Christian Cowboy Poetry and more

Christian Cowboy Poetry and more
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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 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


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.


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



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 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,
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


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.


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


"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.


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


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."