The Beauty of the Earth

Some devotional thoughts don’t need many words:

Psalm 65: 5 – 8

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
    God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power,
    having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.

Click here for still images to the music of the Prague Philharmonic playing Chariots of Fire (100 Greatest File Themes – All Rights Reserved)

 

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Day #7 – Awesome Wonders!

 

Seeing is believing

As I travel Route 66 I have seen some beautiful places and scenery.  Some things as simple as a tree lined road, rushing streams, incredible architecture make the journey fun and in many ways educational.  In the beauty of nature, God is revealed.

Dr. Francis Collins , the Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH), is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project.  His work culminated with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book completed in April 2003.  I recently saw an interview he did with Chris Wallace.  What stood out to me is that when Dr. Collins studied DNA and all its intricacies, he saw the hand of God.  Science revealed God to Dr. Collins.

I always love hearing from people of science who share my faith in God.  I asked a good friend of mine years ago who was very involved in cancer research. How he came to faith.  I loved his response, “Chris, the more I studied the human body in medical school, the more I realized that there was more to this than a happen chance mixing of chemicals at the right temperatures over millions of years.”  I have heard similar “Ah Ha” moments from many others.  Faith does not mean you check your intelligence at the door.  In fact, I would suggest it is just the opposite.  Creation longs to open our eyes and our minds:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).

So when I see the sky filled with stars, or stand on the top of a mountain, or see incredible geological formations, I stand in awe; no excuses.  Watch today’s video to get a glimpse of God’s incredible creation.

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Day #5 – Hidden Treasures – Amarillo to Albuquerque

Making Time…at what cost?

If you have been following my posts on the Route 66 road trip, you may have noticed that I pack in a lot each day.  Rochester, NY to Fort Wright, KY; Fort Wright to Cuba, MO; Cuba to Tulsa, OK; Tulsa to Amarillo, TX and Amarillo to Flagstaff, AZ (so far).  You may have also noticed that when I can, I travel fast.  As speed limits off Route 66 reach 75 mph, I sometimes push 80.  That may be fun for the biker, but sometimes makes for a boring video.  At the very least it makes it hard to look at the sights.

On this leg that really stood out to me.  If I stayed on Route 66 all the way from Amarillo it would have been at least a 9 hour drive, without stops.  That was too long for me, but I still wanted to make sure I got in more of the sights of the Mother Road.  So there was a choice to make; get to my destination fast…or see more of the country.  I choose a mix of speed with more “pit stops.”  I took Route 66 through a number of towns, but got back on the Interstate where it ran parallel with the Route outside of the towns.

We do the same thing in life.  Sometimes, perhaps most of the time, we choose speed over pause.  We miss the incredible sights that surround us.  Our children grow, we climb the corporate ladder, we move from point A to point B and miss everything in-between.  In the process we lose opportunities and blessings.

There is a lesson to learn.  God has provided incredible treasures for a purpose.  Look at his creation.  Observe his marvels.  Recognize his power.  In the Old Testament the Prophet Isaiah proclaimed God’s word on how he would use a future king of Persia (Cyrus) who did not acknowledge God to accomplish God’s plan.  God would do this to reveal himself:

I will give you hidden treasures,
    riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who summons you by name (Isaiah 45:3)

Take some time today to look for the treasures.  Watch your children (or grandchildren) grow.  Play tag or hide and seek.  Talk to your spouse, take a walk, call a friend.  Slow down, you don’t know what your missing.

Here’s a link to the video from Day #6.  Watch for the hidden treasures!

 

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Day #4 – Memories

Remembering the Past

The route from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas brought back a lot of memories for me.  We lived in Texas and Oklahoma for a number of years.  I put my faith in Christ while serving in the military during my time in San Antonio, Texas.  We later moved to Dallas, after spending sometime living in Oklahoma City.

Memories are important.  We remember loved ones who have passed away.  We remember lessons learned and experiences.  Those lessons and experiences protect us; consider the words of George Santayana, who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (The Life of Reason, 1905).  In many ways our memories continue to form who we are.

The call to remember is significant in the Bible.  God admonished Israel to “remember:”

  •  “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (Deuteronomy 5:15).
  • “But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:18).
  • “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

As I traveled in some familiar territory there were a lot of memories. Most good, but all beneficial in helping me grow.  My memories remind me of all that God has done in my life…even before I acknowledged him.  By remembering what God did in the past, I learn to trust him in the future.  Israel needed the same reminder.  What do you remember?

Here’s the link.  Enjoy the video, this time to the music of Michael Card, Third Day and Phillips

 

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Day # 3 Detour – A Road Less Traveled

It’s Not Always Smooth Going

For the most part, Route 66 has been a fairly smooth ride.  In this segment’s video there were a couple of challenges.  In some places the road was pretty rough.  There was a time that I missed one of my turns and ended up taking a detour on a loose gravel road to get back on track; not something a motorcycle rider enjoys.  However, overall this segment provided some nice scenery (checkout the rural bridge crossing) and a good idea of the  beauty of the route.

Detours happen.  Sometimes the detour is the result of our own actions; we miss a turn of fail to look at the map. In other cases, the detour is out of our control.  In life the same is true.  Illness, accidents, job changes, economic circumstances and more can take us down a road less travelled.

In history there is an example of a major detour that a whole people group had to deal with:

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.  The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle (Exodus 13:17-18).

The more direct route for the Hebrew people would have been the Coastal Highway.  Probably about a ten day journey to the “Land of Milk and Honey.”  However, God did not take them that way.  Likely for two reasons; first God knew they would run into the various outposts that were along the highway for the purposes of control and taxes on goods being carried along the trade route.  The second reason was that although the Israelites were “ready for battle,” they had not yet been tried…they weren’t ready by experience. They needed to learn that God was in control and that he could be trusted.

When detours happen, we have a choice.  We can cry, gripe, get angry, fight or even give up.  The Hebrews choose to gripe.  After 400 years of laboring for Egypt and given freedom, now they wanted to return.  It seems, like us, the Israelites longed for the “greener grass” of the Promised Land, but when confronted with a trial, they remembered all the good times they had “back home.”  If they had not taken the detour (this one directed by God) they would have missed seeing the incredible power of God.

No one likes a detour whether on the road or in life.  In may ways it is about attitude, but it is also about trust. I am thankful that God is in control even when I feel like everything is out of control:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:1-4)

Check out todays travel video from Cuba, MO to Tulsa, OK.  Music along the way by Rory Partin, Kenny Loggins and Christy Moore.

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Day #2 – Seeking the Prize

 

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24).

Day #2 of my ride still followed most of the Interstate highways; the prize was still to come.  There was also some needed detours.  Traffic in St Louis was considerable when I arrived, so I stayed on the main highway and avoided traveling through the city.  This meant I missed seeing the incredible St Louis Arch and that portion of Old Route 66.

Instead, I ventured on and stopped just outside of the city for a bite to eat at my second favorite fast food place; Culver’s (my favorite is Chick-Fil-A).  It was there I caught up with Route 66.  The prize is within reach.  Just what is the prize I seek on this journey?  Stay with me and find out.

Use this link to continue to watch the journey unfold.  This time to the music of Fernando Ortega and Johnny Cash.

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Day #1 – The Journey Begins

The Joy of Life

Christianity is more than Sunday morning worship and Scripture.  Christianity is life lived in abundance.  Enjoying God’s creation and watching the ups and downs played out everyday.  Learning from experience and seeking a glimpse of God at work not only in your life, but in the world around you.

The journey of faith is filled with amazing things.  My posts for the next couple of weeks will follow my journey across the country on Route 66.  Join me as we see the sights and meet some of the people along the way.

The first couple of days will be only the early stages.  On September 2nd I will be making the move from visiting family in Kentucky to heading to my starting point on Route 66 in St Louis, MO.  Let’s enjoy the ride.  Video links are included (see below).

This Biker’s prayer:

Almighty God, watch over me as I ride. Keep me aware of my surroundings and my limitations. Keep me mindful of others around me and bless this journey. As I venture to Route 66, amaze me with your creation. Allow me to see your handiwork and to remember that your works declare your power and your glory.

Garmin VIRB XE Day 1 video two different mount locations; helmet and windshield mounts.  Starting a Route 66 trip, but traveling first to Kentucky.  The windshield mount had noticeable vibrations.  I plan to test that mount for a reduction in vibration.

I am using YouTube to link my videos:  Click this link.  Please feel free you post your comments.

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Get your kicks on Route 66

Chris KelleyBeginning September 1, 2015 I will be writing from my travels on Route 66, America’s Main Street. I hope you can join me as I reflect on the beauty of America and all of God’s creation. I am sure we’ll meet some interesting people and see some beautiful sights!

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