Archive for September, 2011

September 29, 2011

Bad Mouthing The Family

by pastortimfowler

I had a fellow come by my office yesterday and was asking for help and advice. He did not go to my church nor did he go to any other church. He told me that he was a Christian and that he had just moved into the area about 4 years ago. When he first got here, he visited a church and they were not very friendly, so he did not go back there or anywhere else. He proceeded to tell me how churches and church people were rude, uncaring, and of course, hypocritical. I think he was surprised when at the end of his rant I agreed with him about church people being so uncaring. He was even more surprised when I told him to get the heck out of my office. Just kidding. I did not tell him that, although at times I wanted to.
I did decide to change the subject. I asked if he had a job and he said no, but he was looking. He said that he had been to several places and was not having any luck. He told me that a lot of the places he went to apply at were rude and did not even want to talk to him. Of course I told him that most places of employment were rude, uncaring and hypocritical. I then asked him why he went anywhere else to apply for a job if the first place was so bad. He did not have a response.
He told me that him and his wife were about to get a divorce. It seems that everything that she did was wrong. Probably rude, uncaring, and hypocritical, but I didn’t ask. I did ask what he was doing to reconcile his marriage and he said it couldn’t be fixed. When I asked if they had been to see a counselor he said no, they were all crooks. I told him I agreed, and went outside to steal the tires off his car. That is what us counselors do you know.
He was a likeable guy. I think that he was actually trying to be humble and genuine as he was asking me for help. It was just that continual negative bashing of Christians and the church, of which I think highly of, was starting to get to me. I hear this quite often. People will come to the church for help and bash churches for not doing exactly what they ask. Then expect you to kiss their, never mind. Then they have expectations that you and your church will jump through hoops to help them as they finish telling you that church people are not nice people.
About now there are a few of you saying, “But that’s what churches are supposed to do!” Hold on though, Buckwheat. There is more to it than that.
The church has to deal with two type of people; Christians and those who are not. For those who are not, we are to love them and meet their needs to the best of our ability, and to share the message of love and hope in Jesus Christ. Feeding and clothing and other types of benevolence are part of that, but our number one priority is sharing Jesus’ message of forgiveness and salvation. Even though we want to feed and clothe everyone, if there are no means in which to do this, we still have the hopes of sharing Jesus.
For the Christian, we are to be a family. Families deal with each other differently. There are family values that are expected to be upheld. There are standards that every family member is expected to keep and when a family member needs help, the family helps. But there are always times when if someone in the family rebels and becomes an embarrassment to the family, it sometimes means a separation from the family until reconciliation is made. Sometimes tough love is the answer and sometimes that looks wrong to people outside the family. You never let a family member starve or go homeless or get hurt, but you may let them struggle a while to learn the value of family. I probably need to explain this further, but blogs should not take all day to write or to read.
In closing, I asked if he needed food, shelter, clothes, and even offered my services as a counselor for his marriage. He said no to all. I gave him information on some job leads that I had and invited him to visit our church. But because he said that he was a Christian, I told him that he needed to quit bad mouthing the family or he would probably continue to get the results from churches that he had gotten before. Dad won’t let His children continually talk bad about their brothers and sisters.

September 28, 2011

Slaves In The Bible

by pastortimfowler

My dear friend has been challenging me to blog about some really tough stuff. So now she asked me to blog about slaves in the Bible. I have been hoping I could do this one for a long time. (Sarcasm noted)
One thing my friend is experiencing is the ignorance of people when it comes to the Bible. Notice I did not say stupidity, although that can be a problem too from time to time, but you can’t fix stupid. Ignorance about the Bible comes from people who are not Christians and people who are Christians. Sadly, Christians form their opinions of the Bible when what they really need is to accept the truth of the Bible. We spend a lot of time picking out one or two things that sound like the point that we want to make and running with it as if it were fact. We take things out of context and the true meaning gets twisted. Any writing taken out of context can be dangerous and any writing that someone sets out to criticize can be condemned by those who want to find fault.
Let me give a brief overview of what the Bible is. It is God’s communication to man in the written form. It is not everything that God knows, but it is what He wants us to know. It is not an old writing that has no relevance for today, but rather a writing that when studied in context, including the context of the culture of the times that it was written, can be applied to any culture and time. Too often people get stuck in what is an event or teaching relevant to only to an era and fail to be able to take the principle of the teaching and apply it to present time. The Bible is the account of God creating the world for humans to occupy, giving them free will to make choices, including wrong choices, and loving us in spite of our flaws. In that love, He gives us a way to restore the flawed humans that He loves so much and gives guidelines for His will in our lives and how to deal with the times when we chose to go against His will and screw things up.
Bad choices have consequences and some of those last throughout generations. Cultures often dictate many of our choices, including ones that God’s people fall in to. Just because God permits something to happen does not mean that He approves of it. We do this with our own children as a teaching tool when they chose not to listen to wisdom, don’t we? In God’s perfect will, we would have no pain, sorrow, or death. Because we have freedom to choose and we chose to go against God, the consequences permeate culture and culture adopts those things that are contrary to God, but seem good to some people, especially those in positions of power.
Slavery was never an idea of God. When we think of slavery, we think of the evil of owning another person and often the mistreatment and abuse of those people. The most common word used in the Bible for slaves is the word servant. There were two types of servants, the person who served you in return for protection, housing, and food, and the other is the person used for forced labor. God gives very specific instructions on how to treat those servants that worked for you in the first capacity. They were to be treated properly and provided for and freed from their obligations to you at the end of seven years, and, even then, they were given the choice of staying with you because this was most similar to a job. God gave harsh penalties for mistreating these servants and never gave the command to own people. Society had made owning people acceptable, not God.
In the case of forced labor, slavery, God is best known for providing their freedom, commonly known as the Exodus, and the movie, The 10 Commandments. God sets people free from all sorts of bondage, especially sin. Sin puts us in the mindset of thinking we are right and God is wrong. Sin causes us to put self before others and is what led to slavery as we think about it in the worst of ways. Sin also makes us slaves to things like drugs, alcohol, sex, and money, to name a few. All of which have good and godly ways of being used, but perverted outside of that, in turn result in bondage. God cares about those who are oppressed and provides a way to set us free. He frees those who are slaves to people who pervert authority and those who are slaves to those who pervert the freedom of our own will.
For who the Son sets free, you are free indeed. Only God can provide true freedom, and because of that, I choose to serve Him.

September 27, 2011

Talking To Adam

by pastortimfowler

I have to stop taking requests for blog ideas. I get a lot of weird ideas that make me have to think and we all know what happens when I start thinking. Today I was asked to do a blog about who I would want to talk to out of the Bible and why. The only two people I could not choose are God and Jesus. I will assume that this also means the Holy Spirit and will forgive the disrespect to the Holy Trinity from my friend who probably wasn’t thinking.
After pondering this, and yes, I said pondering, I would choose Adam. I would choose Adam because he saw things that no man has ever seen, so let me blog a bit.
Adam was the first to see creation in its perfect state. I would love to have him tell me about the beauty of a world that had no flaws and no dangers. We think of untouched land as forests or jungles that are difficult to walk through but this was made with man in mind and nothing was a threat to Adam. There were no thorns or plants that would cause allergic reactions or if there were, they were not a bother to him ever. He didn’t have shoes, so the ground had to be very comfortable to walk on, because if you think about it, he didn’t have callused feet in the first few days.
Adam got to see every creature on earth and name them. I would love to hear his thought on the first time he saw a possum or an elephant. I know that he was looking for a companion and found none of the animals to be suitable, but I bet he was tempted to pick a couple. I would ask him which ones. Surely he could have had thoughts about hanging out with a grizzly bear or a lion for a while. How did he get the nerve to tell God, “Nah, none of them turn me on”?
I would really love to hear about that woman God gave him. I know that he did not know she was naked, he does now and I would love to ask him about her. She must have been a really hot chick. Before you get all uppity on me, remember that this was not my idea to blog about this and I am only being honest. This is hard to figure out how to say without someone taking it wrong but I will try. Sin has taken its toll on humanity. We are all now flawed because of sin. I think my wife is beautiful and she is flawed by sin. I bet Eve, who was not flawed by sin, was incredible looking. I want to hear about that from Adam. Then, I want to hear his reaction when he finally realized that she was naked. But I am a man and I can’t help myself.
Now that Adam has a had a few thousand years to think about it, I would love to talk to him about why they fell to the temptation. What did the fruit look like? What did it taste like? When did the sensation of knowing good and evil overtake them? Was it when the took the bite or did they have to chew it up and swallow it before they actually knew they had messed up? I can’t imagine being perfect and sinless one second and the very next second knowing you have sinned. And I would have to ask, did you try to take your time putting Eve’s leaves together after you knew she was naked? You know, did he tell her that the first one made her look fat, just so she would have to make another or did he keep “accidentally” tearing the leaves in just the right spots?
One thing I have always been curious about is time. Were they living in a place where time did not matter before they sinned? I know they had night and day, but when we become sinless, time won’t matter to us because we will be in heaven. He was created to live forever and I want to know what he thought about time before the sin. After the sin, did he feel like Eve was always making him late or did she not develop that until they had kids? And what about having the first kids in the whole world? Did you want to beat them? Did they start the whole back talking to parents thing?
But most of all I want to talk to him about God. I want to hear about their walks together and what kind of things did they talk about. What do you say to God about anything? I mean, did Adam look at God and pat Him on the butt and say “good job!” for creating the universe? Did he ask God what was he thinking when He made the duck-billed platypus? Did he talk to God about how hot Eve was?
Yep I would want to talk to Adam if I could.

September 26, 2011

Monday is Funday!

by pastortimfowler

Why do we hate Mondays so much? It is almost like on Monday we lose all hope in humanity and ourselves and go into a deep depression. I laugh at the negativity on Facebook and Twitter as people moan and groan about going to work. You would think that just the opposite was happening, that they had found out that they had no job and couldn’t go to work.
As a Christian, I find it so wrong to be this negative, just because it is Monday. I have always thought that we should be the most positive on Monday and if we were going to be negative, it would be somewhere near the end of the week. I think that we have been influenced too much by a society that has become very ungrateful. I think that Christians are too focused on self, instead of others. Let me elaborate.
If you go to church on Sunday and you have an experience that puts you closer to God and His people and you fill up on God’s word and see Him working in people’s lives, shouldn’t we be excited about getting to work Monday? A friend of mine once told me that church was the a pit stop in a race. The race was what happened Monday through Saturday and on Sunday we pulled in for a filling of fuel, refreshing drink, some new traction, and have our windshield cleared. After that, it is back on the track where the race is won. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a race-car driver not want to get back into the race.
Church people have been too influenced by those around us instead of being the ones who influence. We allow all the negativity of a worldly point of view to cause us to lose our joy and when we lose our joy we are no different that anyone else. We are to be salt that flavors the world and light that brightens the world. We are to be thankful for the blessings we have and joyful for the life God has given us. We are to show hope to the hopeless and love to the unloved. We are supposed to have a relationship with a God that is so awesome that He makes even the worst situations better and yet we hate Mondays.
There is an old song that the church used to sing and it goes like this. Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Count your blessings and you will see what God has done. I don’t think we are counting our blessings much anymore. In this economy, if you are going to work on a Monday, you should be singing God’s praises and not complaining because its Monday. If you have a boss who is a jerk, you should be praising God for the opportunity to show what a difference being a Christian makes by working harder and better than anyone else so that the jerk sees Jesus, not you. If you have a home, and family, and job, your health, a car, your salvation, then you should be smiling all the way to work on Monday and keep on going as Friday rolls around.
Mondays are a great day to see how many people you can tell about how thankful to God that you are to have that job and them as co workers and that you feel extremely blessed to be working when so many are without. If your work is a dark place, turn on the light! If it is a miserable place, spread some joy!
Here is a suggestion for those who are Christians but you still hate Mondays. If you hate going to your job, tell God that you are not appreciative of what He gave you and maybe He will take it away from you so that you can rejoice in unemployment and poverty. Then you can really look forward to Mondays, because it won’t be any different from any other day that you DON’T go to work.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Always be joyful.
17 Never stop praying.
18 Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.

