The Benefit of Trials

“The whole benefit of trial consist in silence, patience, rest and resignation. In this condition divine strength is found for the hard warfare, because GOD HIMSELF fights for the soul.”

“In vain you will let your mind run out after help in times of trouble; it is like putting out to sea in a storm. Sit still, and feel after your principles; and if you find none that furnish you with somewhat of a stay and prop, and which point you to quietness and silent submission, … you have never yet learned the Truth from the Spirit of Truth…”

from Daily Strength for Daily Needs. edited by Mary Tileston

Goodbye Facebook

At least for now. Facebook  has become a time consuming, time wasting  item for someone with no more self-control than I seem to have. I will be doing my posting here and welcome any comments or feedback.

Who knows? I may be back to Facebook sooner but probably it will be later. I hope you don’t take it personally.  There are so many dear friends around the world that I thoroughly enjoy keeping up with through Facebook. I hope this will be an adequate way to keep up with you.

As one of my favorite mentors and teachers Bill Dillon used to admonish us:  keep your nose in THE BOOK!

Front Row, Center…

img_6465After our Lord did a wash job on the air with a weekend of rain in the valley and snow on the mountains, He had us well set for another dazzling sunrise over the Sumpter Valley.  I tried to capture it with my otherwise adequate lens but if there is a camera that can really come close to doing justice to our Creator’s paintbrush, I can’t afford it.  And I really doubt that there is such an instrument built by man.  The Creator’s vast array of colors accentuated with just the proper amount of blackness, the subtitles of the hues and variation of intensities of brilliance can only be captured by the camera He built into the visual apparatus with which we are endowed. Our own eyes.

Not just eyes-  but eyes to really see. 
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see…” Jesus told His disciples -and us. Many saw Him and saw His miracles but failed to see Him as the Messiah.

The cattle on the ranch here have eyes and can see when that coyote circled the herd. They can see that the grass is greener across the fence.  Yet even when they look up and behold the glorious sunrise, their nose quickly returns to the ground to satisfy their appetite.

And even an audio/video recorder could capture only a tiny lens full of the vast panorama of creation. And not the screech of the hawk as it calls out to it’s mate to join it in greeting this day.  Nor could it capture the warmth of the smell of wood smoke from a nearby chimney.

But God has given me front row, center seat on the porch of the bunkhouse on the Rock Bottom Ranch!

THANK YOU, Lord!

The Legacy of One Faithful Circuit Riding Preacher of the Past

IMG_1013What is today the McEwen Bible Fellowship in Sumpter Valley Oregon was begun as a Children’s Bible class by a CIRCUIT RIDING PREACHER. The ministry was carried on by faithful women in the valley. They met in the town’s dance hallI which was one of the only buildings that survived the fire that destroyed the town. The old building has been remodeled and added to and is now the meeting place of our congregation of believers.
have had a great time preaching, teaching and visiting churches here in the Northwest.  I rejoice that our Lord has opened many opportunities to serve Him. I have especially appreciated the privilege of preaching in local churches and for 3 different weeks in Bible camps.  As a “circuit riding” preacher it is not all preaching in the pulpit.  Following in the pattern of that circuit riding preacher, Paul, I’ve had a vision to visit some of the places and people I’ve known in the past and see how they are doing, encourage them to press on in the Lord. “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.” (Acts 15:36
One of my “hobbies” is being the marshal on the Sumpter Valley Steam railroad.  The Gold Rush Bandits make it a habit of robbing this train (a reenactment of an actual event in the late 1800’s) and I have never been able to save the gold – but I’ve never lost a passenger.  And I’ve had the privilege of meeting and sharing the Lord with tourist from all over our country as well as Europe, Africa and even from Myanmar who’ve come for the ride.
What a privilege to make a trip back to Florida for the wedding of GRANDdaughter Jennifer and the baptizing GRANDdaughter Jessica!
    
Camp Elkanah       Fort Rock Community Church      Marshal with German tourist
Papa and Jessica, the bride and groom AKA “Princess and St. Andrew”
PS = Please Pray Still for me.  I want to be a blessing and to be used effectively by our Lord in His great work.

The Wit and Wisdom of Grannie Lindsay -4

Just don’t let Him In

Grannie Lindsay’s chair was sitting in the corner of her living room with a big window on her right and a clear view out the two big windows on the front. In the opposite corner was her front door, one of those old fashioned ones with the top half glass and the bottom wood. There was just a lacy sheer curtain that let in the light and she could easily see thru when looking out. But anyone’s view from the outside, approaching across the porch would not be able to get a good look inside.  The first step up onto that old wooden porch with its squeak and creak was better than a doorbell or a burglar alarm. You couldn’t get to her doorbell before Grannie already knew you were there. And with all the windows, she knew who was coming.

“You see that front door, Dun? And those nice big windows?”  Nothing could get past her attention that happened anywhere out front or on the side that Grannie didn’t observe from her favorite chair. It was in that spot that she sat a lot of her later years to read and work her crossword puzzles. And to write notes to us young’uns and occasionally a bit of poetry. I was on the end of the couch closest to her.

“I really like having it just this way. It lets me practice Ephesians 4:27. That says ‘Resist the Devil and he will flee from you’. And the best way to resist him is to ignore him!” It’s like looking out that window and seeing someone coming that I don’t want to waste time with. I just don’t go to the door when they ring my bell.” There was that cute way she wrinkled her nose and let the sparkle show in her eyes.

“You learn to be that way, Dun,” she admonished. “Never give a place to that ole’ Devil,” her translation of Ephesians 4:27.

I learned some good theology at the feet of my dear Grannie!

Lord Willin’ and the Creeks Don’t Rise

I grew up hearing that “if the good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise” – and I thought it was the depth of the water in Bull Creek or Lindsey Creek.  But Grannie told us it referred to an uprising among the Creek Indians – the ones Andrew Jackson fought just west of our home.

CAN YOU COUNT?

Grannie Lindsay also taught us how to count from 1 to 10 “the way the Indians did it.”  I cannot vouch for which of the “Indian” languages she was quoting but I suspect it was one of the clans of the Cherokee.  There were still some of them wandering the woods in our part of Georgia when she was a girl. Could have been Creeks.

Here’s how my sister Lindsay and I remember it:

Pitty,Mitty, Pitty Mitty;  down caw, down caw; Sink to my Sonie Connie; Yankee daw, Yankee daw; chimmey, chimmey, chaw chaw, chay.

The Wit and Wisdom of Grannie Lindsay -2

Grannie’s Thumb and Little Finger
IMG_4048

Grannie Lindsay had two young men she was especially proud of – her “preacher boys”. Her first preacher was also her firstborn grandchild, James W. Lindsay, ‘Jimmy’ to the family and Brother Jim to his many friends.  He was almost 10 years old when Mother announced that she’d be having a baby within the year. Jimmy was well settled into his God-given role as not only the first but the favorite of the whole family of aunts, uncles, cousins and various other relatives. Grandpa was making good headway in developing him into a major-league baseball player. And Jimmy honestly declared that he didn’t care if Martha did have a girl, he would not be impressed and probably wouldn’t even bother to go see “it”.
When the hottest day of the summer of 1939 arrived, so did I. My gender did not please my Mother nor my Grandpa. They both wanted the next baby in the tribe to be a girl. So much so that Grandpa had offered a $100 reward to the first girl to be born into the Lindsay family. I think that Mother eventually forgave me for costing her the reward but she reminded me of it as long as I can remember! And though I turned out to be a disappointment to Mother and Grandpa, I also revived hopes in the rest of Grandpa’s children.  His 3 childless siblings announced their pregnancies within a matter of weeks. (Remember this was the tail end of the Depression and $100 sounded like a fortune to poor folks!)
When they told Jimmy that his new little “it”, was a boy, he was more than just a little disappointed. In fact, he refused to even come see that new runt who he feared would usurp his birthright of most-favored status. When they made him come, he still gave Grannie such grief that she got a good hold on him and pulled him up into her lap. That’s about as indignant treatment as you could give a 10 year old Babe Ruth in the making.
Then she held up her right hand and said “You know I have five children.” And she counted them off, naming each finger, beginning with Clarence, Jimmy’s daddy. She grasped her thumb in her left hand and said “Now, you see this thumb? This is Clarence. He’s my first child. I loved him first because he was the first born. But I don’t love any one of my fingers more than the other.  I need every one of them. And I don’t love any one of my children more than I love another!”
Well, that satisfied Jimmy for the time being. And in fact, it still does.  He reminds me, almost 76 years later that he is Grannie’s THUMB. I just had to settle for being a little finger!
And being a little finger to a woman like our Grannie Lindsay is a great enough standing to suit me.  And to be on the same hand with a Thumb who is a great preacher, a man of God like Rev. Jim Lindsay is an honor that I’ll go to my grave trying to live up to!