Echoes from the Campfire

Time was like a handful of water; no matter how tight you hold your fingers together, it soon slipped through and left you dry.”
–Mike Roarke (Silent Drums)

“The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”
–Psalm 138:8 (NLT)
     “I’m going to leave San Antonio
      It’s time for me to pack and go
      I’ll say goodbye to the Alamo
      And bid farewell to friend and foe.

      I’ll take my horse and I’ll take my rope
      I’ll hit the trail upon a lope
      I’ll bid adios to the Alamo
      I’ll turn my face to the Piney Woods.

      I’ll make my home on the wide, wide range
      The people there are not so strange!
      The hard, hard ground will be my bed
      And the saddle seat will hold my head.

      And when I waken from my dreams
      I’ll eat my bread and my pinto beans
      And when my ride on Earth is done
      I’ll take my chances with the holy one.”

The composer is unknown for this old cowboy song, and I made a few adaptations of my own.  Yep, my friends, this is it.  I spent my last night in San Antonio.  It has been a profitable 22 years, but now to move on to a new range.  I’ll try not to waste my time ’cause I sure don’t know how much more of it the Lord has for me.  Whatever I have I need to be growing and learning and doing things for Him.
I want to thank you all for your prayers, but don’t stop now.  Keep them coming.  Never you fear either, for my friends, I’ll be sure and check my cinch before moving out.  The next time you hear from this ol’ fence post it will be from the woods of East Texas.

Echoes from the Campfire

A person was what they were; and many a man at forty was sixty in his ways, and many another was twenty and would never grow past it.”
–Louis L’Amour (Ride the Dark Trail)

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
–Colossians 2:7 (NLT)
Thank you very much Mr. Chad Prather.  Your little comment just confirmed what I’ve been telling folks.  I like my felt hat, and I much prefer it over my straw one.  Both Kim and Shauna keep saying that I should be wearing my straw hat.  So thanks again Chad, I’m from Texas and can wear the one I want.
Let me add to that with the wisdom and words of Mario Martinez that he gave to me last night at supper.  At our mature age of life, not only in years but in action, very few folk can tell us what to do.  So with the go ahead from Prather and the wisdom of Mario I can wear my felt hat.
Folks sure have been good to us as we make this move along life’s journey.  Now, I’m hoping it’s because we’re friends and wanted to say their just goodbyes instead of a way of saying “rid of him at last.”  Annie and I have lived in San Antonio for 22 years and it has been a wonderful place to live.  Tomorrow we close on our house, Lord willing, in which we lived for 20 years.  A person, if not careful, can become too attached to a place, but never to friends.  A friend is a friend no matter the years, the place, or the distance.
But, especially in the last five years, I’ve noticed a great change in this once slow-paced city of the Alamo.  With the Alamo, and its tremendous history, the missions that are here, it seems that people want to hang on to only the fiesta part and move into this modern, enlightened era.  People, once so courteous, now seem angry, or at least anxious.  The politics of the city has gone berserk.  There are yuppies moving in with their lifestyle–are they trying to make San Antonio to be like “New York City”?
Yep, at this point in my life, it is time to follow the leading of the Lord and move to a quieter place.  Get back to the calmness of nature.  Get back into the Word, and do some more writing.  This is definitely a Lord move.  I remember Abraham being told to leave Ur and go to a place the Lord would show him.  Then I recall that Abraham got up and moved from the land to Egypt.  If you read the passage, there was nothing said about the Lord directing him to Egypt.  Abraham made a mess of things there.  But, also notice, God was still with him.  Annie’s Dad once told me that even in bad decisions that the Lord is still with us.
One more little thought.  For all of you folks that are of proper age–start acting like it!  Go back and read Paul’s writing to Timothy, and especially Titus.  A second childhood is nothing but fantasy and not following the direction of God.  Throw out that Peter Pan Syndrome and start acting and being the person that God has called you to be instead of following selfish desires.

The Saga of Miles Forrest

We have been trying to get her to drink, but her throat is so sore she cannot swallow. I am sorry, Senor Miles,” said Marta softly.
The hours moved into days. Sitting on the little chair by her bed, well, I just sat and prayed, and prayed, and tried to get water down her. I kept a cool compress on her throat hoping that should help. It was going into the third day that I began to come to my senses. I had been so self-centered I forgot to take in my surroundings.
“Marta, where is your mother?” I asked.
“She passed a week ago.”
I was so caught up in my own pity that I forgot the plight of others. “I’m so sorry.” I looked around again. “Lucas?”
“Very sick, in the other room.”
Shame rushed over me and I dropped my head. “Marta, can you forgive me?”
She put her hand on my shoulder. “Senor Miles, there is nothing to be sorry about. We sorrow, but life must continue. We pray, but it is the Lord who decides.”
The smell had diminished and I looked to the corner and couldn’t spot the Pale Rider. I must have fallen asleep and woke with someone’s hand on my head. It was Molly. Her eyes were open. “Miles,” and she coughed. “I’m so thirsty.”
“Water, agua, now, hurry,” I was in a fluster. I held her up so she could drink. After a few swallows she said. “Miles, you, you shouldn’t be here. The diphtheria, you must go.”
I just smiled. “Try and get me out of here. More water?” She nodded.
Just then Marta came from the other room. Fear struck me as I looked at her. She appeared somber, but then, there came that smile of hers. “There’s someone in the other room that would like to see you. I’ll take care of Molly.”
There was Lucas, lying on the bed, his dark brown eyes open. “How’re you feelin’ pardner?” I asked.
“Weak, very weak, but better.”
“You get some sleep now; when you get better we’ve got some work to do.”
“Si,” and he smiled. “Maybe we can get the Senora to bake us a pie,” he smiled again and closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
I went back into the room with Molly. The recovery was miraculous. She was sitting up and drinking water. There was already some color coming back into her face.
“Praise the Lord, Molly, I thought you were a goner. My faith, it was so weak.” I looked at Marta.
“She knows,” and Molly reached out to take her hand.
“Eliana was a gracious lady,” said Molly and I saw her squeeze Marta’s hand.
Going over to Marta I gave her a hug. “She will be greatly missed.”
“Miles, I need a change of clothes, will you go get them for me? Also, check on Doc. I know he must be exhausted.”
I looked at Marta. “It is alright, I will look after her. Go.”
“Be back in a few minutes,” and I headed toward the eatery.
I was a block away when I heard, “Forrest!” Three men came out into the street. “Surprised?” came the voice.
I didn’t recognize two of the men, but the other was Ferguson. They began to spread apart with Ferguson in the middle. I heard him cough.
“You’re finally going to meet your Maker,” he paused and smiled. “You’re not so big without that scattergun.”
I measured my chances and they weren’t so good. One, maybe two, but I doubt I could get all three of them. I also hadn’t checked my Schofield since arriving back in Durango. But I kept it oiled and cleaned; it would be ready. Some people say that time stops at times like this. I wasn’t going to let that happen, in fact I figured I might speed it up some.
“Go for it Ferguson. You’ll be at the Judgment before I get there.” I jerked my gun and…

Echoes from the Campfire

A man’s needs run accordin’ to the country he’s in and the job he has to do.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Tall Stranger)

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”
 –Philippians 4:11 (NLT)

Have you ever thought about the travels of the early pioneers?  Imagine loading up your wagon with all of your worldly possessions and heading out for Texas or Oregon.  First, there is the excitement.  There may be a little anxiety, but there is excitement about making a move that will change your life.  There maybe a little trepidation as well, leaving the known for the unknown.
Then you begin to think of the unknown that the trail may hold.  Obstacles, dangers, perhaps even evil, but the trip has already been decided upon and you are loaded up.  Remember, most of those that went West did not ride in the wagon, or on horses, but usually traveled by mare’s shank, that is, by foot.  And come what may, you continued on to your destination, or died along the way.
Travel has greatly changed since then, but I have been thinking of when my Dad’s side of the family moved from Oklahoma.  Dad would have been 14 and they traveled up near Pitkin, Colorado.  Grandpa, Grandma, and four kids, my Dad was the oldest.  They moved from LaFlore County, packed up all their goods in a late Model T; they probably looked like the Clampetts driving down the road.  People sure didn’t have as much back then as they do now. 
Well, all that said to say this.  Today is moving day.  The movers should be here sometime this morning to pack up all our goods.  Sure has been an undertaking, and we’re only going over to East Texas region, not across the country.  Now, we have done that more than a couple of times, but that was back in our younger days.
So the day is upon us.  Here we go on another part of life’s journey.  Sure good to know that each time we have traveled the Lord was right there guiding and traveling with us.  His hand has always protected us, and He surely won’t stop now.
I’ve been pondering a portion of Scripture that I’ve read several times, but not necessarily in this light.

“Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.”
–2 Corinthians 5:18-21 (NASB)

Now ponder these thoughts from the passage.  First, God is for us!  Second, God accepts us!  Be glad also, that His acceptance does not depend on our performance, but because of Christ on the cross.  Third, God has purpose for us!  We need to realize that God really doesn’t need our help, but He allows us to be part of what He is doing. 
Back a few years, well, several now, the Assemblies of God’s youth program was called Christ’s Ambassadors.  Of course, our more modern and enlightened youth would think that term silly.  But there is tremendous truth behind it, for it shows our purpose.  An ambassador is a person who represents the government of his country; he speaks the words that his government leader would speak.  Therefore, our purpose is to represent God to this evil and fallen world.  The Father has given us the privilege of being His ambassador in the world.