Peace

Last time in Two Truths for Traveling Anywhere”, I meant to highlight a full schedule of preparations for our most significant trip ever.

“Consider how we are preparing for this trip of all trips.

Time with family and friends, compassionate service, magnifying our callings, discovering and using our talents, hearing and obeying promptings, spending time in prayer, reading our scriptures, missionary work, learning God’s will for our lives, following the example of our Savior in all ways…”

Even more so, then, was the contrast in my dear friend’s thoughtful comment. Being still- a most valuable aspect of our preparations. If you missed it, I knew you would appreciate pondering Bryant’s wisdom this week.

From Bryant Barber

Re: Consider how we are preparing for this trip of all trips:

As I age, and I don’t enjoy “all” aspects of the process, I’d like to share a phrase from scripture which has helped me. It is found in PSALMS 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.” I thought I had a general idea of what that meant.

be still and know that I am God

It was a favorite of my elderly father-in-law, who passed away in October of 2013. However, if someone asked me, “What does that mean to you?” I’m not sure what I would have said.

So, I began to ponder it, and with the help of a thesaurus, looking at synonyms for “STILL,” and “KNOW,” and other scriptural references, I came up with some other ways of stating that phrase that might help me to broaden my understanding of it. Following, is what I came up with:

Stand still…and…listen to Me
Quiet yourself…and…pay attention to Me
Don’t be anxious…but…have confidence in Me
Be calm…and…have faith in what I say
Just relax…and…trust Me
Be at peace…because…I really do understand
Be serene…for…I am with you always
Be soft and gentle…for…that is My way
Listen…and…I will enlighten you
Don’t be afraid…for…I will comfort you

be-stillMy conclusion? I do know that God is my Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is my Saviour. I need to “be still” and listen to His words, which partly comes from reading His words; and also pay attention to the “still, small voice” of the Holy Ghost.

Heavenly Father truly has not left us “alone” here on earth, and I am so grateful for that. Good luck to us all as we prepare for that trip of all trips.

 

How do you fit “be still” in the busy-ness of your day?

April turned out to be a month of several firsts as I glance back on the past few weeks.

Main Street San Pedro

Main Street San Pedro

It was my first time ever to vacation on a tropical island with my adult siblings. I’m the oldest of ten and they are from the younger half of the family. The youngest, my brother was about 6-7 years old when I left home.

Travelling with others, one really finds out how much they know each other- or not. Even with siblings. Half of the group from Alberta and the other half from Ontario met in southern Ontario and flew to San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Visiting beautiful Belize and her friendly people was a first for all of us and one of the most amazing experiences ever. A favorite for sure! A dream destination for scuba diving and snorkelers, Belize’s barrier reef is the longest and largest mass of continuous living coral in that hemisphere, second in the world.

“Look deep into nature, and then…you will

understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

nurse sharkCoached by my experienced sisters, we set out to snorkel. Another first. A shark nonchalantly swam right up to me within my reach. It was longer than I am wide; I admit I felt a bit afraid. My heart nearly stopped. This on our first excursion! A bit later, I learned it’s known as a nurse shark. They are safe. Yay. Think I should have researched those a bit more beforehand!

Snorkelling. My new love. I am so hooked! I can hardly believe I had not discovered this fun activity before! Vibrant colored sea plants and exotic marine life…maybe scuba diving will be my next adventure. 🙂

For the first time ever in my 7 ½ years as a Latter Day Saint, the ward boundaries have been changed and I along with 3 other families have been entrusted to another ward. I know this is a common occurrence for many of you, but in this area it had not happened for 20 years.

I am now a member at the Stoney Creek ward about the same distance away (20 minutes) in the opposite direction. I’ve always known I live on the boundary line. I just never knew when I would be leaving my dear St. Catharine brethren and move on to love and appreciate others. While temporarily out of my comfort zone I have no doubt that Heavenly Father has a purpose in offering this opportunity for growth.

