Thursday, June 21, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
a time for warm thoughts
and fond memories,
the feelings and words
that often go unspoken,
those special people
in our lives know
that they are loved
and appreciated -
Friday, May 11, 2012
|Driving with my beautiful daughter Madison|
|Me going with my kids (Kendell and Garrett) Beauty and the Beast - fun times|
|Dinner with Garrett and his beautiful wife Julie and Kendell with her wonderful husband Casey - more good times|
|Dinner at the Utah Myler's home with my sister DeDe and her beautiful daughters|
|Whitney and Dennis.... who know...?|
|My Uncle and Aunt... love them both... really great people|
Saturday, January 7, 2012
First of all I'm feeling better. Not at 100% but moving in that direction.
Some interesting news. On my new project The Khoulm Road Project, I think I've sent you some pictures and a few comments about meeting the Village Elders and stuff... I was excited to be involved and felt safe.... well I guess you never know what can happen.... I got a call from the office yesterday asking me, no telling me not to go to the site again.... they had received a tip that I was specifically targeted.... that I was know to be in the area and that they were out to get me. Then I received an email from the client today warning me that there was a credible threat of abduction or assassination...aimed at me specifically. I mean how unreal is that. I'm trying to build a road, bring 3 wells to villages that need the water... it is there lifeline for survival and someone is actually targeting me. And I was walking into the villages shaking their hands meeting with the village leaders, walking up in the mountains looking at material sources. I do believe that Someone must have been looking out for me. I will not be going back to that site. But the interesting thing is that I never felt threaten or in danger.
What an interesting world we live in and what an experience I'm having.
(wrote this the next day)
I had a thought. This "attempt" has been on my mind, I didn't think it mattered to me but I couldn't sleep last night. The thought I had was, Mon I went to the site and was going to go back either Tuesday or Wednesday to meet with the Mayor regarding the material sites, size and condition of an asphalt plant we might buy, site visit to the road and village, and rental of the home office. So lots of different people knew I was coming back. Now the bad thing is that as I was thinking last night, in my daily prayers I had stopped asking if it was okay to go or for the gift of the Spirit that was promised in my Blessings to be with me, I had become so comfortable that I was going on automatic doing my job thinking I had paved the road with the people by being open and friendly so everything was okay.... I had stopped including the Lord in that decision.... So if you remember Monday night I felt like I was hit by a truck... I was very sick, hit me suddenly, I think that the Lord took things in his own hands and blessed me again keeping me safe. I don't think I've ever looked at a sickness as a blessing but under the circumstances what else can one think.if I was well I would have probably have gone on both of those days and who knows what would have happened. No I think I know what would have happened. The Lord did save my life.
Now I can wonder why? Or have another example of the power of God and that He is real and does exist.
Another lesson learned.
It is unbelievable to me how many different experiences I have had in my short time here.
My appreciation for all things have increased.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Please read this story and think about how similar we all really are. For one thing for sure it strengthens my Testimony in Christ… He did live, He is real and can be a part of all our life’s if we just open our heart up to receiving Him in our life’s.
The Muslim story of Christmas
She was alone, as she was wont to do, worshiping in the eastern section of the temple. Suddenly, she was startled by a strange presence: a man with whom she was not familiar. “I seek refuge from thee with the Most Gracious,” she said, “(Approach me not) if you are conscious of Him!” He sought to calm her by saying, “I am but a messenger of your Lord, (who says,) `I shall bestow upon thee the gift of a son endowed with purity.’”
This startled her most of all. She replied, in shock: “How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me? - for, never have I been an unchaste woman!” The presence replied: “Thus it is; (but) your Lord says, `This is easy for Me; and (thou shalt have a son,) so that We might make him a symbol unto humanity and an act of grace from Us. And it was a thing decreed (by God).”
And so she conceived the child, withdrawing to a far-off place. And when the pangs of childbirth overtook her, she was driven to sit under the trunk of palm tree, and she exclaimed in anguish: “Oh, would that I had died before this, and had become a thing forgotten, utterly forgotten!” Yet, she had the child, and she then came back to her people carrying him, who were clearly shocked.
They exclaimed, “Thou hast indeed done an amazing thing!” They continued: “O Sister of Aaron,” an honorific title for this heretofore pious woman, “Your father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman!” She pointed to her newborn child, whereupon they said: “How can we talk to one who (as yet) is a little boy in the cradle?”
The child then said:
Behold, I am a servant of God. He has vouchsafed unto me revelation and made me a prophet, and made me blessed wherever I may be; and He has enjoined upon me prayer and charity as long as I live, and (has endowed me with) piety towards my mother; and He has not made me haughty or bereft of grace. Hence, peace was upon me on the day when I was born, and (will be upon me) on the day of my death, and on the day when I shall be raised to life (again)!
This story, that of the birth of Christ, was culled, not from my copy of the Bible, but rather from the nineteenth chapter of the Koran. It is the second mention, in fact, of this story, the first being in the third chapter. This should come as no surprise, really, for Jesus (and his mother) are very prominent in Muslim belief and reverence.
The Koran is full of passages about Jesus and Mary. The Muslim holy book describes Jesus as being “honored in the world and the hereafter, and one of the intimates of God” (3:45). Christ is also “in the ranks of the righteous” (6:85), described as “a word from God which He send down to Mary (and) and a spirit from Him” (4:171). The Koran even says that Jesus Christ “was strengthened with the Holy Spirit” (2:253, 5:110), although classical exegesis notes that “Holy Spirit” means either divine inspiration or the Angel Gabriel. Jesus, in fact, is mentioned more by name in the Koran than the Prophet Muhammad himself.
That’s why it perplexes me to hear some Christians talk about Muslims “not having Jesus.” We have Jesus all over our faith and belief, we just don’t believe he is the son of God or part of a triune deity. Muslims maintain that Christ was a prophet. It is a major difference in belief, to be sure, but it is not something over which Christians and Muslims should have any enmity or animosity.
Yes, some Muslims claim that Christians and Jews are “enemies,” but I pay no heed to such rabble. It is the product of a criminal, twisted mind, and the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not subscribe to such beliefs. And sadly, there are some Christians who say the same about Muslims and Islam: that we are “enemies,” not to be trusted or accepted into the fabric of society, and our faith is “evil.” Such voices, in both communities, must be ignored and marginalized.
No, Muslims may not adorn their houses with lights during this season, but it does not mean that Jesus does not light their hearts with love and reverence. Muslims may not take Christmas Day off as a religious holiday, but that does not mean that Jesus means nothing to them at all. Yes, it may be that the only businesses open on Christmas Day may be the Muslim-owned ones, but that does not mean that Jesus is not near and dear to those business owners’ hearts.
This common love for Jesus - and all the prophets of God - should be the force to bring American Muslims and Christians together. As we all think about Jesus this holiday season, it is my hope and prayer that the forces of hatred and division are no longer paid heed, and Americans of all faiths and creeds come together in peace. I know that it would be what Jesus would want for us; I know that it is what God wants as well.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Christmas Day in Afghanistan
Wanted to share my Christmas in Afghanistan. first it's a normal workday. There is no Christmas recognition here so no celebration of any kind. Today I had to make a site visit to our new road project in Khulm, we were trying to find a good source for the road base material. We are going to make our own quarry and mine and crush our own material. We found a good source and now I can meet with the Mayor and other government officials and make arrangements to use the land. It's an interesting project with lots of complex parts to it that all need to come together. I will be going to Khulm for the next couple of day getting everything moving.
After we were done and on our way back I suggested we stop for lunch and have some kabobs ... I told them it was going to be my Christmas dinner and they said since your family isn't with you we will be your family... I said I would like that.. They laughed..
So we all went to a late lunch... Sat and had kabobs, chicken, lamb liver and a very tender beef rib... All very tasty.... Not your normal Christmas dinner but nothing has been what you and I would call normal on this adventure.....
At lunch I asked them to ask my driver to stop at the Blue Masque so that I could give to the poor... I had had a thought come to me ... That it was Christmas and I should share what I could with those less fortunate, so I got some afghan money and we stopped... I told my armed guard to stay in the car, to intimidating, and just asked someone else to escort me while I walked the sidewalk to give to some of the older men who were sitting next to the gate, begging for money...as I started handing out the money I was swarmed with about I would guess about 20 to 30 people shoving each other and me trying to get to me and the money, with more coming, I was completely surrounded and had lost my escort but two police had joined me and were trying to keep the people back and me safe.... I only wanted to give the money to the older men... It was fairly scary... But I really wanted to try to help someone ... Give my own gift of love to those in need... I was able to complete what I came there to do and was then was rushed back to the car by the police and my escort who had rejoined me which was quickly surrounded with people knocking on the window asking for money.. As we pulled out we were chased by the people still begging and wanting money... It was sad and somewhat scary....All I had wanted to do was to try and help someone.. Give my own gift of love to those in need....
As I left I was overwhelmed with how great the need is and how many so many of our brothers have so little....my emotions over took me and I had to control my tears... As I drove away again the words of the song came to my mind about giving ... And the scripture about when you give to the least of them that you are giving actually to the Lord... What greater gift could I give to my Savior on this his Birthday but to reach out in a small way.....
The rest of my day was a normal Sunday, went to the base for dinner and then to church for Sacrament service and a discussion about the birth of the Savior and ways to serve him.
It was a different day but as I think about it may be in a good way, I wasn't focused on actual gifts and opening of gifts and things, but instead on being open to the Spirit and being among non believers and sharing with them why Christmas was so special to me and one even who knew I was Mormon and asked how that was different... So a teaching moment..
Oh, I missed my family, my dear children and visiting of friends, I even missed the hustle and rushing around to get ready for Christmas but I experienced something different ...
So it was a day of simple things, a hike in the hills in the middle of nowhere, service and sharing... Prayer and pondering with Christmas music in the background ....
Maybe it was a good Christmas after all....