“I grew up fishing. It’s something that was passed down to me from both sides of my family, so it’s in my blood. But it became a number-one priority in my life above everything else—even my wife and children. The Lord had to do something drastic to get my attention so I could get my priorities straight.
Twenty-one years ago, soon after our first baby arrived, I planned a fishing trip on the Rio Grande River with my dad, grandpa, and cousin. I shouldn’t have gone on that trip—I should’ve been home with my wife and newborn. My dad and I were in my boat following my grandpa and cousin up the river. It was a cold, windy day in March. I didn’t know it, but my boat had a crack in the hull, and we were taking on water as we sped up the river. The boat was bogging down, so I stopped and opened up the battery compartment to see water halfway up the batteries. My bilge was clogged, so my dad went to the front of the boat to grab the spare. Before he got back, three waves had poured into the open battery compartment. My dad grabbed my arm, we stood up, and the boat sank right out from under us. The 50-degree water caused instant hyperventilation. Struggling to breathe as waves crashed over me, I cried out to God and He said, ‘You’re not going to die today.’ There was an instant calmness over me. About 15 minutes later, my grandpa and cousin realized we weren’t following them. They came back and pulled us out.
After nearly dying on that trip, I gave up hardcore fishing for several years. I was able to salvage my boat and sell it. One day several years later, my wife looked at me and said, ‘It’s time for you to start fishing again.’ In 2014, I started a men’s bass-fishing Gateway Group. We meet during the week twice a month and do book studies, and we go fishing on the weekends that follow our meetings. We’ll pick a lake near Dallas or Fort Worth and do our own bass-fishing tournament following Major League Fishing rules. We have deep spiritual conversations, and I love sharing what God has taught me about priorities—and we have a lot of fun catching bass!” Brent and his family attend the NRH Campus.