Judeo-Christian Worldview: Bible Quotes on Stress Management, How to Avoid Burnout

Judeo-Christian Worldview

Bible Stories

Dinner Topics for Wednesday

Bible Quotes on Stress Management, How to Avoid Burnout

A Measured Pace. . .

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. ~Galatians 6:9

Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls. ~Alma 37:34

 

footraceIN THE THROB OF OUR MODERN PACE OF LIFE, there is much talk about stress, burnout, and chronic weariness. Few have time for meditation. In the rush for “stuff” and “fun,” there is never time left over for the things that matter most. It has been said of us that we “are in the thick of thin things.”[1] Yes, there may be endless obligations to activities, organizations, clubs, and programs. All have their place, and most offer something positive. We try to do them all, and yet we often feel like we are marking time and getting nowhere. And we are not enjoying the journey. How can some people carry on unceasingly, and seem never to grow weary?

Bible Stories. We can find a pattern in the pace taken by the children of Israel as they journeyed in the wilderness in a much simpler era.[2]

childrenofisrael-cloudSo it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents. At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.

And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed. Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed (Numbers 9:16-18,21-22)

At times their heavenly guide would call upon them to “regroup” for a lengthy time. But in this way, all things were done in order. When they did move, it was assuredly toward their goal. There were none of those decisions made in panic, which always end up being foolish decisions, and which interfere with our progress. When spirit-led priorities are addressed first, then we need not be too weary for the good works.

family5prayingdinnerBelle Spafford counseled, “The average woman today, I believe, would do well to appraise her interests, evaluate the activities in which she is engaged, and then take steps to simplify her life, putting things of first importance first, placing emphasis where the rewards will be greatest and most enduring, and ridding herself of the less rewarding activities.”

One of these basics, if done simply, can provide the family with important “regrouping” time on a daily basis. The family dinner hour can become a time of refreshment instead of burn out, and can have enduring rewards as well.

At the Round Table

Dinner Topics

Journey Faithfully

faithjourney2Burn-out can be avoided. *Order, Sabbath observance

  1.  And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again , it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. ~Mosiah 4:27 How can we have wisdom and order in our daily lives?
  2.  When the children of Israel did not journey, they tarried, or rested. How can this be applied to avoid burn-out?
  3. holyspiritHow can the Holy Spirit help us know when to journey, and when to tarry?
  4. How can you make tarrying (e.g. regrouping, reorganization, planning) a productive time?
  5. How does honoring the Sabbath bring peace, order, and refreshment to our lives?

For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all. . .that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people. (Alma 7:7)

  1. What does the above verse tell us about priorities? Evaluate your priorities periodically in your family council meetings.

One Step at a Time—START HERE

[1] Shakespeare

[2] Wilcox, House of Glory, pp.22-23

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

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Journey Faithfully: Fear of God vs. Mortal Fear

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Journey Faithfully—

Therefore They Hushed Their Fears

David A. Bednar

keyUnlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, godly fear is a source of peace, assurance, and confidence. ~David A. Bednar

brokenwindowI remember vividly an experience I had as a small boy. One day while playing with my friends, I accidentally broke a window in a store near our home. As the glass shattered and the security alarm blared, a paralyzing fear filled my heart and mind. I realized immediately I was doomed to spend the remainder of my life in prison. My parents eventually coaxed me out from a hiding place under my bed and helped me to make amends with the store owner. Fortunately, my jail sentence was commuted.

The fear I felt that day was overwhelming and real. You undoubtedly have experienced much greater feelings of dread after learning about a personal health challenge, discovering a family member in difficulty or danger, or observing disturbing world events. In such instances, the distressing emotion of fear arises because of impending danger, uncertainty, or pain and through experiences that are unexpected, sometimes sudden, and likely to produce a negative outcome.

In our daily lives, endless reports of criminal violence, famine, wars, corruption, terrorism, declining values, disease, and the destructive forces of nature can engender fear and apprehension. Surely we live in the season foretold by the Lord: “And in that day … the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them” (D&C 45:26).

My purpose is to describe how fear is dispelled through a correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I earnestly pray the Holy Ghost will bless each of us as we consider together this important topic.

Mortal Fear

adam-and-eve-offering-sacrificesUpon hearing the voice of God after partaking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve hid themselves in the Garden of Eden. God called unto Adam and asked, “Where art thou? And [Adam answered], I heard thy voice … , and I was afraid” (Genesis 3:9–10). Notably, one of the first effects of the Fall was for Adam and Eve to experience fear. This potent emotion is an important element of our mortal existence.

An example from the Book of Mormon highlights the power of the knowledge of the Lord (see 2 Peter 1:2–8; Alma 23:5–6) to dispel fear and provide peace even as we confront great adversity.

In the land of Helam, Alma’s people were frightened by an advancing Lamanite army.

“But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but … should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them.

“Therefore they hushed their fears” (Mosiah 23:27–28).

compasschoosewhotofollowNotice Alma did not hush the people’s fears. Rather, Alma counseled the believers to remember the Lord and the deliverance only He could bestow (see 2 Nephi 2:8). And knowledge of the Savior’s protecting watchcare enabled the people to hush their own fears.

Correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord empower us to hush our fears because Jesus Christ is the only source of enduring peace. He declared, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).

The Master also explained, “He who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23).

Trust and confidence in Christ and a ready reliance on His merits, mercy, and grace lead to hope, through His Atonement, in the Resurrection and eternal life (see Moroni 7:41). Such faith and hope invite into our lives the sweet peace of conscience for which we all yearn.

The power of the Atonement makes repentance possible and quells the despair caused by sin; it also strengthens us to see, do, and become good in ways that we could never recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity. Truly, one of the great blessings of devoted discipleship is “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

The peace Christ gives allows us to view mortality through the precious perspective of eternity and supplies a spiritual settledness (see Colossians 1:23) that helps us maintain a consistent focus on our heavenly destination.

Thus, we can be blessed to hush our fears because His doctrine provides purpose and direction in all aspects of our lives. His ordinances and covenants fortify and comfort in times both good and bad. And His priesthood authority gives assurance that the things that matter most can endure both in time and in eternity.

But can we hush the fears that so easily and frequently beset us in our contemporary world? The answer to this question is an unequivocal yes.

Three basic principles are central to receiving this blessing in our lives: (1) look to Christ, (2) build upon the foundation of Christ, and (3) press forward with faith in Christ.

1. Look to Christ

The counsel Alma gave to his son Helaman applies precisely to each of us today: “Yea, see that ye look to God and live” (Alma 37:47). We should look to and have our focus firmly fixed upon the Savior at all times and in all places.

Recall how the Lord’s Apostles were in a ship, tossed in the midst of the sea. Jesus went to them, walking on the water; but not recognizing Him, they cried out in fear.

by Robert T. Barrett

by Robert T. Barrett

“Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

“And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

“And he said, Come” (Matthew 14:27–29).

Peter then walked on the water to Jesus.

“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid,” began to sink, and cried out, “Lord, save me.

“And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:30–31).

I envision Peter responding fervently and immediately to the Savior’s invitation. With his eyes fixed upon Jesus, he stepped out of the boat and miraculously walked on the water. Only when his gaze was diverted by the wind and the waves did he become afraid and begin to sink.

We can be blessed to conquer our fears and strengthen our faith as we follow the Lord’s instruction: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36).

2. Build upon the Foundation of Christ

buildingonrockHelaman admonished his sons, Nephi and Lehi: “Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).

Ordinances and covenants are the building blocks we use to construct our lives upon the foundation of Christ and His Atonement. We are connected securely to and with the Savior as we worthily receive ordinances and enter into covenants, faithfully remember and honor those sacred commitments, and do our best to live in accordance with the obligations we have accepted. And that bond is the source of spiritual strength and stability in all of the seasons of our lives.

We can be blessed to hush our fears as we firmly establish our desires and deeds upon the sure foundation of the Savior through our ordinances and covenants.

3. Press Forward with Faith in Christ

lehidreamNephi declared: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).

The disciplined endurance described in this verse is the result of spiritual understanding and vision, persistence, patience, and God’s grace. Exercising faith in and on the holy name of Jesus Christ, meekly submitting to His will and timing in our lives, and humbly acknowledging His hand in all things yield the peaceable things of the kingdom of God that bring joy and eternal life (see D&C 42:61). Even as we encounter difficulties and face the uncertainties of the future, we can cheerfully persevere and live a “peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2).

We can be blessed to hush our fears as we receive the fortitude that comes from learning and living gospel principles and resolutely pressing forward on the covenant pathway.

What does “the Fear of the Lord” mean?

Different from but related to the fears we often experience is what the scriptures describe as “godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28) or “the fear of the Lord” (Job 28:28; Proverbs 16:6; Isaiah 11:2–3). Unlike worldly fear that creates alarm and anxiety, godly fear is a source of peace, assurance, and confidence.

But how can anything associated with fear be edifying or spiritually helpful?

faith-picture-quoteThe righteous fear I am attempting to describe encompasses a deep feeling of reverence, respect, and awe for the Lord Jesus Christ (see Psalm 33:8; 96:4), obedience to His commandments (see Deuteronomy 5:29; 8:6; 10:12; 13:4; Psalm 112:1), and anticipation of the Final Judgment and justice at His hand.

Thus, godly fear grows out of a correct understanding of the divine nature and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, a willingness to submit our will to His will, and a knowledge that every man and woman will be accountable for his or her own sins in the Day of Judgment (see D&C 101:78; Articles of Faith 1:2).

As the scriptures certify, godly fear “is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7), “the instruction of wisdom” (Proverbs 15:33), a “strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26), and “a fountain of life” (Proverbs 14:27).

Please note that godly fear is linked inextricably to an understanding of the Final Judgment and our individual accountability for our desires, thoughts, words, and acts (see Mosiah 4:30). The fear of the Lord is not a reluctant apprehension about coming into His presence to be judged. I do not believe we will be afraid of Him at all. Rather, it is the prospect in His presence of facing things as they really are about ourselves and having “a perfect knowledge” (2 Nephi 9:14; see also Alma 11:43) of all our rationalizations, pretenses, and self-deceptions. Ultimately, we will be left without excuse.

Every person who has lived or will yet live upon the earth “shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to [his or her] works whether they be good or whether they be evil” (Mosiah 16:10). If our desires have been for righteousness and our works good, then the judgment bar will be pleasing (see Jacob 6:13; Enos 1:27; Moroni 10:34). And at the last day we will “be rewarded unto righteousness” (Alma 41:6).

Conversely, if our desires have been for evil and our works wicked, then the judgment bar will be a cause of dread. “We shall not dare to look up to our God; and we would fain be glad if we could command the rocks and the mountains to fall upon us to hide us from his presence” (Alma 12:14). And at the last day we will “have [our] reward of evil” (Alma 41:5).

As summarized in Ecclesiastes:

“Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13–14).

My beloved brothers and sisters, godly fear dispels mortal fears. It even subdues the haunting concern that we never can be good enough spiritually and never will measure up to the Lord’s requirements and expectations.

In truth, we cannot be good enough or measure up relying solely upon our own capacity and performance. Our works and desires alone do not and cannot save us. “After all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23), we are made whole only through the mercy and grace available through the Savior’s infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice (see Alma 34:10, 14). Certainly, “we believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3).

Godly fear is loving and trusting in Him. As we fear God more completely, we love Him more perfectly.

And “perfect love casteth out all fear” (Moroni 8:16).

I promise the bright light of godly fear will chase away the dark shadows of mortal fears (see D&C 50:25) as we look to the Savior, build upon Him as our foundation, and press forward on His covenant path with consecrated commitment.

Testimony and Promise

I love and revere the Lord. His power and peace are real. He is our Redeemer, and I witness He lives. And because of Him, our hearts need not be troubled or afraid (see John 14:27), and we will be blessed to hush our fears.

 

Journey Faithfully: Shield of Faith

Journey Faithfully: Shield of Faith

Put on the Whole Armor of God

key“You must learn to walk a few steps ahead into the darkness, and then the light will turn on and go before you.” ~Harold B. Lee

Prepare for your journey of life with the protective armor of virtue, especially the shield of faith.

ShieldresizeONE TAKING A LONG JOURNEY has more peace of mind if properly outfitted.  Saint Paul outlines the elements best suited for the epic journey called life. (Ephesians 6:11-17)  It is easy to take our feet for granted, until they hurt. Having your feet well shod, therefore, is vital.  Without this preparation, it is futile to expect to walk the long road, or even to be able to stand firmly.

Next is to be girt about with truth, and have on the breastplate of righteousness.  Obedience to God is the habit of a free man.   This obedience makes a good breastplate, because it protects a heart which is soft and teachable, which is humble and submissive to the divine will.

When you put on the helmet of salvation, you are taking on the name of your Redeemer.  If, wherever you go, you always remember Him, the Spirit will never fail you, and you will never forget who you are.

Now, above all, take the shield of faith.  But with all this, how will we see where we are going when it is dark?

train3Gordon B. Hinckley spoke of earlier days when he worked for the railroad, and he wondered how the engineer, traveling at such a dangerous speed, could see into the darkness. Then he realized it was not one long journey, but rather a constant continuation of a short journey. The engine’s powerful headlight could brighten the way for a distance of up to 500 yards.  The engineer could see to the edge of the light, and that was enough, because that headlight was constantly before him through the night, until the dawn.

train4He explains that in like manner we proceed on our eternal journey, one step at a time. We travel into the unknown, but the headlight of faith always lights the way before us.  If our faith keeps that light bright, we will never walk in darkness.

knightandladyKnights and Ladies at the Round Table

Prepare for your journey of life with the protective armor of virtue, especially the shield of faith.

Dinner Topics*Faith, Preparation, Virtue

  1. Harold B. Lee said, “You must learn to walk a few steps ahead into the darkness, and then the light will turn on and go before you.” Give examples of when you have followed this principle.
  2. How can we know when we are walking in faith, and not charging off impulsively?
  3. Will God give us an answer if we don’t offer a plan?
  4. Where does fear come from?
  5. Is fear ever a just motivation for either action or inaction? Why?

Return to Epic Heroes Quest

Epic Journey Preparations

2.Map

3.Guide Book

4.Compass

5.Power Source

Copyright © 2010 by Christine Davidson

Journey Faithfully: Trust in Jesus

Journey Faithfully: Trust in Jesus

key“Come, follow me,” the Savior said. Then let us in his footsteps tread, for thus alone can we be one with God’s own loved, begotten Son. ~John Nicholson

Come, Follow Me

John Nicholson

SmokeyLight“Come, follow me,” the Savior said. Then let us in his footsteps tread, for thus alone can we be one with God’s own loved, begotten Son.

“Come, Follow me,” a simple phrase, yet truth’s sublime, effulgent rays are in these simple words combined to urge, inspire the human mind.

Is it enough alone to know that we must follow him below, while traveling thru this vale of tears? No, this extends to holier spheres.

Not only shall we emulate His course while in this earthly state, but when we’re freed from present cares, if with our Lord we would be heirs.

gavarret-follow-christWe must the onward path pursue as wider fields expand to view, and follow him unceasingly, whate’er our lot or sphere may be.

For thrones, dominions, kingdoms, powers, and glory great and bliss are ours, if we, throughout eternity, obey his words, “Come, Follow me.”

 

Secret Prayer

Hans Henry Petersen

by Robert T. Barrett

by Robert T. Barrett

There is an hour of peace and rest, unmarred by earthly care, ‘tis when before the Lord I go, and kneel in secret prayer.

The straight and narrow way to heaven, where angels bright and fair are singing to God’s praise, is found thru constant secret prayer.

When sailing on life’s stormy sea, mid billows of despair, ‘tis solace to my soul to know God hears my secret prayer.

When thorns are strewn along my path, and foes my feet ensnare, my Savior to my aid will come, if sought in secret prayer.

May my heart be turned to pray, pray in secret day by day, that this boon to mortals given may unite my soul with heaven.

Journey Faithfully: Follow Jesus, the Light of the World

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Journey Faithfully: Follow Jesus, the Light of the World

Choose to Believe

L. Whitney Clayton

keyThe Savior provides His gospel as a light to guide those who choose to believe in and follow Him. ~L. Whitney Clayton

powerLast January, seven-year-old Sailor Gutzler and her family were flying from Florida to Illinois in a private airplane. Sailor’s father was at the controls. Just after nightfall, the aircraft developed mechanical problems and crashed in the pitch-dark hills of Kentucky, upside down in very rough terrain. Everyone but Sailor died in the accident. Her wrist was broken in the crash. She suffered cuts and scrapes and had lost her shoes. The temperature was 38 degrees Fahrenheit (or 3 degrees Celsius)—it was a cold, rainy Kentucky winter’s night—and Sailor was wearing only shorts, a T-shirt, and one sock.

She cried out for her mother and father, but no one answered. Summoning every ounce of courage, she set off barefoot across the countryside in search of help, wading through creeks, crossing ditches, and braving blackberry briars. From the top of one small hill, Sailor spotted a light in the distance, about a mile away. Stumbling through the darkness and brush toward that light, she eventually arrived at the home of a kind man she had never met before who sprang to her care. Sailor was safe. She would soon be taken to a hospital and helped on her way to recovery.1

uchtdorf-lightSailor survived because she saw a light in the distance and fought her way to it—notwithstanding the wild countryside, the depth of the tragedy she faced, and the injuries she had sustained. It is hard to imagine how Sailor managed to do what she did that night. But what we do know is that she recognized in the light of that distant house a chance for rescue. There was hope. She took courage in the fact that no matter how bad things were, her rescue would be found in that light.

Few of us will ever endure an experience as harrowing as Sailor’s. But all of us will, at some time or another, have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own rugged emotional journeys. In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief. That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the Light of the World.

Perceiving spiritual light is different from seeing physical light. Recognizing the Savior’s spiritual light begins with our willingness to believe. God requires that initially we at least desire to believe. “If ye will awake and arouse your faculties … and exercise a particle of faith,” the prophet Alma teaches, “yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of [the Savior’s] words.”2

Alma’s call for us to desire to believe and to “give place” in our hearts for the Savior’s words reminds us that belief and faith require our personal choice and action. We must “awake and arouse [our] faculties.” We ask before it is given unto us; we seek before we find; we knock before it is opened unto us. We are then given this promise: “For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.”3

gavarret-follow-christNo more impassioned plea for us to believe has come than from the Savior Himself, during His earthly ministry, when He appealed to His disbelieving listeners:

“If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

“But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.”4

Not Alone

Every day each of us faces a test. It is the test of our lifetimes: will we choose to believe in Him and allow the light of His gospel to grow within us, or will we refuse to believe and insist on traveling alone in the dark? The Savior provides His gospel as a light to guide those who choose to believe in and follow Him.

by Valeriesartwork

by Valeriesartwork

After the crash, Sailor had a choice. She could have chosen to stay by the airplane in the dark, alone and afraid. But there was a long night ahead, and it was just going to get colder. She chose another way. Sailor climbed up a hill, and there she saw a light on the horizon.

Gradually, as she made her way through the night toward the light, it grew brighter. Still, there must have been times when she could not see it. Perhaps it went out of view when she was in a ravine or behind trees or bushes, but she pressed on. Whenever she could see the light, Sailor had evidence that she was on the right path. She did not yet know precisely what that light was, but she kept walking toward it based on what she knew, trusting and hoping that she would see it again if she kept moving in the right direction. By so doing, she may have saved her life.

Our lives can be like that too. There may be times when we have been hurt, when we are tired, and when our lives seem dark and cold. There may be times when we cannot see any light on the horizon, and we may feel like giving up. If we are willing to believe, if we desire to believe, if we choose to believe, then the Savior’s teachings and example will show us the pathway forward.

Choose to Believe

christs-outstreched-hand-lindsleyJust as Sailor had to believe that she would find safety in that distant light, so we too must choose to open our hearts to the divine reality of the Savior—to His eternal light and His healing mercy. Prophets across the ages have encouraged us and even implored us to believe in Christ. Their exhortations reflect a fundamental fact: God does not force us to believe. Instead He invites us to believe by sending living prophets and apostles to teach us, by providing scriptures, and by beckoning to us through His Spirit. We are the ones who must choose to embrace those spiritual invitations, electing to see with inward eyes the spiritual light with which He calls us. The decision to believe is the most important choice we ever make. It shapes all our other decisions.

God does not compel us to believe any more than He compels us to keep any commandments, despite His perfect desire to bless us. Yet His call to us to believe in Him—to exercise that particle of faith and to give place for His words—remains in effect today. As the Savior said, “I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.”5

Belief and testimony and faith are not passive principles. They do not just happen to us. Belief is something we choose—we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it. We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior and His gospel any more than we will accidentally pray or pay tithing. We actively choose to believe, just like we choose to keep other commandments.

Put Belief into Action

faithjourney2Sailor could not know at first if what she was doing as she pushed her way through the underbrush would actually work. She was lost and injured; it was dark and cold. But she left the crash site and ventured out in hope of rescue, crawling and scraping her way forward until she saw a light in the distance. Once she had seen it, she did her best to move toward it, remembering what she had seen.

We likewise must give place for the hope that we will find spiritual light by embracing belief rather than choosing to doubt.

Our actions are the evidence of our belief and become the substance of our faith. We are choosing to believe when we pray and when we read the scriptures. We are choosing to believe when we fast, when we keep the Sabbath day holy, and when we worship in the temple. We are choosing to believe when we are baptized and when we partake of the sacrament. We are choosing to believe when we repent and seek divine forgiveness and healing love.

light-endoftunnelNever Give Up

Sometimes progress in spiritual things can seem slow or intermittent. Sometimes we may feel that we have lost ground, that we have made mistakes, or that our best efforts to find the Savior are not working. If you feel this way, please do not give up—ever. Go right on believing in Him and in His gospel and His Church.

Align your actions with that belief. In those moments when the light of your faith has dimmed, let your hope for the Savior’s love and grace, found in His gospel and His Church, overcome your doubt. I promise that He stands ready to receive you. Over time you will come to see that you have made the best choice you could possibly have made. Your courageous decision to believe in Him will bless you immeasurably and forever.

The Blessings of Belief

Jesus-clayton-spiritual-light-rescueI have felt the merciful love of the Savior in my life. I have searched for Him in my own moments of darkness, and He has reached out to me with His healing light. One of the great joys of my life has been traveling with my wife, Kathy, to meet with members of the Church in many corners of the globe. These wonderful encounters have taught me and taught us about God’s love for His children. They have shown me the limitless potential for happiness that becomes the blessing of those who choose to follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have learned that believing in Him and in His redemptive power is the true path to “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.”6

I testify that Jesus Christ is the source of light and hope for all of us. I pray that we may all choose to believe in Him.

Journey Faithfully: Compass

Journey Faithfully: Compass

keyFor behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course. See that ye look to God, and live. ~a prophet of ancient Israel

Related Post:

Moral Compass in the Bible

moralcompass1Whether we are traveling from one end of the country to the other, using expressways in huge cities, traversing unnamed, flat country roads across endless farmlands on the prairie, or winding our way through daunting mountains, the map and the compass are indispensable.

Now imagine yourself in a family embarking upon a journey across the vast, uncharted portion of the Middle Eastern desert before the compass was invented.  When he arose one morning, an ancient traveler was astonished to find at his tent door a small round ball of such a curious workmanship that he had never seen before. It was a compass, miraculously provided, long before the man-made devices as we know them were used.   The sphere had two spindles.  One pointed the direction they should go, but the compass only worked when the second pointer lined up with the first.

God’s compass functioned only on certain conditions, according to the faith, diligence, and heed of the family to which it was given.  Faith gave them vision and understanding of the divine guidance revealed to them.  They were also required to listen and obey the principles they were taught.  The Lord did not do things for them which they could do for themselves.  Diligent labor and works of service comprised the third element required for the compass to function.

For such a small thing, it brought forth many marvelous works.  But because it was small, some family members were wont to be slothful, and forget to exercise their faith and diligence.   At those times they wandered off their course, or would suffer temporal afflictions, such as hunger and thirst.

We have been given the same type of compass.  If we look in faith to God and live what we know is right, then the pointer of our will can be seen to line up with the Lord’s will.  If we diligently do our part, and heed its still, small voice, we will progress in our journey to our desired goal.  This compass is small, but it can do marvelous things in our lives.  It has been said that our conscience is like a compass.

knightandladyKnights and Ladies at the Round Table

Dinner Topic: Keep on a straight moral course. *Scriptures, Holy Spirit

  1. How do faith, diligence, and heed invite the Holy Spirit’s guidance?
  2. What kinds of decisions are not important to the Lord?
  3. What kind of decisions need we only make once?
  4. Can our way seem like a good idea, yet not be the Lord’s way? Explain.
  5. What is the process for determining what course we should take?
  6. What kind of behavior on our part might cause the Holy Spirit to cease to work in our lives?
  7. In what way is it possible for a mere word or thought to drive away the Spirit?
  8. What kind of music, movie, or media is inappropriate? How does inappropriate speech and behavior offend the Spirit?  Why are worldliness, frivolity, and indifference attitudes to be wary of?
  9. What is the relationship between gratitude and reverence?  How can daily reverence enhance our worthiness of constant companionship of the Holy Spirit?

Copyright 2010 © by Christine A. Davidson

Return to Epic Heroes Quest

 Epic Journey Preparations

1. Outfitting for the epic journey

2. Map

3. Guide Book

5. Power Source

 

Journey Faithfully: Guidebook

The Guidebook

keyWithout a heritage, every generation starts over. ~Heritage Foundation

We are all familiar with the expression, “When all else fails, read the instructions.” This is usually said in jest, but it carries for us a subtle warning.  Of course, people who cannot read can be excused if they do not read.  However, those who are capable of reading, but choose not to, are subject to harsher consequences.

KJV BibleIt is uncomfortable to imagine being stuck somewhere in the middle of a vast wilderness without a guide book.  The guide book is an integral part of the security which our preparations provide for us, because its very name indicates that it was written by someone who has been there before.

Long ago when the Tower of Babel was used to diversify and expand the human population over the face of the globe, there was one group of family and friends, descendants of Shem, whose language was not confounded.  They traversed the sea to Central America and established a massive nation.  How do we know?  They left a record.

Ironically, the remains of this nation were discovered by a people who were themselves lost— physically lost in the wilderness and spiritually separated from their identity as children of God.  At the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon, all his sons were slain.  All, that is, except one, whose name was Mulek.  This man led a group to the “isles of the sea,” just after the demise of the last Semite dynasty.  Mulek and his people, however, had brought no records with them.  Their language had become corrupted, and they denied the existence of their Creator.  No one could understand them.  They were overwhelmed with gratitude when they were found by yet a third group, who were distant relatives of the house of Israel— descendants of Joseph, brother of Judah.  After all the records which had been preserved and discovered were compiled, only then could the historical loop be closed and the identity of all confirmed and verified.

compass liahonaOne ancient prophet of Israel migrated with his family to the western hemisphere about a century after the time of Isaiah, and they did bring sacred records, kind of like the Family Bible, including writings of Isaiah.  So important to them were those family records that their leader had to slay an enemy to obtain them.

Why would anyone go to such drastic measures to obtain such writings?  It is a fact that wars, earthquakes, and other cataclysmic events have had a devastating effect on families.  Among the most heart-rending conditions are those of children separated from their parents and siblings due to no fault of their own.  When our roots are missing, we feel shaken, vulnerable, and un-whole. It’s kind of like what is referred to in our day as “identity theft.”

So it is when we as children of God become separated from him.  Those “letters from home” have been preserved at great sacrifice. Forefathers, who have been there before, wrote a guide book, that upon reading the instructions, we and our own children can avoid getting lost.

Knights and Ladies at the Round Table

knightandladyDinner Topic: Our roots are found in the scriptures, and our posterity needs us to preserve both.*Scriptures, Family History

  1. As you study scriptures, keep a record in your journal of insights gained and lessons learned.
  2. How might your journal benefit others?
  3. How can ancient scriptures and words of modern Christian leaders be a guide in our life?

Back to Epic Heroes Quest

Epic Journey Preparation:

1. Outfitting for the epic journey

2. Map

4. Compass

5. Power Source

Dinner Topics Newsletter: Journey Faithfully

June 2015 Dinner Topics Newsletter: Journey Faithfully

 

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Epicworld Dinner Topics!

