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Spent the first couple days on a high-speed grind across six states I'd already crossed and re-crossed dozens of times since college. I did consider passing the miles by counting trees (Hey, I've done similar with kayak strokes by the thousands) but there were just too many of them.
I finally just shifted into Stoic mode -- which I'm good at a€“ hunkering down and staring at the road ahead for dangerous debris. Occasionally I see an annoying sign alongside the highway and latch onto its theme to pass the time. My traveling companion (I'd say my pal) Kawasaki has been behaving and is giving me 50 mpg. Who knows, you may get lucky and I'll be left speechless by the beauty of the Great Plains. In the 62 years I've been consuming corn -- popped, on the cob, candy corn, tortillas, chips, corn syrup and liquor -- I'm sure I haven't eaten more than an acre's worth, tops two. Spent most of yesterday crossing Missouri on Route 70, a nondescript stretch of highway notable mostly for its gentle undulations -- like a kiddie roller-coaster -- and the amazing number of billboards atop 50-foot stanchions lining both sides of the road. The pace is going well enough that I'm giving up the interstates for the smaller, slower roads. The drawback to abandoning the interstate is no longer having the shelter of the underpasses when there's rain or lightning. 98 degrees yesterday, possibly higher today, and the engine I'm straddling ups it even further.
But, as they tell you at the beginning or end of many church services, "This is the day we are given. Drove up into the Bighorn Mountains yesterday to get some relief -- and it did knock 10 or 15 degrees off.
Spotted a fluid leak from my rear axle, which is a concern because I have limited tools with me and even less know-how. But I remember seeing it in 1952 and unless they've added some guys up there, I figure I'm covered.
This stark, barren topography of northern Wyoming looks so familiar to me, and I realize it's from that 1952 trip when the Old Man drove Mom and us four boys out here to see the national parks.
Traveling in the car with him was like being confined in tight quarters with a very cranky grizzly bear. Aside from the 1,500 miles of lush farmland from Ohio to Nebraska and the Bighorns, I liked the Black Hills of South Dakota lots -- if you erase the tourist towns of Custer, Sulphur Springs and Keystone, which are pure kitsch. Last night I drove far afield and couldn't make it back to a population center where they might have brand-name lodging -- Holiday Inn, etc. The large dining was was empty except for five young waitresses on break, sitting at a round table with a quiet young fellow about their age.
The youngest and smallest of the ladies -- I'd say she'd just finished high school, or was about to -- came over and asked if it was cold outside. Then she grabbed a telephone and called her boss, who apparently had composed and printed the menu. The other waitresses had jumped up and gone through the entire supply of new menus, only finding the a€?bubesa€? misprint in four of them. I pulled out a map to occupy myself: Yes, I was the one who found the typo, but I was laying low on this topic. Still bothered by the SUV rollover I came upon three days ago high in the Bighorn National Park. The lone occupant of the vehicle, a Jordanian student working at a park resort for the summer, had multiple and truly grave injuries -- fractures, gashes, internal bleeding that was bloating his belly. Although successive people held his hand and tried to encourage him -- and a passing doctor and EMT specialist did all they could -- what he really needed was an operating room, quick. So he lay in agony alongside the road for almost two hours until an ambulance arrived from a town 30 miles down below and carried him to a patch of road that was flat and open enough for a medevac helicopter to put down.
As for the rodeo action, for me it was like expecting to see the Yankees and getting the Newark Bears -- not even a€?single-Aa€? ball. Many lassoes were flung but few calves were roped, barrels mostly got knocked over in the circle-the-barrels horse races, and nearly every cowboy immediately got bounced off the bucking broncos and bulls.
The most fun of the night was when they invited all kids 12 and under to the arena floor to win a prize for snatching ribbons ribbons tied to the tails of three calves running loose.
