A Constantly Renewed Stream

This is the text of a talk I gave in my ward (Ann Arbor 2nd) on February 15, 2015.

I would like to explore one of the concepts from President Eyring’s October talk on the subject of continuing revelation [1], and share with you some of my experiences as I have sought revelation.

President Eyring said “We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream. We need not just one flash of light and comfort, but we need the continuing blessing of communication with God.” [2]

Today, I would like to focus on that concept of a “constantly renewed stream” of revelation. Continue reading

10 Awesome Things

One of the blogs I read regularly runs a column called “10 Pieces of Inspiration.”  It’s kind of fun to see what is inspiring that blogger each week.  It’s usually about things that are meaningful to him and his family. My buddy TP did the same a while back.

I’m always stumped when my dad asks me what I’ve been up to.  I’m just living life, and sometimes I don’t take the time to sit back and see what parts of it are awesome.  I’ve been pretty blessed with awesomeness of late, and I thought I should take a week to think about and capture the awesome parts of it.  This blog post is the results of that test.  I was up to 5 by Tuesday afternoon, and I filtered a lot of awesome out to keep this post to just 10 things.

These are presented in approximately chronological order.  What awesome happened to you recently?

1-  The Mormons Building Bridges contingent in the SLC Pride parade inspired me this week.  The outpouring of love and acceptance for people on both sides of the divide was incredible.  Every time I read these stories, I tear up.  Here’s my favorite article: http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2012/06/take-pride/   Hattip to Katherine F. for this article. FMH isn’t in my regular blog rounds yet.

Photo by Michael Budge

 

2- I saw this on Wil Wheton’s tumblr, and it made me laugh.

 

3- I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about a more inclusive Mormonism.  I’ve taken to calling it Big Tent Mormonism, where there is lots of room for many different takes on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In my fast last week, I pondered these thoughts, and then I found these articles, which felt like answers to prayers.

http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/05/33-mcs-the-other-road/

http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/04/26-mcs-mormonism-lite/

http://bycommonconsent.com/2012/06/03/the-hepatization-of-the-body-of-christ/

 

4- The transit of Venus – I recently read Seeing in the Dark by Timothy Ferris, and kind of became an astronomy nerd again.  I haven’t quite purchased a telescope yet, but trust me, it’s on my wishlist.  Seeing Venus transit the sun was pretty awesome, and it won’t happen again until 2117.  I thought we were going to be too overcast to see it, but after work, just as the transit began, it cleared up.  I met up with Peter and Katherine and we stood in line and chatted.  I’d say it was a pretty awesome event.

 

5- I got a Christmas card from my Aunt – In June.  You never really expect to get Christmas cards at this time, which makes it twice as awesome.

 

6- On Thursday night, some of my favorite people came over to play boardgames.  We played Lords of Waterdeep, a newer game in my collection.  I managed to pull out a win, which surprised me a little.  I wasn’t playing a really consistent game, but some of my choices paid off a whole lot better than I had guessed.

 

7- The Huron River is pretty awesome this time of year.  I took a meditative paddle and saw this:

and this:

I also saw (and scared) a deer on the river bank.

 

8- Saturday was one of those Michigan days that makes the whole year worth it.  The weather was great, it was warm but breezy.  I played paintball, went to a ward picnic, sat in the sun, and went to a play.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

 

9- Work has been hectic for the last few weeks. This week, one of the members of my team nailed a presentation to our manager and it made my day.

 

10- I’m having a hard time picking #10, so I’ll pick a really encouraging set of emails from a friend as my last awesome thing of the week.  I saw a friend post something that inspired me, so I emailed him to say thanks. (The “Like” button just doesn’t do justice sometimes.) We exchanged a few emails and I left feeling even more inspired.  I should probably respond to his last email at some point.

 

There was so much of awesome, and I think there always is.  I didn’t list any of the youtube videos I watched this week, and I didn’t even mention that there was an actual treasure hunt in one of the books I read earlier this year.  I’m not so great at always remembering to see it, but I’m guessing that it is always there.

John Green signs off his Crash Course videos* like this: “As they say in my home town, Don’t Forget to Be Awesome!”  So– don’t forget!

* If nothing else, you should watch the first minute of this video. It’s awesome!

