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bible Faith family Life

Rise Up

Peach Says:

One of the most important skills we learn in life, takes us through learning to walk, until the day we leave this earth. Our youngest grandson is 10 months and learning how to pull himself up on anything and everything. Then, he will drop and crawl to his next desired spot and do it again. He is learning strength and a bit of balance, and a lot of stamina and determination. He wants to be UP.

This lesson continues in various forms through childhood and into teen years, young adulthood. Children learn to ride bikes, which involves a few falls (or in my case many) (true story, the neighborhood kids and teens helped me learn and the oldest joked we needed to post a sign that said ‘Peach’s Ditch‘).

Teens try new styles, new relationships, new academic, or even professional goals. They try various sports, various positions in sports, music, the arts. They tackle driving. They succeed, they fail, they flourish, they fall.

Young adults decide once or twice or even thrice what schooling will help them get to their ‘next’. They decide to pursue military, sports, travel, or get married!

Young adults get married, try to navigate the merging and making of one life from two, where to have family holidays, when to start a family, how to handle debt and expenses, where to live, rent or buy.

It continues on. We all fall down. But, we ALL must GET BACK UP. We may not always feel like it. Sometimes in life, our ‘Giddy-Up-and-Go’ ‘Got-Up-and-Went’. How rude! 😉

When we learn to walk, we learn all about falling down, and maneuvering ourselves back-up again, over and over and over. Our grandson, like most all young toddlers, is so happily persistent in his endeavors to rise up

As we get older, it’s harder, sometimes, to be happily persistent in our rising up! Especially, because we might be tired of making the same mistake (think of yo-yo dieting, repeat pattern relationship issues, debt cycles, etc). We might also get pushed down by people or health, or just life in general.

Many people today are prayerfully hoping the ‘Rona doesn’t leave them pushed down, hoping for a mere wobble and then quick recovery, or, who knows? Maybe even a miraculous take off, soaring above the circumstances, through a series of grace-filled events that don’t always line up so perfectly, but once in while, they DO!

Sometimes heartaches, sometimes work or career related issues, maybe legal issues, the falling can come in a variety of ways. Sometimes we do it, or a stranger, or a loved one might, or the simply unexpected, life dressed as a pandemic.

Nonetheless, we were made for the upright position, to rise up, dust ourselves off, look up, move forward! Everything in the Bible tells us that the majority of our faith walk will be forward and upward.

There’s times we can only stand. And having done all to stand. (Ephesians 6.) We stand until it’s time, once again, to take those steps forward, as the Holy Spirit shows us it’s time. And like the Israelites at the flood stage Jordan river, first we step and THEN the waters part.

Paul said, “I don’t depend upon my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.” — Philippians 3:13, The Passion Translation. I LOVE how he continues on, on his letter to the Body of Christ in Philippi, “I PRESS toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” KJV. And The Passion Translation says it this way: “I run straight for the divine invitation for reaching the Heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus.”

I think there are times it’s harder than others to rise up. But, the reward seems to be proportionally sweeter as we heave our selves upward.

King David was betrayed by family and then friends. He had a son who was determined and crafty, and shameless. He played the whisper game. The game of politics. He worked to bring division to the Kingdom and to bring people to his side. He was determined to steal the Kingdom from his father because of an old wound unhealed. (Bitterness is a powerful poison in our lives, that we should always work diligently to uproot. Apply the weed killer of forgiveness, humility and then bitterness can’t stick around!)

King David was hurt, humiliated and tired. When I say humiliated, I mean before the whole Nation. He had to flee. Someone followed and threw rocks at one point. His son made a big show of sleeping with his concubines pretty much making a public display, (which couldn’t have happened if he didn’t have CONCUBINES! Just a thought).

He eventually won back his Kingdom, through the help of loyal family, soldiers, and citizens. In the process he lost his son.

