Parting of the Red Sea…

I’m sure you know the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea on dry ground. Yes, God parted the sea to allow the people of God to cross, and as you know, allowed the sea to cover and drown the pursuing Pharoah and his chariots.

There are folks who try to explain away the miracle of God on some meteorological phenomenon, wind, or tidal anomaly. Personally, I don’t buy it. That’s not what the Bible says, nor does it account for the drowning of all the Egyptians… but I digress, and that’s a topic for another day.

Today, on our motorcycle trip, I saw God part the seas, in a manner of speaking.

imageWe rode from Valentine, Nebraska to Des Moines, Iowa, a distance of 424 miles. We ate lunch in Decatur, NE, which was just over half way. We saw, by looking at the weather radar, that a wide band of heavy rain was just northeast of Omaha, and we were going to have to go through it. It was inevitable… we were going to get wet again. We had spent two days nearly a week ago in Yellowstone National Park in nothing but rain. So, we put all of our raingear on and readied ourselves for the weather.

imageAs we traveled down I-29 South, I watched on my iPhone (mounted in a waterproof box on my handlebar) weather radar as the line of storms started to move ahead of us to the east.

By the time we headed east on I-80, the band of storms had weakened and somehow (ha!) changed direction and moved to the
south of I-80. We encountered 10 minutes of light rain and then, as we sat in 5 mph construction traffic, the rain stopped altogether.

For us, this was God parting the Red Sea and we crossed on dry ground.



How did Moses respond? In song.

The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
(Exodus 15:2 NIV)

Sounds good to me… I’m singing too.

Mend the broken hearted…

The more places we stop on our motorcycle trip, the more broken the world seems. I’m not talking about the systems of health care, the economy, or our government, although you could make cases for each being broken.

What I’m talking about is all the broken lives. Divorce, illness, dashed dreams, lonely hearts, and longing for something better… something more. Today, Paul and I crossed paths on our motorcycle trip with two such lives filled with brokenness.

imageThe first is Doyle, a military veteran whose health is failing, benefits are being curtailed, and more importantly, whose wife passed away just over a year ago. He sits under a gazebo next to a convenience store watching the traffic go by from his motorized chair. His home is six blocks away, but it is a lonely place and he can’t bear to be there. His kids live locally but I get the feeling don’t see him as frequently as they should. He doesn’t have a church home ever since he became disillusioned because nobody seemed to care while his wife was sick and dying.

Paul and I visited with him while we were cooling off after crossing half of Wyoming. After we talked, I offered to pray for him and as I did, he began to sob. He actually shook from sobbing while I prayed. It was heartbreaking, but as we said goodbye, he seemed to have a little twinkle in his eye and maybe a little more hope than 20 minutes earlier.

The other broken life we encountered was Ted. He wandered up to my bike at another stop admiring my stickers and he wasn’t hesitant to tell me his story after I asked him if he rode one too. His dreams were shattered and his life was broken – literally – in 1997. He was involved in an accident in which he broke his back. It wasn’t diagnosed until 10 months later after never really recovering. He had surgery and has been on disability ever since. Since the diagnosis took so long and his disability benefits didn’t begin until after surgery, he lost his home to foreclosure. Ever since, for the last 15 years, he’s been living out of his camper. He moves from place to place, until the owner of the property or the town makes him move. Broken bones, broken lives.image

They’re everywhere, if we look. But as I reflect on those two, I know that God made a difference in their lives as we happened upon them. For Ted, it was a hug. For Doyle, it was the heaving sobs. Both were touched. And that’s what it’s all about.

We’re taking our faith on the road again today. I can’t wait to see what awaits.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 5:3-10)

(Incidentally, prayers are needed for a rider named Tim who was involved in a motorcycle accident which we witnessed; and also for a group of riders we came upon which required three ambulances and a gurney)

The best laid plans…

As you may have read, I’m on a motorcycle trip. I’ve been planning this trip for some time. This kind of trip takes planning, in my opinion. It’s over 5300 miles in 18 days, including five national parks and 13 states. You have to plan what you pack and how you pack. If you want to stay within the national parks, in our case, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Teton, you must make reservations well in advance. It takes planning.

I did research, I looked at seemingly endless resources about things to see and the most scenic roads to travel by motorcycle. I had to plan how many miles to travel each day, taking into account the sights we wanted to see. It takes a lot of planning.

My buddy Paul and I even planned to spread the Gospel as best we could along the way, either by the way we treated those we met, helping the hurting we encountered, or just by directly sharing God’s Word with those whose hearts we sensed need to hear it.

I think we’ve done well thus far. Tomorrow will be Day 11 of our 18-day trip and Paul has nearly exhausted his supply of Gideon New Testaments and I’ve shared encouragement with over 50 people in one form or another.

What I didn’t plan on is the weather. Yes, I brought proper raingear and warm clothes. But with all the planning, I didn’t plan on the rain which has been virtually non-stop throughout our visit to Yellowstone National Park, obviously one of our prized main stops.

There are mountains in Yellowstone… I think. We never saw them. The low cloud cover hid them. There were so scenic places we would’ve loved to stop and just watch for wildlife, but the steady rain made it impractical and frustrating.

But as I sit hear on the porch of the Signal Mountain Inn in Grand Teton National Park, I am nevertheless grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to see this wonderful country and see sights that most will never see. I’m grateful for the safety God has provided throughout the trip, including protection from bison crossing the road directly in from of us. They inched closer and closer to me and having no escape, I was forced to sit motionless until they were 10 ft from me on my motorcycle.image

God has provided safety and favor… favor in holding off the rain while we waited 50 minutes for Old Faithful to erupt and favor in allowing the clouds to part so we could enjoy the astounding beauty of the Tetons.

