Thursday December 5, 2013
Reflecting back on church activities when I was a teen causes me some regret, not because of what I did, but because of the activities themselves. Some of them just filled up time, were fun and kept us out of any overt trouble.
Much of the time could have been put to greater use. Perhaps the Church agrees, because the new Youth Activity website certainly solves all of those problems.
"When it comes to youth activities in the Church, the typical question is 'What are we going to do?'" said Mike Madsen, project manager for the new youth activity website created by the Church. "That question needs to change to 'Who needs our help?' 'What activity can we do to help the less active come to church?' or 'What do we need to do now to prepare for our future?' Activities should be based on needs and interests and planned with a purpose."
Find details from the announcement and visit the new website yourself.
Photo courtesy of © Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that serving others and the community is one of the characteristics of the true followers of Jesus Christ. Young people in particular learn principles of good citizenship that will help make them strong members of their communities.
Monday December 2, 2013
In following trends, I've discovered that young people don't like using their phones for actually talking. In fact, they think calling people is rude, and time consuming.
I have to agree with them on these points. It is presumptuous to expect someone to drop what they are doing and talk to you the instant you call them. I think it's rude too. Also, you can convey a simple message much faster with text messaging than with actually phoning someone.
The young prefer texting. Nearly all of them have cell phones and most of them have smart phones. A youngster once pointed to a small digital bar graph on her phone and showed me that she could text if she had a weak mobile connection (2 bars) versus talking which required a stronger mobile connection (4 bars).
Grandparents, especially, need to understand that the young prefer texting and social media. What it boils down to is this: if you want to communicate with the young, you have to communicate the way they communicate.
No, they probably won't call you. You can complain all you want and it won't change things. Texting is easier, cheaper and more convenient. So, learn how to text and be a lurker on their social networking until you learn how to interact appropriately. And, be grateful for what contact you do have with them.
The best compromise seems to be to text someone and ask when and if they are willing to talk with you. It's also good to ask what number they want to be reached at as well. People don't like letting other people use up their phone minutes.
If you want to talk with them, it should be on your nickel, or bitcoin, or whatever. You can text to a cellphone even if you don't have one yourself.
Before cell phones and such were commonplace, my husband and I were able to obtain a 1-800 number that rang directly to our home. This meant the kids could call us anytime from anywhere. We thought this would be a boon for parent/child communication.
How wrong we were. Making communication easy for children doesn't mean there will be more of it or that it will be better quality when it does occur.
I think we share this exasperation with Heavenly Father. He has made it so easy for us to communicate with Him. We can pray anytime, anywhere.
As with most kids, we tend to largely ignore praying to our Heavenly Father. Our prayers tend to be minimal, fast and pretty self-centered. Thanking Him for blessings bestowed usually takes a backseat to pleading for more blessings from above.
Consider Heavenly Father, He has made it extremely easy for us to communicate with Him. We can pray anywhere, anytime. How often do we do it? Not very. Can you imagine how exasperated He is? How much easier could He make it for us? What else could He do?
What's more, he's always happy to hear from us no matter how long it's been since we prayed last. Can you imagine a better correspondent? I can't.
Just because our official Thanksgiving Day has passed doesn't mean the time for thanking Him has ended. So, try and keep a prayer in your heart as well as a prayer on your lips. It will make a difference, both to you and to Him.
Thursday November 28, 2013
1. Google search restricted to one domain. Without this feature I wouldn't be able to find anything on lds.org. If you haven't used this before, simply put the following into the Google search box: Your search term(s) site:lds.org This limits your search to just the Church's official website. For example, if you want to search "repentance" you would enter the following in Google: repentance site:lds.org
2. Apple TV. This was a gift so I didn't know about it before receiving it. Also, I don't understand how it compares to Roku exactly. I know Roku has a Mormon Channel on it. However, I really like being able to download church flicks onto iTunes and watching them on my television in high definition. I listen to scriptures, the Ensign and watch General Conference and anything else the Church has on video. It is simply marvelous and there are other options besides Apple TV.
3. LDS Media Talk. For keeping abreast of all church digital developments, this blog site is simply the best.
4. RSS feeds. Without them I couldn't keep up on any news at all. They simplify finding news. Instead, the news finds you.
5. Blurb.com and other self-publishing sites. I've been with 'em since 2006 and I'm still a big fan. I took one look at what they were offering and said to myself, "This is how I'm going to do my personal history!"
6. Vapor Steam Cleaners. I believe Heavenly Father helped me find this tool. I've been using a vapor steam cleaner since 2002. It helps me sanitize carpets, beds, bedding and upholstery so that my husband's allergies aren't triggered. I've got a good residential model made in Italy.
7. Chronic Illness. If I didn't have to struggle with this phenomenon myself, I wouldn't appreciate why there must be opposition to fully exercise agency.
8. Kamut. This wonderful grain doesn't aggravate my husband's allergies. It make a great hot breakfast cereal. I love the taste. Also, if you must go gluten-free, then this grain is for you.
9. Camel milk. This is a wonder food without being a fad. I just wish it were more available and more affordable in the United States. It is plentiful elsewhere. For now, we have to content ourselves with camel milk powder, soap, lotion and chocolates. The old joke is that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. I don't think so. I think Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he created camels. I'll take 'em over horses any day.
10. Bats. What a terrific animal! They do so much for us including eating insects and pollinating plants. We had a colony of bats in our backyard once. We were essentially bug free. It was great, although the eerie flapping noise at dusk sometime freaked me out. Kudos to organizations that protect and rescue them, as well as all the good folks who install bat houses and other artificial habitat for these marvelous little creatures. Heavenly Father certainly created a jewel when he created bats.
Wednesday November 27, 2013
Bishop David Musselman wanted to go beyond just giving a talk in helping his ward members avoid being critical and judgmental.
With the assistance of a makeup expert, he transformed himself into a homeless person and simply went to church. He got a few strong reactions, both negative and positive. However, most reactions weren't reactions at all. People just ignored his existence. This bothered him the most.
Bishop Musselman said. "It made me think of the category of people that ... the Savior has the most difficult time with. That's the people that are lukewarm. That really don't take a stand either way."
One of the things I most admire about the Apostle Paul is that he was no fence-sitter. Whatever side he was on, he gave it his all. No one could accuse him of being lukewarm.
What about you? What side are you on? Are you even on a side at all?
Maybe it's time for some course correction?