This'n That ... Chez Ilona

Friday, December 31, 2010

New tidings!

A new year is always a hope of new tidings, opportunities, achievements, conquests, and of course prosperity.   It is a mark of things done, completed, a new look on new goals, a repaging on old ones, new priorities...
It is of course a chance to stop, ponder, evaluate, regroup, breath in, and plunge in head first on new endeavors!  Isn't it wonderful that we can do just that at the brink of a new year!
But, as it is always, each year will bring it's share of new challenges, obstacles to overcome, may it be in the realms of personal growth or of real and tangible things such as physical challenges of all sorts.

Be it as it may, we are certain it will bring changes!  Changes are good!  Some  don't enjoy them as much, it takes us away from our comfort zone and they can even bring certain anxiety ... we always fear what we don't know or understand...it's a human thing... our challenge?  to overcome it, embrace it, even enjoy it!  It is what this life is made of....changes!  Cycles begin, cycles end, and with that we acquire experience, hopefully some wisdom, new knowledge, and most certainly more understanding of this life and what we are about.
In my experience, now of some years lived, it brings also serenity, even in turmoil for I know that all things pass, good things  and bad things!  So I have also come to understand that we are to live and enjoy NOW, prepare the way for things to better tomorrow, but yet it is in the now that we live, our choices, our thoughts, our actions are always in the now, in the moment...whatever we choose to do now will alter the choices for tomorrow, will lead us into new tomorrows!

So I am hoping to all of you that this new year of 2011 will be a mark in every NOW that you choose to live and that the choices you make will take you into better tomorrows, full of new opportunities!
That the light of Christ may guide in the making of much good, that it may be the beam when into darkness and despair, the guiding light into the storm, and that it will a burst of sunlight in happiness and joy!  Let us all rejoice in peace and harmony, in the knowledge that all good things come from Him who watches over all of us and is there cheering us on!

A very prosperous New Year to All ... may 2011 be that year when we understand that it is better to add and make together things, that is better to have peace and harmony in the midst of war and dissention!!
That if we all do just a little share of good this world will be just a little better for all of us.

Happy 2011


Thursday, December 30, 2010

new magazine!!

I love love all the possibilities I see in this magazine I linked from another blog!!


go see!!     http://issuu.com/byfryd/docs/1._by_fryd

you can see it in full image... beautiful!!! just so!

Monday, December 27, 2010

happy crochet

I have been into crochet a lot lately and even trying out some more in knitting; I love the colors of the skeins when they are together and imagining all the possibilities and how wonderful things can be created... I just love colors... and since my house has been in total chaos because the work in it... these activities feel very attractive!  So blogging round today I found this lovely blog... http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/crochet/page/6/... and she is buoyant and happy, just a lovely person...I also love the British way, lovely, gorgeous, lively and peculiar way of the English language.  The English countryside, the country villages, lovely fashion ... anywho... I just love the English way...

Her crochet is lively and the buoyant colors make it just happy!!!  I like happy!!  makes you feel skippity...skippy...

and here is a simple tutto on a small granny sqr

http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/summer-garden-granny-square.html

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas musings!!

So here we are... another year that has gone by, Christmas festivities at our door, and celebrations usually are in order!  unless of course you still construction going on when they should have been finished a month ago!  So......that means no celebration for us as far as dinner and friends over and such!
We have much to celebrate for we are thankful for what it really means!

So all I had planned for this Christmas will be postponed for next year's season; but I have long learned to not feel upset, we propose the Lord disposes!  some things are meant to be others not!

So my reflection now is exactly that, to be able to see the difference, things we can control and things we just can't!  things we need to learn and go through, and things we are to be tried with, the purpose? to learn to overcome our selfish desires and be more giving and patient with others...just as we expect them to be with us forgiving our trespasses!
Such a hard lesson to learn at times!  but we can do it... it might take time, but we can do it!
And this has been a great year of learning and learning what forgiving really means, what love really means... we don't understand that until we are put to the test...when you have been hurt to the very core!
When the hurting comes from people you dearly love and dearly thought would not be the one to ever hurt you!  unconditional love, like the one we are now celebrating!  like the one we received from Jesus Christ who was born so that we could be saved, who paid for our shortcomings with his atoning sacrifice!

So this is much to be celebrated and thankful for!

Merry Christmas


May the gifts of heaven befall all of you as you endeavor to choose the right!

Where Women Create

This is a wealth of creative people in all categories!

If you haven't been there yet... what a source of inspiration!!
Isn't it just awesome how great the possibilities are just because we are all unique and have such great potential for doing just about anything! It is interesting to me how we all have different tastes and styles and our minds can go off on all kinds of ideas and creations, and best of all, how interesting life can be just because of this diversity!

How boring it would be if we all liked red...what would be of the blue, and the yellow, and the green?


Where Women Create

The Crafty Crow

The coolest ideas for recycling materials and working with little ones on some crafts!



The Crafty Crow

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Home ideas, decorating, interiors, design, DIY projects, recipes and galleries - Homelife

Just found this magazine!! so full of ideas!!

Home ideas, decorating, interiors, design, DIY projects, recipes and galleries - Homelife

Tis the Season to Be Jolly



A very Merry Christmas
In the Christian world, This is the Season to celebrate
the birth of Jesus Chris
t, our Savior and Redeemer!
For those of you who do not join us in this celebration for religious reasons, I would like to still invite you to be a part and  join in to share  the joy of peace and brotherhood.
Let us all just celebrate that we are born equal on this earth
to face and overcome the same challenges.
Let us be happy and share in the things we are alike and lay aside
cultural, regional, language and social differences and just be happy for being.Let us share in love and friendship!
A  very Merry Christmas to all !!! and a wonderful New Year !!

It is typical to offer le muget as a wish for du bonheur... wishes of happiness and good luck! May the blessings of heaven be upon you all ... this is my wish to all at this season !


Contemporary Design, Pictures, Remodeling, Decor and Ideas

This is a great place to visit for those who like home decor and ideas!! It's as if you bought a whole of magazines and then you clip the ones you want to save for reference ...you make your own book of ideas...and there are so many great ideas... for all tastes and shapes!!


Contemporary Design, Pictures, Remodeling, Decor and Ideas

handmade in Brazil

In this post of her blog you will see the great colors of the Brazilian spirit as this Argentinian who lives in Quatar, middle east, but was visiting Brasil... this is what we can call worldwide....from one extreme to another...and beautiful creative ideas; plus the beautiful porcelain exposition in Rio!
I don't have rights to post a photo, but you can visit and see the colorful and wonderful creations!

El blog de Georgina

Monday, December 13, 2010

Moda Bake Shop: Log Cabin Baby Blocks

And here is the tutorial for the block!

SarahB_logcabin_title.jpg (JPEG Image, 600x600 pixels) - Scaled (97%)

The cutest idea for a baby toy, possibilities are endless!

SarahB_logcabin_title.jpg (JPEG Image, 600x600 pixels) - Scaled (97%)

Ponto grilh�o = ≠ Palestrina stitch? (1) � agulhas da m�ri

When I was in high school in Brazil ... 6th grade and on ... we used to have home economics and everything to do with being, or rather, preparing for being a mother and a housewife. This was a class I particularly liked since I enjoyed working my hands doing crafts and learning how to master the embroidery stitches and all other such abilities. We worked throughout the year on preparing a sampler which would then I final grade. One stitch that really got to me, and I can't tell you why because I don't know why, it the palestrina stitch, which I learned as the French knot, which I see today is not the same French knot most embroiderers know... It's a stitch most don't use, but I particularly like because it gives such a pretty effect on the design!
I have just found this very good tutorial and graph that show the stitch and it's possible variations really well.
So if you wanted to learn and use a new stitch here it is!



Ponto grilh�o = ≠ Palestrina stitch? (1) � agulhas da m�ri

Sunday, December 12, 2010

RENOVA - Ecologia & Arte

Green is the word of the day... all is about recycling and renovating used items, being creative, reusing resources, rethinking ideas and concepts!


This is something I am trying to do even because financial resources are scarce ! so I try to recycle fabrics, clothes, construction materials and so forth!


Browsing through the blogs today I found this blog, a Brazilian blog on recycling with very interesting ideas!
A bed made of PET bottles, I had seen houses built with it too... a man in the northeast of Brazil who lived near the beach and didn't have money to build a traditional house, with bricks and cement, or similar materials, decided to use PET bottles... he filled the bottles with sand from the beach and used cement as you would with bricks... the whole house was built like that... walls were thick and strong, insulated...so it wasn't hot in the house...near the beach where he had a stand to sell his food to tourists... how cool is that!? also saw a house in the Amazon area where floods are a constant when the rivers fill up with the rain... the house was a float made of PET bottles.... a hotel, with individual cabins built on PET bottles so tourists could come and experience life on the river...fish from the porch or just relax and enjoy the flow of the river!


Well... this blog is here with some interesting ideas, ideas to work with children and instill the idea of respecting our planet and natural resources!


Have fun making a shopping bag !


RENOVA - Ecologia & Arte

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ornamental Mandala

I feel totally lost with this addition, remodeling, renovation...or whatever it is that's happening to my house! What was supposed to be a 3 weeks job has already turned into 3 months... and I can see spending Christmas in this mess, no one deserves this!

It has drained me of all the energy and enthusiasm for all my projects have had to be put on hold, and haven't progressed much since all of this, even blogging hasn't been possible....I can't think or feel inspired with all this dust and mess around!

Also this probably will be the saddest Christmas ever...and so I love this season, for what it represents to the Christian world and for the traditions and memories of family gatherings. It is a very sad thing when there is a riff in a family, even more so when that it happens in the bosom of your own family and that's what has just happened for us! A much loved son who has just gotten married, and who after such an event decided that his own family is not good enough and decides to cut himself off it...his family now is his new wife and all else that came before is non-existent. Needless to say that I am broken heart... a son who was always loved and cherished and for whom many sacrifices were made and many dreams put aside!
So what is left for me to do is to hope and pray that maybe, just maybe, he will come around... the feeling I am left with is of a great loss similar to that of mourning someone's death!
So indeed it will be a very sad Christmas.

But on lighter note, for I refuse to well in self pity and sorrow, I have taken up crocheting quite a lot, since it is something I can just sit and do...regardless of the mess around!

Besides the fact that crochet items are high in fashion now, and it lends itself to so many projects and ideas, it doesn't require any special tools or space to be worked plus it requires little investment...
And what a surprise, it has been great therapy, it soothes me and takes my mind of this ugly mess, and I find myself enjoying it quite a lot (haven't done much with it in years)... need to take some pictures to post my projects, but in the meantime I found this tutorial on a pattern I have been seeing a lot lately and it is just beautiful...it has great effect with the changes in color.... so here is a link for the tutorial...

I think that those of you who like this craft will... Enjoy it!

“Ornamental” Pot Holders! | Crochet with Raymond

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ruffled� | Casual City Hall Handmade Pastel Oregon Fall Wedding

Ruffled� | Casual City Hall Handmade Pastel Oregon Fall Wedding

Ruffled� | A wedding blog for vintage, indie and DIY brides

With wedding plans in order,  my future daughter shared this link... what a blessing to be a part of the planning and to have the visual of life in motion...

This blog has lots and lots ideas for a country, outside, nature lovers wedding planning....so many it actually gets to be a tough one...to decide on one things, to narrow down possibilities, and yet how great it is to be able to choose and decide!

Go in for a visit and enjoy!

PS... still slow as a snail in my building renovation...gosh!!! hate to think that I will be in this mess for Christmas!  can't do a thing...it is dirty and dusty ....


Ruffled� | A wedding blog for vintage, indie and DIY brides

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

flowers


DIY Bodega Flowers with Blossom & Branch � 100 Layer Cake

DIY Bodega Flowers with Blossom & Branch � 100 Layer Cake

a nice tuto on flower arrangement!

DIY Bodega Flowers with Blossom & Branch � 100 Layer Cake

Tis the Season to Be Jolly

So we are in December again, wow!! Where did time went to!?  Here we are at another season to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, for those of us who are Christians.
This has always been my favorite time of the year!... decorating and preparing for the times we spend in family, when most make an effort to be together!

Family is what comes to my mind, memories of special times spent together! of loving fun and activity, of comings and goings, each involved in being family. Taking care of one another, of supporting one another!
Some get lost along the way though, family becomes a burden or something not to bother with! Well such is with lots of families...it really saddens me, people suffer and yet do not give in or give out!!
The message is clear, we are to love one another, for better and for worse, we are to be there for each other!

After so many years Christmas always renews in me the desire to be better than I was last year! To work on being an updated person, more loving, forgiving, humble, accepting!

As we prepare for the grand opportunity let's rejoice in Him !

On another note my remodeling is going really slow....it was supposed to be done by now... it's frustrating my plans for Christmas and a bazaar I was planing on!  My house is a MESS, can't keep it clean with the men working here everyday, and now to complicate things worse, it's rainy reason...oh well...!!have to live with live with it!!
I haven't had time to blog much either, and so many of you doing so many beautiful things!

But helping with my future daughter in law wedding plans is fun...we are talking of dresses and things and I found a beautiful blog on planning for a wedding,,, Jane Austen like..beautiful I love the fashion of those days, and the flowing of soft fabrics and ribbons and little details!...so is your planning on something like that this is a place to be inspired by and for many great ideas!

http://www.100layercake.com/blog/archives/4857

their recent post is making a flower bouquet or arrangement... good for a wedding of for any festivity... Christmas for example !










Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tis a Time to Be Thankful

It isn't a thing to celebrate Thanksgiving in Brazil, although we do have the day in the calendar!  But after living in the States for a long time, this is a holiday I've learned to appreciate.  Especially because there isn't the pressure of gifts or shopping around.  It is almost more Christmasy then Christmas itself.  It is a time for family and gathering, for being thankful for all that we have been blessed with!  And we all have something to be thankful for!...
I'm thankful for family and friends, the atonement of Jesus Christ, for freedom and the liberty we can enjoy in this part of the world, for the abundance of sun and rain, for the abundance of resources we all blessed with, for the beauty of nature I can enjoy around me... all the lush vegetation and beautiful flowers in the midst of which I can feel closer to heaven and feel the loving hand of God!

I don't know how many of you celebrate Thanksgiving, and certainly many are not  even Christians... but I am also thankful for diversity and wish you a good thanksgiving as well... to whatever you might be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

and work is still going on

Doing things, innovating and creating are all things I love doing, but sometimes I wish I could have the strength of men on order to be able to do it all myself... but I think this is a universal thing... construction workers are all in a class of itself; they work whatever way they want... and we depend on them.  Something that was supposed to last 3 weeks is going on 3 almost months now!  My house is a mess, Christmas is around the corner, and we are not finished!  Hopefully it will be finished by the end of the month!
















Having a bigger kitchen and living area altogether in one environment is worth it though!

Soon after it's finished comes the painting and cleaning up ... then we can think of Christmas...

I will take some more pictures today, after the men leave... windows are being put...and the roof has been all aligned...we should be covered tomorrow... with raining season arriving this is a must #1 priority!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

as life goes!

This last month has been stressful, this year has been very stressful, so much has happened and there has been a lot of pain and disappointment!  Bur I am trying to develop the resilience quality of not letting these challenges to overcome and take over my strength and mark me for life...it will take awhile to be over it all, but with faith and hope I keep treading on and it will bring experience!

Therefore, many things didn't go as well as I had anticipated, but as the new year approaches I am planing to be more organized and not let myself be so affected by such things again!  Blogging world is wonderful and it has helped me in putting things into perspective.  It hasn't been but nearly 6 months and I have been everywhere and visited so many of you being truly enchanted with the wealth of creativity and beauty all around, people, places and things.

As Thanksgiving approaches I am reminded of the many things I am obliged to be thankful for!  I stand amazed for all the blessings poured down from heaven, for the comfort and love bestowed from up above.  Everyone  I have encountered along the way, even those who caused some grievances have contributed to my growth as I've pondered and prayed about these challenges.

As we prepare for celebrating my favorite season of the year, Christmas, It is my wish that we may all find the peace and happiness that we can enjoy in the service of our fellowmen, thus rendering reverence and adoring Our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

Let's celebrate life, families, friends, opportunities to learn and grow, serve and help one another!

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

25 de março Bon Marche

 
We have here in São Paulo city the best shopping experience in this one street called 
 25 de março-- March 25th--- 
it was the downtown business area established in the turn of the century in the 1900 by immigrants who took up the trading business after they arrived in Brazil-- Lebanese, Turcs, Jews, Syrians.... 
all very good in the textile, notions, and the likes!
 The business is now well established, and it is the stage of daily journeys for people from all over Brazil.  Everybody buys there and take the products to be sold in their local businesses.    Well... I am not immune to it at all... I go bonkers when I am there, I want to buy everything !!!!!

Last week I was there and here are some of the things I acquired for preparing for the coming holidays!






I am sorry I forgot to take my camera; it is such a peculiar, active and vibrant place with lots of people in the streets... you can barely walk in the streets, the stores are always full; and if you want to have an enjoyable shopping experience it is necessary to arrive very early before the crowds fall in! And let me tell you in the summer it is an excruciating  experience... the stores get very hot... no cooling system is enough in full crowded stores.... You can find anything you want!!







house remodeling

the roof is being layed out a bit higher than the veranda's
 old windows and doors found to fit just right were we needed them--still need some prepping!
 doors frames to be used as window frames and railway ties as colunms
 I found these glass blocks that weren't even used up...will make a perfect light wall in the kitchen

 old windows that will be used in the kitchen as well
 the kitchen will have a bay window to make better use of day light as well

 closing up the veranda with a sliding door and glass in the top part, also to have better lighting
I m really hoping this will be done and finished in 2 weeks... we need to be finished and be ready for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Portuguese in England

This is a beautiful site and a beautiful blogger... very creative and charming...I truly enjoy her blog...pay her a visit!

chez moi


I have sweet memories of childhood traditions and family gatherings and gifts shared! 
Life sometimes hands us some hard deals and painful moments! And this year this is it for me!
I haven't had my mind free to work on the typical things os the season,
and so haven't blogged much, but this shall too pass.
I have so many projects I am working on... set aside for now... but tomorrow is a new day and I hope for new strength and courage, as I have always hoped and celebrated a new day as a chance for a new beginning!
I read this article in my church magazine, it is about forgiveness! I would like to share it with you because I think it it may help others in similar situation...someone posted on facebook yesterday...resentment is like a poison you take hoping the other would die... and also a
 deep hurt made by someone you love... you don't hold resentment, but a deep hurt for injustice made, may also poison our soul just as well!
So as I read this article I was reminded of the injustice made to our Savior! and nevertheless He was able to forgive!
As you and I prepare for this wonderful season may we be reminded of the reason we celebrate it.. The birth of Him who is Our Lord and Savior, by whom all things are made possible and peace can be in our heart!
This is a long post, by I hope you enjoy the reading...This is to me is a way to purge the pain in my heart, but sure as I know the sun will come up tomorrow I am sure that He can take away my pain and give me peace and wisdom as I deal with a great loss!

By Bishop Keith B. McMullin
Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
May 2010 
Our Path of Duty

Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence. It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous.
This is a troubled world. Discord and disaster are everywhere. It sometimes feels as though mankind itself may be hanging in the balance.
Foreshadowing our day, the Lord said, “The heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve.”1 We should take great comfort in this promise.
Though disasters completely disrupt “the even tenor of [our ways],”2 they do not have to leave our lives for- ever shattered. They can “stir [us] up in remembrance,”3 “awaken [us] to a sense of [our] duty to God,”4 and keep us “in the path of [our] duty.”5


In Holland during World War II, the Casper ten Boom family used their home as a hiding place for those hunted by the Nazis. This was their way of living out their Christian faith. Four members of the family lost their lives for providing this refuge. Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie spent horrific months in the infamous Ravensbrück concentration camp. Betsie died there—Corrie survived.
In Ravensbrück, Corrie and Betsie learned that God helps us to forgive. Following the war, Corrie was determined to share this message. On one occasion, she had just spoken to a group of people in Germany suffering from the ravages of war. Her message was “God forgives.” It was then that Corrie ten Boom’s faithfulness brought forth its blessing.
A man approached her. She recognized him as one of the cruelest guards in the camp. “You mentioned Ravensbrück in your talk,” he said. “I was a guard there. . . . But since that time, . . . I have become a Christian.”   He explained that he had sought God’s forgiveness for the cruel things he had done. He extended his hand and asked, “Will you forgive me?”
Corrie ten Boom then said: “It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.
“. . . The message that God forgives has a . . . condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. . . .
“. . . ‘Help me!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’
“. . . Woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. As I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.
“ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart.’
“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then.”6









For those who eschew evil and live good lives, who strive for a brighter day and keep the commandments of God, things can get better and better even in the face of tragedy. The Savior showed us the way. From Gethsemane, the cross, and the tomb, He rose triumphant, bringing life and hope to us all. He bids us, “Come, follow me.”7

President Thomas S. Monson has counseled:
“If we are to walk with head held high, we must make our contribution to life. If we are to fulfill our destiny and return to live with our Father in Heaven, we must keep His commandments and pattern our lives after the Savior. By so doing, we will not only achieve our goal of eternal life, but we will also leave the world richer and better than it would have been had we not lived and performed our duties.”8


In the Holy Bible are these inspired words: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”9

What Is This Thing Called Duty?

The duty of which I speak is what
we are expected to do and to be. It is a moral imperative summoning forth from individuals and communities that which is right, true, and honorable. Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence. It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous. It is not reserved to the mighty or high in station but instead rests on a foundation of personal responsibility, integrity, and courage. Doing one’s duty is a manifestation of one’s faith.
President Monson said of it: “I love and cherish the noble word duty.”10
For members of the Church of Jesus Christ, our path of duty is keeping our covenants in daily life.

To Whom and to What Are We Duty Bound?

First, our path of duty is to God, our Eternal Father. He is the author of the plan of salvation, “the framer of heaven and earth,” the creator of Adam and Eve.11 He is the fountain of truth,12 the embodiment of love,13 and the reason there is redemption through Christ.14
Said President Joseph F. Smith: “All that we have comes from [God]. . . . In and of ourselves we are but a lifeless lump of clay. Life, intelligence, wisdom, judgment, power to reason, all are the gifts of God to the children of men. He gives us our physical strength as well as our mental powers. . . . We should honor God with our intelligence, with our strength, with our understanding, with our wisdom, and with all the power that we possess. We should seek to do good in the world. This is our duty.”15
One cannot do his or her duty to God the Father without doing likewise
to the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. To revere one requires reverence for the other, for the Father has appointed that it is only in and through the name of Christ that one can completely fulfill this dutiful charge.16 He is our Exemplar, our Redeemer, and our King.
As men and women and boys and girls do their duty to God, they feel impelled to do their duty to one another, to their family, to their church and nation, to all things entrusted to their care. They are duty bound to magnify their talents and to be a law-abiding, good people. They become humble, submissive, and easily entreated. Temperance conquers indulgence; obedience guides their diligence. Peace distills upon them. Citizens become loyal, communities become benevolent, and neighbors become friends. The God of heaven is pleased, the earth is pacified, and this world becomes a better place.17

How Do We Know Our Path of Duty in the Midst of Crisis?

We pray! It is everyone’s sure way to know; it is everyone’s lifeline to heaven. Said the Apostle Peter, “The eyes of the Lord are over the righ- teous, and his ears are open unto their prayers.”18
Humble, sincere, inspired prayer makes available to each of us the divine guidance we so desperately need. Brigham Young counseled, “At times, men are perplexed and full of care and trouble . . . ; yet our judgment teaches us that it is our duty to pray.”19
Jesus taught:
“Ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; . . .
“Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; . . .
“Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.”20
For prayers to be efficacious, they must be in harmony with the plan of heaven.
The prayer of faith bears fruit when such harmony exists, and this harmony exists when prayers are inspired by the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit manifests what our petitions should be.21
Absent this inspired guidance, we are inclined to “ask amiss,”22 to seek only our will and not “Thy will.”23
It is as important to be guided by the Holy Spirit while praying as it is to be enlightened by that same Spirit while receiving an answer to prayer. Such prayer brings forth the blessings of heaven because our Father “knoweth what things [we] have need of, before [we] ask him,”24 and He answers every sincere prayer. Ultimately, it is the Father and the Son who promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”25
I bear my witness that our path of duty is clearly marked by an undivided faith and belief in God, the
Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the power of prayer. This path is to be traveled by all of God’s children who love Him and desire to keep His commandments.

For the young, it leads to personal achievement and preparation; 
for adults, it leads to renewed faith and resolve; 
for the older generation, it leads to perspective and endurance in righteousness to the end. 

It equips every faithful traveler with the strength of the Lord, protects him from the evils of the day, and endows him with the knowledge that “the conclusion of the whole matter [is to] Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”26 In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. ■


NOTES
1. Moses 7:61; emphasis added. 2. Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed.
(1939), 156. 3. Mosiah 1:17. 4. Alma 7:22. 5. Helaman 15:5. 6. Corrie ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord
(1974), 54–55. 7. Luke 18:22. 8. Thomas S. Monson, used with permission. 9. Ecclesiastes 12:13; emphasis added.
10. Thomas S. Monson, “Duty Calls,” Ensign, May 1996, 43.
11. See Doctrine and Covenants 20:17–19. 12. See Doctrine and Covenants 93:36. 13. See 1 John 4:8. 14. See John 3:16; Helaman 5:10–11.
15. Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1899, 70; emphasis added.
16. See Moroni 10:32–33; Doctrine and Covenants 59:5.
17. See Alma 7:23, 27. 18. 1 Peter 3:12. 19. Teachings of Presidents of the Church:
Brigham Young (1997), 45; emphasis
added. 20. 3 Nephi 18:18–19, 21. 21. See Doctrine and Covenants 50:29–30. 22. James 4:3. 23. Matthew 6:10. 24. Matthew 6:8. 25. Matthew 7:7; see also Joseph Smith
Translation, Matthew 7:12–13, in Bible
appendix. 26. Ecclesiastes 12:13; emphasis added.

The markings are mine, as these were things that really moved me to be more determined in doing my duty!

I wish you all to abound in the love of Him whom can truly make us free!   Merry Christmas to all!










couldn't catch it well from the distance, but he is our constant visitor, Mr Woodpecker, at his best pecking!


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