Coffee Percs

In the short days he woke in the dark at exactly half-past four.  He started a fire in the bunkhouse stove, and set coffee on.”
          –Alan LeMay  (The Searchers)

     Howdy-do, Pard.  Glad to have yuh this mornin’, yur cup is ready an’ I’ll be fillin’ it shortly.  Say, that kinda reminds me of how the Lord wants us to be–we need to have our cup ready to be filled.  Methinks that far too often the Lord want to pour us full of the Spirit, but we don’t have our cup ready, or can’t find it, or maybe stored it away somewhere.  We need to have it ready so it can be poured full.
     Ahhh, shore does taste mighty good this mornin’.  ‘Course it taste good all the time, but the cup of coffee in yur hand is the one that tastes the best.  I was readin’ what ol’ LeMay wrote, and it made me think back to my workin’ days when I was up at 4:30 puttin’ the coffee on, any gettin’ my cup ready.  My mercy, hard for this ol’ fence post to get up at 6:00 any more.  Ah, where are the days of youth?  Spent too quickly; time has stolen them.  But yuh know what?  I’m goin’ to enjoy today, an’ another cup of coffee.
     Speakin’ of time; another month has sped by.  Where did the days and hours go?  Do yuh find Him gettin’ sweeter as the days go by?  This quarantine thing, if’n yuh took advantage of it was a time to be spendin’ with the Lord.  As much as I enjoy sharin’ coffee with yuh every Saturday, I enjoy the days of sittin’ with the Lord drinkin’ my coffee with Him. 
     What?  Cup’s empty; pot’s empty.  Well, Pard, we shore guzzled that down fast this mornin’.  I’ll keep a cup here, ready for yuh when yuh stop by.  Yuh best be carryin’ one in yur gear; I always keep one in the steel mount.  Never know when I might need to stop along the trail–always best to be ready.  Say, an’ as important as that cup is, maybe more important is the fact that yuh need to check yur cinch before mountin’.
          Vaya con Dios,

Echoes From the Campfire

The recent rain had scented the air with the heavy aroma of grass which cleared the head and made a soul feel good about life.”
               –Mike Stotter  (McKinney’s Law)

     “And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.”
               –Isaiah 4:6 (NKJV)
     My, we’ve had a few really good thunderstorms this week.  I’ve always enjoyed them, well, that is until I see some of the results.  I’ve seen trees blasted by lightning, and I’ve felt the effect of a lightning strike.  I was playing ball; I was pitching and I remember it well.  I had wound up and WHAM!, the next thing I knew I was on the ground, as were the rest of the players.  My hand still clenched the ball and half the lights were out.  We were never sure what happened; lightning either hit the lights or the backstop.  I also don’t care for those storms that bring hail which can be so devastating.  My truck still has dimples like a golf ball from a hail storm.
     But a good old rain–ahhh, the smell afterward is sweet, cleansing.  The grass looks greener and for sure with a little sun it grows faster.  The flowers, after shaking off the wetness from their petals, are more brilliant in hue.  I sometime ponder if God doesn’t do that with our lives.  The storm, then the sweetness following.  When the storm comes we get all stirred up, maybe even fearful, but afterward we relax and wonder why.
     Much of what I’m sharing with you is by F.B. Meyer (another one of my favorites).  He warns about “feeling” or what I referred to above.  We do not follow God with our feelings, if we do we will find that when the storms come we will be in dire straits.  Feelings are fine, but we don’t seek them in serving God nor are we to live by them.  On the other hand don’t worry if you do not “feel” anything in the service of the Lord.
          “The lack of feeling does not always indicate that we are wrong.  It may be that Christ would teach us to distinguish between love and the emotion of love; between joy and the rapture of joy, between peace and the sense of peace.  Or perhaps He may desire to ascertain whether we cling to Him for Himself or for His gifts.”

     I do believe that many serve and praise the Lord for those times of “feeling.”  Come out of a church and a person will ask, “How are you feeling?” or “I felt God today.”  Well, fine and dandy, but the do-dads running up and down your back is not necessarily the Holy Spirit.  Meyer says that to “Seek feeling, and you will miss it.  Be content to live without it, and you will have all you require… . If you are always consulting your feelings, you will live in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”
     The storms of life will come, I can assure you, but wait–afterward there is a “feeling” of newness, of refreshing.  You don’t have to seek for it as it will flow through the air.  Don’t look for it, don’t seek it.  “Be indifferent to emotion.  If it is there, be thankful; if it is absent, go on doing the will of God…”  We do not live by feelings.

