1

The Nicklaus Notion

With Atlanta basking in the afterglow of the PGA Championship, it’s a great day to talk about golf. While we’re at it, let’s talk about a sizzling prayer life too, because golf is a very spiritual game when you put it under the scope.

Anybody who picks up a golf club soon develops the secret suspicion that he could rise to greatness (or at least pretty-darned-goodness) if he would just get some help, practice and play more. Let’s call this suspicion the Nicklaus Notion.

The Nicklaus Notion can take root in almost any soil. Visit any driving range in the world and you’ll see the evidence; ranks of deluded hackers taking themselves far too seriously. They aren’t really learning anything, they’re just flailing away and rejoicing or cursing at the “random” outcome of each shot.

Once in awhile a man will act on the Nicklaus notion. He takes lessons. He practices. He plays regularly and becomes a student and lover of the game rather than a mere range clown. At the very least, such a man almost always enjoys considerable improvement in his game.

Most hackers, though, will never act on the Nicklaus Notion. They’ll never make the investment of time, mind and money, and these will forever suspect they could have been good “if only.” Continue reading

34

Suppression of Essence

In “Blazing Saddles,” Mel Brooks is the clueless, cock-eyed governor of a lawless western state. To emphasize his status, he has even had the letters “GOV” taped to the back of his suit.

Always alarmed by any resistance to his selfish ambitions, the GOV has assembled his cabinet of bureaucratic henchmen to deal with the latest threat: A small, feisty town which refuses to yield to the GOV’s dastardly dream of a monopolistic railroad.

The rebel village is led by Sheriff Cleavon Little, a glamorous black cowboy who sports a Gucci saddle, and Marty Feldman, an apathetic gunslinger and recovering drunk whose shooting hand quivers due to years of a liquor-only diet.

Pacing frantically at the podium of the gubernatorial conference room, the GOV sums up the urgency of the situation by declaring, “Men, we’ve got to protect our phoney-baloney jobs!”

At this passionate plea, all but one of the governor’s henchmen respond with hardy harrumphs. “Harrumph! Harrumph!” they gobble, nodding their heads and bobbing their shoulders like so many buzzards frolicking around an antelope carcass.

Suddenly, the governor wheels on the podium and jabs an accusing finger in the general direction of a single henchman (remember he’s cock-eyed, so his aim is suspect).

“Hey,” he grumbles, “I didn’t get a “harrumph” outta that guy.” He then fixes a menacing glare in the general direction of the lone dissenter and hisses, “You watch it, Mister!” Continue reading

5

Prayer Games

It’s a Layman’s Lib basic the key to “getting” from God is to get PO’d; pleasantly obsessed with God and his goodness. Show me somebody who enjoys a steady stream of manifestation—taking hold of answered prayer—and I’ll show you somebody who’s PO’d.

Don’t be confused by the godless man with the charmed life. That’s another topic for another day. Today we’re talking about answered prayer, not blessings that come whether we ask or not.

Whether it’s a character in the Bible or a character in your neighborhood, the person with a predictable pattern of receiving is the person who lives out Psalms 37:4; “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Those who get great prayer results are living out that Scripture, even if they don’t know book, chapter and verse. They may not have the sheet music, but they’re playing the tune by ear. They know intuitively that it’s the truth, not the address, which sets us free.

“Shortcuts” such as anointed cloths, internet chain prayers and the prayer of Jabez are the lottery tickets of the prayer world. They are, like lottery tickets, an idiot tax that “works” for a few and fails for a horde.

Truth be told, these gimmicks don’t work for anybody for any length of time. Ah, but coincidence coupled with testimony makes for great marketing.

There is simply no reliable shortcut to answered prayer, but there is a reliable express lane. That means you can’t shorten the distance, but you can reduce the time it takes to get there. Continue reading

7

3-Minute Salespitch

Each morning, the instant you awake, a competition takes place. Among the contestants are; Your soul mate. Your kids. Your job.

The cares you brought to bed. The duties that lay ahead. The coffee pot. The gym.

The phone. The TV. The radio. The mirror. Mother Nature. The enemy.

Also throwing his hat into the competition—the competition for your first few minutes—is the Creator of this new day, the One who invented sleep so that the table could be cleared, overnight preparations made, and a new table set this morning.

Because you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you confer great honor upon whomever—or whatever—you seek first upon waking. Your first few minutes are a gift to someone or something. Continue reading

Isotrip Disarmed

The viggies—visually impaired guides—have struck again, and I was one of thousands of eyewitnesses. The names will be changed to protect those who think they’re innocent.

Pastor “Junior Jim” was filling in at the ol’ mega-church while Pastor “Big Bob” was away on Big Stuff. Junior delivered his message at four Sunday services, plus it was beamed to several satellite campuses. All told, the message was heard by the equivalent of the entire population of Caspar, Wyoming or Fort Dodge, Iowa. Drop one tainted apple in a barrel that big and you can do some real damage.

During an otherwise-uplifting sermon, Junior dropped this stealth bomb: Continue reading

Feherty Sizzles With Spirituality

When it comes to new TV shows, I’m usually one of the last guys to jump on the bandwagon. F’instance, “Seinfeld” ran for 13 years and was off the air before I ever laid eyes on it. Ah, but once I got sold, I stayed sold.Today I’m such a Seinfeld nut that I have pre-meditated what I’m going to do if I ever meet one of the main characters or creator Larry David in real life. I’m not going to gush like a lobotomized celebrity-worshiper. I’m not going to grovel for an autograph. I’m not even going to give them their privacy, as if I’m unimpressed. No, what I’ll do is look him or her straight in the eye, offer a congratulatory handshake and say, “I owe you a debt of feel-good I can’t possibly repay. Thank you so much.” THEN I’ll give them their privacy. I mention this personal quirk – slowness on the pop culture uptake – to emphasize how unusual it is for me to recommend a new TV show, which is exactly what’s going to happen in three, two, one seconds…If you haven’t checked out “Feherty” on Golf Channel, you might be missing something special. As they say in the investment world, past performance is no guarantee, Continue reading