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Productivity

Written by Jeff Roman

Colossians chapter 3 verse 23. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.  

As Outdoorsman we know that we have to be productive. There’s always something to be doing. Something to be getting ready for. We have that bass tournament coming up or we have that deer stand to make because the coming season is fast approaching. Just like in every day life we have to be productive. Because if the bosses don’t think we’re productive then bad things start to happen.

Proverbs 14 verse 23.  In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.

Each one of us each and every day needs to get up and be productive. We need to be productive in our work life, and our hobbies, in our home life, and of course we need to be productive in our spiritual life. Anybody who is out there right now, who is in the active workforce, knows how tough productivity is right now. For some reason it seems a whole lot of people out there don’t think they need to be productive. And that’s probably a topic for another subject and time. God doesn’t want us to be lazy. The Bible does talk a great deal about rest. But it also talks about productivity and we need to be productive for those that are around us.

Genesis chapter 2 verse 15 the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

God demands us to do a lot of things and to be productive. But the one thing he really wants us to be productive in is knowing him!

Ephesians chapter 5 verses 15 through 17. Look at carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

The only way we can know the will of God for us is to know God better. Spend more time in prayer, and study in the Lord, and studying his word. We can’t know what his will is unless we know him and have a relationship with him. So let’s be productive! Let’s get to know Jesus!

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It Matters

Written by Jeff Roman

 I don’t suppose you remember last months blog. I’m not sure why you would, I can’t remember yesterday let alone a month ago. But it was titled am I that smart? It started with scripture from Isaiah 55 chapter 8.

This is kind of a little continuation of that which is from Isaiah 55 chapter 10. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth, it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the things for which I sent it.

As outdoorsman and people who love to be outside we think we know a lot. That’s probably pretty correct just about true for anybody on this planet. We all think we know some thing. So we need to be telling it. (some people call it Facebook. Lol) Outdoorsman are always telling stories about their last catch or their last hunt. How good they were at what they were doing otherwise they would not have been successful. Correct?? Because it’s all about what we know and that we’ve gotten good at what we do. Then the pride really sinks in we need to be telling others how imperfect they are and they need to be doing it my way or this way. I’m not saying everybody is this way because they’re not, and how else are we to learn if we don’t listen to somebody with experience. As long as that’s what they’re doing is teaching us from experience. And I am prideful at times and guilty of it too. Sometimes it just comes with age. I have the experience. I’ve lived it and done it so I know how it’s to be done correctly. When we speak are we being teachers or are we just being boastful ??

When Jesus spoke, people listened. When Jesus spoke they wanted to listen because what He spread in His words was the truth. So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth, it shall not return to me void. That’s what happen when Jesus spoke. People listen and they learn.

When we speak should people listen? What comes out of our mouth does it give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Is it worth listening to or is it rubbish? It’s so hard today. With all the turmoil that’s going on in this world and here in America to listen to different media and listen to government officials and all claim they know what they’re talking about. Pretty hard to distinguish good seed from the weeds. But one thing is for sure the one word we need to be listening to is the word of Jesus. We need to be digging into His word. Learning His word because His word is truth. And His truth will always lead us. Unlike listening to anybody else we don’t know where it’s leading us so we have to sort out things to know what’s true and what’s not true. There are great people to listen to here but we have to be careful that we are listening to the right ones. And the one constant that you’ll always have is knowing that if you listen to Jesus, His words will always be true.

Isaiah 55 chapter 12 for you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace, the mountains in the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Grab your Bible. Learn God‘s word. And when you do you shall go out with joy and be let out with peace. It will cause you to break out in singing and you know that the hands of God will be clapping.
       

 

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Am I That Smart?

Written By Jeff Roman

Isaiah chapter 55 verse eight, God speaking
“ for My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “ for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

As outdoorsman have we ever tried to outsmart ourselves. We read and read and read trying to gather as much information as we can. Try to learn from somebody who thinks they are in the know. Trying to learn the new techniques the new patterns the new electronics and new baits. I am not saying these are bad things because they’re not they are good things but is all this time we are thinking are we getting smarter, or just more prideful? Believe it will help us put more fish in the boat. Increase that weight in the live well. If you are a tournament angler that is. But sometimes we just get too smart for our own britches. Sometimes we start thinking too much. As it says in the book of Isaiah that I just wrote, God's thoughts are way above our thoughts. If we go out and have a bad day on the water we think it's something that we did. It was our fault. I need to learn more. Need to learn more so I can be a better fisherman so I don’t have days like this. I lost that big bass today because I did something stupid in the retrieve. Did a poor job of netting or landing.  Or it was my partners fault for not having been there closer to help. It had to be somebody’s fault. How do we know things just didn’t happen because it was God's choosing. God‘s thoughts are way above ours and he has a reason why things happen. Maybe there was that day you had a bad day on the water so that somebody else had a good day on the water and that was God's choosing. Maybe setting an example. Letting somebody else having a great day was meant to happen for a particular reason by God. God said the heavens are higher than the earth and my ways are higher than your ways. Who are we to argue that. We can think what we want and we can put a lot of pride in ourselves and think it’s all about us. But it’s not. We need to take that pride out and we need to leave it to God. So when you’re having a bad day or even a good day just remember there are reasons why things happen and sometimes it’s not in our control. Probably most the time it’s not. We have to leave it to God and trust Him because we know that He has told us His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways and we have to trust Him in that. Remember it’s not all about us!
It’s about our relationship with God! Put that first and see where He leads you!!

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Can I?????

Written By Jeff Roman

As outdoorsman we're always wondering.......

CAN I  ??????? Can I be a professional bass angler? Can I really go out each and every day and compete and make a living catching fish and not just any fish. I’m talking bass. If you’re not a bass fisherman you probably won’t get that. But that’s OK, it’s not the point.

But it is the same with any sport or hobby that you are interested in. Doesn’t matter if you’re a hunter. Could I be a hunting guide? Could I take people out each and every day and make a living by showing people how to get that trophy hunt under their belt? With that saying can I cross it off my bucket list. Help that hunter achieve that prized bear kill to mark it off his bucket list is that something I could do for a living?  

We all have dreams or had dreams. About being that star football player or professional baseball player. How about a pool shark? And I’m talking somebody good at billiards not chasing real sharks. LOL.

Of course there are things that limit us. Natural ability. Special gifts that God has given us to do certain things. But that’s not at all what I’m talking about here. Working in Gods will that’s a whole different subject. What I’m talking about here is as a human being going out and doing things that are above and beyond. Above and beyond what we think we are capable of doing. Going out and making a difference! So many people get up each and every day and suffer through a job, a work experience, daily experiences that they are just not happy with. And even if you are happy with your daily life, what are you doing for the Kingdom. What are you doing for others? So you work most of your life and now you’re retired and you get up and go fishing every day. Or you are playing golf every day. I’m not saying some of that is not a good thing because you’ve earned it or we think we have anyway. But what are we doing for the world around us? What are we doing for God‘s Kingdom?

In the book of James chapter 5 verse 17
Elijah was a man .... JUST LIKE US... and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

This is one powerful scripture! God shows us everywhere in the Bible how He takes ordinary people and does extraordinary and miraculous things. He can do those things with us and through us also. We need to pray, we need to have faith, we need to trust God and where He leads us. Keep praying and then move forward with what God ask us to do. Do you think you can make a difference?? Did Elijah know that he could make a difference?!   Start praying and make a difference!!

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New Years Resolutions

Written By Jeff Roman
 
I have never been one to put much emphasis or thoughts into New Year’s resolutions. I really believe we need to be our best each and every day. Of course failing each and every day. Or at least most of the time it seems like. For myself anyway. In the outdoor world we’re looking at the coming year for all of the highlights, and the memories we can make. Making New Year’s resolutions that we are going to do better in our hobbies. Resolutions of practicing harder for tournaments. Or laying a better foundation for that hunting trip. A New Year’s resolution that if I work harder and smarter, adapt myself with better equipment that I will have a better year. And you don’t have to be an outdoorsman to have these kind of resolutions. That New Year’s resolution of stopping those bad habits of smoking or drinking or swearing or not being kind enough to those around us. Whatever those resolutions may be. I’m not saying resolutions aren’t good they are at times, especially if we live up to them. Someone asked me the other day what my resolution was for this year. I did come up with one. To finish the important things. So much of our lives are spent doing wasted energy absorbing non-meaning tasks. So I have to put my good foot forward and work on those things that mean something.
 
The first of those things is sharing the gospel. And it means sharing the gospel more. I want to share right now with you one thing that we all need to be doing more and maybe we can all make this part of our New Year’s resolutions.
That’s learning God‘s word. How can we know what God expects from us if we don’t know who God is. What are His attributes? What does He bring to us each and every day. What can we expect from Him and what does He expect from us? 
 
It’s just like with your employer or your fishing partner unless you know them or the job requirements or the capabilities of your partner how can you get better at it??  Whether you are a consistent churchgoer or you are on the fence on whether there is a God or not how can you make any kind of a rational smart educated decision without knowing first the word. His word. So everybody’s resolution could be to get in God‘s word.
 
First, what would that take? Probably having a Bible in your hand. I ask people frequently if they own one. Those that don’t, I have one for them. But often times I get, yes I do, but I don’t have a clue where it’s at. I really should get that out and study it more. And I say “ Yes” you should. Let’s start off this new year right. Let’s get a Bible, let’s dive into it, let’s get to know His word. It’s not a twice a year church service. Or a weekly Sunday service. It’s sitting down each and every day reading, hearing, and listening for God‘s word. Every day God gives us a breath. That’s a blessing. Find out how many more blessings He has for us by getting into His word.
        Happy New Years!!

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Feeling Empty

Written By Jeff Roman

      Psalm 81 :10    I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, open your mouth wide, and I will fill it

Yes I have slacked. Can't believe it's been this long since I wrote my last blog. We all know the times are trying, but that's no excuse. The only excuse I have is that I probably have felt empty and just did not know what to write. For you outdoorsman out there you know what empty means. An empty live well at the end of tournament day or an empty bag after spending all day beating the brush for game. It's just not a good feeling. And as we live our every day lives that empty feeling. When you're not feeling loved by somebody. When the coffer might be dry when the bills are due. When things at work just are't going the way they should be. Oh yeah don't forget Covid. How wonderful has that been. And I sure hope you can read the sarcasm in that!

      Ephesians 3:17-19.  That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.


It's so hard when our tank feels empty. But we have to know that through the blood of Christ and what He has done for us and what He continues to do for us each and every day that He will refill our tank. All we have to do is seek Him and find Him. Once we are walking with Him that emptiness goes away. So regardless of what is going on in your life these days, remember Jesus is there to fill the tank. Don't settle for that empty feeling settle for Jesus!!


       Psalm 126 : 2   Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “the Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad!”
        

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It's Just Wrong!

 

Written by Jeff Roman
Aaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggg!!!
I can’t believe I have not written anything in such a long time. I can’t even tell you when the last time I wrote!? I couldn’t tell you if it’s been six months or a year or something in between I just know it’s been too long. This was supposed to been a once a month blog that I put out to help us all support our walk and relationship with Jesus Christ. Me helping you and you helping me for a stronger relationship with Him. Because that’s what we are commanded to do. I know we can get so wrapped up into what our lives are and there is a little extra stuff going on these days. Unless you live under a rock you know what I mean. But that’s still no excuse. We need to make time for Jesus. And that needs to be on a regular basis. And that’s not even correct. Regular basis doesn’t even cover it. It needs to be nonstop all day long every day Him first.
1 Thessalonians 5:16... rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  See right here, pray without ceasing. Praying, that’s how we communicate with our Lord. And we are to do it nonstop. But days and events seem to get in the way. We have to remember that if we put our trust in God it is amazing what he can do for us.
Isaiah 40: 31...   but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint. He is our breath and our restoration in times of stress and in times when we feel like there’s no hope. But the key is giving Him the time and making sure we spend enough time with Him. We cannot put Him on the back burner. He does not put us on the back burner. We are first and foremost in His eyes.
Galatians 2:20... I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

We have this glorious and wonderful Easter weekend to look forward to. We May not be with the group of people we want to be with. We may not be in a church to celebrate. We may not have the same celebration as normal. But the crucifixion is real. And we have to realize what Jesus has done for us and understand that with or without the other distractions Christ still died for us. Celebrate this Easter weekend. Celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. Celebrate, it’s because you know what He did for you and I. And remember we need to make time for this. Do not let all the other distractions get in the way. Make time for Jesus because if you don’t .”It’s just wrong"
 “ for the believer there is hope beyond the grave, because Jesus Christ has opened the door to heaven for us by his death and resurrection. “ Billy Graham
 Have a wonderful Easter celebration from Highlife Outdoor Ministry.
 

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Keep It Simple

By Jeff Roman
Hebrews 12:1-2  "therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

As outdoorsman and women we have a  tendency to overdo it. We want to make sure we have the best and the latest equipment. We are up on all the latest gadgets, trinkets, handheld devices and whatever technology we can get our hands on to help us locate the quarry we are after. We wanna make sure that we don’t miss out on anything. We have to be up there with the Jonese's when it comes to making sure nobody is one step ahead of us because we want to get there first. Sometimes competition is its own worst enemy for us. If you’re not in competition you might not understand this last statement but if you are you absolutely do. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying our sport and the outdoors to the fullest limits that we have. God gave it to us to enjoy. But sometimes we overdo it. We just need to learn to keep it simple and probably enjoy it so much more.
 
1 Timothy 6:6-7 “ but godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it."
 
Learning to make things simple in the outdoors would probably free up time to spend more time in the outdoors. It’s also like our spiritual life. If we were to keep it simple and to understand that it’s plain and simple that Jesus is the answer. Our spiritual life would be so much easier. It is that easy. Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Without him we have nothing. Without him we have no future or hope or eternal life.
Something as simple as just getting to know Jesus we know that we have all of these things. We have a future, with hope, and eternal life.
 
Matthew 6:33 “ But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
 
Keep it simple , Jesus is the answer!

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Amazing

By Jeff Roman
Job 26:7-8 He stretches out the north over empty space, He hangs the earth on nothing. He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it.
As outdoorsmen we see God's beauty every day. Even if you’re not an outdoorsman you see God's beauty. It’s just easier to see if you’re not completely surrounded by concrete and buildings. One word that comes to our mind a lot of time is the word "Amazing." We are completely amazed at the beauty and the magnificence of the outdoors. How all the forest lineup. How the rivers flow. How the backwaters keep meandering on and on. How all the wildlife teams all around. All you have to do is get on the road and drive. Well at least where I live anyway. All of the ditch banks are lined with trees. Small ponds and lakes scattered off in the fields. Strip pits where coal mining once was a big operation and now they are all filled with water and filled with the possibility of the next state record bass. We just can’t get enough of his amazing outdoors.
Romans 15:13. Now May the God of hope fill you with all the joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
God gives us all this amazing view every day. But do we ever show Him back how amazing He is to us. Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to work through us for his glory?
Do we take the time to thank Him for all the amazing graces He gives to us each and every day. Do we spend time passing his love on to others?Spending time learning and helping spread his word. Spending time showing and telling other people how amazing God is. Do we??????????????
In the Gospel by Matthew chapter 3 after Jesus gets baptized by John something amazing happens. The heavens opened up and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, this is my son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased. Let us go out, become closer to God, so that someday when we get to heaven He will look at us and say “this is my son, (or daughter) whom I love, am well pleased!! 

 

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Forgetfulness

 By Jeff Roman

Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall return to Shoel, all the nations that forget God.

I don’t know about you but the older I get my memory just seems to be slipping. Can you all relate? There are days I get up and I can’t even remember my own name. And then there is the fact of just being too busy and hurrying to get things done. And you know what happens when we hurry, we usually forget things. How many bass tournaments have some of you guys been to where the boats are in the water and you hear somebody hollering back at the guy pulling his trailer away to get back in the water because he forgot to put the plug in the boat. Or was that just a case of him being in to big a hurry. Ladies, that load of wash have you ever forgot to put the laundry soap in? Was that just a case of forgetfulness or just being in to big a hurry? I guess anytime that we have forgetfulness we can call it being in to big a hurry. We all probably need to work on our memory skills and we probably all need to slow down. The one thing we do not want to forget about or be in to big a hurry is in our relationship with God.

One Corinthian‘s 15:22 for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

We want to make sure in our day-to-day routine that we do not forget about our Lord. We want to spend time throughout our day talking to God and letting Him know how important He is to us. If we also talk to Him we can talk to Him about that hurried pace we are on and about how our memory seems to be fading away. And in our talk with Him maybe we can listen and He’ll have some thoughts on how to correct some of these issues. So let us all not forget during our hurried busy days specially now that summer is upon us that we do not forget about the one most important thing in all of our lives ..... God ! We do not want to be in to big a hurry and forget Him because we don’t want Him to be in to big a hurry and forget about us and how He’s going to show us how to have eternal life with Him. And the only way that can be done is spending time with Him! 

Romans 10:13 for” everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”.

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Lend A Hand

By Jeff Roman

John 9:25 - I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.

 I’ve seen some pretty amazing stories here recently about people lending a hand. People going above and beyond and making sure somebody else is safe. Whether it be their physical well-being or their personal property. In our area along the Mississippi river it has been a very trying spring. Many businesses have been flooded, business shut down and a lot of loss of personal property and income. But there are many amazing stories here where fellow businesses helping their business neighbors. Customers of particular businesses are coming in and helping them sand bag and prepare for the flooding also helping with cleanup after the flooding. Concerned citizens going out of their way to help others in need.

In the fishing world there has been a few boating accidents recently. People ejected from their boats hitting a wake wrong. Capsizing the boats. And fellow fisherman stopping to help. In a MLF tour event this happened recently and not only are these great fisherman but these are great people. People who know there are more important things in a tournament than just fishing. They wanted to help their fellow man, fellow fisherman in a time of need. In a recent MLF tour the fisherman hit a boat wake wrong and was ejected and several of the participants of the tour stopped and gave him a hand and made sure he was safe and got him where he needed to go for help.
A lot of wonderful people helping people in need. But have you ever thought about your fellow man and helping them with their spiritual needs.

Acts 1:8 - but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you

There are a lot of people out there today struggling with a lot of problems and one of them is their spiritual life. They are seeking, they are trying to find answers, they’re trying to find their way to Jesus. They need help. Are we doing everything we can to be helping our fellow man find Jesus? Yes this is our job to. Just like helping that person that’s had a boating accident we need to be there when that person has a spiritual accident.

Luke12:11 - The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say. 

Don’t get scared, don’t become frightened, don’t think you can’t be the one to help. Because you sure can. You know Jesus and you know what he’s capable of doing. You know that if you allow the Holy Spirit to work with you and work within you that you will be able to help others. And we all know what the reward is when we all find Jesus.    Heaven!!

 Romans 6:23 - The cost of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

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April Fools this is a March Highlife Thought

By Jeff Roman

I know the calendar says April 1 but I missed getting a March thought in. Just don’t know where the time goes. I know I started it a couple of times and how or why it did not get finished I’m not sure. What we want to take a look at today is “ loyalty.”  I just don’t see much of it left in the world anymore. There's to much going on that makes everybody think that its about the almighty dollar or just about themselves. How they can save a few cents or how some way or shape or form they’re going to be inconvenienced by something. 

It’s this way in the outdoor world too! Guys that think they have an extra dollar up there schmoozing around trying to get the best deal on a new boat. A fully rigged tournament boat, trying to get somebody to sponsor them for recreational fishing. I see guys come and go every year inside and outside of new boats that they’ve never been in before and being sponsored by them.( and by being sponsored I mean getting a few trinkets or markdown or some other kind of hand out. They think it’s a big deal because they can say they’re being “sponsored”)  If they have never been in that boat before how do they tell somebody else that is the best boat they’ve ever had in their entire life? Makes no sense to me. I guess they just have to be a smooth talker (part con man) somehow convince somebody to give them a sponsorship.

 Deuteronomy chapter 7 verse nine -  I know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps his gracious covenant loyalty for thousands of generations with those who love him and keep his commands.

We as outdoorsman or anyone else for that matter can’t we see that loyalty should be something. That’s supporting those who have supported you should mean something. That giving back where you can should mean something.! That store you frequented for many years but now there’s a bigger better one. It’s time to Move on?
Where is our loyalty.?

From the fishing poles you buy to the bass boat that you purchased to the groceries you put on the table at the end of the evening. Where does your loyalty lie???

You do know who the most loyalist is?
It is God. God knows the meaning of the word loyal. Because he invented it.

In two Timothy chapter 2 verse 13 - if we are unfaithful he remains faithful for he cannot deny who he is.

Laminations chapter 3 verse 22. We are still alive because the Lord’s faithful love never ends.

One John chapter 3 verse 24 whoever keeps his commandments abides in God and God in him. God is wise, perfect, unchanging, full of wisdom, God is holy and good, loving, just, merciful, compassionate, kind and yes LOYAL!!

So how do we pay back loyalty to God? How do we make ourselves loyal to him like he is loyal to us?

First we have to stand fast and be true in our believe in him we have to believe in all of his great qualities and see how they work out in our lives.

Second: don’t become a part of this world. Wow this is important! This is where the whole world has gotten screwed up. Everybody wants to keep up with the Joneses. (sorry if your name is actually Jones) do not become like the world,become what God wants you to become in this world.

Third: we want to make right decisions and to make them all the time. Knowing God is loyal to us makes the job easier. And knowing He is there to help us in any situation. Make the right choice at the right time all the time.

Fourth: learning and practice God’s word. Put yourself in a place, set aside time, do what you need to do to learn God’s word. Spend it in the Bible, in your devotionals, in small groups, at church, wherever it needs to be and do it as often as you can.  Its not only for Sundays. And then of course there is prayer. Spend as much time praying as possible. Prayer is your relationship with God.

And Fifth: is love your neighbor as God has told you to do. God shows us His loyalty so we need to show our loyalty to others. By Him helping us we need to be helping others.   

 Matthew chapter 25 verse 40 Jesus said," I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me. “ Yes it matters very much to God that we love our neighbors.

So let’s go out there today and show our loyalty. Show your loyalty in everything you do in life. And most of all show your loyalty to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And maybe someday He’ll show His loyalty to us by letting us enter into the gates of heaven !  
          

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Plentiful

By Jeff Roman

James 1:17 .  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows

This is an amazing time of year. You can take that as either I’m being sarcastic or actually believe that it’s an amazing time of year. For now I’m gonna let you wonder. (Just a hint, the older I get the less I like winter). 

I ran into a good friend the other day and he was telling me about all the crappies they caught last weekend. He said that they were plentiful. They said they must’ve caught over 200. There was a group of about five or six of them and they all only took their limit of 10. But they had an absolute ball. Was such a good day on hard water. He was very anxious to do it again this weekend.

Went to the outdoor show with my wife over the weekend and I would say the crowd was very plentiful. Fact, I would say it was absolutely huge. The show administrator should’ve been very delighted with the crowds they had. Everybody has been cooped up all winter and I am sure cabin fever had hit. It looked like all of the booths were busy with activity and I saw a lot of money exchanging hands. That makes everybody happy. After mulling around the show for a while ran into an old friend who was doing one of the seminars. He is one guy who can talk a lot about bass fishing. He is very knowledgeable and a very good fisherman. (and duck hunter) And he must be doing something right because they love having him come back. He loves doing the shows and he's fun to listen to. You could say he has plenty of expertise to pass on. Visiting with him he had mentioned how plentifully blessed he had been. Just got engaged to his sweetheart. Was about to retire from his job which would allow him to do his outdoor show on a full-time.

Luke 6:38 . Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

The outdoors is such a wonderful thing. It is an absolute wonderful opportunity God gives us. Gives to each one of us to enjoy. And many things can come from it.  Plentiful can be easily described in the outdoors and plentiful is what we get out of it. But does God look at us and say we have been plentiful in doing his work?

Ephesians 3:20.  Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.

Are we following God‘s Commandments? Are we listening to His word and growing upon them? Are we leading others to Him? Are we being plentiful in serving Him?

2 Corinthians 9:8. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work

So let’s enjoy the plentiful outdoors while we give PLENTY to Him. He’s going to give us plenty at the end. Heaven!

 

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Take Time and Learn

By Jeff Roman

 2 Timothy 1:7- for the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 

I am not sure if it’s supposed to be Aaaaarrrrrrggggggggggggggggg or bbbbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr today or both. But it is absolutely brutal outside. The weather Channel had us at 23° below zero temperature and the wind is ripping pretty good so I’m guessing probably somewhere between 40 and 60 below with the windchill. I know. I know you Northerners up in Minnesota and Wisconsin and the like are probably saying this is normal for you’s but for us here in West Central Illinois it is downright coooooollldddd! This is no weather for outdoorsmen and yes ladies I don’t want to forget you outdoor ladies.
Absolutely nothing can be done outside. You don’t even want to stay in the garage. Cooped up in the house with cabin fever, doesn’t get any worse than that for outdoorsman. So this is always a good time to spend learning. Take some time to learn. Pull out those fishing magazines that you threw in a pile all summer long because you didn’t have time to read them. Here’s an opportunity to get caught up and see if you can’t figure out some new tactics or procedures or fishing styles that will help you put more fish in the boat. Pick up those gun catalogs and hunting magazines and see if there isn’t something you have missed out there. Something you can learn to take on your next adventure. This is a good time to learn.

Hebrews 4:12 - for the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Guess what else would be a good time to spend learning. Being as you have the time right now. Spend some time learning God’s word. Spend some time with the Bible. This is a perfect time for you to do this. You’ve been saying you were going to do it, now you have the opportunity. Learning God‘s word will draw you closer to Him. By drawing closer to Him, He will show you things in the outdoors, things in your life, things in your job that you never knew were there before. His word will give lots of meaning. His word will give you truth. Knowing God‘s word will make life more rewarding. Knowing His word will make you better outdoorsman, mothers and dad‘s, employer and employees, friends, husbands and wives. The Bible when you spend time with it makes us all better people because we learn how to live as Jesus lived. We will know the full meaning of the word “love.”

Revelation 1:3- blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take it to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.  

There’s no time like the present to get started. Spend time today and during this frigid weather and all winter long. And if you spend time now and start learning you’ll find that you won’t want to put it down! By learning God‘s word, it will not only make you a better Christian ,but those around you will be better for it to.

I’m sure the outdoor shows are probably in full swing in the northern states. Our local ones are coming up in the next few weeks. That will help with cabin fever but in the meantime spend time learning. Learning His word! 

Colossians3:17 - and whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through him. 

Have a SAFE day !! 

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It"s Coming

By Jeff Roman

Wow can you hardly stand it? 2018 is about to exit and here comes 2019. 2019 has quite a ring to it. What’s even scarier is 2020. I believe there are movies made about 2020 or deadlines about 2020. Things that we were told way back about the future and 2020. And here we are at 2019.

As outdoorsman we are looking forward to this next year. We’re looking forward to that next fishing trip or hunting opportunity that is on our horizon. We have unwrapped those Christmas gifts that brought us new trinkets and toys involving our hobbies and the love of our outdoors. Now we can’t wait to use them in the coming year. We have started planning. We have been making out tournament schedules. Figuring out which tournaments we want to fish and be a part of. We’ve been looking up guides for that hunting expedition next fall. We’ve been looking at our work schedules to see when we will be able to get away to enjoy the great outdoors. All of this is wonderful. It gives us hope. But is it the proper hope we should be looking for?

1 Chronicles 16:11-12. “ look to the Lord and His strength, seek His face always. Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced,...”     We have to remember that God is always with us. That there is no hope better than His hope. The hope of His salvation.

Deuteronomy 23:5 “ A blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.”

Remember this because He loves you He gives you hope. So what should we be doing in 2019? We need to be learning His word and understanding the hope He has for us. The hope of His salvation. Just as we exit 2018 and enter 2019 we need to be thinking about our future. Where does our future lie? It lies in His hope.

2 Corinthian’s 5:17 “ therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here."

So as we are preparing for 2019 let us remember that. Let’s put the past down and away and work on the future. Our hope and salvation is with the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. He didn’t put us here to be all about ourselves but here so that we could find Him. So are we going to work towards this in 2019? What’s more important, a fishing trip in the spring or eternal life with Him?

Proverbs 13:16 “  A wise man thinks ahead; A fool doesn’t, and even brags about it." Don’t be that fool! Start preparing for 2019. Don’t miss out on the hope of His salvation.  Eternal life with Him in heaven!! 

Happy New Years!!
      

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Reach Out-Part 2

By Jeff Roman

As outdoorsman and outdoor enthusiast we spend a lot of time reaching out. We spend time reaching out to learn our outdoor activities better. We spend lots of time reading and researching to see how we can have a better hunt or a better fishing trip. We spend a lot of time reaching out to those who are more qualified than us in these fields and we try to learn from them. We spend time reaching out to our buddies, our pals, our friends, members of our clubs and organizations that we belong to, to learn how we can truly enjoy what we enjoy doing the most. Reaching out to see how we can get 100% out of the outdoors that we truly love. But as we are reaching out to learn the outdoors better let us not forget to reach out to where it really counts the most. Reaching out to our neighbors.

In 2 Corinthian‘s 9:6- The point is this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that all have sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work as it is written. 

God is asking us to help others. If you are a Christ follower at all you’ve heard this before. It is not about receiving it is about giving it is about reaching out and helping others. And this can be done in many ways. We are not talking just about opening your wallet and dishing out more money,we are talking about reaching out. It may be reaching out to those youth who are also trying to learn the outdoors and giving them a hand. Is about reaching out to those who are struggling spiritually and talking with them helping them get through a tough time. It could be family and friends who have health issues who need some extra help getting by day by day with chores and jobs. It also can be monetary, when we are blessed we need to pass those blessings on. There are a lot of people out there today who could use some help. Granted there are also a lot of people out there who don’t need help. They try to look like they do or just want to get by on the easy side. Remember, how they are sowing, and what their reward will be. So let us reach out and give a hand, especially during this Christmas season. But remember this through the next year. And when 2019 rolls around and see how we can help people all year long. 

James 2- if a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food and one of you says to them” go in peace and be warmed and filled” without giving them the things needed for the body what good is that? So also faith by itself if it does not have works is dead. 

So let’s go show the world what us Christian outdoorsman and women are made of. Let’s reach out. Let’s reach out to those in need and make a difference. A difference in somebody else’s life.

Have a blessed holiday season!

Remember the reason for the season!

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Reaching Out-Part One-Fishing For A Good Cause

By Jeff Roman

Did you happen to open up your latest addition of the national magazine called B.A.S.S. Times? ( if you don’t receive Bass Times I have a copy of it here at the store or email me and I will send you a copy or Google it to see if you could find it) on page 16 in the December issue there is a wonderful article that Robert Montgomery the senior writer put in on fishing for a good cause. It describes a half a dozen different charity tournaments held around the country and all the good that it does for those places and surrounding areas. Helping everything from conservation to disabled children, the children’s miracle network, youth baseball and many other worthwhile charities. Sometimes between the outdoor community and the athletic community we get a bad rap for not giving back. Or so it seems to some. But on the contrary many of these organizations and groups do you give back (more than most people will ever know) but they give back quietly and you know if it’s good news the mainstream media doesn’t like publishing it. They only like putting out bad news. But so many people out there are doing great things in the outdoor world for others and it’s nice to see a little recognition going to these places and these groups. 

So during this next month of the Christmas season let us all see what we can be doing for others. 

In the book of Romans chapter 15 Paul wrote, "we who are strong have an obligation to pair with the failings of the week, and not to please ourselves. That each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please Himself."

So as Paul wrote to the Romans, "may we all take this to heart. We have an obligation. An obligation to help those who CAN’T help themselves. 

So during this Christmas season when you are enjoying family and friends be thinking of the ones in need and seeing what we can also do to help them because it’s an obligation that Jesus gave to us.

Remember, its says in John 15:12; “this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 

Have a wonderful Christmas season.
Remember the reason for the season. 

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Being Yourself

By Jeff Roman

Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

I watch today as so many outdoorsman try to be something they are not. They go out every day thinking they are going to be the bass master world champion or the one that has all the 12 point bucks hanging on the wall. No, I’m not saying this is not a good thing in setting goals for yourself and reaching out there and trying to be the best at what you can be. There have been a lot of people that have reached goals way over their heads and that is outstanding. Absolutely we need to go out every day and be the best that we can be. 

What a better world this would be if everybody did that. But it’s the case of being something that you are not that is not right. Not everybody is going to be John Elway or Brett Favre. Somebody has to be the one who has the towel ready for them on the sideline. Somebody has to be the Doctor who repairs them when they are broken. The doctor, the towel boy and the quarterback are all important jobs; we have to understand what our jobs are.

 Romans 12:6-7.   Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith: 
If service, in our serving; The one who teaches, in his teaching.

 God has given us all certain abilities. He has given us certain attributes and demeanor that distinguish us from each other. We have to know what he has given us and how to use it. We have to go out and do His will for Him every day.

1 Corinthian‘s 15:10. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

Everything we have is by the grace of God. So we need to work every day in getting to know Him better and making a relationship with Him as strong as we possibly can. That is what He wants from us, to know Him, and then we will be able to go out and do His will. And by using what He has given us and being the person that we are who He created us to be and being ourselves and by knowing Him we will be successful. If His will for us is to be the bass master champion or the one with the big bucks on the wall it will be that way. But as long as we are working in the right direction with Him.  Doing the best we can by living His word, and bringing others to Him, He will lead us to that ultimate place; Heaven. 
               

 

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Eyes Wide Open

By Jeff Roman

 

 Psalm 119:37 - Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your Ways.
As outdoorsman and really anybody in life, we have to keep our eyes open. When we are out on the boat fishing ,getting ready for that tournament morning, we have to keep our eyes open. We need to be looking for signs. Signs that tell us we are in the right spot. Looking for bait fish in the area we are in. Looking for movement in the water to see if there is any signs of life at all. Looking for the water conditions that would put the species we are seeking in this area. It’s all about our eyes and focusing and paying attention. And it’s no different for anybody. Every day we need to keep our eyes open. We don’t want to be the one in the paper the next morning that everyone reads about that stepped out in front of that Greyhound bus because they didn’t look before they stepped off the sidewalk . We always have to keep our eyes open and be attentive and learning and not making mistakes that could cost us a small accident or worse our life. These little accidents happen so fast. I know it too so well. I stepped off my deck the other morning on the way to work did not have my eyes open and did not see the deck was wet and slipped off, causing great pain in my elbow, arm and back. Ouch, and it happened so quickly ! All because I wasn’t keeping my eyes open. I know we can all relate to stories like this. So whether we are in the outdoors enjoying our pastime or at home with our loved ones we have to keep our eyes open. 
Ephesians 1:18-  Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,That you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the Saints.
Just like our walk with Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We have to keep our eyes open. We have to be looking for what he is showing us. And seeking him out. He wants us to walk with him. He knows us, but he wants us to know him. And the only way to do this is by keeping our eyes open and focused on him. With our eyes shut bad things can happen. Just like not having our eyes focused on him, the devil can get in the way. And bad things can happen. So to avoid those devilish moments. To avoid us making mistakes and creating sin, we need to keep our eyes open and focused on him.
John 9:25 - He answered, “ whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
So make sure we are not one of the blind. Make sure we are doing what we need to be doing to walk with the Lord. Living the way He has taught us. Doing what we need to do to help our fellow man. And the only way to do this is by knowing His word, the gospel, learning it and living it, and passing it on to others, so they can see too!
John 3:16 - “ for God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him should not Parrish but have eternal life. For God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.
As outdoorsmen and all those who Love the Beautiful playground the Lord has created, may we be able to keep our eyes on Him. Seek him out. The reward is great, eternal life with Him, IN HEAVEN!

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Walking

 
By Jeff Roman
As outdoorsmen, men and women what are all the things they tell us walking is good for. They tell us it’s good for our health, like lowering our blood pressure reducing our cholesterol helping our vascular and breathing, making our muscles stronger and strengthen our minds, and it slows the pace of life down, and if you’re walking with somebody it draws you closer to them. Closer to them and getting to know them better and be able to hear them with out all the ruckus of the world going on. All this is no different when you are walking with God. 
Ephesians 2/10 for we are his creation,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. 
Just like when you and your spouse or friend go out on your morning or evening walks, spending time together. They get to find out what’s really on each other‘s minds, how their day went, they’re able to talk to one another without the disturbances of others around. They can focus on each other without the hustle and bustle of the television being on, kids in and out of the house, trying to prepare a meal and all the other ruckus around. Out on that walk it’s just them, full concentration. That is the same way when you walk with God, the  two of you have full concentration on each other. You will be able to hear more what  God is trying to tell you. You’ll understand his words better when it’s just the two of you walking together. When you have that alone time, that is what I’m talking about, alone time, with full concentration, with God in your heart, it’s just you —and Him — together —things become clearer. It will draw the two of you closer. 
Hebrews 10:,20 - to let us continue to come near with sincere hearts in the full assurance that faith provides, because our hearts have been sprinkled plane from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. 
Keeping a close walk with God also helps with our sin or the lack of. When we have God in the forefront of our mind and we are with him we are less likely to sin. We all know that if we have somebody looking over our shoulder, like our bosses, employers, the banker even our spouses and children, friends and family, watching our every move we are more apt to do things correctly. When there is no visible means of awareness from anyone around us that’s when we fall and we do things we probably shouldn’t or take the easy way out or just plain don’t finish jobs that need to be done or worse yet, we create a sin. If we have God in the forefront of our minds and He is with us, walking with us on a continuous basis, we will get the jobs done that need to be done, we will create an environment for others that is healthy and  we will take sin out of our lives.
Romans 13–13 let us walk with decency, as in the daylight, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual impurity, promiscuity, not in quarreling and jealousy. 
Unlike in walking, which is much quieter, when we are running and we have everything full speed ahead it seems that that’s when things get jumbled up, we are trying to connect with God and we can’t do it running at full speed. We all know as well as I do, when life is running at full tilt and there are 100 things to do, finding time with God is hard, finding time to walk with God is harder, and when those things happen and you don’t get that time that’s when it seems the problems occur like unnecessary health issues and accidents, jobs and tasks that need to be done don’t get done, then there’s that devil in the back of your head causing sin. You have all seen that cartoon or in the movie where the devil will pop up on the left shoulder and Jesus pops up on the right shoulder and then they have to decide who they’re going to listen to. It seems that when you are running you will look to the left and if you are a walking you look in the right direction. And if you should happen to stumble and make the wrong decision remember this.
 John 1/9 if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. But then we have to get back in that walk with him. 
I can’t write here and tell you that life is not hectic, does not have scary moments, is not going to be frustrating and feel like a jumbled mess at times but I can write here and tell you that if we walk with God, He will give ease and comfort to those that are willing to know Him and walk with Him. And I know this is true because we are told in
Colossians 1: 10 “so that you might live in a manner worthy of the Lord and be fully pleasing to Him as you bear fruit while doing all kinds of good things and growing in the full knowledge of God. You are being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, so that you might patiently endure everything with joy.”
As Luke told us in his gospel message
10: 25-28 -you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. And if you do this, you will live. 
So if you haven’t done it, set aside some time each day to walk with God, and see the great place He will lead you. To eternal life with Him - in heaven. 

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20 Blog Posts
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