Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Parable of the Talents

A friend of mine recently shared a letter she had written to a friend in prison. In it she talked about the parable of the talents with kind of a twist added to it. She had done a lot of research on different words, their roots and meanings and came up with the idea that possibly the talent referred to was not monetary but could possibly refer to challenges we were sent to this life to deal with. (That is a way simplified, condensed version of the letter.) She had asked me for my thoughts on the letter. This was my reply.

At the very basic you are putting a new spin the the parable of the talents. Saying that we are all sent here with . . . abilities, disabilities, challenges, strengths and weaknesses. Our challenge in life is to make a life in spite of all of this. To meet the challenges head on, learn from them what we were sent here to learn. Possibly the subjects with the 5 talents and 2 talents did this, they learned, they grew, maybe even learned from their weaknesses thereby turning them into strengths. The subject with the one talent basically chose to bury his head in the sand. (my own thought coming up here) Maybe the one talent (challenge, trial ,struggle, etc) was so overwhelming to him he just didn't see a way to ever deal with it honorably. He couldn't deal with it within the confines and restrictions of his beliefs and culture, all he had been taught to be true. He obviously displeased his master. Would he have been better off to . . . explore other avenues? Would he have been judged just as harshly had he chosen to go outside his comfort zone, outside the box he was raised in, to magnify his talent. To learn to not only live with it but to thrive, be happy, to find ways to make life better for himself and those around him.

I stopped at this point. This wasn't the direction I had intended to take this. I thought about this for two days before I responded and pretty much had it all mapped out in my mind what I would say and the points I wanted to make. When I got to this point I couldn't remember what I had originally intended to say or the points I wanted to make. I still can't, and it was all so clear to me before I started to write. I am still a bit baffled.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Blog

It's a lazy Sunday morning, I have 1:00 church and I was thinking I should just lay down and take a nap before bubble bath time. I have been working lots of hours and I spent all day yesterday in the kitchen canning so it is nice to have a day where I don't feel like I have to do anything. Instead, I decided to start a new blog I have been thinking about for awhile. I love photography so I decided to start a blog with just pictures. I have no formal training but every now and then I do get a good picture. The thing I love about digital cameras is that I can take as many pictures as I want and just delete the ones that don't turn out. My angel fish is probably shell shocked from all the flash pictures I have taken of her the last couple of days. Mostly I like to photograph nature, and my cat. My photo blog can be accessed here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back to Botox

I finally went in for another botox shot for my voice. I swore I wasn't going to do that anymore but the struggle to talk and be understood just got to be too much. I didn't feel like I got very good results from my last shot and was probably a bit angry over all that has gone on the last couple of years. This shot seems to be working like it should. I am about 3 days into it and I have the low, soft 1-900 voice and I gotta say - it is so nice to be able to talk so effortlessly. I watch, and listen to, people talk all the time and am amazed at how easy it is for them and wonder if they really appreciate being able to do that. I wouldn't care if my voice stayed like this forever. I would never be able to scream at anyone ever again but I am sure there are worse things. I never was much of a screamer anyway. So often I think of things I would like to say, comments I would like to make, stories and experiences I would like to share but it is usually just too much effort so most of those things I just keep in my head. Most of the time I would love it if I could do all my communication by instant message. I have to be a bit more patient when my voice is this way. I normally have to work so hard to get the words out - after a shot I have to remember to just be content to speak softly and easily because the more effort I put into making the words come out the less sound I make. Here's to hoping this one lasts until at least December.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Love Affair

I have to admit to having a very intense love affair - a love affair with hummus! If you have never tried this garbanzo bean based dip you are really missing out. When I was in CA Lis, Jamie and I went to a street fair and bought some at a vendor stand. When I came back here I could never find any that came even close to what we had there, or any that was even very edible, so I started doing some research. I looked at numerous recipes on the internet and did a combination of several of them along with a couple of my own ingredients and now I can't stop eating it. I also couldn't find any chips I liked with it so I made my own of those too.

OK, on to less significant things. I took a nice motorcycle ride yesterday. I made a loop from home, up around the area of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and back again. I stopped in Kanab for an ice cream bar before making the last leg of the journey. I don't eat much ice cream but this tasted really good. It was a butterfinger ice cream bar. The area up there is beautiful - I love riding among the trees, the air smells so good. I took a camera and saw a couple of places I would have liked to stop and take a picture but I was trying to outrun a storm with some very loud thunder so I didn't dare stop. A motorcycle in a rain storm isn't fun for me.

I just got a new cell phone and I think I love it. It is the Verizon Blitz - you can see it here. (I hope I did that right - I've never done one of those before!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The book I am listening too, and things I have read lately, have lead me to think a lot about free agency and how important it is to us as human beings. I believe when choices are taken from us we feel angry and trapped, possibly even depressed and hopeless. There have been times in my life where I felt like I had no choice but to do what I was doing. Those were the darkest and most hopeless times of my life. It not only affected me, it also affected those I lived and worked with. I understand we have to have laws and, by nature, some of those laws must limit our choices. When our choice harms someone else, or limits their choices the concessions have to be made. Some choices have legal consequences, some have moral consequences but all choices have consequences. Just because I believe something is right, or wrong, does that give me the right to force that same belief on someone else, thereby taking their choice away?

I am trying so hard to make sense of this gay marriage debate that is ongoing. I am trying to understand the anger, the bitterness, the fear it is generating. The rifts it is causing in communities, churches and families. I still can't grasp it. I understand some people believe it is morally wrong. I have no problem with that. I, personally, don't believe it is morally wrong but I understand there are those who do. What I don't understand is what it is turning people into. Are people hateful and fearful by nature and this is just a convenient outlet for it? Man, I hope that is not true.

I will be glad when the election is over. Maybe churches will return to a safe place, a place where all can go to be uplifted and feel loved. Maybe people will stop campaigning against someone else's right to happiness and a legally protected family. Maybe people will stop thinking that giving a right to someone else somehow takes rights away from them. My fear though is that this has created a divide that will be hard to cross. And it all seems so unnecessary to me . . .

Shift Change

For over 2 months my shift at work hasn't jived with my church schedule so I haven't gone. We just had a shift change so this Sunday will be my first time to meetings in awhile. I am feeling oddly uneasy about going. Probably mostly because of the things I have read on the internet about things that have been read over the pulpit, and discussed in lessons, regarding proposition 8 in California. Things such as this fine LDS man wrote "Homosexuality is an abberation. They are queer and it is shameful they exist to pollute the decent people they come in contact with. Move them all to Panguitch or Kanab or give them bus tickets to San Francisco. Clean the streets and schools of these types and make it safe for normal kids to grow without exposure to human pollution. They and their parents should be ashamed of what they are. Get right or get out." I am not sure I can hold my tongue if I have to listen to stuff such as this. It also hurts my heart to think that my parents and brothers and sisters may have to listen to things like this when they are in church. I already know of once where my Mom and sister spoke up in RS to dispute the theory that all homosexuals are evil people. Doesn't seem like it should be this way.