It’s A Concept
I completed my first Tour Durban this year (2013) and it was a great pleasure for several reasons:
One, it was my fastest race ever at 3h 54m. Since I have never finished a race in under five hours that represented monumental improvement.
I knew at the finish I had done well but was stoked to discover it was sub 4 hours!
Two, it was in Durban. What’s not to like? The weather is mostly good year round and on this particular day it was perfect. Not too cold. Not too hot. No rain at all and very little wind.
What makes this race unique is the roads are mostly wide and fairly smooth so you don’t feel cramped or shaken like a can of paint. And with just over 1100 meters of vertical ascent – most of it occurring in the first 30 kilometers – it is a great test of cycling skill.
Three, it was another great opportunity to feature the new riding jerseys for the South African Children’s Resiliency Project (SACRP) and these jerseys can’t be missed. They stand up and shout.
The colors are bright (reddish-orange and yellow) and the design is simple. There is nothing busy about it. One glance and you know exactly what you’re looking at. Your brain is tattooed with SACRP for life.
It was designed to draw people in and make them curious enough to ask what it’s about.
And it’s working. I was approached by a cameraman collecting footage for SuperSport and he asked me to explain what I was riding for.
Could I say a few words for the camera?
Mistake! I don’t have any problems with verbal responses – other than saying too much – and I’ve had a lot of time to think about the SACRP and therefore have a lot of formulated thought to spew.
The cameraman did two takes and he seemed to be pleased.
Hopefully, the footage will make it into the program but even if it doesn’t, the idea is working.
The SACRP is getting noticed and I am privileged to ride for the cause.
This won’t be the last time the jersey is worn in a race and we are looking for others to wear the colors also. If you would like to join the cause please let me know.
New jerseys are being organized as I write. The next race to feature the jerseys is the Amashova.
Stay fit and ride for a cause.
Many Thanks to Rika at Cycle Nation
Big thanks goes out to Rika at Cycle Nation. She was kind enough to take my picture at the start line and email me a copy following the race. You can see all of her Tour Durban pics in the Cycle Nation gallery and you’ll find many more pics of other races there also.
How Much of a Life Do You Have?
Which One Are You Living?
God is a part of our lives constantly. He is present and aware everyday, every moment of everyday . Nothing goes unseen by Him. Nothing catches Him by surprise.
We, however, sometimes scratch our heads in wonderment thinking,
“where are You now God, when I need You most?”
The answer is He’s right where He’s always been. He hasn’t moved or changed. He operates by the same principles for everyone.
Deep down we know this is true but still question Him anyway not because He isn’t present but because He isn’t doing exactly what we asked – resolve some horribly embarrassing dilemma immediately – and instead of questioning our request or motive or approach we assume He didn’t hear or can’t answer or is being passive aggressive.
Saying nothing or doing nothing, however, is a response.
When He doesn’t give us what we ask for, the correct assumption is to think He wants us to change our perspective. He isn’t the talisman that helps us solve life’s problems. He provides the wisdom to solve these problems and then expects us to do something with it.
If we are going to find Him in life, we are the ones who must change.
The problem is most of us don’t really know what “Life” is. What does that term really mean? And defining “Life” isn’t the only problem. According to Jesus we can adopt one of two possible life’s so after we define the term we need to figure out which one we’re living. Read more
We Can’t Change The Past
But The Past Has The Power
To Change Us
God isn’t isolated to one area or one time slot each week, like church.
He’s in church, yes, but no more so than the office or the kitchen or the wee hours of the morning when we can’t sleep. God is a little bigger than a few small segments of your life.
He’s everywhere all the time and He’s never idle.
He’s listening and responding even when He isn’t doing any apparent thing in your behalf.
He tags along everywhere we go, in church and out, and that means He is aware of it when we feel like people are throwing stones at us. He feels the impact of every stone but rather than protect us He uses those “stone throwing” moments to help us learn.
Church is His classroom. Life is His internship.
Sometimes, however, we miss opportunities to gain valuable experience because we respond to life’s difficulties the wrong way. We feel cheated, insulted, unfairly passed over, misrepresented, falsely accused or manipulated – Offensive, all of it! – and we call on God to make it go away as if He is our personal judge, prosecutor and jury.
