Echoes From the Campfire

Wherever a man is, there is work to do.  That’s the best part of it.  My friend, there is a Hell.  It’s when a man has a family to support, has his health, and is ready to work, and there is no work to do.  When he stands with empty hands and sees his children going hungry, his wife without the things to do with.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Bendigo Shafter)

    “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
              –1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV)
Friends, I’m sure glad I can still do a few things.  Now, I’m not as young and limber as I used to be, and sure can’t hump the boonies like I used to do.  The legs have aches and pains, and the ol’ ticker has its problems, but I reckon I can be of use in some ways.  Just not like I used to be.
    One thing for sure, the heart needs to be in the right place.  It definitely can be more attentive to God.  That’s a blessing of my life right now.  I can definitely be more contemplative than in years past.  I have more ability to do so as I’m not trying to do this or that anymore.  When a man can’t do something is one thing, but when he has the ability and is too busy to care for his family or is traipsing about doing his own thing and not caring about the things of the Lord then there is a problem.
    I’m thankful that we have not had to deal with the things my parents did–the Great Depression.  There are the “snowflakes” out there who are moaning and whining about not being able to get by.  And, by the way, “snowflakes” are not just confined to Millennials.  They want their school bill done away with, but a debt should be paid.  Scripture tells us that we should count the cost before undertaking a major endeavor, hmmm, such as a large debt.
    Remember, some of you, others do not have the slightest idea of the following analogy and I guess that may be a blessing (or a gap in their experience), the televisions of yore.  You would sit down to watch your favorite show and all of a sudden the picture would turn to “snow.”  You would get up and play with the “rabbit ears” to try to get a clear picture.  Sometimes it worked, other times it didn’t.  But you would twist them this way, and then twist them that way.  Finally, maybe, hopefully, the picture would be clear and you would sit back down and then the picture would start moving up and down or back and forth.  You would get back up and find the little dials:  vertical hold, horizontal hold, and would move them depending on the problem.  You would move them and the movement would slow down and finally, as you held your breath, you would release the dial hoping that the picture would stay steady.
    Compare that to your life in Christ.  The television is on, your life.  You are connected to Him.  However, often because of interference there is “snow”.  You can’t see or make out the picture.  Your life is a mess because there is something interfering with the connection.  Or the picture is rolling and is out of whack, just like your life might be and you need some adjustment.  There are many things that may be causing the problem and the answer to that would be to get rid of that particular thing in your life.  Sometimes the picture is there, but not steady and you may not be sure what the problem is.  Then you need to get in the Word more, pray more, hmmm, and it is so popular in many circles at this time of year, fast more.
    A couple of thoughts about fasting to fix the problem.  First, do not try to manipulate God.  He sees the heart and your motives.  Second, fasting should show we are serious about God and wanting Him in our lives.  If we fast to lose weight, well, that may be good for the physical man, but it does nothing for the spiritual man.  Fasting should be accompanied by prayer and study of God’s Word.
    (Thanks to Pastor Pool, for the idea of the television and his sermon last Sunday on fasting.  See, I do listen!)