Echoes From the Campfire

It was a place I could have stayed forever.  How many times I have found such campsites!  Place so beautiful it gave a man the wistfuls to see or to think back on.  So many times we said, ‘We’ve got to come back some time!’ an’ knowin’ all the while we never would.”
               –Louis L’Amour  (Lonely On the Mountain)

     “So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.”
               –Ecclesiastes 8:15 (NKJV)
It ain’t never the same.  I’ve used the above quotation before, and relate to it.  How many times have I sat by a campfire thinking, “Ah, ain’t this the life.”  I’ve viewed vistas and the far horizons.  But will I make it back to them?  No.  Even if I did they would have changed.  It used to be so much fun to just go off into the mountains along a stream and camp. Very few places where a person can do that anymore.  People have come.
     But it also makes me think of what I wrote yesterday.  Selah!  When I think of some of the things I’ve seen and experienced I wonder if I shouldn’t have stopped and had a brief interlude and wondered at it.  The times I have seen a thunderbolt travel across the sky and heard the thunder crashing.  Selah–the awesome power of God is more powerful and magnificent than that.  When I’ve seen a trout leap out of water for a fly on a high mountain lake.  Selah–the wonders of God’s creation.
     I think of the times I’ve called for Annie to come look at this, or while driving I’ll exclaim for her to look at that.  Selah.  The times she has called me to do the same.  Selah  It is a break from our normal routine.  Something has happened, something has stood out enough to call our attention to it.  We get so caught up in careers, making money, paying bills that we don’t see; we don’t listen.  We don’t bother.  Instead we try to make up our own interludes with entertainment, concerts, sports; we don’t sit back and take a break.
     If this is true in our daily lives, how much more true is it in our spiritual lives?  How many times has God whispered “Selah” to us and we don’t hear Him, or we don’t heed Him?  When He speaks, when He shows us something in the Word we often are too busy with “something.”  Selah–stop and listen, stop and think, stop and wonder.  The devil cracks a smile, for he wants us to stay away from thinking about the Lord.  “Stay busy,” he cries, while often the Lord is wanting us to say “Wow” at something He has done for us.
     I really enjoy sitting on my back deck in the morning doing my devotions.  I promised myself many years ago not to miss any sunrises as so much is taking place at that time.  I sit on the deck watching first the graylight, then the glow of morning light with its colors.  The birds may be chirping, the squirrels running through the limps of the trees, deer walking quietly, and often the sound of the crow.  Sometimes I stop–marvel, look, and listen–Selah.  I never thought of it that way before.

Echoes From the Campfire

A man…should be like iron, not steel.  If steel is heated too much it become brittle and it will break, while iron has great strength.  Yet it can be shaped and changed by the proper hammering and the right amount of heat.  A good man is like that.”
                 –Louis L’Amour  (The Iron Marshal)

     “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
                 –Proverbs 27:17 (HCSB)
I took a break in our study of the Psalms because of Memorial Day.  Today, I want to call your attention to a term used several times–“Selah.”  This word is used seventy-four times in the Bible, with seventy-one of those times in the book of Psalms.  The other three instances are in the book of Habakkuk.
     Look at the following verses, don’t just ponder, but deeply contemplate (HCSB is used).

          “I cry aloud to the LORD, and He answers me from His holy mountain.  Selah”  –Psalm 3:4

          “Who is He, this King of glory?  The LORD of Hosts, He is the King of glory.  Selah”  –Psalm 24:10

          “You, indeed, have made my days short in length, and my life span as nothing in Your sight.  Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.  Selah”  –Psalm 39:5

          “LORD God of Hosts, You are the God of Israel, rise up to punish all the nations; do not show grace to any wicked traitors.  Selah”  –Psalm 59:5

          “I spread out my hands to You; I am like parched land before You.  Selah”  –Psalm 143:6

For years I was told and thought that this word was similar to the term “Amen” or “so be it.”  And it could well be, for no one knows exactly what it means.  It seems to be an interlude of some sort since the Psalms were sung.  A time when the music would stop and individuals would pray and inventory their lives in regard to the words.
     Some believe that the word means “Forever,” but whatever the meaning it is a term of exhortation and a term used meaning to pause and think.  The editors of the HCSB state this in regard to “Selah”.
         1)  a musical notation
         2)  a pause for silence
         3)  a signal for worshipers to fall prostrate on the ground
         4)  a term for the worshipers to call out
         5)  a word meaning forever

For sure it is a pause.  A time when there needs to be reflection and contemplation.  Perhaps it would be well if we took time to look at our own lives, as most likely David did when he was writing.  I like what William Peterson says, “We all need interludes in our life.  We need to let the music go on without us.  We need to take breaks from the routine in order to meditate on what God has for us this day.”
     Go back and read the Psalms above, stop and reflect and contemplate on what is being said, then shout out, “Forever!”, or “Amen!”, or “Wow, think of that!”.  It is so hard for us to take in the majesty and greatness of God in His attributes.  We can’t possibly take in the fullness of the universe, and God is so much larger than that.  No wonder they just stopped for an “interlude” and either bowed and whispered “Selah” or gave a hardy shout, “SELAH!”

          “Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what thou art,
           I am finding out the greatness of thy loving heart… .
           Yes, I rest in thee, Lord Jesus, for I know what grace is thine.
           And I trust in what you’ve promised, and have made it mine.”
                      –Jean S. Pigott