Christian Cowboy Poetry and more

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

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.”