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 the floating Laguna Madre cabin #2 that we had booked.  After settling up with him and getting the cabin’s GPS coordinates, 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 artificial lures as well.  Daryl Shipper anchored with his Minn Kota iPilot around 200 yards from shore.  I decided to try to get as close to a short rock wall as possible.  This proved easier said than done, as we kept running aground.

I drove over to talk to Daryl, and we decided to try to get behind an island to get out of the strong wind.  As we proceeded, the bottom went from 4’ to 8’, which meant there was 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 in my boat, catching several whiting and gafftopsail catfish, including an approximately two-pound whiting and four-pound gafftop.  As the sun set, we headed to Snoopy’s Pier for dinner.

We started fishing on the dock under the cabin’s huge spotlight when we returned to the cabin.  The light attracted baitfish, which in turn attracted game fish.  We each caught 10+ speckled and sand trout and a few gafftops and hardheads, but Jim McGee caught the only keeper – a 15-inch-long speckled trout.

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

The next morning we ate a quick breakfast and put our fishing gear back in the boats, but Daryl discovered his boat keys were missing as we were about to leave!  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 Daryl’s boat’s bow (front) up to my boat’s stern (rear) with a tow rope, and I towed it back to the Marker 37 Marina.  While we were heading in, Daryl called a locksmith who met us at the marina.  In about 10 minutes, Daryl was in business again with an ignition key and two spares.

Saturday was tough, with the wind blowing 20+ MPH, plus encountering many shallow areas.  The day’s highlights were Jose Primera catching a 28-inch-long redfish on a live shrimp in the swirling water by the 361 bridge and watching the Blue Angels perform in the afternoon as we fished off the cabin’s dock.

Sunday started with packing everything for our return journey 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 it 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 a 16 1/2-inch-long flounder on a 3-inch-long white Berkley Gulp swimming mullet on a red H&H 1/4 oz. jighead.

In Luke chapter 15, a group of tax collectors and sinners gathered to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees (who strictly observed the traditional and written law and claimed to be the holiest Jews) and the teachers of the law complained because Jesus welcomed and ate with the sinners.  Jesus responded with a parable – a simple story to illustrate a spiritual lesson.

Jesus said in Luke 15:4-6a, “‘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 about the depths of 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 – whom they regarded as the pariahs of their community as they collected taxes for the Roman conquerors.  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 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 responded that he was seeking the lost.  And to do that, he had to go to where they were.  He said this plainly when he later encountered Zacchaeus.  Jesus proclaimed in Luke 19:10, “‘For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’”  The theme of the four gospels (the narratives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that discuss the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus) is that Jesus was continually pursuing lost souls.  Jesus went out of his way to put himself where he’d encounter those others regarded as the most lost souls so he’d have an opportunity to talk to them.

Jesus’ argument was as practical as it was powerful and came close to where they lived.  Today, if we lose meat because it’s gotten old or freezer burnt, we’ll throw it out, thaw out some more, or head to a restaurant.  But during the days of Jesus, they didn’t have such luxuries, and losing a sheep meant losing several days of meals.  Jesus conveyed to the Pharisees and teachers, ‘If you would look for a 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 separated from him as lost and destined to spend eternity away from him.  Jesus doesn’t want to lose one.  Jesus said in John 6:39 – 40a (NLT), “‘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 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”  To repent is to turn from the direction we were heading and turn to God.

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 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.”  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”  We can’t remedy our eternal punishment by doing good deeds – we need the Good Shepherd to rescue us from our sins by forgiving and saving us after we repent.

The parable also illuminates Jesus’ attitude toward the saved sheep/sinner.  The shepherd doesn’t 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, but 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 says, “For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

If you think you’re lost, just as we tore up that cabin looking for Daryl’s keys on that April fishing trip, realize Jesus will leave no stone unturned in looking for you.  All you have to do is accept his rescue attempt.

Towing Daryl’s boat

Most of the Blue Angels

Categories : Devotionals

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He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.