The Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;

“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong, And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I don’t’ know when this song first had an impact on me, it’s meaning has changed over time as I have heard it year after year. In the last few years, it has changed from a song of dispare to a song of great hope and joy! I love to hear it and in my church, the organist really makes it wonderful and uplifting!

In my own life, I have moved through this opinion of the world and mankind in it. I remember a time when I was not interested in the affairs of those around me. It was typical of me to avoid others and not care what happened to those around me. At one point I didn’t even care about my siblings. Over the course of several years, my life took me into hard times and an actual and spiritual all desert.

It took a a few small acts from friends and family to soften my heart. Then I was presented with a choice … the choice between dark and light. The choice between walking the path of faith of the path of rebellion.

I was attending church with a very dear friend of mine, a guy who was and is an example to me. During the sermon, the pastor spoke about making New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t remember most of his sermon, at the very end, he said; “If there is only. one resolution that you make this year, make it to become more like Christ.” It was in that moment a decision had to be make. I was acting like the Israelites and halting between 2 decisions. It took me 3 days to make a decision about what path I would take.

As this year comes to a close, the twentieth year since that day, I have reflected upon the path my life has taken. I have often reflected on the decision I made and all the good things that have come from that day. I am ever so grateful for my wife – Lauren, my 4 boys, the faith that has developed, my education, the experiences, the books, the friends, my home, and job. All the good things that have come into my life, have come from that day.

The relationships with my siblings and parents have improved, my friendships have grown and more friends have come into my life. My gratitude abounds and my desire to share that gratitude and abundance continues to grow the more abundance and blessing flow into my life!

My hope and desire for this New Year is that you will be able to see and experience the blessing and abundance that is there for each and every one of us!

iron wil

A Bite of History

My oldest loves history, so when our church announced the new temple open house in Philadelphia. We say it as an opportunity to see the new temple and take in some US history. My wife and I then planned a 2 day trip to Philly. We started to look forward to the experience and our boys started to get excited and talk about it. We made our plans and booked a hotel.

The temple was a wonderful experience and both our boys found it very interesting. We enjoyed seeing the liberty bell and Independence Hall; we took the big bus tour the around the city several times and really enjoyed the history of the city we got to see! It was a beautiful opportunity to reaffirm our boys belief and love of our country. They asked questions and my oldest was even able to tell us some things he has learned from school and from his reading.

The time we spent in Philly was not sufficient to really get into all the fun and the many different activities available to us. So a return trip is planned and I have a feeling it will include many more of the historical sites and events!

It is important that we connect with our nations history! The study of our founders and the events leading up to the Revolution and the Constitution really show how blessed we are to have the nation we have today! No other nation has done or come close to what was born here on this continent 240 years ago! I would invite each and every one of us to study American History by reading and watching the material published … from both sides. We also need to approach this with an open mind and then spend the time learning the truth. Yes, I am even saying that I need to have an open mind.

iron wil

Motivation

In business and personal life each person uses some form of motivation to pursue their goals. Last week I had one of those moments and it ties back to my Failed Job Interview post. I live and work to provide for my wife and kids.

It was a typical morning with Face getting up shortly after me. We made breakfast and as each of the other boys got up, I helped them get things in order for school and feed. I finished my own preparations and kissed my wife good bye.

I got my sunglasses, keys, and started to open the front door. Face came running and yelling, “Daddy don’t go! Don’t go!” “Daddy don’t go! Don’t go!” He started crying and gave me a big hug.

“Please stay home and play with me?!?”

“Oh, my boy, I wish I could, I have to go to work so that we can have food and clothes, and so that we have a place to live.” “Face, I want you to know that I am working on my own business so that I can stay home with you and we can do fun things together.” I will admit that this has happened more than once and this last time it almost brought me to tears. I drove to work thinking about what I am doing and WHY I am building my own business.

I love my family … my wife and boys, her parents and siblings and my own. I have long dreamed of working for myself and building a business that provides the freedom and income to change our lives.

Why do you go to work? What’s your motivation?

iron wil

The Family

I have strong religious feelings on the family and these statements published by my church express those feelings:

The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. (1)

I know that some individuals will take this the wrong way. Let’s look at the definition for family.

fam·i·ly  (făm′ə-lē, făm′lē) n. pl. fam·i·lies (2)

    1. A fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children.
    2. The children of one of these groups.
    3. A group of persons related by descent or marriage.
  1. People in the same line of descent; lineage.

[Middle English familie, from Latin familia, household, servants of a household, from famulus, servant.]

For centuries or millennia, depending on your beliefs, the family has had a very clear definition. It has been a man, a woman, their offspring, and household (for the wealthy). Now, after billions of generations of families we are told to believe that the new family can be anything someone adds together. We are told by about 2.5% of the U.S. population and some smattering of others across the globe, that a family is made of love. Love is a key component of a marriage, it does not define a marriage. I disagree with the minority’s view of marriage; I could not in good conscience prevent a civil union that provides similar familial benefits of the married (yes, husband and wife). In Christian terms, a family is a married couple and their children. To be honest, I don’t know that I would be against same-sex couples adopting; they would still be a family … however, this is against nature.

Nature has shown us, the continuance of a species requires two of the opposite sex to create life. Yes, I know that some animals in the wild kingdom do not pair off. Lions have prides, where there is one dominant male and many females. That is the nature of their species; our species with the exception of some cultures, has been monogamous … one man and one woman.

The family is ordained of God and was first instituted on Earth when God gave Eve to Adam as his wife, in the Garden of Eden. No matter what other people think or the law states; for Christians and Jews, marriage will always be between man, woman, and God. It is a sacred covenant and a spiritual bond.

(1) The Family: A Proclamation to the World

(2) Dictionary.com Family

iron wil

Mankind

An ancient term that has come under attack because of the word “man”.

By definition:

man·kind n. 1. The human race; humankind. (1)

mankind (n.) “the human race,” c. 1300, earlier man-kende (early 13c.), from man (n.) + kind (n.). Replaced Old English mancynn “human race.” Also used occasionally in Middle English for “male persons” (late 14c.), but otherwise preserving the original gender neutrality of man (n.). For “menfolk, the male sex,” menkind (late 14c.) and menskind (1590s) have been used. (2)

I don’t understand why after centuries this term has become controversial. It has stood for the human race since about the 1300’s. I think it is disingenuous for groups to disparage our own kind and terminology. This post I found on Today I Found Out sums up many of my thoughts quite well:

It wasn’t until about a thousand years ago that the word “man” started to refer to a male and it wasn’t until the late 20th century that it was almost exclusively used to refer to males.

Before “man” meant a male, the word “wer” or “wǣpmann” was commonly used to refer to “male human”.  This word almost completely died out around the 1300s, but survives somewhat in words like “werewolf”, which literally means “man wolf”.

Women at the time were referred to as “wif” or “wīfmann“, meaning “female human”.  The latter “wifmann”, eventually evolved into the word “woman”, but retained its original meaning.  The word “wif” itself eventually evolved into “wife”, with its meaning obviously being changed slightly.

Interestingly, the word ‘men’, meaning “to think” or “to have a cognitive mind”, was also gender neutral and connected to “man”, which meant “the thinker”.  So we can see from that how “man” originally referred to all humans.

Largely due to the stigma that using the word “man” meaning “humans” is supposedly sexist, despite its original meaning, the use of the word “man” in that fashion has all but disappeared in the last 50-100 years, with it now only showing up in words like “human” and “mankind” as referring to both male and female.  Even those instances still garners quite a bit of controversy in terms of being thought of as sexist, despite these words predating the point when “man” meant “male” only. (3)

We call all lions, lions. Yes, there is a term specifically for girl or lady lions … lioness. We have specific words to describe homo sapiens ladies … we call them females; which comes from the Latin femella. It was later changed in the English language to reflect the spelling of male, in the 14th century. (4)

Words have meaning. Unfortunately, in American society we are seeing the willful subversion of terminology and it is causing the destruction of our language and the meaning of words. This causes people to not understand the context of a discussion or the true meaning of a person’s (or group’s) statements or comments. It would benefit every person to pick up a dictionary from the early 20th century to use as a reference because then people understood the meaning and definition of words.

(1) Dictionary.com: Mankind

(2) Online Etymology Dictionary: Mankind

(3) Today I Found Out: Man

(4) Wikipedia: Female

iron wil