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Weeds in the flowerbed

Do you see it?
It's right there.
Behind the flowers.
It's Poison Ivy.
I hate the weed because I'm allergic to it, but it fades so nicely behind the scene.
The beauty of the flowers in front hide the weed in the back.
I have two options here: 1) leave the weed and keep it in the background, hoping no one will come in contact with it; or, 2) I can intentionally get a broad-leaf herbicide and kill it.

My bad habits springing from my heart are like that poison ivy growing in my flowerbed. I think they go unnoticed because the flowers of my public behavior built on good habits masks them, but they are there. They betray my heart's deepest motives even when I think they don't. My "unseen" habits, however, do affect those who come near me whether I tell them they are there or not. People are made ill, or, at least, irritated by my selfish behaviors.

Like poison ivy in the flowerbed, I have two options with my habits: 1) I can leave them alone and try keeping the…
Recent posts

He is our Peace

The recent and continued racial strife in our country has deepened the division and separation among our citizens that has existed for years. As followers of Jesus, we must speak and act in ways that bring reconciliation and redemption out of the strife, not add to the disruptions. What is our narrative in days like these?
Paul, a Jewish religious leader who Jesus called out from among his people and sent him to all ethnic groups beyond the tribes of Israel, faced similar racial divisions as he carried the good news of Jesus to the global mission field. Many of the issues in the movement of Jesus centered on social and racial issues like who could share a meal with whom and who belonged and who did not by the religious rules they kept. Paul addressed the corrosive issue of race and its attending social practices when he wrote to Christ-followers in Ephesus.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of host…

Mt. Belford, CO "It's really steep."

Monday, June 26, 2017 Erik and Rebecca Skogsberg and Jeff Byrd and I left the Missouri Gulch Trail Head headed for Mt. Belford and Mt. Oxford. This would be Erik and Rebecca's 2nd 14er, Jeff's first, and my 7th.  Sunday afternoon several hikers came down from the peaks saying they could only do Mt. Belford and couldn't make Mt. Oxford. They all described the trail with one phrase, "It's really steep." Of course, being optimistic and overly confident, we collectively thought they were weak and that we would easily knock out both peaks per the plan. We would eat our words for lunch on Monday.
The weather was ideal, and the first leg is in the forest along the creek. The issue is that the steep part begins immediately as you cross the creek at the trail head! The 8-mile, 4500 ft. elevation gain, Class 2 Moderate trail creates a tough day for flatlanders like us. However, spring had hit the mountains and flowers of all kinds spotted the trail and gave us hope as …

San Cristobal Canyon Trail 78 New Mexico

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017 my friend, Jeff Byrd, and I climbed the San Cristobal Canyon Trail 78 on our way to Lobo Peak. We had both climbed Wheeler Peak out of Red River so we were looking for a new tail. This trail is hard to find, less traveled, but one of my favorite trails now in the Red River/Taos region.

The trail head is off CR B-009 in San Cristobal (turn left coming from the north just after the San Cristobal Post Office onto Comino del Medio go about 3 miles through town past the San Cristobal Academy entrance to the trail head. High clearance vehicle recommended.)

The trail follows the San Cristobal Creek and is shaded most of the way. We counted about eighteen (18) creek crossings. We easily managed most of them, but we had to build up one to get to the other side. Less snow fall and later weeks of summer will lessen the flow of the creek and the number of crossings.

The 3,100 feet of elevation gain over the four miles to the intersection of Lobo Peak Trail #57
was made …

Cycling To Work (and back home) in DFW!

I have officed in Las Colinas for about two years. Before then the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute offices were in downtown Arlington. Living in Plano, I assumed I could never commute on my bike to work. The distance and with city streets 99% of the way, it would be too risky and the traffic would be horrendous at rush hours.

Thanks to my friend, Jeff Holder, who cycles to his office frequently, I experienced a relatively safe route to work on my bike; 100% pedaling with no public transit assistance.

My ride to the office (minus the ride from my house to where I met Jeff) began at 0500 at my house. I have a Urban500 bike headlight, and it worked well. Only drawback was it has a 1.5 hour rechargeable battery that lasted until daylight but would not be helpful beyond that time limit.

Traffic was light (surprise!) until we got close to the Valley View/635 interchange about 0645 or so. But even then Jeff had steered the path through parking lots and less-traveled roads to get me to m…

Gene's Urban Adventure

I recently watched the documentary Cars vs Bikes on Netflix. I used to compute sometimes to the church on my bike, and now I take the DART Rail Orange Line occasionally to the B. H. Carroll's offices in Las Colinas. So when my riding buddies said they were riding Gravelthon! on the levees of the Trinity River and the subtitle of the event was "adventure in the heart of the city," I thought I'd join them and add to the adventure by seeing if I could go from my home in Plano to the event in West Dallas and back riding only a bike and public transportation. 

The adventure began when I rode my bike from my house to the first bus stop. My last post told about the gravel grinder that turned into a cycling tough mudder. The road crud clogged up my freehub, and the cassette would not engage with the axle. Basically, you spin your pedals forward like you would if you were peddling backwards. Since a little WD-40 had loosened the pins enough to ride after this happened last t…

Iceman's Challenge 2016

My last scheduled event of 2016 was the Iceman's Challenge outside China Springs, TX. You could not have asked for a better course or worse conditions. On ride day, it was raining, 45 degrees, and a northerly wind at about 20 mph. Depending on your perspective, it was either ideal or the worst conditions ever for a gravel ginder. I ride to be with friends and for the adventure, so this definitely ranked high on both meters.

We had all registered for longer distances, but when we woke up in Waco and it was pouring rain and we saw the conditions as we rode to the starting line, we all opted for the shortest 31-mile distance. That was plenty on a day like this. 

Riding was difficult, as you can imagine, but everyone took the conditions in stride and laughed our way through the hills, mud, wind, and rain. You really get to know people when you are on the road with them in these conditions and fun turns to survival as the day goes on. I rode with a quality group of people. This was Grah…