Sunday, April 24, 2011


On The Trail with Stephen Bly

The very first cowboy didn’t come from Texas or Wyoming, but from central Mexico. The conquistadors settled into the New World and imported their Spanish horses and cows. 

Working slowly north along the missions and presidios, ranching and the Mesta cattleman’s association reached the Rio Grande and the land of Tejas near the end of the 18th Century. By then, the Old World armor and lances had been replaced with rawhide reatas, leather and wooden saddles with a wide horn on which to dally, and big roweled spurs on high heeled boots and wide-brimmed hats.

hacienda corridor
The main house and outbuildings at the Spanish and later Mexican ranches were always called the hacienda. I like that word. It conjures up images of huge one-story, sprawling adobe buildings with red tile roofs. With expansive gardens. Fruit trees. Chickens in the yard. Blacksmiths and tinsmiths. Carpentry and leather shops. And a stable of fine horses. Like a self-sufficient village.

It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own hacienda. I think I would have felt at home in such a place. But at my stage of life, that dream’s not likely to happen, here on earth. I’m content with my country home here in the mountains surrounded by ponderosa pines. As far as outbuildings, the yard filled with my homemade false-front Broken Arrow Crossing will have to suffice.

Broken Arrow Crossing
But some day I am going to live on a great hacienda. Jesus said it this way: “In my Father’s house are many mansions. . .I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2 KJV).

stairway to heaven
I don’t know your view of heaven, but I see it as a great hacienda. . .with Jesus as the Don. I’ll be thrilled to work in the carpentry shop or maybe ride herd for the boss. I do know that he is custom making a place for me. . .and you. . .so when we get there we’ll feel at home. I’m just sure mine’s going to resemble a sprawling hacienda.

What do you think your place in heaven will be like?  Leave an answer below and be entered in a drawing to win autographed copy of Throw The Devil Off The Train. Winners chosen Friday, April 29th.


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csthankful said...

I have no doubt my place in Heaven will be bright, colorful and full of music and laughter. Knowing Jesus will be there will make it all totally amazing. I vision children, loved ones gardens and glorious skies. One thing I am sure of is that my imagination will not be big enough to think of what really will be. I can't wait! Will see you there and all the people of the Bible I can't wait to chat with...time with my THAT is HEaven!

Stephen Bly said...

Dear CS: I am sure you are right. It will fit you perfect. Will be fun to visit at your place too. :-)
On the trail,

Anonymous said...

I dream of a Heaven filled with music and laughter. Crystal clear water and trees everywhere. I adore trees. I am hopeful my yard will be full of weeping willow trees. I want a leopard and a lion as my pets and am hoping there is a fried chicken buffet somewhere :)

Mark said...

I'm thinking that my section of the mansion will have lots of windows to see outside and not miss anything (and they won't need to be washed!) and it'll have a beautiful fireplace with a mantel full of photos. I'm thinking that there will be a lot of wonderful intricate woodwork. One whole wall will be covered with a hanging tapestry representing my life and how everything worked together for good. Outside will be lots of forever blooming flowers and trees with fruit just right for the picking. We know that the one who created all the earthly beauty that we see has been working on heaven for some time now and He knows just how to make it homey and perfect for us!

Susan Baganz said...

My home will be spacious, maybe an English Tudor - or an old yellow farmhouse with wood floors and big windows and a kitchen with plenty of space. Outside I will have a garden with lots of flowers - and english or cottage garden and a gazebo in the center. No weeding! Clean open and welcoming.

Anonymous said...

My place in Heaven will be standing right next to my dearly missed Grandpap! There will be ponds for fishing and gardens for growing! Thanks!

Jenny said...

I know heaven will be a glorious place, but I'm satisfied with simplicity. Give me just pillars holding up a doors or I may freely walk among a field of wildflowers, traipse through a stand of sturdy trees, and while I know the Bible speaks of heaven having streets of gold, this girl would be content to walk down an old dirt road.

Of course, none of that will compare to the reunion of the saints and seeing Jesus face to face.

Great question...and I'm looking forward to seeing your heavenly hacienda, Mr Bly. :)

Wendy said...

I have a hard time figuring out what heaven will be like. I think it will be bright with lots of music worshiping God. I hope my home is a log cabin filled with cats, good books and crocheting but I think our job is to be worshiping God - so not sure how my books, crocheting and cats will fit into that!

lori shultz said...

I'm just going to be thankful to get to Heaven! I know He will provide the perfect place in which we can worship Him, be in relationship with Him and just enjoy Him. Wish I could do more of all that now. To God by the glory!

Diane Marie Shaw said...

My place in heaven will be a log home on the water. There will be a huge main room. I can see it, smell it, hear it and feel it. Woo hoo, I will be inviting all my friends and family over and we will dance together in that huge main room. Jesus will be there laughing with us and kicking up His heals. Then in the evening we will walk on the beach and have a campfire and make smores. Each night I will fall asleep listening to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore.

Lynne Stevenson said...

My ideal Heaven will include me spending eternity surrounded by all of the furbabies, dogs and cats alike, that I have ever been loved by and loved unconditionally. I cannot fathom a place called Heaven without them because they have made my life here on Earth bearable.
There will also be billions of flowers in every scent and shade of the rainbow and never ending sunshine. There will be the greatest sense of peace and joy that I have ever known. There are a handful of people that I hope to see and connect with in the afterlife. But if my dogs and cats are not there, I don't want to go...

Liz Ann said...

When I get to heaven I imagine it will be the most peaceful, exciting, pain free, fight free, place in existence and I am hoping to sit on my Savior's lap for a LONG TIME! :0)

Kathi Macias said...

I think I'll still get to write in heaven, but I won't have to worry about deadlines. YAHOO!!!

barbjan10 said...

I think my place in heaven will be with all my family and friends in nearby places. There will be much celebrating, laughter, sharing my place with Jesus when he drops by. I'll enjoy all the stories he'll tell us. No more pain....that would be heaven for me.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Jenny McLeod Carlisle said...

If Heaven is a hacienda, you'll find me one of the many porches, I love to sit outside and enjoy the breezes. When it's rainy, I'll just retreat a little closer to the house, where I can still smell the moisture in the air, and enjoy the music of the raindrops hitting the roof. Won't it be wonderful there?

nancytyrrell53 said...

Now that I have been left behind from the death of my lovely husband, I hope my mansion will be right next to his (Jon) and we can go together to visit the Lord to tell Him how grateful we are that He let us find each other. There is a song about knowing someone is in a better place, and it makes you desire to be "home" more. I look forward to being in heaven, too.

I looked up the song, it is by Mercyme called Homesick.

No more tears in heaven is a promise in Scripture. Soon is not soon enough for me! See you there!

beemama said...

To be heaven there must be music, brightness, color, and laughter.Deep conversations with those who have gone before, whether greats from the Bible or my beloved grandparents. But mostly there would be the joy of seeing my Lord.

David Meigs said...

In my long ago YWAM days, I had the pleasure of traveling much of the world. I saw some beautiful country, including Israel. But nothing anywhere could ever compare to the breathtaking majesty of the Olympic Mountains back home.

I guess you could call it a life-long obsession of mine, but even as a teen I started asking God to let me retire with a nice view of the mountains that I loved. At fifteen, I spent two summers as a sidekick to a Native American guide, taking at-risk kids on camping trips all over the Olympic National Park.

God answered my prayers and gave me a home only about a dozen miles from the mountains that I love. I guess it is no wonder that I love to write books about mountain men and the adventures that were their everyday lives.

Jesus said that in His Father's house there are many mansions. Surely God has a mountain cabin/mansion somewhere up there for me.

Margie Mijares said...

I just want a little cabin tucked neatly away in a corner somewhere. I don't expect to be spending a lot of time there because I want to sit at Jesus' feet and learn from Him. I know that any place with Jesus will be amazing!!! margie at mijares dot net

Rebecca Stuhlmiller said...

I used to think heaven would look like Jamacia. (I have never been to Jamacia.)

Now I don't really think about what it will look like. All I know is there will be great fellowship with saints from all time and all the world. And together we will worship the King.

Rikki said...

My spot will be a nice cozy cabin just off the bank of a crisp babbling brook. With lots of God's wonderful critters to watch as they playfully romp and stomp through the surrounding forest. You're welcome to drop by now and again.

Soccerkidsmom said...

I would love to have a small log cabin or a Victorian with a huge front porch that wraps around, back in a secluded bunch of trees and a babbling brook with a little wooden bridge. Lots of beautiful flowers and wildlife. Sunshine and blue skies. But as long as I am with my Jesus, anyplace will be fine with me. Sherri sherri5 (at) pa (dot) net

Caitlin said...

Although I know life up there will be different, I'm hoping that my place will be a little cottage with a beautiful flower garden. I want my grandma's house to be right beside mine, so I can see her everyday and we can name the flowers and she can finally show me how to crochet. And I'll finally get to meet Grandpa and he can teach me Swedish!

My house is not a home without a pet, so it would be lovely if God could put all my old pets in the cottage, too (right down to the Betta Fish). But above all, there will always be a chair ready for Jesus and one for the unknown visitor who may have been from the past, present, or future here on Earth but is a brother or sister in His name.

Stephen Bly said...

Thank you so much for each of your comments. Enjoyed them all. Heaven will be even greater than we imagine! And the winner from a pick out of the old black Resistol cowboy hat. . .Jenny, Evie's Mommo, from the Missouri Ozarks! Send us your mailing address at janet(at)blybooks(dot)com.