Monday, December 28, 2009

Blessed to Receive

There have been many years where we have been blessed by gifts given to us either anonomously, or by name. We have tried to do the same when we were able, and have enjoyed giving to others secretly. We have often chosen a family (sometimes after consulting the Bishop) to do the Twelve Day's of Christmas for. This year, we didn't feel able to do that, though we did still give presents to friends and family.

This year we are feeling very blessed again by the great friends, and family, we have who love us as we love them. To all who gave us gifts, We say a united "THANK YOU!" To all of our friends throughout the World, we Love You, and miss you, and hope that the Lord will bless and keep you for the coming year. I hope you each recognize the source of all we receive, as we do, and thank him from whom all blessings come as we begin this new year. Keep him close within your homes and your hearts, as we keep you in our hearts and prayers.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just a little Donkey

I wrote this recently. I hope you like it.

I was just a lowly donkey,
The lowest of the herd.
I had no loft, or station,
Such a thought was quite absurd.
My lot in life was simple--
Do what work was given me.
I had no thought of saying nay,
No thought of being free.

Then came the day I was chosen
To carry my master's wife.
She was heavy with their child,
The weight of coming life.
But as she settled gently
Onto my sturdy, saddled back,
I felt as though unburdened
As I stepped along the track.

I recognized the child
Unborn in my ladies womb.
Certainty swept away all doubt
Like chaff before a broom.
What creature of the World
Could not recognize their Lord,
Whose creation, their own existence,
Came from His very word.

I made my gait as gentle
A a little donkey could
To ease the ladies journey
Through the sand, and through the wood.
Then on reaching Bethlehem,
Upon that very morn',
Our Savior came into the World,
The Christ child had been born!

What a blessing it was to me,
A lowly, simple beast,
To be present on that occasion
Even though among the least.
Of our creator's vast assembly,
To think that I was there,
A simple little donkey,
With our Lord in my care.

Yes, I was just a little donkey,
The lowest of the herd.
I had no loft, or station,
Such a thought was quite absurd.
But I was blessed above all others
Of my kith and of my kin,
For I was present at His birth,
The one who paid for all our sin.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Substitute Thoughts

Contrary to the title of this post, I was not thinking about one thing, and then start thinking about something completely different. In fact, I was thinking about several similar things all at once. I am currently working during the day as a substitute teacher. Because of this, I see more different students in the course of the week than most other teachers. I also have, because of the nature of being a sub, more time with nothing to do than even the students have. As a result, I spend much of my day observing and listening to the students. It is very interesting what the students will tell each other when they think no one else is listening.

"I can't believe how drunk I got. I totally passed out, and didn't remember anything until I woke up in the hospital."

"Yeah, I got a ticket for underage drinking, but I'm gonna fight it, 'cause my Dad gave me the beer, and he was driving."

"No, I'm not pregnant. So I dodged another one."

"I beat the ____ out of her! She totally deserved it. She was talking ___ about me."

I could go on, but it gets very redundant. Underage drinking, casual sex, violence, lawbreaking, cheating, fighting, drug use. Name it. The scariest part of all of it is the attitude. Nothing matters, so do whatever you want. One person even suggested that the perfect retirement plan is to rob a bank with a gun. You'll go to jail where they will provide food, shelter, health care, etc. all for free. Besides, I don't need school, I can make more money in a day on the corner selling than most teacher's make in a year.

Where did we go wrong? Not too long ago in America people were ashamed when they did something wrong, or something that would embarrass their family. Not any more. In fact, many of the kids think their parents deserve it for trying to stop them from doing what they want to do. We live in the "me" generation of disposable things. Disposable razors, disposable cars, disposable marriages. If it doesn't work, throw it away.

This school, along with others, is trying to change those attitudes. They have a new program trying to build respect, responsibility, and honesty. They say it is working. I hope it is. I worry that it's not.

Take Care. Keep Hoping. Stick.