One of the keys to being successful in life is falling in love with the daily grind instead of dreading it and fussing about it. I used to regularly climb Mt Adams. It is over 12,000 ft tall, it is very steep, and and very hard to climb. Many who start quit before they get to the top because of the difficulty. One of the topics of discussion between people who are getting ready to climb the Mountain is why are we doing this. Those who say they are climbing the mountain because they want to be able to say that they made it to the top of Mt Adams have the highest rate of failure in making it to the top. Those who say they are climbing it because of the challenge of the climb almost always make it to the top. Learning how to enjoy hard is a self training pursuit, and requires that we learn and practice a precise self talk when life does get hard. Our natural self is very wimpy and immediately fusses and feels sorry for itself when life takes a turn towards difficult, but we can, when we realize how important it is, learn to respond to hard with excitement, and gratefulness. Learn to enjoy the daily grind, and the harder it is the more excited we get. It is like getting ready to raft down a class 4 rapids, or climbing into an airplane to go sky diving, or getting ready to ride a bicycle 3,400 miles with over 142,000 feet of elevation gain. The anticipated level of difficulty of an event is what makes it fun and enjoyable. Those who enjoy the difficulty of the journey don’t quit and make it to the top, but those who are simply heading toward a destination or an accomplishment usually quit.
Worked all day with friend Jim McCain cutting and sowing on a roll of waterproof canvas 4 ft wide and 80 feet long to make a cover for my boat. We finished it just in time to make Saturday night church service tonight at JBC. One of my goals is learn something new in the way of a new skill. Well I watched about two hours of you tube instructions on how to make a boat cover. It turned out very nice so I now consider myself a bona fide boat cover maker. There isn’t much that I enjoy more than learning something new especially a new skill.After this picture was taken we put grommets in all along the edges, and have and have it bungy corded down to the frame. Now it is ready to pull up to the Kenai Peninsula to to launch into Cook Inlet to catch a bunch of halibut.
I went for a bicycle ride today. My goal was to go about 20 miles as a comfortable warm up for the 3,400 mile journey we leave on in 5 days. I rode 2 miles and turned around and went back home. I was totally done in when I got home and went and sat in my recliner for a couple hours to recover. When I was recovered enough to think clearly I started getting very uptight about the upcoming bicycle trip and the probability of me making it past the first day. A major part of the fear is that I have successfully finished 5 major bicycle journeys of over 2000 miles and 2 of them were over 4,000 and I blogged about each one and in the process I have picked up around 4000 faithful readers who think that I can successfully ride a bicycle anywhere for any length of time. So if I fail miserably to get past even the first day of riding on this trip it seems like the whole world is going to know, and I am going to feel like a major wimp. Now the challenge is trying to figure out how much I am motivated by the applause of people, and how much of that is ok with God. One thing I do know is the first two days of riding are going to be really, really hard, whoops I make fun of people who say the “hard” word. Anyway, the first two days are going to be a challenge in more than one way.
Patty and I drove up to see my Mom today where she lives in Trout Lake, Washington. It is about a 3 hour drive from our house to hers. She hasn’t been doing very well so I expected the worst in the sense of her attentiveness and memory, but she was very “with it”, and we had a very nice visit. Her and Patty do most of the talking along with my sister who lives just across the driveway from my Mom and is her main caregiver, so I mostly just sit and listen and throw in a grunt now and again to show that I am tracking with the conversation. As the ladies were talking I was reminiscing about my growing up years trying to remember all that my Mom did for me in the way of Christian training and motivation. I have a strong faith and a very close and intimate relationship with the Lord, and God has blessed my life, marriage, family, and ministry over the years, and I know the reason is because I was well parented by my Mom and my Dad. I am a product of very faithful, diligent, and responsible parents. My life is very much a result of factors that I had no part in choosing, so I can hardly take credit for anything that I am or have done, so I want to be especially careful in thanking my Mom and not taking her for granted, and thanking the Lord for the way He has sovereignty worked in my life and never taking Him for granted or forget to thank, praise, and worship the Lord for what He has done in my life.
So I read that a fellow named David Meade from England predicted that the rapture would happen April 23rd, 2018. I woke up this morning and realized that nothing had changed, if the rapture had occurred, I had gotten left behind, and that wouldn’t have been a good thing.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Leaving this earth and getting a new body is a very attractive thought to me. Aching and hurting muscles are with me pretty much most of the day now, and towards the end each day I begin to think about what it is going to feel like to have my new glorified body. I don’t know when it is going to be but one thing I do know for sure, it is going to happen, and those who love Jesus will be with Him forever.
