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Keep up with all things "Big Billy Kinder Outdoors"


The Outdoors Church to YouI stood in awe of the sight, roaring sound, massive power and indescribable beauty before me. I’d had that feeling before on occasion, and here it was again. My view was from a steep mid-September back road in Yellowstone National Park. The north wind was fierce that day as an early and strong front slammed the wilderness. It would turn out to be the heaviest September snow and winter blast in Wyoming’s weather records. The cutting winds pouring in from Arctic north with huge snowflakes swirling and moving like those big flocks of birds that seem to fly together in choreographed motion, coupled with the awesome rugged canyon and roaring waterfall before me, all lead to my sense of awe. I was reminded of just how small I am in this universe. I felt that I was sitting in God’s living room, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. Robin and I spent the remainder of the day, and the next, picking our way through this national treasure, then exited the park to the east as afternoon shadows began to stretch out. Ten minutes later I pulled up the drive to Elephant Head Lodge, so named because of the massive rock overhang that looks a whole lot like an...yeah, that’s right.

Buffalo Bill’s niece built the old trapper cabin and original buildings here back in 1910. Things are to this day rugged and tough in this country, I can't begin to imagine the hardships confronted by the folks that settled down here over a hundred years ago. Our century old pine log cabin would shelter us for the night. I looked forward to coffee in the morning as God’s glory would rise in the east and light up the mountains of the Shoshone National Forest that cradled us. It’s a sunrise that I have replayed again and again in my memory.

Once every five to seven years or so, the clover will bloom in South Dakota. We were there to fish the deep blue waters of Lake Oahe and gather our walleye for the year. The clover bloom is another of those gifts that only God can bless us with. The clover covers hundreds and hundreds of thousands of acres, and is the sweetest smelling perfume. The yellow flowers that it produces makes the countryside, for as far as you can see, a rolling vibrant yellow blanket. As we trolled the deep blue walleye water, surrounded by hills covered solid by the clover, I knew that I was in a special moment of my life. It impacted me. We fish with an ole South Dakota bronc rider named Jim Lawhon on Oahe. Jim explained that the knee high clover would be cut and baled in many places, then when the deep winter rages South Dakota style, and you roll out one of those clover bales for the cattle, springtime fills your nostril’s all over again. Special.

I could go on about the morning movement of millions of doves from an Argentina roost, the splendid colored leaves that flicker and fall around you as you put your fly rod to work in the Ozarks of Arkansas' White or Norfork rivers. The stillness of the deer blind deep in December when the only visible movement is your breath floating away and dissipating, and on and on. I've heard several times in my life that these settings are “church” to outdoors men. No, it's not church. It’s a mild display of God’s creative beauty, just a glimpse of what Heaven looks like. There was no one in any of these settings telling me of my sin, teaching me of Paul's travails and travels and example. Jesus' name and His salvation for this lost and dying world didn’t echo from the yellow rolling hills. It’s easy for some to slip up and worship the creation as opposed to the Creator. Do I feel a sense of God’s awesomeness in these settings? Of course! Do I worship and thank Him in these situations? Absolutely! Is this a church setting? Maybe, if we are reminded that God created it, man sinned and messed it up, Christ died for our sins and rose from that grave. Salvation, is a gift that makes majestic beauty pale in comparison. Just like God gave us this creation splendor, so did He give us His Son. Gave, free. That’s big. Do you believe?

Fondly,
Billy Kinder
BBKOradio.com

DECEMBER 2, 2016