Father's Day Interview
by Paul Walerczak
While checking my Facebook account a friend posted a link to the following interview with three of the Robertson boys, better known as the "Duck Dynasty" family. The interview was filmed on Father's day at Parkview Christian Church with Al, Willie, and Jep.
As a father I was both challenged and encouraged by this interview as I watched it. Raising children is no easy task. It has been said that children come with no manual when they are born. In theory I get what folks are saying when they spout out that philosophy. The reality though is that we have all been given a manual by which to live our lives. It is called "The Bible". I unashamedly believe the Bible to be God's Holy word, revealed to man, without error from the first word to the last. If you want to know anything about life, why we were created, how to raise our children, who is our neighbor, and how we relate to our creator it is all in the Bible, God's ultimate love letter to each of us!
I hope you enjoy the interview with the Robertson's and more than anything I hope it makes you think about your relationship with your Father in heaven and how that relates to every other relationship in your life!
by Paul Walerczak
A friend just forwarded me this video that was put out by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. They won an award for their efforts and after watching the video I believe you will see why.
As I watched the video I couldn't help but think of the key verse that Without Excuse Ministries was designed around. Romans 1:20 NKJV states - "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."
As I look out into creation I believe it takes more faith to think that what we see just randomly evolved over time, random processes, and chance happings. That really takes a huge step of faith to believe that in my opinion. To look at the complexity of even one living cell and then to say that there is not a creator in my opinion really is "blind faith".
I hope you enjoy the video and it causes you to think seriously about the creator who gave you the very breath you just took!
Blessings on your day,
An Eternal Sixty Seconds
by Paul Walerczak
On June 11th, 2012 at 5:51pm, Lisa and I welcomed our seventh child into the world. Over the past several weeks the anticipation had been building and we were eagerly awaiting the day when Norah Beth would make here entrance into the world.
Things don't often go as planned around our house and the birth of Norah was no exception. Lisa was originally scheduled to deliver Norah on June 19th at 3:30pm. When my lovely bride went in for her regular weekly check up on the 11th her doctor said "I don't feel comfortable sending you home due to the fact you are having so many contractions". Lisa called me to inform me of the news which sent me into a flurry of activity trying to figure out what needed packed for our 6 children at home, who was I going to take them too, and just how in the world would I pull all that off, and get to the hospital in time for the birth of Norah. I am sure I sounded somewhat like a drill sergeant barking out orders and giving directions. I am so thankful that my kids really can do a lot on their own these days and they simply rolled with the punches. I am also grateful for a wonderful supportive family who always seem to step up when there is a time of need.
To the right I have attached a picture of Norah Beth roughly one hour into her new life here on planet earth. We are not exactly sure who sure looks like at the moment. All we know is that she most definatly is a "Walerczak".
The first sixty seconds of Norah's life was somewhat traumatic on ol' mom and dad to say the least. Lisa's doctor pulled Norah from the womb at 5:51pm and quickly showed her to us before handing her to the nurses for them to start their clean up procedure and vital checks of our new baby. At that moment there was something noticeably missing from the operating room. We were all listening for the cry of new life in the room and it simply wasn't to be heard. As I approached the cleaning station, filming the entire event like a good dad should, I realized that baby Norah's color was blue not pink, and that she was not breathing. The nurses were calm, cool, and collected as they messaged Norah's little body, suctioned out her mouth, and eventually began giving her rescue breaths to start her breathing. There was an obvious tension growing in the room. At that moment as much as I wanted to breath for Norah I couldn't. She was in the hands of God and all I could do was pray.
After roughly sixty seconds of silence that seemed like an eternity, Norah coughed, took her first breath of life, and then began to cry. Just like that the tension was lifted. The doctors and nursing staff all began to giggle, laugh, and start the process of reassuring Lisa and I that Norah Beth was going to be just fine.
Since Monday I have had time to reflect on that tense moment of Norah's birth. As always, through events like this, God has been faithful to remind me of some of His eternal truths. As much as I wanted to take a breath for Norah in that moment I simply couldn't. With God's help she had to do that for herself. I know there will come another day in the future when Norah will have to make the most important decision of her life. It really is another life and death choice. At some point Norah will have to make the choice as to whether or not she will allow Jesus to be her Savior and Lord. As much as I may want to make that choice for her I simply cannot make her place her trust in Christ. What I can do is pray, live out the Bible, teach her God's word, counsel her when she has questions, and ultimately point her to Jesus. I am confident of this truth. When the day comes for Norah to make this life or death choice, the One who enabled her to take her first breath of life will also be there to graciously guide her in the most important decision of all.
I Corinthians 12:3B "....and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit".
God's Ultimate App
by Paul Walerczak
In this world filled with gadgets and gee whiz toys I have a found a pretty amazing tool. I now have an Iphone 4S at my side. With the press of a button and a few voice prompts I have world of information and knowledge at my fingertips. My kids and I were having some fun asking the phone the population of various cities and countries around the world. Within a few seconds there in my hand I would have the data to spout back at the kids. I even asked the phone a silly question like "Hey am I good looking" to which the phone responded "I can't answer that right now". That sure gave the kids, and my wife, a good laugh.
Being an outdoor nut I quickly began to look for apps to add to the phone that might help me with hunting. I found two apps that every Iphone outdoor user should have. The first is an app called mytopo. Mytopo was created by the folks at tremble. Within a few seconds you can literally have various topo maps of your hunting properties in your hand. You can mark your stand locations, or possible locations you would like explore , so you can easily navigate to them. You could also mark all the spots you find blood on the ground while you are tracking your wildgame. If for some reason you have to come back the next day and it has rained overnight..no big deal you now have a virtual moving map saved on your Iphone to help you navigate back to the area you last found sign.
The second app that I found to be a necessary tool in my hunting bag, or should I say hunting applications, is this cool digital compass. I took a screen shot from my Iphone and attached it here to the right. It is pretty amazing. With just the swipe of my finger I can change the face of my Iphone to five different styles of compass faces. Pretty amazing! This tool combined with mytopo map application really could help a guy find his way to his favorite hunting ground or even get him out of pinch should he get a little disoriented. Not that getting disoriented ever happens right????
All of these apps that the Iphone offers are pretty neat. The more I think about it though, all of mankind has been given an app that is a far better guide than anything apple could ever create. What is that app you say? The app is none other than God's Word, the Bible. The Bible is the ultimate app to guide us through the challenges that life throws at us. I can honestly say that as I have read the Bible over the years, prayed over what I read, and asked the Holy Spirit to give me understanding, there has not been a time that I have not found the answers I have needed to guide me through any given situation. As a matter of fact look at what scripture says about the Bible being a guide. Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path".
There are some who are afraid of technology for various reasons and I am not going to debate that topic here. I would simply like to say that technology can be used to glorify God. If you are reading this devotional then right here is one "good" use of technology. The screen shot to the left was also taken from my Iphone. It is a Bible app that I use on a daily basis between my Ipad and now my Iphone. This appliation has various reading plans, one of which is helping me read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice this year. With this type of access to God's word we simply do not have an excuse to not spend time in God's word on a daily basis. Remember, the Bible is God's ultimate app and its over arching message always teaches us about the verse I highlighted for you in yellow.
If you would like to learn more about this great Bible app click HERE
Blessings on your week,
Spring Youth Harvest 2011
by Paul Walerczak
I can honestly say it has been brutal watching my fellow MISSION pro-staff whacking thunder chickens left and right while I patiently wait for opening day in my neck of the woods. The toms are gobblin' their heads off in the morning and strutting their tail fans off all day long on the properties we are blessed to hunt. All I can do is patiently wait and observe from a distance, wishing I could get in the game. In the meantime my fellow MISSION pro-staffers are racking up notches on their belts and tally marks on their guns. I'm not bitter (well maybe a little). I am just ready to get these season started and the sweet anticipation is about to get the best of me.
Lord willing this Saturday morning will find me in a ground blind with my two oldest children nestled up within ear shot of some unsuspecting roosted toms. We will whisper sweet nothings in ol' tom's ear and maybe, just maybe, we can pull off a double on youth weekend down in the bluegrass state of Kentucky. Forget about a national championship in basketball, I am more interested in the long beards that roam the hillsides and hollers of "my old Kentucky home". We have done all we can do in preparation, now it is in the Lord hands!
I often wonder how many of us get this excited about the sweet anticipation toward the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? To be honest I find myself longing for His return more and more with each passing day. Don't get me wrong I love my family, church, the outdoors, and all that my creator allows me to be involved in. I just long for the day when I am blessed see Him face to face. By His grace, I long to hear the words "Well done good and faithful servant". What a day that will be when the sting of death will be experienced no more, and the weight of sin will be but a fleeting thought at best. Until then I will simply live in the sweet anticipation of meeting my Savior at His return or when I die and leave this world. Between now and then I will live in sweet anticipation and continually echo the words of John in the closing words of the Bible, "even so come Lord Jesus come, AMEN".
I Can Only Imagine
by Paul Walerczak
This past week I had an opportunity to sit down with my good friend Bill Winke, founder of Midwest Whitetail, and board member for Without Excuse Ministries. I always look foward to getting together with Bill. Our visits are always encouraging and this one was no exception to the rule!
When I walked into Bill's office there was a particular trophy on his wall that caught my eyes instantly. I knew the name of this buck in a split second. I had watched the story of this trophy unfold during the winter months of the Iowa whitetail season in 2011. It was an amazing story and you can watch all the highs and lows of Bill's quest right here at www.midwestwhitetail.com.
The story of the Double G4 buck is pretty amazing to say the least. Although Bill did not actually harvest this buck, when you stand in front of this shed mount of the buck it is simply impressive. There are many words that begin to come to mind. Words floated through my mind like awesome, impressive, wow, unbelievable, beautiful, and amazing. It is something how many of us got so involved in the story about Bill's quest to harvest this special deer. As I looked at the Double G4 sheds it was as if I was visting an old friend. You can learn more about how Bill had the sheds mounted by clicking here.
I knew I would be impressed with this deer, but just didn't realize how impressed I would be. As I look back on that visit another important application comes to mind. God's creation is simply astounding! If I am this impressed with His creation what will it be like when I actually meet the Creator of all things face to face. It will be a humbling experience I can assure you of that! This side of heaven I know that I will be impressed with all that the Bible describes heaven to be like, but just as with the Double G4 buck, I can not imagine just how impressed I will be. Will I grasp for words, fall down as though I were dead, weep with joy, realize just how blessed I am to be standing in His prescence, or stand silent and worship. I am sure it will be a combination of all of those things and much, much, more! The apostle John put it this way in 1 John 3:2 NKJV - "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is". AMAZING!
Being in the Creator's prescence for all of eternity is something that can only be obtained by putting our trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This involves a confessing and repenting of our sins, placing our faith in Jesus and His finished work upon a cruel Roman cross, and finally His physical, bodily resurrection. Romans 10:9 NKJV - "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation".
With each passing day I find myself longing to be with my Creator, almighty God. I find myself echoeing the words of John in Revelation 22:20 "..even so, come Lord Jesus, come".
Blessings on your week,
by Paul Walerczak
Wow! There it is! A real mirror image!
That was the only thought racing through my mind as I stepped up to the final tee box during a recent round of golf I was blessed to play in Orlando, FL. I simply stood on the tee box in total amazement. At that moment I was not focused on the length of the hole, whether it was a par 4 or a par 5, where I would ATTEMPT to place the ball on the drive to allow for a good approach shot to the green, or the mechanics of my swing. I just stood in awe struck wonder at the beautiful canvas of colors that were being recreated on the still water that lied next to the tee box.
There was a time when I took golf way too serious. In my efforts to shoot a low round of golf I am sure that I missed moments like these all the time. Special moments when God simply wanted to show me something beautiful that He had created just for me to see. A moment very similar to when an earthly father shows a child something he has done for them. Moments when the heart of an outdoorsmen, such as much myself, is connected with the heart of his Creator, Almighty God. Oh I long for these awe-inspiring, divine moments, with my Heavenly Father! In these special moments my heart cries "Abba" Father. Abba is simply the most intimate word a Jewish child uses when they call out to their father. It simply means "Dad". On that tee box my heart and soul simply said "thanks dad".
This image inspired this devotion! click on it for a higher resolution picture
With all the hustle and bustle of life I am trying to learn to slow down. Slowing down is something that is really hard for me to do! It goes against every fiber in me to simply "be still" as described in Psalm 46:10. By God's grace I am learning though. He is teaching me just like a father who loves his children teaches them. I am thankful for His instruction that yields these ah-ha moments.
Since that special day on the tee box I have had even more time to reflect on that beautiful mirror image. The reproduction of the trees on the canvas of still water is not an exact duplicate of the real thing, although it is very close! The real image, combined with the mirror image, yields a spectacular portrait for us to marvel in. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 the apostle Paul says "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ". Paul simply wanted to be a mirror image of Jesus! Paul wasn't asking people to follow him because of who he was. He asked people to follow him because of who he imitated. That is a real role model!
May our lives simply be a mirror image of our Lord and beautiful Savior Jesus Christ! Although we will never be the exact duplicate of Jesus, may our lives simply create a wonderful portrait as we walk daily, moment by moment, with our "Abba" Father, Almighty God!
Blessings on your week!
Top Ten List
by Paul Walerczak
On January 28th I had the honor speaking at a sportsmen banquet in Olney, IL. The event was a real blessing and the host group "Truth Hunters" did an excellent job of putting on this event. After the event I decided to create a podcast for my good friend Jason Cruise detailing the top ten things you can do in order to host a successful wildgame dinner or outdoorsmen event.
To hear this podcast click on the following link Paul's Top Ten List While you are at the MISSION website please take a moment to look around the site!
Blessings on your week,
Shoot the Wolves
Today we live in a post modern age where Truth is perceived as relative. Over and over in our culture today we are taught that truth is what we want it to be. We are told there is no absolute truth. You can believe what you want to believe, I can believe what I want to believe and as long as nobody gets hurt then all is well. The sobering reality on this topic is that there is absolute truth. This truth is contained in the sixty six books of the Bible and we are accountable.
So what do we do as Bible believing Christians when we encounter post modern teaching or it begins to creep into the church? Watch this weeks lesson to find out!
Blessings on your week,
Happy New Year! Well, we have almost made it through the first week of 2012. I hope this finds you and your famalies doing well. As we roll into the new season I wanted to simply take a moment to talk about Life Resolutions!
I will be running the Paul's Corner devotions on a regular basis now that the 2011 Without Excuse series is completed. I look foward to seeing you here on a regular basis!
Since a young age Pastor Paul has had a love for the outdoors. After he became a Christian in October of 1994 God began to use the great outdoors to demonstrate to Pastor Paul the eternal truths of scripture. In this section he will share some of these thoughts via written or audio devotionals.