A Man Minute Christmas ...
by Jason Cruise
I turned 40 just a few weeks ago.
I have been warned, for years now, that a man's fourth decade on earth brings with it journeys that were yet unknown, and even, yes, reserved for those years after 40, so as to grind it into a man's spirit that he is no longer young. The eyes will go bad, joints will ache, health will show signs of decline ... these were the prophetic utterances I'd heard for these last few remaining years of my 30's.
My doctor, a good friend of mine, has been telling me for the last five years or so that my future most likely held the prospect of having to go on medication for bad cholesterol. So it was, just 25 days or so ago, that I began this morning exercise of eating this pill. There they are ... on your right. We aren't talking much - those pills and me. Our relationship is quite mechanical right now in its early stages.
It has been a bitter truth to confront, because I actually take decent care of myself. In our ongoing conversation, my doctor and I have been pondering the issues surrounding my radically inactive metabolism, and subsequent extra pounds, relative to my active lifestyle, that should, in theory, boost metabolic activity.
I work out several times a week. Do not eat fast food, do not eat that much meat, and take many vitamins and natural supplements for heart health. Not too bad for a guy who's cholesterol is bouncing off the ceiling. I found his words to be interesting in all matters of the spirit. Brian said, "No matter what we do, Jason, or what we may experiment with, I simply cannot separate you from your family tree."
Yes. We all have a history don't we? Yes we do.
Truthfully, I know my nutritional approach needs reform. Even still, I have a family history of heart disease that is undeniable and unavoidable. Which means I've got to apply a different variant of discipline now that I've clipped the dark caverns and recesses of a man's health in life after 40.
I have a family tree. I cannot detach my health from my genetic code. Something more has to be done, literally, to keep me alive.
So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
(1 Corinth. 15:45-49)
In a few days you and I are going to gather with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. Jesus, the Scriptures say, came at "just the right time." (Romans 5:6) Jesus came to do that which we could never do on our own.
On a cold night long ago in Bethlehem a baby was born. He did come to this earth to bring you greater discipline in your lifestyle, nor did He come to offer you strength in your approach to behavioral reform.
No amount of reform could cure the simple truth that you have a family tree that started with a man named Adam; and, the fruit of that tree, my brother, was called Iniquity. The Scriptures tell us that we all, every one, "bear his image." Adam, a natural man, fell to the fruit of this natural tree. So did I, and so did you.
No matter what you do, you cannot reform iniquity, for it is literally ... in you. You cannot separate yourself from its story or its effect.
This simple reality is why you need a Savior.
This simply reality is the reason why "unto us a child is born ..."
Merry Christmas My Brother. Jason Cruise
Running Down A Dream
by Jason Cruise
Right now many hunters are living their annual dream. Chase big bucks, go to work, be a husband and father, all while trying to survive for about sixty days on complete and total sleep deprivation.
Several seasons back a friend of mine invited me to come up and hunt a farm near his home in the mid-west. I was honored, for I'd always wanted a chance to chase big whitetails known in that region. In fairy-tale fashion, I arrowed what has been my largest buck to date: a 14 pointer with a double main beam that scores just shy of 160 inches. The hunt itself was absolutely amazing.
The chase phase of the rut was in full swing, so I was committed to an all day sit. At 3pm, however, I climbed down from that oak to go and sit on the ground about 110 yards north of my stand site due to the fact that all day long I'd noticed deer were crossing the intersection of a wood line and a field edge. It was a horribly risky move because there wasn't a lot of cover for a ground assault, yet I knew I was out of position, so something had to be done.
One hour later and temperature dropping, this brute hopped a fence and came into the cut bean field about 400 yards from my position under a cedar tree. With his nose glued to the ground on a trot, he began working my way. He was locked into a hot doe's scent trail.
When he was 90 yards away I grunted at him, and he swung his monster head in my direction. I grunted a second time, he grunted back, and then began to sprint directly at me, running down what he felt was an opportunity to satisfy his greatest craving. He closed the gap from 90 yards to 12 yards in roughly 6 seconds.
Leaning on one knee crouched in sage grass, I shot him at 12 paces. I'll never forget the blurry image of that arrowing reflecting the sunlight as it passed through him and flew out his other side violently as he swung upon its impact. He ran 50 yards, and then dropped. To use a worn out cliché, it was truly the "hunt of a lifetime."
The most elusive animal in North America is a large whitetail buck. No animal is better at staying alive, and no animal is better at adaptation to a hostile environment, than a whitetail buck. Yet, this elusive, wise, savvy survivalist was shot and killed for one simple reason: he was, though be it only temporary, willing to live off of the adrenaline that comes from pure and unfiltered emotion.
My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword ... For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.
by Jason Cruise
But he who is spiritual appraises all things ... 1 Corinth. 2:15
When you came into the family of God in a personal relationship with Christ, a cosmic amount of God's heart was downloaded into your life in that supernatural moment. Not only were you redeemed, but you immediately received the assets of redemption. One such asset was a filter for truth.
The Holy Spirit is your guide, your filter for truth. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth." (John 16:13)
Lies, heresy, and deception come in many, many forms. The older I get, the more I see how eternally valuable my filter for truth is in all matters of pure survival pertaining to the journey of manhood.
God gave you a filter. Use it. If you don't, you'll find out, oh so quickly, that life unfiltered is cluttered with every imaginable impurity.
Jason Cruise is the founder of Mission. Mission was created to "vindicate the fatherless" in a country known as Moldova. To learn more go to www.themissionvision.net Jason is a well known speaker traveling across the country sharing his love for Christ at wildgame dinners and conferences. Jason has created many valuable resources for the outdoorsmen to take them deeper into their walk with their Creator. These items include DVD's, Bibles, and Bible studies.