Friday, July 31, 2009
Then there was Yellowstone, tall lodge pole pines, BIG open ranges, buffalo, deer, pronghorn, sulfur springs, muddy lava stuff spewing and CONSTRUCTION...it's called govt. stimulus package. But it took us nearly an HOUR to go 5 miles...and for our Harley it was like an OFF road experience, so we even did that yesterday.
Then we moved into the Teton National Park and more CONSTRUCTION...yours and my stimulus dollars at work, another HOUR to go 8 miles...but at least what you had to look at was awesome. I've never seen the Teton range and WOW...just rise up out of the earth and BIG, I mean, BIG!!!
It was a good day! Literally the best yet...today is a LONG road day...we're trying to get down to the Bryce Canyon/Zion National Park area, so we'll be putting about 550 miles on the bike today. We've heard great stuff about these two parks and like everything else on this trip, never been there...so we'd like to spend some time in each park...
I'll let you know more over the next couple of days, just what it's like.
We feel really blessed, thanks for your prayers and for reading.
PS. Today's staff highlight is Lilly Moscoso. Lilly is the Creative Arts Coordinator who can't juggle 12 tasks at once!! She is on it!! Serving Hero Ryan Walton is part of The Crossing's Security Team. He helps provide a safe environment for all of us on the weekend. Thank you Ryan!! Read about Marty Whitecotton's life change story to see how God is working in his life!!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Given my personality...as soon as he said that, I wanted to get on our Harley and ride out, RIGHT THEN! However, I'll have to cool my jets, cause today is what I'll call a "Sue" day, we're going to see the Buffalo Bill Center and Museum. I guess it's 5 museums under one roof.
And just so I don't get any comments on this being a "Sue" day, an acquaintance of mine who rides told me before we left to take every 7th day or so off from riding, so for the most part that's what we planned to do on this day before we left, but it's still a "Sue" day, cause I want to ride :-).
Particularly after yesterday's ride, I didn't want to get off the bike. There's been a perpetual smile on my face over the past three days, ride to and around the Black Hills, then the ride to Cody...across hills, through a canyon, windy up and down roads, spectacular waterfalls, rushing rivers. Phenomenal, Spectacular, Amazing, Beautiful, Wonderful, Super, Awesome...I'm buying a dictionary today, I'm running out of adjectives.
Also, I'd appreciate your prayers, I had planned to take a good bit of time today to prepare for stuff coming up in the fall in and around The Crossing. I've had TONS of time to think while riding and little to no time to download it from my brain. Today is download day!
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Read all about Liliana Sanchez and the many areas she works in on staff at The Crossing!! She has the amazing ability to stay on top of everything all at once. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate Serving Hero, Gary Resnick. Gary shows up each weekend willing to serve wherever needed. Thank you Gary for your servant's heart. Jesus is now in Debra DiMicelli's driver's seat. Read about her incredible life change story.
Monday, July 27, 2009
So what is coming home on the bike as MY (Sue) souvenir?
A silver ring and a book from the Grand Canyon
A Harley shirt and a charm
Metal visitor buttons from two Harley factory plant tours
Three post cards
Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass coasters
A tiny Lincoln china plate Christmas ornament (the size of a half dollar)
Small gift from the Ludington Ferry for the girls (shhh, don't tell!)
Two decks of cards (family tradition)
Small rock samples from several locations (Tim humors me on this one!)
Beach glass and a lucky stone from Lake Erie (a shared passion with my sister Sally)
What you can't see that is packed to come with us is a digital picture log in the thousands, wonderful memories with amazing people, and a marriage still intact!
So what is Tim bringing home? Two t-shirts...one long sleeve, purchased out of necessity in Durango, CO and the other from the Sturgis Harley Davidson shop. He told me it's tradition if you come to Sturgis you have to buy something from that Harley dealership. Last, he received two FREE visitor buttons from two Harley plant tours.
So Tim is a pretty good guy. Even though small, it is nice to be bringing some mementos home. The ride is not done, but the available space is...well, there's always UPS or Fedex.
With memories that will last forever,
PS. Read about staff highlight, Kim Moraitis. Kim prepares the cirriculum and weekend programming for the Children's Ministry. She has a passion sharing God's love to our children. Check out dynamic duo Eric and Julie Marovish who serve every weekend in the Children's Ministry. They are faithful and committed and make serving a family event!! And you will want to read about how the women's retreat this year had a HUGE impact on Monique Denger!!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
What a flippin BLAST Sunday proved to be!!!
I enjoyed the prairie lands of Nebraska, but then going up route 87 through Wind Cave National park, AWESOME. We saw Pronghorn (I used to always think they were Antelope). We saw Bison, one actually was like 5 feet from the bike.
We then made our way onto Needles Highway through Custer State Park, down route 16 to 385 and to the Crazy Horse sight. What a sight Crazy Horse is, you can fit the entire Mount Rushmore (all 4 guys) in the HEAD of Crazy Horse. They've got a ways to go to finish it, it was definitely a WOW sight.
