Golf and The Church

I love the game of golf!

No secret to many of you.

I love the challenge of getting better, the competition, and the stories shared among friends.

No two rounds of golf turn out the same, and I especially love getting to play courses around the country I’ve never played before or are famous.

Unfortunately, I don’t play as much as I used to. A lot of circumstances play into why but I definitely appreciate every chance to play now more than ever.

It’s a game that tests the emotions, problem solving skills, coordination, and truly can expose your character good or bad. :)

It’s a fun moment when you make a long putt or hit a long shot that felt so right when you swung the club and lands close to the hole. It’s a game I hopefully can play a long time from now.

The worst thing I can do when it comes to golf is compare myself with other golfers.

Sounds kinda like a cute, simple thought but listen closely.

If I compared myself to other golfers, I would have quit a long time ago.

My brother Tom is a really good player. He beats me every time. I play with Tom more than I play with anyone else, and I’ve only tied him once.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to beat him some day. Beat him bad. I love him and he is my brother but oh I want to take him one time.

Tom and I golfing in Arizona

Tom and I golfing in Arizona

If I would have looked at his game then looked at mine and said I’m not good enough, I would have quit a long time ago.

Quitting would have saved me from a bunch of heartache, greens fees, golf balls, and emotional trauma.

But I also would have missed out on so many laughs. I would have missed out on being surprised in Florida by him and two other friends for a birthday golf outing. I would have missed out on so many good talks we have had about family, career, and life.

There are too many stories we tell from being out on the course that we did together that could never be told because they never happened.

I would have missed those things! All because I compared myself to someone else.

To the Christian Church, I make this appeal: please don’t compare your self to other churches.

Don’t measure your worth on how good you are based on how other churches are growing or their technology or what ever.

If you do that, you’re missing what’s going on in YOUR church.

God is doing things in your church that are not being done anywhere else!

Are you aware of that? Are you seeing them?

Sports, Church, And Family Are More Similar Than You Think

I spent this past weekend attending and coaching my three older kids in their sports. It’s so much fun. I am a sports fan on many levels. I love playing, watching, coaching, you name it.

Ethan’s 12AA baseball team on Friday night was in a tight game. Understand, Ethan’s team has had a really up and down season of some good wins but also really hard losses. It was affecting everyone because sports take emotion. We had won in the morning but it felt like a rough win.

The night came we played well with solid defense and a good spirit.

It had it gone back and forth and literally came down to the last inning. Our pitcher, Trayton, had just struck out the previous batter which was huge! They had two outs, runners on second and third, and their best hitter was coming up.

In his previous bat, this kid hit a rocket to right field over the fielder’s head. The coaching staff told Noah, our right fielder, to back it up.

Trayton threw two amazing pitches and put the batter in an 0-2 count. The coaches, parents were on fire, so loud, so intense. The batter then fouled off the next pitches. Even though we were up by one, the runners on second and third would go when the ball was hit so any outfield ball meant we had no chance.

Then Trayton threw an outside fastball…

CRACK!

Another rocket to right field! Nobody breathed. The coaches were silent. I heard some voices say “Oh no!” It felt like slow motion.

In right field, it was just Noah. All eyes watching, waiting. He backed a step and stopped. His glove went up, he leaned back, his glove went up as high as possible…

Catch! WE WON!

The coaches, players ran onto the field, screaming, cheering, jumping all over Noah.

It was so fun!!!

Ethan's 12AA team qualified for 3 state tournaments! Love the faces:)

Ethan’s 12AA team qualified for 3 state tournaments! Love the faces :)

Friends, I really see church and family being a lot a sports team. We have coaches (pastors, parents), team names (church name, family name), players (the congregation, children), the game (our mission, our life), and goal (1 Cor. 9:24-27, Malachi 4:5-6, Luke 1:17).

It should be intense, fun, full of action, voices cheering each other on, hugging, victories, and most of all delight and passion in the One who owns the team, the game, the purpose and by His grace allows us to play. Even more than that goes crazy with us and over us simply because He is our Abba Father and loves to watch us, coach us, and, I dare say, play with us!

It reminds me again to remind you. Respond and engage in worship at least like a ball game. Celebrate family and church family moments of marriages being healed, baptisms, weddings, sermons, the offering like it’s “the catch”!

Because it is way more important than that!

What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree?