Saturday, December 20, 2014

Day 354 - A Deer First

Today I took Joel hunting and he killed his first deer for my "first."

I've taken Joel hunting before but he's never killed a deer. I was hoping he would kill one not just for me to have a "first," but for him to have a first. He went hunting with me several times last year and a couple the year before.  It can get discouraging if you don't kill one.

A doe came into the field not too long before dark.  Joel made a good shot on her but she ran off into the woods.  We had to go look for her.  I saw the deer with my flashlight but did not say anything until Joel saw her.  When he did he said, "Is that a deer?"  I said it sure is.  He was pretty happy about his first deer.

We drug the deer out to the field and went to get the vehicle to load her up and bring her back to where she would be cleaned.  As we were walking to the vehicle Joel said, "Can we run to the vehicle?"  When I asked why he said he did not want something like a wolf to get his deer before we got back to it.  He was excited. When we got down out of the deer stand, he was shaking he was so excited.  On the way home, he asked me if that was going to be my "first."  When I said yes he said that this might be his favorite "first" of the year.

Some of my favorite memories from childhood is hunting and fishing with my Dad. I truly enjoyed hunting and fishing and it was extra special to do those activities with my Dad.  Now, I'm truly enjoying doing those things with my son.  It was quite fun to see how excited he was over his first deer.  This is a memory we both will cherish.

Earlier this week, I called a guy named Bob Goff for a "first."  When I asked him about his advice on living "Love Does" (it's a book he wrote) with my children, he immediately said to take them with me wherever I go if possible.  I understand a bit about what he's saying.  Life is about making memories more than gathering possessions.  I treasure great memories more than possessions and they can't be stolen from you.  Jesus said in Luke 12:15, "Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.'"

Mark Batterson wrote about a lady in his church named Sarah that felt like God was calling her to go on a short-term mission trip to Africa but was very afraid. She was afraid of things like the plane flight, sicknesses, wild animals, etc.  She trusted God and went.  None of her fears came to pass and she gathered a boatload of memories.  Here's how Batterson described it, "We drove through the Ethiopian outback and went swimming in a natural spring that was heated by a volcano.  You don’t get to do that every day.  We visited a tribal village that looked like it came right out of the pages of National Geographic.  And none of us will forget our game drive on top of Land Rovers. 
In retrospect, it’s hard to imagine how many memories Sarah would have forfeited if she had run away from her fears.  One of the greatest tragedies in life is the stories that go untold because we don’t face our fears!  But she decided to live her life in a way that was worth telling stories about!
For what it’s worth, none of things she was afraid of happened.  The plane didn’t crash.  She didn’t get sick.  And she wasn’t eaten alive by wild animals.  The only bad thing that happened to her was getting pooped on by a baboon.  I kid you not!  I’m not sure if the baboon was aiming or not, but what a shot.  I know that is a nasty, but what a story!  That is living life to the fullest! 
So here is my advice: don’t let mental lions keep you from experiencing everything God has to offer.  The greatest experiences will often double as the scariest experiences."

Gathering memories in the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Great memories of hunting and fishing with my Dad
2. Making hunting memories with Joel
3. Wisdom of Scripture

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