Monday, April 22, 2013


Preface:  For those that are used to following my cycling exploits, I've started a new blog called Wuschreiten to catalog those events separately.  While I'm still posting on this blog, and it will still focus on fitness and personal issues, my write-ups on cycling events and general cycling thoughts are going to be primarly over on the new site.  I invite you to check it out!

This month Brookwood Church is doing a series about lessons from the life of David.  This weeks message was about Giants in our life, going through the story of David and Goliath. I highly suggest that you watch the video once it's up online, as the visuals that Perry uses (and his physical actions during the message) are simple but impressive.

I was reminded that I need to remember that no matter how giant the Adversary is, the Living God is bigger! 

For me, my Adversary has been my own feelings of self worth for much of my life.  I've always clung to the critisism of myself, dwelling in the negative.  They often feel normal to me, and allow me to strengthen my own feelings of not being of value.  Even after losing the weight that I have, and working as hard as I do for the cycling goals that I wouldn't have dreamed possible 2 years ago, I still feel like a whelp, just trying to hang on.   While I have confidence in what I'm capable of, I fear the hubris that comes with it. There are a lot of negative issues that I constantly battle with, and pray over, but I truly believe that they stem from a deep down battle with Pride.  C.S. Lewis called Pride "the greatest sin".  

Now, in the story of David his Adversary is Goliath:  A 9' tall Giant of a man, armed with weapons that most people couldn't manage.  The entire army of Israel cowered in fear of this massive hulk.  David, still under the age of 20, was at the camp to deliver food to his brothers and to the captains of the Army.  Upon hearing of the disdain that Goliath, a Philistine that worshiped a lifeless idol, put towards God, offered to face him.  
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
I feel like I would have been like Saul, afraid to face the beast because of what I see.  David was not afraid, because he didn't see the massive body in front of him, but the gigantic Living God that was behind him, giving him strength and courage.  When we realize that no Enemy, no Adversary, no power on this Earth is as big as our GOD, we can do the unimaginable and break free of the bonds that enslave us.  

We just need to remember, God is bigger!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lent Day 44 (Saturday)

Exercise:  Cycling 75 miles.  This was the 3rd of the Assault on Mount Mitchell training rides.  I'm still working out why I'm getting so nauseated on these rides, but at least I managed to get through the ride improving on my climbing on almost all segments that I had done before.  


Isaiah 53:3-4
New International Version (NIV)

3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.

Thoughts: For people today, the Saturday before Easter is a time of preparation.  Cleaning the house, getting the Easter dinner plans finished up.  For some it means going to church for a Saturday Evening service.  I have to imagine what it meant for the disciples and first followers of Christ.  Jesus was dead, they were being hunted.  They were scared.  They were in hiding.  They had to have felt lost, and be questioning their faith in the words of Christ.  They also could not even go properly mourn, because it was the Sabbath.  Beyond being the Sabbath, it was still Passover.  They had to wait until Sunday to even start to properly mourn the loss of their leader, their friend, their God.  

I can remember plenty of times where I have felt lost.  Not knowing what God's plan for me is, even questioning if I was truly saved or not.  Even throughout all of that, I never had to question if the foundation of my faith was dead.  I had the comfort of knowing that God was alive, and that he wanted a personal relationship with me as much as I deeply desired a personal relationship with Him.  When put into perspective, I haven't had it so bad.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lent Day 43 (Friday)

Exercise: Cycling 25 miles.  Since I missed the ride yesterday, I really felt I needed to get out and ride today, just to keep limber before the big ride tomorrow morning.  I didn't do anything crazy, although I was sorely tempted to do Paris Mountain this evening.  I'll have my fill of climbing by dinnertime tomorrow, I'm sure.


Luke 23:44-49
New International Version (NIV)

The Death of Jesus
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[a] When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Thoughts: Seldom do I think about just how sorrowful of a day Good Friday really represents.  When you put all of the information together on what transpired, it makes it a humbling experience.  When you realize that the Last Supper ended well after dark (and thus the events in the Garden happened on Friday), it makes it even more tragic.  In the course of a day, Jesus was interrogated multiple times, put on display in front of a mass of people, given a death sentence, scourged, striped naked, and hung out to die on a cross.  

The part that we seem to like to gloss over is what would have happened in the scourging.  We hear the words, but we really don't think about how heinous the act really was.  A quick definition of scourging
A scourge (from Latin: excoriare, "to flay", and corium, "skin") is a whip or lash, especially a multi-thong type, used to inflict severe corporal punishment or self-mortification on the back.  (source - Wikipedia)
The fact that the word itself depicts it as a flaying of the skin is gruesome enough to think about.  Now think that after he was scourged he was nailed to a cross.  The raw flesh (what was left of it) would have been up against the rough wood.  The pain had to be immense.  This was not a standard set of punishments in Roman culture, I have to imagine that even a society that came up with the holiday of Saturnalia would have thought this to be extremely cruel.  

When you really stop to think about the suffering and torture that Jesus was put through on this day almost 2,000 years ago, just to be able to take the sting from Death and free a people that had and will continue to reject him until we are fully cleansed, it's astonishing.  To die for a friend (or a loved one) is honorable.  To die for your country is duty.  To die for a stranger is noble.  When I think of this level of death, I think about it in the sense of war.  Covering an explosive;  Stepping in front of a shooter.  There are a number of ways to receive a mortal wound.  I cannot fathom willingly having the flesh torn from my body and then being hung on a cross for another.  I have to believe that the disciples and other followers that stood at a distance couldn't believe what was being done, either.  The feeling of complete hopelessness.  The fear that had to hang in the air.  The sense of complete loss.  The worry that they would be next. 

It was Friday.  The sky was black, the sun didn't shine.  

It was Friday.  All was lost.

How could Sunday hold any hope?

Lent Day 42 (Thursday)

Exercise: Rest.  I actually changed out to go riding, but my wife reminded me that it was spirit night at a local bbq joint, and that I had commited to taking the kids out for dinner. While skipping a ride, especially one I could use before a big ride training ride Saturday, is not high on my list I'd rather skip it than force the kids to wait until after an evening ride to eat.  


Galatians 2:16-21
New King James Version (NKJV)

16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Thoughts: Holy week is always an interesting time to reflect, as it is full of a very rich history that is well preserved over the centuries.  It's not only the time of Christ's passion and death, but it's also the time of Passover.  This year, it's also been marred by the passion over the civil laws in the United States.  What comes to bear is that there are two sets of laws that have to be accounted for:  the laws of man, by which we have our government, and the laws of God, by which we have our faith.  If our faith is in ourselves, then the only law that really "matters" is the law of Man.  By the rights of free will, we are allowed to ignore God's law.  Mayim Bailik wrote about God's law this week in her spot about a 30 minute Seter, and I think speaks volumes, well beyond the rituals of Passover.  She said, "Can you choose to start your Seder before sundown? Of course you can. You can do whatever you gosh darn please. But halacha doesn’t change".  

Since we have free will, I feel that this statement is much more profound than we really allow ourselves to let sink in.  I can do whatever I gosh darn please.  God does not forbid it in so much as to remove my free will.  I can attempt to fly by jumping off a bridge.  Heck, I can blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.  I can deny Christ.  I can live whatever lifestyle I gosh darn please.  The law doesn't change.  Just as in physics, for every action there is a equal and opposite reaction.  The reaction to sin is death (or the absence of God).  At the point of judgement, you are subject to the law and will receive the punishments for the transgressions that you have accumulated.

To take the two laws back to similar consequences:  In civil law, I can attempt to go 120mph down Main Street.  More than likely I'll be caught immediately and put before the Judge.  I can state "I don't believe in your Laws" or any subset of that you wish.  The Judge will then read your sentence, and you will pay the penalty.  Whether or not you believe in the law, the law still exists.  There are big differences between Civil Law and God's law.  One difference is that God has allowed us free will that until the time of judgement, when we stand before the throne, we can do as we please.  There is no police officer there to arrest us on the spot.  There are no speed bumps to force us to slow down.  There are no "stop sticks" in place.  

The bigger difference is that no matter what our transgressions, how badly we've broken God's law, we always have access to the best representation.  Unlike lawyers in Civil law, who after the case they walk away, Christ represents us and took on our punishment.  He was tried, beaten and cruxified.  Not for his own sins, or breaking of any law, but for our Sins.  By his offering we are saved from the punishment that we all have earned through the law.  For even though we are saved we will be judged by the law at the time of judgement.  We will stand before the throne, and we will face our punishment.  I'd much rather have Christ as my defender than represent myself.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lent Day 41 (Wednesday)

Exercise: None (Rest/Weather).  Wednesdays are one of the days that this summer I'm expecting that I'll use as personal training time.  Pick a route, go out and work on my form or just get base exercise/miles in.  That said, the weather is still below average right now, and after 3 months of cold enough weather, having to layer up and deal with being cold on the bike isn't making getting on the road very easy.  


Mark 13:3-8
New King James Version (NKJV)

The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles.[a] These are the beginnings of sorrows.
Thoughts:  There was a time when I would look at a rant, or a flame war, and believe that I could "win".  That I could somehow be so methodical, so fluent in my thoughts and my wordsmithing, that I would "teach someone" a lesson.  What I've learned, primarly the hard way, is that there are no winners in these contests.  They are a contest of pure will, and much like a peacock presents his plumage to show is dominance publicly, these displays are nothing more than a visual show for the author's own benefit.  In the end all parties involved walk away believing "I showed them, and maybe I opened up their eyes to the 'truth'."  Neither side is actually interested in knowing the real truth, they believe they already know it.  Facts no longer matter, because the views are already established. In the end, the reality is that it's just a train wreck for others to feast upon, set on the stage of public opinion.

I can't say that I don't delve into these issues anymore.  I attempt to know better, and to stay away from them.  They "disturb my calm", to butcher quote a character from the TV Show Firefly.  They do not add any real positive to my day, and they do not help me to be more productive to anyone that I have to interact with on a regular basis.  

This begs the question of "why should I even interact with these people at all?"  This is a sticky question for me, and I do ponder this every so often.  The reality is that I am not called to only be around like minded people.  I am called to bear witness, and to testify to the Truth.  That isn't to say that I'm going to start preaching on the streets of Greenville.  What it means is that there will be times in my life where the situation will be presented to me where I'm expected to use my talents to help another person with their struggles by sharing the Gospel.  It may be received, it may not be.  I cannot force someone to be saved, free will allows them to chose their own path, destructive as it may be.  I am likewise not called to judge them, or to mock them.  If I actively drive them away, not only am I not following my calling, but I may be forcing them to stumble by not being where I'm supposed to be.  

Does this mean I need to be surrounded by people that are actively attacking my belief system in the name of "equality", looking to judge me by my faith?  I don't believe that this is the case.  People will enter and exit my life at God's chosing.  I have to be humble and aware of what His calling is for those interactions, and prepared to do his will at those intersections.   Whether it's in times to be quiet, times to speak out, or times to be there because they are in need.  I just need to remember that when I speak out, I do not just speak out with my own voice, but those that are not saved are hearing me as a representative of Christ.  My words, and my actions, are thereby held to a different standard than someone that is following the laws of Man.  I cannot believe that engaging in any level of flame war furthers the Kingdom of God.  I am called to love that person, and know that Sin is the enemy, not my neighbor.  It's not an easy calling, and I can say with impunity that I am not an expert in walking this path.  But it's a path that I should be focused on following.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lent Day 40 (Tuesday)

Exercise:  Cycling 26 miles.  It was cold out (my feet are still cold now!), but it felt good to be out there.

Joshua 23:9-13New International Version (NIV)9 “The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. 10 One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. 11 So be very careful to love the Lord your God.
12 “But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, 13 then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.

Thoughts:  It felt great to get back on the bike today.  It was cold out (high around 50), and a bit windy, but it wasn't wet.  This is the last Tuesday before the weekly rides start up in earnest, so getting another run in beforehand was nice.  What I enjoyed is that I felt like no matter what group went by us, I could decide to hang on if I wanted to.  We caught up with a few groups, but I would let them go because the pace wasn't what everyone I was with could handle.  Just knowing that the effort I put in during the late fall and winter is paying off felt good.  

During the ride I had another chance to be reminded that I need to be careful and aware of how I act and how that impacts others.  In general I do okay in groups while on the bike, but some of that depends on the others around me.  As we were going through the country loop, this one rather large group of cyclists passed us, and we decided to hop on the back and just ride for a bit, seeing where they went.  It was a pretty fast paced group, and it was rather loosely held together.  We tried to mostly stay in the back, but on some of the rollers folks were falling off the back and generally not staying with the pack very well.  It was also obvious that not everyone in that pack was "with the group" (like we were not).  The country loop is a pretty well established (and marked) route, and most groups that run out there follow the same path for safety and familiarity reasons.  During the non-official rides this can definitely vary.  

We got to a stop sign, and whoever the primary group of riders was decided that they were turning off the established route. This left me, while being almost in the vary back, with a choice:  stay with the main pack, or stay on the established route.  The other person I was riding with, along with several others, split off from the pack, following the established route.  This all of the sudden made the decision not "do I stay with the pack", but rather "how do I leave the pack".  I tried to make sure my path was clear, and stay on the established route.  The problem was that I didn't notice that there were a few folks from the pack still behind me.  Luckily there was space and we didn't get into an incident, but my actions left me in a bad situation.  

  • I had joined up with a mass of cyclists where I didn't know where they were going.
  • I wasn't prepared to be a part of their "hive mind", and they decided to go off the established route at a point where I was not prepared to act.
  • I was not in a position in the group where I could safely leave the pack.
  • I left anyway.

These are not situations I normally get into, because I generally don't get that flustered while in a random pack of cyclists (nor do I find myself in a random pack of cyclists outside of established events).  That said, I need to make sure that the next time I'm in the middle of a group of cyclists I already know what I need to do to act, and make sure that I'm handling myself in a consistent and safe manner. 


Lent Day 39 (Monday)

Exercise:  None (weather).  I could have probably gotten out for a basic ride yesterday, but I just didn't have it in me to push for it.  When the wind is over 20mph, seldom will I jump up and down to go out and ride.  

Philippians 1:27-30New King James Version (NKJV)Striving and Suffering for Christ
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation,[a] and that from God. 29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

Thoughts:  I find that way too often I let myself get into an altered frame of mind which really does not help my overall condition.  It's something that I've thought about a bunch internally, but it's hard to deal with outside of a looking back at it.  Honestly I feel like it's a cycle similar to eating when you are depressed.  You get depressed, then you overeat trying to "feel better", then you are depressed because you ate too much.  I've been actively dealing with the eating cycle this spring, and I can feel the battle inside of me on a regular basis.  What it also does is sets me up for dealing with other emotional issues that are harder to see until after they happen.  I have no idea if this is "normal" or not, but once I get upset it takes a fair amount of calm for me to return to my base state mentally.  It's one of the reasons I attempt to not watch too much news or read too many of those "you should get really angry at.." images on social media.  Yeah, clubbing baby seals makes me upset.  What it shouldn't do is mar my personal interactions with folks that aren't actively attempting to club baby seals every day.  It's an interaction I've seen with my kids, both in me and in them.  Keeping an even keel can take a lot of effort, especially when I'm already attempting to handle extra pressure, be it internal or external.  

The difference from the idea of the emotional eating issue is that with emotional eating the person you hurt the most is yourself, at least initially.  When it's your social interactions, especially in a job that deals directly with your actions to others, the damage is initially external and the ramifications can be long lasting.  Personally I try to refrain from sending out too many emails or instant messages when I know that I'm already not handling things well.  I'm already actively working on managing my social media "self" to not be impulsive, and keep a handle on how I portray myself publicly in those forums.  Techcrunch had an article recently about how what you say online can be devastating  both for yourself and for others.  These are hard lessons to learn, and too often one mis-step can be disastrous for weeks afterwards.  Personally I struggle more with face to face interactions than I do with text interactions.  At least with text I can read what I'm writing and rethink/edit it.  I can type it all the way out and then delete it if I come to my senses in time.  I have time to make sure that I'm representing myself properly, and honoring the other person the way I know I should.  With face to face conversations, my own self betrays me.  My emotions can too easily not be kept in check, and my demeanor and physical reaction tell a tale.  Much of this becomes things you cannot "control" off the cuff, and even my best attempts to stay in front of it can be challenging.  Even going over conversations in my head to make sure I'm mentally prepared is difficult (and yes, if I'm really stressed I'll go over how I think a conversation will go before I have it - it seldom is accurate).  

