Friday, January 29, 2010

Called to Serve

I was taken back in time, to March of 2008 this morning, as I listened to the Called to Serve CD by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  When I first got the CD I had just moved into the corporate housing provided as we transitioned from Utah to Maryland.  Liz and the kids had not moved out here to join me yet.  The CD has so many great songs and each one of them touched me differently and all of them inspired me at a time when I really missed having my family to come home to each night.

I remember of course all of the experiences that led up to my decision to take this job and move out East.  I truly feel that I was "Called to Serve".  As a ward and branch missionary I was able to work with the full time missionaries to help spread and teach the gospel.  Now as the Elder's Quorum President I am called to see to the physical and spiritual needs of the families in the branch through organized and carried out home teaching.

"Redeemer of Israel" is one of my favorites on the cd because the words are so reassuring.

Redeemer of Israel,
Our only delight,
On whom for a blessing we call,
Our shadow by day
And our pillar by night,
Our King, our Deliv'rer, our all!

We know he is coming
To gather his sheep
And lead them to Zion in love,
For why in the valley
Of death should they weep
Or in the lone wilderness rove?

How long we have wandered
As strangers in sin
And cried in the desert for thee!
Our foes have rejoiced
When our sorrows they've seen,
But Israel will shortly be free.

As children of Zion,
Good tidings for us.
The tokens already appear.
Fear not, and be just,
For the kingdom is ours.
The hour of redemption is near

Text: William W. Phelps

I am reminded of how much our Heavenly Father loves us and wants for our hapiness.  "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" over mountain or plain or back east :o)

"How Firm a Foundation" In this topsy turvy world I am reassured that with our foundation in the gospel we'll be able to weather any storm that comes our way.

Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

Text: Isaiah 43:1-7

"I Am a Chld of God" I know this to be true and I want to be like my Father in Heaven.

"I Believe in Christ" I know that he is my Savior and My Redeemer and that Salvation comes in and only through his Atoning Sacrifice and in no other way.

"I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus"  I want people to want to know him because they know me.

"Ye Elders of Israel" As I lead our small quorum of Elders in Rising Sun I am humbled and honored to bear the priesthood of God, restored to the earth.  Every time I pass over the Susquehanna River I think of all the glorious things that took place on it's banks not very far north of where I live now.

"I Know tha My Redeemer Lives" I know that he lives, that he loves us, and that he wants us to be happy.  I know that he leads his church through a living prophet.

"High on the Mountain Top" I miss the mountains.

"He Sent His Son" John 3:16

"Come, Come, Ye Saints"  I'm so excited that we will be in Utah for the 24th of July this summer.  I'm so grateful to the pioneers and my ancestors who were among them.  This is one of my favorite songs to hear the Tabernacle Choir sing.

"This Is the Christ" I remember singing this one in a choir for which Elizabeth played piano in Centerville early in our marriage.  I've always been moved by the lyrics written by the late James E. Faust.  What an incredible man and servant of our Heavenly Father.

"God Be with You Till We Meet Again"  This song always reminds me of listening to the choir and the spoken work on the radio growing up.  I can remember listening to it with Grandma and Grandpa.  It reminds me of a simpler time in life.

And finally "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning"  Indeed it is! I feel the fire when I share the gospel and there are so many who need to hear about our Father's plan for them.

Oh how I love this music.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Julie & Julia (Movie Review)

First of all, I adore Meryl Streep.  I think she is probably the most talented actress of her time.  Now I don't know much about Julia Child, aside from what Meryl portrayed, but something tells me she acted her to a T.  Julie Powell was very well acted by Amy Adams as well.

We rented the movie from red box and after having it for several days I decided to just watch it and take it back so it wouldn't keep costing us a dollar a day.  It was worth the $4 or $5 bucks it ended up costing and I wish Liz could have watched it with me because I'm sure she would have enjoyed it.  Guess we'll have to rent it again, I ceratainly won't mind seeing it twice.

Ironically Julie Powell, aspiring writing, was all about the Blog she wrote to share her experience while cooking 524 recipes, from Julia Child's book, in 365 days.  Followers were few at first but then she became very popular, obviously enough so to warrant a book and a movie :o).

I think Blogs are pretty cool and although I only have one follower, my beautiful wife, I'm completely content with that.  I enjoy writing and I could see myself one day writing my autobiography but for now the occasional blurb from me will have to do.  (I'm certainly long winded enough to blog everyday, I'm just not at a computer every time I have inspired things to write about)

The movie to me was fun and heart warming.  I got all warm and fuzzy about the relationship Julia had with her husband, Paul Child (Stanley Tucci), the American Ambassador to France. I soaked in nostalgia as they portrayed the pen pal relationships these characters had, and thought of our instant communication society and the lack of substance it has brought about.

The movie made me want to love on my wife even more, to cook something fun and fancy, and to really enjoy life.  I'd give it 4.5 Stars.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


My wife had a recent conversation with our son Carter.  During the conversation she asked him about school and what he liked and disliked.  School of course was boring but recess was fun.  When asked about the things he and his friends talk about, one of the things was girls.  Liz asked him if he liked one girl in particular that he mentioned.  His reply, "Yeah, I like her when she doesn't hate me"  CLASSIC!