I was hoping the boy, who appeared bright enough to do it, would remind him that New Hampshire was one of the original colonies, but maybe he was too polite. The Testicle Festival near Missoula, Mont., is in mid-August this year, and I'll be long gone. So many bikers around the South Dakota-Montana-Wyoming junction that everyone's a€?quit waving. The road west through the Lolo Pass into the Bitterroot Mountains overlies, in part, the path of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1805-06. For me, to travel over the same ground covered by these 32 brave and resourceful men (never forgetting the remarkable Sacajewea with her baby) is an electric experience. For me, to drive along this pathway -- now Route 12 -- was a privilege and an honor I can't properly put into words. The journals of Lewis and Clark are among the great American documents and the best kind of adventure tale -- a true story experienced by people we hope we could emulate.
Two of them were in a motel in Grand Island, Neb., two in a passing car in South Dakota and one in a roadside softball game in Nevada. True, I haven't gone through any real cities, but I'm wracking my brain and I can't recall seeing any other African-Americans.
In the category of What Else Is New?: a€?In Riggins, Idaho, a rough-feeling former mining town on the Salmon River, now a a€?summer rafting center, a 50-ish tourist I'd seen an hour earlier strolling on the street a€?lurches away from the Salmon Inn, a billiards joint that sells beer and pizza. Rolled my bike out of my brother-in-law's San Diego garage, reset the odometer to zero from the 5,060 miles recorded on the westbound leg, and I'm off! The terrain turns bleak just a handful of miles east of San Diego: Barrenness, rock piles, occasional scrawny bushes. In this visual monotony, the mind drifts and I recall driving past a menacing looking blockhouse of a bar in San Diego that had a foot-square white sign on its door.
From Yuma east to Tucson is Moon-like landscape with scrub brush and mountains in the distance. Had the joy, in the far outskirts of Phoenix, of spending eight hours or so talking with Bil Canfield, the best cartoonist The Star-Ledger and before that The Newark Evening News, ever had. Drove -- and drove some more -- east through the startling sprawl that is Phoenix and into the Pinal Mountains. I drove nearly all the way across New Mexico staring at the a€?skies: Fortunately, the straightness of Interstate 10 let me do it without a€?wrecking. I know it's a vestige of my time in the military, but I have a great a€?aversion to people in uniforms.
Well, this strip above the Mexican border-- from California across to Texas -- is positively crawling with uniforms. You see them in McDonald's, they're racing around in trucks, they're in helicopters scouring the desert, they're at random checkpoints miles north of the border.
The waitress was a bubbly local girl named Cindy who was pleasant enough but had a voice so shrill it pierced to the bone. There's a lot of guys in these parts driving pickup trucks in what I would call a hostile manner. The 140 miles of Route 180 north from El Paso to the Guadelupe Mountains National Park are little-traveled but gorgeous.
I left the bike on the shoulder of the highway and walked off 100 feet to try capturing the scene with my camera. He gives me the exact mileages, tells me how long it'll take to get there, says where to turn en route and notes that there's 18 miles of construction along the way but it shouldn't slow me down. The sky heading north into West Texas was all bright and blue except for one dark patch, which grew larger as I rolled onward As the black area expanded I could see lightning strikes and columns of rain in its core. I sped up -- to 90 mph at one point -- figuring I would outrun it or outflank it, but the storm always stayed directly before me. While I was struggling to put a tarp over the bike, a blocky lady sheriff in a gray-panted uniform ran out of the diner to her cruiser. I covered my bike, took a photo of the nastiest looking sky I've ever seen and sprinted to the safety of the diner. The young fellow, wearing a Texas Tech T-shirt, brushed dead flies off my table next to the front window. Half a dozen were bouncing against the window pane and others were flitting on and off about every surface in the place.
I ordered a coffee and burger and waited, taking comfort in being in a safe place with a kid who seemed to understand weather conditions I didn't. In another few minutes I gave up trying to clear my helmet visor by hand: I lifted it and took the rain in my face.
I couldn't judge which way the storm was traveling, so there was no evasive actiona€?to take.
I spent the better part of one day crossing the length of Oklahoma east to west with a 30 mph blow going on.
Finally, Cheryl got them all up and busy, filling sugar bowls and wiping down chairs in advance of lunch, and I left.
So many bikers around the South Dakota-Montana-Wyoming junction that everyone's quit waving. I'm saving one Butte mystery for another visit: How a bar in a blue-collar neighborhood next to the pitmine got the name Helsinki Yacht Club.
I get the impression a lot of folks out here don't much care for Easterners, or maybe it's just me personally they don't like.
In the category of What Else Is New?: In Riggins, Idaho, a rough-feeling former mining town on the Salmon River, now a summer rafting center, a 50-ish tourist I'd seen an hour earlier strolling on the street lurches away from the Salmon Inn, a billiards joint that sells beer and pizza.
A A  Had the joy, in the far outskirts of Phoenix, of spending eight hours or so talking with Bil Canfield, the best cartoonist The Star-Ledger and before that The Newark Evening News, ever had.
A A A  Drove -- and drove some more -- east through the startling sprawl that is Phoenix and into the Pinal Mountains. A A A  I drove nearly all the way across New Mexico staring at the skies: Fortunately, the straightness of Interstate 10 let me do it without wrecking. A A  I know it's a vestige of my time in the military, but I have a great aversion to people in uniforms.
A A  The waitress was a bubbly local girl named Cindy who was pleasant enough but had a voice so shrill it pierced to the bone. A A  There's a lot of guys in these parts driving pickup trucks in what I would call a hostile manner. A A  The 140 miles of Route 180 north from El Paso to the Guadelupe Mountains National Park are little-traveled but gorgeous. A A  I left the bike on the shoulder of the highway and walked off 100 feet to try capturing the scene with my camera.
A little more than a year ago, on February 9, 2010, Madison Violet appeared as part of John Platta€™s On Your Radar series at the Living Room in New York Citya€™s East Village.
Although it is sporadically written that fiddler Natalie MacMaster is a relative, they are not related.
Brenley MacEachern was born in Montreal and grew up in a small Scottish community in the town of Kincardine on the shores of Lake Huron. Brenley started writing, but harshly appraises her efforts as a€?pretty rough.a€? She didna€™t really know how to write using the guitar, so a couple of times shea€™d get together with another guitar player and sing the melody while he played along, but never liked the end result. Both Brenley and Lisa thought they were going to work in the medical field, Brenley as a lab technician and Lisa as a pharmacist. Lisa states, a€?I was in grade 12 and was asked to do a musical comedy touring show called the Cape Breton Summertime Review.
From online interviews we learned that Brenley had bought a looping machine and had looped her own voice. The longer they played together, the rootsier their sound got, the old record collection seeping in more and more. Of particular influence was an album they discovered around 2005 by Nick Lowe called The Convincer (released in 2001), which had a feel that reminded them of the old a€?Charlie Rich days.a€? The writing was a€?so strong,a€? said Brenley, it convinced them to go back to their roots.
When they sold their albums at shows, the fans took note of the more-produced sound on the CDs as opposed to the stripped-down sound of their live performances. Les Cooper, a big Alison Krause fan and a local Toronto producer, was their choice to guide their most recent album, No Fool for Trying.
I forgot to ask if the pedal steel on the first track, a€?Ransom,a€? was a result of the girlsa€™ insistence. While I love their latest CD, Ia€™m going to have to attest that I love hearing them rock out on their earlier work. Brenley was exposed to music from the time she was very young.A  There were two cousins who played guitar and everyone on her fathera€™s side of the family sang. Brenley started writing, but harshly appraises her efforts as a€?pretty rough.a€? She didna€™t really know how to write using the guitar, so a couple of times shea€™d getA  together with another guitar player and sing the melody while he played along, but never liked the end result.


Lisa states, a€?I was in grade 12 and was asked to do a musical comedy touring show called the Cape BretonA  Summertime Review. When they started out, and Brenley asked Lisa to jam on fiddle and sing a bit with Zoebliss, an a€?ambient trip-hop band,a€? they were light years away from their current style. I did have a deer bound in front of me on Route 80 in Pennsylvania but my horn-honking turned him. But these cornfields stretch outwards hundreds and hundreds of miles from here (Grand Island, Neb.). I think it's to find some little bit of company and comfort out among all the larger vehicles. Without that cover overhead, you're on open country roads getting soaked and -- worse -- sitting on a big piece of metal that attracts electrical charges. Forecast for the next four days where I'm going in Montana-Idaho is for the same temp, with chances of afternoon thunderstorms. The look of the Bighorn National Forest is austere, powerful, vast, a lot of rock faces with detritus heaps below.
I was concerned the fuel injector wouldn't automatically adjust to these changes in altitude (4,500 feet on the high desert to 9,000 in the Bighorns), but it's purring wherever I take it.
Rushmore the other day but didn't make the effort to go see it, which sounds vaguely anti-American even to me. It was hard traveling, especially to make a two-week 4,000-mile round trip like the Old Man did, as the lone driver.
But he did want us to see places maybe most kids didn't and I think he wanted to make us adventurous. The formula for making them would be: Take a sea of sand about 200 miles across, stir it up a bit so you get rounded, swelling waves, top it with tall grass, sprinkle lightly with black Angus cattle and every mile or so plunk down a windmill to draw water for the cattle. As I ate, dust clouds from the adjacent road being repaved swirled around the parking lot, a crushed root beer cup was whirling in irregular circles near the table, and in the distance, jagged lightning bolts among the dark clouds atop the Bighorns. I explained that my leather jacket wasn't for warmth, but for padding, in case I fell off the bike. The last thing I am is a flag waver, but when the pennants of the rodeo's sponsors -- Coca-Cola, Dairy Queen, Pinnacle Bank, the U.S. Picking their way along Indian trails and bushwhacking through the towering evergreens, Lewis and Clark had no idea how deep this forest would be, only that the Pacific lay somewhere ahead.
I stopped along the way to read every historical marker, each keying the location to a specific entry in the two expedition leaders' daily journal.
With this kind of light ahead, I think I'll need shades every morning till about 10:00 all the way home.
Then the Imperial Valley, which is inhuman in its sterile, mass-production agriculture way. The landscape is all creosote bushes about 20 feet apart and occasional gray rock ridges sticking out of the dust like the dorsals of buried lizards. Who's more manly, Hulk Hogan or Mahatma Gandhi, who probably couldn't bench-press two Wheaties boxes on a stick but helped topple the British Empire? I assume folks come here to warm their old bones -- it gets to 115 degrees in summer -- and stretch their savings.
The old copper mining towns of Miami and Globe have great potential for photos but the light was wrong and I couldn't wait for it to get right.
Billowing several thousand feet in the air, it a€?looks like the product of the largest explosion that ever was, but it a€?doesn't float away or change in any way. The driver was from Utah -- and a look-alike for actor Charles Laughton -- who had doubled back to see if I needed help. If my bike had been disabled, he'd have committed himself to driving me 75 miles to arrange for repair, and he knew that.
I veered off the road next to a small town's grain elevator, which I thought might give me some cover.
Its occupants turned out be a skinny kid in charge, who stood about six-foot-six, somebody working the kitchen, me, and about a thousand flies. After about half an hour the kid said, "If you're goin' to Lubbock, you should be all right now. I could still see a thin strip of blue sky and sunshine before me along the horizon, but raindrops began pelting my windshield.
Hailstones began to mix in with the rain, pellets about the size of peas ricocheting off my plastic windshield and helmet. I was hanging off the right side of the seat and still had to tilt the bike a couple degrees in that direction to counter-act the northbound wind.
As I ate, dust clouds from the adjacent road being repaved swirled around the parking lot, a crushed root beer cup was whirling in irregular circles near the table, and in the distance,A  jagged lightning bolts among the dark clouds atop the Bighorns.
Someone has popped him on the cheekbones as perfectly as as you can be punched -- pinpoint shots. Billowing several thousand feet in the air, it looks like the product of the largest explosion that ever was, but it doesn't float away or change in any way. The following fall they showed up at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. Within about six to eight months, she had met her future musical partner, Brenley MacEachern. Brenleya€™s father is from Cape Breton, so she spent two weeks of every summer with family there, a€?down east,a€? about a mile away from where Lisa grew up. I took the last couple of months of school off, faxed in my work, and finished high school that way. During a rehearsal session with Lisa, she left to get something and, from another room heard her own voice again, but with Lisa having added her own. When Lisa and Brenley compared the collections a few years back, it was a€?pretty uncannya€? to recall the number of Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton albums their parents had. They have one EP and three full CDs out to date a€” Mad Violet (2002, EP), Worry the Jury (2004), Caravan (2006) and No Fool for Trying (2009).
