Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Someday there will be a brilliant young (or old) tech-type person who will come up with a better way to post on a blog than what we have today.  Most of the tools available for bloggers seem to be clunky and difficult in one way or another.

Smart boys aren't they?

For instance: why do blog editors not capitalize like a regular word processor?  It really can't be that hard to put a little app in there so the beginning of each sentence or the letter "I" all alone gets an automatic capital.

(amazing Gary Larson knows about Midvale, UT)

Maybe the right software just hasn't come by my desk.  Windows LiveWriter is alirght but not really intuitive when trying to do some functions like posting pictures.  This post is done with Scribefire (an add-on for Firefox) and has its own limitations (like it wants to revert back to default font every time I bold or center a line).

One my old HS buddies

There are probably lots of better applications for doing what needs to be done but they have not been discovered yet.  Short of changing to WordPress, there seems to be a need to suffer with some stubborn and un-user friendly methods of posting.


Never you mind!! It will all work out and there will be success in the future.  In the meantime, the search will go on for the perfect least in my view.


Any comments or guidance for solving these concerns would be appreciated.

Monday, December 27, 2010



For years I have “preached” against the observance of traditions. (I mean, look what they did for Tevye)


Not always because they are bad, but because they can be made to BECOME bad.

Some have accused me of being overly zealous in my efforts to control the development of new traditions.

After all, what is wrong with having little family or ward traditions?  Especially this time of year when we have so much to celebrate?

The idea of traditions, in and of themselves, is not something I find to be wrong or unworthy of our observance.  It’s when the tradition loses its meaning and becomes simply a reason to repeat some act or experience in our lives.

If we don’t know why we do something, why do we continue the practice?


I remember a story told of a newlywed couple who were preparing their first Sunday dinner. The wife took the roast and, before putting it in the roasting pan, cut off both ends of the meat.  Perplexed, the husband asked her why she did that.  The reply was “that’s the way my mother always did it.”

On the next visit to the mother’s house the husband asked why this practice was part of the preparation for a pot roast.  The mother replied, “that’s the way MY mother did it.”

At a later time, when the grandmother was in attendance, the young husband inquired about the purpose of cutting of the ends of the meat before cooking.  The grandmother answered, “when we were first married, the pan I used for a roast was too small to hold the whole thing so I had to cut off the ends so it would fit.”

All those years of wasted meat because no ever asked WHY do we do this thing.

Let us look carefully at why we do some of the things we do and if we have no good reason except TRADITION let’s get rid of the practice.

There is a good read in the D-News about dating the Savior’s birth and popular Mormon traditions.  Take a look at this article for a different perspective.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Feelings



The memories and emotions of this word affect us all.

Sometimes it’s gifts we received.


Other times it can be an experience.

Hopefully it also brings to mind the TRUE purpose of the Holiday.Adoration

I am a follower of Jesus Christ and this is His Holiday.  The longer I live, the more I understand the need to put my trust in His work and the mission He accepted when He came to earth.  My own weaknesses keep me short of the ideal He has set but His love has opened the way that I might overcome who I am and become someone better. 

It only seems fair that with all He has given, I can give a little back to show appreciation.  My hope, this season, is that there has been more good coming from my actions than evil.  And if not, that I will do a little better next year in my efforts.

My wish for all is that you feel the truth of the Savior’s life and live in a way to enjoy the blessings He offers.  Please let this time of year wash over you and fill you with the Love the Christ has to offer.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year Too.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Long ago, when I was more willing to indulge in such things, there were dreams that rumbled around in my head and heart,giving me a hope that the future would be something exciting and good.  Some of them were sane and others were far distant from reality, but they were the things I considered as the possibilities of life.
I have not forsaken the realms of visions, but the structure seems to be different—probably necessitated by maturity and family responsibilities.  If you have wished or hoped for something, consider these items and see if they don’t ring a bell in your heart.

Karen and Richard Carpenter (The Carpenter’s)

In 1969, amidst all the hoopla of Rock and Roll, a brother and sister offered their first musical album together and a young man of 14 became enthralled with voice Karen Carpenter.  The tone, timbre and sweetness of her talent did something to me that only music can do.  I don’t recall that I was that impressed with Karen as a person (didn’t really know much about her ‘til later) but her voice captivated me as no other had in my life.  
In the days before i-pods and CD players, we had turntables with large speakers for our listening enjoyment.  Since I couldn’t afford headphones for my cheap little record player, I would take the speakers and put them on either side of my pillow as I drifted off to sleep and in my dreams I would hear the sultry, alto voice of Karen Carpenter leading me along whatever path my mind happened to choose that night.  Over the years there were other singers on the system but when I wanted a good rest, it was always the Carpenters to the rescue.  And all these many years later, the sound of her wonderful tunes can take me back or lift me up as almost no other (except my favorite hymns).  
Not exactly the type of DREAM you were expecting was it.  Well, let me try again and see if you can relate to this one.
Being the eldest of 10 children, there were often things that I saw or experienced that some of my siblings seemed to ignore (of course they probably feel the same from their vantage point).  One of my big complaints, as a youth, was that it seemed we never had enough food to eat—or at least not enough GOOD stuff around the house.  I’m sure my parents provided well but our diet was pretty mundane and almost fell into a pattern of regularity:
Monday—Macaroni and Cheese
Tuesday—Tuna Casserole
Wednesday—Liver and Onions (hardest meal ever to eat)
Thursday—Soup/Stew or Beans
Friday—Big salad or Bread/Milk/Honey with onions
Saturday—Fend for yourself
Sunday—Mock Pot Roast (don’t ask)
(I’m sure things weren’t this structured but it seemed so to me at that age)
By the age of 14 or 15 I was pretty tired of the regular fare but there was no real relief in sight.  Thus hatched one the most consistent dreams of my young life.  


Determining that if one wants to eat better, one should have access to an excess of food, the goal became to work and study and finally become the owner of a grocery store.  Then, no matter what else happened, there was a possibility for food of varying flavors, designs and consistencies and no one to stop you from having it.  So for the next several years I did what I thought I needed to do to achieve this dream.
As a junior in High School I pestered the local merchants until one of the finally agreed to let me work in their store.  I started with mopping the floors and worked my way up to stock-boy and bagger and all the while I was trying to understand the ins-and-outs of the food business.

What I eventually discovered was that people who own grocery stores don’t have a lot of money (at least not the small ones like I envisioned owning) and eat just about as well as I had most of my life.  What a letdown that was….my dream was nothing more than a wisp of hope that had little truth attached to it.
Let me conclude this “dreamy” post with one lasting image of my mind that has been fully achieved.
For most of my young years there was a dream that recurred and brought me a great deal of joy.  But it was also frustrating because I could never see the completion—every time things got close scenes would shift or wakefulness would arrive.  
Not knowing the reason, there was worry that this particular episode was never meant to be completed.  You see, the dream was of my wedding.  Preparations were seen and guests recognized but whenever it came time to see the face of the bride, something happened to block my view.  There were many times when the feeling was that this dream was never meant to come to pass.


In 1977, when I was standing in the Manti Temple, preparing to be sealed to the sweetest young lady I had ever met, circumstances were such that the dream of my youth came back.  There, in front of me was a beautiful bride with her back turned toward me.  But this time, as things progressed, she turned and instead of waking up and being frustrated, I saw the face of the angel who would be my companion forever.  And in that moment I knew that all my other dreams were just popcorn on a string compared to what was about to happen.  Now, that’s the kind of dream that can make a man happy forever.

Thanks Sweetheart!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Asked the kids at school if they knew what these four letters represent.  It’s one of my holdover thoughts from the old business days.  Easily applied to gospel principles so I decided to test it on the youth.

P =Potential

C = Compared

T = To

P = Performance

I’m sure this started out as some Phd. project and eventually morphed into a business training item.  But there is truth in using the idea.

The potential of each of God’s children is unlimited………….or not!!

Only our choices determine the limits to what we may achieve. 

A boy choosing to slough school and hang out with friends finds his performance in the job market limited by what he doesn’t know.  A girl choosing to work hard and take challenging classes is not surprised when scholarships and awards are abundant at graduation.

It all sounds so simple and basic but still we ignore the validity of the truth and try to do things our own way.  And the price is paid!!

What we choose to do today will determine what we get to be in the future.

Go Here for some other types of PCTP

Friday, November 12, 2010

Good Dresser?

Thoughts from a bygone day.

“Men” under the age of 18 should never be required to fasten the top button on their shirts.  Inhumane treatment!!! 


Someone call the ACLU!!! or the ASPCA!!!!! How about PETA!!! After all, men are animals too.  They have ‘rights’.



Yesterday I made a pilgrimage to the suit store to replenish the supply of business outerwear.  The store was having a sale and it was too good to pass up.


What happened between 18 years of age and today?

Did maturity take over?  (not a chance)

Someone became a “clothes horse”? (unlikely)

It probably started during the missionary experience.  White shirts, ties, suits, all day, every day.  Habits are made after only 7 repetitions so what chance was there when 730 passed?


Just a pic I found…have no idea who they are.


Quality may be helping.  Shirts fit much better today so the collars don’t squeeze tight.  Waist bands have adjustable stretchy do-dads to help with comfort.  And ties don’t have the large, throttling knots of the 70’s allowing for regular breathing.


Whatever the reason, it is good to have nice clothes and nice to have good clothes.  Thanks, Teresa, for taking good care of my image.

Your Loving, and semi-well dressed husband. 

(0nly semi because of my lumpy shape).


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thoughts for the Day

A few random musings.

Josh and I went to Strawberry Reservoir for a closing fishing trip and had some pretty good success.  Things were slow for the first couple of hours but by the end of the night we had landed several large trout (one which we kept for Josh).  Nice way to end the fishing season.  Here is an article that shows what it was like.

Lots of work and meetings on the Sabbath but an enjoyable day.  I did have some heavy congestion and figured it must be an allergy but nothing seemed to fix the problem.  Went to bed wondering if I would be healthy for school the next day.


Have you ever tried to greet someone and found that your mouth was moving but no words were coming out?  That was my experience as my students came to class.  The best I could do was an almost inaudible whisper.  The positive is the kids really had to listen in order to hear what I was saying.  They also felt like they had to answer all my questions in a whisper.  With my bad ears, most of what they said I couldn’t hear but we got through the ordeal


After a second day of whispering, Teresa convinced me to go see the doctor.  She (the doc) told me I had a viral laryngitis and the best remedy is to stop talking.  After I finished laughing, she suggested that she was not kidding.  For the next few days I will be resting my voice (makes me feel like some great opera singer) and hanging out at our home, trying not to get in Teresa’s way.

The other day I received notice that I have officially completed my Wood Badge requirements.  The next court of honor we have, someone from the district will come and award my beads and I can finally be a “real” Scouter.


Just watched the Texas Rangers beat the Yankees in the 4th game of the American League championships.  I have always disliked the Yankees so any team that beats them is my friend.  Does it affect our exaltation to really despise a baseball team?  Or a football team (Dallas Cowboys)?  How about basketball (Lakers)? 


My favorite college football team is having a difficult year but I’m not really concerned.  The future is bright and good things will come.  Patience is rewarded by excellence.


Made a huge mistake the other day.  My normal dry-cleaner closed its doors so, rather than look for another, I decided to take our clothing to Red Hanger.  The expectation was that the price would be a little more than normal but still in the realm of affordability.  Imagine my shock when the bill totaled more than $100.  For once, I was afraid to tell Teresa what I had done… but I ‘manned up’ and took my beating.  Sorry sweetheart—it won’t happen again.  The pain was too great (the money, not the flogging).


Sunday, October 17, 2010

God Given Rights

Elections are coming up shortly and I (along with the rest of the U.S.) have been wondering what will happen when new folks are voted into the leadership positions in our government.  I suspect that we will see little change from the ways things have been working over the past few decades.

Republicans will work to cut taxes and help small and large businesses succeed and Democrats will respond by accusing them of forgetting the ‘common people’ in the haste to make a buck. 

Democrats will ‘fight’ for the rights of the oppressed and abused by making new laws to limit what the individual can do and Republicans will continue their assault on the erosion of individual freedoms at the hands of “BIG GOVERNMENT”.  In other words, nothing much will change.

Except that the ‘people’ are becoming more and more disinterested in the pet projects of each party.  What we want is a government that is dedicated to the rights and freedoms we have been promised by the

Constitution and the Will of God.

Most Americans are reasonably satisfied with their lives and would like a chance to live without undue interference from Federal, State, or Local governments.  That means a reduction in ‘services’ offered and forced on us.  It also precludes all government, of any kind, from imposing their will on the masses because they think something good may come of it.

Remember, the will of the government SHOULD be the will of the people. 

A wise man once said:

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law--to do your business by the voice of the people. (Mosiah 29:26)

The only way to make sure this is the government and system we enjoy is to participate in the process.  It is true, one vote does not make a huge difference, but one vote is all we have now and if we fail to use it, we will lose it.

So Get out there and Vote!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


A few years ago I was called to be the scoutmaster in our ward.  This was not my first ride in that rodeo so I enlisted the help of my best friend (Teresa) as my Number 1 unofficial assistant.
We started our adventure with 5 or 6 boys and over the couple of years we worked together, we were able to increase our numbers to 14 or so regulars.
Included in the posse was my youngest son Joel and one of his friends, Cory Mortensen.  I knew Cory’s parents and had some affiliation with him before our Scouting encounter, but to me he was really just another 12 yr old who we were trying to get to Eagle before he turned eighteen (made it when he was 14).
A few years earlier, because of a calling in the bishopric and later work I did as YM president, I became acquainted with an energetic, excitable, never stop talking, speed speaker named Ellice Tan.  For a time she had quite a crush on Joel and made it a point to be in our circle whenever he was around. She got over Joel but never slowed her speech pattern (I often had to remind her my ears were old and couldn’t conjugate as fast as she was spewing). 
I mention these two because today we had a sacrament meeting with both as our main speakers.  Since we no longer have “Missionary Farewells”, we make it a point to hear a last message from the departing missionaries as they are about to leave for their field of service.

Both were assigned topics and we requested they take approximately 15 minutes each to share their feelings and testimonies.  Knowing both, as I do, my fear was that we might have one of those meetings that extended past the one hour ten minute limit we try to enforce.  In fact, I had already warned my counselor who was conducting to not announce my comments for fear there might not be time.

No need to worry!!!  Ellice, who could barely tell us what she had for breakfast in less than 15 minutes, took a total of nine for her message.  She also decided that her friends, who were supposed to provide a musical number, weren’t really ready to share so they didn’t come prepared to sing. Then Cory followed up with a whopping 8 minute sermon, leaving a large void for someone to cover. 

The Stake President had no interest in talking so I was left with 20+ minutes before the meeting should be ended.

What was to be done???

The Bishop stood, shared a few words, announced the closing song and ended the meeting at a quarter to the hour.  (You see, I know that the President likes short meetings and wouldn’t be concerned if we left early.)
Lesson learned.

Don’t trust young people who talk a lot to fill your meeting because they panic and talk even faster than normal.  And don’t be afraid to end early if things don’t go as planned.

It was a good meeting and both will be wonderful missionaries.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Secret Ambition

I know that I just posted an entry but there was one other thing I forgot to mention.  Recently my eldest daughter (who is also my youngest and most beautiful) mentioned to me that the Deseret News was looking for people to write some things for them as they began a change in their format.  She had applied and been readily accepted, receiving several assignments almost immediately.  She suggested that since I like to write it might be fun to apply and see if they would be interested in my talents (as feeble as they may be)
For some time there has been a niggling thought in the back of my mind, urging me to expand my writing outside the current venues I am using.  SOOOOO, I went to the page where application can be made and followed all the directions with the assurance (in my own mind) that success would be had.  The easiest part was taking a few facts about a world event and organizing them so they would make sense to someone who was not aware of the things that had happened (mine was about the floods in Pakistan).  Not only was I able to produce a lucid and flowing article, but the story written was much more compact than required by the instructions.  As I pressed send for the transmittal of my credentials, I was confident that there would be an immediate reply suggesting that I had been remiss for waiting so long to offer my expertise.
One week passed and there was no response.  Of course, I reasoned, that is because they were so busy sorting through the thousands of applications received.  Patiently, I waited and envisioned the great things I would write as the world was enlightened by the musings of my mind.  When a second week had passed I began to wonder what kind of knuckleheads were running the program.  After all, how could they not rush the request for my talents back so I could get started on my new career as a member of the Press?  Ah, but not to worry!  After nearly three weeks, there was a message in my e-mail that signified the desire this grand company had for the labors of my fingers and mind.  The words went something like this:
Dear Loser Writer:
You have the worst style of writing we have ever seen.  It is amazing to us that you can compose a sentence that is intelligible, coherent, or even readable.  Please understand that we never want to hear from you again.  We mean it!!!  In fact, if you ever consider writing to us again, we want you to know that we will file a court injunction and sue you for everything you own.  What ever made you think anyone would want to read the mish-mash you write.  LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And in case you didn’t understand, we hate your writing style, we despise the message you are trying to communicate and we hope that you will be banned from any blog, e-mail account, or other writing medium that is part of this mortal life. 
XXXXXXXXX (name redacted to protect the guilty)
As you might imagine, this was not the greeting I was expecting.  It seems all those years of writing in my journal and composing witty letters to my children, students and other teachers had been wasted.  And can I ever justify writing in my blog (where some poor unsuspecting victim might be assaulted by my words) again when I might be the harbinger of pain and incomprehensible anguish. 
What a terrible blow to my ego and my desire to become a true writer.  But I do have this one consolation.  Though I may not have the talent and skill necessary to find my way to fame and glory, MY DAUGHTER does.  Not only has she been accepted to the elite levels offered by the Deseret News but she has had two, (2), dos, deux, of her articles printed in the on-line version of Mormon Times.  You can go Here to see the first and right here to see the second.  Hurray for Melissa!!
The moral of this story is:
If you can’t become good at something, make sure your children can and live off their glory and fame.  So far it’s working for me.  How are you doing.
BTW, I wonder if my chances would be better if I submitted another application under an assumed name like Michael DeMoux.  Maybe I will try that!!!???!!!  I’ll show them to turn me away.

P/T and ECR

Parent/Teacher conferences at the Jr. High tonight so I have a little time to put something out on the blog. 

Maybe not!!  Just had a run of parents that took nearly an hour.  Usually there aren’t that many who come but this year seems to be different.  I do have a great group of kids and I am enjoying the goodness they bring to our class.

Now for a little about the state of the family.

Last weekend we took our annual trip to East Canyon Resort and had everyone there but Josh and Heather (Josh had a business meeting in San Francisco and Heather went with him…the babies stayed with Heather’s mom for a few days).  We had three condos and plenty of exciting activities (see attached photos).

  IMG_2160 IMG_2192

Katie learning to golf                                                                         Shuffleboard with little folk

IMG_2205 IMG_2210

The Pool was really nice                    DeMoux’s in the wilderness

IMG_2282 IMG_2284

The four little ‘outlaws’                             Ellie practicing the crab walk

IMG_2187 IMG_2165

Brothers in the “Troll House”                   Bryce making a great shot



From time to time I get a little grumpy about the cost and inconvenience of owning a time-share but weekends like this remind me why we put up with the hassle.

These are days the kids will always remember and they really charge the old folk back up so we can endure a little more of the struggles that lie ahead.

Thanks to my sweetheart for keeping me (and our family) grounded in reality and eternity.


Grandma with Baby Emma

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

End of Summer Report

This will be short but I don’t want anyone to think I have forgotten to make any entries.  Most of my time, lately, has been taken up with projects--

We finished the crypt (well, sort of) and have moved some things down into the room.

Brian and Paula bought a new house so we have been painting with them.

School started last week and it takes a while for my body to get acclimated (translation: I am tired a lot).

Late summer allergies seem to have turned into a cold (or something worse) and I am feeling miserable.

