Category Archives: Uncategorized

Some Thoughts on Belief

yodaIn Hebrews 11:1 in the bible it says “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Now I have never met Yoda in real life and I am not going to say that I believe that Yoda exists, but the idea contained in the picture to the left is something I do believe in. So the question comes to mind what is belief?

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
– Siddhãrtha Gautama (Buddha)

I have come to know that belief is an action. Belief is something you do. When you truly believe in something you will work to make that idea become a reality. The question does not become if you can believe. Everyone can believe in something. The question becomes is the something I believe good. If you can answer yes to that question there is no doubt in what you should do.

Learning Our Duty

“We never fail when we try to do our duty, we always fail when we neglect to do it.”
Robert Baden-Powell

Part of making goals is learning how to prioritize what is most important to you. This is going to be different for everyone. When you learn what is the most important that becomes your duty.

I think if I had to list my top 5 priorities it would go something like follows:

1) God – If it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t exist. I know that God the Father created me for to have joy and to learn to live with him again someday. He sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to redeem me of my sins. He guides me through the Holy Ghost so that I can learn to make correct decisions to return to Him someday.

2) Wife – I love Denise so much it is hard to put into words. She is my friend, my partner, my lover, the mother of my children, my confident, and my greatest cheerleader. I trust her with everything and place my hope and eternal happiness in making her happy.

3) Family – They love me unconditionally and so I am compelled to love them in the same manner. My family is by no means perfect, but even though we have tested each other many times I have found that family is a bond that cannot be broken.

4) Work – I believe that honest work makes an honest man. To that end I intend to give my all in the pursuit of happiness and prosperity. To my job I owe my loyalty and diligence. I have an unspoken duty to any employer to give them a hard day’s labour and in return I expect fair and adequate compensation.

5) Church – Some might be confused with this being number 5, but to explain Church (to me) is not the same as God. Church is a community of faith that helps us become closer to God. I believe that all humanity are brother and sisters. I believe that we must love and help all regardless of who they are, even if they hate me or do not agree with my beliefs.

“The List”

dreams It has been a very quiet birthday. I mean how does one celebrate their 37 birthday?! It isn’t what I would call a milestone in any sense. In fact it has been a pretty quiet birthday. Overall life is good. I can’t really complain. Life isn’t perfect, but it isn’t bad either.

Anyhow, I was thinking I wanted to give myself a present. I thought about it for a while and I decided for my own present I would give myself a new website. Designing a website is easy. I do that all the time, the hard part is deciding what the website was going to be about.

The name of the website is going to be This website/blog is going to be dedicated about making something out of nothing. It might be something great, then again it might be just another of many websites that have come and gone. As the name implies this website is about the goals and travel. More importantly, it is about the journey that gets to that goal.

So the first question of course is what is the goal? In 2010 I made a “list.” I made this list after I found a site called, it’s a site where you can get a really good deal, but it’s only available for 72 hrs. Well, on this deal, which I obviously bought, you got a bunch of self-help books (22 of them, pretty desperate I know) for only $97. One of the books was titled Reclaim Your Dreams. Basically, it talked about how we all have dreams and forget about them. Which got me thinking “Wait, a minute! I think I have some dreams, I think I even wrote them down!” So I looked it up and sure enough I did write them down.

I started to list my dreams out and then I decided I wanted to add some more and this is what I got:
(Completed / In Progress stuff is in parenthesis)
1) Hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
2) Visit Rome and Cinque Terre
3) See the Pyramids in Egypt
4)See the Capitols of all 50 states (CO, UT, AZ, CA, NV)
5) Hike the PCT or AT (Started part of it)
6) Run a marathon (11/10/12, Santa Barbara)
7) Enter a food eating contest (done in 1995 UCSB)
8) Ride a mechanical bull
9) Drive all of route 66
10) See the White House (done 8/11/10)
11) Visit the Statue of Liberty
12) Visit Vienna
13) Eliminate all personal debts
14) Memorize one book in the New Testament
15) See all of the California 21 missions (S Fern, S Diego, S Barb, S Inez, s Gabriel, S Luis Obispo, La Purisima, S Buena Ventura, S Luis Rey, S Juan Capistrano, S Francisco Solano (Sonoma), S Rafael, S Juan Baustista, Soledad, S Antonio de Padua, S Miguel, Dolores, S Clara, S Carmel, S Cruz, S Jose )

16) Learn to milk a cow.
17) See a show on Broadway
18) Get a video to 5000 views (EDIT: Accomplished as of 12/2/12 my video “Calle Revolucion, Tijuana, Mexico” is at 16,698 views)
19) Weigh 184 (195 now)
20) Ride an Ostrich
21) Swim in the Hearst Castle pool
22) Participate in a historical re-enactment
23) write a book
24) write a comic strip
25) grow a vegetable garden
26) Memorize all Articles of Faith (Done 6/1/14)
27) Make a living with a personal business
28) Climb Mt. Fuji, Japan (Done 7/2/16)
29) Visit Tikal, Guatemala (Done March 2012)
30) Go on two missions (1 was 96-98 Buenos Aires North)
31) Visit the Sacred Grove
32) Become an Analyst / Manager
33) Get a blog post up to 20,000 views
34) Ride 100 miles on a bicycle.

I told Denise (my wife) about this list and she told me she also has goals and so I decided to list them as well:

1. Be a healthy weight.
2. Hike a 50 miler carrying own pack.
3. Week plus roadtrip in RV/Teardrop
4. See Independence Hall, PA.
5. Visit a Civil War Battlefield (at least 2).
6. Sew myself a dress that I love.
7. Knitt myself a sweater I love.
8. Grow a garden big enough that I can preserve some of it.
9. Read every book that I own.
10. Go on a mission.
11. Crotchet an altar cloth for a temple.
12. Visit Church History Sites (Carharage, Navhoo, Indep, Far West, etc.)
13. Visit observation deck of Empire State Building.
14. Bike across USA.

So there it is and the website is officially up and running. Writing this list has been an interesting exercise. It has told me two things: I have some more blog posts I need to write about and I still want to add more things to the list. If by any chance you are reading these and you’d like to help me fulfill some of these goals please let me know. I can be contacted by leaving a comment or by emailing me at johnpedroza(At)hotmail(dot)com. If you have some goals I would love to hear about them as well. I also would like any ideas you have for this website. It isn’t much to look at now but I am confident with a little bit of effort it too can be something special.