Coffee Percs

He snatched up a tin cup with his left hand and the coffeepot with his right, then poured himself a steaming cup.” 

                         –Stephen Bly  (Beneath a Dakota Cross)
Mornin’ to yuh, Pard.  Sad day, sad day.  Maybe you heard that ol’ Skinny McFarland died.  Yep, some say he was the skinniest person alive, and that’s what led to his demise.  Yuh see, Pard, he fell through a hole in the seat of his pants and choked himself to death.  Ha, Pard–what do yuh mean absurd?  No more absurd that some of the things these politicos spout at us.  No recession is one cry.  Another one looming in the near future–put on your masks!  
       Voices shouting, murmuring, crying, and whining all around us.  My mercy, what in the world is a person to do?  Well, I know for one thing this ol’ fence post is goin’ to have a seat, maybe in the ol’ rockin’ chair.  Then sip on a cup of hot, strong, black coffee and above all trust in the Lord.  Pard, can we afford to put our trust in the leadership when they can’t even speak properly?  We’re in a mess an’ the only thing that’s goin’ to save us is if the nation turns back to the Lord.
       When even those who are supposed to be in charge are confused, why that shows to go yuh that we have problems.  I was talkin’ wiith another Pard this past week and he mentioned that he thought he was born at the wrong time in history.  I’ve had many saddlepards tell me that same thing, and I’ve often thought it myself, but then the good Lord gives me a nudge.  “I had a reason for you to be born at this time.  You have a purpose.”  Yeah, Lord I reply with a sigh, knowin’ that He’s right–He’s always right.
       Ahhh, that coffee is sure ‘nough good this mornin’.  Goes right on down to the gizzard and makes it tingle with joy.  Listen Pard, as yuh head out to mount up, more than ever be wary of yur surroundin’s.  There’s evil under every rock, so be careful when yuh have to pick one up.  Don’t be dozin’ in the saddle as one of them snakes might cross yur path and yur hoss will throw yuh whether yuh tightened yur cinch or not.  Keep goin’ onward and forward, but glance up at the sky ever so often for our redemption draweth nigh.
       Vaya con Dios.


Echoes From the Campfire

The presentment of evil had grown upon him, and he twisted around in the saddle, sweeping the desolate vast level with cold, alert, puzzled eyes.”

                         –Charles A. Seltzer  (Drag Harlan)

       “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
                         –Isaiah 5:21 (NKJV)
Are we on the threshold of judgment and destruction?  There is a bill in the Senate, already passed by the House, stating that same-sex marriage is legal and binding.  Our government is playing with fire (perhaps literally) when it tries to deconstruct God’s institution of marriage to replace it with the agenda of a certain group in society.  The government is setting themselves up as God, saying that their way is better than His.
               “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…  Professing to be wise, they became fools…  Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their heart, to dishonor their bodies among themselves…  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions…  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting.”
                              –Romans 1:18, 22, 24, 26, 28 (NKJV)

       Enlightened individuals, men of intellect and knowledge, but they want to be autonomous and do right in their own eyes despising the word of God and His moral code.  These are the people of the “woke” crowd.  They have their agenda and they will push, lie, scream, holler, bring havoc and chaos to have their own selfish way.    God gave them over to a “debased mind.”  The King James uses the term “reprobate.”
       Strong defines reprobate as “unapproved that is rejected; by implication worthless (literally or morally).  Thayer puts it this way, “that which does not prove itself such as it ought.”  Vine says that it is a “mind of which God cannot approve and must be rejected by Him.  The same word for “debased” or “reprobate” is used in 2 Timothy 3:8, “…men of corrupt minds…”; these are men whose moral sense is perverted and whose minds are beclouded with their own speculations (Vine).
       Dave Roever wrote, “Stand by, America.  Judgment is not coming.  It has already begun!  Sinful, ignorant and perverted mankind who cannot define a woman, who ‘same-sex’ marry yet adopt ideas from pro-creative opposite sex unions, whose verbiage is reduced to four-letter words, whose arrogant lifestyle is defined in alphabetical letters because it’s too shameful to say in actual words, is reminiscent of the flea on a leaf floating down the mighty Mississippi River demanding, ‘Open up the drawbridge; I’m coming through!'”
       In these times of political pressure of media, lies and slander, do not forget that the true child of God does not falter.  We are not to waver in the truth of our faith; remember, you cannot have divided loyalty.  Society is pushing for the acceptance of the “abnormal as normal.” (Roever)  This is the time for all true believers to stand firm in the faith, and remember when judgment comes that God is with you.  And it will come when the pseudo plans of man are in direct opposition to the word of God.
       God will not compromise His standards, and therefore, we cannot either.  Notice again that word “reprobate.”  It is a mind that cannot be accepted by God in any way, shape, or form.  God will not be mocked.  Only for so long will He allow iniquity to continue.  Be sure you are standing on the Lord’s side when the judgment does come.


Echoes From the Campfire

Hard work…was not something to be feared.”
                    –Elmer Kelton  (Llano River)

       “Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”

                    –Philippians 2:12(NLT)
       “Life is living!” said the Rev. G.R. Kelly, my pastor as a youth.  Living, but how?  It’s our choice how we live.  We can live down in the mully-grubs, or we can have a victorious life in Christ.  The choice is ours and that includes during the tough times.
       Many years ago I did a brief study on work.  People seem to grumble and complain about their work more than anything, but if it is taken away or they are fired they grumble even more.  Or that used to be the case until the progressive democrats (socialists) came on the scene.  They want something for nothing, but that’s not the way it is to be.  This study came about from another study I was in the process of doing on the Fruit of the Spirit.  One characteristic of the Fruit is Joy.  We usually get joy confused with happiness though there can be a combination of the two at times.  However, the purest form of natural joy is joy in work–a job well done.  Of course the purest form of real joy is found in Jesus Christ.

               “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor.  This also, I saw, was from the hand of God.”
                              –Ecclesiastes 2:24 (NKJV)

The New Living Translation says, nothing is better than “to find satisfaction in his work.”  Listen friend, life is work.  It is important, first of all to find the job where the Lord wants you, then second to enjoy your work.  Yes, yes, there will be “those days,” when your work is not satisfying and you may have a boss or coworker that grates on your nerves, but never forget who you are really working for.  This lesson was brought home to me in 1974 when I was in the Air Force and stationed at the Air Force Academy.  Out in the field one day I distinctly heard a voice–“Who are you working for?  The Air Force, your boss, or Me?”  It was a lesson I never forgot.
       We must always remember that the blessings and possessions and goods of life are a gift from God.  Life, therefore, is a gift from God and we must look to Him to work out His purpose in us.  In saying that, I will go further, our career, our job is a gift from God, make the best out of it for His glory.  To despise the gifts, whether blessings or a job, is to despise the Giver.
       But man wants to go his own way.  I want this, I want that.  This is the job I want, but by Friday you’re tired of it already.  Oh, give me the weekend where I can party-hardy and come Monday I’m wasted and cannot go to the job that I was entrusted with.  Eating, drinking, and working–all activities in life–can bring satisfaction only if one has a personal relationship with God.  Only He enables us to find enjoyment in life.  

                    “Isn’t it strange that the more you run after life, panting after every pleasure, the less you will find, but the more you take life as a gift from God’s hand, responding in thankful gratitude for the delight of the moment, the more life seems to come to you?”
                                –Ray C. Stedman

       Live in faith, even in your work.  God gives wisdom, knowledge, joy, and peace to those who in faith please Him.  We must understand that we are stewards and that the Master has placed us in certain positions, jobs if you will, to first glorify Him, then to learn the lessons of life.  Enjoy the little things in life, but always in Christ.  Enjoy your position in life for it is where God has placed you, then continue to prepare yourself for an opportunity.  It is God alone–not things, not wisdom, not wealth–is the giver of satisfaction and joy.
       Charles Colson said, “Life isn’t a book.  Life isn’t logical, or sensible, or orderly.  Life is a mess most of the time.  And theology must be lived in the midst of that mess.”  Wherever we are, whatever we do we are to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever!”


Echoes From the Campfire

I love to see some of the gnarled old trees; cedars and bristle-cone pines are favorites of mine, for so often they live where it doesn’t seem possible to live. They grow right out of rocks, gnarled and twisted and old . . . but strong, stronger than anything but time, and they are part of time.”

                         –Louis L’Amour  (Under the Sweetwater Rim)

       “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
                         –Psalm 1:3 (NKJV)
The story of two trees…
       The first tree was in a lush environment surrounded by varied forms of shrubs, trees, and grasses, all fine to look at and admire.  However, to walk in this wondrous garden that was teeming with beauty, eyes would constantly go to the trees in the middle of the garden.  Of all the trees there was one that invited closer examination.  The foliage of this tree was full and of vibrant green.  It may have had beautiful and fragrant blooms similar to a magnolia tree, but it also carried the most delicious and tantalizing fruit.
       The fruit of one tree, the one called the tree of knowledge of good and evil, seemed to not only offer a delectable flavor, but it seemed that there was something there that offered something to the soul as well.  The longer and more often a person looked, the more it seemed to draw them, until one day–that fateful day when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit.  God has said, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17, NKJV)  Man ate–the earth was cursed as was man.  Part of the curse was death.  To look upon this tree there seemed to be the promise of a tasty fruit, but to eat of it brought the curse of death.
       The second tree is quite different.  Whereas the first tree ended with a curse, the second tree begins with one.  “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:23, Deuteronomy 21:22-23).  A body could not be left overnight if a tree was used as an instrument of execution.  This leads to us looking at the second tree more closely.  The environment in which it was found was a rugged, rocky area.  This tree was rough and therefore full of splinters.  It was not a pleasant sight to look at.  It was a means of torture and ultimately death.  “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of the Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha” (John 19:17, NKJV).  
       This second tree was unseemly.  It was rough and it represented death.  It did not look luscious like the tree in the Garden, but to look at this tree–this cross–would bring terror and cause the soul to shudder at its viciousness.  This tree, and instrument of death, was meant to take lives, but instead when the Son of God was crucified it removed the curse of the first tree.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Luscious equaled death–death meant the curse was removed and now eternal life could be offered to all men.
       Which tree do you find yourself longing for?  Which tree gathers your attention?  Which tree do you gaze at?  One offered life but brought death.  The other upon which Jesus was crucified offered death but brought life.

                    “Oh, that old rugged cross so despised by the world,
                    Has a wondrous attraction for me;
                    For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
                    To bear it to dark Calvary.

                    In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
                    A wondrous beauty I see;
                    For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
                    To pardon and sanctify me.”
                                   –George Bennard