Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Early On I Wasn't Very Successful (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
II Peter 1:3-4  
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (NIV)

I can remember my first efforts at hunting. My decoy spread and duck calling actually chased the ducks away. It took five years to bag my first whitetail buck, a spike. 

On my first efforts in fly fishing, I couldn't catch a cutthroat on a dry fly in Yellowstone Park until an older gentleman gave me a fly and a few lessons. To say the least, early on, I wasn't very successful. 

Many years were needed to gather the knowledge and experience for success. My hope is that I continue to learn throughout my lifetime.
(Tom L)

Action Point
Just as we strive to learn more about hunting and fishing, we should strive to learn more about our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Reading the Word daily helps us "gain the knowledge of Him." If we stay in God's Word, we are less likely to neglect Christian disciplines, forget what God has done for us; and so, live a more consistent walk with Him.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Get together with an "old water fowler" and learn some of his secrets. You will be surprised what those years of experience can do for your hunting success.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Lord Is Good To The One Who Seeks Him (Jack M)
Bible Study Verses
Lamentations 3:22-25
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for Him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him. (NIV)

Morning. Dawn. A new day. New mercies. There is something special about early mornings in remote places. The birds that were silent in the dark begin their special music. The dark runs from the light. Wild and nocturnal animals begin to move toward their burrows, beds, and nests. These things all draw me back to the woods to hunt, to meditate, to enjoy. God's plan and God's design are everywhere evident to any who will open their eyes and ears to exult in it.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Did you realize that the day began in the evening in the Old Testament times? Six o'clock PM was the normal beginning of the new day. People would come home from the day's efforts, activities, and labors to their homes. Meals would be enjoyed, families would catch up on each other, and then they would go off to bed. But the day had just begun, not just ended as we would say today. Why would we consider this? Why might it be significant?

I would suggest that this type of a schedule reflects the goodness of God in a special way. Instead of the rest and sleep coming at the end of the day, when one's energies are exhausted, God's provision of rest and renewal comes at the beginning of the day, before they are needed.
In His goodness, He provides the strength, the rest, the resources ahead of time for the upcoming challenges, not after the need has presented.

He will provide you with the resources to meet your needs. He is faithful!!! He is good!!! Wait on Him, meaning depend upon Him for all your needs!!! He will supply!!! His mercies are new every morning!!! Make Him your portion!!! Begin your work day while you are fresh with a quiet time.
Sportsman's Tip of the Day
Take advantage of the morning. There is always a special chance in the spring turkey hunting season to encounter success early in the day. It is worth the effort to be out and set up, ready for that bird to come in. You can enjoy all the amenities mentioned above as well as being close to God.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . We As Humans Are Programmed For Hell Not Heaven (Jack M)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 7:14 
But small is the Gate and narrow the Road that leads to life, and only a few find It. (NIV)

Choosing the correct path is vitally important. If you choose the wrong path or trail, you will end up where you don't want to go. 

Having adequate directions is critical. Even the GPS units cannot be utterly trusted as we recently found out on a trip. That unit took us quite a ways out of the way to get where we wanted to go. 

Even with compass and maps you have to consider True North and Magnetic North as your route is planned.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Surveys show that most people think they will end up in Heaven. 

I was recently reminded that we as humans are programmed for Hell, not for Heaven. Hell is the default destination for all humans. You have to get to Heaven by the right Way, and His name is Jesus.

Make sure the way you choose is correct and accurate. The way that "feels right" will most often lead to the wrong place.

Someone has said that the problem with the path of sin is that it, "Takes you further than you wanted to go, keeps you longer than you wanted to stay, and costs you more than you wanted to pay."

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,' " John 14:6 (NIV).

Sportsman's Tip of the Day
Learn to calibrate all electronic devices so they are accurate. Learn to use a compass as well as an electronic GPS device. These devices can get lost, their batteries run out of energy, and there can be other problems. Take a map reading course. Practice that skill. Map reading is an essential skill.  Finally, make sure you have accurate maps.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Awaiting The Revelation Of The . . .  (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 16:23 
The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. (NKJV)

My husband is an outdoorsman of magnificent proportions. His comfort in the woods is a wonder to me. I grew up camping, but not hunting or fishing. When I married my game warden, I had no idea the adventure upon which I was embarking.

