Echoes From the Campfire

For when I looked upon the beauty and upon the distance, I could only think how short was a man’s life, with all the things to be done, the words to be spoken, the many miles to ride.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (The Man From the Broken Hills)

    “Fear of the Lord lengthens one’s life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.”
              –Proverbs 10:27  (NLT)
If you were the Creator, how would you create your “best” world?  Ever pondered that?  We often get mad at God for things that happen, but that is because we only look in the physical realm or look at the situation selfishly.  Remember, in your creation you must include a spiritual realm, and there is a real devil.  Okay, begin to create.  
    Do you take free will away from man so that he cannot sin?  Or perhaps your world would be robotic.  There are those who hold that view; let the robots rule, they have no emotion and no choices to make.  Any world in which there is no hurt or possibility of hurt is not a world in which freedom is possible.  Why did Adam sin?  He chose to sin.  We sin as Adam sinned.  We choose to sin.  Why then do we choose to blame God for the horros of our sins and bad choices?
    Look at the aspect of Satan.  He is real, despite what the enlightened people of the world would tell you.  He is the total opposite of God.  God is love, Satan is hate.  He has a very real interest in seeing the world suffer.  Ponder the following by David Grey Barnhouse.

         “War had been declared.  The great, governing cherub had become the malignant enemy.  Our God was neither surprised nor astonished, for, of course, He knew it before it happened that it would happen, and He had His perfect plan ready to be put into effect.  Although the Lord had the power to destroy Satan with a breath, He did not do so.  It was as though an edict had been proclaimed in heaven:  ‘We shall give this rebellion a thorough trial.  We shall permit it to run its full course.  The universe shall see what a creature, though he be the highest creature ever to spring from God’s Word, can do apart from Him.  We shall watch this experiment, and permit the universe of creatures to watch it, during this brief interlude between eternity past and eternity future called time.  In it the spirit of independence shall be allowed to expand to the utmost.  And the wreck and ruin which shall result will demonstrate to the universe, and forever, that there is no life, no joy, no peace apart from complete dependence upon the Most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth.'”

    Therefore, between the two endless eternities there is “time.”  We clamor about independence, but it is during this time that it will be shown.  Look at all that has happened during time on earth.  Look at all that has happened since man made his fateful choice in the Garden.  Between the Fall and God’s final and complete restoration there is much pain and suffering. (Brown)  This is due to the choice of man and the onslaught of Satan.
    One other consideration in your creation is to determine where love comes from.  One problem with this thought is that man has a very miscued view of love.  Man tries to argue the problem of evil, but what about the problem of good?  Some say that man created God and that He is no longer valid or needed.  But if there were not such a God, a God of love, we would never have thought Him up, unless a loving, sovereign God gave us the idea Himself. (Brown)
    Here are a couple of more thoughts to ponder.  Why is God as good to us as He is?  Sometimes we suffer because we deserve it.  Jon Wenham wrote, “The marvel is, in the biblical view, not that men die for their sins, but that we remain alive in spite of them.”  Never take for granted the grace of God and the blessings that He bestows.

Coffee Percs

Spring was almost over but the nights were still chilly, and he buttoned up his coat as he sat and drank his morning coffee and ate his breakfast, remarking to himself not for the first time on how good food tasted when it had been cooked over a campfire out in the clean, wild air.”
              –C.M. Curtis  (Silent Mountain Guns)

Howdy, pard.  Graylight’s comin’ upon us, that means soon ol’ sol will be makin’ his way over the horizon.  Come on in, an’ throw yur ankles under the table.  Coffee has been waitin’ for yuh.  Sure hope yur week was a goodun.  
    I’ve been wonderin’, pard.  Since my gizzard sure thinks it’s delightful when a cup of coffee is poured in it, do yuh think it would help as a liniment on my ol’ bones?  Sure have been achin’ lately.  
    Say, that must be good coffee this mornin’, yur eyes sure lit up with that first sip.  Chilly out again; sure been a strange spring here in this part of Texas.  Nice and delightful.  Sure wish I could get in my new homeplace to watch the sun come up and enjoy coffee out on the porch.  Figure we may be moved in by Christmas….
    But I’m not frettin’ any, so sir, if the Lord decides it’s time for my last venture, then I reckon coffee out on the veranda up in glory won’t be back at all.  I’m a-wonderin’ that since some folk don’t care much for the hardy, robust coffee that yur havin’ this mornin’ that if when that heavenly brew touches yur lips that it will be just right?
    Cup gone dry?  Let’s finish this pot.  Say, pard, if yuh haven’t read my new book, be sure and get a copy.  It goes fine with a pot of coffee.  Since I was talkin’ about heavenly coffee, I came across this phrase,
         “Now, when I get to heaven,
          If that should be my lot,
          I hope St. Peter greets me
          With a steaming coffee pot.”
Don’t know the ol’ boy that coined that poem, but it came from a book by Ernestine Sewell Linck.  And don’t you be a-frettin’ about me either; my lot is cast toward those pearly gates.
    My, I’ve done rambled enough this mornin’.  Sky is turnin’ a bright pink with the sun beginnin’ to show, and that means I’ve got to be gettin’ cleaned up some.  Headin’ for Coldspring this mornin’.  Plan on eatin’ breakfast at a little place up there and do some meanderin’ around.
    Yep, you got it, I’ll check my cinch before ridin’ out.

Echoes From the Campfire

They know that when he gives his word he will keep it, and that he never gives an inch after he makes up his mind.”
              –Charles A. Seltzer  (West)

    “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, be prompt in fulfilling whatever you promised him. For the Lord your God demands that you promptly fulfill all your vows, or you will be guilty of sin….  But once you have voluntarily made a vow, be careful to fulfill your promise to the Lord your God.”
              –Deuteronomy 23:21,23 (NLT)
I saw where Tucker Carlson made some comments about college the other day.  Since I wrote about it as well I won’t expound, but he asked if college was worth the cost.  Good question.  Certainly not for everyone.  Then he commented about professors who didn’t teach.  Well, who’d a thought?  And if they do, they promote their liberal, socialist agenda.  
    Another thing that bothers me about college anymore is the question, do professors fail students?  I know in high school, teachers will give extra credit to avoid failing a student, and some schools do not let students fail.  So what happens when they go to college?  The same thing.  No wonder there is so much ineptitude in the professional ranks these days.
    However, I am still in favor of college…but who teaches common sense and biblical principles?  I was sent this little story the other day by my wife’s brother.  Since it’s the weekend I thought it would work in here.  There are some very important life lessons that if you ponder just a bit can have a spiritual connotation as well.

         An old prospector shuffled into the town of El Indio, Texas leading a tired old mule.  The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town, to clear his parched throat.  He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail.
As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whisky in the other.
         The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, can you dance?”
         The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No son, I don’t dance . . . never really wanted to.”
         A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna dance now!” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.
         The old prospector, not wanting to get a toe blown off, started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet.
Everybody standing around was laughing.  When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.
         The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun and cocked both hammers.  The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air. The crowd stopped laughing immediately.  The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.  The silence was deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin 12 gauge barrels.
         The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said; “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s bottom?”
         The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No sir .. . . but . . . but I’ve always wanted to.”

         There are a few lessons for all of us here:
              * Don’t be arrogant.
              * Don’t waste ammunition.
              * Whisky makes you think you’re smarter than you are.
              * Always make sure you know who is in control.
              * And finally, don’t mess around with old folks; they didn’t get old by being stupid.
I just love a story with a happy ending, don’t you?

    See. that young fellow just learned a few lessons that can’t be taught in college.  I might add another one; always reload after you empty your gun.  Some of the greatest defeats come after spiritual victories; it might be called the devil’s counterpunch.  So load up by reading your Bible and prayer.
    I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Be kind to someone.

Echoes From the Campfire

My training has been to be responsible for what’s left in my charge.”
              –Zane Grey  (Arizona Clan)

    “Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
              –Jeremiah 23:4 (NLT)
I don’t remember the exact year; I was in high school, but I remember the situation quite clearly.  I had a small strawberry from baseball practice and then in gym class put a floor burn on top of it.  Neither of them were new experiences to me, so I didn’t pay them any mind.  The next day, around lunchtime I started to get nauseated and feverish.  Baseball practice was after school but by that time I was in poor shape.  I went to the coach and told him I couldn’t stay for practice.  He took one look at my knee, where the scrapes were, and told me to get to the emergency room.
    My friend drove me to the small medical center rather than the hospital.  After a few minutes of sitting there I was taken to a room marked “Surgery”.  That got my attention.  However, I found out that a surgeon was the only doctor available.  He took one look at my knee then began his inspection.  The glands on the left side of my body were the size of golf balls.  He immediately gave me a shot of penicillin and a prescription for pills.  He told me that if I waited any longer they would probably have to cut my leg off and if I had waited twenty-fours hours I would probably have been dead.  When I was at the pharmacy, things began to darken.  I got as low to the floor as possible in case I passed out.  It lasted a minute or so, and I never went out, but it sure was a strange feeling.
    Infections are dangerous.  I read the definition:  “the injurious colonization of a human body by a foreign species that begins to utilize the host’s resources to assist in its own infectious multiplication.”  My body was a host to a foreign species.  Now think of that in the spiritual sense, not only in your own person, but also the church.
    It is important to prevent or catch an infection quickly.  If not it will quickly multiply.  Think of murmurings or gossip in the church, or even more dangerous false teaching.  It must stop and be eradicated.  Persistent infections occur when a body is unable to completely purge the harmful organisms.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Corinthians 5) and Jesus warned of the leaven of the Pharisees.  
    Another thing to consider is that infections can spread.  They are spread either by direct contact with another person, or by indirect contact, touching an object after an infected person; in other words, being exposed to the environment of an infected person.  Yet today, believers join in with the world in their “entertainment.”  To stop being exposed the person must make changes in their lifestyle.
    Some infections are easy to detect because they have immediate symptoms, but there are some that sneak up on you.  They may lay dormant for a time, then when it is right they appear and then are hard to deal with.  We are to be partakers on His holiness, not to live as the world does and become its friend.