In the end, the best I can do is be myself and do my best to honor God in all that I do.  That said, emotional bad behavior seldom bears good fruit.  I just have to be aware of it and work on improving daily.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lent Day 38 (Weekend)

Exercise:  None (Weather).


Romans 6:15-23
New International Version (NIV)
Slaves to Righteousness
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[a] Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thoughts:  This weekend weather wise is about as bad of a weekend as I've had to deal with this year from an exercise perspective.  Cold is an issue;  Wet is an issue.  Cold and Wet are just plain yuck for dealing with the bike.  From a family perspective it wasn't a lost cause, though.  We were able to get a bunch of stuff sorted out in the garage;  we played some Rock Band; we got some rest and family time.  I really struggle with keeping balance in all things together, and I've been training hard right now.  Mitchell is less than 2 months away, and I need to be ready both mentally and physically.  I was looking forward to a really long training ride this weekend to flesh out my fueling strategy.  I knew I need to keep up the miles to be prepared.  The issue is that pushing too hard will also lead to overtraining and burning out, and I really don't want to hit a wall.  The mountain is calling, I know the challenge is there.  I look forward to overcoming it, enjoying the adventure and the call.  God has more challenges in store for me, and more triumphs to enjoy, but the goal isn't to rush through just to face the next.  We're creatures of time, while we are in our mortal bodies.  We are to enjoy the time, and seek to further our walk with Him in all that we do.  Even in a wet, cold weekend where we clean the garage and play Rock Band.   

Friday, March 22, 2013

Lent Day 37 (Friday)

Exercise:  Rest (Planned/weather).  Tommorrow was supposed to be a long training ride, but the weather has not been such that it's feasible.  High in the 40's and a 50% chance of rain isn't good for playing around in the mountains on a road bike.  Hopefully next weekend will be better and they'll get the ride in.  


Psalm 90:4
New International Version (NIV)

4 A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.
Thoughts:  Patience is not a virtue that I have an abundance of.  Earlier this week I made mention that I know the wheels that I have planned to get for my bike, but right now I'm having to wait on getting them because the higher spoke count (for a Clydesdale like myself) are out of stock currently.  It's not a huge issue, and in some ways it's actually better that I wait.  There is nothing negative, in general, with me waiting until they are in stock at this point.  My first big event of the year is the Assault on the Carolinas, which isn't until April 13th.  My current wheels are still okay (they aren't broken), so I can ride on them for as long as I need to in order for the new ones to come in.  That said, once I make up my mind on something it's difficult for me to not get anxious to just get it over with.  I had my eyes on these wheels late last year, and told myself that I'd have to wait until at least the first part of April to get them because of the budget.  I rationalized using the OEM wheels I have now during the off season would help me be stronger for the events.  

In a very similar light, I'm dealing with the training ride being canceled.  I had made plans for the weekend, figured out the fueling strategy I wanted to try, got the food, and was mentally and physically prepared for the work to be done.  My wife and I had even talked about her bringing the girls up to Landrum for the day while I ride, then spending the rest of the day together.  It would have been a family trip, and something that I think everyone would have enjoyed.  All of the sudden, we have to wait a week to see if we can do the event.  I'm having to tell myself to be patient, and by the ride being pushed a week there's a chance I can use this training ride as a proof out of the new wheels on a long ride prior to the AOTC next month.  That doesn't help that once I've set a course I'm ready to go quickly.

So while I'm  I'm excited to check these new wheels out, and to find out for myself what the real differences in using them, and I'm ready to be going out for a training ride, I need to be patient.  I will be ready for the events, and I will get the new wheels.  It may not always follow the schedule that I set up in my own mind, but it will work out.  

Lent Day 36 (Thursday)

Exercise: Rest (planned).  With a proposed 75 mile training ride on Saturday, I have planned to take today and Friday off in preparation.  The weather is looking iffy at best for the ride Saturday which may mean a less than optimal ride total for the week, though.


Psalm 139:13-15
New King James Version (NKJV)

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[a]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Thoughts:  With another big training ride coming up, my thoughts are definitely on that. The big challenge that I have in front of me is dealing with fueling needs.  I have done several ~60 mile rides, and a few 70+ mile rides.  How I fuel my body for these definitely determines the outcome.  If you wanted to take the metaphor into the realm of cars it's knowing how much fuel to add when to keep the engine running for 5+ hours.  Unfortunately, that's where the metaphor stops being relevant.  Our bodies are so much more wonderfully made than any engine crafted by man.  The type of fuel, and how our bodies digest it and deliver it to the muscles, is so complex.  Just looking at the specialty food line at any sports store is a great indication of the confusion:  I was at REI last night, and they have a huge lineup of all different types of gels, gummies, tablets and powders to help fuel you on an endurance event.  There are enough different types of bars with all sorts of ingredients, and that's not even taking into account natural foods like bananas and raisins.  

There are times that I wish that there was a simple formula for how to fuel my body so I could stay lean and have the nutrition that I need without all of the variables.  It's extremely challenging to figure out how much of what to eat of this type of macronutrient  .  My overly controlling OCD side wants to figure it all out and have a plan, knowing that if I plan it out ahead of time that I don't have to think so hard about it when it's time to eat.  The problem is that the planning can be daunting, and there are times when you just want to go out and have a big juicy cheeseburger, or a plate of wings (even when you know it's totally off your nutritional plan).  There in comes the kicker with any simple plan for a complex solution.  While keeping it stupidly simple works for creations of man, I believe it's because man's grasp on otherworldly things is likewise simple.  When we keep it simple our brains can manage it.  God on the other hand is complex and wonderful, well beyond our comprehension.  His creations can be complex and wonderfully made, adaptable and sustainable.  They are able to just "be", and work as intended.  