The fans would buy the earlier CDs and come back and ask if there wasna€™t a recording that captured their live sound. Brenley began writing in a folkier rootsy style for the two of them, and Zoebliss fell away, since the other members of the band had day jobs and couldna€™t keep pace.
Driving through the puddles on the highway was a little unnerving but there were no overpasses for shelter, so I had to keep going. Louis for Night 3, but otherwise it's been just the banter with waitresses and gas station folks. I got out the sturdy Pope Paul II church key someone gave me (OK, I bought it) and used it as a kind of giant screwdriver to tighten the fluid cover. I drove hundreds of miles out of my way to get there because it was billed across the state as a hi-grade rodeo. They bolted and the kids chased them every which way, sprawling in the dirt and whatever else was on the ground.
When I walked away from the bike to take photos I found a€?myself straining to get enough oxygen. Winter was approaching, and the party's hunters were having no success in finding game on the steep slopes of these unending woods.
Lassen, Calif., to visit with my buddy of five decades Ted and his wife Carolyn, then wrap it up with two broiling days down Veggie Valley (California's Route 5) to San Diego.
Don't know if you have to bring your own water: I sure didn't pass over a flowing stream or see a lake for a couple hundred miles.
Bil suffers from Blatt's Sydrome, wherein the body ages normally but the mind never makes it past 18 -- well, maybe 15 in Bil's case.
The place bored me quickly: Only the cowboy hats distinguish this casino from the the East Coast brand. The pluses with a bike are limited to the physicality of the travel -- if you like that -- and a natural buzz from rolling along out in the open. When I walked away from the bike to take photos I found myself straining to get enough oxygen.
On city streets, it might take the form of a long-limbed beauty wearing high-heeled knee-high boots.
As they described their evolving life paths to me, the phone line hummed and crackled with their energy.
The street they grew up on is called a€?Fiddlera€™s Rowa€? because every house on the street has had someone in the household who plays fiddle. In the second semester, I started dating the guitar player, hanging out with the a€?wronga€™ crowd, having way too much fun and playing guitar all the time. Lisa hadna€™t yet sung on stage with Brenley due to her fear of being heard, and Brenley, having not been aware that Lisa sang, was thunderstruck at the sound of their voices together.
My two closest friends and I would sit together on the school bus, squished together, and sing three-part harmonies on Rankin Family songs. The same similarity applied to the number of fiddle albums, Gordon Lightfoot, Beach Boys and Elvis Presley records. They changed their name to Madison Violet for the most recent CD, to reflect their evolved style.
Playing in Australia for three to four months of the year also gave them a chance to evade the Canadian winters.
Brenley commiserated with the ethos of their fans, saying she also gets disappointed when she buys an album and the layered production obscures the nature of the songs shea€™d heard live.
His decision to strip the sound down to a bare minimum met some resistance, both women wanting more instrumental backup, especially from feisty Lisa. She was 7 years old when she started taking step-dancing and piano lessons.A  At 9 years old, she and her three closest friends would go to the local community hall every Wednesday evening for group fiddle lessons. I used to sing in the church choir, which was fine, because it was a group and you could kind of hide behind things, as with being a fiddle player, you can hide behind your instrument. After half minute of mayhem, the boy who had grabbed the first ribbon brought his proof to the announcer in the center of the arena.
About 17 years old, he's attempting to a€?grow a beard but it's a€?sketchy and mostly fuzz.
And the clouds, which are soft and thinnish at eye level, become brilliant white, three-dimensional puffs directly above. I thought maybe they had given me the plexiglass model from the a€?food showcase in the lobby and slathered barbecue sauce on it.
I thought maybe they had given me the plexiglass model from the food showcase in the lobby and slathered barbecue sauce on it. Lisa and Brenley were trading snippets of mutually shared childhood background a few minutes after they met. I was going to go to college at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and study science the first year before studying pharmacy. The fearful part was having my lips on that microphone and knowing that it was raw and everyone in the audience could hear what was coming out of me.
When I characterized Gordon Lightfoot as a Canadian-bred country influence, Brenley countered that, as a touchstone, he was a lot folkier, less country-like than, for instance, Neil Young, one of her major influences.
Although the challenge before me really wasna€™t so life-shattering, at themoment it seemed huge and mountainous.
I ate my Papaburger Special at a giant picnic table in front of the place, joined by by six unruly kids who piled out of a van from Missouri.
A redhead, a€?about 30, who Ia€™d seen walking with him earlier, chases after him for a a€?while, a€?calling his name. A redhead, about 30, who Ia€™d seen walking with him earlier, chases after him for a while, calling his name.
I learned what I know about songwriting as well as what I know about guitar playing from Brenley,a€? Lisa said. I didna€™t think I had the stomach to be a doctor and I thought that the closest I could get to the medical profession was to be a pharmacist. While theya€™d initially steered away from their parentsa€™ tastes, they both admitted to a secret love of American country music. The teacher, Stan Chapman, was heavily involved in the careers of many a professional player in the younger generation in Cape Breton. Behind his back, when she was around 12 or 13, Brenley would sneak into his room and play it whenever he went out to play with his friends. I would be about a foot away from the microphone until the lead singer would turn around and look back and then I would put my mouth up to it and pretend that I was singing into it. Summit reminded me a€?of the fjord area around Bergen, Norway -- no trees, just rock and some hardy a€?vegetation. He had a€?fond memories of the place, which police shuttered in 1982 after 100 years of operation.a€?a€?Went out for a beer in Uptown, but the bars were too raucous. She gives up after 100 feet, turns and runs back to throw her a€?arms around the neck of the guy who did the thrashing, a very beefy fellow about a€?25 in a muscle T-shirt. Summit reminded me of the fjord area around Bergen, Norway -- no trees, just rock and some hardy vegetation.


He had fond memories of the place, which police shuttered in 1982 after 100 years of operation.Went out for a beer in Uptown, but the bars were too raucous. She gives up after 100 feet, turns and runs back to throw her arms around the neck of the guy who did the thrashing, a very beefy fellow about 25 in a muscle T-shirt. September came and I went to a€?Frosh [Freshman] Weeka€™ and got the university out of my system during that week and never enrolled for any classes. As the two began to tour more as a duo and less with a band, it was their desire that their albums become more a€?strippeda€? down and attempt to replicate their sound as a duo.
Lisa stated, a€?I dona€™t know what he does or how he does it, but just about every fiddle player who does it for a living thata€™s come out of Cape Breton was taught by Stan Chapman.a€?A  Lisa played for traditional Scottish square dances on weekends and in various folk bands.
As the two began to tour more as a duo and less with a band,A  it was their desire that their albums become more a€?strippeda€? down and attempt to replicate their sound as a duo. It has a way of magnifyingA issues to the point of being ridiculous, but when youa€™re in the midst of the situation, it seemsA so real. Negatively, entire working class neighborhoods were gobbled up by the mining company as a€?the pit expanded.a€?The Uptown District is on the National Register of Historic Places but that's a€?not doing much for its current economic health.
Negatively, entire working class neighborhoods were gobbled up by the mining company as the pit expanded.The Uptown District is on the National Register of Historic Places but that's not doing much for its current economic health. I realized the first time I sang on stage, right from the get-go, that it was what I had to do. Brenley has said that she never saw him cry and [paraphrasing here] thinks it woulda€™ve done him some good.
That was her means of income, as opposed to working in a fast-food restaurant, a more typical fallback for a teenager. Some elements in her learning progression included using her brothera€™s Eagles songbooks, and picking up songs from Crosby Stills and Nash albums from a frienda€™s father.
Only after the event has passed do you realize how silly it was to be so worried about somethingA that was so non-eventful.A But at the time Ia€™m telling you about right now, I was consumed with worry. They're trying to restore the a€?district but it still looks worn, like the subjects of an Edward Hopper painting. They're trying to restore the district but it still looks worn, like the subjects of an Edward Hopper painting. She also recalls learning how to play Don McLeana€™s a€?American Pie.a€? Later, while dating a guitar player in college, she got introduced to the songs of Cat Stevens. I paced back andA forth, fretting, thinking, and pondering, making myself even more nervous by my anxious behavior.A I was nothing but a bag of nerves. I love Hopper.a€?I stayed at the Mindlen Hotel, a 1924 knockoff of the now-demolished Astor a€?Hotel in NYC, but this version's only nine stories tall. I love Hopper.I stayed at the Mindlen Hotel, a 1924 knockoff of the now-demolished Astor Hotel in NYC, but this version's only nine stories tall.
Intimate moments shared between a husband and wife occur in the bedroom.A Although the husband and wife love their children in nearly every other sphere of their lives, this isA one sphere that isna€™t available to anyone else. Within the first sentence that came out of my mouth, singing in front of a live audience, it was like I was struck by lightning a€” I know this sounds cheesy a€” Wow!
Realizing how deeply I was sinking into worry, I reached for myA Bible to try to find peace for my troubled soul. The Mindlen's been a€?restored to its a€?original condition, which was that of a fine businessmen's hotel.
The Mindlen's been restored to its original condition, which was that of a fine businessmen's hotel.
Tall-columned a€?lobby, chandeliers, marble floors.a€?I didn't detect there were any other guests with me on the second floor, which a€?is maybe why I slept so well. Tall-columned lobby, chandeliers, marble floors.I didn't detect there were any other guests with me on the second floor, which is maybe why I slept so well. Through Philippians 4:6, I could see that God was calling out to me and urging me to lay down my worries and come boldly before Him to make my requests known.
This does not literally mean you must pray in the bedroom any more than it means you must pray in a closet. I realized that this verse showed me step by step how to lay down my worries and boldly make my requests known to God. The concept of a bedroom is only used to convey the idea of an isolated and solitary place where you can be alone with the Lord.A When we enter into a time of prayer, it should be done at a place and time when we are not interrupted so the Holy Spirit can speak to our hearts and we can bare our hearts to Him. If I followed the steps laid out in this verse exactly as I understood them, I would be set free from worry and fear! I promptly followed these steps, and in a matter of minutes my worry was replaced with a thankful, praising, and peaceful heart!A As the years have passed, I have had many occasions when worry and fear have tried to plague my mind. Each of us should make it a daily priority to have this special time of communion with the Father through the Holy Spirit. At times, these challenges have simply been enormous.A This is the reason I so entirely identify with the Apostle Paul as he describes the difficulties he encountered in his ministry.
It doesna€™t matter where you and I spend this private time with God; it just matters that we actually do it. Just as Satan regularly tried to disrupt Paula€™s ministry, the enemy has also attempted on many occasions to hinder our work and thwart the advancement of the Gospel.
However, none of his attacks have ever succeeded, and the Gospel has gone forth in mighty power!A In moments when worry or fear is trying to wrap its life-draining tentacles around me, I rush back to the truths found in Philippians 4:6. He often prayed on a mountaintop or out in the wilderness, far fromA the hustle and bustle of the city. Just as I followed the steps found in this verse so many years ago, I still carefully follow them whenever I start getting anxious.
There is nothing in the Bible that says the early morning hours areA more holy than other hours of the day, and nowhere does the Bible teach that praying on a mountaintopA is somehow better than other places. Every time I do, these steps lead me from worry and fear to a thankful, praising, and peaceful heart. Jesus chose those early morning hours because it was aA moment when He could find solitude and quietness with God. In fact, I have learned that if I faithfully follow these steps, fear will always be eradicated and replaced with the wonderful, dominating peace of God.A So dona€™t let worry wrap its tentacles aroundA you.
Instead, listen to Paula€™s advice about how to deal with the problems and concerns that try to assail your mind. This particular word and its variousA forms is used approximately 127 times in the New Testament. So if you really want to be with the Lord, you will find time for that as well.A Think about it. By using this word to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is telling us that theirs is an intimateA relationship. But with all the distractions of modern life we often find ourselves living on spiritual snack food instead of a healthy diet of God's Word. It was originally used to depict a person who made some kind of vow to God because of a need or desire in his or her life. This individual would vow to give something of great value to God in exchange for a favorable answer to prayer.
Here are seven suggestions that may help you have a better quiet time in a noisy world.A 1. When you give GodA your problems, in return He gives you His peace.A Perhaps youa€™ve experienced this great exchange at some previous moment in your life. Once you truly committed your problem toA the Lord, did a supernatural peace flood your soul and relieve you from your anxieties?
The word deisis is translated several ways in the King James Version, including to beseech, to beg, or to earnestly appeal. Paula€™s use of this word means you can get very boldA when you ask God to move on your behalf. You can tell God exactlyA what you feel, what youa€™re facing, and what you want Him to do for you. If you want to have a more meaningful quiet time, view Bible reading and prayer as a daily dialog with God, a daily meeting.A 3. If youa€™ve ever generously given toA someone who never took the time to thank you for the sacrifice you made for him or her, you knowA how shocking ingratitude can be. DON'T FEEL GUILTYHave you ever heard someone confess, "I'm having trouble keeping a regular quiet time.
Although the request has only just beenA made and the manifestation isna€™t evident yet, it is appropriate to thank God for doing what we haveA requested. FIND A PLAN THAT FITS YOUMany people say, "I love to cook but I hate to decide what's for dinner." The same principle is true when it comes to a daily quiet time.
There are manyA good Bible reading guides available from other publishers or your church denomination. The Greek word a€?aska€? destroys any religious suggestion that you are a lowly worm who has noA right to come into the Presence of God. Then you won't have to spend your quiet time in "menu planning" and you can experience "the joy of cooking."A 5.
Declare to God what you need; broadcast it so loudly that all of Heaven hears youA when you pray. Instead, come before GodA and give Him the things that concern you so He can in exchange give you what you need orA desire. Be bold to strongly, passionately, and fervently make your request known to God,A making certain that an equal measure of thanksgiving goes along with your strong asking.A You have every right to ask boldly, so go ahead and insist that God meet your need.
Ita€™s time to move from fear to faith, from turmoil to peace, and from defeat to victory!Lord, I thank You for allowing me to come boldly before You in prayer. My temptation is toA worry and fear, but I know that if I will trust You, everything I am concerned about willA turn out all right. Right now I reject the temptation to worry, and I choose to come beforeA You to boldly make my requests known.
I go to God with those things thatA are on my heart, and I clearly articulate what I feel, what I need, and what I expect HeavenA to do on my behalf. I always match my requests with thanksgiving, letting God know howA grateful I am for everything He does in my life. Do you give in and allow worry and fretfulness to fill your mind, or do you run to the Lord and commit your problems to Him?A 2. In return, did He fill you with supernatural peace, enabling you to overcome the worries that were trying to devour you?A 3. If these truths were helpful to you, can you think of someone else you know who needs this sameA encouragement? If youa€™ve evergenerously given to someone who never took the time to thankyou for the sacrifice you made for him or her, you know howshocking ingratitude can be. Put into practice some of these ideas and soon you'll discover that those few quiet time minutes may become the most meaningful part of your day.A A So select a quiet place where you wona€™t be disturbed. Once you go to that place, shut the doorA to outside interference and to the voices that are constantly calling out for your attention. Focus onA only one thing: this very intimate and private time with the Father.A This is so important that you shouldna€™t delay in acting on it!
The truth is, IA havena€™t made my prayer time a priority in my life; therefore, I havena€™t been consistent inA prayer. So I am asking You to help me locate a time and place where I can be alone and uninterrupted with You. I am faithful to pray, to fellowshipA with the Father, to bare my heart before Him, and to listen to what His Spirit has toA say to me. What time of the day have you found to be best for you to really pray without being interrupted by other people or business?A 2. When you do spend time in prayer, what is the average amount of time you stay in the Presence of God?
Can you honestly say you linger in His Presence, or do you have a a€?rush-in, rush-outa€? experience with the Lord?A 3. If you examine your prayer time, what do you find that you pray about more than anything else? But with all the distractions of modern life we often find ourselves living on spiritual snack food instead of a healthy diet of God's Word. IT'S A MEETING, NOT A HABITPeople refer to the habit of daily Bible reading and prayer. Don't focus so much on the mechanics of the process that you miss the Person behind it.



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