Today, we'll head into Mount Rushmore, then to Nemo Road to Sturgis to Spearfish Canyon and back for the night. The weather looks a bit ominous and forboding (So what!). Then again, we've not had hardly any weather on this trip and NONE that's really altered our plans, which has been pretty amazing when I stop to think about it.
Sue, took tons of pics yesterday. If we have time we'll post them today or tomorrow, check them out. The two that are my favorite are me yawning sitting on a rock (I'm not bored really, really I'm not) and me with the top case open on the computer out (not ever spare moment is on the web, really)
Well, gotta go...Mount Rushmore is calling. I hope you have a super week!
PS. Jorge Moscoso is our staff high light today. We have the cleanest church campus in all of Orange County because of how Jorge cares for The Crossing. Read all about him on our website. You can also read about Sharon Schureman and how she gives back to The Crossing. Sharon has served in just about every ministry we have!! Skip and Kim Mullins' share how God has worked in them since they came to The Crossing in 2005...read all about their amazing stories before you sign off today!!
Saturday, July 25, 2009
It was stated just an hour into one of the BEST mornings (Today, Saturday, July 25) we've had on this trip, cool, crisp, abundant sunshine and a bit of breeze. The setting is and was perfect. I ruined it by going TOO fast...by a barn...not just any barn, a barn with a quilt on the side. Sue loves to take pictures of these barns...me, I tend to zoom by...I think I'll be slowing down a bit more in the future.
Yesterday, I saw a "brown" deer dart out from the trees, leaving a brown spot on my pants :-) and I found out my ABS brake system works just fine.
Also, we were being chased the entire day by a STORM, there was a tornado watch all day. We made it to our host's home, the home of Bob and Leesa Westfall. Bob is the Lead Pastor of New Covenant Bible Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. What humble people! What gracious hosts! We never met them before yesterday and we hope to see them again. Awesome time...we even got to watch as an INCREDIBLE midwest storm pass over their house, the kind with winds, rain, lighting and thunder...
We've gone OVER 5,000 miles now, ONLY 237 miles of that on the Interstate/Freeways. We've seen some of the most beautiful country side. Yesterday we traveled, the Great River Road in Illinois and the Iowa side, also traveled on a stretch of the Iowa Scenic Byway of route 64.
Have a super weekend in So. Cal. or where ever you're reading this from...we hope to do the same.
Friday, July 24, 2009
- I was arguing with my girlfriend back in college days some umpteen years ago...when right smack dab at the peaky peak of my most concerted point, a bird poop landed straight across my face from eyebrow to chin...it wasn't a little sparrow poop...it was a gnarly gigantic seagull turd, and based on what seagulls eat...it was nasty smelling and tasting. Yuuuuck...of course my girlfriend laughed at me as I shrunk into a mental hole about the size of a penny! AH
- We picked Tim Celek up from the airport for the second time. We were reminiscing in the car with Tim and my husband, Dave, about the first time we picked Tim up and our dog, Listo, broke into Tim’s backpack and ate his power bars and trail mix. I said "TIM, REMEMBER WHEN LISTO UNZIPPED YOUR ZIPPER AND ATE YOUR NUTS?" - OMG I was so embarrassed!! JM
- I burned my ear with the curling iron. Very painful. Next day I felt a scab, but I left it alone...for 3 days...only to find out that it wasn't a scab at all, it was a "Made in China" label from my cheap sunglasses. PH
- My mom, younger sister and I were trying clothes on in a department store – one of those stores with all the departments on one floor. We were having fun with bathing suits, shirts, shorts, jeans, dresses, etc. Three women looking to shop. Well, my mom and sister were wandering in the middle of the department store and I wanted their feedback on the jeans I tried on. So I walked into the middle of the department store to ask what they thought. We looked in the mirror, I turned around a couple of times, and we all decided the jeans were good. We were getting lots of stares from people so I just guessed everyone thought the jeans looked good. That is until I looked in the mirror and to my horror realized I forgot to put back on my shirt after trying on a bathing suit…and I was standing in the middle of the department store with men, women & children. OMG – and my mom & sister didn’t even realize it either until I screamed and ran back to the dressing room. Nice!! DC
- My high school buddy and I took the train to Madison Square Garden to buy scalped tickets to a New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls playoff game (1993 I think). We were 17 at the time and we lived in New Jersey. Being paranoid kids, we heard of stories about undercover policeman arresting people attempting to purchase scalped tickets. We didn't have enough nerve to try and buy tickets outside of the arena, so we went across the street. Still paranoid, we approached a guy who said he had tickets. We asked how much the tickets were. He said $70 each. Being 17, stupid, and paranoid we paid him the money WITHOUT looking at the tickets. Trying not to be obvious, we ran around the closest building to look at our tickets away from undercover policeman's eyes. When we looked at them, they were two tickets for the MONGOLIAN Circus at the arena on another day! My buddy is pretty tall, so believe it or not we found the scalper and demanded our money back. He actually gave it to us. So what do two 17 year old males, do? Of course we tried a second time. This time, we found a scalper and looked at the tickets. They said, Knicks vs. Bulls on the correct day. Roughly the same amount of money. We walk up to the garden, got in line and slowly move towards the turnstiles. With about 2 people in front of us, we gave our tickets one more glance. Mystically, we both realized something about the tickets at the exact same time. The Knicks and Bulls played in the playoffs on the exact same day the year before! The tickets were from the previous year!!! Once again, we tried to locate the scalper, but this time we couldn't. We managed to pawn the tickets off to some Jr. scalpers in training to get most of our money back and RAN into the train station. Our train wasn't due to leave for a couple hours so we hid WAY back in a restaurant paranoid that the Jr. scalpers would alert their mentors and we would be hunted down and assaulted. We sprinted to our train at the time of its departure, and rode home with our heads in our hands defeated by the New York city scalpers. We also missed half of the game on TV because there was no Tivo or DVR at the time! CR
- Saying "you're pregnant too!" when trying to let a woman go in front of me in line at the Angels game consession stands was embarassing because SHE WASN'T. JN
Our ride from Milwaukie, WI to Sycamore, IL was really good. All day, we continued to out run a seriously major thunderstorm. I found it incredibily exhilarating and very competitive to try and figure out how to stay dry. Yesterday we were on deserted country roads which made for the best experience. Lake Geneva, WI is beautiful. Harvard, IL has one of the best bakeries around. All in all, it was a SUPER day.
