Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Devotional from Tuesday, February 17, 2015

“You have been blessed with a set of skills, abilities and gifts that are unique to you and you alone. Furthermore, you have an obligation to find out what those are and then figure out how you can express them — in other words, how to imprint your uniqueness of self on the world
“Your challenge is to discover the set of gifts that are distinctly yours and find ways to give expression to them,” Hart said. “I strongly encourage you to remember that there are multiple and sometimes subtle ways to fulfill your potential as one of Heavenly Father’s children.”
 In order to be healthy and happy in this life and the next, we need to fully develop ourselves. This reflective process should be guided by the Spirit.
“The world would have us believe that ‘finding yourself’ is a self-centered journey without consequence. You do not want to rely on what the world tells you that you should do with your life — your potential is yours alone, and it is your sacred obligation to figure out what that is and to purse it,” 
Here are five suggestions to help in coming to “know thyself.”
1. Be engaged. 
Being engaged means giving one’s whole and best self to whatever one is doing.
2. Increase self-awareness. 
We need to know ourselves first and foremost.
“In short, you have to know who you are before you can figure out what you are going to do with yourself,” 
“My suggestion to you is to build absence into your lives. Set aside times to unplug, remove distraction and let your mind wander,”  “Build spaces of quiet into your lives, be patient, and I think you will be surprised by the results.”
3. Be awe-full. 
Not in the horrid sense, but in the amazing sense.
“So my third suggestion to you is to be awe-full. Or, put another way, be full of awe. Make a conscious effort to find awe and wonder in the small and ordinary of everyday life.”
4. Be selfless. 
“The gospel of Jesus Christ is completely grounded in selflessness. The Atonement of our Savior was the ultimate act of selflessness. The Lord voluntarily took upon himself the sins of the world so that we can return to the presence of our Heavenly Father,” Hart said.
He referenced the Gordon B. Hinckley quote, “Forget yourself and go to work.” Being selfless will help keep us grounded as we seek to find and exercise own personal excellence.
“The Lord challenges us to lose ourselves so that we can have the attitudes that will keep us grounded, humble and open to learning. In losing ourselves, we learn about ourselves — and that insight provides invaluable perspective in finding our excellence,” Hart said. 
5. Be compassionate. 
“Being dialed into your feelings of empathy and acting on them is also necessary in finding your excellence. Compassion is an indispensable part of personal growth that will reveal much about your distinct set of skills and what types of situations will allow you to better the people and environment around you,” Hart said.
“Spend some time learning about who you really are and preparing yourselves to have an impact on the world. Then, go and do. Be excellent, and make a difference,” Hart said.
*adapted from http://universe.byu.edu/2015/02/10/david-hart-be-excellent-becoming-who-you-are-in-todays-world/#sthash.fqIYIlL3.dpuf

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Devotional from February 12, 2015

Who do you look like?
We don’t have to try to look like our parents. Whether it is our mother’s hips or our father’s nose, we inherit many of their physical features automatically. But how closely do we resemble our Heavenly Father? When people look at me do they recognize me as His child?
Scripture says there is one thing that identifies us as followers of Christ – our love.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)
People will identify us as Christians, if our lives reflect our Father’s love. What does this love look like? It is resting in God’s peace during times of stress. It is forgiving our enemies and praying for them rather than seeking revenge or harboring anger. It is being kind and patient with others even when they are not. It is putting the needs of others before our own.
1 Corinthians 13 paints a clear picture of this type of love in action.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
When we exhibit this type of love, people notice these qualities because they are not the world’s typical responses. These behaviors do not originate from our sinful natures. On our own, we could never love others as God does. This type of love can only come from the Holy Spirit. 
It is when we love others the way that Christ does that we most look like Him. Do others see Jesus in us? Let’s try to live our lives in such a way that others will say, “You look just like your Father.”
*adapted from http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/Devotions/elliott_looklike.aspx

Friday, February 6, 2015

Devotional from February 6, 2015

"You are loved. You are dear to your heavenly parents.
The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you. Yes, God loves you this very day and always.
He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. He is aware that you reach up to Him in heartfelt and hopeful prayer. He knows of the times you have held onto the fading light and believed--even in the midst of growing darkness. He knows of your sufferings. He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you.
And God knows of your successes; though they may seem small to you, He acknowledges and cherishes each one of them. He loves you for extending yourself to others. He loves you for reaching out and helping others bear their heavy burdens--even when you are struggling with your own. He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly--He knows you as you really are. And He loves you--today and always!”