We had decided to take a vacation to Idaho, having heard that the fishing was superb. So, we loaded up our Bronco with float tubes, waders, fly rods, spinning rods, camping gear, and headed out from Arizona for an adventure. We had scoped out many small lakes near the Canadian border to fish. It was late spring and the rivers were dangerously swollen and wild. 

One morning, I sat on the tail gate of our Bronco fastening my waders while my husband fiddled with his fly rod. We heard a crashing, clunking noise coming from the dense, dark woods. My heart began to pound as my imagination ran wild. I sat with my heart in my throat awaiting the revelation of the creature. Out walked a gangly young bull moose. He was perhaps ten yards from my husband and 20 yards from me. Terrified, I screamed, turned around, and catapulted myself through the back end of our Bronco--over the back seat, over the front driver's seat, hit my head on the roof, then the steering wheel, and finally, came to an awkward resting place somewhere between the seat and the dash.

I gathered myself up and peeked over the front seat expecting to see my husband valiantly fighting off this ferocious herbivore. To my amazement, what I did see was both the moose and my husband staring at me with a similar puzzled and befuddled expression. My husband looked at the moose and the moose looked at him. My husband said to the moose, "Go on fella, get on out of here before she really hurts herself." The moose, seemingly glad to comply, turned, and trotted back into the woods. As I made my way out of the vehicle, my husband walked over to inspect my bruised forehead. 

"What were you thinking?" he asked (he asks me that quite often). 

I stated that I thought he was going to eat me! 

"Eat you?" he said with a poorly concealed grin. 

"Yes," I said, "I saw on the Discovery channel--how moose attack!" 

He began to laugh. "Well sure, honey, they can attack, but it must be the right context."

"Oh, sure," I said, "Like I know the right context!" 

He then proceeded to tell me what might actually provoke a moose to attack. Let me tell you, we have had many great laughs over that one! 
(Sara S)

Action Point
When you are with a less experienced person in the woods, be very careful not to belittle them should they respond in a seemingly silly manner to a natural situation. It can be a great time of instruction and good-natured fun. Lessons learned in that context are not forgotten and provide great memories. 

Pray that your heart may be filled with Jesus' wisdom, love, and mercy. Your lips will then follow His lead.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
An empty ice chest serves as an excellent bathtub for small children while tent camping.

March 27, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . New Challenges Are Sure To Make A Better Hunter Out Of You (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Romans 1:8
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (NKJV)
Many things are spoken of throughout the world today. If you just turn on your computer or the TV, you'll be informed instantly of news, gossip, and the newest technology. Pick up a hunting or fishing magazine and learn of the latest, greatest hunting technique or the new record breaking animal that was recently harvested.

How about faith? How often do you hear about faith that is spoken of throughout the world? Unfortunately, we do not hear good reports of faith nearly as often as we hear about worldly things happening around us. This is especially true in a culture that is so full of greed and selfishness. 
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
Pray for a faith that is worthy of telling others about. Faith that God the Father will favor. 
Think of your faith as an even more important story than the greatest hunt you've ever been on. Strive to make your faith stand out amongst all others. Live a faith so strong and true that others love to hear about it.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you've never hunted out of state, think about putting in with a friend or two in another state. You can then experience the challenge of learning new country, hunting by different strategies, and perhaps even experience some extremely different weather. New challenges are sure to make a better hunter out of you. It will, no doubt, make memories worthy of telling!

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Timber Rattlesnake (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
II Corinthians 11:3
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (NKJV)

A friend and I were having a conversation recently about rattlesnakes. He told me he was thinking about purchasing a pair of snake gaiters, protective overlays for your pant legs, to protect him from being bit. He went on to say that several thousand people are bitten each year by rattlesnakes. 

After our conversation, I began to think and I even did a little research regarding snake bites. l discovered most people get bit while either handling or messing with the snake somehow just before they got bit. 

Practicing some simple caution around snakes will probably prevent most bites. I have a friend who is considered a professional with reptiles. He's been bitten by rattlesnakes four different times which proves the point; if you handle snakes, you're going to be bit no matter how good you think you are.
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
Isn't it the same with the Devil? We usually get bit when we are toying with things like temptations, lust, and other ungodly things. Perhaps, we become a bit overly confident and we think we can handle it and nothing will happen to harm our loved ones or ourselves. 

Wrong!!! God tells us to simply put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and avoid "handling" things that Satan tries to lure us with and we will avoid his painful and marring bite.

