Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pedal Day 24 - MINNESOTA

"A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook."
-Proverbs 18:4

"Pedal up a tilted flat for me."
-Lesley Osborn-Scott

"I think the water's wetter this year . . . and the dirt's dirtier . . . and the snakes are closer to the ground!"
-Donnie Brown, philosopher, motivational speaker, actor, and just a well-rounded person.

We made it to Minnesota - Land of 10,000 lakes! Yipee!
Today was a good, windy day. We had wind in all directions but it does not seem to matter any more . . . we just pedal toward Maine! We still serve and love the Master of the Wind!
We have now pedaled a total of 1,562 miles and only ridden across four states. The good news is three of those four states are the longest states: Washington was 383 miles, Montana was 666 miles, and North Dakota was 421 miles. Idaho was only 92 miles with all but seven miles being uphill! Today's ride from Hope, North Dakota to Moorhead, Minnesota was only 71.4 miles.
Our ride today was headwinds and tailwinds, high traffic and no traffic, no shoulder and wide shoulder, and towns and cities (Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN). We pulled out of Cooperstown at 6:35 A.M. Cooperstown is a "Main Street U.S.A." type of town. It's clean and the folks there are very friendly. Our visit with Richard Olson at Westside Motel was quiet and refreshing.
After we pulled out it didn't take me long to discover that I had forgotten to put my water bottles on my bike. That's not a good thing since we did ride in some warmer temperatures than before. That was no problem though, I kept thinking that I'd buy some bottled water along the way, after all, we were going through a number of small towns. In Page (pop. 265) there was one Cenex service station and it was closed, Erie (pop. 80) we were greeted by two friendly black labs but no place to get a drink, Argusville (pop. 118) only a bar that we could find and I wasn't looking for that kind of water, and finally Harwood (pop. 590). Jonathan and I went off our route and into town looking for a restaurant. We didn't find a restaurant but we did find the municipal building and met Sherry. When we asked her about places to eat she told us there was a bar that sold burgers up on the next street and there was a Cenex station that sold pan pizzas, drinks, etc. We talked with Sherry about our trip to Maine. While we were talking she asked, "Would you like a bottle of water?" It was like Christmas time for me! We sat and talked and when Jonathan and I left the municipal building all I needed was a trash can for my very empty water bottle. We did go to Cenex and we did get personal pan pizzas but the water was the best boost of my day. Thank you Sherry!
Along the way as we finished riding North Dakota I did get some photos of farms. I am impressed that the farms are so neat and clean. I also could not resist and took a few more old barn photos. Even though everything is so flat along our route the ride was very scenic with all the agricultural equipment, farms, barns, grain elevators, farm animals, and very special small communities.
I sure enjoyed my bottle of ice cold water today but when I got to the motel I was thirsty again. When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink in John 4, she was surprised because the Jews refused to have anything to do with Samaritans. She didn't know who she was talking to and Jesus said to her, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water" (v. 10).
Later, in the course of the conversation, Jesus said, "People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water." referring to the well, "But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life" (v. 13-14).
While Jonathan and I were riding today we spoke a little about revival. He asked me, "What do you think it would take for America to experience revival today?" 
My response was quick because we really don't have to think too long about it, "For God's people to get right with him." 2 Chronicles 7:14, God's formula for revival, begins with, "If MY PEOPLE . . ." We have stopped the flow. Instead of being perpetual springs of living water we have let ourselves become little squirts of tradition, religion, and business-as-usual. People are thirsty.
I heard about the town drunk getting saved. One of the townspeople who knew him teased him and said, "Heard you got saved last week. Do you really think you'll quit drinking?" To which the man replied, "Oh, no, I've not quit drinking, just changed fountains!"
Let's not be reservoirs.


  1. Hey Barry,
    I enjoy reading your blog every day from Honduras. I look forward to being able to go back and read the first post in light of the last. Hope you don't get any earthquakes like us, haha! Seriously, I love reading your insights into our country and seeing what God gives you each day. Hope the wind is with you tomorrow...

  2. I'll bring you some water in Ohio ok? Sure wish I was there with you guys! Sarah, have fun and harass your dad for me....maybe you should look into one of those suits the astronauts used a couple of weeks ago. It might save you some time.
    9.998 million and 1/2.

  3. Is it a coincidence that Montana is 666 miles across? I think not! Interestingly, you can almost get the word Satan out of Montana. Hmmm...maybe if you add an "s" to Montana and make it Montanas it would work a little more effectively. Still, you've got "Atan", and that's mostly evil, right? Or, if you want to be nitpicky, even if you can't get Satan, you can get Nomanta, which in Swedish means "land of the nose-pickers". Glad you made it to Minnesota. Please pass by an actual building that's taller than 2 stories and put the picture up for variety.

  4. Its a new state! YAY! This means you have new squirrels to hit! If you hit a squirrel on your bike you woud be "the man." Also, I don't think Donnie is a well rounded person, but a good actor? Yes! haha! Keep on pedaling!

  5. Oh, such a fabulous passage in John 4 where Jesus shares living water with the Samaritan lady! He seems to be preparing her heart for the ceremony that would soon happen in Jerusalem. He was letting her know that what is inside is what counts not necessarily an outward expression, a ceremony, in which, by most Jews, she certainly would not have been welcomed to participate. Jesus nearly repeats His words 3 chapters later in John 7:37-39 to the Jews who where participating in this Water Libation Ceremony (This ceremony originates from Isaiah 12:2-6. Check out these verses and then read what Jesus said in John 7:37-39... I think He was getting at something!). Some say that you have never experienced true joy until you have celebrated the Lord at this ceremony. This is significant because of what the Lord told them about Himself being living water. True joy can only flow from the Living Water that HE springs up within us thus enabling us to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
    Oh, and btw, today (5/29) is Pentecost (Shavuot), the day God gave us the 10 Commandments and, MANY years later, His Holy Spirit! Praise YHWH! What was on tablets of stone can now be on the tablets of flesh (2 Cr. 3:3)!
    OK...gearing down from teacher mode! Sorry...I just get so excited about God's Word that I think I will explode sometimes! And that would be kinda messy!;) I just love your blogs because they get me digging in the Word! Keep pedalin' & writing!

  6. So, I'm thinking that you should attach a "baby seat" on the back of your bike and you can take Eli with you for a few days on your ride:) He'd love to spend some time with Papabur and it would keep your ride exciting:) I can meet you in Ohio and get you hooked up:) HA HA!!

    Have a great day! The Canadian, American, and Ethiopian are praying for our Georgian "Papabur" and "cousin" Jonathan:) and of course for the QUEEN!!

    Miss you all!!

  7. Ah, Minnesota, the land of sky blue water (1 degree warmer than ice). Longfellow wrote The Song of Hiawatha having never seen the state but reading letters from a friend who visited MN. The state flower is the Lady Slipper, a beautiful wild orchid. The state bird is the Loon. Pipestone County is one of two places in the world where the soft granite called "pipe stone" is quarried, and it only by native americans. The Calumet or "Peace Pipe" is formed from this soft red granite called Pipestone. Native Americans history abounds in SW MN. Its interesting that in the USA, the politically correct term for a people group we used to know as Indians is Native Americans. In Canada, its First Nation.

    Do you think Danny would be interested in a Minnesota History and Geography class at PACS?