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The Night My Wife And I Were Booed!

TheDiscipleMD

My wife and I got Booed the other night! But it was such a wonderful feeling being ‘Booed’ like that.  It meant that somebody cared for, and was thinking of us.  It made our night!

It is the simple gestures in life that mean so much. Last night my wife found a plate of goodies on our doorstep with a note. It read: “You’ve Been Booed! Hope you enjoy your special treats!”  The note had a Halloween Theme and a charge to ‘pay it forward.’  What a wonderful thing it is to do small works of goodness.  Both the giver and the receiver are blessed.

The other day I was in the grocery store with a charge from my wife to get a roast for Sunday dinner. Not just any roast, but the ‘best’ roast they had.  Well, I am no expert on cuts of beef so as I surveyed the meat section I happen to find myself next to another gentlemen of about the same age.  He looked at me and asked, “You looking for something special.”  Obviously he read the perplexed expression on my face as I picked up each roast.  “Well,” I said, “I’m looking for a great cut of roast and I don’t want to fail my wife by bringing home something she doesn’t want.” He smiled and said, “Well, I can help you with that.” So he picked up the roasts and looked them over.  Then he said, “Nothing here that I can see that you would want. Have you talked to the butcher yet?”  When I replied that I hadn’t,  he encouraged me to do so which I did.  I shopped while they got the roast ready for me.  As I was shopping I came across the same man. He stopped as our carts passed on one of the aisles, and said, “Were you able to get the cut you wanted?” I told him that I did and thanks for helping.  He smiled and said, “Great!” as he walked away. I left the store uplifted by this man’s simple kind act.

I don’t know why all of us don’t do more things like that! I guess sometimes we just get too busy to think about it!  Maybe we should think more often about helping others in simple ways.  It really doesn’t take much effort on our part and small acts of kindness mean so much to others, as they do to me.

My wife and I will make sure we “Boo” a few families in the coming days.  I’m sure we will feel good doing it and hopefully those we “Boo” will starting “Booing” others. It is a wonderful feeling when you serve others. I think it is a divine feeling that comes to those who act while  doing holy work.  It is the grand gift of feeling God’s love in your heart even when we do small deeds of goodness. Let’s “Boo” someone…today!

 

camel tent

The Nose Of The Camel

TheDiscipleMD

“One cold night, as an Arab sat in his tent, a camel gently thrust his nose under the flap and looked in. “Master,” he said, “let me put my nose in your tent. It’s cold and stormy out here.” “By all means,” said the Arab, “and welcome” as he turned over and went to sleep.

A little later the Arab awoke to find that the camel had not only put his nose in the tent but his head and neck also. The camel, who had been turning his head from side to side, said, “I will take but little more room if I place my forelegs within the tent. It is difficult standing out here.” “Yes, you may put your forelegs within,” said the Arab, moving a little to make room, for the tent was small.

Finally, the camel said, “May I not stand wholly inside? I keep the tent open by standing as I do.” “Yes, yes,” said the Arab. “Come wholly inside. Perhaps it will be better for both of us.” So the camel crowded in. The Arab with difficulty in the crowded quarters again went to sleep. When he woke up the next time, he was outside in the cold and the camel had the tent to himself”

There has been a long-term deterioration of our culture when it comes to, not only obedience, but recognition that there is any such thing as “morality.” The nose of the camel has long since entered our tents and its full body is attempting to put us out in the cold. Those of my age have been witness, not unlike Mormon, of the moral fall of his people in a relatively short period of time. After reporting to Moroni, his son, of the depravity of his people who he said were now “without order and mercy”, he wrote:

“O my beloved son, how can a people like this, that are without civilization—(And only a few years have passed away, and they were a civil and a delightsome people) But O my son, how can a people like this, whose delight is in so much abomination-how can we expect God will stay his hand in judgement against us?” (Moroni 9:11-13)

Surely we should be recognizing that our culture is beginning to be “without order and mercy” and even showing signs of “depravity.”  I bring this depressing subject up so as to alert us as to the responsibilities we all share in defending the right. I often hear voices shouting “You want others to live under the definition of ‘your’ morals. Who are you to define it?”  And of course the answer is that “someone” else will define it if we don’t. If you believe in living apostles and prophets, you need look no further than them to have our “morals” defined. Even in deteriorating times, we can still “define” a moral code for our homes. They may not be supported anywhere but at church, but our families can have them defined by us, not the world.

