Cold Train Coming

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Overview

IT'S 1942 AND AMERICA IS AT WAR. A sense of peril and wartime shortages have reached even the small town of Fort Benton, Montana, where 13-ear-old Ben Colby is growing up. Ben is in love for the first time, with Ellie Beck, a high-school beauty who is three years older than Ben. But that's not the only dilemma Ben is facing. When he learns that one of his mother's old boyfriend has moved to town, he worries about what that might mean for his parents' seemingly shaking marriage. Everyone is nearly frantic about ...
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Overview

IT'S 1942 AND AMERICA IS AT WAR. A sense of peril and wartime shortages have reached even the small town of Fort Benton, Montana, where 13-ear-old Ben Colby is growing up. Ben is in love for the first time, with Ellie Beck, a high-school beauty who is three years older than Ben. But that's not the only dilemma Ben is facing. When he learns that one of his mother's old boyfriend has moved to town, he worries about what that might mean for his parents' seemingly shaking marriage. Everyone is nearly frantic about the polio epidemic that is raging through the town. In the midst of all this, Ben tries to befriend a stray sheepdog that no one has ever been able to win over - a dog that remain fiercely loyal to its previous master.

Reminiscent of A River Runs through It and Montana 1948, Cold Train Coming capture the essence of a simpler time in American history, a setting in which a boy struggles to understand a looming adult world that is overwhelming and mysterious. Filled with humor and emotion, Cold Train Coming is a nostalgic, coming-of-age story that will take you back to the bittersweet days of adolescence, when summer was endless, first love was both thrilling and frustrating, and the future was as exciting as it was uncertain.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barkdull (The Mourning Dove) offers this gentle coming-of-age story, a novel with the flavor of YA fiction. In Fort Benton, Mont., an old collie's master has died and the casket has been put on the train. For the next six years, four times a day, Shep meets every incoming train hoping to see the old sheepherder. Ben Colby, 13; his younger brother, "Squid," and the comely 15-year-old Ellie form an unlikely friendship with the dog. Ben soon feels the pangs of first love and grapples with issues of trust and understanding in his relationship with his mother and his severely depressed father. In the evenings, Ben marvels over the North Star's constancy from his window and pens letters to God, detailing the hopes of his heart. Lovely descriptions of Montana as it might have been in war-torn 1942 make the story sing, and some light tension keeps the pages turning. Ben sometimes seems older than his years, but scenes such as the one in which he attempts mouth-to-beak resuscitation of a presumed-dead chicken remind us he's an adolescent. Although the story seems geared to young adult readers, older readers will also enjoy this tale of faith, loss and loyalty. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590382905
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

“CONGRATULATIONS!”  Your sweetheart has just been called to serve in a very responsible position in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Oops.  Perhaps congratulations are not in order.  Some might think “Condolences” would be the better sentiment.  You two could become strangers passing in the night with this new assignment.  While it’s true your spouse – and your family – will have many wonderful, uplifting experiences upon accepting a call to serve, and his or her worthiness and willingness to serve certainly warrants hearty congratulations, a demanding tenure of service presents new challenges for your marital relationship.  What’s the appropriate sentiment upon receiving a call to serve?

 

With careful planning, the experience of supporting your spouse in a Church calling can strengthen rather than weaken your marriage.  You can enjoy all the blessings that come from being married to a worthy, capable servant to he Lord, and at the same time assure Church service does nothing to your marriage except make it richer.

 

The purpose of this book is to help you find the joy inherent in serving the Lord, while simultaneously realizing greater joy in your marriage.  The two goals are not incompatible.  In fact, they complement one another.  Couples need not become strangers during a period of demanding Church service.  You can actually find greater joy in your marriage when your spouse is steeped in Church service than you did when his or her time was more available to you.

 

The book is divided into four parts: caring for your spouse, caring for yourself, caring for the children, and caring for the flock.  You might be tempted to jump right into the middle of the book and immediately begin lightening your own load.  You may truly desire a survival guide to help you endure your spouse’s tenure of service.  Forget supporting your spouse, how can the wife of a devoted Church leader face all the challenges that come her way?  Please have faith, read the chapters about supporting your spouse.  As you discover the absolutely vital role you play in your loved one’s ability to serve, your perspective about your role will change, and this is the first stop to lifting your own load.

 

At least two types of stress enter into the lives of busy Church servants: emotional and physical.  The same types of stress affect the spouses of busy Church servants.  In this book you will learn to help your spouse alleviate these different types of stress that may accompany a calling.  Plus, you will learn to alleviate your own stress.

 

The first quarter of the book will help you learn how to be a support to your spouse.  You’ll learn how to

  • Share his (or her) burden
  • Lighten that burden
  • Identify people you would never have dreamed could become a resource to you.
  • Understand the true nature of support (what we traditionally think of as supporting a spouse may actually add to both of your burdens).
  • Become an effective sounding board.
  • Counsel wisely.
  • Cheer your spouse on.
  • Honor confidential information

 

The heart of the book will help you make sure your own emotional and physical needs are met when your spouse is involved in Church service, including how to

  • Minimize the amount of time your spouse spends away from home.
  • Safeguard the unity of your relationship in the midst of competing priorities.
  • Combat loneliness when your spouse spends time away from you.
  • Protect yourself from feeling resentful.

 

The next section will help you attend to the needs of the children.  You will discover ways to

  • Deal with public scrutiny.
  • Ensure your children do not resent being set up as examples.
  • Ensure your children do not come to resent their Church-leader parent’s frequent absences.

 

The remainder of the book will conclude with suggestions for keeping your flock happy, emotionally and physically.  You can bless the members of your organization most effectively when you

  • Purify your motives for service.
  • Care as deeply as your spouse cares about the flock.
  • Perform acts of service that invigorate rather than drain you as a couple.
  • Avoid discouragement when those you serve do not progress.

 

In the following chapters I will share what I have learned from years of counseling Latter-day Saints who, along with their spouses, lose themselves in Church service.  I also draw from experiences as the daughter of a Saint devoted to Church service and the wife of a Saint who is equally bested in such service.  In addition, serving in eleven different wards across the United States – from the West to the Midwest to the Northeast to the South – has given me a diverse perspective of members and callings in the Church.  (If you read any stories that sound familiar, remember they could have occurred anywhere in the world, at any time in the past forty years.  And yes, you guessed correctly, I have changed some of the names and the details to honor people’s privacy.)

 

On every page of this book is my prayer for you that you will not be weary in well-doing.  We are “laying the foundation of a great work” (D&C 64:33).  Ours is the work of the Lord, and this great work will roll forth.  We are invited for a brief moment in history to accomplish deed that will affect the eternities but not for one minute compromise the unity of our individual families.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

 

PART ONE: TAKING CARE OF YOUR SPOUSE

  1. Service: It’s What We Do
  2. The Necessary Spouse
  3. Equally Yoked
  4. The True Meaning of Support
  5. Selfless Listening
  6. Buying into the Work
  7. Lighten the Leader’s Load

 

PART TWO: TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

  1. The Contract: Taking Time for Each Other
  2. Faith in Your Spouse’s Good Judgment
  3. Lighten Your Own Load
  4. Serve within Your Means
  5. The Oil in Your Lamp

 

PART THREE: TAKING CARE OF THE CHILDREN

  1. Pressure to Set and Example
  2. Pressure to Raise Perfect Children
  3. The Legacy You Leave

 

PART FOUR: TAKING CARE OF THE FLOCK

  1. Increasing Your Capacity to Serve
  2. Ulterior Motives
  3. Service for the Fun of It
  4. Enjoy the Ride
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2004

    Best Christmas Buy

    Larry Barkdull's Cold Train Coming is a beautiful story full of rich detail about wonderful characters and a special dog. I was captivated from the beginning. It would make a great gift any time of the year but especially at Christmas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    Heartwarming Story!

    This is a story of young love, deep love, family relationships and some of the struggles we all face, and the best of all--a story that portrays the love given to and received from a beloved dog. It had me tearing up at times while laughing at others. It was one of those books you love curling up with and dread turning the last page, not wanting the story to end. I loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    I loved Cold Train Coming!

    I loved Barkdull¿s ¿The Mourning Dove,¿ but I adored his ¿Cold Train Coming.¿ It¿s a wonderful Montana story set in World War II. The main character, Ben Colby, is all of us when we were growing up¿confused, silly, loved-struck. But despite his disappointments, he still keeps trying¿just like Shep, the faithful sheepdog that Ben tries to adopt. Always understated, Barkdull weaves important touchstone qualities of successful living into his principle-driven book. I¿m eager to share it with friends and family.

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