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Christmas Shoes and Gratitudes

During my lunch today, I was sitting at my desk  reflecting on some recent “life things”. At the Murphy house, one thing that I (we) are ABSOLUTELY terrible at is writing formalities and gratitude’s. This includes everything from sending Christmas cards and birthday cards to writing thank you notes. This is such a simple relationship thing that literally takes minutes, and yet we never, ever, do it.

I began feeling the conviction of this “inadequacy” in the weeks leading up to Christmas as we began receiving family photo – after Christmas postcard – after Christmas card. Before I knew it, out mantle in the living room was beautifully decorated with “gratitude’s” from our closest family and friends.

For Christmas this year, my mom and dad, through some hintful advice from my wife I am sure, bought me these incredible LL Bean Moccasin shoes.

Christmas Shoes!!

Christmas Shoes!!

This may not sound like a tremendous deal, and superficially it isn’t. But I was sitting here at the desk thinking about how happy and cozy my feet were today. Relaxed and comfortable from walking on fresh, cushioned soles. Warm and toasty due to lack of tears in the seams and holes in the soles. Again, not a huge deal right. But then I was moved to take a minute and write my parents a simple “thank you” gratitude e-mail. And here is why.

In Christmas’ past and on birthdays, friends and family typically ask you…what? The ever dreaded question…. “What do you want for Christmas?” I mean, c’mon! What a crappy thing to do to a fella! Of course, I want a Hum-V, black, with all chrome trim! Right? What I would really like is a titanium plated toilet with a plush cashmere seat.

No. No. No!! I DON’T WANT ANYTHING!! I have enough stuff!! But….BUT….we are always going to buy gifts anyways. We are always going to receive gifts. It is tradition, and honestly, I am fine with that. I truly love tradition. The difference is, in years past, I have always answered the “What do you want for …” question with the answer related to some toy or gadget that I could simply buy for myself, but won’t spend the money on. Some hunting stand. A new fishing rod. A dozen decoys. A bottle of doe pee. Anything to do with an interest or hobby. But this year, since little Ella came along, that has suddenly changed.

Growing up, my parents always found a way to put my sister and I first. We didn’t know it then, but we did not have a lot of money. But somehow, mom and dad ALWAYS got us what we asked for and especially what we needed. Since Ella has been born, God has began to teach me that same form of humility. I explained to my parents in this letter today that I have not had a new pair of shoes in over 2 years. I have one, count em, ONE pair of wearable blue jeans. My socks have holes, my underwear with streaks… JUST KIDDING, I have to draw the line somewhere!!

My point is, I love the humbleness and grace that He teaches us. My heart and my wanting is all now for Ella. I WANT her to have an enjoyable childhood. I WANT her to be comfortable and warm. Just as my parents wanted this for me and my sister. Just as Jesus wants for each of us.

Today, I took a minute to write mom and dad, simply to say “Thank You” for always providing. I pray to God today to say “Thank You Lord” for being our savior and for teaching us to be humble in caring for others. Who are you grateful for today? When is the last time you took a minute to call or write to that friend or family member to let them know how they touched you? I am the worlds worst at doing these things. But today, my comfortable feet, and my computer wallpaper of my beautiful daughter reminded me of how very blessed that I really am. I think I will go today and begin my Christmas list for all of my friends and family so that I do not miss out yet again next year.

See you in the woods!
Trout-N-Ducks

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Another “PIG” Day

What is it about these pigs??

CP's First Pig!

CP's 1st Pig

For those of you who do not know, Jarrod Morris (worship leader at Cross Point Nashville) and his wife Laura are making preparations to adopt a child. This is a tremendous responsibility, requiring a great deal of funds. In the midst of these procedures, late in the process, it becomes known to them that they have to come up with a large amount of money up front to initiate the process. This was unknown to them. PLEASE READ ON.

Tomorrow afternoon, at 11:00am, a few couples in the church have come together and are holding a fund raising event tomorrow in Bellevue. So, in true Cross Point fashion, we will hold a pig roast and serve lunch plates to the participants, in the Rolling River neighborhood pavilion. If you are a CP man and missed the last pig bar-b-q tailgate party, or a wife or kids that were upset that they were not a CP man on that day, well here is your second chance.

I ask that you all help get the word out on this and swing by for lunch. You have to eat anyways, right. Come over between 11 and whenever, take that same money you were going to spend at Jack-in-the-Box, cause we all know there are no restaurants in Bellevue, give that money to a great cause to support your very own family, and eat some REAL food. We will also be hosting a cornhole tournament throughout the day.

What say you folks??? Saturday. Football. Baseball. Great weather. 250lb hog on the grille. AND servanthood? All in the same day. A little cornholin’ to boot. (that sounds bad doesn’t it. Funny though). You all are going to be blown up like balloons with pride at the end of that day. For details and more information, please go see Jad’s Duncan’s blog. You will find directions there as well.

Grab the family. Come hang out with CP folks!! What a great day.

Thanks all,
Trout-N-Ducks

Hike for Homeless

I am posting this advertisement for anyone that may drop by Blind & Stream today or tomorrow, looking for something fruitful to do on Saturday. If you don’t know about Safe Haven Family Shelter, they are an incredible ministry here in Nashville, providing opportunity for unfortunate families to get back on their feet and reintroduced into society.

If you have nothing to do Saturday, go to the website for Safe Haven’s Hike for Homeless and check this out. This is a great opportunity and events for families to share and give back together. Check em out!!

Trout-n-Ducks

“Small Group Season”

As a long time hunter and fisherman, most of my year is countered and strategized daily around seasons. My typical year starts out right about now, well on Labor Day to be exact. September is actually my January. This is the time when I make all of my resolutions.

The first of September marks the time of first available hunting. Now, you hunters know that this is not entirely true. You can actually hunt squirrels in August, and I do like to hunt squirrel from time to time. However, nobody wants to be in the woods doing a whole heck of a lot in August. Ticks and mosquitoes alone explain why I believe in this. But when Labor Day rolls in, and those migrating beauties start appearing on every powerline between here and there, I know that dove season is here. It is time to replentish the freezer. Shortly after Labor Day, early Canadian Goose, Teal, and Wood Duck season come in for a weekend or two.

This past weekend is the next phase of my year….Bow Season. Now, bow is not some sort of unique bird or tree jumping animal. No. Bow is the ultimate weapon. The bow and arrow is a symbol of stealth and skill. Only Elitist deer hunters are emotionally rigid and patient enought to stalk hunt the great whitetail with a string and a stick. Why the most skillful hunting season arrives first in the year, I do not know. Nor do I care. All I know is that I can’t wait for it to get here so I can climb up in my tree.

The rest of my seasons then line up after this, in this order. Muzzle loader season (deer), duck and goose season (at Thanksgiving), and rifle season (deer). These hunting seasons all go out around the last weekend of January (my mid year, or July). Then, it is out of the Blind and into the Stream.

Time to chase those trout. Cold as all get out. Ice growing on the beard, can’t feel my legs cold. But man do those trout love it. Then crappie and small mouth bass kick into gear, and the largemouth bass and striper are right behind them. It is about here that we get a break in fishing and the end of the year hunting seasons for quail and Spring turkey come in. I absolutely love turkey season. Near the middle of May, the gobblers get a break, and so do I. Summer is my time of rest. Very little fishing. Working in the yard and around the house. Soaking up air conditioning. Praying for September to get here quickly so I can hear the deafening sound of my 12 gage again. That is how my year is planned out.

That has been true for so many years of my life. However, this year, I added a new season. The disappearing of the heavy heat and the welcome of the crisp fall air seems to be the perfect match for a new “Small Group” season at Cross Point. I cannot begin to describe how excited that I am about diving into life and tackling the associated challenges with my brothers in Christ.

So, this week is not only the beginning of Bow season, but also the beginning of small groups. It has been such and exciting week and there is still more to come. We started off the week by working the community build projects at Habitat for Humanity here in Nashville (see post below). Sunday at church spawned some exciting conversations about the upcoming week of “new small group meetings.” On Monday night, my new small group, Outdoor Expeditions, which I am leading, met for the first time. We were not strong in number this particular night due to some short notice, but the men that were able to make it were energized about the group and about next weeks meeting where we are expecting 13+ men to be involved. Tuesday morning at 6:00am, a great group of men joined together for the first meeting of Men’s Fraternity. This group of guys has taken a 24 week commitment to digging into their soles and becoming better and stronger men, husbands, fathers, and Christian leaders. The spirit was high after an hour and a half of self reflection and fellowship. Tomorrow morning (Thursday) will end my week of group. As I begin reading and studying tonight the book of Galatians for tomorrows meeting with some great brothers in the group I now call Paul’s Protege’s. I can’t wait to rise at five, read the chapters again, swing by McDonalds for coffee, and be standing in line at Jad’s office waiting to dive into this study.

So, just when I think I have conquered every season pertinant to man, in one way or another, God proves me wrong yet again, and hits me with my biggest challenge yet. “Small Group Season”. I am so thankful for each of these guys that I will be meeting with on a weekly basis, as I lean on them to grow in maturity and in spirit, to become a better servant for Christ, a better husband to Emily, and a better father to Ella. I may just have found my favorite season of all!!

Trout-n-Ducks

This is Gettin’ Ridiculous!!

So, I come out of the house this afternoon to shoot my bow for a few minutes in preparation for the morning hunt tomorrow. At this point, I am running out of daylight so I need to hustle a bit to maximize my practice time. Garage door goes up. Hurry up, get my stuff. Run under the house to get my favorite target and set it up. Back up to the garage to get my bow and my release. And there it is. Something catches my eye. Something here is out of place. One of those moments when something is not right.

If you guys clicked on links or checked out Jody Duncan’s blog (see here) a few weeks ago, you saw this picture of me wrangling a 5 1/2 ft timber rattle snake in Bellevue. And now this! I don’t know if this is some kind of “time of self reflection” thing that God is putting before me. To test me. To scare me. To teach me some sort of lesson. Or maybee this guy was just cold and wanted to borrow some heat from my oven baked bricks. Either way, this is getting a bit ridiculous.

Now. I want to take a minute and clarify one thing for you world. I make alot of reference to our church on my blog because, well, I am proud of my church home and my family and friends there. You are not allowed to cross reference my “oneness” with nature and the fact that I am fascinated by snakes, with my church. To have the impression that CP is a snake handling church is just wrong and obsurd. There just happens to be a guy that attends there (me) that is not intimidated or scared of reptiles. Truth be known, I think many people are attracted to the “strangeness” of snakes becasue they are so rare. Most people charade to be terrified of them because it brings them more attention. Now spiders, that is a whole different story. Anything that small should not be able to kill or terrorize the flesh and neuro system of a human being!!

In this case, as opposed to the rather dangerous rattler in Bellevue, I did not kill this snake. In fact, I put him out in the weeds next to the house and let him go. He was back an hour later taking in more of the free radiation. As a matter of fact, this 5+ ft rat snake is rather welcome to hang out at my house. They are absolutely harmless to humans (even infants) and they are wonderful for pest control. They will eat just about anything that is a nuisance around your household (mice, rats, moles, insects, etc). Next time you see a snake, just know that it is still part of creation and an important part of nature and the food chain.

Trout-N-Ducks

Habitat!!

Wow. What an incredible day!! Today, I was blessed to get to serve along side of a great number of hard working volunteers from Cross Point at the Nashville Habitat for Humanity. The day started out with a great time of greeting, fellowship, and meeting new people. These community volunteer opportunities are great for meeting new people that may attend at a different service time.

As we split up to work on 4 different houses, the activity quickly got geared up like a train on rails. The sounds of saws and hammers roared throughout the valley and the smell of paint and sawdust was in the air as the volunteers dove into the activities. Painting, caulking, landscaping, interior trim, and siding were some of the activities, and one group even framed the exterior of a newer home. Before we knew it it was lunch and we took in some incredible groceries prepared by Fred and Kathy.The reward was priceless as the future home owners jumped into the action and greeted each and everyone with proud smiling faces. The day burned on as the homes each took on a new face. Tired and sunburned (as I most certainly am) we cleaned up and called it a day.I am so thankful to God for His love and grace. Thank you Cross Point for these opportunities to share His love and give back to this community. To hear more about the days activities and to catch some photo’s, check out Jenni Catron’s blog here or Pete Wilson’s blog here!!

Trout-N-Ducks

 

 

Nashville Gas : Comic Relief

Do you ever have the one movie that you love, but is loaded up with vulgarity. I wish the guys that created this video clip would have taken precaution to leave the implied cursing out of this. It would have been even better.

If you live in Nashville, and are tired of the “gas crisis” thing already. Check this out. I apologize in advance for the written cursing that is implied in this (it is all in German and sub-titled). This is, none the less, hilarious!!

 

Facing Adversity

I often have a general attitude towards the people of our nation as being “spoiled” or “lazy”. Again, this is a general consensus, as most of the people I know are very hard working. But when viewed in comparison with the rest of the world, we as Americans are spoiled by fortune to the point we take things for granted.

It has been about 3 years ago now since Emily and I returned from a missions trip to Kissumu, Kenya. All I could think about when we returned to the states was wanting to sell “stuff” and simplify my life. I have so much heart for the brothers and sisters we spent time with in Africa. They had so little, yet they were so happy for what they had. They were what I call “God Happy”.

Sometimes as Americans, we need to be reminded of how fortunate we are. We are so seldom faced with adversity, that we almost pretend that it doesn’t exist. Granted, you and I know a lot of people that are sick with cancer, heart trouble, or bone and joint issues. But as a whole we are an overly healthy nation to the point we have troubles such as obesity and high cholesterol. This story has to do with overcoming adversity. Check it out.

This story caught my attention this week. As a very prominent fisherman, the details and physical possibilities of this story are so very unbelievable to me. If you need an eye opener today, if you need a reason to be thankful for the great nation in which you live, or if you just need to be encouraged to do better, than watch this video story of this mans life. You have to see this!! As a Christian, a human being, and fellow outdoorsman I am so moved and encouraged by the attitude of Clay Dyer and how he has looked adversity in the face.

 
See Clay’s Story Here!! 

Be Humble,
Trout-n-Ducks

Missing One

Upon creatively bolstering my way into the Thusday morning small group, which I have taken upon myself to call Paul’s Protege’s, I have already gotten accustomed to the rather early meeting time of 6:15am. I am now to the point that I cannot wait for Thursday to roll around. Many of you in small groups know exactly what I am talking about.

In all honesty, Jad, Jody, and Jared accepted me with open arms. We are all excited to know that there are two other men joining us in a few weeks. However, today is my first meeting with this group where one of us was missing. Today, Jody Duncan was absent, fulfilling his role as fantastic father and hospitable husband, as Karen recovers from her surgery.

It was very humbling to have the great sensation and realization that, through COMMUNITY, whether it be in small groups or just getting to know your next door neighbor, that REAL relationships develop. These are the kind of relationships that God intends for us to have. I love the term accountability. I was so moved this morning knowing that because one member was absent, the group as a whole was missing out on something.

I truly thank God this morning for Jody and the tremendous obstacles he has overcome. I thank God for the personal growth he has achieved, and the things that I have learned through him. I am thankful for the opportunity to get to know Karen at the CP volunteer banquet. And finally, I thank God for community and for these three brothers that I already find myself leaning on week after week. 

Folks please continue to pray for Jody and for Karen as she battles this cancer. Pray for her speedy recovery and elimination of the pain to follow. Pray for Jody and the boys as they take on the roles of stewards in maintaining their household and caring for mom as “one member of their team is down”. Stop by Jody’s blog, and leave some kind words and prayerful thoughts with this family as they grow together in their household community during this time.

How would you descibe your relationships with your small group members and/or your accountable neighbors?

Trout-N-Ducks    

Dove – The Branch Bringer Backer

A quick shout out to a few more of my CP hunting bretheren, Karl and Kyle, A.K.A Mr.OCD-ism and Jr.OCD-ism. 
Deb, you crack me up!! 

Great shoot guys. Now take me next time!! I can’t wait until duck season! That is a day in the life journal of a hunting buddy. Stay tuned! Hunting season has only just arrived!!

Trout-N-Ducks

Cross Point – “In the Field”

I had a great opportunity today to participate in one of my favorite past times with two of my brothers from Cross Point. I am grateful to Jared Woodard for this opportunity to spend some great “camaraderie time” with him and Jody Duncan today in the dove hunting arena. On what was surely nothing short of a trialing day, in dove hunting standards, with a blazing 90 degree sun and 25mph winds, this recipe ended up baking up a fantastic and productive hunt.

(Click on Photo to Enlarge)

 

Starting out the day at 0730 at rendezvous point “Home Depot-Bellevue”, when the stations actually still had fuel to sell, it did not take these three long to engage in some powerful conversations about hunting, God, and politics (not necessarily in that order). We also had some witty banter with Jared on fatherhood, for what I am certain is some of the best free advise he will ever receive (congratulations again J-Wo and Cortni)!! 15 minutes and 110 miles later, with a short pit stop to hook up with Jerry, Bobby, and Bo at Micki-D’s, we arrived at destination hunting camp, A.K.A. “Man-cave Central”.

Start the hunt with some great fellowship time with some great fellows, meeting some new friends, and shooting a few skeet. Run and grab some greasy chicken wings, a cheeseburger, and a Full Throttle
energy drink, meet some more new arrivals, and watch some SEC football. 2pm and it is time to head to the field to fulfill our duty in maintaining the local dove population.

Spending the day with these guys was truly a blessing. Getting to share in Jody’s first dove hunt and watching him make some truly phenomenal shots that would make any bird hunter jealous was the highlight of my day. We finished up hunting, back to the cabin for some great catfish dinner, cleaned the bounty of birds that God had provided us this day. Throw in the extremely long ride home with three very worn out and tired hunters and you have the makings of a GREAT day in the field.

Arrived home at 10PM in time to see that Auburn barely escaped a certain defeat (not the highlight of my day) and to jot a verse in the blog. That is a day in the life journal of a hunter. Stay tuned! Hunting season has only just arrived!!

BTW: We missed you today Jad!

Trout-N-Ducks 

 

 

 

T&D Hits Blog-Land

     After months of contemplating taking on yet another addiction (hobby), here I am, diving head first into blog-land. I have been looking forward to taking this on for quite some time, and like most things, I have procrastinated.

      For those that do not know me, my name is Derek Murphy, but online I am Troutnducks!! The name, as you can see, is a stamp of my two most passionate activities. I am a fly fisherman and waterfowler at heart. I will clearly interject here that my love for my wife and my daughter are much deeper than that of my outdoor mistress, but fishing and hunting are the two things that best define who I am.

     I am, what I have always classified as, a Good-Old-Boy. Polite and bearing of manners. Treat every lady as if they were your mother. Wood-wise. Stream-smart. Pick-up truck is all I need. Can both skin a buck and run a trot-line. The closest of my Nashville friends now know that I can also barbeque a whole hog like a champ. A Good-Old-Boy is a far cry from the stereotypical “redneck”. These two are not the same and should never be confused.  I do not have anything with Roll-Tide written on it. I have no tattoos of Bocephus anywhere on my body. My exhaust pipes are from the factory and my catalytic converter is still in tact. I take pride in my knowledge of the outdoors and the hard work it takes to be a skilled and successful persuant of wild game. I am a firm believer that the Good-Old-Boys (& girls) are of the most disciplined and self sufficient people in society.

     I am a very proud graduate of Auburn University. In the Summer of 2000, I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Building Science and Construction Management. I am a huge SEC football fan. WAR EAGLE!! I am now a Project Manager for Solomon Builders, a great General Contracting firm in Nashville, where I am now completing a 2 year, $40 million dollar condominium project.

     I am a fairly new, but very proud, resident of Nashville, Tennessee, having lived here for two years now. Since we arrived in Nashville, we have been so very blessed to find Cross Point Community Church, our home away from home. Cross Point is a very strong and energetic church that is doing a tremendous job taking God’s blessings and spilling them out into Nashville, suburban areas, and to other countries through dynamic missions and small group community. To check out all of the things that Cross Point is doing, click on the link above.  

     I am now a proud father to Ella Scott, one of the most beautiful daughters a guy could ask for. 14 months as a dad and loving every minute of it. I am loving husband, for 5 years now, to the most wonderful and understanding wife. God had me in mind when he was creating Emily and we complement each other in so many ways. And I am a striving Christian man who is walking and learning daily with my personal savior, Jesus Christ, to become better at all of the things listed above, and a better neighbor to all of those around me, so that they may find the same peace and joy that I have.

     So now I say, thank you to all of my blogging friends for the encouragement to create this blog. This site is dedicated to sharing my life, my walk with Christ, my adventures in the field, and our family experiences with my friends, family, and the friends to come.

Thank you for stopping by. Don’t forget to add Blind & Stream to your Blog Roll!!

Trout-n-Ducks