GOD’S GREAT OUTDOORS by Larry Whiteley




Well Christmas day is almost here and I hope you get what you want for Christmas. When you get to be my age Christmas presents aren’t important. Being in church celebrating the birth of Jesus and time with family and friends is. I love the smiles, the laughter and the good food. I don’t know how many more Christmas days the good Lord will give me but I plan on enjoying every one of them.

Amongst all the busyness of this special day I always try to do something in God’s great outdoors to escape for just a little while. When I was younger it was a rabbit or quail hunt. This year I may still go to the deer woods for a while or go hiking or just sitting around a campfire alone or with family. I may even go try to catch a fish if the weather is mild.

Being out in God’s great outdoors gives me time to reflect on and thank Him for all my many blessings and the real reason for the season. In this crazy, messed up old world we need this day. Have a very merry outdoor Christmas.






Something to Think About by Larry Whiteley




I love sitting around a campfire. My favorite time is when I am alone and there are thousands of twinkling stars above me in a dark night sky. The smell of wood smoke fills the air, flames dance and flicker as sparks shoot upward in hypnotic whirls. My campfire may be in the backyard fire pit, it might be at deer camp, it could be on a river gravel bar or outside the door of my tent while out camping. It really doesn’t matter because they are all special and especially my Christmas campfire.

I sit at my Christmas campfire trying to escape the hustle and bustle for just a little while. I look into the flames and thank God for all the gifts he has given me. My wife was a gift from God and so were my sons and their families as well as good friends. Sac River Cowboy Church has been a gift from God. 

The Christmas campfire warms my body and my soul. My mind wanders from the gifts he has given me to the gift that was given to us all. I don’t know if there was one but I like to imagine a campfire that special night. I see it in my mind’s eye lighting the darkness of the stable. Through its glow I see the hard ground and the hay. I see the donkeys, cows and sheep. I can even smell them. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor. Off to one side is a group of shepherds and a few wise men. Nearby is the weary father. Wide awake is Mary. She knows she is holding holiness. 

The glow from the fire shines into the face of the baby. The greatest gift of all had come to save us all. Close your eyes and maybe you will see the stable too. Open your eyes and accept the gift of Jesus.




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