Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Faith-Based Initiatives

I remember reading somewhere that the LDS church refuses to apply for faith-based initiative grants from the US government for fear that the government will begin to have too much influence on the church. I couldn't find the reference now, so if someone can confirm this I'd appreciate it.

While watching the psuedo-debate put on by Pastor (or Reverend? I've seen it reported both ways) Rick Warren over the weekend, I began to ponder the concept of government funding of faith-based initiatives, and came to this question:

If the charitable cause cannot be funded by the efforts of the people sitting in the pews, and instead needs to be funded by tax payers, can it really be called "faith-based?"

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Gospel: Simple, but Subtle

Quote #1: "Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them." -- Elder Holland

Quote #2: "If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God’s goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more blessings than burdens—even if some days it doesn’t seem so. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”19 Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and always will be." -- Elder Holland

Now, I know those two quotes aren't necessarily contradictory (and it does help to read them both in context), but it certainly takes some thought to figure out exactly what is the "right" way to respond to life's trials, or even if there is a "right" way. The gospel is simple, but it sure does have some subtleties.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What If Food Made You Sick?

When I started blogging I told myself I was never going to post one of those "I'm sorry" posts after a long period of time without posting. Saying I'm sorry implies that there are people that are offended. I'm assuming no one was offending by me not posting for over two months, so I don't feel the need to apologize.:)

As I've mentioned earlier, my son was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE), a rare (but increasingly diagnosed) disease which can cause people to be allergic to a wide variety of foods. Often, EE patients cannot eat any food or only a handful of foods. These patients, like my son, are kept nourished using special total nutrition formulas which usually need to be taken via a feeding tube. Fortunately, the disease is not fatal. However, it is chronic and can significantly impair quality of life. To learn more about it, view this video produced by the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders. It is touching, and for my family it hits close to home.

This has been a trial for my family, and as things came to a boil I could no longer sustain regular posting here. I'm not sure what the future of this blog will be. For the few of you still reading this blog, let me tell you that I would not trade our trials for any of yours. I'm grateful to have a son that teaches me that you don't have to be "normal" to be happy. I try to keep a positive attitude, because I don't want my son growing up feeling like a victim. If we want him to be strong, we must show him how.