Aaron Summers

Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

What Bait Are You Using?

In Evangelism, Gospel Living on May 1, 2017 at 2:39 pm

I remember the Summer of 1982 because that’s when I first learned how to fish.  I had saved up money and purchased a Cardinal reel and an Ugly Stick rod.  We lived in Northern Kentucky at the time and I would go down to the river nearly every day and fish.  One day I went down to the river-fed creek and followed it back into the woods.  I thought I had seen a large fish and was on the hunt.  I began to cast and was not having much luck.  My dad had told me that fishing took a lot of patience…a LOT.  So I just kept casting and coming up empty.

About the time I was ready to give up a man showed up and asked what I was doing.  At first, I was nervous because I didn’t have a license but thought I didn’t have to at my age.  He wasn’t there to check my license.  Instead, he asked where I had learned to fish.  I knew, then, that I was doing something wrong.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE RIGHT BAIT.  He came up alongside me with his rods, reels, nets, and tackle box.  I thought I was in the presence of greatness!  He wanted to see what bait I had at the end of the line.  I showed him.  I was using my newest bait and it was beautiful….to me.  The problem was, he explained, was that what was beautiful to me wasn;t to that large mouth bass I was looking for.  In fact, if I wanted to catch crappie it would be great.  But, if I wanted to catch bass I had to use different bait.  He pulled a lure out and showed it to me.  He exchanged my lure for his on my line.  This was the right bait for the particular fish I wanted to catch.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE RIGHT TECHNIQUE.  He encouraged me to cast out again.  So I cast the best I could and began to reel in when he stopped me.  He showed me a smoother way to cast.  He also told me that I was reeling in too fast.  Even though fish swim fast, the bait needs to move at a natural speed. I was reeling in so fast that it was useless.  So I cast out again and began to reel in slower.

Then it happened.

There was a bite on the other end.  I pulled back hard and fast.  The man behind me began to laugh as the lure soared over my head and landed on a branch above my head.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE RIGHT TEMPO.  I was pulling too fast.  If the fish was just nibbling I scared him and me both.  If the fish was actually gulping the bait I likely ripped the hook through his mouth.  Again, not effective.  The man told me that I want to set the hook instead of yanking it back so hard.  I need to just pop my wrist a little and then wait.  During the reeling in process, I needed to take it slow.  It was a dance.  I would reel in and let out.  All the while, the fish was getting closer to me.

Jesus told Peter to follow Him and he would make him a fisher of men.  He is making us fishers of men too.  We must learn what I did years ago.  We need the right bait to catch a particular fish.  Bass, crappie, cat all like different things.  I needed to bait my hook with what would attract them.  How we present truth does depend on our audience.  The way I speak to a 6-year-old is different from a 16-year-old and is different still for a 46-year-old.  In the same way, our bait will be different based on to whom you speak. Casting and reeling take practice.  So does sharing the Gospel.

Casting and reeling take practice.  So does sharing the Gospel.  We have to work at the process to find the smooth approach.  We want the bait to slip, rather than splashes, in the water.  One is inviting and the other is not.

Be patient.  People will come and go.  Others will nibble.  Others will bite.  In every instance, be patient.

I went home that day with an 8-lb bass.  I have caught many fish since then, but none that big!  Keep fishing my friends.


The 1st Word of Life

In Chrisian Life on August 5, 2015 at 2:32 pm


One Summer we lived just up the hill from the Kentucky River.  Right behind our house was a deep creek that was fed from the river and was great for fishing!  Nearly every day I would grab my pole and go down.  My mom had one of those triangle bells that she would ring when it was time for me to come home.  One particular day I had gotten pretty muddy.  My view of the situation was much like the picture above.  So when I arrived at the house and was not allowed in I was confused.  While I did not think it was all that bad, my mom sure did.


She was not about to let me in the house until I had washed off.  I stood there and she began to wash me off with the hose.  Once I was clean I could enjoy the benefits of the house, lunch, and the couch!

This is often the case with confession.  I recently read a poem from an unknown source that begins with the “6 most important words”:  I admit I made a mistake.  We run through our days, weeks, and years and do not give much credence to our need to be clean.  We, like me, think it is just our hands that are dirty and we wash them like Pontious Pilate disregarding any further need.  However, from God’s perspective we need a complete shower!

When we are not staying clean through confessing our sins to God we are like that kid at camp who doesn’t shower.  It affects more than just one person.  Sin might be fun in the moment but we will lose our grip on joy and our relationship with Jesus will suffer.  Shame and guilt come into play and then we are just a mess.  Confess what you know and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what you have forgotten.  Whatever is getting in the way of your relationship with God needs cleansing.

Now would be a good time…

The Climb

In Chrisian Life on August 5, 2014 at 7:20 am


Have you ever been hiking?  I mean, really hiking?  Gone up a mountain hiking?

I haven’t done much of it myself but when I did it was worth the effort.  Les and I had gone mountain-lake fishing in Colorado in mid-September.  The snow had begun to gather on the peaks.  We were driving around looking for this one lake we wanted to fish and found the trailhead.  We parked and gathered our packs and began the 2 mile hike.  Along the way we began to question whether this was a good idea.  We couldn’t see this lake.  How did we know if it would be there?  No one was around to tell us for certain the presence of the lake.  The map told us it was there and there were signs all around.

At 11,000 feet we were out of breath and stopped to drink some water.  We looked at each other and knew we had to keep going.  There really never was a question, but our bodies and our feelings wanted to express opposition.  At around 12,000 feet we had no clue how far we had come.  We still saw no sign of the lake.  Everything ached and we were out of breath.  But we knew we had to continue.

Our desire to see the lake and to do what we had come to do was stronger than the desire to quit.  We came to what we hoped was a final surge uphill.  As we crested the hill what lied before us was absolutely breath-taking!  It was at that moment I realized the camera was back at the truck.  While I cannot show you what it looked like, I can tell you how wonderful, peaceful, beautiful, and exhilarating it was to be there.  I guess you will have to climb it yourself to feel that way too.

So it is in the life of a church.  God is calling us to climb the mountain with Him.  The only way we will experience the fullness of His blessing and beauty is to follow and reach the journey’s end.  Today we stand at the trailhead.  A new school/church year approaches rapidly.  All of these new beginnings prepare us for the journey that awaits like a trailhead.  The blessing of growth comes like that of the climb, with much effort.  To make it to the top we must work hard, make concessions, and commit.  I pray that you will do so

Today we stand at the trailhead.  Let us climb.

For who is God except the  lord ? Who but our God is a solid rock?
God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.
He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.

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