Footgolf – Have You Heard of it?

A few months ago, my husband and I were golfing on a short course we had never tried before.   As we neared the green, we were confused because there were two pins (flags).  On closer examination, we found that one flag pole was sitting in a much larger hole.  What was this?  Was it made for the visually impaired or maybe for someone like me, who has a problem with directionally-challenged balls?  It wasn’t until later that we found out that we’d stumbled across our first footgolf course.

While there are various opinions as to when footgolf was first played, the sport became official in 2008.  It basically is a combination of football (American soccer) and golf.  The rules are essentially the same as golf.  The goal is to get the ball to the cup in as few strokes as possible.  The difference is  that a regulation size soccer ball is used and the ball is contacted by your foot rather than a club.  Also, as I mentioned earlier, the cup is larger so that it can accommodate a soccer ball.

Much larger than a regular golf hole

This last week we finally had a chance to experience the sport first hand.  We drove about an hour to a course, but the long drive was off-set by the fact that we had a Groupon deal which brought the price down to a very reasonable amount.  Most courses include a ball rental fee, so you may want to check into bringing your own soccer ball, if you have one.

From what I’ve read, most footgolf courses have nine holes.  The course we played on had a separate golf course, but most of the time we were within eyesight of the golfers.  As we were handed our scorecard, we were given given one piece of advice – “Watch out for golfers!”  I’ve never been hit by a golf ball, but I’ve had patients who have and have had devastating effects.  All I could do was hope that the golfers near us had better control of their balls that I generally do.

Dark skies couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm

Maybe this is a good time to reveal my lack of golfing ability.  Shortly after we were married, my husband and I took golf lessons.  Our thought was that since neither of us had ever played in the past, we could learn to love the sport together.  I can’t really say that has happened, even after almost thirty years of playing it intermittently, but I do love my husband and enjoy doing things with him.  Our first time golfing netted me a score of 39.  That’s not so bad, right?  That was the number of strokes it took me to get to the first hole!  It was supposed to take me three strokes. No surprise, my husband did significantly better than me.

Even though the years have improved my scores a little, I’m still embarrassingly terrible at golf.  Thankfully I married a very patient man.  For some reason he still seems to enjoy playing with me.  Maybe it’s because I make him look professional in comparison.  So I walked up to the first footgolf tee off area with fresh anticipation.  Even though I’d never played footgolf, it had to be better than regular golf.

Footgolf is not without hazards!

The first thing I happily noted is that it is much harder to miss the ball in footgolf than in regular golf.  I am not saying it can’t be done, but amazingly I never once missed contacting my foot to the ball.  Right from the start, we had a discussion about the proper way to kick the ball.  Should we kick it with the side of our foot or with our toe?  The professional soccer players use the side of their foot.  They must know what they’re doing.  So, I tried my best Pelé kick.  I was glad to see the ball move, but it went way off to one side.  At that moment I decided to switch from being a professional to being a two-year-old soccer player and just kick the ball with my toe.  I’m not saying this is the best method, considering my score was consistently at least double par, but it kept me from running all over the place.

All was going relatively well (at least compared to my usual golf game) until we felt a few drops of rain while waiting to play the second hole.  By the time we had all put our balls in the cup, it started to pour.  We were so thankful that the rain wasn’t accompanied by lightning.  This enabled us to take shelter under a nearby tree.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that a tree, while better than facing the storm without any protection, is less than perfect.  No matter where we stood, we each were getting pelted by rain.  We ran to another tree that gave the allusion that it would shelter us better under its wings.  Hah.  I was just trying to formulate the most direct path back to the clubhouse when suddenly the rain stopped, like someone had just turned off the faucet.  We finished the course wearing sunglasses!

Clouds preparing to bring in rain

I have read that the introduction of footgolf may have saved some golf courses from bankruptcy.  I can see why it is starting to catch on.  No expensive equipment is needed and it is a great option for young and old alike.  I did find my toe was pretty sore by the end of play, but my husband later reminded me that I’d had toe surgery last year on that foot.  I just adjusted by finishing play with my left foot.  Not sure using my non-dominant foot hurt my game all that much.  That’s the beauty of being poor at sports.  I don’t have much to lose!

Why not give footgolf a try?  It’s a simple, inexpensive game.  It will get you outside, breathing in some fresh air.  Thankfully my husband threw our scorecard away, but like with golf, I remind myself that it’s not about winning, but enjoying.

Please follow and like us:

A Proverbs Work Ethic

Have you ever noticed how many times verses in Proverbs talk about laziness?  If the book of the Bible composed of wise sayings has a lot to say about being industrious, maybe we should take note.  One thing I should point out before heading into this subject is that the author has a lot to learn in this area too.  In fact, part way though preparing to write this post, I thought maybe I’d just take a nap and work on it later!

Below I will be listing proverbs on laziness (combining references where they are essentially discussing the same thought).  Following the verse(s) will be a brief explanation of what I believe it is referring to and/or how it can be applied to our present day situation.

Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise,  which, having no captain, overseer or ruler,  provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.  How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?   A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep–  So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.  (See also Prov. 30:25).   A couple points emerge from these verses in my mind.  First, I should have a game plan of my own to work on.  I shouldn’t use an excuse that I haven’t been directed as to a course of action because I should be self-motivated.  Also, the effects of not working can take a toll very quickly.  It doesn’t take long to drain a bank account!

Proverbs 10:5  He who gathers in summer is a wise son; he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.  We need to work while we can.  There may come a day when there will not be an opportunity to work or we won’t have the ability to do so.  Don’t put off to tomorrow what can be done today.  Old age is filled with regret for many of what could have been done, but the time is now lost.

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.  We may be given the choice as to whether to work today, but some day that choice may no longer be ours and we may have to work hard to pay off debts.

Proverbs 12:27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, but diligence is man’s precious possession. (See also Prov 8:9) A lack of energy to do something with what I have on hand today may result in wasting the resources God has provided.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.  Our dreams of the future are impacted by the choices we make today.

Proverbs 14:23 In all labor there is profit, but idle chatter leads only to poverty.  The saying is “Talk is cheap”.  Talking about doing something instead of doing it will not amount to anything.  Also, productive time can be wasted by talking – either in person, on the phone, or using online resources.

Proverbs 19:15  Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.  It’s amazing how quickly time can go by while engaged in idle endeavors.  We may have to sacrifice having a decent dinner because time was not spent in preparing it.  Choosing to engage in activities other than work can eventually lead to not having money to purchase food and other necessities.

Proverbs 19:24  A lazy man buries his hand in the bowl, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again. (See also Prov 26:15)  Laziness leads to more laziness.  More time can be spent trying to evade work than doing it, even when it impacts us negatively in the end.

Proverbs 20:4 The lazy man will not plow because of winter; he will beg during harvest and have nothing.  (See also Prov 21:25)  Life has many decisions.  Sometimes we may not like doing a particular task, so it will be put off.  Procrastination can end up being costly.

Proverbs 22:13 The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” (See also Prov 26:13)  When we want to really do something, nothing will stop us.  When we don’t want to do something, we will become very creative in our excuses.

Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;  and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.  When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction:  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest;  so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.  This analogy is easily seen in literal form every day.  Drive down the street and see a home or business that was abandoned months ago and notice the weeds that quickly take over.  It can also be seen with so many barns that have roofs that have fallen in.  A decision to not make the effort today will not be met with a truce from nature around us.  Weeds will continue to grow, termites will continue to gnaw, the dishes will pile up, and our children will go their own course.  It takes continual effort to even keep our lives in a static position, not to mention trying to make progress.

Proverbs 26:14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed.  When a choice is made over and over to do what appeals to us rather than what needs to be done, it starts to become a way of life.  Others around us may step in and do the work that we’re avoiding.  Soon not only do we not expect to do the work, but others don’t expect anything worthwhile from us.  We define our role in life – we are a hinge that others rotate around.  It takes a conscientious effort to change our course of action and our reputation.

Proverbs 31:10-31 This lengthy portion deserves a careful pouring over.  It is the classic example of a woman who is industrious in every aspect of life.  Some may say she is stifled by the frenzied pace of constantly caring for her family.  Yet, no where do we read that she is depressed, exhausted, or envious of less active women around her.  Instead she is held in high esteem by her husband, her children, and the community that she serves.  She may go to bed tired, but she sleeps knowing she has sacrificed her “me time” for the ultimate goals all of us should have – serving God and loving our neighbors.

We all have different realms of work.  Some of us having paying jobs, some of us have families to care for, some of us volunteer in our community, and some of us serve God by bringing the Good News to our communities and the world beyond.  Frequently our lives encompass many different aspects of work.  The challenge is to see if we using the abilities that God has provided us with to the best of our potential.  Have we made “You deserve a break today” our life motto?  Instead, consider replacing it with this one from Ephesians 5:15,16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Please follow and like us:

Floating Along

Part of my mission in writing a blog is to give you ideas of activities that can get you out enjoying life. As I’ve stated in previous posts, I’m no athlete. In fact, I have to fight a natural tendency to just sit on the couch in my temperature-controlled home with a good book. Yet, I’ve noticed a strange phenomenon – once I’m outside, I usually wind up enjoying life to a greater degree than if I stayed in my safe cocoon.

