The satisfaction that comes from setting a goal and exceeding it, after two
months of hard work, is unexplainable. Scouting trips in the double digits,
hundreds of miles on the road and on the boots...all worth it. The full story is
being written for publication (and film edited for our DVD), but we couldn't keep
you in the dark...[CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE]
The largest bighorn sheep ever taken by a female in Oregon, and pending #5 all time!
Okay, so it has been a while since we last blogged! Actually it has been a while since we have done much of anything for Faith in Field. Life has been busy. Too busy. And in all the chaos and hectic pace of life this summer the passion and desire that I have had for this ministry has kind of faded.
And then God used a friend to send me a link to a speech to remind me of the ministry and to stir up the desire that had recently been abandoned. God is so good. He could have made the point in a hundred of different ways, chastised me, berrated me, made feel guilty, judged me, whatever. But no, he has a friend send an email and instead of saying "GET GOING!" he just stirs up the desire that he has already placed within me. How could I not love a God like that? The personal ways that He speaks to us are just so cool!
This speech linked below is the Hall of Fame induction speech made by Steve Largent. Steve Largent was my favorite football player when I was a kid. I looked up to him and wanted to be just like him. I used to pretend I was Steve Largent in my back yard with my Nerf ball, Seahawks jersey, and old helmet. I cut the middle bar out of the facemask so that mine would be just like Steve's. I has his poster's, his Wheaties box, and I used to try and write the "S" in my name the same way he did in his autographs. The man was my hero.
Listen to the speech linked below. It is God using my childhood hero to get me to push on with a ministry aimed at mentoring and fathering young people in the outdoors. And it is an AWESOME speech.
Please allow me a little brag post here. I'm just so proud of my 13 year old daughter that I wanted to share what she has been up to lately. She is in the 7th grade and goes to a public school. She was assigned a short persuasive speech and the teacher said that they should talk about something they are passionate about. So she wrote and delivered the following speech in class last week. I think she showed a lot of courage in doing this. Way more courage than I had in junior high!
First, Jesus loves me so much, that He actually died for me. He was sent to earth to be a sacrifice for our sins, the Savior of the world. He lived a perfect life as a human to give us an example of how to live, and to fulfill the duty that God gave Him. He absolutely never sinned and was full of love for everyone. He didn’t want to suffer, but He did because His love for us is so great. By dying on the cross, He made a way for us to be forgiven. All we have to do now is accept Him, and all of the benefits are ours!
As I have battled cancer, finances, role-reversal, and flat out sin, the Lord has continued to walk along with me through my journey. It makes me think back to the poem “Footprints in the Sand.” The person in the poem learns how the Lord will carry us in the hardest of times. Through my trials I have seen that the Lord will carry us any time we ask!
Chance Ottinger during the hunt where God sent help.
Here is a thought-provoking verse from the life of Jesus. He has been out walking the countryside of Galilee, seeing firsthand the financial, social, and spiritual poverty of the people. Jesus is arriving in a new area, and the people are once again rushing out to see Him.
“And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34, KJV)
Here’s what I find interesting. Jesus sees the poverty of the people, and what does He offer them? Government agricultural subsidies? Miraculous cash from a small boy’s basket of five dollar bills and two small coins? A plan to Occupy Nazareth? No, the most powerful Being in the universe starts teaching the people. Jesus could have done lots of things the people might have seen as more substantial, yet He perceived their greatest need to be the truth He could bring them.
It makes you wonder what exactly He said that day, and if we might be more effective in reaching out to people if we focused more on spreading the same truth Jesus did. Certainly we see financial, social, and spiritual poverty much like Jesus did, yet He didn’t seek to change their circumstances so much as their values. He changed their pursuit from satisfying themselves to finding their role in building the Kingdom of God. A person’s greatest need is not financial, but one of direction and understanding their purpose in life. Jesus’ goal was to help people understand what life was meant to be about and help them grasp fulfillment at that level. It’s kind of fun to realize that Jesus had been part of creating these people, so He was uniquely qualified to come back and say, “This is what I really had in mind for you all along.”
This concept should direct our efforts to use our times in the outdoors to mentor young men and women, including fatherless boys who really are a modern example of “sheep without a shepherd.” Even our most intense efforts are probably not going to change their circumstances, but we can help them realize a purpose in life that encompasses more than their present circumstances. It challenges us, as mentors, to model that purpose that God has given us and to pursue a better knowledge of the truth so those being mentored can see how it works. It is that combination of example and teaching that will have a lifelong impact on a young person. Gifts of cool outdoor gear and exciting times in the field are never going to be life-changing by themselves, but they can be a vehicle that gets us to the place of sharing truth about our purpose in life.
That is why we are really looking forward to the Faith in the Field youth programs that will be starting here real soon! If you are interested in being a mentor or leading your own son through our program, please contact us. We would like to add you to our list of people to contact when the program materials are ready.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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A couple of weeks ago I was surfing through the options on Netflix to find a movie to watch and I ran across an older movie called "Rivers End". I downloaded it to our laptop and began watching a pretty cool story. The story was about a young man, seventeen years old who a year before lost his father in an accident. In the movie the young man becomes lost and troubled. He starts dressing all gothic and by the worlds standards becomes quite a punk. He has no respect for authority and basically becomes an out of control teen with no direction in his life. At one point, in a fit of road rage he runs his truck up on the curb and drives down the sidewalk to pass some slow motorists in the small west Texas town he grows up in. He ends up knocking over a US Postal mailbox and with that the town Sheriff who is also the boys grandfather is forced to handle the situation. The boy has no respect for his grandfather and views him as an old washed up cowboy. But sternly the old sheriff gives the boy an option to show up in court and take the punishment that the law hands down or to take a 60 mile canoe trek down a wild and scenic river....by himself.
Choosing the latter the boy sets off on his wilderness trek with a canoe, a few supplies, a stack of cassette tapes and a walkman. The cassette tapes are recorded instructions from his grandfather. The tapes are full of information on how to make it down the river safely, how to catch fish and cook them over a fire for food. How to set up shelter, what to watch out for along the river, and a general guide to help mentor the boy through this journey. He also includes some life lessons about respect, common courtesy, how to live a reposible and powerful life, and how to take responsibility for his actions. He includes words of wisdom on becoming a man and affirms the boy of his love and admiration of him.
It is a beautiful story and really cool to watch as the boy transitions from a scared angry teen into a respectful and confident young man by the end of the story.
At the end, after the boy conquers the river and makes ammends with his grandfather and his mother the boy becomes the narrator of the story and makes this powerful statement.
"Freud said that the most poigniant loss any kid could experience is the loss of his father.........17 million kids know that this is true..........Well, I hope they know a cowboy."
I mentioned the movie was old. It was set sometime in the early 80's. Now days there are over 25 million kids under the age of 18 growing up in fatherless homes. That is nearly 40% of kids in this country. 72% of adolescent murders are committed by fatherless kids. 60% of rapists come from fatherless homes. 67% of prison inmates come from fatherless homes. 70% of juveniles in reform institutions are fatherless. Fatherless kids are 30% more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs, they are twice as likely to drop out of school, 11 times more likely to exhibit violent behavior in school, dramatically more likely to commit suicide, and more likely to engage in early sexual activity.*
We have a problem in this country. And this country needs good men to step up and lead these lost kids. There are mentoring movements taking place all across this country to try and help. And we are trying to get on board and help make a small dent here at Faith in the Field. It is our heart to want to help as many of these kids as possible. But we need help!
Last week I wrote a blog about our youth program materials that will be coming out in the next month or two. I mentioned that the program is for fathers to lead their sons on a spiritual journey using our outdoor pursuits as a back drop for the kind of adventures that will really strengthen the bond between father and son. It will also create a platform for a father to speak spiritual truths into a boys life and validate him on becoming a man of God.
Well, the program can be used to lead and guide and a fatherless boy as well. To take an interest in a young man's life, and lead him into this kind of adventure is going to be such a powerful way to change the course of a young man's life.
