…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Some Things Are Bigger Than We Are

And Some Things Are Not

By Rex Goode


Categories: Abuse,Acceptance,Issues,Perseverance,Personal

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bigwheel_small

Northern Pacific Class A Locomotive (1938)

Life is often about dealing with things that we didn’t plan. No matter how carefully you do plan, you can always count on some kind of opposition. In Latter-day Saint theology, this is a fundamental part of how we view life. We often quote from one of our scriptures that says, “There must needs be an opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11)…”

We believe it strongly because we can all attest that nothing ever seems to be easy. We are constantly battling forces that seem intent on destroying or hindering our plans. It is one of the most annoying things about being human. I frequently find myself asking, “Why can’t something be easy for a change?” (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


That Lonely, Unfrequented Way

Comfortable versus Comfort

By Rex Goode


Categories: Doctrinal,Faith,Inspiration,Perseverance,Personal,Prayer

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I’ve never been very methodical in choosing my way through life. An acquaintance of mine, an author of self-help books, once told me he thought of me as a flow-finder, someone who doesn’t need to think things through at a minute level. Instead, I get in touch with the way things flow in my life and let that flow carry me to the things I most want and need.

Another acquaintance, also an author of self-help books asked me to come visit him at the Portland Airport while he waited for a connecting flight. He gave me a copy of his book and told me that I was epitome of the kind of person he was writing about, someone who bases the progress of life on principles rather than analysis. (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Self-Imposed Ignorance

My Number One Thing

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Faith,Marriage,Perseverance,Same-sex Attraction

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ME19Around the time I turned 16, as I have related before, I had a profound prayer experience where I promised Heavenly Father I would turn my life in a different direction. As difficult as it has been, I have kept the promises I made then. My life is everything I wanted it to be, except for financial pressures.

Recently, North Star International, an organization dedicated to serving Latter-day Saints affected by same-sex attraction, announced that their blog, NorthernLights, was reopening after about a year’s hiatus. As one of the authors there, I will have a chance to post some of my thoughts occasionally.

One of my co-authors, Greg Barnett, recently posed a question on his day. The entry is called, “10 Things,” and the question was: “List 10 things you would tell your 16-yr-old self regarding your experience with same-sex attraction if you could.” (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Light Thoughts

I Would Learn the Healer’s Art

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Change,Inspiration,Issues,Service,Support,Tolerance

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youngsriver As the news media continues to report the events that prompted me to write “Dark Thoughts,” I’ve wondered just how much they can keep reporting the same things over and over and continuing to call them things like “breaking news” and “new information.” I suppose that is the news game, but not tactics I greatly admire.

I’ve had much more that I’ve wanted to say about the tragic shooting at Reynolds High School almost two weeks ago. I don’t have any inside knowledge; I have no new facts to reveal; I am as much in the dark about how things unfolded as anyone. Yet there is still a lot going on in side of me that pulls at my heart over it. (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Dark Thoughts

Sorrow That the Eye Can’t See

By Rex Goode


Categories: Abuse,Depression,Inspiration,Pain,Support,Tolerance

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jmpLast Tuesday morning, I heard the news of a shooting at Reynolds High School in nearby Troutdale, Oregon. I didn’t think much of it. People I knew were posting that everyone they knew got out and was safe. Because I was working, I didn’t watch the news much.

On Wednesday morning, I was with a client and happened to check Facebook to see if any other workers were doing something that might interest my client. When I opened the app on my phone, there was a picture of a young man I knew, Jared Michael Padgett, identified as the shooter. I knew from the news that the shooter was dead.

(more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Oh What Songs of the Heart

Reflections on Eternal Life

By Eric Chaffey


Categories: Faith,Gratitude,Inspiration,Prayer

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It’s been far too long since I’ve written a  blog post on here. A lot has happened in the last nine months. Some things have changed and others haven’t. In the experiences of same sex attraction, changes, anxiety etc. My love of hymns and music remains and I’m so grateful for the comfort they provide.  (more…)

2 people like this post.

Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Antecedents

Finding Reasons

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Change,Family History,Ideas,Personal

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JesseDrone

Jesse Drone

An antecedent is something that came before and had a part in causing or influencing a later thing. Our ancestors are examples of antecedents. They came before us and had a part in causing us and influencing us.  Other antecedents are events that led to other events, or ideas that gave rise to other ideas.

In grammar, an antecedent is a noun or name that tells us what pronouns mean. Consider, for example, “Jimmy picked up a toy. He gave it to his sister.” “Jimmy” is the antecedent for “He” and “a toy” is the antecedent for “it.” (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


The Platitude Attitude

Vaunted Strength

By Rex Goode


Categories: Inspiration,Personal,Poetry

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platitudeThey’re all over the internet, especially FaceBook—little sayings that have the masses nodding their heads in agreement and sharing them with others. They come in all flavors, but one kind that asserts itself a lot is the sentiment summed up in Frank Sinatra’s famous rendition of “My Way.”

The idea has its roots in secularism and bias against religion, asserting the supremacy of individuals over all external forces, even God. The problem with most platitudes is that they have a ring of truth to them and may even seem profoundly religious.

They seem to be consistent with scripture and religious doctrine, but the main flaw is that they leave out of morality anything that God has revealed. I remember one Sunday when I was a youth. I had come across and memorized the poem, “Invictus,” by William Ernest Henley. I was supposed to give a talk on “free agency” as understood by Latter-day Saints. (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Because He Lives

I, Too, Shall Live

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Gratitude,Inspiration,Perseverance,Personal

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jesusartI take my title and subtitle from a favorite Christian anthem of mine, “Open the Gates of the Temple.” It is an invitation for all people to open their hearts to the Savior, comparing our bodies to the temple. The end section borrows from the Handel’s Messiah aria, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.”

The final line of “Open the Gates of the Temple” declares, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and because He lives, I, too shall live!” On this Easter morning, I want to declare my faith in that same promise, but with a twist.

Often, Christian faith is about the promise of heaven, salvation in the life to come. As thoroughly and completely as I believe in this, I would find life too discouraging to think only about that eventual benefit of faith. (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


In Nameless Ways Be Good and Kind

The Core of Latter-Day Saint Theology

By Rex Goode


Categories: Doctrinal,Faith,Gratitude,Prayer

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A few days ago, I had a conversation with one of my morning swim buddies. He’s a Ph.D. in biochemistry, a thoroughly scientific fellow. He’s not so scientific as to rule out the existence of God, but is often critical of organized religion. He doesn’t really reveal much about his own view of God and spirituality, but is always inquisitive and respectful about mine, when we talk about it. He also happens to be a client of mine for whom I do contract software engineering, so we have gotten to know each other pretty well.

On that morning, he began a conversation with me asking if I communicate with God. I replied that I did and he wanted to know how I do that. I talked about kneeling in prayer, which he interrupted right away and made the statement that he thought that was unnecessary. I explained to him that I realized that God would hear me regardless of my position, but that it creates an attitude in me that I find makes my prayers more effective. I also admitted that I’ve taken to sitting for prayers because my knees just can’t handle kneeling anymore.

(more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Why Should We Mourn?

Or Think Our Lot Is Hard?

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Faith,Family,Issues,Perseverance,Personal,Same-sex Attraction,Tolerance

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I’m not Mormon Pioneer stock like a lot of Latter-day Saints. My grandmother was the earliest convert, although one ancestor before her was married to a Mormon. Yet, as all Latter-day Saints, I owe gratitude to the pioneers who fled persecution in the east to settle in the Salt Lake valley and establish a refuge for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to allow it to gather strength and become the beacon of faith it now is.

Like most of my faith and generation, I grew up hearing and singing the great anthem of the Church, “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” Out here in Oregon, at least in my area, it doesn’t get sung that much, but I remember it very well.

Obviously, there is much that attracts me about the Mormon faith, else I wouldn’t have made such a great effort to remain faithful to it. Even though I am not the descendant of Mormon pioneers, I have a deep admiration and respect for pioneers. My wife is the descendant of Oregon pioneers and I have done a fair amount of reading about them.

(more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Memories

By Rex Goode


Categories: Abuse,Change,Inspiration,Personal

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ME6In the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is show some of the Christmas times of his past in an effort to soften his curmudgeonly attitude towards Christmas. Depending on whether you read the story or watch the multitude of dramatizations of it, you begin to see how the old miser got the way he is. He suffered from neglect by his family, perhaps even abuse at the hands of a cruel father, and many setbacks related to his own poor choices.

I’ll say right up front that my childhood wasn’t all rosy. I suffered from abuse and emotional neglect. It was hard being in the Church back then, in the sixties. There were no doubt many broken homes and blended families in America, but there weren’t that many at church. Every child I knew at church came from a fully intact, no divorce involved, family. Naturally, I couldn’t know if they were being treated like I was, but they all seemed so secure and safe. (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Sappy

The Beauty of Transformation

By Rex Goode


Categories: Change,Faith,Gratitude,Inspiration

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kleenexThe holiday season is when I watch a lot of highly sentimental stuff. I’m a sucker for movies that are meant to evoke a strong, emotional response. It runs in my family.

I was always amazed at my mom and her sisters. We all lived far apart, but whenever we would visit, which seemed fairly often, they would get a little snippy with each other. Yet, when it was time to go home, they all started crying. Actually, I was impressed.

It wasn’t really spoken of, but things had not always been wonderful between them all, especially my Aunt Jaquita, my grandmother, and my mom. There had been a falling out in the past but I only learned much later in life that it revolved around me. Still, when they forgave, it was an all-out forgiveness and that is an inspiration to me to this day. I think it is important for families to quickly forgive each other.

At these teary moments of parting, I would get teary too, though as a young boy I was quick to hide it. It wasn’t just the natural reluctance that almost all boys have to being seen crying. My stepfather used to say to me, “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.”

The abuser in my family warped that into, “I’m going to hit you until you stop crying.” I learned very quickly to put the brakes on my tears.

In my adulthood, I’ve only grown more prone to crying at emotional stuff. A talk in church, a television commercial or show, a movie, all can make me cry. It’s a little embarrassing, but I’m glad I’m that way.

As I do with so many things, I like to understand why I am the way I am and I’ve thought about this propensity for sappiness at movies. Why do some emotional movies trigger a dam burst and others just a sniffle or two? It seems so strange to me, as I wipe my eyes. I’ll think, “That was really hokey, but why am I crying?”

One Magic Christmas is the story of a woman who has lost the spirit of Christmas as hard times have come to her and her family. A Christmas angel named Gideon is sent to help her find Christmas spirit again. He does this through some encounters with the intervention of Santa Claus in some tragedies that happen.

I recently watched One Magic Christmas, a holiday favorite of mine. It’s Santa and his angel minion, Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton), to the rescue. They do an attitude adjustment on Ginny (Mary Steenburgen) through a series of tragedies and resolutions. At the end, I cry.

What puzzles me about it is that I don’t literally believe in Santa Claus in a direct sort of way. I believe in the possibility of a man translated into an immortal of sorts who lives on earth and does good. I believe that might include helping children have things at Christmas. I also believe in angels and their ministrations to us.

Yet, the story of the transformation of Ginny is far from plausible and highly sentimental, though very well-acted. It seemed funny to me that I would get sappy over it, until it came to me what kinds of things make me tear up.

I get the same way over all of the many versions of A Christmas Carol. What gets to my tear ducts and sinuses is transformation. That’s something I really believe in. When my mother would part tearfully from my grandmother and aunt after some disagreements, when Ebenezer Scrooge shows up to offer to pay for Tiny Tim to get better, when Ginny finally says “Merry Christmas” again, and when someone changes for the better, I find that deeply moving.

I believe it is because of my own transformation from a teenager on the road to death and hell to the confidence of one determined to dedicate his life to the Savior that reached into his heart and changed him. I relate very well to all stories of transformation from someone in the depths of pain to someone in the light of hope. It reaches me. It makes me cry.

My heart strings are tuned to the beauty of transformation, no matter how small or even seemingly trivial. I see it and I want to burst into tears of joy that to me represent the joy I remember at my own transformation.

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


My New Old Calling

And Other Idiosyncracies of the Mormon Dialect

By Rex Goode


Categories: Doctrinal,Service

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Confused?

Sometimes it seems like Mormons speak their own brand of English and indeed we do. Sometimes, the things we say can really confuse people who aren’t familiar with our practices. Something from my recent life is a good example. If you are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and never have been, let’s see if you can decipher this.

Tonight I was set apart for my new calling, which is the same calling as the one I was just released from. I was sustained a few weeks ago during stake conference, but because of illness, they didn’t get around to setting me apart until tonight. My new old calling is as the first counselor to the Stake Sunday School President. The reason I got released and called again is because the former president was called to be on the High Council and the new president asked for me to be his first counselor. He used to be the second counselor. The new second counselor has been serving as the Sunday School President in his ward.

If you’re confused, I’m going to try to explain it to you. Ready? (more…)

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.


Letting Go

Cleaning House

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Issues

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messIt has been a very long time since I’ve posted anything. Things are very hectic around here. We are rearranging our house to make room for some family members that need a place to stay for awhile. I can’t believe how much stuff I have accumulated.

I have an office in the house and it was full of good intentions, things I’ve meant to work on and accomplish. I wouldn’t say that I’m a hoarder. I don’t like a mess. I really like space more than I like obstacles, but when you don’t have nearly as much money as you’d like, it’s hard to let go of something that is no longer a priority.

Even harder to accept is recognizing that there are some things I’d love to do but am just not going to get around to them, at least not in the foreseeable future. It’s strange to talk about the past and the future in the same thought, but most of the plans I’ve made, that are now represented by the stuff I’ve collected, are plans of the past that never made it into the present and may never be realized in the future.

Yet, if there is a theme of my life, it is accepting things that cannot be changed. I live it and I preach it. Not accepting things that can’t be changed leads to deep depression and regret. I see it so much in people I know who are stuck in their problems. They can’t accept that past abuses happened, that life is difficult by design, and that you can’t wish a bad past away.

I’m looking right now at a big bin full of junk. On top of it is a Frisbee-like toy I bought at a dollar store. I bought it because I thought it would be a good activity for clients, to go to the park and play Frisbee. Couldn’t get any of them interested in it. So, now I have to decide that it isn’t something I’m likely to use any time soon. Out it goes. If someday, I find I need one, I can always buy another.

So, I look at the things I’ve got to sort out and decide about. With each item, I have to make a decision about whether to keep it. More than that, I have to let go of the plan it represents.

I’m dividing things into four categories: keep, put in storage, throw away, and donate to Deseret Industries. No, I am not going to have a yard sale.

So, I look at the things I’ve got to sort out and decide about. With each item, I have to make a decision about whether to keep it. More than that, I have to let go of the plan it represents.

My life is like that. I have enough past to fill a warehouse, but some things just need to be tossed out and let go of.

 

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Copyright 2017, Inner Vessel Productions.