GOD’S GREAT OUTDOORS by Larry Whiteley


Before Thanksgiving was even here the onslaught of Christmas sales had started. The real “reason for the season” is sometimes lost in a world of commercialism.

Escape the holiday traffic. Escape commercials, computers and smart phones. Escape the TV news and politicians. Escape for just a little while and get out in God’s great outdoors away from it all.

The sun rising over the water or woods, an eagle flying in a bright blue sky or a deer happening by your secret hiding place is better than any TV show. The sounds of geese flying overhead, bird songs and chattering squirrels are better than the sounds of crowded stores of shoppers. Hiking a trail is better than sitting in traffic.

I know it’s cold but the fish are still there under the water waiting and they can still be caught. Even if they aren’t biting, the outdoors is a natural stress reliever.

If you’re a hunter deer seasons are still going on as is squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl and upland game.

December is a great time to hike. The leaves are gone allowing you to see things you can’t at other times. It’s also a great time to camp if you dress properly and prepare yourself for the cold. You can’t worry or fret when you’re sitting around a campfire.

Christmas is about gifts and that all started when wise men brought them to a baby in a manger. Gifts don’t all have to be store bought or online stuff the retail world says everybody wants for Christmas. You can give the same gift to a child, grandchild, or friend that someone gave to you long ago – the gift of the great outdoors.

The best kids or grandkids gifts for Christmas are not smart phones, video games, expensive clothes, or toys. Those things break, go out of style or they out grow them. The best gift is taking them fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, canoeing, wildlife viewing, outdoor photography, bird watching, should I go on? These things never wear out or break and will stay with them the rest of their lives. Hopefully they pass them on to their kids and grandkids and your gift just keeps on giving.

These Christmas gifts forge bonds with kids and loosen the hold that inactivity and the likes of TV, video games, computers and smart phones have on their time. Kids take clues about what is good, right and desirable from mentors and family members. They need strong family ties and they need God in this messed up old world of today. God’s great outdoors offers that.

Have a very Merry Outdoor Christmas! 



Something to Think About by Larry Whiteley


That night was like no other. There were no bright lights and TV cameras there to report what was happening. No reporters sticking a microphone in Mary’s face or asking Joseph questions. No politicians to take credit for it. The only people who came were a whole lot wiser than politicians and news media.

God had entered this world in a smelly old stable surrounded by sleepy sheep, stubborn donkey’s, cow’s chewing cud and all of them stunk up the place. There were no spotlights, only candlelight and a very bright star. 

God had come to this world as a baby named Jesus and when he was born, so was our hope. In this world we live in today we need hope and we need the reminder of what Christmas really means. We need this time dedicated to giving, not receiving; to caring, not bad mouthing. We need to put away our differences and put up the Christmas tree. 

Just like the wise men that got on their knees to see Jesus on that special night, we need to get on our knees and seek Jesus for He is the reason for the season and He is the hope for the world.

May you have a very, merry Christmas!

DECEMBER  2018  


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