Northern Pike Stories

Hope Shack

Michigan Northern Pike Esox luciusAs I mentioned in previous stories, we live on a lake in the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. On a spring day, my wife Linda, had taken the paddle boat and was fishing along shore. She was fishing with worms for panfish and bass. She had hooked a bass about a foot long and was reeling it in when a northern pike grabbed it. The pike was about three feet long.

I was working in the garage when I heard her yelling for me to bring a dip net. She was paddling for the dock with the pike in tow. The pike amazingly still had the bass clamped in it’s jaws. She maneuvered the boat and pike close to the dock. As the pike swam near the dock, I swooped it up along with the bass into the dip net .

As I lifted it free…

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Damaging Thoughts

    Today I had damaging thoughts. Thoughts that damage the body and soul. I was praying as I was driving. I do a lot of driving and I have found it an excellent time to talk to God. Today, as I was praying my mind, began to wander. This is a problem that I battle with at times. I even wrote a blog back in July about how God is omnipresence. He is everywhere. We are not praying to a God that is far away. God is with us as we are praying. We should be talking to God as if He is right next to us, which He is.

    I have found that when I am driving and praying, if I visualize that Christ is sitting in the passenger seat, listening to me. My prayer seems more real and meaningful. I know He is with me at all times.

    Today I wasn’t doing that. I was tired and just going through the motions. My mind began to wander.

    I found myself thinking about a couple, whose home I had worked on. They had taken advantage of me. I found out too late, that they are the kind of people that go through life getting everything they can, for nothing. I was thinking of what I should have done and said differently. I had gone from talking to God, to have unkind thoughts about someone, without even realizing it. When I realized what I was doing, I immediately asked God’s forgiveness.

    We all have been wronged by others. It is just part of life. The problem comes when we dwell on those wrongs. Nothing good can come from it. Such thoughts lead to resentment, anger, bitterness and more. Many times these thoughts are directed at ourselves as well for letting it happen. Thoughts such as these are damaging to ourselves. They are not good for our physical or mental well-being.

   More important such thoughts push us away from God. The ONLY healthy option for our physical, emotional and spiritual health, is to forgive those who have wronged us and move on. God said, “ Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19). Jesus said we are to forgive others, (Matthew 6:15).  God wants us to forgive those who harm us, not get revenge. God did not tell us these things because He is concerned about those who do evil. Rather, He knows the damage such thinking does to ourselves. He loves us and wants what is best for us.

    I have found the best way for me to forgive someone, is to pray for them. Today I prayed for that couple. God forgive me for having those self-damaging thoughts.  

The Storm

Hope Shack

Pictured Rocks Wallpaper

It promised to be a fun day for my wife Linda and myself. We were heading out on Lake Superior in our twenty-one foot Starcraft cuddy cabin. We were going to run up along the Pictured Rocks coast toward Grand Marais. It is a beautiful area with high colored cliffs, waterfalls, rock towers such as Miners Castle and Chapel Rock. We always enjoy the scenery and take too many pictures. Today was overcast so it would not be a good day for taking pictures. Yesterday I had checked the weather forecast for today. Prediction was for overcast conditions with two to three foot waves. Not ideal conditions, but we had been looking forward to today, it would be okay. Before the day was over I would regret not getting a more up-to-date forecast.

We were several miles out when conditions suddenly changed. The wind picked up from out of the…

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Who is Jesus?

    As believers in Christ, we know that Jesus lived, was crucified, rose again, and is ALIVE Today. However, for the unbeliever, or those that have doubts, there is an enormous amount of proof documenting the life of Christ.

    The Bible contains over 300 fulfilled prophecies concerning the life of Jesus. Mathematician professor Peter Stoner and his class determined that for someone to fulfill 48 of these prophecies, would be 1 in 13 trillion. In other words, totally impossible, if He was not the Son Of God.

    The life of Jesus can actually be reconstructed apart from the Bible by all the writings, sermons and commentaries by early church fathers and writers. Material that is so old that it actually predates the gospels themselves.

    There are also many secular writers and historians from the time of Christ that documented His life as well. Such as Josephus, a well-known Roman 1st-century political historian. While not a follower of Jesus himself, he wrote a lengthy section about Jesus.

    One passage reads:

“Now about this time there lived Jesus, a wise man if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such as accept the truth gladly, He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Christ. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day, he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared”.


A small sample of the proof that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Taken from my book, “Things You Probably Didn’t Learn in Church”

Work Matters

Hope Shack

Do you feel like your work matters?

In my last post calledTimeclock Perspective,we explored how we can approach our work in a new way, with a clearer picture of who we are and what our rolesarein God’s big picture of life. I want to stay here just a little bit longer and dig deeper into what it is about our work that really matters to God, to us, and to the people around us.

The Kind of Life He LivedWork Matters

18-20You who are servants, be good servants to your masters—not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. What counts is that you put up with it for God’s sake when you’re treated badly for no good reason. There’s no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a…

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Savannah’s Story

Hope Shack

This is Savannah’s story, shared below and written in her own words.  With a load of transparency, she writes of her struggle to make it on her own and how she finally found Hope in surrender.  I’ll let her fill in the rest.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with odds stacked against you, and are finding it difficult to trust in something you can’t see, then I hope you are as encouraged by this story as I was.  You are not alone. 

Read on…

Shared from the original source: Chasing the City Lights


My Testimony by Savannah Rae Ross

I feel like honesty is the best policy, so here’s the truth, walking with Christ isn’t easy, it’s not pretty, & you are going to fail on your side of the relationship more than once. But wait, there’s more truth to that. You see, no matter how many times you fall off…

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Sleeping with Tarantulas

Hope Shack

   It was pitch dark as we returned from a day of military maneuvers. This was a tactical exercise, so no lights were allowed. Days begin early in the military and all I wanted was to crawl into my pup tent and go to sleep.

    The night before I had hurriedly erected my tent over a tarantula hole. We were bivouacking in tall weeds and brush. Tarantulas were everywhere. I had pounded the hole shut. Spread my poncho on the ground, since our tents didn’t have floors. Rolled out my sleeping bag and went to sleep.

    We were in Puerto Rico training on a National Guard base. This base no longer exists, but at that time it was tarantula paradise. Tarantulas holes were everywhere. These holes were easy to distinguish by the web that lined the holes. You could wiggle a piece of grass or stick and the entrance and they…

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Amber’s Story

Hope Shack

This is Amber’s story, shared below in her own words.  This is a tragic story of loss of innocence and abuse, but it doesn’t end there.  It took courage and strength beyond her own to walk away, and to write out her story for you.   If you’re suffering from suicidal thoughts, enduring abuse or assault, or found yourself in a place where you’ve become numb to the pain like Amber did, read on…  There is hope.  You are not alone.   – Christina

Shared from the Original Source: Letter From a Suicide Survivor


Letter from a Suicide Survivor

I want to start this off by issuing an apology to anyone who is about to read this and be shocked by what you see. Those of you reading this who knew me back then—back before I really met my Savior—you didn’t actually know me.

If I had to describe my old…

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A Dog Named Brownie

Hope Shack

  Brown Dog I have owned many hunting dogs over the years. These included retrievers, pointers, and hounds. My first dog was given to me as a pup, by my grandmother. I thought that it had the look of a coon hound. I had friends that hunted coons with hounds and it sounded like fun. Actually Brownie was just a mutt. When he grew up he resembles a Labrador retriever only smaller and brown. Brownie was my buddy and companion growing up. He would protect my siblings and I, when we would ride our bikes past the neighbor’s dogs. He would never hesitate to tackle any dog that came after us regardless of it’s size.

    Having a pet was alright, but I wanted a hunting dog. Particularly a coon hunting dog. Brownie loved to hunt, but he never showed any interest in raccoons. I even took him hunting with other guys and…

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The Pecking Order

Hope Shack

Hope Shack (8)

Have you ever watched chickens chase each other around the coop?  The pecking order is something that is very important within the chicken community.  If new chickens get introduced there is always a struggle for a while until a new pecking order is established.

The older group of chickens already seem to have a routine and an order in which they function, but when new birds are brought into the flock there is a lot of fighting and jockeying for position.  Some birds will become dominant and those birds most often go to the top of the roost while the others take a spot closer to the floor.

With those birds on top it becomes very important for them to exert their continued dominance over the flock.  I have watched as some birds sit at the top of the coop even when the others are out enjoying a feast roaming…

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