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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

Breaking God's Rules
Date Posted: June 23, 2022

Rules are rules, part two. The U. S. Open Golf Championship is our national championship of golf. To win it is to gain instant credibility as a professional golfer. Golf has its rules. In the final round of the 1940 Open at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland, Ohio, Ed "Porky" Oliver decided to tee off early to beat the threat of rain. His score left him tied for first place with Gene Sarazen and the eventual playoff winner Lawson Little. Trouble is, it is illegal to tee off at a time other than your official tournament tee time so he was disqualified and his score didn't count.

Lloyd Mangrum had a brush with the rules in the 1950 Open. At Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. As he prepared to putt a bug landed on his ball and would not be shooed away. Mangrum picked up the ball and flicked the bug off and then replaced the ball to its resting place. Problem is, you were not allowed to touch the golf ball from the time you teed it up to the time you holed it out. Penalty; two strokes and a chance to beat Ben Hogan.

On a more deadly note, a recent accident has been in the news here involving a van full of people and a police car being driven by an off duty officer. At question is who ran the red light, the van or the cop? There is a greater issue. In the state of Kentucky the law prohibits driving without a valid driver's license, seat belts fastened and insurance. This factors in the accident. Most everybody walked away from the accident with minor injuries. One person died. The driver of the van did not have a valid driver's license, his seat belt fastened or insurance.

While the papers wrestle with the conflicting accounts of the witnesses as to who ran the red light, one simple fact overrides it all. The driver should not have even been there. He was driving illegally, deliberately breaking the law. He was driving without safety restraints, deliberately breaking the law. He is dead as a result of deliberately breaking the law. Whether or not he ran a red light is now a moot point. His decision to break the laws of the state of Kentucky cost him his life.

God has His rules. When His people, we who call ourselves Christians, deliberately break those rules (it's called sin, folks - look it up) God is angry. It's one thing to miss something out of ignorance or before we accepted His Son's blood as our sacrifice. But deliberately breaking His rules can nullify Jesus' blood. "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries." Hebrews 10:26, 27 Breaking God's rules after accepting Christ is no longer an accident.

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Biography Information:
Tom Kelley, pastor, speaker, lived with his wife, Becky, in Georgetown, Kentucky

...He was the Minister of the Minorsville Christian Church located near Stamping Ground, KY.

...Becky and Tom have three children; John, single and in worship ministry in Nicholasville, Kentucky; Sean, married (Jennifer, elementary school teacher) with twins (Grace and Patrick, b.d. 10/31/04) and regional director of Papa John's Pizza in Central KY; Kara, married (Vince Taylor, prison guard) and working with Hospice East in Winchester, KY.

...Tom went to be with the Lord on November 13, 2009 after a lengthy battle with cancer. If you have been touched by Tom's writings please send an email to Tom's son at
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