I am a proud

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sportsmen's Banquet

Paige Patterson
Two weeks ago we held our first every Sportsmen's Banquet for men in our church and community. We filled our Multi-Purpose Room with about 375 men from all over. We came together to first of all enjoy a nice wild  game dinner. Second, we enjoyed some good Blue Grass music from a local band. Third, we had prize drawings and gave away some really nice gifts. The grand prize was a three-day Family Get Away to the Bear Cabin near Martinsville, Virginia. This cabin, located on 600 plus acres of land affords our winner the opportunity to get out on the trails on the two ATVs and in the jeep at this large cabin in the mountains. We also listened to Dr. Paige Patterson talk about his Safari experience in Africa. Later he also shared how men can be the kind of Fathers that God wants. Thanks to the men in our church for both the financing and the muscle to put this together. Fun was had by all.

I posted last week that I was breaking a geocaching slump. This banquet was the chief reason that I was busy and unable to cache any.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Breaking up a slump

The last time I went caching before this past Saturday was the 1st of January 2014. With all the work I have it became almost an impossibility for me. I've cached most of the area around where I live so driving distances for a few caches seemed too much.

Yesterday I offered to take my wife out to buy some silverware to replace some she had lost in the many moves we have made over the years. We drove from the west side of Greensboro to a store along the Interstate that specializes in replacing silverware. When we pulled up I was unpleasantly surprised to see the cultural/social/political statements the management is obviously making about distorting marriage. They were represented by a flag flying in their back parking lot and a symbol on their door. I simply had to turn around and go somewhere else. I value marriage too much. Some would tell me my little protest (not shopping there) does not mean anything nor does it make a difference. For me it does. Others would ask me what skin is it off of my nose if two men or two women marry each other. I do have a stake in it. They are called my children and grandchildren and those who come after them. What kind of world they live in matters to me.

Scripture is informative. Genesis teaches that we are made in God's image. Romans 1 teaches that when we show irreverence to God, either by turning to idols or by making the God described in Scripture into something He is not (this is something we do in our minds) then we subject ourselves to character distortion too. What these people are advocating for is not natural; not the way God intends us to live. Yet, in Romans 1 Paul tells us that this type of distortion of human character (some find it politically correct to call it an "orientation" today) is simply the distortion that comes to us as a result of our having distorted who God is. It stands to reason that we would not be unscathed. When men want a God after their own liking (some say "in their own image") then they get a "god" who never requires anything of them that they don't want to do. They are free to explore the depths of every type of variation on life that their minds can fancy. Without any "right" and "wrong" boundaries in life, we fallible humans go far astray from that which God created us to be. Paul writes in Romans 1:22-27:

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [p]lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [q]forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural,27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in[t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Forget replacing the missing pieces. Not if it means shopping at a place that seeks to turn from what is so clearly stated in Scripture and in nature. We went on down the street to another location. Instead of replacing a few pieces, we replaced the whole set. We probably came out better because of the sale at Belk's. On top of that, we stood by our convictions.

Now before someone becomes intolerant of my right to believe that Scripture is true and that there are some rules to be followed in life, let me say that while I do not support the movement to recognize two men or two women as a legitimate marriage, I have gay friends. I visit with them and talk with them on a weekly basis. Some of them have been in my house. I care for them because I care about truth. I care for them because Jesus cares for them. I want them to know that Jesus died for them as much as He died for me. Because I care I want them to know that what they are doing is not pleasing to God and that, like all else the Bible calls sin, their sin can be forgiven through repentance and trust in Jesus. Whether they change or not will not cause me to "un-friend" them. But I cannot approve what they are demanding. This radical, foolish shift from a Scriptural understanding of marriage to an unnatural (take a look at nature) understanding is a cancer that will bring great sorrow to those who participate in it and approve of it.

Just before our little buying spree we stopped to grab a few caches. The first one proved to be easy and fairly nondescript. The second one was interesting. Had we not had an ice storm last week bent and broke many trees in the area, this cache would not have been more important than the last one. But due to the ice storm, it gets a special mention here.

Hard to see but this is the base of the sign
sumajhuarmi and I pulled off the road near the GC. The small North Carolina pines along the opposite side of the road were still bent over towards the road from the recent weight of 1/2 inch of ice. They'll likely straighten up in a few more weeks. For now, it looks like they are bowing down to some unseen deity. The cache is CACHE ISLAND (GC2DCQW). As I crossed the country road I saw just off the road skid marks where a vehicle had run off the road. It had taken out a traffic sign. The sign was laying on the ground face down. At first the signal bounce took me into the woods a ways. Then it brought me back. I turned the sign over to find that it said "Traffic Island Ahead". I looked at the base of the sign. It had been severed about 8 inches from where the metal pole entered the ground. After a quick search I found the base still in the ground but badly damaged. It was split in two piece lengthwise and bent. Taking care not to get cut by the sharp metal protruding from the ground I fished around at the mangled base and came up with the cache. Too soggy to sign I replaced it. When I got home I logged the find. I was the second person to find the cache since the accident. Apparently during the ice storm someone lost control on that road, took out the sign and ended up on the shoulder. There wasn't much of a ditch so they probably got out ok once the ice was no longer an obstacle.

We went for one more cache but came up empty handed. From there we made our way to Belk's to find a great deal on a nice set of everyday silverware to replace the old. All in all, we had a great day. It's good to be back in the swing of caching. Maybe I can pick it up again.