who are you connected to?

21 11 2010

I gave the lesson in Elder’s Quorum today about the sacrament.

I prepared a lesson (Saturday night) and then of course the lesson went completely different than I imagined.
When this happens I’m usually scared and excited.
Scared of what might happen.
Excited that maybe the Spirit is actually guiding the conversation.

Well, it took me about 10 minutes to work through everything I had.
Then we got to one of my last discussion points.
Reverence in sacrament.
We spent the rest of the time discussing this one seemingly small subject.

The discussion centered on smartphones.
Of course, because everyone loves a good debate and smart phones in church makes for wonderful back and forth.

At one point in time we had a man argue that “bringing a smartphone into church and saying that it’s ok because I have the scriptures on it was no better than bringing a playboy into church that had a scripture case around it.”

That’s how the discussion started – and then I basically mediated a firestorm.

One comment stands out form the rest.
One of the men said that smartphones are wonderful for connecting to the world – in fact that is basically the very purpose for having a smartphone.

It allows you to be connected via: text. phone. facebook. twitter. email. blogs. internet. foursquare (I mean I actually checked into church the other week).

But, the man said, who do we come to church to connect with?

Heavenly Father.

We don’t need a smart phone for that.
He said that leaving his phone in the car for 3 hours was a personal way of showing that he was literally willing to disconnect form the world and connect fully to Heavenly Father.

Insightful. I felt like the comment was directed at me for some reason.
Perhaps I was feeling guilty about playing Angry Birds, or Words with Friends.

He’s right though, we go to church to connect with God – not stay connected with a world of distractions.
God doesn’t want us to multi-task Him in for 5 minutes while we take the sacrament between playing games and texting our friends.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3)

But there were others who argued that it’s just a matter of self control. You could bring the phone into church and use the scriptures application as long as you avoided the games, texting and Internet.

? What do you think about smartphones in sacrament?

decades of candy.

11 11 2010

We have a pretty good selection of candy here in the store (Blickenstaff’s)

But – that’s about to change.
We’re about have an absolutely astounding selection of candy…

And I’m not talking about every variety of starburst on the market (although I’m a huge fan of the bags that only have red ones in it)

We’re about to become the ONLY place you will find some certain nostalgic candies.

Have you had or even heard of the following ten pieces of candy?

Squirrel Nut Zippers
Goo Goo Clusters
Sky Bar
Mary Janes
Mountain Bar

I had never heard of ANY of these till I started working here.

There is something very fulfilling about being the only store to carry certain items.
I like it.

It’s kind of like the mission.
When you were walking around you knew that you had something unique and special.
You also knew that if people just understood how amazing your “candy” was – they would do anything it took to have some.

Although on the mission we were giving it away.
In the store we’re trying to turn a small profit so that we can all have jobs 🙂

There’s a principle in business that says: when you are the “only shop in the marketplace”, you control the marketplace.

Spiritually speaking, there’s only one shop in the marketplace that offers exactly what we need.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)

? Have you had any of those candies mentioned?


6 08 2010

I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother last night based wholly on “baggage“.

The main character (Ted) is not able to enjoy going on dates with girls because he is constantly looking for the baggage being carried by the girl.

EVERYONE has baggage.

That’s life.
Each one of us experience things that shape us and stick with us. Some of it is good. Some of it is bad.

We each bring unique things to our friendships and relationships.

Our baggage is part of what makes us who we are.

I have it.
You have it.
We all have it.

I’ve sat through enough fast and testimony meetings to know that church is the perfect place for baggage!

A ward is simply a collection of individuals with baggage trying their best to get back to Heavenly Father.

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—” (Mosiah 18:9)

We should be doing whatever we can to help out those around us – no matter how crazy the baggage might be!

? Have you helped out your neighbor lately?

early ending.

11 07 2010

I went to my friend Paul’s ward today.

My ward starts at 12:30.
His ward starts at 11:30.
World Cup Final kick off was at 12:30.

Yes, I know, my first mistake of the day was planning my church attendance around a highly popular international sports event.

