Tags: Golf, Golf Courses, golf scrambles, golf with friends
Being from the north I basically like the weather here. When a couple of inches of snow comes down, schools get closed and people rush to the store to buy bread and milk. It is truly cross-cultural living. The winter weather and lack of snow really make me like not having snow. Plus, you can almost golf year round here.
I called my youngest son (who also plays golf) the other day and told him if the ground wasn’t so wet, today would be a great day to go golfing. I miss golfing with him and a couple of my friends who live on the east coast. When I was walking this morning I laughed out loud as I thought of how one of my friend’s errant shots almost had to be surgically removed from a certain part of my body! It is not a pretty thought, but it is funny! The third friend’s comment was priceless. Guys have fun like that.
Where else can you joke and kid about pantyhose being too tight and affecting the back swing? Or looking at another guy and telling him, “you got to hit the ball, Alice.” And no one takes it the wrong way. Where else can you decide to play by the rules and penalize yourself even if your partners didn’t see the infraction? On a golf course. I don’t love golf as much as I just like to play it with some friends. To me, it’s about the interaction and friendship and hanging with your friends. So here are five courses you should try to play if you get the chance.
- St. Johnsbury Country Club in Vermont. My youngest son and I played the back nine. I made the mistake of deciding to walk it. I had my cart bag with me that day too. Our first tee shot was straight up a big hill. There were so many steep hills and it was so difficult to walk that even I realized I made a mistake by not getting a cart. I would play it again, but with a cart.
- Ballymeade Country Club in North Falmouth, MA. When you consider the price, the condition of the course, the location and the number of good restaurant nearby; this was probably the best course I have played. It was a great experience. I’ve played there twice and I think I won once. Yes, even when with friends, you play the game to win.
- The Links at Outlook in South Berwick, ME. I drove up there with a friend to play 18. It was a tough course, especially with the wetlands and the way the wind blew. Some of the views were spectacular. Add the nearby seafood restaurants (is there any better seafood then the coast of Maine?), the golf, the price, fellowship and I would definitely play there again. It was well worth the drive up there.
- Rockland Country Club in Rockland County, NY. I think this is where we played our first scramble. The course, the country club, the food, the giveaways, all together it was well worth the time and money. It was a truly enjoyable time. Plus I got to meet and talk with Andre Thornton, I’m an Indians fan.
- Tot Hill Farm in Asheboro, NC. Honestly and literally, this was the toughest course I have ever played. There were times I really didn’t like being out there. Some of the greens and hole placements should be illegal. My memories of root canal aren’t as painful as playing this course. So why is it on the list? Because I was playing with a very good, old friend and my youngest son. I’d probably play it again because it would mean I’m in NC enjoying great bbq, good golf and time with old friends. Plus my wife would tell you if there is an easy way and a hard way, she knows which way I’ll choose.
It was hard to pick these five courses so sometime in the future I’ll have five more courses you should play. Get some friends together and go play golf. When you are waiting to tee off somewhere kind of warm in January or February, call one of your friends who is snowed in and let him know where you are. He’ll thank you for it. Here’s a shout out to L.M., K.H., D.L., and L.R. I’ve enjoyed the time on the courses with you and am looking forward to more. God bless you guys.
Have some fun this weekend,
(Romans 15:13; 2 Peter 3:18; Psalm 5:11-12)
Tags: pray for rural churches, pray for rural pastors, rural pastors, shepherd
My wife and I like to go for drives in the country. We like to pack a lunch and a thermos of coffee and get a map and go. Many times we have no particular destination in mind. We will find somewhere to stop along the way. We especially like historic sites or old bookstores, or just a pullover to enjoy a sight, have lunch and enjoy each other’s company. In fact this past weekend we were able to drive through some of southwestern Ohio’s farm country. We had a great time.
Even though I like driving through or visiting in the country I am not sure I know what rural life is like. For me I think it might be difficult. Ministry in a rural area might be difficult, but there are people there and they need good pastors and good churches. So let’s take some time to pray for rural churches and their pastors this weekend.
- God would call men and equip them to serve in rural areas.
- Rural churches without a pastor would earnestly call out to God for Him to send them a faithful shepherd.
- The pastor would shepherd the people with integrity of heart and skillful hands (Ps. 78:70-72).
- These churches would support and provide for their pastor and his family.
- The pastor would love the people and the people would love the pastor.
- The pastor would preach the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- The people would listen and grow in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- The unsaved in the community would be reached and God would add to His church.
- The pastor and church would be glad for who they are and where they are and not compare themselves with other pastors or churches.
Maybe you know someone who pastors a rural church. Maybe you know a rural church. You could pray for them today. They may not know it, but God will know you prayed. You, and I and the Kingdom of God will be better off because we took time to intercede for some of our brothers and sisters and their Kingdom presence in their communities.
Thanks for praying,
(Romans 15:13; Isaiah 50:7; Psalm 50:23)
You have longed for sweet peace and for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest or be perfectly blest
Until all on the altar is laid.
– Hoffman –
Tags: Holy, humbled, hymn, Names of God
I was thinking about God this week (yes I know you expected me too), and I was humbled by some answers to prayer He gave to me and my wife. I was deeply humbled and repentant and glad that I am allowed to know Him. So I had to look for something to share with you. Almost all of my books are packed along with most all of my files. When I need a book or books I have to go through a lot to get them. After I use them I have to repack them. But God is good and gracious.
(12)And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” (13)Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (14)God said to Moses, “I Am Who I Am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (15)God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3:12-16 NIV)
Over the years I have collected and read a lot of books on the names of God. I was looking for something simple to encourage you this week with some truth about God. I found this old bulletin insert. I don’t know where it came from.
The Names of God
In biblical times names reflected character. So, if you could understand a person’s name, you came closer to understanding the person. We have heard God called Elohim, the Creator God. Hi is Adonai, the Lord. We know Him as Jehovah, the God who keeps His covenant. Here are some others:
El Elyon: “The Most High God”, describes the God who sits in heaven, looks down and says, “Everything is in My hand.” When you call on El Elyon, it is a way of saying that no matter what’s going on, everything is under His control.
El Olam: “The Everlasting, Unchanging God.” No matter how volatile your circumstances, no matter how unstable your life may seem, you serve a God who is the same for all time.
El Shaddai: “God Almighty, full of grace.” When I need what I don’t deserve, El Shaddai, is there to make up the difference with His grace.
El Roi: “The God who sees.” When I’m hurting, I need El Roi, for God is so intimately connected with my circumstances that He understands what I am going through.
Jehovah Raah: “The Lord, my Shepherd.” When I don’t know which direction to take in life and I get down on my knees and call on Jehovah Raah, I know that this sheep is about to be aimed in the perfect direction.
Jehovah Sabbaoth: “The Lord of Hosts.” When I find myself in a whole lot of trouble and nobody seems ready to come to my aid, I remember Jehovah Sabbaoth. If necessary, He will send all the angels of heaven to get me where I need to go.
Jehovah Jireh: “The Lord will provide.”
Jehovah Rapha: “The Lord who heals you.”
Jehovah Shalom: “The Lord, my peace.”
Jehovah Shammah: “The Lord who is always near.”
I am sure you are familiar with these names of our heavenly Father. No matter what you are going through, good or bad. No matter what stage of life you are in, young or old. No matter what your job or lack of a job. No matter what your ministry or family situation. You can call out to the great “I AM WHO I AM” with confidence in His love and willingness to show Himself mighty. You live in the presence of the Most High God. Be glad!
GRACE and Peace to you,
Bill (a fellow-laborer)
(Romans 15:13; Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 33:2, 6)
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty
by Reginald Heber
- Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!
2. Holy, Holy, Holy! all the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
3. Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see.
Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.
4. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy, merciful and mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Tags: Chemex, French Press, Sunergos Coffee
Recently my wife and I made it back to Sunergos www.sunergoscoffee.com to try coffee brewed in the Chemex brewer. The picture at the left is of their new location that is still being remodeled on Woodland Ave. We are looking forward to going there when it opens. You remember from an earlier post, “Can You Smell the Coffee?”, that we like to go out on dates to local coffee shops. One of our favorite coffee shops is Sunergos. One time while we were there we noticed two different coffee brewers. Our plan was to try the same type of coffee in both a French Press and a Chemex brewer to see which one we like best. We are also thinking about getting one of the brewers for home use. About a week and a half ago we tried Blend B in a French Press.
So we went back and ordered Blend B in the Chemex brewer. There were different people working on this day then when we first tried the French Press. They were still friendly and helpful. We had some different questions because the two brewers are so different. First I wanted to know what the Blend B was. Blend B is a medium roast of Central and South American beans. It’s a little bolder than I typically think of a medium roast being. It is a very good blend. Both of us liked it. We would definitely buy this blend for home use.
If you are not familiar with a Chemex brewer you can see it here www.chemexcoffeemaker.com. It’s a glass coffee brewer and the filter fits in the top of it. You put your ground coffee in the filter. After bringing your water to a boil you let it sit a little. Then pour a little water over the grind to open up the ground coffee. Wait about thirty seconds before pouring more water slowly into the filter opening and letting it work its way down into the brewer. Add more water until you get to the desired level.
Let me tell you that this was one of the best cups of coffee we have had. It was very clean tasting. No grit or oils in the cup. It was bold and smooth. The Chemex brewed coffee tastes very different than the French Press brewed coffee. They both taste good, but they are very different. Both my wife and I preferred the coffee brewed in the Chemex. If you have never tried coffee in either of these brewers I highly recommend it. I’m sure the staff at Sunergos would be glad to brew a pot for you.
One day we will have to try both of these brewing methods at home against our auto drip machine. That would be a pretty good reason to have some of our friends over too. It could be a coffee brewing and drinking taste test with some of our favorite coffees. Sounds like a plan. And yes, I am looking forward to our next date to a local coffee shop!
Tags: guy movies, man movies, movies every guy should watch
Last Saturday I gave you my top 5 movies that I think every guy should watch. There is an honorable mention to my list. I like to watch these movies and I think every guy would benefit from watching them; they just aren’t in my top 5. But they are close. Now for the honorable mention.
The Bourne Identity: Some great fight scenes. I never get tired of watching the guy rappel through the window into Jason’s apartment. A great fight scene follows. Bourne #3 is pretty good too.
Jeremiah Johnson: there is just something about this movie that sticks with me. The outdoor scenes, surviving the elements, the love that develops for his woman and the boy. Then when he realizes the mistake he made and what happens next.
Defiance: based on a true story from World War II. I’ve watched this twice already. The endurance and will to survive among these people is amazing. It truly is an amazing test of will and love and hope.
Behind Enemy Lines: loosely based on a true story. A test of character and a will to survive and overcome obstacles. It gets your heart pumping.
Gran Torino: I’ve only seen it once but it sticks with you. The main character does a lot of changing even though he does not want to. It has some great subplots like, cross-cultural and inter-cultural communication and interaction; cross-generational interaction and an older man helping a boy become a man. There is some rough language in it, but the realism is something else. The ending will stick with you.
This is part of my honorable mention. I think every guy would like these movies. You may not learn something in each one, but they would hold your attention. But there are still some other movies out there that every man should watch. Hey guys, what about the 3 Stooges? Where do they rank or are they in a category all their own? I like Moe, Larry and Curley the best.
If you need to relax and you’re not into college or pro basketball these movies could be a good alternative. Relax, get a snack and have some fun. Then get back to taking care of business and live life to the fullest.
GRACE to you,
Bill (a fellow-laborer)
Tags: church planters, Church Planting, prayer
This week I spent some time talking about church planting and praying about church planting. So I thought it would be good for us to pray about church planting. I don’t have any one city in mind, but the northeastern United States could certainly use some prayer.
Pick a city other than the one you live in and ask God to:
- Raise up men to go there and plant sound Biblical churches.
- Lead the church planters to the gatekeepers and to let them find favor with them.
- Lead the church planters to the persons of peace and to be able to lead them to faith in Christ.
- To protect them and their families spiritually, physically and emotionally.
- Raise up an intercessory prayer team for them, their families and the churches.
- To provide them encouragers for the rough times they will encounter.
- For the church planters to lead people to Christ and to make disciples and train leaders.
- For these churches to become strong and healthy and to plant other churches also.
(36)When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (37)Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. (38)Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.” (Matthew 9:36-38 NIV)
(6)No one is like You, O Lord: You are great and Your name is mighty in power. (7)Who should not revere You, O King of the nations? This is Your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like You. (Jeremiah 10:6-7 NIV)
Trust God to do mighty things in answer to your prayers of faith. He delights to hear His children pray. Thank you for praying,
Bill (a fellow-laborer)
“He who lives without prayer, he who lives with little prayer, he who seldom reads the Word, and he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high — he will be the man whose heart will become dry and barren.”
– C. H. Spurgeon
“Oh! Men and brethren, that God would appear among us and do wondrous things here, as in the times of former generations.” – C. H. Spurgeon
“There is yet very much land to be possessed, and our plea to you is: ‘Come over and help us’ to possess it for our God and for the truth as it is in Jesus…The situation is more urgent and pressing than ever. There remain as many souls to be reached; the work has been increased in difficulty; and our time for its accomplishment is diminishing. When it is remembered, in connection with the foregoing, that a little time is necessary to fit new men for work, now is emphatically our time.” – J. A. Brunson (a missionary to Japan in the late 1800’s)
Tags: warriors, wildmen, wimps
I think men fall into one of these three categories. Each type results from both a way of thinking and behavioral choices. A man can grow out of the first two types or fall out of the third type depending on a few things. A man may think he is one type, but his words and actions may show that he is another type. Sadly, sometimes men settle for far less than the ideal.
I don’t want to be overly critical as I present my views. As long as Jesus is Lord there is hope for change and growth in maturity. This may be somewhat painful for some readers. But a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. Let’s look at it as if we are rescuing some men who have potential. So, what’s a wimp? Is “wimp” even in the dictionary?
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary has this entry for Wimp: Pronunciation: \`wimp\; Function: noun; Etymology: origin unknown; date: 1920; a weak, cowardly, or ineffectual person. Wimp out: Function: intransitive verb; Date: 1981; to behave like a wimp, to chicken out; especially to choose the easiest course of action.
From these definitions we could say that a wimp is a weak, cowardly man. He is ineffectual, chickens out and looks for the easy decision and/or course of action. It doesn’t sound like he would build confidence in others. It also doesn’t sound like you would want to follow someone like this. So what might be some characteristics of a wimpy man?
First, I think a wimp is a whiner. A wimp will always have something to whine about. They will even find a reason to criticize another man’s success. Second, they play the blame game. Wimps are irresponsible and have to have someone or something to blame for their problems. Of course it’s not their fault!
Next, wimps are fearful of risks. They are the kind of guys who won’t honestly tell you what they think at the beginning of a project. But let something go wrong and they will tell you all the reasons they knew it would never work. They fear active involvement. If something does not work out they don’t want to get blamed.
They also look for the easy way out. They will avoid sacrifice and loss of comfort regardless of the cost to personal integrity. When looking for guidance they find answers in the easy way. The easier the better and more peace to them or so they think.
Lastly, they are afraid of being found out. They sense that there is something they want to be like, but they are afraid of the responsibility of masculinity. They are afraid of real men or warriors. Wimps don’t like to be challenged. They don’t necessarily like to lose but they are willing to lose masculinity for personal comfort.
Real men, real warriors can spot a wimp. They can hear the wimp’s whine. They can see the wimp’s behavior. The real man balances tenderness with toughness. He balances compassion with courage. The warrior is willing to serve and sacrifice. A warrior can lift someone up or stoop down to help someone out. A real man is humble and can give credit away, yet he is also ambitious and wants to be successful. A real man can work with someone he may not like because he respects him. They trust each other to do their best. A real man is everything a wimp is not. Wimp’s know this too. They will usually try to avoid real men.
In the last paragraph you can read part of my understanding of a godly man or a warrior. I will elaborate on that more in the near future. Hopefully I have given you something to think about. But there are some questions I would like to leave you with and hope you will come back next week to look over my thoughts and answers.
So are there Biblical examples of wimps? If so, are there examples of wimps changing and becoming warriors? Are there examples of a godly man helping a wimpy man become a warrior? What is involved in the change process? Or is it o.k. to be a wimp? You know, once a wimp, always a wimp. Or is that last statement a lie that the devil would like a wimp to believe? I invite you back next week for part 3.
(Romans 15:13; Jeremiah 32:27)
Copyright: Bill Mazey
Tags: book review, live free or die, mark steyn, martin sanders, mentoring, the power of mentoring
I posted a book review of The Power of Mentoring, Shaping People Who Will Shape the World by Martin Sanders.
I found this older article, “Live Free or Die!” by Mark Steyn interesting also. You can find it here: http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2009&month=04
I hope you are encouraged and learn something new from the reading.
Tags: Don't Quit, endurance, keep pressing on, manhood, overcoming difficulty, spiritual warfare, Stu Webber, William Gurnall
Sometimes circumstances or people can give us a swift unexpected kick. At times like that we have to remember some foundational truths. One being, Christians are involved in spiritual warfare. We live in a war zone, all day, and every day. But there is help and there is hope. They are found in the person of Jesus Christ and the promises of the Word of God.
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12 NIV)
Second, those of us who are in Christ, who know Him personally as Lord and Savior, can be assured of His presence in our lives. Whether in good times or bad times we can be confident of His presence and provision. Our enemy may throw fiery arrows at us trying to get us to doubt the Word of God. But we need to remember that is part of the Christian life.