Do you suppose it matters to our Heavenly Father whether your makeup, clothes, hair, and nails are perfect? Do you think your value to Him changes based on how many followers you have on Instagram or Pinterest? Do you think He wants you to worry or get depressed if some un-friend or un-follow you on Facebook or Twitter? Do you think outward attractiveness, your dress size, or popularity make the slightest difference in your worth to the One who created the universe?
He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become. 
And once you realize this it is then that you will discover your best self—your real self. You will discover what it truly means to be a daughter of the everlasting God, the Lord of all righteousness.
*found here https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/living-the-gospel-joyful?lang=eng

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Devotional from February 5, 2015

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren”1 John 3:16
I find it impossible to lose sight of the fact that Christ not only died for our sins, but He also endured everything we would have to endure, so that we could never say that He didn’t understand our problems.
In the verse above, we see how Jesus shows His unconditional, undeserved love through His willingness to die for us in order to give us life. With this action on His part, He has every right to request that we offer the littlest portion of such a gesture for someone else. This verse doesn’t only talk about showing love by losing your physical life; but also about setting aside your own agenda in order to help, reach out to, and love others.
If you think there are no people on earth today that are willing to die for their fellow man, look again! All you have to do is take a look around your community—from the policemen, firemen, and emergency crews to members of the military. 
We see that such a love for others is all around us. It doesn’t have to be as glamorous as the secret service in their dapper suits and earpiece communications to be a life-saving profession. We all witnessed countless heroes on 9/11 and during other tragedies who did their all to save the lives of others. 
We see accounts of heroism on some level just about every night on the evening news. People are seen laying their own lives on the line for someone else. How much more should we be willing to lay down our lives for others since we have the example of Christ being sacrificed once for all men!
If you ask any of these people (servicemen and women, firemen, policemen, etc.) “why” they do what they do, they may not be able to tell you, it’s just something in them—a sense of duty that makes them willing. It’s the same with our faith! With the Holy Spirit in us, we will just be walking in the Spirit, willing to do what we should as we love each other.
The picture of love that Christ showed us is perfect. Love in its simplest form according to Christ is obedience. Christ was obedient to the Father and became the ultimate sacrifice, a greater example of love does not exist! 
*found here http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/Devotions/devlin_love.aspx

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Devotional from February 3, 2015

Well folks, it’s that time of year again; you know - red hearts, pink roses, balloons, cards, candy, and animals that sing songs of love. 
Store shelves overflow with symbols of love. They began the day after New Year's to get ready for Valentine’s Day. Do you know that more roses are sold on that day than any other day in the year? All over the world, it is the day that people show their love for someone special. 
Most mothers and wives hope to receive a loving momento, perhaps dinner in a nice restaurant, or to have a meal cooked for them. It is a great occasion to express love and appreciation for any of your loved ones, but it is just as important to show little acts of kindness the other 364 days of the year.
I can do without a dancing gorilla singing Love Me Tender, but I sure would miss getting that hug or kiss from my daughter when she says, “I love you Mom.” Or my son’s nightly ritual when he says, “Good Night Mom. I love you.” 
It means a lot when family and friends want to spend time with you, share a meal, or just talk. God tells us in His Word how much He loves us. He promises never to leave or forsake us, to answer us when we call, day or night. He never slumbers nor sleeps. We need to tell Him how much we love Him 365 days a year as well.
Flowers will die. Candy gets eaten. Balloons will pop. Stuffed animals may stop singing. Cards may get lost or thrown away, but the love that is shared with one another, and God’s love for us, will never pass away. 
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.Isaiah 54:10
May you find little ways to show some acts of kindness to those you love before and after Valentine’s Day this year.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24
Let Love be in the air at all times!
*found here http://www.cbn.com/SpiritualLife/Devotions/Irvin_loveintheair.aspx

Blogging tips