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Outdoor Truths

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One of my comedy excuses I'm known for when I come up empty-handed from a hunting or a fishing trip, is that my friend, partner, guide, etc. "dry-ridged" me. I forgot where I first heard that term, but I use it quite often to blame other people for my lack of success. It refers to the belief that they purposefully placed me in a location where they knew no game would be. I mean after all, who wants to put me on their favorite spot or let me know where their honey-hole is? Hunters aren't nearly as bad as fishermen, but I'm sure it happens. As in my case, it's just a friendly jab toward those who allow me to join them on a particular outing. It makes for good manly banter after an unsuccessful day. And while I don't really believe this happens much among friends, I do recall a hardcore deer hunting father who purposefully put his son in places that held no deer in order for him to see how hard hunting can be. He wanted to bring him into the sport knowing all the bad experiences and bad outcomes first. And again, this wasn't a friend. It was his son! Now, while this may have worked, I personally had much rather expose the people I love to the good, especially if I believe the good outweighs the bad. This reminds me of how many of us were introduced to God. I think we were dry-ridged. Not that someone purposefully set out to expose the negative first, but they did it thinking, like my hardcore deer hunter, that this was the best approach to take. What was this approach towards God you ask? It was introducing a loving, father-like God by telling us that hell was the results of those who reject Him. It was like God was saying, "If you don't choose me and love me, I'm going to allow everyone to beat you up continually and never let you back into the family." Yes, I can see how that would absolutely work! (cough, cough) The truth is, this is a terrible way to introduce God to the world. Relationships built on fear are lifeless, joyless, and unhealthy. And as soon as someone can get out of it, they will. And it's the same when this kind of Christianity is proposed. The real reason to choose God is because of all the good things. Namely a father who loves you, does not condemn you, and sent Jesus so that you might not only have a glorious future but an abundant life here and now. He has promised to not only take your burdens but turn them into blessings. And because of His promise that all things will work together for good, what may seem like a "dry-ridge" will ultimately become one of the greatest adventures ever. Choose Jesus because He's the best thing for you and because He wants the best things for you. The apostle John wrote, "Perfect love casts out fear." When we begin to understand God's perfect love, we will no longer start introducing Him from a place of fear.

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