Posts Tagged ‘testimony’

What A Difference A Year Makes: Revolutionary Prose Via Facebook

February 7, 2018

Facebook has a “Memory” feature which shows you what you were doing some year(s) ago. This morning I got a “memory” from one year ago (Feb. 6, 2017). To set the stage, about 3 weeks earlier, I’d made an offer on a cute little house just southwest of Downtown Salt Lake City. I was well qualified for it, had a decent contracting job as a trainer and writer (which helped me qualify to get the loan to buy the house), and my son was helping me get the mortage. Slam dunk, no brainer. BUT, about the last part of January, my contract suddenly ended. In otherwords, I was unemployed. As a result, the mortgage — which had been conditionally approved — was “unapproved.” And poof, just like that, the house of my dreams (I thought … or at least a cute house I could hold writer classes in), was someone else’s dream house. About a week later, Feb. 6th 2017, I wrote this (then read what I wrote today, afterwards!)
February 6, 2017 · Springville, UT ·
Two weeks ago I was certain I was going to move out of my small apartment into a 3-bedroom little Brick House with one previous owner, less than a couple hundred yards away from the International Peace Garden in Salt Lake City. Instead, last week, the sale fell through and I’m moving out of my apartment downstairs into one room basement apartment. Moral of the story? Life doesn’t always go the way you thought it would. Some may say I brought this on myself. One thing I can say is that I’m grateful for a roof over my head, lots of food in the fridge and freezer, hot running water, a car that works, and children who talk to me, a sense of what I’m about. No, it’s not where I thought I would be. In a lot of respects, it’s better.
This is what I wrote today, Feb. 6, 2018 — What a difference a year makes!
Wow. This memory (see above) blows me away. Why?
One year ago I was pretty sad about not getting the Salt Lake City house. And I was no longer working with Tom-Sircy Maggio (and others) at Eccovia Solutions! But I knew that Heavenly Father had a plan. HE told me things were going to be okay.
So what has happened in that year, from February 2017 until today? Shortly before that first posting, when everything was all falling apart, I started going to the LDS Temple. I decided to go for 100 days in a row. Then I got the impression, which I acted on, to go up to Seattle and work on selling my house in Kirkland. Through a lot of hard work from Camilla Kuhns and her mother, and thanks to realtor Erin Harold, we sold the house in June for significantly more than it was going to get when we first looked at putting it in the market in March and April.
During that time, I also worked a couple hours a day on my book (dealing with my “falling away” from the LDS Church, and how and why I repented and returned. But that’s another story). Thanks to Wendy Tinker, my friend, I had a place to stay to work on the house and the book. I finished the rough draft, and I’m now working on the final edits and getting it ready to be at least an ebook.
Then I felt prompted to go out to Wisconsin to be with my dad Gene L. Kuhns and my mom Anna Kuhns, and work with them. I did that. I also felt like I should cancel my LDS Planet online dating subscription, but not before it expired on July 3rd. So I set that cancellation in motion.
On July 1st, I met a woman online (yes, on LDSPlanet!), a writer ( with published fiction and nonfiction books, someone who did social media consulting, someone who held writers retreats and other events. We started talking. We resonated.
As I talked about how I was thinking of maybe buying a property in Wisconsin where I could hold writers’ retreats, she sent me a picture of her former house, where she had always dreamed of holding writers retreats. The house looked pretty interesting, and so did she. I figured even if we wouldn’t date, we had business interests in common, so I should pursue that.
I decided to meet her, and in early August flew down to Chattanooga. There, I saw her former house, near the Chickamauga National Battlefield. Unexpectedly, it had just gone on the market (it had been foreclosed months earlier). I decided to make an offer on the house, figuring even if we didn’t work out as a business partnership or as couple, it would still be a great property to own. I made an offer, and ended up getting the house. sunset from the front porch of my rural Northwest Georgia house
It is nearly 800 square feet bigger than the one I was going to buy in Salt Lake. Instead of being several hundred yards away from a 40 acre Park, it is 200 yards away from a 5600-acre National Battlefield. Instead of being on a small quarter acre lot surrounded by inner-city neighbors, it is on nearly a 2-acre lot surrounded by even more acreage and one neighbor about a hundred yards away. Instead of looking out an old small living room window at a neighbor’s chain link fence, trashy house trailer with two large barking dogs, or looking out my back window at the backyard of a small run-down house with garbage heaped everywhere, I look out my living room window at red cedar trees, Georgia pines, and tall oak and hickory trees on a hill sloping down toward a sod farm. Out the bedroom windows, or out my office window, I look across a gently sloping yard full of wildflowers

Wildflowers and my rural Northwest Georgia house - Sept 2017

Wildflowers and my rural Northwest Georgia house – Sept 2017

to hickory trees, and beyond that a well-manicured sod farm. If I walk for about 5 minutes from my large front porch, I come to a prehistoric Native American fishing weir on the West Chickamauga Creek. Crossing that creek, I have access to a 5600 Acre National Park Civil War National Battlefield operated by the US Park Service. The house is several decades newer, Hickory Hill -- my new house in rural Northwest Georgia, Sept 2017and I bought it — all cash because I’d sold the house in Seattle — for much less than I would have paid for the house in Salt Lake.
I moved out of a 1 bedroom room in a house in central Utah, to a 5-bedroom home in Northwest Georgia in late August.
Through the course of the autumn and winter, Marnie L Pehrson and I continued to develop a business relationship. We held a writer’s retreat with Denise Lasswell Webster, and I helped Marnie with a Women’s Conference in Southern California.
And we dated. Although the house and the property were awesome, I wanted to see if there might be more.
And there is.
One year to the day after I wrote the first post above, I am 4 days away from being married for forever in the Nashville LDS temple to a woman I love, and who loves and adores me. We resonate not only emotionally and business-wise, but spiritually, mentally, and in many other ways.
Heavenly Father amazes me! I sing praises to Him. I am beyond belief grateful not only for what has happened, but what will happen. The house, the property, the relationship all allow me, allow us, to have a place of Peace, of Refuge, of Solace and Solitude, a place where we can invite our children and grandchildren, our relatives, our friends, our neighbors, and friends we haven’t met yet, to relax, to learn, to explore, to write, to create, to observe, to feel, to connect, to heal, to find peace, health, happiness and joy. Rather than living near the International Peace Garden, I can create my own!
One year ago, I would not have thought any of this was possible. I didn’t even think of it! The vision had not yet unfolded. He simply told me step-by-step what to do. In fact, if you look at the story from both of our perspectives, it seems so incredible that if we wrote it in a novel, nobody would believe it. Yet here we are.
God is good … all the time.


He Knows Him: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

April 16, 2017

He is a simple/
follower of Christ, and speaks/
the truth from knowing.

Simple And Direct Prophet: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

April 2, 2017

The Prophet’s message/
is simple and direct. I’m/
glad I’m obeying.

For the back story to this, read this long free verse poem I wrote several years ago:

Well Done, Joe. RIP: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

January 14, 2017

It’s a life well lived/
when your funeral tales speak/
of your love for God.

Testimony Bare Prayer: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

January 14, 2017

When Saints have a strong/
testimony of God, they/
teach when they’re praying.

When you have a strong/
Testimony of God, you/
teach when you’re praying.

Handling The Truth: Revolutionary Blogging Haiku

August 4, 2015

If you don’t want me/
to tell you the Truth, don’t ask./
You can’t handle it.

Courage To Confess: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

March 15, 2015

As I again got/
the courage to say: “I know!”,/
others confessed, too.

Do You Have A Bike Path And A Red Chair? Revolutionary Blogging Free Verse Poem

March 12, 2015

The storm is coming./
It’s in the air./
You can feel it
gathering strength.
Friends, relations,
loved ones
are already being
blown away.

Church vaults open.
Worried, wondering,
folks peer inside.
They see the dirt,
the cobwebs,
smell the dank,
the dust,
the mold
the hidden,
the historical documents
they feared
all along.

And they wail
and rail.
Nobody told us!
We were LIED TO!
We were deceived!”

Were we?
Would they tell
their 9-year-olds
about 50 shades?
Would they expose them
to everything?
Or would they protect them
and show them
the good?
Let them feel
the joy?

I have no problem
with that,
with being protected.
I have no problem
with historical documents.
I never feared them,
though I knew they were there.

Why not?
Because I have
a bike path
and a red chair.

Each time
I drive my children,
my family,
my friends,
past a sloping path
for bikes
and pedestrians
that lead
from learning
to home,
I point out the spot
on the path.

It once overlooked
a baseball diamond,
red dirt infield,
green grass outfield.
Close to the tunnel,
it now gazes
into classrooms
and offices.

But the path
is still there.
“There”, I say confidently,
“is where it happened.”

“There is where
I learned
more than any degree
could give.”

on the side of the bike path,
knowledge streaming,
tears streaming,
is where
I learned,
and knew
what is true.”
“God lives.
Jesus lives.
He died for me.
He loves me.
The Book of Mormon
is the Word of God.”

I believed it,
but I needed to know it.
And I now point
to the bike path.

“Yeah, Dad/Dave,
we KNOW!
You tell us
every time
we drive by,”
they say.
At least they know
that once I doubted.
Once I questioned.
But then I asked.
And now they know
that I know
what I know.

The red chair?
It’s probably long gone.
The apartment
above the Friseur
where two young servants
a bathroom
with liquid-defecating
is probably
someone else’s.

It was there,
in the red, overstuffed
I read,
I wondered,
I questioned,
I asked.
It was there,
leaning back,
that I learned
more that I needed
to know.

The Boy Prophet
was and is
a prophet,
like Paul,
like Peter,
like Moses,
like Adam.
God’s servant.

I didn’t know
before that.
Although the bike path
showed me truth,
I didn’t get all of it
The red chair
gave me more.
Only a few
(like you)
now know
what I now know.
Ich weiss.

I’ve had more
Even when not
in the flock,
I learned
“Tommy True Tone”.
But the bike path
and the red chair
and are
my foundations.

How did
that happen?
God promises.
I believe.
Each time,
I asked.
“Ask!” He says.
So I did.
And do.
And He answered
and answers.

Now the dank,
flows out,
and past misdeeds
of venerated,
come to full light.
They blind some.
People hide,
or cry,
or anger,
and get confused.
They leave.
“We were deceived!”
“We were lied to!”
They cry again
and again.
Where will they go?
I wonder.

Didn’t they know
this was coming?
From Oz,
and from the Internet,
and from billboards
along I-15,
I heard these voices
long ago.
Even before then,
“Know the Truth!” pamphlets
were passed out.
was there.

There is truth
in exposure.
Some of it
IS disturbing.
Some of it
IS surprising.
Some of it
IS disgusting.
Some of it
IS shocking.

I stay.
Why would I leave?
Where would I go?
It doesn’t matter
Moses killed.
It doesn’t matter
Peter ear’d.
It doesn’t matter
Joseph dug for gold,
and had hormones
and made mistakes,
and adapted his story
to his audience,
and used
when advised not to.
It doesn’t matter
if there were Mountain Meadows
flowing red.
It doesn’t matter
if God’s servants
hid full truth
to protect me
and us.

I know:
It’s simplistic.
I know:
It’s easy.
I know:
It’s not complicated.

None of that matters
to me.
I asked.
Then I have walked
on a bike path,
and I have sat
in a red chair.

I know.

He Prayed At The Church Potluck: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

November 4, 2014

He prayed at the church/
potluck for the Apostles/
and Prophet. He’ll stay.
At the church potluck,/
he prayed for the Prophet and/
Apostles. He’ll stay.
He’s good.

Weak LDS Church Women? NOT! Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

October 5, 2014

Those who think women/
in the Church are weak should hear/
their testimonies.