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Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

    by Tom Kelley

Broken Before God
Date Posted: August 18, 2022

It was one of those rounds of golf. I was striking the ball as well as I could. Only had a couple of really glaring mistakes in full shots. My tee shots were big. My irons were crisp. My pitch shots were accurate. Ah, but the flat stick, the deal closer, the putter; it was asleep. I missed nine makeable birdie putts and gacked on a few par putts. The results were an unsatisfying 80 that left me feeling defeated. Granted, the two out-of-bounds shots on the same hole didn't bless my score any, but still…

Yeah, I know. That's just a game, Tom. I know that, too. Ever have a day like that? You're doing everything right, you're making all the right decisions, but something just doesn't feel right. Despite all your hard work and right actions the results just don't add up. For some reason you can't seem to close the deal. You can't seal the sale. Everyone around you is excited for the way their day is going. They're closing deals all over the place, but you just aren't getting it done in spite of all the good things you're doing and saying.

How about something more personal? No matter how hard you try you can't seem to make things right in a personal relationship. Maybe it's your wife, your boyfriend, a close acquaintance, a co-worker, or one of your children. There's a distant feeling in which you're desperately trying to close the gap. There's a problem to which you hold the key, but you can't seem to make the key work. You try and try but nothing positive happens. Do you give up? Quit? Throw up your hands in admission of defeat?

Russ Taff and Jim Hollihan co-wrote a song called, "I Cry." The first line reads, "When peace cannot be found, and sleep won't visit me tonight. Restless mind that I can't tame, I walk the floor, I call your name. Finally silence, and the tears begin to fall. I cry, and you're the one who hears me calling. I fall so easily but you're there to catch me. Say the words that heal me. I'm safe when I'm with you. You touch my eyes, I can see." God doesn't work when our personal excellence gets in the way.

King David, lamenting his relationship with Bathsheba, wrote, "You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart -- these, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:16, 17 God can only use our excellence when our excellence is not our focal point. When we are truly broken and contrite before God, then He can step in and multiply our gifts. Then we can begin to see the resolution to those situations which seem to keep us awake at night.

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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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