Thursday, January 22, 2009

Same Blog. . . different last name

I want to thank everyone who has loyally followed my blog, as it has become sparse lately. Now that the festivities are over and life is getting into a routine, I'll be posting more. From now on, my blog will be found here. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why it's okay to be the Nice Guy

There was once a very wise king who had to make a crucial decision. He was approached by two women who claimed to be the mother of a baby. It was one woman's word against another. His answer? Let's bring a sword out. . .
"Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other."
The real mother ached over this decision and said,
"O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it"
But the other said, "Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it." (1 Kings 3:16-28 paraphrased)

And this is how the king discovered their hearts. The real mother was willing to "lose" the dispute and sacrifice the opportunity to raise her own child. Well, she ultimately wins. Her love for her child indicates to the king she is honest, and she is given her child back.

But it is not always so in the world. We don't always have wise rulers and the nice guy often loses. Yet, from out of the despair of loss there can be a different kind of healing if we are willing to accept it. Peace is not found in winning, but in becoming. It is precisely the time when we may feel we are losing, that our hearts are becoming something deeper, richer, and stronger. It comes when we step out of the fog of selfishness and yearn for the greater good.

This man possesses the kind of qualities I'm talking about:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Inspiring

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

thoughts


"We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart."
-Blaise Pascal

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final world in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."
-Martin Luther King Jr.

"People can say what they like about the eternal verities, love and truth and so on, but nothing's as eternal as the dishes."
-Margaret Mahy

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sweet Is The Work

I was commissioned to do this painting several years ago. I thought I'd share some of what I wrote about it:
"Sweet is the work, my God, my King,
To praise thy name, give thanks and sing,
To show thy love by morning light,
And talk of all thy truths at night."

I. The Shepherd
Many people have seen this painting and remarked that they thought it was another shepherd painting of Christ. That is a fitting interpretation. However, the painting has a deeper meaning in direct relation to Christ. It is a representation of his servants, the brethren who hold the priesthood, and their work for the Lord.

“’Anyone serving in any capacity in the Church in which he is responsible for the spiritual or temporal well-being of any of the Lord’s children is a shepherd to those sheep. The Lord holds his shepherds accountable for the safety [meaning the salvation] of his sheep.’ The bearers of the priesthood have this great responsibility, whether it is father, grandfather, home teacher, elders quorum president, bishop, stake president, or other Church calling.”—President James E. Faust quoting Elder Bruce R. McConkie

The man who posed as the shepherd was my Bishop at the time this painting was commissioned. Many of his ideas and suggestions were incorporated into this painting.

II. The Sheep
There are several sheep in this painting going in all directions. Some are in shadow and some in sunlight. Many are watching the shepherd, and many are focused on other things. This all has significance. Many of us may relate to a different sheep at different times in our lives or spiritual development.

It is second nature for sheep to follow. They will follow each other when there is no shepherd. How appropriate that these animals should be compared to the inconsistent nature of human beings. Here is an explanation of how sheep have been used in symbolism for centuries:
“According to ancient commentators, these animals symbolize the types of people and activities appropriate for the house of Israel, God’s covenant people.

Cud chewing was a symbol for those who meditated again and again upon the words of Christ, who continually studied and pondered the scriptures and teachings of the prophets, looking for increased understanding of the divine will. Paul’s missionary companion Barnabas wrote that cud chewing symbolized pondering and acknowledging one’s God and one’s dependence upon him.

Philo of Alexandria indicated that the cloven hoof symbolized that everything has its opposite and that there are always two paths, one leading to vice and the other to virtue. According to the Old Testament, animals with multiple toes were unclean. They symbolized people who believe that there are many roads leading back to God, none being preferential. The solid hoof, on the other hand, symbolized those who taught relativism, implying there was no bad or good, all being equal, dependant only upon personal philosophy. Anciently the parted hoof implied eternal opposition or, in other words, "living in the world and yet looking forward to the world to come.”

III. The Setting
The shepherd is looking and walking east towards the rising sun. Traditionally, this direction was associated with the presence of God or his influence. To face east was to face God. To move eastward was to move toward him. The phrase “keeping your eye single to the glory of God” is coherent with this image. To build upon this idea, he is walking uphill. The mountain is representative of the temple or house of the Lord. It also represents revelation, inspiration, separation from the world, and so on. The scriptures are full of supporting passages for these symbols.

In this painting, there is only one path and the shepherd is walking it. This is to reflect the idea that there is no other option that will lead to eternal life. Either we choose to walk his path and follow him, or become lost. There is the path of goodness and righteousness, and then there are many roads that lead to darkness and despair. There is only one way, truth and light of this world. The Tempter would not make it so obvious as to provide only one other path or alternative to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead he has provided many directions as replacements (not only west, but north and south also). Eventually our works reflect which direction we have chosen in this life.

"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."--New Testament | 1 Peter 2:21 - 25

Defining Marriage


A friend of mine is in this clip. He's the second person to talk. . .somehow he's always in the middle of something cool. I think they all did a great job and it's worth spreading, so have a look if you have a couple minutes! Here's the website. And also here's some info on the subject: www.protectmarriage.com

Friday, October 3, 2008

Joy, Happiness and Love


The 5 people who read my blog probably already know this, but since it's such a happy turn of events, I must include it! We took this picture just a few hours after he proposed. It was on a self-timer camera which was sitting on the hood of the car. . . so once I set the timer I had approximately 5 seconds to jump over a bunch of rocks and weeds, climb on the rock, hold on to Jared for dear life, and try to look relaxed! Click on the pic or here for more info!