Golf That Matters — My Best Game EVER!

Best Golf Game EVER!

The golf season is coming to an end for me because of the winter months and the need to spend golf funds elsewhere, i.e., Christmas presents. So today was the last day to get out for a round of golf. I was hoping to do well, and I did!

On the front nine I shot a personal best of 51, with three pars. I parred holes 3, 4, and 7, which really made the difference. Not a single blowup hole and I managed the course much better than in the past.

The back nine is considered much more difficult than the front nine. I’ve been told to add about 10 strokes to figure out what your game will look like on the back nine if you are consistent. I only added 6 strokes and finished with a 57, for a 108 total. That is the best score ever. Here is the clincher. In those 108 strokes, I didn’t lose a ball, or have to use a mulligan, meaning that the score is an honest 108. If you figure in my 35 handicap, that would be a 73 for tournament play. But I rarely use my handicap.

Needless to say, I’m quite pleased with the game. There is only one shot I would like back from all of them, a muffed second shot on the 18th. But my recovery shots looked really good which made up for it.

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From Pleasantville to Principia — The Journey of One Woman’s Life from the Cult of Christian Science to Christ

The following was written by Ashley. She shared this with me after she discovered my posts about Christian Science on the cults page. I’m sharing her testimony with you, and with permission.

From Pleasantville to Principia

If you looked up my childhood in a dictionary, you would have found the word Pleasantville.  I was raised in Kansas City by two very loving, grounded, hard-working parents.  I had a brother 2 years older than me, and the four of us together were very close, loving and fun.  My brother and I were pretty good kids growing up.  Our parents ran an indoor sports complex, and so athletics were extremely important in our family.  We both grew up playing sports and hoped to someday see the fruit of our hard work through a College scholarship.

The Falsity of Fainting

We were members of the local Christian Science church.  I never really noticed that I was different from anyone else in school because of the church I attended.  I didn’t really notice there were other churches outside of Christian Science.  The first recollection of me realizing that Christian Science was different and so was I, was when I fainted for the first time.

It was on the day of Thanksgiving.  While getting ready for church, I made it very clear that my stomach was really hurting me and I didn’t feel capable of going and sitting for an hour in church.  As was custom, my mom or dad took me into a quiet room of the house and shared that I needed to “Know the Truth” about myself and to read from the Science and Health the Scientific Statement of Being.  I can to this day repeat it verbatim.

There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.

Praying that my body was spiritual and not material, I tried to be a good Christian Scientist, and overcome my pain by changing my thought and aligning it with God’s thought and proceed to attend the morning church service.

It didn’t take but twenty minutes into the service and I looked at my brother and shook my head.  The rest I don’t remember up until I woke to throwing up in the bathroom.  I was told that I fell back on the pew, hit my head, slid under the seat and started to throw up.  My dad rushed me out of the church.  I went home and was sick the whole week.  We prayed and no medical attention was sought out for my stomach pains and dizziness.

Through this experience, what made me realize that something was different about Christian Science was the reaction of my church congregation; or lack thereof.  No one mentioned my faint when I came back the following Sunday.  And I was told not to discuss  it to any friends, neighbors or family members.  By sharing this “false belief” about me fainting, I was accepting it to be true about myself.  And it wasn’t true, because I was a perfect child of God.

My faints continued and so did my parents need help me KNOW THE TRUTH and not accept them.  I remember a time where my family drove to Florida and we had stopped at a gas station.  I had been sleeping in the back and woke up and no one was in the car.  I ran into the gas station in complete fear that I wouldn’t get my candy they usually would let us have on stops.  When I found my mom, I started to faint.  She quickly dragged me into the bathroom so that no one would see.  I remember vividly her trying to quietly wake me up and tell me that someone else was in the bathroom and to be quiet.  I didn’t understand why I couldn’t have the help of someone else besides my parents, but she definitely didn’t want my faint to be seen.  I have continued to have fainting issues to this day.  To be clear, I don’t want to dishonor my parents for what they thought was the right thing to do in those situations.  They always did their best to keep me safe and protected.  But what really stood out to me was the rejection of the belief that I was a “fainter”.  This rejection issue feeds into so many other areas of the Christian Science life.  There’s a sense of shame that comes with a Christian Scientist’s failure to have healing or physical health.  It is hard for me now to wrap my brain around.  If I couldn’t overcome my faints, I felt that it was something I wasn’t understanding in my own thought about God and my true being.  When in all reality, I’m a fainter and it’s okay.  To sum up, Christian Science is a works “religion” and teaches that IF we are praying rightly and “knowing the Truth”, healing will occur.  If no healing occurs; we aren’t where we need to be mentally.  Works.  And that is not how God works.  He is a God of GRACE.

