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“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Standing Firm

Welcome to the Lord’s Gym Ministries’ blog. Here you will find updates on the good things God is doing in Cincinnati and the Greater Tir-state area. You’ll also find words of encouragement and learn about how you can have a part in God’s grand plan for our community.

Top 5 Take-A-Ways (TAWs) of Scott’s 2021 TransAmerica Bicycle Tour Across America

Actually, there are more than 5; but the following five thoughts are what I would like to leave you with from my three-month, 4,427-mile self-supported bicycle journey from Yorktown, Virginia on May 3 to Astoria, Oregon on July 24.

  1. We live in an amazing country with a rich history, eclectic topography, and some very kind people. (Kindness is what people remember.) My trip began with a history lesson from the settlement of Yorktown in 1610, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark’s Discovery Corps, the westward expansion, the gold rush, and the founding and development of the Pacific Northwest all while riding through some of the most beautiful, rugged, and physically demanding changing wilderness landscape. It was like riding through a history book while observing what our predecessors saw. In their wake, their current day ancestors showed me, a complete stranger, extra-ordinary kindness. Leading the pack, was the kindness offered by many church congregations who opened their church buildings up to the safety, convenience, and well-being of cyclists.
  1. The spirit of God is at work, and He is listening in the remotest parts of the country. It is tempting to think of God’s presence only in our own church or community. Perhaps we even get tunnel vision to where we think God is working. Yet, upon my arrival or traversing the countless small communities of bicycle route 76 across America, I was reminded daily of seeing God at work.
  1. Addiction and poverty is prevalent in our most rural areas of the country. My goals were to take a break from 20 years of ministry to enjoy God’s intimate presence while riding a bicycle across 11 states from coast to coast. His intimacy proved to be most refreshing and encouraging as I meditated on specific scriptures, prayed, and worshiped.  In addition, I wanted to promote our ministry and its fundraising event called the Youth Resiliency Adventure (www.YRAdventure.com). The YRA promotes addiction awareness and prevention strategies for youth. While many of the towns and communities I rode through had shuttered businesses, Dept of Human Services buildings, homelessness, and food banks; most all of them claimed to have a rampant drug problem. Some claimed to be the country’s epicenter. There was much interest in the event that suggested to me the timeliness of the event.
  1. The Lord’s Gym Ministry is a wonderful and unique ministry that must continue to proliferate and be supported. As I internalized number TAW No. 3 above, I thought how beneficial it would be to have a Lord’s Gym Ministry in many of these communities. It crystalized my conviction of what a great and unique ministry we have in our own community of Greater Cincinnati. From its humble beginnings, and the support of countless individuals over the decades, it has grown to such an effective ministry through its highly relational strategy and Christ-centeredness. As a result, its effectiveness, resulting in Transformed Lives, continues to draw hurting and impoverished men, women, and children through its doors. Churches too. It has become even more apparent to me that my role as Executive Director will be to ensure its vitality and support as I continue in this role. I do not see retirement as an option anytime soon. There is so much more work to do that I implore all who are reading this to help me by supporting the ministry as a volunteer, through prayer, and financial consideration.
  1. Take the Meriweather Lewis challenge. Merriweather Lewis, on his 31st birthday in 1806, while leading the Discovery Corps to navigate a northwest passage through and beyond the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase, was being contemplative and reflective. As a result, he wrote that he needed to do more to serve mankind. As such, he stated that he was resolved to do more upon his return from his exploration status. His comments really challenged me as I experienced part of the trail and rigors along the same route as his Discovery Corps.

Furthermore, one of the cyclists I rode with in my second week, David, a fellow believer, reminded that effective people understand that they cannot change anyone – only themselves. At best, we can influence others. So, we should strive each day to ask God to help us be controlled by the Holy Spirit and make us more Christ like. 

Celebrate Recovery in Price Hill

Recovery with God...

“Where’s the best place to be on a Monday night?” Heather asks the standing crowd at Revive Church.

“Celebrate Recovery,” the group replies in unison.

Celebrate Recovery is a Christ centered, 12-step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind. The Price Hill chapter, available through a partnership between BLOC Ministries and Lord’s Gym Ministries, meets every Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Revive Church, 931 McPherson Ave., Price Hill.

On this Monday night, the worship is on fire. The Lord’s spirit moves individuals to sway and raise hands in praise. The vocals, on par, are heartfelt and soulful. It’s a beautiful sight.

But even more beautiful are the lives touched.

Each week Celebrate Recovery in Price Hill sees 60 or more people coming in for support and guidance to walk away or keep away from addiction, said LGM Director of Ministry Partner Development Tom Lipsey.

“Celebrate Recovery and FOCAS/Lord’s Gym is committed to helping people live above their hurts, habits, and hang-ups,” Tom said. “We want to see them live in victory – sober and whole.”

Mark, 61, has been a part of Celebrate Recovery for a few years and started coming to the Price Hill chapter a few months ago.

“It helps me stay sober,” he said. “You’re around sincere hearted people who want the same thing. I will fail if I’m around fake people not learning. All I’ve worked for will have been in vain. The people here are true people.”

Tiffany, 38, started coming to Celebrate Recovery several months ago. She chose to be apart of the program because “the principles are biblically-based and that goes along with faith-based recovery. Recovery won’t work without God.”

She also loves that the people in the program are consistently there for her during her recovery.

Zach, 33, who has also been coming for a few months appreciates the “integrity of the program and people he’s surrounded by.”

“I love that you’re with those who’ve been through it,” he said. “The accountability is awesome. You can reach out and get prayers when needed and there’s no judgement. This group really walks with people and keeps Jesus at the center – that’s the most important thing.”

Scott’s YRA Week 12

Journal July 27, 2021: Finished

Take-a-ways

  1. Keep at it and you’ll get there. Lynn from Love, VA.
    1. The bicycle is a good metaphor for the church or an organization 

How God Showed Up

In my last week of riding, I was so appreciative of the willingness of a friend from college who worked their schedule around my ride from Eugene to Astoria. Her husband, Steve, rode with me the last three days while Betsy, Deana, and her daughters made each afternoon and the arrival in Astoria a most memorable experience. They selflessly gave of their time and resources to accommodate Betsy and me. 

Overview

1 – I think back to meeting Lynn in Love, VA my first week on the TransAm trail. She lived on a 10-acre farm along the Blue Ridge Scenic Hwy in the Appalachian Mountains. She and her husband let me camp in their yard that night when I was low on water and realized I was not going to make it to my planned destination. During our many conversations she said, like everything, you stick with it long enough and it will get done or you will get there. While I cannot remember her exact quote at the moment, her practical advice was to be persistent and not give up. It was great advice and a conversation I thought of from time to time while riding, alone with my thoughts, across America. 

2 – The bicycle is a complex yet simple machine once one learns to ride it. It becomes more complex when more gears and components are built into the construction of the bike. In its most basic design, it consists of components that include a frame, two wheels, crank, chain, seat, and steering mechanism. 

With that said, consider each component and their relationship with each other. The frame can consist of different materials that are precisely welded together to withstand weight, velocity, and stress. The wheels are made of lightweight metal, spokes, bearings, and rubber. The crank is usually made of a metal or durable material and bearings. The steering mechanism is similar to the crank in its durability and bearings. The chain, simple and taken for granted, is a series of small, connected links that must work flawlessly and in unison to complete countless revolutions over its lifetime. Add to this understanding the necessity of cables, levers, pads, and lubricants. 

The above parts are assembled, balanced, torqued, aired, and adjusted to create a precise and comfortable and durable riding experience. 

IF ANY of the components are not cared for or begin to show nonalignment, imbalances, binding, fatigue, or failure the result(s) can be serious for the rider. Let one or more bearings of eighteen, inside the axel of the front wheel fail and problems will occur. (Water will wear out a bearing(s). One or more rusty chain links will bind the entire chain. A worn brake pad will prevent the bike from stopping when demanded. Sometimes we must replace parts to keep things running. 

Each of these components represents people within an organization. Each has a responsibility to perform to expectations for the entire entity to function at peak performance. If any of the components, or parts of the components, are not watched and taken care of, the ensuing result will be a decrease in performance of the component and in turn, the department, and the organization ultimately. Some parts are more noticeable than others, but all the parts are important and necessary. We must make and take the time to maintain the bike that translates into taking care of the body, church, and organization. 

