Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Roles Have Been Reversed   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
I Kings 2:1-3
"I am about to go the way of all the earth," he said. "So be strong, act like a man,  and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to Him, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go." (NIV)

When our sons were youngsters, my friend and I made sure that they were included in our trips to the mountains. We talked often about where to plan hunts in order for the boys to be able keep up with the men. 

Well, guess what--it's a few years later; actually, many years later, and now our talk centers around planning trips in order for us old guys to keep up with the young bucks! A few trips back, this point was driven home in a subtle, yet profound, way. 

My son and I were easing our way up a bluff through some rough stuff. He had gone up in front of me and, looking back and seeing me struggling with one large step, he extended a strong hand to help me up. I thanked him and he said I was welcome. Then he commented that he keeps a closer eye on me now to see if I need help and if I'm okay. 

At first, the comment touched a little nerve; but, as I thought about it more, I laughed out loud and thanked God for how my son has matured--that he cares enough to look after the old man. 

You see, the roles have been reversed. The young bull now leads the way for the old bull, and that's the way it's supposed to be. I'm just thankful that the Lord has seen fit for me to see my son grow into a man--a man of strength, a man of character, and a man who walks in God's ways! 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
When my son was born, I asked God to allow me to live long enough to see him grow into a man. As his father, it was my responsibility to teach him about God, to read the Bible to him, to pray with him, and to lead him to the Lord. 

Well, my son is a man and is living a life of responsibility, to God and to himself. God has answered my prayer. I hope that I have many more years of watching the young bull continue to grow; but I know that, whatever life may bring, he'll be okay because God leads his way.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
As often as possible, include your kids in your outdoor activities. Two tips: make sure that they have good shoes that fit properly; and that their sleeping bag will keep them warm at night. The trips will go much better if these two things are right.

July 30, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . .  It Is A Balance We Need To Undertake, The Ability To Sit And Abide In This World Without Tipping Over And Capsizing   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
John 17:15-16 
I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (NASB)

Recently I took up a new sport; kayaking. I was in a local class with about twenty-five other first time kayakers. As I scanned around the room I noticed that we ranged in age from fairly young people to retired couples.

As the class proceeded they warned us that some of us would probably capsize our kayaks when we first started. I remember thinking "maybe some of the older people, but certainly not me." Well my arrogance proved misguided when I first sat down in the kayak, floated about ten feet into the lake, and fell over. Not only was I going to capsize, but I was the first one in our group to do it!

I slowly walked my soaked and dripping body onto shore, with twenty five sets of eyes watching, I drained my kayak, and with assistance climbed back in. I then proceeded to paddle about fifty yards when I tipped over again. After falling over for the fifth time, I was quickly becoming the guy nobody wanted in their group. 
(Brett M)

Action Point
Jesus was praying to God asking for protection from Satan for His disciples. He knew that His disciples were hated by the world because their very beliefs, the things they stood for and did not stand for, stood as accusations against the things the world did stand for.

Fast forward two thousand years and here we are in the world. But, striving not to be of the world. The very people who espouse tolerance are intolerant of our beliefs as Christians. For the very same reasons, our lives and beliefs stand as an accusation against what some find acceptable. It is a balance we need to undertake, the ability to sit and abide in this world without tipping over and capsizing.

Often I see these new bumper stickers that say "NOW: Not Of this World". When you see one stop and pray for Jesus' disciples (us) just as He did. Pray that our heavenly Father would protect us all from the evil one and give us the balance needed to be in the world, but not of this world.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Kayaks can be used in various ways. They can be fished from, used a transport vessel for a difficult hunting location, or maneuvered to cruise a lake, river, or ocean.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

July 29, 2012  

Today's Photograph . . . .  The Mule Ran Off In An Attempt To Herd Up With A Bull Elk   (MQ)

Bible Study Verses

Luke 15:4-6
"If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' (NLT)


Recently I wrote about the saddled pack mule my son and I came across while deer hunting and how the mule ran off in an attempt to herd up with a bull elk. This is the rest of the story. . .

The night after seeing the wayward mule, we spotted a couple of cowboys towing a horse trailer with saddled horses in the rear. Imagining the coincidence I approached them and asked if they had lost a pack mule. They said they had and that he was a pack mule from the Grand Canyon, he had been missing for four days, and they had been tracking him roughly forty miles from his original location. We gave them the last location we had seen him that morning and wished them luck.

The next morning we spotted illusive critter again grazing in an opening, alone, and roughly fifteen miles from where we had spotted him yesterday. Any and all attempts to wrangle the solitary mule were met with resistance. Noting his location we began to make our way back to the Grand Canyon to report his location to the cowboys. We had only driven one mile from his location when we came across the same two cowboys.
(Brett M) 

Action Point

I was amazed and impressed that these two cowboys had been able to successfully track this solitary mule for some fifty miles though all kinds of wilderness. Then the three different parables in Luke 15 came to mind, the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. Each with the same emphasis, God and Heaven will rejoice in the returning of just one lost soul.
Who is that lost soul? It can either be a lost sinner who has never known God or it can be a backslidden believer. In either case the point is made that like those cowboys, God will do all that He can to bring the sinner out of the treacherous wilderness and into the safety and security of His flock. To cause those of us who have backslidden to be called by His Holy Spirit and summoned by His Word to return to that same flock.
Do you or someone you know resemble the parables in Luke 15? If so, repent. receive God's forgiveness, and then enjoy the celebration in heaven!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Game bags can be expensive and do not last. Buy the cheapest set of bed sheets you can find and wrap your harvest inside. They will accomplish the same thing at a fraction of the price and will last much longer.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 27, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Bearing Abandonment   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Jeremiah 29:11-13 
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.  (NIV)

The hunts were great and each an adventure, but not enough . . . The harvest was eaten and built health, but didn't preserve the life . . . What does one do when the love of his or her life, companion, hunting partner, best friend is gone . . . 

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly," Psalm 84:11, (NKJV). Dear God how can your word tell me "no good thing will You withhold" when you allowed?????  One never signs up for this!  

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him," Job 13:15b (NKJV). OK, I've been slayed! You took, and now I am to trust you more? If you've never lost, your turn is coming. The statement that you don't know what you have til it is gone . . . rings loudly in the aftermath.

The abandonment comes in various nightmares . . . emotional  and appetite changes encouraging  drifting away through selfishness, adultery, divorce,  or death. Now what . . . ?

Action Point
The promise in Jeremiah can be trusted. Your choice, Your responsibility is to follow His leadership through your personal relationship. Lean on Him and trust as if your life depends on it - cause it does!!!

How does one trust . . . "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God," Romans 10:17 (NKJV). You got to be reading and soaking in His Holy Living Word, the Bible. The more you absorb, the easier to trust Him through knowing His precious promises. 

Remember, you have not been forgotten. "Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand [the side not carrying a shield]. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore," Psalm 121: 4-8 (Amplified).
Hebrews 10:23-25 encourages, "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near," (NLT). A church family is so needed and necessary. You don't have one, gotta let the Holy Spirit lead you to one.  

I John 2:27 instructs, "But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true-it is not a lie. So just as He has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ," (NLT). 

Seeking Him with your whole heart . . . easier said than done, but you must. He knows your every thought, every doubt. But, you must choose Him and follow Him with your WHOLE heart.  

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Many of us journal our hunts. Why not journal your prayer journey along with your hunts? My prayer journal has increased my faith in how God answers prayer over and over again. I just need to be reminded as I read back through the past. At first I used a waterproof notebook, which didn't last well. Now a bound book does well especially being hauled to the great outdoors in extreme weather and back to home and then to Bible study.   

July 28, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . We As Humans Are Also Very Resourceful And Adaptable  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 5:28-29
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church. (NIV)

Drought has been hitting Arizona for the last ten years now. Water tanks are dried up, reservoirs are low, and trees and wildlife are showing the effects.

Recently a wild fire moved through an area called Mingus Mountain in northern AZ. A friend of mine was the base camp manager for the forest service firefighters' camp. Near the camp on the main highway, which had been closed, was a large, portable water trough that the helicopters used to retrieve water in order to drop on the fire. As he approached the trough in the dimly lit morning he saw something unusual, a black mass near the trough. Blurry eyed and still a little sleepy he approached the trough and the black mass came into focus. It was actually two large bears standing on their rear feet with their front paws on the edge of the trough getting a much needed drink. 
(Brett M)

Action Point
Wildlife is resourceful. When they are unable to meet their needs in the traditional ways, they adapt and change. We as humans are also very resourceful and adaptable. We have certain needs and we will typically make adaptations to meet those needs, often times in self-destructive ways.

