Some people believe in creationism.
Others believe in evolution.
I believe in both. Sort of.
Imagine a large plate of freshly baked cookies set on the table. Say you were a 5-year-old, it’s just before dinner, and those cookies are for your older brother’s birthday party at school tomorrow.
What would you do?
I've heard that each of the 12 days of Christmas have spiritual significance. I don't know what the original partridge in a pear tree signifies, but as I contemplate the true meaning of Christmas, the first day brings to mind passages of scripture that reminds me of that partridge.
One of the articles of my faith states, in part, “we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly…”
Today I gained a deeper understanding of this when I noticed the italics in many verses of the Bible.
Italics are usually used for emphasis, but it seemed odd to have words like "to be" "of" and "to him" in italics. Why should I pay attention to those little words?
Have you ever tried to prove the existence of color to a blind person?
I have a friend who was born blind. One time we were at her house, and she was giving us drinks of water. My 4yro wanted "the green cup."
"This one?" my friend asked.
"No, no, the green one."
"Which one is the green cup?" My friend sighed in frustration.
"That one!" my son said, pointing.
That didn't help.
I quickly described the size and feel of the cup my son wanted, and she finally found the right one.
Believing in Color
The key idea here is that color does in fact exist, even though the blind can't sense it.
To my 4yro, the existence of color was obvious. His eyes told him that cups can be different colors. But to my friend, color had to be a matter of faith. She had to believe that color exists, even though she has never experienced it.
Likewise, the existence of God has to be a matter of faith. Some know how to open their hearts and can feel his presence, but others demand outside "proof" of him. But I can no more prove that God exists than prove to my friend that there are different colors in the world.
That doesn't change the fact that God (and color) is real.
Many who express a profound love of the scriptures often groan when one book in the Bible is mentioned: Isaiah.
Why is Isaiah so hard to understand? Why couldn't he have just said what he meant?
When asked what the greatest commandment is, he answered "Love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength." (Mark 12:30)
You see, we will follow all the other commandments if we just follow this one. So simple, a child could understand, yet so complex it takes a lifetime to perfect its obedience.
We show our love when...
One of the articles of my faith states, “We claim the privilege of worshiping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all the same privilege. Let them worship how where or what they may.”
Today, I would like to explain what this means to me.
"In Memory of Our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, and our [families]"
Like a great man before me, I pray that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.
(Alma 46:12, 16)
Happy Independence Day!
A mom sent her little girl down a busy hallway toward her father.
From the mom’s perspective, it was not far and the goal was clear. But as the little girl walked through a sea of strangers, she nearly broke into tears. People of all shapes and sizes passed her, and none of them looked like her father.
The girl spun around, wanting to run back to the safety of her mom. To her dismay, she had lost sight of everything she knew (though her mom had not lost sight of her).
Suddenly, a familiar face emerged from crowds. Her big brother had come to rescue the little girl. He offered his hand and she took it, trusting him to lead her to their father.
We are like that little girl, seemingly sent adrift in a confusing world. While our heavenly parents and older brother can see the way, you and I are just too spiritually young. That is why God has sent His Son to walk with us and show us how to get back to Him.
In 2007, a famous violinist dressed in plain clothes and stood in a subway station for 43 minutes playing his violin. The impromptu concert featured music that people would pay $100 or more to hear in a concert hall. While several people walked past this beautiful music, only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute. In the violinist’s own words, “…over a thousand people heard me play my violin … But very few actually listened.”
When I read these words in the post script of The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson and Dusan Petricic, I thought of our Savior begging us to really listen, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:15, Luke 8:8, and other similar scriptures).
Then I read the next words of this violinist, “Among those who tried were several children, and I clearly remember them turning their heads, straining to listen while their parents dragged them away, hurrying to get to their destination.”
This is a parable, I said to myself, another scripture coming to mind: “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)
When we hear the sweet music of the Good News – the gospel of Jesus Christ, how do we choose to respond? Do we let it fall into the background of our busy lives, or do we follow the example of children, and stop to make it a central part of our attention?
Once a boy named Zac was told to make Jell-O. He didn't know how to make Jell-O, but he did know how to read.
"Just follow the instructions on the box."
Hours later, the Jell-O was still liquid. "Didn't you follow the instructions?"
"Mostly," Zac replied.
He had decided that since the Jell-O would be going in the fridge anyway, that there was no need to boil the water.
How many of us think we know better than God? Don't we all at one time or another try to shortcut through life, even when we have His Word to tell us the best way to live? How many times do we "skip" the steps we don't understand?
Hours later, the Jell-O was still liquid. When Zac realized his mistake, his ten-year-old heart fell into his toes. "I'm stupid." He said. He thought there was no hope for the ruined Jell-O.
But his mom knew the science of gelatin and understood how to fix it. When Mom was done, the family had perfect Jell-O for the next evening's dessert.
Likewise, we have a loving Father who knows all things. He knows how to take our ruined Jell-O of a life and make it perfect.
All we have to do is put it into His hands.
This is part of the A-Z blogging challenge. For my A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I posts, click on the A-Z Category to the right.
A Modern version of an old Parable
Once upon a time, a celebrity was coming to town. He was going to make an appearance at a Mega Fan party, but if you had your smartphone you could get into the private preview concert. The celeb's manager was going to send out a broadcast text. Show your text to the bouncer, and you're in.
Ten teenagers huddled in a circle, a group of friends who'd been waiting for this day. Each followed the manager's Twitter feed:
"On the interstate. Who's ready to #MegaFan party?"
(87 faves, 23 RTs)
"Getting Closer... @AwesomeCeleb's warming his voice. #MegaFan."
(46 faves, 14 RTs)
Reply: "@CelebManager, @AwesomeCeleb And I'm warming my scream."
And so the night wore on, the tweets and anticipation piling. But some of the ten teens were having problems. Five of them hadn't charged their phones before the event. A few LOW BATTERY lights were already coming on.
Two of them decided to turn off their phones to preserve battery power. Another stopped following the feed, hoping she'd have enough power when the time came. The others figured their phones would last. After all they had 12-hour battery life, right?
Finally, the moment arrived: "Check Your Messages! @AwesomeCeleb is in the house! #MegaFan"
(215 faves, 5 RTs)
A squeal rang through the room as phones sounded everywhere. The ten teens gripped their own smartphones, trying to be the first to retrieve the text.
But, you guessed it, five of those teens didn't have a working phone. Three of them had preserved just enough power to get the text, but not enough to show it to the bouncer. And turning phones back on took FOREVER, anyway.
So, the teens who had charged their phones made it in. A few tried to get their friends in, but the bouncer said, "One phone, one entry."
Now, today we wait for a King much greater than any celeb. He's coming, and his managers are beckoning us to be ready. So I have just one question:
Is your Spiritual Smartphone Fully Charged?
By the way, Perhaps you recognize this tale? But oil lamps are so First Century.
Read the original version here.
Disclaimer: These are my views. My chosen core beliefs. Please, please, do not take this as gospel. Because it’s not.
The purpose of life is to gain eternal happiness.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know. You can stop reading now.
Or not. Because, really, What is Purpose? What is Life? What is Eternal Happiness for that matter?
Consider the sound engineer of a
rock n' roll band.
His job is to make the band sound great. He carries around an iPad and listens. If something in the music is out of balance, he adjusts the switches on his app.
In this crazy rock n' roll world we call Life, we can sometimes get out of balance. Just like a band needs a sound engineer to keep us them sounding great, we need someone to keep our life in balance.
We can't do it ourselves, either. Think what would happen if the lead guitarist doubled as the sound engineer. He's just too close to the music to make informed decisions about keeping the entire band in balance.
I'm not going to take this parable much further, because I think the implications are clear. Find your Sound Engineer and even when you're playing too loud or too soft, your life will always be in balance.
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)