Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Eve Hunt

What a great morning. We broke a little ice, cleared out a small spot in the swamp to set up the deeks and mojos. Tucked up on the bank and waited for the first flight. Wood ducks were buzzing the tree tops early, as usual. We had some guests with us and gave them the opportunity to take the first shot. Big bunch of Wigeon tried to lite in the deeks about 10 yards out. They dropped a couple and from there it was on. Ended the morning with a handful of ducks, a hot breakfast in the blind and good fellowship all around.

Divers on the Nansemond

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A day on the river

We spent the morning on the river, to our surprise it was just about frozen over. We cut ice all the way to the hole and then had to clear out an area to set decoys. A lot of ducks were in the air. High flyers. We tried our best to get a few to break off and commit with no such luck. Out of no where a drake Canvasback lit right in the deeks. It was a pretty morning, the most turkeys I've seen in one area and a lot of birds over head. When it got slow the robo-duck kept us busy! Lol. Good company, fellowship, and coffee made the hunt.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Why we hunt?

I spent some time the other day talking with a hardcore to the max, die hard waterfowler and by the way fellow brother in Christ and good friend. As we were talking about opening day of the 2010 duck season, which as I write this blog is only (8 hrs 28 minutes away) the topic came up about why we hunt ducks or any other game for that matter. I thought for a minute or so then answered, I love to hunting ducks because I get the chance to fellowship with other outdoorsmen, try my skill at convincing ducks that I am a duck, working my dog on retrieves and enjoying all that God has made. My buddy sitting there, looked at me with a calm stare and no emotion and said "no its not". Of course I responded, " what" and He said" no its not". That is not why we hunt ducks. We hunt ducks because we want to kill as many ducks the law allows! I was completely blown away! He continues with, I dont want to hear all that stuff, yes its okay and fun and all but the main reason we get up at dark thirty in the freezing cold is to kill ducks. I was still in a comatose state as he was talking. After gaining composure, I said not for me. I really enjoy the fellowship and witnessing first hand God's work through what he has made. It was then that he hit me with the toughest question I had faced regarding hunting in a very long time. He said, " Let me ask you this then, if you were able to duck hunt every day of the season, or at least whenever your wife allowed you to go, knowing that no matter what you can not shoot another duck, would you still go"? Man, I tell you what, I was floored! As I sat there thinking about the question, many things were racing through my mind. Am I being set up to admit I'm a killer? Am I going to face the fact that I have been fooling myself as well as all the guys I have taken hunting over the past several years? Honestly, I didnt know what to say. I basically rehearsed what I had said earlier in the conversation. It wasn't until tonight that it hit me, like # 2 steel right upside my head, You hunt because I give you the opportunity to hunt. We who are Outdoorsmen must not get caught up with just the thrill of the kill. I have seen and personally know many guys who's only goal is to kill as many ducks, deer or whatever they pursue they possibly can in a season or they feel it has been wasted. Sadly, they are missing the mark. Yes, harvesting an animal is awesome! Two is unbelievable!! but let's not forget Who made everything in the entire universe so we can enjoy it. It was God Almighty, Creator of all! He made the beautiful animals that we pursue day in and day out. We should be thanking Him for His grace and mercy. As Romans 1:20 says, " we are without excuse for not knowing God through what He has made" (paraphrase mine) . I hunt to bring God glory, period. I really believe He has giving me the passion to chase ducks so I can share His love and forgiveness with other men. I enjoy watching a duck "fold up" just like the next guy, but I also enjoy the deep conversations I have had with men who are struggling with something in their lives. When looking at the beauty of a drake wood duck, and seeing the maticulous craftwork that only God could have done, I am in awe, speechless. As beautiful as a wood duck is, we are that much more valuable to Him. He loves us that much. As I close this blog in preparation for tomorrow morning, I am already going to the swamp with a whole different attitude. I know why I hunt, the question is," Why do you?"

Restoration Is the Goal

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
— Galatians 6:1

Our desire should always be to restore, not condemn a person who is in sin. Galatians 6:1 says it perfectly: "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted."

The phrase, "overtaken in any trespass," implies it was not premeditated. This is not a picture of someone who went out intentionally to commit a sin. It is speaking of someone who went out and stumbled. They slipped. They fell. It wasn't intentional. They do have a responsibility, however. They did get trapped in the sin. We should take no delight in this, but should want to help and restore them.

First we need to help them come to their senses, because we can't restore someone who doesn't want restoration. We have to first help them see they have a sin, and then we want to help them set it straight. In fact, the word used for "restore" carries the meaning of setting a broken bone or putting a dislocated limb back in place. We do that very gently, lest we do more harm.

Ephesians 4:14–15 tells us, "We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ. . . ." Sometimes we speak the truth, but not in love. Our information is right, but we do it in a heavy-handed, mean way. Then sometimes we will love, but we don't speak the truth.

Speak the truth in love. Restore a person in gentleness. Our objective is to restore, not to condemn.
by: Greg Laurie

Is It Ever Okay to Judge?

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
— 1 Corinthians 6:2

Is there a place for judging? Are we to judge one another, and if so, on what basis? Jesus said, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you" (Matthew 7:1–2). The Greek word Jesus used for "judge" means, "to separate, choose, select, or determine." In context, we see that Jesus is dealing primarily with motives. You cannot judge my motives, nor can I judge yours. We may have an evaluation of someone, but we can't see his or her heart.

The better translation of this statement would be, "Condemn not, that you be not condemned." I am to make judgments and evaluations, but I am not to condemn. Some people are hypercritical. They are just looking for people to slip up. They are quick to jump to conclusions. As one of my favorite preachers, the late J. Vernon McGee, said, "The only exercise some Christians get is jumping to conclusions and running down others."

Sometimes we are quick to jump to conclusions and quick to believe the worst instead of the best about someone. Jesus is saying we should not do that. So if someone says to you, "Well, doesn't the Bible say, 'Judge not, that you be not judged'?" your response should be, "Yes, but I don't think you understand the meaning of that statement." The reality is that Christians are to make judgments. A judgment is an evaluation, and we make them every day.

We are not in a position to see a person's heart, and we are not in a position to bring final judgment on someone. Our objective is to never to condemn and put down; it is to help and restore.
by: Greg Laurie

The Best Antidote for Worry

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
— Philippians 4:6

It is not an issue of whether hardship will come into our lives; it is an issue of what we will do when it actually does. Our natural inclination is to freak out, to stress out, and to worry. But that doesn't help—it actually makes it worse. So what should we do instead? We need to pray.

We all have what could be described as a natural reflex. A natural reflex is just what we do. We don't have to teach a child a reflex. If a child touches something hot, he will recoil. He doesn't leave his hand there, but will pull it back. That is a natural reflex.

But then there is a conditioned reflex, and we learn this through time. We learn how to do certain things. When you learn to drive, for instance, it is not easy at first. You are conscious of everything you are doing. But after awhile, it gets easier. And before you know it, your driving has become a series of conditioned reflexes.

In the same way, we need to develop a conditioned reflex when it comes to hardship in our lives. In times of trouble, some turn to other people. There is a place for that, but ultimately, people cannot meet all our needs. No one will be able to do that for us. Others turn to alcohol. But that only creates new problems. Others tune out and pretend that bad things aren't really happening.

What we need to do is turn to God. We need to take those circumstances and put them into God's hands. As Philippians 4:6 tells us, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." The best antidote for worry is prayer.

by: Greg Laurie

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Go Where they are

He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.
— John 4:3–4

No orthodox Jew would ever go to Galilee through Samaria. In fact, he would avoid that area altogether. It was faster and more direct to go through Samaria, but the Jews did not want to go that route because they hated the Samaritans. They already disliked the Gentiles, but in their minds, a Samaritan was even worse, because the Samaritan was essentially a Hebrew who had intermarried with others. And so the Jews wanted nothing to do with them.

So where did Jesus go? He went to the place that no other Jew would go. And who did Jesus go to? He went to a woman. Today that doesn't seem like a big deal, but in this culture, the Jewish men often looked down on women. And this woman not only was someone a religious Jew wouldn't talk to, but she was an outcast among her own people because of her multiple marriages and divorces—and the fact that she was living with a man at present.

I love that the Bible says Jesus needed to go to Samaria (see John 4:4). Why? It was because a woman who needed to hear the gospel was there. We need to go as well. We are to go whenever to whomever to wherever God directs us. Long before Earth was even created, a decision was made in eternity that Jesus Christ, God in human form, would have an appointment with a burned-out, immoral woman of Samaria and unfold the gospel to her.

We need to go to where people are. Jesus did not say that the whole world should go to church. But He did say that the church should go to the whole world. And so we need to engage people and reach them with the gospel.
-Greg Laurie

2010 harvests!