Monday, October 20, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

I've gone a few years (several?) without a Dual Sport motorcycle.  My last was a KLR 650 and Nikki wouldn't ride on it so I decided a BMW GS would be a better choice.  I let the KLR go using that as an excuse.

One of the things I missed the most was being able to go blow off a little steam at lunch.  Sure I could ride the Harley, but it really wasn't a terribly fun bike to ride.  You'd feel more exhausted after a ride than before (and not in a good way.)

Next came and went a couple other bikes, and finally I got a taste of BMW.  Oh.My.Goodness!  Motorcycling became fun again!  But, it wasn't a GS.  I went to look at them and Nikki saw the luxurious trappings of the BMW K1200LT so we demoed one and now we own one.

We love that bike but I kept looking at those dirt roads each time I passed one remembering past adventures.  Then it finally happened and we welcomed a BMW GS into the stable *FINALLY*!

The new-to-us GS

This means those lunchtime adventures have returned.  And, since today was a horribly terrible Monday, it was as good of a day as any to head up to Bloomer Hill. 

Bloomer Hill used to fit in at just about an hour from out the door to back into the door when the KLR was around so I was down for it.  Nevermind the storm clouds, I'm gonna DO THIS!  And despite the construction delay, I did it and here is the proof...

Bald Rock in the distance

Looking down at what I waited so long for

The view that melts away stress

The bike is a lot heavier than a KLR, and while I could have softened the suspension behavior a little, I didn't want to have to retweak it again.  Heading up the hill left me with screaming knees and forearms that felt on fire, but that's just pain leaving the body, right?

As I got there I probably should have turned around to stay under my hour (hope no bosses are reading this, but in my defense, I put in overtime and will be working later tonight!)  But, I had to climb the tower and so glad I did.

I could see the storm I was about to get a taste of, the poor lake at record low levels, and the lush forest around me.  As I sat there all I could hear was the wind through the tower and trees.  Well, a couple random gunshots too, but just about three or four.  The tower gently swayed in the fierce winds but this thing has been there for 89 years without falling and I'm not narcissistic enough to think I'm gonna bring it down.  It's almost comforting in a way just sitting up there gently moving as it has for so long.  

But every good thing must come to an end and I climbed back down, posted a quick Instagram, and texted my honey back as the rain started to drip.

While I hadn't seen a soul on the way up the Jeep road, the Encina Grande way was well traveled by the growers and their characteristic Toyota 4x4s. Luckily the rain was keeping the dust down to I could put some speed on it.  About half way down the rain turned into a downpour and the new Shoei performed well.

When I got home I was nearly 20 minutes late, but I worked 40 minutes over and will put in more time tonight so I don't feel bad.  I definitely felt much better after a little lunchtime adventure though and got to feel out the bike a little bit.  The bike performed well on its first off-road run.  I also discovered the hand guards I ordered will be appreciated but at the same time I discovered the right hand grip warmer isn't working.  But, still extremely happy and thankful to finally be back on a dual sport, especially a BMW GS.

Monday, September 15, 2014

War is a Racket

“There are only two reasons why you should ever be asked to give your youngsters. One is defense of our homes. The other is the defense of our Bill of Rights and particularly the right to worship God as we see fit. Every other reason advanced for the murder of young men is a racket, pure and simple.” 
― Smedley D. Butler

If you are not familiar with General Butler (whom the current USMC mascot bulldog is named after,) educate yourself:

Friday, September 5, 2014

99 Days of Freedom

I am participating in a little experiment called "99 Days of Freedom".  You can see the official site here:

Basically, you take 99 days off of Facebook.  You don't do *anything* with it.  No logging in, no status updates, no nothing!  At this time I'm about 35-36 days "clean" so far.  My official countdown is at the following link:

It's amazing how much better you feel staying away from it.  I had come to the conclusion that I don't have over 500 friends in real life, so why do I need to be constantly affected by them online?  I invited all the people that expected so much of me on FB that would message me constantly, etc., to e-mail me and provided my e-mail, or if needed even give me a call.

Guess what?  Not a single e-mail and only one valid call where a friend said he saw I was going off line and had some health concerns and he wanted to make sure everything was good with me.

As for the benefits?  Well, how does a better emotional state of mind, less stress, more focus, better sleep, and more attention paid to those around me sound?  I've spent more time reading the Bible and books, more time talking with family, more time doing meaningful things, and just all together more time on things that really matter (no, Facebook doesn't matter.)

I'm thinking when I go back, I'll either drop down to close friends and family only, or I'll just cancel the account all together.  I do miss seeing pictures others share of my Grandson though.

Now if I could just stay away from Twitter, Instagram, and Vine!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Confession of Man and the Compassion of God

"Non-Christian, we invite you to notice the difference here [between Christianity and all other world religions]. There is no prescription for what must be done to make cleansing and forgiveness possible. Pray this many times. Read this many holy passages. Recite this mantra this many times. Spin this many prayer wheels. Fast, take this trip, go to this building, perform this ritual . . . none of that. It’s honest, humble, 'I can’t do it . . . I need you to make me clean, O God.' And when we come before him like this—non-Christian and Christian alike—when we come before him, either for the first time in our lives or on a daily basis in our lives, and we say, 'I need you to cleanse me and forgive me,' then we find that God is gracious. First John 1:9 says, 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all righteousness.' Oh, what good news . . . the greatest news in all the world. You can be made right with God! And it’s not by doing a list of good works to try to cover up the evil and uncleanness in your heart. It’s by trusting in divine grace . . . by casting yourself before him in confession of your need for him." - David Platt in a sermon on Psalm 51: The Confession of Man and the Compassion of God

See this sermon here...

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Trust me, I've got the anointing!"

Listened to the Strange Fire Panel Q&A Session 1 this morning (John MacArthur, Todd Friel, Justin Peters, and Steve Lawson). Had to go dig up the following in the transcript as this was something that's been in my craw lately. When attempting to point out errors in teaching propagated by someone, the attitude was that the person in question "has the anointing" as if it means it's OK for some to teach contrary to scripture because they have a special line to God that allows them to correct His Word (at the same time with the implication that I do not have an "anointing" as if to render my discernment incorrect.) Anyway, here is the relevant response that made me want to jump up and shout "Amen Brother!":
'Well Scripture teaches that if you are a Christian, you’re anointed. If you've been regenerated by God’s Holy Spirit, you are anointed. It is not a feeling, it’s not a buzz, it’s not an experience, it’s a reality. First John 2:20, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One and you all know…” this is not for a select few, it’s not that some Christians have a super special anointing that the rest of the common Christians don’t have. That is…that is a division of Christians into classes, the haves and the have-nots, you know to say, “Oh well, So-and-so is anointed, he has a great anointing." 
If you’re in Christ, you are anointed. There’s no division of classes within Christianity. We are one in Christ, the ground is level at the foot of the cross. So this is a false understanding of a biblical reality. It’s used to manipulate people and it’s used to make light their emotions and their behavior and it’s also used to elevate the whatever false teacher you’re looking at, elevate him to a status that is above everyone else. He has a different source of authority. He has a unique access to God and he gets divine revelation knowledge from the Holy Spirit, from Christ, this pipeline from heaven to various false teachers, and that is…that is their way of insulating themselves against biblical criticism. “Well if you can’t find this in the Bible, don’t worry about it because I have the anointing. God has spoken to me directly. And so if you can’t find it in Scripture, don’t sweat it, I've got the anointing, I've got this inside avenue to God.”'
The session video, transcript, etc... Strange Fire Panel Q&A 1

Friday, July 18, 2014

Born Again Christians? - David Platt

Sad but true... "there are a whole lot of people in our country who think that they are Christians, but they are not. There are scores of people—here and around the world who culturally distinguish themselves as Christians and biblically are not followers of Christ."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

How to identify your idols

David Powlison’s list of questions in Seeing With New Eyes are good for a diagnostic test on our lives now and again to help us identify idols.

1. What do I worry about most?
2. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live?
3. What do I use to comfort myself when things go bad or get difficult?
4. What do I do to cope? What are my release valves? What do I do to feel better?
5. What preoccupies me? What do I daydream about?
6. What makes me feel the most self-worth? Of what am I the proudest? For what do I want to be known?
7. What do I lead with in conversations?
8. Early on what do I want to make sure that people know about me?
9. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God?
10. What do I really want and expect out of life? What would really make me happy?
11. What is my hope for the future?
(Taken from a post on TGC.)

