Written by cycleguy on July 28th, 2014

Growing up in Pennsylvania “Catchup” was the red condiment you put on fries. I never could understand why people called it Catsup or Ketchup. I eventually realized my Pittsburgh-ese, as it was called, put a curious slant on some words. Tami still gets on me for pronouncing it “warsh” instead of “wash.” “There is no ‘r’ in wash dad,” she will say. What does she know?

Anyway, catch-up is what I am doing today. I got caught up on the mail at home last night after we got home. Today it will be office mail. Calendar update. Sermon work. Staff meeting. Cutting my field which is normally known as grass. And somewhere…somewhere…my head and body will catch-up with each other and say, “Hey! Get busy! You aren’t on vacation any more.” When I went to bed late last night (after catching up on some laundry, putting things away and other miscellaneous stuff) I knew it was going to be a short night. I hate being right!! When that alarm went off at 3:45 this morning after 10 days of no alarm, it was not a fun picture. I have this sneaking suspicion not much of today will be. :) I won’t bore you with all I have to catch up on today or what is new, but suffice it to say it is going to be a long day. No make that lo-o-o-o-ng day.

1798 miles of driving…

10 days of no timetable/alarm…

10 of those days spent with Jo…

7 days spent with Janna and my 7 1/2 year old grandson…

3 of those days included Tami…

4 chances to ride my bike on flat terrain…

8 of the 10 days spent without a computer…

1 morning spent visiting with Larry the Deuce…

2 Sundays missed at home and not preaching…

2 unread Bicycling magazines which came while I was gone…

98 unread blogs…

0 blogs written…


It may take me a couple of days so hang in there with me please. I’ll get back to reading and commenting.  Thanks. It is “good” to be back (I think).




Written by cycleguy on July 24th, 2014

I am on vacation this week and wanted to leave you with a “daily something.”

I was born in 1952. When I hit the mid ’60s Tommy James and the Shondells were stringing together hit after hit. Critics called it ‘bubblegum.” In 1968 they hit it big with Crimson and Clover and because of a scheduling conflict missed Woodstock. Things might have been totally different in many areas if they made that festival. But C&C was not my favorite song of theirs. Following that song they came out with Sweet Cherry Wine, a song Tommy says is about the blood of Christ. They then released what is my #1 favorite song of all: Crystal Blue Persuasion. Some of you will remember it. Some of you might remember it. Some of you will say, “Tommy who? Crystal Blue what?”

So here is my “daily something” for you today. Not at all like anything else this week. But I am unpredictable. :) If you click on About then Show More it will tell you the story behind the song as well as give you the lyrics.

Enjoy! Have a good rest of the week.


Oh…and by the way Floyd. This one’s for you! I just couldn’t let you down. :)



Written by cycleguy on July 23rd, 2014

I’m on vacation this week and wanted to leave you with a “daily something.”

Anyone who knows me knows I have a big “like” for Stryper. They were an ’80s hair band who took a stand for Christ. They made mistakes and eventually disbanded. They have gotten back together and released several recordings: Second Coming (a remake of their ’80s hits), Covering (covers of some music they grew up with), and the latest “No More Hell to Pay.” Needless to say, I like them.

Michael Sweet is their lead singer and he has come out with a solo album called “Not Your Suicide.” This song is the title song. I know it may not be your cup of tea, but the message is vital. Bullying is on the rise and suicide has been and continues to be a “rising star” among teens. This song was written to tell them they are not alone. Part of the proceeds for the sale went to Childhelp, an organization which helps victims of bullying and abuse.

Find the lyrics here.




Written by cycleguy on July 22nd, 2014

I know. All spell check monitors went absolutely nuts! :)

Holsom is a series of graphic novels., i.e. comic books

Back story: Several months ago I posted a review of a book on Amazon. The little company which published it saw that review and asked if I would be willing to review other material of theirs. “Sure! Why not? I’m always up for a good book.” My pickings (of what I was interested it) were sort of slim, but I decided to choose a book (which I have never received) and a series of graphic novels called “Welcome to Holsom. Population: Weird.” I received the first six books in the series. There is a total of 24 now.

Once I saw them I decided to take a slightly different approach. I’m not much of a comic book reader so I decided to ask two boys in the church to read them and give me their impressions. It has taken awhile but here is their “review” of the book. I am having to edit for word count.

The two boys were Noah and Cooper, ages 9 and 8 respectively.

#1 is about believing God, even when you don’t think He is there.

#2 is about trusting people.

#3 is about being friendly.

#4 is about being tempted.

#5 is about being better about telling your parents about things that they probably won’t believe.

#6 is about doing the right thing even when it’s tempting to do the wrong things.

Holsom was a town named after Horatio Holsom. It begins with a bully chasing some kids who hide in a barn and end up finding a robot. Through a series of adventures they learn some good life lessons (see above). Both boys liked the stories, although one thought they were too short and too quick to read. They both liked the humor in each one. They both liked that the stories had main characters who believed in God. One felt they were good reading, but not quite up to par with Tolkien (he is a LOTR fan) or C..S.Lewis. :)  As if…(my note)

The ultimate test? I had my 7 1/2 year old grandson read them to me last month. He liked them and even made me howl when he did the robot language. So I reckon it is safe to say they passed the test.

The also sent me two other graphic novels: one called “Beauty Queen: the Story of Esther” and “The Christ.”  Both boys liked the art work in them, as well as the story. The same artist did the Action Bible.

Thanks Noah, Cooper and Braden.

I was sent this material free of charge for the purpose of review. I was not required to give a good one.

I’m on vacation this week, but didn’t want to completely disappear from the blogosphere. So I thought I would publish something. If all works as planned, I will have met Larry and possibly Matt this morning for breakfast.



Written by cycleguy on July 21st, 2014

I’m on vacation this week with my family and wanted to leave you with a “daily something” which will stir you, inspire you or just to let you know I’m still alive. :)

A couple weeks ago one of our lead worshipers, Peter, introduced this song to our church. I love it!


Have a fantastic day!!




Written by cycleguy on July 20th, 2014

I’m on vacation but wanted to leave a “daily something” with you. One of our lead worshipers, Peter, heard this song at a conference and has taught it to the church I pastor. I heard it one time and was sold. After I hear it I have trouble getting it out of my head.


Hope you have a fantastic week!





Written by cycleguy on July 17th, 2014

I thought I would put together a post with a little bit of info for you. (Yeah, I bet you are waiting with baited breath for that)  :)

I had an updated experience Thursday. For 6 weeks in the summer, Ryan, our youth pastor, offers what he calls Summer JAM. It meets from 2-4:30 at a local elementary school. It is a time of play, some learning of various kinds, crafts (thanks to the local library), and some snacks. Ryan does the teaching part, unless he is gone…like he is this week. So yours truly was asked to teach. You know that part about “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” I have not taught Ages 5 through elementary in eons. The kids were fun- reminding me why I liked that age when I was a youth pastor-but also reminding me how old I now am. :)

I leave today (Friday) for vacation. We plan to head to Ohio and after watching our grandson play in two All-Star games on Saturday, head to Pigeon Forge on Sunday for a get-away with Janna (our youngest), Braden (our grandson), and Tami (our oldest) who will meet us there. Plans are to see a Smokies game (AA team), tour the Titanic museum, go to a zoo, hang out around a pool, and have a pretty loose schedule. Thursday we head back to Ohio and then will go further north to visit Jo’s sister. We will head back home Sunday. Lots of driving so I would appreciate your prayers. Oh yeah…a little bike riding will be in the mix. I hope. I hope.

While in Pigeon Forge I hope to meet up with Larry, the Deuce, and Matt, the Seeking Pastor.

Because of my vacation, I will be short on blog time. I have scheduled posts for next week, which involve videos, except one. I will apologize ahead of time for not commenting on your posts.

I hope you have a great weekend and a fantastic week ahead.




Written by cycleguy on July 16th, 2014

It should go without saying that Christ-followers should have higher standards.

What I don’t mean is a holier-than-thou-attitude. If you were sitting next to me at the moment I wrote those words you would have seen me shiver.

Nor should we ever give the impression we are above the fray. You know the old Hammer song: “Can’t touch this.” That is the quickest way to failure.

