Don’t Just Hear It…Do It
I posted a blog yesterday about a new fitness revolution for hardcore hunters called Train To Hunt. A couple guys I’m getting to know and respect started Train To Hunt out of a necessity to help serious sportsmen hunt harder, longer, and farther. These guys put together a website (traintohunt.com) that provides a daily training regimen and video journal to serve as your personal online trainer as you train to hunt. There is some really good stuff there.
But if you’ve ever seen me eat, you can tell I’m not a fitness nut. In fact, it takes a lot for me to get motivated to get in the groove with a regular fitness routine. However, I am motivated by the idea of working out to better tip the odds of success in my favor when hunting season rolls around. So when I found this website, complete with video demos and instruction on how to train to be a more physically fit hunter, I was pumped!
But here’s the deal. I can watch all the videos and exercise demos I want at this site…I can even crank up some Rocky Balboa Eye of the Tiger tunes…but if I don’t move from where I am, to where I ought to be, then it’s all in vain. I can’t just see and hear it…I must do it.
The same truth applies to our spiritual fitness as well as our physical fitness.
James 1:22-25 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise you are fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”
The Bible is full of some really good stuff! You gain knowledge of it by reading through it. But when you read it and live it, breathe it, and do it…it changes everything! You simply can’t live out God’s word and not be radically changed. But it does require action. It requires discipline and obedience, but the rewards are nothing short of promised blessings from an awesome God.
Don’t just hear it…Do it!
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What’s Holding You Up
It didn’t take too long into my efforts of trying to capture my hunts on tape that I realized the need for an adequate support system. If I was hunting on the ground a tripod was a must. And when deer hunting from a treestand, a tree arm was the only way to go. I’ve botched countless hunts because I chose to use inferior equipment. I’ll never forget a turkey hunt from several years ago when I had two big gobblers just 8 yards from my groundblind and my cheap Walmart tripod broke right in my hands. It made an awful noise, but somehow the birds didn’t have a clue about the meltdown that was taking place in the darkness of my groundblind. And I can’t help but think of all the deer hunts that were ruined by faulty “homemade” tree arms that made excessive noise or failed to perform when I needed them to the most.
The fact is, for many years I tried to go the cheap route. I used the equipment that was easy to get and wouldn’t take much sacrifice on my wallet. And the result was junk! Poor footage, frustration in the stand, and many unpunched hunting tags.
Over the years, as I developed a greater passion for capturing the hunt on camera, I’ve learned that I need to place more emphasis on what’s holding my equipment up. The tree arm or tripod should not be an afterthought. The whole story is contingent on what happens with that camera. Everything is shaky…unless I have a rock solid support.
Let me ask you…what’s holding you up? In your personal life, what are you counting on for a solid foundation in the midst of all of life’s trials? Have you tried to take the easy way out in the circumstances and situations that come your way? Despite all our attempts at finding strength and support from other people, other things, and in other ways, nothing can compare to the rock solid support that comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Because of who He is…and what He did for us on the cross, we have a solid support to hold us up.
Life can be shaky at times…be sure you have a rock solid support!
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
I’m a big fan of decoys for hunting. And few critters seem to take the bait better than the wild turkey. I absolutely love to watch the interaction of live turkeys with decoys. A quality decoy will often cause a smart gobbler to leave what he knows as right…to pursue his springtime desire. It’s old fashioned lust! And every year it is the death of many longbearded birds all across the country. The bottom line is decoys help seal the deal when it comes to deceiving animals. I love to communicate with game through the use of calls. But it’s the decoys that help that animal switch from audial to visual. A boss tom is playing with fire when he makes his approach to check out the sounds of excited hens. But he walks into a deadly trap when he fixes his eyes on a decoy and makes those final steps within bow-range
I recently heard a pastor say, “If you don’t want to fall, then don’t walk around in slippery places.” And surely you’ve heard it said before, “If you play with fire, you’re gonna get burnt.”
The fact is that famous saying is actually pretty biblical. Think about the passage from Proverbs 6:27, “Can a man take fire into his lap and his clothes not be burned?”
Far too often we allow ourselves to let our eyes wander on other things. Whether it’s the lure and attraction of another person, the desire for other things, or simply anything that causes us to take our eyes off of God...they are evil. And as hard as it is, we must not allow our eyes – and hearts – to go there. When we fix our eyes on earthly things we are walking into a trap. No, it may not literally kill you. But it can and will destroy your life, your family, your relationships, or your career.
Where do you allow your eyes to wander? Don’t be deceived by the lure of anything that would cause you to take your eyes off the Lord.
Look out…and look up! God has great things in store for those that keep their focus on Him.
As the morning began to break and the sights and sounds of the spring turkey woods came on strong, it became apparent that the birds we were after did not roost where they “always do.” And when the gobblers flew down, we quickly realized all the action was happening in the neighboring pasture…not in front of our decoys. As we’ve done so many times in the past, my buddy and I found ourselves asking the question, “Should we stay or should we go?” A pile of choices had to be made. Do we pick up all our gear and try to set up closer to the action? Do we go find other birds? Do we leave and come back later? My buddy answered the questions when he said, “We gotta be patient. Let’s just sit tight and wait on them.” My buddy knew that whether it was 30 minutes or 3 hours later, the birds would eventually come to the field we were in. He was right! One hour after our anxious desire to make something happen nearly led us to move, four longbeards stepped out of the woods and made their way to our location. Two of the four didn’t make it out alive!
Choices. Big ones…small ones…we face choices every single day of our lives. Some are very simple decisions that we seldom realize we’ve even made. However some are life-changing. Some choices will affect the way we do life today….and some will dramatically impact how we live life tomorrow.
We often seek guidance from a friend or family member on the choices we make. We want them to help us decide, or maybe to make us feel better about the choices we make.
However, in the midst of all the decisions we make, whether large or small, none is greater than the choice of whom or what we will serve. Sure, that sounds silly. But the fact is we are all seeking and serving something or someone. For some it’s relationships, for others it’s money, jobs, or material things. However, the greatest choice one can possibly make is to serve God. To seek and to serve the Lord is the greatest decision a person will make throughout all of life.
I love the passage in Joshua 24:15 that says, “But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve….But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
The choice is ours. And it is a decision that must be made. We have straddled the fence far too long in our decision to give and live life for God or live life for self.
Choose to serve Him today!
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.