Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . SuccessfullyWe Can Keep Ourselves Clean  (FWS)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 23:27-28 
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.  (NIV)

One of the things I get to see is lots of firearms, and also how people take care of their firearms. Most keep them clean; however, far too often I see a gun that looks great on the outside, but is filthy on the inside. The action is full of burned gunpowder and the barrel is leaded up with gunk until you can't see the rifling. Obviously, the firearm can't begin to function properly or be of much use under these conditions. 

Many years ago, I was helping at a hunter education field day where a student actually arrived with a .22 rifle with a live round in the chamber. The round had been there so long and was so corroded that we couldn't get it out without using a cleaning rod to drive the round out backwards. Beyond the obvious safety issue, I hated to think of the damage that corrosion had done to a very beautiful gun. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Jesus tells us in this passage that as Christians we must be more than clean on the outside, we must also be clean on the inside. Sometimes, that can be a tough call. 

The temptations we face on a daily basis are frightful. But, if we keep God's word in our hearts, we can face those temptations and successfully keep ourselves clean. Yes, through the Blood of Jesus, we can be clean on the inside; but it takes time, submission, dedication, and commitment to walk in Jesus' tracks.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Clean your guns after every use. Break down the actions and get the gunpowder residue out. Use a good solvent to get the powder and lead fouling out of the barrel. A clean gun works when you need it! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August 30, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Sun Was Beginning To Set . . . (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 3:16 
For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

The sun was beginning to set in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Far below, I could see the pristine waters of Norfork Lake as it sprawled through the valley. The lake made a thin white line where it met the mountains on the far side and the mountains rose sharply up from there to meet the sky.

The sunset splashed the sky with colors of lavender, powder blue, pale yellow, and blazing orange. I looked as far as I could in each direction and could see nothing but mountains and a huge sky. It was quiet. I could hear nothing manmade. Then, softly, a feeling of God's great love for me overwhelmed my being.
(Brian H)

Action Point
The scene that I just painted for you stands in stark contrast to our world today. Our society likes to use buzz words such as love, caring, compassion, and understanding. However, saying something with our mouth is very different from living it with our lives.

We as Christians must make it our mission to portray the love of our great God. God's love is limitless, strong, and unconditional. It's a love to be demonstrated to the world.

Remember, God didn't just love the world, He SO very much loved the world!

I could say much on this subject of God's love, but allow me to let the words of Fredrick M. Lehman in his timeless hymn, "The Love of God" speak to your heart today:  
  • Would we with ink, the ocean fill and were the sky of parchment made.
  • Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade.
  • To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry.
  • Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.
  • Oh Love of God! How rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
  • It shall forevermore endure, the saints and angels song!
  • Worship and praise Him! Let your soul rejoice!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you have a great day in the field hunting or fishing, take a minute to record the weather conditions, barometer, moon phase, etc in a notebook. Over time, you will be able to be fairly accurate in pinpointing the best days to hunt and fish.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 29, 2012
Today's Photograph . . . . I Had Been Sitting Quietly In My Tree (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
I Thessalonians 5:1-2
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. (NIV)

I was busted!!! Just busted!!! I had been sitting quietly in my tree waiting for the buck that I knew would be there. I was watching the trails in front of me and to both sides when I heard a faint noise from behind me. I eased my head slowly around and there he was!!!

He was looking right at me! With a snort and a white flag, he let me know quickly that he had come and I had not been prepared.
(Brian H)

Action Point
The Bible tells us in I Thessalonians 5:1-2 that the Lord will show up some day and none of us know when that will be.

We are to look forward to that day and watch for Him day after day. We must be sure that we have a relationship with the Savior and urge those around us to make sure that their hearts are prepared.

The Lord absolutely is coming back!!! You'd better believe it!!!

Many will be busted on that day. They will find that they were not prepared and will be left behind. Make sure that you're not one of them and then urge those around you to make preparations.

It's bad enough to be busted by a king- sized buck with a snort and a white flag. Imagine the dismay of being busted by the King of Kings with a shout and a trumpet sound. Be prepared!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Take your binoculars to the woods with you when hunting whitetails in timber. Look carefully for anything horizontal in the vertical woods. When you see something horizontal, zoom in on it with your binoculars. That's a quick way to make sure that you're not busted while on the stand!

