Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Knowing, doing, and being

I pray that the Lord will bless us throughout our lives as we strive to progress in all three areas of knowing, doing, and being. I pray that we will be diligent and do our very best, but I also pray that we will be patient as we improve line upon line, learning upon learning, repentance upon repentance, onward and upward, with the Lord trying us and proving us as we go.
At times we will learn first and be tried later; at other times the Lord will try us first and then teach us from the trials. But in spite of the sequence, I pray that we will move forward with faith in and love for the Lord—even while not knowing beforehand what lies ahead. Later in life we'll be able to look back on the what of our lives and understand the why. If we have been true and faithful, these backward glances will reveal to us a clear path of progress toward perfection guided by an all-wise, patient, and loving Heavenly Father. I testify that He lives, that His Son Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and that They know and love each one of us beyond our present capacity to comprehend. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 
 William Baker
This is just plain pretty. That is all. www.queenofsnowglobes.com

Rain of Blessings

"Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us, but it is our fear, doubt, and sin that, like an umbrella, 
block these blessings from reaching us."  

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Your Heavenly Father has high aspirations for you, but your divine origin alone does not guarantee you a divine inheritance. 
God sent you here to prepare for a future greater 
than anything you can imagine." 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you, if only you will believe, obey and endure." 

@bleubirdvintage I love colorful umbrellas, and this one is so lovely. Makes me want a rainy day to use it...or sun :)



The war over our souls



Hope draws us forward

Never let someone else's negative opinion of you become your reality. "Considering our own individual worth, we must remember that we have been bought with a price, a price that only Christ can redeem. Let us never forget that He has 'graven us upon the palms of His hands'. It is in turning to the Savior and placing our trust in His redeeming love that we can realize our true worth because of the price He paid in our behalf." 
Ardeth G. Kapp

"The tempest is raging, the billows are tossing high. In every stage and every age we have an opportunity to declare our position, whether we will miss the boat or be on board safely with the Master at the helm. If we choose to come unto Christ, he promises peace… even in times of storm. Obedience to the commandments of God assures our safe travel." 
Ardeth G. Kapp

Hope is much more than wishful thinking. Hope draws us forward with a sense of optimism and anticipation, giving us an enduring perspective to envision the light at the end of the tunnel leading to our ultimate destination, our eternal home." 
Ardeth G. Kapp

Some of the best days of your life

 haven't  happened yet!

Russia, the meteor "cloud" / Russia , la "nuvola" del meteorite del 15 febbraio #buongiornio


Friday, December 26, 2014

God runs where we scarcely limp

... it is not right to go back and open up some ancient wound that the Son of God Himself died trying to heal..."
Jeffery R Holland



The prodigal son was resolved to come, yet he was half afraid. But we read that his father ran. Slow are the steps of repentance but swift are the feet of forgiveness. God can run where we can scarcely limp. And if we are limping toward him, he will run toward us. Though the father was out of breath, he was not out of love.  
Charles Surgeon

Because we are eternal beings. Endings are merely interruptions, a temporary pause in our eternal progression, which will one day seem small in the eternal joy waiting for us. 
Dieter F. Uchdorf

John 20:3–18, Mary hears Christ while looking for Him at the tomb

Tender Mercies

"His mercy is the mighty healer, even to the wounded innocent." 

"You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out 'No one understands. No one knows.' No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor--literally run to us--and strengthen us."
David A Bednar


"Gratitude can turn trials into blessings. It takes effort to exercise gratitude and have an optimistic approach to life. Yet the Lord truly blesses us, and His tender mercies should not go unnoticed or unappreciated."
David L. Beck


John 6:25–71, Jesus teaches about everlasting life



Master Healer

God's love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked. 
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

We must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord's way.  
Dieter F. Uchtdorf


"The one who had the power to calm the elements of earth has power to calm our souls"  Robert D Hales


"In the most difficult circumstances of life, there is often only one source of peace... The Prince of Peace." 
Donald L. Hallstrom

"Satan tries to limit your praying because he knows your praying will limit him."

"Only the Master knows the depths of our trials. He alone offers us eternal peace in that time of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls."  Thomas S. Monson

"Thanks to Him, no condition is hopeless. Thanks to Him, brighter days are ahead, both here and hereafter. Real joy awaits each of us—on the other side of sorrow. I testify that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ—the Master Healer—in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen."
Russell M. Nelson


John 9:1–41, A previously blind man hugging Christ after he is healed

“sweet is the peace the gospel brings”

"The death of a child is especially poignant, or that of a young person, or of a needed father or mother. We do miss those who die. No matter how many friends or family members one has, the loss of one beloved person is difficult. One great difference for us is our added knowledge that death is not permanent, that families can be forever. The understanding we have of the reality of the Resurrection makes the waiting endurable and purposeful. Indeed, "sweet is the peace the gospel brings"
 Joy F. Evans

Tears are alright. They are the price we pay for love, care, and compassion in the world. One day God will, in great victory, "wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away." One day our calamities will be overpast.    
Jeffrey R. Holland, 

"Each of us will have those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come." 

Joseph B. Wirthlin

We are never prepared for the loss of a loved one, but God is always prepared to help us through that loss. May his presence begin the healing in your heart & soul, & may his love surround you with the comfort only he can give.

"To most, there is something sinister and mysterious about this unwelcome visitor called death. Perhaps it is a fear of the unknown which causes many to dread its coming. The Savior's words to the grieving Martha and to His disciples today bring comfort to us: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."  
Thomas S. Monson

.AMEN and AMEN


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thanks to His love

"Love is intended to last longer than time, to span the veil of death and continue everlastingly."
 Robert L. Millet 

"Thanks to His love, it is possible to change. It is possible to leave our weaknesses behind, it is possible to reject the evil influences in our lives, control our anger, become meek, and develop the attributes of the Savior."  
Ulisses Soares


"Now, God knows our innermost thoughts and feelings even better than we do, but as we learn to share them with Him, we make it possible for His Spirit to enter our souls and teach us more about our own selves and about the nature of God. By making ourselves totally honest, open, and submissive before God, our hearts become more receptive to 
His counsel and His will." 
Bruce D. Porter

"Cheerfulness is a conscious choice. Of course, no one is cheerful every waking moment of every day. But think how wonderful life would be if we could just try to be a little more cheerful in our interactions with others. The more good cheer is spent, the more it remains."  
Lloyd D. Newell



As we act in faith

"Let us remember too that the further out of line or out of tune we ourselves are, the more we are inclined to look for error or weaknesses in others and to try to rationalize and justify our own faults rather than to try to improve ourselves." 
N. Eldon Tanner

"Christ's example and instructions to us are clear. 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you'. What is our response when we are offended, misunderstood, unfairly or unkindly treated, or sinned against, made an offender for a word, falsely accused, passed over; hurt by those we love, our offerings rejected? The answer may well determine the quality of our lives."
Marion D. Hanks

'As we act in faith, we often find that the blessings 
from the Lord are different than we expected 
but much better than we imagined.' 
Neil L. Andersen

"My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night.  But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends---it gives a lovely light."  Edna St. Vincent Millay


He wants us in our brokenness......patiently right beside us

I have learned the the Lord's "no's" are merely 
preludes to an even greater "yes". 
 Patricia Holland

"We must have the courage to be imperfect while striving for perfection." 
Patricia  Holland

"Life isn't a race but a journey. God isn't waiting, tapping His foot, glancing at His stopwatch. In fact, far from waiting at the finishing line, He's there, lovingly, patiently right beside us, with our greatest interest at heart encouraging us and sometimes even lifting us over rough spots." 
Chieko N. Okazaki

There will be a pouring forth of blessings that directly heal and repay for every individual pain and sacrifice you are experiencing.  
Patricia Holland

"Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. 
He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. 

He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief."   
Chieko N. Okazaki







Man may be

"As man now is, God once was, as God is now, man may be."    
 Lorenzo Snow



"Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today."

Lorenzo Snow


Funeral Potatoes




Funeral Potatoes
A Bountiful Kitchen

12 large Russett potatoes, boiled, then peeled and grated or
1 large  24-32oz package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup  melted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
Topping options:
1 cup Panko Crumbs or 2 cups crushed Corn Flakes + 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
1/2 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in middle of oven.
Place butter, chopped onions, salt and pepper in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook just until onions are softened. Place soup, sour cream, 2 cups of the grated cheese in a large bowl. 
Pour the cooked onion/butter mixture over the soup mixture in the bowl. Mix well. 
Add grated potatoes.  Fold ingredients together. 
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 greased pan. 
If using topping, spread the Panko or cornflake mixture or additional 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the casserole and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and golden on top. 
Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
About 16  side dish servings.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Konner's Christmas lights


Hi Susan,
I thought you might like this video on youtube.  This was taken place in Pocatello at my brother and sister in-laws ward. They have two children with muscular dystrophy and Conner the older one is in the advanced stages and doesn't have much time to live.  This story touched my heart deeply.  

