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Monday, July 17, 2017

Wheels of Wisdom - Life Lessons For The Restless Spirit: Book Review

Certainly, you don't want to begin in a trek across the open frontier, whether by bicycle or on foot, without the bare necessities: a compass, food, water, and protection from the elements. However, you may also want to consider packing wisdom, encouragement, perseverance, and hope. Wisdom will help you make good decisions, encouragement will sustain you, and perseverance will keep you moving forward. Hope seals the success of a journey across any frontier, because it convinces you that safe arrival at your destination is possible.

As Director of Rescue for TheHopeLine, the authors have the opportunity to serve and oversee others who serve many people who lack bare necessities and are struggling to move forward. Each year, TheHopeLine engages tens of thousands of people around the globe. In the authors role, they've learned three things about the need out there: First, people are struggling regardless of location, age, occupation, ethnicity, religion or income. Second, everyone needs help sometimes.

This book is neither a theological book nor an adventure journal, though it contains elements of both.

The authors come at life from a Christian perspective. We know that not all people are in the same place in their spiritual journey - or even believe such exist.

The authors "honeymoon on wheels" occurred in the summer of 2010 shortly after they were married. They were first-time newlyweds at age fifty-two. They shared this journey in their inaugural book, Two Are Better: Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast, a memoir that describes how God brought them together and then the celebration that followed on their self-supported tour from Oregon to Maine.

In 2012, they cycled from Florida to Maine on their Mom-to-Mom Tour.

Then, in 2014, the authors embarked across America yet again when they cycled from Oregon to Pennsylvania. They dedicated that tour to raising awareness and funds for a cause that is dear to their hearts. Hence, the name TheHopeLine Tour of 2014 came to be.

They share in the book that speak to recognizing your purpose and calling. Discerning right from wrong is important, but it's not always easy.

All of us were created with unique qualities, and we were not cut out for just anything.

Truly wise is a person who thinks before he speaks and says something that sticks with you.

Not all of us are wired to bicycle seventy miles a day. Have you ever asked yourself, What was I made to do? We all have unique gifts and desires. Once you discover your special attributes and devote your time to utilizing them, you'll experience deep joy and fulfillment as you live out a facet of God's calling on your life.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. JEREMIAH 29:11

When you travel to parts unknown, you need a reliable map. And when you feel you're losing your way through life, it's time to consult the road map for life - and to follow what it says.

Francis Marion National Forest was the setting for a beautiful ride on the Mom-to-Mom Tour after we left Moncks Center.

When Debbie became a Christian and finally allowed God to guide her through life, His Holy Spirit kindled her heart and stimulated her mind as she read the Bible. She could ask and to shed light on challenging passages. Studying the Bible with others has also helped illuminate its meaning for Debbie.

Just like the bicycling maps, the Bible offers more than she realized at first. No wonder it is the best-selling book in the world. The Bible has become her daily dose of wisdom, hope, and encouragement.

The Bible contains instructions that can guide you wherever you go in life. Debbie shares she is going to follow His Word as best she can, one step at a time, so she will never get lost again. Won't you join following the Bible?

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. PSALM 119:105

When you're off course, you need to take great pains to get back on course or else you will jeopardize the achievement of your ultimate goal. And, sometimes, shortcuts will only get you further off course.

Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. PROVERBS 4:25-26

When was the last time you took a shortcut and got off track in your personal life?

You've heard it said, "Haste makes waste." Well, it's true. Take the time to do things right the first time.

As Time and Debbie headed into town, he said to Debbie, "His rear tire doesn't feel right. It's squishy."

He wrestled with the heavy, bulky bicycle and then decided to remove the panniers,because he couldn't balance the bicycle and work on it. Debbie located the tools and handed them to him. A young man who had heard their commotion from an open window emerged from the house on the corner as he removed the rear tire.

"Do you need any tools or any help?" he offered. He was wearing a T-shirt with a logo for a Christian school, which he found reassuring, he'd volunteered for years helping a Christian school with their accounting,

When they arrived in town, they pulled up to a convenience store for a break. When he looked down at the newly repaired tire, it was flat ... again. Maybe the young man at their last stop would have performed the repair more proficiently than Tim had.

Sometimes we travel through life too fast.

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. PSALM 103:10

Do you find yourself having to repeat chores because you hurried through them the first time?

What you value most will either advance you toward your goals or prevent you from attaining them. The wrong values and priorities can derail your trek.

We'd traveled the Hi-Line for four days on our honeymoon tour.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. MATTHEW 6:21

Unexpected developments can lead to discouragement.

Rather than losing hope, be encouraged. You can get moving at a healthy pace once again.

It's important to remember these two words found throughout the Holy Bible: "Fear Not."

Fear not, for I am with you: be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. ISAIAH 41:10

How can you continue to move ahead and work through your fear rather than allowing it to control you?

When we dwell on problems rather than seek encouragement and solutions, it's hard to move forward. Negative thinking will kill our efforts every time.

Debbie and Tim were both determined to move on, wiser and better prepared.

Sometimes, God sends us help when we're having trouble helping ourselves.

Debbie wondered what caused their Good Samaritans to pass their way precisely when they needed them the most. What caused them to stop?

It's confronting to know God sends the perfect helpers at just the right time. You needn't be afraid or worry when you trust in Him. Simply enjoy the ride!

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. LUKE 10:33

How did you describe it at the time: as a chance encounter or a divine appointment? How about now?

When you experience a miracle, it's time to let others know about it.

Debbie have been amazed by the healing power of God. When she asked God to take away her bulimia back in the early summer of 1986. God hears our cry for help and healing.

Sometimes, we are healed instantly, and sometimes, it takes time. Since she became a Christian, she have had to wait a long time for some prayers to be answered. Throughout her thirties and forties, she prayed for a husband. Tim and Debbie did not get married until they were both fifty-two.

One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see. JOHN 9:25B

When the riding gets rough, don't lose sight of the big picture. Difficult circumstances are usually temporary. You'll find relief on the other side and have a better appreciation for the blessings in life.

Encouragement feeds a soul in pursuit of worthy goals. You'll find it in most unexpected ways.

And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. MATTHEW 28:20B

Think of three different forms of encouragement that you received in the last week.

After dinner, Debbie and Tim had joined about four hundred people of all ages already gathered in the large auditorium for worship, the program, and prayer. It was powerful. The praise band led them in worship.

Finally, a humbly prayer warrior prayed that God's extravagant would ignite a mass movement of faith in Jesus across the nation.

God makes a promise in 2 CHRONICLES 7:14 - "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Tim and Debbie Bishop have coauthored four books about their midlife launch into marriage, cross-country bicycle touring, and other matters of faith and inspiration.

The Bishops serve as volunteer for Hope Coaches for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.

Since TheHopeLine receives its support entirely from private sources, it is often in need of funding to sustain its important work.