I believe some of my greater gifts this last year have been writing the Un-Blog and giving the firesides. Last year on New Years Eve, as I was just kissing my wife, the Spirit said “This is the year of the firesides.” I told her what I had heard, and she kissed me again and told me it would be wonderful. She has a lot of faith. Through this past year I have spoken at about 30 firesides. Each one was a treasure of spiritual receiving and giving.
When I lived in Alaska I was very busy in the stake and ward, but I didn’t give firesides. The Spirit had never led me to be vocal about the writing I did, and only a few close friends actually knew me as an author. When we moved to Utah that largely changed, and it is sweet and welcome. I probably gave 10 firesides in those 33 years, so 30 firesides in one year is a dramatic Spiritual gift.
I don’t know how many people realize that there is a gift that goes along with giving firesides. It is that if you have the Spirit with you abundantly, and you open our mouth and push air from your lungs, that the Spirit will direct your words, and teach you as you are speaking. It is a very interesting phenomenon to say something and then think “Hmm, I didn’t know that.” Terri actually sits with a notepad and writes down the things she has never heard me say before and we discuss and rejoice on the way home. It is a revelatory gift, and I have truly enjoyed it.
The Un-Blog probably saved my life this past year – thank you all very much. I wrote about 300 blog entries this year while I was so sick from the chemo that I could do almost nothing else. But, I could drag myself to the computer, feel the Spirit, and write a few Un-Blog lines. And, I could read your inspired replies and feel like my life had meaning – which it did, but which was hard to remember. I woke up each morning knowing I had this spiritual task to perform, and it kept my soul on the straight path and my mind focused on something other than mortal struggles.
Another tremendous gift was writing “Journey to Zion” recording Spencer’s amazing visionary experiences. I truly have been blessed by that experience. Writing it was a continual immersion on the Spirit. It was also a second or third witness to the things I had come to know about my own journey to Zion.
Another amazing and unexpected blessing was finding out that my cancer is under control. The chemo actually worked! The odds against this were very high. I kept telling the doctors to lower the dose or I would quit coming in. I was just too sick to survive. They did, and I kept improving. They don’t even know why. I do – the Lord isn’t done with me yet, and whatever I need to do in the near future is keeping me on this planet. They tell me the cancer will return, but it could be a few months or a few years. I’ll just keep riding that soap bubble until the Lord shows me a more secure way to fly.
And now, these few days before Christmas, as family gathers around us, and our hearts turn to the Child in the manger, my heart is brim with joy. Thank you Father for these blessings. Be it forever known that I rejoice in my Jesus, in my dear ones of far and near, and in my family of the Un-Blog.
I am planning to begin the New Year with an indepth discussion of the events leading up to the Second Coming and millennium, and then on to wherever the Spirit leads us.
God Bless and Merry Christmas,
© December 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.