Friday, November 24, 2017

A talk I gave in Church last week- The Blessings of having a Grateful and Thankful Heart- 19 November 2017

The Blessings of having a Grateful and Thankful Heart- 19 November 2017

Praise for area, Ward and people
My journey to understand and receive the blessings of a grateful heart
·         For those who have lived here 7+ years and have heard my story, you can take a nap
·         For the rest, I’ll explain why I’m the shortest adult in the Ward
·         In fact, last Sunday when I see Sister Morgan I said “Oh, you’re so tall”.
My Journey-
·         Work for the Church in AV Department supporting Temples specifically supporting the Endowment presentation systems
·         I now have been to over 50 Temples on 5 Continents, 9 countries and 39 States
·         Almost 10 years ago took a trip to St George Temple to do a video upgrade.
·         It was right after Christmas, told Barbara I’d only be for 4 days
·         Actually, I was 5 months away from my family.
Tell Story of 11 Jan 2008
·         Trip home driver fell asleep and rolled the van we were in at freeway speeds
·         Landed on roof, seat belt first saved me, then harmed me, hanging upside down and could not release the seat belt, I was being cut in half
·         After 10 or 15 minutes someone stopped by and had a heavy duty cutting tool and cut me out and laid me in the snow
·         Blood flow to left leg was cut off, eventually life flighted to new IMC in Murray
·         High fast are we going to go and how long is the trip?
·         First, they healed my internal injuries, then started on my leg
·         It took over almost 10 hours before blood flow was restored
·         After 6 hours muscles tissue begins to die,
·         Put into a medically induced coma for 9 days
·         During those 9 days I had very realist dreams where stole my identity and had done terrible thing.
·          I dreamed my whole family had disowned me. This was my mindset
Wake from Coma
·         When they woke me, I was Informed they were going to amputate my leg- No you are not!
·         If I can’t walk, I don’t want to live
·         Plus, I thought my family disowned me
·         I would rather go home to Father,
·         Wife could not convince me otherwise because the dream seemed so real
·         The gang green in my leg was so bad, it was literally killing me.
·          My choices were to keep my leg and be dead in 2 days, or lose my leg and live. Doctors would come in and say, don’t worry, they’ve done wonderful things with prosthetic’s and then walk out on their own two feet.
·         Finally, I was told I had to make a decision; they needed the staff and operating room, and would have to release it. I think they gave me 15 more minutes to decided
My Tender Mercy
·         AV Department had executive Directors who watch over Church Departments
·         Usually it is a Seventy or one of the Twelve
·         Ours was Elder Dickson- Right after the Doctor’s gave 15 minutes, who should walk in but Elder Dickson
·         He asked me to feel his side, I did but, my hand went all the way to his side
·         He opened up his suit coat and revealed he had no right arm
·         He then explained how he had bone cancer when he was 18 and the only way to save him was to amputate his right arm
·         He promised the Lord if saved, he would go on his mission and always serve him
·         He then proceeded to tell me what his last 44 years were like without his arm
·         He was more grateful, humble and empathetic to others, he was a better person for it
·         If I were you, I’d choose life.
·         He was the one person that day who could convince me to lose my leg and the Lord sent him to me at the exact moment I needed him most
·         Unlike the doctors, he had lived it
·         I quickly changed my mind, Nurse came in and asked my decision, I agreed, they had me sign paperwork and marked which leg to amputate. Elder Dickson gave me a blessing, and I was then wheeled into surgery and my life was saved.
·          After I realized those dream weren’t reality and my wife and family were totally supportive of me
This is where I began my journey into receiving the blessings of a Grateful and Thankful Heart
·         Now, our longtime ward members can wake up
·         I had received a lifesaving Tender mercy and was shown the way forward
·         How to Cultivate a Grateful heart
·         I divide up things to be grateful for in several ways-
·         God’s Creations, God’s Plan of Salvation, Scriptures and manmade conveniences,
·          From Alma 30.44- all things denote there is a God; yea, even the bearth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its dmotion, yea, and also all the eplanets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
·         I have always loved the night sky. When I was at BYU, I noted Orion as I returned home at night
·         I would say, “Orion, my friend”. Some people may wish on a falling star, I gained strength from this constellation the Lord placed in the sky.
·         Now I love to see the moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and of course Orion and other constellations
·         On the frontrunner platform I can see wonderful sunrises, and then sunset as I drive home at night
·         Always loved the Mountains. Here we have such a great view of Mt Timp
·         I love the Scripture, as a family, we read the Book of Mormon, I feel it is Speaking to me from the dust, such power comes as we read it.
·         Some manmade things I love are Air conditioning and indoor plumbing
·         My point is, look for things you’ve been blessed with and show gratitude to God for them.
·         I believe sometime we are so busy or overwhelmed by life we don’t take time to smell the roses or for up, the Tulips
·         Be still and know that I am God- It is both the D&C and Psalms
·         Take time to see all the wonderful things
·         We all receive these blessings, whether we notice them or not- Story of the 10 leapers
Luke 17:12-19
·         12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers,  which stood afar off:
·         13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
·         14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
·         15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
·         16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
·         17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
·         18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
·         19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
·         I believe sometimes we don’t appreciate what we do receive; we take for granted or granite
·         Why should we be blessed with even more things if we won’t give thanks for them also?
·         My mom use to give birthday gifts of money to her grandchildren
·         After years of never receiving thanks from many of them, she only would give the gift to those few who acknowledged her kindness- Sounds like the 10 leapers doesn’t it
·         You have the power to receive the help and blessing you need
Be still and know that I am God- Both D&C and Psalms
·         Take quiet moments to reflect on what you have been given
·         Acknowledge them to the Lord in your thoughts and prayers
·         I have found that when we do appreciate them, the Lord blesses us with even more
·         I get them at least monthly, weekly and sometimes daily
·         I feel I am always watched over and protected
Importance of attitude
·         I’ve also learned how important our attitude is.
·         As a teenage I thought it meant having a bit too rosy outlook on life, now I feel different
·         It frames how we engage with life, and lift our vision of what is possible
·         When I was in a rehab center for 4 months, I had PT in the Morning. I WOULD ROLL IN and this lady next to me would saw, Hi Smiley
·         I asked her why she called me that and she said there are all this old ladies and men who act like life is over they have such sad faces. They just had a knee or hip replacement and will be home in 1 or 2 weeks. You come in with a leg gone and just smile.
·         She had a thick British accent.
·         Where are you from? Liverpool
·         Where you there when The Beatles were, Yes, the 4 lads were there then
·         It is not what happens to us, but how we deal with it afterword.
·         Ten years ago, I could have been angry and bitter and say, why me, instead I chose to say things are going to be different, but I can make it work. This attitude has served me very well
·         I am a happier and better person, than I was 10 years ago.
·         I rarely think about walking again in mortality.
·         I have learned how to master a wheelchair, Jump the gap into the frontrunner train to get to work in downtown Salt Lake
·        We were blessed with a home here in TV that totally works for me and my family. I don’t feel disabled it.

·        15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who acreated you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption braised in incorruption, to stand before God to be cjudged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
·        I do look forward with an eye of faith, and it keeps me going

·         Last regional conference, we learned about HOV, not the freeway lane, but Humility, obedience and virtue
·         I have a new one, GATH Cultivate a Grateful Attitude and Thankful Heart
·         When you drive into our Subdivision, notice the sign Thanksgiving Village, and remember what you are thankful for
·         You will be a happier person, add some Faith and Hope and you’ll have more peace in spite of what is happening in the world.
·         In last conference, I believe Elder Uchtdorf said we are living in the best of times, when you exhibit the principles I have outlined, it makes sense
·         There are so many great things now, more than the bad.
·         If you notice all the things you are blessed with, more blessings and Tender Mercies will come

Accordion- Only a Stonecutter- My Early Tender Mercy
·         Have faith in the Resurrection, the ultimate Triumph of God, Jesus Christ Savior and the Kingdom of God on Earth
MY Testimony began with THE Book of Mormon at around the age of 14. It has only grown stronger. The church was restored thru Joseph Smith, we have a living prophet today.
I pray you can cultivate this Grateful Attitude and Thankful heart and become happier person, in spite of your adversities, in the name Jesus Christ Amen

Sunday, August 6, 2017

It has been 4 years since I last posted. Things have been going well. I have worked or been back to work 9 years since I lost my leg in a freeway rollover accident. The thing which is coming up for me is a road trip back to Oregon where I grew up. I will be going to three main areas- Portland, Salem and North Bend Oregon on the Southern Oregon coast. I lived in Oregon over 31 years and in Utah now 24. I'm going to see old friends, workmates, and cousins I haven't seen for 25 years; also, my favorite old haunts where I grew up. The last thing that I will do there is go to the Salem area on August 21st when the full eclipse of the sun happens. I saw the one in 1979 February 14th. I was in a bus heading to work, my first day working for Pacific Northwest Bell or the phone company. It was an overcast day, cloudy and rainy. What I remember is that it got really dark, like a bad storm would come through and then slowly got light again so that wasn't much of an eclipse. The next one in the US is in 25 years. That makes this one pretty special. Where I live in Utah, we only have a 91% Eclipse; but the one in Salem OR and the Idaho Falls area of Idaho will be 100% complete total eclipse. I'm looking forward to my trip and to see all these people from the past. I'll write again soon, maybe throw in some pictures