American flag

There’s a place that has been my escape from coronavirus, negative news, worry and stress these past few months. To me, it’s when I am out in God’s great outdoors.  

As I watched the sunrise through the trees listening to turkeys gobble, God was there with me. As water glistened off the silvery body of a fish when I lifted it from the water, He was there with me. 

Now you may not hunt or fish and have no desire to, and that’s O.K., but He is also there when you hike to the top of a hill and look out over the forested valley below. He is there when you sit around a campfire watching the flames dance. He is there when you look up to see thousands of twinkling stars in a dark night sky, when you sit quietly listening to bird songs, when you enjoy the beauty of wildflowers and even when you plant a tiny seed in your garden.

He is there with you during a beautiful sunset or sunrise, when you look at a rainbow after a storm, when you watch the tiny hummingbird come into your flowers or feeders. You may never feel closer to God and farther away from this coronavirus, or anything else in your life, than when you are outdoors enjoying the masterpiece He created.  


“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”

—George Washington Carver 


A great way to improve communication with kids is involvement in outdoor traditions like fishing, hunting, hunting, camping, hiking, and a multitude of other outdoor activities from bird watching to mushroom hunting. Outdoor activities take them away from the distractions of everyday life and put them in touch with nature. It is the perfect environment for listening and talking.


When most people think of holidays where they can get out and enjoy the great outdoors they think of Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day. We sometimes forget another important day.

Flag Day is the celebration and recognition of our nations flag. Even though we observe Flag Day on June 14, it is not an official federal holiday that we get the day off from work and go camping or fishing. We should however display our flag with pride and not just that day but every day. It is a symbol of our many freedoms that a lot of countries do not have and it honors those who have fought and died for it. 

I do not understand anyone who would dishonor our flag in any way. I don’t know about you but I kneel for the cross, I stand for the flag and I say the words to the Pledge of Allegiance with great pride.

Larry Whiteley was born and raised in Nixa. He was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in honor of his more than 40 years of communicating the great outdoors all over the world through his outdoor articles and radio shows.

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