Thursday, February 28, 2013
















February 28 , 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Satan Has A Way Of Making Evil Seem Attractive, A Distorted Allure  (Dave M)
Bible Study Verse
John 15:5
 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing." (NIV)

Thoughts
We had somewhere around 40-45 hours of drive time under our belt. We started in northern Michigan, but the point to the trip was to get to Glacier National Park. Then travel North up into Alberta, Canada and through the Canadian Rockies. 

For the most part, the trip was now over in my mind. I found myself staring at the intersection of the Icefield Parkway, Highway 93, and the Yellowhead Highway, Highway 16. I simply stopped and stared. Everything in our trip up until that point had been either "headed out West" or "through the Rockies". . .  at this intersection, the rest of our trip would be headed home. The sign at the cross-roads gave the distances for both directions. To the West was British Columbia and the Gulf of Alaska. To the east was Edmonton.

To take the family hiking through Glacier National Park and the Rockies had been a lifelong dream. But, this intersection also represented the potential for another lifelong dream. Ever since I was a kid, I've always wanted to go to Alaska. Never in my life had I been that close to Alaska. I wanted to turn left and just keep on going. Never mind that I was out of time and money for the trip. The allure to turning left was almost too much to bear.
(Dave M)
Action Point
Life is full of crossroad moments. Oftentimes, the crossroad we find ourselves at are simply a choice of God's will for us or what we simply want. What we want may certainly bring us temporary satisfaction, but . . . what will it do for me in the long run? 
  • Will it compromise my relationship with my wife?
  • Will it cost me money that I don't have? 
  • Will it cost me friends? 
  • Will it cost me my integrity? 
Satan has a way of making evil seem attractive. In some way, shape, or form he's created a distorted allure. 

If you find yourself at a crossroads today with a decision staring you in the face . . . choose God. Through all the smoke and mirrors that our world throws at us, in our heart-of-hearts, we know what God desires of us. Choose Him and choose long-term blessing. Choose otherwise and don't be surprised by the fallout of your decision. 

God wants the best for you; don't be deceived otherwise!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When traveling long distances with a camper, make sure that you've greased your bearings, checked the brakes, and have the spare tire(s) ready to go. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
















February 27, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . They Glean A Little From This Religion or A Little Bit Of Wisdom From Another. (Dave M)

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)

Thoughts 
My family went hiking up by Jasper in the northern Rockies a couple of years ago. We were trying to climb to the top of Parker Ridge. The goal of the hike was to get up on top of Parker Ridge, so that we could look down at the glacier that went in between the mountains there. The view was supposed to be amazing!  

We ventured up the mountain following the switch backs that had been made by the many people who had been there before us. About half way up the mountain, I decided I was sick and tired of switch-backs! I kept looking over to the left of the trail, seeing a moraine there. 

In my brain, climbing straight up the mountain on the boulders seemed like a better idea than continuing to do the switch-backs. I let everyone else know what I was going to do, and I had absolutely no volunteers to go with me. They all thought I was nuts. So, I headed on up on the moraine, alone.
(Dave M)

Action Point
What I found when hiking the moraine was that I had poor footing with every step. I'd take a step up . . . try to dig my foot into a solid spot . . . hoist my other foot up . . . searching for another solid place to put my next step. 

In the end, we all reached the top. But, the difference was that I had no solid footing all the way up. I searched over and over again to find places where I hopefully wouldn't slip. At points, the rocks would slide and I would have to do a scramble to recover lost ground.

Spiritually, we need to make sure that we are on solid ground. There are many people who have an interest in the spiritual or supernatural realm. They spend their lives looking for some dark hidden secret that will supposedly change their life. They glean a little from this religion or a little bit of wisdom from another. They are constantly searching. 

My friends, I believe it's important to understand the difference between Christianity and other religions. That allows us to know how to have conversations with folks from different backgrounds. However, we need to keep in mind that Truth is only found in the Bible. God's word is no accident. It was left for you and I as a blueprint for how to live our lives, what to put our trust in, and how to determine meaning for the life we've been given. 

Anything that contradicts God's word puts you on slippery ground. Worse yet, it could be a rock slide. God's truths have withstood the test of time. Satan has tried to pervert them at points, and he's tried to mimic them in various religions that sound "good". These attempts are full of deception and half-truths. 

The reality is that if a person puts their faith in Jesus Christ, they are going to have solid footing. There is no other way!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When hiking up mountains, make sure to take layers of clothes to put on. In the summertime, there's often a 30 degree temperature difference from where you start hiking to the top of the mountain.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
















February 26, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . .He Loves and Cares For You Deeply (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
I Timothy 4:8
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)

Thoughts
This summer and early fall, my son and I have worked diligently together to get our new hunting property up and ready to go.  We have cut trails, put up portable tree stands, built permanent ground blinds, put in food plots, developed a spot for us to camp at, and have been scouting together recently. 

We have prepared well for this upcoming season.  We have rolled up our sleeves side-by-side to accomplish our goal of giving ourselves the opportunity to be successful white-tail hunting.  My son is learning the value of hard work . . . he is not getting this hunting opportunity without sweat on his brow!
(Dave M)

Action Point
Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.  This is what we have spent a good portion of our late summer doing. 

Jesus said that He was going to come back for us.  No man knows the day or the hour. But, we were left instructions to be ready.  Are you?  Are you daily developing a relationship with Jesus?  Do you read His word regularly?  Do you take your concerns/praises to Him regularly through prayer?  

As hunters, we will do whatever is necessary to get our equipment, land, and hunting gear in order for the upcoming season.  What we need to be mindful of is there is an upcoming season for you and I where we will spend eternity with Christ if we know Him as our Savior.

Are you ready?  Don't let a day slip by without furthering your relationship with Him!!!  He loves and cares for you deeply.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Carry backup batteries with you in your vehicle for your trail cams.  That way if they're dead when you get there, you won't lose days of scouting.

Monday, February 25, 2013
















February 25, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . What A Shame It Would Be To Not Be Able To Spend Eternity With Them In Heaven   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 3:17 
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (NIV) 

Thoughts
I don't know about you, but I hate being left behind from a good hunting or fishing trip. I left my son today at my sister's so that he could continue on his quest of the elusive white tail. We've hunted the last few days together.   But, my work schedule dictates that I have to be back to work tomorrow. His schedule is more flexible than mine.

The fact that he is out hunting tonight without me leaves my mind wandering and thinking about the woods. Although I want him to be successful, I really don't want to miss him getting a buck.

This next Spring, he is also going on a fishing trip up into Canada that I won't be able to go on. I have already thought several times about next Spring and how I know that the week he is going to be gone with me still here is going to just kill me. I love fishing in Canada, and I love all the good times we have together while we're there.

There's a longing that I have to be on these trips. I obviously love being in the outdoors. I love even more spending time with my kids outside making memories for a lifetime. I hate missing these moments!
(Dave M)

Action Point
From a spiritual standpoint, there are many folks who know the gospel and have heard it a thousand times, but have made no decision to follow Christ. Maybe that's you today . . .

Can I tell you that my longing to be with my son on these trips will not even hold a candle to what your longing will be if you don't make a decision to follow Christ before your time is up. Imagine never making a decision to follow Christ when all of your family members have. What a shame it would be to not be able to spend eternity with them in Heaven.

We all have to make a choice about Christ. Don't assume you have time to make this decision. Your eternal life depends on the decision you make - don't put it off!!!

If you have made a decision to follow Christ, step up to the plate today and share your faith with someone God has laid on your heart. Be a true friend and share God's story of salvation with them!!!
 
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The Lord has worked mightily through His amazing creation. Romans 1:20 talks of how everyone will know God through the nature He has created. Start the hunting adventure and the love of creation with your children early. Give attention, instruction, and time with your children as they learn to carry and master a BB gun as their first in the wild.

Sunday, February 24, 2013
















February 23, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . .That Happens When We Get Into The Bible and Read  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
II Peter 3:17-18
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (NIV)

Thoughts
During a hunter education class a father came to me and shared a problem. His child had a javelina hunt one week after the class was over and was having issues with the recoil from the .308 Winchester he wanted her to shoot. I told him that I'd spend a little time with her on range day and see if we could work her through the problem.

After our class range day was over I sat down with the girl and started working with her one on one. As we got started her Father and another gentleman were standing next to her talking about the .308 and how hard it kicked and how it would hurt to shoot it. I finally had enough and looked at them and said, "Go away!"

Once they left and quit putting thoughts of fear into her head, I had her shoot a .22, then a .223. She was OK with both. Then, it was time for the .308. She followed my instruction to hold the gun tight. She shot it with no problem.

At that point I made a comment that became the pivotal moment in the process. I told her that the gun had moved her about four inches, about the same as it would have moved her Dad.

Whoa! A smile came on her face and she asked me, "Really?" That was the turning point. She was over the recoil problem and shot several more rounds all with very good form and accuracy.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Young Christians sometimes get discouraged because of all the rules they are told they are supposed to follow. It's especially true if they're hearing about everything in their life that they have to change, give up, or can't do.

This passage instructs us to be cautious of the rules of men. We're to follow Jesus and Jesus only. We're also to grow in our faith and in the grace and knowledge of Christ. That happens when we get into the Bible and read and study what Jesus is all about. 

Jesus Himself said it well, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' " Luke 10:27b (NIV). You'll never go wrong following those two rules. Jesus said that, too!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When introducing a novice to shooting, focus on proper technique and not recoil. If you constantly talk about recoil, the student is not going to want to shoot because you've told him or her that it's going to hurt. Two things: start the shooter on a low recoil gun, a .22 or maybe a .223, and then gradually get into the bigger stuff. And, do not let your ten year old shoot your .300 magnum! Have them wear good hearing protection as much of the fear of the gun is hearing the muzzle blast. Finally, tell them to hold the gun as tight as they'd hold their boyfriend or girlfriend. It breaks the tension and is proper technique. 
  















February 23, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . .That Happens When We Get Into The Bible and Read  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
II Peter 3:17-18
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (NIV)

Thoughts
During a hunter education class a father came to me and shared a problem. His child had a javelina hunt one week after the class was over and was having issues with the recoil from the .308 Winchester he wanted her to shoot. I told him that I'd spend a little time with her on range day and see if we could work her through the problem.

After our class range day was over I sat down with the girl and started working with her one on one. As we got started her Father and another gentleman were standing next to her talking about the .308 and how hard it kicked and how it would hurt to shoot it. I finally had enough and looked at them and said, "Go away!"

Once they left and quit putting thoughts of fear into her head, I had her shoot a .22, then a .223. She was OK with both. Then, it was time for the .308. She followed my instruction to hold the gun tight. She shot it with no problem.

At that point I made a comment that became the pivotal moment in the process. I told her that the gun had moved her about four inches, about the same as it would have moved her Dad.

Whoa! A smile came on her face and she asked me, "Really?" That was the turning point. She was over the recoil problem and shot several more rounds all with very good form and accuracy.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Young Christians sometimes get discouraged because of all the rules they are told they are supposed to follow. It's especially true if they're hearing about everything in their life that they have to change, give up, or can't do.

This passage instructs us to be cautious of the rules of men. We're to follow Jesus and Jesus only. We're also to grow in our faith and in the grace and knowledge of Christ. That happens when we get into the Bible and read and study what Jesus is all about. 

Jesus Himself said it well, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' " Luke 10:27b (NIV). You'll never go wrong following those two rules. Jesus said that, too!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When introducing a novice to shooting, focus on proper technique and not recoil. If you constantly talk about recoil, the student is not going to want to shoot because you've told him or her that it's going to hurt. Two things: start the shooter on a low recoil gun, a .22 or maybe a .223, and then gradually get into the bigger stuff. And, do not let your ten year old shoot your .300 magnum! Have them wear good hearing protection as much of the fear of the gun is hearing the muzzle blast. Finally, tell them to hold the gun as tight as they'd hold their boyfriend or girlfriend. It breaks the tension and is proper technique. 
  











February 22, 2013  
Today's Photograph . . . . . If You're Grounded In What You Believe You Won't Be Vulnerable To False Teachings   (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
II Peter 3:17-18
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (NIV)

Thoughts
Physical conditioning is very important to any hunter.  A hunt is so much better when you can get around in the mountains and carry your pack with ease.  But, this doesn't happen by accident. 

You have to work at getting in shape.  You have to eat right and get out and walk, run, bike, get to the gym, or do whatever you choose to do to improve your endurance. 

I see so many hunters that are overweight and pigging out on the wrong foods.  And, they never exercise or get in shape prior to a hunt.  This is foolish and can be dangerous. 

A couple years back an article in our local newspaper highlighted a professional athlete that was on a photo safari in Africa.  Now we all know that a professional athlete must work out constantly to maintain his physical conditioning and keep his muscles toned and firm.  Ok, that's a given.  But, the story told of what he and two other football players had for dinner: meat and vegetables.  No bread, no potatoes, no corn went on their plates.  Am I against bread, potatoes, and corn?  No, but eat them in moderation! 

So, if you want to get into shape, eat right and exercise!  And, don't tell me it can't be done.  I teach Hunter Education classes with a guy that lost over 100 pounds.  Yes, it can be done!  
(Cliff S)

Action Point
If we're to grow in our faith we must be reading God's word, the Bible.  There's just no other way.  Yes, books about the faith, devotionals such as are available from Sportsmen's Devotional, and others are great.  But, they are no substitute for a few minutes daily in God's word. 

If you want to grow your faith, you must work at it.  And, there's a practical side to this, if you're grounded in what you believe you won't be vulnerable to false teachings.  May I suggest, start with reading a chapter per day in the book of John.  Then, two chapters per day.  Then, more as you feel you have time.  You'll reach a point where you'll know how much time you have and can devote to reading daily.  When you finish John, go through the other gospels, then the rest of the New Testament. 

When you're finished reading, spend some time communicating with the Father in prayer.  And, when you're praying, don't forget to listen!  Spending time with God may mean getting up a few minutes earlier or spending a little less time on the internet. But, it will be well worth it as your faith in God grows and gets stronger.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Getting in good shape not only enhances your hunt, but will go a long ways toward preventing emergencies in the field.  Check with your Doctor and plan an exercise regimen that will work for you.  Here's a test: when you buckle your belt, is it facing forward or looking at your toes?  Be honest with yourself, you may have some work to do.  Also, I like to get a physical every year a month or two prior to the hunting seasons so if there is something wrong, hopefully the Doctor will catch it and I won't find out about it on the mountain!












February 21, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . To Humble Yourself Before The Lord Is To Receive Strength From The Lord
(Will D)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 18.6  
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears. (NIV)

Thoughts
There have definitely been times in my life when I have dropped to my knees in prayer to our Lord. Why, because I came to the realization that humanly I could not handle or deal with what was going on in my life. I needed to bow down before the Lord and ask Him for His help, His guidance, and His grace and mercy.

Here is what happened . . . God not only answered my cry for help, He filled me with resolve, 
patience and loves that only God can give.  
(Jim C)

Action Point
To humble yourself before the Lord is to receive strength from the Lord. It's an amazing feeling and incredible jumpstart for your heart. It will, I promise, encompass your entire body!

 
Do you know someone who is hurting, is lost, confused or just not themselves.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is to just sit and listen.  Don't try to "solve" their problem, really listen to them.  That is what friends do and in some cases that can be the best solution.  

Sportmen's Tip of the Day
Fishing is not always about what the fish are doing. Realize that if you learn what the fish food is and where it can be found that the "fish" you pursue will be close by. Find the food source, find the fish!  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013











February 20, 2013    

Today's Photograph . . . . Always Be Prepared To Give An Answer To Everyone   (Ron T)
Bible Study Verses
John 9:24-27  
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give glory to God. We know that this Man is a sinner."  He answered, "Whether He is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see."  They said to him, "What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?"  He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?"  (ESV)

Thoughts 
Are there mountain lions in Virginia? This is a pretty common question I hear from people. The official state answer is "No."  

But, I know people who have seen them. The people I know who have seen them are men who are extremely seasoned outdoorsmen. I also know guys who are extremely knowledgeable of the outdoors who have collected footprints of a large cat. 

So do I believe there are mountain lions in Virginia? Yes. Why because I trust the men who have seen them.
(Terry L)

Action Point
The man being questioned in the above scripture was born blind and Jesus healed him and gave him sight. This man was a living witness to the power of Christ. So imagine the weight his testimony had with people who knew him. 

I always wonder when I read this verse how many people he ended up leading to God through his witness. I have never seen a mountain lion in Virginia, but I believe in them because of the witness of good men. 

How many people can you touch in your daily life? "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, I Peter 3:15 (NIV).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you are having difficulties in your outdoor hobbies or personal life seek out the wisdom of people who have knowledge and that you trust will guide you straight.   

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
















February 19, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Need To Get To His Work Before The Night Comes   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
John 9:1-4  
As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" Jesus answered, "It  was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. (NASB)

Thoughts 
I have been an outdoorsman now for 33 years. During these years I have made many mistakes and had difficulties beset me. I would often question why these things have happened to me. 

As the years have gone by I have been able to help others learn through my experience and mistakes. Wait a second, why did they happen to me? So I could help others.
(Terry L)

Action Point
I use to be a rough man who lived a rough life. I don't say this light heartedly or to call attention to myself. I am ashamed of a lot of the things I have done. 

After I came to Christ in 1999, I would often question why God allowed me to walk on such a dirty path. Years ago when the Lord led me to serve in men's ministry and to work with fatherless boys, I found my answer. 

He uses my past to help others so they can see what He has done in me. Jesus healed this blind man and he in returned shares the hope that can only come from Christ. We all have a hope and a work to do. We need to get to His work before the night comes.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Think about mentoring a fatherless boy. A Christian man can make such a huge impact in a boy's life. If you are interested check out awesome ministries like Fathers in the Field.  

Monday, February 18, 2013
















February 18, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . When Times Get Tough and They Will . . .  (MQ)
President's Day Honoring George Washington's Birthday
 
Bible Study Verses
Job 11:1-4  
Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:  "Are all these words to go unanswered?  Is this talker to be vindicated? Will your idle talk reduce others to silence? Will no one rebuke you when you mock? You say to God, "My beliefs are flawless and I am pure in your sight." (NIV)

Thoughts
When I hear the words such as unanswered, vindicated, idle and mock, I can't help but think of the politicians that today feel they have dominion over us. These so called "elected" representative of the people do not talk to us, they talk at and down to us as if they are the ones to be worshiped. 

My pastor told me that people like them are taking all they can now because this is the time they believe in. They push for us to worship them because that is where their control is. However, we know Who the ONE in control is and in the end we know Who wins!!! 

Stay strong my friends because their time is short compared to the ONE Who holds our hearts and souls in His Hand!!!
(Jim C)
Action Point
The Bible truly has the words to live by held within its pages. Just reading through it you can easily find the things that are happening now that God has warned us against. The Bible really is a "self help" book created by the Creator. 

When times get tough and they will.  That's part of life! Remember the answers you seek to the problems are held within Him and are in His Word.  God has got this.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Getting ready for fishing season becomes a lot easier if at least once a week you take 15 minutes and go through some part of your tackle. One night look over rods, later check your reels. When it's time to go, you will be ready from the short amounts of time you put in ahead of time.

Sunday, February 17, 2013
















February 17, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Thanking God Is Food For Our Souls   (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
Isaiah 66:1-2b  
"Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me?   Where will my resting place be? Has not My hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the Lord. (NIV)

Thoughts
As outdoors man and women, it is easy for us to see God every time we are in His outdoors. The rising and setting of the sun, a look back from a big buck, the flight of a pheasant, ducks as they commit to our spread and so on. The thrill of the hunt, the fish we pursue, and all that is the outdoors are true blessings from God. 

Think about this, the end result of all of those pursuits is food for our bodies. Thanking God for all of that, is food for our souls!
(Jim C)

Action Point
Those are some very powerful and direct words from God. As imperfect as I am and with all my faults, (to many to list here!), God has built me and loves me. 

He did not build imperfection that is a result of my faults in the world. He will always have a resting place in my heart. I am here simply because of Him. Through His Son, I will join Him again someday to bask in His glory!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Change in wind direction can affect hunting and fishing. Be vigilante of those changes however subtle and for they make or literally break your day.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013
















February 16, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . God Will Help Us Conquer Our Fears As He Calls Us To Serve Him   (Michael T)
Bible Study Verses
Jeremiah 1:4-8  
Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord." (ESV)

Thoughts
Have you ever been out in the backyard shooting your guns and decided it was time for your young son to learn to shoot the twelve-gauge? "Here you go son. It's your turn." Silence . . .

As you continue to encourage him he no longer makes eye contact, drops his head and doesn't open his mouth. You're not even sure if he is breathing at this point, as you watch the life drain out of him. It takes you a few moments to realize that he isn't excited about shooting this big gun and that your plans to lead him into the final stage of manhood have just been postponed. He isn't ready.
(Mike T) 

Action Point
When God calls each of us into a life of ministry we are often like the young and intimidated hunters when we say, "I'm not ready!" 

We tend to focus on the things that we can see, hear and rationalize in order to tell ourselves that we aren't ready, or that we aren't qualified. We ask ourselves lots of questions hoping to build a case that makes sense and justifies our fearful response. Questions that start off as questions and quickly become statements like, "How could I ever be like these other great Christians? Who am I to serve God? I'm not qualified . . . I have past sins . . . I don't know much about the Bible . . .  I don't speak very well . . . I'm not that smart . . . I'm too young to serve God . . .
Look at God's response to the prophet Jeremiah when Jeremiah told the Lord, "I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth." God responded, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord."
God knew you before He knit you in the womb. God knows that even today your faith is like that of a youth. He knows you have weaknesses, but God knows your strengths too. He knows you are afraid that's why God is the one who sends you, and commands what you should speak.

Let's pray that God would help us conquer our fears as He calls us to serve Him in whatever capacity He has called you to this day.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
When shooting guns with younger hunters always practice proper gun safety. But also try to be encouraging,  don't pressure them to shoot the big guns if they are not ready. Build confidence in them first. Start with smaller rifles like the .22 and let them shoot a twenty gauge before handing  that dreaded twelve.















February 15, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Let's Look at It Again . . .   (Tom B)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 105:1  
Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! (NKJV)
 
Thoughts
The small group Bible study that my wife and I attend always begins each study with the question, "What good thing happened in your life since we last met?" Everyone is given the opportunity to share something from their life's journey.

After some personal introspection, many of the responses are, "Everything's good, but no particular instance of God's grace. Or someone will share a particular highlight their life last week; something big.

Ask a fisherman how his fishing trip went and his or her answer will be similar; it was good, or they will proceed to tell you about what they caught, how big it was, what it was caught on...lots of details.
(Tom B)

Action Point
Yesterday . . . was it just a good day? Recall what evolved just at the beginning. Got up, ate breakfast, kissed the wife and kids (if you're married), got in the truck or car, and went off to work.

Let's look at it again . . .
  • God gave me another day. "Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever," 1 Chronicles. 16:34 (NKJV).
  • I had food to eat. "Now therefore, our God, We thank You and praise Your glorious name,"  1 Chronicles  29:13 (NKJV).
  • I have a great family. "I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High," Psalm 7:17 (NKJV). 
  • The truck/car started. "To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever," Psalm 30:12 (NKJV).
  • I have a job. "Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples" Psalm 105:1 (NKJV).
  • Maybe, instead of working, you piled the fishing tackle in the back of your vehicle and went fishing. "We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near,"  Psalm 75:1 (NKJV).
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Have a rod rigged up and ready to go. Along the Texas coast, the speckled trout fishing can be great at this time of the year. If I get a chance to wet a line, I have a rod rigged with a soft plastic shrimp tail or topwater ready to see action. I don't have to mess with it early in the morning in the dark. Cast and hang on!











February 14, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . Your Choice - Deer Hunter or Hunting For The Dears That You Can Bless (MQ)

Happy   Valentine's   Day
 
 Bible Study Verse
James 4:7
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (NKJV)

Thoughts 
Remember the best hunt of your life, the hunt of your lifetime! Was it the planning, the trophy, the anticipation or all of the above?
The greatest, most memorable hunt of your life could be today just wrapped  in unexpected packaging. Memories are always surrounded in the unexpected. God's ways are always higher than ours. The choice is yours.  
 
Are you ready to surprise and to bless your Sweetheart? If you forgot, you're now walking in the light of knowledge. Be Jesus to your Sweetheart; begin today. 

Maybe you think you're exempt cause you don't currently have a Sweetheart. Wrong.  Then you be a Sweetheart to everyone. A small random act of kindness can bless a single, a widow/widower, a divorced one, or one who thinks all hope is gone. By choosing you can be an answer to someone's prayer.

More important than finding the "right" one is to be the "right" one
  
Action Point
The world will come to know Jesus by how we love them.

Let's live intentionally walking in His paths, gathering others in love, and walking into eternity with Jesus with as many as we can love, bless, and lead into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Love that committed military promise, "Leave No Man Behind." This should be our commitment to discipling men and women, leaving no one behind.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Smiles, hugs, and kindness are gifts from the heart. Be courageous, thoughtful, wise, and bless those around you! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013











February 13, 2013 

Today's Photograph . . . . Friendly Competition At The Range Is Always Fun (MQ) 
Day Before Valentine's Day . . . 
 
Bible Study Verse
Luke 23:35
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at Him. They said, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is God's Messiah, the Chosen One." (NIV)

Thoughts
Ever had to sit and listen to someone talk incessantly about how good a shot they are? Didn't you just want to look at him and say, "Hey, hot shot, let's put a couple of bucks on this and I'll meet you out at the range, then you can prove just how good you are!" What's really a bad thing for you is when he does it! 

Well, the rulers in this passage were demanding that Jesus save Himself and prove that He was the Messiah. They felt pretty good about their position; after all, it was Jesus up there on the cross, not them. They really thought that they had Him, and that they had put an end to His nonsense about being the Son of God. 

But, a strange thing happened three days later--Jesus did exactly what they asked Him to do. Through God's power, He was saved from death, thus proving that He was, indeed, the Chosen One, the prophesied Messiah. He just didn't do it the way they were demanding; but did it His Father's way.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
As sinners, it seems that the most common thing we humans do is demand that God save us. But we want to tell Him how, we want to set the terms, we want Him to do it our way!

That's not the game plan. It's God's way, and He sent His Son, Jesus, to instruct us as to what that way is. In John 14:6, we find these words, "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," (NIV).

If you want to have God's forgiveness and blessing in your life, Jesus said you've got to do it His way, through child-like belief and faith in Him. When you get right down to it, it's the only way!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Friendly competition at the range is always fun. Get out and do some practicing on your own and surprise your buddies. It'll make you a better shot when that buck of your dreams steps out in front of you next season.
    

Tuesday, February 12, 2013














February 12, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Stay Alert, With Your Eyes Wide Open In Gratitude   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. (NASB)
Thoughts
How many things do we actually devote ourselves to? We have many interests, but we are not devoted to most of them. However, I do not know an outdoorsman who is not devoted to his/her outdoor interest--be it hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, four-wheeling, equestrian, etc.

Devotion to an outdoor activity is, after all, what makes one an outdoorsman in the first place. And, there is nothing wrong with being devoted, even passionately, to it, as long as it does not take precedence over more important areas of devotion . . . like prayer. 
(Randy E)
Action Point
Prayer is key in our relationship with the Lord. It accentuates our devotion to Him and His purposes. It keeps our minds alert to His leading and His direction. It gives us greater awareness of His presence and His care for us. Filled with a sense of His presence and care, one cannot help but have "an attitude of thanksgiving."
The Message Bible paraphrases the above verse: "Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude."
Diligence in prayer is the result of a mind that is fixed on, devoted to, Jesus Christ. If we are right in our relationship with Him, He will be pleased with our devotion to our outdoor pursuits. If Christ is pleased with our lives, we cannot help but be happy! Who doesn't want that?
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Devotion to a sport can easily be shared and passed on to others. Who better to share with than with children. Even if you have children or grandchildren whom you are already inviting to participate with you; what about the child next door or down the street who is desperate for someone to take an interest in them? It is doubtful that there is a better investment of your time, interest, and resources.
  













February 11, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . With Regard To Waiting On The Lord, Patience Is Trust In Action   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalms 46:10
"Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  (NASB)

Thoughts
In numerous Psalms, we are exhorted to "wait for the Lord." Yet, for many of us, including myself, waiting on anything is often hard to do. It takes patience to wait. It is a big help if we at least have some idea of what we are waiting for. 

This does, of course, apply to hunting: If I know for sure there are deer in the area, it is much easier to stay where I am and wait. The best way to know beforehand is to do ample scouting. Scouting never guarantees the success of a hunt. But, it does verify that an area is worth hunting.
(Randy E)

Action Point
In our relationship with the Lord, it is not so much what we are waiting for, but on Whom we are waiting! To know the Lord is to love Him; and to love Him is to trust Him more. Waiting speaks of patience. With regard to waiting on the Lord, patience is trust in action. I don't usually know exactly how the Lord will answer or respond, but I can know Him; and His answers and responses will always be in accord with who He is. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever," Hebrews 13:8 (NASB). The more I get to know Him, the easier the waiting becomes. 
Read your Bible with the purpose of better knowing and understanding the heart of God. A.W. Tozer said, "What you think, when you think about God, is the most important thing about you." This is true because what you think about God affects how you think about everything else!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Scouting is important. It does not guarantee the success of a hunt, but it can greatly improve the prospects. Hike your hunting area as often as you can. Pay attention to where and when you see game. Learn where they are coming from, and where they go when spooked. Once you have all this figured out, it is just a matter of patience and making a good shot!













February 10, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . For The Weapons Of Our Warfare Are Not Of The Flesh But Have Divine Power To Destroy Strongholds   (Jack M) 
Bible Study Verse
I Peter 5:8  
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  (ESV)

Thoughts 
The opportunity to hunt late season wild pheasants had presented. My friend Gene had invited us to come and hunt on a spectacular December day. So I had to say yes! 

On the way to the hunting site, I noticed the wild pheasants picture in this photo. The picture was taken at a long distance, but the point is made very powerfully that they are on the alert for danger. They had played this game before! 

I was able to snap the picture of these four roosters with heads up and alert to danger. Not long after the shutter snapped, they ran to cover. It makes a good point for us all to remember, that we have enemies who put us in spiritual danger.
(Jack M)

Action Point
We have an adversary. Satan. There is danger. We must be always on the alert to him. We must follow the Bible injunctive to watch out, to be aware, and to be always careful of that danger.

Many predators love to have pheasant for dinner. The pheasants have enemies that attack from the air and from the ground. They have hunters who seek to take them legally, and those who disdain the rules and potshoot at them from cars and trucks, though it is illegal.

So we must all be reminded; we face constant danger from Satan, this world, our own fleshly desires, and the anti-Christ world system around us.

The good news is we can pray for help from the Lord and that we have powerful defensive and offensive weapons to protect us which God provides us as believers in Christ.

II Corinthians 10:3-5 gives us battle stragedy, "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ," (ESV).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you hunt wild pheasants use maximum noise control. Don't slam car doors, talk loud, or shout to another hunter. Surround the cover where the birds are and close the escape routes as quietly as possible. They will run if they can. When they fly, they usually will fly toward other cover. Have hunters blocking those routes to take the shots that are offered. This is called blocking and is a tactic used successfully by the pheasant hunter hunting wild late season birds.