Day 25 [Cocoa – Orlando, FL]

MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014

[Distance traveled: 47 miles]

OOOOO….4:30 came EARLY!

Got packed up about 5:30, and then headed over to iHOP….literally only 50 feet from our front door!

Yea!

Hmmmm…..French Toast and scrambled eggs….mmmmm.

By the time we finished breakfast it was starting to get light. [As you can see, we actually were put in a handicapped room again, AND there was a ramp right up to the door of our room. How convenient!]

Light at 6,45

Yes, we again were able to fit both the trikes IN our room.

Trikes IN room

So the GOAL today is to MAKE IT HOME!

Earline here multi-tasks, drinking her coffee and posting photos on Facebook:

Earline multitasking

It was pretty cool this morning, maybe mid-to-high 50s, but the weather forecast seemed to indicate that it would warm up fast after the sun came out, and that indeed is what happened.

Gorgeous day….great for triking!

Early start

We came upon our LAST bridge, over the St. John’s River….and there was a truck in the way!

FINAL bridge over the St. Johns River

Turns out there were working on the mechanism that monitors the flow of the river.

Monitoring water flow

And looking over the railing, here is the river they were monitoring:

St Johns River

The St. John’s River, one of the few rivers that flow from South to North in the United States – a few in Wisconsin and Maine, but that’s about it. The St. John’s ends in Jacksonville, FL, where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

The watershed area of the river is very marshy, which explains not having much in the way of service for many miles.

No services

Here we stopped under the Beach [B] Line Expressway to take a break in the shade [getting HOT already, although the breeze stayed fairly cool – a very enjoyable ride!] and have a bite to eat:

Sitting under BLine

After going through most of the Scripture I knew, and all the Fearless Songs, we found other ways to amuse ourselves….like looking at cows and bee hives:

Cows and bees….bees chase cows maybe

Whoa, Bessy! So, did the one cow just get stung, or what??!?!!

Then we saw this tower with all these birds on it….hmmmm.

Tower with birds

But what ARE they?! Let’s take a close look.

Closeup tower with birds

Oh-oh….looks like vultures to me!

[Don’t trike too slow, or they might think you’re a potential meal!]

FINALLY reached the overpass on to Highway 50.

But good news/bad news…..yes, this mean we are over halfway home, and it’s only 11:00am….but the road shoulder through Bithlo was so rough, and only about 36 to 40 inches wide…..rough goin’. And THEN, we ran into THIS:

More CONSTRUCTION

The dreaded CONSTRUCTION zone….

CONSTRUCTION

We even had a few sprinkles on our head, but we quickly prayed against THAT demon! Ha!

FINALLY got past the construction area, and we hit the Lokanotosa Trail that starts at Alafaya and goes behind University High School, the ECON Trail, the Cady Way Trail, and the Dinky Train Trail….a trail of TRAILS!

Ha!

That made the last 15 miles MUCH nicer that the earlier part of the day’s journey.

We even got a little of the FLORIDA change of season leaves that we experienced in Rome, Georgia earlier this year at the WinShape Conference Center.

The ECON Trail goes all the way from Rouse Road to Forsyth Road, for 7 pretty miles.

Florida change of seasons

 

It LOOKS like FALL, doesn’t it??!!

Earline up wooden path on Econ Trail

Jon on ECON Trail

However, with 9.5 miles to go, we stopped in the park to use one of the bathrooms and stretch, and Earline experienced the inability to bend her left knee. This is the same one that has been hurting her the whole trip, and she was in a lot of pain. She had already taken 2-800mg Ibuprofen, and popped two more….she wanted to finish the trip!

After a few minutes she was able to proceed, but we had to go slow, and I did my best to find paths that were mostly flat, clear of any traffic.

We proceeded on Hanging Moss over to Semoran, and caught the Cady Way Trail on the south end, where there is no overpass. We went over through the Fashion Square Mall area, crossed the very busy Highway 50 that we had been on earlier, and jumped on Livingston to take us the rest of the way downtown.

We stopped in at the apartment office to say hi to the staff, and who should appear but our nephew DJ [who took us down to Key West back on the 6th] along with his two kids, Zaria and Isaiah!

Great to see them! And then Melisha showed up with Rashord as well. [Melisha helped check the mail for us all the while we were gone.] What a wonderful surprise to see them all!

And, of course, we HAD to get a selfie with all of us:

Family selfie

After about an hour, we chased them all out, got cleaned up, and then went out to treat ourselves with a bite to eat at 4 Rivers, one of Earline’s favorite bar-b-q places.

Then we went over to the hospital, to have them check on Earline’s knee.

Sitting in waiting office

And there we still sit…..it is 2:09am….and they did an x-ray and an ultra-sound on Earline’s knee, and will probably recommend her to an orthopedic doctor to check further the structure of her knee.

Ooops, the doctor just came in, and said the blood was clean, nothing septic, no infection, so they are going to give her a few meds and crutches, and a recommendation to go to Jewett Orthopedic.

Sports medicine….heh. Just triking over 450 miles in 3 weeks qualifies as sports, don’t ya think??!!?

Time to wrap this up. I will do a summary and “reflections” blog entry in a few days, and my goal is to keep this up at least once a week, so you can stay up on any future MPTs [Earline says 3,000 miles is ENOUGH….Ha!], bike/trike news, and spiritual insights that God gives us.

We love you all! And thank you so much for all your prayers and support!

ONLY through God’s grace….

jon

Day 20 [North Ft. Pierce Beach]

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014

When I poked my head out the door at 8:00 this morning and saw this….

Rain

And then about 30 minutes later it was blowing, and raining even harder…..I guess the bad weather from yesterday in Orlando finally caught up with us, huh!

Windy, and getting colder [okay, COOLER, for you folks up North…ha!]

So…..we made the executive decision to stay in today. Probably needed some rest after going almost 65 miles in the last 2 days.

One quick comment about the goings-on in Ferguson, Missouri. As some of you know, we went through that area on our 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour, and had the opportunity to speak a few minutes at a Wednesday night Bible study at the nearby Believer’s Temple Word Fellowship Church where Dr. Calvin Scott is the pastor. These folks were so warm and kind to us, and they had over 100 folks out on a rainy Wednesday night for Bible study! Yea!

We pray for them and for the peace of that whole area.

And I appreciate the wisdom of a tight end from the New Orleans Saints football team, Ben Watson, who wasn’t afraid to tell it, that the bottom line problem in the Ferguson case and its aftermath is SIN. The sin of pride, and big egos, and greed.

Pray that people in that area will allow God to use them to learn from Him, to gain Heavenly Wisdom to combat what satan would use for destruction, and to bring us ALL closer the TRUTH of God’s Word.

Resting up for tomorrow’s ride up A1A [guess the wind won’t be behind us tomorrow, heh!!].

Thanks for ALL of YOUR prayers. We love you.

Through God’s grace,

jon

 

Day 17 [North Palm Beach, FL]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2014

[Distance traveled; 2 miles]

When we woke up this morning, we asked God to help us find church, so I googled “church” around our location, and found Lighthouse Baptist Church just a mile away. We quickly got ready….

….[see, now this is A TRUE SERVANT’S heart….ironing my clothes for me before church]….

Doing whatever it takes

….and had a quick continental breakfast in the motel lobby, and headed to church.

Heading to church

Arriving at Lighthouse

We started to leave our trikes out front, but I got the idea that it might rain, so we brought them inside the gate, and under a roof.

Trikes at Lighthouse

And the church was an excellent one!

Welcome to Lighthouse

Sunday School was small, but lively, and there was real depth of understanding about the Word evident from many in attendance. We especially appreciated Miss Sue, and her leadership of the class. God is pleased! YES!

And the worship service was a little different than what we were used to….not really a sermon, per se, and that might be because of the nature of THIS service.

Dr. Mike Butzberger is the Pastor, and he was all over the Word, and even helped lead the music with two other ladies.

Worship team

This service in particular was their Sunday-before-Thanksgiving, their annual “giving thanks to God” service. Pastor Mike showed the verse, John 1:16 where it says: “We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us—blessing upon blessing heaped upon us!”

And then Psalm 22:22: “I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done.”

There was a microphone set up at the front of the church, and people would come up and share giving reasons for thanking God….although I think only one round was intended, there ended up being 4 rounds, as the kids got involved, and it almost became a little competition to see who could give the most thanks.

THAT loosened up some of the adults, and as time went on, more folks came forward to share.

Pastor then shared some tidbits in between all this, and the service flowed nicely.

Afterwards Earline got a selfie with Ola and Linda.

Earline, Ola, and Linda

Pray for Linda….she and her husband are taking care of a very sick son-in-law, who has a cyst on his stomach that they are trying to dry up, and in the meantime he has lost over 40 pounds….no eating or drinking for a while until the doctors can get this cyst closed up.

We met Jason and his wife, Kathy, who has a pretty voice and is part of the Praise Team. Jason’s mom, Jane, is also a cyclist, and often goes 10 miles a day. Alright!

Kathy, Jason, and Jane

And Jason encouraged Earline with YOLO [you only live once], and therefore you CAN conquer your fears, because fear, like life, is fleeting.

Jon got in a quick picture with Dr. B and his wife:

Pastor Mike and his wife

And immediately after we took this picture, we noticed it was RAINING outside!

Ack!

We did not bring ANY rain gear. But I really think God had a plan in mind, because we were NOT interested in riding in the rain, and GOD wanted us to hang around a little longer.

Turns out that Jeannie was waiting outside [but UNDER the roof] to talk to Earline, because she sensed that Earline had been sent here to this service today to talk specifically to her. We had a good chat, and I had a chance to let Michael try out the trike.

Jeannie and her son Michael

And after we finished talking with Jeannie and Michael….the rain stopped!

Earline, Michael, and Jeannie

In fact, it must have stopped a little earlier, because by the time we unlocked our trikes and said our goodbyes, even the roads were dry!

[LOVE those heavenly coincidences!]

AGAIN, we are grateful.

This afternoon washed clothes, got caught up on the blog, and watched an interesting documentary on TV about Banksy art in New York City while chowing down on some Papa Johns pizza. Mmm-mmm.

Through God’s grace,

jon

Day 16 [Pompano Beach – North Palm Beach, FL]

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014

[Distance traveled: 43 miles]

The alarm went at 6:00, so we got up and started to pack, even though it was still dark. As it started to get light, I check the clouds, and did not look good – they were dark and moving fast.

Clouds moving dark and fast

BUT!

I went down to check the trikes, and the ground was dry. It was VERY windy, and you could taste the salt in the air….BUT the ground was dry.

Even though there had been some water from the day before on the trikes [and on the shuffleboard court!], the wind, damp as it was, had blown the surfaces dry.

DRY under trikes

And I imagined that maybe this is what the Israelites experienced, as the winds blew the ground dry under the Gulf of Aqaba, the arm of the Red Sea that they crossed over as they fled the Egyptians. Very windy, taste of salt in the air, but still walking on DRY ground.

I also wanted to mention here, that some of you will remember….I SPECIFICALLY asked that you pray and ask God that we not have to pack wet this morning. [See yesterday’s blog.]

And your prayers were ANSWERED!

Remember, in Psalm 37 it says that God DELIGHTS in the details of our lives. The DETAILS.

In the Sermon on the Mount in Chapter 6 of Matthew, Jesus says that “every detail” of the law will remain in place until its purpose is achieved. I like that translation, but even better, I like in the King James version where it says “jot” and “tittle.”

What is THAT?!

Matthew wrote his book in Greek, but the Greek word translated “jot” refers to the smallest word in the Hebrew language, yodh. It is just a little, tiny mark.

And then “tittle,” or “keraia” in the Greek, refers to just the tiny little hook on the end of the letters in Hebrew and Aramaic. Like a serif on a font in the English language. Just the tiny little, curvy hook at the very end of the letter.

In God’s Word, God’s law, He is SO DETAILED that even the little hooks at the ends of the letters that make the words are important to Him! And think about it, as the Creator of EVERYTHING, wouldn’t He HAVE to know how everything is put together?!

That is the kind of detail about you and me that He is interested in….that He DELIGHTS in.

So KNOW that this morning, YOUR prayers WERE answered. Sometimes God says “no,” sometimes He says “wait,” but what we DO know is that He IS able. [See Daniel 3:16-18]

[And we are grateful when He says YES!]

We got all packed up, still not raining on top, although we prepared for it by waterproofing our bags and pulling out our rain suits. [We didn’t asked Him to not have it rain at all…ha!]

As we were packing Ron stopped by, and we had a chance to talk to him about how God helps us face our fears.

Jon and Ron

So as we started north on A1A, Earline prayed for coffee, and there it was! She’s getting good at this….ha!

Praying for coffee

Meanwhile, I had a nice conversation with Patrick, an avid biker himself, a Christian who is concerned about the environment.

Patrick from Pompeno Beach

Earline continued to enjoy her coffee and cream cheese bagel….mmm, mmm.

Hey, wait! Where’s mine?

Hmmmm.

Cream cheese bagel

As we were getting ready to leave, Sean and his dad, Kevin, stopped by and asked good questions about our mission [and we promised to put their picture on the blog….here it is!]:

Sean and dad Kevin

Finally got headed down the road again, but it was starting to drizzle, and then the drizzle got harder, and finally I said, we have to pull to the side and cover up our side bags, and put on our rain gear [that we picked up in Hollywood at the K-Mart.]

I think they worked out pretty good. Earline HAD to take a selfie, which I caught her doing:

Confirm Earline selfie

And here it is:

Earline rain gear selfie

HA!

Picked up a couple goodies at the Deerfield Beach 7-11, and they permitted us to fill up our little round thermos with ice [it holds about 2 lbs of ice for a whole day]. [Thanks. 7-11, you were a life-saver!]

Leaving 7-11 in rain suits

It was not REAL hot today….the winds helped keep us cool, but the WINDS were so strong from the East, not quite in our face, but many times it whipped around the buildings to be in our face for a minute or two. And even when hitting us from the side, it made for slow going. And the winds were whipping the waves so hard, that even when it wasn’t raining, you could feel the salt water spray from the winds.

Not hard but miserable

Here’s Earline modeling her rain gear:

Earline modeling rain gear

But the rain suits WERE hot….and finally the rain calmed down a little, and we said, “THAT’S ENOUGH!” and took them off, after we made a little stop at the Atlantic Dunes Park.

Rain coats off

I have also discovered that I can substitute turkey for SPAM when making my spam/peanut butter/cheese/graham cracker delights. Whoa! I think it’s even BETTER than the SPAM!

What!!! It’s good!

