Sunday, January 27, 2013

"This conspiracy of silence was partially my fault because, as is typical and understandable of those battling with the huge physiological and psychological demands of acute grief, I simply did not have it in me to coach others on how to reach me."

Well said.  It is a country where none of us have been, and no one knows the customs.   It leads to a conspiracy of silence because no one knows how to lead the way.

That is from a blog that has a huge number of comments and followers, a huge audience, and deserves it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

More tiny house news
Ella and Tumbleweed: A Perfect Combination
Ella Jenkins, has recently joined The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Ella will be presenting at our workshops. She will also be writing stories about living in Little Yellow inspiring everyone to simplify your life leading by example.
"I chose the name Little Yellow (Buidhe Bheag) because to me, yellow means sunshine, daffodils and California. In Scottish Gaelic, the colour yellow (buidhe) is often used as a positive emphasis symbolizing happiness, luck or beauty. A person who is "pretty, yellow" (brèagha, buidhe) is very pretty indeed and The phrase "I am yellow" (tha mi buidhe) means that one is well, happy or satisfied." More
See more images of Little Yellow

A Letter from Jay Shafer
Dear Friends,
After 12 great years, I have left Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which I founded, to form Four Lights Tiny House Company.

I'm excited to share that I've just made three new tiny house designs available at Four Lights Houses. All three can be mounted on wheels or a foundation and, in response to popular demand, two have beds downstairs.

I've also been busily refining my tiny house building workshops into a visual and interactive curriculum that's great for all levels of experience. New demonstrations and models ensure an exciting learning experience for all.

Read about why the first workshop is particularly dear to me, get an update on my tiny house village project, and more HERE. Viva la Tiny Revolution!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Living with Grief

When Jessica first died, I had sent to me a quote from David O. McKay's wife about how, in her 80s, she and another lady talked about how the grief of losing a child, having them die before you, never really pases.

It is one thing to read about that sort of thing, another to experience it as life goes on.

I also read, from time to time, of the grief rituals that people and their extended family have.  Families that gather around a date involving the death of a child.  Then I think of my family, where we are scattered across states rather than across a few towns or a metroplex area.  And multiple deaths.

At times it seems surreal.  Sorry.  I'm not ready to be someone with a tragic backstory.  Especially someone who seems so normal, so pedestrian.  I look at my wife and think, sometimes, but you are too gorgeous, too level headed, too professional to have a multiple incident tragic backstory.  Sorry, it just doesn't fit.

I know, it is the season.

I know, unexpected triggers.  Watched the wrong television show and was overwhelmed at the end.  Posted to facebook without thinking.  First comment was ... "spoilers" ... so I deleted the comment after I got over crying.

I hadn't thought.  Then I was abashed that after all this time coping with grief, I could still be overwhelmed enough to slip.

Time to go back to sleep.  I've a meeting at 7:00 to go to.  It is going to be a full day.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Escaping the lies

The reason people believe the second lie seems obvious. It allows them to seek what they want. It is also what makes escaping the second lie so hard.

As for the first lie, there are several variations. "God can't love me because I was abused" is often the theme that afflicts some people who have been sexually assaulted and who blame themselves for someone else's act of violence. The same is true of people who blame themselves for mental illness issues that they have no control over or who feel that some other status renders them to be someone who God can not love.

The second group of people to believe the first lie are those who basically are denying the power of repentance. The "God can love you, but he will never love me because of my abortion" meme is a well established one. The call to believe in God's love and the power of repentance is the most common answer that seems to work for escaping that lie.

The third group of people to believe the first lie are a combination of those two groups, such as alcoholics. There is a large volume of literature in twelve step programs basically dealing with the fact that a power higher than yourself can help you even if you have been afflicted by an addition and even if you have done some terrible things while under its influence.

The entire "you did not cause it, you can't control it, it is not your fault and God can help you like he helped me" approach of twelve step programs seems to be the answer for the third group (obviously) as well as the first group.

As for the second lie, I'm not sure of a good way to help people escape from it. Maybe someone can give me suggestions in the comments?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lies that separate us from God


There are many lies that can keep us away from God.  Most commonly, lies keep us from God by turning us deaf to the Spirit.  I thought I'd write about two of them, ones that are usually had by two completely different groups of people.


This post is about two lies.  They are very different from each other, and by no means are they the only cause of distance between God and man.

First, the lie that leads us to believe that God can not and will not love and accept the real person that someone is.

Second, is the lie that sins, especially exploitative sins, are acceptable to God.

The First Lie

The first lie causes us not to hear God.  It causes people to believe that not only can they not repent, but that inherent qualities render them forever severed from God.  That belief causes people to be blinded to the love of God.

The great truth is that God so loved the world, and God so loves you, that he gave everything, including his only begotten son, to save the authentic you.  It does not matter if you are poor, or blind or deaf or afflicted.

The belief that God can not or will not love someone can form a barrier between them and God.

The Second Lie

The second lie was preached about by Brigham Young when he despaired of  those who would cheat a widow out of her cow and then go home, drop to their knees, and thank God for such a great blessing.

Before I read that part of his sermon I thought of such people as those who believe that they do not need to make a choice between God and Mammon.  Worship God and he will deliver Mammon.

For such people, you worship God so that he will reward you by giving you the opportunity to exploit and cheat others.

Those who fall prey to that lie, that exploitative sine is not only acceptable, but a gift from God, are substituting listening to their own lusts over listening to God.  They may hear something, but it is not the Holy One.


The first lie causes us not to hear God because it blinds us to the message of the love of God.

The second lie causes us not to hear God because we hear our own voices instead.

Together they seem to take the opposite ends of a spectrum, one one that cuts us off from the truth either way.

  •  How hard is it for you to accept that God really loves you.  Not only that God could love you, but that God does love you?
  • If you did not cause it, if you can't control it, how can it be your fault (speaking of mental illness and other inherent conditions that people blame themselves for)?
  •  When you isolate yourself from other people, does that isolate you from yourself?  From God?
  • Do you think God ever rewards us by allowing us to take advantage of other people?  What do you think about Abraham refusing to accept any of the spoils of the Battle of Siddim?

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Doomed, yet we try anyway ... So much truth in this one.

And, should it need to be said, nominate and vote Schlock Mercenary for the Hugo this year.

The nomination period for the 2013 Hugo Awards is now open! If you're a member of the 2012, 2013, or 2014 World Science Fiction Convention, you can nominate things for the 2013 ballot. Details are here.