ADVENTURES, MISSIONS and RETREATS

Reaching and Teaching people about Jesus through Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Adventures.

Month: July 2015

Snakebitten

Posted on

Snakebitten

Brown_tree_snake_Boiga_irregularis_2_USGS_PhotographHave you ever been bitten by a snake? I have.

My roommate in college, Matt Barnhill, had a four-foot Burmese python named Sinbad. He kept it in a glass aquarium and fed it mice. It smelled awful. Matt and Johnny loved watching it eat things. They put a habitrail next to the glass cage so the snake could watch its dinner. One time they even put the snake into the habitrail. Sick fellows.

One night I was trying to sleep and heard a big commotion. Matt and Johnny were in the living room in their underwear with TV trays in a circle. They’d made an arena like the Roman coliseum. They put the snake in and then dropped in a mouse. But the wily mouse ran under the corners and disappeared into the apartment.

No more gladiator contests.

One day I reached in to pick up Sinbad, and the snake suddenly bit me. Totally unexpected! It had never bitten anyone before. I had about 18 little puncture wounds in my hand where it clamped down over and over again.

What’s interesting is that it surprised me. How could being bitten by a snake catch me by surprise? All my life my mother said, “Don’t play with snakes, they bite.” I said, “Ouch! He bit me!” And it hurt.

You know, you just can’t trust snakes.

If my roommate hadn’t spent his last $75 on that snake, I would have turned it into a hatband.

Why all this talk of snakes? It helps me to remember that we are in a battle with a snake. He first appeared in the garden with Adam and Eve and he’s been biting folks ever since. Revelation 12:9 calls him, “The serpent of old.”

And from time to time he will bite you. When you least expect it. And here’s the tough part. The snake isn’t always a snake.
Psalm 57:4 says that the wicked have venom like a serpent.

Sometimes the snake is a co-worker or a boss. He does not look like a snake. But man, he bites like one. Sometimes the snake is a teacher, or a friend. Your snake might even be in your own family. You might be living with snakes. That’s doubly tough.

The problem with this kind of snake is that they don’t look snaky. And they catch you off guard when they bite. And it hurts. And you tend to want to bite back. Don’t do that. Learn the leasson. Next time be more discerning. And don’t play with snakes.

Oh . . . and take your snakebites to Jesus. He’ll take care of the rest.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+WordPressLinkedInRedditShare

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 23, 2015

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 23, 2015

101 Total Listings –  29 New Listings on Today’s Report,

50 Listings Removed from Today’s Report .

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

 

Jumping the Fence

Jumping the Fence

garden-fence-326616_640I was talking with a good friend on the phone one time. He told me that he felt distant and cut off from the Lord. He told me how he’d gotten caught up in ambition and trying to be a big success. He realized that he’d left God out of a good bit of his life.

I said, “You jumped the fence and now you’re in the wrong back yard.”

He asked, “What do you mean?”

I told him that growing up in Denison we had these crazy neighbors next door. At least from our perspective they were crazy. Especially the mother. All our friends agreed.

That woman hated us neighborhood kids. We played football in our front yard. When the ball went into her yard she would run out and grab it and take it back inside. Back in those days a football was a cherished commodity. There was usually only one for the entire neighborhood. And parents didn’t replace them without good reason.

“You think footballs grow on trees?”

“But Dad,” we would protest, “Mrs. Meeks got the ball.”

“I don’t care who has it, if you would take better care of it you’d still have it.”

End of story.

Louise Meeks knew that if she got our ball we couldn’t play football until someone had a birthday and got a new ball. Fortunately for us she was sort of heavy set and most of the time we could outrun her to the ball.

The backyard was a different story. From my earliest days I was told never to go into the neighbor’s back yard. I feared Louise Meeks. But our backyard was the whiffle ball baseball field. And every so often someone would foul a whiffle ball over the fence. So they would hoist me over and off I’d dash to get the ball. Being in that backyard scared me to death. I was behind enemy lines! I couldn’t wait to get that ball and get back over the fence to the protection of my own back yard. Funny, they had to set me over the fence but I could jump it coming back.

I told my friend, “That’s what I meant when you were in the wrong back yard. Your priorities put you in enemy territory.”

Sometimes we get our priorities out of whack, and that puts us in the wrong backyard. Jesus told us how to get back over the fence to his yard:

(Matthew 6:33) Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

Fighting Snakes

Fighting Snakes

Brown_tree_snake_Boiga_irregularis_2_USGS_PhotographJay Rathman was hunting deer in the Tehama Wildlife area in northern California. He climbed to the ledge of a rocky gorge. As he raised his head to look over the ledge he felt movement to the right of his face. A four foot coiled rattlesnake struck with lightning speed, just missing his right ear.

The snake’s fangs snagged in the neck of Rathman’s wool turtleneck sweater and the force of the strike caused it to land on his left shoulder. It then coiled around his neck.

Startled, Rathman instinctively grabbed the snake behind the head with his left-hand. He could feel the warm venom running down the skin on his neck, the rattles making a furious racket. Rathman and the snake fell backward down the rocky gorge through brush and lava rocks. His rifle and binoculars bounced beside them.

As luck would have it, Rathman said in describing the incident to the department of Fish and Game official, “I ended up wedged between some rocks with my feet caught uphill from my head. I could barely move.”

He said he got his right hand on his rifle and used it to disengage the fangs from his sweater, but the snake had enough leverage to strike again.

Rathman said, “He made about 8 attempts and managed to hit me with his nose just below my eye about four times. I kept my face turned so he couldn’t get a good angle with his fangs, but it was very close. This chap and I were eyeball to eyeball and I found out that snakes don’t blink. He had fangs like darning needles. I had to choke it to death. It was the only way out. I was afraid that with all the blood rushing to my head I might pass out.”

The incident lasted 30 minutes.

When Rathman tried to cast the snake’s dead body aside he could not let go. He said, “I had to pry my fingers from its neck.”

He carried the viper into the Rangers station and said, “I have a problem with your wildlife around here.”

When I heard that story I thought, man, isn’t’ that how life can be. Cruising along, doing your own thing and suddenly you are eyeball to eyeball with a snake.

Your snake might be a difficult problem, or a difficult person. But it wraps its coils around you and you can’t seem to get free. Here’s a verse to remember next time it happens:

(Luke 10:19) “Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.

When the Going Gets Tough…

When the Going Gets Tough…

CheckmateJames Collins and Jerry Porras are two Stanford University researchers that studied the eighteen most visionary companies in the world to determine the secret of their success. They titled their book, ‘Built to Last.”

Collins and Porras discovered that most of the world’s top flight corporations had difficult beginnings. When Masaru Ibuka founded Sony in 1945 he had no idea what he wanted to make. He considered a wide range of possibilities from sweetened bean-paste soup to miniature golf equipment. He finally settled on electronics and produced a rice cooker that did not work and a tape recorder that failed to sell. To keep the struggling company afloat they resorted to stitching wires on cloth to make crude heating pads. The company that brings so much wizardry and innovation to life started out selling heating pads!

Sony’s experience was not the exception. Nearly all eighteen of the most visionary companies in the world struggled to survive at some point in their lives. Many times they found success producing products that they did not set out to make. Collins and Porras wrote:

“J. Willard Marriott (Marriott Hotels) . . . decided to start his company with the only viable idea he could think of: take out a franchise license and open an A&W root beer stand. . . Procter & Gamble started as a simple soap and candle maker . . . Motorola began as a struggling battery eliminator repair business for Sears radios.”

We think that successful people are naturally gifted with some fabulous earth shaking idea and that they cruise to triumph without a care. According to Collins and Porras that is not true. The secret of success was not so much in the charisma of the leader as it was in his perseverance and a dogged determination.

Can I invade your privacy long enough to ask, a personal question? How is it going? I mean really going? How’s your dream coming? Is it tough? Are you about ready to give in and give up? Let me encourage you to take a lesson from the world’s finest. Stay open for unexpected opportunities and don’t quit. Who knows? You might be the next Masaru Ibuka.

Here’s a verse that always encourages me. I hope it helps you.

(1 Corinthians 15:58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 16, 2015

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 16, 2015

130 Total Listings –  29 New Listings on Today’s Report,

21 Listings Removed from Today’s Report .

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 09, 2015

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 09, 2015

101 Total Listings –  22 New Listings on Today’s Report,

21 Listings Removed from Today’s Report .

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

Taste and See that the Lord is Good

Good News with Pastor Bill 

1280px-Good_Food_Display_-_NCI_Visuals_OnlineThey say that there is a sign along the Alaskan Highway that reads, “Choose your rut carefully, you will be in it for the next 200 miles.

We get locked into a ruts and a patterns and hit the cruise control. In the process we miss much of the beauty of God. I believe God wants us to explore.

‘Oh taste of the Lord and see that He is good.’ How do we do this?  You have to open your eyes

(Ephesians 1:18) I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

We are surrounded by opportunities, but we don’t see them.

We get locked into a pattern that forces us to see things only one way.

Someone sent me this last week. It really highlights what I’m talking about.

Here’s a one-question I.Q. Test:

There is a mute who wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of
brushing one’s teeth, he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and
the purchase is done.

Now if there is a blind man who wishes to buy a pair of sunglasses, how should
he express himself? Think about it first before scrolling down for the answer.

 

 

 

He opens his mouth and says. “I would like to buy a pair of sunglasses.”

I got so stuck on that. I wanted to make him mute too. He’s could communicate perfectly well. But the pattern locked me out of the solution.

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have,
~Emile Chariter, Philosopher.

The last person to ask about water is a fish. You get so used to business as usual that you don’t see what you can do. Open your eyes. Explore other ideas. God is moving all around you, but you have to be willing to see. And to do that you have to look past the obvious.

Surely the lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. (Gen 28:16)

The Lord’s Army

Good News with Pastor Bill 

o-WORLD-WAR-TWO-facebookWe used to sing this song in nursery and Sunday school that quite frankly I never liked. It went like this:

I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery,
I may never fly over the enemy
But I’m in the lord’s army.

Uh, what good is it to be in an army and NOT go to battle? I may never ride or shoot or fly but I’m in the Lord’s Army!

Compare that to the great anthem, The Church’s One Foundation. Listen to the lyrics.

The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ the lord.
She is his new creation
By spirit and the word.
From heaven he came and sought her
To be his holy bride.
With his own blood he bought her
And for her life he died.
Mid toil and tribulation
And tumult of her wars
She waits the consummation
Of peace forever more.
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blessed
And the great church victorious
Will be the church at rest.

The great church victorious will be… one day they will be the church at rest. But not now. Not here. Not while the battle is still raging. We are called to engage the enemy. And that means we ride, we shoot we fly. We DO!

We have forgotten the biology of theology. We focus on “thinking right about God,” but we miss the powerful truth of following God. And to be honest I think this is what makes church boring. We’ve missed the power of the adventure.

(Ephesians 5:14-17) For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

I like the way that Peterson translates that in the Message.

“Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!”

So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!
Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the master wants.”

God is saying, Wake up. Explore with me the wonders of my world and my ways. He has a plan for your life, but you have to choose to join him in it. And to do that you will have to crawl out of your crypt and learn to ride, shoot, fly and march.

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 03, 2015

Texas Hunting Lease Report for July 03, 2015

100 Total Listings –  23 New Listings on Today’s Report,

58 Listings Removed from Today’s Report .

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT REPORT

%d bloggers like this: