I spent my 63rd Birthday (Tuesday February 12th) through Thursday (February 14th) in transit to and from Georgia, where on the thirteenth, I was more fortunate than just somewhat to be spending it with Pastor Gary Burd and his beautiful wife Carolyn of the Pentecostal M-25 Mission of Hope Riders.
Also with us was Pastor Wes Alvarez of The Christ Descendant’s Riders, amongst a gathering of Pentecostal Pastors from across America.
The purpose of my two-day trip to Georgia, was to shoot videos at the Pentecostal Media Center with Gary Burd, to Promote the July 22, 2013 PLEDGE RIDE to Dallas TEXAS.
And if you’re not familiar with the Pledge Ride . . . please visit http://www.PledgeRiders.com.
NOT A PLEASANT TRAVEL EXPERIENCE:
To say the very least, it was a challenging trip from Ottawa (Canada) to Greenville Airport in South Carolina, via Toronto and Atlanta. And by the time I landed at Greenville, I was all but wiped.
I won’t go into the specifics of this trip, other than to say that whatever could go wrong in travel did go wrong, including things that I couldn’t have even imagined if I tried, but, I did get to where I was going, and when I got there I was so tired, discouraged, and frustrated, that I had a serious lack of enthusiasm.
AND THEN CAME GARY, CAROLYN, AND DAVID:
As I walked to the passenger pick-up area, I saw two faces that just about made me want to tear-up with joy, as Gary and Carolyn smiled at my arrival. Their hugs were so warm, genuine and comforting, that I felt my inner-self being rejuvenated.
And to add the cherry atop the whipped-cream to my arrival was David Moore (Commander of the Royal Rangers), who drove the hour-plus route with Gary and Carolyn to pick me up and bring me to where we would be doing the production.
This was the first time David and I had met, but within moments, it really felt like we had known each other for years.
BACK TO THE BEGINNING:
I first heard of Pastor Gary Burd through a Blog that showed a YouTube Video of a group of Christian Bikers, who flew to Israel to ride their Motorcycles countrywide, in a show of support for the Jewish State.
Their Bikes were shipped to Israel by sea in a container specially constructed by Gary Burd.
At the time when Pastor Burd had just returned from this MISSION to Israel, I was organizing a Motorcyclists’ Pledge of NEVER AGAIN on Canada’s Parliament Hill to a Second Holocaust. And after seeing the YouTube Video, my first thought was to invite Burd to join us with as many Christian Riders as he could recruit.
I wasn’t expecting this Preacher from Amarillo Texas to accept my invitation but . . .
MORE THAN COULD BE EXPECTED:
The bottom-line to my invitation to Gary Burd and his M-25 Riders was a success that far exceeded my wildest expectations, since, not only did Gary Ride to Canada all the way from Texas through California and Washington DC with several dozen of his M-25 Christian Riders to once again stand-up for Israel and the RIGHTS of Jews to live in peace and security wherever . . . but Gary took it upon himself to make this PLEDGE an ANNUAL event.
A NEW BROTHERHOOD:
I’m Jewish through and through. But I’m not religious. That said though, I truly believe that the FOUNDATION of our North American Democracies is built solidly upon the Judeo/Christian philosophy of RIGHTS and MORALITY as are taught and recorded in the Torah and Bible.
Also . . . I look upon the HOLY BOOKS as a serious ROADMAP from the past, guiding us to our future.
I also see the M-25 Mission of Hope Riders as people who do their very best to live by their religious moral beliefs and values by their commitment to doing what is right . . . which should be a yardstick for all of us by which to measure ourselves.
OUR DIFFERENCES MIGHT BE OUR STRENGTHS:
I find it more than just interesting at how comforted I am to be with Gary Burd and his “Flock”, many of whom have come back from the moral edge, who are men and women who in a very serious way have been resurrected through their belief.
Gary, Carolyn, Wes and I had long conversations about morality, ethics, commitment, personal responsibility and patriotism.
We spoke about the moral decay within our youth, our educators and politicians.
We also delved into the catastrophic entitlement of the SOMETHING-FOR-NOTHING Bunch, and how this in itself has contributed to the sorry mess we find our countries in today.
And we spoke about politicians who have entirely forgotten the meaning of honor.
I had the distinct pleasure to meet and speak with many Evangelicals who were at the Media Center from various parts of America, including Hawaii. Mostly, we spoke of fun things with pleasant banter.
Even though these Pastors were within themselves a diverse group of people (Latinos, Blacks and Whites) . . . the commonality that I found amongst them was an intense feeling of brotherhood and confidence in their moral and spiritual beliefs.
And Contrary To Public Misconception . . . Conservative Religious Groups Do Have A Sense Of Humor. It’s not all about “CLINGING TO THEIR GUNS AND RELIGION” as Obama declared in the 2008 election campaign.
At one point, a retired Army Colonel staying at our hotel, who today serves as a Pentecostal Pastor, joined Gary, Carolyn and myself at breakfast. He didn’t know who I was, and asked which Church I Ministered, to which I answered with a straight face:
“Oh . . . I’m not Christian. I’m Jewish . . . And I’m here to convert you.”
And without skipping a beat, Carolyn Burd placed her hand on my wrist and said in her delightful Texas drawl: “But Howard . . . That’s what I thought we would be doing to you.”
We all laughed for a long time.
Of the many Pentecostals that I met over the two-day period, there was not one who wasn’t excited and enthusiastic at what Gary Burd and I were doing together. They were as supportive of our Pledge Ride as could be, and went out of their way to say so.
WE TAPED TWO VIDEOS:
One of the two videos we taped was several minutes long, which was more or less unscripted. The other was a 30-second scripted spot produced specifically for television, both of which though will be aired on-line.
We’re hoping that the 30-second spot will be aired as a no charge PSA (Public Service Announcement). But, if we can raise enough money, we might be able to purchase airtime, which will be used to spread the word about the Dallas Pledge Ride.
Either way – the moment the spots are edited and available to Gary and myself, both spots will be presented on all of the Web Sites that will carry them.
In the final analysis . . . whether by Providence or by Divine Intervention, a new relationship that I believe has equal gravitas to the Pledge Ride of NEVER AGAIN has been born, that Gary and I are both looking forward to expanding to a greater cause.
As religiously different as we both might be, our MORAL COMPASSES are pointing in the exact same direction, along a path that might very well lead us beyond what we can anticipate.
I’m proud that Gary wears our Pledge Riders Patch, just as I am proud to be wearing the Patch of the M-25. Who could have ever made a comment like that, not that long ago?
Interesting times lay ahead for all of us. And to all those people who have helped support this Pledge Ride – THANK YOU.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov