Author, Singer, Songwriter Steve Chapman
by Pastor Paul
In September of 2003 while on a Christian men's weekend retreat I was looking through the resource table at the various books that were for sale. On the cover of one of the books was a picture of a beautiful, large buck, standing in a field looking back toward the camera man. Being a whitetail hunter I "HAD" to pick that book up and learn a little more about it. It was a book titled "A look at Life from a Deer Stand" written by Steve Chapman. It is a wonderful book that I believe every outdoorsmen should read. I have read it several times over the years and it is always a blessing each time I read it. Steve simply has a way with words and illustrations. He is a master story teller in my opinion that really reveals God's word in a way that just warms the heart and soul.
Photographer and Author Brad Herndon
In the fall of 2008 a close friend handed me an article with a picture of a grey bearded gentleman with a wide smile on his face, and a twinkle in his eye. He had has hands wrapped around the horns of a beautiful whitetail buck that he had just harvested while set up over a funnel location. The wise ol' hunter in the photo was also the author of the article. He is also the author of one of the most well known books on how to hunt trophy whitetail using topography and terrain titled "Mapping Trophy Bucks". He is none other than Brad Herndon.
Pastor Paul, Steve Chapman, and Brad Herndon
Over the past couple years, God has given me the great honor of getting to know these men on a deeper, more intimate level. It has been really amazing to see the dots that God is connecting together here at Without Excuse Ministries. I had no idea what God had ahead of me when I started creating Biblical video devotionals for Bill Winke at MidwestWhitetail.com. When I was first exposed to Steve and Brad's work I never would have thought that one day they would actually help me with a growing web based ministry.
Both Steve and Brad offered timely Biblical wisdom this past year as my wife and I prayed through a change in churches and ministry direction. This change was huge for my family and I. The wisdom Steve and Brad offered as I prayed through the situation was so insightful. A couple of times I thought "man you guys have been in my back pocket the whole week haven't you"? No..it is simply the Holy Spirit speaking to a couple of seasoned believers and their willingness to help a younger brother like me succeed in my walk with Lord.
I am thankful for men like Steve and Brad who are willing to invest time building God's Kingdom by being a mentor to a younger generation coming up behind them. The passion these two men have for life is astounding to watch. I speak to them from time to time about their schedules, projects, and vision and it simply amazes me. They are like Joshua and Caleb from the Old Testament conquering lands in the years when they could have easily retired and set back to watch us "young bucks" do the work. I am thankful for thier unrelenting zeal for the Lord!
If you are reading this devotion as a person without a mentor I would first like to point you to the greatest mentors of all, our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. You can learn more about them and their plan for your life by simply picking up God's love letter to you "The Bible". As you grow in your faith and relationship with God, it is also great to have men like Steve and Brad, come along side of you to impart their wisdom and life experiences to help you grow.
As we close I would simply like to post a few verses that highlight what the Bible has to stay about male mentors and leaders.
Tts 2:1-2 "But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;
Tts 2:6-8 "Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you".
In His Amazing Grace,
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.