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An update to the Staurolite foundation

24 Apr 2017

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so here are a few that will hopefully illustrate the work of the Staurolite foundation the last half of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. We covet your prayers as we

Real Mission work

10 Feb 2017

Yesterday we were privileged to go out with our friends and participate in training local “baby” Chris!$t!@ns in how to share the word. When we completed the training we shared a meal and then after a time of talking with

And we are off..

04 Feb 2017

Well today is the day. We head out this morning to begin the journey of almost 28 hours to India. If we could find a tv, and then if we could get the game, we could watch the Super Bowl

Nothing is as Good as it seems & Nothing is as bad as it seems

29 Jan 2017

Let me start with an apology of sorts, maybe an excuse or an explanation… I have been neglectful in meeting my own self imposed standards of posting to this page. And, while I am at, don’t expect it to get

Outdoor activities

01 Dec 2016

We are hip deep in elk hunts for wounded military service men in New Mexico while the staff of the New Hope school in Kolkata is also engaged in outdoor activities.

There is something about being out of doors that

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So often on mission here in India we are simply overwhelmed by the noise, the smells, the crowds, the bad food, the lack of our understanding the language, the needs we see and we feel inadequate, but a text that I saw at 5:00 AM this morning ( for the record it was sent earlier but the Muslim call to prayer wakes us all at 5:00 AM every morning) the first dozen or so times you hear the blare of the Muslim call to prayer at 5:00 AM you are reminded you are not in the mountains of New Mexico, or the plains of Texas. Anyway, I saw the text from my friend Scott – who is checking our house in New Mexico while we are here. Scott was texting to say we have a leak in the water heater – big problem in a house that is heated through hot water being pumped through pipes in the floors and the last couple of mornings have been in the -20 to -40 ( yes those negative numbers) range. So, Scott took another friend of ours, local home builder, home repairer and all around Good guy Chris over to see what was up with the leak. But, with out Alan, another young friend of ours in the home maintenance business who about 3 days before we left asked if he needed to check our house while we were gone. Alan spurred me to ask Scott… Ian’ God amazing, way before I knew I had a problem our Lord reminded me through Alan, to ask Scott to check things and — well you get the picture.

We worshipped with Kolkata Christian Fellowship today. Charley ( another named changed to guard identity) was playing guitar and singing with the worship team. I mentioned to C’s wife how happy and excited he looked to be playing. She said yes, he played acoustic guitar and bought that one right before we came saying he would learn to play while here. As soon as he showed up at KCF they asked if he played guitar and had a spot for him in the band – before he even knew God prepared for him, Or as my friend John Featherston says, ” What a coincidence.”

As we traveled to some very remote villages yesterday by 3 wheeled tricycle and boat we found natives who were eager to hear more of this man Je$£s. We would asked if they had heard of Je$€s and they would respond with yes, but… But we need to know more, please tell us more. And we of course would gladly oblige.

Even as God the father solved my little problem before it got out of control, He also solved all our big problem of eternal separation from Gid the Father by sending His own son Je$€s who limped a perfect life to die in our place. What an experience to be able to share with folks who have heard of the man Je$€s but want to know more of Him.

We only see examples of the unqualified & unprepared – a shepherd boy, 12 fishermen, a harlot, a scared farmer thrashing wheat – being used in grand ways to further the kingdom of the Father. Through each story we see how the Father hasprepared for us all we have to do is be willing.

Blessings, mike

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Phil 2:13

…we do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help 2 Ch 20:12 b

“If you wait ’till you are prepared, you will be waiting a while” Cowboy Logic

 

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We spent 3 days with the children of the New Hope School. The New Hope school is limageimageocated in the Udayan Pally slum area of New Town Kolkata, India. It is a slim school for children and gives them ” new hope” forimage a better life through a basic education in English and math and being introduced to the light of the world – Jesus Christ.

The ladies on our team did an amazing job teaching biblical truth through story, song, and craft. Joe have these children who never get a chance to just “play” some very real outdoor recreational experiences. Mainly our team just showed Jesus’ love to these kids through their time and energy.

 

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I have spent the last 6 months elk hunting with true American heroes. It is such an honor and a privilege for me to hang out with men who have sacrificed so much for our country. I am always amazed at the selfless sacrifice to serve exhibited by these wounded military veterans. I am humbled when I hear from them that they would do it again. We idolize sports figures and call them heroes, but men and women who lay their life on the line and suffer injury for our country are true heroes. I am humbled when I talk to these warriors who have lost limbs or have suffered traumatic brain injury yet quickly and surely state they would do it again.

We are currently observing some true heroes of spiritual warfare serving above and beyond what few can even imagine. Let me introduce you to Larry and Steven (names changed to protect their identity) These men serve in a country where persecution is current and frequent. They have experienced it. Yet there is no back up in them. There are many more like them, but I want to tell you of these two.

Larry was born a Muslim. He was raised in a Muslim family. He came to know Jes-~s as his savior at age 14. He was introduced to J-$us by some friends, not by a church, or a pastor, but friends. When he committed his life to J€#~us his parents beat him. The parents beat their 14 year old boy because he choose to follow J€#$us. I asked Larry if the beating discouraged him from following J€$#s. Larry responded, “No, it encouraged me.” Would I have been encouraged to be beaten? Would I have understood as a young Ch^*?tian the words of Matthew chapter 3, Blessed are those who are persecuted. I know that folks in America have no clue what it takes to have this type of hero character.

and Steven, Steven is a man of more than 60 years who drove a cab in Calcutta for more than 40 years. He still refers to himself as Muslim. When I first met Steven 5 years ago he was pastoring 3 Ch£!$tian churches. Yes working full time and serving 3 churches. On Sunday we attended the Kolkatta Christian Fellowship. After service our team and several of the local folks who work for “the company” went to a mall and ate lunch at an American restaurant here in Kolkatta. We noticed Steven, who is driving for our team this trip, was not around. This is not unusual as Steven often drops us off and goes to park or do his own thing always returning to pick us up right on time and at the right place. We finished and headed down to the basement car park where we found Steven. When I asked if he had lunch and what he had been doing he responded, ” I had lunch and then lead that guy (pointing to an attendant) to Ch£!st. Steven was as excited as if he had shot a huge bull elk – he lead a man to know his Saviour while I was having dessert & celebrating the one year anniversary of some of the company employees. What a hero. One who is focused on the mission.

Our lesson on Sunday was about missions. I am told every sermon should both challenge and encourage. The pastor spoke on the need to give of our time, get out of our comfort zone & go serve. I left encouraged and a bit proud. It took Steven about 5 minutes to remind me that missions are where we are, next door, at the oil change place, with our friends – to challenge me. Let me challenge and encourage you who live in a place with no real danger of persecution to match the work of these two men who face the very real danger every day of real and serious persecution.  mike

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It has been a good and spirit filled trip. We arrived very early in the morning of 27 February – January ( just FYI we did not cross the International Month line & I should always consult an editor ) see how international I am with the date arrangement…. Anyway, our group arrived after a relatively easy 27 or so hour trip. We showered, unpacked, slept a bit and tried to get our internal clocks set back by 12 hours. Then we were off to Asansol, a 3 or so hour trip by train. We left the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS) guest house at 5 AM local time. The taxi I was in had a flat and we got kicked out on the side of the road about a 1/2 mile from the train station. To compound the problem the 3 of us had put our packs in with all the baggage in the other taxi so no phones, no passports, and very little money. According to Susan’s fit bit she walked 14,200 – yes that is 14 thousand steps as we hustled looking for the rest of our group. Some of us covered more than that as we left folks in strategic locations to try and regroup. Lesson one – never let your personal items out of your sight. Our translator found us after the remainder of the group and their train – the train we were supposed to be on – had left the station. He found us or we found him as we were headed back to the BMS to start over. We all made it to Asansol eventually and were back together shortly after noon.

As usual, what started a bit rough ended well. We had over 100 attend a medical clinic under a tree where our folks helped with blood pressure screening, prayed with and for people, and were able to share their Jesus stories with local natives. We had some lunch – very late lunch – and then went to set up for the Jesus Film. The Jesus film is an effective method of sharing the Gospel and used widely throughout India and other similar countries. They set up a couple of sheets for a screen, a generator, and a projector and folks started showing up. We were able to share the gospel with about a hundred children and adults prior to the film. We left to rest and prepare for the next day’s teaching while another 200 or so folks – 300 total – came to view the Jesus film.

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29 January had our men leading about 50 pastors from as far as 12 hours away( side note one man who is about my age  pastors a church of over 200 with more than 70 Baptisms up on the Nepal border. He is a former Muslim terrorist having killed many people and participated in hi jackings, kidnappings, you name it before he found Jesus – or maybe heard from Jesus due to the prayers for him. Yes, he pointed out our host pastor and gave him credit as the one who prayed for him – a terrorist- to come to know Jesus. Proof positive radical Islamic Muslim believers can be saved by the Blood of Jesus. I must say, I am not easily overwhelmed, but I wondered what I could say that would be of benefit to this man, as I watched him taking notes and paying rapt attention.) we spoke on vision and goals, taking care of ourselves as leaders in order to take care of others. And once again, I saw 50 men singing with hands held high, praising God and dancing – yes men…Fair warning, I will now be bolder in expecting men to lead in worship and all aspects of the church. When you see a native and a foreigner get called out by the leader because they are not singing loud enough, clapping hard enough, or dancing – well just be prepared!

The ladies expected and prepared for 40 – they had over 90 women church leaders show up from many miles away to learn about women’s leadership in the church. Almost all the churches are small house churches where the Pastor has another “real job” and his wife does the back ground work of the church – both unpaid. Truly our churches could learn a lot about service from these folks. As usual we leave having learned more than we taught.

we returned to Kolkatta late in the evening after many opportunities to share the gospel with folks who may not have heard before and after sharing our faith and experiences with church leaders. We finished up the weekend enjoying dinner with some of the local missionary’s at a restaurant in the city. What a privilege to share a meal with these warriors of the faith. Folks who give up all the creature comforts of home in order to serve in a bleak and noisy, very crowded city. Thank the Good Lord for them and thank you for your prayerful support of them and us, Blessings, mike

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A Thankful Heart

Hi,my name is Saida khatun. My husband left me with two small children.   I was in distress,and hope less condition . After few monts, I found a man . He showed his kindness to me. He said, he will marry me and take care of my two little kids. I thought that,my life would change ,I married him. My life went well for 6months. One day he did not return from job,and when I contacted him, said that ,do not want to take care of my children. I wanted to search a job for me,but thought again,   when I will go to work, who will take care of my children.

One day I was going infront of NEW HOPE SCHOOL ,( saw healthy snacks was distributing   among school children) . Antuy saw me, watching them. She offered me some snacks. I did not know ,How Aunty could know that ,we had no food for last four days. I took that snacks and fed my children.

Now my kids are under the safe hand of Aunty( school Principal). My kids will get proper education as well as , Healthy Snacks. Thanks to New Hope School.

The purpose of the New Hope school is to give “new  hope” to the children of the Udayan Polly slum area of Kolkata, India, As you can see in the testimony above the school gives “new hope” to parents of children as well. Many of the parents of these children leave very early in the morning and return late in the evening from their jobs. The New Hope school provides a safe place for their children to learn and have a “new hope” of a better life.  As we head out on our trek to visit the children of the New Hope school we ask for your prayers. It is our hope that we will be able to support the ongoing work of the teachers who work with these children every day.

 

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It is transition time for the Staurolite foundation. We have just completed our last elk of the season for wounded American military service men and women and now are making final preparations to visit the children of the New Hope school in India. The hunters all expressed what a wonderful time they enjoyed spending time with their brothers in the mountains of New Mexico. I know all of us that provided support for them enjoyed a wonderful time.

The hunting season is filled with wonderful stories of men injured in combat enjoying hunting in the mountains, as one hunter stated, the majestic and elusive elk. This is the fourth year of these elk hunts and by far the most successful in terms of harvest. We had 8 of 11 hunters harvest elk. I truly believe each hunt is successful but often there is no harvest to show for it. It was an amazing fall in other ways as well. The Staurolite foundation was able to secure and is in the process of installing aluminum ramps on a Vietnam era veterans home. This vet is representative of so many whose personal needs have fallen through the cracks. We are thankful to the men who found this need and all who have helped with purchase, delivery, and installation of the ramps.

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There is something amazing about watching a guy who lost both legs and an arm put on his prosthetic legs and make jokes about cold feet. Or a couple of men who were burned in horrific explositions and are extremely sensitive to the cold out helping their brothers process their elk in temperatures well below freezing. We had hunters come to understand Gods amazing love and forgiveness for them in spite of the terrible things they had seen and participated in during their battle experiences. We saw men come to realize that God has Good things and Good deeds planned for them as the word states in Eph2:10. We were able to witness men who had debilitating injuries joyfully help drag their elk down a mountain. We saw true servants, warriors, serving and supporting their brothers.It has been a wonderful elk season.

These experiences are lasting ones. And hopefully the lessons learned and Good times experienced will continue into the future. We have pictures of all the hunts from past years on our wall. Every time we pass them we are filled with fond memories of men who sacrificed for us. This past fall I visited with several men who hunted with us in the past all of whom expressed what it meant to them, even though some were years ago. As we wrap up this season and transition to India let me say thank you for your prayerful support. Without your prayer support I am confident the hundreds of minor issues we experienced would have grown into major problems. And a big Thank You to these who have sacrificed so much for the rest of us. It has been said a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a few more from this season. On behalf of all of us that provide the support for these true American heroes on these hunts, Thank you for your support, mike

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I hope this is a wonderful time of year for you, a time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and enjoy the favor and Blessing of the Good Lord. A time to relax, recreate, reflect, recover, and reset your priorities. Sorry, I can’t help it, I like alliteration. If this is not a beautiful time of year for you then let me encourage you to put your faith and trust in Jesus and choose as Joseph and Mary did to believe these temporary troubles will pass and you will enjoy victory.

It is amazing what all the Good Lord uses to prepare us for the plans He has for us. And all that is required of us is choose to trust Him and then be obedient to His call upon our lives. As I reflect on where I am today I am reminded that I had to take an exam in College to show adequate competency in the English language in order to be able to enroll in the education classes required for me to earn a degree in Secondary Education. My first job after college was coaching and teaching English – ironic is not? I spent a lot of time preparing for those English classes.

As the Lord led me to leadership positions a fair amount of writing for public consumption and public speaking went with the job. And now, a published book, a couple of blogs, and a second book ready for publication. Amazing, truly amazing what the Lord has allowed me to learn and how far he has brought me. Me, a regular guy with little academic competence, being allowed to lead two of what are now considered to be in the top ten schools in Texas –simply amazing. And if you knew me, you would have no doubt it is only due to the grace and goodness of the Good Lord because I surely do not have the ability.

While my wife and my life is not that of Zechariah and Elizabeth, we also were not able to have children, yet the Good Lord gave us a family. Here I set thankful with a beautiful wife, two sons growing and maturing, and unlike so many other people in this country and in the world time to sit and enjoy. Yet I like so many others do not live everyday with the attitude of success. Instead I see the obstacles, the rocks in the trail, the difficulties. While I should have my eyes focused on the prize –not ignoring or not seeing the potential difficulties or dangers on the trail, but cruising through as one victorious.

As we celebrate the season of the birth of Christ, and I am not adding to the debate of the actual time of Christ’s birth or of the pagan roots of the celebration of the winter solstice. I am simply enjoying celebrating the birth of the Lord. We bring gifts to honor our family and friends and demonstrate generosity for those who should be easiest for us to be generous. I guess you could call it practicing generosity. I am simply choosing to not fight for or about Christmas, but to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Because without His birth, He could not die and resurrect His life to demonstrate the victory.

I think of Mary. Mary, an unwed girl, likely a teenager, living in a society that at best would ostracize her and maybe kill her for becoming pregnant out of wedlock. Yet, one who joyfully accepted her role in the life changing –no world changing drama that continues today. Mary who saw past the temporary difficulties and trusted the Good Lord for success and victory in the end.

I think of Joseph. Joseph a man betrothed to a pregnant girl. And in a society that could literally stone him for the assumption that he had got her pregnant or he could have Mary stoned. He chose to follow in obedience the Lord’s direction and marry her and raise the child Jesus.

And Jesus, Jesus who gave up his lofty position as the son of God, one part of the three some that make up God. He gave it up to come to the earth, live as a human with all the problems, temptations, sickness, and then voluntarily go through the pain and suffering of the cross.

We all, me included have regrets this time of year. If people tell you they don’t, then to quote an old preacher friend of mine, “they will lie about other things too”. We all have family issues, relationships and friendships lost or hurt by our own actions or lack of actions, and some beyond our own control. Yet we have this example of a poor teenage girl who willingly accepted her role and looked past these temporary afflictions of society. We don’t read of her having difficult days and maybe she did or did not, but the example remains she lived with her view beyond these temporary difficulties. If only we could all live as the humble victors of this life that we are through the sacrifice of Mary, Joseph, and most of all Jesus.

Let me encourage you to look back over the past success you have enjoyed. Celebrate this season and live this season with sure knowledge that as long as you keep your faith and trust in Jesus the Lord you will enjoy success in the end. And if you are not trusting Him, then please begin today.

Be purposeful,

mike

Leadership on Purpose

Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! –Luke 2:9-11, NLT

Mary responded, I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true. And then the angel left her. – Luke 1:38

For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16, NLT

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our

Lord. –Romans 6:23, NLT

“Stop fighting for Christmas –there’s nothing to fight for. The followers of Jesus are celebrating; the rest don’t get it.”        – James McDonald

Cowboy Logic:  “You find pretty much what you are looking for…”

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Soma Das

Hi,,my name is soma das. .I live with my parents .My father is a cobbler and my mom is a maid .Our finical condition is not so good that, our parent can send me to a good school. Aunty came to my house and told my mom, that there is a school in this area and after that my mom sent me to this school for education.  I don’t pay any money for my education.  My education  is in New Hope Mission School is  very  good which I could not have receive,  even if I would go to any other school and pay for my education. Here at this school I get Education, personal care and also to know about  my savior Jesus. I came to know about Jesus Christ through my Teachers. I share Jesus songs and stories with my parent. Pray that one day may  my parent would know  about Jesus Christ.

While we are between elk hunts for wounded soldiers, the work of the Staurolite foundation continues in India supporting the New Hope School. Please be in prayer for the students and teachers of the New Hope school and for the wounded soldiers who will hunt elk with the Staurolite foundation during January 5-12. We cherish your support, mike

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16

Cowboy Logic: The person who wants something will

find a way.   The person who doesn’t will find an excuse. 

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What a great last few weeks. I have had the privilege of spending 3 weeks elk hunting with these true American heroes. Our friend Dave hosted one additional hunter this past week. While the hunting was pretty tough during September and October, once the weather turned in late October things improved. We had 4 of 7 hunters harvest elk so far this year. We always hope there are elk harvested, however, I think all that hunted would agree the time with their brothers was the most rewarding.

The Good Lord Blessed the time of fellowship and the men left with heart’s full. It is always hard to put into words what these weeks mean to those of us who are privileged to serve these men who have sacrificed so much for us. It seems it is equally hard for the hunters to put into words what the hunts mean to them as well. I try to get the hunters alone and ask how they are doing sometime during the hunt. The common response is, “I have no words”. My thought is that is what we are striving to achieve.

The thing just amazes me is that these men who have lost legs, hands, paralyzed from the waist down, traumatic brain injuries that have destroyed their balance, yet each and everyone says they would willing do it again. I am not sure I have the depth of character to sign up again if I knew I would have to sacrifice so much. True heroes one and all.

It is my hope that these men have experienced what David was referencing in the Psalms and their souls have been restored. Thanks to the folks who gave so much time and energy to make these hunts successful, thanks Scott, Vickie, Cheryl, Alan, Susan, Bruce, Dave, and the preparatory work of John and so many others.

Keep us in your prayers as we have one more hunt, January 7-12, 2016 up on the RCCLA holdings near Amalia, NM. Blessings, mike

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Cowboy Logic: “Life is not about how fast you run or

how high you climb — but about how well you bounce.

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I am always amazed at the character of these heroes who hunt with us. The Staurolite foundation has had more than 20 of these American heroes hunt with us, not counting the first hunt before there was a Staurolite foundation. Every one of these men have one thing in common. Even though they have been wounded, some with permanent disabilities, each and every one say they would do it again. I wonder how many of us – if faced with knowing before we started – would be willing to sacrifice an arm, a leg, both legs, emotional stability, or even balance and fatigue issues caused by a traumatic brain injury. Sacrifice – something most folks do not even begin to understand today.

Today sacrifice means having weak internet, or maybe questionable phone service, or heaven forbid not being able to use your phone. Sacrifice – where would we be without the sacrifice of men and women in service to this country? Or more importantly, where would we be without the sacrifice of Jesus giving His life for us on the cross at Calvary.

I am always amazed at men and women who dedicate their life to service. Many say their purpose is service over self. Many live out this service over self. However, there are a few who serve for self. I have yet to meet one of these wounded heroes who served for self. Most, if not all, will say they entered military service from a motivation which was personal, something like college tuition or to take care of family. However, I have not met any who stayed with it for personal reasons. They each and every one stayed for a purpose greater than themselves.

These men see themselves as the protector of freedom for us and the giver of freedom to those less fortunate. Or they play the role of peace keeper and peace is only truly given through someone sacrificing their own comfort to fight off oppression.

Many of these men struggle with a concern that they will not be received well at the pearly gates because of their involvement in killing many. I hope you and I will help them understand the principle of Matthew chapter 5 – that my anger with someone is no different in the eyes of God than killing someone. Unfortunately, there are many innocent deaths in war. Somehow it would be much easier for me, and I believe is for most of these heroes, to take the life of an armed combatant. But taking an innocent life is a burden they carry and have difficulty putting down.

Let me ask and encourage you to pray for these men and women. Pray that they will have a good understanding of grace, God’s grace for them. Pray that they will have the wisdom to understand they are as welcome in heaven as you or I who have not killed anyone, but have anger issues, overeat, lust after things or people, pick your own issue.

And let me encourage you to serve for the right purposes – the purpose of serving the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God in this reference is whatever Good deeds He has planned for you as is written in Ephesians 2:10, not what some guy who fills the pulpit on Sunday says.

As for me and my house, well, I say a heartfelt thank you to these men and women who have truly sacrificed so much so that I can sit in the mountains this morning, see the beautiful aspen leaves turning, and recall fond memories of my time hunting elk with them.

Blessings,

mike

the Staurolite foundation

But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. 30 Those who weep or rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. 31 Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:31

Cowboy Logic: “Going to church makes you a Christian about as much as sitting in a hen house makes you a chicken.”

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Mid-day prairie dog shooting between hunts

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