Monday, March 25, 2013

Week at the Boyack's - Week 40 AND 41

 The past two weeks have been yet, another whirlwind.  Between doctor appointments, ortho appointments, home school, activities at the high school, and Legally Blonde, we have all been run ragged and rarely have time for some down time.

Last week saw the end of an era.  The fountain in the center of town was removed.  Sad.  My kids spent many summer days romping in the water and dancing around the fountain during summer concerts in the park or afternoons gatherings.  I have no idea how old the fountain was.  I have no idea why it was removed.  I do know that times change.  When we moved here there was a giant slide, large swings, and a merry-go-round.  Slowly, one-by-one, each of these former icons of American parks have disappeared.  I blame lawyers.  In a few generation slides and swings may be extinct.  All those fun things I used to play with will be gone. At least they are replacing it with a splash pad and some other new expensive water feature.

 Last week I spent some time at the high school helping out.  Some shows wanted to use the auditorium and the school had them all contract me to work the shows.  The first show was an elementary school.  They come in every fall and spring to do their music presentations.

I worked all day Friday  from 7 am until 12:40 am on a Senior project.  A girl brought in Pure Rebellion, a faith based ministry, for her senior project.  It was an ok. experience.  For the most part.  There are just so many pros and cons to renting out the auditorium for travelling shows and community people and the school district has not completely thought it through.

Pure Rebellion is a faith ministry that promotes abstinence, no drugs or alcohol, and good decision making skills.  However, it's mostly a "come-to-Jesus" meeting.

Strange.  They weren't very good at following rules.  The principle said they couldn't advertise on school property and they did.  They would even put up more posters when posters were taken down.  They didn't seem to have a respect that they were in a school and that school was in session.  They didn't fill out all the things they would need on the rental agreement so we were scrambling to find what they wanted .. or they would wonder around the school and just take what they wanted as if the fact that they were renting the auditorium meant that everything in the school was available to them.  But most disturbing was the lack of wishing to follow the law regarding occupancy.

They arrived early and started setting up a utility trailer full of lighting trusses and lighting instruments.  After a couple of hours the sound rental company arrived and started their set up. It wasn't until after lunch that they finally started a sound check and their 17 year old lighting director started amending his light cues.  I thought my job would be easy since they were "bringing" everything they needed.  Not.  I was a police officer... don't park on the landscaping you are breaking the irrigation pipes.... using our spotlights will cost you more money... please stay out of other areas of the school because school is still in session.... what are you doing to our sound system.... please down walk on the seating... no food in the auditorium... you need internet? that would have been nice to know... the generators are causing problems breathing... no we can't add more chairs, the room is rated to 599 occupancy only... After a long day of set up and policing their every move the show was ready to begin.

 I wasn't prepared for the amount of people pushing to get in.  I knew that there were too many.  I tried to tell them that they needed to turn people away.  They started to at the door, but there were already too many people in the doors and they weren't going to kick people out.  People were everywhere... in the aisles, on the stairs, in the doorways.  One of the Assistant Principles saw me and said he wanted to add chairs.  I told him that the principle said no.  He nodded and I never saw him again.  Thanks for helping, dude!  Next thing I know they are bringing in chairs and parking people in the aisles.  Hello!  what if there was an emergency?   A parent said it wouldn't be a problem because this was done in God's name and he would keep people safe. I do believe in God and I do believe he keeps us safe, but I also believe that he expects us to obey the law of the land.  He expects us to be smart!  Personally, it should have been the school administrator protecting property and life and obeying the law.  I should not have been the one to state the obvious   I was also told that people stay in their chairs for this performance.  That's not what I saw.  I saw people climbing over chairs to get where they wanted to go.  I saw people walking on chairs or standing on them to see better.  At the end of the concert about 125-150 people pressed up to the stage and crowded into the small space between the first row of seats and the stage.  We are lucky there was no fire.  Anyway, I complained.

I also felt like they were not very honest for being Christian people... oh and they had horrible language.  The things they said while they were tearing things down did not reflect followers of Christ or what they had just preached to 650 people in the auditorium for the past 3 hours.  I told them I that although I was contracted for $400 dollars that I would accept $350 IF they were out by 11 pm.  They were not.  I left the building at 12:40 am.  I got home and read the check. He handed me $350.  Grr.  They could have at least paid the $400 of the contract since they didn't get out in a timely manner.  My friend Jeff was not happy.  He is insisting that they pay up!  I had to attend an extra meeting to discuss all the issues with the district.  It will be interesting to see what they choose to do to protect the assets.  I'd just like to be done with them.

Meanwhile, the dogs hold down the fort at home.  LOL.  This picture kind of sums it up.  Kimber comes everyday to do P90X.  Charlie makes sure she stays on task.  While she is working on downward facing dog, Charlie works on upward facing dog.  LOL.  Actually, the dogs do keep us on our toes.  Ben likes to follow them around.  I thing his favorite is Kirby because Kirby is just Ben's size. Missy tries to avoid pretty much everyone.  I think she is too old to really be social.  Actually, I completely understand how she feels.  LOL.
The biggest news for the last couple weeks has to be Chad's Eagle Project.  A couple of Fridays ago, Chad went with Antone Gatherum to map out some new running trails at the new Independence City park.  They worked for a couple of hours.  Chad had gone there right after his math class, so he was wearing shorts and t-shirt.  I look harmless enough... weeds and blackberries.  Meanwhile, he got some gnarly scratches from the blackberries.  I came home from Legally Blonde and knew immediately he had poison oak.  He didn't believe me.  He did by the time Sunday rolled around.  He was covered in a rash.  All of his legs and arms broke into a rash with nasty yellow blisters.  By Monday it was creeping onto face and torso.  I finally convinced him that we needed a doctor to look at it on Tuesday because he couldn't sleep and was now in pain.  I was also worried about one sore that looked infected.  It was.  The doctor said he had a bad case of poison oak and gave him steroids to take and impetigo and staph and gave him drugs for that.

Saturday we all went out to the sight to work on the trails and to do our best to clear them some more.  Chad called his friend Pedro from school.  Pedro brought his 2 brothers.  I've never seen such hard workers!  Those guys are fast and strong.  My friend Alicen came too.  She used to be a forest ranger that worked trails.  There will be no need to make a second swipe where she worked.  It is wide and clean.  Jacob came straight from the scout bike rude   Br. Gatherum is a saint.  He came out and helped Chad direct the efforts.  Of course, we all were there. Hannah and Kimber stood at the sign and directed people to the tail beginning .. Ray used a chain saw and cut through large drift wood that was wedged up in the trees after flooding a few years back.  Lillian carted stuff around and raked.  Kimber and Hannah came to the trail after a little while and raked too. John smashed through trails and even "blazed" a trail. I was in charge of checking people in and out and providing snacks.
 This really will be a nice trail when we are all done.  I think I may even go down in the summer for long family walks... well Lilli and mom walks.  Most of the others guys are too busy or ornery for family things.  The good thing is, after several hours of work in the undergrowth we were all poison oak free.  We did wear gloves.  We did tape shut all parts that might be problem areas.  We did bath in Dawn dish washing liquid.  we did strip next to the washer and run directly to the showers.  We will be working on this a few more days... I'd say Saturdays, but Chad is making this a little difficult for adults and working people to help him.
We found some crazy trash in all the undergrowth .. old cars, metal cages, rusty barrels...It's pretty crazy the junk people think it's ok to just dump wherever they want.  It's also rather sad.I wonder why people don't take care of things better.  Oh well...  We will be at this for awhile.  I'm hoping we have more people involved so that this doesn't drag out forever.  Meanwhile, the yard is still clean... we are not allowed to play out there and I think the grass is not allowed to grow... to keep it that way.  LOL.
Hannah and I continue to work at Legally Blonde.  It is nice to see my hard work and ideas actually work in the real world.  The crazy thing is I'm not always sure it will.  There are so many variables.  However, this show is a success.  It's fun.  It's fast. It gets better and better each performance as the actors tighten things up.

I've also never seen so much drama in the drama.  This is not a cast that is very unified.  They keep fighting with each other.  It's all over stupid stuff.  There is also budding romance and romance squashed.  Really.  The dressing room is a virtual soap opera.  Still, when it ends on 30th I will miss a few of these people, some of whom are very talented.
Easter came early at our house this year.  Lillian and John went the farm store and got 10 more little chicks.  They are so cute!  Too bad they don't stay cute.  Too bad they won't all live.  Baby chickens have a habit of kicking the bucket.
Well... that's the report.  It's been a couple of exhausting weeks... some good things and some annoying things.  We'll see what else we can do this week to make life more interesting.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gospel Study - In Search of Charity

I am out of conference talks until the next General Conference and I don’t have a new Book of Mormon to read to the next grand kid to come along.  Thus, I decided to do a little “subject study” for my scripture study for the next little while.

I have been questioned as to my motives when handling my son and his less than friendly attitude.  Most people who question me seem to feel that I am “allowing” him to rule the family and to walk all over me.

Not true.

I am choosing.  I choose compassion and charity over contention and strife… at least I am attempting to.

1 Corinthians 12:31 teaches that we must covet – or seek - the best gifts.

Among these best gifts are faith, hope and charity.

Today I chose to study 1 Corinthians 13.

Verse 1
Tongues of men: what if you could speak every language? What would you do with that power? Languages are not my thing.  I had to take French 101 3 times and Spanish 101 2 times just to keep my scholarship in college.  I've always wanted to be able to speak a foreign language.  It’s just not my thing.  LOL.

And of angels: And what if you could speak to those on the other side of the veil? You could speak to the angels! What kind of questions would you ask? How would you use that gift? What would you do with that gift? I’m not sure what I’d do.  I almost want to demand that people listen to me!  But that wouldn't be a good plan – or God’s plan.  But wouldn't it be cool to talk to anyone you wanted on either side of the veil!

And have not charity, I become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal: Think of an instrument that is a sounding brass… a trumpet… a trombone… Well that could describe my voice.  I’m often told I am a trumpet.  Then think of cymbals or a percussion instrument like that. Those are important instruments and add a lot in the proper time and place – but if played alone, it can be loud and overbearing. They are generally not solo instruments.  So what is Paul saying? So you have this amazing gift to speak to anyone on either side of the veil. But if you don’t have charity… what are you doing? You are just making noise.  Hmm… I think that is my problem.  I still make noise, not music.

Verse 2
Though I have the gift of prophecy: I guess this could be telling the future, but I think it’s more about the gift of testimony.

Understand all mysteries: What if you understood all the things that man (without the Spirit) can’t figure out? You understood the deep, deep doctrines? How could that benefit you? What would you do with that power? I have so much to learn.  Oh!  What I could do if I really did know it all!

And all knowledge: There isn't anything you don’t know. How would you use that power?

And have all faith, so that I could remove mountains: You have so much faith that there isn’t anything you couldn't do. What is more sure than a mountain? How long would it take man to take an entire mountain away? With a shovel? 

And have not charity, it profiteth me nothing: Paul has continually raised the bar with each gift. From languages to deeply spiritual gifts. It is NOT the gift that matters. It is Charity. Charity is so fundamentally important, that without it – it doesn't matter what you have, what you can do, or what you work on – it won’t matter without charity.

Verse 3
Here, Paul is going to raise the ante to the highest degree…

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor: So, here are the keys to my house, my car, my safety deposit box… here is my savings and checking account, my investments…

And give my body to be burned: I lay down my life for a cause… I am a martyr.

And have not charity it profiteth me nothing: There is no higher price than what Paul is suggesting. But it is NOT the action that profits us in the eternal sense, it is the intention… the motivation.

The Bible Dictionary: “Charity. The highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ. It is never used to denote alms or deeds or benevolence, although it may be a prompting motive.”

The world uses “Charity” like it is used on our tax forms – money that is given to a person or organization. This is NOT what Paul is talking about here. Giving money, and calling it charity, can be a fruit (or result) of charity – but it is not the charity Paul is talking about.

 “Charity is the pure love of Christ” (Moroni 7:47) … but what does that really mean?

Moses 1:39 lets us know what He and Heavenly Father are all about – what their work and glory is. …To bring to pass our immortality and Eternal Life.  Is that our work and glory too? Do we wish this for every person we ever meet? Do we love others like Christ loves them?

This is the real goal!

We may feel that love for our family and close friends, but the challenge is to have it for all men.  And having the “Pure” love of Christ…. Pure means that it is unadulterated and uncontaminated. So our intentions and motivations have to be solely for another’s well-being and not for any personal gain. You can hold up every doctrine, every principle, every problem, every situation to Charity – and through the lens of Charity – it will become more clear. The right choice is more easily seen.

Charity is something you want to gain – it will take A LOT of repenting! It’s not easy to obtain.  I’d say it is the hardest thing I've hard to find… next to forgiveness.

Zion is described by people who are Charity.

Moses 7:18 “They were of one heart and one mind”

4 Nephi 1:15 “There was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people”

4 Nephi 1:17 “They were one, the children of Christ,

4 Nephi 1:16 “there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.”

See this is what I want at my house.  I guess 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is what I am trying to govern my house with… and it’s hard.

Verses 4-7

Charity suffereth long: being patient is not being passive, and being passive is not being patient. Patience born of charity puts us in the position where we may have to suffer awhile while others are learning and growing. Parenting anyone?  That does not make us doormats, but rather loving, watchful eyes who may take a hit now and then. It can be a serious situation, or just an inconvenience – but the key is putting the progression of another (or at times ourselves) in front of our personal preferences or timeline. Like teaching a child to ride a bike. If your true desire is for them to learn – how quickly they learn is up to them – not you. So you are done teaching them when they have fully learned. If we say – I will teach them for 15 minutes, and then if they haven’t got it, that is their problem. That is not very “long suffering” of us. Charity is not on our terms.

It is hard to remember that being long suffering doesn't guarantee that another will learn, come around, or repent. They are agents unto themselves. Our role is to love them regardless of their choice. Sigh.

It is also hard to remember that being long suffering does not imply not giving consequences to those who need them. In fact, being long suffering could very well mean not giving up and continually following through with consequences.

Long suffering simply means, being in it for the long haul – whatever that “haul” is.

We are hauling away here…

And is kind: I believe the kindest people are the strongest, most enduring souls. Kindness requires such strength, wisdom, and pure love. It isn’t just being nice. It is being aware, and completely present in the treatment of another. If someone has pure charity for you, then they will take every opportunity to compliment, lift, lead, thank, teach, and even correct you.

Charity envieth not: If I was only concerned in the absolute best for you, why would I envy any success or talent you have? Would I not rejoice in them? Would I not thank Heavenly Father for your successes, as if they were my own?

This is a virtue a parent can easily feel for their children. Parents don’t envy their child’s A in school, they rejoice in them. However, this rejoicing could also come with a impure motivation. Such as, rejoicing because you have a smarter child than someone else’s. Or resenting another child because they were given the lead in the school play over your child, because you want the best for your child. The test isn't to have charity for our family only – the test is to have charity for all men. So… to rejoice for that other child because they will have that great opportunity to be the lead in the play; or to rejoice when your child does their best regardless of what anyone else thinks about it. Or to rejoice in another’s promotion, calling, new car, or talent. Realizing that those who we often put ourselves in competition with are also Heavenly Father’s children, will give us a new understanding, a new heart.

Charity vaunteth not itself: Vaunting means boasting. The intention of boasting is to wave our accomplishments, strengths and talents before others in hopes to be admired. Our goal is to lift ourselves up, while at the same time, necessarily pushing others down. Charity would never do this. You would never boast to your 3 year old child that you can read and they can’t. What if they took it as if they weren’t smart enough? You would never want to harm them, but only to give them confidence in themselves – so you are far more gentle than that. Charity would never wish to lift themselves above another. Even if they knew that they had talents that could be boasted of – they wouldn't  They would simply recognize them and be grateful for them, but never use them to set themselves above others that they love. Likewise, charity will not only not boast – but they will not demean. So often we think that if we deny we are talented or have certain abilities, that is being humble. But perhaps, not recognizing the gifts we have within us, acknowledging them and being grateful for them is actually prideful. Rather, recognizing that we are children of God with the capacity to become like them is being a true realist and having charity for yourself and others. The belief that we can all become truly great. If I am a great singer, I wouldn't boast of it, but rather seek to develop that gift more and more in order to bless others with the power of music, and rejoice when others do the same. Likewise, I would never say that “I can’t sing…” thinking that it will sound like I am humble. Recognizing our gifts that God has given us is true humility.

Charity is not puffed up: Elder Holland said once that when he hears this he thinks of the Pillsbury Dough Boy walking down Lover’s Lane, holding his own hand. I think that is a great description of this! If you puff yourself up, you are making yourself bigger than you really are. The phrase just before, about not boasting, is different than this. We all have plenty to boast about that is true. But this is about what isn't true. Exaggerating or misinforming, in order to be seen as more than we really are. Charity is about what is real and true. I am not going to puff myself up because that isn't who I am. I am not going to puff myself up with the hopes of lifting myself above others. And I am not going to puff myself up to be seen to be able to do things I really cannot do – there are others that really can do that. One who is puffed up only has eyes on themselves – that is why I like Elder Holland’s description.

Doth not behave itself unseemingly: This means inappropriately.  If I had charity, I would never mistreat someone else! I would never want to be at fault for them feeling bad about themselves – because what if they believed me? If I had charity, I would watch how I act, speak and dress all the time, lest I do something to harm someone else. True chivalry should be born of being solely concerned with the welfare of another. To make them feel like children of God. The intention ought to be that we treat each other with such honor and such respect all of the time, that when someone comes across our path who happens to treat us badly – our reaction is to reject that treatment, and not ever let it define us.

Seeketh not her own: If I am seeking my own, I desire my personal gain, praise or accolades over that of others. This doesn't mean that we don’t seek for gain – in fact, charity could very well mean working very hard for gain so that you are more capable of giving to others. Just not when it is fueled by pride.

Is not easily provoked: If I am easily provoked or offended then that means that I am ready to fight or put up my arms quickly and easily. I will throw a punch pretty quick, or I will snap back at you right away. Basically my temper and insecurities rule my behavior rather than my pure love for you.

We could all come up with a list of daily inconveniences that provoke us, and could we not reevaluate why we let them do this. What do we gain from our reaction, and what is the cost? Are we hurting those we love because of our reaction?

Likewise, there will be times that the provoking is serious and at times intentional, and even evil. Charity will help us see more clearly what our actions should be at this point. If we look at our attacker as a child of God who is acting this way for a reason, could not this help us act with more love? What has or has not happened that has caused them to want to harm another? If your child comes home from school in a terrible mood – is that not a sign that something has gone wrong, and an indicator that it is a time to nurture or teach? What if we felt that love for our neighbor, co-worker or enemy?

Moroni is a good example of this. Amalickiah gave him plenty of opportunities for Moroni’s blood to boil over and act swiftly in revenge or to prove his point. But he continually offered Amalickiah opportunity to change – to make the better choice. Amalickiah wasn't in the frame of mind to necessarily see it that way, but the scriptures have left a clear record of Moroni’s intentions.

Thinketh no evil: First, thinking evil usually involves the destruction or harm of another. So one full of love would never want to think that way of those they love. Second, one with charity would never want to defile themselves because they want to be as strong as possible for themselves and others.

Rejoiceth not in iniquity: There would never be a situation where evil is present, that one with charity would rejoice in. They would recognize the true nature of it and be saddened at the choices and consequences of those involved

But rejoiceth in truth: Anytime light and truth are present, one with charity would embrace. And they would want others to share in that as well. They know that truth is enduring, and that it comes from God; therefore, they would only be interested in those things that will bless, heal, lift and last.

Beareth all things: Any trial, inconvenience, adversity or burden that they or others experience, one with charity would see the divine nature of it and press on. Their dark times would only prove that they stand on holy ground with firmness, and they will help you stand in your dark times as well.

Believeth all things: Any truth, they will embrace. They are not doubters or sign-seekers. They know that they don’t understand all mysteries yet, but they are not cynics. Faith has gotten them to where they are, and they know that faith will get them much further. They seek for truth knowing that it will only make them stronger and therefore more capable of loving and serving others. They would never say, “I don’t want to learn because I don’t want to be accountable”, they would say “Teach me all I can know so I can be more capable.”

Hopeth all things: Many people believe, but they don’t necessarily have hope. They may believe that the Atonement works, but they may not have hope that it works for them. They may believe that the Spirit communicates, but not hope that the Spirit communicates with them. One with Charity has belief and hope. They have hope that the Gospel works for everyone – including themselves - therefore they truly know how to love. They know what to point others to and they know that they need to be an example of that.

Endureth all things: Those with charity have the strength to press on to the very end. They keep their eye on the goal, and don’t selfishly or pridefully decide to give up. Their lives are a walking witness of the power of the Atonement. Of the gifts of the Spirit. Of faith, hope and charity.

I've know vs. 8-13 for a long time because of Relief Society.

Verse 8-10
Charity never faileth: First, you never lose when you act with charity. This doesn't mean it will always end up in your favor, and it doesn't mean that you won’t be ridiculed (in fact charity often puts you in a vulnerable position to be attacked), but you will always hold true to your baptismal covenant and your integrity. So you will never truly fail. It is ok to be made fun of or persecuted. Second, charity will last forever. Moroni said “it endureth forever”… Charity is a quality of the Celestial. And it is a quality of the soul – you get to take it with you.

But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether they be knowledge, it shall vanish away: Paul is furthering his point here about Charity not ever failing. The things that we put so much stake in, does have a completion date. Prophecies – they will be checked off one by one. Languages? We will all speak one language one day. Knowledge? How much of what your brain is filled with is non-essential or non-eternal? But charity? Every moment you spend on gaining that virtue – that is an investment in your future.

The rest of these verses further Paul’s point. We only understand some things now – but later we will understand. I don’t know why I am to just keep the peace at home.  I just know that I am suppose to and God will explain later. 

But that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away: “in part” means “just a small part”, or not the complete whole. One day, we will understand things “in whole” and all of those judgments or decisions we made with our limited vision will be seen clearly. Look how he says it in the next verse:

Verse 11
Paul recognizes that he did not comprehend this doctrine earlier in his life – and it was evident in how he behaved. But now that he understands – he has put away those childish notions and behaviors. … those with charity reveal themselves with their actions, and those without it likewise reveal themselves. In fact, how they act has very little to do with others. A man with charity will treat his wife with love, honor and respect – no matter if he married Susie or Jane. He will treat the bagger at the grocery store the same as his clients at work. He will treat the guy who ran into his car the same as the neighbor who just shoveled his driveway. His specific actions may be different – but his motivation is the same – so he will be consistent because he does not see in part. He sees them for who they really are.

I can do that for my son.

Verse 12
For now we see through a glass darkly: Picture a “dark glass” or a tinted window. What does the person on the other side look like? Just a mere silhouette. You can see them, but not clearly – but we may make all sorts of judgments about who they are – and then treat them according to our assumptions. We don’t have a true reflection.  There is not enough light to see things as God sees them.

But then face to face: Then the window rolls down and you see clearly or “in whole” – were you right? Was your original judgment correct? Imagine this window being the veil – how many people in our lives are we seeing as their true eternal nature? How many people do we treat as who they really are? Or do we treat them “in part”? Or with our skewed view?

There is another thing to think about with this analogue. When we are seeing and treating others “through a dark glass” look closer and what do you really see? Our own reflection. If we could only remember that the way we treat others has very little to do with them, and the way others treat us has very little to do with us.

Verse 13
But the greatest of these is charity: Faith is acting on what we believe. Hope is believing that it will work for us and for others. And Charity is being that walking, talking example of the Gospel so that we can truly lead others to Christ and all of the promises in store for them. Christ didn’t just love – he showed. Being Christlike is doing likewise.

So, please stop asking why I let my son “get away” with behavior.  I am doing my best to seek charity.  I am doing my best to see him as God sees him.  I holding out hope that through my efforts to find real charity and through the grace of God my son will return to the light… and the dark glass will shine brightly… one day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gospel Study - Converted unto the Lord

Today I read my last talk of the last Conference, Elder David A. Bednar's talk, converted unto the Lord.  I believe this is the first time I have ever finished reading talks before the next Conference.  I know.  I am pathetic.

I think most of the people I know have a testimony that Jesus is the Christ... even some of my non-Mormon friends.  However, I think it is rare to know someone that it converted.

I know that I am a work in progress.

Testimony I have...

Conversion is a process...

Elder Bednar taught that "a testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation... a gift from God... available to all... obtained by exercising the necessary particle of faith in Jesus Christ to experiment upon and try the virtue of the word... A testimony brings increased personal accountability and is a source of purpose, assurance, and joy... Testimony alone is not and will not be enough to protect us in the latter-day storm of darkness and evil in which we are living."

Don't I know it!

Elder Bednar used examples from the Book of Mormon to teach that we need both a testimony and conversion to make it.

Conversion is a permanent change in our very nature made possible through the Savior's Atonement.  conversion comes "as we honor the ordinances and covenants of salvation... press forward... and endure in faith."

It takes practice!

Conversion is an "offering of self, of love, and of loyalty we give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony."

conversion is "knowing... earnestly coming... giving our whole souls...and requires all of our heart, all of our might, and all of our mind and strength."

Sometimes I have a hard time with that... whole self thing.

I guess the trick is to "know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel."

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gospel Study - Becoming a True Disciple

Ok.... I've been A-wall lately.  I just can't find time to breathe, let alone blog about any extra scripture study.   I've barely had enough time to study for my seminary lesson.  But day I don't have Legally blonde.  I don't have to leave the house for a show.  I don't have to leave the house to make Chad happy.

Thus, today I read Elder Daniel L. Johnson's talk Becoming a True Disciple.

This talk was a great reminder that discipleship is a way of life... not a title.  It's "a lifelong process".

Sometimes this is hard to remember.  I am a wimp.  I don't like hard things.  Yet I've got them... children issues... health issues... money issues... relationships with others issues.  I really am not good at this and sadly, I am not passing this test very well.

"Our discipleship will be developed and proven not by the type of trials that we are faced with but how we endure them."

It's all about "whether we will hearken to and obey God's commands in the midst of the storms of life."

"Discipleship is all about doing and becoming."

so there it is...I'm pretty sure I've got a C on this test...

Week at the Boyacks - Week 39

 This week I thought I would try harder to get my act together and report things faster around here.  It's been a very busy week.  I worked at the HS Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning and evening for an elementary school musical.  It's a paying job.  That's a good thing.  We could use the money to pay down debt.  It does mean I'm gone a little more than I'd really like to be.  At least it is work I love... and I am finally getting a small amount of pay for doing something I love to do.
 Working at the HS also gives me the opportunity to see what my children are up to at the school.  This is what I found on Thursday morning... Chad sleeping on the tables in the ASBEC room... with a new hair do.  LOL.  He has choir 0 hour and then nothing 1st period.  He then has choir again 2nd period.  He often will sleep for the hour he is waiting.  Lately, Mr  Witt has been called into meetings 1st period and the students are just given free time.  On this particular morning a couple girls decided to add blue tape hair to Chad while he slept.  It cracks me up. I never heard what Chad thought when he woke up.  I do know that the girls were very proud of themselves.
 Most of my week was spent getting ready to open Legally Blonde at Pentacle Theater.  The week started with an 8 hour rehearsal of adding the band and having a tech rehearsal.  That was followed by 3 days of dress rehearsal where the band was far too overpowering and the singers all over sang.  Sadly, many began to lose their voices.  The worst off was the lead, my voice student, Amanda.  we had to do the un-thinkable.   We cancelled our final dress and student night.  On the plus side, everyone got a well deserved night off.  Everyone needed to rest.  We also opened with no problems to 3 sold out houses in a row.  What a great way to start the run!
Many people have no idea who I am or what I do.  As an assistant I don't think I do much.  I try to keep things on track... I give a few blocking ideas or help with character development... I tried to help with sets and lights (sadly, I went out repeatedly to be put off to another day.  This also led to some lighting needs never being addressed.  Oh well.  My name isn't on the work)... and once the run started I sit in the light booth and keep the light guy on track and take notes.  The director sits in the house.  I guess I could sit out by him, but he has needed my chair so far for his friends, the choreographer, vocal director and special guests   Good thing I'd rather be in the booth taking notes. my favorite moments of the run thus far was the couple making out at the back of the side audience.  Hello!  The space is a little small for that.  Get a room!  Or the lady that was standing in the bathroom and was so drunk that she peed herself (like Steve Martin in that one dumb movie) and then went to get more to drink and watched the rest of the show.  She even gave them a staggering ovation.  The same night had another drunk girl hollering through the whole show.

Meanwhile, Kimber has been good enough to hang out at my house with little people while I run around to work at extra jobs, go to doctor and dentist appointments, or cart Chad around.  I miss seeing Ben play around here like he owns the place.  He likes to sit in the toy box.  Silly boy!  We bought a baby swing to go in the yard.  He cries when he has to come indoors now.  LOL

Chad's projects are moving along.  He finished driving us all to finish cleaning the yard.  He and Hannah got all dressed in plastic bags to clean out under the deck.  They looked ridiculous!  but the yard looks good.  I've spent a ton of time in a car driving to Salem and back so that Chad can tun in his papers for the Eagle Project.  It is so dumb!  They are so unclear with their expectations!  I'm hoping we finally got it right and he can now begin the work.  Chad and Brother Gatherum have got a plan.  I'm ready to put this bad boy behind us!

So.... there it is.  The week.  And I'm not even late.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Week at the Boyacks - Week 37 AND 38

The past two weeks are a blur.  In fact, I am rarely home. The biggest projects in my life take a lot of time and I really haven't had time to sit down and knock out a blog.  My evenings are taken up with Legally Blonde the Musical.  We have now moved into the theater with an anticipation of opening the show on March 8.  It's a crazy process to go from bare floor to rehearsals and then performance at Pentacle Theater.  Once we hot the theater we have to re-block all the scenes to fit on how the set went into the space.
 Two of my students are leads in the Show.  I am so proud of these fine, talented women.  Megan and Amanda have such demanding roles and they are rising to the occasion.  I have one more student in the show.  She too, it doing a fantastic job.  Still.... it makes for long days, long rehearsals, and a very tired cast, crew and me!  It also means that I don't do laundry or dishes.  That's ok.  I've never been a fan of those jobs.  LOL.
I spend a little time at the theater helping with lighting and set construction too.  The theater just got some new LED Fresnels that they are using for back light   They also got a few new Source Four 90 and Source Four Jr.  I've spent a large amount of time helping the lighting designer know what to do with these instruments   I've even spent time on the phone with customer support just to calm the designer down.  Eventually, I'll get around to actually fixing light cues.
 I am so glad my friends Jeff W. and Jeff P. are willing to go up the ladder to hang and focus these things.  I really wouldn't want to do that.  I don't like rickety old ladders in the first place.  Standing on top of one is not going to happen with me anytime soon. Seriously, my hardest job is keeping my mouth shut. Oh the things I would do if I were Tech Director.  tehehe.  I don't know.  Maybe someday.

I think my favorite rehearsal was the first time we tried the quick change on stage.  My friend Jeff came out with his arm threw the wrong hole and no pants.  We all nearly lost it laughing.  Thankfully, we have managed to get that down.  Scene changes are nearly completely smooth.  Paint is almost complete.  Opening night is approaching too fast.  Before I know it, this project will be done and I will be moving on to the next on.
 Meanwhile, Kimber is helping to hold down the fort.  Kimber and Ben hang out and keep the house from burning down.  Sadly, this means that I miss all the hours Ben plays at my house.  At least Kimber takes pictures to prove that they come to visit.  I am such a lame Grandma.

 They are coming to play for more reasons than my being at the play.  I have helped at the HS a little.  One of the Elementary schools has done one of their little plays.  I've had doctor's appointments.  There have been many orthodontic appointments.  Chad is getting ready for his Eagle Project so there has been many trips to Salem to deliver the paperwork.  There are days it feels like all I do is drive.  I sure wish Chad would get his driver's license.  It would free my life up considerably!
On one of my doctor days I could get Chad home from Math class.  He grudgingly walked home.  His walk was made better by meeting up with Kimber and Ben at the library.  They found this handle bench in front of the bar.  LOL.  I can just imagine a drunk guy taking a seat for a smoke outside that business   I wonder if they are losing or gaining business.
 The weather has been decent for the past couple of weeks too.  I might rain hard to 15 minutes and then it's sunny for hours.  This means all the little people get to go outside!  One small problem... the yard is a disaster.  Seriously.  We could be declared a hazard area.
 Part of Chad's Scout assignments is to complete his Family Life merit badge.  This means that he has to have weekly family meetings to discuss various life skills, and direct a family project.  Funny.  Now that it is all his idea, he is pretty demanding.  Why didn't he act this dedicated when we want FHE or help in the yard   Any who.  we are all being bullied into helping clean up the yard, talk about finances, and help with his Eagle project.
 It wouldn't be so bad if he ask nicely and was flexible   Hello!  We are busy people... and we don't like working in the rain.  The hardest part in all this is the giant wedge being driven between all my kids.  Tempers flare.  Biting remarks are made.  Yelling happens.  The result is that everyone winds up fighting.  sigh... Chad is meanest to Lilli.  Kimber and Ray don't like to come over much because the contention is so high.  I am trying.  It's hard.  I really am not "allowing" Chad to walk all over me.  I am just trying to keep the peace.  Peace in the home has to be worth the sacrifice.
Lilli and Hannah are practicing "being girls."  I have to laugh.  Megan told Hannah that she need to learn to use curling irons and flat irons.  Hannah chose to to use Lilli's head to practice on.  I think she only burned her a couple times.  LOL.
 These past two weeks also bought Cabaret.  Chad and Hannah both performed with their choirs.  There weren't big solo numbers this year like in years past. Chad didn't like the theme.... Broadway... so he didn't even try out for a solo.  Hannah sang a solo in a choir piece... something from Grease   She did a good job.  I have to say I missed some of the old ways of Cabaret.  Still... it was ok.
Lilli and I ran the sound board.  She is getting to be a good little helper.  She is willing to carry stuff around and she loves to push buttons.

Finally, it seems crazy, but McKay got to see Jonathon on his mission.  By the look on her face, it made her day.  LOL.  Hopefully , I will be more on top of the next report.  LOL... but don't count on it.