August 28, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Let's Make It Our Purpose To NOT Blend In  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 26:73-74 
After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away." Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!" Immediately a rooster crowed. (NIV)

I couldn't have been any closer. The big eight-point buck was less than two feet away! As he stepped slightly behind me, he caught my scent and was gone, leaving only my heart pounding in my chest.

What a rush! I had been squirrel hunting in Northeast Arkansas when the encounter happened. I was sitting on the ground just on the edge of a power line right-of- way.

Thanks to my excellent camouflage, the buck didn't see me as he patrolled the highline. The wind was perfect and he came right up to me. Had it not been for good wind direction and my good camouflage clothing, this encounter would have never happened. 
(Brian H)

Action Point
Man! There is nothing like a good set of camouflage hunting clothes. It's helpful, it's functional, and it's even been made decorative in today's culture. Let's face it, camo is in!

However, there's a type of camouflage that's not good at all. The camouflage that Christians put on in order to blend in. We're so afraid of being recognized and ridiculed that we're like Peter around the fire. "Hey, I don't know Him!" We've become masters of blending in to the point that it actually surprises people when they find out that we are Christians. How sad a testimony to our Savior this is. 

OK, sportsmen around the world, let's hang our camouflage in the closet and only use it when we're in the wild. When we're out in the world, let's make it our purpose to NOT blend in. Let's make it our purpose to stand out like a light on a hill - a lighthouse that prevents our world from totally crashing and burning on the rocks of sin and eternal punishment.

There are encounters for God that will never happen as long as we're blending in so well that the world thinks we're one of them. God bless you, friend, as you strive to stand out!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Add a tiny drop or two of mineral oil and a light dusting of salt to your rubber tube jigs and plastic artificial baits to keep them from melting in the summer heat and sticking together. The salt adds a bit of flavor to them as well.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012
Today's Photograph . . . . Step Out In Faith, Trust, and Believe (Donny N)
Bible Study Verse
Philippians 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

The other day I was sitting in my deer stand watching a big doe feed nearby. She had a younger yearling with her.

That yearling spent the better part of an hour bounding around and bucking and kicking. She would stop for a few minutes, feed, and then run around wildly. She wasn't scared of anything. It just seemed as if she was just enjoying life. She wasn't worried about her next meal or anything else. She was just enjoying life. And I was enjoying watching her enjoy life!
(Brian H)

Action Point
Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you doubted God?

If we're honest, most all of us have had those times. You know what I'm talking about. We stress over paying all of the bills. We agonize over how we're going to get new tires on the truck or how we will pay for our children's braces.

But, if we're completely honest, we will have to look back and say that God has been faithful. Most of us have had plenty to eat, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our back. God has promised to meet our needs. Not always our wants, but our needs! Look back at His proven track record.

Step out in faith, trust, and believe!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Restore an old set of rattling antlers so that they sound fresh again by rubbing them down periodically with linseed oil and a soft cloth. As the antlers age, they begin to sound more brittle - almost hollow. Linseed oil will restore some of their natural sound.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

August 26, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Stalk Jesus . . . You'll Find Him  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Mark 16:6-7  
"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'" (NIV)

One day, my son  and I were stalking two Coues Whitetail bucks. I sent him around behind where the bucks were bedded in the bushes. I was going to slowly advance from below and try to push them by him in hopes that he would get a shot. As I approached where the bucks had been, I could see that they had moved out--risen, so to speak. There were two empty beds under the bushes. 

As we started to leave, one of the bucks suddenly blew up under us from his hiding spot. He'd been watching us all the time.

Jesus had risen. The angel said so; and the tomb was empty, just like the empty deer beds. And, Jesus was just around the bend, waiting to reveal Himself to His followers. The empty tomb is the foundation of our faith in Jesus. There were several factions who would have benefitted immensely if Jesus had been proven a fraud. All they had to do to confirm Him as such was to produce a body. Don't you know they would have done so if they could! 

Take a look--the tomb is still empty, and the fact remains--there is still no body! (not on earth, anyway) To see the body, you have look into heaven! 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
As hunters, we stalk our prey carefully, silently, and stealthily. We read articles and study the animal's habits in order to get close to them. 

