Saturday, March 29, 2014

CHOOSE A LINE (Mountain Biking, Trail Running, Dirt Biking and LIFE)

//  Mountain Biking  //

Just the other day I was running down the Palmer Trail in Garden of the Gods. The downhill sections make for a potential face-plant if you are not careful. I didn't wan to be careful, so I put the gas on and didn't look back. In that process I was reminded of a life-parallel-lesson. Watch the Video...then we can talk....

??  Inside Line, Outside Line, More Speed, More Control  ??
??  Less Bumps, Less Risk, More Simple, More Technical  ??

When traveling that fast downhill, you can neglect to be intentional if you would like, but eventually, you will pay the price. You will face-plant, smack a tree, head off a ridge, end-over right in front of your girlfriend, or at the least, be slower and more tired than necessary. 


While running is slower than riding a bike, there are still dangers and considerations. One difference is, you are absorbing the shock, keeping balance and adjusting speed, all with your legs and feet. On a bike you have breaks, shocks and tires. When trail running, you are it. So, one tactic is to use small hills, embankments, boulders, trees or inclines to control speed and maintain balance. If you just point down and go, well.....that gets bad for most of us over 40....really fast. 


When under the power and weight of an actual dirt bike, like I was here, you have even more need to use restraint, balance, technique and sometimes...good old fashioned prayers.....

You have power pushing you, more weight and less nimbleness. You can stop, turn, power up and power down, but you better know what you are doing when heading down Captain Jacks trail in the Rocky Mountains. When you choose the wrong line at 35 miles per hour, hit a boulder in the middle of the trail, end-over with 200lbs of bike coming over on you, that becomes a bad day. (not that I would know from experience)....

The lesson here is a life lesson. CHOOSE A LINE. This means you have vision and decision making skills. It means you have practiced, fallen and been hurt before. It also means you are brave enough to move forward instead of standing or sitting still. A person who heads toward their dreams, toward their goals, toward the next place in life will sometimes find themselves moving downhill quite fast. Downhill can seem like a difficult section of the life-trail, but we all know just through the valley there will be another up hill

Up hill is great. Symbolically, we see uphill as a difficult climb, but worth the work..........

because eventually you get to the level with a view.....
to your goals, to the summit. 

We all associate UP with improvement and increase, but we must not forget the challenge of the downhill. We must have courage to stand on the foot pegs or the pedals and let the bike take the impact. To think ahead, look ahead and choose the best, safest, line in the trail. If you wait until you round that next corner to choose, you may be going to fast to change directions, see that huge root coming out of the grown and..there you go..we call it "superman".  

//  LIFE  //

I hope the symbolism is not too much. It hits home with me and I thought it might hit home with you. Stop second-guessing, stop slowing down due to a lack of vision. Look up, forward, down the road head, see the obstacles, see the better line, even if it is the line others have neglected to see. Be careful of the line everyone else is taking, see the truth for yourself, be true to your ability, your readiness and your skill, then, get really good at choosing a line

Psalm 119:105    
"Your WORD is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."  

If you want to develop more skill at choosing the best line in LIFE, begin with God's WORD. Learn what he says, how he has made you and what ability he has given you. You will learn to go faster, slower, inside, outside, rough or smooth. You will get stronger, smarter, wiser and become a great decision maker, based on His Truth, His Power and His Design for your path. 

That's how I see it anyway.......That's how I do it most days.....


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ABORTION Video (reaction) 7 Big Ideas

Copy & Paste     (Emily's Abortion Video)

Disclaimer: The video in question was viewed on social media. It's origin or validity has not been verified. The potential impact of the story and it's horrific simplicity is motivation enough to speak out. The following represent my personal thoughts regarding a very complex and heated issue. 
Abortion is one of the most controversial issues of my lifetime. I rarely post anything, or even discuss it with those not asking my personal opinion. I do life with many people who have had abortions, been part of an abortion story or  who otherwise connect to the abortion industry. I love them, every one of them.


QUICK LOOK AT THE 7 BIG IDEAS about how to see the Abortion Issue.....

1. Don't Hate           2. Don't be Fooled             3. Don't Fight
4. Don't Accept       5. Don't Mess with Her      6. Don't Remain       7. Be For Life 


I have never met Emily, her doctor, the father of her child or anyone involved. I love them as people, normal people who need the unconditional love of everyone around them
This video breaks me at an entirely new level. After decades of being kind and loving to those who are close to the issue, out of respect for them as a human, I cannot remain silent on this one. If, in fact, it is real, Emily made her video plenty effective and clear. So, guys like me, who speak into the lives of 3 daughters, church members, friends and others looking for input and guidance, must say something. Emily failed to show how this impacts those closest to her, she failed to share other options she considered, and she seriously failed to show the medical, emotional, mental and spiritual implications associated with her decision. Her video appears to be honest and complete. It does pretend to take us "behind the scenes" of an abortion procedure. Heck, looking at the video, you  would have thought she was getting a root-canal. It was like....Sit here, stay still, little cramp, humming, ok, done...smiles....???  Is that really what it is like? Well, if it's that easy I might get one.....
Below is part of an article from I will let you read - then skip down to my reaction. 
Emily Letts shares her actual abortion experience on video (not graphic), as well as her thoughtsemilybettsapproximately six weeks after the abortion, in an attempt to provide strength and support to abortion-vulnerable/abortion-minded women in similar situations.
Emily further states that having an abortion does not make one a bad or sad person, nor should it make one feel guilty.
However, most telling is her strange comment at the end:  “I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby; I can make a life.”
Set Up: According to Emily's video story, she aborted the baby because she "felt" she was not ready to be a parent and knew she was doing the right thing...all while she said, "I feel in awe of the fact that I can make a baby, I can make a life.".  So, she knew she had, in fact, made a baby. She knew she was not a "blob maker", she knew there was creative life in her womb. Yet, she apparently was at peace with aborting her/him.  She is articulate and well spoken. She seems very normal, in regards to the culture today, in dealing with a major life change. She advocated for herself, did what she felt was right.....
Good For Her.....
Bad For Her Baby.....
As I process this video story, I have a few reactions that I hope will make others think differently about the use of Abortion to eliminate unwanted pregnancy. 

 1.  Don't hate, feel sorry for, or act mean toward Emily, or others like Emily. Respect her as a person, a lady, a young lady, who has feelings, ideas, dreams, hopes, desires, hurts, pains and fears...just like every other young lady or man. Love those in stressful situations like unwanted pregnancy. Love those who have had an abortion in the past, and those being pushed by others, love them, don't hate them. Don't love them out of sympathy or charity, just love them, unconditionally.  


   2. Don't be fooled by the way Emily acts happy, thoughtful, educated and healthy. She cannot hide her pain and fear with a cute smile. She can explain her feelings all day long, they don't remove the facts of what an abortion is, what it can do and what tens of thousands of ladies would say is dangerous, hurtful, selfish and irresponsible. Emily can "feel" good about her situation and I hope she grows old feeling good. But, her feelings, her positive abortion story, ended in death, a death she will have the unfortunate privilege of watching on video, over and over. Don't be fooled.                             

3. Don't fight the Abortion industry, doctors or clients with violence, hurtful protesting, mean behavior or aggressive picketing. Freedoms in America may make it legal to be an "activist" against the Abortion world, but my suggestion is  ..... it doesn't work to fight with the world, sin, darkness or confusion. We don't fight the "thing" or the people attached to the "thing" we find wrong. We must fight the correct enemy and love the right people. 

