Feb 16, 2014

Master, the Tempest Is Raging

On Friday night we went to the concert in the Assembly Hall.  Why? Well, because Latter Day Voices from the Logan Institute was performing.  Our daughter Ashley accompanies for the choir, and she was also doing a piano solo.  The songs they performed were either new songs or arrangements that have been submitted to the church.  There were some absolutely beautiful songs, that brought tears to my eyes, and this choir is amazing.  Beautiful sounding, but they sing with so much spirit and power.  What a wonderful experience it has been for Ashley to participate, but I digress.  The piano solo that Ashley played was an arrangement of Master, the Tempest Is Raging.  The arrangement was beautiful, and of course she did a magnificent job (and I am not too proud or anything), but I didn't think too much about it-until today.

As we talked about families today in church, I thought about the past year we have had.  Times when I have felt like Satan was waging a full scale war on just our little family.  Times when it felt like we might be losing the battle, that there was just too much for me to handle.  That I couldn't be strong enough.  Then I thought about all the blessings that we have received.  I thought about how I was so worried, but through it all Heavenly Father was right there fighting with us and always will be.  Then somehow the words to the song that Ashley played came into my mind...

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o'ershadowed with blackness.
No shelter or help is nigh.
Carest thou not that we perish?
How canst thou lie asleep
When each moment so madly is threat'ning
A grave in the angry deep?

Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today.
The depths of my sad heart are troubled.
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o'er my sinking soul,
And I perish! I perish! dear Master.
Oh, hasten and take control!

Doesn't that just describe life?  Sure we have momentary calm, but it seems that there are troubled waters all about us, threatening to overcome us.  We might even cry out, I can't do this!  I am sinking in this whirlpool of life!  But then if we are listening we hear the calm reassurance of Peace, Be Still.

The winds and the waves shall obey thy will:
Peace, be still.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, be still; peace, be still.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, peace, be still.

We aren't left to navigate these troubled waters alone. And if God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) The Lord is in charge, and because of that, I can have and do have peace.

Feb 10, 2014

Taking a break

 Tony has been working like crazy for the past year, trying to get his business up and running.  He is constantly working from morning until sometimes late at night.  It has been a stressful and challenging year. Add to all this stress the responsibilities of being a Bishop, and sometimes it seems that he just might spontaneously com bust or something.  Not really, but there is a lot of weight that he carries on a daily basis.  We try to do all we can supporting him and carrying what we can, but from time to time you just need a little break from the worrying.  Sometimes you just need to get away.  So...we did.  We have been saving our frequent flyer miles for awhile, hoping maybe to pick up Alexis this fall.  Being real though, there was no way we could go to Australia, for many reasons.  So I suggested we take a little weekend get away to sunny California, since our time was limited and it is close.  We were able to get a flight, hotel and rental car all with our miles, and who doesn't love a free vacation! We left Friday afternoon and returned Sunday evening.  Of course it was too short, but we enjoyed every minute of the sunshine and warmth and a few days of carefree relaxation for Tony. Here is our weekend in pictures:
Griffith Observatory
Beverly Hills
The Getty Villa
The Getty Center
Ronald Reagan Library