Friday, May 15, 2009

Catching up....Graduation and Obama's Talk

It has been a crazy semester and because of it, I have not been writing as I should. (Sorry!!!) As many of you probably know, we are planning to move to Coolidge in the near future. We put an offer on a house and It should close in the next week or two. I have also graduated with a Masters in Social Work. I am excited!

Graduation was interesting because our commencement speaker was President Obama. I did not vote for him but I was very impressed with his speech. He said some things that I believe transcend politics and I would encourage all of you to read his speech if you get a chance. (I will attach a transcript of it at the bottom.) My favorite part was when he spoke about a student who did work for people in Africa. Her professor showed her a video of the people that she served and she said, “"When we saw the people on the videos, we began to feel a connection to them. It made us want to be successful for them. "

This has been my experience in working with juvenile offenders, the homeless, and the mentally ill over the past couple of years. These people are easily cast aside in our society but, through my service to them, I have grown to love them and wish them success. It is similar to the feelings I have for my little girls. I watch them and see them grow, and when I see them do something wonderful like share with their sister, or read a small book, or give me a hug when I walk in the door, My heart is filled with so much love for them it nearly breaks!

How can I love someone who has committed a crime? I do not know… How can I love someone who smells very bad and drinks all of the time? I do not know… How can I love someone who is violent and cannot distinguish fantasy from reality? I do not know. Nevertheless, I do know that I do love them and I am happy to see them succeed. I am a better man for knowing them. Have a great week!


Presidential Address by President Obama to ASU Class of 2009

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, ASU. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you so much. Thank you -- please. Well, thank you, President Crow, for that extremely generous introduction, for your inspired leadership as well here at ASU. And I want to thank the entire ASU community for the honor of attaching my name to a scholarship program that will help open the doors of higher education to students from every background. What a wonderful gift. Thank you.   That notion of opening doors of opportunity to everybody, that is the core mission of this school; it's a core mission of my presidency; and I hope this program will serve as a model for universities across this country. So thank you so much. 

I want to obviously congratulate the Class of 2009 ... your unbelievable achievement.   I want to thank the parents, the uncles, the grandpas, the grandmas, cousins -- Calabash cousins -- everybody who was involved in helping these extraordinary young people arrive at this moment. I also want to apologize to the entire state of Arizona for stealing away your wonderful former governor, Janet Napolitano.   But you've got a fine governor here and I also know that Janet is applying her extraordinary talents to serve our entire country as the Secretary of Homeland Security, keeping America safe. And she's doing a great job. 

Now, before I begin, I'd just like to clear the air about that little controversy everybody was talking about a few weeks back. I have to tell you, I really thought this was much ado about nothing, but I do think we all learned an important lesson. I learned never again to pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA bracket.   It won't happen again. President Crow and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.

Now, in all seriousness, I come here not to dispute the suggestion that I haven't yet achieved enough in my life. First of all, Michelle concurs with that assessment. She has a long list of things that I have not yet done waiting for me when I get home. But more than that, I come to embrace the notion that I haven't done enough in my life; I heartily concur; I come to affirm that one's title, even a title like President of the United States, says very little about how well one's life has been led -- that no matter how much you've done, or how successful you've been, there's always more to do, always more to learn, and always more to achieve. 

And I want to say to you today, graduates, Class of 2009, that despite having achieved a remarkable milestone in your life, despite the fact that you and your families are so rightfully proud, you too cannot rest on your laurels. Not even some of those remarkable young people who were introduced earlier -- not even that young lady who's got four degrees yet today. You can't rest. Your own body of work is also yet to come.

Now, some graduating classes have marched into this stadium in easy times -- times of peace and stability when we call on our graduates simply to keep things going, and don't screw it up. Other classes have received their diplomas in times of trial and upheaval, when the very foundations of our lives, the old order has been shaken, the old ideas and institutions have crumbled, and a new generation is called upon to remake the world.

It should be clear to you by now the category into which all of you fall. For we gather here tonight in times of extraordinary difficulty, for the nation and for the world. The economy remains in the midst of a historic recession, the worst we've seen since the Great Depression; the result, in part, of greed and irresponsibility that rippled out from Wall Street and Washington, as we spent beyond our means and failed to make hard choices.   We 're engaged in two wars and a struggle against terrorism. The threats of climate change, nuclear proliferation, and pandemic defy national boundaries and easy solutions.

For many of you, these challenges are also felt in more personal terms. Perhaps you 're still looking for a job -- or struggling to figure out what career path makes sense in this disrupted economy. Maybe you've got student loans -- no, you definitely have student loans, or credit card debts, and you 're wondering how you'll ever pay them off. Maybe you've got a family to raise, and you 're wondering how you'll ensure that your children have the same opportunities you've had to get an education and pursue their dreams.

Now, in the face of these challenges, it may be tempting to fall back on the formulas for success that have been pedaled so frequently in recent years. It goes something like this: You 're taught to chase after all the usual brass rings; you try to be on this "who's who" list or that top 100 list; you chase after the big money and you figure out how big your corner office is; you worry about whether you have a fancy enough title or a fancy enough car. That's the message that's sent each and every day, or has been in our culture for far too long -- that through material possessions, through a ruthless competition pursued only on your own behalf – that’s how you will measure success.

Now, you can take that road -- and it may work for some. But at this critical juncture in our nation's history, at this difficult time, let me suggest that such an approach won't get you where you want to go; it displays a poverty of ambition -- that in fact, the elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short-term gain over lasting achievement is precisely what your generation needs to help end. 

Now, ASU, I want to highlight -- I want to highlight two main problems with that old, tired, me-first approach. First, it distracts you from what's truly important, and may lead you to compromise your values and your principles and commitments. Think about it. It's in chasing titles and status -- in worrying about the next election rather than the national interest and the interests of those who you 're supposed to represent -- that politicians so often lose their ways in Washington.   They spend time thinking about polls, but not about principle. It was in pursuit of gaudy short-term profits, and the bonuses that came with them, that so many folks lost their way on Wall Street, engaging in extraordinary risks with other people's money.

In contrast, the leaders we revere, the businesses and institutions that last -- they are not generally the result of a narrow pursuit of popularity or personal advancement, but of devotion to some bigger purpose -- the preservation of the Union or the determination to lift a country out of a depression; the creation of a quality product, a commitment to your customers, your workers, your shareholders and your community. A commitment to make sure that an institution like ASU is inclusive and diverse and giving opportunity to all. That's a hallmark of real success. 

That other stuff -- that other stuff, the trappings of success may be a byproduct of this larger mission, but it can't be the central thing. Just ask Bernie Madoff. That's the first problem with the old attitude.

But the second problem with the old approach to success is that a relentless focus on the outward markers of success can lead to complacency. It can make you lazy. We too often let the external, the material things, serve as indicators that we 're doing well, even though something inside us tells us that we 're not doing our best; that we 're avoiding that which is hard, but also necessary; that we 're shrinking from, rather than rising to, the challenges of the age. And the thing is, in this new, hyper-competitive age, none of us -- none of us -- can afford to be complacent.

That's true in whatever profession you choose. Professors might earn the distinction of tenure, but that doesn't guarantee that they'll keep putting in the long hours and late nights -- and have the passion and the drive -- to be great educators. The same principle is true in your personal life. Being a parent is not just a matter of paying the bills, doing the bare minimum -- it's not bringing a child into the world that matters, but the acts of love and sacrifice it takes to raise and educate that child and give them opportunity.   It can happen to Presidents, as well. If you think about it, Abraham Lincoln and Millard Fillmore had the very same title, they were both Presidents of the United States, but their tenure in office and their legacy could not be more different.

And that's not just true for individuals -- it's also true for this nation. In recent years, in many ways, we've become enamored with our own past success -- lulled into complacency by the glitter of our own achievements.

We've become accustomed to the title of " military super-power, "

forgetting the qualities that got us there -- not just the power of our weapons, but the discipline and valor and the code of conduct of our men and women in uniform.   The Marshall Plan, and the Peace Corps, and all those initiatives that show our commitment to working with other nations to pursue the ideals of opportunity and equality and freedom that have made us who we are. That's what made us a super power. 

We've become accustomed to our economic dominance in the world, forgetting that it wasn't reckless deals and get-rich-quick schemes that got us where we are, but hard work and smart ideas -- quality products and wise investments. We started taking shortcuts. We started living on credit, instead of building up savings. We saw businesses focus more on rebranding and repackaging than innovating and developing new ideas that improve our lives.

All the while, the rest of the world has grown hungrier, more restless -- in constant motion to build and to discover -- not content with where they are right now, determined to strive for more. They 're coming.

So graduates, it's now abundantly clear that we need to start doing things a little bit different. In your own lives, you'll need to continuously adapt to a continuously changing economy. You'll end up having more than one job and more than one career over the course of your life; to keep gaining new skills -- possibly even new degrees; and you'll have to keep on taking risks as new opportunities arise.

And as a nation, we'll need a fundamental change of perspective and attitude. It's clear that we need to build a new foundation -- a stronger foundation -- for our economy and our prosperity, rethinking how we grow our economy, how we use energy, how we educate our children, how we care for our sick, how we treat our environment. 

Many of our current challenges are unprecedented. There are no standard remedies, no go-to fixes this time around. And Class of 2009 that's why we 're going to need your help. We need young people like you to step up. We need your daring, we need your enthusiasm and your energy, we need your imagination.

And let me be clear, when I say " young, " I'm not just referring to the date of your birth certificate. I'm talking about an approach to life -- a quality of mind and quality of heart; a willingness to follow your passions, regardless of whether they lead to fortune and fame; a willingness to question conventional wisdom and rethink old dogmas; a lack of regard for all the traditional markers of status and prestige -- and a commitment instead to doing what's meaningful to you, what helps others, what makes a difference in this world. 

That's the spirit that led a band of patriots not much older than most of you to take on an empire, to start this experiment in democracy we call America. It's what drove young pioneers west, to Arizona and beyond; it's what drove young women to reach for the ballot; what inspired a 30 year-old escaped slave to run an underground railroad to freedom what inspired a young man named Cesar to go out and help farm workers; what inspired a 26 year-old preacher to lead a bus boycott for justice. It's what led firefighters and police officers in the prime of their lives up the stairs of those burning towers; and young people across this country to drop what they were doing and come to the aid of a flooded New Orleans. It's what led two guys in a garage -- named Hewlett and Packard -- to form a company that would change the way we live and work; what led scientists in laboratories, and novelists in coffee shops to labor in obscurity until they finally succeeded in changing the way we see the world.

That's the great American story: young people just like you, following their passions, determined to meet the times on their own terms. They weren't doing it for the money. Their titles weren't fancy -- ex-slave, minister, student, citizen. A whole bunch of them didn't get honorary degrees. But they changed the course of history -- and so can you ASU, so can you Class of 2009.   So can you.

With a degree from this outstanding institution, you have everything you need to get started. You've got no excuses. You have no excuses not to change the world. Did you study business?   Go start a company.   Or why not help our struggling non-profits find better, more effective ways to serve folks in need.   Did you study nursing?   Understaffed clinics and hospitals across this country are desperate for your help. Did you study education?   Teach in a high-need school where the kids really need you; give a chance to kids who can't-- who can't get everything they need maybe in their neighborhood, maybe not even in their home we can't afford to give up on -- prepare them to compete for any job anywhere in the world.   Did you study engineering?   Help us lead a green revolution developing new sources of clean energy that will power our economy and preserve our planet.

But you can also make your mark in smaller, more individual ways. That's what so many of you have already done during your time here at ASU -- tutoring children; registering voters; doing your own small part to fight hunger and homelessness, AIDS and cancer. One student said it best when she spoke about her senior engineering project building medical devices for people with disabilities in a village in Africa. Her professor showed a video of the folks they'd been helping, and she said, "When we saw the people on the videos, we began to feel a connection to them. It made us want to be successful for them. " Think about that: " It made us want to be successful for them. "

That's a great motto for all of us -- find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Rise to their needs. As you think about life after graduation, as you look into the mirror tonight after the partying is done -- (laughter and applause) -- that shouldn't get such a big cheer -- (laughter) -- you may look in the mirror tonight and you may see somebody who's not really sure what to do with their lives. That's what you may see, but a troubled child might look at you and see a mentor. A homebound senior citizen might see a lifeline. The folks at your local homeless shelter might see a friend. None of them care how much money is in your bank account, or whether you 're important at work, or whether you 're famous around town -- they just know that you 're somebody who cares, somebody who makes a difference in their lives.

So Class of 2009, that's what building a body of work is all about -- it's about the daily labor, the many individual acts, the choices large and small that add up over time, over a lifetime, to a lasting legacy. That's what you want on your tombstone. It's about not being satisfied with the latest achievement, the latest gold star -- because the one thing I know about a body of work is that it's never finished. It's cumulative; it deepens and expands with each day that you give your best, each day that you give back and contribute to the life of your community and your nation. You may have setbacks, and you may have failures, but you 're not done -- you 're not even getting started, not by a long shot.

And if you ever forget that, just look to history. Thomas Paine was a failed corset maker, a failed teacher, and a failed tax collector before he made his mark on history with a little book called " Common Sense " that helped ignite a revolution.   Julia Child didn't publish her first cookbook until she was almost 50. Colonel Sanders didn't open up his first Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was in his 60s. Winston Churchill was dismissed as little more than a has-been, who enjoyed scotch a little bit too much, before he took over as Prime Minister and saw Great Britain through its finest hour. No one thought a former football player stocking shelves at the local supermarket would return to the game he loved, become a Super Bowl MVP, and then come here to Arizona and lead your Cardinals to their first Super Bowl.   Your body of work is never done.

Each of them, at one point in their life, didn't have any title or much status to speak of. But they had passion, a commitment to following that passion wherever it would lead, and to working hard every step along the way.

And that's not just how you'll ensure that your own life is well-lived. It's how you'll make a difference in the life of our nation. I talked earlier about the selfishness and irresponsibility on Wall Street and Washington that rippled out and led to so many of the problems that we face today. I talked about the focus on outward markers of success that can help lead us astray.

But here's the thing, Class of 2009: It works the other way around too. Acts of sacrifice and decency without regard to what's in it for you -- that also creates ripple effects -- ones that lift up families and communities; that spread opportunity and boost our economy; that reach folks in the forgotten corners of the world who, in committed young people like you, see the true face of America: our strength, our goodness, our diversity, our enduring power, our ideals.

I know starting your careers in troubled times is a challenge. But it is also a privilege. Because it's moments like these that force us to try harder, to dig deeper, and to discover gifts we never knew we had -- to find the greatness that lies within each of us. So don't ever shy away from that endeavor. Don't stop adding to your body of work. I can promise that you will be the better for that continued effort, as will this nation that we all love.

Congratulations, Class of 2009, on your graduation. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.  

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cranky

It is 10:30 and we just got the kids down. I went to the temple today (while still feeling under the weather) and I think it was one of the least productive temple sessions that I have been to. It nearly wiped me out. When I got home Lindsey went to help set up the ward Christmas party and I watched the kids. 

It is a well known fact that when an animal is wounded, they are the most dangerous. The patience factor is reduced to zero and the "please stop talking you are annoying me" factor goes through the roof. Not a good combo for babysitting. Needless to say I was on the far side of cranky. 

Anne is also sick so we spent some time sitting on the front porch throwing snappers. (The little paper wrapped things that pop when they hit the ground). That was the highlight of the day. Even though we both felt like **** (I will let you put what ever you want there but I was going to use the four letter word - dogs; as in, sick as dogs.) After that we spent way too much time trying to get kids asleep. 

In reflecting on the day I just wanted to say, Being a parent is difficult. Being a patient, loving parent is nearly impossible, and being a perfect parent is impossible. But we learn. 

So what did I learn today. 
1. When you are cranky, don't drive. You will drive aggressively and get into trouble with your wife. 
2. When you are cranky, don't babysit. This could lead to something as bad as eating your young.
3. When the day is over. Look at your kids sleeping, and realize that they are precious, and look at your wife sleeping and think: "Man, I am a lucky guy."

Have a good night.

Friday, December 19, 2008

End of Semester and Speaking in Church

The one bad thing about having kids is that when one of them gets sick it gets passed to the whole family. It started last week with Emma, then to Anne, and then to Rachel. Now Dad has it! I had to take 2 days of work off this week and, instead of doing anything productive, I languished in feverish misery. Yuch.

The sad part of this is that Dallas and Steve graduated this week. Tonight as Lindsey and Fam go over to Dallas's house to celebrate I am stuck at home taking anti-nausea medicine. ((Maybe it is Karma for any bad things I have done over the year.))

I was driving to work earlier this week and something weird passed me.





I was not sure if it was some idiot with bad taste or a real police vehicle so I made sure I stayed at the speed limit and didn't do anything dumb. Turns out it is a DPS Car that has been "Pimped" for use in promoting the agency. No offense but that year of mustang stank...

Great news for all you despair.com fans. You can despair yourself. http://diy.despair.com/motivator.php I created a despair.com poster and though it was great. Sorry Cat Lovers...





Lindsey and I gave a talk in church this week. If you want to read it feel free. (If you are in it, sorry... I was on a roll when I was typing it out.) It was sort of funny. The bishop called me late Friday evening because the people who were going to speak in church went off and moved to Idaho!!! He asked if Lindsey and I would talk at the last minute. I told him we would and asked him if there was a subject I needed to speak on. He said the topic was service but because it was last minute we could talk on any subject that we choose. This was the basis for my "High Priest introduction and mandatory dumb joke at the beginning of talk..." ((Yeah you know the type I am talking about)). I told everyone that I would not be talking about Service but rather I would address the upcoming Vikings vs. Cardinals game.
Hey, everyone laughed and it woke some of the people up.



By the way, Vikings won 35 -14 ((Yeah!!!))


Anyway, here is the talk, enjoy.


We are living through difficult times. When I watch the news at night, I hear and see the economic distress of the world, wars, earthquakes, fire, smoke, murders, crime, and once or twice, I have seen the sea heaving itself beyond its bounds.

“… We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object. … The time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes.” Joseph Smith

Recently in FHE our family learned about the characteristics of Zion. I would like you to imagine living there for just a moment.

Imagine a community where you could leave on vacation and forget to lock your doors for the week that you are gone. You would not have to worry about losing your job because the corporation is trying to maximize the return to shareholders. It would not matter whether you were a school teacher, a janitor, or a doctor, you would be able to maintain an acceptable quality of life. If you were unable to care for yourself the community would be willing to come and talk to you, help you, and make your life wonderful because it would be unthinkable for anyone to be left out. You would not be treated as a “burden” but as a friend.

Let us compare this with the Babylon that we currently live in.

In Mesa, I am not willing to leave my house without locking my doors. In fact, outside my car is locked as I have already had my car stolen once. I have friends who have had their house broken into. We see corporations focus on how much money they could get this quarter if they cut workers. Executives receive bonuses for the cuts. Workers who are laid off loose access to health care, and in many cases, lose their homes and savings. If you are the best janitor you can be, you will still be compensated less than a lousy doctor and I have seen firsthand in my work as a social worker that if you are unable to care for yourself you are treated as lazy, worthless, and on occasion, even abused by your caretakers.

Why were the Latter day Saints unable to bring about Zion in the early days of the church??? According to D&C 101 Saints were unable to establish Zion in "consequence of their transgressions." The revelation continues that among the Saints there were "jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances."

I ask you how much closer are we to Zion today than we were back then???

You may be surprised to find that the subject of this talk is not about Zion but about Service. For I believe that unselfish service is one of the only ways to rid us of the jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires.

Joseph Smith said “Let every one labor to prepare himself for the vineyard, sparing a little time to comfort the mourners; to bind up the broken-hearted; to reclaim the backslider; to bring back the wanderer; to re-invite into the kingdom such as have been cut off, by encouraging them to lay to while the day lasts, and work righteousness, and, with one heart and one mind, prepare to help redeem Zion, that goodly land of promise, where the willing and the obedient shall be blessed. …

Service is a purifying act. In doing it we follow the counsel of our Savior when he said “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.”

Jesus was the greatest among all men. In Matthew 23 He Said “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” The Master was the greatest servant for he did exactly what he said he would do in Ezekiel, “I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick”

How can service purify us?

Service changes who we are. Years ago, My brother and I were not friends. We were different in both personality and behavior but we were not different in pride. We were both headstrong and stiff-necked. It came to a point that we would not even talk to each other without getting into an argument. Hate and Anger were our constant companions. I tell you this because as I look back on my life this is one of the things I am most ashamed about. Thanks to our Heavenly Fathers great plan and the opportunity for repentance, I was changed though service.

There is nothing like missionary service to help you forget the things that are not worthwhile and focus on the things that are important. In the two years away from my family, I began to see my brother in a new light. I realized that I had been a prideful jerk and there was no excuse for my behavior. I realized that I have no control over my brother but I had control over my actions. After I spoke to the lord about this realization and asking for his forgiveness, I returned to climb the steep hill of true repentance. I began to do things for my brother that he would appreciate. I did this to tell him that I did indeed care for him and that I was sorry for my actions. I did not expect any reward or change in behavior from him. As selfish as this sounds my service to him was for me.

Years have passed from that time. Our relationship is greatly improved from that time and I feel that we have the beginnings of a friendship forming. We can talk without arguing and, this year we even spent a few treasured hours talking about things that I keep close to my heart. The service I gave to my brother has given me the chance to repent and begun to heal our relationship.

Service that you may find “distasteful” or difficult can be the most rewarding service of all. This includes service to people that you may not like or understand. King Benjamin, in his address to the Nephites said, “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”

This is the first reward of service. It does not matter who receives the benefits of your service, for it is all done to God.

Recently I had the opportunity to go to a soup kitchen and provide a meal for 100 homeless men and women in the area. After spending time with them, I heard stories about their lives and who they were. It is easy for us to place judgments upon people that we do not know. We can call the homeless people lazy and deceitful when we see them as we pass by in a car or are asked for help in the parking lot. It is harder to do that when you are serving them with your whole heart. You will find that there is even room to love the people in need. The knowledge that the homeless people are people and worth the time and service you freely give them helps solve the problem of homelessness better than to dispensing the judgments that come easily to the natural man.

I am an imperfect person and . I am deeply indebted to God and his son. King Benjamin said in his sermon, “I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants. And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you. And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth”.

I do not believe that he said this to give us a guilt trip. He clarifies this statement later on by saying,

“And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.”

It is my hope that notwithstanding my imperfections and weaknesses, this message this will give opportunity for the spirit to improve our desire and ability to fulfill one of the great commandments of the Savior, the commandment to feed his sheep. It is through service that we will rebuild Zion - the Pure in Heart, and it is through service that we will retain a remission of our sins, and walk guiltless before god.

Hope you have a great holiday!!!!

Bill

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mid-December Life

This week has been weird. Finals, writing 2 grants, and being called to speak in church have made this week very stressful. But things have been good overall. Today I was able to go shooting with some friends and then The Family, Hannah, and I went over to Brandon's house and has a cookout and got the Guitar out. It probably was not recordable but it was fun.
Rachel is starting to read and Anne is telling everyone that she is sorry(???) and that Issac pulled her hair. Emma has been sick this week and Lindsey and I have been cleaning the laundry over and over and over again. Lindsey has just recently cut her hair and looks pretty cute.

The other day I was watching a video on CNN that I felt was really cool. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2008/12/0 6/nc.santa.soldier.wxii I have been stressed out and this video really made me realize that my family is the most important thing. It helped me slow down and live each day as it comes.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Ghandi and Silence

After reading Ghandi's Autobiography I was impressed with his desire to only say something when it was important. This made his words much more powerful then someone who just can't shut up. This poem what I wrote after I read this book.

Silence,

To measure every word to its utmost

A conservation of speech and oration…

This is the thoughtful speaker,

His words are more valuable,

Because he is...


Silent