Daily Devotional for Sportsmen...
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Monday, September 15, 2014
August 16, 2014
Today's Photograph . . . . Big Horn Sheep (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (NIV)
Thoughts I recall a fascinating experience while bow hunting in Minnesota. I was in my deer stand when I heard quite a commotion in the woods. The leaves were rustling, twigs snapping, accompanied by clashing sounds. I came down from my stand and headed toward the commotion. Two big Whitetail bucks, 14 and 10 pointers, had locked horns and were struggling to get apart. I tried to get close enough to get a shot, but they pulled apart and took off in the woods.
Even more fascinating are the Bighorn Sheep rams that have head-to-head combat. They rear back on their hind legs, then drop to all fours and charge each other at speeds greater than 20 mph. Fortunately, they have double-layered skulls shored with struts of bone for battle protection. They also have a massive tendon linking the skull and spine to help the head pivot and recoil from the blows.
These above mentioned displays of aggression are typical in the animal kingdom to prove dominance hierarchy.
Action Point God made us in His image and in His likeness. We don't have to fight for a position in a hierarchy of creation. We have Christ as our role model of love.
To be controlling, abusive and dominant in a marriage, or in any other relationship, is not what God had in mind for us. "Clothe yourselves" with Christ-like attributes.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Come to the Wind River Range of Wyoming and see the largest herd of Bighorn Sheep in North America.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (NIV)
Thoughts When you are looking to buy a new bow or rifle and having difficulty choosing the right caliber, stock or arrows, back off; or better yet, stop for a moment. When it comes to high-tech hunting equipment, one really needs some knowledge to make the right choice. As dumb as this may sound, guys, you might try asking (praying) for God's help on this decision. That should always be your first action in most matters of life. I think that if God wants to be as personally involved in our lives as he says, let him be especially involved in the exciting decisions like the one above. You never know where he might guide your path, leading you to the proper knowledge.
Action Point Always ask God for His knowledge and understanding on life's matters. He says He will give it.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
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Today's Photograph . . . . The Narrow Road With The Small Gate Is JESUS (MQ)
Bible Study Verses
He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. (NIV)
Thoughts At some time in your life, you may have heard a wise sailor recite this very old saying, "Red sky at morning, sailor take warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight." Well, you now know where it came from?
I used to think those very wise sailors learned it from years on the high seas. I'm sure many of them have. If you had to guess how long that saying has been around, you would have to go back before the time of Jesus. When Jesus was confronted by the Jewish leaders wanting a sign from Him, He used it to confront their hypocritical way of life.
He simply showed them that they could look at the sky and know how the weather was going to unfold that morning or evening. But, they could not understand the significant events that were unfolding right before their eyes.
Action Point I think today it is so easy for people to get caught up in what the media and others believe and think about what is happening in our world, and yet, fail to evaluate for themselves what is really taking place.
Jesus wanted people to stop and examine the circumstances in which they found themselves and see the truth - that He was truly the Messiah and the fulfillment of scripture. Our world is not on a road leading in the right direction.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it, (NIV).
The narrow road with the small gate is Jesus. It is only through Him that one can be saved from his sins and receive eternal life.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day It is always important to check area and national weather reports before starting out on any trip. If you have an idea as to how the weather might unfold, you will know how to better prepare. Then, prepare for the unexpected. Last. but not least, read the sky. I cannot tell you how truly accurate that old saying is.
Today's Photograph . . . . Pruning To Generate Fruit (NPS)
Bible Study Verses
John 15 1-2
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (NIV)
Today I was helping a friend prune an apricot tree that was producing very little fruit. When we began working on the tree, it was a beautiful, a full tree with branches reaching for the sky. The tree was appealing to look at, even though, as the branches fell to the ground, it was left looking bare and not nearly as beautiful as when we started pruning. This tree should now be much more productive that it was before being pruned.
Just as in life, we like to appear appealing to other people even though we may not be as fruitful in the ways of the Lord. We all could use a little "pruning" by the Father to become more fruitful.
In this scripture, Jesus is saying that God, the Father, must remove some things from our lives to make us more fruitful. Even though we may not be a bad person, God must remove some things from our lives in order to discipline us and make us better disciples and instruments of His love.
It may be painful, but if we respond to His discipline in a positive way, we will be able to grow spiritually. When we are going through rough times, there is always the choice to be bitter. But if you choose Jesus, you can choose to be better.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day When out in the field, it is always a good idea to have some way to start a fire. Even in the heat of summer, a fire can come in handy. Double wrap waterproof matches in Ziploc bags, and carry a lighter or flint-and-steel set as well. Cotton balls dipped in Vaseline, stored in a water tight container, are also handy fire starting aides.
At that moment the fingers of a man's hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the king's palace wall next to the lampstand. As the king watched the hand that was writing, his face turned pale, and his thoughts so terrified him that his hip joints shook and his knees knocked together. (HCSB)
Thoughts I remember the feeling I had the first time I hunted deer and saw a buck. I was so overcome with a rush of adrenaline, that it took me several moments to pull myself together enough to make a shot. I still get that feeling sometimes, if it's a really big buck! I've known people so overcome with this feeling that they couldn't make the shot.
Like King Belshazzar in the verses above, the adrenaline takes over. In his case, it was due to the fear of God. The king knew he had betrayed God, and that he would soon die. The body physiologically responds to fear and excitement in a similar way; and at times, is totally uncontrollable.
Action Point Hopefully, the next time we feel that rush of excitement when we are looking at a huge trophy animal in the woods, we will remember this verse and the overwhelming power of God.
Perhaps that rush will come as we lead someone to Christ and they have just asked Him into their heart. That's truly exciting!
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day Make sure you have a good rest before taking a shot, especially if you have that feeling of uncontrollable shakes rushing through your body. There are several bipods available to purchase for your rifle. These would serve as a great rest, and can also get your sights above the bushes if needed.