Friday, November 29, 2013

it's a psalm from the book

I'm at home today (alone, because my family went to Kansas for the holiday) and thought I'd clean out my cubby, which has yielded quite the treasures. (I think for the white elephant I have to do next week I'll give them apple cider lip gloss and radish seeds. Though there is a $10 iTunes gift card in here too.)

Since I'm right by the computer I thought I'd turn on the tunes, and shuffle has been very fun for me. I mean, there are some songs I've never heard of before. And then there's this one, which brings up all sorts of memories:
Why Don't You & I (feat. Chad Kroeger) by Santana on Grooveshark
This song was featured one of my mom's very first "mixes" (we have a few now). I remember being in the car with her and my aunt She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named as they justified listening to popular music for the first time in their lives.

"It's basically doctrinal, this part where they sing 'Why don't you and I fly to the moon and straight on to heaven, because without you they're never going to let me in', it's a good song!"

And so while I rarely choose to listen to the song, I always have a happy memory of how full of doctrine the song is. And if I said I didn't like it then you know I lied.

Monday, November 25, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 17]

In Ether we learn the story of the Jaredites. In Ether 2, the brother of Jared brings to the Lord three concerns about crossing the ocean in the boats they have built. In verse 19:

And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish.
 The brother of Jared wants to know: 1) How to steer; 2) How to breathe; 3) If they are to travel in darkness. The Lord gives three types of answers to this prayer. I'm choosing to analogize them to modern-day situations that may apply, but there are many different prayers that the Lord chooses to answer the following ways:

1) To Steer:
24 For behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth.   
25 And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come.
 Here the Lord says, "I will take care of it. No need to worry."

This is not unlike when we pray for others; for example, the recent prayers that went up for the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. There's nothing we can do about it, but as we pray we put our trust in the Lord that He will take care of what we ask.

2) To Breathe:
20 And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood.
 21 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did so, according as the Lord had commanded.
 Here the Lord says, "This is what you should do." And the brother of Jared does it.

The most immediate example I thought of for this type of prayer was the ones we send when we are in danger or need immediate guidance to move forward. The Lord tells us what to do, and it's up to us to do it.

3) To Have Light:
Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?
Here the Lord says, "What do you want me to do?" or alternatively, "What do you want to do?"

Often when we are making decisions we want the Lord to tell us what to do like He would when guiding us to safety, but usually His response is to wait for us to decide, then He will help us. This lets us exercise our agency, and come up with solutions to problems. Generally I think most of us would prefer to just be told what to do, but that doesn't help us grow.

Because the brother of Jared exercised his agency and faith to come up with a solution, he had a marvelous experience with the Lord. Maybe that's what's waiting for us when it seems like an answer to prayer isn't forthcoming.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

and the words, they're everything [02]

I've done really great lately not going back to that website and generating more silly statuses. But I still want to share some of them with you! (Sorry about how small and fuzzy they are. I can't get them to fit on my blog otherwise. You can always click on them to expand.)

Here's a great one to start out with:

As you can see from the hashtag, I'd just started spamming Twitter again with this gem. This tweet actually says an awful lot about me (I sing along with the house all the time, not even joking).

Here are a few more "About Me" statements:

And to finish off the post, how about a little more about the house, this time with a poetical twist?

Part 1
Part 3

Monday, November 18, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 16]

At stake conference we discussed the parable of the loaves and fishes. You know the story: there's a great multitude listening to Jesus, and He can tell that they are hungry. He asks what food is available: five loaves and two fishes. From that, Jesus feeds the multitude.

The point was brought up: Christ could have performed that miracle with only three loaves and one fish, yet He took it all.

He asks us to give what we have, and He will consecrate our offering and give us more power than we could have realized. He doesn't want only a part. We need to give our two mites, our five loaves and two fishes, our whole heart, our very best, and in return He will give us everything.

Friday, November 15, 2013

and the words, they're everything [01]

My sister and I had a lot of fun yesterday generating mash-up Facebook statuses from I tweeted all of mine to only bug my Twitter followers and not my Facebook friends.

But I only have 5 followers on Twitter, and two of them never even see my tweets (which is great for passive-aggressive tweeting not that I do that) and since I think these #wwis statuses are so hilarious I am going to post my favorites to the blog.

Which has 6 followers. So I'm really expanding.

I tweeted over 50 (and every time I go to the site I get more to record), but I'm trying to pare down for you guys because even I know I'm not that funny.

But I do think this is pretty hilarious:

Some of the statuses are (if I may say so) improved by my hashtags, which is why I screen captured them for you.

Here are some surprisingly apt statements about my work:


I have lots more, but I don't want to use up all my fun at once, so I'll be back later!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

the conversation turns

For some reason, this morning I remembered how much I hate the "complimentary/complementary" mix-up. I'm going to post about it on the off-chance it will let me forget about it, and if I'm very lucky it will also help some of you mend your ways.

(Actually I think most of my followers already know the difference, so I am preaching to the choir. You guys really sing in tune! (I can be complimentary))

When you use the word "compliment" or "complimentary" you are referring to someone saying a nice thing to someone else. "Cute hair today! Wow I'm really impressed by your skills on the Wii.* I like your face."

When you use the word "complement" or "complementary" you are referring to the way two things fit together. (Right now I can only think of "complementary colors" and "complementary bases", which do each fit together quite well.)

So when you are talking about your one true love on the Facebook, and say passionately, "We really compliment each other!" I know you are probably speaking true because new lovers often compliment each other. "Ah, how your eyes speak to my soul. Look at you, hottie." That sort of thing.

But what you probably meant was that you "complement each other" because you feel complete with the other. You fit together well. It's very important for lovers to feel that way too.

The point I'm trying to make is that good relationships should be both complimentary and complementary.

But DNA and colors are never complimentary. Because they don't have enough sentience to form nice thoughts about their complements.

If they did it might be like this:
I have long loved this image. It's such a play on words that only people like me that are uptight about complimentary bases can truly appreciate.
I plead with you to pay more attention to your compliments to be sure you are not meant to be complementing instead. Alternatively, don't complement people when all you mean to do is compliment them (seeing that error more and more lately).

And that's all I have to say about that.

*Edit, next day: I just realized that I forgot to follow-up on my asterisk! I was just going to say that my roommates and I have been playing the Wii lately and no one has ever had occasion to say that to me. Nor are they likely to anytime soon. But at least we're having fun.

Monday, November 11, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 15]

We were blessed with really beautiful weather surprisingly late into the fall this year. The golden sunshine of autumn days is lovely to behold.

Outside the balcony of my apartment is the most beautiful tree ever. I spent some time a few days ago just staring at the red, orange, yellow, and green leaves as they rustled in the wind, and let the peace of nature sink into me.

It reminded me, actually, of the Relief Society activity our stake had. We sang "Beautiful Savior" and these lyrics stuck out to me:

Fair are the meadows, fairer the woodlands robed in the flowers of blooming spring
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer, He makes the sorrowing spirit sing

I'd never thought before how it could be possible that in that second line, the later phrase is correlated to the first: Because of Jesus' fairness and purity, He makes the sorrowing spirit sing. His fairness and purity like unto the fairness and purity of nature, perhaps?

Doesn't being surrounded by the beauties of a mountain trail or a quiet meadow soothe your troubled heart? The Lord created such wonders for our benefit, and all creations bear His signature. I had the thought as we sang that perhaps nature makes us feel so peaceful is because of His peace.

I've read many books over the years that say things like "Nature is God's cathedral, so I do my churchin' out there." It is easy to find God in nature, especially if you're looking. But I think one of the reasons we go to church each week is to learn to truly rely on Jesus, to find His fairness and purity and let Him make our spirits sing.

Another thought I had was that as we become more fair and pure, with more inner beauty, we are empowered to help others' sorrowing spirits. The more the light of Christ shines through us, the more beautiful we become and the more people want to be around us because, as in nature, they feel peace in our presence.

So I've been pondering on what small things I can do to enhance my inner beauty. Not because I want more people to think I'm beautiful (lots of people already think I'm beautiful), but because I'm finally seeing the connection between inner beauty and the ability to truly help people.

Monday, November 4, 2013

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 14]

In sort of a continuation from last week's post, we should not only wait in patience for an answer to prayer but be engaged in our lives. The Lord does not want to do all the work when part of the point is to make us better.

Here is an expanded quote from the graphic above:

We must not imagine that any kind of prayer, no matter how sincere, will be very effective if all we do is to say the prayer. We must not only say our prayers; we must also live them. The Lord is much more pleased with the person who prays and then goes to work than with the person who only prays. Much like medicine, prayer works only when we use it as directed.

When I say that prayer is a sweet privilege, it is not just because I am grateful to be able to talk to Heavenly Father and to feel His Spirit when I pray. It is also because He actually answers and speaks to us. Of course, the way He speaks to us is usually not with a voice we hear. President Boyd K. Packer explained: “That sweet, quiet voice of inspiration comes more as a feeling than it does as a sound. Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind. … This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings through promptings and impressions” (“Prayer and Promptings,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2009, 44).

Sometimes we seem to get no answer to our sincere and striving prayers. It takes faith to remember that the Lord answers in His time and in His way so as to best bless us. Or, on further reflection, we will often realize that we already know full well what we should do.
(J. Devn Cornish, "The Privilege of Prayer," in Ensign and Liahona, Nov 2011, 101)
There's a lot to remember when looking for an answer to prayer! Don't forget to take joy in it, make it a true "sweet hour of prayer" (even though it doesn't have to take an hour, it should still be sweet).