Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Fall Colors (Janet B)
Bible Study Verses
Deuteromy 18:10-14
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.  You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you. (NKJV)

Years ago many a deer hunt was right before Halloween.  As a kid couldn't be at two places at one time, so I went hunting.

One Halloween we were butchering 3 deer in one evening. Unfortunately we ran out of butcher paper, so I ran to pick more up at the store.  The other two men couldn't keep butchering and answer the door to pass out candy so they ended visitation.  They place a deer head with its horns sawed off at the end of the driveway until I found it in my returning headlights.

As I removed the scary creature to oblivion I promised myself that we'd never butcher another deer on Halloween with the butcher boys again. It worked as a fright, not one child or teenager came up to the porch after that display. It's unsettling to think what the neighbors might have thought or the nightmares created.
(Jo Q)

Action Point
Just as the butcher boys made a poor choice on deflecting visitation, it brings to mind the verse that says, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea," Matthew 18:6 (NKJV).  Hopefully they didn't cause a frightened little one to sin.  But how many of our poor choices caused another to stumble?   
The above scripture is pretty clear on what any of us should not be doing within the spiritual realm. Notice "one who practices witchcraft" has no exceptions for white, black, or Wicca. We're to walk in HIS light and with our faith in JESUS CHRIST not by what today's horoscope reflects.

The final tests are to take every thought captive to Christ and line up every question to GOD's Living Holy WORD. We become free in CHRIST when we bow at HIS throne and humbly ask for HIS forgiveness no matter what has been in the past!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
By cutting up our own deer, we diligently removed all fat before packaging. The strong gamey taste was removed with the fat. Many a chuckle was created when friends enjoyed the steak that couldn't have been wild game meat.

Today's Photograph . . . . It Felt Awesome Helping Her Hit Her Target (Ruben C)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (NIV)

During a recent Hunter Education course, a young girl was having difficulty hitting the target at 10 yards. No scratch that; she was not hitting the target at all! As I watched it seemed as if her .22 rifle was pointed at the target while she continued to miss. 

I asked her if she was looking through her right eye and she replied, "Yes".  She kept missing.  I then observed her as she aimed. To my surprise, she closed both eyes!

"Aha!" I thought. She could not close just one eye and for a few moments I was perplexed as what to do.  I knew we had to get her on target or the whole class would not mean anything if she felt she couldn't hit the target on the last day. 

It then occurred to me to make a field expedient "blinder" for a pair of safety glasses from a .22 carton and electrical tape. The young shooter immediately put them on (with the left eye piece covered) and she immediately started putting all her shots in the ten ring. After
hitting the target for the first time, she looked up at me and was all smiles.

It felt awesome to help her hit her target.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Just like it's a bad idea to simply point a rifle downrange, close both eyes, pull the trigger, and expect to hit the target. We shouldn't think we can apply the same principles to our walk with Christ.  Like the young shooter on the range needing guidance so do we.

Sometimes we may need to stop and re-orient  ourselves.  The Bible is a great place to start getting on target!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If your young shooters are having difficulty hitting the target, a flip down eye piece may be the answer.  Conversely, this can also be a great opportunity to train your young shooter to shoot with a scope with both eyes open.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . If You Must Boast, Boast In The Lord (Yvonne M) 
Bible Study Verses
Proverbs 27: 1-2
Don't boast about tomorrow, for you don't know what a day might bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth - a stranger, and not your own lips. (HCSB)

In the charter boat business, one day you might be a hero with full limits. Then the next day conditions change, the fish don't bite, and you struggle. You can spot a rookie guide from a mile away when he struts around the dock with a cooler full of fish and proclaims himself as the greatest. Then, on a tough day, he tucks his tail between his legs and mopes.

The truth of the matter is, we all have great days, good days, average days, slow days, and downright poor days. The veteran guide knows this, and keeps his cool and confidence when things are going good and when it is tough to get a bite.
(Bink G)

Action Point
Proverbs was written as a practical guide to everyday living. The above scripture instructs us to be humble in our successes, because the next day the wind may be blowing 25 knots from the southwest, or the fish may not be hungry.

Nobody likes the clamor from the self-righteous. If you must boast, boast in the Lord, even if you only have a few fish to clean.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When fishing conditions are tough, it is even more important to know your tides and moon phases. The fish may only bite for an hour that day, so you better be there when they feed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28, 2011

Today's Photograph . . . . It Will Combine The Attributes Of All The Best Into One  (Will D) 
Bible Study Verses
Isaiah 6:13
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne-high, exalted!-and the train of his robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above Him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other, Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies. His bright glory fills the whole earth. (The Message)

I am going to create the ultimate fishing lure. It will combine the attributes of all the best into one bait; spinners on each end, just the right amount of feathers and flash, rattles, flashing lights, three different kinds of hooks and a paddle tail. Maybe a fishy smell. Red eyes for sure.
(Will D)

Action Point 
Man is kinda like that with God; sometimes mind - making a god to fit our lifestyle. A man-made-god might reward success at any cost. A god that only sees hypocrisy in others and is okay with small sins - not big ones. Judging, gossip and retaliation in the right circumstance is allowed. Worship on Sunday? Nah, you should go do something for yourself today, you deserve it.

No, thankfully our God isn't man-made. Can't be. Will never be. The fact is His holiness is so pure even His own angels are unable to look upon Him. As Christians we have God's word, His promise, His son, and the Holy Spirit keeping us on track. Jesus has no glitter, flash, or attracting rattles - He's just the real deal.

No. Man-made-gods usually don't work out real well - hopefully my late-night-fancy-lure infomercials will.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Replace the hooks on your favorite lures with red ones of the same size. The color in clear water creates more of an injured look.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27, 2011

Today's Photograph . . . . We Live A Life Of Full-time Need With Part-time Belief (Will D) 
Bible Study Verses
I John 3:5-6
But you know that He appeared so that He might take away our sins. And in Him is no sin. No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. (NIV 1984)

I distinctly remember the first fishing trip I made in the Gulf of Mexico. The air was filled with anticipation and a steady sea-salt spray. Running up and then back down those big waves was like a fun theme-park ride. However, when the boat stopped, the waves began to take their toll on my equilibrium. Seasickness overcame me. I wanted off this ride.
(Will D)

Action Point
Sin, a tiny word with giant meaning. Hearing it penetrates our soul with conviction and condemnation. We think of closet-filled skeletons. 

Many of us struggle in our Christian walk because we live a life of full-time need with part-time belief. Living that way is like an up and down rollercoaster ride. The reality of the Word is that it is not some "thing" you are doing, but some "one" you are doing without. Dealing with sin and finding truth and solace in your life begins and ends with Jesus Christ. 

Get off that old rollercoaster and ride the one called repentance. Sin - sickness replaced by God's grace. No better ride exists. Check out Romans 10:9-10. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Keep your head up and your eyes focused on the horizon on those rough days. Staying out of cabins and into the open air will help you avoid sea-sickness.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 26, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . You'll End Up Catching More Fish (Jimmy S)
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 28:5
Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully. (NIV)

We see this going on all around us.  We think to ourselves, how do these people not see that what they doing?  How do they not see this is wrong?  Have you ever talked to a hunter or fisherman who just had "a couple" over his limit? 

A good guide line to go by is, if it's wrong, it's wrong, the number does not matter!
(Jim C)

Action Point
I am by no means a perfect individual.  I sometimes wonder how and why God puts up with me.  But I do know that when I turn to God in any matter that the end results are much better for me than if I myself would have handled it.

If in doubt about what to do, seek the Lord and the truth will be made known to you!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When fishing crank baits or spinner baits for bass, always try to run the lure into something, like a dock, rocks, or a lay down log, something to make the lure look injured.  Bass will key in on baitfish that find themselves disorientated. When your lure acts the same way, you'll end up catching more fish.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Before The Storm Hits (Janet B)
Bible Study Verse
Like 21:8
He replied: "Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is near.' Do not follow them." (NIV)

The sad thing is, you can turn on the news every day and see those who have all the "so called" solutions to our problems.  They can help, they can heal us, and they can make it right.  They lie and are arrogant!  Some day they will answer to God for their misleading ways.
(Jim C)

Action Point
I have learned over time to trust my instincts or to trust "my gut' so to speak.  If someone told me something or I was in a situation that did not feel right, I stepped away from it.

To me it was that small voice of God warning me.  It's been right every time.  How do I know?   It's when I did not follow that "voice" that I got myself into places or situations that were not good for me.  The Father knows best!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Changing weather conditions can be some of the best fishing you will ever encounter.  Right before a rain storm, the fish can turn on and give you some incredible action.  Make sure you know when to quit.  No matter how good the bite gets, it's better to pack it up before the storm hits and come back another day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Octobe 24, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Face-to-Face With A Small Mule Deer Buck (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
II Peter 3:17-18
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (NIV)

Physical conditioning is very important to any hunter.  A hunt is so much better when you can get around in the mountains and carry your pack with ease.  But, this doesn't happen by accident. 

You have to work at getting in shape.  You have to eat right and get out and walk, run, bike, get to the gym, or do whatever you choose to do to improve your endurance. 

I see so many hunters that are overweight and pigging out on the wrong foods.  And, they never exercise or get in shape prior to a hunt.  This is foolish and can be dangerous. 

A couple years back an article in our local newspaper highlighted a professional athlete that was on a photo safari in Africa.  Now we all know that a professional athlete must work out constantly to maintain his physical conditioning and keep his muscles toned and firm.  Ok, that's a given.  But, the story told of what he and two other football players had for dinner: meat and vegetables.  No bread, no potatoes, no corn went on their plates.  Am I against bread, potatoes, and corn?  No, but eat them in moderation! 

So, if you want to get into shape, eat right and exercise!  And, don't tell me it can't be done.  I teach Hunter Education classes with a guy that lost over 100 pounds.  Yes, it can be done!  
(Cliff S)

Action Point
If we're to grow in our faith we must be reading God's word, the Bible.  There's just no other way.  Yes, books about the faith, devotionals such as are available from Sportsmen's Devotional, and others are great.  But, they are no substitute for a few minutes daily in God's word. 

If you want to grow your faith, you must work at it.  And, there's a practical side to this, if you're grounded in what you believe you won't be vulnerable to false teachings.  May I suggest, start with reading a chapter per day in the book of John.  Then, two chapters per day.  Then, more as you feel you have time.  You'll reach a point where you'll know how much time you have and can devote to reading daily.  When you finish John, go through the other gospels, then the rest of the New Testament. 

When you're finished reading, spend some time communicating with the Father in prayer.  And, when you're praying, don't forget to listen!  Spending time with God may mean getting up a few minutes earlier or spending a little less time on the internet. But, it will be well worth it as your faith in God grows and gets stronger.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Getting in good shape not only enhances your hunt, but will go a long ways toward preventing emergencies in the field.  Check with your Doctor and plan an exercise regimen that will work for you.  Here's a test: when you buckle your belt, is it facing forward or looking at your toes?  Be honest with yourself, you may have some work to do.  Also, I like to get a physical every year a month or two prior to the hunting seasons so if there is something wrong, hopefully the Doctor will catch it and I won't find out about it on the mountain!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Camping (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Colossians 3:15-16
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the Message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (NIV)

Let, a verb meaning to allow. I let that bird go (meaning, I missed). I let that buck get away so he can grow up some (meaning, I couldn't get the shot off quick enough). I let my lab chew things up in my back yard (meaning, I can't catch her in the act to discipline her). I let my son take my truck and go camping with his friends for the weekend (meaning, he's grown up and doesn't need me there with him and his friends; they know what they're doing).

We all let things happen in our lives. It's a part of life that we don't often think about, but we live it every day. Or, should I say, we let it happen daily.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
For the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts, we must let it. For the word of Christ to dwell richly in us, we must let it. We have the power to allow God to be our primary influence, or to keep Him on the back burner of our lives. We let so many other things influence us daily, why not allow God to work in our hearts and let Him show us how to walk with and trust Him, how to teach and admonish others, and how to sing and worship Him. He will, if we'll let Him!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When the time comes, let your children head off into the outdoors without you. It's hard, I know, I've been there. But, if you've trained them right, you can have confidence that they'll do things right. And, who knows, maybe they'll let the old timer join them once in a while.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October 22, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Obedience (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
I Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (NIV)

Death was imminent. Quick action was required. Mel, Rusty's owner, shouted out at the top of his lungs, "Rusty!"

The Golden Retriever responded immediately. With speed that seemed quicker than air brakes on a semi truck, Rusty locked up all four legs, paws dug deep in the roadside gravel, and he came to a halt.

The automobile's bumper missed his head by less than a foot!

Rusty had witnessed the flush of a large covey of Bob White quail. One quail flew left across the paved road which was far below and down the slope of the steep hillside. Rusty went to retrieve the quail that he assumed had been hit as the shotguns roared. But, I had missed, and Mel had shot at other birds. The point is that Rusty's immediate obedience save his life!
(Jack M)

Action Point
In the verse above, we are told that to obey God is better than the most fantastic attempts at serving the Lord in our own way.

The internal fat of animals sacrificed in Old Testament times was considered the best part of the sacrifice. It was reserved for God alone, and was to be offered on the altar to Him. It symbolizes the most sincere motivation and our very best attempt to do for the Lord what we think is best.

But, God says that simple obedience is better than trying to do fantastic things for Him in our own wisdom and strength. Simply obey Him!!! That is best in His eyes. That is also the safest thing for us to do, and puts us in the place of blessing!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Teach your dogs to obey instantly. It will often be to their advantage; perhaps it will save their lives as it did Rusty in the true story above. There are many training tools available to us today. An electronic training system will enhance learning, and save the owner lots of frustration when the dog disobeys.

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011
October 21, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Merriam Turkey (Wayne M)
Bible Study Verse
Isaiah 6:5
Then I said, "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven's Armies." (NLT)

Completely camouflaged from head to toe, I sat in my place of ambush!  I thought I was the complete predator, the ultimate hunter!  I thought I was undetected, unseen, ready to pounce upon any opportunity given me by the unsuspecting prey.

But, I was wrong!  A hen turkey came walking into the setup.  Next thing I knew, she had me pegged!  I was busted!  I was found out!  I was exposed!
(Jack M)

Action Point
There are many in the world who think that God does not see and know.  They think their sin is hidden; their actions unknown to any other.  

But, they are wrong.  God does know.  We are indeed BUSTED!  As Isaiah found out in the passage above, we are unclean.  "Doomed.  It's all over."  [(NLT) paraphrased by the author for emphasis.] If you are still in your sin, you are BUSTED!!!

Realize and agree with God that you are unclean, a sinner who needs forgiveness.  Accept God's remedy for sin.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Use your favorite scent killing routine, or develop one for use in hunting, especially when hunting with archery equipment.  It may not make you scent free, but it will help out most of the time.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

OctobOctober 20, 2011er 20, 2011  

      Today's Photograph . . . . White Tails (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
I Corinthians 10:12-14
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is Faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (NKJV)

Terrain Strategies, Funnels - imagine two crop fields that sit back to back with a strip of woods between them.  If I were a big buck trying to stay in hiding, how would I travel between the two patches of woods without walking out in the open of these two fields?  Right.  I would walk that little strip of woods that sits between the two crop fields.  It's a natural pinch-point. 

If I were hunting this setup, I would place a stand somewhere in that funnel.  Does that mean that every deer in the region would travel through that funnel?  Of course not.  But that funnel is a good jumping off point in placing your stand to position yourself to see more deer.

I used to hunt a little patch of woods between two big clear cuts (areas that had been strip-logged).  For the three or so years that the clear cut was still pretty much open and just beginning to grow back with brush, briers, and small pine saplings, that was the place to be.  Several deer met their end as they funneled through that little patch of trees to avoid the wide open spaces.
(Brian H)

Action Point
Do you have a pinch-point in your life?  Is there a pet-sin that you just can't seem to get away from?  If we're not careful, we rationalize our little personal pet sins and they become spiritual strongholds in our lives.  We run to these little secret areas only to find that the enemy is there and ready to strike. 

The only true freedom from these pinch-points in our lives is forgiveness.  Jesus has made a way of escape for us so that we don't have to die in the funnel!!! 

The temptations that lead to these pinch-points are "common to man." But, our Lord says that He will give us a way of escape.  We don't have to keep these funnels in our lives.

Take the way of escape and allow God to help you overcome these funnels lest you be caught off guard.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When scouting, you will obviously be looking for deer sign.  But hanging your stand right on the deer sign may not be the right place.  Look to find where deer bed, eat, drink, and then find their travel corridors.  See more deer by finding the paths they walk regularly.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 19, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . White Tail Buck (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (NKJV)

Terrain Strategies, Inside Corners -  one of the best places to catch a nice buck "cheating" is on an inside corner.  Picture, if you will, a field that juts back into the woods.  Mature whitetail bucks, being creatures of secrecy, may not like the idea of wading across an open field unless chasing does.  Rather, they may choose to skirt around the back of the field in order to remain in the cover. 

If you're sitting in the "point" of one of the back corners, you may be in the driver's seat,  with a bow or gun, for a nice chip shot.  Inside corners are travel corridors and may not have a lot of deer sign.  But if you're in deer country, your chances go up when you find a corner such as this.  These corners may be inverted, may be different types of woods rather than a field, could be row crops, or could be hay meadows.  The terrain will differ, but the strategy is the same.

I remember the first stand I ever hung in an inside corner.  This corner was where a hay meadow jutted back into a hardwood flat.  On the first morning I hunted this place, I saw nine deer and shot a buck with my bow.  The next morning, I saw a nice eight-point that I didn't get a shot at.  A week later, we saw another seven or so deer on a Saturday morning with a big six-pointer being taken.  Find the inside corner and go sit for a while!
(Brian H)

Action Point
Cutting the corner is a deer trick for sure. But, that's what human-kind does all the time in regard to God and eternity.  Picture the world religions that focus on working your way to Heaven.  What about the people that think they can be good enough to attain Heaven?  Then there are the folks that don't claim to believe in God at all and just hope that everything will turn out OK.

We like to talk about how God is a God of love.  It makes us feel all warm.  But, we often leave out the truth that God is also the righteous judge.  If we try to attain eternal life or make it to Heaven in any way other than through the gift of Jesus Christ, then we are cutting the corner.  We're trying to attain something by taking a shortcut. 

Jesus says that He alone is the only way.  Cut the corner when you're looking for a buck.  Take the only Way when assuring eternal life!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When hunting a new piece of land, you can shorten your scouting time by grabbing a map and pinpointing terrain that will naturally push deer to you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 18, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . White Tail Beauty (MQ)
Bible Study  Verses
Matthew 22:18-21
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap Me? Show Me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought Him a denarius, and He asked them, "Whose image is this? And whose inscription?"  "Caesar's," they replied. Then He said to them, "So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." (NIV)

I can make a variety of mistakes in the field if you give me enough time!  I'll walk to fast and jump up my quarry.  I won't pay attention to the wind and before I know it it'll be blowing down my neck. It takes a conscious effort to keep all the rules of hunting in order to make a successful hunt.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Back at the time Jesus walked the earth, the Pharisees were out to get Him to say the least.  They were "experts " in God's law, master lawyers so to speak.  They tried their hardest to catch and convict Him of doing anything wrong, to no avail.

If you spend 15 minutes around me, much less a day, you will find that I will do something wrong.  You won't even need an attorney to catch me at it, just ask my wife! I am not perfect although Jesus, whom we try to imitate, is!!! 

The scripture tells us,  "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus," Romans  3:23-24 (NIV).

God knows that we will never compare to His Son, but He loves us so much that we are made perfect by His Grace.  To coin a phrase, "We are not perfect, only forgiven!!" 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
I think wind direction is the most critical thing for me as a hunter whether I have a bow or rifle in hand.  I am always checking it especially as it starts to warm up in the morning and change direction.  Using a commercial powder is cheap and easy to come by in most hunting outlets or make your own out of unscented talcum powder, baking powder, corn starch, etc.  If it's homemade, try it at home before you go in the field.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . One of Our Fire Fighting Heroes (NPS) 
Bible Study Verses
Genesis 45:4-7
Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!  And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping.  But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. (NIV 2011)
Genesis 50:19-20
But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (NIV 2011)
There are three special young men in my hunting circle that I have so much respect for.  You see, these three young men are fire fighters.  All are trained in what they do and all have been involved with wild lands fire fighting at one time or another.  Wild land fire fighters go into some of the toughest circumstances we can imagine - tough terrain, tough heat, and tough fires. 
Several years ago and again this year in Arizona, we had a wild fire that consumed a half million acres of forest and rangeland.  How do you stop a monster like that?  How do you even step out of your vehicle and get on the fire line when you know this fire can run with the wind faster than you can get out of the way? 
I don't know how they do what they do, but these young men and their fellow fire fighters go anyway.  My guess is that they have to believe deeply that what they are doing will save people and the forest from certain destruction.  Why else would they go into such dangerous harm's way?    
(Cliff S)

Action Point 
Many times as Christians we wonder what God is up to and why He has put us into the circumstances that we're in.  Joseph certainly had to ask himself that question a bunch of times.  But, look at his answer, "It was for good and to save lives!" 

Now, fast forward a little to Christ.  What was Christ here to do?  To do good by giving His life to save lives. 

So, what are we here for?  To do good for God's kingdom and to save lives by sharing our faith in Christ with those we interact with.  Wherever you are in life, whatever is going on with you, you are God's representative to the world around you.  He has put you exactly where you are for His purposes.  Wherever you are, God has you there to do His work - to do good and to save lives by leading others to faith in Christ!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Be responsible with fires.  Always save some water to drown your camp fire and never leave a hot fire unattended.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 16, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Elk (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Galatians 5:19-21
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)
About 25 years ago (that really makes me feel old) my Dad, our friend Dan, and I were hunting elk hunt in northern Arizona.  We returned to camp really late one particular night and my dad volunteered to make us a quick dinner of canned corned beef hash and eggs. 
He breaks out a can and jokes how it's so old he doesn't know how long he's had it and proceeds to whip up a quick dinner.  That night I was sound asleep when I woke myself up mid-vomit (graphic-sorry!). I continued this uncontrollably all over the floor of the tent when I heard Dan outside, "You too, huh?' he said. 
We had food poisoning.  Turns out that can of corned beef was pure poison! My Dad said, "Huh, maybe I should have thrown that can away!"
(Ruben C)
Action Point
Although not "obviously" apparent, that can of corned beef was obviously bad.  If we had noticed the can was "bloated" or leaking, do you think we would have used it?  No way!  Left untreated food poisoning can kill you.
Sin is like that. Yet, why would any of us deliberately return to sin knowing that? "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish,"  Luke 13:3 (NIV). We would never drink milk if it smelled sour, would we?  By its offensive smell, you know it's probably bad. 
Again, sin is like that too; our conscious will scream at us, "Don't do it!"  That's what that little voice is incidentally.  God put it there to warn us. We just need to listen to it when it does.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Canned and freeze died foods can be pretty handy on camping trips.  Everything is dated these days so pay attention to the obvious:  expiration dates, bloated or leaking cans, missing can labels, freeze dried packaging that is no longer vacuum sealed, or no longer air tight. When in question, throw it away.  It's not worth ruining a trip. 
Oh yeah, and if you get sick, drink lots of water.  Hydration is key to a quicker recovery.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 15, 2011  
October 15, 2011  October 15, 2011
Today's Photograph . . . . God's Living Word (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 21:25
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. (NIV)

At home I've got many books in my office, spiritual on one side, hunting, and shooting books on the other. 

As well, I've written a few dozen Sportsmen's Devotionals, a couple of magazine articles, and am mentioned in a couple of books. 

I've learned much from some great spiritual writers and hunting experts alike. All told however, my book collection plus what I've written barely fill two book cabinets.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Most writers I've read have written from one to five books, some a few more.  That many books you could carry in one hand. But like I said, I've learned a whole lot from these various writers that have helped me grow spiritually and in the skills of my trade.  

Much has been written about Jesus in the Bible and in commentaries, etc.  For arguments sake, let's say if one of every book written on all religions filled the Empire State Building it would still never compare with all that Jesus did in His ministry had it all been written down!!!

The Lord makes it easy for us however, and everything we need to know to be His disciple is written in one book, the Bible.  Scripture says, "We know that we have come to know Him if we keep His commands," I John 2:3 (NIV).   

Pick one up today. If you need, let someone mentor you through the Bible. Then like a good hunting, you can put what you've learned into practice.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The Bible comes in many different media's and versions now. Pick a version that is easy for you to understand.  I like the New International Version because of its "plain English" text. But, there are other similar versions as well. Don't forget you can, also, download the Bible to your iPod, smart phone, or laptop too!!! 

October 14,  2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Wood Ducks (Tom H)
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NASB)

It was a nice balmy summer night just as the sun was setting, my eye caught the image of an eagle perched high on top of a dead pine tree. I paddled my kayak into a cove to get a closer look. Right next to me was a duck almost going the same speed. Did you ever wonder what makes a duck float?

After a little bit of research I found out they have special oil glands by their tail feathers and when they preen or groom themselves, they actually waterproof their feathers with the oil. This special waterproofing therefore makes them buoyant in water. I'm sure this is where the expression "let it roll like water off a duck's back", comes from.   
(Tom H)

Action Point
Are you letting little things bother you? Are you letting anything in life diminish your joy and peace that God really wants you to have? Let it roll!

Don't let sin stick either; let it roll and let it go. If the duck looses it ability to let it roll it will soon become water logged and die. The same is for us. 

If we become consumed by our sins or the offenses from others, we will soon sink into a joyless life, lacking the grace and the fellowship with God that that He paid so a great price for us to have.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When buying hunting or hiking boots, many brands now have a water-proofed option.  Some better brands have Gore Tex that breathes and keeps your feet dry as well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Resident Elk at Cabelas (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Romans 13:8
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. (NASB)

I have found that men are not big on shopping until you let them loose in a store like Bass Pro or Cabelas. Then watch how we can run up the credit card! There are, also, some other men who like to spend money that's not theirs; they are the big guns running the political show.

Presently our country, the good old USA, is trillions of dollars in debt. No one really knows the exact figures.

If anyone is intellectually honest enough to own up to the facts, we would see that we are hopelessly more in debt than we could ever pay back in one lifetime. Everyone knows we are in big trouble, yet we keep spending like there is no end to our credit!!

There will be a day of reckoning and we will have to make things right. But we may be so broke, we will not have the ability to do it. Who does a country as big as the United States plead mercy to??

From a spiritual point of view, we owe God everything that pertains to life. In a sense we have borrowed life from Him. And yes, we are living on borrowed time as well. Whether you believe it or not;  He truly is the ultimate source for everything we see and experience. When God says to us personally, "Pay back what you owe!".... what will we  have to offer Him, but a great big mountain of debt??????
(Tom H)

Action Point
At that very moment of reckoning, we will need to find the very best advocate and friend possible. Actually you don't have to look very far, He is knocking on the door of your heart right now. He is our Lord Jesus Christ. He has already paid for our debts with His very life.  His fees are all paid for. He already paid for our debts with His very life. He is not worried about money since He owns everything anyway. He has our best interests in mind. He is full of Grace and Truth. He actually is willing to forgive us all our debt and give us what we don't deserve - eternal life! The amazing thing is He knows the complete truth about us. Yet, He is still willing to give us what we don't deserve!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Don't live beyond your means. If you have trouble with credit cards do a spending freeze - put your credit cards in the freezer in a block of ice and only thaw them out if you really need them. Some may need to do plastic surgery - get out the scissors, cut the cards in half, and close your accounts.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . The Payoffs Can Be Spectacular (Will D)
Bible Study Verses
I Timothy 4:7-8
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (NIV)

Winter wade fishing on the Gulf coast is all about stamina. When you are standing waist deep in cold water surrounded by cold air, about the only thing left to warm your soul is the smack of a trophy trout.

Tired, wet, and freezing, and not getting bit, you'll find yourself tempted to give up. Fighting through for rod-bending action is what we like to call grinding. The payoffs can be spectacular.
(Will D)

Action Point
No one said all this was going to be easy. Not even Jesus.

Thankfully He didn't leave us stranded on a shoreline all alone.

Spiritually train. Ready yourself for the eternal reward that awaits you.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Physical training is not just for scaling mountains or stalking animals. Staying in shape for fishing will make those long grueling days more enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011 

Today's Photograph . . . . Bigger Bait, Bigger Fish (Will D)

Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 11:26-27
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw Him Who is invisible. (NIV)

As a young man I got the chance to deck hand several big marlin tournaments. I was mesmerized by big boats, big tackle, and big fish. Seemed everything was big.

I wanted to be big. When my ship to comes in . . . I thought.
Will D)

Action Point
Moses grew up surrounded by all things grandiose and gold. Yet he found himself at a crisis of belief. Burning bush or silver spoon. Discernment or desk job. Who knows, maybe his own pyramid one day.
In the end, Moses couldn't be swayed from his God - given purpose. Not much has changed in a world that still tempts and trades the good life.
Yes - blessings do come our way and we should certainly enjoy them. However, remaining true to our purpose should always trump our successes!!!
Oh. That ship I was waiting on? Never really came. Something infinitely better did though; a living God named Jesus Christ!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Big bait = big fish. It certainly does.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011 

Today's Photograph . . . . I'm One Of Those Guys That Likes To "Roll My Own" (Cliff S)

Bible Study Verses
Romans 12:4-8

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (NIV)

I'm one of those guys that likes to "roll my own."   Ammunition, that is.  Yes, I like to reload my rifle ammunition and ammunition for my friends and family. 
There's something therapeutic about taking a bunch of empty rifle brass and turning them into a thing of beauty - ready to shoot cartridges.  It takes a commitment of time and resources, but it's worth it. 
The cost of the reloaded ammunition is usually about half or less than the cost of new, and I get to load it the way I want it.  This is really important because what I load is what I think will perform best in my rifle and for my hunts. 
A few years back my son and I used .375 Remington Ultra Magnums on our elk hunt.  Those babies are expensive!  Every factory load that we fired cost us about five dollars.  The rounds we reloaded for practice were a fraction of that amount.  The reloads we used on our hunt were less than half the cost of new.  And, they were a better load with better performance in our rifles for the hunt we were going on. 
And, after "emptying" the cartridges, we can reload them and empty them over and over again!
(Cliff S)

Action Point
God gives believers many blessings, some intellectual, some material, and some spiritual.  We're commanded in these verses to share what God gives us.  A favorite song by Hillsong has these lyrics: "I know I'm filled to be emptied again, the seed I've received I will sow."  That's what we're supposed to do!
We're to be like those cartridges that we filled so we can empty them again. Another illustration is filling your ice chest with bottles of water to be shared with your buddies on your hunt.  Similarly, God fills us with our gifts and we're to share them with the body, our fellow believers, and those that need to come to faith in Jesus. 
So, if you've been blessed with wealth, share it with the body by helping those in need.  If you're an encourager, speak words to others that will inspire them to persevere.  If it's teaching, teach truthfully and well.  If you're a believer reading this, share your faith in Christ with those that need Him.  I think you get the message. 
Let's not be like ammunition or a bottle of water that sits on the shelf that never gets used for its true purpose.  Let's get out there and give ourselves away and make a difference in our world for Jesus!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you choose to reload your ammunition, you must be disciplined in each and every step.  Every cartridge must be checked over and over again and each step in the process must be taken so you don't make a mistake that could cause damage to your firearm, and possibly you!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 9, 2011

Today's Photograph . . . . Everything We Own, See, And Do Was Given To Us By Him (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalms 145:1
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise Your Name for ever and ever. (NIV)
When you think about it, God should be put above everything else. We have all we have because of Him. Everything we own, see, and do was given to us by Him to have and use during our time here on Earth.

What we own will merely be ours while we are here; they will be someone else's when we are gone.

With that being said, always do the best you can to take care and preserve your firearms. They will make a nice gift to pass on to someone else when your time with them is done.
(Jim C)

Action Point
Although it can be hard to not get attached to material things, remember that those items are just objects. They can be part of a memory, but not the most important part. Chances are the most important part of any memory will be the people you spent that time with.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
After a rainy day of hunting, always allow your firearm to dry out before storing. Wiping it down and applying gun oil to it will help it to fight off rust and to make sure that is in proper working order for the next hunt.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8, 2011

Today's Photograph . . . . GOD is the GOD of the universe (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Psalms 103:11-12
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the East is from the West, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. (NIV)

In flying down to Arkansas recently for a quick trip from Michigan, I sat in my Northwest window seat taking in the panoramic view below. I don't fly much, so for me it was a treat to once again see the vastness of the land below. The earth was broken down into checkered squares everywhere I looked. The Great Lakes coast showed a clear separation of land and water. The Mississippi River snaked its' way back and forth from the North to the South. Quarries dotted the land at various points. It was enjoyable just watching the landscape change from state to state.

What hit me was simply how much land there was on this planet we call Earth. As far as the eye could see, there was land. And on that land, there were people living life - going about their business.
(Dave M)

Action Point
The God that we serve is huge beyond imagination! His power is endless! His love is endless! His grace is endless! Sometimes, we put GOD in a little box, and we forget that GOD is the GOD of the universe. He created this planet amongst others for His pleasure!!!

Although God loves you and does care about your community, don't forget that the same God loves the people in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, China, and Greenland just as much as he does you!!! He is beyond our comprehension and is truly worthy of our praise. We serve a BIG GOD!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Remember that if you are flying to take a hunting/fishing trip that you will need to follow tighter flying regulations than in the past. Check ahead of time with the airlines about the best way to transport your supplies you will need to have on your adventure