Monday, November 16, 2009

Pheasant Hunting 14 Years Later!

Pictured above are: Bill Greene, Matt Burns, and Jim C. Burns.

Last Saturday, I was privileged to go pheasant hunting with my oldest son, Matt and Bill Greene, our former Van Wert Fire Marshall and his dog, Archie. You know time is zooming by when you come home from a day of hunting and calculate that it has been 14 years since I went pheasant hunting with my son, Matt (near Meade, Kansas), and it has been 40 years since I had hunted with a bird dog! Bird hunting is quite different in Northern Ohio compared to Kansas. Here, you buy how many birds you want to hunt, the game bird owner releases the birds in a field (covered in tall wild grass), and it's kind of a "hide and go seek" hunting. It was much more difficult and challenging than I thought it would be. We were in a fifty acre field about five hours, and my gun only went off twice! (I missed). But Bill and Matt got four pheasants between them.

The weather could not have been better, and the real hero of the day was Bill's hunting dog, Archie, who found and pointed out all of the pheasants. It was good exercise, a lot of fun, and a huge blessing to me to have the health, strength, and ability to go walk in a field, enjoy the Lord's great outdoors, and have a friend that would take us and a son that took time out to spend a whole day with his "old man." The pheasants were cleaned out on the field, and Bill gave all the birds to the Burns! The icing on the cake for our day of hunting was to come home to Coletta's kitchen and enjoy a wonderful home cooked meal together.

Thanks Matt, Bill, and Archie for a wonderful day in the great outdoors!

Monday, November 9, 2009


Webster's Dictionary defines "kedging" as: to move (a ship) by means of a line attached to a small anchor dropped at the distance and in the direction desired. An example of this would be if a sailing vessel was near a harbor, and lost wind, a crew member could place an anchor in a safety boat with a rope tied to the sailing vessel, row into the harbor, drop an anchor and "kedge" the sailing vessel into the harbor by pulling it in with the rope. The process of "pulling the ship in" is very difficult, but the reward is the sailing vessel or "ship" comes to you safely in the harbor.

How can "kedging" help you in your personal life? To me, "kedging" to improve my life or the quality of my life would be to find some activity or event that I absolutely love, and do things to make that dream (event or activity) come true. Most of us only get to go on vacation once or twice a year if any. But if you can find something that is an absolute delight for you to do, you can look forward to that event several months in advance. Any of you that are in a high stress situation in your education or work know that if you don't get away from the pressure every now and then, you will likely snap or "burn out."

A dear Pastor friend of mine in Kansas who is now in his 70's loved golfing. Thus he went golfing sometimes twice a week, weather permitting. He would exercise, practice, take golf lessons and meditate on how he could improve his golfing techniques as he would be "looking forward" (kedging) towards his next golf game with other Pastor friends. Although some might criticize my Pastor friend for being out on the golf course twice a week, it was this time of fresh air, fellowship with other Christian men, exercise and "stress relieving" that very likely helped keep him in the ministry for now over 35 years. He is still serving in a church today even in his 70's, relatively healthy, and I might mention, he still golfs!

I do not like to exercise. My "flesh" does not want to get out of bed on a cold, rainy morning, wrap up and go jogging or hit the gym! But I absolutely love to snow ski! If you have ever been snow skiing when you were really out of shape, you know how miserable you were out on the slopes, and how sore your muscles were the week after your ski trip! Thus, as winter approaches, I jog, go to the Wellness Exercise Center in our town, and do aerobics and weight training with my first "ski trip" in mind as I work out! (I don't have a trip scheduled yet, but, I do hope to go skiing sometime this winter)!

It's the "kedging" of the weekly body work out routines that makes my skiing safer and more fun. The side benefit of my "kedging" is that I feel better mentally, emotionally and physically. These three things help me minister better spiritually. All of this "kedging" also helps fight discouragement and some feelings of depression that (yes) sometimes even pastors deal with. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment and well being. It also helps you stay alive and adds much "quality" to your life. (Have you ever noticed that when you get out of town and do something to get you mind off your pressures and problems you come home refreshed and ready to face the battles again)? This is why I believe "kedging" is so important.

So get out there and discover some good, healthy, wholesome fun! Discover an event or activity that you can aim towards and look forward to all year long. From the time you start "dreaming" about that trip, what you do to help reel that trip in is called, "kedging."

I'm Jim C. Burns, and that's something to think about! Email: