Skiing Faith

My friends, life is a lot like a ski trip. It begins as the grandest of adventures, sure enough. But there inevitably comes those times, I think for all of us, when we feel like we’re lost in the woods after dark skiing blind.

On a recent cross-country skiing vacation, I learned a meaningful lesson about, of all things, ‘faith.’ If you don’t mind, I’d like to share it with you.

We got to our rustic cabin late in the day. After unpacking, several of us decided we wanted to go out for a skiing run, even if it was late. According to the map, there was a trail not too far from our cabin that was a 2½-mile loop. We strapped on our skis, and off we went. Well, it got dark a lot faster than we had anticipated. By the time we were a mile or so into that trail, it was so dark, we couldn’t see the snow in front of us, we couldn’t see the trail directly under our feet. It became very difficult to ski. The more I tried to pick out the trail, the more difficulty I had. And by now, we were deep into the pine forests of Island Park. Every tree looked the same. That trail had twisted and turned, and gone up and down and around in every way imaginable. None of us were [was] totally sure of which way was home. The temperature was dropping close to zero. In short, this was not a good place, nor a good night to get lost.

Then all of a sudden, it dawned on me. We were on a groomed trail. All we had to do was relax, keep our skis in the tracks of those who had gone before us, and simply follow them home. Well, with that newfound knowledge, it became much easier to ski. I stopped worrying about where to steer my skis, and I just let the trail guide me. Well, more calm now, I began to look around. The snow was beautiful. The stars overhead were bright and beautiful; it was a gorgeous clear crisp mountain night.

We skied on in the dark, more or less blind. Then suddenly, we broke out of the trees on to the banks of the Buffalo River. I knew exactly where we were. The lights of our little cabin were just a short distance down stream. We skied on, and in due time arrived back to the warmth and security of our cabin and the rest of the family. What could have been a disaster became instead an exhilarating and a joyful experience.

My friends, life is a lot like a ski trip. It begins as the grandest of adventures, sure enough. But there inevitably comes those times, I think for all of us, when we feel like we’re lost in the woods after dark skiing blind. There are some even now, especially among the young, that don’t know where they are, or even who they are. They are lost skiing in spiritual darkness, if you will. I remember that feeling; I remember it well! And so what I have to say now is for them.

My dear friends, life is a short loop. We came from the warmth of God’s presence into a cold darkened world. And a trail has been laid out clearly before us that will lead us back to Him, and to His love. The real test of this life is ‘Will we trust the trail at all times?’ Are we willing to humbly place our faith in the ones who have gone before us?

Just because you can’t see the trail clearly, or the end from the beginning, does not mean that the trail’s not there. Don’t abandon the Lord’s trail! There is none of us that have [has] learned enough to make it home on our own. Stay in the tracks, even when all hell is trying to pull you off and get you as lost as they are.

And I promise you, if you do, the day will come when the light will appear before you, and you will know the unspeakable joy reserved for those who endure to the end.

Thanks to Glenn Rawson thoughts.– January 2001

Judging Others

Jesus knew all of us, and feared none of us. His righteousness is greater than our weakness. He is pure and holy, and before Him all of us are unworthy, but none of us are unwanted. So it should be with us.

Though the Lord Jesus was born after the manner of the flesh, He didn’t live after the manner of men. There was nothing coarse or cruel, or vulgar or profane about the Lord. He was indeed a pure and a holy man, which makes these events – that I’m going to tell you about – all the more remarkable.

On a late night in Capernaum when He wanted sleep, multitudes of the needing came to His door. He went out to them, and He healed them. (Mark 1:33-34) When He sought solitude after the death of John, 5000 came and He welcomed and fed them. (Mark 6:29-44)

It didn’t matter whether it was Pharisees or publicans, He dined with them all. Whether it was beggars or blind man [men], lepers or lame, saints or sinners, all came to Jesus, and all were accepted.

The Savior proved that all men are precious to Him, and all are invited to come. None are turned away. (2 Nephi 26:26) Now, how could one so good be so welcoming and tolerate of those who were not?

When He appeared to His disciples after the resurrection, there were some that stood doubting and wondering. (John 20:24-27; Matthew 28:16-17) But it didn’t matter to Him where they stood, or how they felt. All were invited to stand next to Him and feel those sacred wounds.

Their cups were already filled, but the Master wasn’t finished yet. He then administered the bread and wine to each of them, inviting each of them present to enter into a sacred covenant relationship with Him.

I marveled for years at the Master’s careful attention to detail and to individuals. I believed that that story was written to show us how much He loves us. And then I realized one day that that’s true, but there was another reason why Jesus’ attention to ‘one by one’ was recorded. At the close of that wonderful day, Jesus said to His apostles, “… ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that each of you should come unto me that ye [you] might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world.”

That’s it! If there are any of you who tend to scorn and push others away, please know that you are opening yourself up to temptation, and if you continue, it may be you who is pushed away when you most want acceptance.

Jesus knew all of us, and feared none of us. His righteousness is greater than our weakness. He is pure and holy, and before Him all of us are unworthy, but none of us are unwanted. So it should be with us.

If there are any of you who have been judged as unworthy and unwanted, it is all right. It hurts – a lot, but let it go. Blessed are ye for He was there before you, and in an especial way, will be there for you now. (Matthew 5:10-12)

From thoughts by Glenn Rawson – February 2008

How Are You Doing On Those New Years Goals?

We all have a sense of what we want to have, what we want to do and how we want to be.

Working towards your Goals

We all have a sense of what we want to have, what we want to do and how we want to be.

However, only a small percentage of us actually get to live out our dreams.

The reason that the few people that do succeed in getting what they want is because they look at their goals from the right perspective.

They break their goals down into small and manageable steps and achieve them all.

The result of this is the accumulation of little successes into the achievement of their ultimate goal.

Just for this week, try this exercise. Set yourself a clear goal and work out the little steps that you need to achieve it.

Once you have this strategy established, commit to spending 30 minutes per day working purposefully towards the completion of your goal. What you accomplish in this little time will amaze you! Then by next year at the end of January you will be well on your way with your goals.

gphowe

UpLIfts For Life – Over Come Fear!

Every evil has its remedy, except folly. To reprimand an obstinate fool or to preach to a dolt is like writing upon the water. Christ healed the blind, the halt, the palsied and the leprous. But the fool He could not cure.– Kahlil Gibran

We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation, when facing a fate that cannot be changed. For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement. –Viktor Frankel

The greatest weakness of all is the great fear of appearing weak. –Jacques Benigne Bossuet

We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Every evil has its remedy, except folly. To reprimand an obstinate fool or to preach to a dolt is like writing upon the water. Christ healed the blind, the halt, the palsied and the leprous. But the fool He could not cure.– Kahlil Gibran

Great People – Charles Dickens

There is no greater story teller than Charles Dickens. This is because he used the most imaginative and inspirational source for all of his ideas, life itself.

Born into a typical Victorian family, Dickens and his family faced many of the problems that were typical of the time.

He was forced to cut short his education so that he could begin work so that his income would help the family survive.

His working life was just as difficult as his education as anonymity in the classroom was replaced by demanding task masters.

However, like many great men, Dickens used his difficult experiences to inspire him forward.

He exists in literally everyone of his characters, which each describe the anguish of poverty, over-crowding, hunger and illness.

He would often spend his day walking and listening to ideas that he could use to add an extra dimension to his characters. This would also add to their depth.

Dickens learned that life is the greatest teacher and there is no story more interesting than that of life itself.
———-

Have a vision not clouded by fear. –Cherokee Proverb

Everyone’s character is a result of their attitudes, desires and choices.

It is your attributes of character that fuel your behavior

Your character and example speak so loudly people often don’t hear the words you say.

Have a great day and remember FEAR is: false evidence appearing real!

gphowe

What A Wonderful Sound

“Listen”, she said………..”What do you suppose that is?” He drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap.

A nurse on the pediatric ward, before listening to the little ones chests, would plug the stethoscope into their ears and let them listen to their own hearts.

Their eyes would always light up with awe, but she never got a response equal to four-year old David’s comment.

Gently she tucked the stethoscope into his ears and placed the disk over his heart.

“Listen”, she said………..”What do you suppose that is?” He drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap – tap – tapping deep in his chest.

My HeartThen his face broke out in a wondrous grin and he asked, “Is that Jesus knocking?”

Reflections on a Ski Trip

You know, sometimes the most commonplace of people and events can teach the most profound lessons if you look carefully. May I explain?

Reflections on a Ski Trip

You know, sometimes the most commonplace of people and events can teach the most profound lessons if you look carefully. May I explain?

Recently, I took my three oldest children and went cross-country skiing. Now, at the beginning of our adventure, the four of us encountered a very steep hill. Now, we’re all beginning skiers. So while three of us were gingerly inching our way down the hill, my ten year old daughter, who seems to have no fear, suddenly came flying past us digging in her poles for all the speed she could get. She stayed upright all the way to the bottom of the hill, until her skis went tip first into a drift, and she biffed it right in the drift. Well, she came up laughing; I was laughing too. From the top of the hill I thought, ‘why not?’ and so I cut it loose. I made it all the way to the bottom too, and then landed in a pile right next to her.

Lesson number one: Sometimes in life we are a little too timid. We need to trust the Lord and throw ourselves into life and relationships. So what if we crash once in a while? The fun was worth it.

Now later, the weather on our ski trip turned into a blizzard. I had promised the children when we found the warming cabin at the top of the trail, we’d have hot chocolate and candy for a feast. Well going toward the cabin, it became very difficult, so they began to chant, “Hot chocolate, cabin, candy; hot chocolate, cabin, candy” over and over as loud as they could. Well, we got all the way up to where we thought the cabin should be, and then we couldn’t find it. I don’t think it was there. It was a discouraging moment. We had to turn around and start back without the fire, without the candy, and without the hot chocolate. And you know, there was not one word of whining. What good would it do?

Lesson number two: Sometimes we have to be our own best cheerleader. The world is full of whining sour faced pickle suckers. We don’t have to be one of them. Life is really a lot of fun if you think about it.

Well, we trudged along falling frequently until we came to another steep drop-off. At this point, my oldest daughter went off. She made it about ten feet, and – she went face first right into the snow. She came up cold and wet, and sputtering. I heard her mutter as she got up, “I skied up it; I’ll ski down it.” She got up, she went just a short distance, and down she went again. This time, as she got up I heard her say, “Well, at least I’m getting good at picking myself up.” When she was then upright, she repeated, this time through clenched teeth, “I skied up it; I’ll ski down it.” She did too, all the way to the bottom.

Lesson number three: We all need to get good at picking our self [ourselves] up. Life certainly has a way of knocking us down, and that frequently. And also, God’s way isn’t always the easiest way, but it certainly is the most thrilling. Don’t take your skis off; don’t give up, just because the hill gets steep.

Now finally, at one point during our trip, my younger daughter took off her skis, and the bindings became iced; she couldn’t get them back on. When I came on the scene, I found my son standing in several feet of snow with bare hands and a pocketknife trying to get his sister on her way. He was cold and wet. Now, he could have skied on by – went right on down the hill, but he didn’t.

Lesson number four: I hope he never does. Stopping to help is exactly what his Savior would do.

In conclusion: All things considered, the skiing conditions were lousy that day, but the learning conditions were excellent.

From Glenn Rawson – January 1998

Road Rage

Consider what kind of a world we would have if every driver, every parent, and every person stopped listening to their fears, and started listening to their hearts.

Road Rage

I have found the world’s cure for road rage. Not only that, I have found the way to drive in the worst of conditions almost stress-free. To those of you who feel that the Savior’s command to “love your enemies” is difficult enough in normal life, but absolutely impossible in heavy traffic, would you please consider the following story? (see Matthew 5:44)

Recently, a friend of mine was traveling down Interstate 15 from Idaho to Provo, Utah. As she drove, she began to ponder what it would be like to love all men as the Savior commanded. Her thoughts were particularly relevant since she was traveling through one of Utah’s most infamous construction zones, with its equally infamous traffic, a stretch of highway, as some of you who have been in Utah traveling I-15 may well know, where road rage takes on a whole new dimension.

Well suddenly, the idea came to her that rather than looking at each car that passed her and thinking, “Stupid driver,” or some other such unkind thing, she decided she would look at them and say in her mind as they went by, “I love you.”

So accordingly, the next car that passed her, she looked over at the driver and said in her mind, “I love you.”

Now please note: She said this in her mind, not out loud. The Utah Highway Patrol would probably have had her in handcuffs within five miles if she had said it aloud.

Well, she kept doing it, and it actually became fun. All the way from Kaysville on the north to Provo on the south, she told every driver that passed her, “I love you.”

The remarkable thing about this experience was that the more she said it, the more she really felt it. The usual tension and grumpiness that comes with heavy traffic in close quarters – well, it just wasn’t there! Instead, she felt the kind of peace and joy that comes to all those who love as the Savior loves.

When my friend finally got to Provo, there wasn’t the usual huge sight of relief as she exited the freeway. She – she was actually having fun; she didn’t want the trip to end. When she walked in to greet her family, the feeling went with her, and it even intensified. At that moment she loved all men, even “Utah drivers”, with a pure love. The warmth of that love lingered for days, and left her yearning for its return.

Recently I was asked how we can come to love people. I have pondered that question deeply, and this is my answer: Just do it! Consider what kind of a world we would have if every driver, every parent, and every person stopped listening to their fears, and started listening to their hearts.

We love those we serve, we love those we pray for, and we love most when we give rather than take. In other words, love begins in our actions and moves from there to our heart.

Thanks to Glenn Rawson – Taken from his story from September 2000.

What Foxworthy Had To Say About Utahns’!

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Utah.

FORGET REDNECKS; THIS IS WHAT JEFF FOXWORTHY HAD TO SAY ABOUT UTAHNS’! (Remember this UpLifts is published in Utah.)

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September to May, you live in Utah.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don’t work there, you live in Utah.

If you’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Utah

If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Utah.

If ‘vacation’ means going anywhere south of Salt Lake City for the weekend, you live in Utah.

If you measure distance in hours, you live in Utah.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once with their cars, you live in Utah.

If you have switched from ‘heat’ to ‘A/C’ and back again in the same day, you live in Utah.

If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both unlocked, you live in Utah.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Utah.

If you design your kid’s Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Utah.

If the speed limit on the highway is 75 mph — you’re going 80, and everyone is still passing you, you live in Utah.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Utah.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Utah.

If you find 10 degrees ‘a little chilly’ you live in Utah.

The Hyphen by John Wayne

Let’s join hands with one another…
For in this land, each man’s your brother.
United we stand…divided we fall.
WE’RE AMERICANS…and that says it all.

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. A smile is the beginning of great things. If we smile at each other, we will learn to love each other. There are so many people who will do big things, but there are very few people who will do small things. – Mother Teresa

The Hyphen by John Wayne (the actor)

The Hyphen, Webster’s Dictionary defines,
Is a symbol used to divide a
compound word or a single word.
So it seems to me that when a man calls himself
An “Afro-American,” a “Mexican-American,”
“Italian-American,” An “Irish-American,” “Jewish-American,”
What he’s sayin’ is, “I’m a divided American.”
Well, we all came from other places,
Different creeds and different races,
To form a nation…to become as one,
Yet look at the harm a line has done –
A simple little line, and yet
As divisive as a line can get.
A crooked cross the Nazis flew,
And the Russian hammer and sickle too-
Time bombs in the lives of Man;
But none of these could ever fan
The fames of hatred faster than
The Hyphen.
The Russian hammer built a wall
That locks men’s hearts from freedom’s call.
A crooked cross flew overhead
Above twenty million tragic dead-
Among them men from this great nation,
Who died for freedom’s preservation.
A hyphen is a line that’s small;
It can be a bridge or be a wall.
A bridge can save you lots of time;
A wall you always have to climb.
The road to liberty lies true.
The Hyphen’s use is up to you.
Used as a bridge, it can span
All the differences of Man.
Being free in mind and soul
Should be our most important goal.
If you use The Hyphen as a wall,
You’ll make your life mean…and small.
An American is a special breed,
Whose people came to her in need.
They came to her that they might find
A world where they’d have peace of mind.
Where men are equal…and something more-
Stand taller than they stood before.
So you be wise in your decision,
And that little line won’t cause division.
Let’s join hands with one another…
For in this land, each man’s your brother.
United we stand…divided we fall.
WE’RE AMERICANS…and that says it all.

YOUR PERSONAL QUOTES
“To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.” -Bertrand Russell
“We only really face up to ourselves when we are afraid.” -Thomas Bernhard
“You don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall.” -Jawaharlal Nehru
Don’t waste energy envying celebrities:
“Great and small suffer the same mishaps.” -Blaise Pascal
“I just want to be an ordinary girl.” -Princess Stephanie of Monaco

YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, & I’LL SCRATCH YOURS

Meaning: If you help me, I’ll help you.

As early as 1536, we find Erasmus’ “Adagia” quoting, “Mutuum muli
scabunt,” meaning, “Mules scratch each other.” It shows reciprocity,
even among animals, and people can learn from that. Different
versions of the proverb have existed throughout history, but since the
nineteenth century, this has been the most common version used.

In July of 1865, Sir Edward Bulwer and Charles Dickens both attended
the inauguration of the Guild of Literature and Art. They were
complimenting each other left and right, so much so that it prompted a
writer in the “Saturday Review” to comment thusly: “…a wonderful
match of mutual admiration and laudation … look forward to more back
scratching.”
_______________
“And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” – USA National Anthem

Buffett & Father (Warren Buffett)

After graduating from Columbia Business School in 1951, the young Warren Buffett was looking for his first job in the investment business.

His first choice was a firm in New York run by his favorite professor, Benjamin Graham. However, Graham turned him down for reasons not related to Warren’s abilities.

Disappointed and not wanting to work for strangers, he decided to return home to Omaha, Nebraska and work for his father’s brokerage firm, Buffett-Falk & Co.

After settling in, a friend of his father’s asked, “Will you be known as Buffett & Son?” “No,” Warren cracked. “Buffett & Father.”

At the time Warren’s remark might have seemed just a little bit presumptuous. But to the self-confident, able and ambitious Buffett, he was just stating the destiny that deep inside he already knew.

I hope your week is a great one – it will be if you make it so.

gphowe