If you spend a lot of time outdoors, as I do, then I'm sure you have come to appreciate the beauty of nature. I like the quiet of a sunrise, the coolness of dappled shade in the forest, the exploding colors of a sunset and throughout it all, I sense and feel the closeness of God. Fishing has afforded me the opportunity to experience the hand of God in more ways than one. I was just given the opportunity to review a book that so nicely sums up what I have felt and experienced, but was never able to quite put into words.
(photo courtesy of Kim Scornavacco)
Fishing for God - and vice versa was written by Bill Rooney, who has spent a lifetime fishing around the globe. He served as editor for several outdoor publications, with fifteen years on staff of Outdoor Life Magazine, including six as managing editor. He brings first hand knowledge, insight and experience to his book and he delivered it in a charming and humorous way.
Fishing for God is more than short stories about fishing - it's also a fun how-to with tips on "can't miss lures" like Crickhoppers, Rebels and Rapalas. Interspersed between his recollections is a guidebook on fantastic fishing locations like Clinch River in Virginia, the Big Island of Hawaii, Lake Tohopekaliga in Florida, and many more locations where Bill can point out the best spots to land a good one or haul in more fish than you ever dreamed possible in a day.
Everyone has a favorite fish that they like to pursue - what's your pleasure? Salmon, bass, bonefish, muskellunge and trout all make appearances in the book along with tips on bait and tackle and some fun anecdotes thrown in for good measure.
Bill enjoys the company of a select circle of friends on annual camping and fishing trips, and he regales the reader with stories that produce gut busting laughter that only the antics of close friends can induce. The chapter Hunting for God is full of interesting tales with titles like "The Day from Hell," "Footsie with a Griz," "You Know it's Gonna be a Bad Day When," and "Death by Cow." Bill tapped his wide circle of friends and business colleagues who contributed to this chapter and you will find yourself quickly turning the pages to find out what happened next.
George W. Bush shares the "Lure of a Lifetime" and why he was the big one that didn't get away. Curtis Strange had a really strange fishing experience that I could relate to because it has also happened to my husband. It's one of those "once in a lifetime" experiences that you almost have to see to believe. And comic strip artist Jack Elrod tells the unusual story about the day he caught 2 bass on one lure at the same time. Fun stuff!
The reprinting of Bill's 1981 Editorial "Letter to a New Daughter" in American Forests Magazine will bring a tear to your eye. The story of a "Naked Editor" caused me to laugh out loud, and the time Bill sunk a treble hook deep into his thumb will cause more than one reader to nod their head in agreement, including myself. Been there, done that! Bill ends the book with a reprinting of "The Road to Tinkhamtown" by Corey Ford. This is an article that will make you sit and think and remember.
Bill lives his life as a Christian and shares with us the deeply personal story that led to a four year journey as a Marriage Encounter Counselor. This experience opened up new avenues in his life and shows how God works through us to make us "Fishers of Men." Bill's fishing theme runs through this book in more ways than one and it wove across the pages like a lure at the end of a line and tugged at my heart.
I have found a kindred spirit in the form of Bill Rooney. We share a love of the outdoors, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, campfires and God. This is not a book that preaches to you, or tries to save your soul, nor does it make an attempt to convert you. It is merely one man's journey and how he experiences the hand of God while out in nature, enjoying past times like fishing and hunting. The next time you're out in the woods, on a lake, standing atop a mountain, or knee deep in a stream, close your eyes, breathe deep, open your ears and listen for the voice of God. Bill summed it up nicely in this book and it helped me to take the time to better appreciate the world around me. I think it will have that effect on you too.
Fishing for God - and vice versa is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Xulon Press. If anyone would like an autographed copy, please contact me for the author's email. He would be pleased to ship out an autographed copy for $ 20.00.
Only God can bless you with a morning like this....
(photo courtesy of Kim Scornavacco)
(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Book Cover image is the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.)