and wave. I noticed that even the tiniest of ripples that started in the very center would make their way towards the outside edge.

As I looked around at this funeral, I saw all those who had come to pay their respects to this man, and it made me think... Each of our lives are like pebbles being tossed into a reflection pool. All of us make ripples, even simply being here has far reaching effects, many of which we cannot see. The choices we make determine how widespread our ripples are, and to what outcome, for good or for bad. This man set a good example, a life full of positive and Christlike ripples.

 As you study the life of Christ, you grow a sense of wonder at the mighty miracles and compassion the Savior showed unto those around Him. You recognize that he took time for the individual, being full of patience and love, serving and blessing the downtrodden and the afflicted. Though many of the recipients of Jesus' miracles go unnamed, I imagine that it meant the world to them. Something that was small and easily within Christs power meant everything to the blind, the deaf, the dumb, and the lame who he ministered unto.

Do we not have a similar opportunity to serve? Are there those around us who we can be a blessing to? How many are just within reach that we might uplift and ease the burdens of?
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
My only question is this: Are going to toss that pebble, or are you gonna keep it to yourself?