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Illinois Valley Chapter FOCAS
Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society
July Membership Meeting
 Bartonville Bible Church,  3826 W. Chalmers,
 at 7pm on Tuesday, July 1st .
All are welcome who are interested in learning about our group.

Chaplin’s Corner

My wife and I were blessed a couple weeks back with a great time away together.  It has been a while since just the two of us took a major trip together and we found ourselves on the West Coast in the wonderful town of San Diego.  We stayed in a hotel that was within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean and I spent several mornings walking along the miles of Mission Beach.  There is absolutely nothing like an ocean or a mountain range to make one realize the wonder of God’s creation and to remind us how really insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things.
I was amazed at the amount of activity that went on each day very early in the morning.  There were surfers, fisherman, and folks walking their dogs or just walking along as I did enthralled by the beauty of the day along the ocean.
I grew up in the sixties with the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean and all the other music groups that glorified surfing.  I always wanted to try it but I’m pretty sure there aren’t too many 65 year old fat guys learning to surf these days so I was relegated to just watching in awe.  I noticed that in the massive expanse of that beach most surfers were gathered along one particular stretch of beach.  There were a few that were scattered here and there but the vast majority of them were in one 50 – 100 yard area.  I suppose there was some feature beneath the surf that caused bigger waves or waves that broke sooner but I couldn’t figure out just what it was.  For whatever reason, the waves seemed to be better and they certainly got the attention of the surfers.  It was obviously the place to be for prime surfing.  They were amazing to watch as they danced along the length of the board and worked it along that wave for as long as they possibly could.  I was continually reminded that I can’t walk from one end of my boat to the other without holding on to something.
The fishermen were a similar story.  There were miles of beach but the majority of the fishermen were relatively close to one another.  I watched one in particular for quite a while and noticed he would catch a fish and then move up and down the beach in either direction looking for something before his next cast.  I finally couldn’t take it anymore and I asked him what he was looking at.  “Dolphins”, he said.  Sure enough, when I looked closely I could see them in the waves just before they broke.  He said the dolphins chase the fish toward the shore as they move parallel to the beach so he moved with them.  He was far more successful than any of the other guys that were just up or down the beach a ways.
Then there were the walkers.  We all walked generally in the same band of beach that was just beyond the edge of the surf.  If you walked along the sand up by the sidewalk away from the surf, the sand was really deep and soft and very hard to walk in.  If you walked in the water, the sand was saturated of course, and compacted.  It was really kind of hard and wasn’t very comfortable at all for bare feet.  I also noticed a couple of dead jelly fish so I don’t know if I would have been all that comfortable walking in the surf more than ankle deep.  I found that just beyond the surf’s edge, there was a band of sand a few yards wide that was much easier to walk on than the rest of the beach.   The vast majority of those walking and running on the beach were in this band of sand.  It was very comfortable to walk barefooted and yet you could effortlessly cover some ground.
It has occurred to me as I pondered these things that in every activity there was a “sweet spot” where things were better than anywhere else.  And when you think about it, this is how our lives are.  Going back to the walking analogy, we have probably had times in our lives where we were struggling through each day – like we were walking in deep sand.  Expending great effort but not getting too far and getting very tired in the process.  Those are times when we typically are trying to rely on ourselves to get things done.  We worry and fret and fail to rely on Jesus who is waiting patiently for us to turn toward Him with our problems.
There are also times when we walk in the unknown areas of life where danger and sin are around us at every step.  We know we are in trouble – doing things we should not do or visiting places (both physical and cyber) we should not.  These places can be dark, cold and lonely.
As Christians we have a “sweet spot” in our Lord and Savior Jesus.  When we walk with Him, He will share our burdens.  He will take the darkness out of our lives and replace it with the eternal and everlasting light of unconditional love.
In Matthew 11:29 -30 it reads:
Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
My study Bible notes that in Jesus’ day, taking the yoke of another person meant coming under that person’s leadership and walking in that person’s footsteps.  When believers take Jesus’ yoke, they place themselves under His dominion.  Only then do His followers enjoy the day-by-day release from stress that God intended. 
A very “sweet spot” indeed!!
In Christ,

-Submit your Prayer Request on the Members Page and contact
Chaplin Bill Perry
.-Submit your nomination for the Extra Mile Award on the Members Page,
 or give to Jim Batterton or Larry Rowden.
B. E. S. T.  Column
Buy – Exchange – Sell – Trade)
1996 Sea Nymph TX175 with a 2013 Haul-Rite trailer, Evinrude 25 two-stroke motor, Minn Kota Edge All Terrain 70 lb 24 volt, Humminbird Piranha Max 10 depth finder, 2 live wells.  Boat cover.  Serviced annually. $3,500.
Randy Barth (309) 231-8578 (after 6 pm)  or (309) 965-2887 anytime.

1 pr. new 2x4 carpeted trailer bunks, 8 1/2 ft long.  New trailer take-offs.  $30.
    Bob Klobnak  339-3059

’93 14ft Lowe Jon Boat w/ Shoreline trailer and 15 hp. Johnson;  $1200.00.  Call Joe Lane (309) 635-2210.
Gillie Jigs.com…Custom jigs, skirts, chaterbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits – pick your head size/style pick your skirts.   As well as custom wrapped rods on North Fork Composites blanks (Gary Loomis’ new company).
 T & C Rod and Reel RepairRod and reel repair; custom wrapped rods.   Todd Mull   (309) 634-0234
 Buehl Custom Wood Lures...Custom and old lure reproduction Richard Buehl                    (309) 267-3425   or   www.wix.com/buehlrc/cwl