The Bandidos had their 13th annual Summer Sizzle at Ernie’s on the Lake this year, and as you might imagine, it was well attended. We arrived a bit after noon, and there were already quite a few people there. Ernie’s has quite good food, so Debbie and I shared the Fish Tacos, which was just right as a relatively light lunch for the two of us. In addition to good food, there was a silent auction, and live auction, and a DJ playing some good tunes. I brought about 25 copies of my latest book, the Monochrome edition of “UCOA: The Biker Experience”, and made them available for donations. The went fast, and I continued to receive requests, so I will be bringing another 25 to the UCOA Meeting next month. We made the rounds, saying hello, enjoying the air conditioning. Eventually we worked our way out to the deck by the water to enjoy the view. Eventually they brought everyone back inside, for twelve auction, which had some really nice items. We didn’t bid on those, but Debbie did manage to win one of the silent auction items, a little chrome clock for one of her bikes. Eventually things started to wind down, or maybe we were winding down, I’m not sure. Anyway we headed home, and stopped at the DQ on the way to cool down a bit. Definitely a good day.
We had the August UCOA meeting out in Georgetown at the Bentwood event facility, graciously provided by Ernie the owner and good friend of our community. So if you need a place for a wedding or a fairly large party, Bentwood is a great location.
Anyway, the meeting was very good today, Summer must be almost over, cause there were a bunch of events announced. So get ready for the Fall season, cause it’s almost here. And be sure to check out the Austin calendar at http://ucotexas.org
About four years ago, I published “UCOA: The Biker Experience”, which is an 8×10 inch 278 page full color photo book of my experience as Chaplain of UCOA (United Clubs Of Texas). At the time, there was a lot of interest in the book, but since I had to price it at almost $50, buyers were certainly fewer than I might have hoped. That is not to say there weren’t any buyers, I think I sold or gave away almost 80 copies.
About a week ago, God reminded me how in-expensive the black and white versions of my Moments books are, and I realized that I could make a Monochrome (B/W) version of the Biker Experience book. I thought that perhaps a smaller version of the original book would be interesting, so I decided on 5.6×7, which is a 30 percent reduction of the original size, but maintained the same aspect ratio so that i could use the existing content without having to do a bunch of work to reformat the photos. I am of course keeping the same number of pages 278, so the only changes internally to the book were to change the copyright date and to specify it is the First edition (of the monochrome version).
So, presto chango, with a little more work to shrink the existing cover down to the right size (while keeping the same two handsome bikers are the original cover, just smaller), and I was able to submit the book to CreateSpace. Today I received the first proofs, and they look pretty good. Most of the photos translated well from color to B/W, and like the first book, you need to view it in good light because the paper is not glossy (keeping down the cost). There are a few photos that are really too flat from a contrast perspective, but not many, so I like the way it came out.
Ant the really good news is that the cost of the monochrome version is only about 1/5th of the color, so instead of almost $50, it will sell on Amazon for $9.95. I will have a few copies with me tomorrow at UCOA, and I have ordered another 25 copies that I will have next month. It is a piece of history, and covers the growth of UCOA from about 2005 to 2013. I hope you enjoy it.
I have spoken many times in these “moments” about brotherhood and what it means to be a biker and to experience the brotherhood of being a member of a motorcycle club, or other organization that builds relationships between men in ways that fulfill our natural desire to be part of a family, and to know we can rely on our brothers regardless of what may come. And of course brotherhood isn’t just a male thing, it can also apply between women and to male/female relationships.
But, today I would like to talk about devotion. Devotion is something we express toward someone. Perhaps a spouse, or to our family. Devotion is an outpouring of love that draws us into action. It might take the form of a young man that loves a young lady, who lives in the next county. He drives 30 miles every night after work when he’s exhausted, just to be with his love for a few hours before crashing in his own bed after driving another 30 miles back home. Or, it could be a woman who gets up early every morning to prepare breakfast and lunches for her family, cleans her house and washes clothes. She buys groceries, and comes home to prepare dinner so she can spend a few precious moments with her family before crashing in bed exhausted. (I know I’m not being politically correct here.) 🙂
There is another kind of devotion though, and that is the devotion we experience and pour out on the world around us as we come to more fully understand the love that God has for us.
John 15:12-14 Says; “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I loved you.Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
These words are a command, and so they sound like rules when we read them, but as we come to understand the enormous, even amazing love that God has for us, we literally cannot help but be devoted to the One who gave everything so that you and I could have a relationship with Him. A relationship that is more fulfilling than any other relationship in my life.
John 15:16 Goes on to say; “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.“
Jesus literally chose each of us individually to have a relationship with Him, and in doing that, He gave us the power to ask God for anything, and He promises that it will be given to us, as long as we ask in His name.
You see, devotion is a two way street. Jesus chose us and is as devoted to us as we can be devoted to Him. The more we understand how much He loves us, the more we desire to serve Him.
John 15:17 Completes this story; “This is My command to you: Love one another.”
How could I do anything else, as I come to more fully understand the love that God has for me, and that He has for you?