Category Archives: Devotional

What does it mean to follow in my Father’s Footsteps?

Interesting how this devotional came to be.  As most of my devotionals come from things that God is doing in my life that I believe might help you in yours… this one came just that way.

I happened to be on the phone with one of my college professors tonight, reconnecting after 20 years.  His name might not mean anything to you, but it means quite a bit to me.  He names is Dr. Michael S. Fountain Dr. Fountain was not only my professor, he was my landlord, a friend, mentor and hunting companion with several of us guys/gals who were working on our degree in Forestry at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

I recall an article that Dr. Fountain wrote entitled, ” Following in My Father’s Footsteps” .  I highly recommend that you read this article.  He speaks of not only his journey in the Outdoors, Forestry, and being a Professor at the leading College of Forestry in the Nation (my words, not his), but of following literally in his father’s footsteps.  He speaks of a pilgrimage to the Beckwourth District of the Plumas National Forest in California in the summer 1974 because he missed trout fishing, but more than that it enabled him to work in the same forest his father had worked years before.

Dr. Fountain says, he took the job in the summer of ’74 and “… marked the second thinning in some stands of red fir in which my father had marked the first thinning.  I again literally walked in the same steps as my father!

He goes on to say, “I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunities to follow in the footsteps of my father.”


It literally made me think of my biological father who I’ve had very limited contact with in 27 years.  And when I say limited… I mean limited… less than 5 encounters in at least 20 of those 27 years and none in the past 13 years.

So what does that mean for you?  ….  You know what it means for me?  It means, it is my responsibility to under the leadership of Jesus to live my life in such a way that my four boys will want to walk in my steps.  Now whether or not they choose my career path isn’t the issue… to tell you the truth I hope they are able to bridge their love of Jesus with their passion for the Outdoors, as I am now doing much later in life.  Who knows what God will call them to do.  He is a big God, I trust Him…

But this much is for sure.  I want to leave a footstep that is worth stepping in. And for my children to one day to say, “I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunities to follow in the footsteps of my father.”  That my friends is a legacy…


19 And he (Jesus) said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:19


In this Bible passage Jesus is speaking to two brothers, Peter & Andrew.  Calling on them to follow in His footsteps and in so doing He would give them something far greater than their nets full of fish .  Jesus was making an investment in sons, brothers, and a future legacy.

If we were to ask your children, your nieces/nephews, or children that you are in and around on a daily basis about whether or not they would want to follow in your footsteps… what might they say?

It is a great question for all of us as Outdoorsmen, Conservationist, Shooters, Hunters, Fisherman, Archers, Ecologist, …  as just men and women.

Are the steps we are taking in life ones that a younger generation want to walk in?

Are we raising up the next generation to love what is true and right about God’s Creation?

Are we leaving a legacy that says, “I want to follow in my father’s footsteps?”

I hope you’ll not only find a nugget of truth that helps you become a better version of you, I hope you will also find a nugget to influence our future generation of Outdoorsmen.

Please… as always, post a “comment” and let us hear from you about where you are on life’s journey.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Devotional


Tags: , , , ,

Who am I investing in? The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

I am in the midst of reading, “Integrity” by Dr. Henry Cloud.  A really good read for anyone regardless of where you stand on spirituality.  Dr. Cloud makes the observation of a friend who is a business owner that says he doesn’t get into a business he doesn’t understand.  Dr. Cloud’s counter is, but “I know of other businesses that you invest in.”  To which his friend replies, “I did not invest in those businesses.  I invested in the people.”

My heart feels that way toward each of you reading The Chaplain To The Outdoorsmen.  I do not necessarily understand your business; however, I understand people… and I’m here for you.


Think with me if you will about the business you find yourself in today.  For some, you are Outdoor TV Hosts, Online Personalities, Outdoor Social Media Experts, Wildlife Biologist, business owners in the Outdoor Industry, as well as, hunters, shooters, fishermen, and archers.

All of us at some point have invested heavily in the “market”, “strategy”, and/or “resources” of our industry.  We can’t help but look at the bottom line… The Mission/Vision of our TV Show, DVD sales, product development, and/or accessory resources.   The dream we have to succeed in our industry, to be known, sought after, respected, asked to speak, interviewed, quoted, published, and yes even 1st in the ratings.

And in the midst of all that… people are the most important part of the journey.


25 So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads.26 It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant.27 Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.28 That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.”

Matthew 20: 25-28


If I might suggest… We (including myself) have a tendency to throw our weight around and quickly our success goes rapidly to our heads.  In the midst of rapid success we forget to invest in those around us.  Jesus modeled for us… whoever wants to be first, must serve others.

May I submit that we consider asking ourselves… Who am I investing in?

Also,  let me encourage you to make a list of everyone who has played a part in your journey to where you are today and say a special, “Thank you” to them.  Here is a link to a post (No One Ever Got To The Top Alone) that I wrote in 2008 recalling all the folks who have invested in my life over the years as a pastor.  I hope you find it helpful.  I too need to update my, “Thank You” list…

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Devotional


Tags: , ,

Ask for BIG things…

Has it ever crossed your mind that sometimes we don’t ask for enough of the right things from God in our lives.  I hear people all the time say, “Pastor, I pray to God all the time.”  My question is, “Then, what is it that you are asking Him for?”  I tell you what got me to thinking about this.

Last Thursday evening my oldest son Caleb wasn’t sure we were going on our camping/hunting trip, because my wife Stephanie had put her name in to subsitute teach at our Friends Christian School on Fridays.  And if mom gets called in on Fridays to sub… well then, our trip would be off.  SO, Caleb stayed up most of the night praying that mom wouldn’t get called into sub.  To Caleb’s great surprise and “answered prayer”, Stephanie didn’t get called in so we were able to take our little over night trip.  He should have prayed for the new bow he is wanting… wink, wink….


Has it ever dawned on you as it has me that sometime my prayers are so temporal.  They stem from a need for quick answers to temporary things.  Quick fixes for my selfish wants.  A need for God to fix my stupid mistakes.  What if…. we were as Elisha was in 2 Kings 2 when he asked of Elijah the prophet, “May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you.”  First, you probably haven’t read 2 Kings in a while as most of us haven’t.  It is in the Old Testament and packed full of great learnings. Second, is…. WHAT?!…  I don’t know about you, but that’s not the normal prayer that I pray, anyway.  But think about it.

“Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men and women, Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks”

– Philip Brooks


2:1 Just before the Lord took Elijah up to heaven in a windstorm, Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal. 2:2 Elijah told Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 2:3 Some members of the prophetic guild in Bethel came out to Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”

2:4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 2:5 Some members of the prophetic guild in Jericho approached Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”

2:6 Elijah said to him, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they traveled on together. 2:7 The fifty members of the prophetic guild went and stood opposite them at a distance, while Elijah and Elisha stood by the Jordan. 2:8 Elijah took his cloak, folded it up, and hit the water with it. The water divided, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

2:9 When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you, before I am taken awayfrom you?” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you.


Pray differently this week.  Pray for a double portion of God’s power in your life to face whatever comes your way.

1 Comment

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Devotional


Tags: , , , ,

I have no excuse… I have seen God’s Creation

This past year I’ve learned a lot about how I see God in His Creation.  In fact, as the Spiritual Growth Pastor at Friends Church I am leading our congregation to use an online tool that gives insight in to how you learn, how you connect with God, and a more full understanding of ones personality.  These insights help us  create a personal spiritual growth plan, hand-crafted for who God has wired you to be.

As for me, I am a visual learn and my pathway to connection with God is through His creation.  I have the passionate ability to connect with God when I experience the world He has made.  Being outdoors replenishes and energizes me.  If I am cooped up inside too long my soul starts to feel stale.  I see God in the spectacular and in the everyday outside world.  I am wired to spend large chunks of time outdoors, often praying and meditating.


I was reminded of this learning Friday/Saturday of this past weekend while my oldest son, Caleb and I were on an overnight Coyote Hunt.  As Caleb and I sat on a hillside overlooking the high desert I couldn’t help but reflect on God’s Word in Romans where Paul says, “so that people are without excuse”.  That means you and I…  Read Romans 1: 18-21


18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.


I would submit that you and I failed to give glory to God when we see the beauty of His creation.  God’s creation has become so second nature to us that we lose sight of the magnificent wonder of all He has created.  Remember, God threw the starts into the sky and told them to stay there.  WOW, now that is awesome.

Make a list this week of how you see the beauty in God’s creation.  Tell God in your prayer time how you feel about all that He has created… thank Him for the mountains, forests, ponds, lakes, rivers, oceans, fish, deer, elk, turkey, quail, pheasant, prairie dogs, chukkar, rabbits, coyotes, etc…

As you make your list I bet you’ll be surprised how long your list becomes.

Share your lists of God’s beauty in creation with all of us here on the “COMMENT” section.  We want to celebrate with you.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Devotional


Tags: , , ,

Marked, Marred, and Remade

Once again this past weeks retreat with our team at Friends Church has me thinking.  I would submit to you regardless of where you are on a spiritual journey that you would admit to yourself that you have a few marks and maybe even been marred by life.  I’m here to tell you… I have!


Everyone of us in life have markings.  It might be that those marks are good marks.  You may have come from a great family within a tight knit community, sharing life together on a daily basis, going on family vacations, hunting excursion, fishing trips, summer camping adventures, or frequent family hikes.  Some of you might have even had a great family church experience where you attended church as a family, served together, and went on mission trips.

Others of you are marked in a different way.  You are a product of divorce, single parent, abuse, neglect, fatherless, motherless, foster-care, adoption, alcoholism, and the list goes on.  With these types of markings come marring.  I know first hand, because I have been marked and marred…

BUT, thank God there is Hope in a relationship with Jesus.  The Bible teaches that for those who choose Jesus, they have been REMADE in the image of Jesus himself.  There is a author in the Bible named Paul who says that he is “worst of them all”.  I don’t know about you, but knowing that, makes the sting of sin not hurt so bad as I look at my marks.  To know, that I am second in line means, where I’ve been, the marks and the mares of life could have been worse.  God used a guy like Paul to write half of the New Testament scriptures.  If God can do that with chief of all sins, I’m sure he can use you and me.


16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;19 that is, in Christ God was reconcilingt the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:16


WOW, when I read that Scripture I find strength in knowing I HAVE BEEN “REMADE”  I am a “new creation”.  Jesus has taken my marks and marred life and remade it into newness, not counting it against me, and bestowing trust upon me.

Remember this, the very glory of God is in your remaking.  He has given you ‘strength’ and ‘gentleness’.  Not to make you hard nor weak, but to make you whole so that you reveal His character in and through you.

Don’t be known by your marks and marring, but by how God has REMADE you in His image.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 11, 2011 in Devotional


Tags: , , ,

Live Dangerously for Jesus

Have you ever thought through what you are truly risking in life for your faith in Jesus?  This should be a noticeable lifestyle as a Christian.  Why?  Because eternity is at stake.


The past couple of days our church staff has been on retreat talking through 2011 and our desire to be a “Dangerous Church”.  What a great place to be.  I’m am convicted that this is my church where it is never to late to do it right.  Are you in a place where you are allowed to take a risk for Jesus?  Being a ‘dangerous’ person and/or a dangerous church requires that you live as world changers for Jesus.


1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women.5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…

NOTES from the Acts 17 passage.

  1. Willing to Move forward when Jesus is all they know.
  2. Change is embraced and celebrated not avoided!
  3. They aren’t known for playing it safe.
  4. They actually believe they can change the world!


As a Jesus believer and follower it is time to believe it and act upon it.  What will you do today and/or in coming days that shows you are dangerous for Jesus?  Where in your sphere of influence in the shooting, hunting, archery, and outdoor community can you boldly live dangerously for the name of Jesus.

Share your thoughts here on the blog… Post a Comment !

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Devotional


Tags: ,

God, a 3 year old, and Yotes

I’ve just returned from a daddy overnight with my 3 year old Levi.  Soon to be four year old, in March.  Levi has so been looking forward to his turn to take an overnight with dad.  So we took a quick run to the mountain/desert to see if we could smack us a yote. I can’t get the image of Levi’s smile out of my head.  He was so excited and did great for his first “real hunt” with dad.  Check out that smile!

More photos on my Facebook (check’m out)

Levi taught me a very valuable lesson while on our trip… about God, a 3 old, and Yotes.   Think about it with me…

We got settled in about 8:30 a.m. on our 1st set with the sun rising over the mountain behind us, a calm breeze quartering to us and nessled in the rocks for cover while over looking a valley that was easily 400 yards across and stretched from north to south at least a mile and a half.   While sitting there it came to me in the blink of an eye.

They all require patience.


Let’s start with God… How patient must God be to put up with us.  I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve questioned God as to whether or not He actually heard me.  You know the answer to that… why of course He heard me, He is God.  I’ve learned that sometimes God’s answer is yes, sometimes no, and sometimes it’s wait.  Waiting as you can imagine is the hardest part.  That leads me to “a 3 year old”.

Levi at 3 has a patience meter of about 30 minutes.  It’s just the way he’s wired… he’s three.  From the time we got settled until the time he was ready to go somewhere else was no more than 30 minutes.  And now for the “yotes”.

Well the Yotes were patience and about 30 minutes “after” we left our first set… you guessed it. They were sitting on top of the set we just left barking and howling like nobodies business.  Just their way of saying… you should have been a little more patience, we were on our way, but you just didn’t give us enough time to get there.


35 Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. 36 Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised.

Hebrews 10:35-36


If you’ll allow me, can I challenge us to be open to the rewards of learning to be patience.  Regardless of what area of your life it is; spouse, children, work, a new business venture, a new product endorsement, a speaking engagement, or maybe even to just hold tight where you are.

I wonder if God is sometimes as I perceived the coyotes to be…  saying… you should have been a little more patience, I was on my way, but you just didn’t give Me enough time to get there.

Just a thought!

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 6, 2011 in Devotional

%d bloggers like this: