Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another marker along the way, Splitting firewood!

My dad and my grandfather both were big believers in hard work, sometimes really hard. My grandaddy grew up on a farm plowing fields with mules and working in a saw mill. My dad was a Navy man and self employed for 40 years after that working hard. One of the chores we had to do as kids was to cut, split and stack firewood. We all partially heated our homes with firewood and my grandaddy would burn a fire when it was 70 outside. So that meant lots of cutting and splitting. Splitting wood became something that I had a love hate relationship with. I love the smell of fresh cut wood, the crack of the maul slamming into a new piece. I hated the stacking and moving. It just never seemed to get done. But splitting wood did alot of things for me. It made me physically strong. I can still swing a maul or hammer for a while before I get worn out. It really made me feel like a man to be able to bust up a large chunk of wood into something that would provide for my family. There's nothing quite like it, the simplicity of that.

A few weeks ago a very large maple tree gave up the ghost in the woods behind my house and fell almost on the back corner of it. Its limbs were precariously close to every window on that side yet nothing broke. The funny thing is there was no storm or wind that day. I came home and there it was laying my yard. I found my newly reconditioned chainsaw and enlisted the help of Brandon Brothers and we began to work on this giant behemoth. Brandon is a college wrestler and budding MMA star and strong as an ox. He was good to have around. After about 5 hours of work we had most of the major limbs off and the trunk cut into workable sections.

Even though we made a sizable dent in the job, I was still left with a considerable task, so every evening I go out in the back yard and toil in the joy of wielding a chain saw and cracking maple logs into burnable pieces.

Little jack is obviously interested, though not quite strong enough yet to be a great help, I still allow him to piddle in the yard with me giving him jobs that sound really important, like fetching my saw files, or rolling the wheel barrow. He loves it. But the other day I bought a new shiny maul. Its basically a big sharp steel wedge on a stick. Its heavy but has a plastic handle so its lighter than my man-killer maul with a solid steel handle.

Jack took up with the new one and asked if he could split some logs. His momma wasn't too keen on the idea, but I looked at this boy desperately wanting to exert his manhood and relented. I found a piece of wood that would split easy enough, taught him some technique, "keep your legs apart, keep your eye on the wood, let the tool do the work, raise it high and let fly!"

He fumbled with it a bit, barely denting the log. But I give credit to him. He wouldn't quit. He kept on, I kept correcting him. I went back to work not standing over him inspecting every move, and every now and again sneaking a peek his way. He just kept hammering away. It was an odd looking ballet him and that tool. It looked more like the maul was swinging him around. Then I heard a sweet sweet sound, "CRACK!" and followed by an "OH YEAH!"

He had actually done it! That log splintered in two halves and flew apart. He stuck out his chest and bowed up. He hollered, "Dad, I did it!" What a cool scene. I high fived him and acted like he was the toughest kid around.

I imagine God is alot like that when he sees us tackle something and succeed. He instructs us on how to do things through His wisdom, encourages us that we can do it, then steps back and allows us many times to be man-handled by our task, but when the "CRACK!" happens and we achieve a measure of success in our walk with Him, I imagine He's quite pleased with all that.

So keep swinging away at whatever you are doing, the "CRACK!" is not far down the road. Listen for Father's encouragement and instruction and be blessed this day.

And then you too can say "Dad, I really did it, just like You taught me!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back In Cleveland

We are back home, jet-lag, Dog ear rubber bands, Pastor Mack and Cookin Keith Sell, the wildlife wild man!

Listen Now.

school days!

Well...its back to school today for Tori, Jack, Tammy and me! Yep, I'm going back to school as well. I start teaching middle and high school today. I'll be teaching history and New Testament every day till lunch. I'm only doing it till Christmas because I have to prepare for the upcoming deployment. I've never really taught school before but teaching something I've been doing for the last 20 years in one way or another. I'm going to utlize the internet as I have put together blogs for each class for my students to post some of their school work there. I'll let you all know how that goes. So its off to school now transforming minds full of mush into real thinkers, I hope. Take care everybody!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Live from Salt Lake City

Our last Alaska Podcast, short but sweet with our new snowboarding friend, Greg Bombeck. We met him on the plane from Anchorage to Salt Lake City. We spent an hour with this bright young man who is pursuing the Living God and just had to interview him. Now we'll start once a week podcasts so your inbox won't be so full, thanks for listening!

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The Wayne Myers Interview

The last official podcast from Alaska with our most hilarious guest yet, cattle rancher, knife maker, and all around good guy, Wayne Myers!

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The Ron and Robbie Interview

Walking with Jesus, Cod Catching, Halibut off shore and sportsmen Ron Ridenhour and Robbie Fero in this podcast recorded live in Kenai, Alaska.

Listen now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Podcast Delayed

If you're wondering where the latest podcast is from the guys, well, it's been delayed a bit. However, don't worry! The last two podcasts should be up tomorrow night. Thank you for all the support you've shown the guys on their trip, and keep an eye out for their last installment!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Campfire Podcast

The campfire addition of the Heart of a Sportsman Podcast recorded live from the banks of the Russian River, special guests, outdoorsmen Shane Brock, Trent Smith and Scott Isely along with Pastor Mack who has a new nickname!

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Fridays Podcast

Interviews with Spring, Abby and Brenda, missionaries in Alaksa, and a bonus....the top ten list of things not to do when your man goes on a man trip.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bear Day

Jeremy and Brad talk about the day of seeing bears and building relationships.

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Live From The Shack

The heart of a sportsman podcast recorded at 3500 ft at the base of a glacier lake in the Shack!

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Tuesday in Alaska

Special guests today outdoorsman Mark Ridenhour and Charlie Parnell, guitar maker. Both guys following Jesus in Alaska.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Live From Alaska: Aubrey Interview

Fishing with a mission in Alaska. Its the first full day of fishing a building relationships, seeing bears, catching salmon and a great time with guest Aubrey Junker. More to follow!


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Podcast #2...Off to Alaska!

On Sunday a group of 15 men from Cleveland NC will get on an Airplane and leave for Soldotna, Alaska! Its a trip of a lifetime. We are going there to fish....for salmon and for the hearts of men and women! As you can see in this picture there will be a couple of folks there. I'm just going to try to avoid getting a hook in the ear!

You can keep up with us by going to itunes and subscribing to The Heart of a Sportsman podcast. Our 2nd installment is linked here as well. Or you can just get the feed from this blog.

I appologize for the audio, we had some pretty "hot" mics! And there's also the fact that we really have no idea what we are doing. So if you listened with the 6 other people on the web, we appreciate it.
We'll be broadcasting a podcast almost every day while we are there.

So tune in and hang on!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Heart of a Sportsman: Oh my goodness, those hicks can Podcast!

The other blog I'm involved with is through the sportsman's ministry at my local fellowship. Here is our first podcast leading up to our big trip to Alaska...enjoy!

The Heart of a Sportsman: Oh my goodness, those hicks can Podcast!

The songs of life- Thanks to mom

My home was filled with music and people growing up. Mom loved music and can play an assortment of instruments but her favorites are th...