Jesus Will Be With Us

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An early winter blizzard covers the immense ranching country.  The harshness of the storm threatens everyone’s safety, both people and cattle.

Phone lines are disconnected, with most on the ground.  Electricity is off except where well-prepared ranchers turn on generators to provide for their needs.  All roads into each ranch are drifted shut with the heavy, dense snow.

One rancher is overly concerned for the welfare of his family and his cattle herd.  The family is warm and safe inside their home, and they have enough groceries to last for several more days.

However, the cattle stand in harm’s way.  Their water supply and feeding schedule have been disrupted, and the rancher worries about the length of the storm and the consequences for his 300 plus head of Black Angus cows.

At suppertime on the third night of the storm, the atmosphere is tense.  The rancher’s son sees the worry painted on his father’s face.  This faithful, little soul of a five-year old reminds his father with words filled with hope, “Jesus will be with us.”

Overnight the storm begins to abate and move on.  In the morning, crews begin to slowly and carefully clear the roads.  In a matter of hours, they will reach the isolated ranch.

Using his powerful four-wheel tractor with its giant dozer blade, the rancher clears a path to where his precious cattle are nestled against the wall of a massive shelter.  While he makes sure the water is running, and the cattle receive their hay with a helping of rolled oats, he smiles and remembers the faithful words of his young son, “Jesus will be with us.”

Rebel and the Red-Neck Bears, Chapter 3

brown wooden house near trees

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Here is the final chapter of the series.  If you missed either of the first two chapters, here are the links.

As Chapter 2 wraps up, Rebel’s curiosity is bring him more and more trouble.  In the meantime, the three bears are nearly back home.

With one hot tub left to check out, Rebel cautiously approaches.  He feels the warm water beckoning him to jump in . . . and he does, clothes and all!  The steamy water feels just right as he slumps down in the perfectly sized tub.  Hmm, he feels like he could stay here forever.

Soon, the perfectly heated water serenades Rebel to sleep.  His long trip away from home has left him more fatigued than he realizes.

A few minutes later the Bears arrive back home.  Finished with their walk, yet famished, each of them looks forward to enjoying a warm breakfast bowl of porridge with some of the berries that they harvested during their uneventful walk.

“What’s this!”  Papa Bear roars with frustration and anger.

In the front yard, all three bears witness the carnage done to their treasured four-wheelers.  In shock and disappointment, Papa Bear sees that his machine has moved a few feet from its accustomed parking spot, its headlight has been left on, and a huge blob of bubble gum is stuck to the seat.  Mama Bear, in disbelief, agonizes that one of her back tires is flat.

Junior Bear screams, “Who crashed my bike into the maple tree?”

Sure enough, Junior Bear’s four-wheeler is crumbled like an accordion against the magnificent tree, which now sports a nasty divot in its massive trunk.

Papa Bear’s temper is beginning to swell as the family proceeds into the house.  In the living room, they find that their sturdy, comfortable chairs are untouched.  “Thank goodness for that,” whispers Papa Bear in a quiet, uncertain voice.

“Oh my dear!” Mama Bear cries out as her eyes scan the rest of the room.

The three view the damage done to their prized video screens.  Paper Bear finds his remote . . . well, at least the shattered pieces left on the floor.  Mama Bear stands over her smashed video screen, which is lying upside down on the floor.  Both are feeling their usual calm demeanor heating up into a fiery rage.

Junior Bear frantically surveys the room and cannot find his brand new mobile game device.  He growls, “Someone is going to pay for this!”

Now all three of the Red-Neck Bears feel their emotions burning hot—nearly as red as the scarves that are tied around their necks.  Junior Bear runs upstairs to the bedrooms, looking for his game device.  Sadly, he returns downstairs empty-handed, but he reports that their bedrooms appear untouched.

Hurrying through the kitchen, the family barely notices the full bowls of cooling porridge waiting on the table for their starving appetites.  Their hunting instincts lead them all out the door into the backyard.

Papa Bear walks up to his gigantic hot tub, and he finds a pair of beat-up sneakers and dirty socks lying on the ground.  Hmm, someone has been in the backyard, too.  Mama Bear hurries to her tub, and she immediately finds Junior Bear’s gaming device drowned and dead at the bottom.  She begins to “bear” her teeth.

“Mama, Papa! yells Junior Bear.  The Bears surround the final and smallest hot tub.  Sleeping in the tub is Rebel, the thirteen-year old, delinquent boy, who has turned their tranquil and contented world upside down.

All three of the Bears hiss and growl!  Their razor-sharp teeth are showing, and their ferocious claws look ready to carve up the skinny, teenage boy from the big city.

Jumping up awake in an instant, Rebel takes one look, and his final expression says it all.  He is frightened, and his face turns totally white with terror.  Will he be the Bears’ morning meal?

Screaming, he jumps out of the hot tub and rushes back into the woods—barefooted and soaking wet!

Rebel continues running all the way home.  When he reaches his destination and safety, he tumbles into his warm bed—exhausted from his frightening ordeal and escape from certain death.  He has never felt so frightened or tired.  Sleep overtakes him almost immediately.

But hang on . . . the story is not finished yet!

Several hours later, Rebel wakes up from a deep sleep as the morning has started without him.  He quickly realizes that he has been dreaming the strangest of all hallucinations.  His shoes are scattered in a corner of his disheveled room.  His dry clothes and socks are piled on a chair, and he is wearing his worn and faded “Three Bears” pajamas.  Everything looks and feels just right.  He sighs and smiles . . . being home feels just right!

Meanwhile back in the woods, the Bears have returned from their usual morning walk.  Their four-wheelers, waiting for an afternoon ride, are perfectly parked in a straight line in the front yard.  In the living room, the furniture and video equipment look like they are ready for another day of use.  Junior Bear looks out the kitchen window, and he is already thinking of some hot tub time after breakfast.

The Bears’ morning is going just right.  Their world is unspoiled here deep in the woods.

Their porridge has cooled, and it tastes just right.  Everything else looks and feels just right . . . except!

Junior Bear walks past the kitchen counter and discovers three red-colored scarves resting there.  He asks, “Where did these red scarves come from?”

Rebel and the Red-Neck Bears, Chapter 2

brown wooden house near trees

Photo by wendel moretti on

Welcome to Chapter 2 of the story.  Previously, in Chapter 1, Rebel has discovered the Red-Neck Bears’ cabin, with no at home.  Being a boy filled mischief, Rebel enjoys having the run of the place.  In case you missed the opening chapter of the story, this link will take you there:  Rebel and the Red-Neck Bears, Chapter 1.

Let’s check back at the final part of the previous chapter.  Enjoy this chapter of a three-part series.  

Jumping off, Rebel steps over to the final machine.  Everything feels just right as he sits on the seat.  He eagerly cranks up the motor and takes off for a spin around the front yard.  Being a city kid, Rebel has never driven anything like a four-wheeler.  He quickly loses control.


A mammoth maple tree blocks the path of the small four-wheeler.  Unhurt, Rebel hops off.  He seems unfazed by the damage done to the tree, much less the mangled front end of the machine.

Meanwhile, the porridge continues to cool in the kitchen.  The Bears are enjoying their early morning venture into the woods, but they realize that they must soon turn around and begin heading back before the porridge becomes cold.

Rebel scampers up the front steps and boldly enters the cabin without any fear.  He has assumed, correctly of course, that the home is empty.  After all, no one came running outside when he foolishly crashed into the majestic maple tree.

Inside the living room in plain sight are three different sizes of video screens.  The Bears enjoy gaming on each of their individual screens.  Walking right past the three comfortable-looking chairs, Rebel checks out the enormous video screen, but he cannot figure out how to operate the remote.  Frustrated, he throws the remote at the wall, and it shatters into several pieces.

Sliding over to the slightly smaller screen, Rebel becomes frustrated with the poor quality of the video.  His impatience ruptures as he slams the screen to the floor, cracking it in more than one place.  Anyone can see that young Rebel has a temper that boils over quickly and easily.

Last of all, Rebel spies a small mobile game device sitting on an end table, and it looks just right.  He has used a similar device before at a friend’s house in the city.  Happily, he begins playing on the device before slipping through the kitchen and dashing past the cooling porridge.  He takes the device with him, thinking that he will keep this for the journey home.

Meanwhile, the hungry Bears are nearing their home.  With a brief stop to gather some fresh berries for their porridge and some firewood for the wood stove, they will be back in less than ten minutes.

As Rebel glides out the back door, he realizes that his family is probably quite worried about his sudden disappearance.  He is set to begin his walk back through the woods towards the city, but three hot tubs catch his wondering eyes as he hurries across the backyard.  A morning dip appeals to him before he begins his journey for home (and a stern talking to from his parents, who have been distraught all morning).

As he approaches the tubs, he kicks off his shoes and socks.  Rebel dips a hand into the enormous tub, but he discovers that the water is much too hot for him.  Moving over to the next tub, he dips a bare left foot into the calm water, but swiftly pulls it back out.  With the water feeling like ice cubes, he accidentally loosens his grip on the gaming device.  The device falls to the bottom of the tub where it suffers a frigid, fateful plunge.

With one hot tub left to check out, Rebel cautiously approaches.  He feels the warm water beckoning him to jump in . . . and he does, clothes and all!  The steamy water feels just right as he slumps down in the perfectly sized tub.  Hmm, he feels like he could stay here forever.

Soon, the perfectly heated water serenades Rebel to sleep.  His long trip away from home has left him more fatigued than he realizes.

Rebel and the Red-Neck Bears, Chapter 1

brown wooden house near trees

Photo by wendel moretti on

Deep in the woods stands an enormous and beautifully built cabin.  The cabin has been the most magnificent home in the immense woods for many years.

The cabin provides a well-to-do home for the Red-Neck Bears.  They keep the inside of their cabin looking pleasant, and the yard is always maintained to look better than any found in the woods.  Someone always asks, “Why are they called the Red-Neck Bears?”

The Bears always wear colorful red scarves around their necks.  The bright red color separates them from the other bears that live throughout the woods. The Red-Neck Bears are a family filled with plenty of sophistication and class, and their lifestyle is the envy of all who live in the woods.

Some may feel that they already know the story of the “Three Bears” from childhood stories from long ago, but this is the sequel that few have ever heard of.  Sit down now, relax a spell, and enjoy the story.

True, there are three bears.  The family’s patriarch is Papa Bear, a mighty beast with a loving and soft heart.  His lovely wife, Mama Bear, keeps the home running smoothly with tender love and care.  Their child, Baby Bear, is so grown-up now that Papa Bear likes to refer to him as Junior Bear.

The Bears awake early on this warm summer morning (as they always do).  Each puts on a fresh and clean red scarf as is the family’s tradition.  Mama Bear prepares the usual breakfast of porridge (some habits never change).  As expected, the porridge is much too hot for anyone to eat so the family leaves their cozy and comfortable cabin for a quick, morning walk while the porridge cools.

Now, let’s see where the rest of the story goes.  Remembering of course, this is a sequel in the storyline of the “Three Bears”, aka “Red-Neck Bears.”

While the Bears are away, mischief arrives in their front yard.  A curious and sometimes naughty thirteen-year old boy, Rebel, stumbles upon the cabin.  He has run away from his family who live in the big city on the other side of the woods.  Rebel is always in trouble back home, and his parents have threatened him with a harsher life filled with fewer privileges until he shapes up.  He is on his way to becoming the most obnoxious of all juvenile delinquents.

As Rebel steps into the yard, he quickly discovers three four-wheelers parked in a perfectly straight line, just like they have been waiting for his arrival.  The Bears enjoy taking rides throughout the woods on their splendid machines.  It can be quite exhilarating to experience the vastness and beauty of the woods while riding these sporty vehicles.

Rebel jumps on the gigantic four-wheeler, but the seat feels much too large and too hard.  He accidentally spits out his hunk of bubble gum, and it lands squarely on the seat.  Looking to his right, he moves to the next four-wheeler.  The seat fits better, but it feels much too soft.  Frustrated, Rebel deflates one of the tires just because it seems like the right thing to do.

Jumping off, Rebel steps over to the final machine.  Everything feels just right as he sits on the seat.  He eagerly cranks up the motor and takes off for a spin around the front yard.  Being a city kid, Rebel has never driven anything like a four-wheeler.  He quickly loses control.


A mammoth maple tree blocks the path of the small four-wheeler.  Unhurt, Rebel hops off.  He seems unfazed by the damage done to the tree, much less the mangled front end of the machine.

A Heart Transformed

brown toy box character

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

There was once a leader in a far-off land in the “Make Believe” world of a toy box.  This leader was made of wood, and featured the well-crafted workmanship of his Creator.

Despite appearances, there were flaws in the leader’s character.  He was dishonest and bullied everyone around him.  His actions as leader led to friction and decisiveness in the toy box.  The leader continued to govern with a misguided mind and agenda.  His heart seemed hardened to the point that other toys really wondered if he even possessed a heart.

One day, the boy who played with the toy box every day asked the leader, “Why is your character so bad?”

The leader ignored the question, and the boy played with his other toys.  Perhaps being made out of wood had made him inflexible with a hardness of attitude.  Everything the other toys did or said seemed to go against his grain.

Meanwhile, more and more heat came from some of the fiery citizens in the toy box.  Their patience was wearing thinner with each passing day.  A few toys even threatened the leader with more than just words.  The leader was paranoid about being literally “put on fire” from some of the other toys’ actions.  After all, he was made out of solid wood.

After observing the crippling turmoil in his toy box, the boy told the other toys, “I will ask the Creator to help us with this mess.”

The boy prayed a special prayer to the Creator:

Dear Creator, the toys and I ask for your help.  Our leader needs to change his bad ways so that all of the toys will enjoy a better life here in this toy box.  We look to you for aid and support.  Amen.

The Creator heard the boy’s prayer-filled words.  Overnight, he came into the toy box and removed the leader, who was sleeping soundly.  He remolded the leader into a better person with a benevolent and caring heart, which had been missing all along.

The leader was returned to the toy box with a heart no longer as hard as wood.  He was transformed into a Gospel-led leader.

Hubby’s Toolbox


combination wrench screw bolt and pointed top hammer

Photo by Inactive. on

Hello Big Sky Buckeye readers!  I am a housewife who has a story to share with you.  My dear husband is a great guy and a loving spouse, but I do have issues with his home maintenance skills.

I guess it is okay to tell you more here.  Just don’t tell my husband . . . okay?

My hubby’s toolbox is home for his most precious tools.  Fortunately, one particular tool is no longer found in his toolbox.  Please allow me to tell you why.

Every home has a bathroom commode (or as we Americans say, a toilet).  I think commode sounds much more elegant, and my home is definitely a beautiful place.

The commode “always” needs to be in perfect working order, and routine maintenance is sometimes required.  This aging commode needs a facelift as its seat is cracked.  Hubby says he can buy a new one and install it in a flash.  I remember him telling me, “No problem.”

Wives, have you ever heard your husband say the same thing?  Sometimes a “simple” job turns into a nightmare.

The rest of what I tell you comes directly from my dear hubby’s mouth (after he confessed to me all of the dreary facts).

A commode seat is attached to the porcelain bowl with a pair of bolts and nuts.  Seeing that this commode is an older model, the metal bolts and nuts have rusted together because of the passage of time and bathroom moisture.

My poor hubby strains and works to free up the nut on each bolt, but he is experiencing extra frustration.  He tries a couple of different wrenches, but the bolt and nut remain sealed for eternity (or so it seems to him).

But ah!  My hubby’s toolbox contains other usual devices.  He comes back to the bathroom with a hammer and a chisel.  (I kid you not!)  He plans to be careful, and a gentle nudge from the chisel will break off the rusted nut from each bolt.  I can just hear him saying, “This chisel will do the trick.”

Lying back under the commode to insure he has a proper angle, hubby positions the chisel carefully against the nut.  With a graceful swing of the hammer, everything will be okay.


Oh, so wrong!

The chisel slips off the nut, and the hammer busts out a small hole in the porcelain bowl.  Now, you know what husbands do when disaster hits.  They run out to the garage for a “deep thinking” session.

You know ladies; it is good to give your husband some space when he is working on a home maintenance project.  However, I become curious and wander into the bathroom to check on hubby’s progress.

Thinking he is finished, I decide to help him clean up.  (He has thoughtfully taken the hammer and chisel with him.)  There are some shavings of some kind in the bowl so I decide to flush them down and away.

Oh my!  I flush the commode, and the mother of all floods rushes onto my pristine bathroom floor.  With water everywhere, I sprint to the garage to locate my “deep thinking” hubby, who is in deep water now.

Well, let’s wrap up this story before I become aggravated again, and you all enjoy more laughs at my poor hubby’s expense.  We now have a three-color commode with slightly differing shades of color for the seat, the bowl, and the original tank.

Yes, my husband manages to replace the seat, but he needs to return to Home Depot to purchase a new porcelain bowl.  We won’t even go into the rest of the mess he makes in replacing the bowl . . . oh my goodness!

Hubby’s chisel now hangs in the garage since it has been banished from sitting in his toolbox ever again.  Next to the chisel, rests a note (from yours truly).  The note states, “Remember to Always Think.”

Wives (and husbands), can I let you in on a quick tip?  Always call a professional!

Hole-in-One . . . Not!

photo of man playing golf

Photo by Steve Momot on

Pete lines up his tee shot on the 172-yard, Par 3 hole.  He is playing for fun at Lake Hills Golf Club, and the 14th hole offers an opportunity to add a bit more practice to his round of golf.

Since the course is nearly empty, Pete decides to hit a dozen tee shots at the green.  He has brought along his three young sons (Glenn, James, and Gene) to shag balls and allow their mother a respite back home.  She will definitely appreciate a break from the high-energy boys.

As Pete hits each tee shot, his sons’ eyes follow each golf ball.  Each boy calls out different shots, and these will be his to locate in a few minutes.  After all, their father didn’t bring them out to the golf course just to fool around.

While most of the shots miss the green, a few have managed to find the putting surface.  The cup is somewhat hidden by a slight rise at the front of the green.

Eventually, Pete is finished with his extra practice.  He turns the boys loose to locate the wayward shots, with orders to bring back all of the golf balls not on the green.

The three brothers scamper down the short fairway to begin searching and locating the eight balls which never found their intended target.  The experience feels almost like an Easter egg hunt, except the June day offers a mild and sunny, early summer afternoon.

As the boys make their way back to the green, each has located his assigned golf balls.  Pete calls out to the boys, “There appears to be a missing ball.  Did anyone miss one of my bad shots?”

The brothers shake their heads in affirmation that all of the balls have been recovered.  Three golf balls lie on or close to the putting surface.  Gene wonders out loud, “Where is the fourth ball?”

James casually walks over to the cup and takes a peek.  He shouts out, “The ball is in the hole.”

Glenn jumps up and down with excitement, “Hey Dad, you made a hole-in-one!”

The three brothers are charged up and want to tell others about their father’s amazing shot.  He defuses their enthusiasm when he humbly explains, “The shot cannot count as an official hole-in-one.  Remember, I hit a dozen tee shots.”

While Pete’s three sons hold on to this special moment in secrecy, they will never forget when their father hit his “once-in-a-lifetime” shot.  Amazing!