Thursday, November 21, 2019

A Punch to the Gut

I felt like I just took a gut punch.  You know, like the unexpected one that doubles you over, partly because it took you by surprise and partly because the guy who did it is a tough guy who’s an experienced fighter. Yeah, a punch like that.

If you are a long time follower of this blog (there has to be one of you) you may recall that in the past I have posted a number of the undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress, an organization dedicated to ending the uncivilized and gruesome practice of murdering babies in their mother’s womb.  Those videos caught various Planned Parenthood officials and executioners negotiating prices for the sale of the body parts of their victims.  One might be tempted to label them as ghouls, but technically ghouls were not involved in the actual killing of the victims, but only in robbing their graves and feeding on their corpses.  Certainly, Planned Parenthood has managed to even exceed the evil of those legendary creatures.

However, now Planned Parenthood has found allies and willing accomplices in the corrupt court system, and therein lies the gut punch. A San Francisco jury has found The Center for Medical Progress guilty of exposing Planned Parenthood’s illegal body parts marketing and levied 2.2 million dollars in “civil damages“ against the non-profit organization.  The judge, William Orrick, would have disqualified himself from presiding over the case in a world where judicial misconduct meant anything, since in the past he has personally founded and funded a Planned Parenthood clinic. Apparently Orrick missed that day in law school when they mentioned the concept of conflict of interest.

The list of Planned Parenthood’s egregious actions that were exposed during the trial were manifold:  Under oath, they admitted that the undercover videos ARE true, and not “doctored” as they had alleged (and the mainstream media dutifully reported).  They admitted that one of their branches attempted to sell the “harvested” babies’ livers for $750 each. And perhaps most disturbing, they admitted, under oath, that Planned Parenthood does not consider it a violation to deliver babies whole and alive for organ harvesting as part of partial birth abortions.

Despite being exposed for their illegal and immoral acts, Judge Orrick colluded with Planned Parenthood to block the jury from viewing the very undercover videos that the Center for Medical Progress was being sued for publishing as well as from asking witnesses about babies that were born alive and killed outside of the womb.  In fact, Judge Orrick went so far as to direct the jury to find The Center for Medical Progress guilty on claims made by Planned Parenthood.

Two scriptures seem particularly fitting here, one a descriptor:
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death  -Proverbs 8:36

and the other a warning:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! -Isaiah 5:20

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Creation in Six Days

I was a bit shocked to see how long it has been since I have posted anything here; I guess time flies when you're having fun.  But it is not as though I have been relaxing in a care free imitation of an early retirement.  In fact it seems quite the opposite. Though I try to get the same amount done, I notice that despite efforts to the contrary, I do everything just a bit slower, so in effect I am busier than ever.

In any case, I thought I might post the sermon from that last time I preached at ValleyView Baptist, which turns out to be about a month ago.  I titled it "Creation in Six Days".  If you have time to listen, I trust you will find it edifying, or if not edifying, at least food for thought. Feel free to exercise your rotten tomato throwing arm in the comments section if you so desire.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Right Back Where We Started

Given that the return of 4th of July weekend drag racing to Humboldt is imminent, I thought it might be fun to show the changes in our entry for that race over a span of years.

First up 1985, but technically not my entry.  This was Bobby's 92 inch Shovel motor (which I built for him) in my chassis.  We would pull the engine from his Low Rider for each race and then put it back the following Monday evening.  He set the HDRA L Class ("Street Racer FL") 1/8 mile record at the Iowa Hog Drags to 7.60.  I don't recall his MPH at Humboldt, but later in the year he lowered the record to 7.27 and 99 MPH. And yes, in the foreground is the size of the tool box we carried to the races.

 1986 - Same chassis but with our 106" dual carb Knuck on a cone lower end, and now named "The Beast".  We set the AMRA record at the Iowa Hog Drags to 7.64 and 93.95 MPH in the UBS (Ultra Big Stroker) FL class.  Later in the year we added another 1/4 stroke (to 114") and lowered the record to 7.12, and though we broke 100 MPH, by then Mike Magaro had bumped the MPH record for the class to just a tad shy of 106.

In 1987, using pretty much the same bike but with the addition of a 7 inch slick and wheelie bars, we made it to the final round in Pro Stock at the Iowa Hog Drags.  A kill switch malfunction on the launch gave the win to Bob Buckley (not that he wouldn't have won anyway) with his 93" Nitrous Oxide assisted Shovelhead. We had the last laugh though, by taking home the Pro Stock National Championship for the year.

1988's Iowa Hog Drags felt like the beginning of the downward slide into obscurity.  All new state of the art chrome-moly frame with an 8.5 inch slick and the bike went slower.  We won one round but were plagued with shifting problems and everything else it seemed.  We ran the bike in basically this configuration through 1993.

1996 - A bridge too far...  A Truett 3 rail frame with a 10" slick and B&J 3 speed transmission behind a 120 cubic inch Knuckle with a Vortech centrifugal blower and electronic fuel injection running in the Top Gas class.   We named it "The White Knuckle Express". Though my notes from the Iowa Hog Drags that year are a bit sketchy, it appears that a first round Bye run resulted in finding the blower seized after the pass. Never got close to hitting the potential of this bike due to every gremlin one could imagine all attacking in force and unrelentingly over a period of several years.

2019: July 6 at North Iowa Dragway.  God willing we will be there with "The Knuckledragger".  After the blower bike, this could be called "making drag racing fun again."  Hard to believe that its been 34 years since that first one.

NOTE: As it happens, none of the above pictures were taken at the Iowa Hog Drags, but they are from the years as mentioned.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Rebekah and Her Son - Mother's Day 2019

Genesis 25:19-26

The theme of a woman being barren; unable to conceive children is a familiar one in the Bible.  We see it with Rebekah’s own mother-in-law Sarah, who in God’s timing bore Isaac.  A similar circumstance would play out with Jacob’s wife Rachel before she finally bore Joseph.  We read yet another similar story from ancient Israel about a woman named Hannah, who also prayed for a son, and was answered with the birth of Samuel the prophet. Finally, we read in the New Testament how a woman named Elizabeth was barren, but in her old age bore a son who we know as John the Baptist.
One common element that we see in all of these situations is how these mothers were instrumental in carrying out Jehovah’s plans for the nation of Israel.  With some of them such as Hannah and Elizabeth we hear only of their obedience and faithfulness.   In contrast, both Sarah and Rachel, in their impatience, tried to help God out in the area of providing offspring for their respective husbands.  Of course God used their interference for his own purpose despite what we might see as their wavering faith.  Rebekah, on the other hand, played her part as a mother in a manner that is a little more difficult to label.  What I am referring to, of course, is how Rebekah was instrumental in Jacob obtaining his father’s blessing.  To understand all of that, we need to remember a few things about Esau.
When we read on in scripture we find that at one point Esau sold his birthright, that is the benefits he would have as the first born son, to his brother Jacob.  In doing so, the Bible says that he despised his birthright.  Later Esau went against the wishes of his grandfather Abraham who specifically commanded his son not to take a wife from among the Canaanites who were known for their idolatry. This admonition seems to have been passed down by Isaac because Genesis 26:35 tells us that Esau’s marriages to two Hittite women were a “grief of mind” to Isaac and Rebekah.  It is very likely that Esau joined his wives in their idolatry, since it is clear that he did not worship Jehovah.  Those things, along with God’s promise at the time of their birth that the elder would serve the younger would seem to be enough to clearly make Esau the black sheep of the family. 
And yet, when Isaac was old and thought he may die soon, he still loved Esau enough that he attempted to bestow the ceremonial blessing on him, though Jacob had purchased the birthright.  This may have been a case of Isaac’s natural affection getting the better of him.  After all, what father doesn’t want his son to be a manly man, and Esau certainly was that.  As the Bible tells us, Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, or as some translations make it a “simple” or “quiet” man.  So, despite all of the strikes against Esau, his father Isaac called him in to bestow the blessing on him.  But first, he requested that Esau would bring him a meal of his famous wild game pot roast. 
That is where Rebekah stepped in.  Knowing God’s words concerning the two boys that Esau would serve Jacob, knowing the contempt Esau had shown for his birthright in selling it, and also knowing Esau’s worldliness in marrying idolaters, she decided to make sure her son Jacob received the blessing which Jehovah had declared he would receive.
Rebekah, simply put, engineered a way for Jacob to obtain the blessing by deceiving his father Isaac.  She instructed Jacob to bring her two young goats which she prepared so that they would taste just like the dish that Esau was known for.  No surprise there; who else but his mother would have taught Esau how to cook?  Then Rebekah helped Jacob to disguise himself as his brother and instructed him to go in to his father pretending to be Esau and receive the blessing.  The trickery was successful, and Jacob obtained the blessing, fulfilling the words of Jehovah at the birth of the two boys.
The question then comes up: was Rebekah justified in using deceit in this instance?  Some propose that she should have gone in to her husband and reminded him of God’s promise concerning his two sons; reminded him that Esau sold his birthright; remind him that Esau turned his back on them to marry idolaters.  Certainly she should have been able to reason with him to make him understand that the blessing should go to Jacob! 
Well, maybe that would have been the right approach, but if we are to give Rebekah the benefit of the doubt we might consider that she probably knew her husband’s disposition better than we do.  Scholars seem to agree that Isaac was likely 137 years old at the time of the giving of the blessing.  Since the Bible tells us that Isaac was 40 years old when he married Rebekah, that means they were soon coming up on their 100th wedding anniversary!  I think by that time Rebekah probably had a pretty good handle on what she could or could not convince her husband to do!
So, since our theme is Mother’s Day, rather than speculate on whether Rebekah could have, or should have done some things differently, let’s celebrate her faithfulness.  Rebekah received Jehovah’s promise that her son Jacob would be blessed.  She held on to that promise and did not let natural affection for her other son get in the way of her love for God and respect for his decree.  In fact, Rebekah not only respected what God had told her, she did what she could to carry out Jehovah’s decree. 
Now, if you have been blessed to have had a God-fearing mother or even to have known one or more, you can probably see some similarities between them and Rebekah. They too probably did their best to follow Jehovah’s decrees.  No doubt they practiced what it says in Ephesians about bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).  I am sure that they took heed to the teaching in Proverbs and attempted to train up their children in the way they should go, so that when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)
Certainly, some of those mothers have done what they could to make sure that it could be said of their children what was said of Timothy; that from a child they knew the holy scripture which was able to make them wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 3:15).
These are the things which cause us to honor those who are mothers.  And all of these things are based in love.  Love for your children, but even more important, love for God.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Colorado Hog Rally 1985

Keeping in mind that there is somewhat of a "revival" of motorcycle drag racing scheduled over the 4th of July weekend this year in Humboldt, or what is now known as North Iowa Dragway , I recently added a post with pictures from the 1985 Iowa Hog Drags. So, now I thought I would add a few pics of what was, back in 1985, the next race on the schedule for the HDRA.  That of course was the Colorado Hog Rally held outside of Colorado Springs.  You might guess from the pictures that the strip was on the east (less scenic) side of "the Springs."

Tator Gilmore on his earlier single engine fuel bike

MO or Marion Owens on his double engine Shovel

A scene from the pit area

Not sure who ran this Sportster, but he had a classy tow bike

MO in the left hand lane, can't quite make out who is on the right

Griz Robinson from the Chop Shop with his first Top Fuel Bike

Bobby on our bike getting ready for a pass

 "Bad to the Bone"
The bike pictured above was named "Bad to the Bone" - it was a Sportster in a Yetman frame running (very well) in the Dragster Eliminator class which in other sanctions would be called Top Gas.  I do recall that it ran in the fives in Iowa (1/8 mile) and the owner, who was from Texas, did not pilot it himself because he said he was too big for it to be safe with him on it. 

Don't know who this is, but this shot at least shows that the track did actually have a spot for spectators

A Shovel sporting a blower - may have been a Colorado bike

Bobby in the right lane

Bike loaded and ready to go home with another trophy

Note the fancy trailer we made the trip to Colorado with.  Guess I was a bit too tall for the top of my head to fit in the photo, but in the middle is my good friend Stan from Pueblo, who we stayed with the night before the races.  Bobby was still grinning after his second win in a row.