Oh, my , Father, what am I to be and do?
Who am I?
I am a 69 year old man who became a follower of Jesus Christ in early 1981 as a strapping (alright, not so strapping) 29 year old Captain in the US Army Corps of Engineers and Aviation Officer.
Prior to that time I was a typical Boston-area, selfish, worldly, regular guy "who's, (as we said back then, sh-- didn't stink". Far from it!!
I was led to read the Bible on my own at that time and decided to believe the writings of the Apostles and that Jesus was the Savior of mankind. I was (and still am) married to Anne with two young children at the time. (Now we have 5 adult kids & 11, yup, 11 grandkids). I was very consistent in reading the Bible over many years; in fact, the Bible is the life’s-blood of my steadfastness in faith.
My sanctification or Christian maturity and growth have not been without trials, tribulations, failures and successes. I grew in faith while staying in the military and serving ‘stateside’, in Korea, Greece, Germany and, even California, lol. My final assignment was at Fort Dix, NJ as the Provisional Battalion Commander of Fort Dix. This crowning achievement was more about the challenges of a Christian man working as the leader of some 1,200 men and women, but, the most memorable recollections of the time involved the building of relationships with subordinates and challenging soldiers to do their best as they prepared themselves for future battles and civilian careers.
In the latter part of my Army career, I earnestly sought out how to merge my love for Christ with my passion for the game of golf for a career after the Army. In 1989, during a prayer session regarding the next phase of my career in golf/ministry, I heard the Lord tell him something similar to; “You are going to be an agent for Christian golfers.” At the time, I thought this was ‘ridiculous’, so I pursued other plans that came to me and ended up establishing a golf tournament fundraising business.
I initiated a golf consultation company called Kingdom Corporate Golf (KCG) just 18 months or so before I retired from the Army in 1994. My goal became to consult with corporations in the conduct of their golf appreciation events, but, to enlist Christian PGA Tour Players to fill the celebrity role at the events. The Christian professional would conduct a golf clinic as well as conduct an inspirational speech or testimony of their Christian faith during the corporation’s celebration dinner. Additionally, KCG would organize a parallel event that would include local Fellowship of Christian Athlete huddles, church youth groups or, just, interested youngsters and have them attend a testimonial outreach by the professional golfer as well.
In the search for relationships with professional golfers who were followers of Jesus Christ, I was blessed to meet Bobby Clampett at a www.linksplayers.com outing in Myrtle Beach in 1993. Bobby and I, miraculously, played in the same group together. During the round Bobby & I hit it off pretty well after sharing our stories of coming to faith as well as our vision for the future. After the round, Bobby approached me and asked if I would become the ‘agent for his Christian golf ministry’ (ah, fulfillment of the Lord’s inspiration in 1993).
Bobby and I joined together to establish The Players’ Outreach Ministry (TPOM) which was an outgrowth of the PGA Tour Bible Study. TPOM became an organization that conducted outreach breakfast gatherings at Tour stops during 1994-1998. During this time I built relationships with several PGA Tour players like; Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Bobby of course, Gary Hallberg, Scott Simpson and a few others, but, mainly, I helped develop the TPOM ministry, coordinate events at the Masters, the US Open, Muirfield, the PGA, and many other Tour locations. The objectives were; to introduce attendees to Jesus Christ, solicit individual commitments from attendees to a belief in Jesus Christ and coordinate contacts within the community to help these attendees in their walk with Christ.
One of the greatest experiences during that time was when I had to work with a PGA Tour Player on fulfilling his commitment to the Memorial event when he was unsure of his ability to share his Christian story in public. It was difficult, but I was able to help the Player understand how important it was to fulfill his responsibility and, from what I understood, the Player was blessed by fulfilling his commitment to that event.
Another wonderful experience occurred with PGA Tour Player Tom Lehman during the Masters tournament in 1998. Tom had conducted the testimonial the year before and Bernhard Langer was giving his testimony at the breakfast event that year. We had added an evening devotional and concert to the activities with John McArthur and Steve Camp participating. We were hoping to have a PGA Pro introduce the concert and when I saw Tom earlier in the week I asked him if he would conduct the introductions at the Wednesday night concert. Tom apologized and said he hoped he might do it, but he was under alot of pressure from his sponsors to participate in a few other events that evening. He said he would let us know.
We were in the prayer room at Warren Baptist Church just before the event that evening and a knock came on the door. It was Tom, apologizing again for his inability to conduct the introduction, due to earlier commitments, but he wanted to visit in person to apologize. What a wonderful and conscientious person!! That was a great experience!
For various reasons ill share later, TPOM dwindled in application due to non supported by the existing ministerial presence on the PGA Tour and after much soul searching and prayer, the Lord convinced me to hand the ministry over to another ministry conducting regular ministry to the PGA Tour.
My miracle from God seemed to come to an end.
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Trying to follow the Lord's will regarding ministry and the platform of golf.