Missing the Mark 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 

(Gordon and his wife Aronlee) 

          I loved hunting and in South-East Idaho my hunting buddy was Gordon Gould. We would get up before light, fuel up his big,red 6 pack truck, buy coffee and snacks and head out. 

          Gordon had been raised in the area and hunted it all his life, so he knew every road and every trail that could be used as a road. Off we would go just as the sky was beginning to lighten with the approaching Sun. 

          Sometimes we would drive to specific spots where there had been reports or deer of elk (depending on which we had tags for) and get out and walk across the sand dunes (outside of St. Anthony, ID) or the lava rock. 

          Other times we would drive through some of the forested areas (that were within the areas we were allowed to hunt) looking for the shapes and shadows of the animals. Even if we didn’t harvest, we had a good time talking about work and about the Lord. 



Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing,or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Mark 13:35-37 

          Bonny and I took a vacation and went up to New Hampshire to visit my family. One evening my parents left to take care of errands leaving Bonny and me with my youngest brother Jonathan. We were all dressed very casually (I think I was in cutoffs and no shirt) and watching (I think) “Heehaw”. 

          Hamlet (pictured below, ½ St. Bernard, ½ German Shepherd) sat up suddenly and looked out the living room picture window. 



TRUST THE PILOT (even when you can’t see where you’re going)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Himand He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

One summer I worked for Dowell, a division of Dow Chemical. I was a deck hand on a lugger (in Loo-zee-ana you do not call them a “tug boat” unless you want a fight!) and when we reached our destination, Morgan City, LA, I was flown back to our base in Venice, LA.  

I got to fly in a float plane!! It was tied up to our barge on the Intracoastal Canal and I climbed in beside the pilot (I sat on the right side) and we were pushed off into the canal as he started the prop.
The pilot began to push the throttle forward and was adjusting the flaps. As we gained speed, our nose lifted up and we could no longer see in front of us! I asked him, “What happens if there’s a boat in the way??!?!” 

“He’ll just have to move!” 



But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; Titus 2:1-3 

          Visiting with my folks one time and Mama talked about how some seniors (in their church) felt that they were being passed by. “Just sit down, shut up and pay your tithe” is how one elderly friend of theirs said she felt. 

          After graduating from college, I worked as the Assistant Pastor at the Dexter Open Bible Church (mid 80’s). It was a country church but with a congregation that spanned new-born babies to folks in their 80’s.   



 There is therefore no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1 

“How do you find?” 

“Your Honor, we the jury find the defendant guilty of rape.” 

We watched as the young man slumped down into his chair and began 

crying. The defense attorney put his arm around the shoulders of this man who was not even 20 years old yet and was just completing his junior year in college studying to be an engineer. 

          Many of us on the jury wrote letters begging the magistrate to have mercy on the teen as the law had confined us to make the guilty verdict. We asked the judge not to incarcerate the man as we, the jury, believed there were extenuating circumstances (alcoholic blackouts, witnesses who were not questioned, and other testimonies that contradicted the accuser). He would not hear us and not only labeled him a sex offender (which would follow him his entire life) but sent him to prison. 



 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. Matthew 4:18-2

          In the early 60’s a family friend gave me a short stack of hunting and fishing magazines. It was great! Stories of people getting their elk or deer, running from bears, even one story of a little girl (I think she was around 6 or 7 years old) who ran out of bait so she put a blueberry on her hook and caught a big trout! 

          It was exciting reading and I thumbed through them until they were falling apart. One of my favorite articles was that of a man living somewhere in Scandinavia who fished every day of the year. And he almost always caught fish. Even when others, who were very good fishermen failed, he came home with something. 

          The writer of the article met with the man and asked why he was so dedicated to the fishing craft. His response was that in order to catch fish any time of the day or year, one must fish often. You had to learn when different kinds of fish would bite, what bait or lure they would bite on, the best time of day, best kind of weather to catch – in essence you had to know how to fish! 



       Cassettes, videos, pictures. If your father is still alive – record moments with him! I believe I’ve told the story of Bonny and I going to visit our friends Matt and Mona Slover. Whenever we would go, I would bring my guitar and Matt and I would sit down and play the old ballads, hymns and other church songs we knew. 

          We came up to their place one time and their son, seeing my guitar, said, “Are you guys going to sing and play again?” I told him this, “You might want to record this because there will come a day when you will want to hear your dad sing and he won’t be here.” 

          I don’t know if he ever did record us and so far, Matt is still here. Somewhere in a box, I have a cassette tape of Matt and I singing. If I find it, I will send a copy to Matt and one to both of his sons. 



Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 

And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. Luke 5:4-7  

          Otto Rigaud, Man of God, Brother in Christ, Deacon and a Commercial Fisherman. He was a co-owner in a couple of gill net fishing boats and sometimes he didn’t go out with them to fish. One winter day/night he got a call to come down to the docks and meet one of the boats with the other as they had a really good catch in the nets. 

          Otto called pastor (Sam Flannagan) to come help unload when they got to the docks. The first boat had caught so many redfish it was indeed close to sinking and the only thing that kept the fish fresh was that it was so cold, the fish were freezing on the deck. The fish were not spoiling!



 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16 

          When I was a contract hand to Gulf Oil in North West Bay, in Louisiana, we were paid weekly and every Tuesday instead of dropping us off at our house or apartment, Ray (the gang “Pusher”) we would go to the office and pick up our paychecks. 

          We would laugh and joke with each other as we waited our turn (there were several work gangs in the office at the same time) to get our paychecks. Knowing some of the men in the other gangs we would tease them with the expression, “You got to back up to get your check!”.  

Meaning you were lazy and didn’t do a full week’s worth of work so you had to sneak up and not let the office folk see your face. That would be embarrassing, but it was all in good fun because working in the oil field was no joke! 

So, when I say I’ve never backed up to take my paycheck, I am saying I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of the work I’m being paid for. I didn’t have to hang my head, mumble my name, or scuff my toe in the dirt and take my check as if I was undeserving. 



Praise Him! Praise Him! 

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord

Psalm 150