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Todays Sportsmens Devotional

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**Robert E. Lee IV **

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 13, 2010
Today's Photograph: . . .Little Buck (Brian H)

Bible Study Verse
1 Corinthians 3:5-8
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. (NIV)

Thoughts
It was a new stand. We had just stood it up on the pipeline the previous day. There I sat, wondering if it would be a good spot. An hour later, I was admiring a small buck that I had just taken.

On the way back to the four-wheeler, I saw a huge scrape that I had not seen before then. It was fresh. Its size told me that a good-sized buck had been tending it. I was leaving for the weekend, so I told my dad about the scrape and urged him to go sit in that stand.

In the rain the next morning, he shot a huge nine-point. Sometimes you just have to set someone else up to succeed in order to accomplish a common goal. In our case, it was fresh deer tenderloin and a mount to go in the game room. His reward was a filled tag. My reward was having helped him to succeed.
(Brian H)

Action Point
Our society puts too much emphasis on having the spotlight firmly on ourselves. But, God's ways are not like our ways.

In the passage above, Paul and Apollos were working hand-in-hand for a common goal--to see people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sometimes Paul would preach and then Apollos would go talk to the people one-on-one, and they would be saved. Basically, Paul says, "I don't care who gets to lead them to the Lord as long as they get saved!"

Sometimes we're called to plant a seed. Sometimes we're called to water it. Other times, we get to harvest. But, don't forget that we do exactly what God calls us to do--and nobody harvests unless God makes our efforts grow. The spotlight is not on us. We're in the shadows. The spotlight is right where it belongs--on our great and glorious God!


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Keep your eyes open for unusual forage no matter what you're hunting. Sometimes you might think that game would be hitting one food source hard only to find that they're interested in something else. Scout hard and don't overlook lesser food sources.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 14, 2010
Today's Photograph: . . .Seizing Opportunity (Randy E)

Bible Study Verse
Colossians 4:5
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. (NIV)

Wen you guys stay aroun peopo dat no trus God still yet, try tink first, da way you guys ack aroun dem. Everytime you guys get chance, tell um bout Christ!" (Da Jesus Book, Hawaii Pigin New Testament, Wycliffe)

Thoughts
The terminology in the Wycliffe translation of Hawaii Pigin may be a bit tough for some. But, it is a good read on the verse. The New American Standard Bible translates the last line, "making the most of every opportunity."

If you are a "Christ Follower," a Christian, no doubt you are around people each day who "no trus God still yet." They don't trust Him, because they don't know Him. They may believe He exists in some way: "Yes, I believe there is a God." But, they don't know Him.

To know Him is to trust Him. Trusting Him is to know Him by experience. (RE)

Action Point
Do you know God on a personal level? Can those around you who don't know Him see the reality of your knowing? "Try tink first, da ways you guys ack around dem." Our acting as Christians is evidence of our knowing Him...or not! Do you know Him?


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Consistent success in hunting means "making the most of every opportunity." This requires quick recognition of game, quick targeting, and a well- placed shot. I know of no better way to practice this sequence to success than cottontail rabbit hunting. Sporting clays is a close second though! Go ahead my friends; make the most of your opportunities. When possible, take a buddy "with" you!

.

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 15, 2010
Today's Photograph: . . . Antelope Horn Sheaths (Ron T)

Bible Study Verse
II Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)

Thoughts
If I had to pick a favorite animal, I believe it would have to be the pronghorn antelope. It is truly an icon of the American West and unique to North America. As the fastest land mammal in North America, everything about the pronghorn is designed for speed--an oversized windpipe, huge lungs, and a large heart.

Pronghorns are not related to goats or sheep as some may think; they are one of a kind and the only horned animals to shed their horn sheaths. They shed their sheaths every year. In my area they usually drop in early November. The new sheaths start to grow soon after the old ones are gone.
(Ron T)


Action Point
The pronghorns get rid of their old beat up, broken horns. They fall to the ground and there they stay until the elements and rodents reduce them to nothing.

When we receive Christ, we are born again. Our old self is gone, forgotten. We are new creations.

Jesus said, . . . "[n]o one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again," (John 3:3). To be born again--to be "in Christ"--one must confess with his mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in his heart that God raised Him from the dead. Do this and one will be saved (Romans 10:9-10).

When this transformation takes place, the person is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come!


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
To keep your rifle scope clean and dust away from your lense, try making your own scope cover. Cut a section about a inch wide out of an old tire inner tube, cut the ends about an inch wide, depending on the size of you scope. It will look like a big rubber band when you done.

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 16, 2010
Today's Photograph: ...Top Water Fishing (Ron M)

Bible Study Verse
John 15:8
This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV)



Thoughts
Perhaps nothing in the fishing world can compare to the strike of a fish on a top water lure. Top water lures aren't species specific. What was once only a mainstay of bass fisherman, surface lures now entice everything from redfish and tuna, to blue marlin. I remember the first time I saw a big sea trout explode one--I had to have some of that action.

We had just finished bottom fishing a peak some 70 nautical miles offshore, when a good friend sat down next to me and shared that he had recently given his life to Jesus. I really didn't know how to act or what to say. My first thoughts were: how will this affect me and how will this change our relationship? (Isn't it remarkable how life before Christ is so self- centered?)

The next several months, I watched him carefully. I wanted to see just what this whole Jesus thing was about. I immediately noticed that his language changed; his demeanor too--he had this peace about him. His outlook on life improved--he had purpose. I also saw him turn the sources of worry and distraction into the focus of his prayers. I admired his change, As I watched Christ grow and make these profound changes in him, I knew I had to have some of that action.
(Will D)

Action Point
Every time you and I witness, we open the door to the scrutiny and watchful eyes of the secular world. But, that is good news. We don't have to act or try to be something we are not. The "old us" has been replaced with a new, born again Spirit--God's promise to us.

Rejoice in the fact you no longer have to strive to fit in some worldly pattern of existence. Thank our Lord of Heaven for the Grace He offers us and the eternal life-saving change it provides.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Top water lures work much better when utilizing a loop knot. A good one that is easy and quick to tie is the Rapala Knot.

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 17, 2010
Today's Photograph: . . .Goodbye Hoss (Joey H)

Bible Study Verse
Ecclesiastes 3:1
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: (NKJV)

Thoughts
"Dad," my son exclaimed as I entered the back door of our home from a three-day speaking engagement in another state, "Pepper had her puppies this afternoon and you should see this one big one. I named him Hoss." It was a fine, solid-white pointer pup and my teenage son had helped Pepper deliver her litter.
"He is going to be awesome," He said as he placed Hoss back with the mother and the gang.

Boy was he right. Hoss went on to be an incredible dog, having his picture in magazines, being on TV shows, and setting the bar high for any other dog in the field with him on a particular day.

"Dad," Dr. Jay, my son the veterinarian, assured me, "I'll take care of Hoss. It'll be okay."

As my bus pulled onto the road and I headed out to speak at a wild game dinner hours away, I knew that it would be okay. The hands of the teenage boy that helped Hoss enter this world, were now, some sixteen years later, going to help him exit this world. With his systems failing, it was time for Hoss to take his final rest.
(Joey H)

Action Point
As the bus traveled that asphalt ribbon to a group of men and boys waiting for me to speak, I couldn't help but think about how Hoss and Jay spoke to my heart about God and me.

Jay loved Hoss and was excited about his birth. God loves me and was excited about my coming into this world.

Jay saw Hoss in the field even though his eyes weren't opened and he could walk. God saw me in the field of life, and called me to fulfill His plans for my life, Jeremiah 29:11.

Over the years Jay fed Hoss, gave him his monthly heart worm medication, and took care of him. God takes care of me each day. At the end of the days afield, the last bird retrieved, and the last covey pointed, Hoss looked to Jay for help. With his body worn out and used up, Hoss turned his heart to Jay, and trusted in the same hands that he trusted before he even saw them.

Someday, I will walk out of my last field, step off my last stage, and God will be there with His hands around me. When that time comes, what a blessing it will be to know that the same hands that guided my entrance will guide my exit and grace me for all of eternity.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
How many times have we seen pictures of dogs waiting for their masters, or heard stories from years gone by of dogs waiting day after day at the train station for their master to return? Take time each day to spend with your pup. He is more than another piece of hunting equipment; he needs your touch. Take him for a ride, throw the ball with him, or just let him hang out with the family. It will pay big dividends in the field and in the future.

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 18, 2010
Today's Photograph: The Road Less Traveled (Tom H)

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 7:14
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (NIV)

Thoughts
Over time, my family's interest in camping has shifted away from public campgrounds to experiences that are more rustic. When we first started camping, we would pull into a campground, set up camp, and then establish our plan for the week--sights to be seen, trails to hike.

After doing lots of day hikes and taking in beautiful scenery, we thought it would be nice to take the next step with our hiking and venture into backpacking. Our thinking was that if the day hikes were nice, just think of all the amazing things we could see if we went to the interior of the trail systems. The idea that we were seeing a side of nature that most people didn't ever get to view was appealing. We became fascinated with "the road less traveled." As a result, our trips--planning and time--are now focused on the narrow trails that we enjoy following.
(Dave M)

Action Point
The Bible is very clear that the road that leads to God is narrow. As a believer, we are confronted daily with options that either lead us away from God or to God.

I pray that as your journey of faith continues you would become fascinated and encouraged to follow narrow path that God has laid out before us. That it would become your heart's desire to pursue it. There is a definite reward for pursuing the narrow path!


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you are trying to capture the depth of a view in a photo, make sure to get a bush, a weed, or a tree limb in the foreground. This little technique improves picture quality tremendously.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 19, 2010
Today's Photograph: . . .The Elk That Became a Deer (APB)

Bible Study Verse
Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV)

Thoughts
On one particular hunting trip this year, we were looking for elk in the higher elevations. It was a little early for the migration, but we knew there were a few bulls in the area. We stood on the edge of a large mountain meadow. Suddenly, a large-bodied deer showed up on the edge of the meadow. My friend ranged it at 230yd. He said that it looked like a 24in muley with a tall rack. With the deer alert to our presence, I didn't have much time to shoot; so I shot off-hand. We walked up to the edge of the meadow expecting to find a nice muley buck laying there on the snow. I had a lot of confidence in my 7mm mag. at that distance. Unfortunately, we didn't see the deer or any blood. I'll have to admit, some doubt entered my mind. The shooting conditions were very windy and my rest was not the best. Did I miss him? I wasn't going to give up yet. I picked up a set of fresh tracks and followed them down the mountain. About 20yd away, I noticed some dirt on top of the snow and the smooth blanket of snow disturbed. Not far from this area, the muley was laying dead with only one blood spot next to his nose. The bullet entered behind the front shoulder, mushroomed, and was found in the hide on the back side. Some faith, perseverance, and God's help enabled me to find that nice muley.
(Tom L)

Action Point
In Hebrews 6, we are told that He (God) is the rewarder of those who diligently seek (find) Him. In Our Daily Bread, a devotional booklet, it says, "Finding God is a matter of faith--confidence in Him and commitment to Him. This confidence and commitment should remain strong even though the objects of our faith are unseen. The writer of Hebrews and the Apostle John agree that, ultimately, the way to find the Lord and please Him is by believing in His Son Jesus."


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
If you can't find blood or a set of tracks to follow, walk in circles around the area where you last saw the deer. Increase the radius each time. I've found several deer using this technique.

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 20, 2010
Today's Photograph: Newborn in the Wild (FWS)

Bible Study Verse
John 10:27-28
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. (NIV)

Thoughts
Safe! Secure! These are important words and concepts. Even though God has designed and equipped infant wild animals with many protective instincts, they are seldom totally safe. Whitetail fawns seem especially vulnerable. The mother's care for her young often determines their survival.

An old doe that has given birth each of the last five years within the fenced grounds of Baptist Mid-Missions in Cleveland, Ohio, is classic proof. She leaps the fence to give birth on the property. Then, for several weeks, is back and forth over the fence multiple times each day to nurse and care for her babies.

The casual observer would think the fawn had been abandoned. Not so! That doe understands that her newborns are safer and more secure on that property than they would be outside the fence with her. Not until they are several weeks old and able to flee danger does she lead them out the front gate to life in the wilds of the Cleveland suburbs. That mother deer stays totally focused on the safety and security of her offspring.
(Jackie M)

Action Point
God is the only one that can ultimately guarantee our safety and security. In spite of the circumstances, accidents, and problems of life, we may rest in His love and promises. Jesus promises that if we believe in Him as Savior and Lord, follow Him, and listen to Him, that we are secure forever. In fact, we are held in God's eternal hands out of which no one is ever able to pluck us or snatch us. What wonderful safety and ultimate security!


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you come across a nest, or a young animal in the wild, it is usually best to leave it alone and undisturbed. There are reports of mother animals abandoning their young that have been handled by people transferring human odor to the young. If you know the young animal is truly an orphan, it is best to contact a wildlife officer to determine the best course of action for the animal's well-being. In many places it is illegal to take it home, adopt, or try to raise it.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 21, 2010
Today's Photograph: . . . Fishing and The Future (FAD)

Bible Study Verse
Ecclesiastes 9:12
Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them. (NIV)

Thoughts
Fish often exhibit keen qualities of survivability. Many times their encounters with our presentations leave us empty-handed while they swim away with a free meal. Last week, I was fishing a deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico. As I reeled in a baited lure, I noticed just how close the fish had come from being hooked. I reset the lure and thought how life can be filled with near misses too.

We often read or hear about accidents that occur while hunting or fishing. Perhaps you have been involved in one. I think about the time my hand got tangled in a leader with a huge marlin on the other end.

Our day-to-day lives have near misses too--the red light that someone ran, a desperate criminal at the gas station, or a phone call from the doctor. What if the next time it isn't a near miss? Are you prepared spiritually?
(Will D)

Action Point
Ask yourself this: If I were to die today, would I be in Heaven? Prepare for eternity right now. Receive God's free gift of salvation; admit you are sinful, ask for forgiveness, and know and believe Christ died for you. Finally, ask Him to be your boss and Savior.

"For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!" Ezekiel 18:32 (NIV).


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Many times pelagic fish strike in an effort to disable fish. If your lure is hit without a hookup, free spool for an eight or ten count. The fish may come back and eat your lure.
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elk antler
A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 22, 2010
Today's Photograph: Elk Antler Found (PL)

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

Thoughts
In the Spring my kids and I like to hike in the woods after the elk have dropped their antlers. It's kind of like a treasure hunt to them, without the map. It's also a great time to teach the kids about God's creation. They have fun identifying tracks, rubs, scrapes, and whatever else we can find out there.

After the antlers shed off, they are subject to the elements and critters. Squirrels, mice and other rodents love to chew on them to get their daily intake of calcium. The sun and weather will bleach them and break them down over time.
(Ron T)

Action Point
My pastor presented a great illustration for eternity: He drew a little dot on the church wall. The dot represented our time here on earth. The rest of the church, inside and out, represented eternity. Salvation is a free gift from God, a treasure that will not rot and cannot be stolen. We are here for such a short time, yet it's what we do with His gift of a relationship with Him--our salvation--while we're here that determines where we spend all of eternity.

If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life, I suggest that you do it now. Go to the Sportsman's Devotional web site, click on the "About Us" page, then on the Sportsman's Devotional.com prayer link.

Jesus is coming back, and He said that He will reward each person according to what he or she has done. Read Matthew 16:27.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Shed hunting is a lot of fun and good exercise. I recommend taking along a pair of binoculars. You can glass the open meadows and save yourself a few steps. Make sure to check the regulations for the area you plan to shed hunt. Areas such as some National and State Parks don't allow the removal of antlers.

Remember to drink plenty of water on these excursions.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 23, 2010
Today's Photograph: . . .Stopping at the Top (MQ)

Bible Study Verse
Philippians 2:12-13
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (NIV)


Thoughts
One morning on a muzzleloader deer hunt, two friends and I discovered the track of what promised to be a toad of a muley. When he dropped into a deep narrow canyon, Randy stayed on his track while Jeff and I skirted around the top for a shot at this buck that would surely spook when he caught Randy's scent.

We crept at least 100 yards along the edge of the canyon and waited while Randy hotly pursued the buck into the head of the canyon. Within minutes we heard a clatter of hooves right beneath us as this monster escaped from under a palo verde tree and scrambled straight up the opposite side of the canyon.

I settled in with my TC Renegade and shooting stick, an ancient saguaro skeleton spine, and readied for the shot that I guessed was at least 125 yards (later 'ranged' at 165 yards).

Jeff whispered, "Are you gonna shoot?"

I replied, "When he gets to the top, he's gonna stop."

Sure enough when that big buck topped out on the other side of the canyon, he stopped and looked back for a glimpse of what had spooked him from his noontime nap. That's when I lowered the boom on him.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
This particular scenario had never presented itself. I wasn't certain that buck would stop. By faith I believed he would, because my dad had encouraged me to wait for such opportunities when dealing with a spooked buck. With just my old man's advice ringing in the back of my mind, I waited for the shot. He was right.

Paul told the Philippians don't just obey when I'm around to watch (like anyone would when you're in church), but as well when I'm not. We are called to be Christ like each day of the week, not just on Sunday while in the midst of the pastor and the body of believers. It is not easy. If we are to win others to Christ, we must set the example and walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6 instructs, "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did," (NIV). Like I was eventually rewarded with that buck, you too will be rewarded with winning others to Christ. His blood can save us all.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Don't know why they do it, but they do more often than not. A mule deer buck will stop at the top of a ridge and look back if you've spooked him and he doesn't know what "you" are. Save this for the running shot that you're not all that warm and fuzzy about or as a lesson for young hunters. Worst case scenario if you don't take a chance on an "iffy" running shot, you'll have an opportunity on the other side of the hill at a buck that's settled down. If you're patient and give him enough time, he will.

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fish
A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 24, 2010
Today's Photograph: Early Fishing (WW)

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (NIV)

Thoughts
It is amazing how we will get out of bed at some ridiculous time to take in a fishing expedition or hunting outing, but neglect to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. I wrestle with this: Why do I jump out of the sack to engage in an outdoor experience; yet, when it comes to getting out of bed to engage in seeking first the Kingdom and His righteousness, my body seems to be cemented to the bed.
(Glen D)

Action Point
What have I done to help in my walk with Christ? Combine the two experiences. Weekly, get outdoors to seek first His kingdom and spend time focused on His Word and His plans for my life.

Seeking is an action word and compels us to be active in Kingdom matters and not just sit back and let life roll on by. Find a place outdoors to listen to some great praise music or read a portion of the Word.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
I do not know where you are in the world, but in my neck of the woods, Spring turkey season is just around the corner! We are scouting areas, cleaning guns, checking our inventory of decoys, shells, calls, clothing, and gear.
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 25, 2010
Today's Photograph.... Deer (MQ).

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 26:40-41
And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, "So could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (ESV)

Thoughts
Who hasn't fallen asleep hunting? Many of us have stayed up too late the night before a big hunt or been worn out fighting the elements and succumbed to fatigue.

I recall my son's recent deer hunt from a ground blind. Facing away from him, I could see the deer coming. Under my breath I hissed, "deer," "deeeeer," "DEEEEER!" Overcoming a case of the nods, he snapped to attention with only half his wits about him. By the time the gun was up, there was snow on the scope and one disoriented teenager! Thankfully the deer never got close enough.

When Jesus addressed the disciples' physical grogginess, he was speaking to a much deeper spiritual grogginess. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" is often our excuse for failure. It should be a warning against it. In life, we can't afford to give into temptation, for we are the hunted. Peter warned,"Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour," I Peter 5:8 (ESV).
(Matt F)

Action Point
What dangerous spiritual grogginess could Jesus address in your life? "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." Get with another Christian and begin to hold yourself accountable to each other. Don't allow weakness to be an excuse for failure. Stay alert!


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Make sure you're prepared mentally and physically for a big hunt. Get the proper sleep the night before and bring the proper gear to help you fight the elements.

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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 26, 2010
Today's Photograph.... Lazy River (MQ)

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 8:23-27
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" Jesus responded, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. "Who is this man?" they asked. "Even the winds and waves obey him!" (NLT)

Thoughts
It promised to be a great midsummer trip. A canoe ride from the dam spillway on a lazy Texas river to a few favorite blue-cat fishing holes. Fish all day in deep water and back upstream hugging the shoreline using the back eddies. We landed the aluminum canoe and began fishing. The action was slow, but we didn't give up. We had beached the canoe under a rock, the size of a house, and walked up a steep path to get a view on top and fish some holes in and around that huge rock. Two experienced canoeists on a familiar river, what could possibly go wrong?

At first it was hardly noticeable that the river current was beginning to increase. But, soon our lazy river was raging. We were up on top of the rock when we heard it, the sound like a pop can being crushed. The canoe! We raced down the path to find the water level had risen to the point that the canoe was being crushed against the ceiling of the monstrous rock! My partner, an experienced swimmer, leaped into the water, with great difficulty submerged the canoe, and floated it out from under the rock! I would not recommend his actions to anyone. The Lord was with him and the canoe was salvaged, we got it out of the water, and it was okay. Our work began! A lazy 2-hour float downstream turned into a very, very difficult paddle back upstream.
(Marshall M)

Action Point
Jesus calmed the storm, the wind, and the waves. The disciples were rescued from a raging storm, but out in the middle of the sea. They had to paddle and work to get the boat back to shore with no wind to fill the sails. God hears our prayers and He rescues us from our storms, but He still expects us to do our part. People have these fantasies: I want the perfect marriage, I want the perfect circle of friends, I want the perfect career, and I want the perfect education; if I can't have that, then I won't do anything. God doesn't work like that. There is always a price to be paid. The price for sin is death; it was paid for by Jesus' death on a cross. The disciples cried out in a storm to be rescued and had to row back to shore. Our response to God's saving grace should always be "What's next Lord, how can I serve you today?"


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
A question that often comes to mind on a canoe trip is what is the best footwear? If the temps are too cool a sandal or a wet athletic shoe is not much fun. Here's a good substitute, invest in waterproof socks! They are less expensive than specialty boots or shoes and can be used for a variety of water related sports. I often use then with my wader boots for canoeing. The boots are made to get wet while the socks keep my feet dry!

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Sportsmen's Devotional

A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 28, 2010
  Today's Photograph....Your king is coming! A good king who makes all things right. (MQ)

Palm   Sunday

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 21:10-11
As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, "What's going on here? Who is this?"  The parade crowd answered, "This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee." (MSG)
 
Thoughts
Jesus' "triumphal entry," exactly one week before His resurrection.  Some may call it Passion Sunday.  But, for most it's Palm Sunday.  This day Christ came into the city of Jerusalem treated as a king.  The prophet Zechariah proclaimed this day,  "Your king is coming! A good king who makes all things right, a humble king riding a donkey, a mere colt of a donkey," Zechariah 9:9b (MSG).
 
Nearly everyone threw down their garments on the road; others cut branches from palm trees giving Jesus a royal welcome.  The crowds cried out, "Hosanna to David's son!"  "Blessed is He who comes in God's name!"  "Hosanna in the highest!"  This was a glorious day.
 
But, we have forgotten those people that were in the crowds shouting, "Hosanna in the in the Highest," and those that were thrilled to be a part of the parade shouting joyfully and proclaiming the one who comes in God's name, are the same crowd, the same people that five days later were crying out, "Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!"
(Donny N)
 
Action
Sadly this still happens today.  It's very easy to get caught up in "the crowd."  Ever been in this situation?  At work, amongst your friends, around the campfire with your hunting buddies, or at church.  Had a situation arise that you didn't agree with or felt uncomfortable with and you chose to take the lesser path and go along with the crowd? 
 
It's not easy to go against the grain.  But, I want to encourage you to stand firm in your faith.  Jesus didn't die on the cross just for our sins; he died so that we may be made right with God.   As difficult as it may seem, as painful as it may be, know this, the pain you're going to have to suffer for your faith, for your beliefs, and the pain you will endure while going against the crowd will never be greater than the pain that He went through for you and me. 
 
Don't settle for the norm.  Don't settle for mediocrity.  Settle for nothing less that the heart of Jesus and live the life He has called YOU to live.  
 
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Before you hit the trail, it's always a good idea to have a checklist for your day pack, your hunting supplies, and your food as well as a plan that includes the location you will be traveling to.  Always include any alternate routes you may take and leave your plan at home with family and friends.
  
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 30, 2010
 
Today's Photograph. . . . Toms (MQ)
Bible Study Verse
II Corinthians 5:17-19
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (NIV)
 
Thoughts
I blew it!  Absolutely, 100%!  Blew it!

I was out turkey hunting a couple of weeks ago, waiting to get a shot off at a tom. We'd had some pretty bad weather--sporadic temperatures--and the birds' patterns seemed to have gotten thrown off. So rather than sitting there enjoying watching turkeys in the mornings and evenings, it seemed as if I was lucky to see anything. After several unsuccessful hunts, I was in my blind and just about ready to wrap up another morning of seeing practically nothing.
 
I looked over to my left and there were six toms coming out of the woods, headed right for me. It had been so long since I'd seen one, I couldn't believe my eyes. I got my gun up as quickly as I could and waited for them to meander in front of me. Sure enough, they did!  At about 30yd, I finally got one of the toms to separate from the group a bit so I could get a clean shot off without taking down any of the others. As I pulled the trigger, I was looking forward to finally having a successful hunt.
 
Well, the shot resounded across the field, and all six birds flew up in the air and went right over my blind as part of their escape route. I felt numb and stunned!  All I can tell you is that the rest of that weekend, I found myself ruminating on the idea that I needed a second chance!  I had completely blown it!
(Dave M)
 
Action Point
The great thing about being a Christian is that we serve a God of second chances! We serve a God who believes in forgiveness and reconciliation! Maybe you've absolutely blown it:  you ignored a chance to speak a word of encouragement to someone who needed it, missed an opportunity to witness to someone who needed to hear the gospel, you got angry over something that in hindsight was petty, the business deal wasn't exactly up front, and in the end, you flat out didn't do the right thing.

Go directly to God today and ask Him to forgive you. Ask Him to reconcile the situation. We all blow it.  But, God is ALWAYS there, willing to forgive if we are truly repentant. Humble yourself before Him.
 
Sportsmen's Tip Of The Day
Range finders are a great investment! They give you the necessary information about how far away an animal is and whether or not you should be shooting.

 
 
 
 
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 31, 2010
Today's Photograph: What Does A Path Constructed By God Look Like? (MQ)

Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. (HCSB)

Thoughts
So how much are we supposed to trust the Lord?
With all your being.
What are we not supposed to lean upon?
Our own understanding.
In how many ways are we to acknowledge God?
All.
What will be the eventual outcome?
Straight paths.

Rabbit paths, cow paths, deer paths, and human paths--we have all seen them. None are perfect, nor easy to follow.

So what does a path constructed by God look like? Here is my profound answer: I don't know. But, it's the only one to follow because your Creator has the big picture of your life and all you have is a small snapshot. God's paths are seen by looking back into your past. Then, you can see the trail; and it's only then that you might say to yourself, "Oh, I get it now." The path ahead is rarely seen, but followed by trusting Him with all our heart. (MQ)

Action Point
Are you willing to trust to that extent during 2010? God's path may be scary and require faith to follow. We know it is narrow and not followed by most. It is definitely not the easy way. Will you take it? If you are, you're in for an adventure.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Set up your hunting stands near well-used paths and be patient.
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Sportsmen's Devotional

A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen April 1, 2010
  Today's Photograph . . . . The Man Cave (Cliff S)
Bible Study Verse
Matthew 7:15-16 
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" (NIV)
 
 
Thoughts
My son and I live in what we refer to as "the man cave."  There is nothing feminine about our home.  When you enter it, you know immediately that hunters live here.  You don't have to guess, you see it.  When you come in the front door, the first thing you see is Adam's 2002 elk shoulder mount, then, the racks from the two elk we killed in 2009.  There's gun cleaning stuff in the living room, a reloading bench where the dining room table used to be, more gun and archery stuff in the den, multiple dead animals on the walls, a .22 bullet trap and an archery target, leftover pizza in the fridge, and, when using the bathroom, remember MAN CAVE RULES are in effect! 
 
For Christmas, we didn't get around to putting up a tree.  So Adam printed a picture of a Christmas tree off the internet and taped it onto the lampshade.  Hey, there's no watering a dry tree, no pine needles to clean up, and we can leave it up all year!  Add a little pine smelling cover scent and you've got it.  The perfect Christmas tree!  Maybe there's a reason why we're both still single.  You think?  But, hey, you don't have to ask what we do in our spare time.  We hunt! 
(Cliff S)
 
 
Action Point
When your friends, business associates, the waitress at the diner, the salesman at the gun counter in the sporting goods store, or new acquaintances cross your path, do they see that you are a Christian?  Does it show?  What fruit do you produce? 
 
Jesus said that we're to be a light to the world (Matthew 5:13-16) and that the world should see Him through us.  That the world would know Him by the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). They should see in us, fruits that we can't produce.  They have to come from God.  The world should see Jesus in our attitudes, our words, how we handle difficulties and successes, and in how we treat others.  We should also be telling people around us about Jesus and His love and grace.  Yes, the false prophets are out there.  But, God desires to produce fruit in our lives that will provide evidence to others that He loves them, too, and that they can be in relationship with Him just as we are. 

 
Sportsman's Tip of the Day
It's OK to leave your trophies and gun paraphernalia visible to folks who enter your house.  But, keep the guns locked up in a safe place.  The guns should be in one location, the ammunition in another, preferably under lock and key.  This will protect against tragic accidents, and potential loss to thieves.  
 
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Sportsmen's Devotional

A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen March 29, 2010
 
Today's Photograph. . . . Always Place Your Trust In The Lord (MQ)
 
Bible Study Verse
II Chronicles 14:2
Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. (NIV)
 
Thoughts
Do you remember the story of King Asa? Asa followed God's commands and experienced peace. The story tells us that, as long as Asa kept his eyes on God, God rewarded him.  When Asa was faced with challenges, he would turn to God and seek guidance.
 
The story also relates that, as time went on, he failed to see the need to seek God's wisdom; and soon lost power, property, and, eventually, his life.
(Dave W)
 
Action Point

At times in our lives, it is easy to think that we can deal with the issues of life on our own. We may think it is the "manly" thing to do. It usually does not take long to realize that we need some help.
 
When these times occur, is it not wonderful that we can go to Him and ask for help. Remember to keep your eye focused on God during good times and bad.
 
Sportsmen's Tip Of The Day
If you want 100% accuracy when shooting, practice 200%. 1
 
1 Steve Chapman, 365 Things Every Hunter Should Know. 
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A Daily Study of God's Word for Christian Sportsmen April 2, 2010
Today's Photograph: Alaskan Black Bear--Awesome Result of Sitting in Silence (Cliff S)

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 27:12-14
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge--to the great amazement of the governor. (NIV)

Thoughts
It's Good Friday. My thoughts have gone back to a day a little over two-thousand years ago when Jesus was asked that question: Don't you hear what they're saying about you? Don't you have anything to say in your defense? Jesus amazes them when He makes no reply.

I stand in awe when I think of that scene. If I were in the field and a game warden was asking me questions, I would answer them, wouldn't you? If that had been me instead of Jesus, I would have said something. I would have been throwing everything I could back at the accusers. I would have had my attorney there blasting the accusers, quoting laws and legal precedents.

But, Jesus made no reply. He stood in silence. Silence. Why? Because a decision had been made. It was made the night before in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done," Matthew 26:42 (NIV).

Jesus knew the need, and Jesus knew the consequences for all mankind if he refused the cross. There in the garden, He had a choice; and by being obedient to the Father, He chose to love us, to die for us, and to take the burden of all of our sins on Himself. Jesus made this choice in spite of knowing all of the suffering that awaited Him in the next few hours.

Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus was made perfect through His suffering. Because of His perfection, we can have eternal life with Him. Jesus made a commitment. He kept it, and He suffered during that horrible night, and later on the cross. Because of His suffering, we have this day, Good Friday; and three days later, we have Easter--triumph over sin and death. Praise God for Jesus' obedience, even to death on a cross!
(Cliff S)

Action Point
As you go through your day, be aware that you are God's witness to the world around you. Be prepared to answer those who ask you why you are a follower of Jesus. Tell your world about the love and forgiveness that you have found in Jesus, and that they can have the same.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Sit silent in the woods. If you're moving, the animals see you; if you're still, you'll see them.
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