Time in Nature = Time with God


This last weekend, Scott and I spoke at the 14th Annual Sportsman's Breakfast in Blodgett, OR. Thank you to all who were a part of the event; it was great spending time with everyone there, enjoying some great grub, stories and trophies! In this week's blog I thought I'd write out some of what we spoke about last Saturday...

Romans 1:19-20 says, "The truth about God is known to us instinctively. God has put this knowledge in our hears. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. We can clearly see His invisible qualities, eternal power and divine nature, so we have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God." 

Every person you’ve ever met, and ever will meet, knows God. They might not acknowledge Him, but they know Him. God's placed a knowledge of Himself in EVERYONE.  

The earth and sky and all that God made are among the most undeniable revelations of Him that we find in this life. Of course God is found in church and through people, and the fullest reflection of God in this life is a Christ centered marriage, where the Godly attributes of a man and woman are rightly united as one (this is also why Satan tries his hardest to devour Christian marriages). BUT, I don’t know any perfect people, perfect marriages or perfect churches…yet creation is perfection each and every time we experience it. And because of that, as the verse says, we are without excuse. God’s placed, within us, the desire to enjoy His creation because it’s one of the only settings where He is perceived as flawless and untarnished. Ultimately, the desire to spend quality time in nature is the desire to spend quality time with God.

Again, whether we recognize it or not, whether we admit it or not, our desire to be in nature comes from our desire to be with God... he’s placed that desire in us! Realizing this has been profound!

Take this scenario as just one example... how many of your wives are a little uneasy when you leave to go hunting? And why is that? They have to take care of the kids, they’re alone at night, they never get to leave for a week... lots of reasons… ultimately though, wouldn’t you say that their complaints stem from the thought that your hunting is a selfish thing that won’t produce anything but your being gone?

How many of them would be uneasy if you made it known that your trip was about spending quality time with God? And not making known by just saying it, but by actually taking the approach and realizing that your desire is to kill a big buck, yes, but every ounce of enjoyment you get from your outdoor experiences comes from time spent with God. How different would your wife's reaction be if your voice (and attitude) said, “Honey, I’ll miss you, kids, I’ll miss you, but daddy’s going to spend a week with God... killin’ creatures in His name, amen!" Okay, you can leave that last part out, but don't miss the point. ;)

Our desire to be outdoors is the God given, instinctive desire to spend time with Him… let’s recognize that.




From Reverend S.M. Lockridge's famous sermon...
take 3 uninterupted minutes to watch this video fully, 
and let the goosebumps, excitement and increased heart rate
 reveal the POWER OF CHRIST!


A Nice Guy...


And then, alas, there is the church. Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men. When all is said and done, I think most men in the church believe that God put them on the earth to be a good boy. The problem with men, we are told, is that they don't know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children. But, if they will try real hard they can reach the lofty summit of becoming . . . a nice guy. That's what we hold up as models of Christian maturity: Really Nice Guys. We don't smoke, drink, or swear; that's what makes us men. Now let me ask my male readers: In all your boyhood dreams growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a Nice Guy? (Ladies, was the Prince of your dreams dashing . . . or merely nice?)

Really now-do I overstate my case? Walk into most churches in America, have a look around, and ask yourself this question: What is a Christian man? Don't listen to what is said, look at what you find there. There is no doubt about it. You'd have to admit a Christian man is . . . bored. At a recent church retreat I was talking with a guy in his fifties, listening really, about his own journey as a man. "I've pretty much tried for the last twenty years to be a good man as the church defines it." Intrigued, I asked him to say what he thought that was. He paused for a long moment. "Dutiful," he said. "And separated from his heart." A perfect description, I thought. Sadly right on the mark. (Wild at Heart , 7)

This excerpt is not an excuse to avoid church, but an awakening to bring revival to your own church!!! And to the lives of men, women and children! The heart is central; hence, why Satan is attacking the hearts of Christians everywhere... our relationship with Christ is often reduced to a list of do's and don'ts, duty and obligation, and a passionless life that Satan has left us to believe is as good as it gets. It's a LIE.

Christ came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)... and that which was lost was our heart, taken by the enemy who tempted Adam and Eve in the beginning, and who's brought sin, destruction and an end to the world as we know it now.

Christ came to heal the brokenhearted, and to set the captive free (Luke 4:8)... the blind will see, the lame will walk, the deaf will hear... addicts will break addictions, the stressed will find relief, the depressed will find joy, the angry will find happiness, the lonely will find love, the bored will find EXCITEMENT IN LIFE... it's the story of the Gospel... healing, freedom, life as it was meant to be... from our healed heart, our good heart. Christ wants to come into your life in a real way, and set you free to LIVE.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 -WOW!!!



A Band of Brothers


I had some good topics in the back of my mind and I was planning to bust out a pretty good blog this week.  God has really been showing me a lot in the last few weeks and I wanted to share some of it with you.


I'm really on spiritual high right now and so I thought I might share why rather than touching on the other subjects I had in mind.  It is Thursday night and I just left a little bible study group with some men who I who consider to be my closest friends.  Tonight was an awesome time of fellowship.  Think of some of the greatest fireside chats you have had with close friends at hunting camp and that would be pretty close to what went on tonight....minus the smoke in your eyes.

Tonight we didn't really bring an agenda.  We started by joking around and catching up a bit as it had been a few weeks since our schedules have allowed us to be together.  Then after we got some laughter out of the way and few good digs at eachother for comraderie sake the conversation sort of changed.  I posed the question, "What has God been up to in your lives lately?"  It was really cool to hear and to share the things that we all felt God was up to.  We came into the meeting with different backgrounds and feelings from the week.  For some the week had been great and some really felt God at work in their lives.  For others the week had been struggle.  Tough times and tough things that some were dealing with.  Then... just honesty.  None of us felt like we had to impress the others, no one talked like they had all the answers.  That is really rare.  If you have ever spent time with a group of guys you probably understand what I mean.

We read some scripture that pertained to the topics we were discussing.  I think God's word challenged us all in specific areas of our lives.  We encouraged eachother.  We discussed leading our families better.  We talked about walking in the Spirit and wondered how that might look in our lives if we did a better job of that!  The conversation flowed easily.  The honesty, the boldness, the conviction,....it was all really cool.  God was there with us and His presence was recognized in the room.  We ended with an awesome time of prayer that was interupted by a cell phone ring tone that was hilarious.  After a few laughs and some more jokes we jumped right back into prayer and finished the meeting strong.

Here is why I share this.  As men we cannot walk alone.  Not if we truly want to live as Christ.  For heavens sake Jesus did not walk alone.  The disciples did not walk alone.  We need eachother.  Iron sharpens iron.  If we are going to live for God and bring the kind of impact that He desires to our families, our friends and our world, well then we need encouragement.  We need help.  We need other men in our lives who know our stories, know our struggles, but also know and recognize the glory and the passions that God has uniquely placed in us.  Not just to hold us accountable but to affirm who we are in Christ and cheer us on to chase hard after that.

God wants this for every man.  He has a plan to bring a band of brothers around each of us.  So if you don't have one, seek one out.  Pray for it.  Sure it is awkward at first and you can bet that satan is against all of it.  You will have to fight for it.  I spent most of my life trying to walk with God by myself and I can tell you it is a heck of a lot better now with a few guys I respect who are in my fox hole.