Echoes From the Campfire

Love is a mighty-purifier of mortal man.”
–Ernest Haycox (Whispering Range)

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
–James 4:8 (NLT)
This is a very important date in my history. If not for this date, and the event that occurred I would not be here today. Today is the birthday of my Grandpa.

Robert James Adkisson
January 31, 1902
April 28, 1983

Grandpa was born to Elijah Elias Adkisson and Ruth Amanda Coulter Adkisson in Rhea County, Tennessee. At a young age they moved to the Fort Smith area of Arkansas and eventually to the coal-mining community of Williams, Oklahoma.
He worked in the coal mines for around thirty years in Oklahoma and Colorado. By the time I came along he was working at the Boulder Brickyards and eventually retired as a night watchman for Western Cutlery. The family moved from Oklahoma because the mines were closing down and arrived in the Waunita Hot Springs area of Colorado. For a short season Grandpa was a lumberjack before finding a job in the mines in Boulder County. The family lived in the coal community at Superior, did their shopping at the company store and lived in company housing. I’m not sure if they lived in the coal community in Oklahoma or not. He quit the mines right after a deadly accident at the Vulcan Mine. Grandpa didn’t work at that mine, but mine accidents were a worry to him. His brother, William, was killed in a mine accident in Oklahoma.
Most of the people in Boulder called him “Bob,” but to me he was just Grandpa. He took me every year to the Boulder Rodeo, to Denver Bears baseball games (Dad usually came to those), and fishing. Grandpa was a fisherman. He would fish whenever the opportunity presented it. One thing though, Grandpa would never fish on Sunday.
Ponder This: I was going back through my devotions from last year and came across these notes I wrote down from A. W. Tozer. The title of his article was, “Christians Are So Well-Fixed, Heaven No Longer Beckons.” He said that Christians live too much in the “present now” and that the anticipation of heaven “has almost died out.” We don’t need tomorrow’s heaven; we don’t need hope for we have everything now. There are a couple of powerful statements he made that should be heavily pondered.

“The true Christian is one who is sick of this world.”

“All of the Christians I meet who are amounting to anything for God are Christians who are very much out of key with their age–very, very much out of tune with their generation.”

Tozer continues and brings forth the concept that this is a “wicked and adulterous generation.” The times are evil and if we, Christians, are in touch with the world we are definitely out of touch with the Lord. Maybe it is unbelief that keeps us tied down and why entertainment is sought in churches. One of my pet peeves (#39) is turning the lights down to make it darker in church, especially during the “worship” service. We are to be children of light, we are to be light unto the world, and we darken the church? Hmmm, something is wrong here.
However, I close moving away from my thoughts to some words in which we should rejoice. Tozer writes that we should “soar as high as you can with your Christian hope…”

The Saga of Miles Forrest

Brrr, it got colder during the night. I got up from the comfort of the bed and went over to stoke the embers in the fireplace. I tossed on a couple of pieces of kindling to get a flame, then added a couple of logs. It wasn’t long ’til I could feel the warmth begin to permeate our little cabin.
I don’t know what it was, but something caught my attention outside. It sounded like it was coming from the stalls. It was too cold to be going outside, but I better go check. I sat on the edge of the bed to pull on my boots. As I was pulling on my britches, Molly woke.
“Miles, what’s wrong?”
“Probably nothin’, but I could hear some commotion out by the horses,” I paused as I finished buttoning my britches. “Thought I better go check. I won’t be but a few minutes.” I put on my holster and grabbed the Greener.
As I stepped outside the cold hit me like a knife. It was snowing a little when we went to bed, but it had stopped and the skies were clear. Looking up I could see the thousands and thousands of stars, twinkling. The moon was full and the light it gave against the pure white snow was almost eerie. Pulling the collar of my sheepskin coat around my neck, I pushed my hat down a little tighter and walked toward the stalls.
Going into the stalls I could tell the horses were agitated, especially Hawk. I went over to him and spoke softly to him asking what the problem was. Maybe I just don’t know horse talk, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. Out of the corner of my eye I picked up some movement. Or maybe it was just the shadows.
The horses started acting up more. There was definitely something out there. Wolves? Grizz had killed two, but the tracks we saw a week ago showed that there may have been up to six or so. Since he had trapped the two it seemed like the others took off for other places.
I stepped out from the stalls to the door. There was a snarl. I turned and something was leaping in the air at me. I didn’t have time to fire so I fell to the ground and as I did I thrust the Greener at the object. I felt it connect but I don’t know if I did any damage to the animal. I must have surprised it when I fell for it overshot me.
Rolling to my right the object stood and looked at me. From the brightness of the moon I could see the eyes and then as it snarled its fanged reflected in the moonlight. It was a wolf. I couldn’t fire the Greener for Star and Two-Bits were behind the wolf and the buckshot would hit them too.
Slowly I walked to my right and out into the open hoping that it would follow me out. The snarling continued, and I held the Greener now as a club.
There was a loud yelp and the wolf thudded at my feet. I immediately jabbed down with the Greener cracking the skull of the wolf. It had moved close enough to Hawk to receive a good kick from Hawk’s back legs.
Glancing up I turned and saw three more run toward the timber. Pulling my pistol, I took my time and fired. I heard a high-pitched yelp. I wasn’t sure I made a killing shot. The moonlight was pulling tricks with shadows and my depth perception seemed off.
“Miles!” came the voice from the cabin.
“It’s all right, Molly. Shut the cabin door.”
Reaching down I grabbed the wolf by the tail and drug it away from the horses and stalls. I moved it a good forty yards up to the edge of the timber. I thought about looking for the one I may have shot, but going into that timber, in the dark, after wolves would be some kind of stupid. I’m not quite that foolish.
Going back to the cabin I checked on the horses one more time. I made sure that they had sufficient room to move if they needed. Walking back to the cabin I heard that howl that over the years has sent shivers down my spine.
As I walked through the doorway, Molly was sitting at the table with a rifle in hand. I pulled off my coat and hung it on the rack and went to the fire to warm my hands. “Wolves,” I said. “Molly, light the lamp, I want to check the stock of the Greener. I sure hope I didn’t crack it when I clubbed that wolf.”
“You clubbed a wolf? I thought I heard you shoot?
“There was one up by the horses. I thought for a minute it had me, but Hawk gave it a good kick and it landed at my feet. I clubbed it with the Greener. Then I saw three others up by the tree-line and I fired at one.”
“Will the horses be all right the rest of the night?” she asked.
“I don’t reckon those wolves will be back tonight, but I’ll stay awake for a while. We need to get rid of them, Molly.”
“I’m awake, I’ll stay up with you.” She stood up, grabbed the coffeepot and opened the door to fill it with snow. “I’ll make us some coffee.”

Echoes From the Campfire

If civilization was to endure, those who believed in it must be prepared to strike back at the dark forces that would destroy it.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Cherokee Trail)

“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?”
–2 Corinthians 6:14 (NLT)
“Reality does not play mind games. What is more, if the mind is anesthetized in order to abort what comes to birth when wrong ideas are conceived in the womb of culture, the very life-giving force of the nation that nurtures that idea will die as well.”
–Ravi Zacharias

“Persistence is success.”
–Joseph Parker

Hard to believe–one month is already down for 2018. Time rushes on. Perhaps you’ve noticed, I have not said one word regarding resolutions. The reason being is that I wanted to give you time to settle into your routine.
Some say they do not believe in making resolutions. That is a real shame. Goal-setting is important to a productive and healthy life, otherwise people seem to drift aimlessly from here to there, and sometimes back again. As Christians we should always be seeking to improve ourselves in various areas of our lives. We can always improve physically, mentally, and spiritually. Making resolutions help us mark our progress and help us see results.
Then there is that group who mockingly say that “resolutions are made to be broken.” That is more of a shame. Christians should never, ever have this mind-set. We should develop discipline and diligence in the fulfillment of our resolutions, especially if they were prayerfully sought, and then directed by the Holy Spirit.
A resolution is sort of like a vow, though not as stringent or serious. Failure does not negate a vow, the same is true of a resolution. So you didn’t lose five pounds in January; February is here so try harder. Pull yourself together, then get resolute about keeping your resolution. If you haven’t made any ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of your life where improvement is needed.
Ponder This: Proverbs 15:31-32, “He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”
What do you do when given reproof? Go hide, take it, let it go in one ear and out the other, or take inventory of your life in that area. The natural person puts up a wall around himself that rejects godly reproof. He prefers words of flattery or encouragement. The poor self esteem is at stake. That’s one reason the prosperity or feel-good gospel is popular rather than true doctrinal preaching.
We should examine every issue of our lives against the backdrop of God’s righteousness and His Word. The rebuke from God’s Word is not nearly so painful as the rebuke of actual experience.

Coffee Percs

A little later the coffee was getting even darker. ‘Good,’ he muttered. ‘Has t’ be black as a landlord’s heart.’ He dropped in some eggshells to settle the grains to the bottom.”
–Clair Huffaker (The Cowboy and the Cossack)

Welcome pard, sure seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve shared coffee together on Saturday mornin’. I was a little lazy and slept in this mornin’ as it’s already graylight. Last week, seems like a long time ago, we were forced out because of the cold-spell. No gas, therefore, no heat. Pipes froze, and a couple of them actually busted. Let me tell you, for this area of Texas it was downright cold.
Ahhh, taste that coffee. Makes yur gizzard jump right up and say “howdy.” Now it’s black, not sure if it is as dark as a “landlord’s heart” but I don’t want any snowflake coffee. Have you heard the latest stunt some of those snowflakes and that group they’re callin’ Generation Z are doin’ now? Eatin’ washer soap. Yep, poppin’ those little plastic bags of soap right in their greedy little mouths. Now, if that ain’t dumber than dumb I don’t know what is! I can remember when we used soap to wash the filth out of a mouth when the young’uns said a bad word, but now they do it on purpose. Makes me wonder if somewhere in the generation their genes didn’t get all messed up. I had to do it with each of my kids–once. It wasn’t really profanity, but something that I didn’t approve of. Kim, she was game. She kept her mouth tight shut, but I know a trick or two, I used shampoo. Got enough of that liquid soap in there to get her attention. Yuh know, neither of my kids cuss or use any type of foul language, and they certainly don’t go around eatin’ soap pods.
Hard to believe that January is almost over already. Just think pard, this is the last Saturday of the month. When we get together next week, it’ll be February and we’ll know if winter will be continuin’ or not. Nothin’ profound to say, so let’s just enjoy the coffee together. Sometimes we get to talkin’ an’ forget the sittin’ and enjoyin’.
You be sure that the good Lord is walkin’ by your side as you finish the month. And don’t be like those dumb fools who eat that soap. Be sure and check yur cinch!