Mary of Magdala remembers (22 March 2015)

princess architect

Dear friends, today was an Easter presentation in sacrament meeting due to next week being fast and testimony meeting and Easter Sunday it’s General Conference (yeah!). I was given an assignment to speak on the resurrection of Jesus,  specifically when Mary Magdalene saw him and when He met Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.  I’ve decided to share my talk with you. I hope you enjoy and feel inspired. #BecauseHeLives and see Easter week inspiration at mormon.org/easter

The prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson stated:

The greatest events of history are those that affect the greatest number of people for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master.

I remember that day,  when the Master was resurrected, it made all the difference and we, His disciples, were glad.

I remember how the Sabbath after that Passover we…

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a quick hello…

Dear friends,
I’m at the bus stop – having missed two since I stopped to get a newspaper & there’s been two ‘not in service’.  It’s a grey and very windy morning and I have a runny nose – no sore throat – does that mean it’s viral?  But life is great! 🙂 
I heard of a spontaneous rescue at the waterfront – a passerby jumped in the water to save the last crew member trapped in an air pocket of a sinking tug boat.  The tug sank; both men are safe. We need to be there to help others.
And it’s Easter week – I’ve never understood why this isn’t a bigger deal than Christmas since it is what makes all the difference.  Being born is one thing and, yes, that made a difference (especially to a certain group of believers – see 3 Nephi chapter 1); but successfully completing your mission which rescues all mankind from death, for ever… That is important!! That can make a huge difference!! #BecauseHeLives
Bus!! Have a great day. 🙂

helping our planet

Dear friends,
Yesterday our annual water bill arrived and we are in credit so monthly payments have reduced 🙂 not by much but it’s something. So that got me thinking on how much or little we’re doing day to day to save our planet. (I might do this over a couple of posts, as I write I realise there’s much I want to say!)

One of my more lasting memories of primary school was when a group of people came in to tell us that gas, coal & oil was running out and by the time we were grown up alternative sources would be used, sun, water, wind. Through my early teens and student days I waited for this moment where the earth would stop providing for us humans.

I’ve seen the rise, fall and rise again of nuclear energy. But we still use gas for cooking & heating. I’ve seen petrol prices rise, rise, dip and rise but still we keep on using petrol/ diesel (fossil) fueled vehicles. I have seen the rise and rise of photovoltaic (PV) units on buildings. And the rise of the Kyoto Treaty, zero carbon legislation, Passivhaus, LEED and BREAM sustainability standards for the construction industry to target.

But, fundamentally, I’m not sure that we’re changing enough. I’m heading home on public transport – we’re crawling out of town with traffic. Cycling – I would gladly do so if the roads were safer – there are some reckless drivers. But with summer time coming this weekend, maybe I will take to the bike more!  Yes, being a fair weather cyclist I can cope with! 🙂

I’m sure a more hardened environmentalist would look at our lifestyle and find many areas to improve but I don’t think we’re bad. For a family of six we produce less non recyclable waste than our octogenarian neighbour as demonstrated during the rubbish collectors strike a couple summers ago – whew!!! And last year our water supplier compared our usage to a family of 4 with a garden!! And our energy provider states we consistently use less than the ‘average’ for similar households.

So my friends, let us think on what we’re doing to help our beautiful planet Earth to continue providing for us.

And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.

Doctrine and Covenants 45 verse 58

working life

Dear friends, at the weekend I drove the road which my boss of the last 8 years has driven – it took about an hour one way.
So yesterday (Monday) I had to ask why/ how he drove that distance for so long (he’d been there a few years before he recruited me) – “because of the team,” he replied.  I was touched by his response – he is a widower for 13 years 6 months with a son who is 13 years and 9 months, so if anyone had reason to quit a long commute it’s him. He quickly added that he loves driving (he does have a thing for cars!) and it’s an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening to himself. I respect that, I enjoy solitude too.

Work friendships are important too even if we don’t like the work, after all we do spend 7-8 hours a day working! 

memories

Dear friends, what triggers memories for you?  The strongest memory trigger for me is music. I hear a piece of music, a song, and I am instantly taken back to a time and place far from my present circumstances. Allow me to share a few.

Van Morrison ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ – it came on the radio as a dear friend drove us to the temple in a Range Rover (that’s important because it’s one of my favourite cars and she’d managed to borrow one for the day 🙂 ) to be sealed, that means married not till ‘death do us part’ but, potentially (depending on our faithfulness) for eternity. Our friend made a comment that it was for my new husband, for us.

Kool & the Gang ‘Celebration’ – will always take me back to youth dances, in the first year after I was baptised.  I was 17 and loved the activities and dances but they were also awkward because I was the new girl, everyone had been friends for ever (it seemed) and I had little in common with my peers.  I spent most of the dances with the adult leaders who did speak with me and encouraged me.

Elton John ‘I’m Still Standing’ – I’m 14 or 15 years old and ready to face the world.  I loved the summer of this song – not for anything I did, I’m sure we would have done nothing spectacular as we never went on holidays.  But I must have been in upper secondary school,  I’d chosen my subjects, which included Engineering Drawing and I’d abandoned Biology 🙂 I knew what I was doing, what I wanted to be, how to get there and I knew I could get there. I was quietly very confident of my course in life, more than many in my friendship group.

I understand the role the Comforter has in helping us remember, John 14 v 26

… the Holy Ghost … shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance …

This is primarily referring, I think, to learning our Saviour’s teachings but I feel we need to remember events in our personal lives, they can give us courage and hope.

The point of all this is that I’m thinking of introducing a regular memory slot.  This will help me in my goal for ‘The Quiet Ones’ – if you don’t know what I’m talking about you need to read my ‘writing it down’ post from last week.

Mary of Magdala remembers

Dear friends, today was an Easter presentation in sacrament meeting due to next week being fast and testimony meeting and Easter Sunday it’s General Conference (yeah!). I was given an assignment to speak on the resurrection of Jesus,  specifically when Mary Magdalene saw him and when He met Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.  I’ve decided to share my talk with you. I hope you enjoy and feel inspired. #BecauseHeLives and see Easter week inspiration at mormon.org/easter

The prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson stated:

The greatest events of history are those that affect the greatest number of people for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master.

I remember that day,  when the Master was resurrected, it made all the difference and we, His disciples, were glad.

I remember how the Sabbath after that Passover we were all so low in heart. We didn’t think it would end just like that – our Master, our Teacher, Jesus, betrayed by a friend, a so-called trial, whipped and then hung, nailed,on a cross, next to criminals. All He did was to love His people, love us,love our Father, His Father.

I remember how we knew He was the Anointed One, the Messiah, sent to redeem Israel,  sent to save us. He had in many ways already redeemed us – He had forgiven us, healed us, loved us, shown us the way to live and to love. Maybe some of us were expecting more – redemption from the Romans. So, for it all to end with His death,  just a few days after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem,  well, it was a shock.  A great shock!  So that Sabbath we were all very low.

I remember how a few of us women decided to go to the tomb and dress His body – it was all such a rush after the crucifixion. We planned to go early in the morning ‘when it was yet dark’ (John 20 v 1) – we thought the Roman soldiers, who were placed as guards, would be more likely to unseal the tomb for a small group of women.

I remember how as we approached, mournfully with the spices prepared, we saw no soldiers, no guards, and the tomb was no longer sealed – the large stone lay discarded to one side of the tomb opening.

I remember that two men were there; where we expected to find Jesus’ body, nothing, Jesus was not there, only neatly folded linen clothes. The men asked us, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 24 vv5-6). Our hearts were touched – I can’t explain how; I was sad, confused, angry but felt something exciting too. We were told to not fear but to “go quickly” and tell his disciples (Matthew 28 v 7). Mary, Jesus’ mother, seemed to sense that these were messengers from God so we did as they told us and went to tell His Apostles, returning with Peter and John. They also seemed to not fully understand and eventually I alone remained, outside the tomb, my confusion and tears my only comfort.

I remember someone asked me, “Why weepest thou?” Without really looking round, so I thought it was the gardener, and I asked, “Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.” (John 20 v 15)

Then, I remember, He spoke my name, “Mary.”  And instantly I knew, Jesus, and I turned.

I remember how my heart, my whole body surged with joy, with burning. “Rabboni; which is to say ‘Master,'” (John 20 v 16) I cried and I went to embrace Him, for with my own eyes I could see He was not a spirit; No!, He was real, He was flesh and I could touch Him. But He stopped me saying, “I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren” (John 20 v 17).

I remember how I didn’t want to take my eyes off Him, but I had to – to be obedient – and as I quickly went I realised iit’s OK, He’s always going to be here, He was alive again, never to be killed again; truly He is the Son of God.

And I remember how I was filled with hope more than I could ever imagine; hope, that I could not only be a better person, I was filled with the hope that I, you, we would live again, that death is not the end of life; that truly we all can literally live with our Father in Heaven again.

I remember how later that day, we heard of how Jesus walked and talked with two of the brethren as they travelled to Emmaus – but they did not recognise Him at first. Their hearts burned as He discussed and explained scripture with them concerning our Lord, even right from Moses. It was only as they all sat to eat and He broke bread that they recognised Him as Jesus, and then He was gone.

I remember the love I have for Jesus and how, knowing what I know, I do not want to let Him down. I want to do my part by living and sharing Jesus’ great message.

I remember how I walked with Jesus when He was a man, how I shed tears of sorrow when He died, and how my heart almost burst when I beheld Him as my God, to never die again.

The prophet, President David O. McKay said, “I think that there are many in this congregation … who have had their hearts ‘burn within them’ and I hope as their hearts have burned within them, that they realised the message that went into their hearts.  I hope they have an inkling, at least, of the divine truth that they are sons [and daughters] of God, and that that burning within them was just a touch of harmony between them and the infinite, the Spirit of God which will enlighten our minds, quicken our understandings and bring all things to our remembrance.”

heavenly bodies

Dear friends, it definitely became gloomier – I could tell because it seemed like I needed to turn on the lights. But with our local skies looking like this at 0915h:

image

The solar eclipse today was hidden from us on this part of the earth 😦

By afternoon, the skies looked like this!!

image

This shouldn’t have surprised us – we’ve had the sun burning off early morning fog and cloud cover for a couple of days, so when the sun is 80% covered, cloud burning reduces by 80%, maybe…

But it’s like nature’s most precious, spectacular moments are largely hidden from human view, saved from mass ‘exploitation’ on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram etc.!!
And rightly so – the earth and universe are beautiful creations, they are created for us to use properly, with respect and gratefulness.

all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
(Alma chapter 30 verse 44)

a theory of height

Dear friends, after some routine health monitoring checks at school, our youngest daughter (Bo) declared that her height is 1.6m, weight 5.49 “something” (? – I’m still trying to work that out…). I’m 1.7m’ish, having grown very little at secondary school – I was tall when we started but by 16 years the boys had overtaken me and I no longer loomed over my girl friends.
My theory is fairly simple – boys always grow taller than their mothers; girls get height from dad more than mum.
So, at 1.7m I’m considered a tall lady so ive always expectrd our sons will be tall men – our eldest son is about 1.85m (that’s 6’2″) and he’s still growing based on the suit trousers that he got less than 6 months ago are now ‘ankle swingers’!! 
My dear husband is about 1.75m, fairly average for a man. Our eldest daughter, well into adolescence, seems to be levelling around a little shorter than me (average woman height). So will our youngest daughter be taller? Will Bo be taller than both her parents? We have a few more years to wait, God willing.
Although I’m writing about this, I don’t make a big deal about it. I figure the children will yet be faced with enough judgements on their outward appearance, and complexes about bits of their body (mine is feet!), without me as a parent adding.  We are grateful for our children, for what characteristics they inherit, and for what qualities are unique to them.  I pray that the Lord will bless them as they grow, for many, many years – Luke 2 verse 52:

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

triumphant Sabbath, again

Dear friends, I am absolutely convinced that forces conspire each Sabbath morning to put us off attending sacrament meeting, which starts at 10h.  Every day of the working week we manage to get dressed, eat breakfast and be at school before 9h so why are Sundays so difficult?
Today, despite 2 out of 4 children having showers the night before, at 9h30 I was finishing my toast, shoes and coats were being donned and I caught sight of eldest daughter with hair not brushed as she headed out the door and into the car. Eldest son, oh no, it’s my turn in the front seat! Well, it’s my turn with the (tablet) at church! Mum!!  I have to sit in the front so I can use the mirror… blah…blah…blah… and some less than Christlike attitudes between brother and sister being expressed… I finally warned each of them, separately, that they ought to be “reconciled” before taking the sacrament, not take it unworthily, and really think about what Jesus went through. I think you can cope with the back seat!  Meanwhile, our youngest son asks me, have I been good this morning? 🙂 
With a couple of minutes to spare, we drive into the car park, I have to drive up to the top part, which I have avoided since bursting a tyre on the ramp wall (oops!!), make it into the chapel, shaking missionaries hands on the way in, prelude organ music well underway. 09h57 on the clock.  Made it, yes!, and a sense triumph and calm flows over me. 
At some point during the meeting, I see our eldest son & daughter exchange knowing glances, they are reconciled. And our youngest daughter draws my attention to our youngest son’s navy trousers… peanut butter smudges… I simply smile, no one is perfect, the Lord knows that but at least we’re all in the right place, at the right time, once more. 

writing it down

Dear friends, many years ago, before marriage and children, I decided I wanted to write a book.  I mentioned this to someone who stated, with a hint of cynicism, “everyone has a book inside them.”  I was a little put off by this but I had a title The Quiet Ones and a topic, my life 🙂 which I felt was pretty special.  
My dear husband has always encouraged me to pursue this desire but there’s always been other priorities that demanded my time and attention.

So writing my blog is a small way of sharing the topic of my life, which I still feel is special. In fact, I feel everyone’s life is special and to be shared with all those in their sphere of influence. (Which reminds me – did you know that a rolling sphere theory is used to work out requirements for lightning protection on buildings? I digress but I’ll come back to spheres one day!)

So, writing it down means that sphere has a chance to roll through time, as well as space!! From a Garrison Keillor book “you can’t pick up a telephone to reach the past. You’ve got to pick up a piece of paper” (or similar phrase), I think it’s from We Are Still Married. I’ve always remembered that idea.
On the radio this week was the story of how a building was being refurbished and a child’s note to an older brother was discovered fallen behind a radiator 70 years ago and he was traced.
There is a whole load of quotes from LDS leaders as to the importance of journal keeping. I’m only going to quote one, Spencer W Kimball, Ensign, December 1980.

Each of us is important to those who are near and dear to us – and as our posterity read of our life’s experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in that glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted.”

So, writing it down, my unique life, your unique life, our unique lives, is of great importance to you and yours. It doesn’t matter how long or short we live – each life matters. There are many that can write far more eloquently than me on matters of writing. For me, it gives me the chance to reflect; for you, well, I hope you can find inspiration and a knowledge that you are never alone.