So maybe having a complex meal plan that is able to handle the wing bar every so often isn't such a bad thing.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lent Day 35 (Wednesday)

Exercise: Cycling 19 miles.  Either my heart rate monitor didn't work real well, or I actually managed to ride with my heart rate constantly in Zone 2/3.  I managed to somehow leave the car without putting my gloves on, but it really wasn't a major factor in the ride overall.  Between the weather on Thursday (it's supposed to be chilly again) and the planned training ride Saturday (75 miles including a big climb on Green River Cove!), this is my last ride for a couple of days.  Glad I didn't make excuses.


Jeremiah 17:7-8
New King James Version (NKJV)

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear[a] when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Thoughts: Last week at work we had a meeting to discuss the company's Net Promoter Score, often times referred to as NPS.  For companies it's a way to determine what their customer's opinion of them, and the overall strength of the brand.  In a nutshell it compares the number of people that love their service (called promoters) versus the number of people that despise it (the detractors).  You cannot please everyone, but the overall object is to have more people that will recommend your products to others than folks that will recommend that you don't use the company.  This concept, on a general level, is relevant not just for large companies, but for individuals and small businesses as well.  

What reminded me of this outside of the corporate scenario was going through my social media feeds.  There are folks out there that live on their brand, like actors, comedians, and independent artists.  These people are "always on":  if they pull a bone-head maneuver it can make or break future deals.  Some of them make a living by the negative hype, as it creates a brand for themselves that a certain number of people will gravitate to.  Others, who I believe are truly more Internet and Tech savvy  have developed their "brand" online and made sure that their communications on all social media always project the brand and image that they wish to portray.  Some of these artists just attempt to "be themselves" as they are marketing their product, but the danger is they are always one rant away from converting a promoter to a detractor.  They need to be sensitive, and ultimately aware, of their actions.

That said, even in our non-online interactions we create promoters and detractors in our personal lives.  Whether it's with my co-workers, folks I ride with, or just friends that I keep in touch with over various mediums (including social media), what I say and how I say it determine the course of my personal life.  I am the first to admit that I've made ill-informed comments on subjects that I really should have just kept out of, or smiled and nodded.  There are many topics that I'm very passionate about, but as I get more informed I've had to completely re-think my stance.  My best example on this is in regards to cycling:  The more I've been involved in the scene, the more I've understood all of the nuances that I simply couldn't have understood before.  It's not that I wasn't aware of the laws, or that wasn't really informed on the issues per se.  It's that experience and tolerance is critical to making a truly informed stance.   I have seen some of the comments I made years ago, and look at them and go "wow, I was a real dufus".   It's hard to realize that the uninformed idiot that was potentially ruining something that I now love, was myself.  In this case specifically I could have, and probably did, create detractors from my own personal "brand" based on my stances on something that I now really love to do. 

The danger here is twofold:  First is that I do not wish to spend the energy to engineer my own "brand" that I have to sell in my personal and professional life.  I specifically mean engineer in the same aspect that a self-employed artist like I mentioned above has to create a brand.  Their image ends up being their life;  they have to leave their face in a jar by the door all the time.  Second is that whether I like it or not, I am create a brand with every interaction that I make.  My verbal and non-verbal communications with people directly influence their opinion of me as a person and as a professional.  I need to be acutely aware of how my actions impact other people and make sure that my overall actions are creating a person that I wish to portray to the world.  My goal should always be to be a reflection of Christ.   

Newsboys - Take Me to Your Leader
They don't know why we care
They don't know what's out there
They don't know how it's done
Let's take 'em to our leader son

They see we've got the joy
They see us live it, oi
It's real, it's free, it's fun
Let's take 'em to our leader son

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lent Day 34 (Tuesday)

Exercsise: Cycling 32 miles.  Since Daylight Saving Time started, Tuesdays is the defacto big ride day in town.  Folks will start showing up on Tuesday at the old Donaldson Center Airport (now known as SC-TAC) and rides will go out 32 miles or so.  The official rides do not start until next month, but many of us are going out there now and getting in the ride early.  It was a windy ride out there, and we weren't in a big group, but we still had a lot of fun.  I'm looking forward to the official rides to start.


Galatians 5:22-23
New King James Version (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Thoughts: Today was an interesting sequence of events that I can only relate as being from God.  The back story to today is that I've been really desiring new wheels for the bike for months now.  And by months, I mean since around October.  Instead of just going out and spending money I don't have, I've been attempting to keep my cycling to a budget, however.  I've been putting a little bit away into a savings account every paycheck, and using that for my cycling expenses.  The issue has been that as my cycling habit has increased, so has the costs to keep it going.  The fact that I've had to replace my cycling clothes twice in the past year doesn't help, and cycling clothes aren't cheap (that plus baggy spandex isn't comfortable on rides).  

Fast Forward to last Thursday - the local bike shop has merged with a larger corporation, and they have been running a huge clearance sale on all of the back stock of bikes as a promotion.  It started up  more questioning on affording bike upgrades between my wife and I, but we decided that we would pray on it and see if they get more bikes in.  If they did, and what they got in would be a good long term upgrade for me, then we'd try to afford getting it and then we'd use my current bike for her or our oldest.  Neither of them are all that interested in riding a road bike at this point, but it would be available to use.  I started really praying over if it was a good move, as it would be a cost we really didn't need, and really the only major upgrade I currently need on my current bike is wheels.  For a lot less I could get wheels I really wanted and buy or build a hybrid bike for Christy to use so we could all ride.  

Monday after work I stopped by the bike shop and talked to the owner for a few minutes, and poked around.  He told me that even though he had been hopeful that more bikes would come in, the supply of 2012 bikes was exhausted and they were done with the promotion.  This wasn't a real big shock to me, and unless a completely unbeatable offer was going to be available with major component upgrades I had already decided it wasn't worth jumping at a new bike, but I should focus on wheels.  I already knew that I wanted Boyd wheels, which are assembled here locally, I just wasn't sure which of the two tiers of aluminum wheels would be the better of the two.  The lower tier would probably work, but I wasn't sure if the upper tier wouldn't be more of what I wanted.  Again I prayed over it and let it not consume me, and I had rationalized that if I could fit the base tier into the budget with the sale of some of my Star Wars stuff that I had intended to sell anyway.  

This morning I was checking my personal email, and I had an invite from someone to connect on LinkedIN.  I typically screen this connection list to only be folks that I really want to be connected to, as I use it mostly for networking in my professional life.  I went into LinkedIN and verified the person, I didn't recognize her last name right off hand because I only really knew her by her married name when we worked together.  I approved the request and checked my inbox (which I rarely do on LinkedIN).  In there was a message from late last year from a friend of mine that was looking for a referral to the company I work for now.  I didn't remember hearing if he got the job or not, so I went on the internal job postings and saw that several positions that he would have applied for were still open, so I shot him a message to see if he was still looking or if he had landed somewhere else.  Come to find out he had gotten the job at the company, and used me as a referral so I'd get the bonus.  I did some checking on the procedure and contacted the person in HR that handles the requests, and lo and behold I was supposed to be credited for the referral, and I'll get the bonus sometime next month.  And that bonus will cover the difference in price between the base level and the higher end wheels!  

Through all of this, all I could feel was that there was a plan in play since October for all of this.  Me trying to hold to a budget, working through the needs, not just doing whatever I felt was right, and working in harmony with my wife on the household needs.  The move up here has been challenging in so many ways, and so much of what we thought would not be a big change has turned into massive changes for us to handle.  We're still not in a church home, but I know that we put the effort in to walk with Christ daily, and do the best we can to stay faithful.  We're not always perfect, for me often it's far from it.  What we are is forgiven, and loved.  As long as we can keep sight on that, we can see the blessings that we get as such and not think too highly of our own abilities and try to be faithful with all of our gifts.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lent Day 33 (Monday)

Exercise:  Planned Rest day.  It was a good thing too, as it has been an unpleasant day out.  Rainy and cooler (mid 40's) all day.  The weather is supposed to improve tomorrow, so hopefully I can get a good ride in.

Romans 15:1-6
New King James Version (NKJV)

Bearing Others’ Burdens15 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”[a] For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thoughts: Today wasn't the most restful day at work, I had to deal with a customer situation that many could have dealt with, but instead it was left unattended for entirely too long.  Honestly it made me miss the days of the smaller integrators and internet providers when you could just  hop in a car and go help the customer.  Not that I'm going to be looking to go back to that life, but sitting there with a feeling of helplessness as a customer, who is obviously upset, is without service while you cannot impact change is a difficult place to be in.  I'm glad we were able to resolve the issues, and I feel like we can work through them better now.  I just wish folks would put themselves in the place of the customer more.  I'm sure folks that were pushing the problem off to other groups would have been one of the first ones to rant and rave if they had problems themselves.  Sometimes ownership of another person's problem isn't the most pleasant thing, but I do get a sense of accomplishment when I know that I've done the right thing and I was able to help someone.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lent Day 32 (Sunday)

Exercise: Cycling 35 miles.  This was the normal Brookwood Cycling ride.  I really do like going on this ride, because of the people that are a part of it.  It was really windy out today, but the weather really did welcome Spring in a little early.  Soon we'll get past the cool Spring days and be back to the heat of Summer.  From a cycling perspective I will welcome the warmer weather while hating dealing with the sunscreen and the excessive amounts of sweat.  Then by about August I'll be ready for the weather to change again.  


Psalm 23:1-3
New King James Version (NKJV)

The Lord the Shepherd of His People
A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Thoughts: It's amazing how the little things really make a difference some days.  Sometimes it can be the little things that get you frustrated, like running out of milk when you really just want to have a bowl of cereal.  Other times, the little things remind you of just how much you are blessed with.  In the last two years so many big things have happened in my life, and the life of my family, that it's amazing some of the little reminders are really the most powerful.  In March of 2011 we were still in Florida, I knew that things had to change, and we were trusting in God that his will would be done.  In the next 6 months we'd be apart for a while, I'd be starting a new job, and we were preparing for a move 600 miles from the only home that my girls ever knew.  We are in a new home, we have met new people, and we've had new experiences.  Through my time with Rob's Big Losers I found fitness, I've found cycling, and I've manged to be able to ride almost as often as I'd like to.  I wouldn't have fathomed saying that I was signed up for the Assault on Mount Mitchell 2 years ago.

That said, the little things remind me of how much I'm blessed.  Last Spring I went on a ride hosted by the GHS Every Women's team.  I had been on group rides prior to this, but this was definitely a bigger ride for me.  On the way out I managed to not keep my line, but instead of being crazy and hurting others I ended up crashing into some bushes.  I was okay, outside of some scrapes that needed a bandage or two, and the bike was okay after a few minor repairs.  I finished that ride, and then later for the little thing that reminds me of how much I'm blessed.  Buried in the heel of my cycling shoe was a splinter of wood.  It was big enough to actually damage the shoe slightly, but the shoe is what took the damage.  That piece of wood could have found it's way just inches higher and been wedged in my leg.  It could have meant an end to so many other things in our lives, but instead it ended up in the heel of my shoe.  I've kept it there as a reminder of how blessed I was that and every other day for the gifts that I've been given.  I know that the opportunities that I enjoy today aren't by my own doing as much as by my faith in God.  I don't always manage to honor Him with my actions, but I know that I'm loved, forgiven, and saved.  I just do my best to show his love in the little things, not just in grand shows that everyone can see.  Because sometimes the little things have the biggest impact.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lent Day 31 (Saturday)

Exercise: Cycling 40 miles.  Today was a little windy, but a fantastic day out on the road for a group ride.  I got to go out with the local bike shop and get in some hard earned miles.  As the spring really kicks in, the available rides through the week will only increase, and I'll need to balance my want to ride in these groups versus the need to do more solo work to improve my skills.  


Colossians 3:12-15
New King James Version (NKJV)

Character of the New Man12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Thoughts:  We've been watching older episodes of Warehouse 13 with the kids, and it has me thinking about how men are perceived.  Pete early on in the show is characters as a goofy guy that plays around and really is rather juvenile.  In the show he's supposed to seem childish, but honestly I admire the writers for creating a likable character that is able to have fun.  To be completely honest, I think he's the character that many young men would like to be:  lighthearted, loyal, and able to find the joy in a lot of simple things.  He's not one of those dark, brooding characters that we are so often given to look up to.  I believe that we need more rights of passage in our society, and that honestly men of my generation are just now starting to mature into responsible human beings; that is to say that the age of mental maturation in men has shifted from 25 to 35 in recent times.  While this is true, at the same time we've lost the ability to have silly fun and just enjoy things with childlike wonder.  Too often I feel the pressure to be the "adult", and having to be the person that is the buzzkill.  More often I need to find the way to lighten up and stop feeling the weight of responsibility and instead find a way to enjoy the time that I get to have with my children.  The time for them to be in my care is quickly fading as they become young adults.  They are learning the basics of how to survive on their own at this point.  I don't want to look back and say I missed out on opportunities with them that I'll never be able to experience again.  Maybe that's why grandparents are known for spoiling their grandkids:  they just want to recapture moments they thought were lost forever.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lent Day 30 (Friday)

Exercise:  Rest.  Fridays are typically a day of rest for me, and most of the time I need it.  I look forward to good weather this weekend, and plenty of time outside.


Acts 4:10
New King James Version (NKJV)

10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.

Thoughts: Riding in a group for me often means riding alone.  This is mostly because I challenge myself to ride with others that are better than I am, so that I have a reason to push myself beyond my limits.  While riding this winter, I've often ridden alone.  To ride alone is to have only yourself to push you, and only your own motivation to keep you going.  There were plenty of days during the winter where I decided I just didn't have the internal energy to ride alone, and decided to take an extra day off.  Whether it was because of cold, or windy, or wet, or just cases of the "blahs", I chose not to ride.  Riding by yourself can be relaxing, but it can also be a big load of "not fun".  This is particularly true when what you really want to do is not ride alone.  Metaphorically this can translate to other social outlets, and I think that it works true here as well.  We are social beings at heart, and as such we need that social interaction in order to function at our best.  Some people need it to feel better about themselves.  To say they are stronger, faster, smarter;  They are looking to feel superior.  Some are looking for justification for themselves, that they belong.  Some just want to not be alone.  We as humans are all searching, yet so few have found what we are truly searching for.  You can't find it in a bottle, or on a bike, or in the sand on the beach.  These things can lead you to what you are searching for, but they in and of themselves will not provide you what you really need.  There is only one water of life;  to drink of it means to never be thirsty.  Even when I am off the back of the group, hopeless to catch up and just heading back to the starting point I am not actually alone.  Sometimes I just need to be reminded of that.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lent Day 29 (Thursday)

Exercise: Cycling 24 miles.  This was the first Thursday ride at the local bike shop.  The weather wasn't pristine, so the turn out was low.  Thus I got to put "Rule 5" into effect and hang on for dear life as the A group folks put the hammer down.  I think overall I did pretty well, even if my numbers in Strava really don't show it.  When the pace is something where I'm not over lactose threshold just keeping in the peleton, I think I'll be fine.


2 Peter 1:5-8
New International Version (NIV)

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thoughts:  I still struggle way too often with emotional eating.  Without a lot of preparation, I can make good choices and manage to do okay on any given day, maybe two days in a row.  The issue is making good habits every day.  I still contend that I need to improve on preparing for the bad days, so the choices aren't being made when I'm already in a bad place.  When I get home from work and I'm tired, and not really happy with myself for whatever reason is the last time that I really want to make choices about what to eat and make sure that I eat just the right amount.  If I can decide what I'm eating when I'm in control, then when I'm having a breakdown I should be able to stumble through it without having to expend the energy I don't have to cope.  I am happy that I have more good days than bad, I can manage to string together multiple good days, and that I don't roller coaster as much as I used to.  Now if I can just continue to improve on my preparation, I think I'll see the results both on and off the bike.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lent Day 28 (Wednesday)

Exercise:  Rest.  Impromptu all hands meetings and family needs helped keep me off the bike today.  Sometimes it's more important to handle disappointment and changing of plans than it is to just persevere.  Tomorrow is the first evening bike shop ride of the season, the extra rest should mean my legs are ready for the challenge.


Romans 8:28-30
New International Version (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Thoughts: When I started this attempt to write during Lent, I thought about what would happen when I really had nothing to write about.  Not that nothing actually happened, but when I really didn't have something I felt like I needed to say.  Today was shaping up to be that day, and I had already mentally thought about just not posting.  With that I read through my social media feed, and one of the bloggers I follow had posted up this article about Taylor Phinney.  After reading it, and tearing up, I realized that I had been given what I should write about.  Too often we look at a struggle as something to 'win'.  If you aren't first then it doesn't matter.  Taylor wasn't going to win that penultimate stage.  The fact was that he was just as likely to get cut from the race by being too far behind.  He didn't keep going just for himself, but because he knew that if his dad could be on that bike he wouldn't give up just because it was hard.  He took the gift that he's been given and gave it his all.  

Too often I look at my times on Strava and see that I'm 110/112 on a popular climb.  I need to remember that out of the millions of people in this country, less than 1% attempt some of the things that I'm trying to do.  Even if you are hours behind the next to last person, you've done something amazing.  Taking the challenge, meeting it head on, and letting God work through you can show amazing things. We just need to give it our all.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lent Day 27 (Tuesday)

Exercise: Walking ~ 2 miles + cycling 28 miles.  I went down to the local bike shop at lunch, which is a pretty hefty walk from my office building.  The weather was nice, so it was an enjoyable trip.  The one issue is that walking that distance ends up putting a bit of a strain on my right knee.  I'll have to be careful with what I do the next couple of days to not really aggravate it.  Since Daylight Saving Time started last Sunday, Tuesday evenings now means SC-TAC if the weather is good.  The weather was fantastic, and I did the entire summer course except for the final loop around the airport.  I feel like I put in a good effort, but I didn't want to overwork my knee.

2 Peter 1:4New International Version (NIV)Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Thoughts:  Whenever I spend a fair amount of time on social media sites, one thing very much stands out to me.  I fear that Christians, including myself, spend way too much time rattling sabers instead of standing up on our knees.  On any given night I can see images with crazy text on them ranging from gun control to abortion, some with outright slander on them attempting to incite emotion.  While I have opinions on these public issues, I also feel like as a Christian my first and primary response should be to pray for the people that are spreading these feelings, and to realize that the Enemy wants us to be fighting and chasing Phantom Menaces.  While our Country may be heading down the proverbial 4 lane expressway to the center of the earth, the reality is that we will never create a Utopia on Earth until HE comes again.  We know what's going to happen, and if you read the end of the book first you know how it's going to end.  I fear too often we feel like we have to do something to stop it.  Jesus could have done something to stop the scourging and crucifixion.  Pilot should have done something.  Without the scourging and the painful death, there is no Resurrection and life everlasting.  Without the tribulations now there can be no victory later.  The Enemy only wins when we let him turn our hearts away from HIM.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't attempt to right wrongs, and stop evil, but to do so by turning away from Christ, I fear we are just feeding the demons that we wish to defeat.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lent Day 26 (Monday)

Exercise:  None (planned rest).  After 4 straight days of cycling, I needed to let my body repair itself.  Tomorrow is the first unofficial day of SC-TAC riding, I want to be ready to go.


Matthew 10:12-15

New International Version (NIV)
12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Thoughts:  Since getting a Camera for the bike for Christmas, I have been working on figuring out where to have it mounted and how often to take video.  The honest truth is that hours upon hours of a late 30's man attempting to climb the upstate of South Carolina is just not very interesting video.  Watching the backs other ammature cyclists in a pack doing the same thing isn't any more compelling.  Beyond just the simple "this is boring" factor, it's really what to do with it.  I've made a few videos with it, mostly of faster runs like downhills, but more than anything else I take video that I then use for still shots later by using VLC and taking a snapshot of the video.  What is interesting is the simple amount of video that is taken in our everyday life without us really knowing about it.  A simple search on YouTube for "Donaldson Center", which is the location of the Tuesday night series here in Greenville (also lovingly known as the Tuesday night Championships) turns up about a dozen results.  If you search for Paris Mountain, you get more than 12 pages, many of them cycling videos.  The thing that I have to be mindful of is that there are others around, and how they will receive video recording, even if it's just the perception of video recording.  While I'm enjoying having the camera for being able to take some neato shots over the time I've had it I also need to be aware that many people, including myself, are not prepared to be on camera 24x7.  We live in an age where our whole lives are photographed, video taped and scrutinized.  While I want to catalog my adventures to share with family and friends, I do not need to cause others distress, either.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lent Day 25 (Sunday)

Exercise:  Cycling 34 miles.  Even though I had already ridden well over 100 miles this week, the weather was too nice, and I enjoy riding with Brookwood too much, to give up a trip this afternoon.  I did my best to keep the riding easy, including not sprinting in the sprint zone.  It was a relaxing ride, and it really felt like Spring was starting to sprout out in the country.  I'm looking forward to all of the great rides, and even the bad weather ones, that are sure to come this year.  


Luke 17:1-4

New International Version (NIV)

Sin, Faith, Duty

17 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.
“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

Thoughts:  Sunday is still one of my favorite days of the week.  All too often I wish it was because we had a solid church home where I felt led to by the Spirit and I was strengthing my relationship with Christ and my knowledge of the bible, but even without that I find that I purposefully find myself looking to find time to pray.  I do take some comfort in that the ride I go to on Sundays is with Brookwood Church, and that I find that I really do enjoy socializing with the people there.  I keep having hope that maybe I can figure out a church home that works for me.  I carry guilt that I'm not empowering my children to be able to face the Enemy once they are out on their own, but often times I feel like just "taking them to church" is not actually equipping them with the armor of Christ.  While I know that there are millions of people that are stronger in knowledge of the bible than I am, I worry that they get lost in the legalism of the words instead of working on the walk.    At times like these I'm reminded of a Poem by Emily Dickinson, though:


Some keep Sunday going to church 
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a throne.

Some keep Sabbath in surplice,
I just wear my wings
And instead of tolling the bell for church,
Our little sexton sings.
God preaches, a noted clergyman,
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of going to heaven at last 
I'm going all along.