Notes and Stories
New website continues to evolve:
The exercise log in coming very soon. I am pretty pleased with the way it is coming along, but you should know that this is still Phase 1 and it will be fairly crude compared to where it is going. This is a feature that you will need to be registered on the site to enter and track your data.
Also coming soon is a new Community Page -- and you will also need to be logged in order to even access it. So if you don't have a login, please register now to take full advantage of what the new site has to offer. The Community page will be like a phone book to contact other members, there will be a ShoutBox for instant dialog and witty banter, as well as enhanced forum categories and much, much more.
Clothing orders coming:
I have talked to Voler, our clothing sponsor, and we are slated to order our clothing in January & February 2011 with a delivery date in early April -- before our race season begins! Please note that we expect established members to order the clothing that they need on-line since the few items we will stock will be for new members and our Jersey Program. We will provide all the links and other information you will need in the coming months.
TNT Meeting highlights:
There was a meeting last Thursday night that served both as a 2010 wrap-up and 2011 planning session for our Tuesday Night Timetrial (TNT) race series. Joel Boelke shared with us some of the highlights and successes of the past season as well as some ideas for how to do things better. It was easy to see why he (and others) are so excited about what we have going on. More details will be released as we get closer to the race season. Please contact Joel if you have an interest in helping in one form or another, or just to learn more about this ministry.
The first snow has just been removed from driveways and sidewalks and I am already thinking about spring. Well, Spring Training to be more precise. Last year's trip was one of the highlights of my season and I am hoping to be able to go again in 2011. Joel and I have been talking about a repeat of last year -- the same place (Prairie du Chien, WI) and the same time (the last weekend in March). Let's build dome excitement about this by sharing our thoughts/ideas/questions/concerns on the forum. Last year it was more than just some guys on bikes, it was about forming some bonds, studying the Word -- and also putting in some spring-time miles.
A special thanks to our current and past sponsors for helping to making this the best club in the Twin Cities! As we have been talking about hosting races and funding our Jersey Program, we realize that there is alway room for more sponsors. So, here are a couple of things to think about:
- Do I know someone who owns a small/medium sized business who would like to be part of this exciting ministry?
- Is there a charity that could use some exposure? How about getting a group together to "sponsor" the Twin Cities Spoke in the name of that charity? Someone is already doing that with KTIS and it would be so awesome to have out jersey covered with sponsors who serve the needs of others.
Contact me if either of those ideas appeal to you, but ask fast since we need to have the sponsorships in place before we order the clothing the end of February -- and sponsorships typically take some time to develop.
Congratulations Stensrud family:
A hearty "CONGRATULATIONS!" goes out to Wendy and her family as her husband, Kirk, ran for the State House of Representatives to represent Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Hopkins in District 42A. On November 2nd Kirk won the election by the narrowest of margins. I got to see, first-hand, how much work (and worry) that Kirk, Wendy and the entire Stensrud family (and a lot of Spoke members) put into this election and it was great to see that effort rewarded by the vote.
From Why to Who
by Don Callander
In last edition's installment, I chronicled my hitting a pothole, going over the handlebars and shattering my collarbone in two places. This, is bar none, the most physical pain I have ever endured in my life. In fact, in the emergency room I received four doses of morphine. Additionally, I was admitted as an overnight patient because the medical staff had a difficult time managing my pain levels.
It was at this point in time, I began to ask the Lord why? Why me? Why me again? Why now? Why did this have to happen? Why did you not stop it Lord? Is there something wrong with me? It's there something I've missed about life? There were no clear-cut answers to any one of these questions. What I do know is that processing my problems in the "why zone" left me somewhat cynical, hardened, confused, and angry. Being a somewhat stubborn individual I stayed in this mode for well over two weeks. The only right answer to why is "I don't know why-and if I don't know why, I need to suspend judgment until I do."
First of all let me say that I do not believe in coincidences. I believe there is a purpose for everything. Romans 8:28, says, "and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." So I struggled with: is this punishment for sin? Was I concentrating too much on being on the mileage leaderboard every month and ignoring more important things? Was riding the bike becoming more important than spending time in the Word? Did God cause this or Satan? Was this accident purely for me, or possibly is somebody else watching how I am going through it? Or, finally, through these writings is someone being positively impacted? God may not have caused it, but he did allow it.
Psalm 42:10a "my bones suffer mortal agony" suddenly took on a very profound and real meaning to me. Breathing hurt, sneezing and coughing were excruciating, and even the water of the shower was painful. At this point in time the Lord really has my attention. So I'm working hard at going from why to who. And the answer to who is only twofold. Him-God our father in all his supreme authority, presence, and power. Or me-target of the trouble and in sole control of my responses and actions.
So I am trying to take a determined resolved effort to look trustingly in His direction. It certainly is unsophisticated. But it must begin with Him. My hope and my eventual healing are in his hands.
The other side of who is me. Me-with all of my feelings, hurts, confusion, and questions. In all of this the most strategic part of me is my will. It remains intact in spite of all the loose ends and what has happened. What do I do when even my trust in God seems shaky? When the answers are not immediate? And God seems so far away, and his silence deafening? It is here where I must exercise exclusive control over my will, thinking correctly. You see, my thoughts, my responses, and my decisions are always within my jurisdiction in the midst of trouble. If I am to find hope and help when it hurts, I must begin with the who of it all. I must hope in the truths of the Lord.
You see, it's no longer important for me to know why, but if I look to the who, I can see that it is for my betterment. I have already brought up. Romans 8:28, but God defines good for us in Romans 8:29. The text says that this process is for those who have been called according to God's purpose. What is God's purpose? According to verse 29 is to conform us to his image. And that is good. Anything that will bring us to a more accurate reflection of the quality of Christ, in and through our lives is good. Whatever it takes, pain included, is good if it conforms us to his likeness. That's God's call in the process of pain. He takes all that he permits and makes it a part of the process to bring us to reflect the image of Christ.
James even points out the benefits of trials and pain. In James 1:2-4 it says "consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance, perseverance must finish its work so that you may become mature and complete, not lacking anything."
So what about you, the reader? Are you facing trials and tribulations in your life? This may be a physical pain, or it may be emotional or spiritual pain. A fractured marital relationship, having a prodigal son or daughter, or a nonexistent relationship with parents? Struggling with that secret sin? Struggling with sin that so easily entangles? Are you doing battle with the why's of life? Don't fixate on the Why's but look to the Who! Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.