VANDALISM AT GOBLIN VALLEY – An Open Letter to Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor, and Dylan Taylor

 

Goblin Valley

 

The destruction and vandalism in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah at the hands of Dave Hall, Glenn Taylor and Dylan Taylor is not only reprehensible and disgusting, it is inconceivable that any rational or semi intelligent human being could participate in such blatant destruction of our natural wonders.  Your selfish self centered actions done for the sole purpose of your entertainment and thrills is hideous and abominable.

My family visits this majestic wonder of nature every single year in the spring.  My children are awestruck by the beauty that surrounds that area, each formation and each hiding spot they find as they explore it are new adventurous finds for them.  They look forward to each visit with excitement and anticipation.

When I read about this and watched your video, then heard your pathetic and absurd excuse after the fact in merely  trying to save your sorry butts from prosecution only incensed my anger and frustration with such cowardly acts.  Your high fives and cheering indicated your true reasons behind the destruction and the vile thrills you received in doing so.  You add insult to injury with the deception you try to cast upon the American people with the ridiculously fabricated reason you claimed AFTER the destruction was complete.

In addition to the lame and absolutely absurd excuse of a reason for doing so, to discover that you are in the scouting organization as leaders of young men is incredibly appalling!  The Boy Scouts of America should immediately dismiss you and ban you from any further contact with any young men for life! You should also be banned from any state or federal parks for life as well! You aren’t adequate examples that these young men and our communities deserve.

It scares me beyond belief what values you have taught these young men?  To destroy property, to lie and deceive the public as to the reason and to use children as an excuse as to why you think it appropriate to destroy such a magnificent and majestic state park?

You deserve a severe and harsh punishment not only for your actions in the vandalism but also for being a leader of young men and the example that you set for them.  The damage done is multi faceted and the punishment should be as well.

You’re actions are disgusting and reprehensible!

IF you haven’t seen the video, the link follows here:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/10/18/scout-leaders-destroy-170-million-year-old-rock-formation-in-state-park-to-save-lives/

THE DAILY HEARTACHE – A Fathers Heartache part 5

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The hole in my heart never leaves.  I feel its presence with each heartbeat.  I feel the pain with each breath I take.

There isn’t a single day when my heart doesn’t ache from missing my children.  Each morning as I drive to work my thoughts are on them.  I wonder what outfit they wore to school.  I wonder how they did on yesterdays test.  I wonder how they slept.  I worry that they didn’t eat breakfast. I wonder how practice went, how Londyn is doing with her cheer classes and how football is going for Bridger.

These thoughts race through my mind complicated by the lack of communication I am able to have with them.  Sometimes they will sneak me a text message from their ipod when their mom isn’t looking just to say I love you dad!  I live for those precious little messages and moments in life when they aren’t with me.  While I drive, my mind stays focused on them, I fight the urge to cry as I long to see them, to hear their voices and talk with them, to see their smiles and feel their hugs.

I yearn for the time when my children can spend time with me without the shadow of the issues we are forced to deal with from others.  I see the sorrow in their own eyes with each goodbye, as they too know that the communication and contact will be vacant from their lives until our next visit.  I know all too well the pain that I feel daily, I see that same pain in my children’s precious tender hearts with each hug and kiss goodbye.  We hold on just a little longer and little tighter each time we part.

I worry what this does to my children.  I get angry that someone would hurt their children in this manner.  I get angry that by her choices to leave our family and run away with another man that my dear children are forced to suffer and hurt.  My heart explodes in sorrow each time I think about the life that has been forced upon them by her actions.

Then I take a deep breath and slowly let it out.  I regain my composure and put on my happy face for the day.  Time to work.  I take a few moments to look at the blessings I do have in my life.  I have amazing children, including sweet Alexa,  whom I love deeply and they love me.  I have the most wonderful and amazing wife possible, who’s unquestionable love and devotion to our family and myself provides deep rooted anchors in my soul for me to weather the heartache.  I have a beautiful, kind loving mother who never fails me and 5 brothers who will always be there.

I realize daily that I have been surrounded by loved ones to strengthen me so that I in turn can be strong for my dear children.  I only pray that they can borrow my strength so that their tender little hearts aren’t shattered.

My Dear Father! My Talk From His Funeral

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My dad passed away nearly 3 years ago.  I have been asked many times to share the talk that I gave at his funeral as I said goodbye to a giant of a man!  Here is for you Dad, you will never be forgotten and we will always be blessed from your life and the example that it was for us.

Here is the talk:

The apostle Paul said in his second epistle to Timothy…  I have fought a good fight…

There is no greater truth that could be said than this of my father…   He fought a good fight.  His life is a road map on enduring to the end and overcoming obstacles and trials.

I have spent much time reflecting on my father’s life this past week…   I am reminded of my favorite Christmas show, one that as a child I fondly remember watching each Christmas eve with my parents.

 It’s a Wonderful Life…..

A story of a man who is allowed to witness what others lives would be like, had he never been born…

Dad… your life has had a dramatic impact on every person who has had the privilege of knowing you… you have forever changed lives for the better of each and every person who knows and loves you…

My father was born on May 11, 1943…..  As a child, he was abused, neglected, outcast, and abandoned by those who should have loved and supported him..  raised in poverty his mother didn’t want him and his father denied him…The only love my father was shown as a child came from his maternal grandparents whom he stayed briefly with as a child before being ripped away from that home to live with his abusive step father and mother.  He with his little brother fought to survive amidst abuse, loneliness and heartache…He set goals for himself and he achieved them…My father knew without goals he would never be able to pull himself out of the intense pain and sorrow he was experiencing in his life..He excelled in school and in sports…  He went on to swim for Granite High and his relay team set a new state record, one that would survive for nearly 2 decades..

 My father would spend hours praying to be delivered from this sorrow and abuse… the Lord in his infinite mercy did not leave him, but provided my mother and her family and many great men as friends… answers to a young mans prayers..By marrying my mother and her families example, my father finally knew what family was supposed to be like… as was customary in all things with my father, he emulated and improved upon this for his own family and children..

 In the August 1986 Ensign Dr Carl Broderick, a sociology professor at USC said;  “God actively intervenes in some destructive lineages, assigning a valiant spirit to break the chain of destructiveness in such families.. Although these children may suffer innocently as victims of violence, neglect, and exploitation, through the strength of God, some find the strength to metabolize the poison within themselves refusing to pass it on to future generations.  Before them were generations of destructive pain, after them the line flows clear and pure.  Their children and their children’s children will call them blessed. In suffering innocently so that others might not suffer, such persons in some degree become as “saviors on mount zion” by helping to bring salvation to a lineage..”

Thank you dad for breaking the chain of violence and bringing salvation to our family… your children, grand children and great grandchildren already call you blessed.

My father went to work for Sperry, which after many many name changes and never changing desks it became L3…  He loved work and worked hard… Everything my father ever did he was the best in…  He could fix or build anything he set his mind to..He was loved by so many… I remember as a child all of my cousins would seek out my fathers approval for anything… new boyfriends or new girlfriends… anything… They loved my dad and my dad loved them…My dad could get them to do anything for him…especially practical jokes…. He loved practical jokes,   as many who worked with him could attest…

One of the most memorable stories of my youth involved a beach.. a cousin… an uncle… and a bucket of sand. My dad convinced my cousin Marilyn during a family vacation to California to sneak up behind my uncle Gail with a bucket of sand…  My uncle Gail always wore cowboy boots and jeans… and here we were at the beach and he was sitting down watching the kids play in the water… he didn’t suspect a thing although he should have known better. Marilyn who did anything Uncle Dave asked dutifully obliged my father and dumped this bucket over Uncle Gail’s head… while my dad videotaped it of course…   Imagine the laughter as we watched a teenage girl in sandals outrun a cowboy in his boots on the sandy beach as he chased her until he couldn’t run any more….  He never did catch her…

 My dad was an extremely competitive man… This competitiveness and determination is what allowed him to overcome his childhood and made him the success he was in life and work…He instilled in his boys hard work and determination through his example. I remember about 6 months after dads kidney transplant… he was swimming everyday… he loved to swim… I too was swimming each night and our daily discussions always ended up being about how far we swam.I would swim a mile and that night I would tell him… I swam a mile today dad.. the next day he would beat me and tell me  “I went a mile and a quarter today!”  Well of course I wasn’t going to lose to an old man who just had a kidney transplant so I would go beat him the next day…and of course he would have to outdo me…he would take my son Josh with him to swim and he would always tell him I have to beat your dad… this continued daily until he came down with cancer and no longer had the strength to swim…   Yet even during his chemo he would still have to out drive me on the golf course

My dad always provided opportunities for teaching and helping his children..  Even in his death he has provided numerous opportunities to teach, learn, and grow.   Last night after the viewing my son who is 7 was asking me about grandpa and death. In the quiet late night hours last night as he sat on my lap and with tears in his eyes he told me that he knew his grandpa was smiling down on him and that we would see him again..I had a marvelous opportunity to share again the plan of salvation, of life, and how death is simply the journey home to our loving heavenly father.. that we will be reunited and have the opportunities of eternal families which come through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and of the need for temples.My son was able to understand in greater detail Jobs question of  “If a man die, shall he live again?”  He knows the answer to this question  is a resounding yes! and has strengthened his understanding of temple work and why his dad goes to the temple.

In my dads final years…  he shared that as a result of his abuse as a child he had lived a lifetime wondering if God loved him…   In his final hours he knew with certainty of Heavenly Fathers deep love for him..As he lovingly held the hand of his lifelong sweetheart, surrounded by family and feeling the outpouring of love, as his boys gently placed their hands on his head, with tears of love pouring from them as a final blessing of peace and love was pronounced upon his head tears of joy and understanding came to my father as he realized how loved and blessed of the Lord he had been in this life..His family surrounded him in love as he peacefully journeyed home to the loving embrace of  our Heavenly Father to prepare the way for his family to join him in the eternities…It is my humble testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation.  Death is not the end.. it is the journey home to the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father and those who went before… Goodbye for now dad… until we meet again.. in the name of Jesus Christ… amen

SOCIETY SUCCEEDS WHEN SELFISHNESS FAILS

I was asked yesterday why my ex wife does some of the selfish things that she does in an attempt to hurt me.  Why does she use our children as a pawn to manipulate situations to meet her own selfish desires. My answer was simple and direct.  SELFISHNESS, it destroyed our marriage and she was hurting our children by the same behaviors.  She put the things that she wanted first, above anyone else.  Whether that was another affair, another boyfriend, spending the mortgage payment to go shopping for clothes, whatever it was it was done out of selfishness. A concern only for what she wanted with no thought to her family or those around her.  Now, she has her children to use as pawns to maximize further her selfish interests and desires.

As I pondered further upon this question and the reality that is the larger picture in society, It became extremely evident that it is through selfishness that nearly every problem we face in society is derived.  Selfishness not only creates many of our problems, it then compounds them into at times insurmountable obstacles.  We by our examples of selfish behavior are teaching our children to repeat this process, oftentimes worse than we ourselves have done.

Sacrificing ones personal needs and desires for someone else is becoming a bigger challenge in the world we live.  We are bombarded with examples of selfishness by the media, our televisions are full of it, the movies make it seem normal, even our music hums the idea daily into our minds, In fact, many times those who do sacrifice for others are often viewed with disdain.  Our religious leaders who serve endlessly to help are ridiculed and berated for their beliefs, our veterans are neglected.

Selfishness is becoming rampant in our society. We see daily examples of parents who place their own selfish desires above the welfare of their own children.  Some use the children as weapons in divorce to hurt their ex spouse, some leave them home alone at night to go out and party, and we have even seen examples of parents who will kill their children to avoid the “inconvenience” of being a parent.

It seems to me that as we continue to fight for personal rights, many times we address these issues from a standpoint of selfishness.  We are teaching our children through our behaviors to be self centered, egotistical, selfish individuals in society whom are only concerned about what they want, when they want it and how.  There is no thought given to the aftermath of the individuals choices and the impact that these have on their children and communities.

While we all have desires in life, needs and dreams, when we focus on them without concern for the impact that they will have on our families, our neighbors, our communities and nation we abandon the hope of improving our society and in creating a world where all can succeed.  We are teaching our children to do the same.

Society succeeds when selfishness fails.

BRIDGERS COURAGE – A Fathers Heartache part 4

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My son is devoted to his football team.  He loves playing football, he even turned down a trip to Disneyland with me so he wouldn’t miss a practice, he wouldn’t let his team down.  He has spent the past 3 1/2 years playing quarterback and loves to be in the middle of all the action.  His team took 2nd place two years ago and are the defending champions from last year.  Sports have helped keep my dear boy on stable ground during all the tumult of his short little life.  In spite of all his mothers moves, we have been able to keep him on the same teams throughout these years which has allowed him to develop some deep friendships on the team, many of the boys play on the same competitive football, basketball and lacrosse teams.

One week ago today after practice Bridger called me, which is extremely rare and NEVER happens so I knew something was up. I could hear the sorrow in his voice as he fought back the emotion coming from his broken heart.  I quietly listened to my son through his cracking voice as he told me that the coaches had decided to bench him because he missed a block in Saturdays game.  Immediately my mind raced back to Saturdays game and I could recall the block he missed, I couldn’t forget it as I vividly remember the assistant coaches tirade directed toward my son from the sidelines.  As a parent, it is often difficult to hold my tongue when a coach goes off on the 11 year old boys.  I choose instead to discuss privately with the coaches that my opinion is that the yelling is overboard and that they can be more effective and get better play from the boys with a calm criticism instead of the ranting and raving.

My heart ached for my son.  I knew how deeply important this is to him.  I know all too well that this is what has helped my son cope with the heartaches he feels and the sorrow at not being able to see me when he wants.  Sports, especially football have been a lifeline for him, he has devoted himself to his team and being there for them.  His example of commitment and what that includes has been inspiring to me.  His focus and dedication to practice and game time has been exemplar.  My immediate thought as a loving father was how can they do this to him for one play?  Wisely I kept my tongue and asked first how he was doing with the change.  His voice broke now, with tears as he told me he understood and wanted what was best for his team.

Now it was my turn to fight back the emotion and the tears as my heart broke for my son.  I cleared my throat and asked him what now.  He informed me that the coaches said he could play on special teams and fill in at safety.  I asked him who the new quarterback was going to be and if he would still be the backup.  He quietly told me that it was the coaches son who would take his place and that he wouldn’t even be backing him up.  Never in my life had I had to deal with the politics of little league sports in this manner.  How can I explain to my son that it is ok that after 3 1/2 years in his position and being very successful in it that he was now taken out so that the coaches son, who had never even taken a snap could be the star player?

Then as I was fighting the building frustration at the incredulous politics of little league football, my son said, “it’s OK dad, it will be best for the team.  i just want our team to do well.”  My son reinforced in me at that moment that all the long conversations over the years we had shared, about being a leader, about teamwork, about lifting those around you and making them better, about how leaders lead from example, that these conversations had sunk in.  My boy understood more about life, more about people, more about leadership, more about compassion than most adults do.

Sadly, the call had to end as I could hear his mother telling him he had to get off the phone now.  I expressed my deep love and admiration for my boy as he quietly whispered, “I love you Dad” as he hung up the phone.

My heart was breaking for more reasons than my sons sorrow.  It was full of love and gratitude with the knowledge that although our time is extremely limited and our moments to talk rare, my son had learned the important things in life that I have tried so hard to teach him.  My efforts have not been in vain and those small moments of time when we are together have impacted my sons life.  I had made a difference in his life that I never thought possible given the circumstances we were forced into.  I ached to hold my son in my arms and comfort him, yet I knew he could feel my arms around him without me being next to him to hold him.

Saturdays game came. The team suffered their worst loss of the year.  I watched him as he awkwardly paced the sidelines while his offensive teammates were on the field.  I watched as he cheered for his friends and congratulated the new quarterback when he made a good play, i could see his heartache and longing to be in the game written in his eyes, yet he hid that from his team. I took tremendous pride as I watched as my son stepped in on defense and prevented 2 touchdowns. Yet during all this, he made a contribution to his team that I am not certain even the other boys realize,  my son showed by tremendous courage and true leadership on Saturday. Although he wasn’t the one leading the offense, he led the team from the sidelines with his quiet courage and strength as he accepted willingly the decisions others had made, while cheering on his teammates in a futile loss.  My son has learned that choices of others impact everyone, even his own.

THE LIBERALS BLIND OBEDIENCE TO WEALTH, FAME AND FORTUNE

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The liberal agenda is quick to find fault within the right wing conservative groups in this country classifying them as evil money hoarders intent upon destroying this country through corporate greed and tax breaks for the rich while deposing the poor to a life of low wages and servitude to corporate America.  Liberals argue that the wealthy and the evil corporations are to blame for the problems in our society.  The continual assault from the left against the powerful with money is ironic when one takes a little time to comprehend who is really controlling the money and business in America.  The Left wing extremists would have you believe that big business is bad and that those with money are evil, while they continue to lobby and support the very individuals they claim they are against.

If you compare the top 50 wealthiest Americans who control more than 35% of the wealth in this nation it is interesting to note that 44% of this group support Democrat candidates, 38% support Republican candidates while 18% support the independents.

The dynamics of wealth within our government is more deeply skewed in favor of net worth and the Democratic Party, particularly within the senate.  The average Senator maintains a net worth of $14,013,596.  The average for a Democrat in the senate is $20,795,450 while that of a Republican is $6,358,668 and the Independents at $6,099,707.  The Wealth of Senate democrats is 327 times greater than that of their Republican or Independent counterparts.  In the House the numbers appear closer.  The average net worth in the House is $6,594,859 where Republicans lead with an average of $7,859,232 which is 53% greater when compared to the House Democrats at $5,107,874.  The wealthiest branch of our government is the Senate.  Those with the money and the power are pushing the liberal agenda upon the American people.

One only need look at Hollywood where 90% of the celebrities are liberal.  Hollywood gives 5 times the amount of money to Democrats compared to the Republicans.  9 out of the top 10 highest paid celebrities are liberal and strong supporters of the Democrat party.

Corporate America is no stranger to the liberal cause either as many of the top companies in America are led supporters of the Democrat party and it’s liberal agenda.  The list is LONG when looking at the CEO’s of corporate America and those who support the liberal agenda in this country.  Major employers and companies including, Chase, Costco, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, Facebook, McDonalds, Starbucks, Staples, Conoco-Phillips, Disney, Bloomingdales, and the list goes on, are all headed with CEO’s who support the agenda that the Democrats and left wing liberals want to push on this nation.

Those in this nation who support the liberal agenda do so at their own peril.  They fight against themselves as they elect leaders who support and endorse the very causes they claim to detest.  The continued hypocrisy within the Democrats agenda is astounding that anyone with any common sense could ever support.

The average small business owner whom 79% of them are conservative have an average net worth of $497,000 compared to the mega-millions of the liberal celebrities, CEO’s and Senators.  Liberal households in the US earn an average of 6% more than that of the conservative households, yet conservatives give 30% more to charity.  If the poor in this country truly support a liberal agenda, as the past 2 elections show, then the disparity between the rich liberal and the poor one must be a much larger gap than that between the rich conservative and the poor by the mere fact that the liberal households in this nation do earn 6% more in wages.

The underlying issue is that the powers within the Democrat party, have influenced those who need help in our communities through the power of the media, celebrities and entitlements that the conservatives will not help, when the facts prove otherwise as noted with the charitable giving differentiation.

The average American liberals blind devotion to those with fame and fortune are leading themselves into a state of slavery at the hands of their very own leaders, through the blatant lies and misinformation regarding true compassion and giving in this nation.  They are blindly following these liberal leaders with ulterior motives and hidden agendas to remove all freedoms and power from the people and put it in their own hands.  The resulting power shift will result in the end of our freedoms.

The Office Can Wait, My Daughter Can’t – the simple things

 

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This morning I arose early with the expectation that I would head into the office earlier than normal.  I had planned on clearing all the little projects from my desk that seem to always be brushed aside.   As I was getting ready to get in the shower, I heard a tiny giggle from the crib where our 9 month old daughter was.  My wife picked up our daughter and hugged and kissed her.  She turned her towards me and  I was met with the most amazing and beautiful little smile.  My heart melted.  Plans changed.

Gently I took her and held her and kissed her.  She beamed!  Her beautiful brown eyes danced like a ballet as she kissed me back!  My heart was pounding with the intensely deep love that I have for my children and our little daughter this particular morning.  We sat on the bed and she crawled over me multiple times giggling.  She would scoot next to me and lay her head on my chest.  The world outside stopped.  I spent the next hour playing on the bed, everything from hide and seek under the blankets to peek a boo to singing nursery rhymes.  My heart swelled with love and joy as we played.   She soon became sleepy again, she had woken earlier than usual, and she was soon fast asleep on my lap.  I gently placed her back in bed and continued getting ready for work, to arrive at the usual time.

I found myself reflecting much about this morning and my precious time with my daughter.  My thoughts turned the the simple tender moments in life and how it is in these moments that we have the greatest joy in our lives.  Our lives are spent racing against deadlines, running to appointments and working long hours just to survive.   We fill up the little precious time that is remaining plugged into ipods, social media, television and what I call NOISE.  We are barraged by distractions and interruptions in our day to day lives.  Some is placed upon us by work, some by ourselves and some by other people.  Many of us chase dreams in the search for the ever elusive joy and happiness that is our deepest desire to feel.

I asked myself what other simple joys in life can bring such happiness and peace that I felt this morning playing with my daughter,  For me, it can be a time with my dear children, a quiet hike in the mountains, the fall colors, the peaceful breeze the ocean waves against a sandy shoreline, and many many more.

When I unplug from all the outside distractions and reflect upon what brings the greatest peace into my life, it’s simple.  The simple things.  It’s not the money, the career, the car, the house, social circles etc… It is my children and the quiet times with them as well as the simple things in nature.  The simple things in life bring the greatest opportunities for me to reconnect with myself, my family and my God, all things that in the end provide the joy in my life.  The truly deep joy and happiness that I seek, the kind that energizes my soul are all the simple things.

Today was a reminder to me of the simple things, taking time to unplug and focus, if even for a minute on the things that matter in life.  I am grateful that I have always been grounded enough to understand that my children truly bring me the joy and happiness that nothing else can.  They are and always will be a top priority, right next to my dear beloved wife.  These priorities prepared me the make the right decision this morning, a morning where I was filled with that immeasurable joy, the office could wait, my daughter couldn’t, and it was that choice the provided me the joy I would not have felt otherwise!

NO PAIN, NO GAIN – The Personal Perspective

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We have all heard the mantra “No Pain, No Gain”.  We see this in the local gym and is referred to most often in terms of exercise and physical fitness.   This too applies to personal growth.

I have often stated that I would never change anything in my life because the struggles I have personally experienced have made me the man that I am today.  I look back over my challenges and I can see clearly the growth in personal strength, an increase in my compassion, understanding and wisdom that could never have been developed within me without the struggles of life.  Just as in the gym, with pain comes gain.   The greater the pain, the greater the opportunity for gain.

Our lives are filled with wonder, opportunities and joys.  Many times these treasures are overshadowed by the heartache, grief and sorrow that also come with life.  I have many family and friends whom have experienced much greater trials and obstacles than my own.  As I have watched the different methods that each of them have employed in overcoming said obstacles I am struck by the differences in personal outcome depending upon the method chosen to handle the trials.

There are several differing ways that people handle trials.  One is to blame others, including God.  Another is to accept that trials are a part of this life and try with grace and dignity to overcome them.

Life is not fair!  There are no limits to challenges that some will face. 

My experience with those that play the blame game in their trials in life actually create more obstacles and hurt in life.  As we blame others, we build the walls that keep out the very help that we can receive from others that will aide us in overcoming.  Blaming creates hate and poison within us that actually cause us further harm, it weakens us physically, mentally and spiritually thus creating for ourselves additional challenges and trials in life.  This includes the blame game that many play of blaming themselves.  Blaming others or ourselves actually creates PAIN, where there can be NO GAIN.

When we choose to accept the trials that are before us, no matter the difficulty or the journey with the effort to understand and use them for personal growth and development we allow others into our lives whom can help us and oftentimes teach us through their own experiences in ways to handle trials with dignity.    Trials in life are meant to help us gain something that we could otherwise not achieve.  Some of the greatest leaders that have ever lived have experienced tremendous personal loss and burdens in their lives.  Great leaders have always used that heartache to grow and then share that growth and wisdom they have learned in ways that lift and help others they encounter.

