Saturday, June 30, 2007


The other day I was tractor mowing for a client just west of Sandpoint . His beautiful home sets on a hill top with spectacular views of Lake Pend Oreille and the Cabinet Mountains. I had just started to mow , straight up and straight down as it was very steep when I noticed a large doe in the meadow below. She was sleek and beautiful in the morning sun and I was sure there was a fawn close by as she nibbled on the lush plants. Suddenly a large dog came bounding down the far hill barking at her and closing in fast. The doe spun around and headed toward the road but when she got there stop and turned and faced the dog. At first the dog just kept coming closer to her until it was only a few yards away . I don't know if it was her motherly instincts that kicked in or the fact the road had elevated her much higher than the barking dog. She started to stomp her front hooves on the road and then slowly proceeded toward the dog. It took a few moments for the dog to realize what was happening ; when it did it quit barking . The doe continued forward raising each foot high and bringing them down inching closer to the dog. The dog soon turn tail and started running but stopped to look back like this should not be happening. The doe sensed she was in control and chased him back up the hill. She soon came back to the meadow and continued eating like nothing had happened. Later she laid down under a tree and I suspect her fawn was not too far from her.

The doe became fearless and took command of the situation even though her opponent weighed about 90 pounds and intended to inflict physical suffering on her. She was ready to risk everything for her fawn. The doe reminded me of David and Goliath. A small young shepherd boy against a raging giant. He had the whole army of Israel scared to death. David trusted in God to help him slay the giant. Jesus was often confronted by the pharisees who welded extreme power over the people but he never backed down.

We need to be fearless to overcome the obstacles in our lives. All of us have fears but we can call on God in the name of Jesus to take charge and fight our fears. He will not forsake us. Hebrew 6:6 say " The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Off The Map

I received a GPS unit for Father's Day ; now that is pretty high tech for an old hunter like me. I can actually turn it on ! The program for best hunting and fishing times has been my favorite so far. I hope it is more accurate at the best hunting times than it has been for fishing. I will use the sunrise and sunset tables and the elevation the most. I must learn to mark my truck during elk and deer hunting in case I travel farther than I plan and it gets dark.

I am blessed with a good built in compass and usually remember all the turns I make in the mountains. But I can get totally lost in a shopping mall. I once was lost for a half hour in a Sears store. No trees ! I kept going in circles.

One year we were elk hunting in the Clearwater Region of Idaho and decided to build a camp fire as it was a nice October evening with millions of stars that seemed to be just above the tree tops. We were recounting the day's hunt when across the river a truck slowly made it's way down winding steep mountain road. A few mintutes later it pulled into our camp and two men got out ; one holding a Forest Service map said "We are off the map". Their map was of the St. Joe region about 50 miles away. They were definitely off the map. Compounding that problem was they were low on gas and we didn't have any to spare. I told them Superior, Montana was about 45 miles away and most of that was downhill. Then I showed them on our map how to go to St. Regis and connect with a road that would take them back to their camp. The driver didn't like my idea but the other guy thought they should take the road to the gas station. They got back into their truck and disappeared into the night. Several minutes later we saw the truck's tail lights as they headed back up the same steep old road. We have often wondered about how far they got and how long it took them to find their camp.

We often get off the map spiritually too. In John 14:6 Jesus tells us He is the only way. That means we need to keep our eyes and thoughts on Him to get through this life . There is no other way; no other savior of this world. He is our peace of mind , our strength, and our refuge. He is not a religion, He is a relationship. We can talk to Him any time and He will be there to listen . I believe in John 14:6; there is no other way to obtain eternal life except by His grace and love for us. The religions of this world can't get us eternal life.

Where does your spiritual compass point? Is your GPS unit set on Christ as the home way point? Are you like the two hunters and completely off the map? Jesus is waiting for you to program Him into your everyday life. There is nothing you have done that He won't forgive.
Trust Him!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stand Firm- Resist the Lion

I have never been face to face with an African lion but I have been nose to toe with a mountain lion. His nose , my toe. One weekend Ardella and I went camping and took our three llamas along. We were in mountain lion country so that night I tied the llamas close to the tent so we would hear them if something came in camp. The night passed quietly. The next morning I took them about 100 feet away so they could eat grass along an old logging road. While we were fixing breakfast, one of the llamas gave an alarm call and continued to tell me he was upset. I walked down to see what the noise was all about thinking a moose may have wandered by and frightened them. I remember walking right past my 12 gauge shotgun that stood against a big hemlock tree. I could see the black llama was very upset and looking into the small creek that flowed by our camp. I had one llama tied up close to the creek so I went over to Jeffrey and looked around to see what was wrong. There was a steep bank covered with alder brush just 10 feet from Jeffrey and I walked over to the edge and looked down. At first I wasn't sure what I was seeing- a long tail flicking back and forth. Then a body started to take shape and I was looking into the big yellow eyes of a cougar just inches away from my feet. I looked again in disbelief and glanced at the shotgun under the tree. I knew better than turn and run as either Jeffrey or me would be attacked. I started to remove my hunting knife from the sheath when my son-in-law yelled down and asked what was wrong. I said "Cougar" very loud and it slowly turn and walked away. Now that will get your blood pumping ! I knew that I had to stand firm and resist the lion.
1 Peter 5:8 say be alert, our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour someone. Resist him by standing firm in the faith. That isn't easy unless we have already put our faith in Jesus Christ. We can stand firm knowing that Jesus paid the price for us , for everyone, on the cross. Christians today must realize that we are in a spiritual warfare and the devil is alive and devouring people at an astonishing rate. We need more Warriors! God hates luke warm and that is where most of the church is today.

We can stop the lion in its tracks with the name of Jesus. He will flee as he has no power under the name of Christ. Where are you at ? Will you be ripped apart piece by piece or will you call on the name of Jesus and resist. Stand firm.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

If it sounds like an elk and smells like an elk- it must be an elk

Last fall, after not elk hunting much for a few years I anxiously waited for September to archery hunt elk. The season started with a bang. On opening evening Ardella and I left home in sunny 70 degree weather only to arrive at the gate of the tower our son-in-law had rented in a snow storm with thunder and lightning. They were not there yet so we waited a few feet from the gate with a blizzard swirling around us. Suddenly lightning struck the tower and we we were thankful that we were inside the truck. A few minutes later lightning struck the gate post and danced acrossed the gate and into a clump of small trees. We turned the truck around and drove back down the mountain about two miles until the storm passed.

Two weeks later found me leaving home on nice sunny afternoon to go hunting with my son-in-law Vance. I decided that camo cotton pants would be warm enough even though I rarely wear cotton when I hunt in the fall, knowing if it gets wet hypothermia can result. We drove high up into a favorite hunting spot , only to arrive with dark clouds and thunder engulfing the hunt area. Other nearby mountains basked in fall sunshine. When we were half way up the mountain we split up to each hunt a water hole. The thunder intensified so I took cover in the bottom of a small ravine while the sky opened up to a heavy pelting of sleet. It sleeted for a half hour and every thing turned a winter wonderland. As I trudged up the mountain I got soaked from the waist down and soon water was running down the cotton pants into my hunting boots. At one point I stopped and drained the water out of my boots as each step was producing a loud squishing sound.

Arriving at the spring torn up by fresh elk tracks, I proceded to spray elk urine on every bush in the area. I then back off a few yards below the spring into a clump of small spruce. Over the next few hours I meowed like a herd of love crazed cow elk. At one time a bull answwered from the dark timber to the right and later one bugled from the ridge top. I just knew this was the night. Did I notice the cold creeping into my body? Not at first, but soon the north slope I was hunting turned into a refrigerator. My feet were freezing in the wet insulated boots and my legs tingled against the wet cotton pants. I realized that I needed to watch my body and maybe leave early for the warmth of the truck. But I stuck it out.

I heard something to my right a few times so thought a bull might be on his way to the cow calls that I was still sending out as love signals. I had about ten minutes left to hunt when I saw a black blur charge out of the brush and through the water hole. It was a nice black bear! I had never taken a bear with a bow but I could see this one was looking for an elk for supper. He came in so fast I couldn't get a shot. Now the bear was behind a large spruce tree that was just a few feet in front of me. He never appeared so I started edging around the tree for a shot . I had to straddle a large log and suudenly was looking into the black eyes of a hungry bear at about five feet. We both jumped back in panic. I don't carry a sidearm but do have a big canister of bear spray on my belt. I went back to my clump of spruce thinking I had scared him off and there he was at forty five yards staring me down. He never moved a muscle. I cow called and slowly walked toward him . As I did confidence built up that I knew he was my bear! He never moved- 40 yards, 30 yards, 25 yards. He was quartered to me so the shot wasn't what I wanted. I started to pull the 70 pound compound but discovered my body was so cold that the bow would not budge. Problems! I remember asking God to help and slowly brought the bow up. The pull was so easy that it required little effort from my cold body. The limbs rocked back and the 20 yard pin looked like a laser light on a spot just behind his front leg. The release was smooth and the bear spun around and jumped over a big log only to stop and cast a glance back at me. I was looking for an arrow on either side but could not see it. He tried to walk uphill but started to sway back and forth ; then he turned left and entered a small brush patch. I heard him quietly expire a few minutes later. I discovered later that the arrow had taken lung and liver as it went through him diagonal and stuck in the log behind him.

Why did God answer my call for help? Because He cares about even the smallest of things in our lives. He is a Father of relationships and cares about each one of us. I firmly believe that I did not pull that bow under my own power. It will always be one of the most memorable hunts I will ever experience.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Was Jesus An Outdoorsman

Jesus was an outdoorsman of the highest quality. He not only enjoyed the beauty of the earth; He help create all of it. Imagine taking the dark formless earth and creating the sea, rivers, and mountains. Then filling the earth with animals , birds and fish. It would have been awesome to see the herds of bison created in an instant. Animals thundering suddenly across the African plains! He put the wild song into the bull elk.

Most of the diciples were fishermen and he knew they had what it took to spread the gospel of good news. He could relate to them and they could relate to him. It doesn't take me long to find someone in a crowd that likes the outdoors. It did not take Him long to find twelve guys who liked to cook fish over the fire beside the sea.

Some of His best teaching was done outdoors. The hills and shoreline along the sea of Galilee were favorite spots to teach people of God's kingdom. Thousands often gathered to hear Him.
When Jesus needed rest and a talk with his Father , He went into the mountains. There is a lesson in that for father - son relationships. He always came back energized.

It is important that we worship the Creator not the creation. Thank God for the wonderful and beautiful earth He created. Enjoy the birds, animals, and fish. Go bird watching, gather up the family and go fishing, take a kid hunting. Teach them to appreciate God's creation.

So the next time you are in the woods or on a lake; take time to talk to the Father. Jesus Did.