In Pursuit and In Perspective

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What is your pursuit? Do you have a dream or a goal? Maybe it’s catching giant rainbow trout with a dry fly or a two-pound bluegill using ultra light tackle. Maybe its whitetails or turkeys or a giant bull elk with a bow. Can you imagine how dull life would be if we had no goals, no passions, no dreams or no pursuits?

 
The Christian life should be anything but dull. Jesus says in John 10:10 he came to give us life to the fullest, and the Apostle Paul again reminds us in Ephesians 3:20, God is able to do in and through you more than we could ever ask or imagine. What’s not to be excited about then?

 
Scripture would seem to back up the idea of pursuing good things. In Philippians 3:13-14, Paul puts everything into perspective. He writes. “I forget what’s behind me and I am reaching forward to what is ahead”. He then adds that his goal is the prize promised by God. What could be better than pursuing and capturing the prize? Paul speaks of his life and his pursuit like the adventurer he was; the kind many of us are or hope to be.

 
There is nothing wrong with our earthly pursuits whether it be relationships, financial security, a trout, or a trophy on the wall. But have you thought about the question Jesus asked in Mark 8:36 , “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” All of our earthly pursuits, no matter how fun or how big, are all temporary. The only thing to matter in eternity is our status before God and our relationship with Jesus Christ. No passion, no pursuit, no goal should ever, can ever, take the place of that. Don’t let earthly gain rob you of heavenly reward. Chase your dreams as part of the exciting life God intends for you on earth. But whatever you do, don’t neglect the pursuit that will lead you into eternity. We need to keep it all in perspective.

 

This fall you have an amazing opportunity. While pursuing your game afield, throw in some time each day for some much needed perspective. You are invited to join Zeke Pipher, Aaron Farley, Brodie Swisher, Mark Huelsing, Randy Hynes, and myself for the “In Pursuit Challenge”. Using Zeke’s new 90 devotional for outdoorsmen and women, In Pursuit, as the basis, you will join a community of like minded believers, from across North America, who are seeking to make this season the best of their lives.

 
The 90 Day In Pursuit Sportsman’s Challenge will give you the encouragement and perspective you need this fall. You will be challenged by those of leading daily discussions on the In Pursuit Challenge Facebook page but also by all those participating. But its not all “serious stuff.” You will learn great hunting and outdoor tips from experts in their fields and have the opportunity to participate in a big buck contest and maybe even win some great gear.

 


How do you participate? Go to and order the book. Get the t-shirt too so you can show it off next to your big buck this fall! Then, go to the Facebook page and request to join our group. One of us will quickly approve you and your are in! Its that simple.

 
Make the most of your fall season. Make it the best ever! Stay true to your pursuits, don’t give up, and let us help you keep it all in perspective with the In Pursuit Sportsman’s Challenge.

 
Everything kicks off on September 1st. I hope to see you there!

 
PS…This is not just for guys. A number of women have joined the Challenge too!

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Categories: Christian Living, Daily Devotions, Hunting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Memorial Day: Lest we Forget

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13 NKJV)

First celebrated on May 30, 1868, Memorial Day has changed dramatically in its appearance over the past 144 years. Originally set aside as a date following the Civil War on which each side could remember their fallen it was changed again following World War I as national day to remember all of our nation’s fallen and a day on which all of the graves of those who died supporting freedom would be cared for.

Traditionally celebrated on May 30 since its initial proclamation, Congress decided in 1971 to move the observance of Memorial Day to the last Monday in May so as to insure everyone got a three-day weekend. And therein lies what may be the biggest downfall of Memorial Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a three-day weekend but what used to a single day set aside to for the singular purpose of remembering sacrifice has instead become an excuse for an extra long weekend of parties, cookouts, trips to the beach, and yard work. I am thankful for the 1200 or so soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry, the “Old Guard” who place small flags at the graves of the more than 260,000 men and women buried at Arlington National Cemetery and spend their holiday weekend, Thursday through Monday, patrolling the grounds 24-hours a day to make sure each of those flags remain upright. I am thankful too for the Boy and Girl Scouts who each year spend their holiday weekends tending the graves of veterans at national cemeteries around this nation. Were it not for these soldiers and scouts, and of course those friends and family members who have been personally touched by death’s sting, many of the those who died for freedom and are buried in our U.S. soil would be forgotten on account of this three day weekend originally set aside to make sure we didn’t. Neither should we forget those who have served and death has spared but who have still given so much of themselves for our freedoms.  And just as important, do not forget the families of those who have served and fallen; for them, every day is Memorial Day. Families serve too.

Just as many of you would not think twice about letting Christmas pass without reading the Christmas story from scripture and sharing with your children the true meaning of holiday, and the same of Easter, I challenge you also to take time today to share with your children and reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day. Don’t let the American flag you hang outside your home today take on the same shallow meaning the Christmas Tree has become for most; its not merely a symbol of celebration but one of freedom and sacrifice. Celebrate your freedom today, but also remember the fallen. At 3pm today, stop along with the rest of the nation for the National Moment of Remembrance; “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”  How I wish more Americans truly knew or understood the heart wrenching emotion felt during the playing of Taps that comes only with knowing personally the sacrifice which it represents.  

What happens Tuesday when the holiday is over? Remember, the meaning of Memorial Day then as well. When you go to work, you are working at job or in a career of your own choosing, and earning a wage greater than 90% of others living here on earth while likely only working five days each week. Going to school and receiving your education is a privilege. Going to church or your midweek small group Bible study is right you have protected under the Constitution.  Driving, shopping, watching TV, and playing are other activities we often take for granted. Each of these rights and privileges we have today, however, have been bought and paid for by the sacrifice of others; from the bloodied sands of Iwo Jima and Normandy to the streets of Fallujah and the mountains of Afghanistan.

With everything else you have planned in your busy lives, please don’t forget today, and each day, is a Memorial Day, and most importantly, don’t forget why. 

Categories: Daily Devotions, Military Monday, Military, Veterans, and Patriotism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using What You Have, Doing All You Can

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What are you lacking? In what ways do you feel insignificant and unusable? To whom do you compare yourself and say, “If only I had what they had,” or “If only I could be more like them I could do so much more.” We have all done this. Many of us still do. We look around and then look at ourselves and wonder how God could ever use someone as void of talent, knowledge, skill, or ability as us. We believe because we are lacking, we have little to offer.

If this is how you honestly feel let me give you some good news, God is not concerned with what you don’t have. He’s more concerned with what you do with what you have.

Let’s look at Moses for example. In Exodus chapters three and four, God calls him to be the one who frees his people from captivity. He tells Moses to go before Pharaoh and demand the release of Israelites, and then lead them out of Egypt. This is no small task! It is a far cry from being asked to lead a small group, help with the youth group, go on a short-term mission trip, help in the church nursery, or even, be a greeter. Our reaction to being asked to help in these roles, however, is much like the response of Moses when God called him to free his people, “Who am I…?” (Exodus 3:11).

Moses made excuse after excuse as to why he couldn’t do what God asked him to do. At this stage in life, he was a shepherd, tending flocks of sheep in the wilderness. He had no status, nothing of significance to offer, and he was admittedly a poor speaker. But God reassured Moses, “I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:12)

In the beginning of Exodus chapter four, God looks at Moses and told him to take the one thing he did have, perhaps the only thing he had, his shepherd’s staff, and throw it on the ground. Moses obeyed. When the stick hit the ground it turned into a snake. God told Moses, “Now pick it up.” When Moses grabbed the tail it turned back into his staff. The one thing Moses possessed, totally insignificant up until this point, God used and it wouldn’t be the last time Moses and this insignificant staff show up in hugely significant ways later in scripture.

As the chapter continues God provides Moses with all the tools he needs to do what it is he has called him to do. More importantly, God tells Moses he will teach him and what he does he will do with God’s help. At the end, God tells Moses not to forget the one thing he possess, the insignificant shepherd staff; God is going to use it.

God informs the inferior feeling Moses of three crucial facts:

1. I will be with you

2. I will equip you

3. I will use what you have

We can make all the excuses we want in an attempt to rationalize ourselves out of doing what God wants us to do but God has an answer which trumps even the best we can come up with. Quite literally, when God says, “I will be with you, I will equip you, and I will use whatever you have, as insignificant as you might think it is,” we are without excuse.

Are you tired of making excuses? Are you tired of feeling defeated and unworthy to serve God in the way you know you should? The antidote is trusting God’s promises and being willing to allow God to use you, as you are, with what you have, in very unusual and remarkable ways.

Remember, God doesn’t care about what you don’t have, he wants you to use what you do. Believe his promise, trust his word, and be willing to the throw down whatever you have, as insignificant as it might seem, and watch God work.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

 

Categories: Christian Living, Daily Devotions | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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