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Rachel's Challenge - Accepted

Filed under:Inspiring, Journal, PTA, Religion, Opinion, Friends, USOE, Family — posted by Tyler on May 19, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

Rachel’s Hands

I’ve been involved with the PTA since my daughter began school in September of last year. I attended my second Leadership Training Convention on Thursday and Friday which happens annually in May. Last year I was inspired by Ronda Rose, Legislative Vice President on the Utah PTA Executive Board. She finished up her term this year and she will be greatly missed because of her ability to speak from her heart, stand up for her convictions, and truly inspire! All the effort I’ve given and all the effort I will continue to give will be, in part, inspired by this amazing woman.

This year I was inspired by the last workshop that I attended; one that I really didn’t have time to attend and one that I had to leave half way through, but the half that I was privileged to listen to proved extremely worthwhile. The workshop was entitled Rachel’s Challenge and was brought about by the tragic events of April 20, 1999 when two students killed 12 students and 1 teacher at Columbine High School. Rachel Scott was the first to die that dreadful day. But little did anyone know, except Rachel herself as she foreshadowed in her diary, that her death would touch millions of hearts.

After her death an essay that she had written for a class was found under her bed. The message of the essay inspired the family to share and challenge people everywhere to take upon themselves Rachel’s “Codes of Life“. There are five of them and they gel nicely with my personal beliefs. But put in perspective of her life and tragic death, they suddenly took on new light and meaning. How this girl of 17 was able to have such vision is a miracle.

I listened eagerly as Dana Scott, Rachel’s sister, shared her story with us. The presentation consisted of heartfelt narration by Dana along with video clips and slide show pictures. It was the best powerpoint presentation I had ever seen. I found myself watching Dana as she watched the video clips and I tried to imagine what she must have felt losing her sister and nearly losing her brother. I watched as her emotions changed from sadness and fear during the news clips that showed the tragedy of that day to pure joy when they showed footage of her as a child, full of joy (incidentally her middle name) and life. I felt myself empathizing, which has only begun to happen in my life as of two years ago.

Several years ago I had a friend who had cancer. I wasn’t being especially empathetic as I talked about the situation with my wife in the car one day. She chastised me for my lack of a Christ-like attitude. At first I didn’t accept that I needed to change. My feeling was that difficulties happen in everyone’s life and that you just accept it and get over it; a complete lack of empathy. But the fact that I recognized that it was not Christ-like to have such an attitude led me to search out that attribute and I began to pray for it.

Several months passed and nothing major had changed despite my prayers. I still had a general sense of disdain for other people’s burdens but continued to search out a change of heart. It was a hot day on the 18th of July, 2005 where Clint (a friend and co-worker) and I found shade under the curved steps of the Salt Lake City Library. Just as we were finishing our 7-11 hot dogs we heard what sounded to me like a skate board hitting the pavement, but much louder. It wasn’t long before we both realized that something terrible had happened. We ran over to where the noise came from and much to our shock we found the body of a woman lying face up on the brick-lain sidewalk. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but suffice it to say, the woman had jumped from the top of the library to her untimely death, despite what paramedics tried to do for her.

I was still unaware how much this event would effect my life. Clint and I tried to deal with it the best we could through humor, but as the days went on it haunted me. I found myself reading her obituary and all of the online comments from the online version on the local newspaper’s website to try and find out who this woman was and why she would do such a thing. Her name was Michelle Marie Macy and she was only 39 years old. She was a pharmacist and married, but had no children. She loved cats. She had family who loved her. I began to recognize feelings of empathy within myself, but the true change of heart came when I found the courage inside to pray for Michelle - a complete stranger. I prayed for her family and those who must be feeling the pain of her untimely passing. I experienced true compassion and charity during that prayer and when I finished I found that I was crying. The change of heart that I had been praying for had finally come!

I hope Michelle’s family will find comfort that her death was not in vain, just as Rachel’s death was not in vain. My life was touched and I learned a lesson that was long overdue. I hope that one day I can give Michelle a hug and tell her that I love her. I don’t know what circumstances she must have been going through to come to that point, but I know that Jesus Christ loves her. I know that her family loves her.

So it was with charity and love that I listened to the message that Rachel’s sister had to share. Her message did not fall on unfertile soil. I will take the message to heart, re-evaluate my life, and strive to improve myself. That is the Purpose of Life - day by day, week by week, year by year.

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New Blog Emerges in Blogosphere

Filed under:Web Log (Blog), Cool Stuff, USOE, Friends — posted by Tyler on April 26, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

My good friend, Clint, has begun recording his adventures in a new blog entitled “BonnevilleMariner“. The current story is one that I had the pleasure of being involved in; a noisy ride to Nevada in my oil-leaking Jeep with Clint and John. We nearly ran out of gas at least once and we were completely lost at one point. I can honestly say that that was the only time I’ve been lost and were it not for the insistence of the majority that we were finally walking up the right road, I might have been lost forever. I’ll comment more on his blog for history’s sake.

I look forward to reading more stories as they’re posted and I’m sure you’ll enjoy a lore or two if you take a moment to visit and browse. It will be more reminiscent for me seeing as how I’m Clint’s adventure buddy and have been involved in many of the adventures he’ll share. The one place he didn’t follow me was down an old, dark, long-forgotten mining tunnel. And wisely so. (Yet again, because he was there I am not still lost or now dead.) Thanks, Clint!

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Funny Video (Reminds me of Paki Manu & Friends)

Filed under:Video, Friends — posted by Tyler on April 17, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

Another hilarious video.  I don’t know if it’s so funny because it reminds me of some Tongan and Samoan friends that I had growing up.  They were tough as nails and seemed to take pleasure in hurting or getting hurt.  This is a game they would have played just to enjoy watching me laugh my head off!

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A Great Poem by Matt Fisher (1995)

Filed under:Inspiring, Cool Stuff, Video, Friends — posted by Tyler on February 23, 2007 @ 10:05 pm

John posted an old video on YouTube tonight that I made a while back. It was great to see it again, I had forgotten all about it. It’s a little bit corny in that you can pretty much tell that I stretched 1 minute of video footage into 4 minutes, but it’s still an interesting look into the past. The last four minutes is a reading of the entire poem that was written by my good friend Matt when he was on his mission in Rome, Italy in 1995.

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Taralyn Appears on “The Price Is Right”!

Filed under:Cool Stuff, Video, Friends — posted by Tyler on December 21, 2006 @ 10:10 am

A family that I have the pleasure of home teaching went to Burbank, CA for a taping of “The Price Is Right” and Taralyn was “called on down”!

I compiled the highlights of her game into a 7 minute video for those of you who may have missed it. Enjoy!

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