Study God's Word with the same diligence. Stalk Jesus. You'll find Him right where He said that He would be, seated at the right hand of God the Father. He waits there to come into your heart and to give you eternal life, joy, strength, and peace.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Plan your stalks carefully. Check the wind often. Utilize all available cover to conceal yourself. Do not let the animal see, hear, or smell you. You can do it if you prepare properly and execute your plan well. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Situations and Circumstances Can Mire Us Down, Catch Us Off Guard, and Derail (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 69:2
Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can't find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. (NLT)

The crossing of the small stream was routine. I had hunted these woods, making the same push many times. It was frozen over some years. But, usually all I had to do was find a place the deer crossed and I could make the crossing just fine. I had thought of using a pole to help stabilize me during the crossing, but when none was readily at hand I gave up on the idea.

So I ventured out with nothing to stabilize me; nothing to lean on. This time my left boot became mired down in the mucky, muddy bottom. I fell. My one boot filled with water, my clothing became wet, and water quickly turned to ice on the shotgun. When I was able to get up and out on the other side, I was faced with cleaning myself and making sure my weapon was not full of ice, mud, or snow.

My hands became so cold during this recovery effort that they hurt. I am sure it would have made a comical video. The experience itself was such a challenge that I ended my hunt early.
(Jack M)

Action Point
The situations and circumstances of life can mire us down, catch us off guard, and derail us from the important and meaningful things we should do. A foothold or stepping stone is important.

This solid foundation is found in Jesus Christ alone. On our own, the mud will entrap us. the waters overwhelm us, and even drown us. But, if we depend on the Lord, we can find the bedrock of certainty and substance that will never disappoint or let us down. Matthew 7:24-25 reflects, "Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock, " (NLT).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Choose places to cross streams very carefully. Use a pole or a long strong stick to give you support and stability. Carry extra dry socks in case the water enters your boots so you can change into dry socks. Also make sure to clear the weapon of ice, debris, mud, or snow before you fire it.

August 24, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . God Is \The Only One That Can Guarantee Our Safety and Security (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
John 10:27-28
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand. (NIV) 

Safe! Secure! These are important words and concepts. Even though God has designed and equipped infant wild animals with many protective instincts, they are seldom totally safe. Whitetail fawns seem especially vulnerable. The mothers' care for their young often determines their survival.

The doe that has given birth each of the last five years within the fenced grounds of Baptist Mid-Missions in Cleveland, Ohio is classic proof. She leaps the fence to give birth on the property and then for several weeks she is back and forth over the fence multiple times each day to nurse and care for her baby.

The casual observer would think the fawn had been abandoned. Not so! That doe understands her newborn is safer and more secure on that property than it would be with her outside the fence. Not until it is several weeks old and able to flee danger does she lead her treasure out the front gate to life in the wilds of the Cleveland suburbs. That mother deer stays totally focused on the safety and security of her offspring. 
(Jack M)

Action Point
God is the only one that can guarantee our safety and security. In spite of circumstances, accidents, and problems of living, we may rest in His love and promises.

Jesus promises that if we believe in Him as Savior and Lord, listen, and follow Him, we are secure forever. In fact, we are held in God's eternal hands out of which no one can pluck or snatch us. What wonderful safety and ultimate security!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you come across a nest or a young animal in the wild, it is normally best to leave it alone and undisturbed. There are reports the mother animals abandoning young that have been handled by humans transferring human odor to the young. If you know the young animal is truly an orphan, it is best to contact a wild life officer to determine the best course of action for the animal's well being. In many places it is illegal to take them home, adopt them, or try to raise them.

August 23, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . One Man's Neglect or Disobedience Can Endanger Many    (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven. (NIV) 
The light of a cigarette lighter blared in the encroaching blackness! We were standing on a hill top watching from a three miles distance. Watch was being kept over a shallow valley that opened before us. Military units had occupied that valley. But, now they were invisible. Darkness reigned.

But, then light discipline was broken. That light was unauthorized, the result of disobedience to the orders. Someone valued a cigarette more than the security of their unit.

This was a military training exercise, and the light would make them visible to the opposing forces. In a real battle scenario, their location would have become visible and known to the enemy. In a real situation, the enemy would have poured many rounds of artillery upon them, and perhaps counter attacked.

One man's neglect or disobedience in battle can endanger many others.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Our world needs light. Sunshine makes crops grow. Photosynthesis requires light to allow plants to combine nutrients, water, and carbon dioxide in the manufacture of sugars and starches. These products become food for all manner of living creatures.

Our good works are often pictured as light in the Bible. The beneficial acts we do bring glory to God. As we help and serve others, we make Him famous. Our good deeds reveal Him.

Our Lord Jesus is revealed as the Light of the World. His light reveals our darkness and the need we have within for Him.

Have you received Him personally? Or, like the majority of people have you refused Him because your deeds are evil?

As outdoorsmen, well aware of the need for light, our testimonies are needed in the world to point others to the Light of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Consider having backup sources of light with you. Many powerful and reliable lights are available today. They can become a life saver in a desperate situation.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Sometimes God Uses Pain To Correct Our Sinful Behavior . . . Not All The Pain And Suffering In The World Is Because Of Sin   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 32:9 
Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. (NIV)

Pain hurts. I think you will agree. I try to avoid it.

Sometimes hunting dogs are extremely hard headed. They want to hunt more than to obey you or to hunt with you. Frustration is defined by a bird dog running wild, charging ahead, and busting all the birds out of the field before the hunters arrive or can take a shot.

The electronic training collars provide a mild stimulus to the dog in training to correct bad behavior. When disobedience occurs, the pain of the electronic stimulation brings them under control and back to the handler.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Sometimes God uses pain to correct our sinful behavior. Psalm 32 is King David's testimony to this fact. Our verse speaks of the bridle used on horses and mules. The pressured pain inflicted by the bit in their mouth is what brings them into line and controls them. As they instinctively move to lessen the pain, the bit and bridle brings the horse or mule to the handler. Otherwise, uncontrolled and inaccessible, they are not useful.

Not all the pain and suffering in the world is because of sin. We live in a world that is cursed by sin and bad things happen because sin and its curse reign over this world. Many times when we wander, stray, or sin, God will use pain, illness, injury, or negative circumstances to get our attention and to bring us back to Him. 

When pain occurs, ask God to reveal to you if it is His corrective effort or just the natural product of a world turned upside down and in rebellion to Him.

His Word and His Spirit will guide you into all Truth. Read John 16:13. Listen to His still, small voice of correction and you will avoid the pain.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Electronic training collars are effective in controlling hard headed, stubborn dogs. Buy a quality one. Consider one that gives a warning sound before the electrical stimulation. That will often correct the offending dog that has experience with the collar.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

August 21, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Don't Ignore His Signs They Are There For You To Follow (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
II Peter 1:21
For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (NIV)

I had been white tail hunting in one particular blind several times this fall, and it seemed like every time I hunted in it, I would either hear or see deer entering into the swamp in the evening at a spot about 50 yards away from where I was. I would catch glimpses of the deer and be able to make out their silhouettes. I kept thinking for several weeks that eventually the deer would make their way over to my food plot. However, it never materialized.

So, my son and I decided to do a walk through on our property in mid-season, just to see what was happening. As we walked through this area where I had kept hearing and seeing deer, we found a scrape line. There were three good sized scrapes and a couple of nice rubs in the vicinity. 

The sign for bucks was favorable, so we put up a portable blind in some great cover and added our cam tracker into the mix to see what we would see. Sure enough, we started getting pictures of good sized bucks every day in that spot, as they checked their scrape. We haven't gotten one yet, but we are hopeful that by following the sign, we'll get our opportunity soon enough.
(Dave M)

Action Point
"Following the signs . . ." That's what Christianity is all about, isn't it? Reading, praying, and then trying to follow God's signs in obedience through our everyday. Sometimes God will lead us into a spot or a time of ministry, and it's good. 

But, we have to be attentive to His signs for movement. There is a time and place to change our location in ministry, but we have to be in a place where we are listening and looking for His signs. 

If you are seeing God calling you to a new place, don't ignore His signs. They are there for you to follow.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When putting up a portable blind, the key is to get up high enough so that you are out of the animal's sight line. For white tails, I generally figure 15' up is a minimum; I really like to be at about 20'. Do pay attention to knolls where the deer come through though. Your stand could be up 15', and because of a knoll, the deer's sight line may pick up you up as they come over the hill - don't let them bust you!!! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Spray Falls, Lake Superior  (NPS)
Bible Study Verse  
John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (NIV)

A few years back, my family and I were hiking Isle Royale in the middle of Lake Superior. From the very beginning of the trip, we had a great motivator. There are two ports on the island, one on each end. We would be entering at Rock Harbor and leaving at the other end of the island 50 miles later at Windigo. 
What was the motivator? We were the last boat of the season leaving from Windigo. If we didn't get there in time, we would have to hike all the way back to Rock Harbor - the entire distance of the island.

Along the way, we had various obstacles to overcome to get there in the specified amount of time, including my daughter who got the flu and was sick for one of the days in the middle of the trip. We all pitched in, divided up her pack, and carried her stuff for her  so all she could do was hike - no extra weight needed. 

The last morning, we started our hike at about 5:30 am make sure we didn't miss the boat's departure. 
(Dave M)
Action Point 
If only life were like this - to know our exit time would make all the difference right? Many people go through life thinking that they can put off making a decision for Christ . . . "I've got lots of time." 

Well, truth be known, nobody knows when their time is going to be up. Many folks view making a decision for Christ as an insurance policy . . . only redeemable at death. However, the minute you make a decision to follow Christ, your eternity with Him begins immediately . . . and the beauty of this is that it doesn't matter when your time is up. A new life...a blessed life begins immediately. 

It doesn't mean you won't have problems, you will. But, what it does mean that you will have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to carry you through life's trials. 

As a friend, let me encourage you to make a decision to live your life for Christ. He has your best interest in mind. If you've not repented of your sin and turned to Him, do so today.  
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Keep a file of maps from trips you've taken. You never know when you're going to want to go back again, or even just help someone else out who is planning a trip to the same destination.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . People Are Like Embers   (Dave M)
Bible Study Verse
II Corinthians 12: 19 
Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. (NIV)

There's nothing like a good fire to sit down next to at the end of a long day! My family and I have enjoyed our share of fires over the course of our outdoor adventures. 

You sit down and initially just enjoy the warmth. But as you sit there staring into the fire, memories flood back into your mind, and the stories start to flow. One story from one side of the fire - a story from the other side of the fire - another story launches . . . minutes turn into hours, and before too long, it's quiet. Everyone is ready to sleep, as stories are replaced by head-bobs - since no one wants to be the first to call it a night. 

The last half hour, everyone simply stares into the fire and watches the fire die down to a low glow of the embers. It's a magical moment that everyone hates to see end.
(Dave M)

Action Point 
It amazes me the power that a small ember contains. All you have to do is breathe on one, and it will flare up to a bright red glow. If you couple that with some dry timbers or pine needles, you can have a roaring fire within minutes. 

People are like embers . . . over time, they simply burn down to the point where you hardly notice them. They sit there quietly smoldering . . . that is until something "breathes" into them. All it takes is a little encouragement, and that person will start to show more than a low burn. The more the encouragement, the greater the flame.

Christians aren't immune to the world. It's wears on you, and if you're not careful, you can feel insignificant, worn out, and have no direction. But, there are two things that can breathe life into a deadened soul. The first one is the word of God. I can't tell you the number of times that scripture has flat out lifted my soul. Secondly, a brother or sister in Christ can be a huge encouragement! It really doesn't take a lot - just to know that someone cares and is willing to have a conversation can be enough to spark the ember into a flame. That's what we're supposed to be about - encouraging one another in the faith. 

The older I get, the more I recognize the power of encouragement - with my kids, my wife, and my friends. If you know of someone who needs a little life breathed into them, grab a donut and a cup of coffee and go pay a visit. 

God will do the heart work; you just be a friend. Make a difference today in someone's life!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you're backpacking, put the kids in charge of gathering firewood, tinder, and pine needles for your fire, they'll feel important!!!


August 18, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Don't Get Sucked Into Trying To Share Your Faith Through The Glitzy (Dave M)
Bible Study Verses  
I Corinthians 1:25-28
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not -to nullify the things that are. (NIV)

I had to chuckle recently with an event that involved my son.  We live on a pretty large inland lake in northern Michigan, and to start off bass season, our lake association hosted a tournament on the lake.  It's a nice kick-off to the summer and brings in bass fisherman from around the Midwest.  The bass tournament was a one day tournament on Sunday.  Bass season opened on Saturday, so this gave all the fishermen one day to scout out the lake and find the fish.

So, here it was Saturday morning, and my son decided that he wanted to go out bass fishing with a buddy of his.  The two of them took off fishing in their high powered paddle boat. Yep, that's right, paddle boat.  There were lots of high-tech super geared and outfitted bass boats flying around our lake trying to find the best spots for the fish, and in sharp contrast, Caleb and Toby were tooling around our end of the lake based on the power of their legs. 

At one point, one of the bass boats pulled up to my son and Toby and asked them if they were catching any bass.  They ended up having a lengthy conversation about the bass and their beds and how much longer the bass would be up in the shallow water.  Here was the pro in his super powered boat that had everything imaginable on it, and he was asking two teenage boys on a paddle boat where to catch fish. 

I'm not sure how the other guys did in the tournament on Sunday, but I know Caleb and his buddy maxed out for the day with their catch - a nice stringer of bass - all with good size.
(Dave M)

Action Point
God doesn't need flashy, and He doesn't need glitzy.  In the fishing world, the boys would have been laughed at, if they would have shown up to a fishing tournament in a paddle boat. 

However, they were "on the fish" in their ever so simple way of doing it.  Don't get sucked into trying to share your faith through the glitzy, personally or in your church. 

There's nothing wrong with media, powerpoints, high quality music, but it's about the message - a very simple message: God loved you so much that He gave his one and only son as a sacrifice for you.  He has provided a way to Him and eternal life simply by believing that His son, Jesus Christ, was sent to save you from your sins.  It doesn't have to be complex, and it doesn't have to be showy ----just believe in Him.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Understanding the cycle of fish will help you catch them.   Find out when the fish are spawning, and you'll be able to find fish. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . People Will Remember The Hurt More Than The Help (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Hosea 6:6
I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. (NLT)
Ever wonder why it is so hard for teenagers to proclaim Christ and win their friends to Him?

Imagine if you will, you are the school bully.  You have taken money from just about everyone in your class, you have thrown people in a dumpster and on occasion you have punched a few peoples lights out. 

Over the summer you get sent to some boring camp that your parents make you go to and BAM, it happens.  Jesus was waiting for you, and now you've been saved.  You're on fire, you can't wait to tell everyone, you get back to school and start telling everyone about Christ, but no one will listen.  You get so frustrated, and the last comment you hear from a fellow student is.  Didn't you beat me up, take my lunch money and flush my head in the toilet?  If that's your "Jesus" then I don't want anything to do with him. 

People will remember the hurt more than the help.
(Donny N)

Action Point
There is so much more to proclaiming the name of Christ and not just for teenagers.  Maturity by definition is the ability to reproduce.  So by those standards a mature Christian should be bearing fruit.

How much fruit are you bearing?  Actions speak louder than words.  If you find yourself not bearing any fruit, you might want to re-think your approach.  What do you think would have happened to the above mentioned student if he would have approached people in kindness and forgiveness?  What if he would have begun building relationships first, making friends, and allowing people to see Christ in him?  Sometimes the greatest way to lead people to Christ is without saying a word. 

Someone asked me once "I don't know what's going on in your life, I don't know what drug you're taking, but I want some."  When I told him it was Christ, he said, "There is no way he would want a guy like me, I bet God's pretty ticked off at me." What I said next hit home and after he dove in head first with arms wide open and was baptized a week later.  Here's what I told him and others need to hear understand this (weather you're a believer or not) God is not mad at you, He's mad about you.  The only way to overcome an old passion is with a new one.

Why don't you fall passionately in love with Him. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Feeling under the weather out in the field and you left your cold/flu medicine at home.  Try boiling some pine needles to make Pine Needle Tea, it's a great source of Vitamin C, and does wonders for the body.

To make Pine Needle Tea, gather a small handful of pine needles from a tree. Cut the needles into 3/4 inch lengths. Pour boiling water over pine needles, cover, and steep for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . When I Go To Church, Do I Attend or Do I Participate . . . (MQ)
Bible Study Verses  
Hebrews 11:5-6
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (NKJV)

Years ago I was a young soldier in the Army miles away from home, not a whole lot of friends, and seemed a little out of place. I grew up in Arizona, but now found myself in South Carolina. 

I had heard lots of stories of the fishing there, but just didn't know how or where to go, till I met Jim. Jim a fellow soldier had been in SC for quite some time and, best yet, he had a boat. 

We went all over that state from Wateree to Lake Murray. If it had water in it, chances were we threw a line in it. I never had so much fun fishing. Up until that point the only person I had ever gone fishing with was my Dad. Jim, 20 yrs my elder, kind of took on that role for a while. I learned so much form him while I was there. I even started buying the same fishing poles, bait and even learned that Carolina rig thing. You could say he rubbed off on me. It was great to have someone in my life that had such a hand in shaping my life, I learned a lot from Jim. 

Our time together may have been cut short thanks to the Army, but I have never forgotten my two years in SC and how much I learned from Jim. 
(Donny N)

Action Point
You can't follow Jesus and remain the same. You just can't. 

There are those who claim the name of Christ and are great attendees, but they are not changed. Just because you just spent a few thousand dollars at your favorite outdoor store on fishing equipment doesn't make you a fisherman. 

You have to ask yourself this question, when I go to church, do I attend or do I participate? You can't follow Jesus and remain the same. I spent two years with Jim and to this day I still use some of his fishing tips. 

Imagine spending a lifetime with Jesus. The question I get asked the most in ministry is "How do you turn the desire to serve Jesus off, I need a break?" You can't, if you can turn it off it's probably because it's never been turned on!!! 

You can't follow Jesus and remain the same. Are you the same? You must believe and He will respond to those who seek Him. Who do people see when they see you?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When planning your next fishing trip make sure you have a spare battery for your trolling motor. You don't want to end up in the middle of the lake and turn the key and find you have to row or tow back to shore. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . To Enter God's Heaven, Three Witnesses Are Also Required To Verify Our Spiritual Pedigree   (Fred B)
Bible Study Verse
Revelation 21:27
But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. (NKJV)

The National Coon Dog Cemetery [I've been there!], near Cherokee, AL, accepts only coon dogs for burial. Three requirements for interment are: 
  •  The owner's word that his dog was a coon dog. 
  •  A witness' word that the dog was a coon dog.  
  •  A member of the local coon hunter's association looks at the deceased dog and verifies that it was a coon dog. 
Since 1937 when Key Underwood's coon dog Troop was laid to rest, over 215 coon dogs have followed. Now, only about 3/year are buried there. [Many are called, few are chosen!]
(Fred B)

Action Point
To enter God's Heaven, three witnesses are also required to verify our spiritual pedigree. There are three that bear witness in Heaven--the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.  I John 5:7 says, "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one," (NKJV).  

I John 5:10 also reminds us, "He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son," (NKJV).

Make sure that God's Spirit bears witness with your spirit, that you are His. Also make sure that those with whom you live, hunt, fish, and do business can verify your spiritual pedigree that you are in Jesus' family and are following Him.  

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When dog-hunting, always carry extra leashes in your pack, to use for rounding up your hunting group's dogs, and to help others to recover theirs also. Where legal, use your two-way radios to inform all hunters where their dogs are or to ask how you can return them to their owners. You'll long be remembered as one of the friendliest hunters in the country. Then, you can tell them why.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian SportsmenAugust 14, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Ozzie, My Godly Mentor and Hero With His Last Deer (Fred B) 
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 13:7,17,24b
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their

Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. 

Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints.  (NKJV) 
Ozzie was one of my heroes. A small-town pastor, seminary professor; great husband, Dad, Grandfather, and  my mentor.  I had the privilege to take him on his last TN deer hunt, loaded his .270 for him, and kept him safely at my side, sitting on a big rock. He never hunted again. I miss him, remember his life, and am grateful for His mentoring and His example. 
What hero do you remember?
(Fred B)

Action Point
Follow the Godly example of older men of the faith. Honor them in life and in death. Tell them now, that they are your hero. Seek their wisdom and learn from their counsel. Become the man of God that they are. 
Mentor a younger man teaching by example and through precept. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Let's assist older hunters in any way possible during a hunting or fishing trip--field dressing game, dragging big game, carrying their gear, and cooking their meals. 
My Dad and I can't hunt any more [he's in Heaven], so I help someone else's Dad. And above all, let's be patient with them. Someday, it'll be us!!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Don't Miss What God Is Doing . . . . Gladiator Fire, AZ (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Malachi 3:2 - 3 
But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness. (NIV)

For the last couple of weeks, we've had a fire blazing in northern Michigan right by one of my favorite fishing spots, the Two Hearted River. 

Apparently, the fire started with a lightning strike in the top of one of the Jack Pines and spread from there. In total, the fire destroyed over 21,000 acres of pristine forest. Over 300 DNR officers and firefighters were brought in to control this blaze.
(Dave M)

Action Point
Fire can bring about a tremendous amount of destruction. But, fire can also bring about growth!

In this morning's newspaper, a DNR officer was explaining that after the fire was over in this area, they had to do a survey of the forest to see what the condition of the land was. They were trying to find out if the top layer of the land was too scorched to grow new plants. The officer commented that as he walked around, he couldn't take one step without walking on new Jack Pine seeds that occurred because of the fire. You see, in the midst of the destruction, new life was already being prepared for through the seeds.

When we walk through our own fires in life, we can't always see that God is preparing new life for us and is using the fire to bring about changes in our character that absolutely need to happen. We may never understand why the fire needed to occur, but we need to have a teachable spirit and allow God to work on us. It's His way of refining us. 

If you are in the middle of a fire today, keep in mind that the fire will be over one day. Keep your eyes open walking through it and don't miss what God is doing with you!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you are out camping or backpacking, make sure to dowse your campfire before you leave. If you don't have water readily available, use dirt to put the fire out. 

August 12, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Pursue God's Instructions and Reap The Benefits Of Restored Relationships   (Raymond R)
Bible Study Verse
Malachi 4:6 
He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction." (NIV)

The state of Michigan began an "apprenticeship" program a few years ago to allow younger hunters to get their feet wet in the outdoors by hunting under the guidance of an adult. 

It used to be that a child would have to take a "hunter's safety" class first, and then they could start hunting after they had passed their test. The state decided that the hunter's safety class would be more meaningful if the kids already had some experience in the outdoors. That way when they went through the rules and guidelines of what to do in the outdoors, they would have a better understanding of what the instructors were talking about. 

A child is not required to be an apprentice first before taking the class, but it is now an option - relying on the adults closest to them to help them learn how to make good choices and decisions outdoors.
(Dave M) 

Action Point
I'm not sure about your upbringing and relationship with your parents, but what I know is that God's expectation is for us to constantly be "mentoring" the younger generation. True authentic Christian role modeling is the absolute best way to pass our faith on to the next generation. The perception of God the Father will be developed for the next generation through how we handle our daily affairs . . . honesty, integrity, study habits, prayer life. Children see through hypocrisy in a millisecond. 

The verse quoted above today were the last words of God to His people at the end of the Old Testament. A few hundred years passed between the writing of the Old Testament and the writing of the New Testament. God's final instructions, knowing that the writing was going to be silent for a period of time, was that it was essential for the fathers to turn their hearts towards their children and for their children to turn their hearts to their fathers or else they would suffer under the consequences of poor choices made. 

May this be the heart's cry of our generation - that both the children and fathers would turn their hearts towards one another, so that we may live under the blessing of God instead of the failed choices of a hardened heart towards each other. Examine your heart today about your own heart condition to your earthly children or father. Does reconciliation need to take place? Don't hesitate . . .pursue God's instructions and reap the benefits of restored relationships.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
As you head outside, take a kid with you and help reveal God through His amazing creation that surrounds us.