The Lord is My Shepherd

jesus_shepherd_deweyI was a substitute teacher for Hannah’s primary class, and really learned some things. We talked about the parable of the shepherd from the New Testament and I saw a lesson in there that I had not noticed before.

John 10:1-15

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

I know that Jesus Christ is The Good Shepherd, and I know He teaches in parables so that we can apply the principles to our own lives. As a mother I can’t help but see the parallel between shepherding and parenting. I noticed that there are two approaches to parenting here. One is as a shepherd- who leads, loves, provides nourishment, protects, sacrifices, and knows each of his children and their needs. The other is a hireling who has only taken the position to gain something for himself or because it was the default- he pushes instead of leads, is not willing to sacrifice, is not interested in protecting, thinks of the sheep as something to control and will quit trying when the job requires too much. I realize that these are extreme examples and not everyone falls into one or the other of these categories. But I’m so grateful to have friends and family who are such wonderful examples of parenting as the shepherd. I learn from watching them, and strive to be more Christlike in my parenting because I know how important each one of my little sheep are.

I can feel the devil sending in his thieves to destroy the souls of the rising generation. And to add one more metaphor to the mix: I almost feel like there is a flood of evil and Rob and I are constantly bailing out our family’s boat. I know that God is watching over us all, and that my bailing bucket will get lighter as I look to Him with faith- and never stop bailing. I am optimistic for the future and know that we will survive the floods and reach our loving Shepherd.

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Tongue Tied

I have been in a real creative slump lately. I haven’t been able to put together posts for the blog the way I’d like to, and it’s really starting to get annoying. I feel like it’s been a year since I’ve felt able to express myself well “on paper.” It even encompasses comments on my friends and family’s blogs, so don’t take it personally if I seem to have disappeared. I’m still reading, just not commenting. I’m determined to pick myself up and keep trying. So, you may need to endure a lot of pictures with captions, and quotes from other people until I get my groove back.

I have a little book, “What Christians Believe” by C.S. Lewis that I’ve read through. I’ve always known CS Lewis was an admired writer and thinker, but never read much from him except for the Narnia stories. I really felt truth in his words. Here’s one of the quotes from the book that I enjoyed:

“… God designed the human machine to run on himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended-civilisations are built up-excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin… It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans.”

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The Lighthouse of the Lord

lighthouseRecently some of our Utah family were here visiting. It was so nice to have them stay with us! I hope to eventually get some more details of their visit on here. One of the things we did while they were here was to visit the Cabrillo National Monument and Lighthouse. It was gorgeous, and a wonderful outing. I remembered the trip again today when I read this quote by President Monson. I have always loved lighthouses and lanterns because I associate them with the coast and the peace of the ocean, So I really appreciate the symbolism of his counsel.

“…Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing. I love the words found in Psalms: ‘The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; . . . I will call upon the Lord . . . so [I shall] be saved from mine enemies.’ The Lord loves us, my brothers and sisters, and will bless us as we call upon Him.” —Thomas S. Monson April 2010

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Do Good & Be Good


That’s it. My Sunday thought is:

Do Good & Be Good.

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How Not To Be Discouraged

Recently my Mom gave me a little blue card that was given out at a Youth Conference when I was twelve years old. I remember this conference because it was the first one I went to as a “Young Woman” and we had a great church leader speak to us. Actually, maybe it was part of our Stake Conference and not actually just for the youth, but I remember that it seemed like a big deal that Elder Gene R. Cook wanted to talk directly to the youth. This was in the days before the For the Strength of Youth program began so it was more unique to have something directed at us from a visiting General Authority. I was sitting on the left side of the chapel and he had a chalkboard on wheels brought in for his presentation. On the chalkboard he listed the main points of his talk, and they were also made up into little business card size reminders that we could take with us. I took the faded blue card that my Mom gave to me and put it in a picture frame. I gave that to Hunter for his room. It makes me feel better to know that as he heads into the middle school phase of life he has this list ready for him if he should be discouraged, or need the comfort of the Lord.

I love how Elder Cook lists things so simply, and since my oldest is fast approaching the age I was when I received this advice, I wanted to make a record of it. I tried to find a typed copy of the talk.  What I found was more recent, but seems to be the same as what he presented to us back in the 80’s. Read through the talk if you get the chance. It’s wonderful!

I’ll list here what it says on my card, and in italics write how it’s listed in his talk from 2000:

How to Invite the Spirit Immediately

“How Not To Be Discouraged”

1. Pray

2. Read Scriptures

3. Testify

4. Sing

5. Express Love to God and Man

6. Share Spiritual Experiences

7. Seek a Priesthood Blessing

How to Discourage Discouragement






Love and Gratitude

Share Spiritual Experiences

Priesthood Blessings

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Family Night for 2010

This past year brought our family many fun experiences and memories, but there were also so many changes, ups & downs, and unexpected blows. I have always known that I had a relatively easy life, and was never very driven to study scriptures regularly or insist on daily family prayer. But I recently had an experience that I cannot share which hit me right in the gut, out of nowhere, and I now realize how much I need my Heavenly Father.  As I prepared for a new start this year I became even more determined to hold Family Home Evenings every week. Because I have children entering the “tweens” now I’m realizing how quickly they really do grow up. And it is so important to me that they have a solid foundation and moral compass to guide them through the teen years. I love the teen years. I know those with teenagers may think, “that’s because you haven’t gotten there yet.” But even in my studies of human development I found this phase the most fascinating. They truly are formative years when kids start to figure out the kind of adults they want to be, and start to make important life choices. So, in anticipation of that, I am determined to provide my children with a clear understanding of what our family values are, and why they are vital to our happiness and success.

For 2010 I have decided to use the Primary’s My Gospel Standards as my guide. I ordered a poster from the church website and have it hanging on the wall in our family room. Every week we will focus on a new standard. Here they are:

I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.gospelstandards
I will remember my baptismal covenant and listen to the Holy Ghost.
I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.
I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.
I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.
I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
I will live now to be worthy to go to the temple and do my part to have an eternal family.

I Am a Child of God
I know Heavenly Father loves me, and I love Him.
I can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere.
I am trying to remember and follow Jesus Christ.

Once I get through these, I plan to move on to the For the Strength of Youth Booklet. The church has just launched a new website dedicated just to the youth and I am super excited about it! Especially now that Hunter will be turning 12 this summer and officially entering the youth program.

I’ll do my best to post the lessons we do and let you know how they go.

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