It was day 3 of a 5 day bow hunt in Southern Indiana, and I was having little luck. Over the last few days I had spotted a few smaller bucks but nothing quiet big enough to harvest yet. My brother-in-law had taken a nice 8 pointer the evening before, and that morning he had spotted another trophy buck moving across a ridge not far from were I had been hunting. We meet back at the cabin for lunch and a quick game plan, when he ask me if I wanted to hunt his stand that evening and I quickly said "yes". Then he explained to me where his stand was located and that "the tree that it is in has very slick bark, so be careful as you climb up", I heard what he said but I could only think about that buck he had spotted that morning. As I made my way through the corn field and across the stream I saw his stand at the bottom of this big oak tree. I quickly tied my bow to the rope and stared my climb up this tree. At about 8ft, as I was watching the woods (and not what I was doing) and the stand slipped and I head butted the tree, knocking my self out and falling to the ground. When I came to a few seconds later I was uninjured and scared at the bottom of the tree. Why did I not listen? I had heard what he said "the tree is slick", but I didn't do what he said "be careful as you climb". James warns his readers about the same thing saying "be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."(James 1:22) The Lord will bless those that trust in Him. You see it is more than simply just hearing about Christ, it is about following Him. I urge you to read God's word daily and "trust and obey".
Summer time was here, and like always my family had packed up the car and headed south for a week. My grandparents lived in Marco Island, FL and it was a paradise for me, as I would spend day and night fishing in the canal behind their house. But this day we had went offshore fishing and had been fishing most of the morning. I was on the back of the boat fishing when a giant sea turtle popped up beside the boat. Terrified I yelled for everyone to look but it had disappeared back down into the deep blue. I started telling the story, but could tell no one really believed me until it reappeared, this time for all to see. When we returned to land and told the story it was not just my word, but everyone on the boat saw. What if after His resurrection Jesus only appeared to a few people and then disappeared? Would people believe? Luke records in Acts 1:3 "He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God." Not only did he appeared but he stayed with them for a month and a half after he defeated the grave. Proving to them that he was the Son of God. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that "he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep." More than five hundred people saw our risen Lord. So Christ did not just rise from the grave and ascend to heaven, He stayed and presented himself for forty days, and then Luke says "as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight." (Acts 1:9) Praise God for all that he does and continues to do in your life. We worship and serve the risen King! We serve Jesus Christ!
It was lunch time, and after a slow morning of watching squirrels gathering acorns I decided to climb down from the tree I had spent the morning in. As usual I was going to meet my father on the old logging road, and then we would walk together back to the cabin for a bologna sandwich and a Dr. Pepper. It was late September and the weather was warming up as I untied by bow and started down the trail. I had not gone far when the leaves at my feet became alive! Terrified I stopped mid step and looked down to see a "whopper" of a copperhead coiled up and ready to strike, at my feet. It seemed like minutes went by as I wondered what to do. Armed with just my bow I decided to RUN, and run fast. I past by my dad who also started running thinking that a bear was chasing me. After a short distance we stopped and I explained my actions, we went back to see if the snake was still there, but it was gone. We have had a good laugh about that for quite some time. Sometimes in life we are walking down "the old logging road" and there the devil tries to attack us. Peter warns us to "be watchful, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking for someone to devour."(1 Peter 5:8) Wow, not just a lion but a roaring lion. And he is looking to devour someone. This my fellow outdoor lovers, is a warning for us all. Be on the lookout, the devil is out there. So how do we protect ourselves from him? Well, Peter continues and tells us to "resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." (1 Peter 5:9-10) Just some words of warning from our fellow fisherman Peter.
Well, spring is here! It is that time of the year that stands for new birth and new beginnings. As spring chickens hatch and baby fawns nurse, I pray that we can reflect in our life and see where we need improvements. Are you pursuing the purpose God has for your life? Are you seeking Him daily and desiring to grow stronger in your spiritual life? King David said to his son Solomon "know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever."(1 Chr 28:9) What David told his son is also applicable in our lives. Know that God loves you and has created the woods and waters that we love to spend time in. Serve Him with all your heart and mind. Thank Him for His creation. If you have never made a decision to give your life to Jesus, don't wait make that decision tonight. Jesus said in John 3:3 "unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." He goes on to say that "whoever believes in Him (Jesus) may have eternal life.(v15) Get spring fever and make a decision for Christ, or spring clean your life and get closer to our Creator.
Paul says in Ephesians 2:4-5 that "God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our sins, made us alive together with Christ"!
We are alive in Christ, and one characteristic of being alive is to grow. So in order to grow spiritually strong we need to study God's word daily. If we are not reading and seeking God in his word then so many of us are missing what God has planned for our life. He speaks through His word, but don't take my word for it, take His!
Hebrews 4: 12 says "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart."