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So, what do you do on a February day in Colorado when there is snow on the ground and the temp is busting at the seams at 42? You start thinking about your summer trips of course.

I’m getting excited about the trip back to North Carolina this summer and started jotting a list of packing items for the trip. So far I have clothes, camping items, and gadget stuff on the list:

3 – pairs of running pants (to wear under my motorcycle pants)
2 – pairs of jeans
4 – Tshirts (3 short sleeve and 1 long sleeve)
2 – button up shirts (for looking presentable)
4 – under shorts (never get caught with dirty drawers)
6 – pairs of socks (4 riding socks, 2 t-shoes socks)
1 – pair of tennis shoes (for when I’m not riding)
1 – pair of flip flops (just because its summer)
1 – pair PJ shorts (my cutoff sweat pants)
1 – PJ shirt
1 – pair of nice shorts
1 – belt (versatile, can be worn w/jeans or shorts)
1 – swim trunks
1 – ball cap
1 – pair of sunglasses
1 – rain suit
1 – pair of gloves (summer, will be wearing)
1 – pair of  riding pants and Jacket (joe rocket, breathable)
1 – towel
1 – cell phone charger
1 – Cardo Packtalk charger
1 – gopro charger
1 – map of the U.S.

And the camping stuff:
1 – lightweight sleeping bag
1 – hammock w/slapstraps
1 – rain fly w/stakes
1 – jetboil
1 – pack of coffee packets
3 – Mountain House meals (will replenish when needed)
1 – flashlight
1 – hygiene pack (to include toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc)

Miscellaneous motorcycle stuff:

1 – kickstand puck
1 – can of LP spray cleaner & polish w/rag
1 – can of chain lube
1 – motorcycle cover

Now, there are other items I travel with (for safety) that are necessities, but do not need mentioning (those with ears, let them hear). The trick will be to get it all to fit on Pearl. I plan on using both panniers, a rear seat bag, and a tank bag. I haven’t purchased the rear seat bag yet, but I will get picks as soon as I do.

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I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything. So much life has happened: Changed jobs, lost my Jeep, got a car, lost the car, got another Jeep, got a motorcycle (YES!!!!), Daughter is getting married, other daughter is finishing up college, found out I kinda like IPAs, etc. Funny how I summed up, what? 2 years in 2 sentences? And those things are the highlights?  Maybe I need more excitement in my life. Oh yeah, I started playing pool as well and ended up going to Vegas. How about them apples?

I’m super excited about my motorcycle (2014 VFR Deluxe). The Deluxe just means it has heated hand grips, ABS traction control, and a couple of other goodies. I’ve been riding motorcycles since before I was in high school and life is just, well, different on two wheels.

Anyway, more posts to come, lots of pictures.

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Turning 50 is a lot like getting your first bloody nose: You see it coming from a mile away and you’re dreading the event every second, but after it happens, you realize it wasn’t that bad after all and suddenly, you’re not scared  to lean into a punch anymore.

I played in my church’s annual turkey bowl this year (football game) and I am certainly feeling my age right now. I’ve had a whole year to get use to the idea that I’m turning 50, but I honestly would have liked a few more years to get used to the idea. The turkey bowl turned out to be the “old” guys against the “young” guys, and for all the nay sayers, the “Old” guys won! But that’s not the point of this blog.

Watching our young men on the field, I was very impressed with the way they carried themselves, the way they were competitive, the way they didn’t back down from the task in front of them. The were young MEN in every sense of the word: Strong, determined, forgiving, and purposed. The young men of the Road give me a hope for the future of our community. Even though they aren’t my children, I am proud of them none the less.

Knowing the caliber of the men around me, it makes turning 50… not so bad.

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“We and the world, my children, will always be at war.
Retreat is impossible.
Arm yourselves.”

–Leif Enger

As John Eldridge and others have written, we were born into a world of  sin, a world of chaos, a world at war. The wars of the physical world are only shadows of the real war, the real battles that take place in the spiritual realm. There are numerous references to this war throughout the old and new testament: Daniel Chapter 10, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 , Ephesians 6:13, and many more.

I want to share with you 3 truths about warfare.  These truths have been proven over and over again in battle.

#1. You cannot gain ground in battle without conflict. WWII, Korea, Desert storm, the Soviet-Afghan war, these are all excellent examples of ground gained and lost through conflict. You are fooling yourself if you think the same thing doesn’t apply to your spiritual life. Because of Satan’s bent on destruction of God’s faithful, EVERY victory, EVERY advancement will be marked by conflict. When we truly realize this, our whole view of tragedies, mishaps, and disappointments change. Its not that God has forgotten us, or He allows bad things to happen because He is sovereign. Think about it, it took an angel 21 days to get to Daniel because the angel was fighting with a demon of Persia, and even had to get Michael, the Arch Angel to help him. Since then, the battle has only gotten worse!

#2. Battles cannot be won without a supply line. When armies are cut off from their supplies, they perish. Its simple math, once the bullets are spent, once the food is eaten and the water drank, you’re done.  Like a tank running out of fuel. When satan cuts you off from your supply line (church, friends, family, Bible reading, prayer) he has effectively defeated you. MAINTAIN your supply line!!

#3. To fight effectively, you HAVE to believe in what you’re fighting for. The most effective fighters are those that are fighting for their very lives, family, homes. You always hear that a mama (insert ANY animal here) fights ferociously when her offspring are threatened. In the movie “Cinderella Man” (A true story about boxer James Braddock during the depression) was asked in an interview, “Jimmy, what are you fighting for?” His reply was based on providing food and shelter for his family. His reply was simply, “Milk.” Don’t forget that you are fighting for your spiritual birthright.

Enger was right, we ARE at war, and retreat is impossible, or as my buddy says, “Retreat is NOT an option.”

Arm yourselves.

 

 

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I was listening to the radio today on the way from church to the chiropractor’s office and the pastor was speaking on family. He commented that  When Cain killed Abel, it wasn’t because of violent games he played on his console, or anything he learned from his classmates, nor was it anything he had gotten  off  the internet. The pastor’s point was the motivation to kill Abel came from within Cain’s heart, not his environment or the people he associated with. I thought about it and realized this was the very first family to walk the earth and they were DYSFUNCTIONAL. Then I pondered, I have  never known a “functional” family, so what if there is NO dysfunctional family? What if the family unit is flawed by nature? God designed Adam and Eve to live together in the garden, but never mentioned child bearing until AFTER the fall of man. What if the family unit is flawed because of the sin Adam and Eve incurred in their life.

We are ALL dysfunctional. It is not because of our mother and father divorcing, it is not because of drug abuse, nor is it even because of physical abuse. It is because of the separation of our hearts from our creator. Divorce, drug abuse, physical abuse, these things are results of the sin, not the cause of the sin.

Looking at each other, and families with this mindset, be encouraged that NO ONE except for Christ was/is perfect. Romans 3:23 tells us  that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Therefore, it isn’t because we are failures, it isn’t because we are less of a human being, rather it is because of the  spiritual chasm that lies between us and our creator, our true purpose.

I have a really screwed up family; stuff that inspires horror stories, but we are NOT dysfunctional, we are merely  sinners.