Christian Cowboy Poetry and more

Christian Cowboy Poetry and more
Available thru rangerhymer@hotmail.com

Friday, December 30, 2011

Hey, Jude!

I admit it, I am a fan of The Beatles music. It still brings back memories of younger days in Kansas City, where I grew up. So, a while back, after reading the book of Jude in the Bible, I was inspired to write my version of a Beatles hit. With a little work, your church choir might be able to do something with it. Let me know.

Hey, Jude !

Hey, Jude, you made me sad
with the warnings there in your letter;
reminders to guard our mind and our heart
that’s how we start to make things better.
Hey Jude, you’re words are clear.
You foretold then what we see growing
Perversions, like Sodom there by the sea
aggressively,
their seeds are sowing.
You say they walk the way of Cain,
clouds with no rain
They carry the world toward destruction
And they don’t know that it’s a curse,
it will get worse
By turning their back on your instruction
Da da da da da da da da da
Our God, won’t let us down
We’re inspired by what’s in your letter
Reminders to fight for faith in our heart;
be set apart to make life better.
We must speak out against their sin;
time to begin
you’re calling the faithful to be soldiers
And now we know, just what to do
With prayer it’s true
The power of God will make us bolder
Da da da da da da da da da Yeah
Hey, Jude, God’s Spirit who
used your true words to make us better
reminds us to speak in love and begin
telling again what’s in your letter
that will make us better, better, better,

Jeff Hildebrandt © April 30, 2010

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Southern Cross Revisited

For years, everytime I hear Crosby,Still and Nash sing Southern Cross, I just stop and sing along. Well, a while back I started toying with the words and think I've turned that dynamic sing-along melody into something that could be used in worship. So, if you know a church music director who is old enough to appreciate CSN...pass this on. And you can find Southern Cross on YouTube and sing along.

Southern Cross Revisited
I heard the call as a child; it didn’t change me
I learned it all but then, I turned away
I was livin for myself on the outside
Twas a downhill run to judgement day.
Though I’ve sinned in my journey
God has been faithful.
The Holy Spirit has been sent to
guide me on my way
Thru the noisy world His quiet voice
was there to call me
and then one night I realized
just why I’d run away.

Think about how many times I have fallen
Satan accuses me and I end up stallin’
But heaven assures me that all will be forgotten
Jesus came to save us from our sin,
so repent and live again
For God’s Love can endure
And you know it will.
When I truly saw the cross for the first time
I understood why Jesus came this way.
Cause the truth that had been hidden
was seen clearly
And it’s as bright as God’s promise;
the glory of a comin’ day
Now, I’m living for the Lord,
my hope in glory
And my faith is an anchor holding me
tight to the Holy claim
that when I slip, my sins will be forgiven
by the one who conquered death
and Jesus is His name.

Think about how many times you have fallen
When Satan accuses you, do you end up stallin’?
But heaven assures us that all will be forgotten
Jesus came to save us from our sin, so repent and live again
For God’s Love can endure

And you know it will.
And you know it will.

So we’re tempted and we’re tried
and molested
And though sometimes we fail
remember what to do
You will survive being tested
Jesus the Lord will be there
And God’s Grace will see you thru
Look upon the cross

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2010

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What is Truth?

How much of our reality is just our perception? How often do we ignore what we don't like or what is difficult to accept because the "truth" is just too hard to live with?

What is Truth?
(Matthew 7:21)

“I promise I will tell the truth,”
the cowboy told the judge,
then proceeded to regale the court
with details of the grudge
that ended with a shouting match
and punches being thrown
by black and blue combatants
who’s motives were unknown.
“I promise I will tell the truth,”
the barmaid told the court
but her story contradicted
what the cowboy did report.
“I promise I will tell the truth,”
another witness swore
but his story differed greatly
from the two that came before.

So many of us think the truth
is what we want or feel.
But that’s just our perspective
and often, it’s not real.
Truth is Truth, no matter what.
It can’t be bent or swayed.
Truth is simple; black and white.
It can’t be slightly grayed.

Those who don’t acknowledge
God live this pastel lie;
You have your truth and I have mine.
But then they wonder why
the people we depend upon
are those who rob us blind.
And then they cry for justice.
But justice, they will find
requires some rules for right and wrong
that stem from what is true
and what is fair for everyone
not just a group or two.
Even some with faith in God
turn blind eyes to what’s true
because they can’t imagine God
will really follow through
on promises of punishment
for those who don’t believe.
They think that God will change His Truth
to fit what they perceive.
But the God who made the universe
did it with a plan
including what we call free will.
Just so you understand
that means we get the chance to choose
what’s easy or what’s true.
Too many pick the easy path
and if that’s true of you
be warned that your decisions now
will have eternal weight.
Believe and witness to the Truth
and do not hesitate
because our God has made it clear
in Truth, there’s just one way
to guarantee eternal life.
Accept Jesus Christ today.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2010

Regrets

I wonder if I'm talking to myself or if this might touch a sensitive spot in you as well.

Regrets

What would you do
if you only knew
what happens an hour from now?
What would you say
if you knew that today
would be your last chance somehow?

What would you do
if it came down to you
to witness and gather a stray?
Would you truly confess
if you knew it would bless
some soul that had lost its way?

What would it take
for you to forsake
your cozy and comfortable place?
Who would you tell
to keep them from hell
and show them the way to God’s Grace?

What would you do
if it really were true
God’s harvest would happen today?
So what makes you think,
in the time of a wink
their life won’t be taken away?

What would you feel
if those what-ifs were real
and you never did witness or pray?
Would you always regret
the chance you’ll never get
to help them avoid judgment day?

What will you do
knowing God expects you
to be bold and to speak without fear?
Will you speak up in love,
share the Truth from above?
Cause the truth is, God’s judgment is near.

Jeff Hildebrandt © Sept 28, 2011

Have Buns Will Travel

I shared this with my pal, Johnny Western, who wrote the Ballad of Paladin. (you can sing along at the end of every episode of Have Gun Will Travel on Encore Westerns) He thought it was funny so I'll share it with you.

HAVE BUNS WILL TRAVEL

Have buns, will travel
reads the side of his van.
a chef on a mission
in a hungry land.
His buns raising higher
and his icing's thin.
The warm, gooey goodness
oozing down, down, down your chin.
Sticky Buns, Sticky Buns
Latte's with foam.
Sticky Buns, Sticky Buns
Please, take some home...

Jeff Hildebrandt © Oct. 11, 2011

Tombstone Tale

Tombstone Tale

I went to Tombstone one July.
Folks shake their heads and ask me why
I’d visit that forsaken spot
especially when it’s so darn hot?
I have no adequate answer except to say
I grew up watching tales of old;
of outlaws and of heroes bold;
like Wyatt Earp, who came to town
and settled everybody down.

While driving through the vast expanse
of creosote and cactus plants
I felt a sense of awe and wonder
at legends launched with 6 gun thunder.
Arroyos gouge this short scrub land
so deep they’d hide a horse and man
who’d sit and wait to pounce and prey
on anyone who chanced their way.

Their ghosts must ride this desert still.
What else explains the tingling chill
and goose bumps on my arms and back
while traveling in this sun baked track?
But even stranger on that day;
the feeling seemed to go away
as I got closer to the town.
The spirits just were not around.
Wyatt’s ghost, some locals say
still keeps the evil souls at bay.
But there are stories, late at night
of the unexplained and out of sight
that thump across the Bird Cage floor,
walk to the cribs and close a door.

The old west days have long since gone.
But with each Arizona dawn
its clear that Tombstone will survive
by keeping history alive.
We saddle our imagination
and ride to visit each location,
from Boot Hill to the Oriental.
We’re drawn by something sentimental;
just to walk where legends did
and live the dreams we had as kids.

There’s more there than the gunfight scene
from movies, books and magazines.
It’s the stage where real life drama played;
the weak went east, the sturdy stayed.
Its where you learn that cowboy means
more than boots and starched blue jeans,
more than Colts and campfire food.
Cowboy is an attitude.
Those old time cowboys were about
taking all that life dished out
and sticking till their job was done,
from day’s first light to setting sun.

It’s a lesson we can teach our kids;
live like those old cowboys did.
Work honest, hard and lend a hand.
Ride for the Boss, Ride for the Brand.
So maybe now you know just why
I went to Tombstone in July.
I changed my “can’t,” to “yes I can,”
in that Arizona frying pan.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005/2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thank God for Geezers

A few days ago, I saw something listing a number of positives about old people. I know, "Old People" is not politicaly correct but that's what it was titled. So many ethnic and special interest groups have changed their names, I think it's time those of us with advanced maturity consider a switch from Senior Citizen to Administration Target.

Thank God for Geezers

Thank God for Old Timers who still respect the cause
that brought an end to tyranny and helped set up the laws
to benefit all people, not just a chosen few.
Thank God for the ones who fought; protecting me and you.

Thank God for the Geezers, reminding us what’s right,
reminding us of past mistakes and turning on the light
of freedom that shines bright enough to keep us on our way
toward a better future with help from yesterday.

They stand for the National Anthem
and proudly sing along.
They show respect for others
and fix things that are wrong.
They don’t like what they hear and see
nowadays in movies or TV
You can hear them say they’re sorry
if they bump you on the street
and they’ll extend a greeting hand
everytime you meet.
They have courage and integrity
and wisdom they can share.
If we take time to let them
they will show how much they care.

So, thank God for Old Fogies who tell it like it was
but spare the gory details. They only share because
they know that it will help us all to learn from their mistakes
and find ways to improve our world for every body’s sake.

Jeff Hildebrandt © June 15, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Got Troubles, 2011

The mighty Mississippi
just couldn’t be contained,
the more they built the levies up,
the more upstream it rained.
Across the heartland cyclones ripped
and wrecked their twisted death
then more tornadoes followed up
before they caught their breath.
Last year saw the Gulf Coast reel
and floods hit music city.
This May folks from South to North
need more than just our pity.
Charity begins at home
then moves on down the block
so let’s make sure these neighbors
have some hope when they take stock
of what they lost and what survived
and how they’ll start anew.
They need to know that God still cares.
It’s up to me and you
to help them cope and not lose hope;
feed body, soul and heart.
Donations thru your local church
are one good way to start.
So, make a contribution,
do what you can today.
And keep them in your daily prayers,
cause that’s the cowboy way.

jeff hildebrandt © May 25, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Great Escape

Local police are reporting today
that a con man they nabbed has gotten away.
He’s vertically challenged.
Fortune telling’s the charge
they say he’s a Small Medium... at Large.

Jeff Hildebrandt © May 17, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Exorcist Revenge

Occasionally a joke or story will strike me as a poem. Afterall, cowboy poetry got its beginning as a way to tell stories in an interesting manner. This is just such a poem.

The Exorcist Revenge

A lady seemed really obsessed;
thought a demon had got her, she guessed.
Had it driven away
but then, she wouldn’t pay
now she finds that she’s been repossessed.

Jeff Hildebrandt © May 17, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mountains in the Mirror

I got an email request for Mountain in the Mirror and asked how the person had seen it or learned about it. Can you say possible marketing opportunity? Well, this was the answer: Jeff: I am a sub teacher in Grand Junction, Colorado. On the wall in this teacher's office where I am subteaching is your poem with your name on it. Where this teacher got it-I do not know? I LOVE IT! So, I started searching for you on the internet & took a chance that I would find you. Yepee ! I did !

Mountains in the Mirror

There are mountains in the mirror
as I drive to work each day
and I can’t help but watch them
at each stoplight on the way.
Through the brown and leafless branches,
past the foothills, dark and dry,
God’s majestic handiwork
juts upward to the sky.
And if I leave for home in time
there is glory to behold
as the sun sets past those mountains
and the sky is pink and gold.
Do you think it’s just coincidence
or was it pre-arranged
that what I see each way to work
is God’s mighty mountain range?
The sight lifts up my spirit
and I thank God right out loud.
for the beauty He’s created
mixing peaks with sky and clouds.
There are many things reminding me
to praise the Lord of Hosts
but the mountains in the mirror…
that’s the one I like the most.

Jeff Hildebrandt, © 2000
Here's your chance to share it with a friend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Portrait of Valor Unveiling

Guess which former Army Staff Sgt has been asked to emcee and perform at the Center for American Values when they unveil the portrait of our newest Medal of Honor Recipient? And guess who will be on stage with 3 Medal of Honor recipients? Guess who better get busy polishing his boots? It all happens this Saturday, May 14, in Pueblo, CO.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a devil's demise

The country paused and held its breath.
Was it really true?
After 10 years they had found him
and knew just what to do.
Silently, they tracked him down,
removing all resistance.
Forcefully, our posse proved
the value of persistence.
Our leaders learned to “cowboy up”
though hope got mighty thin
that we could track that devil down
before he struck again.
So, thank God for the analysts
who puzzled up the clues.
And thank God for the Navy Seals
who brought us such good news.
Thank God for their courage,
for their skill and dedication.
Though we may never know their names
they deserve our acclimation.
As do the weary sentinels
who daily guard the door
in order to keep terrorists
from spreading to our shore.
A victory is ours today
but the conflict isn’t done.
So, Cowboy Up America
until this war is won.

Jeff Hildebrandt © May 3, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flint Eyed

This is inspired by a painting on Bob Boze Bell's True West Magazine blog site. I've included the link and hope it gets you there. http://blog.truewestmagazine.com/
If not, let me know. You might want to read the poem and picture it in your mind then look at the painting and see how close this comes.

Flint Eyed

He crouches on a grassy perch above the prairie;
Flint eyed, focused where each sunrise
brings with it the
comfort of yesterdays.

He crouches; silently seeking signs
in the cycle of sameness
but sensing sorrow.
He knows tomorrow
long shadows on short grass
foretell an end to what has been.

But for now, he crouches;
moist eyed
as sunrise leads to
sunset.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 4/26/2011
inspired by a Bob Boze Bell painting.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Empty Tomb Rolls

You may have heard of this, but I just learned about it from my wife, who is a pre-school teacher. It's a way to illustrate the Easter miracle for children. They call it: Empty Tomb Rolls. Have the kids flatten out a large Grands bisquits and put a large marshmallow in the center of each one. Then pull up the corners and pinch them together. Put your bundle, upside down, on a cookie sheet and bake them as indicated on the package. When they're done, the marshmallow is gone, leaving an empty tomb in the center.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Easter Charade

Easter, like so many of our expressions of faith, gets watered down by those well-meaning but misguided souls who refuse to see the Truth in what the celebration is all about. Some of them will be in the pew next to you.

The Easter Charade

Easter Greetings, Easter Bonnet,
Easter Dress with ruffles on it.
Easter Outfits, brand new shoes,
Sunrise Service on the news.
Easter Sunday we all go
to church to see the fashion show.
The pews are packed; it’s wall to wall
Easter Lilies line the hall.

Easter baskets come in handy
to carry all your Easter candy
and Easter eggs which are designed
for some to hide and some to find.

Easter sales on summer clothes;
How it happened, no one knows.
The Easter Bunny came one day
and simply took the Truth away.

Now, this yearly celebration
is over eggs and not salvation.
And yet, God’s gift is there for you.
To get it all you have to do
is talk to God, confess your sin
and ask for help to start again.

It’s time to choose; love or money?
Either worship God, or the Easter Bunny.

Jeff Hildebrandt © April 1, 1991

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pre-Destined Improvisation

Before you vote me off the island, consider the controversey that centers on free will versus pre-destination, pre-determination and the maze that makes up our daily grind. In the end, will that distraction be worth the destruction that it causes?

Pre-Destined Improvisation

My life is a scripted reality show.
What comes next? I don’t know
but the one who wrote the story does
and he won’t let me know because
he wants to see how I react
to each new challenge and attack.

I know my character’s history
and have in mind who I should be
in relation to the other actors.
But then, there are the unknown factors
that derail my train of thought
and totally confuse the plot.

The ending may be written down
but my story seems to bounce around
like a pinball’s bumper ricochet.
I head in many different ways.
Flashing lights, no control,
speeding t’ward that little hole
that means my game is finally done.
Did I loose or have I won?

Suddenly, I’m launched again
by bouncing off an unseen friend
who, by some chance, was in the way
and now I find, I’m back in play.

I wonder where this course will lead,
then run across someone in need.
I pass a derelict and nod.
I think, “But for the Grace of God.”
He extends a pleading hand.
I reach out to help him stand
then, smiling, send him on his way
and suddenly, he’s back in play.

It seems my life is improvised
but that is just because my eyes
are focused on what lies ahead.
If I look back, I’ll see instead
the show’s director always knew
exactly what I would go thru.
He knew at times I would regret it,
but when they roll the final credit,
everyone; the crew and cast
who have been faithful to the last
will understand the story lines.
We’ll know exactly what defines
success in everything we’ve done.
It’s our acceptance of the one
who made the scenery, set the stage
and offered guidance on each page.
So, make the time to sit and look
at just what’s in the Author’s Book.
You’ll find it’s full of needed clues
and that, my friend, is real Good News.
Accept your part and play your roll
with all your mind, your heart and soul.
And in the end your part will be
renewed by God, eternally.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 3/3/11

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sometimes I Forget

Sometimes I find that I forgot
what put me in that place;
the honkytonks and rowdy rides
that lead to my disgrace.
Then, just like on that C.S.I.
a flashlight casts its beam
around my mind until it finds
a memory I’d not seen
or thought about for many years;
the folly of my youth.
The worldly haze and spiteful days
spent running from the truth.
Santana sang of evil ways
and that you had to change.
I’d sing along, like nothing’s wrong
while riding Satan’s range.
And then I see what blinded me
and kept me from the light.
I recognize that blood-shot eyes
had blurred what was my plight.

Sometimes I find that I forgot
just how I left that place.
I did not do it by myself,
it took Amazing Grace.
I marvel at how God saved me
and know I represent
the transformation God intends
for all who will repent.
When I accepted Jesus Christ
the things I valued most
became far less important
than the Holy Lord of Hosts.
Eternal life began right then
despite the devil’s rush
to keep me sinking deeper
in my mire of mental mush.
So I slog on thru the quagmire
on my way to higher ground
where I know the Rock of Ages
and God’s Glory will be found.

God tells me I should not forget
the reason for my past;
how He allowed my worldliness
until the time, at last,
was right for me to turn around.
And now I can relate
to those who run from righteousness.
Show them their sorry state
can be replaced with love and life
like God has done for me.
The Truth is that it’s not too late
to start life eternally.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2010

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Festival of the West

There was a wonderful event in Scottsdale, AZ last weekend. I had the pleasure to be there and thought I'd share some thoughts. Hope to see you there next year.

FESTIVAL OF THE WEST

You know what attracts us
to this rock, dirt and cactus?
Cowgirls are good looking,
there’s Chuck-wagon cooking.
Rope spinners do tricks,
there’s food on a stick.
Re-enactors are dandy,
there’s pink cotton candy.
Trick pistol spinners
and real cowboy dinners.
Fried funnel cakes,
Chicken fried steaks,
potatoes and beans.
I loosen my jeans.
I admit, I’m a gobbler
for Dutch oven cobbler.
There are movie stars,
ice cream bars
Cowboy singers,
western swingers,
Poets and pastry
that’s ever so tasty.
Furniture makers,
fruit pie bakers,
Panel discussions,
Blueberry muffins,
Kids in chaps,
Nobody naps
There’s Bob Boze Bell,
with True Stories to tell
We came for the fun
and when all was done
We find we’ve been blessed
by this Fest of the West.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Even Atheists deserve a holiday

The atheist said, “Enough’s enough,
it’s time I went to court.
Holidays are stacked against me
and I need the law’s support.”

“The Christians have their Easter.
They have Christmas and what’s more
the Jews take off for Hanukkah
and are gone for Yom Kippur.
There’s nothing for the atheist
and judge I must insist
you end discrimination.”
The judge said, “Case dismissed.”

The athiest said, “I object.
My lawyer will appeal.”
The judge said “There’s no reason
to prolong this sad ordeal.
Your claim has little merit,
I will not be reversed.
Only fools say there’s no God,
so your holiday’s April 1st.”

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1/21/11

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Attitude Check

The faster you read this,the better it sounds. Unless of course you read it silently to yourself then the words just bounce around your brain and make no sound at all.

Attitude Check

He’s a horseback, worn tack,
cut no slack, got-yer-back,
Buckaroo
with scuffed boots, denim suits,
loud hoots and deep roots.
He’s a working man with a red-neck tan.
His only plan’s do what he can
with what he’s got cause he was taught
no matter what, your only thought
is get it done.
Done right, of course without remorse
and preferably done from a horse.
That’s the Cowboy Way.

I hate to say but now-a-days
we’ve turned away from that mainstay.
We want instant pudding and gratification.
We’ve become a shortcut nation.
Our attitude is like our food;
fried and fast not meant to last,
just finger licking, not rib-sticking.
Job switching, spouse un-hitching, ears twitching
for something new that we can do.
Some have no plan or attention span
and they don’t stand
for their belief and feel no grief
when they don’t get it done.
That’s the Worldly Way.

But we can’t hide the cowboy pride
we feel inside when we don’t slide
or shirk our work
but do it right, so every night
the setting sun sees jobs well done.
The world says that we’re obsolete
and can’t compete with those who cheat
to earn their pay. But cowboys say
just like this rhyme, it takes some time
but every hand should understand
riding for the boss and brand
means every task is like a test
and we should always do our best
and we’ll be proud when all is done.
That’s Cowboy Ethics 101

Jeff Hildebrandt © 3/10/11

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Milk of Human Kindness has gone Sour

I wrote the first couple of verses of this next poem as a way to channel the churning I was feeling. I didn’t plan to share it with anyone until I went to a Bible study that focused on God’s mercy toward us and how He expects us to show mercy to everyone else.

“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:35-37

“Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.
Mercy triumphs over judgment!” James 2:13
That’s what finished the poem and why you’re reading it.

My Milk of Human Kindness has gone sour

I have a hard time caring
when fanatics claim foul play
about how we reacted
when twin towers were blown away.
I cannot find compassion
for those hell-bent to die
and don’t care for the mothers
or the children standing by.

They claim that we’re all Satan
and we take it on the chin.
God forbid that we upset them
or stop them coming in
to undermine our government.
Oops, sorry, we’re too late.
Our country crumbles ’round us
’cause we can’t discriminate.
The bleeding hearted news doves
no longer can be trusted.
So, let me quote that country song:
“My give-a-damn is busted.”
I know that I should love them
and turn the other cheek.
But, I’ll need God to help with that,
’cause frankly all I seek
is a swift end to this holy war
that sends them to their heaven
with a taste of their own medicine.
Remember 9-11?
Then God says, “Where’s your mercy,
where’s compassion, understanding?
Love, don’t hate, your enemy
as the scripture is demanding.”
The fate I prayed befalls them
could have been my destiny
had God not shown his mercy
and sent Christ to die for me.

And judgment without mercy
is the judgment that awaits
those whose hearts are hardened.
But the Bible also states
if we love those who mistreat us,
God’s mercy will all be great.
So, help me Lord to love them
and take away my hate.

I shared it with a Christian friend who admitted he related more to the first couple of verses than he did with the last stanza. How about you?

Of course, just like this poem, when the frustrations overflow in us, we can ask for God’s peace and power to change. Because greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's Just Not Fair

Now, here is an interesting trail. It reminds me of a carnival fun house; lots of mirrors and distractions that are meant to confuse and disorient us. Stick close to the path or you’re liable to get lost.

Does it seem, at times, like you are overwhelmed with obligations; that the inmates are running the asylum and no matter what you do, you can’t win?

I used to be a volunteer firefighter and I still have some of my equipment. I feel like wearing my helmet to work to protect myself from all the stuff that’s rolling down hill in my direction. And the boots sure come in handy when the, you know what starts getting deep.

But, as Christians, we have something else to cling to when troubles lead to self-pity. It is called Faith and with it, we can withstand today’s trials because we are assured of tomorrow’s victory.

It’s Just Not Fair

You work and you work,
but all you can gain
is higher blood pressure
and splitting migraines.
You can’t get ahead,
in fact, you lose ground;
Inflation and taxes
are wearing you down.
When heartache and pain
are all you can see
do you cry out,
“Good God, why do this to me?”
You’re crippled, alone;
you live in a chair.
Do you scream and lash out
’cause life isn’t fair?
Your skin isn’t white,
no job and no hope.
Will blaming the system
help you to cope?
The sewer’s your home,
when it overflows
do you sit and complain
about all of your woes?
Or, do you tread water;
give praise, not a curse
and thank God, the Father,
that it isn’t worse.
You’ll just waste your life
and won’t stand a chance
if you don’t see the “why”
of your circumstance.
Christians need teaching
and training that’s tough
’cause we’re facing a foe
who really plays rough.
Remember poor Paul
from Philippians One.
His chains helped him witness
and more souls were won.
He used his ordeal,
not let it use him.
And when he faced trials,
his faith didn’t dim.
Philippians Four,
recite with one voice
Rejoice in God always,
in all things rejoice.

When we lose track of Philippians Four, bitterness and frustration can boil over into anger and aggravation.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wrangler's Response

In Matthew 26 and Mark 14, Jesus told the disciples the poor will always be with us. We should do all we can to help ease the pain of injustice, strife and poverty but our goal should really be to show those we meet that there is hope in Christ for the future. I just don’t think you can do that when you’re involved in an effort that wants to downplay God’s role.

I had a personal brush with that a few years ago. One of the major charities that helps fund hundreds of worthwhile organizations was looking for a cowboy poet to help kick off their local campaign. I told them I’d love to do it and shared a poem I thought would be just right.

A Wrangler’s Response

A Cowboy’s never taller
than when he’s on his knees.
A Cowboy’s never stronger
than when he asks God, please.
A Cowboy’s never braver
than when he sheds a tear
for everyone who’s suffering
all throughout the year.

Well, the response was thanks, but no thanks. “We can’t use anything that includes a reference to God.” They just want our money. Well, they aren’t getting mine.
That’s one reason I funnel my charitable contributions through the church and encourage the church to make sure its charitable donations don’t just get pooled into some non-Christian group’s assistance programs.

I feel it’s important that those who benefit know it’s because God loves them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Devil's Mission

We often get so focused on doing, we lose track of why we’re doing it. It’s one of those half-truth scenarios the devil has been using
since he convinced Eve to eat that apple.

Your church is asked to contribute to a non-partisan, non-denominational, community based mission project called, “Hope for the Hopeless” or something like that. You just give money and they’ll be able to help thousands more than your church could do on its own. What would you do?

Let’s see, faith without works is dead, therefore, the more works, the better. So God must want us to help as many people as possible. Helping is what matters, not who does the helping. Right?

The Devil’s Mission

If I were the devil, you know what I’d do?
I’d do all I could to sabotage you.
I wouldn’t stick strictly to doing what’s wrong.
I’d win over souls by way of a song
or some other ploy, using things you enjoy.
Of course, I’d use movies and prime time TV
to show you how great greed and lusting can be.

And while your attention is focused on smut
I’d find somewhere else where I’d undercut
all your claims of good works and helping the poor
or feeding the hungry. And then what is more
I’d organize better; be first on the scene
with disaster relief. Do you see what I mean?

If I were the devil I’d protest and plead
that an end to abortion is what we all need.
I’d protest pollution, I’d say save the whales,
I’d show starving children, cause that never fails
to focus attention on somebody’s plight
so all the do-gooders can do what is right.

But, if I were the devil, the one thing I’d hate
is filling a soul, while filling the plate
of some down-and-outer who came off the street.
Don’t feed him on Jesus; just give him some meat.
Don’t think of your mission as means to an end
be content with the fact that you’re being a friend.
So, if I were the devil, my fears would be solved
if you’d only give money and not get involved.

The Bible cautions us to avoid putting emphasis on the act and forgetting the reason behind it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Compromise

I don’t know who first said it, but I think it is a great truth: “You have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything”

Compromise

We all see things in a different way.
What’s right or wrong, well, who’s to say?
What’s right for me may not fit you.
There’s really nothing else to do,
but compromise.
I don’t approve of Washington wasting cash,
so what I’ve done
is use a taxing trick or two
to pay far less that what is due.
That’s compromise.
If you don’t like your pay amount
just pad the old expense account.
No one bats an eye because
it’s something everybody does.
They compromise.
The Bible says, “Don’t be conformed,
renew your mind and be transformed.”
But, Romans twelve seems out of date,
we’re better off if we relate,
by compromise.
Some churches fill up all their pews
with folks who share the same world views.
Their preacher also understands
they’re just suggestions, not commands.
They’ve compromised
And when they see God, face to face,
they’ll just appeal to Holy Grace.
They’ll ask Him to ignore their lies
and plead with him through tearful eyes
to compromise.
But from His Holy Throne He’ll look
and say, “The Way is in the Book,
the key to Heaven is the Christ;
you should have made the sacrifice,
not compromise.

Oh Compromise, thy name is Compassion.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

They'll Do It Anyway

"Like a lot of believers, I’m dismayed when churches just roll over when confronted by worldly opposition. It seems as though the worst thing that could happen is to be accused of being rigid and judgmental. I served on a committee that met in a small church basement in one of the more liberal neighborhoods in Cincinnati. The walls were covered with gay pride flyers and material advocating homosexuality. Not just tolerating, in a hate-the-sin but-love-the-sinner sort of way, but proudly proclaiming the legitimacy of the lifestyle. When I asked one of the ministers about it, I was told the church didn’t want to do anything that would be viewed as being discriminatory.

They’ll do it Anyway

There are condoms in the classroom.
Precaution’s preached in school.
But no one’s talking abstinence
cause that’s against the rules.
You have to realize, we’re told
new rules apply today.
We must provide protection,
’cause “They’ll do it anyway.”
Soap Opera’s feature soft-core porn
and if you lust for more,
you can buy the really raunchy stuff
in a local video store.
Talk shows thrive on deviates
who preach a Godless nation.
The more perverse their lifestyle is
the more our fascination.
You have the right to watch, we’re told.
Free speech is law today.
And even if we all object
“They’ll do it anyway.”
The gays and lesbians parade
while Klansmen spread their hate.
And Christians bite their tongues because
we can’t discriminate.
It’s time we called a sin, a sin
not look the other way.
It doesn’t make it right because
“they’ll do it anyway.”

Monday, February 28, 2011

You Didn't Read the Instructions

This is an excerpt starting on page 70 in Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand.

"I’m reminded of a confrontation I had in my younger days as a news reporter. I was covering an abortion protest when one of the protestors asked me to join their cause. When I said I couldn’t, she told me I’d never get to heaven if I didn’t protest abortion. I bit my tongue and continued working.

You Didn’t Read the Instructions

Lots of Christians today are affected
by injustices each of us sees.
And I fear that we’re also infected
by a mind clouding social disease.
Its symptoms include Bible thumping,
pointing fingers and narrowing views.
People’s actions just get our blood pumping
and we can’t stand to stay in the pews.
The media says we’re misguided.
And you know what, they may just be right.
Our priorities have been divided
and division is blurring our sight.
If our protesting things that are sinful
angers those who don’t see it that way.
Than what good are Godly intentions
when our witness drives others away?
We can protest and picket till doomsday.
Take saving the world as our goal.
But when Jesus comes,
you know what he’ll say?
“You should have been out saving souls.
What happened, I told you to love them?
Not condemn them for things that they do.
But, instead, you wanted to judge them
and frankly, that’s not up to you.”
So, it’s time we stop pointing a finger.
Instead, we should offer a hand.
Help the needy then take time to linger
and share the Good News if we can.

Now, if I may paraphrase my earlier paraphrase; Christians hate the sin but love the sinner as one of God’s creations. While a lot of those on the various picket lines hate the sin AND hate the sinner. It’s simple; waving signs and trying to enforce all those “thou shalt not’s” doesn’t make you a Christian."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Freedom's Cost

I'm taking a break from posting portions of Ridin for the Boss and the Brand. I'm invited to speak next week at the Center for American Values and thought I'd share this. Some say not all the facts can be verified, but that never stopped a Cowboy Poet. I heard someone say that if you can't improve on something, don't say it.

Freedom’s Cost

56 men signed a sheet of paper;
they’d had it up to here.
They would stand for no more tyranny,
and wanted to be clear.
56 men said enough’s enough,
they pledged to fight or die.
But sometimes we forget the cost
when Old Glory passes by.

Nearly half of them were lawyers
whose income would be lost.
There were businessmen and farmers
who heeded not the cost
but pledged their sacred honor,
their fortunes and their lives.
Some lost all they’d worked for,
some lost children; some lost wives.

Five of them were captured,
they were beaten and were killed.
Another nine fought hand to hand
before their blood was spilled.
A dozen had their homes burned down,
four saw children die.
But none of them were ever heard
to stop and question why.

We remember Boston harbor
where the patriots dumped tea
and the bell that cracked while ringing out
our new won liberty.
We remember Thomas Jefferson,
Ben Franklin and a few
who went on to shape the framework
for a country that was new.

But no one seems to talk about
the ones who fought and fell;
the ones who gave up everything,
the ones who went through hell.
56 names on a declaration
demanding liberty.
56 names remind us all
that Freedom’s Never Free.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2010

Let someone in the service know how much you appreciate what they're doing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cause and Effect

If you have a copy of Ridin for the Boss and the Brand, you'll find this starting on page 65. If you don't have a copy, it is easy (and cheap) to get one. Just drop me an email at rangerhymer@hotmail.com and give you details.

Cause and Effect

On the bunkhouse porch I watched these two;
as old Ben Dollar told Pete Purdue
about the troubles he’d had lately
and it appeared to vex him greatly.
Seems an axle broke on the old chuck wagon
and while the rear end was a draggin’
it caused one horse to pull up lame
and then the problems really came.
The wagon tipped, the chuck fell out,
flour and beans were strewn about.
Then the water barrel strap broke loose.
It hit the ground and spilled its juice.
And when it crashed, the noise it made
spooked the horse with the gimpy leg
who started off and then fell down
and lay there kickin’ on the ground.
The boss’s horse slipped in the mud
and sent him tumbling with a thud.
He ripped a hole in his favorite jeans
as he went splat in the flour and beans.
His horse ran off and the air turned blue
as the boss let out a curse or two.
While he stomped in all that waller
he blamed the mess on old Ben Dollar.
Then I heard old Ben ask Pete Purdue
if he’d explain a thing or two.
Said, “I believe in The Father,
The Son and The Spirit.
I believe judgement’s coming
and don’t really fear it.
I know I’ve been saved
by the Blood of The Lamb,
so, why am I having
the troubles I am?”
Pete pondered, then held up
a book in his hand;
Said, ”Believin’ is easy
when all goes as planned.
The question’s not why
bad luck you’re attractin’
The issue is centered
on how you’re reactin’.
Faith’s easy to have
when you’re well fed and rested
But faith isn’t FAITH
until it’s been tested.”
Let those with ears hear.
Let those with eyes see.
Understanding is found
in James One: two and three.
You should count it all joy
when your life’s black and blue
cause that’s when the Father
shows what He can do.
Pete said, “When yer troubled,
think this here refrain:
My faith’s like a muscle,
no pain and no gain.”
So now when I’m down
and don’t know what to do
I think of the lesson
from old Pete Purdue
“Let those with ears hear,
let those with eyes see,
and follow the truth
in James one: two and three.”

We all have to study and understand what God has done and is doing in our lives. And we have to encourage, uplift and remind each other about God’s Truth and Grace.

“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” Jude 20-23

“Having faith in God gives me strength and hope for the future. Without faith we have nothing!” Dean Smith,Actor-Stuntman

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blessed are the Poor

I think about those TV preachers who are promising prosperity, pressed down and overflowing, all you have to do is plant some seed money in their field. But what if God’s plan for your life is a minimum wage job because that’s where you can have the most influence winning souls to salvation?

Blessed are the Poor

Who told you that it would be easy?
Who said it would all go your way?
Who promised a garden of roses
or comfortable bed where you’ll lay?
Who told you your problems are over?
Who said that God’s waiting to serve?
Who promised a road without pot holes
and nary a hill or a curve?
The Lord made it clear you’re a servant.
The point’s not to get, but to give.
Don’t be fooled by the promise of plenty.
You must die to yourself, so you’ll live.

I’ll tell you, there are those who fleeced the flock, left the limelight in disgrace and have slithered back into the pulpit to scratch the itching ears of those who aren’t paying attention

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Last Day

This is more from Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand:

"You know what they say in detective movies; “Follow the money.” With that in mind, let’s look at how Jesus explained the importance of prioritizing what you have:

“Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ‘“But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." Luke 12: 15-21

The Last Day

In days when life and times were hard,
a man would make his way
by carving out the wilderness
for a place where he could stay.
Floyd Henry Hill was such a man
who worked hard all his life
and never really had the time
to find himself a wife.
But he had land for farming grain
and land where cattle roam.
He built himself a high tech barn
and a big two-story home.
He bought a fancy pickup truck,
a silver inlaid saddle,
and had a pool installed out back
where friends could float and paddle.
From the first gold rays of morning
to the setting of the sun
he’d tour his ranch and look with pride
at all that he had done.
But this rancher had a problem,
caused by way too much success.
He was running out of storage space
and suffering lots of stress.
He told his friends he’d build a barn,
like none they’d ever known.
It would cover several acres,
have a zip code all its own.
And no matter what the weather,
inside his grand construction
the climate would be perfect
for the optimum production.
Why he would be the envy
of folks around the nation
who’d marvel at his mastery
of ranching innovation.
But the one thing he did not expect
on his ground breaking day
was the very thing that happened.
Floyd Henry passed away.
And all the wealth he worked for
went to Uncle Sam no doubt
cause you cannot take it with you
when at last your string’s run out.
So what good did it do him,
all that greed and search for wealth?
He should have done for others
and not solely for himself.
See, the one truth he’d forgotten,
is you don’t leave here alive
But, if your treasure is in heaven,
it’s there when you arrive.

Before we move along, I want to go back to the point of the parable. Everything you have stays here when you leave. Instead of investing in stocks and bonds, invest your time and money in what matters; helping others find the way to eternal life."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Satisfaction

There's a section of Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand that deals with how we use the gifts God has given us, specifically money. Some folks think it may be a little harsh. Well, I'm not including that part in this excerpt and I left out some of the more confrontational statements in the audio as well.

Satisfaction

Old Ben Dollar and Pete Purdue
were sitting in a middle pew
and it appeared that Ben was nervous
all throughout the entire service.
When it’s over, Pete said “What’s up pard”?
And Ben said, “I was thinkin’ hard.”
Sunday sermons ’bout this and that...
sing some songs and pass the hat...
pray a prayer, say Amen,
come back next week and do it again.
We're satisfied !
But, while the preacher's sermonizing,
I find that I am fantasizing
about how great it would be,
if I could win the lottery.
And while they pray about
somethin' or other,
healin’ the sick or helping a brother,
I’m tellin’ God, the good I'd do
if He'd just make my wish come true.
He'd be satisfied !
Why, I'd take that million and right away,
I'd give ten per cent away.
Course, He understands that the fact is,
the ten per cent comes after taxes...
Gotta keep the government satisfied!
And about the other ninety per cent?
Well, to make sure how my gift is spent
I'd quit my job and roam around
to find out where the poor are found.
And just so I'll be free to roam,
I'll buy a little motor home,
a 4 -wheel drive and fishing boat
(to get to where it's real remote).
And that is why I hesitate
when they pass the offering plate.
If I could win, I'd do much more
than give this dollar to the poor.
Since I know God wants me to win,
I'll save this buck and try again.
Cause, after all, it's understood,
a winner can do so much good.
Everyone’s atisfied.
“Not everyone,” said Pete to Ben.
“You need to think this thru again.
Your motivation has the feel
of come on God, Let’s Make a Deal.
No matter how we rationalize,
God knows our hearts. So realize
God’s made it clear what we’re to do.
Mark 12, is meant for me and you
to learn from Jesus that what counts
is faithfulness, not large amounts.”
That way, God’s satisfied.

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." Mark 12: 41-44

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Cor. 9: 6-7

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand is more than cowboy poetry. Check out page 49.

Before we take that side trail just ahead, I want to look back at where we’ve ridden. Eternal life is only achieved thru Jesus Christ. Salvation is the beginning of our Christian journey. We are called to share our faith with others; to Moon the World, as it were. I hope you prepare and practice so you’re ready when opportunities knock at your door.

Gone Fishin’

A friend told me he’s been a-wishin’
he could spend more time just fishin’.
Catchin’ rainbows in a stream
seems to be his only dream.
But when he tries to get away
some crisis just gets in the way
and he’s left sittin’ here and wishin’
he could be out there just fishin’.

One Friday, he was set to leave
when someone’s tuggin’ at his sleeve
saying he feels just ignored.
So they talked about the Lord.
They talked about what God has done;
sending down His only Son
to die so all of us could live.
But that’s not all God had to give.
His Spirit’s here to help each day
and all we need to do is pray.
Then, Saturday, he still had time
to get out there and wet a line.
When someone called to say he’s bored.
So they talked about the Lord
and just how full a life can be
when given to the Trinity.
God’s opened heaven’s doors for you
but while you’re here, there’s lots to do.
His Spirit’s here to help each day
and all you have to do is pray.

In church on Sunday, he was wishin’
he was out there somewhere fishin’.
Then this vision crossed his eyes
as God said, “Don’t you realize
the fishin’ trip that you’ve been on?
It’s like Andrew, Peter, James and John.
That’s the fishing you should seek.
And you caught two big ones just this week.”
And so if lately, you’ve been wishin’
you were out there somewhere fishin’,
take time with those who come your way
or a big one just might get away.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sermon on the Mount

Picking up on page 45 of Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand:

“My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” James 2: 1-5

When I was working in Cincinnati, a downtown church had a small sandwich pantry for the homeless in the area. It was one of the few places where folks could get something to eat on Sunday. But the church closed it because some of the members didn’t like having to wade through a sea of forgotten souls as they left the worship service. I wonder if ever heard a sermon based on James 2.

Sermon on the Mount

The J-Bar-H boys, we all knew
were really, quite an ornery crew.
They’d chew tobacco, scratch and spit
and tended to carouse a bit.
They’d spend all week out on the range
then Saturday, wash up and change
and when they made it into town
all good sense would soon be drowned
and they’d spend Sunday, flat in bed
with one hellashish aching head.
They saw themselves as a dying breed
and didn’t really see the need
for folks who went to Sunday service.
Those folks always made ’em nervous
by the way they shook their head and such,
looked down their nose and glared so much.
And you know that cowboys as a rule
will bow their backs just like a mule
when someone’s got ’em under tow
to places they don’t want to go.
Well, one day, out there, on the range,
all of that began to change.
When a parson, just a-riding through,
Asked ’em if they’d spare some chew.
He sat there silent on his mare
as those cowhands commenced to swear.
Well, them roughneck fellers were amazed
this Bible thumper wasn’t fazed
but laughed right with them at their jokes
just like he was common folks.
He asked if he could stay the night
and they said that’d be all right.
Round the cook fire
they dished up some stew
and watched to see just what he’d do.
He closed his eyes and bowed his head
but they don’t know just what he said.
Then he looked up with a big old grin,
picked up his spoon and dug right in.
Next morning, he was set to go
but one cowpoke just had to know
why he would spend time with the crew
when that’s not what those church folks do.
That parson sat there on his mare,
and in his Bible, showed them where
God sent his Son to not cast blame
but love all peoples just the same.
Their lives were changed, those hands recount, thanks to that
“Sermon on the Mount.”

Christians know we are only saved by the Grace of God. It’s nothing we did, so there is no reason to feel we are better than anyone else. As a matter of fact, Christians realize just how rotten we were before we accepted God’s gift of salvation.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2: 8-10

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Two-Fifteen

Two-Fifteen

It’s 2-15; not the time, but the date
No heart shaped cookies remain on the plate
No unopened cards with words of romance
No unfulfilled dreams of a dinner and dance
No fondue for two, no chocolate or wine
No hand-holding stroll, no stand-still of time
No, all that remains are a flower or two
and the whispers of love that were said to you.
All that remains is the warmth of embrace,
the touch, the caress and the smile on your face
All that remains is the love that you share
not just for one day. It’s always there
In good times and bad; easy or hard
Your smile and your touch are my Valentine card.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2/15/11

The Fence Mender

We're up to page 43 in Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand. You know, if you had a CD copy of the book, you'd have listened to it a couple of times and passed it on to someone else by now. A friend told me yesterday that her computer repairman is a non-believer who saw printouts of some of my poems on her computer and said he was a fan of cowboy poetry. She is giving him one of my book CDs to listen to. You just never know, do you. OK, here goes:


"I was in those mountains at a Western music festival when inspiration jumped out at me in the form of a painting. It was in the merchant’s tent amidst the Elk horn lamps, rough hewn wooden tables and grandma’s feather beds. It spoke to me. Well, not really spoke to me, but you know what I mean.

The Fence Mender

Fresh Snow…Undisturbed…
except by the horse tracks behind him
and the sagebrush,
like polka dots on a bed sheet,
stretching to the mountains ahead.
He’s alone but far from lonely
as he rides up through the snow
along a sagging fence line
with the valley down below.
Pausing where the wire is down
this old fence mender looks around
to see if he can find a clue
of just what critter busted through.
But fresh snow…Undisturbed
covers any sort of sign
except those horse tracks back behind.
So he picks up the wire,
nails it back in its place
under gray skies that cover
this wide open space.
Then the clouds split apart
by shafts from the sun
as if they’re God’s spotlight
on a job that’s well done.
Shadows shorten.
Boot and horse tracks
melt together as one
and tight wire is all that’s left behind.

There is evidence of God everywhere we look. We just have to break free of our tunnel vision.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mountains in the Mirror

Here's a few lines from the book, starting on page 42 that are meant to remind us of the Glory that surrounds us.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

When you find yourself up to your eyeballs in religion, take a few moments to smell the flowers, watch a bird in flight or think about what keeps your heart beating. Look around at everything God put in front of you to remind you of His love.

“I see so much of Gods work in the beauty in our great outdoors, the trees, grass, flowers, dirt, water, air, sun, sky, birds, and the many animals. As well as feel his presence in each one of those! Walking outdoors I take a deep sigh and I thank God for it all.”
Dean Smith Actor-Stuntman

Mountains in the Mirror

There are mountains in the mirror
as I drive to work each day
and I can’t help but watch them
at each stoplight on the way.
Through the brown and leafless branches,
past the foothills, dark and dry,
God’s majestic handiwork
juts upward to the sky.
And if I leave for home in time
there is glory to behold
as the sun sets past those mountains
and the sky is pink and gold.
Do you think it’s just coincidence
or was it pre-arranged
that what I see each way to work
is God’s mighty mountain range?
The sight lifts up my spirit
and I thank God right out loud.
for the beauty He’s created
mixing peaks with sky and clouds.
There are many things reminding me
to praise the Lord of Hosts
but the mountains in the mirror…
that’s the one I like the most.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cowboy Considers Creation

Back to the book...page 38. More of what you'll find in Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand...


“For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

A Cowboy Considers Creation

I saw the Rockies;
snow capped and glistening
and thought how beautiful.
I saw the sunset
explode with color behind the peaks
and thought it can’t get any better.
I saw the Kansas prairie;
a tall grass table for buffalo and beef
and thought how marvelous.
I felt the wind on my face
and sucked in the smell of a stream
then thought how lucky I am.
I saw the night sky
and was immersed in the moon and stars
while thinking about the One
who put them there.
All I can say is thanks
and wonder why you’d even think of me
when the heavens declare your glory.
I thought of Your Son,
Your sacrifice, Your saving grace
and thought how unworthy I am.
But You did it all for me.
That’s why you’re God and I’m not.

I lose sight of that sometimes, don’t you? I used to find myself immersed in religion to the point that I lost sight of God. How about you?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Won't you be my Valentine?

Just a few days left to get your sweetie something special that says "I love us." (Yes, I've been influenced by Hallmark) Well, how about putting this rhyme into that Feb. 14th card.

Won’t you be my Valentine

Roses are red, and so are your lips.
I'd give you some sweets,
but they'd go to your hips.
You must avoid chocolates,
or anything yummy
'cause once you indulge,
it goes right to the tummy.
And flowers are out.
With your allergies,
just a mention of mums
and you start to sneeze.
I could whisper sweet words
of love and romance,
but with your heart condition,
I won't take the chance.
Though a candle light dinner,
with music and wine
seems perfect,
it's just not for my Valentine.
You see, the meal might
make your arteries hard.
So, I guess the next best,
is to send you a card.
Of course I'll need one
where the printing is bold
Poor eyesight's a sure sign
that you're getting old.
It has to say love,
for now and forever.
A love for all time;
that nothing can sever.
A love that will last
despite what you do.
And say, I want only
the best things for you.
The love that I offer
has been and will be
just waiting for you,
unconditionally.
It's a life changing love,
so pure and so clean.
It’s the love that’s described
in John 3, verse 16.

For God so loved the world, it says,
He gave His only Son
to get us out from under
all the rotten things we’ve done.
And if we just believe in Grace
and take the gift God’s given
then when He comes in Glory
we’ll go home with Him to Heaven.
Where we’ll ride the finest ponies
on saddles, pillow soft
and never have to stack the hay
up yonder in the loft.
The streams will all be clear and cool
with lots of rainbow trout
and every time you wet a line
you pull another out.
You can sleep past every sunrise
and the victuals will be fine.
If you say “yes” when Jesus asks,
“Won’t you be my valentine”?

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2009

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February

I'm going to step away from sharing passges from my book. I've been waiting for February to get here so I could share this with you.

February

The sky’s pale blue
with a cloud or two
in suspended animation.
And a biting breeze
through leafless trees
makes a chilly combination.
Briskly walking,
no one’s talking
or looking at each other.
We must make haste,
no time to waste
by helping one another.
Six weeks ago
in spite of snow
we’d help and not think twice.
Not so today.
We go our way
with hearts as cold as ice.
What happened to
the love we knew?
We’ve changed, but what’s the reason?
Why don’t we share
our love and care
on past the Christmas season?
It seems the day
we put away
the tinsel and the tree
we also store
what Christ came for
and forget who we’re to be.
The sky’s pale blue
with a cloud or two
but, The Son is shining bright.
And if we serve,
not just observe
we help others see The Light.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 2008

Monday, February 7, 2011

Silverheels

"Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand" page 35

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1
I saw an example of that sacrifice in a book about Old West Ghost Towns and turned it into something I could use at cowboy poetry gatherings.

Silverheels

The West is littered with remains
of towns who’s only worth
was the gold and silver wrestled
from the unforgiving earth.
But a town Southwest of Denver
had a different tale to tell.
And this is just what happened
when its miners went through hell.

In October, 1861,
to a camp called Buckskin Joe,
came a mutton puncher with a herd
from down in Mexico.
But he brought more than sheep it’s said,
to the folks at Buckskin Joe.
He brought a case of smallpox
and he was first to go.
An epidemic gripped the town;
folks dropping left and right.
The women all packed up and left,
’cept one who stayed to fight.
She nursed the sick and dying
and laid the dead to rest
in a graveyard midst the Aspens
down below the mountain crest.
They say she was a dancehall gal
and no one knew her name.
Though she was shunned by decent folks,
she helped them just the same.
Folks said she’d won the favor
of a silver miner there
who made her shoes with silver heels
that she would always wear.
And the last thing many miners saw
when their life on earth was done
was a smiling face and silver heels
ah-glistening in the sun.
When the worst of it was over
the survivors in the town
came to show their gratitude,
but, she could not be found.
Some say she’d caught the virus
and it scarred her lovely face
and rather than be ridiculed,
she up and left the place.
Years later someone spied a woman
veiled and darkly dressed,
who wandered through the graveyard,
there below the mountain crest.
Folks say it was that dancehall gal,
amidst those Aspen trees
who paused and touched each marker,
then vanished like the breeze.
They immortalized her sacrifice,
so we would always know
of the tarnished mercy angel
in the camp called Buckskin Joe.
They didn’t build a statue
or hang up any sign.
Instead, they picked the
grandest thing around that they could find.
Nearly 14 thousand feet, it soars,
this Rocky Mountain high
that’s known now as “Mount Silverheels”
and she’s the reason why.

Well, the mining camp called Buckskin Joe
is just a memory;
a ghost town full of broken dreams
is all that’s left to see.
Unless, of course you look beyond
the mere fact this occurred
and see it as a parable
like those which fill God’s Word.
The message of Mount Silverheels
reminds us here today
how the least becomes the greatest
in God’s own mysterious way.
The stone, at first rejected,
was the one that saved the wall
like the man the world rejected
who is Savior of us all.

When I first read the history, I was struck by the notion that this woman, who was viewed as nothing more than a convenience to be used and tossed aside, now has a mountain named for her all because of self-sacrifice. It just seemed like the sort of story Jesus would use to make a point. I also think that poem is an example of what can happen when we tune in to God and to what His creation whispers to us.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cowboy's Bread

For those with a copy of "Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand," this excerpt starts on page 30. If you don't have a copy of your own, you'll just have to trust me.

"Everyone with a cause, from animal rights to gay rights; from off-shore drilling to nuclear power; from sex education to abstinence instruction knows how to ignore certain questions by answering in a way that keeps them on their message.

It’s not by accident. They practice only telling us what they want us to hear. Christians could learn something from that technique. We should know what we want to say and how to avoid falling into traps designed to trip us up or get us off the subject. Then we’ll be ready when an opportunity comes our way.

A Cowboy’s Bread

They were drivin’ a herd
through wind and rain
to a railhead in Kansas,
cross that flat open plain,
when they came to a spot
that seemed to be right,
so they halted the herd
and camped for the night.
Round the campfire that evenin’,
as cowboys will do,
they began swappin stories
and a tall tale or two
’bout things they had done,
the wild oats they’d sown,
the horses they’d broke
and the trail cooks they’d known.
Then, the talk turned to vittles,
what they’d eat if they could
and just why they thought
their selection was good.
Well, as you might guess,
they all did attest
to lovin’ slabs of meat,
but, it’s what they’d put beside it,
that made each meal their treat.
One said baked potatoes,
another likes ‘em fried
with onions and green peppers
and ta-maters on the side.
Corn on the cob got several votes,
and so did salad greens.
And, I guess it was unanimous
that no one wanted beans.
Then someone asked the cook himself,
when he’s not on the range
just what his favorite food would be.
And they thought he acted strange,
’cause he just stood there, silent like,
then, to each of them he said,
“Pay attention and I’ll tell ya
why what I love is bread.
Rye that's either dark or light,
Pumpernickel, black or white,
Sourdough or cinnamon sweet;
Bread is what I love to eat.”
Said, “Nothin's better, coast to coast
than anything with garlic toast.
For breakfast, what I think is grand,
are biscuits fried up in a pan.”
and added, “What’s good after supper,
is a big old hunk a sopper-upper.”
He loves Bread!
Said he met the woman he loves most
one summer at a weenie roast.
They shared a hot dog on a roll
and Spoon Bread in a little bowl.
She's now his wife and children's mother
and once a year, they "Toast" each other.
They love Bread!
But he said the best they’d ever had
was none of the above.
It was made with pure self-rising flour
and kneaded well with love
to feed the soul in times of strife.
It’s Jesus Christ; the Bread of Life.
Then, to a man, those cowhands said,
“Amen to that, thank God for Bread.”

That cook knew what he believed and was ready to share it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Volunteer

Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand is alot about using the gifts God gave you to help others. This is from page 27 and I hope it shows that being a servant just takes willingness to get up, go, and do something.

Wondering what your talents are?
Tell me, can you drive a car?
You can be somebody’s chauffeur
or help a food bank as you go fer
anything that might help feed
some families that are in need.
You can go on mission trips;
praising God with hands and lips.
Help the hopeless, wash the dishes.
God’s not choosey, all He wishes
is that we show some love each day
to all those that He sends our way.
Ask God to open up the door
then walk on through to what’s in store.
I hope it doesn’t make you nervous
to learn that Christian life is service.
Remember, as you live your years,
God’s army’s made of volunteers.

When we answer God’s nudging and give a little piece of ourselves to others, we become the face of Grace. We personalize what could have been anonymous assistance.

We call him Cowboy

What makes a man
ride into a wind whipped,
gray-green storm cloud,
forsaking the comfort of coffee
to search for a stray?
Who, in their right mind,
takes on lightning streaked uncertainty
to help some ungrateful critter?
We call him “Cowboy.”
Jesus called him a “Good Shepherd.”

“God places the Holy Spirit within us and we are energized by his Spirit to do good works.” Colossians 1:29

Here's an after-thought that's not in the book. I read somewhere about doing the little things that others ignore as a way to be of unseen service to them. It could be picking up paper off the floor or cleaning up the drips around the coffee maker at work. Doing it quietly and lovingly is service that's meaningful to The Lord.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Sponge

From Ridin for the Boss and the Brand, page 24.

“Dear brothers and sisters, what's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can't save anyone…
So you see, it isn't enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn't show itself by good deeds is no faith at all—it is dead and useless.”
James 2: 14, 17

Maybe this will help: We need to Know, Go and Show.
Know that God wants you to share His love with others
Go where God leads you, Show God’s love by your actions.

The Sponge

The next time you pick up
that sponge at your sink,
just stop for a minute
and take time to think
how that sponge represents
what life is about.
It's not useful at all,
until it's wrung out.
On Sunday, you sit
and smile in your pews
and listen intently
to all the Good News.
You have pamphlets by Stanley,
tapes by Swindoll
and you hear John MacArthur
enroute to the mall
where you rush past a hand out
and don’t stop to look
cause you’re in a hurry
to get a new book
that talks about living
as Christ would today
or how to serve others
and how best to pray.
We soak up the teaching
in hopes we’ll be blessed
but despite all that study
we’re feeling depressed.
We know the right words
but they never get said.
We don’t implement
anything that we’ve read.
We're just like that sponge
that sits on our sink.
If we don't get wrung out,
we're going to stink.
Just soaking up knowledge
is not what God planned.
We must live the lessons
and help those we can.
So, squeeze out the blessings
God sends from above.
Wring out the Good News
of God’s saving love.
There's joy like a fountain
from which we can drink.
But not if our sponge
is filled up on the sink.

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Buffalo Bill

I think I may have mentioned earlier that this was one of actor, Dennis Weaver's favorites. He was very engaged in environmentalism and his efforts live on thanks to his family and friends. I used it in the book as an example of what can happen if we're not careful. Here ya go....


"There are consequences to be paid when we think of ourselves as the center of the universe.

The Buffalo Bill

They cared not for the future.
They cared not for the past.
They cared not for tradition,
and so, the die was cast.
They only thought of conquering the people,
so they planned
to starve them to submission
before they took a stand.
They hunted down the buffalo.
They killed them for their hide.
They killed them just because they could,
and millions of them died.
They killed them just for pleasure
and never gave a thought
to the impact of their slaughter
and what their carnage wrought.
And, only now, we understand
what the ancient people knew.
That, the One who made the buffalo,
is the One who made us too.
The Creator had a reason.
The Creator had a plan.
So that all things He created
were for the good of man.
And the ancient ones remind us
in their stories and their songs
that the buffalo kept man alive
in times that have since gone.
The warnings of our ancestors
today are coming true.
They said you’ll have to pay
and now the Buffalo bill is due.
We must learn from our failures
or the cycle will go on
and we will just eliminate
what we depend upon.
So, be cautious of the earth and streams.
Make sure the sky stays blue
or the next things that may go extinct,
my friend, are me and you.

So, let me to remind you to look outside yourself at all that God has done and look inside yourself to see all that God is doing."

Monday, January 31, 2011

Temptation

Ridin for the Boss and the Brand, page 16

Fact: we can never be good enough to meet
God’s requirements for salvation.
Fact: we are all sinful, no matter how
charitable we are.
Fact: the wages of sin is death.
Fact: God only accepts the death of Jesus as payment for our sins.
Fact: if you admit and confess how you have
failed to meet God’s desires;
if you ask for His forgiveness and help to turn from your sinful ways;
if you ask Jesus to take control of your life and believe He will do it
God will be faithful to His promise and will write your name in His Book of Life.

Here’s where that stumbling block comes in.
It is difficult to give up control of our lives when everywhere we turn, we see beautiful people in beautiful settings luring us to believe we could be one of them.
Of course that takes the right car, the right deodorant, the right stock broker and so forth.

Temptation

TV shows and magazines
are selling stuff with sexy scenes.
Movies where the bad guy wins
and never answers for his sins
are telling me that I could be
more happy than I am.
Come on, give in, don’t be a fool,
everybody cheats in school.
And only goody-goodies frown
at drinking beer or sleeping ’round.
It seems to me that I can be
more popular than I am.
I am confused. I feel abused
and cry out in frustration,
“Help me today live life Your way;
lead me not into temptation.”
Cheat on my expense account,
no one’s gonna find me out.
Fudge a little on my taxes;
no one cares; besides the fact is
plain to see I can be
much richer than I am.
Drugs and sex and alcohol,
why not give in and have a ball?
When everything is said and done,
material girls have all the fun.
Society is showing me
who is better than I am.
Temptation’s natural, not a sin,
unless, of course, I just give in.
I call on God’s unending power
to help me through my darkest hour
and then I see God’s will for me
can strengthen who I am.
I’ve been confused and felt abused;
I’ve wrestled with frustration.
But with the love from God above
I’ve triumphed o’er temptation.

All this visual temptation will give you “I” trouble. But you won’t be the first to suffer from that.

“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.
Isaiah 14: 12-15

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rancho Reality

Ridin for the Boss and the Brand, page 14

I heard this somewhere and it came back to me while I was writing this. It seems to fit. For Christians, Jesus is a stepping stone. For everyone else, He can be a stumbling block.

Rancho Reality

I expected to see the Marlboro man;
tall in the saddle, broad shouldered and tan.
I looked for Tom Selleck or someone like that
wearing chaps and spurs
and a big Stetson hat.
Instead, there’s a spindly old guy in a truck
who looks worn out and weary
and down on his luck.
I hoped for “The Duke”
ridin’ hard in his prime
not a grizzled old coot
who is long past his time.
But, this geezer explained
when you live on the land
the hard work will wear down
the heartiest man.
The shortage of water
and high price of hay
turns what hair you have left
to gunmetal grey.
I longed for the movie,
the myth and the dream
but reality’s different
and not nearly as clean.
There’s dust in my dinner plate,
sand in my shorts
and gooey stuff sprays
from my horse when it snorts.
The cattle are smelly,
my saddle is hard,
I got stuff on my boots
when I walked through the yard.
I wonder if God feels the same about me?
Disappointed I’m not everything I could be.
Do the things that I do
ever give God the blues?
Am I like the stuff
on the sole of his shoes?
What would God do in His infinite grace?
Oh, yeah, he sent Jesus to die in my place.

Christians believe there is only one way to eternal life and that is through faith in, and a personal relationship with, Jesus Christ. If there was another way, why would God have gone to all the trouble? It sounds simple, but churches are full of folks who acknowledge there is a creator and still refuse to believe, accept and submit to His plan for their eternal life. That plan centers on Jesus Christ; God’s Son who, as a man without sin, volunteered to pay the price for our sins. That price was death.

Jesus made it clear: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4: 12

If you don’t agree, you may be a lot of things, but Christian isn’t one of them.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blessed Insurance

Ridin for the Boss and the Brand, page 12

I remember, back in the 90s, during my confrontational Christian poetry stage, I adapted the old hymn, “Blessed Assurance” to make the point that we are not saved by what we do.

Blessed Insurance

Blessed Insurance, Heaven is mine,
I’ve got my ticket, no waiting in line.
I helped the needy, I’ve done my share.
I gave my money. That only seems fair.
This is my story, this is my song.
I’m pleased to do it, don’t get me wrong
This is my story, it’s understood
I’ll go to heaven, because I’ve been good.
Blessed Insurance, Heaven is mine
I said a blessing each time that I dined.
I prayed that others one day would see
You really want them to be more like me.
Blessed Insurance, heard in the pew
Come to our work day, there’s plenty to do.
Increase your giving, serve on a board
Keeping real busy is pleasing the Lord.
Holy confusion, what have we done?
Taken the Glory away from God’s Son.
Jesus, the Savior, died for our sin.
If we believe it, God will let us in.
This is my story, this is my song.
God take control and help me be strong.
This is my story, it’s understood
We’re saved by faith not cause we are good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Evangelize

Here is another excerpt from "Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand."


What I see these days is a distorted view of Jesus’ call to witness. I won’t say churches intentionally misrepresent the Great Commission, but it does seem they interpret it as more about getting people to a church service than getting them to heaven?

Evangelize

Old Ben Dollar and Pete Purdue
were chewing over what to do
about the task they had in store.
They hated going door to door
or calling on the telephone.
So Pete told Ben, once they’re alone,
“Evangelize; a scary thought.
I realize I’d rather not.
The preacher said, ‘go spread the news’
but he just wants to fill the pews
on Easter and on Christmas Eve.
He seems to want us to believe
that if we get them in the door,
next Sunday, they’ll come back for more.”
“More what?” asked Pete, “More Bible-light?
He preaches so we’ll feel all right
about our lives, our hopes and dreams
with scriptures that support our schemes?
We’re told, forget the other stuff,
God’s there to help you, that’s enough.
Just ask and He will sure deliver
AND God just loves a cheerful giver.”
Ben agreed, it seemed confused
about why they should spread Good News.
He said, “We should tell those we know
that Jesus died so long ago
as part of God the Father’s plan
to bring eternal life to man.
He died to save us all from hell,
not so church membership could swell.”
See, worship is what we should do
but where should be left up to you.
Just find a church that’s Bible based;
a church where emphasis is placed
on God the Father, God the Son,
God the Spirit; Three in One.
With that in mind, we just relax
and share how Jesus Christ impacts
our daily life. Tell how we’ve changed;
how values have been rearranged.
Then Pete said, “When it’s put like that
just hold it while I get my hat
cause when God’s love is emphasized
it makes sense to evangelize.”

I like the idea of “event evangelism;” special concerts, celebrity guest speakers and dozens of other opportunities to invite someone to church. But what do they get when they show up? Is your church equipping members for the battles we are fighting against Satan’s forces or is it just a Sunday social club?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand

More from my book of Poetry with a Purpose so you can get a sense of what is included. FYI, there is also an abridged version available on CD.

Ridin’ for the Boss and the Brand

When the boss says,
“There’s some fence to mend
and you all lend a hand.”
There’s never hesitation
cause you’re ridin’ for the brand.
If you have to move a herd of beef
much sooner than you’d planned
you saddle up and head out
cause you’re ridin’ for the brand.
There are certain obligations.
There is pride and loyalty
and you’ll always lend a hand
because you’re in the family.
I think that it’s the same for those
who heed the Master’s call
and witness to the love God showed
through Jesus Christ for all.
The Lord said there is right and wrong
and you must take a stand.
He won’t accept the middle ground
when you’re ridin’ for His brand.
The branding iron that sears your heart
was fired by sacrifice.
God sent His Son to die for you
so take some good advice.
Count yourself as lucky
if you’re cut out from the herd
by the wrangler that is Wisdom
on a horse that is the Word.
And know that what awaits you
is the glory that God planned
when he sends His Son to round up those
who’ve been riding for the brand.

God’s given us all a horse to ride, but too many of us just want to keep it in the barn. My hope is that this book will remind you to saddle up and tell everyone you meet about the thrill of Ridin’ for the Boss and the Brand. Being a Christian takes courage. And, like John Wayne is quoted as saying, “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway”.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am a Cowboy Poet!

I need to tell you that "Ridin' for the Boss and the Brand" is more than just another book of Christian poetry and it's not a just book of Cowboy poetry. (I have one of those if you're interested) I thought I'd give you a taste of what the book is about by printing excerpts on this blog.


"My purpose is not to relate life in the saddle, but use life in the saddle as a way to relate what I consider eternal truths. I hope that explains why I wrote this book.

For the record:

Like most folks who enjoy cowboy poetry, I don’t make my living in the saddle. But I can dream of cool nights under a big sky, campfires and camaraderie. I feel “cowboy.”

I am a Cowboy Poet

I am a cowboy poet.
Well, not the “cowboy” part.
I don’t spend days on horseback
but there’s cowboy in my heart.
I am a cowboy poet.
I wear a wide brim hat
just like those for-real cowboys do.
I make dern sure of that.
I am a cowboy poet.
I use phrases like “Dern sure,”
“All-you-all” and “Adios”
to give my rhymes allure.
I am a cowboy poet
and I love the out of doors;
The glistening mountain glaciers
and verdant valley floors.
I love the smell of fresh cut pine,
the chill of mountain streams
and the sound of saddle leather.
I’m bustin’ at the seams
with joy for all things cowboy
except the cowboy way
of walking round in high heeled boots
for all the live long day.
But, as a cowboy poet
I have to play the part
cause folks expect the image
when there’s cowboy in your heart.

That’s sort of like a Christian;
There is joy, but also pain
when standing on God’s principles
while those around complain
that you’re just a soggy blanket;
A fool and not real smart.
But God applauds the sacrifice
when there’s Jesus in your heart.

God has truly blessed me when it comes to Cowboy Poetry. In 2006, I did something that had never been done before; perform in mainland China. I was part of the Great American Cowboy Concert Tour that played on The Great Wall, in Beijing and in Shanghai.

Two years before that God opened the doors to New York’s Carnegie Hall. Only one other cowboy poet had ever performed there. What an honor!"


Just so you know, I was asked to record an abridged version of the book and it is now available on CD. I'm keeping the cost low so you can order some for all your friends.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Texas Two Step

The "Texas two-step" came to be
quite simply, from necessity.
It was a line dance at the first
and never, ever was rehearsed.
Each hand, I’m told, jist let er loose
when he found the outhouse was in use.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Reformed Theology

For everything, there is a time. Now is the time for a little introspection. Before we remove the speck from someone else's eye, we need to use a little Visine on ourselves. Sometimes our slide into the shadows is so subtle, we don't notice it. That's what this is all about.

Reformed Theology

He used to be scared; afraid of the dark
and slept with a night light on.
But he listened when folks said
there’s nothing to fear
and his need for the light was soon gone.
He used to think drinking
or smoking some dope
were things that just should not be done.
But he listened when folks said
it’s really not wrong
and besides, it makes life much more fun.
It really annoyed him
when someone would curse
or would take the Lord God’s name in vain.
But he listened when folks
all around him would swear.
Now he finds himself doing the same.
He thought that God’s plan
was one woman, one man
and that was all there was to it.
But he listened when folks
justified their own strokes
now he says, “If it feels good, just do it”.
He used to be clear,
he knew what was wrong
and could see things
as black and as white.
But when so many say
it’s just all shades of gray
he’s confused and accepts wrong as right.
He used to say, “Friends,
what you’re doing is sin.”
They demanded apology.
Now advice that he gives
is just live and let live.
It’s “reformed theology.”
He used to be sacred; afraid of the dark
but now he goes out in the night
cause he listened to lies
dressed as truth in disguise
and prefers the dark, to The Light.

Jeff Hildebrandt © 1999