Archive for the ‘Relief Society’ Category

Church Chat: Some Spiritual Thoughts

August 22, 2009

I had to give a lesson in Relief Society.

(The Women’s Group in my church: read here for more.)

I wasn’t given a lesson manual or anything, the instruction was.. pray and think about what you feel the women in your congregation are in need of hearing.. ? Oh great…?

Turns out I had just picked up a book by Sheri Dew titled:

God Wants a Powerful People

I was intrigued with the title when I saw it. The word Powerful especially. People strong enough to withstand the trials and troubles of this life. People able to make it through tragedies and worse. It made me think about powerful people I know, whose lives are filled with difficulties and how amazed I am at them.

The Author tells a story about how she was given a pass card to enter church buildings after the security had been increased. But she had not needed it very often since she was recognized around the grounds by security. There was an early meeting she was attending and found that the security guards were not there and a door was locked. She rang a buzzer and the person who answered said, “Sister Dew do you have your security card with you?” When she answered yes, he told her that the card would get her into all the doors.

Here’s what she had to say:

The irony was unmistakable. For months I had carried with me a badge that had given me privileges I hadn’t understood or, worse, taken advantage of. I had not understood that badge’s power.

Isn’t that true of most of us? We have a power within us that is unmistakably given from on high. If you draw on that power you pretty much cannot fail.

Further in the same chapter of the book Ms. Dew points out 4 ways we can live up to this power given:

  1. God wants a powerful people. (Seems clear to me, if God wants it, it’s gonna happen eh?)
  2. He gives His power to those who are faithful and who qualify. (I’m guessing she means if you live a cruel and mean life, even though God wants to bless you He cannot. It’s that simple.)
  3. We therefore have a sacred obligation to seek after the power of God and then to use that power as He directs. (Again it’s simple: ask and it shall be given. Gives me the feeling that God is ready and waiting to offer assistance, waiting for me to just ask.)
  4. When we have the power of God with us, nothing is impossible. (There’s a popular phrase: Nothing is impossible for two people as long as one of them is the Lord.)

I’m not trying to ram my religion down your throat. I promise. But if you are willing to think a little deeper about your own religion or maybe your own spirituality? Then I’m happy.

Here’s a scripture she quotes:

And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them.

I like that. ‘…thine angels have charge over them.’ Sorta like a mother’s prayer over her children when they leave each day, huh?

Here’s my take away lesson from thinking about all this.
I have set a goal to invite the spirit into my life each morning. To look around and find the small and simple ways that the Lord is trying to ‘talk’ to me. And to genuinely listen. Sort of like saying a simple prayer each morning:

Dear God, please help me to hear when the spirit whispers, and then to act on it!

As a side note… a week ago, we were about to pass thru an intersection where the light was green. When out of NOwhere a cop car with lights on but NO siren came flying from the side direction running the red light! I totally did not see it coming. I was able to screech to a stop and felt like I barely missed a complete T-bone nightmare? Who knows? Was I protected? I dunno. But the kids were just as upset by it as I was, and we all agreed… it was a really close call.

I think I’ll stick to my simple daily prayer.

Church Chat: A Definition

May 24, 2009

Mormon Culture Translated
It’s simple and it’s elegant.
(I mentioned VT in a past church chat.)

Here’s how it works: 2 women are assigned as a team to visit another woman within the congregation, meeting with her once a month preferably IN her home. But a phone call works in a pinch (for those months where it cycles thru faster than you can say *’oh my heck‘ -as is often the case for me!)Yes, there’s a spiritual side; a worldwide monthly message is provided for a discussion starter. But equally important is the social side of these visits and the welfare of that ‘sister’. Is she well? Does she seem to need any help? Is there something the visiting teachers can do for this woman? -Help out with childcare, -notice that she’s in the middle of repainting her living room and offer to come over for a painting night, -find out that a grandparent is ill and they may need some help in the near future should they have to leave for a funeral…

An example:

*I got special permission to use this image from the comedic geniuses over at 9th Ward, wow THANKS so much!

~My VT sisters came to my house last week. They mainly just chatted and our kids played together for half an hour. Looks like playgroup? Maybe. But at the end they asked if I needed anything, and of course I answered that I didn’t. But they also knew my husband was going to be out of town all the next week. (From that earlier chatting part.) And one asked if she could help out while he was away?

Which reminded me -oh yeah– the next Tuesday night, I was going to need some help with my little boy, while I attended the oldest’s band concert. He’d be no fun to take along with out the hubby to help? “Sure!” She said, bring him over.

Simple, huh?

Even better. When we get to KNOW each other more than scheduling playdates, we know when things are coming up in each other’s lives. Through Relief Society and the VT program – if you are having a baby? We KNOW how to mobilize! Expect anywhere from 3-8 meals delivered to your family, after the stork delivers your baby.

Same goes for sickness and even tragedy.

First Wave—your two VT sisters likely will show up or call. “What can we do?”

Second Wave—They’ll report back to the Relief Society Presidency—”Carissa is sick and on bedrest for the next two weeks.” She’s going to need help getting her kids home from school. Who lives nearby and can help with that? Oh and since we’re good at it, let’s start taking meals over a couple times a week—we’ll start by taking the first week, help line up the second week?”

Third Wave—From there the network is managed from the leadership end.

The beauty here {and if you’ve ever had the chance to serve then you already understand} is that YOU are the one who feels served, blessed even.

A friend in New Jersey was surprised once at my willingness to help when her kids were sick. She wanted to know how to pay me back? I smiled and said, simply help out your neighbor the next time you see a need, don’t wait to be asked. Oh? She wondered—’Like, pay it forward?’

YUP. Exactly. Except lately I think we’ve been calling it Mom it Forward!

*{NOTE: I was outed as a Mormon the other day on Twitter when I used the phrase: ‘oh my heck’.. who knew that was such a clear calling card?}

Tweet Me from