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

       “The mountains, with their aspens and pines framed by snowcapped peaks, had been like a balm to his soul.”

                   --Duane Boehm  (Sun Over the Mountains)

       "Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountains to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God."
                    --Luke 6:12 (NKJV)

A quotation that is a favorite of mine, and often comes to my thoughts is from the pen of Louis L'Amour.  "Look to the hills.  They are quiet.  The storms sweep over them, and are gone, and most of man's troubles pass the same way.  Whenever you feel that things are getting too much for you, go to the mountains or the desert--it smoothes out the wrinkles in your mind."  Jesus must have understood some of this.  We are told that He often went alone into the wilderness to pray.  To be in His creation, that formed from the words of His mouth was a regular habit of His.  
       However, most of the time, at least in recent years, I contemplate those scenes in my memory or from photos.  I look out the window where I do my morning reading and writing and can see the forest where we live.  It is not much, but there is still solitude under the trees as their branches sway in the wind.  I recall the words of Thomas Merton, "The silence of the forest, the peace of the early morning wind moving the branches of the trees, the solitude and isolation of the house of God; these are good because it is in silence, and not in commotion, in solitude and not in crowds, that God best likes to reveal Himself most intimately to men."
       What I saw on this past trip was what man calls "progress."  The once mountains where I roamed were filled with houses and other structures.  The roads were paved and the traffic vastly increased.  More and more I see that "the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." (Romans 8:23, NKJV)  There is a groaning and moaning as God's marvelous creation is in pain from the advances of progressive man.  It will continue until that time in the near future when Jesus Christ will reign on earth during the Millennial and remove the curse.
       Special spots that I have been to, camped in, hunted and fished, and enjoyed a special time with the Lord whether actively seeking Him or just enjoying the presence of Him in His creation.  Those special spots are a glimpse of heaven on earth.  Bernard Brady wrote, "Heaven is a place and sense of being."  That is true, but it is far more.  Heaven is the hope of the Christian.  Mountains in their grandeur stretch up toward the heavens, but it will be nothing in comparison with what God has for us for Heaven is not just a sense of being, it is a real place.  There are those special places here, now.  There is "that spot that has much charm, it greatly soothes weary minds, relieves anxieties and cares, helps souls who seek the Lord greatly to devotion, and recalls to them the thought of the heavenly sweetness towards which they aspire." (Bernard of Clairvaux)  But one day, we shall actually be in the presence of God.  Heaven is where God lives; it is our spiritual home, a place that is reserved for us.
       "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:2, NKJV)  That will be in Heaven.  "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3, NKJV).  That's better than just smoothing out the wrinkles in our minds--that is Heaven.

D.C. Adkisson

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