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Do you enjoy writing or reading poetry?  Most of the posts on Big Sky Buckeye are filled with poetry, but I also share short stories, photography, and a few surprises along the way. You are invited to sit a spell and find something you like.  I enjoy sharing my curiosity through my writing.  You are welcome to like, comment, follow, share, or reblog a post.

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A recent thunderstorm took my thoughts back to the plains of Montana where every spring dryland farmers place their faith in God with another season of planting.  These images inspire today’s poem in “Steadfast Prayers.”

In addition to my writing, view another journal entry posted on May 21 in From My Journal.  While Big Sky Buckeye enjoys writing poetry and short stories, much of his journal writing is inspired from reading and commenting on other blogger’s posts.

You are invited to read a quote updated on May 21 from thoughts found in the words of American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker Jim Rohn.  He shares from his wealth of life experiences.

Here’s my Baker’s Dozen, featuring 13 of my recent writings from the past couple of weeks.  Each post is linked to take you right to its location.  Other poems, short stories, and feature writings can be found in the archives (found at the top of the page), which will be updated frequently with past selections.  Enjoy!

Welcoming Thy Neighbor

From Romans 15:5-6:  “May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Working through each of us

Nurturing Word of God

 

Building up each neighbor

Sharing love of Jesus

 

Calling each believer

Stepping into life’s void

 

Following Spirit’s lead

Willing to share burdens

 

Observing their struggles

Praying for others’ needs

 

Welcoming thy neighbor

Living in harmony

 

Thriving to gather time

Helping hands step forward

 

Making a difference

Walking in Christ’s footprints

 

Accepting each other

Teaching from Father’s Word

 

Comforting and helping

Showing love to neighbors

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From Galatians 5:14:  “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

Rick Warren Quote

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Prayer is the most important tool for your mission to the world.  People may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers.

From 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:  “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

[Story Archives] Panic on the River: Disaster Strikes

river between green leafed tree

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In case you missed the first chapter of the story, here is a link: 

Panic on the River:  Friends Join Up

As we rejoin the story, let’s take a quick look at where the story last left us.

As the oversized boat journeys downstream, majestic cottonwood trees line the river bank.  The guys relive past stories and throw out a few new jokes.  The sun is heating up the raft’s surface, and Fred feels thirsty.  Sitting at the bow, he slyly pulls a cold beer from the chilly river water.  Nature provides a perfect way to keep these barley pops cold, and Fred intends to enjoy a few.

Bill and Pete, sitting in the middle of the boat, pay close attention to the river as they paddle and assist with the steering of the craft.  Randy, the mighty river navigator, hardly notices Fred pulling a beer out of the water.  Steering the raft from the stern, he notices that the Little Gulch is running much higher than he expected.

With the river cresting at such a high level, the boat continues to pick up speed in the churning waters.  Randy glances at his watch, and he figures that they will reach Clifton about an hour earlier than expected.  “No worries,” he ponders.  Thinking to himself, perhaps the gang can enjoy a longer lunch break several miles away.

The buoyant raft slides into a long stretch of challenging whitewater.  Everyone begins to feel an adrenaline rush, excitement builds, and the men prepare to float the most exciting segment of the river.

Meanwhile at the bow, Fred pays little attention to what lies ahead.  Another icy, cold beer is sliding right down, and the deceptive Little Gulch will soon bring on more excitement than anyone can imagine.

The eight-man raft picks up speed again, and Randy steers the boat on a straight and steady course.  The large craft is handling the whitewater and rapids without much difficulty.

Out of nowhere, a swarm of mosquitoes attack the crew.  The fellas do their best to fend off the biting invaders.  Suddenly, the overwhelmed craft becomes airborne as it maneuvers more like a large rubber tube instead of a hardy and manageable river craft.  Jumping up and down violently in the quick-moving water, the overmatched boat swirls along as the river attempts to swallow it whole.

Bill and Pete, feeling perspiration running nearly as rapid as the Little Gulch, continue to perform yeoman’s work to keep the boat on a somewhat straight course through the ever-increasing rapids.  Randy, feeling a bit of panic, realizes that he must stay extra alert and as steady as those ancient cottonwood trees lining the river’s edge.

The buzzing mosquitoes are beginning to fly away when Fred excitedly stands up.

Rule #1:  Never ever stand up in a moving boat!

A final attack of the airborne, vampire bugs proves too much for a beleaguered Fred.  In the middle of his thoughts, he remembers his father, Fred Sr.  The elder Fred died a few years ago when he fell off the roof of his home and struck his head.  Perhaps he should sit back down before he falls out of the boat, but fate decides to intervene at its most opportune moment.

Fred continues to stand and swat wildly at the raging mob of mosquitoes.

Randy yells at him, “You need to sit down.  Now!”

Rule #2:  Always listen to the boat’s captain!

Well . . . sometimes worthy advice shows up a bit too late!

Splash!

Fred tumbles into the powerful waters of the Little Gulch.  The guys hear his screams of terror before the river surrounds him and pulls him under the violent surface.  Randy strains to keep the raft steady as the river seems intent on possibly dumping the large boat upside down.  The Little Gulch’s pace quickens—as if on cue!

Bill and Pete glance at each other, wondering what to do next.  Bill, who cannot swim, tightens the straps on his life vest and looks forward to where Fred was just sitting.

Oh no!

Fred’s life vest is nestled at the front of the boat.  In their haste to get the trip started, everyone missed Fred sliding his life vest under the bow area.  Fred is now fighting for his life—just the river and him!

Pete screams, “How could Fred be so incredibly stupid!”

He hurriedly scans the river, and finally spots Fred’s head and shoulders popping up above the foaming whitewater.  Fred, in a semi-drunken state, is splashing around helplessly.  Everyone hears his muffled cries of panic and despair.  How will these three men prepare a plan to save foolish Fred?

As their boat hurries down the wild river, the guys realize that Fred is likely doomed.  But . . . fate always finds a way to tantalize and tease at the most extreme of moments.

Amazingly, the Little Gulch’s ravaging current pushes Fred towards the shore where the ageless cottonwood trees conveniently dangle their branches just above the river’s boiling surface.  As a waterlogged Fred reaches and grabs one of the branches as a lifeline, the fellas watch as he tightly grips a lone branch for his very life.

“Help!  Help me!” echo screams of help from Fred.

The raft dashes to catch up to Fred, who is looming closer and closer.  With a few more yards yet to go, Fred may soon be saved from the clutches of the river.

Out of nowhere, a large tree limb cuts between the raft and Fred.  Like a large water snake gathering speed, the enormous splinter of wood rushes through the water towards Fred.

Whack!

Fred’s grip loosens as he is knocked back into the main waters of the Little Gulch.

Randy and Bill groan in utter disbelief at Fred’s terrible misfortune.  Pete senses that it is now or never for saving Fred.  He alerts his boat mates with a shout that he will try to save poor Fred.

Stay tuned to this same river channel for the exciting conclusion when we all witness “Heroism Arrives.”

Curious Trivial Facts (5/28)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  We can all appreciate some of the lesser known facts from around the world.

Charles Rushmore was a young attorney sent from New York City to South Dakota in 1885 to check on mining titles in the Black Hills.  When he singled out one of the mountains and inquired about its name, his guide, William Challis, shot back that it did not have one, but suggested they could “just call the damn thing Rushmore.”

Before she found fame as an author and sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer was trained as a sniper in the Israeli army.

These facts have been discovered in I NEVER KNEW THAT by David Hoffman (2009).

Lasting Presence (Elfchen Series #102)

Hope’s Spirit

Voice

Blessing us

God sharing peace

Awakening quietness in our

Hearts

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Faith’s Spirit

Source

Daily strength

God’s steadfast love

His wisdom shall always

Guide

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Truth’s Spirit

Experiencing

God’s presence

His Creation breathes

Divine, righteous Word speaks

Life

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A. W. Tozer Quote

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God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn into faith to Him.

From Psalm 146:5-6:  “They will recount the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works I will meditate.  They will proclaim the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness.”

[Story Archives] Panic on the River: Friends Join Up

This short story was written and published in November, 2018.  While I am traveling, I thought now would be a good time to allow more readers to experience this story.  Due to the length, it will be divided into three chapters.  Here is the first, and the remaining two will be posted in the coming days.

people riding a boat

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Planning for an adventurous river trip for the past six months, Pete joins his long-time friends Randy, Bill, and Fred.  The men have been looking forward to floating the Little Gulch River, and their expectations run quite high to enjoy a fantastic time.  All of them have floated this river before except for Fred, who will travel this river (or any river) for his first time.

For this time of the year, the river is running extremely high with an unusually swift current.  The local people have never seen the Little Gulch so full at this time of the annual spring run-off.

