Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 31, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . It May Not Be About You   (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Exodus 15:1-2 
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:  "I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. Both horse and driver He has hurled into the sea.  The Lord is my Strength and my Defense; He has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him." (NIV)

The horse the rider and the entire Egyptian army!  I always loved seeing that part while watching Charlton Heston in "The Ten Commandments."  One of my favorite movies of all time. I love seeing God kick butt.  

Throughout the Bible, God uses the small, the weak and the somewhat insignificant to showcase His awesome deeds.  This should stand as proof to all of you that if needed God can use anyone of us to reach someone to be saved for Him.  A true honor for sure!
(Jim C)

Action Point
Never doubt that God can and will use your experiences in life to not only show you something, but to illustrate a point or "spark" something in someone else.  

If you're not sure why something is happening to you, remember it may NOT be about YOU!!! 
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Calling to Canada geese and being successful at it takes time and practice. Shortcuts do not exist. The language of the Canada goose is based on the cluck. Learn to cluck correctly and other pieces will fall into place.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 30, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Your Camp Must Be Holy   (Cliff S) 
Bible Study Verses 
Deuteronomy 23:12-14 
Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that He will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you. (NIV)

OK, OK, stay with me on this one, I'm going somewhere with it!  Think about it, if you walked into someone's hunting or fishing camp and there was garbage, trash, and filth-excrement--everywhere, would you want to sit and visit, to share a meal, to spend the night?  I don't think so.  

Well, there is going to be "excrement" in our lives whether we like it or not.  Bad things, or sins, do happen.  Sometimes we're the source of those bad things; sometimes they're from external sources.  But we're told here to go out of the camp and get rid of them, to relieve ourselves, or better put, repent, of those bad things and bury them.  

Why?  So that God will not turn away from us, so that He will protect us, and so that He will deliver us from our enemies.  If we're harboring sin in our lives, are we not keeping "excrement" in?  Can God send His Spirit to dwell in us, and to bless us if we don't confess and repent of our sins, our spiritual equivalent of excrement?  

Will God provide victory over the evil one if we are being disobedient to Him?  Not the way I read His Word.  So, let's go out of the camp and get some "relief".  Let's confess, repent, and bury the excrement as God instructs us to, and then become the obedient, victorious children God wants us to be. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
If we're walking with God in obedience, He will convict us of sin so that we may recognize and confess it.  When He does, it is imperative that we respond with confession and repentance.  If we do, then He promises, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness," I John 1:9 (NIV).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Every camp needs a "special" shovel.  Some may need two.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 29, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Always Be That kind Of Friend  (Fred B)
Bible Study Verses
Proverbs 17:17  
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (NKJV)

Proverbs 18:24 
A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a Friend Who sticks closer than a brother. (NKJV)

My trout fishing buddy Glen loves to catch Browns the most. On a recent outing, I fished upstream from him for awhile. He called me down to "fish below me in that run. I couldn't get a bite there." So, I did, and on my first cast, caught a 16' German brown with brilliant colors! Yes, I felt bad looking at that Brown. But he came down stream, and went wild, excited for me/with me, over my small stream trophy.

Now, that's a friend, just like Solomon described. May I always be that kind of friend to Glen, and to everyone--both in the outdoors, and in all of life.   
(Fred B) 

Action Point
Solomon wrote that someone close to you loves you, and will stay with you during times of trouble, opposition, crowding. And there are even some friends who are joined with you closer than your blood-kin. The man who is excited when you kill the biggest deer or catch the biggest trout of the day. Those friends, brothers are few and far between. They are gifts from God!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
  1. Don't crowd other fishermen as they fish, especially on a stream. Be courteous and give other folks a wide berth.
  2. Show a younger or beginner fisherman how to fish riffles, runs, etc. When you spot a trout, don't catch him. Instead bring them down and let them catch him.

Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Make Preconditioning A Daily Workout   (Tom B)
Bible Study Verses
I Timothy 4:7-8 
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. (NIV)

Saltwater anglers fishing Texas coastal waters all agree that wade fishing is a great way to catch fish. Slip into the water from your boat along a shoreline or drive up to the beachfront and wade in.
At first glance for someone who hasn't waded much, it looks like a pretty simple way to sneak up on a bunch speckled trout, redfish or flounder. However the neophyte to this type of fishing doesn't realize what a workout this type of fishing can be. Normally the wade fishing angler doesn't stand in one place unless he is along an ambush where moving tidal water is pushing or pulling fish by.
It's done mostly by shuffling along, while keeping your eyes tuned to birds diving for shrimp, slicks, mud boils or tell-tale signs of fish activity. Experienced waders might shuffle half a mile or more, casting, looking for fish activity.
The bottom varies from compacted or shifting sand, shell or just plain mud. I have come to the point in my life where if the bottom is mud, I'm not going there. I don't care if there are redfish boiling all along the shoreline, they can stay there. Pulling one foot out of ankle sucking mud after the next foot isn't worth it.
(Tom B)
Action Point
Experienced wade fishing anglers know you have to be in good physical shape to do this type of fishing. After wading along and casting a beachfront or shallow water flat for about an hour or more over varied assortment of bottoms, the "hike" back to the boat or parked vehicle sure can look like a long trek prompting the statement, "Gee, I wish I hadn't gone that far!"
At times our everyday life can get to be a struggle if you haven't done some preconditioning, reading God's Word and praying, before the muddy bottoms pop up.
Spend time alone with God every day, having a spiritual workout. Just 10 minutes a day will help you handle the events of the day.
"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ," Romans 10:7 (NIV).
Ask yourself, how does what you read apply to your life? What does it say about mankind? 
Then pray. Confess your sins to God. Thank Him for what He has shown you. Pray for yourself and others.
Make preconditioning a daily workout. It will strengthen every area of your life.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When driving along a beach looking for a good place to start your wade fishing day, be aware of the tidal flow for that day. Not only for matching up your fishing efforts to fish movement, but also to where you park your vehicle. You might come back and find it surrounded by water.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 27, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .What If It Meant Being Closer To God   (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses  
Philippians 3: 7-9 
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (NIV)

The apostle Paul does not mix words. Read the above verse again. Considering how materialistic we are today, myself included, how much closer to Christ would we be with Paul's truth? 

Our wealth should be Jesus Christ. For in the end, He is, has and will always out last anything. He is everything. Honestly, if we would give up half the belongings we have attained in this world (or more) would we really miss them? What if it meant being closer to God? 

As an only child I can tell you that we become selfish in this world and to what end. We cannot take any of it with us. NOT any of it!!
(Jim C)

Action Point
Earlier this year, I did a little house cleaning. I went through a lot of my stuff and donated or sold some items off to people. It was liberating! I still have too much!!  Sometimes I feel like they are speed bumps in the way to the fast lane with Jesus!!!  

I use the think, the more I had the more I had accomplished. Now I feel that stuff gets in the way. To have all you want is not always to have all you need!!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Weather plays a big part in the success of a waterfowler's hunt. When conditions get ugly with snow, sleet or rain, get ready friends for the birds are going to fly!   

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .   It's Never Too Late To Begin To Follow God's Word  (Chris Q)
Bible Study Verse
James 1:22-25
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do.  (NIV)

Men are bad at thinking that we know how to do everything. We don't need to ask anybody for instructions. I'm guilty of this at times.

Take for example, you buy a new fishing reel and it comes with a detailed instruction booklet on all the parts and what to service regularly. "I don't need that," you say, and it ends up in the trash. Six months to a year later you take the reel apart to service it and can't figure out how one pesky spring goes back into the side plate. Where's the instruction book?

Another example, you're meeting a friend at a certain marina on the lake for an early morning fishing trip. "Do you need instructions on how to get there?" he asks. "Nah, I can find it okay." Thirty minutes late and you can't find the marina.
(Tom B)

Action Point
God has given us an instruction book, the Bible. It lists everything we need to know for our lives. It even has sections on what to check if something isn't working right in our lives. "Nah, I don't need it; I can figure it out."

Ten years from now, your kids don't respect you, your personal finances are a mess, or your health is failing. The list might be long or short. It doesn't have to be 10 years later, it could be tomorrow.

Where's the instruction book? Maybe I should have read the instruction book earlier. It's never too late to begin to follow God's Word.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Keep those instruction and parts books that come with everything you purchase. No matter whether it's a sporting goods item or something around the house, set up a file. Eventually you will need the help they provide. Also, don't forget to send in the warranty and registration cards.