Many of us are married and have made a vow to seek certain needs only from our spouses. Most commonly it is sex that we seek from our spouse. But what about the other needs that should only be found in our spouse. Men are you meeting all of the needs of your wives? Do you love her "as your own body?" Neither spouse should have to go to a wayward trough to seek what they need.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Old burned areas of the forest are great places to hunt. Increased sunlight and fresh vegetation are keys. Pay attention to your hunting area during wildfire season, note if and where an area may have burned and then scout that in future hunting trips.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 26, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . What We Say About Others Can Simmer And Suddenly Explode   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
James 3: 9-11
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?  (NIV)

The best part of a camping trip is sitting around a campfire at the end of the day providing the only light in the camp.

They provide time for quiet reflection. It just seems like your mind becomes more attuned with nature around you. I can remember campfires after a day at the lake fishing. Nothing but the crackling of the burning wood and the deep throaty chorus of bull frogs talking to each other from the water's edge.

A campfire can bring a gathering to friends generating the warm atmosphere to encourage the swapping of tales about their latest outdoor adventures.

Kids are drawn like iron to a magnet. Get a bunch of kids together around a campfire and start telling stories. You have their attention for the night.

The body can be fed as well as the soul. Stick a hot dog on a stick; place a couple of marshmallows on a stick, roasted to perfection over the glowing embers, and you have a gastronomical delicacy!
(Tom B)

Action Point
Campfires, although a great balm of peace and fellowship for friends and kids, if left unattended, not properly built, and watched over, can bring disaster out of a peaceful setting. One small spark from a campfire into nearby brush or field can cause major damage to the surrounding nature.

The same with our talk. What we say about others can simmer and suddenly explode into a major conflagration hurting that person or the people around them. Don't get involved in gossip. The well worn advice, "If you can't say anything good about someone, then don't say anything at all," should govern our conversations as well as our spirits.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Keep campfires small. A good bed of coals or a small fire surrounded by rocks gives plenty of heat. Scrape away any burnable material within a 10-foot diameter circle. This will keep a small campfire from spreading.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . There Will Be Trials . . .  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 12:22-24
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in Heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. (NIV)

This past summer my wife and I visited our youngest son, Tim, his wife Charity, and our grandson in Colorado Springs. This was our first time to visit them in their new home.

They are avid hikers and love to get into the mountains, 10,000-14,000 ft. around their home. I like to hike, also. But, my hiking is confined to locales in Southeast Texas at 0-10 ft elevation.
One of things that they wanted to show us was a waterfall that wound its way down the side of a mountain that was about 14,000 ft. You could drive to about 10,000 ft, but the rest was following a winding trail to the top.

I think they could have ran to the top. But for me and my wife, it was stop, rest, and start again. The view was worth it, literally breath taking at the top.
(Tom B)

Action Point
Hebrews 12:22-24 paints a description of what Heaven is going to be like.

My wife's and my climb to the top of the mountain is similar to what we all face in our lives. There will be trials in our lives that will slow down our ascent to the mountain top (Heaven), making us feel like we can't go on.

Don't give up!!! Take a breather and gather your strength again. Remember who your trail guide is-Jesus. Remember what the view is going to be like when you reach the summit.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Hiking is all about being in shape. Actually, hiking can help a person get in shape. Don't try to tackle mountain trails if your life revolves around sea level locations. Start slow, building up strength and endurance. Take one to three mile walks three times a week to build endurance.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 24, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . They May Not Share Exactly Where They Caught The Lunker  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gate. (NIV) 

Most outdoors people are more than willing to talk about their latest trip, discuss the pros and cons of the latest fishing or hunting equipment they have used, or the latest magazine article or TV show they have seen on their favorite sport. I knew a young man that would spend hours on the telephone talking to buddies about his latest trip afield or afloat. Even the professional anglers and guides love to talk about their latest catches. They may not share exactly where they caught the lunker, but they will gladly share the rest of the information.

We are passionate about our sport and not bashful about sharing information.
(Tom B)

Action Point
Moses was pretty passionate about his love for the Lord, spreading information to whoever would listen or had eyes to see, "Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Anglers and hunters proudly wear fishing and hunting equipment patches upon their shirts and jackets. You will find a line of folks waiting to receive a free hat or T- shirt if they know that a displayer at an outdoor show is giving them away. Our trucks and cars display the outdoor organization decal that we support.

How about the same zeal for the Lord? Talk openly with others about what the Lord is doing in your life. Who knows, they may be going through the same thing.

