My family has had one of those Christmas stories that you hear about and hope it never happens to you. Five days before Christmas we found out that my wife's aunt had passed away unexpectedly. One of those happy, funny aunts who is always glad to see you and makes you feel loved. Add to that loss that we still don't know exactly what happened, and we've had a few heavy days leading up to Christmas.

Then I got a call from my mother-in-law asking if I would speak at the memorial service. Grandma was hoping I would share a meditation and words of comfort for the family. Well, for Grandma I agreed to do it, but speaking at memorial services is a little out of my comfort range. I tend to be pretty emotional at that kind of service, and I'd rather be emotional sitting in a pew than standing in front of several hundred people. And what do you say when some of the questions don't have any answers?

On the other hand, I felt a sense of opportunity. An opportunity to comfort a lot of people who are special to me. An opportunity to express my faith. An opportunity to share the Word of God with some people who will mostly ignore it this Christmas.

One of my first moves was to send out some texts and e-mails and ask some friends to pray for me. I dug up the most recent e-mail about planning the next Faith in the Field event, replaced the subject line with “Prayer Request,” and sent a note off to the guys. Over the next few hours I got a bunch of replies expressing sympathy and encouragement and agreeing to pray for me. It was a huge boost to get that response.

All I can say is that their prayers were answered in unmistakeable ways. I spent several hours putting together the thoughts I wanted to share, but when I finished, there was no doubt that this was what I was supposed to share. I was actually a little fired up to get up there and say it. And I got up in front of those several hundred people with Kleenex box in hand, and I needed...none. Maybe I hit a home run, or maybe it was just a solid line-drive single, but I have to acknowledge that the prayers of my friends and family were huge.

So the next time you visit the Faith in the Field Facebook page or check out a Seeking the One DVD, I hope you'll recognize that we love to hunt and fish and talk about hunting and fishing, but we're not just about hunting and fishing. Following Christ is a full-time calling, and God touches every part of our lives. It was such a boost to my faith these last few days that when I needed support, I could even call my hunting buddies, and their prayers were answered.

Thanks, guys! It meant a lot to me.



Mark your calendars! Faith in the Field Movie Night Tour!


This year's never before seen footage, raffle prizes, guest speaker, pie & ice cream, and more! 

January 23rd Bend, OR @ Foundry Church
January 24th Canby, OR @ Bethany Evangelical Church
January 25th Blodgett, OR (near Corvallis) @ Blodgett Community Church
Admission is FREE - Doors open at 5pm, show starts at 6:45pm



Dads love to brag on their kids, so I guess you'll just have to listen to that for a minute here.


I've been looking forward to being able to hunt with my kids for a long time. With the mentored youth hunter program in Oregon, that means 9 years old is an important milestone for each of them--old enough to go on their first hunt. I've been laying out plans and arranging preference points for several years in order to be ready for each of them to have a chance at a mentored hunt each year from age 9 until they are old enough to buy their own tags. We've also spent time at the range and practicing at home to develop the shooting skills needed for a successful hunt. We've never been as ready as we wanted to be, but everyone is definitely learning along the way.



This was the year the older of my two boys turned 9, so we've been trying to fit in even more practice and preparation. (My daughter has already tackled 3 mentored hunts and is still waiting to bring something home, but that's a story for a future post.) According to the plan, I had applied for a doe tag in southwest Oregon where I thought we had a good chance of success. Everything led up to a Sunday afternoon drive to Roseburg in anticipation of a Monday morning hunt for a blacktail doe.


We actually spotted two deer from the parking area first thing that morning, but they were gone by the time we made it from the jeep to the gate. So, up the hill we went in search of a more cooperative deer. I was pretty worried about how everything would work out when our chance came for a shot. We had practiced mostly with the rifle on a bipod because that's the best way to get a steady shot, but anyone who has hunted knows that a real animal doesn't always present itself in a scenario where you can flop down and shoot from a prone position. I was hoping we wouldn't have too many missed opportunities due to our limitations.


After a full morning of rain, hiking, and seeing only a couple more distant deer, we finally decided to head out to the jeep for lunch and preparation for the evening hunt. That's when it happened. We were walking back down an old dirt road that is closed to vehicle traffic. "Deer in the road! Hold still!" First I ducked behind my son and set the rifle down on the bipod. Then he backed behind the gun and got ready. He had to be patient while we waited for a deer to stand broadside and clear of other deer, and they were getting a little nervous. Finally I said, "Can you see that one standing in the middle of the road? Go ahead and shoo--BOOOM!" A hundred yard shot, and thirty yards of tracking later, I heard, "Daddy, I found it. It's dead!" An excited phone call home soon followed.



We often say that kids can learn a lot of lessons about life when we take them hunting, but what do we mean? What are the lessons they learn? Let me tell you what I noticed taking a 9-year-old hunting. Experience has taught me that it's hard to slow down, but the slower you move, the more deer you see. It may be easier to walk down the middle of a gravel road, but it's a lot quieter to walk in the dirt and grass on the side of the road. You may not see a deer right now, but if you keep waving your arms and hands around, you will never see a deer before it sees you. Hunting presents a continual series of small choices, and often the outcome of the hunt depends on those choices. It's pretty overwhelming for a 9-year-old to keep up with it all, but learning to be aware of those little choices is a huge part of learning to be a successful hunter.


Having the same sense of awareness and self-control is critical for life in general, too. Knowing when to speak and when to keep your mouth shut, knowing how to respond to somebody who rubs you the wrong way, or knowing how to keep yourself out of trouble are usually directed by a similar series of small choices. If you pay attention to the little things, the big things are often taken care of before they become an issue. Learning to be aware of your choices in the woods can be great practice for learning to be aware of your choices in life.



Good job, buddy! We kept going, even in the rain, and you made a great shot. I'm looking forward to next year!




"Enjoy the Process Boys"


My college baseball coach had a saying that just unnerved me. You see we were not that great of a baseball program. Each year we would end up south of .500 in the win/loss column.....okay maybe south of .300. We had some talented players but our program did not have the money, facilities and the kind of weather to attract the best players. The other schools we competed against were able to go out and offer some full scholorships to get some top level pitchers and usually a few guys who could really spank the ball. We were basically outmanned talent wise against nearly every opponent we faced.

And since we didn't have the firepower to win consistently at that level our coach had a different kind of mantra. "Just enjoy the process, boys." 

To the 18 year old me that seemed like a cop out. Enjoying the process to me meant accepting graciously that we are losers. We cannot accomplish what the goal of the game is, we can't win, so let's change the goal.  Instead of winning lets just try and enjoy the process and have fun while we are getting our butt's kicked! My first two seasons in that program were very tough for me because I wanted to win and I didn't want to buy into what I percieved as "a losing mentality." I resisted it at every turn.

My third year in the program I finally started to understand what my coach meant by "Enjoy the process, boys" Honestly by that point I had probably heard him say it 1000 times but it never really sank in what he meant until my junior year. He meant that we needed to love the game enough, enjoy the game enough, to go through the process each day of working, practicing, trying to get better. And if we truly loved that process, truly enjoyed all that that entailed then we would be successful even if the scoreboard didn't show it. To love the game, give ourselves over to the game and put in the kind of effort every day to get better would be our only chance of finding success. And if he could teach us that lesson as young men it would be a concept that would follow us the rest of our lives.

I'm grateful now for the lessons Coach taught me. And I think there are some important truths in what he was teaching. There is not a scoreboard in life though the world would have us believe that there is. How differently would we 'play the game' if we could enjoy every detail of the process instead of being so focused on the result? What are we missing out on because we are not taking the time to be conciously aware that we are supposed to be enjoying the process?

The other day my daughter and I were discussing her upcoming hunting plans this fall. All she kept talking about was getting a big buck. She really hopes she gets some nice antlers for her wall this year. And using my best impersonation of my baseball coach I told her that she needed to "Just enjoy the process, girl".

I think that is some advice we could all remember as late summer and fall adventures are right on the horizon. We are lucky to be able to spend time hunting and fishing in this country. Out west where we live is some of the most beautiful country created! We get to spend time with family and friends out there. We get moments of solitude and stillness. We get fresh air. We get to feel the anticipation of cool brisk morning, the thrill of excitement that gives you goosebumps, gets your knees quivering, or send your  heart pounding through your chest. We love this! We get to feel the sense of accomplishment of a job well done and quite often we get to face the agony of defeat. We get to spend time in creation with the Creator. Don't miss it because you are so focused on a result. Look for God, listen for his voice. Proceed with a posture of gratefulness that we get to do this! And, just enjoy the process.




Tuning In....


My dog really impressed me the other day. We were out behind the house enjoying one of our daily morning walks when I heard a faint sound from way over on my neighbor’s property. I had to hear it twice to be sure, but it was the “putt, putt, putt, putt” sound quail make when they’re scurrying through the brush. Now understand that my dog is half Springer and half cattle dog mix (also known as an accident), so I never know how she’ll respond to birds. We had hunted pheasants several times last fall, but it had been months since we had been on birds of any kind, including the occasional quail on our property. So I looked over, expecting her to still be rooting around chasing mice or bugs or whatever it is she finds in the grass. Nope! She was in full hunt mode, flying up and down the trail, bouncing into the air, staring in the direction of the faint sound. She knew those birds were well beyond her limits, but there was no doubt they had her full attention!

I finished the walk thinking my dog might have more potential as a bird dog than I had realized. She hadn’t seen those quail for months, but the memory and instinct was right there when that sound hit her ears. She had heard thousands of bird calls since she last heard a quail, but she knew this was one that mattered. She was ready to go, and it was fun to watch!

You can probably guess where I’m headed with this. There are thousands of sounds and voices that we hear all day, every day. Lots of things trying to grab our time and attention. In the middle of that, God is also speaking to us, but it’s up to us to sort out His voice and hear it over everything else. It’s up to us to pay attention and hear what He has to say.

I want to take it one step farther, though. God allows us a choice as we listen. See, for my dog that choice is taken care of by instinct. Sparrows and chickadees are birds, but quail and pheasants are BIRDS! She knows which to ignore and which matter. For us, it’s not always so simple. Do I pass off this circumstance or that story as random chance, or do I look twice to see if God is in it? Anyone can recognize God’s voice if it comes packaged and labeled, but what about those subtle things where God is there if we choose to see Him? It’s human to be lazy and overlook those opportunities, but it’s a safe guess that God is waiting with good things for us far more often than we choose to recognize. It’s simply up to us to look for God, even in the mundane things that seem empty at first glance.

Keep your eyes and ears open for God’s voice and the cackle of the first pheasant of the fall coming out of the grass!



Hello Trouble


I ran acrossed this video on You Tube several weeks ago. When I first saw it I felt something stir in my heart. "Good marketing I thought. Those folks at Gerber know their audience and they know how to appeal to them." But as time passed I kept thinking back to this video.

Now I have learned over the years that when something moves me whether it it be a movie, a sunset, a song on the radio, a book, or even an ad like this one that it usually means the Holy Spirit is trying to get my attention. There is something more going on and it's worth unpacking the bag and trying find the treasure.

I think the treasure is that this video is an image of man as we were created to be. Strong, courageous, fearless, unwavering, confident; understanding that we have an enemy who is trouble....and we go looking for him. Don't you want to live like that? I think we all do. But I also think that more often than not their is a fog that surrounds our lives and we lose sight of who we are at the core of our being. We shrink back and what we offer the world, our friends, our family our jobs is often less than what we could be giving.

