Monday, October 29, 2012

Two Sons

Saturday Teresa and I were invited to attend a little meeting with our two eldest sons.  Josh met a lady on one of his business trips who had some connections with the state chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and she invited him to come speak.  She also asked if Brian would consent to be there and share some of his experiences.  Both agreed so we chose to tag along and act as beaming parents.

It is always interesting to see your children in a different environment.  Our perceptions are based on what we see in them growing up and the few times we watch them interact with friends and such.  To see them as “normal” people is often eye opening and unusual.

Josh spent his time helping the young folk (college age) understand that ‘innovation’ in not starting a new company but it has a lot to do with examining the world around you and finding better ways to do things.  He was very confident (with a tough crowd – they were ready to go home after a long weekend) and patient as he shared some really good thoughts about business and ways to improve things.  Sure hope some of those kids listened.

Josh speaking on innovation to a group of tired college students.
He finally got them to wake up but it was difficult.
Of course, Brian spent most of his time sharing the journey of the last few years with his company, Instructure.  We even learned a few things we hadn’t known before so the message was fascinating.  And the growth of his company is such a fantastic story that he really had them on the edge of their seats (so to speak)

Casual Saturday dress for Brian as he shares about Instructure and  Canvas (their product).
Everyone wanted to get a piece of him after because he is 'famous.'
You will notice, from the photos, that Brian is playing the part of the ‘entrepreneur’ and Josh tried to stick to the ‘businessman’ mold.  Not what you would have expected from them when they were younger but….

Proud parents will always be grateful for their sons and daughters as they succeed.  But we are exceptionally proud of all our children because they have grown up to be such fine, moral, loving people.  It’s just fun to share it with others from time-to-time.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Who's Driving This Mess?

I know I have written twice already this week but I came across something I really felt needed to be shared.

Sir Winston Churchill
In the years leading up to the Second World War, Winston Churchill tried to warn the British that appeasement to the demands of Hitler was not the proper tactic to take with a madman.  But Neville Chamberlain had the ear of Parliament and spouted his pacifist plans sufficiently well that most of Britain ignored Churchill and his warnings.  The ensuing years proved Winston Churchill correct and when he became Prime Minister of England, his place in history was cemented. 

Just before war was declared between Britain and Germany Churchill recited a poem that, I believe, has great pertinence to our present day situation. 

Our government is in the process of trying to appease and satisfy enemies who are set on destroying our nation and much of the world as we know it.  The efforts of our leaders have been dismal (particularly in the last 4 years) and we are closer to a great war than at any time since those days in the late 1930’s.

The First nuclear bomb, preparing for detonation
With the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the fear caused by the terrorists who hold them we need someone like Churchill to help lead us out of this mess.  It might be well if we were to consider the value of the message from this little poem as we evaluate who would best help lead our nation out of the quagmire we currently populate.

Anyway, here is the poem.  It is written by Edwin James Miliken and was shared by O.S. Card here (you didn't really think I was that smart to come up with this on my own did you?).

Death and His Brother Sleep
By Edwin James Miliken

Who is in charge of the clattering train? 
The axles creak, and the couplings strain.
At every mile we a minute must gain! 
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
Only a Man, but away at his back, 
In a dozen cars, on the steely track, 
A hundred passengers place their trust 
In this fellow of fustian, grease, and dust. 
They cheerily chat, or they calmly sleep, 
Sure that the driver his watch will keep
A hundred hearts beat placidly on, 
Unwitting they that their warder's gone;

For the pace is hot, and the points are near, 
And Sleep hath deadened the driver's ear; 
And signals flash through the night in vain. 
Death is in charge of the clattering train!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Those Little Puppies

Scary looking and not very nice!!

In my mind, feet are the ugliest part of the human body (on the outside -- there's lots inside that is disgusting).  Maybe it’s because they are so overworked and trodden upon (bad humor), but they just aren't very attractive. 

(My grandson, Logan, says when he makes people he will get rid of noses but I sort of like the personality they give to the face).

Aren't those nasty looking?
Why do women torture themselves with these things?

Maybe that’s why my feet hurt all the time.  Them little ‘puppies’ realize they just can’t compete with hair or eyes so they make you remember them by hurting all the time. 

Once in a while they will lay off a bit if you get a really comfy pair of shoes but as soon as you switch to the dress variety, back comes the misery.  And since I teach in a suit and go to church in a suit, dress shoes are what I wear most.

For years I have been searching for something that will satisfy the vanity of those dastardly appendages at the end of my legs and seldom have I been successful.  Usually it’s a case of “anything that looks good is uncomfortable and anything that is comfortable is really ugly” (like the feet they are on).  

But maybe there is hope in sight.

I have a friend who is also a teacher and is on his feet a lot.  He, too, feels the wrath of his ‘foot bones’ and has looked high and low for relief.  According to him, this is the solution to all my troubles:

The thought of wearing ‘clogs’ grates on my manhood (sort of like guys who played soccer in high school – you know, it was a ‘girls’ sport) but desperation works on us until we either give in or die from pride. 

I believe I will try a pair of these for my Temple work and see how they feel.  If there is a big difference, THEN I might give them a try at school.  My reasoning is that in the Temple I will be able to sit and rest if things get too bad but I can’t always do that in class. 

Besides, people in the Temple won’t laugh at me for wearing clogs.

Anyone with experience in this type of footwear can share their feelings and ideas --- please!!!

I’ll let you know how things go.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Testimony vs. Conversion

LDS Conference Center

We just finished another conference weekend and I am stoked about some of the messages.  I know, I always get excited but this time I REALLY MEAN IT!!!

There’s this really cool Apostle named David A. Bednar and whenever he speaks I sit up and take notice.  We shouldn't have favorites but his messages always seem to strike a chord in my heart (sort of like when Neal A. Maxwell was with us…only different). 

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Elder David A. Bednar

Elder Bednar’s message was about the difference between having a testimony and being converted.  There are many people in the church and in the world who have a testimony about basic (and deeper) doctrines but who are not converted for one reason or another.  They know principles and doctrines are true because the Holy Ghost has witnessed to them but their lives are not in conformity with the truths they know. 

Peter was part of the focus of this talk
It seems such a silly thing because we lose so much when we know one thing and do another but isn't that how our lives go!!  I suppose the reason we are here for this experience is to see how much we are willing to obey before we are taken back to Father. 

I have pondered this circumstance in my own life and find that there really are things that I know are true but I just haven’t gotten around to living them yet.  But I have also noticed that each passing year adds a little more to my ‘obedience cup’ and I am much different than I was in my younger days.  I take hope in that process because it is the way God looks at each of us – He isn't expecting perfection today but He is expecting BETTER each day.
I commend to you the entire message linked above so you can see how Elder Bednar’s message might affect you.  I hope you will see the truth and let the Spirit help you become what you really want to be.

I suspect that as I study more of the talks I will comment again, so get ready.  See you next time.