In Between Sundays

Fly-Fishing at Roaring River

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This past weekend was one I won’t soon forget.  I’ve filed it away in that special place; you know, the “file” where memories are made and kept?

My grandson, Quin, was in town for Thanksgiving.  He’s a typical 14-year-old; has his head in his iPhone, not much of a conversationalist but knows a lot about everything (except girls), and is at that awkward . . . well, let’s just say, “goofy” stage.  There’s nothing wrong with goofy.  In fact, I’ve been awkward and goofy most of my life.

This past summer, Quin and I found our connection point:  fly-fishing!  This past weekend as Jo, my daughter, and grand-daughter were hitting up the Black Friday sales, “Mr. Q” and I grabbed our fly rods, slipped out the side door, and headed to Roaring River.  It was an incredible day!  The trout were biting & the day was sunny and warm. 

Quin really enjoys trout fishing, but, there was just one little habit I noticed as he cast his new fly rod.  Quin threw the line so much that the “fly” was in the air more than it was in the water.  I watched him for a while, pondered whether or not I should say anything, and decided to offer him a quick pointer.  “Quin, you’re great at casting.  I love your style.  But, remember this little fact, NO fish are ever caught out of the water.”  He gave me that goofy 14-year-old “Huh?” look.  “Quin, your rate of catching fish will actually double when you leave your line in the water.” 

And, sure enough.  Quin caught sixteen trout on Saturday.

On the drive home, I pondered our day at Roaring River and thought about my own casting technique.  It dawned on me; no matter how good, or bad, the technique, the most meaningful measurement is “Am I catching fish?”  The more I thought about it I realized there were ministry implications as well.  In fact, Matthew 4 points to three simple factors as Jesus went fishing for men:

  • Location - He went where they were
  • Observation - He saw them
  • Invitation - He caught them & invited them

What did I learn last Saturday?  The blessing is not in found in my personal style or technique, or even how hip or cool we are as a church!  The real blessing is found when I’m faithfully “casting the Gospel” in waters to those who are ready and waiting. 

Posted by Ted Burden with

The Good Gifts

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The season of Fall always draws nostalgic pictures in my mind.  I don’t know what it is.  Maybe it’s the artist in me, the coming holidays, or simply the smell of burning leaves that evoke deep nostalgia.  Whatever it is, my memories are heightened.  Here’s one:

Jo and I were enjoying that special season of life:  the child-raising years.  You know.  The season of endless orthodontic appointments, trying to solve Geometry problems, dinner at 5:30, weekends filled with high school football games and marching band competitions.  Honestly, we loved those years!  I remember one particular night seated around the dinner table.  It was customary in our house to join hands and give thanks before dinner.  There’s an “Amen” and immediately the sound of noisy chatter fills the air.  It was our common experience and we’d done it a thousand times.

Now, I don’t know what it was, but that particular night at the dinner table it felt like I was looking through a window at my family.  What was so profound?  Everything.  Everything I valued sat right in front of me.  It dawned on me that this was God’s precious and special gift.  I was speechless; tears filled my eyes.  Jo, sensing the moment, quietly put her hand in mine.  She said, “Are you okay?”  I nodded.  The reality was everything was more than okay; it was better than I could have imagined!  James 1:7 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights . . .”

What was the gift?  It was the sound of laughter, the smell of food, my love for Joey and our children, plus that wholesome place God had provided that we called “home.”  Everything.  Pause and think about that for a moment.

Fellowship, I challenge you this season to be very intentional about looking for opportunities to express profound gratitude to God for His generosity and goodness.  We have much to be thankful for.  Together . . . let’s give thanks.

Posted by Ted Burden with

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