Just get out and move!

Just get out and move!

That was my motivation some four and one half years ago when I bought my first adult mountain bike at a Goodwill store for 16 bucks. It was a small frame Specialized brand, obviously built for someone of a much smaller frame than I am, but I was on a budget and made it work.

I still remember the look on my Honey’s face as she was looking through clothes and such when I walked up to her with the bike in tow. She had given me this look many times before. It was one I am familiar with, being the dreamer in the family and all. Plus, being one who has had a higher than average amount of hobbies in our 28 years of marriage, I wasn’t surprised by her reaction.

I had needed to get out, move, and get healthier. I’m not a runner, never have been, so bike riding seemed a great alternative for me to try out. Turns out, I really missed riding a bike. I began riding in the large fields on motorcycle trails between our house and the church building about a mile away. I could ride different routes and get some decent miles in. I even rigged up some lights for heading home in the dark.

After a few months of riding, I downloaded an app to track my progress. I recently received my ‘happy anniversary’ email from them with my lifetime stats. I’ve ridden over 2600 miles and burned over 245 thousand calories since 2012. I’ve not always been faithful and consistent though, with injuries or illness, the occasional vacation, or just life in general getting in the way. Let’s not forget inclement weather too! Riding in the bitter cold or gusty wind is just not fun!

I have switched over to road cycling and now that I live in a more road cycling friendly community with many bike lanes and routes, I am being more determined to get out and put some mileage in. Today is a down day. I’ve put in about 80 miles this week in three rides. That may be a drop in the bucket for some of the extreme cyclists’, but for me, I used to think that a 12-mile ride was a killer. Now I feel like I’m just warming up around 10-12 miles.

On my ride yesterday, I was thinking about why I share my stats on social media. It’s not about, ‘Hey, look what I’m doing and you’re not!’ but rather more for the hope that it motivates others to get out and move. I feel better getting out there. Sure, I hurt and am tired when I get back from a ride – it’s supposed to be that way! The results though are far more beneficial than the temporary discomfort.

Latest Iphone photos 297

 

 

Cycling may not be your choice, I ride by many people who are out there walking around the block, or running/jogging. I saw one older lady out with her walker! Way to go Granny!

Just get out and move, you’ll be glad you did.

Oh, and try it without socks!

 

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Cycling can be Spiritual

Cycling is a Spiritual experience for me. Not in the generic term of spiritual, that is so often times abused in our culture today. I am talking about how this is my time with God, not some ‘Koo-koo-ka-choo, I am the walrus’ thing where I am trying to transcend into a higher plane. If that is your thing then have fun with it.

For me, it is my time to clear my head of the garbage and focus on what God is doing around me and in my life. Just the fact that He has given me the strength to make the bike move is part of the experience. I put on some praise music and just go. Sometimes it is a quick ride, other times it is more of a challenge. Today I challenged myself.

I am located in the desert where it is relatively flat. However, there is one road headed out of town that is, from my house anyway, the most grueling incline on the routes I choose to ride. As I was riding it today, I experienced a Spiritual lesson from God. Not a new lesson, but one that I needed reminding of and now I share it with you.

On this route, I have about two miles of flat to warm up and then the grade begins. Once the grade kicks in, there is really not any recovery point until the top of the grade, four to five miles away, a stretch that generally cuts my average speed in half. If you are going this route, you are committed to it. Well, I guess you could turn around and choose another route, but where is the building up going to happen if turning around is an option. You just have to gear down and keep going.

Once at the top of the grade there is still no turning back, if you are committed to the journey. The rest of the route is a two-lane road with no shortcuts or turnoffs. You are committed to go the distance to the first road, a twenty-mile loop back to my starting point, or the second road, a twenty-six mile loop. I chose the twenty-mile loop today.

As I was trudging up the grade, God began to impress on me that this ride is like my Spiritual journey with Him. It is not going to be easy. There are parts of it that just slow me down. Battles and struggles that cut my forward progress in half, much like the grade slows my average speed. Nevertheless, I keep going! Spiritually, this is when I grow my faith in my Lord. I need to rely on Him to keep me moving forward and not turning around.

Sure, when I get to the top of the grade, there is a downhill section, but it is not an opportunity to just coast through, I still have to pedal because there is usually some form of wind pushing against me. This is where the Spiritual growth happens in our lives, after the hard work, in the consistency of moving along the route God has mapped out.

Then even when things are going smooth and you are feeling good with yourself, some form of discouragement can creep in. For my riding, and me this happens when an ‘old guy’ passes me. I am talking guys fifteen to twenty years older than me (I am fifty). However, I quickly realize that these guys have been doing this a lot longer than I have. They have been on the road more than I have. So I choose to watch them and try to learn something in their cadence and style. Just as we should with those who have been walking a Spiritual life longer than we have.

There are times when I tell myself, “If only I had an actual road bike instead of my Franken-Bike!” Side note – the bike I ride is one I built out of three or four other bikes. It works! One day I will graduate to an actual road bike and probably still complain when the old-guys pass me. One day I will be one of those old guys passing others! For now, my Franken-Bike and I will persevere.

That is what our Spiritual journey with God is about – persevering through the route. Not stopping; not being discouraged. Moving forward under the power He gives you at the time. Not looking for a short cut or thinking about turning around. Growing stronger and more consistent with each rotation of the sprocket or step.

Be encouraged today in your own Spiritual journey. No matter what you are facing, you are getting stronger in Him. Let God be your strength today and every day.

Oh, and if you can do it without wearing socks, go for it!

Thanks for stopping by. Blessings to you.

Living in two places…

Ya know, I really like to travel. In fact if I could get paid to do it I probably would! Technically I am getting paid to travel between our permanent home and our temporary home ~ our 26ft travel trailer parked at our new church home RC4SQ Church. But that kind of travel is different.

I’m really enjoying being in both places, yet living out of a suit case while not really traveling is getting a bit old. I told my Honey last night that this whole maintaining two households is not easy. We have to make sure we take all the necessary items with us rather than trying to keep both places stocked up. I told her I have no idea how people who lead double lives can keep it all straight! To which she replied, “They have wives!” Sorry, two houses, two families, and two wives ~ not gonna happen!

Just the maintenance alone is interesting. Having the tools needed to do projects at the new church and hoping I won’t need them at home…trying not to use two vehicles for traveling back and forth…making sure the schedule is updated often so as not to miss any appointments…having enough cloths at each location for the days we are there…oh and then there are the needs of our short hairy kids…

Tekoa, my boy, only really likes to travel in the back of my little Toyota pick up. He loves catching the wind in his cheeks and slobbering all down the side. Abby, my Honey’s girl, is pretty content in the back seat of our car, to the point of even trying to nap. Yesterday was travel day and I tried something different since it wasn’t too hot…I kept the back windows down in the car so Tekoa could get his wind therapy. He did pretty good and was a bit more content on the ride. Abby even tried some wind therapy too, something she really doesn’t do in the back of the truck.

Eventually the travel time will be getting reduced. We’ve been looking at houses trying to get an idea of what’s available and price ranges, along with area and neighborhoods. God will show us the place we are to land eventually. We are thankful for what we have in the meantime.

Living in two places isn’t really all that bad. I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about having multiple homes around the country or world…that would drive me nuts!!!

Shalom everyone!

And remember…in the Northern Hemisphere it’s summer…lose the socks!!!

Settling in?

Well, here we are, me and my Honey and our short hairy kids, 20 days into the transition of this new ministry opportunity and things are slowly beginning to feel like normal. Well, actually it has felt like we were supposed to be here all along. It was part of God’s divine plan for our lives. We know we are in the right place.

Several years ago a friend of mine began a new ministry in the Kern Valley (where we have lived for the past 19 years, and still call home even during this transition). The day he moved in, I think it was in June, it was the hottest day of the year so far at 110! Plus the humidity was up around 30%! For a guy who was moving from the Central Coast, he was ready to melt! Thing is, he was moving into a home. He had a place to get cool and could relax at the end of the day.

My honey an I have chosen (key word here) to “live” in our travel trailer until we can find an actual home to be in when we are over at the church for various functions. We can get cool where we are, sure, but its still a big metal box in the Mojave Desert! And yes, the church has cooling capabilities but no real place to just relax very well.

It’s been like camping with perks. We don’t have to shower in the trailer, there is a shower in one of the buildings making it feel like a campground shower. There is a kitchen where if we don’t want to cook in our trailer we cook in there, kinda like a KOA community kitchen, just without the other people.

Currently we are sitting in the fellowship hall both writing blog posts! Kinda like a community social hall at a campground only mid-week when nobody is around. We did have a spruce up day today here at the facility and it went very well despite the 100+ temperature! There were more people then sitting at the tables we are at, it was a good day!

We have plans on utilizing our ministry style – having an open home, both floor plan and hospitality, as soon as God opens the door for us. I for one hope it comes very soon. I’m looking forward to getting more plugged into the community and the neighborhood we are meant to be in. A pool would be nice too! (Jus’ sayin’ it would be nice God!)

All in all, this has been a good few weeks. Tomorrow is Father’s Day and some of my kids and grand-kids will be together at our oldest daughter’s house for a BBQ. Some good friends will be over to see us at church, and our new church family is very welcoming, accommodating, helpful, and excited about the future (and even some of the changes coming down the road)!

I’m still doing life without socks (except for today 8~\  only because of the work involved and being on ladders), so life is good!

I have a couple of friends who have lived in their RV’s for a period of time, one for over a year, the other for seven years!!! I don’t think I have that kind of stamina, but I’m not telling God “no” in this!

Shalom Y’all!

Joining a ministry family…

Last year ministry wise was a big change for me. My Honey and I had pioneered a non-denominational church plant way back in ’04. This came after my graduating from seminary classes in ’03 and some friends posing the question, “So, how do you start a church?”

We had opened our business, a Christian Coffee House the previous year and things were going well, why not plant a church too! Fast forward ten years and the demand of business owner and shepherd to a small church was taking its toll on us. Our marriage was struggling and we had began counseling in late 2012 to get that back on track (we were given a clean bill of health just a few months ago!).

The decision came to sell the shop and focus on ministry. My Honey threw out the question, “Why are we still here in this area? Maybe God has something else in store for us. Do you still get those listings for churches needing pastors?”

I had been subscribed to church job search websites for a long time, so we began to look again. I dusted off my resume, wrote a new cover letter and began sending out feelers. We came close to going to Central Washington around March of last year, but that was not where God wanted us to be. When that was a possibility I had contacted a long time friend and fellow pastor (Neal) who had just merged his ministry with another church he had grown up in.

Their plan was to have three campuses serving together in the community but they didn’t want to move into my area of the valley without partnering with us or if by chance I wasn’t going to be in the area. I had asked him if we did move North if they would bring our church into the fold and carry on the ministry. Well when Washington didn’t come through I sat down with God and had a long talk.

I came away with the sense that I would just be content in waiting for His timing and direction. It was closing in on Easter and I figured that no church would be going through the process of finding their new pastor for a while. I had it in my heart that sometime after Easter I would get another call for an interview or something.

Well the Monday after Easter my buddy Neal calls me to talk. It had been a few weeks since he had found out the Washington position had not gone through and wanted to see how things were going and what I thought God was doing now. We met for lunch the next day and then with the other pastor (Jon) and his wife that following Friday. God was at work and we talked about making the full merge with them.

The timeline was aggressive to make the merge, plus we had our trip to Alaska planned right in the middle of it. But it was what God wanted to do so we followed. It has given me a chance to reflect on my ministry calling and gain a fresh perspective as well.

When we joined up we still felt as though God was calling us out of the area and that this new merge may not be permanent. The plan was to get me licensed in Four Square and then just see what God was going to do. Well I started the process of licensing and we were six months into the merge. Neal, Jon and I sat down for a focus group kinda meeting…where are we, where are we headed, what’s the plan for the next six months?

Well, a couple weeks later I get a phone call from Jon and he’s telling me that they heard from the divisional supervisor of a position open about an hour East of us. They warned me when I joined up with Four Square that it was a family type relationship and that things like this happen a lot. Things like getting a phone call instead of the whole resume and searching process.

One of the big things we ask about life in ministry is this – What is God saying and what are you going to do about it?

A big part of my ministry family! Amie, My Honey, Me, Jon, and Neal (Stacy wasn't up there with us but she's a big part too!)

A big part of my ministry family!
Amie, My Honey, Me, Jon, and Neal (Stacy wasn’t up there with us but she’s a big part too!)


We decided to see what God was saying at that point. You’ll have to wait for my next post to see what I am doing about it though…

Enjoy your life and try it without socks!