Illinois Valley Chapter FOCAS
Fellowship of Christian Anglers Society
April Membership Meeting
 Bartonville Bible Church,  3826 W. Chalmers,
 at 7pm on Tuesday, April 1st .
All are welcome who are interested in learning about our group.
From the President
Our next FOCAS Membership meeting is to be at Bartonville Bible Church at 7 p.m. on the first of April.
While the team was nursing the last of their Krispy Kremes and joe at the March meeting, Larry who had us all going with his Bassmaster Bob story, talked about articles from Bass Angler and other magazines.  Larry is the most organized, even fastidious, angler I know.  His presentation was no less organized.  He talked about the hard work of anglers like Randy Howell, Edwin Evers and Bret Chapman who have achieved fishing success while maintaining a strong Christian testimony.
In my 2008 May chaplain’s devotion I talked about Alton Jones who wore a verse on his sleeve, and asked; “If you put a verse on your sleeve, what would it be?”  In May of 2012, Bassmaster ran an article entitled AOY Top 5: All Nice Guy Lineup.  They listed Randy Howell, David Walker, Brent Chapman, Brandon Card, and Ott DeFoe as nice guys, but stopped short of perusing any mention of their faith.  Since then I have followed the Bassmaster Elite Series pulling for my cadre of Christian anglers. 
I identified my God guys by looking for sleeve verses or fish like the one Aaron Martens wears on the back of his collar, and looking for tells in fishing magazines.  The Big KW and I went to the weigh ins at the Elite Series All Star Tournament in Decatur, and make it a point to thank our guys for their testimonies. 
After Fast Larry’s presentation, Cast a Country Mile Bob told me when the Classic was to be televised.  The Classic broadcast turned out to be an inspiring ride.  The phrase “Thank you Lord” reoccurred more than it would in an Ernest Angley revival.  A big “well done” to the Christian men who are willing to wear their colors, whether on the Elite telecast or at the FOCAS sports show booth.
“DROPS” FOR 2014
I was asked to clarify tournament scoring particulars before the tournaments begin.  There are nine points tournaments on the schedule for this year.  That is more than ever.  Three of the nine tournaments will be “dropped.”  In the event of a cancellation, two of the eight tournaments will be “dropped.”  For the first twenty years of our club, dropped meant that points from the tournament were dropped.  This allowed guys to attend family or church functions without losing ground in the point standings.  Several years ago a fifteen point participation award was instituted, which was to be kept even if the tournament was “dropped.”  So only those who place in the top ten for the tournament drop any points.  Teams that finish eleventh or poorer actually gain points by dropping the tournament.  The year that drop and keep fifteen was instituted, we had the lowest boats in the water count in our history.  We were able to recover from that somewhat last year by bringing new guys into the club throughout the year.  If a member misses three tournaments for family or church functions, he is 45 points behind those who “dropped” the tournaments.  No 2013 anglers who dropped more that one tournament made the top ten.  Only two 2013 anglers who have school age children or relatively new jobs finished in the top 20. 
This year tournaments take place every other week.  The only opportunity for a week long family vacation or mission trip with a week end on each end will be the last week of August.  It will also be difficult to find an open date for a kid’s day or a children’s home outing this year. 
Participation points for service projects such as Pastor’s Day, Buddy Tournament, Kyle & Katie G2, and the sports show remain at ten.  So, dropping three outreach work days won’t cost any more than dropping two fishing days.
We hope this helps you prioritize your year. 
Chaplin’s Corner

There seems to be a lot of speculation these days regarding the pertinence of the Old Testament in today’s vastly different world.  You may recall that I have broached this subject before in one way or another.  But as I was reading Deuteronomy the other day I came upon a passage that is a real good analogy.  It has to do with warfare.
A good portion of the Book of Deuteronomy reveals instruction by Moses as to how God wants the Israelites to behave in almost every conceivable circumstance in life.  From the Ten Commandments set forth in Chapter 5 God gives Moses instruction on everything from the essence of the law, the prescribed place of worship, cancellation of debts, generosity to the poor, and yes, even principles governing warfare with other countries they would encounter as they claimed the land God promised them.  In Chapter 20, verses 1 – 4, it reads:
“When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.  So it shall be when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people.  And he shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel:  Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies.  Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you”.
The chariot was an advanced article of war such that the Israelites were not equipped to deal with.  To face them in battle would be like going up against tanks with nothing more than weapons of the infantry soldier.  He also knew they would face nations with armies that far outnumbered them.  But God reminded them that He was GOD.  He had already done the impossible by bringing them out of Egypt and that by being with them, they had much greater strength on their side than all the chariots in the world.  The most important thing for them to remember – to keep in the forefront on their minds – was that His presence would be with them when they were confronted by threatening armies.
For most of us in FOCAS, the battles we face today are not against human enemies.  The horse and chariots that we face may be a battle with cancer, whether in us or in a loved one.  It could be a battle with depression, substance abuse or other addiction or it could be a demon or two from a past life that our enemy likes to use to try to convince us we are not worthy of God’s love.  Our battles can be just as terrifying as if we were facing a legion of chariots or armies too numerous to count.
 God’s words to the Israelites are just as pertinent to us in our battles as it was to them.  The Lord our God will go with us to help us fight our battles.  He will be there with us against all our enemies to save us.
With the coming of the Easter season we can be encouraged even more.  We will be reminded that Jesus Christ was sent to earth as the Son of God.  He was sent to the cross to die for sins He didn’t commit – our sins.  He rose on the third day and by that resurrection we know without question that there is life after we have lived our time on earth.  We will all fight our individual battles knowing that our belief in the message of Easter will guarantee us a spot in all eternity with our Savior and Lord. 
Anybody concerned about any horse and chariot now?
Happy Easter. 
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

’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