Trials

Do More Than Just Exist. . . .

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Do More Than Just Exist

Today, 17 October 2015, is my 57th birthday. Where have the years gone? Am I really that old?

When I was born at 10:17 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, 17 October 1958, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States. It is hard to believe that in the span of my short life, I have witnessed the election and administration of 10 presidents.

I was born in what was then known as the town of Salisbury, Maryland. I remember as a boy when out with my parents riding in the car going to different places, people would stop and ask them where Salisbury was, and my parents would always reply, “You just drove through it!” Today Salisbury is a major city on the Delmarva Peninsula. The hospital where I was born was known simply as the Salisbury Hospital. It has long since been remodeled into what is now the Salisbury Regional Medical Center. When I started school in 1963 at the age of 5, I attended an all Black elementary school. I would not experience integration of public schools until I was in high school and was bused across town to attend one of the local high schools.

In the same year that I started school, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, 22 November 1963, in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. I can still recall watching his funeral procession on television, and the image of John Jr. saluting his father’s flag-draped casket as it passed by. The Civil Rights Movement was still at the forefront of the news, and just three short months before the assassination of President Kennedy, on 28 August 1963, America was listening to Civil Rights activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his timeless “I Have A Dream” speech to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. In his immortal speech which became a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King called for an end to racism in the United States. I would have never imagined that at the young age of 9,  on 4 April 1968, I would hear the television announcer say that Martin Luther King, Jr., at the age of 39, had been shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:05PM that evening. I also remember watching his funeral services on television, and the image of his endearing wife, Coretta Scott King, and their young children.

Yes, many things have changed since 17 October 1958, but some things have also remained the same on many levels. What I have admired about the people aforementioned, as well as other greats that have influenced my young life is that none of them lived their life just to be living it. Each of them worked hard to make even a small difference and to make the world a better place for everyone to live in. It is because of that inspiration that at the start of another year of life, I have decided to adopt the following as a new motto: “Anima plus est quam esse diem. Verum cum cupiam vivere incipiat qualitercumque porrexeris plenam potentiam quique ante destinatum est.” (Translation: Life is more than just existing from day-to-day. You truly begin to live when you yearn to reach for your full potential and become who you were meant to be.) I hope that you too will resolve to do more than just exist.

Is it any wonder?

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Chaotic World

Is it any wonder?

Our world is rapidly spinning out of control on a downward spiral of moral decay. With all the immoral and inhumane acts that plague our societies at this daunting hour, and with so many good hearten people who have chosen to sit by and just watch things “take their course” without interacting and standing up for what is right, is it any wonder that our world is in the shape that it is in?

A great revolution is taking place, and now is not the time to slumber nor sleep, but now is the time to become anxiously engaged and answer the call to arms to defend those things which we know to be right, moral, decent, and humane. It starts within the four walls of our homes as we fight to defend the sanctity of the central core of the society – the FAMILY. If that foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do?

When I watch local news broadcast or read some of the articles in the local newspapers or on the internet, and I learn of some of the horrific things that are taking place in our world today, I cannot help but wonder if we are rapidly returning to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, or are we already there?

When I was a boy growing up it seemed that such words as honesty, integrity, morality, decency, and family all had special meaning. My parents did not have to worry about what I was watching on television because the programs that were shown had the same values that they taught us in the home. A family show was exactly that – a family show, with emphasis on FAMILY.

Today even the “family shows” contain sexual undertones in their scripts. What was once considered taboo and would have never been shown on live television is now the highlight of a lot of television shows. At any time of the day or night one can turn on their television and see programs that undermine the sanctity of the family unit by supporting such things as premarital relationships, alternative lifestyle relationships, and sexual innuendos that leave nothing to the imagination. All the while these things are being portrayed as if they are or should be accepted as the social norm, and those who oppose such things are the ones who are branded as social misfits or socially abnormal.

Television, however, is not the only media that has become grossly infected by the immorality of our society. Notice how many ratings we have on movies today to filter the age group that should be allowed to see the movies that are produced. With that, there are some of us with inquiring minds who would like to know how Hollywood can justify putting a child in a movie that the child is not allowed to go to the theater and watch because he is underage. There appears to be some double standards involved. One could suppose that the child actor helps to bring in the ratings and cash flow for the movie that is being produced, and so it is alright to have him or her on the set to shoot certain scenes and then have him or her leave when other scenes are being shot. It is like putting the child into a pit full of poisonous snakes and snatching him out just as one of them is about to strike and inject its deadly venom. The attitude is that the child did not get bit so all is well.

