PASTOR RICK'S BLOG  

Apr 7

Fore!!!

Recently I was reflecting on one of my favorite stress-relievers. Hitting practice golf balls at the driving range. On the practice range I can quickly loose my worries in my search for the perfect golf swing. One day last summer while hitting golf balls at the local practice facility I observed a father and his two children practicing putting on a nearby putting green. “Great shot, man that was awesome! Good job! Way to go big man! Wow, how did you get so good? I am so proud of you!”

My ears perked up. I was intrigued. I see and hear too many parents, teachers, and coaches lambasting their kids, their students or players because of their perceived lack of effort or success, to hear such unscripted praise and encouragement blessed my soul.

After a while, my swing got in a grove and I started really pounding the golf ball. I forgot that the family was nearby watching me. I was in a “zone”. All of a sudden one of the children came by and said. “You sure are a really good hitter.” I smiled and said, “Thanks I appreciate that.” A little while later, his younger brother stopped by and did the same. “Good shot, Mister!” By that time I was really feeling confident. I shanked my next shot almost hitting the range attendant who was picking up golf balls. I looked around to see if the kids had seen my goof. They did not. I was relieved.

Children are extremely impressionable. Values are caught not taught. Our children will model what they see us do and will say what they hear us say. How vital it is that the imprint we make upon our children resembles the Lord and His values. What a powerful imprint those kids father had made upon their lives by praising them. They loved his encouragement. It made them feel valuable and worthy of respect. It not only made them feel good by receiving praise but in giving praise to others.

Encouragement feels great anytime and anywhere like a good back-scratching. It doesn’t matter if your back itches or not, it still feels good. Those kids didn’t have a clue that I needed a word of encouragement that day. They simply came by and gave away to me what they had so richly received from their dad. They blessed my socks off that day and inspired me to bless someone else that day.

As I was getting ready to leave one of my friends joined me. I watched in horror as he hit shot after shot into the woods, across the road and into parts unknown. As I was leaving I turned to Jeff and said, “Slow down, you have a great swing, relax, loosen your grip, be the ball, grip it and rip it.” Gruffly, he replied, “yeah, yeah”. I left. He kept swing away. A few minutes a later he yelled, “Hey Rick, did you see that?”

God is pleased when we lift Him and others up. Try it today. You will be amazed of the effect it will have on you!!

Walk Worthy,
Pastor Rick

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