>Faith Fear and which to Feed by Gary Fultz

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                                                                                                                           Arizona  Picture By Cheryl

    Ahhh…mornings! What to wear, what to eat, who to call, what to read and write….My tone is easily set for the day by decisions before I’m really awake (it takes awhile). However…If I could watch a beautiful sunrise and then tackle the day with the faith of Abraham (go ahead…click and read it), I should be able to look at the right picture to give me the mood and attitude necessary for the day ahead. Need the eye of the Tiger for the day? Watch the Rocky video…listen to the music and you are set right? Hey…day 1..worked…day 2 worked till noon…day 3 not working….now depressed!
    “Feed your fears and your faith will starve…feed your faith and your fears will“. It’s one thing to design a pill for the day and quite another to develop a proper diet and exercise regarding faith and fear. Does my faith grow by watching the sun rise or by getting away into the remote wilderness (BWCAW)? I would like to think so…but then I know the creator. (Louie Giglio – Laminin).
How long did it take for Abraham to really believe and trust God? Quite a growing / learning curve wouldn’t you say? On the way he claimed his wife was his sister (fear of being killed) at least two times. No it didn’t happen overnight. Read about what is said about him “In hope beyond all hope“.
    The discipline to eat right, the right focus, fixation and finisher of faith verses fear is Jesus Christ himself.
    Yesterday a man at a Camp Lebanon – Mens Advance – came to me and told me his own story illustration
of a song I wrote and recorded (sang at camp) about Fixing My Eyes On Jesus Fixing My Eyes On Jesus. Out of ignorance and arrogance in his younger years he had attempted to drive through a blizzard on roads that were officially closed. As he drove through snow drifts and near zero visibility, the snow drifts became higher and the road ahead less and less visible until he was stopped and stranded. Now humbled and all will power gone he turned to pray. God could have left him there for a while or even a long while but He didn’t. A snow plow stopped behind him because he was blocking the road (good thing the driver saw him). He followed the flag on the back of the truck all the way through the storm. It was the only thing he could see. A few feet closer and he would hit the back of the truck and a few feet further back and he would lose sight of the flag and nothing else was visable. As long as he kept his eyes fixed on the flag…he was OK.

Hebrews12:1-2 is a conclusion for building true faith….way beyond sunrises, great videos, sermons, or any other pills we take to set our tone for the day.

                                                                                      Picture from a Kentucky vacation by Gary D

There is no substitute for building a personal relationship with the one who created us, redeemed us, and wants to spend 24/7 with us. We do this by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. So today (and ever after) lets feed our Faith and not our fears…and go beyond the pills!
Gary D


>whether or not report…Dangerous out there By Gary Fultz

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   The snow is deep here in northern Minnesota. The end of January and it’s supposed to be -7 degrees for a high. some will have -30 tonight. There is one snowbank high enough to climb onto the roof area of the house. The ladder is merely a convenience as one could jump into the snow off the roof anywhere around the house and not get hurt. I do suggest however landing flat so it’s possible to get back out of the hole in the snow. Might as well make a big one! I guess I’m remembering the time I tried to ski off the barn roof as a kid and somehow my skis pointed straight down into the snowbank. I was there till spring (seemed like) before I could undo all six straps of my army surplus cross country skis. Digging out with my mitted hands was the forerunner to the idea behind the fiber optic boring machines.
    lately I have had a hankering for grilled fish as I look out at the grill on the deck. I’ve put that on hold as the grill glares back at me squatting under the snow load. The other day as I looked out the window, the grill sent out a faint shiver and a small avalanche came off the top so there is only a couple feet of snow left. So I have unhooked the propane tank and it’s been quiet ever since
    The deer walk in snow to their shoulders, the grouse fly straight into the snow so it will cover them completely for warmth (their body heat makes an enclosed igloo in the snow), The wolves spend more time  howling a mournful wail that carries forever in the crisp air, and the bear are sleeping it all off under this huge layer of snow insulation. The fish slow down as it’s very dark under the layers of ice, slush-water on the ice (the snow-load weighs down the ice and the lake floods water on top of the ice), and then a blanket of snow that insulates even the slush-water from freezing. Water-plants die and instead of emitting oxygen they decompose and use up the oxygen. Some of the shallower lakes will not sustain life unless we get a good thaw in the next few weeks. Life, death, and danger do not seem to be optional in this world.
        The temperature is dropping and the sun is shining as bright as it ever gets. The snow merely reflects all the heat and light back into outer space. It’s the only way the snow can conquer the sun. Did you know it’s possible to be getting a winter sunburn and frostbite at the same time with exposed skin in these conditions? How strange, wonderful, and creative is the creator. How dangerous to ignore the reflections of truth that nature projects to those who would see and understand. If we think this weather is dangerous…How much more dangerous to be on the wrong side of the creator God?

