Not just another gun article story.     11 15 2017

Today I was trying to get focused on Sundays message for our First Baptist Annual Camo Day this Sunday, but my mind kept wandering in another direction.  Ok, I was thinking about my guns; maybe the result of not competing much the past few weeks, or perhaps something deeper.  I asked God direct my thoughts and this is what He did with them.

I was not day dreaming of pulling the trigger, the smell of a fresh round sent downrange or even wondering if my guns were thinking of me at the same time!  I was pondering their construction and comparing it to our own.

I strongly believe that we, like our guns, were designed by the Great Engineer and built by a Master Craftsman.  But, let’s be honest, we are not born as we should or will be in our future.

We are born as babies and there is much experience, growth and adjustments to come in our future, and sometimes life leaves us with some issues and “stuff” that need work.

When I buy a gun, I know it is not all it can be, but it wants to be better!  I am 56 years old and still want to be better; ok, I need to be better.

Regardless of the brand of gun, if it is going to be competitive I know it needs work to be better.  Maybe a new trigger, a few springs, some file work here, some polishing there, more mag capacity, better sights, new barrel and the list goes on and on; as do the costs.

We should understand that if we want to be the best we can be there is some work that needs done as well!  Maybe it is an old part (habit) that needs replaced, or part of our life has been “roughed up” and needs smoothed back out, we need better sights (vision) so we can direct our life onto a better trajectory and the list goes on and on.

There are a few issues with my gun I am able to take care of on my own!  I have replaced a barrel, upgraded a trigger system and other simple fixes.  Unfortunately, my knowledge is limited and sometimes I really mess something up!

Now, maybe I am the only one that has had to go to a gunsmith with a nonfunctioning gun, probably with a bag full of springs, pins and bits, and had to pay them to fix what I messed up trying to fix!  Ugh.

Experience has also told me that some things improve with a little time and use.  Triggers smooth out, mag releases get easier and rounds feed better with a little “break in” time.  There are parts of our life that time and experience certainly help improve in our lives.  Burn my hands on a hot stove once and I got it!  Don’t touch hot stoves.  But am I the best I can be because I know that hot stuff hurts me?

Life is much the same.  We all have problems areas, broken parts and sometimes get lost trying to figure out where all the pieces go.  We know we should be better, have tried all we know how to try and probably made things worse.  Ugh.

What can we do?

What I have found that if I want my gun to run at its very best I need to take it to a Master Gunsmith.  They are able to do things well beyond my capabilities!  I believe in their skills so much that when I buy a new competition gun I will leave it with them before I ever pull the trigger once.

With all of our lives, we can go to the Great Engineer and Master Builder that designed us, built us and has the master specifications and plans for our lives.  They know who we are supposed to be and what is possible in our life.  They have the wisdom, experience, skills and compassion for their Creation to put everything back better than we ever thought it could be; they can give us life, and life abundant.

I am not sure what you are waiting to “wear in” to make life better; but chances are it will wear out first.  I am not sure what you are trying to fix yourself, hoping this time will be better but may just end up with more broken bits.

Here is a piece of advice for you:  Take your life to God with all the broken bits, worn down surfaces and off target shooting and ask Him to make you better.

John 1:1 – 5 “In the beginning the Word already existed.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God.  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.  The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  NLT

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11-2-2014   – Luke 1:1 – 4  Be Certain at Christmas

In late September I was in the garden Center of Wal-Mart and noticed that they had started bringing out their CHRISTMAS items!  September

I was in there again a week or so ago and found that they no longer have a garden department – they have a CHRISTMAS DEPARTMENT!  October and everything was out – OCTOBER

At this rate we may be celebrating Easter in December and New Years in May!

I got to thinking – if the world is getting ready for Christmas already; maybe we should be preparing our hearts for Christmas as well

We want to make sure we focus on the Real reason for the CHRIST-mas Season – CHRIST

Today we begin a journey into the Book of Luke.  Today we begin to prepare for Christmas.

This is a picture of a Warning Sign at South Padre Island.  It is there to warn you what the surf conditions are and to warn you about the danger you will face in the water.

Green – Yellow – Red    Good – Caution – Danger

We need something like this for our life!  Wouldn’t that be nice?

