Archive for September 2012

Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky   25 comments

Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910

Dreams from the LORD 2007-2010
16 August 2010

An excerpt from The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey:

Pages 140-142: “A.N. Wilson, a biographer of Tolstoy, remarks that Tolstoy suffered from a ‘fundamental theological inability to understand the Incarnation. His religion was ultimately a thing of Law rather than of Grace, a scheme for human betterment rather than a vision of God penetrating a fallen world.’ With crystalline clarity Tolstoy could see his own inadequacy in the light of God’s Ideal. But he could not take the further step of trusting God’s grace to overcome that inadequacy.

“Shortly after reading Tolstoy I discovered his countryman Fyodor Dostoyevsky. These two, the most famous and accomplished of all Russian writers, lived and worked during the same period of history. Oddly, they never met, and perhaps it was just as well—they were opposites in every way. Where Tolstoy wrote bright, sunny novels, Dostoyevsky wrote dark and brooding ones. Where Tolstoy worked out ascetic schemes for self-improvement, Dostoyevsky periodically squandered his health and fortune on alcohol and gambling. Dostoyevsky got many things wrong, but he got one thing right: His novels communicate grace and forgiveness with a Tolstoyan force.

“Early in his life, Dostoyevsky underwent a virtual resurrection. He had been arrested for belonging to a group judged treasonous by Tsar Nicholas I, who, to impress upon the young parlor radicals the gravity of their errors, sentenced them to death and staged a mock execution. The conspirators were dressed in white death gowns and led to a public square where a firing squad awaited them. Blindfolded, robed in white burial shrouds, hands bound tightly behind them, they were paraded before a gawking crowd and then tied to posts. At the very last instant, as the order, ‘Ready, aim!’ was heard and rifles were cocked and lifted upward, a horseman galloped up with a pre-arranged message from the tsar: he would mercifully commute their sentence to hard labor.

“Dostoyevsky never recovered from this experience. He had peered into the jaws of death, and from that moment life became for him precious beyond all calculation. ‘Now my life will change,’ he said; ‘I shall be born again in a new form.’ As he boarded the convict train toward Siberia, a devout woman handed him a New Testament, the only book allowed in prison. Believing that God had given him a second chance to fulfill his calling, Dostoyevsky pored over that New Testament during his confinement. After ten years he emerged from exile with unshakeable Christian convictions, as expressed in one famous passage, ‘If anyone proved to me that Christ was outside the truth . . . then I would prefer to remain with Christ than with the truth.’

“Prison offered Dostoyevsky another opportunity as well. It forced him to live at close quarters with thieves, murderers, and drunken peasants. His shared life with these people later led to unmatched characterizations in his novels, such as that of the murderer Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky’s liberal view of the inherent goodness in humanity shattered in collision with the granitic evil he found in his cellmates. Yet over time he also glimpsed the image of God in even the lowest of prisoners. He came to believe that only through being loved is a human being capable of love; ‘We love because he [God] first loved us,’ as the apostle John says.

“I encountered grace in the novels of Dostoyevsky. Crime and Punishment portrays a despicable human being who commits a despicable crime. Yet grace enters Raskolnikov’s life as well, through the person of the converted prostitute Sonia, who follows him all the way to Siberia and leads him to redemption. The Brothers Karamazov, perhaps the greatest novel ever written, draws a contrast between Ivan the brilliant agnostic and his devout brother Alyosha. Ivan can critique the failures of humankind and every political system devised to deal with those failures, but he can offer no solutions. Alyosha has no solutions for the intellectual problems Ivan raises, but he has a solution for humanity: love. ‘I do not know the answer to the problem of evil,’ said Alyosha, ‘but I do know love.’ Finally, in the magical novel The Idiot, Dostoyevsky presents a Christ figure in the form of an epileptic prince. Quietly, mysteriously, Prince Myshkin moves among the circles of Russia’s upper class, exposing their hypocrisy while also illuminating their lives with goodness and truth.

“Taken together, these two Russians became for me, at a crucial time in my Christian pilgrimage, spiritual directors. They helped me come to terms with a central paradox of the Christian life. From Tolstoy I learned the need to look inside, to the kingdom of God that is within me. I saw how miserably I had failed the high ideals of the gospel. But from Dostoyevsky I learned the full extent of grace. Not only the kingdom of God is within me; Christ himself dwells there. ‘Where sin increased, grace increased all the more,’ is how Paul expressed it in Romans.

“There is only one way for any of us to resolve the tension between the high ideals of the gospel and the grim reality of ourselves: to accept that we will never measure up, but that we do not have to. We are judged by the righteousness of the Christ who lives within, not our own. Tolstoy got it halfway right: anything that makes me feel comfort with God’s moral standard, anything that makes me feel, ‘At last I have arrived,’ is a cruel deception. But Dostoyevsky got the other half right: anything that makes me feel discomfort with God’s forgiving love is also a cruel deception. ‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’: that message, Leo Tolstoy never fully grasped.”

dostoyevsky

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821-1881

Fyodor Dostoyevsky—The Mantle of the Prophet
The Prophet by A.S. Pushkin
A Single Story of Soviet Russia
The Three Hermits
The Brothers Karamazov
Anna and Raskolnikov
Crime and Punishment: A Film by Piotr Dumala
Vintage Footage of Leo Tolstoy
The Daily Blini—Exploring Russian Culture
A Prophet’s Eyes
Russian Universe
Yasnaya Polyana // Ясная поляна
The rebirth of Christianity in post-Soviet Russia
You Should Read Some Dostoyevsky . . .Here Are Some Tips!
Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov Strikingly Illustrated by Expressionist Painter Alice Neel (1938)
The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (animated film)
The Idiot by Dostoyevsky
The Importance of the Prophetic
A Dark Road and a Bright Light
A Gift from Russia
Soviet Censorship of Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Mark Taylor’s Prophetic Word:  Russia and the United States
Dostoyevsky in Europe
How Solzhenitsyn defeated the USSR
Slavophiles vs. Westernizers and Conservatives vs. Liberals
Putin embarrasses Megyn Kelly

Tolstoy or Dostoevsky?

_____

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.”
–Leo Tolstoy

“Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky_New_Testament

The New Testament that Dostoyevsky took with him to prison in Siberia

_____

“Dostoevsky gives me more than any scientist, more than Gauss.”
–Albert Einstein

“The real 19th century prophet was Dostoevsky, not Karl Marx.”
–Albert Camus

“The Darker the night, the brighter the stars, the deeper the grief, the closer is God.”
–Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

On a Ranch near Ennis, Montana   1 comment

This is a story of my staying on a ranch for a couple of nights in southwest Montana.

This past week I was hitchhiking in Montana and I ended up in Ennis. I went to the library and typed up some stuff on my Digihitch blog and then I walked to the Exxon gas station.

I was inside the convenience store buying something to eat, when this older man walked up to me and asked, “Are you the traveler? Is that your backpack out front?”

I said, “Yeah.”

His name was Arthur and he said that he had done some hitchhiking in his younger days. He was originally from San Diego and did a lot of surfing at one time. Arthur used to hitchhike with a guitar. He asked me if I needed a place to stay for a while. He told me he needed some work done on his ranch and that he had a bad back; he had been in a real serious car crash years ago.

So I told him that that would be great and that I would like to work for him.  I grabbed my backpack and we drove around six miles to his ranch. He had a housemate named Hal who had lived there for five years; Hal was married and divorced and pretty much retired. Arthur used to be a miner years ago.

I fed the horses hay and grain while I was there. Arthur and I hauled some garbage to the local dump and we did a lot of cleaning up of some trash in the house and rearranging some boxes for storage.

I ended up staying two nights and then hit the road. I hitchhiked south and made it to Driggs, Idaho where I met up with a friend. I stayed at he and his wife’s place in Drummond last night.

Yesterday, I checked my email and Arthur sent me a very kind and thoughtful note; here it is below:

(20 December 2009)

“Hello Saw man we are glad in the lord and holy power for leading you to us. We are very much lovers of good men who follow the path in life that few dare to seek, I find in you the good warm energy that god has bestowed upon you, follow your path no one else can, and remember us in your prayers we shall forever be in your kindness and have no regrets for the time you and we shared with you. Be always welcome in our tee pee. We enjoyed you and the god & man energy to shared with us. Have a safe and full filled life and some day return to us that we may share what god has given us to share with his chosen few. you are special in our hearts and minds so be good to yourself and we will not judge you but find in you faith to carry on and struggle with our human condition and remain thankfull to god first and the life of mammon second.
your friends Arthur And Harold.
ps glad you liked my cooking. pax goldbear”

[“Sawman” was my nickname when I was working at Hanson Lumber Company in Ames, Iowa.  “Sawman” is also my username on Digihitch.com.]

_____

“No man has hired us
With pocketed hands
And lowered faces
We stand about in open places
And shiver in unlit rooms.
Only the wind moves
Over empty fields, untilled
Where the plough rests at an angle
To the furrow. In this land
There shall be one cigarette to two men,
To two women one half pint of bitter
Ale.  In this land
No man has hired us.
Our life is unwelcome, our death
Unmentioned in ‘The Times.'”

