Coffee Percs

They had a fire going and coffee on, and the smell of the coffee and of bacon frying fairly set my stomach to asking questions of my face.”

                         –Louis L’Amour  (Chancy)
Come on, Pard, let me put a smile on yur face this mornin’.  Ahhh, good coffee, roasted right here in Coldspring by Spring Ridge Roasters.  Yur face certainly shouldn’t be askin’ no questions after a sip or two of that delightful brew.  Makes yuh almost want to giggle, tastes so good.
       Let me pass on something I read from that sage from an earlier day, Washington Irving.  Now, if my coffee didn’t light up yur face maybe this little story might.  Irving was out traveling in the West.  “Indeed our coffee, which as long as it held out, had been served up with every meal, according to the custom of the West, was by no means a beverage to boast of.  It was roasted in a fryingpan, without much care, pounded in a leathern bag, with a round stone, and boiled in our prime and almost only kitchen utensil, the camp kettle, in ‘branch’ or brook water; which, on the prairie, is deeply colored by the soil, of which it always holds abundant particles in a state of solution and suspension.”
       So Pard, don’t yuh be complainin’ none about my coffee for yuh could be in worser shape.  We get to cryin’ and bellyachyin’, and whinin’ for often no reason atall.  Reminds me of those Israelites a-wanderin’ in the wilderness.  They complained, so the good Lord had them wander, and while they was figurin’ out which ways to go, they whined again–the Bible calls it murmurin’.  It seems that murmurin’ causes confusion and complainin’.  The Lord sure don’t care for it much, for it is He who sustains us, who gives to us, who blesses us, who tells us not to be a-worryin’ for He has everything under control.
       Well, I notice that yuh didn’t seem to mind the coffee as yuh guzzled it right down.  Yuh be havin’ yurself a good week, and if’n yuh come by next week with a knot on yur head, don’t be murmurin’ none that yuh done forgot to check yur cinch.
        Vaya con Dios.

Echoes From the Campfire

It was a waste of life payin’ a mind to all the bad things that happened.”

                        –C. J. Petit  (Tabby Hayes)

       “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
                        –Luke 12:25 (NLT)
The world is full of fear:  pestilence, famine, virus, terror, riots, and more…  If not careful, Christians can get caught in the flow of the world; become part of it, instead of a pilgrim through it.  Begin to share its values rather than eternal, heavenly values.  Jesus said, “when you see all these things know that it is near–at the doors!” (Matthew 24:33, NKJV).
What things:  signs in the heavens, false prophets, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, many will be offended, many will betray one another and will hate one another, lawlessness will abound, love will grow cold. (Matthew 24).  The end–Jesus said is “at the doors!   Paul writes, concerning the coming of the Lord, that we should “comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18, NKJV).  
       We should be ready, but we should also be encouragers.  In evil times, even more as the days of His return draw nearer, we should be encouragers one of another.  Instead of dwelling upon fear, exhort and smile.  Instead of being afraid; take comfort in the Lord.  That brings me to the thought I had for the day.  I had one of those “Midnight Hymns” a couple of nights ago, and checking my notes I used this song in 2016 and again in 2020.  But I feel the Holy Spirit has a few words for us today.  Instead of a day filled with worry, realize…

               “There’s a blessed time that’s coming, coming soon,
                It may be evening, morning or at noon,
               The wedding of the bride, united with the groom.
               We shall see the King when He comes.”
                              –J.B. Vaughn

When is He coming?  It’s at the doors!  Be ready for He may arrive at any time during the day.  We are to purify ourselves, make sure we have oil in our lamps, for coming soon there will be that catching away (rapture) and the great wedding will take place.  

               “Are you ready should the Savior call today?
               Would Jesus say, ‘Well done,’ or ‘God away’?
               My home is for the pure, the vile can never stay,
               We shall see the King when He comes.”

Instead of doom and gloom, yes it is even among Christians.  We should be looking for His return.  We shouldn’t get into the panic of getting a vaccine or not getting one.  We shouldn’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow if it comes will take care of itself, but then again the Lord may return tonight.  Yes, instead of singing the blues, and stepping on our lower lips dreading the woes of the current situation we should be smiling and encouraging one another, saying, Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

               “Oh, my brother, are you ready for the call?
               To crown your Savior King and Lord of all?
               The kingdoms of this world shall soon before Him fall,
               We shall see the King when He comes.

                              We shall see the King,
                              We shall see the King,
                              We shall see the King when He comes;
                              He is coming in pow’r, we’ll hail the blessed hour,
                              We shall see the King when He comes.”

So don’t be disgruntled or discouraged or dismayed or despondent or depressed (is that enough “d’s”) but instead of these things comfort and encourage one another.  Remember that God is in charge and control.  No matter what the situation looks like.  No matter the gloom of the night–He is coming.  “Are you ready should the Master call today?”

Echoes From the Campfire

The trails out there can be dangerous. There are many that would do you harm. Keep your eye on the back trail and the horizon.”

                         –Cliff Hudgins  (Viejo and the Lost Ranger)

       “So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”
                         –Malachi 3:18(NASB)
A couple of days we have looked at 1 John 3:3, where we are told to purify ourselves.  In the Old Testament, the Levites were stationed outside the tabernacle to check people as they entered.  They needed to be “pure” before entering the court.  Legalism would be the cry today, but it was really part of grace.  God is holy, therefore those bringing a sacrifice to Him needed to be holy.  It was the job of the Levites to check them out–for their safety.  It was not legalism, it was a safeguard.
       The priests were required to do purification rites before entering the tabernacle.  Once they had purified themselves, they would make sacrifice for the people then move into the inner court.  Before they could enter, however, they had to wash their hands and feet again.  In the walk from the brazen altar to the inner court they would become dirty, they didn’t need to purify themselves all over again, but they must wash (purify) their hands and feet before entering.
       I want to look at a couple of Scriptures:
               “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: ‘Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “make ready the way of the LORD, make His paths straight.”‘”
                              –Mark 1:1-3 (NASB)

               “‘Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me.  And the LORD, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,’ says the LORD of hosts.  But who can endure the day of His coming?  And who can stand when He appears?  For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.”
                              –Malachi 3:1-2 (NASB)

We read the verse from Mark and we know it is John the Baptist and he is preparing the way for the Son of God to begin His ministry and fulfill His purpose on earth.  However, when we read the verses from the prophet Malachi it is seen as a threat.  Get your life ready; purify yourselves for the Son of God is coming.  Is that not what we see in the New Testament in 1 John–purify yourselves?  The Church will be purified–every spot and wrinkle will be removed.  The Day of the Lord is coming–purify yourselves.
       This world is a filthy sewer and it is building up.  Poison is no longer seeping out, it is now flowing out.   The world in the days of Noah was sick, evil, putrid, and filthy, so much so that God destroyed it.  Now it is the same.  God will again, sometime in the future, destroy the earth.  This world we live in has rejected the Person of Jesus Christ; it has rejected God’s moral law of living and in its place has allowed the sewer to run freely.  Man has become defiled and he has therefore defiled the earth.  Sin is rampant and is becoming more macabre, more bizarre, more blatant.
       When, and where, Jesus Christ is accepted there is cleansing from the filth.  It starts in the heart of man, but then it moves throughout all of society.  The heart must be changed before society can get better.  William Barclay said, “Where Christ is allowed to come the antiseptic of the Christian faith cleanses the moral poison of society and leaves it pure and clean.”  
       The Great Awakening occurred in the early 1700s.  There were many results of that great movement of God.  One of the most important, yet least mentioned, is that this is the time when the Founding Fathers were living.  The time they were growing up and no matter what their final beliefs, they were ALL influenced by the message of Jesus Christ throughout the colonies.   Magistrates, judges, lawyers, officers of the law were affected whether they accepted Christ or not.  Butchers, bakers, yes and even candlestick makers were influenced by the message of the Gospel.
       Malachi closes out his short message with warnings and also hope.  There is a dreadful day coming, but the righteous are to prepare themselves for that day.  They will fear the Lord and will begin to purify themselves.  

               “‘But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.  You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
                              –Malachi 4:2-3 (NASB)

Echoes From the Campfire

On his brain had been etched by words of steel the fact that no power to fight was so great an unquenchable as that of man’s.”
                    –Zane Grey  (Wanderer of the Wasteland)

       “So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.  Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires.  Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry.”
                    –Colossians 3:5 (NLT)
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)

In our last study I discussed how we are to purify ourselves in the midst of the filth of this world.  Today I would like to look at a different aspect.  Far too often we get frustrated when we try to purify ourselves.  We fail, then we fail again, and sometimes despondency appears and we wonder “what’s the use of trying.”  We are told to be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:16) and we get a puzzled look, not only on our face, but in our mind.  We can never be holy as God is holy.  He is undefiled, pure–but hold on, we are told to purify ourselves.  Remember,

               “And who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
                              –1 John 3:3 (NASB)

       First of all, there is a difference between cleansing and purification.  Cleansing is to deliver on the surface, from evil and pollution.  It’s like when you wash your car.  Purification is something that happens within; to get ride of the tarnishing effect of sin upon me and to avoid sin.  This is a deep cleaning.  This is changing the oil, making sure it is clean and not driving to places that will cause a need to cleanse the outside.

               “It means that with the whole of my being I shun sin, I avoid it.  I have a desire within me to be like Christ; I am striving to be like the Lord Himself.”
                              –D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

The person does not submit to purification; he purifies himself.  Consider the following Scriptures:

               “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
                              –2 Corinthians 7:1 (NASB)

               “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
                              –Hebrews 6:11-12 (NASB)

               “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality….”
                              –Colossians 3:5 (NASB)

I just have to quote Colossians 3:5 again from the King James.  It seems to ring with not only authority but boldness.   “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth….”

       Are you still frustrated?  How am I to do about this?  You see the dilemma that Paul writes about and explains in Romans 5-8.  Listen, purifying ourselves, being holy, is not an instantaneous act.  It is not a gift–it takes work, training, and effort.  I purify myself by considering Him, by looking at Him and His perfect life; that is the pattern I am to follow.  I am to be conformed to God’s image (Romans 8:29)..  I am to set my affections on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2) — and how much could be said about this.  
       How are we to do this?
               1)  Read, meditate, reflect upon God’s Word.
               2)  Crucify the flesh — daily (and even hourly)
               3)  Common sense — it is illogical and unreasonable to go living in opposition to that which I am called.

               “That is the spirit of the New Testament–people pressing on towards the mark, straining at the leash, looking forward, going forward with all their might.  And because they are looking at the vision of glory for which they are destined, they are pressing on towards it and toward Him, forgetting the things that are behind, redeeming the time, buying up the opportunity, using every second because of the certainty that they will see Him as He is and that they will be like Him.”
                              –D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones