A Word of Encouragement

Lately I have not been sleeping through the night. I wake up at 4:30 in the morning, sometimes even earlier. I stare at the ceiling for a while, and hope for sleep to overtake me again.

Instead, I decided to get up and give those early morning hours to the Lord in prayer. I read the Word, meditate on my own condition, and ponder on the state of world affairs, particularly in our own country.

I also started reading a book by Michael Medved entitled, “The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic.” I am only on page 67, but the accounts describing the early struggles of our nation are amazing. Truly, the Father had a hand in raising up this nation.

When I look at what is going on, and what our elected officials are trying to do, it causes me great worry and sorrow. Crime, inflation, drugs, corruption at the highest levels of government, the media spewing lies and misinformation; it’s easy to forget what the ultimate goal is.

I say this to myself as well as sharing it with you – the Lord God is in charge. What He desires will be accomplished on the earth. What does He desire? Easy, it’s truth, righteousness, salvation, joy, prosperity, peace! Amen!

Here are a few passages from recent readings in Isiah.

Chapter 45, verse 18:

For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Chapter 48, verses 12 and 13:

Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together.

Chapter 49, verses 8 through 11:

Thus says the LORD, In a favorable time I have answered You, And in a day of salvation I have helped You; And I will keep You and give You for a covenant of the people, To restore the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritages;

Saying to those who are bound, “Go forth,” To those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” Along the roads they will feed, And their pasture will be on all bare heights.

They will not hunger or thirst, Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them And will guide them to springs of water.

I will make all My mountains a road, And My highways will be raised up.

This last passage speaks directly of the Lord, Jesus himself. It gave strength and encouragement to me.

Chapter 50, verses 4 through 10

The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.

The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not disobedient nor did I turn back.

I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.

For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

He who vindicates Me is near; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me.

Behold, the Lord GOD helps Me; Who is he who condemns Me? Behold, they will all wear out like a garment; The moth will eat them.

Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

Finally, an exhortation to us directly from the Father is found in Chapter 51, verses 1 through 3.

“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, Who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn And to the quarry  from which you were dug. 

Look to Abraham your father And to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; When he was but one I called him, Then I blessed him and multiplied him.” 

Indeed, the LORD will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places. And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody.

Hallelujah and amen! We must emulate the Lord every day with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yes, our nation seems as if it is bent on going to hell in a hand basket, but that’s not what is in store for us. It is the Lord that raises up rulers and nations, and brings them down again. The nations are like grasshoppers in the site of the Lord. Like drifting smoke, blown dust they are.

So, a word of encouragement: don’t lose heart. Don’t let your love “grow cold”. Even if we have to suffer for the sake of righteousness, the rough places will be made smooth. Mountains will be brought down and valleys raised up. There will be a highway where only the redeemed of the Lord will walk. He has planned it from long ago, He will execute it and bring it to pass. All who long for peace and love in this world will be vindicated. The Lord Jesus will make it happen for His own sake. He has sworn by His own name; it will happen.

Truly, that is Good News Only.

The Love of Many

In the 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus talks to his disciples about the end times. He gives them many examples of what will happen and what signs to watch out for as the end draws near.

One statement He made during His dissertation has always intrigued me and left me a bit uneasy. It’s verse 12.

“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”

If you are like me, you tend to spend a bit of time staying abreast of what is going on in our society. It’s not looking good out there. In many of our great American cities, Chicago, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, lawlessness is now in fashion.

In the streets there is open and public murder, looting, masturbation, defecation, prostitution, drug use, assault, robbery… you get the idea.

Elected leaders openly promote these behaviors by releasing dangerous convicted criminals from jail, reducing their due sentences, restraining and preventing police men and women from doing their jobs, and failing to prosecute or bring the perpetrators to justice. The net result is that lawlessness has indeed increased. Life is very dangerous for many innocent people.