“When the Stranger says: ‘What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?’
What will you answer? ‘We all dwell together
To make money from each other’? or ‘This is a community’?
And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert.
O my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger,
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.”

“Remember the faith that took men from home
At the call of a wandering preacher.”

–T.S. Eliot
“Choruses from ‘The Rock'”

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

More Montana Posts

Posted September 26, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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My First Time in Jail for Hitchhiking   1 comment

jail-cell

This is an account of my being arrested and put in jail for a short time in Riverton, Wyoming [September 2009]. I had failed to pay a fine ($60.00) or appear in court for a hitchhiking violation.

A couple of days ago, I hitchhiked from Jackson to Riverton, Wyoming. My last ride to Riverton was with this lady who sold Avon products. We had a nice talk. She said that she wanted to take me out to eat, so we had a buffet at a Chinese restaurant in Riverton. After the restaurant, she drove me to the south side of town near an industrial area. I thanked her and took my backpack and walked down this foot path. After about two hundred yards, I veered off the foot path and walked across this open ground to this place overlooking the Wind River. I set up my tent and bedded down for the night (or so I thought). It was around 9 PM.

A short while later, I heard this car driving around maybe a hundred yards north of my tent. I looked out of my tent and saw this car drive very fast in and then out of this gravel driveway.

Maybe fifteen minutes later I heard this other car drive down the same road. I looked out and saw the car turn and shine its headlights on my tent. The car approached my campsite and I got out of the tent to see what was going on.

The car stopped and a man and woman in uniform walked towards me. They were with the Riverton Police. They told me they were looking for some kids that were trying to break into a car in a housing subdivision just north of where I was camped. They thought that the kids may have been from the reservation (Wind River Reservation–made up of Arapahoe and Shoshoni Tribes) just across the river.

They asked me what I was doing and I told them that I was hitchhiking and had camped out for the night. They told me that there are a lot of violent crimes on the reservation; there were twenty-eight murders so far this year–probably alcohol and meth-related. I told them that I had camped here earlier this summer and that I was planning on hitting the road the next morning.

The lady police officer asked what my name was and she ran a check on me through the police department; I also gave them my driver’s license. We talked for a little while longer and then she said that I had a Bench Warrant for my arrest and that I needed to pay sixty dollars or else go to jail. It was from a hitchhiking ticket I got back in February of 2009: I had failed to pay the fine or appear in court.

I walked back to my tent and looked in my billfold and told them that I had fifty bucks. She said that they needed sixty. Looked like I was going to jail.

They let me put on my pants and shoes and I took a few valuables with me. I was patted down for any weapons. They had me stand with my hands behind my back as they put these handcuffs on my wrists. They led me back to the police car and had me sit in the back seat. The handcuffs were very tight and uncomfortable.

On the way to the police station, they asked me if I knew anyone in Riverton that I could contact to help pay the remaining ten bucks. I gave them a name of a friend who had picked me up hitchhiking a couple of months ago.

We pulled into the garage at the police station. They led me to a large room with a table and sink. They had me empty my pockets and take off my shoes and sweatshirt. Then they led me into this small adjoining room and locked the door behind me. This room had a concrete bench to sit or sleep on; it had a sink and a toilet. It was probably ten foot by ten foot. I sat there for at least half an hour.

Then someone unlocked the steel door and they told me to come out. They said that my friend had arrived with the ten bucks. I put my sweatshirt and shoes back on and walked to this other room where my friend and his son were waiting. I paid my fine and walked out a free man.

My friend drove me to my campsite where I broke down my tent and put all of my gear in his pickup. We drove to his house and he let me sleep in his camper that night. I was very grateful that he helped me out with the ten bucks and for a place to stay for the night.

The police were friendly, courteous and professional; I was in jail for a very short time; I have no complaints there. I asked the police how long it had been illegal to hitchhike in Wyoming; they didn’t know. I would really like to know WHY it is illegal to hitchhike in Wyoming.

__________

Copy of Bench Warrant (Filed Mar 19 2009):

In The Circuit Court of The Ninth Judicial District
Fremont County, Wyoming

State of Wyoming, Plaintiff

VS.

Timothy M. Shey, Defendant

TO: ANY PEACE OFFICER IN THE STATE OF WYOMING: GREETINGS:

WHEREAS THE DEFENDANT, has done the following according to the Court record, more specifically set forth as follows:

Failure to Appear as ordered on 2/18/09

YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to arrest the above-named defendant and bring him/her forthwith before this court to be dealt with according to law.

Bond: $60.00 [ ] Cash– Must be posted before release from Custody.

[ ] Bond may be forfeited in lieu of appearance. The defendant may appear before this Court at 1:30 pm on Wed following his or her release.

