Sunday, June 17, 2018

LISTEN TO THE LIGHT

We listen to what we want.
We follow the voice we hear.
Our choices put us in the light
or darkness.

In the end, 
we will be children of the light
or of darkness.

We choose what we want when we
listen.

"I know what I want," says the queen to the king.
The king says, "Yes Ma'am!"

Sunday, December 24, 2017

CHRISTMAS CONTEMPLATION

It's Christmas Eve and the Sabbath day.  A great opportunity to sit and collect my thoughts.  Christmas is often a reason for me to more deeply contemplate the meaning of light, love and life.  I find as the preparations progress, I am regularly distracted by all the many things that did not get done throughout the year.  There is a push to finish.  Not only my list, but I am sought to help important people in my life who also have the desire to finish up.

This year there were several things that have little to do with Christmas that took my time and energy away from the spirit of the season (e.g., empty bank account, insurance cancellation, garage door going off track, the shower needed new grout and sealant, scabies, the chickens, changes at work, changes to my callings at church, etc.)

I tried to keep focused on the season and was successful at making the new star for the tree, putting the lights up with Chelsea, making a Christmas origami crown and drawing instructions to give as a gift, singing in the ward and stake choir programs, helping with the Polar Express ward party, going to my daughter's school choir performance, putting up the sockings, watching parts of some Christmas movies, and helping others get into the spirit.  But, that wasn't enough!  I wanted to do the gift shopping with the family I got ugly when I found I did not have the means to do it.  I had to apologize.  The season is not about me or what I do to prepare.  I had to let go, and in doing so I found the spirit come back into my heart.

I was not the only one struggling this year.  My wife spent the last 3 days stressing about the house and everyone else who was not helping the way she wanted it done.  My daughter, told me she didn't ever want to come home again.  My other daughter wanted me to turn off the Christmas music, because it was bothering her.  My other other daughter was having tantrums almost daily.  I found myself interrupting others to stop negative conversations, which is rarely more than a waste of breath.

I know my family is not the only one that struggles during Christmas.  I feel for all who struggle to find meaning in the season.  I apologize with my whole heart for distracting others from the spirit.  I will seek peace and love everywhere I see it and everyplace I can share it.


Merry Christmas

Monday, December 11, 2017

VOICE OF ANGELS


 
Yesterday was a very special day and my gratitude was full for the simple blessing of having a voice. Due to a very sore throat the week before, all last week I was struggling to breathe at night and fighting sniffles too.  Our ward and stake choirs performed last night and though I had tried to sing, I was very limited in volume and my voice would crack, much the same as if I had attended a BYU football game the night before and I had a bad cold to boot.  I really had to take it easy just to be able to speak.  Well, as it is the case with me, when I am in trouble, I usually reach out in prayer when I don’t know what else I can do to solve the situation.  I didn’t give it much more thought, but sure enough my prayers were answered as they usually are.

No he did not remove the struggle, I could still hardly breathe and talking was very difficult, but I went ahead with the programs and did my part.  The Lord did his and as has happened frequently to me and the choirs I have sung in, when we have put forth our best efforts, no matter how hampered, strained or meager, the Lord sent his help in abundance.  I could see in the faces of the audience that they were pleased.  Many thanked me afterward for the beautiful singing, at which time I replied in a raspy, barely audible voice, “…Then you weren’t listening to me!”  Truly, they could not have heard me, but I do not doubt that what they heard was genuinely beautiful.  I heard it too! 

My voice was far softer than usual and I could hear the other singers around me and we were in tune, but there was an additional fullness, both in the afternoon and evening performances that was not present in any of our rehearsals.  In fact, there were parts of several pieces that had previously caused the directors of the two choirs physical pain as expressed in their unwilling grimaces.  We were not polished in the least, yet the productions went off without a hitch and all were uplifted.

This is not the first time I have noticed this phenomenon, yet it has not always happened when we were needy.  I have sung in choirs for 48 years and there have been special occasions like this in the past, but where poor performance was not expected.  One such time was at the Timpanogos Temple for its dedication.  We were one of the choirs and we had rehearsed very well and sounded good.  We had a great director and had done the work to earn ourselves a superior score if we had performed at a competition.  But, this was no competition.

It was, however, an event where the best efforts of man were offered up to God for His approval.  As I stood behind President Hinkley and sang.  Though I sang at my full volume and then some that day fff, I could feel and hear additional voices join into our small choir, giving it the sound of multitudes.  No, I am a soundman and know what echo in a room does.  The effect was far above what a little reverb would produce.  I believed it to be angels singing with us.  I hear them from time to time and know that at special times we can be privileged to join with them in praising our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

GOSPEL

This is the path as I know it.

Find Christ, learn of him.
Believe in Him, follow him.
Be baptized by His Power.
Receive the Holy Ghost.
Follow His Promptings.
Stand in holy places.
Serve others selflessly.
Become childlike.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

LISTENING

Today,  I got to talk with my son.  It was great.  I love him.

I had been studying a part of the LDS version of the 12 Steps around having a change of heart.  We shared insights together.  One that was very poignant to me was that no lasting change can happen until you leave your will completely in God's hands.  Oh, there is a preparation or personal transformation that is necessary (covered in the first five steps) for that to actually be possible.  I read a quote• from the lesson to him.
  • "No matter what the source of difficulty and no matter how you begin to obtain relief--through a qualified professional, therapist, doctor, priesthood leader, friend, concerned parent, or loved one--no matter how you begin, those solutions will never provide a complete answer.  The final healing comes through faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and obedience to His commandments" (Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 9: or Ensign, May 1994, 9). 
 I explained that man and all his wisdom could not make a change in me (he agreed that therapy had no affect on anyone that he knew in the program he attended), but that only faith in God could make the change in us.  My son had expressed how grateful he was that he was raised differently from others he knows, he knows generally what is right and knows where to go for help and he attributes his ability to see things more clearly to it.  I agreed that therapy seemed useless to me too--only my relationship with God made a difference.  God always listens.  I can feel that.  He has always been there to listen to me, and I knew of His love for me and His faithfulness in keeping His promises.  I knew of his power to forgive and release me from my burdens, I knew Him as the only true source of relief early in life.  We didn't solve any problems, but I was happy to have had an open conversation with a child about something that really mattered.

Afterward, I learned a valuable lesson.  My wife called and I rejoiced to share with her that I got to talk with my son.  I read her the quote• from the manual and expressed that it has always been my feeling.

Amid sharing my celebration with my wife, she went quiet.  I listened and she explained how arrogant I seemed, how judgemental I was being.  Such a polar opposite take on what I was feeling.  I was feeling awe at my own powerlessness and gratitude for Gods power in my life.  I had no power to change, without God.  She said that she and my daughters go these people to be listened to.

STOP rang through my head and my heart felt a piercing blow.  My mind raced...

Therein was my lesson.  She on the other hand had found valuable the help these sources offered and now she felt like I was mocking her and my daughters who were going to therapy.  I assured her that was not my intent.  She was glad that I had a good talk with my son, but I had not taken her perspective into account when relaying my story.  My wife, for a long and very painful time, would not share her feelings with me.  My daughter is running from me to others to hear her story, because she is not comfortable coming to me.  I have some employees that shy away from talking with me.  How sad that makes me.  I desire to listen and give them comfort.  I truly feel for those who confide in me.  I do not judge them.  I have no desire to mock or belittle.  But, somehow in the translation of what people see in my words and behavior they think I will not be open.  I do not easily read people unless they do talk openly with me.  I am as open as possible, but often preoccupied with my own thoughts and goals.  I almost always have my mouth open saying something.  Much of which probably does not need to be said and can be misinterpreted.  I know that God understands (its not like His words haven't been taken out of context, misinterpreted or to which some people have become offended).  Yet, I must repent and learn from my all wise Heavenly Father--He speaks very seldom and always listens in a way that you can feel and trust.  In that split second I became aware of how sorry I was.

...I promised her I would listen better.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

BREAKFAST CHILI LASAGNA

I LOVE FOOD!...not just deserts.

Last night our congregation hosted a fund raiser for girls camp and incorporated an auction for baked goods, doodads and services and combined with a chili and cornbread cook-off. Wow!

As usual we brought 2 kinds of chili.  Mom's non-spice white chicken with beans stew and Dad's throw-everything-in burnt offering.  We skipped the cornbread this year due to time constraints.  Fortunately, many people brought cornbread.  Sis. Anderson won the cornbread challenge, as she does every year.  Sis. Valenciano won this year, even though Br. Valenciano wins most all other years.

I love to participate.  Each batch of chili I make is different.  I learned to make chili from scratch at BYU in the cougareat cafeteria as the Mexican Prep supervisor.  The recipe started with  200 lb of fresh ground beef (really fresh! because they just ground it that morning across campus).  It was great, but there was no variety.  After leaving BYU I tried to scale the recipe down, the recipe was so delicate that even the slightest variation in process would change the flavor, texture, heat, etc.  It was a good enough base that I could experiment. And, what has transpired since is a long history of amazingly unique and tasty chili.  I like most every one and I try to improve upon it each time.

This last round used more than a dozen types of pepper and to me was the best balance of heat and heart that I have made.  I must admit that earlier this year I made a 20 pepper chili that was my best ever.  It was a little on the medium side for heat though and I knew that I had to bring the heat to be considered during last night's competition, so I chose to use two of my favorite heat peppers to light the flame, yellow manzano and green serrano peppers.  For variety and color I chose 2 bright red Fresno peppers also.  For the roasted peppers I chose a special blend of 10 peppers that I had blended into a mix.  I sautéed a yellow and white onion with the fresh peppers and a pound of bacon, added 1Table spoon garlic powder and some mild chili powder. With this as a base I then browned 3 lbs lean ground beef in the cast iron skillet.  I added it all to a pot with some water, bacon and red beans that I had been cooking in the slow cooker since the night before, and 1/4 cup almond butter to round out the flavor.  I tasted it...  ...barely licked it... ...my mouth warmed... ...my nose numbed... the flavor was just right.  Now I had to have a full spoon full with the meat!  It was good.  I knew the flavors would continue to combine as it cooked so I sat down, cooled off with some black cherry koolaid and rested.  After my nap, it had simmered enough to barely burn on the bottom giving it a perfectly smokey flavor.

Off to the church!  Cornbread and chili filled the tables.  I placed my pot at the end of 4 tables lined along the wall in the gym.  I could not wait and got myself a sample.  I was sure I had a shot.

The night progressed and I placed bid for deserts.  I wanted the berry pie!  The Auction was set up so the highest bidder got to choose a desert first, so I bid $30 to ensure that I would have a chance.  I joined the family to see how they were doing and learned that GrandDad also wanted the berry pie.  He bid $50.  I went back to the table and bid again--$51.50.  Then I hedged my bets with two more bids for $5 so I could get something for the girls.  When the names were read I was announce first!  I sat down with the berry pie, then heard my name again and then twice more.  I had a stack of deserts and some ribbing for bidding so often.  I shared some of the pie with GrandDad who traded me with some of his strawberry cheesecake.  Cream puffs and cookies were also good.

I did not win the cook-off, but had a great time.  Food can enhance life greatly.  There was some chili left over and I put it together in layers of cheese and corn tortillas to make a chili lasagna.  What a wonderful breakfast.  I love good food, and the endless ways to combine it for variety.  Though we will not need food as resurrected beings, I wonder if there will be things that will delight us as much in heaven?  Surely, there will be.




Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hypocrite? Guilty as charged!

See this insightful link http://www.allprodad.com/what-is-a-hypocrite-dad-me/

I want my kids to know what is right and often, especially in their eyes, I do not measure up to what I am saying.  What I am usually saying is what is RIGHT, and what I am doing is often LEFT up to interpretation.  This leaves my children with the feeling that they should do what I say because their conscience tells them so, but the ability to blame me for their disobedience and poor choices by pointing out how hypocritical I am.

I was very fortunate that when I was growing up, my parents gave me few of these moments.  Though they are saints, I did find something that I scolded them for when I was a teen.  I don't remember what it was today, but I remember my holier-than-thou attitude when yelled at them.  I have long since repented of my short sightedness.  My parents are indeed saints, and I was the one who needed to change.  I found that out later after having left home and again as I tried to raise my own children that things are not all that clear what must be done.  In fact, many times there are numerous ways to handle things--all of which will be twisted into some evil by a disgruntled child.

I look to God for my example, because I can think of no greater Father than He.  He was the perfect provider.  He even planned to pick me up when I fell.  He taught me both by example and yet left me free to make my own discoveries and decisions.  He was always there when I wanted to talk, but never interrupted me.  There were times when I could hear his whisperings, but I always had the floor to speak and think what I chose.  He did not make me comply, but the consequences of my decisions were always on me.  He even let me hurt others without stopping me.  He wept, He suffered, He died for me.

Through His power he brought life back.  First to Himself and then to thousands.  I will live again and so will you.  He will judge me for what I have done with my life.  That day will come as promised.  I pray that every hypocrisy in me reminds me of Him and who He says I may become.  I rely on Him to change my heart, my thoughts, my actions, my habits, my very soul.  May I always have others who will point out my hypocrisy and remind me, thereby, to repent.  May I be grateful for every word of criticism, that I may be humble before my maker and turn my heart to Him.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

This was a great video I dedicate to my father and my sons with love.
/Father and Son Song

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Who's in Charge

This post is dedicated to my children.

The process of learning and growing into adults makes you believe that as you get older you will someday be in charge.  This is not true.  True you make your own choices, but you do not choose the consequences. That is why a wise creator gave you parents to guide you.

They are in charge of you.  They always will be.

At first they do everything for you--a crappy job.
Then they help you learn to move--keeping you safe is a living nightmare.
They teach you right from wrong--rejoice with you and sorrow for you.

At some point you may think that they are no longer responsible.  This never happens.

As you become parents you learn about your Heavenly Parents.

They do everything for you--make a world where you can live
They help you learn and grow spiritually--life exists beyond this life
They are there for you--even when you fall and have prepared a way back

Eventually, you will stand before God and account.

You will always be responsible.
This is the road to endless happiness.
Because I love you I want you to follow in this joyous way.

You may choose to take another road, but let me assure you it ends.  There is no lasting reward there.

6 Golden Don'ts (no not donuts)

DON'T WORRY!  I'm going to get preachy now, sorry kids it's what I do.  I love you.

Light and dark, good and bad, truth and error, righteous and rebellious.  Go ahead choose.  It is given to you.  The choice looks simple doesn't it.  Well, it is not so simple.  Life doesn't come in black and white for most of us.  We learn good and bad as we experience things.  Through our pain we understand joy.  Here's the catch--some things can destroy us and take that choice from us.  Life is a lot like walking through a mine field of experiences.  How do we know which way to step?

We don't really need to experience the weight of a car on our heads.  It's common sense that anything heavy dropped on our head hurts--we don't need to experience a car dropping on us to know that it could kill us or to see how many hits we get on youtube.  Sadly, I know strong individuals who play this game with their own eternal souls.

With all the available experiences life has to offer they like to pick and choose and test each thing.  They try all drugs to see what will happen, or investigate anti literature to see if it might have something good in it, they look at porn and rationalize that it doesn't hurt anyone, etc.  The list is endless.  Choices are good and I will defend to my last breath the right people have to choose, but

DON'T BE STUPID!  If it doesn't look good on the surface don't dig into it to make sure.

I'm sure you are not stupid, but some of the most rational people on earth that I have have met were taken in as an entire society by one evil Man in NAZI Germany.  There are traps set for smart people too.  There is a forlorn being that wants ALL to loose their way in the mists of his deception.  He wants your destruction.  He covers his evil hook in anything good he can just to get you to bite.

DON'T BITE! If you are deceived you pay the price.

The best friend you have is God.  He gives you insight into whether a choice is good--right inside you.  That feeling is a very precious gift.  Without it, no amount of reason will protect you.
Don't loose it.

Oh yes, your ability to feel it can be lost or even destroyed.  God gave us commandments to help us protect it.  Read them, follow them and you will keep that line of communication with God open.

If you forget and stop choosing the right the result is the same as if you willfully rebel.  You will loose that gift over time and you are then left to your own, rather lame, ability to choose good from your own experiences.  You will have to touch the fire to know it will burn.  You will be surrounded by doubt, fear, anger, increasing depression, and finally hopelessness as the darkness covers your ability to see and feel what is right.  You may come to the place where you doubt everything you once knew instinctively as a child or even that God exists.  Gloomy isn't it.  I KNOW because I've have been there more than once.

Though our sins will shroud us in darkness we are not without hope.  Yes, we are all stupid from time to time, but,  "Thank you Jesus!" there is a way back into the light where things are clear.

DON'T WAIT! Repent now.

A 12 step will bring even the most impaired back into the light, but it's too many for me to remember.

Here's my list:

STOP everything wrong in your life.  (If you don't know ask an old person who loves you.),
TURN AROUND look to Christ who is the only power to save.  (Daily, study, ponder & pray.)
GO BACK correct your wrongs and obey all the commandments.  (Clean up and choose the right.),
STAY follow His example of love and service every day. (Get active in church and help others.)

Will you suddenly become all knowing and have all the answers to life. NO! This is a process, one that requires patience and persistence.  This is the application phase and it will come to you as you go to it (line upon line, here a little and there a little).

DON'T BE DISCOURAGED! you will feel better and blessings will follow as you keep doing it.  Repent every day, every hour if you have to.

My brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, I invite you to stand with the Lord, the Light and Life.  He will lead you to all good things.  Hang on especially if you are think your doing well or you know better (this is usually a sign that you're about to step off the cliff).  Look to Christ who is the rock. He is the sure foundation. He will see you safely through the storm.  There is no other.

DON'T LET GO! No matter what.

Friday, January 16, 2015

NUTS? I don't think so.

Einstein was right about time.  As I age, time flies, I learn great wisdom very slowly, eternity is coming.

OK, ate a peanut X3 last night, last night last night I ate a peanut.

I woke after much sleep where sleep was gone and only thoughts filled my mind.  John Denver was playing in the other room.  I had been left to a state of peace in the home and I found my self pondering things and having such clear thoughts that I prayed to stay and not to loose this rare clarity to my normal state of mind and the fog of everyday life.

Once I got up I had lost much of it, but one thing did stay with me.  I can only introduce what I was learning about with a scripture.  2 NE 2:11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.  I have known this to be true for some time but I had only a limited understanding.  As I have learned principles of governance, both personal and public, I have applied this knowledge to gain better understanding, yet a more full understanding came to me this morning regarding continuums.

One of my favorite Macintosh games was called Continuum.  It was a 2D b/w space ship maze game where one could make their own levels.  In total I spent many days playing this game because of the many levels provided and the ability to create levels.

Yesterday, I had just explained to my daughter that only 33 digits of ∏ 3.15159265358... were necessary to create a perfect circle as large as our universe.  Did I ever say math is cool!?

The thought must have been still in my mind last night as I slept.  During my morning state of restful sleeplessness and before choosing to rise from bed, I saw continuums.  I suppose felt or perceived would more accurately describe the experience. In any case, I understood that they continued until they came around again and connected in large circles.  I realized that not only are there opposites in all things, but these continuums are connected and that there is simplicity opposite complexity and both confusion and clarity all on the same circular continuum. Who knows, but they might actually be spherical through another dimension, but that would be taking it farther than I understood.

Since last week I had been working on an analysis of work tasks (simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) and again was told I was "in the weeds" (a common theme), because I had reviewed the data so intensively.  But, when questioned I had the answers!  My actions had produced results that to me confirmed clearly that if I had not searched deeply I would not have been able to answer the questions.  I was elated to have the answers, but it was because I had searched out the relations in the data.  When a further research need was requested, I was quickly able to show graphically and simply the relationship.  It looked simple, but without delving into the complexity, I would not have even had the skill to present my findings, which turned out to be a critical measurement of our effective procedures.

I believe this principle exists in all aspects of life.  Perhaps this life's confusions are preparatory to the clarity that exists on the other side and necessary for us to understand and do what me must on the other side of existence.  It's hard to see from our current spot in mortality, but I believe there is much that will be revealed when our test is complete.  Be patient, and not complacent.  The time will come.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Guilty Pleasure

Oh the guilt:( Valentines day is one of my favorite days and yet filled with huge guilt. It is without the most cruel holiday.

I feel guilt even before the day comes. All week I rationalize my procrastination. I think back on my love and what inadequate homage I pay to those I love and wallow in my regret. If I want to buy flowers, I remember that I didn't have enough money to keep my bank account from bouncing, or I think back on the times when I did not have funds and said no to the kids when they wanted to go out to eat. I think of all the stupid purchases I did make through the year and wish that I could take them back so I would have enought to get her flowers. Then, I remember I can make flowers, but I have done that so many times there is nothing new about a carved heart, or a paper rose, or a personalized background image for the computer. This year I chose an e-card--I've only done that a dozen times before. Now, it's too late again and I rush to do something. Maybe I'll cook breakfast again? No, I can't think of anything to cook that does not involve sugar, chocolate, flour, milk or something else she's alergic to and besides, she'll be at work before I get home. I worry about remembering the first day I met her and every important day there after. I remember mom and try not to compare you to her.  I think of how my gifts compare to those from your parents and children.  I try my had at poetry.  I waste time like this writing in a blog.  The list of would haves, should haves and could haves is endless.


When I proposed, I committed the most unpardonable valentines pain possible for someone else and I would do it all again.

Just know I love you sweetheart and I'll try not to feel guilty about it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

ONE LINERS (updated sporadically)

These are short thoughts that in themselves need no context.

Work--what makes what I believe real. Sonny 9/1/2013

The Proud are the only ones hurt by charity, understanding, innovation, faith, teamwork, and kindness, because they have no hope outside of their own reasoning. Sonny 11/5/2013

Listening matters first when the speaker knows that the listener listened. Sonny 5/3/2017

Saturday, April 6, 2013

RECHARGE

There are many kinds of batteries.  Some require sustained charging.  Some will no longer hold a charge if they are left charging too long.  Some put out roughly the same energy while being used and others steadily drop in energy as they are used.    Some can only be used once and then others can be renewed or recharged. 

Earth911

Sometimes I just don't have much energy which leads me to ponder what kind of battery I am?  I realize that with some things, I am relatively constant and able to perform under extreme conditions for long periods of time.  Other kinds of endeavors drain my energy quickly and I require much more time to recharge.


Here are some things that drain me: dictates, distractions, contention, criticism, complaining, drama, delays, sickness, selfishness, lethargy, ignorance, apathy, nagging,  rudeness, deception, and turmoil.  10 times the drain is when I am their initiator.  These are contagious and cancerous activities that I am guilty of from time to time when I am not mindful.

These are things that restore my charge:

Listening to the Prophet and Apostles of Jesus Christ, helping others, standing in holy places, singing with others, dancing with my wife, visiting neighbors, camping with the youthful, cooking for others, observing Gods creations, creating things that work and instruct, teaching willing students, synergizing with great minds and bearing testimony of my Savior.

God is the ultimate source of energy and following His Son is the only way to allow that power to flow through me.  That life giving current is most powerful when I am in the service of His children.  May I always be found on holy ground by doing his will is my choice and fervent prayer.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

TEACHING, NO GREATER CALL

Recently, an old dream of mine surfaced. We were out having dinner with my in-laws and the suggestion was put to me to rent a strip mall place and create a school. Perhaps the time is right. I have education in my blood, though I feel in many ways that public and higher education had failed me. My parents and grand parents were educators. One of my most prized employments was as a teacher. There is great intrinsic reward in the profession for me. I don't know how deeply they know of my dreams, but for a good part of my life about 30 years, I have sought to prepare to teach. In community colleges I gained a real desire to learn and to serve students. At BYU I prepared to serve and my education was very liberal. I have served in the professional world and the community for many years measuring and teaching leadership to youth and adults. It is a real passion for me.

My plan was first put on paper as I began drafting a center for learning called "The Good Egg."
It is a place centered on learning, with a library, classrooms, and music room, supported by physical education and topped with home. The place was made as a gathering place to bring people together in safety to learn, lift, and love and eventually to leave a legacy for my family. It has been so long since developing the space on paper that I had almost forgotten the fire that burns within me to make a real difference.

Just the mention of starting a school brought back a flood of thoughts and an urgency to resume my preparations. To start how 'bout I define some of the course/class/forum titles that might fit within the goals of the Good Egg:

"All you needed to learn, but didn't learn in school" a school to help recent graduates gain the skills, contacts and attributes needed to succeed in their chosen profession,

"Music, Math and More" a school devoted to linking what was learned in school with actual applications in business,

"Washington Discovery Club" a think tank and grass roots organization for those who are community and politically minded to focus on ways they can make government better for all Americans,

"Key 2 Learning" a course of study that develops curiosity and critical thinking for use in advanced studies,

"After Thought" a place for those who wish to retool their skills or pursue their interests in retirement,

"Katy Knowledge Coach" a forum for learning centered on media messages and verification research with the goal of publishing findings monthly,

"All the Father Hath" an outdoor study of this earths resources and how it blesses us,

"Dreamcubator" a place for start-up businesses to brainstorm and hone their own contributions to society,

"Fantastic Forum" a place for inventors to create and test new innovations,

"Community Leaders Applying Sound Science" where science gets back to testing new theories and avoiding science fiction that is used to support politics,

"Synergarium" a forum for developing cooperative ways to achieve great results,

"The Humble Home" how to build and keep a safe provident haven for your family where you can learn everything from how to build a dwelling designed to provide well for you.

"You're Hired!" a network of professionals looking for their next leaders who will regularly mentor and hire services and students who participate in the Good Egg's Nest of graduates. No snakes allowed in the Nest.

These are a few of the niches that would be filled at the Good Egg, but is by no means a complete list.

If you know anyone who would qualify to lead in any of these areas we want them to consider joining my team.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

FAMILY: A MICRO UNIVERSE

Time to think deep now!

I was observing the order of things in our universe and I began noticing relationships between heavenly bodies and as I pondered my family deep thoughts just started pouring in as if I had walked under a waterfall. Honestly, I don't know if all the ideas that hit me at that moment can be expressed clearly so please don't expect an equation defining life to distill from my words. Einstein, I am not.

I did find some things instructive so I will attempt to draft some of them.


We are now learning that space is not only infinite, but it is also not static nor dead. The universe is not the sole product of a very large explosion, but rather an ever expanding, living place, where stars are born and die, galaxies develop planets and energy courses throughout. Just recently it was plainly demonstrated on earth that dry land did not move around on a finite volume of seas on plates, but the earth is growing , putting ever more distance between land as the earth itself expands. My thoughts turn to my human universe.

Things are always changing. Our memories try to explain things as a series of stationary events, but memory is myopic and cannot truly describe reality in its entirety. All the experiences, points of view, feelings, influences, and consequences experienced by each individual are in truth connected to every other person as we interact with them and are multiplied through a never ending continuum of time. Social networking has made this more and more clear as we make connections that are staggering in number and their affect though limited is overwhelming. The math is staggering so my mind looks instead for patterns to help me understand this life and I am focusing more and more on the closest relationships I have. My family.

As I pondered our solar system it became clear to me that it was a good model for a family. With dad and mom as the sun and the child is in orbit around them. The energy expended, or for lack of a better term, love is great and has a direct affect on the ability the child has to live and grow. Each child is different and needs more or less distance from parents to thrive. If they get too close they have no life because they are smothered and if their orbit is too distant they grow cold. It also occurred to me that it makes about as much sense to tell the sun it is too hot as it is for a child to tell their parents how to parent. It also follows that without the love of a stable parent it is very difficult to support life of any kind. Obedience to parents would seem to relate to a planet's undeviating orbit.

Further, the rotation of the earth, tilt, orbit, atmosphere, as well as its magnetic fields, core, oceans, and land all play a vital role in sponsoring life on this planet. Likewise, to develop our children there should be regular schedules, standards, family and home rules they can count on. They also need personal habits that build spiritual connections, personal confidence, know how and good health.

As the earth needs a moon to pull on it. Outside relationships are also important and motivating as long as they keep a reasonable distance. These relationships are not pivotal, but if stable they can be very beneficial.

Too much clutter can cause a meteor shower and if there is no atmosphere to buffer us and burn it up, the meteors can scar us or even destroy us.

Everything in order and everything in its place. My head hurts now. I think I'll take a nap.

Friday, December 21, 2012

CHILDREN: THE FUTURE

I do not always convey complete thoughts and at times people take what I say completely out context or misunderstand my comments without knowing my history or my intent. Most of the time it does not matter, but family does matter and for that reason I would like to make the following declarations.

Background: My universe has always revolved around family. I grew up in a large one and unlike some from large families who vow never to have a large family, it has always been my intention to follow my parent's example and plan on having as many children as my wife wanted and God consented to send. Consequently, I took seriously the idea of being a well-prepared father when I was young and excelled whenever possible so I would be prepared when it came time to have a family. Excelling in scouting, church, school, jobs, home, music and relationships prepared me well to become a good father. I didn't rush into relationships, but let things develop, as I was ready. How did I know? I left that up to God. He has never led me astray and has always prepared me for each step in my preparation. When it was time, I knew it was right. I did not delay. My wife was also well prepared, and has devoted her full time effort in the home for more than 20 years. One of my father's favorite quotes was that he believed in planned parenthood, that is... planning to be a parent, and he felt that his joy came from his children. He used to say he had a "quiver full."

Money was always a secondary concern, because I always had enough for my needs and jobs just came to me when I needed them that allowed my wife to stay home raising the children. She earned her degree, yet chose to put her time where she felt it was most important--at home. I also focused on doing what I considered the more lasting and important things. For me that was my family, my church, my leadership studies, my many jobs, and my service opportunities. I have never been rich, but when there was a need things just worked out. Now don't misunderstand, things have not been easy and at times we have needed help. But, help was always there. Yes, I do believe in Santa Clause.

Now more than ever I desire a place in corporate leadership to better support them and plan for retirement. I did not neglect a study of business. In fact I have studied and practiced principles of leadership in many forums, but the business degree and the management certificate I earned are not widely recognized and have not opened doors. I regret only that at times my children are bitter about money. I am proud of the responsibility they have learned as a result of my meager income, because it will bless them to use what they earn wisely.

My children for the most part have been wise beyond their years and see the world much differently from their peers. I pray for them that they will learn what they need and become the best parents they can be. I'm sure they will learn from my mistakes too. Most of my best lessons came from God as He taught me throughout my life. This blog is dedicated to sharing some of that insight and wisdom with them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I VOTE

Yes, it does not always matter.  Living in Texas my vote for President will mean next to nothing, but to me it is my duty as a citizen.  Elections of representatives, senators, governors, judges, state and local officials are definitely influenced by my vote.

The answer is in doing the laundry often.  Vote the stink out.  Clean things up.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

MEANINGFUL MEMORIES


I have many memories, some I wish I did not have and others I wish I could remember better.  This section I hope to update with my memories that have changed my life for the better, have given me hope, helped me overcome adversity or are premonitions of the future that should be shared with my family.

To start let me explain my struggle to know God. I was young when a desire to know the Master had manifest in my heart. I knew intuitively that he loved me, but I knew that I needed to be more like Him to know him better. A pretty wise thought for a youngster. I could not have been more that 10 when I realized the need to think as God would think and desire to do right by those thoughts. I knew that anger, a trait I was gifted with, was strong in me and blinded me to seeing things as the Savior would see them. What would Jesus do? plagued my thoughts, because it was not my first thought and I didn't want to be a hypocrite and do things I didn't believe in or desire myself. I came to the realization in time that LOVE was the only power that kept me from anger and fear. Only when love in me for God and his children on this earth was strong was I free from thoughts that would bring me down. Gratitude, love and light encircled my heart in those times.

Some of those times were on my baptism day, while on vacation on a church history tour with my family, at Galena Street East firesides, my farewell for my mission, preaching in Germany and Austria, my days serving the young adults in Sacarmento at Cosumnes River College, leaving home for Brigham Young University and putting my fate in the hands of God, studying in Europe, courting my wife, delivering my children and blessing them,  serving in the church and in the Boy Scouts of America. These were all meaningful times when the good in my life outweighed the bad and gave me the confidence I now have that indeed I can and will do all things the Lord asks of me.

It is through His miraculous providence that my meager abilities multiply to meet overwhelming challenges and with his Grace that allows me to fulfill the purposes He leads me through. I can claim little credit for the education and experience I have attained. Providence was there at every step to guide my path or even to dig me out of my self-made grave and give me new life in Him. The credit is His, but the lessons are for me to share. That said as a youth I developed a trigger that accompanied my anger--an immediate reflex to reflect, and humble myself because of the shame I felt for that rage. Oh I can rage, but in short order and now in less time than it takes to write an email my mood sobers and I search for any way to think from another person's perspective. I have developed great empathy for people who are different from me and also a toleration for those who are like me. I feel what others are feeling and regardless of language or race find common ground. It has been a real blessing for me.

My ability to see things from many aspects has been developed into curiosity, creativity, problem solving, communications, and many other skills as they were needed. You see if there was a skill I did not have I sought to learn it. If there was a personality that was needed in a group I naturally sought to serve my best to fill the gap. Sometimes that gap was served best with leadership, sometimes as a record keeper, sometimes as an instigator, sometimes as a teacher, often the gap was filled as I became the patient and devoted follower, sometimes as a repair man, and at times I became the arbiter, the facilitator, the committee chair, the presenter, the counselor. Oh, I seriously doubt I was the best at any of these, but at the time my abilities were sufficient to get the job done and I gained a great deal of perspective from my experiences. Perspective that now is unbelievable to some and unimportant to others. To me it is everything.

OK boring right. How about those stories. Well, I am a novice storyteller, but I hope these stories may be interesting to you. They were to me and if I present them well perhaps they will be of worth to you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

ELEVENTH YEAR ELEVENTH MONTH ELEVENTH DAY

Today is a new day and this week I contemplate the continuing pursuance of time and the impending consequence of it's perpetual countdown.


I hope to convey the sense for anticipation this day brings.
Time as one grows older is less and less useful and more and more grave.


As a youth time seemed to go on forever. I remember trying to hold my breath and being amazed at how long 1 minute seemed. I remember days that would last and last and last until I got hungry and ran home for supper. I remember looking at adults who were so much larger than I and table tops that I could not see above. But those days are long past.


As I got older I noticed everything around me shrinking in size. Time did too. I found I could not remember as much. I found that not as much seemed to happen each day. I was board and unimpressed with life.


As an adult, for a moment that changed. Everything changed. I saw the world, made new friends, learned music, dancing and a new language. I became and individual with insatiable quests for new knowledge, new experiences, and new feelings. The moment passed.

I fell in love and started life anew and as a new family grew and grew and grew and grew and grew and grew and grew. My focus changed from me to them and the quality of time I once knew seemed to move to my children. I seemed to slow down. Time kept pace however and here I find myself nearly 50 and I can't keep track of even the most important moments in my family's lives. I rarely get my own age right unless I use a calculator.


Today, it seems, time is sprinting for the finish line. Rarely do I look up from the race to what is passing me by. I sleep, work and repeat. What happened to eating? I must be doing it sometime, because I keep gaining weight.


I am old enough now to know that this trend will continue until on my death bed I give up to time's ultimate demand and sleep beyond this earthly iteration. I ask myself,"What have I amounted to? I don't dare say for I have started something that will never cease and that is not fully in my control. I am proud of my family and all that they will someday become. I pray they will remember me and follow my good example. This life is a wonder and then it moves on.
These thoughts are dedicated to my daughter on her Joyful day 11/11/11.

Monday, November 7, 2011

THE ELEVENTH HOUR

  It is the eleventh hour.   It has been all my life.   Our freedom depends on our vigilance and rememberance of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. 
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Monday, August 22, 2011

SHIFT

Shift happens. A shift in thinking can be very refreshing when you make the effort to understand others points of view, but when you feel criticized another view is being forced upon you like being forced to swallowing bad medicine. Noone likes it. I spent my life understanding others from their perspectives and now that I am getting grey hair I don't understand others who are not willing to see things differently. More specifically, when they won't take the time to understand what I am saying beyond the first sentence or phrase nothing is communicated.

Today, I have fallen into the trap, a deep pit that isolates me from others. I feel less and less loved, appreciated, understood and more alone, though I am surrounded by those I spend my life serving.

Because I care I desire to keep speaking, I only hope to be able to see the trap coming next time, and show enough love that what I say is valued.

Friday, April 8, 2011

LABYRINTH


A simple exercise; just follow the path through to the other side.

To begin a path that from the onset I knew both the beginning and the destination felt silly, and pointless. But, why not walk where so many had gone before—the experience promised insight.

I followed the instructions and began. It was hard to stay within the lines. I wanted to go fast—not waste time. Then the turns were tight and at first I found it difficult to balance myself. I slowed and focused more on what I was doing.

As I reached the center I began to notice how everything changed. The room started to move. Then I noticed my shadow constantly moving until I was looking straight ahead at my shadow—the representation of where I had been. I stopped in the middle and pondered the journey—my journey.  I was trapped with no way out except to turn around and go back to the beginning.

So many times I had to turn. I knew the journey back would take many turns, but this time they were familiar. I thought of what I would have gained by my experience and as the circles grew larger again a desire to share my experience also grew. I have a purpose.

I walk the path He has set before me. I love Him for providing the way. May I look to the light and observe the shadow I cast and in all things be grateful. Thank You.