Wednesday, January 18, 2017


            My intake manifold gasket was leaking.  So, one Saturday morning my oldest son and I tore it down.  We cleaned all the parts, installed the new gasket, and put it back together.  Finally ready to start it up again.  A few seconds into the run a loud hammering sound started coming from the engine. 
“Shut it down!” 
“What was that?” 
“I guess we’ll find out!”
We pulled a few spark plugs and found one smashed and beaten.  Something fell in the open port when we had the intake off.  How careful can you be and still do it wrong?  Every available precaution can be practiced and still, bang!  There are rules that apply no matter how sincere the plan.  Things must be accomplished the correct way.  No matter how earnest, there is little forgiveness to be found when done wrong, boom, the damage is done.  
The good news is that damage is often repairable. Sometimes the consequences can be reversed.  There is a way to start over.  So much of life is not just a matter of doing what ‘seems’ right but rather seeking to learn what ‘is’ right.  There is a correct way to build a motor.  There is a correct way to build a life.  Anything else will be problematic, “Seek the Truth!”

Pro 16:25 ESV   
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Timing Pointer

I wanted to set the timing on the new engine.  It was then that I noticed there was no timing pointer!  Everything has to do it’s job at exactly the right moment or the motor will not run.  If there is even a small error in the adjustment, the old truck won’t run well.  Oh, you could drive it for years that way; burn a little extra gas, have premature wear and tear on parts, or even catch on fire; but why not do it the best way?  It would make sense to try!  One does need to tune up these old engines now and then and make sure things are good.  I just want to start strong and drive for a long time with very few troubles.  It is unrealistic to think about such a thing as ‘no troubles!’  However, it’s not a bad idea to check the timing.  The pistons need to have good ‘top-dead-center’ relationship with the fire from the spark plugs.  If these relationships are poor the motor will not run right.  We may never get everything right in this life, but God’s Word has a few timing pointers.  Perhaps things would be running a little better if we were tuned into the scripture.  Now where is my timing pointer? 

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.                        2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Step Up

The older trucks had running boards.  They are anchored to the frame by three solid supports strong enough to hold a couple of real men.  Unlike some newer nostalgic replicas made of plastic these are very functional, real steel, running boards.  When I was cleaning these two fellows up the other day I did not notice a little factory sticker with a red lined out circle warning “not a step!”  There are many things in this old life that look like a step up, but are not.  Sometimes the elevated platform does not indicate advancement.  Just because a person can look down does not mean they have the advantage or the exalted position.  My desire to get behind the wheel might be realized by stepping on the running board.  May God help us if we only see others as the running board that put us in the driver’s seat!  When we step up to do the right thing, may it never be at someone else’s expense.  When we step up make sure it is a real step. 

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 1 Peter 2:21 (KJV)

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Gas

I moved the gas tank out of the cab and put it under the bed.  I have learned the hard lesson about gasoline.  What have I learned?  I hate running out of it!  I have run out more than once in my lifetime.  When I fail to take the time to respond to the gauge, when I fail to stop at a station, and when I fail to fill the tank, I soon find myself wondering, “Why am I stranded on the side of the road?”   If I truly learned these lessons about petro, why did I ever run out of gas a second time?  It must have something to do with the location of the filler cap near the back of the vehicle.  When I am enjoying the ride of my life, I usually do not watch the gauge: I look at the scenery. When cruising down the highway, I don’t see the filler neck or the little door on the side of the car.  I know it is there.  In know how to put gas in the car, but who thinks of that on such a nice day?   There are some things that we should do before we ever leave home in the morning; we need to have enough fuel to get through the day.  We will go no farther than our preparations will allow us.  Check the gas gauge! 
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.                          Psalms 5:3

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Load

How much work has this old truck accomplished?  I can tell by the scars and dents on the back of the cab that there have been a few burdens.  The way the front of the box was smashed up against the cab, it would indicate a rare load or two may have slid forward after a hard stop.  How much more could have been stacked up back there?  I suppose now with the new engine the old truck could haul more than ever before.  Yet the framework is still light duty pick up, 3100 Chevrolet, half ton.  Sometimes we will get into a project a little deeper than we should.  In the process we realize that this potential risk we now face has been here all along!  Sure it is only a few more bricks!  Wisdom would dictate the prudence of a little thought prior to loading.  It would be smart to avoid getting into trouble at any stage of life.  It would not be good to engage in activities that will only abuse the life out of us.  There are common things that require way too much work!  It looked like fun at the time!  The payoff is too high!  We were never intended to carry a load of those bricks anyway!  Sometimes, it would be better to never load the truck!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.                                             1 Cor 10:13 ESV

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Little Things

I was just standing there looking at the old truck.  I should have left the garage a while ago but I noticed I had not re-connected a grounding strap.   Since the truck cab is resting on rubber mounts there must be a flexible braided brass strap connecting the metal cab to the steel frame. Without it the electrical system will not work.  It is very important to get this done.  It was just another little thing that had to be completed.  I cannot tell you how many more little things still need to be accomplished.  I have figured out that these things must not be overlooked.  Each little undone thing is a potential nightmare waiting to terrorize my life, my ride, on the open highway.  Sometimes I wish I could see all those little things right now and make a good list ahead of time.  Unexpectedly, there is a new list of things demanding attention right now!  On the other hand, if I really understood how much work there was yet to do I might become discouraged and quit.  Maybe the blessing is in not knowing about all these things that remain unfinished.  I am certain there will be some challenges yet to come but for now, I must keep going!  Get something done every week.  Stay faithful to the project.  Until then I will just keep working on those things I already know about. 

Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.   Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
Phil 3:15-16 (ESV)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


I was gazing upon a picture of the old truck today.  It has been almost two years since I heard there was an old truck setting out behind this guy’s house.  He told me to go look at it.  He said, “If you want it you can have it.”   The old truck has been mine since the day I brought her home.  The present and future condition of this ole’ truck now rest upon my ability to keep any and all promises I have made.  The funny part was, there in the yard; to look at her you could not tell much had changed.  The old truck had a new position, my yard.  It had new authority, my control.  She had a new loyalty, my service.  The work of rescue and restoration had begun!  Now the old truck is somewhere amid the reality of what she once was, and what she will become!  In this place concerning two realities there is a lot of room for her old scars to be seen while she is in full anticipating a new life.  Those of us who see the scars should not judge.  Those of us who see her beauty should find hope for the days ahead.  Her hope is with her owner, the one who made the promises; she will run the roads again.

 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.              1 John 3:2-3 (ESV)