Sunday, May 23, 2010

Congratulations Brittany....again

So far this year Brittany has tagged a Deer and Javlina (on the same day) in January, A husband in February and now a record class Arizona Black bear in May! (She also shot a nice ram and some hogs in Texas, but that was last fall) She shot this monster on a hunt with new hubby Josh on a hunt this weekend . Josh got a smaller Cinnamon phase black bear with his bow earlier in the hunt. This bear weighed in at over 400 lb and stands around 6'6" tall. Record skulls start at 18" and this one is 20+. His neck is 37" around! She used a 300 Supermag at 78 yards to kill it near instantly, dropping it almost in its tracks. For those who don't know, VERY FEW women, or men for that matter can or will handle the 300 supermag. It is about a big a gun as you can hand hold and fire....and Brittany is barely bigger than the gun! I suspect she will add a few more before the year is over. Lord willing a bunch of us will be going to New Jersey to hunt Whitetails with cousin Derold this fall. No doubt Cousin Derold will put her on another monster! Anyway, Congratulations guys!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


When I was a teenager some of my friends got jobs in service stations around town. They told me how they were taught to fake problems (or cause them) on cars that were traveling through our area. On a hot summer trip with my dad over the mountains to Bakersfield the check engine light came on....we had runt the air conditioning going up a very steep grade...Dad pulled into the only gas station at the top of the Hill and a teenage mechanic diagnosed the problem and offered a solution: An expensive radiator flush. Neither of us are mechanics but I insisted that it was just a con game. We drove on down hill into Bakersfield where the mechanic there fixed a faulty light indicator switch for a couple bucks! I have been burned a couple times by crooked mechanics since then, but NEVER twice by the same mechanic. I have learned to STICK with a mechanic who has proven trust worthy. One such is Gary, down the road. I once saw him inject oil into a strut that was squeaking and refused to charge the man. The man brought the car to Gary because the dealership wanted $600 to replace the struts! Our church bus mechanic and I once got into a brief disagreement over the Church Van. It needed the front end aligned and I insisted it go to my mechanic...Gary. My friend insisted it go to HIS mechanic. We were stalemated unwilling to surrender....until we realized we were talking about the same guy, Gary. Gary once told me he could easily raise his rates but why should he, there was nothing he wanted that money could by anyway. I was really disappointed when Gary retired a year ago, but delighted to see that he was back this week. Evidently retirement was not as much fun as fixing cars for him. Gary proved his integrity to the point that I stopped in the shop this week to say Welcome Back GARY!...and I didn't even need any work done. (He did diagnose a problem for charge of course! It is great knowing who you can really trust with a vehicle. That reminds me of how we can and should trust God. He proved his every intent towards us when he defeated and paid for sin on the cross. He is totally and completely trust worthy in every circumstance of life no matter how it looks at the moment. Surly we can trust this from Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

After watching a news clip of a popular "preacher" (who was PAID to come) spouting his political agenda and suggesting his audiance read the US Constitution, the Bible and be prepared to go to jail, I had to ask myslef, is this what Jesus meant to be a Christian? Personally, I prefer His own words:

Matthew 11:28 (The Message)

28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Thursday, May 6, 2010


When we moved to Phoenix 33 years ago we were sequestered in an inner city tract house. It was quite adequate for survival but I was born and raised country and as the song says, I was very aware of my (as Blake Shelton sings) "hillbilly" bone. To satisfy my country yearnings I started to raise birds in the backyard...ok it got a little out of hand when we had thousands...litterally...but I loved it. If I had to pick one highlight moment it had to be the day my prize Cockatiel escaped the flight cage. He was a beautiful yellow male, one of my best birds. I hesitated a moment to long in closing the door as I left the cage and he shot past my head and rocketed straight up. I would have been really bummed out about losing that prize but the sight of that bird in full flight AND the sound of his song of freedom was so beautiful I was actually glad he escaped. As he rolled and looped for the first time in his life unfettered in the air he burst into song that touched my soul. A blind man could plainly see he was born for this. To this day my ears are tuned to that song...and I am hearing it more often. Cockatiel now live free in the area. Not many but when I see one I always pause to remember and watch because every one I have seen flying free sings the same song of freedom while dancing in the air. They just can't seem to help themselves. It would seem that Cockatiel know they were born to be free even though the vast majority of them are born in captivity. Why aren't we as smart as these little birds. We are born in captivity too but content to stay there. Jesus said the truth would make us free...we were born to be free. Why are we content to be in the cage? I'm thinking most folks don't even have a clue as to what true freedom is. Do you? Are you living free. To be truly free you must know why you are here, do you? I am beginning to learn what freedom really is. I can't say that I am there yet, but I am not were I was. One day soon I hope to break free completely and sing and dance in the sky!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Born Free?

About 60 miles north of my house there is a one square mile enclosure that contains about 100 Buffalo, a couple hundred Red Stag and some huge hogs. It is not a hunting compound because these animals can't get outside the fence but they are harvested for meat and skins. The fence is just 8' of common chain link that can be and has been cut or broken. I was there because occasionally some hogs would escape and provide a challenge for the local hunters. Hogs are smart and will disappear into the nearby riverbed very quickly...and they will not go back into the enclosure on their own. He really didn't try to get them back and I suspect he admired their will to be free and occasionally turned a few loose just to keep interest going at the ranch. More than one hog hunter has spotted a prime stag he had to have for his wall. I asked the rancher how he could ever get a 2,000 lb Buffalo back inside the enclosure if it got out. He said it was quite easy. Just turn out some common beef cows and the Buffalo would join the herd. Then just drive the entire herd back into the enclosure. The buffalo will follow just like the cows. Then I asked how he would catch the red stag....they are a lot like the elk that is indigenous to the area...He said that was even easier. Even if you leave the gate open, they will not leave the enclosure. The were BORN in the enclosure and have been there for 20 generations. They have NO CONCEPT of freedom and they are quite comfortable where they are. Everything is provided for them and until they reach maturity, there is nothing in the enclosure to harm them. It is nearly perfect as long as they are immature....

That reminds me of Paul's continuous admonitions to the early Christians. He kept telling them that they did not have to return to the old forms of religion now that they had a real living relationship with Christ. It was so real that NOT ONCE do any of the original disciples long for the good old days when Jesus walked among them. They found life and freedom in the Spirit to be BETTER than the life they had for the three years they had with Christ. He told them it would be like that and it was. We are all a lot like the critters in the compound. We were all born in bondage to sin that prevents us from being all God means for us to be. Are you like the smart hogs who try to escape to the perils of freedom, the Buffalo who follow the crowd or the Red Stag who don't even want to taste of the freedom on the other side of the fence? We were not born free, but we can live free.