Sunday, November 27, 2016

Caught in a Storm, Thanksgiving and Friends

We've had colds going around and yesterday was my turn to catch it. My mind is foggy, but I have some fun pictures from the week I can post even if I can't think or write very well.

 Monday I got to watch the dress rehearsal for Anne of Green Gables. It was a lot of fun - I know some rather talented people :)

We live pretty close to a "Historic Main Street" now so we like to go on walks out there and visit the fun little stores.

I mentioned before that we are living in an RV at our friends' driveway. We spend a lot of time in their house for obvious reasons. On the days we are there,  Sara and I take turns cooking meals and we have jobs assigned to the all the kids. I find it is more fun to cook and clean with friends so it hardly seems like work at all.

 Dallin snuck this time lapse video when he was supposed to be cleaning, but I thought it was kind of fun, see how fast we work together?

We also seem to be able to stay on track better with our devotional, language arts and math. And have more time for creative play...

Fortune Telling Station
Older siblings helping their younger siblings make decorations
We went on a wild hike on Wednesday. It started out pretty nice and normal,  but after we had hiked 2 1/2 miles and we were thinking of turning around,  some clouds suddenly swept in on us - they moved so fast - and we hiked down in fog, then hail, then wind and snow.  It took us a while to get back. It was a fun adventure, but I'm glad my younger kids had chosen to stay home. Here are pictures, it's fun to see the difference between the start of the hike and how we ended!

Once our fingers thawed we were able to slip and slide back home to drink hot chocolate!

We spent Thanksgiving with our friends as well. Like always, they made us all feel welcome admist all their family :-)

Thanksgiving Football Game

"Look over here and smile..."

And we enjoyed some family time on Friday also. More cruising down main street, then a movie (Pete's Dragon) and then to look at Christmas Trees.

"Look over here and smile..."

Some people were tired by the end of the night :)

Today I am feeling grateful for great friends and the beautiful Thanksgiving season that reminds us of how very blessed we are; and prepares us for Christmas where we remember that innocent One who paid the price for all of it. 

Here are some more random pictures and videos:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lies #3 and #4

Last week I wrote about 3 damming (not necessarily damning) lies that some of us LDS People believe. I mentioned that I would get to #3 this week and I thought of a bonus #4 . ;-)

Lie #3

Most of us know that this one is not true doctrine, but when we see ourselves repenting, and committing to do better, about the same thing over and over, year after year, we start to think that we are reaching our limit and we are hopelessly flawed. That "hopelessly flawed" feeling comes from Satan, and if we start to believe it, we begin to loose faith in ourselves and ultimately in God's ability to help us.

Lie #3 There is a limit to how often I can repent for the same thing.

The truth is some weaknesses will only go away in the next life because we need them in this life to remind us to turn to God. Those weaknesses make us strong in our relationship to God. Anytime we turn to God, we learn something - even if we are turning to Him after the 10,011th time we have failed at keeping a resolution we made to Him. We learn about ourselves, how much we need God, what works and doesn't work in our goals, and how infinitely He loves us.

I am always amazed at how quickly the Spirit returns to me after repenting and making a resolution to do better, even if I've made that resolution hundreds of times about the same thing and I'm having a hard time trusting myself that "this is really it." But he does. He forgives me every time.  And every time I am astounded at His endless mercy, how much I need Him and how good He is. I love Him even more.

None of us are hopelessly flawed. We all need God. And until we are perfected in the next life, we are simply asked to follow Him, repent, and try again. And again. And again. That's how we reach our potential, grow close to God, and develop humility, faith, and charity.

Galatians 6: 9,8
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Lie #4

This one is related to lie #1 I think. It's important to understand that God wants us to seek Him so he is not going to hand us all the answers on a silver platter.

Lie #4: Darwinian Evolution fits with the gospel

Anyone who studies this seriously will know that the two paradigms fundamentally oppose each other. All of us have made the choice to not understand some things because they don't seem to fit together. We decide that things will eventually make sense and we move on. This is what got me through science classes at school. This is good, it shows humility and trust. But questions also lead to answers and if we want things to make sense, it's okay to ask questions.  In science classes, I did develop a sense that I didn't really like science and that it didn't make sense.

I have since learned that there is evidence for both God and Darwinian Evolution, depending on how you view the data. And, though Darwinian Evolution has some major holes, schools will teach the theory as if were undeniable fact because they can't teach an alternative theory (it implies there is a God).

So, if you are sending your kids to learn science at a government school, it would be wise to teach them the holes in Darwinian Evolution and the evidence for Intelligent Design and even Biblical creation at home (there's a ton!) If we parents simply answer with, "just have faith" to our child's science questions, but the teachers have scientific answers to their science questions - the child will start to think that teachers have answers while parents don't.

If they have a strong testimony, they may be able to weather it, but - as I heard said at a Science presentation by Vince Newmeyer - the heart may not entertain what the mind refuses to believe.

It is now my experience that science makes sense, is wonderfully exciting, is full of the Spirit of truth, seeking and light, and testifies of Christ. It's exciting and inspiring. It fills me with reverence. Too bad our kids have to sit through the many dry pseudo-theories taught at school, but at least there is some good science taught there too. And we can teach them more at home.

This documentary is eye opening. It was recommended to me so many times, but I finally got around to watching it today. I recommend it now as well (my kids were worried that it started out in black and white, but that's only for the intro, just fyi):

I am reading a couple of science books right now that have been a refreshing breath of fresh air to a place in my heart I thought was dead.

One is "The Universal Model." Absolutely fascinating and sure to be mocked by the mainstream science community. At least at first, but truth has a way of coming forth regardless. If this book speaks some truth, and I think it does, it will certainly revolutionize science once truth seeking people start to read it. I don't know how long that will take. Many of us have a distaste for science for similar reasons to the ones I mentioned I had. But I hope it's sooner than later. Here is an introductory video to the book:

And here is a summary of our week (at least the moments I took pictures of 😊)

Evening hike with Cassia...

This is the shortest way to get to it. It looks illegalish, but I've been getting to it this way since high school.

It was dark by the time we got to the waterfall

 I loved it up there at night, but the hike back was kind of scary with the big dark pine trees all around us.  I realized how grateful I am for light and company in this life.  Without those two things, life gets pretty scary. I had to try to focus on the good things and not on what critters or scary people might be up there at night (the grafitti didnt help). In a small way, it was a similar feeling to the glimpses I have experienced of anxiety and depression .  It's a momentary darkness. But I find comfort in the knowlege that the light always returns. And some company and a little flashlight helps until then.

Saturday the girls and I went on a nice walk through old main street, had some Greek food and went to Fiddler on the Roof at Northridge High.

I really like that play. To me, it's an interesting commentary on tradition - it's limitations and it's protection and uniting force. The family draws farther apart as they depart from tradition. Some of that was good, some of it had sad consequences. It was also makes you think about the effects of governmental force versus allowing choice.

Plus the actors were awesome. Several of them were in our South Weber ward, including "Tevye" who was played by the incredibly talented Jack Bell - it was worth the money just to watch him act and hear him sing. And the sweet girls in the picture above were also a joy to watch!

Today we went to see our house in progress. It looks almost the same as it did last week, but I hope they are just doing work that isn't very visible :)

It looks like it has a ways to go. At least we get to hang out with some incredible people while we wait :-) I sure love them all.