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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Taking Notes

What a fantastic week of education this has been for me!  There is so much to learn.  I had the opportunity of attending World Congress of Families IX in Salt Lake City.  The Sutherland Institute invited our group Big Ocean to participate.  They sponsored five or six of us to stay at the Grand America Hotel with our families.  Last time I traveled with Big Ocean I was away from home for several days and I felt a little out of place being unable to touch and see my family each day.  So this was super nice to bring them along with me, to run up between meetings and leave them with little notes, treats, and hugs.

Speaking of notes... I tried to take some from all the different presenters, eager to jot their words down with pen and paper in hand.  The women from our group on either side of me sat ready to record as well.  Their pens were smoking and they wrote much quicker than I did. Because I'm so slow, I admit I had to copy from their papers most of the time.  So many wise and profound words!  I loved hearing the diverse Christian groups all stand for the same principles.

The bad news is, I lost my notebook. It wasn't fantastic, didn't have much order, and was probably only legible to me.  (Not many people can decode my scribbles.)  Nevertheless, I'm sad that I misplaced it.  I'm certain it has since been tossed in the garbage from housekeeping by now.

The good news is, the women who I went with took notes and they've captured much more than I could.  I'm grateful I at least have these to remember:
I've asked myself and I've asked God to help me know what steps I need to take so that I might improve and be more prepared to protect the freedoms we have long enjoyed.  These are the answers that have come to me:
  1. Schedule time to educate myself... yes I said "schedule." As completely unstructured as I am, I know I need to be a little more disciplined and block in a certain amount of time to read the material people like Family Watch International are putting out. Even if it is for just 20 min. per week.  I don't want to go into bondage because I have no knowledge as it says in Isaiah 5:13
  2.  Read to my children more. Schedule in a regular time to do this. Don't underestimate the power of story telling.  Read to my kids and tell them of the victorious heroes from world and American history and from my own family history.  I need to make this a bigger more central part of my homeschooling.
  3. Speak out - Be bold and brave but not overbearing. Share with others my testimony and convictions no matter their response, no matter if it's rejected or unpopular, or if I'm mocked for what I stand for.   “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  4. Be Optimistic.  Keep my head held high and my eyes heavenward.  Discovering the plan that Satan has is dark, ugly, and monstrous to put it mildly.  It is enough to easily bring one down to despair and horrible fear. But faith always dispels fear.  We know Who wins the battle.  We know which side wins.  God is able to do His work.  "They that be with us are more than they that be with them."  No matter what happens in my life, no matter the persecution or trial.  I know I have the power to call down heaven, to lift the veil and be surrounded by angels of God on every side.
-Alicia

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