Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .  Life Is Tough No Matter Who You Are  (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."  Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (NIV)

I can see this from two points of view.  Ok I'm the guy on the mat and my day is not going good.  The guy has obviously had a tough life as it is, this day was no different till Jesus saw him.

"Get up grab your mat and go!" Now my day just got a whole lot better.  This guy is the real deal, who can just say, "get up." I did and I was walking!

Now imagine there are other people standing around and they see this.  Talk about the gossip circles going crazy.  People's mouths must have dropped into the sand!!
(Jim C)

Action Point
Now I see something else from this short story.  Life is tough.  No matter who you are, Life has its ups and downs.  That's Life! It's not perfect and it's not meant to be.  We are not here for comfort, we are here for character development.  To bring us closer to God.  When you have faith such as this man did, great things will happen.  Now as back then, they will happen with Jesus!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Changing weather conditions can be tough on any fisherman. Slow down your approach and cover the water more thoroughly. The next bite you get can key you in to the entire day.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Sometimes We Get In The Way Of The Problem By Trying To Be The Solution  (MQ) 
Bible Study Verses
John 5:16-19
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute Him. In His defense Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working." For this reason they tried all the more to kill Him; not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.
Jesus gave them this answer: "Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (NIV)

All this was going on and imagine the Pharisees of the day. They were as arrogant and all-knowing as our politicians are today! They would use anything and anyone to get the point across about how good "they" were and what "they" were doing was for the good of all.

The answer was right in front of them, but they were too boastful and arrogant to see Jesus. Sound familiar? It should, it's happening again right now!
(Jim  C)

Action Point
We all have this problem, myself included. Sometimes we get in the way of the problem by trying to be the solution. 

Sometimes we truly need to sit back, look at what's going on, and realize that it's not about us. Try that next time and see if the answer comes by taking yourself out of the equation.

Sportsmens Tip of the Day
I get asked all the time what my favorite lure color is and how I choose it. My favorite color is chosen simply by water clarity. The clearer the water, the more natural the color I use. The more stained or muddy the water, I choose a more contrasting color. If my choice is successful, that becomes my favorite color for that time.

April 28, 2013   
  Today's Photograph . . . . The Best Waterfowl Season Of My Life  (Yvonne M)
Bible Study Verse
Psalms 51:1-2
Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. (NIV)
This past season was the best waterfowl season of my life. In reality, I have not hunted that long compared to the years I have fished. However, this was a very special year. There were a lot of good hunts, with lots of new friends and incredible visual experiences in the field. On many occasions I just looked up and said, "Thanks God! It was an awesome day!"
(Jim C)
Action Point
What jumps out at me is "great compassion." How many times can you think of that you had an awesome day, hunt, time with friends and family etc. and did not say a thank you to God? I know in my case, I cannot count that high!
Yet, when I remember, and turn toward God, He blots out my transgressions, always giving me His grace to try again. It's funny because when I do thank Him, the day, event, or situation seems to get even better. That's God and how cool is that!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Remember it's not always the kill that makes a great hunt. A great hunt is made with the help of great people. What is incredible about hunting and fishing is that in a lot of cases, great people you meet become great friends that you share even more experiences with.

April 27, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . .  Lord Jesus Christ, it's Your Turn . . . . . (MQ)  
Bible Study Verses
II Peter 1:1-4
I, Simon Peter, am writing this letter. I serve Jesus Christ. I am His apostle. I am sending this letter to you who have received a faith as valuable as ours. You received it because our God and Savior Jesus Christ does what is right and fair for everyone. May more and more grace and peace be given to you. May they come to you as you learn more about God and about Jesus our Lord. Be Sure That God Has Chosen You. God's power has given us everything we need to lead a godly life. All of that has come to us because we know the One who chose us. He chose us because of His own glory and goodness. He has also given us His very great and valuable promises. He did it so you could share in His nature. He also did it so you could escape from the evil in the world. That evil is caused by sinful longings. (NIV)

Ephesians 1:3
Give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Those blessings come from the heavenly world. They belong to us because we belong to Christ. (NIV)

Wow! I have been really humbled and blessed!!! My prayers have been turned inside out since I've been studying the Bible on prayer and His promises and listening to Louie Giglio on his Prayer: Remix messagesRemember these prayer statements that we all use which I have chosen not to utter again:
  • Dear God, thank you for today.
  • Bless us, bless me, or bless this endeavor.
  • Watch over and protect us or me.
I now pray,  "Lord Jesus Christ please direct me on how to bless you and bless those that You're bringing to me today. Lord, it's your turn . . ." There's a lot less talking and a whole lot of listening on my part. Distraction has been eliminated after praying that statement with all my heart and my soul!!! Don't want to miss a second in His presence!!!
(Jo Q)
Action Point
By having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we have everything we need to live life for Christ. We don't have to pray "bless me" cause you and I are blessed as joint heirs in Christ; reread the above verses. God is going to bless you and me as we serve Him and we are currently blessed in whatever circumstance we are in! We have been given the Holy Spirit to pray for us and teach us. The above scripture reminds us we have been given everything we need to live our lives for Him. Excuses don't hold after those verses! Not even yours!!!
What would each of our lives evolve into when we suddenly realize we have been given everything we need through Jesus to accomplish what He desires in life for each of us! In other words, no more excuses for intentional sinning since we have been given everything we need to live godly lives, no limits, no regrets!  Just as you, I've had to search His word for the treasures that became mine when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and my Creator. But, I missed a lot. I don't want anything to keep me distant from Him! Absolutely nothing, including my "me" centered prayers!!!

Ok, even through the hard tough times? Yep, God knew you or I would have disease, pain, heartache, divorce or something coming our way . . . He wasn't surprised or wringing His hands. The above scripture says we have what we need through Jesus!!! So . . . when prayer changes from "you" and "me" to "Him and what He wants to do through you and I" - we won't need to tell others about Him - they will be searching us out and waiting at our cars to find out "Who is this Jesus and how do I get what you have?"

The revival we've all been waiting for has been waiting for each of us to open our eyes, our hearts, our souls, and access what we've already been given through Jesus. We need to open our eyes,  see, and worship Jesus, the Creator of the universe, in prayer!!!

Our abundance is found in Jesus for this life right now!!! He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing from His Heaven!!! We got what we need direct from Heaven!!! 

 Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
I encourage you to get Louie Giglio's Prayer:Remix DVD or if you live in Georgia check out Passion City Church. Your prayers and your prayer time will become even more exciting and a lot more productive.

Friday, April 26, 2013

April 26, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . Simple Obedience Is Better Than Trying To Do Fantastic Things For Him (FWS)
Bible Study Verse
I Samuel 15:22
But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (NIV)

Death was imminent. Quick action was required. Mel, Rusty's owner, shouted out at the top of his lungs, "Rusty!"

The Golden Retriever responded immediately. With speed that seemed quicker than air brakes on a semi truck, Rusty locked up all four legs, paws dug deep in the roadside gravel, and he came to a halt.

The automobile's bumper missed his head by less than a foot!

Rusty had witnessed the flush of a large covey of Bob White quail. One quail flew left across the paved road which was far below and down the slope of the steep hillside. Rusty went to retrieve the quail that he assumed had been hit as the shotguns roared. But, I had missed, and Mel had shot at other birds. The point is that Rusty's immediate obedience save his life!
(Jack M)

Action Point
In the verse above, we are told that to obey God is better than the most fantastic attempts at serving the Lord in our own way.

The internal fat of animals sacrificed in Old Testament times was considered the best part of the sacrifice. It was reserved for God alone, and was to be offered on the altar to Him. It symbolizes the most sincere motivation and our very best attempt to do for the Lord what we think is best.

