Echoes from the Campfire

The trouble with monsters is they’re hard to control once they get loose.”
–Lou Bradshaw  (Texas War Lord)

“When they complete their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the bottomless pit will declare war against them, and he will conquer them and kill them.”
–Revelation 11:7  (NLT)
“Evil is on the march in jungles, mountains, deserts, and cities spread throughout the world.”
–John Vermillion

“Where are the men of the cloth sounding off against the wholesale slaughter of Christians the world over?  It appears to me they are in their cocoons, snug and warm, unwilling to confront the Evil of Our Day.”
–John Vermillion

People, for sure you better wake up and see what is happening.  Things are getting ripe for the release of the “man of lawlessness.”  Right now, in the good old United States of America we have an awakening of sorts, and very little is being done to stop it.  The awakening of perversion and evil is among us.  Government leaders are some of those who are condoning it.
Where are the pulpits?  Where are the preachers who should be rising forth to “sound the trumpet” in regard to the evil?  Don’t get me wrong, for there are some who stand and preach “thus saith the Lord,” but nationwide they are rare.  If they do the media blasts them, they lose congregants, and laws are passed to squelch them.  
That’s another problem–the complacency in the pews.  People are complacent.  Let them live their life, just don’t bother me with it.  Each to their own.  Instead of rising in righteous indignation and voting out the leaders of immorality, voting in laws of morality.  I understand that you cannot make people “Christian” but you can pass laws to protect the innocent.  Tell me why 4-5% of the population has such a powerful voice; why do transgenders who make up less than 1% have power in the government and the media?
I begin to see more and more the meaning of the “tough” verses of the Bible.  “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8, NASB) Will there be people of faith, those who stand firm, those who will not waver on the earth when Jesus returns?  There might not be all that many with so many in the church not following the commands of the Lord.  There might not be all that many with so many in the church saying that an “alternative lifestyle” is alright.
Are you satisfied?  I mean satisfied with the Lord.  It seems like we try to bring things end to the church and not satisfied with the Holy Spirit.  A.W. Tozer wrote,

          “People in the church today leave the things that are first principles of doctrine.”

“Get hyped” or “get pumped” seems to be the norm.  Anyone who has to continually be hyped or pumped is in bad shape spiritually.  And there are those out there that “peddle” the gospel.  Anyone with a new gadget or gimmick tends to draw the crowds.
Bells, whistles, smoke, colored lights, etc., anything to bring in the crowd.  Hop around a bit at the altar, why I’ve even seen beach balls passed overhead while people are supposed to be “worshiping” at the altar.  Perhaps we have forgotten the reason we go to church.  “In our day, we seem to overlook the divine principle of what ought to happen in the life of a truly born-again man.”  

Coffee Percs

My guns had been thoroughly cleaned and made ready the night before.  So all I had to do was eat a half dozen eggs, a well done slice of beef steak, and wash it down with plenty of strong black coffee.  That should get me started up the river road.”
–Lou Bradshaw

Morning pard, I made sure the coffee was plenty strong this morning.  Tell you what I’ve done.  To lawyers, mortgage companies, media imbeciles, and insurance salesmen I’ve added the group–bureaucrats.  Goodness, they have done their best to rile my ol’ gizzard, but not gonna let ’em.
Now, I’m not talkin’ ’bout those bureaucrats in that ivory city named for our first President.  They are a special breed unto themselves.  I’m just talkin’ ’bout all the hoops to go through just to start buildin’ a house.  Been tryin’ for weeks to get on the agenda and if it’s not one thing, it’s another.  Be easier just to go find a cave to live in; the bears would be easier to get along with.
Say, you keepin’ yur gun cleaned and ready?  Don’t be caught all lackadaisical now.  I really don’t see things gettin’ much better so you better stay ready.  Shore hope you don’t have any dust on your Bible either.  Things are probably more stirred in the spiritual world than they are here.  In fact, I thought I heard some of those heavenly wranglers gettin’ the horses from the pasture into the corral.  Mighty fine herd of white horses, and soon I’m a-thinkin’ that the Lord is goin’ to mount up and ride.
Coffee strong enough for you?  Years back someone said that my coffee was so strong that you could use it to wash off a tattoo.  Ifn it really was, I carry gallons of it with me and throw it on some of those folk who saunter ’round.  Tattoos are one thing, but some of those folks who have them, well, they should just be more covered up in public so as not to make the rest of us blush.
Go ahead and finish the pot.  Not sure what my day holds yet, so plan on makin’ ‘nother one. Ifn I do have to go out, I’ll go armed and will definitely stay alert.  You can be sure my cinch will be tight.

Echoes from the Campfire

A man’s life was full of trouble and full of question–and so it was like relief to stand up to certainty, to know that he was in front of reality.”
–Ernest Haycox (Man in the Saddle)

“It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to confront a fool caught in foolishness.”
–Proverbs 17:12 (NLT)
I have been convinced for many years that most Christians rarely examine the implications of their beliefs. They could not tell you the great doctrines of the faith. When I was principal of a Christian high school, one of the things I would ask during an interview of possible teachers or students was how do they know they are a Christian, “born-again.” Even with most of the teachers there was much stumbling, and “ah, um.” What was it that Mark Noll said when asked about the evangelical mind? “What evangelical mind?”
Hebrews 6:1, is a verse that all Christians of any length of time should adhere to and practice.

“Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity.”

The last two churches I attended where I taught the adult Sunday School I started my course with a simple, yet needful, study of God. How can we go any further in the faith if we do not know about the One in Whom we are to have faith?
What we know about God is vital to our Christian life. Our knowledge of God greatly determines how we act. If we are to have Christ-like character then we must know about God’s character. Man will find himself confused and in a dilemma without the knowledge of God. He cannot answer the essential questions of life.
Perhaps the doctrine of God most disregarded is His sovereignty. Man does not like to think of the sovereignty of God because that puts God in charge. Man wants to be autonomous, make his own decisions and way in life, not to be “ordered around” by the Creator of mankind. Yet, this great doctrinal truth is vital to the Christian walk. It gives the believer faith and hope and assurance and without it we have a God of whims and notions.
If you have read the Daily Paine much over the years you noticed that I go to the thought of “destiny” from time-to-time. Are you destined for this or that? I have heard many people quote from Jeremiah and say they have a great destiny from God. If you would follow their life from birth to death I wonder what we would see. Would there be greatness, or just the regular life that most of us live?
One of our problems is that we do not understand the meaning of “destiny.” The believer, when he comes to know Christ, is now destined for eternity in heaven. That is destiny! There is that wonderful Scripture, the steps of the righteous are ordered by God (Psalm 37:23), that is destiny.
However, I do believe that there are men who are set apart for a special work. If not Moses, then whom? If not Paul, then whom? Was George Washington destined to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and first President of the United States? If not, whom? Now, this does not take away from free will. Moses could have stayed in Egypt. Paul could have cursed God on the Damascus road. Washington could have refused his position. They were not forced into it, but ah, there is that thing called “destiny.”
Do some pondering!

Echoes From the Campfire

Once you make up your mind to something stick by it and don’t drive yourself crazy wondering if it’s right.  You’ll find you’re right more often than you’re wrong, and a man who ain’t wrong once in a while ought not to be trusted noway.”
–Elmer Kelton  (The Day the Cowboys Quit)

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
–Romans 5:3-4  (NLT)
If the media would just report instead of having an agenda things would go along much more smoothly.  What is it that keeps things stirred up.  In my devotions yesterday I came across an interesting proverb.

          “Flog a mocker, and the simple will learn prudence; rebuke a discerning man, and he will gain knowledge.”
               –Proverbs 19:25

In this verse we see three types of people:  the mocker/scorner, the simple, and the one who has understanding.
The mind of the mocker is closed and hardened.  There is not much that can be done for this person.  This is the person who calls good evil and evil good.  These are the ones who cannot and will not listen to logic.  They are to be flogged!  Imagine that–what would happen if we would take all of those scorners, and I’ll not name any, and have them tied to a post and flogged?  My mercy…
Now the reason to take swift and harsh action on the mocker is for the simpleton.  This punishment is to show the consequences to the simple, and hopefully he might gain knowledge from it.  However, one of the problems of the simple is that there are just that–simple.  Some will watch and learn and gain knowledge because of the consequences lashed out upon the mocker for his actions.  Some will continue in their simple ways, and some of these might eventually become hardened.
The person of understanding does not need much to be corrected.  It might be a mild rebuke, or sometimes even a “look” can straighten him out.  Repentance will come immediately and he will be quick to mend his ways.
I have tried my best, since I was around 12 or so, never to say “good luck.”  For I believe, and I am quite sure that the Scripture bears this out, that Christians do not base their life on “luck.”  This is one of the things that is borne out in the study of the sovereignty of God.  God is in control, and guides our lives, there is no luck connected with it.  It is God who works out His purposes and He does so in detail.
When making decisions we cannot hope in luck.  That is truly contrary to faith.  The Christian should do the following when making decisions:
          1)  Seek to know the Word of God.
          2)  Trust in the One who wrote it.
          3)  Rest in His care.
          4)  Seek godly advice.
          5)  Make the decision.
Much of our indecision rests in the fact that we do not know the Word of God on a subject, or that we choose to ignore it and go our own way. 
(Oh, and just a thought–why do Christians play the lottery?  Trusting in luck, or trusting in the Lord?)