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To the Rescue

๐Œ๐ž๐ž๐ญ ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฑ…
He is an energetic 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier that belongs to my Dutch in laws โ€“ Simone & Guus.
Every now and again, I get to spend some time with Dex.
Yesterday was one of those days. ๐Ÿ™‚
Gleefully, we went on a little walk together.
After a few minutes on our walk, although I wanted to go in one direction, it was clear he wanted to go in another!
I relented, and off we went the way he wanted to go.
It turned out to be one of his favourite little fenced parks, dedicated to dogs, so that they can run freely.
Ball and thrower in hand, we commenced our afternoon of activity.
I was happy throwing, and he was very happy chasing.
Enthusiastically, this activity continued for around half an hour.
Then the fun really began!
Putting the ball and thrower away, it was time to depart for home.
He knew exactly what was happening, and certainly did not want to return home.
Off he raced, to hide in the woods!
For the next 45 minutes I tried every single trick in the book to entice him on to his lead.
Little treats, throwing the ball again, ignoring him, patiently trying to corner him near the fence, following him into the woods, then back to laying a trail of treats on the groundโ€ฆ.
The Result โ€“ Nothing! ๐™๐„๐‘๐Ž success!
My patience was wearing very thin!
โ€œTime to call Simoneโ€ I thoughtโ€ฆ
โ€œ๐‡๐ž๐ฅ๐ฉ!โ€ I declared.
She smiled and laughed.
10 minutes later, as Simone and Monic arrived in the park together, Dex ran to Simone!ย  Job done!
Moral of the story โ€“ sometimes you just have to admit defeat, call for help, have a little laugh and wait on others to come to the rescue!
Have you rescued anyone recently?

The Master Puzzler

“Iโ€™ve seen a lot of posts lately about the church, why people stay, why they shouldnโ€™t stay, church doctrine vs. church policy, the list goes on & on.
I heard a powerful analogy at church today that I want to share here for myself to look back on, and also for those who may need to hear it.

The Analogy…

The analogy, or parable if you will, was to think of the gospel, the church, Godโ€™s plan or even just LIFE, like a puzzle. When you start a puzzle, you start with what you know. You work on the outside pieces, pieces with clear edges, pieces you are confident belong.
As the puzzle continues, you may run into various pieces that donโ€™t seem to belong, that fit weird, or donโ€™t make sense. But you donโ€™t throw out the entire puzzle just because you canโ€™t figure out where that piece goes. You know thereโ€™s a bigger picture coming into place. You set aside that puzzle piece and keep working at the rest of the puzzle. Eventually, the picture will become more and more clear and it will be obvious where that seemingly unimportant, or incorrect piece goes. Youโ€™ll be glad you didnโ€™t give up or throw that piece out because youโ€™ll see the bigger picture.
There are many things I donโ€™t have the answers to, but I know that God is the master puzzler, if you will, and every piece of this life; the gospel; and his plan is there for a reason. (1 Nephi 11:17โค๏ธ) Even if we canโ€™t see where it fits now, donโ€™t let what you donโ€™t know or understand stop you from what you do. Keep doing the puzzle. Keep all the pieces in sight until you know where they go. I have a feeling itโ€™s going to be worth it. ๐Ÿค ”ย  ย  – From a social media post by Emma Hixson

Are you being tested?

Many things look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Many theories look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Many software applications look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Many people look good until they are ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐.
Any piece of rope will hold when there is no weight on it, but we also need to know that we can count on it, when the heavy weight it was designed to carry, actually holds.
We have to test everything that we produce because things can go wrong.
And like things, we too are frequently tested in all kinds of ways in life.

Life is the field of tests.

We are living in times of great testing. No one is exempt from lifeโ€™s trials.
I do not believe that it was intended that our earthly experience would be a smooth and easy one.
It is my experience that tests always come.
Accidents, illness, old age, the loss of a loved one, death, unhappiness, depression, tragedies, financial loss etc.
How do you see you life now?
Sometimes it may seem that life will bring some unexpected challenges โ€“ almost daily at times.
Tests are designed to show our strengths and our weaknesses.
We cannot choose most of the tests we face in life, we can however choose how weโ€™re going to face them.
Facing up to every challenge, every test, is a chance for you to become the person you are meant to be.
These moments truly define us and prove what we are really made of.
Personally, I know that when you face the tests of life, when you learn from them and grow with them, you can become that person you are meant to be.
Always remember to put things into perspective, tests always eventually pass.
I am grateful for well proven guiding principles of faith, obedience, work, morality, honesty, persistency, integrity that always prove themselves when they are tested โ€“ when they are required to perform.
Turning to a family member, a friend, a work colleague or to your faith can help.
Who do you turn to or what principles do you follow, to help you through your tests in life?
#tests #life

What is of greatest worth?

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ?
Itโ€™s a question that often crosses my mind.
For a large portion of my adult life, I have been an ordained minister of religion.
As such, I have met with many people who in their older years were preparing to depart this life and pass through โ€œthe gateway we call deathโ€ โ€“ Russell M. Nelson.
I treasure the many sweet memories that Iโ€™ve been blessed to have with family members and dear friends who have already passed beyond the veil of death.

Family and Faith

Visiting with those in the closing days of life, weโ€™d frequently reminisce about those things of greatest worth, namely, family, friends, experiences and ultimately for many, their faith in and encounters with Jesus Christ.
Cherished family experiences and special tender moments are shared in a very intimate manner.
Truths are shared lovingly and freely.
Special insights, sweet stories, incredible experiences, along with miracles and wonders are commonplace, as the individual approaches deathโ€™s door and shares what matters most.
During those tender moments, attentively listening, loving, caring, sharing, spending time and being fully present is key.
A multitude of moments have been etched into my memory, in turn enriching my experience of life.

Scriptures

In my personal study of the scriptures, I have found great comfort in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Reading the final chapters of Nephi (2 Nephi 33), Jacob (Jacob 7), Mormon (Mormon 7) and Moroni (Moroni 10) โ€“ these remarkable prophet/writers provide some insights into those things that may be of greatest worth to all of us.
Each of them shared a similar experience in their livesโ€™, namely they all had a personal experience with Jesus Christ.
And so, fittingly perhaps, their closing words recorded in the final chapters of their respective books, give us a deep, meaningful look into their hearts, minds and very souls.
Moroni 10:32 โ€œYea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.โ€
Moroniโ€™s testimony and invitation to โ€œcome unto Christโ€ is a powerful and enduring one that has impacted generations of people the world over.
Like so many others, I hope that each of us will have faith in and encounter Jesus Christ in our life.
What is of greatest worth to you?

Patterns

That’s a 3-year-old me on the left, with my younger sister – both wearing cardigans knitted by my mum.
Throughout her life, mum used knitting patterns to create woollen wonders.
As a child I recall watching my mum knitting hats, socks, gloves, scarves, shawls, cardigans, jumpers and so forth! As she settled down to watch the television, she would inevitably pull out her latest knitting project – and off she went.
On a few occasions Iโ€™ve tried my hand at knitting.

Knitting

Mum gave me some pointers on casting on, and the appropriate techniques – but then I had to learn the pattern!
Have you ever tried reading a knitting pattern?
To the uninitiated, they can look like a foreign language, cast on 140 sts, knit 1, purl 1 repeat etc!
But to those who know – they are a sure pattern, followed precisely, will lead to success, each and every time. Indeed, their beauty is in their simplicity, if you understand the direction. Each pattern doesn’t just suddenly appear, it needs to be carefully considered, written and practised.
As we stand on the shoulders of those giants who have preceded us, who have lived by these patterns before, we soon realise that we can replicate success or failure depending upon the patterns of life we choose to live by.
Just as there are many thousands of well used knitting patterns, in a like manner, there are tried and tested “patterns for life” that once understood and emulated will always lead you to higher ground.
In fact, followed with exactness these patterns will always lead to success.
So what are these patterns and how do we follow them in our lives?
And by following them, what will we become?
Regarding the fundamental nature of our characters, Gordon B. Hinckley stated that; “The course of our lives is not determined by great, awesome decisions…….our direction is set by the little day-to-day choices which chart the track on which we run.
If we apply that maxim to our lives, we could say that we are the result of many small decisions.
In effect, we are the product of our choices. We must develop the capacity to recall the past, to evaluate the present, and to look into the future in order to accomplish in our lives.

Patterns for Life

Likewise I believe that we can succeed in life by following simple patterns.
1. ๐ƒ๐จ ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐‹๐จ๐ฏ๐ž. In your work and career choices, its a simple fact that if you do something that you love – then you will never work one day in your life. If you are currently following the wrong pattern – then perhaps you need a new one?
2. ๐…๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐๐ฎ๐ซ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ž. Take it one step at a time, for some it may take a lifetime to discover. But most importantly along the way, you need to apply pattern #1 – do something you love! That will help you to find your purpose and meaning in life and your work. Are you currently using the wrong-coloured wool and need a new yarn?
3. ๐’๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ž๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ. Find out exactly who you can help and serve along the way. Follow the promptings of your heart and apply pattern #1 – give service through doing something you love! This will help you find even more joy in the journey. Perhaps you are using the wrong sized needles and you need some larger ones?
4. ๐“๐š๐ค๐ž ๐€๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง. Choose to Act, and not be acted upon.
I know that our daily actions will determine our character. Take ownership of your own personal journey. What’s holding you back, is it perhaps that you have got stuck with a complicated part of your pattern? Why not seek out a personal coach to help you along the way? In turn they can help you to interpret the pattern for your life.
For me, I have witnessed a lifetime of beautiful woollen wonders created by mum and many others who can read the patterns.
In a like manner as we form our patterns for life, our life will be formed by those patterns.
Get yourself organised!!
Why not follow a new pattern, get some new yarn, some different needles for yourself, home and career today by knitting together some life changing habits – you won’t regret it!
๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฉ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐ฉ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ค๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐›๐ซ๐ข๐œ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฅ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ž?

Seasons

โ€œThereโ€™s that clatter againโ€ฆโ€ I thought.
This week, whilst in Apeldoorn, interviewing our missionaries we observed a few facts.
Here in the Netherlands, things had started to fall.
Firstly, temperatures started to fall, thankfully Iโ€™d brought my jacket.
Secondly, the nights started to draw in, the amount of daylight is decreasing.
Thirdly, as the wind blew, literally thousands of acorns were falling from the oak trees around the chapel and clattering against the roof.
I wonโ€™t forget the crunching noise of all those acorns underfoot as we walked back to the car.
Days that were long and sizzling have become short and chilly.
The season has changed.
Autumn has arrived.
In nature, seasons come and go, yet nothing remains the same for very long.
Just as in nature, we experience different seasons in our life.
‘To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.’ Ecclesiastes 1:2-3.
Truly, the seasons represent our time on earth.

๐€๐ฎ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ง by Rainer Maria Rilke

The leaves are falling, falling as from far,
As if far gardens in the skies were dying;
They fall, and ever seem to be denying.
And in the night the earth, a heavy ball,
Into a starless solitude must fall.
We all are falling. My own hand no less
Than all things else; behold, it is in all.
Yet there is One who, utter gentleness,
Holds all this falling in His hands to bless.
Your current season of life may be difficult, but if you pause long enough, you may find it’s also a special one with unique blessings and challenges too.
Thomas S. Monson commented on making the most of each season in our lives to “provide time for family, time for work, time for study, time for service, time for recreation, time for self โ€” but above all, time for Christ”
Iโ€™ve learned in life, that no matter how far we may fall, Jesus Christ will always lift you up again.
What are you learning in this season of your life?

Too much to do?

Are you pushing yourself too hard?
Personally, Iโ€™m the kind of person that likes being busy, at least most of the time.
If you are not careful enough though, the side effects of the daily routines can include – physical aches and pains, difficulty sleeping, missing meals, abandoning exercise, headaches, stomach problems, forgetting things, feeling overwhelmed, feeling guilty, isolating yourself, irritability, anxiety and even depression can all kick in.
Have you noticed any new aches and pains recently?
Maybe you should listen to your body more often?
Yes, we all need to kick into a higher gear occasionally to get things done, but we need to put things into perspective, by taking care of ourselves and our relationships.
The way to succeed is not to work long hours, but to work hard in each hour.
And take short breaks – regularly!
Remember โ€“ life is short!
It is important to take time every day for yourself and to slow down, to enjoy the beauty you can find all around.
Open your eyes and see.
Perhaps it is time for you to re-connect with your core purpose and watch how your behaviours will shift along the way.
What can you do to slow down today?

A Heroes Journey

Have any of these people touched your heart recently?
Harry Potter, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Ironman, Wolverine, Black Panther, Hulk, Cinderella, Bambi, Snow White, Luke Skywalker, Simba (Lion King), Maverick, all of the X-Men, Kung Fu Panda, Aladdin, Tarzan, Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Ariel (Little Mermaid), Bilbo Baggins, Wall-E and many moreโ€ฆ.
What do they all have in common?
You may be surprised to learn that every character listed is an orphan or a semi-orphan (separated from at least one parent).
The Orphan Hero is not new in storytelling.
Is it a coincidence?
So, what is the purpose of creating such characters?
May it somehow represent a journey that all of us need to go through?
There are usually different parts to a typical storyline.

The Storyline

Firstly, there is usually some kind of awakening story shaped by adversity of some kind.
Secondly, as the heroโ€™s journey commences, there is a provocation of sorts that stimulates an awakening, frequently with a mentor on hand (usually older).
Thirdly, on their journey, the hero discovers some purpose, or true identity and embraces their own authenticity.
Through triumph and tragedy these movie characters have all played into large chunks of our lifeโ€™s.
Without their parents, we are drawn into the storyline by the insecurity that is created. Perhaps we even start to imagine how weโ€™d react to such perils in our own life.
Subsequently, the characters are all forced to deal with the challenges of the respective storyline and almost always faced with one or several transformational experiences.
As a coach and mentor, Iโ€™ve noticed that there is frequently a guide who plays a special part in the journey.
For example – Gandalf, Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi, Dumbledore, Alfred, Xavier and many more.
Generally, these characters have a central role in the story and oftentimes eventually disappear.
The Heroโ€™s Journey is in fact a formulaic template used successfully for generations.
Although formulaic, this journey is open to all of us.
Consider the adversities and challenges you have overcome in your own life.
What story are you living?
Do you have a mentor or guide?
What makes a real hero for you?

Choose to Play

“๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ!
“๐๐จ๐ญ ๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ก…๐š๐ ๐š๐ข๐ง!? – ๐๐จ ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž!”
Why me? Perhaps the better question is why not me?
All too frequently as a teenager – that’s where I found myself in the High School Basketball team. I just wanted to play in the game.
I wanted a jersey, I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines – I simply wanted to play!
In my youthfulness and eagerness to play, long hours of practice and effort eventually paid off, and I became a regular starter – playing constantly.
I learned too, that sometimes when you are not playing well, the coach can take you out of the game.
Similarly in life, I want to be where the action is.
Sitting on the sidelines is just not for me.
At home, at work, in the community I need to be involved, I need to play, to make a difference.
As Oliver Wendell Holmes said “It is required of a man that he share the action and the passion of his time at the peril of being judged not to have lived.”
Whatever it is that is most important in your life…
– choose to be engaged
– choose to participate
– choose to practice and expend the effort
– choose to get involved
– choose to make a difference
Decide now to get up off the bench, move from the sidelines and into the field of action – ๐’„๐’‰๐’๐’๐’”๐’† ๐’•๐’ ๐’‘๐’๐’‚๐’š!
What will you choose to do today?

Its time to wake up!

Are you wide awake or sleepwalking through life?
Are you aware & conscious about all that is going on around you?
Are you stuck in a rut?
Some cluesโ€ฆ
– You may endlessly scroll through Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok.
– You lack a clear direction in your life.
– You are often stressed, worried or anxious.
– You frequently complain or moan about other people.
– You canโ€™t seem to find quiet time to even breathe.
Sound familiar?
It is really easy to slip into a very comfortable and rigid routine in your daily life.
We fall into an emotional state of autopilot and disconnect from our real feelings.
Each can bring exactly the same.
Choose to ๐’˜๐’‚๐’Œ๐’† ๐’–๐’‘!
Start today by choosing the life you want to create!
Choose to find some fun today. George Bernard Shaw saidโ€ฆ
โ€œ๐–๐ž ๐๐จ๐งโ€™๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฉ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ฅ๐; ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฐ ๐จ๐ฅ๐ ๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ฉ ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐ .โ€
Be curious, look around. Enjoy the moment
Put your phone away today โ€“ stop scrolling!
Have a real conversation with someone! If you struggle with that then get someone else to hold you accountable.
Start journaling! Record your feelings, recall what makes you happy and capture the conversations you had in the day.
Call or write to someone you havenโ€™t spoken to in a while.
Learn to stop and awaken your five senses of listening, touching, looking, smelling, and tasting.
In slowing down, you will recognise that you have much to learn as you awaken from your slumber.
Its time to wake up!