Last night at our camp in the Steens we all sat around visiting, telling stories of the near misses at deer and elk, and laughing at each other. About 9:30 pm everyone headed off to their tents and sleeping bags for the night, but I stayed up for a couple more hours to read in our cook tent by myself. When I decided to go to my tent I turned off the propane heater and lantern and turned on the light that is on my iPhone to get to our tent in the dark. I took my iPad to one of the cars and plugged it into the power port to charge up overnight. I decided it would be a good idea to plug my phone in as well. I reached up to my pocket to get the phone, but it wasn’t there, I went back to the cook tent to see if it was there, wasn’t there, so I walked around our camp ground looking everywhere for my phone getting panicky that I had lost it while hunting. I went to our tent to see if it was there and I went to put my little flashlight in my mouth to hold it while I used two hands to unzip our tent, but it wasn’t my little flashlight it was my phone! For 15 minutes I walked around looking for my phone that was in my hand! You have to be kidding me! Boy, I can’t wait until I get to heaven and get my new body. This one is going bad fast😀
Weather is much improved and the kids are enjoying playing outside instead of being stuck in the tent and the noise of 14 kids playing together, mostly playing but sometime fighting over possession of the same toy, is dissipated much more outside. All the Mom’s and Dad’s of these great little kids have the same goal that we had when we raised them and that is that they grow up to be adults that have healthy souls, love others like Jesus does, and to love the Lord with all their heart. Left to their own that would not happen. Foolishness, selfishness, and lack of self control is bound up in the heart of a child. But good parenting will transform those traits to just the opposite. Many adults today are still acting and living with the traits of a child, just a bit more sophisticated. They need friends, peers, and spiritual leaders who are more mature to mentor and help them to grow. If they will humbly seek those relationships growth will happen.
It is 10 am on Thursday morning at Steens Mts and it is pouring snow. It has been raining and snowing non stop since we got here on Monday. The hunters are still hunting though every evening in the tents boots and cloths are hung everywhere getting dried out for the next day’s hunting.
15 little grandkids play outside until they get cold and they come in and drink some hot chocolate and get warmed up and head back outside. One of the characteristics of high performers in life is that they are tough. Lots of people today in our country and in our culture are not tough at all. My grandkids are tough and will get tougher in the days ahead and will be mega fruit producers for God in the days ahead.
we got up to the Steens Mts at 2 pm after leaving at 6 am on Monday. We got camp all set up with 7 tents set up plus 2 little tents that we use for outhouses with porta potties. As soon as we got things set up it started raining and it rained all night until it started snowing at about 3 am. It has been raining off and on all day. We have propane heaters in the biggest tent and all the kids play in there. There are 15 little kids playing in tight quarters but they get along pretty good. Everybody has been seeing game but only one shot so far that was a miss. I got within 50 yards of some big horn sheep and one of them was a nice ram. Can’t shoot them but it was fun getting that close to them. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow. One of our major parenting tools with our kids was camping, because everything that can go wrong does and then you teach your kids to solve problems, to cope, to not get uptight, to enjoy life no matter what, and to trust God always with your problems. It is rewarding to see our kids training their kids in this context to do the same things.
It is midnight Sunday night and we are all packed and ready to head out in the morning at 6 am for the Steens Mountains for some wonderful hunting with our family. We have to put the coolers in the pickups in the morning and then we will be off for a wonderful adventure. The boys, 3 son in laws and two sons are all excited and talking pretty much non stop hunting. I really hope they all are able to get a nice buck or elk on this trip. That would be such a bonus for such a wonderful time with family. One of the major blessings of my life at this stage is that all 6 son in laws and my two boys all get along so well and truly enjoy each other’s company and on an adventure like this all are super excited about hunting, camping, and God’s creation. Thank You Lord for blessing Patty and I with such an amazing family.
Our daughter and husband and 5 kids from Fairbanks got here this morning. Our daughter and husband and 3 kids from Hawaii are here. Both son in laws and both of my sons Sam and Seth and I were out shooting our bows today getting them sighted in. Our bows have 5 pins on them each one for a different distance. Mine are 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 yards so we go to those distances and shoot until we get it all zeroed in. Then we shoot our broad heads at a broad head target to make sure they fly the same as our target heads. Along with the shooting is a lot of competition and trash talking which is a lot of fun for me. We head for the Steens Mts on Monday and tonight we are sitting around talking about hunting getting all psyched up about shooting a big buck and a monster bull elk. Tomorrow after church is packing time. We will try to get all the coolers and food for 25 people for 10 days, the tents, camping chairs, mlanterns, stoves, sleeping bags, pads, bows, arrows, lanterns, etc etc without forgetting anything, and getting it all in two pickups. It is going to be so much fun!! The Steens Mts are amazingly beautiful with huge canyons and gorges some which are called Kiger, Big Indian, Blitzen, and the East Rim. I sit on the edge of these looking with my binoculars for big bucks and Bulls, and the beauty and majesty of the scenery is mesmerizing. I think of the power of God and His attributes that are amplified by what He has created. Experiencing God by looking at His creation is a wonderful spiritual experience, and I am looking forward to it.
Today I got news of a number of old friends who recently died and also of a number who have cancer, heart conditions, and other serious health issues. My old friends are my age and we are at the age when things start wearing out and stop working all together. It reminded me of the Bible verse Hebrews 9:27 “it is appointed into man to die and then comes the judgement”. We all tend to have this attitude that we are never going to die, and if we do it is going to be tomorrow or next week or next month or….A scripture passage I have memorized and meditate on often is Psalms 39:4-6, “Lord, make me know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as hand breadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; surely every man at his best is a mere breath.” My every morning prayer of commitment of myself to live for God includes a piece that says “today I will my life as if it is the last day I have before I stand before You, Lord and give an accounting of my life and am rewarded for the deeds I have done in this body in this life whether good or bad. This morning commitment is the most self motivating thing I do.