Thursday, December 02, 2010


Stephen Bly
On The Trail with Stephen Bly

An insurance salesman and I chatted at a nearby coffee shop when Prairie Bob entered, covered from hat to boot in oil and grease. We’ve got several fellas named Bob around our parts. . .so one gets called Prairie Bob, another is Forest Bob, and a third is Town Bob, more affectionately known as T-Bob.
“I aint’ got time to eat dinner,” Prairie Bob reported. “I bought a truck on Saturday and it didn’t even make it home. I ain’t keepin' that truck. No sir, I’m goin’ to town right now and get my hog back.”
Prairie Bob banged his way out the door and the insurance man stared at me with a frown. “That guy traded a pig for a truck?”

I explained that ‘getting your hog back’ is a cowboy expression for recovering something that belongs to you that has been taken by devious means. Usually it connotes stolen property. I figure Prairie Bob thought his hard-earned money was purloined by some slick talkin’ truck salesman.
Most folks have had a valuable stolen from us at one time or another. Maybe your wallet. Your keys. Your purse. Your favorite cow dog. Your pickup. Or perhaps a treasure even more critical.

The Bible reveals there’s a deceiver and liar who roams this planet. His main purpose is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). He’s mighty good at it too. He’ll try to ruin your reputation. Swipe your sanity. Pilfer your friends. Rob you of family. At the least, bankrupt your peace. But, most of all, he targets your spiritual life. He attempts to make God look bad in every circumstance. Instead, St. Paul exhorts: “Become friends with God” (2 Corinthians 5:20 MSG).

That is, let him prove to you he’s worthy of your trust. He'll show you the way, every time. Don’t be swindled. Don't allow the most crucial relationship you’ll ever know be stolen from you by lies and deceit.

It so happens that Forest Bob recently stood at a close friend’s grave and felt like a precious gift had been ripped from him. “I had such an empty feelin’ in my gut. Like somethin’s missin’. Part of it was my friend. But that’s not all. I once had a relationship with God and somehow I lost it.”

It’s time for Forest Bob to go get his whole hog back.

What's the most precious thing that ever got stolen from you? Did you ever get it back?

Cowboy for a Rainy Afternoon (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print))

NEW NOVELS NOW AVAILABLE: Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon and Creede of Old Montana . . . order through or get an autographed copy via  

Creede of Old Montana (Center Point Premier Western (Large Print))

COMING MARCH 2011: Throw The Devil Off The Train
Catherine Goodwin’s got to escape. She wants a fresh start with her fiancé in Paradise Springs, California. Race Hillyard’s into revenge. He seeks to settle a score. But it’s a long, crowded, volatile train ride from Omaha to Sacramento.


Brock S. Henning said...

Great story and message, Stephen. Thanks for sharing this!

Stephen Bly said...

Brock: Appreciate the comment. Glad you stopped by.