September 23, 2011

Looking For A Church

by pastortimfowler

I know that looking for a church to attend can be frustration no matter if you are looking for the first time as a new Christian or you are looking again as a more seasoned believer. I hear of people who look and stop because of one bad experience or that don’t look enough because they are easily frustrate. So I thought about giving some tips to help if you ever find yourself looking for a new church. Here are a few things that will help if you are looking for a good church to attend.
1. If you are a new Christian, I always encourage people to stay in the same church for at least a year. This gives you time to develop the basics of your new faith and therefore be able to decide whether or not you even need to find a new church. If you are in a church that preaches Jesus and His word and even if you don’t feel like it is where you need to be, hold off looking until you understand better what God’s desire in you life is. It may be that you are right where you need to be for any number of reasons. Get yourself rooted and grounded in your faith first.
2. Pray. This is the obvious answer, I know. But too many times our search begins with emotions not prayer. God may want you stay right where you and we not have allowed Him to convey that to us. Be specific about your motives, your needs, and your family’s needs, but also be sensitive about the fact that God knows our needs and He will never confuse them with our wants. You want to be sure that God is not keeping you where you can be the solution if there is a problem or might be using a situation to teach you patience. The church should be your family and family doesn’t run away just because you are not happy.
3. Do your homework. Too many times people just drive to the next nearest church or go to the latest big thing in churches. Not that either is wrong, but this is not how to find anything else you are looking for and should not be the way you find a church. Decide what you need and are looking for in a church. If you want a large church with lots of stuff, you don’t need to go to a small country church. Visit websites of churches that you think you might want to visit. Be sure that their doctrine and beliefs are close to yours. Look at style of worship, children’s activity, and small group classes.
4. Pick 2 or 3 to visit. Too many times we bounce from church to church to church and after the third or fourth one we are confused and frustrated. But if you have done your homework you should have a better feel of the ones in your area that meets your needs and can narrow it down to 2 or 3. Visit the first one at least 3 times. Attend a small group and go to the evening and or mid-week service. Get a good feel for who they really are and don’t be afraid to let that church know of your intentions. You want to see if they treat people different if they are just visiting than they do people who have been there a while. Make notes of what you like and don’t like. And then visit the next one and do the same. Do not make these visits on major holidays like Easter and Christmas, because most churches ramp up everything during these times and you are looking for what is normal activity.
5. Try to meet with the pastor privately. This will let you see how interactive he is with his congregation. If you are looking for a very personable pastor and one is hard to reach it might not be for you. This doesn’t mean that the pastor is not caring, it may just be that he is busy, so use common sense there. When you get with him, ask questions about his vision, leadership style, and core beliefs. Most congregations are a reflection of the pastor, so see if they match up. Ask him what his policies are for people getting involved in the type ministry that you are interested in serving in. See if he is someone you can follow because he is the shepherd of that flock.
6. Take a day to talk. If you are married, this would mean you and your spouse, involve the kids if they are old enough but they should not be the deciding factor. If you are single, find a good Christian friend to talk to. Pray for wisdom and seek God’s will for this. I would suggest that this time be a Sunday morning. Yep, don’t go to church that day, but rather seek God’s will for this major decision that you are about to make. I believe if God is leading you that there will be an agreement that happens rather easily. Don’t let a minor thing become a stumbling block, because Satan wants you confused and discouraged. Once you have decided which church that you want to make your home, share that decision with they whole family and or friend.
7. Began to attend regularly. Don’t join immediately, although some churches won’t allow membership until you attend a class for new members, some will let you join right away. Hold off for a month or so just to be sure of your decision. Give, serve, and participate as much as they will allow until you join, but let God confirm this in your heart. Once you decide to join, ask for another meeting with the pastor to let him know your decision and ask the best way to make it public. This does vary from church to church and he will give you the best way to make it public. Tell him that you are ready to serve in the capacity as a member and will follow his leader as he sees fit.
This can be a tough time in a Christians life, but can be very rewarding. You can learn how to hear from God more clearly and strengthen your faith. The local church is important to God and you are an important part of that local church. So follow these things and I believe that you will know God’s place for you and be ready to take part in growing the Body of Christ in your new church family.

September 22, 2011

Stuff That Falls From The Sky

by pastortimfowler

On the news for the last week I have been hearing about a satellite that will fall out of its orbit and hit earth in the next couple of days. It is said to be about the size of a school bus and weighs 6.5 tons. NASA says that they are not sure where it will hit, but are pretty sure that it won’t hit you. I feel better now that I know my tax dollars are being used well.
They say it will break up in the atmosphere and that there will be only about 26 large pieces that make it to earth. They do not say what constitutes a large piece, but I feel good knowing that a scientist can be at least as specific as this. There is a 1 in 3200 chance of a person getting hit by some of this debris. That sounds high, but you have worse odds of getting struck by lightning, bit by a shark, and winning the lottery. I don’t know about you but I fell much better now.
When I was in the Navy, we had a message that came through and it was a bit strange at first and due to many of the unknowns it had been classified secret. It said that a Japanese fisherman had been killed by an object that fell from the sky while his boat was about 200 miles out in the Sea of Japan. As the day went by and the messages kept coming in, it got weird. Next it said that a fisherman was killed by a cow while his boat was about 200 miles out in the Sea of Japan. A few days went by and we got the summary of what had happened. A Soviet cargo plane was flying back from an undisclosed destination and one of the crew had purchased a cow and they brought it on board the plane. The cow apparently experienced some sort of panic or discomfort at 15000 feet and began to thrash around and broke its restraints so the crew lowered the loading ramp and pushed the cow from the plane. The cow fell, hit and killed a Japanese fisherman on his boat about 200 miles out in the Sea of Japan.
Once I was camping in my back yard under a tree and I had a pecan fall and hit me in the head and it woke me up, but that is the closest thing I have to a story that is personal when it comes to stuff falling from the sky.
About now I am thinking that I need to stay inside for the next day or two, or maybe do a lot of driving on curvy roads. If one of the large pieces falls and hits the building I am in, I am not sure that it will help me, but the insurance will at least pay for the building to be fixed and if it just happens to be my house, we need a new roof. If I am driving on a curvy roads it will be like running away from someone who is trying to shoot you. They say you should zig-zag as you run and it reduces the chance of getting hit.
I just had this funny thought of cops pulling all these cars over for the next few days thinking that they are all drunk drivers, but everyone telling the cop that the are reducing their chances of getting hit by something that falls from the sky.
I am not worried about this satellite or even a cow hitting me as it falls from the sky. I do still hate it when pecans hit my head as they fall from the tree. We have a pecan tree in our yard now that has really large pecans and they do hurt if they are falling from the top few limbs. But I don’t think they will kill me and if so, someone else will have to promise me that they will do a follow-up blog to this one and tell the world of my freakish death.
I was reading in the Old Testament book of Job this morning and this is what it says: Job 14:5 If the number of his days and the number of his months are determined by you (God), and you set his limit, then he cannot go past it. That means when it is our time, God will take us home. Nothing can change it and we should not live our lives as if we have forever. We should live for God and for His purpose that He has set for our lives. Live it fully and not worry about tomorrow because we are not promised tomorrow. God has great things for each of us to do and for some He has spectacular endings in store for us! You just never know what God has in store for the stuff that falls from the sky.

September 21, 2011

My Team Is Winning!

by pastortimfowler

If you have followed my blogs for any time you will know that I love baseball and college football. Specifically, my team in baseball is the Braves and in college football its the SC Gamecocks. This made for some tough times through that years because both teams had some really lousy years. But there have been some great years, like with the Braves making the play-offs for 13 years straight and the Gamecocks lately have at least been in the top 25 rankings. It is good to be able to say, “My team is winning!”.
This morning I was reading blog from Pastor Perry Noble of Newspring church in Anderson SC. It was about whether or not churches should keep track of numbers and even publicize them. He has been accused by many leaders in some mainstream denominations as being boastful. I think that they are just jealous.
You see last year, Newspring Church baptized more people than most of the largest 1st Baptist Churches in South Carolina combined. Now let me agree with something that Pastor Perry said, we need to celebrate even 1 person getting saved and following in believer’s baptism because heaven certainly does. But to be upset because a church is baptizing thousands is nothing but jealousy, in my opinion. I love Newspring church and what they are doing. It is fresh and alive and they are winning souls. Although my own church is still my favorite, I love to watch other churches kick the enemy’s butt!
The church needs to remain focused on what is important. That is not the fact that another church is larger than yours or reaching more people than yours, but rather that when any church reaches a person who accepts Christ as Savior, we all should rejoice. But because the local church is important to how Jesus told us to function as His Body, we need to have a deep passion for our own church and who we are reaching.
I think that we should be calling out the churches who are not reaching anybody for Christ instead of those who are reaching multitudes. Each year in my city alone there are churches who baptize no one. They don’t care and they mind the fact that they have not grown in years. This is not because there are no people around either, but a case of the old “us four and no more” mentality. These are the churches that if anyone should be upset, it should be them.
But every church has people in it who can make a difference. If you are in a church that is not or has not reached people in a while, that can all be changed by you. We have all seen the team that gets that one player who will not let the past losses stop them from playing to win. Even if the whole team refuses to play, you can win for Jesus. And when that happens you need to celebrate. If you give it your best and the church you attend continues to hold you back, leave and find a church that wants to keep score and wants to win.
I feel so blessed to be part of a local church who is playing to win. I want to be there every time that I can and wear its colors boldly. Yes, we have a church shirt designed that I wear like I wear my Gamecocks stuff. I proudly tell people of the great things that we are doing and that the reason we are doing them is because of Jesus. He gets the glory, the honor, the praise, because He gave us the victory. Whenever we lead another person to Jesus and they get baptized, I want Jesus to act like I act when the winning run is scored or points are put on the board. I want Jesus to say, “MY TEAM IS WINNING!”.

September 20, 2011

From Slave To Servant

by pastortimfowler

Reading the New Testament letter of Philemon that the Apostle Paul wrote to his friend is quite an eye opener. It is one of the shortest “books” of the Bible and yet there is so much to learn from it. I thought I would share some observations that I saw.
This is a letter that Paul wrote to a friend while Paul was in prison. It is near the end of his life and yet he still seeks every opportunity to encourage others and share Jesus with anyone that will listen. He opens the letter by addressing Philemon and his wife and son who had a group of folks that had church in their house. He expresses his passion for their faithfulness and encourages them to keep up the good work. There is no whining about being in prison and how unjust the court system was, only praise and admiration for what Jesus was doing in his life and theirs. He called Philemon not just a fellow worker, but a brother in the faith and Paul took this relationship very serious.
Philemon had a slave that had run away by the name of Onesimus. This slave was arrested and thrown into the same jail where Paul was held as a prisoner. I am sure that most of the guys in prison were all proclaiming their innocence and maybe Onesimus was too, but Paul was focused on one thing. Sharing God’s love with others and he did this with the slave and fellow prisoner. Once he was convinced of this man’s position in Christ, Paul obviously told him that He needed to go back and make things right with his old master and that was the purpose of this letter.
He tells his good friend that his old slave was no longer a disobedient slave but now a brother in Christ. Paul instructs Philemon to receive his old slave as if he were receiving Paul himself. He tells him that if there is a debt that is owed to charge it to him and to treat him not like the criminal that he was, but as a brother that he had become.
Isn’t it amazing that whatever we use to be before knowing Jesus as Savior is totally wiped out in Christ and we become new people? If only we acted that way toward others instead of only expecting it for ourselves. Paul met a man who was a runaway slave that by law could have been put to away for a long time or in the worst of cases be put to death, and saw someone who desperately needed Jesus, not a Judge. He didn’t just lead him to Jesus, but he took actions to help him live a life pleasing to Jesus. He didn’t worry about what others would think if he helped a criminal, but thought about what God would think if he didn’t help a sinner in need of a Savior.
If we could all look at the need instead of the problem. If we could all look at a potential brother instead of a potential bother. If we could all see people like Paul saw people and like Jesus sees people, then maybe more people would turn to Jesus, than turn to their troubles of the past and face them as a pardoned criminal, grateful to the Righteous Judge, who gave us over to the Perfect Savior. Maybe more people would see our forgiveness and our compassion and become forgiving and compassionate themselves.
Funny how this slave of a master was set free to become a servant of The Master.

September 19, 2011

Citywide Revival Summary

by pastortimfowler

Here are some of the highlights of the City Wide Revival in Rock Hill last week.
* The Rock Hill Herald did a great article but got names wrong and only missed the estimated attendance by about 500 when they reported 100 instead of the over 600.
* Pastor Lem Anderson preached his shortest sermon ever, but maybe most impactful.
* Pastor Tim Fowler publicly proclaimed to be white
* Overseer Crump from Freedom Temple went over his allotted 15 minutes but NO ONE cared!
* Pastor CT Kurk had to tell everyone to sit down at least 5 times but no one listened cause he blew us away
* Edge of Grace opened Thursday night with a BANG!
* Friday was opened with more incredible music and no one wanted it to end, but
* Pastor Kiser had to preach fast just to run over his time; no one cared
* Pastor Revell closed us out and nearly brought down the house as we were all blessed!
* Saturday all the pastors and there spouses had lunch and agreed to begin working on doing it again next year!
We had an average attendance of the 3 days of about 600. People from every race and financial background came together as one, united for God’s glory. Although there were some nay sayers on the internet, no one in attendance had anything other than praises. It was truly a blessed time when the body of Christ came together to celebrate God’s goodness and put aside our differences. We saw different styles of preaching and music and worship and it was all good; We did not complain, we rejoiced in it.
God wants His people united and focused on His love and His Son Jesus Christ. It is Jesus who said that the church would be built and hell wold not stop it. It is God who said that we are His co-workers and it is Jesus who is the foundation of the church. I am honored to have had any part in this historic event and cannot wait until the next time we unite for this most worthy cause.

September 16, 2011

Be Careful What You Believe

by pastortimfowler

I hear a lot of negative feedback about politicians who “flaunt” their Christian faith on the campaign trail. The constant bombardment of assumptive statements that make people of faith sound like the blind following the blind. If I didn’t find it so amusing I would get angry. No one ever questions a Muslim as if they were stupid. No one ever questions someone with no religious beliefs as if they were stupid. Only the Christian faith. That leads me to believe that I am following the right beliefs.
But I have to caution people about who and what you believe, even as a Christian. There is a big flap about Pat Robertson and some statements that he made concerning a man divorcing his sick wife. Pat may be someone who professes to be a Christian, and I won’t question his status there, but I do know that his teaching is not what the Bible teaches. My biggest concern is not about the issue of whether or not you can get a divorce, but whether or not you should break your promises. Every wedding I have ever been part of, and that is plenty as a pastor of almost 20 years, has both parties make a promise to love each other “until death do you part”. To divorce someone because they are terminally ill would be breaking that promise and the Bible clearly teaches that breaking our promises is wrong.
The other side of the being careful what you believe comes from what you read and hear from the media and special interest groups. In our city, we are in night 3 of a 3 day city-wide revival where 12 churches have come together to say that unity is more important than race. Our local newspaper was there early the first night and the reporter left 30 minutes before the 7pm starting time. Not only did he get names wrong of people he talked with, he grossly mis-reported the number in attendance. He did an estimate of about 100 at 6:30pm and left. When we started at 7pm, there were over 600 in attendance. Now there is a buzz on their website from readers who are mocking the effort of the churches and the poor attendance for this worthy effort. There are also reports of people being turned away because of what they were wearing and no one was turned away. Supposedly about 12 bikers were there the 2nd night and weren’t allowed to come in, but that night, no bikers showed up and again, no one was turned away.
Special interest groups are trying to scare people with reports that everything will kill you. One famous TV doctor reported that there was arsenic in apple-juice, but failed to mention that there are two types of arsenic and one is naturally occurring in nature and poses no threat to humans. If we drive too big of cars we are killing our atmosphere but if we drive electric cars were pose no risk of pollution at all; right. Electricity magically appears from nowhere, not coal or oil-fired generators. Not to mention that evil plastic that bottled water comes in, but is okay if it wraps a chemical laden battery. I have news for you. Man will not destroy the planet. God said that it is His to judge and what He has in mind does not need our help.
It is important that Christians not get discouraged from bad media coverage. We should also guard against jumping wholeheartedly into anything that does not match up with what God says in His word. Although the Bible was written thousands of years ago, we must always remember that God is the one who directed its writing and God is not taken by surprise about how we have developed. He made us and the universe we live in. He knows our needs and knows our hearts. He knows our bodies and what we put into them. He expects us to listen to Him before we listen to anyone else.
If God has put it in His word, the Bible, we should judge all things through it, not what the media or even a scientists may say. No, I am not saying that we don’t need to listen to scientists, but I am saying, be careful what you believe. Some people have an agenda against Christians and their belief in what God says, and far too often, media, scientists and special interest groups will say anything to sway our beliefs.

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