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Spreading the love of Jesus...the Cowboy Way!

"The storm might last for several days. He leaned back and stretched his legs under the table. The coffee was strong, black, and hot."
--Louis L'Amour (The Riders of High Rock)

"“I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through cold and sleepless nights."
--Genesis 31:40 (NLT)
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"Why do you run and hide from life, to try it just ain't smart
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart."
--Hank Williams

Brrr, it was cold outside last week. Not only that, it was cold inside as well. One of the natural gas stations here in Cleveland had a malfunction last week when it was 17 degrees. Yep, you guessed it, no gas--no heat, no stove, no fireplace. On top of that the water in the pipes froze and two of the pipes burst. Yep, it was downright cold. Now, I'm not making excuses, but I fully planned on sending out one more Echo last week before we headed for Lake Conroe, but it was cold.
It reminded me of a few folk that ventured through my life from time-to-time. Maybe you've come across folk like that; those with a cold heart. Those who dredge through life, whining, complaining and thoroughly disgusted with people and life in general. At Christmastime we refer to them as a "Scrooge", but they can be seen in other seasons of life as well. Some folk just seem to have that "bah-humbug" attitude.
These folk need something cheery; something to warm their cold, cold hearts. They need a touch from the fire of the Holy Spirit to touch their lives. I just happened to read the following in my devotions yesterday morning and thought I'd pass it along. It's from A Charles Dickens' Devotional by Jean Fischer; this section was simply titled "Fire."

"The man looked at Nell again, and gently touched her garments, from which the rain was running off in little streams. 'I can give you warmth,' he said, after a pause; 'nothing else. Such lodging as I have, is in that house,' pointing toward the doorway from which he had emerged, 'but she is safer and better there than here. The fire is in a rough place, but you can pass the night beside it safely, if you'll trust yourselves to me.... See yonder there--that's my friend.'
'The fire?' said the child.
'It has been alive as long as I have,' the man made answer. 'We talk and think together all night long.'
The child glanced quickly at him in her surprise, but he had turned his eyes in their former direction, and was musing as before.
'It's like a book to me,' he said...'and many an old story it tells me. It's music, for I should know its voice among a thousand, and there are other voices in its roar. It has its pictures too. You don't know how many strange faces and different scenes I trace in the red-hot coals. It's my memory, that fire, and shows me all my life.'
The child, bending down to listen to his words, could not help remarking with what brightened eyes he continued to speak and muse.
'Yes,' he said, with a faint smile, 'it was the same when I was quite a baby, and crawled about it, till I fell asleep.'"
--The Old Curiosity Shop

On a cold, wintry day when the temperature drops to below the chill line, a nice warm fire is a comforting sight. I can remember many a time coming in from a cold day at work when the warmth of a fire woke up the bones that were chilled.
It is important for us to understand that our God is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29). One of the most common symbols of God and the Holy Spirit is that of fire. The altar is also an important symbol and on an altar is placed the sacrifice to be consumed by fire. We are to have our hearts consumed by the Holy Spirit--dead to self, alive to God.
"God's wrath and scorch and burn, if He so desires, but His love and mercy also provide us with comfort and warmth" (Jean Fischer) Let not the fire of God be a stranger to you. Let Him thaw out that cold, cold heart and free your doubtful mind.
Ira Paine

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