Today I’m going to address using self-propelled watercraft. Boats – they go against my very nature in multiple ways. First off, unless you are using one with your rubber duckie in the bathtub, you are likely to be *gasp* OUTSIDE! Since I’ve already discussed my aversion to being outdoors, I’ll proceed to the next point.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Photo Books + Wasteful Living Update

I’m going to cover creating photo books in today’s post.  As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, I am a resolution maker.  For years one of my top resolutions was to organize my photos.  Early on in my marriage (and even before), I’d been pretty faithful in placing all my pictures in albums.  Then we had children.  That meant more pictures and less time.  In rare good moments, I labeled the backs of the pictures and placed them in albums.  More often than not, I just crammed the envelope of newly processed photos into an already overstuffed shoe box.  Eventually we moved into the digital age.  Our photography life still mainly consisted of vacation pictures (day to day life isn’t all that exciting), but we had an abundance of other pictures too.  Having a camera on my phone at the ready made spontaneous pictures more possible.  Hence, more to organize.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

The God of Impossible Situations (+ FREE course)

Hello.  If you recall, a couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post on how God uses seemingly insignificant people to accomplish His plans.  I was glad to find that this truth resonated with a lot of people.  Hopefully your faith was uplifted to believe that He can use you too, no matter how small you may feel in this world.  But what if you aren’t as much worried about how you can be useful as much as you see obstacles around you that seem insurmountable?  Should we ever see something as impossible?  Let’s look at some examples from God’s Word and find out what we can learn.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Parades

For those of you who live in the United States, Happy Independence Day! I thought I should write a post today with a holiday theme and decided to write on parade watching. This will be a little shorter than usual, so you can get on with your activities.

When I looked up the history of parades, I found that they started as a way to celebrate military victories. The political ruler or military commander would head up the march through the city with the soldiers following. The leader would show off his prowess and the civilians would cheer him and the army on.

Religious authorities and politicians used parades in much the same way. A parade would be a way to communicate their platforms. The crowds that gathered along the parade route would allow opportunities for these leaders to interact with the common folk.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Chosen by God

“If only I was more persuasive.  I’m not important enough to be able to accomplish this.  I don’t know enough about the subject.  They’ll never listen.  I trip over my own words.  Maybe someone else would be better….”  Moses came up with every excuse in Exodus 4 to try to convince God that he wasn’t the right person for the work God had chosen him for – leading the Israelites out of Egypt.  The trouble, however, didn’t lie in Moses’ mouth; it was in his ears.  He was so caught up in his own insecurities that he totally missed what God had said.  God had introduced Himself as the I AM.  It had nothing to do with Moses.  All power rested in God alone.  Although an onlooker would later see Moses leading the people out of Egypt, he was just a human representative.  The true Deliverer was God and He would be heading the mass as they moved from captivity to freedom.  The real question wasn’t whether Moses was capable, but was God?

Time after time God has chosen the weak to carry out His purposes.  He has used those who, for one reason or another, would be overlooked by the mainstream of society.  When I was in junior high, I dreaded gym class.  It didn’t matter if the sport of the week was basketball, tennis, or gymnastics.  I stunk at them all!  I have never made a lay-up.  I was equally talented at hitting the net with my tennis ball and lobbing my ball over the neighbor’s fence.  My final gymnastics grade depended on me doing a two minute routine.  I couldn’t do a decent somersault, let alone anything that resembled a cartwheel.  I’m convinced that the only reason I passed was because the teacher couldn’t handle me being in her class another painful year.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Sweet Strawberries

Have you ever been to a pick-your-own berry farm? I never had during my 50+ years of life. Maybe five years ago, I bought a strawberry tower pot. It was a dismal flop – no berries! This year I decided to leave the growing to the experts, but still get the experience of fresh fruit.

This past week, my husband and I headed off to a local you-pick farm. As we were checking in, I could hear people around us who sounded like they do this every year. I felt like a child in a new school. Thankfully we weren’t given a lot of rules. Basically we were advised not to pick immature berries and to be careful not to crush the small plants.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Breeding Worms (aka Wasteful Living)

I have a problem…I am wasteful. No big deal, right? I mean in the scope of sins we can commit, wasting must be near the bottom. But, it is there, over and over again, in the Bible.

The first thing that comes to mind is the story of the manna. In case you don’t recall the story in Exodus 16, here’s what happened: The Children of Israel had been delivered from their Egyptian task masters by a miraculous parting of the Red Sea (chapter 14). They were elated and they expressed their joy to God by composing a song about how great His deliverance was and how the Almighty would bring them into the Promised Land (chapter 15). Their satisfaction with their delivering Savior didn’t last long.  They hadn’t been on their journey very long before they angrily complained about being hungry. They went so far as to say that they should have never left their servitude because it was better back in Egypt. Instead of punishing these insolent people, God graciously provided special small, round pieces of bread, called manna. The people were to go out of their tents and gather it every morning. The one stipulation was that they were to take a specific amount. This guaranteed that they would have enough to eat, but not more than they could consume. Of course, some tested God. They took more than they needed and ended up leaving it overnight. In the morning, their wasteful bread attracted worms and it stank.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us: