Happy Easter!

Just a few wonderful links and videos for today to help you celebrate Easter.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir gave a live performance of Handel's Messiah Friday evening. They were so surprised by the reaction of the public when it was announced they would give this concert (the tickets were gone in 7 1/2 minutes!) that they did their best to make it available to everyone. If you missed it you can see the breathtakingly beautiful performance at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's website.

If you visit Youtube today (with your adblocker off) you will find this!

Part of the #BecauseofHim Easter initiative to share with as many people as possible the wondrous event of Christ's resurrection!

Another beautiful oratorio that is a MUST at our house this time of year is Rob Gardner's Lamb of God. If you have Spotify you can listen to all of it!

Have a most blessed day today celebrating that miraculous morning over 2,000 years ago! Jesus has risen!

The Amateur Naturalist

I know Christmas was over 3.5 months ago but I just have to rave about one of the gifts Fudge received. She is my nature lover. She is the first to notice any hint of growth from plants in the spring. She talks to flowers, watches for bugs, and just enjoys being outside whenever she can.

Browsing through etsy one day trying to get some inspiration for Christmas gifts I came upon the store The Amateur Naturalist. And I found the perfect gift for Fudge.

photo from The Amateur Naturalist
A terrarium kit complete with real but dead bugs from around the world!

Fudge is very patient and isn't the kind to use up a gift fast. She will do a little here and a little there to spread out the joy more. She is the one who received the rock tumbler a couple of Christmases ago. She has slowly been putting together the five terrariums that have come with the kit.

amateur naturalist kit 01

When I first received it her older sisters and I just HAD to look through each of the boxes of moss and dried flowers and bugs. There were so many wonderful surprises! And a lot more than what is pictured here.

amateur naturalist kit 02 horned beetle

Each insect comes packed in its own box accompanied by a small brochure explaining what it is, where it lives, etc.

amateur naturalist kit 03 sangria butterfly

They have been great starting points for our science lessons!

amateur naturalist kit 05

Fudge has enjoyed filling the acrylic jars with moss and flowers and placing her insects just-so.

amateur naturalist kit 06

This butterfly was a bit too large for the acrylic jar but fit perfectly in the slightly larger glass jar that came with our kit.

amateur naturalist kit 08

Fudge has a special shelf in her room where she has been placing her finished terrariums. If you have a nature loving child this is definitely something you could get for them, or build your own kit.

I just have to show you my favorite insect that came with the kit, a blue weevil! Isn't that color amazing?

Okay, so the photo doesn't do it justice. It was a very cloudy day and I did retake the picture but now my camera doesn't want to talk to the computer so we are stuck with this one.

I wasn't paid or asked to share about The Amateur Naturalist. We have just been so pleased with our kit! When I find something I really like I want to pass that information along for others to benefit from it.

Jesus is the Living Christ

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Christian, regardless of what some, who do not understand my faith, may say.

I believe in Jesus Christ. I know He is my Savior. I have learned this truth from studying the Bible AND The Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is an additional witness of Jesus Christ. Nearly every page speaks of Him! The Bible and the Book of Mormon together fulfill the divine law, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." (2 Corinthians 13:1)

The Book of Mormon is a Christ-centered book. Even with 1,349 fewer verses than the New Testament, the Book of Mormon makes 108 more references to the Lord. May I share some of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon about Jesus Christ with you?
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." (Helaman 5:12)
I love the imagery of this verse! Building our foundation of faith on Jesus Christ is not only important it is vital if we are to withstand the buffetings of Satan. And, boy, will he try everything in his power to knock us down and hold us back! Much like the verses in Matthew 7:24-27 where Jesus talks about the wise man who builds his house upon a rock and the foolish man who builds his house upon the sand, this verse tells us that all of us will have to face the rains, the winds, and the floods that Satan sends our way. None are exempt. How we face those storms of life - built upon a rock or sandy foundation - is up to us.
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." (2 Nephi 32:3)
How do we build our foundation? By feasting upon the words of Christ. A little light reading now and then, little nibbles here and there, may help us to get by for a while but eventually our lack of nourishment will catch up to us. We must have a consistent, continual spiritual feasting upon the words of Christ to give us the sustenance and stamina to face the 'howling winds' of the adversary.

Why does having a foundation built on Jesus Christ help us to face trials and temptations? Because He has felt what we have felt, He was tempted as we are and will be tempted.
"11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me." (Alma 7:11-13)
Jesus Christ willingly suffered for my sins, willingly felt my pains and sorrows, willingly died and rose from the grave for me. And because He has done that He knows how to heal me, succor me in my times of need. Jesus Christ is the only perfect being to ever live on the earth. He is the only one who has overcome all things. Thus, it is only through Him that we will be able to overcome. 
"20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen." (2 Nephi 31:20-21)
Jesus Christ is the only way we can be saved in the kingdom of God. We must do our part to be worthy of His sacrifice and grace. We cannot give up! He doesn't give up on us! We must continue on, endure to the end, press forward in faith.

Years ago I penned my testimony of Jesus Christ in the form of a poem :

The wondrous works thy hands have wrought,
The majesty of thy being,
Doth cause within my humble heart,
A peaceful quiet knowing.

Thou art my Savior, my Master, my Healer,
My soul from sin redeem.
Oh, beautiful Lord, my Rock, my Pillar,
Thou King of all supreme!

Thy suffering pains no man could share,
In agony that night spent!
And still, next day, the cross to bear,
That all mankind might repent.

Three days thy body lay in tomb,
My Lord, the Anointed One.
What joy is found, the empty tomb!
Victory over death is won!

Thou art my Savior, my Master, my Healer,
My soul from sin redeem.
Oh beautiful Lord, my Rock, my Pillar,
Thou King of all supreme!

My sins are great, my soul doth grieve,
"O wretched man that I am!"
Yet, in thy bosom, sweet reprieve,
Cleansed by the blood of the Lamb!

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am a Christian.

My husband and I are teaching all these truths to our children.

Gratitude Day 8: Faith

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (2 Nephi 25:26)
The Book of Mormon is a true book of scripture. Jesus IS the Living Christ, I so testify.

#StartingToday . . . What Will You Do?

Outside we are seeing evidences of the hope that spring brings. Nests are being built, flowers are beginning to bloom, the earth is shaking off its cold covering and awakening from a winter's slumber.


Witnessing nature's renewing turns our thoughts to Jesus Christ "and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of [Christ]." (2 Nephi 11:4) It is His grace that brings us hope that we, too, can shake off the cold constraints that surround our hearts. We can start again.

Because of a miraculous event that occurred over 2,000 years ago we ALL are given a chance to start over, every day. Starting Today, what will you do?

Because of Him

Because of Jesus Christ I know that death is not the end. We will all live again! As Easter Day nears and we celebrate that glorious resurrection, His resurrection, we are given hope. Hope that we can start anew each and every day. Hope that through His grace we can be renewed and made whole.

#BecauseofHim is a new Easter initiative to get people talking through social media how Jesus Christ has changed them. Every day this week I will be posting different ways He has helped me on facebook and on twitter. Come follow along and join me in conversation. You can do the same thing too! Make sure to use the hashtag #BecauseofHim.

How has Jesus helped you live a better life?