Saturday, November 4, 2017

Being Thankful at Thanksgiving & Thinking of others at Christmas

I love the fall and the beautiful colors, the cool breezes, the crunch of leaves under my feet. The leaves make a cacophony of sound, their own little symphony. I enjoy carving pumpkins each year, a family tradition! Fun! Loving, Peaceful times make us appreciate each other more.
I am grateful for family, friends, and work associates. Grateful for a warm house as the weather gets cooler. I could go on forever with a list of things I am happy to have in my life. I am especially grateful to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered and died for me and for all mankind. All who embrace him and call on his name can be saved, as they turn their hears to Him. I know that the Holiday of Thanksgiving is important and then Christmas comes so quick! I just read something I wrote four Christmas's ago. I share it with you here: Christmas Eve 2013

We opened gifts early this year at Audrey and Logan’s new home in Sandy, UT. I had second thoughts about my gift to my son Richard and his wife Tania, which was a goat for a needy family in their honor – through Feed the Children non-profit. I know it was an unusual gift, one that would keep on giving to another family far away. I wondered if instead, it might have been more fitting to get a gift card to Nordstrom’s. I talked to Abby about that as we drove to the airport early this morning. She assured me my gift was fine and I told her that two weeks prior, I had actually forgot about purchasing the goat, and then had a dream in which a young boy and his family in humble surroundings were in need of said goat. They seemed very real to me and so I knew I had to get that goat ordered! I thought thinking of others less fortunate would be a lesson in humility for my children and grandchildren. After returning home from the airport, I decided to sup from the Lord’s words before beginning my tasks. Since its Christmas, I chose to read from the Book of Luke. I silently prayed and was drawn to Luke 14. As you read the following verses you will see God was ‘seconding’ Abby’s affirmation that my gift was good. Jesus taught the Pharisees with the following parable:

8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;

9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

12 ¶Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, or thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.

13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

In the above verses, The Lord is saying I will be blessed for helping those less fortunate. They do not have the means to repay me, but I am sure the family that received the goat is rejoicing. They most likely have a feeling of goodwill in their hearts towards men knowing that someone they do not know was willing to bless their lives. Matthew 10:37  "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." To me this means we are to see the bigger picture and go with what God wants for us all, and serve one another to the best of our ability. We need to learn to be thoughtful and caring and realize we are all connected.
Merry Christmas – and as Tiny Tim said, God Bless us everyone!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Finding Peace with others while being a winner! Or, He who loses his temper, loses

I decided this morning while studying scriptures, I will look for mentions of or references to peace. This will be my goal for this month, which has the fourth of July Holiday, celebrating America's Independence from British rule! Yeah! Does peace just equal freedom from war? Or can it go beyond that? As Americans, we celebrate many freedoms, including our right to free speech and right to worship as we may. We can create peace in our homes and neighborhoods and world by allowing others the same right. #11 of the 13 Articles of Faith written by Joseph Smith states: "We (as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints) claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." It is important to respect this God-Given right of free-agency. We can have tolerance for others beliefs, yet quietly disagree. This helps to prevent disputes. People have varying opinions about many things. We can agree to disagree. When I teach Anger Management, I tell my students we can come out as winners when someone is pushing our buttons, by remaining calm and agreeable. Keeping your cool helps you "Win". And we all want to be "Winners"! it is built into us. Just take a deep breath and allow the other person to vent. They may lose their cool, but keep yours.(No one wants to be a Loser either) There is a scripture that emphasizes the benefit of keeping your cool: Matthew 5:25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." many of my court-ordered students found themselves reacting when confronted and fighting back unnecessarily, and ended up in court and ordered to our classes. Let me give an example. One student had to take two classes, Anger Management and a One-Day Drug and Alcohol Class. My sister, Karen, was teaching two Saturdays in a row. The first class was Anger Management and she emphasized being a winner and being agreeable and they listened to Izzy Kalman demonstrating this skill in a fun, entertaining way. The young man came back the next Saturday and said with exuberance, "Karen, I tried that and it worked! The guy I beat up (the reason I'm here) pulled into the same parking lot as me. He came over to my car with his friend, his arm in a sling (I had broken his arm), and stuck his head in my open window and said, you ##**#, you broke my arm!" I remembered what you said and took a deep breath. I simply said, "You are right, man, I did." He stared at me and then yelled, "Your friends called me a *#!#* on Facebook and said _____ about me." I replied, "That could be true". He called me some more names, as his face got beet red, and I just said, "You have a right to your opinion" The guy looked at me in disbelief, like I was crazy and then stomped off. Karen then asked the young man, "how di you feel? He said "I felt great!" Karen asked, "Did you feel like you won that one?" "Oh yes!" he responded,"and I didn't have to lift a finger!" "The other guy lost it and I kept my cool."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Studying Scripture, asking Questions, Discovering virtues

I am intent on following the wisdom and advice of my Bishop. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and am currently re-reading the Book of Mormon as Bishop Stone has encouraged ward members to do. I am enjoying it. When I am reading, a question will often enter my mind and I am not satisfied until I decipher an answer. Today, as I read 1 Nephi Chapter 9, I wondered at what age did Nephi inscribe the plates of Nephi? As i read closely, I realized he had to be mature in age since he writes not only in past tense, but mentions making a full account of the history of his people. To make a full account, one must have seen and witnessed all, so he must have been in his later years of life. It would have taken a great deal of time to engrave the history of his people (wars, contentions, reigns of kings) and also to write in the smaller plates about the ministry of his people (written "for a wise purpose" in the Lord). I learned from this brief chapter that no only was Nephi patient in listening to the Lord, but also obedient and patient in writing. He demonstrated determination, strength and faith, not knowing beforehand the full purpose of intent of the Lord.