GC sandwiches

It is hard to describe the day we had….even with the rain not coming down on top, there was a constant roar from the wind and the waves, very loud, and there was always the wind pushing us to the side, or even from the front. It DID make for pretty waves. [Lifeguard flag was red.]

Atlantic Dunes County Park view waves

STRONG winds

Notices how all the trees are bending to the right, the west.

I figure that the winds probably slowed us down 2 to 3 miles per hour.

For the most part, drivers were respectful of us. The speed limit here on A1A is only 35 mph, and there were a lot of signs along the way emphasizing laws specifically for cyclists.

3 foot clearance

Sometimes we WERE blocked from the wind by large trees, or beautiful homes, and there were plenty of those. Because we go slower on the trikes, we were able to get a pretty good look into some of the driveways. Some pretty amazing wealth was on display.

Beautiful home 1

Beautiful home 2

Didn’t really see many churches, though….maybe one or two.

Hmmmm.

Many homes DID have Christmas decorations up already:

Time for Christmas

Finally got into the Palm Beach area, and saw some more beautifully landscaped areas.

Jon and landscaping in PB

Earline thru PB road

In “downtown” Palm Beach, it was like Park Avenue on steroids, if you know what I mean. Lots of fancy stores with names I couldn’t pronounce, and we saw more than one Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Lamborghini.

Dntn PB

And yes, they had their Christmas tree up already:

XTree in PB

Earline, would you like one of these under your tree at Christmas?

Yachts for xmas

Oh, my!!

It was after 5pm by this point, and we still had to cross over to West Palm Beach.

Jon looking at PB,WPB bridge

We weren’t sure where to stay, and we really wanted to have a good church to go to tomorrow.

We started to head out of town on Highway 1, and we saw several small “mom and pop” motels, but the area looked really “busy,” if you know what I mean. Lots of people walking the streets, hanging out.

We stopped to get something to eat at a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the consensus in there seemed to be that we go further north to find a place to stay.

I ask the girl that waited on us, Vanessa, who had been working there about 2 months, if she knew a good place to go to church. She said she really didn’t go to church.

And I didn’t know what to say.

But as I thought about it, I DID think of an appropriate response in that situation….I thought it might work well to use what Peter said in 2 Peter 1:16. He said, “we’re not making up clever stories, we’re not telling fairy tales when we talk about Jesus…”

He should know….he was THERE, right??!!

If somebody says that they don’t go to church, simply ask, “You DO know that Jesus is not a fairy tale, right?”, and see how they respond.

And then be prepared to give a “good defense” of what you know to be true.

We proceeded north, then, on A1A, out of West Palm Beach, in the dark. We suddenly heard some loud music coming from our right, and they were apparently having some kind of seafood festival along the beach.

Unfortunately, the winds were still so vicious, that there weren’t many people there. But there WERE enough to engage in some lively conversation with many who were interested in our trikes and our mission.

To the man on the bench who stuck some cash in my hand for God’s Hands Agency: “No, there was not a 50 dollar bill in the bills you gave me. Ha! BUT, thank you for sincerely, and I mean that, for helping us to be an encouragement among the Deaf, Youth, and Families.”

Some of the folks at the festival told us that there were several motels just up the road ahead….but we discovered, yet again, that “just a little ways up the road” in a car is NOT the same as “just a little ways up the road” on a TRIKE!!

Even a cop pulled beside us and said that there was motel just a “tenth of a mile” up ahead.

Heh.

Distance challenged.

But FINALLY, a half mile later, we DID run across a Super8 Motel, and no question, we WERE stopping. Total distance, 43 miles, and Earline’s leg was killing her! [She said she is going to tell stories to her grandkids of how she triked hundreds of miles, and got shot in her leg, and pulled the bullets out with her teeth, and dragged her shot leg another 100 miles just to give a child a fresh cup of water….HA!]

I’ll take care of her, and we just ask you to continue to pray for her left knee, that it continue to get stronger, and that He will CONTINUE to guide us, and protect us under the shadow of His wing.

Good night!

TGG,

jon

Day 15 [Pompano Beach, FL]

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2014

Hmmm.

It is raining this morning, or at least a hard drizzle.

And I REALLY dislike packing up when it’s wet. Means stuff you pack INSIDE your bags is wet. Remember our trip into New Orleans in 2010?

Same idea.

Drizzly day

[See our trikes, under blue cover behind the white fence in the lower right hand corner?]

SOOOOOOO….we have decided to stay in today, take care of some business, some trike repair, and give Earline’s stomach and knee a chance to recuperate. By the way, her stomach is FINE this morning.

Hmmm.

We are grateful.

Tomorrow, then, the goal will be to get packed up early, and be in West Palm tomorrow night, a distance of about 40 miles. Perhaps God will allow us to minister at a church on Sunday in the West Palm area.

Please pray! Thank you!

TGG,

jon

 

Day 14 [North Hollywood – Pompano Beach, FL]

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2014

[Distance traveled: 18 miles]

Happy Thursday!

[By the way, if you want to be on our mailing list, just text GHA on your phone to 42828 to get started. That will then ask you for your e-mail address, and we can get you on the list!]

It was raining when we woke up [ACK!], so we packed for rain, but it DID stop before we got on the road, and we did not have rain all day, so we were grateful.

But the WIND! Ooooooofta!

[Okay, Ric, how am I REALLY supposed to spell it?!]

Riding into the wind all day, so, yes, it was a STRUGGLE.

And then, we turned on the news tonight for our first TV in a couple weeks, and everybody’s talking about government crisis, and school killings, and threats to kill police, and I’m thinking, wow, nothing’s changed…or, actually it is getting worse.

Fearful?

Yes, there is reason to be afraid….EXCEPT:

God has COMMANDED us to NOT be afraid….why? [Hint: FEARLESS Song #1]

As I think about the last words of that song, though, I was thinking….does God “go” with EVERYONE? WHEREVER they go?

And then my thoughts go back to the matter of trust….when my son Torin was very young, and he would jump into my arms from a ways away, he trusted me to catch him. No doubt, no fear, and I always did.

But, if he did not jump, could I catch him?

No.

He HAD to jump….and maybe that’s why God said we should have faith like a child. [Matthew 19:14 in the Amplified version: “But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.”

So God is THERE, He is available, but we still have to jump. WE have to trust.

And today, we had MUCH evidence of what happens when you trust God….as we left the motel this morning, Earline stopped to give a flyer to the young man who did her nails yesterday, who believed that Buddhism and Christianity were compatible. [No, they are not, 2+2 cannot equal both 4 and 5.]

Right next door is the SuperCuts where Earline got her hair trimmed yesterday, and she had a chance to share with the young lady from Michigan and her friend that works at Little Caesars about the power of God to FACE your FEARS.

And the young lady from Michigan was moved to tears, and KNEW that God had sent us to give her that message.

Earline with 2 girls front of Supercuts

As we continued down the road, we came to the Ft. Lauderdale airport.

Ft. Lauderdale airport

And then Earline saw something in the road ahead, that jumped into the woods to our right. What was it?

I did not see it….maybe Earline will share about it on her blog [go to earlineblumhagen.com]

[By the way, Earline is also posting on her Facebook page and GHA’s Facebook page, so maybe you will find the answer THERE! Ha!]

She thinks it might have been two baby cougars playing!

There was MUCH construction going on around the airport, especially on the northeast side between the airport and the Port Everglades.

Trying to find way around FT. L airport

I was studying GoogleMaps to find a way around, and saw a route, but the way was blocked, so I went to ask permission to go thru the construction area.

Let us through!

Let me across

Then, we we finally got through the construction, we ran into THIS!

Do NOT Enter

I don’t see THAT on GoogleMaps!

[I guess you can’t always trust GoogleMaps either….ONLY God!]

So we had to go BACK by the construction we just came through, and wind our way through the front of the Port.

Around the entrance to Port Everglades

Stopped at a Firehouse and got a great turkey sub AND they filled all our containers with ice. Thanks, Firehouse!

Then we continued…..WAIT!

Where’d Earline go?

Oh, oh.

There she is.

We had to stop where?

Brand new store, but the prices were not what she expected. [Well it IS in Ft. Lauderdale!]

NOW we continue.

Up a bridge….let’s kick it in!

Oh-oh, another bridge

Oh, the struggle!

The struggle

Made it!

Made it to the top

And the view from the top was nice.

View of cruise ship from top of bridge

View of boats

View from top

But now, it is time to go DOWNHILL!

Wait!

Out of the way!

On a DOWNHILL, MOVE

Ha!

When we got to the beach, the kite surfers were jumping 30 feet in the air, it was so windy!

Earline at Lauderdale beach

Sometimes the condos would protect us from the strong northeast wind, so we were grateful for that.

We had the chance to share our mission with a young man outside of Hess gas station.

Explaining the mission at gas station

And then more of A1A…..

Toodling down A1AAs it was getting dark, Earline’s knee was really hurting again, and we needed a place to stay. But where?

I checked a couple places along the west side of A1A, but they were just too high, or filled up. Lord, we need a place!

So with Earline praying, I checked out another place, and met Nazih and Gabriel. They were both great! AND they gave us an excellent rate. AGAIN we are grateful.

Nazih is 65, and looks in GREAT shape….says he takes vitamins and works out every day [so he appreciated OUR endeavor!].

Gabriel, it turns out, has a sister who is Deaf! His family adopted her when she was 1 and a half years old or so, and the whole family learned sign language. His sister’s name is Jessica, and she is around 31 years old now, and lives in the Tampa area, and is going to a community college down there.

Then we met Donna, who is temporarily living here at Shores Terrace. She’s 28 years old, and originally from New Jersey. She graciously agreed to drive us across the river to 7-11 so Earline could get some coffee! We had much fun talking with her in her clutch-repaired Mustang, and then we had the “adventure” at 7-11….

….Donna had ordered one of 7-11’s scrumptious hot dogs, you know, all smothered with onions and stuff, and the girl behind the counter was great, fixing food, waiting on folks, making pizza, all by herself!

BUT….she thought that Donna was with this other couple standing beside her, so she gave the hot dog to them! I think they may have been from Europe, possibly, and they graciously accepted the hot dog and started eating it!

Donna was wondering where her hot dog was….and as they were trying to figure it out, we have visual evidence of where the dog went!

Donna in 7-11

[Eating Donna’s hot dog it in the background….see it??!!]

The 7-11 hostess finally figured it out, and quickly made another hot dog for Donna, and the couple sheepishly figured out that yes, they had to pay for the extra food they were given.

Much laughter ensued. Ha!

BUt, the real wonder, is that Earline had a chance to share with Donna when we got back to the motel, that with God ALL things are possible, and that she does NOT have to fear, because for those who trust Him, He PROMISES to help them, and strengthen them, WHEREVER they go!

And Donna knew that his was a message just for her.

So know….KNOW that YOUR prayers are being answered.

Continue to pray for Earline’s strength….not only her knee, but her abdomen as well. Not sure if it is her stomach, or what. She had acute pain last night, but was able to find a position in bed that minimized the pain. We did a little research on-line, and found that pancreatitis seemed to best match her symptoms.

But now this morning, she has no pain. So we’re not sure.

We will keep an eye on it, and ask you to pray for wisdom, as well as healing and strength.

We DO KNOW that God is able….and we ask that He continue to bless EACH day.

TGG,

jon

 

Day 12 [Miami – North Hollywood, FL]

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2014

[Distance traveled: 24 miles]

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday we were hot and sweaty, with all kinds of bug bites from the past week of camping [I counted about 20-25 bug bits on each leg….oh, the scratching!]….and then this morning….it started out warm:

Leaving River Front Hotel in dntn Miami

Here, let me zoom out a little bit:

Zoom out

And even as we exited downtown, Earline still had the SouthSport Cool Rag wrapped around her neck that she got from Cousin Vicki.

Leaving Miami SouthSport Cool Rag

[Earline LOVES her Cool Rag!]

BUT….you could tell something was up, because maybe 10 minutes after we set out this morning, the wind switched, and it started to feel a little cooler.

And then a little became a LOT! Specifically, after riding in temperatures around 85° yesterday, the temp today gradually fell to the current temp of 56 tonight here in North Hollywood, FL, a difference of almost 30 degrees. Brrrrrrrrr.

Bundling up:

It got COLD

And it is still drizzling a little. We did not have HEAVY rain today when we were riding, but it drizzled pretty steady, enough for us to have to cover our side bags.

AND we were riding into the wind….so the miserable factor was pretty high.

It gets dark early now, before even 6pm….so we rode in the dark the last hour of our ride. We did find an inexpensive motel that had HUGE rooms, WiFi, and a laundry, so it is perfect for us….just a mile from Hope Baptist Church where we will be giving a short presentation tomorrow.

And now it sounds like it is raining HARD outside…..OOOOOO, glad we missed this! [Earline says that is what she prayed….God is gracious!]

Condos, condos, and more condos everywhere. And lots of construction going on, especially in Miami Beach and North Beach.

Construction

As we were headed out of downtown Miami, we saw these condos:

Condos and covet

But look at the sign at the bottom of the condo on the left:

Thou shalt covet

What in the world??!!

But isn’t that the way sin always starts out? First it is a little rebellious, maybe cute, and funny. Then it becomes a little more serious. And then it is outright defiance.

So now I guess it is cool marketing to come right out and say the opposite of what the God commands.

And isn’t that really Satan’s device all along?

It goes wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ay back to the Garden of Eden. What was the temptation Satan used?

He said, “Did God RE-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-A-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-LY say you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the Garden?”

Getting us to question what God said. God’s Word versus man’s word.

And then, as recorded in Genesis 3, Satan told Eve that “You won’t die,” which was an outright lie. But she bought the lie, and we’ve ALL been dying ever since.

All but two, that is. The Bible records 2 people in all of history that did NOT die. Do you know who they were?

A FREE WiFi Pedaler t-shirt to whoever gets the answer right first!

[And to those of you from 2010 who were promised that they MIGHT get a t-shirt….YES! It is actually going to happen! Whoo-whoo!]

Just respond with a comment to this day’s blog entry, and the first right answer gets the t-shirt.

In Psalm 37, it also says that we aren’t supposed to fret about those who are rebellious towards God, or who are outright defiant and wicked:

“Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes….For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly!”

We did see more evidence of the struggle today:

More evidence of the struggle

And we had our own struggles, having to go over several bridges, including 3 drawbridges:

One of three drawbridges

The last one was when it was dark and drizzling….couldn’t get a good photo.

The Venetian Causeway is how we got from Miami to Miami Beach:

Crossing Venetian Causeway

The ride up A1A was very busy, but slower, because of the construction, business deliveries, residential areas, and even many signs and road markings specifically for bicycles.

