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Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Dog Inspires Me

I like to draw spiritual meaning from odd situations and experiences. This one comes from my dog Woody when he stands on the electric window control.

Woody is a corgi/spaniel. He has the build and color of a corgi, but stands a bit taller and sheds horribly!! Woody loves going for drives, even if he isn't able to get out of the car. And when he has his way he usually sits in the front so he knows where we are and where we are going. He does that by sniffing the air vent.


He has a super bionic nose! He can smell beef jerky in a plastic baggie in the glove compartment. And he always knows when we have turned onto the road that leads to our house by the smell. His smelling senses seem to perk up when we turn corners because that is when he stands on the armrest with his front  paws and puts his nose to the top of the window. If we aren't going too fast I usually put the window down for him because there is no reason for me not to and he only sniffs for a few seconds then he is done. Of course I could do that many times during a drive because he constantly stands on the armrest if we are in town.

In the beginning, I would put the window down for him because I wanted to please him. Whatever the smells were I wanted him to have full access to it. In time he would make the window go down by standing on the control and not realize it. Sometimes the window would go all the way down and sometimes just a portion of the way. If it only went a portion of the way I would put it the rest of the way down.

So here is where the spiritual part comes in. When we accept Christ into our lives and begin to live his gospel, He is there to help us along the path more than we realize because He loves us and wants us to succeed and he happy. We begin to sense the promptings and feeling of the Holy Spirit better that tells us we are on familiar and righteous roads. Then as we learn to live the commandments and become more obedient, we find that we can do more on our own and don't need as much help but know that Christ is there to help when we need Him.

As a convert to The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, I have experienced this first hand. I knew nothing about Heavenly Father, or Jesus Christ, or the Holy Ghost. I needed a lot of help down the path because I was one lost soul! It was far from easy, but I realized that it had to be to remove the worldliness out of me and help be become the person I am today. I like who I am today! I have come to know that I am loved more than any human can ever love me. And that I am never alone and can ask for help whenever I need it, which is a lot!

No where in the scriptures does it say not to ask. It says to "ask, seek, knock". If you take the first letter of each of those words it spells "ASK"!

God Bless you!




Sunday, January 3, 2016

What Voices Are You Listening To?

I like sports! Maybe a bit more than I should. And to be honest I don't know why. I like watching college and pro football because the seasons are so short so every game is important. I like basketball but it depends on who is playing. Even though I live in Utah, Im not a Jazz fan. Since John Stockton and Karl Malone retired there hasn't been much to cheer about. And baseball and hockey are only fun when I am at the game or during the playoffs.

Here is something I learned while watching a football game a while back. I found myself getting all worked up when my team wasn't doing well, mostly because of what the commentators were saying. I was feeding more off of them then the game and I didn't like how I felt. If the Officials made a bad call against my team and the commentators agreed with it being a bad call I got even more worked up and hoped somehow something bad would happen to the apposing team, something more than what I usually hoped.

After becoming aware of the affect the commentators on me, I started watching games without sound and I loved it! I would just turn the sound back on when something exciting happened. I also found that I could do other things while watching a game like exercise, read, play with my daughter, or dilly dally on the Internet. My wife thought this was strange. I told her I didn't need to hear the game to know what is going on, unlike if I were watching a movie or something where you need to hear what was being said. I also found that by watching sports I didn't have to deal with immorality (some cheerleaders outfits can be a bit small but at least they keep them on), swearing (unless you are good at reading lips), or violence (the kind of violence you see in a movie because sports in general are mostly violent).

Here is my spiritual spin on what I am saying. There are a lot of really great things going on in the world. And there are many great people out there trying and wanting to make the world a better place. And there are also many bad things and bad people who only think of themselves. And there are many voices wanting to persuade us to believe in what they are saying. At times those voices can be very convincing. I think it is good at times to turn the voices off and step back and take a look at what is going on. Watch for a while and make sure the voices you are listening to are leading you down a path that YOU want to go because YOU want to be on it.

The only path I have ever found that is taking me to where I want to go is the path that leads me to Christ. As I have listened to many of the voices in the world I have come to realize that many of those voices are being mislead and do much misleading. Sometimes knowingly and other times not. The only voices that I have found that have never mislead me are of men that are called Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. These are the men, and there are women also, known as the General Authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or the Mormons. I have been listening to these voices for 29 years and they have never mislead me. They are voices of love and truth. They are voices that speak of and for Jesus. If you want to listen for yourself click here: www.lds.org

I encourage you to question the voices that have guided you to where you are today! God Bless You!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Love-LY

A dear friend started an emotional healing program recently. Because of the respect I have for her I decided to pay the required amount because I knew and know that I have a lot of emotional healing to do.

As with all healing, it usually hurts. And although I wasn't looking forward to the hurting, I was looking forward to the healing. I would never attempt to go through something like this without asking Father to help me through it because I knew He would know the best course for me. And He did in ways that I never expected.

The first area of healing I dealt with was that of giving love and being loved in return, even if the one I love leaves me. This is where my emotional healing of abandonment would come to the surface.

My in laws live in an area where there are a lot of farmers and open spaces. This invites a lot of wild animals such as foxes, prairie dogs, skunks, and cats. And once there was even a bear that made its way to the area. I want to focus on the wild cats. My in laws have wild cats all the time at their house because they feed them. The somewhat tame female cats that hang around often get pregnant by the more wild male cats that come around during the night.

The last litter of cats produces about eight kittens. One was put down early in his short life because he had some eye issue that caused him to become sickly. The other I found dead in the front yard. The last six managed to survive, even after their mother disappeared. It is the one of those six that I want to focus on.

Growing up I hung out with the kids that weren't as popular. I guess I felt more comfortable there. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to this little kitten. He was the runt compared to the others. He was a yellowish  color so I called him "LY" for Little Yellow. I was also drawn to him because he was the only one that had the courage to come up to me or any human. All the others were very skittish and would run off if you even looked their direction. I fed LY human foods in hopes to fatten him up and help him grow. He loved affection! I know most cats do, but he seemed to love it even more so I gave it to him whenever I had the chance. Over a few weeks I had grown to love LY and looked forward to seeing him.

                   This is Lenna with LY. Lenna learned that she can hold a cat, even if she doesn't know how to hold it.

Over time he began to get that cat eye sickness that most cats get. It got so bad that it made its way into his lungs and he would sneeze yellow and green mucus. He was very contagious and all of the other cats left him alone. I still loved him though.

In times past I had given our dog, Woody a blessing for a sickness and when he was hit by a car. I felt impressed to give LY a blessing so I did. I blessed him that he would heal and he able to continue to share his love he shared with me.

One day I saw my father in law outside with his pellet gun. I asked my wife what he was doing and she said he was gong to put LY down because he looked so bad and because he didn't want him dog to catch whatever LY had. I wasn't happy with that but I understood. I cried that night that I had lost a pet that I loved and loved me. And I thought the inspirations I had felt to give him a blessing was just me wishing for LY to be healed when in reality it wasn't.

The next morning I went out to go for a run and there was LY. Apparently my father in law couldn't find him. I was mad because I had mourned for him. This meant I would have to mourn all over for him and I didn't want to go through that again. I also found myself being distant from him so I didn't get attached to him again. That didn't last long.

LY still wasn't getting better, and in some ways he looked worse. A couple of days later I came home from work and walked to the front door to see LY laying on the porch with flies all around him. I stopped and stared at him to see if he was still alive. He was. He looked and smelled so bad that I didn't want him to suffer any more. I went in the house and cried as I prayed to asked Father for the courage and strength to end LY's suffering.

