Celebration of Spring, Restoration, and Miracles Story #3: The Miracle of the Bread

Today’s story for the springtime theme of restoration, renewal, and miracles is the miracle of the bread. This story is listed in my upcoming devotional book, The Celestial Guide to Family Devotionals. It comes from a talk by Elder Ted E. Brewerton called, “Miracles” which appeared in the November 1990 New Era, the magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for youth. This story is about Elder Brewerton’s ancestor, Elder Fisher.

This story takes place back in the day when missionaries served missions after getting married.  In this story, two elders, both from Utah, were serving in New Zealand. They were short on money and feeling hungry. As they rode their horses they talked about how much they missed their wives and families and homemade bread and other familiar food they couldn’t find in New Zealand. They decided to take a break from riding and go off the trail to kneel in prayer. Retreating into the woods, they knelt in prayer and expressed their desire to serve God, and that they loved and were concerned about their families back home. They they got back on the horses and started riding on their way. A little bit of time passed, and then they saw something odd on the side of the road. It was a loaf of bread wrapped in white cloth! They got to enjoy homemade bread, and rejoiced in God providing this miracle. Back at home, they found out through a letter, that on that very day that they found the bread, Elder Fisher’s wife had baked bread and then found a loaf missing, along with a cloth. Elder Brewerton says:

Two missionaries in New Zealand had received an answer to prayer. The loaf of bread came to symbolize for them that it was Heavenly Father who had sent them to New Zealand and that he was supporting and watching over their families.

Incidentally, when James E. returned home, the farm had prospered and he and his wife owned more cattle and sheep and had more money than before.

I love this story! My husband’s family has a very similar story about his grandfather. I know God answers prayers, sometimes in miraculous ways. However He chooses to answer our prayers, He answers them in the best way for our growth. God is so good! You can read the complete story here.

 

 

 

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The Mighty Power of a Praying Wife and Mother

I love this video! It tells a bit about the mother of the Kendrick brothers, the guys who made the hit Christian movies Fireproof, Courageous, and War Room. I testify that prayer brings the power of God into your life like nothing else. May we all be powerful praying wives and mothers! I know God hears our prayers and answers them in the best way for us. Sometimes the answer is no, sometimes it is yes, and sometimes it is yes, but later. Watch the clip above to see how Mama Kendrick’s written prayer was answered almost a year later.

Join me a week today for our Celestial Wives Movie Discussion Club online!Celestial Wives Movie Discussion Club online! We meet Monday April 30 at 5 to 6 PM Utah time. Comment below if you want the link so you can join us online in a video classroom to discuss.

Mama Kendrick says, “I believe that God wants women to pray over their homes, to pray over their husbands, to pray over their children every day, that God will have His way, His will for us.” Amen sister! As Priscilla Shirer, the star of the movie says in the clip below, “God multiplies our time when we put first things first.”

 

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Some Alternative Therapies for Cancer

Wow, ever since last year when one of my friends got diagnosed with breast cancer, I have been hearing of more and more cases in my personal circle. It is an epidemic. So that’s why the podcast episode, featured above, with Sally Fallon of Wise Traditions, is so timely. In this episode Sally summarizes the articles that appeared in the Weston A. Price Fall 2017 journal, all about cancer. The articles are listed below in the bullet points. Click on the links below if you want to read the whole articles.

Why would you want to explore alternatives to chemo? Watch this video below to learn. It contains interviews with many medical doctors explaining why the typical treatment for cancer has problems. It claims that 90% of oncologists would not prescribe chemo to their own family members. Why is this? The video explains.

 

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Celebration of Spring, Restoration, Miracles and Renewal Story #2: The Gift of Tongues

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I love spring! I snapped this pic today on my hike. We’ve got a bigger crew here this week with my mother-in-law, college-attending son and his girlfriend visiting for spring break. Some of us went on a hike today and it was gorgeous!

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I shared this story with my kids this morning after our scripture study and family prayer. I love it so much I’m sharing it with you now. It is a true story of the gift of tongues given to a young Latter-day Saint missionary in American Samoa. It comes from the September 2008 issue of the Ensign.

In this story, the young elder was asked to conduct a sacrament meeting in American Samoa when he hardly knew the language. He was humble and prayerful. Here is what happened:

When Sunday came, my companion and I blessed the sacrament in English and passed it. I then stood and looked at the congregation. I knew what I wanted to communicate. I tried to open with traditional, polite greetings in Samoan, but the words didn’t come out right. I stopped and closed my eyes, feeling I’d have to speak in English. As I began speaking again, I had a sensation that my mouth was several inches in front of me, speaking in Samoan. The animated expressions on the faces in the congregation showed they understood my words.