Blessings and Stand Firm,

Scott

To see Scott’ videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCydubq7KuWFE_3ZUD5mPdxQ

Scott’s YRA Week 11

Journal July 22, 2021: Feeling Small

Take-a-ways

  1. I am grateful.
  2. I feel sort of small.
  3. Where can you go that God is not there or with you?

How God Showed Up

In one word – water! I was riding through Hells Canyon and about eight miles outside of Baker City. My last bottle of warm water had a few gulps left. I could make it to Baker, but I was thirsty. I was drawn to a roadside point of interest revealing the actual Oregon Trail, complete with worn tracks. I rolled to a stop and proceeded to explore. Moments later an RV pulled in and the couple joined me in the exploration. While walking back to our vehicles I asked if they had an extra bottle of water, they could part with, which they obliged me. In another instance, prior to departing Baker City, I was invited to dinner by a young couple, and we discussed my route across Oregon. He was a firefighter and schooled me on the local fire scene. In addition, he told me about a particular campsite and natural spring in Austin Junction where I planned to stay. The only store there was closed, and I was out of water. The spring was on the side of the road across from the campgrounds. People from the community were stopping and getting water too. It was not necessary to filter the water. 

Overview

I am sitting in my hotel room in Eugene, Oregon reflecting on this past week (11) and my last 11 weeks of riding. While I have many racing thoughts and things I still have to say, I calmed myself and prayed for words at this juncture. The words gratitude, grateful, and appreciative of a host of people come to mind. 

 As I head into my last week of riding to Astoria, Oregon I need to express my gratitude to God for making this marvelous experience a reality through His grace, traveling mercies, and abundant presence. He has blessed me with, what it seems to me, a praying army! Your prayers have and continue to sustain me. Betsy, my wife, has been such an encouragement and daily supporter. Yolanda Carter, Burr Robinson and our FOCAS board both approved and encouraged this undertaking with words and sweat equity. The ministry has not skipped a beat in my absence due to a highly competent and compassionate staff of Christ followers and comparable volunteers. Vicky Gentry has been in daily contact with me handling my traveling administrative details while sharing words of prayer and encouragement. I am grateful to Melissa who has kept you informed through emails and social media. My TransAm Cycling advisory team who checked in with me, especially through social media, throughout my trip. The many selfless and generous investors who made this TransAm experience a reality. My church at KBC and all the churches and individuals whom the Lord uses to support me and the ministry. For all of you I am grateful and thankful to God. My prayer is that God will bless each of you and the ministry in a most meaningful way that draws you closer to Christ and presents you more mature in Him. 

Blessings and Stand Firm,

Scott

To see Scott’ videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCydubq7KuWFE_3ZUD5mPdxQ

What happens at football camp changes lives

Learning about Jesus, football and life...

Raising your grandchildren alone is tough.

Theresa is thankful for Lord’s Gym Ministries for their support and care.

“I’m trying to make things good for my grandchildren,” she said. “They deserve good things. Lord’s Gym is a big help.”

She’s especially grateful for this year’s football program.

“I think this is a great thing,” she said. “Without programs like this, there’s nothing for the kids to do. It’s not good for kids to get bored. Sometimes it even causes trouble. This is a much better way.”

She signed both her grandchildren Gannicus, 5, and Kaydence, 8, to be a part of the Lord’s Gym Panthers Football Team. Last week, both attended the Panther’s football camp organized by Lord’s Gym, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Sports Reach.

On Tuesday morning, Theresa sat on the sidelines as volunteers taught the football basics to her and many others on the field at Idea Park in Price Hill.

“This is really a good thing for my grandkids,” she said. “Gannicus is a bit clumsy an he doesn’t follow directions very well. I believe this will help with that and burn off some of this energy.”

The camp and program is a good outlet for her granddaughter, she said because she is naturally competitive.

“This program will teach her how to win and lose right,” Theresa said. “Right now whenever she loses at anything she cries and gets very upset. This is going to get some of that out of her.”

Best of all, according to Theresa, she knows her children are loved here.

“They are cared about at Lord’s Gym,” she said. “The football program and this camp is also teaching them a lot. The are learning about respect. That can be something that’s hard to get through to a kid, especially these days.”

Zach Arington, with the Arington Foundation and Sports Outreach said the volunteers at the camp played in college and “love the Lord and want to help the kids in Price Hill.”

“These kids are great,” he said. “We’re super glad they are here. This camp is more than just about teaching them about football, but also that there are people who love and want to spend time with them.”

To Dennis, a dad in Price Hill, this means the world to him and his son Josh, 7.

“This is really a great thing,” he said. “We appreciate it. Not only is Josh learning about football but he’s learning about God and Jesus and that’s awesome. I really like that. That is really cool.”

Josh’ sister Alyssa said she’s excited for her brother to be in the football program.

“He has a lot of energy,” she said. “This will help and maybe he won’t tackle me!”

According to Dennis the football program gets kids in the community off to a good start in life.

“Football really teaches you a lot about life. It shows you how to be a team player, be disciplined and how to take constructive criticism. It also keeps the kids busy doing something positive,” Dennis said.

Scott’s YRA Week 10

Journal July 14, 2021: God is listening

Take-a-ways

  1. God is listening and watching.

God moment and perspective

On July 8, I left Grangeville, Idaho for Pollock, Idaho. My trek would take me up and over Old White Bird Hill Road and down either a series of steep switch backs (old route 95) or the new route 95, which is equally steep but without the switch backs. The descent was about 2,000 feet over eight miles. I reached speeds in the high thirties, fully loaded down, and braked often to slow down. There was ample shoulder space for cyclists. I noticed I had to squeeze my brakes harder and harder which meant my brake pads were wearing rapidly. They had about 4,000 plus miles on them. I negotiated the descent and made it safely to Pollock.

Enroute to Pollock I noticed I did not have adequate stopping power and my front brakes were making noise. The situation was not good. I had entered the canyon that would lead me to Hells Canyon as the heat and terrain taxed me physically. I was tired when I arrived at the RV and campsite right on the Small Salmon River. The owner, after checking me in and giving me a 15% ministry discount encouraged me to go sit in the river. I selected my campsite and proceeded to take her advice. I chose a site across from the petting zoo, seriously they had a petting zoo, where I was entertained by two young goats.

I set up my tent, took the panniers off my bike, stashed my wallet in one of the panniers, and followed the path to the river. Stowing my phone and map on the shore, I waded into the shallow river and sat on a rock allowing the water to cool my legs and body temperature down. I could not totally relax, because of my bike’s mechanical situation. How was I going to get the brake pads replaced ASAP?

The river revived my body, and I made my way to a lounge chair on the shore with a huge umbrella providing welcoming shade. Soaking wet I grabbed my phone and map and sat quietly and contemplatively staring at the river and listening to its soothing rhythm sound as it rushed past and over imposing rocks, boulders, and logs. The sky was hazy still from the spot forest fires started by lightning strikes. We were in no danger. It did put a major damper on photo ops. As I sat there, I started to pray with a peace and calm about my situation. I could feel the Lord’s presence. My mind quickly did an inventory of the last few weeks since beginning my trip on May 3rd. God was in this.

My prayer went something like the following. “Lord, thank you for getting me safely down 95 today, but I do not think my bike is safe to ride on the upcoming descents this week. My options are few and not practical the way I see it. I need your help to get the pads replaced. I do not know what I am going to do in such a short time, but I know you got this and my well-being. In Jesus name.” Then I sat there and was at peace. I had no idea what or how or when God was going to move, but I knew He was going to come through like He has this entire journey. I went and got a shower (yes, wearing my clothes at first), fixed dinner on my alcohol stove, met some fellow campers, and called it a night because I planned to get up at 4:00 am to be on the road by 5:30 am to beat the heat. It cooled down quickly and I slept very well.

I awoke to the stars peering in through the top of my tent’s net mesh. For the last week or so I removed the fly to get better air flow and cooler temps. Firing up my stove I boiled water for my coffee and oatmeal. Before long I was packed up, had my bike loaded, rechecked the area, and walked my bike to the road. It was now light. The only last thing to do was turn the safety lights on my helmet and bike – check. Touch my phone – check, it’s in its pouch on my handlebars. Slap the back of my bike jersey to feel for my wallet – oops. Not so fast. NO WALLET! What? This was a first. Now this situation, believe it or not, is critical to the story line here. 

After recomposing myself, I spent the next 20 minutes or so looking for my wallet. I dug through the panniers, went back to the campsite, the riverbank, the lounge chair, the shower stall, and retraced my path. Finally, I found it at the bottom of my camping pannier after pulling out all the contents and then repacking it. I was mad at myself for the careless incident and developed an “attitude” issue. I was reminded that at FOCAS there is no BCD (no Blaming, Complaining, or Disparaging). I had not peddled one revolution. I backed away, confessed my attitude, and thanked God for the “delay.” I thought to myself, maybe I missed a bad situation on the road, and it was for my own good? There was no more to do. Time to hit the road before it got too hot. I had a huge climb to make on my way to New Meadows. Who comes up with these town names?

Enroute, I pass the 45th Parallel sign and I think it would make for a fun video. Done. After a couple of hours of riding and climbing I coast into town which is basically an intersection with a convenient store and other buildings. It’s one of my favorite things to do, especially when there is a second breakfast involved. I hit the restroom, get my food, coffee, and Gatorade. I sat down at a picnic table and called Jim at Jim’s Bicycle Shop in Cincinnati (His shop is in Deer Park). We talk about the brakes, and he tells me what I need and should consider.

As I was hanging up with Jim, a young man approached me and started to ask me about my trip. He knew immediately what I was doing. He explained that he was an avid cyclist and wanted to do the same trip someday. We chatted briefly, and I then explained my bike’s brake dilemma. He said he wanted to help me. 

He advised me to go to the bike shop in McCall, up the mountain, and that his girlfriend would be happy to take my bike and me. He said he would do it, but he was on his way to work. He lived across the street, and we could go right away. I called the bike shop and his girlfriend, Monique, or Mo and we were on our way.

Had I not been delayed earlier; I would not have met Ryan and Mo! Wow. Mo was delightful and extremely accommodating. They even invited me to stay the night with them and even take my zero day there. Unfortunately, I had to get back on the road after we had spent a couple of hours getting the bike fixed and driving. Mo brought me back to their house where I reloaded my bike. We prayed and I was on my way.

That day and ensuing week I had some more significant descents that made me think of Ryan, Mo, and God’s faithfulness. God is listening.

Blessings and Stand Firm,

Scott

To see Scott’ videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCydubq7KuWFE_3ZUD5mPdxQ

What’s going on in Price Hill? More than meets the eye

Be a part of the difference...

There’s more going on at the Lord’s Gym Family Activity Center (FAC) than meets the eye.

 Yes, the FAC is bustling with activity at every corner. Children and teens from Price Hill are being tutored, mentored, fed, and taking part in a variety of fun, creative and healthy activities.

 There’s so much more though. The FAC is providing the life-giving hope of the Gospel to these kids and our friends in this crime- and poverty-stricken community to the tune of about 12,000 touches this year.

We are just getting started.

How much more of an impact will be made with the renovation of FAC. This new Dream Center/Community Center will be an amazing facility where extraordinary life changes occur regularly.

We want to invite you to a part of these amazing happenings in Price Hill. We ask that you please prayerfully consider helping us get construction started by contributing to the final budget — $500,000.

To date we are sitting at about $350,000 — all donated within just a few weeks. Part of that amount is a $100,000 matching gift. That means any gift you give, will be doubled, up to $100,000. That means, if you give $1, then it will result in $2 given. If you give $500 it will result in $1,000 given. And so on. 

We appreciate your partnership with us in changing the landscape in Price Hill to one of genuine Gospel Hope and Help for the community.

To make a donation, visit: https://bit.ly/3yO2I0j

Make check payable to FOCAS. Mail to: P.O. Box 5099, Cincinnati, OH 45205

Questions? Contact Vicky Gentry at 513-621-5300

Scott’s YRA Week 9

Journal July 9, 2021: Take your time

Take-a-ways

  1. The tiniest thing can stop you or slow you down. 
  2. Slow down. Who said you will have time later?
  3. We are wired for an esthetic experience. Why else would we create scenic byways, lookout points, and beautiful park systems to see the amazing world God created?
  4. God will remind us of his Word. 
  5. What is your purpose?

How God showed up

  1. Why is a warm shower such a treat? Why does cold water and a simple Ramen Noodle dish cooked in a Jet-boil, amongst friends, satisfy after a hard day of riding? Why do I sleep so well in a cold night outside in my sleep system? Such simple things are blessings from God. Living a simple lifestyle on the road brings one closer to appreciating simple things that bring contentment.
  2. Taking in scenic byway after scenic byway over stimulates the senses. Riding so slowly across stunning landscapes affords you time to take it in and marvel at God’s creation and creativity. So, slow down and take time to appreciate what God has created in your own area of the country. Take the time now to do it, and do not assume you will have time later.
  3. Signs! Riding from state to state I see one sign that dominates yards – “Be Kind”!  Lately I have seen “Be Patient” included too. One location added the phrase “Be Cool” too. The last phrase aside, I see in these messages a reminder from God’s Word in Micah 6:8 – “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.”

Overview

Fascinated by the route of Lewis and Clarke through Montana and Bitterroot Mountains, Meriwether Lewis, age 31, at Big Hole basin was contemplating on his 31st birthday leading the infamous “Corp of Discovery” still felt he was seeking his purpose and desired to work harder in his efforts to better serve mankind. Granted, at 31 years old in 1805, one’s lifespan was shorter. Still, his contemplation is remarkable. Little did he know he would die at the age of thirty-five not long after his return from exploring and finding the Northwest passage that would lead to a large migration westward for the country’s expansion. 

 He, like pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback church ask the question, what is your purpose? Even as we get older, it’s not a bad question. Something to think about.

Lastly, the route westbound was discontinued! It was already there being used by indigenous Indians and for trappers from the Hudson Bay company. We just needed their help. Good ideas are hard to beat, including routes. In this region I am impressed how passageways became roads, and vistas remain remarkably unchanged. I am enjoying riding a part of their route, just slightly faster than their pace, and seeing much of the same views as they did. Lewis and Clarke did not give up when they did not find the initial watery passage. They hunkered down and pushed forward, hungry, tired, and cold to complete their mission – with the help of Indians and fur trappers. 

 Like one 71-year-old rider who rides via bike camping 6 months out of the year, slow down and appreciate the views more. Don’t assume you will have time later. 

Blessings and Stand Firm,

Scott

To see Scott’ videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCydubq7KuWFE_3ZUD5mPdxQ

Scott’s YRA Weeks 7 & 8

Journal June 27, 2021: Two weeks in one

It’s June 27, and I have been riding 8 weeks now. Due to various factors, I am needing to combine two weeks of blogging. 

Take-a-ways

  1. We are wired to marvel at God’s creation. 
  2. To keep going is a daily decision. 
  3. Can we become so comfortable that we miss out on what God wants to do in our lives?
  4. Problems become more manageable the closer you get to them. Take them head on!
  5. Knowing our history and touching it adds so much more depth to appreciate what we have and where we have come from. 

How God showed up

  1. In His creation. I am even more in awe of God as I get to experience seeing the beauty of his various landscapes, animals, vegetation, and weather. God has graced us with favorable, yet challenging weather patterns compared to what other riders have experienced. For me, it’s a testimony to God’s creation.
  2. Overall health continues to be good. Grateful for stamina and safety for self and fellow riders. 
  3. Each night God provides a place for us to stay, and sustenance as pray the Lord’s Prayer each day. 
  4. We met a rider who was solo and riding eastbound. We met him in the KOA at Rawlings, WY. When I told him, we were riding through Victor, Idaho to route around Yellowstone to the park’s west gate, he said he lived in Victor. Knowing us for about one hour he made his beautiful home available to us for 2 nights so we could have a rest day. This is the second stranger who made their home available to me. 
  5. We meet friends of friends I know in Cincinnati. In Dubious, WY, we are invited to breakfast with friends, Les and Kathy, of Burr and Terry Robinson. Their hospitality and home are warm and inviting.

Overview

I look at the map’s route and its elevation relief. I shudder at some of the sections, and my thoughts encounter fear. You decide to move forward and see the challenges from afar.  Then, you confront and engage it. The only way to conquer what is in front of you is to keep pressing forward and eventually you get to the top. It’s hard. It can take a while. Sometimes our pace and strategy vary. On lookers offer suggestions and encouragement. Yet, no one can rescue you from the task that is yours to complete. You get to the top of the climb and look back to see how far you have come, and you find great satisfaction and confidence to take on the next one. 

 

Another angle to addressing problems is perspective when looking at it. Your perspective may not be wrong as much as it’s misleading you. From a distance or when looking down on the next ascent to climb it can “appear” to loom larger than it really is. I found that if I ride to the lowest point to better understand and appreciate the actual course in front of me only to discover that the task (incline) was minimal or an illusion. I was seeing something that was either nonexistent or very manageable. I had to change my perspective or get closer to the challenge to better understand it. Don’t let your perspective hold you back from getting closer to the issue and moving forward. It’s likely not as bad as you think. 

Lastly, each time we cross into a new state I feel like the channel on the TV has been changed. The scenery and history of the area work in tandem to bring our history and heritage to life. The people we meet along the way and the stories they share add contrast and richness to my experience. It reminds me that God has been at work and is still working both there and in me. 

Blessings and Stand Firm,

Scott

To see Scott’ videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCydubq7KuWFE_3ZUD5mPdxQ

Scott’s YRA Week 6

Journal June 9, 2021: God is a joy to be with

Take-a-ways

  1. God is a joy just to hang out with. Enjoy His presence in all things, especially while riding a bike.
  2. I take great encouragement posting each day on social media and hearing back from you. I feel like you are with me. 
  3. Living simply takes work and planning. 
  4. Take time to take care of your stuff.

How God showed up

  1. The weather, coming across Kansas, was unbelievably in our favor. Quartering tail winds, no rain, fog in the morning, and strong tail winds blowing us into Colorado. Normally one gets 20 to 30 mph headwinds and pop-up thunderstorms. 
  2. Being in awe of His endless landscapes that change and grow with each passing day. 
  3. Continuous provisions each day with a place to stay each night.
  4. His traveling mercies and meeting strangers who make time to talk with you.

Overview

Living simply is not so simple at times. As I travel across the country, I rely upon a bicycle, four saddle bags (panniers), a bike maintenance ensemble, a map, a smart phone, and a credit card. The four panniers handle:

Bag 1 = All camping gear. Aka, my home.

Bag 2 = Cycling clothes (2sets), casual clothes (1 set) and inclement weather clothes for 3 months, iPad and sandals.

Bag 3 = Food, personal items, and some meds to include emergency medical items.

Bag 4 = Stove, fuel, cookware, utensils, electronic items, spare tire, water filtration kit, snake bite kit, and repair kits for Bag 1.

Maintenance ensemble = spare tubes, tools, lube, pump, glasses, battery, spare bike parts like spokes, chain links, flashlight, and emergency medical kit/blanket, maps, Garmin Nav Aid.

Credit card and some cash.

This cycling nomadic lifestyle is best served as lightweight and simple as possible. After all, you have to pedal as light a bike as possible. On the other hand, you are going to be gone three months and will want some of the pleasures from home. What to do? What to do? After one serious long climb, and then a few more for good measure, one opts for lightness. 

The daily physicality of the riding is only part of the challenge. The other equally important challenges are self-management of keeping supplied, preventative bike maintenance, and keeping body, equipment, and clothes clean – or as clean as possible. When you have a drawer or closet full of options, a stocked kitchen, and a garage with multiple forms of combustion powered vehicles, things get easier. It doesn’t mean life still isn’t complicated. 

I am fortunate to be traveling and experiencing such a simple lifestyle with the ensuing challenges that come with the territory of the adventure cyclist. Moreover, it’s a great time to take inventory of the many blessings we receive daily from the Lord but have come to take for granted as though they are an entitlement. 

Living so simply, at the whims of the weather and terrain, to ride 60 miles each day has allowed me the benefit of simply enjoying God at the most fundamental and basic level I have experienced in quite a while. My dependence and appreciation of God’s faithfulness has been sharpened and become intentionally more focused. Perhaps living more simply is not so bad! 

Blessings and Stand Firm,

Scott

To see Scott’ videos, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCydubq7KuWFE_3ZUD5mPdxQ

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