Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year in Chapala 2014

Delighted and excited to spend January, February, March in Chapala and Ajijic. Our immigration to Permanent Residente will begin while we visit LOVE IN ACTION as volunteers. We get to attend our first Home Owners Association meeting at Villa Santa Paula.  Making new friends at church.

Clean teeth - $20
Tooth filled - $30 Porcelain.
Doctor's office visit including EKG - $40
Health insurance $300 annually

Electricity CFE - $30 for two months.
Propane gas for cooking - $2O per month
Water for drinking - $4.5 per month
Property Taxes $150.00 annually
Internet + Netflix  $35.00 USD per month

Premium gasoline - $3.18 a gallon. Regular $3.00
Wash auto - From $2.69 to $3.46
Lubricate auto, change oil and filter - $22
Car Insurance - 31.5 per month 5 year old car

Cost for ticket to movie theater (first run film) $3

Basic house cleaning (4 hours) twice a month $36.00 USD

WAL-MART or Sorianno
Prices for groceries are great all year. Farmer markets or the “tianguis” (Mondays in Chapala, Wednesdays in Ajijic) is where most locals buy their VEGGIES.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Be Inspired

Nelson Mandela emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa. Mr Mandela died on 12/5/13. This Mandella speech inspired me to write, to lead, to live fully, to travel, and to challenge myself. "Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, NOT our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does NOT serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were are all created by God to shine. We are RE- born spiritually to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; It's in everyone. SHINE because you were made FREE by God. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."He is a man that embodied astonishing grace and good humor. Rock concerts celebrated his birthday. Hollywood stars glorified him on screen. And his regal bearing, graying hair and raspy voice made him instantly recognizable across the globe. As South Africa’s first black president, the ex-boxer, lawyer and prisoner No. 46664 paved the way to racial reconciliation with well-chosen gestures of forgiveness. He lunched with the prosecutor who sent him to jail, sang the apartheid-era Afrikaans anthem at his inauguration. His most memorable gesture came when he strode onto the field before the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg. When he came on the field in South African colors to congratulate the victorious South African team, he brought the overwhelmingly white crowd of 63,000 to its feet, chanting “Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!” Incarcerated for 27 years, Nelson walked free from Victor Verster prison, near Cape Town, on February 11, 1990. Nelson Mandella wrote that his education as a lawyer helped him to cope while in prison. Mr Mandela wrote that not every prison warden or apartheid official was bad. He emphasized this throughout his writings. Nelson asserted that to get along in life one should see the good in all people. Nelson was aware of timing, and when the time was right, he initiated talks with the apartheid regime. After he retired from politics, when asked about what should be done, Nelson replied "talk to someone in politics, not me." Nelson was a man of faith, a humble man.


How the story of Camelot really got under way - before the magic and the fantasy got in there - this film is the best truth of that Dark Age. HISTORIANS need to READ Linda Malcor's book 'From Scythia to Camelot' to fully appreciate the director’s cut or his preference of the real King Arthur. Expect authentic graphic violence such as severed limbs, spattering blood, and arrows through heads. It is the brutal reality of what combat with sharp metal objects looks like. The longer version also gives us an ear of the young Arthur and his conversation between Lancelot and Guinevere. The extra 15 minutes of violence and the love scene is what the industry rates as R. The producer includes his political viewpoints as he draws parallels in this film with todays nation-building in Iraq. In 2013 minorities make up a disproportionate portion of the U.S. military. He also discusses his influences and why Guinevere wore a leather battle outfit. Bringing in the history of the Sarmatians makes the movie authentic. Various historians may argue the point, much evidence does point to the use of stirrups by about 8000 Sarmatian cavalry in the Roman army as early as 175 AD. Viewers should listen to Antoine Fuqua's narrative before they watch the film. His narration explains how they had to change things drastically to make the mandated PG 13 rating. His explanation regarding his version of Lancelot and Guinevere is quite a statement as well. The alternate ending was quite real but depressing. The sword religon was a Scythio-Sarmatian ritual of the sacred sword, blood, plunging it into the earth. John Matthews, Historical Advisor on the film asserts that historical accuracy is very close. The movie is a story, not a documentary. The story of Arthur is as close as you'll ever get to the truth about Arthur. Lucius Artorius Castus really did lead a band of Sarmatian warriors from a land roughly between the Black and Red seas today. About 5,500 soldiers were posted to Britain – The soldier tales repeated by the Brits were the seeds from which the Celtic later tell of King Arthur. Arthur was a Roman officer stationed on Hadrian's Wall, here in the United Kingdom. King Arthurs deeds and courage paved the way for all the later Arthurs. The Arthurian history began in the 11th century.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

FUN in the SUN

Mi hermana Jill wondered if we had fun in Loreto, she wanted to get to know me better. Here are 11 facts about Barbie Sue: 1) I was born in 1951 as the last child of three born to Willis Earl and Maria Alley. Momma Mia met dad in the war and dad brought her to the USA from Germany. Papa was born in Arkansas. 2) I gave birth to two children; 1968 Andrea Marie; 1971 Jason Cory 3) I have one 18 year old grand-daughter Marissa 4) Four kids adopted me; Hennie, Alex, Ruthie and Catalina in Chapala 5) I am an optimist, an encourager, a risk taker, and I laugh in my sleep instead of snore 6) I prefer blue jeans, ball caps and the grand outdoors in every season 7) I have travelled to Brussels; Hamburg; and to where my mother was born Shuen Ecken Germany; Hawaii; Seoul Korea in 1988; Loreto and Chapala Mexico; Washington DC; Pensacola Florida; Houston Texas; and to where my dad was born Little Rock Arkansas. 8) I was 19 when I married my children’s father; I was 60 when I married my soul mate 9) I enjoyed working part-time in high school at Shaunessy Car Wash, the Stagecoach CafĂ©, and JC Penney’s. 10) On 12/12/13 I retire as a Civil Servant to become a Community Servant in Mexico 11) I am blessed and highly favored by God Almighty full of grace, mercy and JOY! I have LOYAL GRAND FRIENDS who know the TRUTH about me and love and encourage me. My testimony of transformation began when God heard me crying for help at Annunciation Church at the age of seven. God answered my prayer and rescued me, He redeemed me, changed me, empowered me, anointed me, gifted me, and gave me His courage and righteousness. His work on the cross is finished and He died that I may live joyfully! I am in Him and He is in me. Eternally His, I totally depend on His forgiveness, I trust His mercy, and I am in AWE of His grace. I believe in His power, His will, and His purpose to use me for His glory. I am justified, sanctified and reborn in His Holy Spirit. Listening for His still small voice, I respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading to walk this way. I relish time alone in the awesome, transforming, renewing presence of God. My LIFE scripture is full of grace. 1 Corinthians 9:19 “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” Barbara issues grace and thanksgiving to those who invite her to share what they eat and drink, in their respected cultures.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Big Faith

It was a bright Sunday morning on October 16, 1882 in Philadelphia for Reverand Russell's first sermon. The greeters at the door turned away a little girl named Hattie because the church was too full. She stood sobbing as Reverend Russell walked by. Hattie cried 'I can't go to Sunday School,' the Pastor guessed she had been turned away because of her shabby, unkempt appearance. Filled with compassion, Reverend Russell took her hand and led her into the Sunday school. Hattie was thrilled to learn more about Jesus. That night she went to sleep thinking of all the kids who do not know Jesus. Two weeks later, this same sweet girl died of diphtheria. Her dad told the Pastor of her savings of 57 cents towards building a bigger church. Hattie’s dad gave the pastor a note she had scribbled and her small donation.
'This is to help build a bigger Sunday School so more kids can learn about Jesus.' After sharing Hattie’s devotion to Jesus after only 2 visits at Sunday School, Pastor Russell sold Hattie’s 57 pennies and raised $250.00 from his congregation. The peace and joy Hattie May Wiatt found in Jesus was something she hoped every kid could know. The church began their building fund with the hope contained in a young soul. Soon after Hattie’s death a wealthy local realtor offered the church a parcel of land worth $10,000. When the non-Christian realtor learned that the church had no down-payment, he was compelled from within to give the church a loan at 5% with only 57 cents as their down payment. The hope was to fulfill Hattie’s dream and checks came in from people who heard of Hattie’s faith. God took the gift of her pure soul and He moved hearts to pay off the loan of $10,000; build a new church that today seats 3,300; build a new School named Temple University; and a new hospital. God changes hearts and He uses people to do His will, to reach the lost with the truth. God blesses those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Hattie May Wiatt had saved her pennies and denied herself candy and sweets. Her heart was on fire with an idea; she believed a larger church could be built. Her determined spirit led her to give all she had saved. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen”. (Hebrews 11) Hattie suffered with diphtheria, however, her legacy is her faith in her Lord Jesus Christ. She trusted that God would see to it that a bigger church would be built.
No mortal eye has seen, nor has a heart fathomed the number of souls Hattie blessed with her 57 cents. “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites.” (Mark 12:42 KJV) GOOGLE: Temple Baptist Church in Philadelphia. God is great and He touches hearts in mysterious ways. In September 1887 at the Centennial Celebration of the United States of America money was received from the Wiatt Mite Society "for the success of the new Temple".
“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20) In 1880 Russell Conwell was ordained a Baptist minister. Before graduating from Yale University he served as a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the war Conwell studied law at the Albany Law School. Russell worked as an attorney, journalist, and lecturer. Russell Conwell’s most highly read book is “Acres of Diamonds” He also penned biographies of Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James A. Garfield.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

KJV of the Bible

This epic movie captures the viewers fascination with an honest glimpse of a darker time of the human condition. The true tale of saints and sinners, power and passion, and WHY and by WHOM the grand translation of Holy Scripture into the King James Version came to be. The movie was released in 2011 as a "celebration" of the KJV Bible's 400th anniversary of being in print. This docu-drama is narrated by John Rhys-Davies  who takes us on a historical survey of the years preceding 1611 and the political and religious landscape which confronted the new King. The story follows James I from his birth to his ultimate ascension to the English throne. Particular focus is placed on how the KJV Bible influenced the strategy of James to unify his kingdom both politically and religiously. It was filmed on location in England and Scotland with scenes inside Westminster Abbey and Oxford College and into a few of the actual rooms where the translators labored. John Rhys-Davies exudes energy and vigor in his lively narration. His booming, deep voice adds to the grandeur of the story. At one point he climbs up into the pulpit of a centuries-old church to read from the pages of the King James Bible.  The historical content is minimized to fit the budget of time and funds, however, the truth is that Puritans and Anglicans worked together on the various translation committees, and without emphasis in the film, the Puritans were in fact a decided minority. The important history of the bible was not included in this film. By 500 BC, the 39 books of the Old Testament were completed and preserved on ancient Hebrew animal skin scrolls 150 feet long.   Then a few centuries before Christ, the Jewish historical books known as the Apocrypha were completed and written in the Greek language. The King James Version and most every other version of the Bible included the Apocrypha until just after the Civil War ended. In 1880 the KJV of the Bible dropped the Apocrypha. The myth that the Roman Catholic Church wrote the Apocrypha is not historically accurate. On the island of Iona, in 563 AD, a man named Columba started a Bible College.  It was a non-Catholic source of evangelical Bible teaching for 700 years. The students of this college were called "Culdees" which means certain stranger.  The Culdees were a secret society of believers, a remnant of the true Christian faith prior to the Protestant Reformation. By 500 AD the Bible had been translated into over 500 languages.  In 600 AD the only organized church, the Catholic Church restricted the language of the Bible to only be available to the public in Latin.    One of the primary reasons the KJV Bible was written was part of the plot of James to overthrow the King and his Parliament. The creation of KJV included the poetic style of the English language and Western Culture. In the film, James was not a manipulated royal puppet nor was he the saint many have made him out to be.  The truth is that James was an intelligent human being with strength, vision and a determination that exceeded his idiosyncrasies and helped offset his faults. In other words he was an above average human, with self-centered goals.  Our God is King of the Universe and He is entirely aware of who He shall use to confound the wise. He uses weak people, smart people, and driven people to accomplish His purposes. He demonstrates throughout history that in our weakness, He is strong.  

The oldest copies of the New testament that exist today are: The Codex Alexandrius and they can be found in the British Museum Library in London. .

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hear my Prayer

Bonhoeffer, a German pastor was hiding Jews and was arrested on April 5, 1943. The authorities could not determine how deeply involved he was so they held Bonhoffer without charges or trial and it seemed possible he eventually might be released. During his time in prison, he wrote a series of remarkable, often heartbreaking, letters. Bonhoeffer saddens us with the hopeful tone of his early letters and then awes us by the serenity with which he faces the prospect of his own death.  The film tells the story, but the scattershot fashion of the film depletes the impact of this man's dramatic faith. Knowing the true facts ahead of time, the viewer can tell precisely what is going on and how all the characters and situations relate to one another.   The final scenes that leads up to Bonhoeffer's execution are done in a way that stirs the soul. In October 1944, the Nazis finally uncovered evidence that revealed the extent of Bonhoeffer's involvement in protecting Jews. He was tried and sentenced to death. He was hanged on April 9, 1945, just a month before Germany surrendered (May 8th). A doctor at Flossenburg prison, who witnessed the execution, described it thus :
"Through the half-open door in one room of the huts I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, before taking off his prison garb, kneeling on the floor praying fervently to his God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.
We do not get all of this in the movie, but we do see Bonhoeffer walking naked to the gallows. The scene in the concentration camp dehumanizing about the victims--They appear in black and white and they are so emaciated, so unhuman. In this scene, Bonhoeffer, is achingly human--pale, naked, and defenseless. Yet he carries himself with a poise and a calm that draws pity from the vile Nazi prosecutor who realizes his own bloodthirst. We view and are equally humbled by the dignity and serenity that is portrayed here.  The writer Andrew Delbanco said that, "belief is really not an option for thinking people today." Never mind anything else about this provocative statement; consider just this aspect : Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced death "knowing God heard his prayer" and so died in peace. His life and his death still speak to us today. How will those who believe in nothing, who are certain of nothing, face their imminent deaths? Most importantly, how will the watching world be impacted by your trust in God? How will your quiet confidence that God listens to your prayers be known? "Hear my prayer O God, may my life reflect your peace, your grace, your mercy. I trust in Your promises Lord, and my hope remains in the unseen reality of Your faithful love and eternal resting place." AMEN

Saturday, October 12, 2013


The wash cycle of life systematically swirls until the grime of guilt, shame and sorrow is lifted.  The dirt of darkness is loosened in the wash of admitting that something is wrong and my soul breathes easier and it survives another night.  With all self-talk stilled for months at a time, obediently I show up and trust that God is working in me even though my pause button is pushed.  I am acutely aware that too often I have chosen to remain tuned out to what the Spirit is saying.  The sparkle in my eyes that once accompanied the excited expectations for a new day with so much to be thankful for...that Barb spark went up in smoke! It vanished without a trace! Unknown hesitations, reservations, and reluctance suddenly replaced my previous explorations, anticipations and enthusiastic plans.   Despite the hard place in which I find myself today, I believe that after 37 years of living alone, God predestined me to marry the man He chose for me for His purpose, to fulfill His larger plan.
The transparency herein will hopefully encourage others to trust and obey and "Confess your doubts, your short comings, your unbelief to one another so that you can be healed." Only in obedience is a person blessed by God.  "Any of you who does NOT give up everything he has --- cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:33  So, after my crisis of belief, "Lord is this what You really want for me?" Certain adjustments had to be made by me to accomodate my choice to walk in obedience.  Giving up my son, my friends, my home, my possessions, and my 5 year plan to move to Mexico alone was not easy.  At times I was filled with unbelief that God had actually spoken to me and encouraged me to get married.  For me it is most difficult to hold my tongue and hide my true feelings.  While trusting that God would provide oppotunities for service in Mexico, one year prior to retiring, my boss introduced me to the man I was to marry.  The GIVING UP of my independence, not so much my single life, was the most difficult for me.  After being on my own for nearly 4 decades, marriage was quite an adjustment!  Nothing was withheld from my fiance prior
to our wedding.  He had read my FAITH BLOG and he had also been a witness to my tough love for my son during our courtship.  He knew all about my past and how God had given me the strength to rise above, to forgive the unforgiveable, and to love the unlovable. Prior to our engagement, he knew I had given up building a part-time business in order to date him, and that I am a valued public speaker, a writer, a leader and a truth teller.  My GIFT is to encourage people! As a married woman I expected that my husband would verbally encourage me in the Word, and in my writing.  As it turns out, we cannot open the Word of God without opposing revelations as to its meaning and
application.  This has been a huge disappointment for me and I pray that God will HELP US articulate that which we were drawn to, what we respected and admired in one another. We must accept each other as the person God has fashioned us into becoming. As a single mother and career woman, it was necessary for me to be bold, to say what I mean, and mean what I say.  Being strong and holding onto my beliefs was paramount.  I had to offer hope by my example, and I had to sandwhich healthy criticism with praise.  Today when I speak, and when I write, I like to imagine that I am making direct eye contact with my listeners.  Before our wedding, my man read my blogs
with greatful tears in his eyes.  We have both had to adjust in many ways to a new life in Mexico which includes a new church, new friends, and the new routine of serving in our community, using our gifts.  It is my delight to witness my husband engaged in service. While living in Mexico I have encouraged him to develop relationships outside of "us" and we both have accepted the truth that spending time alone and time away from each other is healthy.   Early in our marriage a dread like glue had rendered me listless and physically weakened. WHY?   One reason was that my ability to walk had been impaired by a constant pain for the first ten months of our marriage. Secondly, I struggled with our differences in doctrine and his unwillingness to serve our God somehow in our community as he waited until I retired. I read the words of Oswald Smith, a missionary "I want Thy plan, O God, for my life.  May I be happy and contented whether in the homeland or the foreign field; whether married or alone, in happiness or sorrow; health or sickness; prosperity or adversity; I want Thy plan, O God for my life."  The truth is that my unstoppable, ever present Lord, hears my heart's cry and He knows that I am tired of putting on my armor, my helmet to allow only pure thinking, my shield against the enemies attack. My mind was like an endless traffic jam of scripture and denial about who I was in Christ, a cherished child of God, a daughter of the most High Priest.
My mind was STRONGLY held by negative and critical thoughts about our marriage!  I prayed "Lord, break the spiritual STRONG HOLD in my mind and heart, restore me." God answered me wtth a scripture. His command was that I hold captive every thought. Paul wrote about how people get easily get off track from listening and following God's ways.  "walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart." Eph 4:17 ~ The battle is REAL and Satan had been blinding my mind and causing me to doubt and wonder IF Jesus had led me to Mexico, and IF God had equipped me to cast out the demons of doubt in me.
Lord, forgive me for my unbelief!  I must never again doubt the supremacy of Christ! The truth has always been that I am loved by Jesus Christ, my Lord!  Questioning whether or not God's grace is sufficient for me is the work of the devil!  Is not faith believing in what I cannot see? Has not God revealed Himself to me in Spirit? Nothing can change my believe in the trinity of Jesus Christ, as I am convinced that my Lord Jesus was with the Father in the beginning, and that He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He was sent down to earth to rescue me and I also believe that God came down in the flesh as Jesus, to die for me, and to pay for my past, present and future sins. I believe that Jesus showed Himself to His wondering, doubting disciples and that He shows Himself faithful to me by administering His peace when I have none. When Thomas saw the wounds in His hands he said “My Lord and my God.”
When the young rich ruler ASKED JESUS "What must I do to inherit the kingdom?" Jesus knew his heart, Jesus knew his attachment to his wealth, and Jesus knew that the Father had not enabled the young rich ruler to willingly accept His ways. "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has enabled them." The rich young ruler felt "sad" at the prospect of giving up all he had to follow Jesus, and so he chose his wealth over obedience to the requirement Jesus had given him.  When Jesus met the woman at the well and told her of all her unholy relationships, her reaction was different. She accepted the requirement Jesus gave her..."go and sin no more".  
Disobeying God's first commandment is to seek and value the advice of others above God's written word. Obedience to God produces joy and peace. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" Ez 18:4 ~ Soul is more than another word for a person, soul in various parts of the Bible refers to the realm of the mind and emotions of man. Sin corrupts the mind, confuses the emotions and thereby destroys the soul. People do not drop dead when they sin, but they do experience the death of a friendship. God says "He who sins against Me wrongs his own soul" Proverbs 8:36 ~ "Jesus asks His disciple Philip “For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me. ... Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?" John 14:9   Have I ever recognized Jesus at work in my life, providing, blessing, teaching me through others?  All people who enter my life, including my husband entertain me like angels, and they minister to me through acts of kindness and words of encouragement.  Co-dependency is depending on people to meet the needs that only God can. The relationship that I have with my Father, with Jesus is authentic. I trust God, I pour out my thoughts in blogs, and on my devotional journal to the only audience I require. Jesus affirms me, He renews me, He heals me, and He provides for my every need.  My Father knows my needs even before I can figure out what they are.  

Friday, August 30, 2013


Many clever citizens of this world compare the lofty accomplishments of others to their own. The unhealthy habit of compulsive comparison leads to self-bashing for what I coulda, shoulda done. SO here I am, close to a career end, without grand babies to sit for and do fun things with, living in a society where having one or two is pretty much essential if you're going to feel useful in your grey years. Praise God for His will, way and living word ~ I am His wondrous creation, filled with His purposed Holy Spirit, not left to my human inherent tendency to feel less than, for not having more than someone else. God chose me, He equipped me, He has a superior plan for me, a purpose for me. Halleluiah!

My cerebral tendency is to compare myself to the grad student at work who has spent the last several months dedicating almost all his time preparing for some of the toughest engineering exams ever known to man, learning a zillion planning laws and diligently documenting every waking action, turning down countless fun events to pursue his goal. Another co-worker was recently promoted to begin a new role of helping countless citizens, and then while another bursts with job satisfaction, I sit upfront languishing in my tedious role. Wedding plans, new grand children being born, my sister is busy golfing, playing tennis and birthing more raggedy dolls to auction off at fund-raisers. My brother is climbing rocks, scuba diving in the sea of Cortez and other friends are taking exotic trips to far off places. These delighted highlights of people surrounding me totally ignores the fact that each person envied has down days and everyone panics, but it's human nature to compare ourselves to our peers.

To cope with this kind of dope bombarding my head:
1. List my character flaws and reasons why I am beloved by God, anyway, every day
2. Find greater meaning in my appointed place, in my position in Christ. .
3. Accept that I am more than a conqueror, that I am adequate and valued by He who created me.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


WRITTEN in 2011. Like Alice in Wonderland, as a little camper I was speechless with admiration for natures wild and sublime grandeur.  A torrent of power and beauty washed over me and through me with a loud, spirit filled silence that spoke eloquently and profoundly, that God does imperially and emphatically exist.  Transfixed with an exalted sense of being, my eyes dripped with tremendous tears of emotion as they gazed upon the silent vista across Silver Lake.  The towering granite cliffs and the snow melt avalanche of fresh water that fills the lake is surrounded by a grand grove of majestic Sequoia trees that have weathered 2,000 years ~  Their twiggy limbs stretch up in praise of the One who created them.  What a gift from our loving Father, whose great delight it is to usher His children along into a Disneyland that twirls us about to give thanks to our beloved Dad!  Absolutely enchanted by Dad’s great joy in witnessing my discovery of all that He has done for me, I descended into the hypnotic romance of Camp Minkalo.  "Hi lo, any many taca, umpi wa wa, hepti minica, honica, sonica, little loco, woo woo! Forever after sleeping in a teepee under an umbrella of majesty,  I became a zealot, an absolute fanatic of God’s creation.  With quaking hesitation I humbly give God the glory with this simple utterance intended to glorify God Almighty.  I am filled with honor for His thought of what would delight me, what would speak to me ~ to assure me with such overwhelming confidence that my Father; the Creator of all things did this for my pleasure and knowledge of Him. AMAZING! My words beg to not diminish His
purpose in creating the seasons, the snow, and the scripture of nature. What a treasure to look up at what appears to be an old gothic cathedral of rocks with spires that point up ~ to the glorious happy works of God.  Every tree and bush grew from a seed planted with a great purpose. The natural grace and charm of the quiet of lakes surrounded by majestic tall, tall pines uplifts, regenerates and washes my mind and spirit. Insanity is to attempt to prove by logic or reason that beauty exists ~ What method of intellect can prove that a sunrise is beautiful? Just like science cannot unhinge the sensory of a haunting, wistful fragrance from the nostril of an individual’s truth, so too science cannot prove that God does not exist. Deliriously happy to rise with the Son, how beautiful and amazing are His ways!  GOD calls me to "come " get away with Jesus in the garden. Tis how I refresh and renew when the cares of life become draining.  It is time to take my body up to a mountain peak that speaks to my soul. I long for quiet time alone with my Lord.  My heart longs to sing in the wind and spend a night in the wild among the beasts and the blooms. A three day get-away into the sculptures fashioned by the Father for my leisure and pleasure. To smile awhile in His presence -- to accept His most generous present of mighty trees that
dwarf me into thanksgiving. Responding to Thy precious call, I run to hide away with Thee.   In 1851 the astonishing beauty of Yosemite Valley and the geyser wonderland of Yellowstone give birth to the radical idea of creating national parks for the enjoyment of everyone. John Muir is the eloquent defender of nature and the poet of the trees, canyons and uninterrupted vista's created by God to nurture the souls of mankind.  Imagine Peter the fisherman's delight as he looked upon the waters.  Peter was afraid when the wind tossed "But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:30
In nature the winds sing, and the clouds hover atop the sea and mountains.  As we look up in awe, our non-verbal response to nature, our indwelt giddy reply to the lesson of Jesus to Nicodemus
"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8  We stand erect and gaze with amazement as the wind blows and bends trees. While we are here, we can weather each storm with dignity as we trust God and keep our eyes on Him. The Rock of ages can only be heard as we stand still, and listen for the voice of God.   

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What Attracts Us

Honestly, what attracted us to the person we are with? Was it that they complimented us on who we are, and where we are going? Or were we attracted to their character, their accomplishments, their enthusiasm for life? The penetrating questions we need to ask ourselves. 1) Am I living the good life, the best life I can? If not, why? Everyone has the capacity to orchestrate their own change and growth and to become the best version of themselves. A lasting romantic partnership requires each person to effort in becoming better than they have ever been before, at something. It can be the same hobby, or a new fascination. The good life begins with individual fulfillment and empowerment, but it radiates outward from there to transform our intimate relationships as well. It is the pathway to partnerships that are mutually satisfying and enhancing. The BEST life is when each party in a relationship is free of self-imposed and inherited judgments and limitations. When a person allows themselves to try new things, new thoughts, in new ways, they expand and become increasingly attractive. People need the freedom to express what they like, what bothers them, their big ideas, and what they need to be satisfied in life. In couple psychology today couples are encouraged to challenge what has always been, so that they can explore new ways and the HOPE that comes when couples feel renewed joy while doing this thing called life together. Plan the next event as if it was the wedding, the merging of two minds and hearts. Birthdays, weddings, anniversarys, holidays are occasions where people plan the event for the purpose of sharing joy with others. Without events life gets boring so couples are encouraged to plan events! Who shall the couple invite? Where shall the reunion take place? What is the theme of the celebration? Having FUN is highly important in the quest to feeling “happier”. Happiness increases as we explore new thoughts, new things, and the interests, passions and stories of other people. Couples only have their stories and repeating the same old stories gets boring. The good life is NOT a life for those who fear change. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of a persons potential. It involves the courage to become more attractive to all those who are in our life. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life.” Would you like to have a romantic partner like that? Would you like to be a partner like that? Of course! And happily for us, we have the freedom to become more than we have ever been, regardless of age, we CAN become more attractive! Couples reach their full potential by simply providing a safe and conducive environment for real change to occur. These are the three necessary qualities in successful couple conversations. Set the stage for creating the “good life” in your relationship. Here they are: 1. Genuineness. For couples to feel empowered and willing to grow they must feel safe in being transparent. No hiding frustrations allowed. Be a human being, be honest, be vulnerable, be present, and listen well. Help the other person feel safe and fully competent to solve the problems they face. Be genuine and leave nothing about yourself for your partner to “read between the lines” about. 2. Unconditional Respect and Regard. Unless people feels accepted just as they are, free of judgment, criticism, and condescension, they are unlikely to risk the openness and vulnerability necessary for deep introspection and change. Defensiveness is a natural response in anyone who feels threatened or undervalued. Rogers cautions couples to guard against an attitude of superiority at all times. Doing so requires an ironclad commitment to listen intently without interruption or unsolicited advice. 3. Empathy. In order to be most effective, couples must actually care what their partner is feeling. Only then would a person feel truly safe and be able to consider new ways of living. In romantic relationships, it is easy for you both to consider only how particular issues feel to you and what effect they have on your life. This naturally results in lines in the sand that make the first two desired traits much more difficult to sustain. A good friend is married to a person that matches her energy and her passion for life. A mate who has plans, a life partner who has a passion for life and for people. They both attract people and together they enjoy laughing with a diverse group of people. It is important to pay attention to how many friends a person has, how many people truly enjoy being around him. Does this person have to carve out time for you? Does this person have goals, dreams? Do those plans and dreams fit your future? "The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of GOD except the Spirit of GOD. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God (the Holy Spirit), that we may understand what GOD has freely given us." Seek wisdom and comfort in the Word of God, be still, talk to friends and make changes. Many copules ignore, or make excuses for their partners habits which irritate them. or they elect to change their own behaviour to keep the relationship "happy". This manuafactred, fake joy will not last. It may take years, but couples who settle for less than the GOOD LIFE will get to the point where they are so unhappy, so dissatisfied, so distant that they will eventually depart with anger and regrets. Divorce can be avoided IF each person takes an inventory of what they are feeling and becomes honest with what they need. Understand who you really are, instead of a cardboard cutout that you think you need to be to please someone. Each person needs to work on becoming more than they have ever been, for themselves. The relationship can sparkle again when both people give effort to become attractive again. The good life is waking up each morning energised and looking forward to great day. Take charge, this is the only life you have!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mexico Feet meet Bus

BUY shoes before travelling to Mexico. EXPAT exchange warns that to find shoes in smaller towns the right size for gringo feet, is almost impossible. Mexico makes shoes where the heel and sole are one piece. Walk in GOOD shoes all around and catch a clean bus in Lake Chapala. The main bus depot is just blocks from Casa De La Luz. Walkers do not see all that many official bus stops in Chapala, but NO WORRIES, just watch for an area as you walk along that would be large enough for a large bus to pull off out of traffic and stop for you. Stand perpendicular to the road facing the oncoming traffic. Extend you right arm straight and upward at a 45 degree angle palm up and looking straight at the bus. In all probability the driver will stop for you as he get's a percentage of the fares. Drivers have an incentive to stop anywhere it's safe to pick you up. Waving and jumping up and down unfortunately will NOT work. Have change to pay the fare and pull the cord or push the button to get off. WHAT about walking at night in Chapala? Article taken from EXPAT exchange. Sunsets on Lake Chapala are magnificient! But you will notice in the evening fewer and fewer people are on the street. At Lake Chapala, Mexico the ladies feel safe to walk, even alone after dark. Even though face to face personal crime is very rare in Chapala, a common sense warning and it is wise to make note IF families are not outdoors, it would be best to not be out alone. This is a picture of the historical landmark the old train station at the dead end of Estacion. It sits on Lake Chapala and is only three blocks from Casa De La Luz.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Honesty defined: a quality, condition, or characteristic of being fair, just, truthful, and morally upright.   Honesty is more than speaking the truth, it is also being honest in our assessments, and in our fairness with others. Being aware that Jesus has total access to our minds, hearts, intentions and our activities, we are wise to realize that we must not hang a privacy sign on what we think is right or fair.  Withholding thoughts builds walls in our relationships.  Dishonesty blossoms and grows when we do not speak the truth to ourselves or to those we are in relationship with. To BE totally truthful in what we say, or infer, and even more importantly, what we leave unsaid - is to be obedient to His command to NOT take the Lord's name in vain.  If we live for Jesus, then we represent His holy name, with every thought, word spoken and action. To live in Jesus name requires His wisdom to hold every thought captive.  It requires His will, not our personality and our ways.  It requires discernment and courage to speak the truth in love. Lord Jesus I welcome the challenge to speak honestly, and also to hold my tongue ~ as a gift from You.  Today I choose to trust You with my marriage, my finances, my job, and my feeble human tendency to turn the wrong way each time the elevator door opens.  In the name of Jesus, I ask that the Holy Spirit equip me today with super natural grace and strength. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds." James 1:2 ~ As we are made in "His likeness", we are infused with His Spirit. God speaks the truth always and as we are "in Him" and He is "in us", we have been equipped, empowered and encouraged to be vigilant in our
honesty with Him, ourselves and others.   Bottom line,  our words, our ideas about our temporary life on earth, or our collected opinions based on our education, experience or our
time spent researching online, or even as we read scholarly commentary ~ our thoughts and conclusions are INFERIOR and admittedly limited if we do NOT ask the Holy Spirit to give us revelation. Only God's living Word changes people. People changed by God, are used by God to lead and achieve His perfect plan, according to His perfect will.  Our openness and honesty with God and with those He places in our life to influence for His purpose, these relationships create the foundation upon which Jesus will finish the work He began 2,000 years ago.   Honest communications grow our faith and trust in God and in people.  God values our honest talks with Him. Our internal and external relationships with others are a reflection of our honesty with God.  Strong, positive relationships endure the storms that come to destroy.  But our Father uses what others intended for harm, to gather glory unto Himself by His faithfulness to those who rely on Him,  His word and His ways.  Our trust in God is what allows us to accomplish much more than we could ever do on our own.  A key ingredient in strong relationships is our heartfelt connection to God.   Head knowledge will not serve God or anyone else without the infusion of the Holy Spirit who abides in our midst.  Our dependence on His Holy Presence is essential for our honesty.   We are compelled from within to act with integrity, to respond obediently to what the Spirit is saying.  Our
compassion, our interest in others, is a fruit of His Spirit in us.  Our loyalty, our friendliness, our desire to do the right thing is a divine compulsion from within.  Building trust without honest communications is impossible.  Honest communication begins with listening and responding to what the Spirit is saying, and what the other person is saying, or not communicating.  Honesty is about speaking the truth in love, with compassion for the condition of the listeners soul.  Ask yourself what is God’s divine plan for bringing this person into your life?  The Spirit of God will communicate perfectly through His willing servant the message that the speaker and the hearer needs to hear.   How the recipient responds depends on their maturity.  Responses range from joy to indifference.  Our part is to speak the truth and trust God with the outcome.  God corrects and disciplines those He loves.  His word encompasses all of what a human can feel, say or do in this world.  In order for a person to positively respond to honesty, they must know that the person talking cares for them. Embracing the unique way each person is designed or wired by God is to loosely hug the opinions, and backgrounds of those He places in our lives.  Diversity in our
relationships expands the opportunity to express God’s grace and mercy.  The wider our audience, the broader our positive influence as Ambassadors of Christ.  Variety is the spice of life and we can be assured that God will send a variety of diverse relations into our life for His purpose and ultimate glory.   "Now FAITH is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.  For our ancestors won God's approval by it.  By faith we understand that the universe was created by God's command, by His spoken word, and that as God revealed to us in Revelation 19:12 "His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God." Again confirmed of Who Jesus is: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1-2 NIV Our Father breathed this truth in Hebrews: "that what is seen has been made from things that are not visible." and Jesus continues to encourage us and comfort us by His word “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." (Rev 1:17)  BY FAITH it is up to us to TRUST GOD as we circulate and build

honest relationships within our families and communities.  Be open, Be honest, Be alive, Be available to be used for God's glory.  "Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, for without it none will see the Lord.  Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many." (HEB 12:14) ~ "Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it." (Heb 13:1) Jesus knows all and He waits for us to confess our fears, reservations and worries.  Lord I pray that God would give me eyes to see and hear what is truly going on inside my heart, my mind and that He gives me the courage to speak the truth in love regarding those circumstances appropriately. As God answers that prayer and He reveals hidden sins within the Holy Spirits residence, my soul, or in my home, my immediate response will be one of thankfulness. Uncovering dishonesty never comes at a convenient time! Responding with a kind, gracious honorable manner is to be gentle NOT
wimpy. Kindness is actually God's strength under control. Although Jesus was God in human flesh, he responded gently to people who were ignorant to who He was. Matthew 5:5 ~ "Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.  Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 3:19) We were called, we were set apart, for His purpose, for His glory, to do His will, to do the right thing and speak the truth with grace.  We do NOT serve God out of poverty, but out of His abundant supply of time, energy and finances.  Each day is MEMORIAL DAY, a day to give thanksgiving to our Father, our Lord Jesus Christ.   
By obedience to His word, we individually choose to continue to pray for one another and seek Godly counsel. God supernaturally empowers those who seek to do His will. Let us continue to gather together as a family and praise God for what He has done, and for His plans for our future. Our parents made mistakes, our ancestors made mistakes and we are wise to learn from them, that we do not repeat and reap the same lessons from unecessary hardships. As Christians, every day is a good day to remember, reflect on, and give thanks for what the Lord has done for us. “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” Reminders, bitter or sweet, are important to our family, faith and relationships.  Let us rely on His word, His ways, His plans, and His perfect purpose in our suffering.   Let us thank God for the courage He bestows to speak the truth in love.  Let us praise God for how He prompts us to ask questions, and for how He provides for our every emotional, spiritual and physical need. Let us honor God by being honest with one another, always.  When in DOUBT or in question, let us read and TRUST God’s word and His plans for us: ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to
harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own (droplet of) understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do NOT be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun pride.” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." (Eph 2:8)  Let us NOT boast about what we have done, but instead let us brag about what the Lord has planned for those who love Him, for those who desire to serve Him. Compelled from within on Monday June 3, 2013 ~  As a new wife I felt pressure to meet all my husbands emotional needs. ~ Knowing that marriage exisits to teach people how to love one another as God loves us, I yearned to treat my hsuband as a precious gift.  My heavenly Father loves my husband as he is and He sees us both as more valuable than things. I must get outside of myself, my needs, and my perception and adopt God's view and plan for us as His couple.  When I look at conflict as an opportunity to grow, I find an alternative to frustration and despair. When I use our marriage as a place where I can learn more about giving and receiving love, I will be living fully in Jesus name as I see with His eyes. Humbly I will clearly see my imperfections, and how my Father, my sweet Jesus issues me continuous mercy and grace...truly undeserved. 
I desire to experience a healthy, happy marriage in which we are both stretched to our full capacity of loving! Such a marriage includes the enrichment and benefit of inviting others into our home, our plans, our life. "Do NOT give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10: 25 ~ Co-dependency is born out of suffering as a child. When a parent does not affirm, encourage or validate a child's good work, conduct or personality, a child grows up to need constant validation from his mate. Depending on your mate to satisfy all your emotional needs is draining. Co-dependent people resent years of service to others; they are tightly wound and they give with the intention of being well thought of. A few CLUES that mark an adult as co-dependent are:
  • A childhood experience left you feeling under appreciated
  • You have difficulty remembering anything positive about your childhood
  • You feel "stuck" or emotionally blocked when it comes to meeting new people 
  • You struggle with anger, sadness or fear of rejection or abandonment
  • Compulsive behaviors continue to disrupt your life (cleaning, work, love, sex)
  • Despite hard work, you still find yourself in unsatisfying relationships
  • You feel your efforts to please others has been unduly discounted. 
  • You reject new ideas and stick to safe rituals of thinking.
  • You criticize others and quickly reject change. 
 As a result of my childhood I grew up looking to "fit in" and to "be liked" and to receive admiration for what a generous, kind person I am. Meeting others peoples needs was my focus to the point that I lost my identitfy.  I found Jesus, and He gave me a highly respected family name.  Out of His love for me, He disciplined me and He admonished me in His word to forgive
myself, and to love myself as He loves and forgives me.  It is never my hearts intention to hurt, criticize, cause strife, or to cause any person grief, but I was compelled to examine my heart and speak the truth with kindness.  God's living and active Word says: "God is NOT unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:10-12 NIV
  ~ "All things are wearisome, more than one can say.....The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.  Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”?" Ecclesiastes 1 - The wisdom of God is unrefutable, unmistakable and completely deserving of our dedicated time to apply it to our life and be blessed by His pleasure in our HONEST relationship with Him, ouselves and each other. AMEN