Echoes from the Campfire

A man who starts imagining that others think good because he does is simply out of his mind.”
–Louis L’Amour  (Galloway)

“This is what the Lord says: Do not fool yourselves into thinking that the Babylonians are gone for good. They aren’t!”
 –Jeremiah 37:9 (NLT)
               “The rains came down and the floods came up,
                The rains came down and the floods came up,
                The rains came down and the floods came up,
                And the house on the Rock stood firm.”
                       –Old Sunday School chorus

My mercy!  Did it do some raining!  Ol’ Harvey did some devastation and it is still to be determined what and how much it is.  Where we are located we had 50 inches.  We were high and dry, so we were okay.  One tree limb fell and did a little damage to the roof.
I think there has to be some special notice to those first responders!  A great salute to them.  They did an “unprecedented” job.  Things went as well as could possibly be with all of the high waters.  Protecting, securing, and guiding folk to safety was among their concerns and they did it well.  A second salute to all of those who came from hither and yon to volunteer.  There were thousands of rescues as the water continued to rise.
So far, the looting has been minimal.  There is always evil out there ready to pounce on the unsuspecting; ready to take advantage of the weak and hurting.  The Governor has said they would be harshly dealt with, and that they should.  People gathered around and helped people.  There was only one race involved–the human race.  We’ll leave it up to the media, the rebel rousers, and the instigators to begin to bring out their fake news and falsehoods.  The people in the region however, know that man helps man.  (And no, I will not excuse my masculine rhetoric).
In our life, we should recognize that we have a First Responder as well.  When things start to come in like a flood there is the One who will guide us to higher ground and safety.  When the heart sees that evil is falling down on them, there is that Responder who stands in our place to protect and shield us.

                “So give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ,
                 So give your life to the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Were you ready for the storm?  Some folk were well-supplied when the storm came through.  Even when the waters entered their house they were able to survive on the second floor because they were prepared and equipped for the situation.  Others, were not so fortunate.  Many could not prepare for the waters that would come their way; the elderly, decrepit, and sick were at the mercy of the flood unless someone came to their rescue–which did happen.  Others simply mocked the warnings and had to be rescued for their foolishness.
Now the flood and rain is over.  The hurricane has passed us, what lies ahead?  The devastation was great, and it will take time to dry out, clean up, restock, and rebuild.  The storms of life that come our way are much the same.  They can wash us away, especially when we are not prepared.  Bear in mind that it will have some kind of affect on our lives.  What you do with it is very important.  The choices you make after the storm may actually be more important than the choices made before.  Life goes on; oh, there is definitely a cost to be paid, but what about your character; what has the storm done to it?
“Tread the walk carefully and with caution.  Look for debris, rocks, varmints, and other obstacles that may be hidden along the path.  Be prepared to meet what is around the bend, but do not get overly anxious.  Take time to enjoy the beauty and blessings [now after the storm] that God brings your way every day, even as you walk [in the aftermath of the storm].”  (Taken from “Trails in the Wilderness”)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”   –Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)

Echoes from the Campfire

You never know how a man will stack up until he’s faced with it.”
–Louis L’Amour  (Tucker)

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
–2 Corinthians 4:17 (NLT)
You wouldn’t think that there could be so much rain in the clouds.  Let me tell you friend, when the skies decide to become unfriendly about all you can do is hunker down and trust in the Lord.  What is it that allows you to hold firm in the midst of a hurricane?  What is it that holds you when the waters rise and begins to enter the house?  It had better be the Lord.

          “Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
           When clouds unfold their wings of strife?
           When the strong tides life and the cables strain,
           Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?”
                    –Priscilla J. Owen

No matter what comes, no matter the flood, winds, or devastation there is no despair when we are held secured by the Savior.  Though things may be gloomy and the skies dark, there is the hope that He will see us through until the storm passes.  We must endure and stay secure in Him.

          “It is safely moored, ’twill the storm withstand,
           For ’tis well secured by the Savior’s hand;
           And the cables passed, from His heart to mine,
           Can defy that blast, thro’ strength divine.”

It is at night that there is often the most fear.  For it is at night that we cannot see the water rise, we cannot see the breakers dash, we cannot see the surge dash.  Traveling through the flood there is the danger of the current and the breaking away of foundations that may be underneath.  Ravaged by the flood, the earth below may give way, however, when we are securely holding on the hand of the Savior we know that we have safe passage.  His strong and mighty arm will hold us against any part of the flood.

          “It will surely hold in the Straits of Fear–
           When the breakers have told that the reef is near;
           Though the tempest rave and the wild wind blow,
           Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.”

No matter the type of flood that comes our way, He is there holding us.  The tidal wave of despair will not overcome us as we hold onto His hand.  If that last great flood that comes to every man–the flood of death, we can still rest secure in Him for He has been that way and has secured our victory.

          “If will firmly hold in the Flood of Death–
           When the waters cold chill our latest breath,
           On the rising tide it can never fail,
           While our hopes abide within the Veil.

           When our eyes behold the gath’ring night
           The city of gold, our harbor bright,
           We shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
           With the storms all past forevermore.”

The flood will not last!  Whether it be a physical flood here on this earth, there will come an end to it.  The sun will shine again, and we will continue on.  It might be that last great flood that hits life, and when we pass through that veil we will forever be anchored along the crystal sea in heaven’s bright land.  Either way the storm will not last.

                    “We have an anchor that keeps the soul
                     Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
                     Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
                     Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.”

The Saga of Miles Forrest

Molly was keeping me busy cleaning up tables and waiting on a few.  Aniha was doing most of the cooking and it seemed we were busier than ever, or maybe it was just because I was wearing the apron.  
I had rushed down to the doctor’s office and he sent me in to see Charlie.  His eyes finally opened, and there was some color back in his cheeks.  
“Whatya bring your ugly face in here for?” he said in a husky voice.  
I clasped his good shoulder and then left.  Hurrying over to the diner I grabbed Marta and told her to run to Charlie.  That’s when Molly grabbed my arm and took me to the kitchen.  “Here!” she ordered.  “Put this on.  It’ll fit, sort of like wearing chaps.”
What she had given me was an apron.  I was fumbling around with it when she said.  “If you’re going to take my help away, you have to take her place.”  Then she laughed.  “Oh, Marshal Forrest, you are too cute!  Now get out there and clean the tables and fill up coffee cups.  I’ll take most of the orders.”
It went along pretty well.  I didn’t spill a drop of coffee on a customer.  The rush hour was almost over and then some hardcases walked in.  I could almost smell them before I saw them.  I was pouring coffee for ol’ Benjamin when I caught the eye of one of them.  They went on over to a table, but their aroma totally followed them.
They looked like hide hunters.  All three of them had long, scraggly, greasy hair.  Two wore buckskin outfits while the third wore a torn, dirty, flannel shirt.
One started banging on the table.  “Where is the service in this joint?  We want some coffee and beer now!”
Well, I hadn’t spilt any coffee until they caused that commotion.  I heard Benjamin give a yelp.  Seemed I missed the cup and poured it on his wrist and he dropped the cup, which naturally broke.
“Sorry, Ben.  I’ll get something to wipe this up,” and used the front of my apron for his hand, but had to go to the kitchen for a rag and another cup.
Molly had gone over to the table of discontents.  “I’ll bring you men some coffee, but we don’t serve any alcohol here.”
One of the men in leather grabbed her and pulled her to his lap.  “Well, pretty lady, beer ain’t rightly alcohol.  Why don’t you run on down to the saloon and get some for us?”  He pushed her up and gave her a little pat, which I saw coming out of the kitchen.
“Have your sweet helper bring us the coffee,” said the one in flannel and gave a laugh.
She ignored them and went to get cups.  When she brought them back.  One grabbed the cup and slammed it on the table spilling the coffee.  The other two emptied their cups on the floor.
“I said, he would pour the coffee!”
“Hey, waitress,” called the one in flannel.  “How ’bout a refill on the coffee.  Lady here got sloppy.”
I had finished wiping the floor but had not stopped watching them.  Standing up I moved toward the stove to get the coffeepot.  Molly intercepted me.  “Miles, don’t start anything,” she whispered.
I smiled at her.  “Molly, you know I never do the startin’.”
As I approached the table one remarked.  “My don’t he look cute in that apron.”  He reached out his cup and motioned for me to pour.  
The pot was freshly made therefore was full.  For some reason I was distracted and poured the hot coffee on his hand.
“Why you…”
Before the one in leather could react I threw what was left of the coffee in his face, scalding it.  He let out a scream.  One was grabbing his burnt wrist and then decided to go for his gun.  While he was fumbling with it I slapped him in the face with the coffee pot.  “This is for makin’ me waste a pot of good coffee.”  And I hit him a second time.
I don’t know if the third man was just a dimwit or was watching the show.  But he finally started to move when I grabbed a chair at the next table and brought it down over his head.  That put him out of the fight.
Now back to leatherman.  His face was red and looked like it would blister.  He reached for his belt and pulled out a Bowie knife.  I’m goin’ to slice out yur guts!”
Reaching under my apron I drew my Schofield and slashed his face, now opening his skin since it was baked and tender.  His hand went to his face and I hit his wrist with the pistol, most likely breaking it and forced the knife to fall.
Two men were now completely out of it so I turned my attention back to the man in flannel.  This time with a cocked gun.  “Now I think it’s time for you boys to leave, that is unless yur still hungry.  I can give you a ration of lead, right quick.”
“We’ll see yuh ‘gin,” he said.
“I don’t figure anytime soon.”  
The man with the scalded face was in a world of hurt and couldn’t help carry out the man I cold-cocked with the chair.  “Get out!” I ordered.
Finally, they struggled out.  I muttered more to myself than anyone.  “Now, to make a fresh pot of coffee.”
I turned and looked at Molly.  “Miles, I told…”