Amazing! But then the elder got cocky and the gift disappeared. You can read the whole story here, after the heading “Speaking Words I Didn’t Understand.”

This is an example of the stories I refer to in my upcoming ebook, The Celestial Guide to Family Devotionals. I love sharing these stories everyday with my family, it helps bring the Spirit in and turns on the brightness of perfect hope in Jesus Christ. I know the gift of tongues is a true gift from Jesus Christ, bestowed on his humble followers when needed to fulfill his purposes. As our Seventh Article of Faith  says, “We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healings, interpretations of tongues, and so forth.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Renew Yourself as a Homeschool Mom With This Amazing Talk by Marlene Peterson

 

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My homeschool mom friends and I actually found some snow in southern AZ!

I listened to this speech by Marlene Peterson of librariesofhope.com via Facebook Live a few weeks ago. She gave it as the keynote address for a family home education conference at American Heritage School on Saturday March 24. 2018. This is that time of year when as homeschool moms we need a HUGE boost of support to get through to the end of the school year. Listening to Marlene will give you that boost. Listen and enjoy! You can read the text here. She gives many ideas to surround yourself and your children with truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty were the themes of the retreat I attended just last month. Secluded away (from kids), several homeschool moms and I got to laugh, cry, bond, eat chocolate, and go hiking (pictured above). We talked about what truth, beauty, and goodness are and how to expose our kids to all of it. This speech by Marlene resonates with that retreat. P.S. you can feel the boost every day by listening to Marlene’s podcasts. I listen to them at the end of the day when I’m getting ready for bed as she is so soothing. Marlene helps me feel that all is right with the world.

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Celebration of Spring, Restoration, and Renewal Story #1

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Happy April everybody! This is the start of a series of me posting stories from the LDS Church magazines about springtime/renewal/restoration/ testimony and miracles. All of these are great themes for April for family devotionals or Family Home Evening. These stories are listed in my forthcoming ebook, The Celestial Guide to Family Devotionals. If you want to read the story right away, scroll down to the bottom of this post after the last photo. If you want to read my ramblings about General Conference for the LDS Church and Easter weekend, read on to the next paragraph.

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I hope you all had a lovely Easter and General Conference! I enjoyed it. It was a historic conference, that’s for sure, with a new president and two new apostles called and sustained. Elder Gerrit Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares. Elder Gong lived in our ward when we lived in Provo. He is a wonderful, humble man. This is a new era for him and his wife Susan. I am excited for them! Who would have thought when they moved into our ward (church congregation) that he would one day be called to be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ! I am also excited about President Russell M. Nelson being our new president. I have so enjoyed learning from him, especially his CES speech to millenials, January 2016, and then his RootsTech talk last year. I found this cool website by the son of one of my long-time homeschooling friends. It has all of Pres. Nelson’s talks compiled in one place (except for the RootsTech talk and maybe others the compiler isn’t aware of.)

I know President Nelson has been called of God to hold all the keys of the priesthood of God today. It was so great to hear his announcement of seven new temples! Can I say I am so thrilled that finally the temple in north Davis County UT  was announced! Let’s hope it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke! I have been waiting years for that to happen after hearing about it from one of my sources. I used to live in Layton UT so I am excited for my former adopted hometown! We lived there for 11 years, most of my older kids’ formative years, so the older ones out of the nest consider it their home. My son who is on a mission whooped for joy when he heard the news.

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I got so many insights from Conference. I love listening to the talks over and over again on Gospel Library to feel the Spirit and hear the stories again. It’s always tricky when General Conference is the same day as Easter, to fit it all in. We started off the weekend early Thursday night by going to the Mesa AZ Easter Pageant, which is amazing, btw. Then the next day was play practice for my kids homeschool group and a temple trip for me. At the last minute I got word that my husband could meet me there. He had stayed home to attend to some business. I had an anxiety attack that day…long story…I won’t go into it. Then we had an Easter picnic that night for our ward (church congregation). I was rushing to finish reading Hero Education so I could participate in a discussion that night with the parents in our homeschool group. This is Oliver DeMille’s latest book. I liked it but have some major points about it I would love to discuss with anyone who wants to.

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Anyway, back to Easter/ General Conference…we had our traditional Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday, told the Easter Story with symbols (see very top photo), and also did our Plan of Salvation Treasure Hunt for Family Home Evening on Monday. (The hunt comes from the Christ-Centered Easter book by Janet Hales, and her husband Joe. Janet is my husband’s cousin.) I love to do this hunt every year the Monday after Easter because it teaches what Jesus was doing while his body lay in the tomb. See Doctrine and Covenants 138 if you don’t know. For treats on Easter weekend, I got somewhat healthy candy from the health foods store for the kids like I do every year. For me, I made some Easter candy to enjoy without raising my blood sugar using THM recipes. I told myself I wouldn’t eat any of theirs if I could make all the chocolate I wanted. Here are the sugar-free chocolates I made using molds I bought on Amazon years ago. Yep, it was dark chocolate. Next time I’m going to go for milk chocolate.

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and here are the sugar-free marshmallows:

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I’ve decided to start two new traditions for Easter. One is to buy a picture book about Easter so I can create a collection of Easter picture books just as big as my Christmas picture book collection. Ideally I would like to buy one for each kid, but maybe just one for the whole family will suffice. The other is to include some non-edible item in the Easter eggs for the hunt. This year I surprised the kids and my husband with these book darts from amazon. I got one tin and divided them up among the six of us. So each one of us got to find an egg that was filled with them. Just a little reminder that some treats are for the mind, not the mouth. I was thrilled to see that my 16 year old son used his to mark up Hero Education as he read it to prepare for his homeschool group’s discussion with other teens.

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I’m loving spring! I love to get out and go walking in the morning and feel my muscles awakening. We’ve got birds singing all around the house and green leaves on the trees again, although you can’t really tell in these pictures, haha. It looks like we live in a barren, dry desert, which we do, haha. No grass here! At the seminary building last week we saw a red bird. Sorry the picture above is a little blurry but you can at least see the red blob of a bird.

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A few weeks before Easter, my 16 year old son got his driver’s license so that means freedom for him and me! He’s been running errands, shopping, taking the younger kids to baseball or play practice for me. This has meant more time for me to wrap up the editing and art for my ebook, The Celestial Guide to Family Devotionals.

The ebook is a compilation of lists for each month of the year with themes according to traditional US holidays. Then I have listed songs from all the LDS Church magazines, clear back to 1971, plus many hymns and Primary songs, scriptures and stories from LDS Church magazines to go with the themes. This ebook will be released this month! It’s the book I wish I had had for all these child-raising years because it makes doing family devotionals a breeze! Everything is hyperlinked so if you have Internet access you click on the link and it takes you to the song, scripture, or story. Watch for my announcement of its publication this month.

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OK, so I am sharing stories on the blog this month of April that I have linked to in the ebook. April’s theme is Easter of course, along with miracles, restoration, renewal, first principles and ordinances of the gospel, and testimony. Here’s a great story that is listed in my ebook, called “Joining the Lord’s Army.” It appeared in the New Era in August 2013. In this story, a young man tells of how he transformed from being a directionless youth (perhaps homeless, the story is not ) to finding Jesus Christ. This discovery game him new life. He then trained to become a minister. Interestingly enough, that led him to joining the army. In the army, he found a fellow soldier who shared her conversion story to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So he found out that Jesus Christ’s true church has been restored to the earth and when he wrote the story, he was serving a mission in Alaska. Here is part of the story: (Read it and then go here to read the whole story.)

That time I took John, my training partner, with me to church. The first speaker was a woman who was graduating from basic combat training. She shared her conversion story and then sang the hymn “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” (Hymns, no. 29). I glanced at John and noticed tears forming in his eyes.

“What is this feeling?” he asked. “I’ve got the tingles.”

As I replied, “It’s called the Spirit,” it struck me that something special was going on—something about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was different.

John and I soon met with the missionaries, and they gave us copies of the Book of Mormon. John readily accepted his copy; I was more hesitant. In basic training our only free time was the four hours we had for sleep, and I did not feel like we could waste a precious minute doing anything other than sleep. But John felt differently.

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Happy Easter! Resurrection Sunday 2018

Happy Easter everybody! I hope you’ve enjoyed my Countdown to Easter this past week. Today’s post includes some of my favorite Easter videos from YouTube. I know God lives. I know He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to live and die for us. Because of Him, we can be rescued from everything sad, mad, and bad, and ALL the related effects of those emotions and events. Hooray!!!! His strengthening and enabling power (grace) are available to us every moment. The video below from Brad Wilcox is a perfect description of how this grace works. It is so refreshing, please watch it!

Here is a compilation of the Bible Videos produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the life of Christ.

Now here’s one of my favorite LDS videos about Easter, Easter Dream. Then a song, “Because He Lives,” from Lawson and Carlin Bates of Tennessee. Again, Happy Easter!

 

 

 

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