There is one standard we all need to work on. As a pastor, I realize I live under a bubble. A glass house so to speak. I know the danger of throwing stones. I am grateful for a wife and two daughters who never failed to remind me (in mostly subtle ways) that I am human. I am not into what I will call “pastor worship.” The very thought of that gags me and turns my stomach. The pastor has evolved from being a shepherd to being a CEO. I despised that evolution then. Still do. The church was never meant to be run like a business, and the pastor was never meant to be the “head” of that business. Frankly, and you can call me coward if you want, I don’t want to run everything. I don’t want carte blanche rights on all decisions.

And I certainly don’t want worshiped!! Please don’t PEDESTAL me. I’m thinking of the Old Testament story of the god Dagon found knocked off its pedestal and on its face twice because it was in the presence of the Ark (symbolized the presence of God). That god is me. That god is you. That god is any pastor who takes upon himself the mantle of preeminence.

Barnabas Piper (John’s son) has written an excellent article. Originally published in 2012 it has been republished here. I’d suggest you check it out. I’d also suggest you try to get it into the hands of your pastor (if you have one).

Meanwhile, cut out the “pastor worship.” If he is worth his salt, he won’t want it anyway. Plus he will say, “He must increase; but I must decrease.”  AND MEAN IT.




Written by cycleguy on July 15th, 2014

This is not a post on asking the question “Why?” when something goes wrong.

It really isn’t a post about motives (although that certainly can be included). I know I have been one of many who have voiced the question of “Why do we do what we do?”

Let me just give you something to chew on for a few moments. I read this in “Creature of the Word.”

Jesus was saying (Matthew 20:25-28) that His followers are to serve others not because it’s the right thing to do, not because we’d feel guilty if we didn’t, not because somebody else suggested it, and not because ’causes’ are the vogue thing of the day. We serve because Jesus has served us. His service should melt our hearts and cause us to serve others out of sheer gratitude to Him. That’s the appropriate response to His loving service of us. Churches centered on Jesus continually remind their people of this.

Just want to know what you think. If you attend church, does your church do this? If so, how well?



Written by cycleguy on July 14th, 2014

Over the last few weeks I have had the honor of hosting a guest series on Depression by Kari Scare. If you are new to this spot of the blog world, you can read her story here. Then you can read the other installments here, here, here, and here. I want to thank Kari for sharing her story and answering questions. I know by the response she has struck a chord. This is her last installment of the series, but I think the “reach” will go beyond my blog. She answers the most probing question for me today.

What can I do or say as a pastor (or anyone do) who has never suffered from depression to help those who do suffer?

While I was at my most depressed, I received little to nothing of what others said or did to try and help me. I just couldn’t see anything positive. Looking back, I realize that even though I didn’t think so at the time, having people just not give up on me even when I had given up made all the difference. No matter what I said or did, they always took me back and forgave me.

The best counselors and friends I had were the ones that simply listened but maintained boundaries in that they refused to climb into the pit with me. They were able to maintain mental and physical health in their own lives and

not let me pull them in the pit. So, I saw them as stable people that accepted me for where I was as well as for examples of where I wanted to be.

While some did suggest I simple “change,” for the most part the people in my life allowed me to be however I was going to be, not really accepting the behavior, but loving me regardless. And when they saw any positive, whether momentary or a step toward change, they latched on to that for as long as the wave existed even when they knew it would fade. This went a long way helping me make small, gradual changes that over time added up to make a huge difference in discovering victory.

Related to this, those who did not try to force me to change were the ones I wanted to be around. I know most of them were praying for me, but they did not try and insist I change. They accepted me for who I was at the time. When I did reject them, which I did as intimacy of any sort was thin at best and impossible at worse most of the time, they did not take it personally. They knew, somehow, it wasn’t meant personally. They gave me the space I needed, even letting me be miserable, and were always available when I came out of the darkest corners of the pit for a while.

Generally speaking then, the people in my life who had never suffered depression, helped me by staying consistent with who they were, by accepting me for who I was and where I was, by seeing beyond where I was and to who I could become, and by praying for me.

My husband said he felt helpless when I was depressed, and I guess he kind of was. I assume that’s how many people who have not had depression feel. The odd part is that this is how people with depression feel too. So, realize that the helplessness you feel in not being able to help the person get out depression is similar to the helplessness the depressed person feels in being trapped in it. Interesting, don’t you think?

Thanks so much Kari for taking time out of your busy schedule to help out. Your posts have been a real blessing. How can this post help you help others?