Sunday, October 13, 2019

Fast Sunday In Honor of You

Today was fast Sunday. Once a month members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
offer a 24 hour fast (skipping 2 meals) and then they pay tithes and offerings to bless and benefit others in needs. Through the money the poor and needy are fed, temples, churches, and schools are built, and the work of God can be done throughout the world

If you'd like to learn more click on this link (and along the left side of the screen are other links to answer questions about tithes and offerings: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/tithing-and-fast-offerings/what-is-tithing?lang=eng

I realize it's been a while but I'm back in college and I'm very busy, so I don't write as often. I want to stop in and say that today I fasted. I have also fasted once a month (sometimes twice a month) for 7 years for this friend, and I pray every day (many times a day) for him, and I put his name on the temple prayer roll each week.

Today, I fasted for his courage to do what is right.

I fasted for his protection from sin. I fasted for him to have faith in Jesus Christ.

I fasted for him to have the help he needs to live a life pleasing to God.

I fasted for him to be humble before the Lord.

I fasted that people he approaches in his time of need would extend arms of Godly friendship and Godly love. 


I fasted for people to be patient with his mistakes and not show disappointment in him but hope for him through the power of Jesus Christ. 

I fasted a good many things...

But most of all, I fasted that he would know how much the Lord loves him, how much I love him, and how much others love him. That he would know that he is remembered with LOVE.


































I fasted that he would remember that he is a cherished son of God with a bright future ahead of him. 




Fasting is a tremendous sacrifice to me because it is hard to fast with a chronic health condition that I have, but I want my beloved friend to feel added blessings of heaven as he climb the rocky journey of this mortal life.


I do not know how my friend is blessed, but I know that Heavenly Father watches over each one of us on earth. I know that the Lord of heaven and earth has the power to take the messy things of our lives and help to make us beautiful despite our injuries on the battlefield of life. Trust in the power of God to heal You. <3

If You keep trying with His, You will succeed!
I believe in You. 
Wherever You are and whatever You are doing, I hope You know that You are a treasured child of your Eternal Father in Heaven. I hope You will remember that he is watching You and loving You, even when you can't feel that in the struggles of the present. Reach out to him in faith and courage and go toward the light of truth and Love. 







He will help you find your way hHome! You have a glorious future ahead of You, if You will take the hand of Christ and walk with Him.


Love and hugs, Christine
# Friends Are Friends Forever
3 Nephi 9:13-14 (Book of Mormon)


Friday, August 23, 2019

I am Christine!

The other morning I lay alone in my bed crying. I was dwelling upon something that makes me very sad and causes me to doubt my ability to understand the Spirit of God and also blurs my sense of positive identity. As I lay there crying I had several songs come to mind. One of which was a song I once dedicated to my now in heaven "Angel" Mama. It goes: 

"What do you give to the lady who has given
All her life and love to you

What do you give to the reason you are livin'...

"Mama, a rainbow
Mama, a sunrise
Mama, the moon to wear
That's not good enough
No not good enough
Not for Mama"



The next song bowled me over with understanding and identity. I knew I need to focus on being a courageous and beloved daughter "of THE village Chief"-- The King of Heaven and earth! I was also reminded that my mother and ancestors love me too!

(Grandma (Mother-figure) voice sings)

I know a girl from an island
She stands apart from the crowd
She loves the sea and her people
She makes her whole family proud
Sometimes the world seems against you
The journey may leave a scar
But scars can heal and reveal just
Where you are

The people you love will change you
The things you have learned will guide you
And nothing on earth can silence
The quiet voice still inside you
And when that voice starts to whisper
Moana, you've come so far
Moana, listen
Do you know who you are?
(Moana replies with initial hesitance which increases to confidence)

Who am I?
I am a girl who loves my island
I'm the girl who loves the sea
It calls me
I am the daughter of the village chief
We are descended from voyagers
Who found their way across the world
They call me
I've delivered us to where we are
I have journeyed farther
I am everything I've learned and more
Still it calls me
And the call isn't out there at all, it's inside me
It's like the tide; always falling and rising
I will carry you here in my heart you'll remind me
That come what may
I know the way
I am Moana!

(Better to listen:) https://youtu.be/gdmfQFfGn9k  )

Here's a picture I took of my scripture journal today. :) 






























Over the last few months, I have come to better have glimpses of the love of God for us His children. He doesn't ever turn away from us, reject, leave us hopeless, or betray us. Friends and family may do that to us-- or we may do it to ourselves-- but God, our loving Heavenly Father will always be there when we turn our hearts toward Him. 

If we are sinning or rebelling against His commandments it is much harder to hear the sweet, soft voice of his Holy Spirit calling us home, but He ever calls for us and He will always hold on to us, even if we let go of Him for a while. 

But today, I plead with You to have the courage to give up your sins to know Him. That courage and repentance is going to look different for each of us-- but IT IS NEVER TOO LATE to make our lives right before God. It is never too late to give our hearts and hands to His work on earth.   If you have gone very far away from Him, it might be a lot of hard work to come back to the light (especially if you are involved in drugs, alcohol, pornography, or other mind-hijacking addiction... but it is possible to change if you want it badly enough! 


The LOVE of God is never failing. 
The Hope of Christ will ever shine. 
A Beautiful future awaits you as you purify your heart before the Lord!

I believe in You! Please have the courage to start NOW!
Love, Christine








P.S. I also want to note that if you are being abused in any way to SEEK HELP. No matter what you've done, you do not deserve to be abused or mistreated. Turn to church leader, local authorities, local agencies specializing in abuse victims-- whatever it takes. 

If you are a man being abused it might do you well to DISCREETLY record audio/video (preferably video) on your cell phone what the abuser does to you, so that you have evidence. Men are not as easily believed. Please get help if you are in this situation. 

I repeat: You do not deserve to be abused-- male or female, adult or child. 

Here are some references I found at healthyplace.com's website:
Help for those who have been physically abused but are not currently injured is also readily available. Hotlines for physical abuse help include (in the United States):


== FOR ADDICTIONS (Here are but a few in the USA)

SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)



SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Sex Addiction: Note: I have not had personal experience using any of these groups, as I do not have addictions of this type, so I cannot vouch for them, but I share them to give some direction. I CAN comfortable support the 12-step program of the churchofjesuschrist.org because I know how my church runs. There are imperfect people-- but the gospel of Jesus Christ has no ulterior motives than to help us return home to God well and blessed: 



https://www.themindfulhabit.com/ (formerly feedtherightwolf.org

===There are many others-- ask if you'd like more.

Here's an article of hope for change: 


(He has a lot of links for other websites of healing)


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Days in the Sun




The other day as I walked past a mirror I heard a beautiful melody. I prayed that if it was a message that the Spirit of God would help me recall it. As I hummed the words began to tumble into my conscious recollection. I looked into the mirror with melancholy knowing that my heart is knowing to God:

"How in the midst of all this sorrow
Can so much hope and love endure
I was innocent and certain
Now I'm wiser but unsure."



I knew the ultimate message was the sum of meaning...
"Days in the sun will return once more..."



I am so very blessed. Of that, I cannot deny. There is no shortage of smiles on my face these days. I
even find opportunities to laugh. Why just yesterday, I laughed with my husband and children as we caught a glimpse of some funny realty photos... like these toilets which are much too reminiscent of my worst toilet dreams! You know the kind, don’t you, when you are desperate to find a toilet and then you suddenly walk into a room with 2 toilets which are of course placed in the middle of a public view?!! Haha... true story.

Thankfully, now at these strange dreams I am able to wake up in time for a bathroom break, instead of leaving the sheets wet and needing a 3am change (Like I did as a little girl once while sharing a bed with my mom at my Aunt MaryAnn's house!! :)))
Thankfully she was very patient with my overtired 7-year-old me!)




But the truth is that I'm having a hard time making se
nse of everything these days because of the painful messages the turmoil and shadow of doubt has cast upon me. But I must cling to what I know.

And, what I know is that I am a beloved child of Heavenly Father. 

I know He is watching out for me, granting me special blessings, and giving me comfort and assurance that He loves me. 

I know that His can be perfectly trusted because he NEVER makes mistakes. He really knows what he's doing, and He sees the big eternal picture which a blurry to my view.



 If I keep trying to prepare myself spiritually and heed His voice quickly, He will guide me safely through the trials of life. I don't need all the answers. I just need the Lord to light the way before me as He sees fit. Even if it's just a small warm ray of light to lead me through what feels like a much longer passageway of darkness. With my hand in the Savior's I really will be safe.





It's a bit of a tangent, but I saw this meme the other day and while it was pretty and I initially chucked, I knew immediately that I disagree with it. In my situation I have what appears to be every reason to go and become "hell fire" with two particular people who have lied about me, but instead God has helped to tame my heart and has helped me to act with forgiveness and grace. 

In past years of the old me, I would have given someone my two-cents (or twenty!) and been filled with wrath, resentment, and anger-- but that's not me anymore. I recognize that while there are terrible wrongs and injustices on this earth that I can actually be at peace and understand that God's love reaches to all of his children-- no matter what poor choices they may make. I have made many grievous mistakes in my past and I'm thankful that others gave me room to change and improve (a.k.a. repent). I can give others the same chance to repent. None of us are perfect and we rely upon the perfect grace and mercy of Jesus Christ each day to help us through our weaknesses and sins in the mortal and fallen condition which we leave. IT IS NEVER TOO LATE to become CLEAN THROUGH the Blood of  JESUS!



 Please understand: Not giving someone my two sense, doesn't mean that I won't stand up for myself. I have and will continue to stand up for myself and truth now and in the future, BUT should I feel it necessary, and responsible, and (ideally) approved of by God to give someone a “piece of my mind” I will now go about it in an effort to show the patient love of God and not with a “hell fire” attitude. I don’t want anything to do with hell or the devil, if I can help it! (Losing one’s temper that way pleases the devil- not God.)


We read in 1 Corinthians 13: "Charity suffereth long..." (and many other wonderful traits of charity= love).  

I won't let myself be victimized by the terrible decisions of others, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to become angry and bitter either (at least not long enough to let it affect my reasoning). If I were to remain bitter, I'd be letting the perpetrators in my life too much control over my joy. I find that as I pray and seek God in all things, that he helps me to manage my emotions.



CHARITY ART BY ME: CHRISTINE. 
Oddly enough, this was a gift to a woman who has brought me so much pain!
Interesting, isn't it?! Yet, I have no malice for her. 
Only daily, heartfelt prayers for the safety and wellbeing for her (and her family).
Because I'm mortal I am certainly affected by the choice of others, but with the help of God I will never stay down in the pit of despair or bitterness.

God has the power to lift, heal, bless, 
and compensate for any injustice or wrong.  
If we seek Him, 
we will have the reward of these blessings 
and many more!

I think about that beautiful scripture right now:

"...nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." 1 Timothy 1:12 



As I study his word and seek things of holiness, I know that God will help me keep my commitments to His covenants. I will see a day of joy and rejoicing and promised blessings through the power of Jesus Christ. For now, I do not need to feel ashamed at doing the best I know how to be a faithful daughter of God. 


Please join with me and cling to Christ and seek Him Every day. As we sacrifice things of the world
"and seek for things of a better" (Doctrine and Covenants 25:10) With Heavenly Father's help we will be filled with every spiritual gift that we need to make it through the rough and rocky terrains of life.


My usual "Sunday selfie." Taken 11 August 2019:)
The fight for righteousness is worth fighting. With God, we will never fight alone! We are Enough—with the help of God.


Keep Trying--even if you don’t have all the answer!

Love, Christine


P.S. I really hold very few songs to be coincidence. Often, I have found them to be very clear answers or direction from God. One morning upon waking up back in March 2019 (shortly before the terrible series of recent events that took place in my life) I learned through 3 different songs that played immediately back to back upon waking one morning that my friend had done something terrible and that I was to forgive him and trust the Lord.

   I must admit that I still shook with worry, but I also prayerfully renewed my trust in the almighty hand of God to make weak things become strong. It wasn't surprising when terrible things began to happen. My hope was/is anchored in the Lord's capacity to rescue me. And he has! I still contend with the long-term ramifications of what was said and done, but I have a clear conscience that I’m trying (albeit imperfectly) to love in the Lord’s way. And really, does anything else matter besides trying to love as He wants us to?! NO! His approval is all we will ever need!






Monday, August 12, 2019

Death of a Dream


Yesterday during church there was a sister that made a comment during Relief Society (RS= an hour which church/ward sisters meet) which resonated with me. During RS we discussed the wonderful talk by Sharon Eubank, entitled “Christ: The Light That Shines in Darkness.”

The talk is worth reading, but I will only share a small portion of it.

Sister Sharon Eubank tells about the night she was in her office working there in Salt Lake City, Utah. When night enveloped the city she immediately noted a striking difference from all other nights… the temple lights for the SLC temple did not turn on. The usually bright temple was dark!


Sister Eubanks relates that experience to how each one of us can potentially become dark and no longer shine as a light for the rest of the world to see. She spoke on several possible categories for why we can become dark. I will share just the titles of categories and share two excerpts before I get to my point of this blog post.

Some of Us Are Paralyzed with Grief

“Some of Us Are Just So Tired

“Some of Us Feel We Don’t Fit the Traditional Mold

“Some of Us Are Splintering with Questions

“Some of Us Feel We Can Never Be Good Enough


Photograph from iStock.com/iinwibisono

“The scarlet dye of the Old Testament was not only colorful but also colorfast, meaning that its vivid color stuck to the wool and would not fade no matter how many times it was washed. Satan wields this reasoning like a club: white wool stained scarlet can never go back to being white. But Jesus Christ declares, ‘My ways [are] higher than your ways,’ and the miracle of His grace is that when we repent of our sins, His scarlet blood returns us to purity. It isn’t logical, but it is nevertheless true.



“What is the key to reconnecting to the power of Jesus Christ when we are flickering? President Russell M. Nelson said it very simply: ‘The key is to make and keep sacred covenants. … It is not a complicated way.’ Make Christ the center of your life. If you feel that the beacon of your testimony is sputtering and darkness is closing in, take courage. Keep your promises to God. Ask your questions. Patiently melt stone to glass. Turn to Jesus Christ, who loves you still.

“Jesus said, ‘I am the light [that] shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.’ That means no matter how hard it tries, the darkness cannot put out that light. Ever. You can trust that His light will be there for you.

“We, or people we love, may temporarily go dark. …It’s hard to get the lights back on by yourself. We need friends. We need each other. Just like the temple facilities staff, we can help each other by showing up in person, recharging our spiritual batteries, repairing what went wrong.
I testify you are beloved. The Lord knows how hard you are trying. You are making progress. Keep going. He sees all your hidden sacrifices and counts them to your good and the good of those you love. Your work is not in vain. You are not alone. His very name, Emmanuel, means “God with us.” He is surely with you. Take a few more steps on the covenant path, even if it’s too dark to see very far. The lights will come back on."

The part that resonated with me during Relief Society was when one aged sister added that sometimes we are grieving because of a “death of a dream.” She proceeded to add that that dream might be a handicapped child, a divorce or betrayal, sickness, or maybe even not seeing something come to fruition in the time frame we thought. I was struck with how true that felt to my heart that has been grieving for some time now. I have been grieving the death of a dream!
To be very clear, God has planted a dream in my heart for years and he has it so firmly rooted in my heart that I cannot let go of That Dream-- regardless of anyone’s skepticism. BUT with recent events, I have been experiencing grief because two people (but most notably a ringleader) stepped in with a baseball bat of destruction and tried to beat my dream to death. I’m left weary and confused that one person would do such a thing to me—especially in using words of deceit against me—instead of truth.
I don’t know why I’m that perplexed by it though! You see, I had a dream years ago—when so many challenges began—and it’s only here in August 2019 I can actually better understand what was happening all along. Here are some excerpts from my dream:
17 February 2017--

"I had an awful dream last night!... Here's how the dream unfolded…
"We were in a church setting. [My friend] walked up alone to me (no one else was around). He stood before me and his face and body language reminded me exactly of what my husband looks like after a long day at work.  I said to him: "You look all worn out like Briant right now."  I felt so badly for him and I reached out to give him a friendly hug.  As I did so, I was surprised at myself- because I NEVER try to hug him. But I was pleased that he hugged me back. It was a hug of true friendship.
"Then as we stopped hugging [my friend proceeds to tell me things that are not true.]"
"Now all through this I was calm. I never felt afraid of him, at all. I just knew he wasn't telling me the truth. And I didn't know why he'd lie like that.
"Obviously, it was upsetting to me... [but] the Spirit was playing songs [of comfort and knowledge] into my mind as this dream was happening. I was conscious of the songs, and also conscious that this was a dream. I continued to try to get [my friend] to be honest with his feelings by trying to [question him kindly]. He kept [speaking dishonestly].
"But as he spoke, I watched him closely. I realized that he was shaking with fear. He was trembling before me, and his voice was altered and sounded scared. It was so sad [to see this normally gregarious, confident man feeling like this]..."
"I woke up in a sweat. I felt awful from his words. I wondered if it was 'just a bad dream' .... It just didn't make sense.
"This morning as I thought about it, I wondered if perhaps it was actually a dream from God. A dream which, yet again, lets me know of the difficult future ahead…  A dream to warn me that a man of grief and fear doesn't make clear, or necessarily honest expositions … [It was a] disappointment in not having this man speak truth. But both of us were clearly friends [Which just added to the confusion of why he wasn't honest or kind].
"I don't know that this type of thing will happen soon, or at all. I think it does symbolize a good many things- which may also unfold in literal ways. I do not know for sure. …OH, and I just remembered that at one point in the dream [my friend] said he's been ... talking to [someone else] about me. I wasn't mad, but I said, "Why must you go and talk to other people about me and make me sound bad?" But I don't recall that he gave an answer..."
 DREAM END==
NOW it's 9 August 2019-- and, look at that... the dream seems to have come to fruition in my life-- and perhaps it helps to explain why he would hurt me-- he is confused and scared. What’s worse is that just as he was convincing in the dream, he is very convincing with his dishonesty to others, even now. I’m left to wonder what’s wrong with me when I know that he is not speaking the full truth to anyone. I further know, despite my concerns, that he really is a man who is emotionally (and verbally) dishonest with himself and others. He is also a man who is scared and worried and confused inside. I must not lose sight of the truth, nor let him “gaslight” me (which he’s actually done for years with his expert manipulation of words and actions).
Yet, for all that has happened, Heavenly Father helps me to maintain peace, and what's more, the Lord helps me to forgive this man for all the injustices he has help reap upon my family and I. But should he ever stumble on here and read my words, I hope he knows that I forgive him. I hope he knows that I cannot now, nor ever, rescind any of my kind and loving words of friendship which always pointed him toward faith in the Savior and hope for a beautiful life encircled in His love.
Over the last seven years, God has increased my capacity to love His children better. I have no malice toward this man for what has happened. In fact, while I feel so confused that anyone would try to intentionally hurt me (because most people would agree that they sense the gentleness and sweetness of my soul), I feel so much gratitude that God has blessed me in profound and abundantly beautiful ways. 
Christine. (Photo was taken 4 August 2019)

Unfortunately, I do carry a portion of grief, but yet oddly I have SO MUCH JOY and PEACE! Truly these are marvelous and wonderful gifts from God! 

I will not let this man, nor anyone else ruin my dreams and hopes for life just because they are hurting inside or don’t see a bright, hope-filled future like I am blessed to see. But, because of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I can maintain optimistic hope and gratitude for a peaceful present and glorious future, regardless of the darkness that may at times try to thwart me.


I should end here, but I want to share a few more things that I read this evening. First, I read an article at:  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/blog/its-where-im-headed-not-where-ive-been?lang=eng

This blog article is about a man who did not “fit the mold” of church culture. He didn’t go on a mission, and he fell in to some very dangerous lifestyle habits—alcohol being high on that list. He was divorced and experienced many challenges that thrust him into spiritual highs or lows—but he didn’t remain on a steady spiritual course—but instead he lived a very rollercoaster-like course of spirituality.

It’s been decades and the man of this blog link has increased I his confidence before God and he has learned to recognize that there is a place for Him in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has learned to understand that sins that are scarlet can “become white as snow.” (Sorry, I know my scriptural links are non-existent tonight, but I am tired and in a fair amount of pain with a health challenge I live with—so I will leave you to find the scripture passages on your own.)

I loved that blog because it adds to my well of faith and hope in the understanding that Jesus Christ loves us no matter where we are on the rocky journey of life. I ache for friends and family involved in dangerous addictions and lonely and sinful life decisions. But in my heart is a frequent and daily prayer that they will understand two points the blogger had to understand as he made terrible choices: “I’m grateful that I was able to humble myself enough to realize that (1) I was miserable and (2) I had been happiest when I was living God’s commandments.

Today as I did dishes, I listened to a talk by our now Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was wrestling with my usual questions and concerns about what has happened, what people believe of me based on the false words, how this is going to somehow turn into a happy ending…and so much more. I found this particular talk because I had to my thoughts the word “calumny” (an interesting word with a lot of meaning on its own)! I found but one conference talk with that word—and it was the perfect talk for me to keep a balance and my sense of identity in Christ tightly secured in not only what he can do for me, but also what he can do for those I love!
I needed these words of comfort he offered:

Just as the Savior offers peace that “passeth all understanding,”12 He also offers an intensity, depth, and breadth of joy that defy human logic or mortal comprehension. For example, it doesn’t seem possible to feel joy when your child suffers with an incurable illness or when you lose your job or when your spouse betrays you. Yet that is precisely the joy the Savior offers. His joy is constant, assuring us that our “afflictions shall be but a small moment”13 and be consecrated to our gain.14

How, then, can we claim that joy? We can start by “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”15 “in every thought.”16 We can give thanks for Him in our prayers and by keeping covenants we’ve made with Him and our Heavenly Father. As our Savior becomes more and more real to us and as we plead for His joy to be given to us, our joy will increase.

Joy is powerful, and focusing on joy brings God’s power into our lives. As in all things, Jesus Christ is our ultimate exemplar, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.”17 Think of that! In order for Him to endure the most excruciating experience ever endured on earth, our Savior focused on joy!

And what was the joy that was set before Him? Surely it included the joy of cleansing, healing, and strengthening us; the joy of paying for the sins of all who would repent; the joy of making it possible for you and me to return homeclean and worthyto live with our Heavenly Parents and families.
If we focus on the joy that will come to us, or to those we love, what can we endure that presently seems overwhelming, painful, scary, unfair, or simply impossible?
One father in a spiritually precarious situation focused on the joy of finally being clean and right with the Lordthe joy of being freed from guilt and shameand the joy of having peace of mind. That focus gave him the courage to confess to his wife and bishop about his problem with pornography and his subsequent infidelity. He is now doing everything his bishop counsels him to do, striving with all his heart to regain the trust of his dear wife.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2016/10/joy-and-spiritual-survival?lang=eng


I recommend the above three links for you to go and study and pray about, but, for now, I will close yet again by sharing my voice in gratitude and joy for the power of Jesus Christ’s grace and atonement to help us become the men and women God sees of us. In the words of a beautiful song (see link below): “Earth has no sorrow that [Jesus] cannot heal!”

 YOU ARE LOVED. Believe in the power of God to transform yourself into a woman or man of courage, honor, and beautiful destiny! No matter how dark your light may become, or where your choices lead you, He KNOWS Your Name! He will never stop trying to help you come Home to His love! Please, oh please, choose Courage. With His help you can walk whatever course is before you, and the closer you walk in his direction the more light you will shine because you are drawing ever closer to him.
Let your beautiful light shine! Let your dream be focused on Jesus Christ. #DeathisSwallowedUpinChrist! #DeathofDreamsAreAlso!
Love, Christine
P.S. Please excuse any typos or mistakes that arise out of fatigue. Of course, feel free to point them out so I can correct them.

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