Found by Randy Rowley 5/29/19 ©


On a Friday afternoon in mid-April seven friends and I met Justin Cooper, the owner of Laguna Adventures, at the Marker 37 Marina in Corpus Christi.  Justin owns the Laguna Madre cabin #2 that we were going to stay on.  After settling up with him and getting the GPS coordinates for the cabin we headed to our home away from home.

After we arrived we stowed our non-fishing gear.  We then headed towards The Boat Hole.  We mostly fished with live shrimp, but tried some artificial lures as well.  Daryl Shipper anchored with his iPilot a couple hundred yards from shore.  I elected to try to get as close to the short rock wall as I could.  This proved easier said than done, as we kept running aground.

I went to talk to Daryl and we decided to try to get behind an island to get out of the wind.  As we were proceeding the bottom went from 4’ to 8’, which meant a hole.  As both of our iPilots were struggling to stay put in the wind we used our fluke anchors this time.

We fished for a couple hours.  Daryl’s boat caught mainly undersized speckled trout.  Ian Daniels had the hot rod on my boat, catching a number of whiting and gafftop, including an approximately two pound whiting and four pound gafftop.  As the sun started to set we went to Snoopy’s Pier for dinner.

When we got back to the cabin we started to fish on the dock under the cabin’s huge spot light.  The light attracted bait fish, which in turn attracted predators.  We caught 10+ trout each and a few gafftop and hardheads, but Jim McGee caught the only keeper – a 15” trout.

One by one we headed to bed for a less than restful night sleep.  Between the movement of the cabin and the boats bumping into it, we were woken up several times.

The next morning we ate a quick breakfast and put our fishing gear back in the boats, but as we were getting ready to leave Daryl discovered that his boat keys were missing!  We searched the cabin and Daryl’s boat, but Mr. Murphy had hidden them well.  Daryl concluded that his keys must have fallen out of his pocket and into the water as he was exiting his boat.

We hooked Daryl’s boat up to mine and towed it back to the Marker 37 Marina.  While we were heading in Daryl found a locksmith who came to the marina.  In about 10 minutes he had Daryl in business again, this time with three ignition keys.

Saturday was a tough day with the wind blowing 20+ MPH and lots of shallow areas.  The highlights of the day were Jose Primera catching a 28? redfish on a live shrimp in the swirling water by the 361 bridge and our getting to watch the Blue Angels perform in the afternoon, as we fished off the cabin’s dock.

Sunday started out with us packing everything up for our return journey back to the Marker 37 Marina.  We had gotten the fishing gear, sleeping bags, pillows, and clothes in the boats.  All that was left was the food.  Daryl grabbed a case of water that was on the floor and under them were his missing keys!  We have no idea how they got there.

After we put our non-fishing gear back in the trucks we said goodbye to Bob Steckler, Ed Coleman, and Jose, who needed to head home.  The remaining fishermen decided to just fish the swirling waters by the 361 bridge.  We mainly caught perch and whiting, but I landed a 16 1/2? flounder on a Berkley Gulp swimming mullet.

Luke Chapter 15 tells us that a group of tax collectors and sinners were gathering to hear Jesus, but the Pharisees and the teachers of the law complained that he welcomed and ate with them.  Jesus responded with a parable – a simple story to illustrate a spiritual lesson.

In Luke 15:4-6a Jesus said, ““Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home.””

This parable became known as The Parable of the Lost Sheep.  It is an astonishing story that explains God’s love and compassion.  God seeks out the lost sinner and rejoices when he is found, rescued, and restored.

The Pharisees and teachers looked at Jesus with disdain because he dared to hang out with tax collectors – who they regarded as the pariahs of their community because they collected taxes for the Roman conquerors.  Although they did not specify what they meant by ‘sinners’ in this passage, in other encounters they included fallen women, such as the one that Jesus encountered at Jacob’s well (see John 4:4-26).  Instead of repelling the tax collectors and sinners, Jesus receives, welcomes, and builds relationships with them.  He even ate with them.  The Pharisees and teachers thought as badly about Jesus as they possibly could because of the company that he kept.

Jesus response was to tell them that he was seeking the lost and that in order to do that he had to go to where they were.  He said this plainly when he later encountered Zacchaeus, proclaiming, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  (Luke 19:10.)  The theme of the four gospels is Jesus was continually pursuing lost souls.  In fact, Jesus went out of his way to put himself where he would encounter those that others regarded as the most lost souls, just so he would have an opportunity to talk to them.

Jesus’ argument was as practical as it was powerful, and it came close to where they lived.  In today’s society if we lose some meat because it had gotten old or freezer burnt we’ll just thaw out some more or head to a restaurant.  But in that day they didn’t have that luxury and losing a sheep was not only losing several days of meals, but also clothing.  Jesus was saying, “If you men would look for your lost sheep until you found it, how much more will I go after lost souls until I find them?”

A sheep separated from its shepherd is vulnerable and possibly in danger.  Jesus regards people who are separated from him as lost and destined for spending eternity away from him.  Jesus doesn’t want to lose one.  In John 6:39 – 40a (NLT) Jesus said, “And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.  For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life.”  2 Peter 3:9b says, “he {the Lord} is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

But our sins have caused us to fall short of God’s standards.  Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  The punishment for those sins will be death – eternal separation.  Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  That is why we need the Good Shepherd to rescue us from our sins by forgiving and saving us.

The parable also illuminates Jesus’ attitude toward the saved sheep/sinner.  The shepherd does not rebuke the sheep for becoming lost.  Instead, he lifts the sheep onto his shoulders and takes it home.  Lifting a full-grown sheep weighing about 100 pounds onto his shoulders would have been no small feat; carrying it home would have been much more so.  But the shepherd bears the burden because of his joy in finding that which was lost.  1 Peter 2:24-25 say, “For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

If you think that you are lost, just as we tore through that cabin looking for Daryl’s keys on that fishing trip, realize that Jesus will leave no stone unturned in looking for you.  All that you have to do is to allow him to find you and accept his rescue.

Towing Daryl’s boat

The majority of the Blue Angels

Categories : Devotionals

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