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A Titanic Moment Of Romance

In 1997 the motion picture ‘Titanic’ was released.  It seemed to have the perfect plot for both men and women; a romance on a doomed ship. My wife and I wanted to go see the movie, but had heard from friends that there was one scene that we might find objectionable. The scene involved a brief view of female nudity. Some might have made a different choice, but after talking about it, my wife and I decided that we would go.

Being forwarned, we had an inkling as to when the objectionable scene would take place.  As the scene neared, I started to feel uncomfortable sitting next to my wife there in the theater. At that moment I whispered to her that I was going to the concession stand to get some candy.  So I got up and went out into the lobby. I stood out there for a few minutes, pondered my situation, and then returned to my seat to watch the ending of the movie.

After the movie was over and we were riding home, we talked about the movie and then she said this to me.

“Getting up and leaving the theater at that moment was one of the most romantic things you have ever done for me. I can’t tell you how respected I felt.”

Well, perhaps I never should have taken her to the movie at all. That being said, over the years I have tried to do many things to romance my wife. Sometimes I have been creative and sometimes I have been boring, like wining and dining her with flowers, candy, and other gifts. But I will never forget that one moment of ‘titanic romance’ that so impressed my wife. That experience has left me wondering why I don’t learn that showing her the respect she deserves is the best gift a man can give to the woman he loves.  And the words of Paul  are still as wise as they were when he wrote them to the Ephesians:

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church…”

 

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When They Call Us By Our First Name

    TheDiscipleMD

    Yesterday I was on the phone with a salesman. He began his presentation by calling me by my first name. For some reason, salesmen are now being taught that if they say your first name five times in the first thirty seconds, somehow you will believe that they are a close friend. Their opening lines go something like, “Hi Scott, I know you don’t know me, Scott, but Scott, I’m sure that you know that we live in hard times. How is your business doing, Scott! (Pause for a response), I know what you mean Scott, because, Scott, things are difficult today.”

    When they call us by our first name they are pretending to be a friend, but they are slyly deceiving us.

    This world is full of salesmen. Being pressured into buying some useless product is one thing, but the minions of Satan are constantly making sales pitches that could have profound negative eternal consequence. All around us his salesmen present the immoral life as a life of ease. Everyday, each of us is pressured to buy the ideals of man, over that of the Lord. David B. Haight offered these words:

    “You… men are old enough to know right from wrong, to know about Satan and his evil influence. Satan is a Hebrew name for the devil. It means adversary—one who wages open war with the truth and those who obey truthful principles. Satan chose the evil course from the beginning. His greatest aim, as taught by Moses and Enoch, is to get men to worship him. (See Moses 1:12; Moses 6:49.) He has had great success. As the professed god of this world, Satan has the adoration and worship of those who live after the manner of the world. All forms of wickedness and evil and rebellion against God’s holy purposes are of the devil. However, we are tested and challenged and must work out our salvation in the presence of evil. Lehi taught: “It must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Ne. 2:11.) We have our agency to choose right from wrong, good from evil. But just because evil exists does not mean that we must partake of it. You cannot do wrong and feel right.” (David B. Haight, “A Time for Preparation,” Ensign, Nov 1991, 36).

    Too often we find ourselves listening to the world’s salesmen as they spin their presentation. They call us by our first name, pat us on the back, and lead us to do things that we normally would not do. Instead of listening to be polite, it’s best to just say, “I’m, not interested!” Interested in what, they ask! “In anything you have to say” we should respond. We need to take caution in listening to worldly salesmen. We might find that we have paid a high price for caving to their words of friendly persuasion.

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This Is Your Life…Or is It?

TheDiscipleMd

On a recent birthday my daughter contacted family members and many of my friends, both past and present, asking them to write something about memories relating to their association with me over my lifetime. A sort of ‘This is Your Life,’ based on the old TV show. I am grateful for the memories shared and the time that many spent in sharing their thoughts and memories. It made my that birthday one of the best ever!

I learned an important lesson when it comes to memories and experiences that we share together. I learned that my memory of an event can be slightly, or in some cases, vastly different than what others remember. I couldn’t help but chuckle when four friends versions of the same funny event that I told across the pulpit, was written down four different ways. The core of the story was there, but the details were so different that you would have to conclude that someone was in error regarding how this event really happened. Even funnier is the fact that I remember it differently from all four who wrote about it.

I was once again taught that written and oral ‘history’ are simply events shared by those who experienced it, as they ‘remember’ it. Truth is a very slippery thing. It becomes especially troublesome as the years pass and the events fade. Why is that important to know? Well, recently there has been documents released by our church relating to history, in addition to other documents that have been floating around for years, that are ‘unflattering’ to some historical church leaders. The same unflattering kind of documents are to be found regarding the founding fathers of our country as well as almost any historical figure of any significance. Are these documents and testimonies completely accurate? From my recent experience regarding my own history, as retold by my friends, I would doubt it. And these are friends, not my detractors. I can’t imagine what others might write or say!

We need to be ‘well-read,’ but not ‘well-lead’ by written statements that may or may not be accurate. We seem to be willing to readily accept bad things that people write about others without question, while easily dismissing all the good things that are also written.

I hope that when it comes to something as important as our faith in Christ, our faith in the leaders of the church, or our faith in the existence of God; we will not be too hasty in embracing things written by man, whose memories are clearly fallible and are sometimes laced with intent to harm or who have motives unknown.

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Do We Want Deity To Be Our Personal Genie?

TheDiscipleMD

As a young boy I read the story of Aladdin’s Lamp. As you know Aladdin was a poor young man who came into possession of a lamp that when rubbed, produced a Genie who fulfilled his every wish. More recently some of you might remember a TV show I used to watch as a kid called “I Dream of Jeanie”, the story of a Jeanie who fulfilled the dreams of her master, Tony the astronaut.  These stories of magic Genies who fulfill our every want and desire are fun to think about. Unfortunately some of us confuse the make-believe role of a “Genie” with the role of a loving Heavenly Father.  Somehow in our mind some of us see Him as the maker or  one who is responsible for fulfilling all our dreams. When the fulfillment doesn’t come, we become disillusioned or come to believe that He doesn’t love us. After all if He did, he would fulfill our “sincere prayer” or wish. On occasion I hear people say that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers if we only ask. They then tell a story of a prayer that has been fulfilled for them. Without proper context the listener is left with the impression that all prayers are answered…except theirs! This must mean somehow that they are “unworthy” or “unloved” by the Father. After all, He answers everyone’s elses prayers.

I like the story of the little boy who lives next door to the little girl. As he kneels by his bed one night he prays that the next day will be sunny because he has his birthday party planned outside that day. The little girl next door has just planted a small garden in her yard and prays to Heavenly Father for rain so that her plants may be nourished and grow. One of the prayers will go unanswered.

We do have a loving Father who hears and does answer our prayers but not always on our time or in our way. If we want a “Genie” we need to read about Aladdin and his lamp, or watch Tony on TV. If we want a Father who looks after us, listens and blesses us according to His knowledge, then we can approach Him in solemn prayer and offer our thanks and desires.  He will bless us in ways that will stretch and mold our character.His goals are sometimes not our goals. He has the aerial view as opposed to our short-sightedness. Perhaps Garth Brooks captured it correctly when he sang:

“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers

Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs

That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers (Garth Brooks, Unanswered Prayers).

We should not be discouraged if some of our prayers don’t seem to be immediately answered. I know my children want and desire many things. How foolish I would be if I took the role of “Genie” in their lives instead of  the role of Father. The “genie” is meant to please, but the father’s role is to teach. May the Lord bless us in our righteous prayers and may we remember that our prayers do penetrate the Heavens. We have a Father who loves and listens to our concerns. Have patience, faith, and hope in Him. but most importantly, have trust in him who is knows each of us individually and knows what we need to become like Him.

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