Monthly Archives: September 2017

The Times They Are A Changin…

Yes…yes they are.

But I can’t help but ask, “Are they changin’ for the better?

I remember growing up in times, that have influenced some of the everyday things I still do today.  Things that I am being forced to change because the society I live in, has changed.

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For example, I used to always have a supply of coins in some convenient “stash spot” in my car.  You never know when you might need a coin right…for a parking meter (though for most of those now, you’ll need to be able to sign over your mortgage, the life of a loved one or perhaps  a limb or precious organ!), or a Coke machine (remember those?), or maybe even a phone box (yes that’s right kiddies, we all used to travel in time just like Dr. Who).  But these days, we can no longer leave a coin of any description casually lying around in our cars because it will inevitably lead to some ice fuelled smash and grabber breaking the car window and helping themselves to our convenient coinage.

 

 

IMG_3866I have to admit, that I used to almost always, keep my wallet in my car.  Something I would no longer dream of doing…because there’s actually things in there I need and I cannot risk leaving it anywhere for anyone to relieve me of.

We used to have a coin jar in the Extreme Life office.  We kept it there so that those dropping in to visit or for meetings during the week, could casually help themselves to a coin or two if they needed it for the parking meters outside our office.  Often needed because…we can’t keep coins in our cars right!  People would often drop a few in there too to help others when they needed it.  But yesterday, while Steve’s desk was unattended and I was working in my office, I heard the door open and by the time I got out of my chair and around to Steve’s desk, I saw no one there as the door swung closed.  I thought it must have been the wind again as does happen…until I noticed the “Meter Money” jar gone!  Somebody had just walked into our office, taken the jar and bolted!  And they bolted, because I looked around outside and saw absolutely no one!  For the sake of about four dollars in small coins, some one had violated our office, our safety and our principals..and taken our stash of coins that were actually there to help people.  Just to be clear, if some one had of walked in and told me they were in need and asked for the jar, I would have happily given them every coin in it…they did not need to steal it!

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Day in and day out, I keep hearing that these are the best times to be alive, because of all the freedoms we have today.  Freedoms that others fought for us to have, so we should make the most of them and enjoy them.  But I am also hearing almost daily, that the biggest issues facing our society today are mental health issues like anxiety, depression and suicide.  Is that what all these “freedoms” lead to?

Maybe, just maybe…it’s time we re-examined our values and the kind of freedoms we used to enjoy (like leaving coins in our cars) that we can no longer enjoy because of the “freedom of others” to help themselves to our freedom and completely abuse it.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of like some aspects of dare I say it “the good ole days“, when we didn’t have to keep all our freedom under lock and key and protect it from those looking for an opportunity to help themselves to it.  We used to be able to drive nice cars without having them anonymously dented in supermarket carparks (another thing which now happens on a weekly basis), we used to be able to walk around without fear of being “coward punched” just for being a person who happens to be alive and present.

But the times…they are a changin’!  Well, I for one, do not feel the need to embrace every new change.  But feel quite strongly, that some of our “good, old fashioned” values and lifestyle characteristics, need to be valued once more, so we can actually embrace some of our real freedoms once more…(But don’t bother checking my car or our front office for coins just yet…lesson learned for now!).


Sturgis! (2016)

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The main street in Sturgis.

OK, so this is way behind the times…another year of Sturgis has come and gone before I have even gotten around to writing this entry! So slack of me.

So, last year, in July and August of 2016, Nicole and I took our kids to the USA for a few weeks.  The primary purpose of our visit, was to spend some time with a few churches over there, to learn from them and to hopefully help them too.  Part of that, is always some good connecting time with the leaders of those churches…and my time in Denver, Colorado coincided with a motorcycle rally in Sturgis.  So when two of my buddies in Denver said they were going and I was invited…who was I to argue?

So we arrived in Denver and spent a weekend with Redemption City Church there while we adjusted to time and temperature changes, and then that week, Tyrone, TKay and myself headed off on Harleys towards a small town in the Black Hills of South Dakota called Sturgis.  Now Sturgis is a small town of around 7,000 people…all except for the week of this particular motorcycle rally, when half a million or so motorcyclists essentially move in and take over.  The ride there involved heading North from Denver up through Wyoming and across to South Dakota, a distance of around 620 kilometres.

We hit this ride in one day (with a nice, early start) so we could get to our accommodation in Rapid City and settle there, rather than spreading the travel out over two days…the ride there was mainly straight and highways, whereas the riding once we were there, was through the glorious winding roads of the Black Hills…worth getting there sooner!

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We headed into Sturgis itself a few times, but we were always out of there before dark when a whole different culture sets in.  During the day, it is the most awesome motorcycle supermarket I have ever seen!  Any part or accessory you can think of, are all available right there.  And if buying a new part (say an exhaust system) meant having an old one there too…they would just send that home for you so you could have the new parts fitted there and enjoy them immediately.

The rides, the atmosphere, the availability of parts and accessories only dreamt about over here in Australia…was all amazing.  It was such a good time, with some great mates.  And the time with them, was the absolute highlight for me (I hope time with me was also OK for them!).

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We had a couple of nights there and then headed back to Denver where I spent time with Redemption City Church before we went to Nanaimo, Canada to be with Mike and Deb Graves and Oceanside Church.  I lost all my Scoop Deluxe beard products and combs to some thieving, hipster airport staff member at the Vancouver Airport, but that’s another story!  After that, we headed to LA to be with Jody and Vanessa Romero and Restoration LA, an awesome church in East LA.

It was a valuable trip and time, with some great friends…and Sturgis was a definite, personal highlight…I hope to go again one day.

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Seeing Mount Rushmore in person was completely awesome.


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