The routine is that we fish until midnight, and then we come back to the cabin and everyone goes to bed. We then get up at 4 am and go fishing again. I sleep in a soft chair in the living room and fall asleep while writing this blog. You should be able to tell where. I try and get a 2 hour nap in the morning after breakfast.
So many of the average person’s problems are a result of low self control. Self Control is a character trait that is like one of our muscles, it can be strong or wimpy. We are prompted or tempted by our flesh and the desires of our flesh, the devil is constantly trying to get us to fail through bad choices working on us through his demons that are assigned to dog us, and all the stuff and philosophies in the world around us are constantly pulling us to the dark side. To steer through that 24/7 mine field we need to control our behavior, our words, our thoughts, our choices, our anger, our greed, and our eyes. Sometimes we do well and then often we have an oops, and we make a bad choice, say something hurtful, and on the list goes. Most of the time the oops is minor, but sometimes it is a major blunder that messes up our life for the rest of our life and often the lives of those around us. I call the major mess ups, wrecks. As we drive our cars we are trying to get to our destination without getting in a wreck, so we use the steering wheel, the brake, gas pedal, and sometimes the horn to maneuver through the congestion. The maneuvering of our life through the temptations of life is successful on the basis of the strength of our self control. I am 70 years old and I want to finish life well, with no major wrecks. Last night we got back from fishing at 2:00 am and some of the guys who had come back earlier, were planning on getting up at 4:00 am and heading out to fish. I decided that rather than going to bed I would sleep in the chair in the living room of the main house here at “Tim’s Place”, and when the guys got up they would wake me and I would go fishing again. On the table not far from the chair I was sitting in was 2 pieces of cherry pie, I ate them. I quit eating all sugar and wheat on January 1st and have had significant health improvements and have had zero sugar as far as I know since then, until last night. Then I felt, stupid, weak, wimpy, and though it was just 2 pieces of pie I felt very vulnerable. So, I have confessed, repented, resolved, prayed, and starting again. One of the principles is that I get tired physically and I get tired in the exercise of self control. Another major character trait that works with self control is wisdom. Wisdom says, “if you are sitting 2 feet from 2 pieces of cherry pie by yourself and are tired, move, quick”. Hebrews 6 says, “Let’s press on to maturity” which is growth in character. Every day is another adventure and another opportunity to press on to maturity.
Today is Sunday and it would have been very easy to get up early and fish, that is what this trip is about, catching salmon, and the key is to fish as much as possible. Everything else being equal the more a person fish’s the more fish they catch. But I have this commitment in my life that I made to the Lord that unless it isn’t possible I will be in church either at JBC or another church every week. I believe that God has clearly communicated that principle in His Word. So most of us went to Soldotna Bible Chapel this morning. It was a good time of worshiping the Lord and listening to the Pastor teach on the last chapter of Genesis. People have all kinds of opinions of church and the value of it, but what matters to me is God’s opinion of the church and His will for me in regards to the church. The Bible says that the church is the “Bride of Christ” and the “Body of Christ”. Ephesians 5:25 says that “Jesus loves the church”, so I am choosing to love the church as Jesus does, to serve the church, build the church, do my part to make the church healthy, and to be faithful to attend and to be a functioning part of the church. Most people have an opinion and commitment to the church based on the people in the church, but my opinion, commitment, and involvement is based on what God says about His church, so I am all in.
Yesterday I caught 3 sockeye salmon and today I caught 3 sockeye salmon, 3 is the limit per day, so I limited out the last 2 days, except that it took me 9 hours of fishing yesterday and again today to do that, so that is 3 hours of fishing for each fish. That seems like a lot of time except for me because I love to fish, and I love to fish if I am catching and if I am not, because when you aren’t catching you know it will get better any minute now, the next cast, or the next cast, any minute now, so I keep casting.
Fishing for 9 hours and catching 3 fish seems boring to some, to others a waste of time, and to others just plain nonsense. But, while I am fishing I am thinking, I am dreaming, I am inventing, I am building things, I am solving problems, I am mentally writing sermons, I am planning my life, I am praying, a lot, I am writing goals, and I am thinking about God and eternity. Fishing has this magical ability to disconnect me from all the pressures, responsibilities, and expectations of my life, and I am so incredibly freed up to think with amazing freedom and lack of any incumbrance.
Today was a nice day of mostly sitting, reading, writing and a little fishing. The sockeye are still not in yet, but we put in a few hours this morning to make sure. I did some study on my future Philippians series and worked on memorizing the book as well as reading it through which is my goal, read the book of Philippians every day. Everyone has been sick with the flu at some point in their life, and probably everyone has thought that they were going to die or maybe just wished they would. I felt that way, which brought the verse in Philippians 1 to mind where Paul says, “to die is gain” and “to go and be with Christ is so much better than sticking around here on this planet”. He goes on to say that to live and continue in this body will mean “fruitful labor for me”. “Fruitful labor”, I want that, I wonder what it will look like, I wonder if God has some new things for me to do, or if it is pretty much what it has been, I wonder how long I have, I wonder what adjustments I will need to make for energy loss, I wonder if what God wants me to do will be clear, obvious, or will I need to do some searching and experimenting. It is kind of like fishing, you don’t know what’s under the water, but you fish and if you are a good fisherman, pretty soon you will know.