Category Archives: Taking personal responsibility

The world has enough people who are trying to police everyone else, what they do, what they say, what they think. We’d be better off if we took a portion of that energy and turned it back on ourselves. It matters what each of us do, say, and even think. We have the responsibility to make sure it reflects what we really believe.

Do we think that radical Christianity is the best solution to radical Islam?

Many years ago my mother discovered through her genealogy work that she had close relatives living in the Great Lakes region which she had never heard of, nor they her.

Contact was made, airline tickets purchased, and Mom set off to meet her “new” family.airplane3

When she arrived, they were warm and inviting, yet she found them staring at her oddly when they thought she wasn’t looking.

Finally it came out.

“You’re a Mormon, aren’t you?”

“Why, yes I am.”

“Can we see your horns?”

My mother laughed out loud and bent her head forward for a hands-on inspection. When no horns were found, they asked their next question.

“How many wives does your husband have?”

I would imagine that many of you have similar stories you could share. We laugh now about how silly people are to believe such nonsense about an entire group of people they know nothing about.

Continue reading Do we think that radical Christianity is the best solution to radical Islam?

Is exercising faith a matter of being “all in”?

For almost two years now I’ve been sharing bits of our journey with you. I would imagine that some parts have made you roll your eyes and others have produced a spontaneous chuckle here and there.

My hope is that some of them have made you stop and think, even if for just a moment, and then ask yourself pertinent questions.

I like to refer to it as ponder and wonder.

One of my favorite ponder and wonder topics is faith. I know that it is the first principle of the gospel and that by 48 I should probably have it down by now, but we all know that I’m just a bit simplistic.

It takes me a while for it all to sink in.

Hence, the pondering and wondering.

jesus christ 4I have a firm testimony that whatever my Heavenly Father’s will and direction is for my life is ALWAYS better than what I could scrape together on my own. It always has been, and always will be.

Our Savior’s example in the Garden of Eden of submission to the will of His Father at a point when He would have the bitter cup pass has been one I have spent a lot of time trying to emulate.

At least in my own silly, mortal way.

Continue reading Is exercising faith a matter of being “all in”?

Have we asked what comes AFTER the anger?

There is a lot of anger out there.

Global, national, political, social, economic, sectarian.

Through years of hiding our heads in the sand and putting off for tomorrow that which we should sacrifice today, we’ve made a mess of a lot of things.

And, to coin a phrase, everyone’s mad as hell.

Understandable.

gunshotIt feels like we have at last arrived at that final straw that will break the camel’s back.

And the resultant wounded roar is much like the shot heard around the world.

So, now that the igniting shot has been fired, what comes next?

To me, it looks like we have two choices: scream more oxygen into the flames and let the inferno burn everyone it touches; or, build a forge.

Continue reading Have we asked what comes AFTER the anger?

Differentiating the distractions from the demons

SCAPEGOAT: a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.

The truth is we all do it. Sometimes it is so painfully obvious and ludicrous. You know what I mean: as when a man shouts at his wife that “you made me do this” as he brutally beats her.

That had better not be any of us.

However, I think that in the majority of cases it is the very subtle scapegoating we do that can be the most dangerous.

I’ve realized recently that all of us can learn to be pretty good at it, which can make us pretty bad at everything else.

Being bipolar and mentally ill brings its own special level of spreading the blame.

glassesWith Nick home, I have the opportunity to see myself through his eyes. He and his mother walk cautiously through the house to not startle me into a heart attack. They make HUGE adjustments to their lives to accommodate me and the symptoms that are just a part of every day. In fact, I finally digested that they also watch closely what they say.

This last week, Nick said to his mother several times “Mom, you know you can’t say something like that to Dad, he’ll just obsess over it until he explodes.”

Ouch.

Long story short, I don’t want to be that guy.

Continue reading Differentiating the distractions from the demons

Becoming a childlike adult

We’ve talked before about our family’s little practice of “communication complete.” In a nutshell, one of the four of us can usually recognize when what is being said is NOT what is being heard.

We know by sad experience that this is definitely not a time when ignorance is bliss.

Anyway, we’ve come to really appreciate the extra step to have the intended message make it all the way to the intended recipient.

That’s when we all laugh a little and act like that guy (or girl of course) who is guiding in the airplanes with the great flashing flares and put our hands down in a “communication complete” motion.

Silly, I know, but it has made all the difference.

Especially now that our kids aren’t kids anymore.

grandparentBut they are still OUR kids, and we are THEIR parents.

And we are still the children of our parents, and they of theirs.

It always will be, no matter how old we all get.

Ahhh. There’s the problem.

Continue reading Becoming a childlike adult