I am building a “trike recumbent” bicycle. It is what they call a tadpole design with two wheels in the front and one in the back. I wanted to buy one, but they cost as much as a motorcycle. I found some nice plans on line and will be able to build a nice one for a fraction the cost of buying one. I am excited about getting it done eventually and riding it. Bicycling is such good exercise for me, but I am having a harder and harder time with my balance. I won’t fall over on my new recumbent trike when I get it done. I am using parts from bicycles to build it and part of the plan to keep the cost down is finding free and cheap bikes to cut up for parts. I called a steel/junk place today and asked them if they had any junker bikes for cheap, and the guy on the phone said hundreds for $30 or less. Super! I drove 30 minutes to the place with my bike rack on the back of my car ready to get some good parts for my project. When I got there the guy said they scraped all the bikes yesterday, and when I told him that I had called and somebody told me there were hundreds, his response was, to bad, whoever that was didn’t know what they were talking about. He then asked me what I wanted with the junker bikes anyway, and I told him of my plan. He then preceded to lecture me for 10 minutes straight about how dangerous those blankety blank recumbent bikes were. He was incredibly rude and obnoxious and not responding was difficult. When I got into the car and headed home I was very irritated, well probably very angry would be more accurate. I fussed and fumed in my head the entire way home. When I pulled into our yard and parked I prayed, “Lord, please help me to forget this, and be filled with Your peace and joy”. I then put the seat back down on the car and took a 20 minute nap. When I woke up I looked on Craig’s list and called on a bike in Albany. 20 minutes later I handed a guy a $20 bill for a bicycle that had the perfect parts with all that I needed.
It is always nice to get texts and phone calls from my kids telling me what a wonderful Dad I am. Being appreciated by those most important to me is a great feeling. When we were raising our kids we did the best we knew how for their sake, so they would be good, with character,and succesful as they grew up. We never were motivated as we raised them by the thought of praise and appreciation from them in years to come, but it sure is nice now. The very strong desire that has been in me from the time our first child was born to have our kids be champions must be God given. When I think back over the years of all the time given, the sacrifices made, the hours in prayer, the money invested it was driven by more than a parents love for their children, it was driven and still is by a strong passion to see them be super succesful in life and fully devoted followers of Jesus. When I think of the white hot passion in me I know that I didn’t put it there, it was just there. As I think about this drive I think that it is God’s way of helping me understand His strong desire to see me become like Him in character, and the willingness to pay such an infinite price for my salvation making it possible for me to live with Him forever.
The family fishing trip to the Brownlee was super. Great camping and awesome fishing with 800 crappie being caught. But the Mosquitos were terrible!! Someone asked me tonight if the devil could create demons. I said I didn’t know, but that I was pretty sure he was the one who created Mosquitos! I am still scratching welts left from bites. These Mosquitos were so aggressive that they bit me through my cloths! It would be hard to say they were a trial, but major nuisance would not be a stretch. We always said that camping was a condensed version of life, and real life is full of aggravating irritations. At least with Mosquitos there is DEET that works pretty good to keep the bugs off, but in everyday life there isn’t anything to repel the constant array of irritations and annoying frustrations. The theme of Vacation Bible School that starts Monday at JBC is “Conquering Obstacles”. That is what life is about, conquering obstacles. So when a mosquito bites me I will kill him and rejoice and not fuss.
Spent several hours today getting my sprinkler system in my little orchard working. I got it going and adjusted all the sprinkler heads and it looked really good with water flying everywhere. With water, all my fruit trees will do good and have lots of big fat apples and my lawn will stay nice and green as well. As I stood and admired my work I thought of one of my memory verses, Psalms 1:2-3, “his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water which yields it’s fruit in it’s season, it’s leaf doesn’t wither and in whatever he does, he prospers.” I delight in God’s Word. I read it every day for at least 30 minutes and spend another 30 minutes memorizing verses. Whenever I start thinking in a way that I know is not healthy I choose to replace those thoughts with a Bible verse. I recite the verses or verses in my head and then begin thinking about what it means and how to live it. I am believing and claiming the promise in Psalms 1:2-3 that as a result of delighting in God’s Word and mediating on it often that I will bear much fruit and that I will prosper which means that I will be succesful at what I do.
Got up this morning at 6 am and started packing all the camping and fishing stuff, and putting it on the boat. A lot of stuff! Seemed like it all had babies from when we packed it at home. We also had two coolers of fish added to the load!! We got it all loaded and on tha road by 9:30 am, wow!!! Even with all the kids helping😄 Very fun, enjoyable, and relaxing time camping and fishing with 4 grandkids and their parents. I am mostly sleeping while son-in-law Mike drives. I stayed up until 2 am a number of nights fishing for catfish and was up around 6 am most mornings anxious to get to fishing. I spent many hours fishing and just about as many hours cleaning fish. I get really tired with the schedule and activity, but it is easy to push through it with the enjoyment of fishing as the motivator, but now that we are headed home I am totally relaxed and enjoying the sleep and rest. One of the skills that I have acquired in the last couple of years is the ability to steward my energy. I have way less energy than I used to have, but I use it with much greater wisdom, and I have learned to read my personal gas tank accurately, and have learned how to fill it up well before it is on empty. The number one source of energy is spending quality and quantity time with the Lord in prayer and reading, memorizing and meditating in His Word. Second is spending time with Patty and my family. And third is fishing, especially for a number of days in a row, and doubly especially when it is with family or good friends. So tomorrow I will be back to ministry with a full gas tank hoping and praying that God will use me to bear much fruit for Him.
“The Disciplines” as the early church fathers called them are those activities that our “flesh” hates to do but are critically important to our relationship with God and our own spiritual and character growth. Bible reading, and prayer are the two most basic and most important of “The Disciplines”. The key for me to being faithful to these disciplines is establishing routines in my life that I keep. For the last four days and for the next three we have been camping and fishing at the Brownlee Resevior East of Baker City. It is really a struggle to stay faithful to the basic disciplines when your normal routines get all changed. It is easy to say, “oh well,it is just one week, it won’t matter if I read my Bible and pray for just a week”. As soon as I get back I will get right back at it. I know how easy it is to drift away from the Lord and to lose your momentum in growing in just a week and then never to regain what is lost. Most say,”won’t happen to me”, but it does. I want to finish my life well and not to coast even for a day. I fear losing my growth momentum because I see it happen to others all the time, especially during the summer when routines get out of whack because of vacations. So here I sit in a lawn chair at our campground after Midnight reading my Bible, praying for those at JBC and family, and writing this blog. Don’t mess up now Duke, you are to close to the finish line.
We are at the Brownlee Resevior fishing with family. Thomas went out on the boat today in his wheel chair. It took a little man power to get him on the boat in his wheel chair and once on we tied the chair down real good. He has a Velcro band that holds a fishing pole to his left arm and he can use his palm on his right hand to operate the reel. He can’t cast but we got the boat over a very good school of crappie and he was able to open the bail and let the jig fall to the bottom of the water about 20 ft deep and then real it back up slowly and he caught a bunch of crappie. Grandson Josiah had a great time netting Thomas’s fish and unhooking them and then Thomas was dropping the jig back down for another fish. He even got into a little trash talking with his father in law. Today is the second anniversary of Thomas’s farming accident that broke his neck and paralyzed him. He and Sherri are doing very well not only managing this crisis, but turning it into an oportunity to glorify and serve God. I can’t think of a better way to conquer a trial and declare yourself a winner over it then to go fishing. Yeh Thomas!!