Learning to Cast
I grew up in a fishing family, learning to accurately cast a spinning rod at four years old. The spinning was my go-to for many years until the open spool reels (aka “bait casters”) entered my life. Open spool reels are used for casting large baits to warm water game fish, salt-water fish ranging from marlin to rock cod, and cold-water game fish like salmon and steelhead.
        The first, and most important, rule when using a bait caster is to keep your thumb on the spool. It’s learning the art of placing just enough thumb pressure on the spool to cast it maximum distances, while maintaining just enough tension to prevent the notorious rat’s nest, which occurs when the reel is allowed to free spool until rotations abruptly decrease upon impact.

Darn Rat’s Nest…again!

Whether it be the water’s surface or ocean’s bottom, when the bait stops moving but the reel continues to free spool, you have a massive problem. And it’s a problem that is not so easily solved!
        Dad would get so frustrated at the sound of my voice and the sight of my reel, “Dad, I can’t get my reel to work? Its tangled!” I spent countless hours fixing rat’s nests, while others hauled in fish after fish as I worked on a tangled mess!

Untangle your Rat’s Nest in 2020

Hebrews 12 has been the subject of my series of messages to churches as we learn to live unhindered with 20/20 vision in 2020. The rat’s nest from my youth reminds me of Hebrews 12:1, “Let us also lay aside every…sin which so easily entangles us,” and some of the rat’s nests common to men.
        I think of Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace University and their work in untangling the financial mess of debt that is a struggle for so many.
        I think of men like Better Dads, Dad Tired, Man in the Mirror, Family Life, Focus on the Family, and Manhood Fraternity.
        I am also thankful for those who help with men and families untangle the nasty mess of sexual sin: PurehopeCovenant Eyes, Heart to Heart Counseling CenterPure Desire Ministries, and the Purity Coach.
        I think of the epidemic of absent males who have deferred their responsibilities and chosen anonymity over the arena and the many organization helping men get back in the game of manhood like Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences, Rough Cut Men, Ransomed Heart Ministries, Real Men Connect, and the dozens of other organizations who help men untangle their messes.

Thumb on the Spool

I love what Scott Hagans said on the Men in the Arena Podcast, “The moral of the story is, don’t be immoral.” Keep your thumb on the spool of God’s Word. Keep the pressure on your moral compass. Maintain tension as you battle the sins you once celebrated. Keep the pressure on with men who have guts to speak the hard truth in love.

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