“But,” the doubting soul may ask, “what if I cannot grasp this assurance, or vouch for those evidences which I once thought to be true?” Then try the following prescriptions as a tonic for your ailing faith.
First of all, renew your repentance, as if you had never repented. Put forth fresh acts of faith, as if you had never believed, and you will beat Satan at his own game. Let him tell you that your former actions were hypocritical, or that they are old and worthless. What can he say against your present affirmation of faith? In this way, the very accusations he uses to drive you away from God, instead draw you closer to Him.
If he still haunts you with fears of you spiritual condition, then apply to the throne of grace and ask for a new copy of the old evidence, which you have misplace. The original is in the pardon office in heaven, of which Christ is the Master. And if you are a saint, your name is on record in that court. Appeal to God, and hear the news from heaven, rather than listen to the tales your enemy brings from hell. If you would argue less with Satan and pray more to God about your fears, they would soon be resolved. Can you expect truth from a liar, or comfort from an adversary? Turn your back on him and go to God. Try not to worry. Sooner or later you will receive your certificate of assurance. (from The Christian In Complete Armour by
William Gurnall, Feb. 16)
Third, my brothers and sisters, we have to keep pressing on. Don’t give up on your faith in God. Don’t believe the father of lies who tries to tell you that either God doesn’t care or He simply can’t do anything about your problem. Remember the words of Paul, Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Phil. 3:12). We have a responsibility to lay aside what easily entangles us and look toward Jesus and press on. He has overcome and in Him we are overcomers! Don’t quit, keep pressing on!
You Mustn’t Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest! if you must – but never quit.
Life is queer, with its twist and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out;
Stick to your task, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with one more blow.
Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt –
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that YOU MUSTN’T QUIT.
– author Unknown, from Along The Road To Manhood
by Stu Webber, p. 92.
Tags: guy movies, man movies, movies every guy should watch
I was listening to a sports radio program a week or so ago and they started talking about movies. The host mentioned a movie that every guy should watch. I haven’t seen it. I’ve seen clips of it on TV, but I haven’t watched Die Hard. But it did start me thinking about movies that every guy should watch. This was difficult to narrow down to 5 movies, so I have an honorable mention too. Maybe I’ll post that next week.
My top 5 are based on the fact that they move me in some way. There is something about them that holds my attention and makes me come back again. They’re that good. The top 5 could be interchangeable. I haven’t gotten bored with any of the top 5.
- Twilight Samurai – a black and white movie about a widowed warrior. He is taking care of his two little girls, his elderly mother and working a job that is below who he really is. People make fun of him and he carries himself well. He does not brag about his past victories. Then he is called upon to defeat a warrior and he is reluctant to go into a fight to the death. But he does and …………
- The Greatest Game Ever Played – loosely based on a true event. This is an inspiring and motivating movie. The game was played in the early 1900’s in Boston at an exclusive country club. The three finalists are all from humble backgrounds and families. Classism and prejudice are clearly seen. At the end when the caddy/hero is on the shoulders of the fans he reaches out and…..
- Air Force One – the president of the United States is kicking some terrorist butt! The president helps people get to safety and then stays to do some serious hands on good old fashioned butt whuppin. What’s not to like. If only………..
- My Side of the Mountain – a movie from my youth about a boy who lives in the big city and runs away from home to live in the woods. He hollows out a dead tree, learns to live off the land and takes care of himself. I think I read the book when I was in the sixth grade. This story is all about the adventure, the exploring and………..
- Pork Chop Hill – the old black and white war movie. It’s all about the bravery, sacrifice and heroism. These men chose to fight. They obeyed orders even though it did not make sense at the time. This movie is good. It makes you feel patriotic and ………
This is my list and I own a copy of each movie. What would be on your list of 5 movies every guy should watch. Why? Have some fun and watch a good movie. But not today or this weekend! Go out on a date with your wife or girlfriend and enjoy her company. Invest some quality time in your relationship. That will be more rewarding than watching a good movie. The movies will always be there for another day. Have some fun this weekend.
Bill (Romans 15:13)
There will be a new Book Review on Monday or Tuesday, The Power of Mentoring, Shaping People Who Will Shape the Future by Martin Sanders. I started to read it quickly and found I had to go back and read it slowly. I underlined and wrote notes in the margins. I am surprised I had never heard of this book before. I hope you come back and look for the review. Thanks and a shout out to the publisher for sending it to me.