Smiling

SheYesterday, Labor Day 2011, was a pretty great day.  I was surrounded by people and things that I love. Of the many many wonderful moments, one stood out that I wanted to share.

As I was shopping at Meijer for a BBQ later that day, I was wandering down the milk aisle and I noticed an old lady standing with a cart off to the side.  We’re talking very old, oxygen tank old.  In the cart was a baby in a car seat.  For no real reason, I made eye contact and gave the woman a big grin, just because I was feeling so good. (I whistled a Guster song that was stuck in my head through the entire store, I was feeling that good.)  And you know what, she gave me a genuine smile back.

And it made my day.

Last Minute Pumpkin

I didn’t think that I was going to squeeze a pumpkin carving into my festivities this Halloween, but thanks to a timely FHE activity, I got one carved just in the nick of time.  I tried lighting it up, but the pumpkin is really really thick.  I need to work the walls down a little bit before the effect really works.

So, in all, I managed to work in The Haunting, Chicken Shish Tawook, Count Chocula, a Cider Mill (and the resulting cider!), coloring, Catching Fire, Dominion: Seaside, refusing to dance, blue hairspray, “For All the Saints”, The Lord of all Catan, pork roast, butterfinger brownies, and pumpkin carving into my birthday weekend.  That’s pretty good, right?  What did you do?

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Springtime Transitions

Spring is here! I usually make a big deal about spring being here on March the First, but I kept it kind of quiet this year.  March was definitely spring in SE Michigan this year.  (Amy even admitted as much to me.  That’s kind of a big deal. )

But the springtime transitions are always kind of awkward.  How do you know when its time to stop wearing your winter coat, and just bring a jacket?  I’ve actually put a lot of thought into this one over the past few years… There is a point, sometime after spring has begun, where you can trust it enough to actually stop wearing a coat, where there may be some more jacket days ahead, but the coat days are behind us.  I think I overcalled it this year for Michigan, but I understand that day hasn’t come yet in Utah and Wyoming. (And quit your bellyachin’, it’s the moisture you’re always praying for. )

Image: Enchanted Stairs, by abekleinfel

I have identified several other transitions that mark my spring:

1- The transition back to short sleeve shirts. I really, really like wearing sweaters, and do so for most of the winter.  Unfortunately, that means an awkward (for me) transition back to just short sleeves.  My arms have been covered for most of the last four months, and they just feel… well… naked. Add to that that all of my work shirts are long sleeve, and the transition to T-shirts makes for plenty of goosebumps. The transition back to shorts won’t be for another month or two.

2- The transition of waking up in the night to Thunderstorms. Got that groove on this morning.  It’s been awhile, Mother Nature, since you’ve woken me up.  Thanks a lot.  Now I have to worry about my upstairs neighbors and thunder waking me up at 3:30 in the morning.

3- The transition back to sunglasses. During the winter, I rarely need my sunglasses. I drive to work in the dark, I drive home in the dark. Ergo, I have no idea where I stashed my shades last fall. Until I find them, my eyes are burning.

4- The transition back to green. My favorite part of spring!  Suddenly one day you wake up, and BAM! Everything is green.  The grass, the trees, the sidewalk where the geese hang out.  It’s a beautiful thing!  And then the flowers start to pop out!

5- The transition back to mosquitoes. I’ve been grilling for weeks.  Ever since before that last snowstorm.  Or maybe right after, I don’t remember.  On Monday, I forgot to close the screen door to my patio, only to be tormented by the mosquitoes I’d let in for the next few hours.  Fortunately, they’re still pretty slow, so their eradication was quick and at zero loss of blood (to me).  Now I’ll just have to remember to take my bug spray with me when I go hiking.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some important spring transitions.  I only usually remember after they’ve backfired on me at least once.  So, now the question… What am I forgetting?

Cool blog update notes:
1) I think I’ve fixed the feed issues that were plaguing me over the last few weeks.  You didn’t know that I was having them, because your feeds weren’t updating.   They should now.
2) I updated the header with pictures that I actually took.  It rotates, so keep looking for something new.  I’ll try to add new ones occasionally, and remove some of the awful ones.
3) I added the Google Friend Connect box.  I think it’s kind of like following, so you can, you know, follow me if you wants.