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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

September 28, 2023

I spend a lot of time on the road as a preacher. It takes time to make the distance between people's homes and the occasional hospital in which they might be receiving care. As such I am often on the local interstate highway, I-75. I-75 dissects the state in its run from Detroit to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Almost every day a traveler can see cars from Canada (usually Ontario) as well as Florida and many other states in between.

While traveling North on I-75 the other day I was approaching a vehicle that was stalled on the shoulder. It was parked fairly close to the…  ( Click for more )

September 21, 2023

Raising children is an exasperating endeavor to say the least. Regardless of Dr. Benjamin Spock's volumes of work, or that of myriad others, there is truly no definitive work on raising children. That is why a pregnant mother-to-be is referred to as "expecting". Andy Griffith, the comedian, once remarked that the first child lurks, indicating that the baby may be ready to sneak up suddenly and be born or just kind of hang around for awhile.

But when the baby comes is when the real challenge starts. What do you do with this little wrinkled package of flesh and still forming…  ( Click for more )

September 14, 2023

I can remember years ago going to my friend's house and seeing their heating stove sitting in the front room of their house. Clearly seen on the front of the stove were the words, "Warm Morning". Over the years I have come to appreciate those stoves as being dependable and true to their name. My wife and I even had one at one of the homes we have rented over the years. We had a lot of warm mornings from our Warm Morning.

You can imagine the shock we had then this past Saturday morning when we awoke to temperatures outside that were below zero with an indoor temperature…  ( Click for more )

September 7, 2023

Now that we live in Georgetown, Kentucky there is one thing that I will probably never use but still have. I have an emergency kit that was sent to me as a resident of Madison County who lived in close proximity to the chemical weapons dump that the United States Army maintains just off Route 25 South of Richmond. I can remember first moving into the area and seeing this little box that I was told to keep plugged in at all times. The box was the warning system which would give us a few minutes to use the emergency kit.

In case of an emergency we were to open the kit and remove…  ( Click for more )

August 31, 2023

I have a favorite cartoon and a favorite humorous story. The cartoon is one of those multi-panel setups with the first panel displaying a man sitting in a fishing boat with rod in hand and line in water. He is all decked out in the attire one would expect of an avid fisherman. He is extolling all the joys of being out in God's creation; the sun being like God's light and the breeze like His breath, the beauty of the lake and the trees and the wildlife. The next panel shows the man with a puzzled look on his face. The last panel shows a sheepish fisherman admitting, "I…  ( Click for more )

August 24, 2023

Something happened this past weekend that was barely a blip on most people's radar. I don't remember hearing mentioned on any of television's news magazines or reports. Perhaps I just missed them. The event was the death of Philip Crosby. He was 69 at his death. Died of natural causes unlike his three brothers. Philip Crosby was the last remaining son of Bing Crosby and his first wife, singer/actress Dixie Lee.

Philip was one of a set of twins. His brother, Dennis, preceded him in death in 1991. Dennis, like his brother Lindsay in 1989, committed suicide.…  ( Click for more )

August 17, 2023

Throughout my fifty-three years plus of life on this planet I have held a lot of jobs. When I was just a little guy about twelve I was mowing lawns in my neighborhood and, at times, was quite prosperous doing it. I can remember one week in 1963 when I actually banked $40. That may not sound like much today but there were a lot of families at that time in which the main bread winner was making about $80 a week and doing well.

My parents had ingrained in me the concept of overkill in doing someone's lawn. I trimmed as well as mowed. That was before the string…  ( Click for more )

August 10, 2023

I am a football junkie. That's American football for those of you who are purists and know soccer by its worldwide appellation. I have followed football, more precisely, professional football, since I was barely seven years old. That means that when the 2004 season begins I will begin my forty-eighth season watching the sport. Sundays have been my hallowed days during that time period both for my love of worshiping my heavenly Father and my joy of watching large armored humans run into each other.

The oddest thing has happened during the end of the 2003 season. I have…  ( Click for more )

August 3, 2023

Professional golf has returned for the 2004 tour. The Professional Golfers Association is in Hawaii right now playing in absolutely stunning surroundings at picture postcard venues in balmy weather. All this serves to get the itch going for guys like me who are anxious to get back on the course. Winter is a tough time for us golfers who live far enough north that the golf season ends sometime before Thanksgiving and restarts sometime around Easter. Watching the PGA on TV scratches the itch but it doesn't bring relief.

Ah, yes. To be back on the course staring down the…  ( Click for more )

July 27, 2023

"When in the course of human events..." So begins one of the most important documents in the history of the United States of America. The "Declaration of Independence" was fashioned in 1776 for the express purpose of being just what it was called...a declaration of the intention of the colonies founded by England to be independent of the Motherland. It ignited a war whose final outcome and result was realized in 1783 when England recognized the independence of what was now being called the United States of America.

The entire civilized world had been abuzz due to the great struggle…  ( Click for more )

July 20, 2023

The recent flap over deposed Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has raised some eyebrows concerning the plans of President Bush when he first took office. According to documentation provided by O'Neill, Bush had plans to attack Iraq and remove and capture Saddam Hussein early in the administration. O'Neill's comments, documents and such are the focal point of a new book written by Ron Suskind, The Price Of Loyalty. Other Bush informants are cited in the book concerning their observations and knowledge of the President.

Such things are not new. Practically…  ( Click for more )

July 13, 2023

The last several days in Central Kentucky have left a lasting impression on my car. Due to the amount of rain and snow that have fallen recently, along with the accompanying melting, my car now looks like a butterfly preparing to emerge from its cocoon. My dark red Stratus is now a kind of tannish white as it is covered with the spray from the dozens of autos that I have followed in the past week during my driving hundreds of miles between Minorsville (where the church and people are) and Richmond (where my wife and I currently reside).

I keep expecting to see the words "wash…  ( Click for more )

July 6, 2023

Ever look at the ingredients list for a bar of soap? I use Irish Spring (for long, long deodorant protection). According to the box it has a great invigorating scent and helps keep me clean and fresh. As for the ingredients I was a little shocked. Guess what is the first listed ingredient for my bar of soap. Soap. No kidding. The first listed ingredient is soap.

There are a lot of other things added that make it distinctly my bar of Irish Spring. Stearic acid and glycerin are added as skin conditioners as well as coconut and/or palm kernel acid. The nice green color is…  ( Click for more )

June 29, 2023

Good Friends.

When I began this column two years ago I had already been writing it as a personal email to a cadre of friends and their friends. The sheer volume of emails was so great that AOL twice terminated me because they felt it was excessive and violated my agreement with them. When I was invited to join Study Light's family of contributors I was ecstatic at the thought of sharing the column on a world-wide stage. Funny thing is, my emails were already going around the world as they were being shared by the readers with family and friends stationed elsewhere on several…  ( Click for more )

My how the times have changed. Just thirteen years ago a young man from Texas named Tom Kite was the all-time leader in money earned on the PGA tour for a career. He did it while serving as the reigning U. S. Open Champion. On this date in 1993 Kite cemented his all-time lead with a stirring victory in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic at La Quinta, California. The Hope is one of those marathon tournaments that is played over five days and ninety holes.

Twice over the previous ten years Kite had lost the tournament in sudden death playoffs. In other words, he came to the end of…  ( Click for more )

June 15, 2023

In five years in Upstate New York (Cortland to be exact) I cannot remember more than a couple of times that school was ever called off for snow. Cortland lies on the southern edge of the New York "snow belt" and usually averages somewhere between one hundred and one hundred and twenty inches of the white stuff a year. Our first year there snow covered our balcony continually from November 8 through Easter. Now I live in the Blue Grass where even the mention of a pending snow can cause cancellations.

Weekend before last we had snow and ice and, as a result, a number of churches…  ( Click for more )

June 8, 2023

There were times over the last fifty-five plus years that I dearly wanted to change my last name. At least the spelling of it. For years I have had to endure the constant barrage of mailings and listings with my name spelled wrong. So here it is for all of you to see. My last name is spelled, K-E-L-L-E-Y. That's Kelley with two E's. Not Kelly. Since the first grade I have told teachers how my last name was spelled and they would correct me.

I can remember giving some information for an order one time at national department store chain. The clerk asked for my name…  ( Click for more )

June 1, 2023

This is a reprint of an earlier column. It is one that has not been on Study Light. I hope that it brings back some fond memories for a certain person who was involved.

For some inexplicable reason I relate well to animals. Yeah, I hear the remarks. But, strangely, I do. I once had a chipmunk run up my leg and perch on my head to escape a cat. But that's another day. This past evening (July 17, 2003) my wife and I went to Blue Grass Camp to hear our oldest son's praise band in a worship time. We also got to hear my good friend Brian Gorman, a fellow preacher/golfer,…  ( Click for more )

May 25, 2023

They lost. Yep. No doubt about it. They lost. They could have won it, but they lost. They squandered too many opportunities through penalties, poor play or indecision. And they lost. Yeah, I know. It's been three days and you were wondering when I was going to say something about the Super Bowl. I just said it. They lost. There I said it again. Ah, but the other team won. Nah. The other team didn't lose. The first team? They lost. Pure and simple. They lost.

There is a concept here with which some people are familiar but most are not. It is the difference…  ( Click for more )

First ABC gave us "Dancing With The Stars." Now, from FoxTV, we have "Skating With The Stars." I feel like I have to side with a few of my friends on the opinion that "Skating" is a much more difficult situation for stars than "Dancing." The majority of those who are on "Dancing" have, at one point or another (with the exception of Master P), danced in a formal setting what with all the awards shows and red carpet venues that they have opportunities to attend.

However, with the exception of Dave Coulier (of "Full House" fame) who has a background in hockey, most stars'…  ( Click for more )

May 11, 2023

Professional golf has its showcases. Most are what have been dubbed, "The Majors," four tournaments which have evolved to represent the finest of what championship golf is all about. Two of those are the national championships of their respective nations (The U. S. and British Opens), one the championship of the professional tour itself (PGA Championship) and the fourth the result of the greatest player at that time (Bobby Jones) asking his fellow golfers to come and find out who is really the best (The Masters).

There is a championship that has become one of those "don't…  ( Click for more )

May 4, 2023

Guano. Know what that is? No it's not what native bearers called the person for whom they worked. That's Bwana. Guano is bird droppings. Yes, the stuff that you see on the sidewalks and on your deck in the peak seasons for birds. I know. It's nasty stuff and probably doesn't belong in a spiritual column. Bear with me and I will explain. By the way, you can be happy that the birds that live around you are not the kind that inhabit a certain area for generation after generation. A little enlightenment.

Fish-eating birds have been depositing their droppings…  ( Click for more )

April 27, 2023

I can't remember if it was Buck Owens or George Jones who used to sing the song, but one of those two had a hit some twenty-five or so years ago with a little tune called, "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail." The basic gist is that the singer was in a situation that was about to turn around and eat him up. You don't hold a wild animal at bay by holding their tail. Rookie PGA golfer, Nathan Green, didn't have a tiger by the tale over the weekend but he did have a Tiger on his tail.

Going into the final round of the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines near Sand Diego,…  ( Click for more )

April 20, 2023

Sneezing. No, you're not seeing things. That's the word. Sneezing. I was told one time that it is physically impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. Guess what? I don't want to try. The thought of all that pressure and then having my eyes open when it gets cut loose; well, I just don't want to try it. However, I have another little nugget of info concerning sneezes for you. If you feel a sneeze coming on and you're at the top of the staircase heading down, sneeze first, then head down the stairs.

This past Saturday morning I was getting everything…  ( Click for more )

April 13, 2023

Guess who turns seventy this year? Let me give you a hint. They were once German but now they are American. They were given a name that came to mean the entire family but more commonly went by the name of a household pest. They died off for a number of years but have recently been resurrected. Still not sure? Okay, one last hint. What motivates them used to be in the back but now it's in the front. Give up? Believe it or not, the Volkswagen Beetle turns seventy this year.

On February 15, 1936 a car company in Germany came out with a new car. It was small and very…  ( Click for more )

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