It was "our" day #1 of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst NC, Friday, June 13, 2014. I just realized, it was Friday the 13th, HA!! I was still a bit groggy from the 500 mile trip the night before and the two hours spent in roaming around the Village of Pinehurst and the Pinehurst golf resort, calling on the Lord to be prevalent in all things during the next few days and into the next week, of course, because the Ladies Open was being conducted that next week as well. It was a beautiful morning and, truly, it had been a joy, once again (as I had conducted a similar journey throughout the Village and all of the churches in the community the weekend before).
We were now in the Village Chapel Care Cottage located at 55 Community Road a full driver from the center of the Village of Pinehurst and an additional 5 iron to the Chapel; a good long par 4. (that was supposed to be funny.). As I mentioned, we had gathered the night before, the four fellas from Augusta, Scott Bennett and myself from Murfreesboro, TN, Bobby McIver from Columbia, TN and my buddy from Pensacola, FL, Ron Wilcoxson. We were joined just 15 minutes before by Jimmy Schneider, the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Village Chapel, who had been up for a couple of hours as well with final coordination of drivers and parking attendants and trash runs, etc. etc. He already looked a bit disheveled from his morning activities.
Ever the retired lieutenant colonel and gifted leader (ha, you say..... no... I took the spiritual gifts test and my primary gift is leadership, so there) I continued to try and marshal these guys together around the table in the dining area, a bit anxious to get going and stay on schedule. "Thank You, Father, for letting me control myself." I muttered in my head. Slowly, ever so slowly, we herded the guys together and sat around the table, ready to get going.
"I was hoping to conduct a devotional for the next hour or so." I began. I figured we could go around the table and introduce each other, give a bit of a story about our lives and our testimony, let's say, 5 to 7 minutes each. Then we'll look at Romans 8:1 as I feel led to focus upon that book. Does that make sense?" They all agreed, so I began; "I'm Bill Poirier, I've been a Christ-Follower for over 33 years when the Lord reached down and pulled me toward him in 1981 while in the U.S. Army. I'm a retired Lieutenant Colonel. I live in Murfreesboro, TN. I've been married to my wife, Anne, for 40 years as of this August and it is only by His grace that she is still with me. We are blessed with 5 wonderful children which I don't deserve, four, no, now 5 grandchildren since our middle daughter just gave birth to Easten Wade Brown last month. My day job is with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center in Murfreesboro, TN where I serve as a Business Specialist helping entrepreneurs and business owners in the community with the tools they need to build or grow their business. I got involved in the use of golf as a platform to conduct outreach ministry in 1993 when Bobby Clampett asked me to help him develop an outreach ministry as an outgrowth of the PGA Tour Bible Study. I'll have to expand on that story soon. But, Bobby and I conducted some 35 outreach events at Tour events around the country from 1993 - 1997 when the ministry fell apart. I'll have to expand on that a bit as well in the future. I got involved in Open Doors for the Open back in April of 2013 when Vicky (fictitious name) invited me to participate in the planning and conduct of this event. It has been my honor to assist in the planning of this event and focus on gathering the various golf ministries together to promote them and to establish the online presence and social media connection to this wonderful outreach. It has been an incredible pleasure to work with Jimmy Schneider over the past year and we are praying for the Lord's blessing on us all as we continue into this weekend of U.S. Open golf."
"Thank you, all, for being here this morning. I hope we might continue around the table. What's your story, Shane?"
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