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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zion

Definition: The word Zion is used repeatedly in all the standard works of the Church and is defined in latter-day revelation as “the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21). Other usages of Zion have to do with a geographical location. For example, Enoch built a city that was called Zion (Moses 7:18–19); Solomon built his temple on Mount Zion (1 Kgs. 8:1; see also 2 Sam. 5:6–7); and Jackson County, Missouri, is called Zion in many of the revelations in the D&C, such as 58:49–50; 62:4; 63:48; 72:13; 84:76; 104:47. The city of New Jerusalem, to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, is to be called Zion (D&C 45:66–67). The revelations also speak of “the cause of Zion” (D&C 6:6; 11:6). In a wider sense all of North and South America are Zion (HC 6:318–19). For further references see 1 Chr. 11:5; Ps. 2:6; 99:2; 102:16; Isa. 1:27; 2:3; 4:3–5; 33:20; 52:1–8; 59:20; Jer. 3:14; 31:6; Joel 2; Amos 6:1; Obad. 1:17, 21; Heb. 12:22–24; Rev. 14:1–5; and many others. (In the New Testament, Zion is spelled Sion.)


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for Yoke

“Come unto me, all ye that
labour and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me; for I am meek and
lowly in heart: and ye shall find
rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my
burden is light.”
~Matthew 11:28–30

Definition: A device put around the necks of animals or men to harness them together. The yoke of Christ is a symbol for discipleship, whereas the yoke of bondage is a symbol for oppression.

My yoke is easy, and my burden is light: ~Matt. 11:29–30;
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: ~2 Cor. 6:14;
Be not entangled with the yoke of bondage: ~Gal. 5:1;
Neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage: ~Alma 44:2;
The sufferings of the saints is an iron yoke, a strong band, and the chains of hell: ~D&C 123:1–3, 7–8;

(From image above):

What We Can Learn

Designed to carry burdens.
Why drag the heavy weight of sin
around? (see Isaiah 5:18). When
we repent and come unto the
Savior, He takes that burden away
and gives us peace and healing.
Intended to help get work done.
With the Lord’s yoke, we can help
do His work (see Moses 1:39), and
He will work with us (see Jacob
5:72). It’s still work, but in it we
find rest to our souls.
Custom fitted. It’s His yoke we
take upon us—the one best suited
for us, because His ways help
us live in harmony with our true
nature, “the nature of happiness”
(Alma 41:11), and because the
Savior knows us and can succor us
individually (see Alma 7:12).


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for eXaltation

Exaltation:: The highest state of happiness and glory in the celestial kingdom.

Source: Eternal life is the phrase used in scripture to define the quality of life that our Eternal Father lives. The Lord declared, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Immortality is to live forever as a resurrected being. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everyone will receive this gift. Eternal life, or exaltation, is to live in God's presence and to continue as families (see D&C 131:1–4). Like immortality, this gift is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. However, to inherit eternal life requires our “obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3).

When we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we enter the path that leads to eternal life. The prophet Nephi taught:

“The gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.

”And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive“ (2 Nephi 31:17-18).

Nephi emphasized that after we have entered this ”strait and narrow path,“ we must endure to the end in faith:

”After ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:19-20).

After we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, much of our progress toward eternal life depends on our receiving other ordinances of salvation: for men, ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood; for men and women, the temple endowment and marriage sealing. When we receive these ordinances and keep the covenants that accompany them, we prepare ourselves to inherit eternal life.


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

V is for Vows and W is for War in Heaven

(Getty images)

Definition (vows): These were of two kinds: (a) dedication—some person or thing was given to the Lord (Lev. 27:1–24); (b) abstinence—a promise made to abstain from some lawful act or enjoyment (Num. 6:3). No unnatural mutilation was permitted (Lev. 19:28; Deut. 14:1, etc.). Nothing already holy to the Lord, or intrinsically unholy, or blemished in the slightest degree, could be offered as a vow (Lev. 22:23; 27:26; Deut. 23:18). Provisions were made for ransoming such offerings when they could not be fitly sacrificed (Lev. 27:11). The vows of dependent women (wives or daughters) did not stand unless ratified explicitly or implicitly by the husband or father (Num. 30:3–16; see also Jer. 44:19). Vows often had an entreating character; they were offered in order to obtain some favor from Jehovah (Gen. 28:20; 2 Sam. 15:7–8).