DINNER TALK IS LESS FREQUENT at my house these days, as my children are all married and I live alone. However, whenever I get together with my children, we still have wonderful discussions—about family, about our faith, about life. One of my sons, Jordan, creationhandsstill works with me in the same office. Jordan is a composer of instrumental, semi-classical music. He is currently working on a full-length symphony entitled “Divine Plan,”  which entails a musical description of the Creation, our sojourn on earth, and our heavenly destination.

faithjourney2While discussing this marvelous work, I decided to choose “Journey Faithfully” for our June Theme, referring to our sojourn here on earth. You may have been on a tour in the wilderness, with a map at the beginning and at points along the way, wherein a mark indicates your current position with the words, “You are Here.”

By now we are all fully aware we are here on earth. But have you ever wondered why you are here, or where you are really going? For this epic journey, certain things are required for our survival. Last month we discussed how to gather our daily manna, to be fed in this jesuslambmedearthly wilderness. We need adequate equipment,  and we also need a guide book guide-book and a compass, so we can reach our desired destination without getting lost. God, in His mercy, has not left us to wander alone and unguided on this magnificent earth He has created for us.

He knew it would be hard, but we can make it if we follow the Shepherd he has provided for us. I rejoice that you join me here each day for a few moments along your way. I pray you find here an oasis to refresh yourself and be fortified to continue your daily journey.

Thanks for visiting. Come often; Stay Late.

Enjoy the Journey!

Christine Davidson

 

Highlights

Stress Relief Tip: Simplify Your Life, Avoid Burn-out

Defining Moment: What are the “Fruits”?

Bible Story: Job—did he experience doubt and despair?

jesusjusticemedHillsdale’s Imprimis article this month is a commentary on The Battle of Indiana and the Promise of Battles to Come. Like it or not, we are in a culture war. More than that, we contend against powers of darkness for our very souls and those of our loved ones. And every inch is a battle.

“You can’t judge me!” Really? Don’t miss this brilliant article by Tim Wildmon, President of American Family Association, as he teaches us the difference between discernment and being “judgmental”, which many of us are accused of because of our Biblical beliefs.

Other Articles: Outfitting for the Epic Journey— Putting on the whole armour of God; The Compass; The Guidebook; Fatherhood; How to Hush Our Fears about the Future

New! Our Mission to Rescue the Birthright:

Read about the Birthright

Support our Mission: Character Education for Young Adults

rising-generationSome of you have been requesting a “donate” button. It is now available on the right hand sidebar, or on our Donate Page. There is a way you can support the Culture of Liberty and help us reach and train more of the rising generation in our cherished values. Funds will go toward our Mission to Rescue the Birthright.

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Theme Quotes for June: Journey Faithfully

resurrected ChristmedI am the way, the truth, and the life. ~Jesus, John 14:6

When it comes to the core of their faith, millions of Christians will echo, by word and deed, the words of Martin Luther: Here we stand. We can do no other. ~David French

I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day. ~Alma 36:3

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good. ~Alma 37:37

Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls. ~Alma 37:34

Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. ~Isaiah 12:3

jesus-woman-wellAnd thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness. 1 Nephi 17:3

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is or me, saith the Lord. ~Isaiah 54:17

 

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13,14

The trying of your faith worketh patience. ~James 1:3

 

ShieldresizeWherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. ~Ephesians 6:13-1

faithjourney1Let us all press on in the work of the Lord,

That when life is o’er we may gain a reward;

In the fight for right let us wield a sword,

The mighty sword of truth.

Fear not, though the enemy deride,

Courage, for the Lord is on our side.

We will heed not what the wicked may say,

But the Lord alone we will obey. ~ Evan Stephens

Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. ~Isaiah 3:10

Stress Relief Tip of the Month: Simplify Your Life

oasisIn the throb of our modern pace in life, there is much talk about stress, burnout, and chronic weariness. Few have time for meditation. In the rush for “stuff” and “fun,” there is never time left over for the things that matter most. It has been said of us that we “are in the thick of thin things.”[1] Yes, there may be endless obligations to activities, organizations, clubs, and programs. All have their place, and most offer something positive. We try to do them all, and yet we often feel like we are marking time and getting nowhere. And we are not enjoying the journey. How can some people carry on unceasingly, and seem never to grow weary?

When spirit-led priorities are addressed first, then we need not be too weary for the good works.

Belle Spafford counseled, “The average woman today, I believe, would do well to appraise her interests, evaluate the activities in which she is engaged, and then take steps to simplify her life, putting things of first importance first, placing emphasis where the rewards will be greatest and most enduring, and ridding herself of the less rewarding activities.”

One of these basics, if done simply, can provide the family with important “regrouping” time on a daily basis. The family dinner hour can become a time of refreshment instead of burn out, and can have enduring rewards as well.

Classical Music stress relief this month provided by Robert Schumann, Edvard Grieg, Charles Gounod

June Preview

The Dinner Topic Theme for June: Journey Faithfully

Defining Moments

“Defining Moments” is a monthly feature. Kind of a fancy name for a glossary. When I was growing up, we had a huge dictionary on a tall, narrow, rolling table. Whenever we asked the meaning of a word, we were told to “look it up.” We still do that. You’d be surprised at some of the interesting things you find in the dictionary, especially the 1828 American Dictionary. Now, with all the twists and spins that politicians and the media do to common words, it’s valuable to go back to the original meaning. It gives valuable training in critical thinking activities, and can make for interesting conversation, too.

This month: “Fruits”

See more Defining Moments

Featured Topics

The Parenting Value for this month: Justice and Mercy

Famous Birthdays: Robert Schumann, Edvard Grieg, Adam Smith, Charles Gounod, Frederic Bastiat

job2Bible Stories: Job and transformational faith

Culture: Twitter—a bird’s eye view of Liberal shallowness

Political Correctness vs. Christianity

Critical Thinking activities: The difference between discernment and judgmentalism

Faith: Therefore They Hushed their Fears

Family: Raising a Modern-Day Knight—important role of fathers

A Christian Psychologist looks at Parenting

Hillsdale Imprimis: The Battle of Indiana and the Promise of Battles to Come

truth2momentHistory: Comparing East and West Philosophies

Nation: The President’s skewed moral compass

Shocking Truths Revealed in the Benghazi scandal

US Constitution Series 18: Our Unalienable Rights Best Preserved in Written Constitution

Moral Repair Plan—always looking for reasons for optimism:

Truth Detectors: Discernment needed in Presidential candidates

In these days when Truth is endangered by political expediency, it is important that we learn to discern Truth from Error, fraud, or downright deception. To find other articles on this topic, type Truth Detectors (hyphenated, to filter) in the search bar of this site.

And as always—current events, updates, and analysis

Parents’ Resources

New! Our Mission to Rescue the Birthright: Support Character Education for Young Adults

 Now you can support the Culture of Liberty and help us reach and train more of the rising generation in our cherished Judeo-Christian values. Be a Patron; Please See our Donate Page

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FOLLOW US! To receive each newsletter and latest updates, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right hand corner of this site. Thank you.

New! Defining Moments updated

New! The most powerful weapon in the world—work for victory for American liberty: how to fight evil effectively

New! Unleash a love of learning in your child with hands-on history materials!
Featuring timelines, maps, Lap Books™, and history studies designed for your child to live the lessons!

http://homeschoolinthewoods.com/

knightonhorseEpic Heroes Quest

Plus—Empowering keys found in each dinner topic; Preparing for the Epic Journey of Life;

Epic Heroes in Training 

Parent Resources

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Alert! Action Updates

Seeing the widespread injury done in any given week, (many incidents go unreported), stay aware of important news and insights at Epicworld Dinner Topics.

homeschoolgirlTraditional Bible-believing parents may have to consider withdrawing their children from public schools to protect your family spiritually and financially from the rising tide of persecution and ruinous lawsuits by anti-Christian fascists.

 

If it is not possible for you to home school, try to teach your children Judeo-Christian values at home. The easiest way to do this is to tell stories and discuss principles at the family dinner table. I hope these dinner topics help you with this vital effort. Just don’t give up! Our precious children are worth fighting for.

Ongoing

  1. Tea Party Update listed each month.

It is important to understand that the Tea Party is not a third political party. Nor does it represent all the slanderous falsehoods hurled upon them by those who hate America and her Founders. It is organized to restore Constitutional principles to the government of America. If you love the USA with good, old-fashioned patriotism, then the Tea Party is the best organization to work for the principles and values you cherish.

June

teapartyresults6Tea Party News: Patriot Act Facts, Obamacare Exemptions, Freedom of Speech

Remember what the Tea Party stands for.

Tea Party Defined—the Voice of Real Americans

Support Tea Party in Key States

 

Every month we will keep you informed on the latest projects and progress of the Tea Party, with an updated link to our monthly newsletter; most recent updates at top of the list.

Please share this video with as many as possible; it is very informative

YouTube Video Update: The Truth about the American Border Crisis

https://dinnertopics.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/youtube-video-truth-update-barack-obama-vs-american-safety/

 

  1. Work to make your state sovereign!

Example:

State Liberty vs. Government Agenda

  1. Study the U.S. Constitution! It is the last remaining safeguard of our precious freedoms! A good way to do this is to study the monthly Constitution series from The 5,000 Year Leap. To access this series of posts, type US Constitution Series in this site’s search bar.

 

Thanks for all you do,

C.A. Davidson

 

[1] Shakespeare