rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Christian”

From the Highest of Heavens

Some say we are in the Christmas season, but I say, God is never out of season. People sometimes take Him out of their box in December, put Him back in the box in January and leave Him there until Easter.
This is the reminder… as we celebrate the birth of Christ with family and friends; let us also take the time to reflect on our worship of Him throughout the year.

“From The Highest of Heavens”

“The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all”.  John 3:31
“And the Lord God Almighty said, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago.” Micah 5:2

In the highest of heavens,
Even, the heavens above the heavens,
The Most High sits on the glorious throne of the
Lord God Almighty.
In the beginning and from your splendid throne,
You Were…
Before the equation of time became measurable,
You were God…
Before the flawless design of endless space
You existed…
Before cosmic matter came into being
You were present…
Before God-breathed humanity was fashioned
You were…
Even before nothing …
You were…

And even before all of this, my name…,
MY NAME…! was on your lips,
And my soul… MY SOUL! was on your mind.
Love for me… was in your heart, because,
You Were…

And in that highest of heavens,
at your right hand sat your Son, Jesus,
with the Plan for my soul.
—You whispered my name, He said, “I’ll go!”

Then from that highest of heavens,
Down through the endless space,
in His measured time,
Brushing aside celestial spaces to
save humanity as the True Light…
In flesh…,through a virgin birth, He came…

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth John 1:14

Here in the month of December, we celebrate the physical birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. But today isn’t His birthday, and neither is December the 25th. For we celebrate not the day He came, but that He Came. Some ask, was it real? I say, my friends, yes, His Birth was indeed real. He is real.
Can you imagine God whispering to Jesus, the names of everyone ever created in His image? Even before the world existed?…

God whispered your name…
Then He came…

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Is It Christmas Yet?

Ever have that feeling about not wanting to get up in the morning? One day this past week, it was my desire to stay in bed a little longer than usual. But we have animals to take care of and they usually do not want to stay in bed. The dogs in the kennels do not seem to mind the cold or that it finally warmed up.  And the chickens could care less. They are ready no matter what. The humans, not so much! So out of the warm bed I arise. I stumble to the kitchen, turn the switch on for the coffee pot, (the “Rancherette” is sweet enough to prepare the ingredients the night before), put on my long johns and make ready to placate the aforementioned animals.  I do insist on having a steaming cup of coffee before I brave the elements.

Having a touch of the “I don’t wanna’s” this morning, I slowly began to move around. I am feeling the effects of a cold I contracted from a recent chicken show we attended in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  Then, the “Rancherette” comes bouncing from the bedroom full of vim and vigor. She wonders, “How are you feeling?” I mumble “OK”. Probably, not too convincingly I might add.

So after my jolt of caffeine, I make my way to the dog kennels. Recently, the morning temps fell down into the upper teens, and with that, their water dishes turn to ice. This was my first clue that winter is approaching. With the dogs fed, ice in their water broken and fully attended to, I turn my attention to appeasing the chickens. Ever try to appease a chicken? Good luck with that. The “Rancherette” usually comes along to save the day. She definitely knows how to appease a chicken. She is in the chicken appeasement business. I’m not sure but I think they understand the “bach,bach,bach” of my voice and I am convinced they really know what the “Rancherette” says. I am pretty sure she understands what they say, too. Me? I don’t think so. Now when it comes to the dogs, I am much more enlightened by their “voices”. I fully understand them. I speak dog, fluently. I practice every day. However, one could possibly acquire some of the characteristics of these fine feathered fowl (maybe osmosis).  For example, I catch myself crowing on occasion. Nothing out of the ordinary, that is until they crow in return. Scary!

For those of you who do not know, the “Rancherette” raises show chickens. Silkies and Bantam Cochins are her favorite breeds.Both breeds are also very funny birds. Most of these birds have names, such as Mick (after Mick Jagger) Bella, Cowboy, Cowgirl, Smoky Bear, Miss Peggy, (she has a peg leg) and so on. Thus one can become attached. (Her name shall remain anonymous).

However, when it comes to our kennel dogs, that’s another story. They are retired show dogs, from the Standard Poodle line, living out their retirement days. Apollo, Ty, Denali, Grendel, Prada, Andora, Stella, and so on. They all have a very extended name, fitting the royalty of the breed, but way to much for this post.Then there is Alfie, a hitchhiking female Airedale. “nuff, said.

.So I am up and “at’em” this morning. This Christmas Eve, Eve! Got all my presents wrapped for the “Rancherette” and placed in a conspicuous space where she cannot miss them and this in turn tempts her a bit. No shaking the packages or X-rays allowed. This is premeditated on my part. Now that the gifting is completed (and a day early, I might add), I turn my attention to checking my social media pages.

I see numerous and varied accounts of people and their activities on social media pages. Hidden among the many postings, I see some with treasured memories of years past. For others it brings sadness and a dread this time of year. Still others delight in the many celebratory events of Christmas.

I see posts from a varied assortment of people, from my friends and others I do not know. First and foremost are the many varied posts from all of the chicken friends on social media. There is a considerable amount of “chicken speak” in these posts. (i.e., the “Rancherette”) I have not yet learned much of that language.

Then others are depicted wrapping Christmas gifts and sharing their experiences. Some are wondering if other family members will make it home for Christmas. Some are showing the results of a toy-drive for kids. There are pictures of children sharing their love through homemade Christmas gifts with nursing home residents. Some use the social media pages to outline their Christmas list. (Personally, I’m not sure this works well, but give them credit for ingenuity) Let me know if it does.

I see posts of young children sitting on the lap of Santa, some crying, some in awe and others readily sounding off their wish list. Obviously, they have all been good, wink, wink!

I see posts describing recipes for Christmas Delights and I admit they all look inviting. These are very interesting.

Then there are still a few who either challenge the presidential election results or laud the outcome. To these very involved people, I say, Merry Christmas to both groups.

The closer it gets to Christmas, the more posts we see about the event. Not all will be about a religious phenomenon and yet it is my opinion that it was never about a secular circumstance. It was and always will be a celebration of the birth of Christ, whether one chooses to believe that or not.

I find it fascinating that our animals depend on us for their survival while many humans do not depend on God for anything. In their own way, these animals say thanks every day, a tail wag here and a “bach,bach, there. Would it not be great if the human race could acknowledge a better understanding of peace and joy on this earth?

I grant you that we live in a free society and thus are completely free to agree or disagree. However, I for one am proud to say I believe the Biblical account of the Christ Child born for the salvation of mankind.

Thus I can say unequivocally,

Merry Christmas.

Hunters and Gatherers

The old rancherwriterpoet has not been around lately. Maybe you noticed, maybe not. Medical circumstances have prevented this old drugstorecowboy/wannabe writer from some of his usual activities.

He has reached a point in his life that calls for a time of observation. For example, little things that originally had no clear-cut basis for consideration have now become seemingly a big deal. Discovering in these past few weeks, simple things I previously performed on a daily basis are not always easy tasks to perform. Sometimes, they become complicated, difficult, and even impossible.

In the earliest of days, eons ago, man was declared the hunter and woman was declared the gatherer. The roles of man and woman were clear. “Me Tarzan, you Jane” I am not making a judgment for or against that thought. I do not necessarily subscribe to the “me Tarzan, you Jane” setting, however, as a man, I have always felt I had a role to perform as a “hunter”. This was ingrained in me as a youngster. There were roles for the male and roles for the female. After all, boundaries were established and not to be crossed.

Well, that was then, this is now, and it never became clearer to me than in these past few weeks.

This “hunter” is here to tell you that in our household, the “gatherer” is perfectly capable of performing the tasks of not only her perceived responsibilities, but also those that I considered to be solely in my domain. In fact, she has stepped up the game. As I said, I am in a time of observation and I have observed the carpentry skills she has acquired, her chauffeuring ability, and her lawn maintenance proficiency. She has the leading role of managing the dogs, the chickens, the cooking, the grocery shopping, and auto upkeep and without a doubt the excellent care she affords the “hunter”. That only scratches the surface. Without the capable assistance of the “Rancherette” this old “Rancherwriterpoet” would have had a most difficult time.

I am making progress toward a time when this “hunter” can once again share in the family tasks alongside the “gatherer”. It will be a challenge, she is very good at what she does and I am so very grateful to her and to God for her.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a that says:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up…

I doubt  Solomon wrote that with my circumstances in mind, but I claim it. I can say for certain, I am blessed.

Number 7

In the world of superstition, the numeral seven is often thought of as a “lucky” number. Fortunes have been won and lost by the use of that number in games of chance. I never considered myself as a “lucky” person. I have never won any sort of prizes or contests. Usually, I do not enter any type of sweepstakes or lotteries. I do recall winning a football pool once. I suppose that would have been “luck”. I hear people describe the results of winning as the “luck of the draw.” In illustrating a winner, one could say, “you lucky dog!” On embarking on a particular venture, “Best of Luck” sometimes is conveyed. A shared meal with a group is often explained as “Potluck”. It has been said, “with any luck…” and so forth. As you begin reading this you may have gotten the idea this is about luck, not necessarily so.

December 2008, I had an encounter in a Barnes and Noble bookstore with a wonderful woman. This changed my life. I have heard scenarios such as this described as a “chance” encounter. I disagree. It was anything but “chance”. “Chance” implies that some sort of luck was involved. I do not believe that to be the case. However, it may be possible to describe it as fate. I much prefer to say I was “blessed”.
When my eyes caught up with her eyes, I was hooked. As I stood there in the map section, (I love reading maps, educational, you know), and she in the romance section, it was a defining moment.

I, being the male species, made the first move. I probably should have spent more time in the romance section. Not being a teenager for a long time, I was rusty at this sort of thing. I invited her for a cup of coffee, Starbucks coffee. That stuff will get your blood pressure rising. Mine was already on the increase. We began a wonderful conversation. We shared our similarities. Amazing how much we discovered in common. This coffee shop was in the mall, thus we walked and spent time window-shopping. I recall she bought a set of coasters.

After a second cup of coffee, she with a double shot of espresso, (not me, I was already wired) we decided to take a walk through a local park. As we walked, we both knew this was a special moment in time. We were completely enjoying our time together, (except for the Pomeranian which was “bad luck”).

Finishing our day, we had lunch at On the Border Café. It seems that Mexican food is probably our most favorite meal. The time raced by. I did not want this day to end. Sadly, it did. However, it was the beginning of a very true romance, the kind you might read in the romance section at Barnes and Noble bookstore. I could see this coming back when I was in the map section.

May 15, 2016, we will celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary and counting. It is impossible to list all the wonderful experiences we have enjoyed over these past seven years.

So, through this brief article and very publicly, I am expressing my love for this woman, sometimes affectionately referred to as “The Rancherette”, but always my wife Jennifer. Happy Anniversary to my helpmate, my sweetheart, my constant companion, my soul mate and yes, my playmate. Come to think of it, maybe, I did get lucky after all. I know for sure I am blessed. The God of my beliefs put all this in motion and I am grateful. His plan is perfect, like the number 7.

To be continued:

Witness

As we near Easter Sunday, let us be reminded why we celebrate this day. It is a day of new beginnings, a day of remembrances and another opportunity to share that witness. As a writer, this is probably my favorite, at least in the top five. It dates back to 1992, however, the story line goes back to a most important time in the life of a Christian. I get goosebumps each time I read it. I sincerely hope you understand the true meaning of Easter as we celebrate life, both here and hereafter.

Sounds of cursing and anger fill the air.
And yet, He groans quietly.
The burden on His shoulders grows heavy
As He walks, stooped over slightly.

The flesh on His back… lay bare by the whip,
And His feet have swollen as well.
His vision is blurred by sweat mixed with blood.
He stumbled…and He fell.

The soldiers’ authority commands fear.
One man is conscripted for use.
“Carry the beam!” they directed the man.
For the young one is weak from abuse.

The young man moves slowly, climbing the hill.
His condition prevents a fast pace.
People are gathering to witness this scene,
For there’s something peculiar about this place.

I sense something special about this young man.
He seems so confident in His fate.
But others about Him don’t seem to care,
For they scorn Him and verbalize hate.

The instrument of death is placed on the ground.
The young man is secured to the post.
Spikes penetrate His hands… and His feet…
The soldiers stand back and boast.

clouds grow dark and they cover the sun,
Thunder breaks loudly and clear.
The ground begins cracking and groaning,
And the people who’ve gathered begin to fear.

In a loud voice, I hear Him cry out
In a language, I don’t understand.
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,*
There’s something unusual about this man…

——-

His death is complete and His body’s removed,
He’s placed in a borrowed tomb.
Grief and sadness overcome His friends
As they endure this period of gloom.

And now! Its the third day! His body isn’t here!
The story He told, really is true!
He died for atonement, was buried for sin,
Resurrected… for life anew.

I witness this scene as though I were there,
For it’s embedded completely in mind.
How Jesus… suffered and died,
Was raised, giving life for His kind.

                                                                                 Pete Robertson
Mark 15:34 NASB                                                                ©1992

The Hat

In Bible study last Sunday morning the subject of wearing hats in church was put out there for comments. Is it or is it not in the Bible? That certainly put a “Bee in someone’s bonnet”, I’m pretty sure I do not want a Bee in my bonnet. But, then, I’m not about to wear a bonnet either. My grandmother wore a bonnet. Maybe if I did wear a bonnet I might not have to make a regularly scheduled trip to the dermatologist.

I do have a western straw hat that I wear when I am in my “Rancherwriterpoet” disguise. One can only wear a straw hat in the summer. It bears a resemblance to the rule that says you are not to suppose to wear white after Labor Day. I don’t think that is in the Bible. If someone says it is, then, they are “Talking through their hat”. And if someone finds it, I will consider “eating my hat”.

Someone suggested that we should “Put on our thinking cap”. I haven’t had a thinking cap since the first grade and even then it was a pointed hat. I confess, I did not wear that “cap” voluntarily. The teachers of my day had a way of “wearing many hats”. I’m certain that that aspect has not changed. In some situations, the hat they wore brought fear. In my case, the most feared teacher was “Coach Knight” and his Board of Education.

Here in Texas, you will see two types of hats. The Baseball cap ( or any number of what is called “gimmee” caps) and the cowboy hat. The baseball cap does not really make you a baseball player nor does it metamorphose you into a cowboy. You need a horse for that. There are places where you can wear the head coverings and places where you cannot. For example, you can wear a Texas Ranger’s (the ball team not the law enforcement) cap to the ballpark, but if you go inside the restaurant, you must take it off. You can roll it up and put it in your back pocket. You can wear your John Deere cap to the John Deere dealer, but if you go inside the show room, you must take it off. If you step inside an elevator, you do not necessarily have to remove your hat, except if a lady is present, then of course you must remove it. A gentlemen never keeps his hat on in the presence of a lady.

Now for you ladies, you can wear your hat anywhere you want. Even into church, well, unless it is a baseball cap. They are considered unisex caps and have the same rules as the men. You can remove it and place it in your purse. Men have the same option of placing their cap in their man bag.

The other type of head covering here in Texas is the cowboy hat. Over the years, the cowboy hat has played a major part of the everyday lifestyle of both the female and the male. In the early days, the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats. See my profile pic. Unless you are a country music star, in which case you can wear whatever you want.

Well, that brings us back to the subject at hand, wearing hats in church. Of course, you can’t wear your hat in church. If, as a child, I ever failed to remove my cap in church, well, I cannot explain the consequences in this family style writing. I can say without hesitancy, that it was much easier to remove the cap than having to stand while I ate my Sunday fried chicken, if I was lucky enough to get a piece of chicken. I did some research, thanks to a Biblical scholar in our midst. He suggested I read First Corinthians 11:1-15. I did and it makes perfectly good sense to me.

Cowboy hats should be removed in places of worship, courtrooms and generally in private homes, unless everyone else is wearing one and then it is ok to go along with the crowd Also, if you are in a restaurant that serves anything not coated in BBQ sauce, it might be best to lose the hat. Cowboy hats for ladies fall in the category as “unisex” hats and you must use the hat rack just as the men do.

The etiquette for wearing hats has changed over the years. Hats are worn less now, but at the turn of the 20th century, all adults wore hats whenever they left the house. Ladies also wore stylish hats in public, reserving the bonnets for daily wear around the house, but always with their heads covered. Gentlemen tipped their hats to ladies and removed them upon entering a building. Sadly, those days have passed us by. What we encounter today are the wearing of caps on heads in such a way one cannot tell if they are coming or going. I think maybe their heads are like owls, they swivel.

I think the lesson I learned today is the removal of men’s hats in church is a sign of honor to God. I ‘m not “Keeping this under my hat”. You can “Hang your hat on that”.I certainly hope this clears up the confusion about the wearing of hats in church.

It‘s best I tip my hat to all
It seems the thing to do
A sign of my respect
To those within my view.

Pete Robertson
© 2016

Perfect Plan, Perfect Price

Woven tightly on His head,
Reeds of thorns, discolored red.
Vision blurred, eyes so weak.
Broken voice, He tries to speak.
Lips so dry, about to crack,
Raised red whelps across His back.

Spiked to wood, the crowd demands,
His feet, His caring hands.
Pierced veins, muscles torn
Naked body thus forlorn.
gall to drink, unquenchable thirst,
spat upon, grossly cursed.

Downcast friends, broken hearts
Shaken earth; veil that parts
Opened tombs, souls released
Pain and agony decreased
Execution is complete
Sin is vanquished in defeat.

Earthly body laid to rest
Mourners saddened and depressed
Lamenters rift, beset with gloom.
Stone removed, empty tomb,
Risen Savior, sacrifice,
Perfect plan, Perfect price

Christmas Morning

It is Christmas Morning. The agonizing wait is over. The house has a different air about it. Yesterday, there was so much anticipation and this morning that anticipation has been replaced with an attitude of joy. Smiling faces with tussled hair and sleepy eyes that are just now starting to focus, grip the morning with varying squeals of delight.

The first thing I noticed this morning was a white residue in the milk glass beside the empty cookie plate. Something or someone removed those contents during the night. Then I saw the stockings full to the brim, bulging with stuff inside. There were candy canes sticking out over the edge of each. And the Christmas Tree was loaded with wrapped gifts that were not there yesterday. Santa has come and gone. He really knows how to impress a person.

So breakfast will have to wait. There are gifts to be opened and those stockings so full to the brim, well, they must be pulled off the shelf and emptied on the floor. That is the best way to see what is in there. But I must be careful, Santa has been known to put breakable stuff in those stockings. Fortunately, this morning, that was not the case.

I peered into my stocking to see a variety of male toiletries, which I might add, I love, then a wonderful box of chocolate covered Cherries, really my favorite, and a Christmas tradition in my house for many years. I also got a couple of toothpaste Squeeze-It devices. These are designed to get every bit of the toothpaste from the tube before you throw it away. That is ingenious. Wish I had thought of that. Sure beats pushing and squeezing the tube in the middle. I bet the inventor of that device celebrates Christmas in a big way.

I opened a wrapped gift next. The tag said it was from Santa. I think this Santa looks a lot like my wife. I don’t know how Santa knew I needed a new pair of pajamas. I will wear them tonight. Maybe that will impress “someone”. Santa outdid himself this year.

I must admit, it is fun to open gifts. But my enjoyment really comes from watching the “Rancherette” open her stocking and gifts. Of course, in her case, Santa knows what she likes and is happy to contribute to her desires.

I am undecided as to which gift she likes the most. I can tell you, she adores her Silkie chicken calendar. And then, Santa filled her stocking with traditional stuff.  She opened the stocking to discover an apple, an orange, candy canes, nuts, (assorted, of course), and chocolate candy, Ghirardelli’s chocolate candy! Another gift she received was a sweet-smelling bottle of Burberry perfume. I helped Santa think of that.

However, sometimes, a gift goes awry. Such is the case with the Silkie Chicken Clock. It does not work and must be returned. I don’t think Santa takes return gifts even if he did not get it right. It probably is the problem of one of his suppliers. I will locate the business address of that firm and do the return for him. I will inform Santa of that particular supplier so that he doesn’t use them next year.

I noticed after I took a shower this morning that Santa forgot one of the items on my wish list. This is the umpteenth time he has forgotten. Every year, I ask for a new birthday suit and every year he forgets. I’m telling you, the birthday suit I have now is wrinkled and really beginning to wear out. Oh, well, I tend to be somewhat of a pack rat and keep everything much longer than it was designed to be kept. At least, this one still works for me, but, I’ll keep putting that wish on my Christmas list.

But I don’t despair, it is still a wonderful Christmas, the “rancher” and the “rancherette” sharing with each other. We share gifts with each other during the course of the year, but it seems that Christmas brings out the true meaning of giving, at least for me. I realize that others do not share the same Christmas celebrations that we as Christians do. For those who do not, I sincerely hope you find something (or someone) in your life to celebrate and when you do, make it special to the one you love. If it happens at this particular time of year, then, that’s just icing on the cake.

Well, it is time to begin the overindulging. I helped the “rancherette” in the kitchen by chopping onions and celery. That will pay off in the form of dressing later today. I love dressing, too. The “rancherette” is an expert at discussing with Santa what gifts to bring me, but she is also an expert at cooking and baking.. But in the meantime, I think I will start with the chocolate covered cherries. That is a tradition each year as well

I hope each of you have a very Merry Christmas.

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