Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Mom Will Be Back (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 5:13-14 
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (NIV)

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.

Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Gives The Real Geese A Place To Set Their Wings . . . (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  (NIV)

There is an old joke that asks, "Why is one side of the V formation that geese fly longer than the other side?" A person might come up with some biological or aerodynamic answer; but the punch line is: "There are more geese on the longer side."

That's kind of funny; but there are some interesting facts about geese and their flight patterns. One goose by itself can fly a long way, but studies have shown that a flock of geese can fly 70 percent farther when they work together. 

I have watched a lot of geese fly overhead. They constantly honk to each other. I can't prove it, but I think they are encouraging and spurring one another along as they travel such great distances. 
(Ron T)

Action Point
Offering encouragement to people can change their whole attitude. With a little encouragement, great deeds can be accomplished. There are some people who have the gift of encouragement from the Holy Spirit, Romans 12:8, so encouragement seems to come easily from them.

However, we can all practice this trait. Just like the geese that work together and encourage one another, we can do the same. Try encouraging someone today; then sit back and watch their eyes light up.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When goose hunting over decoys, place your decoys facing the wind and in a "J" formation. 
This gives the real geese a place to set their wings and land.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June 28, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Blue Gill Lake, IA (NPS) 
Bible Study Verse
Romans 11:36
For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen. (NLT)

The bobber disappeared from sight! It caught me totally asleep. Fortunately, the fish had set the hook itself with the vicious, powerful strike. Even though it was "only" a bluegill, it was an exciting adventure for me. 

I marveled at the colors as I hoisted the fish from the water. There was a palette of brilliant colors evident in this one fish. The Artist had done a magnificent job when creating this little fighter! He would also taste really good when properly cleaned and prepared. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
This wonderful game fish is a gift from God. It brings Him glory when we truly view it as the gift of God the bluegill really is. It is found in many waters, is a hardy fish, reproduces itself well, a voracious eater as it seems always hungry, and therefore is available for catching most of the time. 

Do you give glory to God for this fish? Do you marvel at His wisdom, goodness, and grace because He allows us to enjoy his creatures? Not only are they beautiful to behold, but they are given to us for food.

Someone has suggested that giving glory to God is making Him famous. We do that by telling others that God is the giver of these and all good gifts.  "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows," James 1:17 (NIV). Give Him glory; make Him famous!!! He has made these wondrous creatures for His glory and enables us to enjoy them, and to tell others of Him and His glory.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
An old fashioned and inexpensive cane pole with line, bobber, and hook can make for a memorable and fun day with your kids, grandkids, and family. The enjoyment of a tasty fish fry just adds to the enjoyment and appreciation of God and His goodness!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenJune 27, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Padauk Osage Striker (Jackie M)
Bible Study Verse
Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -His good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

Turkey calls are fun to make and bring satisfaction. Making your call adds to your hunt. I make them for fun, for gifts, and for personal use. 

Start with a 4 inch square wood blank. Nip the corners at a 45° angle to save time on the lathe. Various gouges, abrasives, and other tools shape the wood into the desired pot. Check dimensions to ensure the surface will fit. Drill the holes, sand some more, and apply finishes. My maker's mark is applied before the parts are assembled and glued. Tune each call to the particular striker as some work better than others. 

After completion, the surface must be conditioned as well as the end of the striker. When all is finished, I use my creation to call in unsuspecting turkeys to the gun. The finished product becomes a treasure to be proud of. 
(Jack M).

Action Point
Maybe God is tooling, remaking, or finishing you as I did the call mentioned above. Are you going through some pain right now? Maybe it's a loss, physical pain, emotional agony, mental anguish, or even depression. "Why?" is a common question. Asking this question does not indicate one is unspiritual or lacking in faith, but often accompanies one's struggle to understand.

God is shaping us to be like Jesus. He is remaking us, finishing us, and removing our rough edges. His Word tells us that He chastens every one He loves. "Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves," Hebrews 12:6a (NIV). 

If we remain under His discipline and cooperate through the times of pain, hurt, and discipline, we will become more like our Lord. In this world we will then be a better vessel for God to use in His work.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Buy or make quality calls. Think about what you have invested in weapons, clothes, time, travel and everything else to ensure quality hunts. Don't short change yourself by using inferior calls. Get the best you can afford. Most importantly, practice using them till you are consistently proficient.

A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenJune 26, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Back-Country Line Shack  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
John 14:23 
Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (NKJV)

Hunting, fishing and quad riding affords the sportsmen opportunities to visit some old back-country line shacks. 

I have often wished that I could somehow look back and see how the "old timers" spent their hours at these cabins. 

Today, they are still used by sportsmen as hunting camps. I can remember spending a couple of nights in one myself on a deer hunt. The old wood stove did a good job of keeping us warm at night. 
(Byron S) 

Action Point 
When we live with someone we get to know them well, we form a bond or relationship. We are also in constant conversation with each other. Jesus tells us, "If anyone love Me, he will keep My Word; and We will come and make Our home with him." Read it this way (writer's paraphrase):  Each day, spend time in My Word; and set aside time for prayer and reflection. 

If you are not already doing so, take His challenge and give this a try. Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to "teach you all things."  Anyone who already does so will attest to the fact that He is true to His Word. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Sportsmen not only make their home in these old line shacks, but rodents do as well. Carry a small bottle of chlorine bleach with you and mix a couple of ounces with water; wet the floor area with this before sweeping. Keep in mind that rodent droppings carry disease like Hanta Virus.

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Timber Rattle Snake (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Revelation 20:2
He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; (NKJV)

Yesterday, a friend played a joke on me with a rubber rattlesnake, bringing back a flood of memories from years past . . .  

My son, 13 at the time, was with me on a quail hunting trip. we were camped out in a remote area with friends. It was my son's first time out carrying a shotgun, my old HR 20-gauge single-shot. We had walked out of camp to hunt a nearby wash where we had heard quail calling. We hadn't gone far when I heard "SNAKE"!!! As I looked over toward my son, I saw him bringing his rifle up from the hip, and at the same time saw a huge rattler raise its head like a cobra ready to strike. 

The 20-gauge sounded its report and the snake's head was gone. That night, we ate snake for dinner; and today, the snake's skin adorns a rifle sling. 

After this experience was over, I am not sure who was more relieved, my son or myself. What I am glad for is the snake's demise and the protection my son received. 
(Byron S)

Action Point
That snake experience was scary for my son and me. We both cried when it was all over. There is a snake (serpent) that stalks each of us today. He knows our weak, unprotected selves, and works to strike when our guard is down. 

By reading the whole story in our Bible, we find that Jesus has already defeated this "serpent" on the Cross, will soon have that serpent thrown into the pit for a thousand years, and later thrown into the lake of fire. 

Our 20-gauge is our ability to call on Jesus for protection and help when we find ourselves under attack. If we ask, He has promised us that He will help us overcome Satan and change our lives. 

How awesome it is to know that He is there for us 24/7 with strength beyond our wildest dreams. Don't rely on your own strength. Read the whole story and see for yourself how it ends; then, claim His promises.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When hunting in snake habitat, high-top boots or snake guards can be a good protection against getting bitten. Study up on your first aid for snake bite treatment; know the proper care for a bite. Rattlesnake bites can not only be severe, they can be deadly.

June 24, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . They Probably Are Not Going To Be Standing On Street Corners  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Exodus 20:8-10
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. (NIV)

It happened to me during a scouting trip for deer. The day had drawn to a close and I was heading home. I decided to stop in a nearby town for a bite to eat. As I approached the intersection, I noticed a man standing on the side of the road with the usual "will work for food sign." This is when I sometimes have a crisis in my compassion. Trying to overcome it, I stopped and asked the man what kind of work he was willing to do. I knew I could not offer him any, since I didn't even live there. I figured if I received a legitimate offer of landscaping, roofing, etc., I would give him some money.

Although fairly young and apparently healthy, he informed me that in fact he was not willing to work and was just there to get money from passersby.
(Brett M)

Action Point
I have been a Christian for some time and thought that I knew a little about the Bible. But, do you ever have one of those days when someone reads a verse to you that you have read a million times before and suddenly it has a whole new meaning! 

That happened to me with the above mentioned scripture. Reading it since I was a child, I always heard the command, "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." It never dawned on me that it also said, "Six days you shall do all your work." This is commanding not only that I keep the Sabbath holy, but that I also work six days a week. I do not believe this to mean that I have to be in the office or at the fire station six days a week. It includes performing chores around the house, volunteering, etc.

In II Thessalonians 3:10b Paul writes "The one who is unwilling to workshall not eat," (NIV). The important point here is "will not work." It does not include those who cannot work, only those who will not work. 

If you like me have a crisis in your compassion, remember what God says. We need to help the many, many people right now that have been laid off from work, are willing, and are able to work, but cannot find it. They probably are not going to be standing on street corners, but are in your church or in your neighborhood.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If unable to remove your entire big game animal from the field on the night you harvest, hang the savable portions in a tree at least fifty yards from the gut pile. These two precautions will help prevent meat loss from predation.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June 23, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Should Never Have To Sin In Order To Fulfill God's Plan For Us  (NPS) 
Bible Study Verses
Genesis 27: 5-10
Rebekah was eavesdropping as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. As soon as Esau had gone off to the country to hunt game for his father, Rebekah spoke to her son Jacob. "I just overheard your father talking with your brother, Esau. He said, 'Bring me some game and fix me a hearty meal so that I can eat and bless you with God's blessing before I die.'  "Now, my son, listen to me. Do what I tell you. Go to the flock and get me two young goats. Pick the best; I'll prepare them into a hearty meal, the kind that your father loves. Then you'll take it to your father, he'll eat and bless you before he dies." (Message)

We split up from camp to go javelina hunting. Two of the guys walked out of camp to crest a ridge nearby. I drove a couple miles away where I had seen some fresh sign. No sooner had I gotten to my location when my radio squelched. "We see one! He's bedded down." I hurriedly made it back to my truck and sped back to their location.

Arriving at their spot, they pointed to a black mass beneath a mesquite tree about a mile and a half away. "I saw it walk up and lay down, he hasn't moved since!"

Glassing the area I could definitely see an animal there, but due to the distance I couldn't make much out. We began our stalk which would be closer to three miles to stay down wind, most of the while hiking in a wash and out of eyeshot of the sleeping pig.

At a quarter mile away we climbed out of the wash and began to glass the area. Just in time to see the black mound under the mesquite tree rise from its bed, shoo away some flies with its long tail, moo, and begin chewing its cud. My Minnesota native friend had just been deceived by a cow.
(Brett M)

Action Point
Rebekah was attempting to deceive Isaac in order to "help" God along with His promise that He would use Jacob to carry out His plan. Although her intentions may have been well meaning, she still planned to deceive her husband in order to carry out the plan.

Although we may know God's plans, sometimes like Rebekah, we feel we need to assist God because they do not seem to be moving as timely or orderly as we think they should. The old saying, "the ends don't always justify the means," applies here.

Remember, God does not contradict Himself. We should never have to sin in order to fulfill God's plan for us.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Javelina typically travel in herds of 5 to 12. If you see just one, wait. There are likely others in the same area.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Rainbow, God's Promise  (USDA.GOV)
Bible Study Verses
Romans 4:20-21 
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (NKJV)

The thunderstorms were intense along the squall line as it entered AR. By the time the front had reached my home, it had dropped several tornadoes including one that stayed on the ground for a state record, 123 unbroken miles. 

In the aftermath of destruction, homes and lives had been lost. Buildings had been reduced to crumpled piles of rubble, trees were twisted off like match sticks, and people were faced with rebuilding their lives piece by piece. 

Yet, as the front moved away and calm began to settle, a rainbow appeared in the sky. In the middle of trials and troubles, there was God's promise.
(Brian H)

Action Point
God never promised us smooth sailing. Life just gets tough sometimes. Jesus says in John 15:18,  "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you," (NKJV). 

Sometimes we find ourselves stranded like a ship in a bottle. Try as we might, we can't push through the tough stuff of life. It's in those times that we must eventually come to the end of ourselves, fall on our knees, and simply take God at His word.

I challenge you to find one single promise that God has made that He has not kept. You won't be able to find one. If God says it, you can take it to the bank, as they say. God's precious promises are made to us for our comfort, healing, peace, joy, and correction. In times of trouble, search for God's promises and believe them. He will make a way for you when there seems to be no other way. Friend, take God at His word - never doubt. Believe! 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A reflective stick-on dot in the center of your tailgate and another on your camper or trailer will help you align things when backing to hitch up. You can also get mirrors that mount on the trailer that will give you a bird's eye view of the hitch and ball. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . For HIS  Glory . . .  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 12:27 
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt. (NIV)
The big ten-point stepped quietly out of the woods and began to walk slowly down the field-line. With great caution, he tested the wind and kept his head moving as he watched the open field carefully. Finally, he was broadside, a muzzleloader sounded off, and my brother had his biggest buck to date. 
(Brian H)

Action Point
That big buck encounter didn't just happen. You see, I've left out some details in that story. I left out the hours we spent scouting and glassing that field. I didn't tell you about the time spent setting up a stand, clearing shooting lanes, trimming limbs, and figuring out prevailing wind directions. I didn't mention that we worked to figure out how to walk in to that stand so that we would remain undetected. The moral of this story is that it took hard work for this big buck encounter to happen.

The Bible has something to say about laziness as well, look at Proverbs 12:27. Wow!!! That passage paints a great picture for all of us hunters. But, it's a picture that is a metaphor for life. 

My paraphrase would go something like this: "Do everything that you do in life to your best ability." Perhaps you wouldn't categorize yourself as lazy, but what about those remarks that goes like this: "For what I'm paid for this job, that's all that I'm going to do." How about this one: "Nobody knows if I finish my paperwork or not. Nobody's checked it, so why bother?" 

The correct attitude is that God gave us abilities and we should do everything that we do to the best of OUR ability, but do it for HIS glory. Whether hunting, working, or anything else, you won't roast your game unless you are diligent.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When trimming limbs for shooting lanes, you don't always have a pole saw with you. Try tying a medium weight stick about a foot long to a length of rope. Toss the stick over the offending limb and then pull it down to your reach with the rope. We call that an "Arkansas Lasso." Happy Hunting!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

june 20, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Just Need To Accept The Gift and Cash The Check   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (NIV)

When we're not off hunting or fishing, we all work for a living. I know, more time hunting, less time working! We trade our time, knowledge, skills, or expertise for money, our wages. We earn our wages; they're due us for what we do. 

In addition to our wages, many of us have taken on debt to have a house, a car, maybe to put the kids through college. We earn money to pay off these debts, but for some reason, we never seem to get debt free. 

Now, suppose that you are at work and an individual walks up to you and hands you an envelope. Inside the envelope is a check made out to you, for enough money to pay off all of your debts so that you'll never have to work another day in your life! But, here's the catch: you have to quit your job, and you have to give up your steady wages. 

What would you do? Would you accept the gift, and go home to your family rejoicing for your good fortune? Or would you tell the stranger to give the gift to someone else and keep right on working because you're a real man who is going to do this on your own? 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Well, God has given us a choice. We can work forever to try to pay the debt of our sins, and fail, and die in those sins. Or, we can accept His gift, the gift of salvation through Jesus' death on the cross, and have forgiveness for all of our sins and eternal fellowship with God. His gift or my wages? Real men choose Jesus.  

Jesus has paid all of our sin debt. We just need to accept the gift and cash the check. Accept Him and enter into the fellowship of the Father, debt free!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A lot of us are tempted by ads to buy that boat, quad, 4X4, or special gun, or to pay for that special hunt by incurring debt. Don't do it. Save your money and pay cash. You'll enjoy the hunt far more when you're not worrying about how you'll pay for it later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . God's Word Is Not A Smorgasbord  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
II Timothy 3:16-17  
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)

You ever been in a hunting camp and asked, "What's for dinner?" The cook looks at you and asks, "What you want?" "Well," you reply, "what are my choices?" The cook tells you what's on the menu for that night and you tell him what you want--what combination of foods you want to make your dinner. It could be steak and beans; or sometimes, you just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and make some weird stew. You get to choose from what's available to make something you like.
(Cliff S) 

Action Point 
But, here's the deal with God's Word. It is not a smorgasbord. You don't get to pick and choose the parts that you like and ignore the parts that you don't like. It is all God's Word. It all applies to your life. And, it is all true. The Bible does not only just contain truth, it is truth!!! God will use it to teach us, to rebuke us, to correct us, to train us, and to equip us for whatever He has planned for us to do for Him.  

Read and study God's Word, the Bible. That's how God grows and strengthens our faith; and it is how we learn how to live.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you're reading the hunting regulations for your area, remember: they all apply to you, not just the ones you like.

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . A Glimpse of Misery (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
I Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  (NKJV)

Many of us would love to spend every day hiking, fishing, or hunting. We would love to always have enough money to pay our bills, and still have enough for the latest rifle, scope, fishing lures, gas, truck, ammo, out-of-state licenses, cabin, or camping trailer. But, this is not reality for most of us. Our days are not perfect. They are filled with financial burdens, not enough vacation time, family stresses, illnesses, and struggles. We live in a not so perfect world trying to live for Christ.

One deer hunt when I was about 14, my brother-in-law had killed a buck in the late afternoon on the backside of a mountain that my family had deservingly nicknamed "Misery Mountain." This mountain had shale slides, cactus, and was so steep that one could stay standing and still lean against the mountain to rest. Everyone went to retrieve that distant trophy with a burro, except my mother and me. We had the job of feeding the fire just in case those on the mountain did not make it back by night fall.

Just as the sun was going down, we saw our hunting party make it over the ridge of Misery to retrieve the deer. We knew we were in for a wait. We had gathered our wood or what you can in the desert. The night was quiet as the darkness settled around us. We waited as long as we could to light the fire to preserve our wood supply. The night grew colder and the darkness grew thicker. Mom had hunted with dad since she was 17. She was a good sport, outdoor woman, and a great hunter herself.

