Making Memories

I have been guiding hunters in South Carolina for 18 years now. Hunting Guide would be my professional title, but I think “Memory Maker” is more appropriate.

There is nothing more gratifying than to see a youth hunter harvest his first animal. Chase Bullard and his dad were in camp last week for a hog hunt. From the beginning, the 16 year old was quite anxious.

The memory was made when Chase made a fantastic shot on his first wild hog. He was ecstatic, as was his dad. It’s a sweet moment that we will all never forget.

Gotham City

The Congress Ave bridge in downtown Austin is home to 1.5 MILLION Mexican free-tail bats.

I stood on the bridge with a thousand people last night before dark and watched them roll out like a tornado. The city embraces the bats as they are a popular attraction.

The event left me awestruck. It was beauty and power in flight. While the bat is a scary looking critter, I’m left to wonder at God’s Creation.

Hook ‘em Horns

In Austin, Texas for a few days at the National Charter School Conference. No time to squeeze in a hunt. Something about The Lonestar State that makes you proud to be an American.

I’m not a Texas Longhorn fan, but always loved Earl Campbell back in the 70s. He won the Heisman Trophy at Texas and would RUN you over in a minute. I ate at the Earl Campbell Sports Bar yesterday. I’m at the Vince Young Steakhouse today…former QB for the Longhorns.

Our Father

Today is a special day….Father’ Day. We recognize our DADS for all they have done for us. I am fortunate to have a Dad that provided for the family and loved unconditionally. He was right there in the stands for all my ballgames. I am who I am because of him.

I also understand that some of you did not have a father present in your life. Take comfort in the fact that we all have a Heavenly Father who loves us. He is Father to the fatherless. We are blessed.

Wheels up. My flight is ready for take off to Austin, Texas. Cowboy hats, boots, and brisket….I will fit right in.

Zebra Stripes

I was privileged to go on a 10-day in the Zulu region of South Africa. While the hunt was a thrilling adventure, the life lessons learned were just as memorable.

With my rifle slung across my back, I crawled through the bush to sneak up on a Zebra Stallion. He was elusive, but eventually crept to a position for a 40 yard shot in thick cover that found its mark.

As I respectfully admired the beautiful animal, my guide and professional hunter Toby provided a most unexpected lesson. He said, “While all the Zebra look alike, NO stripe patterns are the same….a young foal even recognizes their mother by her unique stripes!”

How much more does God recognize you and I? We have unique appearance and DNA. As our Creator, He knows everything about us. He loves us for who and all that we are. Embrace Him. Jesus took our sin and shame to the Cross. The Bible even says…”and by His Stripes, we are healed.”

Cottonmouth City

Working in the swamps is an adventure. I have to be especially mindful of the venomous viper…the Cottonmouth. Some people call them a water moccasin. Why do they call it a Cottonmouth? When they open their mouth to threaten you, it looks white like cotton. Doesn’t look as soft and cuddly as cotton does it?!!!

Bug’s Life

What a beautiful day to be out on the farm. I had my cowboy hat on, leaning on the fence…trying to look like the Marlboro Man. Nobody was around to notice so I was only amusing myself. Nevertheless, I was overjoyed to watch my daughter ride her horse Willow.

Amidst the solitude, I notice this Praying Mantis crawling down my arm. It turned around to look at me as I pulled out my phone for a pic, as if to say, “Hey Bubba, how ’bout a little privacy?…I’m trying to “pray” here!”

Silly you say, but proof again that God is evident in His Creation. A bug ironically named a Praying Mantis reminded me to reflect on life. To pray…communicate with a loving God. Livin’ a bug’s life!

Hello Donkey

We welcomed a new addition to the farm a few weeks ago…a cute donkey. My daughter named the little foal Coco. I was riding the fence and noticed Coco bedded down and nodding off in the morning sun. I snapped a quick pic.

I thought of the words the shepherd boy David wrote in Psalm 23:1-2…”The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.”

We are all often too busy in life..,more than we can handle at times. Like sheep we can go astray and need a shepherd to bring us back to a safe and quiet place. Notice that David didn’t say, “He ASKED me to lie down”. He said that God, our Shepherd, MAKES us lie down. That’s what a true shepherd does. He knows what you NEED…you shall not want.

NASCAR and Life

I am enjoying watching the Coca Cola 600 race in Charlotte on TV. I grew up and live not too far from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Racing has always been a part of life in the South. I have guided hog hunts for many race teams over the years. There is a chapter in my book about the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. It was no secret that Dale was an avid outdoorsman. In the days after his fatal crash at Daytona, I reflected on the similarities in racing and life. Life is like a long NASCAR race….it is marathon, not a sprint. It’s tough and grueling. We must press on and persevere to finish. Keep the faith and keep going!

Rain is Good

I have been guiding hunters for wild boar. It has rained almost everyday for the last week or two. Miserable. Nasty. I came in soaking wet and the rain stopped. Soon after, a brilliant rainbow filled the sky. We all go through “rainy” days in our life. Life can be tough. I am comforted in knowing that the sun will shine again…there are brighter days ahead. Think positive. Some people walk in the rain…others just get wet.