Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jesus hung out with Fishermen, Not golfers!

Now before you get too bent out of shape and hook your ball over in the lake, let me say that I know that Jesus loves golfers too. My point is that in the time that Jesus lived he chose to spend his time with regular people. In my world fishermen are the end all be all, but in His day, a different story. Fishermen were grinders. Guys who had to get out their and work for a living. No 21 ft boats, fancy rods, or shiny lures for these guys.  No fans wearing their tournament tunics and asking for autographs. Just nets, sun, work, and stink! And yet these are the type of men that Jesus picked to carry his message around the world.

There were some other types of  guys, but their prestige doesn't get much better either. Tax collectors, cheats, murderous persecutors, and a couple of guys named "Sons of Thunder"(motorcycle Ministry?).
Basically what I am saying is that if our Churches today were looking to reach the world, these guys would not make the "Big time" Speakers list. Have you noticed that our approach to doing evangelism and enlisting folks to reach the world is vastly different than how Jesus did it? As a matter of fact we do it exactly the opposite!

I heard controversial speaker Dr. Tony Campollo speak once about how our Churches love to glorify the ones that are already glorified! Now despite how you may feel about Dr Campollo, he's right. Our approach to reaching people is to take the greatest golfer, beauty queen, former rock star, big time Actor, biker king, comedian, millionaire hunter, successful businessman, and most of all Former superstar Football players, and bring them in to tell us like it is! I recently had a representative of a Non profit organization share what a deal they got on a former actor to come and speak. "We got him to speak for 45 minutes for only 15,000 dollars!" I quickly volunteered to do devotionals everyday for 6 months for 14 thousand! No takers. Now I want you to know that I am not picking on what anyone makes, that is between them and God.

What I am saying is that we have created a culture of "Christian Stars". I'm afraid  that instead of being "Salt and Light" to a world that needs truth so desperately, we look like a cheap mirrored subculture. Can God use Christian stars? Yes, He can do use whatever He wants, but I think we would do well to look to His example. The guys and girls He used, only brought glory to Him, not themselves. Former Christian singer Steve Camp sang " We give God the glory, but we are happy to a take the award".

I would really love to see this on an event flyer: He's not a star, he's not a millionaire, hes not an actor, or even a former football player. He's just an ordinary guy with an extraordinary message! The problem is often times most people won't attend unless the big name is there. Wouldn't it be cool if Jesus was always the big name?

P.S. To all my golfing friends I just want to say that there is nothing like spending a day at the golf course catching big Bass!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

My Favorite Bass Fishing Trail

(Words cannot do justice what I am about to share with you)

I am about to leave the Classic to drive to Ruston La for a Wild Game Banquet. Earlier this week I was invited to stay with a group of Men that have had a profound impact on my life. Now I love the BASS tournament trail, and I have followed it since I was a kid. However BASS is not my favorite trail. My favorite Trail is The Fishers of Men National Tournament Trail.

In the late 1990s, the founder Al Odom was praying about how he could use his life to make an impact of the Kingdom of God. One afternoon while looking through a magazine, he saw an add for a Outreach Fishing Derby, and that's when God implanted the idea to start Fishers of Men. FOM's goal is to reach out to competitive bass fishermen and their families to challenge them to know and follow Jesus. Over the years it has become the fastest growing tournament trail in the country! Over 28 states and counting have one or more FOM divisions. Literally thousands of people have come to know and follow Christ through this organization. Talk about an impact!

Al serves as the National Director and is supported by a great staff of Men and women. I had the pleasure of rooming with the Vice President of FOM this weekend. Bob Eads is one of the finest men that I have ever met. Over the years, FOM has allowed me to be a small part of the work that God is doing, and I am so grateful. Al Odom and I became friends in 1995, and as I say this with tears in my eyes, he has been a true friend and mentor in every sense of the word. The list of people that have had a profound affect on my life are not very many. Al Odom is in that number for me. I want to share with you a few things that I know about him.

Al is the only man that I can truly say loves to fish as much as I do. Its a passion that only people who fish know, however fishing is not what drives his life.  I am not going to share this story in its entirety, because I cannot do it justice. I am going to give you a glimpse of it. I fished with Al's youngest son Sam for 2 seasons on the FOM trail. As a matter of fact, the only FOM tournament that I have ever won was with Sam. I have known Sam and his brother Dane for years, and I love them dearly. On August 8, 2008 Sam lost his life in a car accident.

On the day of Sam's funeral I arrived 4 hours early and I almost did not get in the building. I waited in line trying to think of anything that I could say to my friend Al. Nothing came to me. As I rounded the corner in line, I saw Al for the first time, but it was not what I expected. His face was radiant. As we embraced I started to weep and found myself being consoled by Al and his son Dane! I will make this short. How can a man stand an event like this? There is only one answer. Jesus.

The supernatural events that have occurred in Al's life is nothing short of astounding. If you have never heard in detail how they have unfolded, please attend an event where Al shares about what happened. God is real. I see Him in the lives of people. People like my friend Al Odom.

Thank you Al for being my friend!

If you would like more information on Al Odom or the Fishers of Men Trail. Check it out here:
Fishers of Men

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twas the night before the Classic

Twas the night before the Classic and all around the show, the pressure was building among all the top Pros.  The Flippin jigs were hung on the end of rods with care, and GPS way points were Marked everywhere!

The Anglers were snug looking down at their boats, where Skeeters and Tritons will soon be afloat.  Mark Zona and Sanders  have their headsets on, and Camera's will be ready to film before dawn.

When down at the boat ramp their arose such a clatter, People from every state ran to see what was the matter. I ran down canal street in hope that I could see, a glimpse of Randy Howell and Shaw Grigsby!!

The full moon was shining on the water down below, I wished I was a Marshall, riding with Defoe! When what to my longing eyes should appear,  but Jerry McKinnis and Trip Weldon calling is everyone here!

There was a little boat driver quick as can be, and I knew in a moment it must be KVD!
More rapid than eagles the Fishermen came, as the dark water churned as they called out their names.

Go Browning, Go Chapman, Go Evers, and Go Pace! Now Davis, and Faircloth their off to the race!
From the top of the ramp, to the mouth of the Bay, the Classic competitors are all on their way!

The Bass Chaplain is headed down to the ramp. Come Sunday we will know who is the Bassmasters Champ!!

By Chris Wells and Bob Eads

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Fellowship of Christian Anglers (FOCAS) "Classic Edition"

On Tuesday I had the privilege of leading the FOCAS meeting for the BASS Elite Series Pros. FOCAS stands for the Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society, and was started way back in the day by Jimmy Houston and later led by Evangelist Terry Chupp.  The meetings usually consist of a number of the BASS pros, the non fishing Marshalls, and anyone else who would like to attend.

The Classic meeting is usually one of the least attended just because not all of the FOCAS anglers qualify, and due to the hectic schedule of Classic week. Yesterday the Pre tournament briefing went about 30 minutes longer than usual so we had an abbreviated meeting time. I actually challenged them with the Philemon 1:6 Alarm challenge. (see earlier entry). My hope is that we all will pray that God will give us opportunities to share our faith.

The Anglers that attend FOCAS are some of the finest men that  I know, and it is a pleasure to be able to serve here with them. In addition to the Anglers, many of their wives and family also attend the meetings. If you are ever near a BASS Elite Series Event, then consider joining us for the FOCAS meeting. All FOCAS meeting times are listed on the official web site of BASS.

I will be on call for the Pros and Staff this week. On Friday I will be in the Fishers of Men National Tournament trail booth at the Classic Show. If you are there, please come by and say hello!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Bassmasters Classic

I am currently sitting in a hotel room near New Orleans Louisiana, awaiting the start of the Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society or (FOCAS) meeting. The meeting will be at 4:00p.m. Central time this afternoon at the Riverfront Hilton in downtown NO. Before each BASS tournament, I lead a Bible study for the BASS Elite Series pros, Marshalls, BASS officials, and anyone else who shows up.  Throughout the week I will be sharing glimpses of what happens at Bass Fishing's greatest event with you here on my blog, and today I am going to start with how it all got least for me.

I grew up fishing and hunting on the Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina, and was blessed to live through the Heyday of the greatest bass fishing in our country! My brother was a part time bass guide, and usually if he couldn't take me fishing, then my Dad could. Some of the best times of my life were spent trying to figure out the (Micropterus Salmoides) or Largemouth Bass! Now when most of my friends were talking about Football stars like Terry Bradshaw and Roger Staubach, I had my mind on Bill Dance and Roland Martin!  I am the only kid that I know that memorized the stats of Bass pros. I mean why in the world would I need to know the final day total of Gary Klein's winning weight at Lake Lanier in 1986? (It was 23-13 by the way). It makes no sense at all, until you factor God into the equation.

You see when I was a teenager I thought that I was just memorizing stats for my own enjoyment and personal use. However God knew that one day I would be ministering to the same guys that I admired and memorized fishing stats on! Our Lord has a plan for each life, and when we yield to His will then He will use us for His glory! Have you yielded your life  to His will? He can take the things in your life that you think are trivial, and make them something that He can use.

I hope that you will be in prayer for our meeting today, and check back each day this week for more updates on the Super Bowl of Bass fishing. I'll have some stats for ya!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The troubling sound of my Alarm Clock

I hate the sound of the alarm clock. I always have. For me there is nothing more irritating than interruption of the peaceful bliss of sleep than my alarm clock telling me time to get up! However, when its all said and done, the alarm clock is one of the most helpful devices in my life. The absence of it would cause me great trouble.

John Adams wrote: " Never trouble trouble until trouble troubles you." I've heard that phrase quoted my entire life, but I never gave it much thought until recently. In light of our present day world situation "trouble" not only sums up what we may be seeing, it seems that it may be prudent to be  preparing for it. However most American Christians that I am in contact with, seem to be taking the Adams phrase to heart. My concern is that we may not be ready for the trouble that could  be heading our way. Now let me clarify that I am no foretelling prophet, but there are some things that are grabbing my attention.  I will discuss a few here today.

 One of my first concerns is that Christians seem to have to  be shaken in order to be spiritually awakened. No one that was an adult during 911 will ever forget what happened. By 3 pm that afternoon, the sanctuary of the Church I attend was filled with people on their knees begging God for direction. Where are we now? The fact of the matter is that we aren't scared anymore. Trouble hasn' t troubled us in a while and apathy has become the norm. So should we be troubled? Let me take a crack at this. The Bible states that "the borrower is a slave to the lender". Our country owes more than it ever has, and the deficit is rising every minute. This has the potential to do more damage to our country than the attacks of 911 ever hoped to do. If our dollar loses its world reserve currency status as some are predicting. The devastation that could happen will be immense. It may be time for that troubling alarm clock to go off.

Another Concern I have is our unconcern for the persecution of Christians around the world. One simple google glance on executed Christians will give you enough reading material for the day, I promise. Yet where is the outcry from US Christians? Now on my Facebook site I love to post thought provoking quips, quotes, and stories, and I don't believe there is anything wrong with that. However, it is interesting what evokes the most response. Just the other day I posted about Said Musa, who is a 45 year old convert to Christianity who at anytime is set to be hung unless he reconverts to Islam. I got zero response from that article post on FB.  Yet my joke on Jesus and golfing got 16 "likes".  This is happening in Afghanistan! The same Afghanistan that Christian men from the US are giving their lives to protect! People are being killed all over the world because they love Jesus.  Time to hear the alarm!

I am also very concerned about the rise of sympathy for every religion, in conjunction with the rise of intolerance for Christianity. Today it seems that people are tolerant for every religion, opinion, whim, and ideology except Christianity. A pastor of 54 people gets World wide news coverage for saying he would have a qur'an burning(which I don't agree with), but documented thousands of Bibles are burned by Muslims and hardly a word mentioned. Sharia law is being instituted in Britain and some US States are considering it, and yet our Constitution, based on Christianity, is ignored. The only people that I see being (Tolerant) are Christians! It may be time to stop hitting the "snooze' button.

Now I know the Bible tells me to count it all joy when I am persecuted, and to be anxious for nothing. However these verses are not a call to apathy. They are calls to action. My opinion is that we are in a time of history that the Bible plainly speaks of. A time when people will be lovers of themselves , lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  At the same time God says that in the last days He will pour out His Spirit. God doesn't need Chris Wells, but He allows me to be a part of what He is doing. So with that said, I resolve to hear the alarm. To share His good news. To invite people to hear God's Spirit calling to them to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

I am going to ask you to do something. I have an alarm on my phone. I am going to set my alarm for 1:06 p.m. everyday. I am asking you to do the same. Why 1:06? Philemon 1:6 says " I pray that you will be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ".
This is a call for you to pray that you and Christians that you know would be active in sharing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!  Then share Jesus.  I am calling this the Philemon 1:6 Alarm! I will pray everyday at 1:06. Will you set and hear the alarm? Don't hit snooze on this one!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Forgotten Heroes and the Rewriting of US History.

"One thousand seven hundred and thirty two was a glorious year for America. It gave birth to two of the noblest thunderbolts of her wars, George Washington and Francis Marion."-Parson Weems

I have had many heroes in my life, one of which lived the majority of his life 15 miles as the crow flies from my front doorstep. Francis Marion was born in 1732 and served with distinction in the French and Indian war. He then made a significant impact in our fight for independence by serving as a Brigadier General in the American Revolutionary War. His Plantation is now 8 feet underwater on the bottom of the Lake that bears his name, Lake Marion on the Santee Cooper Reservoirs.

He is often credited as being the father of modern day guerrilla warfare, but the man was much more than just a great commander. Francis Marion was a man of tremendous honor, character, and faith.  His life would inspire many people, including another one of my heroes named Tom Jackson, better known as "Stonewall Jackson", and countless others as well.

 Marion is buried on his brother Gabrielle's plantation in Berkeley county SC. Part of the inscription on his grave reads:
History will record his worth, and rising generations embalm his memory, as one of the most distinguished Patriots and Heroes of the American Revolution.

Sadly this is far from the truth. There are over 70 towns and counties across the United States named after General Francis Marion, but outside of  our state very few people have even heard his name. I am a graduate of Francis Marion University, and while I was attending seminary in Texas people would ask where I went to college. "Francis Marion" I would say. Their reply nearly always the same:"Who's she?" Several years back I had high hopes that my hero would get the modern day recognition he deserves only to have my hopes dashed yet again. I watched in amazement as Mel Gibson's  movie The Patriot depicted  about 90% of the Swamp Fox's exploits, giving him none of the credit. It seems the director decided to blend several Revolutionary war heroes into one in order to up the entertainment value. Essentially they rewrote history to suit their needs.

The rewriting of our history seems commonplace today. My oldest son had a history assignment in elementary school that asked to outline from his text book the pros and cons of the Trans Continental Railroad. I read in shock as the number 3 stated con was: It hurt the environment. There seems to me to be a systematic rewriting of our history,  in order to shape and affect a present day agenda. I believe this is a danger that  could unravel the very fabric of our nation. It is my belief that an honest evaluation of where we come from, and where we are, is essential in determining where we go.

Let me give an example. When I first started taking my boat out from the Bay into the ocean I did not have a modern day GPS. I used a fixed point of reference, namely a smoke stack. As long as I could see that smoke stack I knew where I was and where I needed to go.  Now imagine if someone came and moved my point of reference. I may never find my way back.

Our country is based on the vision, resolve, and convictions of a group of people that laid a foundation for such virtues in a document called The Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. These men not only wrote down their convictions, they also lived, and defended them  to the point of death. One need only examine the lives of these writers to see that those convictions were based on Christian principles and precepts. However to read many present day interpretations of the Constitution one gets the impression that the Founding Fathers were devoid of any religious convictions especially Christian convictions. Any mention of a Christian Heritage or foundation sends many present day media personalities into a rage.

I honestly believe that the current political administration actually does not like the United States as it is constituted today. They travel the world apologizing for who we are, and what we have done.  They seek to solve problems that don't exist. My feeling is that they are interpreting and rewriting our history to fit their agenda. In short they are attempting to (move our smoke stack).

I am making it a matter of intense prayer to pray for our President and the current administration. My desire is for the US to not lose its point of reference. To remember and honor the principles of the Heroes who fought and gave their lives for us to live in this nation. To repent and call out to a Holy God for forgiveness of sin. To seek the Lord while He may still be found.

If you want to learn more about the Rewriting of our History check out: