“Don’t Be Tricked”

Every magician knows that the secret to any magic trick-from pulling a rabbit out of a hat to making a coin disappear-is really quite simple: distraction. All the magician has to do is focus our attention on something that seems important but is really unrelated-the waving of a wand or a flurry of fingers. Meanwhile, the trick is taking place on the side, and we don’t even notice it.

This kind of sleight of hand is entertaining, but unfortunately today’s world is full of similar tricks with more serious consequences. Despite our best intentions to accomplish worthy goals, we get distracted or even deceived and expend our energy on less important pursuits.

So many things cry out for our attention. The world tells us that money and fame, power and prestige are what count in life, and so our careers and ambitions might distract us from family and friends. Society seems at times to reward the dishonest and immoral, and so we may be tempted to compromise our core values.

If screens and cell phones keep us from looking into the eyes of our loved ones, we have been distracted. If ball games, tee times, and workouts keep us from spending time with the people who matter most, we have been distracted. If shopping sprees and the latest fashions keep us from seeing into someone’s heart, we have been distracted. Deceptions and misdirections come in many forms, but they all have one thing in common: they threaten to confuse our ideals and put at risk that which we hold most dear.

Don’t be fooled by the tugs and pulls and flashy tricks of the world. We are less likely to be distracted if we are wise and attentive and put first things first. Some things simply stand the test of time and deserve our best energy and effort-and others don’t. If we will judge our activities against the standard of our highest aspirations and noblest purposes, we will accomplish our most important goals, and we will recognize life’s tricks for the distractions that they are.

Get over yourself….

Disappointment ALWAYS happens on the journey to success. Get over yourself and Keep moving forward! FEAR NOT! – There is a tomorrow!

Utah, I Am Your Senator!

Orin Hatch has betrayed the principles and values of the people of Utah and has become dark as if he has gone to the Dark Side. He has pushed a moderate to progressive agenda, proving he has left the values of what Utah was founded on. He has supported Ted Kennedy plus other liberals that have no moral fiber. Orin has tried to destroy righteous leaders like Mike Lee, who knows the constitution, the laws of the land as well as comes from a family of the highest character. Mike’s father was Rex Lee, a man of enormous standards, serving as President of BYU before his death. Orin needs to be voted out of office – he is merely a Harry Reid in Republican clothing.

Not For God – But For You

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

Hello 2015!

Facts you should know…

A reminder for those who forgot or for many that did not know…

Here is what happened on January 1, 2015 :
-Top Medicare tax went from 1.45% to 2.35%
-Top Income tax bracket went from 35% to 39.6%
-Top Income payroll tax went from 37.4% to 52.2%
-Capital Gains tax went from 15% to 28%
-Dividends tax went from 15% to 39.6%
-Estate tax went from 0% to 55%
-Remember this fact:

These taxes were all passed only with democrat votes, no republicans voted for these taxes.
These taxes were all passed under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Special Thoughts at Christmas

John 1:10-14
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Babe of Bethlehem

Jesus, the Babe of Bethlehem – He lived, and today He lives again, and watches over us as Mary once watched over Him. Where once He was cradled as a helpless babe in a lowly manger, now He reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords in courts of eternal glory.

He was once then tender and fragile, helpless, as susceptible to death and injury as any other baby, but now He is all-powerful and all-wise, the author and finisher of our faith.

He was born the Daystar, the light and life of the world. Where this world was dark and cruel on the night He came, He will make it glorious and perfect.

He came a babe, but He was God – sent to a world that had forgotten God, and through Him, all of us may be one with God.

Like every other baby ever born, His memory was veiled and His innocence was sweet. He descended from a heavenly throne, and never stopped that plunging descent until He was raised upon the Cross. But now, the Savior stands above us all with hands outstretched inviting us to be one with Him where He is. He was comprehended by none, but now He comprehends and loves us all.

Be assured that as angels announced with heart and voice His coming once, they will do so again. Shepherds were His witnesses then, and they still are. He came once a suffering servant; He will come again, this time a conquering King.

At His birth, Jesus was adored by few, hated by some, and ignored by most, but no one can ignore Him now. He is our Savior and our Redeemer, meriting our worship and our universal adoration.

He was born a subject of Rome, a slave as it were to Caesar’s whim, but He rose the King to conquer all, even death and hell.

Mary His mother loved Him, and from Bethlehem to Calvary she never left Him. Today, some of the best parents in the history of this world are here, and He never leaves them – if only we understood how concerned about such matters He really is. I want you to know, parents, our faith in Him is never unappreciated. Our prayers are never ignored.

Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes when He was born, but now those swaddling clothes of the commoner are the resplendent white robes of eternal glory, and He will give them to us.

At His first coming, only Mary and Joseph saw to His comfort and care. The world more or less turned a cold heart. But we have His promise—when He comes again, His heart will be turned to those who have waited long for Him. They will come forth, His loving kindness burning in their heart’s memory forever.

As Joseph and Mary took Him to Egypt and saved him from Herod’s hate and man’s envy, so too the Lord will take us out of Egypt, the world, to another world where hate and envy ne’er annoy.

He was born to a stable and raised to mansions of glory. On that first Christmas night, no one understood the Babe of Bethlehem, and so no one made room for Him. But now I declare to you, His heart, broad as the heavens, swells wide as eternity. There is, thank God, room for us all.

He was born to us, but He is the Savior of worlds without number. He was born Mary’s Son; He rose Mary’s King!

My dear friends, on that first Christmas, Jesus came to us as a child. This Christmas, I hope you come to Him the same way.

Merry Christmas.
From the works of Glenn Rawson.

Dad’s Letter

It’s Christmas time – and you know, this time of year our minds are focused so much on the gifts we need to ‘buy’ for the ones we love. Well, in light of that may I share something that happened not too long ago?

I came home from work after a busy day. And I went upstairs and dropped my stuff – and then I noticed on my pillow a note, and it was written on that kind of paper, that unique kind of paper, that told me it came from my youngest daughter. I opened it up, and sure enough, it was a note from Shaina.

It said, “Dear Daddy, I miss you. I’m having fun here at school … Can I go to Santa’s secret shop. You’re gone too much. You are the best daddy in the whole world. Love, Shaina.”

Oh – oh, you talk about a payday – I loved it! I called her to me, knelt down on her level, and thanked her for the wonderful note. When I told her I loved her too, she threw her arms around my neck and just hugged me tight. It was a wonderful and a tender moment.

Now, a few days later I was with a group of teenagers.

We were chatting casually when, out of genuine curiosity, I asked them, “If you could have anything for Christmas and money was not a consideration, what would it be?”

Well, I have to confess here my shallowness. I expected them to start rambling off all these expensive toys that they would like to have. And to be honest, a few of them did mention some toys they’d like to have. But many, if not most of them, wanted such things as – their families home for the holidays; they wanted to spend time with their families and share experiences with their loved ones. I was surprised by that; I was impressed by that.

One young woman’s answer stood out in particular. She’s a quiet pretty young woman.

In response to the question, she said, “Well, I’d want some money for Christmas, and then I’d want a letter from my dad.”

Well, the ‘money’ answer I expected, but the ‘letter from dad’ – I was taken back by that, and I asked her why she would want that. I mean, I figured of all things that a teenager would want least from her parents, a sentimental letter would be that last thing.

Well, she explained that her father, at least once a year, writes her a letter in which he opens his heart, and tells her that he loves her. The letters have become a cherished tradition for her. In them, Dad bears his testimony of faith in the Lord, shares the experiences of his own life, and gives her guidance, and tells her what he expects from her.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

“You mean to tell me, of all the things you could have, you would most want a letter from your dad?”

“Yes,” she said, and she meant it!

You know something? Maybe our loved ones really don’t want the gifts that come out of stores this year as much as they want the gifts that come out of the heart – the gifts of memories.

Now, as a related thought, it was recently explained to me what ‘W W J D’ meant. I had never heard that before. It means ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ Well, may I suggest something new for Christmas this year? How about ‘W.W.J.G.’? – ‘What Would Jesus Give?

A very Merry Christmas to you.

A special thanks to Glenn Rawson for sharing this great story with us.

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