Echoes From the Campfire

You can take a little time out from living to look back, too, because that hurts you enough to make your life better.”
              –Luke Short  (Ramrod)

    “I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances before me.”
              –Psalm 119:30 (HCSB)
         “Your many sins are all forgiven;
          Oh, hear the voice of Jesus;
          Go on your way in peace to heaven
          And wear a crown with Jesus.”
                –William Hunter

Perhaps you still moan and fume over something stupid you did when you were younger.  We’ve all done a few of them, some of us more than others.  The regret still lingers, but the Lord looks at us, not from a position of anger, but one with eyes of love.  The second part of Psalm 25 is important to help us along the way.  

    7 – Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me because of Your goodness, Lord.
    8 – The Lord is good and upright; therefore He shows sinners the way.
    9 – He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.
   10 – All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep His covenant and decrees.
   11 – Because of Your name, Yahweh, forgive my sin, for it is great.
   12 – Who is the man who fears the Lord?  He will show him the way he should choose.
   13 – He will live a good life, and his descendants will inherit the land. (HCSB)

There is a difference between remorse and repentance.  With remorse a person may be sorry, but repentance means they will try to not commit the sin again.  The Lord promises, and remember He is always faithful to His promise, to the person who fears the Lord and seeks to turn from their sin.  Then He will show us the path to take.
    We must look to Him, understand Who He is.  Arrogance, pride, and self-centeredness must be cast away and we must have a proper respect for Him, for He is our Instructor, the One who will teach us how to see the right path.  One thing for sure in life, our problems will either drive us closer to the Lord or away from Him.  We must not become hard-hearted, but keep a tender, humble spirit when standing before Him.
   God is faithful; He will forgive our sins.  We must then fear the Lord.  In this time in which we live there is so much mockery, many are sacrilegious and sully the name of the Lord.  Respect Him!  God’s honor and reputation were a concern to those in the Old Testament, how much more should it be for those who have had their sins washed away.  
   Note what happens to those who fear the Lord:  he will be shown the right way, he will be able to live a good life, and his descendants will inherit the earth.  Put your sin in the past, strive to move forward, listen to the words of your Instructor, do not mock or murmur and great will be your reward.

Coffee Percs

He sat at the table watching the women work around the kitchen as the smell of bacon, eggs and pancakes filled the room.  The coffee was black and strong, just the way he liked it.”
            –J.S. Stroud (The Old Rider)

Har, har, har, I just have to laugh, Pard, it’s so sad.  We sure are livin’ in what is becomin’ an age of stupidity.  Here, pour us a cup of coffee while I continue.  That grand city of Berkeley that sits in California, of course, has made some mighty powerful changes (ha) to the city codes.  All gender preferences must be removed.  Required, done deal, overwith and done.  No longer are there salesmen in the city.  Those little covers on the streets are now maintenance holes.  No longer are there brothers and sisters, but only siblings.  How much human effort will it take to get the job done, or how much workforce?  There is now nothing “man-made,” but it is all artificial, manufactured, machine made, or synthetic.  Whoa, wait a minute, they messed up–man u factured.  Pard, there are so many moronic changes all in the name of political correctness and sensitivity.
    Pour me another cup will ya Pard?  This is all startin’ to rile up the gizzard.  Are we becomin’ more and more insane?  I mean, accordin’ to these folks they are more enlightened than the rest of us.  Of course, few of them read the Bible, but it is clearly stated, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27, NASB) Pard, maybe we should take these folk out on a roundup, and show them how steers are made.
    One other note that I just have to throw in here.  If you go on the campus of Colorado State University, don’t refer to yourself or another person as an “American.”  Yep, from what I read, that just might seem threatening to them, and hurt their little, sensitive psyches.  
    Listen, if yuh haven’t tightened yur spiritual cinch, yuh better do so now.  There might be some rough travelin’ ahead.  With that bein’ said, don’t you dare mount up without checkin’ yur cinch.  Keep yur Bible handy and yur gun oiled.

Echoes From the Campfire

Come along boys, and listen to my tale,
         I’ll tell you of my troubles on the ol’ Chisholm Trail.”

    “When we were actually with you we gave you this principle to work on: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’ Now we hear that you have some among you living quite undisciplined lives, never doing a stroke of work, and busy only in other people’s affairs.”
                   –2 Thessalonians 3:10-11 (Phillips)
I’m not a person that gets easily perturbed.  Once in a great while something agitates me and riles up the ol’ gizzard.  That’s one reason I quit watching the news with all the lies and hatred that’s being spewed.  One thing for sure, you surely know who their “father” is.  But I read something on FaceBook, of all places, the other day that just jerked my jaws.  I’ll pass it on to you.

         “Hi, I finished my free trial of adulthood and I’m no longer interested so I would like to cancel my subscription.  Is there a manager I can speak to?”

    That just brought the gall up.  That’s part of the problem that I see our nation facing–the lack of adulthood.  I’ve written here before that I once had a student ask me if he was a “man.”  I replied, “do you accept responsibility; if not, then you’re not a man.”  So-called adults jumping from one job to another, others wanting the loans they took out for college removed, complaining about this and that, wanting more and more handouts (socialism).  Where is the responsibility?
    There are far too many people who want to join Peter Pan out there somewhere is Never-Never Land.  My Mom spent most of her life working two jobs.  Why?  It certainly wasn’t because she planned on becoming rich.  I asked her one day why she worked so hard and so much and her reply was that she liked to work.  My Dad said that the most important lesson that Grandpa taught him was the value of working hard.  Do a study on work sometime, and don’t forget the Scripture.  It seems that the greatest form of natural joy is the fulfillment of a good day’s work.  There should be satisfaction in work.
    We could sit down and discuss the reasons why adults-by-age do not want to be an adult.  Look at many of them.  They spend money, time, and effort on entertainment.  Part of the problem we have created by not wanting to hurt their poor little self-esteem.  Now, the real world has smacked them in the face and they look and scream for an excuse.  Forget it dumplin’, life’s not fair.  There will always be some kind of “taskmaster”, and if you get your desire of socialism you’ll see a true picture of a harsh taskmaster.  In fact, he will eventually require that you take a “mark” if you want to feed yourself.
    Wake up while there’s still time.  Soon it will be too late for a person to work.  Soon a  job will be required and it will cost you everything, including your soul.  If you want to speak to a manager, do so now.  He is waiting and willing to hear from you.  He will not cancel your subscription to adulthood, but if you want you can remove yourself from His grace and mercy.  Right now He is expecting you to do what He has called you to do.  Straighten up, be the man or woman that God has called you to be.  Work at your job with vigor for the Lord so that no one can call your work into question and therefore bring shame to the Lord who has called you.
    Oh, and thank the Lord that it’s Friday.  But remember, Saturday is not for play.  Work around the house, do something with the family, but whatever you do remember the Lord and His goodness to you.

Echoes From the Campfire

Beauty is not what you see on the outside, but the spirit you know is within.”
              –Elmer Kelton (The Buckskin Line)

    “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
              –Philippians 1:11 (NLT)
I remember it well, it was August of 1972, and we were driving down a road in West Virginia toward my first permanent duty station at Tyndall AFB in Florida.  The details have gone from my mind, but I can still see my hat flying out the window.  We were moving along at a good speed, so it was a spell before I could get the car with trailer pulled over to the shoulder and begin my trudge back to retrieve my hat.  Annie laughed at me the whole way and will probably laugh more in disgust when she reads this now.  But that was my hat.  Now that hat’s been long gone, but I have one that has taken its place and another one that I’m working on.
    You see, that was my hat.  When I look at my worn one now it tells stories.  There is the smell of a thousand fires that it has fanned into existence.  Plenty of sweat from work that I had taken on.  There were trails traveled while hunting, and a place where it had fallen off and been stomped on.  Look inside and you can get a view of a few hairs, and a well-worn brim.  The aroma of sweat, hair tonic, and after shave are there with the hint of wood-smoke.  There is a place on top of the crown, mostly faded out now, where the eldest granddaughter started showing her artistic talents by marking on it with a marker.  Why if that old hat could talk, the stories it could tell.
    Looking at that old hat I see the similarities between that hat and me.  There is a common bond–they both have character.  Like me, that hat took a spell to break it in to fit right.  Now, it slides right over the bumps and lumps on my head.  It is permanently stained from the toils of life just like the creases in my forehead have been etched over time.  That hat was once new and brilliant, silver belly; now, because of the weathering of life it is mostly gray, with only a remnant of silver left.  That hat has some tears just like the scars that I carry.  Yes, don’t mess with that old hat of mind for it took quite a spell to get it that way.
    Maybe the words from this Ed Bruce song can convey some of the meaning.

         “This old hat’s hung on the bedpost too long
          Forgotten like some used to be remembered like a song
          Where all the words are so easy to recall,
          Hmmm, this old hat.

          It’s seen day fade to night in an open sky,
          Beneath the fury of the heavens,
          Kept the rain out of my eyes
          Yet, somehow don’t look as weathered as I,
          Hmmm, this old hat.

          This old hat’s been down some dusty trails,
          And may not look as good as it did new.
          The crown is stained, the brim is torn
          It’s even been walked on a time or two….”

    I’ve walked into stores wearing that old hat and people turn and look.  At wonder if it is at me or the old hat, but then some will walk over and either say, “Nice hat,” or “How much will you take for it?”  There have been plenty of times that folks have tried to buy that hat off my head.  Now, what I think is that they don’t see many who walk with character, much less have it on their head.  A person of character, who knows a good hat, is hard to find these days.  It sort of stuns them for a few moments until they recognize what it is.
    The same is true of a person with righteous character.  They shake up a person of the world and they cause the hackles to rise in an evil person or a fool.  As we walk through this life, the Lord’s character should be evident upon us.  The toils and suffering He took upon Himself showed His true character, so why should we wonder if we get a little sullied and scared from struggles in this life; it only adds to a person’s character.