She decided we would light the fire, but we also needed to hike with a small flashlight across a dry gully to another hill in order to gather more wood. At 100 yards from that life reassuring fire, we suddenly heard something crashing through the brush. Minutes later came the high pitched, spine-tingling scream of a mountain lion. 

Mom, with a quiet resolve stated it was time to walk back to that fire. Hours later we would sporadically see our hunting party's flashlight way up high on Misery. They were trying to save their light and would use it sparingly.

I Thessalonians 5:5-6 instructs us, "For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we do not belong either to the night or to darkness. Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard) and let us be sober (calm, collected, and circumspect)," (Amplified).
(Rebecca L)

Action Point
Mom and I were very alert waiting alone in that AZ wilderness. We felt much better when we made it back unscathed to our fire. It was even more reassuring when we could finally sporadically see a small flashlight beam of our hunting party maneuvering down that mountain. We didn't feel so alone.

That hunting experience is so like life. We can become so bogged down with making a living that we don't take time to see the "Light". God has sent us His Word as a light to light our path. He has a plan for our lives. It is up to us to be joyful, to pray for His guidance and protection, to be alert, and self-controlled. He will be with us in the scary unknown times. He offers His love and protection. All we need to do is believe and trust Him for His care.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Become familiar with your local fauna. You never know when your simple hunting experience will last long into the night. You can eat the leaves and roots of the dandelion in a salad or as cooked greens. You can also dry the whole plant and use it to make tea. You can also eat the shoots of Cattails. Before the flower forms, you can peel the shoots and eat them. Acorns have very low sugar content and are great in breads and stews. The Native Americans would grind acorns to make them into flour. Make sure you do not mistake a similar looking plant for the one you choose to eat. A field guide for edible plants is recommended.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Daddy's mansion Is A Rustic Log House With A Rock Fireplace and The View Is Unimaginable  (Rebecca L) 
Happy   Father's   Day
Bible Study Verses
John 14:2-3 
In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (NKJV)

What an awesome promise! As believers and followers of Christ, we know what awaits us at the end of this life! If we think that mountains, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and meadows are beautiful here, can you just imagine what they look like in heaven?

Most of what I learned about the outdoors, I learned from my dad. My dad and I made lots of great memories together hunting, hiking, fishing, and cutting wood. I can still picture us waiting for it to get light enough to hunt, eating our sandwiches on the tail gate together, and just enjoying our day. 

My best memory, however, was when I killed my first elk. We hunted for two hard days, and it was the last day of the hunt. He picked where we'd go that day and sure enough there was a small herd. 

I know God just guided that bullet right through the trees. After field dressing the elk and using a come-along to hoist it into the vehicle (a great idea to lift the heavy animals), we ended up with a flat tire. We were exhausted by the time we made it back, but what a day!  
(Rebecca L) 

Action Point 
Daddy went home to be with Jesus and I really miss him. But, I know that someday I'll see him again with my Jesus. I'd like to think that Daddy's mansion is a rustic log house with a rock fireplace and the view is unimaginable!!! 

Cherish your Dad today. Give him a call; or just go get him and go target practicing, or fishing!!! You'll be grateful for the memory you make. If your Dad is gone as mine is, take your son, daughter, mom, spouse, or someone God brings to your mind, and make some new memories.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When elk are scarce you'll have a better chance hiking away from hunters and commonly traveled roads. Bulls will be at higher elevations than cows. Walk quietly and use your nose. Elk have a very distinct smell. Sometimes you can smell them or hear cows mew before you will ever see them. Be sure to use topographical maps, a compass, or a GPS in order to keep from getting lost while trying to find the herd.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

June 16, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . The Evil One Took One Last Charge In Hopes Of Finishing Off Her Prey (Alaskacenters GOV)  
Bible Study Verse
James 1:12
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him. (ESV) 

The bear was quick to strike, and Gene Moe found his arm in a vice grip. The giant Kodiak bit into his right arm, just above the elbow, and didn't want to let go.

He fought back, as best as he could, and began to hit and jab his fingers into the bear's ear. This was enough to loosen the bear's clenched teeth. He was able to pull his arm free. A wrestling match ensued and the old hunter found out the hard way that he was in the wrong weight class. The bear easily sent him flying to the ground.

The hungry, determined sow rose up on her hind legs circling her prey waiting to deliver the knock-out punch. Familiar with bear behavior, Gene was ready for the swipe of her claw. The bear missed, but not without slicing his earlobe in the process. Immediately, the frustrated bear dropped to all fours and knocked him flat on his back.

Using his heavy boots he kicked up as hard as he could into the bear's chest. The bear rolled to the side and he sprung to his feet before the bear could get up. The female, who was extremely unhappy that someone would try to stand in the way of dinner, came barreling back at him. She managed to bite into his right leg, just above the knee.

Fighting through the intense pain, he was able to wrap his arms around the head of the deranged beast and began stabbing and slicing into the bear's neck and vertebrae with his knife.

Surprised by this sudden attack, the bloody bear moved just outside of the battle torn arena. Determined to beat down this wounded man, the evil one took one last charge in hopes of finishing off her prey. After crying out to God for help, Gene was now armed with a new boldness and confidence. He took on the bear and stood his ground. He did not retreat. His left fist smacked the angry sow square in the nose. The impact from his punch forced the bear to the ground, where her nose burrowed into the moss, which never flinched as he put two bullets into his adversary.
(Michael T)

Action Point
If you are faced with a trial of some kind, how will you handle it? Will you be defeated or will you stand firm? Will your attitudes and actions bring honor and glory to God the Father?

Only by the grace of God did Gene make it down the mountain. He required massive amounts of treatment and surgery to put his body back together. It was a difficult ordeal for this Christian man to go through, but Jesus Christ sustained him through it all. He was able to remain steadfast through his terrifying ordeal. As a result, God is using his story and personal testimony to bring honor and glory to Him.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Purchase a small first aid kit that you can keep in your backpack. Find some old t-shirts and cut them into long strips to be used as tourniquets. Also, remember that many of your pack items can be used in treating wilderness wounds. Be creative if a situation arises, you can always replace it later.

Friday, June 15, 2012

June 15, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Be Prepared (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (ESV)

It was cold, dark, and dreary day. The sky wanted to snow, but it held back for some unknown reason. Not that it mattered, because today was already turning out to be one of the hardest and worst days of his life. Would he have enough endurance? Would he have the will to do whatever it took to continue?

The pains from his injuries were increasing with each and every step. The steep mountain terrain didn't help matters, and the mossy, dark timber made navigation even more difficult. If he made it out alive, he would have to navigate nearly two miles of rough terrain in order to reach safety.

On three different occasions, he lay down in the snow and prayed that the Lord would take him home. On this day, God had a different plan for this sixty-eight year old wounded hunter.

Gene Moe was in the process of field dressing a Sitka black tail deer on Raspberry Island, Alaska when a seven hundred and fifty pound Kodiak bear approached the perimeter without warning. The distracted hunter, busily focused on the task at hand, was unaware of the lurking danger. A blood-curdling roar bellowed from the bear that shook the dark timber. The surprised hunter wheeled around with a heart and liver in one hand, and a 3 3/4 inch folding Buck knife in the other. A battle of epic proportions would soon take place pitting man against beast.

To be continued tomorrow . . .
(Michael T)

Action Point
As we begin another year, it is important for each of us to spend time in prayer and reading our Bibles. Life is an adventure. It can be an exciting experience and a bold undertaking with various trials and seasons of blessing.

Nobody knows what the coming year will hold, but each of us should surround our families in prayer and study so that we can bring glory to God in every circumstance.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When hunting in areas that have dangerous animal populations such as mountain lions or grizzly bears, be prepared. Hunt in pairs and always keep your firearms within reach. Contact the local ranger station or DNR, Department of Natural Resources, office near your favorite hunting grounds for up-to-date information on how to deal properly with an attacking animal.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 14, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Roll In The Snow To Absorb The Water (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 14:6 
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (ESV)

Have you ever been around the hunter who knows everything, seen everything, and has done everything? There are hunters who are serious, have accomplished much, and have done it with a humble heart. Then there is the guy who talks more than he should and is boastful about what little he truly has done.
Hunter's opinions vary depending on who is talking. Hunting is filled with many variables and the conditions are always changing, including the techniques offered up by the most recent of hunting magazines. There are many ways to bag a trophy animal. Some work and others don't.  
(Michael T)

Action Point
In contrast, Jesus says there is only one way to get to Heaven through a personal relationship with Him.

In this day and age, there are many people who believe in pluralism (multiple ways to get to Heaven). But, the Bible is very clear that no one can come to the Father, except through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Read the Gospel of John for a better understanding. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Many outdoorsmen take advantage of God's creation during the winter months. Be careful to avoid frozen rivers and ponds. If you find yourself falling into icy cold water, resist, and take violent action immediately upon hitting the water. Swim to shore and then roll in the snow to absorb the water. Find shelter or get into a dry kit as soon as possible (Adapted from John Wiseman's, SAS Survival Handbook).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 13, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Then Our Practice Will Only Decrease Our Proficiency   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Romans 3:23
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (NKJV)

Romans 6:23 
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NKJV)

Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice makes perfect. Or more accurately said, "proper practice makes perfect." 

If we practice with the wrong equipment or with the wrong mechanics, then our practice will only decrease our proficiency. Archery is a fast growing sport and is being embraced by more and more hunters. 

Additional skills and disciplines are required of the archery hunter. Two are to wait on the proper shot that will ensure a humane kill and to practice before the season so you are ready, confident, and proficient when the shot presents. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
Archery gives us a perfect picture to understand sin. Sin is missing God's bulls eye of holiness. No mere human can ever do enough or practice enough to hit that mark. God's bulls eye is absolute holiness, complete perfection. 

But, there is a Champion who has hit that mark. His name is Jesus. He completed every requirement that God had established. He fulfilled the whole law of God, hitting the mark dead center! He did it perfectly. He died on the Cross to pay the sin penalty of death for all humans. That payment is available to all who will by faith receive Him and His work for their own sin. His resurrection proves that God accepted His work upon the cross. He paid the price so every person might be saved or forgiven of their sin. 

Have you by faith accepted this gift of forgiveness and eternal life? If not, right now put your faith in Jesus Christ. Believe and be saved!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Make sure your bow is sighted in properly. Carrying it in a hard shell case can protect the sights. After travel, it is always advised to confirm the accuracy of your weapon before hunting. Trips in vehicles, poor handlers, and bumps in the road can knock the best sight out of adjustment. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Memories Of Past Successes and Wonderful Possibilities Blot Out Any Thought Of Problems (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Mark 14:62  
Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." (NKJV)

Opening day! We all wait with great anticipation and excitement. Most of us get little, if any, sleep the night before. Thoughts are focused on what may happen tomorrow. Memories of past successes and wonderful possibilities blot out any thought of problems. Equipment is reviewed, cleaned, tuned up, and packed up. Final preparations keep us busy as the clock slowly moves ahead. Even the weather rarely keeps us from THIS special day. 

These new seasons are quickly approaching with all their promise and pleasure. I hope your opening days are special! 
(Jack M)

Action Point
Jesus' Opening Day is quickly approaching. It will be a day of wonder for some, bewilderment for others. It is the beginning of some amazing times upon the earth. Opinions of when and how vary, but the fact of His soon coming is to be anticipated with more joy than the opening of any hunting season. Live prepared, clean, and excited at the prospect of His impending return!!!

This promise of His Opening Day has a context. Jesus had been challenged as to His identity. Was He the Son of Man, a title reserved for the Messiah? 
His response is to say that He will personally fulfill the unmistakable event promised by God in Daniel 7:13. This would confirm His identity as the Son of God and the Son of Man. 

Are you ready for His return? Have you prepared by placing your trust in Christ, receiving His forgiveness for your sin and being welcomed as a child into God's family? If not, do so now. Are you living with Him? Are you living for Him? His Opening Day is imminent. Be ready!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Don't wait till the last minute to prepare for Opening Day. Make sure your equipment is clean, ready, repaired, and properly functioning. Spend time in practice so you are proficient. Exercise your body by appropriate conditioning for your age and anticipated activity. Be ready for the Opening Day.

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . .  I Don't Praise God Enough (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 148:7-13
Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and all hills; fruitful trees and all cedars;
beasts and all cattle; creeping things and flying fowl; kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens; old men and children. let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven. (NKJV)

After reading the praises in Psalm 146-150, I realized that I don't praise God enough for who He is and for His creation. 

The Bible study verse above caused me to reflect on our recent travel. The great diversity and complexity of His creation are absolutely magnificent. We caught numerous species of fish, crustaceans (crabs) and mollusks (clams, mussels, octopus), saw whales within 100ft of our 16ft boat, observed black and brown bear, bighorn and Dall sheep, mountain goats, moose, bison, elk, deer, antelope, wolves, coyotes, pheasants, grouse, and viewed a great variety of habitats--ocean, tundra, bayou, grassland, mountain, desert, and the hardwood and coniferous forests. We experienced stormy winds, lightning, and hail in the Southeast and returned home to snowy hills and mountains of the West.

(Tom L) 

Action Point 
Spend time reflecting on what you experience in the outdoors. Share those experiences with someone and praise God for His creation.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Keep a diary of travel, hunting, and fishing experiences. It's fun to look back, and will be another reminder to praise God for allowing you the experience. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

June 10, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Dakota Turned Out To Be A Good Lead Horse For The Pack Train (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (NIV)

After going to work for a Wyoming outfitter, I purchased a seven-year-old horse. The former owner said that Dakota had some mountain experience. 

After taking a six-mile ride, I found out that Dakota needed some training: When he came to a creek, he jumped across; if he saw a log across the trail, he jumped over it; when faced with a high obstacle, he walked in circles. He had to be directed around the obstacles. To insure a safety for the rider, Dakota had to be disciplined. So, whenever he approached an obstacle, I pulled back on the reins; and, if he tried to jump, I pulled back harder. 

(How often has God had to pull back on our reins and point us in the right direction?) Gradually, discipline and trust paid off--Dakota made the right decisions. When he saw and approached obstacles, he walked around, through, or stepped over them. As he acquired more training and experience, his nervousness decreased. During the hunting season, Dakota turned out to be a good lead horse for the pack train. 
(Tom L)

Action Point
Hebrews 12:10 reminds us, "
They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness," (NIV).
Just as Dakota had to be disciplined and eventually learned to make right decisions, God wants us to be righteous by following His Word. As we become more like Christ, God promises us peace in our heart.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Spend time training and conditioning your horse before taking him into the mountains.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

June 9, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Cherished Inherited Prewar Reels  (Ron M)
Bible Study Verse
Acts 22:16
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name. (NIV)

"And now what are you waiting for?"

Around this time of the year many anglers take inventory of their fishing equipment. Some call it spring cleaning - sorting out different lures by type, color, and size, replacing fishing line on reels; checking rod guides for broken or missing ceramic inserts - just a general cleaning, replacement and reorganizing of your fishing tackle.

If the fishing season hasn't already begun where you live, it soon will be prime time to be out on the water. Reorganizing fishing tackle while you are out fishing is too late. 
(Tom B)

Action Point
"Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." Just as we get ready for this year's fishing action, take stock of your life. What needs to be thrown out, bad habits maybe? What needs to be repaired in your life...broken relationships or promises? What needs to be cleaned up, your thought process? Maybe you need a complete "restart". 

Throw everything out, start over, reorganize your priorities, or maybe even an acceptance of Jesus as your personal savior.

Remember that Jesus Christ is the master of life reorganization. Trust in Him to help restore your life. Clean up your personal tackle box.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Inspect hooks and split rings on your different lures. Check for rust, especially if your baits are used in saltwater. Run a hook sharpening stone on the hooks to make sure they can provide a good, solid hook set when the fish strike. Don't forget the split rings that many lures have. I have had split rings break at the most inopportune times. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 8, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Garden Of The Gods National Park, CO (NPS) 
Bible Study Verses
Isaiah 44:9
All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame.  (NIV)

Exodus 20:4
"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." (NIV)

Webster's dictionary defines an idol as a representation or symbol of an object of worship, an object of extreme devotion, a pretender/ impostor, a false conception, or a form or appearance visible without substance.

Sometimes a sports person's favorite recreational vehicle (a boat, truck, or ATV), a favorite rifle or shotgun, a favorite fishing rod and reel, even favorite lures, our jobs, sports heroes, or people in the entertainment industry can become an idol. 
(Tom B)
Action Point
There is nothing wrong with giving proper respect to an individual or his or her history making career. It's okay to spend extra time maintaining an item of outdoor gear or giving your best effort in your work. The problem is when personal priorities lose their proper order in our lives. Respect becomes idolatry when the value of someone or an object becomes more important than our respect for our heavenly Father.  

I've heard people say in regards to the current economic situation, that nothing is going to keep them from taking out their boat and going fishing. Those of us who love the outdoors can empathize sometimes with this way of thinking.  

Maybe idolatry takes the form of a purchase of a $500 rod and reel combination or new shotgun or rifle; nothing wrong here if you have the money to do it.  

The problem (idolatry) comes when that desire reaches above normal levels.  

A checklist for determining whether an object has become a little god in our lives is: 
  • Has it become more important than your attention and time for God?
  • Are you still giving of yourself and finances to your church?
  • Are you hurting your relationships with your family through your personal idol worship?
We should all follow Christ's teaching: "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself, '" Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
There is nothing wrong with giving proper maintenance to outdoor equipment. One small, but very important item on an angler's list is the line on a fishing reel. Check the last 10-15 feet of line for nicks or rough spots; this could be the difference between landing a fish or the one that got away. Re- spool with fresh line or at least clip off the damaged end.