Father's Day


Chance and I got to take a special pre-Father’s Day trip to Douglas County, going on our first ever turkey hunt. We had no idea what we were in for, although we had heard hunting turkeys could be pretty intense. Little did I know that I would walk away with more important memories than simply how to hunt these critters.

Chance getting serious.

First of all, let me say the trip was a blast! Chance and Grant, the other young man hunting, both filled their tags, so that was exciting! We got to experience several types of hunting; spot and stalk, blinds, calling them in. What an experience for new turkey hunters!

On the way down, we stopped at Chance’s great-grandparent's property so he could fire his first rounds through a shotgun. Yes, we were so green, he had never shot a shotgun! We got to the campsite early that afternoon and headed out to hunt within an hour. Amazing how quickly things get serious when you have a guide leading you.

Heading out for our first hunt.

That first night we saw several birds, but a bringing one home was not in the cards. The next day, we woke up ready to hunt, and hunt we did. We started hiking in well before light, and didn’t finish the day until dusk. All worth it though, especially when two young men were able to carry turkeys out. Being a spectator as Chance, Jeff and Dave hiked a couple miles up a creek bottom to get on some toms we'd spotted, well, it is hard to describe. They did some stalking that I am just not very good at. When you are a 275 pound clod-hopper, it's hard to be silent. The birds started walking up a big hill just as the guys were getting close. They had to follow the birds up the hill, part way down the hill, and back and forth for a while. Chance has surpassed me in his physical abilities, and it definitely sparked some pride to see how hard he was working. He didn’t have a single bad word about it, either. Hearing the gunshot, and then seeing your son packing out his prey, that brings some great emotions over a father.

Chance and Jeff making the hike out.

Both before and after this hunt, I got to sit back and watch the Dunn family operate. Seeing three generations of men is special for me. My grandfathers both passed when I was very young, and my dad passed before Chance was 10. Watching a grandfather question, give advice, and generally love his grandson was a special time. Without stepping on toes, Grandpa was able to make suggestions, while letting his son be the leader of the youngest. Seeing the leadership by example, rather than through bossy words, was very Biblical.

The Old Testament is filled with conversations between God and his children. Yet in the New Testament, Jesus acts as the intercessor. Let us remember how God loves us, and follow the examples Christ has laid out for us. If your father, or better yet, your grandfather is still alive, please take the time to share your love with them. Explain to them what goodness they have brought into your life. If there is tension or bad history between the two of you, at least clean up your end of the mess. Forgive, and love. If you truly do not have a relationship with your father, perhaps there is a man in your life who has filled that role. Let him know what he means to you, what he has taught you. I have let a few men into, and out of my life without sharing what they meant to me. Let us all work on sharing how much others mean to us.

Grandpa Dunn, waiting patiently to hear a gunshot.

Fathers, share love and wisdom with your children. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2, “Like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged each one of you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God.” These are good qualities we need to share with our children.
Sons, display honor and respect for your father. For the Commandments themselves tell us to “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex. 20:12). Jesus himself brings this up again in Matthew 15. He goes on to tell the Pharisees how their reasoning was NOT honoring their fathers, and they were making “Void the word of God!”

Fathers and sons, have deep appreciation for the time you spend together. Thank God daily for the relationship and opportunities you both have. Be a shining light, showing the fatherly love of our Master in Heaven to anyone you can. As I work on this myself, I challenge you to do the same. -Jared

One of the only hunts I got to go on with my dad and two of my brothers.

Follow Jared's Blog here: http://www.ottfamphotography.com/


Brag Post


     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!


Why Everyone Should Have a Relationship with Jesus

By Morgan

Have you ever felt lost in your life; like you need someone to carry you through it? Well, there is one person that can get you through every difficult obstacle in your life, that’s Jesus Christ. I have found that having a relationship with Him can do so much for you. In fact, I have everything I need because I have Jesus. He died for me, and now I can live a more abundant life on earth, and one day, I will be able to live with Him for eternity.
            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!

Proverbs 13:9 says; “For the light shines brightly through the righteous.” That means that when you have a relationship with Christ, He will be visible through you, and your life will have more purpose. People will notice that you have Jesus living within you. When you become a Christian, you are spiritually born again. You have a completely new life. All of your sins are forgiven, and you can start new. If you have sinned, and are not happy with what you’ve done in your life, God can fix it. God forgives and forgets. Not every aspect of life is going to be fun. With Christ walking by your side through it, you always have peace of mind because you know that He is going to keep you going the whole time. He will let you bend, but He will never let you break.

Finally, you can live with Jesus forever in Heaven. Imagine a place with no sadness, no pain, and no fears… Nothing bad can ever happen in this place. It’s the most beautiful and perfect place that anyone could ever be, and everyone is welcome there. If you have a relationship with Christ, you can go there, and stay there for eternity! It amazes me every time I think about it, even though I’ve thought about it countless times! In Corinthians, it says that if God had the least bit of foolishness; it would be wiser than all human wisdom. If He had even a tiny bit of weakness; it would be stronger than any human’s strength. God is the most powerful person ever, and He loves us more than anyone else. I think that it’s so incredible that He chose to be a friend of sinners. We don’t deserve anything that He has given us, but He still gave us much more than we could expect from anyone else.

In conclusion, I think everyone should have a relationship with Jesus because He actually died to forgive us of our sins, we can live a more abundant life on earth, and someday, we will be able to live with Him in Heaven! At times we all feel lost, but with Jesus I know my future is secure and that He will guide me through difficult times.