Big Steps

My little guy moved up today at church.  He’s in a class now and is no longer in the nursery. I think he was most excited about the lollipop!

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Party, Practice, and Art

Some fun moments from today:

Breakfast tea party with baby girl

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Morning practice

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Blowing out eggs with #4 to dry and paint

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The Peace of God

My study about coming unto Christ brought me to the words of Paul in Philippians 4.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Paul is instructing us not to worry excessively about things and be prayerful.  I have felt worry, anxiety, and fear because of situations in my life,  and I have also felt the peace of God swallow up fear through prayer.  More importantly,  the peace of God is not a temporary state but a constant force in our lives when we do what Paul counsels in verse 8 and seek after things that are virtuous,  lovely,  and praiseworthy.

Upon reading this I asked myself this question: How much time do I spend with the virtuous, lovely,  and praiseworthy? Am I keeping company with good things or do I wallow in debasing filth masquerading as good?

Paul counseled us to think on truth,  honesty,  and purity,  not lie, deceit, selfishness, pride,  violence,  anger, and immorality.  True, these things are part of life,  but they do not and should not dominate our thoughts,  or be the principle characters in our minds.

I think what Paul is telling me here is that I need to pray and learn to live in the peace of God that will lead me towards truth,  purity, and virtue.  A mind filled with filth is not a mind at peace,  it is not a mind that recognizes and rejoices in truth,  and it is not a mind of purity and virtue.  Today,  more than ever,  the ability to recognize truth and feel at peace is vitally important.

I am re-examining how I use my time and the things that occupy my thoughts and I hope my children and family will do the same. Let’s strive to bring more good into our minds and more truth and purity into our thoughts, so that we all might rejoice in the peace of God together.

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Fun with the kids

It’s 85 degrees in Orlando and I’m at Universal with my teenagers.  A fun way to start the new year!

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2016 Theme

On Christmas Eve we talked about how important Christ is in our lives and how as a family, we want to come closer to Him. I suggested that we adopt the following scripture from the Book of Mormon as our theme for this year:

Moroni 10: 32-33

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

The goal is to “come unto Christ” through our study, prayer, activities, and actions this year. The grace of Christ is a powerful force for change and I want my children to experience that more fully in their lives. I want them to know He is the one they can always rely on, put their hope and trust in, and know that whatever happens, His light will always shine the way forward.

I look forward to 2016 and the opportunities that lie ahead and will share our journey here.

 

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Happy 2016!

A favorite quote to start off the new year:

“God doesn’t care nearly as much about where you have been as He does about where you are and, with His help, where you are willing to go.”                                                                                                                   -Jeffrey R. Holland.

If you have the time, this is a great talk about resolutions, new beginnings, and hope for the future:

Remember Lot’s Wife

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Concert Master

We were very excited to see #5 sitting in the first chair during the Youth Orchestra concert. She is the first of our kids to be assigned concert master. Her teacher said she had the best form and wanted here there.

Concert

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How to put selfishness in its place

The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!”

– Joseph F. Smith

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The Noble Soul

From Live in Thanksgiving Daily by Joseph B. Wirthlin:

“Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable.”

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What we need most

“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
-William James

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