Coffee Percs

    I scouted buffalo chips to make a fire.  Careful to make no smoke, for this was Comanche country, I made coffee and sliced bacon into a skillet.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Tucker)

Mornin’ pard, come on in an’ throw yur ankles under the table.  Best you be careful with those spurs though; new floor and wife might not like yuh scarring it so soon.  Coffee’s just ’bout done so I’ll grab a couple of cups.
    Ahhh, those first few swallows are good.  Makes the ol’ gizzard sit up and take notice.  Yuh know, this is sort of a solemn day.  Yuh realize that the year is half over?  Yep, it’s a-flyin’ by.  Sure does make a man wonder what he’s done with his time.  
    How are yuh comin’ with yur goals and resolutions?  Half way over so if yur not on schedule this would be a good time to get back on track.  I know that it’s easy to get relaxed an’ forget; that nice comfortable bed, a good cook stove, ahh, those wonderful things.  Sure not like the ol’ day when we had to be lookin’ over our shoulder when we drank our coffee and ate our bacon.
    Go ahead, finish yur cup, there’s a whole pot here.  Supposed to be havin’ a treat for breakfast.  No, not a pie, but almost as good.  Wife is goin’ to put the fixin’s together for some biscuits ‘n’ gravy.  But back to what I was sayin’.  Perhaps we’re bein’ lulled into complacency.  That’s why I keep tellin’ yuh to get yur gun handy; right next to yur Bible.  These are perilous times, and yuh cayn’t afford not to stay aware of yur surroundin’s.  
    We live in different times, an’ that means different enemies.  The bureaucrats are gettin’ worse, and there are more and more crazies out there. People sure are fixin’ to get their own way, even if you are in it.  Right and wrong don’t mean much anymore, but that don’t mean that right ain’t right!
    Pard, in these times, yuh best be adherin’ to the words of Scripture.  Don’t be goin’ to the left or right, but stay straight in steady.
    My land, but we finished that pot in a hurry this mornin’.  Maybe it was the fresh air; gettin’ out of the city sure does help.  You be careful with those fireworks come the 4th, but do have some fun with yur family and celebrate.
    That bein’ said, keep alert.  There’s enemies out there wantin’ yur hide.  Don’t help ’em out none by not checkin’ yur cinch.

Echoes From the Campfire

In this life, you only get so many opportunities.  You must take advantage of them while you can.”
              –Bobby Cavazos  (The Cowboy From the Wild Horse Desert)

    “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.”
              –Colossians 4:5 (NLT)
There was a very good movie made several years ago:  How the West Was Won.  Take time to watch it if you have not done so.  The story is of the Prescott family as they make their way west, facing the challenges and obstacles to endure the making of this great country.
    Early in the movie there is a camp scene of a family who have joined the Prescotts.  While they are going about camp chores and supper was being prepared, a lone trapper, Linus Rawlins (Jimmy Stewart) arrived in his canoe.
    The families invited him to join them for supper, which he did and they sat around telling stories.  Rawlins, the trapper, finally went off to his bedroll and after he left, Mr. Prescott remarked, pointing toward the fire.  “These mountain men…they’re sorta like a wisp-of-smoke.”
    James tells us the same thing about our lives.  “Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air].”  (4:14, AMP)
    This is true in the light of eternity.  What is your small segment of life like in compared to the eons of eternity?  A speck, a mist, a wisp of smoke.  The other aspect is that because our lives are so short in comparison, it is important to recognize the responsibility we have to the Almighty for this short time.  We must make the most of every minute to live for Him.  Man is like a wisp of smoke in regards to the Lord, but what we do in that time will affect us through eternity.

Echoes From the Campfire

What dual character he had–what contrast of thrill and pang, of blood and brain, of desert and civilization, of physical and spiritual, of nature and….”
              –Zane Grey  (Wanderer of the Wasteland)

    “You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents.”
              –Psalm 8:6-8 (NLT)
Adam was placed in the Garden.  What was his purpose?  Why did God place him there?  It was not just to walk with God, or to lie down in the lush grass by the riverside where he could dip his big toe in the cool water.  God placed Adam in the Garden to tend it.  Creation was placed in the hands of man, to tend and to keep.
    Man was created in the image of God, therefore, man was created to be God’s representative on earth.  Man has a tremendous responsibility to care for that work of God.  Remember, Jesus said that if man does not praise Him, then the rock would cry out.  Bernard Brady states that, “Humans are commissioned to take care of the earth, use it appropriately, keep it healthy and beautiful.  The world, after all, belongs to God, not to us.  It will endure long past our lives.”
    The term “worship” most often in the Scripture means “to do service.”  There are many ways to worship, one of which is to be a caretaker of the Lord’s creation.  Creation was made to do service for man; man then is the spokesman for creation.
         “Man is, as it were, the high priest of God’s creation, to offer the sacrifice of praise for all his fellow-creatures.  The Lord God expects a tribute of praise from all His works.  Now, all the rest do bring in their tribute to man, and pay it by his hand.  So then, if a man is false, and faithless, and selfish, God is robbed of all, and has no active glory from His works.”  (Joseph Alleine)
    But man, in his relation to creation, has not been a good steward.  Man has despoiled creation.  Man, because of sin, is guilty of robbing and spoiling the praise that belongs to God.
    Ponder for a moment–food serves to nourish man to strengthen man to work for God.  But with sin the work is rotten.  Light from the sun is to give light for the accomplishment of God’s work through man.  But with sin, it is hated for sin loves the darkness and the work that is done in the light is for the selfishness of man.  Clothes were made so that you could work in all kinds of weather, is now used to satisfy man’s craving for self.  All these things from the earth are all in vain unless there is salvation and the believer recognizes his duty, service, and responsibility to his Creator.
    One of my very favorite books is Wanderer of the Wasteland.  There are so many scriptural analogies in the book.  Here is one passage from the pen of Zane Grey from this wonderful book.
         “The clean white sand, the mesquites bursting into green, the nodding flowers in the grassy nooks under the great iron-rusted stones, the rugged, upheaved slope of mountain, and to the east an open vista between the trees where the desert stretched away gray and speckled and monotonous, down to the dim mountains over which the sun would rise; these could not but be pleasant and helpful.  Love of life could not be separated from such things.”
    Yet, because of sin, the “whole creation groaneth”. (Romans 8:22)  Under “unsanctified men who pervert all things to the service of their lusts,” (Alleine) nature groans waiting for the curse to be removed.  Ask me why there are so many “natural disasters” and I will say it is part of nature’s groaning, asking God to remove the curse.  This was not the purpose of creation.

Echoes From the Campfire

He seemed fitted for this task, and his motive had the strength of love and passion and the sanction of right.”
              –Zane Grey (Nevada)

    “I, the Lord, have dedicated these soldiers for this task. Yes, I have called mighty warriors to express my anger, and they will rejoice when I am exalted.”
              –Isaiah 13:3 (NLT)
Each of us has a task to perform for the Lord.  It will vary from person to person.  Some will be called into actual ministry, such as a pastor, teacher, or evangelist.  Others will be called to serve Him in lay positions, but we all have a task of giving forth the Gospel.
    How we do this is also different.  Some may preach, others may teach.  There will be some who are working in the public and they may meet so many people in a day, all they can give them is a smile, and wish them a good day.
    Each of us also has their individual, personal task of growing in the Lord.  Most growth is slow, but there are spurts of growth, and situations that come that make a person grow.  Lessons are given in various ways by the Lord to help us grow, and, of course, we must be in the Word to have a proper nutrition.  It is hard for the Holy Spirit to use someone in their task if they are not constantly feeding upon the Word.
                    “Do not fret because of evildoers,
                     Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.”
                             –Psalm 37:1 (NKJV)

This is a good verse for the day in which we live.  There seems to be so much evil, and the devil would love to see us live in the throes of anxiety.  Moral values are now being determined by society, “workers of iniquity.”  However, we are not to fret.
    I like what a Naval Chaplain wrote, “The advice is pointed.  Don’t fret.  How easy it is to get upset and stew over issues that you can’t control or alter.  Don’t fret because of evil men.  You can be surrounded with moral values and conduct that contradict your own.  You can’t run away from your environment, but you don’t need to ‘capitulate’ either!
         “An antidote is offered:  ‘Trust in the Lord.’  Your strength of will is just so strong.  This invitation from the psalmist to trust in the Lord is for those with weak wills and human limitations.
         “The central truth of this psalm and of life is, ‘Commit your way to God.’  You cannot live in neutral.  You cannot be half-committed in your faith.  Jesus calls you to a whole-hearted surrender.  Stay loose, don’t get shook.  Trust in the Lord and commit your way to him.”  (I.W. Dodson, Jr)
    Things that come your way have meaning.  Answer the issue with a biblical viewpoint.  There is nothing that you do or that you will face that is not either going to lead you closer to the Lord or move you away from Him.  Life is not neutral!
A Quick Lesson is Politics:  Definitions –
    Socialism:  If you have two cows, you give one to your neighbor.
    Communism:  If you have two cows, you give them both to the government, then the government gives you some milk.
    Fascism:  If you have two cows, you keep the cows and give the milk to the government; then the government sells you some milk.
    New Dealism:  If you have two cows, you shoot one and milk the other one; then you pour the milk down the drain.
    Nazism:  If you have two cows, the government shoots you and keeps the cows.
    Capitalism:  If you have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull.