This morning I read three chapters in befriend. I realized last night that I only have one day left with this book and I had five chapters left. I will read the remaining two tomorrow and then do Four Question Friday at the same time.
I have a lot of respect for Scott. He wades into some deep water in this book and comes out of it with my respect and admiration. One of the chapters this morning was Befriend Vulnerable Women and Humans Not Yet Born. Deep water. I realized at the end of reading it that I had not marked a single thing to write about and I started realizing that I am bringing my own beliefs into telling you about his and every other author’s writings. Since I don’t know how to keep from doing that, after all, I’m not a news reporter, I am going to just be more prayerful about what I say and choose to write about. And, I’m going to stay out of the deep water.
Everything today seemed to be about help – help from God, helping each other. In OA today the primary message was having gratitude for our past because it’s what got us to this point in our lives. I struggle with that. Sometimes, I’m not really sure I like the person I am today. When I make stupid decisions, act out irrationally, or say unkind or bossy things, I don’t like myself much. However, I am learning to find small ways to recognize that those instances are not my true character. I am trying to help myself to grow and learn from my mistakes and to become more Christlike in thought, word, and deed. Boy, does that take a lot of work! This was the AA message too. “Be mindful of my thoughts and actions and immediately ask for forgiveness (of the offended person) and ask for help (from God).” I need that. I need to remember these things and have them sink deep into my heart so that at the very moment it happens I can think “ahh, here I am” and stop in my tracks to fix what I have done
Elder J. Devn Cornish’s talk was titled “Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?” Want to hear his thoughts on being “good enough?” I like his words “we falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others.” I hear the Lord in those comments saying, “Carmen, peace. Be still and know that I love you. What more could you desire?” Nothing, Lord, nothing. It’s easier to say on days when all I’ve done is wrestle with what to write and I haven’t yet had any other human interaction. It’s easy when I hole up in my office and read. It’s easy when it’s just me in the house and it’s quiet and I can think long and hard before doing or saying something. It’s easy to remember that I need nothing more than to enjoy His gifts. If I can do that, then I can consider myself the richest person in the world because His gifts are the best anyone could receive.
Moroni, in Ether 12 (I wrote the wrong chapter yesterday, it was eleven) says the following:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
So, so many weaknesses! How amazing it is it that our God, the creator of all things, says that He will make us strong in our weaknesses and all it requires is some humility and faith? Well, humbleness and weakness go hand in hand in my book. Throw in a little bit of faith that things might change and wow! Now, that’s a recipe for success. My personal inspirational thought today was that small steps lead to great success. A little bit of failure + a little bit of humility + a little bit of faith = success. It doesn’t take much with a God who has promised all things.
Scott talks a lot this morning in those three chapters about help. The deep water chapter of Befriending Vulnerable Women and Humans Not Yet Born was not political at all. His single stance is that neither side is offering to help anyone – mother or unborn child – and until we do, nothing will change and the battle will go on. Chapter eighteen is Befriend Strangers and Refugees. His point is that we are all strangers and refugees separated from our heavenly home and that Christ was the chief of refugees.
Maybe Jesus cared so much about the alien, the stranger, and the refugee because Jesus was also an alien, a stranger, and a refugee.
We need to offer help, as we are able – physical needs, money to charities, or hands-on help. What would we have done for Christ if we had been there? Remember, these are the “least of these” He mentions over and over again in scripture.
Why should be care about those in need on the other side of the world who seem so different than us? Because Jesus did first.
The final chapter couldn’t be more timely or any deeper water. The name of the chapter? Befriend Those Who Vote Against You. Again, he comes at this topic from a purely Christlike place. “An election season is an opportunity for Christians to stand out as a thoughtful, fair-minded, and loving minority.” Additionally, he gets right to the heart of the matter – “Whether Christian or not, as long as there are people working for the common good, we can (and should) lock arms with them. In this, we become supporters, not subjects, of our government. This is how God designed it to be. This is the Biblical ideal.” Oh, he goes on, but I’m going to share those through the quote blocks. I urge you to watch for them, Scott has a thoughtful perspective on this topic and I want to share it with you.