For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
If you watch golf at all – you are well aware that at many golf tournaments – someone will probably have a sign behind the golfers (where the cameras catch it) that reads John 3:16. This passage hit home with me this week as I watched the national and international scene unfold around us. I understand nationalism and I think I understand our need to protect our boarders and our people from terrorists and other threats. I listen to the debates about building a wall – denying certain people entrance into the USA – and the need to keep track of certain people. It can be very confusing at times and very mind blowing.
As Christians who are from a certain nation – we are often caught dealing with our national interests and our Christian global interests. Christ died for the whole world (although all will not accept His free gift of salvation). Christ died for the people we are trying to keep out of our nation – even the criminal elements. It is a hard place at times. It is tough taking a stand because there are arguments on both sides of most discussions. Continue reading
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
I love playing a familiar golf course. Part of the reason I like playing a familiar golf course is the confidence I gain from knowing how the fairway slants or how the green slopes and where the flag is on the green.
My long-time favorite course was Twin Shields Golf Course in Dunkirk – Maryland. For instance – I knew (the course is no more) that on hole number 15 – a long par 4 – it was better to land on top of the hill on your drive unless you felt you could get to the bottom of the fairway past the hill. If you only made it part of the way down the hill – you would have a side hill approach shot of 150-165 yards or so and that would be a tough shot. Land on top of the hill and have a 180-200 yard shot from high and flat. Land on the fairway at the bottom of the hill and you had a 100-115 yard shot from flat ground.
Another favorite course is Valley View Golf Club just outside of Moorefield – West Virginia. We only play this course once or twice a year but my brother and I can talk you through each hole on the course. An interesting hole is hole number 4. It is a short par 5 – but a tricky par 5. Unless you can hit a straight drive some 230-250 yards you should hit a short iron 150-175 yards to a landing area. You typically cannot reach the green from here (unless you can get a shot of 165-175 up over trees very quickly). Continue reading
…it is by grace you have been saved.
I love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I enjoy hearing someone say cover Ray when I’m playing basketball and lining up for a three-point shot. Or don’t leave Ray as the person on me leaves to help double team someone else. It means someone respects my ability (as meager as it may be).
I love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I love the challenges on my Fitbit – both the personal challenges and the group challenges. I love it when this old pastor can at times keep up with the younger pastors in a Fitbit pastors group.
I love it when I win something. I’m all about competitions. For instance – I love playing golf with a friend of mine – we are fairly equal in our abilities (we can both play a round in the 70’s or as high as the low 90’s from time to time). When I come out on top – it feels good – I know I have beaten a decent golfer. (I sure hope my torn rotor cuff heals quickly.) Continue reading
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Ok – Christmas is coming – ready or not. I mentioned yesterday in the sermon – I already opened my Christmas present from my wife. I love it and we are enjoying it already. She hasn’t opened her gift from me yet. We’ll probably have to install if while she is away after Christmas visiting our daughter.
Have you gotten your shopping done yet? It is easier if you don’t put so much pressure on yourself to buy too much. Remember – Christmas is not about how many gifts you get or give – but about Jesus. It is His birthday celebration – not ours. I urge people every year to not go into debt for Christmas – but to keep it simple and within your means.
Even with Christmas just around the corner – we are First Church have had a rough month or so. We had a number of deaths and a number of accidents (a number of hand injuries and falls). One of our oldest members is it he hospital fighting for his life. Another older member had a fall at home and is home healing. Our Administrative Board chair was among the deaths we have experienced. It has been a difficult time. Continue reading