24/7/365 GROW

Real Life inspiration from Ben Crane

                 I’ve spent a lot of time on the golf course over the last 3 years.  During the summer of 2008 with the help of a couple of close friends (good golfers) I began re-building what barely resembled a golf game.  For the first time ever in my “golfing life” I became a student of the game.  Slowly…very slowly, but surely, positive results came.  As my game began to improve I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t all about shooting a number…rather, that it could still be about enjoying playing a great game in the beauty of Gods incredible creation.  While visiting with our family friend on the PGA TOUR (Ben Crane) at the Tour Championship in Atlanta in September of 2010 I got the boost that I needed to keep my golfing focus where it needed to be.  Ben handed me a TOUR devotional that he was putting out with the help of some of his close friends and mentors.  I subscribed to Ben’s daily online devotionals at bencranegolf.com (would encourage you to do the same whether you golf or not…great scriptures and great questions from the Word) and go through those each and every day.  Most importantly though i now spend time in the Word before I play…before I even get out of my car to start a warm up on the range.  I consider it a blessing, even as an amateur golfer, to be able to play such a great sport.  I want my time on the course to reflect who Christ is in my life.  I want others to see something different in me as I play.  I once heard someone say, “you can learn everything you need to learn about a person during 4 hours of a round of 18 on the golf course!”  I completely agree…and I want my behavior, my words, and my actions to resemble the life change I continue to experience in a growing and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  I played a spontaneous round of golf on Tuesday late afternoon with the P.E teacher from North Middle School (CJ Martin).  CJ is on the special areas team with my wife at North.  When the round began it was cold, windy, and cloudy.  It had been raining for most of the day but the forecast showed that things were changing.  We had a great time of fellowship and golf…and when we reached the 17th tee-box, a 209 yard uphill par 3, the sun was shining SO BRIGHT!  Not many clouds were left in the sky and the sun revealed the incredible beauty of an amazing golf course.  The green became so much greener and the natural undulations of an incredible track of land was revealed in all of God’s Glory.  CJ and I stood on the tee box and shared a “WOW” moment of how incredible the day was.  No wind, no clouds, perfect temperature, quiet, and still.  It was without question a day that the Lord had made…and there was no way that I wasn’t going to rejoice in it!  I didn’t play well that day, but that didn’t matter.  

               It is a simple challenge today.  Do you offer Glory to God for the things that you are blessed with the ability to do?  I used to think to myself, “Wow, I get to go play golf today!”  I would be so excited!  And although my excitement is still an 11 out of a possible 10 when I pull into a golf course, my purpose for being out there continues to change.  Everyday I want to use every moment as a simple platform to Glorify the God who created me in his image to be in relationship with his Son Jesus Christ.  If Golf is what I’m doing, I want to use Golf as a platform to glorify God.  If hanging out with students is what I’m doing I want to glorify God.  If I’m on a date with my wife I want to glorify God.  So I stop before I golf to pray and to look to his Word.  I stop before I go hang out with kids to pray.  I want my life to speak one message.  If there is something that I am doing that would hurt that message than I need not participate.  How about you?  

                 Thanks Ben, for helping my love for a great game become a better representation of my love for a great God.  Tournament #3 of the East Tennessee golf week am tour is tomorrow morning at 3 ridges.  Glory to God for that awesome opportunity to spend part of my day in HIS creation.

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