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Todays Sportsmens Devotional

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**Robert E. Lee IV **

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2018 at 08:44
Bible Study Verses
Proverbs 4:3-9, 18-19
When I was a boy at my father's knee,
    the pride and joy of my mother,
He would sit me down and drill me:
    "Take this to heart. Do what I tell you-live!
Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!
    Don't forget one word! Don't deviate an inch!
Never walk away from Wisdom-she guards your life;
    love her-she keeps her eye on you.
Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!
    Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!
Throw your arms around her-believe me, you won't regret it;
    never let her go-she'll make your life glorious.
She'll garland your life with grace,
    she'll festoon your days with beauty."
The ways of right-living people glow with light;
    the longer they live, the brighter they shine.
But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker-
    travelers can't see a thing; they fall flat on their faces. (Message)

Thoughts
If you are a hunter, you must love tracking. It's one of the tools of our trade as a guide. We follow tracks and sign to find game and follow blood trails to find down game. We diligently look for clues to increase our odds of success. When there's no snow, we've gotten down on our hands and knees to find a speck of blood or decipher right direction. 

God has left us many sign posts along the way of life, many warning signals. His Holy Spirit within us even prompts, convicts, encourages and guides. We have more experienced mentors all around us to help us. 
(Wes W)

Action Point
I was on a gravel road near Laramie Peak, Wyoming, with Rex Peterson, a world-class lion and bear guide from LaSal, Utah. We were traveling in a pickup at approximately 30 MPH. Conditions were dry and sunny. 

Rex said, "Stop!" Did you see that?"

"See what?" I thought. "Antelope? Elk? A hundred yards away, or a mile away?"

"Back up," he said. "Now do you see that?"

"Nope! Not a thing."

We got out of the truck. He sat on his haunches near the edge of the road. When I looked just right, it appeared that a barefoot man had crossed the road diagonally. It was a bear track.

I asked, "How did you see that at 30 MPH?"

He said, "It looked like a good crossing spot from one draw to another."
My observations: 
  • He had been alert and looking. 
  • He knew exactly what he was looking for.
  • He had seen that sign before. 

I was definitely impressed; and he had my undivided attention. He has been a wonderful mentor - both as a hunting friend and a brother in Christ. You also should try to find a mature Christian man to grow in Christ and in the knowledge of God's creation.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Find a trusted friend who will not only stretch you in outdoor endeavors, but in your faith.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2018 at 08:30
Bible Study Verse
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. (NKJV)

Thoughts
Jessie was what you might consider a normal teenage boy. By all appearances, he was just like any other fifteen year old. If you assumed that, you would be wrong.

Jessie's parents died tragically in an accident when he was ten years old and he was taken from his home in the big city and placed with his grandfather far back in the Ozark Mountains. 

Jessie's grandfather was a wise and Godly old man who loved Jessie with all his heart. He taught Jessie to hunt those majestic hills and to catch fish from the creeks, lakes, and rivers. He taught Jessie to raise a garden and to preserve the vegetables for winter. Jessie was well cared for, and he loved his grandfather, but he was hollow on the inside. He was bitter and alone. He was thirsty and dry on the inside.

One day, Jessie and his grandfather went to one of their favorite places. It was a huge rock that overlooked a beautiful clear lake. Many times before, grandfather had brought him here. Sometimes they would scramble down to the lake below and fish. Sometimes they would bring the old .410 shotgun and shoot squirrels. Sometimes they would just talk. 

Today, grandfather reached inside his old coat and pulled out a tattered Bible. There, sitting on that big rock, overlooking that vast lake, Jesus Christ changed Jessie on the inside. He was dry and thirsty and God gave him water - and not just a little - Jesus sent a flood into a dry desert that forever changed the condition of the heart and the eternal destination of the soul.
(Brian H)

Action Point
Life is tough.

The man or woman who tries to shoot the rapids of life alone will quickly find themselves wandering in a spiritual desert, devoid of peace and joy - dying of spiritual thirst.

Our God has a habit - a character trait, really - of giving more than we ever ask for and more than we can ever dream of. When we need a drink of water, God doesn't just hand us a cup that refreshes only our dry and parched throat, but rather, He pours water on us that quenches our thirst and washes the dust off of us and thoroughly refreshes us. He goes above and beyond what we ask and gives us instead what we really need. He does this in two ways:

  1. For the non-Christian: This is where we all are or were at some point. Jesus loved us so much that he didn't just come up with a plan to save us, but rather, he put his plan in action to become the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. He didn't send someone to save us, he came and did it himself as only he was qualified to do. Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior brings a flood of spiritual water to a barren desert and causes that desert to bloom with new life.
  2. For the Christian: Nobody ever said that life would be smooth sailing once you become a Christian. That's simply not the truth. Life is still tough. But when we reach the end of our strength and we fall, hopelessly weary and totally spent, into His arms, he doesn't just give us a drink to refresh us, he pours water on us and lavishes His love upon us.
How great is our God to do more than just give us a little sip of His goodness but to pour out His love, compassion, strength, and renewal upon us!