January 25, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .  Resist The Urge To Go Fishing   (Tom B)
Bible Study Verse
I John 1:9  
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)

When I was a young boy, my buddies and I found this lake that no one else knew about . . . of course it was on private property.

It was separated from direct access to the public by a barbed wire fenced pasture that had a horse in it. If we were to get to the lake, we had to cross the pasture. We checked out the horse which was on the other end; he was just grazing, paying no attention to us.

We slowly crawled through the barb wired strands and started across the field, checking the horse every so often. About half way across the pasture, the horse started coming toward us at a gallop. We turned tail and ran as fast as we could to the fence we had just come through! 

Everyone made it back through the fence except me. I was stuck halfway through the fence. One leg was on one side and my remaining side was on the horse's domain. The horse kept coming. I just knew he was going to take a chunk out of my posterior that was stuck on his side. I could already feel the pain!

But, he didn't. He stopped within inches of me, snorting and checking me out, but never touched me. Slowly I freed myself from my predicament and we both stood there looking at each other.
(Tom B)

Action Point
I was in that horse's pasture where I should not have been; I had intentions on crossing the fence to get to the lake where I did not have permission to be on. Guilty as charged on all counts. But, Jesus forgave me for my trespass and the horse didn't bite me.

Corrie Ten Boom was fond of quoting Micah 7:19 that reads, "You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea," Often she would add that He had put up a sign that reads "NO FISHING."

As Christians, we know that God has forgiven our sins. But for some reason, we keep fishing them up. So often we keep reliving the embarrassment and humiliation, the horror of those old sins - over and over again, burdened by guilt and regret.

First John 1:9 clearly tells us, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness," (NIV).

Satan tries to keep us in bondage to the sins of our past, filling us with guilt and despair. But this is one time when we've got to forget our feelings and focus on what the shed blood of Jesus did for us. We've been forgiven. We've been set free. 

When you find the sins of your past flashing through your mind today, resist the urge to go fishing. Instead, immediately start praising God for His amazing grace and give Him glory for the forgiveness that is yours in Christ.

"Happy are those whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned," Psalm 32: 1 (GNT).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Since that eventful day in my early youth I found it's always easier and less stressful to gain access to a lake or stream by asking permission. Abide by the owner's rules and make sure you tell him thank you when you leave. This common courtesy might allow access on a regular basis. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 24, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .  it's The Ultimate Fight For Our Faith, Our Families, and Our Christian
Brothers and Sisters  (Keith P)
Bible Study Verse
I Chronicles 19:13  
"Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in His sight." (NIV)

Matthew 21:12-13
Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," He said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it 'a den of robbers.' " (NIV) 

Have you ever seen photos of African Cape Buffalo forming a "fighting ring" when danger approaches? The buffalo form a half circle and all face the danger together (most often a pride of hungry lions). There is strength in numbers and they can protect each other. In today's vernacular, they've got each other's back! 

I've never had the pleasure of experiencing a "ring" of cape buffalo, but let me share with you what I have seen. Here in the desert southwest we have a diminutive creature known as the Javelina, also known as "pigs" to the local hunters. Now, pigs certainly aren't cape buffalo, but they do share a common characteristic. 

I like to hunt pigs with a varmint call. If all goes according to plan, the herd of pigs will come to the call thinking that one of their own is getting chomped. But, the caller must remember, the pigs are coming in, shall we say, less than happy. They are MAD, and they usually show it. You want to stop calling once they've gotten within range or you just might have an "up close and personal" encounter with one of these critters that won't end well for you. I've actually had a herd encircle me while I was safely perched on a rather large rock that God had made just for me! 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
We as Christians have all heard the verses about turning the other cheek and going with an oppressor two miles instead of one. God wants us to do this when the circumstances are right and it will glorify Him. But, in too many Christian circles we've been taught, especially as men, that we're to always be meek and mild "nice guys" and just take whatever the world dishes out. 

OK, so how many sermons have you heard based on I Chronicles 19:13? We've all heard the story of Christ driving the money changers out of the Temple, but do we really get what He's doing? Christians have a responsibility to fight for God, His Word, and His people, again, when the circumstances are right and when God will be glorified. Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the whole armor of God and, "TO STAND." 

I would suggest that, especially you men of God, watch the movie Courageous and read Wild at Heart, No More Christian Nice Guy, Jesus Mean and Wild, Fearless, In a Pit With A Lion on a Snowy Day, and a host of other books that talk about fighting for our faith, our families, and the right to practice our beliefs in freedom. 

Yes, Jesus set the example of being a loving, gracious, and merciful man. But, Jesus also set the example of fighting for the Father. Wake up Christians!!!!  The fight is all around us. From Satanic forces to those who would limit our freedom to worship and practice our faith, we are in a fight. In many ways, it's the ultimate fight for our faith, our families, and our Christian brothers and sisters. 

There's a popular phrase in our society, "Man Up!" Well, I believe it is time for us to Christian Up. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When hunting in black bear or mountain lion country always be alert. Should one of these animals attack you must understand that they mean to kill you and very likely eat you. If attacked you will be in the fight of your life. Play dead in a grizzly attack. But black bears and mountain lions attack with deadly intent and you must fight for your life. And, remember, when fighting for your life there's no such thing as fighting dirty!!!!   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

January 23, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . When We Follow His Laws We Avoid Many Severe Consequences   (FWS)
Bible Study Verses
Exodus 20:1-17  
And God spoke all these words:  "I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. "You shall have no other gods before Me. "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in Heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments. "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His name. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. "You shall not murder. "You shall not commit adultery. "You shall not steal. 
"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." (NIV)

About 1900 in America there was what is referred to as "market hunting." Market hunting was where hunters killed wild animals and sold them in the market for food. People that didn't hunt purchased the animals for their meat source. It was legal at the time, but was devastating wildlife populations.

Sport hunters of the day realized that if it continued there wouldn't be any wildlife left. These early conservationists went to the government and lobbied for wildlife management agencies on both the federal and state levels.

These early conservationists understood that we had to restrict the number of animals we killed every year and the means by which we killed them. Hence we now have game laws that are implemented to protect and preserve wildlife at sustainable and healthy levels.

The laws, while we may consider them to be restrictive, are there for the wildlife's protection and for our benefit so that we, and future generations, will have wild animals to enjoy.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Many people choose to look at God's laws as being restrictive. Many today choose to make their own rules and ignore God's laws altogether. A great many people will mock and criticize those of us that take God's laws seriously and want them to be a basis for social behavior by calling us judgmental. 

But, what is the real purpose of God's laws? They are there for our protection and well being. God knows what is best for us. If we follow His laws, we will avoid many severe consequences. 

Consider an example. Laws that prohibit drunk or impaired driving and boating are restrictive. But, they are there to protect ourselves and other people that are on the road or on the water. So, are they good for us? Yes! 

So are God's laws. They are there to protect us from negative consequences, physical and spiritual, and guide us into a better life. 

And, let's not forget Jesus' summation of the Law in Matthew 22:37-40, "Jesus replied:  'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments,' " (NIV).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Primary firearm safety "laws" are: 
  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded. 
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. 
  • Be sure of your target and beyond. 
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. 

Good laws for us to follow . . .   

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 22, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Stunned When I Look Over My Shoulder At The Crossroad  (MQ) 
Our hearts are heavy with today marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade and Doe vs Bolton terminating millions of innocent babies each year. Now we are forced to pay for this with our tax dollars. America is not as civilized as we'd like to imagine. How long will God allow America to destroy the innocent without reaping what we have sown?
Bible Study Verse
Mark 14:27
"You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "For it is written:  'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' " (NIV)

Let discuss forgiveness. Jesus knew through the Father that the disciples, as close as they were to Him, would leave Him. Yet He chose to forgive them. Jesus knew that we as humans were not perfect. Man did not stick by Him then, and even today we "fall away." 

I am as much to blame as the next "Christian".  As I walk down the road getting caught up in my own world, I am suddenly stunned that when I look over my shoulder at the crossroads of an event. How I could have ever left Jesus at the bus stop! No wonder that event became difficult, frustrating, and disheartening. 

The best way always has been and always will be to ask Jesus to guide us. Trust Him and see that rocky roads are made smooth and life, although still tough, can be weathered with Jesus by our side. We walk away; He waits for us to come back. We ask for forgiveness time and time again, He gives us that and His grace. We become scattered; He waits for our return. This my friend, is the God we serve. How awesome is He!! He loves us that much and always excited upon our return.
(Jim C)

Action Point
When you go through a rough patch and things get difficult and seem to be spiraling out of control, STOP! Take a deep breath and look up with your heart and eyes open.  "God it is me! I need you because I cannot do this on my own. I need your guidance strength and compassion. Come into my heart and calm this storm. Please guide and get me through this!"  

When you ask God for help, He will never let you down. Realize the answer and the assistance you receive may not be what you expected. But, it will be what God sees best for you, not what you feel is best for you. That my friends will be the perfect outcome. Believe that and see what God has waiting for you!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Hybrid Stripers are an incredible fighting fish that strike and fight extremely hard. They chase bait to the surface and explode in frenzy. Top water lures, such as "walking" baits and "popper" style lures with a chrome finish to represent baitfish, can be deadly on these predators.  Be ready for incredible strikes and adjust your drag, you'll need to!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . Whatever Is Out There Will Be Spectacular   (MQ)
Martin   Luther   King,   Jr's   Birthday  

Bible Study Verse
Ecclesiastes 3:11 
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (NIV) 
Sleeping "under the stars." It doesn't get any better than that. It's always a treat to see a shooting star or two before falling to sleep. 
A few years back, I was in northwestern AZ on a desert bighorn sheep hunt with some friends. In the middle of the night I had to get up for a few minutes. You young guys will appreciate this fact more as you approach my age. Anyway, when I crawled back into my sleeping bag, I had the pleasure of watching some thirty shooting stars in about ten minutes. I don't know if it was a meteor shower or what, I just know it was spectacular.
Now for my real point here. As a child, sometimes as an adult, and maybe while watching shooting stars, I've wondered what is at the outer edge of the universe. I mean, is there a wall, maybe a hedgerow, or what. What is on the other side? It's then that I have to remind myself that I am a creature with finite thinking and perspective. It's obviously impossible for me to know or fathom what I'm seeing. I do know that it's really beautiful and that it was created for my pleasure. 
(Cliff S)
Action Point 
God made everything there is on Earth, and He made all things beautiful. Even some of those things that make us go, "Yuck". When you take a closer look, they are really intricate and spectacular in their own way. 
God also set in the heart of every human being that's ever lived, a yearning for and thoughts of eternity. Because of what God has put in our hearts, we instinctively know that there is more to life than just this time on Earth. But, God also made us finite creatures that are only capable of thinking in finite terms.
God is infinite. God has no beginning or end, and I can't understand that. I just know that it's true. Therefore, I put my faith and trust in Him. I trust that whatever eternity with God will be like and whatever is out there at the edge of the universe, it will be spectacular.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
If you want a really good look at the moon or stars, grab your spotting scope and take a look. It is absolutely beautiful. Be sure to show the kids. As the earth and moon move, the scope will have to be moved to keep it on whatever you're looking at. It's a good way to illustrate to the kids that we're not standing still.   

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January 20, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .Then You Will Have Good Success   (Tom B)
Bible Study Verse
Joshua 1:8  
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (NKJV)

Recently I came across an article about slowing down, making time for the simple things in life. 
Jon Kabat-Zinn, the author, offered perspective on man's inability to slow down and get involved in the more simple things in life. He said, "It doesn't actually take any more time to say good-bye or hug someone you know, your children or whatever in the morning when you're on your way to work. But the mind says, 'I don't have time for this.' But actually that's all you have time for, because there's nothing else than this."

Another example of people not being able to enjoy things in their lives was an angler that I drew as a fishing partner at a Bassmaster Classic I attended a few years back.

BASS invites six non-professional anglers who have won regional bass club championships to fish in the Bassmaster Classic. To fish against the elite of the bass fishing world and have a chance to win the biggest tournament championship in the world is quite a big deal. He should have been enjoying being able to fish the Classic. Instead, after about 2-3 hours of fishing on the first day of the 3 day tournament, without a bite or catching a fish, he was calling it quits for the tournament. 

Fishing rods and miscellaneous pieces of fishing tackle were strewn all over the front deck of his boat. I advised that calling it quits would not put the BASS people in a very good mood. He did fish out the day, but his heart wasn't in it. His fishless streak continued pretty much the rest of the three day tournament.
(Tom B) 

Action Point
"My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding," Psalm 49:3 (NIV). The angler I was observing at the Bassmaster Classic never decompressed. He may or may not have been a believer. However, I'm at fault for never taking the advantage of a great witnessing opportunity. I was too shocked at hearing him say he wanted to pack it in and head back to the launch ramp.

I agree with Kabat-Zinn on slowing down and opening our lives, "I don't have any time for this. But actually that's all you have time for, because there's nothing else than this." I'm guilty of this, not exactly in the same situation he describes, but in my own set of circumstances. Do you face the same type of situations in your lives?

I'm sure Kabat-Zinn has spent much time researching and studying in his chosen field. However, you know what? He never mentioned God in his discourse. He missed out on one of the greatest resource materials on making life count, the Holy Bible.

Meditate, read the Word. "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress," I Timothy 4:15 (NIV).  
We are all going to face stress. Handling stress producing situations is pretty simple. Seek the Lord first.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day:
Waders are not only a duck hunting essential, but can be used for both fishing and hunting. If you are fishing in cold weather or foul weather, waders will keep you warmer and drier than any rain suit.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 19, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Are Only Forgiven  (Raymond R)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 22:18-21
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show Me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought Him a denarius,  and He asked them,  "Whose image is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then He said to them, "So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." (NIV)

I can make a variety of mistakes in the field if you give me enough time! I'll walk to fast and jump up my quarry. I won't pay attention to the wind and before I know it it'll be blowing down my neck. It takes a conscious effort to keep all the rules of hunting in order to make a successful hunt.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Back at the time Jesus walked the earth, the Pharisees were out to get Him to say the least. They were "experts" in God's Law, master lawyers so to speak. They tried their hardest to catch and convict Him of doing anything wrong, to no avail.

If you spend 15 minutes around me, much less a day, you will find that I will do something wrong. You won't even need an attorney to catch me at it, just ask my wife!!! I am not perfect although Jesus whom we try to imitate, is.

The scripture tells us, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus," Romans 3:23-24 (NIV). God knows that we will never stand up to His son, but He loves us so much that we are made perfect by His Grace if we have accepted Him as Lord and Savior and have repented for our sins. To coin a phrase, "We are not perfect, only forgiven."

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
I think wind direction is the most critical thing for me as a hunter whether I have a bow or rifle in hand. I am always checking it especially as it starts to warm up in the morning and change direction. Using a commercial powder is cheap and easy to come by in most hunting outlets or make your own out of unscented talcum powder, baking powder, corn starch, etc. If its homemade, try it at home before you go in the field.

January 18, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . He Started To Doubt and He Began To . . . .  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses  
Matthew 14:27-31 
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." And He  said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, " You of little faith, why did you doubt?" (NASB)

Have you ever had one of those moments when you had a great idea, took off with it, only to start to doubt it a short time later? I know I have. I don't know how many times I have had great ideas or plans about hunting, then I begin to doubt myself and never follow through with them. 

Just this year I was having an extremely slow morning while deer hunting during the rut. Nothing was moving so I thought maybe I should slowly move through the woods and see if I could intercept cruising deer. I tried this tactic two years ago and I shot a beautiful 8 pointer that was chasing does. 

I went about 100 yards when I started to second guess myself so I sat down for a moment to think. The next thing I know, two deer came running down the ridge in front of me. I heard a buck grunting so I started calling. I had a young buck walk straight into me. Was he a wall hanger, no. But, it was the first deer I have ever called in!! He blessed me that day!!!
(Terry L)
Action Point
The Apostle Peter sometimes gets a bad rap. But, I really can relate to him. I have messed up more times than I can count. I love this piece of scripture because I can really feel for Peter. Out of the 12, he was the only one who had the courage to step out of the boat. 

Oh how I wish I always had the courage to answer His call. As Peter walked his faith was shaken, he started to doubt and he began to sink. But like a good disciple he called out to the Lord for help and like a loving shepherd Jesus was there to help him up. 