This owl was not about to leave his kill…After the snow storms mice are under the snow!

    So I leave you with this tidbit from the penman who experienced another side of God “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8)”.
   God invites us in from the cold to sit by the fire. It’s not a predator–prey relationship. Some of us are like the struggling rabbits in the snow and leery of anything that moves (for good reason). God loves us very much so set aside your fears and trust His love…Yes it’s as simple as that! 
Gary D

   

   

>T-Shirt Days…Reeling in My purpose by Gary Fultz

>    My T-shirts have upstaged me. Try as I might in this super creative brain of mine to come up with a catchy life mission statement in a few words…My T-shirt motto’s are ahead of me 6-zip. “When the going gets tough…the tough go fishing”…Goal…Goal…Goal…Yes it’s exciting! Who needs a therapist when I have THE T-Shirt; After all.. “Work is for people who don’t fish”…Mmm..I have a job interview coming up…what to wear..what to ware

ALL I NEED TO KNOW FROM LIFE I LEARNED FROM FISHING: 1. There is no such thing as too much equipment.2. When in doubt, exaggerate. ………………………… 3. Even the best lines get weak after they have been used a few times. 4. Sometimes you really have to squirm to get off the hook. 5. The fishing is always better on the other side of the lake.                                     6. Good things come to those who wade.

    I know…I really have to work on my brains default system. Maybe my philosophy of life gained from my teen Sage…is all wrong??? There I go doubting myself again. At this rate I’ll never get a bigger boat.
    So…I call these days when I have trouble getting my “out of the box thinking” going…T-Shirt days.
That pretty much says it all…actually go to the link and see the picture…listen to a few sentences….and it will drive you to your passion quickly…Quit Wishin
                                                        Do a Google search
                                                            Put on the T-Shirt 
                                                                Get a job!

    


        Whoa Gary…Reel? Real? Really? For Real? I can’t focus here and the laptop is slow in the fish house!
               T-Shirt says…”A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work!                            

            Coming up with this Life Mission stuff is like walking on watereasy when the conditions are right!…Ha!             
               Gary D     
     

>Dream…………………a little………….. by Gary Fultz

>There are days when my creativity goes off the charts…literally. I just got off the Internet trying to figure out a way to host a fund raising / fishing trip to Haiti with 50% of the proceeds going to buy fishing equipment for Haitian fishermen who need it to feed their family and expand the infrastructure of the economy in Haiti. I thinks it’s a great dream!
When I come home to roost some days I have not accomplished a thing. It’s frustrating to be a dreamer who is accomplishment and production oriented and find I didn’t initiate steps toward accomplishing  (at least one of the thousand) the vision. Why is it so easy to stand in one spot? Lazy?…maybe. Don’t know what the next step is?…often. Need help from others?…probable. Need more money and time than you think you have?…definitely. Need some encouragement?…yes-always!
    Most of us stay somewhere on the chart between dreams and being an initiator.
             Dreamer———————————————-initiator

                                   How many steps to the peak from here???
    Somewhere between the level ground where we presently stand…and the mountains to conquer in the distance…a thought turns into an idea and grows into a dream. Most of us have dreams that we know deep down will never be realized and we seem to be content with that. The path to fulfilling those dreams is usually expensive, hard, stressful, and probably full of sacrifice. What would it take to reach the mountain peaks from here? What would it take to write and publish a book, travel around the world, visit the child in Somalia you sponsored the last five years, help take shoes to a remote village in the Amazon rain-forest?
    I had the privilege of interviewing a potential candidate as a member of a search team for a leadership position. I was excited by his reply to my question to him “describe your views on…and how you dream and accomplish vision”. No hesitation as he said “Vision is a great thing. It’s a must to reach for the stars. However…one must dream, have vision, get others on board with a shared vision, then quit dreaming…roll up your sleeves and accomplish that vision before you go dreaming again”.
    2011 I am taking all of January to dream. I am using the other 11 months to accomplish those dreams. That’s the plan anyway. Will I have to stop and dig some cactus out of my foot on the way to the mountain peaks?…maybe. Will I have to cross some rivers?…I see one already. Will I get tired?…probably. Will there be sacrifice I don’t even know about?…absolutely. Will I quit and be comfortable with just dreaming?…I better not!
    There is too much at stake not to dream (for those who think they can’t), it’s a lose – lose in life.. Every one lives out their life…might as well be traveling toward the mountain peaks…using trails or breaking a trail for those to come. It’s OK to rest by the camp-fire for awhile but get up and go again. Like the song says “saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to lay

