Tuesday, March 08, 2011


On The Trail with Stephen Bly

I once attended an auction down at the Rocking D Ranch. A good auction for buyers. They had a little of everything up for grabs. . .tractors, saddles, fancy china, antique furniture and piano, plus a big screen TV. I ran into the ranch owner and he told me, “I’m sellin’ it all, everything from soda to hock.”
Only in the West would you hear a phrase like ‘soda to hock.’ And I reckon not one in a hundred who’ve heard the term know what it means. A hundred years ago, you couldn’t find anyone who didn’t know.

In the Old West Faro was one of the most popular gambling games. The layout’s complicated, but it’s simple to play. You bet whether the next face up card in the case will be a winner or loser. You could lose a lot in a hurry. . .or win just as quick. To keep the game fair, to eliminate cheating, the bottom card got exempted from the bet and paid nothing. The top card was called the soda. The bottom one, the hock. The expression ‘from soda to hock’ meant from the beginning to end or the whole thing.
The Bible has a similar term, not based on Faro, of course. It’s from the Greek alphabet. From Alpha to Omega denotes beginning to end. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God (Revelation 1:8).    

God is the beginning and end of all things.

So is Jesus. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). He’s always existed. He’ll be there at the end too.

Meanwhile, he is the reason our sin-sick, war-torn world hasn’t self-destructed. “And in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).  

Jesus holds all things together. Our world would explode if he stepped away. Jesus rules. From soda to hock. From Alpha to Omega.



Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon
Available now: Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon

Throw The Devil Off The Train
Coming May 1st, 2011: Throw The Devil Off The Train

Some Stephen Bly novels available on Kindle.


Diane Marie Shaw said...

I am so grateful that God is holding it all together, what a mess if He ever left my life. I know I make a mess when I step away from Him.
From beginning to ending, and everything in between, is in His hands.

Stephen Bly said...

Diane: Thanks so much for your comments and statement of faith.

Jack Horovic said...

I believe in God and the fact that I can win pokies . Just before Christmas, everyone can count on a miracle. And I wish you joy and happiness!