I have everything done on my boat building project. I took it out and tested it on Foster Reservoir, and it did so good, I was very happy with how it handled and the speed it went. I am planning on towing it up to Alaska in July and taking it out in Cook Inlet and fishing for halibut.
Here is my boat in our yard being a playground for some of my grandkids. I plan on taking them all fishing one of these days in my boat.
I sold my 1949 Ford pickup this last week. A fellow from Illinois bought it. He drove out in a Ford diesel truck with a car trailer, and I helped him load it up and off he drove. It was a bit sad as I had invested literally hundreds of hours of work in that old pickup. It was a pile of junk when I started, and after all the fixing and rebuilding it drove really nice. A number of people have asked why I sold it, and the reason is that I am on a “disciplined pursuit of less” in my life. I started and finished building a 24 foot Dory boat recently, and one of my rules in my “disciplined pursuit of less” is I can’t start a new project unless I get rid of an old project. I will eventually sell the Dory Boat, hopefully making a little profit in the process, and I will then start on a new project. I like to have the new projects include the need to learn a new skill so I am stretching myself and always learning. Some possibilities of new projects are building a three wheeled car from scratch, restarting my aquaponics project with cat fish, building a 30 foot sailboat, putting in a half acre fish pond on our place with lots of fish, and a number of others that are really crazy. I want to be a lifelong learner, and never plateau in my character growth. I can choose to do that , and control the pace that I do that by the goals that I write.
If we were a decathlete planning on competing in 6 months in the Olympics we would make every decision in our life, 24 hours a day, based on the desire to win the gold medal. That goal would dictate what we ate, how much we slept, how much and how hard we practiced. As choices came up in our life we would take the hard way, not the easy way because the hard way will prepare us more to win the gold medal. Our desire to win the gold medal would be so all consuming that choosing the hard way in every choice we made would not seem oppressive or hard, but exciting, fulfilling, and rewarding. I think everyday about the time I will stand before Jesus at “Judgment Seat of Christ” and receive from Jesus the “Crown of Glory”, the “Crown of Righteousness”, and the “Crown of Life”.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
These rewards are not eternal life with God, that is a gift not earned or deserved, but given to us on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior.
These are rewards given to us by Jesus because in this life we ran the race set before us to win, we consistently chose the narrow, hard way, instead of the broad and easy way, we didn’t run the race without aim, we didn’t box as beating the air, we exercised self-control in every detail of our life to win a prize that will last forever.
Romans 14:10-12. For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God. So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
Almost every day I end it by writing in my journal. Because it is usually the last thing I do before climbing into bed I am usually tired and sleepy and the temptation to skip it just this one night is strong, but I rarely do because of the huge benefits in my life in my pursuit of character growth.
A third reason why I am so motivated to faithfully practice this discipline is that it is very important in my seeking wisdom. I forget things easily, and it is easy to forget lessons learned and wisdom gained by experiences. When I preach and teach I am always drawn to the person taking notes. I tend to make eye contact with them more, and I am much more in tune with whether they are understanding what I am saying or not, you might say that in a few minutes after I start speaking they become my favorites. God is always orchestrating our life to teach us wisdom, and if we don’t pay attention and learn what He is teaching us, or we aren’t excited enough about what we are learning to write it down so as to not forget it, I am not sure that God will do much teaching.
Proverbs 1:20-28 Wisdom shouts in the street, she lifts her voice in the square; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: how long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
I plead with God each morning to give me wisdom so I know what to do, and what to say in every situation I am in. I don’t want to be guilty of not paying attention, and missing what He is trying to teach me. I believe that the more attentive I am the more He will teach me. Journaling is my way of saying to the Lord, I am listening.
I got started journaling over 25 years ago and have maintained the discipline ever since. It would be something that would be easy to give up because it usually takes about 20 minutes to complete each evening, but the benefits are so powerful I stay very motivated to keep it up. I mentioned yesterday in my blog the benefit of improved communication skills because of the writing. Another huge benefit is the self-examination and personal reflection that takes place as I write about the day. No one enjoys looking for blind spots, character flaws, and bad habits in themselves, it is much more enjoyable to ignore those things and remain naive about who we really are. I “hunger and thirst” for growth in character and more righteousness in my daily living and treatment of others in my life. I have found the tool of writing about events that have happened to me as key to seeing myself accurately and knowing what I need to work on to change and grow. Writing about an event is like looking at myself as if I were another person, making it so much easier to be objective, accurate, and transparent. Confessing all known sins that we commit to God every day and repenting of them is a key part of our daily walk and relationship with God that results in growth in our character and in our relationship with God. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. The blessings that come into our life from God as we take a spiritual bath each day are huge, and the consequences of failing to keep short accounts with God are significant.