Other than that, my life is going well and I am happy as a clam (though I can’t see how a clam could be very happy, all cooped up in the little shell thing all the time).  Things will always be better but they are pretty good now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Being a child of the………., well being older than I used to be, there are some things in this life that don’t make much sense.  I sort of get bottled water and I can understand why some people get caught up in the whole global warming thing (though I have great faith in our planets’ ability  to take care of itself—after all, if it’s been around as long as science says, don’t you think Mother Earth has figured out a way to combat our stupidity?).  On the other hand, there are some “new age” habits/fads that just don’t compute in this pre 1960 brain.  Examples as follow:

1. For the life of me I cannot figure out why someone would want to put a large metal ring in their nose.

image                 image

Dust makes my nose itch so I’m sure these things would drive me cuckoo.

That’s what we used to do to pigs and cows so they were easier to control.  Are these people telling us that they want someone to put a rope in the ring and then lead them around?  The imagery is so graphic but I suspect they have no idea what they are suggesting to the human mind. 

Just weird to me!!!

2. Mankind lived for eons not knowing everything about everyone who resides on this sphere. 

Presidential elections occurred and it was weeks before the citizens knew results.


image image

Abe Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.  When he turned his hand against the Saints, Douglas was guaranteed failure.

Huge disasters devastated whole countries and people in neighboring regions NEVER knew. 

image image

Krakatoa, east of Java.  Sent a plume of ash that changed the weather for several years…even in New York.

Life was good without up-to-the-minute reports.


Now, if we don’t have polls telling us the outcome of events weeks and months before they actually occur, we are in fear of a collapse in civilization. 


And if there is ever a moment when we are out of touch with our friends and family… well, you know what I mean.


This phone (or one like it) once sent and received 14,000 text messages in a month.  That works out to about one message every three minutes…..every hour of the day for 30 days.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little seclusion and privacy?


Wind Rivers, Wyoming


3. Social Networking is something that I really have a hard time wrapping my mind around.  Some time back I decided to give Facebook a try. 


It all seems so innocent.

My kids were on it and I thought it might give me some insight into what was happening.

Before you go off and think I am anti-electronic media, remember where you are reading this.  Blogging makes sense to me because it is a medium where you can write and express yourself.  Sort of like an on-line journal.

Sitting at a computer for hours at a time and commenting on your personal life and the happenings of all your “friends” seems to be a HUGE waste of time. 

Actual facebook post:

I can't believe I've spent most of my day on this thing. But the tingling in my hands tells me it's true....addiction?:(


Who’s life is so interesting that we have to know everything about every minute of the day?

These things puzzle me to no end but, since I am not the greatest solver of mysteries, I will have to be content with knowing that all this will change and something new will take our attention.

BTW, I do have a cell phone and I know how to text.  My facebook account is still open and I check it from time-to-time.  But I do not and will never have a nose ring, earring, lip ring, bellybutton ring, toe ring,  tattoo, or any other body adornment.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Animal Traps

That's Mom, Naomi, Jim, David, and Me Mom, Naomi, Jim, David, and Me—Clifton Chapel (I think)

When I was a little boy, someone (probably my dad) taught me how to make animal traps  out of old fruit boxes.  We would take the ends off the box (about 6”X 12” X1”) and nail four of them together in a long, rectangular shape (sort of like a square tube).  Then we would put window screen or a fine mess fencing on one end of the box and a door on the other.  The door had a string that held it up and was arranged so that if the animals ate some food we tied to the string, the door would fall down and catch them. (There was more to it than described, but I can’t give all the instructions…you know, violation of military secrets and such).



Our traps were similar to this one, though not as fancy.

The traps were primitive but very effective in catching little critters (preferably chipmunks and squirrels but sometimes birds got in).  Most often we would just release the animals but sometimes they would become so anxious about their captivity that they would harm themselves in an effort to escape.  Many of our captured friends ended up with bloody noses from crashing against the screen, but we tried to let them out before any permanent damage was done.

I’ve thought about some of the traps encountered in my own life and have recognized that most are just as simple and effective as those I created as a boy.  Let’s look at a few that have given me trouble.


This has always been my dream car….still don’t have it.



Growing up somewhat deprived of the THINGS of life (at least in my eyes), I determined early that I was going to be sure to have enough money and stuff so that I could be “happy”.  One of my life goals (in addition to a family, serving in the Church, etc.) was to have a MILLION DOLLARS by the time I was 30 so I would never have to struggle again.  College and work led me to a career that was very profitable and had me well on my way to success.

What I found was that, while the trap of wealth was exciting, it was also restricting and distracting.  In order to have lots of money you have to work lots of hours or make lots of concessions.  And those concessions and hours left bloody marks on my soul because they took me away from what I really  wanted.  A few painful events (not to be discussed at this time) finally convinced me that “things” weren’t really that important.  Since then I have been much more at peace with myself and my life.

An equally difficult trap has been that STUPID TV.  While I have made progress in this regard, it is still a thorn in my side and in the foot of my sweetheart.  I’m better at the quality of what I watch and I (most of the time) can control the amount, but there are still times when the trap slams shut and I am frantically running around, trying to get free once again.  My hope is that before I die it will be a non-issue (maybe I will go blind or something).




This last one is a little more sensitive so I ask for your kindness as you discover my weaknesses.


There, I said it.  Now you all know and you can see that I have such a long way to go in life (some of you may remember that I tried to sell off a few of my faults a while back but I forgot to include this one.  Oh well, it wouldn’t have mattered because no one wanted the other items so I would still be stuck with this one.). 

Here I am, serving as bishop in my ward, trying to help the members improve their lives, and one of my greatest weaknesses is that I am more concerned with myself than I am with other people.  Oh, there are days when I think I am doing OK but then I revert back to ME mode and ignore what others need.  Then I start wondering why I’m not in tune so much and in finally comes to me that I have forgotten what I’m really supposed to be doing. 

You would not believe the scars and scratches I have endured because of my own stupid decisions…forgetting that I am here to serve and bless everyone else. 

But there is hope!!  I have faith in the Savior and His Atonement!!!  He can help me!!!!  He can open all the traps and let me out.

Christ at the door

That’s the only way I will ever be free. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Out With The Old

When I first became a Seminary Teacher I thought it would be a good idea to replace my scriptures every four years.  The idea was that if I had to relearn where everything was, it would improve my teaching and keep me sharp.

A large print quad in brown was my first set for teaching.
Tried to use this compact version of the quad but they printed the letters too small for my eyes. Silly Deseret Press!

Before my 5th year of teaching I received a new set of scriptures for Christmas and decided it was time to be brave and make the change.  I became very comfortable with this set and became very proficient at finding anything I wanted to share with very little effort.  The fact that I was still trying to figure things out made the transition somewhat easier.

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These were the Christmas gift 1999 and I loved them (mine weren’t indexed like these).

Fast forward four more years and we have a different situation. 
When it came time to “mothball” the black set…
I chickened out because there was so much time and effort invested in the markings and references.  I mean, there were hundreds of quotes glued in the pages and notes written in the margins and it made no sense to give all those things up when they were so useful in the classroom. 
No matter that the pages were beginning to look worn and the spine of the Bible was coming apart.  These were like a comfortable pair of shoes   and I loved them.
Think no ill of my using duct tape to preserve the integrity of the word of God.  I once was at a meeting and noticed the speaker, one of our leaders, had used the same method to hold onto his standard works.
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The use of post-it notes has become common in my scriptures.  That way, if I find I have misinterpreted something, I can remove it as easily from my scriptures as I do from my mind.

But after 11 years, it is time to make a change.  Not just because it will help me be a better teacher BUT because the old books are really looking hammered.  And I can’t be afraid of making this change.  Besides, maybe I will be forced to teach something in a better way because I can’t remember (a different problem I will chat about on another day) how I did it before.  NO, it is time!!!  The die are cast and the deed is done! 

This is a burgundy Quad.  I know it looks like the brown but they are really different.  In fact, I don’t know if they even make the brown version anymore.

So, thanks to one of my counselors, there will be a new book (containing four books) on my podium this next school year.  I’m sure there will be struggles but I will persevere and come out the champion…or I will run, screaming from the room whenever I can’t find something. Ask me later how it is going.

BTW, my thought has always been that I will bequeath my old volumes to any of my children who might be interested in them.  Kinda like a scripture journal….but not!!!  Now that I am at that point, I’m not so sure any of them really want to have these beat up books in their possession.  What say ye, O children of mine?