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Am I the only one that put on a few pounds over the winter? If you're in the same boat as I am, now is the time to start getting back into shape. Incorporate a good healthy diet with some gym time and work in some springtime hiking trips. You think the elliptical machine is tough? Try hiking up a few mountains. Oh, and consult your doctor before you start working out. I'm down ten pounds already!
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Bible Study Verse
John 15:4
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (NKJV)

Thoughts
Many years have passed, but I will always remember this fishing trip.

I had been asked by a family friend to take her nephew from out-of-state trout fishing. So we four-wheeled and hiked into a remote back-country stream that I had been wanting to fish. It was August, monsoon season in Arizona; and about half way through the day, the sky opened up and poured rain. Earlier, I had spotted an old cabin up stream, so we made our way there and weathered the storm under the small front porch roof. We had both caught several nice fish and were sharing our stories when I noticed a large blackberry patch at the edge of the stream. After the storm subsided, we found a couple of old three-pound coffee cans and picked them full of luscious wild blackberries to top off our trout dinner that night. As I remember those berries, I don't believe I've seen any that large since then. 
(Byron S)

Action Point
Jesus' words in John 15:4 fit the example of the berry patch that I found. That patch of berries grew right along side a mountain stream with the roots going deep into the earth and out into the running water. Those berries were constantly fed with nutrients from the life-giving water. No wonder they were so large and luscious. 

We can be like that if we do as Jesus says: plant ourselves in His Word and take Him, the Living Water, into our lives. If we do so, He promises that we will grow in faith and bear much fruit. Knowing and understanding His Word not only guides our daily lives, but also provides us with the right thoughts and words when we need them. For example: It may not be easy for me to get through a day without an unhealthy thought crossing my mind, or perhaps having a plan go wrong. When I try to handle these on my own, my mind might linger too long on the thought, or I don't handle the situation as I should. But I have found that when I stop and take time to ask Him for help, He is always true to His Word--the thoughts are blocked, or somehow, the plan begins to come together in His way. So, abide in Him and let Him abide in you; and surely, whatever you ask of Him will be done for you. His Word is His bond.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Be sure and carry an inexpensive emergency plastic poncho in your gear when you are out on a day fishing trip. If you don't have one, try a large plastic garbage bag; it will work in a pinch. Also, find shelter in a thunder storm. The lightning can be deadly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2018 at 06:26
Bible Study Verse
John 8:32 
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (NIV)

Thoughts
The south Alabama spring morning exploded with the gobbles of thirteen turkeys. With this many birds hitting it this hard, I could already smell a bird in the oven. I eased down into a bottom where an old boss bird was shaking the woods with his gobbles. This wasn't going to be hunting; it was going to be self-defense. 

After getting set up, I sent out a smooth set of yelps; and he just about strangled gobbling back at me. Within five minutes, I could see glimpses of him working through the bottom about eighty yards out. Back and forth he would strut and gobble, but he would not come any closer. The morning passed on; and finally, after an hour-and a-half, he walked away. I was sick. 

Why, wouldn't he come? I walked to the area where he had been and found my answer. There was an old barbed wire fence stretched across the bottom, and he wouldn't cross it. He was a hung-up bird.

Life has a way of being full of hung-up birds. We get hung up on all kinds of junk that keeps us from the awesome life that the Lord has for us. Today, you may be hung up by not being the person you are called to be. Let the Lord cut the old barbed wire out of your life and set you free. 
(JoeyH)

Action Point
The Bible teaches us that, "We shall know the truth and it will set us free." If you are hung up today with a problem that just won't go away, or by the hope of an opportunity that just won't come, then apply the truth principle to it: Discover God's truth as it relates to what you are dealing; then, apply that truth and move forward into God's blessing of freedom.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
There are times in turkey hunting when you have to relocate. Had I known about the old fence, I would have simply backed off and somehow eased around the fence and set up. There is a danger of relocating too quickly or too often. But, some days it is a must-do trick in order to harvest Old Tom.
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Bible Study Verses
Psalms 17:4-5
Though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself from the ways of the violent through what your lips have commanded. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled.(NIV)

Thoughts
Have you ever seen a mountain goat jump from rock to rock or climb straight up the side of a mountain? They do it with very little effort. If we tried that same climb, we would need ropes, bolts, anchors, and safety equipment. 

God has given mountain goats their own specialized equipment. Their hooves have a hard outer shell with a rubbery concave foot pad that acts like a suction cup when they put weight on it. Not even the most expensive pair of vibram-soled hunting boots can compare to the foot of a mountain goat. 
(Ron T)

Action Point
When out hunting or hiking in the woods, it's possible to come across many trails and paths. Some paths will get you home and some won't. It's important to know what's what out there. 

King David warned us about the path of the wicked, Proverbs 4:14. God has a better path and He will teach us His ways, Micah 4:2. If we follow God's path, we can be like the mountain goat and have no fear of slipping or falling.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Comfortable, supportive footwear is one of the most important aspects of a successful hunt. The hunt can end in a hurry if you get blisters or your boots do not fit correctly. When you shop for a new pair of boots, make sure they are a good fit and designed for the terrain you will be hunting.
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Bible Study Verses
Matthew 25:34-35
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom  prepared for you since the creation of the world.  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)

Thoughts
My father was a carpenter. He never owned his own business; but always worked for someone else and earned an honest wage. Money was sometimes hard to come by. We often had hard times, and scraped to get by. One year, when I was about five or six, the tough times hit our home right around Christmas. There were few presents under the tree. Though our cabinets were stocked with canned fruit and vegetables from our ample garden, there was little meat. 

Daddy wasn't around much. He was spending lots of time on the road looking for odd jobs, trying to scrape up a little extra money for Christmas. That year, a couple of days before Christmas, we had some unexpected visitors. 

It was early evening, just after dark, on a Saturday; and I remember that Daddy still wasn't home yet from a full day of looking for work. I heard the rumble of an engine in our driveway, and looked out into the darkness under our carport to see two men carrying something and place it on our steps. One of them gently tapped on our door; but before we could answer, they hopped back in their truck and left. 

I opened the door and there on our steps lay six beautiful, fat mallard ducks, courtesy of some local duck hunters. I will never forget how Mama cried. Nor will forget that hot, tasty pan of duck and dressing we feasted upon that Christmas day. 
(Geoff B)

Action Point
Most of us hunt and fish for sport and fun; but we must never forget that there are still hungry people in our communities. Talk to your church about starting a ministry for feeding the hungry in your hometown; and get your sportsmen involved. God can use our sport and passion as a way to bless those in need.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Some states have programs for involving hunters in hunger relief. The commonwealth of Kentucky has an incredible program called Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, which has provided meat for over two-million meals throughout its history. Check out their website. Find out if there is a similar program in your state. If there is none, consider networking and starting one.
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Bible Study Verses
I Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on your guard; stand firm  in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  Do everything in love. (NIV)

Thoughts
There may come a time on a hunt where you have to follow the commands of this verse. When? When you observe someone violating a game law, such as:
  • Shooting more than his limit of birds.
  • Shooting two deer and trying to sneak them out.
  • Sneaking an animal home without tagging it so he can hunt and kill another one. 

These are all violations of game laws. What should you do?

Get whatever pertinent information is available and call the game department of the state where you're hunting to report the violation.

Similarly, as Christians, we must be vigilant, watching for Satan's attacks against us. We must be on our guard, stand firm in our faith, and be strong - men of courage! It's what God expects of us, and what He's equipped us to be. When the attacks come, report them to God, He'll take care of the violator! 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
The Bible tells us to stand or to stand and be strong for our God. Trust Him. He'll provide all that you need to stand firm in your faith. Read His Word. Pray at all times. Put on His armor. Stand! (Ephesians 6)

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Do not confront a game law violator. Call the appropriate authorities and let them do what they're trained to do. Do be a good witness by getting as much information as possible to help the officer do his job.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tikkabuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2018 at 09:07
Bible Study Verse
I Corinthians 1:31
Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord." (NIV)
 
Thoughts
I have a co-worker who loves to hunt. He has killed a number of deer and elk, including some respectable bulls. 
When he drew a muzzleloader elk tag last year, he said, "I'll drop the first bull I see, even if it's a spike." 

I was a little surprised and asked him why he wouldn't wait for a trophy? 

He just said, "I've hunted for years. I know I can kill one. I just want a young bull that'll taste good." No bravado, nothing about his innate abilities as an elk hunter. 
(Ruben C)

Action Point
My friend is clearly passionate about hunting and successful in his quest for animals; but he does not bother to brag about his prowess, only about the thrill of hunting. The Apostle Paul said, "Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.  Not many of you were wise  by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose  the foolish  things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not -to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him," 
I Corinthians 1:26-29 (NIV). 

Why do we hunt? When you first started hunting, was it about killing a trophy-class animal, or was it about the thrill of the hunt--whether it was a rabbit, squirrel, or your first deer? 
 
For me it was about the hunt. Don't get me wrong. I understand many of us have different goals when we hunt; but there is much to learn from my friend's humility in simply being satisfied with a well-placed shot after a well-executed stalk, regardless of how many points are on the rack (if any). It teaches me not to focus on what other hunters think of me and my success as a hunter, but what God thinks of me as a disciple. Remember, "You were bought at a price;  do not become slaves of human beings," I Corinthians 7:23 (NIV).

In order to please God, we must live as ones set apart from the world, even when we hunt.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
As a conservation officer and an avid outdoorsman, I have the opportunity to see a lot of harvested animals in the field. Unfortunately, I see a lot of wasted game meat in the process. Regardless of the game animal, always dress it out as soon as possible, and always clean the meat of any debris, including bloodshot meat that easily spoils. Many times I have rinsed down an entire skinned deer carcass in the field with a gallon of water. Protect your trophy with game bags. I've never seen salted or peppered game meat repel flies. If it's an elk, skin it out at the first possible opportunity, regardless of the weather; they are possibly the most common game animal to spoil with the hide on.
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Bible Study Verse
Matthew 10:28
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (NKJV)

Thoughts
We lost a friend this week. A gentleman that worked with us passed away quietly, and very unexpectedly, in his sleep. Make no mistake about it, he was a good man. He was nice, friendly, eager to help, and passionate about taking care of people. 

Sadly enough, he chose to live his "good" live separate from Holy God. His obituary makes no mention of a church affiliation nor of any faith of any kind. His tragic passing reminds us that a "good life" that is not lived in the context of a relationship with Jesus Christ really isn't a "good life" at all. 
(Brian H.)

Action Point
We have lost sight of the fact that God is holy, righteous, and just. We love to talk about the fact that Jesus Christ is loving, long-suffering, kind, and gracious, but we forget about the rest of his character. 

I know pastors that have come to me before a funeral wringing their hands and asking what on earth they can say about the deceased that would speak calmness and peace to the family. The tragedy is that there is nothing that can bring real peace when a soul is lost forever.

This is a tough devotion.

As Christians, we must be loving, caring, and do our best to be an extension of Christ Himself. But we can't sugar-coat things. Sugar-coating lends itself to people choosing hell over salvation. The fact of the Matter is this: 
  • When a life is lived in relationship with Jesus Christ, peace follows both for the soul and for those left behind. 
  • When a life is lived separate from Jesus Christ, suffering follows both for the soul and for those left behind.

No sugar-coating. Accept Jesus Christ now before it's too late.


Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
For many of us, turkey season is right around the corner. Now is a great time to be quietly checking your hunting spot for scratching and food supply. I would suggest that you not use any calls during these scouting trips. Birds that are called to too much before season can become "call-shy" and can become almost impossible to call in during season.

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Bible Study Verses
II Timothy 4:2-4
Preach  the word;  be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage -with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.   They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (NIV)

Thoughts
Oh boy, does this one hit home for hunters and fishermen. How many times have you heard someone telling a story and guaranteeing that it is the truth, an absolute fact, only to find out later that they were absolutely wrong? Maybe it has to do with a hunting technique or a special fishing lure, something guaranteed to work every time. Well, that's exactly what we want to hear, right? And pretty soon we're the one telling our friends that this is the way to hunt or fish. They believe us, and soon they're out trying to convert their friends to this technique or lure. 

A few days ago, I had a similar experience in the spiritual realm. These folks were going around our neighborhood, visiting with people and telling them what they believe about God and their way of knowing Him. They talk a good story; but the problem is, their story is contradictory to God's Word, the Bible. What they've done is to take out of the Bible what they don't like, and add a few things here and there that they believe makes it better. In essence, they pick and choose what they will and won't believe and accept from God's Word. 

Question: If God wrote the Bible (all of it), and God is an all-knowing and omnipotent God, how could it get any better? I think I'll accept His Word the way He wrote it; and use his "techniques" to live a better life, in the way He wants me to live it. 
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Read your Bible daily; know what it says. That way, when someone comes to you and tries to tell you that there is another way to God, you will know how to counter their myths. But remember, always do this in love. Share the truth of Christ and His gift of forgiveness and salvation firmly but lovingly.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Listen to experienced hunters and fishermen. Read about hunting and fishing, but don't check your brains at the door. If something doesn't seem right, check it out before you bank a hunt or fishing trip on false information.
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