It’s hard not to see the suffering and sadness that is all around us. There are many, so very many, who have fallen prey to the toxic voices of the Adversary (a truly self serving enemy) that say there is no possible way that we can be more, be better, repent or change. All of us are familiar with them. Among many they may sound something like this: “I’m too old, too sick, too fat, too ugly, too far gone, too sad, too helpless, too hopeless, too weak, too set in my ways, too tired, too stubborn, too prideful. I’m worthless, I’m wicked, I’m right and they’re wrong, I don’t need to be better, I am happy and content with staying where I am.”
Do not listen Friends!!! We must be very aware where these voices come from. The Adversary cares nothing about our SPIRITUAL, PHYSCIAL or EMOTIONAL HEALTH. He loves disease of every kind and desires to keep us from seeing through our “eternal perspective” glasses and feeling empowered to change. If we are not willing to change, it is only because we don’t understand who we are and Whose we are. We may be too sick SPIRITUALLY, PHYSICALLY or EMOTIONALLY to see our potential for miraculous HEALING even here in this mortal state through our Father’s Gift of our brother’s infinite Atonement. But we can always choose to HEAL!
One of my favorite youth speakers (really a favorite for any age) Brad Wilcox said this: “Christ’s arrangement with us is similar to a mom providing music lessons for her child. Mom pays the piano teacher. Because Mom pays the debt in full, she can turn to her child and ask for something. What is it? Practice! Does the child’s practice pay the piano teacher? No. Does the child’s practice repay Mom for paying the piano teacher? No. Practicing is how the child shows appreciation for Mom’s incredible gift. It is how he takes advantage of the amazing opportunity Mom is giving him to live his life at a higher level. Mom’s joy is found not in getting repaid but in seeing her gift used—seeing her child improve. And so she continues to call for practice, practice, practice.
If the child sees Mom’s requirement of practice as being too overbearing (“Gosh, Mom, why do I need to practice? None of the other kids have to practice! I’m just going to be a professional baseball player anyway!”), perhaps it is because he doesn’t yet see with Mom’s eyes. He doesn’t see how much better his life could be if he would choose to live on a higher plane.
In the same way, because Jesus has paid justice, He can now turn to us and say: “Follow me” (Matthew 4:9); “Keep my commandments” (John14:15). If we see His requirements as being way too much to ask, maybe it is because we do not yet see through Christ’s eyes. We have not yet comprehended what He is trying to make of us.”
Change is hard, but we were made to do hard things so that’s okay. (I’ve said before that I took me a long time to learn that it’s okay to not be okay all of the time.) It doesn’t matter if it’s SPIRITUAL, PHYSICAL or EMOTIONAL change, I can promise through my own daily experiences that it can and will be difficult. But I can also promise that it will be a beautiful journey full of hope and light and HEALING! And always remember that it doesn’t require us to be perfect. We need only to move forward with faith, even if sometimes at a snail’s pace.
Change requires humility. I ran across this quote the other day from the religious leader Neil L. Andersen and I would add the words “and change“ next to “repent“: “The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to “re-turn” toward God. It is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change…” Love it! What a beautiful invitation from a Father who has only the best in mind for us, Who wants us to succeed, and loves us more than we can ever understand in this Earthly life.
Heavenly Father has already given us the gift of His son. And His son had already given us the gift of the Atonement. They have already arranged and paid for our “music lessons”. It is up to us to receive Their beautiful gifts and blessings of HEALING! How do we do that and what do They ask of us? Change direction and choose. Happy, hopeful days ahead Friends!
Another recipe I put together (truly from inspiration) for a women’s church gathering. Full of good fats and raw HEALING foods. It tastes so delicious! Even if you’re not an olive lover you just might really like this dip. It can also be a quick and filling meal paired with some fruit.
- 2 cups Kalamata olives (Got a big jar at ‘COSTCO’.)*
- 1 can or 1 1/2 cups medium black olives
- 1 cup Manzanilla olives
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil or parsley in a pinch
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 tsp capers
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
Process olives in food processor. Pour in bowl. Process garlic, basil and celery and add to olives. Add rest of ingredients and stir together. Serve with toasted whole grain baguettes or some type of HEALTHY crackers like ‘Mary’s Gone Crackers’ or ‘Back to Nature’ brands. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
*Use cleanest and high quality canned olives as possible. Organic canned/bottled items can be pricey. Go with your gut when you’re standing in front of these items at the store since not all brands are created equal.
Isn’t it beautiful!?!