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Echoes From the Campfire August 21, 2017
"He knew there was no easy way, and he was not looking for one. It was his pride that he walked his own trail, saddled his own broncs, and fought his own battles. And he earned his own money." --Louis L'Amour (The Key-Lock Man)
"And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation." --Romans 5:4 (NLT) ----------------------------- "History won't let us go and keeps repeating itself, reminding us that human condition hasn't changed." --Richard Herman, Jr.
I read something the other day, that sort of surprised me, mainly the source. I won't go into details but the question was asked, "Is there such a thing as intentional evil?" This person said that evil people do not truly exist, that is, people who are evil at the core. He then used a quotation from Protagoras, "No intelligent man believes that anybody ever willingly errs or willingly does base and evil deeds; they are well aware that all who do base and evil things do them unwillingly." Well, my friends, I am afraid that I am going to have to disagree with this. People purposely choose to do evil all the time. It started way back years ago, "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5, NASB) Man's personal thoughts were always on evil. Below are just a few verses that indicate that man is basically evil. (All from NASB)
"Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil,..." (Proverbs 6:14) "Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil...." (Proverbs 12:20) "And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, 'Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?'" (Matthew 9:4) "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) Another version says the heart is "desperately wicked."
Man, because of the fall, will do evil. That does not mean that man cannot make a morally good choice. But contrary to the good philosopher man does purposely do "base and evil deeds...willingly." That is why there must be a "born-again" experience. They must be made new, the old must be done away with. But Jesus said, that man will fall away and not listen or see the truth. "For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them." (Matthew 13:5, NASB) Man continues on a downward spiral. He may cry for freedom, but in reality he is seeking anarchy. True freedom comes with a price, man cannot be autonomous if he is free. Samuel Rutherford wrote years ago that man to be free must be under the law. David Jeremiah writes, "In order for fallen humans to survive in an orderly society, a moral compass by which one navigates through life is absolutely essential." The more man moves away from a biblical standard, the more anarchy will come to the forefront. The more man sets himself up as autonomous the more evil will prevail. Man must realize that he is a sinner and come to the Savior and only He can set them free. D.C. Adkisson
Echoes From the Campfire--Aug 2
"A man's life was full of trouble and full of question--and so it was like relief to stand up to certainty, to know that he was in front of reality." --Ernest Haycox (Man in the Saddle)
"It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to confront a fool caught in foolishness." --Proverbs 17:12 (NLT) ----------------------------- I have been convinced for many years that most Christians rarely examine the implications of their beliefs. They could not tell you the great doctrines of the faith. When I was principal of a Christian high school one of the things I would ask during an interview of possible teachers or students was how do they know they are a Christian, "born-again." Even with most of the teachers there was much stumbling, and "ah, um." What was it that Mark Noll said when asked about the evangelical mind? "What evangelical mind?" Hebrews 6:1, is a verse that all Christians of any length of time should adhere to and practice.
"Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity."
The last two churches I attended where I taught the adult Sunday School I started my course with a simple, yet needful, study of God. How can we go any further in the faith if we do not know about the One in Whom we are to have faith? What we know about God is vital to our Christian life. Our knowledge of God greatly determines how we act. If we are to have Christ-like character then we must know about God's character. Man will find himself confused and in a dilemma without the knowledge of God. He cannot answer the essential questions of life. Perhaps the doctrine of God that is the most disregarded is His sovereignty. Man does not like to think of the sovereignty of God because that puts God in charge. Man wants to be autonomous, make his own decisions and way in life, not to be "order around" by the Creator of mankind. Yet, this great doctrinal truth is vital to the Christian walk. If gives the believer faith and hope and assurance and without it we have a God of whims and notions. ------------------------ Are you destined for this or that? I have heard many people quote from Jeremiah and say they have a great destiny from God. If you would follow their life from birth to death I wonder what we would see. Would there be greatness, or just the regular life that most of us live? One of our problems is that we do not understand the meaning of "destiny." The believer, we he comes to know Christ, is now destined for eternity in heaven. That is destiny! There is that wonderful Scripture, the steps of the righteous are ordered by God (Psalm 37:23), that is destiny. However, I do believe that there are men who are set apart for a special work. If not Moses, then whom? If not Paul, then whom? Was George Washington destined to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and first President of the United States? If not, whom? Now, this does not take away from free will. Moses could have stayed in Egypt. Paul could have cursed God on the Damascus road. Washington could have refused his position. They were not forced into it, but ah, there is that thing called "destiny." Do some pondering!
Echoes From the Campfire--July 26 "I have always held and maintained that a man should keep faith where it is expressly pledged. This is the bedrock upon which is based all relationships of man with man." --Eugene Manlove Rhodes (Good Men and True) "Show me this loyalty as my sworn friend--for we made a solemn pact before the LORD--or kill me yourself if I have sinned against your father. But please don't betray me to him!" --1 Samuel 20:8 (NLT)--------------------------------- I came across this story in a little study I was doing on the king's of Israel and Judah. Ponder it for a few minutes. A guitarist was asked, "How do you make it seem like your guitar sings?" His Reply: "It's like anything else in life. You need to have sensitivity to deal effectively with a situation, a person, and in my case, with my guitar. "These calluses on the fingertips of my left hand prove my sensitivity toward my instrument. I cost me some pain to be a sensitive musician. "The calluses have not really made me insensitive to pain. Oh, my fingertips don't hurt anymore when I play--but the calluses are reminders. Re- minders of the pain I went through to become sensitive toward my instrument. The practicing hurt. But past the pain was great satisfaction." (taken from Old Testament Royalty)So here is my question: have you developed calluses to make you sensitive because of life? I remember as a kid I would practice hours upon hours. After practice at school I would come home and practice some more. My hands were "soft" and few grounds balls got through my position. Hours were spent working on doubleplays until it almost became second nature. To be sensitive toward life there must be pain of some sort. How can you truly be sensitive toward someone who has lost a loved one if you have not? Calluses develop, and not in the bad sense of the word. They make you so you can deal with life and others in a proper manner.D.C. Adkisson
Echoes From the Campfire--July 20
"A man can walk if he doesn't like the spread he's working on. He can't steal something just because he thinks it's owed him." --C. J. Petit (Gus)
“You must burn their idols in fire, and you must not covet the silver or gold that covers them. You must not take it or it will become a trap to you, for it is detestable to the Lord your God." --Deuteronomy 7:25 (NLT) ---------------------------- I will have to say that most of the people I have worked with over the years were good folk. Starting way back when I bussed tables and washed dishes, through the Air Force, and in education there were really relatively few that did not do their jobs. I used to ask my students if they would hire a B student. Most of them said "no." Are you telling me that you not hire the majority of you, including yourself? Remember, most people in America are just average; that means "C" student. The key is twofold: are they doing the best they can? And, are they doing the job required in quality manner? I have been doing a small study on the kings of Israel and Judah. David was a good king, but he had some problems. One was the rebellion led by a servant who thought better of himself than he should have. He wanted to be king, but he was a lowly servant, yet he led a rebellion. Through his arrogance he tried to turn the people from David. Joab, Abishai and the army went to subdue the rebellion. Joab had Sheba, son of Birchi, cornered. The people in the city where Sheba was hiding feared for their city and said they supported David. Joab said he would leave if he could have Sheba. The people of the city took Sheba, cut off his head and threw it down from the city wall. So much for rebellion; so much for arrogance. --------------------------- Maybe here is a good time to throw in one of my favorite quotations. We are in mid-summer and often we can get the doldrums and then a lackadaisical attitude forms that may lead to depression.
"You must live your life. Make it worth while. Every man, every woman has a burden. Lift yours cheerfully and begin to climb.... Love those with whom fate has placed you. And fight--fight the dark moods, the selfish thoughts, the hateful memories! Work...Love." --Zane Grey
What are you doing to make yourself better: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Since we are more than just body we should be trying to improve ourselves in our areas of life. The second thing to ask is the why. Why should I try to make myself better? The reason is that the Lord made you. Therefore, you are to give yourself back completely to Him; you are to become a "living sacrifice." We are to worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). Because of that we should make our life worthwhile in service to the Lord. D.C. Adkisson
Echoes From the Campfire--July 10
"He closed his eyes and tried to shut out his thoughts. It would be better just to listen to the rain falling, to smell the pines and the wood smoke. They couldn't take that from him--the memory of countless lonely fires built in countless lonely places, a memory that leaves a man with a taste for wild country." --Louis L'Amour (Under the Sweetwater Rim)
"I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them." --Isaiah 42:16 (NLT) -------------------------------- Can you remember your first campfire?
