Blast from the Past

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Anniversary

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Oh, for the ease of emojis. It is not as easy putting pictures on a blog as it is to use an emoji while texting. If so I would find one that pictures a celebration.

Today is the anniversary of me starting Cycleguy’s Spin. February 20, 2008. This is post #2,837.

It is hard for me to believe I have been at this for so long. A lot has changed. A lot has happened. I have seen people come and go. Some who used to blog don’t any more. For what reason, I don’t know. Blogging used to be “the thing” but FB, Twitter, Instagram and all the other newer, shinier models have stepped in. I’ve stuck with blogging because I am not into social media. It used to be a joke in our house that Jo got to do FB because I had my blog. She originally connected to it to keep up with the girls, but she is hooked. Me? I am glad I never got involved. They say it would be better for blog traffic but I’m okay with that. They also say I would be able to keep better track of “my people.” That’s alright. They don’t need a hound dog. Besides, I have spies all over the place! 🙂

A lot has happened. The church moved its location from the sports complex to our own building (we bought an already existing one). That was in 2010. In January of 2011 I found out we were being embezzled. But God was more than sufficient.  In 2009 I was riding with a friend and a dog came out of the yard and took me down. I was hit by a hit and run driver in 2016 and in 2017 I had a horrific crash (which Tami was kind enough to remind me that this past Sunday was the date of my two year anniversary). I became a board member of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce about 6 years ago. The church has seen its ups and downs but God has been good. We paid cash for a renovation in 2012 and for a much-needed youth addition in 2017-2018.  Our sights are set on an adult worship center now.  We had our first Day of Service in 2009 and now partner with The Connection church for a semi-annual Day of Service (Spring and Fall).  Our 2009 launch of a now annual Thanksgiving Dinner was one of the best things we have done and it has morphed into a Christmas breakfast as well.

I started another blog, more of a devotional one, in 2018.  It was called Be Transformed and was focused around New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. I changed its name to Living in the Shadow at the beginning of this year and also changed my focus. I invite you to check it out here.

But through all of this and more, God has been the mainstay.  He has given me a love for the people of OVCF and for the community I never thought possible. I love living and serving here and honestly see myself nowhere else.

This is getting way too long so let me wrap it up. I thank you for being one of my readers. I appreciate it more than I can express. I know some of you are praying for me. That means even more. I’ll keep writing as long as I feel I have something to say. From the very beginning my guiding theme has been Live the Adventure.  I have received a few momentos along the way:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My firm belief and guiding principle:

And finally: I was listening to Switchfoot while working out yesterday and heard this song for the first time. It has been on repeat since then. It sums up my theme for my life.

Thanks for being a part of my life.  Live life well. It is an adventure.

Hometown

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

We didn’t grow up in Spencer, Indiana. I grew up in a suburb of the big city of Pittsburgh (Pop: gazillion). Jo grew up in several places, but calls Sandusky, OH home. (Pop: 35,000+)

So…how did we end up in a little town called Spencer (Pop: 3000 on a good day); Owen County (pop: about 22,000+ on a good day); Indiana?

It is a long story that may be told here some day, but not this time. We moved here in November of 2005 (just celebrated 10  years…along with Diana, the church secretary…errr, office manager…who started the same week I did). I had pastored a church in Terre Haute for 13 years (1987-2000) and Sandusky (2000-2005). We used to drive through Spencer on the way to Bloomington or Salem or Nashville (IN). I always saw it as a quaint town without much to attract a person to.

My view has changed. From the moment we came, the church has welcomed us with open arms. As I/we became more entrenched in the community, and as I became more involved, the community has also opened their arms to me. Jo working for the BMV didn’t hurt any since she was a good, solid worker who showed a lot of patience.

I consider Spencer my hometown. As a member of the Chamber of Commerce board and the New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center board, a volunteer at the Tivoli theater, and general all-around Sanguine (much to Jo’s rolling of her eyes), I am excited to call Spencer my home town. This past Saturday, our “downtown” was showcased. There is a lot of revitalization being done and many new shops, small businesses and store fronts are being opened and remodeled. An excellent coffee shop (Main Street Coffee) run by the Hogan family (Josh & Brianne and their 7 children) also sells my favorite tamales (Bivi’s Tamales…a lady from the church who knows how to make real tamales). A new Thai restaurant. The Dragonfly Gallery, a quaint but cool little store. Diamond K Sweets (some of the best, mouth-watering chocolate you will ever taste). And more are coming. It is fun watching “my” hometown perk up.

Jo & I also spent Saturday afternoon watching kids “mall” sugar cookies, icing and sprinkles as part of a big indoor carnival. The ladies from the church provided the cookies for Linda, one of our ladies who helps with the fishing team. You would be proud of me…no sugar cookies for me. 🙂  I’m not fond of them. However, if they had been chocolate chip…LOOK OUT!

Small towns will make a comeback, I predict. At least I think Spencer will. I’m proud to be a part of helping and watching Spencer be one of them. I anticipate even more in the future.

Just a little small town nostalgia for you… What do you remember about your hometown?

Disillusionment

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Disillusionment

Arrogance

Pride

Foolhardiness

Mispreparation

Man’s ingenuity

A lot of words can be used to describe this visit. My ultimate highlight of the vacation was spending time with my family. Make no mistake about that. But I have to admit I did have one major goal in our recent visit to Pigeon Forge (and it certainly wasn’t Dollywood or Country Music of any fashion).  Two words:

TITANIC MUSEUM

I didn’t even know there was such a thing until Jo made a trek to PF on Memorial Day weekend with three other ladies and they went through the museum. She is not a Titanic fan by any stretch and has not even seen the movie. But she really liked it and knew I would. So as her “bribe” to get me to go, the Titanic Museum was my reward. 🙂

We all know the story of Titanic so there is no sense in repeating it here. If you don’t…one word…Google. 😉 I won’t lie: I like the movie-chic flick or not. I can draw so many lessons from it. But in reality, I know the movie is cinema; I am fascinated by the real event. The history. The people. The reaction. The laissez-faire attitude of surrounding ships. The same attitude of many of the crew. The adjectives I used at the very beginning of this post. So many fascinating details, stories, sights. An iceberg to touch. Water the temperature of the ocean that night to put your hand into. The story told about the one pastor who spent his last moments asking people if they were saved. The one black man on board (a Haitian engineer denied First Class passage due to his interracial marriage to his white wife). The chivalry of so many. The “class” of John Jacob Astor. The “arrogance” of Benjamin Guggenheim. The love of the Strauss’, the founders of Macy’s, who refused to separate after 45+ years together (and gave her life vest to their maid).

Braden thought I spent all day there. I think I was there for about 2 hours…and trust me I could have stayed longer. I walked out with conflicting emotions. 1517 souls sunk with her. The ship “not even God could sink” sunk on its own. So many mistakes. So many good stories. All for me…to learn from…to remind myself of the dire consequences of arrogance…the utter disillusionment wealth, fame, and fortune gain. But also stories of men and women who thought of others before themselves, many sacrificing their lives so someone else may live. Did you know Astor put his wife on the lifeboat and then found a child to put in his place? Those kinds of stories remind me of the ONE who gave Himself freely for me…for you…so we would not be lost.

If you get a chance…go to the Titanic Museum and be prepared to be amazed, humbled, overwhelmed, and much more.

Oldie

Thursday, 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.

LIVE THE ADVENTURE!

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

Countdown

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Traffic is really, really slow during the Christmas/New Year holiday.  Several other bloggers have mentioned it and I would have to agree.  We have other priorities during that time- family, fun, food, friends.  Blog reading does not begin with an “f.”  I’m as guilty as the rest I’m afraid: while I read blogs, I comment on very few due to time constraints.  Like many others, I have every intention of “getting with the program” after the first of the year.

I will be posting this at 8:00 on Monday night.  That means there will be 28 hours left in 2013 from that moment.  You will obviously be reading it (if you do) some time after that.  The countdown has begun as we rush toward 2014.  I’m interested in knowing if you read this and when.

I’d also be interested in knowing what your plans are for New Year’s Eve.  The church I pastor is having a get-together from 7-12:00 full of games, food, and fun.  Nothing structured except as we get close to midnight to pray in the new year.  What are your plans?

And for you music connoisseurs I offer this flashback from the ’80s.  Until this past year, I think I had it on my blog every December 31st.  It returns as a reminder-not only to the countdown of 2013 but also that every day brings us closer to the coming of Jesus.   Enjoy!  Bring back memories?  Check out the drummer’s shorts at 2:15.  🙂  And yes, I know it is not everyone’s cup of tea, but bear with me (then go back to listening to yours).  😛

 

Predictions

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Well, I am interrupting the normal mode of posting because they are predicting 4-7 inches of snow to begin late Thursday afternoon/evening and going through Friday evening.  I won’t count the chickens until they are hatched because what is predicted not always comes true.  Like Doc Brown  (from my favorite movie) says, “Since when can the weather man predict the weather?”   We’ve had some really warm weather this week in the 60s so I don’t see it sticking or staying around very long (except in the slush department).

However, in honor of that predicted event I offer this throw back from my favorite “hair band”.

Oh, there is another prediction that will come true.  Count on it.  We never know when, but we know the WHO.  Maybe this will help clear it up.   Have fun.  Just don’t shoot the messenger.  🙂

 

Movie

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

We all have favorite movies.  We all have a favorite genre of movies.  Movie-makers count on that!  🙂

Jo knows if we are ever in a contest and they ask “What is your husband’s favorite movie?” she is to say “Back to the Future.”  The more correct answer would be the Back to the Future Trilogy.  I suspect I am one of those rare people who likes #2.  While my first time through was sort of confusing, subsequent views brought home a not-to-be-forgotten truth:  Take away laws and all that ensues is chaos, because there is no right and wrong.

I have other movies I like.  Lord of the Rings Trilogy (which I did not see or care to see when it was released in the theaters).   Field of Dreams.  For the Love of the Game.  (I love baseball). Guardian. Open Range. Wyatt Earp.   (Yes, I like Kevin Costner.  I even like his obscure  bicycling movie “American Flyers.“)  Gladiator.  3:10 to Yuma.  Cinderella Man. Robin Hood.  (And yes, I like Russell Crowe) Tombstone.  The current crop of Superhero movies (Captain America, Iron Man, Avengers, etc)  My one ode to a chic flick is “Titanic.”  (Have I lost my ManCard with that one?)

I say all that because Thursday night the Owen County Library has a free movie night once a month at the Tivoli.  This Thursday is my absolute favorite “Christmas” movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  I remember hearing about it from my brother, Rob.  He was visiting and talking to someone about this black & white movie he saw one afternoon.  He was sort of blah and turned the TV on and this movie was on about a man who wanted to leave town really bad but life’s circumstances always sabotaged his plans.  Eventually, he thought it would have been better if had never lived.  An angel (Clarence), who has a chance to earn his wings, comes to earth to help him realize “See George, you really have had a wonderful life.”  One day I watched it for myself and I was hooked.  Now one of my Thanksgiving Day traditions is watching “Wonderful Life” and “The Santa Clause.”   Unless something comes up, I will begin my Thanksgiving viewing early.  Jo & I will be attending a Thanksgiving dinner at the Owen Valley Health Campus and then making our way to the theater.

The movie is a constant reminder telling me I matter.  I leave footprints every day.  I influence people-good or bad- in my interactions with them. The real question is this: what kind of impression am I leaving with them?

Have  you see “Wonderful Life?”  What are your Top 5 movies of all time?  Finally, are you aware of your influence?

HodgePodge

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

I have seemingly a zillion things running through my mind (clogging up the works) and I’m not sure any of them can fill a whole post unless I wanted to really get wordy.  But we know that is not possible….  😛

SOMETHING GREAT!

I am truly excited about having Ryan on board.  That may change tomorrow, 😉  but these first three days have been really cool.  ‘Course he was gone Tuesday for his day off.   Diana (the secretary office manager) texted him on Monday and called him Jr. Boss.  That may stick!  She calls me Boss, but not sure why since she’s really the boss.  You know…if Diana ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.

SOMETHING HUMOROUS BUT TRUE

The world may have high praise for the so-called open minded person, but godly wisdom controls access to the mind.  I like the quote I read recently from G.K. Chesterton: “The problem with a lot of open minds is that they need to be closed down for repairs!”

SOMETHING STRIKING BUT SAD

In a biography of John Lennon, his son Julian, said, “My dad was a hypocrite. Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world.  He could sing about it, but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him, his wife and his son.  How can you talk about peace and love and have a family in bits and pieces, no communication, adultery, divorce?  You can’t do it; not if you’re being true and honest with yourself.”   I found this. (Reckon we can all learn from this about ourselves?)  Seems hypocrisy know no bounds (for all of us).

SOMETHING NEW AND REFRESHING

I was able to get out on my bike on Wednesday for the first time since  before Christmas.  It was real.  It was fun. But I can’t say it was real fun.  Wind chill in the 20s (since when can the weatherman predict the weather?).  5-10 mph wind.  Wobbly legs as I write this.  Only did 13 miles but that’s not bad for the first time in over a month.  Too much too fast= tendinitis.  Don’t want to go there.

SOMETHING I CAN’T WAIT TO BLOG ABOUT

I’ve been reading Artie Davis’ new book Craveable.  (Check the right column)  Artie is the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, SC and the director of theSticks Network.  I hope to post a review of it next week.  So far….bulls-eye!

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

You will never turn out wrong doing right.  And you’ll never turn out right doing wrong.  Just do the right thing!  (p.29)

Failure of integrity at the leadership level leads to a casual and even arrogant attitude toward integrity at other levels.   (p.19)

These last two thoughts came from Authentic, the new book by James MacDonald.  BUY IT!

Well…that’s enough for now.  Anything turn your crank?  How’s things with you these days? Anything you would like to comment on? 

 

WhoRU?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

So far this week

I have meandered down some lane and like the proverbial dog who chases every scent, I was all over the place.  But I enjoyed the break by hitting some high points of my weekend.

Next I found myself blogging about my Encounter Time...that time of being alone with God.  A good discussion took place with many agreeing that it doesn’t matter what you call that time alone with God…just have one.

Wednesday was Ed’sStory in the Tell Your Story series.  Ed’s experience in Nam and afterwards struck a chord with many of you.  I have really enjoyed reading your stories and finding out more about my readers.  When that happens people become more than just black and white words on a page.  As expected, each story has been different for various (and understandable)  reasons.

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN!!!

I feel like having a little fun with this post.  I have occasionally asked WhoRU? in order to find out some random thoughts about my readers.  This one isn’t hard today.   🙂  I have always loved music. Can’t play any instrument AT ALL, but I tell people I play a mean stereo.  Except when I am reading or studying, I almost always have music in the background.  According to my wife, sometimes it is too much in the foreground (get my drift?).  The louder the better.  I was listening yesterday when I was working out on my Bowflex (a gift from a friend), when it hit me to ask this question:

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 SONGS OF ALL TIME?

LET’S GO ONE BETTER.  IF YOU HAVE A LINK TO THEM, INCLUDE IT.  I am almost betting I have no clue on some of them.   (Remember this is a Family Friendly site).

Here are my answers:

#1 Favorite Song of all time: Crystal Blue Persuasion by Tommy James & the Shondells.  Hey, I am old fogie who grew up during the 60s.

#2 Favorite Song of all time: Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas.  I like Stryper’s version also.   Kansas’ song was one of the first power rock songs I latched onto.  I was glad when Stryper included it on their latest album.

#3 Favorite Song of all time: Long Distance Runner by DeGarmo & Key.  D & K were the first Christian rock group I ever heard of.  I wore out the album and cassette tape.  🙂  The lyrics inspired me to keep on going numerous times.  D & K were and still are my favorite Christian band.

#4 Favorite Song of all time:  Power of Love by Huey Lewis.  Favorite movie.  Favorite trilogy.  Any questions?

#5:  Favorite Song of all time: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli.  You may know him as the “Grease” man, but I knew him as the man with an incredible falsetto.   I know this song is sentimental but…oh well.

Honorable mention (but by no means second rate):

Lord of Lords by Brooke Frasier.  Lead Me to the Cross by Brooke Frasier.  Honestly by Stryper (danced with Janna at her wedding to this song). Open Arms by Journey (either singer).

Okay…that’s enough for now.  How about joining in the fun today?

SmokeyRoads

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

First the important stuff…an update on Lucy from yesterday’s post

I told you wrong.  I misunderstood what they were going to do.  They did not take skin from her thigh. They took it from inside her cheek and also from beside her tonsils.  (Does that not give you the chills just thinking about it?)  Her mom texted me and said she was doing well, drinking and eating yogurt.  The doctor, who has done the other two surgeries (she also had one to fix her lip in China), was guardedly optimistic.  He was real optimistic the other two so I can certainly understand his “guard” this time.  Please keep praying for Lucy, Reed and Amy.  Thanks.

Back in the 60s, my favorite singer/group was Tommy James and the Shondells.  I don’t expect many of you to know much about them, except maybe a song or two that has been covered  by someone else.  They had a song called Smokey Roads that I will link to at the end.  It was a haunting song about going back to where you grew up and finding things not as you once knew.  I have been there.  Pretty sure most of you have as well.  A house.  A neighborhood.  A venue.  A school. A church.  Going back is not always what it is cracked up to be.

This past weekend, Jo and I made our way back to Sandusky, Ohio, where I pastored a church from November 2000 to November 2005.  It had its ups and downs as all churches do.  Church growth is often measured by attendance.  If that is the case, I was a loser with a capital “L.”  My first year we lost 25 people.  No…not to me being there but to jobs moving out of town and people going where there were jobs.  The next year we only lost 8 (for the same reason).  I jokingly said, “Least we stopped the hemorrhaging.  The blood loss is a mere trickle now.”  🙂  I had to joke or I would have cried…big tears.  It is hard to lose that many people when you started with 140!  But, in spite of the downs, there were also some ups, and some good ministry and friendships were developed.  In that way, I cannot agree with what Tommy James sang.  Jo & I had a blast visiting, laughing, eating, reminiscing, preaching (me), and…(did I say eating?)  Many fond memories came flooding back.  Funerals.  Weddings. Tears. Laughter. Joking.  And some seriously nice people who always made some awesomely good food.   Notice a trend here?  😀  Things seem to be going well for them, and I am glad.   I served as a transition pastor for them…from someone who had been there for 13 years to the two who followed me (one died of a heart attack within a year of going there).  I am happy they were able to celebrate 100 years.

BUT.  I.  AM.  GLAD.  TO.  BE.  BACK.  HOME.  TO.  OVCF

It takes going away for some to remember what they have.  That is how I feel today, although I am a little road-weary.  (You can translate that however you want).  🙂  But I wonder…have you ever gone back and found things different…good or bad?  I’d love to hear your story.  

Sorry: the song is supposed to have the lyrics but it doesn’t.  🙁