The music industry has also contributed to the immoral behaviors that are taking place in our society today. I believe that parents need to be a little more proactive and pay stricter attention to some of the lyrics that their children listen to and the messages that certain songs send out. I am not advocating that we should only listen to Church hymns, but certainly we should be a little more discerning in our music choice.

We have fast become a society of people who lives by the philosophy that, “Everyone is doing it so it must be alright.” With that mentality, one could assume that if everyone were jumping off a high tower into freezing cold water, and there was a person who was afraid of heights or did not know how to swim; to be a part of the “normal” crowd that person should just jump anyway and hope for the best. How insane is that?

We are living in a day when what was once considered undeniably wrong is now considered totally acceptable, and that which has always been considered acceptable is now considered something to do only if it feels right, or even in some cases is considered an insane way of thinking or doing things. The things that once seared our conscience have become things that we tend to overlook or dismiss completely. I ask again in all sincerity, is it any wonder that our world is in the shape that it is in?

When I was a boy, couples on TV never slept together in the same bed, and the idea of walking around half-clothed or totally nude, or having open sex acts would have never been heard of. Now, you can turn on the TV to almost any channel and almost expect to see such things. The sad commentary is that parents allow their children to watch those things without realizing the impression that it makes on their young minds. Do parents not realize that whatever a young child sees, or hears for that matter, is what he will try to imitate?

And it is not only what children watch on television, see in movies, or learn from the lyrics of a song that influences them, but the behaviors that they see in their own homes also have a very strong influence on them. My parents would have never walked around the house half-dressed or totally nude in front of their children, and we were not allowed to run around half-dressed or nude either. We were taught to have respect for our bodies, and to have respect for others. Yet there are some families in the world that believe living the nudist lifestyle is a lifestyle that should be accepted by society. These days you can also walk into the local grocery store and see more than one should, or just look at some of the children that walk down the streets and notice the way their parents allow them to dress.

Is it any wonder that sex crimes are on the rise today? Is it any wonder that the number of unwed teenage pregnancies is higher than it has ever been? Is it any wonder that it seems with each passing generation, our children are becoming more sexually active at younger ages, and are “experimenting” with sex with people of the opposite or same gender – of the same age group, or sometimes even older? Is it any wonder?

Scriptures teach us that we are to be in the world, but not of the world. That does not mean that we should hibernate or go and bury our heads in the sand to avoid being influenced by the wickedness of the world, rather we need to be beacons of shining light to be the most positive influence that we can be on the world. There is indeed a vast difference in being influenced by the world, and influencing the world. We have to live in the world, but we do not have to frolic and play on its dangerous playgrounds and entertain its foolish follies.

In so many ways we are heading back to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is no wonder that God said that He would never destroy the world again by a flood, but next time the fire!

 

 

Be Bold, Be Courageous, Be Strong

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Be Strong, Be Bold, Be Courageous
Mary Anne Radmacher – Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow. 

Andrew Jackson – One man with courage makes a majority. 

I would like to take just a few minutes to address the youth of the world – those who are destined to someday be great leaders, and  who will make their ineradicable mark upon the world through their ingenuity, intellectualism, influence, and zealousness. If there were but one message that I could impart to the youth, it would be simply this – Be Bold, Be Courageous, Be Strong.

Webster defines the word “courage” as the ability to conquer fear. The word “bold” is defined as courageous. Therefore, one who has courage is also bold. Theodore Roosevelt once said:

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

Joseph F. Smith, the sixth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught:

After we have done all we could do for the cause of truth, and withstood the evil that men have brought upon us, and we have been overwhelmed by their wrongs, it is still our duty to stand. We cannot give up. We must not lie down. Great causes are not won in a single generation. To stand firm in the face of overwhelming opposition, when you have done all you can, is the courage of faith. The courage of faith is the courage of progress. Men who possess that divine quality go on; they are not permitted to stand still if they would. They are not simply the creatures of their own power and wisdom; they are the instrumentality of a higher law and divine purpose (Gospel Doctrine, p. 119).

As you journey down the highways of life you will without a doubt encounter obstacles along the way. Some of these obstacles may seem insurmountable, but take heart, for you will overcome them. In order for you to overcome the obstacles that you will face, you will be required to have courage. Courage to make decisions – sometimes at a moment’s notice. Courage to say yes. Courage to say no. Courage to be able to stand in the face of adversity for that which you know to be right, even when being right means being unpopular. No matter what the consequences, you must always have the moral courage to stand your ground for what you know to be the truth. Don’t give in or compromise to be friends with those who you know are wrong. President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval” (Ensign, Thomas S. Monson, “Courage Counts,” November 1986, p.41). If your friends laugh at you, ridicule you, despise or even reject you, take heart, be courageous and STAND. And having done all as the Apostle Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 6:13STAND. Remember, even the Savior Himself was mocked, jeered, ridiculed, spat upon, and rejected.

When I think of being courageous, I am reminded of such stories in the scriptures as the account of Daniel whose very name means “God is my judge.” In Daniel 2, you will recall that king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that disturbed him greatly. He called upon the magicians, astrologers, and the Chaldeans to recall and interpret the dream or else they would be put to death. None of them were able to fulfill the king’s commands. This made him furious and he commanded that all of the wise men of Babylon were to be destroyed. Daniel, who is in prison at this time, asks that he might be given a little time and he would show the king the interpretation of his dream. The secret of the king’s dream is revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Daniel goes in before the king, recalls, and interprets the dream. Because of Daniel’s courage, the wise men of Babylon were saved from execution, the king’s dream was interpreted, and Daniel was rewarded with great gifts and was made ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon. Daniel’s three companions, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were also given charge over the affairs of the province of Babylon.

I also think of the courage and boldness of those three Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who in spite of the king’s command to bow down and worship the golden image that he had created, stood firm for what they knew was the right thing to do, even if it meant death in the fiery furnace. The king ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than normal. Because of the intensity of the heat, the men that put the three Hebrew children into the furnace perished. However, because of their great courage, boldness, and trust that God would deliver them from their situation, they were unharmed by the flames. Not even the hair on their heads was singed, nor were their clothes burned. The king saw what great faith these three Hebrew children had, issued a decree that anyone who spoke against the God of the Hebrew children would be destroyed, and the three were promoted in the province of Babylon. (See Daniel 3)

I am also reminded of the incident that occurred at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton, Colorado on 24 February 2010. I am sure that most of you can recall the events that took place on that dreadful day. During that ordeal the perpetrators started taunting some of the kids by asking them if they believed in God. One brave girl stood up and said, “I believe in Jesus!” She was immediately gunned down in cold blood for her faith. I cannot help but wonder how many of us would have been that courageous, that bold, if we were the ones in that same situation. Her death was indeed tragic, but her testimony was everlasting. The scriptures warn us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). You may never have to deal with situations quite like these, but there will be many situations that you will face that will require you to be both courageous and bold.

You are going to face many challenges in life. There will be times when you are tasked to do some things that may seem impossible for you to do, or that go against the grain of your moral fiber. In your own limited strength and wisdom, those tasks may very well be impossible for you to accomplish, but just remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). There is no situation that you may find yourself in, no crisis that may come your way, no heartache that you may bear, no trial that you may face, no obstacle that you may have to overcome, that Christ will not give you the strength to endure if you will but put your full trust in Him and be obedient to His commands and His will for your lives.

May I conclude my remarks with the words of the Apostle Paul as recorded in Ephesians 6:10-18:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

My humble prayer for you this day is that you will grow to be courageous, bold and strong in the Lord. I also pray that you will “Fight the good fight, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12). For “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:38).

Onward with Courage

 

 

Is there anything too hard for the Lord?

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Beautiful Stream

A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. – Song of Solomon 4:15

 

From time to time I pause to reflect upon the events that have taken place as this pilgrim continues on his journey through life. As I have traversed the hills and the byways there have indeed been many wonderful mountain top experiences, but there have also been some down in the valley experiences as well.

The terrain upon which I have traveled has at times been smooth and easy to navigate, but at other times it has been extremely rocky and filled with obstacles that I have had to overcome to continue on my pilgrimage. Indeed at times I have enjoyed precious moments when I have had opportunity to rest for a bit from my travels as I have sat down in luscious green pastures. However, with the sweet, oftentimes comes the bitter, and at times I have traveled through some hot, dry, and dusty desserts seeking even just a cup of cool water to quench my dying thirst and cool shade to take shelter from the sweltering heat.

As I reflect upon these things I am reminded that no matter how rough the journey may seem at times, the Lord has been and continues to be right there beside me to guide my footsteps along the way. In times of loneliness and despair,  He is always there to comfort me. In the darkest of nights, He is my Guiding Star. When I grow tired and weary, He is there to give me rest and to carry me. Though the way may seem hard and at times I feel that I cannot go one more mile, I am ever reminded that there is absolutely nothing that is too hard for the Lord.

To us, who are mere mortals, oftentimes what lays before us seems to be mountains of impossibilities. With our human mind which is finite, and with our mortal vision, there are things which seem to us to be impossible to do. In our own mind and strength this is indeed the reality of the situation. And so, many times we are left with a feeling of defeat because in our mind’s eye, the tasks before us are too hard for us to master and to conquer.

Of a surety, the Lord’s ways are not our ways. His mind is infinite and His vision expands beyond the widest horizon. What may seem to be too hard for us, seems as mere insignificance to Him. There is absolutely nothing that He cannot do, except fail. There is nothing that is impossible or too hard for Him.

To truly be at a success at what we do in this life, we must take our focus off of what we believe to be impossibilities, and place our full and complete trust in Him who is able to make supposed impossibilities – living realities. Yes, all things are possible if we only believe. For again I say, there is absolutely nothing that is too hard for the Lord.

We Are Not Lone Soldiers

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Lone Soldier

Don’t ever think that you are a lone soldier on the battlefield in the midst of a war with the enemy encircling your camp, the ammunition supply almost depleted, and communications down. Soldiers are never sent into battle alone. They always have other soldiers in front of them, behind them, and fighting right beside them. Help is never far away.

Likewise, we may at times feel that we are all alone and that no one has ever experienced some of the same things that we have experienced or are experiencing in life, but rest assured that is not necessarily the case. No matter how rough and arduous our road may seem, it is a guarantee that there is someone, somewhere, whose road is a lot rougher and arduous to travel than our own.

We need not go through life thinking that we must fight the battle alone. God has promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us, thus we are never alone. In the heat of the battle, when it seems that all hope is gone, and there is no one whom we can call on for help, He is our very present help in time of trouble, and He will send His angels to protect us from the front, from the rear, and to walk right beside us. The communication lines between us and Him are always open. Let us always remember that the battle is not ours, but the Lord’s.

 

Someone Special . . . .In Our Father’s Eyes

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Maya Angelou Quote

God never intended for any of us to be someone’s footstool for them to rest their feet upon, or a door mat for others to wipe their feet on. He also never intended for any of us to be someone’s punching bag to be punched and kicked about when the need to release pent-up frustration and anger arises. Furthermore, He never intended for any of us to be the object of, or the subject of, constant undue ridicule and criticism.

Each of us are special sons and daughters in our Heavenly Father’s eyes. There is not one person who is any more special than another. Our Heavenly Father loves all of His children the same – equally and unconditionally. His love for us is not based on the color of our skin, religious beliefs, religious affiliations, culture, background, or even our sexual orientation. It does not matter to Him if we are married, widowed, single, divorced,  rich, or poor. All of us are special and precious in His sight.

Albert Einstein Quote

How sad it is that there are people in the world who always seem to want to treat others as being beneath them. These are those who live under the misconception that the world revolves around them. They think that the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening upon them, and so in their mind’s eye they are the only ones that really matter. Everyone else as far as they are concerned are mere insignificant beings. Consequently, they feel that they are the lords and masters and everyone should bow before them as lowly servants. They believe that they can do and say whatever they want, when they want, and treat others any way that they want, and no one should say or do anything about it less their actions become misconstrued as an act of treason or insubordination.

Treat Myself Better

Sadder still is that there are many wonderful people in this world who have allowed themselves to be literally robbed of their dignity and self-worth because daily they live under the tyrannical reminder from those who think of themselves as being better than they, that at best they are hopeless and unworthy to be treated any differently. Though these precious souls may not agree with the way that they are treated, they, for whatever reasons, choose to retreat to being silent and endure such harassment. Some are simply too kind hearten, loving, and caring people to ever want to retaliate in any way or otherwise voice their anger and frustration. And so, in utter desolation, they stay the often silent victims of those who continually take their kindness as a sign of weakness.

