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Archive for September, 2014

X MARKS THE SPOT

My dad was a hunter. He enjoyed going into the woods seeking deer and elk that would provide most of the meat our family consumed during the year. Dad enjoyed hunting so much that he would begin scouting out his hunting area months ahead of the opening of the season, so that he might learn where the deer and elk where hanging out.

In a letter my dad wrote to his brother Charlie, I found the following:

I was a little like the man who wanted to take his wife hunting for the first time. She had never seen a deer before, so he got pictures out of the hunting magazine which showed the spots to put the bullet to nail the animal in his tracks without wasting too much meat. The magazine pictures showed deer in various poses, with a big ‘X’ drawn on to show, in each case, the target area—the heart region, the lung cavity, the neck and so on.

Came the day and the husband took his wife into the deer country. He let her take the lead, and as she went around a big tree she stopped. She started to raise her rifle and then lowered it again.

“What do you see?” he asked.

“I see a deer!”

“Well, shoot. Don’t just stand there! Shoot!”

“But, honey,” cried the wife. “I don’t see the ‘X’ on it!”

I am guessing my dad may have had a smile on his face as he related this story to his brother.

But in the same letter he related how he had prepared for an upcoming hunting season by posting pictures of elk he had removed from his outdoor magazines, on a wall in a back room of the Post Office building. He would then raise his unloaded rifle and look through the sites at the various photos, which showed elk as a person might stumble upon them out in the wilds. He felt it would help him be better prepared when he came upon one of the animals out in the wilds.

On the first day of hunting season he had been in the woods only a short time when he met an elk, face-to-face. He raised his rifle, fired, and the elk ran. Dad had missed. He then noted he had not practiced on a photo of an elk with a head-on view. In his own words he said, “I kicked myself all over the place.” He was frustrated he had not been better prepared.

There are many places throughout the Bible that speak of “preparation,” or being “prepared.” I am reminded of the verse from 1 Corinthians 2:9, that reminds us:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

This is one more reminder that our Heavenly Father is never surprised. Not only that, He has a place prepared for every Christian once our journey upon this earth comes to and end.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the peace you provide each person who has chosen to believe in you. Thank you for reminding us you are not surprised by anything that we may be confronted with in life, and you have also prepared a wonderful “home” in Heaven for us when we leave this earth. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

 

 

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

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God is always adequate for needs, even during the darkest of times we may be going through.

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God does have a plan for your life and a purpose for your life. If you have blown Plan A, God has Plan B or even Plan C ready for us.

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God shines more brightly through adversity than through the good times.

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If there is one besetting sin for God’s people it is to hold grudges and resentment. We try and make it sound better by saying, “They hurt us!” Sorry, folks. We are talking about the same thing. ~ Rev. Howard Hopkins, 2/19/1989

Pastor Bill

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FRESH BONES

I stumbled upon a yellowed piece of paper that contained a letter typed by my Dad. What a bunch of memories it brought to mind!

I was raised in the small community of Princeton, ID, where the population neared 100 on a good day. There were several small businesses located in town along with a Post Office. Our house was located next to the Post Office and my Dad was the postmaster. That made it convenient for us as I was growing up. Dad was always close at hand, even when he was working.

The yellowed piece of paper I discovered was actually a letter that had been prepared on what had obviously been Dad’s old typewriter—the kind in existence prior to the fancy electric machines that came along that had correcting tape in them to be used when you made an error.

As I looked over the single-page letter, I could see my Dad had “corrected” his errors by simply typing capital X’s over each misspelled word, or incorrect character he may have used. My Dad had a reputation for not wasting anything. The paper the letter was typed on was actually the back side of a large, glossy black and white photo that had come to life through one of my parent’s cameras and their “dark” room, used for processing photos. Photography was a hobby of theirs.

I was intrigued by one of the paragraphs in this letter, which was written to my Uncle Charlie. In it, my Dad related the following:

“We boarded a neighbor’s dog while the family went to California. The dog was quite a rustler; he wasn’t going to impose on us if he could find his own chow. At night he circulated around to the homes where these hunters had brought in elk or deer, and would bring back to our place the legs and discarded bones. These would show up on our front yard grass, and Pepper (the dog) would chew on them all day, if allowed to. I was a disappointment to him. I would gather them up and burn them in the Post Office stove. Sometimes the place smelled like a café with meat being cooked.”

Then Dad went on to relate to my Uncle Charlie that one of the local old-timers came into the Post Office and the first thing he said was, What you cooking in here?” The old fellow then spent a good long while visiting, no doubt enjoying the warmth, aroma of “cooking” meat, and the companionship my Dad provided him.

Like I mentioned, my Dad never wasted anything. Elk and deer bones could always be burned in the old wood stove that provided heat for the Post Office. Not only did the bones help provide warmth on a cold fall morning, but they apparently provided a pleasant aroma while the fire consumed them. It must have been pleasant to hang around the Post Office on a morning like that. It reminds me of a story from the New Testament, in John, chapter 21.

It was after Jesus had died on the cross and had come back to life. A group of his followers, the disciples, had gone on a fishing trip on the Sea of Galilee. It was an all-night trip. They had no luck. They failed to catch a single fish. When dawn broke over the sky to the east the disciples noticed someone on shore standing next to a small fire. They could no doubt smell the aroma of fish and bread being baked next to the hot coals. The fellow by the fire, who turned out to be Jesus, invited the cold, wet disciples to come to shore and join him. I doubt that the disciples had to hold a committee meeting and take a vote on whether or not they were going to do it. The invitation to get warm and have some hot food would have been too good an invitation to pass up. John 21:9-13 states:

When they got there [the shore], they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish.

I like this story. It reminds me of the great love that Jesus has for each one of us, and His willingness to take care of our needs such as warmth, food and companionship.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your willingness to extend a hand of companionship to each of us. Thank you for providing for our daily needs and for being a Friend who is always close by; who always cares for us. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

Pastor Bill

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Keep your faith in God; even in the dark times. You may lose your way on occasion, but don’t lose your address. Remember whose you are!

Pastor Bill

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