The Daily Paine

Lord, keep me safe on this trail I ride, and if sometimes I drift from Your plan.
 Guide me back gently to the land that I love, with the touch of Your awesome big hand.
 The stars up above, I know You named every one, and I see my name written there.
 One day I’ll ride home, peace and joy for my own path, with not one single worry or care.”
      –Cowboy’s Prayer

Thought I’d just share a few little things today and let you ponder.  It’s been a perplexin’ week for one reason or another.  Electricity out at school, electricity out at home, computer down, but my goodness the mornings have sure been nice.  I was thinkin’ more about the clouds.  Sometimes it’s just nice to relax with simple things.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”         –John Muir

Now that’s the truth!  Problem is getting out to the mountains.  But my favorite time of the year is upon us–fall.  I really liked to get out and wander in the woods in the fall.

Here are another few thoughts to ponder.

     “I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
      I would be pure, for there are those that care.
      I would be strong, for there is much to suffer,
      I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
      I would be friend to all–the foe, the friendless;
      I would be giving, and forget the gift.
      I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
      I would look up–and laugh–and love–and lift.”
               –Howard Arnold Walter

     “Then justice will inhabit the wilderness,
      and righteousness will dwell in the orchard.
      The result of righteousness will be peace;
      the effect of righteousness
      will be quiet confidence forever.
      Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place,
      in safe and secure dwellings.”
               –Isaiah 32:16-18 (HCSB)

The Daily Paine

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”          ― John Lubbock

“Aren’t the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton… I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by… If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations… What do you think you see, Linus?”
“Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean… That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor… And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen… I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side…”
“Uh huh… That’s very good… What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?”
“Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!”
   ― Charles M. Schulz

Ahhh, let me just lay here for a minute.  The grass is soft, not those rough blades of St. Augustine grass, but cool, soft grass, maybe bluegrass.  Just lie there and look up and watch the clouds move around.  No worries about fire ants either.  Just relax.  Ever do that?  Lie in the grass and look up at the clouds.  What is it that you see?  Horse, man’s face, sailing ship, what is it?  That was entertainment.  Hmmm, maybe better than having one’s face looking down all the time and in a “smart” phone.  (By the way, why do we need smart phones?  Are they for dummies?  Just asking.)
When we would play ball we would look at the clouds coming over the mountain.  If the clouds were dark and coming around the southside of Bear Mountain it was going to pour and we would probably get rained out.  Any place else we could probably get the game in.  Also, I personally liked to see the clouds in the sky when I played.  It was harder to judge a fly ball or pop up without clouds.  It was what we called a “high sky.”
Anyone who has spent much time outside looks at the clouds.  They can detect storms, the direction of the wind by watching the clouds.  David surely watched the clouds.  The thing is that he has that spiritual view as well as the physical.  He could see more than just rain.  In one of his psalms he states, “Sing to God!  Sing praises to His name.  Exalt Him who rides on the clouds–His name is Yahweh–and rejoice before Him.”  (Psalm 68:4, HCSB)
God rides on the clouds!  Have you seen Him?  I know I haven’t, but He is there.  I wonder if He rides the white horses that He will soon ride through the clouds to gather His people?  Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shot, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the CLOUDS to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord.” (4:16-17, HCSB, emphasis added)
Imagine that!  We will be riding through the skies on the clouds with the Lord.  John says it will be a sight when the Lord returns.  In Revelation he writes, “Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him. And all the families of the earth will mourn over Him. This is certain. Amen.” (1:7, HCSB)  The clouds must be important, for even Jesus mentioned them when speaking of His return.  “’You have said it,’ Jesus told him. ‘But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’”  (Matthew 26:64, HCSB)
Hopefully, when we look up and see a cloud, no matter the size, we will not just think of the weather, but will think of that Blessed Hope of the return of Jesus.

The Daily Paine

Oh my legs ache, and I’m so tired.  Can’t quit, can’t quit, not now–keep going.  The air is thin, I can hardly breathe, but with each step I’m getting higher; closer to the summit.  Won’t quit, won’t turn back, going forward–I’ll make it with the help of the Lord.  I wonder if these were some of the thoughts when Johnson Oatman, Jr. wrote his great song, “Higher Ground”?

“I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
‘Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.'”

Sometimes this old world can weary us; work on the mind and soul and get up down.  There are troubles, fears and many are dismayed about the future of the country and the world.  Then look upward to higher ground.  No, this is not escapism.  On the contrary this is reality.  Our goal is always to move toward higher ground.

“My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Tho’ some may dwell where these abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.”

I’ve often said I want to go up to the High Lonesome to get away from the evils and problems that are around me.  That is escapism.  But in reality we should want to live above the world, especially since we are not of it.  It is not a particular place, but a particular state of mind produced by the Holy Spirit.  When we have that Spirit taking us above the world in which we live, then we can handle whatever is thrown at us by the devil.

“I want to live above the world,
Tho’ Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught they joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.”

Peter, James, and John saw a glimpse of the glory from heaven.  Because of that one, short glimpse they wanted to stay on the mountain.  Most of us do not realize, unless you have tried, that climbing a mountain takes stamina and endurance.  The higher the altitude, the harder the body must work.  Put that in the spiritual world of climbing a mountain.  We say we want a glimpse of heaven, but do we have the stamina to climb the mountain?  Can we say as Oatman, “Lead me on…”?

“I want to scale the utmost height,
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found,
‘Lord, lead me on to higher ground.'”

“Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

The Saga of Miles Forrest

I had been home just shy of a week and hadn’t seen anything of Hannah or Greta.  Molly said Hannah came around a couple of times to deliver eggs.  While I was gone Molly hired a young Mexican-Indian girl named Marta.  She said her mother might be interested in working as well.  That might add a little spice to the menu.  At least she had some help.
“Senor, more coffee?” asked Marta.
Now I’m not real good on the Spanish lingo, but with that “Senor” thrown in I figured she was talking to me.  Plus the fact there was no one else in the eatery.
“It is hot,” she said.  Then she bent close and whispered.  “I think your wife is fixin’ a surprise.”
I was sipping on the coffee when Molly came from the kitchen with a couple of pieces of pie.
“Ahhh, scutterbutch!”  I exclaimed.
“Don’t pay him any mind, Marta.  It’s butterscotch.  And no!  Both pieces are not for you and if you’ll pour me a cup I sit and enjoy a piece with you,” she paused.  “Providing you mind your manners.”
Marta left as Molly sat down and began wiping off tables.  “How’s she doin’?” I asked.
“She’s surely energetic, and so far no complaints from the customers.  I found out that she’s from over near Four Corners; her father was Navajo.”
“She hasn’t said much, but from she mentioned he died in some sort of accident.”
About half my pie was gone when a group of six men walked in.  I fidgeted a little and took the thong off the hammer of my pistol.  “Excuse me,” I said to Molly.  “I need to move this.”  I put the shotgun on my right side on the table.
“Miles, what is it?” she asked.
“Hope nothin’, but that’s the crew that had their sights on the ore wagon.  Coincidence they’re in town just now, don’t you think?”
“Well, don’t start anything,” she replied.
“Why Molly!” I exclaimed in mocked shock.  “I never start anything; besides you told me to mind my manners.”  Then I became a little more serious.  “But I’ve been known to put an end to things.”
I could see the men muttering amongst themselves, and glancing my way from time-to-time.  Using my left hand I cut another piece of pie.
The guy who spoke to me on the road stood up and came my way.  “Well, Forrest, we meet again,” and he stuck out his hand to shake mine.
I took a sip of coffee and ignored the gesture.  “Not very friendly,” he remarked.
“I am to my friends.”
“You act like that and there may be a time of collectin’.”
“Want to try now?” I asked, and shook hands with my Greener with my thumb on one of the hammers.
“I take it that’s your friend?”
Nodding I replied.  “And a good one too.”
Marta was over at their table bringing their food.  I nodded again.  “Food’s gettin’ cold.”
“Forrest, there’ll be a time comin’.”
I pretended to ignore him and ate another piece of pie–with my left hand