Today we are making our way up the Mississippi River to Dubuque, Iowa and then spending the night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
That is all for now. Enjoy your weekend.
(Make sure you read the next blog post Saturday morning for some of the best embarrassing moments of all time!!)
PS. Read about staff highlight, Laurie Walker. Laurie is our Children’s Pastor who provides an environment for children to learn all about God. The way she cares for your children is amazing!! Serving Hero, Colt Scott serves in many ministries using his servant’s heart to show Christ’s love for people. And read all about Vicki Costa and how God continues to use her and shape her life.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I've had a few people ask if we have any routines while on the road. While I'd like to share with the WHOLE world and our church, Sue's road routine, I think it'd be wise for me NOT to do so :-). So you'll have to settle for my routine(s), some of which do include Sue. Here you go...
- 4 to 4:30 a.m.: Get up and get ready to leave for a local fitness center
- 4:30 to 5:00 a.m.: Leave for the fitness center, most have been within 3 to 5 miles from the places we've stayed
- 5:00 - 5:30 a.m.: Talk my way into the fitness center as a guest, just about every center has allowed me to work out for free, waving the guest fee, which is more than likely due to my charm and stunning looks (no comments, please)
- 5:30 - 7:30 a.m.: About 1 hour for weights and 30 minutes for cardio, thank's Aaron for the work outs while on the road
- 7:30 - 8:00 a.m.: Go back to the house where we're staying, pack up my ONE bag and pick up my lovely bride.
- 8:00 - 9/9:30 a.m.: Find a free Wi-Fi location, often, it's been Panera Bread Company. It's here we'll write the blog, download pics off of our camera, do receipts, look at the day's ride, check email, facebook, txt kids, etc...
- 9/9:30 a.m.: We're off for the day...and we while we begin the ride for the day, we pray. That's right, we pray, Sue prays and then I pray for the day, while riding (NO, I don't close my eyes) we pray for our kids, for our church, The Crossing, for the people we'll stay with that day and for those whose home we just left. We, also, pray for the staff of The Crossing and Mariners Christian School, where Sue works.
We take breaks generally every 80 to 100 miles. Often when we stop, it's for gas (and a chocolate chip cookie), it's important never to "pass gas," which probably isn't that big a deal with a 6 gallon tank on the Harley Ultra, but we don't want to get caught short in that department
- 1:30 - 2:00 p.m.: We'll usually stop for a later lunch. We look for local spots, places we've heard about, someone's recommended or like yesterday at Real Chili, it's a place we used to frequent. We always split a meal, it saves on the budget and on the waistline...mine, NOT Sue's.
- 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.: We try to arrive where we're staying no later than 7 p.m., trying to shoot more for 6 p.m.
- 10:00 - 11:30 p.m.: I/we get in bed and to start the entire routine over the next day.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Staff highlight today is our Creative Arts Pastor, Lehua Coley. Lehua brings talent, creativity and leadership to our team. Serving Hero, Steve Baugh has been volunteering in our administrative department for 9 years - WOW!! He is a man of faithfulness & integrity and we are thankful for all he does. Steve & Gina Stary share how their lives have been impacted by their teaching roles in Discovery Classes. These are all amazing people and you will want to read about them before signing off.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
While in Ohio over the weekend, my sister Sally and I took a ferry out to Kelley’s Island in Lake Erie to spend a great day together. I love the smells, the sounds, and the sights of being on the water.
