Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
in pastures fresh he makes me feed,
beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
when I forsake his ways,
and leads me, for his mercy's sake,
in paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death
his presence is my stay;
one word of his supporting grace
drives all my fears away.
His hand, in sight of all my foes,
doth still my table spread;
my cup with blessings overflows,
his oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
attend me all my days;
O may thy house be my abode,
and all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
while others go and come;
no more a stranger, nor a guest,
but like a child at home.

Isaac Watts, 1719

Monday, September 18, 2006

Another book I need to write

The Dove and the Bayonet: The making of an American warrior

It would explore the psychological/learner orientation of Special Forces soldiers and how these interact with the training they go through to produce the types of warriors who are so adept at balancing the dove (peace-time mission which build relationships of trust) and the bayonet (war-time missions which protect those relationships). Special Forces soldiers are trained to wield both--sometimes at the same time.

Could be good, don't you think?

(Thanks so much for calling me this morning. I have had a smile on my face ever since. Even though I have gabillions of pages of reading to do, I feel like I can manage it because I know you love me and our boys!)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Thou anointeth my head with oil, and my cup shall be full."

Luke and I have been quite ill the past couple of days and so we weren't able to make it to church this week. Desperate for spiritual nourishment, I called the Bishop and asked if he could send some Elders over to administer the sacrament and to give Luke a blessing. At about 4:10 p.m., Brother C. and his son and Brother A. were at my door, fully prepared to do this for our family.

After blessing Luke with things he needed (and I needed as well in fact), Brother C. asked if I wanted a blessing myself--I agreed because frankly, I need all the help I can get. Brother C. annointed and then Brother A., a fairly young man, pronounced such a wonderful blessing upon my head, I am still in tears about it now. It being extremely personal, I don't want to share about it on this open blog, but it was exactly what I needed. If I had written a list of concerns/worries/trials that I am currently struggling with and then handed it to Brother A., it could not have been a more direct communication to me.

My heart is full. I am so grateful for righteous men like these that are willing and able to step in at a moments notice to care for our family when you are away. I hope it brings as much peace and comfort to your heart as it does mine, knowing that we are well cared for during times when you are doing what the Lord has asked.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lest We Forget

"...For each of us who wants to live in happiness and give happiness, there's another different sort of person wanting to take it away.

"Those people always manage to have their say, and Mars is always close at hand. We know how to win wars. We must learn how to win peace. Make the world accept peace whether they damn well like it or not. Here is the dove, and here is the bayonet.

"If we ever have a son, I don't want him to go through this again, but I want him powerful enough that no one will be fool enough to touch him.

"He and America should be strong as hell and kind as Christ."

--Lieutenant Thomas Meehan, 101st Airborne Division, May 26, 1944, in a letter to his wife eleven days before D-Day. He died just after midnight on June 6, when his plane was shot down over Normandy by German antiaircraft fire.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sad to be leaving

Sunny 3 BR, 2 full/2 half-baths, 1 car garage end-unit townhouse. All the luxuries: Hardwood floors on main level, 9” ceilings w/ custom crown moldings & open floor plan. 42” maple cabinets, gas range, side-by-side refrigerator . MBR cathedral ceiling w/walk-in closet; master bath features soaking tub & separate shower. Oversized rec-room w/gas fireplace. Wireless security system. Custom deck w/fenced yard backs to common area. Gas heat, gas hot water, central air, W/D included. Near Rt. 7, shopping centers, restaurants, Dulles Mall, and schools. Community amenities: outdoor pool, playground, snow removal and trash removal. $1800/month, includes HOA.

Extremely timely advice

Since making the correct decisions is essential to attain your goals in life, consider how they should be made. There are two patterns for making decisions: the first I will call decisions based upon circumstance; the second, decisions based upon eternal truth. Let us examine each pattern.

The guiding principle in the pattern of decisions based upon circumstance is to make choices according to the outcome desired rather than upon what is right or wrong. There is no use of an underlying set of standards to consistently guide those decisions. Each choice is made upon what appears to give the most desired result now. One who follows this path is left to his own strength and capacity and the support of others who can be influenced to act in his favor. Satan encourages choices to be made in this manner. It gives him the greatest opportunity to tempt an individual to make decisions that will be harmful even though they appear most appealing when made.

In time, one who makes decisions based upon circumstance is virtually assured to commit serious transgressions. There is no iron rod of truth to keep that person in the right way. He will continually be faced with many subtle temptations to make deviations from the commandments. Those choices are justified by arguing that they are not that bad, that they are more socially acceptable and provide a broader base of friends. A clever individual without foundation principles can at times acquire, temporarily, impressive accomplishments. Yet that attainment is like a sand castle. When the test of character comes, it crumbles, often taking others with it.

The second pattern, making decisions based upon eternal truth, is the pattern of the Lord. It will always lead you to make decisions guided by His plan of happiness. Such decisions are centered in doing what is right, not in first deciding the result desired. Choosing to do what the Lord has defined as right will, in the long run, always lead to the best outcomes. However, that pattern may require you to set aside something you very much desire now for a greater future good.

Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov 1998

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes...and elbows.

Matthew has turned into this gangly pre-teenish person these past couple of weeks, morphing into this charming half-child who is all knees and elbows and feet. Watching him grow is one of my greatest pleasures.

Remind me of this moment when he is really a teenager, okay?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Captian Knuckle and SmallyPants

Me and the boys. Jeff took this about 6 weeks ago. I feel lucky to be surrounded by these great guys!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Open Letters and other such treatises

I am thinking about writing an open letter to my siblings, full of wit, candor, humor, a treatise of sorts. I am so weary of their kvetching about various subjects and maybe, just maybe, if I am able to craft it with such precision and aplomb, I can just refer them to the relevant paragraph, I won't have to listen to their kvetching as much. Or they will simply quit talking to me.

Like Melynie. Still haven't figured out that one. I suspect it has something to do with the fact she found out her DUI/ambulance bills had showed up on my driving record/credit report and so I knew about it. Or maybe because I pulled her from the back seat of a friend's car when she was so full of drugs and alcohol that she nearly died in my parents room before the paramedics got there. Maybe she wanted to die and has been pissed at me for the past 14 years over it.