True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fasting for Lee Ann

A long time ago, shortly after I was baptized and was living as a college student in that tiny apartment on Maple Street, I thought that I was in love, perhaps as only can be experienced as a young college swain.
Lee Ann Allen also was an LDS student at Frostburg State College (a Theater Major, I think), and was far away from her home in the West.
She and I were grateful to the Farr family for rides to Church, and she stole my heart in a way that would have put Jesse James and his gang of outlaws to shame.
To my dismay, she was disdainful of me, and even told me once that she thought my testimony of the restored gospel of Christ was superficial.
Determined to exercise my faith and to win her love, the principles of fasting and prayer seemed to me to be the answer to the unrequited desires of my heart.
And so I decided to pray and to fast until she returned my love, believing that God surely would grant my earnest prayer, soften her heart toward me, and bring us together to fulfill our eternal destinies.
However, it was on my third day of fasting, weak and hardly able to get up and move about, that I heard a distinct and stern voice tell me, "Stop this foolishness! Get up and eat now!".
It was then that I learned more about the principles of individual agency, the need to be much more concerned about the consequences of my choices than the choices of others, and to listen ever so much more intently to God's answers to my prayers.

Bumper Sticker "Wit"

Seen yesterday: "U Tailgate Me - I Slo Down".
But perhaps the bumper sticker that surprised and amused me most of all was the one spotted years ago on an old, junk laden, rusty, and beat-up pickup truck, driven by an equally old and beat-up driver.
It proclaimed, "Die, Yuppie Scum!"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Learning from Malachi

It was about 1969, after I turned 21 and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), over the objections of my family (who earlier forbade me, as a young teenager, to join).
I was a student at Frostburg State College in Western Maryland and literally starving.
My tuition and books were paid for by scholarships, but I was on my own to otherwise provide for myself.
(I weighed about 125 pounds when I finally graduated).
I earned a small wage working as a student employee in the college audio-visual department, but it took almost all of that income to pay the rent for my little two room, second floor apartment on Maple Street in Frostburg, MD.
My monthly paycheck was in my hand, but the rent was due, leaving me almost nothing left to buy groceries, let alone pay tithing.
The situation was grim, but, deciding that paying an honest tithing was my first priority, I mailed my tithing plus a small extra amount for a "fast offering" to our local church branch president, and then also mailed my next month's rent payment.
That left me with only a couple of dollars for the coming month.
I was more than a little worried.
I was frantic.
Somehow, it never entered my mind to ask others for help, and I really believed that my financial plight wasn't known to anyone else.
However, in retrospect, I realize that the other members of our little Frostburg-Cumberland LDS Branch had figured out my situation.
Every week at church, someone always was giving me a casserole or mason jar full of stew to take home with me.
There also were many many invitations to visit others and share their family dinners.
Often, those were my only good meals.
The Emericks, Muellers, Bakers, Brants, Farrs, Olsens, and a host of other LDS families took me under their wings.
(Libby Ross and Janice Landis also conspired with others to organize and provide a wonderful blessing for me, but that's another story)
These wonderful folks helped feed a poor starving boy, but they also helped me learn and apply gospel principles to my life.
And, so it was for me that day, after I paid my tithing and rent, that I sat on my bed, with my head in my hands, wondering how I would survive.
Finally, I got up and decided to try to find a little something to eat.
The cupboard almost was bare, with only one can of tomato soup
in it.
The refrigerator only contained a pitcher of ice-water and a few slices of bread.
So, I heated the soup, dipped the bread in it, and wondered about when I would eat my next meal.
That was when I heard the postman come and pick up my tithing and rent mail.
Without anticipation of any good news, I went to the downstairs mailbox to see if any letters had arrived for me.
To my amazement, there was a hefty check waiting for me from the Internal Revenue Service, who had discovered an error on my previously filed tax return and issued me an additional refund.
I think not.
(See the Old Testament of the Holy Bible: Malachi, Chapter 3, Verse 10)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sent to Jeremy Betts & Mark Harne

Brother Betts,
The Priesthood blessing administered to me yesterday by you and Brother Harne was wondrously uplifting and sweet, but also tremendous in power.
This morning, an ultrasound examination was administered to my left and right carotid arteries, to further determine more about the extent of the suspected blockage prior to surgery.
The technician became somewhat agitated, and told me that the only indicator of my history of carotid artery blockage was the two faint scars on the right and left sides of my neck.
She also went on to say that the scars were much fainter than normal from those kinds of surgeries, so much so that she didn't even notice them at first.
Finally, she confessed to me that, not only is there no sign of blockage, both my carotid arteries are wider and clearer than the norm.
She told me that, if, previous to my morning visit to her, my arteries were blocked, they surely aren't blocked now.
I wasn't surprised, because I knew my condition prior to this morning's sonogram, and I also know the power exercised by the author and finisher of my faith, administered to me through two humble Priesthood Brethren.
Inasmuch as I do not have a current email address for Brother Harne, would you please forward this email to him?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ambushed by Love

"Love at First Sight" is not just fatuous fiction in romance novels and movies.
It happened to me yesterday.
While visiting the Humane Society of Washington County, near Hagerstown, MD; I turned the corner among the dog pens...
... and there she was!
It really was love at first sight.
"Buttercup" is a young collie/mixed breed, and I instantly knew that she would be a perfect companion for me.
Alas, however, my job keeps me away from my home for twelve hours a day, and there's no one else at my home.
She deserves better than that.
But, this unrequited love story still has a happy ending.
Some fortunate family has filed an application to adopt Buttercup.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Lifelong Process

"Complete conversion (faith in Christ) comes after many trials and much testing".
Source: Bible Dictionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). See also Luke 22:32 (Bible New Testament) and
Doctrine and Covenants Section 122, Chapters 12-13 (LDS Church).