Change we weren't exactly looking forward to

No, this post is not about the election...

It's about Ethan.

Since turning two recently he's really ratched up his level of energy and intensity. Over the weekend he:

Probably the most exciting moment came yesterday afternoon after he took most of the tupperware lids and oven mits and put them in the oven—where they promptly melted and caught fire once Meghan turned the oven on to pre-heat it. (Note to self: remember to check the oven for foreign objects before pre-heating it.)

Ethan also opened the front door and went outside to play with the other kids... except he couldn't find them, and wandered in the direction of the creek. Barefoot. A four year old neighbor found him and brought him home.

We now have door knob covers, new outlet safety plugs, and one less crib. We still need some new tupperware and oven mits. With luck Ethan will yet survive to see his third birthday and any hair Shauna's lost recently will regrow quickly... :-)

— Michael A. Cleverly

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True freedom

My friend (and fellow Tcl'er) Will wrote an insightful post on freedom yesterday. He begins:

I was at the mall this weekend, and I saw a sweat jacket with these words:

“Freedom is the ability to do what I wish.”

And it occurred to me that although many people would define freedom this way, it isn't so. Rather, freedom is the ability to do what I ought to do. This is a notion that causes most of us to recoil in horror. What I want to do and what I ought to do often seem all too firmly opposed. So let's look at that.

Will is 100% correct, in my view. In this life I am free to choose; however, only by doing what I ought (as opposed to what the natural-man in me might want) can I find lasting freedom.

I am reminded of Lehi's counsel to his sons (2 Nephi 2:25-30 in The Book of Mormon; pages 69-70 in Mormon's Book; emphasis added):

  1. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
  2. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
  3. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
  4. And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
  5. And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.
  6. I have spoken these words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.

Verse 27 holds the key: to do as we ought means to "choose liberty and eternal life"; to do as [the natural man] wishes is to "choose captivity and death."

Following God's commandments doesn't limit our freedom; doing so actually actively enhances it.

It is worth noting that the English word command & commandment have their origins in the Latin Commendare ("to recommend").

Prayer, scripture study, chastity, Sabbath observance, baptism, and even abstaining from harmful substances are all, literally, divine recommendations instituted for our happiness that God invites us to follow.

Some of the best advice I ever received as a teenager: "Let His will be your will, and then you will be free"...

Will concludes:

In Christ, however, there is true freedom. For God is the summit of all that Good, True, and Beautiful, and Christ Jesus is God's most perfect revelation of Himself to us. And in Christ, and through His sacrifice, I receive the grace to follow Him, to avoid sin, to grow in virtue, and, in short, to pursue the Good He shows me. And that is freedom.

To which I say, amen.

— Michael A. Cleverly

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For the desperate, lonely, or those with money to burn there's Kinkos...

I've got a 245-page draft English/French document I need to have duplex printed so I can give it to a fluent French speaker for review...

— Michael A. Cleverly

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My iPod too?!

This "modernized" translation of Matthew 5:40 (helpful for those trying to maintain a Christian attitude toward the stimulus package) made me laugh nearly to the point of tears...

  1. If Congress seeketh to take away thy coat, let them have thy cloak also and thy cloak, and thy chariot, and thy gold, and thy silver, and thy vineyard, and thy calves, and thy oxen, and thy home, and thy 401k, and verily all that thou hast and all that thy children might have, and verily all that posterity might have until seven generations, and shall seek to make thee and thy posterity into abject slaves, give also thy iPod.

(Emphasis added.)

— Michael A. Cleverly

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