SHHH! Don’t let the Court know…

December 10, 2005

We recently set up our Christmas tree. As previously described, to me a Christmas tree is rife with religious symbolism.  But SHHHHH! Don’t tell Justice Blackmun (or his successors) that the Christmas tree, like the menorah, is a religious symbol.  Otherwise, you will soon see no more Christmas trees in public places.  Consider why not:

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ייִדיש!:נייע און אלטע לידער

December 9, 2005

I just found a great blog .  It is full of Yiddish songs and poetry, both new and old, as well as great Jewish art and Yiddish-culture oriented photographs.  Check it out:

נייע און אלטע לידער

[naye un alte lider]

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Missionary Journal: Leipzig, Germany, December 9, 1995

December 9, 2005

I have decided to start posting once a week or so some excerpts from my missionary experiences in Germany 10 years ago, for what it’s worth.  They are interesting for me to read, and maybe for you too! Or maybe not…

I’ll try to always post on the exact day I wrote back then!

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Modern-day Job?

December 8, 2005

I don’t understand why things like this happen, but I feel a lump in my throat right now for this poor guy:

Sheriff’s deputy Andy McDowell was forced to live a parent’s worst nightmare twice in a matter of minutes.

[. . .]

Rory McDowell, 23, and Cory McDowell, 21, both died within a couple of miles from the home they shared with their father in southern Kentucky’s rural Warren County.

[. . .]

Rory McDowell lost control of his pickup truck coming out of a curve and the vehicle struck a tree shortly before 1:30 a.m., authorities said.

[. . .]

About 15 minutes after the first crash, Cory McDowell’s 1984 Porsche veered off another rural road, went into a spin, struck a tree and burst into flames, authorities said.

Two sons. All of his children. Gone in a matter of minutes in SEPARATE tragedies. Almost like Job.  Sad.


Cloaking the Past in Nostalgia

December 8, 2005

On June 12, 1987, President Reagan gave a speech that will always be remembered.  "Mr. Gorbachev," he challenged, "TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!!"  Audible to those on both sides of the great barrier dividing East from West, these historic remarks resonated from the great Brandenburg Gate in Berlin- a key point in the system of high walls and barbed wire which symbolized the Iron Curtain.  A gauntlet had been thrown.  Two years later, on November 9, 1989, the wall fell, and for the first time those who had been trapped in the East tasted freedom.  No longer trapped by their communist oppressors, the former East Germans streamed to the West during those first few weeks.  It was a reunification of a divided people, a miracle in our times.

Looking back on those dark days before the walls came tumbling down, how do you think many of the East Germans remember those years of oppression? You might be surprised…

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Where can [the mentally ill] turn for peace?

December 7, 2005

Aside from the obvious answer that they can turn to the Savior, where are concrete, physical human beings actually within reach to whom Latter-day Saints who suspect they may suffer from mental illness may turn?  Some suggestions I have heard from caring individuals on various blogs and in other discussions on this topic are listed below, with a critique of that source from my (limited) perspective.  I invite everyone to offer their own perspective so that I, in turn, can offer it to people I know who stand in need of help but are unsure of where to turn.

I appreciate Ronan’s informative post over at BCC- it provides a great starting point.  Here are the sources which I see as possibilities to get help, and my comments/questions/concerns regarding each:

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O Tannenbaum!

December 6, 2005

The following are some musings I have had about how I and others could use the Christmas tree as another way to integrate Christ into our Christmas thoughts.  I originally posted this last Christmas, but I thought we could definitely use a reminder of how the Christmas tree can be a wonderful symbol of Christ and the atonement. Heaven knows I can use it!

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