Friday, 28 March 2014

What the Old Testiment Stories Are Teaching Me...

For more pictures and story of Abraham and Isaac, click here,
and here...
I started reading the Old Testament again recently, and am reading Genesis for the second time this year. As I have read these stories - my mind has been in awe - repeatedly - over the examples of great faith shown.

I pondered over the many stories I read thus far - and prayed and wondered,


Why these stories?

For what purpose did the Lord have these specific stories written as scripture?

What does the Lord desire for me to learn or become from feasting on them?

I'm sure this isn't the only answer, but the first thing that came to my mind as I meditated upon these questions today, is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ - Faith in Jesus Christ. - 

It makes sense, that the first thing the Lord taught His children here on Earth, even through Prophets and Apostles as recorded in scripture, is the principle of Faith in Jesus Christ...

Now... I have had MANY experiences (and beautiful blessings) in my life, as a result of faith... sometimes of great faith... And I learned and grew from these, as well as from the scriptures.

I have learned that when I listen to the lord and obey His counsel - He prospers my way and I am kept safe until my mission on Earth is finished.

I have also learned and grown from moments in which my faith could have been stronger...

There have been times in which I experienced great stress and worry; which I now see as a result of having lacked a certain amount of faith. Reading these scriptures again now is having a greater impact on me than it ever did before. It is changing me. So that I too, am blessed with a desire for, and for greater faith in Jesus Christ...

PS. What if - the reason - God spoke to Abraham and his son Isaac, and his grandson Jacob (Israel)... and blessed all of Abraham's posterity through the house of Israel, is because of their great faith in Him?

Abraham, who was told to sacrifice Isaac, then stopped by an angel and given a ram to sacrifice;

Isaac, who trusted the lord and his father and allowed himself to be bound and sacrificed (and was then saved by an angel);

Again, Isaac, who trusted both the lord and his father's servant to go to his father's land, and depend upon the Lord to guide the servant to find and bring back a wife for him to love;

Jacob, who also traveled to a well in his fathers' land... to, with the help of the lord, find a wife for himself; and who later talked with God and was told that his name should be changed to Israel...

And let's remember the woman who had the faith to be the wives to these men they did not know and go to another land away from their families: Rebekah and Rachel; and Sarah, who had the faith to conceive in her old age!

These three prophets and their wives showed us by example, that faith leads a person to action.

Faith leads one to trust and obey the lord, no matter what.

And if one truly trusts the lord, he will believe that even if a command from the Lord seems like the outcome will be terrible... even when it is painful, and difficult, and may even seem impossible to obey, the Lord has a righteous plan, and the outcome is always better when one obeys the Lord. :)

*In the end, those who truly trust the lord demonstrate their faith in Him by obeying His Commandments and counsel...

And the greater their faith, the less time they will waste debating or doubting... :)

Corine :D

Personal Application:

-What has the lord counseled ME to do, that I still have not obeyed?

-Do I act without hesitance, nothing doubting?

...He gave me a plan to help my husband with something very specific. Time to have faith by putting that plan into action.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Moments with Levi

Hi!  :D 

My baby is 16! :o 
But I'm still young. I'm still young. I'm still young. 
(If you say it enough, you'll believe it and make it come true! ;o)

For the past four years, Levi has held the offices of Deacon and a Teacher in the Priesthood. Now that he is 16 and worthy, he has been ordained a PRIEST, and now blesses the sacrament at church! :D (FYI - "Priest" is an office of the Priesthood which has certain responsibilities;(click here if you want to know more about what this means and what his duties have been and are now)...

...6 months ago, but right here handy! ;)
Levi is so faithful about serving... I'm SO TOTALLY PROUD OF HIM! (I don't say that to brag, and I don't take the credit; he just came that way - blame God! ;) This kid is a great example of what comes of a kid who truly loves the Lord. :) 

So far, Levi is also staying true to his word that he will "never be a rebellious teenager!" :) 

But he is still my baby... And every now and then I tell him something... ahem... absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary. 

It's rather embarrassing, really. But here I go again, telling the world about another one of my "blond moments!" :o It's worth it, so you can enjoy Levi's response... ;)

Levi: Mom, I'm done using your computer. Do you want me to leave it on or shut it down?"

Me/Mom ;0: "Yes... Make sure to shut it down 'properly'."

A couple minutes later Levi walks over to where I am sitting and leans over to get down on my level, with a serious expression on his face...

Levi: "Mom, just to make sure... " (he gives a questioning look here) "to shut down the computer 'properly,' I just kick it over and over again..." (he then begins to motion kicking something, over and over again) "until it shuts off... right?" (still looking serious - great acting!)

I laughed so hard! :D

Well, back to work for me. I'm busy cleaning out my bedroom closet and praying for the insight and strength to know what I don't need so I can get rid of it. Wish me luck! 

PS. Levi and one of his best friends (Jarom) are planning to ask a couple girls to double date with them... now that they are both old enough to group date. :) Gosh I love these sweet boys! :D

Corine :D

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Isaac's Rebekah...

March 18, 2014

Do you ever have moments when you read about someone who reminds you of yourself... or maybe you talk to someone who reminds you of yourself - and the result startles and delights you, as you actually giggle with delight at how AWESOME you are (or how awesome you are sure you will one day become? ;O ~ If not... I urge you to pray for the experience ~ and look for the good in your character, both developed and being developed; it is a truly delightful experience! ;D Somehow, even though I have more than my share of flaws - these wonderful and rare experiences always leave me feeling... glad to be me! :)

My family and I are studying the Old Testament together this year. This morning we were reading from the book of Genesis (we only had time for one chapter today... chapter 25); it's about Abraham sending his servant to his homeland to be led by the Lord for find a wife for his son, Isaac. I don't know if I have ever enjoyed a chapter from the scriptures more than I did today. It was a sweet love and faith filled story. Filled with amazing faith, complete dedication, astounding loyalty, faithful obedience to the will of the Lord... and even a touch of romance... :D. Rebekah may possibly be my new favorite Old Testament Character! :D Rebekah reminds me of me because she is always in such a hurry! LOL :) ~ But there is so much more to Rebekah. So much in her personality and faith inspires me. Listen to these few lines and consider the type of person Rebekah must have been...

"And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up."

"And the servant ran to meet her, and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher,

"And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for they camels also, until they have done drinking.

"And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels."

Quick interruption here... Is she not filled with energy and enthusiasm to serve? :D 

"And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not."

The scriptures go on to tell of the servant placing jewelry upon Rachel, and inquiring as to who she is family to, and whether or not her father has room for him to lodge in his home that night. She answers and tells him they have room. The servant bows his head and worships the lord in thanks. He notices his prayer being answered. Then we read the following...

"And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren,

"And the damsel ran, and told them of her mother's house these things."

So Rachel RUNS to her family and prepares her family and home for company... Her brother is ready to greet the servant and take his camels to feed and lodge for the night; and he has water ready to wash the servant's feet (is this not an AWESOME way to greet a stranger/guest?) Furthermore, they have a table prepared with meat to feed the servant.

The servant refuses to eat until he has told them of why he is there; he tells of all that has occurred from Abraham's instructions to his meetings with Rebekah - (which by the way you must read! I skipped so much of this amazing story of faith!) Anyhow, long story short, Rebekah's Father and Brother are asked to send Rebekah home with the servant to be a wife to Isaac. They know the LORD has sent him, so they agree. They also ask for her to stay 10 or more days with the family before traveling on. The servant asks that they do not delay, as God has prospered the way and the servant desires to get back to his "master" Abraham quickly and not ruin the Lord's great blessing of a quick journey. Again, they agree to obey this servant's request! The spirit must have testified this truth to them... I just love their great faith and ability to hear, and then set aside their own desires and instead heed and do the will of the Lord! In our time and day it seems to me that not many people actually treat the Lord, like he is truly their LORD anymore... 

OK, moving on. Wait, I have to go back and let you read some of this amazing story, word for word...

"And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.

"Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto the bad or good.

"Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master's son's wife, as the LORD hath spoken.

"And it came to pass, that, when Abraham's servant heard their words, he worshiped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth."

As the story goes on, the servant again gives jewelry to Rebekah, and now also to other family members as well. The next morning the family asks if she can stat 10 days or longer and the servant responds...

"And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the LORD hath prospered my way' send me away that I may go to my master.

"And they said, We will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth.

"And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go."

I just love that. She too, was filled with faith and dedication to the Lord. She trusted in the Lord and in the plan HE had for her! And she obeyed without haste... 

As the story continues it is fun to see that Rebekah is still full of energy and excitement for life. As she approaches the home of Abraham, she sees Isaac some distance ahead. We read...

"And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.

"For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master;"

I don't know about you, but I feel a sense of awe and excitement. Not only does Rebekah have faith that she is called of the LORD to go and marry Isaac, she anticipates a GOOD life with him, and she is excited!

LOOK at the faith this amazing family shows! As I contemplate upon the story of Abraham being asked to sacrifice Isaac, and both their faithful responses, then read this account - I am simply filled with awe. These people TRULY WORSHIPED. They really meant it when they used the word LORD. They obeyed Him, and did it WITH JOY... Abraham and his son Isaac, and now Rebekah as well - all show perfect faith in God's plan for them and perfect obedience. Never do they mourn, complain, or second guess... they obey Him, and do so WITH JOY... I am so inspired! :D

PS. While I was knee deep in business paperwork (which, by the way I finished tonight after a long week of solid work!) I lost track of the time. When I finally came away from my office it was an hour past dinner time, and my twins were making a salad. Actually, Devry pulled out the vegetables of choice and Dausen did the chopping; I love how they serve each other and work together! ;). I then added to it, more of the same, for a larger salad to serve with leftover homemade mashed potatoes from last night. Here is the result...

Cabbage, onions (green and yellow), corn, cilantro, celery, and a touch of mayonnaise... :) YUM! :D

Nice invention, boys! Thanks a million!!! :D

...mashed potatoes were amazing as well! I sauteed onions, garlic, and cilantro, then blended them in with the potatoes and butter - YUM! :)

 Have a lovely day!
Corine :D