A1A

We ran across a 2-story Publix, where we got lunch and a few supplies. This Publix had parking on the first floor, and the store was up on the 2nd floor. They also had an innovative way of getting your grocery cart down to the first floor.

2-story Publix

Again, condos, condos, condos everywhere. Many Trump Tower condos. And these Oceania Island Towers.

Oceania Island

And there was a whole row of houses to our right in Golden Beach, oceanfront homes, that sometimes had the front gate open where we could see in….whoa!

Beautiful home example

Continue to please pray for Earline’s health….her knee seems a little stronger, but it still gives her a lot of pain by the end of the day. And then today she has been experiencing a lot of stomach problems.

God – you know our needs, even BEFORE we ask them. Thanks for Your provision, and YOUR faithfulness to our well-being. Again from Psalm 37, You promised:

“He [God] DELIGHTS in every detail of their [good men’s] lives.” [v. 23]

And DO pray for our short presentation tomorrow night at Hope Baptist here in North Hollywood. This is Elder Elaine’s church, who is a certified interpreter and works with many Deaf down in this area.

Can’t let you go without showing a picture of Mr. “Don’t talk to strangers!” Dennis.

Infamous Mr. Dennis

We had a delightful conversation with him at a bus stop in Sunny Isles. He asked many questions, and seem to quickly grasp what this Mission POSSIBLE Tour is all about. He works right now as a part-time private chauffeur, and recently shaved off his full beard. He was a hoot! Pray for him and his endeavors.

TGG,

jon

Day 3 [Key West, FL]

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2014

Happy Sunday!

Well, I do believe that today was the SHORTEST distance we have ever had to go to a church service. I remember, I did live in a church for 4 months during my senior year of college for an internship as a youth director, but my apartment there was was at the far end of the church, and I had to walk a ways, where this was just down the stairs and under our apartment, so I think this trip to church wins!

Ha!

[Also DARE NOT BE LATE for this church…no excuse there!]

At the 9:30 Sunday School, Elder Tim Warner lead us into an interesting study of the Greek words for love. One thing he pointed out that I didn’t know was the first instance of the word LOVE in the Bible is….

Well, do you know?

Guess.

Got it?

The answer is….

….I’ll tell you at the end of the blog! [smile]

In the 11:00 church service, Pastor Bill tackled the difficult subject of the event of salvation being a decision of an individual versus God’s enabling. This was based on Ephesians 2:1-10. Excellent study.

Pastor’s wife Sessie led us in music worship:

Sessie

Here’s Pastor Bill talking to one the attendees, Lois, after the service:

Lois and Pastor Bill

Then Pastor and his wife invited us to their home for lunch. Wonderful food and fellowship!

Then, we were ALLOWED to come to the evening service, too! Woo-woo!

[Allowed?]

NoSignsAllowed

[Ha!]

Again, Pastor Bill gave an interesting and thorough study on Simon the magician in Acts 8:4-25, and the difference between the Gospel as a narrative, Acts as church history, or didactical teaching from an epistle. Deep teaching that Pastor Bill was able to share clearly and with understanding. THANKS!

Here is Pastor Bill with Earline and I:

Jon, Earline, Bill

The church has many paintings on the walls that were actually painted by the Welzien’s daughter Abigail….here are 2 that she did – the Pillars of Fire and Cloud in the desert:

Pillars of fire and cloud

Abigail’s web site is ColorsOfWhite.com.

We also had a chance to meet their daughter Priscilla, and her “good friend” Doug who just finished 5 years in the Navy, and a week from tomorrow will start work as a civilian air traffic controller here at the Navy Training Center we rode past yesterday. God bless your efforts, Doug, and thank you for honoring God with YOUR testimony!

Priscilla and Doug

Earline made a new friend, too, with Judy, who we prayed together with for her friend who had a leaky house boat. God, please fix his boat, and make it obvious to him that it was YOUR doing! Amen!

Earline and Judy

THANK YOU Keys Presbyterian Church for your fellowship and your friendship.

Tomorrow we will stay in one more day to do some repair on the trikes, clean clothes, and avoid any rain left over from today!

[It has been raining pretty much all day, and right now at 11:55pm, is raining quite hard! THANKS, GOD, that we were not traveling today…YES!]

Only through God’s grace,

jon

[Oh, I almost forgot! The answer to the first instance of the word “love” in the Bible? It is not until the 22nd chapter of Genesis. Check out verse 2. And it is a pattern of life, of sacrifice, that flows throughout the Bible until God Himself offers Himself on the cross. See Philippians 2:5-11.]

Day 14, part 2 [Geneva – Orlando] Final Thoughts

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

With this entry I’ll wrap up the final day of the 2011 Mission POSSIBLE Tour, and give a few final thoughts on the past 2 weeks.

The First Baptist Geneva pavilion we stayed in is at the edge of a huge field of several acres, with a volleyball court, basketball court, and even a soccer field. Earline took this picture of 3 crosses also in that field.