Thanks Tim for taking this picture out the pickup window in Colorado on our elk hunting trip
Please post your dream or just comments at the bottom under comments
 Thank you
  Gary

    

>Of monster Trucks and Joy Juice by Gary Fultz

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     We live as in a fog, only seeing the immediate, yet the universe and beyond is navigable 

     Her face radiated joy underneath a peaceful wrinkled face. Recognizable in the wistful words coming from the upside of the half droopy mouth and a body held partially intact by the shored up wheelchair. It took time for the visiting pastor to get beyond this fragile lump of clay and the waning life within to understand she had become a portal beyond time, space, and matter. He was shaken to the core as he experienced her presence of God. An old women who was far beyond what he had ever experienced.
    She was already in the presence of God…connected by a lifetime of relational experience to Her Jesus and and the discipline of “Practicing the Presence of God
    To the spiritual underworld she had become a Monster Truck of destruction. This old woman with no obvious potential quality emitted a peace beyond understanding. One felt an eternal presence near her. The lies so many believe and live out in the physical world, were dented beyond repair.
    To the nursing home she was the envy of those with no hope or love left in their being. She was hope, love, and Joy as she refused to leave the presence of Jesus to wipe off the spit or do more than cry at the rough hands. In pure blindness some could only explain her radiance by looking for her stash of joy juice.  
    To the heavens she was on display as an eternal living triumph over a mere slow death of clay. The ancient enemy of death was being beaten soundly by one who so entrusted herself to the resurrection power that mightily worked within. The power of Jesus within who overflowed to touch and heal searching hearts drawn. She had joined the ranks of those in whom the world was not worthy (Hebrews 11:38).
    There was no turning back even given the choice to trade places with any soul on earth. Would she trade with you and your great life; acquiring your health, wealth, loving family, security, conquests and adventures yet to be realized? Sorry but no! Would you trade places with her to stand on the edge of eternity already endowed with elements that cannot be contained in the (average mini-sized over-exaggerated) id’s mistaken for the soul? I’m sorry for those who would say no.
    I have my desires ambitions and dreams before I get older but as I evaluate 2011 coming on I want to experience the presence of God. Truthfully I’d like to become a monster truck in the realms of the spiritual. I’d like to make some think I had been sipping on joy Juice rather than a green plum. I’d like to have within me a peace and joy that constantly begs the question “can I have some of what you have?”

     I hereby recommend a good video to push you along those lines

>Looking forward to 2063 by Gary Fultz

>    I spend an appropriate amount of time looking forward. The year 2063 will come fast enough. I’m fairly certain I know where I will be and where I won’t be. I am just enjoying the shortest daylight day of the year. Officially winter! I look ahead instead of in the past as I need perspective for today.

    
  I am living through an odd day when the sun is shining through a thin cloud layer while it snows. I am sipping on some strong (just right) coffee and soaking in the beauty of last nights sprinkling of another five inches of white crystals outlining everything in sight. My life is like the snow in many ways and I have had my glimmering moments as well as my meltdowns. I probably have a few more of each ahead of me.
    In a short time the snow will fall off the branches, melt or evaporate. In a short time it will be 2063.
I was in grade school in 1963 and that was a lifetime ago but yet it was yesterday. How time gets compacted can be explained by people who study the brain and it’s perceptions I am told. I sidetrack easy so…whatever!
    2063 gives me an eternal perspective as I look out the window of both our house and my life. I have traveled long enough to know that 2063 is a few bends in the road ahead. Somewhere on one of those bends I will probably change addresses.
    Make no mistake, I absolutely believe that I will be more alive in 2063 than I am now. I have all my chips on Jesus Christ who came as God in human form to bring us back into a relationship with our Creator God.
Because he conquered death, I will live with Him! Far-fetched hope? I don’t think so. That’s the true meaning of Christmas and the hope for all mankind to know this ever lasting God personally.
    I read this morning in Isaiah 40:28 “do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God. The creator of the ends of the earth.He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.” Then in verse thirty “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”  
    In my glimmering moments and in the mud puddles; today — headed for 2063 I can hope in the Lord. Thus I have the parameters and proper perspective for living each day of my life into eternity. I have an eternal promise from someone who can already see 2063 and beyond.
    2063 looks bright even from this distance!
    
 

>Spouse Management 101 by Gary Fultz

>    I sent our oldest daughter an e-mail last night I told Cheryl to have a hot bubble bath before going to bed…she is obeying!” She e-mailed back What a good, obedient wife you have. :-)”
My replyThe trick on obedient spouses is to ask them to do something they would love to do. Just beat them to the idea and make it possible.
                                 Beware Red sky in the morning…might summarize some marriages

    
    I remember a conversation on a guys trip where one guy was bragging about how much he had his wife in complete control of his every beckon and call. Because we all knew him well my brother summed it up very nicely and fairly accurately for him “Well Henry…sounds like you have her right where she wants you”. The poor guy still to this day doesn’t know why everyone laughed so long; probably because he had a bad habit of “knowing” what you were going to say by mid sentence.
  Too many points on spouse management here as an ongoing blog as well as libraries full of books could be written on the subject.I suspect the very title is fairly marketable in our day and age. It appeals to our sense of control in our relationship with our spouse. I would venture to say that the higher the need to feel in control, the less often we are in control. Here’s to all the Henry’s within each of us…May we get a clue!
    Just a couple of comments here…
    Selfish thinking comes so naturally we don’t recognize it in ourselves.
When we were a few years into our marriage I worked 70 -80 hours a week and even combined my fishing with work. I had stopped by the house to grab some supper and head out with the boat. I was leaving my wife with three  preschool kids on one of those rough days that seem happen six days out of the week. My most used phrase at home came out as I headed for the door “see you in a bit”. My wife always came for a good-by kiss and said very bluntly “You are really a selfish man”. A laser guided missile straight to my self centered heart began to do it’s work. It became a reality time out for me as a spouse to a wonderful unselfish women. I don’t have to tell you what happens when two selfish people get together. 
     Watch out if your idea of love is a feeling you fell into. Trust me you will get out of that feeling as easily as getting stuck in a mud hole and hitting the four wheel drive button. The stardust will fade and then you have some choices to make. True love is a decision which has a foundation of commitment to make choices based upon what’s best for the spouse…not me. I came to a point with my wife where I said “If you want me to quit fishing I will”  I ment it and would have sold the boat and hang up the rods in the garage rafters. It was a love choice for me. She was obviously in a good position for spouse management. She in her love choices was not going to take away a passion of mine. She just wanted me to think of her and the family before running off fishing. As a result we became a much more “intentional” family.
    Spouse management takes two ultimately, but usually starts with one when two people began to go separate directions. True, decisive, intentional love is what the wedding vows mean. Own your love, initiate love choices, and aim at the heart…but only in love. It’s a hard thing to respond to selfish behavior in love.It’s even harder to get good at it. There is a learning curve in this unusual behavior!
    33.5 years of marriage for us. Yes better and better but someday I need to redefine better as it’s more than what you think if you haven’t been there. It’s like saying “describe the Grand Canyon in one word” because I’ve never seen it. “Better” is experiencing 1 Corinthians 13 (great love chapter in the Bible) and not just reading it and saying “I understand it”.
    I would write more but the fish are biting…




   
     

>Tis the season by Gary Fultz

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All morning I have looked out the window and enjoyed the snow laden branches. It’s actually been several mornings as there has been no wind to rid the brush and trees of such a heavy burden.
     It happened in an instant. I heard it, felt it, looked up and saw the huge gust of wind that shook the forest as well as the house of most of the snow. It’s suddenly snowing. I’m Glad I’m sitting by the fireplace and not out on the roads, and smugly satisfied I took this picture when it was nice out!
    This is winter in northern Minnesota! The warm-up overnight from below zero to 18 degrees is good enough warning that a front (probably with snow) was moving in. Where else can one enjoy open air ice fishing in 30 degree sunny weather one day and see -30 below zero the next? Tis the season!

Sometimes are lives are changed  as quickly as this storm hit!

    My season in life right now is a lot like winter. Recovery from a surgery takes a season of time. Not knowing how well I will be able to do physical labor again will uncover itself in it’s own time. How I handle this season in life seems to be the challenge. I have 30 degree sunny days and -30 below zero days. It seems that no amount of the will can change the temperature physically and emotionally. I do have control over one major aspect of my season and the storms that come without much warning. I can crawl back in bed or I can get dressed and face the day. These days I don’t even go get the mail without putting on a parka, warm boots, fur hat and warm gloves. If I get cold I’m cold the rest of the day.
    I have to keep my eyes off myself! The moment I focus on me I get more depressed then the emotions of the season in life have brought to me. It’s a tipping point and I have to look outward.  Thankfully I have friends who call and e-mail and offer help for things I cannot do. I have more faith than ever in a God who really is there and cares for me. This morning before the storm I was overcome with an emotion outside myself as I looked out our broken picture window (see blogs 1 and 2) and into the snow covered woods. A prayer erupted from my mouth with an emotion I haven’t felt since my season of summer. “God I look to you for your goodness, your bounty, your beauty. I look to you for your greatness, your plenty, your care. I want to see from a higher place as you see… when all I see is a broken window in the cold of winter. I know you are there and you are God. You are my God!” 
    We are having some long talks and some days I do even do some of the listening.
    I have good enough clothes to stay warm winter camping in -40 degree weather (because I’ve done it).
I am learning that letting friends, family, and others in to my life occasionally warms my day in this season. Looking to God daily and seeing from His point of view keeps me warm in the cold. I’m still looking forward to spring

>Another Grouse…Same window by Gary Fultz

>    I fear all the grouse in our neck of the woods have the same “deadly perspective” (see blog 1) as the first two that flew into my windows and broke them. Grouse number 3 just crashed into the same window as the first grouse. The window glass fragments are sagging and ready to fall as the grouse lies still in another two inches of fresh snow. That’s 3 grouse in five days.
    I think the only way to save the rest of the grouse in our woods is to become a grouse somehow and warn them all. The woods mirrored in our windows from the grouse perspective is certain death for all who would attempt to enter.
   Even if I could become a grouse I’m not sure I would want to. it’s below zero most nights. Can’t blame me for not wanting to bury into the snow to stay warm and eat tree buds and weed seeds. Besides that they are a bunch of independent, cocky know-it-all, bird brained, fly first and look later…birds.
    Makes me wonder why God had his son take on human form knowing they were a bunch of independent, cocky, know it all, people brained….Ya 🙂
    Jesus Christ said “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me (John 14:6). He was warning us about our deadly perspectives. Ever hear this one? “we can decide our own truth”. How about this saying “all religions lead to God in their own way”. God told us his way would work and ours won’t. Makes a lot of people angry.
    Sorry but those grouse aren’t coming in my house unless I open the door for them and they fly in that particular opening. All 24 windows in my house mirror the woods surrounding us and no grouse faith on the planet will keep them from dying on my windows. If the grouse get to talking and the most recent poll shows  100% that they can enter the woods mirrored in my windows, I’m going to have a lot of broken windows!
    We do need to check our perspectives in all areas of life whether it be God, friends, neighbors, music, economics, politics, or the smelly guy who pushed into the checkout line ahead of us. It’s remotely possible our perspective is totally right. Should we check the polls?
     Meanwhile I’m not going to change out my broken windows just yet. By the way…they taste like chicken!

>Crazy Ruffled Grouse by Gary Fultz

>My inspiration came this week as I was viewing 16 inches of new snow. A loud sharp boom that sounded like my hunting rifle had me scrambling to the floor and then look at all 12 windows in our great room. One of two picture windows was broke in three pieces on the outside pane. Outside on the deck lay a ruffled grouse just sitting in the snow. I went outside and she never moved but her head was up but her neck was broken, she would never fly again, and we were minus a big window.
    the very next day another grouse flew into another window from another side of the house with the same result…found another dead grouse and a broken window. I figure there are 22 more windows to go in the house not counting the small side and door windows.
    We live in the woods where we see deer, bear, grouse, and hear the wolves howl at night. I didn’t know why this has only happened one other time in 17 years and then two in one day? I went into the woods to gain a grouse view point. I took one look at the windows and all I saw was the reflection of the woods in our windows. I guess they thought they were flying over our small yard area and into another woods.What a deadly perspective!
     I would like to blog some of my personal stories which have helped me gain helpful perspectives in my life. One look at the evening news and it’s not hard to see that there are many people with deadly perspectives as well. Wrong choices can lead to multiple trashed lives.  My relationship with nature from wilderness adventures, my friends, church, family, and my personal walk with God have given me plenty of object lessons. I hope they will be of interest and possibly of help for your growth as well.