Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Stephen w/family 1950s

Florence, Idaho, at one time boomed as a frontier town. Settled in 1861 with the discovery of placer mines in the Salmon River Canyon, by 1862 10,000 people reached the settlement. Florence, at its peak, produced $50,000 worth of gold per day. Even when the mine played out, many folks hung around. The post office remained in service until 1912.

Idaho’s full of ghost towns. Some of them lasted a few months, others for decades. A few got deserted almost overnight. Some were torn down and moved to another place, piece by piece. Some burned to the ground. A couple still remain as shells of their former selves. An interesting hobby is to search for those traces that used to be thriving communities.
There’s not much left of Florence today. No permanent residents. Most buildings have disintegrated into the hillsides. It’s a ghost town. I enjoy visiting sites like that to try to imagine its better days and create stories.

People’s lives can become like that.
Do you know someone who’s caught in a ghost life?
There’s signs of a once prosperous existence. Perhaps, they had a vibrant  family. A promising career. Awards and trophies. However, that’s all in the musty past. And there’s no hints any of that will return.

Are they considered worthless now…has beens?
Not to God. With God's grace, anything’s possible. "You are God's building," the Bible says (1 Corinthians 3:9). He can renew any life. With new construction. Rebuild the faulty structure. Mend the broken years. Even create a prosperous city through them.
I’ve seen him do that with folks who seemed destined for destruction. Through the power of His Son Jesus. He stirred new zeal, fresh goals for them. Each of them now has the promise of eternal life, no matter their past.

New novel coming MARCH 2011: Throw The Devil Off The Train

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