Thursday, November 25, 2010

Powerlifting and the Spirit?

 I've got two friends back home that are so dang strong. These guys... Hah I dunno, maybe they will post thier "numbers" as a response to this post, but it would blow you away. They've probably gotten a ton stronger since I left, Im actually a little afraid to go home and give them a hug, they'll probably just crush me! The crazy thing is these guys didnt start out as huge dudes... In fact, when they started on thier quest for ultimate gym prowess and dominance, they were relatively small, but that didnt deter them. With daily nourshment, consistant hard work and gym attendance, and a "never-give-up" attitute, they have transformed themselves from average Joes into titans of men. I've come to learn that the same principles of becoming strong and being able to lift a ton of weight can be applied to our own spirituality as well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Be Strong and of Good Courage

Paris is The Man...

This guy and his video inspire me... Every time I watch it, I feel like I need to do better. A wise friend of mine (ahem Salah! hah) once said, "I wont ever be a product of my environment, my environment will be a product of me!"  That struck me... Do I ever fall when life's hardships get me down? Do I crack under the weight and pressure of things out of my control? Or do I take the proverbial (sometimes seemingly rotten) lemons and make the best dang lemonade you've ever tasted?! I like to think I do the latter, but I know I am probably kidding myself and could do much much better. So I guess the question is, how can I make sure I am rising to the occasion, and lifting others while I go?

Friday, November 12, 2010

We Are All the One

 "How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

  And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray."
I was reading this scripture as I was eating my breakfast this morning (gotta love those early morning cereal revelations) and it hit me. I think no matter where you are at in your life, at one point or another, we are all the one. In some way or another, we have all gone astray. For everyone it is something different... The one thing that is always consistent however is Christ. He will always been searching for us, always reaching out. As soon as we can turn from ourselves, and listen to His voice calling out, we will be able to find Him. He will guide us home.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is available to everyone. I have the unique opportunity to be his servant at this time in my life, and reach out to find those who might have lost their way.  I come in contact with tons of people everyday, searching for His sheep, because just as He said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27) You might have even felt the promptings in your own life... Like you are distant from your family, or you need a change in your life because you are unhappy. Christ and His gospel can really help us with a wide range of problems. Seriously, the gospel is for everyone, and God gave it to us to help us become happier!
I have such a testimony that the Lord rejoice when those that are lost are able to find their way back... That through the atonement of Jesus Christ, all of us who go astray can return back to the fold. We can be changed, and rejoice with the Lord when we are. When you make that effort to change your life and become better, it will enable Heavenly Father to bless you, and you will see the blessings.

If you feel like maybe your relationship with God could improve, or really just want someone to talk to about it, send me a message on facebook! My facebook should be right next to this post, on the right hand side of the page...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Be Still My Soul

"Be still, my soul:
the waves and winds
still know His voice
Who ruled them
while He dwelt below."

I love that song. It brings me so much comfort. I find myself singing it sometimes, and love pondering over its words. My message today is simple. Life is rough. It was meant to be. Honestly, I would not know at all what the Savior and His gospel truly mean if I hadn't had gone through some of those really really difficult times... Looking back, I am grateful for every hardship I have had, they've taught me who I am, and where I can turn for peace. They have forced me to re-evaluate my foundation. 

    And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the arock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your bfoundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty cstorm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. 

Enough said... Really. Life will get hard. No matter how scary it can seem sometimes though, if we turn to our master, and rely on him, He will help us through. I know that if you have built your foundation on Christ, it really doesn't matter what happens to you. You will be able to take courage in knowing that there are great rewards if you endure your trials well. I know He has suffered through it all, and been where I've been, no matter where that is. Because of that, He is able to help me. Take courage in the journey, for just as the song says, the waves and winds still know His voice.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Good Times!

I love the story of Enos. Whether you are familiar with the story or not, there is one principle that I want to illustrate that came to me this morning that has never before dawned on me. To quickly summerize, Enos was the son of the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob, who, while out hunting one day, had an epiphany. Enos had heard his dad talk about the goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ his entire life, but had failed to really grasp it and apply it into his life, so he decided to pray. In his own words (verses 2, 3 and 4 of his own book) he says,

Enos in "mighty prayer"
"And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins. Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart. And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens."

First, I want to point out that Enos describes this experience as a wrestle with God, and cried out to Him in mighty prayer... Everytime I read that, I think back to times that I truely wanted something and pleaded my guts out with the Lord through prayer that he might help me out. I dont think when Enos uses the word wrestle he is talking about the kind of wrestling I used to do with my brothers and beating the Lord into submission, forcing him to give us what we want. No, I'm pretty sure he is referring to the inward struggle when we truely confess and humble ourselves before the Lord. Those prayers are hard to say sometimes, because to make them count they really have to be from the heart. I believe the wrestle he is talking about is not so much with God, but more with himself, beating his own heart into submission so that he can recieve the will of the Lord. I've always felt that way about that scripture though..

The new insight I gained today is that he was out alone, probably doing what he loves most... Hunting! That really struck me. Possibly the most important realization of Enos's existance came when he was spending time getting to know himself doing what he loved in this beautiful world God gave to us. The real message I want to leave today is that we all need to take time to get to know ourselves.

Too often in today's world, people are on the go all the time. With TV, Radio, Cell Phones, Music, Sports, Movies, Games, and really everything else, it sometimes becomes difficult for us to really step back and listen. I know from experiences that when we do turn off the music or TV, we can hear whats really going on inside our heads, and hear what messages God has left for us. I think President Uchtdorf in a talk from last General Conference said it best,

"May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential."

Ahh good times!

 My challange to each of you would be to take a little time to yourselves this week. For me that used to be a cruise down the canyon on my longboard. For you it could be a walk in the park or on the beach, maybe some time spent in your yard working, or at the gym exersizing. It could be as simple as a long drive without music playing. Be creative! Remember to be open to the thoughts and feelings that come...Because they will come. In my life, the most earth shattering thoughts that have changed who I am today have seldom come at times of excitement. Rather, they have come while I was enjoying my own company and doing something I love to do. Who knows, you could even end up having an experience like Enos that will change not only your life, but history as we know it!

I know that God is aware of all of us, and knows us personally. I know that he has a plan for us that will make us happier then any of us we could ever imagine. Trouble is, most of the time we are too busy to actually listen. We are literally His children, and each of us has a very special role to play in this wonderful world of ours. I know that as we take time to ponder to ourselves, He will let us know what we can do to become most happy through promptings of the Holy Ghost that come as a still and a small voice.