Archive | August 2010

Bike Ride Across America: Campfire under the Arizona moon

Well, I’ve been biking with my husband more than blogging, lately, so we’ve made it quite a ways down the road since my last post.   In fact, we’ve crossed the border into Arizona and are almost to Tucson, in a little town called Benson.

click pic for Benson, AZ facts from podunk.com

My husband is, anyway.  I’m, actually, 5 miles behind him, which means I’ll just have to pitch a tent and spend the night with the rattlers and scorpions in the desert, till I can catch up in the morning.

That’s because this isn’t a real Bike Ride Across America.  It’s a virtual one where we ride out the miles on country roads around our Midwestern town and log our progress on a map to see where we’d be if we really were riding Rt. 10 from the Atlantic to the Pacific across the south.

Our day’s goal was to ride 50 miles, which Dave achieved, but I had stopped at McDonald’s for a coffee break after the first 10, while Dave rode around some more, which left me 5 miles short at the end of the ride and since we had an appointment to get showered up for, there was no time to make up the miles, which leaves  me out under the stars  while Dave’s in town mingling with the Benson-ites!

I wonder if he’s in one of the taverns singing the “Benson, Arizona Song” with the locals.  It’s a real song.  I found it on Youtube:

Not as much fun as I’m having, I’m sure, since I found THIS friendly group of singers to share a campfire with under a beautiful Arizona moon:

In the real world, it’s nice to have friends, and in the Christian day to day, it’s vital:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!…  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.”    ~~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Well, while I’m stranded out here under the stars, why don’t you join me for a bit around the warmth of God’s Word to pray for our friends.  Who knows, maybe one or two of them have fallen down and could use a little help getting back up again…

Stop! Drop! and Pray!

Let’s Pray:

Oh, Father in heaven, thank you for my friends.

Father, “out of [Your] glorious riches, please strengthen [them] with power through [Your] Spirit in their inner [selves]”. (Ephesians 3:16)

Please give [them] a Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that [they] may know [You] better. (Ephesians 1:17)

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know the Lord?  If not, click the pic below to be introduced.  He’d love to share His fire with you!

campfire chalk drawing by Helen South**

**click HERE to see source for campfire flames above.

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Bike Across America: Tumbleweed Faith

Biking the roadways in the southwest means heat, more heat, and dodging  LOTS of tumbleweeds.

Tumbleweeds  aren’t native to the southwest, ya know.  The prickly thistle is a Russian immigrant.  Da! (yes, in Russian)

The seeds were delivered to the west via the Transcontinental Railroad, attached to burlap bags from Russia.

Transcontinental Railroad, click pic for source

Well, no matter where they come from, I’ve decided I don’t want to have tumbleweed faith.  Nyet! (no!)

I don’t want my faith in God’s goodness to be bounced around by every wind of doubt and my ever-changing circumstances. Nyet, spotzeebo! (no, thank you!)

I don’t want a heart that follows God today

because everything’s going my way,

but, if tomorrow pain I feel?

says, “Move over, God, I’ll take the wheel!”

And do you know why the tumbleweed tumbles?

Well, after a short time of flowering:

click pic for source

the round, prickly plant develops a tough layer of cells at the base thus cutting itself off from the root, and off it goes…

Hmmmm…maybe that’s why my faith takes a tumble sometimes, too.

Maybe by skipping out on reading the Bible and forgetting to pray too often, my heart develops a tough outer layer and I cut myself off from the Root,

Jesus,

my heart’s REAL desire.

Then, off I go

tumbling about in the dust

snagging myself on barbed wire.

click pic for source

The Apostle Paul didn’t want his disciples in Ephesus to have Tumbleweed Faith, either, so he prayed this prayer for them…

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father…

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,

to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;

and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may be able to comprehend with all the saints

what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

and to know the love of Christ

which surpasses knowledge,

that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14)

And did you see how big that root of love is?  (“How big is it?”, remember the old Johnny Carson show? :] )  It’s so big, we need help from God to “comprehend” the” breadth and length and height and depth” of it.  Now, that’s alotta love, and you and I HAVE to stay anchored to it, to Jesus, to grow.

Russian Thistles (Salsola Collina), before they become Tumbleweeds, click pic for source and to read more about the Tumbleweed from Blue Planet Biomes

Let’s pray:

Oh, Father in heaven, I want to know, know, know that love, that is beyond my ability to understand in my human fraility.

Fill me with ALL of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22]

In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!

Do you have an anchor for your soul? Click on the pic below to meet mine.  You’ll be glad you did.  You’ll say, “spat-zeebo” (thank you), and I’ll say, “Ne-za-chto” (don’t mention it.)

P.S. We’ve logged another 100 miles in New Mexico on our (virtual)  Bike Ride Across America (confetti, horns, hip-hip-hurrays!!!!)

The hot, dusty road brings us to the little town of Deming.

(not really, just pretend.  we’re actually riding around our midwestern town, and up in Door County on our vacation, my husband and I, and we’re logging our miles on a Google map as if we were riding from the Atlantic to the Pacific across the south and southwest.  Click on the map below to read about our crazy adventure)

 Deming, NM(map from epodunk.com)

Tulsa, OK!

click pic to learn more about Tulsa, OK

“And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is.” ~~ Luke 12:55

From a high of 70 in Door County 2 days ago (see previous post) to a high of 102 in the shade today.  We’re in Tulsa, OK…

"OooooooOk-lahoma! where the winds come sweepin' down the plain....Oklahoma! O.K.!" (click pic for source)

Only it’s NOT ok, because it’s sooooooo HOT!

Someone said this is the 2nd hottest summer on record around here.  Whew!  Lucky us.

Why are we even here in Oklahoma?  Wel, my husband and I are helping our son settle in at the University of Oklahoma.

Tulsa, OK. click pic for source

and we feel a little like Shadrach, Meshach, and Obednego down here in the fiery furnace.  Ouch! Thank you, Lord, for air conditioning!

Well, speaking of heat, here’s some “hot” verses from the Bible.  Hope you’re reading them in cooler temps than Tulsa…

“An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.” ~~Proverbs 29:2

“A hot tempered man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.” ~~Proverbs 15:18

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered.” ~~Proverbs 22:24

And here’s a “cool” video of Louis Armstrong singing, “Shadrach, Meshach and Obednego”.


Door County, WI

Well, I’ll soon be out the door to the Door!

Door County Wisconsin, from Wikipedia Commons

Yayy!! My family’s spending only a few short days on Wisconsin’s thumb peninsula, so we’ll pack in as much in as we can —

kayaking, para-sailing, hiking, biking, and, of course, the obligatory fish boil (highly recommended by the locals)

Fish Boil! The cook throws fuel oil on the timbers under the kettle at the end. The flames cause the fish oil and water to boil over leaving behind perfectly cooked and tender whitefish. Served with potato, coleslaw, sweet onions and rye bread. Yum! Photo from "Subaru Road Trips", click pic to read more about The Door!

Tourists swarm beautiful Door County every year for it’s yummy food, beautiful lake views, and lovely lighthouses, which were built all around the peninsula to keep sailors from crashing into her rocky shores.

That’s how she got her name, in fact.  Early explorers dubbed her, “Porte de Morts”, or “the door of death”, because there were so many wrecks.

I read that La Salle, the famous french explorer, lost his ship, the Griffon, against her rocks.

La Salle cheering on the crowds at La Salle University. Hope his cheerleaders jumped ship before the Griffin met her end! click pic for source.

The Griffon has lots of company on the bottom of Lake Michigan, unfortunately.

Or fortunately, if you’re one of the many adventure seekers diving for all that lost treasure.

diving for treasure. click pic for source

All this talk of lighthouses and shipwrecks reminds me of 1 and 2 Timothy.

Those two lighthouses in the Bible were written by the Apostle Paul for young Timothy to keep him from shipwrecking his faith:

Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction…so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.

Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.”  ~~ 1 Timothy 1:18-19

What were those “instructions”?  Here’s a few:

click pic for source

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:7

click pic for source

“This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” ~~ 1 Timothy 4:9-10

click pic for source

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,

Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.  ~~ 2 Timothy 2:15-16, 22

Well, I’m off to fill my suitcases for The Door, and, hopefully, I’ll pack these verses away in my heart’s suitcase, so I don’t end up like the Griffon, faith-wise.

But, before I go, and speaking of doors, I’d like to invite you to open up the door of your heart to the One who’s patiently knocking.  Click the pic below, if you haven’t met Him yet, for a quick introduction…

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

**door knob photo courtesy of Teresa Leach.  It’s from the lovely Grand Anne Bed and Breakfast in Keokuk IA.

Bike Across America: New Mexico


New Mexico! “Land of Enchantment”.  After a tiring 85 mile ride we finally crossed the border from Texas to  New Mexico!

Click pic for source

(Not really, just pretend.  My husband and I are on a virtual bicycle tour of the southern states.  We ride around our corner of the midwest and log our progress on a google map as if we really were riding through Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and now New Mexico.  We’re hoping to dip our front tires into the Pacific by October.)

When I think of New Mexico I think of the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Photo by Imran Mansuri, click pic to see more of his lovely photographs

For nine days, colorful balloons of all shapes and sizes fill the blue skies above Albuquerque, NM.

I’ve never been up in a balloon myself but someone said it is SO peaceful up there in the air; no noise, just beauty all around and PEACE. All  problems seem to melt away up in the sky.

Balloon Fiesta! an Imran Mansuri photo. Click pic to see more.

That’s how I want to be, faith-wise.  A Hot Air Balloon!  I want to be just filled with faith.

I want faith that floats!

Stop! Drop! and Pray!


Let’s Pray:

Oh, Father in heaven, thank you for loving me.  You are the “author and perfector of faith”, the Bible says.  (Hebrews 12:2)

Please fill me with faith.

I want Hot Air Balloon faith that lifts me up into your arms where all is peaceful.

And, speaking of “lifting up”…

Psalm 25 encourages me to lift up my soul to you, O Lord.  So, I will lighten my load, by lifting up my soul to you right now.

I know fears  weigh my faith down, Father, so I’m going to toss them out of the basket to You so I can fly higher with You.

I’m afraid of this:____________  and this:_______(fill in the blank. Just spill out your heart to the Lord.  Tell him what scares you, what keeps your faith on the ground instead of “up in the clouds” with him.)

And I’m worried about this:_______ and this:________

You told the disciples, Jesus,  “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27) I want to be filled with Your peace, Jesus.

Thank you, Father, for lightening my load and filling me with your peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~~ John 14:27

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ~~ 1 Peter 5:6-7

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”  ~~ Psalm 56:3

Do you know the Lord? Click on pic below for quick intro.  God’s like the Balloon Fiesta, only instead of balloons, He accepts people of all colors, shapes, and sizes 🙂

Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon created by Benoît Lambert. See link below to read more about it.

**Darth Vader Balloon story

**Special thanks to Imran Mansuri for allowing me to use his lovely balloon pictures!

**Praying Cat from HERE

On the Road Again…

Well, my hubby and I are back on the road tomorrow early to continue our…(dramatic music)

Ride Across America!

— our virtual tour of the Southern states.  We do the miles in and around our midwestern town and track our progress on a google map.  We started in Florida back in March (pretend) and are now in Texas, where’s we’ve stuck in Van Horn, near the western border,  for almost a week now because my husband has had to work overtime back here in Illinois.

Confused?  Scroll down a few posts to catch up.

Now where was I?

Oh, so we’ll fall leap out of bed at 4 am and be sluggishly eagerly pedaling 30 minutes later down highway 10.

By Saturday, Lord willing and if the tires hold out, we’ll be 80 to 100 miles further down the road, soon to be entering New Mexico on our way to San Diego, CA.

Riding that many miles takes fuel, so we eat a quick breakfast to start out right and snack along the way.

To ride through life, the Christian needs fuel, too.

Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.  ~~ Jeremiah 15:16

A quick read in the morning to start out right (longer when time permits) and snacking on Scripture throughout the day keeps our faith strong.

And we need to talk to and listen to God.  He’s got important things to say, like, “I love you! I love you!  I love you!”  And, “I’m with you!  I’m with you! I’m with you!”

“You’re not alone.”  “We’re in this together.”  “Listen to me, follow me, and share my love with others.”

It’s the day to day pedaling with God that gets us closer and closer to the goal:

LOVE!!!

“Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the LORD.”  ~~ Proverbs 8:35

Stop, Drop, and Pray!

Let’s Pray:

But first, a quick note:

I LOVE to pray God’s words back to Him.

Why?

Because there’s POWER in it.

One of my favorite Bible teachers, Beth Moore (who IS a Texas woman, by the way, so it’s fitting I should mention her since we’re pretend biking through her state.)

Anyway, Beth Moore said that because both are so powerful, prayer AND God’s Word, when you combine them together, it’s like strapping two sticks of dynamite together.  KABOOM!!!

Though we may not hear it or see it, there’s an explosion in the spiritual realm.

So, let’s get to lightin’ that fuse….

Oh, Father in heaven, thank you for Your Word.  It’s a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my way. (Psalm 119:105)

Your word revives me. (Psalm 119:50)

And I am BLESSED when I follow You and seek You with all my heart. (Psalm 119:2)

Teach me, Father.  Give me understanding.  Direct me in the paths of Your commands, and may I just be delighted to follow your lead. (Psalm 19:33-35)

In Jesus’ name, Amen!!!!

Do you know the Lord, or are you biking solo?  Click on the pic below for a quick introduction.  Come on!  You need your “helmet of salvation” in place as you ride out the rest of your life:

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God." Ephesians 6:17

*****Cute doggie picture from: Cycleicio.us

Bike Across America, Part IV: Stuck in Van Horn

Stuck in Van Horn! We’ve had to park our bikes this week in Illinois (Dave has to work overtime), so, on our virtual

Ride across America!!! (thunder, lightning crash, epic music)

we’re spending a few extra days in the one-road, desert town of Van Horn, TX:

Van Horn, TX; population 2435. Click pic for source.

Ever been stuck? I’m learning sign language when I’m not biking, and here’s the sign for “stuck

First this...

then this ( from http://www.lifeprint.com)

Looks painful.

It can mean “trapped”, too.

Ever felt stuck or trapped?

Maybe not in a real desert, but sometimes my soul can feel pretty parched and my faith dried up with doubt and worry, like I’m stranded in “a dry and weary land, where no water is.” (Psalm 63)

But there’s ALWAYS God.

And sometimes He speaks to me more in the desert than by a stream.

I hear him more clearly in the heat, than in the shade.

In the dry times, God BECOMES my stream in the desert

Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.  ~~ Isaiah 35:6

Glenn Spring Stream Pool, Chihuahuan Desert, click pic for source

O God, thou [art] my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; ~~ Psalm 63 KJV

I need you every hour...

Let’s Pray: Oh, Father, I need Thee every hour, every minute.  Thank you for loving me and guiding me through hard times, even carrying me when needed.

Oh, Father, when my soul is burning up with anger and frustration, may the “burning sand become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. [ May] gladness and joy…overtake [me], and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:7b, 10

In Jesus’ name, Amen!!

“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.” ~~ Isaiah 35:1

Feeling stuck?  Click the pic below to meet the great Un-sticker of your soul.

photo credit: Matt Champlin. Click on link below to see more of his awe-inspiring photos of God's awe-inspiring handiwork

Photo above by Matt Champlin ~~ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattchamplin/4565531214/in/set-72057594092009327/