Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Like The Can In The Fire (Janet B)
Bible Study Verses
I John 1:8-10
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us. (NIV)

I was sitting in a summer camp and had finished the soda from an aluminum can. You can guess what I did next. Yep, the can went into the fire.

Now, we all know that an aluminum can doesn't belong in a fire. But, if you put it in the hottest part of the fire, the can will eventually be consumed and burnt up.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Similarly, sin doesn't have any place in the life of a believer. God will forgive us for our sins. But the Bible also says that if we cherish sin in our heart, God will not hear us. Read Psalm 66:18. If we'll let Him, God will purify us and purge the sins from our life.

Like the can in the fire, the fire may get hot before it's all over!

Confess your sins to God; do not bury them in your heart. Let them go, and let God cleanse you so you can live a life that is useful for Him.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Garbage. Pack it in, pack it out. Leave your camp cleaner than you found it!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . It's Safer To Lead Your Horse (MQ) 
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)

In order to see one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the Wind River Range, you must undergo a great challenge. The lake lies directly under an alpine glacier. During the summer, runoff from the melting ice flows over a high rock ledge directly into the lake. The challenge consists of a 10,000 ft. trail that is very steep and rocky with narrow switchbacks.

Few people are willing to pack into this lake. But once you arrive, the beauty and fishing make the long, rugged trip worthwhile.
(Tom L)

Action Point
The word tells us to "enter through the narrow gate" and "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life."  It's a road of suffering and self-denial.

We must keep our focus on Christ. Being with Our Father in Heaven for eternity is worth the rugged journey.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you are hiking or riding in rugged country, take your time. It is safer to lead your horse up and down steep, rocky trails.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Mama and Her Three Wild Cubs (NPS) 
Bible Study Verses
Titus 2:6-8
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (NIV)

We recently took eight at-risk youth and two counselors on a four-day pack trip in the mountains of the Wind River Range.

The youth had many responsibilities which included: horseback riding, setting up camp, gathering wood, carrying water, fishing, and cooking.

Several times during the four days, the youth had to be corrected for making bad decisions that would affect their safety. Being in grizzly country, they had to be reminded to clean up camp and maintain proper food storage. The proper handling and cleaning of fish had to be reinforced. Using acceptable language and getting along with others was another issue. They responded well, were very helpful, and thanked our staff many times.

All in all, the trip was a great success.
(Tom L)

Action Point
We have to correct our children for their safety and welfare. Ephesians 6:4 instructs, "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord," (NIV). Titus 2:7 above reminds us to set the example.

No matter what bad decisions are made by our youth, always treat them with dignity and respect.

I give God the glory for a gentler spirit. Many times during my life, including the pack trip, I've been blessed by God by using His Word as a guide.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
In grizzly country, set up your tents away from the cooking area. Always keep your food away from your tents and in bear proof containers.

December 27, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Fly Fishing on a Wilderness Mountain Lake (MQ)
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, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 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; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 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)

We are each unique. God knew each of us even before we were in the womb; and He has a use for us in our individual role in the ministry of Christ.

Just as nature has plants and animals that fulfill special functions within a system, we, too, have a special gift.
(Brent B)

Action Point
Try your hand at discovering what your spiritual gifts are. You may need some help or reflection from a trusted friend or loved one. Many churches have activities that help you identify these gifts in which you can serve and be fulfilled at the same time.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Be patient. Fishing, hunting or wildlife watching happens according to the rhythms of nature. You can prepare and study to enhance your time in the field. But, just waiting and watching long enough may be what produces your best experience.

Today's Photograph . . . . Youth Pheasant Hunt at YMCA High Desert Hunt Club Compliments of the AZ Game and Fish Department (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 1:19-21
Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." (NIV)

One of the most not talked about men in the Scriptures, but one of the most significant men in the history of the world.  A righteous man, who wanted to protect his fiancĂ©e from death, was obedient to dreams, and followed God's instructions! 

He cared so much for his son that in another dream moved his family to another country to protect him from the government.  On his way back home took a curve ball and went to another town (another dream by the way) where he raised his family. 

I am amazed at Joseph's love for his family and devotion to God.  He didn't get the "Dad of the Year" award. But, I know Jesus had some incredible memories and stories of his earthly father as he grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man.
(Glen D)

Action Point
This week take the time to write down the ways you love your family and then ask them to make a list.  Compare the two in private or public, as you desire to be sharpened to become a man as devoted and loving as Joseph.   What risks have you taken lately in your walk with God?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Plan, prepare, and take one kid hunting this season!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 25, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Montana Christmas Morning (MQ)
Merry     Christmas
Bible Study Verses
Luke 2:13-20
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"  So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. (NKJV)

You stand frozen by fear as the massive man, if you can call him that, continues to speak, "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger," Luke 2:11-12 (NKJV).
As the bright white being emphasizes the word "You" he points with his huge hand at each of us.  You wince when his eyes and hand stop on you.  His hand has got to be as big as an adult sheep.  He continues, "Who is Christ the Lord," Luke 2:11b (NKJV). 

The other guys carefully step back to the fire still shaking in fear.  You think to yourself, "I know of the CHRIST as I was taught these lessons as a child." Suddenly it dawns on you, "This monster being is an angel and probably glowing because he just came from GOD's presence!" 

The mighty angel begins to speak again, "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe," looking at each of us as he finishes, "Wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger," Luke 2:12 (NKJV).  The angel stops, closes his eyes, and bows his head in reverence.

Everything is still except the crack of the fire and "hoo, hoo" of a nearby owl. You question yourself why in the world is the CHRIST in a manger? He should be in a palace or in  the prettiest synagogue. Why is this angel here telling us this message and not to the fancy look-down-on-you Pharisees. The silence breaks your thoughts.    

Suddenly the valley we were camped in becomes brighter than day.  It's almost blinding.  There are monster dudes, I mean angels everywhere on the hills, around the fire, throughout the sheep.  Got to be thousands and thousands of them. You wonder where did they all come from? You think to yourself no one is going to believe this!

You can't see the messaging angel anymore because of all the others in the way and your head comes only to their waists.  You weave in and out to see him again and as you do the massive angels ever so gently pat you on the back.  Then the message angel opens his eyes, raises his head, and lifts his hands toward the sky.  And all at once, all at the same time, these thousands of angels say, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men," Luke 2:14 (NKJV). It is so loud you think your ears will burst.  You're amazed and not afraid anymore.  The informative angel looks at all of you again, nods his head, and disappears right before your eyes.  In fact they all do in an instant.  Only flickering fire light and silence remain. You find yourself standing near the fire looking at each other shocked.

After about a minute of standing around the fire, you say,  "Let's go."
(Mark Q) 
Action Point
During your quiet time and personal Bible study, what has God and the Holy Spirit been directing you to step out in faith and follow His Lead to accomplish for Him in 2012?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Portable golf cart heaters are excellent for tree stand heaters.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Campfires and Angels (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Luke 2:8-12
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." (NKJV)

Guys this is my personal thoughts on how this event happened. I'm going to tell this amazing story and take the liberty to place you in it . You'll be a shepherd, walk back to the campfire, and sit on your log again. It's a pretty fire tonight.  The other guys are talking about where to look for that lost sheep tomorrow.  All of a sudden out of nowhere walks up this huge 18 foot glowing muscle man as if he was welcome at your fire.  He's huge like an alien you hear stories about.

You look at the other guys cause you think you're seeing things and going crazy.  The conversation has stopped and everyone is staring at this mighty man. A couple of the guys start to run as this guy looks each of you over.  You know your time has come to die as a flick of his finger will crush your skull.  You do the only thing you can do and quickly utter a prayer, "God Almighty, we need Your help now!" 

One of your fleeing coworkers hits the wood pile, falls, and says some words not repeatable. 

Suddenly the monster begins to speaks,  "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people," Luke 2:10b (NKJV).
Boy are you afraid and still clutching your knife and staff just in case. But you know it won't do much good. (Continued tomorrow). (Mark Q)

Action Point
We have seen this event portrayed in kids plays many times and this amazing event has lost its impact.  

Why did GOD choose shepherds?  They were the lowlifes of that day.  The Talmud rejects shepherds and GOD chose them.

The message here I believe is that GOD uses regular guys to accomplish HIS will. Guys whose hearts are addicted to HIM. Not the guys that have it all together or at least pretend they do!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Automobile  flares make great fire starters in wet weather.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23,  2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Journeying Moose (Herb C)
Bible Study Verses
Acts 2:46-47
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (NIV)

Being a follower of Christ is not a single point or destination. It is a journey, hopefully, a long, full one.

Making the turn to faith is a big step at first; and we all need help and support to continue the journey. As outdoor people, we often place a high value on our solitary connection with creation and, therefore. with God. That value can be accommodated as a Christian as long as we, also, value the necessity of corporate worship.

Our walk in faith can be compared to our educational system, in that there is a need to start with basics and continue to grow to our potential. We are to follow Jesus; and He clearly instructed us to join together as believers so that our individual gifts would be combined for the benefit of God's kingdom, meeting the needs of a wide variety of people and communities.
(Brent B)

Action Point
If you are not connected to a Christian congregation now, start searching for one where you can learn, grow, serve, and be served. If you are connected, think about how you can be of greater service, finding a way to use your special gifts to help build God's kingdom.

If you are seeking a place to worship, some vital questions to ask would include:
  • Is the Holy Word of God taught and preached?
  • Is the Bible taught as the complete and inerrant Word of God?
  • In leadership are the pastor and church leadership mirrors of Christ?
  • Is the study of the Bible as the means to interpret the Bible?
In your search, if you find that congregations fall short, perhaps your mission is to go there and help them improve.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you are going to be hunting with a firearm, it is important to practice your marksmanship and the function of the firearm. The most effective practice would include using the same ammunition, clothing rest, shooting sticks, or other aids you plan to use. Once you know the firearm and ammo are sighted in, make the practice as much like expected field conditions as possible. If long distances might be involved, practice at those distances and learn how wind can affect your shooting.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . It Was Fantastic (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Ezekial 43:2
And I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with His glory. (NIV)

I like to camp when I can get a chance. I remember a youth camping trip in the Sam Houston National Forest in Southeast Texas. I was one of the leaders, along some with other men.

I rose early and was sitting outside the tent as the sun began to peak above the treetops in the eastern sky. Everything was quiet. As the sun slowly became more brilliant, nature all around me was waking up, first with only a few chirps of birds; but as it rose higher, more and more of the birds and other creatures of the forest joined in and became louder and louder. The full crescendo of nature did not last long, but it was fantastic.

I wish I could have recorded the scene on film with sound.
(Tom B)

Action Point
Our relationship with God is like the birds and creatures of the forest. He comes gently to us, slowly revealing Himself. If we seek after Him, we will learn more about Him and His divine plan for our lives, piece by piece.

For me, seeking Him means rising early, reading God's Word, letting His voice and His thoughts talk to me, and then putting them down in a journal.

God talks to everyone, at  different times or in a different ways.  If we are quiet and listen, He will speak.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Out in the woods or on the water, early, is one of the best times to fish or hunt. Be still and listen for the movement of a deer in the woods around your stand. Listen for the splash of bass breaking water for a top-water insect. Let nature communicate to you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21,  2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Good Spot For Trout (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Revelations 22:1-2
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (NKJV)

This scene in these verses is reminiscent of trout streams, crystal clear, flowing along over gravel shoals, forming small pools here and there, and quiet, nothing but the gentle noise of the rippling of the flowing water. Trees line the banks drawing sustenance from the life-giving water. Fish draw nourishment from other stream life that flows by them.

Action Point
Our lives are like the trees lining its banks and the fish living in the gentle flowing stream of God's love. We draw our life from Him.

Use the life-giving water of our Lord, free for the asking. Grow and produce fruit. Lead others to this wonderful stream.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When fishing a moving stream, whether it's a trout stream or catfish river, fish the quiet pools or eddies. The fish lie in these areas, waiting for a tempting morsel as it swims by.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Diversion Can Cost (NPS)  
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 24:42-44
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (NKJV)

It happened two different times on this particular hunt, diversion!

I was seeking mule deer, and had set myself up in a ground blind constructed days before. It was a half-hour before sunrise and I was waiting with great anticipation. The sun had not risen yet, the darkness was great; so I rested my eyes. When I opened them, there was a 5X4 mule deer that my partner had in his sites.

Now determined to be vigilant and not allow another opportunity to slip away, I sat with eyes sharpened. After waiting a few hours, my attention was once again diverted. This seemed like only moments.  But when I looked up, another fine deer had presented itself and my window of opportunity was limited.
(Brett M)

Action Point
Jesus tells us to "keep watch" because the time of His return will be unexpected, swift, and sudden.

We may be tempted to become complacent about being obedient to follow through with what He gives us to do. It may seem that we have much time to prepare for His coming.

However, He warns us to be vigilant about His return because it will "come at an hour when you do not expect Him." Lowering our guard while hunting may cost us a harvest; but being unprepared for Christ's return will cost us much more.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you are hunting from a ground blind, make sure you have it prepared prior to your time of hunt. A day or two before the hunt can assure you that the blind is in fact "blind" to game and marked on your map or GPS for easy access in the dark. And by all means, when you get there, STAY AWAKE!

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Becoming The Prey (NPS) 
Bible Study Verse
Romans 6:16
Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (NIV)

The coyote thought dinner was in the bag! He came in because he smelled the lure. In fact, there were more than one trap! These had been carefully set by the trapper so that the prey might be caught and held more securely.

As he approached the bait, he stepped in the carefully placed trap, and it caught his right front foot. As he reacted to this danger, he jumped, and upon landing, a hind leg was caught! Now the predator was the prey. This all happened because he was fooled and led to the trap by the aroma of lunch!

Sin is a trap. Sin will always take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay. Its lure has deadly consequences.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Men, especially, seem to be led to the sweet aroma of sexual sin. As the book of Proverbs says, they do not realize that the enticement of sin has tragic results. These consequences may be spiritual at the outset, but they can endanger our bodies, our families, and our souls.
Listen carefully to God's warnings against sin. Agree with God when He tells us something is wrong. His ways lead to life. Sin leads to death.

God often builds a fitting punishment into the sin itself. But, He blesses right choices. He rewards those who do what is right in His eyes!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Use the proper lures for the quarry you seek to trap. Each species has favorites in its diet that will entice the animals to come to the place where the traps are set. These lures are available commercially. But, many home-made lures are as or more, effective.  

December 18, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Night Stalkers (NPS) 
Bible Study Verses
Psalm 34:8-10
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Fear the LORD, you His holy people, for those who fear Him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (NIV)

Outdoor people observe the goodness, majesty, and providential care of God. We see that God provides shelter and food for the wild animals. We witness His power in a storm. His power and majesty are displayed in the sky. The natural world is a revelation of our God!

These verses invite us to personally experience the sufficiency of God and teach us to depend upon Him. He is all we need! He alone can protect us. God alone can satisfy the void created by the disappointments of life. We must reverence Him with fearful respect and submit to His will and ways.

A saint is one who has been declared righteous by the Judge of the earth. This happens when we believe in His Son, Jesus, personally and commit our souls to Him for eternal safe keeping.

English Bible translations spell the Old Testament names of God differently so that we can understand the significance of each name. "LORD" in capital letters is the Hebrew name of God. Jehovah LORD is God's personal name, His Covenant name. He is the personal, Covenant keeping God. This name summarizes His entire character. His saints are secure because the LORD is their protector. This name implies a personal relationship.

As the wild animals find refuge, run to Him to find all you need.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Involve yourself with God. Experience His goodness as you enjoy the outdoors. He alone can truly satisfy the longings of your inner being. God provides for the animals, but they cannot know Him personally as humans can. Involve Him in everything you do.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Carry along some basic snacks and trail food for energy. This can be a life saver if you are stranded, injured, or lost. You may be able to share these with another who needs help. Such food is enjoyable, and they make the hunt more attractive for young hunters!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . It's Usually My Hunting or Fishing Stories (Jimmy S) 
Bible Study Verses
Luke 21:10-13
Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. (NKJV)

Everyone likes to tell war stories about some kind of event that happened to them after a weekend of fun. For me, it's usually my hunting and fishing stories.

But as this verse states, some day the persecution we Christians endure will be our greatest war story. As the Apostle Paul said, . . . My chains are in Christ.
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
Remember: when you are persecuted for your Christianity, it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony some day; so be glad in it. Be encouraged when under fire!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Cover scents are a great invention. But if you use the wind in your favor when stalking game, you'll have more success than any amount of cover scent could ever give you. You'll save money too!
December 16, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Once Upon A Time Someone's Home (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 24:27
Prepare your outside work, make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house. (NKJV)

God's instruction in this verse is specifically saying to make some money to pay for the house before building it. It refers to Proverbs 27:23-27 which elaborates a little. He says that the flocks and the fields will provide money, nourishment, and clothing for us while we build our house. In more modern terms, get a job so you can pay for your house.

Nowhere does it say to use this money to support our hobbies or vices first. God has given us our hobbies for our pleasure; but He specifically instructs us to take care of our household first.
 (Jimmy S)

Action Point
Consider your priorities in your life--God, family . . . hobby.

Are you investing your time and money in the proper order as God has instructed us? If you are a good steward, He will then give you the desires of your heart, without guilt or stress.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Always keep at least three methods of fire starting in your backpack's survival kit. Here are three:  waterproof matches, flint with striker with tender, and  mirror with tender. Practice with all of them at home before you need them in a life-threatening situation.

December 15, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Spotted Sea Trout (NOAA)
Bible Study Verses
Philippians 1:9-11
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God. (NIV)

There are several criteria that I use when choosing an area to fish for spotted sea trout--the presence of bait, water quality and clarity, timing of tide changes, and the correlation of forecasted wind direction and speed. These factors help me determine whether to set up and spend the day fishing or seek a different area. When these criteria are met, I have confidence in the area.

Recently I had to make a big decision for my family--a career change that would drastically alter our lives. My wife and I prayed diligently and sought God's guidance. I also used criteria to help me in this decision:
  • How will the decision honor God and reflect on me as a Christian?
  • Which choice will have the greatest impact on the Kingdom of God?
In time I was able to discern what I needed to do and established confidence in my choice.
(Will D)

Action Point
You may be faced with an important decision that will affect your life. Through prayer and reflection, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you, help you discern what is best for you, and ultimately reveal your Creator's purpose and plan for your life.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
This time of year, sea trout feed voraciously on glass minnows (anchovies). Extremely small and in vast schools, this type of bait is typically hard for fisherman to see. Although it may appear that an area is devoid of bait, big schools of trout may be gorging on them. Watch for them--they will scatter on the surface when reeling in a lure.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 14, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Blacktip Reef Shark (USGS)
Bible Study Verse
I Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (NIV)

Some lures, especially those made to catch fish with sharp teeth, must be made with rugged construction--ball bearing swivels and chomp-proof materials--components that make them indestructible. Even if the toothy critters that swim our waters may not totally destroy them, they can affect the lure's performance and fish-catching abilities, rendering them useless or ineffective.

What qualities are you made of? Do you allow the toothy critters or the trappings of this world take away your effectiveness?

There was a time in my life when I fell victim to such things. Thankfully, God answered the prayers of my wife, and used a friend to introduce me to my Lord and Savior. (Thanks, G.S.) Although I suffered the consequences of my actions, Jesus Christ restored me and made me strong, firm and steadfast.
(Will D)

Action Point
There are people suffering because they are held captive by this world. Pray for them. Ask God to place them in your path. Be ready to explain how a relationship with Jesus Christ can restore them and make them strong.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Large diving lures are expensive. Take time in the off-season to repair them as much as possible. Automotive paints work well and can bring them back to life. Replace the hardware with equal or better than the original components.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Watering Hole (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Ezekial 3:17
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me." (NIV)

While I was sitting at a watering hole a while back, I heard rustling in the bushes on the other side of the water. Moments later, a very nice buck poked his head out from the trees and looked around. Slowly, he emerged from the trees, extremely cautious about every move. Eventually, he came down to the water to drink and ended up a mere fifteen yards from me. (Of course I was hunting elk).

The entire time I watched him from my blind, he appeared very alert and on edge. After several minutes, a much older buck stepped out from the same area in the trees and came down to water.

The first buck then seemed somewhat more relaxed, but very submissive to the older buck and still kept watch while they drank.
(Brett M)

Action Point
A watchman in Ezekiel's time would stand guard on the wall of the city and warn of impending danger. God called Ezekiel to be a watchman for God's people and to warn them of God's coming judgment.

As Ezekiel was a watchman for the Jews and this younger buck was a watchman for the older buck, so should we be watchmen for God's children. Sometimes I find myself witnessing to others, spreading the great news about God's salvation, but omitting the ugly side of sin and death.

This verse helps to serve as a reminder that, in addition to sharing the greatness of God's salvation, we may also need to warn others of the consequences of denying what He offers to us.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
While sitting in a blind, be prepared for a visit from animals other than those you are hunting. Take along a camera. You might find that these experiences are just as memorable as your harvest.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Dubois Volunteer Fire Fighter (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Romans 15;1-2
Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, in order to build him up. (HCSB)

As firefighters, we respond not only to fire calls but also to medical calls. In fact, as with most fire departments around the country, the majority of our calls are medical in nature; and so we encounter a wide variety of persons with medical needs.

These include the very wealthy in million dollar homes, as well as the mentally ill who set up their condominium living behind a dumpster. At times, it may be difficult to be kind to a person who has not bathed in three months, has the mind of an eight-year old, is covered with lice, and with sores that we call meth bites. (Methamphetamine users often hallucinate that they have bugs under their skin and will try to dig them out with fingers, sticks, tools, etc., leaving sores about their whole body.)

It may also be difficult for us firefighters to maintain mature behavior in these circumstances. Nevertheless, we strive to treat every person as our customer, regardless of their condition, and meet whatever needs he/she may have.
(Brett M)

Action Point
Although this is an extreme example of someone "without strength", you and I come upon them every day. I believe that when Paul speaks of "we", he is talking about Christians.

We are to be the "strong" in Christ. When we encounter someone "without strength," a homeless person, a friend who needs encouragement, or an unbeliever in need of salvation, we have more than a suggestion from the Word to help them. We have an obligation.

As we go about our day today, let's see who God has put in our lives to "build up."
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Next time you're out in the field and see someone with a fresh harvest, stop by their camp to see if they need help. Successful hunters often may provide insight as to where the game you are hunting might be found.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Brown Trout (NPS) 
Bible Study Verse
Galations 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (NASB)

The never-ending question that has been around since Satan tempted Eve is: Who is in charge? When you see a nice brown trout swimming freely in a clear back eddy along a pristine mountain stream, he is in charge of his domain.

You skillfully cast just the right fly into the back eddy; he socks it with a ferocious appetite--then you are in charge. You catch the fish, bring it in on the bank, and put it on a stringer to be cooked later for your pleasure. You're still in charge.

In whose domain are you, right now? Who or what is in charge of your life? You may not know it, but if you are a Christian, you have been crucified with Christ. He is in charge; life is not about you or your ego anymore.
(Tom H)

Action Point
Live as if Jesus were really in charge of your life, because He is!!!

It is when we contradict this truth that our lives get muddled and twisted. Read the above verse again. It doesn't say anything about us calling all the shots.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When fishing along a larger stream or small river, look for those nice little back eddies and cast along the edge of the main flow in the calmer part where the water is moving slower. You just might be rewarded with a nice tug on your line.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Float Tube Fly Fishing in the Wind River Wilderness, WY (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 21:4
But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. (NASB)

I was introduced to float-tube fishing in the Fall of 1999 by a friend and had a great time catching some really meaty trout in Eastern Arizona.

My favorite time to fish was early in the morning when the mist was just coming off the lake like smoke lingering over the water. Now if he yelled out to me while I was 100 yards out, I may not have seen him well. But I understood, "Fish more over towards the right and you'll catch some really big ones." I have learned to listen to him because he does know how to catch fish!

This same kind of situation really did happen to the most famous fishermen who ever lived. (They weren't in float-tubes though.) It seems interesting to me that they didn't recognize it was Jesus until after the miracle took place. Does Jesus need to do a miracle in our lives for us to recognize His presence?
(Tom H)

Action Point
Miracles are important and they are exciting to experience, see, and talk about, but they really aren't the thing closest to God's heart. The important encounter happened around the campfire--where Jesus was about to connect with His friends heart-to-heart, to calm their fears, and settle the confusion as to what they were to do in the post-crucifixion and resurrection phase of their new found life.
Take someone you love very much out to a lake or place where campfires are allowed. Have some heart-to-heart talks. You may be able to calm some of their fears or they may be able to calm some of yours!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you've never experienced fishing from a float tube, try it. Go with someone that knows what they are doing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

December 9, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Mama and Her Fawns (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 6:1-3
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother"-which is the first commandment with a promise- "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth." (NIV)

Have you ever watched a wild animal with its young, maybe in person or on an outdoors show on TV? There is no question that the young do what momma says; they do it, or very probably die. And when mother speaks, the young obey right now!

So, let's apply that to mankind. God said to honor our parents, that we'll be blessed for doing so. Notice, it doesn't say anything about obedience. It's just a given--if you honor your parents you'll also obey them.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Now, let's talk about our relationship with our heavenly Father. If we're to honor our earthly parents, isn't it much more important to honor our heavenly Father, God, with our absolute love and obedience? And, isn't it also true, that if we don't honor God, if we don't obey Him, and accept His gift of forgiveness for our sins, that we'll die?

God loves us as no other parent can, even those of us whose parents loved us more than anything else. He loved us enough to send His Son to die in our place. He deserves complete honor!
Godly parents are a gift. Honor them every day of your life. Honor God, as He is our heavenly Father, and gave us the greatest gift of all--eternal life through Jesus Christ, His one and only Son!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you want your children to treat you with honor, you need to be honorable. Follow your personal "hunter's code of ethics", and set an example for your kids to follow.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December 8, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Antelope (Cliff S) 
Bible Study Verses
Genesis 9:2-3
The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands.  Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (NIV)

I don't know about you, but I'm sure glad that these verses are there for us to read. They confirm that we aren't doomed to be vegetarians! Of course, God didn't have to put quite so much fear in the hearts of the deer and elk I pursue; and did He really mean for Javelina to smell like that? But, they are still good in red chili, and for a good time harvesting them!

Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful creation!!!
(Cliff S)

Action Point
We didn't get here by accident. God has placed in all of us the desire to provide the basic necessities of life for our families and loved ones; and He made the plants and animals for just that purpose.

It's up to us to be sure that we use them wisely and as good and appreciative stewards.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Take special care of your animals after you've killed them. Get them cleaned and skinned, and keep the musk and other odiferous contaminants off the meat. Keep them clean, cool, and dry. They'll be the best eating you've ever had, even the Javelina!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Mule Bucks in Velvet (NPS) 
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 22:6
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (NIV)

When I was a very young boy, my father started taking me on hunting trips with him in the desert. First, it was on bird hunts. I was the retriever. Then, deer hunts.

My earliest recollections of deer hunting involved countless hours of driving around the desert on two-track roads and washes searching for deer tracks. Sometimes followed by countless hours of tracking ones that were fresh and looked like a large buck. My Dad would track a deer across the desert pavement as if it were a blanket of newly fallen snow. After a few miles, I would soon lose interest in this pursuit, become very weary of the hike, and wonder when we were going back to the Jeep.

Just when I'd least expect it, Dad would freeze and take a shot at a buck that seemed to materialize out of nowhere. This intrigued me, and I eventually started taking this tracking business a little more seriously. As I grew older, I learned the art of tracking from him and have utilized those skills to this day, whether I'm tracking a wounded elk in the forest or an elusive buck in the desert.

Never underestimate the importance of tracking in your bag of hunting tricks. It can give you great clues as to when and where animals are traveling, nearly as accurately as a game camera.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Tracking game animals is a learned skill, not something you're born with. Neither are our children born with Christianity.

First and foremost, we must set the example and teach them to walk as Jesus did. As in tracking, they are never too young to learn these things. When they are young is a great time to teach them about the importance that God places on wildlife. "And God said, 'Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.' And it was so," Geneis 1:24 (NIV).

Our appreciation for God's creation should not be limited to whether or not we are successful at a kill, but that He gives us the opportunity to simply experience the hunt.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Learn to track without the benefit of a blood trail from a wounded animal. It will pay off dividends in the end. Also, learn not only to age tracks, but to attach a gender to them as well. Tracking an animal for hours, only to discover it's the wrong gender for your tag can be frustrating. But, still a learning experience for both you and your children. Regardless, they will love getting to see game up close. These days, most major sporting goods stores are full of books on tips for tracking. If you don't have the benefit of someone to teach you, take advantage of this resource.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December 6, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . .  Magnificent Beauty (NPS) 
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 13:10
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. (NIV)

Several years ago, a friend and I were on an archery elk hunt in northern Arizona. On the afternoon of the third day of the hunt, after about a half-mile walk, my friend and I arrived at our waterhole where we had set up our tree stands over a week prior.

We had sat in them the previous two days. But on this day we found a jeep parked in plain view and two hunters sitting in hastily erected ground blinds, one of them under my tree! My friend confronted them. Low voices soon became a loud argument about first-come, first-served ethics.

It became apparent to me that the situation was about to get out of hand, so I quickly pulled my friend aside to discuss it. I told him to let me try to reason with them. After a few minutes of sharing about our tree stands, which they had not seen (That was the idea!); they submitted to reason and quietly left the area.

The very next day that same water hole produced my first six-point bull!
(Ruben C)

Action Point
As Christians, we have the responsibility to act on the better part of reason, no matter what the circumstances; not only when we are around people we know, but ALL the time. It's not about being right, it's about being righteous.

Remember: quarrels solve nothing, but breed animosity. Always take the high road. No favorite hunting or fishing spot is worth the risk of a fight or worse.

I Peter 2:23 reflects our example, "When they hurled their insults at him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him Who judges justly," (NIV).  It can sometimes be difficult, but we're to follow Jesus' example even when in the field.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When setting up your tree stand, always make sure you have your name and contact information permanently inscribed on it. It can alleviate a lot of heartache and misunderstanding down the road.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . True and Wonderful Blessing (Doug L)
Bible Study Verse
II Thessalonians 1:11
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. (NIV)

What a special feeling it is to see a child catch his/her first fish. No matter how big the fish, the smile is always bigger, the feeling bigger yet; and the accomplishment outweighs both. After more than 37 years of fishing, I still remember my first fish!

On several occasions, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to show kids how to fish. When they catch that first one, I honestly don't know who is more excited. The parents are proud, the child is proud; and I am grateful that God has blessed me with the ability and responsibility to pass on what He has so graciously let me experience.
(Jim C)

Action Point
I have learned that adventures and experiences, both good and bad, are worth nothing unless we pass them on to others. They can either learn from our mistakes and/or build on our successes so that they have even more to pass on to the next person. To me, that's not only a calling, but a true and wonderful blessing.

If you have the opportunity to pass on any kind of outdoor information, you need to do it. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, that information could be beneficial to many more than the one to whom you told it. We all need to pass it on.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Rod actions and lengths are more important than those printed on the rod. For example, if a spinning rod that is 6'4" long and has a light action says, "Drop Shot Rod" on it, consider this: because of the action, it can also be used to throw small crank baits, vertical jig for walleye, and even be a great rod to fish for small-mouth bass in a small stream. The action and length are very important; and when learned, can make applications of multiple techniques much easier and more productive.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4, 2011  

Today's Photograph . . . . Sunrises and Sunsets Should Never Be Taken For Granted (MQ)   
Bible study Verse
Proverbs 10:1
The proverbs of Solomon:  A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother. (NKJV)

As soon as I read this proverb, I thought of numerous instances when, unfortunately, I have done both, brought joy and grief.

A traveler and adventurer by heart, I have been blessed with the opportunity to see and experience a lot of wonderful things. Canadian sunrises and Mexican sunsets are events of which I will never get tired. God brightly paints the sky; and just to be included in the frame and see it will always astound me. Some of the places I have visited have been remote, to say the least.

The adventures have made my father proud and my mother lose sleep at night. Usually when I tell her about an upcoming trip, she sighs and asks, "Now where are you going that I never heard of?" Her favorite part of any of my adventures is when I call her to tell her that the plane has landed and I am on my way home.

To cause the grief and worry she experiences is never intentional on my part. The cause is me being me; and no matter how old I get, my mom will always be my mom.
(Jim C)

Action Point
Sunrises and sunsets should never be taken for granted. We will only have so many of them to see during our short stay here.

Just take a moment to enjoy each one of them. It can be a great start to any day and put the finishing touches on a great adventure.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When leaving on any trip, always prepare ahead of time. If it's a bear hunt, practice with a rifle or bow before you leave. Instill in your subconscious the skills you will need before the moment of truth arrives. In that way, you will react to the situation with what you have been trained to do. Also, always leave information of where you are going and the points where you will be stopping. If a situation arises that requires your attention, it will be easier for people to contact you. Never assume it can't happen to you, because it can.