Dated 3/18/09

Original Violation(s): 1)31-5-606 a SOLICIT ON STREETS & HWYS

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

Wyoming Bill Would Legalize Hitchhiking
Hitchhiking Bill Passes
Sitting in Jail in Broadus, Montana

Posted September 26, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Washing Dishes   1 comment

A year or two ago I was hitchhiking across the Navajo Indian Reservation in northeast Arizona and I got a couple of rides to Flagstaff. It was during the winter and it was going to get cold that night (maybe around 0 degrees F), so I stayed at a Christian mission in downtown Flagstaff.

They have a well-run mission there. After 5 PM, one of the leaders would give a Gospel message and then we would have supper. After supper, we would shower and then go to bed. They have a dorm room upstairs; I believe they have beds for twenty men.

So the next morning we were eating our breakfast and one of the leaders asked everybody, “So who wants to volunteer to wash dishes?”

Immediately, I raised my right hand and said that I could wash the dishes. The leader smiled at me, walked over to me and patted me on the back.

Then the leader asked, “Who wants to help Tim wash the dishes?”

Nobody raised their hand.

The leader looked at this guy and asked, “Hey, Hank, why don’t you help Tim wash the dishes.”

Hank replied with a look of disgust, “Now that is not a Christ-like thing to say.” Which meant he didn’t want to wash the dishes.

So the leader said, “Well, Hank, if you don’t want to wash the dishes then go back outside.” And Hank left the mission.

I just about couldn’t believe what I had heard. Washing the dishes is a very simple, easy job. And your hands get cleaned in the process. Hank got a free meal and couldn’t wash the dishes. Ingratitude comes in different wrappers.

I was very grateful that that Christian mission let me stay there out of the cold for one night. They preached a good message the evening before, I had a great supper, I was able to take a shower and sleep in a warm bed and then have an excellent breakfast the next morning. If someone wants me to wash the dishes, then I’ll wash dishes till the cows come home!

Once I was hitchhiking through Pennsylvania and this guy picked me up. He had a used auto dealership and asked me if I wanted to help drive a car from one town to the next. I said, no problem. Then he said, let’s go to this mission and get some lunch. He usually recruited guys from that mission to drive cars for him.

So we signed in at this mission–I believe it was in York, Pennsylvania. I was the last guy in line and the guy ahead of me was definitely a street person. He had a real bad attitude. He kept complaining about the food: “I don’t like this crap. Why do I have eat this junk? Don’t you guys know how to cook a meal?” And words to that effect.

So I went through the line and thanked everyone for the great meal and smiled at everyone. Redemption sometimes happens in soup lines.

That street person didn’t pay for his meal, didn’t prepare it, didn’t volunteer to help in anyway, but he sure complained to everyone there about the food. Then go outside and eat grass!

Nobody there asked me to help wash the dishes, so I hung out with the used auto guy for a while and then moseyed out west on U.S 30.

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

Washing Dishes for Jesus

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“I believe the best definition of man is the ungrateful biped.”

–Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Only Time Someone Pulled a Knife on Me   4 comments

New Mexico

Back in the late 1990s, I was hitchhiking through Cloudcroft, New Mexico and this pickup pulled over to give me a ride. There were two men in the front seat and they told me to hop in the back of the pickup. I noticed the eyes of the passenger: they looked crazy–like he was on drugs or something.

So I hopped in the back and they drove me to the next town to a trailer park. I hopped out of the pickup and began talking with the driver. He was a nice guy and we had a friendly chat.

Then I noticed that the passenger walked around to my right and began walking towards me. He then whipped out this knife (or a tool with a blade on it) and he lunged at me.

I quickly jumped back and said, “All right, are you guys trying to rob me or what?”

The driver of the pickup exclaimed, “No! This guy is an idiot! Throw down that knife, you idiot!”

The passenger threw down his knife.

The driver felt bad that his friend had pulled a knife on me and asked, “Hey, can I make you some lunch.” He pointed towards his trailer home.

“I think I better mosey on down the road,” I replied. I thought maybe they might be leading me into a bigger ambush.

“Come on inside and let me introduce you to my two daughters,” he said, as he walked to the trailer.

So I followed him inside and met his two daughters; they were around eleven and twelve years old. He asked me again if he could make me some lunch. I declined the offer.

Then he noticed my baseball cap which had “Harold Pike Construction Company” written on it. “Hey, can I have your cap?” he asked.

“No problem,” I answered. We exchanged caps. His cap had “Indiana University” written on it.

He asked again if he could make me some lunch. I said, no, that I better hit the road. He gave me a few bucks. He told me that his name was Apache; he also gave me a Gideon’s New Testament. As I walked out the door of the trailer, the guy who pulled the knife on me gave me a dollar bill and I shook his hand.

“No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.”

Psalm 146: 9: “The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and the widows: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.”

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

Mexican Hitchhiker
Two Nights in Fort Sumner, New Mexico

Posted September 24, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Meeting a Former Editor from Warner Brothers   Leave a comment

This story is a conversation between a hitchhiker and a former editor from Warner Brothers. The editor did some work on the film High Plains Drifter.

It was probably the spring of 1997. I hitchhiked north on U.S. 395 from southern California and got dropped off in Bishop. Bishop is a very beautiful place.

The mountains to the east were dry and brown, the mountains to the west (Sierra Nevadas) were rugged and snow-covered. There are a lot of irrigated ranches in that valley. I walked through Bishop for a couple of miles and then stopped north of town on U.S. 395. I waited for a short while and this vehicle pulled over to pick me up.

The guy who gave me a ride was probably in his late fifties or early sixties. He told me that he was coming from a ranch that he owned in Mexico; he was heading to Mammoth Lakes where he owned a grocery store. I told him that I was hitchhiking around the country for a short while; I had just quit my job at Harold Pike Construction Company in Ames, Iowa (Pike Construction hired me ten times in four years, I was grateful that they let me work for them so many times).

“So what did you do before you bought your ranch?” I asked.

“I worked for Warner Brothers as an editor,” he replied. “I worked at Warner Bothers for a number of years and got tired of being in the studio.”

“So what films did you work on?” I asked.

“One film I worked on was High Plains Drifter,” he said.

I looked at him and exclaimed, “No way! High Plains Drifter? That is one of my favorite westerns. You are not going to believe this, but in 1995 I had a short story published by Ethos magazine. The title of my short story is ‘High Plains Drifter.'”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

At the time, I had a few copies of my short story in a folder in my backpack. I would pass out my story to people if they were interested in reading it.

“When you drop me off, I will give you a copy of my short story,” I said.

“Sounds good.”

We drove north on U.S. 395. At Lake Crowley he turned off the road and dropped me off at this intersection. I dug out my folder that was in my backpack and gave him a copy of “High Plains Drifter.”

“Thanks,” he said.

“Thanks for the ride.”

He drove off and I started walking up U.S. 395. I walked for a short while. The sun was down and I needed to find a place to sleep. I jumped over this fence and walked out into this sagebrush maybe a quarter of a mile from Lake Crowley. I rolled out my sleeping bag and slept there. I think it got down in the upper 20s F that night.

About my meeting the guy who gave me a ride from Bishop to Lake Crowley: there are no accidents in the Kingdom of Heaven. Things happen for a reason.

The next day I hitchhiked north to Reno.

[The film High Plains Drifter, starring Clint Eastwood, was made at Mono Lake near Lee Vining, California in 1973. Lee Vining is on U.S. 395 between June Lake and Bridgeport.]

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

High Plains Drifter (short story)
High Plains Drifter (1973)
Book Review:  High Plains Drifter
Clint Eastwood’s film High Plains Drifter (1973)
Sleeping at the Post Office in Bridgeport, California
Ricky Gervais’ Monologue – 2020 Golden Globes
Ricky Gervais BACKLASH Exposes The Media’s Leftist Bias

_____

Clint Eastwood’s film High Plains Drifter (1973)

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The first time I saw High Plains Drifter was probably in the late 1970s. Clint Eastwood stars in and directs the film. Most westerns are either about cattle drives or cowboys and Indians. High Plains Drifter is different: this is a God’s-Judgment-on-the-wicked western.

Clint Eastwood plays a stranger who rides into the town of Lago–and he has a really bad attitude. This stranger is also very good with a side arm. During the course of the film, the stranger ends up killing some bad guys and burning the town of Lago to the ground. There are a couple of flashbacks of one Marshal Jim Duncan being whipped to death.  At the end of the film, the audience can see that the stranger was the Second Coming of Marshal Duncan:

The stranger rides out of the town of Lago past the cemetery. This little guy named Mordecai is writing something on a grave marker. 

The stranger looks at Mordecai and Mordecai looks up and says, “I’m almost done here.”

Then Mordecai asks the stranger, “I never did know your name.”

And the stranger replies, “Yes, you do.”

As the stranger rides off, the camera shows the grave marker: “Marshal Jim Duncan.”

There is a lot of sin (unrepented sin) in the United States and in the world. When people continue to live in sin, eventually God’s Judgment falls. The more people try to hide their sin, the greater God’s Judgment. The people of Lago tried to hide the murder of Marshal Duncan, but their sin was found out. You can’t hide from God.

There is a scene in High Plains Drifter where this lady tells the stranger, “Ever since Marshal Duncan’s death, the people in this town are afraid of strangers.”

_____

“When the Stranger says: ‘What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?’
What will you answer? ‘We all dwell together
To make money from each other’? or ‘This is a community’?

“Oh my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger.
Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.

“There is one who remembers the way to your door:
Life you may evade, but Death you shall not.
You shall not deny the Stranger.”

–T.S. Eliot
Choruses from “The Rock”

_____

There is another scene in High Plains Drifter where the people of Lago are meeting at the church. One of the guys is speaking in the front of the church. The camera then pans to the right and shows a bulletin board with this Scripture:

Isaiah 53: 3-4: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”

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The Days of Vengeance

Marshal Jim Duncan was whipped to death; Jesus Christ was at least nine-tenths whipped to death. The stranger riding into Lago (the first scene of the film) is a symbol of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ: not as the Lamb of God, but as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Isaiah 63: 1-6: “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”

Luke 21: 22:  “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”

The Representation of Justice in High Plains Drifter

A Christmas Story or Junked Cars Can Be Beautiful   Leave a comment

Hitchhiking on Christmas Day from Montana to Idaho.

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
25 December 2006

I hitchhiked from Bozeman to Big Sky [Montana] yesterday afternoon. When I got to Big Sky it was 4:30 P.M. I walked south a few miles and soon it was nightfall.

I walked past this restaurant/bar and saw this junked car to my right. I walked up the slope to the car and it was covered with snow. I crawled inside the back and rearranged some things that were stored in it so that I could make room for me and my sleeping bag. Well, somebody who worked at the restaurant/bar saw me and told me to get out of the car; he said that I would freeze to death–it was too cold. So I rearranged what I had rearranged in the back seat of the car, hefted up my backpack onto my shoulders and made my way south down the moonlit highway towards West Yellowstone. I was complaining a little bit: I didn’t know why I had to hitchhike at night in the dead of winter in a snow-covered canyon. I knew that I was there for a reason, so I wasn’t worried or all bent out of shape about the whole situation: I knew that the Lord would not leave me stranded forty miles from nowhere when it was that cold.

Eventually, I did get a ride with a guy who was going all the way to Idaho Falls. He was driving a pickup and had his two dogs sitting in the cab with him. I was very grateful that he picked me up. The road was pretty icy going towards West Yellowstone. We got to West around 8 P.M. It was 10 degrees F. We stopped at a gas station and I kicked him down five bucks for gas and I got a hot chocolate and corn chips for the road. We continued south and the roads were still snowy and icy till we got south of Last Chance/Island Park.

As we drove through Island Park, he told me that some local Nazis burned down his log cabin (he used to live in Island Park) because he didn’t subscribe to their philosophy. So now he lived up in the Bridger Bowl area north of Bozeman; he built log cabins for a living. In my experience, there are areas in Idaho that have a lot of Nazi/white supremacist/anti-government types. I don’t like big government, but the Lord gave us human government for a reason. There are good people and bad people in government. I definitely don’t like the Nazi/white supremacist mentality. Nazism is satanic.

This guy dropped me off at the Sugar City exit and I found a camper near a construction site to sleep in. There were two or three blankets in the camper, so I was able to stay warm last night. My sleeping bag is good to around freezing, that is why when it is cold I am always looking for a haystack or a cornstalk stack or a vehicle or a building to sleep in–added protection from the bitter weather.

When Jesus was born over two thousand years ago, He was the greatest gift that God ever gave this broken, sin-sick world. There was no room at the inn, so Jesus was born in a manger in a pile of hay or straw. Wrapped in swaddling clothes. Lying in a manger because there was no room at the inn. No room at the inn. In the world system, the Kingdom of Heaven has no room at the inn. Sometimes there is room in the back seat of a junked car. Junked cars can be beautiful.

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

Harry Truman, Hoboes and the Santa Fe Railroad   9 comments

Harry S Truman (1884-1972) was the 33rd president of the United States. Below is an excerpt from Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman by Merle Miller.

Pages 41-43:

[Merle Miller] Mr. President, I understand that when you were still a boy, you got a job working as timekeeper for the Santa Fe Railroad.

[President Truman] “I worked for an old fellow named Smith, L.J. Smith his name was, and he was head of the construction company that was building the double track for the Santa Fe Railroad down here from Eaton Falls to where the Missouri Pacific comes into the Santa Fe down at Sheffield.

“I was eighteen years old, and I’d just finished high school and knew I wasn’t going to get to go to West Point. So I took this job as a timekeeper. I took it to help out at home, to keep my brother, Vivian, and my sister, Mary, in school. My father was having a hard time with finances just then.

“Old man Smith had three camps, and there were about a hundred hoboes in each camp, and I got very well acquainted with them. My job was to keep tabs on them, to keep track of how much time they put in, and then I’d write out their paychecks for them. I’d usually write those checks in a saloon called Pogunpo’s or in old man Schmidt’s saloon in Sheffield. I used to sit there and pay off those hoboes. And they weren’t bad fellows. They’d work for two weeks. They’d get discounted if they drew their checks before that time. So they’d work two weeks, and then they’d spend all their money for whiskey in the saloon and come back to work the next Monday morning. I’d pay them off on Saturday night.

“But they weren’t bad fellows. Not in any way. Most of them had backgrounds that caused them to be hoboes. Either they’d had family troubles or they’d been in jail for some damn fool thing that wasn’t a penitentiary offense. But they weren’t bad citizens at all. I remember one time I told the old man that ran the saloon, he was an old Dutchman and wore whiskers, I told him, I said, ‘This old bastard is the blacksmith out there on the railroad, and we need him. So try to cut out on his whiskey.'”

“Well, damn old Schmidt went out and told this blacksmith what I’d said, and I never got a better cussing in my life than I did for interfering with the freedom of an American citizen. And he was right. And that taught me something.

“But after that I guess the blacksmith was grateful for it because he took a file, a regular ordinary file about that long and made a butcher knife out of it and tempered it so that the edge would never come off. He made two of them for me, and I think one of them is still around the house somewhere. . . . So he didn’t hold it against me that I was trying to keep him from getting drunk.”

[Miller] When you said camps, what were they, houses or tents?

[Truman] “Tents mostly. There were tents, and I had a tricycle car on the railroad that I went up and down on. I had to make a list of the men that were working every morning at seven thirty, and then I had to go back at one thirty in the afternoon to be sure that they were still there. So when the time came for their being paid, I had the records. No one ever doubted the records I kept.”

[Miller] How much did those men make?

[Truman] “They made eleven dollars for two weeks’ work, and as I say, they’d get paid on Saturday, and by Monday morning most of them had drunk it all up. But it was one of the best experiences that I ever had because that was when I began to understand who the underdog was and what he thought about the people who were the high hats. They felt just like I did about them. They didn’t have any time for them. And neither did I. I always liked the underdog better than the high hats. I still do.”

[Miller] Weren’t you ever uneasy? I mean, you were a reader of books and wore glasses and, as you say, you’d been called a sissy.

[Truman] “No. No. I never had any trouble with those birds. They were just as nice as they could be, and when I left, the foreman down there in Sheffield said, ‘Harry’s all right from the navel out in every direction.’ Which when you come to think of it is just about the highest compliment I ever have been paid.

“Some of those hoboes had better educations than the president of Ha-vud University, and they weren’t stuck up about it either. The average of them was just as smart as the smartest people in the country, and they’d had experiences, and a lot of them told me about their experiences. I hope I profited from it, and I think I did. I had to quit at the end of the summer, but my goodness. That was a great experience for me.”

[Miller] I understand you learned a few cuss words that summer.

[Truman] “I did. The words some of those men knew I’d never heard before, but later when I was in the Army, there was an occasion or two when those words came in handy, and I used them.

“That experience also taught me that the lower classes so called are better than the high hats and the counterfeits, and they can be trusted more, too.

“About this counterfeit business. My Grandfather Young felt the same way. We had a church in the front yard where the cemetery is now. And the Baptists and the Methodists and all of them used it. And Grandfather Young when I was six years old, he died when I was eight, he told me that whenever the customers in any of those denominations prayed too loud in the Amen corner, you’d better go home and lock your smokehouse.

“And I found that to be true. I’ve never cared much for the loud pray-ers or for people who do that much going on about religion.”

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

Hobo Shoestring–King of the Rails
The Life of a Hobo
Stobe the Hobo
Shoestring1989

A Providential Ride to Manhattan, Kansas   3 comments

A conversation between a lady and a hitchhiker while driving to Manhattan, Kansas. The hitchhiker may have met her grandparents in Indiana a few years earlier.

Back in 2001, I was walking from I-70 towards Manhattan, Kansas when this pickup pulled over to give me a ride. I climbed into the pickup and this young lady said, “The Lord told me to pick you up.”

I said, “Praise the Lord! I’m a believer, too.” So we had a great chat all the way into Manhattan.

So I asked her, “Were you raised in Kansas?”

“No,” she replied. “I was raised in Indiana.”

“Have you ever heard of Columbus, Indiana?”

“Yeah.”

“Have you ever heard of Hope, Indiana?”

“Yeah.”

“Have you ever heard of the St. Louis Crossing Independent Methodist Church?”

She looked at me and exclaimed, “My grandparents go to that church!”

“I was hitchhiking through Indiana a few years ago and this teenage kid picked me up and took me to his home in Indianapolis. I met his parents; they were very friendly people. His dad was the
pastor of the St. Louis Crossing Independent Methodist Church; he asked me if I wanted to give a message at the church the next day. I said that that would be great. I gave a message at their church on Sunday and your grandparents probably heard me speak.”

“That’s incredible.”

The young lady told me of the time she was driving through Kansas a couple of years earlier. She saw this older man hitchhiking on the side of the road. In the goodness of her heart she wanted to give him a ride, but the Lord said, NO. So she drove on by. Two days later, she saw that hitchhiker on the nightly news: he had robbed and killed an older couple in the next town.

It pays to obey the Lord.

I was hitchhiking in California a couple of summers ago and these two ladies picked me up. They were Christians and we had a nice talk. The one lady told me that she picked up this hitchhiker in the Bakersfield area and gave him a ride. He was very strange: he kept staring at her.

He said, “Aren’t you afraid of me?”

She said, “No, I’m washed in the precious Blood of Jesus Christ!”

Immediately the hitchhiker froze up and didn’t say a word. The lady dropped him off at the next town.

A few weeks later the lady saw that hitchhiker on the nightly news: he was in jail for killing three women in the Bakersfield area. In the interview, the hitchhiker said that he kidnapped this woman and took her out to the Tehachapi Desert and tried to kill her, but couldn’t. I believe someone was praying for her safety.

When hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers, put God first.

Psalm 91 is a great psalm to read and build up your faith; it is the psalm of protection.

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

Kansas
Book Review:  High Plains Drifter
The Saint Louis Crossing Independent Methodist Church

A Conversation with a World War II U.S. Navy Frogman   2 comments

I believe it was back in September of 1999, when I was walking north on U.S. 95 somewhere near Beatty, Nevada when this older guy picked me up. He looked like he was in his 70s. He was coming from Mexico and going back to Northern California where he made his home. He told me that he was a Navy Frogman in World War II.

As a Navy Frogman, he would go onto an enemy beach at night and prepare it for a Marine amphibious assault. They would cut barbed wire, take out mines, get rid of enemy infrastructure and so on. One time he and his fellow Frogmen were trying to defuse a mine in the ocean and the mine exploded. I guess several Frogmen were killed; he and another guy survived.

He said that after the war, he did a job as a mercenary somewhere in Central America. He got caught by the local government or warlord and was thrown in prison. He heard a man screaming because he was probably being tortured–and, he thought, being killed.

I don’t remember how long he spent in that prison, but he told me that he thought he was a goner. Then one evening something profound happened. He had an intense spiritual experience: he saw a vision of Jesus and this overwhelming sense of peace came over him. A few days later, he was released from prison and he did no more mercenary work after that.

He spent twenty or thirty years in the merchant marine as a cook. He had been retired for some time. His intestines were shot, so that is why he wore a bag on his side. He was married and divorced from an exotic dancer. His son was thrown in prison for robbing convenience stores. He seemed pretty wore out from living on the planet.

He told me something interesting. He said that whenever you go to a bar at a naval base where Marines and Navy personnel hang out, if you see a guy sitting at the bar drinking by himself, it is usually a Navy SEAL. So I asked him why. He said that you go through hell to become a Navy SEAL and so it separates you from the rest of the crowd. Also, he said that SEALs go on top-secret missions that nobody can know about, so they can’t talk to anyone about their work. So who can they talk with?

It is lonely at the top.

I was hitchhiking in Iowa back in 1986 and I was talking with this guy about the Marines (I enjoy reading military history). Then he told me about the SEALs that they are the best-trained warriors in the world. He told about these four Marines that were sitting at a table in a bar and they were drunk and obnoxious and trying to pick a fight with somebody. Then this guy walked in and sat down at the bar and drank a beer quietly by himself. The Marines began making fun of him–they were trying to provoke something. The bartender walked over to the table of Marines and told them that the guy at the bar was a SEAL. The Marines quickly left the bar and never looked back.

“At the rebuke of His presence they fled.” “A quiet word breaketh a bone.” “The idols of Egypt are removed at his presence.”

I guess you can say that that Navy SEAL’s reputation preceded him.

[Originally published by Digihitch.com]

Freedom to Bear Arms
At a Cafe in Merriman, Nebraska
No Jump Tonight!
Chance Phelps
100 Decisive Battles by Paul K. Davis
Alvin C. York
A Navy SEAL, a Broke-down Car and Karl Malone

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