Archives For June 2007

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Mike —  June 30, 2007 — Leave a comment

Finally made it through a whole night of racing without any ‘incidents’. Didn’t hit a wall. Didn’t blow a tire. Didn’t break anything. Didn’t have any mechanical issues. Didn’t even scratch the new paint job!

Didn’t lose. Despite having the wonderfully fortunate opportunity to start in the very back row for the main, I was able to get through all the traffic and win all three of my races last night. And for the first time on a Saturday morning… my car’s ready to go for next week’s race. Too bad I’ll be out of town this next Friday! Oh well, at least the car’s ready to go when I get back. (Of course that doesn’t mean there won’t be any tinkering whatsoever.)

New Look…

Mike —  June 21, 2007 — 1 Comment

Huge thanks to Greg – who painted my car while I was out of town! Now, it’s fast AND it doesn’t look like a pile going around in circles.

"Because I Can…"

Mike —  June 15, 2007 — Leave a comment

My kids love to climb. It’s a trait I think they’ve inherited, because I love to climb, too. So I wasn’t really surprised the other day when I was sitting in my office, not climbing, and my wife called to say that Dakota (who is 5) had climbed up onto the roof!

Ok, it did surprise me a little; he’s usually very cautious unless he’s extremely confident he can do something right . He wouldn’t even walk when he was little until he knew he could do it without falling.

Apparently our younger boy, Josiah, had come inside saying something that wasn’t too intelligible. Right now, a lot of what he says is less than intelligible. But LuAnn could make out “climb” and “roof” so she called on Emily for a little translation. She is fluent in Siah and confirmed that he was indeed talking about climbing on the roof. “It wasn’t me!” was her reply, coupled with a less than surreptitious nod in Dakota’s direction. (The boy, not the state.)

Dakota acknowledged that he had climbed onto the roof a couple days ago and shrugged off the whole incident like it was no big deal. So last night, I asked him to show me exactly how he got up. He climbed up onto the top rail of a short section of fence between our carport and garage. “Look, my head is clear up here!” Again, with a very cavalier approach for a five year old, he pulled himself up. “See.” “So how did you get down after you were up there.” The look said, “Duh.” The boy said, “The same way I got up!”

Talking with him about the seriousness of cracked cranium’s and sidewalks, and power lines and fried insides, I asked him why he climbed up on the roof. I wasn’t quite ready for his answer. I expected and “I don’t know,” some shrugging of the shoulders, a misplaced frisbee for an excuse… but I got none of the above. Instead, it was “To show Emily that I could.”

The dead pan tone in his voice said more than his words ever could. I’m not quite sure if he was ‘dared’ by his big sister or had been called on a claim to greatness that he was forced to back up, but he revealed himself to truly be a boy seeking adventure… conquering challenges… proving He can.

I pray as he grows that he’ll come to know and love the God who can make him able to accomplish whatever He sets before him… and that he’ll survive the “as he grows” part!
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Oh, and yes I did get him to jump off to me! Sorry mom – I couldn’t resist.

First Win!

Mike —  June 13, 2007 — Leave a comment

My second time out, I hit the wall (see a few posts back). This was the result:

Actually, that is what the car looked like after about 4 hours of pounding, pulling, twisting, sledgehammering good times! It was a really frustrating afternoon last Friday. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to race that night – actually I wasn’t sure the car would ever be race ready again. It was pretty twisted and things not quite lining up right.

But, with despair hovering like the stench of a dead carcass, I pulled it out to the track anyway, knowing that I might not be able to race and hoping against all mechanical logic that it would be ok. I didn’t get there during practice, so I was a little anxious for my chance to time in. Just wanted to see just how the car would run and handle. Got all my gear on, buckled up, etc. and turned the key… nothing.

A battery cable was loose enough that the juice couldn’t flow, so nothing happened. Got that adjusted and started and turned off the car several times and ready for the trophy dash. Went to line up for the start… all geared up… buckled… nothing. This time, I worked out a better solution to the problem.

Despite missing the time in, and the trophy dash, I was ready for the heat. I’d won two heats in previous weeks, but that was before smashing the face of the car into the wall of Turn 4. Determined to take it easy (not sure that means a whole lot to anyone driving a car on a race track), I headed out for the heat. Things felt pretty good. I was right with the leaders and made one move to the outside for a pass, but when the back end started to slide out again I decided to not push it too much. So I finished third in the heat.

After waiting for the other classes, it was time for the main. I got held up a little bit behind a slower car at the beginning, but made it around him without too much problem after a bit. I settled into second spot, but was really pushing the leader (and by pushing, I mean following very closely – and by very closely, I mean inches). I worked my way to the outside of him and passed on the outside WITHOUT ending up in the wall. After that I pretty much checked out and finished about a half a lap ahead of the second car. A much better ending than the week before!

I got this trophy and I’ll get a check this Friday for winning, but a really cool and unexpected thing was a little deaf boy who’d drawn a picture of me winning. He came up afterward to give me the drawing. It was pretty cool – and a good reminder of what’s important. I’m here to be a light for people. Even in the midst of competition and grease and banged knuckles and bent sheet metal, it’s about being an ambassador for Christ. I got a fan. Someone noticed me. May he see Him.

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This is the size of my engine, btw. Pretty sure it’s the smallest one out there, but it likes to run!

Know 1 Student

Mike —  June 6, 2007 — 2 Comments

This was my article for the newsletter this week:

I want to use this space today to ask for something of grave importance. Actually the results and consequences of what I’m asking for reach far beyond the grave. Here’s what I’m asking you to do… I’m asking you to make the effort to get to know one student well enough to pray for them. Not some generic “God bless Junior…” type of prayer. You need to really know the student. And that will take time. It will take investment of your self into their life. And it will send ripples through the waters of eternity.

Students across America are walking away from what they see as a church that has nothing to do with real life. Many churches have set themselves up as little bubbles that float around, visible to the world but never really making contact. We at WestWay are called to be more than just visible. The Body of Christ is in the world today to show God’s love to the world (just like Jesus did). We’re not going to do that by simply turning the lights on and saying “Here we are, look how well we do church.”

Students don’t care how well we ‘do church’ (I suspect that neither do most other people outside of the church for that matter) – they don’t want to ‘do church’. They want to be known. They want to know their Maker. They want a reason to live. And they can find all of that through you if you’re willing to care for them.

Get to know one student. Talk with them. Talk with their parents about what’s going on in their family. Love them. Pray for them. Prove to them that they are worth the attention of the Creator of the Universe.
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I still feel that there is much work to be done in building bridges between generations. I am completely on board with ministry that specializes in working with specific ages – but something is wrong when there are near zero opportunities in the church for generations to interact. I don’t think it’s primarily a programming issue, though. I don’t think the solution is to just come up with artificial opportunities for young and old to rub elbows – though that could be a good step as well.

I think it’s a matter of the heart. Is it just that we are so easily sucked into our own lives… have we become blind to anything outside our own gravitational pull? …unwilling to sacrifice for the sake of someone ‘different’? I’m still not sure if we’re being distracted or just plain selfish.

Oops

Mike —  June 4, 2007 — Leave a comment

Friday night started out really well. I got to the race track at a good time. My car passed the safety inspection. I timed in with the second fastest time in my class. That means I started the trophy dash in the back of the pack (they do inverted starts here with the fastest cars in the back). I finished that race second (out of 6 cars).

Again, for the heat race, I started in the back of the pack. This time, I made it past everyone and won the race. Things were going really well. We’d adjusted air pressures in the tire and I’m getting a better feel for what the car needs to get around the track quicker.

So we get started in the main. The last race of the night. I was in third place and really pushing the guy in second (not literally). I was a little faster and just waiting for the right moment, when he’d bobble a little and leave me enough space to get past. As we went into Turn 1, he slid up just a little and I darted into the open slot below him – just as he recovered and decided he wanted to drive in that same patch of asphalt. We banged side to side – no damage, no loss of control – and kept racing.

I’m now in second, and I just had my first contact with another car. I didn’t really know the guy and wasn’t sure how he was going to respond. As the laps wound down, I got to thinking a lot more about where he was behind me and less about keeping my car on the the right line around the track. Honestly, I was afraid he might retaliate and try to spin me, so I moved up on the track a little bit to make sure there was plenty of room if he thought he could pass.

The problem is… someone had spilled a bunch of oil up high and there was still a lot of track dry up there. Track dry is great for soaking up oil off of asphalt. It’s lousy for creating traction on asphalt. I started to slide around turn 4 and slid right into the wall. My first crash!!! The front end’s all bent out of shape and the car wouldn’t start back up because the battery cable actually popped off the terminal on impact. My night was done, but the car should be ok. I should be able to get it bent back into shape (mostly) by this Friday night and be back out there. Fun, fun, fun…