Welcome to 2009! I pray that 2008 was very good to you and that 2009 will find you happier and closer to Jesus than ever before! To celebrate bringing in the New Year I have decided to share my top ten list. Please enjoy!
My Top Ten Highlights of 2008
10. On December 16 I was talking to a friend in Texas and on the spur of the moment we both took off for Louisiana for a game of golf, both of us meeting there that same evening. I love spur of the moment trips like that!
9. I have decided not finish my list as I just decided to fly to England tonight! Just kidding. My ninth highlight is getting to fly to Tulsa with my sister and spending Mothers Day with our parents.
8. Improving my golf game but more importantly getting to spend time with friends on some of the most beautiful golf courses in Florida, including getting to golf with my Dad this Christmas.
7. Kevin Craig getting a hole in one on the second fairway he ever played on in my church’s small golf group.
6. Getting to perform two weddings. One was the brother of a good friend of mine and then another was a good friend of mine who’s wedding was in Palm Springs.
5. Making new friends and re connecting with old friends on Facebook, Myspace and the Internet in general.
4. Finding real cream filled (none of that yellow junk) maple bars at 7-11 even if it was short lived as they stopped carrying them in favor of the donuts with that yellow junk. It was nice while it lasted.
3. My Rays going to the World Series! Go Tampa Bay! A hundred years from now the Rays will have 30 world championships and serious historians will be the only ones who will know what a Red Sox or a Yankee is.
2. Going to Tulsa last October for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Even though its been 50 years, the last 43 years have been the best years of their entire lives!
- 17 People getting baptized at my church including 5 from the ASI meetings we had and wonderful Bible Workers and young people coming from all over the world to help win souls including several from Texas! In Texas you know your good when you get invited to work in Tampa!
Today Victor and I were golfing at Pebble Creek here in Tampa when we ran across another alligator. Never seen one with his mouth open before. Made me a little nervous but I had to get the picture. I had a terrible start but ended up with a 98. Victor got a couple birdies including a couple chip shots from off the green that went right into the cup. He ended with a 77!
Last Tuesday I was driving around the Florida panhandle doing some sightseeing. I called Doug, my friend from Fort Worth and on the spur of the moment we decided to meet in Lafayette for some golf. We both got to a hotel in Lafayette late that evening and went out to dinner. The next morning we went to the Wetlands. It was foggy and we played the first six holes in the fog. I did terrible so after the first nine holes I told Doug he had won the game in the fog and now that it had finally cleared lets play a new 18 hole game. Doug won the second game as well. That night we had dinner and each headed back to our own homes. Even though I lost and did not get to show off my golf skills to Doug, what was really kewl was that I had a friend who was glad to drive across country on the spur of the moment to hang out with me!
Please check out more of my pics and stories and studies at my personal website http://www.inlightofthecross.com
Check out my friend’s sprots blog. http://bulldogsportsblog.blogspot.com/
Here I am putting for my par after barely missing a birdie shot.
Keep Your Own Score
Golf is a gentleman’s game and as I continually learn the game of golf I continually learn to become more of a gentleman. Golf will test your etiquette skills as much as your athletic skills. In football the opposing team’s crowd will make as much noise as possible to distract the other team’s offense. In golf you must be quiet and considerate of your opponent when he is swinging. In baseball a pitcher will throw at a batter’s head. In golf you must yell “fore!”* if your ball is sailing close to someone else. In football you cheer when the opposing kicker misses a field goal. In golf you keep a straight face or give a sympathetic word when your opponent misses a putt. The list goes on. Golf is a game that will test your manners as well as your skills.
I have learned something important this year about golf and about life. I love to keep score. I love to win but more than just wanting to win I am a statistics freak. I have to know all the numbers and I have to know what the score is. As a matter of fact I have logged into my computer every game I have played this year, where I have played it and what the scores were.
However I have learned that some do not like to keep score. A while back I was golfing with my older friend Ron who has been teaching me how to golf but more importantly has been teaching me how to be a better gentleman. The two of us set out to start the first hole when a man golfing alone came up behind us. Being the gentlemen that we are we invited him to join us which he did. After each hole I would ask him what his score was so I could write it down with ours. After a couple holes Ron told me not to ask his score. If he wanted me to know he would tell me. The fact that I had to keep asking was a sign he really did not want to give it. I should have known that.
Since then I have run into other people who don’t like to keep score. As a statistics freak I have a hard time dealing with that. But here is what I have learned. It should not matter what the other people’s scores are. There is a par for the course which is the standard for the course. Instead of comparing myself to others I should just focus on reaching the standard. I should be matching my performance against the standard and not against my fellow man. Once again the game of golf has taught me something no other sport will. I once saw a t-shirt on a teenager that read, “Inspiration is not when you outdo your opponent. It is when you outdo yourself.” How true!
In life Jesus does not inspire us to compare ourselves to others or be like them. Christ inspires us to compare ourselves to Him and become like Him. He is the par for the course and we will never make par while comparing ourselves to anyone else but the Standard Himself. It does not matter what anyone else’s score is in golf or in life. There is a standard to be reached.
Like a wise sea captain once said years ago, “we must set our course by the stars and not by every passing ship.”
* When someone yells “fore!” most people look around to see where the ball is coming from. The correct response is to quickly cover your head with your arms.
Check out my friend’s sports blog. http://bulldogsportsblog.blogspot.com/