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Wednesday July 11, 2007

Day 38 - Bismark to Perryville, MO, 53.9 miles, 3:11

Our ride today was just 54 miles to make room for a quick excursion to St. Louis (last night and this morning) to visit Connie's Aunt Ginny, Aunt Raejean, Cousin Pam and Cousin Vicky. Aunt Ginny is undergoing chemo treatments and needs our prayers.

The minor route juggling caused us to spend the first 17 miles of the afternoon in a modern and moderately flat suburbia (above). Then, a left-hand turn onto Hwy T, and ahh, back on the Missouri Roller Coaster. We've left the super dooper whoopty doos of the Ozark Mountains behind and moved back into "rolling hills" mode. It's fantastic, a lot of fun.

I even worked in a few monster sprints over six or seven consecutive bumps. Look out Winston (that's Winston Edwards who along with Chris Hughes will be joining me in north Georgia next week). Come on boys.

The thought for today has to do with choices. If you've followed along to this point, you know that the route we've been on is a parade through America-town. From one small town to the next, we're learning to understand a part of this country we had not been formally introduced to.

The really short trip to St. Louis, though, was a blast back to the fast-paced, American populous. I mean, we stayed in a town of 9,000 back in Wyoming and thought we were in Manhattan. What a contrast driving into an MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) of over 2.8M people.

Point is, there are many routes we could have used to cross this land. But, the one we are on is the one we are on. We chose the route, and the things we see and experience are an obvious and direct result of that decision.

What route are you on? What are you seeing and experiencing as a result of that decision?

Late today, as I rolled through some of the most beautiful country homes, ranches and farms I've ever seen, I thought about St. Louis. I thought about Tampa. I thought about the decision my wife and I have made to raise our family in Temple Terrace, FL.

I thought about the decision we've made to follow Jesus Christ. I thought about a lot more than that.

And, the more I pondered it - choices - the more I came to see that God doesn't really make decisions for us anyway.

And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Genesis 2:16-17

God doesn't honor some decisions. But, He blesses every decision we make, when those decisions are for His glory.

Jesus said in John 15

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

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 J. Boe Ellis - 813.732.0619