Posts Tagged ‘Matt Chandler’



May 27, 2013

“Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealously.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”  Romans 13:13-14

I have a century (100 miles) bicycle ride coming up way too fast and I am not ready.  I have not had the time to ride any distance greater than 34 miles.  So, I was determined to solve that problem yesterday.  I went for an early morning ride on a route that would garner me 60 miles.  I left my driveway with the sun still coming into its full light.  There were dark clouds in three directions but I figured that I would risk it.

It was a beautiful ride.  There were no cars on the road at that time of morning.  I had the countryside to myself.  The cool morning kept the sweat from my eyes as giant clouds paced me through the undulating hillsides.  It was so quiet that the songs of the birds created a melody with the rhythm of my breathing and the turning of my bike chain.  The words of Matt Chandler and then John Piper were preached from my ipod straight into my mind.  The Word they expounded was confirmed in my soul as I beheld the glory of God in the delicate wild flowers along the fence lines and the power in the gathering storm clouds.

My ride was going so well.  I passed through the town that marked my halfway point and began pedaling the return leg of my long loop.  I felt good.  I was still attacking the climbs and powering through the flats.  I was maintaining a respectable 18.5 mph/ average.  I had not had to stop.  My confidence in being able to do a century ride was rising with each pedal stroke.

I held my crouch with my forearms firmly on my aero-bars as I pushed to better my average speed.  I passed over pavement that had recently been wetted by a light shower.  I craned my neck to see what clouds lay ahead of me.  It did not look very promising.  However, I did not have many choices at that point.  My route was set.  I had decided to head out this morning with threatening clouds so this was not much of a surprise.  Home and rest lay ahead.  So, I had to just keep pedaling.  I was feeling good and my average speed was still 18.4 mph.  I rode through the last town of my route.  I had about 7 miles to go.  No problem.

English: Corn blowing in the wind

English: Corn blowing in the wind (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It hit me just as I passed beyond the city limits and into the open farmland.  A brutal headwind that stretched flags and bent trees had taken possession of the land that a mere 3 hours earlier had been so pleasant and tranquil.  I geared down and hunched over to try offering the wind the least amount of opposing surface area as it flowed into my face.  My neck began to ache.  My thighs began to cramp.  My eyes dried out.  My heart was evaporating as quickly as my speed.  I struggled to keep a 13 mph pace.  I mourned the loss of my 18 mph average.  I just wanted this once enjoyable ride to be over.  I thought about calling my wife to come pick me up.  I could not do that – I was just 5 miles out.  I could make it but it was no longer fun.  I no longer felt good.  I no longer felt strong.  I was being spent at an alarming rate as I pushed through this wind.

Dave Zabriskie attacking the final 3 kilometer...

Dave Zabriskie attacking the final 3 kilometers of the USA Cycling Pro Individual Time Trial Championship in Greenville, SC. Zabriskie won the US title when defending champion Chris Baldwin fell on the course’s last corner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I finally made it back to my driveway.  I did not feel very good.  I felt a little sick.  However, I was very thankful that I had spent the time that morning to clamp my aero-bars back onto my bike.  My aero-bars had helped me get home by giving that wind the least provision of holding me back.  It would have be so much worse if I had been forced to ride upright.  I was disappointed because the wind had affected me, slowed my average to 17.8 mph and stole the joy of my ride.

That wind makes me think of my flesh.  My sinful desires so often feel like a brutal headwind.  I will be feeling confident in my spiritual walk.  I will be feeling so good and strong.  My joy will be overflowing and no distance will seem insurmountable.

I will turn into the headwind of my own flesh and my pace and optimism will be spent in a matter of moments.

The truly frustrating part is that this headwind is usually of my own making.  I know where the dark clouds of my life are.  I know where the storms reside.  I know where I am particularly weak and susceptible.  I am well aware of where I have stumbled in the past.  I know the routes that hold the headwind of my own sinful desires.

I usually end up bucking a spiritual headwind because I have turned into it.  God has promised us a route around every temptation.  We are not required to ride through our own sin.  There is a route that God has paved that will protect us from the headwind of our flesh.  Every provision for sin that I allow in my life is a road sign directing me to a lie.  It is a lie that I sometimes believe.  It is a route that has always led to difficulty and pain.  It is a route that has ground me to a near halt.  It has stolen my joy and expended my strength.