I can't exactly remember mine. When I was a kid, Grandpa would take me fishing. My Aunt Bern would go with us as Grandpa wasn't comfortable with me by himself, me being a youngster and all. If we went to the mountains we wouldn't have a campfire, but Bern would fire up Grandpa's Coleman stove. We would eat breakfast and lunch cooked over that old Coleman. It wasn't a campfire, but it sure was fun back then and a great memory. My first campfire was probably either one time I went camping to Brainerd Lake. I can't remember too much about it; add to it several with my Sunday School class and also the campfires made for special youth services. They always seemed to be special times. After I had a car and I could get out on my own I would spend some time doing just that--being alone. I might add some fishing to it from time to time. I used to practice starting a fire with only one match, or sometimes even using flint and steel, or for the modern person a magnesium match. In the morning it was blowing on a coal left somewhere under the ashes. Then came my famous hat. I don't know how many fires I have fanned into flame with my hat. Sure much easier than getting on your knees and putting your face in the ashes to blow on an ember. After the campfire dies down there is only a glow of the coals and a person enters the tent or their bedroll for the night. It brightens and the wind blows and then goes back to a dull glow. It is still hot and glowing as you fall asleep but the next morning you have to get it started again. Raking through the ashes to find some coals you put on tinder and taking the old hat begin to fan those coals into flames again. In a few seconds there is a flame and now you add kindling and soon there is the fire needed for warmth and for cooking. That is sort of like life. The Holy Spirit has given us gifts (do not confuse gifts with talents--look especially at Romans 12). We tend to let them die down as we sleep. And which of us Christians have not become woozy with sleep and need to be wakened up? Paul tells Timothy to fan them alive again. "That is why I remind you to fan into flame the gracious gift of God, [that inner fire—the special endowment] which is in you...." (2 Timothy 1:6, AMP) D.C. Adkisson
Echoes From the Campfire--July 8
"I'll let the future take care of itself. Whatever falls, I'll be ready." --Zane Grey (Riders of the Purple Sage) "For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save Jerusalem and show my glory to Israel." --Isaiah 46:13 (NLT)
From the sermon I heard yesterday I jotted down some questions and notes. The pastor started the sermon out with this question and it is vital and pertinent. "What will you do with your freedom?" Look at our society. People have freedom, but have forsaken its very important twin--responsibility. People are now using their freedom to destroy freedom. When I was teaching the unit on the American Revolution I would give a paper titled, "Liberty vs Security." We would go over the Declaration of Independence and Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty" speech. This was given every year for almost 30 years and in that time those who said Liberty was more important moved from the vast majority to the now minority. People just do not understand that to be truly safe and secure there must first be liberty. The danger comes when people misuse their liberty. One other question posed by the pastor was this, "What prison are you in?" When true freedom is gone, there is nothing left but a prison of some sort. Take away liberty and the state has you bound. Take away the truth of Jesus Christ and there is nothing left but prisons. There are all kinds of prisons. They key is that the truth will set you free and the condition is that you must continue in His Word.
