Gratitude: It is time to set new goals

Honey-do and I set individual and family goals every year and have done so since we got married many, many years ago. It is one of my favorite times of year, this goal setting and review ritual. The accounting from where we started, to where we now are, and where we choose to go from here is a way to realign ourselves as individuals and as a couple, making those course corrections to keep us from falling off track from that which matters most. 

What matters most? We do, to each other.

Generally pleased with where we now are and how we have moved through life’s unforeseen events, we are not so far off financially from where we hoped to be. Career wise has thrown some curves but with patience and trust in the Lord’s timing we are happy with how things have turned out. We have seen miracles. We have enjoyed the process of discovery.

There have been and still are times when we are not so pleased with goals we have set and we have not reached, nor whole-heartedly or even half-heartedly attempted to accomplish. Yet, the disappointment in ourselves does not lend us to our becoming incapacitated but leads us toward action, to a better structured goal. We practice attainable goals in smaller sections of success through micro-goal settings or subsets of goals. 

One personal goal took me 28 years to accomplish and even now I still struggle maintaining that goal while trying to maintain other goals of great importance to me. 

The goals we now review reflect a different tone of adventure. They are closer to becoming a reality for they are over thirty years old. They were our long range range goals but they are now here, ready for action. 

Anticipating what will happen next, uncertain as to what life holds for us as we age, and looking forward to “retiring” within ten years time, we believe that the Lord has blessed us abundantly.  As long as we step into that tunnel, with faith in every footstep, a lamp will light our path no matter how dimly lit it may be. And if we are required to step onto a darkened path without light, the light will come as we take that first step in faith. It is a win-win. 

How thankful I am for the blessings that come from setting goals. From the time I was young to my older self, goal setting has been a gift of vision and of loving reflection on how much the Lord has blessed my life. And I am especially grateful that my Honey-do has done this with me for these many years of wedded bliss. 

Gratitude. Sincerely.

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Singing in Church next Sunday

My friend, Tina, is a really great musician. She’s one in a million as far as talent goes so it is fortunate for me that we are members of the same congregation. She has agreed to accompany me while I sing in Chuch next Sunday. 

We met together for a short run through after church services and to share ideas on the musical intro, interlude, and ending today. She had some fabulous ideas as she ran her fingers across the keys, ever so thoughtfully. 

I am thankful to have the opportunity to sing Press Forward Saints. It is such a joyful hymn. It lifts my soul beyond measure. 

Thanks Tina! You are wonderful, you are!

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Faith is Freedom: Set your Sail

Today I heard a couple of testimonies followed by a really great sermon in Sacrament Meeting* by Eric Boswell based upon a talk given by James E. Faust, Where Do I Make My Stand, from which I quote:

Thomas Giles, a Welsh convert who joined the Church in 1844, also suffered much in his lifetime. He was a miner, and while he was digging coal in the mine, a large piece of coal hit him on the head and inflicted a wound nine inches long. The doctor who examined him said the injured man would not live longer than 24 hours. But then the elders came and administered to him. He was promised that he would get well, and that “even if he would never see again, he would live to do much good in the Church.” Brother Giles did indeed live but was blind the rest of his life. Within a month of his injury “he was out traveling through the country attending to his ecclesiastical duties.”

There is more to the Thomas Giles story that is absolutely amazing when you look at what he becomes in spite of his injury. He might have never accomplished great things had he not pressed forward, steadfastly, in faith.

Then in Primary the children were taught about the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel:

  1. Faith
  2. Repentance
  3. Baptism
  4. Gift of the Holy Ghost

Later on today, when home from worship services, I flipped on BYUtv to watch or listen to some really lovely shows. My viewing began with a fantastic devotional talk titled “Lay Hold upon the Word”: The Power of Wholehearted Living by McKay Christensen. What an amazing journey through hope and faith has his life taken!

A follow on devotional talk by Mark B. Colton was excellent too: Never Give Up Your Testimony of the Gospel. He used a quote from a wonderful sermon by Jeffrey R. Holland but the quote I am posting next is not from the Colton talk but from the Holland sermon “I Believe.”

Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.

 

All of these talks and sermons confirmed my thinking about how the daily exercising of faith makes it possible for one to become free, unmoored from the muck and mire of the things that bog one down mentally, emotionally and or physically. But faith goes back to the FIRST principles of the Gospel. Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. Faith unto Repentance, returning time and time again to Let Go and Let God set one’s sail. 

Then the last show I watched was an episode from The Kindness Diaries. And as that show closed out my evening, I hear the same music playing over and over in my head. It is the same song I have been hearing for the last two or three weeks as I continue exercising my faith to let go and let God set my sail: 

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Improve myself each day

If you followed me on Twitter or Facebook today you saw that I mostly posted quotes from speakers at the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  If you ask me which was my favorite quote or talk it would be impossible to choose just one. Each speaker has something wonderful to preach and teach regarding the Word of God. 

What I can tell you is that 1) this conference was really wonderful and 2) the power of the Word was directed in a way I have not felt before (and I say that after every conference). The Spirit was pointed, powerful, and perfectly placed over me in a way that I felt strengthened, edified, and called to make changes in my life so that I can become a better disciple of Christ

Yeah. I have a lot to work on. Thank God for His Beloved Son, my Brother, Jesus the Christ and his Atoning Sacrifice. I have Hope. I have Faith. And yes, I am working on that Charity-thing

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