Live and learn, right?
Maybe. Depends on how my schedule matches up with the World Cup in 4 years. Haha

Anyways – sacrament was great. The final speaker ended 15 minutes early. It was as if he understood that there was something special happening at 12:30.

He closed his talk, I said Amen – and we were only at 12:25.
Perfect – I thought for a brief second that even Heavenly Father understood everyone was trying to make it back home for the kick-off.

Very unwise of me to make such assumptions.

The Bishop got up and proceeded to “fill” the time.

Let me just say that I strongly oppose when people feel the need to just fill empty time with just anything. I’ve heard several General Authorities say that there is nothing wrong with ending a meeting early.

Maybe the Bishop was prompted to share the very random stories he did.
I will not question that -but I got restless.

After he proceeded to fill a 12 minute void with stories.
He said Amen, and we were out of our chairs before the closing hymn even started.

My first mistake was changing my schedule to watch the game.
My second mistake was getting flustered at the Bishop.
My biggest mistake was leaving EARLY (even though I felt justified).

As a whole the game was uneventful.

Have you ever felt like you received immediate punishment for something?

This might be totally untrue but part of me felt like the game was lackluster because I couldn’t wait an extra 4 minutes to sing a song and listen to a prayer. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t help but feel like the weak game was my punishment.

I disregarded church for a game = weak game.

“…him have I punished according to the crime which he has committed…” (Mosiah 29:15)

? Have you ever left church for something…. not so important?

gentle rebuke.

30 06 2010

“Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved…” (D&C 121:43)

Yep – I’ve been reproved.

I got back this morning and Grandpa inquired when my last visit to the temple was…

This is sad – because off the top of my head, I actually cannot remember the last time I went.

That can’t be good. It’s actually quite bad.

I was reminded this morning that if there is enough time to go to the driving range multiple times a week then there is surely enough time to go to the temple.

I stand corrected and I am grateful for the reminder. (Mom actually made me promise several weeks ago that I would start going once a week- sorry Mom)

I am so happy with how this scripture blog is going and the daily effect it has had on my own personal testimony – but it is interesting that complacency has still managed to creep into my life.

It is a daily struggle – no matter how good you feel about where you’re headed it is important to realize that there are no breaks in the race.
There is no room for complacency and the only way to avoid that is to be CONSTANTLY on guard.

I’m glad grandpa said something.
I needed to hear it.

As a whole, we all have good intentions BUT;
the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? Yeah.

Sometimes we need someone on the road to tell us to straighten up and keep moving forward.

The key is to make sure we listen to those individuals Heavenly Father sends our way – and to not be afraid to be that person for someone else.

? How do you overcome complacency?

A small change.

13 06 2010

There has been a lot of talk about the media/technology and it’s influence lately. I’ve been thinking about my own habits and how I can l begin to make small changes in order to use the media/technology as a tool for growth and not my spiritual demise.

I was sitting in sacrament and thought about my compulsive desire to download new movies or TV shows to watch along with music to listen to.

I decided that I should use the technology to pick up something worthwhile to listen to.

The Church has a lot of great materials out there – and there are some members who have compiled some incredible resources to pull from.

I picked up a lot of talks from different prophets and apostles and put them on my iPhone. Every week I will listen to one talk as I am driving around. I will start on Monday and listen until the talk is complete.

I LOVE music – and singing along in the car is one of my favorite things to do. I love hearing the new songs that come out – creating playlists to listen to and then just losing myself in the music. But I think it will be good for me to use part of my driving time to listen to something uplifting. I’m not going to stop listening to music, don’t be ridiculous. But it can’t hurt to split the time, right?

For years my dad has listened to church materials on his drive to and from work. He has listened to the scriptures countless times. I always thought he was missing out on all of the new songs on the radio. (I still think that)

BUT – for some reason, I feel like I need to at least test it out for myself. Maybe I will find that I can’t live without my music (then there is a problem – because I am addicted), or maybe I will find that I don’t miss constant bass thumping and will open myself up for inspiration and personal revelation.

Who knows!

It’s a still and small voice that can reveal things and maybe I have been covering that voice up with Justin Timberlake’s voice all these years!

“And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.” (3 Nephi 11:3)

? What small change can you make to help open yourself up to greater personal revelation?

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