Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Still a Beginner But Getting Better- My Bass Life

If you had told me 7 years ago that I would be this immersed in bass fishing, I would have told you that you are nuts. But God has a sense of humor and I've traded one intense pursuit into another.... I chased football coaching like it was life and death fro 28 years..and now I have that same drive to become better at fishing and coaching a bass team.

Like all earthly pursuits- this one will never find me the complete fulfillment that can only come from God- but fishing and football have been great gifts and blessings that the Lord has used to shape me and put me in fellowship with some amazing people.

I always loved to fish- but never had the urge to develop knowledge and skills. And, though I am working hard- the level of skill and knowledge is WAY behind those who really know what they are doing. Some of the old timers who really know their stuff look at me when I ask a question with that strange- 'you don't know about that!' look of admonishment.

But I did want to take some time to look at some highlights as far as quality fish. Again, some of these things I publish is for my kids and pride's sake- I won't be sharing on social media- but is a fun way to reflect and remember.


Personal Best: 12.5 (estimated)
29"long/ and a girth of 19"- huge belly
My Big Fish Story
Dec. 18, 2013 Private Lake in Rockford, AL

I hate that we did not have a scale-we did have a tape measure- the Bass Resource calculator listed it as 15.665

Witness: Coach Steve Renfroe

Lure: green fluke with a tiny weight pegged about 5 inches up.

In the monster's mouth was the fin of a fish that looked as big as the earlier bass I caught. This fish was stuffed to the gill and still eating!



Lake Caroline Double:
Lake Caroline, Louisville, AL
June 7, 2017 -  6.37

I caught this and Connor Peterson hung a 6.46 at the same time!

Witness: Melissa and Conner

Lure: Green pumpkin monster on skip gap head



KVD BASS

WEIGHT 6.3 LBS
Oct 11, 2016 Lake Caroline, Louisville, AL

Lure: Finesse Black Trick Worm- Drop Shot

Witness: Jack Flemming/ Grayson Morris

We were helping an MLF corporate event and we pulled up right after Kevin Van Dam had left the spot.

Jack and Grayson were trying to get me to hold it up to KVD- I just turned and looked- but the story and been growing since.

This is my Lake Caroline PR


PICKWICK BASS AGAIN!


WEIGHT 5.5
April 13, 2018
Old Steam Plant- Pickwick Lake, Florence, AL

Lure: black flake finesse skip gap shakey head

Witness: Brian Berry/ Jeff Davis


How good is Pickwick? every time I go I catch a 5 lbr!
PICKWICK BASS

WEIGHT 5.4
March 19, 2016
Barge Canal- Pickwick Lake, Florence, AL

Lure: Square Bill

Witness: Austin Luke

This may be my all time favorite fish and I LOVE Pickwick.

We were parallel casting down the barge canal when this beauty tore it up! She got wrapped up around the trolling motor and I almost lost her.




WHOPPER PLOPPER BASS

WEIGHT 5.0
March 26, 2017
Lake Caroline, Louisville, AL
Lure: Whopper Plopper

We were in the very back of a wooded cove where fish were exploding on top water and chasing shad.

A 2 lb bass exploded on my whopper plopper but missed- I could see the fish so I paused and watched it gearing up to strike when this fish came out of no where and blasted it.

Nolen Vinson (who later caught a 12.0 fish) said it was one of his all time favorite bites to watch.



PICKWICK BEDDING BASS

WEIGHT: 4.43
April 14, 2017
Lake Pickwick, Florence, AL
Lure: finesse trick work- shakey head- black/red flake

Felt like a bream tap- must have been on bed- 2 ft of water

Fun time with Jeff Davis









LAKE LION SPECIAL

estimated- 5 lbs

I sight fished this beauty- got the male first- came back later for female.

Took about 30 minutes- watched her take a blue/red speckles Ned rig

Had to fight her for 4 or 5 minutes to get her out of the weeds

April 12, 2017- after school

LOGAN MARTIN SPOT

I have come to love Logan Martin as my favorite of the Coosa Lakes...

The Coosa Spotted Bass is as mean as they come and to get this 3 lbr was quite a fight.

Caught it on black shakey head on the infamous Texaco hump.

We caught almost 80 on that day

March 30, 2016



LAKE CAROLINE BASS

I could load up the page of all Lake Caroline Bass I have caught in the year I have had the privilege to fish there. That lake is LOADED with 3 and 4 lb hard fighting fish.

Lures/ Techniques that have caught bass over 3 lbs at Lake Caroline: Texas Rig, Drop Shot, Ned Rig, KVD Lucky Shad, Square Bill, Jerk Bait, Fish Head Spin, Fluke, Whopper Plopper, Lizard, Football jig, Carolina Rig, scrounger, Pop R, skip gap head, wobble head


Here is the 'double'

It has been an amazing lake to learn on.

Since we have been going, we have caught almost 2,000 bass and taken out 1400 small ones.

This lake will continue to get better and better and I believe it will produce a 14 or 15 lb bass soon.

Who knows.... maybe bigger?



The last 2 trips, I have helped pull in TWO 12 lb fish....

More to come......
GUNTERSVILLE BLAST

WEIGHT 2.0
July 28, 2015
Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, AL
Lure: Bull Shad

This isn't a big fish- but you would never know it by the way he charged out of the grass mat I was fishing.

We missed some big ones that morning- but this one was more fun than the misses!








LAKE MITCHELL

WEIGHT 2.5 EST

Cargyle Creeek, Lake Mitchell
Clanton, AL
July 28, 2014

This one is special because I got to go back to Lake Michell after fishing it for years. But this time I was armed with a blue/black swim jig and has this beauty explode out of the grass.

Brought back good memories of that place







LAY LAKE

June 23, 2014
Beeswax Creek, COLUMBIANA, AL

Another good memory because I was just learning to swim a jig in the grass.

This was a white swim jig with a ribbits frog trailer.

PICKWICK SMALL MOUTH

April 13, 2018
Pickwick Lake, Florence

This was my first ever smallie- can't wait to get more of them this summer!







Hope I add to this fun report soon... Lord willing....



Until next time............



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

‘Impressing’ Our Children With the Gospel

Thoughts Taken from Archibald Alexander’s “Thoughts on Religious Experience” 1844

When we speak of Christ and the gospel to children, we get clear evidence of man’s original sin when we see some who react so negatively to the message. 

Even when I was a high school Bible teacher, I saw physical evidence of real animosity to the things of God. I can vividly remember the complaint by some in the student body angry about the process of “shoving it down our throats”.

This is echoed back to 1844 when Archibald Alexander lamented, “From this cause it proceeds, that many children who have the opportunity of a good pious education learn scarcely anything of the most important truths of Christianity. If they are compelled to commit the catechism to memory, they are accustomed to do this without ever thinking of the doctrines contained in the words which they recite; so that, when the attention is at any time awakened to the subject of religion as a personal concern, they feel themselves to be completely ignorant of the system of divine truth taught in the Bible.”

Dr. Alexander goes on, however, to make a most important point. He said that these truths that seem to be a source of great contention, are hidden treasures that actually have wonderful benefits.

He says it this way: “Of two people under conviction of sin, one of whom has had sound religious instruction and the other none, the former will have an unspeakable advantage over the latter in many respects.”

No doubt that some children of Christian parents experience God’s love in a variety of ways. They may be awakened early to stories of Christ and His sacrifice or God and His mercy. But these early experiences do not always manifest themselves in immediate conversion.

It is hard to know sometimes, if a child is truly converted. The Puritans were very careful in their use of the term. To them, “faith that fizzles was faulty from the first”. They instructed their children in the catechisms, but took no hope in externals and misleading ‘juvenile exercises’.

We must never take lightly the enemies of our souls: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Could it be that the great deceiver would use childhood practice with piety as a veil for true conversion? What if the appearance of salvation prevented true confessions of no faith as the child finally becomes aware of his sin?

Dr. Alexander was not fearful of this line of reasoning. He clearly states:

“While I would not deny that Satan may take advantage of these transient exercises to induce a false hope, I cannot be persuaded that he produces these impressions; for often the people, before experiencing them, were as careless and stupid as he could wish them to be, and because the tendency of these impressions is beneficial. The youth thus affected becomes more tender in conscience, forsakes known sin before indulged, has recourse to prayer, and feels strong desires after eternal happiness. These are not what Satan would effect, if he could, unless we could suppose that he was operating against himself, which our Savior has taught us to be impossible.”

If we understand the work of God’s spirit in a less than immediate or linear experience, we are more able to see that even these transient times of experiencing God are beneficial to conversion- even if it is many years down the road.

I love Dr. Alexander’s point here:

“So, when a revival occurs under the awakening discourses of some evangelist, people are ready to think that he only is the successful preacher whose labors God owns and blesses; whereas he does but bring forward to maturity, feelings and convictions which have been long secretly forming and growing within the soul—but so imperceptibly that the person himself was little sensible of any change.”

And what of those who do not receive adequate religious instruction or have these early impressions? No doubt they can be converted, but the soil is much less ready for the good seed of the word.

So I continue to say to parents and Bible teachers of the young- preach on! You don’t think you are making an impact, but you are! You never know what conditioning is taking place in the depths of the heart.

This doesn’t mean that we not try to find creative, encouraging, positive, and loving attempts to share the good news. But every prayer and every attempt may be producing fruit that we know nothing of, until we see it in eternity!

God bless those who labor among the young!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Consider the Sun

As we approach Daylight Savings Time (CDT) this weekend, I am so thankful to welcome more sun back into my life. I often joke that my bald head must be a solar panel, because I run out of energy quickly if I spend too much time in cloudy, dark, or rainey gloom.


I love the Sun… and I am also mesmerized by it.




The Psalmist captures some of my meditation here…..

When I consider your heavens,    the work of your fingers,the moon and the stars,    which you have set in place,4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,    human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:3-4)


The Sun also produces the phenomenon of light, equally mind boggling, having properties as a particle and a wave.


Here are some amazing Sun facts…..

  • The Sun accounts for 99.86% of the mass in the solar system. It has a mass of around 330,000 times that of Earth. It is three quarters hydrogen and most of its remaining mass is helium.
  • Over one million Earth’s could fit inside the Sun. If you were to fill a hollow Sun with spherical Earths, somewhere around 960,000 would fit inside. However, if you squashed those Earths to ensure there was no wasted space then you could fit 1,300,000 Earths inside the Sun. The surface area of the Sun is 11,990 times that of Earth.
  • The energy created by the Sun’s core is nuclear fusion. This huge amount of energy is produced when four hydrogen nuclei are combined into one helium nucleus.
  • The Sun is almost a perfect sphere. Considering the sheer size of the Sun, there is only a 10 km difference in its polar and equatorial diameters – this makes it the closest thing to a perfect sphere observed in nature.
  • The Sun is travelling at 220 km per second. It is around 24,000-26,000 light-years from the galactic centre and it takes the Sun approximately 225-250 million years to complete one orbit of the centre of the Milky Way.
  • It takes eight minutes for light reach Earth from the Sun. The average distance from the Sun to the Earth is about 150 million km. Light travels at 300,000 km per second so dividing one by the other gives you 500 seconds – eight minutes and twenty seconds. This energy can reach Earth in mere minutes, but it takes millions of years to travel from the Sun’s core to its surface.
  • The distance between Earth and Sun changes. This is because the Earth travels on a elliptical orbit path around the Sun. The distance between the two ranges from 147 to 152 million km. This distance between them is one Astronomical Unit (AU).
  • The Sun rotates in the opposite direction to Earth with the Sun rotating from west to east instead of east to west like Earth.
  • The Sun rotates more quickly at its equator than it does close to its poles. This is known as differential rotation.
  • The Sun has a powerful magnetic field. When magnetic energy is released by the Sun during magnetic storms, solar flares occur which we see on Earth as sunspots. Sunspots are dark areas on the Sun’s surface caused by magnetic variations. The reason they appear dark is due to their temperature being much lower than surrounding areas.
  • Temperatures inside the Sun can reach 15 million degrees Celsius. Energy is generated through nuclear fusion in the Sun’s core – this is when hydrogen converts to helium – and because objects generally expand, the Sun would explode like an enormous bomb if it wasn’t for it’s tremendous gravitational pull.
  • The Sun generates solar winds. These are ejections of plasma (extremely hot charged particles) that originate in the layer of the Sun know as the corona and they can travel through the solar system at up to 450 km per second.
  • The atmosphere of the Sun is composed of three layers: the photosphere, the chromosphere, and the corona.
  • The Sun is classified as a yellow dwarf star. It is a main sequence star with surface temperatures between 5,000 and 5,700 degrees celsius (9,000 and 10,300 degrees fahrenheit).
  • The Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis are caused by the interaction of solar winds with Earth’s atmosphere.


So, let’s ponder this for a little bit…..


The naturalist/materialist would say this stuff is just here…… no plan, no purpose, no creator……


Hmmmmm- talk about faith!


My world view says the opposite - A great Designer has the intellect and power to create a grand design.


There is a plan and purpose for the Sun… but eventually the grand-narrative is that it proclaims the majesty of God.


There are scientific facts about the sun, but those facts say very little about the inspiration of the sun as it sets or as it rises. It has such innate glory that men have actually worshipped the sun as SOL but the Scriptures warn us and direct us to not stop at the Sun… see the larger One.. the actual SON Himself.

The Preeminence of Christ
He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. [16] For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. [17] And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. [19] For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, [20] and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Col. 1:15-20 ESV)


So, when I am enjoying more daylight to do the things I love to do… I need to stop and gaze at the glorious sunset.. And consider the Sun and then consider the Son.

Warmth and life are great gifts from a very good God indeed.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Too Easy to Believe: The Impossible Promise

Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.  

What motivates us? That is a great question, one worth asking quite frequently, because motivations can change.

I have always been grateful that the Bible approves the human motivation of reward.

God, as Creator, understands the most effective mechanisms where we are incentivized toward certain attitudes and behaviors. He also understands the proper application of corrective measures as well.

This beautiful and powerful Psalm contains both reward and warning.

Verse 1 stands on its own in an effective use of a reward by NOT doing certain things. It is an unusual structure that uses the Hebrew technique of parallelism in triple triad:

Walk- stand- sit
Counsel-way-seat
Wicked- sinners-scoffers

And the base idea is BLESSED is the man who walks not- stands not- and sits not.

On the surface, gaining a reward by NOT doing something should be easy.

Think of it like this… imagine a coach promising an Olympic gold medal by the things the athlete should NOT do. This is a poor analogy of the idea, but it is like saying ‘You will win the gold if you don’t drink soft drinks, don’t binge watch Netflix, and don’t eat stuff crust pizza.”

Who wouldn’t want that promise?

But it is a much harder request than one might think. Remember the last promise like this? “Freely you may eat of any of the trees of the garden, except this one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.”

That should have been the surest,easiest request that a person could ever get. “Eat banana’s, grapes, pineapples, anything you want, as much as you want, any time you want to… just stay away from this one tree. If you eat from this one among ALL the others, you will surely die.”

But see… in the prohibition is the possibility… even the probability… that the choice will not go very well.

I find it interesting that God told this to Adam very clearly, but Adam MUST have gotten it wrong in the translation… because he ADDED to it… He must have told Eve, not only do not eat… don’t even touch it… at least that is what Eve told the tempter.

So here is a simple promise from the Lord….

Want to be blessed? “Walk not in the counsel of the wicked”- sure, you can hear it…. you can watch it… just do NOT WALK in the advice of those whose heart is opposite of God’s heart.

“Stand NOT in the way of sinners.” Hmmm , seems a little out of order to me. Seems like you would stand, walk, and sit. But standing here, is a more settled disposition. The Bible talks about STANDING FIRM. And the antithesis here is that after a while, when you walk for a while, a pattern develops… a habit begins to form, a lifestyle begins to grow.

“Sit NOT in the seat of scoffers”- The pattern AND the people have hardened. Sitting is the idea of judgement. And isn’t that what a scoffer does ALL day long? He passes along his cynical, critical, dream killing pronouncements in mocking tones of humiliation.

But, just like the garden of Eden, our predisposition is to not believe God… not trust Him. Is it possible that our unwillingness to simply believe what God promises and what He says is the ultimate, cosmic  F.O.M.O. (Fear of missing out)?

Yet, I find person after person, over and over, those who are just like me. Enticed by the counsel of the world, in community with those who love to be their own judge of right and wrong, and marginalizing anyone who might try it differently.

But there is a positive aspect to this blessing- and it too seems too easy to really believe. It isn’t a big checklist of moral commands. Instead it is an upward, spiral staircase. The Blessed man DELIGHTS in the law of God and he meditates on it day and night. He loves God’s law, meditates on God’s law, which leads to more delight, which leads to more meditation. And that’s it……not a list of giving up the 17 things I like to do, to start doing the 54 things that bore me to death. No, the Blessed man lives in a continual feast of delight.

Buy the way, it is an anti pattern to what we saw before…. The upward pattern of delight takes the man AWAY from the downward spiral that begins with the enticement of the counsel of the wicked.

What if we tried it? Turned off cable...shut down screens... carved out time to just find the delight of every morsel found in every jot and tittle of God's sweet and Holy law.

The results could not be more different...

What is a blessed man?

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

And the cursed man?

The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Which one do you and I want to be?

Does it seem too easy to believe?

Then why am I not doing it?