A slower place...


I’ve talked a bit about what the outdoors do for me…what they do for us all to some degree…taking us to a slower place, where we can breathe, where there’s room for our soul…where God, His Glory, and Heaven are revealed more fully than any other place…
This past weekend I went with a good friend and his family to a small town basketball tournament in Southern Oregon. I don’t know how big the town is, but let’s just say everyone knows everyone, seatbelts were optional, “goin’ muddin’” was a regular activity, and this 6 team basketball tourney just may have doubled the population! :) Most of us laugh at this now a days, but you know what, there was an overwhelming sense of LIFE in that one weekend that cannot be found many places today.

"the ranch"...sorry for the cell phone pic...

We rolled into “the ranch” Friday night, greeted by plenty of food and enough beds for the 9 adults and 6 kids bunking that weekend. We got up early on Saturday morning as 3 of us headed out to call some yotes (note: make sure you charge the call or bring extra batteries if you plan to call anything)…after a short hike, we headed back for breakfast before gathering the entire gang up for some cattle “cuttin’”…yep, 20+ calves went through the chute and many became, to their dismay, steers. Boots on, tools in hand and the anticipation of personality transformations brought the excitement level up as we penned the little ones…and just in time for our first game, at noon, we had the job done! 3 wins later, we unwound at a teammate’s house for the most delicious meal I might ever have…POUNDS of the most tender steak on the barbie, fresh crab and lobster tails with warmed butter and garlic salt, sautéed shrimp in a succulent sauce, cheesy bread and many other hors d’oeuvres…unreal…just unreal. Back at the ranch we finished off the night with some good conversation and hit the hay. We awoke to footsteps on the farmhouse’s wood floors and the smell of coffee, fresh bacon and eggs, strawberry and jam filled crepes and orange juice…played our first game a bit early, then had a break in between games with enough time to visit the cabin, hit some golf balls into the unknown and watch March Madness on TV…we played our last game that afternoon (won the championship by the way ;)) putting a victorious end to the weekend.

Ugh…here comes the work week.

But as I reflected on the weekend, even as I was there, I was reminded of how unnoticed God’s beauty is in the hurried life we all live…often Monday through Friday. And not just the visual beauty of the ranch or surrounding mountains, but the beauty felt inside from the simplicity of life…and those moments you wish could last forever. They come and go of course, but the more I look for and notice them, no matter where I am or what I’m doing, the more frequent they come and the longer they last. Realizing that those moments are glimpses of Heaven, what we were created for but have never known, is profound. As the song says, “When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing it will be!”

Imagine it.





I've done a lot of hunting and fishing. I've learned a lot. I've had some great adventures and made some great memories. I've had lots of success and plenty of memories that still haunt me of the ones that got away.

I love that! I love that at night when I'm having trouble sleeping I can go to the memory bank and pull these things up, ponder them for a while and smile at how blessed I have been to be able to spend time in the outdoors doing what I love.

Even now as I sit here typing there are so many stories flooding my memory and I want to tell you all of them. But I suck at typing, and I've only got pictures for one. So consider yourself lucky!

A couple of years ago I pulled my son, Grant, out of school for a week and took him over to Central Oregon to deer camp. It was a no brainer. I knew a six year old boy spending a week at deer camp with his dad, uncles, grandpa, great uncles and great grandpa would learn more in that week that he would in an entire month at school. And he did. And that is what made the week such a great memory for me.

Some things he learned:

-How to walk quietly in the woods.
-How to shoot a .22 with a scope.
-That his Great Grandpa is afraid of lighting storms.
-That mule deer love bitterbrush.

-That his Grandpa can cook and wash dishes. He just acts helpless when Grandma is around.

-That if you throw your underwear on the heater in the tent it will catch on fire. (That was actually kind of scary)

-That riding a four-wheeler around with Great Grandpa and picking up pop cans is a fun way to pass the time.

-And that it sounds really funny if you yoddle while driving over the washboards on a cinder road.

But most of all he learned that he could be accepted among men. That we found his jokes funny and his company enjoyable. That he had a place in this adventure. That he was wanted and that he was loved.

I remember learning all of that. From most of the same men, in fact. And I'm eternally grateful for their involvement and acceptance of me. And now for my son too.

And you know I can't help but see a part of the gospel in that. Jesus is just like a good father inviting us into the adventure that He has lived. Inviting us to come in and fall in love with what He loves. "Here is a worthy story and a grand adventure to come in and be a part of. You have a place here with us. You are accepted and you are loved."

By the way, I taught Grant how to shoot my old Marlin youth model .22 rim fire...

...and he figured it out pretty quick!

- Scott


The "strings" of modern day life...


Below is something I wrote a few weeks back, when Faith in the Field was being brought to life through the website, video and the support of several folks. I wrote it for myself and shared it with a good friend and my wife at a time when I needed to write and read these words as much as anyone. I now find it important to reflect on them again and share them with you...

It's one thing to know stuff, to be smart, to understand, to have an epiphany or overwhelming feeling of happiness and/or faith come over you...but the most important part, and perhaps the most useful question is then, what do you do with that? Say it, share it...good...but even better is to LIVE IT!!! I don't mean, be a good person, follow the Ten Commandments, etc...I mean to live from your heart, which starts with seeking to know the heart God's given you, the heart Christ made new when you chose to believe in Him as your savior...and living a heroic, ferocious life as a man of God! Read that again...let it excite you! I didn't say live a life of duty and obligation, going to church and being a "nice guy"...I said live a life filled with passion, heroicness, ferocity, fighting the battle, standing up for Christ and taking the risk...that risk will be rewarded so long as it rooted in a faith in Christ!

"Indeed, the many forces driving modern life have not only assaulted the life of our heart, they have also dismantled the heart's habitat-that geography of mystery and transcendence we knew so well as children."

Like the line above says, the many forces driving modern day life are assaulting us, often times without us recognizing it...dare I say, MOST times without us recognizing it...the busyness, work, emails, internet, TV, money, sports, drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, food, kids, shopping, time away from God, time away from God, time away from God.........and behind the scenes, Satan is pulling the strings keeping us busy so we won't be aware that he's taking us out...destroying our heart and ultimately, life as it was meant to be from the beginning, and definitely the life Christ intended us to have when he came into our life and made our hearts new. It's not to say work or the internet are bad, but if there is reliance on it, stress relief from it, frustration taken out on it, validation received from it, etc, etc, etc, instead of asking God to provide those outlets through one means or another, there is a loss of heart, and as a result, a loss of life.

Satan's attacks are so subtle and hidden, and we often only view them as daily attacks, on us, or specific people...or tangible, more obvious things that we know effect us day to day...but what's been overwhelmingly brought to my attention and into view is the constant, incredibly persistent yet gradual way in which Satan has taken life on this earth and manipulated it to his advantage...and we are SO oblivious to it! Look at the world years ago...look at this country years ago...turn on the TV or radio, watch the news, read the paper...is the world not far worse on a purely moral level than it's ever been? Is it not getting worse every day? And yet we don't take it for real that we are under attack by the one who hates God and all that is good? Not pleasurable...good.
"The story of our life is the long and brutal assault on our heart by the one who knows what we could become, and fears it."

Take for example this simple reality that hits home for many of us as outdoorsmen, in particularly, hunters. Romans 1:19 talks of God's invisible qualities and divine nature being clearly seen in all of creation, and that it reveals the heart of God to us. Experiencing the awe of creation, sensing moments like those captured in the photos above and below, is revealing. For hundreds of years one of the most prevalent ways for men and boys, and many women too, to see God's creation in its abundant generosity was to go hunting. Now look at the ways in which Satan is trying to take that away...save the animals, gun bans, movements affecting predator control, and many, many, many more issues arising daily. It's not to say those who are against hunting are Satan's minions, not at all, but we're all naive, to an extent, to the fact that Satan is at work in every way...and those who would suggest Satan's not a part of something that's attempting to diminish time spent in our God's amazing creation, that which speaks volumes about the God who loves us, have been deceived. God can be seen anywhere and everywhere, yes, and outdoor activities aren't required to find God, but for all who do enjoy time in the field, they will find God there whether they recognize it or not. And for many, were it not for time spent in the serenity of the wild, they may not have found God and salvation that comes from His son's death on the cross. It's scary to watch the simple ways in which we've been led out of "raw" creation and into a busy life of metal and cement with so many distractions that take us away from communion with our Father...but also easy to see it as Satan's plan when viewed through the right lens. It's why in 2010 people want food from the farm, free range beef, more wildlife habitat, to plant their own garden, more biking friendly streets, hiking trails, all-natural and organic products, cloth diapers, and so so so much more...we may not realize or admit it, but we innately crave life as it was meant to be, life as it was in the past, years ago...ten years or hundreds of years ago..."an Eden we've never known but somehow know our hearts were created for." We all have the desire for God's creation in one form or another and we need to learn to recognize it and call it what it is...after all, He did MAKE US...and He wouldn't have done so without placing the desire to love Him within each and every one of us. You can find God in every person, business office and Nordstrom store, but escaping the distractions of life, to a quieter place, where there's room for your thoughts, your breath, your soul...that's where God is revealed more fully than any other.

Ponder it.



Life Happens...


Meet Finn Jasper!!! Born on February 23rd...both he and mom are doing great! He was 8lbs 4oz and 20 inches long. He and his year-and-a-half old brother, Boone, are gonna have SO MUCH fun in the years to come! I look forward to so many things as they get older, but I have to remind myself to cherish every moment I have now with them…I hear they grow up fast. ;)

Boone wasn't quite sure what was happening as you can see here lol, but he's since been learning to be "geeeentle" with his little brother...but I'm certain Finn will get Boone back one day for every poke, slap and head bonk. :)

Boone and I spent some quality time together while I was off work and mom was taking care of Finn...exploring, bird huntin' and pickin' up sticks.

Life happens...from the miracle of birth to the emotions felt with the “firsts” of life that happen so rapidly at my son’s ages.

While I was working on this last night, Chris Rice's song, Go Light Your World, began to play on my computer and captured my attention as the words began...there is a candle in every soul, some brightly burning, some dark and cold...but there is a spirit who brings a fire, ignites a candle and makes His home...so carry your candle, run to the darkness......take your candle, and go light your world. As the goosebumps formed, excitement came over me...for my sons...my wife...my family. I've got a candle that needs to be shared at home first and foremost. Play the video below to hear the song...and be encouraged, knowing Christ will ignite a flame in us that will never go out if we ask Him to! And sharing it with those closest to us will bring the most satisfaction life can offer. I don't wanna miss opportunities with my kids, and it's never too late.