Because of Him

All week long there has been a social media blitz by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka: the Mormons or the LDS church) regarding the blessings that we as individuals have because of the Savior Jesus Christ. This blitz is all focused around a video that was created by the LDS church that touches on the single most important sequence of events in the history of mankind: the suffering in garden, the public trial, the scourging by the guards, the crucifixion on the cross, and the resurrection from the tomb. Yes, all of those individual events are important to include in the mention of the most important sequence of events.

This weekend we have the opportunity to celebrate Easter…or we can celebrate the Easter Bunny. I choose to celebrate Easter. Why? Because of Him…

Because of Him I can repent of my sins and be made clean and whole again.

Because of Him I will see my father, brother, grandparents, and all other loved ones that have passed on from their mortal existence…including those I have yet to meet.

Because of Him I don’t have to be lonely…ever.

Because of Him I don’t have to bear the weight of my world by myself.

Because of Him I will be with my wife for eternity.

Because of Him I can rejoice in my trials knowing that they are for my good.

Because of Him I can turn those trials into testimonies.

Because of Him I can trust that my daughter, one of his missionaries, will be protected.

Because of Him I can enjoy everything in the heavens above and earth below.

And most importantly,

Because of Him I will see him face to face.

And when I do my senses will be more in tune with Him than anything else. I will see the love in his eyes. I will hear the compassion in his voice. I will feel the wounds in his hands and feet.

He is the breath of life. He is our Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, Advocate, Brother, and Friend.

He is God’s son.

He is the reason I am alive today and…

Because of Him I will conquer death.

What do you enjoy in life because of Him? You don’t have to be a Mormon to believe, and you don’t have to be a Mormon to like the video that the LDS church made for this Easter weekend. You don’t have to be a Mormon to be blessed.

But because of Him, you can.

Just another view from a Palmtree.

Because of Him


Newsworthy Parenting

If I ever want to get a pulse on the nation and how well we are doing, I mostly go to Twitter or Facebook.  If I want to see a bunch of negative stories that paint a very bleak picture, I watch my favorite news channel…or at least go to their website.  There is so much negativity that is reported that it makes me feel like my kids don’t have a very favorable future to live in.  And when I see stories about negligent, even abusive parenting, I understand why.  What are the leaders of tomorrow learning from the parents of today?

I read an article yesterday that talked about children being removed from their home after it was discovered that they were living in abusive circumstances.  There were 10 adults and 11 children living in a 1700 square foot house.  Those are some cramped quarters, but not enough to be considered abusive.  Unless you consider that some of the kids were restrained in harnesses.  Maybe the adults wanted more room for themselves.  Regardless, that is where the issue of abuse was raised.

I don’t understand why they did it.  Okay, maybe I do.  There are times when my own kids (especially when they have some friends over) can get a bit hyper in their behavior and run around the house like wild monkeys.  At those times, a harness could be useful.  But I still wouldn’t use one even if the thought crossed my mind.  There are other ways to get them under control.  Plus, I always have the option of sending them outside where the neighbors can enjoy it too.

But somehow, I don’t think that is the reason the kids in this story were harnessed.

What terrible thing did they do to deserve it?

Maybe we should punish the parents by doing the same thing.  Let’s put them in harnesses and limit their movements.  I don’t think they would like it.  It could be worse than prison.  After all, in prison you get to move around.  I’ll bet the average prison cell is bigger in floor size than what these kids had to move around on.

The kids are in foster homes now.  I hope they are free to run and play and be kids.  And I hope they feel loved in those homes, because that is what they need.

Many studies would support the claim that if they had remained in the conditions they were found, they would grow up to be abusive parents also.  It is hard to break the cycle.  And what good, what improvement is that making on society?

They might turn out to be like the guy I read about in another story yesterday that evicted his mother from her house…on her 98th birthday.  Disrespectful if you ask me.  I don’t know why he turned on his mom.  Maybe she had harnessed him when he was a child too.  I doubt it, but there was something.  Just like these other kids.

I guess what I like is when I read stories of people that show respect to their parents and actually make them a priority.  Take as an example Steven Colbert.  Last week he abruptly, and mysteriously cancelled two tapings of this show “The Colbert Report”.  Nobody knew why and the rumors started swirling.  Maybe he was actually going to run for President of the United States and was getting his campaign in order.

Turns out, he was taking time off because of his ailing mother.

At least he wasn’t evicting her from her house.

But not only did he take time away from work to do that, he paid tribute to her (without identifying her) on his first show back.  That is a son that loves and respects his mom.  That is what we need more of.

As I go about being a parent, I am always hoping that I am raising my kids correctly, teaching them respect, and letting them know that I love them.  I also try to be respectful as a child.  I know it can be hard at times in either role.  You know what I mean.  But if I try harder, and my kids try harder, and everyone else and their kids all try harder, would we have all the violence, dishonesty, thievery, and other problems that plague society today?  No.

Jesus said, “…love one another, as I have loved you .”  It is a commandment.  Parents especially should abide by it.  And you don’t have to be Christian to know that it is sage advice.

I hope those kids that were harnessed learn that lesson.  I hope my own kids already know it.  If not, I have work to do.

Just another view from a Palmtree.