Yesterday for the first time in a few weeks, I resumed hopping in my truck and driving a mile down the road and pulling over at the first culvert. Grabbing my fishin pole I toss a tiny artificial pink lure in and BAM!! i catch a fish. That’s right, I admit it, I ditch fish, I have done so since as long as I can remember and it is a hoot! I don’t keep the fish like some do (lots fish for food and that’s great) I take a picture and toss the fish back in. On this particular day I caught several species to include a 14” largemouth bass, that’s right out of a roadside ditch that dries up if there isn’t rain for awhile. Anywho (yes I made that word up, deal with it I make up words daily) I shall try and post a few every once in a bit, it makes me happy.
Recently we went a few days getaway up in northwest Georgia. The cabin had all the things we needed to enjoy a few quiet days, on the river, feeding the numerous and friendly deer, and fishing!
I, personally, left the fishing to Batman and our youngest son who came with us! All I wanted to do was take a few pictures to try to capture some memories and read my book!
It was very restful and peaceful and refreshing! There were all sort of geese along with the fish here and there. And the deer, well, EVERYWHERE!
The river was the star of the show for me. I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was in the back yard, there was all kinds of seating and it was just beautiful. The whole time of our visit it was consistent in the way it flowed and gurgled and splashed its way over the rocks. Sparkling and inviting in all of its activities!
I spent vacation looking for messages from the Lord in our time of much needed rest and recreation! For me, I came away with two things. The biggest message was the river itself, steady, flowing, lush and sparkling, ever onward without fail or ebbing, just constant. It made me think of the Goodness of God, always in front of us, so much that it’s more than we can grab hold of, more than we can really comprehend, the overflowing, never ending, always available Goodness of God! Always available to us, to jump in and get all we can, be immersed in, splash around, we can’t contain it, but it is always there for us!
He’s taught me about His goodness in a similar fashion years before.
The world is a wild place these days. A hurting and confused place. It needs the Goodness of God. It needs us, each of us, as the Church to be immersed in His goodness so much that we overflow with the love, the peace, the joy, the patience, the provision that He makes available to us, so we leave a trail of His goodness wherever we go.
He made us agents of His grace and mercy, His Kingdom way of living. It doesn’t mean we don’t fail, flail and fall, but it means He is able to work in us to bring His way of living to bear wherever we go.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” — 1 John 3:8b
“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 5:19-21
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” — John 10:10
Listen to that, Y’all! ‘Have and ENJOY life, and have it in ABUNDANCE, to the full, til it OVERFLOWS!!’, flowing like that river, Y’all! Flowing, flowing, flowing! Steady, steady, steady, over the rocks, around the dips and valleys…matter of fact a low place just means MORE WATER!! (Aka more GRACE!!) Nothing stops it! His goodness is coming to bear in our lives! Destroying the works of the enemy!! Healing our sin problem, delivering us from the curse, sin, death and the grave! Giving us a new heart! Sending us forth as containers of His GOODNESS.
I want to add that as beautiful as His plan is, we spend an inordinate amount of time down on ourselves, down on our many ways we fall short. I’m learning though, that His grace just comes in stronger, filling in that low spot in us, in our relationships, and in our counterproductive little habits and our idiosyncrasies that trip us up. In our weakness, we need to be claiming and expecting His strength to come in, His Grace is made perfect in our weakness.
“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!” — 2 Corinthians 12:9.
He is able to, Y’all! — “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” —2 Corinthians 9:8
We are imperfect, and that’s no surprise to Him! Just keep floating in that grace River, Y’all! That’s where you will find me!!
Every Sunday and Monday, I start the week thankful for the previous week and blessings and mercies of the Lord in our family, in our lives. It is good for me to remember and look for His hand upon our lives, with gratitude. Then I ask with great expectation for His Spirit to move upon us again, in an Ephesians 3:20 — “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]”
Let Your River (of your goodness and grace) flow, Lord, flow right over me!! Flow over my family! Let it flow right over every person and their loved ones who read this, Lord! We look to You and your goodness!!
Oh, taste and see, the Lord, He is good!! Psalm 34:8.
Happy Monday, Y’all!
It creeps up on us once a year without fail, and suddenly “BAM” you’re a whole year older. It’s inevitable, it happens to us all and there is no way of stopping it.
When I was a kid, I like most of us, never worried about age or growing old, I played hard, ran the woods and fields, fished, hunted, trapped and just basically did kid stuff until ma or pa called me home. Every birthday that came when I was young was celebrated with my family, we were not “well off” but mom and dad always made it special and surrounded by my brothers and sister I don’t see how it could have been any better.
The years progress and we get older and have to stop doing “kid” stuff and “act our age” so to speak (something I struggle with having a professional small boy mentality), but I believe we all maintain, somewhere deep inside buried under years of stress and strife, piled upon us by work and trying to make a living, a piece of that “kid”. It’s this small piece that shows up at times to play jokes, laugh at inappropriate times and generally helps to keep us sane in a world that is drifting rudderless nowadays (squirrel).
So, as I look back, I see numerous things from my childhood that have been erased by my getting older and I would like them back at some point in time. Without these childhood things and mentalities we become drab boring adults just muddling our way through life, where’s the fun in that?
This year on my birthday I was again surrounded by family, not mom who is off with my sister in Pensacola, not Dad who is in heaven looking down shaking his head at my nonsense, but family none the less, my boys and their families and Peach’s brother and his family. I cannot see how it could be a better birthday than the way it was (‘cept maybe minus the yellow flies, deer flies some call ‘em) we cooked on the grill, played badminton and horse shoes, goofed, talked and caught up. Peach and I have awesome families and kids and grandkids and they all come together to help us old farts remember when we were kids and not to take life too seriously.
Birthdays, long as we’re here, we will have them, they are celebrations that we should embrace and enjoy. Surround yourself with family, be thankful for having them, do not take life too serious, play a game, laugh, and most of all love, and I think you will enjoy each one more than the last one.
“Nothin better than your banana puddin’ for my birthday, Peach“
Quietly sitting on the bank intently staring at the “homemade” cork float as it wiggles and shakes then finally disappears under the muddy water. Reacting too soon I jerk the cane pole up but no fish, my uncle “Russy” says “too soon knot head let him take it a bit longer and I lower the hooked worm and “bobber” back into the pond…
My oldest memory of fishing was that one, I’ve made hundreds since, but that one I remember, and hope I always do. It was simple pond fishing with a stick, some line, and a hook and it was to me the best way to fish, and still may be. Fishing is an activity that anyone can participate in that wants to, just add water and you never know what you may catch. I have since early childhood loved fishing, pretty sure this love came from my Dad, who when he was young loved to fish also.
And by the looks of it, was pretty good at it. I have fished lots of places, sometimes I catch something, other times not so much, but all times I have a good time. Fishing is one of those things that to me is always fun, catch anything or not, I am outdoors and away from people, and fishing.
Part of the fun is finding new places to fish. Peach and I when we were dating used to tromp all over the river and it’s feeder creeks up to our knees without ever a care, she has always been a lil trooper. Catching and releasing the little bream or sunfish we would sometimes get. We would ride down CR13 and wherever a creek crossed it, we would get out and wander the banks and fish or wade out in the creek itself. We used prolly my favorite fishin pole and reel setup in the world (next to a cane pole and bobber) a Zebco 202 rod and reel set. Easy to use, can cast under hand, over hand, sidearm, anyway You want. Pretty good rod came with the set, and it was all we needed. I cannot tell you how much fun that was to do.
Fishing does something few things can, it causes you to let go of silly things and stresses, the longer you stick at it. The longer you fish, the more you see how relaxing it is to be away from work and worry. Fishing should be a legitimate medical reason as to why you took a day off work, instead of using vacation or sick days, you should also accrue fishing days (I may have stumbled onto a genius idea). I have no doubt in my mind that if a study was done, it would prove me right, one fishing day a month would make a happier more productive employee (squirrel ran by).
I recall one summer my sister and I spent the time with my aunt and uncle who lived in Georgia, somewhere just outside of Atlanta. I had an awesome time there as when they were working we had free run of the place. There was a perfect creek down below their house and my sister and I played in it for hours, it also led to a bigger creek that eventually fed a lake (try as I might I cannot remember exactly where this was, getting old robs too many memories) and there was a dock there. My sister and I would fish from the dock for hours on end and I honestly cannot remember if I ever caught anything, I do remember my sister catching a beautiful colored fish which we later found out to be a rainbow trout!! (We let it go, but that’s what my uncle said we were describing). Up the road a very short walk, past stands of blackberry bushes (more thorn than bush but I have no idea what it’s called if it is not a bush) which we later that summer went back to and picked buckets full of and my aunt made blackberry cobbler (sorry another squirrel). Anyways, up the road was a pond, looked like coffee with creamer in it and we went there just once that I recall but we caught catfish, oh my did we ever, it was probably the most fun fishing I remember from that whole trip, cast a line out and wait and eventually without fail a catfish would take the bait. These are memories that leave an impression on a young person and I am glad I experienced it.
I am the kind of person that likes pretty much all fishing and I carry poles in my truck on the off chance I spot a “fishin hole” along my way that may require my fishing assistance. Yes, I have actually been late to things due to stopping at a promising looking creek along the way to see if there are any fish.
I have deep sea fished, worked on a charter boat, fished in lakes and rivers, but my most favorite is fishing in small creeks and ponds I can walk around. Be it with a cane pole or fishing rod, I’ve even used a fly rod (I am really horrible with it but I have caught fish with it) and I like them all.
(That’s me in my flooded yard learning a bit about fly casting)
I remember being in Ft Eustis, Virginia in the military and fishing in a lake there, not sure if I caught anything, does not matter, I do remember I had fun in doing so and that’s all that matters. Fished again in Honduras while there in the military, in the Caribbean and in fast flowing ice cold rivers coming straight off the mountains, again not sure if I caught fish, do not remember doing so, but I remember the fun I had just fishing.
Peach and I over the years have fished all over in lakes ponds rivers and oceans, we have creek fished and sat in the side of the road and fished in ditches, simply because we love being and doing things together, and we love fishing. It’s cool that we have this like in common, would be sad if it was not something we both liked.
As we grew older and we got more and more responsibilities, fishing was pushed aside. But as things often do when you like doing them, fishing kept popping up and we still went off and on. Through the years we have gone times that we totally forgot about fishing and all the sudden one day we are headed out to fish.
Most days we kinda want to catch fish but rarely do we really ever want to keep them so we go and if we catch any we usually release them quickly. The fun is in the trip not the actual keeping.
So many times we have caught and released fish after fish and I cannot think of a time we regretted any of it.
Fishing takes patience, which most of us adults no longer have lots of. But in order to enjoy fishing you are forced to slow down and be patient, while waiting for the fish to bite. If you cannot make yourself be patient, slow down, wait for the fish to bite, you will probably never really catch many.
Being patient, waiting at times for hours is not easy when you are really young, or older (and have lost your patience from years of aggravation) but in fishing it’s a “have to have” to be successful, if you are counting the day a success by catching fish. If you’re like me and no longer think the day is a failure if you do not catch anything, then you are well on your way to being “successful”
In today’s hurry up and make all the money you can world, a world where you can not seem to slow down for a few minutes much less a whole day, I in my humble opinion wish everyone that wanted could come sit in the shade on a creek or pond bank with me and watch a bobber dance on the water while no thoughts or sounds of man or being in a hurry intrude, trust me my friend, for a brief moment in time you would be so much happier.
“Come on Peach, let’s go fishin”