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Jerry Philpott never attended our church. To the best of my knowledge, he never responded to an altar call. But he did to a telephone call inviting him to play eighteen holes.

A retired cop named Jim who loved golf had started attending our church. One Sunday I suggested we tee it up sometime. That afternoon we set a tee time for Tuesday morning.

On the course Jim introduced me to two of his friends with whom we would be playing--Jerry and Rod. Before we had finished the front nine, Jim told me that Jerry had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, though I wouldn't have guessed it by the way he swung a golf club. Jerry didn't say much that day, but I drove back to church that morning determined to stay close to him. Tuesdays became our day for golf.

After our second outing, Jerry broke his silence about his death sentence; he was scared. I sent him a greeting card along with an article on golf written by a Christian friend of mine. I conveyed my concern and expressed my appreciation ...

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