Monthly Archives: June 2021

Safetyism, the New Religion

We raised our eight kids taking them to school in the back of a Volkswagon pickup with no seats and no seat belts. They sat on the floor of the pickup though we did have a canopy so they didn’t get wet from the rain, but there was no heater or windows. Then we moved up to a Volkswagon bus with no car seats or seat belts. They are all alive and well and are quite bold and unafraid of taking a risk today.

Staying safe has become a religion. “Safetyism,” as it is called, like all religions, places what it values — in this case, being safe — above other values. Safetyism explains the willingness of Americans to give up their most cherished values — including liberty — in the name of safety for the last year and a half.

Millions of Americans not only gave up their right to go to work, earn a living, attend church, and visit friends and relatives, but they even gave up their right to visit dying relatives and friends. One can assume that nearly every person recorded as having died of COVID died without having a single loved one at their bedside from the moment they entered a hospital until their death. The acceptance of such cruelty — irrational and unscientific cruelty, one might add — can only be explained by the desire for safety above all else.

The religion of Safetyism has increasingly deprived Americans of joys as well as freedoms. Children, in particular, have been so coddled that American children of the last two generations have probably had far less joy and far more fear than children of any previous American generation. Young children cannot take walks on their own lest child protective services be called; and monkey bars and seesaws have been removed from playgrounds. As an article in the Australian website Babyology headlined: “Monkey bars are dangerous and must be removed from playgrounds, experts say.”

Two Norwegian scientists, Ellen Sandseter (Queen Maud University College of Early Childhood Education) and Leif Kennair (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), wrote a study on children and risky play published in Evolutionary Psychology in which they concluded: “We may observe an increased neuroticism or psychopathology in society if children are hindered from partaking in age-adequate risky play.”

One of the most prevalent comments I get from people when I tell them about my bicycle trips across the country is, “that sounds terribly dangerous!”

Take five minutes to watch the video of my son-in-law and my grandkids. I guarantee that you will be blown away by the risk and danger these kids who are 6, 8, and 10 years old face. This is an amazing video of parents teaching their kids to take risks and to not be afraid of danger. I put it on my Facebook page a few months ago. Cut and paste this to your internet to watch.

111 degrees! Wow, That is Hot!

A growing area of pseudo-science today driven by liberal politicians is the “man-caused global warming crisis.” The global warming frenzy and resulting fear in our culture is a deliberate plan to control our culture. If weather and temperature change is happening, it is God-caused, and He is doing it for a reason.

“There are other voices – climate realists and real scientists – who have been speaking out for years about the pseudoscience associated with climate alarmism. One of them is Dr. Fulks. Gordon J. Fulks, Ph.D. is a physicist, originally from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research. He is currently one of the Directors of the CO2 Coalition, a group of prominent scientists and economists who point out that carbon dioxide and water vapor are the entirely beneficial byproducts of our civilization. He has been fighting the good fight against knaves and fools pushing climate alarmists’ draconian economic solutions for a nonexistent problem that have become manifested in a “Green New Deal.””

Evolution is a theory with no real scientific support. Over the years those who believe in evolution would declare that those who believed that God created everything that exists in six days were ignoring the science and were dumbheads. This attack was repeated so much that strong, Bible believing Christians would often compromise their belief so as not to appear dumb to the unbelieving world. There are many real scientists who have proven that the supposed science that supports evolution is indeed pseudo-science.

The worst thing about the mask mandate, the business shut down, and the isolation of people to the point of shutting down schools and churches this last year was the claim that it was based on science, “just follow the science.” It was pseudo-science driven by the media, politicians, and medical companies. Now that the push and pressure to get everyone to conform is coming to an end, the lack of real scientific support is becoming more and more evident. It had about as much real science backing as my Dad’s belief that castrating our pigs under a full moon would result in faster-growing pigs!

There are many real scientists out there in the world, but they don’t get quoted by the politicians or media; in fact, they most often get ignored, restricted, fined, ridiculed, and falsely attacked.

The best sign that something is being driven by psedo-science is when it starts being used as a club to intimate and force people to a particular agenda, and when it produces disunity.

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day 9

We are all packed up, in the RV and headed home, having terminated the trip because of the excessive, record-setting heat. I am now in the planning stage for next year’s trip. I have decided that I am going to do the Adventure Cycling’s Trans-America route. It is a coast to coast route going from Oregon to Virginia, and is approximately 4,000 miles long. At this point my brother Cliff will go on the trip with me along with his wife Kathy, and several others are thinking about it.

There are a number of decisions that have to be made about the trip. The first is whether we are going to do it with or without a support vehicle. A vehicle makes it a lot easier because we won’t have to pack 70 lbs of gear, clothes, and food on our bikes. It also adds a lot of security in case of breakdowns or other issues that can come up. Obviously the fact that I will be 73 and Cliff 72 is a major consideration. The main reason not to is because it quadruples the cost of the trip.

A second decision is whether we will start on the West Coast or the East. The prevailing winds generally go from West to East so the probability for tailwinds instead of headwinds, which is a big deal, is higher starting on this side of the U.S. A big problem going from West to East is that the purchased airplane ticket for returning home departure date hangs as a deadline over your head in case of any delays in the trip because of break down, weather, or health.

Another decision if we decide to use a support vehicle is whether we will buy one just for the trip and sell it at the end or whether we use someine’s personal vehicle that is going on the ride. If we use someone’s personal vehicle there is the added time and miles of driving across the country at the beginning or end depending on the starting point.

Another decision is when we we would do the ride. The personal schedules and responsibilities of those going and the best weather are the key factors in deciding.

There are many more decisions that need to be made in the planning of this trip, but the most important has been made, I am going to do it. Actually, the planning and all the research that goes into a journey of this magnitude is my favorite part.

Decision making and planning are a key part of every area of life. God planned all that has happened, and has planned the future in detail. He has given us the power and the freedom to make plans for our own lives and the lives of others and for organizations that we may lead.

Some people make good plans and succeed, and others make poor plans and fail. There are three keys to successful planning. The first is to make God the leader in the planning process, even if it is as non-spiritual as a bicycle trip. The second is to get counsel and advice from others who have experience. And the third is to do lots of research.

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day 8

Well, we decided when we got into camp today that we are going to abort our trip, it is just too hot to ride a bicycle as strenuously as we do. I checked the forecast for each area for each day, and it is supposed to be over 100 degrees every day. Today was only 42 miles but I started getting light-headed the last hour we rode when the temperature went to 102 degrees.

We will get up in the morning like a bicycle ride day and head home, it will be about a ten-hour drive. It is always sad not to be able to finish a goal, but like the old Kenny Roger’s song goes, “you have to know when to hold them and when to fold them, ” or something like that.

The fact is, almost all of my big goals have some revision in them because of unknown events or circumstances that came up. One of the character traits that we all need to be strong in is the quality of being determined, having endurance, and being tough, along with being balanced with being flexible and wise. We don’t want to be so flexible that we quickly quit our goals when things get hard, and we don’t want to be so rigid that we experience or cause someone else to experience some form of harm.

We now have bicycle trip number eight in the books. This is the shortest of all trips, both in days and miles. This is our eighth day and we have ridden almost exactly 400 miles

We are talking about doing the Trans-America next year. It is a route that many thousands of people over the years have ridden. It starts at Newport, Oregon and ends in Yorktown, Virginia, is about 4,000 miles long, and will take approximately two months to ride. If you would like to go let me know or if you would like to drive the support vehicle.

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day #7

I do not think I have ever been hotter than I was today riding my bicycle. I didn’t think we were ever going to get to camp. Cliff and I stopped along a ditch and dipped our shirts in the water to cool us off. We kept an eye out for traffic because we were sure that if anybody saw us with our shirts off they would run off the road. The forecast for tomorrow where we are headed is 104 degrees, but two good things, there is a swimming pool at the campground, and we only have to ride 42 miles tomorrow.

Today we left from Baker City and biked to Oxbow on the Snake River. This campground is one of the nicest, best run, most beautiful campgrounds I have ever been in. We rode 70 miles and climbed about 3500 feet, and the last hill of over 2000 feet and 7 % grade was at the end, around 2:00 pm, at the hottest part of the day.

I got stung on the forehead by a yellow jacket while I was riding today. I am glad it wasn’t on one of our 40 mph down hill rides. We did have a good down hill run but I only got up to 38 mph.

In the campground last night there was a train track right next to where we were camped, and there were also some chickens in a pen close to our campground. Because we are in a different campground every night I sometimes wake up confused as to where I am. At 3:00 am a train went by and blew his whistle and then after it was gone a rooster started crowing. At home we have a train track behind our house and there is usually a train that goes by and blows his whistle at 3:00 am. We also have chickens and we used to have a rooster that would crow at 3:00 am, but I killed him. So I am thinking that I am home, but I can’t figure out how that rooster was alive, roosters don’t rise from the dead!

Speaking of rising from the dead I was thinking about eternity today as I rode, and what came to mind in the heat was the contrast between the state or description of the eternity between those who love Jesus and are following Him, and those who don’t. The place that those who do not know Jesus personally will spend forever in is described as “intense heat, ” “Lake of Fire, ” “torment, ” and “agony.”

I know many people who have planned their retirement well, but give no thought to their eternal future. They just ignore it, and hope for the best.

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day #6

Today was a tough day. We climbed three passes, all of which were over 5,000 feet; we rode 70 miles, and the last 12 miles, we pedaled against a monster headwind that was a least ten mph. We saw lots of deer today as we rode through some beautiful country. We pulled into camp at Baker City about 3:00 pm, set up our tents, blew up air mattresses, put out our sleeping bags, took a nice long shower, sat in the hot tub, took another cold shower, ate some trail mix, and now I am getting ready to go to bed. It is only 8:30 pm, but we are getting up at 4:30 am. This is the most tired I have been so far on the trip, but I expect that 7 hours of sleep will cure everything wrong with me!

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day #5 b

Cliff likes to talk big, but at the top of this pass, he is the one sucking air! The fact is, he is usually ahead of me, but he is 14 months younger than I am, but I am quite a bit skinnier! I have lost 2 lbs, but I probably would have lost more if I didn’t eat so much. This biking up hills and going 70 miles a day makes me really hungry. Last night I ate one of the dinners that I brought that Patty fixed for me, and then I walked down to the local cafe and had another full dinner with Marionberry pie with ice cream for dessert!

The best thing I do now at this stage in my life is exercise. It is tough riding my stationary bike an hour every day and then going on these summer trips, I would rather not. But it keeps my energy up, my enthusiasm and passion for life and ministry hot, it keeps my Parkinson’s at bay, I am sure I think clearer because of it, and my general health is good.

One of the basic principles of life is that the more important something is to our life, the harder it is to do consistently. Jesus stated the principle numerous times, and none clearer than when He said, “choose the narrow hard way instead of the broad, easy way, few choose the hard way, but it is the way to life.”

The number of people who say they are followers of Jesus but don’t attend church faithfully, read their Bibles sporatically, give God left over and convenient time in prayer, give of their money when they have plenty, and don’t do much in the way of serving in their church is the majority. Why? Because it is hard.

Every day choose to do something new that you would rather not, or choose to do something that you know is good for you, but you have neglected because of laziness. Choose to learn a second language, to learn to play the piano, to paint a picture, to climb Mt Adams with me, to go on a bicycle trip, a long one, to take a math class at Linn Benton, or to go sky diving. You could make a goal to read the JBC Bible reading plan, to pray with your spouse 3 times a week, to give 15% of your income, to go to the gym 3 times a week, to cut out television, to cut out sugar from your diet, to fast a day a week, you get the idea, train yourself to choose the hard way instead of the easy way.

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day #5

Watching the news it would be easy to believe that the United States is pretty much just full of bad people, but really there are many more good people than bad. We have bumped into them constantly on this trip. People who are quick to offer help, give direction, and to make personal sacrifices for others.

Here Cliff and I are taking a break from biking in the shade drinking a cold diet Pepsi on the porch of the house of the pastor whose’s church we are staying at today. After we got settled in our accommodations for the night another bicycle dude showed up and moved in with us. He is a super nice young man who is riding from coast to coast, and we had a great time talking about our bicycle exploits.

Even though I am an introvert by nature one of the enjoyable parts of these bicycle trips is all the new people we get to meet. The conversation usually begins with our trip, where we are going, how hard it must be, and then it usually moves to the weather and then to personal stories.

In the New Testament, there are hundreds of commandments given to us from God on how to live life. Most of them are relational, how to treat other people. Commands such as love one another, be kind to one another, forgive one another, serve one another, honor one another, greet one another, and many, many more.

Eternity is going to be mostly about relationships, hanging out, telling stories about when we were growing up on earth, laughing about what we did and how we thought. The cool thing is we will have a glorified body that won’t have a sin nature so we won’t get grumpy, irritated, we won’t get our feelings hurt, and we won’t be competing for attention.

I am sure glad that because of my faith in Jesus Christ I am headed to heaven.

I am not sure if there are going to be bicycles in eternity, I am planning on flying like superman.

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day #4

Today we rode from Mitchell to Dayville, Oregon, only 40 miles. We stopped here because another church hosted bicycle riders as a ministry, and it was too good to pass up; besides, I didn’t mind only riding 40 miles. Tomorrow is our rest day, and it is much needed to rest muscles and heal aching body parts, though I was feeling much better today, and as a result, enjoying the ride more. We had a long gradual downhill ride today after a very, very steep 10-mile uphill climb. I like the gradual dowhhills where we go about 10 to 15 mph without pedaling most of the time. It is very relaxing and easy to look around at the scenery and wildlife.

One of the things that happens to me on these rides is that on about day 4, I start hallucinating. Not bad hallucinating, more like optical illusions. I can’t tell whether the road is going up or down. Today I was riding along a river, and I was positive it was running uphill. But I know rivers don’t run uphill, so I had to ignore what my eyes and brain were telling me. Later I was going along at 15 mph without pedaling, and it looked to my messed-up brain that I was going uphill, but I know that is impossible without a powerful tailwind.

So, my new accurate gauge for whether I am going uphill or downhill is no longer my eyes; they deceive me; it is my legs; am I pedaling, how hard am I pedaling, and how fast am I pedaling?

That is very much like life, we are constantly being deceived. Our own heart often deceives us.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

The devil is called “the deceiver,” and he is constantly trying to get us to believe things to be true that are false.

The world, the media, politicians, teachers, even Pastors are constantly trying to control us through deception.

Those who read, study, and memorize the Bible every day will know the truth. Be sure that with busy schedules and summer activity you don’t compromise on the basic disciplines of the Christian life, otherwise you will think up is down and wrong is right.

Bicycle Trip 2021 Day 3

Today we rode from Bend to Mitchell, Oregon. It was 78 miles with about 4,000 feet of climbing as we went over Ochacho Pass. We had a great down hill ride going down the other side of Ochacho Pass because they were doing road construction near the top of the pass, and they would hold all the cars and trucks until the pilot car came. So there would be a slug of vehicles, and we would pull over until they passed, and then we would have 20 minutes without a car so we would ride out in the smooth part of the road. I got up to 42 miles an hour twice. It was overcast today with even a shower or two so the temperature was pleasant. We had no flat tires, no dogs chased us, no mosquitoes bit us, rumble strips were only a minor problem, most of the day there was a two foot shoulder, and once we got past Prineville traffic was mild. Sore muscles, tender butt, and other physical issues were much better today.

We had planned on staying at the public park in Mitchell, but someone told me about this place we are staying in tonight. It is a church that decided to have a ministry to bicycle riders. They have 6 bunk beds, a couple of teepees, tent space, and room for our RV. They have showers and provide breakfast as well. Tonight there are about six other bicycle riders besides us who are staying here and we have had a good time comparing stories of our various rides and trips.

Tomorrow we are headed to John Day.