Daily Devotional for Sportsmen...
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Friday, February 28, 2014
February 27, 2014
Today's Photograph . . . . Start Your Day On Your Spiritual Treadmill (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
I Corinthians 9:24-25
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. (NKJV)
Thoughts Living at the high altitude of 8000 ft, I have the opportunity to observe cyclists preparing for a race. They come here to work on stamina and to enjoy the great summer time weather. The mountainous terrain provides a very tough workout. Only those who are in the best shape are able to compete at these high altitudes.
Action Point We know how to keep our physical bodies in shape, but how about keeping our spiritual bodies in great shape? The best way to keep yourself spiritually sound is to start your day on your spiritual treadmill, your Bible.
Take time each day to read, start with a proverb of the day. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, one for each day of the month. They provide some great thoughts to chew on for the day. For example today is the 18th of March, read Proverbs 18. After you have finished, work on a chapter in the New or Old Testament. If you are new to this, start with the book of John. Take it slow until you work yourself into spiritual shape.
Remember, you have a great coach at your side, the Holy Spirit. Always begin with prayer asking for help in understanding and wisdom. It won't take long and you will find yourself anxious to learn more each day. There is a crown waiting for those who are willing to endure the race and finish well.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day It does not matter if it is biking, hunting, or fishing, it is important to work at getting into good shape. Walk every day for at least 30 minutes at a good pace, best done if you get your heart rate up and keep it there. It will make a big difference when you are riding your mountain bike, going after that trophy buck, or paddling around in your float tube trying to catch the big one.
Today's Photograph . . . . The Results Are Men Learn How To Share The Gospel With Others And Become Fishers Of Men (Fred B)
Bible Study Verses
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them.
Thoughts Jesus walked where the fishermen were, by the sea, to find men that He could teach to fish--Andrew, Peter, James and John. Literally, His call was to Follow Me (walk the same road, walk alongside, fellowship with me) and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Jesus knew that it was a process, that only could be learned by:
Walking closely with Him.
Being His friend.
At my Dad's graveside in 1999, his pastor Glen, now one of my best friends, told me how much he'd miss my father. Then he added, I had asked him to teach me how to fish for trout, but now he's gone. Guess I'll never learn. Glen lived in eastern WV, prime trout country, including Eastern Brook Trout. But, he didn't know how to fish for trout.
Being Dad's star pupil for all these years, I offered to teach Glen, if he would like me to. And I made him this promise: Dad was the best trout fisherman I know. And now that he's gone, that leaves me as #1. I'll teach you. But, you've got to do exactly as I do. I'll show you, tell you the gear and equipment to use, and take you where the trout are. If you follow my directions, you WILL catch trout.
He replied with a promise that he would follow all of my directions.
We both kept our promise! I taught him, and he learned (see above)! Now sometimes he beats me. Of course you know that we men compete, right?!
Well, Jesus keeps all His promises too. The results are that men learn how to share the Gospel with others, and become fishers of men.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Teach a child how to fish or hunt, along with their Dad. That way, the father and child will be able to spend quality time together in the woods or along the stream. Teach fishing and hunting to adults too. But don't waste your time on someone who thinks they know how, and won't follow your lead.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. (NIV)
Looking out into the morning sky, as the sun comes up, the sky seems to go on forever and it does.
See how far you can look, how far can you see? No matter the distance, it is all under Gods control. As far as you can see and all around you are the handy work of God. Listen to the birds the sound of moving water in a brook, none of these are created by man and no credit can go to him. God is in control.
Be wary of men with promises and those who constantly blame others for the problems they themselves have created. They hold themselves in too high a regard to be trusted. They lie, deceive and promise to solve the problems they helped to create.
See these "men of the world" through the eyes of right and wrong. Their lofty positions are quickly brought down by common sense. For it is not us they care about but their lust for power that has made them blind to the people.
The heavens declare the glory of God, not any man!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
In an election year we as sportsmen and women have heard all the lies about who supports our second amendment rights. It's easy to see. Check and investigate these politicians' records as to who really intends to help us uphold the constitution. The choice becomes rather clear.
Today's Photograph . . . . Busy Schedules Will Often Interfere With Our Time With God And Our Families (Rebecca L))
Bible Study Verse
God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.' So that everyone He has made may know His work, He stops all people from their labor. The animals take cover; they remain in their dens. (NIV)
Thoughts A couple of years ago in the middle of the elk and deer seasons in Wyoming, we were hit with a snowstorm that lasted four days. On the first day of the storm, we traveled in the dark to a grassy mountain meadow where the elk are known to feed. When it was legal shooting time, the visibility was very poor because of the fog and heavy snowfall. What few tracks we saw were from night-time travel.
By 8:30 that morning, most of the tracks were not distinguishable. We checked some of the dense bedding areas, but there was no sign of elk anywhere. By the second day, travel was impossible, visibility extremely poor, and the elk were not moving.
Action Point Busy schedules will often interfere with our time with God and our family. God has a way of curtailing our plans and keeping us inside to have that quality time. When the weather is so severe that it forces us to stay home, consider it a blessing from God to slow us down. Use the time to have fun with your family, and spend time alone with God in prayer and meditation.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Before heading out to hunt in unfamiliar areas, study your maps, bring a compass and emergency pack; and use fluorescent tape to mark your trail
Today's Photograph . . . . A Little Tender Loving Care Helps Everything Last Longer (MQ)
Bible Study Verse Mark 6:31
And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. (NKJV)
Thoughts I love being outdoors. It provides a great time for me to get away by myself, with family, or with friends and just chill.
I do find time to be by myself. I need the solitude to think, pray, and sometimes just to get things off my mind. Jesus reminds us in this verse that it's okay to do this. In fact, it is quite necessary, especially for those who expend a lot of energy for the faith.
Action Point We need to take time to eat, not just food for our bodies, but food for our souls.
Never feel guilty about planning free time outdoors. Just know that our Lord wants us to:
Use that time to talk to Him.
Read about Him in His Word.
Renew our strength in Him.
Even a tiring hunting or fishing trip can be spiritually exhilarating when we dedicate part of that time to Jesus.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Have a knife with a bone or antler handle? Renew the grip by soaking the handle in mineral oil for several hours then wipe off the excess. Baby oil will work, but it will leave a scent. Pure, unscented mineral oil is available at most pharmacies and general-type stores.
Does not absorb moisture from the air.
Will not turn rancid.
Will not harm metal.
Protects uncoated grips made from natural materials.
Today's Photograph . . . . Making Your Call Adds To Your hunt (Jack M)
Bible Study Verse
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Thoughts Turkey calls are fun to make and bring satisfaction. Making your call adds to your hunt. I make them for fun, for gifts, and for personal use:
Start with a 4 inch square wood blank.
Nip the corners at a 45° angle to save time on the lathe. Various gouges, abrasives, and other tools shape the wood into the desired pot.
Check dimensions to ensure the surface will fit.
Drill the holes, sand some more, and apply finishes.
Apply my maker's mark before the parts are assembled and glued.
Tune each call to the particular striker as some work better than others.
After completion, the surface must be conditioned as well as the end of the striker. When all is finished, I use my creation to call in unsuspecting turkeys to the gun. The finished product becomes a treasure to be proud of.
Action Point Maybe God is tooling, remaking, or finishing you as I did the call mentioned above. Are you going through some pain right now? Maybe it's a loss, physical pain, emotional agony, mental anguish, or even depression. "Why?" is a common question. Asking this question does not indicate one is unspiritual or lacking in faith, but often accompanies one's struggle to understand.
God is shaping us to be like Jesus. He is remaking us, finishing us, and removing our rough edges. His Word tells us that He chastens every one He loves. "Because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as his son," Hebrews 12:6 (NIV).
If we remain under His discipline and cooperate through the times of pain, hurt, and discipline, we will become more like our Lord. In this world we will then be a better vessel for God to use in His work.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Buy or make quality calls. Think about what you have invested in weapons, clothes, time, travel and everything else to ensure quality hunts. Don't short change yourself by using inferior calls. Get the best you can afford. Most importantly, practice using them till you are consistently proficient.
Today's Photograph . . . .Caught Through The Ice Are Simply A Treat From God (Ron T)
Bible Study Verses
II Chronicles 29:27-29
Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed. When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. (NIV)
As you read through the Bible, there are many stories about worship and how the people of the day revered the Lord. They lived in extremely difficult times, but it seems to me, they heard God's voice more. They were focused on Him.
Today there are so many distractions that keep us from hearing the voice of God. I am as guilty as the next guy! Have you noticed the closer we try to get to the truth, the more distractions get in our way?
Next time you have a burning question about anything, pay attention to the distractions that keep you from the truth. Stay focused and believe.
Action Point I can't help but see that a lot of what is going on today is not good. We have government abuse and growth like we have never seen. People in lofty positions telling us we are wrong if we do not believe them. We need to "trust" them to take care of us. We should only believe them.
I see wrong doing on a daily basis and I see and hear lying and distractions. Distractions?
The truth will always be the truth and when you believe something to be true and the struggle to be right, you must stand your ground. NEVER GO ALONG WITH THE CROWD IF YOU BELIEVE OTHERWISE. Be still and hear the voice of God.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Ice fishing can be the easiest way to catch 100 fish in a day. It's incredible how pulling fish through the ice can make the biggest guy, giddy like a school girl. If you have never ice fished, go with someone who has so they can show you the ropes. It's fun, the action can be fast and deep fried bluegill caught through the ice are simply a treat from God!
Today's Photograph . . . . Don't Go Around Throwing Stones In A Glass House (Jimmy S))
Bible Study Verse
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. ?(NIV)
Doing what is right is not always the easy thing to do. In a lot of cases, it's:
More time. S
Sometimes a pain.
However, what is right in the eyes of God can be:
Coming back to you 100 times.
Those are not reasons to do the right thing, merely benefits of it.
Action Point In today's world, unfortunately, the detestable has become acceptable and the lazy man wants to be rewarded for the efforts of the diligent man.
If you are like me and want that to change, than you must change yourself first. Don't go around throwing stones in a glass house. Every solid building starts with a strong foundation.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day When fishing make sure you pair light wire hooks with light line and heavy wire hooks with heavier line. 12 pound test and under I use a light wire hook. Heavier monofilament and braided line I use a stronger hook.
Today's Photograph . . . . Remember, Your Sins Will Find You Out (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
The man said, "The woman You put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (NIV)
Thoughts Boy, does this verse trigger thoughts. Do you remember saying something like this to your parents, a teacher, or maybe to a Game Warden? "My hunting partner told me to do it, he said it was OK." Kind of sounds like Flip Wilson's famous statement, "The devil made me do it!"
Yep, good old Adam invented the oldest line ever used to shift blame to someone else for his own actions. First he tried to lay the blame at God's feet for putting the woman there, and then he blamed the woman. Wait a minute, who did God give the command to? Right again, it was given to Adam. Genesis 2:16-17 reflects, "And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die,' "(NIV).
Adam should have known better than to have eaten the fruit of the forbidden tree, but he went along with the crowd, so to speak. He did something dumb and then tried to blame everybody else for what he did.
Action Point Take responsibility for your actions, good or bad. In the long run it will serve you better to admit your mistake(s) than to try to cover them up or to blame somebody else for what you did. Remember, your sins will find you out!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Review the regulations for where you are going to be hunting or fishing and follow them. The Officer that checks you will appreciate you being familiar with game and fish laws and obeying them.
Today's Photograph . . . . Love A Photo Of A Successful Hunter (Jimmy S)
Bible Study Verses
So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?" Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you." And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt." (NKJV)
Thoughts Love a photo of a successful hunter with his or her harvest. But, as Paul Harvey would agree - we are usually not aware of the "rest of the story." Before that successful hunt, there were many disappointing unsuccessful hunts, missed shots, uncooperative weather ensuring miserable conditions, years of hiking the terrain, vehicle break downs, etc. That's why we can celebrate with the successful hunter and the adventure. He or she has been through a lot to earn that picture.
Most of us learn the hard way through the toughest challenges. Even waterproof matches came about after someone needed a match to strike and theirs were too wet to suffice. Look at Joseph's seasoning and note what he had to travel through to become seasoned and God positioned under Pharaoh:
His flaunting of his father's favor and his own cocky behavior brought out the worst in his siblings - they were going to kill him and instead sold him into slavery!
His refusal to enter into betraying his master with his master's unfaithful wife landed him into prison for many years.
The chief butler forgot about him; he was stuck in prison with the Holy Spirit developing his character for another 2 years.
Action Point We can tell Joseph wasn't sitting around feeling sorry for himself. God was with him, he was proved trustworthy, and was given much responsibility while incarcerated. He was right where God positioned him. He has set the example of what we're to do while in the midst of uncertain circumstances.
The famine in Joseph's time was over the whole Earth. You're not alone in your bleak situation. But, you can take 30 seconds, commit your life to Him, ask for His forgiveness, turn everything over to Him, reserve your spot in Heaven, and know He will position you where you need to be.
Maybe you have been trusting Him all along, then rest in the confidence of God's promise given in Psalms 84:11, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly," (NKJV).
Our dark training will last as long as it takes for God to prepare and to complete His seasoning within us. The key to active waiting is:
To stay close to Him.
To meditate on His living word.
To live obediently in His light.
We know we can trust Him to build our character and develop our seasoning for our God positioned upcoming adventures. Joseph's famous response to his brothers is encouraging, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive," (NASB). God will take the good and the bad and use it for His glory and our good.
We need to trust God like Joseph wherever we find ourselves. We need to have faith believing that He has or is positioning us right where we are.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When hunting on the ground, make sure there is plenty of structure behind you so your silhouette won't alert game to your presence. Also make sure the wind is in your face.1
1 Steve Chapman, 365 Things Every Hunter Should Know.
Today's Photograph . . . . Take Some Extra Time To Pray For Our Leaders. We Need What America Used To Have - God Following Leaders (NPS)
Bible Study Verse
I John 1:7
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (NKJV)
Thoughts After a long enjoyable day deer hunting, my son and I were sitting around the perfect campfire he had built. We had been there for awhile just enjoying life when one of the logs rolled out and away from the fire.
We were both too comfortable to move so we just let it lay there and watched it slowly burn its self out. After a while my son finally got up and kicked the log back into the fire. Within seconds, that log was a blaze of fire again.
The next morning resting under a tree, I started thinking about that log in the fire. God mentions several times the importance of being among fellow believers and staying in fellowship with other Christians. There is power and strength in numbers.
I know for me, it is easier to stay on fire for God when I am around other Christians. But when I have been away for awhile, it is difficult to keep that fire burning as hot and as bright as I should. The devil knows how to poke you in hopes that you will become separated from God.
Don't wait for something to happen that kicks you back to God. If you have been out of church for awhile or away from your Bible studies, don't wait any longer. Become focused on Him. You will be surprised how much better you will feel and how fast that spark will turn back into a blaze.
Today is Presidents Day. Take some extra time to pray for our leaders. We all can agree, they need it now more than ever.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day When preparing an area for a fire ring, make sure to clear a space beyond your ring so that when sparks fly and that log roles out, there is no danger of that perfect fire getting out of control.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits - Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. (NIV)
Thoughts Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal brain disease found in deer and elk. The animals infected with CWD show a loss of weight and poor body condition. It is always fatal for the afflicted deer or elk.
There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to CWD. For example, it's not totally understood how the animals are infected or if the disease can be transmissible to humans or domestic livestock. There are no cases of this happening, but one should be cautious and avoid handling any wild game that appears to be sick.
Action Point Sickness and disease is a part of this world, but where did it come from? Jesus came so that we may have life, and have it to the full. The Devil came only to steal, to kill, and to destroy as reflected in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full," (NIV).
I have heard it said that God puts disease on people so they might change their ways or learn a lesson. To me that doesn't make any sense. Our father gives us good gifts, not sickness or disease as reflected in Matthew 7:9, "Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give Him a stone," (NIV)?
When Jesus walked this earth, He healed a lot of people. I don't recall Him ever refusing to heal anyone. The sick came to Him in faith and were healed by faith.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day In your field dressing kit, make sure you have extra surgical gloves packed away and change them out every so often. They can get a little brittle in the cold weather and tear fairly easy. The long gloves that veterinarians use to pregnancy check cows work well. They slip over your coat sleeves and keep everything clean.
Today's Photograph . . . . A Glimpse Of The Beautiful South (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)
Thoughts Habitat in Georgia is quite different from Minnesota I discovered while whitetail deer hunting. Northern Minnesota forests provide dogwood shrubs, willow, alder, ironwood, white birch, red and white oak, aspen, several species of conifers, and a few agricultural fields.
Georgia varies with live oak, hickory, magnolias, holly, pine, various trees draped in Spanish moss, and scattered peanut and cotton fields. The temperature varies about 40 degrees. I realized how far from home I was when a lizard scurried across the rail of my tree stand. Although, we didn't see any, we were warned about the alligators, snakes, and wild pigs.
Amazing is the whitetail's adaptability in thriving from Canada all the way south to Mexico. The South blessed us with southern hospitality, great Christian fellowship, two bucks, and two does.
Action Point It is my prayer that we adapt our lives to the leading of the Holy Spirit by using our gifts in serving God.
Let us not sit on the sidelines and conform to this world, but be transformed by following God's direction in our lives.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day When hunting some of the southern states in December and January, be prepared for a broad range of temperatures - ranging from 30-75 degrees and very wet, stormy conditions.
Today's Photograph . . . Your Choice - Deer Hunter or Hunting For The Dears That You Can Bless (MQ)
Happy Valentine's Day
Bible Study Verse James 4:7 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (NKJV)
Remember the best hunt of your life, the hunt of your lifetime! Was it the planning, the trophy, the anticipation or all of the above?
The greatest, most memorable hunt of your life could be today just wrapped in unexpected packaging. Memories are always surrounded in the unexpected. God's ways are always higher than ours. The choice is yours.
Are you ready to surprise and to bless your Sweetheart? If you forgot, you're now walking in the light of knowledge. Be Jesus to your Sweetheart; begin today.
Maybe you think you're exempt cause you don't currently have a Sweetheart. Wrong. Then you be a Sweetheart to everyone. A small random act of kindness can bless a single, a widow/widower, a divorced one, or one who thinks all hope is gone. By choosing you can be an answer to someone's prayer.
More important than finding the "right" one is to be the "right" one.
The world will come to know Jesus by how we love them.
Let's live intentionally walking in His paths, gathering others in love, and walking into eternity with Jesus with as many as we can love, bless, and lead into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Love that committed military promise, "Leave No Man Behind." This should be our commitment to discipling men and women, leaving no one behind.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Smiles, hugs, and kindness are gifts from the heart. Be courageous, thoughtful, wise, and bless those around you!
Today's Photograph . . . . Guys and Gals Will God Bless You? Today Is The Day Before Valentine's, Are You Following His Lead? (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, "Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit."
Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. Who was this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday?
The history of Valentine's Day is shrouded in mystery. According to one legend, Valentine sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl -- who may have been his jailor's daughter -- who visited him during his confinement.
Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed "From your Valentine." An expression that is still in use today.
Why was Jesus so fired up about Nathanael? He spoke his mind and was not a deceitful person. I'm going to challenge you and your relationship with your loved one today!
"No deceit means no treachery, cheating, deception, or trickery. Men, have you ever fudged the numbers on how much your hunt would cost? How about secretly saving "your" money to buy a new rifle? Secretly looking at members of the opposite sex in other than a pure manner?
Want to make a resolution for the new year? Make one to truly be one with your wife, and start today!
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband," Ephesians 5:31 & 33 (NIV).
Sportsman's Tip of the Day
What would be a great event for you beginning today, leading into tomorrow, and continuing through the year?
One that is totally centered around the Love of your Life! Cook for her, make her a card, pick your own bouquet of flowers, and you may even take her out if your cooking is not up to snuff. Skip the movies if you can, it will take your focus off of her. Whatever you do, make her your priority. It doesn't matter the origins of "Valentine's Day." If you use it to honor your loved one, your efforts could be pleasing to God.