Mormon testified of the moral and physical destruction of his people and he could not recommend them to God. But, the silver lining in his words were:

“…my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved” (vs. 22)

We should do our best to influence our society in holding to God’s commandments. And if we fail, at least, like Mormon, we will have hope for our families. If we only succeed in holding to a moral code in our homes, we can still recommend them to God and trust that they will be saved.

crossing the delaware

Crossing The Delawares Of Our Lives

TheDiscipleMD

A year ago June my brother, father and I, visited the reported spot of ground where George Washington and his army crossed the Delaware River at the outset of the Revolutionary War. This historical event is made famous by a painting that portrays General Washington standing majestically at the bow, as his small boat makes its way across the semi-frozen river. It was a pivotal moment in the history of our nation. In a logistically challenging and dangerous operation, the Continental Army crossed the river on Christmas night in 1776. In extreme weather conditions they crossed and were able to surprise Hessian forces, (allies of England), in Trenton, New Jersey, where they defeated and captured over 1000 enemy troops. Up until that point in the war, the Continental Army had been on the run after being defeated at every turn. With morale at an all-time low, Washington went against traditional wisdom and instead of continuing a retreat, turned and attracted his surprised pursuers. While the surprise attack itself did minimal damage to the “Redcoat” army, the moral victory infused his troops, and the Colonials, with confidence that would carry them for years to come. Years that eventually culminated in independence for our country.

This life is full of small personal battles that each of us deal with on a daily basis. Most of them are small “skirmishes” but when added up tend to drag our spirits down. The car breaks down, the washing machine needs repair, we get a speeding ticket (always undeserved in our minds), or someone in the family is sick. A bill is overdue, the dog messes in the house, or a store clerk sells us the wrong item. Of major annoyance is getting your fast food order filled incorrectly but you don’t discover it till you get home. The daily battles in life can be exhausting at times. Sometimes we are left to lament, “Why can’t I catch a break!” I recall that as a younger man, I seemed to be fighting a daily battle over some perceived ”injustice” that was in my life. Sometimes it really was injustice but retrospectively, more times than not, it was just life.  I noticed that after a few years of small “skirmishes” that I began to let go of things that were just not that important. Holding on to so much baggage was affecting my morale. And morale is very important in fighting, not only the mundane issues of this life, but the more important issues of the  eternities.

As we all have to “traverse” the temporal in this life, let us not let ourselves become discouraged. The temporal really does have an effect on our spiritual welfare.  If this life has us on the run, let us turn about, like the Continental Army, and face our challenges one battle at a time. Small victories can culminate in winning the war. Setting short-term goals, and then accomplishing them, can do wonders for our souls. A small victory could be refraining from breaking some commandment that we are struggling with for a day, or week.  We are taught to read in the scriptures and pray daily. If we are struggling to do that, perhaps setting a goal of reading and praying for just one week is the best approach. Most of us can accomplish that. Not only will we gain the blessings that naturally come with doing it, we will also feel our hearts rejoice as we accomplish our goal.I really do believe that there is power gained by opening the scriptures on a daily basis.  In so doing we acknowledge the hand of God in our lives.

Some of us face major battles in life each day due to health, financial, or strained families relationships that will not soon go away.   Others face small skirmishes that slowly beat down their souls.  A few of us are in respite, but rest only to fight another day. All of us are battling with changes that need to be made in our private lives. Let us summon the courage to stop running from them. Let us gird up our loins and stop retreating! Let today be the day we turn and cross our private “Delaware”. By so doing our hearts and spirits will be lifted towards victory over our foes!

 

 

god be with you

An Anthem To Our Faith!

TheDiscipleMD

On October 16,  2007 my older brother died of pancreatic cancer. Not long before he died at the age of 59, I wrote a letter to him. I quote a few lines.

“When I think of you I always smile…I guess it’s because every memory I have of you is a positive one…Floods of memories come to mind when I think of our brotherhood over the years. From my earliest memories to now, it has been a great honor and joy to be called your brother.”

I then went on to say:

“I guess more than anything else I can honestly say that I love you…I have memories that will live forever in my mind but most importantly in my heart. I have a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that you feel the same. We are brothers forever!

God be with you till we meet again; By his counsels guide, uphold you; With his sheep securely fold you. God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet, Till we meet at Jesus’ feet, Till we meet, till we meet, God be with you till we meet again.  (Hymn 152)

It will be a grand reunion in the hereafter! Till we meet again I will do my best to stay on the straight and narrow so that when my day comes, I will be ready. I love you, always your brother!”

I share these most private of my thoughts with you regarding my deceased brother, because like most of you, I have experienced the pain of losing a loved one. But I have hope and a strong belief that Jesus is the Christ, and that by him all mankind can be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of his gospel. That through Him and by Him, our Savior, we can be reunited with our loved ones who have passed through the veil. ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again’ is not just a hymn we sing. It is an anthem to our faith! We sing it because we believe it!  We sing it as tears fill our eyes!  We sing it because we have hope in a grand reunion! We will continue to sing it till we meet again in our Father’s kingdom!

 

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