Working on my 1949 Ford pickup today when I got home from my office. I put a power steering unit in it out of a Toyota 4 runner and a power steering pump from a 72 Ford Mustang. I am having trouble getting the pump lined up square with the other pulleys of which there are three. I am always working on something on it, after all it is 67 years old. I am 67 years old as well, and I am always working on me. One would think that by this time I would be close to perfect😀 Many people stop working on themselves and stop growing and changing. They either don’t care, it takes to must effort or they are so focused on all the flaws of others they hardly notice their own flaws. Jesus said, “blessed is he who hungers and thirsts for righteousness, he will be satisfied”. I crave holiness in my own life, but I mess up regularly anyway. I try not to ignore it or justify it, excuse it, or blame others, but to own it, confess it to the Lord, reconcile with any people that I have hurt, ask for His strength to do better next time and move on.
Worked in my office at the church all day today. Most of the time I was working on my sermon for this weekend. I enjoy very much studying the Bible and trying to figure out how to make it clearly understood to anybody. When Jesus taught the Word to two disciples after the resurrection they responded by saying that their hearts burned within them while He explained the Bible to them. I want to teach like that. Jesus said that because He was going back to the Father and sending the Holy Spirit to us that we would be capable of doing greater works then He Himself did. I want to do that. I don’t care about walking on water I just want to preach and teach the Bible so that it is alive and sharper than a sword and changes people’s lives. I pray for that everyday.
The airplane landed at 9:30 am in Portland and our daughter Sherri was there to pick us up. When we got home I walked around and checked everything out and went down to the church and went through emails, there were over 3,000 of them, and mail, and talked to some staff. Then I sat down a made a to do list. I added to it, then added to it some more, then I had so many things on it I had to rewrite it putting the most important things on the top. Everything seemed to go good at home and at church while I was gone, in fact it seemed like it went even better than when I was home😊 Sitting in my recliner writing this, and home seems so nice. At times like this I get so full of thankfulness to God for my life. I have such a blessed life from God. I have so many things to do that have purpose and value, I have so many challenges to overcome and conquer. I have so many adventures lined up to experience. I have so many people in my life who love me and that I love and enjoy being with. My wak with God is so meaningful and fulfilling. Life is good. Thank You Lord.
Patty and are sitting in the Jacksoville, Florida airport. We had to be out of the motel by 11 am and our flight leaves at 7 pm so we are doing a lot of sitting. We get to Dallas, Texas airport at 9 pm and get on the plane to Portland at 7 am, so again about 10 hours of sitting. The tickets were cheap😀 Lots of people watching in airports, and it is always interesting, often, funny, and many times sort of a mystery why people act the way they do. People’s behavior is driven by their desires, dreams, past experiences, the training they received growing up, fears, faith etc. There are many nice, polite, and gracious people, but as you know there are a lot of very rude, impatient, selfish and childish people in the world, and it seems that a bunch are in the airport today. As I sit and watch and listen thinking about the worth and value of people I wonder what God thinks and feels. I wonder where most of them will be after they die, I wonder what my responsibility is in the whole scheme of things.
The Bible says to “run the race with endurance that God had set before us”, in another passage it says, “in due time you will reap or succeed if you don’t quit”, and again, “if we put our hand to the plow and then quit God has no pleasure in us”, and finally the Apostle Paul says ” I finished the race”. Endurance is a big deal to God and is a major key to growing in character and accomplishing anything of worth. On this bicycle trip every day was very hard and the thought “I would like to quit” popped into my head everyday, often every hour. Continuing to get on the bike every day was a choice. Jesus said, ” the gate is narrow and the way hard that leads to life and there are few who choose it”. In many people the desire for ease and comfort is stronger than the desire for success, growth, and accomplishment. Endurance is a mental thing. Our flesh is lazy, driven to seek comfort, and will prompt thoughts in our brain to choose the easy way. Conquering those thoughts with determination, commitment, and resolute pursuit of our goals is key. A bicycle trip across the nation isn’t really that big of a deal, but a marriage is, our walk with God is, our faithful reading of the Bible is, our commitment to a ministry is, our devotion to prayer is, and people quit those things all the time.
I like traveling across the USA on a bicycle. I like to fish, in fact I really like to fish. I like to hunt, and I am looking forward to going on a moose hunting trip this Fall with my son in law who lives in Alaska. My favorite thing to do though is teach the Bible. I think the reason is that God made me for that purpose so there is a great sense of fulfillment when I study and teach God’s Word. I am looking forward to being home and teaching this coming weekend at JBC at all three services. I am starting a new series of sermons this weekend on 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. This is a super cool book that talks about how to love, how to have great joy in spite of life, how to be full of hope for the future, how to be strong, and a number of other topics that apply to every person. I just love working at making the Bible understandable to every person. If you don’t have a church home why not visit JBC this weekend. You will be blessed by the power of God’s Word.
So John and I have been talking about our next bicycle adventure. We are thinking that in 2 years we will do this trip on the map. We will hit all lower 48 States beginning in Vermont and ending in Jefferson, Oregon. It will be 7,000 miles long, actually 6,820, but we will round it off to 7,000. We will bike for 100 days and have 20 rest days, averaging 70 miles per ride day. We won’t have a support team or vehicle like this trip so we will have to have all our gear on our bikes. I will be just a month away from 70 years old when we finish this trip. The next 2 years of planning the route will be fun because there is no established route like the one we just finished. We finished our “Southern Tier Across the Nation” trip today. Just 25 miles short of 3,000 miles. We went through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississsippi, Alabama, and Florida. We saw so much, and experienced so much on this trip. You can see the country very well at 12 miles an hour. I lost 17 pounds, not as much as I wanted, but with the wives coming along on this trip I ate a lot!! I had no flat tires, not one. We celebrated tonight at a nice Resturant and I had a big plate of Oysters! We will hang out tomorrow at this camp ground we are in, and then Monday we will drive to Jacksonville. We will stay overnight in a motel and then Tuesday will get on an airplane for home. Hallelujah!! We finished, now on to a bigger challenge.
Source: One Day Left
Today was a great day of bicycling. We road 65 miles but about half of it was on a bike trail. The trail was an old railroad track that they had pulled the tracks from and paved so it was flat, straight, no cars, and very beautiful. The trees and underbrush often was growing over the trail so we were in a canopy . Tomorrow is our last day of bicycling. We will go about 40 miles and be at the Atlantic Ocean at St Augustine where we will camp for two nights and then drive to Jacksonville and get on an airplane and come home. Two summers ago John and I road the Northern Tier from Jefferson, Oregon to Portland, Maine in 67 days and 4,000 miles. This trip is 3,000 miles and we will have taken about 55 days, but it seems longer. I think it seems longer because we have had so many different experiences and adventures. It has been a super trip.
Andrew and Stephanie McNeil, good friends who used to attend JBC and live in Gainsville, who we are staying with on our rest day here, took us to a Florida Park that was full of alligators. We had great fun walking through the park and seeing dozens of alligators. The sign said not to approach them because they were dangerous but I had to get close enough to get some good pictures😀