Fear and common sense

August 5, 2014. The send off day to the Strive for Excellence draws near. As I find myself going over the route and splitting up 418(ish) miles into three days, I realize the only thing stopping me is fear and common sense.

I think to myself, “why did I propose to go to Bar Harbor and back?” But I’m not about to back down. Instead I should be asking myself things like, “Why didn’t I buy a more comfortable saddle? What would people think if I put baseball cards in my spokes? What happened to my baseball cards?”

Anyway. I (most of the time) enjoy a challenge. I enjoy stretching the limits, because what doesn’t kill us, will ultimately make us stronger… right?

From now until the very second I set off on the adventure, I’ll be asking for your support. I’m doing this all to raise money for Living Waters Christian School in Buxton. This is a school that I teach High School Bible at, but also have two boys attending. I believe in this school. I believe in it enough to fight for it. It costs a lot of money to keep a private school with a flex tuition open. Therefore, I strive.

At LWCS, we’re always challenging students to strive for excellence in everything you do. Strive, not to be better than anyone else, but strive to be the best you can be. Put whatever your skill or whatever your calling is out there and strive for excellence.

To find out more about the Strive 2014, please visit Facebook.com/gostrive2014

Or to sponsor me online, please visit http://livingwaters.corecommerce.com/Strive-for-Excellence-Pledges/


p.s. I’ll be posting the link to days 1-3 routes tomorrow on Facebook.


The Route is near

Happy July!

Many of you have asked for more info regarding Strive for Excellence 2014 (Please Donate). We are excited to name a few coffee shops who will be participating as well.

Each coffee shop will become a checkpoint where people can join or exit the route if you would like to join me as I help raise money for Living Waters Christian School. During the coffee shop stop (try to say that 10 times fast), I will be sampling a brew that is roasted by each shop. I will then be rating each cup and making a decision at the end of the Strive ride on which shop has the best Maine brew. Why (you ask)? Because i’m completely addicted to coffee, and these nice shops have agreed to this madness.

So far, I will be stopping in at the following coffee shops.

Day One:

Coffee By Design | Wicked Joe

Day Two:

44 North | Coffee Hound

Day Three:

Bard Coffee


*This is subject to change as we get closer and iron out some more details.

We are also looking for volunteers to help out throughout the duration of the ride, so please email me if you can help out.


More info soon! Like us on Facebook!

Strive for Excellence 2014

As many of you know, I teach High School Bible at Living Waters Christian School in Buxton, Maine. Something that Living Waters offers is a sliding scale tuition. That allows students to come who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.

LWCS is creating a scholarship fund that would offset the costs associated with this.

Raising funds for this became a priority of mine.

So, there I was, one rainy day during vacation, and I had an idea as I found myself reading a Downeast Magazine that featured a story on Maine coffee roasters. I read about the many different roasters right here in our great state. I figured, since I’m addicted to coffee and cycling, I would turn a fundraising ride into a chance to explore Maine and taste a bunch of Maine roasted coffee. I’ve lived in Maine all my life, but quickly realized that I’ve probably seen less than 10% of the state I’ve lived in all of my life. And since I truly believe in LWCS, I thought this would be a great way to try to raise money and make this an annual ride.

I emailed a bunch of Maine coffee roasters and received confirmation that 9 roasters are interested in being part of the fundraiser. Many are helping me raise funds while they all have agreed to have me come in and try their choice cup o Joe as I rate each roaster and vote on what I think is Maine’s greatest coffee roaster. They’ve also given us permission to shoot video at each stop that will be a part of a small documentary of the cause, ride, and coffee tasting.

We put details together, but then we needed a catchy name and a cool logo. After many different choices, we decided on Strive for Excellence 2014. Since “striving for excellence” is an emphasis at Living Waters, I thought it was appropriate that we use that.

As a name was born, a logo was created. My good friend, Ben McDorr, who is always so creative, made the logo, and we became even more excited to push the fundraiser.


We are very excited to do the ride this year, and many of my cyclist friends are wondering how they can get in on some or all of the ride.

We will be using each coffee shop as a checkpoint for cyclists either to join or exit the ride. If there are cyclists that would like to do the entire ride, we just ask that you would be responsible for your own food, money, water, and lodging. And, when I say lodging, I mean camping (roughing it). We will have a team car with some supplies and a videographer/photographer, but we can’t make promises that we will have room after we load up the back seat with our Skratch Labs rice cakes.

More specifics will be available soon as we get details nailed down, but we do have our 9 Maine coffee roaster and our route. Because we’re hitting 9 roasters a day, that gives us three stops a day.

For cyclists who want to join in for part or all of the ride, we’re asking that you pay or raise pledges of (at least) $.50/mile. If you register to do 100 miles or more, we will set you up with a fundraising page on our website.

Our route will take us over of 415 miles in three days. We will be leaving LWCS (Buxton) on Friday at 10:00am and getting back Sunday evening. While the route is subject to change, you can see the desired route below.

Maine Cycling

2014 Strive Route


For more information and to receive updates, please visit and like the Facebook page.

I thank you in advance for the support!




Let it grow, let it grow!

Let’s all take a moment to sigh a sigh of relief that it appears that we are finally heading into spring… (ahhhh). There, didn’t that feel good?

I’m ready for regrowth. I’m ready to see plants and leaves return to the atmosphere around us. I’m ready to see revival of what this harsh winter destroyed. I’m ready to start putting (locally made) maple syrup on everything. I’m just ready for a much needed change.

The thing about last winter that was so hard for me was the waiting. My Lord, the waiting will make or break us. There’s a lost art in the waiting though. There’s a peace knowing that good things come to those who wait. And I don’t believe that the word “wait” is a passive word, but I believe that we should maintain and grow through the waiting. Maybe the word “wait” wasn’t the right one, but as we anticipate a season in our lives coming to an end, there’s always things to prepare for.

One of our modern-day problems is that it’s nearly impossible to convince a generation that is so used to getting instant results that building a noble character takes time and perseverance. I like to think about the tulips in my yard (no, I’m not a flower guy). I see them come back every spring and summer. They don’t grow and blossom instantly, but it takes time for them to become spectacular and full of vibrant, colorful life.

Happy Earth Day from Maine

An Earth Day pic of the growing tulips.

I’m always challenging my Bible class students to read the bible and savor every word. I just don’t teach the Bible because I need something good to do every morning during the school year, or (even contrary to popular belief) to hear myself talk, but I teach it because I’m passionate about it and I know that there is life and vitality in the inspired Word of God. There’s also key principals on how we can grow into the people with the specific purposes that God has for each one of us.

For something to grow, it takes much needed time and a lot of time some cultivation. I’ve heard that the walnut tree can take more than 7 years to produce fruit. There’s much growth that needs to happen for something to get to it’s full potential. There’s that waiting period again.

The hardest thing to do is to not loose heart during those hard “waiting” seasons. The tendency is to try to rush things instead of letting the time and perseverance do it’s thing in your life, so you also will bear good fruit. Perseverance produces steadfastness which leads to a noble character.

Take Galatians 6:9 for example: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

In a time not so long ago


My wife recently handed me an old digital camera that we used to take with us anywhere we went. That was (of course) a time when the camera and phone were still sold separately, or just not in our budget at the time.

As I downloaded the 600ish pictures onto my desktop, I realized how time has completely flown. I found the above picture of Ty (my 1st) and was floored by how much he has changed, but also how much Cameron (my 3rd) looks like him. The point remains; time has flown. Just like my parents said it was going to, but I was so reluctant to believe them.

I took a moment and remembered how our lives have transitioned from a family of three, now to a family of five. At the same time I tried to visualize and picture what our lives will be like down the road a bit as time continues to fly, despite my efforts to slow it down.

I can’t believe that time has come and gone, but I am looking forward to the future. Though the future is unknown and it may scare me at times, I look forward to see how time brings us closer as a family. Not everything will be easy, nor has it been in the past, but we press on as a family to new places in life.

All of this reminds me that you can’t change yesterday. You can’t count on tomorrow, but you can choose what you do today. Today I choose to embrace the present.

What the summit taught me

I never expected cycling to teach me as much as it has. I always expected to learn about the sport and perhaps a few new ideas about discipline, but instead it has given me so much to think about. Now that we’re drawing near to the cycling season again, I’ve been thinking about what the climb has taught me.

Take the summit of a great climb for an example. For one to reach the summit, they must endure the pain and agony of climbing. Depending on where you are during the climb it could be easier or more difficult, but nevertheless, it’s still a climb. Therefore it’s still work.

There’s a category 3 hill that’s located in the town of Baldwin, Maine. Douglas Mountain shows me that sometimes the climb can seem like it’s going on and on without an end in sight. In fact, the first time I took the hill, I thought I had reached the summit due to a diminishing gradient, but alas, it was just a dip. The climb continued and brought me into a steeper gradient and a more agonizing climb. I am keeping in mind that this climb is nothing compared to what a lot of my cyclist friends have put themselves through, or even what I plan to endure in the coming summer, but it was my only reference point to a decent climb.

The point is, and the revelation I had during this climb is that life can be like this climb. Life can have its series of hills and descents. The bible never promises a life without climbs, and in fact consider the words of the Apostle Paul, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12 ESV) The challenge to be patient in tribulation is there because we will face tribulation. It’s what we do to get us through that and also how we handle ourselves while in anguish that becomes the test. Christ even tells His disciples, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

Life is like a long trek. In this trek is a collection of flats, climbs, and descents. On a flat section of a ride you can push it or relax, but it usually remains pretty steady. A descent is a often a time to regain composure most likely after a decent climb. But then there is the climb. A climb can be grueling, but they will come to an end. Just like in life, when we find ourselves in tribulation, be not overwhelmed by the severity of the gradient, but look forward to the fact that it will pass.

Just as the assurance of a climb will come, I’m confident that one who finds comfort in whining at the base of their climb will never reach their summit. If we focus on the difficulties rather than the results, we’ll not even get out of the gate before we talk ourselves into turning around. Self-pity will rear it’s ugly head in and ruin everything.

But once you fight the agony and the constant banter inside your head that’s telling you to turn around, and once you’ve reached the top of your climb, you’re often rewarded with the view that gives you a different perspective from what you had at the base of the climb.


Don't loose heart. Keep climbing.

Once again, here we go

I find myself doing the blog thing again. Not that I feel like what I say should be distributed to the masses, or that what I have to say is worth it’s weight in gold, but I love to write.

I can’t promise that my musings won’t bore you, or that they won’t offend you (it is not my intention to offend anybody, but the Word of God is a two-edged sword and I can’t remember that last time I enjoyed a deep cut wound), but I can promise that you will see the real Pete Talbot. Facades are for dummies.