Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving. Is it a meal, or is it a holiday? Or is it a holiday known for its meal? Or is it just possibly, for some, an attitude?

I am afraid that for the majority of Americans, Thanksgiving Day is no different than any other day of the year in respect to their treatment of the Creator of the universe. In other words, there will be little or no thought given to the one who gives us everything. Oh, perhaps a grandpa or an uncle who grew up when life was different will bow his head and give thanks for the meal at the family get together, but that is about it. Many will not even hear those words because they are so intent on the feast that follows.

In fact, the politically correct way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to say you are thankful for blessings all the while being careful not to mention to who it is that you are thankful. That way random chance gets just as much glory as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

But, I would like to offer a suggestion for this Thanksgiving Day. Let's give thanks where thanks is due. Let's try to adopt the attitude displayed in the following:

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 100

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bulletin Board Worth a Look

A couple weeks back I received an email from a gentleman in Holland with a link to his bulletin board. Max and Frits are the ones who have communicated with me, and I have to say, they definitely think out-of-the-box compared to the Harley tech you are likely find here stateside. The vintage Harley motors seem to be of particular interest to them. All of you gearheads out there would do well to take a look.

A couple warnings though. The site is in the Dutch language. Now my Google toolbar has the capability to translate the pages for me, and it likely will not be too tough for you to figure out how to do the same. However, even with the translation tool, it is tedious reading (at least for me), not because of how it is written, but because of the limitations of the translating tool. If you take a look, you will see what I mean.

The second warning has to do with attitude. I never would have expected myself to react this way, but I find myself having to fight off the tendency to get defensive about America's pride and joy - the Harley. You know the way it goes; its one thing for me to bad mouth the technology on a Harley, just don't try it if your not from here. But a little introspection goes a long way, and it is quite obvious after a little thought that these guys are enthusiasts just like us, otherwise they would not take the time to devote a bulletin board to the subject.

There is also a second warning having to do with translation. I think some comments that may come across as insulting, may be the result of the translation tool. For instance, if someone states that you are ignorant, it will certainly get your hackles up. If on the other hand the same idea was translated "did not know," then no problem. Well, at least no problem unless you always think you are the smartest person in the room. I try not to make that assumption about myself, and it usually proves to be true. Just try to read it giving the guy on the other end of the Internet the benefit of the doubt on such things and it will be a lot more enjoyable. I could quote a Bible verse here, but I will spare those of you who are here for the motor stuff.

So, what about that link? Here it is: Motor Vitamine

Check it out, I think you will find it interesting.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Praise in the Assembly of the Elders

Psalm 107:31-32 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

you are a genuine Christian, then undoubtedly there are few things in life that you enjoy more than worship of God and fellowship with other Christians. After all. isn't that why you attend church services? If approached in a proper frame of mind, it never fails to edify.

Now, I love the local church where I am a member, and look forward with anticipation to each service, but let me tell you about an event that provides a similar spiritual boost.

This past Saturday, my wife and I attended the annual meeting of the Minnesota Association of the North American Baptist Conference. Our hosts for the event was Bethany Baptist Church, the lone Russian language church in our association. The meeting, despite small numbers due to our first snow storm of the season, opened with the robust singing of a number of old favorite gospel songs. I quickly concluded that I was perhaps the only one there without a good voice, but no matter ....the volume was such that there was little chance that my discordant notes would be noticed or detract from the whole.

After the opening singing and prayer, a report was given by each of the
churches in the association, outlining events of the past year and requests for prayer in specific areas. The pastor of the next church on the list would then pray for the previous church before presenting his report. Stories of conversions and baptisms, and of course in some cases dwindling numbers and struggles to keep the church doors open were the norm; in other words sharing one another burdens and triumphs. The opportunity to be lead in prayer by a multitude of godly pastors is a rare treat indeed.

Next up was a "charge" by Rev. Tim Blackburn, our regional minister, followed by reports from some of the entities which are supported by the association, such as Village Creek Bible Camp and Sioux Falls Seminary.

Also on the agenda was a sermon by Pastor Vitaliy Bak, the pastor of the host church. The message was from the book of Judges, noting some of the correlations between Christianity in our nation presently and during Gideon's day. Gideon was transformed by God from a man who considered himself the least in a family which was itself poor in the tribe of Manasseh, into a leader of the nation of Israel. God changed Gideon from one hiding from the Midianites as he threshed his grain, into the leader of an army so large that God had him send most of them home so that the glory for the victory would be God's and not man's.

We were also treated to a performance by Bethany Baptist's brass orchestra, a group of about 40 youth from the congregation, who obviously expend much time in preparation for their inspiring, God honoring music.

After all of the highlights, which included an excellent meal provided by Bethany's congregation, the business meeting was pretty anti climactic; as it should be. It seems right and proper for God's Churches to run on prayer and worship, with finances playing an important, but secondary role.

Undoubtedly, there are similar meetings that take place across the country each year in various church associations. There is probably one for your church. In many cases these meetings are open to the members of those churches. I highly recommend that you take the opportunity to do as Psalm 107 says, and praise the Lord in the assembly of the elders.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wild Wheels Interview

Way back last winter at the Donnie Smith Bike Show, I met a young man by the name of Aaron Thompson, head honcho at Wild Wheels Biker Webcasting. Aaron has a vision for creating video interviews of the local motorcycle scene here in Minnesota. After a some conversation, we agreed to do a piece on my shop when time allowed. Well, we finally got to it about mid summer, and now I am finally getting around to putting it up here. It wound up as three parts, the first of which is below.

Be sure to check out Aaron's web site; he has a bunch of other great interviews posted there as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Little Something to Keep in Mind for Tuesday


Over 100,000,000 Murdered

and counting