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I have two wonderful friends named Win and Mike who have a ministry to pastors called, Downtime Ministries. Both are avid outdoorsmen who have experiences in the wild most men dream of having.
Win owns a salmon fishing boat that he docks in a slip in Pentwater, MI. Both Win and Mike live in their Pentwater homes the entire month of August, and Win fishes nearly every day. When he is not fishing with family or friends, he is taking pastors and Christian leaders out on the big lake.
This is a huge blessing for pastors like me, because a regular fishing charter would cost $600-$800 per trip. Win and Mike offer their services free of charge to pastors, plus they allow some of our family to accompany us.
Recently I had the privilege of taking two of my granddaughters salmon-fishing on Lake Michigan. When the day came for our fishing trip the weather was beautiful and the water was calm. We left the dock at 5:30 am, and we were fishing on Lake Michigan by 6:15. It didn’t take long for the fish to bite. Sarah was up first and she experienced how difficult it is to fight a fish of over 20 pounds, and over a football field away.
She struggled with the fish for about fifteen minutes and lost it not far from the boat. She was disappointed and we, of course, felt bad she was unable to land the fish. However, there was positive fishing action to come.
Before the trip concluded, Sarah caught a 17 pounder, Amanda caught a 17 and 12 pounder, and I caught a 15 and 3 pounder. It was a great day of fun and excitement for all of us.
Win and Mike also made it memorable because they treated the ladies just like their own granddaughters.
We ate fresh salmon that evening with Sarah and Amanda. When the ladies left for home, I told my wife, “This was a perfect day for me.”
Sarah is now off to college in Chicago and Amanda is starting her junior year of college in Grand Rapids. Who knows where their future will take them? One thing is certain – whenever we see Lake Michigan we will all remember our fishing trip together.
Take every opportunity you can to create memories with loved ones and friends. As we grow older these memories bring smiles to our faces.
The apostle Paul also encouraged us to cherish one key memory in II Timothy 2:8:
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel.
This memory reminds us as Christ rose from the dead, so shall we who have received Him as Lord and Savior.
Focus on this memory and make memories with loved ones a priority.