My plan was to dig a hole first, put LY in a plastic bag and with a big heavy rock smash him. I couldn't bring myself to shooting him because I didn't want to see blood and I didn't want to see him die. I dug the hole, gave love to LY one more time then put him in a plastic bag and put him in the hole. He didn't like being put in a bag so he wiggled and scratched  to get out. I lifted the 20 pound rock and slammed it into the hole. Just as I did LY came flying out unscathed and ran off. I saw where he had hid so I went and talked with him. I apologized for trying to kill him when it wasn't his time to go. And I apologized for losing his trust. Needless to say I was crying this whole time. And it was here that Father told me that He honored the blessing I gave to LY. To me this meant that LY would be healed and live to be an old cat.

I didn't see LY for a couple of days. I didn't know if I would ever see him again and I didn't blame him. One evening as the sun was going down, I was out back looking for LY. I told Father that I would really like to see LY. Just as I asked, there he was down the hill from me. I walked along the top of the hill above where I had seen him. After a few minutes I saw him again and he saw me. He slowly came walking up the hill with his tail straight up. I learned that his tail was saying he was friendly and content. He still trusted me.

I knelt down and loved him and he soaked it up like he had missed it. He still looked sick but I could tell he was healing. He had more energy and most the mucus and puss was gone. As I stayed knelt down he jumped onto my knee and onto my shoulders where he moved back and forth as I loved him. After a few minutes I walked to the house and LY followed close behind me. I gave him a bit more love then went into the house to put Lenna to bed. That would be the last time I would see LY.

The next morning I was outside ready to exercise. My wife was outside also and I told her that I had seen LY the night before and that he looked better and was healing. My wife shook her head and said that he dad had put LY down the last night. I didn't react, I just turned and walked away and cried. What added to the pain was it was me that brought LY to the house where he was seen and taken.

If took me a couple of weeks to take the time to talk with Father about why LY died when I felt in my heart that Father had told me that He honored my blessing to LY. What Father shared with me was, His time is not my time, and my time is not his time. Meaning, the blessing was honored even though it was only for those few days. LY had began to recover and heal, and he did continue to share his love with me.

The emotional healing that is taking place in me is, love is real, and it can hurt as much as it can bring joy. To give love and to receive love are the greatest gifts we have. Even if the giving of love isn't received, we are still blessed. It is natural to hold back in giving love when the love we gave wasn't received or as we say, given back. The challenge is to continue to love and not be afraid. Don't let the pain and fear of giving love prevent you from offering the greatest gift Father has given us to give to others. This is my biggest challenge. I know it is because of the love and atonement of Jesus that I am  healing. My heart is opened and I am loving and receiving love.

Thank you LY for your short time in this life to show and teach me about love! I will see you soon!

                   

                                                                  I love you my friend!






Sunday, July 20, 2014

Building The Kingdom Of God With A Bicycle

A while back as we were cleaning the yard and throwing stuff in the trailer to be taken to the Dump, a bike was thrown in that had been weathered for many years. The tires were both flat, the chain was rusted, and it was very dirty. I would have thrown it away also.

This is the exact same bike but it was yellow.

My brothers and I were expert bicycle mechanic's growing up. We interchanged bike parts to make one bike if needed, and we modified bikes so they had a unique look to them. I also sanded many bikes down to the metal and painted them over to a color I liked. These were fond memories. So without hesitation I took the bike out of the trailer and looked forward to bringing it back to life again.

 I spent a few hours fixing the bike and making it rideable again. I was very pleased with the outcome. I intended to give it to my Nephew, but I was concerned he wouldn't appreciate it and that it would just become another toy. I held onto it for a couple of days and thought I would post it online and see if I could sell it and make a profit. Then a thought came to me: Why not donate it to Deseret Industries and whoever is suppose to have it will get it. I liked that thought so that is what I did.

On the way to D.I. I had another thought: By taking this bike to D.I. I am building up the Kingdom of God. How, you may ask is donating a bike building up the Kingdom of God? Anything that brings real joy and happiness to another is of God. I am counting on some young boy being thrilled when he sees the bike.  

And another thought I had while writing about this in my journal was: I could have sold the bike and made a very small profit. But instead  I gave it to Father and let Him have the "profit" or glory. I made this about Father and whomever would eventually get the bike.

This of course is what Jesus did for all of us in the Council in Heaven. Satan wanted all the glory in forcing us back to the presence of Father, by not giving us the chance to chose. He was only thinking of himself. But Jesus said he would give the glory to the Father and would come to earth and atone for each of us and give us the chance to choose if we would accept His plan. Jesus was thinking about all of us.

I am only comparing myself to the Savior in the giving of a bike. My goal and desire is to be like Him and to be with Him and the Father. I am grateful that I am able to choose the life I want to live and make mistakes along the way without the fear of losing my soul. I am also grateful that Jesus satisfied the demands of justice through the atonement so that mercy can be applied and I can still have a place in a Kingdom that has been prepared for me by the Father and Jesus.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saved By A Mustache


One winters evening while living in Provo, Utah, I went out for a walk just to get out of my apartment and away from my three roommates. While I was out, I found myself defending an apartment of young females from young males throwing snowballs from across the street at the side of the young ladies apartment. During the snowball fight I was hit in the face, which put a quick end to the fight for me. I decided to continue my walk away from the snowball fight to recover from the shock of getting hit.



I lived and worked in the Colony Apartments for 18 months. It is located on 750 East between 300 and 500 North. My apartment was the last one to the South on the West side. I headed north on 750 East then turned left on 500 East, then left again on 700 North. I didn’t plan on staying out long so I made another left on 300 North. It was only a blocks walk altogether.

                                                            This is where I lived.

As I turned the corner I saw a Provo Police car parked in front of a house on the south side of 300 North, I was on the north side. As I walked closer, one of the Officers stopped me and asked me where I was coming from. I told him I was just out for a walk and that I lived a half block away, and pointed in the direction. He let me go and I didn’t think any more of it.

Instead of going right back to my apartment, I decided to walk past it and go up the block a bit further then turn around and go home. As I walked about half way up 750 East, I heard someone behind me. I turned to see the Police Officer that I had spoken with. He asked me to stop so I did. Then he asked me to step in the snow that was just off the sidewalk. I did. He then told me that my boot print was the same boot print that was outside a woman’s window that had called to report a Peeping-Tom. I had bought my boots from Walmart because I saw so many others wearing them and was told that they were cheap and warm.   

                                                                   This is the boot.

As the Officer and I spoke, his partner pulled up in their police car coming from the other direction. I was asked if it were me that had peeping in this woman’s window. I said no. I was then told that if it were me and I confessed I would be able to go home and sleep in my bed, if not I would be sleeping in a jail cell. I once again reassured the Officer that it wasn’t me. I guess I wasn’t convincing enough because I was asked to get in the back seat of their car. We then drove to the home of the woman that called the police.

The Officer that stopped me went into the woman’s home to tell her they had someone that met her description. While he was inside, the other Officer that stayed in the car continued to encourage me to confess so I could go home and sleep in my bed.

                             Not my actual bed at the time, but it looks very comfortable.

First of all, I am not dumb enough to fall for a tactic like that. I knew they were lying, and to confess would only be detrimental for me. Yes, I liked my warm bed, and I wanted to sleep in it that night, but not bad enough that I would confess to something that I didn’t do.

Also, as I sat in the car, I knew that Father knew I was innocent. I told him if he wanted me to go to jail I would. If there were something for me to learn by going to jail I would go. I was never worried or scared because I knew I wasn’t alone and that I was innocent.

After a few minutes the Officer that went inside came back out and opened the door and asked me to get out. He once again asked me if I did it. I said no. He then said he described me to the lady and I fit the description. He again said that if I confess I could go home. I said I didn’t do it. So he asked me to turn around with my hands behind my back. He put the cuffs on me and put me back on the car.

He went inside and had the lady turn her living room lights off. He then came out and pulled me out of the car. Both he and his partner turned their flashlight on and shined them in my face.
I could see the curtains part just a bit from inside. Obviously the lady was taking a peak to see me. After a few seconds I was put back in the car and the one Officer went back inside. A few minutes later he came out and opened the door for me to get out. As he unlocked the cuffs, he told me that the male suspect that had looked through her window had a mustache and that I was free to go.



I wish I had something witty to say to them about their way of manipulation and dishonesty, but my brain didn’t work that fast. There are many things I would like to say now.

I am grateful that I was never really into mustaches. And I am grateful that I don’t have enough facial hair to really grow a decent mustache. I do pretty good with a goatee though.

                                         Lynsie and I at a Heart/Cheap Trick/Journey concert


The lesson I learned from this, is when the Judgment does comes and we stand before Father and Jesus, we will know of our guilt without them having to say anything.


I hope when my time comes to stand before Father and Jesus I can feel just as innocent and at peace as I did then.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

"It's Not About The Money"

I am going to jump to the punch line and tell you how the title of this blog came to be, and then I will tell you what it means to me.

One day in 2012, I had just come from talking with my sister in law Trin, I don't remember what we talked about. I walked out her front door, down the stairs and down the walkway; turned left on the sidewalk, and then took a half right out the neighbor's driveway onto the 700 North. Just as I got about half way across the street, my brain was opened and the words "It's not about the money"came pouring in.

Now if you have ever received revelation you know that it usually doesn't always come like that. It is  quite and subtle, and can make you wonder if it was just you talking to yourself or Father actually sharing something with you. In this case there was no doubt it was Father! There have only been a few times that he has ever shared anything like that with me in such a direct and matter a fact manner, so he had my full attention. I was very excited because I knew my perspective would never be the same concerning money.

A bit of a background on me. I come from a very poor upbringing. My Dad's focus was always on the fact that we never had enough money, which we didn't. Many of our clothes were handmade and from the local thrift store. Some Christmas mornings were met with very few gifts and/or gifts with someone Else's name on it that had it before us. Six of us lived in a three bedroom single wide trailer with panel thin walls. The front of the trailer was rusting away from the water cooler  on the roof that was leaking. And there was always a car broke down in the front yard. Many meals consisted of fried potatoes and/or scrambled eggs. We were what you would call "Trailer Trash". We fit the mold perfectly.

With that insight, when I finally got out on my own and made money it didn't last for long because I didn't know how to save. That has been a trail that I have dealt with my whole life. As I look back on my life, I understand why it was such a problem, I was never taught. I always had money, just never enough to pay the bills and rent on time, or at all. I am surprised and grateful that despite this flaw, I still found someone that would marry me and trust me. Being without money, or having very little is harder on women than men. Women want that security.

It's not like I an lazy or don't like to work. I am one of the hardest working people I know. I have been hired away from many temp jobs because I am such a good worker. My patriarchal blessing says: "Become the best and well skilled in all that you do. "There is great pleasure in work and the Lord intended that we should be faithful and diligent in pursuing labors in this life." I have pondered over that for years wondering what it means. It seems obvious, but council from Father is never really what we think it is, and it can mean many different things.

What does the title of the blog mean to me? I have to admit that I didn't know what it meant to me when it came to me. I just knew it was going to change my life. As I have thought about my employment history, at times I felt very dysfunctional and inadequate and wondered why I struggled with it. Since that great and wonderful insight, I realized that my "in between jobs" moments were actually learning moments for me to put my trust in Father.

Many times as I read the scriptures, and before I did, I would ask Father to give me direction as to what I should do about finding work and money. Whether it was in the chapter that was next in my reading or if I did my "random scripture pick", the council would be:

Matthew 6:31-34

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed.

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."    

For many years this was hard council to take and accept because it meant I would have to ask for help from my Church, and ask landlords to be patient, and be late on bills. I just couldn't see how this was part of Father's plan for me. It just didn't make sense. And for many years it wouldn't make sense but I would still follow His direction because that was my best choice. This all changed in the last year when it finally clicked!

This life isn't meant to be comfortable and easy. If we desire to return to live with Father and Jesus, and all of our loved one's, we should expect to be tried and tested. A dear friend calls this the "Abrahamic sacrifice". Abraham wanted a son more than anything, but his wife Sarah was unable to have children until her old age, when she had Jacob. In time Abraham was asked by Christ to sacrifice his son to Father as a sign that he would do all that was asked of him. When it came to the final act Abraham didn't have to make the actual sacrifice. His willingness was enough to satisfy Father. Each of us will have our own sacrifice to make that will require of us to sacrifice that one thing that means the most to us. Christ gave his life for us, we should be willing to give ours back in return. Church President Ezra Taft Benson said "Many are willing to die for their religion, but how many are willing to live for it?" 

For Lynsie and I, giving up our will to the will of Christ was our sacrifice. I have to admit that I didn't realize that is what I wanted more than anything. I wanted to be obedient and do all that was asked of me, I just didn't realize to what depth we would be tested. What made this so hard was not knowing how we would make ends meet. Sometimes we didn't. Our phones were turned off twice, and the last time we were dropped altogether. We were on the verge of having our gas and utilities turned many times. At times all we had was spare change that wasn't enough to buy gas or food. And what was even more humbling and humiliating, was being directed to go to our local church leader and ask for help with rent and bills multiple times. This is where the words "It's not about the money " really sunk in. It was about putting our complete trust in Christ, not in the money. Elder Russell M. Nelson said in the April 2014 General Conference, "Yet so many people look only to their bank balance for peace."

I know those around us had their opinions as to what we should do to remedy our situation. As humans we want to "fix" that which appears to be broken without really seeing that the best thing we could do is ask if help is needed. If not, then give support, don't judge, and love. Some of our hardest trials were knowing and feeling the judgements of those that should have loved us and supported us the most. But knowing of what other's were saying actually made me stronger because I knew that what we were going through was from heaven and making us more faithful.

I was aware that this trial was much harder for Lynsie than for me. I had been going through this trial for many years so it was a bit easier but still a challenge because I didn't know how to trust myself, the way I do now. I can honestly say that I am very grateful for that trial and all the trials I have had because they have made me the person I am today, and I like who I am!

In closing I will share one of my favorite scriptures with you. It is found in the Book of Mormon, Jacob 2:17-19

Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.
But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
To me, this is what life is about. It's not about the money!


    

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Late Bloomer

So, here I am, preparing to become a Father for my first time, at the age of 47! I know most of you that I know are becoming Grandparents and that blows me away to think we are of that age. I still feel way too young to even think of being a Grandparent. I am sure after my daughter (and hopefully other children to come) comes into my life and begin to grow I will me more prepared for that title. But for now I look forward to becoming  and to be called "Daddy". I get excited thinking about that!

As I have looked back on my life I see that I have been a late bloomer in a lot of areas of my life:

-I was baptized when I was 21.
-Went on a mission when I was a month away from my 24th birthday.
-Went back to school, because I dropped out in 10th grade, and received a High School diploma, not a GED, at the age of 26.
-Started college when it was called UVCC, then UVSC and is now UVU. It took my 12 years to get an Associates of Science degree. I was 38.
-Joined the Utah Army National Guard when I was a month away from my 40th birthday. What the heck was I thinking!!! I'm still in much better shape then most of those young computer, video playing, couch potato kids are.
-Get married when I was 41.
-I am headed back to college to be what I have always wanted to be but wasn't ready to be it, a Family and Child Therapist. I will receive my BA when I am 49 and a Masters when I am 51.
-And now at 47 I am going to be a Daddy.

Can I be a late bloomer to anything else?

Despite the lateness of events happening in my life I know they all happened at the exact time that  I needed them to. I still feel like a teenager, mostly because I don't know what an adult man feels like and is suppose to be like. There aren't many men that I want to be like. The only Man I am working on becoming like is Jesus, and that won't happen in this life but I keep working at it.

My moto is : "I am to young to be old". As long as I keep living the way I have that has kept me healthy this long, I will be able to keep up with my kids and enjoy their lives with them as an active parent that will provide opportunities for them that I have been blessed with.