WBFJ Radio Interview

WBFJ Radio Interview

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wbfj

Recently I had the opportunity to be interviewed by our local Christian radio station, WBFJ, by Verne Hill about my ministry.  It was quite a bit of fun hanging out in the studio and sharing about my devotional book "Whispers In The Woods" along with other aspects of my ministry.  You can watch a snippet of the interview on my YouTube Channel and if you'd like to listen to the whole thing in it's entirety you can click HEREor the links below.

 

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Click HERE to buy "Whispers In The Woods"

Click HERE to buy "The Wonder Of It All"

Click HERE to buy "The Not So Ordinary Journey Of Todd The Toad"

How Not To Make Fire With A Magnesium Fire Starter

How Not To Make Fire With A Magnesium Fire Starter

I recently went camping with my Catching Creation team out in Iredell County, North Carolina and decided to try my hand at starting a fire using a magnesium fire starter tool.  I failed pretty miserably and realized that if our warmth and survival depended on my making a fire with this device that we may freeze to death on that cold low 20's night that we decided to camp on.  Alas, cooler (or should I say warmer) heads prevailed and Chance ended my failure at making fire by using a 2 dollar lighter to ignite the little tinder bundle I had merely thrown lazy sparks at.  The fire engulfed the tinder, the fire was started and all was right in the free world.  At least in our little corner of the woods.  Watch this VIDEO and see for yourself.

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fire

My New Sulcata Tortoise From CCSB Reptile Rescue

My New Sulcata Tortoise From CCSB Reptile Rescue

sulcata tortoise
sulcata tortoise

Last week I had the privilege to visit Chad Griffin of CCSB Reptile Rescue in order to purchase a rescued Sulcata tortoise from him.  While we were there Chad graciously agreed to let us interview him and film his operation.  I was like a kid in a candy store, around every corner there were amazing creatures happily looking on as I explored the expanse of Chad's basement where they were housed.  Chad's rescue, CCSB, serves as a place or refuge for animals that are often feared and misunderstood.  Many of the animals in his care were from coordinated raids by local and state law enforcement agencies.  Often people will take on animals that they are ill equipped to care for and whether they're injured, seized, or just surrendered to CCSBChad cares for them all.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 1.50.06 AM

We got to witness everything from harmless chameleons and boas to the potentially fatal cobras, vipers and crocodilians.  I just couldn't stop smiling.  As someone who shares a passion for animals I was also encouraged that Chad and I share a faith in Jesus Christ.  Chad considers himself a preacher first and his faith and integrity in this regard are unshakable.  We learned that CCSB offers certification classes to help address local and state laws regarding wildlife, animal first aid and treatment, as well as many other things.  This is definitely something worth checking into and I know I for one will be enrolling in one of his classes in the future.

 

I met Chad several years ago at a reptile show and I was encouraged that I wasn't the only weirdo on the block with a love for Jesus and these creepy crawly friends of mine.  I have been wanting to get a larger Sulcata (aka African Spur Thigh) tortoise for my Catching Creation programs for some time now and when I heard that Chad had a few in need of a new home I jumped at the opportunity.  This amazing creature is going to be a hit with kids and families this year in my programs.  I can't wait to share him with you all!  Did you see our last EPISODE about my Argentine Tegu "Bucky?"  Click HERE to check that out!  Have you seen our "Possum Catching 101" video and article yet?  Click HERE to check that out!

To check out Chad and all CCSB has to offer click HERE

Until Next Time,

Have a great adventure and remember Jesus Loves you!

Tegu Enclosure Build

Tegu Enclosure Build

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IMG_1538

What the heck is a Tegu?  I've had that question postulated to me several times over the last week or two as I posted progress reports and pictures on my Instagram while building a large enclosure for my tegu.  Basically a tegu is a large lizard similar in stature and behavior to a monitor lizard.  My specific tegu is an Argentinian black and white tegu or Tupinambis merianae if you're fancy.A good friend of mine and fellow Catching Creation team member, Thomas LaVine, decided around 6-8 months ago to get himself a tegu and while ordering one for himself Thomas decided to also get one for me.

Thomas donated "Bucky" the Argentine tegu to me for the purpose of using in my ministry.  Little did we know that our tegus would be so wild when we got them.  The tegus both came from a guy in south Florida who runs a reptile rescue of sorts for tegus.  Basically since they're running wild down in Florida several people have taken it upon themselves to offer a "service" of capturing these wily beasts and shipping them across the country to the pet trade.  It solves the problem of the tegu being a burden on the ecology of native wildlife and reptile enthusiasts like myself can get a normally expensive animal for a fraction of the cost.  That all seems well and good, the only catch is that you have to spend quite a bit of time taming these animals in order to be able to throughly enjoy them.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 10.28.50 AM

When I first got Bucky the tegu he was missing the last quarter of his tail, he was around 18 inches long and full of thrashing energy.  I fell in love with this little guy immediately.  Bucky hid for the first 10 days I had him.  I decided that in order to tame him I had to first build his trust so I left him alone, I didn't bother him and I just trusted that he was ok while inside of his hide for those first 10 days.  He would eventually start to peek his head out of the hide while I was in the room, but if we made eye contact he would dart back inside his dark hidey hole.  Eventually he got brave and would bask when I was in the room but if I made a motion towards his enclosure he would bolt back into his hide.  I would inch slowly towards his enclosure day after day until I built trust with him and I could get all the way to the side of his enclosure and he would stay.  This process went on for weeks and months.  I finally got where I could pet him while in his enclosure and most recently I've gotten where I can hold him with gloves for a minute or so before he starts to thrash wildly and wants to be let back into his cage.  Since we aren't on any sort of time table I'm comfortable letting him warm up to me at his own pace.

So with all of that back story and trust building you can see that I have a vested interest in this amazing creature.  I spent the last week building what most consider the appropriate sized enclosure for an Argentine tegu.  The total size of his new home is 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall, and 8 feet long.  He has an elevated basking post laid with tiles, a hide box under the second level of his enclosure and a ramp connecting both levels.  I placed the whole enclosure on a 2ft high stand so that when I open the doors to his enclosure Bucky will be at eye level.  The theory is that since I've made so much progress so far with him that being at eye level now when we interact will hopefully eliminate his fear of me.  He will no longer see me as a predator coming from above but as a friend coming at eye level.  I'm hoping that by spring I will be able to consistently handle Bucky and begin to use him in my programs by summer.  That would be a huge miracle and great testimony for this animal.

Tegus are incredibly intelligent and typically a very docile animal.  Since Bucky was wild collected in Florida he doesn't come with the good positive human interaction that a captive bred animal will have but since he is such a highly intelligent animal it is possible to tame him down.  I'm excited for this process and all the progress I've made with this wonderful animal.

If you've ever tried taming an animal, consider taming your tongue, check out this devotional from my book "Whispers In The Woods" here http://catchingcreation.com/can-tame-tongue/

DCIM100GOPRO
DCIM100GOPRO

What’s Your Excuse?

What’s Your Excuse?

butterfly I often wonder why it took me so long to come to faith in Jesus Christ when His creation speaks so loudly of His existence. If you have ever walked through the woods alone and were awestruck by the beauty therein or if you have ever seen a breathtaking sunset or ocean view, you must at least realize that these things didn’t happen by chance.

Romans 1 says “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.Often it seems we can find any and every excuse to discount God’s handiwork, even in our own lives, but the truth is that God is the Creator of our universe and even our own lives.spider

 

When we take the time to swallow our pride and give credit where credit is due we can humbly see that God does truly love us, even simply by just the things around us He created just for us to enjoy. Next time you are out in creation or even just stuck in traffic, give God thanks for all that He has made and be thankful you were on the list of His created things! What’s your excuse?

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

Homing Pigeons Can Get Back Home, Can You

Homing Pigeons Can Get Back Home, Can You?

pigeonHave you ever heard of a bird called a homing pigeon? They are a type of pigeon descended from a rock pigeon that has an innate ability to find its way home. Some have been observed coming home after flying hundreds if not thousands of miles. The same is true for Christians that may lose their way. A homing pigeon is similar to the prodigal son in that once it has gone far away from home, it realizes it needs to return to the place that it’s from.

Luke 15:24 says For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Before we found and accepted Jesus we were all dead in our sins. Some of us even after we accept Jesus find ourselves far from home just as the prodigal son found himself. The sooner we come back to our senses and find our way back home to Jesus the better.

He is there ready and waiting to forgive us with open arms just as the father in the story of the prodigal son. Just like the homing pigeon knows exactly how to get home, we as believers know exactly how to get back to Jesus and that’s humbly through our prayers and petitions for forgiveness. Homing pigeons can get back home, can you?

 

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

Do You Love Your Brother Like A Golden Eagle?

Do You Love Your Brother Like A Golden Eagle?

goldeneagle1When I was a kid I got a rather large book on eagles and other birds of prey from my grandmother one year for Christmas. I studied that book, drew pictures of the different birds, and daydreamed about one day seeing them in the wild. I was pretty shocked to learn that when a golden eagle (and numerous other eagle species) lay more than one egg in a nest, often the first one to hatch will kill the weaker second born. In terms of survival this is advantageous to the firstborn eaglet but horrific for the second. Although this deals with real aspects of life and death, how often do we do the exact same thing to our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Isn’t it easy to steal spiritual food from our Christian brothers and sisters in hopes of selfishly growing faster than those around us? We can unknowingly be causing fratricide in the body of Christ by not appropriately loving those around us that God has placed in the family of believers. 1 John 4:20 says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” In our pursuit of holiness we can often leave in our wake any number of people that we have held unforgiveness for or simply not given an adequate amount of genuine love. Christ, through the Apostle John, challenges us to truly love one another so that we can really love God. Do you love your brother like a golden eagle?

goldeneagle

 

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

Do You Live Like A Feral Cat?

Do You Live Like A Feral Cat?

Have you ever driven behind a restaurant only to see massive quantities of feline scavengers? When a cat looses its desire to be captive and domesticated it will revert to a wild, or feral state. In many cases they retain some semblance of their former life in the first generation, but their offspring are often so wild they are untamable. This can lead to all sorts of trouble for both cats and people. Feral cats are a destructive, disease carrying menace that often preys on native wildlife and destroys the ecology of native species.

feralcatThe people of Israel began to act as if they were feral in the land promised to their forefathers after Joshua and the elders of his generation died out. They were the second generation so to speak and began to take on the wild tendencies of a feral animal. Judges 2:10-14 says, “After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the Lord to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.”

The fate of feral cats often includes capture and detainment in shelters, euthanasia, disease, and harmful interactions with traffic. If they would stay close to the hand that feeds them they would enjoy the safety and provision of a loving home, but when they decide to go wild and do things their own way the outcome is much more destructive to them. The same is true of the people of God. When we are in relationship with the Lord we can enjoy the comforts of our loving Father, but if we are not in covenant as believers with Jesus then we can only expect destruction. Do you live like a feral cat?

 

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of “Whispers In The Woods” to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  ClickHERE to order a copy!

Do You Create A Suitable Environment For Others?

Do You Create A Suitable Environment For Others?

Have you ever had the opportunity to witness beavers creating their dams in a wetland habitat? It is quite an amazing phenomenon to experience. A beaver can create an entirely new habitat in a very short time. They are very hard working animals and by their diligence and boldness they are able to gnaw through trees and divert the flow of water in fresh water ecosystems. They have the ability to literally change the course of streams and creeks and to use their dams to create ponds and swamps. They change the entire topography and by doing so they create a new ecosystem that can support a variety of animals that previously couldn’t have lived in the area. In many cases their habitat transformation can be a blessing to other wildlife by providing new homes and places to forage for food.

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1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 says, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.  And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” If we think about the parallel with beavers creating a habitat, we can see that pastors and church planters could fall into this category of hard workers that the Lord has placed over us. The desire of the Holy Spirit is for Christians to operate in unity with one another as the body of Christ. We are to be kind to one another and help each other in our areas of weakness. As believers in Christ our mission is to create suitable habitats in the spirit and to build one another up in our faith. We should be creating some new ecosystems of grace and encouragement for other believers. Do you create a suitable habitat for others?

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of “Whispers In The Woods” to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  ClickHERE to order a copy!

Can You Tame Your Tongue?

Can You Tame Your Tongue?

