Sometimes it amazes me how unceasingly the Lord’s truths filter down into our world. For me, the natural sun helps me to understand it better than anything else I know. The sun reaches everywhere in a universal way–with light rays–but depending on the receptacle, it appears to have almost infinite variety. Light on a table at dusk in the tropics vs. light dancing in the trees in a northern winter–same light, but such a different picture! And of course, without it we would die instantly.
It is comforting for me to observe that one can avoid light completely–by never going outside during the day, or by going into a cave or a basement, for instance–but it’s pretty hard to do consistently. Virtually everyone is exposed to light, regularly.
Which is why I’m always thrilled when I hear a shaft of light–a thought, a line from a song, a comment–that seems (to me) to express a pure truth. It reminds me how infinite are the Lord’s ways–and I admire the person for figuring it out, probably without the Writings like I have.
Recently our (Methodist) pastor said, in the pulpit, “I don’t know about you, but I think heaven is a pretty busy place.” I was awash with admiration. How did she figure that out?
Continue reading How Does the Lord Speak to Everyone Today?
Now and then I make fairly hopeless attempts to reduce the ‘stuff’ our kids will need to sort through once I have left this world – objects, photos, and old letters and emails that capture intangible thoughts and ideas, and recall friends. Some say that ‘the present is all we have’, but all our earlier moments have made us who we are; they are evidence of how we came to be.
‘Every moment of a person’s life has a series of consequences extending to eternity.’ Secrets of Heaven 3854
Keepsakes can be both physical and ephemeral. Intangible things are just as real as tangible ones – maybe even more real, from eternity’s viewpoint. ‘You can’t take it with you’ only applies to objects – it doesn’t necessarily apply to what you treasure.
Continue reading Keep or Cast Away the Keepsakes?
‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moss and dust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’ Matthew 6:19-21
“Rainbow baby” is a term commonly used for a baby born after the loss of a pregnancy or infant. A “double rainbow baby” is a baby born after two or more such losses. My husband and I are currently hoping for our own double rainbow baby to arrive this summer. I would say we are “expecting,” but to be perfectly honest, after two back-to-back second trimester miscarriages, I don’t feel comfortable using that word. At this point, I expect nothing. But I do hope. I fervently hope that this baby gets to join our family the way the Lord intended.
I’m not sharing this for pity, although we certainly appreciate any prayers you feel so moved to send our way. I’m writing about this because pregnancy after loss is one of the hardest things I’ve ever faced in my spiritual life and if my struggles and growth can help someone else at all, then that’s one more little good thing to come out of a whole mess of pain.
Pregnancy before loss and pregnancy after loss are profoundly different experiences. Before our losses, we were blessed with three beautiful healthy babies. During each of those pregnancies I knew that something could go wrong. But the possibility of losing the baby was a distant murmuring fear that I only brushed against occasionally. My trust in the process of growing and delivering a baby was unshaken. My trust in the Lord was solid. The Lord wants us to have babies. Most babies survive and thrive. I knew people who had experienced miscarriages or stillbirths or had lost an infant, but I felt somehow protected from that pain. It was something other, something that wasn’t mine—a cloud in the horizon that might never reach me.
Continue reading Hoping for a Rainbow
“Give a hoot – don’t pollute!” You may recognise this as the cry of Woodsy the Owl in public service announcements for the U.S. Forest Service in the 1970s. Woodsy had a great point: don’t litter! Don’t be callous! Take care of the environment around you! This article isn’t an environmentalist plea, however; at least, mostly not. It goes deeper than that, and feels like a good way to start off a new year.
In a discussion with friends after church a while back, it occurred to me that Woodsy’s is a great all-around motto. “Give a hoot, don’t pollute __” – you can fill in the blank with just about anything, and it works. Don’t pollute your physical environment with litter or garbage. Don’t pollute your head-space with selfish or lustful thoughts. Don’t pollute your relationships with accusations or anger. Don’t pollute the air waves around you with foul or hurtful language. Don’t pollute any environment with any kind of garbage.
To think of it another way, ‘put the needs of others before your selfish wants’. The Heavenly Doctrines offer valuable spiritual perspective on this concept. ‘Pollution’, in the Writings, is held in contrast to ‘purification’ and is used in reference to a person’s regeneration – which is useful but doesn’t really address our effecting of pollution. If we consider that not polluting implies being kind and not selfish, we might find more to substantiate this notion:
Continue reading Give A Hoot