We cry and moan and writhe in pain and we usually do this because revenge isn’t really an option. Unfortunately, there is only one thing that helps and it is the last option on the list . . . if it’s on the list at all.
Forgive all the stone throwers!
Offenses Are Inevitable
Now, before I say more about forgiveness please understand that offenses are inevitable and Jesus is the one who made the point.
For offenses must come. (Matthew 18:7 – NKJV)
The proof of that statement is the reality we live everyday. Offenses occur more regularly than the sun rises and they come from every direction: Read more
God Is “Fundamentally
Beyond Words, Phrases And Forms”
In What We Talk About When We Talk About God, Rob Bell intrigues us with a perspective that seems to flaunt both religious and scientific tradition. Not just religion and not just science but both. Not the basics of either system, not the validity of either and certainly not God.
Tradition he implies, is restrictive whether it be science or religion. Both run on well worn conversational tracks that leave huge gaps in the dialogue and Tradition’s natural tendency is to ignore the questions glaring out through those gaps.
For example, Rob mentions several scientific observations that contradict established theory and makes one wonder just how precisely nature can really be defined.
- Time is relative. It’s consistency is a persistent illusion.
- Every nine years our bodies are renewed – the material our bodies are made of literally becoming the substance of other bodies and things – but in spite of that you still remain you.
- He quotes Jeffrey Kluger who says scientists are now “grappling with something bigger than mere physics, something that defies the mathematical and brushes up – at least fleetingly – against the spiritual.”
Rob also points out a few religious ideas that don’t add up.
- The statements religious people make that imply God is somewhere else, rather than everywhere, and shows up on the odd occasion to do some particular person a favor.
- The modern religious idea that leads one to think that “spiritual” describes only non-material, non-tangible objects. It only applies to things not in this world.
- The tendency for religious people to oppose peace, causing trouble in the process.
Both sides say and do things that don’t make sense.
But to be clear, Rob isn’t vying with tradition, he’s just trying to fill the gaps.
And again, like his other books, particularly Love Wins, he makes us think.
Be warned though. Rob isn’t trying to prove anything absolutely or make you agree with him. In fact, his ideas, though clearly illustrated, point more to the inability of humans to box truth in. Truth, like God, may be immutable but our ability to know it all, understand it accurately and articulate it exactly is in question. Read more
Don’t Run From Pain
Or Wish It Away
God May Be The Author
It is quite normal to find God in church but that isn’t the only place we can expect to find Him. God is a little bigger than a church service (omnipresent) and I’m sure He is active more than one hour a week so we should expect to find Him mingling in all of life and by “life” I mean everything outside of church.
Since He created life for us, and us for life, we shouldn’t be surprised to find Him tagging along when we leave church.
Church does serve an important purpose but a very limited one. It is only a classroom and offers only theory. Life offers what the classroom can’t, experience. It is the lab where we learn to apply the theory and God is involved in both places. He instructs us in one and mentors us in the other.
God Isn’t On Emergency Standby
Most people do invoke God’s presence in their daily living but more as a protector or body guard or shield. He gets called for emergencies only.
Life can be hard and we don’t like “hard.” We much prefer easy and convenient. The ideal job is one in which productivity smoothly moves along and the people we work with are always agreeable but who has a job like that.
If you have a boss, and most people with jobs do, he or she is constantly expecting performance quotas to be met. Even if you work for yourself, bill collectors are there to remind you of the same.
And if you are fortunate enough to achieve financial security – that is you don’t have to work – you find you must still work hard and smart to maintain the value of your resources, whether they be investments or savings.
You can’t really get away from it. There is constant pressure and that pressure sometimes produces pain. Jobs aren’t the only source of pain but it one common to us all.
And the question is, where is God when the pain comes? In our thinking God and pain can’t be reconciled. Pain is a problem and God is the solution.
Well, Unfortunately, God is not Vicodin or a magic wand and Life, which can sometimes be painful, is His training ground. Read more