Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Good Father

With Father's Day only a little over a month in our rear view mirror, it seems that the time is right to get around to posting the devotional from the June service at Friendship Manor.  As you may recall, I was likewise quite late in posting the Mother's Day version.

I would like to consider a father that is mentioned in the Bible. His name is Jairus. We learn about Jairus from this event recorded in the book of Matthew, and also in the book of Mark which follows.

And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.  Mark 5:22-24

Now, on the way to heal the daughter of Jairus, the Bible tells us of a woman who was also healed, almost as if by accident, when she touches Jesus garment. Here we have Jesus on his way specifically to heal Jairus' daughter, but someone else along the way is also healed Though we are not going to focus on that part of the story, it always makes me wonder how often it may happen that a Christian sets out to share the good news of Jesus Christ to a specific person, but a bystander overhears it and is likewise affected.

While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?  As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.  And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.  And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.  And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.  And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.  Mark 5:35-42

It says they were astonished at this act. Jesus raised this young girl from the dead. It was astonishing because there was no doubt that she had died. It was so obvious that the people present "laughed him to scorn", or as some translations put it, they ridiculed Jesus. We should be astonished too. It is no small matter to raise someone from the dead, and Jesus did it more than once. In fact he does it every day.

 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins   Ephesians 2:1

I would like to make a spiritual analogy to the physical event of Jesus raising Jairus' daughter from the dead. Just as Jairus' daughter was physically dead, until we are born again, each and every one of us is spiritually dead in our sins and trespasses. Each of us; that includes our children.

Like Jairus, the father here in this story, it is the duty of a father to seek out Jesus and bring him to their children. They should go to Jesus and pray for their children that he would come to them and raise them from their spiritual death.

Fathers should bring Jesus into their homes, as Jairus did. Fathers should make the Bible a focal point of the home. It should be read daily, because there in the pages of scripture is where the children will meet Jesus. In our text it says that Jesus took the young girl by the hand. That is a very good picture of how Jesus raises one from the spiritual dead today. He takes them by the hand and they are healed, they are spiritually re-born. Ephesians 6:4 tells us: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  If fathers do this, Jesus will be right there in the home, ready to reach out and take the child by the hand and raise them up.

Now Jairus, the father in our story, is an example of a good father. He recognized the danger of physical death that his daughter was in. He sought out Jesus and begged him to heal his daughter. He brought Jesus into his home, to his daughter. He was rewarded with the raising of his daughter from the dead.

Some of us probably had fathers like that. They prayed for you and brought Jesus into your home and made sure that you knew him. They did their part and perhaps were instrumental in bringing Jesus to you. But some reading this may not have had that advantage. Perhaps your father did not know Jesus himself. Perhaps you were more like the woman who was healed by Jesus while he was on his way to Jairus' house. It seems that she heard about Jesus somewhere else, and sought him out on her own, trusting that he had the power to heal her.

Or perhaps you are still dead in your sins and trespasses.

If that is the case, it is still not too late. If you will only consider your sins, confess them to God and turn from them, putting your faith in the fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for those sins, then Christ will reach his hand out to you and raise you up from spiritual death. You will be spiritually born again, and that new spirit will never die.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Vintage McClanahan Drag Bike Available

Recently one of the members of the NVMDRA bulletin board contacted me with information about a vintage drag bike that is for sale.  This particular bike could be best described as a rolling test bed for ideas from the fertile mind of one Carl McClanahan.  When I heard the name, it sounded familiar, but I could not place it.  A quick web search revealed that Carl is the author of V-Twin Thunder (subtitled "A Handbook of Inexpensive Performance Modifications for Harley Davidson Motorcycles.") published in 1984.  No wonder the name was familiar; the book graces a bookshelf here at my shop.  Another interesting thing about that search is that it turned up the fact that copies of the long out of print book are currently offered for sale ranging in price from $57 for a used copy, to nearly $300 for one in new condition.  That would seem to put Mr. McClanahan in some pretty exclusive company.  I can think of only one other author of performance modification books which command such large premiums for their out of print works.  The other author would be David Vizard; exclusive company indeed!

Carl McClanahan, now in his 80's, began drag racing in 1958.  He was one of the first to build a double engine Sportster, and may have been the first to build a set of wheelie bars for a motorcycle.  Looking over my copy of V-Twin Thunder to write this, I found a whole slug of performance tricks that I have used for years, but had forgotten where I learned them.  Looks as though I owe Carl a belated thank you.

The bike itself conjures up images of the glory days of motorcycle drag racing, when innovation was the name of the game.  Though Carl set numerous records and an untold number of wins in his long and storied racing career, just as with nearly every other long time racer, the bikes used were constantly being updated and/or replaced as technology advanced.  As stated earlier, this particular bike was used primarily to test new ideas and therein lies real the beauty of it.

A fuel Sportster with a tire that small probably needs all the down force a wing can provide

Pressurized reservoir supplied additional air to the intake

Anti reversion cones on the exhaust look as though they could have inspired the modern day Thunderheader

There is a modern "induction system" on the market which shares a similar shape

Note the dual float bowl conversion on the L Series Fuel carb

If you are interested in  purchasing this piece of history, send me an email and I will put you in touch with the appropriate party.