Friday, February 25, 2011

God and Dog

 Believe me when I say that I thought I would
be one who allowed a DOG in the house.
I have learned to never say never.

And to make things even more confusing...
I love to be In The Doghouse!

I hope you enjoy this little video... 
p.s. I know it could be considered irreverent by some..
but they obviously don't have a dog like mine.
After all, everything points to Christ, doesn't it?
And Christ points us to God.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Christian Case for Mormon Values

Well, the buzz around town is that the Mormons just might have two potential presidential candidates this election, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. I guess we are really hitting the big time, huh?

Or, will it be Jon Huntsman?
Will it be Mitt Romney?
The Washington Post has a column called On Faith that talks about religious issues in the news.  Thanks to my Twitter addiction I stumbled onto an article written on the subject of these two Mormon potentials by, yes… wait for it…, a Professor of philosophy from  Biola University, a Christian.  (Remember, a lot of people think Mormon’s aren’t Christians… )

The title of the article is “The Christian case for Mormon Values”.  Catchy, right?  The author, John Mark Reynolds (coincidentally two very Christian names.. I think not), did an extremely civil job of throwing his support for the Mormon leaders out there for the world to consider.  In fact, he makes a really good case for Christian support of these Mormon men.  

He states,” God works in mysterious ways to perform His wonders. Old Testament prophets complained about the instruments God chose, but God went on being God despite their complaints. 2012 is likely to give Americans two serious candidates for president that are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). Many conservative Christians, for good and bad, get inspiration and information from Glenn Beck, who is also a member of the Church.”

Reynolds continues, “Should Americans be concerned? Bluntly, no, though those of us who are not Mormon should be depressed that such a small group has outworked, out thought, and out hustled us. Mormon success should spur traditional Christians, who outnumber Mormons by tens of millions, to do better.
Sadly ignorance of the LDS Church is widespread in our culture. Despite over a century of faithful citizenship and embracing family values, stupid stereotypes remain. Magically much of the media easily remembers Glenn Beck is Mormon, but keeps forgetting that Harry Reid is as well. Sacred garments on Christians and Jews are normal, but sacred garments on Mormons?”

Way to go Brother Reynolds!!

I believe that he reached his peak of the address when he praised Mormon’s in the following way…
“If this is, as the Washington Post suggests, a Mormon moment, it is because Mormons clung to truths now unfashionable and addressed questions others ignore. They suffered exile in their own land, persecution, and the need to change important ideas to be part of the broader culture. This American experience taught them good lessons about America. Being right is powerful and most LDS are right on many of today's big issues: the nature of family, the protection of life, defense of religious liberty, and republican values.
Traditional Christians should learn from their example and patriotic Americans should celebrate their effective service.”

How about that for a Christian endorsement? 
The Mormon's might just be the mysterious way God is moving in, huh?

Perhaps you would like to read the entire post?  Click here and check it out for yourself.
Don't be alarmed at all the wacky comments that people are posting in response to his article... whenever you talk about Mormon's those people crawl out of the woodwork, right Churchlady?
Regardless, thanks John Mark Reynolds for all the good things you have said about my people!

Read more about the history of Mormon persecution here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Single Dad Laughing

Yesterday a friend put up a link on Facebook for a Blog post called, “Worthless Women and the Men Who Make Them”.   I don’t know about you, but for me the title peaked my interest.  

I clicked on the link and it took me to a Blog called Single Dad Laughing. Now the initial piece my friend posted is well worth the read, but because I was intrigued I poked around the Blog for a while.  I was pleasantly surprised.  In fact, it was one of those times that I had hope for society as a whole, as I glimpsed into the thoughts of this one man.  

Single Dad Laughing began as an outlet for a man who had “failed” at marriage twice.  He started out by posting humorous, snarky, blog posts that poked fun at everyday situations a single, divorced, parent might face.  Then something in his life changed… and his posts became very insightful.

He explained:
"Last week I was hanging out with my incredible and beautiful friend, Wendy. We were immersed heavily in this very topic, and she asked, "how did you know when you actually loved yourself?"

It was a profound question. I had to think before I could give an honest answer. And then it hit me. "I knew that I loved myself when I stopped comparing myself to others. I knew that I loved myself when I stopped looking for the wrong in others. I knew that I loved myself when every other person suddenly looked beautiful to me. That's when I knew. It had nothing to do with myself, and everything to do with others."
And the more I've thought about it, the more I believe that to be true.  People who love themselves, don't hurt other people. People who love themselves have no reason to ever judge another person on looks. There is simply no need. People who love themselves no longer look at beauty on a sliding scale or as a competition. There is nobody more beautiful or less beautiful than anyone else, including themselves. People who love themselves no longer see fat or skinny, tall or short, fair or dark skin, gay or straight, strong or weak. They only see people. Beautiful, beautiful people."

I have decided that even though I am an old married woman, Single Dad Laughing has a lot of great things to say.  

Please go and read the post “Worthless Women and the Men Who Make Them”, it has a ton of great insights for both men and women.  It is kinda long… but worth the read.

Thanks Single Dad Laughing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Helping in the LDS Vineyard

I just wanted to shout out to the world about The Vineyard.  

The Vineyard is the new LDS website that offers opportunities to serve without leaving the comfort of your own home.  Seriously, this is right up my alley!  If you have a computer and an Internet connection you can provide service to others by working on several different activities that The Vineyard provides.

Here are some examples:

Work on preparing Church Publications to be shared with the world.
“The Church has thousands of documents that need to be evaluated before they can be sent to people worldwide. Your participation will allow many more people to find and enjoy the gospel messages that God has provided to Church leaders.”

Work on preparing Church Multimedia to be shared with the world.
“Separating and tagging this media will allow media professionals at the Church to find materials to use within Church products that will be distributed worldwide. The Mormon Messages Channel on YouTube is one example of where this material might be used.”

Work on translation of Church material into your language.
“By participating in this project, you can help provide translations for Church publications that are distributed online and around the world. Examples include lesson manuals, knowledge-base articles, computer software, documentation, training manuals, and web sites."

And… my personal favorite, work on Family History to share with the world.
“Assist in genealogical work that helps people identify their ancestors. FamilySearch provides online access to family history research tools, resources, and searchable records. Volunteers make valuable contributions that help people around the world find their ancestors and the records that document their lives.”

Working in The Vineyard is easy-peasy.  Anyone can do it, so don’t be frightened you might mess up.  The Vineyard offers tons of small tasks so you don’t feel overwhelmed by a large block of time commitment.  I have become an “indexer”, which means I help with projects that index census records and other government records which provide an easier search access for those who are looking for ancestors.  It is fun to do, and I feel great about serving.

Make sure you check out The Vineyard and register to help further the Lord’s work there.

For more information about The Vineyard go here.

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”  Alma 37:6

Friday, February 18, 2011

Move Over Beyonce

Move over Beyonce...

The Cleverlys have taken the stage!

And if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Deseret Book Best Seller List

In my wanderings this week I found an article that showed what the best- selling books at Deseret Books were for the week of Feb.6 to Feb. 12, 1011.  

1. To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson – Heidi S. Swinton
The much anticipated biography of the President of the LDS Church.

2. Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen – Sara Wells and Kate Jones
Winners of the Better Homes & Garden Blogger Cook-off, and authors of the popular blog bring 150 new recipes together.

3. Divine Signatures – Gerald N. Lund
Filled with real-life stories which prove that God’s hand is evident in our lives.

4. Of Pigs, Pearls and Prodigals – John Bytheway
This book focuses specifically on the parables of the New Testament.

5. Shadows of Brierley: The Wanderer – Anita Stansfield
The first book in a new series from Anita Stansfield.

6. Midway to Heaven – Dean Hughes
Now a major motion picture (in theaters Feb. 4) this tender, light-hearted story by bestselling author Dean Hughes is the perfect blend of romance, comedy, poignancy, and just plain fun.

7. New Testament Made Easier – David J. Ridges
In-the-verse notes provide a unique teaching tool which allows you to read the complete text of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

8. Mark of Royalty – Jennifer K. Clark, Stephonie K. Williams
A new novel about a young princess hidden from her royal heritage.

9. 400 Questions and Answers About the Life and Times of Jesus Christ – Susan Easton Black
Organized chronologically from the Nativity to the Resurrection, the author’s skillful responses lend valuable insight into the childhood and adolescence of Jesus as well as His mortal ministry and atoning sacrifice.

10. When Times are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything – John Bytheway
In this uplifting book for all ages, the author shows how power, hope, and perspective are found in the scriptures.

I believe this list is quite telling.

May I quote one of my favorite authors, Denver Snuffer:

“I suspect our universal failure to know doctrine today is because we do not live as we should. Understanding doctrine is tied to living it.  The more you live it, the more you will comprehend it. (John 7: 16-17.) The less you live it, the more elusive it becomes to you. Until at last, you become like Deseret Book, incapable of offering anything other than romance novels, ‘inspirational’ mush, and historical fiction, all with a veneer of Mormon vocabulary. Kitsch and superficiality, more distracting to the reader than edifying to their soul. Making one think there is some good being accomplished by participating, all the while forfeiting the days which might have been better spent.”


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pearls Among Swine- The Christ-Focused Beatitudes

Besides simply displaying my snarky humor on this Blog, I hope to point you to some “pearls of great price” as I discover them myself.   

Yesterday my darling friend sent me an E-mail that was a total gem.  We are great study buddies and she knows my love of great insights regarding the scriptures. (BTW if you don't have a study buddy you need one, really you do! If you want to be one of mine check out my other Blog.)

Instead of going off on some long rant today, I simply want to direct your attention to a fantastic speech which was given at a Brigham Young University Devotional on May 20, 1986.  The title of the speech is “The Christ-Focused Beatitudes”, and was delivered by Robert E. Wells, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Now just go and read it… you can count it as scripture study for today if you must!  

As you read it, look for one new concept you can work on or at least improve on in your life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Would You Have Your Wedding Reception at McDonalds?

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day, so how many people in the world got engaged yesterday?  After all, it was the perfect time, right?   As if asking someone to marry you isn’t stressful enough, with the instant media attention of the Internet, the pressure of the actual question has become only secondary to the added pressure involved in making the proposal as unique and creative as humanly possible. Seriously, if the men in my era had to produce a “Broadway” musical just to see if their sweetie would tie the knot, we simply might not have ever moved forward in the relationship! But then again, we actually talked to one another instead of relying on text messaging.

But…with the proposal out of the way, it means the start of the preparation for an equally spectacular wedding has begun.   Is it just me, or has the wedding industry progressively become more of a circus in the last 30 years since my dear hubby and I were first married?  I remember even way back then thinking that the cost of weddings was unbelievable, and now… it is just out of sight!  It is no wonder that people are doing anything they can to try and save money when it comes to getting married.  Take for example the people in Hong Kong, who have decided that a McWedding could be the way to go.  

According to the Blog LA Weekly, “The ‘Warm and Sweet Wedding Package’ works out to a little over $1282 per service, a price that includes inexpensive wedding gifts, pink invitation cards branded, naturally, with the company's distinctive yellow arches, decorations featuring the Hamburglar and other iconic characters, and an unholy heap of McDonald's menu classics.  For an extra $165, the bride can rent a "white balloon" gown.  A balloon wedding cake will cost an additional $88.  For a bright pink McDonald's-themed backdrop, the couple must fork over a $321 supplement.”   

I say, “such a deal”!

Maybe McDonalds will become the happiest place on earth again and emerge from the crushing reputation of being the cause of all childhood obesity with their despicable marketing of the “Happy Meal”?  Who wouldn’t want their old pals, Ronald McDonald, The Hamburglar, and even the Grimace there to celebrate with them on their special day?  We wanted them when we celebrated our accomplishments as a child, why not “go back to basics” again, you know, “back to our roots” so to speak.  

I don’t always go to every wedding that I am invited to. Don’t judge please…last summer our family probably received 50 wedding invitations alone.  Each of the announcements was unique and different in their own way but none will be as exciting to receive as the future one that will be adorned with the “Golden Arches”.  The McWedding is one I certainly will not miss!

What do you think, is a McWedding in our near future in the US? 
Would you have your reception at McDonalds?

On a more serious note…The statistics we are given that 50% of all marriages end in divorce is not really accurate at all.  For some good information on that check out this Post.