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 for an FCS self-chartered bay fishing trip.  Justin owns Laguna Madre Cabin #2, where we were going to stay.  After settling up with him and getting the GPS coordinates for the floating cabin, we headed to our home away from home.

After we arrived, we stowed our non-fishing gear.  We then headed to The Boat Hole.  We mostly fished with live shrimp but also tried some artificial lures.  Daryl Shipper anchored with his iPilot about 200 yards from shore.  I decided 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 drove my boat over to talk to Daryl, and we decided to move our boats behind an island to get out of the wind.  As we proceeded, the bottom went from 4 feet to 8 feet, which meant we’d found a hole.  As both of our iPilots struggled to stay put in the wind, we used our fluke anchors this time.

We fished for a couple of hours.  Daryl’s boat caught mainly undersized speckled trout.  Ian Daniels had the hot rod on my boat, catching several whiting and gaff top, including an approximately two-pound whiting and four-pound gaff top.  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 spotlight.  The light attracted baitfish, which in turn attracted predators.  We each caught 10+ speckled trout with a few gafftop and hardheads, but Jim McGee caught the only keeper – a 15-inch-long trout.

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

The following 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 exited his boat.

We hooked the bow (front) of Daryl’s boat up to the stern (rear) of 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-inch-long redfish on a live shrimp in the swirling water by the 361 bridge and getting to watch the Blue Angels perform in the afternoon as we fished off the cabin’s dock.

Sunday started 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 on the floor, and under them were his missing keys!  We have no idea how they got there.

After putting 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 fish the swirling waters by the 361 bridge.  We mainly caught perch and whiting, but I landed my personal best 16 1/2-inch-long 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 (a Jewish sect that strictly observed the traditional and written law and claimed to be the holiest Jews) 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 collected taxes for the Roman conquerors, and who the Jews treated as pariahs.  Although these holier-than-thou men didn’t 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.  The Pharisees and teachers thought as badly about Jesus as possible because of the company he kept.

Jesus’s response was to tell them that he was seeking the lost and that 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.  Jesus went out of his way to put himself where he would encounter those that others regarded as the most lost souls so that 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 thaw out some more or head to a restaurant.  But in Jesus’s day, they didn’t have that luxury.  Losing a sheep was losing several days of meals and also losing clothing.  Jesus was saying, “If you men will look for your lost sheep until you find it, how much more will I look for 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 (HCSB) says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  The punishment for those sins will be death – eternal separation from God.  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’s 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 2:25 says, “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 that cabin apart 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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But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You.


 January 2022