Horses and Other Engineering Marvels

Depending on which way I decide to drive into work each morning i frequently will have to stop for a “horse crossing” at a horse racetrack. There will be jockeys and warm-up riders taking these magnificent creatures from the stables to the warm-up track across this street and a crossing guard will leave his guard station to direct traffic as needed.

These horses are bred for speed and not so much for docility. They don’t always respond well to the rider’s direction and will act very nervously towards the waiting stopped vehicles. Horses were designed for human riders. The shape of the back, the mane, the hooves, the temperament and so on all indicate this. And yet, each of them have a distinct character if you will. Some just walk calmly across the street, while others seem to be very anxious about the situation and ready to bolt at any moment.

Even so, they will yield to the guiding of their riders eventually and allow us motorists to continue on our ways. Horses are big, powerful animals and people that handle such creatures must be very skilled riders to manage them. My limited experience with horseback riding has taught me that horses don’t seem to mind being ridden, though they would rather be doing their own thing like grazing or standing quietly somewhere near some other horses.

Waiting at this crossing can be a pain, but the opportunity to admire one of the Creator’s masterpieces of engineering is well worth it.

Wayne Hollyoak

Hazards of Pride

Sometimes I find myself and I don’t like what I see. This can be especially true as a “musician”. For two thirds of my musical “career” I’ve played guitar as a hobbiest and occasionally in church just quietly in the background “accompanying” others and as time went on gradually learning how to lead singalongs for small groups.

These past few years I’ve had the amazing privilege to play in a worship band for my church. This has really helped me begin the transition from “guitar player” hobbyist to “musician” and become an integral part of a musical team. It’s also brought out some of my glaring shortcomings as a musician and as a man and more importantly as a Christian.

I’ve recently joined a Christian rock band that members of our worship team have formed. I started playing rhythm guitar and another guy was to play bass. But, he wasn’t able to join us until after the new year. So, I filled in on bass, which I played only very briefly some 30 years back. I like playing bass, but it has an entirely different role and presents a whole new set of challenges.

In the meantime we are playing live! That places me in a somewhat difficult position of someone with very limited experience being depended on by friends that I don’t want to let down. And, it does bring out my clumsiness and poor focus. I don’t like making mistakes and it really bothers me if it causes problems for others.

last night we had a practice as backup musicians for our church’s youth musical ensemble. The song we’re playing is one that I’ve played often with the band and has a 4 count rest after the intro. That means I need to wait for the drummer to play a certain part. Well, on one try, I jumped the gun hit the note right in the middle of the quiet spot and suddenly all eyes were on me! I blew it and knew it!. But, started to make excuses, “The tempo seems slower than before!” Everyone paused and shook their heads, “No, it was the way we’ve always done it.”

Yes, they were right! and I knew it! Not sure if I apologized for my making excuses or not. That’s just one of many times that I’ve tried to cover my butt “save face” as they say. One of those things that reminds me of how pride can so easily bring the worst out of us if we let it creep in our hearts. On the one hand, I can say that 6 months on a “new” instrument isn’t enough to get to performance level. On the other, I accepted the position and practice session are there to work out our mistakes. The last 3 tries I turned to the drummer and waited for his cue and things went fine. But, I still had the “chip(pride) on my shoulder” that was troubling my peace of mind.

I’m grateful that the Holy Spirit is there to dislodge me from my “high horse” as needed. Finally, I admitted my pridefulness to God a little while ago and the release from its grip was immediate! I’m very grateful!

Wayne Hollyoak

Hatred Turned Sideways

One of the stranger things that have come out of the so called, “sexual revolution” of the 60’s and 70’s is the bizarre animal referred to as the “gay rights movement”. The acceptance of sexual perversion, or “deviancy” as it was called for a while, is being shoved upon our society more and more aggressively these days. Ironically, the new term applied to such behavior or “lifestyle” is “gay”.

In the animal kingdom, these sorts of behaviors are recognized in a more honest and pragmatic way as being dominance. A desire for control over others resulting in sexual arousal. In people it means one individual becoming aroused by another’s submissiveness. In more extreme cases, there is interest in a “s and m” relationship. But, there’s little difference in the fact that all such behavior has an underlying root of contempt rather than love.

The truth is that there is no such thing as a “homosexual”, that is someone “born” with a “gene” for such behavior or interest. There are forces at work in the world that are driving people to fit into that mold. These forces took control of the cities called, Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible. The Creator did not allow them to continue to live on the planet.

The Creator teaches us about the dangers of a “root of bitterness” that can get into our hearts that can “defile” us. The harsh or negative experiences we have as children or young adults can easily taint our character. I have 3 male dogs that love to wrestle and play. One is much smaller then the other 2 and always ends up being over powered by the other two. On those rare occasions that the little one can, he will mount one of the others. They have all been neutered many years ago. Is it the little guy’s frustration that has him aroused by the opportunity for dominance over the other fellas?

Same sex activity is a definite sign of contempt. Of the few people I’ve know that have been murdered, 2 of them were murdered by “homosexuals” whose same-sex “romantic” intentions were rejected causing them to reveal their deeper motives-dominance and revenge. It’s simply impossible for someone to “love” someone that they disrespect.

The human genome is in decay and many people are born with less then ideal physiques for their birth gender and there are mutations that can cause hormonal problems and developmental variations and confusion can result. These folks should be shown understanding and be accepted as equal human beings, not picked on and humiliated and driven to bitterness and pushed to a “lifestyle” that fits some perverse or selfish prejudice. After all, it’s not a sin to be single, or just lack “romantic” interest in general. But, it IS a sin to hold contempt for someone like that.

Jesus committed Himself to the task of saving people and he knew how his hormones worked having designed them. He realized how deceitful and persuasive they can be if we allow ourselves to become bitter and resentful. When cruel people pushed the young “adutleress” in front of Him to tempt Him, He just drew on the ground (rather than gawk at her nakedness) as a sign of His respect for her as a person. Their solution for the woman’s sin was death, His was respect and the offer of forgiveness. Jesus exposed their hypocrisy and as they all left, “Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those who accuse you? has no man condemned you? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more. Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Wayne Hollyoak