by Brodie Swisher
Several years back, while on an elk hunt in the high country, I found myself and a couple of buddies in a pickup truck slippin’ and sliding our way up a muddy mountain road in the early hours before daylight. We were in a race against the clock to arrive at the trailhead with ample time to hoof it in to our location to listen for bugling bulls as the day began to break. The road was nasty and rough…and my buddy was driving way too fast. With windshield wipers working overtime to keep the rain and mud from the windshield, visibility was questionable at times. And one of those questionable times is when it happened. In our mad scramble up the mountain, our driver failed to recall the rough spot in the road. It was a washed out spot in the road that needed careful attention to traverse.
We hit it at what seemed like 45 mph! The truck went flying! I was in the back of the cab and my face quickly met the back of the front seat resulting in an early morning bloody nose. I was lucky. The passenger in the front seat met the windshield. Somehow he didn’t crack the glass, but he sure managed to blacken his eye and make his already-ugly face even less attractive. The unharmed driver simply said, “Man! This road is getting a little rough!” Hey, if you haven’t figured it out already, tough times in life are sure to come. They are part of the journey we all must face. Sometimes we adhere to the warning signs. Other times we blow right past in our mad dash to other things that hold our attention.
I love the hope and encouragement found in John 16:33 where Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
There will be no shortage of rough roads to come in our lives as we take this short ride toward our eternal destination. When those times come, I pray you find the peace that passes all understanding as you draw close to the One that has overcome and conquered even our greatest crisis.
by Efton Green
When I stepped out of my truck I could feel a cool breeze hit me in the face and I thought to myself, “It’s going to be a good afternoon.” I grabbed my Z7 and made a quick inspection of my arrows and Land Shark broadheads. It was my goal for the afternoon to let those Land Sharks feed on some swine that I had had on my mind. As I slowly began my still hunting adventure, I said a little prayer and started walking. Returning back to the area that I had noticed a lot of pig sign, I began to hear some squirrels going crazy so I headed in that direction. When I got closer to where I believed the squirrels were, I stood motionless; scanning for any movement when a small group of pigs caught my eye. I was nocked, cocked, and ready to rock! All I needed was to get a little bit closer. As I stalked closer, the wind direction was right and my heart rate began to elevate; I breathed another small prayer, “Lord help me make a good shot.”
You know, the Bible says in Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Even if those pigs had winded me or heard me, it would not have taken away from the fact that God is good! Regardless of what is going on in the world; as a follower of Christ, my focus should not be on what I perceive a situation to be but on what the Bible says. God is GOOD! Mark 11:22 tells us to “have faith in God.” True faith believes the Bible over any circumstance that takes place in life. We’ve got to choose to believe the Word.
Back to the hunt – I moved into position, my sights were set on a big, red and black spotted hog; but there was too much brush. A smaller (aka good eating size) hog was clear for the shot so I drew back, put my pin on her and turned my Land Shark loose to feed… And feed it did. When my arrow struck its mark, the gilt ran about 40 yards and gave up the ghost. As I stood over her, I rejoiced in the day God had made!
Make the choice to rejoice today!
Man on the Run
by Brodie Swisher
This has been a special week for my bowhunting brother, Zeke Pipher, as his debut book, Man on the Run, was released on Tuesday. Zeke’s passion for chasin’ critters with a bow is contagious. Zeke’s the real deal. He’s a good dude. But he’s more than a good guy…he’s a godly man. A man that God has blessed with a wealth of wisdom to encourage and equip others for the journey of life. Be blessed as you discover the timeless truths within the pages of Zeke’s exciting new book, Man on the Run: Helping Hyper-Hobbied Men Recognize The Best Things In Life.
Do you have a hyper-hobbied man in your life? Maybe you are a hyper-hobbied man. Hobbies and adventurous pursuits are good for the soul, says author Zeke Pipher. In fact, the human spirit was designed for challenge, stimulation, even risk. So why a book about hyper-hobbied men? Because too much of a good thing can pull men away from the even more important things—like family, friends, and church.
But there is another way. Men are capable of living with passion and zeal while at the same time remaining balanced and faithful to their most important relationships and priorities. They can learn to run hard and run well, while running after the right things. To do this, men need the help and support of their wives, children, friends, and greater community. If these basics are in place, watch out. Everyone wins when hyper-hobbied men live energetic lives of balance and integrity. Man on the Run seeks to provide ideas and strategies that will help us live and finish well.
Through the Motions
by Brodie Swisher
Some years ago while on an out-of-state hunt, I had the opportunity to spend some time in hunting camp with a fella that appeared to have won a shopping spree at Cabelas. The guy had it all! He had the latest and greatest in camo, complete with matching pants, shirt, vest, jacket, gloves, and cap. His camo clothes were clean and crisp, and I honestly think he was afraid to get them dirty. His high-end binoculars and rangefinder were proudly dangling from his neck, regardless of whether he was actually hunting or just hanging out at camp. He had the finest equipment. From the year’s best selling bow to the spendy Italian leather boots on his feet, this dude had it all! It was enough to make some guys in camp grunt with jealousy (not me of course!). But what I found interesting about this guy is that while he loved to dress the part, he had actually never shed the blood of any critter that walks, crawls, or flies across the earth. He liked to look as if he were an avid hunter to his peers, yet when it came to spending time in the woods in pursuit of game he was lost. By his own confession, he always climbed down from his stand before primetime to escape the woods before darkness fell. He headed in to the timber after daylight in the mornings in an effort to avoid stumbling in the dark, or becoming disoriented as to his whereabouts. He came in early for lunch and napped well into the afternoon. After hearing his story, there was no wonder as to why he failed to produce year after year on the critters he pursued. He was going through the motions to look like a hunter, yet he wasn’t willing to do what it takes to get it done. The end result was a season of regrets.
Success in the woods takes so much more than simply dressing up in camo and sitting around the campfire. You gotta live it out! You have to stay in the hunt, even when it hurts. The cost of success on the hunt is great, and it will often take its toll on our bodies physically and emotionally….but the rewards are priceless!
I’ll be real honest. I don’t want to come to the end of my season of life and find myself with a long list of regrets. I don’t want to simply go through the motions of this life only to be filled with regrets at the end of my journey. I want more than a life full of playing the part. I want to truly live it out. I want to be the husband, father, and child of God that I’ve been called to be now, instead of reflecting back on wasted years later. I want no regrets at the end of my race.
A song by Matthew West features the lyrics…
I don’t wanna go through the motions
I don’t wanna go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking
What if I had given everything?
Instead of going through the motions
Are there things in your life right now that need to change in order to prevent later regrets when you find yourself at the end of the journey? Live it out…No Regrets!
Brodie Swisher is a World Champion game caller, accomplished speaker, a notable writer, a skilled hunter, and all around down to earth guy! His travels take him across the country as a well known public speaker in the arena of outdoor events such as wildgame dinners, banquests, archery classes, and filming. Above all Brodie Swisher loves Jesus and he can't wait to share his passion for Christ with those he meets.