Jesus, the Great Dumping Ground

junk_yard

I recently returned from a week-long visit to see my brother who lives in Carson City, Nevada. He needed help with some major house-hold chores and projects. One of our tasks took us to the local land fill off of Highway 50, where we deposited over 450 lbs. of yard waste, metal, plastic, rotten wood, and an old car seat.

While there I could not help but notice the sky, which is always beautiful in Carson City. However, above the mountains of waste and refuse it’s beauty was even more striking. There it was, heaven looming above the garbage piles below. The metaphor became strikingly evident: the pile of garbage was our sin, the land-fill was Christ Jesus, the sky was heaven where we will one day go, free from sin. As I looked at the piles of garbage I was loathed to realize that whenever I sin more gets added to the piles of waste. Ugh! We all owe a debt to Jesus who took on all of our sin. Every evil deed and thought was laid on him, and by His stripes we were all healed.

I resolved anew to live by the power and grace of the Lord, Jesus. I was reminded of Psalm 19:13 that says, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous (willful, on-purpose) sins; Let them not have dominion over me: Then shall I be upright, And I shall be clear from great transgression.”

This really struck home to me, for my brother is suffering mightily because of some very wrong choices he made in the past. I pray he will come out cleansed and renewed through his ordeal. We vowed to not pile more of our own garbage onto Christ and to keep our hearts and eyes fixed on the blue sky of heaven above, where Christ has gone to prepare a place for us.

What a glorious day when there will be no more piles of refuse. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

Bible Reading

Millicent and I made only a few New Year’s Resolutions this go around. One of them was to read the Bible together from cover to cover in one year. We found a schedule on the Internet, and so far, have actually stuck to it. We are having big fun.

It had been a while since I had read the Word of God from cover to cover; Millicent never had. So away we went. We will be reading Chapters 12 and 13 of Joshua tonight. The story of Israel is astounding. At this point the people have just subdued all the kings of the realm and possessed almost all the land promised to their fore-fathers, Abraham Jacob, and Issac.

In an attempt to deepen our understanding of those ancient sites, we have been searching on the Internet for pictures and additional information. I came across a truly great web site. It’s called Different Spirit. Here’s the link:

http://www.differentspirit.org/index.php.

This site is packed full of great information. It is very well laid out and organized. It explains much about Israel, faith in Christ and His kingdom which is on the way. If you are interested in such things, this is a great resource. I just thought I’d share.

Take care. God bless you and yours.

David

TRIcon Upgrades and Maintenance

Hi, Guys!

Haven’t checked in for a while; just wanted to say hello and tell you about some minor upgrades and maintenance on the AZUB TRIcon.

I switched out my front two headlights. I now have two “Metro” units by Cygolite. Man, are they bright. One of the six possible modes called “Daylightening” flashes or pulses with 500 lumens of light. It truly is like lightening. The manufacturer recommends this mode only for daytime riding. I can see why; it’s impossible to miss those strobes. Another mode called “Steady Pulse” is also a flashing type mode, but the lights do not go completely out during the cycle, they only dim slightly. Even that mode is 360 lumens bright.

Even on the lowest possible setting, night time riding is a breeze. I have to make sure I don’t point them too high into the eyes of oncoming motorist. The mounting system is familiar and allows me to literally point each light in any direction. Plus, the locking device guarantees the lights will never come off until you want them to. I had a problem with that when using the previous lights.

Bottom line: I love them. The best part is that they are USB rechargeable. I can attach them to any regular USB charger for a few hours or even to my USB computer port and they are good to go. On low setting they can shine for 12 hours. If I use only one that means I can have light for 24 hours before recharging. On the dimmest setting with two lights shining, I can’t believe the amount of light they make. Awesome!

Cygolite Metro bicycle lights.

New lights and pedals.

I also switched the pedals to Shimano M530 SPD units. These are clipped on both sides instead of only one like the previous M324 SPD units were. I figured that I’m never really going to ride the TRIcon without being clipped in, so why not just switch to pedals with clips on both sides. That way I won’t have to fumble, turning the pedals before I can get locked in. I’m not sure why but the new pedals seem to support the bottom of my biking shoes better. I have not had any hot spots on my feet, even after hours of fairly heavy pedaling.

Maybe it’s because there is an extension on the forward side of the clip, which the M324s don’t have. I’m not sure; it just seems like more the bottom of my shoe is engaged. Anyway, I like them. I moved the older units to my TREK 700 hybrid, which I ride to work several times a week.

Also I did a bit of maintenance today. I purchased a Park Tool Hyperglide Lockring Tool (FR-5), a chain whip, and a gear cleaning brush to remove and scrub/polish up the rear cluster and derailleur. The lock-ring that holds the chain rings in place has a grooved surface that bites into the matching surface on the smallest gear. You can see the grooves on the top surface of the smallest gear in the picture. It made an unnerving grinding sound when I loosened it. It sounded as if I had broken something, but all was well.

Rear cluster.

Disassembled rear cluster

Back of rear cluster unit.

Cleaning the back of the cluster unit was a bit tedious.

I was very surprised to find that the first eight gears of the cluster were all riveted together into one unit. Only gears one and two were separate. I was a bit disappointed not to get the chance to ticker with separate gears and spacers. Also cleaning the eight gears as a unit was tedious. Removing the cluster was straight forward. There are plenty of excellent videos on YouTube that show you exactly what to do. Anyway, she’s back together and ready for my next ride.

Reassembled rear cluster.

All back together and shiny.

Take care! Go Seahawks!

New Year’s Day Ride

Hi, Guys!

Mom once told me that it is good luck to be doing on New Year’s Day what you hope to be doing for a long time hence. With that in mind I took and long wonderful tricycle ride on my TRIcon on New Year’s Day morning. I went to Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale, CA. Everyone was there. The partying was out-of-sight, as were the cars and motorcycles. I was glad I was on my tricycle; I had perfect seat to take in the festivities.

Happy New Year to all of my fellow tricycle riding friends. May God bless and keep you safe. Have a great 2014. Hope to see you on the road again soon.

Take care,

David

A Fantastic Exchange for Christ

I was so blessed and excited to be able to share my faith with Johan, a gentleman that wrote in with a comment. Here’s my answer to him.

Hello, Johan!

I’m too excited to wait a few days. Here’s my reply.

Before I proceed, please know I am not trying to proselytize you or convert you to my way of thinking. It is a rare soul indeed, if there is even one, who came to Christ because someone beat them over the head with the scriptures. So know, that’s not what I am trying to do. I simply want to give a clear thoughtful answers from scripture to the questions you raised, because it’s the proper thing to do. After all Christ Himself said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 3:37). It’s all accomplished by the preaching of the gospel.

So here goes. I’ll break your comments down into sections so I can reply to them easier.

You said: I’m sure the other living things on different planets also have their own god as well.

I say: Sorry, but there are no other living beings on other planets with their own gods. I know it’s almost impossible to believe when you consider the daily headlines, but man is the pentacle of the Father’s creative activities. We are the only thing He created in His own image (Genesis 1:27). We were designed to rule over and subdue everything that He had otherwise created. We can discuss that later if you like, but here’s my point.

There is no other earth anywhere in the universe. Saying that is the same as saying that out of the countless quadrillions of sand particles on all the worlds beaches there must be two which are exactly alike. No! Or of the countless billions of snow flakes that have fallen, there must be two the same. No dice! I don’t care how many billions of galaxies there are out there – we are it! People need to get use to the idea, but they don’t want to because if they do, they will realize how special we are and how much responsibility we have to bear for what we’ve been given.

You said: And to say people who don’t believe in god don’t want to be held accountable for their sin is ridiculous.

I say: I understand what you are trying to say and actually agree, but here’s the problem: those who truly don’t believe in God have no reason to worry about sin or being accountable for it. That’s not to say that non-believers don’t have a sense of or know right from wrong. Everyone does. If one does not believe in God, why worry about sin at all. It doesn’t make sense.

However, believe me, Johan, I know God loves me, and I try my best to love Him back by keeping His word, but I DEFINITELY DO NOT want to be held accountable for my sin. Every Christian feels the same way. That’s why we flee to the cross to be covered by the blood of Christ. If you accept God as supreme authority and ruler then you also have to accept what He says: “They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3 or Romans 3:23). I can’t think of any reason why God would lie about it.

You said: And I don’t see how believing in a god is any more reasonable than believing that it happened by “accident”.

I say: This I must totally agree with. I don’t think faith can be quantified as something reasonable. To call something as done, when you can’t see it – well, not exactly reasonable. However, there is power there.

On the other hand, when I consider the mathematical odds against everything that is (including us) having come together by sheer happenstance and chance, I can’t buy it. To me it takes more faith to believe that. Anyone who truly believes that should take all their wealth and go to Vegas. You would have an infinitely greater chance of winning there than the universe having come together randomly. It goes against the very laws of thermodynamics (if I indeed remember them correctly).

You said: In my opinion, the thought of god exists only because humans seek answers by nature. And when their is an unanswerable question, we allow ourselves to indulge in comforting thoughts.

I say: Here’s something to think about: it is the very job and purpose of creation to testify to the glory of God directly into the heart of men. “For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they (men) are without excuse (Romans 1:20). That’s why tribes or people who have never heard the gospel of Christ worship through nature. It’s built into us as men. However, God says we must worship him, and him alone, not the things are are made.

You said: Do I know how the universe was created? No. Do I think there is an entity that created us and loves us and personally wants us to live by his rules? Absolutely not.

I say: I know how the universe came to be – God created it. What a mathematician He is – astounding! And yes, since He’s the guy who just speaks and stuff happens, I say He gets to make the rules. As it says in scripture, we are the clay, He is the potter. The clay does not get to say what gets made. That’s the potter’s domain. I mean, who actually thinks they’re going to have a successful argument with God about anything? It would be better to say, “I don’t believe”, as many do.

You said: I support your right to believe so, but I do not encourage statements generalizing the personality of those who don’t believe in the same things as you.

I say: I agree again. It’s not my purpose or job to put anyone into some box of generalities. “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:12). Rhetorical question – no one is the answer. I was once under the same condemnation every man is under before he comes to Christ. I am flawed and imperfect. Praise God I am also forgiven.

You said: And I DEFINITELY would beware when doubting other possibilities when you yourself believe in something so contradictory.

I say: There are no other possibilities. Everyman man is appointed a day to die (even as Christ was), after that comes judgement. Contradictory? You bet. The scriptures say “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19). I’m not saying you hate me, please don’t misunderstand, but the gospel of Christ for the most part is just foolishness to most of the world. Definitely contradictory. It’s just the way that God chose to save those He has called – through the foolishness of the gospel.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how excited and honored I am to have been given the chance to share my thoughts with you. It was truly a blessing. I hope at least a bit of what I said made sense to you and finds root in your heart.

Take care, Johan. All the best to you and yours,

David