He grieved so hard, for his wayward son, that his general had to tell him, that if he didn’t get up and show gratitude to the people who kicked out the enemy, and won back the Kingdom, that all would be lost, as in that very night! The people NEEDED to see that he was happier and more appreciative of all they risked and accomplished for him, than he was sad at the loss of his son, who had taken a very wicked turn, which caused much hurt to a lot of people.

King David rose up. He rose to the occasion. Once more. After a lifetime of rising and running to the battle. His heart was broken. YET. He showed regal leadership, (though I doubt he felt like it), and he made glad the hearts of his people, and did the necessary diplomacy, to unite the country once again. (2 Samuel 19).

Eventually, this would result in him having a thriving, prosperous Kingdom to turn over, in the right way, at the right time, for his son Solomon. Reward.

Nothing good ever came from staying down, rolling around in the broken pieces of life. We simply are not made for it.

I know it can be so tiresome, but, it does begin to feel good again, once we get a little momentum, once we can see the horizon a bit. And who knows what beautiful things the Lord has in store for us!

1 Corinthians 2:9.

I’ve had my own fall down this week. And though it has caused a good amount of heartache, I’m here to say, it’s ok! God is SO faithful! We are not left without His love, and in my case that comes in my Batman and our sons and their ladies, and our dear, dear grandkids! And there’s more family we are blessed with besides! So much joy! 🤗 I can choose to trust the Lord to work out whatever way He seems best, in what I have no control over, and I can choose to be fully present and appreciative of the family I have. I get to choose that. And with the grace of the Lord I DO! Not in my own wisdom or strength, but I can do ALL things through Christ Who gives me strength.

I only share this to let you know, in case you have fallen, in case your head and your heart are perhaps hurting, also, you CAN do this! Put your hand in His, tell Him how you feel, and what you fear, and go forward!! He has plans for you, but you can’t see them while you are down!

He heals you in the journey forward.

Don’t be fooled into waiting to heal and then thinking you will move forward.

And that, knowing the time, that now IT IS HIGH TIME TO WAKE OUT OF SLEEP: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” — Romans 13:11-12

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t share that Batman uses a great saying about this topic, which I love! I am hoping he will tell us about his thoughts on it soon!

Rise and shine, Y’all, rise and shine!

Thank you so much for the visit!! Drop us a note so we know you were here!!

May your week be filled with good surprises, straight from Heaven!

Peach!

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life

Living a Life of Duty

Batman Says:

Hello my friends, going a different direction with this post, hope y’all don’t mind, but it’s been weighing on me to talk about this even if it’s a small audience. Who knows, maybe somehow the right person or persons will find it and it will help.

There are people, ordinary everyday people out there, that do something extraordinary. They don’t do it for the money, glory, fame or recognition. They just simply do it because something tugs at them inside and they answer that calling. These people live a Life of Duty.

Soldiers, Police Officers, these are the people I’m talking about, and let’s see if we can explore why, and if not why, let’s see if we can find ways to let them know we appreciate their sacrifices.

I’m a Veteran, I am also a 25+ year active duty Police Officer, I know these sacrifices and I salute anyone that has or is either, you are my Brothers & Sisters in arms, and I know…

No one tells you about all the things that surround you when you are in one of these services, military service people are sent to God knows where to perform tasks that would break a normal persons heart and soul to go through. Sometimes fighting night and day to stay alive, far from home while the world continues to spin and your civilian friends party and carry on with no clue what you are living through. Missing family and always in the back of your mind focusing on the one thought that helps get you through, the thought of going home when your tour is over. And when you finally do get to go home, you realize you no longer are the person you were before you left, you have seen too much, felt too much, to just brush it all off and pretend you are you. So, if your able and are one of the lucky ones, you shove the bad into that dark place in the the back recesses if your mind and you mentally build an impenetrable wall to keep it from escaping. You pick up your life and carry on as if nothing happened, you live a happy life and are complete.

But if you are not lucky, or are not able to force the bad into a box and wall your mind up around it, you are tortured by the demons that haunt your mind. These souls desperately search for help, from pills, from a bottle, from wherever they can. They often find the “official” channels are made so cumbersome and full of people that only care if you fill out the appropriate form, that they cannot get past the front desk. The V.A. Is FULL of non caring people that ONLY care that they get their weekends off and a steady, easily earned paycheck. There are though, Angels in the V.A. who despite the red tape, and bosses with their forms, truly care and are devastated to know they didn’t help someone who needed it. The Veteran that cannot get help, often self medicates with one of the earlier mentioned items. Some find solace in other Veterans and groups who get together and listen, share horror stories, cry on each other’s shoulders and maintain the bond created in difficult times.

Will leave it there for a couple lines while I share a conversation with a friend and fellow Veteran I had recently. This Veteran served in Iraq on the ground door to door, and came home, ok but not completely, the demons kept creeping out, and he would self medicate with alcohol to keep them at bay. Just as he came through it, and could start to keep the demons in the box, tragedy strikes and his son, also a Veteran who served in Afghanistan, after struggling with depression, self medicating and not getting the help he needed from the V.A. took his own life. This pushed my friend back into a spiraling fall and only by the Grace of God and his own strength of character, did he emerge from. Every day is a reminder to him of his son, and he fights on because he knows to give in would hurt more people that he loves.

Now back we go, the above story is true and I only found out all of it from my friend last week. It brings home tragedy of a friends loss, and brings to light for me the fact that there are so many Military Veterans that NEED help. Take the time to tell a Veteran, don’t just say “thank you for your service” say “Thank YOU” and “Is there anything you need that I may be able to help with?” I’m not talking about offering money I’m talking about offering compassion, it’s worth all the money in the world to someone that thinks no one cares.

When I became a Police Officer back in 1994, things were different. For the most part citizens liked the Police and what they stood for. Things have changed, not all for the good, some as a result of bad decisions by Police Officers, some by the media bending the truth to sensationalize a story to get ratings. I became a Police Officer at the age of 30, so I had had several jobs, been around the block a few times and was considered one of the old school cops. We told you how we felt about something honestly and if you needed arrested we arrested you, if you needed someone to vent to, we let you vent (verbally), words can hurt but it’s temporary and not life threatening. I cannot tell you or guess how many times I stood and talked to someone that was irate and genuinely wanting to cause trouble, that eventually calmed down and after a while, changed their attitude ( by the way the surest way to tick someone off is to tell them to “calm down” trust me on this).

For the most part the people we dealt with were not the worst of society, don’t get me wrong, on any given minute anyone is capable of anything. One of the most calm and well spoken people I have come across had just killed a man for “disrespecting” his camp. But I hold no grudges, people make mistakes daily and most try and put it behind them. I go by the motto “Don’t judge a man by how he falls, judge him by how he stands back up”.

Leaping forward in time the Officers are from a different generation, the new replacing the old, as it’s always been, but…this new “millennial” group of Officers, despite being competent and confident, lack the ability to take criticism, cannot talk to people and are always in a hurry to be someplace where the action is. More than once in my career I have been told “you can’t talk to millennials that way” or ” you don’t know how to talk to millennials”. Maybe so, but I know how to talk to people, it came to this job with me, and it came from years of life experience“, something you do not get from a book or video. I am lucky that I had firm but fair parents, that taught right from wrong, taught manners (I still say ma’am and thank you, I still open doors for people, I take my hat off around ladies and inside) but more than that, I was instilled from a young age a coping mechanism for any and all problems, and that is a faith in God, and that he knows and will provide me with the answers and comfort I need, when I need it.

Now this past paragraph may sound like I am bashing millennials, and this is no means the case. There are two points I want to make, if I can, one is if a person would just listen more than talk the answers would present themselves, and the second? Follow along…

Being a Police Officer has taken a drastic change over the past 10 years, we are no longer respected by the populace, as we once were. This is partially our fault and partially the fault of outside influences beyond our control. Police Officers are having to contend with situations that they are not trained on and that are more military in nature than civilian. Ambushes, terrorist attacks, these are things Soldiers are trained for and these are the things that if you survive, leave scars mentally. These scars, are put in the box with the demons from the homicides, the sudden deaths, the drownings, the suicides, as well as the media constantly finding flaw in every thing we as Police Officers deal with in a manner that they don’t agree with. Today’s Police Officers are being killed at unprecedented rates, but worse, they are unable to keep the demons in the box, and sadly they are committing suicide at rates way higher than ever. These young men and women, are the newer Officers mostly, with an average of 5 years on the job and find they cannot cope with what they have seen, done, and been accused of, alone, and do not know where to turn. They self medicate, and when that fails, they resort to the only solution they think they have left, suicide. I’m not saying that just because you fall in the millennial “group” and you’re a Police Officer, you are more likely to commit suicide, I am saying that it seems to me that younger (in time) Officers, that haven’t developed the coping mechanisms, who do not think they need to listen, who do not believe they need God in their lives, are walking a thin line, without the safety net that seasoned Veterans who have life experience have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you read this and know someone that you even faintly may feel like they are in trouble, get them help. Do not just let it go, if you can’t help tell their boss, their parent, wife, friend or family member, do not let them try and face it alone.

I have been and always will be a Soldier (once a Soldier always a Soldier) I have been and will always be a Police Officer, and I know I may be called to make a sacrifice that few can make in order to protect the “sheep from the wolves”, that’s the choice I make daily when I put my uniform on. I can cope with my demons as I have the Armor of God, and I let him guide me in times when I am feeling weak. I have the most beautiful and loving wife in my Peach, and nothing on this good earth is going to keep me from annoying her for another 50+ years.

I chose to live a “Life of Duty” like thousands before, and thousands will after, praise them when you get the chance, we are human beings also, with the same wants, needs and fears, we just chose to put them aside to protect you all from the evil in the dark places you choose not to believe exists.

To my fellow Veterans, and my fellow Police Officers, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, if you are feeling weak call and I am there, hit your knees and ask God to show you the way, his way may not be what you want, but it will be what you need.

“I don’t believe in God” “it’s ok, God believes in you”

“God does not care who you were son, God cares who you are”

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”

Categories
bible Faith family focus health Life

Sunrise

Batman says:

Do you get to sometimes see the sunrise God creates for us? I’m not talking about a glance and slide on the sunglasses as your driving, but really see it?

I am blessed that on some days, not all but quite a few, I get to really see and enjoy the sunrise. Some are gray and dreary, some foggy, some just bright and clear, but some, oh those special few, they are spectacular examples of the Masters ability to paint beautiful pictures. All of these are special and I do my best to capture them on camera and send my Peach one with a good morning wish.

God didn’t make them for me to hoard, he made them to be seen and shared by all his creations, and I think Peach likes to see them. My life revolves around making Peach happy and letting her know I love her all the time whether together or apart, and the sunrise pictures helps me express that.

Anyways…. taking the time to enjoy the sunrise, be it alone or with someone, should be something you all try and do once in awhile. Slow down, watch it slowly unfold revealing the brilliant colors. Thinking about how God reveals things to us in ways we wouldn’t expect, and if not looking & listening we simply miss them. Shame to, because they are glorious revelations even if it’s just a simple sunrise. I ponder things important only to me while watching the sunrises I have, and plan to ponder a great many more with Peach along the way. Some days I cannot send Peach a sunrise picture, but everyday I want to. If I could I would share them with everyone, everyday I took them, but I’m not that ingenious, so for now Peach gets them when I take them, and the rest go to our website:

PeachandBatman.smugmug.com

Y’all pop in and look at a sunrise with us, I’ll keep putting them up as I can, God creates them, I do my best to capture a bit of them to share with you all.

Yes Peach I have sunscreen on and my sleeves and my hat and my mask……it’s a wonder I can see anything at all.

Categories
Faith family Fear focus health Life

Enough

Batman Says:

Enough!!

People are losing their minds over a freakin flu bug, it’s a FLU BUG people they have been around for freakin ever!!

Every couple years there’s a great sickness that’s gonna kill us all, and what happens, a few people (relative to the population of the earth) die from it, some get sick, but most suffer anyways. Not from the supposed deadly world ending flu bug, but from the morons in charge of every government, business, and sales force, you get the idea. They listen to the “Sky is Falling” rhetoric and start restricting everything from socks, to how many people can go to the bathroom at the same time. Of course the people working, well they can’t slow down productivity, or be paid worker’s compensation for catching the flu bug, even though if they do catch it, it’s 99% certain they got it at work. Nope they get to stay home, not get paid, use up any sick time they might be lucky enough to have, and if it runs out, sucks to be them.

The overzealous way we approach stupid problems is endemic of todays society, overreaction has become the norm, let’s don’t restrict the movement of the most likely to be affected group, let’s restrict the movement of EVERYONE just to be safe.

Now I am sure there are those who remember, SARS, MERSA,SPANISH FLU, ROTO VIRUS, AVIAN FLU… I could go on for a few pages but you get my point I hope. Each of these were the “Plague of the Year” and we were all gonna suffer and die from them. Welp, we are still here, yes people did get sick, some I’m sorry to say did succumb to the sickness and pass away. But not near as many as we have always been told would. Panic mongering by the moronic people in charge causes way more damage than the “Killer Flu” of the year ever does. I am just fed up with it and you should be also, if you need to be told to stay home if you feel sick, or to wash your hands after doing things with them, then my friends you have a lot more issues than the stupid “Plague of the Year”. I’m going to give a couple statistics (I hate statistics but this just shows the hype and bull crap being pushed by the morons in charge and the media) :

As of 9 Mar 20, based on information from the CDC, and Johns Hopkins University :

56 people daily die from Covid19

1027 die from seasonal flu

82 die from yellow fever

162 die from rabies

247 die from measles

Do I need to go on??? How many times have you heard about Yellow Fever for goodness sake? And more people die from it than this stupid flu bug.

Mark my words, when this passes, and it will until the next “world ending sickness” pops up, and not near as many people die from it, the “Powers that be” or “MORONS” in charge will pat themselves on the back, saying without them the would would have definitely ended.

It’s time to stop and say Enough is ENOUGH!!

If I offended you by this post it wasn’t my intent, my intent was to let you know that just because the MORONS in charge say it, does not necessarily mean it’s true. Put your trust in God, practice good basic sanitary skills like you were taught as children, chances are, you will be fine.

Have a blessed day…yes Peach I did wash my hands

Visit;

PeachandBatman.smugmug.com

And peruse some of Gods creations captured by us on camera…enjoy

Categories
Faith family focus health Life life styles

The Healing Effect of a Bonfire

Friday evening, 19:46 hours (7:46pm) and here Peach & I sit, words aren’t necessary but are welcome. We just watch the fire and look up at the moon and stars and slowly it happens.

The cares of the long week start first, then slowly the most recent cares follow suit, they just fade into oblivion. I have been fascinated by the night and by bonfires as long as I can remember (and I can still remember television shows in black & white and getting up to change to one of 3 channels), something about being outside, with the only sounds being those made by nature, eases the cares and worries to the back portion of the mind.

Man’s fascination with fires probably goes back to the beginning, and I am glad it’s rooted in my being. I know folks that cannot figure out how to start a fire and others that have no desire to be out at night under the moon and stars. To me these people, are missing one of nature’s ways of unwinding. There are people that pay large sums of money to learn “relaxation” methods (seriously, I just read about these!!) when all they need to do is turn off the lights, sit outside, close their eyes and relax by a small bonfire (campfire has the same effect). Build it in a hibachi if you can’t build it on the ground.

If you want to relax, and honestly forget the worries and stresses that have built up over days, weeks, months and years, trust me when I tell you there is no better way, and I stand by this, than to sit by a fire with friends and or family, under the stars.

You can pay someone for “relaxation” methods and waste your hard earned money, or you can stop by, Peach and I love company, just bring a pack of wood for the fire, and an open mind…God and nature will provide the “relaxation”.

Categories
bible Faith family Fear health Life life styles

Peace

Batman says:

I have been thinking a lot lately on what makes me truly happy (besides you Peach..and snacks). We are all different in this great big mixed up messed up world we live in, and each person I’m sure has their own answer to the ‘what truly makes you happy’ question. Couple days ago I found out, what it was for me, and it’s really so simple that I’m surprised it was so hard to find.

Peach and I love being outdoors, walking, biking, fishing, hunting, trapping, photographing oh well you get the idea I hope. I grew up much like most country folk, playing outdoors, wandering the woods observing and learning from God’s creatures in the wild, funny thing, Peach did much the same thing. Playing out in nature until we were either called or whistled home by mom or dad. All through my youth I was lucky to live where I could go into the woods and reset some internal clock, and set off on another adventure. Early adulthood, the same thanks to the U.S. Army and the National Guard. Later in life I still wandered the woods only this time it was with the Love of my life my beautiful bride “Peach” who together with, I have fished, hunted, trapped and traipsed through all kinds of country, be it mountains, swamps, oak hammocks or whatever. While doing this, Peach and I, we grew closer to each other and also we were in the place I found “peace”. I didn’t really know this, all I knew was I always enjoyed being out in God’s creation, away from city noise, human influence, anything but the quiet of nature. I didn’t know this until Sunday afternoon when Peach and I were in the hunting club. Not hunting, just walking the fence line and checking trail (game) cameras. I’m not sure how we got on the subject, but I had us stop and just close our eyes and ‘listen to the silence’ of nature. No phones, no cars no airplanes, just nature. Now there is no real “silence” in nature, there are always natural sounds, wind, trees, acorns falling you get the idea, but for those few fleeting seconds, I realized I found my “peace”. It was right where I’ve always known, but forgotten to look, the place that since I was old enough to walk I’ve been drawn to, God’s wonderful creation, the natural world. I realized at that moment in time, I have never been more at peace at any moment, than I was when I was out in nature, away from the noise and rat race of society. Funny thing is, took being there with Peach, to remind me.

I don’t know the scriptures, or the fancy words, I know each of us has our own place to go to be truly at peace, for me, it’s away from mans footprint, on a jaunt thru the woods, no words necessary, holding hands with the Love of my Life that God blesses me with…mine forever…my Peach

Categories
Faith family focus Life life styles Time management

Strolls through the woods

Batman says:

When was the last time you took a stroll through the woods? For Peach and I it was just today, walking through the woods checking game cameras for activity (470 pictures of cows the last time I counted). It’s always a fun adventure watching Peach freak out over a banana spider that’s 10′ over her head (hehe sorry peach but it is funny), but she is a trooper always wants to come with me and is great company, there is no one I would rather wander around with than Peach, we have such adventures.

Wandering around in the woods looking at all gods creations and just being outside in nature makes you feel alive and grateful you have the opportunity. The day was perfect, blue clear skies, a breeze, the green of the leaves really showing off their colors. Just being surrounded by all the colors and sounds and sensations is worth a pot of gold to me, and having Peach along makes it all better.

Anyways, that’s enough musing along about my woods walk, y’all get out and look and listen to God’s creations in the woods, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Categories
family focus Life life styles

Ham again

Batman says:

Today Peach and I finally did it, we passed our test for General ham operators. We have been steadily plodding (means moving forward, slow but steadily) for a couple months as we study. We found out that we seem to study better together as opposed to each trying to alone. We picked times when we could sit together and put the flash cards up on the tv (mirrored on Apple TV is the technical term I do believe) and answered them together, did the same with practice exams, then we took practice exams separately. Seemed to work really well for us as the last few days it all clicked and we started getting passing scores in 99% of the practice exams.

So today at 1300hrs, at the local county EOC, 4 volunteer testers gave our tests, we thanked them when we were done and walked out of there upgraded.

Only one thing left to do and that’s maybe study and take the amateur extra exam…. maybe after a few days break eh Peach?

Categories
bible Faith family Fear focus health Life

God’s Armor over Me?

Batman says:

Had an experience that just shows the Man upstairs (God you dorks, not your upstairs neighbor) has ways to protect us every day even though we have no idea he is doing so.

Here’s how the picture attached came about, Peach and I have a son (we have two sons to be precise, but since the other wasn’t involved, I only mentioned the one {if I didn’t clarify all God’s available armor couldn’t protect me from Peach reminding me we have two} as the conversation with him led to this.

I like to hunt, some find this horrible and that’s ok, most people have several opinions that don’t match mine. My son (the one I was originally talking about) and I were discussing the possibility of getting together and going hunting next December someplace we had never been. Research led us to decide a muzzle loader hunt would probably suit us best. Now those who are not gun knowledgeable are going “a what Hunt?” and that’s an appropriate question if you’re not gun savvy. So here is the easy version, a muzzle loading gun (black powder gun, smoke pole, musket, and a host of others) is loaded from the muzzle end (the end the bullet comes out) you put an appropriate amount of black powder (or in my case a pellet of synthetic gunpowder) in the muzzle, a projectile (sometimes wrapped in a patch sometimes in a plastic sleeve called a sabot) and push them down the barrel as far as they will go with a rod. The gun is then fitted with a percussion cap or a “shotgun” primer, cocked and fired (this is overly simplified but should give you an idea).

To unload my style muzzle loader, you can shoot it (which means cleaning it after) or you can take off the primer cap or shotgun primer, remove the breech plug, take the same rod u pushed the round and pellets in with and push them farther in till they fall out the open breech, thereby rendering the gun safe. If I plan to hunt later that day or the next morning I will sometimes just remover the primer cap, put the gun in the case until the next day, and so on and so on.

Anyways, this hunting decision being made convinced me to pull out the old “smoke pole” and give it the once over just because. Now I am pretty gun safe but even I do screw up from time to time and freely admit this fact. I haven’t hunted with the old muzzle loader in two years, and it’s been in a hard case in the safe nice and comfy. Once I get the gun out and dusted off I pull the breech plug out and look in the barrel (black powder and pyrodex synthetic pellets are highly corrosive) to see if there were signs of rust or corrosion. Imagine my surprise, I could not see a thing, it was pitch black. Point barrel at bright light coming in window, still black…hmmmm. Whip out ye old push rod and insert into muzzle and out pops two pellets and a bullet and sabot, Ha! just forgot to unload it I suppose, stupid but does happen, like I said I do make mistakes like all humans, and God keeps pushing us back on track. Now with that done I pull the rod out and look down the barrel, still black and I’m totally confused, I put the rod in, and push out two more pellets and another bullet in a sabot.

You could have pushed me over with a feather (not an easy feat I’m not a little guy) from the stunned sensation I had. Some how I had loaded one complete load on top of another during the last time I used it to hunt. Had no idea, but God did, his intervention then by not letting me see any animal worth shooting, and then in not letting me shoot it to unload it at the end of the season, and finally in making me want to give it a look when I did, all equaled to me not blowing the gun up in my face (Peach wouldn’t be happy with me coming home with a barrel stuck in my face).

You can say what you want, luck, fate, whatever, but to me it was only the hand of God and his Armor of protection that helped me avert a bad day.

…no worries Peach…

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?