Feb
25

A Deer Hunter is Born by Randy Rowley 2/8/19 ©

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On the third Saturday in November, Ron Denison picked me up for his first deer hunt on a ranch near Hamilton Pool.  By 5:45 AM, we settled into a stand made for two.

Around four minutes before legal shooting time, a deer suddenly snorted at us to our left.  That was surprising because there was no wind, we weren’t making any noise, and we were wearing full camo, including mesh facemasks.  We found two does in our binoculars, one significantly bigger than the other.  One or both continued to snort at us intermittently, around 25 yards away in a thick grove of oaks.  I had a clear shot at the bigger doe at legal shooting time.

But I had a dilemma.  She was on my side of the stand, but our primary mission was to get Ron a deer.  For Ron to shoot, he would have to lean over me, probably making a lot of noise.  As I mulled over the best solution, the does walked away.

In about ten minutes, we saw movement again.  It was the bigger doe.  She was behind heavy brush and trees, but I had clear shots again a couple of times.  I waited for Ron to find her in his scope, but his angle was bad.  There was a two-foot gap in the trees where the doe stood.  I feared we might not get another shot at her and asked Ron if I could shoot.  He answered, “Yes,” and I took the shot with my Remington Model 700 in .25-06.  She dropped where she stood.

Suddenly the smaller doe, who we didn’t know was there, took two steps out from the brush and gave Ron a perfect broadside shot.  He took it with my Browning A-Bolt in .30-06.  The doe jumped from the impact and ran away from us with her front legs low.  I lost sight of her in the heavy brush around ten yards behind the feeder.

We decided to wait before looking for her, as I didn’t want to pressure her and cause her to run further away (if she was still alive).  After half an hour we went to look for our does.  We found mine first, right where I’d shot her.  We then went to where Ron’s doe was standing when he shot her and found a very heavy blood trail.  We found her around ten yards beyond where I lost sight of her.

We tagged them, dragged them to the dirt road, and went to get Ron’s truck.  We stopped by the stand to get our gear on the way back.  As we were loading it into Ron’s truck, we heard what I thought was a snort.  In around five seconds, it repeated.

We grabbed the rifles, loaded a round, leaned against Ron’s truck, and waited.  The deer continued to snort intermittently.  All of a sudden, a doe walked right out in the open.  She started to walk towards heavy brush, but Ron foiled her escape with my Browning.  She ran straight away and fell behind a bush.  I was pretty sure she was down, so we didn’t wait this time.  We found her around ten yards further away from where I thought she had piled up.

We loaded the does into Ron’s truck and took them to the cleaning area.  In around an hour, we had them in ice chests.  We put the guts and hides in large, heavy-duty trash bags, loaded them, and headed to the designated dump.

As we drove down a dirt road, I saw some dark shapes in a grove of trees.  Ron stopped his truck, and my binoculars confirmed what my eyes had told me – turkeys!  We quickly got my rifles out of their case.  I used the hood of Ron’s truck as a shooting rest.  I had a shot at a Tom walking away and waited for Ron to pick one out, but he couldn’t find them in my Browning’s scope.

The gobbler turned around and went into the brush.  In about 15 seconds, he returned.  I once again had a shot, but as I waited for Ron to locate one, the Tom went into heavy grass, and I lost sight of him.  In about ten seconds, I spotted what I thought was the first Tom, but now there were two gobblers in line behind him, walking away from us.  There was only around a one-foot gap in the heavy trees and brush, and I told Ron I had a shot.  He still couldn’t find them and said, “Take it,” and I took the shot with my Remington.  One turkey flew to the left and another to the right.

We went to where the Tom was when I shot.  I saw a dark shape that looked like a burnt log as I got closer.  When I was around 20 yards from it, I recognized feathers.  He hadn’t taken a step.  The Tom weighed about 20 pounds and had a ten-inch long beard.

I’ve had more productive days afield, but I regard this as one of my best.  Besides killing my first turkey, I got to hunt with a good friend and witness the birth of a deer hunter.

John chapter 3 tells the story of Nicodemus and his encounter with Jesus.  Nicodemus was a teacher of the law, Pharisee (a Jewish sect that strictly observed the written and traditional law), and a member of the Sanhedrin (an assembly of rabbis appointed to sit as a tribunal).  John 3:1–3 says, “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God.  For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”  Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’”

Jesus knew what Nicodemus would ask and provided the answer before he could get the question out.

‘Born again’ means ‘spiritual rebirth,’ or a ‘regeneration of the human spirit from the Holy Spirit.’  Being born again is where God gives eternal life to a person who believes.  When we believe in Jesus and profess he is our Lord (see John 11:25 and Romans 10:9), we become children of God.

Nicodemus misunderstood Jesus’s statement and thought he was speaking of physical birth.  He asked Jesus to elaborate.  Jesus explained in verse 5, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

Nicodemus still didn’t get it.  He asked Jesus in verse 9, “How can this be?”  Jesus chastised him for not understanding and then spoke very plainly in verses 16 – 18, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.’”

Nicodemus didn’t ask, ‘Why do I need to be born again?’  That’s probably because, as a teacher of the law, he knew everyone sinned and fell short of God’s standards (see Romans 3:23), and the penalty for sin was eternal separation from God (see Romans 6:23).  He also knew salvation from works and keeping the law weren’t the answers.  What he didn’t know was how he could be saved.  He needed a spiritual transformation.

As with Nicodemus, there is still much confusion today over what it means to be “born again.”  The term became popular in mainstream society in 1976, when Jimmy Carter, who said he was a “born-again Christian,” was elected the 39th United States president.  As Nicodemus did, people encountering the term for the first time visualized trying to enter their mother’s womb as adults and knew it was impossible.  Unfortunately, Christianity doesn’t offer clarity as various denominations define the term slightly differently.

Yes, there are minor denominational differences, but because Jesus declared we all must be “born again,” every Christian denomination has a doctrine of spiritual rebirth.  God said in Ezekiel 11:19-20 NLT, “’And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them.  I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart, so they will obey my decrees and regulations.  Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.’”  Being reborn spiritually results in a new caring and receptive heart.

Have you been born again?  If you’re unsure, I encourage you to:

  • Admit you need God to save you from an eternity in hell.
  • Believe Jesus is God’s son and that he died to save you.
  • In prayer (talking to God), receive (accept) Jesus as your Savior by asking for forgiveness and repenting (turning from your sin), and surrendering your life to his control.

Just as when a deer hunter was born on that cold November day, we all must be born again to experience God while we remain on earth and go to heaven after we die.

Ron and his first doe

Randy and his doe

Ron and his second doe

Randy and his gobbler

Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

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