About This Blog
A blog about my life, universe, etc. At any given time you might find something endlessly interesting or just me ruminating on something else, which no one (not even myself) finds interesting. That's the way blogs go, I suppose. Anyway, I was eleventh in line, and you weren't. Hah!
Scripture of the Moment 2 Nephi 2:27 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.
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-- If I mention something that's been published and is still available on the Internet, I will link to it. Well, if I know it's there, anyway.
-- Once I've posted something, I will not make substantive changes to the body of the post. Any changes will be noted with an "EDIT" tag at the bottom of the post in question, or will be noted in a subsequent post. Typos, stylistic errors, and link updates will occur, without time limit (though if it's been a while, I'll let you know). If I really really regret a post, it's likely I'll post about cats or something for a while in pennance. You've been warned.
-- If I find something through the efforts of another blogger (in fact, of anyone I can link to), I'll credit them with a link (the style of such a link is pretty much up to my mood, so don't expect consistency in that area).
-- My comment policy is listed below.
I like comments, and I'll keep them activated. HOWEVER, if you want to start a flamewar, go somewhere else. If you want to get me to start arguing with you about Ohio State vs. Michigan, whether Mormons are Christian, how stupid being spoiler free is, or pretty much anything else inflamatory (inflamatory is in the eye of me in this case -- if you don't trust my judgement, too bad), go somewhere else. All links to pornography, all instances of vulgar language, and anything else I don't think is appropriate for my sisters, brother, neice, and nephew to see (ages 1-18), or quite frankly appropriate for ME to see, will be edited as I see fit (probably with links to something else, or alternate words, or what have you). All spam comments, including blatant off-topic self-promotion, will be deleted. If you've been banned, feel free to email me; if you're uncivil, please know that I'm interested in finding out exactly how many people I can add to my killfile without bringing my processer speed to zero, and don't mind using your address in my experiments. I reserve the right to delete and/or ban anyone I want. If you need to say it that badly, go get your own blog. They're free, you know.
A Note About Chatting and Emails
I'm not what you would call an extremely social or extraverted person. As a matter of fact, I tend to test 100% introvert on Myer-Briggs and other personality profile tests. Therefore, please be aware that most of the time, if I don't already know you (either in person or through weeks/months/years of email contact) the chances are I won't be very talkative if you IM me. I like having a long time to consider what I say, and that goes double for what I say to total strangers. Please don't think me scary, rude, hateful, or even just someone in a perpetual bad mood, if chat efforts are unsuccessful. Quite frankly, it's probably better for you to go find someone else to chat with, unless you have something significant to say. And if it's that important, you should probably email me. Which reminds me to let you know now that if you do choose to email me, it might be days, weeks, months, years, or never before I email you back. It takes a lot of energy for me to come up with replies to random inquiries from strangers, and most of the time there's something I'd rather be doing instead. Your understanding is appreciated. I'm not saying don't try, I'm just saying -- have minimal expectations, okay? Thanks. Oh, and if you DO know me, don't treat this statement as an excellent excuse not to talk to me. You know who you are.
Sharing Time is here again...
The Primary Presidency revised the Sharing Time schedule and I didn't get a copy -- which meant that today I found out I'll be doing the presentation in two weeks.
Given the brevity of our preparation period (we'll get an hour to go through our lesson next week AND do any preparation for the presentation) I basically came up with a presentation on my own, and the kids will help me execute it. It's a little annoying, since I'd wanted them to contribute more to it this time around, but I think I've got a good way for them to help out more effectively during the presentation than they did in February -- and realistically, given the age group I'm dealing with, I'd probably end out making most executive decisions myself anyway.
Anyway, the idea is pretty simple. Our theme for September is Choose the Right; I decided to go a slightly different direction than the basic "which are the right choices to make" simply because we've done that the last two weeks, and the kids in general aren't participating as much as I'd like them to. Also, it's hard to get all 40+ kids to participate when brainstorming.
So we're going to do a choices thing, but instead of choosing actions, we're choosing words. More exactly, the kids will be evaluating two statements, and deciding which one is the word of God, and which is the word of Man. And yes, it's been fun collecting stuff for the word of Man side.
The format is going to be a trek to the Tree of Life. The child (or possibly two children, for a race) will start at the back of the room, and try to move forward towards the Tree of Life I'll have by the chalkboard. They'll have to pick the word of God to move a step forward (this is a take on Lehi's dream, and the hymn "The Iron Rod," where "the iron rod is the word of God.") The rest of the group will help them (the child or children trying to get to the front of the room) decide which one is the word of God, probably by raising their hands. When the child makes their selection, one of my students will hold up either a giant black "X" (for the word of Man - the incorrect selection) or a giant "CTR" shield (for the word of God - the correct selection.)
I'm hoping that some of my selections will be tricky enough that we'll get a few wrong answers, because a) wrong answers make them pay more attention to the next few questions and b) one of my kids will have nothing to do but hold up a giant "X" and I don't want them to stand around bored for 20 minutes (I know, I know, it's really terrible.) The rest of the kids in my class will be in charge of holding up posters with each reading on them; I've got 7 active students, so hopefully they'll be able to keep up. One kid will be holding the Tree of Life poster, which leaves 4 holding quote/scripture posters. I'll be buying a lot of poster board (and spending about 2 hours writing scriptures and quotes out on those poster boards... ugh) this week.
If it's a race, the kids will take turns answering which one is right and which one is wrong. If it's not a race, we may end out trying this twice -- either way, I've made 20 selections for each category. I haven't yet paired them up with one another, which I want to do for maximum effect. I'm not sure I'll get all 40 posters (yeah, exactly) done, so I'll probably also start with the best ones.
Anyway, here are the selections. First, the word of Man:
"Evil is just a point of view" - Anne Rice "Find your own road to the truth." "If a real God exists, we'd never be able to tell he was there." "If there was an all-powerful God, he would have made all good, and no bad." - Mark Twain "If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words." - Korihor "No one can depend on anyone but himself." "No one can really know if a choice is really right or wrong. It just depends on what you think." "No one can tell if something is actually true." "Nobody can tell me how to live my life" "Nothing is evil which is according to nature." - Marcus Aurelius "The end excuses any evil." - Sophocles "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde "There is nothing either good or bad." - Shakespeare "These things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers." - Korihor "Thou shalt not commit sins, except if thou art unhappy and think it will make thou happy again." "What happens on earth is the only thing that matters. You shouldn't worry about returning to live in Heaven or what God might think of what you're doing." "Whatsoever a man does is no crime." - Korihor "When a man is dead, that is the end thereof." - Korihor "Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true." - Korihor "Buy it. Sell it. Love it." - eBay
This is the finished, merged list, with scriptures -- I'll post the references in a little bit, once I sort out which scriptures I decided to use in place of my original list.
Evil is just a point of view. -- For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.
Find your own road to the truth. -- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
If there was an all-powerful God, he would have made all good, and no bad. -- Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh. 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.
If a real God exists, we'd never be able to tell he was there. -- Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words. -- Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
No one can depend on anyone but himself. -- Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.
No one can really know if a choice is really right or wrong. It just depends on what you think. -- The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Buy it. Sell it. Love it. -- No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Nobody can tell me how to live my life. -- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Thou shalt not commit sins, except if thou art unhappy and think it will make thou happy again. -- Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
Nothing is evil which is according to nature. -- For the natural man is an enemy to God.
No one can tell if something is actually true. -- He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Whatsoever a man does is no crime. -- Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.
The end excuses any evil. -- Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it. -- Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
What happens on earth is the only thing that matters. You shouldn't worry about returning to live in Heaven or what God might think of what you're doing. -- For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
There is nothing either good or bad. -- And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true. -- He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
These things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers. -- And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
When a man is dead, that is the end thereof. -- Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
(yes, I know, a few of those word of Man quotes were originally meant sarcastically, or ironically, or what have you -- the point here is not "OMG, Anne Rice is EEEEEVIL!", the point is that these are wrong ways of thinking... heck, some of those, I wrote myself, because the original stuff was way over the head of your average 6 year old... I've also already shortened some of those scripture verses, and will probably shorten some of the others... that is, the quote will be all-scripture, but might not be that entire verse; again, trying to reflect the fact that I'm working with 40 kids who were, for the most part, born after 1999)
Anyway, considering I pretty much came up with that during spare time between meetings, and while talking with my students, I think it'll work out well. If I have time, I'll try to get Laura to take some photos of all the posters. There'll be 43 of them in all if I get them all done (1 Tree of Life, 1 CTR, 1 "X", 20 word of God scriptures, and 20 word of Man quotes.) Whee...
[edit: I did some editing of the selections, and edited the post to reflect that... also, I merged the two lists because I've now paired them up with one another, and added Technorati tags. ^_^]