Wednesday, January 18, 2012

“A Christmas Gift of Snow for Colonel Knox” by Ron Mann

My father sent this story to family members as a Christmas gift and invited us to share it with others. It is the tale of a pivotal event early in the Revolutionary War performed by a man, Colonel Knox, whose faith and indomitable spirit made this journey possible. Similar faith and determination will be needed to return our nation to the federated republic established by its founding fathers.

Note, a PDF version is available if you want to print a copy of this story.  Enjoy …

With respect to General Knox, I can say with truth, there is no man in the United States with whom I have been in habits of greater intimacy; no one who I have loved more sincerely, nor any for whom I have had a greater friendship.”—G. Washington.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cultivating Charity

The Good SamaritanAs I contemplated the upcoming year today I reviewed a talk I gave in church on December 29, 2002. Its’ challenge was to develop a charitable attitude during the course of the next year. For me this is as important a goal for the coming year as it was then. Perhaps even more as there seems to be a never ending series of crisis where charity can make a difference; war is ever present, economic woes seem never ending; natural disasters of one form or another; the almost uncountable lives impacted in the wake of substance abuse … .   Of course one of the biggest blessings associated with true charity is the impact on the individual practicing it. You’ll find the talk below.

Let me start by reading the lyrics from of the beautiful hymn, “Lord, I Would Follow Thee” (music and lyrics, audio).  

Savior may I learn to love thee, walk the path that thou hast shown.
Pause to help and lift another, finding strength beyond my own.

Who am I to judge another, when I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that the eye can’t see.

I would be my brothers’ keeper; I would learn the healer’s art.
To the wounded and the weary I would show a gentle heart.

Savior may I love my brother, as I know thou lovest me.
Find in thee my strength, my beacon, for thy servant I would be

What a wonderful message! These words express the desire of a heart in tune with the Spirit. A message which, if internalized by a relative few, could truly change the world. I am reminded of King Benjamin’s sermon from which this song could well have been distilled: