Friday, September 25, 2009

Really on the brink?

Big news today - Iran is only a few short months from having the world's most powerful weapons. What will they do with them if they get them? Two guesses - Israel and US. If we go in to stop them, or if Israel goes in to stop them, all heck will literally break loose in the region. There's going to have to be a decision made by the world powers and soon.
Add this to the mess on healthcare, the immigration problem, conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, widespread corruption in our government and other powerful bodies (ACORN, SEIU, Apollo Alliance, etc), government takeovers of the auto industry, banking, insurance, and apparently education of our children - it's enough to make you want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up and pretend the outside world doesn't exist. But Bill O'Reilly said something on his show tonight that caught my attention. As the last line of his Talking Points memo, he said we should all be praying. That is absolutely correct! In this world, which is becoming more upside down, more uncertain, more threatening by the day, there is only one source of peace, comfort, stability and safety - and that source is our Heavenly Father. The prophets and apostles have told us for years and years how important prayer is, how vital that connection between heaven and earth is to us, collectively and individually, in seeking guidance and protection for ourselves and our families. I urge everyone (yes, all one or two of you who actually read this thing) to seek after and develop a personal relationship with your Heavenly Father. He wants to talk to you, and is willing and waiting to do so today! Now more than ever we need His guidance, as individuals, as families, as communities, and as a nation. Go to Him, thank Him for what you have, ask Him for his help, and then be willing to do those things He prompts you to do. It's the least we can do, and one of the best things we can do.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never forget

Eight years ago today, I was working at BYU as a deliveryman for the BYU dairy products lab. We had been at the creamery for a few minutes when the other kid working with me that morning turned on the news. While I was unloading the milk, he said something about a plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers in New York City. A few minutes later, he said they were reporting a second plane had crashed into the other tower. I thought the first crash was a terrible accident. When the second plane hit, I knew this was something much worse.

We continued listening while we worked (or tried to) hoping the news would tell us why this was happening. It wasn't long before they began reporting a plan hit the Pentagon, and another one crashing somewhere else, maybe the White House. I started scanning the skies for any planes flying over us, wondering if we would be hit as well.

Finally, word came over the radio that this was a coordinated terrorist attack by some group whose name I couldn't pronouce, led by a man whose name I wouldn't learn or remember for a few weeks. The devotional that morning (which BYU has every Tuesday) was cancelled, and instead we were asked to gather for a time of quiet reflection and prayer - for ourselves, for the ones surely lost in the attacks, and the families affected.

The thing I remember most about that day is how I felt - scared, even terrified as news of the attacks came in, saddened by growing tally of lives lost. But when the radio started playing patriotic music - God Bless the USA is the song I remember hearing the most - I felt united with everyone in this country. We were ALL shocked, we were ALL scared, we were ALL affected. And this tragedy united us. For days and weeks afterward, people were talking to strangers, sharing stories, waving flags, singing about their love of America. We all lost someone, or knew someone who lost a loved one, in those attacks, and we bonded together.

Now, eight years later, we are anything BUT united. We've forgotten how we felt on 9/11, and 9/12, and 9/13, and gone back to squabbling and bickering and even hating each other. How can we go back to the unity we had? What will it take to bring us back together? Another 9/11? I hope not. I pray not. But the old saying is truer now than ever - united we stand, divided we fall. If we won't stand together now, it won't be a matter of 'if' we fall, but when and how hard.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Leah!!

I cannot believe that my little girl is one year old today! It still feels like we just came home with her from the hospital, and she was getting over her jaundice and crying whenever she was more than six feet away from Lisa. Now, she's walking everywhere, standing up on her own, and saying mama and dada. And believe it or not, she can whistle! She was whistling in her high chair while we were at my mom's for dinner last Sunday, it was amazing. I can't imagine our lives without her, she's so cute and funny and just a joy to be around. Happy birthday Leah!