Friday, November 29, 2013

Christmas Treat Ideas

I know most of you are out shopping for those great Black Friday Deals so I am going to make this one short.

Who doesn't love Christmas cookies? Here is a link for 50 recipes to make for church, school, friends, and family; or just because!

50 Cookie recipes

Here is a link for 59 more Christmas Treats

59 Christmas Treats

And one more to thumb through to see if anything good catches your eye.

Christmas Recipes

Have Fun!!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving is For Showing Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Thanksgiving seems to be a time we want to skip over quickly. In the stores we go from Halloween to Christmas in the blink of an eye, seeming to pass right over Thanksgiving but this holiday should be one that we focus on.

We need Thanksgiving, it's a prelude to Christmas. We focus on gratitude in our lives then show that gratitude during the Christmas season by giving to others.

Every year I have much to be thankful for. I try to reflect on those things, and this year is no exception. In May, we found out that my youngest daughter needs a new kidney. We learned that she has a genetic disease that affects the spleen, which she already had removed, her kidneys and liver.

She seems to be in  good spirits and as healthy as she can be. She is continuing to progress in her life and doesn't sit around feeling sorry for herself, so I am grateful for that.

We went from needing a new kidney in May to waiting for her kidney match, which is my sister, (God bless her), to be tested to see if she is healthy enough to be the donor in the new year. It just all came together so fast. There are so many that have to wait such a long time.

We have a lot of other things to be grateful for but this is the big one. Even if things had not turned out as they have we still can be grateful its not worse. There is always someone worse off than we are; and we pray for them.

So today, take sometime to really reflect on your life and all that you have been given, because all the blessings come from God . Be sure to thank Him for all those blessings and to help you to share those many blessings with others throughout your life. May God bless you always!!!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who Can Find a Virtuous Woman?

Proverbs 31:10-31

"Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies." Let's find out why virtue is of great value yesterday and today. What is virtue?

Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior that shows the highest of spiritual standards. For instance, its what you do when you think no is looking. It is your innermost thoughts and your actions from them.

Virtuous women focus on being righteous, doing a lot of good in the world around them. They try to be obedient to the commandments of God and help others to do the same.

I remember once, when my young sister-in-law was visiting my house, that we began talking about what makes a woman truly beautiful.  I told her that true beauty was inside her. She loved the Disney Princess's so I used that as my point of view.

We discussed the inner beauty of Aurora from "Sleeping Beauty" and Snow White. They were sweet and did good things that helped other people. They had positive attitudes that helped people to like them, etc.

I tried to show her the inner beauty that makes a woman beautiful. Then I asked her if she wanted to be known as the Queen who needed a mirror to tell her she was beautiful only on the outside or did she want to be the  princess who radiated beauty from the inside.

I heard from a woman once that said her mother told her to make herself as attractive as she could before she left home then once she left her house she was not to think of herself any more but to think of others that day and how she could help them. I agree with that thought. We should make ourselves look the best we can before we go out the door but then we need to focus on the Savior and what He would be doing if He was here among us. Then follow those steps throughout the day.

If we do that then the inner beauty will continue to grow. You can be the most beautiful woman in the world to the eye but age happens, and accidents happens, and then you become miserable because you can never gain back that beauty. But if you focus on the beauty where it really counts you will only grow more beautiful every day. This is where virtue begins, think not of yourself but of doing good for others.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Just Get Started

Good Morning, this has been a very busy week because my youngest son has been working on his BSA Scout Eagle project. Which means I was very busy too. This caused me to miss writing for today so I am taking a few minutes to write about Family History.

Last week, at church, it was announced that my new church responsibility is to get people in our stake and community excited about doing Family History and to get into the Family History Center to get started getting their research going. This is my dream job. I love this stuff.

You don't have to be old to have a desire to search out your ancestors. We usually relate genealogy to retirees but it can be an exciting adventure for anyone of any age. The key is to just get started. Here is a link to some fun family history stuff.

Family History Fun

We start by taking a pedigree chart and filling in all the information we can about what we know about our ancestry. I have provided a link to a pedigree chart that you can print off and make as many copies of as you like. pedigree chart

So take the chart and write in everything you know about yourself, your parents, your grandparents and then great-grandparents. That will be 4 generations of family history. Then once you have done this find a Family History Center, either from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or a local genealogy library. They can help you learn on to fill on the rest.

It's that easy. There are so many tools out there that can help you find your ancestors. It's nothing like it use to be before technology ruled our lives. Technology is now a genealogist's best friend. So, what are you waiting for, get started today. Call Grandma or Grandpa or any relative that can tell you stories and help you with your adventure in dead people hunting (my phrase for family history research).

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More Service Project Ideas

The Young Men in our ward at church has dedicated the month of November by showing gratitude by doing service for others. They made a list of people who they were aware of that could use some acts of charity.

They planned the things that they would be doing and have been doing service on every meeting night so far this month. Doing service helps the heart to feel true joy. Its been proven to be very healthy for your mind and body. I can't think of one time that I have not felt so good after helping someone. Even a smile and good morning salutation to someone has given me a sense of doing good. I knew I was choosing to follow Jesus and do much good in this world.

Even small acts of service can bring happiness to both the giver and receiver. I have provided a link to a website that lists 30 different projects that can be done by you and your family, or friends. Take a look.

30 Service Project Ideas

Feel free to share some of your experiences with us. I know I would love to hear your stories.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Leftover Ideas After Thanksgiving

So...we like to have a big turkey just so we can have leftovers. We eat turkey sandwiches mostly with leftovers but this year I want to see what else we can do with the leftovers.

Here is a recipe for Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole, looks good.

How about Turkey Soup?
Creamy Afer-Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

This one I have to try, it sounds so good (may as well finish up the week with fattening stuff).
Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffed Shells

There are so many ideas on the Internet for leftovers, I just didn't know where to begin. You will have to do further research if you don't like these ideas. Here a couple of places that might be helpful.

Taste of Home

The Food Network has some great ideas to try, take a look.
Thanksgiving Leftovers

Now is the time to start planning to enjoy those leftovers!!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Act in Charity

1 Corinthians 16:14
"Let all your things be done with acharity."

I told my son to not worry about doing any school work today, he is home schooled, and I told him to focus on his Eagle Scout Project that was coming due soon. When I got home from work I asked how much he got done, he told me nothing.

Then he proceeded to tell me why he got nothing done. He decided to sleep in some, then when he got up he spent time hanging out with his sister. He told her several times that he needed to get this assignment started. When he was finished hanging out with her, he started looking at some stuff and got distracted, so nothing got done. Needless to say I wasn't very happy with him.

I told him this reminded me of when we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to do things but we choose to ignore the prompting. He knew he needed to being working on his project but he did not act upon  that constant reminder in his head. When the Spirit tells us we should do something we need to act upon it.

But I can't say too much about my son, there have been many times when I have not acted in service when I really could have. It's easy to make excuses and move on. The sad thing is that once I justified why I couldn't do it,  I didn't think about it again until something happened and it was too late. Then I felt bad.

I heard a story by President Thomas S. Monson when he didn't act upon a prompting to serve and well...his heart was broken because he was too late (see the link for the story). But he vowed to never disobey  a prompting again. That is a goal for me, to try and never miss an opportunity to serve when prompted.

Acting upon Promptings

As righteous women we need to put our minds in a place where we can always hear the Spirit talking to us and act upon those promptings to do good. We are the answers to prayers; people plead for help and Lord whispers to us to do something so that we can be that answer to another s prayers. If we fail then we have not shown much charity in our hearts.

We need to serve with all our hearts. We need to be like our Savior and learn to love all people and do much good in this world. This is how we help build the Kingdom of God on this earth. Act in Charity. Act in Love.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How Can We Have Charity?

Mosiah 2:17
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

The key to charity is serving one another. There are so many ways to serve our brothers and sisters. There are charitable organizations that need volunteers. This is something that is needed all year long.

Forbes - Top 200 Charitable Organizations

There are things we can do for the elderly, or orphans, or the sick. There are things we can do for the lonely, or handicapped, or the poor of heart. There are so many things we can do if we just look around for opportunities and ask God for help.

If you want charity in your life you have to ask God to help you attain this attribute of Christ. When we live righteous lives and focus on God good things happen and we are given that gift.

Last year my youngest son started thinking of ways that he can serve. He wasn't sure what he should do so he took his question to God in prayer, asking Him what God would have him do. The very next day he received an answer in General Conference when the Prophet announced that the age to become a missionary was dropped to 18 years old. He knew this was his answer and has now been preparing for that act of service.

18 Year old missionary announcement

The missionaries call him quite often to go out on visits with them. He is really enjoying and loving what he is doing. He has begun his journey in gaining this attribute of Jesus Christ by understanding charity.

"Christlike attributes are gifts from God. They come as you use your agency righteously. Ask your Heavenly Father to bless you with these attributes; you cannot develop them without His help. With a desire to please God, recognize your weaknesses and be willing and anxious to improve." 
Preach my Gospel Manual

We as righteous women can do the same, all we have to do is ask God what He would have us do and the answer will come. If you don't receive an answer right away, then open your eyes and heart to see what good needs to be done, and act upon it, then you will see the Light of Christ shine through your example a hope and faith for everyone you serve. You will have the gift of charity.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Does Charity Mean to Jesus?

1 Corinthians 13

I always thought of charity as showing love to people by giving to organizations that helped people, then I started reading the scriptures and found charity to show love for people by helping them in many ways and praying for them. But then when I began to really study the scriptures I found that charity is really something a lot more than showing love and helping where I could.

I love Paul and the things he taught. Reading this scripture has taught me what charity really means.

He says that charity is everything. He says that if you do everything you are supposed to do but you don't have charity then you are nothing. I thought about that for a moment, how do you do all the right things but not have charity?

I know that there were times when I would do things because I knew I was supposed to but I didn't really want to do it; like when I was learning about tithing. I wanted to take the money and use it on something else but I knew I was supposed to pay 10% of my increase. I had to learn that the blessings don't come if you do it with the wrong attitude. I knew if I paid an honest tithe and did it with a loving attitude that I was showing my love for my Father in this commandment. So this part of the scripture did make more sense to me; give it with my heart.

But charity means more than just loving through obedience; some of these were real eye openers to me.

Charity is long suffering: That means we are to be patient with others and with God, as long as it takes. We should forgive time and time again, for as long as it takes. We should continue to help people for as long as it takes. These things are not always easy but if we do this we will know charity in our hearts.

Charity envieth not: This means we are to be happy with what we have and not want what others have. There were times in my life that I wished I was blessed with certain things in my life, mostly material things, but then I realized that even though some people had materials things I had spiritual blessings which others did not, and spiritual blessings last longer than material ones. I found that I was happy with my blessings. It seemed that the more material things they had the more they wanted, they were never happy or satisfied.

Charity never vaunteth itself, was not puffed up: This means we don't go around bragging and feeling mightier than the people we serve. When we serve we have to do it with God in mind, that we are doing these things to help but not make anyone feel less of themselves for receiving. Christians are often accused of being mightier than, if we have charity in our hearts we will disprove that theory by helping people to realize that we act upon these things because we want to be more like our Savior, we want to do it because we love them. Jesus was not prideful in service to others.

Seeketh not her own: We are not to pick and choose who we give service and love to, we should be doing this every day as we go through our lives. If we see a need we help, we don't say well today I am going to do one act of service to help someone. We should be saying I will do what the Holy Spirit prompts me to do and serve where I am needed today.

Charity bearth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, and endueth all things: We should testify that we are followers of Jesus Christ and try to do as He did, we should testify of the truth we hold in our hearts, we should help others to hope for good things to happen, and we should help others to hold on and continue fighting the battle against evil. When we do these things, and help
others to to these things, we are showing true charity in our hearts. We are showing that we have the true love of Christ.

As righteous women we should seek for good things in our lives and find love in  our hearts for all people for they are our brothers and sisters, children of God. They are not more or less than we are. They are strong in some areas of life that we are not and we are strong in some areas of life that they are not, we can serve each other with the strengths we are blessed with: this is charity.

Paul concludes that charity never faileth, and that we should have faith, hope and charity, but the most important of all is charity.

Monday, November 18, 2013

With Faith and Hope Comes Charity

Moroni 7:47
"But acharity is the pure blove of Christ, and it endureth cforever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."

What is Charity? The scriptures say it is the pure love of Christ. We can find so much information in the scriptures regarding charity, as we are diligent in our study of that topic.

The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all our hearts, soul and mind. So lets think about that. We are to love Him with all our hearts. How do we love with all our hearts?

Have you ever looked at someone and your emotion just overwhelms you because you can feel the love for that person? For instance, looking at your new born child. Man, the love that pours out of your heart for that baby, you would do everything in your power to protect and provide for the child. I think that is an example of the love we should feel for God. 

That is how we love with all our heart. We have to open our hearts and pray for that love to come in. I remember once a long time ago, that I prayed for love in my heart for all people. Shortly thereafter, I saw a homeless person walking down the street and I began to cry for that person, I prayed for that person and asked how I could help that person. That was a start to how I could love with all my heart.

What is a soul and how do I love with all my soul? The scriptures say that a soul is your body and spirit combined (Abraham 5:7). We can show love with our souls by being obedient to the commandments of God. We show Him that we love Him when we are obedient. Didn't we as children want to please our parents so we would do as we were asked. The same with our Father, we show we love Him by pleasing Him in our daily actions.

How do we love Him with all our mind? This has to do with our thoughts. He needs to be foremost in our daily thoughts. When we put Him first we tend to see where there are needs in this world and find ways to act upon them. We are more aware of the direction our lives should be going. 

By doing these things, opening our hearts, being obedient, and making God our most important thoughts daily, we are beginning to understand and be able to show love to our Heavenly Father. Once we do this we will also be able to obey the second greatest commandment which is to love our neighbor as ourselves. 

We will be showing that we possess the Christ attribute of Charity. By serving God and helping our brother, we will know the pure love of Christ and as the scripture says whosoever is found with charity in the last days will be blessed and received by our Father in heaven. This is a attribute that we can take with us when we die and will find it to be a great treasure of joy.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Obituary Data Full of Treasured Information

It's always sad when someone dies. My uncle just past away last week, its sad that we will not see him here in this world again. I pray for his family to find God's peace at this time. I know he is at peace and was ready to get on with his real life beyond this one.

One of my cousins posted a link to the funeral home webpage where his obit was placed. Wow, there was so much information about his relatives. I was amazed at the data that some family genealogist  in the future would greatly treasure.

Obituaries normally contain the full name and birth/death info as well as immediate family names and connections. This is a treasure when you are trying to find this kind of information on your ancestry.

For instance, a spouse whether living or dead is listed, and sometimes how long they had been married will be included. Children's names as well as their spouses name could be listed. You can usually find parents and the siblings of the deceased, with married names of sisters. The amount of  grandkids and great grandkids, etc, are listed but usually names aren't included.

And sometimes, they even include a bit of a story about the person like maybe they served in the military, or where they graduated, or worked, etc.

Obits are a treasure full of information. When my oldest daughter passed away I remember someone asking me about placing an obituary for her, but I don't remember it having a lot of information except a few family members names. This is something to think about in the future. What information do you think will be valuable to your posterity?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christmas Shoebox Project

When we lived in Utah I had the great opportunity to work on Hill AFB, at the chapel, where I learned a lot about different religions. I loved participating in a few of their activities like the one I am going to tell you about today. This program is called Operation Christmas Child.

My family loved this one. As I was searching today for good ideas for family service projects this came up as an option, then I remembered how much we enjoyed doing this and asked my family if they wanted to do it again, they did.

So for family home evening, Monday night, we will be going shopping and filling shoe boxes with gift items for these children, who otherwise might not have a Christmas. It's a fun project and easy to do, especially for younger children, but your teenagers will love it too.

The only catch is the collection date runs from Nov 18th - Nov 25th so it has to be done like now. Here is the link to show you where the closest drop off place is and some great ideas to fill the boxes:

Operation Christmas Child

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thanksgiving Traditional Foods

Thanksgiving seems to be a holiday that everyone wants to forget and get out of the way. If it weren't for the food we would probably skip it. So in order to keep it we have to focus on the food. You have probably already planned your menu for Thanksgiving but I found some good recipes that might be worth trying.

I love Thanksgiving but at m y house we seem to eat the same old things every year.  Don't get me wrong, I do love those things but maybe a little change in the menu or taste in the recipes could make a little more excitement about the holiday.

I never really cared much for sweet potatoes but after I tried this recipe I looked forward to having this dish every year. I don't like pecans so I don't add that in my recipe.

Sweet Potato Casserole

This website had lots of new ideas to try; take a look.
Thanksgiving Recipes

I love pumpkin bread at Thanksgiving time, here is a sweet website with a good recipe to try.

Here are some recipes for breakfast on Thanksgiving day, some look pretty yummy.

Well, I hope you enjoy trying and creating some new recipes for Thanksgiving. Now, I think I'm starting to get excited about Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do You Have Patience to Wait for Hope

Romans 8:24-25
"For we are saved by ahope: but hope that is bseen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."

My oldest grandson is at the age when he wants to know if it's time yet. For example, he is going to Sea World this month, he wants to know if it's time yet. He wants to know how many days until Thanksgiving, and Christmas, etc. 

My daughter made a chain for Halloween, you know the one like the Christmas countdown chain. This helped him to know when it was time for Halloween. It save my daughter from a lot of days of him asking how many more days until Halloween. But, he learned to have hope that when that chain got to the end that it would be time, like promised.

I thought of this story when I read this scripture about having hope but are we patient enough to wait for it?

Hope requires patience, the Lord does things on His time. If we are patient we will receive the answer to a prayer, or gain knowledge of His ways, or receive blessings.  He does this to teach us more about having faith and hope. He teaches us to be patient and wait for the promised blessings. 

We can find strength in hope, we can strengthen others through hope. We can change the world with hope. With hope comes faith and charity, which is love. Hope is a powerful word that we need to use in our lives to become more like Jesus Christ. He taught us to have hope because He knows the good that can come from it. 

As righteous women we can shine the light of hope for all to see. We can be an example of being positive and having patience that good things will come our way as we move toward the Light daily and guide others to do the same. We can have hope in a troubled world, waiting patiently for the return of our Savior to rescue us from the evil that seems to get stronger each day. Hope will see us through, we just need to endure to the end, we were made to do this.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Prayer and Hope

Alma 58:10-11
"Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.

Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our adeliverance in him."

Have you ever felt like you were in the grasp of evil? Or that you felt so hopeless that you couldn't see the light ahead? I have, I remember a time in my life where I felt Satan around me. I was married to a man, my first marriage, who invited evil in his life. So I tried to please him best I could and that meant doing somethings I wasn't comfortable with. I could feel Satan laughing at me.

But I remember times being alone in my home, and feeling like I was being watched. I would walk past a darkened bedroom door and could feel a presence that scared the life out of me. I knew what I needed to do, so I knelt in prayer and begged for help, from the Right Source.

That peace came right away and I knew I had my answer. I needed to make changes in my life and invite the Spirit of Hope to be with me always. I couldn't change what my husband was doing but I could change what I was doing. My marriage eventually ended but I had hope that I was on the right track.

As righteous women we need to constantly have a prayer in our hearts for our families and ourselves so we can be protected against the evil that confronts us daily. We cannot shine the Light of Christ for others to see if it is hidden by darkness. The Lord will deliver us from the evil that surrounds us if we show that we have faith and hope that is so needed in a troubled world. He loves us and wants us to invite Him into our lives. So shine that Light high for all to see and have hope as you follow the path of righteousness!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hope, the Next Attribute of Christ

 2 Nephi 31:20
What is hope?

Hope is a trust that something you believe in will be so. For example, you have hope, or trust, that when you die you will go to heaven. You have hope and trust that when you go to bed at night that the sun will arise and you will get up to greet a new day. We hope for this to be true, we expect this happen. Hope and faith go together, which you will see this week in the scriptures I plan to blog about.

When we hope in things of God we are showing faith that we trust in Him to lead and guide our lives in a way that will help us gain eternal life. With hope we can endure trials and hardships. With hope we can endure to the end.

When we go through tough times it is hope that gets us through, hope to see a better day. It helps us endure to the end which is something we must do. I have found at times that I just wanted to give up and climb in bed and forget everything but, I know that I have to stand strong in Christ and endure what I must so I make sure that hope and faith are strong in my life and help others to do the same.

We are living in a time when there is so much evil surrounding us and some people don't even see it. They see it as part of life, but we are surrounded and we have to stand firm in Christ and His plan in order to fight for the good to shine through all of this darkness. And when we do, we have the hope of a promise from out Father in Heaven that we will have peace and joy in this life and the life to come in eternity.

As righteous women, we need to shine the light of Christ for others to see and hang on to their hope of a better life. Our example is so important to sustaining our families and helping others to endure to the end. Jesus needs us to do our part by helping our brothers and sisters in this world find Him and learn to do the same. It's time to become part of God's Army and shine the Light high for all to see.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day, Show Them We Care

Many wars and battles have happened throughout the history for mankind. Many wars and battles have been fought over minor things. Many wars and battles have been fought for one of the most important gifts we can have and that is freedom.

What is freedom? Freedom is defined as: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

It's defined as POWER. We have power when we think of accomplishing goals in our life because we have been given the gift of freedom. We live in the most wonderful place in the world, the United States of America. The history of our country is so powerful when you think of its short span of time as a country. Good people have fought to give us this freedom to pursue true happiness in our lives. Our Declaration of Independence says:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

This gives everyone the opportunity to pursue these things that so many have fought and some have died so that we can have these gifts.

Monday, November 11
Veterans Day 2013

Today is Veterans Day, its not just another holiday on our calendar. It is a day to remember all those who have fought for freedom from tyrants and evil. Today is the day we should thank every current member of the military and all those who have ever served in the military, whether they fought in wars or not. A soldiers life is not an easy one. They are gone from their families a lot. They are put in dangerous situations a lot. They suffer through unmentionable things that we can never understand. 

We must support them and show them gratitude for giving their life to give us the freedom to live our lives. I am so grateful to the many who have the courage to be a part of the military and stand firm in their beliefs in God, Country, and Freedom for all mankind!!! 

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