The Man Minute: Life Beyond The Levee

I met Heath Whitmore on a duck hunt when we were filming segments for a waterfowl series I host with Sportsman Channel. I wasn’t anticipating anything special. We all meet people every single day of our lives, and, it was 4:15 am in the morning. At that time of day, I’m not expecting much of anything from anybody, myself included. I’ve noticed something about duck hunting. When the duck hunt slows down, the stories pick up. That’s one of my favorite ingredients of being in a duck hole: it seems you never leave the water without at least one good laugh and yet one more chapter added to your story. I was sitting beside Heath, between him and his dad, Kirk, a man whom I hold in as dear regard as I do his son. They are men of true grit, farmers scratching out a life together in the Arkansas delta. Sitting between the Whitmore boys, and along side Bebo, a retriever who is a workaholic, Heath began to tell me his story of redemption, and redemption stories never, ever get old. When you hear a man talk about where he used to be, and where he is now, it's a story for all hunters to hear. That was a year ago. I went back to Arkansas to launch yet another season of Blind Insights. This time, there was anticipation. Not so much of just the hunts that were to follow, but more so because I was going to get to see my brothers who carry the name Whitmore. The hunting was good. It is always good on the...
Wild Game Dinner Strategies That Deceive.

Wild Game Dinner Strategies That Deceive.

I’ve been speaking at wild game dinner events in church settings for almost two decades now. Wild game dinner strategies are great tools of ministry for churches, but they are also one of the most abused, and often deceptive, tools a few churches use in the name of “telling people about Jesus.” Here’s how it happens. A church spends hundreds, even thousands of dollars, promoting and marketing this awesome event for outdoorsmen called a Wild Game Dinner. They place huge posters all over the community in grocery stores, pay for radio and print ads in local media, and some have even paid for television commercials on local news networks, doing anything they can to attract hunters. Churches will promise hunters that they will get opportunities to win guns, treestands, and duck decoys. My gosh, I’ve even seen churches give away ATVs after I come off of the stage. They boast that they will have amazing food, and they typically do. Prizes are great, and food is wonderful. It’s what happens next that destroys all the hard work they’ve done to get hunters on the campus and in the door. The Deception Begins After Hunters Arrive I love speaking at a wild game dinner. It’s one of the greatest privileges I have in ministry. I’m thankful that I can say that I don’t see deception as much as I used to; if I were to put a number on it, I'd say I only see it happen about 1 out of 8 events where I speak. Yet, I still see it every now and then, and it’s got to stop....

What Not To Do

Having spent over 20 years in ministry I've learned that when people's dreams are crushed, or when they've gone through heartbreak, the worst thing you can do is be a cavalier pied piper with an upbeat song. It's cold to sing songs to a troubled heart. Don't misunderstand, the Scriptures are not saying you must withhold songs of hope. People depend upon hope, for the absence of hope can cause someone to follow radically harmful paths. Be sure to offer hope, just be careful how you package it. When people are heartbroken the last thing they need is the guilt that comes from a person telling them "It's all good. Just praise The Lord anyway." Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar on soda, is he who sings songs to a troubled heart. - Proverbs 25:20 - What I've learned is that deep despair causes questions, and those questions, when pain is too fresh for praise, tend to drown out songs of joy. What I found that people remember most in times of heartache is that you were there. Your greatest way to help them is the glorious simplicity of your presence, reminding them that God hasn't left them stranded.Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker. He is the host of Spring Chronicles on Sportsman Channel. www.JasonCruise.com and @JasonLCruise on Twitter. Thousands of men nationwide are in the tribe. To join the brotherhood and receive the Man Minute weekly to your inbox click the icon below....