Three crosses at Geneva

Pastor Mike and Timothy stopped by to say goodbye. Thanks Pastor Mike, and thanks to First Baptist Church of Geneva. We appreciate you!

As we headed south, I “felt” that we needed to get off of the shorter Geneva Drive to Oviedo, and take the longer Snow Hill Road route. [Geneva Drive has no shoulder and MUCH traffic.]

And after a mile on Snow Hill Road, we saw this sign:

Deaf person sign

Does anyone know who this sign is referring to?

Not only was Snow Hill Road a pretty road with much less traffic, but when we got to Chuluota and Hwy 419, the wind was behind us and we had a nice 4 foot shoulder!

And then….oh, oh…..I forgot about this bridge, too. Over the Econ River…..at least this one was flat!

Looking over edge of Econ bridge

Eventually we got thru Oviedo and to the start of the South Seminole trail….last time we were here there was simply a sign that said, “End of Trail.” But now, as you can see, they ARE building a bike trail bridge over Red Bug Lake Road…..looks great!

End of Seminole Trail

The trail was a nice change after fighting all the traffic from the past 2 weeks.

South Seminole Trail

And then….lookie, here….OOPS! Yet one MORE bridge. [Guess I forgot about this one, too!] This is the bike trail bridge over Semoran Boulevard, between Aloma and University.

Approaching Semoran Ave bridge

A little bit of a steep pitch to this one, but Earline couldn’t stop, because a couple young kids were zooming up it beside her on their bikes. That would be embarrassing!

Couldn’t help but feel secure on this bridge, though….the only traffic was under it, and much fencing meant you had a web of protection.

Semoran bridge

The Cady Way Trail is one of the oldest trails in the city….I used to ride it when the Navy Base officers golf course was right beside it. As we got closer to Fashion Square Mall, the clouds started looking menacing….Seriously? The forecast earlier today was for 0% chance of rain!!! What happened??!!?

Dark clouds

We started feeling drops, BIG drops, so we covered up our side bags, and by the time we got to the Colonial Plaza area, it was started to become a nasty drizzle.

No rain to ride in for 2 weeks [okay, maybe a little in Crescent City], and now, 5 miles from home, we start getting wet??!!? What??!! Well, it turns out, that maybe there was a reason.

We snapped a quick picture of the “Jesus Car” of pro caddie Fred LeVeque. Interesting!

Jesus Car, Fred Le Veques

Earline suggested we duck into TooJay’s for a quick soup and sandwich to wait out the rain. Lot of older folks eating there [which is ALWAYS a sign I look for], and huge menu, AND…. our hostess knew sign language! Why?

Because not only was her son hard-of-hearing, and getting pretty good in ASL, but her fiancé was hard-of-hearing, his siblings were Deaf, and their parents were Deaf! Wow….thanks, Lord, for making it possible to establish more contacts, and help fulfill a need.

We also met Miss Gail, whose daughter and son-in-law own a bike shop in Orlando, Retro Cycle….gonna have to stop by and say hi!

By now it was dark, but we just turned on all our lights, and headed down Livingston Street, which has a bike lane all the way into downtown.

Triking on Livingston

Down Orange Avenue to Church Street, with a quick stop for a Christmas photo at the same place we did a promo shot before our 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour.

Steps for Christmas card

A special thank-you to ALL of you who contributed food and lodging, to help make our 2011 Mission POSSIBLE Tour POSSIBLE!

A couple things we learned about triking in Florida….this time of the year was a GREAT time to go if you like cool weather and dry conditions. And we also quickly noticed that bugs don’t seem to like this time of the year….which was absolutely fine with us!

Road-wise….we quickly realized that Florida just does not have many roads….at least not all the small, country roads that we noticed and used a lot last summer. Looking on a map, there is a reason that there are a lot of “blank” places on the map….Florida has lot of swamps!

So when triking or “biking” in Florida, you will have to get used to riding alongside lots of busy roads, with much traffic.

[So, Earline, what will our NEXT trip be?? Do I hear Key West, anyone?]

Our burden for the Deaf increased even more, at least from my standpoint. So many of the seniors at FSDB that we talked to had no clue what what they would be doing next year. That has to change!

Skills need to be taught and encouraged….needs of OTHERS need to brought to their attention, and personalities and passions need to be examined and nurtured so that these kids can not only feel fulfilled, but know that they are called to be active and needed members of the body of Christ.

Our Show and Tell Mission Tour to Dallas this past summer taught us that. [See Ephesians 4:16]

The need is great and the laborers are few…please continue to pray for the people and circumstances that I have mentioned in this blog. YOUR prayers DO make a difference. We saw them at work the past 2 weeks.

Thanks again, everybody….we love you!

And especially, thank you, Heavenly Father, for Your guidance, Your strength, and Your love.

ONLY through God’s grace,

jon

Day 14, UPDATE 5

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2011

We’re home! We made it. 35 miles / a FEW raindrops / and MUCH gratitude to God, and to all of YOU who helped make this Mission POSSIBLE!

Through God’s GRACE,

jon