We need to have the courage to answer our Lords call. We need to walk with the same faith that Peter had. When in trouble, we need to call on our Lord. Take courage it is He. He is always there waiting to offer us a hand up.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
It is always good to have a plan when you go hunting. But, also, be flexible enough to adapt to changing conditions.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . It Won't Do You Any Good . . . If You Don't . . . (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 6:19-20  
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a Forerunner on our behalf, having become a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (ESV)

I am not a big fan of heights so you can just imagine how cautious I am when it comes to tree stand safety. The first few times I went up a tree in my climbing stand I moved with caution and always made sure I had my harness on and that I was connected to the tree. I am a big guy and to think that my life relied on a small piece of rope around a tree was not comforting. 

On a few occasions I have had my tree strand slip on some hard bark. Man, was I glad that piece of rope had me anchored to that tree!!! 

Now here is a truth I am not proud of . . . in my hurry to get up a tree to hunt, I have not hooked up. I did that a few times and then it happened!!! 

My stand slipped. It slipped only a foot or so.  But trust me, it was enough and my safety strap was hooked to the tree.
(Terry L)

Action Point
Our walk through this life can be as dangerous as a tree stand. In the blink of an eye a Christian can fall!!! 

As we go through life, we need to be connected to our Anchor, Jesus Christ. Because you are a Christian doesn't mean you are safe!!! It just means you KNOW where to seek safety. But just like your safety harness and tie off you leave in your truck, it won't do you any good if you don't use it. 

Each day you need to put on the armor of God so you can move safely. Thank You Jesus for being our Anchor!!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Tree stand safety is nothing to play with or to gaff off. No deer is worth your life. Please always wear and use your safety equipment when hunting from a tree stand.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 16, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Forgetting What Is Behind and Straining Toward What Is Ahead  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 24:27   
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. (NIV)

I grew up "camping out" with my Dad on our hunts. That is, we never had the luxury of a trailer, a  motel room, or the like. Our typical shelter consisted of a tent. 

It was always important that we arrive at our destination early to set up camp, find a level area for the tent, and clear the ground, usually my job. 

First I had to remove all the small boulders, and large rocks. Next came the stones, and digging up what looked like stones but sometimes turned out to be large rocks hidden beneath the ground. This was important so that the floor of the tent wasn't damaged and most importantly so we didn't have to sleep on them. Sometimes it would take a few days to discover one under your bedding you hadn't noticed before. It could make for a long uncomfortable night!
(Ruben C)    

Action Point
I recently read an analogy how sin in our lives is like the clearing the ground of our campsite. When we first become Christians God points out many major attitudes and behaviors in our character that are easy to see and need clearing out. 

Later you will discover the stones and even pebbles that were not so obvious at first, but definitely there, and they need clearing out as well. Sometimes we will remove many stones before we notice the hidden ones. Left unaddressed, they will be revealed sooner or later, one way or the other, and when you dig at them you may discover they're bigger than you think! 

Don't stress! It's normal, and it's God's way of refining us. Even the Apostle Paul wrote, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead," Philippians 3:12-13 (NIV). 

Be encouraged, repent and carry on Brothers!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Place a tarp on the ground before you set up your tent as added protection against unseen stones that might damage your tent floor. If you use cots, place carpet scraps under the legs to protect the floor from above. It can add years to the life of your tent. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 15, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .  The Only Thing Standing Between You and Your Problem Is You Not Believing That God Will Help You (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Genesis 21:1-2
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. (NIV)
For Sarah to have a child at that old age was nothing short of a miracle, even by today's standards. However, when God is placed between you and the impossible, the situation becomes possible. 
Someone out there reading this now is in a tight spot. I know that because I DON"T pick these verses, God does. This is meant to be a message to you that the only thing standing between you and your problem is you  not believing that God will help you. 
When the problem is too big and you see no way to resolve it, that is where God shines and where your belief will set you free. What are you waiting for a special invitation? Here it is!!!
(Jim C)
Action Point
Sometimes people need more than a helping hand. Sometimes they need a hand on a shoulder, a kind word, and/or a swift kick in the pants. Either way a support from a friend and encouraging word letting them know of your support can be just what the doctor (GOD) ordered.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
Sometimes the best lure any fisherman can have is the confidence that he or she is going to catch a fish. Never go out hoping for a good day. Know in your mind before you ever hit the water that today is your day. Ask God to bless your trip and you will not only see Him in your adventure, the day will be rewarding no matter how many fish you catch.