Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stepping Into Liquid

I attended a baptism tonight. I'd originally planned on going straight home after Linger Longer clean up (Linger Longer = snacks after church). Instead, I drove myself straight to the baptism and thoroughly enjoyed it.

A young man baptized his girlfriend of two years. I watched as they entered the water together, both dressed in white. I thought about the commandments they were living in order to be worthy of participating in that ordinance.

While millions of teenagers in the world are caught up in themselves, partying, drugs, sex...the list goes on- here are two young people who care deeply for the Lord. They are committed to Him and to living His teachings.

I am so grateful I ignored what I wanted to do and chose instead to be a part of an uplifting evening. The Lord's way is always the better way.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What Choo Talkin Bout?!

As I reviewed Our Hearts Knit As One by Elder Eyring yesterday, the immortal words of the "Different Strokes" theme song came into my mind-

Everybody finds a way to shine,
It don't matter if you haven't got a lot
They'll have theirs, You'll have yours, and I'll have mine.
And together we'll be fine....
Because it takes, Diff'rent Strokes to move the world.
Yes it does.

What this song says to me is, there is abundance in the world and I have a little piece of it. Each of us carries a person-sized portion. This is why we must work together to combine our parts to make a whole. Each of us has a unique gift to contribute. Knitting our hearts together as One.

Two of the stand-out thoughts from Elder Eyring's talk were:

1. The Great Truths of the Gospel are more important than our differences.

2. Differences can help bring you what you lack and help you serve God better.

I sometimes feel intimidated by qualities in others that make them different from me. Fear exists because the Unknown exists. We fear things only because we feel there's a possibility they can hurt us...

I now know that differences in others are encouragements for us to become better and stretch a little further.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prevent the Madness

Just when you thought there was nothing left to burn...California is on fire... again. This time it started in Santa Barbara County Thursday night.

Since Thursday evening, the wildfires in Southern California have destroyed an estimated 800 mobile homes, houses, apartments and other buildings and blackened an estimated 67 square kilometers of land. Street signs are melting like milkshakes.
Add to this, the infamous Santa Ana winds, scorching temperatures (which were predicted earlier in the week), low humidity levels, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

Fire erupted in both Orange and Riverside counties last night.

Capt. Leonard Grill, a 20-year veteran of the Riverside County Fire Department,has been quoted as saying, "It's gotten worse and worse every year. I can't keep track of them anymore. These used to be the out-of-the-ordinary fires, once-in-a-career kind of fires. Now they're every year."

On a local level, a blanket of smoke that came from the North stretching towards the sea, choked all the blue from the sky. Buckets of ash were falling in flurries to the ground- California's version of a "winter" storm?

Employees at Costco were wearing masks to prevent extreme exposure to the carcinogenic dust. The afternoon took on a bit of an Apocalyptic feel... This mornings air quality is incredibly poor. It's really difficult the breathe right now. *cough* *cough*

Interesting that these fires are raging on the weekend of the planned nation wide protest against Prop 8. Could this be God's way of saying, "Protesters stay home."
It's very possible.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Garden

Today I attended a pot luck lunch at the Wild Oats Organic Garden in Long Beach upon invitation from my co-worker Charlene. If I could give Charlene a nickname, it would be Mother Earth...She is One with the soil, rooted deep in concern for the environment. I like her. She's always smiling and her pockets are filled with inner peace.

The idea of a Community Garden fascinates and intrigues me. It appeals to me in every way! People come together, practicing principles of self-sufficiency, organic sustainable living, hard work, and getting back to the basics. It's a remarkable way to connect with your neighbors and the serenity of creation!

A note about the pot luck lunch- (they have work days from 9-12 every 1st and 3rd Saturday which ends with lunch at 12ish- let me just say, the chicken dogs, homemade lemon hummus, fresh salads, and the thick sweetness of the raw smoothies were divine!) Come give service and then enjoy the food!

What I learned:

Spinach doesn't like to grow in heat.

There is a variation of mint that tastes like lime called, of all things, lime mint.

Cauliflower comes in purple.

The director of the garden, Heidi, is brilliant and she says non-profit work is SO much harder than being an Executive Program Developer...she wants to create a quilt of gardens throughout the city.

If you eat a pot belly pig, it will trigger a virus in your body that goes straight to your brain and makes you wacko.

I ate with a potato fork. (Forks can be made out of potato!!!) AND I've drank from a biodegradable cup made from corn!

Sorrel is a baby green that tastes like lemon!

LBCC has a spring sale with all sorts of seeds and starters for sale!

Quote for the day: A poochie poochie girl in a gucci gucci world.

West Coast Rendering Company off of 4105 Bandini Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90058 has a subdivision, which I believe is called Baking Commodities, who are part of the animal food production process. They add all sorts of evils to pet food, such as cancerous cow tumors, and euthanized animals from the pound... dogs weren't meant to eat other dogs were they? Combine this with the soy and wheat that go into most major brands of pet food and wuh-la! You've got pets with cancer, allergies, asthma...

I met Johnny the urban missionary, who was tending his plot. He plans to embark on a missionary trip around the world in 2010 through a program called

I took a hulking amount of photos- maybe I'll post some on Facebook...

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Wild Oats Garden.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Just the Beginning

The elections were three days ago, and proved historic is so many ways. On a personal note, it was my first time getting involved in a campaign, one which was not just political, but moral too. I am so thankful I was able to participate in the overwhelming task of fighting for freedom of religion and the sanctity of marriage within one of the most liberal states of the Union. Sweat, disappointment, and blessings flowed, as the LDS community, in a small way, helped Proposition 8 to pass. We were a small cog in a BIG wheel.

I spoke with a gay father several weeks ago, and his words now return to my mind. "No matter which side "wins", you think that will be the end? This is just the beginning!" Is it really the beginning though? It seems to me, an extension of the war that has been waging since the beginning of the earth.

I watched the 11 o'clock news last night. They had air-cam shots of the L.A. temple. No on 8 protesters swarmed the grounds, flooding the streets. The boiling point was reached when some of our Pacific Islander brothers and sisters began tearing down hateful signs that had been posted on the temple gates, and telling protesters to take their anger and energy somewhere else. They were among the few brave enough to face the rioting masses.

Threats were made regarding the temple, fire and destruction were promised- Thankfully the temple was reopened today and serenity has maintained. The Lord is protecting us.