Writings from the Road by Tim Shey. 132 pages. Non-fiction. Published in 2016. Available at Amazon.com.
Writings from the Road by Tim Shey. 132 pages. Non-fiction. Published in 2016. Available at Amazon.com.
Dreams from the LORD 2011-2015
10 March 2015
Last night I had a dream where I was at this public library in Mason City, Iowa. I met this young man at the library; his last name was Shey. I told him that my last name was Shey, also (we may have been related). I told him that my book, High Plains Drifter, was in that library. I pointed out my book to him: High Plains Drifter was put prominently on top of this shelf where everybody could see it. There was even a colored, fold-out poster advertising my book. The young man was happy to see my book.
The next scene: I was in this restaurant. I noticed a relative of mine walk through the restaurant. He didn’t see me. A while later, I walked up to this relative and we shook hands. We made some small talk. He told me that there were other relatives of mine in that same restaurant.
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
By William Law
Concerning the nature and extent of Christian devotion.
“It is very observable, that there is not one command in all the Gospel for public worship; and perhaps it is a duty that is least insisted upon in Scripture of any other. The frequent attendance at it is never so much as mentioned in all the New Testament. Whereas that religion or devotion which is to govern the ordinary actions of our life is to be found in almost every verse of Scripture. Our blessed Saviour and His Apostles are wholly taken up in doctrines that relate to common life. They call us to renounce the world, and differ in every temper and way of life, from the spirit and the way of the world: to renounce all its goods, to fear none of its evils, to reject its joys, and have no value for its happiness: to be as new-born babes, that are born into a new state of things: to live as pilgrims in spiritual watching, in holy fear, and heavenly aspiring after another life: to take up our daily cross, to deny ourselves, to profess the blessedness of mourning, to seek the blessedness of poverty of spirit: to forsake the pride and vanity of riches, to take no thought for the morrow, to live in the profoundest state of humility, to rejoice in worldly sufferings: to reject the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life: to bear injuries, to forgive and bless our enemies, and to love mankind as God loveth them: to give up our whole hearts and affections to God, and strive to enter through the strait gate into a life of eternal glory.
“This is the common devotion which our blessed Saviour taught, in order to make it the common life of all Christians. Is it not therefore exceeding strange that people should place so much piety in the attendance upon public worship, concerning which there is not one precept of our Lord’s to be found, and yet neglect these common duties of our ordinary life, which are commanded in every page of the Gospel? I call these duties the devotion of our common life, because if they are to be practised, they must be made parts of our common life; they can have no place anywhere else.”
The Wild Truth
By Carine McCandless
I wrote this book review on Amazon.com:
It took a lot of courage to write this book. I am sure it brought back a lot of painful memories. It was well-written and I hope more people read The Wild Truth by Carine McCandless.
After reading this book, the reader gets deeper insights into why Chris McCandless chose to sever all ties with his family and wander into the wilderness of Alaska. You don’t have to survive a firefight in the jungles of Vietnam or the deserts of Iraq to suffer from trauma. You can experience trauma in your own family. Chris McCandless had had enough physical and emotional abuse for one lifetime, left family and friends behind and drifted. His life was short, but he lived life to the fullest. Chris McCandless had an undefeatable spirit.
Not all who wander are lost.
Hebrews 11: 37-38: “. . . they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”
[Several years ago I was hitchhiking in western South Dakota and this lady picked me. She told me that she and her boyfriend had picked up Chris McCandless while he was hitchhiking through South Dakota in the early 1990s. She said that he went by a different name.]
Hitchhiking on U.S. 20 in Nebraska.
[25 February 2010]
Yesterday I was walking east on U.S. 20 between Bassett and Stuart, Nebraska when this car pulled over to give me a ride. This guy’s name was Shawn and he was going to Atkinson on an errand. We got to talking and he just got back from a mission trip to Mexico. Shawn used to be a pastor at a few churches. He recently lived in the Star Valley area of western Wyoming. He now lived in Valentine, Nebraska with his wife Theresa.
After Atkinson, we drove to Ainsworth to pick up his wife. We stayed at their friends’ place for supper and then drove west of Ainsworth to this farm to see a couple that they knew. We walked to the house and the man motioned for us to come inside. I looked at the man and he looked familiar. His name was Greg and his wife was Marla.
We talked for a while and Shawn told Greg and Marla that he had picked me up on the road earlier that day. I think Shawn then asked Greg if he had ever picked up any hitchhikers. Greg said that he and his wife picked up this hitchhiker in Idaho four or five years ago and that the hitchhiker had written a book. They dropped the hitchhiker off in Missoula, Montana.
Greg then said that the hitchhiker sent him a copy of his book. He searched for a short while and then produced the book [typescript]. It was my book! (High Plains Drifter)
It was a photocopy that this lady in Lewiston, Idaho had sent to them. She picked me up hitchhiking in the fall of 2004 and told me to give me a floppy disk of my book and that she would make some photocopies and then send it to anyone I wanted. She owned a print shop in Lewiston.
I told Greg that he probably picked me up on U.S. 12 somewhere between Kooskia and Lolo Pass, Idaho in the fall of 2004. We talked about it some more and I believe he picked me up at a gas station at Lowell or Syringa, Idaho.
We stayed at Greg and Marla’s place for an hour or so and had some excellent fellowship.
It’s a small world.
[Published by Digihitch–July 26, 2011]
Walkin’ Joe and the Midnight Marauders
By Dennis R. Waller
Page 241: “Joseph Smith. Born in Buffalo, Wisc. on Sept. 9, 1901. Died in Cherokee, Ia. on Dec. 21, 1970. Occupation, retired farmhand. Relatives (living or dead), none known. Activities, organizations, military service? All blanks. The newspaper obituary fact sheet is pretty bare for Joseph Smith, who is being put to rest today, Thursday, Dec. 24, after services at McCullough’s Funeral Chapel at 1: 30 p.m.
“To many of Algona residents over 25, Joseph Smith was a colorful character known as ‘Walkin’ Joe’. Many people can tell a tale or two about this big man who walked the streets of Algona for some 30 years. That Joe could ‘work like any two men’ is an often-heard remark. Some farmers in the area can vouch for his strength, endurance and appetite by first hand experience.
“But the black and white facts that should fill in a normal obituary form are missing from Joseph Smith’s 69-year term on earth. According to that cold sheet of paper the only things that ever really happened to Walkin’ Joe were his birth and death.
“He was mysterious as he was colorful, but not by his own choice. He talked to very few people and when he did he said very little.
“He’d spend his hours walking and resting at various locations near downtown when he couldn’t get work as a farmhand. For the past few years, he spent a lot of his time dreaming and napping on a bench in front of the courthouse.
“Residents in Algona during World War II recall that Joe used to work with the crews of German prisoners-of-war around town. He evidently was of German descent and could speak a little of his native language.
“Working with the POW’s led to nicknames like ‘Dutch’ or ‘Kraut’ and were yelled at him for years after the War by local youth. The tradition of teasing this grumbling, big man (6’2′ and 260 lbs. in his prime, he told one man) was passed from kid to kid by the bicycle generation. Tormenting taunts led to rock throwing and even shooting with BB guns by youths with an ignorant impression of how to have a good time. He became a real source of amusement because he would chase his tormentors.
“It must have been out of fear and wonder that young boys bothered this mysterious, powerful man, who only wanted to be left alone.”
Page 243: “He was taken to Cherokee, where he died. Leo Cassel last visited him six months ago in Cherokee. He was confused and having some leg trouble, but seemed happy.
“Exactly where Joe came from and what he did for his estimated 69 years is unclear. By talking to those who knew him casually, you can pick up tiny pieces of what seems to be a sad giant puzzle.
“He must have gone through life with only the clothes on his back. When his body was shipped here from Cherokee, his personal property included work clothes, underwear and shoes. No papers, pictures, identification or mementos.
“Holidays probably didn’t mean much to him, since he didn’t have a family with which to spend them, but he’ll be buried at Riverview Cemetery on Christmas Eve. I’ll be there, because I owe him for some rocks and name-calling.
“In the years I knew of him, I never once saw a grin on that weathered old face. I would hope he’d smile if he knew how sad his blank obituary form makes me.”
Page 245: “So that’s the end of ol’ Joe, right?” he asked. “Guess you have some interesting recollections, now don’t you?” He showed a sly smile. “I know you do for sure, Skag. Probably all of you. Wish I’d known about your story, Mr. Waller. There was something about Joe’s background that you didn’t mention. He was on one of those orphan trains as a kid. I was never able to find out anything more on that. He always clammed up.”
Larry recalled the time guys were bellied up at the bar, talking about the old days, when passenger trains were a new big thing. “Heck, we’d take Marykay and Judy down to the depot just to see the big locomotive come chugging in. Kids screamed at the big, loud monster coming right at us, but they loved it.
“Anyhow, Joe came walking up to the bar for his glass of beer and he’d been listening. Never did that before. He stood back, but I could tell he was interested. When the topic changed and I turned to leave, Joe tugged at my sleeve—something he’d never done. He was a man of few words, but that day he said, very plainly—with his German accent—‘I come on orphan train. Mean Wisconsin farmer. No pay.'” Larry said he had tried to ask Joe a few questions but Joe had said all he cared to and the subject never came up again. “My assumption is that some Wisconsin farmer needed a hired man, but Joe wasn’t yet big and strong enough to do the work, so got bounced and either was on an orphan train or simply hopped freights. Eventually landed in Algona. But hey, I really don’t know.”
Page 268: Even now, many years later and at unexpected times, my mind often travels back to the bittersweet memories of our childhood days seeking adventure. They always trail off to the snowy vision upon leaving the pauper’s gravesite on the Christmas Eve of 1970.
We drove away from the chill at Riverview Cemetery and returned to the snug security of our families, warm homes, hot meals and the fruits of love and labor. But if I think back upon my life, the earliest regrets are there. They’re in the deep part of my conscience, where I am unable to wish away poor decisions of my youth.
And it is there, in the recesses, where Walkin’ Joe trods silently.
Hebrews 11: 21: “By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.”
Excerpts from Tozer’s Whatever Happened To Worship?:
“Did you know that the often-quoted Jean-Paul Sartre describes his turning to philosophy and hopelessness as a turning away from a secularistic church? He says, ‘I did not recognize in the fashionable God who was taught me, Him who was waiting for my soul. I needed a Creator; I was given a businessman!'”
“The strange and wonderful thing about it is that truly winsome and loving saints do not even know about their attractiveness. The great saints of past eras did not know they were great saints. If someone had told them, they would not have believed it, but those around them knew that Jesus was living His life in them.”
“Any untrained, unprepared, unspiritual empty rattletrap of a person can start something religious and find plenty of followers who will listen and pay and promote it. It may become very evident that he or she had never heard from God in the first place.”
“True worship is to be so personally and hopelessly in love with God that the idea of a transfer of affection never even remotely exists.”
“Another kind of unacceptable worship is symbolized by the attitude of the Samaritans in the Bible. The Old Testament history reveals that Jeroboam, the first king of Israel after it became the Northern Kingdom, set up two places of worship. He wanted to be sure his people were weaned from their habit of worshiping at Jerusalem. He installed golden calves to be worshiped at Jerusalem. He installed golden calves to be worshiped in convenient places, Bethel and Dan.
“The heresy of Samaritanism—the practice of picking out what we like to worship and rejecting what we do not like—is widespread.
“Actually, it has opened up a whole new field for applied psychology and humanism under a variety of religious disguises. In this context, men and women set themselves as judges of what the Lord has said. Instead of getting down on their knees and letting the Lord judge them, they stand with pride and judge the Lord.”
“The stark, tragic fact is that the efforts of many people to worship are unacceptable to God. Without an infusion of the Holy Spirit there can be no true worship. This is serious. It is hard for me to rest peacefully at night knowing that millions of cultured, religious people are merely carrying on church traditions and religious customs and they are not actually reaching God at all.”
“In Europe many generations ago, the dear old saint of God, Brother Lawrence, was on his deathbed. Rapidly losing his physical strength, he witnessed to those gathered around him: ‘I am not dying. I am just doing what I have been doing for the past 40 years, and doing what I expect to be doing for all eternity?’
“‘What is that?’ he was asked. He replied quickly, ‘I am worshiping the God I love!'”
“The man whom God will use must be undone. He must be a man who has seen the King in His beauty.”
“How long do you think it will be, if Jesus tarries, before some of the amazing new churches like those in the primitive Baliem Valley of Irian Jaya, Indonesia, will be sending gospel missionaries to Canada and the United States?”
“Through that encounter I realized that unless we arouse ourselves spiritually, unless we are brought back to genuine love and adoration and worship, our candlestick could be removed. We may need missionaries coming to us indeed. We may need them to show us what genuine and vital Christianity is!”
“I am going to say something to you which will sound strange. It even sounds strange to me as I say it, because we are not used to hearing it within our Christian fellowships. We are saved to worship God. All that Christ had done for us in the past and all that He is doing now leads to this one end.”
“Why should the church of Jesus Christ be a spiritual school where hardly anyone ever graduates from the first grade?”
“The sum total of the deep and eternal wisdom of the age lies in Jesus Christ as a treasure hidden away. There is no kind of true wisdom that cannot be found within Him. All the deep eternal purposes of God reside in Him because His perfect wisdom enables Him to plan far ahead. All history becomes the slow development of His eternal purposes.”
“In relation to Jesus Christ, it has been the uniqueness and the perfection of His moral beauty that has charmed even those who claimed to be His enemies throughout the centuries of history. We do not have any record of Hitler saying anything against the moral perfections of Jesus. One of the great philosophers, Nietzsche, himself an instrument of antichristian forces in this world, died finally beating his forehead on the floor and moaning, ‘That man Jesus I love. I don’t like Paul.’
“Nietzsche objected to Paul’s theology of justification and salvation by faith, but he was strangely moved within by the perfections of moral beauty found in the life and character of Jesus, the Christ, the Lord of all beauty.”
“If you do not know Him and worship Him, if you do not long to reside where He is, if you have never known wonder and ecstasy in your soul because of His crucifixion and resurrection, your claim of Christianity is unfounded. It cannot be related to the true Christian life and experience at all.
“Meanwhile, I believe that we as Christians must become willing to allow every ugly thing in our lives to be crucified. We must indeed worship the Lord of all beauty in spirit and in truth. This is not a popular thing, for so many Christians insist that they must be entertained while they are being edified.”
“We have such smooth, almost secularized ways of talking people into the kingdom of God that we can no longer find men and women willing to seek God through the crisis of encounter. When we bring them into our churches, they have no idea of what it means to love and worship God because, in the route through which we have brought them, there has been no personal encounter, no personal crisis, no need of repentance—only a Bible verse with a promise of forgiveness.”
“I think the prophets of God saw farther into the centuries and into the mysteries of God than we can with our great modern telescopes and electronic means of measuring lights years and planets and galaxies.
“The prophets saw the Lord our God. They saw Him in His beauty, and they tried to describe Him.
“They described Him as radiantly beautiful and fair, a winsome being. They said that he was royal and that He was gracious. They described Him as a majestic being; and yet they noted his meekness. They saw Him as righteous and filled with truth. They tried to describe the manner of His love, with its gladness and joy and fragrance.
“When the prophets try to describe for me the attributes, the graces, the worthiness of the God who appeared to them and dealt with them, I feel that I can kneel down and follow their admonition: ‘He is thy Lord—worship thou Him.'”
“Two of Spurgeon’s greatest sermons were ‘God in The Silence’ and ‘God in The Storm.’ The heart that knows God can find God anywhere. I surely join with Spurgeon in the truth that a person filled with the Spirit of God, a person who has met God in a living encounter can know the joy of worshiping Him, whether in the silences of life or in the storms of life.”