Archive for August, 2011

August 31, 2011

How Long Does It Take?

by pastortimfowler

Have you ever seen someone who a few months ago was doing really well and today they are hardly recognizable as the person you thought that you knew? What I am talking about is the type person that use to come to church, was very active in worship and serving and seemed to have their act together, and one day they just quit coming. So you run into them and they have began to live a lifestyle that has no resemblance to who you knew them to be just a little while ago. How does this happen?
Today I finished reading 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament. It chronicles the time in the Jewish history after the period of judges up to the captivity of the Babylonian empire. In short summaries we hear of each king and their actions and how their rule effected the people of Israel. Those kings who followed the ways of God and passed that on to their people were blessed and the nation was blessed and those who did not follow God’s ways brought on misery for the themselves and the people.
Because these are short summaries of each king’s reign it often looks like a rapid decline in morality, when in reality things progressed over a few years, but from time to time you could see the fall take place within months. In these cases the kings before them who tried to follow God, often forgot or refused to destroy the places where idols were worshiped. They would try to make people happy on both sides and play church when it was convenient and please the idol worshipers when that was convenient. As a result, when a king would come in behind him who did not follow God at all, the fall of the people happened very fast and often in months.
Becoming a Christian happens at the blink of an eye. The very moment that we repent and accept Christ as Savior, we become a Christian. The growth of Christians takes time and effort. We must build new habits and tear down the things that are not pleasing to God. Often times we will leave those bad things alone and just try to build our Christian faith around it. We do all the right things and ignore those that are counter productive to our growth. Often in this period of Israel’s history, a new king would come along and try to restore things to God but leave the idols and their alters in place. The effort was always full of conflict because it is easy to worship something that does not hold you accountable. Idols don’t, God does.
God wants us to tear down and destroy the things that distract us from following Him fully. If they are destroyed they can’t tempt later. But the people who fall away, like I mentioned in the beginning, are those who usually just tried to build around the old ways and not get rid of them.
There is no way the we can ever live a totally sinless life as long as we are flesh and blood. But the Holy Spirit in us does allow us to continually work toward holiness. We do need to build new ways into our lives. We need to lay a new foundation and use fresh, new material that God provides. But often before we build we need to spend time doing a bit of demolition. We must tear out the old foundation and things that our lives had been built upon. God is giving us a new foundation in Jesus Christ.
So when you see someone who has fallen away and it seems like they have only taken a short time to fall a long way, remember this. God wants the old stuff destroyed, not moved around or built around. He wants us to start over with newness and build on one solid foundation, not covering up the old one because we like it too much to get rid of.
I tell my staff all the time that we are all closer than we will ever want to admit to falling into our old ways. I warn them and they warn me of things of the past that need to be torn down and gotten rid of. I encourage you to take a few minutes in prayer and ask God to play building inspector and look around to see if there might be some things you need to work on. I surely don’t want to run into you one day and see you in a broken mess and wonder, how long did it take?

August 30, 2011

Charity Is Alive And Well

by pastortimfowler

A couple of days ago, my good friend tweeted that one of his friends had lost their home to a fire and had gotten out with only the clothes on their backs. They did not have insurance, they lived in an apartment, so they have little means to get back the things that were lost. I know that they are really glad that they survived, but survival can be a scary thing when you have no idea how to move forward and get back on your feet.
Within a day of posting this, he was receiving calls from all over South Carolina and even other states. Some were wanting to donate furniture, some money, some clothes and all were offering prayers. I was overwhelmed with the response because of the magnitude and the swiftness. There is something about Americans that is deep in our nature to help others.
Last night I asked a few folks from my church to help. Within a few hours, we had cash and clothes. I took 4 bags of clothes to the family today and a gift card from Wal-Mart that I bought with the cash. As we stood out in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, my friend told me how overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness this family was. He also told me that he was blown away from the response on one tweet. One tweet that asked for prayers amounted to hundreds of prayers and hundreds of dollars and loads of clothes and furniture. Jesus told His disciples that they did not have because they do not ask. He said ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find and a couple of thousand years later, asking does get results and God should get all the glory.
In the Bible, there are some words that we don’t get the full meaning of unless we study the original texts. The word love is like that. There are several words from the Greek that we translate into love. But the one that is the ultimate type of love is “agape”. Although many modern translations of the Bible use the word love, the King James Version however uses the word charity. Although we think of charity today as some kind of organized group to help the needy, the true meaning has more to do with the pure, unselfish nature of the giving that comes from a heart of compassion. It is the type of love that God has for us and is the reason behind Him giving His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Our disaster of sin left us with no hope of survival unless someone showed us some “agape”. That is the word used in this most famous verse.
For God so loved, (agape), the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life…John 3:16.
Charity is alive and well!

August 29, 2011

Laughter Is Good Medicine

by pastortimfowler

I had a really great weekend. Although it was very busy, I had time to go see a comedian Saturday night with my wife and a few friends. It reminded me of this scripture; Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength. There is just something about laughing that makes you feel better, unless you are my wife who complained that her side and head hurt because she laughed so hard.
We all need to laugh. The world has become a far to serious place and people live on the edge with their feelings stuck way out, waiting to be hurt. When did we get to be so serious? Everyone gets offended at the slightest thing and we have to watch what we say even when what we say is meant to be light-hearted.
This comedian said a few things that stuck with me. I have always heard that comedy has to have truth in it for it to be funny, otherwise it is just being mean. A good comedian knows how to look around and just speak to the simple truths that we take for granted. This guy said that all you need to do is open your eyes and you can see what it takes to make people laugh.
This weekend the whole east coast was dealing with Hurricane Irene. Every channel had breaking news, but the problem was that they were no longer taking a break to tell us what was happening, they had to take breaks from telling us what was happening. I heard estimates of how many billions the storm was going to cost, how many lives could be lost, and how bad this was going to be on the economy, all while they were still trying to determine the exact track of the storm. Every report was about how horrible this would be and yet each one included a downgrade of the storms winds and hurricane category. I know that news people have a job to do, but wow, this was over the top. Easy for me to say because I was not there nor were any of my relatives. Add to all this, the fact that the east coast had an earthquake last week and the people went crazy!
So I got to laugh this weekend. I laughed a lot and I laughed hard. For about an hour nothing mattered. The only time I thought about anything serious was when I was being made fun of by the comedian. Even then I was only thinking seriously about how I could make my church laugh about the things I was laughing about. I realized that there are things that happen that are just not worth getting upset about and that somewhere there might be a comedian getting material from those of us who do.
All ready, only a day after the big storm, I have heard of churches and other organizations rushing to help those who did suffer from this hurricane. Some things can be handled right now and other things will need some time, but either way, people are helping. Prayers are being made for those who are suffering and the seriousness of our world is never-ending. Right now, without a hurricane people are going through things that are shattering their world. I went to visit a friend in the hospital last night and as I was leaving I saw woman all alone, crying in the hallway. I walked over and introduced myself and she told me her mother was dying. All I could do is prayer for her. My friend tweeted about a family that lost everything in a fire but the clothes on their backs. Many are rallying to help them. It never ends, the needs of others.
So, I will rejoice in the short time that God allowed me to take this weekend to laugh and hang out with friends. I will not feel bad about leaving the insanity of the real world to enter into a sanctuary of laughter because it did show that even in this crazy world we live in, there are things that we can laugh at and it is okay.
This was Christian comedian so much of the jokes were about church and church life and pastors. I am so glad someone was finally laughing with me instead of at me, or were they just doing both? I don’t care. It was good medicine.

August 26, 2011

Just Talk To Me

by pastortimfowler

Copyrighted photo  http://www.flickr.com/photos/ithicuspictures/2852196227/

 

I had the privilege of sitting in on our Thursday night Lady’s Bible study last night. It is one of the perks that comes with being the pastor. The study was on how to have and effective prayer life and the discussions were interesting and thought-provoking. You would be amazed at how much women can talk when they get together.
When I was a new Christian I use to love listening to the old deacons of the church pray. They had the deep voice and spoke like they were from England only with a southern accent. They would say stuff like, Thou art holy and righteous and henceforth we must be cleansed of our unrighteousness and go hither to over yonder, thus saith the Lord for ever and ever Amen, or something like that. It sounded good and for the longest time I was obsessed with reading Shakespeare and the King James Bible so that I could pray like that.
As I read the Bible more and more I got the feeling that I was not getting this prayer thing right. God was talking to me through His word, and if I did not use the KJV I could get some plain English from God, and, I never really understood why God wanted to talk like that to begin with. The guys that Jesus chose to follow Him back then did not talk to Him like He was in a stage production. They just had a conversation with Him. They would talk, He would listen, then respond and so forth, hither to…(LOL). I got to thinking that maybe our prayers that we hear so much in church are not as much talking to God as they were a speech for others to hear.
It was about 15 years ago that I heard this man praying at a conference that I think I started wanting to quit giving speeches and start talking to God. It happened a couple of times before I got it, but he would start praying and it sounded as if he had just quit talking to the audience and started talking to someone else, God. I did not even catch the fact that he was praying until I looked and saw that he had bowed his head. Then I realized that was how I spoke to my wife, with head bowed in reverence, and he must be talking to God. So I started trying to talk and not sound different. It as hard, but something about it felt good.
Later, like about 2 years ago, I learned another really cool thing about prayer from someone else who prayed different from the rest of us, my grandson Nicholas. He would just switch gears and talk to God as if He was right there in the room with us. Once he heard me tell my wife, with my head bowed, that my back hurts and I wished it would stop because the next day I had something to do that hurt backs did not mix well with. Nicholas looked at me and asked if he should pray for me. I said sure, and he did. “Jesus. You heard that Papa’s back is hurting and tomorrow he needs it to feel better, so when he wakes up, please make it feel better. I will be sleeping in Mimi’s bed and he will be on the couch, that way you will know where his back is. Thanks” Then he continues talking to everyone else in the room. I am glad he told God where I would be that night because strangely enough my back felt better the next morning. I have heard him pray about any number of things and it always seems as if he is talking to someone right there with him. Maybe that is because God is always right there with us and not sitting up in heaven waiting for us to sound all holy and old.
For a Christian we are told that God is our Heavenly Father and we have been given the right to call Him Daddy. The only time I ever talked to my dad with Victorian English I think I remember getting whacked and told not to be a smart a–. Most of my conversations with dad were right there, right now and real. I talked perfect southern English, much like I do today, and dad understood and responded like a dad should.
God wants us to pray. Prayer is modeled in the Bible over and over. Most of it is a man of woman talking to someone they love. It was not in Victorian English or any other English, it was translated from the language of that day. I think that when we are told to pray without ceasing and to pray about everything, God is saying…Just talk to me.

August 25, 2011

Responding to the Response

by pastortimfowler

Photo copyrights see http://www.flickr.com/photos/capturecreation/5733866534/in/pool-inspiks

Not understanding God is does not mean that He is wrong or what His word, the Bible, says is wrong. In fact, it is confirmation that what the Bible says about God is correct. Isaiah 55:9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” I constantly remind myself of this verse. But that does not mean that we can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t try to understand the things that challenge us.
One of my last blogs was responded to more than any other in quite a while. The one about lying. Many agreed with me, which by the way, is the right thing to do, but I was surprised at how many tried to justify that there was a good time to lie. I have to admit and remind you that I too said that it was very difficult and at times it seemed right, but God disagrees. If Jesus is the Way, THE TRUTH, and the Life, then anything not the truth is not the way to go.
Many of you gave scriptural references of people who lied. Abraham, Moses’ family and others were brought to my attention. What you have to realize is that God did not put those in there as an example of what to do, but rather as an example of how He could still use a fallen mankind. In the case of Moses, it is important to remember that the whole reason Israel was in Egypt was because of a lie. Joseph was left for dead, sold as a slave and dad was told that he was in fact dead. Only by God’s grace and favor on Joseph did his family eventually move to Egypt during the famine and eventually ended up as slaves. Lies and sin never go unpunished. God is a just God and cannot allow sin to go unchecked.
Sure, there were always good things that came from the situations but that is not because of man’s sin, it is solely because of God’s grace. His grace is greater than all of our sins. Jesus did not die for the righteous, but for the sinner. It was a lie that convicted Jesus, but God used that lie as part of His plan to redeem fallen man. The only way an innocent man can be convicted is through a lie or the truth being ignored, call it what you want.
In the past several months I have been pounding into the ears of my church and anyone who will listen the fact that God wants us to read the entire Bible starting at Genesis 1:1 and all the way through to Revelation 22:21. Only when we take the entire Bible into account can the whole truth be revealed. Stories, chapters, or verses always build on or compliment the rest of the Bible. It is not a book of one liners to prove our point or children’s stories to teach a fable. It is the living word of God, the Truth, and the story of the redemption of a fallen man.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval. 17 They equip God’s servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things. Our human nature wants us to lie. It wants us to find a reason to justify our actions when they contradict the Bible. But if you are a Christian, your human nature must be replaced with God’s nature and a desire for the truth. Satan is the father of ALL lies, and we are no longer his children but rather Children of God, born into the family by the Truth, Jesus Christ.
Thanks so much for being honest about what you think about my blogs. Thanks for being honest enough to say that you struggle with some things that God says. We all do. In fact, let me leave you with one last scripture to help when you struggle.
Romans 3:2-4
2 There are all kinds of advantages. First of all, God entrusted them with his word.
3 What if some of them were unfaithful? Can their unfaithfulness cancel God’s faithfulness?
4 That would be unthinkable! God is honest, and everyone else is a liar, as Scripture says, “So you hand down justice when you speak, and you win your case in court.”

August 23, 2011

Tell The Truth

by pastortimfowler

The hardest sin in the world to not do is lying. I am sure that someone is already saying that they don’t lie, so that should be proof that we all do it. Personally I struggle with approximately 783 different sins on a regular basis, but I am special. In those, lying is incorporated into half of them. There are times when I want to lie so bad it almost hurts not to. I feel the convictions all the time and often rip my cloths like they did in the Old Testament when they were upset. Can anyone see that there may be a few lies mixed in to this already? I like to call them artistic liberties.
Lying is deeply engrained in us. It starts as babies when we learn that we can cry for no reason and mommy will come get us. No one ever taught us how to lie, it just starts to happen. When mom or dad asks us if we did it and we say no, knowing that we did and that our parents know it before they asked. The Bible tells us that Satan is the father of all lies and so he uses that against us all the time.
I am not saying that everyone is a habitual liar or chronic liar, or lying for evil ways. I am just saying that we all lie and it always ends up coming back to get us. We are taught in children’s stories like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, that lying is wrong and has consequences. Our parents and teachers tell us that we shouldn’t lie and yet we still do it. And, I can think of a few times when lying has seemed like the right thing to do and therefore justified it. I am not proud of that fact, but this is one time I am not lying.
Let me give a few things that most of us have lied about. Our age, even jokingly, we do that. As young boys noticing girls for the first time, especially the older ones who liked only older guys, we often said that we were a few years older than we really were. Women as they get older never get older. Our occupation. This usually has to do with impressing the opposite sex too. I have held several fictitious positions in my life. Our income. Again, often tied to impressing the opposite sex, but sometimes we do it to get credit that we don’t think we qualify for. Our weight. Most of us are heavier than we say we are. Why that matters, I am not sure, but it is a lie for most of us. Our availability. You know what I mean. Sorry, I am busy that day or time, when really you just don’t want to be around that person. Our family. Sounds strange, but I had this uncle growing up that did everything and had everything and took me everywhere, even though no one ever met him. Wrong number. Who hasn’t used this one? I did not know what the speed limit was through here. HA! Yes we do, we just didn’t plan on the cop using radar that day.
Most of these are common and relatively harmless, except for the fact that God hates lies and He did not say only the big ones. He does not like “stretching the truth”, fibbing, or little white lies. He doesn’t even like it when a husband says, “sure honey, that looks fine” so that the wife doesn’t get mad at you.
That being said, how can we deal with this lying thing?
I have found that often a lie can be averted by asking the question, do you really want me to answer that truthfully? That causes people to at least think long enough for you to think about how to tell the truth tactfully. You don’t have to scream to your wife, “Oh my gosh, that thing is hideous!” You could say that you don’t think it compliments her like some other dresses she wears. You can just tell the truth and let people know that if they ask you something they can expect the truth and most people will then be very careful what they ask you after a while.
I have some good news and I have some bad news about lying.
The bad news is that lying is a sin. God hates it and expects better from those who claim to know Jesus as Savior. The good news is that He forgives us if we ask and make an attempt to change our ways.
The bad news is that many people lie about knowing Jesus as Savior. They act the part, but it has never been a real conversion. The good news is that God waits patiently for those who don’t know Him and freely gives salvation to those who trust Him by faith.
The bad news is that many people die thinking they were good enough to get to heaven, but they believed a lie. No one can be good enough. We are all sinners and need to be forgiven and need to ask for it. The good news is that no one has to die and go to hell. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If you trust the truth, you will be forgiven. God loves us that much.
I was told that if you lie, you will eventually have to tell another lie and then another and so on. But if you tell the truth you never have to remember which lie you told to who. I guess that is what makes God so awesome. He only tells the truth, He never has to change it and He never has to apologize for it. When Jesus told us to let our yes be yes and our no be no, He was simply saying…tell the truth.

August 22, 2011

His love is amazing!

by pastortimfowler

It was a crazy weekend in a good way. If you are not a church person, then go ahead and read this just because it won’t hurt you. If you are a church person read it and be encouraged.
The church as a universal figure often gets the negative press of being judgmental and often full of hypocrites and holier than thou types. I have to admit that most of the press is true, but not accurate. The church is judgmental, we are told to be. We are not supposed to think that we are better than anyone else though. First and foremost, we are supposed to judge ourselves and if we did a better job of that, we would not be criticized so much for judging others.
I know for sure that my church is full of hypocrites, every last one of us. We all do what we shouldn’t do and don’t do what we should from time to time. I guess it’s the blatant hypocrisy that bothers people and that goes back to judging ourselves better. As long as flesh and blood people try to live spiritual lives, we are going to have hypocrisy. And as for being holier than thou, we should only be concerned about being as holy as we can be and letting God be the standard of holiness that we all look to. One thing I think that most people will agree with, is that, if people who claim to be Christians lived up to the hype, very few people would have a problem with the church. So please forgive us for failing, but I know our church and a few others are trying.
But that is not why I am blogging today. I want to praise a few things that happened that over the weekend.
My son’s church, the one he attends and serves at, not owns, had an amazing weekend. They had a goal for the people of the church to specifically invite people who admitted they were not Christians to come to the church and hear and see what they were doing and judge for themselves if it was worth the chance of knowing Jesus. Over 500 people made public their profession of faith in this one church on one weekend! That tells me that they were treated the way they thought Jesus wanted church people to act and that they believed the message that they heard. Pretty amazing. Sure this is a large church, but people respond to one person asking one question more than large numbers screaming demands. Jesus wants us to be personable with people. Way to go Newspring Church!
My ex youth pastor said that his church had record attendance this past weekend. They are a more traditional church that tends to appeal to older people in theory. But I have seen a change in the heart of the people and although he would be the first to agree, (I think), that they have ways to go, they have already traveled a great journey. The youth of this church is responding to the call to live lives that reflect Jesus in everything that they do. I can’t help but believe that the fire in this youth group is spreading to the whole congregation…Way to go Reedy Fork Baptist Church!
Our church had a larger than normal crowd this weekend. It was not a record, but it was above average. We had a women’s group on retreat and several other families who were out for known reasons and yet we still had the largest crowd in months. What was cool about it is that our people stepped up to fill gaps in every area that was lacking and no one complained. Just smiles and friendly serving of those who were attending. Our music was, although always good, incredible, the crowd was clapping and enjoying worship and we had a bunch of guests…Way to go, The Body, A Church for Anybody!
We always welcome and ask for feedback and I heard some amazing stuff. Stuff like, this is the friendliest church I have ever been in, I felt like I was at home here, and I am not a member but I felt like one. This is what happens when the hypocrites at my church get a chance to try to act like Jesus. They do a great job. Not perfect, but getting closer all the time.
I have been preaching a hard-hitting series on truth and propaganda and it has challenged folks to re-examine a few things. The response has been incredible and some people are making some very tough decisions about changing their lifestyles. That only confirms to me that the truth is powerful and God is the author of the truth. But most incredible is the fact the we saw 3 people make a profession of faith. Not the 500 of the other church mentioned, but we are much smaller and there is never a number, other than zero, that disappoints when people come to know Jesus. But when you add the number of people at our church alone that have met Jesus for the first time this year, it is pretty amazing.
Jesus changes lives. He never refuses anyone who calls on Him. He uses messed up people to do a divine work and I am so thrilled to see how it works when a church gets close to getting it right.
So if you go to church, get involved and watch what God is doing. If you don’t, check out a few churches and find one where the people are more like Jesus than the hypocrites you think we are. You won’t be sorry when you find it and you won’t forget Jesus when you meet Him or His people who understand who they are truly supposed to be. Why? Because God is truly awesome His love is amazing!

August 19, 2011

A Job Well Done

by pastortimfowler

The other day I talked with someone about why they need to stay on their job. It was hard to believe that they were even considering quitting a job in this economy. They wanted to quit because they did not like anything about the job. The people were difficult to work with, the pay was lousy, the job was difficult, and the hours were unpredictable. That has to be tough, but is there a positive twist you can put on it?
First, from the standpoint of the economy, we could all probably give an account of someone we know that does not have a job and can’t find one. Few places are hiring and those who are have so many applicants that they can be very picky over who they hire. Many people are looking for any job, and that means employers can set the highest of standards. Add to that the number of people who are applying for these few jobs and it is tough. Quitting a job now is a recipe for even harder times if you do not have another job to transfer into.
Second, let me share a biblical point of view. This will be fun, so read on.
God gave you that job. Rejoice and be glad in it. He said that He would meet our needs not our wants. Perhaps God wants us to show faithfulness in the small things before He gives us the big things. The workplace today needs to see what a good work ethic is. It would be a great witness, to those who don’t believe, to see a Christian work hard and honor those in authority. People need to hear and see that our actions match up. They need to see that we believe that good things come from God and a job of any type right now is a good thing.
Sometimes we forget that the strongest witness we can give to others is in our workplace. Another time is when we are going through a struggle. Combine the two and there is a real opportunity to let our faith shine. We live in a world that promotes a victim mind-set. People really believe that life should be fair and I have never found that to be true. The only two things that are fair in life is the fact that we all face judgement, the same judgement, for our sins and God through Jesus Christ forgives us, any of us, if we ask. Other than that, fairness is only equal to the opportunity that is in front of us not the results of it. If fairness is what was important, it would only be fair that a blind man could drive a car on our interstates and I could be a brain surgeon even though I know nothing about it. I mean, it just isn’t fair that I don’t get to do what I want, is it?
I believe that God puts us in various situations to see if we remember to honor Him in all things, not just the stuff we think is good. Difficult work means a chance to test our perseverance. Those people who are so hard to work with may need to see Jesus in you. You may be that only example of Jesus that they will see. Low pay means a chance to practice good stewardship and faith that God will provide. Unpredictable hours mean a chance to be ready to share our faith in season and out of season.
Let me leave you with this example of someone who had a tough job, with tough people to work with, unreasonable hours, and their pay sucked. His name is Jesus.
He was hired to work with fishermen and tax collectors. He left Heaven to work on earth during a tougher time that we know now. He was on call 24/7 and never got the pay that He deserved. No matter how hard He tried, people turned on Him and ended up firing Him from His job in a most cruel way. All the time He never quit, never gave up, and never stopped honoring God. In return, many were saved, He is the example for all to follow, and God said, “A job well done!”

August 18, 2011

Doctor’s visit

by pastortimfowler

My wife and I are among the many who do not have health insurance. Because of this we do not go to the doctor very often. Even when we had insurance, years ago, we did not go that often. I hear people complain all the time about how much their out-of-pocket expenses are even with insurance and have to fight back the laughter. They are complaining about paying $20-50 in co pays for an office visit and we just paid a lot more than that. Even at ten times what your deductible is, this visit was cheaper without insurance. How? Because you are paying for your insurance every paycheck whether you go to the doctor or not.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have insurance for when something major happens. But for regular illness and injury stuff, I had just as soon pay them out-of-pocket. At least then I can negotiate and ask for options without an insurance company to tell me what I have to do.
So you are probably thinking that I don’t like insurance companies. Wrong. I could care less about them. What I don’t like is how people think that insurance is such a great deal and use it all the time. If more people would quit using insurance to cover colds and sniffles and bumps and bruises, all of our medical costs would go down, and the cost of insurance would too. Doctors can’t cure the common cold, make a bruise or pulled muscle heal any faster or prevent you from ever getting sick or injured. With the way people flood the doctors with trivial stuff that would get better on its own, doctors spend far less time than they need to on the big issues that require their services. I wonder how much better attention a patient with a major illness would get if the doctor had not just treated 10 snotty nosed kids who have a cold.
God made our bodies to be amazingly resilient. They can and do fight of all sorts of germs and viruses. They can mend cuts, tears, and bruises. They learn to make defenses against the germs that make us sick and do an incredible job at it, without the aid of a doctor. Believe it or not, most pills only help the symptoms not heal the problem. Sure they can aid in the work that you body does, but rarely do you get better any faster.
I do believe in some preventive medicine. Immunizations are great at keeping us safe from some pretty nasty stuff. Eating well and exercising are good to maintain a healthy weight and fend off illnesses cause by being overweight. Doctors are experts at spotting certain things that can be stopped early, like cancers, and as we age there are things they can help monitor in order to begin treatment as soon as possible to extend our life expectancy.
My point of this is in hopes of people getting back to some common sense living. Insurance companies are not evil. They do not exist to offer us the cheapest possible medical care possible. The exist to make money. That is what companies do in America. If companies don’t make money, you don’t have a job. Making money is not wrong and we can’t blame insurance companies for it either. If you don’t want them to make so much money, quit using them so much. Cut back on coverage. Pay for more stuff out-of-pocket. Let you body and your kid’s bodies heal themselves like God designed them to do.
Can you imagine what it would be like if we used car insurance like we use our health insurance? If every time we were due for an oil change, we filed a claim, flat tire, file a claim, wiper blades, file a claim. No one would be able to afford auto insurance and those who didn’t have it would pay outrageous prices for what is now very common procedures, or not get them done at all.
Thankfully, my wife’s appointment went fairly well. She had a few minor issues, a few screws loose, (haha), and got a few prescriptions. We have the money in the bank, or had it there, and we have found that we both could lose a few pounds, so not eating every other day will help there since the money is now gone. This was a needed visit though and I am glad that we did not have to have insurance just so she could go.
There was a day when our moms would give us some soup and juice and a warm blanket and love us through the sniffles. She would put a band-aid on the cut after she boiled it out with peroxide and we rarely saw the doctor. Maybe we need to return to some of that and quit having so many trips to the doctor’s office.

August 16, 2011

Back To School

by pastortimfowler

Summers are just not long enough for kids and those who love spending time with their kids. But it has come to that time where we send them off in their new clothes with their new books to learn new things. It is an exciting time and can be quite nerve-racking. Our little rug rats are growing up!
I remember when I was in elementary school. We use to have to walk to school in knee-deep snow and then walk home when the snow was even deeper. It was uphill both ways too. But while I was at school I knew that the teachers and principals were people who had the same basic values that my parents did. Basically they demanded respect, effort, and adhering to specific values. Those values were biblical and no one ever complained about it because biblical values are what our laws are based on and they promote hard work along with compassion.
My 1st grade teacher use to read us a Bible story every morning. I remember hearing about David and Goliath and Joshua shouting down the walls of Jericho and how God created the world that we know it. Later in the 3rd grade I had a teacher who use to teach us music and often we used hymns to help us learn to read notes. By the time I got to middle school, things were changing. Not much more than the curriculum was taught, but we still had that core value base that was in place.
I always knew that there was going to be consistency in what I was getting at school and what I was getting at home. My dad always said that if I got a whipping at school that I could expect one when I got home. Sounds tough, but it was true. Now we have parents suing schools for disciplining kids and then complaining when the kids don’t learn anything. And the last thing that your kids will hear in school these days is that God created the universe, much less the story of David and Goliath. Instead they are taught new stories about families with 2 mommies or 2 daddies and when they get to middle school they are taught how to use condoms and where to go if you need an abortion.
Still I hear the complaints from parents that their kids don’t want to come to church and don’t want to know God. They tell me that they don’t know how to overcome all the “science that disproves the Bible”. I hear about kids having sex at younger ages and doing drugs and drinking in their teens. Parents are frazzled.
Last night in a Bible study this subject of why kids have no respect for the things of the Bible came up. So I asked the 15 men present, how many of you read a Bible story to your children every day? How ’bout once a week?. The answer was, none of them. My next question was this; Then why would you expect the schools to do it? Followed by this one: Do your kids think God is real and important to Daddy?
You see we pitch a fit when our school takes God out of them, but the truth is, God is not in our own houses either. We only visit His house on Sunday. We complain about schools not allowing prayers but we never pray with our kids at home. We proudly wear our “Put God back in Schools” bumper stickers, but maybe we need to put Him back in our homes first.
Here is God’s idea to help our kids:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
4 Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God.
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 Take to heart these words that I give you today.
7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.
8 {Write them down, and} tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.
9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
If we teach our children about God like this at home, we will have less worries about them wherever they go. But maybe, just maybe, then the kids will be the ones to take God back to school.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96 other followers