A New Day
by Brodie Swisher
I cherish every moment I have to watch a new day unfold while sitting in the woods. There’s nothing like being there as the world around you seemingly comes alive. The sights and sounds are pretty much indescribable. You simply must experience it for yourself. Words, and even pictures just aren’t enough
Today however, was a different day. Well before the sun even began to shine I got a message on my phone that a family friend had passed away from this life shortly after 4:00am this morning. April Kelly fought a hard battle with breast cancer since 2009. This year it came back strong and her body couldn’t handle any more. Today, on her first morning in heaven, she is healed completely. No more pain, no more suffering. And I can only imagine what it must have been like when April breathed her last breath here on earth and opened her eyes in heaven this morning. Can you imagine what that first morning in heaven will be like? A new day in heaven and that first opportunity to stand before God, the Creator of all things! What a day that will be! I love the post a mutual friend left on April’s Facebook page last night, her last evening here earth. It helps give just a glimpse of what she might have experienced this morning on her new day in heaven.
“April, You are about to have the Greatest Day of your life. Look for the Ancient of Days sitting on the Throne, not a Throne but THE Throne … THE Throne of the Universe … The Timeless, Ageless Throne … And look to the right of the Throne for the ONE that looks like a Lamb Slain !!! He will see you before you see Him …. He is waiting for you … Have a Blast !!! Don’t forget to Breathe !!!”
Are you ready for that day? If not, shoot me an email and we’ll talk about how you can prepare for that first day in heaven. email@example.com
It’s been a tough elk season this year so far. Whether it’s the wolves or the warmer weather, elk simply have not been as vocal in the places I’ve hunted this year. And that makes for some tough hunting conditions. However, the beauty of elk hunting often lies in the sights you encounter nearly as much as it does the sounds. Even on the toughest days I stand in awe of the majestic beauty of elk country. Hoofin’ it up the side of a mountain can be brutal. But once you’re at the top, you quickly realize the journey has been worth it all. I can’t help but see the face of God in and through His creation. The mountains, the rivers, the elk, and the sounds they make, all declare God’s glory….and I love it! You simply can’t experience it and not know that there is a God. In fact God’s word speaks this truth clearly in Romans 1:20 when it says “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.”
Us sportsmen, of all people, ought to know, there is a God. We simply have no excuse for not grasping that truth. Don’t be guilty of getting caught up in the hunt and failing to realize just how blessed we are to experience the sights and sounds of God’s country. His creation speaks of His glory. We too should speak His glory every time we hit the woods and once again encounter His eternal power through His creation.
by Brodie Swisher
I often marvel at the sight of old trees still standing tall in the woods. They have stood the test of time. In many cases, they were there long before us, and will likely still be standing long after we’re gone. But have you ever stopped to notice the fallen remains of one of these strong warriors of the woods? It’s almost depressing to see the end result of what once was so tall and mighty. The other day, while hunting with a friend, I’d stopped to try and locate some shut-mouthed elk in the timber. I leaned my bow against an old stump as I dug through the pocket on my backpack for my calls. As I stood there awaiting a response to the sound of my calls, my eyes were continually drawn to the old stump that was now supporting my bow. It was weathered, worn, and hollow. It was a mere fragment of what once stood strong in the midst of the forest, declaring God’s glory. Once strong to its core, the tree was now weak and empty…hollow.
The thing that depresses me the most about such a sight is the fact that it represents so many of us. Countless men and women have fallen because at their very core, they were empty. I pray daily that I (and many others) can stand strong and mighty and weather the storms that come my way. And I know this comes only by being filled with the power and strength that comes from the spirit of God. We often try to fill the void in our life with so many other things. However, our relentless pursuit for bigger bulls and bucks, houses and trucks, will ultimately leave us empty to the core. Sure, they’ll make us happy for a moment, but they fail to fill the void in our lives. Please hear me…if God is not the center of your life…you are hollow. You must be filled with Him. In Him you have hope. Without Him you are hollow.
“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:16-19
If you’re tired of being hollow, give me a shout. I’d love to talk with you more on how to be solid to the core through a relationship with Jesus. firstname.lastname@example.org
As the rain fell outside this morning I debated whether to slip out and sling a few arrows at the targets in the backyard. With all the excitement of hunting season now in full swing, I’ve managed to let a few days pass without spending time in the yard preparing for the moment of truth. I love to shoot my bow year-round, however, in the months leading up to hunting season, I practice religiously. I shoot in the mornings, at lunch time, and again before dark. However, one month in to hunting season I find myself having neglected one of the “chores” I cherish so much. I know I’m not the only one that is guilty of failing to continue with in-season practice. Why is it that when hunting season arrives we tend to slack on our practice sessions the most? A very successful hunter may sling 6-10 arrows a season at live animals. Hardly enough to maintain form and stay sharp. The reality is, we ought to ramp up our precise practice and preparation as the pressure of hunting season finally arrives. We should be more focused than ever on the task at hand and do everything within our power to ensure we are prepared for the moment of truth.
Some years ago I choked on two easy shots at a really nice buck that just wouldn’t walk away. It would have been a record book buck with a longbow…but when it came down to it…I couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn. I was not ready. I was not focused. And when the moment arrived, I failed miserably.
The Bible boldly talks about our need to be ready at all times in life as well. 2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” To “be ready in season and out of season” means to always be ready to serve God in any situation, whether or not it is convenient. We must be sensitive to the opportunities God gives us to share the word.
Much like the importance of practicing our skills in rain or shine, we must be ready to do what God has called us to do. At all times we must be prepared to speak truth and boldly proclaim the word of God when the opportunities arise.
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.