Categories
bible Faith Life thankful trials

Under Construction

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.” – Psalm 91:14

We go through things that isolate us, for a season. We pray. Yet, things get harder. We KNOW He hasn’t left us. But, we don’t understand what we are going through. Because NONE of it is good, feels right, or leaves us with any hope. Instead we feel betrayed. Bereft. Abandoned. Our hope begins against our will to crumble. Leaving in it’s place cynicism.

What is this?

Could it be that we are under construction? Think about Joseph.

What the enemy of our soul meant to sideline us, The Lord allowed to prepare us. What was meant by the enemy to make us bitter, was tempting, but God used it to enrich our heart’s capacity to empathisize and have compassion. What satan meant to isolate us from our support network and our divine destiny, the Lord allowed to develop our deep roots in Him, expanding our reach and tearing down unintentional walls we grew up with. Pain and suffering when submitted in faith to the Lord, somehow make wine out of juice, pearls out of grains of sand, diamonds born out of extreme darkness and pressure. Lord, make us shine, let us love, reach, mend. May we be sweeter, more gracious, more generous, more full of faith and great expectation, and in love believe the best, and not waste a drop.

Genesis 50:20 — Joseph to his brothers who sold him into slavery:

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

I can’t see one area of pain or trouble that He has not blessed us in the midst of. That we haven’t grown to KNOW Him more fully, more deeply, less surface knowledge, more in our bones knowledge.

I can think of many times my family, or family members, or myself were rejected, betrayed, treated unfairly. And we are none the worse for it. We are wiser than when we went in. We have more compassion than when things were ‘good’. We know the Lord and His ways (very importantly) better, than we did at the beginning.

He never ever leaves us or forsakes us. He never causes the trouble. IF He allows it, it’s because He has far greater in store for us to be a part in His plan, and He needs our foundation deep and strong.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

If you or a loved one is going through one of these ‘Under Construction’ times, drop a simple comment, I will keep you/them in prayer.

He. Is. Faithful. He is for us. He is not against us.

Categories
danger Fear hunting life styles nature peace photography Uncategorized

Hunter or Hunted

Batman Says:

All my life I have, as have millions of others have, hunted things. Be it animals or pictures or items, hunting is ingrained in my soul. I have hunted with my eyes, numerous cameras, rifles, shotguns, bows, crossbows, fishing poles, traps, and cages, you name it and I have probably tried it. The degree of success depends on what you think the outcome should be. There are times when I could walk out my door and trip over something I wanted to hunt, and there have been times that entire seasons have gone by without me getting any game at all. Both to me are victories as I get to participate in a sport/hobby/lifestyle that I love. I have written a few times about being out in the wilds and finding my “peace”, and sometimes it applies when I’m hunting, not always though, as it’s a different mentality to me.

There’s not a lot of danger hunting where I do, yes there are some bear at times, and wild boar, and even a white tailed deer can mess you up if you get it cornered and are careless. But for the most part it’s accidents, the occasional snake or your own clumsiness that will be your undoing. There are ways to make it challenging and even the playing field a bit. The object of hunting is to take game to consume (for me anyways I DO NOT trophy hunt, you can’t eat horns) and to do so in a humane fashion. Granted I could shoot an animal from 500 yards away with today’s modern rifles, but in my humble opinion, this is not hunting in the true sense, it’s more sport shooting. I have NOTHING against this way, it’s just not hunting to me. I prefer the close combat hunting where I pit my stealth, woods knowledge and skill against an animal that lives there, where it knows all the paths and ways. Out foxing a wild animal at close range in its “home” to me is the definition of hunting. Slipping up on a sounder of wild boar within 20,15, 10 yards armed with a bow or crossbow or even a handgun, is thrilling and scary as all get out, especially if all you’re doing is taking photographs and the “weapon” you have is not really adequate to stop a determined charge of a boar or momma sow with piglets. My point in this being, given the right circumstance even modern hunting can be challenging and dangerous. I can describe things like this and people might get it, here wait, come along on a hunt with me and see…

Quietly closing the truck door in the darkness after getting all my gear out and on, I look up and listen to the night sounds. 05:30 am, still at least 2 hours before first light, may have gotten here a bit early today, but it is the first day of the season. Silently slipping into my back-pack and then cocking the crossbow I get set, and take a few quiet moments to look up at the sky full of millions upon billions of stars and thank God for another day. Some days you just feel “it”, there’s something here not quite right today, but you shake it off and begin to make your way to the ground blind that Peach and I set up a few weeks ago, this will be the first stopping point until it gets bright enough to see to legally hunt. Moving slowly along the trail, listening to try and make sure I don’t spook any early morning game on the way to the blind. Hearing the softest sound of a footfall in the palmettos and briars to the side of the trail and immediately freezing, to try and determine what it could be. It’s pitch black, I truly wish there was a better description of the kind of dark it gets in the deep woods before dawn, an inky blackness that blocks all light, it’s like swimming in black paint at times. At times like this it’s the other senses that I trust, closing my eyes I listen, and try to catch a whiff of any scents (animals do have distinct smells and we can sometimes pick up on them) that may be drifting on the almost non existent wind currents. Time slowly ticks past, and here and there the errant mosquito buzzes around and still I stand perfectly still like an old oak tree with its roots firmly sunk in the rich earth. There is a feeling something is there but no sound, no movement, no smell to give it away, so I wait. Slowly the feeling subsides and the night creatures go back to making their soft noises, and I, even though I cannot shake the feeling that I’m being watched, move on down the trail towards the blind. Finally I reach the blind and settle in one of the two camp chairs slowly relaxing and waiting on the first signs of daylight.

Waiting in the blind, listening to the world wake slowly, the feeling is still there, muted, subdued but still there, the feeling of watchfulness. The first hints of daylight start showing through and yet I still wait, not time to move yet, cannot legally hunt. Slowly things start to take shape in the graying light and something moves across the trail I just walked 25-30 yards away, low but moving like silk undulating in the wind without making a sound. What was that? No idea, but it was quick! Silently putting my back-pack on again and picking up my crossbow I emerge from the blind. Put a bolt (crossbow arrow) on the crossbow and stand still preparing to begin my hunting.

Today I’m “still hunting” which unlike its name, involves moving. Taking two preplanned steps I settle and look, slowly all the way around me, starting close up and moving my eyes in ever widening arcs over the terrain. It never ceases to amaze me how animals can be standing right in front of me and I don’t even see them until I make a mistake and get too close or move when I shouldn’t and they bolt. Still hunting brings into play all the senses and skills learned.

Ever so slowly I move in the same pattern, 2 steps, stop, look slowly around me. In this fashion I take a great deal of time to go anywhere. The sun still hasn’t breached the horizon, so the world is a gray pallet and distant things blend into the background. Making it to the fork in the trail I have to decide to either go into the deeper woods or stay along the edge. Today I enter the trail that will eventually take me past a ladder stand and into the woods deeper eventually running into the creek and swamp parts. Slipping deeper into the woods I stop by the ladder stand and just wait, watching an open area where game travels at times, partially due to its location near wild persimmon trees. Squirrels hop about gathering the abundant acorns and chasing each other and I slip quietly on. The sun finally erupts over the horizon behind the trees in a burst of color like blood and orange all across the sky behind the trees lighting the woods. Carefully I move trying not to be noticed by the animals seen and unseen that I know are here as I can see and “feel” them. Freezing mid step I see a flicker of movement ahead, and try to determine what it is. Bird? Or maybe it’s the tail of a feeding white tailed deer. It’s a deer! Walking away it hasn’t noticed me, not in a position to shoot either, walking away, to much growth between us and farther than I like. Winds ok, blowing to me off my right front so it won’t smell me, so I ever so slowly, like the decay of time, inch forward on the trail behind it trying to stay where I can keep it in sight. It’s amazing how they can brush past bushes but make no sound, if I could do that I’d be the most efficient hunter in the world. Despite my trying to, I’m unable to keep the deer in sight and be quiet, so it fades off into the trail ahead, not spooked that I can tell, just feeding along. I slip along, hoping to catch a glimpse but never do again. Breaking through to the edge of the creek line the woods are darker but the undergrowth much thinner, making visibility better but not as much as one would think. Slinking along in the same fashion I make my way through the woods cautiously, stopping every 2 steps just as before.

I stop and watch a raccoon family tromp past and cross the creek 15 yards to my right, never noticing I am there, too involved with whatever thoughts raccoons have. Slowly and steadily, I make my way in a long circle eventually coming back to the opening in the woods, by the persimmon trees, again this time from the opposite side and as I approach the hair on my neck stands up and I know I’m being watched. Freezing in place I start methodically picking apart every piece of cover, searching for whatever it is causing the creepy sensation, my senses in full alert as my heart pounds in my chest so loud I think it’s audible. Nothing! I can’t see…wait There it is, holy cow He’s huge!! And he’s looking right at me!!! Bobcat “Lynx Rufus” aka “red lynx” Florida’s #1 ambush predator, sneaky, stealthy, ghostly killer, efficient at its art. Not normally a threat to humans unless trapped or cornered. This is what I have been “feeling” since I first arrived, why is it not slinking off like normal. Watching it sink lower almost flat to the ground it’s floating shoulder blades allowing it to almost appear flat, claws digging into the ground to get a better grip it is getting ready to charge! Honestly I can’t believe what I’m seeing, leveling the crossbow scope on his shoulder I hear the audible click as the safety clicks off not even realizing I did so and at that instant he explodes from cover, leaping 5′ before I realize, I drop the sights rapidly catching up to him and release the bolt and it travels the 20′ left between us in seconds hitting home and passing completely through. He somersaults mid-stride Breaking off his charge and dashing towards the briars where I hear thrashing and growling for a few more seconds then silence. I had no idea I had backed up so far as I try 3 times before I can get another bolt from the quiver and cock the bow never taking my eyes off the spot I last saw him. Letting my heart sink back outta my throat I finally slowly (and I cannot stress how slowly) I move towards the spot. Scanning scanning don’t see him, gotta be there, where.. there he is, not moving, not breathing. I drag him out and look at him, big “Tom” bobcat, looks healthy, why did he act so odd? Bolt hit him right in the shoulder and passed clean through, he was dead before he knew he was hit. The scared ****less shakes hit, and subside with time and I gather the “cat” and slowly make my way back to the truck. I will skin, and sell the hide as I am also a trapper and bobcats are in season.

Funny how hunting goes, sometimes when we think we are the hunters, we become the hunted. I did nothing to the bobcat mentioned earlier, for some reason he chose to stalk and eventually try me. Today was my day, next time…

I’m a creature of the woods like all the other creatures God put here, I’m at home there as much as I’m at home in my house. I know there are dangers in hunting as in every walk of life, but with the “Armor of God” and faith in Him I will continue to hunt and live my life with Peach.

Next time you get to tag along Peach, 4 eyes see more stuff than 2″

Categories
bible danger Faith family Fear focus Law Enforcement peace

Rest

In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: — portion of Isaiah 30:15.

Peach here.

It’s been a long, hot summer, Y’all.

We took a few days off at the end of May, and it was nice. We enjoyed getting a few odds and ends done around the house. Hanging out. Whatnot. Resting up.

The world also blew up with regards to policing and race issues and social media became extremely non fun and toxic, the very same weekend.

We don’t watch the news. As in ever. Anything we want to know, we can find out on our phones without talking heads telling us what to think about it.

Of the two of us, Batman has the smarts to stay out of social media. And I’m SO grateful.

I’m good and hooked. 🙄 I have rules for boundaries though and stick to them! It helps a lot!

Social media is how I found out about all the bad stuff, weirdly in an account that I purposely keep only for inspiration, photography, family, praise and worship ministries, biblical teaching. (told ya social media became non fun!)

I’m not going to try to rehash the bad things that happened this summer. Just laying out a little corner of the world and how it impacted us.

I could see the storm coming to our country, our society, and there was no avoiding the wind, the rain, the lightening and the thunder.

It would impact us all, and if you are a law enforcement family, a lot.

There’s layers to it. It’s clear. And it’s jagged. All at the same time.

I was so distraught that weekend at what I was seeing. I worried how it would impact Batman and our little city. I remember I didn’t want him burdened with the knowledge of what I was seeing.

And so much more. My blood pressure was definitely up!

And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” — Mark 4:39.

The resulting unrest across the country had another side effect of causing people to realize they needed a certain kind of training which we (Batman) provide.

Being so busy all summer was good medicine for my mind’s tendency to be over wrought with troubles and their potential implications.

Potential. Oh, the trouble we can weave in our minds and hearts, that never comes to pass. But, our bodies bear the brunt of the stress dumping hormones for sure!

So grateful for so many good people we have gotten to meet and help. Like I tell Batman, I love to watch him work! 😍 getting out of the routine to do this, was super good for me. Gave me distance from the perceived problems of our society, and the opportunity to do what I think I do best. Help. That’s my favorite! Help my husband, help our clients, help our family.

With the added layer of the virus and the various ways citizens and government have complicated it, I have had oodles of opinions!! Gracious!! Nobody needs more opinions though. So every time I was tempted to ‘put my foot down’ on social media about it, I always felt this check in my spirit. To be still. To know that He is God. The famous verse from Psalm 46, He had firmly planted it in my heart at the end of last year, and impressed upon me to take it with me into the coming year, 2020.

The check in my spirit, restraining me, from spouting off opinions no one needed to hear from me about the virus, was “I don’t know yet what is really going on. I know the devil is at work. And so is our Father. I don’t want to speak about things I don’t understand yet. Wait and see. Trust God. Be gracious. Be prudent. Believe the best. God will work good out of all this, if we make room for Him.”

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.— Psalm 46:10.

You know, that verse above we often quote the first half, and rightly so. We need, we crave, that stillness of our hearts and minds and lives. And it comes with KNOWING He (alone) is God!

But, let’s not forget the one, two punch of the second half of the verse! He WILL BE exalted among the heathen, He WILL BE exalted in the earth!

That. That restores order to my mind, hope to my heart, peace to my life.

I still keep an eye on the news online. I see it. But, I don’t soak in it. I also take care to not aim to be right, score points, or any of the things that social media is designed to do, but rather to know facts, stand for truth, encourage the best, keep it to a minimum, where possible, build tiny bridges.

Batman and I have also learned the joy and wisdom of taking a week each month off from our side gig, to catch up on life and rest and just enjoy!!

This year is teaching me over and over the beauty of ‘resting’ in the care and Grace of our Lord. In so many ways, trust in Him. Make room for Him. Expect good from Him. It’s not really about the storm clouds, the wind or the lightening, it’s about Jesus, being the center of our focus!

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. — Matthew 11:29. The Amplified Bible.

Thanks for listening Y’all!! I’m praying we get all the ‘goody’ out of this crazy year, that He has for us all!

Categories
children danger exploited family Fatherhood Fear human trafficking Life missing parents safety Uncategorized

Find the Missing

Batman Says:

I’m not sure why, but I’m sure it is going on, most of the world turning a blind eye to “Human Trafficking”. Where are the outcry’s of rage? Where is the supposed “news media”, where are the family members of missing loved ones? Where are the Police? Where are the elected officials? Where for Gods sake are the red blooded American citizens who should be beating down the powers that be’s doors?

There are an estimated 800,000 missing children EVERY YEAR and these estimates are lowballed and do not include adults. There are evil people out there, snatching kids off the streets, playgrounds, and even yards, to sell as slaves and sex objects. It is not a new thing, it has been going on for ages, in the background, silently and stealthily, people are being snatched and disappear hourly.

Where is the outcry? It makes no sense, with all the families of the missing, there should be marching in the streets. Where is the so called news media, that says they have the public’s interest at heart in their “news” stories, one would think something like this would be front and center DAILY so people would see the severity of the problem and rise up to begin to stop it. They are not reporting it because it’s not sensational enough, there are no bad cops to show, nor politicians whose ideas they don’t agree with to bash, therefore they do not care. Folks to fix the news media is another story all by itself, but emailing and writing may help, I suggest something radical that I’m sure not a lot will do, but it would work, stop watching the news, stop watching that network, the one thing I do know these people want is ratings, without you they don’t have that, then they send out polls as to why and you can express your opinion and tell them why, but this is about the missing not the biased news.

This is no fantasy story, nor something happening only in lower class places, this is something that effects us all. Human traffickers care about only one thing, money, and to get money they need live bodies, boys, girls, men and women are ALL targets. We as people have GOT to make a stand and start thwarting these (and I won’t use foul language) lowest of life forms on the planet, by EVERY means available to us.

Here are a few tips:

Moms and Dads know where your kids are at all times

Watch your neighborhood, call the Police over suspicious people and / vehicles

Go places as groups not alone

Look at your surroundings as you move about, look up, not at your feet

Always tell someone where you are going to be, and when to expect you back

Let someone know your route you plan to take.

(Where it’s legal) Carry pepper spray, mace, or a stun gun, in your hand Anytime you are walking or running.

Park your car as close to the store you’re visiting as you can get, under a light if possible.

Do not park next to a van or truck, especially if it is between you and the store front.

When you leave the store Know where your vehicle is prior to wandering all over the lot.

(Where it’s legal) Walking to your vehicle have your pepper spray / mace/stun gun in your hand until you are in your car, with the door locked. Look at your car, does it look like it’s been disturbed? Is there a car or truck or even a car with dark tinted windows around it? If so, ask a store worker to walk you to your car.

There are hundreds of things we can do to make ourselves and our children and friends “hard targets” but it takes constant vigilance to do it.

As a Police Officer, I am appalled at the lack of concern, lack of public knowledge, lack of commitment by most anyone on this subject. It’s a disgrace and should not be allowed to stand.

Folks, if you know ANYTHING at all that could lead to finding even one missing person, one human trafficker, one location, or anything, I beg you to tell a Law Enforcement Officer, or anyone you can that may be able to help…if you’re afraid or don’t want to get involved, message us here privately and we will get the right people to the right places.

Together we can stop this horrible crime and maybe rescue someone’s loved one in the meantime.

Use the tips I posted 24 hours a day 7 days a week, pass them to your friends and family, pass the word around, information and diligence is key and together we can win.

Peach and I are both available to speak to groups about personal safety, just shoot us a message and we will see what we can come up with.

God bless you all and please be safe.

Your stun gun is fully charged Peach, is my hair sticking up?”

Categories
bible Faith Fear grace Life Uncategorized

Scared

I see a lot of scared people theses days, some are scared of the so called pandemic, but most I see, are scared at the unrest.

I see people that are afraid to leave their houses, afraid that someone will loot their business, rob them, and or harm them. These are normal everyday people, good people that should be able to rest easy and get on with their lives without fear.

Some of these people come to see Peach and I to get trained in how to protect themselves. They want to learn how to shoot, how to defend themselves against someone who thinks they are a lesser person. These are everyday people, moms and dads, store managers, retirees, whatever. Peach and I help the ones we can with good safe training and teaching skills to improve awareness, plus shooting skills that are relevant in real daily life.

But what we really see needed is a return to Godliness, a return to following Gods teachings and more faith and grace. I’m by no means a preacher, I know I have faults but I pray every night to be forgiven and every morning that I do better than the last.

If the world would stop trying to deny God’s existence, and just for 1 month follow His word, I guarantee there would be no need for people to want firearms training, no need to be afraid, only the need to live in grace.

Till then (if it ever happens), Peach and I will teach the skills needed to defend oneself and others against the evil that exists out there.

Word to my brothers and sisters in “Blue” “Cowboy up and do your job, you took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of your state, and of your agency or department, do not let crime happen if you can stop it, millions of people are counting on us to Do Our Jobs and Protect them, if you cannot or will not do that, turn your crap in and find a different line of work”.

If this offends you, tough, we do not stand by and watch people attacked by mask wearing punks and do nothing, if you do you’re no better than they are.

Anywho, I’m climbing off my podium and gonna hang out with Peach, you all have a blessed day/night/whatever.

“See Peach, it wasn’t that bad of a tirade”

Categories
bible Faith Fear Life

Bluffing

Peach says: last week Batman and I were doing our thing of sitting in our lawn chairs and enjoying the evening light and summer sounds. We had certain birds coming ’round that were so fun to watch!

In watching the birds, Batman told me about mockingbirds and how they will fluff up their wings to make a shadow on the ground to scare up critters. It reminded me of a verse I had heard the previous day, with regards to how the enemy of our souls will work to put us off our game. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

A Bible teacher that has been a great blessing to me is Joseph Prince, and he will often remind us that the devil may sound like a lion…but Jesus has made him toothless!! It is good to remember to be strong in the Lord and to be CONFIDENT in Him as well! He has indeed crushed the enemy! “13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” – Colossians 2:13-15.

And while the enemy of our souls seeks to whisper condemnation in our ears, oh so subtly, and then when that doesn’t work, will roar fearful thoughts in the middle of the night or on the job, in traffic, or just about anytime, and then! Then the cares of life can come rushing in, squeezing our peace out. Crowding out our thoughts of gratitude and praise, suffocating our logic, our wisdom and even our joy.

I would say one of our enemy’s primary mantras would be “Distract, Divide, Destroy”. Tonight we are considering his efforts to distract, to BLUFF, if you will.

It brings to mind a trite saying, but, trite sayings are often a ‘thing’ because there’s so much truth there, “FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real”. On several occasions I have talked with my friends in the faith, about how most things we dread NEVER happen, and nothing we dread is ever as bad or often, very often, not even bad at all. We waste essential time and emotional energy torturing ourselves for no reason. Not to say bad things don’t happen in this life. On the contrary, they will, and He will bring us all the way through, and better than we went in. In the meantime, as good soldiers in faith, in this thing called life and the here and now, we are to remember He is not the author of confusion, and also — For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7. In Him we live an move and have our being, He is never far from us, what have we to fear?

Trust me, I have these talks with myself often! It’s just recently He has been highlighting certain verses for me to point out that we unnecessarily fall for the bluff at times, and as Ephesians 5 reminds us, we are to ‘redeem the times, for the days are evil‘. I like to think of that as doing double time, making the most of our opportunities, and not falling for the toothless bluffer, or the cares of this world! Instead, I want to run this race of faith and life, side by side with my Batman!! –> “…And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.” –– Hebrews 12:1b-4.

How about it? Wanna come?