Last night, Tim and I crossed Lake Michigan by a huge ferry, from Ludington, Michigan, to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Trailer trucks, cars, and several motorcycles were carefully loaded and secured for the passage. This ferry route used to even carry railroad cars back and forth. We left at 8:00 P.M. with a hazy setting sun. It was fun to feel the power of the engines and the surge of being underway. People gathered on the lighthouse pier waved as we went by.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This morning while sitting in a local Panera, I decided to take care of "business"...so I'm sitting there and I look to my right on the wall and think, "Ummmm, men's restrooms don't have these sorts of canisters..." I panic, I'm in the wrong PLACE!!!
And so I'm about to get up and RUN, when all of a sudden I hear the door to the bathroom open and I think, "NOOOOOOOO..." So I did what any man in a WOMAN'S bathroom would do, I lift my boot clad feet up (Not too many women I know, have size 11 Harley boots)...and wait it out...and then when whoever it was left, I was OUT OF THERE...and scurried across the hall to the proper place..."
When I finally came back to where Sue was sitting, I couldn't contain my chuckling...so I told her and she laughed...and now I'm telling you ALL...I hope you got a good laugh.
The stories are numerous from the road, this is just one...one very embarassing moment.
Today's ride takes us across the state of Michigan from Farmington, MI to Grand Haven to Ludington where we catch a ferry over to the shores of Wisconsin. I'll do my best to stay out of women's bathrooms from here on out...
Have a super day,
P.S. Janice Roque has been at this church almost as long as I have!! On staff, Janice is the KNOW Coordinator who keeps things running smoothly - and I mean a lot of things!! You will also want to take a minute and celebrate The Heineman's with us - Steve, Tina, Cody & Austin. Serving is a value in this family and we are thankful for the many areas they give themselves to. Mindy Wohlford has an amazing life change story - God continues to use and shape Mindy. Read all about these three incredible stories before you sign off!!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Well, Sue and I have loved every moment of our ride...well, okay...not every moment.
- There have been those moments where I'm acting like a real #%& and Sue has been her usual angelic self. I DEFINITELY married up (no comments, either).
- There have been those moments where the terrain is flat and the corn fields seem to go on FOREVER.
- There have been those moments when IDIOT me has slipped a mental disk and forgotten dinner engagements with super people.
- We've met awesome people.
- We've had people extend incredible kindness, generosity and hospitality to us.
- We've seen the majestic and grand design of our great God in places too numerous to mention.
- We've enjoyed being together, the two of us.
- We've had fun riding, riding and riding some more...
We are in Northwest Ohio...heading out today toward Northern Michigan, then down into Wisconsin and over to Harley Mecca, Milwaukee, WI, then off to see friends in Northwest Illinois, then back west through Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and HOME!!! We will be chronicling the trip every step of the way.
Before I sign off, just want to say, I LOVE our church. The Crossing ROCKS. God is moving! Or BEST days are ahead of us! Yea God!
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Today we are highlighting staff Ben Coplin. This guy can speak, sing and has a passion for the youth at our church and in our community! Also check out serving hero, Lora Miller. Lora has been serving at The Crossing for MANY years in MANY ways. Thank you Lora for your dedication. Don't get off the site before you read about Janice Walker's life changing story and how she found healing and community at The Crossing during a difficult season on her life!!
Friday, July 17, 2009
On the back roads of America, people's faces seem to tell more of a story, than those in Orange County, California, maybe we've just gotten good at covering "life" up. You can seem to visibly see, those who've struggled or are struggling, those who've worked hard and those who would like some work.
We've noticed in the out of the way places we've been through, more than a few younger to middle aged men sitting on porches or front steps. And over the past couple of days, we've seen a good number of women mowing their HUGE yards while riding on top of big tractor mowers.
We're driving through the parts of the country where adult drivers will wave at every passing car or cycle. And little boys and girls walking down the main streets of these little out of the way places, we'll jump up and down, excitedly waving as they hear the rumble of our cycle coming through...as if we're the one only pony in a mythical parade.
I wish you could all ride a Motorcycle for a day, you would SEE so much more than in car (metal cage). Often times what you see is people, real people in real places.
We've been enjoying our riding the past couple of days, we traversed south out of Indianapolis, IN to Browne County through Hoosier National Forest, great winding, roller coaster like roads, the kind that puts a smile on your face. We've ridden the Great River road of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to the middle of the state and then went north bound toward Columbus, OH.
We've put over 4,000 miles on the bike this Roadtrip thus far, over 10,000+ miles now on the bike. We'll be adding to that today as we ride some of the best roads Ohio has to offer.
Have a super day...I'll see you this weekend at The Crossing,
P.S. Today's staff highlight is Trent Maddox, our Creative Arts Music Pastor. Trent uses his creativity every weekend to bring us awesome music!! Hero, Pete Clayton, who is currently on a mission trip in Uganda, has a heart for serving - thank you Pete for how you use your gifts to give back, explanding God's kingdom. And, don't miss reading about how God has shaped and changed Jennifer Schroder's life. I am so thankful for Trent, Pete & Jennifer - you all ROCK!!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The conversation went something like this...
"Hi...who is this?"
"Yes, Melissa, are you very far away, we're all here & ready for dinner?"
"Yes, you said you would be here at 5ish and everyone (Bubble inside my helmet reads...tons of Cousins, remember I'm from Ohio) is here and we are waiting for you..."
"Yes...you...you said you'd be in Columbus on Wednesday, July 15 with our family, my brothers and my parents and our kids..."
"I'm in Cincinnati..." (Bubble inside my helmet...but I'm 2 1/2 hours away and have dinner plans with the Boyds)
"You said in your email that you would be here on Wednesday, July 15...in fact, you even gave me two possible dates and then I asked which one it was and you indicated, Wednesday and so after being sure of the date, I invited my parents and my brothers..."
"I am such and idiot! I'm so sorry! I can't believe I've done this to you! Can we still do dinner tomorrow? Can I bring something with me? Can I pay for your house payment? Your parent's (They drove 1 1/2 hours to see Sue and me) gas? Can I pay for your kids college education? I can't believe I'm such an idiot. I've never done anything like this before. I'm so sorry."
"That's okay, I'm sure you've got a lot on your mind...we'll just save the meal for tomorrow night."
"I'm SOOOOOOOOOO sorry. I can't believe I did this to you ALL..., if you'll still have us, we'll see you tomorrow..."
The phone call ends and I SCREAM LOUD...which then triggers Sue's headset to flip on...and she yells back, "DON'T SCREAM..." Then we're both SCREAMING at each other...and once things calmed down, I said, "You'll never believe it, I'm such an idiot...Melissa and her family were planning on us TONIGHT, they're all there and here we are...STUPID, how can I be so stupid???"
Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt like a complete and total idiot, failure, screw up? It doesn't feel very good! And it's all because I got the PLANS all crossed up...planning and plans, are SO important. Do it right and the world goes just as it should, do it wrong and it leads to total and complete idiocy or failure.
Guess what, this weekend, I will be speaking at The Crossing, here's the topic, "Planning!" I have a ton to learn, you might too! See you this weekend at The Crossing!
With my dunce cap on,
P.S. You must read about James Paley, God has REALLY changed his life. A big thanks goes to him for the way his serves God at The Crossing. Also, a huge shout out to Ryan Argue, make sure you read the way he is letting God use him at our church. Finally, Colleen Whitfield, she LOVES kids. I mean, really and truly loves kids...her own and the kids of The Crossing. Make sure you read all about her.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
- Have You Ever Seen the Rain? by Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Singing in the Rain, by Gene Kelley
- Rainy Days and Mondays by the Carpenters
- Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Head, B. J. Thomas
- Rainy Day People by Gordon Lightfoot
- Rain by the Beatles
- I can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash
- Fire and Rain by James Taylor
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland
The past two days have been quite enjoyable. We spent some time in greater Springfield, Illinois area touring the various Abraham Lincoln museums, landmarks, & historical sites, then on the way out of town went to a few more Route 66 stops. The riding the past two days hasn't been as exhilirating as the previous weeks...mostly cornfields and more cornfields and more cornfields. However, we've put well more than 3,000 miles on the Harley Ultra Classic thus far.
Finally, I want to say thank you to Gregory and Carrie Pierce. You'd recognize Gregory if you've been around The Crossing for a while, phenomenal singer and worship leader. Carrie is due with their second child anyday now. Thank you Pierce family for your generosity. This trip has been so cool because of the various people we've met and connected with along the way.
Time to ride...ride in the rain, by the way, what's your favorite rain song? Let me know!
P.S. Check it out...Vicki Holland, a fellow biker, you can read about her radical life change story. God has transformed her in huge ways! Also, don't miss Terrell Uhl, she has the biggest heart. She prays for so many. She loves being active with our Uganda ministry. Last, Sean Kappauf, one of Student Ministry Directors. The dude rocks! He loves teenagers. In fact, he's with 65+ High School students this week at Surf Camp.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Being together in tight Harley quarters, with constant headset togetherness eventually means the inevitable: a little tiff, a spat, and bit of extra volume through the earpieces.
The culprit: Route 66
The reason: The view of the road from your helmet
While Tim is driving, I enjoy taking pictures of the scenery, despite the speed of travel or road conditions. This requires me to constantly peek around his shoulder so I know what is coming that could be camera worthy. If all the conditions are right, and I judge the shutter speed accurately, I can get something in focus and centered!
I knew we were on Route 66, but did not know we were approaching the juncture of the Old Route and the New Route (sometimes my tour guide is a man of few words.)
I was enjoying the scenery in my full-face helmet from the left side of the vehicle, and after we turned a corner, our conversation went like this (adjust the volume accordingly):
Tim: “Did you get the picture?”
Sue: “What picture?”
Tim: “The picture of the two Routes together and the sign!”
Tim: “We just passed it on the right side!”
Sue: “Why didn’t you tell me it was coming up? Just turn around and go back.”
Tim: “Sue! We already passed it!”
Sue: “ You mean to tell me that we traveled half way across the country to see this, and you will not take one extra minute to turn around so I can get a picture of the two roads?!!”
After navigating a tight U-turn on a two-lane country road with gravel berms, we went back. I was poised with the camera on my left side, ready and focused to take the two roads, and the post with the street markers on top of each other. Tim stops suddenly in the road so I can take a picture, but it is not in the spot I am envisioning. There is a bit more volume on the earpieces. Finally, he gets the bike where I can get the shot I want, and then we are back to flying down the road.
Tim says again, “Did you get the picture of the two historical signs side by side?”
Sue: “What signs side by side?”
Tim: “Sue! I can’t believe you still didn’t get a picture of the signs! What are you doing back there?!”
This argument was bringing a whole new meaning to the words of the song, ”Get your kicks on Route 66!”
You see, the trouble was with the assumptions about which direction we were each looking – left side or right side. I never saw the historical markers because I was so focused on the side with the two roads.
On this trip, we are learning to talk about the road perspectives differently as we travel (with the volume down), and sometimes I can even get Tim to slow down or stop so I can get the right picture!
Most awesome Harley companion
Incredible wife :-)
P.S. You must meet one of our newest members of the staff team. She is quite talented. She heads up our Local Go ministries, Michelle Yeun. Also, a BIG thanks goes to Eric Schrader for his service at The Crossing. Finally, God is in the business of changing lives, read how He's changed the life of Kristy Hanson.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This weekend...the music rocked the house!
This weekend...the Tranformers video was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Way to go Chris Detken. You da' man!!!
This weekend...the weather was phenomenal!
This weekend...I had a SUPER meeting with our Architect about the plans for the new Auditorium.
This weekend...I spent some awesome time over dinner with my two girls. They are the greatest. I love them a ton.
This weekend...Sue spent time alone and rested in Springfield, Illinois. Thank you Carter family for the gracious gift of your home and your cat (Did God really create cats?)
This weekend...I flew from Illinois to OC and back...great flights...great time with the people of The Crossing. The people of The Crossing are the absolute best!
The weekend is over, but I'm raring and ready for a week full of surprises, I wonder what God has in store for me and for you. Our Roadtrip continues...you can check us, Sue and me, out on The Crossing Website or you can follow us on Twitter.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Make sure you take some time to meet Ian Stevenson. He's been with us at The Crossing from the VERY beginning. Also, please be praying for him as he leads our team to Uganda. Also, you'll enjoy hearing about Keri Moore. Keri, thank you so much for your heart for global ministry, particularly for Uganda. And wow, God has work in really neat ways in the life of Scotty Avalos, don't miss hearing about it.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Friday was one of our best in those terms. Our route took us onto Route 66 in Illinois. Route 66 was the way across our country in time long ago. However, with Interstates, Highways, Freeways, much, if not most of Route 66 is no longer around. And it's sort of sad...sure we get places faster, but at what price.
Before our trip I talked in church about losing our "souls" as people. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit or lose his soul?" Interstates, highways and freeways seem devoid of soul...speed, yes, soul not so much.
Friday was a SUPER day for the soul. We hunted and searched for patches of the "old" road (Route 66). What we found were tiny little communities, little amazing diners, and an old, old, old road no longer traveled upon...and people, nice, authentic, genuine people...a kind 5oish adult child having lunch with his very elderly dad, a waitress, who had to have been around WAY back then...who stopped to "chat" and give us insights about the towns we'd seen and would see that day.
It was a good day! Yes, we moved at a pretty good pace, yet we stopped, paused and slowed long enough to smell and see and chat and experience what for us, Orange Countians, was a step back in time. It was a good thing.
Sue and I have thought long and hard that you don't have to take a trip such as this to have a day like we had...these sorts of days can be our everyday experience. Yet, it takes us being poised to see and then stop when necessary and chat or help or care or listen. We've thought about how many times we ignore the promptings of God, to the dismise of our own soul. I can only speak for me, but this trip is teaching me to be more "present" in the present. And that's a good thing...
Hope to see you or have seen you at church this weekend!
P.S. Today's line up of staff, serving heroes and life change stories rock the house, Mary Primavera, wow, what a neat God sighting and Pat Duhl giving great care to SO many, thank you Pat, then there is my friend and co-laborer for Jesus, Patrick Detken. Check them all out and enjoy!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
The past two nights were AWESOME. The McMahon clan in Kansas City, MO. What a blast to re-engage with one INCREDIBLE VISIONARY leader in Troy McMahon. He launched Restore Community Church just north of Kansas City, MO and he and his team are kickin some "butt" for Jesus (Is that okay to say?), locally and globally. If you move to Kansas City, you've got to go to Restore.
Last night we had the COOLEST treat to be reacquainted with Eric and Jen Briner and their kids. They were on staff at The Crossing for a number of years. Now they have have BIG TIME impact for Jesus on the campus of University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. We had the best time, talking and yacking. It's so fun to catch up with people, SO MUCH FUN!
