Echoes From the Campfire

There’s two things that I really dislike, one is arrogance, another is stupidity, but when you put men together who are arrogant about their stupidity…now, that’s something that I can really put a hate on.”
              –Lou Bradshaw  (Cain)

    “…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
              –Romans 5:3-4 (NKJV)
I’m so tired to the arrogance of those demanding political correctness and holler “racism” at every word that comes from the mouths of certain people or people of certain persuasion.  The above quotation really put it in a nutshell; these folks are arrogant about their stupidity.  I was accused of racism twice in my 39 years of being an educator.  One was when I called a group of “mixed race” kids a bunch of little boys.  One father was upset that I referred to his son as a boy; I was informed that he was a young man.  To make the story short I told him that his son needed to quit acting like a “little boy” and start acting like a young man.  The other time was in the classroom and a student said I made a racist remark.  I can’t even remember what it was, it was that insignificant.  I told them to go talk to some people who had really faced racism.
    So now we tear down statutes of great men.  Why?  Because they owned slaves.  Get rid of everything Jefferson and Washington as they were slave owners.  For sure get Jackson’s face off the twenty dollar bill!  Those Civil War statutes have got to go; tear them down.  They weren’t put up because they were slave owners; they were put up because of their ideals, their character.  I’m a historian, so put aside the nonsense about the past and look at the person.  For the past five decades or so we have tried to point out the faults of people; prior to that we looked to their accomplishments.
    The following are rules of guidelines that Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson kept in his private book.  It would be good for us to include them in our lives.

         –Through life let your principal object be the discharge of duty.
         –Disregard public opinion to be at peace with all men.
         –Sacrifice your life rather than your word.
         –Endeavor to do well everything which you undertake.
         –Never speak disrespectfully of any one without a cause.
         –Spare no effort to suppress selfishness, unless that effort would entail sorrow.
         –Let your conduct toward men have some uniformity.
         –Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
         –A man is know by the company he keeps.  Be cautious in your selection.  There is the danger of catching the habits of your associates.
         –Seek those who are intelligent and virtuous; and if possible, those who are a little above you, especially in moral excellence.

    “Jackson’s Christian character, humility, and confidence were shaped through his fear of God and reading the Bible.  His creation of maxims for himself was evidence of his daily walk with the Lord.  Through the wisdom and knowledge of God, Jackson chose to live a holy life governed by the Word of God and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.” (Terry Tuley, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Civil War)
    Since I started with a list by Paul in Romans about character, and then gave a list from Stonewall Jackson, let me finish today with words from Peter.

          “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love…  For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his own sins.”
                   –2 Peter 1:5-7,9 (NKJV)

Don’t you dare be stupidly arrogant; keep filled with the Spirit and follow God’s Word.
Today in the Texas Revolution:  The Mexican army arrives on the west bank of the Nueces River.

Echoes From the Campfire

The promised land is always a distant land, aglow with golden fire.  It is a land one never attains, for once attained one faces fulfillment and the knowledge that whatever a land may promise, it may also demand a payment of courage and strength.”
                   –Louis L’Amour  (Bendigo Shafter)

       “The Lord your God, He will thrust them out from before you and drive them from before you; and you will possess their land, just as the Lord your God promised you.”
                   –Joshua 23:5 (NASB)
         “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
                   –Matthew 5:14-16(NASB)

    My Mom would often recall in a somewhat complaining tone that her job at the house growing up was to trim all the wicks on the lamps.  She said she hated that job, I don’t know why, maybe her fingers would get smudged with black.  It was done so that the wick would burn evenly without any hot spots.  There would be a small, bright flame with a properly trimmed wick and no smoke.  Also the oil in the lamp would last longer with the wick properly trimmed.  
    Notice the importance of a trimmed wick.

         “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.”
                   –Matthew 25:6-7 (NASB)

Remember the story?  The ten virgins were waiting the coming of the bridegroom and fell asleep.  The shout came at midnight, and all immediately trimmed their lamps.  They took care of the wick so they would have a clean, bright flame.  But, no matter how well the wick was trimmed, if there is no oil it will only burn for a few seconds.
    If we get careless with our lives, compromise and involving ourselves in the world, the Holy Spirit will not be there when it is time to light the lamp.  The lamp still looks useable, the wick is trimmed and ready for the flame, but there is no fuel, the Holy Spirit has left, to fuel the wick.  As long as the Spirit is there, the wick will burn.  Don’t live such that the oil is no longer available.

         “A lamp produces light when it has oil and a trimmed wick.  One may light the wick without a supply of oil, but it will burn away and shadows will gradually come.  If a mouse attempts to eat the wick while it is still smoldering, the heat of the dying flame will turn it away.  When it knows fire is no longer in the wick, it knocks the lamp to the floor.  An earthenware lamp will be shattered, but a brass lamp you may repair.
         “If the soul is careless, the Holy Spirit will gradually depart, until it grows cold.  Then the enemy chews on the soul, and wickedness breaks it apart.  If a good person who truly loves God stumbles into brief carelessness, our merciful God will caution him to watch more carefully in the future.”