But we need you. We need to get the word out. We need to raise up mentors. We need to raise up funds. We need help finding land access and opportunities for these mentors and young men to get out and have quality experiences fishing and hunting in God's great outdoors. We need gear donated to help them have a good time and take the financial burden off of single moms and the mentors who step up to lead. We need prayer....and lots of it. We are hoping to get churches and mens ministry groups together to start building this program in their churches or cities.
This is no small undertaking. We need your help. We need others who are passionate about defending the cause of the fatherless in their communities. This is not just our heart....this is God's heart to care for the widow and the orphans, to love the least of these.
Men- You are so powerful! You can make a difference. Helping reach one lost boy will change the face of entire family histories. You have so much to offer!
I pray we can find some cowboys!
If you have any interest in being a part of this revolution email us at email@example.com
Faith in the Field is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
*Statistics sources from National Center for Fathering; US Department of Health and Human Services; US Justice Department; National Principals Association; US Census Bureau; Fathers in the Field website.
Some friends and I were sitting around talking about being fathers and about what our kids need from us recently. Fatherhood is a huge task that my friends and I do not want to screw up. It seems to be a pretty high stakes game. We started thinking about verses from Scripture that we could hold as a kind of motto for fathering. Here are the two that I came up with...
1 Corinthians 11:1- Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
I want to lead by example and I want my kids to know I am doing my best to walk with God and follow His will for my life. I want to lead them to the perfect Father by trying to imitate the perfect Father.
1 Peter 4:8- Above all love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
I'm banking on this one because I often fall short on the first one! You see, it is a high stakes game and it feels so HUGE.....but when you break it down it is not really that difficult. I mean it is not rocket science. It is leading, and loving. That is what our kids need from us. And yes, it requires a great deal of time. You cannot lead or love effectively if there are not large doses of time spent together.
And so I started thinking about the programs for Faith in the Field that we will be rolling out in the next couple of months. We are really excited about this and feel like God's hand has been on this project from the beginning. The amount of warfare we have had to fight to get this going alone, is proof of how powerful it is going to be.
For now we have written a program for boys where their father, or for a fatherless boy a mentor, can take them through a 12 lesson, year long adventure. (Father daughter progam is still in the works) The lessons are based on scripture and aimed at teaching the qualities or traits of a man. Traits like bravery, wisdom, powerful, hardworking, confident, leadership, dangerous, determined, passionate, freedom, compassion, and integrity. The goal of the lessons is to provide a road map and a platform for the father or mentor to speak some truth into the lives of their boys.
I'm a dad. I know how difficult it is to sit down and have a frank and honest discussion with my son. We'd both rather make jokes and keep the conversation on the surface. Or just make it real brief. But having him do a short study on a character trait each month and then to spend some time going over that lesson with him and getting the opportunity to speak into his life on the subject and share my expertise, wisdom, and experiences with him....I think that would be really powerful. I don't think that would be awkward. It seems doable....exciting even!
That's our program.
Couple the above, with time spent together outdoors. Time for the boy and his father/mentor to bond by doing an activity together. A chance to pass on wisdom, knowledge, skills....all very manly stuff. This is a chance for the boy to learn that he has what it takes to conquer some tough trials that the wilderness can throw at you. Learning how to build a shelter in the wild and spend the night it, to be able to catch meal in a mountain stream and cook it over a camp fire, or to be skilled enough to take a deer, or a turkey and bring home food for the family are very empowering things for a boy to learn. Teaching these skills is also a great platform to heap a ton of praise and validation on your son/mentee and let them know that they are the real deal. That they have what it takes, that they are more than they thought they were.
That's our program.
It is about the passing on of Heritage. It is about the passing on of Masculinity. It is about Leading and it is about Loving.
Father hood is a high stakes game. Time together is essential. The goal of our programs is to help you take full advantage of the time spent outdoors with your son.
Next week I'd like to discuss in greater detail the mentoring aspect of the program.