The Principia Bubble

When my brother and I had gotten older, the reality that we were the only Christian Scientists in our school, started to settle in.  When our school had flu shots or required physicals, my parents handed in exemption forms from our local Church to our teachers, while all the other classmates were in the nurse’s office.  It became evident to my parents that we were slowly being opened up to the medical world quickly through our schooling and friendships we made.  So my parents did the right thing as Christian Scientists did, and they sold their business and home and moved us to St. Louis to attend the Principia Upper School-A School for Christian Scientists.

Principia offered everything my parents hoped and prayed for.  My brother and I had a strong education but more importantly, we both became extremely passionate for Christian Science.  We both were thorough in our studying of the Bible with its’ important Key- Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy.  Every morning I read my Bible lesson and let the Science and Health guide me throughout the Bible in it’s own specific way, and I made my parents extremely proud with my daily spiritual growth.

The Wrong Decision or my BEST Decision

When it came time to choose where to go to College, I had always known that softball would play a key role in my decision process.  Considering I loved the sport and my parents paid a lot of money so I could play at an elite level all throughout high school, I made getting a scholarship my main goal.  At the time, I was 4th generation Christian Scientist.  My brother was already attending Principia College, and so were my cousins.  I worked extremely hard to get my scholarship and fortunately was offered one.

My parents still begged me to apply for Principia College and this is first part of “my story” where I knew the Lord specifically directed me.

I was always so obedient to my parents, but in my heart I knew Principia was the wrong place for me.  My reasoning was that all my highschool friends would be there and I didn’t want to repeat highschool all over again.  But looking back, it seemed very unlike me to not even please my parents with applying as a back up plan.

From College to I Do’s

I had 4 great years of college.  I stayed true to being a Christian Scientist, but found myself around a lot of people who thought I was extremely different.  I laughed it off, and egotistically thought that I knew the Bible better and was more spiritual than them.  After all, I was a Christian Scientist and was capable of healing myself through prayer.  They were all “weak” in thought and needed medicine.

And this is the 2nd part of “my story” where I saw the Lord’s hand at work.  He brought me my sweetheart.

My husband was a blessing like no other.  He was raised Catholic and I was raised Christian Science.  What were we to do?  Knowing my temperament, if I had married a man who was extremely opinionated and impatient, I probably would have put my foot down and said there was no way I would leave Christian Science.  But my husband was and still is none of those qualities.  He’s patient, open-minded and always calm.

We decided to attend both each other’s churches.  We both had found we disliked different parts of each other’s denomination and decided that we would figure it out in time, instead of pushing to join a church.

“But I’m a Christian!”

Right in the beginning of our marriage, my kind-hearted Mother in Law encouraged me to attend a Bible Study.  It is a 8 year study called Bible Study Fellowship.  This Bible Study didn’t allow you to speak about specific denominations.  It was a pure study of the Bible with application questions.   I thought it was great.  I had never studied the Bible without the Science and Health right next to me, and so I was very intrigued by this “new age” way to study.  Oh me.

The first year I really enjoyed the study.  But as any well-trained Christian Scientist would do, I ignored the parts of the Bible that were not “inspired by God’,  such as “we are sinners…”, “Christ is God”.  Obviously those were not inspired because Mary Baker Eddy told me that I am made perfect, sin does not exist and Christ is a great example-BUT DEFINITELY NOT GOD.

As I studied the Bible, the more clear it was to me that Mary Baker Eddy left out some extremely solid nuggets of TRUTH that I desperately needed to know about.  When I studied and realized that Jesus declared himself to be THE Savior, and that a final day of judgement was to come for all men, I was stumped.  I was told differently by my leader Mary Baker Eddy about my salvation.  That’s when my world began to crumble.  Is she calling Jesus a liar?  I couldn’t piece it all together without feeling a great deal of anxiety.  Nothing is more humbling than being passionate for one set of beliefs all your life and to one day find out that you are incredibly wrong.  But this is where the Lord really protected my broken-hardened heart.   At Bible Study Fellowship (bsfinternational.org) they would always ask us at the end of the lecture if we had accepted Christ.  That was what would qualify someone as being Christian.  I of course ignored that portion of the lecture because I was a Christian.  Right? Wrong.  The Lord continued to protect me.

The second year of this Bible Study feels like it was just yesterday; and I wish it was.  I would love to go back and repeat the feelings I had over and over.  It was my fourth week and we were studying the Book of Matthew.  One of the key principles shared was, “Repentance involves changed thinking and a changed life”.  That night, my life was changed.  I don’t even know how my legs walked me out of that church, but I somehow made it to my car and called my Mother in Law and started rambling off a bunch of questions.  Like always, she was calm, comforting, knowledgeable, and extremely helpful.  That night on the phone, I came to KNOW the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.  22 years old.  I drove home, and looking back I’m surprised that I didn’t get a speeding ticket.  I found my husband and quickly told him the news.  The GOOD NEWS.   Together we worship the Lord and I can’t be more grateful for God’s hand in my life.

Can someone teach me to forget, not just forgive?

I will be honest and say that I am definitely a working progress throughout this amazing change in my life.  Although I now know the Lord as my Savior, the pain of knowing I’m the “black sheep” in my family and lost in a sea of Christian Science friends who don’t understand who I am anymore, is one big dark cloud over my head.  I am working on forgiveness and trying to understand what God wants out of me.  But the anger I have and grudges I hold are not mine to carry.  They are the Lord’s. I am taking a place that’s not really mine when I hold onto the way people have wronged me.

I think about Joseph and his darkest hours in prison, sold into slavery by his own family, and wonder what He thought about God.  God brought people into Joseph’s life in his darkest hours to comfort and help him.  I think about my darkest hours and look back at different people God brought into my life.  He was always there through the encouragement and comfort of others.

This is my lower story that will glorify God’s upper story.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
It’s all about the UPPER STORY.  Christian Science was my darkest hour, and I know there will be many stumbling blocks along the way-but I have the armor of Jesus Christ and cannot be shaken.  It’s all about the Upper Story.

I Confess: I Have No Idea Who Honey Boo Boo Is!

When I saw the title of this video, I knew immediately what was going to take place. The reporter was going to ask people about what they knew concerning the terrorists attacks on our embassy in Libya in which four people were killed including our ambassador, Christopher Stevens.

The counter question: “do you know who Honey Boo Boo is?” I had no clue. At first, I thought it was a reference to an LSU player who was kicked off the team earlier this year that goes by the name, Honey Badger. But I was wrong. Honey Boo Boo is not a football player, but some tiny, fat, big mouthed little girl that makes spaghetti with ketchup and butter. She is on some television show. I think, it’s a reality television show, which shows I’m not much into reality… I guess….

The truth of the matter is that it is probably a good thing I know where Benghazi is, and what took place there and not who Honey Boo Boo is. If you don’t know Honey Boo Boo, you are probably better off.

SAD REALITY: These are the same people who make up their decision on who they vote for based on the color of a man’s skin, and flippant silliness like “hope and change.” They don’t let facts get into the way of their decisions, just vote away even though a man’s policies, especially socialists policies, have more effect on us, our pocketbooks, and the freedoms in this country than anything Honey Boo Boo says or does.

Sorry about this, but you need to follow the link. I couldn’t figure out how to insert it into the post.

news-quiz-benghazi-vs-honey-boo-boo

Saying Goodbye to Ron

Seventy years truly does pass quickly. That is how long God blessed our brother in the LORD Ron Rondestvedt with life on this earth. I know from a young-man’s perspective, 70 years is a long time. But from my perspective at 51, and Ron’s wife’s perspective, 70 years went by too quickly.

That truth was made all too real when I watched the video of Ron’s life at the funeral home web page. It started with a common picture that Rhoda kept on her desk while secretary of Redeemer Christian Fellowship. The next picture: Ron as a baby, Ron as a toddler, Ron as a child, teenager, young man, married man, father, grandfather… His life of 70 years was condensed down into 6 minutes and 44 seconds. The video hardly does it justice.

It failed to show the Ron for the man he was, the loving husband, father, friend and brother. It failed to show the adventures he had as well as the trials he experienced. It doesn’t show his beliefs and the things that were important to Ron, like his family and His LORD. The video cannot show us his life, it’s but a small, infinitesimal glimpse. That is all it can be. Not that we should not put the videos together. We should. But his life, and ours, are so much more than we can capture on video and film.

I think the reason that Ron’s death has caught me off guard is because of this reality that 70 years truly is nothing at all in the long term of things. The Apostle Peter said it this way:

“All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man[b] as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Our lives are like the grass and the flowers that fade away. I’m sure today, there will be those who will say things like “Ron lives on in our hearts.” Those things are always said. But he doesn’t live on there, nor do we want him to. After all, 50 years from now, who will still be alive that truly knew Ron, or any one of us after we die?

Memories are just too faulty to give any credence to such a notion that someone lives on in our hearts. Looking at Ron’s life, I could identify with the things he experienced because I had similar experiences, just as many of you did as well. But even those experiences fade over time. There is no going back to them, even though we have our snapshots of them. We cannot relive the experience that came and went like a freight train through town. No matter how hard we try, no matter how many pictures we take, that freight train of experience just passes on through and it gone the very next moment.

All this to say that life passes too quickly. Even if Ron had lived for another 25 years, when it was over, it still went by too quickly. That is the point of what Peter is saying to us in the verses above. Life passes quickly. We can look back on Ron’s life, and see those precious moments when he was a toddler that had learned to walk, and was walking at full speed with the joy of discovery. We know that we experienced such life as well, and have children who are still experiencing such things. But they too, will one day come to the end of their short, 70 years.

I don’t say all this to be depressing. I’m grateful for the 70 that Ron had, and the 51 that I do have. But there has to be more to all this than just the accumulation of our experiences. There has to be more than the photo albums can show us. There has to be more than what the fading memories recall about us.

And of course, that is why Peter concludes his quotation from Isaiah with: “but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

This passing of Ron, or any of the recent deaths our small church has experienced over the past few months, would be truly depressing without those words. Peter is reminding us of the hope we have in Christ and of His Kingdom that never passes away. The precious moments of His Kingdom are eternal. Those things that make this life good, never pass in the life to come. The experiences of joy, family, and friendship that we have here, never end there because His word endures forever. Christ’s Kingdom never passes away.

The kingdoms of men all pass away. We see our own kindgom in the throes of death now, but not the Kingdom of Christ. It endures forever.

Now that Ron is a full-fledged member of that Kingdom, he will never have to face trials again. He is done with the trials of this life. The moments that so quickly eluding him here, are permanent there. The relationships that were broken here, do not fade in the next life. Those who know him there will no longer have faulty memories. Their joy is made complete in Christ and Christ is the focus of their lives now. No more distractions by the things of this earth.

But what about us? What about those of us who still face the trials of this life? Christ is our hope. For those of us in Him through faith, we have the hope of seeing Ron and all the others that have gone on before us. The separation for us may last 10, 20, 30 or 40 years, but for Ron, it will be but a moment. And in that moment, the pains of this life will pass for us as well. No more grass blades fading away. We will become permanent residences of a permanent Kingdom with permanent friendships and a permanent family.

Yes, the grass withers and flowers fade, but our LORD’s words endure forever. Because of this truth, so do we, even though in this life, we experience the quick passing of a mere 70 years.

BREAKING NEWS: Felix Baumgartner NOT First to Break Speed of Sound

BREAKING NEWS: We’ve found exclusive* video on Youtube showing that Felix Baumgartner was not the first man to jump out of a craft and break the speed of sound in his descent. This exclusive video shows that another man, who’s name has yet to be released to the public, beat Baumgartner in his death-defying jump.

Please, don’t watch this video if you don’t want the truth. It’s just too shocking how we can be so duped by the media and how biased they are. Baumgartner was only watched because he was sponsored by Red Bull! This poor man didn’t have such sponsorship… all he could get was the small toy company Lego to help him. So sad that he didn’t get any credit whatsoever.

OK, I hope you enjoyed that.

It was fun knowing that when Baumgartner made his historic leap into the history and record books, he was only about 25 miles away from where we were. We could see his balloon up in the stratosphere when we came out of church, although we could not see him since we didn’t have any binoculars or a telescope handy. We watched the jump on a cell phone and ran outside to watch when he made the jump. I thought I heard the sonic boom, but no one else did. Given my weak hearing, not sure that is what I heard.

Afterwards, Andy said “how come we didn’t hear the electronic boom?”

* (Realize that I use the word “exclusive” not in the sense that this video is actually exclusive, given that it is on Youtube. I use the word “exclusive” in the journalistic hype sense… which means it has no meaning whatsoever).

J.C. Ryle on Christ’s Preparation of Heaven

I may have used this quote before, but it’s worth repeating. It is from J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John, concerning John 14:2, Jesus going to prepare a place for us.

“Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people: a place which we shall find Christ Himself has made ready for true Christians. He has prepared it by procuring a right for every sinner who believes to enter in. None can stop us, and say we have no business there. He has prepared it by going before us as our Head and Representative, and taking possession of it for all the members of His mystical body. As our Forerunner He has marched in, leading captivity captive, and has planted His banner in the land of glory. He has prepared it by carrying our names with Him as our High Priest into the holy of holies, and making angels ready to receive us. They that enter heaven will find they are neither unknown nor unexpected.”[1]

I think what struck me about it today is that by the time we get to heaven, we are ready for heaven. God has so worked in the believer’s life that he or she no longer need the trials of this life. They have endured enough and our loving LORD calls us to be home with Him. There are some days in which I wish that day would come more quickly than other days, however, I am trusting in HIM for His timing on my eventual call. May I live as He has called me to until that day.

[1] J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospel: John, Vol. 4, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI., 2007, p. 52

Bishop E.W. Jackson Points Out Inconsistency of Democratic Party for Christians

The Bishop E.W. Jackson speaks out against the Democratic Party, saying that it is antithetical to those of us who are Christians. I’ve been saying it for years, how can the party that cherishes killing the unborn have anything to do with the Light of the World? How can the party that recognize two men in an unholy relationship have anything to do with the ONE who said it was an abomination to Him? How can the party the cherishes every level of sinful and rebellious behavior have anything to do with the One who submitted Himself to the death of the cross out of humble obedience?

The Democratic Party and Christianity are incompatible with one another. Christians should leave the party and not vote for those who stand with them.

Here is the Bishop E.W. Jackson saying the same thing from his perspective as a black Christian. I truly am encouraged by his words. Even though he is speaking mainly to black Christians, he reminds us that we need to stand with God, not some political party or candidate. God is the One who will take care of us, not the fallen government. Speaking of which see the second video in which Dr. Barbara Beller points out just how ridiculous it is for us to think that Obamacare will take care anyone at all.

Persecution Pakistan

I woke up this morning realizing just how much danger our brothers and sisters who live in Pakistan face every day. This was brought on by my conversation with a man who has two daughters living as missionaries in Pakistan. I spoke with the man last night and he asked me and our church to pray for his daughters and the other believers who live there.

He shared with me some horrible news that you will not find in MSM or even VOM. On September 21, when the radicals rioted over the bogus film Innocence of Muslims, which is the supposed excuse given for the riots and death for one U.S. Ambassador, they did far more than was reported when they killed five Christians in one area of the country and cut off the hands of a Catholic priest in another area of the country.

I cannot imagine the horror that our brothers and sisters in the LORD faced on September 21. They have since seen the hand of God answering their prayers as the terror has abated. But living here in the comfort of our own country, it is hard to imagine what it must be like to wonder if your church is going to be torched every day. They live with the reality that they could be thrown in jail, attacked and even killed for their faith. When these realities hit me this morning, all I could do is pray.

I also remembered Paul’s words to the Colossians: For if you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. For some reason that gives me great comfort for those who face those tribulations every day. They are on the forefront of persecution from the world, but their lives are hidden with Christ in God. Satan can attack in many ways, but in the end, those attacks are fruitless because those who are hidden in Christ will be raised again in glory. Satan may attack, strike, and even kill us, but if our lives are hidden in Christ, then we are secure in Him. He truly is our shield, rock, protectors and stronghold. 

The body of Christ in Pakistan faces true and real persecution. Remember then in prayer and be thankful for the freedoms still have today. Those freedoms may be removed in the future, but while it is yet today, let us trust in Him and remember that those “in Christ” are hidden with Him in God.