Echoes From the Campfire

He was a man growing old, but a man still strong, and a man who knew where his heart was.”
                    –Louis L’Amour  (The Empty Land)

       “Once I was young, and now I am old.  Yet I have never seen the godly forsaken, nor seen their children begging for bread.”
                    –Psalm 37:25 (NLT)
I remember reading the story of the arrest of Polycarp.  If I am not mistaken, he was bishop in Smyrna and was a disciple of John.  Polycarp was an aged man when he was arrested and the Roman proconsul offered him a chance to save himself.  Polycarp replied, “Eighty-six years have I served Him, and He never did me any wrong.  How can I blaspheme my King who has saved me?”  Polycarp was then taken to the arena where he was bound to be burned at the stake.  The fire failed to consume him, so he was stabbed.  
       I can see my Grandma sitting on her bed, Bible in hand, reading the Word.  Until she died in her nineties, she read her Bible.  She couldn’t do the things she used to do, but she could still meet with her Lord, and have sweet communion with Him.  This is the concept of Psalm 71:9-18.

          9 — Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails.
         10 — For my enemies speak against me; and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
         11 — Saying, “God has forsaken him; pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
         12 — O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!
         13 — “Let them be confounded and consumed who are adversaries of my life; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor who seek my hurt.
         14 — But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.
         15 — My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.
         16 — I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
         17 — O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
         18 — Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come. (NKJV)

       Now Grandma didn’t have enemies like David.  But she did have the enemies of pain, sorrow, and coming death.  She was in constant pain, but had the faith in her Lord to see her through.  David, as king, still has enemies who would like to see him dead.  But David, in his old age knew that God would not abandon him or trade him in for someone else.
       No longer youthful, David (and Grandma along with Polycarp) had the wonderful experience of walking with the Lord for many years.  They epitomized verse 14, “But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.”  Hope–the earnest expectation of being with Christ even through old age.  How will your days end?  In regret, twiddling your thumbs looking back in regret and bitterness?  Will you be the proverbial grouchy old man or woman?  Or will you continue to model the life that God has given you, praising Him and declaring His works and goodness?  
       All have bad experiences in life–David, Polycarp, Grandma–but that is no reason to speak badly of the Lord, rather it is reason to give Him praise.  The future of eternity with the Lord is before you.  The remaining years…who knows?  Use them to praise the Lord and be an example.

                    Yes, broken, timeless, still, O Lord,
                    This voice transported, shall record
                    Thy goodness, tried so long;
                    Till, sinking slow, with calm decay,
                    Its feeble murmur melt away
                    Into a seraph’s song.
                              –Robert Grant


Coffee Percs

He’d cooked his two eggs too long and had to eat them with the yellows hard and not runny. It threatened to make his entire day a bad one. But at least he had a good cup of coffee.” 

                    –C. Wayne Winkle  (Range War at Medicine Bow)
Last Saturday of the month, so come on in, Pard, get yurself some of this hot, strong coffee.  I’m on my way to bein’ my oldself–for good or bad.  Whoopee, it’s taken some time.  Pard, I’ve simply no energy and that includes my mind.  But it’s comin’ ’round.  My days have surely been messed up, almost as bad as over-cookin’ eggs.  I know the feelin’ if’n the yellows aren’t runnin’ it makes a body wonder what the rest of the day means.
       Ahhh, how ’bout that coffee.  Makes a person smile and thank the good Lord even if his parts are not all workin’ properly.  Kinda takes the bitter out of a wearisome day, like overcooked’ yur eggs.  Now, I like my eggs, and was plannin’ on havin’ huevos rancheros with meat and refried pintos.  Only problem is there were no eggs.  My wonderful, youngest daughter said she’d bring some over with some other stuff.  Well, her mind is like mine–she remembered the other stuff but forgot the eggs.  Breakfast was good, but there for sure was somethin’ missin’–the eggs.
       Been interestin’ out here in our little cottage.  Not only recovering from the China virus, the refrigerator went out so we’ve been storing things on the back deck in coolers.  Good thing it’s been cold outside.  But we’ve managed.  We’ve kept our senses (if’n we’ve ever had any) and made due with the situation.  Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?
       “There will be wars and rumors of wars,” but don’t be frettin’ Pard, the Lord has everything under control.  Interesting that the ol’ “Bear” is gettin’ active.  What will happen now?  Which direction will it turn?  Pard, I’m tellin’ yuh to keep yur eyes on China.  No, not the virus, but they’re watchin’ us, I mean how the government is reactin’.  Is this the time they will invade Taiwan?  Just be ready.
       In my experience, I have found that one thing that a person can do with over-cookin’ the yellows on their eggs is that they can put them between toast or in a tortilla.  Makes a mighty fine breakfast sandwich.  Yuh make due with what yuh have.  That’s life, trustin’ in the Lord through every situation and goin’ along the trail ever mindful of the obstacles..  Do I need to remind yuh?  That means to check yur cinch before mountin’.
        Vaya con Dios.


Echoes From the Campfire

Sometimes a man needs to take some quiet and think things through what he’s about to commit himself to.”
                    –Stephen Bly  (Beneath a Dakota Cross)

       “Although no violence is in my hands, and my prayer is pure.”
                    –Job 16:17 (NKJV)
How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World

Key Verse:  “We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one.”  –1 John 5:19 (NLT)

       Two things that are vital in this crazy world in which we live.  First, to know the will of God, which we do through the Word of God.  Secondly, through prayer–conversing with God.  Besides the Word of God, prayer is the most important thing to us as we journey through life.  Jesus said that “men ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1, NKJV).  In this world with its trials, tribulations and woes it is vital that we know the will of God.

               “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked Him.”
                              –1 John 5:14-15(NKJV)

       It is vital that we pray, but also that we pray according to God’s will.  To know God’s will we must be in the Word of God, studying it, meditating on it, contemplating it.  Beware when you pray of fanaticism–that is, praying out of context; demanding of God and praying out of His will.  There are many things in which God has already said, “NO!”  Yet I know people who pray for those exact things.
       Observe carefully what the Scripture says about prayer.  Gather as much information as the Bible states–do not formulate prayer upon one set of Scripture.  Gain knowledge, and insight then pray.  The Scripture teaches that prayer is essential and vital to us; we are exhorted to do it.  Jesus spent much time in prayer, therefore, if we want to be close to Him we should do the same.  The nearer people are to God, the more they pray to Him–reasonably, rationally, and with faith.  The God who determines the end determines the means as well–there are spiritual laws.
       You shall hear of wars and rumors of war, there will be pestilence upon the land, famine shall come in one way or another.  Therefore, believer, child of God, pray in accordance with His Word.


Echoes From the Campfire

He comes from a generation of men that believe complaining is a sign of weakness of character and lack of trust in the Lord.”
                    –Stephen Bly  (Shadow of Legends)

       “As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”

                    –2 Samuel 22:31 (NKJV)
Getting along some better, but I’m still going to borrow from Lois A. Cheney’s book.  A change is good anyway.

          “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”
          . . . that fool Noah did, and built a stupid boat on dry land for years and years, and
         man lived.
          . . .  that fool Job did, and the world kicked him, and his friends did too, and so did his old religion, and
          he showed us a new face of God.
          . . . that fool John the Baptist did, and he ate crunchy insects, and dressed like a jerk, and
          baptized Jesus.
          . . . that fool woman did; squeezing and elbowing through the crowd, just so she could grab at Jesus with
          her hand, sick, sick from years of a woman’s sickness, and
          she was healed.
          But now we have aptitude tests, and counselors, and advisors, and rest camps, and psychiatrists, and lots of brains, and
          WE act.

          “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him, and
          he will act.”

          Lord have mercy on us.
          Lord have mercy on us.

We tend to trust in ourselves, in the knowledge of doctors, in a vaccine, in the political minds of the time.  Have we ceased
to trust in the Lord?  Are we still?  Do we wait upon Him?