Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Refreshing Perspective

This past weekend I viewed the new Ben Stein documentary and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I figured that Ben Stein would obviously bring some amusing and intelligent insights to the screen; I wasn't disappointed in the least.

I appreciated his main argument that the scientific world needs more balance when examining the origin of life; that evolution has some holes and cannot be the only answer. I especially enjoyed one scientist (who is in support of intelligent design) pointing out the fact that the I.D. argument isn't trying to deny the theory of evolution. It is fairly apparent that species have evolved over time in adapting to their environment, but evolution does not answer the question of how life was created or came into existence.

I was saddened by how many scientists readily admitted that their study of evolution led them to atheism; that they seemed almost boastful of their increased knowledge and "intelligence" solidifying these beliefs.

Throughout the documentary I was impressed with so many comments and arguments that were made in support of intelligent design, my favorite being Ben Stein's unquestionable support of God's existence. He wasn't insistent that all people believe in the same god or religion, but he wasn't afraid to strongly emphasize the significance of a belief in god and its affect on society.

Prior to viewing this film, I came across a quote by Abraham Lincoln, as quoted by Marion G. Romney. If Lincoln was concerned by the neglect of God over 150 years ago I can't imagine how disappointed he would be with the current state of our country.

"Consider these words written by Abraham Lincoln as part of a resolution in 1863:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth, and power as no other Nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us."
(John Wesley Hill,Abraham Lincoln, Man of God, 4th ed., New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, p.391.)" as quoted in (Marion G. Romney, "Gratitude and Thanksgiving," Ensign, Nov. 1982, 50)

For myself, the most refreshing part of this film was that Ben Stein wasn't afraid "step on toes" and state how things are and how they should be. We live in a society that emphasizes being politically correct and tolerant of others, but I don't think toleration or mutual respect requires apologizing for your own views and beliefs.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I am my father's daughter....

So I just went for a run and look at the treasure I found... for free!!!!

I think it has some great rustic charm & potential.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

WARNING: it's a little heavy

So with the turn of events over the last few months at work, I have felt as though I have entered another state of limbo. I feel that I have found myself in this state a few times over the last 5-10 years (yes, my 10 year high school reunion is this summer - I don't know how that is possible). I have always pushed passed this "phase" and found success in the next step. I think it's just become more difficult to feel that I'm making progress in any one direction and that I'm not just hopelessly treading water.

High school was a fairly smooth transition - it was pretty clear that once you graduated from high school, college was the next step. College was a great step! I loved all of the new people I met and the independence I gained. I enjoyed my classes (mostly) and the unique experience I had in traveling through Europe.

College graduation was a bit more difficult, perhaps I should've extended my studies for another year and looked for a bit more direction (aka - marketable skills). If I had a dime for everytime I was asked what I planned to do with my Art History degree I wouldn't need to be looking for a new job. But hindsight is 20/20 and I was off to Phoenix after enjoying the comforts of home for a few months.

Three years in Phoenix flew by with some good work experience, great friends and wonderful family relationships. Within about 3 months of looking for a change and 2 weeks after learning of a job opportunity, I was back in Utah - a place I really thought I would never find myself living again. Amazingly, the last year and a half has passed fairly quickly with great work experience and friendships (new & re-newed). So now what? Do I find another job here in Utah? Do I venture out again & try somewhere new?

Thankfully, this weekend was our Stake Conference and the meetings were just what I needed to hear. Elder Rasband reassured us of the love that Heavenly Father has for each of us; that He knows us personally & where we are individually. I was also really impressed with the simple clarity that came from a statement made by our newly released stake president. In his final remarks to us as our steward he said, "Experience is what we get when we don't get what we want".

I think that comment is quite fitting for my life. I know there are definitely times in my life that I have been the beneficiary of exactly what I want and great experiences have come (ie., going to BYU). But I think that some of the greatest experience I have gained is through the humbling moments of realizing that I don't always know what will be best for me, that there is Someone who knows me better than I know myself.

Life sometimes feels like it's never-ending "opposite day" - the opposite of what I want or expect is what I find. But somehow, I'll figure out which direction to swim before I'm too worn from treading water.

So if anyone has some distant relation who owns a nice little Tuscan villa that's in need of a remodel, or even just an occupant, consider the plane ticket already purchased. I'm already working on the dual-citizenship!

Monday, April 14, 2008

what's in a name?

well, the name of this blog came about my trying to create a clever pun to tie in with my name.... and i think i did. amanda for all seasons expresses that i do love all seasons (maybe summer the most though)...
my roommate also said that it can play on the fact that i'd like to find "a man for all seasons" - one who loves to ski, snowshoe or just appreciate the wonders of winter (but who also realizes that i don't have too much "insulation" and sometimes just need to bundle up & stay cozy) - someone who will revel in the excitement of spring, go on hikes and plant new flowers - a guy who will be okay with my love of warming in the sun, going to the pool, the beach, the lake... wherever water & the sun meet - and someone who enjoys the crisp weather that invites sweaters & cider & falling leaves... not that i'm trying to create a shopping list or anything...haha!
so cheers to the first post & new blog!