Pastor's Pen
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July 13, 2016, 12:29 PM

How to Line Up Your Fourth Putt

How To Line Up Your

Fourth Putt


   I had a group of golfing buddies in another church I served and for a going away gift they gave me a book titled: How To Line Up Your Fourth Putt. The chapters are only about two to three pages with titles such as: When Trajectory Is Important On Short Putts; When To Chip From The Tee; How To Avoid The Water When You Lie 8 In The Bunker; Telling Jokes When Your Opponent Is In The Bunker; Crying And How To Handle It; How to Rationalize A 7-Hour Round; and my favorite, What To Do When You’ve Parred The Course By The 11th Hole. O.K., a couple more: How To Find A Ball That Everyone Else Saw Go In The Water; When To Blame The Caddie, and Why Your Wife No Longer Cares That You Birdied The 4th.

   I would suggest that everyone of us who play the game have experienced one or more of these situations! It gives you a feeling of lostness, aloneness, and sometimes failure. And the next time you are on the course, one of your buddies experiences what you did and you begin to think, “Hey, I’m not alone.” Several years ago, I was playing with three friends at Dornick West (Lake View) and one player was trying to hit his “third” shot out of a bunker and said, “I’m getting ready to play one of the finest courses in the country in a couple of weeks and I can’t get out of this little trap.” Been there! Done that! It’s a slipping feeling!

   Have you been away from God and God’s Word and maybe from church for a while? You feel a little eerie when you enter the sanctuary. But when it is all over you begin to think, “Wow! What a sermon I heard in the anthem.” The minister might have put you to sleep. Trust me, all of us who preach have had those Sundays. But you begin to think, “Where can I begin to get back into God’s word?” Even before you begin to think about going to a Sunday school class (where you might be called upon to read or answer a question), you want to know where to begin.

   I have been asked that question a number of times and here is where I suggest you begin: begin reading John’s Gospel in the New Testament. It’s the Fourth Gospel and is full of long conversations Jesus had with a variety of people. If you have a Red Letter Edition of the Bible, you will find a lot of red in John’s Gospel. The first chapter sets the stage for what’s to come in the other 20 chapters. John writes: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him … And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-3, 14). Give John a try, it could ignite something new in your summer reading! 07.10.2016

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore (the church with the bells) and can be reached at:



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