How many people call their friends and spend time on the phone talking about what the preacher or minister said on Sunday morning? The Sunday sermon isn't relegated to one day.

There are more and more Christian youth fishing and hunting organizations forming across the US. Get involved with one. They are great avenues for communication with youth, and they are fun. Start one within your own church.

Don't be bashful in talking with your own children about some of the "tuff" topics of growing up. Bring in how God can be part of the situation. Share your own life as you grew up. Your kids can see that mom or dad is really "real". Get passionate about what you believe in-the saving love and grace of Jesus Christ!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The daily devotionals provided by Sportsmen's Devotionals.com are an excellent way to pass on your passion for your Lord. Not only do the devotionals pass on great outdoor tips and stunning outdoor photography, but they also pass on great tips for living the Christian life or for those who don't know him how to find Him. Pass the website address along to friends and strangers you meet and talk with about the outdoors. Spread the Word of the Lord; get passionate about it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Are Reminded God Is In Control And We Are Not (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 37:23
The Lord makes firm the steps 
of the one who delights in Him. (NIV)   

Isaiah 46:10
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.' (NIV)   
"If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes and it will change!" We all have heard this or a similar statement concerning where we live.

I sit here in my office praying that the weather will immediately change so my plans for today will work out as I want. 

Several times I have asked God to change the weather, to stop the rain. Will he do so? I do not know. (Later addition - He said no. He did not make it stop as I asked!)
(Jack M)

Action Point
When the weather does not perform as we expect or desire, we are reminded that God is in control and we are not. One thing is sure. God knows best! Another thing is sure, we are not in control. Only God can plan something and make sure it does come to pass.

This applies to other changes in our lives. I am also in the process of moving to a new opportunity of service. It was a totally different direction from the way I wanted and had prayed to move. We wanted to move East, and God has called us West.
God knows best. I will trust Him. After all, wherever I go, He is with me. Will I trust Him enough to obey Him? Will you trust Him? Even when things don't go as you have planned, will you continue to trust Him?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Prepare for the unexpected when you make a hunting trip or even when you are out for the day. This is especially true if the hunt takes you long distances from your vehicle or from camp. Matches or fire making supplies, emergency blankets, rain poncho, knife, and a multi tool of some kind could all be life savers.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Blood Trailing Is An Important Tool For The Hunter  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Leviticus 17:11
For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. (NIV)

A friend of mine was processing his deer at home with his kids watching. Left from the field dressing, some blood ran out of the body cavity. His daughter squealed, "Ewwhh! Blood!" His observant three year old son replied, "The blood provides forgiveness for our sins." 

My friend was presented with a perfect teaching opportunity. He told his two children how the deer's blood had to be shed so they could use the deer for food. He was able to explain that the blood of Jesus was shed on the cross that we might have our sins forgiven and our guilt washed away.

How amazing that a three year old was so understanding of such an important truth! It reminds us to train up these little ones in the things of the Lord; they can understand. It also lets us know that our sins deserve death, but Jesus' blood secures life for all who will by faith receive Him as their own Savior and Lord. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
Blood trailing is an important tool for the hunter. Many can tell where the animal has been hit by the blood's appearance. Bright red blood is usually from an arterial source, which is usually an indication of a solid hit. Bright red blood, with bubbles in it, signifies a lung shot. Dark red blood can show a hit in a vein or the liver. This is usually not a good sign for the hunter.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Always search diligently for evidence of a hit anytime you release an arrow or shoot at a game animal. Look for blood, for hair, or for any sign of a hit. Throw your hat down or hang it up as a center mark and make ever increasing circles to locate any sign. Follow that sign until you find the quarry or lose the sign.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Bird Dogs Are Drawn With Fateful Determination   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
II Corinthians 2:16
To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? (NIV)

II Corinthians 2:14 
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge 
of Him everywhere. (NIV)
Stink does not begin to describe it! Abbi, my German Shorthair pointer, had pointed to the wrong thing. Seems like bird dogs are drawn with fateful determination to skunks that sometimes hide under the grass and in some out of the way places. 
This one gave her the whole load of his defensive ability. She was hit squarely in the mouth. She was pitiful. She slobbered profusely, shook her head repeatedly, and walked around in a dazed condition. 
The sad thing is that it was not the first time. This instant replay has been repeated over and over through the years. She seems never to learn that the alluring smell will end in dreadful consequences of pain and discomfort. 
(Jack M)

Action Point 
The sharing of the gospel is described as a smell or a fragrance in the passages above. It portrays the response of others to the good news of immortality that is available in Jesus Christ.
Because they oppose Christ, some people consider the smell of our witness as offensive as a decaying body. Some people smell eternal life!!! 
We are to spread the fragrant smell of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Let's use our fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities to spread Christ to our friends. 
Some will hear and receive the gift of eternal life. They will choose to spend eternity with us and with the Lord!!! 
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Scents are a valuable tool for today's hunters. Learning when and how to use them can multiply the chances of success afield. Whether stink baits for catfish, attractants for deer, or the odors used to attract animals for other reasons, the use and expense of scents often determines success or failure.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 20, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . And Even Some Silly Signs  (Ron T) 
Bible Study Verses 
Deuteronomy 11:18-20
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (NIV)

I work for a state agency and, man, do we like our signs!!! We put up signs for everything, signs that tell you what to do, signs that tell you what not to do, signs for safety, signs to help protect the resource, big signs, little signs, square signs, round signs, bright signs, dull signs, and even some silly signs.
(Ron T)

Action Point
Do you want your days and the days of your children to be multiplied? (Deuteronomy 11:21)
Put up some signs.... a verse you want to learn on a sticky note on your dresser, a favorite Bible verse on your refrigerator.

Put the signs in places you will read them, first thing in the morning, last thing before you fall asleep. 

Learn them, teach them, and LIVE them!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you're playing in the outdoors, hiking, biking, or whatever, let the slowest person in your party set the pace. And remember to stay together, especially if there are children along.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 19, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Simple Camp Stove  (Ron T) 
Bible Study Verse 
Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. " (NIV)

I love getting gift cards as gifts, especially if they are to one of my favorite sporting good stores. You shop around until you find that one special item that you just have to have, you go to the checkout stand and the clerk rings it up and says "that will be $$$$." You just smile and say,
"I have a gift card for that."

How cool is that! The card is a free gift to you and someone else has already paid the price.
There is no charge and no conditions attached.
(Ron T)

Action Point
Guess what, God has a gift card for you. You can redeem it right now.  No charge, and no conditions, just accept it!!! The price has already been paid and the Gift is eternal life in Jesus
 Christ our Lord. "For the wages of sin is death, but the Gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 6:23 (NIV).

To redeem your free gift card from God, click on the Sportsmen's Devotional.com prayer on the SD website. It truly is the most important decision you can make!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Make a simple camping stove by cutting a chunk of log about 16 inches long and 9 inches in diameter. Make 4 cuts from the top, down about ¾ the length of the log. Stuff all the cuts with news paper leaving some hang out the bottom to light. The log will burn from the inside out and should give you plenty of cooking time to make your favorite gourmet camping meal.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Without It You're All Wet   (Ron T)
Bible Study Verse 
Isaiah 61:3
And provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Have you ever been out on a horse ride and a thunderstorm rolled in unexpectantly and you didn't have your rain slicker along? That might have happened to me once, but never again. Now I always have a slicker tied to the back of my saddle. I never leave home without it. 

The same goes for boating, fishing, hunting, backpacking or any outdoor activity. It's a "must have" garment. Without it you're all wet.
(Ron T)

Action Point
Always, always keep your garment of praise tied to you. Never leave home without it, no matter what you're doing or where you're going.

Here is a surefire way to please the Lord:  "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that openly profess his name," Hebrews 13:15 (NIV).  
To really get you in the praising spirit, read the book of Psalm, there is a bunch of praising going on there.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Toss a couple light weight ponchos in your survival pack to have on hand in an emergency. If
you don't have a poncho add a couple large heavy duty trash bags with arm holes and a head hole cut out.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Heart Is The Epicenter Of All We Are   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Ephesians 1:18 
 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people. (NIV)

While deer hunting this year, two of the youth hunters asked for the hearts of animals we had harvested. They were going to use them in school science projects. 

The physical heart is an amazing creation wonderfully designed by God and absolutely necessary for life. The fact that it works so long and so well reflects glory to the Creator who designed it. It pumps blood continuously, and yet finds time to rest between beats. Even when damaged, it has the wonderful ability to heal. 

What an amazing organ! It should not surprise us that God uses the heart to represent the center of who we are as human beings. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
The blood-pumper in our chests illustrates more important truths. The heart is the epicenter of all we are. It reflects our values, beliefs, emotions, personality, and desires. The Bible says that it was affected by sin and became deceitful and desperately wicked, Jeremiah 17:9. 

We need the Bible to help us understand ourselves and to reflect the truth. The Holy Spirit gives us understanding of God and reveals to us through the Word our thoughts, motives, and desires. The Bible is alive and powerful. It shows us what we really are. 

Hebrews 4:12 reflects the power and potential of God's word in our lives. Let's be in it daily. Let's allow the Spirit to enlighten us, to assure us of the confident expectation of life with God, and of a life lived with Him. Let's have hearts converted by faith in the Savior so we may understand all God has for us as His children.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Prepare your heart. Get in shape. Do cardiac oriented exercises to prepare for the field. Eat correctly to foster the health of your heart. Cardiac health will contribute to more enjoyment of the outdoors.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . .Sadly, Many Never Move Past Their Birth    (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
II Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (NIV)

Spring and summer are wonderful times of the year. Everything is green and growing. As the seasons progress, flowers bloom, gardens grow and begin to produce, and the crops in the fields make progress toward the coming harvest. 

The wild creatures also enjoy a time of abundance. As the hens conclude the dangerous time of brooding their nests, they emerge with their poults. The little ones begin to grow! They chase bugs, and water from the dew on the plants or any other ready source. They grow! Some are lost. Predators take some young for their quarry. But, those that survive grow. 

This is God's way. Growth is natural, and designed by God into everything that is born, hatched, or sprouts. Growth is expected. That which is given birth moves on to maturity. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
The Bible uses the term "the new birth" to refer to those who receive by faith the Lord Jesus as their own Savior. They are born anew into a personal relationship with their Creator God. 

But sadly, many never move past their birth. They don't grow up. They just stay babies for life. This means that they do not realize all the promise and potential of the eternal love relationship with God. Nor can they join in His work in the world as they could if mature.

The Bible is described as food, and Jesus is described as the Water of Life. As we drink in the Word of God, fellowship with Christ in prayer, and learn more of Him, we grow. 

The local church is designed by God to help us in this growth. The leaders and the people of the church are gifted and called to help new ones in the Lord move on to maturity. Be involved in a local church that lifts up Jesus and declares the Word of God so that you may grow. 

Also commit to daily devotions for input. The Sportsmen's Devotional is a tool that is designed to help in this process of growth.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Don't handle wild young if you come across them. Your scent left on them may mean the mother will abandon them. They will never grow to maturity.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 15, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . From Eternity's Perspective, What Truly Is Most Important???  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Exodus 9:16-17
But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. (NKJV)

Do we really live out each day to God's purpose? In this scripture, God is referring to the Egyptian Pharaoh who would not let God's people leave Egypt with Moses. Unfortunately, Pharaoh was fighting against God; and ultimately, God showed His awesome power over all nature -- Pharaoh lost.
As God used Pharaoh in His plan for the people He loved, God has a purpose for everyone-- each friendship, co-worker, and hunting buddy -- in His plan for each of us. Yes, even the inexperienced neighbor who may really look up to you and just love to be included on your next trip out. Can you think of someone who might benefit from your experience and knowledge of the outdoors? What might happen if you invited them on your next camping, fishing, or hunting trip? Perhaps you are worried that the hunt would be ruined? From eternity's perspective, what truly is most important?

Remember Pharaoh: God ended up sending frogs, lice, and locusts (to name a few of His judgments) upon Pharaoh's kingdom in order to deliver His people from slavery. God doesn't go out to get people. He is a God of love and He wants to give you the desires of your heart. He's more likely to send the trophy your way; although the inexperienced hunter may get that one, and you'll just look like an awesome guide!!!
(Rebecca L)

Action Point
There was a outdoorsman who was hunting with his friend of many years. Sitting by their campfire resting after hiking all day, he felt impressed to talk to his friend about knowing Jesus personally. 

He chose not to say anything because he didn't want to offend this life-long buddy. Not long after this great trip, his buddy died protecting his wife in a burglary. 

The sorrow and unrest of not knowing where his friend was for eternity never left him as long as he lived. Stop and seek God's purpose for your day now!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you have a late hunt in the year, you may awaken to snow. Don't forget to protect your eyes. Many a sportsman has experienced snow blindness. Snow reflects 85 percent of the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Many symptoms will not appear until 12 hours later (or on your next hunt). Always keep sunglasses in your camping trailer or hunting gear. You can keep them on a leash around your neck so you don't lose them when you look through your binoculars or take that shot at the big one.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Suddenly It Is Gone  . . .  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Amplified)
Proverbs 23:4-5
Weary not yourself to be rich; cease from your own [human] wisdom. Will you set your eyes upon wealth, when [suddenly] it is gone? For riches certainly make themselves wings, like an eagle that flies toward the heavens. (Amplified)

Do you ever find yourself on autopilot? You go through each day doing what needs to be done; sometimes snatching a wise phrase here or there of God's Word, but not necessarily anything that deepens your relationship with God. 

Our life gradually fills up with various demands and stresses. Unexpectedly, we find ourselves lashing out at those we love, or catch ourselves falling into sin we never imagined ourselves falling for. Whoa . . . !!! 
(Rebecca L)

Action Point
In today's verses we are encouraged to be changed by the renewing of our mind! The only way to renew our mind is to refresh our mind. When you first wake up, say, "Hello," to God who has given you another glorious day!!! 

Connect with Your Creator!!! He is just hanging out giving you rain, sunshine, a cool breeze, a great day fishing, or a soul-renewing hike--if you only clear your mind and see His Creation.

Open up His book and see what He has to say. Talk to Him on your commute to work, or when you're out enjoying what He has made for you!!! 

When you realize you've been on autopilot, open up His manual and choose to let Him be your pilot!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Don't approach your next hunt on autopilot. Scout your area to see where the herd is running. Keep your guns in good working order. After each firing, clean them thoroughly and regularly. Make sure you site them in for accuracy. Set aside time prior to the hunt for the special people in your life. Invite them to go with you, even if they just want to stay in camp. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

July 13, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . He's Now Passing A Treasure To Me (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Deuteronomy 4:9-10  
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when He said to me, "Assemble the people before Me to hear My words so that they may learn to revere Me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children." (NIV)
My Dad recently passed on a treasure to me . . . an old boat. 
At first glance, there is nothing special about the boat, but this boat has a history behind it that I love. The boat is wooden, and both my Dad and my uncle designed and made the boat about 50 years ago. Their hands measured, cut, crafted, glued, and nailed this boat together. They created it . . . 
Almost all of my childhood memories of fishing with my Dad occurred in this boat. We would load it up and head off to Fish Lake or Long Lake to catch bass, pike, perch, or blue gill. When I think of the laughter, the jokes, and the good times we had fishing, they all occurred within the confines of this small wooden boat. But now, he's passing the boat along to me . . .

It needs a little TLC, and now my son, Caleb and I are trying to resurrect the condition of the boat. We've been doing some caulking to take care of the leaks. There are some boards that will need to be replaced. We've got to take care of a little dry rot . . . 
This boat when we are finished will be perfect for Caleb to use. We live on a lake, and this will give him the capability of fishing whenever he wants with a boat that will be suitable for him to maneuver. He won't have to ask to take it out . . . it'll just be there -waiting. At some point, the boat will become Caleb's. My plan is simply to pass it along to him.
(Dave M)
Action Point
In a physical sense, my Dad passed along a gift to me that I in turn will pass along to my own son when the time is right. It wasn't meant to be hoarded; it was meant to be shared . . . to be used. 
Spiritually, this is exactly God's expectation for each of us with our families. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, it should be our honor and privilege to share our faith with our children...to pass the gift along. God wants us to pass along the message of salvation and be the link in the chain of our spiritual family. Don't relinquish this role to someone else . . . pass it on!!!
Sportsmen" Tip of the Day
If you are buying a boat, canoe, or kayak, one consideration to think about is the color of the boat. If you ever get stuck out in the water and the Coast Guard has to do a search for you, bright colors are a lot easier to spot. Dark colors easily blend in to the water, but fluorescent yellow, orange, or even a red are easy to spot from above.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 12, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Yellow Star Thistle (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  (NIV)

Yesterday, my son and I were working on getting our hunting property ready for the fall deer hunt. We were putting in a couple of new food plots in this open field that was filled with nothing but tall grass. 

We are putting in some oats, peas, and a clover mixture that should provide a good draw for the appetite of the deer in the area. But before we can plant, we are working on mowing down the area and spraying Round Up to kill off the weeds. 

Once the weeds are gone, we'll disc it up and then we can plant. We've got to get rid of the weeds before proper growth can occur. If we let the weeds stay, the new seeds will get choked out and won't grow.
(Dave M)

Action Point
When a person gets saved, they are a new creation in Christ!!!  Praise God!!!  But often, this new believer goes right back into their normal routine of work or school, and the sin that they are surrounded by chokes their spiritual growth out. 

As painful as it may seem at the time, there has to be some killing off of old sin while seeking new growth in the faith. It happens simultaneously. 

Don't be afraid to draw a line in the sand on various issues that will affect your spiritual growth. If you have lived a life full of harmful traps. It's time to get rid of the traps . . . God desires a healthy whole relationship with you. Don't ignore the issues of sin in your life!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you need to kill off weeds for a food plot, using Round Up twice seems to do a better job of keeping the weeds at bay.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July 11, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . A Bear Of A Day (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
I Peter 4:12-14
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  (ESV)

Have you ever had one of those mornings where the best laid plans fall apart? It all began for me, when my wife left me in charge of our five children to go on a ladies retreat.

My only responsibilities were to let the dog out, feed the children, and to make sure they all got to school on time. My wife is a planner and everything was arranged ahead of time, so implementing her plan should've been fairly simple.  

Unfortunately, a forgetful car pool driver, a child wetting the bed, a new puppy leaving gifts around the house, a child leaving her backpack, a car running on fumes, careless driving in front of a police officer, and two crazy phone calls that had all the drama of a daytime soap, made for a chaotic nightmare. The lone bright spot this morning was not getting pulled over when I deserved the ticket. 
(Michael T)

Action Point
Our daily activities are filled with obstacles, trials, and many inconveniences. But, God has called each of us to a daily life of love, service, and ministry. We can expect trouble, even persecution in some situations. But, be encouraged, hang in there, nothing strange is happening to you, other than life itself. Lean on God and rest in Him.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Luggage tags are freely given at many sporting events.  Next time pick up enough to label each child's day pack. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 10, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Grand Canon North Rim (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 145:3  
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. (ESV)

The chilly morning air nipped at my nose. A frosty cloud percolated from my mouth with every breath. The air temperature overnight had dropped into the low thirties and most of the men in our hiking troop were not prepared for a frozen wonderland when they signed up for a late summer excursion.

It was 6:00 am, on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Time to get up and descend into the great abyss for an unbelievable adventure. But the heat of the sleeping bag would not release me from its grip and I did not resist. After a few minutes of soaking up its warmth, my thoughts drifted towards the sights and sounds that this day would bring. Restless, I attempted to unzip and free myself from my captor. Its powerful spell had created the unexpected struggle. 

The emotional security of staying in my current surroundings was intoxicating and extremely difficult to let go, but the risk-reward quotient of hiking the Grand Canyon outweighed any desire to stay in a place of comfort and miss out on being part of a great adventure.  
(Michael T)

Action Point
Religion is often complicit in creating a lifestyle that leads an individual's faith into a spiritual rut. We do things because we have always done them or because we are afraid of change. Sometimes we resist out of fear or because of our self-righteousness.

Christianity on the other hand can free us in a way that allows us to see the enormity of God and the possibilities of growing our faith. God has called each of us to a life adventure of worship and service. He wants to stretch us and to move us into a position that leads us to lean on Him.

Don't give in to the comfort of normalcy. It only leads to spiritual complacency.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Wear a stocking cap to stay warm when you find yourself in a sleeping bag during cold weather.

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Turkeys In The Wild  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 6:25 
"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (ESV)

Too many times when we get involved in an outdoor activity we feel the need to have the latest accessories, clothing and top-notch equipment. Somehow we convince ourselves that we must have this particular item or gadget in order to be successful. 

I've shot deer in casual dress and I've fished with hotdogs and even pulled in a few whoppers. I've also done both with all of the gear of the professionals. 

Which times were most rewarding?
(Michael T)

Action Point
Hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities are not about the gear or fancy equipment. It's about the hunt and it's about the time spent with your fishing partner or your group of friends.

God wants our daily lives to be about the heart. It is not about the "bling" or other earthly fads that quickly fade away. He wants us to put our faith and trust in Him. He takes care of the birds and the flowers, how much more does He care about us? He will provide, protect and sustain. 

He knows that LIFE is more than the things of this world; He just wants us to know it too. Be smart with your money and time, your family will love you for it.

Sportsmen's Tip of The Day
Just for fun, the next time you have a big hunt or fishing expedition go simple. Be creative and have some fun with it. Who knows, you may even stumble onto the next "must have secret."