Twenty years ago, the sometimes treacherous river took the life of a careless fisherman.  The novice angler stood up in his small boat, and his poor balance sent him into the rapid-moving water.  With no help nearby and lacking a life vest, the old man was no match for the Little Gulch.  He perished quickly!

The excited river floaters plan to use Randy’s large eight-man rubber raft.  It will offer plenty of room for all of the fella’s supplies . . . extra life vests, paddles, a cooler filled with a delicious lunch, a few bags of salty and sweet snacks, and beer.  Randy’s water-worthy craft is large enough to handle any of the challenges that the Little Gulch brings their way.

As the “captain” of their vessel, Randy is an experienced river man.  He has floated the Little Gulch numerous times, and he is intimately familiar with most of its twists and turns.  The rest of the crew will depend on Randy’s expertise, more than they can ever imagine on this fateful day.

This day’s journey begins early in the morning at Sleeping Bear fishing access.  Few river travelers begin at this point along the river.  This section of the Little Gulch is only floated by the most experienced and skilled boaters and their sleek and stable river crafts.  Confident in his skills and vast experience, Randy looks forward to a routine, uneventful, and safe trip.

Bill looks forward to today’s trip as he enjoys floating the river with Randy and Pete.  The men have known each other since high school, and they have managed to stay in touch throughout the past several years.  These days find them separated by hundreds of miles, but the Little Gulch will provide a scenic backdrop for an exhilarating reunion.  Yes, exciting may not be a strong enough word to describe what awaits the men on their journey down the tricky and sometimes devious river.

The entire day looks to be sunny and warm.  The river’s temperature will be chilly, but it will keep the guys’ six-packs of beer cold in order to quench their thirsts later at lunchtime.  At the bow of the raft, Randy has cleverly secured ropes to safely transport and chill the cans of brew while they remain slightly below the water line.

Pete, having been on the Little Gulch just a few times, is not as experienced as Randy or Bill.  His experience may come in handy at a critical moment today, especially his skills as a competitive swimmer from his high school days.  Somewhere at his home, buried and nearly lost in an overflowing hallway closet, lies a small box with a cache of swimming medals.  Almost forgotten are these achievements!

The guys set out on their adventure.  They expect to have a marvelous time as the raft moves swiftly downstream with the river’s strong moving current.  Randy’s itinerary provides for a mid-day lunch (remember the chilling beer) at an island on the river.  In checking his map, skipper Randy expects the stop to be perfect for food, beer, and a bit of rest.  Over 30 miles downstream awaits the small town of Clifton and the arrival of the fun-loving foursome on board.

The last member of the boat’s crew, Fred, is floating the Little Gulch for his very first time.  With some reluctance, Randy has offered Fred an opportunity to make the trip.  He will replace a much more experienced river man, Mark, who is laid up at his home with a broken arm.  A recent tumble from a ladder puts Mark on the bench for this trip, and Fred is thrilled to be taking his place.

The river cruising quartet enjoys the bright sun and a gentle breeze.  The large rubber raft will likely make a speedy trip down to Clifton.  The men plan to eat dinner at a tasty steakhouse before driving Bill’s old, beat-up pick-up truck back to Randy’s brand new beast of a truck, which has been left at Sleeping Bear.  After loading the raft and supplies into Randy’s truck, Randy and Fred plan to stay overnight in Clifton while Bill and Pete will drive all night to catch an early morning flight back to their separate homes.

As the oversized boat journeys downstream, majestic cottonwood trees line the river bank.  The guys relive past stories and throw out a few new jokes.  The sun is heating up the raft’s surface, and Fred feels thirsty.  Sitting at the bow, he slyly pulls a cold beer from the chilly river water.  Nature provides a perfect way to keep these barley pops cold, and Fred intends to enjoy a few.

The story continues . . . stay tuned for the next chapter when “Disaster Strikes.”

Jane Austen Quotes

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None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.

Time will explain.

Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an acclaimed English novelist.  Much of her writings dealt with women’s pursuit of a more favorable social standing as well as economic security.

Healing

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Turning life upside down

Darkness fuels discontent

Grief fills daily breakdowns

Hopelessness speeds descent

 

Reaching out to others

Care arrives through their grace

Like words from grandmother

Life moves to better place

 

Breathing, moving forward

Journey begins to smile

Ship now sails straightforward

Life transitions, each mile

 

Healing day by day

Sunshine now reappears

Precious words stop to say

Tender thoughts, always near

 

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