REAL LIFE STORIES - Chapter 7

The Perfect Shot

One custom made arrow and 30 seconds was all it took to bring down one of Africa’s biggest wild game animals . . .

At a young age I realized that I had a learning disability and would need to find a way to fit in.  Because of this, I had to take special classes and was not welcomed by the other kids.  I had to find a different way to succeed and make friends.

I looked to sports, which was a strength of mine.  This helped a little but was not enough.  I had a bad temper and decided that I would start to take things into my own hands by fighting.  This really made me fit in.  I got to the point where I feared nothing and no one.  I decided that everything I did would be for me and me only.  Because of this attitude, I succeeded in both sports and friendship.  While playing sports, I gave everything for me, for my fulfillment.  The glory was mine.  Because of this, at a very young age, I was physically attacked with a broken shin at the age of seven and was in the hospital at the age of eight with a staph infection in my knee.  This almost caused me to lose my entire leg.  All of this just made me push harder.

I became more and more popular with more and more people because I was known as the bully of the school.  I had everything I thought I wanted.  I would fight anyone, anywhere, at anytime.  I would fight for no reason at all, just because this made me even more popular.  I was only in elementary school.  Just when I had grown up in the church and had to go every Sunday and Wednesday.  I knew about God more than most people do, but I didn’t accept it.  Finally, I had nowhere else to go. I decided that I would give my life to the Lord and change my ways.  However, after a short period of time, I found out that this was a very unpopular move for me to make.  After realizing this, I went back to my old ways.  I started experimenting in alcohol, drugs, and sex to make me feel better.  Now that my sports career was pretty much shot, I had to find a new way to spend my time, and this was how I spent it.

I had grown up in the church and had to go every Sunday and Wednesday.  I knew about God more than most people do, but I didn’t accept it.  Finally, I had nowhere else to go. I decided that I would give my life to the Lord and change my ways.  However, after a short period of time, I found out that this was a very unpopular move for me to make.  After realizing this, I went back to my old ways.  I started experimenting in alcohol, drugs, and sex to make me feel better.  Now that my sports career was pretty much shot, I had to find a new way to spend my time, and this was how I spent it.

After graduating high school, I picked up a new hobby that one of my friends introduced me to.  It was the sport of hunting.  This is both a physically and mentally challenging sport that now everybody can succeed at.  After the first time I hunted, I fell in love with it.  Just like everything else I had done up to this point, I was doing it for my glory and no one else’s.  This consumed my life.  Come October 1st of every year, most people knew where to find me.  (For those that don’t know, I was out in the woods.)  I quit good paying jobs because my employers told me I could not have the day off.  I would quit my job, just so I could go hunting.  As I practiced and practiced, I got better and better, and it just consumed more and more of my time.

Along with this hobby, every weekend all the guys would go out camping where we hunted.  We would party and get drunk all night, then get up in the morning and go out hunting.  Because of all the drinking and partying I did, it got to the point where my temper came back and I started fighting again.  I realize now there is a reason for everything we do in life.  The town that I hunted in was close to an hour away from where I lived at the time.  The guys and I left the camp and went out one night.  That is when I met my wife.  Something about my fearlessness attracted her to me.  After three months of being together, we wanted to move in together.  Because of our families’ beliefs, we knew that wasn’t right, so we decided to get married.  Nine months later, we did.  This was one of the best things that has happened in my life, but it still didn’t stop me from everything that I was involved in .  For me to go through a couple gallons of Jack Daniels in a week was common.  This was a problem that could lead to more problems.  One night, I had consumed so much alcohol, I thought I was going to die.  I swore that I would never do it again, but that was a lie.  I did do it again, just not as hard as I had in the past.

I finally decided it was time to slow down and start a family.  I didn’t know how I would support a family financially, but like I lived all my life, I feared nothing and wasn’t afraid of this either.  So, we started our family.  We had a daughter and then a son.  They were now the best thing in my life.  But what was I going to do to raise these kids so that they wouldn’t do the stupid things their father had done?  Before my daughter was born, my wife turned her life over to God.  Once my daughter was born, I decided that I should attend church with her, just so we could say we were raising our daughter in church.  I did not want to give my life to God.  I tried many different ways to get away from it.  I started a business and put more and more time into the business and making money.  My hunting career was taking off in places I never expected it to.  I was taking all the glory, but I always felt something was pulling me. I felt like something was missing.

One day, I finally realized that my whole life, I wasn’t living fearlessly.  I was actually living in fear.  I was afraid of what people would think of  me if I lived for God.  I would do anything at anytime for anyone for any reason, but I would not do anything for God.

After struggling with this for many years, the moment came for me to make my decision.  I had been held back by fear, but because of many prayers and the help of a good friend, my fear finally left.  I decided to give my life to the Lord.  I thought my life was good before this happened, but you would not believe the difference there was after giving my life to the Lord.  When you give God all the glory, He gives back to you.

At the age of only 27 years old, I have done things and been places that many people can only dream of.  I have hunted with the best of the best in countries that most hunters would never have the opportunity to go to.  I was given the opportunity to hunt in South Africa for one of the world’s largest animals, the giraffe.  This was not an easy task as I was using my bow, and most hunters use a high powered rifle.  I had to custom-build an arrow that would bring the animal down.  After two days of searching and waiting for the best opportunity, I was able to take a shot.  It was a perfect shot, and it was over in 30 seconds.  One single guided arrow brought the beast to its fate. I know that I did not do this on my own and that God guided my arrow.  The difference between my life and the lives of many of the people I hunt with is that I now give ALL the glory and success to God.  The ONLY reason God has taken my hunting and my life to where it is, is so I can reach people that the average person can’t.  All of my success is because of God and my obedience to Him to step out in faith.

There is a song called “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns.  This song came out around the same time I gave my life to the Lord, and the song tells my story perfectly, “The voice of truth tells me a different story.  The voice of truth says do not be afraid, and the voice of truth says this is for My glory. Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

I now listen to the voice of truth, the voice of God, in everything I do.  I give Him the glory for everything I do, and everything I have belongs to Him.

-- Jim


Dear Reader - are you at peace with God?  If not, you can be.  Do you know what awaits you when you die?  You can have the assurance from the Holy Spirit that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain.  Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!).  Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to cover your sins?  We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.

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