Definition (War in Heaven): This term arises out of Rev. 12:7 and refers to the conflict that took place in the premortal existence among the spirit children of God. The war was primarily over how and in what manner the plan of salvation would be administered to the forthcoming human family upon the earth. The issues involved such things as agency, how to gain salvation, and who should be the Redeemer. The war broke out because one-third of the spirits refused to accept the appointment of Jesus Christ as the Savior. Such a refusal was a rebellion against the Father’s plan of redemption. It was evident that if given agency, some persons would fall short of complete salvation; Lucifer and his followers wanted salvation to come automatically to all who passed through mortality, without regard to individual preference, agency, or voluntary dedication (see Isa. 14:12–20; Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:4–13; D&C 29:36–38; Moses 4:1–4). The spirits who thus rebelled and persisted were thrust out of heaven and cast down to the earth without mortal bodies, “and thus came the devil and his angels” (D&C 29:37; see also Rev. 12:9; Abr. 3:24–28).

The warfare is continued in mortality in the conflict between right and wrong, between the gospel and false principles, etc. The same contestants and the same issues are doing battle, and the same salvation is at stake.

Although one-third of the spirits became devils, the remaining two-thirds were not all equally valiant, there being every degree of devotion to Christ and the Father among them. The most diligent were chosen to be rulers in the kingdom (Abr. 3:22–23). The nature of the conflict, however, is such that there could be no neutrals, then or now (Matt. 12:30; 1 Ne. 14:10; Alma 5:38–40).


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for Urim and Thummim

Definition: Hebrew term that means “Lights and Perfections.” An instrument prepared of God to assist man in obtaining revelation from the Lord and in translating languages. See Ex. 28:30; Lev. 8:8; Num. 27:21; Deut. 33:8; 1 Sam. 28:6; Ezra 2:63; Neh. 7:65; JS—H 1:35.

Using a Urim and Thummim is the special prerogative of a seer, and it would seem reasonable that such instruments were used from the time of Adam. However, the earliest mention is in connection with the brother of Jared (Ether 3:21–28). Abraham used a Urim and Thummim (Abr. 3:1–4), as did Aaron and the priests of Israel, and also the prophets among the Nephites (Omni 1:20–21; Mosiah 8:13–19; 21:26–28; 28:11–20; Ether 4:1–7). There is more than one Urim and Thummim, but we are informed that Joseph Smith had the one used by the brother of Jared (Ether 3:22–28; D&C 10:1; 17:1). (See Seer.) A partial description is given in JS—H 1:35. Joseph Smith used it in translating the Book of Mormon and in obtaining other revelations.

This earth in its celestial condition will be a Urim and Thummim, and many within that kingdom will have an additional Urim and Thummim (D&C 130:6–11).


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Temple

Temple in Laie, Hawaii

Definition: A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.

Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey His word, they have been commanded to build temples in which the ordinances of the gospel and other spiritual manifestations that pertain to exaltation and eternal life may be administered. In cases of extreme poverty or emergency, these ordinances may sometimes be done on a mountaintop (see D&C 124:37–55). This may be the case with Mount Sinai and the Mount of Transfiguration. The tabernacle erected by Moses was a type of portable temple, since the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness.

From Adam to the time of Jesus, ordinances were performed in temples for the living only. After Jesus opened the way for the gospel to be preached in the world of spirits, ceremonial work for the dead, as well as for the living, has been done in temples on the earth by faithful members of the Church. Building and properly using a temple is one of the marks of the true Church in any dispensation, and is especially so in the present day.

The best known temple mentioned in the Bible is that which was built in Jerusalem in the days of Solomon. This was destroyed in 587 B.C. and rebuilt by Zerubbabel about 70 years later. The restored structure was partially burned in 37 B.C. and was partially rebuilt by Herod the Great, although the rebuilding continued until A.D. 64. It was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70. See also Tabernacle.


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Sabbath

Definition: Instituted to commemorate God’s seventh day of rest at the Creation (Ex. 20:10–11), and also the redemption from Egyptian bondage (Deut. 5:15). On the Sabbath the daily sacrifices were doubled; the loaves of the shewbread were changed; the people abstained from all manner of work, and it was a day of holy assembly.

The Sabbath was a holy day before the giving of the law, even from the earliest times (see the account of the Creation—Gen. 2:2–3; the sacredness of the number 7; the narrative of the manna—Ex. 16:23–30; and the narrative of the man gathering sticks—Num. 15:32–36); but we have no evidence of its observance in patriarchal times. This is no doubt due to the scantiness of the record, for the Sabbath is an eternal principle and would have existed from the days of Adam, whenever the gospel was on the earth among men.

After the return from the exile Nehemiah made the observance of the Sabbath one of the chief points of his reformation (10:31; 13:15–22), and the strictness with which it was kept by the Jews became a well-known fact. In course of time many regulations grew up and were observed by the Pharisees. One of the charges frequently brought against our Lord was that of Sabbath breaking, but this was because He failed to conform to the traditions and man-made regulations concerning the Sabbath. Jesus obeyed the letter and the spirit of the Sabbath, but was not obligated to follow the traditions of the elders of the Jews.

After the Ascension of Christ, the members of the Church, whether Jews or Gentiles, kept holy the first day of the week (the Lord’s day) as a weekly commemoration of our Lord’s Resurrection (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10); and by degrees the observance of the seventh day was discontinued. (See Lord’s Day.)

The importance of a sacred day for man to rest from his temporal labors, contemplate the word of the Lord, and assemble for public worship is a major item in a person’s spiritual development. Furthermore, a decay in the national religious life always follows any tendency toward carelessness in the matter of Sabbath observance. The existence of a weekly holy day is a most important safeguard; it leaves a constant reminder to the individual of his need for spiritual sustenance and his duty before God, and serves as a witness to the world that there is such a thing as revealed religion.

The change from observing the last day of the week to the first day of the week is not so important as is the concept and principle of the Sabbath. In either case, the Sabbath was symbolic of the mighty works of God: the creation of the earth, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Latter-day revelation confirms the significance of the Sabbath (or Lord’s day) in D&C 59. For other references to the Sabbath see 2 Kgs. 4:23; 11:5–7; Isa. 1:13; 58:13; Jer. 17:20–27; Ezek. 20:12–13, 16; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matt. 12:1–13; Mark 2:23–28; 3:1–5; Luke 6:1–10; 13:11–16; 14:1–5; John 5:18; 7:21–24; Rom. 14:5–6; Gal. 4:10; Col. 2:16.


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A-Z Catch Up: Olive Tree, Prophet, Quarternion of Soldiers, Resurrection


Olive tree: The well-known Olea europea. It is extensively cultivated in Palestine for the sake of the oil. The olive requires being grafted; hence Paul’s allusion to the Gentiles (Rom. 11:17–24); but what he describes is the reverse of the ordinary gardening operation and is therefore spoken of as “contrary to nature” (verse 24). Using the olive tree in an allegorical sense to illustrate Israel and the Gentiles is also done by Zenos, as quoted by Jacob 5. Isaiah uses the illustration of a grape vine for the same purpose (Isa. 5:1–7).

Thomas S. Monson
President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Prophet: The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God’s messenger and make known God’s will. The message was usually prefaced with the words “Thus saith Jehovah.” He taught men about God’s character, showing the full meaning of His dealings with Israel in the past. It was therefore part of the prophetic office to preserve and edit the records of the nation’s history; and such historical books as Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings were known by the Jews as the former Prophets. It was also the prophet’s duty to denounce sin and foretell its punishment and to redress, so far as he could, both public and private wrongs. He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness. When the people had fallen away from a true faith in Jehovah, the prophets had to try to restore that faith and remove false views about the character of God and the nature of the divine requirement. In certain cases prophets predicted future events, such as the very important prophecies announcing the coming of Messiah’s kingdom; but as a rule a prophet was a forthteller rather than a foreteller. In a general sense a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost, as in Num. 11:25–29; Rev. 19:10.

Quaternion of soldiers: A guard of four, two being fastened to the prisoner, and two keeping watch.

Resurrection: The Resurrection consists in the uniting of a spirit body with a body of flesh and bones, never again to be divided. The Resurrection shall come to all, because of Christ’s victory over death. Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected on this earth (Matt. 27:52–54; Acts 26:23; 1 Cor. 15:23; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5). Others had been brought back from death but were restored to mortality (Mark 5:22–43; Luke 7:11–17; John 11:1–45), whereas a resurrection means to become immortal, with a body of flesh and bone.

All will not be raised to the same glory in the Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:39–42; D&C 76), nor will all come forth at the same time (see 1 Cor. 15:23; Alma 40:8). Christ was first; the righteous have precedence over the wicked and come forth in the First Resurrection, whereas the unrepentant sinners come forth in the last resurrection (Rev. 20:5–13).

The New Testament gives ample evidence that Jesus rose with His physical body: He ate fish and honey (Luke 24:42–43); He said He had flesh and bones (Luke 24:39); the people touched Him (Luke 24:39–40; John 20:25–29); the tomb was empty (Luke 24:2–3; John 20:1–10); and the angels said He had risen (Mark 16:1–6).

One of the most fundamental doctrines taught by the Twelve was that Jesus was risen from the tomb, with His glorified, resurrected body, as in Acts 1:21–22; 2:32; 3:15; 4:33. To obtain a resurrection with a celestial, exalted body is the center point of hope in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Resurrection of Jesus is the most glorious of all messages to mankind.

Latter-day revelation confirms the reality of the Resurrection of Christ and of all mankind, as in Alma 11:41–45; 40; 3 Ne. 11; D&C 76; Moses 7:62.


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Coming Soon + $25 Giveaway: The Husband Maker by Karey White

Coming July 15th from USA Today Bestselling author Karey White
The Husband Maker by Karey WhiteThe Husband Maker

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next.

Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

add to goodreads

kareyAuthor Karey White

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 5/15/14

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Author Good News and Freebie Alert: The Yellow Bar and Arts Deco by John Falch

I received an email from author, John Falch, sharing some good news.  I like good news.  Anyway, his book, The Yellow Bar, is a quarter finalist in the Amazon Break Out Novel Awards. Putting it in the top 5%.  Yay!  I'm happy for him.  I enjoyed The Yellow Bar (my review and interview, here) and hoping it gets in the top 5 books so he'll get a publishing contract.  Best wishes Mr. Falch! 

Also, the author has written a novelette that is available for FREE this weekend, Arts Deco.  Go HERE or click on the image below to check it out and give it a review.  I just got my copy and looking forward to reading it.  Feel free to share the promo.

I must admit I'm not crazy about the book cover but like people say, "Don't judge a book by it's cover".  :)

Art Silver loves his wannabe actress wife, Kitty, so he consents to rent a penthouse apartment in the heart of old Hollywood while their home in the suburbs is being built. Large, glamorous and with a storied history, the place seems to be the perfect spot for their tenth anniversary party. That is, until Kitty hosts a seance-gone-wrong and inadvertently opens a portal to the netherworld. Now long-dead celebrities are walking the halls. Far from being scary, Art finds that live-in spooks come with some amazing benefits. But is it too much of a good thing? And what's the ghost of JFK doing here with his wife behind closed doors?

Ghosts. Hollywood. 1976. What's not to love?

If war came home and sat on your doorstep, what would you do?

Meet the Reynaldos, a simple country family living happily on their farm in 1940s American Philippines. Good luck has bounced their way and the family is climbing out of rural poverty to become successful entrepreneurs. Life is swell until the Japanese invade and make them servants in their own house. As told by their youngest son, Pepot, The Yellow Bar recounts the almost forgotten history of the Japanese occupation of Manila, Philippines, and of a family that survives it through quick wit, blind faith, and a pinch of dark humor.

Six Word Saturday: Thank You

(click on image to join the fun)


I truly appreciate those of you who offered your prayers and condolences, whether through comments or silently.

The funeral for my nephew-in-law was lovely.  I hadn't realized he left a ten year old daughter so I felt for her the most.

My sister's funeral will be this coming Friday.  I suspect I'm going to have a rough time then.  Up to this point it doesn't feel real so I suspect it will be then.  Don't worry.  We know she's in a good place now and we'll see her (and him) again.  It's comforting this Easter season to know that because of Him we can live again ...


Again, my sincere gratitude,

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: The Sacrament by John Bytheway

The Sacrament by John Bytheway, Illustrated by Nathan Pinnock, 2014, YR, Hardback, 32p. Rating=5
Source: provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review.

It's understandable that some children appear bored or distracted during sacrament meeting. Many young Latter-day Saints are probably unsure about the true meaning of the sacrament and why we attend. With this in mind, bestselling author John Bytheway has composed a delightful poem (inspired by a short poem by Walter H. Horne) to help Latter-day Saints young and old appreciate the ordinance of the sacrament. In particular, children will learn what they should be thinking about (and not be thinking about) during this sacred time as well as what the sacrament can do for all of us.

Beautifully illustrated by Nathan Pinnock, this thought-provoking story about a young boy and his grandpa is a gentle reminder about the importance of remembering the Lord Jesus Christ, especially during this special meeting meant for Him

This is an excellent teaching tool for children on the sacred meaning of the sacrament. It's easy to get distracted during sacrament meeting, children and adults alike, as this book pointed out. Such wondering of thoughts makes one forget the reason for the ordinance.  This book through verse did the trick for getting across the understanding of who the focus should be on.  It reminds the reader that the reason for reverence is Jesus.

I take my three children to church with me each Sunday and at times I get a heck of a time wrangling them to sit still during sacrament meeting particularly during the actual passing of the bread and water (thanks to those people from time-to-time over the years that extended their helping hands!).  They're a bit older now (11, 7, 5) so they're pretty good about being quiet but I want them to truly grasp the reason for the reverence.  This book powerfully did that.  It did so my accounting a simple story of a young boy on vacation having the time of his life at his grandfather's homestead.  It didn't occur to him that he would have to go to church even on vacation.  So comes church day and bored as can be.  Grandpa noticing his weariness whispered a story to him of an observation he had when he was about the same age.  Grandpa had noticed many people then were distracted as well and lost focus that the hour was a time for worship.  Grandpa recalled wondering, "Yes, I couldn't help but wonder what the Lord Himself would say should He walk into the chapel while His Saints behaved this way; Would His loving eyes be saddened; would His countenance be grim while He there observed and listened to a service meant for Him?" (p14).  Wow, what a wake up call!  Surely inspired the boy to remember Jesus from then on during sacrament ...and me too! ...and my kids! ...and those who read this book!

This book is now on my list of outstanding books for gifting.  I also foresee utilizing this for sharing time when a call for a lesson on sacrament arise.  Absolutely fabulous picture book!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox

The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox, NF -Religion, 2014, Hardback, 154p, Rating=5
Source: provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review

Christianity is facing great opposition. At the very least, most
Christians know what it is like to end up on the “wrong” side of a “politically correct” conversation. More than ever before, we need believing and behaving disciples—men and women who are ready to stand up, stand together, and change the world one righteous choice at a time.
Filled with personal experiences and heartwarming stories, this book emphasizes the importance of living in accordance with Christian values seven days a week and offers practical suggestions for how to actually pull it off. In addition to finding personal peace and having a positive impact on others, choosing to live as a daily disciple opens the door for tremendous personal development.

I am a Christian (Mormon) and so I like the premise of living a Christian life seven days a week as opposed to just on Sundays. Try as I may I often fall short in living accordingly every single day so I was eager to see what I can learn from this book on the matter.  Although the general principles were not new to me, the author had interesting ways of looking at them from another view.  The test in the distinction of this book would then be in its delivery of the content.  There I say, "Well done!" This was so because every key principle was backed up with scripture from the Holy Bible and with a personal example, whether his or someone else's.  Doing it this way gave the truth character and accountability.  For example, in the chapter, "Without Wax", the principle of sincerity was discussed ... "Those who claim to be Christians must live lives that are sincere --clean, pure, sound --the same on the inside as they appear on the outside." (p47).  Here, the author referenced Matthew 23:25 and as a personal experience he told the story of when he helped a young mother carry her suitcases. It was a simple act of service on the author’s part but the young mother saw it as so rare as to be convinced that he must have been an angel.  Consequently, a principle was defined and now Christians are answerable to that fundamental truth and have a choice to act on what Jesus would have them do.  Ergo, the principle of sincerity wasn't new to me but hearing it again in action was invigorating and this book was full of such uplifting remembrance of discipleship. 

I know I should be living a Christlike life everyday so this book was a magnificent cause to do some reflection and provided inspiration to make it happen.  It also imparted strong regard to the benefits of righteous living on individuals and society.  Noting the empowerment one has to help change the view of Christians for the positive.

I like the straightforwardness writing of this author.  It wasn't overwhelming in scripture as to get preachy nor his examples boastful.  I felt a gentleness, a sincerity, and experience in the read so it wasn't a surprise that my spirit softened to the words and I believe that your Christian heart will feel the same.  Perhaps if we hear the truths enough times, they might finally sink in! :)

Few quotables (that I caught when a pencil was at hand):

"Integrity fears no hidden cameras.  The actions that count the most in life are those seen by the fewest people." p30

"I don't pretend to know much.  My faith is so simple.  But I trust God.  I want to walk in His way and keep my commitments to Him.  I see His love and kindness everywhere I look --even in this place that most would describe as 'God forsaken'". -p111 (author's friend in prison)

"Knowledge of Christ's resurrection not only changes the hereafter, it can also change what we are here after." p136

"We do not act in an effort to be worthy of grace.  We act because we are enabled by grace." p146

About the Author

BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader’s Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Names of Persons

Definition: The numerous passages of holy scripture in which reasons are given for bestowing a particular name on any person show that the Hebrews attached great importance to the meanings of their names (see Gen. 17:5, 15, 19; 21:3, 6; 30). In the Old Testament, special reverence is paid to the name of God as representing His person and character. In many cases a Hebrew personal name was composed of (1) one of the names or titles of God, (2) a verb or adjective, forming together a simple sentence, such as Azar-iah, “the Lord hath helped.” Two names of God are chiefly used in this way: (1) El, which is found as El-, Eli-, at the beginning of a word, or as -el, -eel, -iel at the end of it; and (2) Jah, which is found as Jo-, Jeho-, at the beginning, or as -iah, -jah, -ia at the end. (The three terminations -iah, -jah, -ia, should all be pronounced “yah,” one syllable, not two.) Thus, from the name Nathan (“He has given”) are formed the four names Elnathan, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Nethaniah, all of which mean “God” or “the Lord gives” (or “has given”). The frequent use of nathan, “to give,” hanan, “to graciously bestow,” and other words of similar meaning, in composition with the names of God, throws light on the view taken by the Israelite as to God’s providential care of the household.

The use of Baal as part of a name deserves notice. At one time this name could be applied to Jehovah Himself (see Hosea 2:16); so it was not infrequently used as part of a Hebrew name, such as Baaliah. But when it became associated with idolatrous worship its use was given up, and names of which it formed part were frequently changed, bosheth (“shame,” Jer. 11:13; Hosea 9:10) being substituted for baal. Thus Eshbaal became Ishbosheth, and Jerubbaal became Jerubbesheth.

From the time the Jews came under Greek influences it was not at all unusual for a man to adopt a Greek name in addition to his Jewish one; for example, Cephas and Peter both mean “a rock,” the one being Aramaic and the other Greek. Latin names were also freely adopted, such as Paulus, Lucanus, Silvanus, Justus, or Niger. We have no reference in the New Testament to the giving of a name at baptism, but such a custom arose out of the Jewish custom of giving a name at circumcision (in New Testament times, Luke 1:59; 2:21, there being no reference to it in the Old Testament except in Gen. 17:5–12).


My spiritual knowledge needs some boosting so I've decided to learn about gospel principles or thereabouts. Thus, this is my theme for this year's A-to-Z Challenge. ~Find out more about this challenge, here.

Cover Reveal + $25 Giveaway: Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle Christensen

About Diamond Rings are Deadly Things:
Purchase: AmazonBarnes and NobleGoodreads

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she is especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success--that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim. With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.


“I love Rachelle J. Christensen’s stories and characters, and Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things is another thrilling mystery to add to my collection. Don’t be surprised if you have to stay up all night to finish he book!”
--Rachel Ann Nunes, author of Before I Say Goodbye

Diamond Rings are Deadly Things pulled me right in from the first page and held me captive until the very end. Great characters, a compelling plot, a surprising twist at the end ... Rachelle Christensen knows how to craft a great mystery.
- Tristi Pinkston, author of the Secret Sisters Mysteries

A cunningly crafty mystery with just the right mix of romance. Readers won't be able to get enough of Adrielle Pyper, stunning party-planner turned heroine.
--Nichole Giles, author of Descendant

About Rachelle J. Christensen:
Find her: Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website - Author, Craft

Rachelle J. Christensen is a stay-at-home mom of four cute kids. She has an amazing husband, three cats, and five chickens. Rachelle was born and raised in the small farming town of Rupert, Idaho which is adjacent to the setting in her latest mystery Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things due out this July. Her new website www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.compartners with the characters from the novel to bring readers an interactive look into the mystery of crafting and wedding planning.

Rachelle graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a music minor. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and of course reading.

Rachelle’s first novel, Wrong Number was awarded Outstanding Book of the Year from the League of Utah Writers and was also a 2010 Whitney Finalist. She is also the author of Caller ID, a nonfiction book Lost Children: Coping with Miscarriage for Latter Day Saints, and a novella with a Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.
Visit to learn more about upcoming books.

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[Helping authors promote their books. Being profiled does not necessarily mean I recommend the book.] 

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