Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Whitetail Buck (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Esther 4:13-14
And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: "Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (NKJV)

It had been a long season.  It was twenty degrees on a December Saturday morning and I really didn't feel like getting up this early and driving the hour to my deer lease in order to be there by daylight.  But an empty buck tag and a good stand site won me over. I rolled out of bed and bundled up. 

At 9:30 that same morning, I was standing over a massive nine point buck.  Opportunity had knocked and I had answered.
 (Brian H)

Action Point
In spiritual terms we're very good at seeing opportunities, but how good are we at seizing them?  More times than not, we see an opportunity and we tell other people about it in hopes that they will seize that opportunity.  How tragic that we're so willing to pass off God's blessing to someone else!!! 

You see, God is in the business of bringing people and circumstances into our lives with a purpose for us to fulfill.  When we decide that we're not going to seize an opportunity that God has put in front of us, then He will allow someone else to accomplish His will and will bless them instead!!! 

You know that thing that you've been worrying over or fretting about?  Yeah, that thing.  God wants you to see that as an opportunity to do something for Him.  You've been put right here for such a time as this.  Look at life differently from here on.  SEE opportunities around you and SEIZE them!!!  Perhaps we have been placed here "for such a time as this."

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Winter and early Spring is a great time to inventory your hunting and fishing equipment,  fix broken equipment, or cull it if it's not fixable.  Mend holes in torn clothes, refletch arrows, clean firearms, brace up deer stands, clean out the tackle box.....in a word.....seize the opportunity to do some clean up and organization.

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Whitetail Doe (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Proverbs 1:1-7
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:  to know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom,
justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion - a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel. To understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (NKJV)

I can remember taking my son out on his first deer hunt, he had opportunities, but he just could not hit the target.

After the hunt I built a 3D deer target out of plywood and would set it up, in the brush about 200 yds away. We practiced on that old piece of plywood at different distances until it finally fell apart from all of the bullet holes.

That next year, my son killed his deer with the very first shot and he has not missed since. (Byron S.)

Action Point
When we increase our learning and seek God daily in His word we get wisdom and understanding.

I recently read a book where the author tells how he uses these gifts, to edify others. He states that when he runs into someone that seems bothered or maybe shares something personal, he will ask them, "What can I do for you?" He goes on to tell how he met a woman at the airport this way, learning that she was going home to divorce her husband. However, by the end of the flight home he had shared God's Holy Word for her, thru scripture, and she had changed her mind about divorce and would seek counseling for both her husband and herself.

GOD's wonderful Word can speak through us, if we are just willing to increase our wisdom and understanding.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Since so many of us today carry smart phones, they offer us not only emergency contact with the outside world, but also a GPS system. Not only that but there are apps available that allow us to carry a pocket Bible with us, right on our cell phone. Now we can carry scripture!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Follow Out The Tracks To See (Ron T)
Bible Study Verses
Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (NIV)

I came upon a fresh set of mountain lion tracks while on patrol this winter. I decided I would follow out the tracks to see if they would lead me to a kill site. I could then set up a trail camera to see if it was one of the radio collared lions we had marked for a research study.

I had a new GPS (global positioning system) unit so I marked the patrol vehicle as I headed across the snow packed hills. I went a few miles according to the GPS, but the tracks had not lead to a kill site and it was time to start heading back to the vehicle. The GPS unit showed the direction and distance back to the truck, but I knew a better route across a couple ridges and it would be a lot easier walk.

When I got to where the truck was suppose to be it wasn't there, somebody may have moved it.  They must have moved the road too cause it wasn't there either. I checked the GPS and from my new location, it recalculated and pointed me in a whole new direction. This time I followed the little arrow and after a short hike I arrived back at the truck.
(Ron T)

Action Point
It doesn't matter where you are, the global positioning unit will calculate from that location and send you to your desired waypoint.

God's positioning system, the Holy Spirit, will do the same, if you stray from His path. Ask Him for help. He will lead you back to Him from your current location, wherever it is.

"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul," Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV). God's positioning system does not require batteries.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A GPS unit is only as good as the batteries that are in it. If they are dead, all you have is extra weight. Make sure to pack extra batteries on your next trip. If possible, when you are shopping for gear that requires batteries, try to get gear that uses the same size, such as AA or AAA. That way you can switch them around if needed.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Sign (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 22:28
Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors. (NIV)

One of Mr. Webster's definitions for a landmark is an object, such as a stone or tree, that marks a locality. Landmarks are very important to a sportsman especially to one who likes to hike.

I hike a national forest trail. The trail route is marked by metal markers (landmarks) on trees pointing toward the directions--straight, right or left. If a marker were removed, a person could lose the trail very fast and become lost.
(Tom B)

Action Point
What and where are your personal landmarks: honesty, integrity, belief, faith in God?

Don't compromise a personal landmark. Don't move a personal landmark. Stay true to your beliefs.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The number one item needed on any hiking trip is a good topographical map. Maps for any part of the United States can be found and purchased at the USGS website http://topomaps.usgs.gov/ordering_maps.html .

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Coyote (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 7:1-2
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (NIV)

He was driving down the highway when he saw three coyotes crossing the road ahead of him. The first two made it across the highway unscathed; the third was hit and killed by a car.

As he watched, the first two coyotes that had made it across the road turned in their tracks and headed back to their downed comrade. However, when they reached the third coyote, they proceeded to drag him from the roadway and devour him.
(Brett M)

Action Point
How do we act when others are knocked down in life and struggling? Whether it is a divorce, addiction, poor life choices, or a myriad of other problems, do we encourage, uplift, pray, and support? Or, do we gossip, speculate, and judge?

In the fire service, we call the latter, "eating our own"--taking the opportunity to devour another while they are down and struggling. It is no different than what those coyotes did to their own.

Christ makes it clear, "Stop judging." Whether it is our best friend, our worst enemy, a television celebrity, or a newsmaker, "Stop judging!"

Make it a point to pray for someone today whom you know is struggling in life. Better yet, pray for two people--a friend or co-worker and a newsmaker you have never met.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Hunting season always seems way too short. But in many areas, varmint hunting is open year round with just a valid hunting license. Check your local game laws and see if you can keep up on your stalking and shooting skills during the off-season by hunting varmints.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Dusty Creek Bottom Transformed Into An Impenetrable River (NPS) 
Bible Study Verses
Ezekial 47:3-5
As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in-a river that no one could cross.

I had driven this particular back road before that day. I knew that it crossed a "wash" that rarely had little if any water running in it. This time, however, there was water flowing from bank to bank.

I exited my truck and pondered the obstacle before me. Not to be defeated in my journey, I quickly decided to forge ahead. After all, this was only a wash with a little water. Soon I found myself thigh deep in the middle of a roaring river, attempting to find traction for my truck that was now mid-door deep in water.

Here in southwestern United States we can pass months without any rain fall; then abruptly have a torrential downpour--flooding the once-arid creeks and washes and transforming a dusty creek bottom into an impenetrable river.
(Brett M)

Action Point
Our Christian lives are a lot like the river described in Ezekiel. At first it starts out small and immature; but the further it travels, the more it grows. When we become saved, we are just getting our feet wet. As we grow in Christ, we wade deeper and deeper into the river of His knowledge and grace. Our spiritual life, like that river, will be ever growing and ever deepening.

Make sure that life never allows us to get bogged down. Daily stresses or unforeseen circumstances can stall our spiritual growth. Develop a daily habit of spending time with God. Read Sportsmen's Devotional every day, dig deeper into GOD's Living Word, and use that time to grow spiritually. Then, when unexpected obstacles arise in our lives, we will have a stable practice of devotion and a knowledge of God's Biblical instruction that will keep us from getting stuck.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
It only takes six inches of flowing water to wash away a full-sized car. If you come to a river or wash that you think you cannot cross, you probably can't. Find a shallower place or turn around. This may just take you someplace you have never been.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Fill Your Thoughts With His Living Water (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 28:19-20
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (NIV)

Did you know that as of October 31, 2011, the world population hit 7 BILLION people!  I could hardly believe it myself.  Wow, that's 14 billion ears to hear the message of Christ.

But the question is, how do you reach them?  Thanks to our world of advanced technology SD has found such a way.  We call it Bible Verse 2 Day. Visit the website below to sign up:  http://www.bibleverse2day.com/

At Sportsmen's Devotional, we love photography and love scripture.  So for us it was natural to combine the two.  BV2D  provides a new photograph and a Bible verse each day of the year, and can be delivered worldwide within minutes, right to your smart phone or computer. 

Scripture is imbedded into each photograph and here is the unusual twist, every photograph used for BV2D is created using camera phones. Yes phones!
(Donny N)

Action Point
Jesus was serious when he said GO!!!  The delivery method may have changed, but the message remains the same. Go!!! 

Each day's photograph is intended to inspire and to encourage with GOD's Word.

Our hope is that you will place BV2D in a prominent location and meditate and memorize GOD's Holy Word throughout your day.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A great way to stay connected to Christ while in the field is with daily quiet time afield.  Keep a small bible in your pack or if you carry your cell phone with you, download Bible applications to your smart phone or check your email for your daily Sportsmen's Devotional.  Who knows, the tip of the day may come in handy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Blue Jay (Wayne M)
Bible Study Verses
Job 12:7-8
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. (NIV)

In this picture above, taken by my friend Wayne Morris, the bird sits on the shiny surface of what appears to be the hood of an automobile.  His image is reflected in the surface of the hood.

Just as the shiny surface reflects the image of the bird, all of creation reflects the goodness, the power, the fact that God does exist, and that He is a good God who loves beauty and variety.
(Jack M)

Action Point
We are to reflect the character, nature, goodness, and image of God. We were created so.  We were made for Him and by Him.

His image in us was tarnished when our race chose to sin.  Sin and death marred and distorted that image. But, Jesus Christ came to re-create and to perfect that image in us.  He gave us the opportunity to become what we were created to be, images of God that accurately reflect Him and His glory.

Do you trust in Him?  Is He at work in you through His Holy Spirit giving you the desire and the dynamic power to be all He has made you to be?  Is He forming Christ in you?  If not, receive Christ as the only Savior, and begin to learn of Him.  

You will grow more like Him and more and more reflect Him accurately to others.  Read His Word, pray to Him, and obey His instructions.  Then you will succeed and like the bird is reflected in the surface of the auto's hood, you will reflect Him.   

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Carry a small mirror in your survival kit for reflecting the sun to identify your location in case of an emergency.  This item is small, not taking up much space, and could save yours or another's life in a dire situation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Mom and Her Boys On An Outdoor Adventure (Robert S)
Bible Study Verses
Proverbs 31:10-31
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. (NIV)

These verses were written about my Mother, aka, Mom.  Mom was very patient with me and supported me in all my adventures, even when they scared her to death!  If Mom had seen the mountains where we hunt sheep, she wouldn't have slept well when I was on one of those hunts. 

When I went bear hunting by myself, I know she spent most of the day and a good part of the night praying (Mom was afraid of bears).  When I jumped in the ocean with a scuba tank strapped on my back, well, she understood and just asked me to be careful. It was like she had read Wild at Heart before John Eldredge wrote it. 

Mom knew that I needed adventure in my life.  From my early days on the farm to a few days ago, Mom just knew how I was wired.  I say "a few days ago," because last week Mom passed away.  
(Cliff S)

Action Point
The Bible states that we will all stand before God some day.  We just don't know on what day that will be.  Mom had over ninety years before she went home to be with the Father.  Only God knows how many days you or I will have. 

The thing is, Mom had faith in Jesus and had accepted Him as her personal Savior.  Mom's sins had been forgiven.  Whoa, Mom sinned?  Yes, as hard as it is to believe, even Mom was a sinner and was in need of God's gift of salvation through faith in Jesus.  Because of that faith Mom was at peace and was joyful when she passed. 

You see, in John 15:11 Jesus stated that He came so that His joy would be in us, and so that our joy would be complete.  Mom's joy was made complete when she went to be with Jesus last Wednesday!  During the last few days of Mom's life many people were there for her and the family and I am thankful for the prayers and support during Mom's last few weeks of life here with us. 

Now Mom is enjoying eternal life with God the Father.  Mom lived in God's will during her life here on earth.  But, the only thing better than being in the center of God's will is to be in His presence!!!  That's where Mom is now!!! 

I also know that the last thing Mom would want me to say to you is to please join her in the family of faith and accept Jesus as your personal Savior so you, too, can experience the peace and joy that only God can provide.  I have.  Will you?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Take great joy in every day you have with your family, especially those spent outdoors!  We don't know what hunt will be their last, or for that matter, what day will be our last in the field.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Big Horn Sheep   (Jimmy S)  
Bible Study Verse
I John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. (NKJV)

Our faith in something grows stronger when we use and maintain that something in which trust. For example, when I am hunting, I have a stronger faith in my rifle or bow and in my ability to use it effectively if I practice with it, keep it clean and maintain it. If I just take it out of the closet, blow the dust off and go, I probably won't have much faith that I am going to have a successful hunt.
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
This same principle applies to our faith in God. If we don't maintain and practice our faith by reading the Word, keeping a strong prayer life, and then obeying what He has revealed to us in prayer, we will fail at overcoming the trials of the world because our faith is weak.
Make it a habit to take time each day to be in the Word and in prayer with the Lord. We can pray when we're driving to work or taking a walk. God will bless us for our diligence and commitment to Him in these things. He promises us that. Our faith in Him will be stronger as we trust Him more.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Part of making plans for an upcoming hunt should include maintaining your weapon. Check it for loose parts, keep it clean, and make sure it shoots straight. A good way to prevent screws from coming loose on a bow is to coat the threads with Threadlocker or Lock Tight from the blue bottle.

January 21, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . They Can Provoke A Reaction Strike From A Moody Bass (Jimmy S)
Bible Study Verses
Psalms 105:1-2
Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!  Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! (NKJV)

As hunters and fishermen we so much like to sit with others and talk about our last outdoor trip--the successes we had or the beauty we enjoyed in the outdoors. With that in mind, as Christian outdoor men and women we should have no problem sharing His wondrous works and deeds. We, of all people, have more opportunities than most to experience His beauty and majesty in the outdoors and to appreciate how unique the critters are that He has created
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
Next time you're sitting around telling hunting and fishing stories, try to incorporate God into the conversation. What a perfect opportunity to give Him credit for all He has done in your life and for all He has created.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Can't buy a strike? Try a spinner bait or jig in a hot color like blaze orange or chartreuse. These outrageous hues don't look like much in nature, but they can provoke a reaction strike from a moody bass.

anuary 20, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Our Troubles, FROM GOD'S VIEW, Can Be A Lot Smaller Than We Perceive Them To Be (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Mark 10:27
Jesus looked at them and said,"With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."(NIV)

Several years ago, I took a trip to Colorado. We had gone there to capture some bighorn sheep that we planned to bring home for release in new sheep habitat. I remember going through downtown Denver and being amazed at the height of the buildings. Having grown up in a small rural area, the city was pretty impressive to me.

As we headed west out of town and into the Rocky Mountains, I recall looking back toward Denver. All of those giant buildings appeared tiny from my new vantage point in the mountains
(Ron T)

Action Point
The day-to-day problems we face can seem so huge and impossible to overcome when we try to solve them on our own. Isn't it great that we don't have to do that alone?

Just as the buildings in Denver looked so small from the mighty Rockies, our troubles, from God's view, can be a lot smaller than we perceive them to be. If we stay in God's Word and ask Him for wisdom and help, ALL things are possible!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Off-season planning for a big hunt is very important. Preparing your body for the hunt is just as important. Be sure to get on the treadmill, go for regular hikes, or head to the gym months before opening day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Not Ready For Ice Fishing Yet . . . (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
I Corinthians 9:19-20
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. (NIV)

There are a lot of ways to fish. Depending on the species of fish you're after, what might work in one area or time of year might not work somewhere else. My kids like to ice fish for yellow perch on a mild winter day on a frozen lake. I prefer to stalk rainbow trout in the creeks with my fly rod once the grasshoppers are active. My dad liked to troll around lakes for hours, dragging a line rig in hopes of catching walleye. When I'm on the job, I might use frame nets and even electricity to catch largemouth bass and other species of fish for conducting lake surveys.
(Ron T)

Action Point
When witnessing to people, it's important to be able to relate to their life and build a rapport with them:
  • When I'm talking to a rancher, I might discuss cattle prices or horses I have known.
  • When talking to a farmer, the price of wheat usually comes up and the weather is     always a good topic.
  • With other game wardens, we will share cases we're investigating or wildlife populations in our districts.
Paul said, "To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some," I Corinthians 9:22 (NIV). If you're fishing for fish or fishing for people, it can be helpful to change your methods to match your audience.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
To reduce cabin fever on winter days, give ice fishing a try. If you go after perch, use a small jig or tear drop and bait with a wax worm. Drop it down to about six inches off the bottom. Perch hang out in schools; so if you're in the right spot, get ready for a lot of action.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Would Frequently Stop And Talk . . . (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Numbers 10:31-32
"Please don't leave us," Moses said, "since you know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can serve as our eyes. If you come with us, whatever good the LORD does for us we will do for you." (HCSB)

I was taking a group of students through a simulated hunt that we had set up for a hunter education class. We would frequently stop and talk about proper gun carrying techniques, shoot and don't-shoot scenarios, and game and sign identification.  

I noticed that one young girl was staying in the back near her dad, hesitant to participate. Trying to encourage her participation, I told her that her stealth-like quietness and patience must be a real asset when she and her dad go hunting. Her face lit up with just a little praise; and she quickly began to share some of her past outdoor experiences.  
(Brett M)

Action Point
As Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, he asked Hobab to go with them on their journey. Initially, Hobab said no.  But after Moses complimented Hobab's wilderness skills, he agreed to go.  

Compliments and encouragement can go a long way in building a person's self-esteem, make them feel good about themselves and about you. An attitude of consistent encouragement is one way we can show Christ's love to others.  

Try encouraging your spouse, kids, boss, and co-workers and see how good you will begin to feel, and how your relationships will be strengthened.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Being a young and inexperienced sportsman can be discouraging. Mistakes are frequent, and success rare. Take time to encourage new sportsmen. Share your experiences, knowledge, and time.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Young Mule Buck (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
I Samuel 15:13-14
Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" (NKJV)

During a hunter education class the silver-haired instructor shared his story:

He was hunting mule deer in southern Arizona, and had hiked a few hours into the back country when he located his prize. The largest mule deer he had ever seen in his decades of hunting was standing broadside on a hillside a few hundred yards away. With great care, he made his shot and knew immediately that it was well placed.

The deer staggered and went up and over the hill. He waited awhile to allow the deer to settle before tracking it. He was on in years, his tracking slower due to his bad knees; and even more so because of the rough terrain.

By the time he had reached his prize a few hours later, another hunter had found the deer and tagged it. The young hunter knew he had tagged someone else's deer, but claimed it was his!

The seasoned hunter congratulated the young hunter and walked slowly back to his truck.
(Brett M)

Action Point
When Samuel approached King Saul, the king said that he had carried out the Lord's instructions--to attack the Amalekites, destroy them and all their livestock, sparing nothing. But when Samuel asked why there was the sound of sheep and cattle, King Saul knew he had been caught in his lie. Saul may have thought that keeping the best sheep and cattle for a sacrifice was all right, but he was deceiving himself. The young hunter who had taken another person's harvest was, also, deceiving himself.

Disobedience usually leads to dishonesty as we begin to rationalize our behavior to ourselves, to our family, and, ultimately, to God.

We must strive to be obedient to God and honest with ourselves. King Saul lost his kingdom because of his disobedience and lying. What consequences do we endure because of our disobedience and dishonesty?
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Strive to tag your downed game as soon as possible. But if another hunter claims your harvest, simply congratulate him and move on. No game is worth an altercation, especially one in which both parties are armed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . He'll Hear Your Words, But He'll Do What He Sees You Do (Donny N) 
Bible Study Verse
Luke 6:40
The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. (NIV)

 Those of us with kids always wonder what they'll be like when they grow up. Actually, it is hard, sometimes, to even think of them as adults. But, it happens--they do grow up, quickly!

As they grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, it's up to us as their parents to get them started right, to be their teachers. Think about it. What they learn from us, their parents, is the most important part of what they become. And how do they learn? Mostly by watching. My Dad used to say, "Don't tell me, show me."

How true that statement is. Yes, I hope my son learns hunting, shooting, and camping from me, and that he acquires a life-long love for outdoor activities. That's a legacy that I want to pass on to him, and he to his kids someday.

But, those things are nothing compared to what he really needs to learn from me and see in me. Things like faith, forgiveness, tithing, dependability, and Bible study; how to treat a wife and his kids right; and how to disciple others so that they will also grow in our Lord. So, as he grows up, will my son be like his teacher? Yes, he will. He will be whatever I've taught him to be. More than that, he will be whatever I've shown him that I am. In the final analysis, I pray that I'm found to be a worthy teacher. Makes me stop and think. I hope it does you, too.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," (NKJV).
Take time to train your children, maybe even the kids next door. Teach them how to hunt, fish, and camp safely. Especially teach them about the Lord, all that He's done for us, and all that He is going to do for us in the future.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Teach your kids gun safety and ethical hunting by example. Remember, they'll hear your words, but they'll do what they see you do.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Life Becomes More Satisfying (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 6:33
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (NASB)

Let's face it, most of our lives are geared for work and some fun as time and money allows.

As Christians, however, there is more to our lives than just working, paying the bills, and the occasional reward of taking a nice trip to the woods, wilderness, lake, or stream. The higher calling of connecting with God and His kingdom is so much more fulfilling than anything this temporal world can offer.
(Tom H)

Action Point
After reflecting on this passage, commit yourself to truly seek God first for at least a month. During that month, see if life becomes a lot more satisfying. If you found that it is, then keep seeking God first; and don't stop!!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Great resources for planning trips are available through many different government and private organizations. This information includes river flow reports, weather conditions, fishing reports, and projected hunting season data. Contact these organizations on the web for the latest information. Two of these resources are Topozone.com, which supplies one topo map of each area you plan to visit; and accuweather.com, which gives projected weather conditions of the areas by zip code.

January 14, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Not A Lot Of Wiggle Room In This Canyon (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 5:15-18
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. (NASB)

Have you ever seen red wigglers? We need to be like them in some ways. It is crucial to have extra space or "wiggle room" in your life. If you don't, you move from a healthy lifestyle to one that is unhealthy in almost every area.

The most serious areas that are affected by a time-cluttered, busy lifestyle are the relational and spiritual areas. If you don't have any extra margin in your life, you won't have time to do those "little things" that show love to your spouse, children, friends, neighbors, or even strangers. The biggest loss would be spending quality time with the Lord.

On the other hand, if we have too much extra time, we tend to waste it on self-absorbed things that don't matter. So, in summary, we need to strike a balance. The bottom line is that we cannot do that without the Holy Spirit.
(Tom H)

Action Point
Make room in your schedule for those "little things" that matter most; and don't forget to plan some fun in the schedule too, like a fishing trip.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day   
Bring one of those $2.00 rain ponchos with you when you are going a long distance into the woods or wilderness. They are small and easy to pack, without adding extra weight. Should you get caught in a down pour, they will be a life saver.

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Ring-necked Pheasant (NPS) 
Bible Study Verse Romans 8:21
That the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (NIV)

The shotgun barked and the beautiful Ring-necked Pheasant tumbled to the ground.

I was thankful for the bird, the experience, and for the food that we would enjoy on the table. I am thankful for the dogs that pointed him, the farmers who let me hunt their land, the shotgun, the shells--all that were a gift from my Father in Heaven to make the moment so good. I am thankful to my Creator for it all! But I was also very sad. This beautiful creature was dead. It could never fly or walk free again. It was lifeless and broken now. What a tragedy!

Fishermen can practice catch and release, which is recommended unless you are taking some for the table. Hunters cannot do so. If I could somehow catch him and let him go, I would. But sadly, I couldn't. Death is a part of life.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Respect all life. Especially value all human life since God uniquely created humans in His own Image. Respect the life of the game taken in hunting. Outdoorsman are excited and thankful for the fish and game we take. But we should be sad that death is such a necessary part of our experience of life.

Teach others, and especially the young people we influence, to value all life as a gift and a stewardship from God. It is right to be sad that a beautiful creature had to die for us to enjoy the triumph of hunting.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you are a fisherman, practice Catch and Release where practical. Never waste fish or game. Never take just the trophy parts of the animal and leave the rest to decay. Donate left over game to a program where it may be processed and given to others who need it or process it and give it away yourself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012   

anuary 12, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . A Good Bird Dog Adds Greatly To The Upland Hunting Experience (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
I Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (NKJV)

Does God care that we have things to enjoy? Will He answer specific and personal requests? He can and He will! Because He is good, He gives us good things to experience.

A good bird dog adds greatly to the upland hunting experience. I asked God for a bird dog, with a particular color phase of German Shorthair Pointer in mind. God gave me Regal!

My daughter adopted him from a pound. Regal was always hunting and pointing birds in her yard. They wanted him to be able to hunt; so she and my grandson gave Regal to me, fulfilling my prayer for a bird dog perfectly. What a gift he was! I asked for a bird dog, and my Heavenly Father gave me Regal so that I might enjoy him and pheasant hunting even more!
(Jack M)

Action Point
Give thanks to God for all things. Especially thank Him for the hunting experience. Thank Him for friends, equipment, places to hunt, the dogs, and the game itself.

". . . the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 6:23b (NKJV). If God is your Heavenly Father through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, He will give you things to enjoy. Be sure to ask Him!

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning," James 1:17 (NKJV).  He can and will answer prayers specifically and personally. He will give these things because He loves you!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Take photos of the hunt and of the game harvested. Take time to appreciate the beauty of these wild animals--a rooster pheasant, a majestic whitetail deer, a gloriously colored wood duck, a bird dog testing the wind for a quail--are all gifts from a loving and generous God given for us to appreciate and in which to take pleasure.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . A Great Passion Of  Mine  (Will D) 
Bible Study Verses
II Peter1:10-11
Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall. Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Amplified)

A great passion of mine is winter wade fishing for trophy sea trout and redfish. It is a stealthy and exciting way to fish.  

However, there are hazards. Shoreline bottoms are intermittingly made up of soft muddy spots, rocks, shallow holes, and reefs of various sizes. Although I have come close, I have not fallen. It is always a concern that I could trip in the cold winter water, thus ruining my trip. I am cognizant of the perils and move carefully, stepping over rocks or avoiding soft muddy areas.
(Will D)   

Action Point
Giving one's life to Christ does not take away the hazards of life. But, if you are steadfast, the Holy Spirit will guide you and help you sidestep the many rocks and soft spots that will be in your path.    

It is distinctly possible that there are places and/or people in your life that may cause you to stumble. If so, consider Paul's charge in 1 Timothy 6:11, "But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart," (Amplified).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day        
Saltwater will wreak havoc on equipment. Take time after each trip to clean not only your rod and reels, but also your baits. Hooks will rust quickly.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Watch The Weather Closely (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Mark 15:1
Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. (NKJV)

Yesterday was a beautiful, glassy-calm day on our bay. The sky was brilliant blue with only an occasional puffy white cloud drifting by. A friend had come in to fish, but we were limited to just a few afternoon hours. Although the optimum weather would allow us to fish practically anywhere, our time for travel was limited. I needed to pick a good area out of several that were available to us. I was plagued with indecision.

The Sanhedrin had reached their decision. Because of their insecurities and zeal, they could no longer tolerate Jesus' message and sought to end His life by the hands of the Roman Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.

But, Pilate faced a dilemma. On the one hand, if he refused them, a riot might start, undermining his authority and placing his job in jeopardy. On the other, he knew he would be sentencing an innocent man to death. Bound by indecision, he "washed his hands" by passing the buck back to the crowd (see Matthew 27:24). Just like the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate--everybody must make a decision about what to do with Jesus.
(Will D)

Action Point
I pray you have made a decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you have not, I encourage you to do so right now:

Admit you are sinful;
Ask for forgiveness;
Know that Christ died on that cross for you;
Ask Him to be your boss and Savior.

Make a decision for Him today!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Tip
The internet has become a great tool for outdoorsmen. Sites that predict wind speeds and weather are invaluable for those who pursue game fish. Learn to make those days spent on the lake or ocean count by watching the weather closely.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . My First Love In Fishing (Jimmy S)
Bible Study Verses
Luke 5:4-7
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."  Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."  When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. (NIV)

Fishing for largemouth bass is my first love in fishing. When I began learning the art of the sport, I would be all over the lake trying to catch fish. I would catch a fish and keep moving.

I finally learned that with bass where one is caught, there is a good chance there will be more fish in the same area. I had to stay the course--let the net down again--and I began catching more fish.
(Tom B)

Action Point
Simon stayed the course, let his net down one more time, and was rewarded for following Jesus' direction.

What God has in store for us is similar to catching bass. You need to keep trying and let the net down one more time. This is applicable to everything we do in life: family, jobs, and God witnessing through us to others about His refreshing love for them.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
After you catch one bass and don't catch another one in the same place, switch to a different lure. Don't give up immediately on a spot. If there was one fish in that location, there are probably others.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Will You Be The Shrimp That Are Kept Or . . . (Janet B)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 13:47-50
"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (NIV)

I live on the Gulf Coast of Texas where shrimping is a major source of employment. Shrimp are caught by dragging or trawling a large net along the bottom behind a boat. Once the net is hauled aboard the boat, the shrimpers have the task of going through the catch, picking out the by-catch--whatever else they may have collected besides the shrimp--which is thrown back into the gulf.

Fishing around a working shrimp boat can be quite good because the fish follow the shrimp boats. Fish, through their God-given instincts, know there will be lots of good things to eat as the deck hands discard the by-catch. Kingfish and shark especially follow the boats looking for an easy meal to feast on.
(Tom B)

Action Point
Cleansing the nets of the by-catch is like entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Will you be the shrimp that are kept, people who have professed Jesus Christ as their Savior, or will you be the by-catch, tossed back into the sea of eternal damnation "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41)?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Fish congregate where they know there is an easy meal available. Many marinas, boat docks, or fishing piers have fish cleaning tables close by. Close to that fish cleaning table is always a good place to wet a line. As anglers clean their catch, the waste is thrown into the water and fish move in to sample the offering.

January 7, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . They Need You To Volunteer To Instruct Them (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 4:11-13
So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (NIV)

Thirty-one years ago, I took a hunter education class in which my Dad was one of the instructors. Fast forward to just three years ago when I took the course again with my 11-year-old daughter. As the class progressed, I thought to myself, "I could do this. I could teach a class on hunter education, and give back to the sporting community what has been given to me." Then I thought, "Ah! Who's got the time! I'm sure there are plenty of volunteers."

I promptly forgot about it until I received a letter in the mail from The Arizona Game and Fish Hunter Education Department which asked me to do just that. I agreed, and decided to challenge my fellow hunting friends and acquaintances to do the same. The responses were predictable: "I'd love to, but I just don't have the time;" and, "Oh, I've never taken the class myself."

I was disappointed, and wondered, "How could they not want to help?" Then I remembered what I had done initially--Nothing. That's how the world is: "That's not my job. There are plenty of others who will do it." Truth is, if there were enough folks on the payroll to do the job, there would be no need for volunteers.

Flash back about 2,000 years when the Apostle Paul stated that church leaders were to prepare God's people for works of service. It has never been God's plan for the leaders to do all the work for the church; but instead, to train them to do the work together. Not having the gift of evangelism or teaching does not excuse the disciple from reaching out to the lost. As Christians, we are all to help build up the body of Christ.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Don't wait to be asked to volunteer for works of the ministry. Jesus sent his disciples out two-by-two to reach out to the lost (Mark 6:7), not to have them simply pass out invitations to a church service so the people could listen to Him preach. He tells us to go out and make disciples.

Use this same concept in the secular world. I am certain that most state conservation agencies are looking for volunteers. My experience is that the rural areas are most in need of hunter education instructors. Step up and help build up the body of ethical hunters. Who knows? God may open a door for you to share the Good News with someone as a result.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Take a hunter education class for yourself or as an adult partner to a young would-be hunter. Whether it be for your child, grandchild, or a young member of the community, be a mentor that strives to help carry on the hunting legacy.