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Devotionals

Pause, Look, Listen, and Observe

This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Jeremiah 6:16) As I sit at a Colorado lodge after just ending our Soul of a Pastor Retreat and preparing…
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Fly Fishing as a Spiritual Practice

In recent years, I’ve broadened my understanding of spiritual practices to include fly fishing. For most of my life, my list of spiritual practices included the traditional ones we all think of like prayer, Scripture reading, weekly worship, and sabbath keeping. But thanks to the guidance of some of the great teachers of our faith,…
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Running: A Rhythm of Life

I am not sure I could add up the miles I have run in my life but I am sure it is in the 10s of thousands. What started out as a means to get fit, quite surprisingly became a rhythm of my life. Running shoulder to shoulder with someone brings me great joy. It…
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The Ultimate Mend: Reflections On God’s Grace at Easter

Mend!  Mend!  Mend!  I don’t know how many times I have heard those words from the fabulous river guides I have had on float trips.  They weren’t being critical, they were helping me, pointing out that my flies were not floating properly.  Either they were dragging in the current or my fly line was getting…
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Two Questions That Change Everything

Spring is starting to emerge and so is the most powerful season of the Christian faith–Easter.  Different church traditions prepare for Easter in different ways. Regardless of the tradition, I (Eric) am inviting YOU and the Altar community on a journey that begins with two questions that have the power to change everything–at least for…
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What Is Better Than a Grand Vision of Life?

Next month Altar begins its fishing season with a Spiritual Resilience Training for Special Operation Forces personnel. Resiliency is the major theme for the year because, well, we all need more of it.  As we finalize our content for this first trip, we wanted to share some snip-its that may help you build or strengthen…
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Deeper Still Podcast

Altar’s founder and president, Eric Camfield, is the guest on the Deeper Still podcast. LISTEN HERE

What Questions Are Shaping Your Life?

“What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask.” — Sam Keen  Read that quote again. It was in December I came across this quote again, yet this time, it made me pause and reflect upon these words for quite awhile.  Perhaps in light of the strange…
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Waiting for Arrivals: A Christmas Reflection

There is something exciting about arrivals.  I remember as a kid watching out the window waiting for grandparents from a distant state to arrive for a rare visit.  I remember (often) arriving at new fishing destinations, watching the water, and imagining the epic days I would spend on those streams.  I remember (and still get…
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Reading the Waters of Fatigue and Burnout

Almost five years ago I pulled into a retreat center in Colorado one month into my first sabbatical.  At that point, I had been in ministry for almost 20 years without ever having a break other than family vacations, which often entailed going to see family.  After completing two graduate degrees over a ten-year period,…
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When God Calls

Jesus was doing something amazing…He was walking on water. The disciples, watching with amazement in the secure confines of their boat, heard Jesus call Peter out of the boat. This was not an invitation to wet-wade. Water was too deep and the waves tumultuous. It was a step of faith.  I (Eric) often wonder what…
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Surely God is in THIS Place

Altar kicked off its 2021 fishing retreat season with our Soul of a Man Retreat in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin. The time away was amazing, as the men worked to read the waters of their life and their soul in a deep way, through meaningful time of personal reflection, laughter, fellowship and amazing food.…
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Take a Pause

Just over a year ago when we were sent home to work remotely, when stores and restaurants began to close, and we were forced to stay home, I remember sitting on my back patio with excitement and almost a child-like giddiness thinking “I prayed for this!”  To be clear, I did not pray for a…
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MAYFLIES: A Picture of the Resurrection

That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies. —1 Cor 15:36 It is the Easter season and the Christian faith is centered on this one historical, beautiful event that changed the course of human history. From the very beginning of time, God ordained this day in order to save His followers…
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A Different Walk on the Same Path

As you consider the paths of your life, with all the awareness and perspectives this past year has offered through its interruptions to life’s rhythms, let me ask you two questions.

When Gratitude Shapes the Soul

When gratitude becomes a regular practice in our lives, we begin living differently. We begin seeing things in our normal, ordinary days differently. We become more aware of God and his presence. Our whole disposition becomes lighter as we journey through our days.

Returning to Joy

I have seen it countless times on retreats, fishing trips, vacations, or moments of quiet solitude and reflection. I call it a return to joy. Perhaps you can relate to this scenario.

Remembering Your Story

Simply put, to NOT look back and understand the roads you have traveled is to NOT know who you are and where you are going…Our passion is to create new stories in the lives of people helping them flourish with God (faith), themselves (soul), and their most valued relationships.

When Creation Reveals the Soul

Have you ever stood in a river, been on a hike, or experienced the outdoors when you felt a little nudge deep within you that said, Pay attention, I’m showing you something about YOU?

The Legacy of a Father

As we look forward to celebrating fathers this month, I have been reflecting on what it means as a father to leave a legacy. My reflection has not centered around what I hope to leave behind at the end of my life, but around the question of “What do I do each day to live out my legacy?”

The Wilderness Journey

Wilderness. It is a word that evokes something within us. There is a sense of both adventure and danger. The wilderness is untamed and demands respect. Wilderness also describes the hard or wandering times of life.

Looking Up

Then I remembered my friend’s words. I took an entire walk looking up, and a world emerged. Creation shouted to me with its wonder. God was more present. It was awesome!

The Wilderness and the Soul

There is something about the wilderness that has the power to unwind the soul…Does it surprise us that Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days?

Good Anglers Ask Questions…So Do People of Faith

It was several years ago when I returned home from a little league baseball game and my wife asked me a question.  My son was 10 years old and I was his coach.  As a former professional baseball player, I enjoyed giving back to the game and seeing my son grow in his own skills. …
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A Year Behind…A Year Ahead

We discover something good in being still (Psalm 46:10)—to sit, breathe, to listen to the sound of a stream, or perhaps to read, pray, and reflect while enjoying a hot cup of good coffee or tea (stress good). Unfortunately, these times are more rare than I would like.

The Gift of Christmas Presence

Sometimes the greatest gifts come in the simplest forms. Let God with us sink into your soul and may your presence with another bring a gift to someone special in your life.

The Changing of Seasons

I had one of those “moments” this past week when two things converged.  First, we experienced in our area the first cool week of fall weather announcing that summer is coming to an end.  By the way, I love the cool fall days! Second, in the Trout Unlimited Community Newsfeed, someone posted dates for the…
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Make EVERY Effort

Like water cutting into banks over time forming the character of a streams, so our character is formed over time. The difference? We can bring intentionality to how we are formed.

The Unforced Rhythms of Grace

One of my favorite Bible verses is Matthew 11:28-30.   28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my…
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ALTAR: More Than A Name

The question has been asked, “Why the name Altar Fly Fishing?”  Great question. Altars carried great significance in the Bible and for the people who experienced altars.   Altars were places: Where people offered a variety of sacrifices for a variety of reasons They represented and often created significant moments marking people’s lives (remember Abraham and Isaac, Elijah,…
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Make the First Cast Count

I have been blessed to have fished with several different guides in several different fishing situations: trout, steelhead, salmon, wading, drifting, high lakes, spring creeks and large rivers.  Many of the stories I remember and tell come from the guides and people I have fished with.   Stewart is a guide in Colorado that has been…
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Turning Over Rocks: Looking For Signs of Life and Possibility

Rivers and streams are full of life that often goes undetected.  Every day this ecosystem is alive with aquatic life from flies to fish (and much more).  As fly fishermen/women we are trying to solve the puzzle in our part of the stream on a specific day so we can present our best cast with…
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Confessing a “BLOW UP”

I could not believe that I did it again!  Coming upon a great hole on the stream that HAD to hold fish.  Eager to peer into the clear water I walked up to the spot beside the stream and BOOM…fish scattered everywhere.  I had committed one of the fly fishing cardinal sins…I had blown up a hole. …
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