I have had opportunities in life where I have been able to experience the pain that deep personal heartache can bring.  I have spent times on both sides of this equation.  It is through the deepest of despair that I led myself into while blaming others for choices that affected me that I was taught this lesson.   When I began to embrace my heartache with the knowledge that I was going through this and I could come out a bitter individual or a wiser one, I chose the latter.  It wasn’t easy to change my outlook.  I am deeply grateful that I did.

Tremendous growth comes from tremendous pain when allowed to work within us. When against our challenges, and we play the blame game we create more pain and postpone the gain or growth that will occur within us.  Our perseverance and acceptance will help us through our struggles in the healthiest manner possible, which will more fully open our eyes to the wonder, opportunities and joy of life that exist for each of us thus enabling each of us to grow and become what we are destined to become.

 

My Beloved Wife – A Miraculous Journey Together

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If I had to live every pain, sorrow, anguish and heartache that I have ever experienced and walk through the depths of despair in this life as a requirement to meet my dear beloved wife, I would have gladly done so with rejoicing in my heart!

Many times in my life I have wondered why am I going through these heartaches and struggles.  My dreams and desires for my life have oftentimes been dashed upon the jagged rocks of the emotional cliffs I have been thrown over.  I have found myself in the depths of my sorrow crying out why me to my God as the heartaches nearly crushed my spirit and will to live.  I at times have felt the despair of a life that went completely contrary to the plans I had made for me.  I had always lived a clean life, free from the vices of men, I am a devoted husband and father. I had always helped and served my fellowman, I gave to the poor and needy.  I did everything I was taught to do yet my life was not where I had imagined it being.  I lived the “leave it to beaver” life with a polar opposite result.

Each day I would arise and go forth, working to build a better life for myself and my children.  I would shake off daily the self doubts and frustrations that would haunt me as a result of unbearable heartache and sadness.  As I did so I became stronger and prepared for the gift and blessing from my Father in Heaven that I had so pleaded with him for over the countless years.  Doors were opened that would allow this opportunity to take place.

Then one day nearly 3 years ago it all changed.  As I continued to press forward, believing that there were better things in my life than what I had heretofore experienced, I met my dear Karla.  Prayers were answered and blessings granted as the most amazing women entered my life.

Never in my life had I imagined, nor believed that a noble women of such grace and beauty existed.  I still to this day vividly recall the first time our eyes met, across that meeting where she had come to meet with me for the first time as a potential  business consultant for her shelter.  When our eyes met that first time, my soul exploded with the knowledge and joy that this woman was to play a significant role in my life.  Immediately all the pain of my past vanished, it was replaced with a certain knowledge that which I had earnestly prayed for was beginning to unfold around me.

I recall that time of wonder and excitement as the true realization of the blessings I had sought were at my doorstep.   My prayers had been answered.  Karla had been brought into my life through a very unique set of circumstances that led both of us to a point where we could meet.  I don’t question the miracle that I had been given at that time, for to do so would invalidate all the pain that I had experienced and the prayers that I had pleaded to have answered.

My Dear Beloved Karla is the sweetest most compassionate, loving and accepting individual that I have ever known, which says so much if you have ever met my mother!  Karla’s love for people is deeply evident by the long hours of service that she gives to those individuals seeking shelter, her family, neighbors, and friends.   Karla is the first person to be there when needed and the last one to leave.  There are many times, where due to the demands on this amazing woman that we don’t see each other until late at night as we are tiredly climbing into bed.  As she collapses into the pillows from exhaustion, I wrap my arms around her and thank my God that he led this remarkable woman to me.  There is never a day that goes by where I do not give thanks for this blessing.

Karla’s service to the rape recovery center, the domestic violence shelter, Centro De La Familia, the statewide coalition against domestic violence, her service as a board member for her daughters charter school, the community outreach centers she has created, and too many more to mention are unfathomable that one woman can accomplish all that she has.  The lives that she has impacted and helped will affect generations to come.  It is no wonder that she has been recognized as a top 30 women to watch in addition to the humanitarian of the year award she recently received. I have been blessed beyond measure with a woman of remarkable ability, grace strength and beauty.

I gladly accept every challenge in life that I have been given, without them they would never have led us to the same spot, where years of prayers could finally be answered.  My angel, my soul mate, my confidant, my best friend, Thank you for loving me and letting me be a part of your life.  I will love you through the eternities. The miracles that brought us together will keep us as we continue our miraculous journey together!