Coffee Percs

Ten minutes after rising, he had the stove heated and the coffee pot on.”
–C.J. Petit

Come in, come in, put good coffee on this morning.  Feels good out there, 53 degrees here in Germantown, Maryland.  Ahhh, that first cup always hits the spot, but the ones that follow aren’t bad either.  I read where yesterday was National Coffee Day.  That surprised me, for I thought every day was coffee day.  
Say, I’ve got a question for yuh.  Out there is Hollywood on the Walk of Fame there are five categories:  film, television, music, radio, and live performance.  Who is the only person put on the Walk in every category?  A clue, let me sing it, “I’m back in the saddle again…”  Don’t hold yur ears.  It’s our ol’ pard–Gene Autry.  How ’bout that; somethin’ I didn’t know.
“Nother cup?  See, told yuh it was good coffee this mornin’.  I caught my daughter the other day puttin’ some of that sweet stuff in it.  Yuh try and raise them properly…  At least it was just sweetner and not that flavored cream–that almost makes my ol’ gizzard flip thinkin’ ’bout it.  But we went to the Amish Market again; that’s my favorite place to eat up here.  There’s a refreshin’ atmosphere there, and no it’s not outside.  Very busy, but friendly, and courteous.  The waitress wrote on the back of our check, “Jesus Loves You.”  I made sure I grabbed her on the way out and told her, that He loves her too.  Things like that just help to make a person’s day; at least it did this ol’ fence post.  Somethin’ positive, instead of all the junk and lies the media throws our way!
On the way to the Market a fox ran out in front of the car.  Rare to see them with so many people livin’ near.  Guess even in the middle of this postmodern, enlightened civilization there are still some throwbacks from the ol’ days.  And on my walk yesterday, a nice, 4-point buck came out of the woods in front of me.  I haven’t seen that big un that I saw a couple weeks ago again.
You be sure and have a good week.  We’ll be headin’ back to Texas in a spell; yuh better be lookin’ for us.  Go out there an’ ride tall in the saddle, but before yuh sit up there, be sure an’ check yur cinch.

Echoes From the Campfire

Men will give up anything rather than what they want to believe.  And hate you for telling them there’s nothing to believe.  And even if you prove it to them, they’ll continue to believe, and hate you for proving them foolish.”
–Louis L’Amour (Over on the Dry Side)

“But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”
–2 Timothy 1:12 (NLT)
“Part of our citizenship is…doing our best to understand the tribulations our predecessors confronted in building this nation.”
–John M. Vermillion

“He was a Christian man, and in his mind it was impossible to be a worthy Christian if you tried to center the universe on yourself.  He didn’t, after all, set out to be not a man of importance, but of value.”
–John M. Vermillion

I don’t understand!  It is totally perplexing to me all of this kneeling in protest when the National Anthem is played.  The people of this country are so underprivileged.  My mercy!  Go to some other countries and be sure and get away from the tourist areas.  See how underprivileged America is.  A person in the poverty level in our country would be one of the privileged in other countries.  Tell me, also, how many people do you know that are not making it?  If there are any, then look again and see if there is a reason why.
I don’t understand!  I know I have been out of the military for many years.  But I can still remember filling out a form that had hundreds of organizations on it.  I had to check any that I might have been involved in for they were all subversive to the United States.  Most of them at that time were communist.  An avowed communist cannot serve in the military of the United States.  For one thing, an oath to defend the Constitution is taken and a communist seeks the revolutionary overthrow of government.  So, to my point, how in the world did someone graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and upon graduation break several guidelines and also proclaimed himself a communist?  How in the world is he now serving at Ranger school?  He is an outright mockery and a scam to the uniform.
I don’t understand!  Protesting the National Anthem by kneeling at a sports game is one thing.  I personally do not think it is protesting for they have yet to prove their issue, but to go to an area that is “sacred” if that word can be applied to a national shrine and kneeling is another.  How dare someone go to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and protest by kneeling!  First of all it had to be on purpose; a person just doesn’t happen to be there.  Secondly, that is not protesting, that is sheer mockery!  That is definitely asking for violence; I am surprised that nothing happened when the incident took place.
Enough is enough!
I was reading my devotions yesterday in Amos, the 5th chapter.  These verses jumped out at me.
          “They hate him who reproves in the gate,
           And they abhor him who speaks with integrity.”  (Amos 5:10, NASB)

Those in the gate speak of those in leadership.  We will never totally agree with those in leadership, but to go so far as to “hate” is another thing.  Why do they hate?  Because the leadership is reproving them.  The second part is that they abhor the person who speaks with integrity, or the person who speaks the truth.  Look at the liberal lies; look at what they believe.

          “Hate evil, love good,
           And establish justice in the gate!
           Perhaps the Lord God of hosts
           May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.” (Amos 5:15, NASB)

We are to seek good and not evil that we may live (vs 14).  Yet there is a group of loud-mouths out there, some in places at the gates and formerly at the gates that say good is evil and evil is good.  Friends, that is dangerous to them, to us, and to the nation.  As I mentioned yesterday from the writings of Paul, “We are in perilous times.”  Oh, and I might mention, the phrase “Lord God of hosts,” means the Commander of the Armies of Heaven.  Hmmm, ponder that!
Therefore, be ready for evil is all around you.  Be ready for the return of the Lord is at hand.  Be ready to admonish your children and teach them in the ways of the Lord.  Be ready to guard the truth.  Be ready to be righteous, for righteousness exalts a nation.

Echoes From the Campfire

In this country, more than any other, you have to make your mark. You’re not going to be treated like something special until you are.”
–Louis L’Amour (Over on the Dry Side)

“Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.”
–Deuteronomy 8:2 (NLT)
Once upon a time there was something known as the “American Dream.” It was a goal that many, if not all people, strived for to one extent or another. There was a time when people believed in a theory of “inevitable progress.” “Onward and upward”, was the slogan. Mistakes might be made along the way, but people, and nations would strive to go forward.
Richard Kern wrote the following: “Today we are not so sure. In spite of all good intentions on the part of man, ours remains a world of war, poverty, hunger, and uncertainty. To an uncounted multitude the words of Paul still sum up their own daily experiences: ‘For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.'” (Romans 7:19)
In fact, today there is more of a downward spiral. Agendas have become more important than principle and truth. Protesting seems to be the norm to the day. And to protest it must be against some established value, policy, or institution. I will say it is true that all of this is not really new, but simply new twists to old means and ways. However, now the country’s values have eroded more than ever, so there is no real foundation to stand upon. People misconstrue the Constitution and how it operates. They want more and more given to them, no matter that socialism has proven to be a poor means of government.
We honor traitors and those who commit treason and disregard the heroes who sacrifice. We honor those who bow in protest, but scorn those who bow in prayer. Read the words of Paul and see if they fit today.

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
–2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV)

If this does not sound like the newscast I don’t know what does. The days are evil, make no mistake about it.
We must be determined in this hour to live for Christ. Failure to make this determination will weaken us and we will not be able to stand against the conforming powers. Remember, we are not to be conformed to this world; in other words, do not take on the shape of the world. The Phillips’ translations puts it this way, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.” (Romans 12:2)
Maybe another way to put it–who are you? Do you talk like a Christian, do you walk like a Christian; do you act like a Christian? Many people have been baptized and all they do is come up as a wet sinner. When we are converted things change.
I’m not a real fan of the Message, but I do like the way it puts Romans 12:2, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” This world is not our home, we’re just passing through.

Echoes From the Campfire

There are many ways you can see things, aside from your eyes.  A man can see with his mind, his spirit, his heart.”
–Clair Huffaker (The Cowboy and the Cossack)

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
–Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
                    “On famed, eternal camping-ground,
                     Their silent tents are spread,
                     And glory guards with solemn round
                     The bivouac of the dead.”
                            –Gettysburg National Cemetery

We took my grandson, Garrett, to Gettysburg the other day.  At the end of our trip, we went to the cemetery.  Of course, being a five-year-old he wanted to run, play, and climb.  Shauna was explaining to him that in a cemetery we are supposed to show reverence and respect.  That is a hard concept for a five-year-old, but he obeyed.  He didn’t step on the markers and stones that represented the final resting place of the known, and the unknown.  Hmmm, seems to me that there are some older than him that do not yet understand the concept of reverence and respect.
Now, as Christians we know that is not a final resting place, for after death comes the judgment.  Every man will stand before his or her Creator to be sent to either a resting place or a place of judgment.  We often forget that this life is a “training ground” for eternity.  Choices here reflect to an extend what happens there.  One for is certain the acceptance or rejection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
A few years back an argument developed with a person in the church I was attending.  He insisted that Jesus had a sin nature.  I simply said “no” at first, but he kept pressing the issue.  I finally began to explain the doctrine of the incarnation to him.  That’s when he bowed his neck and kept insisting he was right.  I started to walk away, for you cannot argue with fools.  Finally, he said, “Well, can we agree to disagree?”  I quickly replied, “Not when it comes to matters of heresy!”
I’m kind of seeing the same thing happening now.  I saw where one person said that he teaches that tolerance toward all views should be accepted.  No!  Emphatically, no!  Heresy is never accepted.  False views are never accepted.  If a person believes in anarchy, that cannot be accepted.  Listen, there is a time and place to be dogmatic.  Agree or disagree, that is my belief toward the National Anthem.  I am a citizen of the United States, and we do have problems, but we face them and try to straighten them out, but not with disgracing the heritage of the nation.
Things have not changed over the last ten years, and much of this “protest” is not against problems, but simply against a man.  I read where thirty percent of the workers in the Department of the Interior are not in favor of President Trump.  So what!!  They have a job to do, not a person to bow to.  I had people in the military when I served that I didn’t necessarily agree with or like, but they gave the orders and as long as it was not an illegal order, I did it.  I didn’t go sit down and protest.
One more thought on the subject.  Since the 1970s, this country has slowly moved toward a postmodern culture.  When I taught my Bible class I told students that this is the most dangerous worldview.  It sneaks in, and seeks to destroy, dismantle, or disfigure truth.  This worldview ultimately is one of anarchy as they teach that each person is autonomous; right and wrong is up to the individual.  I read a good description of why things are happening.  It started under Bush, but was softened under Obama and therefore the concept gained strength.  But we have a “modern” President (the old values and principles) in a postmodern culture.  Ponder it!
“One of the problems with the church is that we have created flowery, happy places where everyone appears to be an inch deep and a mile wide.”
–David Dusek

Could you sit down and have a discussion on the major doctrines of the church?  If not, shame on you, and shame on us.  I have heard people use the excuse that we should be “doing” and not be concerned with dogma and doctrine.  Listen!  You cannot have practical theology without first having doctrinal theology.  Your practice must fit your theology, not developing your theology to fit your practice–that is going to spell disaster.
Know what you believe!  The cross was not covered with flowers and sweet smelling candles.  It was covered with blood.  Why?  Because sin is terrible and Christ took sin upon Himself.  Sin is gruesome and to defeat it is a gruesome business.