It Is Up to Each of Us…Personal Stewardship

It is up to each of us to develop the faith necessary to survive spiritually and to project a light for others to see. Thomas S. Monson

There is a rare commodity in this world called being spiritually prepared. Being spiritually prepared is a gift that we must give ourselves by allowing God and His work to be a part of our lives.

We all have trials and tribulations. We all need the gift of spiritual strength. Yet, few recognize the value of spiritual strength let alone take the necessary steps to obtain it.

I am a huge fan of many individuals who have both developed and then demonstrated spiritual strength. I am grateful for their examples. Several years ago, I read the story that I am sharing today. That single story both taught me and instilled within my heart the importance of example. I am thankful to Mahatma Gandhi for teaching me through his own example!

We are each meant to be a light in this world! We each have important tasks and gifts to share with this world!

I hope as you read today’s story that you will be able to internalize the importance of your own light and example! May great blessings be yours and may you be a great blessing!

Be The Change You Want To See In This World – Mahatma Gandhi

During 1930’s, a young boy had become obsessed with eating sugar. His mother was very upset with this. But no matter how much she scolded him and tried to break his habit, he continued to satisfy his sweet tooth. Totally frustrated, she decided to take her son to see his idol – Mahatma Gandhi; perhaps her son would listen to him.

She walked miles, for hours under scorching sun to finally reach Gandhi’s ashram. There, she shared with Gandhi her predicament. –
“Bapu, my son eats too much sugar. It is not good for his health. Would you please advise him to stop eating it?”

Gandhi listened to the woman carefully, thought for a while and replied,
“Please come back after two weeks. I will talk to your son.”

The woman looked perplexed and wondered why had he not asked the boy to stop eating sugar right away. She took the boy by the hand and went home.

Two weeks later they revisited Gandhi. Gandhi looked directly at the boy and said,
“Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health.”

The boy nodded and promised he would not continue this habit any longer. The boy’s mother was puzzled. She turned to Gandhi and asked,
“Bapu, Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago when I brought him here to see you?”

Gandhi smiled,
“Mother, two weeks ago I was eating a lot of sugar myself.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.avani-mehta.com/2008/08/14/breaking-someones-sugar-habit-gandhis-story/

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Faith Lays the Foundation

First and Forever  fan the flame of  your Faith, because  all things are possible to them that believe.  Jeffrey R. Holland

I have found that Faith in my life is the mortar that forms the foundation of a truly meaningful life. It supports and sustains me most successfully when personal ego and desires are restrained and ultimate control is handed over to the Lord.

My faith is ever evolving and never static. It grows as it is exercised and flounders when abandoned. I believe faith is the greatest gift that the Lord gives to us. With faith, I am able to use the power of the atonement and manifest the unique life mission that the Lord has given me to fulfill. My faith is the vehicle that transports me from where I am to where I need to be!

I hope that you are finding faith a constant gift in your life! I hope you enjoy today’s story!:

Tell Them

-(Author Unknown)

Some 14 years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our opening session in the theology of faith.

That was the day I first saw Tommy. He was combing his hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. My quick judgment wrote him off as strange – very strange.

Tommy turned out to be my biggest challenge. He constantly objected to or smirked at the possibility of an unconditionally loving God. When he turned in his final exam at the end of the course, he asked in a slightly cynical tone, “Do you think I’ll ever find God?” “No,” I said emphatically. “Oh,” he responded. “I thought that was the product you were pushing.”

I let him get five steps from the door and then called out. “I don’t think you’ll ever find Him, but I am certain He will find you.” Tommy shrugged and left. I felt slightly disappointed that he had missed my clever line.

Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was grateful for that. Then came a sad report: Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to me. When he walked into my office, his body was badly wasted, and his long hair had fallen out because of chemotherapy. But his eyes were bright and his voice, for the first time, was firm.

“Tommy! I’ve thought about you so often. I heard you were very sick,” I blurted out.

“Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer. It’s a matter of weeks.”

“Can you talk about it?”

“Sure. What would you like to know?”

“What’s it like to be only 24 and know that you’re dying?”

“It could be worse,” he told me, “like being 50 and thinking that drinking booze, seducing women and making money are the real ‘biggies’ in life.”

Then he told me why he had come.

“It was something you said to me on the last day of class. I asked if you thought I would ever find God, and you said no, which surprised me. Then you said, ‘But He will find you.’ I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time. But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, I got serious about locating God. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging against the bronze doors of heaven. But nothing happened. Well, one day I woke up, and instead of my desperate attempts to get some kind of message, I just quit. I decided I didn’t really care about God, an afterlife, or anything like that. I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more important. I thought about you and something else you had said: ‘The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you loved them.’ So I began with the hardest one: my dad.”

Tommy’s father had been reading the newspaper when his son approached him.

“Dad, I would like to talk with you.”

“Well, talk.”

“I mean, it’s really important.”

The newspaper came down three slow inches.

“What is it?”

“Dad, I love you. I just wanted you to know that.”

Tommy smiled at me as he recounted the moment. “The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I couldn’t remember him doing before. He cried and he hugged me. And we talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning.

“It was easier with my mother and little brother,” Tommy continued. “They cried with me, and we hugged one another, and shared the things we had been keeping secret for so long. Here I was, in the shadow of death, and I was just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.

“Then one day I turned around and God was there. He didn’t come to me when I pleaded with Him. Apparently He does things in His own way and at His own hour. The important thing is that you were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him.”

“Tommy,” I added, “could I ask you a favor? Would you come to my theology-of-faith course and tell my students what you told me?”

Though we scheduled a date, he never made it. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of humanity has ever seen or the mind ever imagined.

Before he died, we talked one last time. “I’m not going to make it to your class,” he said. “I know, Tommy.”

“Will you tell them for me? Will you . . . tell the whole world for me?”

“I will, Tommy. I’ll tell them.”

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Gaining Spiritual Strength

 

Spiritual armor... Protects against the many things that can knock us spiritually senseless. James E. Faust

I love the quote:”We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin! It is so very true and I have witnessed it! Yet, far too many of us neglect and/or ignore our spiritual health. We all need spiritual strength regardless of the religion we practice.

Spiritual strength must be worked for just like physical strength. Just because we are God’s creations does not mean that we are born with an inexhaustible supply of spiritual strength. Just like our bodies needs consistent nourishment from food and water – our spirits needs frequent nourishment from the kinds of things that bring us spiritual strength.

I have found that things like prayer, scripture reading, meditation, giving service, spending time with nature and listening to inspirational music are some of the most effective forms of spiritual “exercise”. Those things that cause us to come closer to God build our spiritual strength and those things which ostracize us from God deplete our spiritual reserves.

No one would try to run a marathon without first completing exhaustive training. Life, without fail, brings difficulties and trials. When we are spiritually strong, that strength along with God’s assistance will carry us through every time!

Today, I share a wonderful example from the bible of those that were spiritually strong and who received a miracle in their lives because they had prepared themselves spiritually. I hope you enjoy!:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—Daniel 3

King Nebuchadnezzar built an idol to show his own power and strength in the world. He commanded all of the inhabitants of Babylon to bow and worship his creation. There was to be a great ceremony in which the people would worship together. When the ceremony began everyone bowed to the idol except three young Hebrew men—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

The three men had been brought from Israel as slaves, yet through time they were promoted to positions of authority because of their great wisdom. When it was time to worship the image they stood strong because of their belief in the God of Israel.

For not obeying the king’s command, they were sentenced to be burned in a furnace. The king was so angry at their disobedience that he demanded the furnace be heated seven times more than normal for the trio.

The Bible says that the furnace was so hot that the soldiers who threw the three men in were consumed by the fire. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not harmed in any way. The ropes which bound them were burned away, but they walked about freely in the fire. Nebuchadnezzar said that he saw them walking around with a fourth person who he believed was the Son of God.

For their strength and trust in God, the king proclaimed his trust in the God of Israel.

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