Monday, June 21, 2010

The Escape To Rodanthe Beach, NC

It was just what the doctor ordered:  Sunshine, Cool Breeze, Camping, and Ocean.  Donna and I had a great time on our visit to Rodanthe, NC.  PJ and Amanda traveled with us for an 812 mile round-trip motorcycle ride to the island.  We were blessed with a weekend of leisure and relaxation.

When we got there and set up camp, we were first visited by our neighboring camper.  We told her this was our first trip to Rodanthe.  She went back to her camp and quickly returned with a book titled "Nights In Rodanthe".  She asked if we ever saw the movie when it was on the big screen.  Both Donna and I had heard of the movie but never saw it.  The lady gave us the book and said it was a welcome gift from her.  We took turns throughout free time to read the book aloud while the others would sit and listen.

We stayed on the Sound.  However, the beach was a mere three football fields away.  I normally sit in the shade on our outings.  But this time something grabbed me from within my spirit.  I just had to jump in the ocean.  With PJ and Amanda nearby, Donna and I walked into the water.  It was an awesome feeling.  PJ and I got into very deep waters and swam.  The water was cool and strong.  The waves were white and crisp.  The most fun was when a wave took Donna down only for another wave to keep her down.  Then a third wave finished with a climax of Donna falling to her back in four feet of water.  I felt like a child playing, swimming, and laughing. 

In the evenings, we tended to our sunburns and ate hotdogs and hamburgers.  Gathered around the fire pit, the four of us told stories about when we were college age, wild, care free, and in a sense, Renegade.  Some stories I got into I would just as soon have forgotten because it reminded me just how much God was looking after me.  We dreamed of staying at Rodanthe and becoming beach bums.  We talked about retirement and how important it would be to remain lifelong friends.  And, we had the best hamburgers on the island.  People were visiting our campsite commenting on the sweet smell at our site. 

That night, after Amanda, PJ, and Donna went to bed, I sat up by the campfire and thought about my life, my purpose in life as a Counselor, and my relationship with God.  Overall I am pleased with the direction God has given me.  I am very happy with the purpose of helping people with mental illness and maladaptive behaviors.  I am thankful that God decided to love me after I finally made the decision to love Him.  But something interesting happened that night as I was walking to the bathroom.  My dad died in 1983, and I used to dream about him often, until a final dream when he waved goodbye.  Until that time I had never dreamed of my dad.  But as I was walking to the stall, while in the darkness, for a split second, on the ground beside the building I saw my dad standing there watching me.  It shook me, and I never forgot it.  I found out the next day that it was Father's Day weekend. 

As we left the campground I carried with me something I didn't have when I first arrived.  I carried joy, peace, and tranquility.  It was nice to escape to Rodanthe and be a kid for awhile.  I definitely look forward to our next visit there! 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

BFC Cookout in Lenoir, NC

Last week Budd Mack invited the High Country Bikers For Christ Chapter to his home for a cookout.  I had not worn my colors for the last couple of months and debated on even attending the event.  It was Thunder Sunday at Mountain Grove Baptist Church.

The morning worship service was more than I expected.  That church welcomed bikers from all walks of life.  The pastor gave a testimony for his sermon that told of his younger days living for a 1% group in Southern California.  It made me see that maybe biker ministry does make a difference; it sure did in his life.  And he now reaches multitudes of people. 

After the sermon, I went outside to get a dip of snuff.  While sitting in the shade, a BFC brother came to me and shared some of his current hardships.  I had the opportunity to get closer to him and learn what a really great guy he is.  We sat there on the curb and poured out our hearts to each other.  Once more, I realized that my BFC colors really do make a difference.

Around an hour later, we landed at Budd's house.  There were brothers from several different chapters standing around and fellowshipping.  It was so easy to get into a conversation.  We really are like a family.  But it took that cookout to remind me why I have a passion for riding today.  I met new friends.  We laughed and for a little while I forgot that I was struggling to fit in with the group.

When I got home I prayed.  My wife and I had a talk.  And I put on my colors.  It felt good.  That night, I got on the BFC International website and joined the forum.  I posted an entry, and it didn't take more than a few hours to get a reply.  Finally, I was back at home.  My brothers are still my brothers, and my life is back to normal.  Now, in the next few months, I plan to ride and visit a few chapters myself.  Hopefully, I will regain strength in my spirit that says Motorcycle Ministry is worth the effort.  Regardless, I know God has given me a great national group to ride with.  We are family in any state we travel.