12.16.18 Sunday Message

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you think you're never going to get everything accomplished? Well this week was... let’s just say very, very and... did I say VERY BUSY!! 😳 But... I just finished the last thing on my list and that is posting my Sunday message!👍 Hey better late than never 😉👍 Now I'm on my way to pick up my daughter from school and bring her home for the holidays! 🎅🏻

We started off the week with a beautiful wedding, 🥰then the next day I flew out to begin recording a new classical/broadway/opera album🎤 and while that was happening, I finalized the production details for a new video I shoot Tuesday 🎥 for our Vegas show right as our nephew Josh came home from a two year mission to Italy (Wow! Until I wrote it all down, I had no idea how much I could fit in one week!). My Nephew coming home from a mission and my own son still being away on a mission made me ponder the choices these young people make when they sacrifice their time to serve the Lord and His children for two years, which brings me to my topic this week. 😁👍

Recently our church placed a new emphasis on the importance of “ministering” to others. Though simple in thought, to connect with the people around us can change lives! It can be nothing more than calling, dropping by, making a treat, or writing a card to neighbors, coworkers, family and friends. I know we are all VERY BUSY in our lives, but this new emphasis has served as a great reminder to me the importance of being invested in our “neighbor's” lives. It’s pretty easy to do at Christmas time, but the conscious effort of “checking in” with people is what we’re challenged to think about all year long. There was a study on longevity made recently and the number one predictor for a long life wasn’t exercise or diet, it wasn’t whether or not you smoked or drank, it was social interaction. And not just the people you know, which is very important, but anyone. When you set out to connect with other people in a positive and loving way the blessings are circular—always coming back to us and actually giving us longer lives!

An attribute of the Savior I admire is how He loved people and instinctively understood their needs. One of my favorite stories is from the New Testament about a tax collector named Zacchaeus (Luke 19:3). Zacchaeus was wealthy and important, but not popular with his neighbors because they considered tax collectors traitors, as they worked for the Roman Government. Zacchaeus is described as “short in stature” so when news came to him that the Savior would be riding by, he ran ahead and climbed a Sycamore tree so he could see Him. When the Savior reached the spot directly beneath Zacchaeus, He looked up and addressed him by name then told him to come down because He intended to visit his home. This shocked the crowd and the Apostles because out of all the people who had come to see the Savior, no one would have thought he would choose a tax collector’s home as a place to visit. The Savior proved again that He was, “His brother’s keeper” because he saw past Zacchaeus' frailties and sins and was kind to someone who was not accepted by his “neighbors” and needed comfort. The Savior is so amazing to me—each time I read stories of Him I am reminded yet again how much I love Him!!

You know how much I value quotes and when I find one I like I save them to read later, this quote fit with my topic this week and the truth of it settled on me, I hope it will for you also.

"The miracle of looking outward and ministering to another person in need is that in the process, we learn that we can forget ourselves and our own problems."
~Patrick Kearon

So with all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and knowing we will no doubt have a busy year ahead, let’s challenge ourselves to look around and remind ourselves to “minister to others”, to lift their burdens and use the spirit of Christ-mas as a personal influence all year!!! 😉🥰

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