Echoes From the Campfire

His mind was usually crystal clear, open for impressions, warnings, dangers.  His instincts were alive to every change of sunlight or shadow, to every hint of movement.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (How the West Was Won)

    “Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night.”
              –Job 27:20 (NKJV)
Psalm 46 is a psalm of victory, a song of faith in the Lord Who is our fortress and refuge.  The psalm is one in which we are simply to stop and look at God.  Look at Him and expect Him to do great things.  Today, we finish Psalm 46.

    8 – Come, see the works of the Lord, who brings devastation on the earth.
    9 – He makes wars cease throughout the earth.  He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces; He burns up the chariots.
   10 – “Stop your fighting—and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.”
   11 – Yahweh of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah (HCSB)

The first part of the Psalm should leave us trembling, especially those who do not know the Lord.  However, even believers should take warning and be in wonder for the Lord will bring “devastation” to this world.  That time is nearly upon us.  It will be a dreadful day when that takes place.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, disease, viruses, will be nothing compared to the devastation of the Lord.
    At that time He will make wars to cease.  He will finally reign over the earth as the Prince of Peace.  Then verse 10 is a very familiar and important verse.  I really like the KJV and NKJV and with other versions which puts the first part like this, “Be still and know that I am God”.  We get so busy that we don’t take time to see what God is doing.  Be still, or as the NASB states, “quit striving.”  Quit fighting, quit striving, quit being so caught up with yourself and so busy that you cannot see what the Lord is doing.  
    Derek Kidner stated, “Resembles the command to another raging sea:  ‘Peace be still!’ and the end in view is stated in terms not of man’s hopes but of God’s glory.”  We get caught up with our own struggles and fights that we far too often forget to look at the larger picture.  Jesus is there to calm our storm, but He is also concerned with the larger storm that worsens and is loosed upon humanity.

         “Be still, my soul:
         Thy best, thy heavenly Friend
         Through thorny ways
         Leads to a joyful end.”
              –Katharina von Schlegel

He continues to remind us that He is there with us.  He is there in our struggles.  He is there in the midst of the calamity and the terror that may come our way.  He is there in  the hidden spiritual fight.  No matter what He is with us.  One other note, “Yahweh of Hosts”, or the “LORD Almighty” as in some versions means the “Commander of the Armies of Heaven.”  He is the supreme commander-in-chief of the universe, and that includes those in the spiritual realm.

Coffee Percs

The coffee was fresh, hot, and strong.  He took his cup in his hand and walked to the door.”  
              –Louis L’Amour  (Heller With a Gun)

Well, Pard, Laura passed us by without even a kiss nor a slap.  That’s fine with me, but some folk down Louisiana way, sure got slapped by her, no kisses for sure.  Ol’ Momma Nature can sure get riled if’n she has a mind to.
    Been interesting how the talk of the corona has died down some thanks to Laura.  I’m sure it’ll pick up again.  Either that or the media will set their sights on another issue and target.  Mail in votin’ has been high on their list.  Hang on to yur hat an’ wait an’ see.  I’m a-wishin’ this election was already over, but in time, my friend, in time.
    This is a time when all true believers need to be determinin’ in how they perceive life in this ol’ world.  Am I a part of the devil and the world system?  Or am I just a wanderer lookin’ for a city?  Just ask up, I’ll fill yur cup, or yuh can wander on over to the stove yurself.
    Listen, the devil has the control of the evil in the world, but never forget that this is God’s world and He has control of the devil.  Why think of that coffee yur a-drinkin’.  He made the soil, He made the plants, He made the means for man to discover how to cultivate it and roast it.  Not sure if He made us to guzzle it the way you do, but it is one of the little satisfactions of life He has given us to enjoy.
    This world is His and what happens in it, He for sure takes notice.  Remember that ol’ song, “He’s got the whole world in His hands…”.  We are part of God’s world; yet we cannot let the world squeeze us into its mold.  Join in the cultural revoluion, drink yur cinos or find your place in the kingdom of God in this world.
    Yeah, yeah, I’ve been preachin’, but some of the best preachin’ I do is to myself.  That’s why I have a cup of coffee with me when I go to preachin’ to myself.  Helps give me a break to take a sip or two, and calms down the gizzard.
    Make sure yur cinch is tight for yuh might just meet some contrary people this week.
                             Vaya con Dios.

Echoes From the Campfire

All you can do with a rat is kill him or let him be.”
              –Charles Portis (True Grit)

    “But this is a people robbed and plundered; All of them are snared in holes, And they are hidden in prison houses; They are for prey, and no one delivers; For plunder, and no one says, ‘Restore!'”
              –Isaiah 42:22 (NKJV)
It has been several years ago when in the middle of the night I could hear the claws of the cat running up and down the hallway grasping at the carpet.  It was unusual that I thought I better check what was happening.  Upon entering the hallway I saw a long, narrow tail go around the corner and into the girls’ room followed by a rushing cat.  It was a rat.
    I grabbed hold of a rifle and went cautiously into the closet and slowly began shifting through the pompoms and shoes in the closet.  Behold I saw a tail sticking out of a tennis shoe.  I wasn’t about to grab the tail for I had visions of that rat turning around and biting me on the arm, so I took what was in my hand and brought the stock of the rifle down where I expected the head to be in that shoe.  Once, that did it, but to make sure I smashed its head again.
    My father-in-law enjoyed reading and during World War II he found his books were missing.  Because of his rank his cot was close to the stove.  One night he was wakened with something pulling at his hair–a rat.  He grabbed the poker from the stove and as the rat moved under the boards he stabbed it through the opening in the slats.  The next day he received permission from the officer in charge to tear up the boards of their tent where they found dozens of rats.  They were the ones stealing his books for their nests.  Needless to say they had a rat-killing party.
    Rats, there are few things more despicable.  They are carriers of vermin.  Disease is spread by them, in fact, the rat was the primary carrier of bubonic plague–the Black Death–in Europe.  I was surprised that it came into the house with a cat, but it met its demise.  Rats tend to thrive in dumps, slum areas, garbage dumps.  Hmmm, look at Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, they are now a haven for rats, but it seems that they were also created by rats.
    Man thinks that he is more enlightened today.  But look around and you will quickly see that is a false notion.  In spite of good intentions on the part of man (or some men), the world remains one of war, poverty, hunger, disease, and uncertainty.  Man with all his wonderful knowledge lives like a rat.  He continues to do evil, and when I speak of evil it is not just the murder and the killings and the riotings, but it is also the sneaky ministrations of people in “high” places.  Look at them sometimes and the evil oozes from them.
    Some do not truly want to do evil, but it is in the heart of man to do so.  Yet there are those who delight in evil and in bringing it upon others.  People are lost and they seek to eat the flesh of those left in the streets.  They consume what they can and bare their teeth at those who are against them.  Through these streets we must walk, whether to school or work.  The rats may scatter and hide in the shadows, or they may band together and attack the unsuspecting wayfarer.  It seems that we have gone too easy on the rats of society.  Because of that they have multiplied, they have lost their fear of man, of good.  They have spread evil, poison, and vermin in society.  Perhaps it is time to issue a “writ on the rats”.
    This world represents and is, in fact, evil.  Yet, you must walk in this world.  Carry your weapons with you, whether they be physical or spiritual.  Be sure you are wearing the armor of God and know how to use the sword of the Spirit.  The rats are scurrying around looking for things to gnaw on and devour.

Echoes From the Campfire

You have to be ready to roll with whatever the weather, the land, and other men throw at you.”
              –Lou Bradshaw (Blue Valley)

    “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.”
              –Proverbs 14:18(NKJV)
Oh, the storms may be raging, the winds howling, the rain beating down, and the floods rising, but in spite of the weather this is the day the Lord has made.  The life may be facing its own type of storms:  worry, fret, debt, doubt, disease, and on…, but in the midst of your day whatever it may be like, it is the day the Lord has made.
    Part of the problem is that we do not live the concept of Psalm 118:24.

         “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (NKJV)

No, we may recognize that the Lord made the days, and we ho-hum recognize that it is another day upon us.  Woe is me, another day of sorrow, of rain, of corona, of storm, of terror.  Woe is me.  If the day is bad, that’s your fault.  It is a day the Lord has given you, what are you going to do with it?  He has determined the weather, He has allowed the circumstances you are going through, whether you are to be sick or well.  He knows if you have good service at the restaurant or bad, whether or not the attendee at WalMart griped at you for not wearing a mask.  The important things is, what are you going to do about it.  The “Coach” John Wooden always instructed his players to “make each day your masterpiece.”  What kind of day will you have depends upon you.  Joseph Alleine lived by this maxim, “Let us live this one day well!”  Tomorrow will have its own problems, take care of today.
    “There will never be another day like today.  We may say that we will go to the same work, but with the same people, and go home to the same family but every day in individually distinct.  Every day has different circumstances, conversations, and opportunities.  This could be a day that something happens so that you remember it for the rest of your life, or this could be an average day with nothing spectacular happening, but it is still God’s day.  We need to be less concerned with the days in our life and more concerned with life in our days.” (Larry Turner)
    What you do with the day is up to you.  God has given it to you, how you use it and accept his gift can be a gift back to the Lord.  See, we may accept the day, but do we accept it with rejoicing and happiness, glad that it has been given to us?  Paul reminds us about the day, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NKJV))  This is a day given to you therefore, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4, NKJV)  Take advantage of the day; take advantage of every opportunity that comes you way, whether great or small.