Daily Devotional for Sportsmen...
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014
July 28, 2014
Today's Photograph . . . . Be For Jesus (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers. (NIV)
As a hunter, I want to be associated with other sportsmen who will be law abiding and give wise counsel in all situations. Likewise, I want to grow in my Christian life and my walk with Jesus.
God's plan for growth is to avoid the counsel of foolish individuals and to listen to wise counsel. Wise counsel is best found in His word. His instructions are to meditate on it day and night. In other words, where I go, so should God's words - in my thoughts and in my actions.
There are also two promises here, rewards for our obedience: stability and prosperity. But, there is action required on our part - meditate on the Word. Another observation about this passage: David chose to address negative counsel first. Now, considering today's worry about self-esteem, it would seem that he would have addressed the positive first. I think that the writer may be indicating that it is always easy to find someone who will give us free advice and counsel, and it's usually worth just what we pay for it. However, if we desire to grow in God and gain wisdom in our walk with Him, we must be in His Word.
If you want to grow in your faith and in your walk with God, you must spend time in the Bible. Read, study, and meditate on God's Word daily.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you want to be a good marksman, you must practice. Get out to the range often and burn up a box of cartridges. Practice will help you when the time comes for that shot of a lifetime.
Today's Photograph . . . . He Does Want To Hear From Us (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
"Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name." (NKJV)
Thoughts Communication is one of the all-important topics taught in our hunter safety courses. A critical part of communication is to always let others know where you are going to be hunting. This one important step could save your life if you get hurt or lost.
Communication with God is one of the most important, but often overlooked, parts of our daily life. Jesus taught His disciples how they should pray, and He modeled his prayer life for them as well. He was in constant communication with his Father through prayer, not afraid to ask for what He needed.
Action Point We all have an open line of communication with God through our Intercessor, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When we get into trouble or our minds wander into sinful areas, pick up on that open line of communication; stop and ask for His help. Remember that His line is open 24-7, just like a cell phone. He does want to hear from us - our hopes, our dreams, our troubles, and especially, our thanks and praise.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Carry a communication device in your day pack when you are out--a cell phone or portable two-way radio with some extra batteries. These will work most of the time from a hill top. It's also a good idea to carry a simple backup system - a small mirror or an old CD disk works well as a reflection device to use as a signal if you need help.
The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. (NIV)
Thoughts While fishing off an arm of the Pigeon River in southeastern Manitoba, Canada, I came upon a massive beaver dam. I had to wonder - what purpose do all those logs and sticks serve besides a house for that beaver? I came to realize that, as always, God has a plan for everything, even sticks.
The dam serves not only as shelter for the beaver; but because it retains the water on one side, water lilies and plants grow on the other. Moose come to dams to feed off those plants. Bears know to check the dams in the Spring for beavers that did not make it through the harsh winters. Life goes on, just as God established it.
Action Point When encountering something in nature that makes no sense to you, stop and try to see it from another angle or from someone else's view point. It is amazing how many times our eyes can be opened to see God's work when we look through the eyes of someone else.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Polarized sunglasses do more than just shade your eyes from the glare of the water; they can also protect your eyes from a stray cast or the hooks of a misguided lure.
Today's Photograph . . . . Someone's Gotta Dig The Worms . . . (Fred B)
Bible Study Verses
I Corinthians 12:18-23, 27
But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (NKJV)
Paul portrays believers within the Body of Christ, by using appendages and organs of the human body--the eye, the head, the foot, and the hand. In all of chapter 12, he reminds us of the interaction and interdependence of each part within the Body. Almost in the same words that Jesus used to teach His disciples that the "humble will be exalted,"
Paul refers to, "No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it," I Corinthians 12:22-24 (NKJV).
It is imperative upon us to treat others, as Christ treats them. How many times have we looked at some in our church, as if they were more important than others, just to find:
Their accomplishments or prominence, was due to someone behind the scenes?
Those who were more behind-the-scenes in their service of others, were actually quietly serving Christ, and not men.
My pastor-mentor from my teen years, the man under whose ministry I surrendered to preach the Gospel, is now 97. Once I told him that after God called me at age 16, the two greatest influences on my life were Billy Graham, and him.
He replied, "That puts me in good company." To which I replied, "No, Pastor Scribner, that puts Billy in good company." This humble, Godly, mostly unknown man, is definitely one who is "worthy of greater honor."
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When teaching others to fish, don't take anyone who won't help dig the worms. My granddaughter (above) and grandson know that it's all a part of the fishing trip, including cleaning and eating the catch. Exception? If you're practicing "catch and release."
When teaching others to hunt, don't take anyone who won't dress their game, and eat it. In this way, you teach them to respect the quarry, do their part on the trip, and appreciate the seriousness of taking an animal's life.
"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war. " (NIV)
"God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him. You were foolish to go for human help when you could have had God's help. Now you're in trouble-one round of war after another," (Message)
Thoughts Have you ever heard that the Living God was so actively pursuing us, so dedicated and committed to searching us out?
It reminds me of a pack of lion hounds on a fresh cougar scent. The chase becomes so enthusiastic, there's no way you can stop the dogs until the mountain lion is treed.
Lost dogs have been known to be found in neighboring states, because nothing would deter their focus, their drive, or their goal.
Action Point My God is so anxious to find one whose heart will be yielded and surrendered to Him. He desires to fully support and strengthen, bless and uphold that person with personalized attention and relationship.
Who wouldn't want to be found by God?
Who wouldn't be a little curious about His blessing?
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Following a pack of dogs could take two hours or two days. Go prepared and be in shape.
Today's Photograph . . . . God Gives Grace To The Humble and Opposes The Proud (Tom L)
Bible Study Verses
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?" He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (NIV)
Thoughts After a men's prayer breakfast, I had our pastor's son, Jack give a demonstration shooting his bow.
He talked about the parts of his re-curve bow and his shooting technique. He also demonstrated his expertise based on 3-4 hours per day shooting practice.
After the demonstration was over, several of the men and I complimented Jack on his shooting and for achieving the Colorado State Junior Olympic Championship.
He responded by giving all the glory to God. Wow - a nine-year old!
Action Point How would humility like Jack's affect others? Do you think that putting God in his rightful place might help a prideful person? A lost person? A person during a time of trial?
Pastor pointed out in a recent sermon that God gives grace to the humble and opposes the proud. He also pointed out that we need gentleness and humility to help bring someone back to God. Remember that because of God's grace, it doesn't matter your past, it's how you end.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Practice shooting your bow more often and all year long. The more your shoot, the more instinctive it becomes.
Today's Photograph . . . . Missing Heaven By 14 Inches, The Distance From One's Mind To One's Heart (Tom L)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 15: 8-9
" 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.' " (NIV)
Because of the open country and mountains in Wyoming, we often have to shoot longer distances when hunting big game. It is very important to have a rifle, scope and ammunition that is capable of shooting long distances with accuracy. It is also important to practice shooting long distances at the range. Huskemaw and Leupold among others make scopes with custom turrets set for your bullet weight, speed, elevation, and temperature. Kenton industries also makes custom turrets for most scopes. All you have to do is range the target and turn the turret to the corresponding distance. These turrets eliminate the guess work in holding above your target at long distances and possibly missing the target.
Missing the target reminded me of a talk given by Pastor Johnny Hunt at a men's retreat in Florida this past winter.
The Pharisees dedicated their lives to the study of God, but they never surrendered their hearts to him. Pastor Hunt said that people like this miss heaven by 14 inches, the distance from their mind to their heart.
Are we just going through the motions of being a Christian on Sunday or have we totally committed our lives to Jesus Christ? We certainly don't want the Lord to say, "I never knew you."
"Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' " Matthew 7:23(NIV).
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Before you send away for a custom turret, make sure you have found an accurate load that will do the job for you. The cost runs between $120-$150.
Today's Photograph . . . . As Painful As It May Be To Pray, Ask That God Somehow Uses You In The Middle Of The Storm You Are Going Through (Dave M)
Bible Study Verse
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." (NIV)
Thoughts I know that yesterday seemed like the end of the Pukaskwa adventure, but it wasn't. There's one more aspect about dealing with storms that I feel is worth mentioning. As we were sitting on the beach of our final morning waiting for our charter boat to pick us up, we were listening to our marine radio when an alert came across for all boats and ports on Lake Superior. This alert spoke of a man who had not been seen for 7 days. He was trying to sail all the way around Lake Superior on a Catamaran by himself. A family member had finally called the Coast Guard and asked for help, since they hadn't heard from him. This alert kept running every half hour as we waited.
When our boat finally arrived to pick us up, there was another group of 3 young ladies who had been backpacking and were picked up by our boat that morning further up the trail from us. As we listened to the marine radio again, a brief description of the man's Catamaran was given. As we listened, these young ladies reflected back a couple of days earlier when they had seen and taken a picture of a sailboat out on Lake Superior. They flipped back through the pictures they had taken and found that their photo of the sailboat matched the description being given from the Coast Guard. This information was shared with the captain of our charter boat, and he called this in to the authorities. This was the only sighting that anyone had and would at least prove to be useful in at least letting the Coast Guard know how far up the Lake Superior coastline he had reached from leaving Sault Ste. Marie.
As we surfed along the tops of the waves trying to get back to the ranger station, we watched the jagged rocky coast pass. Shortly after this call had been made, we saw a tiny cove with a Catamaran beached up inside it. It was the Catamaran that the Coast Guard was looking for. We could see a fire and a man on the beach. It appeared as if he had beached his boat in the cove to get out of the same storm that we had been in. Again, our captain called this information in to the Coast Guard, so that they could pass along to the family that the man was safe and would be able to be rescued. (Dave M)
Action Point In the midst of our storm, we were so concerned about our own issues that we weren't thinking about anyone else or what this could be doing to others. We were simply trying to make it through ourselves.
The difficult trials that life throws our way many times involve others that we are unaware of. God is bigger than we are and able to see things we aren't able to. Sometimes, the issues we have to work through are not just about us. As a matter of fact, others' salvation and faith may be impacted through our experiences in dealing with these difficulties. We don't live on an island.
As painful as it may be to pray, ask that God somehow uses you in the middle of the storm you are going through.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day When you are really out in the wilderness and you run into others along the way, try to be conscious of looking out for needs that they may have. I know that we have been blessed by others in this way!
Today's Photograph . . . . Pray A Lot and Step Out To Handle Your Life's Adversity As The Lord Leads You (Dave M)
Bible Study Verses
Matthew 14: 29-30 "Come," He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" (NIV)
Thoughts Our trip had gotten shut down backpacking in Pukaskwa because of a brutal 3 day wind/thunderstorm. After a couple days of not having contact with the outside world, we were finally able to call with a satellite phone of our charter boat captain who was supposed to be picking us up along the trail.
After being hung up himself with the high winds and waves at Michipicoten Island, he figured he could pick us up the next day. He would have to alter his course and pick us up further along the trail than anticipated, because we simply didn't get down the trail as far as we had wanted. The winds were supposed to die down overnight to 3 to 4 foot waves, which was a vast improvement over the 10 to 12 foot waves we had been experiencing.
We packed up our things the next morning and headed to our prearranged meeting point with our charter boat. As we looked across the bay, the waves were better than they had been, but they certainly didn't look like 3 to 4 footers. The captain had selected a sheltered little spot out of the wind to land and load us up. We were elated to see him and glad to get headed back to the ranger station where our vehicle was located.
The captain told us it was going to be a rough ride and take about 3 hours to get back. The relatively smooth ride we had hoped for out of this storm was not meant to be. We loaded our gear and literally battened down the hatches. As we left the bay, the waves grew larger and larger, leaving my wife hanging off the side of the boat experiencing a rough case of sea-sickness. The waves still ranged from about 6 to 10 foot waves.
As we found ourselves in the trough of the waves, we literally were looking up at the tip of the wave that was overlooking our boat. The captain was amazing in his navigation of the waves. We would ride on top of a wave as long as we could, dart down the back side and up as quickly as possible to the next wave - where we would ride the tip of that one as long as possible. We kept this pattern up for a couple of hours until we safely reached the safe harbor where the ranger station was located. Basically, we surfed these huge waves for two hours (which was ahead of what we were told) . . . it was rough!
Action Point I've been talking to you about adversity, surviving, and storms for the past couple of days. This Pukaskwa trip was obviously a memorable one for us. We had a lot to deal with, but the Lord provided for us along the way as we needed it.
Step by step, He created a way for us when we didn't always know what that way was. I would like to be able to tell you that after the storm was over that we left on a lake that was absolutely calm with the sunrise glimmering off the lake. But, that wasn't the reality of what happened. In order for us to get back to the ranger station, we still had to choose to step out into rough unsettled waves and put our trust in a captain that we fully did not know. It was scary!
Given the choice, we would have preferred to stay right where we were and just wait the entire storm out until it was all calm - cocooned up in safety if you will. We didn't have a choice.
If you are trying to survive yourself right now, and you are sitting in the middle of a storm that you don't know when it's going to end, I can't tell you to simply wait it out until everything calms down. What I can say is: pray a lot, and step out to handle your life's adversity as the Lord leads you. The waves may still be rolling, and you very well might feel sick about having to be where you are, but if you are confident in your Captain, He'll get you through it and to where you need to be.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Make sure to equip your med kit with supplies that will match your specific needs for your adventures. It would have been nice to have something to help out with motion sickness while we were out on the waves.
Today's Photograph . . . . The Cabin Was Nothing Special, Basically A Simple Shack In The Wilderness That Had Helped A Lot Of People (DM)
Bible Study Verse
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. (NIV)
Thoughts In the previous SD, I shared about how we were trying to weather a storm on a backpacking trip on the coast of Lake Superior. A 3 day storm had kicked up, but it coincided with us hiking into a remote bay that had a rustic cabin in the middle of it.
We decided that our best option to get through the high winds and thunderstorms was to stay at the cabin, rather than setting up our tents. As we opened the cabin up, we had found a guest registry for folks who had decided to stay at the cabin.
When we originally found the cabin, we weren't really sure if we should go inside and stay there, but a few factors weighed in heavily in what we decided to do:
We had already spoken to a couple who had used this cabin for riding out a storm.
The weather was absolutely awful!
As we opened the door of the cabin to check it out, there was a guest registry.
Although someone owned this little cabin in the middle of nowhere for hunting and fishing, they understood that if someone were really in a time of need, their cabin would have been broken into to use for shelter. Rather than not allowing people to use the little cabin, they chose to leave it open and even welcomed visitors with a "guest registry." They had a line for your group's names and asked you to share the details of where you were from and what your situation was as to why you were staying there.
As we waited for three days for the storm to end, we pulled out the guest registry and read the stories aloud. The stories we read from that registry were absolutely fascinating! People from all over the world had used that little shelter at points on their backpacking and kayaking trips. Story after story of that little cabin had reflected a sentiment of gratitude from all who had stayed there. The cabin was nothing special - basically a simple shack in the wilderness, but boy had it helped a lot of people.
Action Point Sometimes, I think that we, as Americans, have fallen into the trap that in order to help someone, we have to have a 5 step plan, a program, or a board of directors to make sure that things are done "the right way." It doesn't have to be this way.
I have never met the owners of this little shack in the woods, but in their own simple way, they have helped many, many people in a time of need - during a storm. They took what they had, made it accessible to those who passed through, and made a lasting impact through their generosity. They kept an open hand with what they possessed and allowed it to be used for a greater purpose. I have no idea about the owner's spiritual standing with God, but I marvel at their desire and sentiment to help others that they didn't even personally know.
As believers in Christ, I think that just maybe we need to step back and ask what my little shack in the woods is for those who are in my sphere of influence. Am I taking what God has given me and sharing it gladly with those who need help?
If you have the ability to help someone in the simplest of ways, do it and pray that God uses it for the advancement of His kingdom. Maybe someday, you will have your own guest registry filled with stories of how you impacted people's lives for Christ.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day On a kayaking or backpacking trip, always make sure you leave your tentative schedule with a ranger station or a close friend, so that they can track you down if needed in case of an emergency.
A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen
July 16, 2014
Today's Photograph . . . . God Can Take Our Worst Situations and Make Something Beautiful Out Of It . . . Trust Him (Dave M)
Bible Study Verse
Psalms 107: 29
He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (NIV)
Thoughts Have you ever just been stuck in an awful storm that shut all your activities and plans down? A few years ago, we were up in Pukaskwa Provincial Park on a backpacking trip along the coast of Lake Superior when a three day rain/wind storm shut our trip down. We were planning on hiking for about a week in God's country.
The trail at Pukaskwa follows the unforgiving rocky lakeshore. Either your group hikes in and out on the same trail, you hike in and have a charter boat swing by and pick you up to take you back, or you have the boat take you out first and drop you off with the idea that you will then hike all the way back to the ranger station. On our trip, we were going to hike the trail out and then have a charter boat come and pick us up at the end of the trail.
Well, we were ¾ of the way through our trip when a doozer of a storm kicked up. We had thunderstorms off and on, high winds, and anywhere between 8 to 12 foot waves coming into the cove we had found ourselves in. The rocks in this area have lichen on them, and when they get wet, it is the equivalent of walking on black ice. Backpackers are encouraged to simply wait a storm out until the rocks are able to dry because of how dangerous it can be!
Well, we decided to wait the storm out and shut our trip down until the weather got better. For three days, we waited for the storm to stop. We played games, created adventures, explored the area . . . but the winds never died down. Because of the high winds, no boats were out on the lake and our marine radio we had packed to communicate with the Coast Guard in case of an emergency, basically became useless.
We were stranded and had no outside communication. Miraculously, a group of kayakers landed in the same bay at about the same time. Since we were all stranded together, we got to know each other a bit, and eventually they offered for us to let us use their satellite phone to try to get a hold of our charter boat captain.
As it turned out, he was stranded on an island in the middle of Lake Superior himself and couldn't go out on the lake until things calmed down. Since we were nearing the end of our trip, we were also practically out of food. It wasn't a good situation at all! We had had enough, simply wanted out, and had no means to make any of it happen.
Action Point Raising kids in this day and age is not easy! The world offers a million distractions and options for our kids that none of us ever had to deal with when we were our kids' age. Navigating the teenage years as a parent can be incredibly hard and trying. I have great kids, but they are still kids.
No matter what we've done to prepare them for adulthood, each of them still has the option of going their own way. You could have been in church regularly, prayed daily, been a regular part of a small group, and done many things "the right way," but in spite of your wonderful example or Godly leadership, you find yourself in the middle of a storm with your child(ren). This is a hard place to be, for sure. BUT you cannot collapse, fold, or give up.
No matter what your kids have done, God loves them - even more than you do. Stick it out, stay involved, and love them through the high winds. It doesn't mean that you have to go along with bad decisions or that you don't have the right to address the problems. Even though you don't know when, how, or where, the storm will end one day.
In the meantime while you wait, pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in this area of your family life. God can take our worst situations and make something beautiful out of it . . . trust Him.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Having a tarp with you on a backpacking trip that is designated for simply being a wind block can be a huge asset in the middle of a wind storm.
A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen
July 15, 2014
Today's Photograph . . . . God Always Answered Our Prayer In A Very Specific and Obvious Way (Dave M)
Bible Study Verse
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. (NIV)
When our kids were young and we were headed out on a camping/backpacking trip somewhere, we always started our trip out in our driveway simply praying that God would guide and direct our trip, protect us, and use us in some way along our journey - wherever we were going.
Our little prayer that just organically started in our driveway turned into a tradition for us as a family. The cool thing about the prayer is that over the course of various trips, God always seemed to answer our prayer in a very specific and obvious way. I'll mention only a few to illustrate:
Our camper had a brake problem in Vermont, which revealed itself just as we were going down a ravine into our campground. As it turned out, the campground owner offered to help us out and had the knowledge to help us fix the brakes. Along the way, we had a couple of great God conversations with him in trying to fix the brakes.
In Montana, our camper tire had a blowout on a section of a 2 lane highway. A fella with a truck camper pulled up behind us, offered to help, and parked out into the road behind us while I changed my tire right on the edge of the road. He did this to make the traffic behind us go out and away from me while I worked. In a crazy Dukes of Hazzard moment and me lying there fixing a tire . . . 5 vehicles in total criss-crossed each other's paths right where I was on the edge of the3 "2 lane" highway. Had this gentleman not been behind me, I would have gotten run over by these other careless drivers who were trying to pass each other.
In Pukaskwa Provincial Park in northern Ontario, we were almost out of food because of getting stuck in a bay with bad weather for a few days. A group of kayakers who were out on Lake Superior kayaking had arrived in the same bay just after us and were also stuck there until the storm ended. We got to know each other, and they had extra food that they offered for us to use to get us through. Part of these folks were believers from Australia who "just happened" to be there to help us out. We had great fellowship with them stuck in a remote bay on Lake Superior until the storm ended.
I believe that God has allowed us these very specific divine appointments for a multitude of reasons. On these adventures our family takes, we now look forward to how God is going to work on "this trip," because we have seen Him do it over and over again.
We look for how He is going to move, we anticipate it, and enjoy the moments when they are happening because it's a part of our focus. I don't believe that these specific moments always happen on a day-to-day basis, but I often wonder how many we miss because our focus isn't on how God is moving in our life.
It is very easy to get wrapped up in schedules, work, household jobs, running the kids to various places . . . Make it a priority to keep the right focus with God in your busyness. He doesn't want your scraps. If you are too busy for God, then maybe you need to make some changes to what you are doing.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Maps are still a valuable part of planning family trips. Many of us now rely on a Tomtom or a Gar to help us navigate our trips. If you haven't figured this out yet, they'll get you to where you want to go most of the time. But, they are not always the most direct route. Pull out a map and check it out for yourself
Today's Photograph . . . . Every Summer Tow Trucks Are Called To Get Various Forms Of Campers Unstuck From Smuggler's Notch (Dave M)
Bible Study Verses
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)
Thoughts A couple of years ago, we were camping in Vermont in an area known as Smuggler's Notch. It's the highest point in Vermont. There's a road that goes up and over the mountain, but right at the top, there are several huge boulders that have fallen right next to the road. Besides that, the road twists and turns right in the middle of this section of fallen boulders.
We had our pop-up camper with us, and after we had spent some time there, we were trying to chart the fastest and easiest way back home to Michigan. In trying to figure out the route, we talked to the fella who owned and ran the campground we were staying at. His advice for us was to make sure that we didn't try to go up and over the mountain and Smuggler's Notch. It was better to backtrack and go around that section of the mountain, because with the camper on the back of our Yukon, he was concerned that we would get stuck between the boulders on top of the mountain.
He jokingly told us that every summer tow trucks were called to get various forms of campers unstuck from Smuggler's Notch.
Action Point The older I've gotten, the more complicated life has seemingly gotten - especially with the relationships that I have with folks. It just seems that many people want to attach strings to relationships for their personal benefit, rather than simply just having a friendship.
As I try to live out my faith in the midst of this, there have been moments where I have felt "stuck". Trying to navigate my faith in Christ and how that fleshes out in my public sphere of influence is not always easy, but there are two things that I keep going back to:
God's word often tells me how to navigate the curves in life before I ever get there. He often warns me of what the consequences of my decisions could be before I make a final decision. I simply need to listen and do what He asks.
If I mess up and try "to go it alone" through the notch even though I've already been warned, He is always there for me in the middle of it.
Let me encourage you to simply do things God's way. It might be the hard thing to do at the time, but consider the long term and not just the short term satisfaction you may have or feel. God desires health for us, and His view of this life is in the scope of eternity, not just the temporary situation we have gotten ourselves into. You don't have to be stuck - turn to God and don't fight Him on things!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Before going on a long trip with your camper, make sure you have done your prep work. Check the brakes, make sure things are greased, check the air in your tires, check your spare. The longer the trip you are going on, the more taxing the trip is on your camper.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day. (NIV)
Thoughts 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!
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! And it was 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.