I love summer! Seems like the crowded trails have thinned out a little with the summer heat. Get out and enjoy while you can, will be cold and dark soon enough. Rode Falcon last week and with the long summer days explored all the trails on the top, including the ruins of what was once envisioned as the summer time United States Presidential home/retreat.
This week is White Ranch, one of the few directional, bike only trails in Denver. They paved the parking lot and are almost done with a new trail at the end of Longhorn, so worth coming to check out what's new. Several of us will be in Salida this weekend, so might be a little smaller crowd.
How do you protect yourself or your bike when riding? The rider pictured above on the old Trestle Mountain Goat trail looks well protected for the expert terrain. I have a front fork fender to help prevent mud and crud getting thrown all over my bike. I also put frame protection tape (shelter tape is what I use) on most of my bikes. I have huck norris tire inserts in my rear tire. All of these are meant to help guard my bike from unnecessary wear and tear and make it easier to maintain. For myself, I often wear gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads, and depending on the ride a full face helmet. I also always wear a wrist brace due to my previously broken wrist and elbow. I’ve learned, sometimes painfully, the importance of protection against injury from wrecks. How much more important to guard our hearts out of which our life flows?
This week, we continue with the theme of “heart condition” and focus on “guarding your heart.” Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Why guard the heart?
The proverb says that we guard the heart because everything flows from it. Earlier in this devotional series we talked about “garbage in, garbage out.” In other words, what you put into your mind and body is what will come out. We also previously discussed Matthew 15:18, which states, “But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.” So it is important that we guard our heart so we don’t let evil infiltrate our heart. If we do, that is what will flow from the heart. The writer of Proverbs 4 emphasizes this throughout - stay on a safe path, don’t get sidetracked, don’t do as the wicked do. Paul also touched on this when he said, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 (NLT). The point is, we need to focus on guarding our hearts so we can be transformed and live in the manner God wants us to live and help build his Kingdom here and now. If we don’t guard our hearts from corruption and other worldly issues, then we become of this world and worldly things, not Godly things, flow from our heart. Instead of building others up, we tear others down. Instead of loving our neighbor as our self, we hate our neighbor. As such, just like we buy protective gear to guard our mountain bikes and bodies from breaking, we need to practice guarding our hearts so what flows from us is pleasing and honoring to God.
What armor should we put on to guard our heart? See Ephesians 6:10-18, for “the whole armor of God.” “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Eph. 6:10-18 NLT
I was sitting in an ER in the mountain’s once and the nurse said, “Full face and some armor would be cheaper than a chest X-ray”. Learned that lesson the hard way and expensive way. What lessons have you learned that if you had guarded your heart you would have avoided? What is in your life that you need to guard against by applying Ephesians 6? If you take inventory of the whole armor of God, what are you missing or need to upgrade?
This Week's Ride (Full Schedule)
When: Thursday, 07/30/2020, meet at 5:45pm, start at 6:00pm.
Where: White Ranch
Directions: East Access 5611 Glencoe Valley Rd. Golden
Questions: Reply to this email or join the facebook group
There is already guidance on how to safely enjoy the parks and trails.
From JeffCo Parks:
DO NOT visit parks and public areas if sick; stay home, seek medical care
DO NOT gather in groups larger than 10
Practice social distancing of at least 6’ in parks, trail heads, trails.
Bring your own hand sanitizer and/or hand washing supplies.
FACE COVERING required; use when near others or when passing on the trail
High-risk visitors, use discretion for park visits and public restroom use
Waiver: Mountain biking can result in injury. By attending this ride you acknowledge the risk as stated in the group waiver