Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Death of religion as we know it?

It's a sad state of affairs when you feel inclined toward a certain position because of counsel given to you and people dub you a hater.

We went to the Temple last Saturday for a beautiful sealing ceremony (congrats to the Bartholomew fam) and there were people protesting outside with a sign that said "Love Deniers Shame" listed downward with emphasized "LDS". I was happy for them to exercise their freedom of speech and was glad that my freedom of religion was not imposed upon by people blocking my way in.

In reading a lot about Proposition 8 in California, a certain scenario came to light that I could very much see happening. I don't know if I read about it in one place or if it was a culmination of ideas, but I don't claim full ownership of the idea. Tell me what you think.

Imagine that gay marriage is legalized. Gay members of a church ask to be married in any of the number of those churches that don't allow for homosexual relations. Those churches would naturally decline to perform such marriages. The couple sues the church for denying their now legal right. The church is ordered to perform the marriage or stop performing marriages altogether.

I would guess that this could happen in any and every church in the United States, whether or not the church is based in the US. Sadly, I don't think that the huge majority of the people who are for gay marriage would ever think to do such a thing; but it doesn't take a majority to do this. I wonder how many people knew about the case against the Catholic adoption agency in Massachusetts that closed down because a gay couple wanted to adopt and, through the courts, forced the agency to place with them or close. It's always the radicals of any cause that blow for the rest of the respectful believers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A topic in my thoughts...

Since this is my blog, I guess I'm allowed to get up on my soapbox every once in a while.

Abortion is a topic that's been all over, from politics to local Branch discussions and I want to put in my two cents' worth.
People tend to make the case that abortion is a matter of privacy and choice. It's a woman's body and therefore it is her choice to do what she will with it. No one should be able to tell her what to do, and I get that. No one stops people from doing other things that I find revolting, like tongue rings and the like. That's fine.
My argument against abortion runs along two separate lines, but I think that they both have merit. When someone commits murder, they can't go back and plead that they should be able to choose the consequences of their actions. They used their body how they wanted to. A woman's right to use her body should not be taken from her, but after some three weeks, an abortion doesn't affect her body as much as the baby's. If it just dealt with her body, I could get behind that, but it doesn't. People try to bring agency into the argument, as if it has a place. Moral agency deals with the ability to choose righteousness over evil. Other than those rare situations in which the woman did not have the chance to choose whether or not to get pregnant, the decision to sin was already made when the baby was created. Agency has no bearing on the situation, because it is now gone. Whether or not there is a temporal law in place with regards to abortion, there is already a celestial law in place. If we really want to be helpful in this situation, the best thing we can do is point them toward righteousness again by not having an abortion.
I have made covenant to stand as a witness at all times and in all things, and in all places I may be in, physically or politically I might venture to add, and this is where I stand. God created a law and I have the choice to sustain that law by voting and declaring against abortion, or I can attempt to say that Congress should have power to decide right and wrong over God.
To me, that's the choice you're making. It's not about choice, because the choice will always be there, whether it's legal or illegal (feel free to reference alcohol consumption in Prohibition times). As feelings and desires count for righteousness as do actions, a woman who wants to have an abortion but doesn't, isn't in a much better place spiritually than one who did. At least they won't have to deal with death. Nevertheless, my choice is not to decide what is right or wrong, because God already decided that for me and I know His position.

Stories from Draft...

Alrighty, so it's been a while.

School is going fine, I guess. A lot of the more intelligent kids have gotten a wake-up call that they actually have to study. Fancy that. They are funny as all get out. In an attempt to help them add fractions in an easy manner, I asked, "One quarter and one quarter make...", waiting for the answer one half. To everyone's surprise the shouted answer was, "Two quarters!"
We were making what is called a foldable, where you fold a piece of paper in different ways to make blocks in which to separate information. We folded it in half the long way first, and then folded it into thirds from there to create six blocks. One student, who happened to be the biggest smart-aleck in that class, amazingly said, after unfolding the thirds fold, "I 0nly have three blocks!" Dead serious. I wiggled his paper around and played the magician and opened it again and said, "Mathemagic! Six blocks!" He wasn't too impressed.
I was walking down the hall and this girl seemed to be having trouble opening her locker. When I looked like I was going to come over, she checked again and laughingly announced, "Oh! That's not even my locker!" She's a funny one.

That's enough 8th grade stories for now. More to come...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I was tagged by Grover!
How To Play This Game of Tag:
Post these rules on your blog. List: 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog!

3 Joys
1) My wife - she is the best at everything it seems, so stalwart and true, joy-loving and fun, caring and kind
2) Our kids - Junior Mint, 6, Curly Fry, 1.6, and Squeaky Bean, .5ish - not enough room to write all of the reasons for this one
3) The fruits of the Spirit in my life

3 Fears
1) My wife will figure out who she really married and bolt
2) I'll go back to school and fail miserably and have no job
3) Failure in general - at learning to play the guitar, in writing on the topic I feel drawn to, at parenting, at life

3 Goals
1) To be a great husband and father
2) Never to stop learning and improving
3) To teach at some upper level institution

3 Current Obsessions/Collections
1) Blogging
2) Playing the guitar, learning to play I should say...
3) Collecting the state quarters

3 Facts About Me
1) I passed 30, wow I feel like I'm getting old
2) I coach varsity soccer
3) We have 3 kids and 1 angel! Who let us pass the class for this?

I tag the Ropers, Galbraiths, my wife, Stylers, and Dunnes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reinventing yourself,,,

We watched a great movie the other night, The Great Debaters, and it made me want to go learn something well enough to debate over it. We watched the bonus features, as always, and their interviews made it seem like I got such a different education. They seemed to be involved with their professors and interact with classmates and I didn't do any of that. I couldn't name a professor I talked to on more than a casual basis during class. Office hours were never something I took advantage of, never seemed like the thing to do. Maybe it was just me, because I certainly am that stubborn, but I just cruised through on my own. Maybe in grad school...

Starting this blog and trying to put music on the bottom and the topic above made me think about this process of reinventing myself. I started thinking about things that I wanted to have on the blog that reflected who I was, not superficial things but things that I enjoyed or made me laugh or were endearing to me, hence the music and pictures and almost video clips. I first made a playlist that was 100 songs long and chock-full of my favorite music ad nauseum. Reflecting on the effects on others, I decided to redo the playlist and chopped it down to songs that I thought were neat or fit on a blog.

Take 3X5 by John Mayer. The lyrics start, "I'm writing you to catch you up on places I've been..." Neat, huh? There are a couple of other songs like that in there that I thought were clever; I'll let you find the rest.

I started looking up some hilarious videos (at least in my opinion), Chris Farley doing Matt Foley, the motivational speaker from SNL; Eddie Murphy doing Buckwheat in "Buh weat sings," also on SNL; Will Ferrell doing Harry Caray, also on SNL. Guess you can tell that I grew up watching SNL. But all of the videos, unless you could find them on Google video, had links to or pictures from other videos that were just smut, and I couldn't bring myself to put them on the blog with a warning like, "This video is good but don't go anywhere else because there are a million bad ones if you stray at all." Like, it feels good to stand in the surf of the ocean, but don't take a step or two out or you might get clobbered by humongous waves. Not really want I wanted to do with a blog.

So in all of this, I've been asking myself lots of questions about who I really am and what really represents me and what I stand for. I guess everyone has their troubles with spiritual progression, but I feel that el chamuco is constanty on my back, while the Spirit calls after me to focus on what is good and important. With all that's going on, am I really as good as I want mysef to be? Is there something more I should be doing? How do I get past the point where I feel torn between the world and the spiritual? What more can I become, and should I feel scared to go down that path? Ever had these feelings?
I'll end here for now. Maybe I'll edit this post and continue the philosophical rambling, or maybe my mind will change and I'll feel differently at some later date. Thanks for reading and any comments/advice you have are more than welcome.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Funny videos...

So, I was going to make a list of funny videos, like Will Ferrell doing Harry Caray and Chris Farley doing Matt Foley, but there's just too much nasty junk on the internet to go to any sight and even embedding them in the page doesn't prevent smut from coming close, so I ditched the idea. Sorry.


So I had to go to the dentist today in Bridgewater, which is about 20 miles or so from summer school. The gas tank was getting down to about a quarter tank or so and I thought that I'd have to get gas on the way back from the dentist. On the way to the dentist, the light came on and I was thinking that I'd have to get gas sooner than I wanted to, which would have been at Costco, where I was headed after the dentist. When I got back in the car, I was just hoping to get to a gas station, but the indicator pushed back up past the E mark and so I gave it a shot, getting to Costco that is. So I made it there with seeming ease and did my shopping and saw that gas there was $3.86, which was cheap for our area. I headed over to the gas station and as I was doing the card thing, there was a woman on the other side talking on the phone about buying gas for what sounded like a ridiculously low price, so I looked. Guess what it was? $2.529!!!! Needless to say I hurried my little self up, feeling somewhat sheepish for buying gas at such a low price, but there was only a little guilt since the price is insane to start with. More sheepishly I stopped the manager-looking gentleman who was walking by and pointed out the price, while I was pumping the gas of course. He said, "Yeah, we're working on that. Consider it a present from Costco. Please don't call anyone." I said, "Thank you, we appreciate it!!" and mentioned that I wouldn't call anyone. Coincedence about the gas tank or little wonder? I choose to believe the latter. Computer errors aren't always a bad thing I guess...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Being sick stinks, bigtime...

So I got sick yesterday. I can't remember the last time I was that sick. Really I was trying to remember but I couldn't. Something to be thankful for I guess. Just wish it hadn't been during school. :( I went home and my Freckleyone was really nice to me and let me nap. Five hours it ended up being!! Wowsers. Then the kids went to bed and she made some chicken and rice soup, which they say is really good for you when you're sick, and it's true. What a nicey that one! Then I went to bed again.
Junior Mint was really sad because we had been planning on going to a friend's house where I could play volleyball, Junior could swim, and the ladies could chat and/or swim. He was in meltdown mode most of the night, so I felt bad for Freckleyone. Hopefully, we'll get to go next week.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 2

So, I've figured out a few things, played around enough to get music on the site. Yayy!! Next up is pictures. They have this slideshow thing that I tried like fifty times yesterday but no luck yet. Great pictures are coming!!
Summer school, day 2:
The students are used to the fact that I don't jump down their throats and start to try and take advantage. It all comes out in the wash, though, because if they don't stay focused, their test grades crash!! We worked on solving equations today and they are currently taking their test on it. We'll see how this goes.
I forgot my lunch today so I got to see the kids here. They are just so cute!! Curly Fry's smile would melt butter, Squeaky Bean is growing so fast and smiling and trying to giggle, and Junior Mint is just a hoot! I felt bad that I didn't get to play with him yesterday, but we'll get some time in today. He's really interested in soccer and baseball at the moment. We've got him signed up for swimming lessons every Saturday and soccer again in the fall. I hope he learns to enjoy sports for what they are. I know that I love playing volleyball and soccer, somewhat because I'm decent at both, but they're also team sports that I've found fun people to play with. A ver...

Monday, July 7, 2008

New blogger

Hello to all! I'm giving this blogging thing a try to keep everyone more up-to-date on our fam. It should also double as a journal, which is personally helpful to me. I hope to post about the family and funny personal snippets from eighth grade life, which should have some very interesting stuff. Feel free to comment or email anytime.