Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sunday, our pastor read this passage to us:
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. (1 Corinthians 16: 1-3)
He reminded us that this was written by Paul at a time when Jerusalem was suffering from famine. The other churches were taking collections to aid their brothers and sisters of the Jerusalem Church.
Our church is member of the North American Baptist Conference. It just so happens that within the NAB there are over 30 churches and schools in the affected region. As of last Friday, among Haitians with NAB ties, there were 450 families homeless and 85 confirmed deaths. With another earthquake today, certainly those figures have not improved.
Ours and other churches within the NAB have been taking special collections to go to our brothers and sisters of the Haitian NAB Churches, and I feel confident that the moneys will be used wisely. My guess is that if you check with your local church, they are doing something similar.
With such a clear Biblical pattern to follow, what's stopping you?
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I was happily reminded of this old custom earlier today (Sunday), as I traveled to my older brother Bill's home for a visit. Bill, his wife Carol and I had a good old fashioned visit. It went on for about four hours, during which time we covered everything from recent family events, to reminiscing about our childhood, to our faith and our churches. Although I have somewhat of a reputation of being a man of few words, I believe I held up my end of the conversation. All in all, a very pleasant afternoon.
As is so often the case, though, this visit was not just a part of a normal pattern of events. It was brought about by Bill's impending surgery. You see, Bill was diagnosed with stomach cancer just before Christmas. His doctors believe that the cancer is completely contained therein, and so on Tuesday they will remove his stomach. I have to say that I find Bill's faith inspiring. He says that he knows where he is going, so he just looks at it as another of life's adventures. For those of you who are Christians; please take a moment to pray for my brother Bill.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
The 120 cubic inch Knuckle weighs in at 432 pounds, and as can be seen here, the 6 inch M&H slick with no wheelie bars makes for some great photos! What a great looking bike!
Monday, January 4, 2010
But I must admit, as I came in this morning, it was with anything but an attitude of expectation. In fact I was not looking forward to it at all, and I knew the one reason why. Taxes. And not even the amount of the taxes; after all, I have been paying in estimated taxes all year, so its not as if there is a "big hit" coming other than the normal one that comes with the 4th quarter payment.
No, the discouragement was due to the vast amount of time that will be spent preparing for taxes. First there is inventory. Every part I have in stock had to be counted. Now the cost of all those parts has to be looked up and recorded. Hours upon hours will be spent going over records to be sure every receipt was properly categorized and then entered into the correct space on so that some time before April 15th an accountant can spend less than an hour transforming all of my figures into something that only he and the IRS can decipher. I estimate that I lose at least a week of production every year preparing for taxes. In other words I work a full week (or more) with no pay just to determine how much the government will take from me. No.... doesn't put me ion the best of moods.
However, things took a turn for the better when I put a set of heads on the flow bench this morning. Just before closing up on new years eve, I had put the finishing porting touches on a set of Iron Sportster heads. For years I had avoided porting these heads like the plague, because the grinding dust from the cast iron would make me sick for the week following any venture into modifying them. Live and learn though; a year or so back I realized that if I used a mask while porting cast iron heads I could avoid such a reaction (DUH!)
On this set of heads,I reached a new personal best for Iron XL, with the intakes flowing 259 cfm at .600" valve lift (@28 inch test pressure). That also happens to be the same cfm that the dedicated manifold that I use for Shovel/XL heads on the flow bench is capable of flowing by itself. In other words, the heads have reached the flow limit of the manifold testing through said manifold. Not too shabby!
If I am not mistaken, that adds up to three porting "milestones" for 2009. Earlier in the year I reached the same results on Shovelheads, with the heads flowing as much through the manifold as the manifold will flow alone. The third was reaching 300 cfm on a set of '06 and later stock Twin Cam head castings (304cfm @ .600 lift to be exact).
Looking back at these accomplishments managed to take the sting out the Government waste that is our tax system. Well, ....at least temporarily.