Coffee Percs

He got up and crossed to the fire, filling his cup at the pot.  The coffee was strong enough to stiffen the hair on a man’s neck, and hot enough to scald.  He tasted it, then put the cup down.”
              –Louis L’Amour (Matagorda)

Come in, Pard, coffee’s sure hot, watch it so it don’t burn the hair off’n yur tongue.  One thing I hate is a scalded tongue.  I remember once, up on Sugarloaf Mountain in the Front Range getting a Christmas tree that I scalded my tongue.  Thing is, if yur in the high country, if yuh let it set too long then it’ll get cold on yuh, and there’s nothing worse than cold coffee, unless it’s no coffee.
    Pard, yuh better cinch up tight.  Things are goin’ to start to buck with the way the bureaucrats at doin’ things.  It’s really hard to imagine the stupidity that is happenin’ right now.  No more Mr. Potato Head.  No more girls and boys sections of clothes in the stores.  Pard, yuh better be teachin’ yur younguns right or they’re goin’ to face a lot of confusion.  Persecution from idiots is preferred to confusion of the soul.
    I mean, Pard, some of the things they are sayin’ and doin’ are beyond absurd.  Think I’ll go out and buy some more shotgun shells and ca’tridges for the .44.  Evil times are not a-comin’ they are here.  Watch yur step out there for the snakes are everywhere ready to strike and fill yuh with their deadly poison.  I’ve never been a preservationist, always thought myself more of a conservationist, but now I reckon I’m a protectorvationist.  “Even so, Lord Jesus, come.”
    And, Pard, if’n He don’t come before yuh finish yur coffee and mount up, don’t be forgettin’ to check yur cinch.
    Vaya con Dios.

Echoes From the Campfire

We’d better thank God we live in a place where words like honesty, decency, and integrity still have meaning, because those words lose all meaning in this system.  Let’s work to keep meaning in those words as long as we can.  Civilization is coming all too fast.”
             –William Wayne Dickson (Sagebrush)

    “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.”
             –Philippians 3:13(NKJV)
These are trying times!  I try to stay away from political scene but sometimes it just sort of jumps out and grabs you, sort of like jumping cholla.  Those barbs get all over you and it seems like it takes a week to get them all out.  An executive order to fund global abortions–how the Holy Spirit must be grieved.  Then Congress is expected to pass the Equality Act.  Doesn’t sound bad with the title, but the act is an abomination.  I don’t know if this grieves the Holy Spirit or if it will provoke Him to action.  Yes, certainly trying times.
    Put that with the trials of the virus, and the recent devastating cold, along with the normal trials that can come upon a family:  suffering, sickness, injury, loss of job, death, and on…  Yes, definitely trying times.  In the midst of it all, I like what Arthur Pink said, “They who are right with God are neither daunted by difficulties nor dismayed by dangers.”
    This world is not going to get any better, therefore, we must get our focus right.  It should not be on the problems, the dangers and difficulties, but upon the Lord.  We do too little reflecting on our heavenly Father and His Word and too much on the world around us.  There is a great old hymn, written back in the 18th-century, by Katharina von Schlege who was a Lutheran involved in the Pietist revival.  Just the title alone gives the soul relief:  “Be Still, My Soul.”  In all of the commotion that comes our way we need for a quiet spirit, for our souls to be still.  Contemplate on the words of this grand hymn.

         Be still, my soul; the Lord is on they side.
         Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
         Leave to thy God to order and provide;
         In ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
         Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
         Thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

         Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
         To guide the future as He has the past.
         Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
         All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
         Be still, my soul; they waves and wind still know
         His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

         Be still, my soul; the hour is hast’ning on
         When we shall be forever with the Lord,
         When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
         Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
         Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
         All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

There are several things to reflect upon:
    1)  The Lord is on our side.
    2)  In every change, He faithful will remain.  He changes not.
    3)  The mysteries of the day will one day be bright.
    4)  Don’t fret, God guides the future.
    5)  There is an hour when we will be with the Lord. (Kenneth W. Osbeck)

    The road does sometimes make a person weary.  In those times remember that the Lord is there whenever you take a step; there to guide, to protect, and to strengthen, not only body, but mind, emotions, and soul as well.

Echoes From the Campfire

Men who live always in cities rarely notice the sky.”
              –Louis L’Amour (Catlow)

    “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
              –Luke 21:28 (NASB)
Have we lost our perspective, our sense of direction?  Do we even have a sense of eternity anymore?  John Piper stated, “We have lost our sense of being aliens and exiles.”  There is so much ado about immigration, aliens–legal and illegal–in our country today.  Perhaps the Church should take a revived look at its residence.  Is is just a tent, or is it a permanent dwelling?

         “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
                   –Philippians 3:20(NKJV)

         “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
                   –1 Peter 2:11 (NKJV)

    We live in this old world, but remember, this world is not to be our final destination, our final home.  There is a dwelling place prepared for us in God’s eternal kingdom.  A place where we no longer have to trod through a wearisome world.  We are part of this world, this country, but our higher goal in that home in heaven.
    This nation has lost its perspective.  To move more and more to the liberal agenda is to bring more havoc and disruption to the lives of the citizens of this country.  I recognize that I am a citizen of heaven, but I am also a citizen of the United States–I am not a citizen of a global community.
    Will this nation survive?  Not unless there is a national revival.  There you go, point blank–there must be repentance, or else there will be collapse.  I am not normally a pessimist, but I wonder if the people of this country have not taken a final step, made that final choice of which there is no return for the country.  I have always believed something has to happen in the U.S. for the Antichrist to appear.  It will–this nation will collapse with the Rapture.  When the Lord returns to take His people think of what will happen in the leadership of this nation.  Think of what will happen with the nation’s relationship with Israel.  Ahh, the stage is being set, the trumpet has been tuned, are you ready?
    I can fully understand the truth of the great song by Dottie Rambo.  It is playing over and over in my mind.  See if it doesn’t get your spiritual feet moving toward that heavenly home.

         “There’s a light in the window,
          The table’s spread in splendor
          Someone’s standing by the open door;
          I can see a crystal river,
          I must be near forever,
          See, I’ve never been this homesick before.

          I can see the family gather,
          Sweet faces, all familiar,
          And on one’s old or feeble anymore;
          And my lonesome heart is cryin’
          Think I’ll spread my wings for flyin’
          See, I’ve never felt this homesick before.

                  I see the bright lights shine,
                  It’s just about hometime,
                  I can see my Father standing at the door.
                  This old world has been a wilderness,
                  I’m ready for deliverance,
                  Lord, I’ve never been this homesick before.”

Think of it!  “I must be near forever.”  Don’t lose your direction.  Remember that you are only a traveler going through this land, looking, longing, for that final home.

Echoes From the Campfire

Hardship was healthy; most people did not enjoy enough of it for their own good.”
              –Elmer Kelton (Stand Proud)

    “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
              –2 Timothy 2:3 (NKJV)
If my Mom had been alive she would have exclaimed that last week was “colder than the dickens!”  I had an inkling of what the “dickens” was as once in a while she would say that she was going to “slap the dickens out of me.”  But it wasn’t until I had good, old trusty “google” that I found out I was right.  “Colder than the devil,” but to my mind that didn’t make sense for I had always thought of things being hot around the devil.  However, there is the curse of the White Witch on Narnia forcing the Long Winter.
    I know for a fact that the Lord is the Creator; that the winds and waves obey Him.  I had never thought before of the devil being able to control nature.  My mind jumped to Job, “then suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead…” (Job 1:19, NKJV)  I recalled that the magicians of Pharaoh’s court were able to duplicate in some manner the first few plagues.
    Could it be that Satan has gone to the Lord, in mockery, saying that if He removed His hand from protecting the United States that they would not recognize Him?  Think of the hurricanes, the forest fires, and now this extreme cold that has hit our country (and I know that it has happened to other countries as well).  I thought perhaps it was allowed as a warning, but could it be from the devil himself?  I do know that the Antichrist will be able to perform miracles, do signs and wonders.  And what is a miracle?  It is “interfering” with the ordinary laws and course of nature.  Does the devil have the power to make a normal storm into a whirlwind?  Can he make something “extreme”?  
    Honestly, I really do not have an answer.  But I do believe that whenever something out of the ordinary happens we should look to God–what is He trying to tell us?  Is repentance needed?  Are we missing something?  Or is it just nature groaning under the curse?
    I said all of that to say that one of our issues is that we do not take time to be thankful for the keeping hand of the Lord and for His blessings.  This past Sunday I thought it was very appropriate that the hymns sung at church were songs of thanksgiving and gratefulness:  “Wonderful Words of Life”, “Count Your Blessings”, Showers of Blessing.”  Blessing in the midst of a hurricane such as Harvey?  Blessing in the midst of severe cold, lack of power, frozen pipes, and flooding?  Absolutely!  God is working!  We finished the singing with an old chorus from my Sunday School days:  “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart!”

         “Rejoice always!” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NKJV)
         “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” — Philippians 4:4 (NKJV)

    Get out of the mully-grubs.  God is at work.  We may not understand, but He is working in our lives.  In fact, it might be a good week to read the Book of Philippians, a book of rejoicing.