Forum

A look at what’s current in our regions and local Links Fellowships, along with some great ideas.

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    Links Fellowship leaders are encouraged to add their good ideas, photos, and reports to the Forum page. To contribute, send your Forum report to Jeff Hopper by email.

2016 Links Fellowship recommendations

As a Links Fellowship leader, you may be laying plans now for your 2016 year of meeting and study. Here are some recommendations:
 
SERVICE

We always suggest that service, particularly as it kindles compassion for the poor and needy (the K of the Links Player’s Mission), become a regular part of your Fellowship. Many groups plan one or two important service or giving acts each year, pooling donations of money or tangible items (winter coats, toys for kids, etc.). You can often communicate your plans with other members of your club, even if they are not participants in your Fellowship; this increases awareness of your presence in your club and multiplies the generosity of your service.
 
PRAYER

Make prayer an integral part of your Fellowship. When word gets out that your group is a praying group, people will come to you with many different needs for you to carry to the Lord in prayer. This is a wonderful way to open conversation with those who have only a cursory knowledge or interest in spiritual things.
 
STUDY

As always, we will offer one-page Bible studies with each Friday’s devotion. The first series in 2016, beginning January 8 and continuing through February 26, is called “Think Like a Pro,” and includes video conversations with Jeffrey Cranford and Tracy Hanson.
 
After “Think Like a Pro,” you may take up the next Friday series, or your Fellowship may be interested in our more in-depth study on spiritual maturity and Christian leadership, “The End Game.” The pdf is here
 
Also, we will again be offering a Bible study accompanying the annual Links Players Magazine. This is a five-part study that aligns with the articles in the Magazine. It will be available here beginning January 11.

‘A Beautiful Time’

A Beautiful TimeIs that an iPhone resting next to a persimmon-headed driver sitting on top of a Bible in a barbecue restaurant?
 
There is a story here.
 
Every Tuesday at 12:30 pm, the On Trail Links Fellowship meets for physical and spiritual nourishment. Gene, a regular attender every week, showed up this day with a box of literally 50-plus persimmon-headed drivers cut off just above the wrapping. They had previously belonged to another good friend who recently passed from this world to a glorious place with our Savior. After his death, he wanted his lifelong collection of golf clubs to go to some of the men whom he loved so much, which included all the men present in this Links Fellowship. We all wanted a reminder of this man’s love for golf and for Jesus. This persimmon-headed paperweight proved to be exactly what we would cherish.
 
The iPhone was set to talk with another good friend in Tyler, Texas, 100 miles away. This friend has been in the hospital for more than one year following a car accident that has left him paralyzed. He always desires to hear some words of truth from his friends in this Links Fellowship. He had been a world-class amateur golfer before the accident, and has played a lot of golf with members of this Fellowship. Now he wants to time to spend studying the Scriptures with these same buddies.
 
And here is the great news! Our buddy in the wheelchair proved to be an inspiration to us much more than we were to him. We were studying the Links Players Friday study guide concerning matters of the heart. From his hospital room he declared, “I get to spend so much time now reading my Bible and looking into the face of Jesus. I never chose to do this when I was running in the fast lane and playing golf so often. I know you guys tend to get busy and forget the importance of a heart for God as our priority. God has now blessed me with time to spend with Him.”
 
It was a lesson we all needed to be reminded of in a barbecue restaurant with good friends through a cell phone. This Links Players lesson on heart issues and our encouraging friend’s positive disposition drove the message home well.
 
It was a beautiful time I will not forget. I remain grateful for sacred listening and learning.
 

Randy Wolff, South Central Region Director
from his November 2015 newsletter

2015 SoCal Ladies Dessert

2015SoCalLadiesDessertWhen the LPGA came to town for the Kia Classic during the week of March 23, Southern California regional director Dereck Wong worked with LPGA Tour chaplain Cris Stevens to put together an evening for golf fans in the area, with Tour players Austin Ernst and Amy Anderson on hand to talk about their walk with Christ. A similar gathering is planned in May on the East Coast when the ladies come to Williamsburg, Virginia, for the Kingsmill Championship.
 
Photo includes, left to right, Cris Stevens, Austin Ernst, Amy Anderson, retired LPGA professional Barb Pendergast, and Dereck Wong.

Passing on the enthusiasm

The most common ways Links Fellowships gets started is when a golfer visits a going Fellowship and comes away saying, “Wow, we need to do that where I play golf!”
 
Wongo GroupThis happened recently for Jerry Burrell from Cleveland, Tennessee. Jerry has been a reader of the Links Daily Devotional for the past five years, and he receives the Links Players Magazine. A while ago he emailed me to tell me he was going to be in Orange County, here in California. He was hoping to meet me.
 
We arranged a get-together with the Tee It Up Links Fellowship in Temecula. The photo you see here is from that day (left to right: Kim, Sue, Jewel, Mike, me, Gary, and Jerry). Jerry came away eager to start a Fellowship in his hometown.
 
If you’re thinking about starting a Fellowship, we’d love to help you arrange a visit to one of the Links Fellowships that has been meeting for a while. You can contact any of our staff by emailing them at linksplayers@linksplayers.com.

Dereck Wong
SoCal/Las Vegas Region Director

Learning Together

Royal Oaks StudyIncreasingly, Links Fellowships around the country are using the PDF Bible study that comes with each Friday’s Links Daily Devotional as their resource for biblical conversation. Beginning in the fall of 2014, we have also included an accompanying video each Friday to support the devotion and Bible study.
 
The group you see here, which is the Links Fellowship at Royal Oaks CC in Houston, uses an iPad to view the video together, then they begin their discussion around the supplied Scripture readings and questions. Add in prayer, and you have a good hour’s session for your group.
 
At the outset of the year, some Fellowships also use the Bible study that accompanies the annual Links Players Magazine. Each article is supported by a one-page Bible study with commensurate Scripture and questions. You can find that study here.