Take care and God bless you!
Hollie

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW!!!!!


Thy Holy Face

Radiant Beams from Thy Holy Face
Radiant Beams from Thy Holy Face


 

The Divine Shepherd

“The most amazing thing about the Christmas story is its relevance. It is at home in every age and fits into every mood of life. It is not simply a lovely tale once told, but eternally contemporary. It is the voice crying out in every wilderness. It is as meaningful in our time as in that long-ago night when shepherds followed the light of the star to the manger of Bethlehem”
Howard W. Hunter
“At this Christmas season, let us take time to ponder the significance of the birth, the life, and the death of the Savior of the world. Of all the pronouncements in sacred or profane literature, the announcement of the angel to the shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night was highly significant”
James E. Faust
“Did these shepherds, personally invited to undertake a search for the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, concern themselves with the security of their possessions? Did they procrastinate their search for Christ? The record affirms that the shepherds said to one another,
 “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem. … And they came with haste
In Shepherds’ Field
by Annie Tintle
As I thought about the place where the Savior was born,
I began to understand His role as the Shepherd of mankind.02212_000_008
While attending Brigham Young University, I studied in Jerusalem with approximately 170 students during the fall of 1998. As the Christmas season approached,
we began to focus our studies and field trips around the birth of the Savior.
It was cool and windy the evening that 40 of us pulled up to our last and most anticipated stop for the day. Tradition held that Shepherds’ Field, located just outside of Bethlehem, was the place where the ancient shepherds sat watching sheep on the night of the Savior’s birth,
never anticipating what would soon be proclaimed to them.
The field was nothing like I had imagined. I saw a terraced hill with hardly any greenery. We walked down a rocky path, and each of us found a quiet place to sit and write in our journals. I finally found a large rock to sit on. It was cold, uncomfortable, and surrounded by thorns.
When we were told we would be able to see the local shepherds and their sheep, I wasn’t prepared to see children in rags. But even though they were dressed in worn, secondhand clothing, their eyes were bright. Open-palmed, they approached our group’s chaperone. After asking the children their names, she gave each one a few shekels. One of the children carried a newborn lamb. He approached me and offered to let me hold it.
As I took the warm baby lamb in my arms, I began to see the situation differently.
The Savior knew about the life of a shepherd. He knew about the cold nights, rocky trails, and danger of thieves and predators. He knew shepherds sometimes held the baby lambs in their arms,
standing watch while waiting for the darkness to pass.
While the Wise Men were able to bring the Christ child gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the shepherds could offer little in the way of material gifts. Their sacrifice was simply in coming to offer humble hearts and joyful spirits in partaking in the celebration of their infant Lord.
The Savior has brought the gift of joy to our cold and dreary world. He has promised to stand watch through the long, dark night, despite the terrors and hardships this life can bring.
He knows us, His sheep. He is our Shepherd.
That night, for the first time, I began to understand the promise in the gift of our Savior.

“The Divine Shepherd has a message of hope, strength, and deliverance for all. If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet. There is a divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day.

They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless.”

James E. Faust

I love my Mama so very much


I hurried into the local department store to grab some last minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself. I would be in here forever and I just had so much to do. Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished that I could just sleep through Christmas. But I hurried the best I could through all the people to the toy department. Once again I kind of mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys. And wondered if the grandkids would even play with them. I found myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy about 5 holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I could not seem to help myself.
I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for.
I watched him turn to a woman and he called his aunt by name and said,
"Are you sure I don't have enough money"
She replied a bit impatiently, "You know that you don't have enough money for it." The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes.
And then she left the aisle.
The boy continued to hold the doll. After a bit I asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, "It is the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it."
I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He said
"No, Santa can't go where my sister is...I have to give the doll to my Mamma to take to her."
I asked him where his sister was. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said
"She has gone to be with Jesus."
My Daddy says that Mama is going to have to go be with her. My heart nearly stopped beating.
Then the boy looked at me again and said,
"I told my Daddy to tell Mama not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store."
Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to.
He pulled out some pictures he'd had taken at the front of the store. He said
"I want my Mamma to take this with her so she don't ever forget me. I love my Mama so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me. But Daddy says she will need to be with my sister."
I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking I reached into my purse and pulled out a handful of bills. I asked the little boy,
"Shall we count that money one more time?"
He grew excited and said. "Yes, I just know it has to be enough"
So I slipped my money in with his and we began to count it. Of course it was plenty for the doll. He softly said,
"Thank you Jesus for giving me enough money."
Then the boy said
"I just asked Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll so Mama can take it with her to give to my sister. And he heard my prayer. I wanted to ask him for enough to buy my Mama a white rose, but I didn't ask him, but he gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Mama. She loves white roses so very, very much."

In a few minutes the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier about a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and the Mother was in serious condition. The family was deciding on whether to remove the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story. Two days later I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I could not forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected. Later that day, I could not help myself and I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home where the young woman was. And there she was holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store.
I left there in tears, my life changed forever.
The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. And in a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of that little boy to pieces.

Love was the gift God gave

Santa’s Favorite Story
by Hisako Aoki
One cold day in December a fox was walking in the forest.  As he looked at the snowy trees, he remembered that it would soon be Christmas.  Then he heard something.  He sniffed the air and looked around.
There fast asleep against a tree, was Santa Claus!  He was snoring.  “Oh my goodness!’ thought the fox, “Santa Claus has come early this year.  I’d better go and tell everyone he’s here.” 
So he hurried off to tell all the other animals that lived in the forest.
When they heard the news, the animals hopped and ran and scampered and flew to the tree.  A squirrel chattered excitedly, and Santa Claus slowly stretched, yawned,
and then opened his eyes to see the faces of a dozen little creatures.
“Why are you here?” they asked him.
“Is Christmas going to be early this year?” asked the fox.
“I’m sorry if I’ve worried you, my friends,” said Santa.  “I went for a long hike this morning to get in shape for Christmas Eve, but I guess I walked until I got too tired. 
Maybe all those heavy presents will be too much for me to deliver this year.”
The animals looked alarmed.
“Does that mean there won’t be a Christmas anymore?” asked the fox.
“No, no, no,” said Santa in a kindly voice, “Christmas hasn’t got anything to do with me.  Sit down and I’ll tell you all the story of the first Christmas.”
“It happened long, long ago in a faraway place called Bethlehem.  Some shepherds were watching over their sheep in the fields outside the town.  It was very quiet and still.” “Suddenly a beautiful bright star appeared in the sky.  The shepherds heard a voice saying, ‘Do not be afraid.  I have good news for you all.  Today in the town of Bethlehem, the Christ Child has been born.  God has sent His Son to show what God’s love is like.  Follow the star to his stable.’”
“The shepherds followed the star over hills and through valleys, across bridges and past little villages.”
“All the while the star shone brighter and brighter until at last it stopped above a small stable.  The shepherds and their sheep stopped too, for there in the stable was a baby, lying in the manger. 
 The shepherds knew that this was the Son of God, and they knelt down and prayed.”
“And that is what happened in Bethlehem when the Christ child came.  It’s my favorite story because it reminds me why we are so happy at this time of year.  Love was the gift God gave to us on the first Christmas, and it still is, you know.  And this love is far better than any presents I can ever deliver.”  Santa Claus put his hands in his pockets and looked slowly around the circle of animals with a kind and happy smile upon his face.
“How silly we have been,” said the fox, “to think that Christmas was only about presents.”
“So now you know!” said Santa.  “But come on you’re right that it’s almost Christmas.  Let’s go back to my place and get things ready.”  All the animals followed as Santa Claus ran off toward his house.  He didn’t even look tired any more, because he had remembered how much fun his work was going to be.
The animals stayed at Santa’s house until Christmas Day, and helped him every way they could.  Of course, the reindeer helped by going out with him to deliver the presents the night before.  After a fine Christmas dinner, Santa gave every animal a present.  And as they sat around the fireplace later in the day, they all asked to hear Santa’s favorite story again.  It was a very special Christmas Day for everyone.
Santa was sure that he had the nicest time of all, though,
because he remembered that the best present ever is Christmas itself.

The gift of life eternal

Angels
It didn't begin in a stable and not in Bethlehem.
It started with an angel in Mary's native land.
'Twas in a town called Nazareth Gabriel came to the virgin fair.
Saying, "Blessed art thou among women," Our Father's Son you'll bear.
Then the angel visited the carpenter who Mary intended to wed.
He came to Joseph in a dream as he lay upon his bed.
"Fear not thou son of David," to take Mary for your wife.
The child of God will need you to tend him in this life.
The big day came, Jesus was born In a manger on a pad of hay.
The angels sang to herald the King on the very first Christmas day.
Then off to spread the happy news to shepherds attending their lambs.
The angel chimed, "Glad tidings I bring" and goodwill to all the land.
The frightened shepherds found comfort in the angelic heavenly chorus.
They sang of peace and joy and a babe who would someday come before us.
Herod sent his wisest men to find the infant King.
So off from the east they followed the star, and precious gifts did bring.
As they departed, an angel told of Herod's wicked plan.
He didn't want to worship the child, but destroy the Son of Man.
Joseph heeded the angel's words, and to Egypt they did flee.
Then listened again when Herod died, and returned to Galilee.
Many years before Christ's birth another prophet was told.
An angel talked to Samuel, a Lamanite of old.
Who were these herald angels chosen by God above?
What valiant servants they must have been to bring us his message of love.
“For a few moments, may we set aside the catalogs of Christmas, with their gifts of exotic description. Let’s even turn from the flowers for Mother, the special tie for Father, the cute doll, the train that whistles, the long-awaited bicycle…and direct our thoughts to those God-given gifts that endure. I have chosen from a long list just four:  1. The gift of birth.  2. The gift of peace.  3. The gift of love.  4. The gift of life eternal.”
Thomas S. Monson

Peace can come to both the giver and the receiver as we follow the promptings of the Spirit to serve one another.”
Barbara W. Winder

“Don’t concentrate on what you don’t have or have lost. The Lord promised the obedient to share all that He possesses with them. You may temporarily lack here, but in the next life, if you prove yourself worthy by living valiantly, a fulness will be your blessing.”
Richard G. Scott

“…nothing penetrates the human heart as does a personal, fervent prayer and its heaven-sent response.”
Thomas S. Monson

“Not many years hence, Christ will come again. He will come in power and might as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And ultimately every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.”
Ezra Taft Benson


"Come Follow Me," was His only plea

by Debra Coe
 
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
With thoughts of St. Nicholas and what he'd bring there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds
Without a moment of bowing their heads.
The scriptures were thrown on the shelves without care.
Little hope of remembering the precious words there.
And I with the tinsel and Ma with the lights
Had prepared for Christmas with no thoughts of Christ.
We had snowmen and elves and of course Santa Claus.
We thought we had decorated without any flaws.
For weeks we'd prepared with lots of traditions,
Cards of course and so much work in the kitchen.
We'd been to parties galore all dressed up in frills
And spent hours at stores to get the best deals.
The lights on the house were all flashing with fun
Lots of presents under the tree; we thought we were done.
We thought not of the needy, nor help to a stranger,
We thought not of the poor, and not of a manger.
No angels were singing in our house that night
We hadn't invited them so none were in sight.
The real spirit of Christmas was absent as well.
For only Christ's spirit will make our hearts swell.
And I wondered that Christmas how it could be
That the Christmas spirit wasn't stronger in me
Why Christmas didn't seem as it was in the past
Why Christmas just came and went by very fast.
When out of my wondering mind did appear.
Some scriptures I'd learned as a child so dear.
Of a loving kind Father who gave His own Son
God saw all our needs and chose Christ as the one.
Christ has the power to serve us so well
Healing the things that can lead to spiritual jail
I could change if I wanted with eyes that could see
"Come Follow Me," was His only plea.
I decided to change and begged forgiveness please
And asked how to serve Him while down on my knees
Serve others and do it as if unto Him
Was the answer I heard in the sound of a hymn
I rushed from my bed and I got scriptures for all.
So we could start Christmas just right after all.
So Christmas day we planned for the months yet to come
Of people we'd serve and we talked of the fun
Now Angels are singing in our home today
We finally invited them to come our way.
And Christmas is lasting the whole long year through,
With scriptures, prayer and devotion His spirit grew.