Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 30, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Pray, Have Others Pray . . .   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
II Corinthians 1: 10-11 
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. (NIV)

It's summer and fire season again. This year it has become personal. Our son who lives in Colorado Springs called last night and said that the growing wildfires burning in the area are approaching the area in the foothills where he and his family lives. Fortunately, he and his family are in Missouri on a vacation trip, but the destruction of their home might be imminent.

As I listened to his recount of what is being relayed to him from neighbors and friends in Colorado Springs, my heart goes out to him as I can hear the fear and helplessness in his voice.
(Tom B)

Action Point
What can one do when faced with a similar situation?

Listen . . . let them talk. Cry and laugh with them. Remember who our powerful heavenly Father is, and what He can do. Gently let them know He is there; He sees what's going on.

"He has delivered us from such a deadly peril," in the past, "and He will deliver us again." Maybe the deliverance outcome may not be exactly what we desire, but remember He knows what the big picture is.

I know in my life, in retrospective, I can see where God has been in control. His results have been better than what I could have conceived. Share the stories, recall the Scripture verses that God gave you to sustain you through the hard times.

Pray, have others pray . . . "On him we have set our hope that He will deliver us as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."

God still does miracles, and as in our son's situation, the fires might not touch his and his neighbor's homes. 
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
On a camping trip, always make sure when you leave the campfire is completely out. The best way is to pour water on the embers, stir the ashes, and then douse again. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 29, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Bragging Rights    (Tom B)
Bible Study Verse
Luke 5:14  
Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." (NIV)

I received the following email from one of the fishing guides I stay in touch with.

"Today I had some buddies out for a relaxing time fishing. I told the guys that we needed 25 fish, and that number 25 would also be number 7,000 for the year from my boat." The guide I am quoting is a crappie and catfish guide.

"I told Ronny to let me know when we caught number 24, so I could quit fishing and get a picture of who ever caught number 7,000. Well, it did not happen the way I had planned. Howard hooked into a fish and he put it in the boat, making that one 24. So, just as I go to reel my line in, BAM, guess who has number 7,000 on their line? Yep-it's me. The only picture taken today was of me holding fish number 7,000 for the year."

In Luke 5:14 Jesus healed a man with leprosy. His instructions, "Don't tell anyone..." goes against the grain of human nature. When something great happens we want to tell someone about it. When you bag number 7,000 for the year, right at the top of your to-do list is to brag about the accomplishment.

Why didn't Jesus want the news of the healing to get out? Wouldn't the healing be a great testimony of his power, his relationship with God?
(Tom B)

Action Point
I don't think Jesus wants to draw people to Him just because He can heal the sick. He wants people to recognize that He is the Son of God, that He forgives people of their sins. He healed physical sicknesses, raised people from the dead because of His compassion for them.

Is it wrong to brag about your successes afloat or afield?

Certainly not. It becomes wrong if success gives us an inflated ego-pride. In the email above, the guide was expecting one of the other anglers to boat number 7,000. It didn't matter to him who caught the fish. He probably would have been happier if one of the other anglers caught it.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A measure of success for a fishing guide is not how great the number of pictures on his or her website. Find out how long they have been guiding. What's their staying power? Repeat business is a better indication of how good they are in their business rather than pictures of their catches. 

September 28, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . "Lots"--Lots of Walking, Lots of Sitting, and Lots of Glassing for These Elusive Animals   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (NIV)

A friend of mine, a special hunting buddy, was coming in from a day in the field. We were mule deer hunting, and those days can be very long and full of "lots"--lots of walking, lots of sitting, and lots of glassing for these elusive animals. I asked him if he'd seen anything, and he said, "I almost saw a big one."

"Where," I asked.

"I think he was just over that furthest point," he replied.

We both had a good laugh and ate our dinner anticipating another good time in the field the next day.

When I think about that little exchange, it actually says a lot. The hidden meaning is: I still believed that there was a buck out there, that I could find him, and successfully stalk and kill him. It said that I still had unconditional hope; and that unconditional hope is what got me out of bed the next day to go hike those mountains again. If I didn't have unconditional hope, I'd probably just sleep in. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
The word "unconditional" gets used a lot in our society. Unconditional love, unconditional obedience, unconditional acceptance. But, have you ever thought about your faith in Christ being unconditional. 

I'll believe in God if He heals my back pain. I'll believe in God if He sends me a great job and makes me rich. I'll believe in God if He does some miracle, whatever it is that I demand. Well, here's a news flash. Faith is unconditional, just as God's love is for us. If God has to do stuff for you to believe in Him, it'll never happen. After He's done whatever it is, you'll just figure out something else that He has to do to prove to you that He is who He says He is--the God of the universe. Jesus Himself actually told some folks in the Bible that even if they saw a miracle that they wouldn't believe, and they didn't. 

Here's the deal: faith just is!!! It is based on what we read in the Bible about God and His son, Jesus. And, our faith grows when we get into the Word, the Bible, and read, study, and meditate about God. When you do, you'll find out that He's already done everything that He needs to do for you to place your faith in Him. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us, and then He raised Jesus from the grave. Because of that empty grave, I have faith in Him!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Keep getting up early and getting out there. The animals you pursue are out there for you to find, but it's not going to happen if all you do is sit around in camp all day. You have to go where the animals are.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September 27, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . When You Choose The Way You're Going To Follow, Be Sure You Opt For The Truth   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
John 14:5-6
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (NIV)

Now, if you're like I am, when you reach into your gun vault to select a firearm for a hunt, you probably have a few choices. We all have our favorites. 

For medium-sized animals like deer, some choose the .270, others the .30-06, still others may prefer a .243 or a .308. 

For larger game such as elk, many of my friends favor a 7mm Magnum; I like my .300 Winchester Magnum. 

A lot of the choice has to do with what you will be hunting, where you're going, so to speak.

Any one of these guns will kill anything I hunt, but where's the fun in owning only one gun!
(Cliff S)
Action Point
The point is, in many areas of our lives, like hunting or shooting, we have choices. But, in our spiritual lives, there is only one choice--to accept Jesus or not. If I want to go where Jesus is, I have to go through Jesus, Himself. 

The Bible warns us that false teachers will come and will lead many people away from the truth of Jesus. These false teachers are identified as being agents of Satan. Satan is described as being a liar. So, to whom are you going to listen--the agent of the truth, Jesus, or the agent of lies, Satan? 

When you choose the way you're going to follow, be sure you opt for the Truth!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you're going to take more than one caliber of firearm on a hunt, be sure you clearly label the ammunition so it doesn't get mixed up. I like to keep my primary firearm's ammunition out where it's handy and wrap the different caliber of ammunition in plastic wrap so they don't get mixed..

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 26, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Let Us Be Imitators Of Christ, All Facets Of Him!!!   (FWS)
Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 5:1-2
Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NIV)

There's a special place in Alaska called Anan Creek Trail. The trail follows a creek that empties into the ocean. A short way up the creek, about a half-mile or so, there's a bear viewing area. The creek falls through a narrow gorge where the salmon are jumping up the water covered rock face on their spawning run. The bears gather and gorge themselves on the salmon. 

It was a real treat to be so close to the bears, both on the open trail and in the enclosed viewing area, and watch their fishing skills, or lack thereof. The old pros had their favorite spots and techniques. The cubs thrashed about in their attempts to imitate their mothers. Sooner or later, they all had fish for supper; it just took some a little longer than others to figure things out. 

When it was all said and done, it wasn't too different from watching a father or mother teach their child how to bait a hook, cast, retrieve the lure, and catch a fish. The cubs imitate their mothers, the children their parents. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
This verse tells us to be imitators of Christ--to try our best to be like Him. However, most of the time we only acknowledge one side of Christ, the side where He's sitting with a child on His lap or holding a helpless lamb. 

We forget about Christ's tough side. We overlook the accounts in Mark and the other Gospels about Christ in the wilderness telling Satan to beat it, or driving the money changers out of the Temple with a whip. We fail to notice that Christ never backed down from a fight, so to speak, when He observed injustice. 

Consider how He addressed the Pharisees when they criticized Him for healing a man on the Sabbath. He made it clear that their lack of compassion was wrong, and He made sure that they knew it! 

Yes, Jesus had a soft side, a side of compassion and mercy, but He also was a warrior fighting for the Kingdom of His Father. And, remember, when Jesus returns, He's coming back as the warrior that will destroy all of the forces of evil! 

It seems to me that it's important for us to imitate Christ's compassion, but it's also ready to fight for the Kingdom. Therefore, let us be imitators of Christ, all facets of Him!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When fishing or hunting, pay attention to the old guys that have been out there all of their lives. If we look and listen more and talk less, we can learn a lot about how to catch those fish or bag that buck.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September 25, 2012   
Today's Photograph . . . . "Snakes" or Temptations Around Us Daily, Arizona Diamondback  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 12:7-11
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their Father? If you are not disciplined-and everyone undergoes discipline-then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human Fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (NIV)
Where I hunt in Arizona it is likely that a hunter and his bird dog will encounter rattlesnakes. You all know how much I like snakes (there's no such thing as a good snake, not even a dead one).
A couple years back I was able to watch a dog trainer "snake train" a hunting dog, in this case a Brittany Spaniel. He had caught a rattler, defanged the snake, and used it to train the dog. A snake has an attractive odor to a dog and they are curious about the noise the snake makes. Couple this with the dog running hard and getting on a snake before he knows it is there and you may have to make a fast trip to the local veterinarian. 
Anyway, the trainer put the snake out on the bare ground then brought the dog to the snake. The dog, like most, showed an interest and finally succumbed to the temptation to get close to the snake. When the snake struck at the dog the trainer lit him up with a shocking collar.
In this case, the dog did not need a second lesson. When the trainer brought him to the snake again the dog tried to drag the trainer into the next county. The training wasn't pleasant for the dog, but it worked and it just might save his life some day. 
(Cliff S) 
Action Point 
We all have "snakes" or temptations around us daily. Some we see plainly, some are subtle and sneak up on us. God uses discipline and training to make us aware when danger lurks nearby and, if we give in to the temptation, He just might "light us up" in one way or another to teach us to avoid the temptation in the future. 
Yes, there are consequences for sin. Just like the rattlesnake can kill a dog with its bite, sin can kill us. The Bible has examples where people literally died physically because of sin. But, more importantly, sin can cause us to die spiritually. 
God wants to be in fellowship with us but our sin stands between us and Him. Faith in Jesus covers our sin but sometimes we are prone to forget and get a little too close to the "snake" and God has to remind us to stay close to Him and avoid the "bite".  But, remember, God disciplines us for our good. Just like the trainer teaches the dog to avoid the danger of the rattlesnake, so God trains us to avoid the danger of the "snakes" around us. 
Sportsman's Tip of the Day 
Most dogs need an annual refresher course in avoiding snakes, just as they do annual medical boosters. Find a trainer in your area that provides snake training and pay the fee to have it done. It just might save your dog from a fatal snake bite. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24, 2012
Today's Photograph. . . .Merriam's Tom (Wayne Morris)
Bible Study Verse
Luke 12:2-3
There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. (NIV)
Up early.  "O-dark-thirty" as the military might say.  Rolling out instead of rolling over.  Up with the chickens.  All of these speak of arising early and arriving before daylight at our stands or favorite place to hunt or to fish.  We hunters use the cover of darkness to defeat the amazing eyes of our prey. 
I love hunting turkeys.  They do not see well in the dark or even in the dim light conditions of very early morning.  So we get to our chosen location, set up our blinds, and put out our decoys before the birds can see us.  Then we call them in.  Darkness hides us and the birds dismiss and forget our noise in setting up.  So it is to our advantage to use the darkness to hide us and our ambush.
(Jackie M)
Many people believe that what they do in the darkness will never be discovered.   "What happens in _________ stays in __________" is the Devil's deceitful lie.
There is a God who sees it all and who knows everything, even the motives of our hearts. We are accountable to Him for every word, every thought, every action, and even our desires.  
Those in Christ, whose sin is forgiven, whose guilt is washed away, who are declared right by the Judge of the Whole Earth will never suffer shame for these things. Why? Because their sins have been washed, they have been made clean in the blood of Jesus Christ, the Savior. 

Have you received Him and the forgiveness of your sin offered in His sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection? If not, please call out to Him for that forgiveness and live the abundant life He provides for all who will receive Him.
Sportsmen's Tip Of The Day
To calling in turkeys . . . beforehand practice, practice, practice!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September 23, 2012

Today's Photograph. . . . If We Depend On The Lord, We Will Find The Bedrock   (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.
(Jackie M)
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.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 22, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Make Up Your Mind To Live As God Directs  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Numbers 32:23
But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out. (NASB)
Dogs have amazing ability to smell. They infinitely surpass the ability of the human nose. 

My son purchased a blood hound puppy last winter. It has incredible abilities of scent tracking already. He intends to train Major to track down wounded deer. This is legal where he lives. 

As he began the training, some blood on a rag was used to set a scent trail. At the end of the blood trail he would leave a piece of hot dog to reward Major. 

It became a problem when Major followed the scent from the package of hot dogs in Caleb's pocket straight to him instead of following the blood trail! Major went directly to the prize!
(Jack M)

Action Point
We have to understand there are no victimless sins. Some say, "What happens in ________ stays in ________." This is the Devil's own lie. 

Every sin affects our own self and others as well. God displays His displeasure of sinful actions by consequences that are built into those actions. Some call this retributive justice.
  1. Choose ahead of time that you will not sin. Make up your mind to live as God directs and declares as to what is right and wrong.
  2. Let the consequences of sinful actions and activities serve as an additional motivation to avoid sin and to choose to do what is right as declared by God.
  3. When you sin, determine to immediately confess that sin, seek forgiveness, and determine not to sin again. 1 John 1:7 directs,  "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin," (NIV). This is God's promise to us.
  4. Ask God to make you love what is right and hate what is sinful.  "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose," Philemon 2:13 (NIV).
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Do your best to retrieve wounded game. Take training to learn the skills of tracking. Invest in some of the newer tools that help with game retrieval such as thermal imaging and lights that highlight blood trails. Do some research ahead of time about the use of dogs to track down wounded animals. If legal in your area, locate ahead of time such a resource.

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 21, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . If You Want God To Bless You, Do What God Promises To Bless  (Jack M)
Bible Study Verse
Among all these soldiers there were seven hundred select troops who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not miss. (NIV)
It is always a thrill to make the putt, to hit that clay bird, or to make that perfect shot in the 10 ring. This thrill is part of the blessing of God on humans. He has given us many things to enjoy. 
Making the right call in life, in business, or in another arenas brings pleasure and satisfaction. Whether in hunting, in fishing, or in business judging correctly is crucial. To make the right call, you must have a standard by which to decide whether the call is correct. (Jack M)
Action Point
What is the standard for your choices in life? From whom do you receive your guidelines and rules? 

It is vitally important to make our decisions according to what is true, and not what is just someone's opinion. As someone said, "Don't climb the ladder only to find out it is leaning against the wrong wall."
If you want God to bless you, do what God promises to bless.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Get the updates on your GPS regularly. Or update your maps. Otherwise they may prove to be inaccurate and get you into a difficult place. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 20, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . I Like To See What's At The Bottom Before I Leap . . . My Decisions Were Mine And Not The Ramblings Of The Crowd (NPS) 
Bible Study Verse
Isaiah 56:1
"Maintain justice and do what is right, for My salvation is close at hand and My righteousness  will soon be revealed." (NIV)
With all that is going wrong in the world today, with all that is evil, with all that is tempting, it's not easy to have morals or stand for what we as individuals believe in.  
Society wants us to conform.  Conform to their ways.  It's easier, it's better, so they tell us. 
That's where I differ.  The easier way is seldom the correct way. Just because other people jump off a cliff, I like to see what's at the bottom before I make the leap.  
Stand for what YOU believe in and pass that on to your kids.  Make a stand, take a stand and do not waiver if in your heart you feel you are just!!! 
(Jim C)
Action Point 
As an only child, I remember being an outsider to a group of so called "friends" because I would not go along with what they were doing.  I was teased and laughed at.  
Thank you God for those early experiences!!!  Those circumstances made me stronger. As I grew stepping out from the crowd and doing and saying what I believed in became easier.  I learned that by trusting my heart and my "gut" that not only could I sleep at night. My decisions were mine and not the ramblings of the crowd. 
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Calling to geese on a short reed goose call, takes time, patience and a lot of practice. In a hunting scenario remember that there is no "stage calling required." Calling to people never put many geese in the freezer! Practice on your honks, clucks and moans that will help you to be a better more consistent hunter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 19, 2012

Today's Photograph . . . . Sometimes The Best Place For Your New Duck Call Is, In Your Pocket  (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Deuteronomy 20:1 
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, Who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. (NIV)

This verse can apply to so much.  There are many ways to go to war.  There are days when it feels like I'm outnumbered by simply going into work!  

Just the hectic lives we lead can make us feel outnumbered and surround by chariots that are not our own.   

Keep your eye on the prize; stay focused on who is in charge.  I'm saying this for my sake as well as yours.  God is with us!!!
(Jim C)

Action Point
No matter how busy you are or how overwhelmed you can become, take a minute, take a breath, look to God, and ask for comfort.  

You will be surprised at how, by putting Him first, your objectives become so much clearer and your focus returns. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Thank God for duck season!  One of the best tips I ever received when I first started hunting is that sometimes the best place for your new duck call is, in your pocket!  If the ducks are coming in on their own, don't call to them, let them come!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September 18, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . God Is, Was and Always Will Be The Answer   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 44:1
We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. (NIV)
Reading through the Bible and seeing what Jesus did in those days, I wonder how people of today would act.  We are a sinful group with more faith in man at times.  Those times never prove to be a solution to anything.  
(Jim C)
Action Point
Sometimes when you have a day that makes you so angry, you can feel yourself shake.  It might be a good idea, to get away from the situation that has put you in that mood.  Walk in the woods, down a quiet path and ask God to talk with him for a bit.  
The calming sensation can clear your head and lead you to a better situation with clearer thinking. 
God, is was and always will be the answer.  Put your trust in Him!!!  
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
After losing a fish that you just hooked, take a second, a deep breath and don't let it ruin your day. Think about why it could have happened, realize it did, and move on. There are plenty more fish in the sea.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . You Must Without Question Stand   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 37:5 
Commit your way to the Lordtrust in Him and He will do this. (NIV)

Sometimes it is not easy when others say one thing and you feel differently.  

There are times that no matter what you say, the facts and logic that you present will never change their mind, or at least see your point. 

If your cause is rooted in God, the results in the end will be in your favor.
(Jim C)

Action Point
Do not give in to peer pressure. You must without question stand for something, or you will fall for anything.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Know your limits of whatever you fish or hunt for. Stick to those limits and be an example to those around you.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September 16, 2012
Today's Photograph.... Friction Can Be A Good Thing (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Philippians 2:1-4
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (NIV)

We read and hear a lot about friction between Christians and atheists, Christians and Muslims, and Christians and other groups. We also sometimes experience friction between Christians, whether it's husband and wife, two co-workers, or people in the church. We even see some of it in the Bible.

The solution to conflict is very simple - it's to look out for the interests of the other person. Remember - the grace we have been given is grace we don't deserve. We should return that grace to other people.
(Steve S)

Action Point
Did Christ experience conflict? We only have to recall the Easter story to know the answer is yes. So, we won't always avoid conflict. But with those who have the same goals, the same purposes, and the same Lord, we can live at peace by keeping those goals and purposes in mind. We need to remember that the mission Christ calls us to is larger than any of us.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Friction can be a good thing. When camping on a cold night, get into your sleeping bag and create friction to get warm. You'll be surprised how much warmth you can create by rubbing your legs and feet together.

September 15, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . HE Wants Us To Be Content With What We Have and Be Able To Share Our Resources To Help Others  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Mark 10: 21-22
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," He said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (NIV)

The excitement and anticipation starts weeks before the season begins. Over the years, elk camp has gotten more and more comfortable:

  • The kitchen tent has plywood tables and counters, bear proof upright cabinets, running water to the kitchen, and corral from a hose in a stream above the camp 
  • The sleeping tents all have woodstoves, gas lanterns, and cots with foam mattresses.  
  • The biffy is almost as nice as home. (Lacking a few things, of course) 

Packing into camp seems to take a few more horses every year. We've even got a few more mules in the past few years because they carry heavier loads. 
(Tom L)

Action Point
It seems like we add a few more things to our lives every year. The question is:  Are all these things wants or needs? I know I have to ask myself this question often. Do we really need to upgrade our fishing and hunting equipment or is the equipment doing the job? Are there people in the community that don't have the essential needs that can benefit from our help?

The rich man in the scriptures was obsessed with his riches. He wasn't willing to make any sacrifices. 

Jesus wants us to have the right attitude about our possessions. He wants us to be content with what we have and be able to share our resources to help others.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Because of the uneven terrain and mountain trail switchbacks, make sure you practice mounting your horse from both sides. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . How Much Are We Willing To Do and How Far Are We Willing To Go To Worship Jesus   (Tim B)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 2:1-2
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem  and asked, "Where is the One Who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him." (NIV)

Prior to the elk season two of my hunting buddies moved away. Being 65 and hunting elk in bear country, I decided not to pack in on horseback to my favorite elk hunting area. Instead, I decided to team up with my pastor and to do a lot of hunting on foot. 

We walked for miles tracking elk. We did a lot of glassing and scouting looking for elk feeding in the evening and hoping to catch them in the same meadow early in the morning. That was the toughest elk season I had ever hunted. We were willing to put in hundreds of hours and miles to harvest an elk.
(Tom L)

Action Point
How much are we willing to do and how far are we willing to go to worship Jesus? The Magi traveled approximately 500 miles to see Jesus and presented valuable gifts as a religious act of worship. 
Let's evaluate our efforts:
  1.  Is our worship for Jesus real?
  2.  Is our worship a true act of expressing reverence to God?
  3.  Are our priorities in order? (God 1st, family 2nd, job 3rd, etc.)
  4.  According to John 4:24, Do we worship in spirit and truth?
  5.  Do we worship the God revealed in the Bible through Jesus Christ?
  6.  Is our worship more than an outward motion?
  7.  Do we TOTALLY submit ourselves to God?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When looking for sheds, use your binoculars to scan the hillsides. You'll cover a lot more ground.

September 13, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Pray Asking, God Will Give You Passion and Opportunities To Share Christ    (Sharon L)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 9: 36-38
When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field." 

When visiting my son and his family in the Florida panhandle, we try to spend several days fishing on the 1400 ft. Navarre pier. We generally fish for redfish, king and Spanish mackerel, sheephead, pompano, and whiting. 

Starting in March, hundreds of cobia fishermen hang out on the pier for hours sight fishing for the prized cobia. When one is sighted, they run down the pier toward the fish casting their bright colored jigs hoping to catch one of these large and aggressive cobias. I have never seen such passion to harvest a fish.
(Tom L)

Action Point
Passion is a strong intense emotional desire that leads to an action. Jesus' journey to the Cross has been called the Passion. He paid the price to redeem us and save the lost. 

Matthew 9:37b tells us, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few," (NIV).  

Start with prayer and God will give you that passion. Pray for the lost and God will also give you opportunities to witness.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When fishing the ocean, carry a resource to identify your catch. There are size and seasonal restrictions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . More Than The Fear Factor Of God's Justice Should Be The Love Of Christ In Our Hearts For Others   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 25: 34-36, 41
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me." 

"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.' " (NKJV)

During last year's bow season we saw quite a few elk. I drew on five elk, but never had a good shot to vitals, so I passed on all five shots. Bow hunting did give me an opportunity to learn where the elk were located, thus giving us an advantage to the beginning of the rifle season. I was especially looking forward to the rifle season because two of my friends from Minnesota were coming to Wyoming to hunt with me.

On opening day we saw some cow elk. I knew there were bulls in the area because we had seen them just days before. 

That afternoon prior to the evening hunt, I was hospitalized for kidney stones. After a couple of weeks the stones were removed surgically. Fortunately, one of my friends was able to connect on a nice bull.  
Not being able to hunt with my friends and sitting around the house for a couple of weeks was disappointing, but looking at the big picture, the whole ordeal turned out to be a blessing. 

The visitation and encouragement that I received from my friends, pastor, and church family made me realize why it was so important in Christ's ministry. The Lord had changed my heart to be more sensitive and encouraging to those who are sick or in need. 
(Tom L)

Action Point
The Lord makes it clear in Matthew 25: 34, 41 what the outcome will be based on our attitude toward others in need. More than the fear factor of God's justice should be the love of Christ in our hearts for others that should motivate our actions. 

Spend time in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship. Visit the sick, elderly and serve those in need. Bring a dish, dessert, and the communion elements. Both of you will be truly blessed!!!  
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
The doctors attributed the kidney stones to severe dehydration. While pursuing any game, take time to hydrate often.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . May We Keep God Truly The One In Whom We Trust  (MQ)
America Remembers . . . September 11, 2001
Bible Study Verse
Malachi 3:12
"And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land," says the Lord of hosts. (NKJV)
September 11, 2001, the day that the United States of America was attacked by 19 foreign terrorists. Two-thousand, nine-hundred ninety-eight people were killed, and not only Americans. Over 80 different countries mourned their own nationals who were among the casualties. It was a tragic day in world history.

The United States of America stands tall as the land of the free and the home of the brave. We stared tragedy in the face and solemnly reacted when war was declared on us. For the safety of all Americans and in defense of freedom, we transferred that war from our turf to the sands from which it emerged.

Throughout our nation's history, we have won freedom for millions, both here and abroad. We stand in the line of fire against tyranny. We sacrifice uncountable numbers of our own for liberty and justice around the world. We embrace and lift up impoverished nations. We establish democracy where no one dares think it possible. We are truly a blessed nation, a delightful land. Our enemies know this. Too many nations loathe it. But some do, indeed, recognize it and gladly call us friend. 
(Don H)

Action Point
These words in Malachi are a promise God gives to those who fully trust in Him. It's actually part of a series of promises God makes. In Malachi 3:10, He challenges people to bring all the tithes into the storehouse and to try Him in this--if He will not pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. 

May we as a nation keep God truly the One in whom we trust.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Keep copies of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights near your reading area or with your Bible. Read them often. Christians should be on the front line of knowing the contents of these precious documents.  

Please pray for our upcoming presidential election .. . . America needs God's help more than we have ever needed Him before . . .

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10, 2012   

Today's Photograph . . . . Give People The Most and Watch God's Blessings Heaped . . . (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 11:1 
Dishonest scales are detestable to the Lordbut an accurate weight is His delight. (HCSB) 

Some days the conditions and ability of my charter anglers require me to fish with live shrimp to maximize catching opportunities. Bait camps operators make most of their living on the sale of bait, especially shrimp.

You can buy it by the pint ($15), or quart ($20), or by the shrimp ($.25) in some bait camps in Corpus Christi. Normally, with three anglers, two quarts will get it done. 

However, if you buy from Rawlings Bait Camp in Matagorda, a quart and a pint are plenty. For years Rawlings has been known to give you more than you pay for, and the quality of the shrimp are the best in Matagorda. That's a tribute to Mike Talasek, who runs the place and catches the shrimp.
(Bink G) 

Action Point
Anything detestable, dishonest or shady is not from God. If you claim to be a follower of Christ, everything you do should be of the utmost to glorify God. Naysayers are always watching, waiting, looking at how you react to certain situations. The world says it is alright to lie, cheat and steal - some claim it is "normal business." However, Christians live by a different code of conduct. If you claim to be a follower of Christ, yet follow the ways of the world, your faith is worthless.

You want the most for your money, so give people the most and watch God's blessing heaped on you for honoring Him.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Keep live shrimp alive in the heat of the summer by keeping the water cool with cubes of ice. Cooler water holds more molecules of oxygen, which keeps shrimp frisky.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Today's Photograph . . . . Seek The Maker Of The Stars, Not The Stars . . .   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses 
I Timothy 4:7-8
But have nothing to do with irreverent and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness, for
the training of the body has a limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (HCSB)

As a former college and professional baseball player, I saw superstition daily: 
  • Never wear the same shirt under the uniform - without washing it - during a hitting streak. 
  • Never eat a certain meal, like chicken (Wade Boggs), before a game. 
  • Never losing the thoughts there were hexes put on their bats when they were in a slump.
  • Never putting on your socks unless you put on the right sock first. 
  • Never touch the foul line - that was a definite no-no.
  • Never calling the manager "coach"
 (Bink G)

Action Point
There is an old mariner's tale that says bananas on boats bring bad luck. There are a few friends of mine in the chartering business who take it to heart and get really upset when a customer brings the yellow fruit on board. I kind of have fun with it and hide a banana occasionally on my buddy's boat to get a rise out of him. 

Why do so many look to the stars, horoscopes and psychics to find the answers to life? The world may be changing, but the Word has not and will not. Seek the Maker of the stars - not the stars. 
Back to baseball, my ritual was to draw a cross in the dirt at home plate before every at-bat. It wasn't a superstitious act, just an act of honor and reverence. Did I get a hit in every at-bat? Of course not - there was only one Man who walked on water!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When taking kids fishing, take lots of snacks to keep them occupied in case the action is slow. Yes, bananas are acceptable.