Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Honest Feelings

On good days, or bad days invariably someone will ask us "How are you feeling?" Becoming aware of how we actually feel is to be honest with God. When we say "I feel great"...are we covering up the truth?  "You, therefore, have NO excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself...So when you a mere man, pass judgement on you think you will escape God's judgment?...With your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself ...God will give to each person according to what he has done" Romans 2  --- Are you holding anger inside? Here are some emotions that we would be wise to identify and then confess. ANGER: Fury rises inside with each remembrance of an offense. No forgiveness or mercy offered towards those who hurt you. You feel angrier each time you repeat the tale of the offense. Nothing forgiven, nothing forgotten. Are you drunk with anger?  SHAME: The desire to hide, or lie because you FEEL defective, inferior or superior by comparison to others.  You FEEL unable to change and you cover-up your insecurity or pride.  GOOD GUILT: The desire to repair a wrong doing, or confess an apology because you FEEL responsible and remorseful for causing injury to another.  ENVY: The motivation to destroy, attack or diminish an ability or resource or possession of another because you FEEL that you could never accomplish what another has. Envy makes us restless as we strive to minimize what someone else said or did.  JEALOUSY: The desire to compete because you FEEL less valuable than...
"So then, let us NOT be like others, who are asleep, but let us be ALERT and self-controlled....Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you....Do NOT put out the Spirit's fire; do NOT treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything.  Hold on to the good....May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 For those who sleep, sleep at night...they are ignorant, they are in the dark and they grieve over unimportant things..but since we belong to the day, and as we are called sons and daughters of the Light... let us act like it, let us not grieve the Spirit by holding onto anger, unforgiveness, shame, envy, or jealousy. So how do you FEEL, really? Name it, claim it, pray about it, and get past it by immersing yourself in God's living and active Word.  Work out your salvation and actively erase all unholy thoughts that are born in darkness.   The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night and we should be READY and delightfully surprised, because our hearts are pure. We are to warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak and be patient with everyone. If we are obedient to confess our struggles with the dark, we will find the JOY of contentment and the peace of God.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Trust Who?

There was a time when we TRUSTED the police, that every cop acted with absolute integrity with regard to enforcing the law.  In the 70's most Americans TRUSTED that the vote they cast would be credited accurately within the electoral system. As a people we generally TRUSTED that congressional decisions were in favor of the people.  As neighbors, because we felt SAFE, we TRUSTED one another and slept with doors unlocked, unafraid of theft or murder. Within our congregations, we TRUSTED our pastors, priests, deacons to NOT be double minded, but to intercede on our behalf with effective prayers taken personally to the throne of GRACE. We never doubted, but we TRUSTED that sound, undiluted, unadulterated doctrine was being delivered at our church pulpit. The supernaturally converted Pharisee Paul urged that Timothy command certain men NOT to teach false doctrines, NOR devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. "They promote controversies rather than God's work -- which is by faith.  The goal of this command is
love, which comes from a PURE heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." 1 Timothy 1:3-5.  So to whom shall we confide?  Who do we trust during these uncertain economic times?  What resource of TRUTH do we TRUST when each news broadcast is controlled by varying political agendas? "Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which MOST of His miracles had been performed, because they did not repent." Matthew 11:20 --Jesus condemned the proud attitude of His generation.  They were cynical, skeptical and stubborn. They justified their interpretations of scripture, and they resisted change. Jesus mentioned two kinds of people in His prayer: those arrogantly "wise" in their own knowledge --- and the humble "little children" who were open to receive the TRUTH of God's Word. Matthew 11:25 --- Therefore let us be quick to listen to what the Spirit is saying as we read God's Word and be willing to confess all worry about financial matters, our burden of a long suffering illness, and our doubt that God cares for us and our concerns.  Let us be readied by the Holy spirit to forgive and release our bitter resentments for being mistreated or
disrespected. "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I WILL give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and LEARN from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you WILL find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28 --- PICTURE this: you hold one arm outstretched holding a heavy brick for an hour, a day, a week, for years. You resist admitting your burden until you fall down, crushed by carrying what seems to be the weight of all the world. IMAGINE the relief when you TRUST in Jesus to take your burden.  He is able to lift your laments, and give you a peace that lasts.....Jesus does NOT lie, you can TRUST Him to keep His Word, His promises. He is able to give you rest even though your circumstances do not rapidly change.  Seek Jesus in all things, in each situation and find blessed contentment. Accept that His Word never fails, He is faithful and trustworthy.  "Commit your way to the Lord; TRUST in Him and He WILL do this: He WILL make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday Sun." Psalm 37:5-6

Friday, July 4, 2014


Lake Alpine August 2012 - Introducing Michael to all my favorite places, we went to Big Trees, through Bear Valley where my friend Nancita has a ski cabin, and onto Lake Alpine Resort. We made tentative plans to invite his family and my family up to this Lake in hopes to begin a NEW HOYLE/ALLEY REUNION annually in July, a possible FUN tradition. Scenic Highway 4 in the midst of the Stanislaus National Forest. With 180 surface acres of glistening mountain water, Lake Alpine attracts anglers, boaters, campers, kayakers, hikers, swimmers and sight seers. At an elevation of 7,350 feet, summer temperatures are cooler than the valley. Campgrounds on both sides of the lake have room for plenty of tents and RVs. The Lake Alpine Resort offers accommodations, a store, a restaurant, and boat rentals. With none of the crowds found at more well-known
lakes, Alpine Lake is a place where family can gather away from huge crowds. During the winter the gate on Highway 4 a mile west of the lake is closed for the season. Access to the lake is limited to conveyances such as snowmobiles, cross country skis, or snowshoes. Water released from the dam after the ice forms on the lake makes it extremely dangerous to venture onto the ice.

Sea of Cortez Thanksgiving 2013

Casa Benito 2013

Spring 2013 Carefree

La Selva beach, Santa Cruz 2013Fathers day 2013 Tower Park