Many law enforcement personnel have become disheartened; many have retired or otherwise given up. I sometimes feel my own soul leaning toward hopelessness. Will my lifestyle eventually consist of being afraid to go out to shop, or play, or vacation? Is this what the Lord means when He said the love of many shall grow cold? Possibly, but I recently became aware of another possibility.

A few nights ago I was watching a documentary about Los Angeles and its district attorney, I became very agitated. The actions and lack of action of that office has directly contributed to the horrible plight under which many Angelenos now find themselves living. I have loved ones living down there!

Suddenly I was filled with great anger, near rage and said something out loud that should never have left my mouth as a disciple of Jesus. Fortunately, only my wife was in the room to hear it. I later repented, and asked the Lord for forgiveness. 

Then it hit me, maybe that’s what He meant when He said the love of many shall grow cold. It’s not that people will become depressed and listless, uncaring and unmotivated. That certainly could happen in some cases; but on the other hand maybe people will become enraged. What would be the net difference? Nothing at all!

As a matter of fact, the latter would actually be a greater demonstration that one has let the current lawlessness cause his or her love of Christ to become cold. 

James 1:20 says 

for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Indeed! There is only one Lawgiver and Judge.

Matthew 7:1-3 says:

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?


The message is clear to me, as we watch and see what is going on around us, we must not let our love grow cold, neither through abject despair and sorrow, nor through outright rage and anger as I was doing. In either case the love of God is not put first. Anger may actually be fear in disguise.

In the 21st chapter of Revelations is says

But for the cowardly (fearful) and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

Strange how the Word lumps of fearful right in there with the rest of the evil-doers. However, when you think about it fear is not faith, and we know that only faith can save us, not fear.

1 John4:18 says

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not been made perfect in love.

So I must remember the One who is in control. To escape judgement, I must not judge, but commit myself to a faithful God, whose will and desire will be done on earth as they are in heaven.

Let’s reassure our hearts. In Psalms 37:1-5

Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Which in my case is just peace on earth and good will toward men. 

Therefore, here is a message to myself, and maybe to you: pray for EVERYONE, don’t fret, don’t be angry, but be peaceful, trust in the Father in Heaven and His son, the Lord Jesus. All things will be made right eventually! Amen!

Now that is Good News Only.

The Consequence of Choice

“Elections have consequences!” 

I remember hearing someone say that on some television channel. It was an admonition directed at would-be voters, warning them to consider carefully who they should vote for.

When one considers the place to where our nation has fallen since the last election, it’s impossible to argue the point. Elections do have consequences. Some elected officials have a broken or non-existent moral compass, thus America is paying the price.

A better way to consider the situation is to replace the words “elections” or “elect” with “choice” or “chosen”. Basically, we are dealing with the phenomenon of choice. An election is an event where voters “choose” who will lead them. An “elect” person is chosen. 

This is a basic tenant outlined in many places in the Bible. In the scripture God’s election leads to salvation and blessing. On earth, when man chooses it often does not.

This is painfully evident in the leaders we are choosing to subject ourselves. Do we want leaders who openly celebrate the killing of tens of thousands of babies every year? Do we want crime and murder rates reaching all-time highs in our major cities? Run-away inflation: is that a choice? What about taking away the protection of police and other first-responders who serve God and man? Do you like having your family in danger when going out to shop or eat? Is that a good thing? Doesn’t seem so to me. Who would choose that quality of life? Evidently, some voters do.

We’d better wake up as a nation. We have chosen not to hold God in high esteem as is His due. Moses warned Isreal about making proper choices. In Deuteronomy, chapter 30, verses 11 through 18 it says:

For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it? Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 

Psalms 33:12 says:

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

Let’s consider our own lives first. Are we choosing God? Some will argue that the election of God precludes any responsibility on our part. Who can withstand His will? If we are fore-known and fore-ordained, why bother? These are good and fair questions, that deserve answers. I’ll let the Bible scholars debate over those.

However, the Good News Only is that we have a chance to change the course our nation is on. We don’t have to subject ourselves to leaders who open lie to us, and care nothing for the people, but only exist to serve and enrich themselves. Who true desire is the destruction of our nation.

Indeed, as stated in Proverbs 29:2

When the righteous flourish, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.

When it’s time again to make our voices heard at the voting booth, let’s remember, choices have consequences. America as a concept, an idea, an experiment cannot exist outside of godliness. Our founding documents were written for a moral people, a people trying to overcome their short comings by reaching for “higher-ground”. 

Let’s not let our nation perish. America is the greatest nation on earth and still the place where many people want to be. We can do it!

The Big Date

Once upon a time, in my younger days, I was on my way to work. I was taking the bus, because my car was in the shop for repairs. After taking my seat I casually looked around to see who I was riding with. I noticed a young Hispanic girl, sitting to my right across the isle. We made eye contact; I smiled at her and politely moved on. She was a bit heavy I noticed, but definitely very cute.

The next day I took the same seat, port side bench facing the door and the isle. As I glanced around I saw the same girl from the day before. We locked eyes again, but this time I did not look away. I felt my eyes widen in surprise. She noticed too, because she gave me a coy smile, squirmed teasingly in her seat, and looked down to her lap before looking back at me. I was staring in amazement. I almost did not recognized her as the same person.

She was absolutely gorgeous. Make-up had been applied. She sported red lips, eye shadow, a nice blouse, hair styled, big beautiful smile. I could not take my eyes off of her. What really cratered me was the sudden realization that she had done it for me. She wanted me to notice her, and indeed I had!

As I exited the bus at my stop, we looked and smiled at each other again. I never saw her again after, as my car returned from the shop and I did not need the bus any more. However, even today some 60+ years later I remember her. She had made preparations especially in the hope of seeing me again. Amazing!

Recently I was reading the scriptures, I John specifically. Chapter 3, verses 3-5 say:

And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him.

Just as that young lady had made preparations to see me, I should be making preparations to meet Jesus. I should be spiritually showering and spiritually dressing up in anticipation of being with Him. I should not be “practicing sin”, that is, making bad decisions on purpose, doing what I know is wrong. With a mixture of horror and sadness, I realized I have been doing just that.

I have been practicing sin, taking a break, dabbling where I should not be dabbling. Not reading, not praying. What kind of thinking is that?

Imagine me going to meet my sweet wife, my significant other, the love of my life for a date. Would I appear on the date with muddy shoes, clothing inundated with sour perspiration and wrinkles, teeth unbrushed, no deodorant, no mouth wash, un-showered? Hell no! 

Then what am I doing when it comes to my relationship with Jesus? We all have a big date upcoming with Him. Like it or not, we all have an appointed time. It’s on the divine calendar. What the hell am I doing?

I John, Chapter 1, verses 6 and 7 say:

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 

Further more in Chapter 2, verses 4-6 say:

The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

Good grief! I need to repent and fast. In the 24th chapter of Matthew, verses 42-46 it says:

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you must be ready as well; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household slaves, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. 

I do not want to shrink away from Him when He comes, caught with my spiritual pants down, unable to look Him in the eye for embarrassment. Yes, we will see Him, “even as He is”. 

Come on soul of mine; get it together! Love of the world is enmity toward God (James 4:4). I’m making some changes. No more dabbling in the things of the enemy. All in for God! If you’ve read down to this point, then please pray for me, for strength of faith and endurance. The one who perseveres to the end is the one who will be saved (Matthew 24:13).

I am taking these days of mine to get ready for my date with the Lord Jesus. His blood has already cleansed me, so I need to do my part to be ready. 

The times, as you know, are already getting really strange. Lawlessness has increased, and because it has, the scriptures say “the love of many will grow cold.”

No more time doing what I know is not pleasing to Him. No, I am not out murdering and pilfering, but on the other hand I do not want to hear the Lord say, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.”

Man, that would be a very bad day.

I don’t want to be the guy at the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14), who after having been invited, and actually gets through the door and is seated at the table, then is summarily cast into darkness for being totally unprepared.

Brothers and Sisters. Let’s take a pledge together to step it up for Jesus. No more time outs; no more respites. No more taking the blood of the Lord for granted. It will be a glorious day at the wedding feast, the big date with our Lord and Savior. Believe me, that will be Good News Only.

Solar-Powered WIKE Bike Trailer Project

Hey everyone; very belated happy new year. One person who recently visited my YouTube channel asked for a specific wiring diagram on my solar paneled bicycle trailer. So here goes.

The kit was purchased from a Canadian company called WIKE. They are online and sell quality bicycle trailer kits. WIKE sells the main fiber glass fastener unit and stainless steel nuts and bolts. The purchaser supplies his/her own wood or aluminum tubing to build the main frame, and any additional fasteners they may need for the project. I purchased the “high-walled” kit.

WIKE bicycle trailer kit
WIKE high-walled trailer kit: finished project.

Above is the finished kit. It was big fun to build and is a breeze to tow. Here’s a link to the video where the build was explained.

On rough gravel it is a bit noisy, but quiets down on smooth pavement. Most of noise are the wheel axles rattling inside the mounting hardware. The black panel is the controller. The switch below the controller turns the inverter on or off. Two reflectors are peel-and-stick. The tail light is battery powered. Below is a diagram of how it is all wired up.

Solar panel wiring diagram

Forgive my drawing. I know I use to draw better than this. The components are not physically positioned in this exact representation and are not to scale. However, the wiring is correct. Small arrows indicate current flow.

Components are linked together via the electrical distribution block (C). The batteries are wired in parallel (negative to negative/positive to positive.) One battery’s negative pole goes to the negative input side of the block; the positive pole of the other battery goes to the positive input side of the block. This gives me one battery of 12 volts and 16 amp hours. If you use more than one battery (i.e. three) make sure the positive pole from the battery on the end of the bank and the negative pole of the battery on the other end of the bank are connected to the controller. DO NOT connect only one battery’s poles into the electrical network, even though they are all connected in parallel. You must spread the load evenly across all batteries used.

The batteries are connected to the “input” side of the block (right side in the drawing). Two rows on the positive end and two rows on the negative end are wired together. From here the distribution block is connected directly to the controller panel (C). This is the only aspect of this setup I don’t like. The battery bank (D) is connected to the panel (C) 24/7, supplying power to the panels in order to display battery voltage, amp hours, current charging amperage, i.e. This will eventually drain the battery bank. In order to counter act this, I place the trailer in bright sunlight as often as possible. Otherwise, I disconnect the battery bank from the controller via an Anderson plug. I did have a switch installed here but decided it was not needed. (Thinking about re-installing this switch.)

From the other two live ports available on the “outgoing” side of the distribution block (C) wires go to a switch (E), then to the inverter (F). The inverter has two plugs for 120 volts output as well as USB outputs.

In conclusion, I don’t think this is the most efficient way to store/move electrical power. It might be better, for instance to simply buy another bicycle battery and connect it directly to the solar panel via the controller. However, now we are talking about another $650+ and 8 lbs. of weight. However, the system works exactly as expected. During testing I have run an electric drill on this system as well as charge my bicycle battery, using its charger plugged into the inverter. When the battery bank’s charged state drops too low, the inverter sounds an alarm and shuts the charging process down.

After using the trailer for a while I think I will eventually purchase a larger solar panel (60 watts) and add one more battery to the bank.

Anyway, thanks for visiting. Leave comments, suggestions, or advice. Take care. God bless you and yours.

UPDATE (May 4, 2021)

Since posting this story I have gone back to a two-switch system on the trailer. One switch turns the inverter on and off; the other disconnects the batteries from the solar panel controller. When in long-term storage the batteries will not be subject to constant discharge when connected. I have also re-wired an electrical outlet back into the circuit for access to 120 volts from outside of the trailer.

However, after adding the outlet and the second switch, testing indicated that the inverter is only putting out 85 to 90 volts AC. I am trying figure out why that is; all of the wiring seems correct. Maybe there are too many connections and splices. Frustrated right now, but I’ll see if I can get it to work.

Update (May 12, 2021)

Okay; I have converted the trailer back to its original, non-powered state.

After removing the rear panel I examined all of the wiring and connections and found a loose connection at one of the switches. This is why I was getting no output from the inverter.

After tightening the screw, I reconnected everything and ran a test. I was able to run a corded electric drill from the sockets wired to the inverter.

Evidently the screw had vibrated loose during road tests. This is going to be a problem over time. Connections are going to need a bolt and nut, used with Lock-Tite to keep the connections tight. Also the battery connections are not ideal as they are held together with friction.

While the system is disassembled I think I will upgrade some components. One reader suggested I should go to a larger solar panel, maybe 60 watts. Will do! I will also add another battery to the bank and perhaps switch to connection which use a bolt and nut. After I have tested the new system I will reinstall everything back onto the trailer for testing. I’ll keep you posted.

Thoughts for the New Year

It has been truly bewildering trying to make sense of the crazy times we have lived through this past year. Our country is in turmoil from within, tearing itself apart. One of my dilemmas is trying to ascertain where I fit in as a Christian. Specifically, do I speak up for rationality and clear thought? Do I say something when I hear hateful speech and lies? How much should I argue with anyone about anything? Will it matter? Good questions all. Ultimately God will have His way here on earth, just as it is in heaven. It’s determined! So how much should I engage? Is it worth the risk?

It’s a balancing act for those of us who are trying to love God. I’ve heard some say that to raise our voices at all is tantamount to having no faith. They say, “we must follow Christ’s example.” Indeed, faith is required – it’s what protects us, but I believe faith does not require that we be absolutely silent in the face of lying and false accusations or evil. We are called upon to defend the poor, widows, and less fortunate. In order to fulfill His mission Christ did just that.

On the other hand, Christ’s anger did rise up a bit sometimes. In Luke 12:50 His words were,

“I have come to cast fire on the earth; and how I wish it was already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished.”

Jesus held Himself in check because He knew why he had come and what he had to do. Otherwise, His holy boot-heels would already be planted in the appropriate places on His enemies. Thank God they will be soon. So what does that mean for me as Christian?

Well, I already know the anger of man does not accomplish the will of God. Experience as taught me that in my case, that is especially true. I am in no position to judge anyone at all. Humility must comes first and foremost. God abases the proud, but lifts up the humble. He hates a haughty look and an arrogant heart. It’s all over scripture. I’m working those things out in my spirit. However, do I speak or not speak?

Proverbs 9:7-8 says:

“He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you. Reprove a wise man and he will love you.”

Proverbs 23:9 says:

“Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.”

I know I am in no position to judge people to determine who is foolish or not. We know from scripture there is only one Lawgiver and Judge. My job is to be slow to speak, and slow to anger. If we listen, we can hear.

However, faith does not require that we cower in fear and let evil run rough-shod over us. Faith might mean having the courage to speak truth when the time comes. When someone says something so against God’s Word and laws, it might be time to speak up for the Word, to protest for love. There is plenty of encouragement within the scriptures for defending our faith.

In 1 Peter 3:15 it says,

“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

For me, that last part is difficult.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says,

“for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Notice that it says, “our warfare are not of the flesh” – to me that means street confrontations are not required. The fortresses we are destroying are spiritual ones, invisible ones, those of the mind.

So for me the best strategy is putting on the complete armor of God: Faith, Love, Peace. Pray constantly, be kind when you can, look out for your neighbor, be on guard against evil, and as much as I can be, “be wise as fox and gentle as dove.”

Anyway, enough said. Happy New Year to your and yours if you happen to be reading this post. May God bless you and yours this coming new year, keep you safe and sound and under the protection of His care. I pray you find peace and love. Take care.Sign up for notifications of new posts if you like.