4. Don't accept Abortion as a viable option for eliminating unwanted pregnancy. I know there are medical emergencies that force doctors and patients to consider aborting an unborn child. These are tragic, I don't approve, but I also don't want to disrespect the parents and doctors by acting like a medical professional. If I was present in those situations, I would do my best to comfort, pray, speak honestly and advise against killing a baby to treat a mother. And I would pray and hope for the best life saving treatment for mom. And, I would "fear the Lord" in regards to this fact: there is no easy answer. Most abortion procedures, however, are documented as normal situations of unwanted pregnancy. In one state I recently studied, there were over 6,700+ induced abortions in 2012. This is a lesser populated state, with less people than an average large city. Of those abortions, over 200 of them were preformed on minors. In most minor situations the parents had to sign off on the procedure. Over 6,700 times, in one small state alone, in one year alone, women felt they had no other options. They felt Abortion was best and they followed through. I don't by it. I don't by it for them, I don't by it for our culture. I don't buy it for my own girls and I don't buy it for future situations of unwanted pregnancy. THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS.

5. Don't mess with her choice to do what she wants with her body. That is the position of many ladies looking for abortions. Ironically, we can't do other, less violent, less risky and less final with our bodies. We can't stand in the middle of a parking lot naked. We can't abuse our bodies by cutting or beating them. We can't use our bodies to inflict pain or death upon a baby just out of the womb, or one that is growing. We can't use our body to enjoy drugs anytime, anyhow. In society, we have limits, self imposed, legal and non legal limits to what is acceptable use and treatment of our bodies. In the area of abortion, we act like the act of aborting a child inside the womb is healthy. We act like there are no risks and that it impacts no one but the client.  That is just crazy.  If my daughter decides to get a tatoo, or change her hair color, I may not protest, but I am impacted. If she starves herself, or gets addicted to drugs and alcohol, I may or may not protest, but everyone will agree, I am impacted, everyone around her is impact. We are a interdependent, interconnected race of humans. There is always deep ripple effects to every personal decision I make. No different with abortion. The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual implications are not as private as one would suggest. Others are deeply affected, and most of all, the growing baby inside her is impacted. The client wants to claim "choice" with no thought to the choice of the child. He/she is only a baby, she can't advocate for herself in a convincing manner, so she looses her vote. Mom convinces herself that it is her choice and that no one is impacted. She is correct about her choice, she is wrong about the impact that choice has and weather the choice should be used as a license to kill. 

6. Don't remain disconnected, judgmental, disengaged or apathetic. My experience with this topic has taught me a few things. 
a) Some people who are against abortion are usually against a bunch of other things as well. They are more religious and self righteous than missional and gracious, therefore, they can do more damage than good sometimes. Unfortunately, they seem overly opinionated, and earn no respect from the frightened young lady seeking answers to an unwanted pregnancy. 
b) Young ladies who end up with an abortion have usually done so with little support, little understanding about the child inside her womb,  and little belief in alternative options. 
c) I have also found many faith based groups do not make space in their organization for the crisis pregnancy situations. The have opinions, but little support. 
d) I think the answer to the abuse of the abortion procedure can be found in the loving words of a friend, a neighbor, a teacher or pastor, who does not judge, who loves well, listens well, helps, educates and walks the extra mile.
People who can help, should help, but not with condescending opinions. The Light must shine brighter on this group of ladies. We should spend less time picketing, judging or blaming and more time giving to pregnancy centers, volunteering, supporting, adopting, and praying. 
7. Be FOR LIFE.  Find the soft hearts, pray for the hard hearts, love every heart....... by being FOR LIFE.    It is more powerful to be "FOR" something than to only be "AGAINST". We can and should be against things, many things. While society tells us what is Politically Correct, we must have the courage to develop social and moral norms to govern society in a healthy way. When killing unborn children can be justified, as an acceptable practice, darkness gets much darker. When a young lady can video her experience, put a smile on it and call it a "positive abortion experience", a new level of deception is at work.  Meanwhile, there are those who have softer hearts than others, those who might put their child up for adoption or keep it even. I mean, what is so bad about kids anyway.  These ladies need our prayers and help. We are the answer to the problem, we carry the light and grace of our Lord. Let me encourage us all to find those who are ready to surrender to Him and grab their hands and offer real support. Pray for the hard hearts and be there when needed. Stand FOR LIFE in your own home, church and community. Stand WITH those needing help and together we can make a difference.