God also directs us to step out of the darkness into His light and He will illuminate our paths away from the traps of Satan.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Spring or fall mornings and evenings are dangerous times of the year in regard to seeing snakes. Snakes are out more often warming or cooling their bodies. Usually, during the heat of the day, they stay under cover where they can keep cool. Look and listen:
  • Leave snakes alone. Many people are bitten because they try to kill a snake or get a closer look at it.
  • Stay out of tall grass unless you wear thick leather boots and remain on hiking paths as much as possible.
  • Keep hands and feet out of areas you can't see. Don't pick up rocks or firewood unless you are out of a snake's striking distance. A snake can strike half its length.
  • Be cautious and alert when climbing rocks.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 25, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Some Javelina May Not Know What Happened (Brett M)  
Bible Study Verse
Looking unto Jesus, the author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  (NKJV)

A friend and I were hunting javelina on a cold snowy March day. We had climbed to the top of a mesa and located a herd a few hundred yards below us. We began our descent slowly keeping the wind in our face and remaining as quiet as possible. 

They were feeding on roots and cacti and were milling around as we got within a close shooting range. We had glassed up six or seven of them and knew that there were probably more. Now that we had moved in to them, we were only able to locate one. 

I drew my firearm and set my sights just as the javelina went partially behind some catclaw. I waited patiently, firearm drawn, sites set at the point I thought he would show his vitals. During this eternity of waiting, nothing could distract my attention away from this solitary javelina, not even the remainder of the herd as it slowly circled around us. 

It was at that point that one of the other javelina from the herd moved within just feet of us. After my friend's exclamation of "THERE'S ONE!", there was little left of the herd except for the scattering of mud and broken branches as they ran for the hills. 

Action Point
Tunnel vision is an interesting thing. Webster defines it as a "constriction of the visual field resulting in the loss of peripheral vision." Yep, that sounds exactly like what I was experiencing on this hunt. It would not be so bad if this had not been the first time. Oh well. We are programmed to believe that tunnel vision is a bad thing, and I guess in most circumstances it is. 

But, in Hebrews the author is telling us to have tunnel vision, "fixing our eyes on Jesus." This should be our goal, our mission, to allow all other peripheral things to escape our eyesight allowing us to focus solely on Him. 

What things in your peripheral vision are distracting you from focusing on Jesus? Is it your job, your income, your hobbies? Whatever it is, know that our focus is on Him and Him alone. With this we "will not grow weary and lose heart!!!"

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Spooked javelina will usually only run a few hundred yards. If you get caught, and they run, just wait. Give it a half an hour or so and start glassing the area you last saw them running to. Additionally, there may still be some stragglers in the area. If the herd was feeding and were somewhat separated from each other, some javelina may not know what happened and may remain behind.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . On A Restoration Trip (Brett M) 
Bible Study Verses
Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (NIV)

I must admit, when I first began hunting and fishing my main goal was to harvest. I heard others talking about how they did not care if they got something or not. They just enjoyed the hunt. And for a while I thought either they were just plain crazy or that was their way of coping with coming home empty handed each year. 

I mean how anybody could not care if they harvested or not seemed a completely foreign concept to me. But as the years went by and a small amount of wisdom caught up with my age, I realized that these same people were fulfilling a fundamental need. Not the primitive need to provide for the family by putting food on the table, but the fundamental need of rejuvenation and restoration.
(Brett M)
Action Point
David wrote this Psalm during a dark period in his life. He had brought a married woman to his palace, had sex with her, and when he found out she was pregnant he had her husband, who also was a soldier in his army, sent to the front lines in hopes that he would be killed. He was! Then when the child was born it lived for a week. 

David in his Psalm was asking for God to cleanse him, to wash him, create a new heart in him and restore the joy of God's salvation. David needed restoration. But before he could have it, he needed to come clean with God, confess, and turn away from his sins. This is the only way to seek restoration, to first confess and turn from sin thus allowing the Holy Spirit to restore your soul.
I find myself needing this restoration much more than hunting or fishing allows. The need to get away and enjoy time in God's country is essential. Just as I have to make time to do other things that are good for me like exercise, going to the dentist, and reading my bible. I have found that it is something that I must make time to do regularly. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Whether you are able to get away for just a couple of hours or for a day or two, small restoration trips are a great way to scout new areas.


Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Gambel Quail (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Exodus 15:25-26  
So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you." (NKJV)

Recently, I was reminded of the healing hand of God as I rescued a bird caught in my children's badminton net.  

The night before, I was called home early from one of my outdoor adventure ministry trips. The call came when my mother who is in the Intensive Care Unit fighting off a serious infection had a scary day. I arrived home after midnight and spent the following morning in the hospital visiting with mom. God is taking care of her and she is now stable.  

I left the hospital and decided to go home and mow the lawn. It had been an emotionally draining night and morning as I attempted to sort through all of it on my own. That is when I noticed the bird caught in the net, hanging upside down, and struggling to get free. 

With my MP3 player kicking out tunes in the background, I began to rescue the victim. I gently clutched his body, began to carefully cut the netting, and weave the string off him. I delicately laid him on the ground after freeing my new feathered friend from his entanglement. 

I was amazed when right on key the lyrics from a Jeremy Camp song belted into my ears. The most melodic, soothing tune came out of my earphones, "The healing hand of God." Tears began to roll down my cheeks. Through a simple gesture, I was reminded of God's presence.  
(Michael T) 

Action Point
The bird was not very cooperative while trying to free him. He kept trying to peck me with his beak. He resisted my help, even though I was carefully rescuing him from harm. The timing of the song and the craziness of my mother's condition all came together in a simple analogy for me on how the healing hand of God works.

God is trying to free us from the bondage of our sins. He has a gentle, but firm grip on our lives. Yet we resist, we gnaw at his work, and then like the bird, we are not very thankful when His work is done. 

God is the mighty healer and rescuer. He not only heals our physical sicknesses, but also our spiritual sicknesses. Run to Him!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The next time you are out on the deep blue seas or in the woods hunting for your favorite food, bring along a journal and write down your thoughts on the day. You will be amazed at how many interesting spiritual parallels you will come across, which will give you tons of material to share with your kids, your Sunday School class, or another hurting soul God places in your life as a divine appointment orchestrated by Him.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Today's Photograph . . . . Eagle Cloud (Yvonne M) 
Bible Study Verse
John 11:3-6
Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. (NKJV)

Have you ever had a big outdoor adventure all planned out and just about the time you were ready to get it started, something happened that caused the trip to be delayed? 

Sometimes, God causes delays in our lives for a purpose. Maybe, you've been too selfish with your outdoor time and God knows that you need to spend more time with your wife and kids or maybe God is protecting you from an unseen danger. 

Whatever the reason, know that God has a purpose and a plan for your delay. 
(Michael T)

Action Point
Jesus delayed not out of a lack of concern, but because He was about to do something extraordinary in the lives of those He loved. 

Christ knows all things. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He even said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 

Jesus delayed because it was time to get the wheels in motion for why He was put here on Earth. Yes, He raised Lazarus from the dead which was an exciting miracle. This wonderful act did something greater; it set the stage for His own painful death and glorious resurrection. After He raised Lazarus, people either believed that He was God or they began to plot His demise. Read all of John 11 and carefully see how this entire great story played out. 

When God delays you, get ready for something greater!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The next time rain or a delay interferes with your great adventure, pull out some games or your Bible that you purposefully brought along. Enjoy the time given to you to get to know the people in your group.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Gift They Will Never Forget (Raymond R)   
Bible Study Verse  
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. (NIV)

Gifts come in many forms: 
  • the gift of sight, to see the mountains and animals.
  • the gift of hearing, to hear a bull elk bugle or a goose calling. 
  • the gift of the deer I killed that happened to be where I could see it.
So what is the gift from God?
  1. Grace.
  2. Salvation.
  3. Faith. 
  4. All of the above.  
You answer, "D". Yep, you got it!!! As the verse reads, the emphasis of the gift focuses on grace and faith. Romans 10:17 says,  "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God," (NKJV). Therefore, by applying this principle, God gives us the faith to believe in Jesus, God gives us salvation from our sins, and salvation is ours because of God's Gift of Grace. 

The overriding principle here is that all three are gifts from God. God gave us the mountains, the rivers, the sea, the sky, and the animals that we enjoy. We didn't create them. Similarly, we can't "create" or earn our salvation. It comes from God and God alone. 

By the way, I've often heard grace defined as "God's riches at Christ's expense." Good definition; but I believe one word should be changed and that the phrase should read, "God's redemption at Christ's expense." Either way, I want it!!! 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Unwrap God's presents to you today: faith, salvation, and grace. Accept that they are gifts, and that there is no repayment necessary. Just believe in Christ and be saved.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Give a gift to your children or grandchildren that they can't have any other way--the gift of your time in the outdoors. It's a gift they will never forget!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Going It Alone (Ron H)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 14:23
After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone. (NIV) 

This is one passage where I can really relate to Jesus. From time to time I go to the mountains alone. It may be for an afternoon quail hunt, perhaps to try to call in a coyote, or sometimes to get away for a couple of days to clear my head and recharge my batteries--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

On those trips, I usually sleep a lot, hike some, and spend lots of time sitting and looking at a special part of God's creation, a part that He made just for me, for that moment. 

There's always a couple of books handy--Chuck Swindoll and Philip Yancey have gone on a lot of trips with me that they don't know about!!! There's always a copy of God's word, the Bible. 

These trips are great times to read His word, pray, and listen. Especially listen!!! It's amazing what God will say in a little time, if you give Him a chance and your full attention. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Get away alone daily, even if it's just to shut the door to your office or sit in your car alone for a few minutes. Read a few Bible verses and share your thoughts with God through prayer. God wants to hear from you, and He wants to speak to you.  

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
When hunting or fishing, always be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you'll return. If you can, camp where your cell phone works and check in with someone daily.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . Buffalo Calves Are First To Arrive (MQ)   
Bible Study Verse
Hebrews 5:13-14   
For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (NKJV)

The renewing of Spring: Buffalo calves are first to arrive in my area; not long after, the elk, deer, and antelope start giving birth to their young. Those babies depend on their mother for nourishing milk and for protection from predators. 

As they mature they will rely less on their mother's milk and start to enjoy the food God has provided for them. They will become fleet of foot, able to avoid potential predators. 
(Ron T)

Action Point
When I first became a believer in Jesus Christ, I was like a baby in my understanding. 

I think back to that time--amazing how much I did not know. Through time in God's word, fellowship with other Christians and a good Bible-based church, my maturity level has and is continuing to increase. That's how it works in nature and that's how it works in our Christian walk with God.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Every year I get calls from people saying they have found an orphaned fawn. Sometimes they will even bring the baby to my office. I explain that the mother will often leave her youngster bedded down when she goes off to feed. Please help spread the word: if you or someone you know comes across a fawn alone, just leave it be. Mom will be back.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 18, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . One Of Those Fly-In-On-A-Float-Plane  (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)

A buddy of mine saved up a bunch of money for a dream vacation to Canada, one of those fly-in-on-a-float-plane, land on a remote lake, stay in an old log cabin and get left there for a couple weeks. The fish are so thick that they practically jump into your boat. You know what I'm talking about.

All he had to do was meet up with the outfitter in Canada, everything was provided.

As he was about to enter Canada, the customs agent asked for his passport, he couldn't find it. Now my buddy is a really nice guy, does a lot of good deeds and treats others with respect. The customs agent didn't really care about all that. Their rule is, you have to have a passport to get into their country. Since it's their country, they get to make the rules.

Without a passport my buddy couldn't get into Canada and couldn't go on his dream vacation.
(Ron T)  

Action Point
Heaven is God's creation. Since He made it, he gets to make the rules on how to get in. 

His rule is that you believe in His Son. Declare with your mouth "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Romans 10:9. 

It is the only way to get into Heaven. There is no fee required, being a nice person won't get you in and good deeds won't cut it. You have to have Jesus (His rule).

Once you have done that, you will know that you are Heaven bound when you leave this Earth.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Have you ever seen a sun burned aspen tree? Me neither. So if your outside in the sun and forgot your sunscreen, rub some of the white power from aspen bark on your nose and cheeks. It's all natural, God provided sunscreen. 

March 17, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . They Learn By  Seeing, So He'll Learn To Glass. But Will He Learn To Read God's Word In The Wilderness? (Raymond R) 
Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 6:13-18
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (NKJV)

This scripture in Ephesians is one of my favorites. It makes me feel as if I'm gearing up for a battle! However, sometimes it's tough to have quiet times with God, isn't it? Men especially have a difficult time with this because, frankly, reading scripture sometimes seems about as important as shining our shoes! 

A hunter will spend months in physical training preparing for a big hunt, weeks at the range, and countless hours poring over his gear. Looking at these things, we see that the ability to discipline ourselves is there, so why the difficulty with setting aside time to be with God and read His Word? Maybe it's because we don't see our life as a great battle. 
(Ruben C)

Action Point
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world,"1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV).

This is our battle, not our pastor's or our more spiritual friends. Don't think others will fight this one for us. 

If we're not connecting with Him, we're gonna be connecting with something else.
God is the Mighty Warrior. Learn of Him. Look what He did for David in 1Samuel 17. Then, read what happened to King David when he had his armor off in 2 Samuel 11:1-5.

God has given you the gear you need, warrior, right there in His Word. Use it as if your life depends on it!!! It does!!! Remember; it's not an intellectual thing, it's about connecting with God. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Taking a Bible with us on a hunt or fishing trip is an excellent idea. We can read during our down time or while in a stand. Admittedly, I can also fall asleep pretty quickly under these circumstances, so I like to take other books as well! A book inspired this devotional that I feel is so good and relevant to my spiritual walk that I can't help but recommend it to you. Wild at Heart by John Eldredge will inspire you to dig deeper in the Word, and he is clearly an outdoorsman to boot. On the first page he takes you with him on an elk hunt! If you have read it, read it again. If you haven't, get it, and I am certain you will grow from it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Black Rattlesnake (NPS)  
Bible Study Verse
Genesis 3:1
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (NKJV)

Two days into my Arizona archery elk hunt I was target shooting in camp. I missed the entire target at 50 yards and had to go hunt my arrow down. Found it, immediately reached down to pick it up, and just before my fingers grasped it (the following occurred in about the span of let's say ½ second) saw the rattle snake, my brain registered "rattler", and then my brain screamed, "Rattler!" 

I affected a rapid reverse evasive maneuver (RREM) while releasing a defensive yell in order to confuse and disorient the enemy. It worked; the "RREM" that is.

The rattler was unimpressed with the whole situation and just laid there coiled up flicking its tongue at me seemingly harmless.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
But, rattle snakes are not harmless are they? Neither was the serpent in the garden. Though he didn't strike Eve, his venom was d-e-a-d-l-y for us all!!!

That is exactly how sin strikes. Seemingly appearing harmless, then it engulfs us, and we are deceived by our own thinking. Justifying our sin, we ask ourselves, "Is that really what God meant?"

2 Timothy 3:16 states, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God's people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work," (TNIV). Read on in Genesis 2:16, "And the LORD God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die,' " (TNIV).

God's word is clear!!! Do not put a question mark in scripture where God put a period!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
As the weather warms rattlers and other reptiles (on this hunt I encountered numerous Horned Toad lizards and even a Gila monster) will find their way into the sunshine to warm up where you'll discover them lazing in the sun. Give the poisonous ones a wide berth. They'll more likely than not, not even mind your passing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Before The Last Rays of Sun Disappeared (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
2 Corinthians 4:6
For it is the God Who commanded light to shine out of darkness, Who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

The Source of Light, Jesus the guiding Light,is important in our lives.

Deer season and a full moon had happened during the same time frame. The deer were feeding freely during the night and bedding down during the day. Unless you just happened to kick one up walking to your hunt site, hunting in a stand during the day was almost non-existent.

I decided to stay on my stand as long as possible into the evening, hoping to see deer moving right before the last rays of sun disappeared. My hunting location was about three-quarters mile from camp along an old, unused logging road. I had my flashlight and thought I would have no problem finding my way back to camp in the dark. 

But, the path that had been so easy to follow in the light of day was only dimly delineated in the dark of night. I had some anxious moments, wondering whether I would end up back at camp. Finally, I saw the campfire of my hunting buddy that would guide me through the trees. 
(Tom B)

Action Point
Jesus is the guiding Light, the flashlight you might say, leading us to the Source of Light in our lives. God is the campfire that illumines our lives, brings light into our daily life, if we just strike the match, and continue to add wood to the fire by reading His Holy Word.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you haven't graduated to LED lights, you should give them a try. Flashlights are still a good source of light, but the lights utilizing LED generation beats the traditional flashlight any day; plus, they are usually smaller. I have a light that I can clip onto the bill of my fishing/cap or shirt pocket and then don't even have to hold.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Go And Do Likewise (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Luke 10: 29-37
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?"  And he said, "He who showed mercy on him."
Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." (NKJV)
Two older men were launching their new bass boat at the ramp and having problems getting the outboard motor started. In the course of events, the boat drifted away from them and grounded itself on the other side of the cove. 

A helpful angler in his own boat went over to the wayward boat, tied it to his, and towed it back to the dock. The drifted boat was also filling with water--the drain plug had been put in the livewell drain instead of the boat drain. To further complicate matters, the bilge pump would not work. 

Watching what was going on, another angler jumped into the sinking boat and worked at getting the outboard to start. Finally it kicked in and he maneuvered the boat onto the boat trailer that was still standing in the water at the boat ramp. 

The boat was pulled out of the water and left to drain on the sidelines. 

This was a very awkward moment for the two anglers who were trying to launch the new boat. Besides the anglers who rendered aid, there were other people who had gathered to watch what was happening. Though there could have been lots of guffawing going on about the anglers' plight, there wasn't. Everybody was helpful in offering comments or fixing the immediate problem. 
(Tom B)
Action Point
How many times in our everyday lives do we come upon someone who needs help? Maybe it's someone with a stalled car or flat tire stranded along the freeway. Our response might be, "Someone else will stop; I'm running late for an appointment." I'm guilty of that one! 

Perhaps it happens out on the water while fishing: A buddy achieves the backlash of the year; it happens to everybody. He has been picking away at the tangled mess for at least four or five minutes. Do we offer to help clear the backlash or offer one of our rods for him to use? 

There are numerous opportunities to help someone in need. We need to memorize and follow His teaching when Jesus said, "Go and do likewise."

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When I find a lure that works, I purchase a couple extra of the same lure the next time I'm at the tackle shop. If I lose one, then I have another of the same lure to tie on to my line. Also, if my fishing buddy is not catching anything, I can offer him one of the lures so he can catch some fish.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Grizzly Track On The Toklat River, AK (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
Psalm 139:7-8
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. (NKJV)

The other day at work I had arrested two illegal citizens. I turned my back for just a split second and one of them fled into the desert, trying to escape. With the help of another skilled tracker with whom I work, we were able to track him down surprisingly fast. 

After the arrest, I began to think about how we sometimes flee from God in shame when we have done wrong, believing we can escape His presence. But as Psalm 139:1-2 say, "Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thought afar off," (NKJV).

I'm sure glad He knows where to find me!!! 
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
Rather than fleeing from God when we do wrong, it's so much easier in the end if we just turn and run to Him. He's always there, arms open wide, waiting to forgive us, and help get us back on track!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When tracking game, always mark your last known track or piece of evidence with flagging. Look in the most likely lines of travel for more evidence of the direction of your quarry. Try not to destroy any tracks or other evidence as you go so you'll have something to come back to if you have to start over.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Nothing More Is Needed Than You Being There With Them (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Mark 9:36-37
Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me." (NKJV)

These days, there are so many things that can cause us to shorten our time with our kids. I won't even begin to list them. You know what they are in your life. Yet, I hear parents complain about their kid's behavior or their trouble with school work. Then later in life, they end up involved in drugs or even jail for criminal activities. 

Jesus made it simple for us. He said if you spend time with your kids you will be blessed. The best part is, so will your kids!!! 
(Jimmy S)

Action Time
Involve your kids in your daily activities. Better yet, involve yourself in their daily activities. All they really want is your presence. Nothing more is needed than you being there with them. That's it!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Kids love to catch fish. I've found that a slip bobber and a minnow can do wonders for kids. It's easy to cast and you spend more time un-hooking fish, rather than un-tangling a mess in their line. Look up "using slip bobbers" on the internet if you aren't sure how to rig them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Do Your Best To Bleed Out The Animals You Take During Hunting (NPS)
Bible Study Verse 
Deuteronomy 12:15-16 
"However, you may slaughter and eat meat within all your gates, whatever your heart desires, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, of the gazelle and the deer alike. Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it on the earth like water. (NKJV)

Is it okay to be a hunter? Is it okay to kill an animal? Is it okay to eat the meat of animals? Does God approve or condemn these practices? These verses clearly sanction the slaughter and the consumption of animals for meat. Jesus ate fish while on the earth, and chose commercial fishermen to be among his apostles. The animals are a part of the stewardship of the Earth that God has given to humans. Specifically named in these verses are domestic and wild game animals. He approves the use of animals for meat, leather, and for labor. 

It is amazing to hunting dog lovers that using our dogs for hunting is considered abuse of them by some people. Let God's rules and guidelines apply to our lives. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
God's Word is practical. It gives us guidance and strength. It gives us clear instruction on many issues that impact our lives. It tells us all we need to know in order to please the Lord. "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by glory and virtue," 2 Peter 1:2-3 (NKJV). 

It does not tell us all we might like to know; but the Bible does give us all that we need to know in order to please God and live a life that He approves. We need to hear it, read it, meditate on it, memorize it, and practice its principles. It will bring life and satisfaction to all who do so.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Do your best to bleed out the animals you take during hunting. Sometimes the shot itself will accomplish this task. Learn to do so properly and humanely. Improper bleeding may ruin a cape that will be used for mounting. Go to an experienced hunter, or your taxidermist to learn this skill.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Don't Go It Alone (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Ecclesiastes 4:9  
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. (NIV))

Blocking is an important tool for successful hunting of many kinds. In deer hunting we call it setting up a drive. 

Wild pheasants and many other types of game like to run if possible. They will run through cover at the sound of approaching danger. When they think it is safe, they will escape into the air or run to safer places. 

While success may be had hunting solo, it is much more productive hunting with others. Hunting partners get good return for their partnership. 
(Jack M) 

Action Point
Don't go it alone!!! God made us for team work. He made us to partner with Him in a personal love relationship, but sin separated us from Him. Satan entices us to sin and attempt to make it on our own. God provided forgiveness for our sin in his Son, Jesus. Jesus died, was buried, and rose again to secure the way to God (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). We must receive Christ to establish the relationship with God that He intended. God made us to enjoy and partner with other people too. 

Partners help each other and make each other more effective. It allows a multiplication of energy for success and the good of both. This is true in spiritual things as well as in hunting and recreational activities. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
For successful upland bird hunting, try blocking. Put hunters in the flank position--a 45 degree angle to the sides of the drivers who are in the middle of the cover or field. Post other hunters at the end of the field, then walk toward the posted hunters, into the wind if possible. Make sure safe shooting lanes have been assigned ahead of time. The hunters on the flank should stay slightly ahead of the dogs and the walking hunters. This will allow game that flushes wildly to present shots that would never be realized in other ways. This tactic is essential in wild pheasant hunting early in the season, and can make the difference in having any success at all late in the season.

Friday, March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Goose Lake, White River National Wildlife Refuge, Arkansas (NWRC.USGS.GOV)
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 17:22
A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. (NKJV)

One of my family's honey holes for fishing is in the wilds of the White River National Wildlife Refuge in central Arkansas. We take a small twelve-foot boat, motor until we can't motor anymore and wade through the mud pulling the boat to get to the remote lakes. 

As you can imagine, we see and hear some pretty strange things back in the deep woods. On one such trip, we heard what I now surmise to be a bird; but at the time, it was downright eerie! It went, "WHOOOOOOOPPP!" 

We looked wide-eyed at each other as the weird sound echoed through the river-bottoms. Then my brother whispered, "I guess a sasquatch slipped in the mud!" We literally rolled in the bottom of the muddy boat laughing. I laughed until my sides hurt. We still don't know what made the eerie sound, but my hat is off to it. We had a great laugh at its expense! 
(Brian H)

Action Point
I hate the fact that the world and Satan has taken so much of our joy away. Often we live so focused on our jobs, the economy, making ends meet, family priorities and more, and leave little time or energy for any joy. 

We serve a God of joy. I can just see Jesus when the children would pile up in His lap. Can't you see Him tickling their belly as they playfully pulled at his beard? I can imagine a sweet smile on His face as He lifted a little one up in the air and spun around; and a smile now as we obey a command or use His strength to overcome a weakness. 

The bottom line is that He is a God of warm joy. Let's seek to know Him deeper. Let's determine to allow His joy to penetrate our lives. Let's demonstrate Him to the world by being a people of infectious joy!!! Be a contagious laugher. Then tell the world that it's Jesus who brings the joy!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
In Arkansas, we warm up for deer season by squirrel hunting. September, when our squirrel season opens, is a great time to slip around quietly through the woods. You can practice your stalking, your marksmanship, and bring home some meat that is great with dumplings or in Cajun stew or gumbo, all in one trip. Give it a try!