Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

So be it to all, whether believer or non-believer, from one who is a believer and a Christian.

While Christmas has been described as both religious and pagan rituals, to me it is not about the birth of Christ. It is simply about Christ. I am but a simple, “uneducated” individual, but I know that God exists and that He demonstrated the greatest of love in sending his Son, an actual part of Himself, to this earth that He created in order to grant salvation to what He has considered his greatest creation.

For all the beauty of both Earth and the heavens, it is all of secondary nature to what is His most beautiful, and yes, capricious creations. In spite of the horrendous actions of the children of Israel, God still provided salvation by His grace to all who would believe.

We have all come close to the end of another year on our calendars, and we have all experienced both joy and sorrow. During this season of Christmas, most all peoples tend to offer joy and love and gifts to those they love. Because of the season and its traditions, we also endure sorrow for any that have passed away in the last year. For suddenly we find ourselves without those persons around us during our celebrations.

Now, if there be anyone believing in the notion that the world will end on December 21 of next year (because of the termination of the Mayan calendar), let me offer this thought of consolation. Yes, I am an uneducated man and I have no idea when the world will end; yes, I am even ignorant of the Mayan calendar and trust other’s comments that the end will be December 21 of 2012; but, I have yet to find a Mayan that can verify to me that the end will come before next Christmas.

So, I will blindly go along and offer to all, even the non-believers and non-Christians, a very Merry Christmas. I don’t do this because of the birthday of Christ, but because of Christ himself. He has offered the ultimate gift, and I am merely trying to advance His kingdom with my paltry little words. His gift is offered for all, not just those of certain nations.

Please consider that when I offer wishes of a Merry Christmas and ask God to bless each and every one of you, I do it not because you are like me in belief, but like me in that you are also a part of mankind and a part of God’s plan. For those reasons, I don’t offer “season’s greetings” or “happy holidays.”

At the risk of losing my “rights” to a photograph and a page from my book endeavor, allow me to provide you a photo and some thoughts from me. After all, the book isn’t progressing too quickly and the following is something that I truly wish to share.

I do this because I truly have love for my fellow man.

Sentinel on the Prairie

Standing in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, this windmill serves as a source of life. In an area where there are very few streams or rivers, much of the water that sustains life is located underground, needing to be tapped by way of drilling and putting up a windmill.

As the fan turns on a windmill, gears in a gearhead at the top move about causing a long shaft, known as a “sucker rod” to move up and down. At the bottom end of that sucker rod is a cylinder that contains “leathers” that in the up and down motion causes water to lift to the surface. The life giving water then spills down a pipe and into a cattle tank, creating a reservoir for both wild and domesticated animals. Many times, hanging somewhere on that windmill tower will be a wire holding a tin cup for the benefit of man as he passes by.

In a treeless area where the land seems flat and desolate, these sentinels stand as an invitation to both man and animal for life saving sustenance. As such, they are almost an emblem of that greater need for life saving sustenance.

As a guiding star once appeared over Bethlehem, it provided a means for mankind to find He who would become a Savior, thus giving us hope for eternal life. While it is not a guiding star, the circular pattern of a windmill fan stands as a beacon to those in need of salvation, although on a temporal basis instead of a heavenly one.

The life giving water from a windmill merely provides our earthly life to be sustained. However, John 4:14 states, “….but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

He has provided us with the opportunity of two lives. Life on earth, served with “temporal” water and the life giving water provide for eternal life, the latter of which can be only found by following the “Light” that is Jesus Christ. May we always be searching for each.

Winter Windmill

Jo and I both offer a very Merry Christmas to all of you.

May God bless and keep you all.

(While this is actually being posted on December 24, 2011, it is because we will be out of town and away from the computer on Christmas day.  However, I felt it important to offer our good wishes, so I am doing it early.)


  1. Very well written. Thank you for serving our country. God Bless Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Tom and Judy Atkinson

  2. Christmas Blessings to you and Jo!

    Melanie White


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