Truly God has been the One who has been faithful… and I know I can plan on that.

James 4:13-14 NIV says:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.


I’ve talked to a lot of folks who wonder how to handle all the roadside beggars. They are everywhere… literally. They’re at highway entrances and exits and strategically located outside church exits on Sunday mornings when church dismisses. How do you handle them? They hold up signs that say “Homeless. Any amount helps. God bless!”

On our motorcycle trip, Paul and I pulled into a gas station in Shelby, MT to quickly refill our tanks and catch a quick break from riding. After I fueled, I rode the bike around to the side of the building to park in the shade. As I swung around, there he was.

Paul later asked me how I’d describe Daniel. He beat me to the punch and said “gaunt”. Definitely. Daniel is somewhere in his early-20s, about 5’9″, and I imagine he barely weighed 100 lbs. soaking wet. It was obvious that he was homeless. He didn’t have a sign that said that and he didn’t need one. He had a backpack and a bedroll and that was it. He was the thinnest young man I think I’ve ever seen in the United States.

I asked him how he was doing and he said un-enthusiastically, “Okay, I guess. Well, not so good.”
I said, “Why? What’s up?”
He replied, “Oh, I’m just stuck. It sucks.”

I asked him what he meant and he told me he couldn’t hitchhike because it was too hot (it was about 92 degrees) and he was trying to meet up with some friends in a town Paul and I had passed through about 50 miles back.

I asked him when he last ate. He said it was the previous night. I asked him if he was hungry and he said he was. I asked him how he was going to eat today and he said he only had a dollar and a bag of pretzels, which he was trying to ration. I told him that he needed to eat and that he was waaaay too thin. I handed him two bottles of water and $40 and he jumped to his feet and nearly hugged me. I then pulled out a Gideons New Testament that my riding buddy Paul Prince brought with him on our trip and asked him if he knew Jesus.

He said he did but I wasn’t so sure. I told him that God knew what he was going through and hadn’t forgotten him. He said he wasn’t so sure about that. I reassured him and then prayed for him, shook his hand, but still can’t get him off my mind.

As Paul and I were going down the road, we talked about Daniel and what the best way is to handle folks like Daniel. I’m not sure there’s a “across-the-board” answer. I believe it’s case by case. There is no clear answer. All I know is that Daniel looked hungry and he WAS hungry. What he does with the money doesn’t matter to me. That’s up to God. Was Daniel healthy enough to work? Absolutely. Did he deserve my generosity? Maybe not.

But I didn’t deserve God’s generous (understatement) gift of His only Son, who purchased my salvation. I don’t deserve His continuing amazing grace in my life. How can I withhold from someone in need?

None of us are deserving, are we?

The Rainmakers…

It doesn’t matter where Paul Prince and I go… we should be called the Rainmakers!

Three years ago we headed to the Northeast, rode through Vermont, and a month later they had serious flooding. Two years ago, we went across Texas and Oklahoma and it rained the entire way, in a region that hadn’t seen a drop in two months – literally.

Today, the first day of the “Great Plains Ride”, it was a day of avoiding rain wherever possible. And not just rain, but Paul and I traveled an extra 160 miles to avoid a SERIOUS thunderstorm through Charleston, WV. It was a tremendously large storm and we rode through the earliest portion of it on US60 in West Virginia, but that was enough! We decided to head north to ride ahead of it, around it, and avoid the bulk of it.

US60 is a wonderful road if the weather is nice, but is horrible if it’s raining, especially if you’re on two wheels. We diverted all the way north to Clarksburg, WV and then headed west on US50. There were two thunderstorm cells as we headed west… one to the north of us and one to the south. It was as if God parted the Red Sea for us. We went through on dry ground (pavement) the entire way to the Dayton, OH area.

We had a good dinner at a BBQ place called Werner’s and met a waiter named Mark, trying to earn some extra money during his summer off from teaching second grade. He is a Christian and we thanked him for pouring himself into the local children.

Nothing otherwise noteworthy. Just two tired motorcyclists ready to do it again tomorrow.

I wonder what tomorrow holds…

Using faith on the road again…

Tomorrow morning, my long-distance riding buddy, Paul Prince, and I are headed out west on a long motorcycle trip. 18 days, 5300 miles, and 14 states. Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Tetons, Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and everything in-between. We’ve taken several long trips together, but this one is going to be different.

Paul and I have been praying for God to place in our path folks that need to hear the Good News. We’ve been praying for the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us, empower us, and embolden us to minister to folks along the way. Our antennas will be up, sensitive to His leading. We are even bringing “tools” with us. Paul, as a Gideon, is bringing Gideon New Testaments. I’ve had business cards made up with my blog website on them. But more than that, we are journeying with hearts wide open.

We’ve done some of this in the past, but it hasn’t really been our focus, to be frank. We’ve happened across folks that are hurting and, for the most part, we’ve been faithful to minister to those the Lord has placed in our path: a waitress in Niagara Falls, another waitress in Lexington, KY, and a cashier behind the counter somewhere in Colorado come to mind.

About a week ago, Sharon’s daughter, Christy, gave me a gift: a study on the Holy Spirit. Church on the Hill is beginning a study soon on the same Person. Coincidence? I think not. I believe God is trying to grow me and stretch me. He is trying to pull me away from my own agenda and schedule to open me up to more of Himself. Oh, how I long for that! I am desperate for it!

So, we leave Sunday morning to enjoy this great country, God’s creation, but more than anything, we are traveling with eyes wide open, looking for opportunities to bring Good News to those who desperately need it.

We cherish your prayers.

(Follow the route via Spotwalla:…e53652a20f29b5 or click on the map at the bottom of this page)