Tag Archives: San Diego

How will we choose to view our hurts?

A cloudy spring day with temperatures in the mid 60’s seems like poor weather to someone living in San Diego, Ca., but to a person living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan it would seem balmy and warm.

A bologna sandwich seems like cruel and unusual punishment in a four star restaurant, but to a starving child in the inner city of Atlanta it would seem like a feast.

The context of an experience completely changes the nature and value of that experience.

“God’s decision to forgive Peter required the death of his Son; Peter’s decision to forgive those who had offended him would cost him little more than his pride. The same is true for us.

In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another. Forgiveness is the gift that ensures my freedom from a prison of bitterness and resentment.” – Andy Stanley

We are a fallen people living in a fallen world. Live long enough and you will be hurt by the actions or inactions of others.

When I view my hurts only in the context of my experiences, they become enormous and overwhelming. They seem completely unfair.

When I view my hurts in the context of what Jesus endured on the cross, they suddenly become rather small and insignificant.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.” ~ Colossians 3:12-13 (The Message)

Being hurt is inevitable. Holding onto that hurt is optional.

How will we view and what will we do with our hurts?

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.



Filed under Choices, Forgiveness, Freedom, Grace, Humility, Life in General, Loving others, Mercy, Suffering

Sam and Valerie’s big adventure

A week ago last Tuesday, Sam – our Marine – took off with Valerie and Aaron for San Diego. After completing his second phase of training they were finally able to settle in together as a family. Once they completed the 2200 mile drive!

This was the first time either of them had driven that far let alone with a baby on board and a trailer in tow. Sam was careful with his preparations, we got road advice from my brother Bob regarding the mountains in New Mexico and I covered as much “trip/towing advice” as I could think of.

Whatever obstacles they ran into would be a first for both of them so even though we bathed them in prayer and invited others to do the same, I still had a tremendous urge to be with them. Not that I could have prevented or solved anything but having someone with travel experience is always a plus.

No one knows for sure what this new year holds in store for us. We may have brought existing issues from last year with us but even their outcome is unpredictable. With each new day we are traveling uncharted territory.

But we are not alone!

“If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth…I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” ~ John 14:15-17, 25-26

Truth is not just some abstract list of beliefs or doctrines. Truth is God’s perspective and will in every situation of life. And no matter what we encounter this day, this week or this year; God’s Spirit is always with us to offer guidance and direction towards living out God’s truth.

Are we asking for and responding to His assistance?


P.S. – The trip went great! Thanks for the prayers!


Filed under Divine presence, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Life in General, Truth

An Emotional Reunion

It had been 13 long weeks since he left for bootcamp. There were a few letters here and there but nothing that allows the kind of contact or connection that we were used to. There were moments when it seemed like forever since he had left; and forever before we would see him again.

But then the day finally came. It didn’t seem possible but there we were at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego for the Motivational Run and Family Day.

His platoon had marched right past me twice but I hadn’t been able to pick him out of the crowd. It was the same when they lined up for their Motivational Run. But then…

They were done with their run and were once again lined up. We had moved to the shade but made our way over to the lines of young Marines. And there he was, standing right in front. He was at attention and could not respond but we moved to where he could see us and I lifted Aaron up over my head.

They took off again heading for their barracks to clean up and in a little while we would get to actually be with him. Hug him, shake his hand, talk with him face-to-face! It was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve ever had.

It gave me a glimpse of what God will experience when we finally get to be with Him, face-to-face.

God created us to enjoy us.

He spent a couple of thousands years preparing to send Jesus to live among us.

He empowered Jesus to live a whole new way of life – as an example.

He made Jesus the penalty for our sin and then raised Him back to life.

He sent the Holy Spirit to give birth to the church.

All of this so that He could one day share in an emotional reunion with us!



Filed under Children of God, Christianity, Heaven, intimacy with the Lord, Love of God

The Father heart of God.

It began nearly 21 years ago when Eli, our oldest, was born; and it has continued non-stop ever since with all six of our children. What is “it?” I could be referring to the laughter, the heartache, the challenge, the delight, the tiredness, etc… of raising children. All of that and more is true. But the “it” I’m referring to is…

The Father heart of God.

As a young man following Jesus I understood the concept of God as Father, but actually being a father has given me endless insights into the heart of God. To be honest, of all that I did expect about being a parent and teaching my kids the important lessons of life; I wasn’t expecting them to teach me so much.

The lesson or insight that is filling every fiber of my being right now is the indescribable anguish of the Father in letting Jesus come to earth and die such a brutal death.

Yesterday we witnessed Sam taking an oath to serve and protect our country as he was sworn into the Marines and sent off to boot camp in San Diego. It’s what he’s wanted to do for a long, long time now and I am both very proud of him and excited for his new adventure; but it still hurts to let him go.

I know he’s not going off to face the enemy but it’s hard not to have my children close and available to share the journey of life. I’ve never been apart from any of them for 13 weeks. And as heavy as my heart is right now I know it’s even more difficult for Susan (mom) and Valerie (his wife) and Aaron (his three-month-old son).

But it makes me appreciate the love of our Father just that much more. It’s another glimpse into the depth of His compassion for us. The heartache of a Father letting a Son leave home in order to serve and rescue humankind.

Thank You Father!


Filed under Family, Love of God, Parenting