"Access to wild places really changes people. Having the experiences in the outdoors that I had at the time saved my life." For Tony Bynum, America's public lands are a way of life. Unfortunately, extremists and their well-funded allies in Congress are working to limit Americans’ access to parks and public lands by turning them over to states—often to be sold or leased to the highest bidder for development and short-term profit. Join Tony in the fight to save #OurWild from privatization at ourwild.wilderness.org/#action.
On a recent Ontario Black Bear hunting trip I realized that the times I really feel the presence of God is when I’m immersed in his creation – NATURE. Everywhere else in the world, sometimes even while in church, I sense and see the unsatisfying world created by man. One cannot witness a black bear boar coming to a bait site, an monarch bull moose grazing in a deep green meadow, watch a red-tailed hawk gracefully aviate through the dense forest, or hear the chilling sound of a loon echoing across a still wilderness lake – without being convinced that it all was breathed into existence by a loving all-powerful creator.
As I age in life I find myself more and more drawn to a deeper relationship with Christ. I’ve had my fill of the world, till age 24 I really had no knowledge of God’s ways. I spent years searching for happiness, in alcohol abuse and every other carnal pleasure – which all left my soul empty. Once I was introduced to our Lord and Savior by my future bride I started having vision through a much different set of EYES. There was a “consuming fire” set ablaze in my soul, starting as a small spark and growing into a blazing inferno.
My selfish ways no longer brought me pleasure, I was stuck in in an endless pursuit of happiness but never coming anywhere close to satisfied. Slowly over the next 22 years I started to transform and become NEW, born again, re-birthed, shedding the old ways and beginning anew. My mind and heart had to be totally stripped of the “false knowledge” it had amassed, the branches of the tree that my life was were pruned so that new growth could be possible. This process was extremely painful, I had to put to death my SELF and grow into the creature I was created to be. My life has now become a journey of overcoming sin and pursuing happiness that can only be achieved by laying down my selfish ways and serving others. I’m by no means am finished with my journey, sinful ways still reside in my soul. These days however I’m very AWARE of what’s happening in and around me. I’ve learned that sin in any form is a choice, if I fail and choose to sin then I identify the triggers that lead me down the path and focus on eliminating them/it from my life.
While continuing to strive towards conforming to the image of Christ I feel deeply “called” to do much more for the Lord. A call that says…share your story, share your victories, share your life, and share your PASSIONS.
As suggested previously I’m very passionate about moving experiences found only in God’s creation – NATURE. A passion that is fully flamed in hunting and fishing adventures. This along with the call to share my story, victories, and life - has instilled a desire in me to birth an outdoors ministry. Building a group of individuals coming together who…. Enjoy experiences in creation - mainly hunting and fishing Have desire to be MORE in life – being so led from GOD Have a deep desire to help OTHERS in their change journey Have found themselves unsatisfied with the world Become a refuge for those battling any form of addiction – Not accepting but understanding Are accountable to all those involved Strives to eliminate sin from their lives Understand true life’s priorities – GOD, FAMILY, OTHERS, and then self… Seize every opportunity to share the gospel to those YET TO HEAR Provide a SAFE HAVEN for sharing life’s struggles, needs, and VICTORIES
When I look at where I’m at in life today – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – I can’t deny that the Lord’s presence has made me all that I am. I used to joke that I had a mid-life crisis in my early 20s because I didn’t think I would make it till 40. Now having made it well into my 40s I have learned what true happiness is – GIVING TO OTHERS IN ANY WAY THE LORD LEADS! For me I have never experienced the feeling I get when I help someone with a great personal emotional, physical, or spiritual need. There is no substance, drink, or activity that comes close in producing the feeling derived from giving of yourself. So when the LORD impressed on me his desire for me to do more, I gratefully accepted all that was asked of me.
The call I “heard” is a combination of my greatest passions – hunting, fishing, and doing the Lord’s work. Crazy thing is that it has nothing to do with satisfying my passions, but only that I have been asked to use my passions to serve others.
Wherever you are at in life please know the journey is far from over, we are to work every day to be a better us. While daily acquiring a higher level of wisdom of life’s ways we are called to share what we have been given with others as to help them in their personal journey.
I have found no better place to hear and see the Lord than deep immersion in his creation of NATURE. I find God in the sound of a boss tom turkey gobbling from the roost, the grunt of a buck trailing a doe, a flock of geese mistakenly trying to communicate with a decoy spread, and in the wind that gently blows the words – BE AT PEACE MY SON. I can think of no better thing to do in life than what I have been asked to do – share experiences with other men who desire to seek God while taking CREATION ADVENUTRES.
Please join me, James Pratt – Founder of CREATION ADVENTURES – An Outdoors Ministry ...