BigKath: Just in case you were wondering, "bigkath" is made up of the first part of my last and first names and has nothing to do with my size. :o)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Did Christ find your home this Christmas?

Each Christmas my family lights luminaries in the front yard to "Light the Way for Christ."  It is a beautiful tradition that got me thinking as we braved the cold and lit around 60 candles.  Am I letting Christ into my life?  Am I lighting the way so He can find me?  Am I reaching out to Him and asking for His help?  Am I welcoming Him and His love into my heart?  Am I making Him the focus of all of my thoughts, desires, and actions?

I sang with my parents in the ward choir on Christmas Day.  I hadn't been particularly excited about the cantata we were singing.  But my heart was changed.  The spirit was so strong as we sang of Christ and the joy that comes because of His birth and life.  Tears came to my eyes as I thought of His suffering for me.  I want to be so much better than I am.  Thanks to Christ, I can change, repent, and become the woman He knows I can be.  As I looked around the chapel at the faces of the people, I was filled with a little taste of Christ's love: I just wanted to give everyone a hug.  I send my love and a big "Christmas Hug" to all of you and hope that Christ has found His way to your heart this season and stays all the year long. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Is it better to Give or Receive?

Imagine that it is your birthday and everyone gets a birthday present EXCEPT for you.  How would you feel?  Sad, confused, left out, unappreciated?  Is this how we treat Christ on His birthday?  How do you think He feels when everyone is running around worried about getting the perfect gift for everyone else and forgetting Him, the very person whose birthday we are celebrating.  What gift are you going to GIVE Jesus for CHRISTmas?  Perhaps a gift of time, love, service, giving up a bad habit or sin, improving a charateristic to become more like Him, or developing a talent to help serve others. 

Christ has given us the greatest gift of all: He conquered physical and spiritual death.  He suffered for our sins, pains, and sicknesses so that we can be redeemed, so that we can have peace, and so that we can return to live with Him.  He made it possible to be with our families and loved ones forever.  He and Heavenly Father will not abandon us, but are ready to help and counsel us with whatever we need.  This GIFT is available to each of us, but we have to RECEIVE it! 

Doctrine and Covenants 88:33 says it perfectly: "For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift."

How do we receive this gift from the Savior?  We accept the Savior into our lives, reach out to Him and seek His guidance, do our best to obey His commandments, learn of Him through studying His words and strengthen our relationship with Him, serve our fellow men, acknowledge the hand of the Savior in our lives, humble ourselves and allow the Savior to take our burdens. 

So is it better to give or receive?  Both!  We need to remember the Savior always, especially during this Christmas season and think of ways to GIVE to Him as we follow His commandments, try to do His will, and serve and love the people around us.  We also need to RECEIVE in our hearts the gift of the Atonement that Jesus Christ gave to all so willingly.