Echoes from the Campfire

Most wondrous of all in nature was human life, and beyond all sublimity was the human soul.”
–Zane Grey  (Wanderer of the Wasteland)

“So God led the people around by the desert [trail] toward the Red Sea.  The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.”
–Exodus 13:18 (NLT)

The Daily Paine

Woe is me.  My corns are aching, my bunions are throbbing, my joints are paining me; oh, what to do.  The world is tempting me, the devil is after me, and I’m at my wit’s end.  If you’re a Christian, I’m sure that is not your attitude.  Listen folks, “We’re Marching to Zion.”  We have a joy that the world cannot understand, much less know.  Put your aches and pains aside; leave your worries and fears behind and let your joys be known.

          “Come, we that love the Lord, And let our joys be known,
           Join in a song with sweet accord, Join in a song with sweet accord,
           And thus surround the throne, And thus surround the throne.”
                    –Isaac Watts

People of the world cannot sing the songs of Zion.  They cannot know the joys and pleasures of the Lord unless they come to Him.  The believer, however, can sing for they are children of the King.  It was once said that when a person walked up a street in the United States they could point out the homes of the Methodists.  The reason why was that there was always joyful singing coming from their houses.  Today it is hard to tell “worldly” music from Christian.

          “Let hose refuse to sing Who never knew our God;
           But children of the heav’nly King, But children of the heav’nly King,
           May speak their joys abroad, May speak their joys abroad.”

The promises of the Lord belong to His children.  As we march toward Zion the blessings of the Lord are showered down.  Before we reach that heavenly realm we are given a taste of glory as we continue to march.

          “The hill of Zion yields, A thousand sacred sweets
           Before we reach the heav’nly fields, Before we reach the heav’nly fields,
           Or walk the golden streets, Or walk the golden streets.”

So instead of crying the blues and singing our woes, let the songs of Zion abound from our lips.  Yeehaw! (That’s cowboy talk for “Hallelujah!”); we’re on the way and nothing will be able to stop us on our way.  Keep the vision of the holy city in your mind as you traipse the hills of earth. 

          “Then let our songs abound, And every tear be dry;
           We’re marching thro’ Immanuel’s ground, We’re marching thro’ Immanuel’s ground.
           To fairer worlds on high, To fairer worlds on high.

                    We’re marching to Zion, Beautiful, beautiful Zion;
                    We’re marching upward to Zion, The beautiful city of God.”

Don’t despair, the road is not twisting downward.  The travel is ever upward–hear ye, hear ye, we’re marching to Zion, the beautiful city of God.

Echoes from the Campfire

His destines were guided by his loyalties.”
–Louis L’Amour (Crossfire Trail)

“I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right [trail] to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.”
–Genesis 24:48 (NLT)

The Saga of Miles Forrest

Do you want to move to Denver?” asked Molly.
Hesitating, I took a sip of coffee. “We don’t have much here.”
“We have the restaurant.”
“Yeah, and where do we sleep? The back of the kitchen,” I replied with a little disgust in my voice.
She placed a hand on my arm. “Pour a cup of that coffee for me, please.”
“I wouldn’t like Denver, but there are some nice places along the Front Range.”
“Mines, miners–the same as here,” she paused. “Those towns have just been around longer. They’ve risen and died several times.”
“It would be different than when I worked there a few years back. There is more law and order; more civilization.” I got up to refill my cup and looked at her.
“Just top it off.”
“I want you to be safe; I don’t want to worry about you. With more people around, well, that should provide more safety.”
“Miles, more people, more problems,” quipped Molly.
“No!” came the shout from the edge of the kitchen. “You cannot leave. Lucas, my mother, I; we all need the both of you.” It seemed that Marta had been listening from the kitchen.
She walked slowly toward us, her hands clinched into fists. Stopping in front of us, she was trembling. “Marta….”
“What have we done to make you leave? You do not have to worry about us; we have been able to do so for years.”
“Marta, will you sit with us?” asked Molly calmly and quietly.
I stood to pull out a chair, and then poured her a cup of coffee. “You both tell me to trust in the Lord. Have either of you inquired of His wants?”
Molly and I looked at each other. “Marta, I want her, I want all of you to be safe. They call this place the “Shooting Gallery. What kind of name is that for a eatery?”
I waited for a response. “But yur right. I haven’t been thinkin’ right. I need, we all need to do some prayin’ about it.”
At that time the door opened. I saw Marta and Molly both cringe at the sound. There was an edge of nervousness, but it was just Willis from the office with a telegram from Wells Fargo in Denver.
“Evidence seems to point to a man named Trenton….stop….reports that he is at Silverton….stop….go check.”
Molly put her hand on my arm again. “Oh, Miles, what will you do?”
“Willis, send a reply that I’ll head out tomorrow mornin’.” I looked at Molly. “I didn’t want this and I know Trenton didn’t. I was hopin’ he had taken off for Mexico.”
“I’ll ride up there. That’ll give me some time to think and pray, but first I’ll have another cup of coffee.”