Thursday, July 24, 2014

Day 195, July 24

Today, July 24th, is Mormon Pioneer Day.  This  is a big day in Utah, a celebration rivaling and even excelling that of July 4th.  It was on this day in 1847 that the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.

I am proud to claim pioneer ancestors.  A brief history:  The family of Thomas McBride, who was killed at the massacre of Hawn's Mill in Missouri, moved to Nauvoo, Illinois in the late 1830s.  Thomas's son James McBride later migrated to Utah with the body of the Saints.  There, he built a brick home in Santaquin.  Later, he and his family were called by the Prophet to settle the Gila Valley in Arizona.  Still later, his son (my grandfather) Don Carlos McBride was called to leave his wife and children to serve a mission, at his own expense, in Samoa.

With each call, the family responded in faith.  What a wonderful legacy they have left me and other members of my family.  When I am ready to give up, to say "I can't do this (whatever it is) any more, I remember this legacy of faith, courage, and service.

Joy for today:  remembering pioneer ancestors.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Day 194, July 23

In Israel of this day, an issue of blood is considered a physical impurity that requires the purification sacrifice at the altar.

Knowing this, we migiht assume that the woman was required to endure a cleansing ritual.  Jesus's statement, however, telling her that she has been made whole and that she can go in peace has given her a "clean bill of health."  She did not need to make a sacrifice or undergo a cleansing ritual.

Likewise, through Christ's Atonement, we are given a clean bill of spiritual health.  We may also "go in peace," knowing that His sacrifice has atoned for our sins, our weaknesses, our frailities.

Joy for today:  knowing that we can "go in peace."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Day 193, July 22

(Continuation of yesterday's post)

Jesus stops in the crowd, looking for whoever touched Him.  The woman slips from her hiding places and comes to fall down before Him.  She confesses that it was she who touched Him and bears testimony that she has been made whole immediately.

She explains this to the Savior.  He tells her, "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith has made thee whole."
(Comfort here also refers to the Greek word for courage.)

Nearly simultaneous to the moment of the woman's testimony, Jesus receives word that Jarius's twelve-year-old daughter has died.  His response to the messenger:  "Fear not; believe only, and she shall be made whole."  Jesus hurries to the girl's home.  In another miracle, He raises her from the dead.

But the miracles haven't stopped here.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post to understand more of what Christ has done.

Joy for today:  knowing that faith can make us whole.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 192, July 21

Do you remember the Biblical story of the woman with the "issue of blood?"  In ancient Israel, an "issue of blood" was considered unclean.  The woman suffered from this disease for twelve years.  For twelve years, she is considered unclean.  Worse, according to Jewish tradition, she is not only impure to herself, she also contaminates others, even those who just happen to pass by her.

Her isolation must have been terrible.  Here she is suffering, and then others fear to come near her.  Somehow, she has a bit of money, but, at the end of twelve years, her funds have run out.  As have her options.

Except one.  She has faith.

Through the Israelite "grapevine," she hears stories of Jesus and His ministry.  News of His miracles has spread through the community, and she knows that if she can touch his garments, she will be healed.  In Matthew, we learn that she "said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole."  She manages to do this.

Jesus stops and insists He's felt power leave Him, power that heals.  "I perceive that virtue is gone out of me."  (Luke 8:46).  The word virtue comes from a Greek term meaning "force, power, abundance, or strength."

Instantly, the woman's issue of blood is "dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague."  (Mark 5:29)

We will finish this story tomorrow.

Joy for today:  knowing that healing power exists through faith.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 191, July 20

Today is my sister Carla's birthday.  Carla and I have always been closer than sisters, more intimate than best friends.  We rely on each other.  We are there for each other.  We simply are.

Though we have much in common, we have some differences as well.  She is quiet and reflective, while I tend to be outspoken.  She is quick to forgive, while I hold onto a grudge like a drowning man holding onto a life preserver.  She is thin, while I am not.

I love her anyway.

The last years haven't been easy for Carla.  The death of her husband, health problems, and just yucky times have challenged her.  But she is still striving, still living righteously.

Joy for today:  loving Carla.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 190, July 19

While at my sister's house, I found a sparkly crown belonging to her seven-year-old granddaughter.  On a whim, I put on the crown and was instantly transformed.  (Well, not really, but I felt transformed for that moment.)

I was a princess.  A beautiful, lovely princess with the world at my fingertips.

I took off the crown, and I was me once more.  But those feelings remained.  Wouldn't it be great if we could all wear a crown for a few moments every day?  If we don't have a crown, maybe we could make one out of paper and glitter.  Or maybe we can just put on our "imagination caps" and see ourselves as princesses.

Better yet, maybe we could lift another up, making him or her feel like they are wearing a crown.  I've written before about lifting others up.  We can do it with a smile, a word, a kind act.

Joy for today:  wearing a crown and helping others do the same.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Day 189, July 18

I set a goal to walk a nearby hill every day.  Sometimes I made it, sometimes not.

What I noticed, though, is that the more I walk it (albeit huffing and puffing), the easier it became.  That is not to say that it's easy.  I still huff and puff.  But I'm not huffing and puffing as much as I once did.

It reminded me of President Grant's quote:  "That which we persist in doing becomes easier; not that the nature of the thing itself has changed, but that our ability to do it has increased."

My ability (miniscule) as it is to walk the hill has increased.  With each step, each breath I took, the task became a little bit easier.

Joy for today:  taking steps, taking breaths.