Feb
11

Stand Fast by Randy Rowley 2/7/12 ©

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On a frigid and windy Friday in late March, four friends and I journeyed to the CZC Ranch near Mercury for an FCS weekend self-guided hog hunt.

Grady Van Heuverswyn’s glasses were knocked off his face on Friday night as he took off his facemask, so we went to look for them on Saturday morning in my truck.  On the way to Grady’s stand, Jim McGee spotted a hog, and we went after it.  About 20 yards away, the three-foot grass swayed.  I looked beyond it and saw a medium-sized pig, partially concealed by the grass.  I shot her in the head with my Remington Model 7400 in .30-06, using my iron sights (looking through my Weaver See-Thru scope rings).  When I shot, around seven to eight piglets ran in all directions.  Two stopped in front of me, and I shot one.  The piglets were the cause of the swaying grass.

On Sunday morning, we conducted a group stalk.  We wore blaze orange caps as we walked alongside each other in a line about 30 yards apart.

As I walked down a trail in a heavily wooded area, I came across a large pile of hog scat.  Beyond that pile was another, and beyond it were many more.  I counted at least 15 piles, many of which were fresh, and radioed, “I found the hog outhouse.”  My announcement resulted in movement in the heavy brush to the right of the trail.  I softly radioed, “Hogs!” and then headed to my left, hoping to find a way to them.

Suddenly, three hogs bolted in single file across my bow from the heavy brush, about 25 yards away.  I shot one bullet at each of them, hitting the third one in the head.

My friends converged at the hog.  I told them what happened and then showed them the hog outhouse.  As I pointed to where the hogs had been, I spotted two hogs in the heavy brush.  I shot at a blonde one.  It was standing still just 15 yards away, so my bullet must’ve deflected off of one of the many branches in that maze.  They scurried deeper into the brush.

When the hogs moved, I went to the left, and Ken Miller went to the right.  Ken’s movement pushed the other hog towards me, and he bolted from the brush.  At first, it looked like he’d run over me, but upon seeing me, he ran across my bow only five yards away.  Somehow I missed with all three shots remaining in my magazine.  I aimed in front of him like a rabbit sporting clays target.  In hindsight, I should’ve aimed right at him.

Incredibly, that pair of hogs didn’t move until the fourth shot from my rifle – they stood fast.

During a previous hog hunt near Blessing, I walked up on a hog that didn’t move until I poked it with my muzzle.  I thought it was dead, but it was asleep!  I considered it a fluke.  However, since the “Hog Outhouse Stalk,” I’ve been on other hunts where hogs stood fast when they sensed danger, unlike deer, which always run.  Hogs do this because they know hunters will often walk past them if they stand fast.

The Bible recounts several people who stood fast when faced with severe duress.  Three of the most famous are Daniel in the Old Testament and Peter and John in the New Testament.

The book of Daniel recounts the Babylonians taking Daniel and the rest of Judah into captivity.  Some years later, King Darius ordered anyone who prayed to any god or man other than him during the next 30 days to be thrown into the lion’s den.  Daniel defied the king and continued to pray to God.  Daniel was caught in the act and was then thrown into the lion’s den.  You probably know the rest of the story (if not, see Daniel chapter 6).  One of the worst deaths imaginable is to be killed by a pride of lions, but Daniel stared death in the eye and stood fast.  The following morning, he was found alive and well.

Acts chapter 3 recounts Peter and John went to the temple in Jerusalem to pray.  Along the way, a beggar who had been lame since birth asked them for money.  Acts 3:6 says, “Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’”  Instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet, began to walk, and then went with Peter and John into the temple courts, walking, jumping, and praising God.

The people there were astonished.  Peter gave the credit to Jesus and told them that through Jesus, there’s a resurrection of the dead, adding around 2,000 disciples.  The priests, temple guard captain, and Sadducees were greatly disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people and proclaiming redemption through Jesus, so they jailed Peter and John.

The next day the Sanhedrin (the rulers, elders, and teachers of the Jewish law) interrogated Peter and John, asking them in Acts 4:7b, “‘By what power or what name did you do this?’”  Peter replied in Acts 4:10b, “‘It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.’”

The Sanhedrin commanded them not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.  Peter replied in Acts 4:19b-20, “‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him?  You be the judges!  As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”  The Sanhedrin threatened them and then let them go.  Peter and John knew these were the same men who orchestrated Jesus’s death, and they could easily do the same to them, but they looked them in their eyes and stood fast.

Fortunately, we live in a country where Christians are not physically persecuted.  However, there may come a day when we have to take a stand with a boss, schoolteacher, coach, scout leader, neighbor, relative, etc.  Admitting our beliefs may result in ridicule, being passed over for promotions, our kids sitting on the bench, or worse.  Do you know where you stand on Biblical issues?  Are you able to communicate your stands to others?  Are you embarrassed to discuss your faith?

When questioned, many Christians falter because they don’t know what the Bible says about various subjects, such as greed, jealousy, doubt, fear, anger, money, relationships, service, trials, forgiveness, and abundant life.  They’re spiritual babies who’ve never grown.

There are primarily three ways for Christians to learn about the Bible.

  • Join or attend a church or body of believers that preaches and teaches the Bible.
  • Read the Bible frequently and memorize fundamental passages.  There might come a time when you have an opportunity to take a stand, and there isn’t a Bible, smartphone, or computer nearby.  Memorizing the Bible ensures you’ll remember significant points.
  • Find a mentor who’ll challenge you to learn the Bible and help you build a Christ-like character.  Your church or body of believers can probably provide a list of potential mentors..

Many experts think we establish our personalities as early as age four; however, they continue to evolve throughout our lifetimes.  Psalms 27:17 (HCSB) says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”  It is just one of many verses supporting this concept.  Notice it doesn’t say, “…and one child sharpens another.”  Only mature Christians can help other believers build Godly characters.

We weren’t born with Christ-like characters.  Before Jesus redeemed us from the penalty for our sins, our characters reflected Satan’s character.  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  “All things” includes our characters.  After we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, our worldly characters die, and the Holy Spirit transforms our characters to be like our new master’s.

2 Peter 1:3a (NLT) says, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.”  That includes the strength to do so.  2 Corinthians 1:21 (HCSB) says, “Now it is God who strengthens us, with you, in Christ and has anointed us.”  1 Corinthians 15:58a says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.”  Knowing God recreated us and gifted us with everything we need to live a godly life, we must resolve to stand firm through his strength.

Jesus promised us persecution.  He said in John 15:18-20b, “‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.’”

If you haven’t taken a stand for Jesus yet, you will.  It’s not a matter of ‘if’ – instead, it’s a matter of ‘when.’  When the time to take a stand for Jesus comes, only one question will matter – will you stand fast, as those hogs did on that cold spring day?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3-29-09_randy_and_boar-1-300x225.jpg

Edward Terry, Jim, and Randy with the boar he killed on Sunday

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3-29-09_randy_and_hogs-300x225.jpg

Randy with the hogs he killed on Saturday

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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