The Saga of Miles Forrest

It took two days before Offut could post bail for Queens.  He hadn’t officially been charged with anything, Charlie wrote up the charges and I added an addendum.  After that Offut was able to get Queens out of jail.  But, he was still town marshal.  
    I stood on the boardwalk in front of the diner watching Charlie walk up to the jail to release the prisoner.  I was glad it wasn’t me.  Stanley Offut was tagging along behind him, I guess he didn’t figure Charlie would do his duty.  I could see Offut standing in the doorway, and when Queens was released he came busting out of that doorway knocking poor old Stanley flat.  Queens looked around quick then headed up toward Kingston’s saloon.
    Charlie reached down to help Offut up, and I walked inside the diner to get some coffee.  I knew that Charlie would head down this way.  Only I didn’t expect Offut to be with him.
    “Sit yourself down, Stanley,” I said motioning to a chair.  “Want some coffee?”
    He scratched his head, then wiped his hand down in front of his face muttering something I couldn’t hear.  “Sit down!” I said almost ordering him.
    Now sitting in the chair opposite me, he lifted his eyes to meet mine.  Charlie placed a full cup in front of him, but before he took a sip he apologized.  “Miles,” he said then dropped his head seemingly in embarrassment, “I realize now that Queens is a hot-head, but he still is the marshal and it didn’t seem fitting that the marshal should be locked up in his own jail.”
    “Easy, Stanley.  I’m not angry at you.  Just glad you’re starting to come to your senses,” I paused to take a sip of the hot coffee.  “Do you think Parker and Newsome will remove his badge?”
    Offut looked at his coffee, I nodded to Charlie, “Get him some sugar.”  That brought a slight smile from Offut.
    “I don’t know?” he answered.  “Paul might join me, but John, well, you know John.”  He picked up a spoon to add sugar to the coffee then stirred it rattling the spoon on the porcelain cup.  “Tell you the truth, Miles, I’m a bit scared.”
    “When’s his trial date?” I inquired of Charlie.
    “Not sure yet, the docket hasn’t been set, but I’m sure it will be the first of next week.  Since the Judge was out of town there are cases in front of him,” Charlie paused pulling at his chin.  “Seeing that Queens is the town marshal, he might move it to the front of the list.”
    I looked over at Offut.  It was plain to see that he was afraid.  “Will you help me, Miles?  I know I don’t have the right to ask, but…”
    “Stanley, the affair is out of my jurisdiction.  I have nothing to do with it except as a witness,” I replied then finished off the now warm coffee.  Offut’s face became more downcast.  “However, Stanley, as a friend I’ll stand by you.  I’ll do what I can.”
    That seemed to help him some and he reached out his hand across the table.  After we shook hands he stood up to leave.  Taking a couple of steps he stopped, reached in his vest pocket and handed a telegram to Charlie.  “Almost forgot, Sheriff.”  Then he proceeded to leave to go back to his office.
    Charlie opened the telegram and quickly read it.  “It’s from Mateo,” he informed me.  “All is ok…STOP…Marshal Dewey and I don’t often agree. Mateo”
    “Hmpf, that don’t surprise me a bit,” I said, then got up to pour a fresh cup.
    “Think I should go up there?” he asked.
    Shaking my head, I responded, “Let Mateo handle it unless he requests you.  I wouldn’t go right now anyway with Queens on the loose.  No tellin’ what he might do.  And speakin’ of that, walk wary.”
    “Walk wary of what?” came the voice.  The Parson had come in and neither Charlie nor I had noticed him.  
    “Of being surprised, just like you did to us now.  Sit down, Preacher, want some coffee?”  He nodded so Charlie got up to get him a cup.  “Sure appreciate you allowin’ us to use that shack next to the church for a jail.  Those boys givin’ you any trouble?”
    He smiled, “No, they’re tuckered out by the time they come in.  Betty is spoiling them some for she always has some cookies or the like for them.”
    “How’s their attitude?” I asked watching him swallow the hot coffee.

Echoes From the Campfire

There are those who would use darkness to hide evil.”
              –Lou Bradshaw  (Hickory Jack)

    “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”  
              –John 1:5 (NKJV)
How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World

Key Verse:  “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”  –1 John 5:19 (NKJV)

Before continuing, we need to take a brief look at this doctrine of sin.  To walk in fellowship with Christ there must be some knowledge of what it meant to walk in darkness.  From the time of Adam’s fall in the Garden unto the present man has chosen to walk in darkness, under the power and dominion of sin.  There was no way to walk in real fellowship with God until Jesus provided the way to reconciliation on the cross.
    As Christians, we no longer walk in darkness!  It is important that we understand that.  We cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with Christ.  There are two kingdoms and the believer cannot/does not walk in the realm of sin.  We live in one or the other.  We are no longer blinded by the God of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4).  Paul wrote in Ephesians,

         “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (2:2)

Once we walked in darkness, following the whims and commands of the devil, but that has now been put aside.  To walk in darkness is to oppose God–there is no fellowship.  People who dwell in the darkness are oblivious to the light of God (John 1:1-9).
    An old heresy is raising its ugly head again.  It is popping up in churches and in the minds of, I will say pseudo-believers.  It is the heresy of antinomianism:  as long as you are a Christian and claim you know God in Christ, it is immaterial what you do, because you do not sin, it is the flesh or body that sins.  Oh, such a dangerous thought.  Man begins to rationalize sin and categorize it.  If sin is pointed out there comes the cry of “do not judge” or “legalism.”
    Do not try and rationalize it away.  We are sinful and need forgiveness.  Lloyd-Jones states, “If we say I have no sin, I am denying the incarnation, the death and the resurrection–I am making God a liar.”  By doing this, not only are we calling God a liar, we are proving that the Word is not in us and that the world is.  “Not to be right about sin means we are still walking in darkness, that our whole attitude is a lie.” (Lloyd-Jones)
    We are sinners, pure and simple, and even after salvation we still, hopefully not often, sin.  I have been using 1 John for much of this discussion; remember, that the epistles were written to the Church, to believers.  Do not live the lie, do not succumb to the idea that “I am saved, therefore…”  No, that is laughing in the face of eternal love.  “A lie cannot live in the presence of God; it is an utter contradiction of everything God is, and it just means that I am not a Christian at all.” (Lloyd-Jones)
    Paul tells us in the Book of Romans we do not sin that we can have more grace.  No, grace is given because we do sin.  I can understand Paul’s frustration.  What do we do when we sin?  What steps should be taken when the sin nature rises up and we fall prey to it again?  Remember, we are no longer children of darkness.

Coffee Percs

He moved into the backside of the ravine, built a small fire, place beans on to boil, and put a pot of coffee on the coals.”
              –Cliff Hudgins  (Viejo and the Locoweeds)

Greetin’s there Pard.  Coffee’s hot and strong, I even put a horseshoe in it this mornin’ to check it.  Stood right up.  Now if’n that don’t fix what ails yuh…
    Yuh know, sometimes I’ve wanted to get back in some ravine, or some nice canyon with a stream cascadin’ over the rocks.  Done it a time or two, drank my coffee and contemplated the goodness of God.  Yuh know, that’s what I think that ol’ boy Elijah did.  He might have been runnin’ from Jezeeybel, and he found himself in some ravine where he could hold up in a cave, but the Lord was with him, and cared for him.  Ol’ Elijah was refreshed and ready for another round with that pagan culture.  
    Told yuh, that coffee was good this mornin.’  Pard, what are yuh goin’ to do with that little herd of cows yuh got?  That mogul and moneybags Bill Gates is wantin’ to do away with the cows.  Yep, what I heard is that there must be the “use of regulation to move to 100% synthetic beef.”  Yum yum, but that don’t matter; those cows pass toxins.  See what I mean, sometimes I want to go to some ravine, drink coffee, and this case makes me want to throw a steak on the fire.  In fact, in honor of Bill Gates and his ideas and followers I will post one of my favorite poems–“Here’s to Steak” by Vance Wampler.

              Here’s to that steak
              Thick and juicy and sizzlin’
              Cooked in the camp tent
              When the weather was drizzlin’
              With scaldin’ black coffee
              Ate that steak with my knife
              Now. . .what’s better in life?

    Well, the “weather” is sure drizzlin’ stupidity.  So, take a break–have a steak and a pot of coffee and celebrate the blessin’s that the Lord has given yuh in spite of the woke folk.
    That’s doesn’t mean to be forgettin’–always check yur cinch.
    Vaya con Dios.

Echoes From the Campfire

If you step in a cow paddy you’ll get it all over your boot, Christian or not.”
              –Cliff Hudgins  (Viejo and the Ranger)

    “The wicked strut about on every side When vileness is exalted among the sons of mankind.”
              –Psalm 12:8 (NASB)
How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World

Key Verse:  “Have confidence in the fact that we belong to God, but also know that the world around us is in the grips of the evil one.”   –1 John 5:19 (VOICE)

My former pastor, Tom Minter, has developed one of the best series on how to live the Christian life that I have ever heard.  It is called The Journey.  As we journey with Jesus, He becomes our friend, and as we become His friend we learn more on how to live and walk along the journey of life.
    Fellowship is what we desire with the Lord.  Fellowship means deep, committed companionship.  How can we walk in the company of Jesus; how can we have that intimate fellowship and companionship?  Enoch understood, for the Scripture says, that he “walked with God” (Genesis 5:22).  That was true fellowship.  That is what a husband and wife should have as they go through this life together.  That is what we must have as we go through this journey of life with Christ.
    To have companionship/fellowship there are some requirements.  Each of the people as they walk along must come to know the character of each other.  Since God is omniscient He knows ours, therefore, it is up to us to know His.  That comes through the Scripture, through prayer, and through our daily walk.  As we draw close to Him, He will reveal more of Himself to us.  One thing for sure regarding the character of God–it is utter holiness.
    God knows our character and it is sinful. (Romans 3:23)  We cannot understand the Bible and the character of God without understanding the doctrine of sin.  Man is sinful, however, most want to disregard this doctrine, or excuse it saying that God made us human and we are only human.  That is far from the doctrine of sin.  In fact, one of the subtle ploys of Satan is to get man to play down or disregard or dispute the doctrine of sin.

         “There is a kind of general objection; the average person today, without thinking about the doctrine and without examining it, just dismisses it as being soft.  ‘Ah,’ they say, ‘that old-fashioned doctrine in which the fathers delighted, with the morbidity and almost perversion.’  They talked of sin and preached about it, and hasn’t that been part of the whole trouble?  It made men live a kind of cramped and narrow life; they did not know what life and living meant.  They so turned in upon themselves, and so overpainted this picture of our imperfections, that they really put fetters upon mankind!”
              –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

This new “woke” generation of cancel culture would have this doctrine completely done away with.  However, no matter the fine speeches, no matter the policies, no matter how enlightened man thinks that he is there is no denying sin.  They can try to eradicate it from their speech and from written material, but sin is still there.  They say that the doctrine of sin has made life miserable and all the brightness of life has been removed.  That is one reason for the revision of history–to show that the “saints” were not good people.  

         “So there is this common deep-seated objection to the whole New Testament doctrine of sin, and, of course, along with that goes the view of life which maintains that really things are not quite as bad as the Bible and the theologians in past have made it out to be.  ‘So long as we do our best,’ people say, ‘and look to God occasionally for a little help, then everything can be put right.  We must not take these things too seriously…'”
              –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

    Not take them seriously??!!  It was sin that put Jesus Christ on the cross!  It was because of sin that Jesus left heaven to become the atoning sacrifice!  Sin is disastrous; sin is like vomit; sin is vile and Jesus came to defeat it.  Sin leads to death, and Jesus came to overcome it.  Listen!  Get this!  Without the doctrine of sin there would be no amazing grace!