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Some times I just want to get away from it all…

Ever felt the need to just get away from it all.  I have….  And I encourage you to consider it.  From time to time we all need to relax, recharge, reflect, and recalibrate.  At Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen, I want to help you do just that.  Therefore, one way we can provide this type of experience is through an overnight retreat.  I am reminded of Psalms 23 when I think of our retreat experiences…

READ WITH ME:

2 You let me rest in fields
of green grass.
You lead me to streams
of peaceful water,

3 and you refresh my life.
You are true to your name,
and you lead me
along the right paths.

Psalm 23: 2-3 CEV

These overnight experiences are typically an all day Friday and Saturday event at a remote location and can be tailor made for you and/or your organization at a destination of your choosing. You determine the destination and we will supply the recharging, reflecting, and recalibration experience. We can also make destination recommendations to you if you are looking for a quality place for your getaway.

One such example of this type of experience is something we provide our Group Life for Men at Friends Church in Yorba Linda, Ca. where I serve as the Spiritual Life Pastor.  We call it a “Wild Edge Retreat”.  Those retreats are typically 3 – 4 days and are a little more in-depth than what you may be looking for, but you get the basic concept of an overnight retreat experience that we can create for you and/or your organization.  More details can be found under “Speaking Engagements” on the Serving You section of our blog.

A Retreat Experience is:

An overnight retreat in a wilderness experience at a destination of your choosing for the purpose of recharging, reflecting, and recalibrating.  Trips are designed for men to be removed from the city, submerged in the majesty of the great outdoors.  Trips can include whatever you have available to you at the destination of your choosing. I.e – archery tournament, hunting, shooting, fishing, 4-wheeler excursions, hiking, but most of all, a relaxing and rejuvenating time with your Creator while walking through material custom made for you.

The experience is purposefully “crafted” for men to have an intense encounter with their Creator. In scripture, the “heart” is the centerpiece of ones relationship to God.  This experience is about reviving and restoring that deep, masculine heart that God gave you.

God made the masculine heart, set within every man, and thereby offers him and invitation: Come, and live out what I meant to you to be.

John Eldredge,
Wild at Heart

Take advantage of a once in a life-time encounter with you and your buddies in the outdoors.

Location: Destination of your choosing
Cost to Participant: you determine the cost to participants
Group Size: I recommend no more than 12; however, I am available to serve any group size.

Cost for my services: honorarium, plus travel expenses (details covered at time of booking)

BOOK A RETREAT

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Posted by on April 1, 2011 in Serving

 

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I don’t ‘need’ another person in my life…

I saw a twitter post in the past couple of days that went something like, “I don’t need another person in my life, giving me ‘guidance’ … spiritual or otherwise for that matter.”  As you might imagine that hits close to home for me since as the “Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen” part of our “Serving You” is “Providing spiritual guidance for those not connected to a local Church.”

So what does this mean, specifically?

THINK WITH ME:

For those of us in the Outdoor Industry we are more than busy with work, life, family, a second job, OH… and then there is this Outdoor Company (TV, DVD, Products, etc…) we are trying to build on the side as well. None of this is bad, in fact most of the Outdoor TV Show Hosts today started their careers that very same way. Our lives are full.  And some of our lives are so full that being connected to a local Church for guidance, “spiritual or otherwise”, just isn’t there.

So bear with me as I go “spiritual” for just a moment.  There is an old phrase that says, “every sheep deserves a shepherd”.  I believe that.  That is the reason I do what I do.  I don’t want anyone going through life alone. This world is crazy enough as it is.  Therefore, my desire is to provide you a safe place for those not connected to a local Church to work through life’s issues while you pursue your dream of being an Outdoor Industry Leader.

READ WITH ME:

11 I will look for my sheep and take care of them myself, 12 just as a shepherd looks for lost sheep. My sheep have been lost since that dark and miserable day when they were scattered throughout the nations. But I will rescue them 13 and bring them back from the foreign nations where they now live. I will be their shepherd and will let them graze on Israel’s mountains and in the valleys and fertile fields. 14 They will be safe as they feed on grassy meadows and green hills. 15 I promise to take care of them and keep them safe, 16 to look for those that are lost and bring back the ones that wander off, to bandage those that are hurt and protect the ones that are weak.

Ezekiel 34:11-16

ACTION STEPS FOR YOU AND FOR ME:

As a Chaplain, I want to serve you in the Outdoor Industry by providing you a safe place to feed, a promise to care, a bandage for the hurting, and protection for the weak… at whatever level you will allow us.

Be aware of yourself enough to know when a Chaplain can:

  • Believe in you, because God does.
  • Listen to you when no one else will.
  • Ask you questions that will help you.
  • Support you in times of decision-making.
  • Test you when it is the right thing to do.

I am here to serve you… when you feel the time is right.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Devotional

 

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Hunt to Kill… or… Kill to Hunt?

Caleb's 1st Turkey Hunt

Another lesson learned for this old boy this past weekend with the opening of Spring Turkey Season here in California.  There are birds here… and lots of them if you know where to go.  A far greater lesson though was the one my son Caleb (10) taught me.

Listen to Caleb’s words in this short unedited clip we shot from our old digital camera.  Forgive the quality and lack of editing… one day we’ll invest in camera equipment and editing software.


THINK WITH ME:

Did you catch it… “It was fun… Even though we didn’t see anything…”  Now, there is a lesson for us all.  You know what I learned?  Too often we hit the woods and the water with killing or catching on our minds.  And when we don’t, we feel like the hunt or fishing trip was unsuccessful.  Success of a hunt isn’t measured by the kill or the catch, success is measured by the experience.

That is a message I believe we all need to hear this week.  Hunting isn’t about killing and fishing isn’t about catching, they are by-products.  The real “killing” is just dying to have the opportunity to hunt or fish… to be in God’s creation, enjoying all that He has created for us to enjoy.

Breakfast from the Blind

READ WITH ME:

18 Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (CEV)

THINK WITH ME:

How many times have we as outdoorsmen and sportsmen hit the woods or water and forgotten the “things that are not seen”?  Some times it takes a child to remind us that the blessing is in the experience.

The boys and I would kill to be in the woods or on the water every day as ministers in the great outdoors.  If I wasn’t a full-time pastor in a local church our family would be committing our full-time efforts to communicating God’s love of us while hunting, fishing, and being Chaplain’s to Outdoorsmen.  Don’t waste an opportunity…

This week, ask God to reveal how you are to be sharing your love of the outdoors with someone else and how you missed Him in your last excursion, because of focusing too much on the kill or the catch.

More photos and videos on our Facebook page and more videos coming to our YouTube channel.

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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Devotional

 

Turkey’s Never Lie… Or Do They?

Let me preface this by saying, we are ALL notorious for protecting our “honey hole”.  But, come on… do we really need to look another hunter in the eyes and lie to their face?  On so many levels this is wrong.

THINK:

What prompted this was my scouting trip last weekend for turkeys… (Thunder Chickens)  I happened to be down in San Diego County on the Cleveland National Forest just northwest of Henshaw Lake.  Where I’m sure there will be several of us this coming Saturday morning, March 26th for opening day.

While coming out of the woods I ran into 3 guys coming in mid to late morning on Saturday.  The conversation went something like this…

 

Me – how’s it going guys… scouting turkeys?
Guys – yep…

Me – well, yesterday evening I sat into dark over the lake near the pastures edge with no luck other than a few muley does and this morning it was more than quite in the heavy fog.
Guys – ok, then

Me – you guys familiar with this area?  I’m new here.
Guys – no, this is our first time here too.

Me – well you know where the old barn is?
Guys – yeah… down the creek bed and around the bend… (1st clue)

Me – I sat there for 2 hours on the ridge with no luck, yesterday.
Guys – oh… ok

Me – you know where that old water holding tank is on the far side of the pasture.
Guys – yeah… up near that old cattle crossing. (2nd clue)

Me – yeah, that one…. no luck there either.
Guys – I see… well I guess you’ll not be here next weekend then will you.

Me – since I don’t know of a lot of other areas… I’m thinking this might be one of my better options to bring my boys, since I know the birds hold up here throughout the year.
Guys – well… you know you might want to try down near Southerland Lake, I hear it is a much better spot than here.

Me – thanks for the tip guys… hope you have a great day.  Blessings!

Now, I have no idea about those guys spiritual lives.  I have no knowledge of where they stand in their relationship to Christ.  This much I do know… they are turkey hunters and they are “turkeys”.  They looked me in my eyes and told me they’d never been to that spot before, yet they knew every land mark I mentioned and gave a better description of it than I could have.


READ:

19  Truth will last forever; lies are soon found out.

Proverbs 12:17 (CEV)


ACT:

I know we love our honey holes, but lying never wins.  As you go throughout your week know that I’m praying for you.

Speaking truth… in love.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Devotional

 

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Two “oaths”, thousands of years apart – Once Made … Lasts Forever

Pvt Joshua Hudspeth

This past Friday, Stephanie, the boys and I had the privilege of being with my sister and her family as we watched her son Joshua graduate as a MARINE at the MCRD in San Diego, Ca.  As I thought about Joshua (my nephew) I reflected back on the day he was born.  I then began to think about him as a man, a Marine, and a follower of Jesus.  My thoughts then drifted to the Joshua of the Bible, his learnings, leadership, and mistakes.  There is a parallel between the Joshua of the Bible and the oath he made as a leader and my nephew Joshua and the oath he has taken as a Marine.

THINK WITH ME:

Joshua (from the Bible) was called out to lead the people of Israel after Moses.  He was Moses aide from a very young age.  As you might recall he and Caleb reported back that “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.”  Joshua’s faith and the spirit of God led him to be Moses successor.  Joshua was proven in courage and leadership.  He was a warrior and led the nation to victory.

Joshua led the people across the Jordan river on dry ground, just as Moses had done at the Red Sea. He fought the battle in Jericho.  Joshua was an example of leadership and his name when out across the land.  Because of his prominence, nations began to fear Israel as well as banding together against them.  This led to Joshua making an oath with a group of people who feared him.  The only problem was that he had not sought out God’s will prior to making that oath.  Even though Joshua had not sought God, He still expected Joshua to uphold the promise he made to the people.

My mine then quickly jumps back to thinking about my nephew Joshua and the oath he made as a Marine. Look at the Motto of the Marine Corp.

“Semper Fidelis distinguishes the Marine Corps bond from any other. It goes beyond teamwork – it is a brotherhood and lasts for life. Latin for “always faithful,” Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what.  Becoming a Marine is a transformation that cannot be undone, and Semper Fi reminds us of that. Once made, a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps.  There is no such thing as an ex-Marine.”

Quote from Marines.com

READ WITH ME:

6 Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt cause this people to inherit the land which I sware unto their fathers to give them.7 Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest have good success whithersoever thou goest.8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not affrighted, neither be thou dismayed: for Jehovah thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua 1:6-9

Pvt Hudspeth with The Mackey Boys

ACT WITH ME:

As one who is prominent in the Outdoor Industry, you are a leader. Be strong and courageous … observe the law… serve others… mediate on what is true and right…

Might I also suggest a few thoughts to ponder…

– Am I going beyond teamwork to create an outdoor brotherhood and lasts for life?

– Am I remaining faithful to the mission I have for my company, and to others in the industry, no matter what?

It has been said that, “When our leaders make oaths, God has the expectation that they will keep their word. Making promises and breaking promises is something God takes seriously.”

– Have I made an oath that I’ve broken?  If so, how am I going to make it right?

REFLECTION:

As men and women who are passionate about the outdoors we too need to be “always faithful“.  Faithful to helping each other be healthy and balanced in our everyday life, our love of the outdoors, conservation of natural resources, and positively impacting future generations of outdoorsmen.

I would also like to submit that we be responsible to seek God’s direction before making and/or taking an oath.

The Joshua of the Bible – His “oath” stands to this day.

My nephew, Joshua – His “oath” lasts forever.

Two “oaths” thousands of years apart – once made… lasts forever.

Just a Thought …

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Devotional

 

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Raising Modern Day Warriors

Thanks to @AlQuackenbush we had the joy of taking our boys to the Fred Hall Fishing Tackle, Boat and Travel Show this past weekend in Long Beach, Ca.  A big thank you to Al for his generosity and the sponsors who donated the tickets.  A real treat for our family and something we don’t often get the privilege of enjoying.

A sad 13 yr old boy

As Stephanie and I walked the floor of the convention center with the boys my mind wandered back to all my years growing up without a father in my life.  My father left in 1983 and divorced my mom in 1985 after some 30 years of marriage.  As I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve only seen him 4 or 5 times in the past 27 years and none in the last 10 or 11 years. My mother raised us kids as a single parent, and did a FINE job I might add.  So, for all the single mothers out there reading this post.  You are my hero’s.

THINK WITH ME:

During the most crucial years in a young boys life and into manhood, a father figure was missing in my life.  Most of the hunting and fishing I did in my teenage and young adult years happen to be with my brother, cousins, guys from the golf course where my mother worked, guys from church, clients, and friends.  All the hunting and fishing trips that a young boy hopes for as a teenage, young man, and young father, hoping to share his children with his dad on hunting expeditions, never occurred.  I found myself looking to be the warrior man that God had created me to be; however, I lacked the one thing I needed most… a father / dad to walk with me, talk with me, show me how to live as a man.  I looked for that role model in a lot of guys… and over time pieced together the best part of a lot of different men who have helped me become the man I am today.  Some of those men I’ve never met, but watched them from a distance as Outdoor Hunting / Fishing TV Show Hosts.  Some good… some, not so good.

a somewhat arrogant 21 yr old young man

It is for that reason God has called me to Raise Modern Day Warriors. No boy should be without his father / dad in the most crucial time of developing the man God uses.  I don’t want to look back one day and miss the best that life has to offer in doing life with my wife and boys.  There is NOTHING so important that it should take time away from being with Stephanie and the boys in the outdoors… NOTHING.

My heart has been mended over the past 27 years.  I am very healthy in my relationship to God, my wife, and my boys.  My prayer is that I’ll one day take the hunting and fishing trips with my boys I never had with my father.  And there will be hunts for me to take my sons and my grandsons on together… multiple generations walking side by side into the great outdoors.

a 29 year old - new husband

My heart is for those of you in the Outdoor Industry. I pray for health and balance in your life.  You see… you are my little boys hero’s.  My boys look up to you.  They think you guys have hung the moon.  They watch your Shows, your Videos, your You Tube clips, your Blogs, your Twitter feed, and your Facebook… they know your names, your sponsors, what bow you shoot, clothes you wear, and gun you carry.  The reason for Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen is that I want to invest in you… because whether or not you saw this coming, you are helping me Raise Modern Day Warriors.

I want to leave a different legacy for my boys than the one left for me.  And I need your help.

a 40 year old dad - raising modern day warriors

The following scripture is one I read often.  I hope you’ll find it helpful… You are helping me train my boys even if you didn’t know it.

READ WITH ME:

6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 ESV

ACT WITH ME:

Thousands of little boys and girls, just like my sons, Caleb, Josiah, Levi, and Silas are watching you.  As you are recording your show this week or your video for release, please consider the thousands if not tens of thousands of next generation hunters and fishermen who are following your lead.

REFLECTION:

Throughout this post are several pictures of me from the past 27 years.  As you look into my eyes you’ll notice a sad 13 year old boy, a some what arrogant 21  year old young man, a 29 year old new husband, and now a 40 year old dad wanting to leave a legacy of Modern Day Warriors.

Look into my eyes and see what unfolds for you.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Devotional

 

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Belly up to “The Table”… or Go Hungry

The Table

For me the journey at “The Table” began on October 6, 1996.  I remember it well.  I was a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas when my professor Dr. Daryl Eldridge (now with Rockbridge Seminary – a fully online seminary) asked me to join he and several other guys for a table discussion.

That table discussion turned into a small group experience that lasted for 7 straight years, every Tuesday morning at 7 a.m.   Over that 7 year period of time, I bet you we didn’t miss a 1/2 dozen Tuesday mornings.

We were together at this table when the guys dedicated my oldest son, Caleb to the Lord, eight days after he was born.  We were also at this table praying together the morning the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorist.  Even after the seven year stretch we have continued to stay connected as a group even though we live in 5 different states.  We’ve even come back together on several occasions for a 3 day retreat.  It is in part to that “Band of Brothers” that I pastor and coach today.  The tools I pass on to you as your Chaplain and Coach I learned from those guys and the investment they have made in me these past 15 years of ministry.

May 2, 2000 - Caleb & the Guys

THINK:

The reason I ask whose table your feet are under is because if you aren’t sitting at the table, you will go hungry. Does that makes sense?  Life can and will throw some pretty hard things at you, and if you don’t have someone walking with you, it can be pretty stink’n lonely.  It’s like going hunting with out your hunt’n buddy.  I hate hunting alone… That’s why I try to take at least one of my boys with me every time I hit the woods.

At one point in my life I was that lonely guy.  Before Daryl asked me to join that group I really didn’t have anyone speaking into my life.  I wasn’t being fed.  And if I’m not fed, how can I be feeding others?  It becomes a shared reality.  If no one is speaking into your life it’s going to be hard to lead your family well, your company, your TV Show, produce good quality outdoor videos, products, etc…  You might be able to fake it for a short time, but it will always come back to bite you.

I feel like I need to make a clarifying statement here.  I’m not talking about a company you pay for a monthly coaching experience with CEO’s, who use charts, graphs, assessments, tools, strategies and plans. I’m talking about just a couple of guys/gals you can hang with and be real about life, family, work, and spiritual discussions.  Someone you can sit at their table and they sit at yours as you share a meal together.

Now before someone sends me hate mail… I’m not saying that Life Planning, Coaching Roundtables, or fee for service CEO Monthly Strategy sessions are wrong.  For goodness sakes, part of what I do with Chaplain to the Outdoorsmen is Life Coaching.  What I am saying, is that you need some guys/gals around you to be authentic in your everyday life.

Check out this passage from the Bible and see if anything resonates with you.

READ:

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47

ACT:

A good action step might be to list 3 – 5 things from this passage that the guys following Jesus did together.

Also, what do you see from this passage as 3 – 5 benefits of their doing life together.

How might your life be different or is it different by doing life with others?

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in Devotional

 

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