Summary: God wants you to be your very best. Take the 7Up challenge and find out what you need to do to be a better Christian.
Be Uplifted - The 7Up Talk.
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If you’ve ever read the book of Acts, you’ll know it chronicles the story of Jesus’ ascension into heaven [Acts 1:1-14].
It is the Bible’s detailed account of how Jesus departed from his disciples and returned to Heavenly Father.
As we know, for forty days after his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appeared on different occasions to his disciples. At last, on the fortieth day, Jesus gathered his disciples together, promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit, and was then "taken up" or "lifted up" in a cloud. Jesus disappeared from their sight, and the disciples returned to Jerusalem to gather in prayer with the men and women who had known and loved him.
Jesus’s ascension reminds me that even if heaven and Heavenly Father are not literally “up,” and the earth and the rest of things not literally “down,” there is still something in our language that links transcendence and joy with moving upward, with elevation.
“I was feeling down,” we say sometimes, “but now things are looking up.” Happiness makes our spirits “rise” We feel “uplifted.”
Joy, hope, inspiration -- all these feelings of exaltation lift us up, they enlarge us, they carry us beyond ourselves... they may even move us to ecstasy, which literally means “ex-stasis,” out of a static place.
So where should we start if we are to become uplifted?
Let me share with you my 7Ups....
The first would be to ROLL UP.
Roll up your sleeves and get to work changing the things you can. Everyone knows the saying, “ A rolling stone gathers no moss.” Don't sit around allowing your mind to dwell on the negative and get you discouraged. Is your house a mess? Don’t say “I don’t have time, I am so busy with work, school or the kids.” Divide and conquer by tidying up a little each day and enlisting the help of those around you.
Don’t have time to put on make up or get out of those sweats and tee shirt everyday? Then put on a pair of earrings and some lipstick – it’ll perk you up and you’ll soon find that those old sweats and tee are really only for gardening or scrubbing bathrooms.
Somewhere along the way, other religions have lost the ancient vision of the church as a priestly people of the Lord, nourished in worship, sustained in the fellowship of Christ, called to declare that the plan of salvation is for everyone and no soul is above or beyond another.
We've been sent here into the world of business and finance, caked-on-Oreo cookies, piles of dirty clothes, the schoolroom, the boardroom, the bedroom, every room and nook and cranny of this broken and fearful world to be Christ's disciples, to be his hands and feet, his heart and soul.
The Lord has said, "I have called you by name...You are mine." This means all of us.
Many of us fear running into the bishopric in the hallway or answering the phone when the caller ID says Gerhardt, Carter or West. We think that if we are asked to speak in Sacrament or extended a calling, it means more work, and for crying out loud, we already have more work than we can handle.
When you think that taking a calling only means saying "yes" to a role in Relief Society, Young Women, Primary or even Visiting Teaching you are wrong.
This is when it's time to ROLL UP... roll up our sleeves and get to it.
Fulfilling your calling may very easily be doing what you are doing now, but with one exception. That exception is knowing that you belong to Heavenly Father and that you have been created, named and claimed exclusively for His work, "I have called you by name, you are mine." With that in mind, of course, it changes everything. Your life is not your own. By rolling up your sleeves and doing his work, you'll discover strength beyond your imagining.
What is afraid becomes courageous.
What is hateful is healed.
What is shamed, becomes free.
Because you are not your own, or rather you become what you most fully really are, you are called to shine forth with the full brilliance of our Heavenly Father... you are called to service. You work for peace, healing and reconciliation in your family and the church family.
Like Rosa Parks, who decided one fateful day that she was not going to stand up on the bus anymore, you act from within as the whole, beautiful person you were created to be.
Second, CHEER UP.
Are you an encouraging member of our church family? Are you sensitive to the needs of those around you? Do you crab and moan about other people, your calling, or something else?