Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014   

Today's Photograph . . . . When A "Plank" Blocks My Vision . . . . (MQ)
Bible Study Verses 
Matthew 7:3-5 
"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (NIV) 
In hunter education classes we always have some fun trying to figure out which eye is our dominant eye. This comes into play big time when aiming a shotgun, rifle or bow. I saw this first hand once at the shooting range during our live fire when a student hadn't hit a paper target once out of fifty tries at 25 yd. His grandfather came to me and asked for my help. 
The boy was in tears because of his poor shooting. You see, his father, a member of the U.S. Navy, had made a special trip from San Diego to Phoenix for the field day to watch and support his son; and his son felt like he had failed his father. It took about five seconds to see the problem. 
The boy was shooting right-handed, but was left eye dominant; therefore, he was trying to aim with his left eye! It took a little work to get him to close his left eye and aim with his right eye, but the result was fifty bullets in a four-inch circle!

Now I have a confession. Just like this young shooter, I sometimes have a problem with looking out of the correct eye, and then it may still have a "plank" in it that keeps me from seeing things as I should see them. Most of the time that "plank" is pride. 
You see (no pun here), I have an insecurity that goes back to my childhood, a plank, so to speak. That insecurity surfaces anytime I experience rejection and believe my thoughts and ideas are considered invalid. This insecurity resulted from seemingly never being able to do anything that was considered good enough by those who were important to me. In my adult life, the insecurity can even strike while doing such worthwhile things as writing these devotionals. Yes, pride can strike even here. I want my way and am desperate for validation, desperate enough that I may even offend others around me while striving for that validation. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
When a "plank" blocks my vision, I find that I have to go to God and seek His forgiveness, direction, and yes, His validation. It usually takes some time for me to think through the situation and seek God's guidance as to what He wants me to do and how He wants me to handle the situation. 
If I'm yielded to Him, He'll remove the "plank" and make known to me what He wants me to do and how to correct the problem. Sometimes He tells me that I'm right and to stand my ground. Other times He reveals my sin and tells me that I need to seek not only His forgiveness, but also the forgiveness of those that I have offended. 
Either way, it reminds me that my motives for what I am doing, even writing devotionals, have to be ones that further the Kingdom of God, not myself (Matthew 6:33). I promise you that as I write, I will pray that God will give me the correct words and attitude to serve Him, and to provide a blessing to you, our readers. And, I ask you to pray for me and our entire Sportsmen's Devotional Team, too.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you're having trouble with marksmanship, be sure that you're shooting with the correct eye. You may have to retrain yourself to keep the opposite eye closed and/or learn to shoot from the other side of your body. Tape over the lens of your glasses, or an eye patch from the local drug store can help.