Have you ever had the experience of taming an animal? It could be as simple as training a puppy to do simple commands or habituating a reptile that you have caught in the wild to be accustomed to handling. As someone who works with animals on a regular basis I know that taming animals is all about consistency. You have to do the same things at the same times so that the animal gets used to you and understands that you don’t mean it any harm. It can often be a frustrating process and even be cause for the occasional bite or scratch but the end result is far more rewarding.

teguJames, the half brother of Jesus, talks about the taming of the tongue in the 3rd chapter of his epistle. James 3:7-8 says, “All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” This doesn’t mean that we have free license to say anything we want but that in our own power we are incapable of taming our tongues. When we become believers in Christ we are made into a new creation and Jesus becomes Lord over our lives.

Jesus is able to tame even the vilest of tongues and use it for his glory. The unrepentant tongue can produce words that are like poison to the hearer. As believers we are called to bring life, not death. Scripture also says that we will be judged for every careless word we speak. We must remember that and be more cognizant of the words we speak. Let us speak life to those around us! Can you tame your tongue?

 

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

Can You Defend Your Faith Against A Sasquatch?

Can You Defend Your Faith Against A Sasquatch?

I have been fascinated with the allure of Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch, Yeti, Skunk Ape, etc.) since I was a kid. I mean who hasn’t watched that iconic Patterson film from the 1960’s and wondered if it was in fact not a hoax but a potentially undiscovered large primate. I am the eternal skeptic though and often read stories about Bigfoot only to later see that they have been debunked as a fallacy or just someone’s attempt at their 15 minutes of fame. I do, however, commend the Bigfoot community in their efforts to authenticate their findings and their tireless searching and research on the subject matter.sasquatch

I wish I could say the same thing for the average Christian. Can you defend, or even explain your faith to an unbeliever? This is something Jude, the half-brother of Jesus felt very strongly about in the beginning of his epistle. Jude 1:3 says “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”

Jude addresses fellow believers and it seems almost mid-thought he changes course from encouraging them about their shared salvation and begins pleading with them to contend for their faith. The mental imagery he was painting about defending the faith was something very physical, something reminiscent of a Roman gladiator fighting for his life. We are called to preach the word of God and proclaim His truth so we must know the word in order to defend it. I encourage you to pick up your sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and start defending your faith. Can you defend your faith against a Sasquatch?

 

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

Are You Putting Your Head In The Sand?

Are You Putting Your Head In The Sand?

There is a common misconception that ostriches hide their heads in the sand when threatened. This is simply a myth and it can be traced back as far as Pliny the Elder from the 1st century AD, around the same time that Jesus was on the Earth. In keeping with the mental image though, how many times does it appear that the Church seems to be merely putting her head in the sand and not truly engaging the threats or issues that arise? Do you feel that it’s easier to hide out in the Church rather than engaging culture in Jesus name? As a group of Christians are we known more for our love and compassion for our fellow man or are we possibly viewed in the same light as the ostrich with his head in the sand? How can we change that perception?

Ostrich,_mouth_openSince we as believers in Jesus are the physical representation on the Earth of our heavenly Father we could perhaps start following his teachings. In a true reflection of the glory of Christ we could begin with loving our neighbor as ourselves or treating others with love and compassion and gracefully sharing our faith. John 13:35 says By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” We have to begin by loving one another in the body of Christ and from that love and unity share our love with the world. We’ve got some work to do but I believe in Jesus name we can accomplish it together. Are you putting your head in the sand?

 

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!

Are You Obedient Like A Dog?

Are You Obedient Like A Dog?

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 12.16.05 PMIf you have ever spent time with a well-trained and good-natured dog you can understand the joy they bring to us in their obedience. The situation seems to be quite the opposite when you encounter a dog that is lacking in proper training. The same is true for human beings. When we make a profession of faith but lack obedience to Christ it creates an atmosphere similar to the wild dog. People tend to remember the crazy behavior and abrasive experience and it takes quite a while to repair the damage of disobedience.

2 John 1:6 says, “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” When we walk in obedience to Christ and follow His commands we are truly showing the love that He demands of us. When we truly understand the teachings of Jesus and are obedient to them, we can genuinely walk in truth with the love of Christ. Are you obedient like a dog?

If you liked this devotional be sure to pick up a copy of "Whispers In The Woods" to have a collection of 52 similar devotionals for your spiritual growth and encouragement.  Click HERE to order a copy!