Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Making the Cut

Professional golfers leave nothing to chance in preliminary rounds as they try to make the cut for the final rounds, where the big rewards are waiting for them.

A perfect golf swing combines grip, relaxed balance, split-second timing and minute variations of angles – a multiple challenge. But golf provides other challenges: bunkers; water traps; fairway doglegs with hidden shrubbery and wind gusts that change the force and direction of our shots.

Professionals and hackers alike take responsibility for our balls whereabouts, though hackers never know how good a shot is until after we’ve played it. Still, that’s part of golfs attraction.

Golf mirrors many aspects of faith, though God wants no-one to miss the cut – even offering to qualify us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. For just like golf, where we must personally accept our position, our relationship with Him must be personal rather than second-hand.

Once we start exploring this relationship, He frees us from any fearful, competitive need to impress Him or anyone else with how good we are. Instead, we discover the total reassurance that comes from experiencing how His grace works. For His grace absorbs and overturns our worst mistakes and our deepest wounds – without making us all-important or putting us aside. And as our confidence releases His warmth and credibility, people around us can start to discover that He’s also there for them.

That’s because faith doesn’t bother with preliminary rounds. It gets us rolling here and now, with opportunities that keep on coming.

 

Noel Mitaxa

On behalf of a church near you

Inviting you to explore God’s love

Noel Mitaxa is from South Eastern Australia and has been in ministry since 1973, firstly with Churches of Christ – similar to the Disciples in the USA – until 1990, when he moved to a faith-based inter-based inter-church sports ministry of sports evangelism, sports chaplaincy and sports media, before returning to pastoral ministry with Baptist Churches in 1996.

Throughout his ministries, he has always aimed at building the kinds of churches that express God’s love practically, as much as verbally.  Most recently, this included a community centre for woodworking, a community garden and counseling and education programs.

He also enjoys the methanol fix of speedway chaplaincy, in which he has served nine seasons as the Head Rev of all those rev heads!

He and his wife Judy have been married for 35 years; their four kids have grown up and they have three grandchildren.

His writing began in 1982, with his first weekly Good News column, which has always focused on helping unchurched people to realize that God loves them and that He is already there for them.  The column has also been a tool for feeding and starting ‘water cooler’ conversations among Christians and non-Christians.  He also writes for Cypress Times in Houston TX.

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