Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Wonderful Thanksgiving Day

I love Thanksgiving...
This year the day started with a great game of flag football in the park. The Schultz family womped up a big game. About 32 people played, 16 on each side. It was a little crazy but a lot of fun!
Little Wendy Lu enjoyed watching the game too!
Charles was one of the few players who actually touched the ball until he pulled a muscle in his leg. We the hosted the Big Thanksgiving Dinner for the Lamb family. 38 people including the kids. I cooked the 23 pound turkey...yum. Charles smoked some Salmon...more yum! Everyone else brought the side dishes...even more yum! Some annual favorites are Grandma Lamb's home made croissant rolls, Chrissy's pumpkin cookies and Sue's special green salad.
We set up dinner outside, because I like a sit down house is too small. So we set up tables on my driveway! I hang sheets on the archway for a little privacy.
I was little nervous because of the threat of rain. But it ended up being a beautiful day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Fire is still burning

We woke this morning to a strong smell of smoke & fire...but we are still in our home. The fire in our area is only 5% contained with heavy winds expected today. I was glued to the television until about 1:30 this morning and as soon as we were up we were back to our places in front of the TV.

Here are some photos of the thick layer of ash that is covering our home and our city.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fire in Brea, my home town

This morning Ruth & I were in East Brea working out in a boot camp. It is a great 1 hour work out. Ruth talked me into doing it with her. I am glad she did. I have muscles waking up that have been asleep for a long time.

This morning it was so hot and dry, it made our work out a little harder then usual. Then the wind started. I told Ruth that this was fire weather.., Unfortunately, I was correct. But I never imagine it would happen in my town. About an hour after I arrived home I was out the door again for an appointment. I notice two different spots were a little fires had just started. I could see little black clouds of smoke.

One looked as if it was a couple of miles from my home, in the park were Ruth and I had our workout. The other looked like it was in the next city over. I called my sister-in-law, Chrissy, who lives in Yorba Linda and asked if her home was on fire because were I was driving it looked like the fire was in her yard. She looked outside and gasped. She said it was dark and smoky. Her family had to be evacuated hours later.

My little city and the neighboring cities have been burning all day. A lot of friends from church have been evacuated. So far there have been no homes destroyed in Brea. There has been rumors of restaurants and buildings being burned. Sadly, in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills over 100 homes have been destroyed.
A beautiful home I was in just a few weeks ago has been burned to the ground.

The wind and heat is supposed to continue through tomorrow.
Hopefully it isn't going to get worse before it gets better.
My eyes have been glued to the news.

Here are some photos of the fire next to
Nathan's High School about 3 miles from our home
This photo was taken during the middle of the day.
The smoke was so thick that it made the sun look like a dull light.

This was a Yorba Linda Neighborhood

My office is in Yorba Linda and most of the agents live there too.

I pray that their homes will be spared.

Every year we have fires in Southern California due to our Santa Ana winds. But this is the first time in my life when the destruction was in my own backyard.

My Prayers are for those who have lost their homes and for our brave firemen who will be fighting these fires all night to save our neighborhoods.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I know I have friends and family who feel differently then I do. And I know many who have blogged on this very important issue. It is one day before the election so I know it is a little late but, I feel that I have to stand up for what I believe in. With permission from Caitlin Calder I am copying from her blog. She wrote about this important issue beautifully and what she said matched my feelings exactly.

Prop. 8 will put into the California Constitution that the definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. In 2000, 61% of voters agreed upon this definition and recently a small group of 4 activist judges went against the voice of the people and overturned the majority vote. Prop. 8 seeks to restore the decision of California voters and is on the ballot in this upcoming November Election

Tolerance, Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom:

Those who favor homosexual marriage contend that “tolerance” demands that they be given the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. The Savior taught that tolerance is a principle of love in His gospel. “Love thy neighbor,” He admonished. Matt. 19:19. Jesus loved the sinner even while decrying the sin, as evidenced in the case of the woman taken in adultery: treating her kindly, but exhorting her to “sin no more,”John 8:11. Tolerance as a gospel principle means love and forgiveness of one another, not “tolerating” transgression. In today’s secular world, the idea of tolerance has come to mean something entirely different. Instead of love, it has come to mean condone – acceptance of wrongful behavior as the price of friendship. Jesus taught that we love and care for one another without condoning transgression. But today’s politically palatable definition insists that unless one accepts the sin he does not tolerate the sinner.

As Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an Apostle from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has explained: "Tolerance obviously requires a non-contentious manner of relating toward one another’s differences. But tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or one’s opinions on political or public policy choices. Tolerance is a way of reacting to diversity, not a command to insulate it from examination. [15]"
Speaking out against practices that I disagree with on moral grounds – including same-sex marriage – does not constitute abuse or the frequently misused term “hate speech.” We can express genuine love and friendship for the homosexual family member or friend without accepting the practice of homosexuality or any re-definition of marriage. -Adapted from The Divine Institution of Marriage.

Proposition 8 does not take away any rights granted to a same-sex couple who have a civil union.

Gays and lesbians in California can already enjoy all of the legal rights and benefits of marriage. The California Family Code says, "domestic partners shall have all the rights, protections and benefits" of married spouses. There are no exceptions to this and Proposition 8 will not change that.

It is a MYTH that allowing gay couples to legally marry does not affect anyone else.

Perhaps the most common argument supporters of same-sex marriage make is that it is essentially harmless and will not affect traditional heterosexual marriage in any way. “It won’t affect you, so why should you care?’ is often heard. "While it may be true that allowing single-sex unions will not immediately and directly affect all existing marriages, the real question is how it will affect society as a whole over time, including the rising generation and future generations," (from the Divine Institution of Marriage).

In just one example of how this could negatively affect our children, should Prop. 8 not pass, is the changes in mandatory school curricula. Children will be taught, starting in Kindergarten, that marriage can be between a man and a woman, as well as between two men and two women. In Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal, a father of a kindergarten student tried to opt his child out of homosexual education. He was not only denied the right to remove his child, he was then arrested for trespassing (read about it here). Parents in Massachusetts are also fighting to keep a "gay fairy tale" called "King & King" from being read in their second grader's classroom (read about it here).

Those against Prop. 8 claim that gay marriage has nothing to do with furthering the gay agenda in schools. Many Californians are surprised to find out that homosexuality is already being taught in schools. First grade students (5 and 6 year-olds) in San Francisco were taken on a school sponsored field trip to attend a gay wedding. In another incident at a K-8 school in Hayward, October 23 was designated as "Coming Out Day." Posters depicting only homosexual families were hung all over the school. Parents were not notified of what was being taught at their children's school and they have now sought legal council (you can read about it here). Why is a parent's right to teach their children being taken away? Proponents of gay marriage contend that parents of children attending public school will be notified before being taught about homosexuality during the curriculum of sex education. To borrow from a friend's blog, "According to CA education code 51932(b), 'instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family life and do not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions' is not subject to the parental notice and opt-out laws. In other words, if schools are going to teach about marriage and family life, including homosexual marriage, they're not required to notify parents or give them an opt-out option if they're not also going to be teaching about the human reproductive system." There is a way that schools can work around notifying the parents, taking away a parent's right to opt-their child out. Gay activists argued successfully that Massachusetts’ parental opt-out provision should not be permitted. It is foolish to think that the same thing would not happen in California. Whether you support homosexuality or not, this is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn't be forced on us against our will.

Another consequence of Proposition 8 not passing is the rights that will be taken away from religious organizations. For those of you who attend church, this could greatly affect you. Pastors, priests, bishops, and other religious clergy who refuse to marry gay couples will be sued, even though it goes against their religious beliefs. Why is a person's First Amendment right to freedom of religion being taken away? Opponents of Prop. 8 support the closing down of religious adoption agencies who choose not to place children with same sex marriages (this has already happened in Massachusetts). Churches that do not support gay marriage could also lose their tax exemption diverting millions of dollars away from charitable causes.

There is so much more that I could say, but I have gone on long enough. I encourage those who are undecided on how to vote on Prop 8 to investigate the consequences of it not passing. If you are still unsure I ask that you take it to the Highest Authority. Pray to know the truth. In James 1:5 we are promised "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." I know that He will answer. I will end with a statement put out by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of which I am a member:

The Sanctity of Marriage

Strong, stable families, headed by a father and mother, are the anchor of civilized society. When marriage is undermined by gender confusion and by distortions of its God-given meaning, the rising generation of children and youth will find it increasingly difficult to develop their natural identity as a man or a woman. Some will find it more difficult to engage in wholesome courtships, form stable marriages, and raise yet another generation imbued with moral strength and purpose.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has chosen to become involved, along with many other churches, organizations, and individuals, in defending the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman because it is a compelling moral issue of profound importance to our religion and to the future of our society.

The final line in the Proclamation on the Family is an admonition to the world from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve [Apostles]: “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” This is the course charted by Church leaders, and it is the only course of safety for the Church and for the nation.


The Divine Institution of Marriage