Echoes From the Campfire

Don’t waste time worrying about the mistakes of yesterday. Each morning is a beginning. Start from there.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Cherokee Trail)

“And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?”
–Luke 12:26 (NLT)
“The past is death! Destroy everything to create a new future!”
–Khmer Rouge slogan

“Some folks live in the lap of luxury for so long they believe they are above the rest of mankind. They think the laws of the land only apply to the rest of the world.”
–Lou Bradshaw

There has never been a more spoiled, easily offended, whining bunch of cry-babies and spoiled brats than the Millennials. We are entitled to this, and we are entitled to that. The problem is that when they were a child they were given those blessed self-esteem awards when they should have been given the truth.
Let me ask you this. These “snowflakes”, as they have been dubbed think they are entitled to whatever. What they don’t realize is that ain’t nothing free. There is a price somewhere, and someone has to pay it. For years they had their parents to pay their way. Then they took out loans for college and will expect that they will not have to pay back those loans. They may ride along a few years in the wonderboat of entitlement, but what happens when all the folks who are paying the bills die? The Greatest Generation is almost gone and my generation, the Boomers are moving into retirement. That means the Busters and the Mosaics are paying the bills, ’cause the Millennials certainly won’t.
Right now they think they can protest and rant and rave and stay at home. Tear down the history, tear down the language, chaos and confusion right now, and what will it be like say 30 or 40 years from now? Create a new future; now if that isn’t a stupid slogan I don’t know what is. How can you create something that hasn’t happened yet? Of course, by getting rid of the past, people are no longer guided by anything substantial.
Do you remember the Sandinistas and the Contras and the fighting that took place in Nicaragua? I had a student who escaped from the ordeal. At a certain age, I believe it was 11, they were put in military school. It wasn’t a private school, and it wasn’t to learn their ABCs. The Sandinistas were also destroying all of the history books in the country and rewriting them from a communist viewpoint. Within a generation their history would be gone and they would be able to enjoy the blessings and comforts that come with every communist country.
One more question–what are you doing about it? Are you aiding or fighting the good fight? Are you standing up for right or becoming complacent and joining the crowd? David Jeremiah wrote, “When the secular culture marginalizes the Bible and Christians don’t counter by elevating its place in their own spheres of influence, the Christian unwittingly participates in its marginalization.”
I came across the following in my reading last week. Good thoughts to ponder in this crazy 21st century. It was written around AD 130, “The Epistle to Diognetes”:
“They [Christians] dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all others; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and restored to life. They are poor yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things and yet abound in all; they are dishonored and yet in their very dishonor are glorified. They are spoken evil of and yet are justified; they are reviled and blessed; they are insulted and repay the insult with honor; they do good yet are punished as evildoers.
When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred. To sum it all up in one word–what the soul is to the body, that
are Christians in the world.”
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
–Matthew 5:11-12 (NKJV)