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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sunday Golf

The unthinkable happened in Scotland in 1592. A royal proclamation restricted golf to six days a week, making Sunday golf as nonexistent in Scotland as a wasted penny. Apparently the king wanted Scots and their pennies to attend church regularly.

Much to the relief of Scottish golfers, the ban was amended in 1618 to allow Sunday golf if players attended church first.

I doubt that a ban on Sunday golf today would increase church attendance. Despite Christian golfers love of fairways, greens, long drives, and short putts, we love God more than golf. Our commitment to our great God exceeds our commitment to the great old game of golf. Come Sunday, we’ll be present for worship.

By attending church regularly, we honor God, encourage fellow Christians, maintain our credibility with our neighbors, and strengthen our relationship with God. Another plus for regular church attendance—no tee time is necessary!

Read Hebrews 10:24 and 25 today.

—From Out of the Rough by Jim Dyet (Thomas Nelson Publishers)

© 1996

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cellophane Wrappers

As a teen working at a golf course’s pro shop, I was impressed with the colorful appearance of the golf balls in a glass showcase. Penfolds, Titleists, Spaldings, U.S. Royals, and Dunlops came colorfully wrapped in cellophane, and each one sold for less than a dollar. Today, the price might be $25, $30, or more. Even an empty box that once held a dozen cellophane-wrapped golf balls may fetch nearly $100 today.

The bright wrapping certainly enhanced a golf ball’s appearance, but it added nothing to its performance. Each ball’s true value was determined by what it was after the wrapping came off.

God’s Word instructs us not to judge a person’s worth by outward appearance. When Israel demanded her first king, the people selected Saul strictly on the basis of his good looks. He was tall and handsome. If they had selected their first king on the basis of how he looked to God, they would have selected David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Sam. 8:19-20; 13:13-14; 16:6-13).

James 2:1-5 rebukes those who judge others by their outward appearance and insists God places the highest value on faith and faithfulness—spiritual qualities.

If people could gain God’s approval by outward appearance, the Pharisees would have earned a triple-A rating in His sight. But God’s gaze penetrated the Pharisees’ robes and phylacteries and revealed their corrupt hearts. He accepted only those who believed on His Son—even beggars in tattered garments and lepers with ugly sores.

God still puts His measuring tape around the heart and not around a designer dress or tailored suit.

Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13.

—From Out of the Rough by Jim Dyet (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
© 1996

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Telltalle Umbrella

The bank teller was busy yesterday with commercial deposits, so an assistant manager invited me into his office with an offer to help. I asked, “Are you from back East?”

“I am,” he replied. “I just moved out here from New Jersey. What made you think I’m from back East?”

“That umbrella in the corner. We hardly see an umbrella in Colorado.”

What identifies you and me as Christians? Jesus said that by our love for one another the world would know we are His disciples (John 8:35).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Snowy Sunday

I don’t know how well church will be attended today. It snowed throughout the night and is still snowing. Since it takes me an hour to get to church in the best weather conditions. I will leave 30 minutes earlier than usual. I believe my sermon can fit any size congregation, from just a few to many.

Jesus ministered at times to just one or two persons, but at other times He ministered to multitudes. In every situation, He faithfully shared God’s Word. That’s what I plan to do this morning—if the roads are passable.

The apostle Paul told the Corinthian believers, “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Cor. 4:2)