2,107 Miles North

2107 Miles

Photo taken:  May 24, 2018, 1:12 P.M.

It’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post, but I can explain.  Perhaps the best explanation is this image.  My wife and I love to play golf together, and we look forward to many golf trips in the future.  If you follow this blog you’ll know that we just returned from a trip to Canada where we toured the Rocky Mountains and saw amazing sights along the way.  One of our two-night stops was at the Jasper Fairmont Lodge, in Jasper, Alberta, Canada.  This photo perspective is from the first tee of the JFL Golf Course.  We didn’t get to play that day, the course was having some teenage tournament, and behind us (not in the photo) were several bus loads of kids about to tackle this course.

So with that context, the reason I haven’t written in a couple of weeks is that upon our return from vacation it became apparent that if we were to go on many more vacations involving hiking, or golfing, my wife was in need of a total knee replacement.  Eleven days ago, she had this surgical procedure done.  We go back to the doctor tomorrow to get the staples removed.  Then, in about another month or so, we’ll be back out on the golf course chasing that little white ball.  As a result, I’ve been out of touch and haven’t even been at my computer much.

This morning I travelled 2,107 miles in my mind, standing once again on this first tee box, imagining what it would be like to play this course.  What strikes me now, stuck me then, that I might have trouble focusing on my swing because I was so distracted by the beauty of the surrounding terrain.  The blue hue of the mountains, the almost fall-look of the forrest, and the brilliant gleaming green of the fairways was a truly awesome sight.  I wondered then, and I wonder now, if those kids realized how blessed they were to play in such a grand place.

As I write this, I can almost smell the cool air drifting down the fairway as the breeze quickens, the leaves rustle in nearby trees, and the branches move at the tops like soldiers saluting a passing general.  On this day, just like that day in May, I’m reminded of God’s glory, and how blessed I am to know He is in sovereign control of all of life.

Thank you God for the beauty of this world, and thank you that my wife is healing well, and that soon we’ll be venturing outdoors again to experience your creation among the greens.

1 Corinthians 2:9   That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”



Out of Sync

Daily Post: Synchronize


Being out-of-sync is the bane of good golf, and has spiritual applications for life as well.  Let me show you what I mean.

Out-of-sync in the golf swing usually means your arms and body are swinging independent of one another, or “disconnected.”  This swing fault is the culprit of many foul words, thrown clubs, and lost strokes on the course.  The disconnected out-of-sync swing can be resolved if you’ll do three simple things.

First, learn to hinge your right hand (for right handed golfers) early.  To fix a late, or no-hinge in your right hand, address the ball with the club, then take you right hand of the grip, and put your right hand up under your left armpit and hold it there.  Without your right hand on the grip, it should be easy to hinge the club up.

Second, with your right hand under your left armpit pull back with your right arm and feel your body move to the right and behind the ball.  You’ll have the sensation that your weight moves more onto your right leg, stabilizing your swing.

Third, as you begin the downswing, hold the tension in your left side as you drop the club downwards toward the ball to unwind your hips.  This move allows you to remain tight and connected, the arms and body working together to strike the ball.  This sensation is a synchronized swing which results in crisply hit, powerful golf shots.

Ok, that’s the golf application.  Now what does the Bible have to say about an out-of-sync life, and how to fix it?

Sometimes we are so busy doing “spiritual” things, that we don’t have a clue about how out of sync with God we really are.  Discovering the cause of this disconnectedness with God can often be revealed by examining our spiritual search activities.  Prayer is like the right (dominant) hand in golf.  How we pray can be a real eye opener for us.

Sometimes we mistake defiance for devotion.  We argue with God about something instead of surrendering to God’s will.  Sometimes we just refuse to look and see the results that demonstrate how clearly we are wrong.

In my spiritual search for connection with God today, I discovered these questions posed by Oswald Chambers:

“Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person? Have I been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends?”

How do we fix things, when we are spiritually out-of-sync?

First, don’t just take your right hand off; take both hands off your life and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.

Second, move back and away from your own earthly agendas and spiritual measuring. With your hands removed from manipulating your life, and your willingness to move back or forward at God’s will, you are poised to be closer to God than ever before.

Third, embrace the tension, trial, or circumstance of the place where you are this minute, and trust the Spirit of God to lead you.  This place is THE place where you may discover just how in-sync you are with the Spirit of God, who always has your BEST in mind.

Acts 17:28
For in Him we live and move and exist.

1 Corinthians 2:9
Just as it is written:
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Lost in the Beans

Daily Post:  Illusion

illusion-coffee bean

After turning on the coffee pot, reading the morning news, seeing whose on top of the leaderboard for the golf tournament, and checking my email, now I’m almost ready to write something.  I’m listening to the rain falling outside.  I’m mesmerized by the tiny little insect that inhabits the space around my desk, flitting here and there, distracting me from the task at hand. At times my pulse slows to such a point that it seems all of this is just an illusion. Writing is at times more like trying to find the face of the man hidden in the coffee beans above.  In moments like these, I’m just like this man, lost in the beans, where everything looks the same.  Do you see him?  He is right there in plain sight.  It took me awhile too.  Don’t be concerned if you don’t see it right away.

Some say life is just an elusive illusion.  They say life resembles the work of those famous artists who draw mind-bending art I’m such a sucker for.  3d eye magic pictures drive me crazy, then suddenly I see the image; as my mind relaxes and focuses on what’s hidden in the depth of the design.  Then my eyes twitch, and it’s gone again, just like life.  I blinked, and somehow went from 20 to 63 years old.  I know I slept, ate, thought, worshiped, read, engaged in friendships, played golf, raised kids, and enjoyed it all.  But the elusive nature of it as a whole makes me wonder sometimes if I was really there.

Spiritually, life can be like this as well. It doesn’t really take long when reading the gospels and the story of Jesus’ life to discover much of his teaching was in parables.  A parable is a verbal tool, used to paint an imagine that some will see and others will not.  Perhaps one of the most famous parables Jesus told was the one about “the sower and the seeds.”  In Matthew 13, the tax collector describes the crowds following Jesus as so large that He had to get into a boat on the beach, push out away from the throng of people, and sit down to teach them.  The parable/illusion He taught them was simple.

Matthew 13:2-9
Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.  Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.  But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.  Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.  And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.  He who has ears, let him hear

Sometimes we ask the right questions, other times we don’t.  When the disciples came to Jesus they didn’t ask, “What does this mean?”  Instead they asked, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”  What’s the point, Jesus?  His answer?  “I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” [13:13]  

That actually sounds like a parable in itself to me.  Does it to you?  He was actually quoting the prophecy of Isaiah from the Old Testament.  God was saying through Isaiah, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, that when the Messiah came, many in Israel and around the world would not see Him as Messiah, not hear Messiah’s words, instead they would reject Him outright.  Jesus went on to say the disciples were truly blessed because they could “see” and “hear” the truth of who Jesus was, is, and will always be… Messiah.

The real challenge in the illusion (parable), is to see the truth of what it holds.  The salvation of God, gained through trusting in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, brings with it limited sight and understanding of spiritual matters.  Through the on-going redemptive work of the Holy Spirit, our spiritual vision becomes more acute.  We are able then to gain more understanding of God’s will for our lives.  Looking back on it, you can’t unsee the point at which your eyes were opened and you truly saw Jesus as Messiah.  However, just like in the 3d art images, or the man in the beans (above), sometimes the spiritual truth is like a fleeting moment in time, here one minute, gone in the next heartbeat.  That’s what makes the next verse so outstanding!

Paul told the church in Corinth:  [1 Corinthians 2:9]

But just as it has been written: “Things which eye has not see, and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

We will not ever know the fullness of what is in store for people of faith.  Don’t even think, not for one second, or ever let someone convince you, that this life is all there is.  It is but an illusion, a glimpse at best.  What God has in store for those who love Him, is beyond our comprehension, or imagination.


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