If Jesus was the image that God put on this earth to show us what a man looks like when he walks with God, then we would do well to study the life of Jesus, right? I can see Jesus in the video above, can't you?

Hello Trouble? As is walking into the temple on the sabbath and healing a man in front of  the pharisees, knowing it will make the religious leaders 'furious with rage'. In fact Jesus is constantly picking fights with these guys!

Hello Trouble. As in facing the tempation of satan in the wilderness.

Hello Trouble. As in driving out demons. Commanding storms to cease.

Hello Trouble. Like befriending tax collectors, sinners, talking with prostitutes in the town square, touching and healing the lame and the sick.

How about fighting for justice, teaching with authority, turning tables over in the temple turned casino? Hello Trouble.

Hello Trouble. That night in Gethsemane. The fervent prayer all night long. Sweat pouring off his brow. Giving himself up to the soldiers. Being beat up, spit upon, whipped, ridiculed.....Hello Trouble.

Carrying the cross up the hill, his beaten body pushed past it's limit. Then the crown. And more ridicule followed by the nails and then a slow, painful death. But that is not the end....

Hello Trouble!....he decends to the depths of hell and wrestles the keys of sin and death away from Satan and returns victorious 3 days later.

I think a lot of Christians miss the impact of Jesus' life because they miss a very key component in all of this. Jesus was fully man. We tend to think, "Well yeah Jesus was great, but he was God so of course he did all kinds of amazing things." Kind of. Jesus was fully man and he was fully God. But while on earth Jesus humbled himself as a man. Fully as a man. All of the things he did on this earth was him acting 100% as man and also walking closley with God the father. Just as we are called to do. Jesus did not cheat on the test. He was showing us how to live and what can be done if we walk in close relationship with God.

So to the point. I think this video stirred my soul because I think we all need to be reminded of just who we are, what we were created to be and whose image we bear. There is no condemnation. None whatsoever. Instead we should feel empowered. Because if you are a Christian, that same power is dwelling inside of you! You and I just need to believe it.

And then lets go looking for some trouble!



Happy Fathers Day!


The other day I ran across this photo of my Dad and I with a trout I caught at Diamond lake. It was 1959 and I was four years old. Even today I often think of the memories of my Dad and the family fishing at the lake. The sound of the trolling motor, the smell of the morning air around the lake, the splash of the anchor as we get ready to bait our hooks. Then there was Dad, he was always whistling between his front teeth. I could only whistle with my lips! I knew when he was whistling and telling me he was calling the fish that he was happy. I really loved to be on that lake and back in 1959 the fish were huge and there was plenty of them.  Makes for a nice story and I am sure many of you have had similar experiences. So why is this story so worth sharing? I was thinking why do those feelings of being in the outdoors call out to me with such desire? Then it hit me. The memories that stirred that desire was the time with my family. It was time away from the day to day schedule. It was the opportunity to be still and know that I was in Gods creation. More important it was what I learned from my Father and Mother. It was in Proverbs 22  A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. It was in verse 6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Being in the boat was not a substitute for being at Sunday school. Being in a boat with Dad was putting into action what I learned in Sunday school. It taught me how a Christian Father acts while on vacation.  What was important to him was his family. Teaching us to enjoy what he enjoyed. How much different could this story have been if Dad went off with a few of his buddies, maybe did some adult things that are not for kids or the family. I was challenged the other day with a devotional I was reading about setting goals. What would I like to become? What one thing would I like to see God  change in me? What character quality -if develop- would make me a better parent, grandparent, friend etc.


1. A husband worthy of respect.
2. A father worth imitating.
3. A leader worth following.


My goal is to try and improve each day. Please share with us at Faith In The Field as we grow!

Dave Dunn


FitF Summer Challenge - Win $50 at Cabela's!


It is that time of year again! It actually began around the first few dry days we had in March.  A methodical covering of the ground with Round-Up to kill all the weeds that had grown over the winter. Then a few weeks later I turned the soil over and worked in some compost from the pile outside the goat barn. Then around mid-May I tilled up the soil and made the final preparations for planting.

This year is not unlike most years.  My wife and I put in lots of time and effort in hopes of finally achieving a garden that is not only pleasing to the eye, but also one that yields plenty of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables that we can enjoy all summer and preserve some for winter. Charlene usually spends several hours on the internet finding all kinds of "pinteresting" ways that we can plant, or things that we can build or buy to make help make the garden both beautiful and bountiful. We have tried all kind of ideas over the years. This year we are trying raised beds filled with premium planting soil.  We are also in the middle of building a small gazebo and going to try to grow a grape arbor up the sides. Thank you Pinterest!

We have had some great gardens over the years. But I think I can honestly say that we have never had a garden that has lived up to it all we had hoped. For a couple of weekends in the spring we get excited about the idea of a perfect garden. It is a nice spot, good sunlight, good much untapped potential. All we need to do is plant the seeds, keep the weeds out, keep the deer, slugs, insects, birds out, fertalize it and water it. That's it! So each year we start out on a great note in May. And by the end of June we have a weed bed, or the deer have eaten the corn, or some of the seeds didn't germinate, or we forgot to water for a couple days during a 90 degree heat spell, or the slugs come in and kill the cucumbers!

Good intentions don't make a good garden. Time, care, sweat, effort, love even....that makes a good garden. My wife and I fall very short when it comes to making the garden a priority and spending the time and effort it really takes to help our little garden grow and reach it's potential.

So as I was planting a few weeks ago, I was busy thinking about these things and how we really need to put forth a better effort this year. Need to make it a real priority. And then the Holy Spirit tosses a thought at me from out of left field.  It was a "connecting the dots" moment for me and it awakened my soul to a deeper reality. Growing a garden is like growing kids.  That is all He said. But it was enough to make the point.

I started wondering if all of the intentions I have towards my kids are being accomplished.  They have so much potential.  They could grow into the most beautiful people and they could yield an unbelievable crop with their lives. Am I doing enough to help them reach that potential? Or do I get complacent and miss opportunities to really help make an impact in their lives?

Busyness is the great enemy of our culture. Busyness and its relative, tiredness take so much away from us that important things like leading our children and really being intentional with them often get lost in the shuffle. There is so much to teach them. So much to show them. So much to help them discover about themselves, their desires, their God, the world, the enemy.  I want them to be confident.  I want them to know who they are. I want to validate them. I want to help them become what God intended when He created them.

That is a tall order.  That won't just happen by taking a casual approach to parenting like I take a casual approach to gardening. It is not something I can do on my own either. I need Gods help to accomplish this crucial task.  Mostly it will just take time, care, sweat, effort and lots and lots of love.

The kids will be out of school soon. This summer would be a good time to start being more intentional in raising our kids. What if we all made plans to take our kids on one overnight camping trip this summer and just dedicate that time to being intentional in what we want to pass on to them.  What do you want to teach them, show them, help them understand or discover. Make a list and make them your talking points for your time together.

We have a great resource that we have developed for fathers to lead their sons.  It is a 12 lesson journey and each lesson is on a different trait of manhood.  These are biblical, masculine traits that every man as an image bearer of God is hard wired to possess.  Things like bravery, wisdom, passion, taking risks, leadership, etc. This would be a great place to start in being more intentional in raising your sons. We are still developing a father-daughter resource but should have one by next spring. Take a look on our website at the youth kits if you are interested in this great tool.

So we will call this the FITF SUMMER CHALLENGE.  Take your son or daughter on a camping trip this summer. Be intentional in passing on something that you value and want them to learn. Then shoot us an email and tell us about it at  We would love to hear your stories and we would be encouraged by parents stepping up their game in this crucial role of being parent/master gardener!

BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!  When we recieve your email we will place your name in a drawing for a $50 gift card to Cabela's! Emails must be recieved by 8/31/14. Please include name, address, phone number.  Then tell us a brief recap of your camping trip and how you were intentional in passing on something to your child. Please include SUMMER CHALLENGE in the subject line of your email.

If you don't win the gift card I'll send you a zuchinni from the garden. ;) This is going to be the year of abundance!



Elk Calling Demo - 6/11/14


Hi all, you're invited to a FREE event!

We're blessed to host RMEF's Two-Time and Defending World Elk Calling Champion, Bryan Langley, NEXT WEEK at Bethany Evangelical Church in Canby, OR for an amazing calling demo!

Bryan is from our very own, McMinnville, OR and will help us all prepare for the upcoming season. It's truly amazing to hear his talent in person...for more info about Bryan's adventure's, visit

Hope you can make it!


On Empty....


I'm getting to it kind of late this year, but that is the kind of year I've had. The deadline is fast approaching to get our controlled hunt applications in here in Oregon. So the other night I sat down with the synopsis and began looking over the hunt options. When I started looking through all the possible adventures to be had it was like a switch was flipped in my soul.

Suddenly there was this deep and heavy longing for adventure that I havn't felt in years. I dug out my laptop and my cell phone and I was internet searching the Steens on one device and google earth scouting on the other...the whole time this thick and heavy desire for adventure is just heating up to a rolling boil in my heart. In that moment I was caught off guard by the sudden longing and I found myself agreeing with the lies. "You deserve this. You need this. This will fill you up again and make you whole. Your happiness depends on this." It felt true, because some of it is. I have been working hard. It has been a tough year, and I do feel like I need to get outdoors and spend some time there adventuring. But a casual adventure is not going to fill me up, make me whole, or replace my emptiness with happiness.

And so I caught myself. And then I prayed, "Jesus, what is this all about? Where is this deep longing coming from?" And the Holy Spirit confirmed to me what I already knew in my heart. I had let my tank run empty. A dangerous place to be because an empty tank seeks to be filled any way it can. And the couterfit fuel this time was adventure. Which by the way is a very sly and cunning scheme!

I am a former outdoorsaholic. Years ago, fishing and hunting and adventuring is all I could do and think about. I found validation out there and my tank was running on the adrenaline of adventure. It was part of my false self that led me away from my true strength and real contentment, and replaced it with an imposter that did not satisfy. Like empty calories. It tasted good but didn't fill me up. Then I felt like crap, so I kept eating more and more of it!

Do you see the cunningness of satan in this? He is taking something very good...adventuring outdoors in Gods creation...something we created a ministry around for heavens sake, and trying to twist it into a promise for life.

Holy Spirit, yes you are right. I confess my emptiness and my need to filled by you and by you alone! I reject all false fillers that come and promise life and wholeness and happiness. I need you. Please lead me into what I need today to be filled by you.

And then the wise counsel comes to me out of Ephesians 3.

For this reason I kneel before the father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (vs 14-19).

That is what I need right there. To be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Nothing else will satisfy. And so I find myself praying through Pauls prayer for the Ephesians.

-That God would strengthen me with the power through his Spirit in my inmost being...
-That Jesus would really fill and dwell in my heart...
-That I become more rooted and grounded in His love...
-That I would have the power to really comprehend the height, depth, length, width of His love...
-That I don't just know about it but experience it to the point that it surpasses knowledge...
-That my tank, my life, might be filled to all the fullness of God.

Thank God! There is a path to fullness. I lose my way on that path more often than I care to admit! But I'm thankful that the Holy Spirit is there to guide me back time and time again.  -Scott


Epic Adventure Movie Night TOUR


Come join us!!!



Raffles prizes, 
special guests, 
pie and ice cream 
and much more...for FREE! 
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