Friday, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . By Being Obedient To The Father He Chose To Die For Us   (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 27:12-14
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge--to the great amazement of the governor. (NIV)
It's Good Friday. My thoughts have gone back to a day a little over two-thousand years ago when Jesus was asked that question: Don't you hear what they're saying about you? Don't you have anything to say in your defense? Jesus amazes them when He makes no reply.
I stand in awe when I think of that scene. If I were in the field and a game warden was asking me questions, I would answer them, wouldn't you? If that had been me instead of Jesus, I would have said something. I would have been throwing everything I could back at the accusers. I would have had my attorney there blasting the accusers, quoting laws and legal precedents.
But, Jesus made no reply. He stood in silence. Silence. Why? Because a decision had been made. It was made the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done," Matthew 26:42 (NIV).
Jesus knew the need, and Jesus knew the consequences for all mankind if he refused the cross. There in the garden, He had a choice; and by being obedient to the Father, He chose to love us, to die for us, and to take the burden of all of our sins on Himself. Jesus made this choice in spite of knowing all of the suffering that awaited Him in the next few hours.
Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus was made perfect through His suffering. Because of His perfection, we can have eternal life with Him. Jesus made a commitment. He kept it, and He suffered during that horrible night, and later on the cross. Because of His suffering, we have this day, Good Friday; and three days later, we have Easter--triumph over sin and death. Praise God for Jesus' obedience, even to death on a cross! 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
As you go through your day, be aware that you are God's witness to the world around you. Be prepared to answer those who ask you why you are a follower of Jesus. Tell your world about the love and forgiveness that you have found in Jesus, and that they can have the same.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Sit silent in the woods. If you're moving, the animals see you; if you're still,

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 28, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . It's Not About Me, and It's Not About Now  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 1:19-27
Now this was John's testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and  Levites to  ask him who he was.  He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Messiah."   They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"  He said, "I am not."    "Are you the Prophet?"   He answered, "No."  Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, "I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way for the Lord.'" Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet? "I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." (NIV)
I have had the worst luck when it comes to drawing an Arizona archery bull elk tag.  It took 17 years to draw my first tag.  But boy when I did, I planned the hunt of a lifetime! 

I started scouting months and months in advance.  Began fine tuning my bow months before the hunt.  I had waited a long time for this and I was not going to miss an opportunity to take the bull of a lifetime.  I joked with my family that I would have that bull tagged 20 minutes into the hunt opening morning. 

As fate would have it, 5 minutes into the hunt opening morning there stood a decent bull 20 yards away.  I was at full draw and the only thing left was the release, the vital hit, and the tracking.  The only thing wrong was I had waited all of my life for a chance at a world class bull and this was not it. 

I did not take the shot.  I wanted a wall hanger for everyone to see.  As Paul Harvey would say, now let's get to the rest of the story.  I went home without an elk on my first ever elk hunt.  I have taken many friend and family members out and they have taken very nice bulls.  On this hunt, I passed on many smaller bulls. 

When I focused more on what everyone else would think of me after I brought home a record class bull elk, I lost sight of the purpose.  The focus was all about me and not about my lifelong passion for being in the wild with elk, hunting them, photographing them, and enjoying this God given creature in all of its beauty and majesty. 

When it became all about me, the hunt ended that opening morning 5 minutes into the hunt. 
(Donny N)

When the Pharisees went and questioned John the Baptist about who he really was they not only asked him once, but three times, "Who are you, are you the Messiah?" 

John could have taken all of the credit, he could have said, yes it is I the Messiah the one the Father sent, but he didn't.  He confessed freely, "I am not the Messiah." 

My favorite part is how he humbles himself with saying, "But among you stands one you do not know.  He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."  Not only is he saying, "I'm not the one who has been foretold (one you do not know).  But drops face first (figuratively) and in complete humility says, "He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."  In total humility proclaims "I'M NOT WORTHY." 

The whole point of this part of scripture is this, John witnesses as to whom Jesus is (the Messiah) and secondly he proclaims. "I am not the Messiah."  In short he is saying, "Don't look at me!" 

I encourage you this week to write this on your mirror and say it to yourself every morning and mean it.  "It's not about me, and it's not about now."  Brothers and sisters, it's all about Him who came before us and it's all about eternity." 

That hunt was all about me, and I was left empty.  Don't let selfishness empty you. 

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
It's one thing to know survival skills and another to actually do them.  On your next outing practice building a shelter, finding water, and especially building a fire.  If you can do it under safe and controlled conditions, then you will have the confidence to do it when the difficult times come. Remember the number one cause of death when a person is lost is pride, not willing to admit your lost, and the 2nd is panic.  If you have the confidence to know you can do it, you will have a much better chance of survival.  The best way to build a fire is always, always carry matches or a lighter.  So if you don't have any, you need to learn how to build a fire with alternative methods. 

March 27, 2013
Today's Photograph....Ask God To Put Someone In Your Heart That You Can Share Your Campfire With (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Jeremiah 20: 9
But if I say, "I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name," His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (NIV)
Have you ever tried to light wet wood? How many matches did you go through? Unfortunately I have done this one too many times, most recently on an outing with my family. The day before our outing it had rained all day on the San Francisco Peaks, the mountain and trailhead we had planned to hike.

After a long wet hike and decent from 12,000 ft, everyone was freezing and wet. I attempted to build a fire with wet wood. I'm happy to report that after three boxes of matches and a few blisters from splitting kindling, we had a fire. I just had to get to the core of the wood, it was plenty dry.
(Donny N)

Action Point
Who needs matches with Jesus! One strike of His match and he will change us, transform us, and re- create us forever. He provides a light and warmth that will never end, no matter how many times you try to put it out.

My dad has a saying that has always stuck with me, "when life gets you down and you can't seem to get away from it all, you need to get around a campfire. It'll clear your thoughts and relieve the stress in your life." Thanks dad for the advice, I'll do just that. I know who has the match.

The question is who will be around your campfire? Who will you share the match with? This week, ask God to put someone on your heart that you can share your campfire with.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A unique way to waterproof matches is to glue sandpaper around a 20 ga shotgun shell and insert matches inside the shell, Then take an empty .12 ga shell and slide the two together. This makes a perfect fit and an economical way to carry waterproofed matches. 

March 26, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Know God Has A Purpose and A Plan For Your Delay  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
John 11:3-6
Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. (NKJV)

Have you ever had a big outdoor adventure all planned out and just about the time you were ready to get it started, something happened that caused the trip to be delayed?

Sometimes, God causes delays in our lives for a purpose. Maybe, you've been too selfish with your outdoor time and God knows that you need to spend more time with your wife and kids or maybe God is protecting you from an unseen danger.

Whatever the reason, know that God has a purpose and a plan for your delay.
(Michael T)

Action Point
Jesus delayed not out of a lack of concern, but because He was about to do something extraordinary in the lives of those He loved.

Christ knows all things. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He even said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."

Jesus delayed because it was time to get the wheels in motion for why He was put here on Earth. Yes, He raised Lazarus from the dead which was an exciting miracle. This wonderful act did something greater; it set the stage for His own painful death and glorious resurrection. After He raised Lazarus, people either believed that He was God or they began to plot His demise. Read all of John 11 and carefully see how this entire great story played out.

When God delays you, get ready for something greater!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The next time rain or a delay interferes with your great adventure, pull out some games or your Bible that you purposefully brought along. Enjoy the time given to you to get to know the people in your group. 

March 25,  2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Gambel Quail (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Exodus 15:25-26  
So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you." (NKJV)

Recently, I was reminded of the healing hand of God as I rescued a bird caught in my children's badminton net.  

The night before, I was called home early from one of my outdoor adventure ministry trips. The call came when my mother who is in the Intensive Care Unit fighting off a serious infection had a scary day. I arrived home after midnight and spent the following morning in the hospital visiting with mom. God is taking care of her and she is now stable.  

I left the hospital and decided to go home and mow the lawn. It had been an emotionally draining night and morning as I attempted to sort through all of it on my own. That is when I noticed the bird caught in the net, hanging upside down, and struggling to get free. 

With my MP3 player kicking out tunes in the background, I began to rescue the victim. I gently clutched his body, began to carefully cut the netting, and weave the string off him. I delicately laid him on the ground after freeing my new feathered friend from his entanglement. 

I was amazed when right on key the lyrics from a Jeremy Camp song belted into my ears. The most melodic, soothing tune came out of my earphones, "The healing hand of God." Tears began to roll down my cheeks. Through a simple gesture, I was reminded of God's presence.  
(Michael T) 

Action Point
The bird was not very cooperative while trying to free him. He kept trying to peck me with his beak. He resisted my help, even though I was carefully rescuing him from harm. The timing of the song and the craziness of my mother's condition all came together in a simple analogy for me on how the healing hand of God works.

God is trying to free us from the bondage of our sins. He has a gentle, but firm grip on our lives. Yet we resist, we gnaw at his work, and then like the bird, we are not very thankful when His work is done. 

God is the mighty healer and rescuer. He not only heals our physical sicknesses, but also our spiritual sicknesses. Run to Him!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
The next time you are out on the deep blue seas or in the woods hunting for your favorite food, bring along a journal and write down your thoughts on the day. You will be amazed at how many interesting spiritual parallels you will come across, which will give you tons of material to share with your kids, your Sunday School class, or another hurting soul God places in your life as a divine appointment orchestrated by Him. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Palm Canyon, Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, AZ (MQ)
Palm Sunday   
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 21:4-6
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:  "Tell the daughter of Zion, "Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
a colt, the foal of a donkey.' " So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:  "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' "Hosanna in the highest!" (NKJV)

A friend and I hiked up the remote Palm Canyon in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to photograph the California fan palms tucked away within this narrow deep canyon.

While hiking the palms drew my memories to past Palm Sundays.
(Mark Q)

Action Point
Palm Sunday is the day we remember Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem just one week before His resurrection that the prophet Zechariah depicted. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey," Zachariah 9:9 (NKJV).

Note, He rode in on the unbroken donkey colt that was as gentle and reverent as a lamb. People were everywhere and the donkey was obedient. That in itself was a miracle! He is the Master of all!!!

Today we celebrate this predicted fulfilled event and refer to it as Palm Sunday because of the Palm branches that were laid on the road by the worshiping crowd as Jesus rode the unbroken donkey into Jerusalem. But, the same crowds that were shouting Hosanna just 5 days later would shout, "Crucify Him!"

Do each of us honestly reflect back on these events? Do we take a week out of the year to think about it? I encourage you this year to remember what was given freely at such a great price to you and to all mankind this coming week. Whether it's taking a special hike into Palm Canyon or just going to spend time in the outdoors to be still and to reflect on this upcoming week's celebrations.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
In a pinch water through condensation can be collected from a palm frond hanging on a palm tree. Tie a plastic bag around the frond completely encasing the leaf. As the water collects, empty the bag into a water container and retie to the frond to collect more.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 23, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . .  It's What You Do Afterwards That Counts   (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Philippians 3:12-14
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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

As I have been trying to once again become proficient with a bow after 20 years I have had some difficulties. I have lost 5 arrows, which hurts your wallet as much as it does your pride. When I draw my bow, the trees begin to shake with fear. Archery takes different skills than a gun, but they also share some.
(Terry L) 

Action Point
When I miss with my bow, I have a tendency to get frustrated and angry with myself. These feelings are even worse if I lose the arrow. I will then try to shoot some more. I notice that when I come to full draw, I am not running through the check list of good fundamentals instead I am worrying about missing and losing another arrow. When I work at the range with handgun shooters who miss, I tell them forget about it that shot is gone and done, evaluate what you did wrong, and try not to do it again. If they worry about what they did wrong, they begin to neglect the basics and then become frustrated. They focus on the wrong thing and miss their target.

Too many of us focus on what we have done instead of on what we can do. At the end of Romans 7, Paul talks about his old self and even calls himself a wretched man. Thank God he did not stay focused on what he did, but focused on what he could be.

We all make mistakes and have fallen; it is what you do afterwards that counts. We have been forgiven for our sins. God doesn't dwell on them so why do we? We need to heed the Apostle Paul's advice to the Philippian church. We need to forget the past and strive toward what's ahead of us.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A good back stop cannot just save you arrows, but it can also save you money and aggravation. There several types of materials that you can use. Some people use hay bales, some old carpet, some stall mats, or a hill side. If you Google this subject, you will find a lot of alternatives.

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 22, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . I Become More Confident In His Love For Me (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
John 7:23
But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. (NIV)
I have recently attempted to get back into archery and I have to say it has been trying. I am having a time with being consistent with my bow. One minute I am putting 3 arrows into a 4 inch circle at 20 yards with no trouble. Then the next thing I know, I completely miss the target and lose an arrow out in the woods.

What make this worse is I am a firearms instructor and I am used to being proficient with my weapon. I am confident that it is not my bow, but me. I know I am not being consistent with my form, but I am just not sure where. The firearms instructor in me wants to say the problem is in my head, so I purchased more arrows and I continue to practice.
(Terry L)

Action Point 
Have you ever noticed how much of an effect your mind and feelings can have on you? If you are confident in your shooting abilities, it will show. If you are not, it, also, will show. I have worked with several people who if they could get their mind set right, they would be awesome shots. These people have the mechanics down and have the skill, but they are being defeated in their mind.

This could also be said about God's people. We all have been uniquely gifted by Him. But when it comes time to pull the trigger, we let our minds mess us up. We think to ourselves "I can't do this; who am I to do this? Look at the things I have done." Or we have tried before, but have missed our target and our confidence is broken. You can't do it! But, He can if you will let Him!!!

Having had more than one failed attempt at ministry in my life, I wonder if they failed because I tried to do them within my power. See, that is the old me at work. As I grow in Him through my personal life and ministry work, I have overcome many obstacles and with each one I have cleared He has been with me. With each one cleared, I become more confident in His love for me and in what He desires for me to accomplish under His leadership.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Read Romans 8:5.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day 
If you are out shooting and you begin to struggle, step away for a few minutes to clear your head. People have a tendency to keep trying, frustration sets in, and clouds your mind.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . We Need To Take This Promise To Heart and Rest Within The Master's Grip  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (NIV)

To be a proficient shooter, there are 7 fundamentals you need to know and use.

The second fundamental is grip. It seems like a simple thing, but if you do not grip your handgun the same way every time it can affect your accuracy. Instructors will call this grip your master grip.
(Terry L) 

Action Point
To aid us in our walk with Christ we need to have a solid grip of who we are in Christ and what He did for us. 

I have been blessed to have known and walked with men who lived Galatians 2:20. They walked with a confidence and strength that can only come from being in the Master's grip.

Reread the above verse a few times and meditate upon it. Wow! There is such power in them. My old sinful ways are gone and I now live in Christ. We need to take these words to heart and hold tight to them!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Hunting season is always approaching. Now is the time to pull out your equipment and check for serviceability. It is better to find a problem now instead of having a piece of equipment fail out in the field.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 20, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . You Will Be Ready For When The Hard Times Come   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
I Corinthians 16:13
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (NIV)

To be a proficient shooter there are 7 fundamentals you need to know and use.

The first one is position/stance. You need to have a solid and stable stance to shoot from.

Sometimes situations don't allow for you to get into the same type of stance you use at the range, but you should always try to get into as stable of a stance as possible when shooting. You can become more proficient at getting into a solid stance through training.
(Terry L)

Action Point
Just like with shooting, there are fundamentals we as Christians need to be proficient with. The first is where do you stand with our Heavenly Father? How solid is your faith? 

You need to stand on the solid ground of truth. The truth found in the scriptures.  Your faith should be in Jesus Christ and His promises reflected in His word, the Bible. 

Remember Romans 10:17, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ," (NASB). By doing this you will be ready for when the hard times come, your footing and stance will be on solid ground.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Before hunting season starts take time to practice with your rifle and make sure it is still sighted in.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19 , 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Way To Find The Lord and Please Him Is By Believing In His Son Jesus (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Hebrews 11:6 
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (NIV)
On one particular hunting trip this year, we were looking for elk in the higher elevations. It was a little early for the migration, but we knew there were a few bulls in the area. We stood on the edge of a large mountain meadow. Suddenly, a large-bodied deer showed up on the edge of the meadow. My friend ranged it at 230 yds. He said that it looked like a 24 in muley with a tall rack. 

With the deer alerted to our presence I didn't have much time to shoot; so I shot off-hand.. We walked up to the edge of the meadow expecting to find a nice muley buck laying there on the snow. I had a lot of confidence in my 7mm mag. at that distance. 

Unfortunately, we didn't see the deer or any blood. I'll have to admit, some doubt entered my mind. The shooting conditions were very windy and my rest was not the best. Did I miss him? I wasn't going to give up yet. I picked up a set of fresh tracks and followed them down the mountain.  20 yd away, I noticed some dirt on top of the snow and the smooth blanket of snow disturbed. Not far from this area, the muley was laying dead with only one blood spot next to his nose. The bullet entered behind the front shoulder, mushroomed, and was found in the hide on the back side. Some faith, perseverance, and God's help enabled me to find that nice muley.
(Tom L)
Action Point
In Hebrews 6, we are told that He, God, is the rewarder of those who diligently seek, find, Him. InOur Daily Bread, a devotional booklet, it says, "Finding God is a matter of faith--confidence in Him and commitment to Him. This confidence and commitment should remain strong even though the objects of our faith are unseen. The writer of Hebrews and the Apostle John agree that, ultimately, the way to find the Lord and please Him is by believing in His Son Jesus."
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you can't find blood or a set of tracks to follow, walk in circles around the area where you last saw the deer. Increase the radius each time. I've found several deer using this technique

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . To Rest In The Shadow Of The Almighty, We Must Dwell In The Shelter Of The Most High   
Bible Study Verse
Psalms 91:1  
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (NIV)

Being a biologist and hunter, I have studied the factors that control animal populations. Three are: food, water, and shelter. The deer population fluctuates according to the limiting factors available. In the wild, predation and hunting also have an effect on populations.

A few Novembers back we hunted whitetail deer in southern Minnesota. Due to the extremely wet fall, most of the corn had not been harvested. There were vast fields of standing corn everywhere. With all the food and shelter, the deer were hard to find. Their normal visits to the small patches of timber for shelter were rare. They were very well hidden and extremely evasive in the large fields of standing corn.

Just as the corn provided shelter and protection for the deer, the above scripture offers us an assurance of God's protection and care. Shade protects us from the sun's harsh rays; God comes between us and anything that would cause us harm.
(Tom L)

Action Point
In order to rest in the shadow of the Almighty, we must dwell in the shelter of the Most High. We must choose God for our guardian by having a personal relationship with Him. 

Being alone with God in prayer, worshiping Him, and meditating on His Word will help us develop this close relationship.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When deer hunting adjacent to standing corn, check the traffic patterns along the corn/timber border. You will usually find an area that is well used. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March 17, 2013       

Today's Photograph . . . .  And God Saw That It Was Good,  Ohrid Lake (Tom L)
Bible Study Verse
Genesis 1:20-21
And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky."  So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  (NIV) 
This past summer, five of us from our church went on a mission trip to Albania. We stayed in Pogradec which lies along the shores of Ohrid Lake, one of Europe's oldest and deepest lakes lying in the mountainous regions of Albania and Macedonia.

Ohrid has over 200 endemic species including the Ohrid Trout. Some say it is part of brown trout complex, but is genetically sufficiently distinct and is a delicacy in Albania and Macedonia.  The taste is described as a cross between brown trout and Atlantic salmon.

In recent years, extensive fishing, building tourist facilities directly at the shore, destruction of spawning grounds, and serious pollution have caused this species to be on the verge of extinction. Consequently, the Government of Macedonia has placed a seven year ban on the harvesting of the Ohrid Trout.  The population continues to decline due to the value, the demand, and consequently illegal fishing.
(Tom L) 
Action Point
God saw that it was good. Because of man's disregard for His creation, this situation is not good.  To think that some species of God's creation will be eliminated is appalling. Let us strive to be better stewards of God's creation by taking an active part in preserving our natural resources.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Join a conservation group that promotes habitat improvement and always leave an area better than you found it.

March 16, 2013

Today's Photograph  .  .  .  . Those Who Belong To Christ Jesus Have Crucified The Sinful Nature With Its Passions And Desires   (Ron H)
Bible Study Verse
Galatians 5:22-25
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (NIV)
Most sportsmen belong to conservation organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, and The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The purposes of these groups include: stewardship, conservation, education, public awareness, and habitat improvement. There is no doubt that these organizations have helped to improve the quality of hunting and fishing in North America. 

One of our basic human needs is acceptance which includes the feeling of belonging.
(Tom L)
Action Point
Just as belonging to conservation groups have improved the quality of hunting and fishing, belonging to Christ will improve the quality of your spiritual life by crucifying the sinful nature. If we live by the Spirit, the sinful nature will be replaced by the fruit of the Spirit. 
Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? If you do, are you living as the light of the world?  Can people see clearly that you belong to Christ?

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Join a sportsmen's organization and get actively involved in the projects. It will be a very satisfying experience.

Friday, March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . Many Seek Safety In A Narrow Tight-Rope-Walk Right Down The Middle   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 145:14
The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. (NIV)

There are many polarizing issues affecting fisheries and wildlife management in our world today. Invasive species wreak havoc in both our seas and on our hunting fields. These as well as many other issues have long term effects on the outdoors.

Fortunately, by aligning ourselves with conservation groups who choose a side, we can be involved.
(Will D)

Action Point
Status quo. Middle ground. Riding the fence. The world likes to play tug-of-war with Christianity.

Choose a side and you get a label. Too much is radical. Too little is a lack of morality.

Many seek safety in a narrow tight-rope-walk right down the middle. A devilish three-ring-circus of compromise. Living this way is like swinging in a netless trapeze act. A fall is coming.

Resist the temptation to play it safe. Choose the side of God. He upholds a fall and lifts our spirit.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
There are many groups that promote conservation and the best for our resources. Investigate them carefully. Make sure they carry out what they sell and promote. Support the ones that do. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 14, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . Red Sky in Morning, Sailor's Warning (Will D) 
Bible Study Verse
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)
Point A to point B. Navigating a true course. It's hard to do when a violent storm descends upon your craft. When the skies above the sea turn black we usually turn white.
To avoid mountainous waves, we tack our way around them. We side-step the lightning. We retreat.
 (Will D)

Action Point
The world offers up many paths; corridors with little promise. Intersections of insignificance.
Thankfully for us, God's word blazes a trail. A point A-to-B map that begins and ends with a tiny dot. I always replace that mark with the word that it represents. Try it.

No one comes to the Father except through Me (period).

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Internet weather forecast services help plan many trips. Keep several in your favorite's file and study them before headed out to sea.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March 13, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . It's The Actions We Take That Set Us Apart And Grow Us  (Will D) 
Bible Study Verse
Leviticus 19:18
You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. (NASV)
It's a long ride to the dock when you lose two blue marlin - especially if they would have won a tournament.
I wrestled with what went wrong as the boat laboriously climbed each passing wave. To overcome frustration and defeat, I began the blame-game; perhaps dull hooks or poor rigging produced this failure. Pointing fingers seemed to alleviate my frustration.
Blame placed and frustration quelled, I could feel revenge building up inside me like a summer squall. It was then I saw a revelatory cloud from Heaven.
I smiled. I knew the only revenge I would have would come in the form of another opportunity.
(Will D)
Action Point
As Christians we do not always get do-over's. There is no instant replay in the game of Grace. And while we may get wronged every day by people who don't play by the Lord's same set of rules, it's the actions we take that set us apart and grow us.
Consider frustrations and misses as opportunities!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Tournament fishing is all about your gear and nothing is more important than the lure's connection to your reel. Check and recheck your line after every bite or near miss. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 12, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . Lost . . . (Will D) 
Bible Study Verse
John 14:16-18
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (NIV)

As spring transitions into summer our outdoor plans are sometimes delayed by what seems like meteorological warfare; strong southerly winds take their stand against winter's persistent northerlies. Like lines drawn in the sand, the battle is played out in a front-line-barrage of incessant lightening, powerful tornadoes, and seemingly limitless precipitation.

Our only indication of peace between them is when both sides stall; calm winds prevail. However, we are usually reminded of the aftermath by blinding and blanketing fog.
(Will D)

Action Point
Lost. Lost in the woods. Lost in the world. Lost in the fog. A lost life.

No one likes the "L" word. Yet sometimes that's right where we find ourselves. The world teaches us to get ahead by clawing and scraping, battling one another for position. We take on the fight. Yet, in the midst of life's wins and losses we seem to just get lost along the way. We become disillusioned.

It's not at all how God intended us to live. When we call on His Son, He sprints to our side. Guiding us out of the fog with safe light. He never leaves us!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Like many electronics, digital radars are getting smaller and smaller. It won't be long before they are affordable and usable on small craft.

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .  Bitten By The Bass Fishing Bug (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Luke 1:1-2
Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us,  just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. (NIV)

Way back in the 70s I was bitten by the bass fishing bug big time time. I joined BASS and attended all the seminars put on by fishing professionals. I purchased all the bass fishing magazines available, even a few books on the subject, and mined the information to make me a better angler.

One of the things the anglers in the know always brought up was keeping journals or notes of every fishing trip they made, good or bad. Record everything . . . where you fished, location on the lake where you fished, date, high and low temperatures, barometric pressure rising or falling, fish caught, when the fish were caught, lures used, time of day when they were caught, etc.

The professionals stressed if an angler did this after every trip, after a period of time recording these the notes on a trip, you would become a better bass angler. Of course, the bass fanatic that I was, I bought a notebook and started recording my fishing trips.

Great idea, and it did work. But, I had to discipline myself to make the entries the same day of the trip. I have to admit, sometimes I was too busy, or for some other reason the recording wasn't entered.
(Tom B)

Action Point
Luke 1:1-3 is such a simple couple of verses. Luke is identifying himself to those who read in the future what he has witnessed.

Do you keep a journal of the good and bad things that have happened in your life each day? If not a written account, how about a mental rehashing at the end of the day before you go to sleep?

Recall what happened during the day. Thank the Lord for each thing that happened and each person that He put in your path. Pray for that person. Don't forget the bad things. Ask the Lord for forgiveness when you tripped and fell in your daily walk; thank Him for helping you get back up, forgiving what you did wrong.

Journaling, and/or mentally reviewing your day will make you a better person.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Purchase a small notebook that will fit in your tackle box, glove box on your boat, or your car or truck. Keep it in a zip top bag to keep it safe from the elements. Don't forget a pencil or pen. Record what happened through the trip. Some outdoors people like to transfer the recorded  data to an electronic journal once they are home.

FisherMan' and Fish Swami's Online Fishing Log offer free electronic fishing log services.