Don’t let the rats chew on your life.  Stay alert, make sure you are made of quality material, guard the truth, and keep oil in your lamp and the wick trimmed.  Remember the old Sunday School song, “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning…”

Echoes From the Campfire

Man can tell you any fur-fetched thing comes in his head, and you’ll cleave to it for solemn fact from then on.”
              –Alan LeMay  (The Searchers)

    “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”
              –1 John 1:6 (NASB)
There are dark, evil sinister forces at work in our country.  They go about in the guise of being servants, leaders of our country, and more enlightened than the rest of the people.  They have traded principle and honor for political correctness and traded the truth for a lie.  They are attempting to perpetuate stupidity upon the land and have brought confusion and derision.  I would say they are the forerunners of the Antichrist, the man of lawlessness who will know no boundary.
    Not yet–no, there are still some who haven’t bowed to the forces of evil, not bowed the knee to Baal.  But we are living in an age where we must be alert and diligently teach our children God’s holy word so that the enemy cannot dupe us.  Remember those who have gone on before; the lives they lived, the lessons they taught.
    We live in a country that has been blessed as no other in history.  God blessed us beyond measure and still the people complain.  However, there were a few who would go forth and sacrifice their own lives to help us secure God’s blessing.  Before this month, Armed Forces month, is over take time to be a person of resolve.

             “In the long and honored history of America
              There are names that shine like beacons in the night
              The Patriots whose vision gave us meaning
              Who kept the lamp of freedom burning bright
              In the long and honored history of America
              There are those that paid the last and final price
              Who are called upon by chance, or desperate circumstance
              To make the ultimate sacrifice
              A grateful nation bows its head in sorrow
              And in thanks for guaranteeing our tomorrow
              The last full measure of devotion
              That’s what they gave to the cause
              The last full measure of devotion
              And though they cannot hear our applause
              We honor them forever and keep alive their story
              Pay tribute to their lives and give them all the glory
              The last full measure of devotion
              Beyond the call of duty were their deeds
              The last full measure of devotion
              They gave themselves to serve the greater need
              And for those who did survive
              And came back home alive
              They join in praise of comrades who were slain
              And highly resolved, most highly resolved
              That these dead shall not have died in vain.”
                     –Larry Grossman

To add to that I would say, now is the time to live your life so that it is not in vain.  Take up your cross and follow Jesus daily.  Stand when the enemy attacks, and continue to stand to defend your family, and your country.

The Saga of Miles Forrest

It was someone that I had never seen before.  I shoved the Greener in Myers stomach to get his undivided attention.  “Who is he?” I asked.
    He snickered as he answered.  “He’s a man you don’t want to trifle with.  That’s Thornton Hewell Hawkens.”
    “Thornton Hewell Hawkens,” I thought.  “Who in the world is that?”  
    “Listen Myers, if he is someone important, why in the world is he handing out with you?  Most people don’t want anything to do with jailbirds,” I paused for a second as a groan came from the unconscious man.  “Help me get him up on that bench.”
    I pulled the shotgun out of Myers brisket and he stooped down to help pull Thornton Hewell Hawkens up on the bench in front of the saloon.  He was coming out of his sleep as he put a hand up to where I thumped him.
    “Just who is this Thornton fellow?” I asked.
    That brought a snort from Myers.  “Why, he’s one of the richest men in California.  In California circles his bank rivals that of Sam Brannan and Wells Fargo.”
    “And he is with you, why?” I further questioned.
    He huffed a bit and then started to explain.  “I know people here in Colorado.  He’s interested in becoming a stockholder in some of the mining operations.”
    “Does he know why you were in prison?”
    “He does,” he remarked sharply.  “He also knows that the charges were fraudulent, that I was charged because of my connection with Billington and his daughter, not because of any wrong-doing on my part.”
    I eyed him over, then stood up, lifting the Greener a bit which caught his attention.  “Is that so?” I answered.  “What about your connection with Merker?”
    He snorted out a laugh.  “I know nothing of what Merker has been up to.  I haven’t seen him since before I went to prison, nor have I heard from him,” then he laughed again.  “I hear that he’s been giving you a fuss.”
    “That’s what I want to stop.  Has he contacted you since you’ve been out of prison?” I asked.
    “Told you,” he snapped.  “I haven’t seen him since I went to prison,” he hesitated, “nor do I care to!”
    “How about since you’ve been out?”
    There came a groan, and a muffled voice from Hawkens, “Merker?  Where…”
    “Sssh, sssh, you rest easy,” ordered Myers.  “This is Marshal Forrest and he was just asking me some questions.”
    He looked up and fell forward onto the boardwalk.  A hollow thud sounded as he head hit the wooden planks.  Then I heard a woman’s shriek.  “Murder! Someone get the sheriff.  There’s been a murder!”
    I looked up into the scornful face of the woman on the train.  “Did you kill him with that dreadful gun?”
    “Get him back on the bench,” I ordered Myers.  “I need to shut this woman up.”
    “You going to thump her with that shotgun?” he snorted and began to pick up Hawkens.
    “Ma’am,” I said reaching out to grab her arm.  
    “Help!” she screamed.  “Help!  I’m being molested!  Help!”
    I surely wanted to thump her alongside the head.  Maybe it would knock some of the silliness out of her, but figured that it wouldn’t serve any purpose except to quiet her.
    “Lula?” came a quiet voice.  “Lula, what’s all the commotion?”
    “Oh Thornton,” she squealed.  “I thought you were dead.  I thought that dreadful man shot you.”
    The only thing that came to my mind was the name, “Lula?”  When we were surrounded by half-drunk men coming out of the saloon.  All I could do was sigh…
Today in the Texas Revolution:  Lead elements of the Mexican army arrive at San Patricio.