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SKye's Blog

a day in the life... [homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/dskyehodges/Home/|http://skyehodges.netfirms.com]
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[Big Bang Theory, Season 2, Episode 8]

LOL, so if you haven't watched Big Bang (especially if you are a geek or nerd, but even the 'regular' people will enjoy it), anyway, if you haven't watched it, then you are missing out on such things as "Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock":

I suggest Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock
It's very simple...
Scissors cuts Paper. Paper covers Rock.
Rock crushes Lizard. Lizard poisons Spock.
Spock smashes Scissors. Scissors decapitates Lizard.
Lizard eats Paper. Paper disproves Spock.
Spock vaporizes Rock.
And as it always has, rock crushes scissors.

And in case that didn't do it for you, here's a diagram:

(0) comment(s):
Post a Comment http://dskye.blogspot.com/2008/11/big-bang-theory-season-2-episode-8.html


Intelligent Mail® Barcode

Intelligent Mail® Barcode

The new USPS barcodes that I've been seeing on envelopes intrigued me, this site tells you all the information that you ever wanted to know :)

(1) comment(s):
You are quite observant. I would never have noticed that the bar code changed. But it's interesting. I liked the quote you left on our blog! Thanks for visiting!
Post a Comment http://dskye.blogspot.com/2008/11/intelligent-mail-barcode.html


My Calling(s)

I was called to be the 2nd councilor in the Young Men's Presidency and Scoutmaster on Sunday (well last Sunday, but sustained yesterday). SO, this will be interesting/fun/challenging/new.... Oh, and I don't like to camp, so it will also be like me having to be like the Hobbit, having to leave the shire and get out into the wide world for adventure or whatever.... Yeah, I'm just trying to make me feel better. It will be good though.

(2) comment(s):
You are going to be fantastic! You have a lot to give to these boys and they will benefit from you - your experiences, your testimony, you talents, your friendship. :)

I like your Hobbit analogy. lol Hopefully your camping experiences will be positive and fun, and perhaps you may even learn to like camping. Anything's possible. ;)

Hey SKye! I just found your blog through your Mom's. I didn't know that you'd become active in the church again! That's wonderful news. We are so happy for you. It was nice to see all of you at Chad's b-day.
Post a Comment http://dskye.blogspot.com/2008/11/my-callings.html

A talk I gave in Church

So, yes, over 90% of this is 'borrowed' but I'm new to this whole speaking business, this was the talk I gave the 26th of October.

Hello Brothers and Sisters, a few months ago my daughter came up to bear her testimony with the help of her friend, she looked out at all of you, stood there for a few seconds, then turned around, walked back down the isle and back to her seat, and I asked her, KyeLee why didn't you bear your testimony, and she said, “there's TOO many people, and I got SCARED!”, well brothers and sisters, the only thing keeping me from turning around and walking down that isle and back to my seat is that I'm too scared to even move :) So I hope you'll bear with me, and that your prayers will be with me, that I will have the strength, and the spirit, to touch your hearts and minds today, so that you can be strengthened and uplifted, and in turn be able to strengthen and uplift others.

(my 'return')
My wife explained a little bit about our family, and I want to share a little bit more about myself. I have not been able to share in the full blessings that the gospel has to offer for about 12 years. As some of you may already know I am now back and able to participate in all the activities that make the gospel so wonderful, and I'm not just talking about helping people move :) . Some of the things that I won't be taking for granted include things like, taking the sacrament, or attending the temple, or being able to bless and heal my wife and children. I am very grateful to the Lord that he inspired some of you to befriend me and to lovingly help me back into the gospel. There are too many names to name, but know that each of you has, in some way or another, helped me to be where I am today, and I am indebted to you, and to this ward for seeing the worth of a soul. How great shall be our joy in the kingdom of our Father.

(the 'call')
I was called to talk to you today about callings, specifically in Magnifying your callings, but I wanted to talk first about callings in general, because you can't magnify a calling that you don't have. I have reviewed a number of talks and stories on callings, and I hope to do my best today to condense and paraphrase as much as I can, otherwise I just would have put in a video of the 2002 October General conference where Elder Henry B. Eyring gave an amazing talk on “Rise[ing] to your call”.

(you ASKED, didn't Call)
On several occasions Elder Boyd K Packer has described an experience he had during a leadership training meeting in which a bishop indicated he couldn't get anyone to server as the ward Primary president. The frustrated bishop said he had talked to nine different sisters in the ward, and not one of them had agreed to accept the call. Elder Packer told the bishop he knew why none of the sisters had agreed to serve: “You ASKED them--You didn't CALL them” [1]
In the secular world there are no direct parallels to the issuing of a calling. One who holds priesthood keys does not ask, assign, or recruit people to serve. He Calls them, and the calling comes from the Lord. [1]

(not where, but How, Bishop)
Our willingness to serve in our callings, whatever they may be, is a reflection of our dedication to the Lord. As President J. Reuben Clark Jr. taught: “In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one takes the place to which one is duly called, which place one neither seeks nor declines. [1]
I know this to be true, because the Bishop is my neighbor, and when he was called to be bishop it certainly was NOT any position that he was seeking. I do know, that The Lord called him to be our Bishop.

(called in the same manner as Jesus called)
Jesus sought and called the men who would be His Twelve Apostles. Those who serve in the Lord's Church are called following this same pattern. [1]

(called of God)
For those of you with callings, you have been called of God. The Lord knows you. He knows whom He would have serve in every position in His Church. He chose you. He has prepared a way so that He could issue your call. He restored the keys of the priesthood to Joseph Smith. Those keys have been passed down in an unbroken line to President [Monson]. Through those keys, other priesthood servants were given keys to preside in stakes and wards, in districts and branches. It was through those keys that the Lord called you. Those keys confer a right to revelation. And revelation comes in answer to prayer. The person who was inspired to recommend you for your calling didn’t do it because they liked you or because they needed someone to do a particular task. They prayed and felt an answer that you were the one to be called. [2]

The person who called you did not issue the call simply because he learned by interviewing you that you were worthy and willing to serve. He prayed to know the Lord’s will for you. It was prayer and revelation to those authorized of the Lord which brought you here. Your call is an example of a source of power unique to the Lord’s Church. Men and women are called of God by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by those God has authorized. [2]

You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. His work is to bless His Father’s spirit children with the opportunity to choose eternal life. So, your calling is to bless lives. That will be true even in the most ordinary tasks you are assigned and in moments when you might be doing something not apparently connected to your call. Just the way you smile or the way you offer to help someone can build their faith. And should you forget who you are, just the way you speak and the way you behave can destroy faith. [2]

Your call has eternal consequences for others and for you. In the world to come, thousands may call your name blessed, even more than the people you serve here. They will be the ancestors and the descendants of those who chose eternal life because of something you said or did, or even what you were. If someone rejects the Savior’s invitation because you did not do all you could have done, their sorrow will be yours. You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord. Your call carries grave responsibility. But you need not fear, because with your call come great promises. [2]

One of those promises is ... that the Lord will guide you by revelation just as He called you. You must ask in faith for revelation to know what you are to do. With your call comes the promise that answers will come. But that guidance will come only when the Lord is sure you will obey. To know His will you must be committed to do it. The words “Thy will be done,” written in the heart, are the window to revelation. [2]

The answer comes by the Holy Spirit. You will need that guidance often. To have the Holy Ghost as your companion you must be worthy, cleansed by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. So, your obedience to the commandments, your desire to do His will, and your asking in faith will determine how clearly the Master can guide you by answers to your prayers. [2]

Often the answers will come as you study the scriptures. They contain accounts of what the Lord did in His mortal ministry and the guidance He has given His servants. They have doctrine in them which will apply in every time and every situation. Pondering the scriptures will lead you to ask the right questions in prayer. And just as surely as the heavens were opened to Joseph Smith after he pondered the scriptures in faith, God will answer your prayers and He will lead you by the hand. [2]

(Magnifying Your Calling)
One of the most important references in the Book of Mormon to magnifying callings comes from the prophet Jacob, who wrote, “We did magnify our office unto the Lord” (Jacob 1:19). Doctrine and Covenants section 84, which contains the oath and covenant of the priesthood, states that those who magnify their calling will be “sanctified by the Spirit” (v. 33). [1]

Many of us have struggled to understand what it means to magnify our callings. President Thomas S. Monson, said:

“What does it mean to magnify a calling? It means to build it up in dignity and importance, to make it honorable and commendable in the eyes of all men, to enlarge and strengthen it to let the light of heaven shine through it to the view of other men. And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it.”3 [1]

(you will be tried)
Just as God called you and will guide you, He will magnify you. You will need that magnification. Your calling will surely bring opposition. You are in the Master’s service. You are His representative. Eternal lives depend on you. He faced opposition, and He said that facing opposition would be the lot of those He called. The forces arrayed against you will try not only to frustrate your work but to bring you down. The Apostle Paul described it this way: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” 1 [2]

(you will be tested)
There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone. [2]

(you will be magnified)
The Lord will magnify what you say and what you do in the eyes of the people you serve. He will send the Holy Ghost to manifest to them that what you spoke was true. What you say and do will carry hope and give direction to people far beyond your natural abilities and your own understanding. That miracle has been a mark of the Lord’s Church in every dispensation. It is so much a part of your call that you may begin to take it for granted. [2]

There is yet another way the Lord will magnify you in your call to His service. You will feel at some time, perhaps at many times, that you cannot do all you feel you must. The heavy weight of your responsibilities will seem too great. You will worry that you can’t spend more time with your family. You will wonder how you can find the time and the energy to meet your responsibilities beyond your family and your calling. You may feel discouragement and even guilt after you have done all you could to meet all your obligations. Let me tell you what Elder Eyring said of meeting obligations, He said this: [2]

If I only think of my own performance, my sadness deepens. But when I remember that the Lord promised that His power would go with me, I begin to look for evidence of what He has done in the lives of the people I am to serve. I pray to see with spiritual eyes the effects of His power. [2]

You can have the utmost assurance that your power will be multiplied many times by the Lord. All He asks is that you give your best effort and your whole heart. Do it cheerfully and with the prayer of faith. The Father and His Beloved Son will send the Holy Ghost as your companion to guide you. Your efforts will be magnified in the lives of the people you serve. And when you look back on what may now seem trying times of service and sacrifice, the sacrifice will have become a blessing, and you will know that you have seen the arm of God lifting those you served for Him, and lifting you. [2]

Magnifying your calling can seem like an overwhelming task, often times our energies are spread so thin among so many different things, that we feel like we are drowning in our callings, and the thought of expending more effort than what we feel that we can give makes us wonder if we shouldn't just march right into the Bishop's office and ask to be released, there are people who can help us.

In the 2005 December issue of the Ensign the following question was asked: “How can we magnify our callings while at the same time following the counsel of Church leaders to reduce and simplify the work?”

Meaghan James, replied:
When some people hear the phrase “magnify your calling,” they often feel they need to devote more time, make more handouts, or do something extra that would take more energy or add to their stress. This is a misconception! When you put a magnifying glass over an object, you are able to see it more clearly. Perhaps we could all simplify our lives by looking at our callings through a spiritual lens. Are we focusing on the essential things the Lord would have us do, or are we distracted from the essentials by adding unnecessary work that takes us away from our families or causes us undue stress? There must be a balance in all things. If we pray to know how the Lord would have us magnify our callings, He will help us do so.

Ross and Janene Baadsgaard, said:
The Church exists to support and help individuals and families, not the other way around. Here are some helpful questions to ask when trying to magnify one’s calling but simplify the work:
• Am I overscheduling individuals or families in my ward? Can we coordinate so that most meetings and activities are held one night a week?
• Does a particular meeting or activity encourage members to live the gospel, receive saving ordinances, and prepare for exaltation?
• Are we focusing more on the people than on the program?
• Have I asked the individuals and families I serve or direct what kind of activities would best serve their needs, or am I promoting my own needs and pursuing my own personal agenda?
• Do I count the success of the meeting or activity by how many people attended or, rather, by the effect it had on those who did attend?
• Does a particular meeting or activity interfere with the family dinner hour?

D. Gordon Wilson responded with the following two ideas to keep in mind while serving in the Church:
ONE. Magnify your calling, not your “busyness.” Callings can keep us busy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But most of us have other priorities as well. So, as guided by the Spirit, do what’s most important. Be careful not to confuse “busyness” with progress. Remember the honeybee and the mosquito: both are very busy, but the bee is revered while the mosquito is swatted.
TWO. Counsel with your spouse. Your spouse is your partner and can be a great source of help in simplifying your schedule as you set your priorities.

Dorothy Moore, commented that:
In trying to “reduce and simplify,” we might ask ourselves questions such as these: Do all cookies have to be homemade? Do we really need cookies? Could a handwritten note have more meaning than an expensive gift? Could a few telephone calls or an e-mail message take the place of a meeting? Will the handout we are making go into the wastebasket, or will it be kept and treasured? Can we save time by accomplishing two tasks during one trip?

And Elder Richard G. Scott [3]:
counseled us with the following words of caution:
“... as you plan your activities. Make sure that the essential needs are met, but do not go overboard in creating so many good things to do that the essential ones are not accomplished. … Remember, don’t magnify the work to be done—simplify it.”

(The Lord Will Make It Possible)
In summary, here are several important principles relative to callings in the Church:
FIRST. Those with the authority to issue callings need to prayerfully seek the inspiration of the Lord. When an inspired decision is made, the call needs to be extended properly in a dignified and reverent manner, with all involved realizing that the call comes from the Lord.
SECOND. We serve willingly. We do not volunteer. We are called.
THIRD. When we have been called to a position, we need to humbly remember that the calling is not ours and that we will be released someday by the same authority by which we were called.
FOURTH. When the release comes, we need to be accepting, gracious, and grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve. We need to trust that just as we are called by inspiration, we are released by that same inspiration. We need to be supportive of the one who is called to take our place.
FIFTH. Callings and releases don’t always come to us when we would prefer. We need to trust in the Lord’s timetable.
SIXTH. When a husband or wife is called to a demanding position, it may be best for him or her and the rest of the family if the other is released from a heavy assignment.
SEVENTH. We need to trust in the Lord in responding to the call(see Proverbs 3:5–6)
EIGTH. The Lord will magnify our efforts as we do our best and seek His assistance.
NINTH. Great promises and blessings will come with our callings.

Gordon B. Hinckley stated: “Whenever you are called upon to serve may I urge you to respond, and as you do so your faith will strengthen and increase. … If you accept every opportunity, if you accept every calling, the Lord will make it possible for you to perform it. The Church will not ask you to do anything which you cannot do with the help of the Lord. God bless you to do everything that you are called upon to do.”5 [1]
How blessed we are to be able to help the Lord build up the kingdom as we serve in our callings. [1]

And finally, a scripture from Matthew, Chapter 4, verse 41:
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

In the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, amen.

[1] 2006 August Ensign, Elder William R. Walker
[2] 2002 November Ensign, Elder Henry B. Eyring
[3] “The Doctrinal Foundation of the Auxiliaries,” Ensign, Aug. 2005, 67.

(1) comment(s):
First of all, SKye, when I think of you I don't just smile, I grin a super cheesy, HUGE smile! :D Look at you and how far you've come! I feel inspired and motivated by you! I feel so grateful to have been able to know you and see this remarkable and wonderful change in your life! :)

Secondly, GREAT TALK! It doesn't matter that so much of it came from other talks - they were fantastic talks to be taken from! It's wonderful to be reminded of the words of the apostles and prophets who have so lovingly given us counsel and guidance.

Good job! :)

Post a Comment http://dskye.blogspot.com/2008/11/talk-i-gave-in-church.html


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