WAIT!  Maybe we do:  We call it THE BIBLE

  1. The Bible is the written account of many people recording God’s Word, Work and Witness in their Community.
    1. Oral traditions
    2. Notes and sermons
    3. Written History
    4. Eye Witnesses
      1. This is what they have observed and seen
    5. The Bible is the written Promises of God
      1. Written down for you
    6. We should CAREFULLY read and investigate God’s Word
      1. Make notes and journals for ourselves and those that will come after us.
        1. How did God work in YOUR life?
        2. What did GOD say to You?
  • What did His Word mean to YOU?
  1. The WORD and our WORK in the WORD will work together to build us, reassure us, encourage us and teach us THE TRUTH OF GOD.
    1. Then we should go share HIS WORD with others.

A lot of research, observation and scientific work went into those surf warning signs; work that is used along with the work of men and women on the beach to apply their knowledge and share their findings with you in hopes of keeping you from danger.

We should do the same with God’s Word!

As we begin our trek towards Christmas, let us turn to the Word of God for our TRUTH and share it with the WORLD BEFORE we get overrun with consumerism, debt and flashing lights.

Just because the flag is green does not mean you can go wild and run all willy nilly.

There are still precautions to take ….. Rules  to follow …. Common sense to apply ….

The same goes with God and His Word…. Just because we are doing good now does not mean we can go wild or do what we want….. There are rules to follow …. Common sense to apply …. The Word to follow

Always begin with the Word of God then move cautiously onward and upward.

ipsc-cbThe Shooter’s Sin

Open confession:  The last time I was at the shooting range this Southern Baptist Pastor SINNED…..and sinned a bunch!

At the last USPSA match I was at EVERYBODY SINNED – over and over again!

Most of us don’t like to think about sin; and we certainly DO NOT want to apply it to competitive shooting.    But, we must.

You see the Biblical word “sin” is actually a shooting term. Yep, that’s right, a shooting term.

The simple definition for sin is, “Missing the Mark”   It means our projectile did not hit where it was supposed to hit.

In the old days it may have referred to a spear, knife or arrow.  Today, it could also mean any non-alpha hit on our IPSC target.

So when you were at the most recent USPSA shoot or just at the range you sinned.  I sinned a bunch!

During a shoot we applaud the Alphas, accept the Bravo or Charleys, moan the Deltas and deny the Mikes. (Surely the RO can see that two rounds went through that Alpha hole!”)

When we slow down and concentrate more we usually get more Alphas and sin less often.  Transversely, when we try to go fast we sin more and get fewer Alphas.

Sin is a shooting term.  Next time you hear this preacher talking about sin on the range, just know it is my off target hits.  I am missing the mark and need to make corrections in my aim, my grip or my attitude.

This shooting term is applied to our of range life in the Bible.  Yes, we sin off range when we miss God’s mark.

God expects Alphas.  Every time.

Anything else except Alphas is sin.  You may get some credit for Charleys, Bravos or Deltas in USPSA, but not so much in the Kingdom.

We are all sinners.

God only has 2 categories:  Hit or miss.  Alpha or Mike….and His target is not as large as IPSC’s.

We tend to think like a competition: we applaud our alphas, think our “Charley sins” are ok (not to bad), we moan about our Delta sins (I need to work on those) and deny having any “Mike sins” (it’s not like I have killed anyone or something really bad)

God does not see them that way, and He has said that there can be no sinners allowed into His house.

The good news is that God is a GREAT RO!

God sent His one and only Son to take the bad scores/the punishment for our sins.  We are called to believe He can forgive our misses and score us with His son’s perfect score.

When we believe, God scores with mercy.  God does not give us the score we deserve.

When we believe, God scores with grace.  God gives us His Son Jesus’ perfect score.

When we believe there are no DQ’s, Mikes are forgiven and there are no Accidental Discharges.

It is better when God is on your side!  If He is for you, no one can beat you! Every Christian is a Grand Master.

The reality is, like on the range, if I will slow down and think about what I am doing I will sin less.  The more focus I put on God and His Word the more Alphas are in my life.

I have learned to accept the times I sin on the range, but pray I never get comfortable with my off range sins before God. I must make the proper corrections to hit the mark God has set for me.  You?