Give it a try!  Don't share your results, etc.  This isn't one of those things, it is for you alone.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blessed Assurance

I have an assurance that brings me peace, comfort, and joy.  Recently I'd been knocked for a spiritual and emotional loop when I tried to apply contrary opinions to the gospel that had been revealed to me years ago at the point when I truly turned my life around and was able to let go of constant doubt and worrying of whether what I was doing was worthy or not and whether I was "deserving" of salvation.

Well, here this assurance is summed up nicely in an 8 minute audio clip: 

But, mind you there is true assurance and false assurance.  Of what I speak is *true* assurance based on comprehending the objective truth of the gospel, not what some out there are selling along with books prominently featuring their photoshopped uber-white teeth.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

False Prophets

"When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." - Deuteronomy 18:22

This is intense, yet so freeing hearing it from another... 

Once a false prophecy is spoken over a sincere but undiscerning believer, this supposed divine "word" becomes a chain about his neck. For when it does not come to pass, the condemnation will wear him down, cause him to question his relationship to God or his very salvation, or may turn him bitter toward the Lord whom he believes promised it in the first place. Wherever he goes, he will hear the clink and drag of those formidable links, ever reminded that he must have done something wrong, or that God really doesn't care.
"Wear him down"... no kidding!   Luckily though I have a deep enough faith that it didn't cause me to be bitter with Him and I've no question in my salvation, unfortunately I allowed it to cause me to be bitter with others that I love along with being disappointed in myself for following emotions rather than discernment.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sweet Tooth

So I see a homeless dude scarfing something out of a can like he hadn't eaten in forever and I ask Nikki "give me a 5 please, I'm going to grab a drink and get this guy some cookies." She let me know all she had was change and the drink was a stretch, then finds some random ones in her wallet she swore weren't there before. So I head into the store and grab my drink and go up to the counter and grab some of the fresh baked cookies. The guy at the counter recognizes me from something I did for him in the past and tells me "the cookies are on me tonight" without any mention of what they were for. I then take them out to the homeless dude who lights up and says "how did you know I had a sweet tooth", grinning so big literally showing that single tooth (which is kind of odd as Nikki said "make sure not to get macadamia nut cookies", not even knowing the dude was literally toothless.) One of those moments you only get when you show a little love and expect nothing in return.

Monday, February 24, 2014


One of my favorite movies has been "There Will Be Blood" as the worst of me identified with Daniel Plainview. In the movie he says the following lines that I told myself I really related to: 

"I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people. There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking. I want to earn enough money I can get away from everyone. I see the worst in people. I don't need to look past seeing them to get all I need. I've built up my hatreds over the years, little by little." 

The problem is, this sort of competition is very un-Christ-like. Actually, this is downright evil. But I could sadly feel I identified with that and actually relished in in such a thought in an oddly perverse manner.

I had operated like this for years in my career. You could find me with a book studying for the latest certification I was after, etc. so I could prove I was more worthy than those around me and when I’d climbed to the top of the pile, I’d jump to a bigger one. I even did this in other areas of my life including family, social, and even church circles. It was a disaster because I saw everyone else as someone to be better than and their accomplishments were not things to be happy about, but something to strive beyond. My relationships never grew correctly with those I saw as competitors and I lost lots of opportunities to truly show the love of Christ.

So, are you measuring yourself to others? Do you find yourself being disappointed when others experience successes, or do you become covetous of their advancement? Do you constantly try and point out why you are more worthy of something than others, or how much more you are doing than someone else? These questions are not asked judgmentally, but in the spirit of personal knowledge as I am guilty of them all. If you do these too, perhaps take a moment to read and pray on the following article: Competing Against Other Christian’s is it Wise?

In the article the author states the following which is rather humbling “...we are to measure ourselves against God not other Christian’s. If we measure ourselves against each other we become high-minded, arrogant, prideful and hurtful to others. But if we measure ourselves against our LORD Jesus, we see ourselves impotent, weak, needy, and thankful of His blessings.”

It’s so wonderful to feel the grip of the competitive drive rooted in my own insecurity and selfishness that ruled my life and ruined relationships for so long being loosened dramatically recently and I hope and pray for others struggling with the same to start experiencing freedom too!