Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Unwritten Rules

Unwritten Rules

Everyone knows that in golf there are some unwritten rules that people abide by. They may not be legal, but it is all done in fun none the less. Now, if you play by these rules and brag about how low your score is, then it is not so fun.

One of those unwritten rules is called a mulligan. A mulligan is when you miss-hit your first ball on the first tee and you get to do it over. Now there are some who take a mulligan randomly throughout the golf course. It is not a proper golf rule to begin with so how can we be so critical? My question is, “Where and when did the Mulligan begin in golf?” Well, that depends.

The USGA, with supportive research by, found the Mulligan became rooted in the game’s lexicon sometime between the late 1920s and mid-1930s. During that period, Canadian-born amateur David Bernard Mulligan had established himself as a prominent member of clubs that included Winged Foot in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

In the late 1920s, Mulligan had a regular club foursome, and once on the first tee, the story goes, his partners allowed him to hit a second ball after miss-hitting his drive. Mulligan complained that his hands were still numb after driving rough roads and a bumpy bridge.

Mulligan joined Winged Foot Golf Club sometime between 1932 and 1933. A generation later, in July 1985, journalist Don Mackintosh interviewed Mulligan for a column, “Around the Sport Circuit.” Mulligan said: “I was so provoked with myself that, on impulse, I stooped over and put down another ball. The other three looked at me with considerable puzzlement, and one of them asked, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m taking a correction shot,’ I replied.”

His playing partner asked what he called that. “Thinking fast, I told him that I called it a ‘Mulligan.’ They laughed and let me play a second ball. After the match, which Mulligan and Spindler won by one point, there was considerable discussion in the clubhouse about that free shot.

“It all worked out amicably enough, but after that it became an unwritten rule in our foursome that you could take an extra shot on the first tee if you weren’t satisfied with your original. Naturally, this was always referred to as ‘taking a Mulligan.’ From that beginning, I guess the practice spread, and the name with it.”

We won’t mention the several other things you can do to get a better score. I personally know of several people who have lots of tricks up their sleeve. I learned from the best and you know who you are… It’s all in fun though. We all know we are not professional golfers in my circle of friends.

The problem comes in when we transfer that to our walk with Jesus. How do you deal with mulligan Christianity? Our God is the God of second chances. That is called grace. But to play a mulligan with everything we do is another story.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” Matthew 5:13.

Putting in play a new set of rules to govern your walk with Christ is not the way to hunger and thirst after the Lord. Lowering the bar doesn’t do anyone any good. Let me encourage you to do whatever it takes to draw closer to God. You can be as full as you want to be. Some of you just need to get your “want to” in line with our Heavenly Father. To have a preferred future, you have to put some good habits in place in the present.

Beginning this Sunday, we will be hosting Stephen Manley as our revival speaker. Revival services run through Wednesday. Supper is being planned at 5:45 Monday through Wednesday to make it easier for you to come. Children’s ministry will be available on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.Monday and Tuesday, ages four-year-old through sixth grade are in the “big service.” I have many childhood memories of being in the “big service.” Children hear more than you think they do.

Make a choice today to be a part of the revival together. The specifics will be in the bulletin on Sunday. You and your whole family will benefit from this opportunity to grow together.

Now, go to Matthew 13:1-23, read the Parable of the Sower and make that your prayer as we lead up to revival this Sunday. Let’s pray for fertile ground so we can understand the Word of God, apply it, and put it into practice. I am looking forward to growing with you.

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

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