Today, we had a God ordained interaction with a waitress at Bek's restaurant in Fulton, MO and she told us NOT to go the way we were going, but to go to Hermann, MO and have dessert at a place called, Time for Pie. So we did! WOE, the pies, cookies, coffee are OUT OF THIS WORLD. How do I know, I tried them ALL. You only live ONCE!
Hey I'm looking forward to being with you all at church this weekend. I'm kicking off a NEW series, Transformers. This series is SO important for our entire church. You've got to be there. DO NOT MISS this weekend or a weekend of this series.
Thanks for your prayers, see you this weekend at The Crossing,
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
- Suggestions of beautiful rides
- Unexpected help with a down bike (Tim says "don't ask")
- Exclusive Harley parking in front of our hotel
- Supplies for a motorcycle wash
- Constant offers from strangers to take our photographs - every where from a national park to Dairy Queen to the side of the road
- Locals stopping in the middle of a 4 lane highway so I could take a picture
- A couple from California who now live in Kansas offered us their map (I like Dairy Queen!)
- Strangers calling the Department of Transportation for us to check for alternate routes because of road closures due to accidents
- A Gold Wing motorcyclist (Harleys & Gold Wings don't always get along) offering us a cold bottle of water from his refridgerated travel trailer (Tim now wants a Gold Wing)
We are enjoying the many people we are meeting along the way. Complete strangers who are initiating kindness to us.
PS. Please read about staff Sumie Oh because she shows kindness to everyone she meets with her gentle spirit. We are blessed to have Rod Carrido now serving our children through worship. Don't miss getting to know Rod on our website. And last, please read about Steve Cooper who because of God's kindness shown to him now shows that same kindness to others.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
The other thing Kansas has a lot of is cattle. One of the challenging aspects to yesterday was riding behind a HUGE truck filled with manure. The smell was overwhelming. THANK GOD FOR PASSING LANES!!
Enjoy the video below recapping our ride yesterday.
PS. Make sure you take a few minutes to meet Steve Erdeman. Many of our staff are in front but Steve works very much behind the scenes and does an amazing job in all things audio here at The Crossing. Don't miss reading about Bernie Koch's life changing experiences. And a big cheer for Vince Allen who faithfully serves in the Creative Arts ministry.
Monday, July 6, 2009
In the beginning of our ride yesterday, we were in Black Canyon of the Gunnison national park. As soon as we went into the park, Sue screamed, "look a bear!!" And so like what most tourist do, I forgot it was a bear and started driving toward it!! And because I am uglier than a bear, the bear ran and it ran fast.
After seeing the bear, the day got so cool. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a phenomenal national park. Words can't really describe it. After enjoying 6 to 7 stops at Black Canyon, we proceeded to head east on highway 50, went through a brief hail storm and then outside of Gunnison, CO we saw a sign that said "highway 50 pass closed to all traffic for 8 hours due to a multi-person injury accident." I was pretty frustrated because I wanted to see the two mountain passes we would cross. However, God had other plans. He turned a lemon into spectacular lemonade. As a result of the 80 mile detour, we went over 4 mountain passes and one awesome windy canyon road with a river running beside it. It was no doubt our best day of riding yet. We finally made it to Colorado Springs and spent the night with our wonderful hosts Terry & Carol Taylor (the parents of Terrilee Stevenson).
We headed out early this morning (Monday) for our longest day of the first two weeks. Please pray for our 480 miles from Colorado Springs to Wichita Kansas. We await what surprises God has in store for us in this day of the flat, corn, wheat, soy bean fields of Kansas.
PS. Don't forget to check out the people highlighted today. Thank you so much Ethen Thacher and all the awesome things you do at The Crossing - Acts of Kindness, Coffee Spot & more. Make sure you take time to meet our staff Debbie Collette. The Crossing would not run if it wasn't for Debbie!! And read Karen Barr's life change story to see how God is moving in her life.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Plus, you'd think when you don't have all that much stuff, it'd be easy to pack each day. Everything has a very definitive place and when it's out of THAT place, bags don't fit where they're supposed to go. And when bags don't fit where they're supposed to go, I'm reminded again that patience is something that I have very LITTLE of...God's doing a work in me on this trip!
We're having a blast. Today is a our last day in the mountains for a while and we'll be crossing Monarch Pass and seeing Black Canyon. Fun times.
Thanks for your prayers,
Saturday, July 4, 2009
None of us can go back in time, but we can fully be in the present. I live so much of my life, looking into the future or longing for the past, I don't fully enjoy today. As a result my soul gets dry, barren and at times quite empty.
I'm praying for YOU today, please do yourself, God and those around you a favor and REJOICE in this day.
I'm off to Telluride, Co. Everyone we've bumped into says, "You GOT to see Telluride!" So we're going to see Telluride.
You have a good day!
From the road,
Friday, July 3, 2009
The next 270 or so miles were done from noon on...to Southwest Colorado. Believe me, I'm very thankful for the backrest and the highway pegs. Arizona is BIG and VAST and parts desolate, but stunningly beautiful complete with plateaus and plains, from Cameron to Tuba City to Kayenta, AZ to Four Corners to Cortez, Co, we majorly enjoyed our ride...well all except for two parts...
First...the lamb/sheep ON the road! I've read about deer, elk, antelope, even cows and sometimes dogs, but NOT sheep. Little Lambs might be cute at the county fairs, but not in the middle of the road going 75. YIKES. I'll spare you with what came out of my mouth, no words, just OMG! And think LOUD!
Second...the tar, sand, rain, goop mixture during a controlled construction zone vehicle movement, the sign said, "Motorcycles use EXTREME caution." Try moving 1,000 lbs of Harley slowly while slipping from side to side and with cars in front and cars in back. The only thought was, "Don't go DOWN, you'll look stupid and get your bike dirty!!!"
It was a phenomenal day, one I'd do again in a heartbeat. If you ever get a chance to go to the Grand Canyon, GO and enjoy the journey!
From the road,
P.S. Take time to read about how God has gripped Jim Schwarz's life. Plus, George Freudner, we thank you for your involvment in our Global Go outreach to El Salvador. Be praying in advance, one of teams goes to El Salvador in August. Finally, you've just got to meet Brian Anderson. The dude rocks the house, I'm stoked I get to work with him.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
What a day! ABSOLUTE BEST yet...spectacular displays of lighting bolts, PHENOMENAL riding on 89A from Prescott to Flagstaff, AZ and gracious hosts, thanks again, Pete and Jan.
We diverted a bit...over lunch an incredible thunderstorm was bearing down on us, so we headed over to Willams and went up to Grand Canyon from there. The ride to the Grand Canyon isn't anything to get too excited about...except for the anticipation that was building in my gut to see something that up until today seemed surreal. And then as soon as we were at the park entrance, a good sized thunderstorm dumped on us, so we bailed and checked into our hotel.
We went to the IMAX Grand Canyon experience, if you're ever in this area, I'd recommend it. However after seeing that well produced movie adventure, I HAD to make my way to the rim. So we hopped onto our Harley and away we went. WOW, AWESOME, SUPER, AMAZING...words don't do it justice. We can't wait to get back there tomorrow and soak as much of it in as humanly possible.
Until then...this is from the Park Newspaper...on how to avoid a lighting strike, "Lighting strikes are common on the South Rim during summer thunderstorms. Hair standing on end is a warning that an electrical charge is building near you and a warning that lighting may strike. If this occurs (hair standing on end), move away from the rim immediately!" I guess I'm out of luck, no "natural" warning system on this body any longer, oh well.
For those of you who have hair to stand on end...count your blessings, okay!!!
Twisting, turning and possibly frying :-)...from the road,
P.S. We're stoked you're enjoying the Volunteer hero and Life change stories. Today, meet Shane Costa who serves in our Student Ministry and read all how God has made a difference in Amy Snyder. Lorrie Osuna is the BOMB in our children's ministry.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
But hey, I'm a smart guy, I told her I had a solution to the heat...we'll just get up early before the sunrises, after all Sue loves sunrises. They're so romantic. So I was killing the proverbial two birds with one stone...I was being a Don Juan of a husband, sunrising romance just oozing from my pores and it'd be cooler. Awesome huh, we'll stay married and we won't be trading in the Harley for RV with the AC.
My plan worked until, Blythe, CA. Yep, the sunrise was SPECTACULAR (check out the twitpic post). But by Blythe, it was already like 145 degrees or something, at 8 a.m. so I promised her we'd stop for lovely "break"fast at Chef Micky D's...where I proceed to drop the key in the parking lot or at least I thought I did so we did a U-turn two exits later went back and it was in the back topcase the entire time. Senility is setting in at 50!
Hey we're having a blast, Wickenburg, AZ is a pretty cool place. Did you know they have Arizona's largest feed and tack store? I had to check it out; saddles (check out the twitpic post), ropes, cowboy hats & boots, life size portraits of Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood (I just made that last part up), but I was in heaven. The place is called Double D.
The best part of the day was riding up to Prescott, AZ on Route 89. So flippin awesome!!! Twisty roads, pine trees EVERYWHERE, big rocks, boulders, and the temp dropped about 20 degrees.
We met our hosts, Pete and Jan Wendorf. They've been INCREDIBLE...made us dinner, let me wash our Harley...Thank you, Laidlaws, for making the connection for us. We sure appreciate it.
God has been so GOOD to us. We love our church and we love the opportunity to share our journey with you. Thanks for reading.
A bit cooler...from the road,
P.S. Don't forget to check out Susan Moore's life change story. God has a done a PHENOMENAL work in her in many ways. She rocked the house in the Women's Retreat this year. Oh yah, then there's Shaun McCarthy who serves in Kidzone. This guy is so faithful. He's rock solid. He loves kids, his own and the kids of The Crossing. Thank you Shaun for ALL you do!!! Last, but not least is Terrilee Stevenson, she supports me, which is a handful, by the way...and does it all VERY well...make sure you take time to read all about them!!!