Coffee Percs

I think it was that coffee of yours that saved my life.  You make mighty good coffee.”
              –Charles G. West (Hell Hath No Fury)

Come on, Pard, get in this kitchen or the “Gobble-uns ‘at gits you ef you don’t watch out!” as the ol’ bard, Jim Riley would tell us.  Sure don’t figure why people want to get skeered and play with the devil’s things.  It just don’t rightly make sense to me.  I get skeered enough when I see some of those faces on facebook.  Whoooeee, it’s enough to get the gizzard all riled.  Pard, want me to stay up in case I hear yuh a-screamin’ in the night?  My coffee might not save yur life, but it’ll take the worries away.
    Ahhh, how ’bout that.  Soothin’, scrumptious, delectable to the palate.  Breathe in that aroma as yuh take a sip.  Ain’t God good that He made such a calmin’ an’ tasty a thing as coffee.  Even with the elections comin’ up, it’s a good day to be alive.
    Ha, I saw somethin’ funny this week.  After I got over the fright of the picture, I read the context.  Old Hillary, who hates the Electoral College all of a sudden has found herself as a delegate to the Electoral College in New York.  Yuh know, somethin’s just make me shake my head.  ‘Course that don’t say too much ’bout them folk in New York.
    Me?  Nah, I’m not worryin’ none ’bout the election.  It will tell the course of our country; whether we sell our soul to the devil or continue with the good fight.  Either way, I’m in the Lord’s hands and as the ol’ song says, “I know my Lord’s gonna lead me out of this pilgrim land.”
    Yuh be careful if’n yuh have to go out this night.  Yes, I know the Lord will go with yuh, but He don’t expect yuh to be doin’ nothin’ foolish.  Yuh beware of the “gobble-uns,” or the “woke,” or any other such varmint out there.  Don’t be foolish for He for sure don’t expect yuh to not check yur cinch.
         Vaya con Dios.

Echoes From the Campfire

The gimps, the scars, they were the marks of his trade.”
              –Hal Borland  (When the Legends Die)

    “But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved.”
              –Matthew 24:13 (Amplified)
Each morning I read a short devotion by Dallas Willard, and then a little longer one from the Book of Matthew with thoughts from some of the preachers of the 18th and 19th centuries.  I am also very aware of what Romans 5:3-4, and James 1:2-4 says.  Now I figure that at this point in my life I don’t need too much more of the things discussed in those Scriptures, but reckon the Lord sees differently.  
    When I read, or hear a sermon, and they tend to say the same thing I know that it’s the Lord speaking so I hearken to what is being said.  Here are some of the thoughts from Dallas Willard:

         “It is only in the heat of pain and suffering, both mental and physical, that real human character is forged.  One does not develop courage without facing danger, patience without trials, wisdom without heart-and-brain-racking puzzles, endurance without suffering, or temperance and honesty without temptations…  The gold of human character is dug from torturous mines, but dung and dirt are quite easily come by…
         “I’m not saying that we should go looking for pain, so that we can develop character.  This is not at all necessary.  All we need to do is make an honest and thorough effort to discover what is right and wrong, good and bad, and, when we are convinced on these points, then simply go out and face life for what it is worth.  There will be plenty of opportunity to develop character.”

That’s quite a bit to ponder, but when you come right down to it truth is apparent.  Remember God is looking to develop our character, He is not as much concerned about our comfort.  Comfort can lull us to sleep, make us complacent, and we become lackadaisical in our life.  Remember the old maxim:  NO PAIN–NO GAIN!
    Now a few words from Alexander MacLaren as he writes regarding Matthew 24:13, “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (NIV).  It is interesting that this verse is contained within the discussion of Jesus on the end times.

         “However many days are bright, and in whatsoever way all days are good, the reality is that our overall life is a fight.  For some of us it is simple endurance; for all of us it has sometimes been agony; for all of us, always, it presents resistence, both inward and outward hindrances, to every noble life, especially to the Christian life.
         “Within, weakness, weariness, indolence, bright purposes clouding over, inconsistent wills, and all the works of the flesh continually war against the better self.  And without, there is a constant down-dragging that comes from a whole assemblage of external things that solicit and attempt to seduce us…
         “To ‘stand firm’ means active persistence as well as patient submission.  It is not enough that we should stand and bear the pelting of the storm, unmurmuring and unbowed by it, but we are bound to go on our way, bearing up and steering right onward.  Persistent perseverance in the path that is marked out for us is the virtue that our Lord is speaking about.  The endurance that wins the soul and leads to salvation is the brave perseverance in the face of all difficulties and in spite of all enemies.”

    Friends, many things may come your way to distract, confuse, cause you consternation and frustration.  Many things are thrown at you by the devil and the world to keep you from your mission in life.  That mission includes what you are to be doing here on earth and the ultimate mission of getting to heaven.  The devil will try to destroy your effectiveness; he will try to destroy your soul.  ENDURE!  Endure to the end.  No matter what stage of life you are in, let the Holy Spirit continue to develop your character.  Trust Him when situations arise, great or small.
    Every morning, to my kids, grandkids, and a few others I send a photo of scenery and a saying from a church leader or a verse of Scripture.  In light of what I was saying above, the Scripture that I happened to choose was Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice.” (NKJV)  No matter the fiery trials or the raging storms or the floods it is our duty to rejoice.  Hmmm, seems to me the person who can rejoice in the midst of trouble is the person who has character.

Echoes From the Campfire

You oughtn’t to hate work.  Hard work makes for what I reckon you like in a man, but don’t understand.  As I look back over my life…what I remember most an’ feel best over are the hardest jobs I ever did an’ those that cost the most sweat an’ blood.”
              –Zane Grey  (The Mysterious Rider)

    “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
              –Colossians 1:10(NKJV)
I’ve written about the evils of abortion in regard to the coming election.  How God cannot tolerate a nation that destroys the innocent, even before they are born.  A good way to judge a nation is to observe how they treat their children.  Second, I’ve written regarding the gay agenda, and where it will take the U.S. if the liberal-left is elected.  It is an abomination to the Lord.  Now I want to mention two things that I have seen often on social media in the past few months.
    First there is the idea of socialism.  Socialism doesn’t work, it never has and it never will.  Some want to argue that socialism and communism are different, however that is true only in the methodology not the outcome–a classless society.  That in itself is an impossibility.  “They” are throwing out new terms for this new socialism, one of them is democratic socialism.  That is an oxymoron, emphasis on the moron.  There have been several types of socialism written about–utopian socialism, Fabian socialism, dialectic socialism to name a few.  When you read Marx he often intermixes the terms, socialism and communism.
    Socialism, despite what the woke crowd may say is antiChristian; it is antiGod.  Marx, Lenin, and others said that to be a true socialist/communist one must be an atheist.  One of the first targets of the socialists is religion, and in this country that means Christianity and Judaism.  Some have said that Jesus was a socialist because He fed the multitudes.  Feeding and caring for the poor is not socialism.  Plus, it is important to see that Jesus did not continue to feed them lest they come to hear Him for the wrong reasons.  God stopped the manna when the Israelites entered the Promised Land for it was time for them to get to work.  Paul writes, “…Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10, NLT)  Work is something designed by God for man to do while he is on this earth.
    I like what Benjamin Franklin said in regard to work and helping the poor:

         “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.  I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

    The second thing I have noticed is the idea of universalism creeping in.  There is one way to God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is not true that all religions lead to God–that is one of the greatest deceptions of the devil.  When Bob Gibson died not long after Whitey Ford, I read several people saying that they are now playing on the heavenly field with their old mates.  Not true!  There have been several entertainers who have died and people are saying they are now playing in heaven.  Not true!  It is only true of those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
    Beware of the concept that is often thrown out:  RIP (rest in peace).  Without Christ those who have gone on before are not resting in peace, but are in torment.  Only those dead in Christ truly know what it means to rest in peace.

Echoes From the Campfire

If there is to be civilization, if people are to live and make their homes here, there must be law.  People often think of the law as restrictions, but it needn’t be, unless it’s carried to extremes.  Laws can give us freedom because they offer security from the cruel, the brutal, and the thieves of property.  In every community—even in the wildest gangs and bands of outlaws—there is some kind of law, if only the fear of the leader.  There has to be law, or there can be no growth, no security.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Over on the Dry Side)

    “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.”
              –Habakkuk 2:4 (NLT)
I’m sick of it!  How long can God hold back His judgment?  How long can He allow evil to run rampant in our streets?  How long…?  Perhaps you have had some of these thoughts.  We live in troublesome times filled with terror, evil, and wickedness.  If it’s not a virus, then it’s a storm, or a riot, or some individual used by the media to spew hatred.  However…let me take you to the Prophet Habakkuk.

         “O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear?  Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ and You will not save.  Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble?  For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises.  Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth.  For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.”
                   –Habakkuk 1:2-4 (NKJV)

    Doesn’t that sound like the country we are currently living in?  Some things never change or are we living in worse times than the Prophet?  There are definitely more people involved, and we have that monster we have created–the media–to urge matters on.  Instead of broadcasting the news they are deeply involved; they are the bellows that fan the flame.
    I don’t think that Habakkuk was really counting on a response from God; at least not the one he expected.  Look at God’s reply:

         “Look among the nations and watch–be utterly astounded!  For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you.  For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty nation…”
                   –Habakkuk 1:5-6 (NKJV)

God is serious.  And one thing more important than a nation (including the United States) is the soul of a man.  Now we cannot put the U.S. in the place of Israel, there is more to it than that, but evil and wickedness do not escape His attention–judgment must come.  But look at how God is judging in Habakkuk.  He is going to send a conquering nation.  When the Chaldeans came they took people into captivity, they destroyed the temple, the righteous suffered along with the doers of evil and iniquity.  To be conquered in ancient times meant depravity and destruction.
    However, the Prophet is not through, he continues,

         “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.  Why do You look on those who deal  treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he?”
                   –Habakkuk 1:13(NKJV)

Habakkuk continues on with more in chapter one and says he will wait for an answer, which God gives.  Look at what the Lord says:

         “Woe to him who increases what is not his…” (2:6)  God continues to say because these people have plundered they shall be plundered.
         “Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house…” (2:9).
         “Woe to him who builds a tow with bloodshed, who established a city by iniquity.” (2:12).
         “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle…” (2:15).
         “Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!…'” (2:19).

When God speaks, “Woe”, watch out!  God allows the cup to be full then He brings judgment.  Only He know when that is, but He waits and is patient.  He is patient with us in our sins and unfaithfulness not to bring judgment, but He is also patient until the right time to pour out His wrath.
    If there is not repentance and if there is judgment upon this nation the most important question is, what will you do?  Will you cry, “not fair!” or will you wring your hands in worry crying that you cannot handle the stress?  Will you abandon your faith or cry out for the rocks to fall upon you?  Or will you be like the Prophet who finishes his little book with some of the most powerful words of the Old Testament?  When trouble comes, when evil strikes how will you respond?

         “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls–Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”
                  –Habakkuk 3:17-19(NKJV)