Echoes From the Campfire

Every idea is a seed and, like a seed, it germinates. Only you have to feed it to make it grow properly.”
–Louis L’Amour (Hanging Woman Creek)

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
–Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)
“O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new glorious morn.”
–Adophe Adam (Enlish lyrics by John Sullivan Dwight)

The words to my favorite Christmas carol speak of a “holy night”. The birth of Christ was a holy occasion. The world was already groaning because of sin. Now! Now there is hope. There is hope because of Christ. It was a new morning. Mankind has the opportunity to choose Christ and be free of their sin.
I’ve seen a couple of times on Facebook the following: “The world was changed because of an unplanned pregnancy.” No!
This sullies the birth of Christ, the wisdom and omniscience of God. This pregnancy was planned even before the foundations of the world. “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” (1 Peter 1:20, NKJV) Even Mary was told before she was pregnant. No, this was not an unplanned pregnancy. This was the GREAT plan of God. The famous scripture, “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son… .”
I know that everything on Facebook and the internet is true, but here is at least one huge mistake. The omniscient God has all things in His “mind”, sees all things even before they happen. Never, ever diminish the awesomeness of the Lord! Because of the planned birth of Jesus, mankind is able to experience the “dawn of redeeming grace.”

“Silent night, Holy night,
Son of God, Love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.”
–Joseph Mohr
Christmas Thought:
“Christmas is a time when you get homesick–even when you’re home.”
–Carol Nelson

Nostalgia, maybe, but Christmas is a time to think of Christmas. Memories, memories are very important. I really feel sorry for those who have no fond memories of Christmas. Many think of this as a painful time, but they need a new perspective for it is a time for find the truth of the Day–the birth of the Savior. 

The Saga of Miles Forrest

We had checked a few shacks west of town, but they were filled with out-of-work, down-on-luck miners. I don’t know how they make it through the winter. The mines lay off two-thirds of their workers in the winter and just keep on a crew to keep the mine open and running.
I had hoped that we might come upon them. With two severely injured men, I didn’t think they could go far, but again we might be searching in the wrong direction. This was just the easiest way to travel. Most outlaws, in my experience, don’t like the hard way. That’s why they steal the hard-earned money of others; they are too lazy to work for it themselves. Ironic though, they usually end up staying in places of squalor.
We had been out about four hours when the snow started to fall. It was already coming down hard and Billy was whining about being cold.
“We need to turn back to Durango,” he whined.
With the snow falling harder by the minute and the wind blowing it was becoming hard to see. “Too late for that. We need to find a place to hole up until it’s over.”
It was becoming hard to see anything, but finally I spied a couple of shacks together with what looked like a stall. Hopefully, one of the shacks was vacant. Riding toward the shacks, I halted. There were three horses in the stall. Well, they would have to make room for two more.
“Ride easy, Billy,” I said. Looking around I could see firewood cut and in front of one of the shacks. There was some more on the side of the stall.
Dismounting I led Star inside, took off the saddle and rubbed him down. Billy was still sitting in his saddle. “Get down, and take care of your horse!” I ordered.
“Too cold,” he said shivering. I’m freezing.”
Poor boy, I thought sarcastically. With it snowing this hard it wasn’t that cold. As soon as it stopped the temperature
would really drop. “Take care of your horse! He’s been working and needs rubbing down in this cold weather.”
I noticed that one of the other horses in the stall was still saddled. Made me think I should check their gear. The other two saddles were laying on the ground, so I went to look them over. On one of them was a dark blotch of something–blood maybe.
Going back to my saddle I pulled the Greener. “Come on, I think we’ve found our men,” I said in a whisper.
His eyes widened. I walked up to the shack and pounded on the door. “Hello, the shack. We need out of the weather.”
A rough, growly voice answered. “No room, already full.”
I pounded on the door again. “Open up!”
“Go ‘way; try the other shack, it’s empty,” came the growly voice again.
“This is Marshal Forrest along with Marshal Denton, open up or I’ll kick it in.”
I motioned for Billy to move back just as a shot was fired through the door. There was a scream from Billy, “I’m hit!” Two more shots came through the wooden door.
Pointing the shotgun at the door I let go with both barrels. That made mostly splinters of the door. Quickly I turned to the side and reloaded.
I motioned for Billy to move to the left side of the building. “I can’t,” he cried, “I’m shot, I’m bleedin’.”
Sighing I decided I would try once more. “Through your guns out!”
Taking off my sheepskin coat so I could get to my pistol easier I dropped it in the snow. With the snow I wouldn’t freeze before I got the job done or took a bullet.
Slowly I moved to the doorway. Peeking through the shattered door I saw a man lying on the floor. He looked at me and tried to bring up his pistol. “Don’t!” I hollered.
He fired but could barely hold the gun and the bullet wasn’t close; as he did there was another shot from the right in the room. I didn’t know what good it would do, but I fired at the shack to my right side, then pulled my pistol and shot the man laying on the floor.
The door was now completely off the shack except for the bottom hinge. Easing up to it I saw a man laying on a bunk, holding a pistol. I could see he was bleeding some. Then I glanced to the other side of the room; there was another man laying on a bunk, either unconscious or dead.
“Put down the gun!” I ordered once more. “I don’t want to make you a present to your Maker for Christmas–put it down. I’m gonna fire both barrels when I come through the door and you’ll not even be good for mincemeat.” I waited a few seconds then heard the gun hit the floor.
“I’m hurt,” he mumbled.
“Billy, follow me,” I said and went in not knowing if he followed or not.
It was our three outlaws. The man who had dropped his gun was laying on the bed. He was the one I shot in the hip at the marshal’s office. The blood I saw was from splinters that were sprayed by the blast of the shotgun.
“Billy hold your gun on him while I check the man on the other bed.”
He started to whine. “Do it!”
Going over to the other man, I noticed that he stunk. He was unconscious and moaning. I pulled the blanket off him and saw his hip and leg–black, with gangrene. What a terrible way to die as there was nothing I could do for him.
“Billy,” I said, “I’m going to check out the other shack. I don’t plan to stay in this one with that stench,” I paused and looked around. “We’re going to be here a few days.”
He looked at me as if he was going to cry. “I’m hurt bad,” was all he said.
“I’ll look at you when I get back from checkin’ that other shack.”
Going to it, I slowly opened the door and… .

Echoes From the Campfire

There would be trouble enough, but man is born to trouble, and it is best to meet it when it comes and not lose sleep until it does.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Daybreakers)

“People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire.”
–Job 5:7 (NLT)
Not too long back I heard a person say that when Jesus came He denied His deity. No! Never! I hope that this person was speaking in ignorance, but he was speaking from the platform of a church. That is just another form of Arianism. Jesus never denied His deity.
However, Paul wrote about the “kenosis”, the laying aside or putting aside of His glory. He could not have come to earth in His glory, so He willingly put it aside to become man. I believe that is one of the temptations of Christ while on earth to take back His glory.
Remember the time in Nazareth when He passed through the crowds? On the Mount of Transfiguration He began to shine. Peter, James, and John were admonished not to tell anyone about this until after He rose from the dead. Then came that fateful evening in the Garden when He was betrayed. The soldiers came and asked, “Are you Jesus?” His simple, yet powerful reply knocked them to the ground for He said, “I AM.”
Christmas, with all its lights, the stars, the angels, all that goes with it belies the magnificence and glory of Christ. This is a glorious time because Jesus did set aside His “glory”, came to earth as a man and to become the Savior.
Christmas Thought:
“Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Christmas fire, and make the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete.”
–Charles Dickens

Our world is definitely limited. Think of that, then think of Jesus who left the unlimited to come and join us. He walked looking up at the same stars we do. He thirsted and hungered, as we do. He worked and became tired so He had to rest, as we do. But He understood that there is so much more to life and especially, eternal life, as we should.
Say, friends, there is still time to purchase “Mal de Ojo” as a gift for Christmas. Order today and you should receive it by Christmas.

Coffee Percs

For a few minutes we sat across the desk drinking coffee and trying not to appear greedy by taking more than our own share of the pie.”
–Lou Bradshaw

“Christmas times a-comin’….Hear those bells, ringin’, ringin….” Welcome pard, yuh caught me in a moment of merriment. I’ve got the coffee on, only we don’t have to worry ’bout fightin’ over the last piece of pie ’cause their ain’t none. Sure hope you had a good week. Did you get all yur shoppin’ finished?
I wonder sometimes, well, quite often really, ’bout some of the craziness and foolishness that come down through the media. Saw yesterday where a family of four have declared themselves the first all trans-gendered family. When I see things like that I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or grab them and slap them silly, which they already are. I was reading about Noah and the Scripture that says that men were doin’ evil continually. We’re gettin’ close to that now.
But put all that junk aside, and drink down that coffee, there’s a full pot just waitin’ to be emptied. Say, have you seen ol’ technology from the American Indian to forecast the weather? I’m sure you have, if the rock is white it is snowing, if wet raining, and so on. Well, I just found out that the weather bureau does check with Indians about the severity of the winter. It seems the chief of the tribe contacted the weather bureau and asked if the winter was supposed to be cold and he was informed it was. The chief went to the elders and told them to start collecting firewood. A month later the chief again called the bureau and asked once more. He was informed that it would be a very harsh winter. The chief again goes back to his tribe to tell them to gather even more wood. Just before winter actually started to set in the chief called one more time. This time he asked the person at the weather service how he could be so sure that it was goin’ to be a harsh winter. The weatherman replied, “Because all the Indians in the region are collectin’ wood like crazy.”
“Christmas times a-comin'” now yuh didn’t groan with that story did yuh? Hope yuh are able to stay warm, not only durin’ Christmas but the whole winter. More important that yuh stay warm in yur soul. One way to do that is to make sure yuh check yur cinch.