Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Thoughts...

I seem to remember less and less about my childhood. I need to start writing about what happened when I was a kid, before the memories fade to nothing. Heck, I just need to write more often. I know that I am a better writer than most, but I am not cultivating that gift. Time to start writing and stop wasting time.

I have some new years goals. They are as follows.

1) Lose 38 more pounds. I weighed 225 when I married Suzette in 1992, but allowed myself to get huge. I have since lost quite a bit of weight and have been able to keep it off. I weigh 257 right now and want to weigh 220. Once I reach that goal I will re-evaluate how I feel and look and then consider if I need to lose any more.

2) Start blogging 3 times a week. Whether it is on this one or Random Rumblings, I need to write more. I am considering starting a third blog that might include some creative writing.

3) Get my diabetes completely under control. I have neglected this for far too long. This is the most difficult one. Most of the foods that I eat are high in fat and carbs, the latter of the two is what raises my blood sugar. I finally went to the doctor just before Christmas and have the meds needed to start. I have begun to change the way I eat, but it is proving much harder than I thought. My blood sugar has stayed stubbornly high, despite my seeming work at lowering it. But if I want to be around much past 50, these are changes I must make. I owe it to my two girls and my wife, not to mention me. Of the three goals, this is the one that I need to enlist the Lord's help in.

Its amazing how the body starts to crave the things that you are trying to intentionally deprive yourself of. The problem is that I have no substitutes. When I was first diagnosed, I quit drinking sugar drinks. This took only a little effort and I have never really had any trouble with relapsing. In fact I love the fact that I can drink as much diet drink I want and it has no effect on my weight or blood sugar (unless I drink to much caffeine). How do I replace potatoes, toast, hamburger buns or flour tortillas? This is going to be a struggle. But as I told my students just yesterday, nothing worth while is easy! Its time to live my own advice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank you Bishop Murray

I was saddened on Sunday as I watched our Bishop get released after five years of faithful service. Bishop Murray was my bishop during the most difficult time of my life; the weeks and months following my wife Suzette's death. When I went up to thank him, I felt a rush of emotion come over me and I was unable to express to him my thanks for being such a help to me as I struggled through the a very tough trial.

Bishop Murray, I want to thank you for your service. Your kind words, empathetic ear, example and spirit are an inspiration to me. At my lowest point, you were there. When I got home from Flagstaff, you were one of the first people at my door. I will always remember you for your selfless service to me. I know that you were the right man for our ward. You will always be held in the highest esteem in my mind and in my heart. Thank you for your faithful service. And while I know our new bishop is the right man to succeed you, I will miss seeing you up at the pulpit each Sunday.

See you next week.

Greg Arnold.

Monday, July 27, 2009

It is interesting how the Lord works.

I do not write here enough. Things have been tough of late, and I guess I did not want to be a negative nelly. These past several months have been difficult and have been a trial for Lisa and I. But I have been blessed of late. I made such a huge mistake last year not accepting the contract offered to me by Laveen, or finding a teaching job closer to home and pursuing a career in IT. In a regular economy it would not have been a bad decision, but in this crap economy man did I pay for it.

I began looking again for teaching job last November, but unfortunately the AZ economy and state budget were so bad, that a lot of districts began laying off people. Thus it did not look like I was going to find a job in teaching, at least in the state of AZ. So, I started looking at Texas, with a better economy and way more teaching jobs. And after some initial interest, I could not get a bite there either. I prayed hard for guidance as to where and what I should be doing.

I have to say, my faith was beginning to wain a bit. I was starting to wonder what more I could do. I had been praying almost hourly, pleading with the Lord for help. I wondered if anyone was listening. I prayed more, but began to have doubts. I had a few interviews, ironically more in AZ than Texas (even though there were way more jobs available in Texas), but nothing came through. I had good interviews, but seemed to be just missing on timing. I had one Assistant Principal tell me that they had offered on position to someone else, but were sure that another teacher was going to not renew his contract and would offer that position to me. Of course that person renewed (there were no other jobs anywhere else), and I was out of luck again.

So after almost four weeks of nothing, out of nowhere I received a call from another principal in the district where I had almost landed a job. He told me that I came highly recommended from another assistant principal (the one I spoke of before), and that he wanted to meet me. I jumped at the chance and had a job by the end of the week. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father had a hand in my job search. And as I thank him I feel a bit ashamed that I doubted Him.

In Sunday School yesterday we were talking about adversity and trials. We were discussing the Prophet Joseph as he suffered while being unjustly imprisoned in Liberty Jail. In Section 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants, Joseph Smith laments his state and calls upon God asking where He is, and to deliver him from bondage. The Lord responded with some words of comfort and also some soft words of rebuke. The rest of Section 121 and 122 are the words which the Lord spoke to the Prophet, comforting him chastening him to keep the faith. The instructor in Sunday School began to relate his own life experiences to the trials of the Prophet Joseph. He talked about his own trials which were difficult by any measure. He asked if anyone else could relate to Joseph Smith. We talked about dealing with trials, and while I feel like I have been through my share, (some of which were by my own doing), I was reminded of the scripture in D&C 122:8. The scriptures before describe potential trials that could come to the Prophet Joseph (and to anyone else as well) and some of which are quite terrifying. But then the Lord says, "The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than He?"

I raised my hand and quoted this scripture. With tears in my eyes I was reminded that the Savior suffered all. He understands what I am going through in mortality. In comparison to Job, and many many other apostles, prophets and many good and worthy saints my sufferings are minuscule in comparison. Regardless, the Lord understands what we are all going through and if we can just trust in him, and remain faithful, we can be comforted in knowing that He has been there. he has suffered, and that he will intercede on our behalf and help us.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another Conference!

Conference weekend came and went. It was a welcome site to see the Conference Center in SLC filled to capacity again. I don't think I have more looked forward to a general conference than I did since the conference that followed 9/11/2001. While I was scared for the physical safety of my family then, it was different. As I grow older and have had to deal with some very serious trials, physical death seems to bring me less and less fear. The only thing that I fear about physical death now, is whether or not I will be ready to meet my maker.

The problems of this world now, though, seem to me to be so much more serious. The economic crisis in this country is real, and seems to threaten the American way of life. Furthermore, the leaders of our country are so consumed with a short term fix of the economy, while disregarding the potential long term ramifications of central planning and massive deficit spending that could lead to such runnaway inflation that could make the late 1970's inflation seem tame in comparison.

It was nice to hear from our leaders though. I am sure that they see much the same things as I do. Their talks did not talk about a rosy future for the people of this Earth. But what I heard was a comforting voice from the Lord, saying "Fear Not. Be of good cheer. You have the truthfulness of the gospel to guide you through these rough times. It will not be easy, but if you hold fast to the Gospel Plan, and remember what is truly important, your worldly burdens can be made lighter."

He did not sweep away my personal responsibility. In fact in some ways I got a much needed kick in the hind parts. But I am so thankful, at this very difficult time in the World's history, to have the guidance of the Lord through his Apostles and Prophets.

It has been too long since I have last written on here, especially since this has become a sort of a journal. I will try to write more often. My future posts may be quite short, but I will do my best to keep things more current.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I don't post on this blog enough....

I have not been very diligent in posting on my personal blog. I will endeavor to post more often.

Times have been both good and tough lately. I am doing well in some ways. I have lost another 13 lbs and now am down to 258 lbs. When I was at my fattest I weighed in roughly at 315 lbs. So I have lost 57 lbs. Not bad. How have I done it? I am not really sure. I have not exercised like I should, but I have cut back on what I eat. I read somewhere that losing weight is as simple as eating fewer calories than one needs to maintain a certain weight. When I was at my heaviest, I started to just try and eat less. It has taken more than 6 years, but I have lost weight and kept it off. So I guess I am doing something right.

This brings me to my New Years goals. I don't think resolutions but rather have set a few goals that I want to keep this year. They are as follows:

1) Lose the last 37 lbs of extra weight that I still have one me. My target weight is 220 lbs. This would put me at what I weighed when I got married in 1993. While the "tables" say I should weigh 180 lbs, which was lighter than I was when I returned from my mission (195).

2) Read the Book of Mormon 3 times. This is a goal set by our Bishop this year. I have not read the Book of Mormon in from beginning to end in so long I am embarrassed to say.

3) Pray every morning and night. 41 years old and I have not established this habit.

That's it. I will report on my progress.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Christmas is Almost Here

Yet another Christmas is almost here. It is hard to believe that I have been through 41 of these. I am thankful for what I have been blessed with. I have two wonderful girls, and five step children. I feel so blessed to have found Lisa during such a dark period of my life. She is my best friend. I don't have much else to write today, but I will try to make a point to write again soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I need to be more proactive..

In posting to my personal blog. It has been a while. I turned 41 last week. For the first time in my life I am starting to feel old. This is simply because when I was little I used to think how old my dad was when he was 40. Now I am older than what I thought was old. It is weird. I am not embarrased about my age the way some people are, but this birthday was the first time where I felt like I was being reminded that I am just getting old.

I am looking forward to my road trip this weekend to cheer BYU on to victory or UCLA. Whether they win or lose it should be a good game. I am trying to get Lisa to go with me, but her schedule might preclude her from going. I hope she can.