Now this next item is not truly a 100% complete ‘first’ although I would say it is the most important first I could add to any list. From the beginning of my commitment as a Latter Day Saint I have been aware of the enabling power of the Atonement in small increments as I’ve often thought of it.

Deep comfort and peace when troubled. A flood of divine love washing through me when sad, lonely, misunderstood or grieving. Feeling God’s extra strength when I needed more patience or courage. Inspiration in time of need.

“I frankly do not think many of us ‘get it’ concerning the enabling and strengthening aspect of the Atonement, and I wonder if we mistakenly believe we must make the journey from good to better and become a saint all by ourselves through sheer grit, will power, and discipline, and with our obviously limited capacities.” Elder David A. Bednar

Seemingly suddenly I’ve become aware of the magnitude of what we have been given in the complete package of the gift of the Atonement. It is not just a bit of strength and comfort doled out here and there in whimsical fashion, as by an inconsistent, cranky parent.

"Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.", www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

“Image used with permission from Greg Olsen Art Publishing, Inc.”,
www.gregolsen.com 208-888-2585

“Surrounded by His enduring love, we are warm, safe and secure. That reassuring calm…  comes from the embrace which our heart feels and through the tender senses of our spirit. All around us we have the physical wonders and beauties of nature that bear the signature of their Creator and remind us of His enduring love. Although His presence is unseen by our eyes, His unending love is felt in our hearts.” Greg Olsen – 1997

 

My ‘first’ is realizing that my situations may not have changed or gone away, but how I respond has changed with His divine help. Not overnight. But my awareness of this having been the case seems to have come overnight.

I have complete confidence in the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help me through any and every situation and in His desire and willingness to enrich my life with joy and happiness.

That is if I humble myself and depend on Heavenly Father and our Savior for help. I’ve learned Whom to turn to 100% of the time and Whom I can trust 100%. This has been true from the beginning. And it’s all been available all this time. Oh, how indescribably blessed we are!

“Christ is ready with outstretched arms as He waits for us to come unto Him and be encircled in the arms of His love. It is here that we can be healed, nourished, loved, enabled, strengthened, and made whole.” Carolyn J. Rasmus

May 1st marked this blog’s first birthday. I’ve been posting for a year already!! Can you believe!! Happy Birthday “Entitled To Revelation”!! WhooHoo!

A few times in my life I’ve had occasion to visit Pentecostal church services. Once, a small band played jarring loud music followed with exuberant shouts of praise. Another time, at a tent meeting the congregation prayed aloud-everyone at the same time!

This was intermingled with an evening of enthusiastic singing and clapping. Confused and feeling empty, I believed I was the problem because I had not recognized the Spirit.

Yet, eight years ago, when I desired to find a church that believes in the Holy Spirit of the New Testament, I did consider revisiting these charismatic and energized services.

I expected noisy obtrusive clapping and singing to become a part of the paradigm shift I’d have to undergo. I was willing to learn to adjust if that’s what it would take to ‘get the Spirit’.

“the Lord was not in the wind…the Lord was not in the earthquake…the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” 1 Kings19:11-12

Afterwards, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I became aware of a quiet and reverent attitude that I had not anticipated, and one that I deeply appreciated.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

In fact, as I pondered the alternative choice, I was very relieved that Heavenly Father led me to a church that is not as demonstrative as I’d thought one must be and where I never would have felt comfortable. I have rejoiced about this many times. His ways truly are higher than our ways.

“As for God, His way is perfect” 2 Samuel 22:31

testimonyThe feelings I receive from the Holy Spirit are similar to those I had experienced at different times over the years while I was quietly reading my Bible. Then, my heart would swell with truths that filled my soul, God’s peace and love feeling very near.

“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all.” Boyd K. Packer

I love our services. There is no mistaking the Presence of the Spirit, although our meetings would never be considered charismatic in nature.

Feelings of peace, gratefulness, love and joy are magnified when God brushes the heart. And often overflow.

When have you felt caressed by His Spirit?