I have never felt more free than on my bicycle. I wasn’t like normal girls. I didn’t have any sisters. In grade school, I hung around with the boys in the neighborhood and we went biking on the dirt paths through the orange groves. I loved it. I biked everyday.
I grew up in North Orange , CA and as I entered high school, I would take the path down the Santa Ana River to the beach. No one carried water with them in those days. It is a wonder we all survived. I would just buy some Diet Pepsi’s when I got to the beach and would soak up the sun all day. Around 3:00, I would get on my bike and head back home. It was 46 miles round trip but I didn’t think too much about it. It was awesome.
I just got done riding my bicycle tonight. I found a great bike path that goes on forever that I can ride to from my place. It is wonderful.
I still ride the same mountain bike I got in 1994. My first ride was the Crystal Cove Loop, Laguna Beach. I was dating a guy who thought it would be funny to take me on the same trail that professional mountain bikers train for competitions on. It was an almost impossible ride for a first-time rider like me…a 14 mile loop up what seemed like 90 degree hills. I did it though. I rode the whole loop!
You would have thought I would have given up at that point. Nope. That ride is challenging even for the professional, so how hard can all the other trails be? Well, I spent years finding out.
I took my bike everywhere. I loved going to Mammoth Mountain and Big Bear and riding the ski runs with my bike going as fast down the hills as I could. What a rush!
Every morning before I went to work at Disney Studios, I would ride the fire trails in Eaton Canyon in Pasadena and would wave at the firemen on the way up the hills. It was my routine. It was a great way to stay in touch with nature and God as I was on my computer at work sometimes 12-14 hours a day.
I have camped in the middle of nowhere in search of the best mountain-biking trails. I once camped a whole week on a remote beach in San Filipe Mexico with no facilities around for miles. I learned how to live off the land and loved the adventure.
God prepares us all of our lives for our purpose. I am so grateful that He prepared me so well to survive out in the wilderness. If it hadn’t been for me learning everything about camping and surviving, I never would have survived being homeless after leaving my abusive marriage three years ago.
I camped in tents and campers in the mountains, beach camp sites and in the middle of nowhere. I cooked food on park grills and campfire pits. I wasn’t scared of the dark or any animals. God equipped me for my journey. He put me on that path for a purpose…so I could teach others that no matter what comes your way, God has equipped you with the knowledge and experience and resources to survive and thrive. You just need to trust Him. You just need to trust yourself again. God has you. You will be fine.
I would often recite this to remind me that I am never alone and either are you…
“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalms 23
October 28, 2018
Life From Death
I have been wanting to sweep up the leaves for the longest time but the Santa Ana winds made it necessary to not hold off on it any longer. So, this morning I grabbed my broom and trash can ready to face the challenge. As I looked at the task set before me, I realized the God of the Universe helped me out! The dirt and leaves were no longer stuck in the cracks and crevices around my place, but they were now in neat piles. The wind had cleaned up everything and placed them in a few manageable stacks. A job that would have taken me hours, was now cut down to just 30 minutes thanks to the one who is in charge of the wind and the stars.
As I swept, I noticed something amazing. A tree growing out of the concrete. Here is the photo. In Job 33 it says God speaks to us all of the time but we don’t recognize it. I have amazing things that happen to me everyday because I have learned that listening to that still, small voice is the most powerful thing I could ever do. It has saved my life many times in danger and given me wisdom beyond my understanding.
As I swept out in front, a guy riding by on his bicycle yelled,“Are you going to keep that newspaper?”
I said, “no”
He said, “Oh, good, I love collecting coupons.”
I replied, “You are welcome to it.”
He got off of his bike and said, “I love my life. God is so good! I am content.”
I said, “Yes He is! He gives us everything we need”
He proceeded to tell me his story. This man got off his mountain bike with all of it’s gear. He appeared in good, physical shape from riding often. He said he used to be addicted to all kinds of drugs. He was mad at the world and in 1991 crashed his bike into a wall. He said he was in a coma for 2 months. He doesn’t remember much of his past except for his family filling him in on the details. He had to start over. He learned how to talk and walk again. He said God saved him. He explained he ended up being a missionary for 10 years traveling all over the world in different countries.
“I have seen people so angry because they are hungry. They are hungry for food and hungry for God. God saved me and I am grateful and need nothing! I had to die to self in order to find out how to really live”.
He continued with telling me amazing stories and then asked me if he could pray with me. He prayed with me like I prayed for that woman a couple of days ago outside of the restaurant. I was blessed by his story and testimony. More proof that if you have faith in God and repent, He will heal you and restore you.
The last hour has been filled with a lifetime of lessons. We can make so many messes in our life and the wind can toss us about but God is the only one that can transform chaos into order. He can command the winds to blow and put all or our junk in a neat pile for us to easily grab and put in the Holy trashcan. We can just give it to Him in one fell swoop and Jesus will wipe it away and wash us clean.
We can be like that little tree coming up from the cement. That tree that had hardness and hate all around it. It just focused on the light. It focused on the light that made it grow and breakthrough that hardness. One day at a time, it got stronger. It never gave up. Life coming from stone. Something that might be impossible for us, but possible with God. He gives us strength to go on.
We can be like this man, who had to realize that God saved him for a purpose. He got back on his bike! The same situation that caused his accident. He faced his fears instead of avoiding them. He created new, happy memories with his bike again. He says he doesn’t remember his bad past and doesn’t want to but God gives him everything He needs today to thrive and be happy and content.
We can rise from our dead life.…just like Jesus defeated death. Our life can have no hope but if we hold onto the one who says we have been given the same power to raise Jesus from the dead, we can prove that life can come from death. Death to self.
We can be so arrogant to think that we know better than the one who created us. When we can finally realize through suffering and pain that we can’t do this on our own, then we can finally live and receive the abundant blessings that God has created for us before the world began. We can raise to a new life but only by dying to our own will. Life from death.
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.
I Kings 9:12
And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
I John 1:7
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
“You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.”
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
I Peter 5:10
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.