Echoes From the Campfire

He remembered the pungent smell of cedar, the deep red glow of dying fires, the sound of wind in the mesquite.”
                    –Louis L’Amour  (Flint)

        “The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire.”
                    –Psalm 29:7 (NKJV)
Friends, family, acquaintances, loved ones, and strangers–this will be the last Campfire for a week or so.  Yep, taking off again.  That’s a benefit of retirement; I’m not tied down to a desk, career, boss, or other.  I can’t really pack up and go whenever I please, but my calendar certainly is more flexible than ever before.  
       If you’ve been around many campfires you’ll know that at times a breeze will sweep through causing the fire to flames and send burning embers into the sky.  Most of these come to naught, however, they can be dangerous and cause a fire where they land.  (Ponder that)  So perhaps the thoughts this morning might be called embers from the campfire, or embers from the flame.
       See, there’s a thought right there.  We have a nice fire, our flame is burning brightly.  Those around are warm, secure, comfortable and we have been able to cook over it.  Then a wind (the Holy Spirit) sweeps through lifting some brightly burning embers into the air.  Some will land and not be noticed, but there may be a few to land and catch fire.  The flames from your campfire have now spread to someone else.  Hmmm, not bad.
Many years ago I was asked if I knew anything about the Book of Barnabas.  Really I was sort of surprised, but then knowing the character of the person asking I figured it fit.  I replied, not ugly, that I did not, that I didn’t even have time enough to study Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to be concerned about Barnabas.  I told them if I was a student of church history I would be more interested.  
       Since that time I have become slightly familiar with the writings of a “Barnabas.”  There is the Gospel of Barnabas, and there is the Epistle of Barnabas.  Some believe that the Barnabas of Acts wrote the Gospel, while few will say the same regarding the Epistle.  Regardless, I am still not going to take the time to study either.  They were not considered for the canon which we now have–neither the Protestant or the Catholic.
       Saying all of that I did come across a saying that is attributed to Barnabas and it is worth pondering.

                    “Let us keep ourselves with the utmost strictness from any kind of wrongdoing; otherwise wrongdoing will get the better of us. Let there be hatred in us for the errors of this world, so that there may be love for us in the world to come. We must not give such rein to our natural instincts that we feel ourselves free to mix at will with rogues and sinners, or we shall only grow to resemble them.”
           “He liked the wind in the grass, himself. And the cedars, too, and the smell of them…. Gnarled, twisted by wind, rooted often enough in rock, still it lived and grew. It took a sight of living and hardship to grow like that, but when they did grow they grew strong, and they lasted.”
                                –Louis L’Amour  (Conagher)

Conagher is one of my favorite Louis L’Amour books and the movie is also among my favorites.  The above quotation brings to mind a man who has worked all his life and now is a gnarled old man.  He is still rooted, and has enjoyed life–even the toils and troubles.  There is the wind again–for the Holy Spirit has guided the man’s life, sometimes working on him in ways that he never began to consider.
I will mention that we are taking our middle granddaughter Kylee with us on this trip.  It will be a “college day” for her as we will be visiting the campus of Evangel University and attending the Homecoming activities.  This is Annie’s 50th homecoming anniversary.  Kylee found my old letter sweater and letter jacket and is going to wear them.  Fitting for homecoming, don’t you think?
       In the meantime, keep praying, keep studying God’s Word, be ready and alert, and don’t go drinking any bad coffee.