Thursday, April 10, 2008


Personally, I love the Bible. All of it. When I read in the Old Testament, I can relate to the characters involved. Most of them have weaknesses, and I seem to have many of those weaknesses. Even the giants of Spiritual strength, I have emothions that let me imagine, like a child reading a 'Superman' comic strip, that I had those strengths and desires.
Some of the things that take place in the O.T. however, do not seem to make sense until you study and understand about the culture and laws of the people at that time and in that area. I have learned a lot about human beings and how to relate to them and to have compassion, and also the 'best' way to help others have happiness in their own lives.
There are, of course, many other reasons for studying the O.T., chief among them is the Saviors admonition to the Pharisees to "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have Eternal Life, and they are they which testify of Me.". Of course, one must remember that when Jesus spoke those words, the only scriptures available to search was the O.T. But that is another story.
The New Testament is so beautifully written, and the teachings of Jesus Christ so well proclaimed, that it is no wonder that even those who do not accept Him as the Son of God, still acknowledge that He was the 'Greatest Teacher' that ever lived. I find that statement somewhat hard to believe, because I personally would not ever call a liar the greatest teacher, and if they refuse to believe that Jesus Christ is who He said that He was, namely the Son of God, sent down from God to redeem mankind from their 'fallen State, then they are in essense calling Him a liar.
For many years when I thought I was 'Searching the Scriptures', however, I found that what I was doing was just looking for those passages, many times taken out of context, that would support some pre-conceived idea or belief that I held, and was really just looking for some way to 'prove' or support my belief, rather than to learn the true meaning of the revealed word of God. I believe that that is probably the reason that there are so many different 'interpretations' of the same verses of scripture.
Also, to gain real insight, one must use some intelligent power of reason as one reads. I do not, when I use the word 'intelligent', refer to the way that many lawyers use words to trick or trap people to go along with their way of thinking, or to twist the real intent out of the passages. What I am referring to is to question, for example, say, when Jesus is praying, whenever He is praying, whether it be in the Garden of Gethsemenee as recorded in John 17, or when it is on the Cross, pleading with His Father to 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do.", just Who is Jesus praying to?
Well, that's enough for now. I really do apprecieate your comments and wish to thank those who have made comments in the past. And I look forward to more comments.
Sincerely, Roland

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Did you ever ask yourself: What is the justification for Prayer?
There are, of course, many without an understanding of God who might state that prayer is a form of 'positive thinking', or 'self hypnosis', perhaps similar to the 'placebo effect'. That any results attributed to prayer is simply a coincidence, or even some rationalization to support our 'superstition', even going so far as to state that when our prayers are not answered the way we wished or expected, that 'It was not the will of the Lord.' Many believe that what we see as 'Miracles' would just as well have happened without any prayer at all.
When one has such a mindset, there are no 'logical' answers to help them. Only sincere, meaningful and loving prayer is likely to help them see the light.
However, for those who do pray, my question is why? Let us analyse the possibilities.
First, for prayer to have any positive results, or even meaning, one must have some hope of or belief that the object of our prayer must be some God, or power, or being that number one, can be aware of our petition, number two, has the desire to grant or deny our petition, or three, has the power to do so if It wishes.
I seem to be unaware of how any thinking human being could go through the above analysis and then worship a graven image, or icon, or even a naturally appearing 'sign' from which they would expect to receive results from prayer. Maybe this is just my unenlightened thinking.
But we are going to look at the prayers of 'Christians', and then again ask those same questions. One, Christians generally believe in a God, and it is usually the one described in the Bible. If that is so, then one must assume that they believe that God can 'hear' our prayers, whether spoken or unspoken, as distinctly as if He were in the room with us, and keep our petition separate from the hundreds of millions of prayers being offered at the precise same time as ours. But, does He have the desire to respond? Does He really care? Does He have the Power? Does He have the will? Does He really know me? Does He understand my need or my concern?
Here is where I have some concern. There are many 'Christians' who say that the 'Heavens' are closed. That there is no more revelation. That the Bible contains the whole revealed 'Word of God'. That all of the information that we need to get answers or solve our problems is contained in the Bible. If that is so, then there can be no answer to prayer. Such an answer would in fact be 'new revelation', even if it is only directed to one person.
And yet, I believe that all 'Christians' pray. I have been in many 'Christian' bookstores, and find many books about prayer, how to pray, intercessory prayers for others, and the miracles of prayer. I have attended the worship services of many differing 'Christian' congregations and have heard them all pray.
PS. So as not to offend, when I use the generic term 'He' to describe God, for those who believe that God is a woman, subtitute She. I think that I will stop here, and wait for comments.
With love, Roland

Friday, April 4, 2008

Corrections and Additions


Just thought that I would identify my former 'goofs' in one post, instead of going back and trying to edit each one. I'm lazy, you know. So, I finally found out where that first post titled Getting Smarter was located and so I Posted it. That's why there are two posts with the same title. Also, on another post, titled Priesthood In Action, I left out the fact that Kevin Vreeken was there and stood in the circle with us too. Thats a lot of people for me to remember.

Since our last post about Just Visiting, we have had a delightful evening visiting with Greg and Stacey. And they, too, insisted on feeding us. We really enjoyed the visit, and the meal, but we are afraid that if we ask someone if we can come over, they will think we're just looking for a free meal. Not so. But a relaxing visit while eating does give opportunity to talk about a lot of things and get well acquainted. Now that they are both out of school, they are planning for their future and hopefully all that 'Education' will pay off.

This and That:
Hopefully, some day I might write something worth reading, and if I do, it will probably be in the area of life's philosophy. I might also bore some of you with some of my (Roland's) life experiences, and include some of Betty's too.
As most of you know, I love the Lord, and think about how He has blessed my life and the lives of some other people I know.
Like many people, when you have or discover something good, you want to share it with those whom you know that might also benefit. But a funny thing happens with the area of religion. Everyone who belongs to some faith or other, also thinks the same way, so when you go to share, they either shut you off, or try to convince you that you are the one that needs to listen or consider the way that they believe.
Perhaps by just discussing the Bible, which most 'Christians' seem to have some faith in, I will be able to get some sort of dialog started. Hopefully, if this does happen, all who participate will be friendly and open minded and constructive in their comments.
This blog-site will be available to several families that I consider close friends who are of different religious backgrounds, and I really hope that all who read or post herein will consider that the friendship and love felt among us is more important than 'winning an arguement'. With that said, I promise to keep all of my comments and references strictly to the Bible, and not what some person, famous or not, has said. I personally use the King James Version, but whatever version you use is acceptable. I also will abstain from any scriptural references from 'other' scriptures, even though I may believe them to be valid. Enough for now.
If you believe that I am entering dangerous ground, please let me know your thoughts.
With Love to all, Roland

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Priesthood In Action

Woke up to 2" snow this Sunday morn. Fast Sunday because of General Conference next week. Left at 8:30 to pick up Olinda because there was no Choir practice. Great service, good testimonies, got to 'baby-sit' a 3rd hour Primary class of 3 year olds along with Steve Ikeomu, who taught the lesson. After church we went directly to the Stake Center where we waited for the Lake Wilderness Ward to start at 1:00. That's Scott and Casey's ward, and they were going to Bless Jeffery, their new-born son. We made a good showing for the family. Casey's Mom, Dad and Grandmother were there, and Scott had his Grandma and Grandpa Leavitt, his Mom and Dad, his Grandma and Grandpa Vreeken, his Aunt Laura and Ken Mattson, and his cousin Greg Mattson. That's 12 plus his own family of 4. Scott gave a beautiful blessing.
Got home before 3:00. Snow was all gone. Day was sunny with scattered clowds. Doves, Jays, Crows, finches and squirrels took turns playing king of the hill around the feeders.
Betty and I finished reading 'The Book of Revelation Today' by Farley Anderson. Really a great book if you want to get real deep into the book of Revelation. Not for new members, though, it's too deep. It corelates with the writings of Isaiah and the Book of Mormon. Very interesting.
Watched 'The Restoration' again, I'm really impressed. We broke the fast about 4:30 pm, and then read the paper and watched a little tv. Will be interested in watching the conference next weekend. This will be the first Conference under the direction of our new Prophet, President Monson. We've got a lot to do this week. Love to all, Roland and Betty

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Just Visiting

Betty and I have been doing some visiting. We had a very nice visit with Ryan, Laura, Hannah and Emma on Hannah's Birthday. It's always nice to see the family members at our occasional 'get-to-gethers', but a 'just us' visit with the individual families are great. We're going to try to do this more often. Not only did we have a nice visit with Ryan and Laura, but we spent some one on one time with Hannah and Emma too. It is exciting to see how they grow and learn.
We also visited with Scott, Casey, Jackson and Jeffrey just this last Tuesday evening. What fun. Jackson is as active as any two year old can be, and his mind is just as busy. Casey does such a great job in teaching behavior with an active boy while caring for her new-born son and keeping Daddy happy too. What a great blessing we have with our family. They are all so good.
Last night we had a special treat. We had called to set up a date and time to visit with Jon, Julie, Aeneas and Natalie, and they agreed to last night, but on the condition that we come for dinner. This certainly was not our intention, but we agreed and had a specially nice evening. Only one slight dissapointment, Natalie was not abe to be there. But again, it was great. In fact, everything was so nice, we were there until almost 10pm. Heard all about their trip to So. Calif., reminisced about childhood memories, and just had a real good visit. They are a wonderful family, and I think we got closer than ever. Julie was very lucky to meet Jon, and I think that Julie has given him all that he could ever want in a wife. Aeneas also seems very happy. We certainly hope so. We didn't realize it until Julie said it, but I guess for them, we are the only grandparents that either of them have. So we'll have to live up to that responsibility.
Well, enough for today. We send our love to all. Roland and Betty

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hopeful Contents

I am hoping to be able to control the contents of this blog. I suppose that I will have to learn how to delete the unwanted pop-ups that are trying to sell me or others their ideas of what my blog should look like. When I succeed then I will be in control. Comments on any post that I or my wife Betty makes are always welcome.
I will try, each time I post, in a spot called 'Proverbs' to add a thought, reflection, or observation on live that may be of some value to someone. It will always be of value to me, so if you think it is dumb, corny, or a waste of space, just don't bother reading it. I do not have any particular person in mind when these posts are written.
TODAY'S PROVERB: 'Observe the postage stamp, it's success in reaching it's destination depends upon it's ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.'

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Welcome, Family and Friends

OK, I guess I'm ready. I will hereby and henceforth be exposed to the world wide web. I will post my drivel and other instant, unplanned thoughts or bits of inspiration for the world to see. Comments are welcome.
I will e-mail this blogg address to everyone of my immediate and extended family so that they may boast of or deny any relationship, as they choose. I intend to occasionally post some provocative commentary here, with the sincere desire that I do not offend anyone, and hopefully, with the intent of creating some meaningful dialog. I have almost no interest in anything going on in the so called 'entertainment' industry, although I may, from time to time express some thoughts about it's value or danger to mankind in general. I have very little interest in the sports arena, but occasionaly will watch a good game. But that is really rare.
My real interests are in Humanity. Human Beings. People. Because I am one of them, and everyone that I personally know and love is also included in this group, I am interested in knowing all that I can about them as a group and individually. I have studied (perhaps I should say 'observed') people all of my life, which is not a short period of time, and quite frankly, in spite of some things that I see, I like people very much. I find them curious, odd, intelligent, inspiring, entertaining, and most of all emotionally uplifting. The thing that is some times discouraging is the problems that occasionally develop in social settings, such as goverment activities, cultural or business associations. But I really enjoy all of these.
Enough for tonight. Will post more later. Roland