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  1. Here is my guesses for this conference: Richfield, Utah Flagstaff, Arizona Amarillo, Texas Littlerock, Arkansas Trelew, Argentina Neuquen, Argentina Glasgow, Scotland Dublin, Ireland Daloa, Ivory Coast Abuja Nigeria Milan, Italy Blackfoot, Idaho
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  2. I believe that in this day and age the most common abuse is based in heterophobic hatred. Especially towards white heterosexual males. Shucks – the abuse is so bad that heterophobic does not even make it through spell check in Microsoft Word. The Traveler
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  3. As I delved into the narratives spanning 1 Samuel 16 through 2 Samuel 10, a profound journey unfolded—one that took a young shepherd boy and transformed him into the king of Israel. This stretch of scripture is not merely a historical recounting but a rich tapestry that reveals the complexities of divine anointing, the essence of godly leadership, and the intricate ways in which God's sovereignty intertwines with human agency. The stories of David's anointing, his rise to prominence, his complex relationship with Saul, and his eventual kingship over Israel offer timeless lessons on faith, power, and the heart of true leadership. Anointed Yet Patient: David's Early Journey In 1 Samuel 16, David is anointed by Samuel, chosen by God not for his physical prowess or royal lineage but for his heart. This divine selection of a shepherd boy underscores a fundamental kingdom principle: God values character above external qualifications. Yet, what struck me most profoundly was David's patience and humility following his anointing. He did not rush to seize the throne; instead, he served faithfully under Saul, even when Saul sought his life. This period of waiting and service was not wasted time but a divine incubation period where David's character, faith, and reliance on God were refined. Leadership Tested Through Adversity David's ascent to kingship was fraught with challenges—from evading Saul's jealous rage to navigating the political and military complexities of uniting Israel. Each trial tested David's leadership, not just in terms of martial prowess but more significantly, in spiritual faithfulness and moral integrity. David's lament over Saul and Jonathan's deaths in 2 Samuel 1 reveals a leader who could mourn his adversaries, showing the depth of David's capacity for empathy and forgiveness—hallmarks of godly leadership. The Heart of Leadership: Serving God's Purposes Upon becoming king, David's actions—from his desire to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6 to his military campaigns that expanded Israel's borders—were driven by a desire to fulfill God's purposes for Israel. Yet, it was God's covenant with David in 2 Samuel 7, promising an everlasting dynasty, that highlighted the essence of David's leadership: a heart aligned with God's will. This covenant underscored that David's kingship was not merely a personal achievement but a pivotal moment in the unfolding of God's redemptive plan for humanity. Personal Reflections and Application Studying these chapters has prompted me to reflect on the nature of the leadership roles I occupy—whether in family, work, or community. Like David, am I leading with patience, humility, and a heart aligned with God's purposes? David's story challenges me to evaluate not just my actions but the state of my heart in leadership. Moreover, David's journey from shepherd to king serves as a powerful reminder that our current station in life is not our final destination. With faith in God and fidelity to His commands, the seemingly ordinary can lead to extraordinary paths of divine destiny. As we navigate our own life's challenges and opportunities for leadership, may we draw inspiration from David's journey, remembering that true greatness in God's kingdom is measured by the condition of our hearts and our faithfulness to His call.
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  5. Dang - are you sure you aren't me? I had a startlingly similar experience when I was 6, and then again when I was 7, and then throughout the rest of elementary and middle school. My elementary school was in the '70's, middle/high school in the '80's. And you had this experience in the UK? I grew up in Salt Lake City. Well, we're all born stupid. I guess there are recurring themes as kids form social circles and look for things to include and things to exclude. From what I can tell about today's kids, it's now trendy and cool to be part of the alphabet and feel guilty about being white. The bad kids are transphobes and fascists and haters.
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  6. Wow. I just realized that I haven't seen any TV or movie in a while. But just this last weekend, the little lady and I went to see Dune Part II. It was interesting to compare it to the 1984 version and contrast them both with the book. Empress had not seen the earlier version, nor red the book. So, it was nice to have a captive audience for me to share my thoughts about it all.
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  7. Switching through some of the old Hollywood 'easter' films this past weekend, I stopped on 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'. I had not really seen it before and was surprised at the impressive scenery in it. There is a vastness in the backgrounds that I haven't seen in other of those types of films. In fact, it's almost as if the land in which the story took place was that of Robert E Howard's mythical Conan world rather than the ancient near east. This may be worth getting on bluray just for that.
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  8. I lament King David lost his exaltation because of his murder of Uriah. Doctrine & Covenants 132 verses 38 and 39 talks about this. Verse 39 says: " . . . he he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion . . ." He was a good ruler the most part of his life and was humble most of time. I would not have had the faith at his age to face the mighty warrior Goliath and prevail. I would have likely also killed Saul if he were hunting me and trying to put me to death. David could have killed Saul a few times but said: "Destroy him not, for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” (I Samuel 26:9) It is sad how any of us can work so hard our entire lives to build something then begin to make bad decisions and lose our exaltation. Likely, David will receive the Telestial Kingdom because of his adultery and murder, but nothing has been revealed on his judgment. He was not resurrected when Christ began the first resurrection of the just.
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  9. As a kid, I was subjected to homophobic abuse. And I'm not even gay! In fact I am SO not-gay, I think many of those who homophobe-abused me were gay by comparison. In fact I suspect some were actually real-gay with an "I'll homo-abuse the allegedly gay kid to get the attention off myself" type of agenda. But that's speculation. The point is, I know that homophobic abuse is an actual thing, coz I've been on the receiving end. And though I agree there is much nonsense talked about "hate speech", homophobia (along with transphobia) is a real thing. But it's so easy to think after the event what you should have said. I was never able to think on my feet. So I'm going to indulge in a little wish-fulfilment fantasy... There was one kid - somewhat older than me - whom I'm going to call him "CT". He once gave me a grilling about what I'd do if I were propositioned by a half-naked Bo Derek, beckoning me to bed. When I didn't immediately respond in words to the effect that I'd "do" her, he told me I was not normal, while his bully-partner (a smirking sycophant whom I'll call "CV") snickered snottily away to himself in the background. CT: So? What would you do? There's Bo Derek calling out for you, wanting you!" Me: Well... (Not sure how to respond. Even then I had a superstitious view of sex [barring masturbation], even though I was not very outwardly religious.) CT: Come on! It's Bo Derek? You do know who Bob Derek is, don't you?" Me: She was in 10. And Tarzan the Ape M..." CT: So...? What would you do? Me: OK, well tell me first what you'd do? CT: Oh well...haha...what wouldn't I do? Haha...mmmemmmmemmmm... (performs bodily contortions intended to convey sexual arousal, but actually more suggestive of diarrhea) This is where fantasy takes over... Me: So you'd have had "carnal knowledge" of her? CT: Mmmm...you could put it that way....(continued vocalizations and bodily contortions). But you'd just run away, wouldn't you? Like a scared little rabbit, that's you! You'd... Me: Has it never occurred to you that Bo Derek is married? CT: (Momentarily taken aback) What...? Me: Yes. To John Derek. That's how she got the name 'Derek', you know. Or did you think that's the name she was born with? CT: I don't believe this! If you think...you're actually saying that...? Me: That I think the sanctity of marriage is important? You bet I am! Or are you the sort of slimy little toad who goes around sleeping with other men's wives? CT: What...? (looking over to CV for support, but getting none.) Me: Because if you are, then I hope that when you get married, some other little slime ball comes and has his way with your wife! And I hope she enjoys him ten times better than you! CT: But... Me: And I hope he tells everyone about it, and everyone has a good laugh at Mr. Cuckoo-Cuckold! *does cuckoo impressions* It's good to dream...
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  10. May your belt loops get caught on every door handle.
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  11. May you hear an intermittent buzzing noise in your bedroom just when you want to go to bed, with no sign of an actual fly no matter how many hours' sleep you lose searching for it. May said fly descend upon your face the moment you give up and put the light out. May the Yorkie bar you bought for your mid-morning treat inexplicably taste of mint. (Not that there's anything wrong with mint chocolate, but when you buy a Yorkie bar you expect a Yorkie bar and not an After Eight.) May your next door neighbour start tinkering with his car on Saturday Morning, just as you sit down to watch Little House on the Prairie.
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  12. A bit like hearing someone sing Hallelujah in Sacrament Meeting. I heard it happened.
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  13. It's fluffy bunnies! How cute!
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  14. There's a meme going around claiming that someone saw Watership Down, decided that because the cover pictured these cute little bunnies it would be a fun Easter film for the whole family to see, and developed a very severe case of regret.
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  15. Drove me crazy to see girls in Jr. High and High School putting all those beads in their hair. You have dated yourself sir.
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  16. Part of some science-y show I watched explained that doorways trigger our brains to "leave the old behind" and "prepare for new" (to greatly simplify). As we get older, it's harder to recall what we left behind - though going back into the previous room can help. They explained that if one wants to retain something from one room to the next, one should simply repeat it to oneself as one passes through the doorway. This seems to work for me.
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