Just a Normal Guy

I play golf a lot, and many times I play alone. Back in the day, most courses didn’t allow players to play alone. I stumbled upon such a course yesterday, and they put me with another group of three. Two of them I’d never seen before, but the other one was quite recognizable.

 

Matt

He told me I could take pictures, but asked me not to put them on Facebook. But… hey, he’ll never see it, ’cause he doesn’t know who I am!

“Hey, Matt,” I said, shaking hands with him. “What’re you doing in this neck of the woods?”

 

He grinned, then turned to put his clubs on the cart. “Got a couple cousins over here,” he said, nodding at the two loading their clubs on another cart. “Hey, Josh and Dan! Come over here and meet…” he looked at me for a name. “Charlie,” I said. “Come over here and meet, Charlie.” They came over, we all shook hands, then they went back to the cart. “They’re not very sociable,” he said. He grinned then sauntered over to the driver’s side of the cart. As I slid into the other side, I grinned back at him and said, “That’s okay. I ain’t either.” He grinned again and said, “Right, right, right.”

At the first tee, Josh and Dan were not happy about their respective hook and slice. Looking to cheer them up, I said, “Okay boys, I only have one rule; get back to the house without hurting anyone.” Josh and Dan looked at me like they thought I wasn’t funny, but Matt laughed and punched my shoulder. “Gonna be a good day,” he said.

And it was. We had a good time all day, listening to Dan and Josh grumble and cuss as we tried to help them find their golf balls. The trees and brush lining the fairways were thick, and those boys seemed to like to play anywhere but the fairway.

As we were heading from number seventeen green over to the last tee, Matt looked over and said, “Pops (that’s what he’d decided to call me), I enjoyed the heck outta playing golf with you today.” I said, “Well, the feeling is mutual, son. You’re an okay fella.”

As we climbed out of the cart at the eighteenth tee, he met me around back of the cart and said, “You treat me like a normal guy. I like that.”

“Well… Matt…” I said. “You are fairly normal.” I was grinning, but before I continued, I put on a serious face. “And besides, you’re not the most famous actor I’ve ever met.”

He looked at me with a hurt expression and said, “Right, right, right. And who was this famous actor you met before me?”

I pulled my driver from my bag and said, “Jimmy Caan.”

“Who?” He said, with a confused look on his face.

We both got a laugh out of that and were still chuckling as we watched Josh hook his drive into the number ten fairway. He blamed us, saying we’d been messing up his game all day with our constant chatter and giggling. That got us to laughing out loud, which didn’t help Dan’s slice a bit.

The glare he gave us after his ball vanished into the pines led me to believe we might not make it back to the house without somebody getting hurt.

 

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Never Give Up

A fierce battle between good and evil is raging all around us, and it sometimes seems we’re barreling headlong toward sure destruction. Too often, we get so wrapped up in what’s going on around us, we forget God is in charge. We find ourselves deep in the battle, fighting, and straining against evil, and we begin to feel defeated and beat down. people prayingThat’s when we need to read a verse, listen to a good word, or simply pray, and remember God is with us. He will never leave us, nor forsake us.

We must continue to fight the battle, never be dismayed, and never give up, no matter how bad things might appear. God will strengthen us and help us, and if the battles we fight are just, He will uphold us with His righteous hand.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand. Isaiah 41:10

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Love We Can’t Even Imagine

true loveWhen it comes to God’s peace, joy, and love, we can choose to wander in the valley or ascend to the highest peak. When we turn away from worldly things and meditate on God’s word, we will find Him, and we will know peace and joy beyond our wildest dreams and true love we can’t even imagine. And we will share it with others.  Because… that’s what God wants us to do.

 

But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:17

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A Need to Know Basis

duffer

An “average” golfer is just a little better than a duffer like me!

An average golfer asked a professional golfer, “How do you make the ball spin and come back when hitting an approach shot onto the green?” The pro asked the duffer, “How often do you land on the green with your approach shot?” The duffer said, “Hardly ever.” The pro said, “Then why do you want to know?”

 

We often puzzle over spiritual details before we know even the basic things. God will increase our wisdom and understanding, moving us toward Him at a pace He knows will suit us so we’ll be able to accomplish our part of His plan. He knows what we need and when we need it.

For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; 1 Corinthians 12:8

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No Buts About It!

santa & rudolphI’m usually a very positive person, but sometimes my big but gets in the way. I’ll start off thinking it’s going to be a good day, then say, “But! What if it rains?” See! I let my big but lower my expectations for the day by anticipating something bad.

There’s no buts about it, we all have big buts, and try as we might, it seems we can’t totally get rid of them. But! We can reduce the negative influence of our buts and eventually put them in their place: behind us.

We mustn’t allow our faith to be diminished by a big but! We must proclaim our trust in God and kick buts out of our vocabulary! God is for us, and there’s no but about it! I could go on, … I think you get my point.

He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58

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Cholly Meets the Incredible Hulk

On my first construction job, I was one of a dozen or so laborers, and our foreman, Bethel Lee, was a giant of a man from Jamaica. He was at least six and a half feet tall and weighed probably four hundred pounds.

On my first day, several of us were eating lunch in one of the unfinished rooms—about ten guys sitting on the floor, backs to the wall. I was just to the right of the door when Big Bertha (some guy with a death wish must’ve given him the nickname) came into the room.

hulkHe casually surveyed the room, a hint of a smile on his face, and when his gaze fell on me it was like I looking up at a tall building. His smile vanished, and he said, “Cholly.” His voice was deep as the ocean, and his dark eyes twinkled with either merriment or murderous intent. “You knows where ah eats ma lunch?”

“No sir.” Thinking maybe I’d unknowingly taken his spot.

His eyes sparkled, his grin got so wide it seemed to fill the room, and he said, “Anywhere ah wonts to.”

For a few long seconds, the room was silent, then everyone—except me—burst into laughter.

I just looked up at Big Bertha with a weak smile and said, “Oh.”

I guess it was his way of welcoming the new guy.

 

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Ain’t I a Hoot!

 

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This is yours truly, demonstrating how to properly attire one’s beverage of choice while on the links. On this day I’d chosen the lime green Rimz One koozie to keep my Shiner Bock nice and cool.

I have been known to be a bit of a smart aleck now and then. No, no, I understand how most of you will find that hard to believe, but it’s true. Every once in a great while, I slip from my mild-mannered, courteous ways, and say something inappropriate.

 

My golfing buddy Jay Bird has often wandered into the path of one of my salvos, but being a bit of a wise-guy his own-self, he usually walks away none the worse for wear. I got him good one day though.

We were playing a nice course out Kingsland way called The Legends. It’s one of those rolling, wide-open golf courses, where guys like us can usually get back to the clubhouse without hurting anyone or breaking any windows. Jay Bird does not like to play on those courses that have houses lining the fairways; freaks him out worse than a water hazard full of alligators.

So, we were in the middle of one of those wide, rolling fairways, and Jay Bird’s ball had come to rest on a slope. The ball was below his feet, and he was trying to figure out how to set up to hit it properly. He discussed the situation with himself—at length—and when he finally reached the conclusion of the self-seminar, he took a mighty swing and hit the ball about ten feet directly to the right of where he was standing.

He turned, threw out his hands—he said he didn’t mean to throw the club, but I gave him a seven for distance and a eight for form—and commenced to complaining as to how he never could remember how to set up for a shot when the ball was below his feet. As we drove over to get his club, I shrugged and said, “You shoulda asked me.”

“Oh,” he said, as he hopped out of the cart, picked up his club, and started walking back to his ball. It was on level ground this time, and he hit a decent shot that landed just short of the green.

A few holes later, he found himself with another shot, almost identical to the one he’d muffed before. He chose a club, walked over and surveyed the situation, then turned to me and said, “Okay, Mr. Palmer, how am I supposed to set up to hit this shot?”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Beats me.”

One of his eyebrows shot up high on his forehead, and he said, “Well, you told me I should ask you!”

I smiled and said, “I didn’t say I would know.”

Ain’t I a hoot?

 

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