Echoes From the Campfire

Do you know the Western land? Do you know the far plains and the high, snow-crested ridges? Do you know the beaver streams, the water laughing in the bright sun? Do you know the sound of wind in pines? The cloud shadows on the desert’s face? Have you stood on a high ridge and looked fifty miles across the country, country known only to Indians, antelope, and buffalo?
     “Have you crawled out of your bedroll in the chill of a spring morning with the crisp air fresh in your lungs and the sound of running water in your ears? Have you started a fire and made coffee, and broiled your venison over an open fire? Have you smelled ironwood burning, or cedar?”
               –Louis L’Amour  (To Tame A Land)

     “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and all that fills it resound.  Let the fields and everything in them exult.  Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy before the LORD, for He is coming–for He is coming to judge the earth.  He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with His faithfulness.”
               –Psalm 96:11-13 (HCSB)
I was out the other morning and as I was crossing over Wolf Creek on my way to Huntsville several thoughts sprinted through my mind.  The old song by Albert Brumley came to my mind, “I’ll meet you in the morning, by the bright river side…”  The morning was near perfect, for we will not see a perfect morning until we get to Heaven.  Wait, my mind told me to hold on and ponder for a moment.  Will there be mornings in Heaven?  If there is no night is there a need for a morning?  If there is no time, is there a need for a morning?  It made me also wonder, will we sleep at all in eternity?
     The morning that Brumley was speaking of was when we “sleep” (the term Paul uses in regard to the death of a believer) then wake up in glory.  That will indeed be a grand morning–a perfect morning.  I remember reading somewhere (and I looked for it) of a person who spent too much of his life sleeping when the sun was just rising.  How he wished he could go back and relive those morning moments.  I’ve tried to make it a habit never to miss a sunrise.  When I see the sun come up, or if it doesn’t show on a dreary day, I still think about those precious promises, “Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations, 3:22-23, HCSB).
     Many of David’s Psalms speak of meeting with the Lord early in the morning.  In the morning David recalls, often, the mercies of the Lord.  The psalmist of 119:147 writes, “I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word.” (NKJV)  Jesus sought solace and solitariness in the morning; it was a special time for Him to be with His Father.  “Now in the morning having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NKJV)

     Hmmm, I wonder if He ever looked at the sunrise and smiled.  Besides being in communion with His Father, did He ever think of His creation?  I think when He saw what He created, He would think of His disciples, and all of mankind.  Creation, the earth, the universe, sunrise and sunset, they were all created for man.  When I ponder that, I can’t take it in, for the awesomeness of it all is overwhelming.  
     Yes, one day there will be that final morning for all of us.  We will sleep for it will be night–night of the soul–but will awaken to a marvelous morning where instead of the sunrise we will see the Son in that city where the Lamb is the Light.
          “I will meet you in the morning, by the bright river side,
           When all sorrow has drifted away;
           I’ll be standing at the portals, when the gates open wide,
           At the close of life’s long, dreary day.”
                       –Albert E. Brumley
This will be the last Echo for a spell.  Ol’ Ira is taking a rest for a couple weeks.  Maybe I can renew some of that cerebral fluid.  I always pray that these little devotions can touch the heart.  I’m not sure if Miles Forrest will be on the scene tomorrow or not.  He’s in the midst of an adventure; hmmm, maybe I should let my devotees of the Saga wait a few weeks.  Yuh know, sometimes I can be ornery.

Coffee Percs

For lo! the board with cups and spoons is crowned
          The berries crackle, and the mill turns round
          At once they gratify their scent and taste
          And frequent cups prolong the rich repast
          Coffee (which makes the politician wise
          And see through all things with his half-shut eyes).”

                       –Alexander Pope
I found this poem and thought I’d use it today just to show yuh how cultured I am.  Pard, take notice, as yuh may never see the like again.  Wish some of those bureaucrats, those politicians would start drinking more coffee.  If’n they would lay off the booze, drink some hot strong coffee, and get back in God’s Word things would get better.  To look at some of them a person would think that their eyes are glazed over for most for they don’t have a lick of sense.
     We should normally leave fools to their folly, but the trouble with them bureaucrats is that their folly affects us all.  If foolishness abounds in a youngster yuh take them behind the woodshed and knock it out of them.  Ha, problems there already.  Very few woodsheds around and yuh might get charged with brutality or some other vice.  But an adult, how do yuh drive foolishness out of them?  Most of them are so blind that they don’t even see their own deception, they are self-deceivers as well as deceivers of others.
     Enough of that.  Shouldn’t dwell upon the fools, but sometimes it just grips my gizzard.  Back to our coffee and calm thoughts.  I’m still tryin’ to get my new email settled.  I’ve had a few sent back to me say they were blocked.  Yuh need to be takin’ care of that.  Look in the junk folder–that ain’t no place for a Perc nohow.  
     Ah, coffee’s good this mornin’.  Yuh better enjoy it for it’s the last for a spell.  No, I’m not goin’ to quit drinkin’, but I’m goin’ to be off-line for a few weeks.  Get yur fill this mornin’ for it’ll be sometime in July before I’ll be brewin’ yuh up another pot.
     Now, I don’t want to be a-hearin’ when I get back that yuh done forgot to check yur cinch.  I shouldn’t have to be doin’ that all the time.  Hmmm, maybe yuh need a trip to that shed.  
     Vaya con Dios. 

Echoes From the Campfire

When the sovereign hand allows troubles to come into the lives of His children, it should never be forgotten that the Lord carries His children through them. None of His children are left to face the darkness alone.”
                –Kenneth S. Pratt  (Sweethome)

     “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
                –Ephesians 5:1 (NASB)
How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World

Key Verse:  “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  –1 John 5:19 (NASB)

We are destined for glory!  That’s what I said, and it will be, well, words cannot describe what the experience will be like.  All I can say is “WOW!”  or maybe Miles would put it this way, “Yeehaw!”  Just take a look at these verses.

          “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.  We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.  And everyone who has this hope on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
                    –1 John 3:3-4 (NASB)

     Ponder the above verses.  Can you say them from your heart?  They implore and instruct us to look at life in the light of eternity!  We spend too much time here on earth fretting about whether or not we can be heard.  In fact, most of the unhappiness we experience in this life is due to our failure to realize this truth–we are bound for Heaven and that we have an eternal soul.  I recall the words of Richard Baxter, that Puritan preacher of old:  “For if Thy work on earth be sweet, What will Thy glory be?”
     We cannot comprehend what it will be like to see Christ in all of His majesty, splendor, and glory.  John attempted in the first chapter of Revelation, but even then he could only express in human words.  Moses wanted a glimpse of Him, and was denied for he would die if he saw the Lord in His glory.  Peter, James, and John got but a mere glance when Jesus was transfigured, but only a glimpse of His shining face.  

           “It is because we do not see ourselves as the children of God and going through this life and world in the way that this text indicates; that is why our unhappiness tends to get us down.  We do not relate it to the whole; we do not put it in its context; we live too much with the things that are immediately in front of us instead of putting everything into the context of our standing and of our destiny.”
                    –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

     Yes, we live in a real world, but this is not just a new form of idealism nor is it a facade of romanticism; no, it is the truth of God’s Word!  Don’t sweat the small stuff is the message.  God is in control. . . of the world and of our lives.  I know people will use the old quip, “He is so heavenly-minded that he is no earthly good,” but that is not truth.  The person who is truly heavenly-minded will do wondrous works on earth for he will realize that not only is he a servant of the King, but a child of the King as well.
     So when one of those nasty little problems comes along, remember that you are one day going to be with the Lord Jesus in all of His glory.  Pandemics?  What of them, there is no sickness or suffering in His presence.  Pain and sorrow do not exist in His glorious presence.  Fear is put away, tears are no longer seen.  Yes, it will not happen until we are in His presence, but one day. . . oh, my, one day we will stand there.  Get in the habit now of singing that old song, “Oh yes, oh yes, I’m a child of the King…” (Cindy Walker).

Echoes From the Campfire

Wickedness was just a calling out for the wayward soul.”
               --D.C. Adkisson (Redemption)

     "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually."
               --Genesis 6:5 (NASB)
I've started a study in Proverbs.  There are so many ways a person can go about studying this book.  I figured to just go verse by verse but also concentrate on the main characters of Proverbs:  wise, fool, simple, mocker/scorner, and lazy.  I came across a piece I want to share this morning by Charles Bridges, a minister in the first half of the 19th-century.  The verse, Proverbs 10:30, has a message for the day, but also seems to include some prophecy.

          "The righteous shall never be removed; but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth."  (King James)
          "The righteous will never be shaken, but the wicked will not remain on the earth."  (Holman)
          "The [consistently] righteous shall never be removed, but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth [eventually]."  (Amplified)

We know that there are wicked people currently on the earth and it will be that way until the Lord reigns.  I like the Amplified, for it gives hope to me, "[consistently] righteous", and eventually the earth will be rid of the wicked.  Notice that Bridges gives references to other Scriptures.  It would be good for you to look them up.

          "The frailty of our present condition, common to all (Ecc 9:2,11), was not in the wise man's eye; but the state of the two classes as in the purpose and mind of God.  His way is strength to the upright.  The righteous, walking steadily in the way, shall never be removed (Ps 15; 37:22;112:6;125:1; 2 Pet 1:5-11).  'They enjoy in this life by faith and hope their everlasting life.'  'No weapon that is formed against them shall prosper.  The mountains shall depart and the little hills shall be removed: but my loving-kindness shall not depart from thee; neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed; saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee' (Is 54:10).  Is not this a confidence that earth nor hell can never shake (Rom 8:38-30)?
          "The wicked--have they any such confidence?  So far from being never removed, they shall never inhabit!  They have no title, like the righteous (Mt 5:5; 1 Cor 3:22), as sons and heirs, to the blessings of earth; no hope or interest in the land, of which the earth is a type (Ps 37:29).  Often are they cut off from inhabiting the one (Pro 10:27; 2:22; Ps 37:22; Eze 33:24-26).  Never will they be suffered to inhabit the other (1 Cor 6:9; Rev 21:27).  As our character is, so is our hope and prospect.  We gain or lose both worlds."

No matter what we see happening around us we should walk confidently that in the light of eternity we shall never be removed.  The wicked laugh and scoff now, but they have no eternal reality on this earth or in heaven.  Their eternal reality will be the Lake of Fire.   My Christian friend, do not shun the righteous life for by living it you will never be shaken.