December 2016
Howle's Hints

Learn to Lead

“We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me or get out of my way.”  
                                                                                             ~ General George S. Patton, Jr.


There are basically two schools of thought on leadership. One comes from the world. This first school of thought says that there are only about one in 10 people who possess the skills and personality to effectively lead people. The other school of thought comes from the Bible. It says we are all supposed to be leaders, and if we feel we lack the skills, all we need to do is ask. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1:5, ESV)

Further instructions on leadership are given in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 (NIV). "Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

"In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

"In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

"A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus."

What would America look like if all our leaders followed this prescription for leadership? We would see improvement in our communities, our schools and even our homes.


Slick Trick for Stealthy Stalking

Moving through the woods with stealth in search of white-tailed deer can be challenging when there are crunching leaves or limbs underfoot. If you hunt in an area where turkeys are present, a diaphragm mouth call can help conceal your presence. As you take a few steps, softly cluck with the mouth call to give the impression of a turkey in the area. Deer may often be fooled into thinking a flock of turkeys is foraging in the area, giving you a slight advantage on your approach. The mouth call is small and convenient to carry as you walk through the woods. Because turkeys have two feet, their travel through the woods closely resembles human footsteps. The key is making deer think you are a turkey.


Place strips of wood between stacks of lumber to allow the wood to dry or cure out before constructing projects around the farm.



Preserve the Planks

If you have larger projects around the farm requiring lots of lumber, it may be worth your time to have an experienced sawmill operator cut lumber to the specifications of your project from tree logs you have cut down. Saw-milled white oak makes great flooring for porches. Milled poplar is lightweight and is easy to drive a nail through.

Regardless of the type of lumber you plan to use, stacking and allowing the wood to cure for a few weeks will help the finished product look better because much of the moisture can cure out. When stacking this lumber, make sure you have plenty of strips between the layers of wood to allow air to circulate. These strips should at least be ½- to 1-inch thick.


Deer Cam

Mounting a digital game camera along common travel corridors in December can give you a good idea of the deer in the area. The camera will also let you know which big bucks are still in the woods. Many of the large bucks do a great deal of feeding during nocturnal hours. The deer cam will help spot the elusive, trophy deer in your area. Check the legalities of your area before setting up the camera.


Unfamiliar Terrain

Maybe you’ve been invited to hunt property you’ve never been on before or you are on a hunting trip outside of your comfort zone. It’s a frustrating experience to get turned around in the woods for long periods or, even worse, get lost.

An old boy scout trick to prevent getting lost in unfamiliar territory is to periodically stop and look over your shoulder. By doing this, you are registering landmarks such as unusual trees or rocks so that on the return trip you will recognize these physical features.

When hunting unfamiliar terrain, stop and look back in the direction you’ve come to memorize unusual landmarks or trees to prevent getting lost.


Ed Parton and his wife, Carolyn, served as Santa and Mrs. Claus for many years in Ohatchee.

The Best Leaders are Servants

Serving others should be the objective of any leader. Ed Parton and his wife, Carolyn, have spent a big chunk of their life serving the community of Ohatchee playing the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus. Their efforts have brought happiness to hundreds of youngsters in their area. Even though Ed’s health won’t allow him to play the role of Santa anymore, the joy he and his wife brought to their community became a legacy as many of those youngsters became adults and brought their own kids to see Santa.


This December, whether you are leading people in your workplace, your place of worship, in local politics or your own home, study the biblical principles of leadership to be the most effective. Your home, community and nation will benefit.


John Howle is a freelance writer from Heflin.