We are all someone special. Each of us are a precious soul of worth. As such every one of us is entitled to be treated with dignity, respect, and self-worth. No one should ever be left feeling that they are inferior to another. No one should ever feel that there is another who is master over him, for we have only one true Master – the Lord Jesus Christ – the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. And it is at His name that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He alone is LORD!

If we find that we are the victim of maltreatment that does not automatically give us a poetic license to become vindictive towards our offenders. Instead we need to take a step back for a moment, and then move forward to handle the situation in such a way that a resolution can be reached in a peaceable and sensible way without leaving any of those involved in the conflict feeling lonely, rejected, or otherwise feeling inferior when compared to the others. Let the conflict be resolved with the full understanding of all concerned that we are all indeed someone special, so let us treat each other so.

 

A Letter of Self-Reflection

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Writing a Letter

This is a different type of post in that what you are about to read is a personal letter of self-reflection which was written by guest writer, Karlyn Kay Stebbins. I want to personally thank her for allowing “Morsels of Bread” to share this letter with our audience. It is hoped that this letter will help someone who may be going through a struggle in life at this time to never give up, or give in, but to keep pressing forward. There is light at the end of a seemingly long and dark tunnel.

Karlyn’s Introduction to the Letter You are About to Read:

I had a tumultuous childhood. My very first memory is being three years old and my father molesting me. It got increasingly worse as the years went by. By the age of six, my father put me into a child pornography network, and by the time I was fourteen years old, he sold me to a pimp. I continued in that lifestyle until seven years ago when I ended up in jail weighing only eighty-seven pounds. Throughout the entire ordeal, I have been close to death’s door many times. I knew that if I didn’t turn my life around I would finally end up dead. In the last seven years, I have gotten an education and graduated with a double major and minor. I was also baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of the latter-day Saints on 26 March 2011. My life is slowly is coming together in God’s time.

Karlyn’s Letter Exactly as She Wrote It:

Dear Karlyn,

I know that you hate yourself for what you were forced to do and who and what you became as a result of the drug and prostitution world . You were scandalous and you put up with a lot in your childhood and adulthood. You put up with rape and being stabbed and left for dead and you also witnessed other many murders in your life and felt guilty about it and you suffer from survivors guilt and you carry it around with you to the point of attempting suicide 32 times and pronounced dead on arrival once. You bounced back and came back when you had a choice of dying or coming back. God has given you the same Choice twice and you came back because you know that you have a great and mighty purpose in this life. You have seen Jesus Christ Himself and you have seen Satan yourself so therefore you have seen two spectrum of the coin that’s more then what anybody sees. Instead of looking at your losses focus in on what your purpose is and go find it because it is not feeling like a victim and scared get out of your house and quit imprisoning yourself with other people’s guilt and shame and remorse because it’s not yours to carry! Set yourself free to be just you because you are a very special daughter of a loving God. Keep working hard on yourself and it will surely pay off. Furthermore quit hating yourself and Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have gone through and survived and be proud of who and what you really are and quit trying to please people to feel ok. All of them days are over now and has been for quite awhile so stop tripping yourself up with others nonsense and quit internalizing your predators ideas and the brainwashing that they fed you. You are so much better than that. Free yourself from self hatred and free yourself from others ideas. It doesn’t matter! Stop and give you a fair chance and you is what matters it’s not what others thinks. This is about Karlyn Kay Stebbins and not about what others has told you or done to you but it’s what you can do for yourself and stop hating yourself because your growth and development is slower so what! No one has gone through what you have had to so what about them and comparing yourself to other people and their situation because you are you and your situation is unique like you are so get over feeling like you are less then in fact you are a hero because you survived and beat the odds and still are beating the odds! From today I give myself permission to start loving myself and giving myself a much needed break from others and their ideas and etc,but to go on and keep developing myself and to start taking care of myself and start taking actions to start liking myself because I am a likeable person. The reason why you don’t like yourself is because you feel like you don’t belong but you do so start belonging and liking yourself for you will not regret it.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
March 03,2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

Life’s Various Platforms

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Build Your Life on a Solid Foundation

There are political platforms on which our country stands and bases its principles of governance to support enacted laws. There are also other platforms on which people build their lives such as religion, friends, social media, marriages, and relationships with various people. We put a lot of trust and confidence in various platforms in our lives, but when those platforms begin to collapse, we find that we begin to lose our footing and our safety nets are not as secure as we thought.

The one sure platform or foundation upon which we can build our lives is the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament in 2 Samuel 22:32-34, David exhorts, “For who is God, save the Lord? And who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places.” Hannah, in singing praises to the Lord, exclaimed, “There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2). And David further exclaims, “He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 62:2).

Life is full of constant changes on many levels and platforms. Jesus Christ is Our Rock, and if we anchor our lives to the Rock, the strong winds of adversity that begin to blow, or the storms that begin to rage cannot shake us. Popular opinions will have no immediate effect on the decisions that we make. And as we face day-to-day challenges, we will not find ourselves always having to pull ourselves up from the ashes and brush away the rubble from platforms which have their foundations built upon the sand, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:27).

In my life I have stood on various platforms and have been shaken because of the many uncertainties connected with them. However, there are no uncertainties with the Lord Jesus Christ. For, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

Until we meet again friends, keep your eye on the prize!

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
February 21, 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

Storms in Life

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The Storms of Life

We all face those times in our lives when the dark storm clouds seem to roll on for an eternity, the clap of the accompanying thunder is ever deafening, and the brilliant lightning is blinding. There are those times in each of our lives when it seems that the storms will never dissipate and the sun will never shine again leaving us feeling melancholy and forlorn.

I have been through many storms in my life in which I could not apprehend the slightest possible way that I could embrace any sense of serenity to return some type of normalcy to my life. It has always been during those moments in my life that the gale force winds of adversity tend to rock my foundation and alter my course causing utter turmoil, chaos, and confusion. Nevertheless, through it all, I am constantly reminded that our Heavenly Father is not the author of chaos and confusion. He is a God of peace and order. He is El Shaddai, “God Almighty.” He is El Elyon, “the Most High God.” He is El Roi, “the God Who Sees.” And He is also El Yisrael, “the God of Israel.”

Some of you are swimming upstream against the current at this very moment, or the turbulent waves of life are tossing your ship hither and yon , and there are storm clouds overhead, but take heart in knowing that He has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, and He will never give us any more than we can possibly bear. The Psalmist declares in Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

The Psalmist further exhorts in Psalm 46:1-7:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

So, even though there are times when we feel that there is no hope for the storms of life that we are facing (economic challenges, emotional challenges, physical or spiritual challenges), we can put our total faith and trust in Him, knowing that He is Immanuel (God With Us), and that we never have to face any storm or walk alone in this life.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
February 21,2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.

The Wayward Child of God

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How to Pray for a Wayward Child

There has been something placed upon my heart. When you are a parent you want the best for your children. You do your best to teach them good morals and standards so that they can live a life that is pleasing to their Heavenly Father. You hope that what you teach them in the days of their youth will carry with them into their adult years. Sometimes, however, it may not seem as though the gospel lessons that you taught while doing your best to raise them in a Godly home with structure, morals, and standards has any positive influence in their lives. And so, as a parent you feel devastated and ask yourself, “Why would my son or daughter choose the path that they are on when I spent so much time teaching them the right way to go?” You find yourself in despair over the matter and soon begin to feel as though you have in some way failed in your duty as a parent.

There is a verse found in Proverbs 22:6 which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”This verse not only applies to parents in raising their children, but it also applies to each of us as members of the Church because we are all children of God. The Church teaches us Godly principles to live by as we follow Jesus Christ’s commandments and are faithful to the covenants that we have made. When we are disobedient to God’s commandments and deny the covenants that we have made, we deny ourselves great blessings from the Lord. I am a witness of this as I have been a wayward member of the Church, and have found myself being disobedient to God’s commandments and not living the covenants that I have made. I cannot rationalize or prove the things that I have done as being right because they are not. God gave us commandments and covenants for a reason, and if we choose to live contrary to those things which we know are true, we can find ourselves falling into an empty pit of nothingness.

Because I know in my heart that the Church is true, I have repented and have come back to it, all the while experiencing the joy of knowing that my waywardness has been forgiven.

Karlyn Kay Stebbins
January 31, 2015

Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:

Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.