English: Blowing in the wind Lonely daffodils ...

English: Blowing in the wind Lonely daffodils on the River Trent embankment. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The good news is that I have never been abandoned because of poor routes that I have taken along the way.  We can still ride through the headwind of our failings.  God will still give us strength to overcome the powerful resistance of our sinful desires.  He will guide us back to the safe route and into the light.  When we find ourselves confronted with the headwind of our flesh, then we need to hunker down to give it the least area for it to cling to us.  We do that by going to our knees in repentance, preaching the gospel to ourselves, believing the promises of our Redeemer.  We cut off the powerful headwind of our flesh by eliminating all the provisions for it in our lives.  We are told to not give any provision for the flesh in our lives.  Every area of our lives that we expose to the gratification of our sinful desires is an area for sin to cling to and hold us back in our sanctification. God has paved a way for us that is easy, with a burden that is light.  May we not believe the lies of our flesh.  There is no lasting pleasure in the gratification of our flesh.  We have been given a narrow road to glory that already has many challenges.  Let’s not add a headwind of our making to the challenge of our daily walk.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for never abandoning me.  I know that I allow too many provisions for sin in my life.  Show them to me.  Teach me to kill the sin that resides in me.  Thank you for always providing me with an escape from my sinful desires.  Thank you for always providing me a route home to You when I have taken the wrong route.  Father, complete the work that You have started in me.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.



May 19, 2013

The following are some of my  favorite internet waves from surfing the web the last couple weeks.


People tell me judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture lest ye be like satan. ~ Paul Washer

Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. ~ Corrie ten Boom


“These are the elements of praying with strength:  passion, simplicity, and faith.”  I need to be reminded of these essentials.  Not Length but Strength

This post on defining willpower was helpful in thinking about self-control and temptation.  Defining Willpower 

This article is a reminder that I need daily.  I can become so focused on what I have obtained through the gospel that I begin to think it is all about me.  The Gospel Isn’t About You

God does push us to face the impossible.  God wants us to go beyond ourselves.  God’s Mercy in Making us Face the Impossible 

God truly is enough.  Why do we tend to forget that?  God is Enough ~ How Hannah Found True Happiness


“I’m feeling so sick and so tired, Of living this life uninspired”; a wonderful poem that expresses feelings that we all have experienced.  Infiltrate

We all need to be rescued no matter the show of strength that we put on.  Rescue

The prayer of my heart; this poem captures it so beautifully.  The Way


I was surprised that this speech was made by Charlie Chaplin but I wish it were real.  If only more world leaders believed these words.  The Greatest Speech Ever Made – Charlie Chaplin


Here are some key things that we writers can incorporate into everything we write.  How to Write with Style

I never really thought of myself as a writer until about a year ago.  However, I might have had writer tendencies long before according to this list.  25 Signs You’re a Writer

This post has some very good suggestions on how to do this blogging thing better.  Save Time with these Great Running-A-Blog Tips


Fitness is always about finding time to do it.  This article has a 7 minute workout that should remove all excuses or at least show us the excuse in our lack of time argument.  The Scientific 7 Minute Workout

I really need a running breakthrough so this article was timely.  How to Have a Running Breakthrough


You feel every rock and crack in the road on a road bike.  I think I need some of these wheels.   The British Engineer Who Really HAS Reinvented the Wheel

Evidently, I need to start watching my cadence readout during my climbing training.   Cycling Skills: Climb Smarter

I have no doubts that these workouts will work but they look like they will hurt.  2 Workouts to Boost Your Cycling Speed


I really want to get faster as a runner.  I am a slow grinder of a runner.  I think I will try to include some of the suggestions from this article.  Essential Drills for Speed and Efficiency

I never really know what to do with my arms while running.  I have tried to just forget about them and let them do what feels natural.  This articles gives some better suggestions. Proper Arm Carriage and Mechanics: Adam St. Pierre, MS Exercise Physiology


There was a man who had a heart attack and died during the swim at the triathlon I did last year.  Evidently, this has become more common; sort of freaks me out.  Swimming Deaths Trouble Triathlon Officials


The maze seems to be the perfect expression of a gardener.  I have always wanted to make one of these.  Mazes of the World

I guess my style is that of a country garden.  Style Counsel:  Country Gardens


Wonderful detail and a little freaky.  Matchstick Men Installation

It is just awesome to watch someone draw without an eraser.  Art Attack // Styrofoam Cup Artist Boey


I have no idea how a dog can learn a subway schedule but evidently they can.  How much is that doggy on the subway? Woof. Woof.

I am a sucker for cycling videos.  Here is a whole round-up of them.   Friday MTB video round-up


Here are some photographs with beautiful color:

Red Sunset  
Splendid Yellow Forest  
This is Extremely Pretty   

These photographs capture the art of life so very well.  Epic Train

So very cool; a glowing beach.  We live in an amazing world.  Pic of the Day: Luminescent Beach


Beware of getting baptized in Alaska.  Just for Laughs – Baptism

This couple is awesome.  There are some talented people out in the world that never get the spot-light.  Pumpcast News, Part 1

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...


WHAT I LIKED – April 28

April 28, 2013

The following are some of my  favorite internet waves from surfing the web the last couple weeks.


Whoever is not satisfied with Christ alone, strives after something beyond absolute perfection. ~ John Calvin


These wonderful words remind us that the Lord will not allow us the misconception that we are strong.  The Lord’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Weakness is not a condition to be avoided.  It is a condition to be embraced.  Weakness is the Way by J. I. Packer

I appreciated the careful explanation of how to view the interaction between science and faith.  God vs Science  God vs Science – Part 2

This article provided a vivid reminder of the eternal care that is continually being shown to us by our Lord, of which we are often unaware.  God’s Protection


Man’s heart has not changed in 400 years.  This beautiful poem will resonate will all who have walked by faith through difficult times.  Obsession (After George Herbert’s “Affliction (IV)”)

Praise God for lifting us up, “high off the ground making my steps solid and sound.”  He Lifts Me Up…


The power of encouraging words and not listening to the critics.  The Last Pick – Jeremy Lin

This one is for all those in Scotland.  God has given you a beautiful isle.  It makes me want to go visit Scotland and see for myself.  HDR Timelapse Scotland, Isle of Skye


For those who desire to glorify God through the written word, these scriptures will be an encouragement.  25 Encouraging Bible Verses for Writers


Open water swims still have me a little nervous since I do all of my training in a pool without people bumming up against me.  I can use all the advice I can get.  My tips for Open Water Swimming


I know the importance and benefits of stretching but it is mostly theory for me.  This article took away many of my excuses.  3 Stretches for Time-Crunched Cyclists


This is a post that I can relate to.  There have been many times when I have been convinced that I have been born without a diaphragm.  Old Dog, New Tricks


Videos are so helpful to evaluate technique.  This is a really good demonstration.  Part 2 – How to ‘Work Less, Swim Better’ in Triathlon

Here are some very good steps to focus on in the pool.  The relaxed part is so crucial and so hard to do.  How to Swim Fast and Relaxed


I found a little maple sapling that was tucked safely away beneath some boxwoods.  I think I might try my hand at bonsaing the little bugger.   Bonsai 101

This is just a clever idea for reducing the time behind a hose.  PicPost: Bottle it up


I have never even heard about painting on water.  This is pretty cool.  I want to know who first thought that this would work.  Painting on Water

I love to watch art spring forth from the unexpected.  Making of de l’installation de Bernard Pras à l’Institut Français de Ouagadougou


This is ridiculous.  How can someone flip like that?  Gymnast Got Some Ridiculous Backflips!


Wonderfully symmetric images; there is just something relaxing about balance.  Symmetrees

Having just been to San Francisco, I love the time lapse of the city lighting up.  Time Lapse – The Bay Bridge Lights


Hey, if you are given a ball, you are supposed to throw it…right?  Child Throws Back Foul Ball

Always good to know your favorite color… and the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.  The Bridge of Death

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...


WHAT I LIKED – April 20

April 20, 2013

The following are some of my  favorite internet waves from surfing the web the last couple weeks.


Laying up treasures in heaven will draw the heart heavenward. ~ George Müller


This article offers a very helpful perspective of what it means to “not love the world”.  We so often misunderstand and misapply this teaching.  FIRST-PERSON: What does it mean to ‘not love the world’?

I was so blessed by how this video describes and highlights just how great the love of God is.  How He Loves Us – David Crowder (Matt Chandler & John Piper)

This is a wonderful reminder of the promises of God after the week that we have had.  We do not have to be fearful even after a week of frightful actions.  Lay Aside the Weight of Fear


I have never been much of a poetry guy.  I have always thought of poetry as the craft of hippie, new agers, and/or the feminine.  I was very wrong in that assessment and have lost many years of the meditative fruitfulness that the counting of syllables can bring.  This is a series of posts that does a very good job pointing to the poetic life of Christians.

The Poetic Life of the Christian – Part 1

The Poetic Life of the Christian – Part 2

The Poetic Life of the Christian – Part 3


I am embarrassed by many of the things that discourage me and frustrate me.  I can be such an ungrateful and self-centered man.  Roger is a wonderful brother in Christ.  It broke my heart when he spoke of his loneliness.  Please watch his story.  I hope that you will be as blessed as I was. Living with Cerebral Palsy

You are never too old; you are never too out of shape; you just have to start and you will be amazed where you will end up.  The most inspiring video you will ever watch!

What makes a triathlete?  This just got me pumped to get after it.  What Makes a Triathlete

This video just makes me want to get out there and compete.  It is fun to watch these guys fly to the finish line.  Triathletes are just awesome.   Bevan Docherty – Super-human Triathlon Sprint Finish


The best way to stay motivated to express thoughts in the form of sentences is to read the works of people who do it very well.  Writers Inspire: 10 Ways Authors Inspire Me to Write

This is a good reminder to be aware of not making logical fallacies in our writing.  Cherry picking is a pretty easy one to fall into.  Fallacies (2) – cherry picking

There is so much written on the blog-o-sphere.  Many write as a presentation of facts.  Writing that excites people has to first excite the author.  Blog Your Passion


My fear of the longer distance triathlon is bonking out.  It is good to know what you fear and prepare accordingly.  This is a very good article for those, like me, who fear the bonk.  Science Behind Bonking


I am planning on doing a ride later in the year that is going to have a lot of climbing.  I am a little nervous about getting into climbing shape by the time of the ride.  This is a good video on tips to get to the top of the mountain.  Here is the advice:


Find techniques that works best for you (in saddle / out of saddle)

High cadence

Stay over the gear

Enjoy the scenery

Cycling Survival 1 – How to cycle in the mountains – Climbing Technique


Running is about more than the run.  There is so much that running can teach us about life.   17 Things Running Teaches You About Life


Often, it is good to see what you are doing wrong so that you can work on doing it right.  The key points for doing it right in this video are:

Look down to the bottom of the pool

Swim by rotating the torso; think about breathing through your belly button

Kick from hips (small and fast) with straight legs

Pull arms back straight; fingers should be pointing downward

Breath early in stroke

Common Freestyle Mistakes in Swimming

You have got to know when to breathe.  This is a very good video on proper body position for breath while swimming.  Triathlon Swimming – Breathing in Freestyle

This is an excellent video that clearly shows the correct timing of a good free-style stroke.  Observe where the elbow is at the exit and the lead hand stretched in front at the same time.  Alexander Popov Swimming Technique

These are some excellent drills that I am going to incorporate into my swimming work-outs; slow arm recovery, quick catch, and high swingers.  I need to work on all three of these areas.  Top Three Swim Drills


Gardening should be fun and making little fairy gardens just looks fun.  Fairy Gardens 


Whatever we set our hands to; we should do it to the best of our ability.  The art of building a surfboard.  The Sound of Dust


Just be careful when you go for the personalized license plate.  We All Need Space, Especially Al.

I don’t know but there is just something about putting words to the expressions of dogs that just make me laugh.  Their eyes do tell a story.  Dog Wants a Kitty  Ultimate Dog Tease

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...

%d bloggers like this: