July Resolutions (Journal Writing)

Filed under:Web Log (Blog), Religion, Family — posted by Tyler on July 9, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

Boy, it’s been a while since my last blog entry.  But not as long as my last “official” personal journal entry.  I pulled out the ‘ol journal today after an inspiring lesson in Elder’s Quorum and discovered that it had been 5 years since I last wrote.  I missed writing about my son’s birth, my graduation from college, a couple job changes, a new house and the list goes on and on.  A far cry from my journal writing hey-days from the time I was 16 to 21 where I kept a daily journal without missing a single day!  I guess I may have burned myself out.

But as Brother Cross (a man who reminds me of President Hinkley) said today in Sacrament Meeting, today is a new day and each hour is a new hour.  So I’ve recommitted myself to writing daily in my journal.  I won’t make such promises as far as this blog is concerned, but hopefully I don’t let things go for a couple of weeks like I’ve done this time.

I’ve posted some pictures of my family that were taken when we went on a nice scenic drive on Mirror Lake Highway through the Uintah’s.  I have a sweet family and I love them a lot!

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Self-Deprecating Humor at its Worst

Filed under:Religion, Opinion — posted by Tyler on May 5, 2006 @ 9:54 pm

Maybe I was in a bad mood when I read Jody Genessy’s opinion column in the Deseret News this evening, or maybe I’m just fat and taking offense, but I think he went a little far in his attempts to be funny today. To his credit, he took a stab at himself on that very point when he listed “You spend way more time trying to be funny in a weight-loss column than you do exercising” as a way to know if you’re obese.

From the looks of his picture included with the column, Jody, like a lot of people these days, is a bit on the heavy side. So the article is obviously meant to be funny in the self-deprecating sense of the word. I’m a big fan of self-deprecating humor; if you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at? But “self” is the keyword. He took it too far today by laboriously running down the list of all-too-common fat jokes. If he would have stuck to just a few, I wouldn’t be as critical (uptight) as I’m being. The ones I liked were was:

You won’t put a nickel in a slot machine because gambling is a vice, but you will put eight quarters in a vending machine at work for a bag of Doritos, a Snickers bar and a Diet Dr. Pepper.

That says quite a bit about the way a lot of us (including myself) take some commandments to heart, but completely ignore (or justify) breaking others. The Word of Wisdom is often focused on for the list of “don’ts”, but there are also many “dos” that are too often ignored.

I dream of one day being back to the best shape I’ve ever been in. One of the biggest things I can do to help myself out is to start eating right.

I donated blood tonight and one of the recommendations is that you drink a lot of water (and it specifically excludes pop), and I’ve yet to drink a single glass. But I have had a couple cans of pop.

I’m an idiot, no doubt about it. (How’s that for self-deprecating?)

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Stake Conference + Kids = ?

Filed under:Religion, Family — posted by Tyler on March 12, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

WHY? That’s the question I have. It’s ironic really. You go to a biannual meeting to receive counsel from the Stake Presidency and to feel the Spirit, but when you add kids into the mix, it becomes nearly impossible! What’s even more ironic is the counsel we received today was that we put emphasis on reverence. Stake Conference meetings are anything but reverent, what with all the kids trying to endure a two hour meeting on seats that make noise when you kick them. Ooh, cool! How fun! These seats make noise when I pound my toys on them, too!

Heather and I went to the Temple night and the Adult Session and really enjoyed that. When it came to going to the Sunday session, we discussed not going but we decided to “do the right thing” and go. I came home from the meeting more stressed than before I left. I took Griffin out of the meeting once and Heather took him out at least twice. All the while the speakers’ main subject matter is “reverence”.

On the way out of the meeting, Heather had to stop by the primary room to get something out of the closet. I took Griffin and Sami to the car, but upon Heather’s departure from us Griffin started to scream and cry. He’s been doing that lately, I suppose it’s just a phase, but it added to the stress of the day.

One good thing that came of the meeting was the wonderful song that was sung by a mother and daughter. The daughter did so well! I was really impressed with her voice and pitch. It was only when her mother sang along that the daughter’s pitch was forced flat. But I really enjoyed the song and I was taken by the voice of the little girl. They sang “Mother, Tell Me the Story” from the Children’s Song Book.

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An eye for an...cartoon?

Filed under:Religion, Opinion — posted by Tyler on February 19, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

I’m shocked by the longevity of the violent protests (the latest one [cnn.com] happening in Nigeria on Saturday that killed 16 people) that continue to occur because of a cartoon of Islamic Prophet Muhammad [wikipedia.org] published in a Danish newspaper. I can only believe that this is the cause of a few extremists and that not all Muslims believe that they should burn Christian churches and kill people.

Luckily I know a Muslim and I’m able to ask him these questions so that I don’t fall into the trap of passing judgment on an entire group of people based on the actions of a few. It would be easy to group the entire faith as nut-cases, but I have to remind myself that there are people in every religion (including my own) that take things way too far.

The problem with the Islamic faith [wikipedia.org] (when speaking of a “few” extremists) is the shear amount of people in the world that adhere to it. The numbers are huge! If only less than one percent of the Islamic population follow a radical belief, you still have millions of followers. One quarter of the world population share Islam as an ethical tradition. Muslims are the majority in 52 nations. They speak about 60 languages and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Our conversation was interesting and I’m glad that he’s always been willing to discuss these things with me without thinking that I’m judging him or his religion. Here is our conversation:

9:47 PM me: How\’s it goin\’ Yalin?
I have a question for you.
9:49 PM Yalin: k, I was just talking to Nate on Chat LOL
me: Take a look at this article (you may already be well aware of it) and tell me what you and others think about it. Is this another example of taking things too far? More extremism?
Yalin: looking…
9:50 PM me: Or maybe I just don\’t understand the gravity of depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
Yalin: you\’re almost right on the money…
the issue is two fold…
9:51 PM 1 - Muslims do not even draw Muhammed (pbuh) due to the fact that it would be considered symbolism. He is extermemly highly respected such as other great prophets such as Jesus, Moses and many others
9:52 PM 2 - People that are commiting such acts have the strong Faith of Islam (very strong faith if y ask me) and are seeing this as a direct attack, but they are not educated enough to know how to handle it properly
9:53 PM me: Do Muslims adhere to the law of Moses (an eye for an eye) and maybe that\’s why they feel it is justified?
Yalin: only thing they know how to do is violence (Note: islam is the calmest, and anti-violence religion in my opinion) it\’s simply lack of education
9:55 PM not neccesarily, the Torah and the Zabuur and the Injil (Bible) came for the people of their own, but Qur\’an came as a final proof, it is not justified to kill anyone, only defense (which actually is Jihad) would be justified
meSo it\’s more a cultural thing as to why they are burning churches and stuff? It just seems so ridiculous as a Westerner that a cartoon would be causing such mayhem.
Yalin: Defending and attackingare very different
9:56 PM well, in my opinion the education of the poeple in those countries are controlled by politicions and militiant with wicked goals
thus, using this strong and pure faith of a beautiful religion as a deadly weapon
9:57 PM tangling it in people\’s minds
me: Are there people with your opinion that live there? Would you be pretty unpopular for having that opinion if you expressed it?
9:58 PM Yalin: I wouldn\’t know, I am sure there are people that read the qur\’an and understand it the way I do, but it\’s impossible to change the opinions of a brain washed bunch
9:59 PM me: Well, it happens in every religion. Thanks for giving me a direct viewpoint on these matters.
Yalin: anytime, thanks for asking

One thing I found interesting was the “(pbuh)” that he wrote after writing Muhammed’s name. I looked up the abbreviation and found out that it means “Peace Be Upon Him” and that it’s a form of respect and reverence when talking/writing about him. I also learned that it’s better to write (s.a.w.) because the former doesn’t carry as much meaning; something gets lost in translation. S.A.W means “Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam” which as much as I can understand means “Peace Be Upon Him” but not exactly since something is lost in translation. :) But then again, the site I found this clarification at [usc.edu] might just be more extremists which my friend is obviously not. I’ll ask him about that the next time we chat.

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Blog Customization

Filed under:Web Log (Blog), Religion — posted by Tyler on January 22, 2006 @ 1:30 am

As I read blogs I get to see the good and bad of design. I’ve modified my design from a template provided by Blogger and I think it looks fine. One thing that I like on many blogs is a mini-calendar that serves as navigation tool. WordPress 2.0 [wordpress.org] has a nice calendar plugin which is something Blogger.com is definatley missing. If I hadn’t signed up with Blogger quite some time ago, I might actually consider switching to WordPress based on many available plugins.

I’m really good at procrastinating. I should be finishing up a video project that has an upcoming deadline, but instead I’m confessing that I wasted a couple of hours today trying to add a calendar feature [ecmanaut.blogspot.com] by Johan Sundstrom to my blog. I implemented it and then decided it’s not exactly what I had in mind. I didn’t back up my html (even though I was warned to do so) so I had to manually take out all the modifications and get things back to the way I had them. What a pain!

Besides finishing a video project, I should have been preparing for the lesson I have to teach in Elder’s Quorum tomorrow. The lesson is on forgiveness, a subject that I particulary need help with. There are people in my life that I should forgive, but I’ve been hanging on to it instead of letting Christ take my burden. Usually preparation for a lesson helps me grow in the area that I’m teaching about so that I’m less of a hypocrite when I teach. I’ve been fighting that on this one, just as I have for years now. For all of you readers that are religious, pray for me. I want to forgive.

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