But, God says that simple obedience is better than trying to do fantastic things for Him in our own wisdom and strength. Simply obey Him!!! That is best in His eyes. That is also the safest thing for us to do, and puts us in the place of blessing!!!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Teach your dogs to obey instantly. It will often be to their advantage; perhaps it will save their lives as it did Rusty in the true story above. There are many training tools available to us today. An electronic training system will enhance learning, and save the owner lots of frustration when the dog disobeys.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 25, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . .  Their Actions Unknown To Any Other   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Isaiah 6:5
Then I said, "It's all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven's Armies." (NLT)

Completely camouflaged from head to toe, I sat in my place of ambush!  I thought I was the complete predator, the ultimate hunter!  I thought I was undetected, unseen, ready to pounce upon any opportunity given me by the unsuspecting prey.

But, I was wrong!  A hen turkey came walking into the setup.  Next thing I knew, she had me pegged!  I was busted!  I was found out!  I was exposed!
(Jack M)

Action Point
There are many in the world who think that God does not see and know.  They think their sin is hidden; their actions unknown to any other.  

But, they are wrong.  God does know.  We are indeed BUSTED!  As Isaiah found out in the passage above, we are unclean.  "Doomed.  It's all over."  [(NLT) paraphrased by the author for emphasis.] If you are still in your sin, you are BUSTED!!!

Realize and agree with God that you are unclean, a sinner who needs forgiveness.  Accept God's remedy for sin.  Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Use your favorite scent killing routine, or develop one for use in hunting, especially when hunting with archery equipment.  It may not make you scent free, but it will help out most of the time.

April 24, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . We Must Purchase Each Chance To Sow The Seed Of The Gospel In The Hearts Of People (JM) 
Bible Study Verse
John 4:35
You know the saying, "Four months between planting and harvest." But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. (NLT)

A drive across the plains of South Dakota reminded me of the upcoming wheat harvest. The fields are especially green and full this year due to abundant rain. The varieties of wheat used for the fall planting varied widely. So the maturity of the fields reflected that variety. Some fields were still green. Others were just beginning to turn that light green that melds into yellow. Yet others were already heading into the golden color that announces the harvest is near.
(Jack M)
Action Point
Partner with God in His harvest of people. In the context of the John 4 passage, the disciples of Jesus did not realize the priority of God in reaching people. When Jesus mentioned the harvest, they thought He meant food, as they had just returned from a trip for food.

Jesus lets them know that reaching people is a priority. He speaks of the nourishment He receives as He accomplishes God's priority of reaching needy people.

We need to prioritize people in our schedules. We need to reach out to them in everything we do. We must always prepare to share. We must purchase each chance to sow the seed of the gospel in the hearts of people.

The outdoors is a perfect place to accomplish that. Psalm 19:1-4 tells us that creation literally screams out that there is a Creator. It is our privilege to introduce others to Him!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Get involved with local chapters and clubs that improve habitat for wildlife. Invest some time, energy, and money in this worthwhile activity. It will generate a benefit of more wildlife in the long run. It will also establish or develop relationships with others who need the Lord.

April 23, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . The Offer Of God Through Christ Is That We Don't Have To Sleep The Second Death (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
John 11:12
His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." (NIV)
I was startled from my nap.  What was it that awakened me?  The nap felt really good in light of the early hours.  The spring sun was warm and relaxing.  But, what was it that awakened me? 
I had learned to keep still and not move during these times.  My eyes carefully moved from right to left as I looked for what had awakened me.  There he was!  A beautiful tom turkey alternating between full strut and an alert posture as he looked for that hen he had heard calling to him.
(Jack M)

Action Point
Sleep.  A nap.  Rest.  Why do we need sleep?  Why is rest required for good health?

May I suggest that almost every physical need is also a picture of a spiritual truth? Adequate, regular, quality sleep is required for good mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  I find that when I am tired that it is much more difficult to control my thoughts and keep them where they should be.

Sleep is a metaphor for death.  The fact that we need sleep reminds us that we will all die.

The offer of God through Christ is that we don't have to sleep the second death.  After physical death, we can awake to life eternal, and never die!!! Jesus said in John 11:26 (NIV), "And whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Do you wish to live forever?  Are you looking for eternal life?  It is only in Jesus.  Receive Him by faith, and you will live with Him forever!  Forever is a very long time!!!!

Sportsman's Tip of the Day
When you are napping in the woods, make sure you are safe!  If you are in a tree stand, use an approved safety harness system.  If you are on the ground, make sure the weapon is safe as to the direction of the barrel or projectile.  Make sure that you will wake up safely when you get that little nap that we all enjoy.

Plan for adequate sleep when you hunt.  Being exhausted is not safe.  Exhaustion can cause you to miss opportunities that you had waited to enjoy. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013

Today's Photograph . . .  .To Re-direct The Conversation To A More Excellent Or Praiseworthy Direction   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (NASB)

There is an old saying in the firefighting world, "Telegraph, Telephone, Tell-a-fireman." The implication is that firefighters tend to be gossipy.

When I go hunting, I often go with a group of other firefighters. At end of the day we're sitting around the campfire in the evening and the conversations often turns to work and people at work. If I am not careful, before I know it, I can get caught up in the gossip.

These discussions only lead to one outcome--hurting others. Not a good thing!
(Brett M)

Action Point
I have not always been a firefighter and I know that this kind of behavior is in all kinds of professions and settings. It may be with non-Christian friends with whom we hunt, or Christian friends with whom we go to church.

The important thing is to recognize that the words of gossip are rarely if ever, true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, or admirable.

Let's take the lead to show Christ to others by not only refusing to participate in such activities; but to re-direct the conversation to a more excellent or praiseworthy direction.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you're the last one to turn in at night, make sure the campfire is fully extinguished. Once you think you have poured an adequate amount of water on the coals, pour more.

April 21, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . Let Us Not Trample Underfoot The Precious Blood That He Shed For Us (Brett M)
Bible Study Verse
I John 1:7
But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (NASB)

Awhile back, I was blessed to draw a bull elk tag for Arizona's coveted Unit 9. On the evening of the first day, a large bull entered a clearing about 200 yards from me. Once I had closed the distance, my shot rang true and the majestic bull lay 75 yards from where he was hit.

As I cleaned and quartered the elk, I was amazed at how powerful the blood was. Blood that normally carries life can be disrupted by one well-placed shot; and suddenly, 75 yards later, life ceases to exist.

Blood is the key ingredient that gives us all life.
(Brett M)

Action Point
If blood is so powerful that it keeps that majestic animal alive, just think about how powerful the blood of the Creator of the universe was and is!!! When Christ died on Calvary, He shed His blood to "purify us from all sin."

While blood brings life, whether we are people, elk, or quail, the blood of Christ gives us eternal life. Now, that is powerful blood!!!

As Christians, we can become complacent about God's sacrifice, knowing that He loves us and will forgive us. Let us not trample underfoot the precious blood that He shed for us. Always strive to be obedient to His Word and His will!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Although blood and bodily fluids bring life, they can, also, carry infectious diseases. Make sure that you always carry several pairs of surgical/latex gloves for cleaning your harvest.   

April 20, 2013 

Today's Photograph . . . . We May Also Need To Warn Others Of The Consequences Of Denying What He Offers To Us  (Cliff S)
Bible Study Verse
Ezekial 3:17
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me." (NIV)

While I was sitting at a watering hole a while back, I heard rustling in the bushes on the other side of the water. Moments later, a very nice buck poked his head out from the trees and looked around. Slowly, he emerged from the trees, extremely cautious about every move. Eventually, he came down to the water to drink and ended up a mere fifteen yards from me. (Of course I was hunting elk).

The entire time I watched him from my blind, he appeared very alert and on edge. After several minutes, a much older buck stepped out from the same area in the trees and came down to water.

The first buck then seemed somewhat more relaxed, but very submissive to the older buck and still kept watch while they drank. 
(Brett M)

Action Point
A watchman in Ezekiel's time would stand guard on the wall of the city and warn of impending danger. God called Ezekiel to be a watchman for God's people and to warn them of God's coming judgment. 

As Ezekiel was a watchman for the Jews and this younger buck was a watchman for the older buck, so should we be watchmen for God's children. Sometimes I find myself witnessing to others, spreading the great news about God's salvation, but omitting the ugly side of sin and death. 

This verse helps to serve as a reminder that, in addition to sharing the greatness of God's salvation, we may also need to warn others of the consequences of denying what He offers to us.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
While sitting in a blind, be prepared for a visit from animals other than those you are hunting. Take along a camera. You might find that these experiences are just as memorable as your harvest.

April 19, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . As Firefighters, We Respond Not Only To Fire Calls But Also To Medical Calls (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Romans 15;1-2
Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, in order to build him up. (HCSB)

As firefighters, we respond not only to fire calls but also to medical calls. In fact, as with most fire departments around the country, the majority of our calls are medical in nature; and so we encounter a wide variety of persons with medical needs.

These include the very wealthy in million dollar homes, as well as the mentally ill who set up their condominium living behind a dumpster. At times, it may be difficult to be kind to a person who has not bathed in three months, has the mind of an eight-year old, is covered with lice, and with sores that we call meth bites. (Methamphetamine users often hallucinate that they have bugs under their skin and will try to dig them out with fingers, sticks, tools, etc., leaving sores about their whole body.)

It may also be difficult for us firefighters to maintain mature behavior in these circumstances. Nevertheless, we strive to treat every person as our customer, regardless of their condition, and meet whatever needs he/she may have.
(Brett M)

Action Point
Although this is an extreme example of someone "without strength", you and I come upon them every day. I believe that when Paul speaks of "we", he is talking about Christians.

We are to be the "strong" in Christ. When we encounter someone "without strength," a homeless person, a friend who needs encouragement, or an unbeliever in need of salvation, we have more than a suggestion from the Word to help them. We have an obligation.

As we go about our day today, let's see who God has put in our lives to "build up."
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Next time you're out in the field and see someone with a fresh harvest, stop by their camp to see if they need help. Successful hunters often may provide insight as to where the game you are hunting might be found.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . What They Do You'll Probably Do As Well, Right Or Wrong. Choose Wisely
(Cliff S)
Bible Study Verse
John 17:24 
"Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world." (NIV)
Camping is a very intimate activity for me. It's intimate because I will only go camping with those that I consider to be really close. Those men that I am willing to allow into my innermost circle and to see and to know the real me.
Sitting around a campfire with your best friends has a way of forcing a person to take off the mask that he wears in his day-to-day life. You know the mask, the one we wear to keep our daily acquaintances from knowing who and what we really are.
There's a line from a movie that I watch occasionally The Man From Snowy River that says a lot about camping. The line is, "A camp can be hard to find in the mountains. You're welcome at my fire anytime." What the character is saying in the movie is that he wants the other guy to join him and become one of his closest associates. He is inviting the other guy into his circle.
(Cliff S)
Action Point
It struck me recently that joining Jesus (becoming a Christian) is a lot like camping.
Jesus wants us in His camp! He has extended the invitation for us to join Him and be close to Him. He has told us all that we need to know about Him in the Bible, His living word. Jesus wears no masks. He is willing for us to see Him as He really is.
He lived among men and spent time with them when He walked this earth. And, He still walks among us and spends time with us if we're willing to "go camping" with Him.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Remember when your Mother told you to choose your friends carefully, that you'll wind up being like them? Well, the same advice goes for choosing your camping and hunting buddies. What they do you'll probably do as well, right or wrong. Choose wisely! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

   April 17, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . It Is A Gift  (Cliff S) 
Bible Study Verse
Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. (NIV 2011)
The place: Wrangell, Alaska.  The vessel: The Navigator, piloted by my cousin, Rob.  I have been on several boats on the ocean, mostly scuba diving.  This time we (Rob, five friends, and the deck hand, Caleb) were on a fishing boat headed out for five days in a secret spot that only Rob and the halibut knew about, or so Rob had promised us. 
The morning we were to head out dawned with a dense fog that severely limited our visibility.  It was that way until about 10:00 in the morning.  As we pulled out through the fog and into the open sea on the way to the secret spot, I had to put my complete faith in Rob's skill as a skipper.  I didn't know where the channel and underwater rocks were.  I didn't know how to utilize the depth finder or the GPS system.  I had never seen an oceanic navigational chart before.  And, there was absolutely nothing I could do to help Rob that would make our trip safer.  But, I had complete confidence in Rob's skills and judgment.  Therefore, I was at peace as we headed out, and was excited about the week's adventure that lay ahead.  By the way, the halibut were there. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Jesus and the Apostles taught very clearly that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation, that it is a gift from God.  I am so glad it is this way. 
I can't imagine what I could do to make myself worthy of God's love and forgiveness.  And, could you imagine what it would be like if we had to earn our salvation?  We would never know for sure if we had worked enough.  We wouldn't know if our good deeds outweighed the bad.  We would never be able to be at peace with God during our life here on earth not knowing for sure if we were good enough to win His favor. 
Praise God, that isn't the way it is.  Jesus said that if I believe in Him and have faith that He has forgiven me of my sins, that I am saved from an eternity of separation from God in a place called hell.  And, I can be at peace with God and can be sure of my salvation now because of the promise of His grace, not because of my works, but because of my faith!  I like being at peace, don't you?
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Be sure to check the references of the guide with whom you are going to hunt of fish.  It doesn't always guarantee a good experience, but it will help to keep the guide honest in his representations to you if he knows that you're going to be verifying his claims.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Mom Will Be Back (MQ)
Our hearts are heavy for the tragedy in Boston. Please join us in surrounding these victims and families with prayer. Only the healing presence of Christ will make miracles out of their pain and suffering as He can and will. God bless each of you.
Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 5:13-14 
Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (NIV)

The renewing of Spring: Buffalo calves are first to arrive in my area; not long after, the elk, deer, and antelope start giving birth to their young. 

Those babies depend on their mother for nourishing milk and for protection from predators. As they mature they will rely less on their mother's milk and start to enjoy the food God has provided for them. They will become fleet of foot, able to avoid potential predators. 
(Ron T) 

Action Point 
When I first became a believer in Jesus Christ, I was like a baby in my understanding. I think back to that time--amazing how much I did not know. Through time in God's word, fellowship with other Christians, and a good Bible-based church, my maturity level has and is continuing to increase. That's how it works in nature and that's how it works in our Christian walk with God.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Every year I get calls from people saying they have found an orphaned fawn. Sometimes they will even bring the baby to my office. I explain that the mother will often leave her youngster bedded down when she goes off to feed. Please help spread the word: if you or someone you know comes across a fawn alone, just leave it be; mom will be back. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Rest Of The Herd Will Usually Follow .  .  .  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Ezekiel 33:19
And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so. (NIV)

Trying to turn a herd of buffalo can be a tough job. When buffalo get it in their heads that they want to go a certain direction and you want them to go elsewhere, they usually end up going their way. 

If by chance you can get ahead of them and turn the lead cow, the rest of the herd will usually follow. However, it is important to take a fast and trustworthy horse along with you. 
(Ron T)

Action Point
If we are not on God's path, He wants us to turn, do a complete 180 degree pivot and get on His path. Through His forgiveness, none of the sins we committed while going the wrong way will be remembered. "None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live," Ezekiel 33:16 (NIV). 

As a matter of fact, the sins we committed are removed.  "As far as the East is from the West, 
so far has He removed our transgressions from us," Psalms 103:12 (NIV). That's a long way!!! 

I have heard people say that they can forgive but they won't forget. I might have even said it myself a time or two. I'm so glad that when God forgives my sins, He also forgets them. If we ask Him about the sins we have committed in the past, He will say, "What sins???"

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If in the future, you are planning a horseback ride, make sure to check your tack before you hit the trail. I have seen some pretty nasty horse wrecks caused by bad stirrup leathers or worn-out latigos. Replacement of bad parts before the ride can help keep horse and rider safe. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 13, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . They Adapt and Change (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Ephesians 5:28-29
So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. (NKJV)

Drought has been hitting Arizona for the last ten years now. Water tanks are dried up, reservoirs are low, and trees and wildlife are showing the effects.

Last year a wild fire moved through an area called Mingus Mountain in northern AZ. A friend of mine was the base camp manager for the forest service firefighters' camp. Near the camp on the main highway, which had been closed, was a large, portable water trough that the helicopters used to retrieve water in order to drop on the fire. 

As he approached the trough in the dimly lit morning he saw something unusual, a black mass near the trough. Blurry eyed and still a little sleepy he approached the trough and the black mass came into focus. It was actually two large bears standing on their rear feet with their front paws on the edge of the trough getting a much needed drink. 
(Brett M) 

Action Point 
Wildlife is resourceful. When they are unable to meet their needs in the traditional ways, they adapt and change. We as humans are, also, very resourceful and adaptable. We have certain needs and we will typically make adaptations to meet those needs, often times in self-destructive ways.

Many of us are married and have made a vow to seek certain needs only from our spouses. Most commonly it is sex that we seek from our spouse. But, what about the other needs that should only be found in our spouse. 

Men are you meeting all of the needs of your wives? Do you love her "as your own body?" Neither spouse should have to go to a wayward trough to seek what they need.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Old burned areas of the forest are great places to hunt. Increased sunlight and fresh vegetation are keys. Pay attention to your hunting area during wildfire season, note if and where an area may have burned and then scout that in future hunting trips.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . They Probably Are Not Going To Be Standing On Street Corners  (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
Exodus 20:8-10
"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. (NIV)

It happened to me during a scouting trip for deer. The day had drawn to a close and I was heading home. I decided to stop in a nearby town for a bite to eat. As I approached the intersection, I noticed a man standing on the side of the road with the usual "will work for food sign." This is when I sometimes have a crisis in my compassion. Trying to overcome it, I stopped and asked the man what kind of work he was willing to do. I knew I could not offer him any, since I didn't even live there. I figured if I received a legitimate offer of landscaping, roofing, etc., I would give him some money.

Although fairly young and apparently healthy, he informed me that in fact he was not willing to work and was just there to get money from passersby. 
(Brett M)

Action Point
I have been a Christian for some time and thought that I knew a little about the Bible. But, do you ever have one of those days when someone reads a verse to you that you have read a million times before and suddenly it has a whole new meaning! 

That happened to me with the above mentioned scripture. Reading it since I was a child, I always heard the command, "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." It never dawned on me that it also said, "Six days you shall do all your work." This is commanding not only that I keep the Sabbath holy, but that I also work six days a week. I do not believe this to mean that I have to be in the office or at the fire station six days a week. It includes performing chores around the house, volunteering, etc.

In II Thessalonians 3:10b Paul writes "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat," (NIV). The important point here is "will not work." It does not include those who cannot work, only those who will not work. 

If you like me have a crisis in your compassion, remember what God says. We need to help the many, many people right now that have been laid off from work, are willing, and are able to work, but cannot find it. They probably are not going to be standing on street corners, but are in your church or in your neighborhood.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If unable to remove your entire big game animal from the field on the night you harvest, hang the savable portions in a tree at least fifty yards from the gut pile. These two precautions will help prevent meat loss from predation. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Should Never Have To Sin In Order To Fulfill God's Plan For Us  (NPS) 
Bible Study Verses
Genesis 27: 5-10
Rebekah was eavesdropping as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. As soon as Esau had gone off to the country to hunt game for his father, Rebekah spoke to her son Jacob. "I just overheard your father talking with your brother, Esau. He said, 'Bring me some game and fix me a hearty meal so that I can eat and bless you with God's blessing before I die.'  "Now, my son, listen to me. Do what I tell you. Go to the flock and get me two young goats. Pick the best; I'll prepare them into a hearty meal, the kind that your father loves. Then you'll take it to your father, he'll eat and bless you before he dies." (Message)

We split up from camp to go javelina hunting. Two of the guys walked out of camp to crest a ridge nearby. I drove a couple miles away where I had seen some fresh sign. No sooner had I gotten to my location when my radio squelched. "We see one! He's bedded down." I hurriedly made it back to my truck and sped back to their location.

Arriving at their spot, they pointed to a black mass beneath a mesquite tree about a mile and a half away. "I saw it walk up and lay down, he hasn't moved since!"

Glassing the area I could definitely see an animal there, but due to the distance I couldn't make much out. We began our stalk which would be closer to three miles to stay down wind, most of the while hiking in a wash and out of eyeshot of the sleeping pig.

At a quarter mile away we climbed out of the wash and began to glass the area. Just in time to see the black mound under the mesquite tree rise from its bed, shoo away some flies with its long tail, moo, and begin chewing its cud. My Minnesota native friend had just been deceived by a cow.
(Brett M)

Action Point
Rebekah was attempting to deceive Isaac in order to "help" God along with His promise that He would use Jacob to carry out His plan. Although her intentions may have been well meaning, she still planned to deceive her husband in order to carry out the plan.

Although we may know God's plans, sometimes like Rebekah, we feel we need to assist God because they do not seem to be moving as timely or orderly as we think they should. The old saying, "the ends don't always justify the means," applies here.

Remember, God does not contradict Himself. We should never have to sin in order to fulfill God's plan for us.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Javelina typically travel in herds of 5 to 12. If you see just one, wait. There are likely others in the same area.   

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 10, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . We Should Do Everything We Do To The Best Of OUR Ability, But Do It For HIS Glory  (NWS)
Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 12:27 
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt. (NIV)
The big ten-point stepped quietly out of the woods and began to walk slowly down the field-line. With great caution, he tested the wind and kept his head moving as he watched the open field carefully. Finally, he was broadside, a muzzleloader sounded off, and my brother had his biggest buck to date. 
(Brian H)

Action Point
That big buck encounter didn't just happen. You see, I've left out some details in that story. I left out the hours we spent scouting and glassing that field. I didn't tell you about the time spent setting up a stand, clearing shooting lanes, trimming limbs, and figuring out prevailing wind directions. I didn't mention that we worked to figure out how to walk in to that stand so that we would remain undetected. The moral of this story is that it took hard work for this big buck encounter to happen.

The Bible has something to say about laziness as well, look at Proverbs 12:27. Wow!!! That passage paints a great picture for all of us hunters. But, it's a picture that is a metaphor for life.

My paraphrase would go something like this: "Do everything that you do in life to your best ability." Perhaps you wouldn't categorize yourself as lazy, but what about those remarks that goes like this: "For what I'm paid for this job, that's all that I'm going to do." How about this one: "Nobody knows if I finish my paperwork or not. Nobody's checked it, so why bother?"

The correct attitude is that God gave us abilities and we should do everything that we do to the best of OUR ability, but do it for HIS glory. Whether hunting, working, or anything else, you won't roast your game unless you are diligent.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When trimming limbs for shooting lanes, you don't always have a pole saw with you. Try tying a medium weight stick about a foot long to a length of rope. Toss the stick over the offending limb and then pull it down to your reach with the rope. We call that an "Arkansas Lasso." Happy Hunting!!!