Thursday, February 27, 2014

His Yoke Is Easy

When we become acquainted with Jesus, we discover that He loves us perfectly every moment of our lives. His love is infinite, endless, and incomprehensible.  We see glimpses of it as we read His words and observe His love reflected in the actions of kind, compassionate people.  I see His love in the actions of my parents, my good husband, and my caring family and friends. Even an encounter with a kind stranger can remind us of God's love for us.

Jesus taught us that loving God, ourselves and others is the essence of his gospel.  He also reminded us that if we love Him, we keep His commandments.  His love empowers us to love ourselves and others.  His love enables us to keep His commandments and to repent when we forget to follow Him.  He has promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us.  He carries us every moment of our lives.  He is a wonderful God.

During the Savior's time, the Pharisees teachings were burdensome and harsh.  They gave people laundry lists of rules to obey, treated others harshly, and and even plotted to kill the Savior.  Their teachings or rules were called a yoke, and their yoke was heavy.

The Savior's teachings were simple.   He said:  Believe.  Trust.  Hope.  Love.  Forgive.  Be grateful.  Follow me.

He gives us the power to love Him, obey Him, and follow Him as we trust completely in Him.  His grace allows us to become all that He wants us to be.

 As we come unto Him, listen to His words, and serve Him, we discover that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Then, we will find rest for our souls and peace amid sorrow.

&copy Carol Brown

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Have a Dream

Each one of us can create and accomplish a dream that makes our world a better place.  We do this by looking into our hearts to discover our destiny, looking around us to determine who needs our special gifts, and looking upward to receive God's help in lifting, loving and serving others.

Martin Luther King knew that God loves all of his children, including those who are poor, black, or disenfranchised.  He changed the destiny of millions of people when he spoke up against injustice, racial bigotry, and inequality.  His determination to secure civil rights for all people in the United States though non-violent means inspires us to looks into our own hearts and speak up for justice, truth, and freedom.

You can make a difference!  Every one of us can lift another's burden, radiate goodness, and stand up for those around us who suffer.   Every one of us can leave a legacy of love, compassionate, and courage.

Consider these quotes by Martin Luther King:

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
Courage breeds creat
ivity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?
But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.” 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”  

“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” 

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”   

We can make a difference in our families, our neighborhoods, and our communities. We can be a beacon of hope to those who are oppressed, provide strong arms for those who falter, and shine our lights of goodness and mercy in a troubled world.  

We can speak up respectfully and powerfully in neighborhood meetings, city councils, and church classes.   We can visit the sick, feed the hungry, and clothe the naked.  Together and individually, we can make a difference.  

Let us begin today.

&copy Carol Brown