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” --John 8:31-32 (NASB)
Echoes From the Campfire June 23, 2017 "All a man could do was go on; but I had found that many a problem is settled if a man just keeps a-going." --Louis L'Amour (Killoe) "But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." --Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)---------------------------------- "Leaning on the old top rail Of the big corral...." --unknown Now, here's an important point, so listen up. A person could not lean on the old top rail, nor could they sit there if it wasn't held up by a couple of ol' fence posts. Rails are easily repaired, painted, and/or replaced. The same is not true with the fence post. That post has to be solid, firm in the ground so that rails and other such items can be attached. It's very important that fence posts are made and set in the ground to withstand the weather that may come its way. Let the winds howl, the rains and snow come, and the fence post will still be there. That is determined primarily by how deep it was posted in the ground, and let me tell you that takes work. I was ponderin' that with all of the gyms around today such as Gold's and they promised you bodies made of steel, silver, or diamond there should be manly men out there to bear the storms. By the names of the gyms they attend they should be glistening and really, that is about as far as it gets. The problem they have is they are not posted deep. They may look good, and may look like they could bear the storms, but if they are not posted deep and solid they are in for the short haul. And if they really want a work out they should try digging a few post holes, especially in rocky, rough, uneven terrain. Solid is the key; unwavering no matter the blast. That only comes through study in the Word, not just a little dab here and there. There is so much to dig deep into, so much that God has there is we would take time to dig the posthole deep. It is only then that man can withstand the storms of this life. "There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth." --Psalm 78:69 (NLT)The Lord made His sanctuary as solid and enduring as the earth. Hmmm, seems to me I recall that now, we are the temple, the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps we should look to see if we are solid. Perhaps we should allow the Holy Spirit to post us.
Echoes From the Campfire: May 31
"Many troubles removed themselves if one merely waited; and it was invariably bad policy to be too hasty." --Louis L'Amour (Kilrone)
"For I am waiting for you, O Lord. You must answer for me, O Lord my God." --Psalm 38:15 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 30
"Providence...sure thought about man's comforts when it created night an' shadows. Me, I like shadows. It's all the same as takin' a bath after a hard day's work." --Ernest Haycox (Night Raid)
"God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings." --Psalm 36:7 (HCSB)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 26
"I just kept hobbling along, never looking back because I knew the sight of how little I'd done would discourage me. My eyes were on the trail ahead, as they'd always been." --Louis L'Amour (Passin' Through)
"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come." --Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 25
"Usually he was very optimistic and cheerful. He was building up a home, and he felt there were more important things than making money." --William MacLeod Raine (Rustlers' Gap)
"Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." --Matthew 6:20-21 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 24
"[He] did not realize it until he grew conscious of his alacrity, of his zest with the old camps tasks, in the pause to see and feel and hear and smell the forest which seemed now his alone...." --Zane Grey (Nevada)
"And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever." --Isaiah 32:17 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 23
"Some folks don't put much store in a man's words, but with us it was the beginning and the end. There were some poor folks up where we come from, but they weren't poor in the things that make a man." --Louis L'Amour (Lonely on the Mountain)
"My father taught me, 'Take my words to heart. Follow my commands, and you will live.'" --Proverbs 4:4 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 22
"The forest is a place of silence yet it has its own small sounds, the sound a hunter knows." --Louis L'Amour (Sitka)
"Therefore, he who is prudent and has insight will keep silent at such a [corrupt and evil] time, for it is an evil time [when people will not listen to truth and will disregard those of good character]." --Amos 5:13 (AMP)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 19
He abhorred the drones of life. The desert taught how useless were the idlers--how nature ruthlessly cut them off." --Zane Grey (Wanderer of the Wasteland)
"We give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us." --2 Thessalonians 3:6 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 18
"He liked people, but he felt there was nothing like being alone in the desert or among the mountains, for it is then you begin to know them. The wilderness does not share its secrets with the noisy or the talkative; its secrets come to you with silence." --Louis L'Amour (Callaghen)
"This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.'" --Isaiah 30:15 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 16
"But this land spoke to him, whispering a song to his ears." --Louis L'Amour (Brionne)
"And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God's purpose in this is that people should fear him." --Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 15
"Those nights of sleeping on the ground and in the rain take a toll on a man as he gets older." --Lou Bradshaw (Cain...Just Cain)
"So I pray that God, who give you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." --Romans 15:13 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 12
"She has a rare quality of making a home wherever she is, and of finding the beautiful in every place." --Louis L'Amour (Kilrone)
"Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: 'There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!'" --Proverbs 31:28-29 (NLT)
Echoes From the Campfire: May 10
"They can't be men until they've learned how to endure pain." --Max Brand (The Desert Pilot)
"Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road." --Luke 10:4 (NLT)
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