Sharing The Light – Question 5 February 2022

Question #5, February 2022:

What first attracted you to the game of pool?

Robin Dodson:

Pin Balls machines and Boys!

Both of them found inside the Westminster Family Billiards. One year later Pool took the front seat, leading the way for an unbelievable career.

Tom Rossman

Tom Rossman:

Back in 1959 I started working as a rack boy at Elsie’s Pool Room in Minonk, IL. The first attraction started with a focus on the “sights” of the pool balls. The “colors of the rainbow” (sights of the solid balls)) became apparent to me over time as a first covenant relationship to the “bow in the sky” that God placed there after the flood. The “colors of the rainbow” (sights of the striped balls) followed suit as a relationship to “by His stripes we are healed”!

It is interesting that the 8-ball reflects “the darkness of sin” and separates the solids from the stripes in the game, just as “sin” separates us from our heavenly Father, except for the atoning work of Jesus and what He did on the Cross for all of us. The foundational linking of the New Testament and Old Testament is evident in this “sight” property of God’s sport gift.

The second attraction (closely bonded to the first) deals with the “sounds” of the pool balls, as they come in contact with each other. An affect of “chirping birds” echoes the many collisions from “gentle tweets” to “stronger tweets” based on the power applied to each shot. Each time I hear the “sound” of the pool balls, I am reminded that “just as God provides for the sparrow”…so much more He will take care of us as His children.

The duality and bonded attraction of the “sights and sounds” of the pool balls has allowed me to “Play Skillfully with a Shout of Joy” (Psalms 33:3) for over six decades now. The relationship of “rainbows” and “chirping birds” in our pool games continue to remind us of God’s creative genius and profound gifts to bless our life journey both “on and off” the table.

Steve Lillis

Steve Lillis:

Back in 1961 as a young 10-year-old boy , I was part of a Saturday morning bowling league and really struggled trying to improve.  I became so frustrated one Saturday that I went to the back of the bowling alley and looked at this beautiful green felted table that had beautiful rainbow-colored balls that someone left just sitting on the table begging to be struck.  I picked up a cue stick and remember having a straight shot into the side pocket on one of those beautiful balls.  I made it and marveled at the sound of the tip striking the cue ball and the sound of the balls as they collided.  I was in love with the game from that point on.

However, I had nowhere to play.  My parents asked me months later what I wanted for Christmas and immediately I said a pool table thinking that they would never get that for me.  To my surprise on Christmas morning, I had very few gifts under the Christmas tree as my sister got many which began to upset me a little.  Then my parents told me to go down in the basement and guess what?  There it was again the green felt and the beautiful rainbow-colored balls.  I picked up a cue stick that Christmas morning and played right through breakfast, lunch, and dinner as my Mom brought the food down to me.  Little did my parents or myself realize back then that God would use my fascination and love of the game of pool to bring the love of the Lord Jesus Christ around the World through Gospel Trick Shot Ministries, Inc.

Our gifts and interests are from God!  He wants us to act on those desires in a way that will bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ and a benefit to us at the same time because he created us.  It has been an amazing journey for the past 60 years as that initial fascination and the joy of playing pool has not worn off!  By God’s grace I will play until I cannot play any longer and do it always to the best of my ability for His glory and honor!

Tommy Kennedy:

I first played when I was around 11 years old. I was around a small pool table when I was with my relatives. They had a table in their basement. I started playing a little then. When I was 13 I started playing 12 hours a day. I just loved to play and it was a challenge. My sister played in high school so I guess I got more interested in playing because of her. It was a game that I wanted to get really good at. So I played for hours on end and kept improving. I really needed to win and to beat someone who beat me. I hated to lose so I pressed on and improved as I went. My sister really encouraged me to play so that probably did it.