Saturday, November 20, 2010


This week I had the great experience of playing golf at THE PATRIOT. THE PATRIOT is a brand new course in Owasso that is amazing. It is a course that is cut into several canyons in the southwest part of Owasso. I had walked the course before it was open, and even flew over it in a a helicopter...but there is nothing like playing it.

At first when I was asked to join a couple guys out there to play, I was intimidated. They are good golfers and everything I had heard about the course made me think that I would just "tear it up" ( not in a good way.) So I was very surprised when I started playing and realized that I could hit the ball in the fairway ( they are pretty wide). The greens are mostly huge, although they are super fast and have lots of undulations. The course takes imagination. It takes some risk. But it really does not just shut down crummy golfers like me. I mentioned to the guys I was playing with that this was a very very nice course that was playable even for a guy like me.

So I loved it! Actually had a couple pars! I hit just enough shots to think maybe I could play some more golf and do okay at it.

But what makes golf fun for me is the guys I played with. A couple weeks ago I played another course in Owasso. The course was nice. I had not played on it in a long time. It was also a very nice day. But the best part was the guy I was playing with. He is very good... but he kept me loose.. It was fun for him and it was alot of fun for me.

The same was true yesterday. The course is great, but the two guys I played with were the best.

I think there is a reminder there for me. I need good guys in my life to spend time with. Relationships matter. Whether it is golf, basketball, working out, or meetings with staff and elders, I need to slow down a little bit and enjoy the relational part of it all. I get going too fast and even in the middle of all the activity, I feel alone at times. I want to bury myself in my work. I like what I do... but it can be lonley. But I think alot of that is my fault. I may seem extroverted to alot of people, but I am really not. I am an introvert in alot of ways. Pam has told me that for years. I can't change how I am wired, but I do think I am going to work on that...working harder to sharing life with others I am close to. I need to make the effort. I have plenty of people who want to be friends... but it is up to me to let them in.

I hope I get to play THE PATRIOT again. But it was not the golf course that made yesterday good. It was the friends. I need more of that kind of interaction. It might make me more bearable to live with and to work with.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The loving hand of discipline

WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE? I have been pondering that statement for a few days. I don't have a corner on love at all. Sometimes I am not as loving as I should be...other times I am more loving than I think I am. Either way, there is a sweet spot where love is both redemptive and corrective. God lives in that sweet spot... sometimes I show up there too, but more often than not, it is one or the other.

When your younger kids do things they should not do, you correct them. Sometimes you discipline them. Why do we go to the trouble of doing that? I think for most parents it is not because we want to be is not a power trip. It is more that you want to save your child the grief and sorrow of making those mistakes that you made ( or that others have made). So you try to get your point across. Rarely did I ever have one of our kids say,"You know dad, I am glad you spanked me... I needed that... It really corrected my behavior." They didn't like being disciplined, but they knew that we did it because we love them.

In "church world" discipline has taken a back seat to grace, mercy, and forgiveness. That is not all bad at times...but we can not escape the fact that God disciplined his children (his people) because he loved them.

The writer of Hebrews says, "Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness ad peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12: 10-11

The point of disicipline is clear... it produces "righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

And that is the problem... none of us wakes up in the morning and tells God, "discipline me today so that I can have peace and more righteousness." There has to be other ways to get peace and righteousness, or so we think. But if the truth be known, I learn more through discipline. I learn more through times of sorrow. I learn more through the struggles of life.

As I get older I don't go looking for discipline from God, but as it comes, I am learning to go with it and sometimes embrace it. I want more righteousness in my life. I want more peace. If that means God has to be involved in some corrective work in my life, then so be it. He knows best. He is my Father. He also answers the first question I asked... What does love look like? It looks like a Heavenly Father who is willing to do whatever it takes to help me see that His ways are the best ways for me to live.

I will put my life in His loving hands trusting that His plan is the best for me.