Friday, December 30, 2016

Hello One Little Word 2017

              My word for 2017 is nurture






nur·ture

[ˈnərCHər]



VERB 

care for and encourage the growth or development of: 

"Jarrett was nurtured by his parents in a close-knit family"



NOUN

the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something: 

"the nurture of ethics and integrity"



SYNONYMS
foster, cradle, nourish, sustain, cultivate






A year to learn the best way to to nurture and be nurtured. 

January-

February-

March-

April-
Nurturing my students

May-
Nurturing more mindfulness

June-
Nurturing for the wrong reasons

July-
Nurturing my body

August-
Nurturing the strength within

September- 

This is a contents page to be added to each week. Please come back on Nurturing Mondays to explore with me how the word nurture can impact our lives.




Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Books Read In 2016




Look at a book. A book is the right size to be a book. They're solar-powered. If you drop them, they keep on being a book. You can find your place in microseconds. Books are really good at being books, and no matter what happens, books will survive. 
Douglas Adams



Book List for 2016
   1- Draw Everyday Draw Every by Jennifer Orkin Lewis
   2. A Year Between Friends by Vettese, Maria Alexandra, Barnes, Stephanie Congdon, Wizenberg, Molly
   3. Upstream by Mary Oliver
   4. It's Never To Late To Begin Again by Julia Cameron
   5. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
   6. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
   7. The God Seed by Catherine Thomas
   8. Journey To Munich by Jacqueline Winspear
   9. Light In The Wilderness by Catherine Thomas
  10. Deborah Crombie Mysteries
  11. Into The Magic Shop by Dr. James Doty 

     These are the top eleven which come to mind. Recording the books I've read sounds like a good idea but I get started then forget. Number nine, Light In The Wilderness by Catherine Thomas is one I reread this year. Thomas writes about our spiritual journey through life and in particular about the frontier of the mind. She is a scholar of Ancient Scripture but writes in such a way to invite the most humble learner to yearn for enlightenment. 
   "The mind is there frontier and the tool, and fixing the mind to spiritual awareness and practice is the key to continuing spiritual experience."
  I love books that challenge but find I must take notes to retain the principles I learn. I just finished a workbook for Into The Magic Shop by Dr. James Doty by reclaiming a board book and adding embellishments. I plan on adding elements as I experience more with Dr. Doty's magic tricks. They are not traditional tricks but they worked magic in his life which took him from a poor boy with ailing parents to a Neurosurgeon and entrepreneur. 




Finishing a good book is like leaving a good friend. 

William Feather






 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their thoughts and big ideas.

  

Monday, December 26, 2016

Mindful Monday- A Year of Mindfulness

"The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD."

On this Mindful Monday, the last one of the year, I choose to write about the impact this word has had on my life. I will freely admit that choosing a word for the year sounded silly at first. That is why I picked Ribbistrate in 2015. It was a word no one knew because my friend made it up. The novelty of playing with a completely unknown word made it fun to use it, write about it, and incorporate it into my life. This year in January I felt an urgency to submit to mindfulness. Unpacking the many ways I needed to be more mindful proved so useful. Each month I picked an area in my life that needed my attention starting with my scattered  mind. Meditation was the foundation of my mindfulness training. Learning to sit and let my mind center on my breath, sounds, physical sensations, has become a long term habit. I may not be good at it but I am and will continue to show up to meditate every morning. 

 
Morning meditation makes it easier to catch myself driving without attention, not listening to someone in front of me, or not acknowledging my body's clues that I need to rest.
On Wednesday I will actively plan out a year with a new word. Another word that seems suited to my needs. These words do not just benefit me but extend to my loved ones, students, and friends. 

"This process provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single focus. Just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future."
Mike Ashcroft

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Day 24- Jesus

             " And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS."
                                                   Luke 1:31




 The New Testament was written in Greek, and the name "Jesus" means the same in Greek as the Hebrew name "Joshua". "Joshua" means literally God is salvation. He means that to me. For me personally he has saved me from the guilt of my personal failings, from the things I yet lack in character, from despair and judgement, and from feelings of worthlessness. Writing a little bit about Him everyday has made December a refuge from outward expectations. I desire to build more trust in him and improve my commitment to him so that I am a more faithful disciple.

                  Merry Christmas t0 You All



             





Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Friday, December 23, 2016

Day 23- The Lord

"And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Issac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
                                                  Exodus 6:2-3



      The two renditions of the word, Lord/LORD, have two distinct meanings. The word, Lord, is the English translation of the Hebrew, Adonay, and in the biblical context refers to a person of honor and respect. The word, LORD, is translated from the Hebrew, Yhovah, the English rendition of which is Jehovah. Jehovah is the designation of the Lord, Jesus Christ, who is actually the God of the Old Testament. The word, LORD, is used to avoid the too frequent repetition of the sacred name, Jehovah, which is used only four times in the Old Testament–in Exodus, Psalms and Isaiah. The name used in the Old Testament for God the Father is ‘elohiym, which is actually a plural form, but is used as a singular form to designate God the Father.





"In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem....And I will pour upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem , the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him...
Zechariah 12:8-10





     There is much confusion in the sectarian world over the two terms–most of the Protestant Churches believing that Jehovah refers to God the Father, and that Jesus Christ first appeared on the scene at His mortal birth. However, that confusion is cleared up by two Old Testament scriptures. First, we learn in Exodus 6:2-3 that Jehovah actually represented Himself in early times as God the Father. In Zechariah 12:8-12 the LORD specifically identifies Himself with Jesus Christ, who was crucified. 



I noticed that my electronic scriptures do not capitalize all the letters of LORD. Sometimes you just have to go back to the hardcopy.



Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Day 22- The Great Jehovah

" Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
   Then say the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
   Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was I am."
                                       John 8:56-58

    
   Christ is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and the above scripture indicates that he remembered his covenants and promises made to The House of Israel. His mission as the Savior of the World was in every Old Testament story. Every Old Testament prophet is a type and shadow of Him. The mighty Jehovah condescended from his throne to become a little child in a humble stable.


"His eyes were as a flame; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:
   I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. 
   Behold your sins are forgiven you."
                       Doctrine and Covenants 11
                 
             How how I rejoiced when I heard those sweet words!


                



Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day 21- Immanuel

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” 
Isaiah 7:14

From the Hebrew, Immanuel means "God with us". We know this because Matthew further explains this very fact.



“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
Matthew 1:23



I believe that feeling God with us in not a matter of him choosing whether we are worthy to have him but more our choice to become aware of his presence. This turning towards him brings us more and more fully awake to how he is always with us. I struggle with sin, we all struggle with being unclean  and sin is "waste", as Hugh Nibley coined it. Waste because we miss out on the refining of being in His presence. The more I want God with me the better choices I make. 


"Sin is waste. It is doing one thing when you should be doing other and better things for which you have the capacity."


"Awake, my soul, no longer droop in sin!
2 Nephi 4


            




Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Day 20- The Only Begotten

  Ponder anew, what the almighty can do. Now as we worship before him.

" He that believeth on him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."


 John 3:18



Born of Mary, a mortal mother and sired by Our Eternal Heavenly Father, he was the only one with parentage that placed within him DNA to give him supernal power to give his life freely and at the same time experience mortal life like all of us. I can't perhaps fully grasp this divine fact but I feel the truth within me. Jesus is the Firstborn of all of Heavenly Father's children in the spirit and the only one begotten in the flesh.






Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Monday, December 19, 2016

Day 19- The Bright And Morning Star

"I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you those things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."
Revelations 2:16


  In the Summer and late Fall I look out my window towards the east. In the early, dark, morning sky I see Venus shining brightly. It is comforting. Venus has been my morning friend for a long time. He reminds me of regularity. He reminds me that I am small but that I matter. 

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth unto a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts."
2 Peter 1:19

The metaphor of Jesus being a morning star also has comforting messages. I can wake up to his light. He will always be there just like Venus in the east. I can use Him as a template to keep me going in the right direction, home.  


              



Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Day 18- The Carpenter's Son

When Joseph went to Bethlehem, 
I think he took great care.
To place his tools and close his shop,
And leave no shavings there.....



To the world he was a carpenter's son, from Nazareth. 
      
And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?



    Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Matthew 6:2-4

What I have learned so far in writing about the names and titles of Jesus is that he was known for good and bad and every title falls short, standing alone. He was always more than that. The shadow that is cast by a name only tells part of the story. And the story is huge, hence, the 24 names, the 50 names, maybe even a hundred. At the same time, one name has so much to tell us. That he learned his father's trade was telling. It forecast his learning of becoming the Father's son and doing his Father's work to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man".








Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Day 17- Son of David

  "And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us."
Matthew 9:27


    If we are to reconcile with the Jews we, as Christians, would have to understand the honor that they feel for King David. Despite his grievous sins, under David Israel reached it's golden age, the zenith of it's power. 
   "Perhaps Jesus, in His office of Messiah, is constantly tied into David and his reign because David did three things for temporal Israel that typify what Christ will do for spiritual Israel. David united the twelve tribes of Israel into one nation under the ultimate leadership of God. For the first time in history David succeeded in winning the whole extent of the promised land for the covenant people. And David  established Zion or Jerusalem as the spiritual and political center of Israel."








   The royal lineage of Jesus is established early in the Gospel of Matthew. He was born through Mary through the roots of King David and Abraham. He was literally the Son of David. Jehovah, the God  in the Old Testament loved David. He brought him before Samuel the prophet and made him King by design. He continued to sustain him through his mistakes. The consequences were just but, He loved his repentant heart. He never cut his ties to that relationship. 

"While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word."
Matthew 22:41

Here Jesus is teaching a monumental truth. He was Jehovah of the Old Testament. He was the Lord that David was calling. In a Messianic prophecy Jehovah was referring to his coming role as the Messiah. Jesus the Messiah was both Lord of David and descendant of David.



Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Friday, December 16, 2016

Now

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones. 
Thich Nhat Hahn



Right now the cold is seeping under my doorways and the warm air is flowing from my heat pump above. My shades are still drawn even though it is daylight. Dishes from yesterday's dinner sit in the sink. Texts from my grown sons are appearing on my phone on the table about how we can get four families together. 
The Christmas season has this aspect to it which causes panic. I fight that by spending some time each morning with scripture and meditation. What happens is fine and what doesn't happen is all right, too. It makes me sad when I sigh a sigh of relief, ready to take down all the decorations. Jesus is not a year older after his birthday passes. He is Alpha and Omega. He is now.








 I have been writing with the Five Minute Friday Group for two years and I really enjoy the talented writers who share their work. Would you like to join us?


Day 16- Now For Alpha and Omega

" I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
Revelations 21:6

    The Greek alphabet starts with the letter Alpha and ends with Omega. Jesus Christ is given this title to denote the eternal and all encompassing nature of his existence. He isn't and never was Plan B. He was not sent because Adam and Eve messed up. He was in the preexistent life with us and his mission was set forth. Because he chose to take upon himself all of our sins, agency to choose was claimed by all. We only are free to choose everlasting life because He made it possible by paying justice it's due. His atonement was set in motion before the world was and is eternal.







Knowing that He is eternal builds confidence in me that he can actually save and exalt me. I know it shouldn't be about me,  but having faith in Him is not quite the same as having faith that he can deliver, redeem me, and bring me back into the presence of my Heavenly Father. I am totally reliant on his godly characteristics to bring about this Plan of Salvation 

"Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday, and forever."
Doctrine and Covenants 35:1






You Raise Me Up
Josh Groban

When I am down and oh my soul so weary,
When troubles come and my heart burdened be.
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit a while with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas.
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders,
You raise me up, to more than I can be.



You raise me up, to more than I can be.

Songwriters: BRENDAN GRAHAM, ROLF LOVLAND, RENE OOSTHUIZEN





Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day 15- The Word

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:1

  John uses the words of Genesis to start his Gospel. I believe he wants us to understand that there was a preexistent life, a life before this mortal world. John seems to be defining "the Word" first as gospel, "God's story or good news". Then in the second phrase "the Word" becomes a title, or name, of Jesus. Why is the Word, or gospel synonymous with Jesus Christ? He is the messenger of God's story or good news and he is also the executor of the gospel. Without his atonement and crucifixion there would be no reconciliation with God. In that second phrase "the Word was with God" Jesus Christ is placed side by side with Heavenly Father. They are two separate beings. This supports the third phrase; the Word or Jesus Christ was of God, his Son. 





  I have a firm conviction that there is a God, who I recognize as my Heavenly Father and who is a father to my spirit. I pray to him and I desire to come back into his presence. I believe in Jesus Christ, who was His Only Begotten Son, who is my Savior and it is through Him that I have access to my Heavenly Father. He is the Word. And the words on the page that testify of him are like honey to my soul.


" In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God."

                         Joseph Smith Translation







For I Am Called By Thy Name

Thy words were found
And I did eat them.
And thy words were unto me the joy and rejoicing of my soul.


I am called by thy name
Oh Lord, God of Hosts.
.



Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Day 14- Wonder, Counselor, The Mighty God

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
             Isaiah 9:6


    In a conversation with a friend I was taking apart the titles, Wonderful, Counsellor, and analyzing them apart from each other. She offered another suggestion which made me think. She asked that I not discount the beauty of the Parallelism in Hebrew poetry. Even in the English translation the syllables of these words add rhythm and texture to the concepts which are ever growing in magnitude. Which is why the libretto, written by Charles Jennens, based on the King James version of the Bible, worked so well for George Frederic Handel. The words are music. And, the music teaches the grandeur of these names of Jesus Christ.





It is quite well known that when Handel got to the Hallelujah chorus, his assistant/servant found him in tears saying, “I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God."




                  

Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series.



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Day 13- My Savior

"Fore therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."
                                                   1 Timothy 4:10


   
By Annie Henrie Nader
      Last year at this time I had an experience that showed me my need for the Savior, which is not a new discovery. I was driving through a neighborhood with many flashing red lights which indicate a four way stop. My mind was wandering. I stopped to let the driver on my right proceed through and then I started into the intersection. Suddenly a car on my left slammed on her brakes. and in a second I realized that the flashing red light was not flashing. I proceeded through in a daze. It took me some minutes to process what had happened. I ran a red light and almost caused an accident. I pulled into a parking lot and had a feeling that someone was following me. I got out of the car and walked over to the store, my mind spinning with what could have been. Dismay engulfed me as I realized what a danger I had been to other drivers. Shame flooded my body. What if my unintended actions had hurt someone. Looking down that road of possibilities I saw that I would not be able to undo that mistake, no way to fix it or make it right.
   When I came out of the store, I noticed a piece of paper under my windshield. I knew who left it. How I know I cannot say but I knew someone had seen the incident and had followed me to leave a message. I couldn't read it. I left it there as I drove on to my destination. I was certainly going to be chastised. There might be threats to report my behavior to the police. When I was under control I opened the note.

       " I watched you run a red light. A woman had to brake suddenly to avoid being hit by you. She had a child in the car. Please be careful. Stay safe."

     Life can wage consequences that blindside us. Some consequences come because we willingly break His commandments. Some come because we are careless, thoughtless, or victims to circumstance. He saves us and carries the guilt for all of these when we humble ourselves and  turn to him. He sees all, he knows all, and asks us to be careful and stay safely within his protecting arms.



             



Here are twenty-four names of Christ and twenty-four days until Christmas. Check back here to find the contents page of this series.