Friday, May 31, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . The World Is Beautifully Complex, and Could Only Be The Result Of An Intelligent and Creative Designer  (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Genesis 1:31 
God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day. (NIV)
When I'm out in the woods, the desert, or just out-of-doors anywhere, I am always amazed at the beauty and the simplicity of nature. Yet, at the same time, I also marvel at the complexity of all that is around me. And God saw that it was very good! I'm inclined to agree.
How could there be such a beautiful environment without a creator? I read how scientists want me to believe that this all came from nothing, just appeared, or random atoms just, over a gazillion years, accidentally came together. But, where did those atoms come from? There has to be a starting point to creation.
I love the story about the scientists telling God that they would create life from the dirt, just as He did. When they begin scooping up a bucket of dirt from the earth, God tells them to go make their own dirt! Yes, the world is beautifully complex, and could only be the result of an intelligent and creative designer, an ultimate God! 
(Cliff S)
Action Point
The next time you field dress an animal, look at the complexity of that animal and the differences between species. I, for one, do not believe that I or the animals are the result of random "accidents".
God made me, and He made me in His image! It is very good!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Always leave your camp clean. Respect the out-of-doors and leave it better than you found it for the next camper who comes along.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . AZ Peace Officers Memorial. A Bowed Head Honoring AZ Peace Officers Killed In The Line Of Duty.    (Cliff S)
Bible Study Verse 
John 11:32-36 
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  "Where have you laid Him?" He asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. 
Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!" (NIV)

These are headlines we in Arizona read in a span of two weeks:  
  • May 6, 2013, Arizona Highway Patrolman Tim Huffman killed in the line of duty. 
  • May 19, 2013, Phoenix Firefighter Brad Harper killed in the line of duty. 
  • May 19, 2013, Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz killed in the line of duty.  
Any time a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other first responder dies in the line of duty it is a tragedy. What was especially troubling about these three fatalities was that they were all the result of tragic accidents. Were the accidents preventable? We don't have the answer to that.

What we do know is that these accidents resulted in the death of three men and that these men gave their lives protecting the public, protecting me. And what I know is that, as I write this, I weep for these men and their families and for all of the "family" of officers and firefighters that lost brothers on those tragic days. And, yes, I am troubled that the three died in what might have been preventable circumstances. I'm troubled because there are always ways in which an accident could have been avoided. 
(Cliff S)
Action Point
Jesus wept for his friend, Lazarus whom He loved. But let's dig a little deeper here. The passage says that Jesus was "deeply moved in spirit and troubled" when He saw the people mourning the loss of their friend. One of my Bible translations has a footnote that says that Jesus was deeply moved "because of the sorrow that sickness and death brought." 

But, how did sickness and death enter into the world? Through one man's sin. And, what about the word "troubled?" I recently heard a commentator explain that this word actually has a connotation of anger to it. 
  • Could it be that Jesus was troubled, or angry, because He was aware of the consequences of one decision that had been made in the Garden of Eden that lead to the sickness and physical and spiritual death of all mankind? 
  • Could it be that Jesus was angry that Satan has been misleading mankind from the time of that first sin in the Garden until now into believing that they don't need God's forgiveness for their sin? 
  • Could it be that Jesus was troubled that so many will die in their sin and suffer eternal separation from God because of what one man did? 
I know I'm delving into the realm of speculation here, but I have to consider what caused Jesus to be troubled. It may have been far more than the death of His friend. It could have been because He knows that so many will not accept Him as their Savior and will needlessly suffer the consequences of their sin and that He knew that this suffering could be avoided. 

So, I have a question for you. Have you accepted Jesus into your life? Are you causing Jesus to be troubled or is He and the angels rejoicing in your decision to accept Him into your life? It's your choice.
(Cliff S)
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When using firearms always practice four simple rules: 
  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. 
  • Be sure of your target and beyond.
  • +1 Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. 
By following these four rules, TAB +1, you will prevent most firearm accidents.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 29, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Sorrow and Unrest Of  Not Knowing Where His Friend Was Spending Eternity Never Left Him  (Rebecca L)
Bible Study Verse
Exodus 9:16-17
"But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go." (NKJV)
Do we really live out each day to God's purpose? In this scripture, God is referring to the Egyptian Pharaoh who would not let God's people leave Egypt with Moses. Unfortunately, Pharaoh was fighting against God; and ultimately, God showed His awesome power over all nature--Pharaoh lost.
As God used Pharaoh in His plan for the people He loved, God has a purpose for everyone-- each friendship, co-worker, and hunting buddy--in His plan for us. Yes, even the inexperienced neighbor who may really look up to you and just love to be included on your next trip out. Can you think of someone who might benefit from your experience and knowledge of the outdoors? What might happen if you invited them on your next camping, fishing, or hunting trip? Perhaps you are worried that the hunt would be ruined? From eternity's perspective, what truly is most important?
Remember Pharaoh. God ended up sending frogs, lice, and locusts (to name a few of His judgments) upon Pharaoh's kingdom in order to deliver His people from slavery. God doesn't go out to get people. He is a God of love and He wants to give you the desires of your heart. He's more likely to send the trophy your way; although the inexperienced hunter may get that one, and you'll just look like an awesome guide! 
(Rebecca L)
Action Point
There was a outdoorsman who went hunting with his friend of many years. Sitting by their campfire resting after hiking all day, he felt impressed to talk to his friend about knowing Jesus personally. He chose not to say anything. He didn't want to offend this life-long buddy. 

Not long after this great trip, his buddy died protecting his wife in a burglary. The sorrow and unrest of not knowing where his friend was for eternity never left him as long as he lived. 

Stop and seek God's purpose for your day now!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you have a late hunt in the year, you may awaken to snow. Don't forget to protect your eyes. Many a sportsman has experienced snow blindness. Snow reflects 85 percent of the ultraviolet rays from the sun. Many symptoms will not appear until 12 hours later (or on your next hunt). Always keep sunglasses in your camping trailer or hunting gear. You can keep them on a leash around your neck so you don't lose them when you look through your binoculars or take that shot at the big one. 

May 28, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Bible Is Not Fiction   (MQ) 
Bible Study Verse
I John 1:1 
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life. (HCSB)
One of my favorite parts of teaching hunter education classes was listening to the students' experiences from past hunts. I have picked up many things about wildlife behavior from the observations of other hunters. 

One of the things I learned from listening to a veteran hunter was that mule deer are very curious by nature. He explained that if a mule deer sees you but does not smell you, it will most likely try to figure out what you are. 

On my oldest son's first mule deer hunt, we were busted by several does. The wind was right so the deer didn't spook. Taking the knowledge that I had learned from the observations of the veteran hunter, I told my son that he should get ready for a shot. Because the deer hadn't winded us, they moved to our right and stopped to get a better view of us. 

My son was prepared for the shot and was successful in taking his first deer. 
(Ernie W)
Action Point
I sometimes forget that the Bible was written by men who, in many cases, actually walked with Jesus. The Bible is not fiction. 

When I studied this verse I was reminded of the fact that the disciples had heard, seen, observed and touched many of the things that they wrote about. Take full confidence in the Bible.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When getting advice about outdoor activities, it is always better to speak to someone who has first-hand knowledge.

Monday, May 27, 2013

May  27, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . Flag Honoring Driveway   (MQ) 
Memorial Day, the day to honor those who gave their lives for the freedom we all enjoy. We must protect our country so they did not die in vain.
Bible Study Verse
John 15:13
No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. (HCSB)  

To many Memorial Day is just another day off from work, but today the Sportsmen's Devotional Team remembers and honors those who gave their lives to protect America and other nations. 

It began in the 1770's when men fought and died to help our nation become free. In wars since then Americans have stepped forward over and over again and given the ultimate sacrifice. We have never asked for anything from the nations where Americans have fought and died except for a small piece of land to bury our soldiers killed in action. 

We know thousands of our most faithful readers are sportsmen and women that are currently serving us in other nations within the armed services. We want to say THANK YOU for looking after those seeking to be free as well as protecting us today here in America. We also want to recognize the large number of veterans that have served our nation in past conflicts. THANK YOU! 

Lord, thank you for those who gave their lives and most importantly for our precious gift of salvation  Jesus Christ bought with the sacrifice of His Life. 

Action Point
On Memorial Day take the time to seek out at least two veterans and thank them for their service. You can also do this with family members that have lost loved ones while serving our nation. Consider practicing this each Memorial Day and follow through.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
In the military they teach a soldier to keep their firearm clean and in perfect working order. Apply this to your hunting arms. RIG, Rust Inhibiting Grease, is a dependable universal gun grease and has been around since the 1930's. It offers excellent storage protection for firearms.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .  Do Not Be Tempted To Cut Ethical Corners  . . .  (MQ)
Bible study Verses
Mark 7:14-16
Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them." (NIV)

I come from a ranching and farming heritage. Growing up in a very rural area, I was tasked from my earliest childhood with taking care of horses, livestock, and hunting--the only kind of life I knew until adulthood. Butchering livestock and wild game was nothing out of the "norm". 

Along with that, harvesting various parts of animals for consumption, not considered edible by your average urban dweller, was also normal--the stomach of a cow or the liver of a deer to name a few. I have mentioned this to some friends throughout my life with less than positive responses: "Ugh! Cow tongue?!" "You eat rattlesnake?! You can't eat that stuff!" 
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. Read James 1:23-24.

Just as eating the less popular parts of an animal will not make you unclean, if your actions are not forthright, affiliation with a respected sportsmen group will not make you a true sportsman. Likewise, it does not matter what church you belong to, if your life and doctrine are not in agreement with it, membership will be of no advantage to you. "But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it-they will be blessed in what they do," James 1:25 (NIV).

Do not be tempted to cut ethical corners in the field, but be an ambassador for Christ wherever you are. You never know when the clean bright light that comes from you will shine on someone who will be influenced toward Christ!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When dealing with anti-hunters or anti-meat eaters, try not to overpower them with your opinions on the subject. They expect that from us. I always find it interesting to listen and take a philosophical approach. I have influenced at least one non-meat eater this way. Though he still does not eat meat, he is actually an advocate of hunting!

May 25, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . To Please God, We Must Remember The Whole Gospel Of Christ and Not Pick and Choose Between Biblical Principals Like The Pharisees  (Ruben C)
Bible Study Verse
Jeremiah 2:11-13
Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror," declares the LORD. "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." (NIV)
Over half a lifetime ago at 19, I attended a small party of friends in another town whom I had not seen in years. During the night's festivities two young men in camouflage showed up and joined in. 

As the night progressed, I learned the two bow hunters had been varmint hunting that day. As they relaxed they regaled how they had killed a couple of javelina that day out of season. 

I love to bow hunt and javelina have always been a favorite species of mine. They are tough adaptable critters to many climes and are always fun to hunt with a stick and arrows, in season!

My approval for these two dissipated as quickly as it had begun. 
(Ruben C)
Action Point
You can be the greatest hunter in the world, but if you choose to disregard the law remember what Jesus said. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's," Matthew 22:21b, (NIV); you negate all that is good, live by your own rules, and not the Sportsmen's code. 

Likewise God tells us in Jeremiah 2 that people have committed two sins, rejecting Him and inventing their own religion by creating their own cisterns that cannot hold water. The hunting analogy is obvious, but how about the religious one? Remember what Jesus said when tested by the Pharisees: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied; " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments," Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV). 

In order to please God, we must remember the whole gospel of Christ when considering our love for Him and not pick and choose between biblical principals like the Pharisees.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Javelina can offer a unique hunting experience for all ages. Often labeled as "dumb" animals, they are quite the opposite. They do however possess some traits that can give you an advantage over them: they are vertically challenged (short) and their eyesight is far from that of a pronghorn antelope. So, with a good pair of binoculars and careful planning, a stalk on these pigs can often lead to some close-in hunting action. Don't "over-caliber" either. They're not bears, so your smaller calibers are often best; .223, .243, and even the .22 magnum is legal in some states. Take a kid hunting and a video camera, and you're bound to have an experience that lasts a lifetime. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 24, 2013    

Today's Photograph . . . . A Perfect Opportunity To Give Him Credit For All He Has Done   (Jimmy S)  
Bible Study Verses
Psalms 105:1-2
Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples!  Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! (NKJV)

As hunters and fishermen we so much like to sit with others and talk about our last outdoor trip--the successes we had or the beauty we enjoyed in the outdoors. With that in mind, as Christian outdoor men and women we should have no problem sharing His wondrous works and deeds. We, of all people, have more opportunities than most to experience His beauty and majesty in the outdoors and to appreciate how unique the critters are that He has created 
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
Next time you're sitting around telling hunting and fishing stories, try to incorporate God into the conversation. What a perfect opportunity to give Him credit for all He has done in your life and for all He has created.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Can't buy a strike? Try a spinner bait or jig in a hot color like blaze orange or chartreuse. These outrageous hues don't look like much in nature, but they can provoke a reaction strike from a moody bass.

May 23, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . .Our Faith In Him Will Be Stronger As We Trust Him More  (Jimmy S)  
Bible Study Verse
I John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. (NKJV)

Our faith in something grows stronger when we use and maintain that something in which we trust. 

For example, when I am hunting, I have a stronger faith in my rifle or bow and in my ability to use it effectively if I practice with it, keep it clean and maintain it. If I just take it out of the closet, blow the dust off and go, I probably won't have much faith that I am going to have a successful hunt.
(Jimmy S)

Action Point
This same principle applies to our faith in God. If we don't maintain and practice our faith by reading the Word, keeping a strong prayer life, and then obeying what He has revealed to us in prayer, we will fail at overcoming the trials of the world because our faith is weak.
Make it a habit to take time each day to be in the Word and in prayer with the Lord. We can pray when we're driving to work or taking a walk. God will bless us for our diligence and commitment to Him in these things. He promises us that. Our faith in Him will be stronger as we trust Him more.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Part of making plans for an upcoming hunt should include maintaining your firearm or bow. Check it for loose parts, keep it clean, and make sure it shoots straight. A good way to prevent screws from coming loose on a bow is to coat the threads with Threadlocker or Lock Tight from the blue bottle. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May  22, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . If You Do You Will Have Trouble, Maybe Even Die   (Jack M)
Bible Study Verses
Mark 10:17
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to Him and fell on his knees before Him. "Good Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (NI V)

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)

Traffic signs warn us, prepare us for driving conditions, give us directions, and show us the way. Without them there would be a lot of chaos and confusion on the road.

The sign in this picture is very short, concise, and powerful. One way! Don't go the other way. If you do you will have trouble, maybe even die.
(Jack M)

Action Point
People don't like it. It is not politically correct. Some say its narrow minded. "It's not fair," the response of another. "Old fashioned" is another term used to describe this claim of Jesus.

Jesus says that He alone is the Way of Life, the Road to Heaven, the Means of Eternal Life. That is the clear directive and declaration of Scripture. Another verse says, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved," Acts4:12 (NIV).

Jesus warned us of the attitude held by the majority. He told us that the way of destruction is big and broad. He warned that the way of Salvation is narrow and small.

Have you accepted the gift of eternal life which God offers through Jesus? If not, call on God to save you today. He says that if you ask Him, He will save you. If you seek Him, you will find Him. If you call, He will answer.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
In many places there are roads clearly marked that allow you access to remote public hunting lands. Make sure you use such roads, and don't just drive off across the open fields. These signs and roads are for your safety and to protect the environment. Obey them.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . U Turns Are Necessary (Jack M)
Our hearts are grieving for the loss of lives, homes, and businesses due to the unimaginable destruction from the tornadoes and storms. So many lives were spared and we are grateful. The loss of one precious loved one is one too many. We stand in respect and awe for our fellow sisters and brothers who unselfishly rescued so many. Please join us in surrounding them in prayer and support. God bless each of you and may God bless America.
Bible Study Verse  
Mark 1:15
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (NIV)

"U turns" are necessary in life. I am glad for that. There are many times that I have messed up: 
  • I have sinned. 
  • I need a fresh start. 
  • I need a "do over." 
  • I need a second chance.
Sometimes the law says that "U turns" are illegal; they are not allowed. Other times they are encouraged to promote safety, ensure traffic flow, and to protect drivers and passengers.
(Jack M)
Action Point
The word "repent" in the Bible is well illustrated by the "U turn" concept. It can be visualized as an "About face. To the rear, march." command a drill sergeant might give his her trainees.

Consider where you are going. Consider your actions, attitudes, and goals in life. Do you need a "U turn?" God says He will forgive our sins if we confess and forsake them.

If you need a "U turn" in life, begin with a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus says in Luke 5:32, "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance," (NIV).

If you admit your sin, acknowledge your belief that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ask God to forgive your sin He will. He will save your soul.

This "U" turn will be eternal. You will be glad you made that choice for eternity. Do it today.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Review your gun handling habits. Have you gotten a bit lax? Have you let that discipline slip a little, become a bit too familiar with the firearm? That can only lead to trouble and accidents that can be fatal. Change your firearm handling habits to ensure safety. Confront others who are unsafe in their practices. You may save an accident or a life. It may be your own!  

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . . In The Language Of The Aztecs Mazatzal Means "An Area Inhabited By Deer"(NPS)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm 63:1
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. (NIV)

This pack trip was to be a sightseeing trip into the Mazatzal wilderness in Arizona. A couple of years earlier, my son and I had packed in on a deer hunt. I was so impressed with the area that I wanted my wife to see it--lots of game and some very interesting Indian ruins.

Somewhere on the trail in, I took a wrong turn. In the process of finding the trail again, I ran out of water. It was hot for October and I was nervous and uncomfortable. I remember praying for help in finding the trail so I could get my wife to the safety of our destination, a place called Brush Corral.
(Byron S)

Action Point
It must have been dry there in the Judah wilderness when David wrote this Psalm--dry, lonely, and uncomfortable after being hunted by his enemies. Yet, David sought God's face and lifted praise to Him for keeping him safe. His words show total trust in God, with the knowledge that God is sovereign.

There is so much comfort and wisdom in the Psalms. They provide us understanding that others have walked our walk many times over with faith and trust in God, Who helped them through.

Today, we might be dry and thirsty, but by continuing to seek God, tomorrow we will look back and see how He provided for us and cared for us when times were rough. Always remember, as David did, to praise and give thanks even when you think you are alone and times are bad. God truly wants to hear from us all the time!!!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Always be sure to pack in more than enough water. Stress can really make you thirsty. Camelback water packs are a good choice. They carry more water than a canteen and distribute the weight well on your back.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . As Christians We Are To Walk In The Spirit and Follow His Leading Whether It's Into Comfortable Circumstances Or Not    (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Acts 20:22-24 
"And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." (NIV)
I was tooling around northern AZ looking at a commercial cattle ranch. It's one of the perks of what I do for a living. I am a real estate broker and appraiser here in AZ and specialize in farm and ranch properties. 

Yesterday I was looking at the ranch property for an appraisal and got to spend the entire day in the outdoors and was getting paid for it, or at least I will when I complete the assignment! We saw a few deer and some really beautiful elk, deer, and turkey country. It was a good day for me. It makes up for all the days I'm stuck in front of my computer researching properties and comparable sale information.
Just before dark a summer thunderstorm formed and I could see rain in the distance. Now, here in AZ the cowboys have a saying, "Never turn down a rain or a free calf." We always need rain. We live in an arid area where some places only get a few inches of precipitation annually. So, it was good to see the rain. Except, this rain wasn't hitting the ground. It's what we call virga. It seems that the air is so dry that before this rain can fall and bring its life giving moisture to the plants, it evaporates and goes into the air, not doing anything for the parched earth, not completing its job, so to speak. 
(Cliff S)
Action Point
As Christians we are to walk in the Spirit and follow His leading whether it's into comfortable circumstances or not. The Spirit may be telling us to share our faith with a neighbor, a business associate, or the checker at the local grocery store. We may be called to preach a sermon in a rescue mission. We might be told to sell all we have and go to a far away land where we can minister to a tribe of people that have never heard God's word in their language. We might be blessed to have a comfortable home or a rustic bark hut. Either way, if we're following the Spirit's leading and doing the job He's given us, it will be the best place in the world for us! 

Wherever you are called, in a local church, a business, or a group of some sort, do this: complete the work God has given you to do. That's what Jesus said that He did in John 17:4, and by so doing He brought glory to the Father and set the example for us. 

So, finish your race, complete your job, and testify to the gospel of God's grace wherever you're called!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you've killed your animal, you're just getting started. Now you have to take care of the carcass so it will be fit for the table. You have to field dress and properly store the carcass. Remember, three things will cause the meat to spoil: heat, dirt, and moisture. So, keep the carcass cool, clean, and dry. The meat from most wild animals is exceptionally high in protein and low in fat. Make sure it is good to eat by finishing the job of properly field dressing your animal and caring for the meat.

May 18, 2013
  Today's Photograph . . . . The Man Cave (Cliff S)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 7:15-16 
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" (NIV)
My son and I live in what we refer to as "the man cave."  There is nothing feminine about our home.  When you enter it, you know immediately that hunters live here.  You don't have to guess, you see it.  When you come in the front door, the first thing you see is Adam's 2002 elk shoulder mount, then, the racks from the two elk we killed in 2009.  There's gun cleaning stuff in the living room, a reloading bench where the dining room table used to be, more gun and archery stuff in the den, multiple dead animals on the walls, a .22 bullet trap and an archery target, leftover pizza in the fridge, and, when using the bathroom, remember MAN CAVE RULES are in effect! 
For Christmas, we didn't get around to putting up a tree.  So Adam printed a picture of a Christmas tree off the internet and taped it onto the lampshade.  Hey, there's no watering a dry tree, no pine needles to clean up, and we can leave it up all year!  Add a little pine smelling cover scent and you've got it.  The perfect Christmas tree!  Maybe there's a reason why we're both still single.  You think?  But, hey, you don't have to ask what we do in our spare time.  We hunt! 
(Cliff S)
Action Point
When your friends, business associates, the waitress at the diner, the salesman at the gun counter in the sporting goods store, or new acquaintances cross your path, do they see that you are a Christian?  Does it show?  What fruit do you produce? 
Jesus said that we're to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16) and that the world should see Him through us.  That the world would know Him by the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They should see in us, fruits that we can't produce.  They have to come from God.  The world should see Jesus in our attitudes, our words, how we handle difficulties and successes, and in how we treat others.  We should also be telling people around us about Jesus and His love and grace.  Yes, the false prophets are out there.  But, God desires to produce fruit in our lives that will provide evidence to others that He loves them, too, and that they can be in relationship with Him just as we are. 
Sportsman's Tip of the Day
It's OK to leave your trophies and gun paraphernalia visible to folks who enter your house.  But, keep the guns locked up in a safe place.  The guns should be in one location, the ammunition in another, preferably under lock and key.  This will protect against tragic accidents, and potential loss to thieves.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013   

Today's Photograph . . . . The Next Time You're Climbing A Hill Imagine The Burden Jesus Carried Up The Hill To His Crucifixion   (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Psalm, 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (NIV)
Mountains are majestic in their glory of God and His creation. This verse is not talking about the hills being our source of help. It is acknowledging that our helper is the Maker of the hills-- none other than God, Himself. 

But, this verse did prompt my thoughts to go to hills of significance in the Bible: the hill where the Sermon on the Mount was preached, the hills where Jesus went to be alone and to pray, the Mount of Transfiguration, and, especially, the mount called Calvary. You see, our help does come from that hill, in the form of Jesus' death and His subsequent gift of salvation. 
(Cliff S)
Action Point
The next time you're climbing a hill, burdened down by your pack, rifle, and maybe even the trophy you sought, imagine the burden Jesus carried up the hill to His crucifixion. 

Take time to give Him thanks for not turning back. Jesus was seeking us, you and me, to draw us to Himself and the Father.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you're investing in a pack frame, try on several until you find one that makes you say, "This one feels good." Then, add some weight to be sure that it's the one for you. Your pack must fit correctly or it will take a lot of the fun out of your outing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 16, 2013

Today's Photograph . . . . It's Usually That We Have Walked Away From Him  (Dave W) 
Bible Study Verse
Joshua 1:5
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. (NIV) 

I purchased my first trail cam this fall, and I've loved the results of having it on my food plots.  I've been able to see deer at all times of the day. 

I've got some twins who come in just about the same time every afternoon; I've got a spike that frequently comes in during the morning; and I've got some nice bucks that frequent the food plots at about 3:00am

The part that I've enjoyed most though is being able to see the bucks that come in the middle of the night.  I've got some bruisers coming in that I never even knew were in the area. 

The knowledge of their presence has increased my motivation to continue to hunt.  There are some mornings where I just don't feel like getting out of bed, but the fact that I've discovered that they are there propels me to get up and out there.
(Dave M)

Action Point
God says that He is always with us.  We can never go to a place that He is not.  I can hike out in the bush, and He is there.  I can venture off into the middle of nowhere fishing, and He is still there.  I can hunt in the most remote area, and He is right by my side. 

What a comfort it is to know that God is always with me.  There are times in our lives that are dark, and there are times where we wait on God for what seems like an eternity, but have faith. He is right there.  He never has left your side, nor will He ever. 

Usually, the issue is not that he has left us; it's usually that we have walked away from Him. Turn back; He's there!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you are using a trail cam, keep extra batteries in your backpack.  You don't want to get to your trail cam, have dead batteries, and not be able to immediately fix it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May 15, 2013  

Today's Photograph . . . God Will Not Be Mocked.  He Will Do What He Said He Is Going To Do (MQ)    
Bible Study Verse
Revelation 1:3
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (NIV 1984)
I've been blessed recently with a wonderful new piece of property to lease for whitetail hunting.  In getting myself acclimated with this new property, I've been going over to do some scouting and get the lay of the land.  What I have discovered is that there are lots of deer sign.  Scat abounds, trails are well-worn, and I've been able to locate several fresh rubs - all within a very short time of walking the property.

This sign has led to increased hope!  The land that I've hunted on for the last decade has been fine, but it's been primarily a cedar swamp, and the deer just aren't that big.  The new location of the property is right next to corn fields.  In the pictures my Cuddeback has been taking, the deer seem to be significantly larger in their bodies.
As my kids and I have been talking about the potential of this new land, there has been a definite increased enthusiasm for this upcoming deer season.  Why?  Because the signs are there!
(Dave M)
Action Point
It's all in the signs.  Friends, I am no theologian by any stretch of the imagination. But, I can tell you that every day I live is a day closer to Jesus' return to this Earth.  He says that He is coming back to claim His bride (believers in Christ).  He also says that no one knows the day or the hour that this is going to happen.  What we do know is that God has commanded us to be ready!

In my finite knowledge of scriptures, I know that there are signs to look for when this is going to happen.  We need to be good students of God's word and study what these signs are.  God will not be mocked;  He will do what He said He was going to do.  And our lives - well, they should be full of hope, because we serve a God who fulfills all His promises.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Aerial photos are a great way to scout a piece of property.  It lets you see the big picture of what your land is surrounded by and helps you to figure out the best course of action in working with what you have.