Monday, May 31, 2010

From the Trenches

A few years ago I started these "memory books" for each of my kids. It's basically just stories about them that I want to have written down so they can look back on them later. On this Memorial Day, I've chosen one out of Jake's memory book to share with you.

"Jake, when you were about 2 ½ you and I took Papa (your dad) to the airport to say goodbye before he left on his first deployment over seas with the military. It was Sunday, September 2nd , 2005. Sammy was born at the time, but we left him with Grandma Stott cause we wanted to spend special time with just you. Your father asked the lady at the check-in counter if we could come back to the gate with him so that you could see the airplanes and be there to send him off. Back then, you were really into airplanes. You use to LOVE to have Dad pick you up and swing you around in the air with your arms out like YOU were an airplane! Anyway, when we got up to the gate, you went straight over to the big glass windows that overlooked the airfield and there was a huge airliner that was right by the window who had just finished unloading some passengers. You stood there and just look and looked at that plane and were so enthralled!

Eventually it pulled away and a new plane pulled up. It looked just like the first plane but this time, by some miracle, the pilot saw you in the window and started to wave to you! We tried to get you to see him but you were so little and the pilot’s windows were so small and tinted that it was hard for you to see what we were talking about. The pilot, seeing our frustration, then opened up his window, stuck his head and arm out so you could see him plainly and gave you a HUGE wave. You stood there on that airport seat and waved back with the biggest smile on you face! You thought it was the coolest thing ever!

That was a special day to me because it was pretty tough having to say goodbye to your dad. He was leaving for so long and I knew how much you and I were going to miss him. It was just nice to have someone we didn’t even know take time out of his day to do something special for my little boy, especially during such a hard time. That pilot never knew what we were facing that day, but I’m sure the Spirit prompted him to do a little something extra like wave to a little boy in the terminals, not ever knowing the impact it would have on our family. We needed something to cheer us up, and he did that for us. Make sure you always take the time to listen to the Sprit when it tells you to do something. You never know how even the smallest thing might help someone else in need."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Trials of Faith

I had a great time in Gospel Doctrine today (a class offered to adults during the second hour of church). We have a great new teacher, who happens to be one of my greatest friends. She does a wonderful job guiding our discussions. I just love coming to her class.

Anyway, just wanted to share a thought or two I gained from attending today. We were studying the book of Joshua in the Old Testament. Most people will already know this story, but to give some background…. Joshua is basically the next prophet to follow after the great and mighty Moses (almost everyone knows the story of Moses and the wonderful miracles he performed). Needless to say, Joshua was stepping into some pretty big shoes but, whom the Lord calls he qualifies and it was no different for Joshua.

In this one specific part of the story that caught my attention, Joshua tells the Israelites that they have to cross the river Jordan. A very substantial river… the kind I’d imagine you’d look at and say “Yeeeah, um Josh, we’re gonna need a boat or something here.”

But as the story goes in verses 15 and 16 of chapter 3 (King James version) it says

“And as they that bare the ark were come unto Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, (for Jordan overfloweth all his banks all the time of harvest,)

That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the city Adam, that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho.” On dry ground I might add.

….Ummm, sound familiar? Maybe something about a red sea parting? And dry ground? To me, this was basically a demonstration of the Lord that the mantle had been passed. Joshua was now the prophet, directly connected to God and doing His work. No one, not even the rushing waters of Jordan were gonna stop him now!

But the special part in this story that I want to point out is that the people entered the water, BEFORE they knew what for sure was going to happen. What an amazing amount of faith that must have taken. Joshua comes and tells them how this is all going to happen and they believe him and in the Lord because they stepped into the water BEFORE the miracle had begun.

We went on discuss how hard it is for us in our own lives to show such displays of faith. How many of us want to see the end from the beginning? So many times the way our faith increases is by walking as far as the light will shine and then taking a few blind steps into the darkness.

I had such a wonderful time discussing this in class, I didn’t want it to end! So, I would like to hear some stories from you of when you have strived to follow God’s promptings based on faith alone. A time when you couldn’t see the end from the beginning but you followed the Spirit and did it anyway and were blessed. These are always some of the best stories, especially if you may have looked a little crazy doing it. J

Wednesday, May 5, 2010