He drank his coffee black. The heat of it jolted him a little, it pulled him out of a deep hole.”
Drag yourself in here pard, sit yourself down an’ I’ll get your cup. Here yuh go, it’ll get yuh out of a dark mood, guaranteed. It was about two thousand years ago, on this day, that the disciples were sure in a dark hole. I’m a thinkin’ that’s where that classic song was first introduced–“gloom, despair, agony on me; deep dark depression excessive misery…”
Don’t know about you, but I’ve often thought about that day. Friday was frightful and terrible, but it was tangible. Now hiding, they wondered. They went from hope to despair. Jesus often asked them when He walked the trails with them, “Where is your faith?” Now, He is in the tomb, no hope and certainly no faith.
Ahhhh, coffee is hot, feeds the innards. Goodness, pard, you sure didn’t sip that cup; guzzled it right down you did. Back to my thinkin’. The Lord lay in a tomb; He went away. I’m a-wonderin’ if that isn’t where many in the church are today. I don’t know if there’s a lack of hope or not, but the Lord has left and many are involved in the world. Kinda like those ten who fell asleep waitin’ for the weddin’ celebration. Caught unawares they were, and then for sure there was no hope.
Sorry, pard, another cup, sure thing; I got off my thinkin’. Imagine the gloom. What was Peter thinkin’? How about ol’ Bart and his pard, Levi? What was goin’ through their minds?
In the midst of it all the spirit realm was in turmoil. We can’t know, we can’t understand it all pard, but there was somethin’ for sure goin’ on. Very little of it mentioned only that Jesus took captivity captive. The disciples thought it was a day of despair, but they couldn’t see all of what was happenin’. Whoooeee! The spirit world was a-shakin’ and soon–Sunday would be here!
My pard, that sends the shivers up and down an’ makes the hairs stand up an’ quiver. Yeehaw! On Sunday even nature would tremble and the Lord would rise in victory over the grave and the devil!
Glad yur leavin’ with a smile; get over that doom and gloom. Don’t be so giddy that you forget to check yur cinch!
You had no hope, now you do. Texas is a big land. For that matter, the West is vast and needs men with hope.”
–D.C. Adkisson (Mal de Ojo)
“Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.”
–1 Peter 1:21 (NLT)
“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
Oh, that old rugged cross so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.
In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.”
Tremendous words written by George Bennard that we never hear anymore. Shame, there is such truth and such feeling within those words. Since the church has become more “enlightened” it has cast aside these treasures.
That cross truly is despised by the world. It is the cross that divides the world. Accept Jesus, His death, followed by the victory given in the resurrection and there is life eternal. Man cannot earn or make his own salvation; it only comes through the grace that was given because of the death of Jesus on the cross. The Cross represents the atonement, the propitiation, the substitution, the redemption for our souls.
No matter what happens in life–cling to the old rugged cross.
The world is out of joint or maybe I just don’t fit in.”
–Zane Grey (Wyoming)
“Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.”
–2 Corinthians 6:17 (NLT)
“The Bible sets forth two things–the Cross and the Throne.
The Old Testament points toward the Cross.
The Gospels tell the story of the Cross.
The Epistles point toward the Throne.
The Revelation tells the story of the Throne.
The Old Testament tells us what sin leads to, and ends with the words, ‘Lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.’ (Malachi 4:6)
The New Testament shows us the way out of sin, and ends thus, ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.’ (Revelation 22:21)”
–D. L. Moody
That may be a little simple, but we are now living in the day after the Cross. Salvation is always by grace and the people prior to Christ were looking for a Redeemer. The Redeemer has come; this week we celebrate the remembrance of the Cross.
The night before the Cross there was the “last supper” where Christ was illustrating what would soon be happening. He made mention that He would not eat with them again in this setting until He returned. However, after the Cross was Saturday. It was a day that should be pointing to the resurrection, but oh, ye of little faith.
In one sense, the earth was smitten with a curse. Jesus said He came to bring a sword, and that those against Him would be smitten with a curse.
So, today, Thursday, take time to look at the “last supper, and the events that led to the Cross, especially the suffering of Jesus. Then Saturday, put yourself in the place of the disciples, but remember, “Sunday’s comin'”
The resurrection should also remind us that Jesus is not slack on His promise. As the New Testament points to the Throne, and we are living in the New Testament period, the next thing we should be looking for is His return.
I was up early to get up to the mill for some of Mr. Burleski’s coffee. I reined Hawk at his office and went in. The clerk held up his hand for me to stop and he went to the office door and knocked, then opened it.
“Mister Forrest is here,” he announced.
Walking into the office I saw Burleski looking out the window. “I came early for some of your coffee.”
Turning, he sort of grunted, then walked to a table next to the stove and grabbed a couple of cups. He filled both cups full of the hot, black fluid. “Here,” and he thrust the cup at me. “Can you drink and walk?” Then he took off and stood on the platform, drinking his coffee and watching the men start to gather.
There were five wagons already in position with teamsters holding the teams. Two guards, armed with sawed-off shotguns stood at the top of the ramp. There were two more armed the same way at the bottom. A man walked out and looked our direction. Burleski pointed and the man waved back. Men now began to lug the gold down to the wagons. I saw two more guards just inside and then noticed another two on the side of the platform looking back giving them a different view of the loading from the other guards.
As soon as one wagon was loaded the teamster drove it out a few feet from the platform. He stayed on the wagon, not looking around while the same procedure was taking place with the second wagon. The loading was smooth, and went relatively fast.
A man stumbled and fell with the loading of the fourth wagon. Immediately one of the guards jumped down, the other guards stopped the loading of the gold. For a big man Jakub Burleski was fast for he was down and moving toward the man laying on the ground; I followed.
“Miland, get up!” ordered the guard.
The man struggled to get up. “Sorry, I’m jist plumb tuckered out; need a break.”
By that time, Burleski was on the scene. “Havin’ trouble, Mr. Miland?” he questioned.
“Just worn out, that’s all, Mr. Burleski, thanks for askin’,” replied the downed man who finally was standing.
“Might be easier if you didn’t have that brick in your bib,” the man’s eyes went wide in fright as he heard the words from Burleski. “Take it out!” Miners often wore overalls with a bib pocket in front where they would carry their lunch.
There was real fear in Miland’s eyes now. He started to run, but the guard behind him was too quick and slapped him upside the head with the shotgun, dropping him to the ground. Burleski walked over, lifted him up with one hand by grasping the front of his shirt, then reached and pulled out a brick of gold that had been hidden in the bib.
“Tie him up!” ordered Burleski and get back to work.
The work was not started again until Burleski and I was back up on the platform by his office. “This happen often?” I asked.
“No,” came the gruff answer. “I’m surprised it was Miland. He’s a good worker, has a family in the camps,” he looked down toward Silverton. “Now, I have to turn him in to the marshal.”
I could sense that he didn’t care much for the local law enforcement. “Turn him over to me. I’m here on behalf of the federal government. I’ll take him to Silverton; see if I can find out why he did it.”
Within the next hour the wagons were down the hill from the mill and now the loading was taking place on the train, now with Wells Fargo guards as well. Miland sat tied next to the gold, sullen and not wanting to speak.
Since this was the first shipment of the year there was a major load. So large, that the Wells Fargo office in Durango wasn’t large enough to hold all the gold so part of it would have to be held in the bank–Billington’s bank.
Just before we left I sent a telegram to Charlie Gold, requesting that he meet the train when we arrived. In talking with the conductor this train would not be making the morning trip back up the line in the morning. I decided that we would not unload the car until it was time to load the car that would be heading for Denver.
A few hours later the train arrived in Durango and Charlie was there waiting. “Charlie, would you tell Molly that I’ll be staying with the train tonight and for her to pack my gear for the trip to Denver. I reckon she will already have her grips packed,” he started to leave. “By the way, you’re stayin’ the night here as well.”
He wasn’t gone ten minutes when Billington came puffing up to the train, and lo and behold, Billy Denton was with him. “What do you think you’re doing, Forrest?” he demanded.
“The gold will be stayin’ on the train for the night. There’s too much of it to move to different locations.”
“You can’t do that!” he exclaimed. “That gold is to be kept secure in the safe of the bank.”
“Oh, but I can,” and I pulled out my badge–Secret Service. “I’m in charge of the gold until it gets to the mint in Denver.”
Billington turned to Denton. “Do something, you’re the guard at the bank. Take that gold to the safe!”
I smiled at Billy, lifted the Greener just slightly. “Yes, Billy, do something…”