Last week toward the end of our lesson at church this scripture was shared with the class. While the others moved on, I continued to plunge more deeply into these words we have all heard many times.
I don’t know why, but I have always read these words as a rebuke. I could feel the exasperation and frustration in the verses at why, after all this time and all that I have learned, could I still lack faith and be afraid.
But last week, something changed.
Let me paint the backdrop for you, so you can taste a bit of my journey in discovering what His message truly is to me.
For the month of January we have been given the assignment to provide Sacrament Meeting at a memory-care assisted living center here in town.
I’ve been trying to play the piano for the meetings each week.
I’ve not been succeeding very well.
Regardless, it is a privilege and a blessing for me to just be there. It is a pretty sacred experience to watch family members or CNA’s tenderly take the bread and water from the trays and place it to the lips of one who has long ago forgotten how to do it themselves.
But they haven’t forgotten what it means.
Continue reading Why is it ye are so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
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.
With 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.”
Long story short, I don’t want to be that guy.
Continue reading Differentiating the distractions from the demons
A wonderful friend and priesthood brother of mine is going through something unimaginable, and has been for years now.
As a husband and a father, this is just about as tough as it gets; I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that plummets the depths of his soul.
We’ve talked several times throughout this experience about a fundamental human need that helps us make it through these tough trials:
What is hope?
He shares that he can understand having hope in the long run; you know, hope in the next life, hope that things eventually will work out okay.
(Source: Alex Batty)
But what about today?
Or, even more difficult, what about tomorrow, when it is even darker than today?
I’ve lain awake trying to pull my thoughts together and put words to what I feel and know within. Chances are pretty good that I’m going to botch this up, but I’ll try anyway.
Continue reading What is hope?
(All images in this post are from the LDS Media Library)
“The restoration of the gospel was not a restoration of rules; it was a restoration of reasons. The Ten Commandments actually made it through the apostasy. It was the reasons to keep the commandments that were lost.” Brad Wilcox, Department of Teacher Education at BYU
This statement is one of those that can stop you in your tracks when you first read it, make you go back and read it again, and then stay in your mind long after the paper has been put down.
At least that’s what happened to me.
In so much of what we do each day, I think what matters the most is the reason we actually did, or didn’t, do something.
Nick calls it “the why” of what we do, and feels it is at the heart of our gospel living.
Continue reading Awareness is an action verb
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
We can blow our minds trying to grasp the intricacies of that one. But at the end of the day, does it really matter?
I mean, we have chickens, and we have eggs. To me, that’s just a win-win.
Okay, let’s dig a little deeper.
Which came first, the administration or the congress in creating a quagmire?
We can blow our minds in listening to the passionate arguments about just whose fault it is.
So far, though, I’m only seeing a lose-lose.
Let’s think some more.
Continue reading Are we in a cosmic game of chicken, waiting to see who will blink first?