Saturday, September 27, 2008

Reflections on Growing Older

I must admit, the picture of me on this blog is a few years old. A hair cut today reminded me of that. I was more eager to have my good-looking hair stylist (my foxy, very pregnant wife) put more hair on than take off.

After speaking with a new lieutenant last weekend at military drill, I turned to a colleague and said, “That [conversation] made me feel old.”

“You are old,” he quipped.

“I think I’m just getting more mature,” I told my wife after she observed my hair (or the loss thereof).

“No, you’d have to act more mature for that to happen.” She smiled. I guess I’m not growing up, then. To be more precise, I’m simply growing old.

Earlier this week I heard the song, the good ship lollipop, or something like that. I can sing it. I can hear the song in my mind and envision a young, curly-haired, effervescent Shirley Temple dancing and singing on our old black and white television. Those were the days when we used knobs, not remotes.

Yesterday we bought a new vehicle. It talks to us; we can respond to her and she obeys. That’s quite amazing. There’s a DVD player for the kids, complete with remote, cordless headphones. Of course, the TV is all in color and has a surround sound Bose system. The rear view mirrors even readjust themselves when you back up. My wife is ultra happy. I told her it was her gift for cutting my hair all these years for free and giving me a whole quiver full of cute kids.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I must admit I don't follow sports like I used to, but I've followed members of my church who've played: Steve Young spoke at my sister's high school graduation years ago. After Dale Murphy retired, he served as a mission president in Boston. And, I once saw Shawn Bradley in my congregation in Dallas. To say he's tall would be an understatement. I went to church with Rulon Gardner, the Greco-Roman wrestler with the biggest upset in the Olympic games (Sidney 2000). He used to let our baby daughter, who's now grown, suck on his expensive watches during Sunday School.

Anyway, it's a good day to me, even though I don't follow sports, when Brigham Young University does well -- handing UCLA its worst lost in nearly 80 years.

PS I also went to high school with a guy who was on the Olympic bomb sled team that won the Silver Medal at the Salt Lake games.

Hunting with Palin?

I do have to say, I would trust going hunting with her more than I would Dick Cheney!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Vice President and Laughs

Our nation's first Vice President, John Adams, served under President George Washington in 1789. Of the position, Adams wrote that it is "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."

With the recent running mate selections of both the Democrats, and more recently the Republicans, I feel a bit deflated. I was hoping McCain would pick Romney. But Romney would show him up. Nevertheless, the lady governor from Alaska seems quite up to the challenge. But frankly, I'm not thrilled of either Party's candidates. I suppose I will only base my vote not on whom I like more, but whom I would least like to see in the Oval Office.

If you've seen the old Richard Pryor movie Brewster's Millions, I feel like voting what his character suggested: Vote none of the above. I'm just not that thrilled about this election. We need a Ronald Reagan, an FDR, or a John Adams. But, on a lighter note, perhaps we need to write-in a candidate. Bill Cosby comes to mind.

With Cosby as President, we'd all probably laugh a little more. After all, laughter is, indeed, the best medicine.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

John Adams' Day of Fasting...Prayer

Of late I have been studying the amazing life of John Adams. I am intrigued at his genius and at his purpose in life. I believe he was raised, prepared and inspired of God to be one of America's Founding Fathers.

Today, Sunday, while I fast and pray for my own purposes, I choose to quote his inspired words. I wonder what would be said today if a leading politician of our time were to make, as he did, such a proclamation. How would he (or she) be received?

John Adams' Proclamation of Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer (March 23, 1798)

As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness can not exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed; and as this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty or of danger, when existing or threatening calamities, the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity, are a loud call to repentance and reformation; and as the United States of America are at present placed in a hazardous and afflictive situation by the unfriendly disposition, conduct, and demands of a foreign power, evinced by repeated refusals to receive our messengers of reconciliation and peace, by depredation on our commerce, and the infliction of injuries on very many of our fellow-citizens while engaged in their lawful business on the seas--under these considerations it has appeared to me that the duty of imploring the mercy and benediction of Heaven on our country demands at this time a special attention from its inhabitants.

I have therefore thought fit to recommend, and I do hereby recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next, be observed throughout the United States as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens of these States, abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations, offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies agreeably to those forms or methods which they have severally adopted as the most suitable and becoming; that all religious congregations do, with the deepest humility, acknowledge before God the manifold sins and transgressions with which we are justly chargeable as individuals and as a nation, beseeching Him at the same time, of His infinite grace, through the Redeemer of the World, freely to remit all our offenses, and to incline us by His Holy Spirit to that sincere repentance and reformation which may afford us reason to hope for his inestimable favor and heavenly benediction; that it be made the subject of particular and earnest supplication that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it; that our civil and religious privileges may be preserved inviolate and perpetuated to the latest generations; that our public councils and magistrates may be especially enlightened and directed at this critical period; that the American people may be united in those bonds of amity and mutual confidence and inspired with that vigor and fortitude by which they have in times past been so highly distinguished and by which they have obtained such invaluable advantages; that the health of the inhabitants of our land may be preserved, and their agriculture, commerce, fisheries, arts, and manufactures be blessed and prospered; that the principles of genuine piety and sound morality may influence the minds and govern the lives of every description of our citizens, and that the blessings of peace, freedom, and pure religion may be speedily extended to all the nations of the earth.

And finally, I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation.

Given under my hand and the seal of the United States of America, at Philadelphia, this 23d day of March, A. D. 1798, and of the Independence of the said States the twenty-second.