Monday, December 24, 2012

Just Because it's Beautiful!

This made me feel good just by listening. Posting it here has no other purpose than allowing me to share something that I appreciate, because it's beautiful.

Mischa Maisky plays Bach Cello Suite No. 1 in G

Danmarks Radio Pigekor (Denmark's Radio Girl's Choir) sings a Danish Winter song "Sneflokke kommer vrimlende," describing the flurrying path of snow, as carried by wind through the landscape. The danish lyrics are shown in the video, as the song progresses.

Mischa Maisky plays Bach Cello Suite No. 2 in d-minor, recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark 2009.

Christmas is...

While a lot of traditions have connected themselves to Christmas, it's not really about tradition. Let's not celebrate tradition instead of Christmas. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ can be done any number of ways without being wrong but the key to a good Christmas does begin with the first syllable, Christ. 

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Although the giving and receiving of gifts, the beautifully sparkling lights, bright cheery colors often seen at Christmas time and wonderfully prepared family meals are things that we all can appreciate. Christmas is not really about bows, ribbons and great excesses of the just right food, prepared in just the right way. It's not about getting or even giving the most, and biggest gifts and it's not a time to gossip about the absent members of the family, or to bring up past grudges.

Instead of overburdening ourselves or each other with preparations or expectations in excess, we can celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and perhaps remember how the Lord prioritized a similar event with His presence (Luke 10:38-42)
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
If you have the opportunity and live near your family, be with them and build some good memories together. If your friends are your closest family, spend your Christmas with them and put aside your differences, be kind and friendly. Help each other build good memories and then cherish those memories together in the years to come. 

Christmas not about being better than your neighbor, it's about being good, kind, friendly and helpful to your neighbor. It's not a competition. 

As many people are in the middle of their annual Christmas preparations, getting everything just right for that perfect experience, sometimes with a focus slightly diffused by trying to be (and do) too many things in too short a time. I leave you with one little thought. Harold Samuel Kushner, a prominent American rabbi once said: 
The purpose in life is not to win. The purpose in life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them. 

May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Good Tidings of Great Joy: The Birth of Jesus Christ

May you all have a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. May we accept His sacrifice and teachings in deep gratitude, take His name upon us and remember Him always, that we may carry this feeling of Christmas with us for the rest of the year and have His Spirit with us always. 

You Can Change the World, Really!

At this time of year, when many people are busy making their own little version of a happy Christmas it's easy to forget those that are so easily overlooked i their quiet and often humble or lonely circumstances. Reach out and be an angel, it's a good thing and it begins with you! 

People also need help during Christmas, problems don't magically disappear during the holidays. Check in on those you care about and make sure they are well taken care of, bring them a plate of cookies and a friendly thought.

At the risk of sounding cliche, Selflessness (love) makes the world go around. When we do something that others are in need of, we become instruments in the hands of God, His extended hands. 

Every single day there is someone near you praying for help and when someone prays for divine help, the most obvious answer to that person's prayer could be the person next to you, or you? Being sensitive to the needs of others we can essentially become momentary angels and blessings in someone's life. Be an angel, won't you?

What a wonderful thought to think that others might in their prayers be thanking God for the very thing that you did for them, the kind and genuine smile that helped their day, the little favor, noticing a need and quietly reaching out to help without waiting for or expecting a thank you. 

A true help doesn't burden the recipient with an added feeling of indebtedness, impossible to pay back, when already low on all resources and deeply in need of help. Help to help, not to earn someones gratitude.

While our help to others might not mean the world to us, it could be the one thing that holds someone's world together when everything around them seems to come crashing down. 

In return for helping others, our lives are enriched, life becomes more pleasant all around and our inner happiness is increased. 

In times of difficulty, world economic crises, personal budget worries, anxiety, stress and thoughts of depression, it's balm to the soul to feel the happiness of helping others and such happiness has staying power. 

By extending our helping hands, we can begin a circle of goodness that soon might spread like rings in the water and come right back to us when we might need it the most. But, that is not why we should help anybody, we should help because it is needed. The world needs more goodness, more smiles, more friendliness and better people, making better choices and it begins with you and me. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Christmas Devotional 2012

Set aside an hour, sit back and enjoy and have a very enjoyable contribution to your Christmas. You'll be hard pressed to find a better Christmas program. Merry Christmas to you all!

O Come, Emmanuel - (Piano/Cello) - ThePianoGuys

A special feel-good treat for you at Christmas. May you all have a Merry Christmas. Seek God in sincere prayer and find a lasting peace that can extend far beyond Christmas.

The Spirit of Christmas, or the Spirit of Christ

An Oglala Sioux, Black Elk (Dec 1863 - Aug 1950) said:
Grown man can learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show them many things which older people miss. 

May you remember the Spirit of Christmas that you may have in your heart and in your home, the Spirit of Christ. Merry Christmas to you all.

The Other Side of Heaven

I saw a good movie today. I usually don't sit down and write a recommendation when I have been entertained by a movie but his did more than entertain me. I felt better and uplifted after watching it. 

The movie is about missionary work without being preachy. The beauty in loosing yourself in the service of others is portrayed excellently. Although missionary work in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is more organized and the missionaries are no longer exposed to risk in the same way as in the early fifties, most of todays missionaries around the world can relate to this story in one form or another. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Where was God?

This will not not need many words but it's IMPORTANT. It's not just an American problem, it's is a tendency happening WORLDWIDE. Mike Huckabee is saying what I wish I had said but didn't have the words. PLEASE, take a couple of minutes to watch this. When you have watched it, I ask that you share it that others may watch it. It NEEDS TO BE SEEN!

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm a Mormon - Ness, a Dancer and Artist

The term "Mormon" is a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Although members of the church don't usually refer to themselves as a Mormons, it comes with the beliefs as people has identified those associated with the church by that term since the last century. Our beliefs are of far greater priority to members of the church, than having to carry the nickname "Mormon" and to many it soon becomes a badge of honor, because of what it stands for. 

Mormons come from all walks of life and being a Mormon does not make life any less interesting, although it does involve making choices in life. Ness, a dancer, artist and Mormon, has made some very interesting choices in life and here is what she has to say about it all: 

About Me: Hi, I’m Ness. I live in London, England, where I work as a dancer. I perform, teach and choreograph with various contemporary dance and theatre companies. I also work as an aerial dancer, which means I get to fly. The feeling of being suspended mid-air makes me happy. I love my work because I am physical everyday, I work with other creative people and together we create dance pieces by playing with our ideas, I often see students experience light bulb moments in my classes and I regularly travel. As well as traveling for work, I also travel out of choice. My brother and I have just travelled from Guatemala to Peru. I enjoy seeing how other people live and interact because it reminds me that the culture in which I live is just one way, not the definitive way to live. I never tire of seeing new places, in fact, whenever life starts to feel monotonous, I just have to look at my world map and propose a travel plan to myself to feel refreshed and excited again. I love scuba diving because it feels like underwater flying. I love cycling at dusk, that’s like flying too. I love jumping on trampolines with my nieces and nephews. I love laughing with my family and friends. I keep a funny book to remember all the funny moments I experience so that when life doesn’t feel so colourful, I can be reminded of funny times and laugh again. I hope to be able to dance/run a mile/turn a cartwheel forever! 

Why I am a Mormon: Only when I have a reason to do a particular thing, can I commit to it. As I have attended church, I have heard a constant emphasis and invitation for everyone to find out for themselves whether there is validity and truth in the teachings. And so I have spent time finding my own reasons for living as a mormon…I find the teachings of Jesus Christ (found in the Bible and The Book of Mormon) to be irresistible. When I study them I feel inspired to be my best self; a bit kinder, more patient, more generous and fair. When I try to align my life with Jesus’ teachings, I feel centred, peaceful and able to be positive about others and situations in which I find myself. Central to these teachings is that change is possible, that no one need remain in negative cycles. I believe that change is possible and I am grateful for a faith that teaches that principle. 

How I live my faith: Living my faith translates into my daily life with meditative prayer and study of the scriptures when I wake up. I also pray in odd places at odd times of the day, as I need. Doing this strengthens my reasons for living a mormon lifestyle because the peaceful feelings I experience are refreshed and not just a memory of something I felt once and have to try to remember. I enjoy attending church where I have the opportunity to interact with people who are often very different to me, but with whom I share faith. I learn a lot from having the opportunity to teach lessons or give time to organizing activities for people of all different ages at church. I enjoy the way I am invited to help a certain group of people for a certain period of time and then it changes to a different assignment. Each invitation teaches me something new about others and about myself. I have fond memories of helping others in my church community, and being helped by them. For me, the church is a great place to learn to love others and sometimes feels like an extended family. 

I'm a Mormon - Christian Bolt, a Sculptor, an Artist and a Family Man

Mormon is a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Although members of the church don't usually refer to themselves as a Mormons, it comes with the beliefs as people has identified those associated with the church by that term since the last century. Our beliefs are of far greater priority to members of the church, than having to carry the nickname "Mormon" and to many it soon becomes a badge of honor, because of what it stands for.

Mormons come from all walks of life and being a Mormon does not make life any less interesting, although it does involve making choices in life.

Christian Bolt, a Swiss sculptor, artist, family man and Mormon and shares his views (in German) on how religion must stabilize our lives, make us free and strong in the world. "The more I come to know God the more I come to know myself."

The following is not a word by word translation of the video but it explains some of the views of Christian Bolt:

About me: 
I studied visual arts in Italy and work in the international art market. It is a privilege that I am able to make my passion and personal interests my business. Life in the mountains is inspiring and the creations of God are an impressive teacher. Together with my dear wife I have three children who are an especially important part of my life. 

Why I am a Mormon: Throughout my life I have come to understand how blessed I was to enjoy the privilege of growing up in a family where the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ were taught in my childhood. Loving parents taught me early in my life to keep God in my life. But I had to learn how to do that for myself. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I feel in my heart that I am on a path that will make it possible for me to return to my Heavenly Father. The teachings of Jesus Christ make me free. They strengthen my individuality and my self-esteem. 

How I live my faith: My membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings me great joy. The challenges of this life and sharing the Christian way of living with others is a great source of power. The longer I live the more I understand that my relationship to God stands in close to connection to my relationship to my fellow men. And so I am glad to serve my fellow men and realize so much about myself. A life with faith in Jesus Christ is a life full of hope and joy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...