Dancing with Joy


#18:  348 yard dog leg left, fairway bunkers at 275 on the right, green-side bunker back and left.  As I walked up to the green, after this exotic roller-coaster round of golf, 4 lost balls later, I was dancing with joy to learn I was about 5 feet for par on the final hole.  Apple Rock Golf Course that day pretty much ate my lunch.  But what a ride!  The greens were immaculate, and rolled true, leaving little margin for error in either direction or speed.  And I mean lightning fast speed!  At 6,536 yards from the “regular” men’s tees, this course is a beast.  As I was dancing with this beast, I found new meaning in the give-and-take of life.

Like Job at times, I suffered as this course would take a reasonably well-struck shot, and within a heartbeat of landing in the fairway, was out-of-bounds left due to the slope of the terrain.  This stuck me then, as it does now, as a perfect metaphor for this life I live today.

Job said, [Job 1:1]
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away.  Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 

Job’s perspective is not always easy to come to, is it?  Things are rockin’-and- rollin’ along and life’s pretty good, then whammo!  Everyone has “stuff” that happens to them, rocking their world, emotionally, financially, physically, or relationally.  When the “taken away” part happens, it usually doesn’t result in much dancing does it?

The same guy (Job) that had it all “taken away” also came to realize that God also “gave.”  The balance of knowing that God is sovereign, loves us unconditionally, and has a purpose for our existence, is what caused Job to declare through it all … Blessed be the name of the LORD!

This is the verbal equivalent of DANCING!  And when you’re dancing, you also gain another insight, verbalized by Job in 19:25.

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.  Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another. 

Sometimes it seems we are so close to God, so close to contentment, so close to discovering the real meaning of life, kind of like this 5-foot par putt.  Then our human frailty lifts its head, and we miss the putt.  Suddenly we allow our emotions to cloud our judgment, so we beat ourselves up for failing, instead of just enjoying the dancing.

In the now famous words of Lee Ann Womack

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger

May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance


[Photo taken 11/1/2017 Apple Rock Golf Course #18]




Irrefutable, Incontrovertible, and Irrevocable

Daily Post:  Final


When it was over, when all was said and done, when it was final, I actually graduated.  I graduated from High School (HD), College (BA), Business School (MBA), and Seminary (twice- M.Div, D.MIN).  It may sound impressive, but it’s really not.  Lots of people do it, and far better than me.  But I did it, and that’s final.

I never liked that word either, “final,” while I was getting all this education.  The final exam for me was a daunting, sometimes even harrowing experience.  I was an ok student after awhile, but I was never best in class.  So the struggle for me was to learn to trust that I could do it.  That I had studied enough, or retained enough, to allow some grader to see me as worthy of passing the class, or graduating for that matter.

There will come a day when the final exam will be for life.  I’ve clearly not been the best student of life either, yet my heart keeps telling me that in the end, I will have retained enough to graduate.  I’m not talking about retaining all this education, or the pittance of a portfolio that is my retirement.  I’m not talking about the school of hard knocks, or the new car.  Retaining these things is impossible, I’m not going to take these things with me into the “afterlife” some call Eternity.

But here’s the thing.  I will retain all that I know of God, and one day I will know Him better than I do today.  I believe with every fiber of my being, just like Job:

Job 19:25
As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

There is one Irrefutable, Incontrovertible, and Irrevocable Truth, in which I place my trust:

John 10:27-30
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.

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